How to fall in love with your business blog

Am I kidding? Certainly not. Falling in love with your business blog is a serious affair.

Starting with you. And forgive me for making a few assumptions here. You’re a business owner responsible for doing your own marketing – yes?

Because you’re an entrepreneur, you probably saw a solution for something no one else had ever thought of that fitted with your expertise – probable?

Somewhere along the line you absorbed the notion that you needed to blog. Right so far?

Now lovers of blogging, I’m taking a leaf out of Derek Halpern’s blog here and not writing for the converted. Stick around though, I might have a thing or two up my sleeve for you!

I’m really writing to you, the business owner who has yet to fall in love with blogging. And for those of you who have entered the relationship but are now in tangled mess of an affair. Let’s see if we can unravel it.

The Dalliance
You went full bent into this didn’t you? Thought, I must blog NOW. You probably bolted a blog onto the back of your existing website, (JXservices.com/blog,) or opened up a WordPress.com site using your existing business name, (JXServices.wordpress.com).

Or your sister’s son’s best friend runs a website business from his garage and he said he would whip you up a blog for a song. As he’s building it, you thought maybe you’d go for something sexy, like JX-servicing-you-blog.com.

So you’ve put a few random posts about your best spotted widget, but the affair has already fizzled. No purpose, no research, no control. It was only ever going to be a one night stand at best, but worse, you’ve been left with something of a tawdry reminder.

The Commitmentphobe
You’d made the decision to blog. You even hired some third party help to get it set up right. At first, you were really excited, but now your blog is up and waiting for you like a forlorn date sitting by the phone. You just can’t bring yourself to make the commitment.

You know it’s attractive and having a long-term relationship will bring with it great benefits, but still, it all seems like such hard work. Do I have to? How often? What’s really in it for me?

The Distracted Lover
The relationship is established, but the passion was short lived. You’re present, but missing. Doing what needs to be done, but really on a palm tree strewn beach, cocktail in hand and with someone else.

These duty bound posts are empty promises. Devoid of substance, they’re just another way of lying when you say, “I said I loved you, didn’t I”?

The Narcissist
This just pushed every button of your fervour to establish yourself as the best of the best, didn’t it? You’ve paid a fortune to have it looking beautiful and polished. The words on the page simply glisten with your earnestness. There are widgets and bows and pretty tunes and everything pops and pings with your dewey-eyed love for it all.

Content? What content? There’s that wonderful interview you did with so and so last year, and a whole lot of great links to other collectibles. Oh, and a few startling thought pieces which you dust off with love and admiration from time to time.

It’s froth. There is no substance and no purpose to this romance. Like a frou-froued poodle, this will only ever be of interest to the person looking with star-struck eyes into the mirror-like surface of a lake. You.

The Blended Family
You started a business and a blog. You were diligent and thoughtful and over time both grew. And as they grew they changed and suddenly your real purpose shone through like a lighthouse in a storm. For a while, you kept on going, trying artfully to blend your older business with your new purpose. It got to be a bit messy, as blended families can.

Maybe you run both, or you start all over again, or maybe you just plan to transition slowly one to the other, but with a clearer plan for your new blog then you ever had for your old one. Who BTW, you are still extremely fond of. I’m living this relationship right now!

The Nerdy Boyfriend
Extremely diligent, earnest, deadly serious. Deadly dull. In dire need of a personality transplant. We readers are human. We are attracted by other humans who we can understand for the attributes we value. Intelligence of course, but not devoid of humour, vulnerability and understanding. No matter how informative the content, if it’s just information, it’s a text book not a blog. Who ever fell in love with a text book?

The Perfect Marriage
How do you fall in love and have the perfect marriage with your business blog? There are seven clear steps to making a loving, sustainable relationship with your blog.

1. Be clear on your purpose.
Why are you doing what you do, who are you serving, what is your longer term outcome? Without a crystal clear purpose, you cannot hope to attract and retain relationships with those who might learn to really love what you do.

