November 22, 2014

How to Treat Your Blog as a Business

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Recently I suggested “treating your blog as a business” if you want it to grow. Ivana Taylor came right back at me and said “you’re going to need to explain what that means.”

So I decided to seek out the wisdom of crowds on this one: I asked the Twitter community the same question.

Twitter.com is a good place to get answers quickly. People writing back to you on Twitter are limited to 140 characters. That’s about one sentence, or two short sentences. So they have to be succinct.

Here are 12 out of the two dozen answers I got — all within a matter of a few hours. Each person’s “tweet” is listed below, along with their Twitter address:

Alex Bellinger of SmallBizPod (@alexbellinger):

  • Understand what your readers want. Deliver, deliver, deliver. Recruit bloggers with distinct voices to write for you.

Jill Warner of SpilltoJill.com (@spilltojill):

  • Make sure everything that is posted (and associated with your name and link) is completely professional.

Valdis Krebs of The Network Thinker (@valdiskrebs):

  • 3 things – 1) post content others will link to, 2) use phrases you want associated with you, 3) notify others of new content.

Ivana Taylor of Strategy Stew (@strategystew):

  • Treating you blog as a biz? Set goals around it (is it promo or customer acquisition).

Eve Lopez of Work.com (@evelopez):

  • Give great customer service (replies, feedback) to anyone who comments.

Alice Marshall of PrestoVivace (@PrestoVivace):

  • Tweet only your most interesting posts or original reporting.

Esther Kane of Eckweb Designs (@eckweb):

  • Create a tip of the day/FAQ section and update it often – invite questions from viewers.

David Damore of Business Observations (@Admore):

  • Focused content. Interactivity within the community. Give value first. People will return to the “well of knowledge.”

Joe Ciarallo of PRNewser (@joeciarallo):

  • Dedicate 1-2 hrs each morning/day to read, learn and post!

Dawn Rivers Baker of MicroEnterprise Journal (@DawnRiversBaker):

  • Technique for blog-as-business: #1 “you get what you measure” so pay attention to your stats, #2 multiple revenue streams

Jonathan Bacon of The “Betty” Factor (@HolyCanuck):

  • Work at it daily like you would a start up… meaning work hard! Also, make it presentable and user friendly.

Jim Rubart and Laura Christianson of He Blogs She Blogs (@HeBlogsSheBlogs):

  • Re: treating your blog as a business: Make sure every post relates topically so readers learn to view you as an expert

Thanks to all who contributed. Add your own tips below in the comments. Or you can tweet them to me: @smallbiztrends.

18 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

18 Reactions

  1. One of the thing that I learned while blogging is that regardless of anything else, you have to make your mark. And making your mark is no easy feat if you ask me. Also, you have to network properly and give out “business cards” to let people know that you exist. :)

  2. I would say, treat your blog readers as customers and not ‘prospects.’ Each person who visits your blog should find it useful, find other resources on the blog, find people he/she would like to connect with etc. From a business perspective, you should be able to ‘draw up an income statement’ i.e. understand how much you spent, how much you made (derived business benefit) off it and have an ongoing commitment to blogging.

  3. Well, how do you treat your business as a business? You network. You share information about yourself and your industry. You write articles and post them online. You invite feedback.

    All of that fits into a blog. Focus on your strategy: WHAT do you want the reader to do AFTER he or she is done reading your post?

    Always connect with others in your business. Don’t fear the competition – embrace it. They will serve you well.

    Be available.

    This is what has worked for me, and it’s what I recommend to clients. It takes time and sometimes you have to rethink your strategy or focus. But, blogs are great for reinvention.

  4. Set short term and long term goals … traffic, comments, subscribers, etc. Measure weekly and monthly.

  5. There are a lot of great suggestions and answers here and it’s nice to have input from so many different people for a broader view. I would have to say that the most important thing is to keep it “alive” by providing new content several times a week, if not daily. The next area of focus is then marketing. Keep the blog alive and market it and yourself accordingly and watch it grow.

  6. I am new to blogging, so this is really helpful for me. There are a lot of good tips here. I agree with Chris; the more a blogger updates the content, the more I visit.

  7. I love how you have used Twitter Anita! = )

    Best advice: Plan your blogging strategy before you start writing away!

  8. Thanks for the shout out!
    Nice Article!

  9. The problem with treating your blog as a business ;
    Well know bloggers generate pretty decent traffic ; by teaching others how to blog.
    So far, you can count around 200 well known blogs making over 2000 $USD per months.
    How many bloggers out there ? Millions ……….
    Most bloggers make a little over $50 per months ….
    Big media is involved as well.
    Conclusion ? Keep your blog as a hobby, a way to spread your passion, and keep your day job.

  10. This post is a reminder that I have to write a new twitter message soon again… ;)

  11. Moise Levi,

    I think you are right about the size of bloggers who could have it as a full time job and earn substantial money on it. I treat my own blogging as a hobby and I have done it for more than six years now. I will keep on blogging as long as I think it is fun and it is rewarding in different ways. I am open to integrate my blogging more and more in my different business activities and my blog posts will reflect that. I earn a little bit on ads on my blog and I get some hat tips now and then and people who buy stuff from my wish list at Amazon and purchase EGO merchandise.

    The thing with blogging is that you could write about your passions and values in life and at the same time you could spread and discuss ideas, meet new individuals and build a network of contacts that could lead to business relations in the long run.

    I am interested in learning more about Alpha Global Investors and your investment charts. I have been paper trading for some time and I have an interest in commodities due to my former job as a purchaser of raw materials (minerals and metals) for the production of welding products. At the moment I will study precious metals like silver, platinum and real money, i.e. gold. Have you read The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from it by James Turk & John Rubino? Have you read the Trader Vic books by Victor Sperandeo?

  12. I live in Bangladesh. For me, blogging is a great profession. I want to become a full time blogger and the only way to become one is working hard all the time.

  13. Anita
    Great post and an important topic. Blogging and social media are very new to businesses as tools and understanding how to use them. They are highly effective when leveraged and applied properly. We have had great success in using blogging and all other social channels such as Twitter and Facebook we posted about our experience http://www.relevantlyspeaking.com/2008/07/16/what-is-your-corporate-blog-strategy/ hope everyone finds the insights there helpful…

    my Twitter http://twitter.com/mediatrustpete
    corp Twtter http://twitter.com/RelevantlySpeak and http://twitter.com/advaliant

    best… Peter b

  14. TIP be patient, persistent and consistent when building out your corp social media voice and community. All good things come in time.

  15. Hi Martin

    You mentioned by “best book” ; Trader Vic books by Victor Sperandeo !

    Really, after 20 years in this industry (Swiss Private Banking, trading, fund managing), I find that Trader Vic is probably the best book to read.

    Feel free to email me regarding any charts ; I love to share, and grow

    Moise

  16. I started my blog as a joke. I just wanted to learn how to write article ’cause the job I applied at an online home jobs co. required the skill. Now after a month of frantic blogging guess what I have now 2 minion subscribed readers. What do you think guys should I really “treat” this as a business?

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