Building Trust with Blogging

Marketing wisdom teaches that it takes 8 “touches” to build enough trust with a stranger (a.k.a. a potential client/customer) for them to contact you for more information. This is just another way of saying that you have to build trust with potential clients/ customers before they will consider doing business with you.

Trust is built through communication.

Blogs and blogging are the buzz words of the day and with good reason: Blogging is a GREAT way to communicate and communication is essential to building trust.

The question that has plagued business owners for generations is HOW do you get the opportunity to make those touches or build that trust up front.

In the old days, small business owners would rely on using traditional media to make those touches. It was strictly one way communication, by the way, but it was all that was available at the time. Business owners would buy ad space in newspapers, magazine and air commercials via radio and television to establish a basic level of “trust” with their potential clients. If nothing else, spending the money to air those ads assured potential customers that the business being promoted was a legitimate business…. the first brick in building the wall of trust.

Using traditional media to reach a large audience is still a GREAT way to begin the communication upon which trust is built!

I strongly encourage my clients to consider using “off line” media to promote their businesses. Traditional media is a GREAT way to introduce your business to a wide array of strangers. When you use traditional media to promote your business, be sure to set the “call to action” for them to visit your blog. Think of the radio, television or newspaper ad as an “introduction” to learn more… via your blog.

However, before you issue such an invitation, be sure that the your blog is doing what it needs to do: BUILDING TRUST!

That means your blog posts will need to be written with your customer/client in mind. The chiropractor who blogs about how a song speaks to his soul is NOT going to be inspiring trust with potential patients. The chiropractor who blogs about how chiropractic helps relieve back pain will find that his blog is indeed inspiring people to call for an appointment.

If you have a blog… then take a fat felt tip pen and a piece of paper. Write the following in big letters and put it where you can see it as you blog:

I’M BLOGGING AS A WAY TO BUILD TRUST WITH MY POTENTIAL CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS!

What do you know? Why should I trust you? Can you really do what you say you can do?

Those are all questions running through your blog visitor’s mind. Make sure you keep that in mind as you post to your blog.

The Importance of Creating Great and Creative Blog Titles

Why the most clever blog titles may kill your blog’s readership.

In the world of copy writing, headlines make or break the ad. A great headline isn’t just important for advertising, a great headline can make or break a blog post as well.  There’s no doubt about it,

Great Blog Titles grab attention.

Great creative blog titles not only grab the attention of human readers, but the search engines as well.  However, clever blog titles, while they may capture attention, may not encourage your reader to click and read more.

Dharmesh Shah discovered this harsh truth when he wrote a guest post on Hubspot: Forget digg: Join Mixx Where You Can Still Become A Power User.

He reports on his home blog SEO 2.0 in his post Top 10 Reasons Why Great Content Fails on Social Media that he suspects that the wording of the headline played a significant factor in the failure of a GREAT article.

The headline is crucial, without a proper, intriguing, kick-ass headline the best content will fail.

What the heck is it about? Nobody knew and thus it failed even on Sphinn where otherwise it would have ruled the homepage. I was silly enough to submit it without changing the headline.

Basically the original title just does not give you a clue what the post is about and why anybody should care for it.

Remember, when you’re creating content for the largest publication in the world (the Internet), your audience isn’t seeing this article within a specified context. A blog title that generates a ton of clicks from your RSS subscribers may elicit a big YAWN from other sources such as Digg, Sphinn, Stumbleupon or even Google.

Creating great blog titles takes time.

Make sure that your blog title gives the uninformed reader a clue about what information the post contains. Sometimes the most clever blog title may be the worst thing you can slap onto your great blog post.

Want to learn more about creating a successful blog?  Pick up a copy of the 8 Week Power Blog Launch today.  It’s one of the many essential blogging tools we have to help beginning business bloggers learn from OTHER people’s mistakes.

Blogs are Blogs…and success doesn’t matter what platform you’re using…. right?

