How To Start Blogging, Make Your Message Unique, and Attract More Clients!
Question: How do I start blogging, make my message unique, and attract all the clients I want?
Blogging is the tool of today for serious marketers, writers, and others who need to communicate information to a selected audience.
Blogging is typically used as a public journal, similarly to a diary. But it is also used as I’m using it…to provide specific help to subscribers of my blog. By comparison, you can say that my newsletter provides general help, whereas my blog is used to give more specific help.
One of the great things about a blog is that it can serve for two-way communication when subscribers leave comments about the posts left by the blog post author.
You don’t have to do written blogs. You can also do video blogs and podcasts (the equivalent of audio blogs).
But before you start your blogging adventures, you need to decide what’s the best way to use your blog to accomplish your goal of “making your message unique and attracting all the clients you want”.
And of course, before you can start that process, you have to get clear about what the unique message is that you want to spread. See my blog post of 5/31/08 about creating a unique selling proposition.
Once you know what your unique selling proposition is, you are then ready to decide the best tone and tact to use with your blog.
An example is my blog. I want to help my subscribers grow their businesses as quickly and as large as possible. So I decided to create this blog that answers your specific questions to help you do that.
So decide what’s most important to your customers and prospects and build your blog around that.
There are two basic categories of blogging software: the type you download and install on your own web server, and the type that you use online in a parent website. The easiest type to use when you’re learning is the second type, and a perfect example of this is Blogger.com, where you open an account, fill in some blanks, and have a blog up and running in just minutes. Other blog software offering this service include LiveJournal, Facebook, MySpace, Open Diary, Windows Live Spaces, Xanga, TypePad, and WordPress.com. Blogger is the dominant dedicated-blogging site in this category.
If you’re ready to download and put blogging software on your own server – a difficult task if you are not experienced with blogging software – you can use WordPress, Drupal, Livejournal, Moveable Type, SimplePHPBlog, and Typo. Of these, WordPress is probably the most dominant, with thousands of themes available for free download and installation. I use WordPress for my site.
The easiest way to install the WordPress software is to have a skilled freelancer do it for you. Depending on the features you want, you can have it installed for as little as $150. Some freelancers will install the program for you, submit your site to the blog search engines, and even make posts for you on a regular basis. All you do is provide the content and they’ll post it for you, so you don’t even have to fiddle with the program. Needless to say, the cost starts going up, the more services you add.
How They Work
Blogging software all works in basically the same way: you post articles and entries, which your community is able to comment on if you allow it. You have widgets down the side that allow for other features like the weather, a list of blogs that the author commonly references or links to (blogroll), information about you, archives, documents, categories of blog posts on the site, and advertisements, etc.
One of the things to consider is whether or not you want to run advertisements on your blog. Some of the pre-hosted blogs will have ads run on them whether you want them or not, and you won’t get any of the revenue. Blogger.com allows you to choose whether or not to run advertisements. With WordPress you can do whatever you like with your hosted version of the software.
The most popular web-based blogging software appears to be Blogger.com; the most popular server-based blogging software is WordPress.
Building Your Blog
Once you have your blog “shell” (template) up and running, you’re ready to create a blog. Make your entries useful and/or interesting at the very least. If you can make them entertaining, that’s even better.
Write an article for your blog regularly, at least once a week. If you’re publishing regularly, you are clearly a live blog, and Google will give you a boost in rankings. In addition, this has a variety of effects.
First, other bloggers who like your content will link to you, giving you valuable inbound links that will increase your Google ranking. Second, more readers will subscribe to you, giving you a reputation as a reliable expert in your field. It’s that expert status that you’re looking for. With this, you will be able to develop real online relationships with your audience, who are also your likely future customers. Keep your blog focused on its topic and on the relationships that form between you and the readers, and you will have done precisely what needs to be done with a blog.
Your tools for ranking high do not end with inbound links. You should also learn a little about using keywords, so you can optimize your blogs for the search engines as well as for people.
It’s also wise to start learning how social bookmarking sites works. Services like Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, and more specialized sites like Slashdot, allow you to post links and short descriptions of your entries and articles, giving you valuable one-way links and guiding more interested traffic to your blog. Of course, this takes additional time, so you might want to have a freelancer make those posts for you.
As you can see, there is much to this for the purposes you have in mind. So this is only an overview. There are literally hundreds of strategies you can use when blogging to attract more clients and brand yourself. The best thing is to start, learn, and add strategies as you go, one step at a time.