As a potential business owner, consultant, or job seeker, having a blog is a great way to develop a reputation, share expertise and build brand. Yet it isn’t enough today to be really good–people have to know about you. Traditional advertising is redefining itself. One of the best ways to develop new business is through word-of-mouth referrals. Having a blog with useful information which is “share-able” makes it easier for people to refer your business. So what are you waiting for?
I recently met with a woman who was going to be re-launching her private practice in social work. She had lots of basic questions about blogging, many around the issues of security and privacy. Understandable, given her line of work. I tried to help her understand that she will have as much control as she needs.
The other obstacle she threw out was that she wasn’t sure what her brand would be. Perhaps a stall tactic, I nonetheless encouraged her to start the blog and see what started to evolve. Yes, it is important to be true to your brand, I can’t stress that enough, but sometimes we can overthink the process. If she is truly an expert in the field, there should be no shortage of content to write about.
As I see it, there is a new business model evolving out of free sharing (when done with integrity and not the “used car salesman” approach).
Here’s the quick check list that I provided to the the woman. (It is not all inclusive, but maybe enough to get started on the technical aspects of blogging.)
First, secure a domain name (godaddy.com is one provider, and if you want to invest in their WordPress hosting package, it makes the process simple).
Choose a blogging platform. Blogger, Typepad or WordPress are the biggest. Honestly, you don’t need to know programming or be really technical. All these platforms allow you to easily click a button and customize the way you want your blog to look. Take a look at some popular layouts/designs here WordPress theme.
- Set up Social media buttons for following: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (you’ll want to set up accounts on all these sites if you don’t already have them)
- Create a Feedburner feed
- Add blog to Technorati
- Add blog to search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo.
- Start using Stumbleupon to share and find other great blogs.
- Research other blogs related to your field, check out Alltop, Technorati, SmartBrief, use Google blog search,
- Set a blogging schedule
- Make sure topics are on-brand or relate to brand
- Get a good head shot
- Build blogroll (listing of websites/blogs) of other good resources related to your brand
- Consider adding video
These are super helpful resources with answers to most questions in plain English.
Mashable (for more on social media)
Specific Must Read Posts:
9 critical tasks before launching your small business blog from Problogger
Tips, tricks and insights to take your blog to the next level from Jeff Bullas
5 Steps for Planning the Direction of Your Blog by Problogger
Blog Feed from TopRankBlog
Business Blogging Articles to Get You Started from Build a Better Blog
Get ideas from great bloggers such as: