Going “whole hog” means devoting yourself entirely and completely to something. As Indies, if we're not going whole hog in business, we're pretty much not going anywhere, right? And if a blog is added to the mix, the only way to make it worth our time is to go whole hog with that too. Easier said than done, I know.
But consider that a recent New York Times article reports that blogs are becoming an increasingly important and effective business tool. According to the article, a business blog could result in “increased business visibility, excited audiences and added revenue.” Well in that case, pass me some slop! Here are some tips to help you manage a whole hog business blog of your own. Oink Oink.
1. Take A Digital Camera Everywhere You Go. My husband took me to pick my car up from the shop on a day when I was having trouble figuring out what I would post about. On the way, we spotted an abandoned piece of exercise equipment on the side of the road. I pictured some really fat guy becoming frustrated that he was exercising but not losing weight. I could relate and thought some of my readers could too. My husband swerved the car to the shoulder to let me snap a photo. I decided on the title of the post on the way home. It took about 5 minutes to load it to my blog. If I did not have my camera, I would have missed it.
Of course unless you're a photographer, every post can't be a photo. But the point is that with a camera, you always have a way to communicate something you think your readers will find entertaining.
2. Post At Least 3 Times A Week. I've heard bloggers say that you have to post at least once a week in order for it to be worth your time and your readers' time. Once a week is not enough. If you can't post at least 3 times a week, don't bother. People like information and if you can't deliver it at least 3 times weekly, do something else once a week that will help your business grow.
3. Infuse Your Personality Into Your Blog. Lots of Indies work from home and they won't put their address or phone number at their websites. OK, fine. But if you're not willing to let your readers catch a glimpse in your blog of who you really are, don't bother. Use pictures of your children or areas of your home and office to make points. Share real life stories that help your readers relate to you and the products or services you offer. A good blog is part relevant content, part blogger personality.
4. Make Your Posts Relevant. No matter how much you love your blog, if you can't connect the dots to your bottom line, you won't be motivated to maintain it. The great thing about blogging is that you can provide interesting content that peaks interest in what you sell without being a pushy sales person.
If you sell beaded jewelry, blog about how beads are made or blog about a famous jewelry maker or blog about how a person's life was changed when she wore your jewelry. If you sell mineral makeup, blog about how the minerals are made or post pictures to your blog of customers wearing your makeup or mixing colors together to create their own unique shades. If you are a personal trainer, post weight loss tips or pictures or videos of you doing training exercises. Keep it fresh, fun and relevant and you can't go wrong.
5. Read Competitor Blogs. This is a no brainer. If you want to be good at something, watch others do it well. Then rinse and repeat. The rinsing part takes time and effort because that's what makes it your own. But at least you don't have to reinvent the entire wheel.
6. Read Blogs About Blogging. To further reinforce an understanding of the nature of blogging, learn how to blog from people who teach people how to blog. Seth Godin's list of 56 ways to get traffic to your blog is a great place to start.
7. Market Your Blog. Use technology to get traffic to your blog. Post relevant and helpful comments to other people's blogs and link back to your blog. Link to your blog from your main e-commerce website. Link to posts within your blog to keep people there longer.
8. Don't Expect Overnight Blogging Success. Like anything else, you have to be consistent, persistent and dedicated for an extended period of time (which period of time will be different for everyone) before you'll enjoy the benefits of blogging. You reap what you sow, and if you're not sowing for a while, you won't be reaping either.
A business blog is a great way to position yourself to compete more effectively in the online world. It serves as an incredible opportunity to give your business the personality it needs to stay at the forefront of your customers' minds, thus strengthening relationships and brand awareness.
Suey!! Are you using a Whole Hog Business Blog to bring home the bacon in your house? Share your insightful blogging tips with us, or feel free to offer comments about mine.