If you run a business, it’s no longer a secret that you should also be running a business blog. When it comes to social media for business, your blog is most often the most valuable component of your marketing strategy. The most favored platform for a business blog is WordPress. There are a number of reasons for that, but for today, I want to help you turn your WordPress blog into a marketing tool that literally gives you an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, one that will utterly destroy the competition. Sound good? 😉
Why Most Blogs Fail
First, let me preface this article with an explanation as to why most blogs fail. It’s important, because it’s true. Most blogs do fail to get results. There is a great reason for this, and the reason is because most bloggers spend the majority of their time doing the wrong things…things that don’t grow their blog.
- They tweak their design.
- They try out a million different themes.
- They try out a million different plugins.
- They constantly tweak their SEO (search engine optimization).
- They spend too many hours writing content.
Candidly, all these things SOUND important, but they’re not. Design, SEO and content certainly have their place. Don’t get me wrong; they’re important, and they shouldn’t be ignored. But they should represent the SMALLEST investment of your time.
Most bloggers do the opposite. They spend the majority of their time on things that don’t grow their blog.
Then what happens? They give up out of desperation. They work for months and get no results. They wonder why blogging is so difficult. They wonder why other bloggers get tons of traffic and make money with their site, while they languish in obscurity.
A Blogging Success Secret
Here’s a blogging success secret for you. Setting up your design and SEO are just Step 1! Yet ironically, most bloggers spend a TON of time on this. The idea is that if your blog is so beautiful, so awesome, so optimized…then people will be drawn to it. Unfortunately this doesn’t work! Most bloggers never get past step 1. The spin their wheels endlessly here. It’s no wonder they never get the results they want!
Time is Your Greatest Asset
Would you agree that time is your greatest asset? If so, then we need to make the best use of it we possibly can, correct? So let’s do that. Let’s make a COMMITMENT that we’re going to spend the majority of our time on things that actually build our blog and make it successful. How does that sound? You with me? If so, then take these 3 steps to turn your WordPress blog into an unfair advantage for your business!
Build Your Blog: Step 1
OK, so Step 1 is getting the design out of the way. You need a great looking, highly optimized, very customizable design right out of the gate. Get the sucker set up, so you never have to think about it again! Get it set up right in the first place, and you’ll never have to spend tons of time on your design. It will always look sweet, so you don’t have the “I have an ugly blog” baggage weighing on your shoulders. Your burden will be light, because your blog will look great, just as you want it. This way you’ll have all the time in the world to focus on building your blog and bringing traffic in.
How to get an awesome looking blog quickly
There are a few ways to do it. One, you can bite the bullet and simply hire a designer. Many may try to advise against this when you’re first getting started. For a personal blog, I would agree. But if this is a business, I think it’s a fair option. Custom blog designs aren’t as expensive as you may think. If you’re looking for something very professional and simple, no one should charge you more than a thousand bucks, and you will likely be able to get a fantastic, custom blog set up for just a few hundred bucks.
I offer these services for clients, and there are also a number of other professionals who do this. A couple I like are:
This is a way to get a great design right out of the gate. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive.
If you’re comfortable doing a little work yourself, another way to get a fantastic design right out of the gate is to install the Headway theme. Honestly, I’ve road tested a bazillion (yes that’s right, I counted!) free WordPress themes, and here’s the bottom line…you get what you pay for. Even most professional themes require a good amount of coding and expertise to truly personalize them.
The Headway theme for WordPress is the most flexible, optimized and powerful theme on the planet right now, and I don’t say that lightly. If you’re 100% comfortable with coding and web design, then you should probably just put your own design together. But if you’re not a coder, then Headway will give you total control over the look and feel of your site. Headway is a search-optimized monster, and it gives you total control in that regard as well. As far as the design of your site, you have complete control via a point and click interface. A monkey can work this thing!
Install Headway, and you’ll be up and running in just a few minutes. Spend an afternoon with it, and your blog will be decked to the nines.
If you have any doubts as to why I am an affiliate for Headway, I encourage you to take notice of the theme I’m running on this very website (and several others) at this very moment. That’s right. It’s Headway. I don’t sell anything to you that I wouldn’t use myself!
