I was asked to investigate blogging for a client early 2005 but I didn’t really understand what it was about. So I set up my first blog at Blogger for my VA business to explore it. I had to put in a calendar reminder weekly to force myself to do it and I often had no idea what to write about – I would pick out a word from a jar of cards I had just for a topic.
Later that year I decided to set up a family one instead of my annual Christmas newsletter. I put up photos, wrote about my family but it wasn’t till I wrote about a cat of mine who had disappeared that suddenly something happened – people started leaving comments, asking about the cat. Strangers from the other side of the world reading about our family! That same cat passed away last week and I wrote a eulogy for him at http://www.thomases.org.
What you need to know is that I’m a writer – I have been writing since I was a kid. I love to see my name in print and a writer loves responses. I realised two things:
- I had to write more in a more personal way, instead of stilted and formal like in my original business blog.
- And I had to write to attract comments and return visitors.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a writer too, but it helps if you enjoy it as it doesn’t become a chore then, but a pleasure, although an addictive one I might add!
My VA blog is now one of the highest listed VA blogs at technorati.com and I am listed in the Top 100 Australian Bloggers. That has come with time and effort. I get a lot of visitors to my main site via my blog – which is these days attached to my domain with a specially designed template to match. One of my other blogs, written in 2006 was turned into a book in 2007 and is now listed at Amazon – something I never anticipated or expected to happen.
I love WordPress and that is my preferred blogging platform but I still have some blogs at Blogger just to keep my hand in, so I can advise clients. And yes, I own multiple blogs (over 15). Some are just mine, others I have multiple contributors so that I’m not the only one providing content. And one of the ‘secrets’ to having a successful blog is to keep it theme related. If you write about anything and everything on the one blog, unless your readers are personal friends or relatives, you’re unlikely to keep them for long. So the blog needs to be targeted to your audience if you want to build a readership.
I have information about blogging at both http://www.vadirectory.net/blog/ and http://www.soho-life.com – just look in the categories list in the menu sidebars. And I encourage you to join a bloggers forum so you are mixing and mingling with others who are blogging regularly in different platforms. You can learn much from them. I’m very active at AussieBloggers and have made lots of friends there. And another I know of that is also quite active is Bloggeries.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.