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Blogging & Your Business Day 5: Top Tips From Our Panel

This forum has been a lot of fun! I hope all of you enjoyed it as well. I’ve learned a lot from our panelists! Maybe we can make this a regular segment every few months onThe Marketing Eggspert Blog.

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I’ll end the week with all the tips our Blogging & Your Business Panel gave me. Enjoy them!

Finding Your Voice

  • Have something different and better to say; a unique perspective and/or expertise.
  • Make sure it’s relevant for your readers/subscribers/prospects/clients/colleagues.
  • Speak in a natural “spoken” voice and let people into your values & style.
  • Find your own voice. People will be drawn to read and come back if you are authentic and offer useful and/or interesting information.
  • Do what you love doing and have every detail reflect that.
  • Know who loves what you love doing and design every blog experience to serve them.
  • Know what you will promise and be prepared to deliver it. Then think about marketing.

Know What You’re Doing

  • Be real about how much time you really have to blog – To be successful as a blogger, it takes time and effort. Look at your business and see if you have the time to give to it. If you don’t, try to rearrange some things to free up your time to blog.
  • Blogging can open many doors, so I’d almost always advise you to blog. Just make sure you understand what’s involved.
  • Contact a few bloggers that you enjoy reading and ask them how much time they spend and how that time is used. You’ll find a wide range of answers so see what fits best for you.
  • Be real about what you expect from your blog – Your blog will change your business. But it won’t do it overnight, so if you expect it to, you’ll likely be disappointed. It’s best to consider what real expectations you can put on your blog. Again, ask a few bloggers about how their business has changed due to blogging and how long it took.
  • Be real with your readers – I always remember that people do business with people, not with businesses. Keep that in mind as you write posts and respond to email and comments. Let your readers get to know you. I’m not suggesting writing about your family, necessarily, but rather you let them read what it’s like to work with you both in your writing style and in the content of your posts.
  • Don’t start unless you are committed. It isn’t going to help your business or your image to post a blog and promote it, then stop writing in 2 months (or perhaps worse, starting one and posting at very long intervals).

Practice (and Patience) Makes Perfect

  • If you aren’t a writer, you might write posts for a couple of weeks just in a Word document. That will get you used to the discipline and perhaps give you some great posts to fall back on (unless you are writing about very timely topics.)
  • Post on a regular basis.
  • Write to the individual, not the group audience.
  • Know WHY you are blogging and WHAT you hope to accomplish, to keep the blog focused and relevant to readers.
  • If you get frustrated with constantly writing for your blog, or the lack of results, step away from the blog. Take a fresh look at it the next day. A blog is an act of love, so if you hate it, it’s useless.

Technical Details

  • Optimize the blog with Web 2.0 tools, and promote it using those same tools.
  • While providing links to other blogs/sites is attractive in a blog, remember that your customers will navigate away from your blog to follow those links. It’s best to keep them within your sphere of influence as long as possible, at least until you have conveyed your message.

Marketing Your Blog

  • Refer every contact you meet to your blog. For many, it may be their first experience reading one. They’ll be impressed, and could be your next clients.
  • List your blog everywhere: business card, website, forums.

Meet a Panelist
Liz Strauss has worked over 20 years in print, software, and online publishing, and strategized with publishers in Europe, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. She has worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses, companies in crisis, and corporate giants. Liz led the vision behind last year’s SOBCon: THE Relationship Bloggers’ Conference that gained the attention of BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Innovation Initiative of the Kellogg School of Business.

Her blog, Successful Blog, has been called both a destination and an event. Open Comment Nights, a Blog-to-Blog Conversation, a Blogger’s Cafe, single questions, and on-the-blog strategy sessions keep readers returning to conversations that often last for days. Her blog has tens of thousands of comments.

Professionally, Dawud Miracle is a blog and marketing consultant, business coach, teacher and web developer. His main passion is helping business owners – at any level – learn how to use the internet to grow their business. His ideal client is one who’s eager to learn the fine art of using social media to engage an audience in conversations that lead to mutually beneficial relationships. These relationships often branch out into all sorts of business opportunities.

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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