Monday, October 15, 2007

Marketing Methods: Building business by blogging

This post may well be a little meta--since what am I doing here but trying to build traffic and interest in my book with this blog--but I thought I would weigh in with my thoughts about building a Second Life business by blogging.

This is distinct, of course, from a business that is a blog, or a newspaper. That's a different conversation.

But let's say you have a fashion boutique you're trying to establish. Or a great new toy shop. Or you're getting going with a prefabs business.

There are several important marketing methods you're going to want to pursue as you attempt to raise community awareness of your products and/or services. And I've written at length about those methods in the marketing chapter of my book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life, which will be published by Wiley next month.

Today, however, I wanted to talk here about the idea of using a blog as a way of letting people know who you are.

First of all, it's worth pointing out that except for a very small number of people, your blog is not going to become a significant source of revenue in and of itself. Rather, it's about becoming part of the conversation; about letting people know what's on your mind, what new products you have, what new things you've bought and so forth.

In particular, you can use a blog to post all your new products. This is a great, free marketing method. Of course, it's not worth much if no one's reading your blog, so this is something that only gains value over time, as you blog regularly, participate in others' blogs and generally do things that bring readers.

But if you can achieve that, if you can create a regular readership, you can find that each time you put up a post about some new product you're offering in your store, buyers will follow.

Naturally, as I mentioned earlier, this is only part of the purpose of a blog. Much of it is just about establishing you as someone worth listening to. But altogether, when you take listing products, offering general opinions, reviewing others' products and just musing on this or that, you can become an essential stopping place.

There are SL blog aggregators, like Tao Takashi's World of SL--which posts snippets of all new blog posts by a large number of SL bloggers--which can help drive traffic. But in the main, you'll be wanting to be sure to make your posts relevant, regular and pithy.

I write this wondering if this post, or this blog, fit that criteria. I guess I'll leave that up to you to answer.

There's also the matter of which blogging software you use, and whether you use an RSS feed. These are topics that are probably too complex to delve into here, but if you are considering starting your blog, I would definitely put some thought into it: Blogger? WordPress? Typepad? Each software has advantages and disadvantages. And each has its champions and its scourges. Do investigate.

All in all, blogging is a great way to make yourself known. But like so much of building your SL business, it's not going to happen overnight, nor will it happen in a vacuum. It's just one part of your overall marketing efforts. And you'll have to put in a lot of time on it, be committed to it and willing to let it build. Don't quit if it doesn't happen right away. But if you stick with it, the readers--and the business--may well come.

1 comment:

LaTease Rikard said...

I like your blog. Take a look at mine, I'm trying to accomplish the same thing, building/earning revenue from blogging. Got any suggestions?

Also, I like what you had to say about using your blog as a way of people getting to know you. Great stuff.