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True Confessions of Early Adopter Turned Blogger

By Special Guest Greg Balanko-Dickson – Remote Control CEO

I have been a business coach since 1991, I started surfing the world wide web in 1993 and built my first website in 1997. Then I transformed it into a small business portal where for five years I wrote a daily ‘business tip’. I had between 3000 to 5000 subscribers to my ezine. Some got the daily version, some the weekly abridged version and I thank each and subscriber because it got me into the daily routine of writing.

I started writing the daily tip as an opportunity to ‘journal’ what I learned as a result of coaching and consulting with my clients. Once in awhile I would get feedback from readers via email but the most unexpected event was when I got requests for consulting help, unexpected because my expectations were low.

When people would call and ask for help on their business plans or other business problems and they always said something similar to, “I have been reading your ‘tips’ for a long time and I feel like I know you.” Bingo!

Persistence Pays

I had discovered an important principle building relationships and trust – by sharing your knowledge and writing on a regular basis people become familiar with you.

In typical entrepreneurial fashion I came up with the post-facto rationale that the feedback, ‘I feel like I know you’ was actually a subtle but very powerful form of marketing. This encouraged me to research and add more detail to the articles I was writing.

My little experiment continued to grow as I wrote about my observations and what I learned. Between 1998-2003 I wrote more than 600 business tips. Little did I know it was my introduction to blogging.

I tried to make money from selling advertising, affiliate programs but I could not have paid for groceries with the pittance I made. Little did I realize that my miserable failure in affiliate marketing and selling advertising was soon to become a blessing?

An Offer I Could Not Refuse

2002 came along with a distraction disguised as an opportunity and I started a web development business in Houston, TX and by December 2003 sold it. With time on my hands I started writing and reorganizing my website and published my ‘Business Plan Coach’ ebook.

I never stopped writing despite the lackluster return on investment. Why? It was addicting. I simply could not go to sleep until I had shared my thoughts about business and what I learned that particular day.

Then late 2004, I was contacted by McGraw-Hill Trade to write a book about Buying a Business. They found my ‘Business Plan Coach’ ebook curiously inline with their plans to launch an entire new series of books called Tips and Traps targeting small business.

I can tell you that in the past 12 months I wrote close to a million characters on 700+ pages and found a niche – small business owners hungry for the nitty-gritty details of what it takes to make a small business succeed. A place where they can come for reliable, helpful information and as they integrate reading my blog into their daily routine – they learn more about me while increasing their knowledge.

Check Your Intent – Create a Plan

Looking back I can see now that I was a bit naive – but so was everyone else in those days. People that touted ‘the secrets to marketing online’ were just the early adopters who through persistence and their innate ability to adapt and grow evolved it into a business.

One of the important lessons I have learned about writing is to check your intent because to create any real and lasting business results on a blog or any website takes staying power and dedication. If you are not clear about why you are considering writing, whether it be a book, ebook or a business blog visit my Performance Bridge Model for a process that will help you get clear, motivated, identify your passion and create a plan.

Do not let the ‘business plan’ focus of the article throw you off – the process can help anyone looking to clarify their vision and create a plan. It will help you to identify potential roadblocks, create a vision and then finally create a plan and set your goals.

Beware the Start and Stop Trap

One of the things I wish I did differently is to blog on a more constatent basis because people get used to reading your blog and they make it part of their routine. Whichin itself is a huge compliment. Ifyour publishing schedule is inconsistent, starts and stops without warning you will loose readers.

Between writing two books in the last 12 months and a busy coaching business I have certainly found it a challenge to maintain a consistent publishing schedule for my blog. My tendency is to write a lot over a short period of time and that’s cool except I am addicted to seeing it live on the web. So I end up posting a whole bunch of articles in one week or month, then nothing for a week or two. Not the best experience for your readers when you are trying to build a loyal following.

So when you start, commit to a regular schedule because when your readers are looking for regular updates and new content. What I have started to do is write posts then pick a date in the near future when I want it to be published. Fortunately, WordPress allows me to future-date posts and then I can forget about it and the readers still get regular content.

What are your challenges writing for your business or blog? How do you decide what you are going to write about? How do you manage your time to ake room for writing?

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