Yesterday, I moderated a panel at NAWBO Nashville (National Association of Women Business Owners).
Our panel consisted of:
- Kate O’Neill of www.metamarketer.com an “unmarketing” firm focusing on internet strategy
- Erin Richardson of All American Pest Control and her blog “The Buzz of Nashville“
- Barry Owen, of Keller Williams and his blog on Active Rain
- Claudia Young of www.cookeatfret.com
I chose this panel to have a wide range of backgrounds and blogging experiences, and it played out just as I hoped. The group of professional women ate it up and would have willingly stayed for a much longer time to keep learning!
Kate, who is an SEO expert, explained the basics of what a blog is, how to create one and what it really does. The other panelists used their personal experiences for their parts. The best part is that having Kate’s expertise, the others were able to play off of her comments. Erin’s family has been operating her pest control company for nearly 50 years. Erin is the Business Development Director and is using the blog as a marketing tool and a way to enhance her company’s exposure in the community. Barry is a Principal Broker and trainer at Keller Williams in Green Hills and maintains 3 blogs focusing on the real estate market. He looks at the blogs as a sort of “brain dump” where he can explore his ideas, educate the market, and grow his reputation as an expert in his field. Claudia uses her blog as a form of self expression exploring her passions and frustrations with food.
Here’s the main ideas we gleaned from this talented panel, in no particular order, just how I remember it:
- Blogging must be maintained – you can’t just start it and not keep it going.
- To be effective, you must use key words embedded naturally in your text to get the search engines finding your blog.
- Keep your information to the point, yet entertaining (always a struggle).
- Have a purpose for your blog – a clearly defined goal when creating it
- who is your target audience
- is it for personal or business reasons and focus it that way
- why are you writing the blog
- have a clearly defined point of view and stick to it
- Start with a blog site like Blogger (which is what I use) or WordPress.com, but to truly integrate your blog with your website, consider a move to WordPress.org.
- Don’t go into it with an eye to making money – most blogs don’t but can be great enhancements to an overall marketing strategy, or can be strictly for personal enjoyment.
- Blogging doesn’t take that much time, overall, once you’ve determined your purpose and focus – on average, our bloggers spend about 30 minutes writing a blog post, however, the research for them can take longer.
- Encourage comments on your blog, and comment on others blogs as a way to increase your web traffic and to gain exposure via other bloggers.
I’m sure there was more but this is what I came away with. I’ve been writing my blog for a while now, and I learned that I need to define my purpose a bit more and perhaps tweak my profile to better reflect what I blog about. I don’t look at it as a way to make money but as a way to give my current and potential clients some insight as to who I am and what I’m all about. I think that is why most bloggers start out – to gain a voice in the vast expanse of the internet world and, if you are in business, to help grow that business in an organic way that, if all goes well, can make your company grow and stay current in today’s market.
Thanks to all of my presenters – you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to join NAWBO and sharing your knowledge and experiences with us!