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Some Assembly Required – Case Study

Some-Assembly-RequiredThe following post was submitted by Thom Singer as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series

A year ago I attended a business lunch where the topic was blogging. I like to write, and was awaiting release of my first book, but did not know about blogs. The panelists spoke about how easy it was, how popular blogs were, the benefits of SEO and the ease of getting started. Later that night I started “Some Assembly Required: The Biz Dev and Networking Blog“. I used Blogger.com as my platform solely because that was what the panelist had recommended (and because it was free).

A year later I have learned a few things:

1. Traffic is hard to get. But with over 100 regular readers, I feel okay about my blog. If there are tricks to jumping to the next level, I am still looking for them.

2. Spam comments were ridiculous. They drove me crazy until I turned on the verification. People abuse blogs, and hide behind anonymity….that is bad.

3. SEO to my blog and my website went through the roof because I post 4-6 times a week. That has been a huge perk. Search engines like fresh content and regular posting is the key.

4. I have made some new friends with other bloggers who write on similar business topics. Bloggers have their own version of social networking. These people have become valuable resources for me and my career (outside of the book and the blog)

5. I have sold copies of my book to many who read my blog. (That makes me happy). That was the purpose of starting the blog…and so that part is successful. It also is an interesting topic when I do speaking events around my book.

6. It takes real dedication to keep a blog current. If you are not posting regularly, your blog becomes stale. A blogger must be committed to posting daily (or close to daily). People have so many choices they will tune you out fast if you are not providing new material.

7. After a year, I am still “new” to blogging. To gain real traction takes a long time. I hope to see the regular readership and traffic go up in the second year. I find I still have a lot to learn.

8. Sites like Problogger and the Blog Herald are important tools to read. They helped me learn without having to make some of the common mistakes. They also inspire me to keep going with their reports of others who drive their traffic, monitize their blogs, etc….

9. Blogger.com is not as flexible as I would like, but it would be hard to move at this point, so I just have to deal with the limitations.

10. Blogging has turned out to be a therapeutic experience. Writing everyday allows me to teach, vent and / or clarify thoughts. I am more focused at work and at home because of my regular writing.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. John Mayan says:

    Blogger can be more flexible than you think. Conditional tags are very useful. http://blogfresh.blogspot.com is a great site for learning Blogger hacks. A good example of Blogger use with Adsense is Digital Inspiration:http://labnol.blogspot.com/. You can see my site too!

  2. John Hood says:

    As John said, Blogger can be customised with some great hacks. Why not also drop by http://consumingexperience.blogspot.com/

  3. Leon says:

    Amen to that brother! I’ve had pretty much the same experience on my blog. I haven’t had nearly as much success as Mr. Singer, but I’m satisfied with the level so far.

  4. Thom Singer says:

    Thanks for the tips….I will check them out.

    And keep those suggestions coming….I want to learn as much as I can!!

    Thanks, Darren, for using my post…as I can already tell I will get some very useful advice from the readers of Problogger!!!

    Have a great day.

    thom

  5. Great to see another entrepreneur blogging for business the right way — to promote THEIR OWN products/services!

    If you’re happy with what you’ve achieved so far on Blogger, you haven’t seen anything yet as far as SEO! And from the results we’ve seen with hundreds of business owners — I can say confidently that you’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to motivating people (in your target audience) to take action.

    Although successfully marketing with business blogs is not necessarily dependent on a particular blogging software, having the right tools can be a big help. The WordPress community has developed more business/marketing friendly plugin modules than you can shake a stick at.( Check out some of the best for business blogging here: http://www.advancedbusinessblogging.com/archives/category/business-blogging-with-wordpress/.)

    Fact is, when you see how much easier WordPress makes reaching all your marketing goals, you’ll be amazed. It makes business blogging with Blogger look like digging for gold with a steam shovel … and business blogging with WordPress like using a 30-ton Catapillar C9 track loader! :)

    Moving from Blogger to WordPress is easier than most people think. You can do it yourself if you’re good with code and MySQL (http://justinsomnia.org/2005/03/moving-from-blogger-to-wordpress/). Or you can simply post a project over at http://www.scriptlance.com and find someone to do it for you in less than 48-hours. (We’ve had coaching clients find out source agents who moved their Blogger DB and comments to WordPress for less than $150.)

    Once you have a WordPress business blog on your own domain there is an incredible amount of traffic tracking, data mining, and SEO optimization that you can do. All of which makes getting more traffic, higher rankings, and more subscribers much easier.

    Oh, and as far as your comment on #1 … don’t get hung up on how many regular readers there are. From the looks of your target market, they’re like the majority of the public. If they’re doing a search and come across your content — more than likely they don’t even know that they’ve landed at a blog. Recent studies show that only 4% of internet surfers use RSS, and just a little more than that really understand blogs.

    Marketing with business blogs is not primarily about regular readers. It’s about building your prospect list, making more sales, and creating more lifetime clients! When you keep those goals at the forefront, your business blogging becomes a lot more effective. :)

    Aloha!

  6. Mike says:

    I also started on blogger and at the start of this year, I moved to my own domain. As John says there are a huge number of plugins you can get for WP. I don’t know if it makes a huge difference in terms of traffic and so on, but I think it definitely makes it look like you are more committed to the site.

  7. Darren / Thom … sorry about the super long link in there. I forgot to shorten it before adding my comment and just saw that.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I recently read and commented on a business blogging case study by Thom Singer over at ProBlogger. In that post Thom shared about his growth and experience blogging for his business over the last year. He’s been using Blogger up till now, and he mentioned three things in particular that I knew would be valuable for me to address in depth here for other business owners who are trying to market with business blogs. [...]