Blogging can be a way to strengthen your business and build a following. It might seem like a huge undertaking, but with hard work, it can pay off. Not sure you are up for the challenge? Social Media Examiner interviewed Sanford Smith, co-author of Born to Blog, for its podcast and this accompanying article, which offers a ton of great blogging advice:
Stan’s advice for people in a 9-5 job right now is to build up your audience and understand where your next step is going to be. If you want to market yourself in a really effective, cost-efficient way, then blogging is a great place to start.
You don’t have to quit your day job to start a blog. Though it will be a time investment to maintain it, it is possible to work full-time in addition to being a blogger. And even you if you think you aren’t a Pulitzer prize-winning author (as most of us aren’t), don’t doubt your abilities to generate intriguing and thoughtful blog posts. The key is being “able to communicate in a way that builds rapport and relationships.” You are trying to engage your readers to keep them coming back. He talks about the importance of being a conversational writer, not someone with their nose in the air who no one can relate to. We also get his three steps to becoming a successful blogger:
1. Have a borderline obsession with a topic. To stop yourself from getting burnt out, you need to be obsessed with your topic.
2. Are there others like you? You must have an audience out there.
3. Assess if you have a marathon or a sprint mindset. Stan has studied many successful bloggers and there is one thing that is same with all of them—it takes 10 years to be an overnight success. He advises to get yourself in the zone and kick off your content. Refine what you do over time.
Like most things, in order to be become a presence on the blog scene, persistence and consistency are essential. You can’t blog for a week and expect a following. You have to build it up and maintain it. Here is a tip for creating content on a regular basis
Stan’s advice is to train your brain to notice potential topics by writing down every idea that pops into your head. Write it down on your Moleskine, Post-It notes or your iPad. Let your brain know every good idea is going to be noticed and used in some way.
You’ll learn how to turn content creation into a habit and why considered done is better than perfect. There are a lot of bloggers who create content that never sees the light of day because they are constantly refining it. The most important thing is to get it out there.
If you are the type of person who thinks that nobody will listen to what you have to say, then Stan’s advice is to remember that your voice is unique. There are a lot of bloggers out there, but there are not many people like you. You owe it to yourself to try. Don’t sell yourself short.
Trust that what you have to say is important. Confidence (without arrogance) can go a long way in making you seem like an authority on whatever topic(s) you are blogging about. It can also be a great way to bolster your presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter because you can link back to your own content instead of someone else’s. So while it isn’t advisable to dedicate your whole life to blogging before you have a following (and a way to monetize it), the sooner you get started the sooner that could be your reality.
Image credit: Alison Fairbanks
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