In our training courses blogging comes up every time when we talk about raising visibility and being more referrable. My most important advice is to share tips and experiences. Don't make it a platform to sell. Good content is the basis. Here are some other do's and don'ts you should know.
The pros of blogging for your business are:
- It raises your know, like and trust factor. Readers get more insight as to who you are as an individual. When you share tips without wanting anything in return, people start to like you more. If you write about your professional expertise, it shows people you are the expert you claim to be.
- It makes you more referable. It is easier for other people to talk about you and refer people to you: "Jan Vermeiren is an expert about networking, LinkedIn and referrals, but you don't have to believe me. Just check out his blog, and you will find out yourself."
- It helps you get higher results in Google and other search engines. Google loves content and prefers it over "normal" websites.
- It reinforces the other things you do. Someone hears about me from someone else or reads an interview with me, they read the blog, they sign up for the free networking e-course, then they check my LinkedIn profile and then call us to do a presentation or give a workshop.
When not to start blogging:
- If you're not in there for the long run.
- If the theme or purpose of the blog is not clear.
- If you want short-term results. It takes time to build a following.
- If you only want to take or sell something and not want to give or share first.
- If it takes you too much time to write. However, there are solutions: do a podcast or record your tips and have someone else make a transcription.
It is better to not to start blogging if you fall into any of these categories. If people see your last blog post is from 2003 or that you "gave up" after posting a few tips, they might wonder whether you are still in business. But if you do it the right way, it helps you to be more referable and attract more business.
Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers "Let's Connect!" and "How to REALLY use LinkedIn" and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. With his team at Networking Coach, he works for international companies, such as Alcatel, Deloitte, IBM, ING and Nike. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/ . To get your free mini version of the book "How to REALLY use LinkedIn," go to www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com.