2. Do your research. Be curious.
Who is out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Imagine they find a post you have written to solve exactly the query they typed into Google. Will this attract them to you? Will they come back to see you again? Especially if you keep doing more of the same? Who else has similar values to you? Find them, connect to them, reach out, build a friendship. How can they serve your community?

If you want to learn how to do your own keyword research, my book, Clans, Supercharge Your Business details it in the section Curiosity. Or you can visit this basis keyword research video. Or find someone to teach you how to do it. Only outsource it when you understand it yourself. An outsourcer will miss the nuances of connection that you’ll pick up. When you have found the best keywords to describe what you offer, put them into a Google Alert.

3. Plan.
A coherent site is a comfortable place to be in because the structure of the site is sensible and based on research, so the content follows suite and is logical. This relationship understands itself. It has ordered what needs to be ordered. It can be spontaneous and fun, but nothing jars or is out of sync. Everything integrates as it should. Harder said than done, but who said a worthwhile marriage wasn’t hard and constant work.

If things go wrong in a marriage you get counselling. Get a business coach. Or contact me.

4. Own your online space.
Imagine you own the car, but someone else has the keys. No different to having a site that you don’t own and manage. You need control of your website and to hold yourself accountable for your login details for it and all your social media. A well structured site is a long term partner and what you’re building together is an asset.

If you want to know exactly how to build your own WordPress site, sign up to the free chapter of Clans at the top of the site. The bonus is an illustrated 125 page manual which shows you how. I want you to do it right the first time.

5. Communicate.
At last, we are at the intersection where you can fall in love with your blog. Because when you have all the other steps in place, you cannot help but be passionate about blogging. You know exactly what you have to offer and to whom you are communicating it. You’re on purpose, so your aim is to serve. That further builds a loving relationship between you, your blog and its intended readers.

6. Connect.
Now you can connect in a meaningful way. Fuel, nourish and nurture. Your well set up blog gives you the wherewith all to do all of this. How can you not love it for that? You can post valuable information pertinent to your reader, make appropriate offers to that information, involve them in challenges and community-building activities, introduce them to other experts and exciting resources. What a treasure.

There are several Carnival players who exemplify this in everything they do. Follow them and learn from the experts. You can start here by reading their posts this month on All You Need is love.

7. Collaborate.
You’re in love! Don’t you want to share it with the world? Your blog is the cornerstone of your business community-building activities. Your passion is infectious, others want a piece of it and soon you’ll have people excited about what you’re doing and wanting to join in. Now you and your blog have the opportunity to make a difference. You can communicate with those you’ve made a meaningful connection to about your purpose and its aligned causes.

To find out more about how Bob and Bill the Window Frame Tradesmen did this, you can listen to their story here. Or Clans. Supercharge Your Business tells this and many other stories.

You and your business blog. Your bestie. Learn to love it and it’ll reward you hundredfold.

Comments

  1. says

    Fantastic post Sandy. Heart felt and so informative. Have to love Jesper too, I’ve done his Self program and it’s amazing. I cringed a little as I read, wondering where I might fit.. and I think I’m a little in the blended category at the moment too – still playing in Social Media but heading into my purpose. I laughed at the “distracted lover” – there are a few of them out there online – with the odd blog here and there to look interested! What I really love Sandy – is that you are living what you write about and that is priceless.

    • SandyMc says

      Thank you Fi, I greatly appreciate the sentiment that I am living what I write about. Sometimes you have to wonder. But you know, i hold firmly to the view that if you make a difference in one person’s life, you are living a life worth living. I thought a few people would relate to the Distracted Lover. And I know a few romantics too!
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  2. says

    I had to laugh at all the blogging personalities. You’ve captured them perfectly, Sandy. Thankfully, I’ve never fallen into any of those traps (ahem)…okay, at least not lately. I think there’s a lot of folks out there who flounder in the beginning and this post just might help them see the light.
    Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef recently posted…Wanna Be My Plus One? Why I’m Falling in Like with Google + (and Why You Might, Too)My Profile

    • SandyMc says

      It would be a privilege if this post helped some folk think through where they were at and what their intent was before getting the relationship with their blog wrong.