Blogs are blogs… that’s what you’d think.  WordPress, Typepad, Blogger blogs or even the free WordPress.com blogs… they’re all the same… right? That’s exactly what I used to think but over the past two years, I’ve seen evidence to the contrary.

For example, I had one client who launched a blog on a VERY popular free blogging site on my recommendation.

The plan was to use the free blog as “bait” for her sales site.  The plan was to capture targeted reader’s attention and those readers who were interested would click through to the frequent references to her sales website.

She blogged faithfully five times a week for several months yet when I ran the log files on her sales site, we didn’t see a single visitor come from her free blog to the sales site. In other words, over a 6-9 month period not a single person who visited her blog and went on to visit her web site.

I probably need to add here that I wasn’t using a free “stats” counter to track this or even the free “stats” programs available for free.  I was using ClickTracks to analyze her log files.

Sure, my client didn’t have any $$$$ invested in development, but she was investing a significant amount of time and effort in her blogging efforts. (She’s a WONDERFUL writer, by the way!)

During this time, I launched quite a few wordpress self hosted blogs for other clients and the testimonials from those clients were outstanding.

It just didn’t make sense.

These people weren’t blogging as faithfully as the client with the free blog nor were they as well “branded” and tightly targeted as she had been with her free blog yet they were seeing growth in their blogs.  There was increased traffic with the self hosted blogs (something we couldn’t track with the free blog) but most measurably, when you typed the other blogs into Google, the blogs came up in the search. That was NOT the case when it came to the free blog.

Because of what I had seen, I advised my client to launch a self hosted WordPress blog. (I’m a boot strapping entrepreneur’s best friend and hate to recommend spending money they don’t have to spend.)

Her WordPress blog was hosted on it’s own hosting account with a unique domain name pointing to the WordPress software installation. Her new blog acts as a “free standing” web site.

I then installed the necessary plug ins to “pump up” performance and she went to work blogging on the new site with the same enthusiasm she was on the free blog.  She put a notice up on her free blog account that her blog was “moving” but we didn’t port the content over to the new blog.

Within 6 weeks of launching the self hosted WordPress blog, we began seeing traffic from her new blog coming to her HTML “storefront” web site.  That traffic started as a trickle and is now a reliable flow.

Thanks to this hard working client, and a few that aren’t quite so enthusiastic when it comes to their blogs…. I’ve developed a real confidence in recommending that small business owners make the investment to launch a self hosted WordPress blog.

So these days, when I get an email asking me how to create an “alive and vibrant” blog presence, the first step I suggest is to launch a self hosted WordPress blog. It’s been my experience that free blogs just don’t get the attention they deserve or the traction for long term growth.

WordPress rocks for SEO

This is one for the “more proof” files. As you know, I’m a real fan of WordPress blogs.  I’ve found that for my clients, who are not tech savvy, a WordPress blog allows them to compete successfully with “web experts” in getting their website found on the internet.

Mark Gosh on the Weblog Tools Collection did his own unscientific research project and was kind enough to share his findings. In his “experiment” he typed in a keyword and took a look at what results were returned. In each case, the results returned a WordPress blog post on every Google Search.

March challenged his blog’s readers to find keywords that didn’t return such favorable responses, and they found a few.

I’ve written about how I’ve had clients who launched a WordPress self hosted blog in addition to maintaining an established blog on another “popular” platform who were SHOCKED at how quickly their WordPress blogs rose to the top when they searched for their own name.

Reading the comments on Mark’s post, you’ll see their experiences are not uncommon.

Domain Name Registry Scam

The bastards are on the loose again.  You know, the CREEPS  who send you a very official looking “invoice” regarding your domain name registration.   Obviously a LOT of people fill in the form because it looks so damned official.  I’m a “professional” and I have to admit, if I didn’t know better… I’d sign it as well.

It’s bad enough that you have to worry about security online… now you have to guard yourself off line as well.  It’s a form of snail mail domain name phishing.

