The Vitally Important Business Blogging Plan
Balance. Focus. Goals. Good parameters for life in general. For the business blogger, they are vital.
Let’s face it. If you fall asleep at the business wheel because you’re having so much fun blogging and tweeting, you’re in for a massive crash.
How do I know this? I’ve experienced a bit of a crash, thankfully not massive, but just enough to know I needed to get myself in Balance, Re-Focus and Re-Evaluate my Blogging and Business Goals.
I didn’t start out blogging. I started out just tooling around Facebook, LinkedIn and sometimes Twitter. I got some referrals and brand awareness from Facebook, but not much traffic to my website. LinkedIn connected me to business types, but again, not a lot in the referral department. It wasn’t until I found Gini Dietrich’s blog Spin Sucks that I finally ‘got it’ (yes, I know, I plug her blog ALL the time, but if you visit at all, you understand).
I got the social in social media and I felt like I had finally found my true colleagues, potential new friends, and trusted resources. Stumbling across her blog inspired my first video blog post, got her attention and well, things just started moving. I’m sure you’ve all had similar experiences.
A part of my brain that I hadn’t used in a while suddenly came to life. The part that gets really excited about possibilities. The part that loves to learn new things and actually craves it. The effective use of Twitter and better blogging for my business were about to happen.
I just didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was this was FUN and I was having a blast meeting new people, connecting across continents and discovering new content. I LOVED it. I began blogging more. I tweeted every day, all day and into the night. I was hooked. To add icing to my happy cake, traffic to my website was increasing each and every month by 75-90% over the month before. I could definitively see that it was because of Twitter and my blog.
No. Question. About. It.
Something Was Missing
This is great, right? Yes. And No. Here comes the part where I began to crash. It’s also the part where I just might lose some of you, or at least piss you off.
Yes, this was all freaking fantastic. Here I was having a blast, tweeting, connecting, and blogging. And my traffic to my website is blowing up (relative term here :)). The flip side? It was taking a LOT of time. I’m talking way more than it should to keep clients well-serviced and my family in focus.
I was having trouble with balance. I was not focusing on the most lucrative and profitable side of my business. And my goals were shifting. I was craving followers, comments, and increased Klout scores. I was forgetting that all that meant nothing if I didn’t convert it to profitability and sustainability.
To have a successful blog and be in business, I need balance. To be brutally honest, I could see that I was starting to lose a grip on that balance. Something had to give and I couldn’t sleep less than I already was. Burning the candle at both ends was not going to result in more clients; it was in fact going to result in less.
I need to maintain a focus on my clients and their needs, while striking a balance that achieves my desired goals: strong networks, client referrals, and a sustainable business.
The Vitally Important Business Blogging Plan
Lots of folks tout the mantra to just have fun with social media, “give of yourself and good stuff will come.” Lovely. But that’s not a viable, VITAL plan for me. What is?
- Know and understand WHY you’re online. Is it to grow your business? Become an Influencer? Feel like a rock star? Whatever it is, until you truly fess up to the why, it will be hard to grow and succeed because you won’t know where the heck you’re going, or even how to get there.
- Determine your GOAL for blogging. Is it to augment your marketing? Become the voice of your company? Drive traffic to your website? Become a Power Adage Blogger? Own it. Embrace it. Make sure it plays well with your business.
- Determine HOW to achieve your GOAL without sidelining your business in the process. If your goal is to be the best, biggest blog in the land, fantastic. Just make sure that by doing that you have a plan for your business. As Marcus Sheridan, aka The Sales Lion, recently wrote: if you want big, prepare for it.
- MEASURE it. Check in. Make sure what you said you were going to do is what you’re doing. If it’s not, is it for a good reason? Things do change after all and that can be great. If your approach or your model has changed and there’s no measurable, viable outcome as a result of those changes, then figure out why and how to get back on track.
- BALANCE it all out. Just because you’ve become the blogging darling everyone wants to have as their guest blogger, your Klout score is hitting new heights, and you have 4x as many followers as you did last month, doesn’t mean it’s good for your business. It is only if you make it so. Only if you can somehow turn those “feel goods” (and they DO feel good, don’t they??!!) into business and make them WORK for and SUPPORT your business, are they good.
At the end of the day, it’s all about what you do with what you’ve got.
Twitter and blogging are powerhouses for networking and referrals. They’re also tons of FUN. The two don’t have to be at odds. You can have fun, grow your networks, and generate leads that ultimately help sustain your business. Just remember to stay in balance, stay focused and know your goals.
How do you do it? What’s worked for you? Am I too focused on balance?
Image found on Flickr via jinterwas