Why Have Personal Blogs Lost Their Popularity To The Business Blogs?

Small business owners, especially those that deal largely in internet sales, need to use marketing techniques that draw a specific brand of customers. More than ever before, this means that people across the globe can purchase small businesses’ services or products no matter where they call home. The old term is “cottage industry” and it has become a reality for many business hopefuls. Because of this, small businesses can be more targeted in who they try to reach. Sales are going to happen because the market has expanded to billions of online purchases. Despite size, you can compete with anyone these days.

But, what does that have to do with business blogging?

We all understand that sales is not a part of blogging. Many different gurus have warned against this trend as people see those types of blogs as infomercials. Who wants to start reading something enjoyable only to find that they are being courted for a sale? No one. A business blog is about connecting with prospects and customers; it is about sharing yourself rather than your service and/or product.

How do you separate the two?

Sure, the blog is still a part of your marketing effort. It doesn’t matter how you do it, marketing is all about getting your name out there to the right people. A blog does that. Humans are relational animals… we run in packs. No one wants to be a lone wolf (or at least 99% of people don’t) because it is innate that we seek out others to connect with. That is why a blog is part of your marketing strategy whether you formally recognize it as part of that business element or not.

People will buy from you when they trust you. They will only trust you when they know you.

Take a large company like Walmart as an example. When you first realized that there was such a store, you probably heard from friends. Need an inexpensive tire, clothes for the kids, a shotgun, groceries? You can buy it at Walmart. The reason people trust Walmart is because they know through experience that they will be able to get what they need there. The same logic can be applied to any business.

Sure, you’re not in the same business as Walmart, but giving the customer what they need is the biggest part of the job. When you write a blog, you are selling yourself. Hopefully you are not making any overt attempt to sell something with your blog, but you are selling with your blog nonetheless. Your blog is about you and it is you that the prospect and customer want to know.

A blog is like a journal, in some respects, that discusses a particular expertise. Writers like to read blogs from other writers who have been successful. Carpenters like to read home improvement blogs. Online coaches will likely read successful small business blogs, marketing blogs, etc. These sites are not about sales, they are about giving. The blogger gives the reader something for free. It may be a piece of advice, information on a task they want to know how to do themselves, or how to run their business, etc. Whatever the blog is about, it is also about forging a relationship.

A blog is a conversation. You are not going to write something that may take hours of thought and excruciating time spent at a desktop hoping that no one reads what you upload. The idea is to have others read what you are saying in the hopes that you can connect with someone else. This connection may lead to sales or not, but it will give you something valuable.

So, why do you as a small business owner need a blog?

Yes, the relationship part is necessary, but there have to be other reasons as well. You are busy and writing a blog post and marketing it even twice a month can be time consuming. It takes away time that you could be actually producing, bringing in sales, providing services to clients or sending products to customers. Why should you take time out of your busy day to write a 500+ word article for your audience?

It gives you a chance to give back. You may have an opinion from your expertise that others need to know about. You may understand something on a level others do not. By giving back, you make yourself and others better.

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Why Have Personal Blogs Lost Their Popularity To The Business Blogs?

Yep I know you hate hearing or reading about it and I know you keep telling yourself you’ll make a start someday, but if you haven’t done it by now then you’ll be waiting a long old time for someday to come!

A blog for your small business is a great way to connect with your customers on a whole new level, promote customer interaction and increase customer loyalty.

OK, so let’s imagine you’re committed to starting a blog for your small business, how do you create content? how do you even get people to come and check out your content and keep them coming back to visit regularly?

Let’s dive straight in!

Kick Start Your Small Business Blog With These 5 Tips

1. Just do it!

The first step of kick starting your small business blog is to actually create one! Ta da… What the? Yes that’s right, stop putting it off for another week or another month or year even and get the job done now, today.

2. Create a content strategy.

Next you’ll need a content development strategy, so you’ll need to figure out who will actually be creating content for your small business blog, will it be you or will you outsource?

What types of content do you want to post on your business blog? For example, do you want to share news on your latest products, projects and innovations?

Do you want to share tips on how to use your products or services more effectively?

