Starting with you. And forgive me for making a few assumptions here. You’re a business owner responsible for doing your own marketing – yes?
Because you’re an entrepreneur, you probably saw a solution for something no one else had ever thought of that fitted with your expertise – probable?
Somewhere along the line you absorbed the notion that you needed to blog. Right so far?
Now lovers of blogging, I’m taking a leaf out of Derek Halpern’s blog here and not writing for the converted. Stick around though, I might have a thing or two up my sleeve for you!
I’m really writing to you, the business owner who has yet to fall in love with blogging. And for those of you who have entered the relationship but are now in tangled mess of an affair. Let’s see if we can unravel it.
You went full bent into this didn’t you? Thought, I must blog NOW. You probably bolted a blog onto the back of your existing website, (JXservices.com/blog,) or opened up a WordPress.com site using your existing business name, (JXServices.wordpress.com).
Or your sister’s son’s best friend runs a website business from his garage and he said he would whip you up a blog for a song. As he’s building it, you thought maybe you’d go for something sexy, like JX-servicing-you-blog.com.
So you’ve put a few random posts about your best spotted widget, but the affair has already fizzled. No purpose, no research, no control. It was only ever going to be a one night stand at best, but worse, you’ve been left with something of a tawdry reminder.
You’d made the decision to blog. You even hired some third party help to get it set up right. At first, you were really excited, but now your blog is up and waiting for you like a forlorn date sitting by the phone. You just can’t bring yourself to make the commitment.
You know it’s attractive and having a long-term relationship will bring with it great benefits, but still, it all seems like such hard work. Do I have to? How often? What’s really in it for me?
The Distracted Lover
The relationship is established, but the passion was short lived. You’re present, but missing. Doing what needs to be done, but really on a palm tree strewn beach, cocktail in hand and with someone else.
These duty bound posts are empty promises. Devoid of substance, they’re just another way of lying when you say, “I said I loved you, didn’t I”?
This just pushed every button of your fervour to establish yourself as the best of the best, didn’t it? You’ve paid a fortune to have it looking beautiful and polished. The words on the page simply glisten with your earnestness. There are widgets and bows and pretty tunes and everything pops and pings with your dewey-eyed love for it all.
Content? What content? There’s that wonderful interview you did with so and so last year, and a whole lot of great links to other collectibles. Oh, and a few startling thought pieces which you dust off with love and admiration from time to time.
It’s froth. There is no substance and no purpose to this romance. Like a frou-froued poodle, this will only ever be of interest to the person looking with star-struck eyes into the mirror-like surface of a lake. You.
The Blended Family
You started a business and a blog. You were diligent and thoughtful and over time both grew. And as they grew they changed and suddenly your real purpose shone through like a lighthouse in a storm. For a while, you kept on going, trying artfully to blend your older business with your new purpose. It got to be a bit messy, as blended families can.
Maybe you run both, or you start all over again, or maybe you just plan to transition slowly one to the other, but with a clearer plan for your new blog then you ever had for your old one. Who BTW, you are still extremely fond of. I’m living this relationship right now!
The Nerdy Boyfriend
Extremely diligent, earnest, deadly serious. Deadly dull. In dire need of a personality transplant. We readers are human. We are attracted by other humans who we can understand for the attributes we value. Intelligence of course, but not devoid of humour, vulnerability and understanding. No matter how informative the content, if it’s just information, it’s a text book not a blog. Who ever fell in love with a text book?
The Perfect Marriage
How do you fall in love and have the perfect marriage with your business blog? There are seven clear steps to making a loving, sustainable relationship with your blog.
1. Be clear on your purpose.
Why are you doing what you do, who are you serving, what is your longer term outcome? Without a crystal clear purpose, you cannot hope to attract and retain relationships with those who might learn to really love what you do.
2. Do your research. Be curious.
Who is out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Imagine they find a post you have written to solve exactly the query they typed into Google. Will this attract them to you? Will they come back to see you again? Especially if you keep doing more of the same? Who else has similar values to you? Find them, connect to them, reach out, build a friendship. How can they serve your community?
If you want to learn how to do your own keyword research, my book, Get It Right Online, details it in the section Curiosity. Or you can visit this basis keyword research video. Or find someone to teach you how to do it. Only outsource it when you understand it yourself. An outsourcer will miss the nuances of connection that you’ll pick up. When you have found the best keywords to describe what you offer, put them into a Google Alert.
A coherent site is a comfortable place to be in because the structure of the site is sensible and based on research, so the content follows suite and is logical. This relationship understands itself. It has ordered what needs to be ordered. It can be spontaneous and fun, but nothing jars or is out of sync. Everything integrates as it should. Harder said than done, but who said a worthwhile marriage wasn’t hard and constant work.
If things go wrong in a marriage you get counselling. Get a business coach. Or contact me.
4. Own your online space.
Imagine you own the car, but someone else has the keys. No different to having a site that you don’t own and manage. You need control of your website and to hold yourself accountable for your login details for it and all your social media. A well structured site is a long term partner and what you’re building together is an asset.
If you want to know exactly how to build your own WordPress site, sign up to the free chapter of Clans at the top of the site. The bonus is an illustrated 125 page manual which shows you how. I want you to do it right the first time.
At last, we are at the intersection where you can fall in love with your blog. Because when you have all the other steps in place, you cannot help but be passionate about blogging. You know exactly what you have to offer and to whom you are communicating it. You’re on purpose, so your aim is to serve. That further builds a loving relationship between you, your blog and its intended readers.
Now you can connect in a meaningful way. Fuel, nourish and nurture. Your well set up blog gives you the wherewith all to do all of this. How can you not love it for that? You can post valuable information pertinent to your reader, make appropriate offers to that information, involve them in challenges and community-building activities, introduce them to other experts and exciting resources. What a treasure.
There are several Carnival players who exemplify this in everything they do. Follow them and learn from the experts. You can start here by reading their posts this month on All You Need is love.
You’re in love! Don’t you want to share it with the world? Your blog is the cornerstone of your business community-building activities. Your passion is infectious, others want a piece of it and soon you’ll have people excited about what you’re doing and wanting to join in. Now you and your blog have the opportunity to make a difference. You can communicate with those you’ve made a meaningful connection to about your purpose and its aligned causes.
You and your business blog. Your bestie. Learn to love it and it’ll reward you hundredfold.