Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. After a little while, the blogs die. While cleaning a list of blogs, I deleted countless sites because the sites and blogs no longer existed. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.
How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools do more than just hold blog entries.
Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter, your Web site and your business with all of these readers and delivers important content in a particular style.
I’ve been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl’s notes, you’ll notice they’re more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late ’90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.
A few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That might work for celebrities where fans want to know everything about them, but it doesn’t work for the average business person.
Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they’re getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. They reflect this value in their blogs.
Questions to Ask
No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer isn’t black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:
The big decider is whether you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Though resourceful, merely linking to other sites doesn’t give visitors much reason to read yours.