The New York Times had a great review of blogging for business. The topic of the review was Michael Hyatt. He’s one of the most success bloggers out there and earns a great living discussing how businesses can grow with a blogging strategy.
Mr. Hyatt said that while he started his blog in 2004, it didn’t take off until 2008, when he committed to writing several days a week. In 2010, he started posting five days week, and each week one of his posts offers the transcript of a 30-minute podcast, which he also distributes through iTunes. In the last three years, his blog has gone from 1,000 readers a month to more than 300,000.
Many of his most popular posts are how-to guides to using social media and the Web. He is proof that not only can your blog help promote your business, it can even become a revenue source — if you get really good at it. Mr. Hyatt said that his blog has several revenue streams, including advertising (banner ads and affiliate sidebar ads), sales of his e-books and speaking engagements. He said the blog generates at least $35,000 a month in revenue.
Blogging to Build Your Business
Mr. Hyatt’s blog has obviously been a success and there is good reason for that success. He gives great advice on how businesses can grow with a blog.
Basic business models have not changed that much in some ways over the last century. Businesses have always tried to create a product or service that fulfills a need. That will never change. Businesses have also tried to earn the trust of their target customer and from there earn referrals to grow the business for the future.
Today, a blog strategy has the potential to accomplish this like never before. Once piece of evidence is the growth of Michael Hyatt’s business or the business right here at GBW.
If you’re wondering what blogging to build a business is about it’s really that simple. With a business blog you’re looking to:
- Earn Trust
- Earn Referrals
- Learn What Else to Offer the Audience
This is how businesses are already using a blogging strategy or really a content strategy to grow. Instead of interrupting people when they’re going about their business, companies today focus on being available when people are seeking information. When people are searching for information they search on search engines or they ask friends, family and peers. It’s always worked in this way.
Businesses that position themselves as a source of insight and information are primed for discovery with these searchers.
Once the business has an established audience of customers and subscribers it’s also possible to learn from the audience. You can gain an understanding of what else you might be able to offer the customers. The business grows even more.
It can all happen with a blog and with a variety of content.
Using a Ghost Blog Writer
There is one part of the review that I need to disagree with:
Mr. Hyatt offers the following tips for blogging success:
Create the content yourself: You can’t hire a ghostwriter to blog for you. If you try, you’ll be found out and considered a poseur, which will do irreparable damage to your brand.
Read the rest of the tips. They’re worthwhile.
I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’m disagreeing with this part of the review.
Ghost writing has always been something not really discussed in the world of content. Ghost writers have been used for centuries. There has been demand for the services for a long time so there must be a reason for it.
I don’t disagree with Mr. Hyatt that it’s ultimately the best situation for your company to write all content itself. But there are other areas of the business to focus on as you’re working to make products and services that are useful.
Ghost blog writers are sometimes necessary to create content that is formatted in a way that is relevant to the audience. It’s important to make sure the content is well-researched and has the appeal to the audience so referrals will happen. It’s important to have partners that understand your business and can turn your ideas and concepts into content that is accessible for the target audience. The scale of content in the future is large and in some cases it’s necessary to have help.
An example of creating content on mass scale with the assistance of ghost writers is the modern day celebrity chefs. You have probably seen a few shows on the Food Network. These folks are wonderful. They have great concepts and ideas, but they need help when it comes to writing recipes and stories for their cookbooks, blogs, and shows. They can’t do it all themselves. Ghost writers are used to grow the brand of the celebrity chef.
As for hiding who is writing your brand. If you’re concerned then be open about the writer or writers of your blog content. Share the name of the author. That’s one option. You could also feel like the author yourself since you might be providing the concepts and ideas for blog posts and having a writer format them for consumption on the Internet.
The importance of content in the future of business is such that scale is required. In order to scale business it might be necessary to have partners that understand your business and can reach your target audience. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with that approach.