In case you don’t know, here’s the scoop.   In the fine print it is written that by signing this form you’re authorizing the  transfer of your domain name to THEIR service.  Want to point your DNS to another hosting program.  TOO BAD!  You can’t.  Want to transfer your domain name… can’t do that either… you signed away those rights.

I’ve gotten two emails this week from clients asking about the letters they’ve received via snail mail regarding this scam.

“But I thought my domain name was registered through you?”

My reply, “It is and will be unless you fill out that form and send it in.  Then all bets are off.”

In case you can’t tell, one of my clients made that mistake a few years back.  I don’t think we ever got control of the domain name back.

It INFURIATES me when some slimy bastard tries to use FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) to make a buck.

Well, obviously the scam isn’t working so well anymore, so the slimy bastards have hired a call center to telemarket their service.

I got just such a call this morning.  “Hello.  I’m from Domain Name Registration Services and you will be getting a notice in the mail about changes to your domain name account.”

“Why will I be getting that?” I asked.

“Uh, because there are changes in your domain name registration account,” she replied.

“Why?” I asked again because I can be a horse’s ass sometimes.

She started stumbling so badly it was literally incoherent jibberish.  I began thinking of the dear, sweet woman who wrote to me earlier this week and thought about how different this phone call would be if she were in my place.   That visualization set me off and with that,  I let loose on that poor telemarketer.

You know you’ve reached a new low when a telemarketer hangs up on you.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW ALREADY:

  • Don’t click on links in emails regarding your domain name .  Go to  the web site where you registered your domain name and renew it.
  • If you didn’t register your domain name via snail mail, don’t respond to snail mail messages regarding your domain name.
  • Your domain name registrar will NOT be phoning you about your domain name… even if you haven’t paid the bill.

By the way, these rules apply to your CREDIT CARD, YOUR BANK and YOUR PAYPAL accounts as well!!!

It’s only classified as paranoia if they ARE NOT out to get you.

Is a Blog the Best Marketing Tool for Your Business?

There is an adage in advertising that says, “I know that half my advertising dollars are wasted – I just don’t know which half!” Several authors claim credit for this quote, but no matter what the origin, I can assure you the saying is wishful thinking.

Not only is it possible that more half of your advertising dollars are wasted, on the flip side, it’s also possible that your marketing efforts are working very hard – against your business!

One every popular “advertising” avenue being touted is using blogs to promote your business. With all the hype surrounding blogs, you may be wondering if a blog could help your business.

The answer is easier than you might imagine. But in order to answer this question, you must first recognize that there are two different types of sales your business can be making.

Neil Rackham is the founder of The Huthwaite Corporation, which launched a 12-year, $1 million research study into effective sales performance. Rackham is not your typical “sales guy” but rather he’s a psychologist who studies the sales process. The study results are available in the book, Spin Selling, where Rackham differentiates sales into two categories… the Minor Sale and the Major Sale.

While Rackham applies this theory to sales people who make sales calls, I have taken this theory and applied it to advertising and marketing, because these activities are “selling” activities.

If your business is making Minor Sales, then a blog probably won’t be a really effective marketing tool for your business. However; if you’re making a Major Sale, then a blog can be a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

Are you making a Major Sale?

The elements that make up the Major Sale extend beyond the financial investment required. Asking a customer to spend a lot of money is one way you know you’re making a Major Sale… however, it’s not the only factor in play. To determine how much of a Major Sale you’re making, ask yourself the following questions:

QUESTION 1: How much risk is there in purchasing your product or service for your customers?

In other words, how much trust do they need to have to become your client or customer? How “high” is the risk if your customers make a wrong choice? Most businesses doing business on the internet need to establish a level of trust, but some require more trust to be built than others.

For example, if you’re selling office supplies, the consequences fof your customer of making a mistake and purchasing the wrong kind of copy paper is very, very low. If your customer orders the wrong kind of paper and then finds out that he/she made a mistake… the consequences aren’t very high. If the customer has children, then he or she merely brings home the reams of paper and the kids will take care of it in short order.

