In our training courses the topic of blogging comes up every time when we talk about raising visibility and being more referrable. So I thought it was time to share a few experiences and suggestions.
There are many articles and blog posts written about blogging (and please check them out as well) so I will limit myself to business blogging from a networking/referrals point of view.
My most important advice is to share tips and experiences. Don’t make it a platform to sell your stuff (or other’s). Good content is the basis.
The pros of blogging for your business are:
- It raises your Know, Like and Trust factor:
- Know factor: readers get more insight who you are as an individual or as (a representative of) an organization.
- Like factor: since you share tips without wanting anything in return people start to like you more.
- Trust factor: if you write about your professional expertise it shows people you are the expert you claim to be.
- It makes you more referrable: it is easier for other people to talk about you and refer people to you: “Jan Vermeiren is an expert about networking, LinkedIn and referrals, but you don’t have to believe me, just check out his blog and you will find out yourself.”
- It might help you get higher in Google and other search engines (Google loves content and prefers it over “normal” websites).
- It reinforces the other things you do. What happens a lot with us is that someone hears about me from someone else or reads an interview with me, they read the blog, they sign up for the free networking e-course or the free light version of “Let’s Connect!” or “How to REALLY use LinkedIn”, check my LinkedIn Profile and then call us to do a presentation or give a workshop.
In other words: a blog is part of a mix that reinforces your brand and supports your business in an indirect way.
When NOT to start blogging:
- If you are not in there for the long run.
- If the theme or purpose of the blog is not clear. This is not so much for the readers, but for yourself. The clearer this is, the easier it is to find the inspiration. As a consequence the theme can’t be too big or too small.
- If you want short term results. It takes time to build a following.
- If you only want to take or sell something and not want to give or share first.
- If it takes you too much time to write. However, there are solutions: do a podcast (= you talk instead of write) or record your tips and have someone else make a transcription.
If you don’t take this into account, it is better not to start blogging. It might backfire on you: when people see that the last blog post is of 2003 or that you “gave up” after posting a few tips they might wonder whether you are still in business or not.
But if you do it the right way, it will help you to be more referrable and attract more business.
To your success !