In last week’s post, I talked about using RSS feeds to get updates on blogs and other websites such as news media. I specifically mentioned blogs and news websites because those are the two types of websites that are most likely to have RSS feeds. Of course, the reason for having an RSS feed is to easily give your readers access to your updates. And blogs need to be updated. Believe me when I say a successful blog is a commitment.
A blog is a powerful tool that can be leveraged as part of an overall business strategy. The main purpose of blogging is to spread information. Lots of people blog just for fun and have no intention of ever making any money with it. But since this is a blog for entrepreneurs and small businesses, I’m going to assume that you would like to make some money with your blog- either on the blog itself, by driving traffic to your website or by engaging with your customers and building awareness of your business.
If you are interested in blogging, here are a few things to think about.
1.) What are some of the things a blog can do for you?
- Connect you with your customers.
- Build awareness of your business and generate interest.
- Drive traffic to a website.
- Generate income through sales. (either your stuff or someone else’s)
2.) How do you get started blogging?
- Identify who your readers will be. (Your niche target market.)
- Decide on your blogging software & where you want to host your blog. I use WordPress for my blogging software and self-host my website with Rochen.
- Start writing articles that will appeal to your niche target reader. Why will they read your blog?
- Get started. Personally, I built and customized this blog using the Thesis Theme for WordPress. (Thesis is a great way to get started quickly and easily without having to know how to code in HTML.)
3) How can you attract readers?
- Build relationships with your readers by providing them with good content. Give them a reason to read your articles.
- Make people aware of you. Post comments on blogs. Participate in forums. Create profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (Be where your target readers are.)
- Be consistent in your posting. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, whatever schedule you decide on.. stick with it.
- Actively market your blog. (Treat your blog like a business not a hobby.)
If you do decide to blog for fun, you never know but you could end up with such a popular blog that someone else (possibly a lucrative business) will want to “sponsor” you and run ads on your blog. If your blog readers are the same as theirs, it could be very beneficial to them to promote their products on your blog. For example, there are quite a few “Mommy” bloggers who are very successful doing just that. They’re working their hours and blogging about what they know and love….. and earning at the same time. Now that’s an entrepreneur!