Monday, January 7, 2013

Have You Ever Considered Starting a Blog? If Not, You Should!

www.accessprofilesblog.com


I recently went to a networking group meeting where the topic was Public Relations.

We were sharing ways to get the word out about our businesses, both paid and free.  I brought up the topic of blogging.

I am still amazed by what blogging has done for me and my business.  And I believe it can help you too......

Blogging is a Productive & Enjoyable Marketing Tool for Your Small Business!   "Tweet This"

Blogging has yielded wonderful results for my Small Business.  It has given me the opportunity to express my viewpoints on a variety of topics directly related to my field and on Small Business and Women in Business issues, both of which are my passion.  But, most importantly, my blog has allowed me to reach more potential clients than ever before.

I have to confess....I sort of “jumped right in” when I began blogging.  I had started my business Facebook page and was intently working on sharing interesting and relevant content.  I found myself constantly including my “take” and opinion with each post.  It was suggested to me that since I was already sharing my voice, blogging would be perfect for me.  

I became intrigued with the idea, but had never actually read a blog or thought of writing one until then.  So one day, as part of my daughter’s Master’s course in Social Media, she set up my blog.

Now I had to no excuse not to start writing!  I began with writing an article strictly in my field, but soon found that was too narrow a scope.  I chose to extend my reach to Small Business and Women in Business issues, and it has made all the difference.

By expanding my subject matter, I have been able to diversify my client base and attract a whole new market (and land some real clients!).  The focus of my blog evolved beyond just writing the best blog I was capable of writing but became centered on writing a blog that was great for my readers.

So, once You decide that you want to give blogging a try, where do you begin?  There are some great free platforms out there you can use to publish your blog (I chose Blogger).  


But where do you go beyond that?  
You Need to Ask Yourself Some Basic Questions to Get Started:

"Target Your Blog Posts"
  • Who is Your Audience?
Are you trying to reach existing clients or trying to reach new ones?  Are you planning to promote blog solely within your industry or is it going to have a broader reach?


Asking and answering these questions early in the process will really help you with your focus.  I decided early on that it was important to  me to go beyond the borders of my existing market.  This has really freed me to be more creative with my content and expand my potential client base.

  • What Do You Want to Share with Your Audience
This is an important step in your blogging journey.  Being focused at this juncture is crucial in creating your “voice” or niche in the market. 

You need to determine if you are in it to promote your business, educate your readers, or to make money.  It is not that you can’t do all three, it is just that the PRIMARY focus is what you want to shine through.

Deciding this will help you choose your blog topics and really make your blog part of your “brand”.

  • What Do You Want to Name Your Blog?
The name should reflect your “brand” and/or your company.  It should blend in seamlessly with your website, Facebook page, and any other forms of Social Media you use.

I chose to name my blog using my company name, Access Profiles.  believe that creates an undeniable link to all my social media and  avoids confusion.

I also like to use a “tag line” (mine is right under my blog name) that gives readers a glimpse into the focus of my blog.  Choosing these  words carefully can help your “search optimization”.

"Create Your Successful Blog"
  • Do Your Readers Have a Way to Contact You Within Your Blog?
Providing an email contact (even one you create solely for your blog) is important.  Of course comments left on your blog are appreciated, but your readers will appreciate being able to contact you directly also.

You should also include links to your website, Facebook page,
LinkedIn profile, etc. on your blog “Contact” page.  Conversely, a link to your blog should appear on each.

You want all your Social Media platforms to work together and make it easy for your clients and readers to find you!

  • Do You Have a Plan for Dealing with Comments?
Just like on any Social Media platform, you need to decide how you will handle any “less than flattering” or dissenting comments.   My suggestion, don’t wait until something happens to decide on your course of action.

In my blog, I have taken to replying  to comments directly on my blog.  I wanted that sense of “community” and interaction that I find on Facebook and LinkedIn.  This includes those comments that may not agree with my thoughts.  Replying is key.

  • Finally, Are You Willing to Put the Time and Effort into Your Blog?
The truth is that blogging is not always easy.  There will be times that you are “uninspired” and are having trouble coming up with a topic or content.  My advice is to plan for those times.  

I keep a running list of blog ideas (I use  the “notes” option on my MacBook and have recently added Evernote).  Whenever I come across an article or read a comment that gives me pause, I jot down my thoughts.  I include a  link to the article or paraphrase the original comment.

This gives me “ready made” ideas to combat the times when I am feeling less than inspired.  Doing this has made all the difference!

I believe blogging is a wonderful way to reach people.  Don’t get all wrapped up in how many comments or views you get.  
It takes time to build a 
blogging presence.  

Be patient and I think you will find it to be extremely rewarding and, 
most of all, FUN!  
Good luck, and feel free to message me with a link to your new blog....I would love to take a look!


We can help you with your Blog.  
Whether you are looking for someone to give your article a "polish" 
or need someone to write the whole thing, message or call me!
Find out how what we can do for you in 
"Are You Afraid of Starting Your Business Blog?"!



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9 comments:

  1. Hi Kimberly! I've enjoyed reading your blog posts! You written about a lot of issues I deal with as an entrepreneur. Keep up the good work! Kelly from Red Feather Networking

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Kelly (from Red Feather Networking). I am happy to hear that the topics I write about mirror what is going on with you and your business.

      Do you blog? If so, I would love it if you would share a link to your blog so I could return the favor! If not, might be a great time to try!

      Delete
  2. Khizer Ahmed SheriffJanuary 9, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    I couldn't agree more with this article!
    I had tried writing blogs before too but couldn't get them running for the sole reason that I hadn't gone through all the above points.
    Though not on paper or in the same order but mentally I have done the same. This will definitely help new bloggers hit the ground running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Khizer! I am glad that the starting points of blogging I covered resonated with you!

      I hope you are ready to give blogging another try then! If you do, please send me a link as I would love to check it out!

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  3. Great tips and I appreciate your insights. As a blog writer myself, it is helpful to read information to validate if I am going about it the right way and make changes as needed. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always love to hear from a fellow blogger Sheryl! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and I hope to see more of your comments in the future! If you would care to subscribe, that is great, but either way thanks for the interest!

      If you would be so kind as to leave a link to your blog, it would be great to check it out!

      Thanks again...and happy blogging!

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Blogging is a good opportunity to improve writing skills. So, if you are beginning writer, don’t be afraid and start your own blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make a great point Robin! Fear keeps many from blogging, but the absolute best way to get more comfortable is to jump right in! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Much appreciated!

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