The Vitally Important Business Blogging Plan

Balance

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.

The Journey

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.Baltic leaders but urged being patched in systems dealing with loans payday Year depending on rematch. Payday Loans Items payday loans homes.  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.

What Happened?

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.

Reality Check

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

 

Erica Allison

Erica Allison is the owner of a small, but strong PR/Marketing firm located in Western NC. In addition to being a mom, wife and entrepreneur, Erica has become a "blogger". She's still trying to figure out how it happened!

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  • http://twitter.com/TishaBerg Tisha Berg

    Hi Erica!

    I think you’re absolutely on point! It seems that we’ve gone through similar journeys. 

    I went from avoiding social media to throwing myself headfirst into it because I refused to give up on understanding how useful it could be for growing my business. But, I also got to a point where I was fighting a losing battle with blog tweaking, commenting, writing posts and chatting on Twitter. It’s time consuming no doubt and I had to be ruthless about cutting certain things out. I actually went for weeks at time without reaching out to new clients because I was so busy trying to build my site traffic – and clearly that’s not good. 

    My “funnel” was upside down and as much fun as it is to connect and hang out on social media sites, the amount of time spent there was not helping me build a sustainable business. 

    Ironically, once I started focusing back on actual client-getting activities and conversations, I saw that potential clients couldn’t care less whether I had 2 or 200 readers – all they cared about was whether I could meet their writing needs and get the job done. 

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Tisha, I feel your pain.  Thank you for relating to my post.  It all sounds like so much fun and then once we are in it, it is! However, as you so aptly pointed out, all that fun can take us down a path that’s not as sustainable as it should be.  I’m glad that your focus is back.  Mine is definitely on the right path.  I still feel like my social involvement/digital experience are part of what makes me and my business unique and a good fit for my clients.  I just have to make sure the balance is there to make it all work together!  

      Thanks for your comment!

  • http://twitter.com/MARLdblE Marlee Ward

    Hi Erica,
    I love you 5 simple and straight forward assessments for building a business blogging plan. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is jumping into blogging without any directions or with highly misplaced expectations. You’ve provided a very simple way to avoid that. Thanks!

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Marlee!
      Thank you for the support and your comment.  I agree, many folks, myself included jump in without the right expectations or directions (goals).  I hope the tips here can help.  Although sometimes, until you experience it for yourself, it’s hard to really listen to all the boring planning stuff, right? ;)

  • http://www.marianneworley.com Marianne Worley

    Great advice Erica. Lately, I’ve been taking a more regimented approach to my work hours to achieve balance. I find that I have to set aside blocks of time for writing my blog, reading and commenting on other blogs, and being on Twitter. I have to be able to work on client projects without jumping back and forth, which is so easy to do. I started using a kitchen timer (an idea I got from Adrienne Smith) and closing my email and web browsers to stay 100% focused. For example, today I decided to get up early and catch up with my Google Reader so I could finish the day productively. :-)

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Marianne,
      I like your approach! This morning, I had 2 items for clients that I had to attend to before even beginning to jump on this post and reply to folks.  I had a near miss accident yesterday (I talk about it in a video post on my blog) that was a direct result of me NOT balancing, but trying to do it all at once, going in and out like you mention.  It is easy to do, but more often than not, we’ll get something jumbled and if it’s our business, that’s really not cool.  I’m glad you have a system that works! I’m still crafting mine. :)  Have a great Friday!

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

    I think every time you mention @ginidietrich:disqus  not only do you get points but because she is so huge she gets like triple bonus points.

    I hear exactly what you are saying; I too jumped in w/ little or no expectations other than trying to see what it was all about. Once I started having some success (if you measure success through name recognition and visits to your blog) it has me thinking I better at least be more definitive in my direction.

    I’m in a little different position than most kicking around here as I don’t need to monetize, but if I can get my arms around how to bring value to my community and the people they know has to be worth something, right?

    Good to see you today at Dino’s; tell me how the cell phone policy works w/ your vehicle. I’ve tried it twice and still can’t put the dang thing down. Not good, I know………..

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      That’s my plan, Bill, mention Gini’s name and I get points all over the place.  No telling what I’ll win!

      This whole blogging business is a tough call.  It’s amazing for driving traffic to my website, but I have to make sure I convert that traffic to business!  That’s the tough part. I know it’s leading to something, I just have to make sure I’m not “whacking at moles” while I’m pursuing new business!

