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 – 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 accident… the idea was to show a colleague how to blog
- Because it works – 25% of traffic to the Business & IP Centre website – 200,000 hits in 4 years – comments and feedback
- Because I enjoy it – writing about interest business ideas
- It is easy… and free – well not quite, now I am paying $20 a year for an advert free WordPress
- It is my memory of events and ideas – I want to be able to look back in a few years time
- I believe it helps the reputation of the Centre… and hopefully mine too – only my readers can be the judge of that!
Why you should blog
- To build trust – ‘real’ people vs anonymous business – this is an increasing desire from customers
- To build an audience – you can start before you business goes live – you might even attract some pre-launch orders
- Increase SEO without the risk – Google loves blogs-hates cheaters so keep away from search engine optimisers with ‘magical’ properties
- Drive traffic to your website – see Google above
- Be seen as an expert in your field – requires insightful, quality content – but hopefully you will have this if you are starting a business
- Reach a wider market – word of mouth referrals – one post might go viral
- With passion… and patience – wait at least six months for the numbers to come through
- For your audience – you do know your potential customers likes and needs… don’t you?
- Mainly about things related to your business – don’t stray too far off base
- Headings must be ‘Ronsealed’ -
- Regularly – a minimum of once a week
- Content must be engaging / surprising / controversial / intriguing
- Length must be ‘just right’ – somewhere between Stephen Fry’s blessays and Euan Semple’s The Obvious.
- Leveraging your other social media channels – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, +Google
- Using your web domain if possible – to maximise traffic to your website
- Promote using contacts and ‘Blogroll’
- Measure using built in tools or Google Analytics
- Handling comments and spam – 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!