Powerful Relationship-Building Tools
Recently I had a discussion with someone in my Facebook Group about the importance of blogging. The topic also came up in conversation while networking. Knowing that other persons probably have questions about blogging, I made the decision to start a series on blogging.
What is a Blog?
My short answer to “What is a Blog?” is that it should be your home on the Internet. I heard that description from a Mentor 10 years ago and it stuck! That’s my unquestionable position on the value of incorporating a blog into the online aspect of your business
Think of meeting people at events or at a coffee shop. You have conversations with them, but they get to know you on a deeper level if you invite them into your home for a cup of coffee or a meal. Your blog is where your readers get to know you on a deeper level and you’re able to speak to their concerns and give them more information on your topic.
If you were to do a Google search, you’d find enough definitions to make your head spin. However, this simple definition by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger aligns with how I perceive a blog.
…a blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom.
So let’s start with two essential reasons, if you’re in business, why you need a blog.
1. Create and Develop Relationships with Readers
Blogging allows you to develop relationships with your readers.
A blog provides a way to start a dialog where readers can leave comments and get to know you better. Your blog gives your business a human face. Of course, that means that you will need to respond to comments that are left on your blog and answer any questions.
One of my pet peeves, when I visit blogs, is to see where readers have taken the time to leave thoughtful comments or ask questions and there’s no response from the author. Yes, it is time-consuming, but my perspective is that if individuals took the time to read and leave a comment, they should be given a response. Disclaimer – some comments definitely appear robotic, so I have no issue about ignoring those.
2. Create and Develop Relationships with Other Bloggers
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. – Jim Stovall
Unless you have a partner in your business – whether your business is offline or online – you’re working solo. Hence, the term Solopreneur.
As a writer or a blogger, you need to create and develop relationships with other bloggers. Ideally, these bloggers would be in your niche or in a niche that’s related to what you do in some way.
For example, if you’re a Realtor, you could connect with other bloggers in the industry, like Mortgage Brokers and Title Companies. You could also include those who write for Home Inspection blogs and Pest Control. You all serve a similar market – the Homeowner.
So, how do you build those relationships?
First, you identify about 10 bloggers you’d like to connect with. If you’re brand new to blogging, start with just one or two people.
The choice is up to you but I would not recommend that you do this only ‘because they have a large following.’ Make sure that the content is in alignment with your values. A part of developing the relationship is that you’re going to share the other person’s content. That share will be a reflection on you as if you wrote it yourself.
Leave insightful comments on the blogs posts. Be specific about something you read, not just “Great post.” That does not add value. Do this consistently for a while. Share the content on your social media profiles and tag the author as appropriate.
I’m going to share something I did a few years ago. This is not something you’d want to do as a beginner. However, if you’re confident in your positioning, go for it.
I read a really great post about why small businesses fail. Small businesses also succeed, don’t they? So I wrote about the same number of reasons small businesses succeed, and just gave some reasons why they can and do. That post was appreciated by the author and by readers as they had both sides of the coin to read about. There was no criticism of the original author; just another perspective. He got exposure to my audience, and I got exposure to his. A win-win.
By building the relationship with bloggers who have larger audiences, their readers could become aware of you through your comments, and the blogger could also share your content if he or she feels their audience will benefit. This means increased visibility and credibility for you.
In my next article, I’ll write about Guest Blogging and why this is something you want to do for your business blog.
Leave your questions and comments below and I’ll respond to each one. Also, let me know what aspect of blogging you find the most challenging.