      Re: the cell phone policy, it’s going to take a LOT of practice and discipline to keep at it.  I caught myself about  30 minutes ago reaching for it to check email and quickly dropped it and refocused.  It’s terrible!

  • Anonymous

    Erica, I can tell this post is one from the heart. 

    And at the same time it is very realistic. Blogging should not be a goal in and of itself; you should have an aim. When you blog for the fun of it, pretty soon the fun’s all gone. What do you do when that happens? You don’t have a roadmap. You don’t have a finish line or a purpose. It’s no surprise so many blogs are abandoned by their owners after 3 months.

    You are not too focused on balance. It is essential to have that in your life. Unless your blogging is a source of income, you shouldn’t let it cut into business hours. As for me, paying the bills comes first. No question about it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      John, I think you’re absolutely right. When I started this blog the aim was to give my clients a space where they can learn more about social media, but -unintentionally- it became a level for Triberr.

      So, looking at a blog as an end in itself is short sighted.

      • Anonymous

        To which I would add:
        Your clients not only get to learn about social media, but also about you. And they can learn at their leisure by reading through your archive. That’s one of the benefits of blogging over the long term. 

        The longer a blog’s been online, the more respect it commands. A blogger with a schedule is in effect demonstrating organizational skills and commitment over the long haul. That said, I must cut this comment short and work on my own blog posts :D

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi John, 
      Thank you for your very thoughtful comments.  Yes, it was indeed from the heart and it’s something that I’m working on! I’m with you, paying the bills comes first! No doubt about it.

  • http://chickasawallison.tumblr.com/ allison Aldridge-Saur

    Thank you for this solid grounding! It is easy to get caught up in the social zing! It is so important to keep checking our resource spend (our time, in particular!) against our objectives.

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hard to do, isn’t it? Checking our resources/time against our objectives, esp when it’s so fun! Nice to meet you Allison and thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.getting-unstuck.com/ RILEY hARRISON

    Hi Erica
    I think all bloggers start out enthusiastically and full of success fantasies then experience a reality check and have to reassess their priorities in life and decide where blogging fits in. I want blogging to be just a component in my life and not dominate it in an addictive way. I set limits as to how much time I will spend a week on blogging and also know that my personal satisfaction comes from the quality of what I write and all other metrics are secondary. My financial welfare isn’t tied to blogging so this might be an easier decision for me than for others.Riley

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      I agree, Riley, when your financial welfare isn’t tied to blogging it can be easier to make that split from it; however, it can also take you away from your financial resources (i.e. job), if you go too far down the rabbit hole.  In my case, it’s directly tied into my business, but more as a portfolio and ‘get to know me’ kind of way. I use it to attract clients, and I’m sure they use it as a way to screen me and my abilities.  Tough balance, but one that I definitely am working on.  I like your limits that you’ve set! 

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    I know a bunch of bloggers who lost themselves in this world and I use world intentionally. It may not be the same as the ‘physical’ world we live in but it is a world nevertheless.

    Some of them got so caught up in chasing stats and making friends that they lost sight of what was important outside of here.

    Your advice is spot on and of critical importance.

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Thanks, Jack! I can see how easy it is to do. While this is great fun and can lead to new endeavors, it is should not overshadow the physical world we live in, or the people who inhabit it.

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

        And thus began the conversation that led to the post called the dark side of blogging. Cue scary music. ;)

        • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

          And here we go… :)

  • Anonymous

    We need an example.  It’s not that what you wrote doesn’t make sense.  Where is the case study that shows how it actually works.  Show me the money! 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Im sure Erica would love to provide you with examples, case studies and hands-on guidance. In fact, her fees are quite reasonable and you can contact her on Twitter for more @ericamallison:twitter 

      • Anonymous

        I guess what I’m trying to say about this post is that I can probably find it in other places and from other people.  What is the magical element that makes it different from all of the others.  Adding a case study doesn’t lose any business.  Perhaps as a future follow up post to this one. I write for a blog as a freelance.  I think there is some wisdom here.  I’m just being honest and I would hope for nothing less with my own writing.

        • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

          Thanks, Justin.  To be honest back, *this* is my case study. This is based on my experience.  The initial jump, the thrills, the fails, and now the focused plan to get it back on track.  Each of those 5 points at the end are mine, unique to me and what I use on a regular basis to make sure my blog works for me and my business, not the other way around.  I defined my goals, the why for blogging, the how, the measurements, and the scope. I balance it in a way that works for me (i.e., not posting daily, but usually 2-3/week). 

