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Hubby brought this cartoon home from work several weeks ago.  I had intended to post it earlier with quite a few LOL and HA HA HA’s  and ROFL, but never quite got around to it.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling both sides of this.  The Darling Daughter, 12yo, has been on school holidays for the last two and a half weeks.  Hubby was home ‘sick’ last week with a bad back, and a couple of days this week with the flu (no, not man-flu thankfully, just ordinary flu).

So in the last few weeks I’ve launched the Two Hour Business Plan in the middle of finding time for a 12yo on holidays, looking after an injured/sick husband and then the lovely generous man (hear the sarcasm there?) decided to pass his revolting germs on to me.  Gee, thanks honey.

Self Pity and Woe Is Me is not what today’s post is about though.  Today I thought I’d have a chat about blogging with a business and list some resources that I use.  Some of the links are affiliate links, so if you end up buying any of these I might make enough to buy a cup of coffee, with cream.  Maybe.

Business blogging

I’m going to assume that everyone reading this knows what a blog is and what RSS is.  If not, feel free to email me and ask.  No, it’s not a silly question and you wouldn’t be the first person to ask me.

What’s your blog’s purpose?

Blogging is really useful for your business but it’s not a golden ladder leaning against the wall of huge profits.  It takes time, effort, technique and purpose.  It can also be a huge waste of time for very little ROI (Return On Investment).

Before you go putting all that work into your blog, you have to know why you’re doing it.  Here’s some of the things that a well-written blog can do:

– attract potential customers

– improve your website’s SEO (as long as the blog is on the same domain as the site)

– show people that you know what you’re talking about

– build a community of like-minded people through comments and discussion

– advertise sales, specials, new products

Know why before you start

Too many people jump into blogging for their business without a clear direction and purpose for it.  Just like everything else in business you need to know what result you’re working towards, so you know when you’re on track and if it’s working or not.

Know what you’re doing and why, and then aim every single post towards that purpose.

Readers aren’t buyers

I’m mainly talking to those who sell a service here, although this is still true – albeit to a lesser extent – for those who sell physical products.

Your blog readers aren’t your clients.

The majority of people who read your blog, subscribe to your RSS, comment on your posts – they’ll never buy from you.  This tends to be a shock for a lot of people, it sure was for me, when you’ve put in hours and hours and hours writing posts and then you realise that the readers aren’t actually buyers.

The majority of your readers are there for the free content.  There’s nothing wrong with that, and business blogging is still a great way to spread the word of what you do.  But if you’re looking at several thousand readers and wondering why they’re not buying – welcome to reality.

Readers don’t look at your website

The majority of readers never visit your website after the first hit, when they subscribe to your RSS.  So you can update your site to your hearts content, fill it with ads, promote every product under the sun and your readers still won’t know about it.

If you want your readers to know something, put it in a blog post with a powerful headline.

Partial feeds mean non-readers

So when a lot of people realise the above fact they decide to make their RSS feed only partial, meaning that RSS subscribers will see the first paragraph and have to click through to read the remainder of the post on the website.  Yay!  More hits on the site, better SEO and people see your site and ads, yes?

No.

Statistics show that partial feeds actually reduce readership.  Your first paragraph is going to have to be absolutely riveting and compelling to get people to click through.  Most readers won’t bother.  But if you have a full feed in your RSS – meaning the entire post is there in the reader or email – then most people will read it.

So why bother with blogging?

It’s a pretty depressing picture here isn’t it?  The readers don’t buy, they don’t visit the website and they don’t read partial feeds.  Why bother putting the effort in?

Because blogging will draw more people to your site.  It shows people what you can do and gives them confidence in you.  Used properly, blogging will attract the right people and get them recommending you.  It’s a great tool, but that’s all it is, a tool.

Use blogging wisely and with a clear purpose, and it will help grow your business.

Blogging Resources

Here’s some resources to help you get the most out of your blogging.  They’re all ebooks that I have bought and used myself.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a downloadable e-book designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks that will all help to turn it into the page view powerhouse you’ve always dreamed of.

Each day in the project contains:

A Task – something to DO that day.

Teaching – each day you’ll be given great instruction on both the WHY and HOW of the task of the day.

It’s normally $39 but when I checked the link for this post I noticed it’s only $19.95.  I have no idea how long this price is valid for though.

On a side note, I’m looking to run a blogging workshop during August for those who are interested in developing their blogs using this ebook.  It’ll be free (but you have to purchase the ebook), and I’m still working out the details.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested in please let me know in the comments.

Beyond Bricks and Mortar

Taken from the Beyond Bricks and Mortar sales page:

The Practical Strategy to market your Offline business using Online tools

Beyond Bricks and Mortar gives you the solid footing you need to access practical, useful information on how to blog for your business – when your business isn’t online.

Beyond Bricks and Mortar fills the gap when you’re standing confused on the edge of the online world, unclear on how to bridge it for your physical business, and wondering who’ll tell you how to do that.

This is an amazing book written for those who have physical businesses with an online presence.

How to Build a Professional Blog

How to Build a Professional Blog – the Quick Start Guide to Plan, Launch and Profit with your own Successful Blog.

$47 value, and absolutely free.  Gotta love that!  🙂

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