Well, to be honest 9,972 views. That’s how many times the Receivable/Accounts blog was read last month – and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. I’m thrilled and overwhelmed. When I started the blog in 2008, I never expected this kind of response – credit and collections is a pretty dry subject, and for the most part, there isn’t a lot of discussion happening out there in our industry (especially in Canada). In the beginning, I felt a bit like Barney Stinson, running around yelling “read my blog!”, but it seems to be working out for the best.
When I attended the first Receivables Management Association of Canada conference, the first speaker was Jesse Hirsch (http://jessehirsh.ca/), who called the current version of the internet a form of neo-feudalism, where the aristocracy were those who could command attention. He used examples such as pop celebrities and politicians. And he’s not wrong. There’s a parody twitter account out there called @TheTweetOfGod that has 1.6 million followers, so I’m pretty low on the social ladder, but I don’t think I could send 10,000 emails or make 10,000 telephone calls in a month, and what scares me is it isn’t slowing down.
If you are in business, and have some sort of knowledge or opinion, and you aren’t on social media, I really, truly recommend you start. It isn’t an overnight thing, and will take hundreds of hours to develop, but everything in business does. Don’t assume you will find instant success, and don’t assume that everyone will agree with you, and don’t be discouraged.
Here are my basic tips for blogging:
1)Make a list of who your target audience is – really, who do you want to read your blog?
2) Make a list of potential discussion topics – make this a long list of ideas, and add to it constantly. Nothing is worse than sitting down on blogging day and having nothing in your head to write about. Try to different subjects and ideas.
3)Have a schedule and try to stick to it – there are crazy people who say you should blog 3 times a week. I am not one of those people. However, I do try to blog once a week, if at all possible.
Once you are rolling, one of the greatest resources on Blogger is the traffic source report – it tells you what people are searching in Google to find your articles. For example, here are the searches over the last week for me:
How long does a ungiong gas have to collect an outstanding debt in Ontario
Sample of validation letters to collection agency used by Ontario laws
4 year old debt bc
Accounts receivable agency risk
Auditing debt collection company
British Columbia statute of limitations on debt
Can a Canadian collection agency collect from a us resident
Can creditors check the credit bureaus so that they can contact other creditors in Ontario
Canadian collection laws
You see that one about a Canadian collection agency trying to collect from a US resident? That’s next week’s blog subject.
4)Be prepared to change – the tone and subjects I blogged about has changed over the last few years. I’ve experimented with subjects, tone, language, and formatting. Mostly, though, I pay attention to the Google searches that bring people to my blog, and that gives me new ideas
5)Write what you know, and be honest. If you don’t have a strong understanding of something, don’t write about it. There’s plenty of other things to write about, and it’s better to show what you do know, not what you think people might want to hear.
If you want to start a blog, or get involved with social media, I’d be happy to pay it forward and lend you a hand. Give me a call or drop me an email.
KINGSTON Data and Credit