Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Coaches’ Corner – What is the objective of your blog?

April 25, 2011

Welcome to the third and final blog in my three part series.  Initially we asked “What does a good blog look like?” and then progressed to “The Characteristics of a good blog” and today we end with “What is the objective of your blog?”

If you are in business (even if you are not) the objective of your blog must be to increase sales.

If you sell, they will not come…

If you sell your product or service every time you write, no one will want to read your blog.  But basic marketing is to tell everyone what you do, over and over again.  So what do we do?  Let’s translate this into blog language, that is that we want to get as many people as possible reading our blog and to get as many of those people as we can to follow us each week.

Our new goal; more readers, more followers.

Let’s set this up into a game we can win.  This starts by establishing the new objectives for your blog. According to my research, there are three that keep coming up over and over again.  But there are two other objectives we should adapt as they will prove to be equally important.  To accomplish our new goals, here are five objectives your blog should strive to achieve.

  1. Provide Value
  2. Build a relationship
  3. Establish expertise
  4. Make your reader aware
  5. Motivate your reader

Provide value

Your reader must get value from what they read.  If not, why read it? Value can take many forms.  Did you make your reader laugh?  Did you give them something to think about or to talk about later?  Did you give them something that they could use later?  Or did they follow the links for more information?  These are valuables and if you can provide them to your reader, they will return.

Build a Relationship

In order for someone to buy from you, they want to know you and they want to like you.  That relationship starts right now and this relationship builds as they follow your blog.  In my first blog post Amber commented; “I had to laugh a bit because it sounds so much like you, I could hear you saying the words.” This is success.  If someone reads my blog and then talks to me, they will know what to expect and they should already know a little bit about me (hopefully not that people laugh at me).

I didn’t have to go far to find a great example of this. What do you think?

Establish Expertise

When people read your blog, they are reading it because you are an expert.  You are providing them with information they could use and that they can trust.  If they go to your website or call you, they will find an expert that can provide even more value.  And when they call you for more information, do they know what kind of person they will be talking to?  Of course they do, because they should know you and that you are an expert.

Business Coaches are great examples of this, here is a local example.

Make your Reader Aware

When you are writing your blog, your goal should be to increase your reader’s awareness, not educate them.  You want to let your reader know that there is a better or easier way to do something, and then show them where they can learn more.   Blog  posts are usually meant to be brief.  Education takes more time and resources that your blog allows.  Blogs are great for tips and pointers, that is why we see so many lists and how to’s.  Your blog can provide links to websites that will educate, it can link you to good books, good resources or perhaps a good course or workshop.

A good example came from our Self-Employment Program Manager’s recent post which I strongly recommend you read if you have not already done so.

Motivate your Reader

Your reader has gained some knowledge, has found value in it and is now intrigued and possibly excited about what you talked about.  Excellent, now they turn off your blog and go back to work.

Rats…

We want the readers to connect with our posts, respond to the information and tell us what they think.  We want them to use it, it is the whole reason we wrote the blog.  We need to suggest an action, invite feedback, ask your readers to tell you what they think, what else they would like to know or discuss.

Encourage your readers to take action and to respond back telling you about their experiences or asking for more information.

Now, let’s use it

Let’s make it clear, the objective of your blog is to increase your sales, but at the same time you can’t sell.  So we adjust the goal so we can do it without selling.  We do this by increasing readership and developing a group of followers.  So next time you write a blog post, remember these five objectives for your blog.  You don’t have to use them all, all the time, but always use two or three of them to keep your blog posts inline with your goals.

Now give me your feedback.

What do you think?

So come on, share your comments, share your blog and share with me your favorite blogs…  I would love to read them.

-Leaverd, Business Coach

Coaches’ Corner with ETHOS Business Coaches is featured Mondays on the ETHOS Blog.  Click here for Coach Bios.

Visit Business Works to learn more about ETHOS’ Self-Employment Program.

Characteristics of a Good Blog Post – Part 2

April 11, 2011

A quick review

This is the 2nd part of a three part series exploring the creation of a good blog.   Part One discussed what  good blogs look like.

Today let’s tackle the second question;  What are the characteristics of a good blog post?

The goal

The goal of any blog post is to be read.  From start to finish the reader needs to enjoy it, they need to take value from it and hopefully use the information.  In today’s post, we will look at four characteristics that should help us create posts that meet this goal.

Over the past month I have visited over a hundred blogs. During this process,  I noted certain characteristics that writers said were good to use and many example of posts that use them.   Here are four characteristics that kept showing up.

