Archive for business blogs

Content Marketing: How do you know if it’s working?

bigstock different people on d abstrac 44765554 300x225 Content Marketing: How do you know if its working?How do you know if your content is working for you? Everybody says they want more traffic, but quite frankly, traffic stats leave me scratching my head and saying “Okay, that’s nice…and so what?”

Maybe it’s because I’m not an analytical type, I prefer big picture thinking and gut feelings and intuition. But if I had a metric I could look at and be able to tell if my content is working, i.e. having an impact on readers, then maybe I’d become more analytical.

You know how those yearly physical exams give you a print out of your lab test and tell you if you’re in the “normal” range or not? Why can’t we have a report for our blogs? Or for e-newsletters? Or for overall Web content marketing?

On Monday mornings, for example, you log into your “Content Marketing Impact” account and get a free print out of how well your content has impacted readers:

  • Blog…82%
  • E-newsletter …75%
  • Articles…56%
  • Landing pages…
  • White Paper…
  • Free Report… etc. etc.

Read More→

4 Ways to Keep People Reading Your Blog

Blog Chamber 4 Ways to Keep People Reading Your BlogThe thing to know about business blogging is that it’s a continual quest to make your blog better. One good post now and again isn’t enough; you’ve got to keep readers coming back.

Most of us don’t blog for the fun of it, we do it because we want readers coming to our website. We want people to actually read the content that we craft because we know it has value to them.

So how do we keep readers interested and coming back to your site over and over? Here are some simple ways to spark readers coming back for more:

Read More→

Key Content Marketing Strategy: Answer Readers’ Questions

bigstock What You Need To Know 40622695 300x200 Key Content Marketing Strategy: Answer Readers Questions Does your website answer readers’ questions? This is a key element of a smart content marketing strategy. You must devote a few key content pages to answering readers’ questions about your business products and services.

Otherwise you’re not helping them solve their problems. You won’t keep visitors on your site for long; it will be “click and bye-bye.” 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, 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 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→

Ghost Writers Needed: For Business Blogs Everywhere

Ghost Bloggers 300x300 Ghost Writers Needed: For Business Blogs EverywhereMany professional business blogs need ghost writers. How else can busy professionals maintain quality content and frequent publishing schedules?

What about you and your blog? How can you consistently publish on your professional business blog and never have to worry about coming up with ideas, researching facts and stats, and writing compelling, quality content that solves problems for your readers?

I’d like to tell you an easy answer, like, “All you need to do is outsource!” But it’s not at all easy to find quality ghost blog writers who understand your business and clients, is it?

Here are some other objections I hear from my blog consulting clients about outsourcing to ghost writers, along with my responses: Read More→

Why You Should Write Quality Blog Content

Best Business Blog 300x300 Why You Should Write Quality Blog Content Quality blog posts are key to your business getting found on the Web. While that may sound obvious – (“Of course, why would I write something ho-hum boring?”) it’s harder than you might think. Not everyone agrees on what quality content is.

Quality content scores high with readers, your target clients, and with search engines. If you want to get found, get known and get clients online, you need to write and publish quality blog posts that resonate with your readers.

There’s a lot of emphasis on publishing frequently. Most professionals and small business owners are told that once or twice weekly is a bare minimum. But none of that matters if what you write is boring, mediocre, confusing or poorly written and formatted.

What is quality content? Sure, you know it when you read it, but what are the essentials? It depends on who you’re writing for. As writer Ginny Soskey at Hubspot blog points out:

“There are lots of concrete principles of writing that can help determine the “quality” of a piece of content. Verb usage, spelling, sentence structure — these all have defined rules that, for the most part, have stayed pretty constant. It’s black and white. That is wrong; this is right. 

“Then there are the gray areas in writing. Stylistic preferences. Imagery. Storytelling.” Read More→

Why Use Animated Videos on a Business Blog?

animated drawings 199x300 Why Use Animated Videos on a Business Blog?Are you considering creating an animated video for your business blog? Did you know that blog posts and articles with images perform 91 percent better than those without them (Skyword study, 2011)? Have you done a Google search lately that has video content that you can’t resist checking out? Oh yeah. I love video. You know what else I love? Animated videos!

Why is that? As a kid I always read the “funny pages.” I still do; I immediately locate the “strategic humor” in Harvard Business Review.

Apparently 90 percent of information transmitted through the brain is visual in nature. Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than the written word.

Visual design is critical to every page you have, but never is it more important than helping your readers and customers understand your products and services. You can more easily explain the value of your business services in pictures than words.

