This post was authored by Jeff Korhan
The following is a guest blog post from TCI EXPO 2012 speaker Jeff Korhan. This November, the world's largest tree care industry trade show and conference is heading to Baltimore - We hope to see you there! Learn more about the show and Jeff's education sessions, at expo.tcia.org.
Most people probably think of blogging as writing. After nearly seven years of consistently blogging I have come to realize the interaction and engagement associated with it makes it much more than that.
The digital blogging platform works much like face-to-face situations in which you are engaged with your customers. There is a message, an audience, and most importantly, there is a relationship with that audience.
Early blogs were predominantly personal journals of periodic communications on varied topics. However, the top business blogs today are highly focused and respected sources of fresh and relevant news that consumers actively seek out.
So, why are few businesses actively blogging? I believe it is because they do not understand how it can make their business better.
Here are three direct benefits from blogging and how to get started.
#1 – Higher Levels of Customer Service
When you blog regularly you learn more about your customers. You get better at discovering their most relevant needs and developing solutions to their problems. It may not be possible to physically be with your customers every day, but you can virtually connect with them from your blog.
#2 – More Engaged with Your Community
When you skillfully encourage conversations with your blog audience you develop relationships and build trust. The more you practice achieving that engagement, the more proficient you will get at growing your blog community. Start by making visitors feel welcome by thoughtfully responding to each and every comment.
#3 - Showcasing Your Expertise
A well-designed blog is focused on solving specific problems for a defined group. In this respect, every blog post is a piece of living and breathing content that validates your expertise. When that content is augmented with images, audio, and video, it tells a story that makes your expertise come alive.
How to Get Started Blogging
While the percentage of bloggers is small, it is not for lack of desire. What I hear most frequently when speaking to entrepreneurs and small business owners is “I know I should be doing this. “
So, let’s address the top challenges that are holding most people back. Prioritized according to frequency, they are:
- I don't have enough time
- I'm not a very good writer
- What should I blog about?
- How often should I blog?
- How do I start a blog?
There are solutions that will simultaneously solve several of these challenges. For example, if you are not a talented writer, post a short video or an image with a compelling caption to solve the challenges of both time and writing skill.
Regarding the question of how often one should blog, the response I like to give is straightforward. How good do you want to be?
More important than frequency is consistency. Nothing turns readers off more quickly than a blog that has apparently been abandoned, either temporarily or permanently. It’s as if you went out of business.
What to blog about is not only a challenge for new bloggers, but for those of us that have been doing this for years. You should never stop asking yourself how you can best help the community you serve. What is it that they most want to know?
Everyone is hungry for tips and advice, insights on future trends, and step-by-step methods for getting things done.
Here are 7 blog post formats you can use to accomplish this.
- The How-To
- Expert Viewpoints or Perspectives
- Product or Service Reviews
- Trends and Best Practices
- Helpful Tools, Tips, and Techniques
- Business Promotions
Yes, it is ok to occasionally use your blog to promote your products and services. Just keep in mind that you have to earn permission to do so by regularly providing useful information that keeps your audience coming back for more.
Think of your blog as your business channel – one that provides valuable programming for your local community.
It is a surefire way to differentiate your business for the better!
Looking for more?
Here are some relevant articles on blogging for those that are ready to take their blog to the next level.
Is your business blogging? Leave a comment below and share a success story.
This post was authored by Jeff Korhan
Jeff Korhan, MBA, is a professional speaker, trainer, and coach who helps green industry businesses use digital marketing to create exceptional customer experiences. He regularly publishes fresh content at jeffkorhan.com.