Build Your Blog: Step 2
Use your blog well, and it will pay you handsomely! Now that we’re no longer stuck on Step 1, we can move on two Step 2, where we can actually start targeting what will make your blog grow!
Make a list of keywords that apply to your business. For simple, fast results, I recommend going to adwords.google.com. Click on “get keyword ideas”. There are a number of tools you can use for keyword research. This is simply the most common. It’s powerful, and it’s free! The market where I personally started in business was real estate, so let’s use that as an example.
On the Get Keyword Ideas page, type in “Miami Florida real estate”. You’ll get a screen like this one:
Grab a list of keywords that you feel are particularly relevant for your business. Don’t just go with the highest traffic keywords. That’s tempting. Instead, focus on keywords that are the most relevant for what you actually do. Make a list of 5-10. Then, do a Google search for those keywords. Find forums and blogs that are already in existence, catering to these niches. Set up profiles and start reading and talking to the people there.
Additionally, set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Spend time there, meet people. Join in the conversation. There are already a lot of groups and ongoing discussions that are relevant to your business. Jump in and talk to people! Don’t be overly promotional. Just talk. Real talk is what wins here.
What the heck does this have to do with building my blog?
You may wonder what this has to do with building your blog. After all, how can spending time on OTHER PEOPLE’S sites help out YOUR SITE? The answer is, it does a TON to help your site. That leads me into Step 3. This is the good stuff!
Build Your Blog: Step 3
Don’t overlook the power of Step 3 because of its simplicity! This is where you can truly obtain the unfair advantage, because you’ll be doing the work that most everyone else wants to skip. Remember, just because it’s SIMPLE, doesn’t mean it’s EASY! Building anything of consequence…something that truly wins over your market, is hard work. But is it worth it? You bet. Does it pay well? Oh, yes!
So, what is the BEST use of your time when it comes to building a fantastically profitable blog? The answer to this question, as I’ve mentioned, is deceptively simple. It all comes down to using the tool skillfully, for its intended purpose. And what is a blog’s intended purpose? A blog is made for talking to people. So, talk to people! Sounds simple, right? Yet when we look at the facts, few bloggers do actually this. They tweak, they tool around, they try out new plugins, they buy expensive “systems” to “drive traffic” to their blog, they do everything under the sun to try to find a quick and easy way to make their blog successful. It’s such a shame, really!
Is social networking (i.e. “talking to people”) really the key to making your blog successful? Well, yes actually! How so, you ask? Well, the cool, convenient thing about social media is that nearly everything you do easily links back to your blog. Your profile, your forum signature, your blog comments…they all link back to your site. So when people check you out and want more information, it’s easy for them to stop by. It’s important to understand you can’t MAKE someone stop by, but if they like you and want more information about you, they will!
As you connect with more and more people on their home turf, more and more people will come out to your blog. If you’re engaging people in legitimate conversation and actually have something to talk about (you do, trust me), then they will almost always want to know more about you. It’s a natural part of human interaction. How many times have you met someone new and they’ve NOT asked “so what do you do?” If people meet you and like you, they will want to know more about you. And they will come to your blog.
Blogging Success is Counter-intuitive
It’s a little counter-intuitive, isn’t it? You’d think to build a successful blog that you should spend a lot of time on your blog. But that’s not the case. You should in fact spend very little time on your blog! Hard to believe? You can spend all the time you want on your blog, but until there’s a large readership, there’s not a lot to do there! You want readers, right? Well, then go talk to them!
When you’re first starting your blog, you should not have to spend more than a couple hours a WEEK on your blog. And that should be spent on writing content. All the rest of your time should be spent networking and talking to people. See, there are already thousands of people out there who should be reading your blog. Don’t wait for them to find you…go find them 😉
The principles of building a successful online operation are fairly simple wouldn’t you agree? I suppose I could make it a lot more complicated if you want, but the bottom line is that it all comes down to work. Spend time on the right things, and you will get the result. We all have the same amount of time in the day. Where you get the unfair advantage is when you decide you’re not going to look for shortcuts. While everyone else is spinning their wheels, you will be busy spending time on leveraged and effective things that actually get results. Tools like Headway make it possible to put the stupid busy work behind you, so you can concentrate on building your business. Get the ball rolling now!
I hope this basic primer on blogging helps you build your business this year. If you have any questions, I am at your service!