What does it take to have a successful blog for your business?

Denise Wakeman of Blog Squad fame asked that question of Chris Garrett. The conversation that grew created a bed of blogging tips. Watching the interview (5 1/2 minutes) Chris makes it pretty clear that a successful blog, like a successful business, is built on planning, focus, clarity and knowing your audience.

Whenever a client or prospective client ever asks me about marketing, I always begin my answer by finding out what they’re clear (and unclear) about in their business. I’ve learned the hard way of the years that you can only market, hence you can only sell, that which you’re clear about. And the greatest clarity I’ve found has come through understanding what problems my prospective clients face.

From the interview…

“If you actually concentrate on the audience and you’re talking to people and actually communicating and you focus on people, then you’re going to attract better attention and you’re going to actually produce something worthwhile. Because it’s all about your audience; it’s all about all about people.

A lot of people think it’s about just broadcasting your thoughts but if those thoughts don’t make meaning to people then you’re going to fail. So you have to give people what they want, how they want it and keep learning and keep promoting.

Another big aspect as people say is content is king. Well, content IS king. But what is a king but a guy in a funny hat? If he hasn’t got an army behind him, if he hasn’t got people saying, “your the king,” then you’ve got nothing – you’re just a guy in a funny hat. So you to make great content but you have to promote it as well.”

Take a watch.

Near the end of the interview Chris talks about the ‘so-what’ test. Does your blog stand up to it? What about your business? In other words, are people able to truly care about what you can do for them?

Reader Interactions


  1. rob says

    But just remember, that your client might now really know what ther fears are!

    I often meet potential customers who wnow they have a problem, have a vague idea about what it might be, but cannot articulate what it is that they fear about the problem.

    Unless you can find a route, or set of common tokens that allow the client to explore their fear then it is unlikely that you will find their real solution.

  2. Matthew Murphy says

    I like the image of the king being just a man in a funny hat unless he has an army to call him king. One thing I’ve noticed working with businesses and blogging is that you need to be aware of the location of your army. If you are a massage therapist,for example, you need to focus at least some of your energy on building a local following because that is where most of your revenue comes from. It’s nice to offer wonderful content but if most of your readers are overseas then you either need to change your business model or target your blog differently. I find that this aspect is often forgotten, especially by small biz owners.

  3. Dawud Miracle says

    I agree. I usually go through a rather extensive discovery process with my clients. I want to know everything I can about their situation so I can best help them.

    Overall, I feel it’s my job to massage their problems out of them. They may know they need help, though they may not know why – or even what type of help.

    Point on. It’s important to remember that if you’re a service provider that your blog is a marketing tool, not a business itself.

    How have you distinguished that for yourself?

  4. Mexico says

    Knowing your audience is very critical. A great example is with Digg. The Digg crowd is very particular. if you write for that audience, you can gain a lot of traffic. If not, you will only get a few brief visits. When you really get to know the audience you are speaking/ writing to, you can adapt to give the masses what they want. That is a sign of a great blogger indeed.

  5. Home Recording says

    “I feel it’s my job to massage their problems out of them.” I quite like this statement. It is full of meaning and it is fun visualizing you massaging your clients!
    Seriously, in my experience as a consultant, I have found that 80% of the problem is finding out what the problem is. 20% of the time the solution sort of appears by itself when you are in the process of finding out what the problem is. So, the product that I sell is my ability to find what the problem is and to evolve a solution.
    As a blogger, how do you then identify what your product is? If you are selling something on line it is fairly simple. For instance I visit this blog to find new ideas that keep coming up and the comments that are often very helpful.
    So, if you were to ask me what product your blog sells, I would say that it is “idea generation” to find a better phrase.

  6. Cyn says

    Point well-taken re: kings and the way they aren’t much more than titular monarchs without armies, etc., to support them.

    However, the one nice thing about good content is its ability, to at least some extent, to self-market.

    Good stuff has a tendency to do well. That’s no guarantee and it certainly doesn’t diminish the importance of marketing, but it does make life a lot easier for those who are on the sales/promotion side, don’t ya think?


  7. Dawud Miracle says

    What’s sad about that?

    IM for Beginners,
    How…that’s a big topic. To begin with, know what you do really well. Then, take what you know you do well and find people with specific problems that you can solve. There’s so much more, but that’s a beginning.

    Home Recording,
    I see the blog as many things. But first and foremost it’s a website that designed to generate leads. Plain and simple – it’s a marketing tool.

    That’s not to say I don’t love building community with the people who read and comment on my site. I do and I’m thankful for every person.

    Yet I don’t kid myself that my blog is for establishing my expertise, building trust and creating relationships that can lead to business. Gosh, I write about it enough, don’t I?

    I definitely think. What I think Chris is saying is that if no one’s listening, then you’re simply talking to yourself – even with great content. So great content is the beginning – but only the beginning. Then there’s promotion, etc.

    Are you promoting yourself/your blog?

    Thanks. Will try to get to it soon.

  8. online travel agent says

    I think people will care what you do for them if you provide them a service or value. Helping them too is what they look for. Then they are willing to work with you more than if you are selling to them off the bat.

  9. mamoplastia says

    Once you become a seller its dificult think how customers think. In my opinion the best way to do it its asking your family and friends. they will give you a good opinion and of course for free

  10. Eduard says

    This dofollow movement is a double edged sword. If you think about it, it help
    your blog by increasing the number of comments but sometimes they may not be
    relevant, may be there just for the link. I guess your time to approve/delete them
    also increased right?
    This dofollow movement is a double edged sword. If you think about it, it help
    your blog by increasing the number of comments but sometimes they may not be
    relevant, may be there just for the link. I guess your time to approve/delete them
    also increased right?

  11. Nutrition Degree says

    The post above is a bit ironic. I really believe in that “King” analogy. The content needs to point to something worthwhile. Traffic means nothing if it doesn’t convert into leads.

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