Originally posted July 2012
Blogging – many do it. Many more want to, but don’t know where to start. Or should I say – they don’t know what to write. The thing about blogs is … almost anything goes. Once you start writing a blog you will gain followers (don’t be surprised if gaining followers is slow). I’ve been writing blogs for about 8 years and what I have found is that people generally do not want to follow as you might then be able to send them information directly via email or other means – something they just don’t want. What I have also found is that although people do not always ‘follow’ my blogs, they do make a point of reading them on a regular basis. Whether they do this by going back to my blog site on a regular basis or by adding it to an RSS feed – either way they do come back for more.
I realized this about 4 years ago when I had written a blog about buying my 16-year-old a used SUV for his birthday – this was when I was running my horse farm and had many following the daily antics of the horses, goats, dogs and cats. Anyway, I posted a picture of my son being driven to school (he didn’t have his learner’s permit yet) in his new truck. A few weeks and over a month later I had people I didn’t know at all, who had come to the farm for a trail ride ask how my son was enjoying his truck – what a great birthday present they said. So I’m looking at these people and thinking – how did you know that? Ultimately, they had read it on my blog. I had people from all over the world reading that blog – just because they wanted to know what nutty things my pigmy goats did.
So back to business reality – what to write in a blog? First, you should start with what you know best – your business. But – don’t make it a sales pitch. Your blog should provide informative information about your product or service – or maybe better put – information that is beneficial to the reader. Writing a tech-based blog about the functionality of a toilet may be interesting to you, but it isn’t what your readers need to know. All they want to know when it comes down to it is that it flushes. Some may be interested in water consumption but that’s about the extent of it. So, if your business is selling toilets you could write about the history of the toilet for example. Maybe interesting stories about events that have happened around the toilet, jokes about toilets – or even music about toilets. One of my favourite songs of all times is by a little known, Ontario resident Don McGeoch (I hope I got that right, it’s been a lot of years). He recorded an album of mainly ballads quite a few years ago with one of the songs being about toilets in, I would think Scotland, but it could be Europe). Now writing this blog I decided to see if Don had it on YouTube and sure enough – it’s there! The Porcelain Waltz (Shanks) If you’re European in your pee’n in Shanks! Check it out!
The recorded version has a toilet flushing in the background. Anyway, as you can see writing a blog can take you in many different directions. I had no idea I was going to write about toilets in this blog, but that’s where I ended up. All to give you an idea of how easy it is to write a blog.
Here are a few other tips:
1. Readers like to get to know you as well as whatever product or service you are selling – so every now and then – rant about something (no profanity, or heavy content – maybe about the idiot that pulled out in front of you on your way to the office that morning), talk about a place you visited, a local event that you sponsored, what the little league team you sponsor is up to., etc. Your blog will interest some one.
2. Include pictures with video being even better.
3. Short is sweet.
4. Have an attractive design to your blog being sure to include your contact information for those that are interested. Keep the widgets to a minimum.
5. Keep the direct sales out. People will find your ads elsewhere for the sales pitch.
I could go on, and on -- but this info will give you a good start to writing your first blog. Oh, and if you want to hear more from Don McGeoch – his first album ‘Land of the Western Sky’ is a great selection of ballads. ‘The Porcelain Waltz’ (Shanks) and ‘Just Another State’ are two of my favourites. Check out his website http://www.brantford.folk.on.ca/dons-cds.htm for more.