I have been blogging with much more passion and commitment since mid December. The process has been enlightening. Not only have I learned much more about blogging, I have also learned a ton of things about marketing. Here are 5 things that I have learned in the past five months.
- It takes commitment and hard work: I work full time, am married and have a million other responsibilities. Finding time to devote to my blog is a challenge. To be successful, I have had to find time when I can focus on my blog posts. For me this amounts to waking up at 5 a.m. every weekend morning and writing for 3 to 4 hours before Cassie wakes up. Throughout the week, I jot down every idea that comes my way so I am better prepared to focus when I sit down to write. Great marketing takes a lot of hard work. It is not, and never will be, easy. Dig in and start chipping away.
- Be Patient, Be Patient, Be Patient: After blogging seriously for about five months, I have started to notice nice increases in the number of people that are visiting and subscribing to my blog. Patience is not my strong suit and I will probably always be that way; however, what I have noticed is that by taking my time and doing things the right way, I am developing stronger, more meaningful relationships with my readers. There is no quick fix. Building an audience of passionate readers or customers takes a while to do. Short term marketing stunts might build customer counts in the short term, but only strategic, long-term marketing can build meaningful relationships and loyalty.
- Be yourself: I have always been a little guarded, but as I have opened up more and more on my blog, I seem to get the best responses from my readers. There’s something for both bloggers and business owners to learn from this. Don’t be afraid to share a bit of yourself in your writing and work life. One caution here – don’t over do it! There is a balance that needs to be maintained here. A good rule of thumb to use here is to always ask yourself “would my mom approve of this?”
- Share your passion, but keep it relevant: Whatever you are writing about or selling, make sure you care about it and never be afraid of sharing that passion. If you are doing something you love, it will take you much further than you’ll ever get faking it. I love marketing, reading and writing. That’s why I maintain this blog and spend a lot of my spare time maintaining it. But it isn’t work. I love doing it. When I get a nice response or feedback from a reader, my day is that much better. You should be doing the same thing.
- Engage you readers and customers: This has been a fun process for me. I tend to be a little more quite and introverted. I grew up being a shy kid and I have to work really hard to break out of that (though I have made significant strides in this area over the past five years). As I have blogged and started connecting with others via my blog, twitter account or other social tools, I have seen my blogs stats increase markedly. Businesses have to do the same thing. Talk to your customers. Get your team involved in talking to them. Don’t hide behind your production issues, get on the floor and talk.
Every day that I blog, I learn a little more about what it takes to build an audience. Businesses can learn a lot if they are willing to take a similar approach. Start down the road. Don’t be afraid to take a risk.