Why are blogs so good when it comes to growing your reputation and awareness of you or your business?
Simple – they’re your property (self-hosted blogs) and offer an excellent way to share your thoughts, ideas and offerings to not only your readers, but also their readers. Which, in turn, can lead to potential leads.
And the great thing? You can do it one block at a time.
Preparing the Blocks
Ask any blogger, and they’ll pretty much say the same thing – you need to love it to enjoy it. But then, that’s pretty much true for anything in life, and that’s what a lot of folks miss when they think about blogging.
True, you don’t need to blog daily to have a successful blog, but you do need to have some sort of rhythm, and that comes from loving what you’re doing.
Blogging can often be a lonely pastime (even for multi-author business blogs) and you don’t always see quick returns (financially or personally). So unless you love what you’re doing, it’ll become boring pretty quick.
- Takeaway: The first block is built on love.
Blocks of Why and What
Before you start blogging, take stock of both the reasons why you want to, and what you’re going to offer.
I’m currently helping a friend take stock of her reasons for blogging, and she has a clear goal of both Why and What.
Her Why is because she has a great voice, and a mentor in a figure she looks up to from an opinion perspective. The What is she wants to offer a racier take of herself than her professional image normally allows.
By having a clear idea of her blogging goals, she’s already a few steps ahead of new bloggers that start without having a core idea. Yes, you can stumble your way into your eventual voice, but starting with a flourish will help you get there quicker.
- Takeaway: The second block is built on goals.
Square Blocks, Round Holes
According to Technorati, one of the leading blog resources, there are more than 130 million blogs registered with them. Type “how many blogs are there?” into Google and the answer ranges from 50 million to 220 million.
Whatever way you look at it, that’s a heck of a lot of blogs looking for the same readers in their topics. So how will yours stand out?
It won’t. At least, not at first. But that’s okay – with so many blogs on so many topics, it’d be pretty difficult to have a completely unique voice anyway. What you can do, though, is be the square block to your readers’ round holes.
- Look at what others are blogging about and see what questions are left unanswered either by their post, or by comments left by their readers. Then offer your take and optimize it for search.
- Question popular opinion and if you disagree, offer a post on why. But don’t just disagree – offer actions to follow if you’re pointing to a different path.
- Be creatively outlandish. With so many blogs on the same topics, a lot of repetition is natural. So combat that – think of creative solutions and ideas to everyday topics. They might not always be realistic, but they’ll show a willingness to take a risk. And the best businesses are the risk takers.
Yes, there are millions of blogs with millions of thoughts. But you don’t need to join that thought process – offer your own quirkiness and don’t accept the perceived right way of doing things.
- Takeaway: The third block is built around YOU.
These are just three blocks in an ongoing process – your blogging adventure never really stops. The other blocks are defined by how strongly you place the first three.
What about you – how are you shaping your blocks?
image: Alex Osterwalder