Weâ€™ve come to the end of this series about the Four Ps of Effective Business Blogging, as Tom Pick has explained. To recap the first three, they are Personality, Persistence, and Passion. The last of the bunch is something more measurable and quite practical â€“ Promotion.
With every business venture, promotion is one of the most important activities. To realize how important promotion is, it is necessary to go back to the core goal of the business activity. For blogging, why are you in the blogging business? Or rather, why are you maintaining a blog for your business?
The answer is simple â€“ you want to reach out to the countless people out there who could be potential readers. For business blogs, you want to extend your businessâ€™s reach and let the whole world know that you exist and inform them of what you have to offer. The main role of a blog is to achieve this goal and the main way by which you can do this with your business blog is to promote the blog.
There are many ways by which you can promote your blog â€“ SEO practices, making use of social networking sites, exchanging links with other blogs and sites, and so on. All these do not happen by themselves, you need to exert some effort in order to make your blog known to the world.
Of the four Ps that Tom Pick presents in his blog, I think that I have a particularly affinity for the third one â€“ passion. He writes:
To maintain the discipline necessary to be persistent in blog posting, it helps to pick a subject one is passionate about. For example, among political blogs, there are a number of strong blogs on the both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum, but very few in the middle; it’s hard to be passionate about moderation.
Indeed, passion and persistence are closely tied with each other. It is way easier to be persistent about maintaining a blog if you are passionate about it. I think that passion can be identified in two levels â€“ one, passion for the act of blogging/writing itself, and two, passion for the subject of the blog.
For a businessman, the chances are that he would be quite passionate about the topic or subject of his blog. This is because I am assuming that the blogâ€™s topic would be focused on the business and what it has to offer, whether in products or services. Of course, my assumption could be wrong but I believe that many successful businessmen are those who have a certain degree of passion when it comes to what they are doing â€“ their business.
Passion about writing and the blog itself is another story, however. Not everyone is cut out for blogging or writing. For businessmen who want to get something out of blogging, however, I believe that he will get to build up his passion for the activity if he realizes clearly what blogging can do for him.
The second P of effective business blogging according to Tom Pick is Personality:
The best blogs have a personality all their own: factual, thoughtful, helpful, smart, amusing or something else. The blogger also reveals himself or herself through a short bio, picture and contact information.
This is perhaps the most unquantifiable of the four Ps of business blogging â€“ or even blogging in general. Tell me, how do you measure personality? I suppose you can describe the personality of the blogger as reflected by his blog yet there really is not clear measure of how good or bad it is.
I think the more important thing is that the blogger (or bloggers, for that matter) is able to transfer his or her intended personality to the blog he or she is maintaining. More so, there is this interesting thing that I have noticed. There are some bloggers who write so well that they create a whole different personality for their blog. You just may be surprised to find out that the blogger has a totally different personality!
My point is this: one doesnâ€™t have to be all charm and extroverted in person to maintain a good business blog. What is needed is for you to determine what personality you want your blog to have and work on building this image up through your writing. It may not be easy in the beginning but it can be done and believe me, it is worth it.
People like ideas that are easy to remember. When it comes to blogging for business, there are countless ideas that could help one to improve on his activities. I like Tom Pickâ€™s take on the concepts for effective business blogging. He used a pattern that makes it easier for all of us â€“ the Four Ps of Effective Business Blogging. Letâ€™s take a look at them ourselves and see if we can add our own input.
According to Tom Pick:
The number one reason, by far, that blogs fail is that they aren’t maintained. The blogosphere is littered with dead blogs that haven’t been updated in three, six, twelve months or longer. They’ll still pick the occasional search hit for an obscure phrase, but no one links, subscribes or offers comments to them.
I totally agree. I couldnâ€™t find exact figures on how many dead blogs there are today but I am sure that there are tons of them. There are various reasons as to why dead blogs come about and I am sure that one of them is the lack of persistence. Many people jump into the blogging bandwagon with very high expectations and when these are not met within a month, they give up.
You see, blogging is not a short term activity. It takes time â€“ certainly more than a monthâ€™s worth of work. The solution is quite simple â€“ when you start a business blog, make sure you understand what it entails and stick to it till you get the results that you are aiming for.
For those of you who ventured into corporate blogging early on, you might have already read this book. It is not really new â€“ it was published in 2006 â€“ but still has retained much of the edge that it had when it first came out.
Written by Debbie Weil, the bookâ€™s full title is The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right. Indeed, this book not only provides you with the knowledge you need about corporate blogging but also gives you practical tips on how to do things the right way.
I like how Debbie opens the book with 20 questions that any corporate executive would probably have with regard to blogging. With this kind of opening, the book is perfect for the business man who has heard tons about blogging and yet does not really understand the whole concept. In this manner, Debbie provides quick knowledge and quickly eases the fear of the unknown at the same time.
It does not end there, however. The book provides in depth analysis of the issues that a business might face if it, indeed, decides to join the corporate blogging bandwagon. In addition to that, readers would find tools and ideas on how to go about the business of blogging for the corporate setting.
Just because something is not fresh off the press does not mean that it is old and outdated. The Corporate Blogging Book is a good place to start if you are still vacillating on whether or not blogging is the way to go for your business.
Indeed, one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to business blogging is time. Time is gold and it cannot be wasted on having to come up with blog posts when there is a business to run â€“ or can it? There are various aspects to look when it comes to this point.
First, if big business CEOs can find time to blog, why canâ€™t small business owners do so as well? Second, how much time does it really take to come up with a blog post? More so, how much time does it really take to maintain a decent business blog?
Letâ€™s look at the first post. To be honest, I think that writing for a business blog is a simple thing â€“ you either make time for it or you donâ€™t. That is not to say that it is easy but the fact is that if a person really wants to make full use of what a business blog has to offer, he would find the time to work on it.
This brings me to the second point â€“ coming up with a blog post does not have to take such a long time. This is dependent on what you write and how you write. Perhaps the misconception lies in the idea that you have to come up with profound written work for a business blog. I like how Chris Baggott phrases it:
The most common misconception that business bloggers have is that they think that blog posts have to be really thoughtful…like they are going to have to spend hours crafting some deep insisght into the state of the Automotive Industry all the time. This is just plain WRONG.
My point is that in Corporate Blogging the Best Practice is to just talk about your day. Talk about your business, your inventory, your customers, your likes and dislikes…..just don’t over-think it.
In other words, easy does it!
An additional point before I end â€“ if you donâ€™t have time to blog all the time, involve your employees! Ask them to contribute to your business blog and see how much time you can save.
This is perhaps the million dollar question when it comes to businesses and blogging. We have to admit, one of the biggest reasons companies enter the world of blogging is to find new customers. This can be done in various ways. A business can set up its own blog. Alternatively, a business can get other bloggers to write about their product or service. In both cases, the aim is the same â€“ to get the word out about something that the business is selling. Yet are the results going to be the same for both approaches?
I got the inspiration for this post when I read Tim Parryâ€™s post â€œCan a Blog Really Increase Leads?â€ He illustrates an example:
Floren had Mills running a contest: “Write a Blog Post about Outsourcing and Make Money.” The idea is to get bloggers to spread the word about Mills’ new e-book, “The Outsource Compendium.”
So in other words, this guy is going to pay bloggers to review the e-book and post something about it. My guess is whoever brings him the most leads wins.
“You can think of this as a sales incentive. A lot of big corporations will have major sales contests for their top sales people. Sometimes they’ll give out cash, cars, electronics, travel, etc.,” Floren wrote in an e-mail “We are doing the same thing to motivate other Websites to promote us, and I’ve seen several six and seven figure product launches do contests similar to this.”
I think that this approach can indeed generate tons of leads. Yet as Parry said so himself, how many of the leads are going to be qualified? How many of them would actually be converted into sales? We really cannot tell. Yet I think that it could work. What about you?