Archive for June, 2012
Here are a few best practices for writing and promoting your business blog taken from suggestions business owners and blogging experts recently shared with us. One important goal of a blog is to inform an audience and thereby elevate the blogger’s authority within a specific area of expertise and a specified target market.
In doing so the blog owner typically hopes that blog readers will follow him or her via email communications often in the form of a newsletter. “You must create and distribute content that is going to benefit your prospects’ lives and businesses. Don’t sell on your blog, educate.” You can promote your offering but do it in an educational format.
First, you must publish regularly. Exactly how regularly is a topic for debate, but the anecdotal evidence strongly suggests the more often the better and the definition of “more often” is 3-4 times weekly.
Do you have to post that often to have success? No, you don’t. However, if you do publish at least weekly and better yet twice weekly you will see results. Want to see the strongest results? You guessed it, publish posts 3-4 times per week (or more).
That said, if the content is poor publishing more often won’t help you. If you want to promote your blog (a.k.a. your message), than publish the best content possible.
To recap: Great content published regularly is the formula for getting attention!
Think not only about the audience you have but about the audience you want; find what they are reading and engage them. Find out where they hangout online and go there to talk about your content.
Find popular blogs and ask the owner about guest blogging. Offer content that he or she doesn’t have that is highly relevant to the blog’s audience. Add a well placed link back to an article you wrote that relates to the blog topic at hand. In addition, refer to one of the blogger’s earlier posts as a source for your new post. This builds back links between your two sites. It also increases visibility with both audiences and will attract the other bloggers attention, giving you an opportunity to strike a deal.
Of course, you can simply begin a relationship with another blogger by commenting on their blog. You may also want to ask them to write for you and as you build the size of your audience this will become an increasingly attractive offer. However, don’t wait until you have thousands of readers – a small but relevant audience is sufficient to attract another blogger’s attention.
Your blog post will only provide you with a positive impact if someone reads it! Therefore, publishing a post is only the first step. Next, you must make some noise. One good way is to announce the post (via hyperlink) on Twitter and other sites. Creating one or more tweets (2-3 tweets highlighting different aspects of a post) will bring visitors to your blog. Of course, this assumes you have developed a reasonably large Twitter following, a subject for another time.
Equally, valuable and perhaps more targeted is the announcement of your post to your LinkedIn connections. Once again, the impact will depend on the number of connections you have developed.
Of course, you don’t want to turn your Twitter account into a stream of broadcasts that only promote your blog posts. You need to vary the content and interact with your followers.
We all have limited time. Therefore, we recommend that for best results you should use fewer networking platforms (3-4 not 6-10). Do it well rather than trying to be everywhere. Of course there is no harm in adding to your roster of sites and activities overtime.
1. Quality content – no point in building traffic if they won’t like what they read
2. A decent quantity of content, added to regularly – whenever you add more content the chances are your traffic will increase.
3. Comment on other blogs, linking back to your blog and of course, aim for blogs with a similar readership
4. Write guest blog posts whenever you have the opportunity and create opportunities by commenting on other blogs.
5. Add links to your posts on your chosen social media platforms – automating them is okay, but tailor the associated comments.
6. Acknowledge people who respond to your posts and reply to comments thanking people who re-tweet your tweets.
7. Use keyword hyperlinks in your posts, but don’t overwhelm your readers with them and risk lowering the quality of your content
8. Track your blog stats; note the times people read your blog and the posts they read. (If you use WordPress try WP Slimstats)
9. Work on promotions that focus on the most popular posts and the most popular times.
10. Be as generous as you can. Use your blog and social media networks to help people link to others’ blogs.
11. Link to clients (e.g., when they have good news or you finish a project with them), retweet great content – you get the idea.
12. List your blog on your social media profiles and make it very easy to spot your homepage(s).
13. Build relationships on social media before you need them!
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There are many best practices for promoting websites and/or blogs through social media and other internet venues. However, just because a practice works for Joe and Debra doesn’t necessarily mean it translates into a workable solution for you.
For the best return on your marketing investment (RMI) you need to ask yourself a few important questions; and be honest about your answers. Here are four questions worth the time to consider:
Who are your readers?
What is important to them?
What are their needs?
Where do they congregate online?
It’s a waste of time to share your posts on Facebook if your customers and prospects don’t use Facebook.
Audit your readers. Ask them to give you feedback either informally as comments or formally by conducting a research project (survey). Write blog posts and measure reaction by checking your user analytics and monitoring the comments.
Compare your baseline analytic results (if you don’t have baselines start collecting them now) with data you collect during and after a marketing event. Understand the aggregate information you have on what target market your audience represents.
Once you know who they are and where they congregate you can create a presence and share your content with them and the extended network.
Here are several specific tactics worth consideration:
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