9 Ways To Run Your Blog Like A Small Business
This is a guest post by Ching Ya. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
It’s always about ‘how blogging would help in a small business’ rather than the other way around. Ever since I started my intense blogging in February 2009, I’ve noticed how much my four and a half years of working background in product and customer service for a small company had taught me much about blogging. Whether or not your aim is to monetize, most of us bloggers are hoping for the same thing: traffic and productivity – which in a small business scenario translates to customers and revenue.
Here’s a basic flow of how a small business usually runs:
Starting & Planning:
1. Deciding the Service/Merchandise
Merchandise is the revenue generator for small business. It depends much on the current market and the types of needs your business could fulfill. Small business conductors will carry out brief market research, identify and test upon the targeted market with several prototypes in a considerable amount. They never sit and wait for business to come knocking on their doors.
Deciding your blog niche is essential. Even if you have no idea which niche that best fits you, tryout several writings for your preferred topics. You will then able to decide which will bring you the most satisfactions and success, while pinpoint your weakness and strength along the way. Actions lead to outcomes. Whether good or bad, gain experience from it.
2. Maximize Your Resources
Are you financially equipped? Knowledge and experience wise? Small business conductors will maximize the use of their assets to help in the business, innovatively turn every idea into action.
Some bloggers are well adapted with knowledge of programming, web designs and SEO. By all means, apply these to optimize your blogging results. Even if you don’t have much to offer, take up a self-learning course on the how-tos, joining forums to get familiarize with the blogosphere, get help or necessary advices from the specialists. Make an effort to build your resources via knowledge database because what you gain is invaluable, and will be a major asset for your blogging career in future.
3. Planning and Precautions; Expect the Unexpected
Yes, we heard a lot about the benefits of owning a business plan. However, un-expectancies are bound to happen during the process, such as product shortage on promised date, warranty issues, customer complaints etc. Such experiences taught our company to be constantly alert and have backup plans whenever an issue comes up.
In blogging, it’s advisable to have yourself prepared for situations like burnt outs, data-lost, commenting issues or a sudden server breakdown. Preparation is always better than regretting later. Try to be ahead of your problems if possible. Trust me, you’re gonna thank yourself for initiating the backup plans.
4. Publicity & Promotional Methods
Being the sole distributor for a particular merchandise helps to gain popularity fast. Otherwise, you need to work extra hard for publicity, such as offering special discounts or free gifts for loyal customers. Educate your new customers: what’s the main attraction of your product? Why should they come to you instead of your competitors? Sometimes it requires patience, but quality is what ensures business reputations and longevity.
Same as blogging, to stand out from the saturated market, you need to start building your own audiences with quality content. Originality will win you backlinks from other sites while ensures sustainability. You could have exposures done effectively via blog commenting, taking parts in forums, initiate promotions via blogging campaigns, guest postings and participate in social media sites. Another great way is to reward your readers with free subscription gifts or link love for their continuous supports.
5. Quality Product & Customer Service
Nowadays, many small businesses overlook the importance of ‘after sell service’, which sometimes one of the reasons that drive the customers away. Word of mouth can either build you, or destroy you. Thus, be attentive to our customers is always our utmost policy.
In blogging, what defines quality content? Subjective as it is, but not running far from solving a problem, generating ideas and creating good vibe for those who read it. Consider about your readers at all times. Unless you’re super busy with reasons not able to give an instant feedback, otherwise, you need to cater their needs asap.
We do monthly reviews on our merchandises. Such action helps to decide whether our business will continue to benefit from it, or should we move on to other alternatives? It takes into account every customer’s feedback, call of complaints, solutions provided by the vendor, and ROI after considering all the aspects.
Likewise, we are concern about blog visitors and their reactions to our writings. We cannot please everyone, but we still need to take in all the feedbacks, good or bad, and improvise them. Knowing the importance of reviewing your blog will ensure acceptance from your visitors. It could be done by observing your blog comments, emails, and monitoring via Google Alert regarding your personal branding on various sites.
7. Follow Ups
In small business, it’s easier to follow up on customers in a regular basis. Whether it is via phone calls, surveys or a casual conversation during their visits to our premise. This is to build up a marketing relationship with our customers, having them to come back regularly for our services or products.
By utilizing the same concept, we can try to get in touch with our readers, not only through comments, but through emailing as well. Make use of the social media sites available for effective follow-ups. Form an author-reader relationship. Bear in mind your readers could always go to other similar blogs but they’ve chosen yours instead. With this simple reason they deserved your pamper and attention at all times.
Research & Development
8. Quality Control
We are always told to deliver more than what we promised and never the other way around. A well manageable small business is never negligent of quality control.
