If you are the owner of a small business or you are an artist of any persuasion and you want to make at least part of your living from these activities, you should have a blog.
A blog is a way of getting on-line simply and economically. It looks professional and as long as you engage with the process fully, it gives your audience a very real feeling of being close to you and/or your work.
With a blog you can stay small if you want, which is the complete opposite to what you’ll be told if you go along to a business computing night class.
Staying small is good in the eyes of your audience, they want you to stay small, approachable and in touch with their world.
So even if your aspirations are to become a completely insane despot who eventually takes over the universe, you are much more likely to take people along with you if you stay small in their eyes.
Most of the people I talk to about website development either don’t blog, or have tried it and then dropped it. That’s why there are so many blogs out there that haven’t been updated for years.
Every now and then I come across a really great blog post only to find that the blogger gave up 2 years ago and that their blog just sits languishing on wordpress.com or blogger.com with a diminishing readership.
The reason for this isn’t that these bloggers have run out of ideas or something to say, its usually that they didn’t really know why they were doing it in the first place.
There can only be one reason for blogging and that is to genuinely offer help to people who need to hear what you have to say.
That’s why, on this blog I often write about ways you can do stuff on the web for free. Many people who are just starting out in a business or art project don’t have stacks of cash to spend on a web presence, so if I can shorten their learning curve in getting their blog or website up for free then I will.
Of course by helping people this way you hope that someday they will ask you to help on a paid basis, but that should never be a condition of offering the help in the first place.
By helping people in any way you can, even by showing them exactly how to do what you do, you can grow your following organically and know that the people who follow you are genuinely interested in what you do.
Look at the number of Etsy sellers who have youtube channels dedicated to showing their customers exactly how to make the stuff they already sell!
If you have genuine followers you can gradually grow a “permission” list; a list of email subscribers who will avidly read the stuff you send out to them and welcome its arrival.
Seth Godin has some really useful advice on this way of doing business here.
Photo thanks to: maistora via Compfight