Blogging for fun and profit
This post (my 509th to be precise) is about why I blog, and why any start-up or small business should seriously consider blogging.
This evening I am giving a talk as part of our Web in Feb series of events. The title is Business Blog â€“ Live, and I am looking forward to some lively debate about the whys and wherefores of blogging for business.
I have already posted up my slides on Slideshare and am happy to share some of my key points below:
Why do I blog?
- By accidentâ€¦ the idea was to show a colleague how to blog
- Because it works â€“ 25% of traffic to the Business & IP Centre website â€“ 200,000 hits in 4 years â€“ comments and feedback
- Because I enjoy it â€“ writing about interest business ideas
- It is easyâ€¦ and free â€“ well not quite, now I am paying $20 a year for an advert free WordPress
- It is my memory of events and ideas â€“ I want to be able to look back in a few years time
- I believe it helps the reputation of the Centreâ€¦ and hopefully mine too â€“ only my readers can be the judge of that!
Why you should blog
- To build trust â€“ â€˜realâ€™ people vs anonymous business â€“ this is an increasing desire from customers
- To build an audience â€“ you can start before you business goes live â€“ you might even attract some pre-launch orders
- Increase SEO without the risk â€“ Google loves blogs-hates cheaters so keep away from search engine optimisers with â€˜magicalâ€™ properties
- Drive traffic to your website â€“ see Google above
- Be seen as an expert in your field â€“ requires insightful, quality content â€“ but hopefully you will have this if you are starting a business
- Reach a wider market â€“ word of mouth referrals â€“ one post might go viral
- With passionâ€¦ and patience â€“ wait at least six months for the numbers to come through
- For your audience â€“ you do know your potential customers likes and needsâ€¦ donâ€™t you?
- Mainly about things related to your business â€“ donâ€™t stray too far off base
- Headings must be â€˜Ronsealedâ€™ -
- Regularly â€“ a minimum of once a week
- Content must be engaging / surprising / controversial / intriguing
- Length must be â€˜just rightâ€™ â€“ somewhere between Stephen Fryâ€™s blessays and Euan Sempleâ€™s The Obvious.
- Leveraging your other social media channels â€“ Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, +Google
- Using your web domain if possible â€“ to maximise traffic to your website
- Promote using contacts and â€˜Blogrollâ€™
- Measure using built in tools or Google Analytics
- Handling comments and spam â€“ to moderate or tolerate comment trolls
Ah yes, back to my scientific experiment. I want to prove that even by picking a popular title for this blog post, it will still soar up the Google rankings the minute it is published. Time to find out!