Blogging is always about quality control for that matter. Besides writing skills, try to minimize the spelling mistakes, and have a clean blog layout that is easy to navigate. Make sure the content is well structured and not losing your personal touch. Maybe a new input would be good for your blog? Try occasional use of vodcast or radio show for your blogging presentations. But don’t over doing it, or risk yourself without a proper training at first.
9. Outsourcing & Future Planning
A small business will find ways to survive, for example outsourcing for possible ventures. Most small business conductors are risk takers and willing to expand their business to the next level.
Try to figure the next possible step for your blog. Could it be collaboration with like-minded bloggers for a webinar? Building a fan site in Facebook? An ebook? If you’re all about gaining knowledge on how to monetize your blog, it’s important to know how and when it’s the time to make it happen.
It is said that blogging market is saturated. But we need to be optimistic if we wish to go headstrong in this blogging business. Small business runners are risk takers, opportunists, and customer-oriented, something we could learn much about and benefit from. However, it’s important to never lose touch of our own selves. Be honest, sincere, and a positive attitude will help us go a long way, while running our blog successfully like a small business.
You can read more from Ching Ya on her blog, wchingya.com.
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44 Responses to “9 Ways To Run Your Blog Like A Small Business”
This is excellent advice. Too many people just start writing with no plan in mind and then run out of steam after a few weeks or months. Writing a small business plan for your blog is a good way to keep the momentum going.
Yes for instance like that. I know that it is very much different from person to person, but just to get an idea from more people than you.
I.e. can you live off of it? How long did it take to get 20.000 unique visitors per month? And so forth. Like you say – different stages.
I think a lot of people are very excited about the whole thing right when they start their blog, but the exciment tends to wear off with time unless you see some results. I think that your way of setting mini goals makes the approach a lot easier as you are more likely to feel the success more often keeping the motivation intact.
Do you mean time needed to reach blogging goals or..audiences or..? Can you be more specific?
Normally, it will take months depending on your time/effort/experience gained along the way. For myself, even I’m an year old ++ blogger now but still feeling I haven’t learn enough. Since started I have placed certain mini goals in every stage, each requires weeks to months of efforts.
Nice post with many good points – thanks!
One question: How much time should one expect it to take to get a decent following (taking the blogowner has something valueable to offer of course).
I know this is a question which is impossible to answer but for sure some of you here know how long it took you 🙂 Just to get a picture…
Thank you Odran. I’m glad you understand the concept of the entire post. Appreciate it. ^^
Thanks for the comment. However, the idea of this post is about treating your blog like a small business with proper steps and management
After writing the above post and submitting it I remembered that for now ,the front page of my blog is a review of a hot product.And yet I added it because it teaches some fundamental sales techniques.
It never fails to amaze me that businesswomen or men also make good copy.That is ,they are almost always able to put their ideas and methods and day to day workings onto paper[real or virtual].They can formulate a prospectus to attract investors and command respect.They know what advertising methods will work most effectively even when the copywriting must first be outsourced.
Blogging is no different.It IS a business of attracting readers in order to convey ideas toward personal goals such as entertainment, or for financial goals via sales.Using sales pages as blog content usually does not work except as an occasional interjection such as writing a review of a product you really believe in.
There are many review blogs and even my web site is full of resources and promotional information.
But my blog ,for the most part concentrates on posts and articles that teach some aspect of internet marketing and mentoring about blogging–much like this blog does.Many of the posts on my blog are written by article writers and guest bloggers.That gives readers a multitude of perspectives which I myself agree with.For me blogging started and still remains a hobby and yet I treat it and present it as a business in order to best serve the readers.I do write posts and articles myself and occasionally add them to my own blog.Maybe I should do so more often using my own name.
We’re all moving step by step towards our goals. I’m sure you’ll be there eventually. Just don’t give up. ^^ Sometimes there are more than just relying on Google Adsense alone.
Thank you Anish,
I appreciate your comment.
Very good tips for all.
Thank you Claus,
I’m glad you like the ideas. It’s a pleasure to know you too.
blogging was something that erupt from nowhere and took the world by storm….”Not pakistan to be honest” but i like the way you put up the article quite helpful……I meself trying to get some money out of my blog…..but im now where near there as yet….MyBlog
Claus D Jensen
Cool article and some great advice.
It’s always great to hear new things from new persons.
There sure is a couple of your tips that I will take along to my own blog.
Claus D Jensen 😀
For a starter, you’re doing pretty well at the time being. Keep up the good work. I’m sure with proper planning you’ll definitely go a long way! ^^
Thanks for the comment. However, the idea of this post is about treating your blog like a small business with proper steps and management. Home financial management may be not the main issue here. =)
With proper planning, I believe success is possible. We all started from zero, that I can assure you. ^^ If some of us can make, I believe you will too. As long you have persistence and strong will. Just do it step by step, you will get there eventually. And the process to get there is priceless! Do enjoy it.
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