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Why Bother With a Blog?

May 26, 2010

I recently had a client innocently inquire about those pesky ‘tags’ often posted near the blog byline. “What are these for?” the client asked. “Are we giving away vital information to the competition?” they inquired. And so on. These are pretty good questions. Business owners have little time to mull over the tiny details of technology and what may be happening day-to-day or hour-by-hour on their websites. Their expertise is in selling their products and services – not necessarily the nuances of the Greater Blogdom. So let’s take a look at why we even bother with the laborious task of running a blog and trying to keep it au courant.

First and foremost, a business blog is intended to be another ‘one percent’ of your marketing arsenal of tools! (Meaning, ideally we need 100 different tools or more to be really successful.) Everything that goes into the blog is intended to help us get the word out to the public that we exist, have useful products, and may even have the best damn products you can find for whatever Jane Consumer’s needs are (if it’s targeted to consumers).

Second, Competitors be damned! We’re all out on the internet trying to spread the word. There are a LOT of voices clamoring for attention in the ether. The more word(s) we get out about our products, the more you will sell them. We can’t hide from the competitors. Are we giving away State Secrets? No. Do you have State Secrets? Maybe. Possibly. Do you know what the State Secrets are? They’re things you put in patent applications, top secret documents. (And even if you get a patent or trademark, that often makes no difference because competitors rip you off anyway if they can figure out a legal way to do so.)

If the competition is ripping you off, stealing vital secrets from your blog tags, what will actually make a difference to stop them? Getting out the word faster than the competition. Getting the product out to the marketplace FIRST. It’s all a race. That’s why fashion designers have to move at top speed. ‘Cuz the day after their Paris shows, their dresses are in Ross and Marshall’s for $129.95! Ripped off overnight….

The difference is your brand. The difference is your reputation for quality, service, excellence. The difference is what we try to convey through the blog without sounding like we’re just writing more sales copy. We use the venue to convey our uniqueness. The difference is arriving at the point where someone says, “Well…it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright window, not off the rack at Home Depot.” One of the easiest sales I ever made ($2K commission on a $20K job) was to a couple of doctors. While I sat drawing closets at their dining room table I asked them why they wanted to buy from me. “We just wanted California Closets. We know they’re the best.” That’s the goal. That’s the prize. Jane Consumer saying, “I want the stuff from California Closets. The rest is crap.”

Build the brand. Make it unique and special. Make it unique enough and well-heard enough that Jane Consumer knows who you are and what you stand for. Tags are used for SEO – to get more people to visit your website. So if someone is looking at Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass windows, they find you! Tags? It’s a good thing!

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