          I also use it with my clients who are venturing into blogging.  As Dino said, I can explore it more with you, but it’s pretty much the formula or approach I use with each client in order to get started and then based on their answers to the questions, tailor it from there.Hope that answers your question.  I do appreciate it and the push for more info.  The questions make it a better post for each one of us.

          • Anonymous

            I think you have given a fair and honest answer Erica.  I appreciate you standing your ground.

          • http://twitter.com/TheSalesLion Marcus Sheridan

            I was reading the strand here, which is a great discussion btw, and after reading Justin’s comments I honestly was totally confused, because I found this article to be as real of a case study as anything I’ve read (or written myself) on the subject.

            What I like about you Erica is that you haven’t been afraid with this article to address a subject that is almost taboo in some realms— “Oh my, is she saying that all this time on twitter and fb and LinkedIn and Blogging isn’t worth it?….Blasphemy!!!”

            But actually Erica, you’ve had a tremendous discussion here about this ‘battle of balance’  that we’re all dealing with on a day to day basis.

            As you know, I’ve got an active blog as well. Lot of comments and followers and stuff. But these people are my indirect customers. In other words, most won’t pay me for my services. But they are the ones that are ‘spreading the good news’ for me, linking to my stuff, adding the Google juice, etc.

            Then there is the silent crowd. The ones that don’t leave all the comments and tweets and all that jazz–but these are the people that are direct customers. They pay me money, pure and simple.

            So for me, the hardest question is who do I write and direct my thoughts to more often with all the blogging, tweeting, etc? I think the balance we’re all talking about comes down to this–direct vs indirect.

            But one must also answer the questions you asked above –all of which have huge merit.

            As for me, I simply am asking for fame, fortune, raving fans, fantastic relationships, fun, fellowshipping, freaking awesome best sellers, and any other positive ‘f’ you can name….Not too much to ask for, right? ;)

            Awesome job Erica!!!!

            Marcus

          • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

            Marcus,
            I apologize for not replying sooner! I was to be quite honest, blown away by the support. I laughed at your “Blasphemy” comment.  But, you’re right, it’s almost a taboo subject to say it might not all be worth it or that it’s not roping in the money hand over fist.  The thing is…it’s one of many tools in our box that we should be using for business.  To put all of our eggs into this basket is a risk that I don’t want to take.  

            I agree with you on the direct v indirect customers.  I have the same scenario at my place:  directs are my silent observers who are paying a LOT of attention to what I’m doing and the indirects are giving me awesome support and like you said, helping me get my message out there.  Those indirect groups are not to be overlooked, but they are also not to be catered exclusively to.  That’s why I write my posts from a small biz perspective or use social media examples to relate it to small business owners – because they are my clients and I want to make it very relatable to them.

            I have no doubt you’ll accomplish all of your “F” goals there, Marcus!  You can count me among your fans for sure!

            Best,
            Erica

          • Anonymous

            Hey Marcus,

            I guess in my reckoning there is a difference between saying “know why you are online,” “here is why I’m online” and “here is why my client the Rand Corporation started a blog about the middle east.”  Now if I’m one of the authors perspective clients witch one of those statements do you think will make me pick up the phone and ask for the services?

            I can appreciate this post the way it’s written and accept the authors response.  I just think a good post about how she might apply this stuff for a client would help differentiate her from the folks with “social media marketer” in their bios that follow in droves on twitter. I’m not specifically even picking on this post.  A future post that goes beyond the theory and how she has done this for a client would be great follow up.

            OK, I’m trolling a bit here.  Playing the devils advocate.  But hey the headline says “Vitally Important Business Blogging Plan.”  I was hoping to find some secret sauce here :) 

          • Anonymous

            Hey Marcus,

            I guess in my reckoning there is a difference between saying “know why you are online,” “here is why I’m online” and “here is why my client the Rand Corporation started a blog about the middle east.”  Now if I’m one of the authors perspective clients witch one of those statements do you think will make me pick up the phone and ask for the services?

            I can appreciate this post the way it’s written and accept the authors response.  I just think a good post about how she might apply this stuff for a client would help differentiate her from the folks with “social media marketer” in their bios that follow in droves on twitter. I’m not specifically even picking on this post.  A future post that goes beyond the theory and how she has done this for a client would be great follow up.

