I read this very informative blog post about why it’s important to blog by Donna Toothaker, one of my good business friends and I have to share it with my readers.
I’m often asked by my Virtual Assistant clients, “I submit articles, I tweet on Twitter, and post on Facebook, I publish an ezine – do I still really need to blog?”
Yes, you do! And here’s why:
Connect on a personal level: A blog is a way to start a conversation about a particular subject – in this case related to your business and the issues surrounding it. By inviting your readers to join the dialogue, you create an opportunity to engage your readers – clients and potential clients — on a more personal level than in a website or even an ezine. Your posts reflect your thoughts and ideas on certain matters, making deeper connections with your readers’ ideals, values and needs. Readers can comment and commiserate on issues, offering you the chance to offer solutions. This is relationship building – taking you a step further toward creating clients for life.
The consistency of your topics is key to building and keeping an audience. Readers turn to blogs for specific information, news, ideas and conversation about a topic that is important to them. By keeping your posts consistent, you become an expert and the source of what they are searching for.
Search Engine Ranking: Fresh content is the steam that fuels search engines. And as we all know, steam rises! Again, the key is consistency in your posts. When your posts contain related keywords and phrases time and time again, search engines, like Google, put you higher in the rankings. Don’t let your blog sit idle. Post regularly and send your search engine ranking skyward!
Fewer people are subscribing to ezines: I’m one of them. I can now count on one hand the number of ezines I receive in my inbox. People are becoming overwhelmed with email and fewer are signing up to receive ezines. More people are signing up for news feeds to receive new information from sources they know and trust- blogs. If your readers are signing up for your news feed, you’re delivering fresh, timely information to them every time you post.
Not everyone is on social media: On the flip side, there are some people who are not on social media, who may prefer to receive information by e-mail. Blogs generally offer either an RSS feed or an e-mail digest. Or, with applications like Google’s Feedburner, you can create e-mail newsletters from your RSS feeds, and track the usage of your subscribers.
Reliability and control: A month or so ago both Facebook and twitter were ‘down’ for a substantial amount of time. That was a wake-up call for us to be equally active on platforms that we can control, such as a blog. Who knows what might happen to Facebook or twitter – but I know nothing will happen to my own site/blog – and therefore I make it a priority to be active there also.
Remember – there is no single magic pill in Online Marketing. Just because Facebook and twitter are so popular, doesn’t mean you should neglect the other areas. Having a blog can be an invaluable way to build a following, brand yourself as an expert, and rise in search engine rankings. Having a presence on multiple fronts (blogging, social media, website, ezine…) will put you in front of more readers, and give you the optimal return on your time.
Author: Donna Toothaker is CEO, founder and coach of Step It Up VA Coaching, http://www.stepitupva.com.
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