CSS Helper?

Anyone know CSS well enough to know what I did to ‘jank’ up my right sidebar?  I’ve been mucking in my CSS code, PHP and HTML, rather than doing the smart thing and downloading plugins (seeing my limited knowledge of the three is well… limited) and I’ve accidentally underlined my right sidebar.

This is an excellent reason to have a web developer on retainer.  Or, at the very least, back up your development files before making changes.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but I will waste much time doing so.

But, I did save the five minutes it would have taken to back up the files, so I guess it was worth it.   😉

How to become a successful business blogger

In answer to Christopher Salazar’s excellent post on business blogging last week. I challenged Chris to write up his thoughts and now I am answering with my own.

Being a successful business blogger really isn’t all that difficult. And, if you’ve built a successful business, I know you have it in you. However, you may need some guidance. Here are my favorite suggestions for beginning business blogging.

Share Your Knowledge
You know a great deal about your business. Share your successes and failures. Encourage those who are looking learn about your business topic by providing them with insights that would have helped you when you were first starting out.

I know your first thought here is that you are giving away your secrets and help to the competition. However, blogging is in it’s infancy. Those of you who are positioning yourselves as ‘experts’ in your field will reap the rewards as customers look for the __________ experts in Google and see your name pop up. Of course, that’s not to mention the power of expert status offline. How’d you like to be the person the media called to comment on your business field? Wouldn’t you like to be the one that spoke all over the country as expert in your field?

Plus, giving away something of value for nothing has always been great PR. (and it just feels great to be helpful, doesn’t it?)
Don’t vett your posts for anything further than errors and readability
If you second guess all your posts you’ll never release anything of value. Just write it, read it and post it. Don’t spend a week on one post. I’ve read dozens of bloggers complain that they don’t have time to post anything of value because it takes them a week to post. A week to post is ridiculous. I can see a week in research or more even, but a week to write a post on a regular basis is not practical for a business blogger.

Which brings us to our next topic. Consistent posting is almost as good as quality posting (note I said almost). Give them a reason to subscribe and a reason to keep coming back to the site. Frequently updated sites get more traffic, period.

Read and Comment on Great Blogs
Find some great blogs and digest everything they have to say. Learn from those who now are where you want to be soon. Look to the great business bloggers to understand what they are doing (note their content, their discussions off their blog, their passion and their wit).

Remember the Long Tail
What you write today, while it pushes off your front page rather quickly, doesn’t disappear. It will be available in the search engines’ archives forever. Make sure it 1) respresents you and your company well and 2)is a topic that will be popularly searched for a long time. FYI, I have more readers visit my blog from Google for past articles than I have subscriber+readers combined. Don’t discount the long tail and it’s power to drive targeted (read they are actively searching for info on your topic) traffic to your business blog.

Be controversial, but not rude
You should be willing to throw down a gauntlet, but not every Tuesday. And, your passion should never turn into trolliness. I’ve unsubscribed from more blogs than I can count because of rudeness and excessive vulgarity. Remember, this is your *business* blog and while it should be conversational, it should not be ‘boy’s talk’. Think lunchroom discussion not locker room discussion.