Readers of the Trading Assistant Journal have become accustomed to regular posts on eCommerce and eBay topics every week, sometimes those posts are not that "regular" but they usually appear at a regulated interval.
This week we have been a bit off our schedule.
Business & client considerations, other publications, blogs, articles, a book project and an office move... have all contributed to the sudden dearth of prose from the TAJ.
Apologies all around.
This brings to mind a question often asked by clients I work with on web development and blog consulting projects. The question usually boils down to...
What, you want me to take time and write something in a blog several times a week?
Yes, I say... I do, and once you "get into it" you will crave the creative process.
When I skip a few days of writing my blog(s) I feel as though something is missing, blogging is not a job or a task, it is part of the fun of what I do for my business.
People go into business for many reasons, some were handed the keys to an empire developed by someone else, but most built their businesses up from scratch. Try to remember the inspiration of building your business, the love you put into it, the dedication to doing it the right way and your passion for doing something you want to do.
These are all the ideas and ideals we put into blogs.
Blogging for a business is simply a way to express passion for your own life's work. If you feel like your business life is a weight around your shoulders, your business and life will suffer. On the other hand, if you work long hours because you want to, if you dream at night about ways to improve, to market, to expand... Because you really see the benefits and you really love what you are doing in your business... there is really no extra effort involved to blog about your daily successes and challenges.
Blogs began as simple web pages developed to provide an online diary for personal information and to a large extent remain to be published, on a large extent, based upon that principle. But new and interesting uses for the blog have emerged and one of those is "business blogging".
This does not mean a business simply throws together a blog and writes about the sale of the week, or just re-issues the PR departments press release verbiage on another site calling it a (blog).
A Business blog should contain passion, verve, inspiration, dreams and possibilities. Business can be fun and the blog is where that fun should come through. It matters little if your business is an auto junk yard or a high tech development center, each has its own interesting and little known aspects, stories and experiences to share.
Auto Recycler or Junkyard?
I have a client (business name - East Coast Auto Salvage Inc.) who owns an auto recycling business (most of us laymen call it a junkyard). Currently my company, iBusinessLogic Corporation is developing an advanced Joomla website for this auto salvage yard business. The website has been in development for several months and is almost ready to be transferred onto the main domain. Even though the development of the main website is not complete, our client is already thinking about the next project, she wants to also have a blog.
I know, a lot of you may think "what on earth can a junkyard blog about"?
Our client has many great ideas on what to blog about with her auto recycling business, in fact she has more ideas than she thinks she will have time to publish. She is inspired by her business, (the family business actually, now in its second generation).
She knows that by running an auto recycling center, her family is providing value for customers around the world. She also has great ideas about featuring the people who work at the "junkyard" (my term, not my clients), about the people who they serve and about the very interesting vehicles they see every day. She also will write about environmental issues which effect her industry and how the auto recycling business is really very good for the environment.
I did not give these story ideas to this client, she had them inside her head all along. She has these ideas because she is passionate about her business, a business not normally thought of by the outside public as interesting or exciting but one that inspires millions of people to utilize, buy from and work at every day.
What inspires you about your business?
How long would it take each day to sit down and type out a few paragraphs about the best and worst parts of your day? Think of how the public would be inspired to want to know you and your business when you offer them insight and passion in a daily blog or journal. How difficult is it to give the buyer a reason to choose you over the next guy who does not even have a website.
Yes, I miss blogging when I am working at other tasks, it is a creative outlet for me, gives me perspective and allows everyone and anyone to know more about who I am.
Some of you may cringe at that thought, but when you delve deep into the reasons why we get up each day and go to work, or go out and socialize, don't we really want other people to know just a little more about us?
People want to know about you and your business, they want to feel like the businesses they patronize have real flesh and blood management. Attaching a blog to any basic small business website will inspire loyalty from customers over time, help customers find you on the web and let them know what you and your company can do for them.
But a blog is even more useful, because it will help you to evaluate your business and your goals.
A blog forces you to look at your daily interaction with the public and allows you to see both sides of the equation. A blog is a tool good for more than traffic generation or PR releases. It is a tool and a solution you can develop to fit your needs and build your business from the inside, out.
And when you "get into it" finding inspiration will not be a problem, missing a few days... might be.