You can build a great business with a blog; for example you can check out Seth Godin’s blog, Tim Ferriss’ blog and even Copyblogger. These publishers have used their blogs to manage and launch many businesses.
Why it makes sense to build a business with a blog?
It is basically the old wine in a new bottle. Blogging is all about creating a presence and developing a community around an idea that can later on be turned into a business opportunity. Take for instance Seth Godin; he doesn’t publish a blog to make advertising revenue, he uses it as a platform to promote his speaking gigs and management books. Copyblogger runs advertisements but the blog is mostly used to launch new businesses and promote existing joint ventures with other entrepreneurs.
When you run a successful blog it proves basically 4 for things
- You can persistently and eloquently promote an idea
- You can develop and sustain an audience for your opinions
- You can generate lots of traffic (which is very hard to achieve)
- You have established yourself as an authority or an expert and your visitors respect your decisions on what you say
This is what every brand in this world does. It creates an identity and loyal followers, and this is what your blog does. When you have gotten people’s attention, when they continuously come to your blog to read and to communicate and when they begin to show signs of loyalty you have got yourself a market for your business. It is another matter that you call it a blog but basically it is just a platform that allows you to communicate with thousands of people on a daily basis.
Building a blog to create and build a business is a complete marketing strategy
There has to be a synchronicity between the evolution of your blog and your business idea. Although once your blog is successful (it is generating quality traffic and response) the sky is the limit when it comes to launching new ideas and sustaining existing businesses, it always helps if you have a clear vision right at the moment of starting your blog. This also instils a sense of clarity into your blog management. For instance if you want to promote yourself as a social media expert later on you can start collecting your thoughts and experiences on social media on your blog. Over a period of a few months or even a year people begin to respect your knowledge and start approaching you to work for them as a consultant or an employee.
So how do you build a successful blog before you can build a successful business with it?
Good question, because this is the toughest part: building a successful blog that you can later on use to build a successful business.
Presented below are a few ideas that you can use to build a successful blog:
Begin with an idea you are extremely passionate about
This is very important. If you’re not passionate about the theme of your blog you are not going to be able to sustain it for a long period of time which is very essential for the success of your blog. It doesn’t matter if you publish your blog everyday (although it does matter in terms of creating buzz and generating lots of search engine traffic quickly) but what matters is regularity and quality. If you have decided to publish a new blog post every Wednesday then you must make sure that you publish a high-quality blog post every Wednesday and not on Tuesday one week, Thursday the other, and then Wednesday the third time. Stick to a schedule and stick to quality and this is only possible if you are passionate. When you are passionate you automatically have lots to say about your topic and this is what is needed in order to publish a blog regularly while maintaining the same level of quality.
Interact with your visitors
It may take awhile for you to elicit response from your visitors but once they start leaving comments on your blog make sure that you respond to them. This way they know that you pay attention to what your visitors have to say. This also brings them back to your blog for further interaction.
Develop a community on your blog
People shouldn’t just interact with you on your blog they should also interact with each other in the comments section. Encourage that. Choose your topics in such a manner that they trigger conversations and discussions among your visitors. The more they interact on your blog the more they become familiar with it. The more they interact on your blog the more they visit.
Encourage them to receive updates
It is not possible for everybody to keep a tab on what you are publishing. A good thing is to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds and e-mail updates so that whenever you publish something new on your blog they are automatically notified. Make it easier for them to subscribe. Display your RSS link prominently with the help of a noticeable image. Similarly keep a visible box that people can use to subscribe to your e-mail updates. You can also offer them some free gift in order to encourage them to subscribe but personally I’m not a big fan of doing this. They should subscribe on the strength of your content and your personal brand and not for the free gift.
Interact on other blogs and forums
When you actively publish a blog you need to spread your presence over a wide network of blogs, online forums and websites. This will bring more traffic to your blog and it will also seed new ideas into your mind. Even those people who don’t visit your blog will become familiar with your name and sooner or later visit your blog.
Create a social media presence
Create and maintain an active profile over Facebook and Twitter and other big and small social networking websites, but don’t end up spending too much time there. Remember that your main priority is publishing a quality blog and nothing can beat quality. Nonetheless, since lots of activity takes place on social networking websites you need to have a functioning presence over there.
Although there are thousands of other things that you can do in order to create a successful blog but these are the fundamental building blocks that you must implement.
It may take anywhere between six months to one year before you can build a business using your blog. Provided you have been able to create a targeted audience that clearly knows what you’re trying to promote you can easily build a successful business based on the popularity of your blog.