blogs, career management, Careers, entrepreneurs, facebook, linkedin, Networking, Personal Branding, self employed, small business, social media marketing, twitter

Blog Your Way to Success

Mary Rosenbaum | March 13th, 2010

In my last post on Social Media Marketing I discussed the importance of using a blog in your business whether you are an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, a small business owner or a professional interested in career management. In addition to increasing the penetration in your particular market, the benefits of blogging are many and include developing brand recognition, exhibiting expertise, creating greater inbound traffic to your website and business, and learning about the needs of your target audience (see an earlier post To Blog or Not to Blog for more insights).

According to Hubspot, companies that blog get 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links. So if you want to grow your business and create greater credibility the time you spend on this endeavor will be well worth it.

Here are some typical questions, and hopefully some answers, on how to get started building a blog.

1. How can I develop the content?

Research and Read- You can’t get into the conversation if you don’t know what it’s about.

–         Join those groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook whose members are people you want to reach – potential clients, customers, employers, and those who influence the decision makers.

–        Read the postings on these sites and learn about the issues, needs and wants of this community. What questions are being asked? What is being addressed? What is missing from the conversation that you believe would add  value to this audience? Which topics are over-exposed?

–    Which links are being resent and retweeted? What information and type of format resonate with your particular audience?

The research stage will provide you with ample opportunity to read and learn more about the community you want to join.

2. Once I have the content, then what?

–  Make it relevant.

–     Write as if you were having a conversation with someone.

–     Be authentic – write about what you know and what you believe.

–     Write about something you are excited about – excitement is contagious.

–     Be generous with information.

–     Always be on brand and on topic in every post.

–     Always edit, edit, edit and then proof read your work.

3. How often should I write?

Put reading, research and writing into your daily or weekly calendar in the same way you schedule other appointments or meetings.

–     Be consistent – write as often as you can, weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly.

4. How should I deliver the message?

By now you have seen many examples of ways to structure your blog postings. Although this is far from exhaustive, here are some ideas for structuring your content:

–         Articles on how-to in your area of expertise.

–         Provide resources and links that can help your readers.

–         Provide your expert opinion along with the opinion of others on current news and events of the day.

–         Discuss case studies or client issues you have successfully dealt with that might resonate   with your audience.

–         Connect your readers to articles, blogs, reports published by others.

–         If applicable, write about aspects of your personal journey and how you got to here from there.

–         Use video to deliver your message.

–         Interview a thought leader in the industry.

–         Use some combination of all of the above.

5. How do I get people to read what I write?

–    Participate in your community of groups – comment on other postings, answer questions generously, establish credibility and visibility.

–    Once you have gained credibility and trust, inform your groups whenever you publish a new post.

–     Learn from each posting which subjects and styles resonate with your audience based on comments they provide, number of visitors to your blog, and retweets.

I know these lists are far from exhaustive. I welcome any additional ideas you have for creating a blog that is interesting, well read, and delivers the message of who you are and what your personal brand is all about.

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Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps entrepreneurs and careerists position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead