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Why Blog? Guidelines for Creating a Successful Blog that is Seen and Read

by Ruth Olbrych, Antiques by Zaar

 

DEFINITION: Newsletter vs Blog

Newsletter:  Sent to a specified audience, BUT as so easily shared via social media, not so mutually exclusive as before.  Ok to be more directly sales pitchy in newsletters…not so in a blog.  IF you can’t see yourself blogging, at very minimum you should have an online newsletter. Newsletter should be posted monthly at max.

 

Blogging: Presenting the Person behind the Business AND the business, virtually, and spreading said word using social media portals…twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook . Online newsletters not considered as part of “social media” but should be included as valuable venue to use. Blog should be posted weekly at minimum.

 

My History Presenting my Online Persona

The Person:  Ruth Olbrych      The Business:  Antiques by Zaar

2000      Website: About Us “nobody reads it”….yeah right.

 

2004      Started Online Newsletter: Couching the “meat” in personal newsy items. Who cares? Your customer does, as you give them a window into your life. Again, in “old days” this went to a specified audience…past customers or people that opted into your list, or you added from connecting at trade shows etc.

              TODAY: Trend is to go out of your way to be newsy and personal and indirect about sales.

 

2008      “Dipped my Toes into” Blogging: Influenced/urged on by…

              Jane Pollak. ASID Conference Fall 2008.

              Tobi Fairley. HPDC Unity in Design Event Winter 2009.

 

What’s Stopping You/Stalled Me?

Who wants to read what I write? Good question. Give them something to read about. Be passionate about what you share.  Write about what you feel comfortable with and edge your way in. ….Book/Movie Reviews, Reporting on Events, Promote organizations,(be a trusted resource), Be an expert about….fill in the blank.

 

Not good at writing? Use lots of photos. Have people guest blog.

 

Not good with “techy stuff”?  Living example that if you give your mind the latitude to learn that it will respond accordingly and cooperate with you. Trust me on this! OR, if you can afford to have someone (intern/college student) then let them at it and you do what you can.

 

How do I start?

Slowly is ok. AGAIN, if you can’t grab onto blogging, DO do an online newsletter…but START reaching your audience online you must….just like you MUST have a WEBSITE that works for you.

 

Tips on Writing a Good Blog

 

• Read other blogs: Follow them, comment, and note what you like/don’t like. Mimic what you like.

 

• Formats: Word press or BlogSpot.  Both, very popular platforms, both free…my preference word press.

 

• Titles Count: Use words that will draw in your audience. IE, I use Chinese antique….as much as I can, or names of high profile designers that are customers and are talked about in the blog.

 

• Photos:  Always nice to be greeted by a photo when you open someone’s blog, and have them within to support your text.

 

• Short is Sweet: You’re competing with A LOT of material out there, so try and say more with less…I’m still working on this.

 

• Posting times: I find lots of people checking social media sites early in the morning…7:00-8:00, so I like to have my blogs, ideally, to go out around that time…or late evening. You can schedule them.

 

• Social Media Venues to Post: Silly not to do it, and can be automated that after you write a blog it hits twitter and face book….personal and/or biz page and also on pages of relevant pages you fan.  LinkedIn, you can post in relevant groups as well.

 

• Post Consistently: Helpful to you, to schedule such. Three times/week is more than adequate, once/month not enough. Once a week, consistently, can be perfect.

 

• Tagging/Categorizing:  Remember to use “key words” that are relevant to your business/search engines, and group your topics on your sidebar….make it easy for people to find what they want to read.

 

• Links:   …to other blogs, websites…to past blogs you’ve written.

 

• Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose! Words of wisdom garnered from Melissa Galt

 

• Your Audience: Determine who you want to read your blogs and what you want to share with them, and with that in your mind, create titles and content that will intrigue them…and go for it!

 

 

 

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