Many clients have asked:
- “Why do I need to consider blogging? I don’t care to journal my life or my business?”
- “Twitter!? Seriously? I have no desire to involve my business in silly web trends and who has time to play games with that stuff anyway?”
- “They are time wasting web applications, they hinder business, they are destructive rather than constructive and invade everyone’s privacy”
- “I do have a Facebook account but I don’t want to abuse my friendships with shameless advertising, it’s not the right forum.”
- Why do I need to make videos? YouTube and other video resources is a place for people with time to burn, wasting it on silly entertainment.
Some simply deplore the very idea of involving themselves in these platforms at all.
I hear many versions of this mindset. I understand it but I categorically disagree with it and if you have a similar outlook, I’m confident I can, at the very least raise your brow in rethinking the way you look at marketing your business and branding yourself online.
Strait up – You need to start NOW with Social Media if you haven’t already. I admit I was not a fan of many of these platforms but nevertheless realized quite some time ago the serious and monetizing advantages these platforms have for business . You simply need to know how to harness them and make them work for you.
The WordPress Blog
Not to be confused with other blog formats. The WordPress Blog platform (hereafter, “blog”) is by far the premier tool for professional blogging. When I merely utter the word “blog”, clients still believe it’s simply an online journal and not interested. It certainly can be used in that manner but what most people don’t understand is how to use the platform “professionally”. Mindset is the key. You actually need to regroup and 180 your perception of what’s working now on line and how business grows in the 21st century.
Similar to the expression, or should I say, question “Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?”, blogging is not mainstream yet, but mainstream website trends are following the lead of professional blog sites in design style and end user features moving web traffic and more eyeballs to to their web content. Blogs are growing very rapidly as people see and understand its usefulness in business. It’s time to jump on this express to success now and get comfortable with this web platform.
Blogs are a growing design trend for business because of its built in CMS engine and it’s ease of implementation. Visually, the design trend has become so accepted to the point that many static sites have a “blog like style” or layout today. You can literally make something out of nothing in minutes with a few clicks and build it out as you go.
Blogs are finely tuned, pre optimized to a degree and are generally structured in a template based format with advanced server-side functionality and simple admin style editing features that any business owner or employee with knowledge of any modern word processor can edit virtually any aspect of the web site/blog.
Download it for free, install it. You now have a Formula 1 engine and chassis.. You decide how fast you want it to go, customize the look and feel and race on the tracks of your choice.
Key reasons for the “Blog” format.
- You have complete control over your content.
- It is socially accepted for business and play.
- The blog is the most robust and feature rich Plug & Play app on the internet and is easily integrated with search engines and social media.
- The beauty of it lies in the CMS (Content Management System). It auto archives everything you post and is searchable. Continue to add content on a regular basis and presto! You’ve got a library of value to refer colleagues, clients and friends in a relatively short amount of time.
- It uses the latest web standards and updating the entire blog is simply a click as it automatically updates the core. When logged into the back office of your blog it will alert you to any current updates. Plug-ins and widgets are updated in the same manner.
- If you know how to use MS Word or Apple’s Pages, you can edit your own content, including text, images and video with an added web code interface if you know how to edit HTML, CSS and PHP code. You can simply copy and paste source code snippets as well.
- Every feature you add is plug-in or widget based and editable.
- If you have a product, an e-commerce interface is simply a plug-in. Customers can simply buy from your site and checkout via PayPal or Google Checkout and others. No need for a merchant account. Perfect option for micro or home business.
- Search Engines, (Google especially) LOVE WordPress Blogs because they are fast, Standards compliant, easily spidered and the more content you add and the more interaction with visitors, the better ranking you get. Get better ranking on your blog faster than your static web page any day of the week and twice on Sunday as long as you keep the content fresh and interactive.
- You can easily enter search tags, keywords, page description… Fill in your information and it is automatically entered into your page header in the correct format and parses your content to RSS feed and more.
- There are a million design themes to choose from and most are free. Simply do a search for WordPress Themes. Custom themes are available for $$ but not really necessary.
- The theme templates are editable (I found a “retro theme” and completely modified it myself for my own blog).
- It seamlessly integrates with the most commonly used Social Media platforms.
- If people like what you post they have the ability to share with their friends interactively. For Example:
- You have an article about a product, service or opportunity. Reader finds it, loves the content and wants to buy your product, service, etc., but also wants to share their experience on your site with friends or colleagues on his/her favorite Social Media network, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, etc. A few clicks accomplishes this.
- You can give the reader the ability to do this with many Social Networks. See the bottom of a this post on my blog. You will see a few dozen Social Media Bookmarks to choose from.
- There is a comment area at the bottom of each blog post enabling your readers to comment along with other interactive features you can add. You have the ability to moderate these comments as well. The Comments area can be turned off but you would be defeating the purpose so I don’t recommend it.
- Comments make your blog interactive.
- Search engines such as Google like interactivity.
- Interactivity makes your blog a place of interest. Your content, your business becomes socially relevant in a sea of irrelevancy instead of floating in cyber space.
Stay tuned for (Part 2) of Social Media Misconceptions For Business. Learn more about the misconceptions of Facebook and how it is fast becoming a Pay Per Click competitor for Google. Learn why Youtube and Twitter are not just a waste of your time and how you can use these platforms to your advantage.