Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Does Your Business Need a Blog?

You are a busy business owner. Should you make time to blog? If so, what should the blog look like? And what should you say?

One of my clients is considering blogging and last week sent me to a Roundtable Discussion run by a local branding agency called 341 Studios LLC. She wanted me to report back on all that I learned. The panel consisted of Jane Pollak (author, artist, coach and one of my favorite bloggers), Mary Callahan (web specialist at 341 Studios) and Rhonda Hurwitz (341's social media expert).  

Why and How To Blog
I realized afterward that I should share key points of the discussion with my own readers. The best points of all were made by Jane: Blogging makes her feel connected, increases the depth of her relationships with readers, makes her excited about life and increases her visibility. Wow! Imagine feeling more connected with your current and potential customers while generating greater awareness. Imagine helping search engines to find your website.

What else did I learn? They recommended Wordpress as the best platform. Blogs should have good design, featuring your logo. And they should be part of your website. I break all three rules. I use Blogger and Blogger's design templates and have no logo. And my blogs are separate entities linked to my website. (Tmblr was also mentioned as a new, hot platform loved by younger bloggers.)


Blog Content
As for content, I learned that short blogs are best. If you have a lot to say, you can cut the blog into chunks and spread your content over a few days. It's also good to mix things up - some short posts, some longer, and to post photos and videos. And you can serialize content or establish content patterns with something like: "Finance Tuesdays" or "Entrepreneurial Fridays". You get the idea. 

After the presentation, I wondered what I could charge to ghost-blog for businesses? Everyone at the discussion either was already blogging or was looking to blog in the near future. What would be a fair price?

Whether you outsource the blogging or do it yourself, don't put it off. Get blogging now. It's not that hard. And you can do it for free! (My other blog is www.independentseniors.net. My websites are: www.wynlydecker.com and www.upstartbusinessplanning.com.)
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