This is another in a series of case studies from people I interviewed in 2005 about their blogging efforts. Now as we move to 2013, I find it interesting to look back at the early days of business blogging. I will only include cases from people who are still blogging now. These cases have not appeared on this blog before
Rosa Smith is a weight loss coach and hypnotherapist who runs the virtual business, Mind Over Platter. In November 2004 Rosa was named the e-Business executive of the year in the small business category by the e-Business Association in Rochester, NY, her home town. Rosa also still writes the blog, Thinking Thin. When we spoke Rosa was writing a book "Mind Over Platter." I am pleased to see that she has published her book.
Rosa started her blog in the summer of 2004. She was talking with several experts on internet marketing to get ideas for promoting her on-line business, Mind Over Platter. At first, Rosa did not pay much attention. Then AOL, her internet carrier, made an offer to provide free blogs as part of their service. Rosa figured that she had nothing to lose and gave it a try. She learned that AOL will sometimes feature blogs within their service and this was an appealing promotion idea for her business. She has since switched her blog to be part of her business web site.
In 2005 Rosa had found that her blog certainly met her expectations. It complemented her web site and drives more traffic to it. In October 2004, AOL asked if they could feature her blog. Rosa was writing about a weight loss challenge and AOL wanted to feature her blog on a web page they have on weight loss called, “AOl Takes Off.” Rosa agreed and wrote a press release on the event. This feature provided more exposure and drove additional traffic to her blog. She also received many emails from people who were positively affected by her writing. She found that more feedback came through emails than through comments directly on her blog.
The objectives for Rosa’s blog had evolved when we spoke in 2005. It focused more on her and her business. The increased interest and feedback from readers had motivated Rosa to write more on how to take greater control over your weight and your life. Her biggest challenge was now keeping up with the content in busy times. She received a lot of attention when she won the e-Business executive award and this took time away form her blogging. The major Rochester paper also did a story about Rosa and her business. “Right-minded way to melt off pounds” and this brought more attention.
Rosa’s major source of content came from her materials. She taught many classes and has hundreds of pages of content on her subscription-based web site. Rosa could draw on this material to create blog posts. Those people who read her blog will discover a person who “walks her own talk.” Rosa had lost thirty pounds, herself, and displayed a before and after picture, documenting her success. She focused on spiritual issues, as well as weight loss. Rosa tried to promote a healthy life style in her readers and encouraged them to contribute to the world and not simply be concerned with their weight.
Other blogs were interesting to Rosa. She liked to read and connect with people who think as she does. This helped to validate her views. She was also better able to see what people were thinking about which helped her business. She could see what they wanted and what they would respond to. Rosa interacted with hundreds of people annually through her workshops. Blogs extended this connection to many others. She liked blogs that were simple and not have too much flash. She was very busy and wanted blogs that get quickly to the point. She looked to adapt what she found to her own life and business.
Rosa advised prospective bloggers to just do it. Start and see what happens. The uses will evolve. People sometimes make things too much work. You can always go back and edit content. Also, Rosa urges prospective bloggers to read other blogs. Reach out and support others with comments.
If you have a web site, your blog can complement this channel. In Rosa’s case, her web site supported a fee-based program and required a subscription to access most content. Her blog was free and allowed prospective subscribes to learn more about her thought process before signing up on the web site. At first, Rosa was worried a bit about giving away some content through her blog. How would this affect her fee-based web site? She discovered that her blog promoted her site and did not take prospects away from it. Rosa wanted to support others. She felt that if you do the right thing, the money will come. So far she had been proven correct.
It must still be working as her blog continues. It is nice to see this success story, as well as her now published book. She has a nice video on her web site that serves an introduction to her services and references her blog.