Archive for blog marketing

Your Business Blog Year 10: Is It Still Worth It?

Business blogging 300x225 Your Business Blog Year 10: Is It Still Worth It?Does blogging still make sense for your business? Is a business blog worth the time you need to research, write, format and publish quality content?

Some busy professionals ask me if it’s worth it to blog or would keeping in touch with people through social media sites work just as well? It’s a good question, particularly for small businesses, coaches and consultants who don’t have staff and a lot of time.

Publishing a quality blog requires time and effort. The average person needs at least two hours to complete all the tasks necessary for one blog post, and should be publishing 2-3 times a week.

Ten years ago, when I first started blogging I declared a blog to be “The best darn marketing tool on the planet!” It was if someone had handed me a microphone and people across the globe started hearing what I had to say. I started getting found online and boosted my business revenues exponentially.

But ten years later, there are a lot of ways to spread your word and publish quality content online. Communication is possible everywhere. Clients can be reached through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter – the list goes on. Read More→

A Checklist for a Good Blog

Blog checklist 300x225 A Checklist for a Good BlogAfter I got home from our Publishing at Sea cruise, I checked out the good blogs of our amazing group of authors, including those of our experts, like Judith Briles! Of course, as writers, they all had important things to say on their blogs. But some weren’t really optimized for best results.

Here’s what I look for in an optimized, good blog (one that gets Google search and reader results):

  1. A good blog title with a tag line that says what people will find on this blog (benefits to reader)
  2. An email subscription sign up button such as an RSS icon
  3. A good blog post title that makes me want to read the full post
  4. A compelling image with each post
  5. Hyperlinks – at least one per 120 words so that posts are identifiable to search engines.
  6. Recent posts or no date on them: If posts aren’t at least once a week (twice is better) then I don’t want to see a date on the posts -which alerts me to the fact you haven’t posted in a month … or six! Read More→

How to Blog without Boring Readers in the Holiday Season

HoidaySeasons 200x300 How to Blog without Boring Readers in the Holiday SeasonHow do you blog about the Holiday Season – without boring your readers?

It’s no secret that the holidays are upon us! With one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and Hanukkah already in full swing, the holidays have arrived.

So what does the holiday season mean for your blog? Several things! The holiday season provides a lot of opportunity for keyword-rich blogging.

  • Put your own spin on popular topics and it will help bring traffic to your site.
  • You can use this seasonal opportunity to feature charities that you support.
  • You can expand topics beyond your core business services to what truly matters in life. Read More→

Smart Business Blog Linking:
Top 25 Content Marketing Blogs

Blog Linking 300x300 Smart Business Blog Linking: <br>Top 25 Content Marketing BlogsIf your business blog needs to get inbound links, here’s a prime example of how to do it. Pay attention to this tactic, it’s easy, it’s smart blog marketing and a great way to get other blogs linking to you, thereby improving your search rankings.

I’ve talked about creating your own Top 10 lists before, and it still makes sense, even more so given the way SEO works today.

Recently our blog here, WritingontheWeb.com showed up on a list of the Top 25 Must-Read Content Marketing Blogs. Well, we’re listed as #24, but hey! Who cares?

Author Jennifer Barry, who writes for Hubspot as well, says on the Writtent.com blog:

“The marketing industry is diverse and ever changing, and one of the easiest ways to stay on top is to read the most relevant and pertinent blogs. There are thousands of marketing blogs out there that focus on different aspects of the marketing industry from optimization, conversion, advertising, and content.” Read More→

How to Find Great Blogs for Better Business Blogging

Reading blogs.jpg 300x247 How to Find Great Blogs for Better Business BloggingWriting quality content is key for your business blog. Never stop focusing on  better business blogging. But what about reading great blogs yourself? It’s a great way of getting ideas and topic inspiration from other writers who have different views and perspectives.

Why do you need to find great blogs to follow? If you want to build a better business blog, this is key: you must read the other great blogs in your field, and some others as well. Why? It’s not only for inspiration.

  • You need to know what your readers might be reading.
  • What else is being published that can help solve their problems?
  • What else do your clients need to make their lives better?

When you find good info that’s helpful to your readers/clients, you’ll want to share that on your blog. In turn, this creates good blogger relations which can lead to reciprocal projects and posts.

And, this means search engine marketing linking possibilities. But you can’t reach that point if you’re not reading other great business blogs.

