3 Reasons to Blog

Messed up #naphoto door

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I was at a lovely, local business networking event recently and we were all chatting around the table about various topics; I chirped up about WordPress & blogging as I was talking about my training events; it was at this point someone piped up with “but why blog?“. Great question, here’s my thoughts…

1) To Prove your Credentials

The thing is this: we’re not short of people offering us their products and services any more (thank you Internet!). And no; we don’t just buy on price. We buy from people/brands we know/like/trust. This being the case, it’s vital to try to positively influence the mental model which the brain instinctively starts creating when you/your business first ventures onto someone’s radar.

If that entry point is a blog post you’ve written; which (for example) helps explain a technicality of your profession (in terms they understand) or helping clearly demonstrate (in non-salesman patter) how you’ve helped somebody similar to them; then you’re already a few rungs up the ladder from A.N.Other accountant/plumber/locksmith/web designer etc.

(Actually, talking of accountants, it’s amazing how many I’ve come across who write blogs posts which seem to be so full of jargon that they must be aimed at other accountants. Excuse me but the reason I pay an accountant is that I don’t understand it in the first place!*).

2) SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

I typically veer away from mentioning SEO as there are so many clowns and sharks infesting these waters. However, to cut a long story short:

Google love to see relevant, engaging content. If you blog once a week, for a year, you’ve produced over 50 pages of (hopefully) great content to help draw punters in; are your competition doing that?**

But please (please please!) remember a golden rule here: we write for people; not search engines. Google’s job is to help surface relevant content; therefore, write stuff which your audience find engaging.

3) Encourage Conversation

Blog posts can be a water cooler where opinions are shared; wouldn’t it be great if you wrote something which created (even a minor) buzz online? This is what we are looking to achieve; to create positive online ripples which help shape that mental model which people intuitively form.

It’s that buzz which sets us apart from the competition.

Rome wasn’t built in one day…

I love to mix my metaphors a billion times in a blog post and this one will be no exception: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. None of the benefits of blogging can happen unless you stick at it long enough. If you create one blog post and then give up the ghost because your sales haven’t tripled half an hour later; then you’re delusional; this takes effort. Hell, if it were that simple then everyone would be doing it (which they are most certainly not).

By occasionally blogging (one a day, once a week, two times a month, adhoc) you help put your online business on the front foot. Creating positive and engaging content which helps make potential customers think more favourably of you.

So I hope that gives you some food for though (cough! sales pitch alert!) obviously if you want to come along to one of my training workshops then I can help you in person (I also offer a limited availability of coaching slots).

Please feel free to chip in if you have any comments or questions.

Joel

* That’s right; we need to explain things to people. Does that mean we explain that some things are simple? Well, yes! See, the thing is this: i) simple things are simple to folks of certain skills because they have those skills ii) people without those skills will not find them simple even if you write a blog post about it & iii) even if you explain to some people how to do it a large % will want a professional to do it anyway (and the other % won’t pay anyone anything; so there’s nothing to lose).

** Probably not as it takes effort & commitment.

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8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Joel, very well reasoned but why don’t we do it. I guess we do not make the time because we are not sure what to do and therefore put off doing it. Then it doesn’t get done at all! The solution is in our own hands, make the time and take the plunge. Andrew

    • Joel_Hughes Joel_Hughes says:

      Hi Andrew,
      You’re 100% right. The thing is, most people understand *why* it’s a good idea but, because blogging is not part of their routine, it just falls off the radar.

      This is something I was going to touch on in this post but shied away from to stop it getting too long: basically people need to put a content publishing system in place, they need to book time off in their diary to perform certain blogging tasks . That’s the only way to get it done and to allow this new routine time to take root in people’s busy calendars.

      Joel

      • Two other reasons people don’t blog is because they don’t like writing or think their efforts may embarrass them or attract criticism. Everyone has an opinion and a contribution that is of value to others. The audience that appreciates their input may disagree with them from time-to-time but is unlikely to be critical of their efforts.

        • Joel_Hughes Joel_Hughes says:

          Hi Ian,
          Great points!

          Yes, fear of criticism is certainly an element (“what if some people don’t like what I have to say?!” etc) but, in the cold light of day, we know that we can’t appeal to everybody – some people will warm to others – and some won’t. By attempting to dilute your content to appeal to everyone (as I’m sure you know), you end up appealing to nobody. Finding your online voice is definitely a journey; and what that can only start by the experience of publishing content online.

          Good point about the writing. Many people confuse blogs with words; they don’t have to be. Video blogs or audio podcasts are also fantastic ways of publishing – in my role I try to work out which platforms are aligned with my client’s strengths. We need to focus our efforts on the tools which best suit us.

          Many thanks for stopping by

          Joel

  2. Avatar Paul Cornish says:

    What a fabulous post, it’s really got me thinking Joel. I am going to make sure I make note of those things I want to blog about and try to beat the one a week idea… that’s pure gold to me!

    Thanks,
    Paul

  3. Love it! Actually involved in a purchase this morning from Spillers Records, which wasn’t through blogging but Twitter, and involved 2 of these 3 points. I originally tweeted them and asked for an LP to be pre-ordered, which ends up with me saying how brilliant they are when they’ve sorted a limited edition 7″ for me – the positive online ripples begin.

    Then when I picked it up today we spoke about other recommended albums, and other works the producer has been involved in, thereby proving their credentials and also giving me thought about future investments. Basically online coversations and social organisations have sold me records without any kind of a sales pitch.

    Keep up the good work!

    – Dyfrig

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