3 Lessons Learned: Blogging & Social Networking for Business

I have to say, I am quite overwhelmed. Over the past several days, I’ve been tinkering with this new WordPress blog, started a Twitter feed and edited my (now old) own virtual assistant Web site, all while digging around the internet looking for information.

I’m always hungry to learn. This past weekend I learned so much more than what I thought I already knew about the power of blogging, how effective social marketing can be in a business environment and how to not be envious of others’ success.

Lesson #1:  Take it slow. For someone who has been diving around in the Interweb since AOL 2.0, you would think I’d know this tip already. The Internet is bursting with information. What I didn’t realize is how much of it would actually be useful to me. Yes, I am one of those cynical people who think much of the Web is mostly a lot of useless information, advertising and fast food thrills.

Instead, I’ve come across so many engaging and informative blogs, I’m having a difficult time digesting it all. Try to take it one day at a time. Focus on one social network at a time and learn everything you can about that before moving on to something else.

Lesson #2: Curiosity is okay online. Sure, you should be careful about spam, virues and malware, but it’s okay to look around. If I  hadn’t dug around my new Twitter followers (a couple of which were spammy), I wouldn’t have discovered two really cool and geeky Web sites to use.

After many years of experience, you start to easily sift the great information from the icky stuff. To be honest, my virtual assistant Web site needs work. I’m currently soliciting for a Web designer to assist me. If you come across a site that lacks content or generally looks tacky and unprofessional, beware. At the very least, you’ve encountered a person or company with a poor Web presence, which can be a bad sign in and of itself. At the most, you’ve encountered a shyster that you should stay away from at all costs.

If you aren’t sure, use several different search engines to find out information about these sites. I love checking out infomercials and then searching online for reviews about them. A great business will have credible testimonials and lots of variety online. An okay business probably doesn’t.

Lesson #3: The Internet is fast, but true success isn’t. It has been tough to not look at other companies and virtual assistant businesses and wonder, “Why am I not at their level? I’ve been researching this for many years. Why am I not being flooded with clients?”

The World Wide Web is great for instantly posting and obtaining information, but I’m beginning to understand that business growth hasn’t changed. It will still take me time to gather a client base. It will still take time to grow a marketing plan and create a business plan. Just because virtual assistant businesses are easy to start up because it essentially requires just access to the Web and a computer, it doesn’t mean I will gain untold fortunes just as quickly.

Comment Collector: How has the internet changed your view on personal and business growth and success?