This past Saturday, I hosted Indie Business Revolution in Washington, DC. Our special guest was Debbie Weil, social media strategist and author of The Corporate Blogging Book. Here is a picture of Debbie and I showing off her book, which I highly recommend you purchase if you want to make the most of your blog.
For more pictures from the event, visit the Indie Business Facebook Page. Debbie shared tons of tips and strategies for maintaining an effective corporate blog, but because many of Saturday's attendees do not have a blog or a just launching a blog, some of the fundamental things she addressed where especially on point. Here are a few of them.
Blog For Your Customers. Debbie pointed out that your mindset must shift from focusing so much on the products and services you offer, to focusing on your clients. What do they care about? What do they want to know? How can you make your blog easy to use and interesting?
Debbie says that when you blog about things your customers value, your blog has added appeal. This appeal leads naturally to an attraction about the products and services you have to offer.
Don't Go For Perfection. Debbie said that it is far better to publish an imperfect but informative blog post than not to publish at all. She said that since a blog showcases what you know, and is picked up by search engines, media representatives can find you naturally since they are constantly searching the blogosphere for good stories about interesting people.
Debbie also suggested using Twitter to share blog posts since media representatives are heavy Twitter users.
Keep It Simple. Debbie said that a blog post does not have to be an endless manifesto in order to work for your business. People who do not consider themselves to be writers, or who don't like to write, can use the power of video and photographs with short captions to spice things up. If you want to beef up your copy writing skills, Debbie suggested Pro Blogger and Copy Blogger as great resources for tips on writing copy.
Debbie confirmed that the main content area of a blog is just one piece of the puzzle.
You can and should fill your sidebar areas with coded graphics that lead to e-commerce sites, photo feeds from places like Flickr, Twitter streams and other interesting content that shows that you are active and involved in conversation affecting your industry.
- Choose a Good Platform. While Debbie did not express a strong preference, she indicated that Blogger may not be the most versatile choice for a blog. She suggested looking into TypePad, which is very inexpensive, or WordPress, which is free (though you may need some help setting it up).
So Much Good News!
I am constantly amazed at the good things that happen when small business owners blog. Yes, there's a learning curve, and yes, it takes time. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, what else is new? Business ownership is a marathon, not a sprint, and the victory belongs to those who are committed to taking on the most formidable tasks.
Blogging is one of the most challenging things I do to maintain my business. It is also one of the most rewarding. Blogging has enhanced my life more than anything I've ever done as the CEO of my business.
Debbie's tips, especially the ones about keeping it simple and not insisting on perfection, are empowering indeed. Ask me how I know.
Question: What do you think of Debbie's tips? What can you share about your blogging experiences to help others? What questions do you have?