            OK, I’m trolling a bit here.  Playing the devils advocate.  But hey the headline says “Vitally Important Business Blogging Plan.”  I was hoping to find some secret sauce here :) 

          • Anonymous

            fixed

          • Anonymous

            fixed

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          It sounds to me like you just called yourself out. So bring it, freelance boy. Let’s see if you have what it takes to become the freelance man :-)

          Write a follow up, email me at dino.dogan at gmail

          Im waiting…

          • Anonymous

            Thanks Dino, but no thanks.  I’ll keep my input here.

  • http://twitter.com/jaennutter Julie Nutter

    Ohhh. I was so confused while reading this. The content makes perfect sense, but I couldn’t help – in my head – to say to myself, “Is it just me, or does Dino sound rather….girly?” (The word “lovely” REALLY threw me off.) Of course, I got to the bottom and realized that the author was not Dino, is a girl, and all is well with the world again.

    Love the post content, the message, and the overall feel.

    The writing style is awesome, too. I like the down-to-earth, real feel of it. =D (Ever read anything more annoying than a moderately smart person with moderately good grammar trying to sound like a really educated person with impeccable grammar? I haven’t.)

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      LOL Julie! That’s pretty funny! I guess I never even wondered if I had a feminine voice in my writing; now I know I do. Girly, in fact! :)

      I’m so glad you loved the post and the overall feel.  I write pretty much like I talk; to change that is difficult for me.  So, what you read, is what you get.  Thanks for the appreciation and the comment!

  • http://Social-Tango.com Billy Delaney

    This is a good post for me!
    I just wrote a small post about the same thing.
    Regulating the time so that I can develop more
    as a business.
    I started blogging to get experience, exposure, and exercise.
    I feel like I am swimming in puddles so that I can learn to swim in the sea.
    My take away from this post was that Erica got the lesson, isn’t that the most vital thing?
    Billy

    P.S.I know I will have to regulate in order to grow my business around the effects of blogging, and that’s fine.

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Billy! Glad this post is good for you! :)
      I’d like to think I got the lesson and yes, for me, that is vital.  I think we’re learning each day and with this being uncharted territory for us all, we have to be flexible and nimble enough to adjust our plans as the opportunities arise.  However, starting with a solid foundation and goals are key for me in being able to ‘adjust’ as necessary.  Without the initial plan, I’d be adjusting all the time and truly bouncing around without parameters.  That doesn’t feel very good to me after a while and it certainly doesn’t get me closer to my goals.

      I like that “swimming in puddles so that I can learn to swim in the sea”…so when do you let yourself got out to sea? :)
      Best of luck, Billy!

  • http://www.FirepoleMarketing.com Danny Iny

    Erica, thanks for this post (and Dino, thanks for hosting it!).

    I really connected with your experience, because I experienced something very similar myself; I got into blogging but didn’t really “get it” until connecting with some of the better examples within our community, and I still struggle with balance.

    You’ve given me some food for thought that I’m going to chew on over the weekend. I might even switch off the computer for a few hours! :)

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Danny, you’re very welcome! Sorry for the delayed response; I took a cue from you and did in fact ‘check out’ for a while in an effort to recharge and spend time with my family.  It’s Father’s Day today and my husband is blissfully enjoying a nap, while I take an opportunity to check in with the awesome comments here.  I’m so honored that folks like you stopped by and took a moment to connect and comment.  That rocks! If I can offer some food for thought, then all the better!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Danny and thanks again!

  • http://www.FirepoleMarketing.com Danny Iny

    Erica, thanks for this post (and Dino, thanks for hosting it!).

    I really connected with your experience, because I experienced something very similar myself; I got into blogging but didn’t really “get it” until connecting with some of the better examples within our community, and I still struggle with balance.

    You’ve given me some food for thought that I’m going to chew on over the weekend. I might even switch off the computer for a few hours! :)

  • Anonymous

    Dear Erica. 
    I too was guilty of build it and they will come (blog it in this case) I thought it was just enough to put it out there.

    Then I also discovered Gini  via  @JohnFalchetto:disqus and the rest of the amazing community and started to get it.

    Thanks for holding me accountable and making think about the blogging plan.

    Cheers,
    Rajka

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Great to see you here Rajka!
      It’s hard not to just jump in and ride the wave isn’t it? Maybe I’m too much of a control freak, er person, to not want to make sure all this fun is going somewhere, but I think some sort of guidelines and goals can only help.  
      Thanks again for your comment!
      Erica

  • http://twitter.com/lifeforinstance Life, for instance

    Hey Erica,
    I don’t think you can be too focused on balance, unless of course, you forget the fun part. I think finding and maintaining balance must change over time as your business grows. I’m taking it one step at a time. I think the important thing is to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’ve got that fact straight, the rest will eventually fall into place, again and again and again!
    You’ve done a fabulous job in a short time Girl – you’re to be congratulated!
    Lori
    By the way, that is the cutest bird in the photo!

