I thought this an appropriate subject for my long overdue first blog post since it is one of the most common questions my clients ask.

For ten years I have advocated to my customers that fresh, informative, relevant and authentic content is one of the best things you can do for your web presence – to draw targeted eyeballs to your site. Couple this with some research on what the competition is doing and what your ideal keywords are and you have doubled the value of your investment in blogging. Make a consistent effort to amplify new content through social media utilizing those competitive keyword and/or popular hashtag insights and you have multiplied the advantage of taking the effort to blog.

I also advocate that you include links to your blog posts in consistent, informative, branded emails to stay top of mind with your growing database of existing warm leads and clients. Providing value to them through human-curated information tailored to their interests (and driving traffic to your site by providing a teaser with a link to your blog post) exponentially increases the value of your initial investment in blogging.

In my experience, the primary inhibitors to blogging are time and a perception that you need to be a masterful creative writer. Though it is certainly more entertaining to read something written by the latter, each blog post need not be a ground-breaking or award-winning piece of creative writing. Keep in mind that when you share your expertise with your audience, they will value any truly useful free advice whether it is wrapped in eloquent prose or laid out in bullet points. Actually, more may value it if bulleted, depending on the subject. Even if few actually read it, there is great crawlable content value in the existence of your blog, enabling search engines to index.

There are lots of reasons to start a blog besides creating a growing resource to help customers, to attract new ones and to increase your search potential:
• Express your thoughts and opinions
• Promote something
• Support a favourite cause / make a difference
• Establish yourself as an expert in your niche
• Maintain knowledge in a field
• Help others by sharing your knowledge
• Help with a job search – creating a space to become known
• Challenge your opinions
• Build confidence – it takes more than a little self confidence to put it out there
• Make some money
• Practice creative writing – hone your craft
• Connect with like-minded people
• Create a forum for your book club or discussion group
• Have fun
• And a really interesting perspective from a Forbes post – “Produce more / consume less”, i.e. spend less of your time consuming content and put something of value out there.

“My blogging life is basically goalless. I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results.”
~Seth Godin

These are just a few reasons to blog. There are many more, so just get started.

WordPress is a free and easy place to start. I help many clients create clean, secure and branded self-hosted platforms for blogging, and introduce them to tools and best practices before setting them loose.

Ready to get started? Begin by thinking about your subject, your voice, and your purpose. Plan an editorial calendar of your next 5 – 10 post ideas. Write the first few in advance to take off some of the pressure of needing to write every so many days or weeks. From then on, write one or two whenever the spirit strikes, always preparing a bit ahead so it can be more fun and less of a chore. Then put it out there.

Who knows, blogging just might become your favourite business development activity – or even your new favourite hobby. Here’s hoping. Call me to help you get started.

As a solopreneur with two young children, time has been my own primary reason for not practicing what I preach until now. It is beneficial for most but it is certainly not for everyone. There are many factors to consider; why? how? how often? about what? who should write it? etc. I look forward to expanding on best practices and benefits in future posts as well as answering many other burning questions my clients most frequently ask about building a web presence.
 
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