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    Niche Branding: here are all the key posts

    This will the the introduction text that I want to appear at the top of this category no 4 .

    The post was inspired by some of the commentary that followed Jason Calacanis’s keynote speech at Blog Business Summit where he effectively had said that if you were not an A-list blogger (and ideally in the Technorati Top 100) then your blog is rubbish.

    In fact, effective business blogs should never even try to achieve so called A-list status – if they do, then the focus of the blog will undoubtedly be too broad to achieve its real business goals. The most successful type of business blogs should be focused on a market sector or niche and designed to attract a specific audience interested in that area. Lose that focus and you lose your audience.

    In fact, as I think about it, the title of this post is itself misleading – trying to become an A-list blogger in your niche is also totally pointless.

    What you want to do is become the recognised expert in your niche. Now this you can achieve with your business blog – through your posts, you can build credibility and gain both recognition and trust from the market and customers that you work with. Being considered as an A-list blogger in your area may come about as a result of your blog but it shouldnt be its aim.

    So are there any special steps to follow to achieve this? Not really. Just follow the key principles of blogging mixed with some business and marketing common sense:

    • Know your subject area inside out you probably do already – and communicate that through what you write and how you write it

    • Keep up to date with what is happening in your industry (RSS really helps here) and then put it in context on your blog together with your views on it

    • Write passionately and intelligently about subjects which will be of interest and of use to your readers within your niche

    • Build your credibility and demonstrate your expertise through the information and knowledge that you share in your blog

    • Link and reference to others as well as your own work so that you become the key information source for your market – if your readers don’t need to go elsewhere for the information, they won’t

    • Promote and market your blog to help people find you – hopefully your posts will then keep them coming back

    It’s impossible to be all things to all people. So by picking a subject area or market niche which we can focus on, we have a much better chance to establish a reputation in that area and so attract people to our blog who are really interested in what we do. Exactly the people that we want to talk to and do business with!

    (Oh, and in case I forgot to mention, the Search Engines will love you for it too!)

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    A useful article from Robert Plummer last night on the BBC website entitled Business bites the blogging bullet gives a nice overview of certain aspects of Business Blogging and from two separate standpoints.

    On the one hand, he looks at the world of Blogs from the standpoint of the large corporates which need to monitor what is being said about them in the blogosphere, ideally so they can enter into the conversation and participate in the debate to put their own side. On the other hand, the article identifies the ability of blogs to act as a powerful promotional tool to drive awareness, develop brands and ultimately create sales.

    For me, I particularly enjoyed the headings which summed up a number of different aspects of Business Blogging:

    Dell Hell
    The example of Dell and Jeff Jarvis’ blog, Buzzmachine, is well founded because of the impact it has had on their reputation. The viral nature of blogs in developing ongoing conversations is powerful with negative commentary as in Dells case, but equally so when used to positive effect.

    Opportunity
    Its good to read the word opportunity associated with Business Blogging I still all too often see the word threat used, generally by companies which worry about not being able to control what is being said about them or PR companies worried about the changing face of their marketplace. One of the opportunities is now you know what is being said and can do something about it.

    Marketing Disruption
    Just as the change from mass media advertising to a more individual and personalised marketing focus caused a great deal of consternation in the marketing, so Business Blogging as part of emarketing has taken it a step further. Its now given the opportunity to interact with a vendor, develop a relationship and build trust with them.

    Micro-brand boost
    Blogs have also given businesses the opportunity to develop their own brand like never before and the tools to communicate to a wide audience both what they do and what they stand for. Dominating a niche is clearly not easy but the new marketing opportunities on offer, such as Blogs, does make it possible.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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