Saturday, February 14, 2009

To Blog or not to Blog, That is the Question

score_tjpg_mcculloch This article was written by Ben McCulloch, Chairman, SCORE Orange County

“Should I start a blog to find new customers?”

“Why don’t you guys have a blog?” And …

“Um … what’s a blog?”

We hear these questions in our workshops, often in the same workshop. You want to reach more potential customers, or keep in touch with your existing customers,especially now. So, is blogging the answer?

I hope you won’t be too surprised to know that we, too, have that question. Like you, we want to keep in touch and reach-out to additional businesses that might benefit from our services.

‘Blogging’ or being a blogger doesn’t mean you have to start your own blog. Besides, creating a blog is the easy part; maintaining a blog requires considerable commitment on your part. But you can still blog. Here’s how it is done.

Get started by visiting two blogs that are hosted by the SCORE national office: the Women’s Success Blog and Ask an Expert. The women’s blog launched a year ago and quickly gained readership that today numbers 9,000 visitors per month! Ask an Expert, on the other hand, just launched at the beginning of this month and is gaining traction. Take a look around. Read what’s being said. Read what others are saying. If you have something to add, leave a comment.

One visit doesn’t make you a blogger. Visit these blogs regularly to see what’s been added or, better yet, ‘subscribe’ to the blogs (click the buttons on the right-hand sidebar) so you can be notified when someone’s contributed something new to the conversation. Over time you’ll learn of other blogs that you can check out and decide if you want to follow their conversation, too.

And that’s the key: conversation. There are communities of people – millions of them – having conversations out there, likely on topics that matter to you and your business. Whether you contribute, or not, what a great way to learn what people think is important, how they’ve tackled a problem, or seized an opportunity.

We’ll be watching for you in the blogosphere.