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5 Significant Uses of a Business Blog in the Online Marketing Mix

18 Aug Picture of a Key and a Dollar Sign

If very large enterprises like Ford have incorporated blogging into their online marketing mix, why should a medium or small business owner think it is a waste of time or too much of a sacrifice!

Check out the most successful small business owners, most of them run effective blogs as part of their online marketing mix. Their blogs make them stand-out as a voice in their area of expertise.

There are at least 5 unique advantages of a business blog that will give you a distinct edge over competitors.

1. A Business Blog Is A Proof Of Your Credibility.

As powerful as a website is, remember a website is just like a modified business card – it is only larger and dynamic.

For many people, the first proof of the credibility of a website comes when the owner replies their email. With a business blog, Continue reading

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7 Top Tips to Get More Readers to Your Blog

18 Aug Picture of Businessmen Moving Towards a Dollar Sign

Getting the desired traffic to your blog can appear to be a daunting task. It is almost impossible until you begin to do the right things the right way.

Thousands of blogs are started monthly, yet only a minor percentage actually get descent amount of readers. The others toil and toy until they are eventually lost in the abyss of redundant blogs.

There are seven sound tactics that can get you more readers faster than most other people. You may have read or heard of some of these tips before, but they are timeless truths. If you have not implemented them, please pull yourself by your bootstrap now – they are simple and effective:

1. Get More Readers to Your Blog from Social Networks

The value of social networks in driving traffic to websites is unquantifiable. Many people have recorded huge success just by introducing Facebook and/or Twitter comment boxes, share buttons etc to their blog. Google + is here, and many people are already taking advantage of it.   Continue reading

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing- 7 SIMPLE TIPS

15 Aug Picture of a little girl writing

Writing is an interesting art if properly crafted. The more interesting fact is that anyone can write. All you need to do is begin to write and then, your creative juices can take over. To get your personal creativity activated, here are a few tips you can make use of:

1. Begin by writing about something you are passionate about.

This is the best way to stimulate your writing genius and develop your personal style of writing. After building your confidence, you can venture into the whole world of writing. Continue reading

Maximizing Your Social Media Strategies: Advice from Thought Leaders in Internet Marketing

24 Feb Image of special boxes & a group of people

Internet marketing has taken a sudden shift since the beginning of growth in social media and networking. Every aspect of internet marketing has brought more challenges as the web continues to change very rapidly. Competition is stiffer, and internet marketing itself has become more complex.

Image of special boxes & a group of peopleSurprisingly, internet marketing is more interesting in theory; the execution is what actually separates the men from the boys.

Lately, there is a lot of contention about the role of social networks in internet marketing and the relevance of previous marketing strategies.

Scott Monty wrote on his blog that,

“The focus on Twitter and Facebook is understandable: they’re nearly universal, they’re easily accessible via mobile devices, and there’s the ability to instantly connect users’ thoughts, actions, & comings and goings via those platforms.”

Other thought leaders in the area of internet marketing have been compelled to continue to gather more knowledge and adapt to changing times.

Experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing of ClickThrough noted the recommendation of Bradley Little of Nielsen McKingsey Company that,

“Using social media as a marketing channel can be very effective and one of the best ways to understand the impact networking sites such as Facebook can have is by looking to the past.”

Stephan Spencer’s position is that,

“If you are going to get involved with a new technology, don’t just jump head first without taking the time to understand what you are about to get into”

Thus, careful planning and tactical execution of social media strategies is totally unavoidable in order to successfully market your business on today’s world wide web.

To begin on the right foot, here are some very insightful questions posted by Lee Odden in his article, ‘10 Questions for Social Media Measurement Success’.

  1. What goals do you hope to achieve from a social media marketing effort?
  2. Are web and social media synced?
  3. What measures of success (KPIs and Outcomes) will be used?
  4. Is there a strategic plan for coordinating and measuring social media efforts across the organization?
  5. What are current measures?
  6. Where to start?
  7. What’s the current tactical mix?
  8. Is a dashboard and social media marketing management tool used for content promotion?
  9. Moving forward, what will it take to transition from fragmented efforts to something more coordinated?

10.  Is there an internal social media council or group tasked with assessing social media strategy, and how will their role affect defining goals and ongoing performance reporting?

Though these questions are directed to well-formed organizations, individuals and small businesses have a lot to learn from them. Until you begin to focus on what exactly you want and how exactly you are trying to achieve it, you may be wasting too many resources.

Moreover, in order not to lose in the end, it makes good sense to ensure you secure and control your fan base, and then turn them into loyal customers.