On the other hand, the choice of a financial planner is a VERY high risk decision for most consumers.

Several years ago, a financial planning firm in my home town made BIG news when it was discovered that the “investments” offered by the “financial planners” were not investments at all but actually a complex Ponzi scheme. As a result, several thousand of the firm’s clients in the area lost their retirement savings.

If you need to establish TRUST with your potential clients… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

If you’re selling baseball gloves to Little Leaguers… well, then trust isn’t quite as important as it may be if you’re a CPA or a financial planner. On the other hand, if you’re selling copy paper, trust may be downright irrelevant!

QUESTION 2: How much TIME will customers invest in researching their purchasing options?

The higher the “risk” is for your client or customer in purchasing your products or services, the more time he or shee will spend researching providers and searching for alternatives.

It’s important to note that devoting a lot of TIME to making a decision about buying changes the buying process significantly. Just because someone is spending time researching a purchase, it doesn’t mean that the decision will be made based ENTIRELY upon which provider has the lowest price.

If your customers are spending a lot of time researching options, then a blog is a great marketing tool because, via regular posts, you can illustrate time and time again why they should make an investment and build a relationship with you. You can use those blog posts to clearly illustrate WHY the lowest PRICE provider may not be the BEST provider.

If your potential clients spend a lot of time researching their options… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

Blogs are MAGNIFICENT COMMUNICATION TOOLS!! If you’ve got a good “handle” on the information you want to communicate to potential customers and your customers are SEEKING more information to make an informed choice.

QUESTION 3: How much TIME will your customers be spending with you after the sale?

Yet another factor that moves a sale from Minor Sale status to Major Sale status is the RELATIONSHIP that you’ll have with your customers or clients once the sale is completed.

The more interaction you expect to have with customers or clients, the more information those clients or customers need BEFORE they make the final decision. If you expect to have a lot of interaction with clients or customers AFTER the sale, then even if customers aren’t making a major financial investment, they still treat the transaction as a major sale. After all, breaking up with a service provider is hard to do!

So while the investment in choosing a baby sitter for a Saturday Night out on the town may not require taking out a loan, it still falls into the Major Sale category.

If your potential clients will develop a relationship with you after the sale… then a blog is a GREAT marketing tool for your business.

If your business is involved with making Major Sales, then establishing communication with customers BEFORE they make a purchasing decision is essential. When communication is key, a blog is a GREAT way to communicate with customers and clients.

This article was published at BizNik
Biznik - Business Networking

Why and For Whom Do you Blog?

Darren Rowse has an interesting article about a “new” breed of blogger,  who doesn’t blog for money but rather earns income as a SIDE effect of blogging.  His post was inspired by a post written by Seth Godin (the MASTER of earning income as a side effect of his blogging) called “The Wealthy Gardener” in which Seth writes:

Blogging is much the same way. The best bloggers make money, but mostly as a side effect, not as a direct result of setting out to use a blog to make a profit. It’s just too long a ramp up time, too frustrating and too uncertain to be the best path to make a living.

AMEN!!

Which is why I encourage my clients to embrace the “new breed of blogging” with a passion.  See, in my practice, my clients are engaged in making what Neil Rackham classifies as the Major Sale.  According to Rackham, a major sale is one in which the seller needs to establish a trusting relationship with the buyer in order to complete the sale.

If you’re an independent service professional, chances are good that YOU are engaged in making a “Major Sale.”  If that’s the case, then a BLOG is a great way to communicate with potential clients and begin building the TRUST needed for them to eventually hire you so you can perform your services for them.

With that in mind, when I have a client who expresses desire to “monetize” his or her blog, I encourage them to think FIRST of why they’re blogging and then WHO their target audience is when they blog?  A consultant whose monthly retainer is four or five figures should probably focus more on building a relationship with potential clients rather than focus on the nickels and dimes a “monetized” blog will generate.

