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Appearances Do Matter: How To Send the Right Message with Your Blog

first impressions matterA well-planned and consistently maintained blog can add value to your business, increase your leads and your revenue and basically make your financial goals a reality.  However, there are several mistakes that you can make as a blogger that can cause the blog to lose value or even make the blog become a burden to your business.  As with life in general, first impressions hold the key to success as a blogger.  Here are some tips to avoiding common mistakes and set your blog to convey the right message about your business.

Understand the Purpose of Blogging

The number one barrier to turning a blog into a lead generating and money making asset is misconception of the purpose of the blog.  It’s sad to say, but many business people start into the blogging venture with the misunderstanding that the purpose of a blog is to make money.  Of course making money is the underlying purpose; however, from the visitors’ point of view they are not looking for hard sells.  The true purpose of a blog is to build relationships and develop a following.

Concentrate on Providing Useful Information

Excessive advertising and hard sell tactics will drive visitors away.  To develop a following you must blog with a purpose so that your blog posts convey practical information that is related to the theme of your blog, that is of interest to your target market and that is sharable between your blog visitors and their acquaintances.  Save the hard selling tactics for web pages that your blog links to.  People will not return or recommend reading of posts that focus on selling.  Overloading your blog with sales material, affiliate products or services or excessive advertising will drive the benefits of the blog into the ground.  Blog posts that provide helpful information will encourage visitor returns and drive sharing which will result in lead generation and ultimately increased revenue.

Do Not Try to Compete With the Big Guys

Believe it or not, small businesses have an advantage over corporate conglomerates, especially when it comes to blogging.  A blog can establish you as an expert in your field; however, trying to compete with conglomerates by taking on too many topics can make your blog posts lose value in addition to making you look incompetent.  Narrowing your scope to a specific niche and sharing all of the information that you know about your chosen topics in a relaxed manner will make you shine as a trusted expert.  You are not expected to know everything associated with your market; however, the knowledge that you display through your blog posts should convey that you know everything about your chosen topics. 

Be Conversational and Not Too Techy

Your posts should focus on being understandable to those who know nothing about the topic that you are discussing.  Technical information will cause most readers to think that your blog discussions are over their head and will drive visitors away.  On the other hand, technical postings have the potential of creating negative comments from other experts in the field that disagree with your view which can be devastating to your appearance.  A blog is not the place for specialty debates.  Of course your blog posts should be professional, but overall they should make you appear to be both knowledgeable and approachable.  Casual posts will encourage participation, open discussions and evoke questions that you can answer to further display your proficiency and expertise on the matter.    

Engage Your Audience

Building relationships and spreading word of mouth through referrals requires engagement.  While your blog should provide valid information, it should also encourage readers to participate by sharing views, asking questions and so forth.  Sharable blog postings also bring value to lead generation.  Comments to your blog and sharing of your blog posts are gems in the pile of rocks so to say.   Postings that convey knowledge should be balanced with postings that encourage participation and sharing.  For instance, while one post might share information, the next post might ask the visitors a question, followed by a promotion that visitors will love to share with their acquaintances. 

What Kind of Appearance Do You Desire to Make?

From a business point of view, of course you want to appear to be professional, knowledgeable and helpful.  At the same time you want to expand your client base and make money.  Getting these two goals intermixed can cause your blog to get off track.  By concentrating on the first goal which is related to appearance will naturally lead to realizing the second goal of financial benefits.  It all comes back to the purpose of the blog which is to build relationships and develop a following.  Once you get that right, you will experience the vast benefits of professional blog writing.  

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