After taking up blogging about 4 years ago, I realised what a loyal following someone can have, by writing on a regular basis and sharing ideas, experiences and thoughts on a variety of topics.
As I have matured as a blogger, I realised that by adding personal experiences in the blog the number of loyal readers quadripled. People want to know my thoughts, experiences and whether or not I am having a good day or a bad day. Chances are that many of the readers have had an experience similar to my and can resonate with the story being told.
I have shared my father passing, friends with terminal illnesses and how they have coped, the good times, the bad times, and pretty much anything to do with being an entrepreneur and growing the business.
The thing with blogs is that even though you may be a one man band, you can be successful and make your fortune through your blog. You can also look to the outside world as being much larger a business than what you actually are and reach people from areas of the world that you never thought imaginable.
In the marketing industry, the most successful bloggers are those who are professional marketing bloggers. I may put in half an hour a day blogging, but these people have made it their careers and have spun off books, seminars and have joined the public speaking circuit.
Seth Godin is one of the most famous marketing bloggers and someone to admire. His business and brand is reputable around the world and even marketing entrepreneurs like myself hold on to almost every word he writes and says.
Other interesting online mediums include 'news updates' like Huffington Post. I have been published in this online news medium quite a few times and it certainly has helped the profile of the Marketing Eye blogs and opening it up to new markets.
To have a successful blog that gives your small business a reasonable ROI, there are a few things that you need to take into account:
a) Make sure you invest in the look and feel of your blog. Ensure it is easy to read, that the font size is one that is industry standard.
b) Make a commitment to blogging. People that read blogs like routine, not disimilar to those who read the paper each day, every day at the same time over breakfast.
c) Ensure that you have quality content and that it is relevant to the target audience you would like to attract.
d) Don't be afraid to be opinionated, because if it gets a reaction, then you will probably find that the person actually found it worthwhile reading and will come back to see what updates you have.
e) Consistent writing style is imperative. If you change your style, it will be confusing to the reader and they will tune out.
f) Give away FREE STUFF.
g) Ensure you have links to RSS Feeds and any social networks you are part of like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest, YouTube etc
Another great thing to do with blogs is to create anticipation. If people anticipate that they will get something of value from your blog, they will come back and they will subscribe.
Blogs can be fun but if you write them, they can be very addictive. Try not to waste time blogging and instead use your time wisely. Think about your target audience and listen to feedback. If one blog is really popular, work out why and then replicate.
Happy Blogging ;)