Blogging Success Summit 2011Wilmington, Ohio has had a tough road since May, 2008 when DHL announced the pullout of their American Operations headquarters.  60 Minutes eventually called our small town the “ground zero of unemployment.”

Since, most every family has experienced some type of unemployment or downward shift in their income, and the businesses and nonprofits have really suffered.

In an effort to rise to the challenge, the Buy Local First program was developed within Clinton County, and some businesses and nonprofits have even formed valuable strategic partnerships.  In the words of Martha Stewart – those are “good things.”

At the same time – out of necessity – all entities have been trying every trick to be frugal.

So often I have seen so-and-so business owner talk to such-and-such nonprofit director and their neighbors.  They’ll find some free source for a website and online presence.  And they all follow the same drummer thinking they have a grand idea with the notion, “if I build it, they will come.”  But what has happened is they have created a static website which is just that – it doesn’t move – and they have created no real strategy to get their word out there.

When I do mention blogging, often I get crinkled eye-brows and and expressions of question.  The large perception is that blogging is for kids, or for exchanging recipes.  And I’m asked, “Why would I want to do that??”

To be fair, some have stepped in to the blogging world – usually on the free platforms: Blogger, WordPress, and/or Typepad.  Those are good options.  Is free always good?  At least those individuals are generating content that draws attention to their expertise.  While they don’t own their online real estate, I’ll take some blogging over none.

Since I began this blog, I’ve seen an amazing increase in traffic to my website, and also attention to my other social media.

So the experts are correct – Blogging does super-charge social media! This should be good news for the local small business owners that have not seen quite the impact they wanted from their social media efforts!!

Why should leaders of Wilmington, Ohio be blogging?

  • Small Business Owners – They can be sharing updates in new products or services, answering frequently asked questions, and following up on events that they are holding or attending.  Even sharing video regarding their best features or coolest products.  Further, offering content about their expertise in their niche gives the opportunity to increase their customer base outside the local area creating a multiplying factor to the dollar.
  • Nonprofit Directors – This group can be empowering their best brand ambassadors to speak out for them!  By enlisting those they serve, the organization’s story can be brought to life.  Further, any news of grants attained, outings and events — those all become ways to tell the story — each post pulling on heart strings and attracting new donors.
  • Authors/Artists/Performers – Wilmington and Clinton County has a profound wealth in the fine arts.  But it’s like a well-kept secret!  My artsy friends should be talking about their inspirations, telling of their latest gig, and promoting upcoming productions.  Even some how-to’s would be great, promoting authority in their industry!
  • Elected Officials and Hopeful Candidates – Locally, this is an important election year.  Those in office should be conveying the message of their work to date and sending messages of what they hope to do to make a difference.  Anyone hoping to win a seat can be promoting their strengths and earning credibility.  Here, blogs can be online headquarters – a place where voters can get all their juicy details.  In other words, giving voters a reason to darken their circle on this year’s ballot.
  • Educational Institutions – Ya know the emails I receive about all of the good things happening in the buildings and on campus?  Those should be blog posts too!  Lets celebrate the small victories and shout out the fabulous big ones.  Lets let teachers and instructors offer guest posts.  Maybe even students – to talk about their achievements.  Lets attract some great students!!
  • Citizens – There are some that believe that we should not let Glenn Beck brand our county seat.  There are others that have wonderful talents and interests.  Doesn’t the squeaky wheel get the grease?  If no one else is talking, how will we be defined?  Lets give ’em something to talk about!  Share your recipes and quilt squares…or whatever else moves you.

Love blogging!A Bonus:

If all of the folks mentioned above had active blogs with good quality content, we’d accomplish another mission desired by local officials: To create a new destination of Wilmington, Ohio and Clinton County.  Simply – there would be information out there supporting that we have something real and interesting to offer.

The answer to the question above is: To attract customers/clients to you.

I’ll ‘fess up – this post is actually written as an entry to a contest to win a ticket to the online Blogging Success Summit 2011 beginning February 1, 2011.  In a comment on SmartBrief’s blog, I stated my reasoning for being chosen as a winner.  Honestly, I’ve already reserved my ticket.  But as I told SmartBrief and Social Media Examiner, I would give the ticket away to empower others in my community.  Of course, I have ideas on how to do that…

Tickets to Blogging Success Summit 2010 can still be won by anyone interested in giving it a whirl.  But ya must act fast, contest to win tickets to the summit ends today!

Is there a group I’ve missed above in my post?  What other advantages can we point out to them?  If I win the ticket to the Blogging Success Summit, how do you think I should give it away?

#bss11  #winbss11