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Lori!
      You’re right, our balance changes as we evolve and the goals and objectives should as well.  Having that initial goal, or the “why” of what we’re doing, to begin with makes it that much easier to adjust as we move along, don’t you think?  Thank you for the kind words, Lori.  I’m definitely a work in progress! :)
      (I liked that bird, too!)

  • Anonymous

    Erica,
    You always seem to put things in a way that I can instantly understand, thanks. I am right in the middle of the Reality Check, and I just feel left there. There is nothing I am MORE passionate about than our world here at Pioneer Outfitters and what we do, but boy oh boy I am deep into that scary music @TheJackB:disqus mentioned. I do have a solid goal, I am just not sure how to get there.

    I was still working on tweeking this and that on the site and the blog I’m hoping will hit a home run tomorrow at 3am, when I shut it down. Woke up this morning to @twitter-92096544:disqus ‘s The Age of Digital Branding and the Power of Perception and I’m just not sure which step/ direction to take and go with… it’s a whole lot trickier than when you trust your horse and just know you’ll be where you need to be and when you need to be there. (maybe I do just need to message you! LOL)

    Ok, thanks for a good post, good info and a great tune up. ~Amber-Lee

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Amber!
      I think you’re doing an awesome job! You certainly have a LOT going on and I’m looking forward to talking with you more about it.  I have a feeling you have the right foundation in place, the tools and certainly the passion, we just have to make sure all that good stuff online is working for all the good stuff offline.  Can’t wait to chat!
      Best,
      Erica

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Erica, 

    I’m actually doing a lot of different things online without any plan at all. I’m just having lots of fun doing it. And I have created some strong relationships, and I get a fair amount of traffic from it as well. But, just as you’re saying, it’s not that great for business. I don’t earn a lot of money at all, and it takes a lot of time.

    I remember when I talked to Tristan from Blogging Bookshelf about how hard he is working, and he was working 12 – 13 hours a day online, commenting, building relationships and building backlinks. I could never do that. I can probably work no more than 3-4 hours a day online. That’s because I have a regular day job, I have a family and I’m writing a novel. 

    So, your point about understanding why I am online, is definitively something I should look into. If I’m ever going to make money online, I should start measuring what I do.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your business blogging plan.

    Jens

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Jens – it sounds like you’re right smack dab in the middle of having a blast and figuring out what you’re doing online.  That’s a tough spot to be in!  I can definitely relate.  In addition to having my own biz and getting into a regular schedule with blogging, I’m also a mom to 2 kids.  That can make for a really long day – as I’m sure you know.  I wish you lots of luck with measurements and monetizing your time online – if that’s what you want to do.  Now, I’m off to check out your blog!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it.
      Best,
      Erica

  • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

    Bravo!!! BRAVO!!!! This is me giving you a standing ovation, Erica. Well done. You knocked this one out of the park. I think this is a major gut check for a lot of folks. You’re right – it’s fun to get all sorts of attention, but it means absolutely NOTHING if you can’t channel that attention toward helping your business reach its goals. It’s a delicate balance for sure. I think a lot of folks (myself included) continually struggle with this. We all want to grow our networks, but as we do so, it gets harder to have meaningful conversations while also doing all of our normal work to keep our clients happy. It takes a lot of plate spinning. 

    I think the word focus is key here. Staying focused on your goals will help you get rid of the superflous stuff. It also helps to put parameters around the time you give yourself to spend on social media. When you are more intentional with how you spend your time on social media, it will be less likely to consume you.

    I hope a lot of folks learn from this post, Erica. Again, well done!

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Wow, Laura.  Thank you so much! Really. This means a lot. I actually wrote this post about 3-4 weeks or more ago and can say that while I’m still struggling with the spinning plates, it’s quickly becoming easier to know which ones can be put down and which ones must stay up.  I’m beginning to work on the time spent on social media and online engagement, but I really like the way you framed it:  be intentional with how I spend my time and it’s less likely to consume me.  So true!

