ProBlogger’s secrets for building a business blog – Adam Franklin interviews Darren Rowse
I caught up with Darren Rowse at his ProBlogger event in Melbourne recently and got to ask him about how get a business blog going. Here’s what we discussed in our interview.
Here’s a transcript (for those of you who prefer reading).
Adam Franklin: Hi there it’s Adam Franklin and I’m here with Darren Rowse. You may know him as ProBlogger, one of Australia’s premier bloggers. I’ve got a question for you… But first, thank you for having us at your course this weekend.
Darren Rowse: You’re welcome.
Adam Franklin: You spoke a lot about from small things big things come and you are obviously very successful; it’s taken 10 years, and congrats on your 10th year anniversary. For business bloggers, what type of effort do they need to need to be putting in at the early stages, and how long until they can expect genuine business results from a blog?
Darren Rowse: It is one of those things it is hard to give an exact timeframe and the exact results that you will get. It is certainly is something that the more you put in the better results, and that is pretty much like anything in life; the more you work at it the better.
I think for me, it is probably more important to understand who you are trying to reach than the amount of time, so I would really be thinking about; what are the needs of my potential readers? If it is a business; who are my customers, what are their needs, and how can I serve them through that?
Doing that hard work is probably where most of the work, is actually identifying; what are we going to talk about this blog? And setting yourself some targets, in terms of the writing that you are going to do, and then just consistently dripping out content that serves those needs.
I would probably spend a lot of time those first couple weeks, before you even start the blog, identifying needs and problems that people have, and then in mapping out what to do. I think that is probably the hardest part. Once you got those topics and those needs to write about, it is actually not that hard to create content, and it is the type of content that you do not even think anyone would, it is not even that important to you, because you have forgotten all the lessons that you have learned, but to other people, that is really important stuff.
Writing that really basic content that helps someone overcome a certain need really does not take that much time. The key is doing it consistently over time, and just consistently publishing good content.
Adam Franklin: Awesome. Where are some of the points where people give up, where they just need a bit more encouragement that results are just around the corner? Where to you find typically, they will fall over?
Darren Rowse: Typically, I would say a lot of bloggers give up before they start because they are completely paralysed and overwhelmed by the technology, that is often the point. I have talked to a lot of bloggers who have ideas for blogs but they do not act on
The other point is usually about 3 months, and 3 months is the hard part because you do not get a lot of feedback from people. They say about 1% of visitors to a blog comment, so you could have 100 readers and not be getting any feedback, at all. You are actually doing something relatively significant, but you are not getting that interaction, so that is a really tough hurdle to get over, to start getting that engagement.
Then I often find about a year, in a year I guess you look back over a year and you think of all the work you have done on something, and for a lot of people, that is the point where they evaluate whether they continue or not. I personally find, yes, 2 or 3 years on my blogs is what it has taken to actually get over the hump, get that interaction, and to understand who my reader is, but also; what is my voice and how do I communicate to them?
Adam Franklin: Awesome. Thank you so much for that Darren. I really appreciate it. On Twitter he is @ProBlogger. I highly recommend you follow him on Twitter. Also read his blog. I have found it very valuable over the years.
Darren Rowse: Thank you.
[end of interview]
PS. If you’re blogger or an aspiring blogger, I highly recommend the ProBlogger Training Event held in Melbourne in October. I’ll be back in 2013.
PPS. Thanks for Brad Swart for putting together our new video format!