Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Small business owners will often ask the question, “How often should I blog?” The correct answer is you should blog as often as you can without sacrificing the nuts and bolts of your business. If you can blog every day, that’s great. Twice a day, even better. But there’s a limit to how much one person can blog and still provide value to their readers.
If two days a week is all you can handle and still provide value to your readers, then blog just two days per week.
But here’s what you need to know about blogging:
- Every time you post to your blog, you are inviting the search engines back to crawl your website. Blog more often, you’ll get crawled more often. Blog less often, you’ll get crawled less often.
- The more you blog, the more traffic you can expect to your blog.
- The more blog posts you have, the more blog posts you can have indexed in the search engines.
The main ingredient for successful blogging is that you provide value to your readers. You want your blog posts to communicate with customers and potential customers. If you can do that, then you’re ahead of the game.
You can blog yourself or you can hire a ghostwriter to write your blog for you. One costs more money, but you’re more likely to get quality blog posts if you’re not a writer. The important thing is that you connect with your readers.
Monday, April 15th, 2013
Your first three months blogging for your business blog are critical. Chance are, if you give up, it will be in those first three months. If you can make it through those months and establish a solid blogging routine with good work habits, then you can keep your blog active in the long term.
Here’s the question: How do you get through those first three blogging months?
I recommend establishing a posting calendar for your blog.
Start slow. Build into a steady posting schedule from your slow start, establishing good work habits along the way.
Before you post anything to your blog, start a calendar and plan when your posts will appear. On the 15th of the month prior to your first publishing month, plan what days your first posts will appear. Plan on two per week for the first month. Choose one keyword per blog post and write the posts. Then pre-schedule them to appear on the appropriate calendar day.
Plan your second month of blogging before the 15th of the first publishing month. This time, plan on posting three days per week. Pick your keywords and write the posts, then pre-schedule them.
Before the 15th of the second month, plan your third month. On the third month you’ll post five days per week. Pick your keywords and write the posts, scheduling them to publish on the appropriate day.
If you publish a monthly blog calendar, you will find it easier to stay motivated. It’s easy to do. Pick a keyword and write about that topic each day. Stay ahead of the game.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
There are two ways to get involved in the guest blogging craze. You can be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog or you can accept guest bloggers for your blog. Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of that last option.
Two of the best benefits for accepting guest blog posts for your blog are:
- You can take a short break from blogging and still offer quality blog posts for your readers;
- And you can get residual traffic from the fans and followers of your guest blogger, which is new traffic for you
Of course, there are some downsides to accepting guest bloggers too.
One downside is you have to go through a lot of low quality content and spam in order to find a few nuggets of good content to publish. There is a workaround to this downside, however.
I recommend establishing a guest blogger set of guidelines. Publish them on your blog so that potential guest bloggers know what your guidelines are and can follow them easily. Be sure that you stick to your guidelines without fail as you don’t want word to get out that you make exceptions for specific individuals. Your reputation is important.
Guest blogging on your blog can be a benefit to you and the blogger. It’s worth considering, but there’s no pressure.
Monday, April 1st, 2013
Are you looking for ways to improve your small business blog? Are you tired of writing sales content that no one is responding to? Would you like to expand the scope of your content marketing beyond the obvious posts that no one wants to talk about? Here are 5 ways you can improve your blog content easily without destroying your credibility.
- Content curation – Content curation involves scouring the web for useful content that your blog readers would enjoy and find helpful. You add that content to your blog. There are different ways of curating content. You can write useful resource posts with links to content on other parts of the web. Another way is to use a blog post to summarize other resources and link to them – either one at a time or in bulk.
- Incorporate multimedia content – Add videos, slideshows, and infographics to your blog regularly but not every day. Don’t overdo it, but you’d be surprised at how interactive this content can often be.
- Include guest bloggers – Establish a guest blogging policy and take in guest bloggers. Guests can often engage with your blog readers in ways that you haven’t thought about.
