Whether you’re an author or an entrepreneur, blogging needs to be a regular part of your life. Why, you might ask? There are several good reasons:
- Blogging, i.e. writing about your business, establishes you as an authority, someone people want to go to and work with. You don’t have to look too deeply into your own life to know this is true. Would you pick a doctor or dentist at random from the Yellow Pages (yes, phone books are still being printed), or from Google, or would you ask around for recommendations from family members or friends? Recently, I read a Yelp review for a hand surgeon I was referred to, but had not yet met. The reviews were so bad that I picked up the phone and cancelled my appointment! Your clients want to have faith in your ability to meet and serve their needs. Your blog can provide the wisdom, knowledge, and insight that makes them feel comfortable.
- Your blog is a way to let your clients (customers) and prospects know that you care about them—even if you don’t say it directly. Regularly posting useful and helpful information let’s your client know you are aware of their needs and care enough to share content that will make life easier in some way. Freely sharing your knowledge doesn’t take a lot of time, and it helps build a rapport. Going back to the doctor who received the poor Yelp rankings. One of the biggest complaints was his poor “bedside manner” and brusque attitude. Obviously, his patients didn’t feel that he cared, and as a result, they took the time to let others know about it. Helpful blog posts by this same surgeon might have made a world of difference.
- Content you provide via your blog can help you establish and build your mailing list. This is something every business owner needs to do. By asking visitors to subscribe to your blog (newsletter or other information), you now have permission to send them emails. Email marketing is one of the most affordable ways to promote your products and services and announce offers that are of interest to your clients. You can also use the list to send out surveys and questionnaires that will help you get more information about the needs of the people you serve.
- Once it’s posted, a blog is something you can share via other social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Regularly sharing content creates a win-win situation. Not only are you broadcasting helpful information, but your blog posts help you attract people who need to know about the products and services you offer.
- Depending on how often you blog and the quality of your content, over time, blog posts can be assembled into articles, press releases, monthly newsletters, even eBooks and sent out to your list – you know, the one that keeps gaining subscribers because you’re blogging and sharing important information. I recently did this. In 2014, I knew I was going to be working almost full-time collaborating on a book and wouldn’t have a lot of time to blog. Instead of my usually 500+ word posts, I decided to post a new writing prompt each day. Recently, I took advantage of Create Space and turned those posts into a paperback and a downloadable Kindle book. For those of you who are a fountain of knowledge, your blog posts can be an excellent opportunity to download and storehouse information that can be repurposed at a later time.
Jan Fishler is the producer of the Path to PublicationDVD series filmed at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers featuring Amy Tan, Janet Fitch, Mark Childress and other well-known authors, agents, and publishers. She is the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir) and Flex Your Writing Muscle – 365 Days of Writing Prompts. She writes articles for VietNow National Magazine and has a bi-monthly column, “Healthy Options” in The Union newspaper.Content goes here