If you are a business owner, a great first step in building your platform is to have a website. A couple of months ago, Marketing Pilgrim stated that 44% of Small Businesses Still Don't Have a Website! In this day and age there is no reason for not having a website. Beyond that, for most having a website, and specifically a blog, is a great way to join in the conversation that is happening in the blogosphere and an even better way to make new connections with people who share similar interests.
For me, building a web presence wasn't something I was particularly interested in doing. That all changed last fall when I attended a course that was led by a friend of mine who was doing the course in my area. The course was called Book Publishing 2.0. This course was geared towards using a blog to build a platform and content for your book. I have no desire to write a book but the takeaways from the course were big for me as my attitude for blogging and commenting on blogs was “who cares?”. Since that time, I have been able to build a lot of great connections through blogging that would have never happened otherwise.
So enough about my story, what does this mean for you? If you are trying to build a name for yourself, doing it online is the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to get started and make a significant impact. Having a website or a blog is like having a house that you can invite people to. Put it in the perspective of building relationships in the non virtual world. You have friends, you hang out with them and sometimes you have your friends over for dinner or a party. Your website or blog is the house with which others will get to see what you are all about, how you operate and how you think just like they would when they visit your house.
There are a couple of extensions from your website. Blogging and newsletters. These are both avenues of ideally giving people great content about your set of passions and interests. Blogging is a great way to get involved with the conversations that are happening on the internet and to build your thought platform and start positioning yourself as an expert in your chosen field. Newsletters are great lead capture tool for your site and a great way to introduce people to you and your business. People who sign up for your newsletter will also be able to better determine if you are a fit for them. As for personal blogging and how that fits into the equation, that's a topic for later discussion.
So my question for today, have you joined the conversation yet? Are people who are reading blogs not blogging themselves? Let me know what you think and what your experience has been with these mediums of info.