      Thanks again Laura for stopping by and for your awesome comment! YOU rock! :)

  • http://www.crackingconfidence.co.uk The Cracking Confidence Coach

    To be honest, I think you are on the money here. There’s a seductive side to social networking – it’s as seductive as going out partying 24-7. If you are not careful to maintain this balance in your life, then your actual life (the real one that re-emerges as you leave the virtual world of the internet) can suck big time. I’m all for building your reputation, brand and being as visible as you can, but having a sense of perspective is the key to a rewarding and fulfilling life – both work and play.

    I was having a conversation yesterday with someone about the need to have a really defined plan when you switch on the computer and go into the internet – it almost has to be robotic! Sure, you have to be yourself while you’re in there… but you have to be able to get back out. If you don’t have a plan for that time period you are online, then you’re going to get distracted and absorbed in a world that will simply take away the time you would otherwise be spending with family, or doing something that really makes you tick.

    The trick is getting in, getting the job done, then getting back out again… most people get in, then wander around aimlessly and fail to get back out again! We also jokingly discussed whether there were support groups for internet addicts… if there aren’t yet, then there soon will be!

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hi Dan,
      I love it – the concept of an exit strategy for our online time! I am quickly responding here but hopping off line for an extended period today to finish up client projects.  You’re right, it’s like a veritable rabbit hole…one blog post leads to another, leads to a twitter exchange, a youtube video, another blog post and then you look up and an hour has gone by of non-billable hours!!! For me, that doesn’t work.  However, to abandon it all together doesn’t either.  So, I’m working on focused use, utilizing great tools like Triberr, scheduling additional posts that I want to share via Twitter, and remembering what really counts!  

      I’m amazed at the similarities we’re all experiencing right now! You’re right, emerging addiction businesses may pop up!  Sad, but true.

      Have an awesome day, Dan! Thanks for your comments!

  • http://www.mylifestylemax.com Stacey

    You nailed it here Erica. After a brief Haitus and having to deal with a massive life change, I realised just how much time I was spending on blogging and SM, and to be frank very little of it was really that productive. I can’t say I have the balance totally in the bag yet, but I definitely am prepared to take a back seat, until I can approach it from the most productive angle possible.

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Awesome, Stacey! Not that you weren’t seeing productive results, but that you have a clearer picture now of what works for you and what doesn’t.  I have to say that I love your blog and your approach to SM in general, so while I hope you maintain balance, I also hope you don’t go AWOL for too long. :)

      Sounds like there are many of us in this boat, doesn’t it?

  • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

    Hi, Erica.

    You are very much right. Focus, balance and goals are three of the most important components in running a business blog. I learned that from going around visiting people’s blogs and gleaning information from them and now, you have reinforced what I have been learning so far. I am having a wonderful journey knowing cool bloggers from all parts of the world, but that does not stop me from doing all the other tasks that my boss wishes me to do for our 3D rendering company. We need to be clear on where we want to go in our blogging, so we could continually work for it while having fun tweeting, blog commenting and meeting new friends on Facebook. :)

    Glad to have read your post here at Dino’s. You are one of the people I’ve been wanting to connect with for a while now, but just wasn’t able to get the chance to do. I’m correcting that mistake now. Heading on over to your site and to search for you on Facebook.

    Cheers!
    Kim

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      Hey Kim,
      Thanks for reaching out on FB – I saw that earlier today! I’ve seen you around; it’s great to be officially connected.  I’m glad you have your business front and center and focusing on what counts.  It’s also so amazing to meet so many wonderful people out in the world via blogs, Twitter and FB, isn’t it? I’ve been blown away by the truly awesome relationships that I’ve developed lately and know that they will grow with me wherever I go!

      Thanks for stopping by and for connecting!
      Erica

      • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

        Anytime, Erica. It’s my pleasure. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/littleunred Amy Harrison

    The deceptive part of blogging and social media is it can make us feel so good, popular and successful, so we don’t notice client enquireis dropping, or the bank balance not moving. I don’t have a perfect balance, but i’m not as seduced by blog comments and retweets as I used to be. thanks for this!

    • Erica Allison

      Totally agree, Amy! Sorry for the delayed response – I’ve been on a SM break! :) Vacation with the kids will do that to you.  

  • http://www.tracyshaffer.com tracetime

    Great post, Erica, because focus and balance… well that’s just yoga isn’t it? and as a single mom w/ multiple careers (writer/realtor) there is nothing spiritual or financial without the two. what i love in this piece is you’ve left the guilt out and kept the inspiration in, expressing the challenges clearly and in a way that is truly absorbed. Thanks mama.

    • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

      My pleasure! Glad to hear you liked it and that you could relate! Sounds like you’re a busy mama, too! :)