Friday, March 27, 2009

If They Know Who I Really Am... Part I

...Will They Still Like Me?
Photo by Scott Beale Laughing Squid
People, this is about blogging for business.

I just got off the phone for an interview about the use of blogs in business, and these are some of the topics we covered:
  • Can a blog take the place of a website?
Yes, if you're not selling product. If you are selling product, you can link to that place, but a blog is a journal. When you post something new, the last post moves down below it. Looking at a blog is looking at a snapshot in time, unless you look at past posts. This is the up-side of blogs: They show you moving and shaking! It proves that you are doing things on a daily basis to move forward with your business and that creates trust from the consumer.

There is a way to have some elements of your blog remain stable as your posts drift on by. So, you would want a profile that is always there that talks about who you and what you do. You would also want to have your contact information there as well.
  • What kind of personality to you need?
I think this is a pretty interesting question. On one hand, we read many different types of books and listen to many different types of music based on the mood we're in, but this is a business blog. This is a place for your customers and potential customers to come and find out who you are and what you're up to. You can be a shy type and you might find is as a safe way to come out of your shell a bit. Anyone can show a "different" side of their personality and therefore reach more new folks who might not 'normally' be drawn to you.

Be yourself. I mean, a perfectly edited version of yourself. Yeah.
  • What to leave out?
It can become natural for a lot of people to not know what the boundaries should be on a business blog. It's become very fuzzy on the web in general. I think a good rule of thumb would be: If you wouldn't say it or show it to a potential customer, don't do or say it on your blog!!!

So, this would mean, keep the pictures of the kids off, and personal distaste for pretty much anything. (You never know who you might offend.)
  • What do folks want to read about?
If you have a retail business, your audience wants to see the "backside" of what you do. But, make sure it doesn't look like a backside. Bad pun. Let's say, Back Office! Your readers want to know what's new, what's on the way, what are you buying for next season, what's entered into your shop and what you think next cool thing is.

If you have a service based company, you are educating your reader quite a bit more but still linking them to trends in the marketplace and to what you see going on in your little piece of the world. Keep it upbeat. Keep it on an informative level.

I'm going to leave the next part of this conversation for another post.
  • How often to post?
  • Sparking conversation
  • Photos?
  • Links.

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