This week, I was offered the opportunity to speak to a group of local business women at the BNZ Partners Centre in NSN…. (Stay tuned, I know that first sentence was about me… but there is something in this for you).
I chatted with many business owners, but two in particular stood out to me, as they essentially both had a problem that could be addressed with the same solution…
- One was with a franchise owner of a national company, who had discovered that although the parent company had a website, there was no link to her business, and she didn’t have a website of her own, so was struggling to find traction online.
- The second was with a young professional, who worked for a local firm. She had studied hard to gain her degree, was working flat out in her specialist area, and continuing to provide valuable information to clients. She was building her connections online, but finding she had no way to share her expertise when using her social channels.
The Solution… A Blog
First let’s sort something out, blogs have come a long way since the noughties, where they developed as essentially a platform for random musings on a personal level… A kind of online diary.
The WordPress platform, essentially started as a blogging platform, it has since become the largest Web Content Management System software tool in the world, because it enables you, with little or no knowledge to create and manage your own website relatively easy. At Kate Coote. every website or blog we produce for our clients is built using this independent (open source) industry leading software.
For me, the terms blog and website have merged. I certainly wouldn’t recommend that anybody have a website without having a “News” (or blog) page. However, it is perfectly acceptable to develop your online presence using a well thought out blog that looks like a professional website.
Advantages of blogging
- Blogging will allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field through sharing your knowledge and skills.
- Blogging will increase your (personal) brand’s trust and credibility.
- Blogging will build your online profile in two ways… If you update your content regularly Mr Google will love your blog/website and move you up the hit parade so you’ll be found more easily online. Also a good blog post that provides valuable information for your clients will give you unique content links to share through your social channels.
A case study
Bayleys Marlborough recently wanted to begin blogging, and sharing valuable content and news with their current and potential customers. Bayleys Marlborough already had a website but there was a requirement for it to sit under the national Bayleys guidelines, it wasn’t possible to create a blog within their main website. Instead, we produced their own mini website, essentially a blog. It’s branded to look and feel like the Bayleys Marlborough website, and it links back to the Bayleys Marlborough website, but it serves as a channel for the team to produce valuable, shareable content for their clients.
There are plenty of free blogging platforms out there, and of course the main purpose of blogging is to share valuable and inspiring content, so any platform will allow you to achieve this. However, bear in mind that with a blog you are developing your personal or company’s digital profile, so you do need it to look finished and professional. This may be one of those occasions where it’s worth contracting a professional to do what they do well, (that’s where I come in). One thing I can tell you is that the cost of producing your own mini website/blog, may not be as prohibitive as you imagine, and I guarantee that investment will pay you dividends, referrals will come from it. How do I know that? Because I receive enquiries every week through posts that I have written and shared.
The First Steps
You will need a domain name. If you’re a sole professional it may be www.yourname.nz. If you’re a franchisee it may be www.yourcompanyyourtown.nz. Or it may be something unique that relates to your profession or the skills and information you intend to share. Whatever you decide, contact me and I can register this for you, I am a registered domain name reseller. You will own the domain, it will be registered to you, once you have this we can start talking about building your brand online.