Blogging ~ The Real Facts (Part One)

I am sure you have heard the term Social Networking. Even if you haven't heard that term, I'm sure you are familiar with Facebook, MySpace, or blogging. In this article, we are going to discuss blogs. We will discuss Facebook in a future ezine so don't miss it! Let me give you a little insight on why this topic is extremely important to our industry and, most importantly, YOU as a business owner. This past January, I joined a webinar which confirmed to me the fact that times are changing. It started with this shocking statement, "If you as a business owner are not on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and don't have a blog then your business will be dead or dying in three to five years." I was astounded at that statement. (Oh, and he had already stated that he assumed everyone that had a business has a website.) I knew right then it was time to stop putting it off and I began to create my Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Of course, miracles don't happen overnight, but you DO HAVE TO START MOVING toward technology and you MUST to do it NOW! If you continue to wait, your competition will be moving forward while your business remains stagnate.

The REAL FACTS: The last three Dandelion Interiors clients were direct results of Google searches. In fact, we just had another caller today who said she found us on the Internet. We asked what specific search engine she used and she said Google. Then we asked her for her search words and she said "cornice boards, window treatment, and Nashville." Had we not had a website, we never would have received those calls! If you were visiting a company's website, interested in doing business, and ready to spend thousands of dollars, wouldn't you check out that company's blog? Of course you would! In a world of instant gratification, your potential clients now research a company before they ever pick up the phone. So why should you have a website and a blog? A website gives your customers a general company overview; however, a blog is key to developing a relationship with your client. As Jeffrey Gitomer says, "If they like you, and they believe you, and they have confidence in you, and they trust you - then they may buy from you."

As I began writing this article, I realized this topic requires a considerable amount of content so I decided to break this article into multiple parts. In part 2 we will share more technical information on creating a blog, this week we will discuss our recommendations for the "best choice" when starting your blog.

We receive tons of questions regarding which blog is the best: Wordpress or Blogger. Both of these companies offer free blogs and both have their pros and cons. We actually created two company blogs (Dandelion Interiors & Minutes Matter) on both blogging sites (Wordpress & Blogger). After comparing the two, we ended up selecting Blogger since it was a little more user friendly and much more customizable.

Here is why Blogger won us over:

  • Design: Blogger has more customizable templates. Since our industry is all about "design" this is a very important factor.

  • Colors: The subject line, hyperlinks, and font colors can be customized to match the branding of your company.

  • Anti-spam: Includes an anti-spam feature when visitors post article comments.

  • Dashboard: You are automatically logged into your Dashboard allowing you access to multiple blogs that you have created.

  • Easy Edits: Edit tools (pencil & wrench) are viewable on blog for owner & authors to make it very easy to edit an article or add another link to your sidebar. (You will not see these tools when viewing our blogs, since you are not an author.) (See screenshot)

  • Postings: Post dates can be edited as needed.

Blog Images: To sign up for Blogger, you will be prompted to create a Google account. Once this account is created, you will automatically be signed up for Picasa Web Albums. Picasa Web Albums stores all the images for your Blogger. Eventually, you will need more space to store your images; you can purchase 10GB for only $20 per year.

Posting: Once your blog is created, it is very easy to add articles. When you sign into your Dashboard, simply select "New Post" and you are ready to begin. Next week we will focus on how to keep content fresh and to entice readers to keep coming back.

No comments:

Post a Comment