Even blogging superstar Micheal Arrington of Techcrunch began blogging not with a “monetized” blog in mind, but rather as a way to get up to speed quickly on the emerging technologies of Web 2.0.  It wasn’t until after he had built a MASSIVE audience that he parlayed his blogging “success” into a successfully “monetized” blog.

Mark Butler writes about the things Courtney Tuttle did right when he launched his blog and the first item Mark identifies is Court “began with the end in mind”.

Figure out what the ‘Why’ behind your blogging is, and remind yourself of it every day. Hint: “To make money” isn’t specific enough. Your blog should have a clear place in your business plans and goals. Define it, and stick to it.

I recently wrote about a GREAT contest being launched by the Search Engine Journal blog where they’re inviting guest writers to create dynamic posts to their blog.  It’s a great contest, but one I won’t be entering.  Why?  Because my blog is a promotion tool for my business and my clients are NOT RSS subscribers nor readers of the Search Engine Journal.

A conversation I had this morning with a client illustrated this point well for me.  I found myself creating a word picture for a client to help her to understand the difference between her domain name based email account and her beloved Hotmail email account.  (The word picture involved an RV, a mail box, and two dogs named Outlook Express and Hotmail.)   Trust me when I tell you that the readers at Search Engine Journal do NOT need that word picture to understand the concept of having two separate email account.

It’s easy to get distracted by shiny objects and small furry creatures as you build your blog.  However, when you keep in mind WHY you’re blogging and FOR WHOM…. it makes it MUCH easier to decide where to invest your most precious commodity…. TIME.

Why Your Blog Isn’t Getting As Many Comments As You’d Like …

One of the most common “laments” I hear from my clients (the ones who are actually adding content regularly) is “HELP!!! Very few people are commenting on my blog posts!!!”

My standard response to them is as follows:

It’s been my experience that most people who leave comments on blogs are other bloggers. With a blog of their own to promote, these people are trying to build a “bread crumb trail” to their own blog via their comments. “Regular” people will have to be moved to great extremes of either passion or anger (usually the latter) to be motivated to actually post a comment.

It’s interesting to note that I have a few clients who have NO DESIRE to allow people to comment on their blogs! As I was researching a blog post for another blog, I came across a post from Steve Rubel over at Micro Persuasion titled The Participation Ladder and Its Impact on Marketing and PR.

Forrester segmented the online audience into several different stratas – what they call a ladder of participation. They found that “Inactives” are by far the dominant group (52%). They’re followed by spectators, joiners, critics, collectors and last but not least creators. This last cluster, according to the analyst firm, dabbles in lots of different activities but few do all of them. See the chart for more.

The numbers on the graphic pan out as follows:

Creators: 13 %
Critics: 19 %
Collectors: 15 %
Joiners: 19 %
Spectators: 33 %
Inactives: 52 %

Keep in mind, according to the report, people enter at the bottom of the ladder and move UPWARDS. Inactives don’t usually jump into blogging at the “creators” level. They move slowly up the ladder… becoming spectators… then joiners.. then collectors… then critics.

Now, take a look at YOUR blog’s audience. Where do THEY fall on this ladder?

My clients are definitely fall on the lower spectrum of the ladder. Most of them are trying to soar to the top and as a result, they need my services to guide them. That’s what I do. As a result, my clients (and potential clients) don’t comment on my blog posts, my colleagues do.

While my clients and potential client’s won’t post a comment, they will email me if they feel particularly moved by a post. For example, when I was complaining about my cat and his OCD issues in the post “Are Google Adwords the Answer?” I got several emails from concerned clients who wanted to help my demented self mutilating kitty.

Niche Blog Marketing also offers great advice regarding playing the comments game with your blog:

Focus on building your lists while building rapport with your visitors. Track your progress and study your numbers. Treat social networking like attending your local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Be approachable……..

In other words, ASK for participation if you want comments.

