BILL BELEW IS A CONTENT MARKETING EXPERT BASED IN THE BAY AREA OF SILICON VALLEY. YOU FOUND HIM; HE CAN TEACH YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS HOW TO BE FOUND. CONTACT HIM BY USING THE COMMENT FORM BELOW.
Before I read the book Marketing with Social Media, I was convinced that the web 2.0 era doesn’t need blogging for that muchttp://billbelew.com/blog/blogging-for-traffi-tip-28-the-standard-for-hard-work/h, short and rapid readers habit is the trend. I don’t know where I got the impression really, yet kind of doubt that who would read long articles anyway, if they can grab the information out of a three or two sentences tweets or status with a pic.
I myself have been playing around with social media such as twitter and Facebook for a while, not to attract attentions, but to share information and jokes with my friends, or at least from people I know in real life. I rare add strangers as friends on my personal SNS account. And I have been used to short messages for the recent three years: I don’t read long articles on web, I like to browse albums of pictures with captions for storytelling, I only post short status about what I thought or my recent experience online. I don’t read or write blogs. This online style is fine for my personal life, but in work, I encountered a big problem: I am in lack of an effective platform to attract potential clients.
For SNS like Facebook, it is quite hard to draw stranger’s attention online to your page. So if doing marketing campaign for a specific event, it is not influential enough if most of the Facebook friends are just friends, instead of fans. But to attract fans on it, it is quite difficult to let people like a page that is about a non-well-known brand or start-up company; in another word, it is hard for them to search content relevant to the product or service through Facebook content management. However, blogs can do. That’s how I turn around to explore the value of blogging on social media marketing.
Bill Belew is a professional blogger since 2006, and he has successfully managed to maintain a blog network with millions of page views every day. In his book Marketing with Social Media, I have not only changed my precious point of view about blog, and also learned some tips and lessons.
1. Everyone can benefit from blogging.
Blogging is a useful platform to communication with people who share the same habits, want to make a business, want to share information, want to maintain an archive of their works, etc. (p.iv). So blog-sphere has a broad range of users than you can imagine: business people, students, hobbyists, writers, bloggers, any visibility seeker, and so on.
2. Hardworking pays off anyway.
In Chapter 1, Bill shared his life story of how he becomes a professional blogger from zero readers a day. His story is very impressive, and I have to admit that this man is really hard-working. Maybe that’s the result of him staying in Japan for more than ten years, I heard hard-working is their tradition, lol. It is not easy to get up at 4 AM every day and write for 4 hours, 15 posts every day, not to mention writing up to 12,000 articles within 5 years. This is amazing, and his websites are like magnet on the web now. It just attracts page views in an unbelievable manner every day, more than 100,000.
3. Business Blog are king of social media.
As I mentioned above, it is hard to use SNS as Facebook and twitter along to attract potential clients, yet blogs can do (p. 13). Because bloggers can communicate with their subscribers and readers, in the comment or guest posts, they can know each other’s opinions immediately, and other readers see them too. Friends on your facebook may not be interested in the same topic you are having in blogging, for a facebook status, they will just ignore. But if things put up on blog, it will be found by people who are interested in it some day, and moreover, once the information is there, it can be found again and again.
4. The blog makes money.
Another business model to me. I know that people are always willing to pay for commercial exposure, that’s why we all love to watch Super Bowl commercials. The time slots are so expensive that the advertisers have to kill their brain for something extraordinary to catch eyeballs. For a nice blogs, it works too. If you have enough traffic on the blog, you can sell AD space, your service, products, and even make yourself well-known in the circle, and make money for side products such as consulting and teaching.
5. Traffic are the key element for blogging.
Before you can make money from your blog, you have to make sure that there is reliable amount of traffic to your site. Keys to get serious traffic include (p. 21) sufficient quantity of posts, good quality articles, consistently updated blog site, and one crucial fact that your site has to stay as long as possible to make people to notice it. All in one, put your heart in your blog and never give up.
6. Making a blog is not that hard.
Just a few steps you need to do before start blogging online: get a domain, choose a hosting, installed a blog software/template (p.35). I am not a tech person, and usually am easy to be irritated by tech-related issues. I have used blogger and blogbus (Chinese one) for a while, but they all frustrated me for some reason. This time, I tried to have my own domain and name my own blog site. It took me a whole evening to do this, but if feels good. You will feel more accomplished with a domain name and blog named by your own.
7. It is still about your personal interest.
If you are not really into writing and reading, you are not the type for blogging. It is not a perfect habit to keep for everyone. You need to think about something to write, which you are willing to write, and people will find it interesting to read. A hater or a coach potato is not suitable to blogging, because people can’t get the feeling of happiness or can’t see any updates.
8. Learn to be a self-starter.
Blogging can be a habit, can turn out to be a business, and also, a life-time lesson for you. To inspire yourself to be a self-starter, to be self-discipline and self-motivated (p.48). It is time committed, and through the process of taking care of a blog site, you can learn and experience how to control your spare time, and also to explore more of what you are interested in and what you can share with others.
9. Quality in a blog.
I am still wondering what’s the features of a quality blog, and Bill solves my questions in chapter 8 (p. 57). Original content, word minimum, links, images, authority, etc. there are 21 characteristics concluded by Bill, and I guess there should be more. Check the chapter, it helps a lot in clarifying the question for newbie blogger.
This is a story shared by bill in the Epilogue of the book. I am a quite emotional person sometime, and I feel my tears coming down for this story. I have been very fortunate to meet Benjamin, he is a very nice and cute artist, with all kinds of creative ideas and kind heart. His story let me rethink of myself, and all the challenges I thought they were in my life. Bumblebees actually can’t fly biologically, yet they think can, so they can. Therefore, everything is difficult if you don’t do it, while nothing is impossible if you really want to do it.
The bumblebees story, to all the new bloggers. And, to myself.