      As a matrix it is not a bad way too to quickly evaluate the depth of feeling in other folks blogs. Since I’ve known you Tea, you exemplify the perfect marriage and it is a relationship we should all aspire to.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      Sharon, I will have to include the 7 year itch! Maybe though before you throw the towel in on those years of endeavour, it might call for a long meditation on the value that you’ve imparted in that period of time and how it could be repackaged to recharge that energy for you.

      The Key Person Of Influence course I did last year that I wrote a lot about, was a game changer for me. It is not as if I gained new knowledge, I was just given the tools to re-organise it to a purpose that made sense and fired me up again, as in being the clan maker.

      If you unpacked your value, I bet it would kickstart an exciting direction for you. You have so much expertise and knowledge to share.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  3. says

    Oh lord, yes.

    So many blogs (including mine) are horribly mis-managed and go abandoned because the lack of commitment, interesting topics, time, dedication, and any number of the other things you listed.

    Finding a good writing persona is just another struggle we all face – this last time around, I had a hell of a time writing my Word Carnival post. It took me 3 hours and 5 different drafts of 5 distinct ideas before I got around to the one I could finish.

    And for most small business owners, that kind of 3-hour-long pursuit of the right kind of wording, content, whatever – it’s just too much. The mind swims at what else I could have accomplished during that time – but you know what, it’s totally worth it when I get comments like yours.

    So, yes – put in the time. Make the commitment. The rewards are not immediately apparent, but are there! Great points Sandy!
    Nick Armstrong recently posted…Small Business Marketing: The Difference Between Love and Lonely Nights is SeductionMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      You make a good point Nick about the time involved. I have wondered about that when it comes to the topic-type post as opposed to the quick tip or technique type. But have come to realise the benefit is two-fold. Firstly those intense hours of thinking and writing resolve both what you know and the unique way in which you have to offer it.

      Secondly, they are what position you over time as a thought leader. My advice to small business owners is to find a reason to post at least once a month a piece that not only challenges you to write creatively but to write from your purpose. It is a task, there’s no doubt about that, but whatever isn’t that is worth it!

      Every Carnival post takes me about 4 hours. But in the 16 odd posts written now, are contained everything I believe in today and want to help others with and I will be forever grateful to the Carnival for giving me permission to do that. And much more, for what I have learned from others. Including you Nick.

      And then there is the fact that we can repurpose so much of this content. Now to find the reason to apply the time to do that!
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  4. says

    Sandy this was so cute! I loved all your analogies. I also feel especially strong about owning your space. If you don’t, you never know what rules might change and where you’ll be left stranded. I just had a conversation with someone who wanted a Facebook page instead of a website. I told them they were pretty much nuts. We’ll see if that sank in! Great tips here and you tied it together so awesomely.
    Carol Lynn recently posted…Money Can’t Buy (Brand) LoveMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      Thank you Carol Lynn, it was fun to write! Yes the owning the space thing is so essential to the efforts we make online. Why would you let all that IP loose into the hands of someone who doesn’t give a fig about you or your purpose (adding eyeballs to Tea’s in Mark Zuckerberg’s direction). Tea too talks about owning your online space, so its a good round of posts to get the message across to people who haven’t got with the program yet!

      Sometime ago in the Oz equivalent of the A-lister circles there was talk about website redundancy. Everything could be done through a series of interlinked social media, bookmarking and network platforms. Much of it I suspect, dropping into the black as far as tactics were concerned. But I remember at the time feeling exhausted by the concept. As small businesses we have enough to do without managing a zillion online accounts to backlink one to the other, let alone the paucity of content that would represent. A website is a repository of a businesses purpose. And that is solid gold, not a filigreed tangle of wire.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  5. says

    Darn! Nick stole my comment. LOL!

