By Liese Gardner
I just finished reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Crush It! I loved it because Vaynerchuk tells readers how to use the Internet to turn passion into business. He speaks from experience. He turned his family’s local wine shop into a national industry leader using video blogging, or vlogging. He chose video because it better suited his personality and he talks about knowing your DNA — your marketing makeup so to speak — and playing to your own personal strengths be it writing or speaking.
He affirmed why blogging works for business . It creates a connection and can build a personal brand faster and more effectively than any other medium. One thing he said that stood out was this — “Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.”
What else is a blog post but a story? And what does that make you but your own own reporter, editor and publisher? It’s what you do with that information that’s important. Here are some key points on which to focus when approaching your blog. I’ve said it before and will say it again — these are the same questions to ask, the same issues to address as with any marketing campaign. This time it’s just a little more personal!
Voice + Look + Content
- Think of your blog as building your own story, personal or business brand
- How does its content reflect you (or your business if you are more comfortable blogging as the business, rather than yourself) — who you are are and what you do?
- Who are you…what is the image you want to project?
- One way to keep on message is to find three words that define you or your business, such as “Hip, professional, smart.” Be sure all content follows them in some way.
Audience + You
- What is the purpose of your blog?
- Who is your audience?
- Who do you want it to be?
- What does a successful blog look like for you?
- What is keeping you from achieving that success?
Let’s talk about that last question. Chances are the only thing standing in your way is you! It’s hard to tell your own story. I hear three different worries from clients:
- No one will care
- I’ll be annoying to my audience
- It will look like I’m blowing my own horn
I guess this might be true of a blog that is set up just as a place to publish press release material. So, the way to avoid this is in the content. Write or speak from your passion, no matter what your subject. Make sure each post answers the question: “Is there something here that can intrigue, inform, move, educate or entertain my reader?” And even if you are blowing your own horn by blogging that you won an award, turn it into something of value for the reader by providing photos of the event, perhaps an insight into the challenge you faced producing it, or something unique you created that they might find helpful.
One more thing — don’t be afraid to just do it. There is no right or wrong way to create a blog. And there are no “experts” on it. We are all lifelong students and while the media changes, the message remains the same — be real, be relevant and be ready.
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