There’s no one who does this better than Liz Strauss over at Successful Blog.com. Notice how she ends her post “Wendy Wouldn’t Wait. Will you?

What are you doing to build the business of your dreams now?

She got 23 comments on this blog post just by ending it by asking a question. She does that a lot and as a result, her blog is an active hub.

By the way, Liz leads that post with the most brilliant insight I’ve seen on the web:

A blog isn’t a business any more than a building is a company.

BRILLIANT!

Does the Blog Skinny widget do to more harm than good?

Blogs are hot… there’s no doubt about it. I’m such a fan of blogs, that I’m actually a “blog pusher and dealer.” They are a GREAT communication tool for independent service professionals who need to build trust with potential clients.

However, in response to the popularity of blogs, several services have emerged which claim to offering help driving to your blog. Some of these resources, like Technorati, MyBlog Log, Blog Catalog are legitimate blog traffic building tools. Others like Blog Rush are of questionable value, but I don’t think it HARMS your blog to include their widget…. unlike a service I stumbled upon the other day.

It’s called “Blog Skinny”and I decided to test the service with one of my “experimental” blogs.

Step 1: Fill in the form and submit your blog to the database.

I fill in the required information. No red flags yet… so I use a REAL email address that I actually check because some tools, like Blog Catalog, have social networking type features, participation in which helps to improve the tool’s effectiveness at driving blog traffic.

Step 2: Authenticate your blog by displaying not one but 2 widgets. Once the widgets are displaying on your blog, you then hit the “submit” button to authenticate.

TWO WIDGETS?!?! I mean, the rest is standard operating procedure, but requiring 2 widgets is asing a lot. (The fact that they offer another 8-10 “optional” widgets should have sent up a red flag, but it didn’t alarm me enough to stop.)

I don’t have a problem with the display preview that they show for each button. The first one is shown as displaying a tiny button and the second is a larger button. I notice as I copy the code that these the kind of URLs that would warrant a quick in person visit before approving a trackback or comment…. that red flag is starting to wave faster and closer in front of me.

Yet, I blaze on and add the code to the test blog. I click “view site” and am HORRIFIED by what I see. I’m not seeing the discreet image displayed in the display but rather a “word at home” text link in place of the discreet first button. Following the link confirms my worst fears: that Blog Skinny widget is going to link my blog with one that apparently lives in a “bad” neighborhood!

WHOA!!! A quick delete of the text widget and I take pleasure in the admonition from Blog Skinny that failure to complete the process will mean my information will be deleted from the database. I’m hating the fact that I used a real email address with them at this point and will have to wait and see if I’ve opened up a pandora’s box of email there.

I frequently tell my clients, “I’m covered with the scars from my experimentation so you don’t have to get burned.” While I initially hoped that I dropped the match before it burned my flesh… using my real email has already resulted in spam emails coming in to me pristine and well protected account.

Why blogging in the dark can be a good thing….

The email was short and sweet….

” Kathy!  It’s me again.  I am wondering if you can tell how much activity my blog gets.  I looked at the stats sheet, but couldn’t tell.  Am I writing about the right kind of stuff?”

My reply:

This is a COMMON problem.

It’s been my experience that you can’t judge which posts are the most “powerful” by the comments because often, the only people who leave comments are other bloggers who want to leave a breadcrumb trail from your blog to their blog.

With that said, I peeked at your stats …[snip] I also saw that you’re getting lots of love from the Google bot.   That’s good.

However, aside from the dry information readily available in your log files, ….for right now, you’re blogging in the dark so to speak.   It’s true that your stats can tell you what page people entered on and how many left after reading that page.  I can also see how many pages each “visitor” consumed “on average”.    Log file analysis doesn’t always tell the story.  We know your average page view is 2.32 pages…. was that the result of each and every visitor visiting 2.32 pages or was it hundreds of single page views combined with three or four visitors consuming 10-20 blog posts on their visit?  Because of the high traffic, analysis is difficult at best!  It’s easier in this case to see 10 visitors with an average page view of 8 pages per viewer.   Then we know SOMEONE is very interested in what you have to say!   It’s very common for high traffic blogs to have a low number page views because an interested reader who consumes 10-20 blog posts won’t drive up the average number of page views over thousands of visitors.