What kinds of blogs or other Internet publications do you read? Some of my favorites include cooking and baking blogs, and news sites like Huffington Post and Mashable and occasionally The Onion.

How do you find great blogs? Read More→

How to Become a #1 Expert with a Blog

Dr.CharlesParker 300x215 How to Become a #1 Expert with a BlogAre you #1? If you’re a doctor, lawyer, author, or consultant, you’d like your clients to believe they’ve come to the best professional around. It may be hard to make that claim. Unless, of course, you can stake out a niche online, and show that you’re a number one expert in your field with a blog.

Dr. Charles Parker, for example, is an excellent psychiatrist and certainly not the only one with years of experience treating people with ADHD – attention deficit disorders. But he is #1 in health care blogs for that specialty, according to ShareCare, a key site that ranks health care providers and links them up with people in need.

Dr. Parker’s blog is at CorePsych. I know him personally because I helped him get started blogging. I didn’t teach him everything, but I remember the day he called me from his office in Virginia, with questions. That initial phone call stands out because I was still in a fog, getting coffee at 5 a.m. in San Diego. He was on ET, of course, and ready to go. I don’t usually pick up the phone that early, but that day I did. Read More→

Your Business Blog: Should You Make Money with Sponsored Posts?

 Your Business Blog: Should You Make Money with Sponsored Posts?Want to make money with your business blog? There are a lot of different ways to use your blog to make money. One of the most common is soliciting blog sponsors who pay a set dollar amount monthly or yearly to write sponsored posts.

A sponsored blog post can be a paid opportunity for a guest author; sometimes a company will sponsor a post written by the blog author about their product or service. Your business blog can use these sponsored posts to provide a valuable service to your readers.

These sponsored blog posts must be on a topic that would be interesting to your blog’s reader base. The blog publisher can negotiate how much to charge for sponsored posts. And sometimes, the post is published free, but the blog owner gets a commission for any referral sales.

Here are some pros and cons when it comes to having sponsored blog posts on your business blog –

Pros:

  • Money! Of course, allowing sponsored posts or writing them yourself will generate revenue for your blog. You can set the cost per post for your blog, negotiated with the companies that you would like to have sponsor posts.
  • If you choose companies that you honestly think your readers would be interested in, you can create great relationships and introduce your readers to good companies that they really find beneficial.
  • Sponsored posts can add some variety to your blog posts and bring new readers. Bringing in new topics that are still related to your typical blog content can draw in people who might not ordinarily find your blog.

Cons: Read More→

Better Business Blogging: 7 Lessons from Liberace

Liberace Better Business Blogging:  7 Lessons from LiberaceLiberace was well-known for his flamboyant lifestyle both on and off stage. During the 1950s-1970s he was the highest paid entertainer in the world. That’s pretty amazing considering he was a pianist. His career spanned five decades. I just saw the HBO film “Behind the Candelabra,” with an amazing performance by Michael Douglas in the starring role, with Matt Damon as his lover. (And, yes, these two actors do kiss in the movie!)

Why do you think Liberace was so popular? I loved the movie, and found myself strangely attracted to this character. I remember my stepmother gushing over Liberace and wondering why. I think it’s because we love drama, and we love it when people are excessive.

What can we learn from Liberace about better business blogging? Although he was a master at expressing himself through music, Las Vegas shows, records, TV, and concerts, he didn’t write. Had the Internet been around, however, he would have skillfully used it in the same way he employed public relations expertise to deny his homosexuality and project “family values.” Remember, this was a time where no one was openly gay.

How can you make your business blog a little more flamboyant or sexy? Here’s how you can take away some of Liberace’s style and wisdom and apply it to your business blog:

  1. Add color: Liberace began his career as a classical pianist. At the time, everyone wore black tuxedos and played black pianos. He saw that as boring. So he started wearing a lot of white… then he added glitter… and then he took costumes to an extreme and added furs. Does your business blog “wear black?” Dress it up appropriately, without being gawkish. Use compelling photos and images. Read More→

Business Blogging: How to Optimize Older Posts

Link to older posts 300x244 Business Blogging: How to Optimize Older PostsClearly, one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to a business blog is to share new content. But what about those older blog posts that are hanging out on your blog somewhere?

Why not make good use of older content? Make it easy for your blog readers to learn more about your solutions to their problems. This requires that you do more than just write an article from the heart. Yes, writing with passion is great, but as long as you’ve got readers on your blog, lead them to older posts.

