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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Paul Lesieur's Blog

Paul Lesieur at Silvertree Home Designs in Minneapolis, MN, has started his own blog, appropriately named Minneapolis Kitchen Remodeling. I've set a hyperlink for it. In an email to me introducing the blog, Lesieur says:

Unlike you being a journalist, I am a high school dropout who has done OK.

My grammar and punctuation give me trouble but the Internet has free lessons for everything and I'm learning as I go. One advantage I feel I have is my lack of formal education has given me a perspective that gets "learned" out of educated people. Regardless, I am on my way as a blogger.

You did copy me on the Clothes makes the man, if I was prepared for that I would have edited the word ain't out of my post. But I did read your marketing blog and I like it.

So, I may not be a pro but I am a writer, and I will get better.

Good luck to you, and I'll be doing a couple of articles a week, I'm pretty sure some of them will be good, and all of them entertaining.
Should you follow Lesieur's example and write a blog if you are not a writer by trade? The answer here is not 100 per cent black and white.

Here are the pros:
  • The blog could help your main site's search engine ranking. This is often not an instant benefit as Google algorithms have evolved to discourage "splogging" and other gimmicks to artificially raise your rank. In other words, if you are blogging primarily to achieve higher SEO, you will probably fail -- but higher search engine rankings are likely if you blog because you have something useful to say.
  • You can communicate thanks and recommendations, share ideas and observations, and return favors without spending any money. Lesieur, for example, uses his blog to recommend a local marketing consultant, Henry “Dutch” Hempel.
  • You can enhance your brand and visibility with your thoughtful ideas and contributions.
Here are the risks:
  • If your writing isn't good, you'll reduce rather than enhance your reputation and might damage your brand
  • You may divert your time and energy from things which provide greater value to your business.
Generally, the rewards far outweigh the risks. You can mitigate the risks by contracting with a writer or editor to review your work before posting -- in fact, you can contract with a writer to take your thoughts and express them clearly). You can find journalism students and others locally who will do this work for very little money. The thinking here is very much the same as the relationship between do-it-yourselves and professional contractors: Blogs are do-it-yourself projects, but you may find the end result is much better if you have a professional helping you out.

However, your blog will be most successful if it reflects your own interests and passions and is not some canned thing written dispassionately and without your direct involvement.

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