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Many business people have made the decision to jump into blogging, yet have many questions about how they can be successful. This comes as no surprise considering all the hype surrounding blogging and other forms of social media. For the most part the hype is justifiable, as there is probably no easier, cost-effective way to reach a large number of people than to blog. Having had many conversations with award-winning business bloggers who have built up legions of loyal readers, I’ve noticed a few common traits that can help would-be business bloggers get off to a good start.
1) Be a voracious reader.
One thing all the successful bloggers I know do is read. In fact they are ravenous when it comes to reading, devouring up to 100 magazines a month. This includes national business publications such as BLACK ENTERPRISE, regional business magazines, industry trade journals, and specialty newsletters from professional organizations. Mixed in with the magazines are the handfuls of books they are reading. This typically means they are in the middle of four or five books, on an off subject with respect to their profession. I won’t even bring up the online perusing of blogs, white papers, and e-books they also take in. They do this because of their passion to know as much as they can about their chosen area of expertise, not necessarily just to blog. But the knowledge they accumulate allows them to create valuable content that attracts people to their blogs.
2) Be generous.
What really strikes me about successful bloggers is their willingness to share the spotlight with others. Many of these folks have spent years writing to build audiences. This includes not only writing blog posts, but also answering numerous comments and e-mails from their readers. The successful business blogger also takes time to help other bloggers by critiquing their writing to help them find their voice. They also use their blogging as a platform to bring attention to people who are doing things they feel are noteworthy. And, in many cases, these popular bloggers will offer a few of their readers the opportunity to be a guest author. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is a huge honor if you think about it. It’s like an unknown getting a chance to be the opening act for a superstar, in front of a crowd you would never get on your own, but are interested in hearing you just because you’ve received a huge endorsement from someone they trust.
3) Focus, focus, focus.
Now, you may be able to be successful without reading hundreds of magazines every month. And maybe you can be successful without being generous (although I doubt it), but the one thing you absolutely have to have to be a successful business blogger is focused. You have to know what your blog is going to be about. Many successful bloggers even create a mission statement for their blog, because it helps them stay on point. Many beginning bloggers get discouraged when