Do you want to use a blog to make important announcements and promote special events?

Do you want to share news on special promotions and offers? The list is endless, but the key is to create an effective content creation strategy where you’ll be able to add valuable resource to your blog on a regular basis.

Avoid making the silly mistake of just adding content for the sake of adding content, or using a blog to post silly sales pitches repeatedly.

Avoid writing too many unhelpful self-promo posts that just talks about how great your products and services are and nothing else, or worst still, posting embarrassing photos of your staff at the company Christmas party! Instead focus on adding real value, real useful content and building an audience first.

A great way to decide what content to put together for your small business blog is to create an email marketing campaign asking your audience “hey we’re launching our new blog, what types of stuff would you like to see us write about?”, or if you have a Facebook page for your business, check to see what kinds of content people are engaging with the most.

3. Get experts in to help you.

What I mean by experts is ‘guest writers’ that are currently writing for other blogs in similar industries to come and add value and a new perspective to the content on your business blog. Whether you’re blogging for business or not, finding the right kinds of contributors can be really beneficial in helping you to kick start your blog.

4. Give your clients the option to signup to your blog newsletter.

Create a fresh email list then consider adding a ‘subscribe to blog newsletter’ call to action or button to your checkout pages, website home page or client emails. There are many other more effective ways to capture email leads for your blog, and this is one very effective way to build a targeted audience for your small business blog as well as increase customer loyalty.

Once again if you have a Facebook page for your business, encourage clients to visit and like your page via your blog, this again promotes customer loyalty.

5. Walk before you can run.

What ever you do, don’t expect to achieve massive results quickly as a result of starting a blog for your small business today. Creating content and building readership takes time, so as the saying goes, walk before you can run. Small business blogging has many benefits to your business.

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Why Have Personal Blogs Lost Their Popularity To The Business Blogs?

Personal blogs were established for the sole purpose of individuals writing about their feelings, opinions and even sharing their life stories. These blogs became highly popular among many people. Over time, search engines like Google lapped up blog posts because people created them in droves. They started ranking higher than websites.

When business owners discovered this, they developed an insatiable hunger to crawl and index through blogs of their own. It was the most reliable way to practice content marketing. This presented the opportunity to get a word out about their different products and services. Granted, they enjoyed better rankings and with the passing of time, personal blogs fizzled out.

Needless to say, entrepreneurs had a hunger to succeed and meet monthly or yearly targets. This motivated them to work religiously on their business blogs.

Here are a few reasons why personal blogs lost their popularity to business blogs:

The social media took over

With the emergence of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, many people did not want to spend hours reading personal blogs when they could simply interact with each other over social media. Unfortunately, the emergence of these networking sites declared the demise of personal blogging as a whole. The observations and gripes that were bread and butter of personal blogging could be pithily condensed into 100 characters as status updates. Individuals preferred to only read business blogs, where they could learn more about a business and find out the impact its products or services could have in their lives.

Better blogs emerged

Other new platforms found ways to reach the itch that personal blogs used to scratch for many of us. Sites such as Medium and The pool offered a profusion of excellent, personal and thoughtful stories. They also offered an abundance of business ideas. Therefore, on these polished blogs, individuals could enjoy

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Business Blogging Resources For The Little Business That Could

Measuring the state of business blogging can be tricky. Statistics are contradictory and change almost by the day because of the exponentially rapid growth of the blog as a medium (not to mention its newness).

A recent Pew Internet research poll the amount of businesses using blogs to be in the neighborhood of 7% (a research poll conducted by American Express last month suggested a similar percentage). Meanwhile, another poll by Guidewire Group suggests 89% of companies are either blogging now or plan to in the near future. Despite these wildly differing figures, the point of agreement is that business blogging is growing. The pace seems to be the heart of the dispute.

There are about 175,000 blogs being created each day (or about two per second), but don’t let that figure frighten you: the business share is a drop in the bucket. Experts put the number of active business blogs in the U.S. today at about 5,000, with half of them being less than a year old and only 10% older than three years. Many new business blogs, like all blogs, are abandoned after a few months, and only about 39% of total blogs are in English language (Japanese is top). What all of this says is that blogging is becoming a global norm but is still very much open to newcomers.

