Blog Or Die?

Blog Or Die?

….

BizWeekBlogs at www.21to21.com

Don’t have a Blog? Why Your Competition Hopes You Never Get One

Updated March 12, 11:22 PM EST By Andrew Anderson

My advice for you is to get one today. Seriously, if you are spending money on any other media or advertising and you don’t have a Blog, STOP and get a Blog before you spend another dime.

It does not matter if you are a brick and mortar company or sell most of your products and services online, you NEED to have a Blog. I am surprised at the number of supposedly smart companies that have websites without a Blog.

Because of some recent conversations with clients I want to start from scratch here.  I actually have been working on this post for over two weeks now and it’s has even become more relevant since I started it. Here is a short video that encapsulates what this post is about.  I am running on about 3 hours sleep today.  You can probably tell from the video that I just shot.  Click and watch it before you go on if you can.

What is a Blog?

A Blog is basically a list of short stories that are called posts. They can contain text, graphics, audio, video, or a combination of them all. Typically it is updated fairly frequently.  It can be several times a day, to several times a month.

Subject matter varies depending on the owner and writers of the Blog. They can be about your personal life, a specific subject matter, or even a hobby.  The sky is the limit for what can be Blogged or written about.  In the case of a company, it would be information relevant to their clients or potential clients.  For instance, this Blog at 21to21.com is primarily about using and leveraging the Internet including Blogs and Websites for individuals and businesses so that their businesses become massively profitable.  I am interested in helping you make more money.  Which is what Profit Consultants do.

Why are Blogs important?

Blogs are important because they give give you, the owner of the Blog, the ability to communicate freely with your clients and potential clients.   The great thing about a Blog is people get to vote with a click of their mouse.  Meece Rule!  OK, so I made Meece up, but you know what I mean.  More on the importance after this next bit.

Both Online and Brick and Mortar companies need a Blog!

RSS Feeds and getting the word out

People are able to gather information in a non-threatening way.  It also provides you, as the owner of the Blog, to put out information immediately with virtually ZERO lag time.  Not only will people be able to find what you posted as soon as it comes out, but, through RSS feeds, it will pass that information along to subscribers immediately.

This is from Wikipedia…

RSS (most commonly expanded as “Really Simple Syndication”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator“, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed’s URL or by clicking an RSS icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process. The RSS reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds.

RSS formats are specified using XML, a generic specification for the creation of data formats. Although RSS formats have evolved from as early as March 1999,[4] it was between 2005 and 2006 when RSS gained widespread use, and the (“Feed-icon.svg“) icon was decided upon by several major Web browsers.[5]

On my Blog here for instance, I have over 12,000 RSS feeds going out on everything that I post.  Good, bad, or indifferent.  So, as you can see, RSS feeds are an important part of your Blog.

This can also help with your SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Social Media

Another reason you should Blog is Social Media.  Your blog can post to other Social Media sites including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Digg, and a whole host of others.

And I swear this is a true story I heard today, a member of a fairly well known non-profit organization that helps businesses become better, stated Social Media was becoming less important, or at least that is what they had read.   Well, all I have to say to that is I remember people saying the same thing about the Internet back in 1997.

Social Media is exploding and will continue to do so.  Embrace it, understand it, make use of it, and enjoy it!  It can be a great way to interact with your clients, potential clients, and your friends.

RSS and Social Media give you the ability to leverage and go viral like never before.  Even though I am busier now than I ever have been, readership for my blog has doubled in the past two months and it seems that trend could continue for the next year.  And, my Social Media Blueprint is less than 10% complete.  So, there is a lot of room to improve.

Between my RSS feeds and Social Media such as Twitter, I can potentially reach over 22,000 people in a flash anytime I like for about 1 cent.  Can you do that with any other communications tool you have?

That is why you need a Blog.  Twitter and Facebook are fine but you are only leasing those.   Make your Blog your focal point.

The Ability To Give Great Content To Your Clients And Prospects

You can do things to make your story about your product or service interesting like this!

Include Interactive Items

A Blog gives you the ability to get great content to your clients and prospects.  Like on this site, I give away a ton of great information to people that read it. In fact, some of my SEO  (Search Engine Optimization) information is worth thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to the people that make use of it.   And I give it away!  It freaks out a lot of the other more staid SEO companies that charge $5,000 to $10,000 a month for fewer results than what I provide for my readers in 30 minutes for free.

Why?  Because when I do have something to sell, they already have proof I know what I am talking about.   And guess what?  Good content is good SEO, period.

With a good Blog, you can engage your readers.  You can do cool stuff like what I am about to show you.

Click on the image below and watch what happens.

This is a Light Box

It is called a light box.  You may have seen them before.  Why do I like them?  Because I can put a lot of content in a small space, have you look or listen to something engaging, and yet keep you on my Blog and block out other distractions and have you concentrate on that one thing.  There is more, just wait.

You can also put in Google Maps like this

Make it easy for someone to find you!

Yes, this is a fun little Mind Map from Bubbl.us which I did a post on a bit back.

A Mind Map For A Profitable Blog And Website

This is what I consider necessary components if you want to have a really successful Blog / Website.

Go ahead and play with it using your mouse and scroll button. You can drag it around, recenter it, make it larger or smaller.

It is much easier to explain an idea like this don’t you think?

If you click on the picture below, you can see it larger and then click on the little icon in the top right corner to see it full size.

