Advice for Professionals Considering a Blog

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By Michelle Golden - A lot of CPAs and lawyers ask me if they should blog. Why do their competitors blog? Is blogging a silly trend they can ignore until it goes away?

Not so oddly (for people familiar with strategic marketers), my advice is seldom the same from one firm, or one person, to the next. But here are some basic considerations...

For professionals who want "off the hook" where blogging is concerned, here's a list of who should NOT blog:

  1. Blogging is not for the professional wanting to be "uninvolved" with his or her marketplace.
  2. It is not for the person who doesn't stay informed on at least one particular area of practice (be it a specialty or industry)
  3. It's not for someone who's uncomfortable stating a distinct opinion or offering analytical perspective
  4. It's not for a professional who only writes in "technical-eze"
  5. Blogging is not for someone who won't spend an hour or two a week (at minimum) working on posts.

Blogs do accomplish some things that no other current method of marketing or communications can.

  1. A blog gives readers insight into the author's personality and demeanor
  2. They can demonstrate actual expertise whereas websites usually claim it but fail to substantiate it
  3. They help people and show others what is good about your profession and why you add value
  4. Good blogs show young professionals that your firm is "with it" (bad ones, just like bad websites, show potential hires that you're NOT with it)
  5. Blogs can lead to publicity, interviews and writing/speaking opportunities for you and your firm
  6. They open the door for conversations and relationships with other bloggers, colleagues, and prospects who already know you somewhat through your blog and decide they WANT to know more!

If you are still thinking about blogging, there is some great advice on Seth Godin's blog where he shares over 50 tips on building blog traffic. Some of his tips are contradictory demonstrating that different strategies work for different bloggers for different reasons. My favorite tips are:

  • Learn enough to become the expert in your field.
  • Be among the first with a great blog on your topic, then encourage others to blog on the same topic.
  • Share your expertise generously so people recognize it and depend on you.
  • Announce news.
  • Do email interviews with the well-known.
  • Point to useful but little-known resources.
  • Don't promote yourself and your business or your books or your projects at the expense of the reader's attention.
  • Don't be boring.
  • Write stuff that people want to read and share.

My addition to Seth's list: Remember, it's always about what matters to the AUDIENCE!

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