Why Blogging is so Freakin’ Important to Online Business

Boost Your Bottom Line with a Blog

Somewhere back in the 90s, everything changed and we now live in a different world. A new world. Sure, you can still start a business like “back in the old days,” but I wouldn’t bet money on your success if you did. Cluetrain was right. Out of this sea-change comes a new kind of entity: the online information microbusiness (Or IttyBiz, if you like. Hi, Naomi!)

Online Information Microbusiness

These online information microbusinesses are making it possible for people to live more fulfilling lives, make more money, and suffer less stress than a traditional job. Blogging is critical to their success, and that’s why blogging is so important. The online aspect of these businesses makes them look like strange aliens compared to the way things used to be. Let’s take a look at their key identifying points:

  • There is no physical location for customers to visit. Customers visit a website.
  • The website IS the business. The web is the medium for nearly every exchange, transaction, and communication.
  • Information is the product sold.
  • Information can take many forms, including the physical. A printed book or a DVD is still an “information product.” Consulting and coaching are also forms of information product.
  • The line between products and services is blurred. In my opinion, the more blurred, the better. Clients purchase some kind of bundle or package which may have both product and service elements, rather than just, say, an ebook or a coaching call.
  • Not only is information the product, it’s also how the product is marketed, because small amounts of information fuel the desire for more, and that causes prospects to become customers.

Note that last point. Information is not only the product, it’s how the product is marketed. Out of all the ways we have to deliver this marketing information for an online business, which way gets that marketing information to your prospects most effectively?

Blogging is the Way

I say blogging is the most effective way. A blog — better yet, using a full content management system with a strong blog feature set, such as WordPress & Headway — is the best way to do this because the above points are so easy to carry out with a blog.

I’m using the word blog in this case to mean website, because I don’t want to just use the word website. Neither do I want to use some awkward made-up word like “blogsite” or “blog/website,” etc. This use encompasses how blogs have evolved since the late 90s when they started to grow in number.

Adding the Spice

While not part of the operational or logistical elements of an online business, personality and passion are differentiators which help us position ourselves and attract our ideal customers. Blogging seems to be the best platform to deliver this “spice” to our prospects. At its heart, blogging is a platform made expressively for us to speak our minds, speak our hearts, to reach out and spark a connection with others.

Pointing the Way Forward (What this Means for You Now)

The above points and what I’m trying to express here are the result of many hours of working with my blog consulting clients and me trying to deliver some kind of “big picture” on the whole thing. I had to step back for a time and let my subconscious really work on this, let it stew (which is why it seemed I sort of disappeared for a while). Slowly, a framework and a vocabulary made itself known to me and I began to use this with great success for my clients.

The possibilities of a holistic, integrated (blurring those lines) business (HIB) are pretty skull-exploding when you really “get it.” Not to scare anyone away, but the seemingly simple-enough act of “starting a blog” changes everything, and the consequences are huge (in a good way).

Think about your own online business and marketing efforts in light of what I’ve written here. Can you map these identifying points and concepts to your own business? Some of them? All of them? Which ones really make you excited (or afraid) because now you see things in a new way? And… what are you going to do about it?