Here’s an example from the clever marketing folks at wizMotions.

Animated videos aren’t something you can create at home, unless you’re a talented graphic designer. And most studios doing them charge quite a bit. I researched this and found a new studio with very reasonable prices:

Check out their services and portfolio to see if they might be able to create a short animated video that can spotlight your products and services. Tell them I sent you if you do. (I am not an affiliate, but I love their services!)

(P.S. This is not the first time I’ve used an animated video. I wrote about my first experience with this company when they were called Hypnovid. Interestingly, while researching “animated videos” on Google, my post “Get Blog Readers’ Attention with Animated Video” shows up on page 1 of search results. Now that’s what I call good performance for a blog post!)

What do you think? Have you considered using visual content for your business blog?

Epic Business Blog Content: 2 Questions Every Blog Owner Must Ask

EpicContent JoePulizzi 150x150 Epic Business Blog Content: 2 Questions Every Blog Owner Must AskIf you’re in business and have a business blog, you’re frequently challenged by what to write. There’s always a lot you can say about your products and services, but how many different ways can you write about them before your regular subscribers get bored?

In my ebook Content Marketing with Blogs, I suggest business blog posts should be written with the 4 E’s as a guide: What you publish on your business blog should:

  1. Entertain
  2. Educate
  3. Engage
  4. Enrich

As anyone who runs a blog knows, that’s a tall order, and if you score high in one or two of these qualities, you can feel pretty good. But is it enough?

I recently purchased Joe Pulizzi’s new book Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less. It’s full of examples from big businesses but all his advice is great for small businesses and individuals as well. Joe is known as the godfather of content marketing as he has been a long-time promoter of quality content for marketing purposes. He founded the Content Marketing Institute.

The book is a treasure of information about the value of content marketing throughout all channels (blogs, e-newsletters,  videos, podcast, and social media). Two questions stood out for me as key for any small business owner who wants to (needs to!) publish quality content on their blog: Read More→

5 Ways to Make Your Business Blog Remarkable

Blog Visibility 5 Ways to Make Your Business Blog RemarkableHow do you make your business blog really remarkable? Like, fascinating?

The main goal of writing a blog, whether for business or otherwise, is to get people to read what you write. Seems pretty simple. But attracting readers to a new blog (or even an established one) is easier said than done.

So how do you build a readership base and continuously gain new readers to keep your blog and your business going. Here are a few ways to make your business blog one to watch.

1. Keep up with current events – while you shouldn’t always write about what’s going on in the world, using relevant examples and anecdotes lets your readers know that you are knowledgeable.

2. Pay attention to your social media networks – what are people talking about on your social media pages? What are they asking you as a business? Consider using these questions and discussions for blog topics. You’re more likely to engage your customers by writing on topics they clearly are interested in than developing your own. Read More→

Is Your Business Blog “Just Okay?”
Here’s How to Change It

Best Business Blog 300x300 Is Your Business Blog Just Okay? <br>Heres How to Change ItLet’s be honest – in the realm of successful business blogs yours is probably mediocre. Not bad, but more likely “just okay.” Hey, at least you’ve got a blog and are doing most things right. But mediocre is a long way from spectacular.

Here’s what I mean by “successful business blog.” To me, in my world of professionals who use the Internet to get found, get known and get clients, a successful business blog is one that works for what it was set up to do. That may differ according to the business goals of the blogger, but it should include goals like:

  • Attracts readers in a targeted niche
  • Grabs their interests in a particular topic or problem
  • Provides interesting perspectives, solutions, and knowledge
  • Entertains in some way, through variety and utility
  • Consistently provides relevant value
  • Offers interactive options such as downloadable information, comments, etc.

How would you know if your business blog is successful?

  • Through a growing number of readers
  • Growing numbers of comments
  • Increasing links from others who cite your posts
  • An increase in the number of people who write or call you to inquire about products or services
  • Increasing opportunities to expand business or marketing
  • Better results on search pages
  • Occasional awards such as “Top 10 Health Care” Blogs, or “Top 50 Leadership Blogs”

The top blogs in any field are usually listed on the Web, and a Google or other search will help you find them. But few business people do this. They don’t research, they don’t learn from what others are doing.

In the past several years I’ve had calls from three people faced with similar business blog dilemmas. They hired me, we worked together for several months. And they went on their ways. Now, all three are on “Top Blogs” lists, and are doing well. Here are a few examples from my clients: