Andy Beal Interview – Getting Started with a Business Blog

I found this cool interview produced by Ralph Wilson of www.wilsonweb.com. He did an interview with Andy Beal, owner of one of my favorite marketing blogs on the net. In the interview they talk about the importance of building a blog for your business. Watch the video, take notes, and then make a comment about how you plan to implement what you’ve learned:

Here are some of the bits of information I wanted to highlight:

1. What are you looking to achieve with your blog?

  • Build a reputation as a thought-leader in your industry: “How would this help a site that’s trying to sell products?” I can hear many clients asking. “Isn’t this just for blogs that are sharing information, knowledge, or services?” is another question that might be asked. Here’s how it would tie in to an eCommerce Blog: I talk to clients all the time about building credibility in their industry, no matter what they’re selling. If I’m selling dance bags, I better share useful information on what to look for, product comparisons, product reviews, and the like. Not only will this help me build that credibility with potential buyers, but it will also allow me to give reviews and comparisons on my own products with links to the check out pages on my site.
  • Sell more products. Most of my readers are selling tangible products through drop-shippers, and I’m sure some of them think “Why blogging?” As Andy states, a blog promoting your own products or company needs to focus on what you do specifically to differentiate yourself. You can talk about your products, services, success stories, or whatever you feel will be useful to help you get and maintain more clientele. A blog may even be a place where you can generate sales, do special promotions, or make money with affiliate products.

2. Decide on a blogging platform.

  • Blogger.com – I use this one still for my clogging shoes blog. It’s fine to use when you are just getting started blogging. One of the things I like about it is that you can put affiliate links on the side navigation and within the content. As far as I know there are no rules against this.
  • WordPress.com – This is what I use for Moller Marketing. As Andy mentions, there is great functionality and search engine friendliness with wordpress. The plugins are especially useful. I don’t use these as much as I probably could; I know, however, that you name it, there’s probably a cool wordpress plugin for it. Basically a plugin gives your blog more functionality. For example, say you want to allow readers to rank the blog post based on a starring system – there’s a plugin for that. Or maybe you want to have more control of meta tags for individual blog posts, there are a few plugins for that one.One other thing Andy mentions is having a blog hosted for you at wordpress.com (free) versus hosting your own blog at a hosting company like Bluehost.com.If you are just getting started, I recommend the free option to get you going. Once you get a feel for how blogging works and you have a strategy on how often you plan to blog (at least once per week), I would look seriously at getting the paid version. This includes paying for hosting and also buying a new domain name for your blog.

3. Determine what you’re going to say, how often you’re going to say it, what your style will be, and who will contribute to the blog. Blogging consistently is crucial to your success. Andy states that at least three times per week is a good start. I often teach clients that at least once a week is a good way to get things going. The key again is CONSISTENCY!! As Andy says, studies show that if you start a blog and then never keep it up, it can potentially hurt you more than help.

I also really like what was stated about going to other blogs that are very popular and making comments. This is one way to break the ice and get your name out there to your target audience. Beware of spam comments, however – a comment that says something like “Great post – thanks!” and a link to your site. Blog owners will probably not even give you credit for the comment and it gives you little chance of getting traffic to follow your link to your site.

I really enjoyed this interview and hope you all can use it for your website progression.

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17 Replies to “Andy Beal Interview – Getting Started with a Business Blog”

  1. Wow! Very informative. For a newbie like myself this is a real eyeopener. A whole lot to learn and a lotta fun ahead of me.

  2. Nate:

    Very informative video. What is the advantage of having a separate domain for the blog? I own the .com domain name that is the same as the blog title.

    Thanks.

    Jan

  3. Excellent information for all of us beginners,though I don’t feel overwhelmed. Looking forward to getting started as my information is unique in that noone is providing this information or services via blogging or publicly. Will search out the two blogging sites that connect to my subject matter. Should be fun!

  4. I am very new at using computers, I found that the learning curve is much steeper for me using wordpress.com vs blogger.com. I could figure out blogger by myself, I needed help with word press. I appreciate learning the value of blogs and linking them to my business site.

  5. Again, this interview hit it home with the importance of blogging and more so the importance of being consistent. I have started my own blog with wordpress so I’m glad to see that it is coming so highly recommended by the experts.

    1. Thanks for the comment Shar. Let me know as you have questions with your blog. Integrating it in to what you are currently doing is a big must if you want an effective online presence.

  6. Andy Beal made a great point about deciding what your blog is supposed to accomplish.

    This lead to a realization that “Newbies” should be asking this before they even start up their own internet business. “Who am I?”, “What do I like?”, “What can I offer that is unique?” I believe many newbies want to be impressive coming out of the box. This is illogical and rife with stumbling blocks.

    I suggest a newbie should take their first approach at blogging by relating to others what they are doing and learning as they develop their skills . (A diary of sorts.)

    As time goes on, their posts will become useful to others (what to do, what works, what doesn’t, etc.) and if their blog allows comments, they could get help from their readers.

    Newbies are generally way behind those who have spent some time in the trenches, so it’s hard for them to establish credibility or have an identity with their audience, but as they learn, they start getting further ahead in the game and can then share their experiences with others who are not as far into the internet business game .

  7. Nate:
    I wasn’t considering leaving a comment on others blogs until I heard this video by Andy Beal. So now I am doing such.

    I did learn much from listening to Andy and reading your summary.

    Restating your words:

    I also really like what was stated about going to other blogs that are very popular and making comments. This is one way to break the ice and get your name out there to your target audience

    Thanks Nate.
    Tobey Craft

  8. Thanks for the comment Andy. I agree – making good comments on other people’s blogs that relate to your industry can really help you network with the right people. Plus, by making good comments, you are inviting all the visitors at that blog to follow your link and find out more about your blog and/or website. Happy New Year!

  9. Awesome summary, thanks Nate.

    Leaving comments should be on the task list of every blogger. You don’t have to leave comments on just the A-list blogs. Leave comments on anything you find interesting–you never know who might click on your profile link. 😉