How blogging has helped our business

I have been blogging seriously for over a year: is my
100th post. This blog began simply and seriously as a learning
task. I am professional communicator, working in the field of
heritage interpretation, in a UK-based business called
TellTale
. In 2011 we decided we had a choice – we could
step into the stream of social media or let it pass us by. Put like
that, stepping in was obviously the only option. It was one of the
best business decisions we have made – but not necessarily in
the ways I expected. So, what have we gained? 1.
Building international connections and
understanding

The blog has reached 7
countries

The blog has reached 80
countries

I love the fact my posts are read all over the
world. I have developed a strange little obsession with shading the
map. I have told myself that I will celebrate by visiting the 100th
country to join (and was therefore a tad disappointed when Mexico
and Argentina both clocked in last month). The top five countries
are places were TellTale works, has worked or has particularly
strong professional connections. As the sample size increases over
the next year we will be looking with particular interest at the
next five on the list as places where we might work. Canadians and
Indians please note – great offers available now on TellTale
consultancy, training, lectures and workshops! Social media is
international. Using it has been an important tool in
internationalising our outlook, the way in which we think about
what we offer and the way we communicate. This is personally
enriching and professionally important. An international
perspective means we are more valuable to our heritage
attraction clients. 2. Accentuating the
positives
Working in heritage takes us to
fascinating places and puts us in touch with brilliant, inspiring
and committed people. All of them, like us, are working to
preserve, create, celebrate and share the most meaningful parts of
our world past and present, and often to make viable businesses out
of their passion I decided early on that I would only blog the
positives. Sharing the good news seems important in troubled
economic times. Of course we regularly visit and work with sites
that have all sorts of problems. On this site I write about the
successes and the solutions. I have never been paid for writing a
blog. We are regularly paid for helping heritage attractions
look at the visitor experience and interpretation on their site and
how it could be improved. We have worked with many (but not all) of
the places I have written about (look under Good Places to
visit). Obviously, our customers are often
pleased to have some free positive publicity here but if the
work is confidential we do not mention it. If you would like to
know more about
our confidential Visitor Experience Reviews
e-mail
me on susan@telltale.eu. 3. Improving my
writing
I love writing. I always have. I write
a huge amount professionally. But, as I often say on my training courses
on interpretive writing
you have to practice writing
regularly. The more you write the better it gets. My blog is
my regular writing practice. It has been great exploring a new
writing medium, a new place to put written words. I have been
serious about learning how to use it and have read many other
blogs, including several on blogging for business. I have
listened to what they said and noted what I think works. I have
become even more convinced that the basic principles of
interpretive writing (as set out in this article
on how to write a great panel
that I wrote about 15
years ago) are an excellent grounding for web-writing. I now run
workshops on web-writing – and am longing to run one on blogging.
Titles are even more important than I had previously realised.
4. Getting happy with social media It
seems so obvious now – professional communicators were going
to love social media once they got over the fear hurdle. We do.
I love this blog for all the reasons above and more. Writing
good stuff matters. Writing it so that Google can find it matters
even more. I have had to learn about search engine optimisation and
am getting better at rubbing Google behind its ears. We are
indebted to our social media gurus at Hallam Internet for
holding our hands through this process. I love the stats.
Almost as much as that pretty map above. The stats tell me that the
first year of blogging has been reasonably successful.
Year 1: Heading in the right
direction. Looking forward to Year 2

Year 1: Heading in the
right direction. Looking forward to Year 2

A closer look
inside the statistics shows me that we could be doing more and
being smarter at making this blog work for our business. The first
100 posts have been the about learning the game and coming to love
it. The next 100 will be about playing it better. Find out more about TellTale, a small
business with an international outlook, at the TellTale
website
.
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style="color:#0000ff;", follow this
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About susancrosstelltale

Great visits to heritage and natural sites do not happen by accident. This blog is about the work that make special sites great places to visit. I hope it will be useful to visitors and host alike. Find out more at me and my blog.
This entry was posted in Consulting, Heritage attractions, Mentoring, Tourism, Training, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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