    Outstanding post, Sandy! I LOVE your list of blogging personalities. So … everything Nick said and …
    ” … a loving, sustainable relationship with your blog” IS just like the kinds of meaningful and fulfilling relationships we work to establish in our personal lives. The key word? “Work”. You can love the heck out of your blog but if you don’t put in the blood, sweat, and (sometimes) the tears, the relationship will dissolve.

    • SandyMc says

      The rewards for that Blood Sweat and Tears (are they still around?) are definitely worth it. Like any discipline, you just keep getting better at it the more you do it. Isn’t that true too of a good relationship. It gets better over time, the more you practice and work together at it. Thanks Mel for your kind words.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  6. says

    Sandy this is great – in my head I’m calling it Bloggers are from Venus and Blogs are from Mars. Imagine a Bachelor show with all these personalities (and I don’t even watch the bachelor!).

    The Blended Family really struck a chord. When I first started blogging I was a mostly the Nerdy Boyfriend with a very different “mission” than I have now. The struggle to make and embrace that change was hard. Fortunately I had the Carnies (and the Posse) to help me and wow what a difference!
    Nicole Fende recently posted…Looking for (Business) Love in All the Wrong Places – Why Your Partnerships FailMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      I’m seeing a reality TV show, the likes of which are yet to be seen! I cannot imagine you as the Nerdy Boyfriend Nicole. But if you were (and I am sure you are too harsh on yourself), then therein lies evidence of a great truth, how much one can learn from, and within a supportive clan.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  7. says

    I particularly love #2 — be curious and #4 – own your online space. Even when you delegate tasks, which we must. Knowing how to do your blog is essential. Thanks Sandy.

    • SandyMc says

      Learning to love researching online has such great reward Clare. I would never have found the Carnies without curiosity and for that I will be forever grateful. If you were able to map your learning, you would find these fascinating online journeys which have taken you through a variety of interesting detours and landed you with a headful of knowledge at the end of it.
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  8. says

    I love this post, Sandy! What a great summary of different ways people handle their blogs. I also recognize several of these types from being a reader – I think either the distracted lover or the nerdy boyfriend is the worst, from the reader’s POV. I’ve been behind the scenes of the blended family, and that can be tough to navigate now. For my business blog, I don’t post as much as I wish I did, but when I do post, I always try to make sure it’s something really valuable.
    Michelle recently posted…Four things I love about being an entrepreneurMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      Lovely to have you come by Michelle. Your clients sound like they love you, so they will doubtless really appreciate it when you do post and that is something valuable to consider if you are talking to a vested audience. Yes, I am living the Blended Family right now and it is a little agonising. Especially across social media platforms as I am discovering. But with patience and foresight, I hope to get there in such a way that both families stay in tact and grow from the experience!
      SandyMc recently posted…How to fall in love with your business blogMy Profile

  9. says

    Hi Sandy,
    Falling in love with business blogging will be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. There’s no doubt about it. That relationship brings many rewards to a business and a business owner over time. I loved discovering your post in the BizSugar community and noticed it is already attracting attention there too. Thanks for sharing!
    Heather Stone recently posted…The Dangers of Silo ThinkingMy Profile

    • SandyMc says

      Hello Heather, how lovely to discover that this post has been shared on the BizSugar and I am delighted to be introduced to the community. Thank you for alerting me to it. Off to discover what pearls are on offer, looks like lots.
      SandyMc recently posted…What’s not possible?My Profile

    • SandyMc says

      Hi Mike, thanks for stopping by and for sharing. It just seemed to me that we did have sometimes ambivalent feeling for ‘our’ blogs and that for many of us, because we had such a personal stamp on them, there was definitely a relationship with them. All I can say is that I am glad I’m not dealing with a blended family in real life as it is pretty confronting in cyberspace!
      SandyMc recently posted…Healthy business?My Profile

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