Four characteristics of a good blog

  1. Be clear and concise
  2. Be focused and brief, one subject per post
  3. Be personable
  4. Be entertaining

Be clear and concise

To make your posting easy to read (and easy to write) we need to get back to the basics of writing.  Start by stating what you are going to talk about, talk about it, give your conclusion and finally talk about what your reader should do next.

Be focused, one subject (Remember that it should be brief)

One of my favorite words; focused.  If your reader gives you more than 5 minutes, you are doing fantastic…  You want them to remember what you talked about; you want them to use it.  If you give them two topics, the will forget the first topic.  Keep them and yourself focused, and stick with one topic per posting.

Be personable

Your customers deal with you because they like you, let your personality shine through.  Yes, some people will not appreciate you but you don’t need 6 billion clients.  If you have clients that like you and you like, you will love your business.  Don’t be shy, you are your biggest asset, be yourself.

Be entertaining

Humor is always a great way to make your posting entertaining, however, if you are not funny (like me), there are other ways to make your blog post entertaining.  Pictures, whether funny or not, are great to look at.  Writing in brief paragraphs and using bullet points are also helpful for the reader, this allows them to quickly pick out what they want to read and not get bored while looking for it.

In Conclusion

A good blog post will look good and should always have the same characteristic.  So when you are writing your next post keep these four traits in mind; be clear and concise, be focused, be yourself and try to be entertaining.   If you only use two or three of these characteristic in your post, you will be able to attract more readers.  You will also find that your blog posts are easier to write, after all, you are only writing about one topic.  Right?

The examples

In my last post I promised to share a few of my favorite blogs.

Here are my favorite Business Works participant blogs;

Here are a four blog posts I found to be very well done;

Join me in two weeks when we conclude this series with Part 3 – What is the Objective of the Blog?

-Leaverd, Business Coach

 

Coaches’ Corner with ETHOS Business Coaches is featured Mondays on the ETHOS Blog.  Click here for Coach Bios.

Visit Business Works to learn more about ETHOS’ Self-Employment Program.

Our First Blog Post – Part 1

March 28, 2011

Coaches’ Corner – March 28

This is my very first blog post. Recently, I was invited to contribute to the Coaches’ Corner feature on the ETHOS blog.  I accepted as it seemed to be a great learning opportunity; one I could share with many of you.

What do I post on the Blog?

In preparing to write my first post, the obvious question is “What do I post on a Blog?” To answer this question I came up with some further questions to guide me along.  Before I did anything else I asked myself the following questions;

What does a good blog post look like?

What are the characteristics of a good blog?

What is the objective of the blog?

Now suddenly, what looked to be an easy task, has suddenly grown in size and scope and looks like a lot of work and thus, a lot of time.

Let’s break it down

As I frequently say, let’s break this down into bite size tasks that are less intimidating.  Over the next six weeks (one posting every second Monday) I will tackle each of the above questions.  By the end of the series we will hopefully have determined what makes good blog content.  Your participation during this process, through feedback, questions and suggestions left in the comments, will be invaluable.  Everyone has a slightly different opinion and in the end, the blog isn’t about me, it is about you the reader and the value we all take away from it.  I know that many of you already have blogs, so I look forward to the insights and knowledge you can share.

Today, let’s tackle the first question,

What does a good blog post look like?

This should be a pretty simple and easy question (they never turn out that way), through reading some books and doing online research, the following items kept being repeated;

  1. Have good content
  2. Use a good combination of writing and pictures (make it easy to read)
  3. Keep it brief (I may actually take to this)
  4. Include lots of links

In doing my research there were lots of sites that talked about this very subject, here are a few I found useful;

What do you think?   What makes up a good blog?

My next post will discuss the characteristics of a good blog. I’ll include links to some of my favorite blogs . Please leave links to your favorites, whether your own posts or others, in the comments so we can all learn what type of blog posts are most appealing.

Leaverd, Business Coach

 

Coaches’ Corner with ETHOS Business Coaches is featured Mondays on the ETHOS Blog.  Click here for Coach Bios.

Visit Business Works to learn more about ETHOS’ Self-Employment Program.

RT @CBforJobSeekers: Using Social Media for Job Search

January 25, 2010

RT @CBforJobSeekers: Reading: Laid Off & Looking: Using Social Media for the Search http://on.wsj.com/6YgLZL (via @WSJcareers)

Networking know-how! RT @CareerRocketeer

January 21, 2010

Networking know-how! RT @CareerRocketeer: ARTICLE: Google Me: Exclusive Interview with Founder of Vizibility http://bit.ly/8QW7f3 #jobangels


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