This is the first installment of a three-part series about blogging. In the next three posts, we will discuss numerous reasons you should start a blog, how to start your blog, and fine-tuning your blog for success.
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your voice heard. In 1998, I started blogging because I had something to say, but no easy way to get it published and be heard. I wrote about music, photography, travel adventures, current events, sports, and anything else that I had an opinion on. My reasons for starting my first blog may be very different from your reasons to blog, but nonetheless, you’re blogging!
8 Reasons to Blog:
- Express Your Thoughts and Opinions
- Gain Exposure and Credibility Online
- Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader in Your Industry
- Connect with Like-Minded People
- Creative Outlet
- Keep in Touch with Family and Friends
- Gain More Customers and Clients
- Make Money
What Type of Blogger are You?
The Family Member: The family blog has replaced the family newsletter. The family blogger wants to keep family members and friends in the loop with all significant family events. It’s an easy way to correspond with people you know so they can keep tabs on the kids and all of the family adventures. Vacation tales, photos, school progress reports, and anything under the sun makes for great topics for a family blog.
The Hobbyist: The hobby blogger blogs about anything that comes up. Much like how I started, the hobbyists blogs because they want to be heard on various topics. Sometimes there are goals attached to the site and sometimes there are not, but the hobbyist blogs for the sake of blogging. These are usually passionate people who need an outlet to be heard.
The Specialist: The specialist blogs about specific topics with a laser-like focus. These bloggers want to recognized as subject matter experts and if their content is good enough and they keep blogging — they usually will. There is more strategy involved here than in the previous two categories of bloggers in order to get site traffic. The specialist blogger is always thinking about ways to monetize their site and grow revenue.
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
Mommy Blogger: I hesitate to use the term Mommy blogger as some people embrace it and some try to run from it. The Mommy blogger is a woman, typically a mother, who writes about topics that are interesting and helpful to other mothers and women. Fit Fabulous Mom by Shadow Asgari is a great example of a “Mom Blog.” These women are powerful bloggers because many look to them for their opinions on a variety of parentood-related topics.
The Journalist: The journalist blogger reports on issues and topics that are assigned to them or they pitch content editors and owners of other sites. There has always been an argument whether or not bloggers are journalists. My opinion of this topic is simple: If a blogger adheres to the same fact-checking standards that journalists are held to, then yes, they should be considered journalists. I believe it is a matter of standards and not the platform they choose to publish their work.
The Marketer: The art of content marketing is when a blogger publishes articles to gain market position for their product, services, or brands. This is a great way to become top of mind to your audience in your desired vertical. When publishing content on your company’s blog, the main idea is to be helpful to your audience. There’s no need to overly self-promote. The audience knows what you do — remember they’re on your site reading your article. Be helpful, post content of value, and try to tell your brand story to keep your audience engaged. Keeping the audience engaged is key to growing revenue by blogging.
Maximize Your Blog Content
As business owners, I can’t stress how important it is to make your voice heard. When you add blog content to your site you are letting the public (i.e. your clients) get a real sense for who you are and what your brand stands for.
Here are three simple tips to maximize the content you post to your blog:
• Be Helpful, Solve Problems, Be a Hero: Helpful, timely tips are a great way to develop loyal site visitors. Write articles about how to save time, save money, or solve someone’s challenge and soon enough you will be relied upon as an expert in your vertical.
• Don’t Be A Marketer or a Salesperson: You know the old saying, “No one likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy” — no where is it more applicable than on your blog. The quickest way to lose an audience is to constantly tell them how wonderful you are or what deals you’re having. Instead of selling, refer to point one, and solve someone’s problem.
• Use Your Blog as a Way to Answer FAQ: I keep a running list of questions clients and prospects ask me about WordPress. Chances are, if people ask you these questions in person or via email, others are searching for answers to the same questions. What questions do clients ask your team? Make a list and develop content to answer those questions.
Your blogging persona matters less than understanding why you want to start your own blog. You can start a blog to be heard, keep in touch with family and friends, gain respect in your industry, or drive revenue. Whatever your reasons to blog are, just go for it and start putting your thought into words and into your readers’ hands.
Post two will talk about how to start your blog and deliver a step-by-step plan for you to get blogging. Do you blog? Leave a comment and let us know what your reasons to blog are and how you got started. Thanks!