Build A Blog – Why WordPress Is The Only Game In Town Right Now

There are several programs or platforms you can use to build a Blog these days, but by far and away the best to use, if you want to make money from it, is WordPress.  With about 400 million installations, it dwarfs the other programs out there. Plus, the fact it is Open Source, meaning the code is open to anyone, means there are constant improvements going on with it by people all over the World.  But the best part is because it is Open Source, programmers can make what are called Plugins and Widgets to make it do some very, very cool stuff.

Now they can give these away for free or charge for them, while a lot of them do both. They put out a really cool free one and then have others you can purchase.

The Plugins and Widgets make it the most flexible Blog and Website building software out there.   The flexibility that WordPress offers and the fact that it is Open Source, has resulted in how it got so big, so fast.

A Plugin or Widget is an add on that can do some cool features like make a contact page, allow you to embed pictures or forms.  Most of the items to the right and left of this content are Widgets and Plugins.

Not only can you get WordPress to do some great things, like get good SEO or Search Engine Optimization, but it is easy to use.

While there is a learning curve, once the design is done, anyone who can check email can upload content and change it around. This includes not only text, but Videos, Audios, Polls and more really cool and engaging stuff for your readers.  This is an embeded video.  You can do this from virtually any video source in a matter of seconds.

What WordPress Can Look Like On Your Blog or Website

Here are some of the companies that now use WordPress for their Blogs and Websites.  You may have heard of some of thses.

Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The US Air Force, Nokia, National Geographic, Forbes Blogs, and hundreds of thousands of others!

Just click on the links below and you will see yet another neat feature you can do on your Blog.  This is a pretty good snap shot of what you can do with WordPress.  From complicated to a minimal approach to design.  I did Josh’s and I rather like it, even though it is not normally a style that I do.  It fits who he is and what he wants to represent.   You should have your own style too and WordPress allows you to express it.

KettleCornSecret.com is an example of a Hobby site that once built can turn out money on auto-pilot and is fun! You can see just what type of variety you can have in how a Blog or Website looks and acts with WordPress.

Themes Or Designs And The Bottom Line

As you can see, the designs can be pretty much anything you like.  A design in WordPress is called a Theme.  There are thousands of themes to choose from, many of which are free. You can also buy pre-made ones, or you can get a custom Theme designed.

A fully customized Theme runs from about $250 to $10,000+ for a more involved one. While you can purchase some pretty good looking ones for about $25 to $100. If you have the cash though, I suggest you spring for a custom one. You want to stand out in the crowd.

But if you are just getting started out, a free one will work if you don’t have the cash. Getting started is the most important thing.  Check out the Products and Services page above if you would like some help from me and the crew. We can work with nearly any size budget.

Now, remember when I said that one of the reasons that make WordPress so powerful and that there are Plugins that allow you to do some really good things? Well one of the ones that my partners and I have been working on allow you to build your own customized Theme and change it anytime you like. Not only that, but is allows you to build Landing Pages, Sales Pages, and fully customized and integrated Blogs and Websites that gives you the ability to maximize profits.  It is the first complete system that enables you to run your online business using WordPress.

Normally this would take a really good Web designer a week or more to build a completely customized Blog and Website. We cut that time down by a factor of 10 and will be able to do it yourself.

OK, that is my unabashed plug. It is the best piece of software that I have ever worked with by far. My partner Ryan has been building Website and Blog building software that is being used by thousands of Web Design companies and individuals all over the world. His Landing Page design software has been copied by several companies recently and we decided to blow them all out of the water with LaunchBox Pro.

Craig who is my other partner and the dude that that had the bright idea, has been a marketing consultant and worked with some of the largest companies in the World and what we have put together is the combination of all of our knowledge and experience.

We wanted to make it easy for someone at home just starting out, to large Fortune 100 companies alike to be able to put together profitable Blogs and Websites for 1/100th of the normal cost just a month ago.

It won’t be ready for launch for another 10 days or so, but sign up for our notices.  There will be some very special deals when we launch and I do mean very special.

This whole site and Blog is running on LaunchBox Pro and everything in here you can do easily by yourself.  Even if you have no experience! You can check it out here.

Regardless if you use us or you take advantage of the $3.95 a month WordPress hosting account with one Free WordPress installation or not, you should get your Blog up and running today.  There is no need to wait any longer.

Your business and your bank account will thank you for it.   The CEO of Marriott has measured that they get 5 Million dollars a year in sales from his blog.   Not to shabby for a little bit of typing now and then.  I actually figured out that they bring in approximately $50,000 to $75,000 for every blog post he does.

The bottom line is it really could come down to Blog or Die for many businesses.  But why go there?  Just do it!

The choice is yours though.  If you need help, call or email me and I will get you pointed in the right direction and make use of the FREE WordPress How-To-Video Series below.

We can also get you set up with a great looking Blog usually between $99 to $299 depending on what you want it to do and look like.  Call us up at 307-459-1092 or go here to contact us.

If you already have a WordPress Blog and just want to spiff it up and help it bring in more clients, we have great rates and can give it a tune up for $49!

Happy Profitable Blogging!

Cheers,

Andrew Anderson

PS  I finished this up on about 3 hours of sleep as I mentioned and my editor has not looked at it yet. So, all of the typos and grammatical errors are mine. :)  Below is the link for the Hosting Special I mentioned in the video.

Also for Free Videos on how to use WordPress and to watch a WordPress site being built, you can go to www.StartOnMonday.com.

March 11, 2010 by

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