Business, organisations, Social media

Blogging made easy….Yeah right!

Blogging your way to success

I have asked this question numerous times, “what’s the secret to creating brand awareness?”

The answer I am almost guaranteed…. “just blog about it”

Bloggers make it sound so easy, like its the most natural thing in the world. Well this natural instinct I admit, I do not posses! Although I am sure there are many of you strange individuals as myself who need some guidance on where to start blogging.

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Why blogging?

Blogging was one of the first social applications back in the 1990’s. It was used as online journals known as weblogs (later known as blogs). Weblogs were not the collaborative platforms as we know them today. They were very much just a means for an individual to voice their opinions into a public space. Soon this all changed to become the many to many communication channel we have come to rely on today. With the wide spread blogging technology available, businesses have the opportunity to get their messages out faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Here are just some of the benefits of utilizing blogging platforms

#1 Connect people to your brand

Blog posting allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level, building relationships that would otherwise not be possible through outbound marketing. Blogging is a sure way to get conversations going and your audience engaging.

#2 Inexpensive

Especially for start up companies, blogging can create brand awareness without blowing the budget. You can keep your audience informed about specials, news or updates simply by taking the time to post on a regular basis.

#3 Create opportunities for sharing

Every time you blog, you are creating that opportunity of your audience sharing your posts, ideal marketing right there.

#4 Managing complaints

It is a great way to manage complaints in a fast and effective way. Take it as an opportunity to let your customers know you are open to learning and that you are taking their opinions or feedback on board.

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How to start blogging, easy as 1 2 3….

Blogging for the first time? Been sitting there for an hour with one complete sentence? Yup I know the feeling… If you, like me, have decided to try this so called easy marketing strategy and have no clue where to start, here are a few ‘get started steps’ to help you on your way to becoming a bloggaholic.

#1 Determine your goal

Once you know why you want to blog it becomes easier to decide what you want to say. Business use blogging to achieve a particular goal, further their mission, or hope to become better known through social media and social network connections. Take Cocoa Cola’s Unbotteled blog for instance, where they promote their image as environmentally cautious and socially responsible.

#2 Give your blog personality

Give your blog a voice, its all about the representation and wording of your entries. You are not writing a journal article, you are connecting with your audience on a more personal level. They are expecting to read your opinions and to see a representation of yourself and your business. Aim to create conversations with your audience, capture their attention through humor or sarcasm.

Secondly, focus on frequency, how often you are posting entries to your blog. When a significant event occurs, your audience expects to read about it immediately, but it is also helpful to have a predetermined time frame for posting entries. You don’t want to overload your audience and become a nuisance but you also want regular entries that will ensure they stay intrigued. Through monitoring your stats you will determine a good entry frequency approach.

Lastly, the style of your blog is important, find the right theme that represents your business. Blogs are a less formal communication tool, but an amateurish blog will reflect on your audience perception of your business. There are many blog hosting platforms like WordPress with thousands of preformatted themes to choose from.

#3 Exhibit passion

Don’t limit your posts to material available on every other blog or platform, read and talk about thought provoking ideas. Let your audience see and hear what you have to say about the matter or topic. Focus on one direction and build a strong case for your argument, let your audience provide alternative ideas through their engagements. You want to influence your audience, with knowledgeable arguments and opinions, this will convey passion.

Hopefully you have gained some insight to assist you in constructing your second full sentence to get you on your way to publishing your first blog.

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Popular blogging software

http://wordpress.org/

http://moveabletype.org/

http://textpattern.com/

http://drupal.org/

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