This is the first of a series of posts that I aim to expand and develop on the subject of blogging and how to turn that thought of becoming a blogger into a reality.
My aim here is to cover the basics and to demystify and simplify some of the terms out there and build your confidence in no time at all so you can step out and step up.
What is blogging?
A blog is a essentially a website with articles categorised and listed, generally with the most recent post first.The term blog is derived from weblog which means online diary or journal. It is important to realise though that today blogs are not just diaries.Whilst many convey the thoughts of and personal life experiences of the blogger many blogs can be about any subject or topic in life and business.
The key difference with websites is that blogs don’t require heaps of technical knowledge to maintain and update allowing the blogger to add fresh content regularly and easily.They can be cheaper, quicker to build and easier to engage others.
This has given rise to a massive growth of new blogs and beginners wanting to express themselves and publish their information easily. With regular content updates blogs can easily rise up the search engine rankings ahead of static websites.
Blogs are more interactive because they encourage commenting .They are seen as more trusted sources of information and thus are a fabulous communications tool for an online marketer.
First then we must look at the bigger picture of how a blog can align with our overall online Internet marketing strategy to grow our online business brand and customer base.
Let’s start with why you need a blog;
If you want to work from home online and set up an Internet home business irrespective of whether you’re selling a product or a service then you need to master blogging -period.
Differentiation is the key to any brand and a blog is one of the best means to differentiate yourself from others like you.
One very important source of your uniqueness is your experiences. Everything you’ve ever done is recorded, not only in your conscious memory but also in your nervous system. Everything you’ve ever seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled is tucked away in the giant filing cabinet known as your brain. The conscious and unconscious memories are called references. The experiences are what we rely upon for certainty about what to believe, including some of our most important beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of.
Think of a blog then as a way of expressing that uniqueness , knowledge and experience to add value to peoples lives. A platform that can build authority over time and engagement with your tribe of followers.
It is an opportunity to let your personality sparkle but also a means to let your readers see all of you, your views, opinions,vision and insights as well as your vulnerabilities.This is vital in the open, random connected world of the Internet. We don’t want sterile , dull copy we want to let our light shine and we want to razzle and dazzle but be authentic at the same time. This is a key competitive advantage of the small agile larger than life personality based businesses these days who are capitalizing over the faceless, controlling corporate brand.
Relationships, relationships, relationships
Business has always been about relationships first and foremost. We buy from people we know, like and trust. We buy from people like us. Blogging helps you find those people more effectively and build that trust.
Gain visibility as an expert in your field
Now you don’t need to be Einstein to feel that you have something valuable to offer others nor do you have to be the world’s wittiest, sharpest or informative commentator and writer.Listen up…..all you need is passion for your subject matter and bags of it . When you give a toss about something because you have some knowledge of it people will get it. We love people who know what they stand for and who are not afraid to back themselves or their vision and beliefs.
The more you consistently write about your subject matter the quicker you’ll gain that expert authority tag.
SEO and building traffic
People search randomly for all sorts of information online and at the end of the day you can’t optimize your website for everything. Here is where blogging can target the long tail keyword phrases that will draw in highly qualified and targeted traffic to you. By the way a long tail keyword is going to be a phrase that is more than 1 or 2 words long;
For example: Life change is a keyword that has a decent amount of monthly searches but if you want to target around this area then go after phrases like ‘how to change your life ‘ or ”change for life’ or maybe ” you can change your life’ as ideas for blog posts.
Look at it as going fishing for the day, if you want to improve your chances of success you go to where there is a healthy flock of available fish but a quieter more unknown spot to the mainstream fishing grounds. Fishing teaches you be patient, anything worth catching is worth waiting for right?
The same principles apply to blogging-good posts targeting long tail phrases build relevant traffic over time.
Google simply loves new fresh content and will rank you more highly for this. Blogging means that you are always adding new material, provided you are consistent in the frequency and volume of your posts.
Blogs are link bait.
Sticking with the fishing analogy for a moment, be aware that very few blogs will link directly to the products and services page on a business website. Decent blog posts get linked to a lot because they’re informative, captivating and not SALES-FOCUSED.
Readers don’t really care about what you’re selling until you can demonstrate that you care about them first. So avoid the second hand car salesmen tactics and just give great information. The more links that are built over time equals better search engine ranking which equals more traffic and hopefully more subscribers which in time may convert to loyal customers. So using a long tail keyword from above like ‘ you can change your life” to create a back link to a blog post with a relevant article that delivers on that issue for your audience is what its all about.
For example- you can change your life
Blogging develops you personally
On a personal note I have found that blogging about a subject is a wonderful way to grow and develop yourself fully. I believe that we only truly begin to really master a topic when we can comfortably teach others what we know. It consolidates that learning and writing it down or expressing it in a video or podcast instills that discipline within us as well as appealing to a wider audience who like to learn in different ways themselves . Note to writer (moi-master pod-casting !)
So by now I hope you can see that the benefits of setting up a blog are obvious. In the next post we’ll cover different types, plug in and themes. Meanwhile, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or areas you’d like me to develop on this topic and I ‘ll review and incorporate in this series of future posts.