Art of Creating Blogs
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Blogs are in! Blogs are omnipresent! Blogs are the future of the 'net!
All true but what is a blog... and how do you profit from it?
Purists may offer a different definition (purists usually do)... but to me, the complete capitalist, a blog is and always will be about one thing: making money. Every day. All the time.
Let me say this another way because for far too many people blogs are an unbridled (and correspondingly horrifying) excess of vanity, self-gratification, arrogance, not to mention an avalanche of incredibly boring stuff and Things You Don't Want To Know. Yes, too many smart people use them as a cheap form of venting and therapy.
But (my recommendations in hand) you won't. You'll stay forever focused on the main chance: using your blog to generate prospect leads... and make money. Now... dig in. I am about to deliver an embarrass du choix for big blog bucks.
Train your readers to be responsive.
If you intend to use your blog to make money, you must train your readers to be responsive. Otherwise, you will dramatically curtail and limit your responses (and blog profits)... which is the exact opposite of what you want.
The Internet is, at its best, the best interactive tool in the galaxy. But what if readers don't understand that? Why, then, mon frere, you must remind them of their duty... you must remind them that yours is a fully interactive endeavor and that the responsibility of EVERY reader is -- to respond. Ensuring this result is your #1 objective.
A blog is NOT a standard newspaper or magazine... as readers must be told and trained to use.
Consider the case of your morning newspaper. It is packed with articles. How many do you respond to? Silly question, right? Periodical readers, except on the occasions they have a bee in their bonnets and write a Letter to the Editor, never respond to articles. They just read 'em.
But a blog is essentially different. You want to bring articles and information of interest and importance to your readers; you want them to respond. In other words, blog content should trigger a continuing stream of reader commentary... and help build knowledge about these readers as well as build the relationships that deliver business effortlessly.
Establish a confidential tone from the get-go
Your readers (whether they ever say so or not) will read your blog (as opposed to a million others) because you give them interesting copy that the rest of the world cannot deliver. It's not just that Enquiring Minds Want To Know: it's that these minds want to know things they cannot easily get anywhere else.
Thus your tone is everything: let the reader know that yours is a fresh, new, entirely compelling voice. The more you let them know that yours is an "insider" place, a locale of smart commentary delivered with wit, insight, good humor and progressive outlook, the better.
Always use the second person -- YOU! -- in your blog content.
Blogs are the most person-centered of media. Thus, you must always speak to your readers in the second person, that is with an explicit or implied "you" (the blog reader). This will immediately establish the right tone... and the right focus. Your readers must understand that you are writing to them, for them.
Whenever possible, too, use your blog as a means to speak to individual readers BY NAME, just like Ann Landers, the famous "gossip" columnist used to do, with such devices as "Special for Lola Mae in Seattle." You should regard each issue as incomplete that does not address some pertinent, personal comment to at least one reader by name.
Share (select) personal data and reflections about yourself.
Remember, blogs are, by definition, personal. That means you should share (some) personal information with your readers; asking them to share (some) personal data with you.
This policy, while establishing stronger and more enduring links with your readers, also has in it the seeds of embarrassment,discomfort, even disaster. Reason? It's easy to put things in your blog about yourself which are too personal, too intimate. And by the same token, your readers might share such things with you, for publication.
Actung! Cuidado! Beware! Think long and hard before you publish. Once you hit the send key, your thought and candid revelation belong to the world.
Ask especially for reader comment on all articles you publish.
The articles you publish in your blog may be, of course, on any subject you regard as significant. But blogs by business people should be about how to run such a business with such-and-such products for maximum profit. In other words, if you're selling automobiles... blog articles ("content") should be germaine to this topic, above all.
As you publish such articles, ask readers to comment. As comments come in be sure to use (and then later reuse) them. What people say in reference to your blog content is worthy of publication... and your comment.
Make sure that you request responding readers to include complete name, business name (where appropriate), email address, and phone. Remember, reader comments are not so much about the substance of the comment, as they are about getting the reader to respond, tell you what interests her, and provide complete follow-up details. This is absolutely essential.
Follow up blog comments and responses at once.
What more business? Following these steps ensures you will get a steady stream of the best prospect leads in the world... from people who already "know" you (or at least think they do), are interested in what you offer, and have provided you with complete follow-up details.
Thus, pick up the phone and call readers (now prospects) who respond to you... unless, of course, you have been the smartest cookie, given them your phone, and advised them to CALL you.
The telephone, you see, is essential for making your blog profitable for you. You must say and constantly reiterate the need to call you, as Jeanette McDonald sang, "I am calling you................ will you answer true.......? Get the picture?
Face it. Blogs are here to stay. People love 'em. Thus, the real question is: will you do the necessary to ensure that the time and money you invest in your blog pays off? To ensure that it does, implement these recommendations ASP... if not sooner. Then blog your way to profits that increase as fast as your list.
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