For business blogging, you’ll need to become keyword-savvy, and use a plugin or two will help make it easy and automatic.

The screen-capture image at the top is a sample from Chip Scholz’ LeaderSnips blog showing how at the end of each post you can provide suggestions for related posts. It uses the YARPP plugin.

Business blogs can be tricky creatures. While it seems like blogging should be pretty straightforward, there are a lot of nuances to building a successful business blog that your potential clients can actually find. Read More→

Top 4 SEO Tips for Small Business Blogs on a Shoestring Budget

ShoestringWallet 300x199 Top 4 SEO Tips for Small Business Blogs on a Shoestring BudgetThe Search Engine Optimization landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. One of the side-effects of these changes has been the fact that many low-cost SEO tactics have lost their effectiveness and power.

Consequently, a lot of small businesses and professionals today are struggling to achieve their SEO goals on a restricted budget. After all, for small companies, hiring an expensive agency is often not feasible. Having said that, there are still a lot of smart yet pocket-friendly SEO tips that businesses can implement on a shoestring budget.

Here are 4 top SEO tips for small businesses on a shoestring budget:

Contribute to High Authority Blogs in Your Niche

Aim your energies at quality blogs. This will help you to develop referral traffic, cultivate thought leadership, and garner authoritative and quality links. Of course, you’ll only be able to do that if you generate remarkable content that offers actionable information.Here are a few strategies that can help you identify quality blogs:

a) Create an account on platforms like myblogguest, etc. These platforms create a meeting point for bloggers and blog owners looking for guest blogs, so you can easily identify quality opportunities.

b) Download the Google Chrome PR plugin. It will let you see the PageRank of every blog you visit instantly. While PR is not the sole indicator of a blog’s quality, PR 2+ blogs that show regular updates and host quality posts, can be good prospects.

c) Run a Google search for potential high authority blogs by using the niche areas you want to blog about with the keyword “guest blogs”. For example, let’s you want to write posts about e-cigarettes, your search query could be “E-cigarette guest blogs”, “quit smoking guest blogs”, etc.

Publish Quality Content on Blogs by Content Curating and Accumulating Content

Content curation is the act of collecting, discovering and offering digital content that surrounds some specific subject matter.Content is the most effective SEO tool there can be, if used right. But, the major problem that a large number of business owners or bloggers face is the lack of quality blog content. Luckily, there are gazillion resources available that can be used to generate interesting content ideas.That’s where content curation comes in. Simply put, content curation involves:

a) Researching and putting together top blogs on a subject.

b) Quoting important paragraphs from the blogs, and giving them proper citations and credit.

c) Adding your own spin, or interpretation to what’s already been published.

Conduct Competitive Link Analysis Using Free Tools

One of the things that helps your website rank higher is the number of links from other reliable and reputable website that link back to your website. There are two ways you can do this, either get someone to do it for you or do it on your own.

Look for websites that are linking back to your competitor’s website. You may use Open Site Explorer, to do this. With OSE’s free services, you may not be able to get all the data, but you’ll still be able to gather information to get started with your own link building activities.If you can stretch your budget a little, you may as well opt for paid membership for detailed information about your competitors link-building activities. There are lot’s of tools like, SEOSpyGlass, Majestic SEO, etc, that you can use.

Use External Proficiency and Expertise Tactically

Before engaging in a complete retainer based relationship with an agency, seek out the following kind of arrangements:

a) Monthly consultancy: Some SEO agencies or consultants do sell hourly consultations, which is a very smart way to garner some useful insights for a lesser fee.

b) DIY SEO audits: You may use free tools like Seoptimer, WooRank, Goingup, etc to do a review/audit for your website, so that you can identify the areas that need improvement. Then hire contractors and assign them specific tasks suggested by the tool, and implement the changes that require minimal technical expertise in-house.

c) Use free SEO tools to keep track of your performance: Free versions of tools like Ranking Checker by SEOmoz.com, SEO Analyzer by Sitening.com or SEO for Firefox by SEOBook.com, can all be of great help.

When it comes to budgeting, you have to make a choice between investing time or money. For small businesses, these cost-effective SEO tips make a lot of sense, however, if you adopt them you have to be prepared for some time investment, especially if you plan to implement all of them in-house. Good Luck!

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.

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