Blogging gives you a wonderful return for the time you spend on it. It’s the power of words in action. Your blog may or may not change the world, but your blog will change you: this is why I tell my student bloggers: you can’t fail at blogging.
Way back in the 1970s I ran a small business. Marketing was a challenge because we bought display advertising in Sunday newspapers. That took a huge chunk out of our budget.
One day I had a sudden rush of blood to the head and sent out a press release to the city’s newspapers, TV stations, and to radio stations as well. From memory, I tossed 28 typewritten media packages into the mailbox.
To my amazement, the business got free press. That opened my eyes to the power of words in marketing, and that power is yours when you hit your blog’s Publish button.
Blogging: “you’re writing for free”
Fast forward a few decades to the late 1990s when blogging was a new thing. Of course, I set up a blog. “You’re writing for free,” my writer friends wailed.
Nope… I wasn’t “writing for free.” I knew the power of words, and that I was blogging for the marketing benefits.
What was the worst that could happen? If all else failed, at least I got some writing practice — I built up my inventory. (For a writer, inventory is always a good thing.)
The power of words for 31.7 million U.S. bloggers
Today we’re swamped by words. Everyone and his dog (literally, in many cases) has a blog. According to this post on blogging stats, 500 million blogs exist in 2019. In 2020, the USA will have 31.7 million bloggers — that’s 10% of the population.
Rather than being intimated by this, get excited. The sheer number of bloggers tells you that blogging is powerful, or millions wouldn’t be doing it.
Words can change your life.
Still hesitating? Let’s look at some tips for new bloggers.
1. Consider your blog an asset: it’s valuable from the first day you hit the Publish button
In Blogging Basics: How To Generate Income From Your Blog, we emphasized goals:
Ask yourself what you want to achieve, and write that down…
As with all goal-setting, be specific, and set a deadline for achievement.
You need goals; otherwise you’ll spin your wheels. That said, an intense focus on goals can lead to Are-We-There-Yet syndrome. This is damaging because you can be so focused that you fail to see new opportunities.
To avoid Are-We-There-Yet syndrome, you need an overarching intention. I suggest you think of your blog as an asset, even before you write your first post.
Your blog is an asset, because your blog:
- Introduces you to people who want to know more about you. These people could be your books’ readers. Or prospective clients if you’re a freelancer. Or anyone who might do business with you. After you’ve been blogging a while, you’ll realize that your blog has brought you many unexpected opportunities;
- Markets your books, services, or whatever else you’re selling;
- Improves your skills in writing, social media, networking, marketing…
2. Bootstrap: make your blog pay for itself
You can spend thousands of dollars on blog design and development. Then, a month later, you realize that you’ve made an expensive error — your new design isn’t working.
Remember that blog visitors arrive for the content, not for the design. Make your content work for you. If you want a glitzy blog design, wait until your blog can pay for it. Until then, pay as little as you can get away with for your blog’s services.
3. Market: don’t be shy
Your blog is your 24 x 7 sales person. If you want to sell more books, or get more clients, don’t be shy. Make it obvious. Provide “buy now” links, or links for visitors to learn more.
Add About Me and Contact pages to your blog.
4. Nothing happens until you get started, so start!
You can spend months planning and researching. Some of that time is useful, most is procrastination.
Act. Create a blog. It may be a million miles from the blog of your imagination, but start anyway.
And as always: have fun. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.