In an article on Marketing Profs written by Jessica Shieh, a digital strategist, she posited that,

You should supplement your social media strategies with a strong content driven website to strengthen your relationship with customers while getting more customers at the same time.

She made it clear that you have to,

  • Chart a roadmap, focus on your goals, get the right team in place and remain flexible;
  • Bring all your fans to your own site to gain control over them;
  • Create strong relationship with your fans and;
  • Continue to find new segments to enter.

She wrote,

“In our fully connected world, it is no secret that the Web is changing every day. Considering the possible shift away from Facebook, marketers are beginning to spot reasons to work to bring their fans back home. Doing so will give the brand a better chance to initiate a compelling, collaborative—and ultimately trackable—Web experience”

From the above assertions, the golden advice is to have a practicable roadmap for your internet marketing. Hence, you should find a way to integrate all your marketing efforts and secure your visitors one way or another.

Very importantly, ensure your strategy includes a content-driven site to gain control of your fans rather than leave them to their fate in a web space filled with contradicting information, especially on social networks.

Talking about content creation, Adam Singer gave us 6 rules of great content:

  • Non-promotional
  • Relevant to reader
  • Closes a gap
  • Well-written
  • Relevant to your company
  • Gives proof

However, there are situations where social media may be difficult to use in business promotion.

Adam singer reported a presentation by Kipp Bodnar during the 2010 MIMA Summit. Kipp Bodnar gave instances where social media doesn’t make sense:

  • If you have a tiny customer base (perhaps you have only 5 customers).
  • If the people you are trying to talk to can’t access the internet.  Many people in regulated industries can’t access the outside internet from work. (I.e. some military/electric industry).
  • If you or your business don’t have an advocate that can help you.
  • Velocity and volume – tough for social media in the beginning.  You can potentially create quick velocity but quick volume would be difficult.
  • If you have a lack of resources you shouldn’t engage in social media.  This seems like a big pain point for organizations.  If you lack the time or resources it makes it difficult to be successful.

In the light of these facts, please check your current social media strategy. Ensure you have charted a roadmap and you have an overall objective; and then remain flexible.

Further Reading on Business Marketing

  1. 9 Tips You Need to Write and Respond to Emails Professionally
  2. Social Networking Vs Blogging & Email Vs SMS – Struggle For Existence
  3. How to Upgrade Your Internet Marketing Strategy to Gain Competitive Advantage Using ‘Strategic Positioning’
  4. Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet
  5. How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2011: What is Right & What is Wrong?

Blogging for Success Anywhere in the World: Suggestions from Millionaire Bloggers

23 Feb

Follow the advice of these six-figure income bloggers. Learn their principles to get yourself off the ground.

Millionaire BloggersBlogging became popular about 10 years ago with the coming of Blogger, Live Journal etc, and a lot people began to blog as a hobby.

Consequently, a good number of bloggers were able to implement a system that brought good money from their blogs. Many of them have made enormous income from this little money machine (if done the right way).

In actual fact, countless number of people all over the world have continued to make huge incomes from their blog(s) alone.

Talk of Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School, Chris Garrett and many more who blog about completely different things and have made six-figure incomes with their blogs.

Yet, quite a number of bloggers struggled for months only to give up blogging while many are still struggling to succeed. The most common mistake has always being ‘lack of focus’.

If you have a blog, and you are not making money from it yet, you should consider these statements from millionaire bloggers.

In an interview with Denise Wakeman on Build a Better Blog, Chris Garret said,

“We would suggest instead of copying Darren, or trying to be the next TechCrunch or whatever, that they look to their passions, something they can talk about with enthusiasm and authority, try to do something unique and exciting.”

When Chris Brogan was interviewed on Fuel My Blog about his major mistakes he said, “I guess I was all over the map and not as focused”

In addition to this, there are several wrong perceptions about blogging that you must avoid,

During Chris Garrett’s interview on Technorati, he said

“Rather than look at a blog as being something that builds a brand, it is better to think about it as communicating in a valuable and useful way about things their prospects care about and interacting in a way that shows the customers, or prospects that they are valued. The best brands are built by experience rather than saying the right things and polished corporate identity”

On how to build relationships, Chris Garrett opined that,

Relationship can be built “by dripping out valuable content and especially by interacting with an audience rather than just talking at them”.

His position is that, “Blogging attracts more visitors and keeps more of the visitors you get, so it is a brilliant lead generation tool but also great for building loyalty and deeper client relationships”

Unfortunately, blogging is said to be fast losing its allures for many people because of the rise of Twitter and Facebook.

Lately, there have been a lot of concerns about the sustainability of blogging.

Concerned about this fear, in a recent post on The New York Times, they attempted to unveil the present status of blogosphere.

