Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogs--Should I write one? What do I need to know to decide?

I recently had a consultant ask me if I had any advice about starting a blog to advertise her Shelf Reliance Business.  As I wrote back to her I found that yes, I do have quite a lot to say about it.

1.  Think it through before you start a blog. Blogs are time consuming, do you have the time to devote to having a successful blog.  Do you have something to say that isn't already being said?  I find blogs that are original and are content driven are the most successful.

2.  There are a slew of blogs out there right now being written by SR consultants most of them are solely a marketing piece.  Focusing on "buy from me."  I think that these types of blogs will have limited success.     The successful blogs will be ones with original interesting helpful content.  So as you are thinking about what kind of blog you would like to have think of what content you can add to what is out there already.

3.  Think about the platform of your blog:  My blog is hosted on my own website.  Notice it is  I did not start that way I originally had a blogspot address.  If I was doing it again I would start with my own domain name.   My blog is a blogger blog.  But I think if I was doing it again I would use wordpress.  I did look into both before I started and I chose blogger because it is easy to use. But now I wish I had taken the time to learn wordpress because you have so much more control over the layout, format, etc. 

4.  Blogging is a long term strategy.  I do think it is a good strategy but it is slow going at first. It took me months before I had anyone reading my blog, and months more before I had a purchase from my blog. 

5.  Before you launch your blog have some content.  I recommend having 12 to 15 good posts up before you start marketing your blog at all.

6.  I have really benefitted from the e-book  31 Day to build a better blog by Darren Rowse.  He is the author of ProBlogger and the book is great. You can check it out here

7.  I don't worry about SEO although I know a LOT of bloggers are obsessed with it.  I blog to share my content and since I think I have good content I think people who are interested in it find it and share it.

8.  Think about how often you are going to try to push people to your online store.  Many of the SR consultant blogs are very heavy handed in pushing people to purchase through them. Personally I don't like this approach.  I do post about Shelf Reliance and its products but I try to be selective about how often. 

9. Decided from the start that you are going to be an ethical blogger.  I define this as:  disclosing that you are a SR consultant, being honest in your opinions of products,  and not doing anything sneaky to your readers (like linkbaiting, hiding cookies, or anything else sneaky).  I have found that doing these things drives traffic AWAY from your site.  I know which blogs I read do these things and I won't link to them.  The bottom line is they decrease your readership and have little impact on sales. Good content = more readers, more readers = sales.   Don't be seduced by the dark side. It is VERY tempting.  I know I have been tempted too. 

1 comment:

Tiffany Daumueller said...

This is completely true Heather. I tell these exact things to others all of the time and have made some of the same mistakes in the learning process as well. Live and learn... right! Thank you for your valuable contribution to the company.

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