Monday, January 7, 2013

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


Consider this...
We recently attended 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.  That was when we brought up the topic of blogging.


Many looked skeptical. Statements and questions quickly followed. Many said things like, "I can't blog" and "What could I possibly write about?".

We were amazed by the reticence and confusion about what having a blog can do for a business,  especially a Small Business. We know what blogging has done for ours, and we believe it can help you too......





Blogging has yielded wonderful results for our Small Business. 

Having a blog has given us the opportunity to express our viewpoints on a variety of topics, both directly related to our field on our passion for Small Business and Women in Business issues. But, most importantly, our blog has allowed us to reach more potential clients than ever before.

We have to confess....we sort of “jumped right in” when we began blogging. We had just started our Facebook business page and were intently working on sharing interesting and relevant content. We found ourselves constantly including our “take” and opinion on each article we posted. It was suggested that since we were already sharing our voice anyway that blogging would be the perfect next step!  

We 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 our daughter’s Master’s course in Social Media, she set up the blog.

Now we simply had no excuse not to start writing! We began with writing articles strictly in our field, but soon found that was too narrow a scope. We then chose to extend our reach to Small Business and Women in Business issues, and it has made all the difference.

By expanding our blog's subject matter, we were able to diversify our reader base and attract a whole new market and land some real clients in the process!  

The focus of our blog soon evolved beyond simply writing the best blog we were capable of writing. We now centered on writing a blog that was relevant and informative to our  readers. 

This change in our blog's focus made all the difference.

Once You decide that you want to give blogging a try, the question then becomes ~ where do you begin?  
  
Ask Yourself these Basic Questions to Get Started:
  • Who is Your Audience?
Are you trying to reach existing clients or trying to attract new ones? Are you planning to promote the 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. We decided early on that it was important to go beyond the borders of our existing market. This has really freed us to be more creative with our content and expand our  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 your 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.

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

We also like to use a “tag line” (our is right under our blog name) that gives readers a glimpse into the focus of our blog.  Choosing these  words carefully can help your “search optimization”.
  • 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 directly on your blog allow your readers to reach you, they 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 of these social sites too.

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.  Our  suggestion, don’t wait until something happens to decide on your course of action.

In our blog, we have decided to reply to comments directly on our blog. We wanted the same sense of “community” and interaction that we find on Facebook and LinkedIn. This includes those comments that may not agree with our 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. Our advice is to plan for those times.  

We keep a running list of blog ideas (we use  the “notes” option on our laptop and phones. Whenever we come across an article or read a comment that gives us pause, we jot down our thoughts. We include a link to the article or paraphrase the original comment.

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


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

And if you have questions,
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 us!
Find out how what we can do for you in 
"Are You Afraid of Starting Your Business Blog?"!


Authored by  






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11 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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    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!

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  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.

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    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!!

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    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!

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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.

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    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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  6. Glad you mentioned the importance of finding your tribe and narrowing down your focus when you're just starting out. I've seen so many new bloggers create a one-resource-for-all website instead of choosing a very specific audience and then catering to that particular market. Great post!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kate! Finding your specific audience, your "tribe", is indeed vital to both focusing your blog and not wasting your time! And once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and leave a comment!

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