Have you wondered what the correlation between a great networking group that reaps results and a great blog that generates business leads is? What’s the secret, the common denominator that differentiates a lead generating blog or networking group from a sluggish networking group that creeps along, churning out awkward and sometimes wasted blocks of our time, or the website or blog that sits stagnant with analytics showing zero to three visitors per week, no comments and no leads coming in through the door?
I’ve been thinking about this lately when last weeks blog about the success of my BNI group seemed to hit such a chord of support and enthusiasm not just from our faithful group members but from other BNI members from throughout the state of CT as well.
The next day I was asked, as I am from many, what the REAL difference was between a blog and a website is, so to answer this for the masses that are still confused I’ll outline that here and then get to the point:
A blog, compared to a website, usually:
- Is designed the same way, with a developer, needing a domain name and a host, however;
- Is more fluid than a website, with more moving parts, in particular:
- A blog invites interaction, through comments and questions;
- Is designed to be easily manipulated, thus allowing for frequent changes, thus…
- Offering more opportunity for relationship building, related topics to be introduced and explored on site, and thus;
- It is a more personalized web presence that one can refer to frequently for expert advice, community and industry insights and observations and frequent updates on topical issues surrounding the blog or website’s main purpose, and therefore;
- Where as a website can just sit there and offer information and services, a blog is meant to be an interactive “forum,” and lastly:
- The search engines, especially Google, love a blog, especially a wordpress blog, because their algorithms are always, especially now, looking for good and frequently updated content, and will rank you higher in the organic section of search engines than they will a static website with infrequent updates… provided, again, your content is quality content and not garbage…so your SEO will usually be much improved with an active blog.
So how does this relate to the relationship of a great blog and a great networking organization? What’s the success formula? Keyword: interaction. Or conversation. Another keyword: relationship building. The secret to a successful blog and a successful networking group is all about those two elements: building trust and confidence in your services through ongoing dialogue and interaction.
You could have built a beautiful $12,000 website, but if it is just spewing your services, albeit in a lovely looking package, your sales are not going to increase. It still comes down to basics: we buy from whom we know, or from at the very least whom we’ve come to feel comfortable with and are able to communicate easily with.
A blog, as compared to a website is much more humanizing… and a networking group that really works is an extension of that as well: one where the members are encouraged to interact, ask questions and get to know each other’s services over time and through testimonials. Trust: At the end of the day, not all that much has changed: it still comes down to that.