Then the question is…. did those visitors who consumed a single page on their visit… were they “regular” readers (who subscribed via RSS feed).  An RSS feed subscriber may visit every time you post an entry… or they may only visit when you have an interesting headline that catches their eye.  The blogs I subscribe to via RSS will only see me visiting a single page if I was just there the day before, reading the previous day’s entry.

In a word, you could drive yourself NUTSO worrying about this.  Or, you can continue to blog from your heart.  Write as if you were speaking directly to a potential client.  What would she need to know about you before signing up for your services?  How can you build TRUST with this stranger?  The goal is to build up trust to the point where the reader will take a chance and contact you.

The more you post, the more trust opportunities you’ll have.   As you post, you’ll be revealing MUCH more than you should even focus on.  For example, today’s post is EXCELLENT!  It tells me a lot… I read this one and the one before it and if I didn’t know before, I do now that you’re a Christian.

Now, that may be a HUGE turn off to some people.  That might be enough to “cross” your name off their list.  But those people weren’t really even in the running to be your client.  On the contrary.  Once they had a conversation with you, they would have seen that and never contacted you again.  This way, they learned it from your blog BEFORE they wasted your time by calling.

Again, you’ll drive yourself CRAZY trying to define the single post that was the “tipping point” and caused the potential client to fill in the contact form or pick up the phone.  You can ask, but they probably weren’t aware of the process.  Was it the last post they read or the first?  Which straw broke the camel’s back?

I am aware when I reach that tipping point… but only because I’m ACUTELY aware of the process.  I don’t ask “regular, normal, functional” people the question of “when did you decide to pick up the phone” because it’s not that they WON’T answer it, it’s that they can’t answer it.

On the one hand, you don’t want to “ruin” the intake process by grilling them on what made them decide to call.  On the other hand, if you WERE to grill them, you need to be aware that psychologists estimate that 85% of the buying decision is made at an unconscious level.  All your potential client could answer would be what the last post was that they read before they called or contacted you.  The probably can’t tell you when they made the decision.

The moral to the story…. many of us are “blogging in the dark”.  I remember one potential client contact a few months back.  A woman called late on a Friday afternoon and she opened the conversation with me with an unforgettable phrase,

“I don’t know why, but for some reason… I think you might be able to help me.”

She’s normal… she’s functional… and she’s not obsessed with this stuff…. of course she can’t pin point WHY she called.   However, her comments and questions clearly referenced a few blog posts I had made a few months earlier.  Looking back, she hadn’t posted a question or a comment on the post…. no one did!  It wasn’t a “powerful” post by anyone’s definition except hers!!!

On the other hand, my serious introspection of my bellybutton lint when it comes to making major sale decisions is BOUND to affect my decision making process as well.  By trying to see past the veil… the one the hides the 85% of the buying decision making process from view… am I skewing the results?

As I try to measure, I find myself entering aCatch 22 world similar to that in Quantum Mechanics… “when a quantum system interacts with a measuring apparatus, their respective wavefunctions become entangled, so that the original quantum system ceases to exist as an independent entity.”  In other words, by trying to MEASURE  the quantum state one will actually ALTER the quantum state rendering the measurement useless.

In other words… tis far better to blog naked, in the dark.  That way, when you think no one is reading… you can really speak your mind and blog from the heart.

Spend too much time “blogging” from your head makes blogging scary… difficult…. and not fun.  When you’re blogging “from your head” you end up viewing posting to your blog in a similar vein to working up the courage to go streaking across the field of the Super Bowl during the first quarter.  Turn off the television cameras and all the lights and it’s a MUCH easier proposition!

Instead… just post to your blog.  The more you blog, the sooner you’ll find your “blog’s voice“.