Have you ever written a letter to a client or a customer? This is a test because I’m going to bet you said yes. It may have been a quote mapped in the demand for money.
It may have been an inquiry or have been anything but the fact is you wrote a letter because you had to. What this means is that you can write, which also means you can blog and you must be blogging.
Now, a lot of people think of a blog as something that is quirky and only for families or for someone who travels around the world. That person keeps a blog like a diary and just tells all their friends and the family what they’re doing.
Oh but no — blogging has come a long way since the days of hobby blogging. Let’s look at this world of blogging and how it can help you grow your business.
The platform that we recommend is WordPress. I wouldn’t bother with any other kind of platform, and please do not use any free blogging software. I’ll explain that at another time. WordPress is the best platform to use. It is in effect a content management system.
What it does is it puts together your writing and your website and it organizes it chronologically in date order. It sorts it into categories. It produces menus. It archives old data. It saves images. It puts everything together but it is a website. It is not just a blog, but a fantastic website.
Some of the biggest blogs and websites out there run on WordPress. In fact, I think the New York Times runs on WordPress. The reason is because it is been changed and upgraded over and over and over again. It’s open source and the number of people that collaborate to get it together is pretty fabulous.
The security level is awesome. You get updates all the time. It does everything for you. This is the secret to having your own website. There are loads of templates, beautiful ones, simple ones, plain ones and everything you can imagine. They have templates made specifically for photographers, food bloggers and ones for recipes.
There are plug-ins that add on to your website as well. WordPress even has an app for your smartphone as well. You can also add calendars, and a back-up system. Everything you can think of, there will be something to you can add that will do it for you.
You can add a plug-in to your site that will allow you to upload your podcast to the post — just like we do here. It’s brilliant! Now, let’s get back to the question I asked you from the beginning — can you write?
If you written letters to clients, written sales statements — anything, then yes you can write and yes you can get a WordPress blog. It’s easy to set-up. It will cost you less than a hundred dollars to get it set up, unless you’re using someone else that is charging you big bucks.
These companies, like the one we use, Rainmaker, do basically everything for you. All you have to do is just produce the content. You don’t have to write every day. You don’t have to write every week. You just have to write consistently and then you can get other people to contribute.
You can put up photographs and beautiful images. You can be out on a lovely sunny day like this, going for a walk on the beach. You can hear the birds chirping, and then you see a lovely sight. You snap a photo of it, and then — you need to put it on your blog. Then add a little comment to explain what you’re doing today.
People like to know the human side of companies. They’d like to know that these are people. How often do you go to an “About Us” page and all that it states is what your company produces? There is not one single solitary thing about YOU — which is what they came to that page looking for in the first place.
Visiting that page and finding out what your company makes does not tell the reader what you look like, or where you are located, or even when you were established etc. They don’t want to see some corporate “this is what we do and this is where we are.” They want to know YOU the person and then that will draw them into your company.
Write, get writing and practice writing. At first, you might not have anyone reading it. That’s okay. You will think no one will be there reading what you have written, but, you’ll discover that people do read it and people are like you. They don’t think they can write either. It doesn’t matter. Just get to writing, anything about you, about your business or about how you got to where you are.
The most interesting things to write about are stories. People want to know how you went from nothing to where you are. Did you use to work somewhere else? Did you learn your trade somewhere else? Then, why did you leave? Why did you decide to go on your own?
Did you think you had a better way of doing it? People want to know. They will fall in love with you, so please start writing.
Tuesday Toolbox Tip
Today’s toolbox tip is for those of you who think you can’t write or just don’t have the time. Today I want to tell you about Elance.
When I first started online, I had a website — Coffeeguy.com. I started with about 100 articles. These articles were about 500-700 words long. I couldn’t write all those articles by myself, so I outsourced it to Elance and found people who would write articles.
Back then, you could get them done for around $5 each. You really don’t have to pay a lot. If you try them out, don’t be like me and have them do 100! Just give out three or five. Get the first one back. Tell them what you like about it. Give it back to them. Give them constructive criticism.
Tell them what you did like about it. Tell them what you’d prefer. They’ll get it right because they will only get paid when you say it’s finished and are happy with their work,. Once you have done that, then you give them ratings.
They have to be perfect. They’ll do it over and over and over again until you’re going to give them a five out of five. It’s brilliant. Who else does that?
Go and check out Elance and then tell me what you think.
So — have YOU started your blog yet?