Make Money Online


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Truth About Blogging, What Every Business Owner Needs To Know

Plus: Top Ten Tools & Resources For Bloggers

Hi Everyone,

Today, I am posting My Top Ten Tools & Resources For Bloggers plus some specific advice for business bloggers. It is also slightly longer than I normally do but there is something for everyone, no matter what your level of experience

But first, I want to go of at a slightly different angle with regards to blogging.

Here is a bold statement:

Offline Businesses have the most to gain by using Blogs!

It appears (at least from the emails I get) that most people think that blogging is a way to make money online exclusively and nothing else.

But an offline business can use Blogs to increase their brand awareness (both personal and business) while at the same time communicating with their customers and increasing sales.

Indeed I’d go further – every offline business needs a blog. I speak to a lot of offline business owners and the most common ‘objection’ to them getting personally involved in updating a website is that they are not Techies or don’t understand HTML.

But with modern blogging software rather such as WORDPRESS and my Blogging eCourse there really is no reason why any business owner cannot get online and manage their own website.

And if you are someone who only has an online business then there is a great opportunity for you to assist offline businesses with their blogging needs – as you will see below.

First – Let me give you an example

I have a friend of mine – Matthew Glover who runs a website called (A conservatory is another word for Sunroom in the UK)

OK, RenegadeConservatoryGuy is hardly the most interesting website in the world – unless of course your business is conservatories / sunrooms, but the important thing here is that Matthew has established himself as one of the leading authorities and industry experts since setting up his blog 2 and half years ago. Matthew is an ambitious guy and a lifelong entrepreneur who has used a BLOG to add real value to his “Brand” (himself) and to his offline business

Matthew is not using his blog to make money (although I do know he has picked up some new customers via it) – rather he is using his blog to add value to his offline businesses.

This is a model I am noticing more and more – using a Blog to establish authority and to engage in conversation with other people within your industry. (Interviewing Top Players in your industry is my top tip for getting the ‘conversation’ going)

Building Contractors, Chiropractors, Life Coaches, Accountants and Business Consultants are just a few of the businesses that are adding value to their offline businesses in this way.

Before I go into My Top Ten Tools & Resources For Bloggers I did just want to take a few moments to highlight some keep considerations for Business Bloggers (But frankly they are equally applicable to all bloggers)

Essential Considerations For Business Bloggers

1) Voice. What voice do you wish to use when speaking to your audience? That of the company? Or that of the individual? Many businesses tend to opt for a boring “COMPANY VOICE” that has no personality. It is up to you of course but I prefer to hear the voice of the Boss, The CEO, The Founder — not some boring corporate voice.

Not the best example of an individual voice (and I imagine that is because he doesn’t write it all himself) but Virgin Founder – Richard Branson at least has a go at not sounding too corporate on his “personal blog’ –

2) Be consistent. If you are going to blog – do it on a regular basis. I recommend at least once per week – but of course you can do it more than that. (But remember my Quality is better than Quantity rule) Please do not do a post that starts…. Sorry I have not posted for a while..blah..blah…

3) Lead Capture. Yes, get the contact details of your readers. The best way to do this is to exchange their contact details for an Ebook, eCourse or Special Report. (e.g. 10 Things To Know Before You Buy Your New Kitchen) But be careful – don’t spam your subscribers. Deliver them value and not only will they be glad they subscribed, they will also tell their friends. (More about this in the Tools and Resources section below)

4) Newsletter. I am not a huge fan of newsletters, but correctly presented it is another excellent form of lead generation. But make it sound interesting – don’t just call it “My Newsletter”. Call in something interesting like: “The [Your Niche] Insiders Newsletter”

5) Use Video. Make a video of your office, your customer support section, interview your staff on camera and ask them about their role in the business. Then when people are buying from you they can put a face and a personality to the name. People buy from PEOPLE! (Host video on YouTube)

6) Use Audio. Much the same as video – a personal message from you the founder is a nice touch.

7) Don’t Sell. Well less on the selling and more on the entertaining, educating, informing and inspiring. I cringe when I see business owners using their blog to sell, saying we are the greatest etc. I am all for lead generation and establishing a relationship with your potential customer but only on very rare situations does it make sense to use your blog to actively sell. If you do the entertaining, educating, informing and inspiring bit right, the selling (or rather buying) will take care of itself.

8 ) Interview Your Competitors. OK, this is a bit scary for some business bloggers but it really is worth considering. Perhaps interview a competitor that operates in another geographical location rather than a direct competitor. This is also a great way to MASTERMIND and learn new things yourself plus it is excellent content for your website. Conducting interviews is also a great way to establish your Authority Status.

A bit related to above – Interview your suppliers, take your readers up the supply chain and get them ‘involved’ with your business. The more familiar they are with your products, the more likely they are to buy.

My Top Ten Tools & Resources For Bloggers

(Note the NEW resources that I am recommending for the first time)

1) NEW! Not very familiar with wordpress and want a down to earth guide then go to: Most other WordPress sites are maintained by developers, there was a lack of focus on beginners but at WPBeginner, they explain each tutorial thoroughly, so users of all levels can understand it. provides quality tips, tricks, hacks, and other resources for the WordPress community.

2) Download WordPress Or better still use Hosting that allows you to easy install WordPress from CPanel

3) Get yourself a great design / theme. My No1 Recommendation for themes is WooThemes makes making beautiful websites easy – and I use them all the time.

