Should I just not tell you when I get an idea or a blog post topic from something I’m reading? Maybe that should just be a given
I recently finished reading Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk (affiliate link).
Really good broad overview of how to use social media for your career.
One of the big takeaways from this book is how important it is to use social media now – on a daily basis – to support and strengthen your career. Any career. If you are on Facebook, or Twitter or have a blog, etc you may want to read this book. Gary offers some really concrete ways to leverage social media into starting and building a career based on your passion.
I really (really) believe strongly that starting (and maintaining) a blog is THE SINGLE BEST THING you can do for your creative small business. …
.. and here’s why …
Blog to connect to your audience/customers: It’s a generally accepted principle that people like to do business with people they like. Every time you post a blog entry, you’ve got a chance to show a little bit of personality (try not to be ALL business) and connect to your audience a bit more personally. The personal story behind developing a new product can make your potential customers even more excited to buy it.
Ex: In August, my husband and I are having a portrait session done, and the photographer I hired is one I’ve been following online for a year or more and who I think is maybe one of the cutest things ever. I’m really (really) excited to meet her and work with her, and I have no hesitation at all in hiring her sight unseen just because of the personality she puts on her blog.
Blog to establish your brand: (I’m planning a future post on this, but) you can use your blog to subtly communicate to your readers who your ideal client/customer/reader. You can talk about your store policies, manage your clients’ expectations, indicate what products/services you are going to offer (or NOT offer).
Again, there is a fine line between preaching to your audience and setting up a point of view or lens for your business to be seen through.
Ex: I post A LOT of wedding photos on my wedding photography site. I do NOT post a lot of family photos, child portraits, etc. That (very) subtly communicates to my readers my priorities.
Blog for marketing: There are a TON of marketing ideas that you can use a blog to launch from – including announcing new products, announcing any appearances you’ll be making (speaking, craft fairs, etc), announcing awards, announcing partnerships, releasing FREE products/services, showing your most recent work, contests and giveaways, etc, etc, etc.
Ex: I used my wedding photography website/blog to announce an award I recently won…. My blog readers and clients may not have known about it otherwise, since they likely don’t read press releases put out by WeddingWire.
Blog for SEO: I’m starting to learn quite a bit about SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Very very briefly, SEO basically means writing and formatting your website so the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc) like to find you.
Among other things, search engines like NEW information. Every time you blog, you’re putting new info on your site, new photos for google to find. Every blog TITLE you create tells google what that page is about – and when someone searches for it google knows to send them to you. Building this kind of thing into your regular blog posting is generally a lot easier than building a website and updating the individual pages that often.
So, if you make children’s aprons, you might blog about your newest shop update and title the blog post ‘Handmade child’s apron shop update’ …. Or, even though I’m in L.A. and even though I’ve only shot one wedding in Idaho, if you search for ‘q’emiln park wedding photography’ (Q’emiln Park is in Post Falls, Idaho) my site should come up near the top
Ex: Last summer I made my blog the front page of my wedding photography website. The SEO from the change (and my other formatting/writing efforts) made my site jump from page 37 or so to page 9 in one (very broad search term).
There’s really several more reasons, but I think these are the big ones….
If you have a small creative business and don’t yet have a blog start one TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not the weekend. Just start one and we’ll work on what to do with it later. If you DO have a blog, make a commitment to it today. Having a blog but not updating it won’t do you any good.
If you need help, or want to switch your blog over to a self-hosted site, I am currently offering blog (WordPress) set up and consulting. Email me for details.