- Become a guest blogger – If you guest blog on other blogs within your niche, you can often establish a connection with readers elsewhere and drive them to your own blog where you can deepen, and strengthen, the conversation.
- Ask questions – Get your blog readers talking by asking them questions. Surveys are real good for this. You can also end your blog posts with open ended questions designed to get people talking.
What ways do you use to get your blog readers into the discussion? Tell us how you have improved your own blog with content marketing?
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Many small businesses are starting their own publishing companies as a separate branding element for their online presences. It’s a unique strategy that is paying off well for the businesses giving it a go. But it does require hard work.
First, you need a plan. Don’t wing it. Establish a strategy and pursue it in full force.
Secondly, decide what tools you’ll need. There are many ways to go about publishing online. Some are more effective than others based on the type of business you are promoting, but all the methods have their pros and cons. Look at your skills and abilities as well as the human resources at your disposal before determining what type of online publishing you will undertake.
Here are 4 ways you can become an online publisher without detracting from your current small business goals:
- E-zine publishing – As an e-zine publisher, you should look at publishing content that isn’t self-promoting. There are a variety of ways to get content for your e-zine. One way is to take submissions from industry professionals.
- Start a blog – Blogging is another way to be a publisher. Write your own posts and take guest posts from other industry professionals.
- E-books – With the advent of the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other e-book readers, you now have a whole new option for digital publishing. Just like print books can increase your professional stature and make you an instant expert, digital book publishing can do the same.
- Squidoo Lens and HubPages – Off site publications such as Squidoo and HubPages can be an all new avenue of traffic for your website and credibility for you.
Many small businesses are now establishing their own publishing companies to increase their influence within their niches. Your credibility and reputation deserve a new approach. Don’t they?
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
While small businesses aren’t quite in the same category as Inc 500 companies, there are a few things the small- and medium-sized businesses can learn from their larger counterparts. I’d suggest where to put your online marketing energies might be one of them.
In 2011, according to this study, companies were excited about LinkedIn and YouTube. In 2012, loyalties switched to LinkedIn, Pinterest, and blogging. What happened?
I think three things happened:
- The early romantic notions of social media being the marketing wave of the future died and Inc 500 companies started getting more realistic about their social media goals in particular and their online marketing goals in general.
- As an outgrowth of No. 1, many companies realized that they could benefit from the business focus of LinkedIn more and the consumer focus of Facebook less.
- Blogging was seen in light of the SEO and content marketing benefit and is not replaceable by social media.
None of this is to imply that social media is any less important. What, I think, is the bigger picture is the idea that blogging and social media go hand in hand, not as interchangeable parts but as compliments to a holistic approach to marketing. Also, it is more important to devise a social media strategy geared toward reaching your target audience than to strive for a vague and general social media presence.
LinkedIn is great for business-to-business connections. Facebook is better for business-to-consumer connections. Blogging is simply a platform, and a necessary one at that.
This is a telling study. I’d pay attention to it and see what you can take away from it.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
WordPress developers are a creative lot. They can jazz up your WordPress website or blog with just a few little codes and these codes can do wonders to make your site or blog look incredible – and do incredible things. The good news is, you can do it yourself with simple tools called shortcodes.
Shortcodes are little snippets of code you can insert into your WordPress blog or website to make it do some really cool things, such as:
- Add a Contact form on any page or blog post
- Create custom-designed Buy Now buttons
- Design cool-looking bullet points or Read More buttons
- Make your website navigation look great with tabs
- Improve your look and feel with sliders
Virtually anything you can do with a normal website or blog can be done with shortcodes. You can add shortcodes to your WordPress website or blog with plug-ins like Shortcodes Ultimate and J Shortcodes, two of the more popular shortcodes plug-ins.
What makes shortcodes such great tools is that you can turn any free off-the-shelf WordPress theme into a premium theme without shelling out any money. And they’re easy to work with. Be sure to follow the installation guideliness to a T.
WordPress developers are great people but some things you can do for yourself.