What you’ve always wanted to know about blogging and never dared ask…

What you've always wanted to know about blogging and never dared ask...

Some blogging “gurus” circle you like turkey vultures…

Have you noticed the hordes of “gurus” swirling on the internet trying to persuade you (or in one or two cases, bully, patronize and embarrass you) into believing that blogging is an atom-splitting science?

Then, they circle you like turkey vultures, scaring you into believing that you can’t possibly manage on your own. Because they come across as so knowledgeable and expert, you feel intimidated about asking some basic questions … and you will very rarely get the basic answers you want.

(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)

So now, for some knickers-off truths

Here are some issues about blogging and blog writing that you may have wanted to discuss with a “guru,” but not quite dared…

Setting up a basic blog is simple and easy. There are quite a few free blogging options you can choose, and they’re not hard to set up. Drop me a note if you want me to point you in the right direction. You can also find people who will do it for you for reasonable money and without blinding you with BS.

Blogging is pretty straightforward. Blogging (and blog writing) is simply about being yourself to your readership, whether that’s customers and prospects or readers with a non-commercial interest. It’s about sharing information that you think will be useful to your readers, and/or will entertain them – perhaps even make them laugh. For more about what to write, check out my “blogging” category on here – hundreds of ideas and they’re all free.

If you can talk, you can blog. Don’t worry about not being “able to write.” If you find writing hard, tell the story of your blog post to an audio recorder (and transcribe it) or some voice recognition software. Then edit that up.

Your blog is not an advertisement in sheep’s clothing. Blogging for your business or interest is not about sharing a few hundred words of drivel followed by a strong “call to action” that basically asks readers to buy you and/or your products. That’s just online salesmanship which of course has its place, but these days is inconsistent with the fast-growing “social” element of social media and online marketing. Your blog is where your readers get to know you, the person who knows his or her stuff.

Don’t let a “guru” persuade you that your blog sucks. No matter how much they may say they understand how busy you are. So-called “gurus” often use this tactic to try to scare you into using their services. Let’s face it: if they use these bully-boy tactics to sell themselves to you, they’re likely to advise you to use the same approach for your blog. And that’s hardly ever appropriate.

Blogging is not the be-all and end-all of online marketing. Some “gurus” are still hanging on to blogging as their only hope of grabbing your attention, admiration and money. Truth is, though, the online business world is moving on. These days we’re looking at blogging / blog writing as part of a much bigger picture which, once you get the hang of it, is easy to work with. To get ahead, you need to look upon your blog writing as part of your whole content marketing mix. I’ll be going into more of that on here soon, but in the meantime have a look here.

Your blog and your blog writing need to be reviewed and updated. So many people I teach have in the past suffered from having set up a blog, written a few posts, and then stagnated so have let it go. What a wasted opportunity! This needn’t happen if you  just get your head around some simple planning. It’s not hard, honestly! If you need a hand, click here.

Blogging is fun and personally rewarding. I have made dozens of new friends around the world with HowToWriteBetter.net and when I’m over in North America can never find enough time to get around to visit some of them up in the north-east US and south-east Canada. That’s not to mention the other friends in Australia, New Zealand, India, south-east Asia and Europe. You can do this, too.

Blogging is the enjoyable end of the notion that “people buy from people – people they like and trust.” Your blog is where you and your readers get to know each other, get to like each other, and get to trust each other. What could be more satisfying than that?

Happy blogging: relax and enjoy it!

photo credit: Just chaos via photopin cc

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. Spot on, Suze. I’m a fan of just getting on with it, though need to heed this myself again.

    • Thanks, Babs – there are quite a few things in life that people deliberately over-complicate for pecuniary reasons, and blogging is one of them, IMHO. We need more experts like you who guide and advise people without making them feel like ignorant school children…

  2. One of your best articles, Suzan!

    Blogging is really about helping others to the best of your ability. People will visit you first because they need answers. If you give them those answers consistently, they will end up staying.

    The one thing that kills me about “gurus” is the fact that they promise clients that they will make a lot of money blogging. As I always say, it’s not blogging that will make you rich. It’s your ability to provide good “customer service” that will open the door to paid opportunities.

    • Thank you so much Cendrine! And you’re absolutely right about the promises of making fortunes from blogging. The other one that gets on my nerves is the question you’ll get along the lines of “and how do you measure the ROI of a blog?” To me that’s as vapid as asking a newspaper to state how many of its readers read your press release… The ROI comes from generating a stronger, better relationship with your readers which eventually can be measured in terms of more customers, and better customer retention.

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