Trends vary by company size, with smaller companies tending to make more use of business blogging, while larger companies maintain a healthy share. About 55% of all business blogs are started by companies with fewer than 100 employees while around 15% account for companies with 1,000 or more employees. However, of the largest 500 companies in the United States, 40% utilize blogs in their comprehensive strategy.

Outside the unruly statistics, what is actually successful in the world of business blogging itself is a little clearer. Virtually all research and opinion on the subject points to a handful of critical factors, including:

A writing style that is able to both connect on a personal level and be entertaining. This includes knowing your customer and establishing a significant relationship in the blog medium.
The company’s willingness to be engaged in an honest marketplace dialogue with its clientele (the source of the infinitely precious credibility of any blog).
The individual blog writer’s time given to the blog itself, for relevant research, thought, responding to posts from readers, and the overall construction of quality work and frequent updates.
Of course, individual companies in their unique industries face their own quirks and demands. For example, depending on the situation or industry, your business may want to focus most carefully on the tone and style of the writer. Companies with reputations they’d like to salve or improve (oil companies, for example) may find particular interest in the transparency aspect of blogging. While in a fast-paced industry (such as technology or media), a company blog might need to weigh its time devoted to updating material for the blog more carefully. Many businesses begin blogging with clear goals in the onset, or even test a blog internally before developing an external blog. Some businesses also run more than one blog. General Motors, for example, runs an entertainment blog (Fastlane) and information blog (FYI) combo that has been very successful.

The General Motors blogs is a great example of successful business blogging in its maturity. Both are easy to navigate and subscribe to, are succinctly written, and utilize costumer-generated material, including photos and video. There are also many links (not only to GM but other auto sites and even other blogs), so the reader gets a real sense genuine dialogue and openness. A look at the high volume of comments and responses in the Fastlane blog shows that successful blogs are both social and relevant.

In the world of blogs, there is still disagreement on who should be writing the business blog. In the case of Fastlane, it’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. For some companies, however, the pitfalls might outweigh the privileges of having an executive doing the blogging. The voice of the boss does not always come out well in a blog. Also, an executive might be unlikely to continue blogging for long due to a simple lack of time. This is the situation for about half of all blogs that are created: after three months, the entries stop and the blog is essentially dead. For this reason, typically the most successful business blogs are run by the employees rather than the CEOs. Therefore, it might make more sense for your business if the employees conduct blogging because they generally have the energy and detailed insight (and voice) to make a more readable blog because to the peers of the readers, and thus legitimate.

Legitimacy has proven to be of central importance to any success in business or market blogging. A few years back, Dr. Pepper attempted to overstep this in the marketing of their now infamous new product, Raging Cow (a flavored milk drink). The company hired teenagers to try the drink and blog about it after being coached. Dr. Pepper’s efforts were received with viciousness and even boycotts for trying to infiltrate the “integrity” of the blogosphere with marketing through coached customers and “hip-ness.” The whole thing went sour and Raging Cow went unreleased. Moreover, many of us are looking at the fate of “Pay-Per-Post” and its legitimacy in the near future.

Another drink company, Jones Soda, offers a much different and more successful model of blog legitimacy and customer outreach. A visit to the blog gives more the impression of a teen hangout than a business. The blog, in fact, acts as a hub for numerous customer blogs. There is all of the usual business-related material present: an online store, a product locator, and message boards (with posts reaching into the thousands). But the people at Jones very obviously know their customers well and have developed a highly successful blog counterpart to their business by loosening the reigns and putting the clientle completely in charge. Terrifying as this might be to some executives, it seems to have worked brilliantly for Jones.

In summary, business blogging can be best looked upon in its infancy even though the sheer statistics of blogs appearing everyday appear to be high. Businesses that whish to enter the blogospere should do so cautiously unless they have a strategy that meets several of the requirements above. However when executed carefully, a business blog can be a great source of customer intimacy, relationship building, and an extension of your business’s brand.

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Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

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What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

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