It’s no secret that I accidentally stumbled into blogging. I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about that story.
Yesterday I got to share my blogging story with about 30 people at the Red Hot Events Mastermind Meetup on my home turf – Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Apart from receiving a tweet saying I am “a gorgeous geek with great shoes” (thanks @reneeveldman), the highlight of the morning was opening the eyes – and laptops – of these business people to the power of blogging. Let’s just say that my inner geek was on fire.
See, when someone asks me to speak about my next fave subject after fashion and beauty, I get a bad case of the Jim Carrey’s … Somebody stop me!
The accidental blogger story is true. I started my styling business in 2008. I was a newbie in the business world after 20 years as a journo, and wanted a website that I could update myself. Thankfully the first person I talked to said I needed a blog.
I said, “sure I do” and quickly Googled what exactly a blog was.
And yes, three plus years later, it has turned out to be an inspired, accidental decision, with my blog not only attracting styling and speaking work but also not blogging consultations and advertising. All the while with me at the helm of my marketing message and brand.
So, to keep things fair for those who couldn’t attend yesterday’s event, I thought I’d post here my four key tips for successfully blogging for business.
1. Get online
A blog should be at the centre of all your online communication. You don’t need a whiz-bang website. A custom-designed, self-hosted blog that fits with your business branding is all you need to blog your way to business success.
Allocate time every day to read (and comment on other people’s blogs), answer comments on your blog and use your social media networks to spread the word about what’s new on your blog. All this will help to build your community and increase your readership – and in turn your customer/client base.
Hang out in the social networks where your readers (and potential readers) are hanging out. As your blog develops, your Google Analytic stats will help you to manage this with less educated guesswork.
Sell by “unselling”. Online readers have an insatiable thirst for information. Valuable, useful information. Online readers also like to be entertained or thought-provoked by what they read. Tailor your information and write it so that you engage your reader.
2. Be consistent
Did you read the one about the business blogger who wrote a blog post, promoted it with great fanfare to their database and social networks, only to then fall silent for three months?
If you decide to start a blog you really need to have a plan in place that includes the number of blog posts you can comfortably write in a week, what days you are going to publish them and even what time.
There is no magic number about the frequency of blog posting that will bring you success. Yes, blogging more often will bring your blog’s ranking up in Google’s eyes but I believe the key is more about the consistency with which you post.
This is, after all, a marketing plan. You wouldn’t do a paid marketing plan without a strategy, would you?
Now, even the best marketing plans need to be flexible and it’s the same with blogging. If you are wanting to offer meaningful, credible information to your readers, pitching yourself as an expert in your field, then you need to also be able to respond and comment on current topics pertinent to your industry.
A great example for me was the blog post I wrote about How to dress like Offspring’s Nina Proudman at the height of the show’s seemingly cult status this year. It’s a post that is still viewed thousands of time each month. Another was when Kate Moss got married and I felt the need on a Saturday night to suggest she could have done better with her hair and makeup.
3. Be yourself
The real power of your online brand lies in your ability to give your brand a personality. Whether you think your personality is a great one or not (!), that is what readers are looking to connect with.
No matter how big this online world gets, we are still people, and it’s people who other people want to connect with. We want to see the people and personality behind your business brand and develop a relationship with that person or personality before buying into their brand or business.
Yes, not everyone may like or connect with your personality but by being YOU, you’ll attract the right readers and customers for you. And they will become your most loyal business ambassadors.
4. Just do it!
Short and sweet. That Nike mob are on the money with that slogan. You will be too if you follow suit. What are you waiting for? Go forth and blog!
Are you considering starting a blog? Do you blog for a business? What has worked for you in building your brand’s message through blogging?