To Blog, or not to Blog – that is the Question??

February 2, 2011

At the risk of bastardising the Bard, we list 9 very good reasons for Blogging.  So good infact, that had William Shakespeare been living today in the New Media / Internet Age, he would almost certainly have had a “Bard Blog”!! When it comes to Blogging, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Infact there are no negatives!!

Blogs give your small / medium sized business an opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge with a larger audience. Blogs are the perfect vehicle  to connect with a wider audience and build a profile for your company as an authority in your designated field / marketplace. Here are the main benefits of Blogging and updating your Blog on a regular basis –

Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing reward and recognise websites that are regularly updated with new, well written and crafted, keyword-rich content. New traffic will access your website more easily because Google and the other search engines will list more pages. Google will re-index your site more frequently, with new pages published online appearing in the search results more quickly. The net effect of this is to boost your rankings through the search engines. However be very aware to avoid plagiarising content from other sites. Google and co will not take kindly to this. Google rewards unique content!!

An Alternative to Direct Mailshotting

As time goes on you will build up a database of subscribers who receive regular updates to your Blog, because they are interested in what you have to say. Rather than you appearing to be bombarding your subscribers with sales orientated literature, they are coming to you of their own volition. This allows you to communicate directly with your target audience, with a more subtle “soft sell” approach. Such is human nature, we have a resistance to being sold to in a direct, pushy and transparent way!!

Building Brand Identity, Awareness and Loyalty

Blogging is a very effective method for building brand identity with an existing audience and generating brand awareness to a new audience. The Blog is a great vehicle for building a personality for your brand, business and company. All this leads to the ultimate goal of creating brand loyalty – the net effect of which is repeat and ongoing business!!

Promotion of your Company USPs

The Blog is a way of personalising your company, product or service, thereby separating and distinguishing you from your competitors in the minds of your existing and future clients / customers. In other words, the Blog acts as a platform for you to demonstrate how you work as a company, and what sets you apart from your competitors.

Building Customer Loyalty

Effective and successful selling is all about building relationships and a rapport with existing and prospective customers / clients alike. By posting open and informative articles on your Blog, you will build up a bond of trust and respect, not to mention credibility. This is especially important when trying to “woo and seduce”  potential customers. A “Comments Box” at the end of your articles will encourage dialogue. Interaction is how we build trust, so encourage the reader to engage with you at the end of the article, by leaving a comment or response. They will feel valued, and thus more favourably disposed to you and your company. A by product of all of this is that your reputation for integrity and trust will be enhanced!!

Social Media Marketing

Utilise community sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and social media tools like Twitter. If you feel it’s an appropriate medium for your product or service, promote your Blog articles on social media networks. This will inevitably lead to new visitors to your website and possibly some high calibre inbound links.

Media & Public Relations

Although we should always include the print media , whether it be trade or consumer publications, in our PR and marketing plans / strategy; be aware that any Blog article you publish online will remain in the public forum permanently and as discussed already is imperative for search-engine optimisation (SEO). Always remember that today’s newsprint is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper, to use the old adage!! There are no chip shops in Cyber Space!! So always post on your Blog any Press Releases, News Releases and  News Stories that have been distributed to the print media. In addition actively encourage the media to contact you for more information and / or an attributed ( named ) quote, by posting your telephone number and e-mail address. If you have a Blog and your competitors do not,  the media will be more inclined to contact you as an authority and spokesperson in your field of operation.

Promote yourself as an Expert

Don’t hide your light under a bushel. If you are an expert or authority in your field, don’t be shy to say so on your Blog. This will convey integrity and credibility, and instil confidence with your dedicated following of readers.  As a result these readers  are  far more likely to buy from you, rather than a competitor.

Cost Effective Marketing

Last but by no means least, creating a Blog costs very little, and maintaining one costs virtually nothing at all. Although a Blog is normally linked to a website, it is also a low-cost alternative to having a website. For small business owners without the time to learn website building skills, or indeed the finances to hire a designer/developer, Blogging offers a very cost effective way of promoting your company, product or service on the Internet.

I hope this has been a help, and of benefit!!

Should you require a “skilled scribe” to write your Blog articles for less than the cost of a pair of Levi jeans, contact Simon Sterland @ Rhetoric –

E-mail: simon@rhetoric-artofpersuasion.com or call 07970 205256

Sky Sports should replace Andy Gray and Richard Keys with Sooty and Sweep!!

February 1, 2011

The annals of TV history are filled with great comedy double acts – from the sublime Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies to the ridiculous Cannon and Ball and Little and Large; not to forget the loveable Sooty and Sweep and Kermit and Miss Piggy. Andy Gray and Richard Keys have nothing in common with any of the former duos, bar the final one. In essence they are devoid of any sense of irony or humour , rendering them as no more than muppets from the bygone era of the politically incorrect 1970s!!

If Andy Gray and Richard Keys had even shown the modicum of humour displayed very sparingly by Cannon and Ball and Little and Large in the 1970s, they would have got away with their indiscreet remarks. Their disparaging, sexist comments came across as malicious due to a complete lack of humour. For this anachronistic pair, irony is something that you do once the clothes are dry at the end of the washing process!! Or correction, it’s something that women do, as part of their general domestic duties waiting on the man of the house!! They are humourless twirps, who clearly think that women are an inferior sex, who have no part to play in broadcasting and sport, other than for their own titillation and gratification!!

These two misogynists committed the cardinal sin of ignoring the first rule of broadcasting – whether you are in the studio, or doing an outside broadcast, the microphone is never off!! But they forgot an even more vital lesson – however long you have been on television, you should remember how lucky you are to be in that privileged position. And most importantly, as a TV presenter, with privilege comes responsibility – a responsibility to show decorum, humility and wisdom. A media presenter has the responsibility of being a role model.

I don’t think Andy Gray and Richard Keys will be missed in the slightest. They were both low on talent and high on pomposity and arrogance.  Their downfall was caused by their bloated egos and unfounded bombastic self importance. They will be easily replaced by Sky Sport. My vote goes to Sooty and Sweep, who will bring anarchical fun and humour to Sky Football, without offending and alienating Soo the viewer!!

Oh, and one other thing. Andy Gray and Richard Keys might consider in the quieter moments of their enforced retirement, that many men don’t fully understand the off side rule!!