4) Set up an Autoresponder. Lead Generation – wither it is just someones email address or all their contact details (name, address, phone number) is perhaps the most valuable thing you can do with your blog.

If you are doing a great job, delivering awesome value and helping people they naturally will want to joint your LIST. I have had the most success with building a list by providing a Blogging eCourse. Note that I said you must deliver value – many people have told me that my FREE Blogging eCourse is actually more valuable that courses that people have bought from so called gurus!

People are naturally getting more and more cautious about giving up their email address to websites so please don’t short change your readers, deliver REAL value. Always strive to deliver more value than the “cost’ even if it is ‘free’. My friend Yanik Silver puts it perfectly when he says:

I’m rich by enriching others ten times to a hundred times what they pay me in return

For list management and autoresponders they don’t come much better than AWeber Indeed, working with Aweber is probably one of my best business investments ever.

For example, when I was on Vacation last year I emailed my list a promotion and was able to pay for my whole entire trip two week trip, all it took me was 5 minutes.

Find out more about list building and autoresponders at: my list building and autoresponder post

5) NEW! Daily Blog Tips – Daniel Scocco started developing blogs and websites in 2005, and Daily Blog Tips is the place where he shares what he learned along the way. The blog was nominated under the “Best Web Development Blog” category in the 2007 Weblog Awards, and currently it is ranked among the 500 most popular blogs in the world (according to Technorati)

In particular check out Daniel’s: ‘Q & A’ Category and get answers to questions like:

Are Sponsored Reviews and Paid Blog Posts Evil? AND Will My Readers Leave If I Accept Guest Posts?

6) Darren Rowse and Is there a serious blogger in the world who has not visited this site? A constant stream of blogging tips, information and inspiration.

7) Gary Vaynerchuk and Gary Vaynerchuk is the Super Star of Video Blogging. I am including him here because first and foremost, Gary started as a Business Blogger – and has grown into something much more. Even if Wine is of no interest to you Gary’s blogging model is one that all business owners should investigate.

8 ) Join a Blog Mastermind The one I recommend is by Yaro Starak. Yaro teaches how you too can master the exact SYSTEM he uses to make a minimum of $10,000 to as much as $35,000 per month, blogging part time.

As an aside, I have been approached by someone asking me if I would be interested in hosting a 2 Day Blogging Workshop in London this summer – I am still considering it, but it is quite a likely. Everything you need to know to get your blog of the ground, how to establish authority, SEO, creative writing and much, much more PLUS an action plan to move your blog to the next level. If this would interest any of my readers I would appreciate you Contacting Me – which you can do HERE (And if you can, include details of your biggest challenge with blogging and what you hope to gain by attending this workshop)

9) Brian Clark and Compelling content drives the Internet, so the content is the marketing. And using the right words in the right way will determine not only how well your site converts visitors into sales, but also how well you rank in search engines and how many links you get. Brian is the master at reaching Content strategies and copywriting skills for bloggers.

10) NEW! FeedShark Pinging is not really necessary these days but if you are . However, if your site is not ranking in search engines give FeedShark a try. FEED SHARK will ping your blog, feed, or podcast for free!

Extra Tip: If your WordPress Blog is not appearing in search engines – check out your Privacy Settings and make sure you have selected: “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers” under Blog Visibility. (Usually found under DOMAIN/wp-admin/options-privacy.php)

An Opportunity

Remember I said at the beginning that Bricks and Mortar businesses represent an opportunity for established bloggers?

Well despite what I said earlier about Blogging being easy to get started in and frankly if you can type a letter – then you can blog, it appears a lot of offline business owners don’t want to be ‘bothered’ with blogging, but they would pay someone to BLOG on their behalf on a regular basis.

I know some blogger’s who are actually being paid to BLOG for a business. It is not a business model I want to follow, but if you enjoy writing and are a quick learner then this is a great opportunity.

One blogger I know just collects press releases from the business, puts a bloggers spin on the releases and publishes then in WordPress. The nice thing for her is that because WordPress is so search engine friendly every post gets indexed almost immediately and indeed the blog put-ranks the main website for many terms now. The business owner thinks she is a SEO Goddess!

What can you earn?

Well it appears $250 per month is fairly typical to manage and maintain a blog that is not doing much more that publishing the “Latest News” (My contact limits that to 10 posts per month). OK not a great fortune, but she believes she could easily handle 20 clients on that basis. Each client representing approx 5 – 8 hrs work per month. 20 x $250 = $5000 per month

Like I said, not an opportunity I would follow but I am sure it is one that will suit a lot of people, especially work at home moms.

If it was me, I would charge a lot more and have fewer clients – 10 clients at $1000 sounds about right. But for that you would of course have to be more creative and original in what you do. But that’s not difficult – just a case of asking the business owner questions (You could even record their answers and publish as a podcast) Questions like: My Biggest Mistake in Business? OR ‘If I you were starting over in this business what would you do differently?’ always get great replies!

Your comments, suggestions and feedback are as always very welcome.

To All Our Blogging Successes


PS: If you are interested in my Blogging Workshop I would appreciate you Contacting Me – which you can do HERE (And if you can, include details of your biggest challenge with blogging and what you hope to gain by attending this workshop)

PPS: Ref my last post – Todays Post Title came to me in the shower – where do you get you best Blog Post Ideas?


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