1. What do you think if anything is the difference between a personal and a business blog?
To me the difference is content and approach. On a personal blog, the content is all experiential in nature, meant to reveal things about the writer or the writer's interests. On a business blog, the writer hopefully is more reader focused bringing his or her own experience to topics that serve and help the reader in business.
2. What are the best uses for business blogging? How do businesses use them effectively in their communication and how could they do a better job?
Business blogs can serve three main purposes: to establish expertise and offer information; to develop closer relationships with a customer base; and to sell simple products and services. Business bloggers do well when they remember to be helpful not hypeful. Blogs are relational. Establishing trust – offering a clear sense that a person is behind the screen responding in service — is the best way to build a blog business. Too often bloggers get seduced into tweaking the code and talking to other bloggers rather than focusing on helping customers.
3. What, if anything, is the difference between blogging for money by monetizing a blog and blogging for your business?
I've never been a fan of that Internet word "monetizing." What it means to me is throwing a few ads or a few products — your own or affiliate products – on a blog and expecting them to make money. The integration of the blog and the monetary system seems to get attached after the blog is running. Blogging for money or blogging for a living to me means that you set out with a goal and blogging is a tool that you use to achieve it. Whether you use blogs to establish expertise, to sell your training materials, or to feature your skills as a writer so that you can write for money, the blog functions more like a store front.
4. How should a blogger measure the success of their blog? How can a blogger determine whether they are meeting their goals?
In order to measure anything, you have start with something to measure. Sounds silly, but too many folks blog and then try to figure out what makes a blog successful. One of the first things I tell new bloggers is have a goal that you can measure so that you can tell whether you're successful. Success might be a great community, a great body of writing, huge visibility or a great reward in terms of sales. At the end of the day, all that matters is that we're successful in what we set out to do.
5. What advice would you give a new blogger about creating an effective blog?
Blog your experience. Information is all over the Internet. Your experience with that information is not. You have a unique point of view and it's one an audience like you can identify with. You'll write better, more passionately, and more often, if you blogging about what you would talk to your friends about. Write for one person who's a lot like you, but who doesn't have the information and insights you're about to tell.
Leave the drama for the other guys … you'll be glad you did.
(Liz Strauss is a strategist, presenter and blogger at Successful Blog and LizStrauss.com. In her bio, Liz defines her role as teaching online companies how to be irresistable by creating fiercely loyal customers by creating an online content for people who have been searching to find it. She is also the founder of SOBCon a successful business blogger's conference. She brings 20 years of experience in the print, software and online publishing with companies in Europe, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland and has worked with entrepreneurs and businesses large and small.)