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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Blogging services

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What do you know about blogging?

On one hand, blogging is simple – put some words into a blogging platform and publish them. Make them good words and you’ll get lots of readers.

On the other hand, there is a lot of skill, strategy and knowledge that goes into running a good blog. And a lot of different measures for deciding if a blog is successful, or not.

leanring ABC of blogging

There is a lot to learn about blogging – but the important aspects are already with you

So what do you know about blogging?

What do you want to know about blogging?

Do you know why you care about blogging?

This isn’t a trick question I can give you an answer to.

I do think it is important to know why you are blogging (or thinking of blogging).

If you know why, you can make your blog suit that purpose and you have something to measure your success against.

For instance, if your aim is to build awareness of topic X, you can decide if 10 targeted readers is enough or if you need thousands of readers a week. Whereas if your aim is to blog to build  a habit of writing 200 words a day, a look at your post dates is an easy measure of your success.

I recently read a post by Rhianna which lists what she knows about blogging. It isn’t a technical list of how long posts should be, the best post frequency or choosing great titles, but a more basic list of what she knows about herself and her blogging purpose.

Like the Cheshire Cat said, how will you ever know you have arrived if you don’t know where you are going?

In a business context, I think this becomes even more important as time blogging could be spent elsewhere for perhaps greater profit – how do you know the blog is ‘working’ and worth the effort if you don’t know what it is meant to achieve for your business?

Even if you hire someone like me to help write or edit your blog posts, you need to know the purpose of your blog to assess it’s worth. And give direction to the writer.

So in the comments below, let me know why you blog. Or put in your ideas of maybe why you blog to help form your final answer and see if that changes how you blog.

* Images courtesy of 123rf

Building an effective business blog

Whether it’s new or established, if you have a blog to help promote your business, you probably want it to be effective, right?

An effective business blog doesn’t necessarily mean it sells anything directly – in fact, trying to sell in every post is likely to turn people away and be highly ineffective.

So, what is an effective business blog?

Like so many things, there is no single answer. It varies between businesses.

elements of an effective blog

Some tools for building an effective blog

However, I think the following options cover most (if not all) objectives of business owners when they establish a blog:

  1. SEO value – a blog is an easy way to add fresh content with keywords to get higher rankings with search engines
  2. showcase expertise – giving information, lessons and latest industry news builds your credibility
  3. build relationships – having a community is important for many businesses. Relationships through blogs build trust, show the business personality and let you learn from your audience
  4. communicate a message – this is probably more for non-profit groups that want to educate people about a topic and a blog full of stories and information can be a great tool in that process

Of course your specific definition may include more than one of these options in more or less detail.

To know if your blog is effective, you need to know the purpose of your blog and have some sort of measurement in place to gauge how well you are meeting that purpose.

For example, if your blog is aimed at getting more website traffic, posting once a month won’t be effective but you can measure your success by comparing website stats each month. Testing posting three times a week then five times a week will show you what is more effective at gathering more traffic and subscribers.

Making your blog more effective

I have just read Chris Horton’s post on steps to generate leads online with your business blog. In fact, that’s what inspired this post!

Chris goes through three steps which  go towards the purpose of your business, marketing and blog – namely know your (target) audience well, address your audience’s needs and how to offer your audience value.

His last step is about clear communication – make your blog posts simple, concise and relevant. Heard that before? Well, yes, that is where my blogging tips usually come in 🙂

I think it is important to note Chris gives three tips on developing a purpose and strategy for your blog THEN a tip on how to make each post more effective.

So have you defined what effective means for your blog?

Do you know who your target reader is?

How often do you measure your blog against your effectiveness definition?

Improving your blog’s effectiveness

Maybe your blog is not as effective as you’d like.

Yet you want it effective tomorrow, not in the six months it may take you  to work through everything Chris suggested. And, if you’re like many of other bloggers, you don’t want to shock your current readers by massive changes.

I think this is another situation where step by step is the solution.

Start defining your target audience and their needs in more detail (or some detail as the case may be!)

Each time you discover something that is not ideal in your blog, change that.

Maybe you decide your ideal audience are parents of young children but you have a blog category on teenage activities. That category doesn’t help your audience so stop writing posts in there as a simple step in making your blog more effective.

Step by step will take a while but is easier to face and implement than doing it all in one go.

I’m going to go out on a limb now – for you personally, what one thing would you like changed on my blog to better suit your needs? Let me know as a comment below.

No promises I’ll change it but I will consider all feedback in light of my blog objectives.

Take a reading…

Tomorrow is the first of July and first of a new financial year.

One task I noted for today was to check my odometer readings so I can finish last year’s care records and start this year’s. Even if you don’t use the car a lot for business, it is still useful to note the readings at this time of year.

What other things do you need to take note of today (or tomorrow) to track your business for marketing and growth purposes, as well as accounting purposes?

Measuring your business…

I just came across a blog post about why you need to measure performance which seems like a good starting point for all small business owners.

It’s a good question – I mean, if you don’t measure your success in various areas of your business, how do you know you are actually succeeding? Or how will you know that there is a so-far-minor problem in one area before it turns into a major issue for you and your business?

Yes, it is important to keep on top of where you are at in all areas of business, but I liked the suggestion in this blog post that it is better to start monitoring one or two key areas now than to wait “until I have enough time” to set up measuring programs for everything important to your business.

Why start small with your measuring when the whole picture is so important?

  • it is easier to do so it’s more likely to actually happen!
  • starting with one area will teach you skills and make a wider scale measurement easier later
  • data in one area can be dealt with – once that area is working well, you can focus on another area. Compare that to trying to fix 6 areas at once whilst also trying to manage clients and general business tasks
  • improving one thing often has a flow on effect to other areas anyway
  • you’ll gain confidence and belief in measuring that will inspire you to make time for more over time

So my question is – how often do you measure your business performance? Which area do you think most needs assessment right now?