They noted that “While the younger generation is losing interest in blogging, people approaching middle age and older are sticking with it. Among 34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog increased six points, to 16 percent, in 2010 from two years earlier, the Pew survey found. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five percentage points, to 11 percent, while blogging among 65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points, to 8 percent.”

To relieve this fear, Chris Garret gave his personal thought,

He said, “The word ‘blog’ might have a limited shelf life. It’s not a helpful word and I wouldn’t be sad to see it go. We will always need to create and share content, I think nobody would argue that is a given, but the forms it take and the etiquette will evolve. Content is the currency of social media and the modern web, that is not going away.”

In conclusion, please take hold of Darren Rowse’s advice to intending A-list bloggers who’d like to earn good income from their blogs,

“My approach is to try to be useful, genuine, helpful and open with readers. I find that those who read my blog every day over time feel quite a bit of trust, respect and relationship with me – so even just mentioning that I have a new product will drive sales. I guess also its about selling things that are relevant to your niche and that will solve their problems.”

Further Reading on Business Stories of CEOs and Founders

  1. Revelations from the Life of Jeff Bezos: The Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com
  2. How Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Built a Giant Company from Nothing
  3. Women CEOs: How Chelsea Rustrum makes $120, 000 to $140, 000 from Her Blog annually
  4. Avoid Failure: Learn from Twitter Co-founder, Jack Dorsey Who Saw into Tomorrow
  5. Meet Uche Eze – the Nigerian Lady who Founded Bella Naija to Uncover Africa Fashion, Lifestyle & Entertainment on the Internet

The 3 Critical Ingredients of Good Web Content

18 Feb

"Glass of Cold, Refreshing Water"Internet has risen to become a major gateway to a lot of information. Consequently, the quality of written information or web content has suddenly become a major driving force in internet marketing. Good web content must possess certain critical attributes that are beneficial to the reader and the giver of web contents.

Good Web Content Must Be Engaging – Recent research reveals that majority of internet users prefer to read articles that appear very engaging. A blog post that has lots of comments normally gains more attention than one with fewer comments.  Also, information presented in a format that engages the mind of a reader will generate more interest than a bland content.

In addition, writing with passive voice limits the chances of sustaining the interest of a web surfer. This occurs for two reasons: Passive voice makes you appear amateur. Unfortunately, web surfers prefer to read from experts to reduce waste of time. Secondly, it gives your visitors the freedom to click away. Thus, it is a good rule of the thumb to always write using active language.

Another strategy to keep your content engaging is to use the top-down (pyramid) approach in your write up. Mention the crux of the content in the first paragraph and expatiate with the rest of the write-up.

Good Web Content Has to Be Refreshing – It is now established that most webs surfers want to be inspired, informed or entertained. Therefore, good web content must fulfill one or more of these needs of a surfer. Most importantly, it must provide information relevant to the surfer’s interest.

Basically, good web content should contain minimal errors (which can easily smother the interest of a surfer). First of all, articles should be properly introduced and concluded. Then, the whole article itself should sound logical. The presented points have to be coherent and reasonable with little or no grammatical errors.

Importantly, editing and proofreading are standard ways to polish a complete article. These last two stages of writing are often neglected by many writers in a hurry to publish their content. The best writers know that proper editing and proofreading will turn an average article into an extraordinary write-up. Good writers usually edit and proofread in order to completely eliminate errors and improve their message.

Good Web Content Need to Be Optimized – Optimizing web contents serves two purposes: It brings the reader to the article and keeps the content interesting enough to sustain his or her interest. Web contents should be optimized for both search engines and visitors. Optimizing web content for search engines involves keywords optimization and interlinking web contents.

However, web contents can also be optimized for visitors. This involves the use of attractive heading, proper subheadings and lists to enable easy readability. Most surfers find it easy to read through contents that have smaller chunks of information. These kinds of contents take less time to read and usually encourage surfers to take a quick capture of the information on your site (though they often end up reading much more than they plan to read).

To recap, good web content must satisfy both human needs for inspiration, education and entertainment plus search engines requirements to help surfers easily locate relevant information. It should engage the attention of surfers, refresh readers and be well optimized.

Further Reading on Business Marketing

  1. How to Master Selling on the Internet: The 6 Irrefutable Principles of Persuasion
  2. How to Upgrade Your Internet Marketing Strategy to Gain Competitive Advantage Using ‘Strategic Positioning’
  3. Self-Branding: How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd & Build Credibility on the Internet
  4. How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2011: What is Right & What is Wrong?
  5. Social Networking Vs Blogging & Email Vs SMS – Struggle For Existence

 

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