Blogging and Internet Marketing: Lessons Learned from a Novice

Sep 24, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

I am a blogger.  I am an internet marketer. I don’t feel like either, but since I blog and work on the internet every day I guess I am.  If a person drinks many alcoholic drinks a day he is an alcoholic. Right?

I read some fabulous blogs like Chris Brogan and Penelope Trunk that have tens of thousands of followers.  I study blogs on blogging like Copyblogger and Problogger.  I joined a membership site on blogging and internet marketing called Third Tribe Marketing.

I have learned a bucket load (actually a truckload) from them.  Way more than my mind can absorb or that I have time to implement.  But, I am trying, much to my husband’s amusement.  He’s not aggravated yet, just amused.

I thought one benefit that could come from all of my following, reading, studying and implementing is to share with some of you the things that have been working for me as I develop Christian Business Crossroads.

Focus on the Main Thing

You have your main product or service that services a specific niche.  Spend your time on that!  As a small business we tend to do many things because we don’t want to turn down business or we just have a ton of ideas.  However, if you dilute your time you will not make significant progress anywhere.  I am a business coach and a Christian counselor.  I could focus on business, leadership, careers, marriages, individuals, families and so on.  For awhile I did.  I have 4 different websites to meet the variety of needs.

Now I focus 85% of my time on growing Christian Business Crossroads.  Since I prioritized I have seen significant improvement in my traffic and new clients on the business coaching side.  With the focus, not only has quantity of posts improved, but synergies and systems have been developed.  The quality has increased ten fold.

Use Social Media Wisely by Focusing on My Passion

I wrote a post about the twitter and social media mistakes I have made over the past 2 years.  However, in the past 4-6 months I have really re-aligned my social media strategy to follow the advice of my marketing coach, Jon Humberstone with TransformNation.com.  He has always asked me what I like to write about and talk about every day?  He said to focus on what I am passionate about.  I didn’t get it at first.  Business is a pretty broad subject.  After I started writing much more frequently I found that it just flowed if I wrote about:

  • integrating faith and business
  • the people part of business
  • leadership, especially as it relates to biblical leadership
  • creativity, in all forms from brainstorming to writing to painting
  • change- changing your life, your business, your self.

All of these easily fall under the umbrella of Christian business, and voila!  My niche was clarified and I could focus on my passion.  Now probably 70-80% of my followers on Twitter mention Christ or being a Christian in their bio.

The same with LinkedIn.  Instead of joining all of the coaching groups and small business groups I joined Christian business groups and Christian living groups.  The conversations began to increase because we have something in common to passionately share about.

To be honest I still haven’t figured out Facebook.  It is still about keeping up with my kids and the people in my local community for the most part.

Following Blogs and Creating Community

This has been the biggest success I have seem in the shortest amount of time, although that is probably because of the cumulative affect of the above.  Here is what I started doing.  Instead of reading all of the big blogs and internet marketing blogs that were teaching me the internet business and commenting on them, I began to focus on a few sites that also wrote about the things I love to write about and think about.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Marketplace Christianity

The High Calling

Shrinking The Camel

Redletter Believers

The Prosper Network

Matt Edmundson

A Holy Experience

Not only do I love to read them, but it is easy to join into the conversation.  I don’t force myself or have to wrack my brain for something to say.  In the end, when I look at Google Analytics, these are the sites that are referring the most visitors to my site.  Honestly, I wasn’t even trying.  I just found that this was my community.

It makes sense.  People who are reading these sites about faith and business would be the same people who may be interested in my site.

Adding Tools and Tactics

Now that I am in my element.  Now that I am writing 3-4 posts per week.  Now that I am getting opportunities to guest post and hopefully attracting others to guest post with me. Now I need to fine tune my craft.

I am actually implementing more of the tips and tactics from Copyblogger and Third Tribe.  I downloaded Scribe yesterday and am trying to use it for search engine optimization.  Chris Brogan helps me focus my business and establish goals while reminding me it is always about relationships.  Jon Humberstone keeps me focused on my niche.

And, with help and a lot of prayers, I will finalize home study versions of the Christian Business Crossroads Business Success P.A.T.H. I have been utilizing in my one-on-one coaching for years.

I hope this helps you eliminate distractions and get hyper-focused on your passions.  Check out some of these sites, resources, and people.  Find your community and then I think you will see things happening in your blog or online business.  For those of you ahead of us, what have your experiences been on this journey?

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Amanda says

    This is a great post. I, too, feel like I have read more than I can absorb and struggle to sort it all out. I think that sometimes I get so caught up in all the information that I do not move forward. It is nice that someone else has been able to move through that and I will definitely try a few of your tips. Thanks.

    • S_Miley says

      Hey Amanda, I hated to add to the noise, but sometimes wish that instead of finding experts I could just find someone a few steps ahead of me that could help me avoid some of the time drains and be an encouragement. That was what I was trying to do for someone else. It keeps getting better and better so hang in there!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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