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Tuesday, 14 June 2011 17:08

Why you should be blogging

I’m having a Seinfeld moment writing a blog about blogging, but I continue to be astounded by the number of start-up I meet that don’t blog.

 

Some are blog deniers, some are scared of their own font, others simply believe they are “too busy”. More commonly, however, non-bloglievers are unaware of the power of the blog, and the multiple value propositions that this simple act can have on your brand and business.

 

So at the risk of preaching to the converted, this is also an attempt to encourage ardent bloggers and readers of this blog to pass the wisdom across to their fellow mumpreneurs who are languishing in old technology market channels to convey their message.

 

If I had to choose one single reason for any home based business to put fingers to keyboard, it would be to simply connect to customers.

 

What I hear from many mumpreneurs, far more often than the hardship of running a small business, is the isolation of being an SME. For these same mumpreneurs, (who are often also dealing with the isolation of bringing up a baby or toddler), the common phenomenon of post-baby career confidence erosion means the need for validation and finding community is paramount.

 

It’s ironic that Facebook and other micro-blogging tools pose far less threat to the individual than the singularly focused and non-distracted-by-status-updates “blog” – personal or business.

 

This is a mere sample of the regular litany of excuses I hear about why you shouldn’t blog: “What would I say”, “who would want to read what I have to say”, “I’m not an expert” “what would my friends from high school 17 years ago think” (no really, I’m not making this up!).

 

For those quietly resonating with these comments, the fear of personal exposure is overwhelming to some. Let me reassure you that I have a far greater number of positive comments from those who have taken the blogging plunge and have found it life changing on a personal level, and exponential to their increase in sales conversions.

 

Blogging at its most basic is a discussion with your market – current and future. It is an interaction where you can introduce yourself to your people in a sales-free, conversational and almost confessional dialogue. Your customers love to know who you are, and what better way than to tell them.

 

Tell them about your passion for the product or service, your brand journey, your struggles and triumphs, your growing business. More importantly, ask them to tell you about their aspirations for what it is you provide. Ask for their input on what you do, and when they give input and you make change, celebrate and acknowledge their part in your journey.

 

Blogs give you a voice, and inevitably as your SEO kicks in, you will connect with a plethora of others in your industry, creating a community, a conversation and ultimately, customers.

Dr Polly McGee a co-founder of Startup Tasmania, which aids fast-growth start-ups in the state. She’s behind the MumpreneurIDEAS program, a one day workshop that assists women to start-up and is also a senior lecturer in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Tasmania in their MBA and undergraduate program. http://www.startuptasmania.com

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smaart@optusnet.com.au
Great article in all but one vital way for ignorant non-boggers like me - ain't really ANY directions on how to get started. The pretty sentence full of jargon words of "Facebook and other micro-blogging tools pose far less reat to the individual than the singularly focused and non-distracted-by-status-updates “blog”" doesn't make much sense to me, totally ignorant as to know how to start up or use these tools. Plus those pretty little icons down the bottom don't help me except make me a little more familiar with what others are using. The related articles are also only about telling me to do it. Gee I would have appreciated a helpful link to point me in the direction of the set up procedure for a totally ignorant Mumpreneur like me who has no idea where to find directions for the genuine "Start Up' person who does need to do just that re blogging - start up from step 1!
I'm keen to start but find just about every time I go searching it's always assumed I know the jargon plus basic steps.
Would love a Newsletter article with a bit more basic direction!!
[email protected] , June 15, 2011
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pollymcgee
Ahhh - and the greatest thing about blogs - the two way conversation! Thank you so much for this comment, I totally neglected to do a how to - so here is the answer in a nutshell: There are several free blogging tools on the web. Blogger www.blogger.com, Wordpress wordpress.org/ and Aussie Blogs www.aussieblogs.com.au are a good place to start. The free tools usually allow you to blog instantly once you have logged in, and chosen and set up a template that you like. These tools are all designed for beginners, and subsequently are simple and logical, and you can generally easily add photos and links, with clear instructions. If you are bloggng for you business, it is a good idea to use your logo and have a design that is consistent or similar to your brand. Most blogs will allow you to link to your twitter or facebook pages, so every time you post a blog, you can click on one of those buttons at the bottom of the page and it will automatically let your followers and friends know you have a new post. Most website will have a blog function too, so you have you blog as a tab on your website, with similar automatic linking tools. In terms of writing a blog, you can write as little, or as much as you are comfortable with. i find there are 2 types of blogs commonly - ones like mine that are very text based and around 400 words, or design blogs that are usually a short paragraph with lots of images. How you write will depend on a number of things, and also on what the focus of your blog is. A general rule of thumb is that blogs are not a sales channel, they are a way for customers to get to know you and your business. While you might mention new stock or specials, is more to direct your customers to your online or offline sales channel. If you are a total newbie, you may find it really hard to write your first couple of blogs. I recommend you do them as a word document and then cut and paste over to go live. Many of my mumpreneurs have felt very uncomfortable talking about themselves or writing in the first person, but the thing to remember is that blogs are conversational and also informal. They are a narrative about you and your business, so you can 'speak' in your voice when you write. The other thing to think about with blogs is frequency. it is not uncommon to start off with a frenzy of posts, only to loose steam and write less and less often. So aim for a number of posts that you can commit to and post regularly, one a week, fortnight, month, whatever. Your readers will want to know they can hear from you at regular intervals, and will be looking for new material. When you blog, it is great to connect with other bloggers. So search for blogs on google in your field, read the posts, and comment on them like you have on mine, leaving your web/blog address. Most bloggers are community minded and will then have a look at your blog and link to you potentially, all of which is great for your Search Engine Optimisation - ie pushing your google ranking higher. I hope that has given you some pointers, there are lots of blogs, bloggers and blogging communities out there, and many are friendly and welcoming and will gladly give you tips. The more you write and blog, the more you develop a style and a confidence, so if it feels uncomfortable at first, persist and before you know it you will be finding inspiration everywhere. Thanks again for you comment - great pick up on my assumptions :-) Polly
a guest , July 01, 2011
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