November 11, 2014

To Blog or Not to Blog…that is the expert’s question

I have been blogging for over 8 years now and get lots of questions from other speakers, authors, or small business owners about whether it makes sense for them to create a blog.  Some want to use their blog as a marketing tool for their products and services, or to get more hits to their business website, and others just want to share their expertise without the work of writing an article or full-blown book. Most potential writers are not even aware of the additional effort that is required when working with editors on book and article publication.  

Hopefully, I have covered the marketing and small business issues in my former blog post Marketing via Website, Blogging, and Video Media and my article Will Your Business Benefit from a Blog?  If not, send me your specific question in comments to this post and I will try to answer it or provide a good link.

For those wishing just to write to share their expertise, there was some information in the article above for consultants.  However, there were other related questions that require more information to answer.  See examples below.
  1.   Since I have written four business books, I have had some people ask me what they should do if they want to write a book but are not sure they have enough to create one or are not sure if there would be interest.  To those people, I say “Start a blog.”  Writing for the blog will let you organize your thoughts and not require as much dedicated time as creating chapters in a book.  From the blog, a writer can see if there is interest in the topic by tracking statistics on views and comments.  Then in a year or two or regular posting, they should have enough text to begin organizing and editing for chapters in a book.
  2.   A book has been authored by an associate and they need ideas to promote it or wish to connect with their readers somehow.  Then I say “Start a blog or get on Twitter – and regularly update.”  A blog allows them to use excerpts from their book, expand on items in the book, and start a conversation with their readers.  I also suggest the author set-up their author page on Amazon and feed from their blog to there as well.  Twitter allows them to promote their blog or book, as well as hold a different kind of conversation with readers. If they plan to use Twitter, I suggest checking out my post series titled A Twitter Journey.
  3.  A hopeful blogger wants to start a blog but is not sure how to go about it.  In this case, I say “Search for and read similar blogs.”  Looking at other blogs from people who hold the same type of expertise can help them formulate what they have to say in a different way and what type of posts seem to work well in successful blogs. I tell them they should start by searching for blogs by people they know are experts in the topic they are considering.  If that does not yield enough to get them started, then search for posts or articles that have certain subject-related keywords in the titles.  If they decide to start a blog, then they should begin by researching blogging tools and read other how to blog successfully suggestions.

Something to watch out for when blogging is SPAM comments that can hurt your site reputation.  Check out these other blog posts for how to manage that issue on two different popular free blogging tools.

No comments: