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Old 10th December 2013, 11:13 AM   #1
Jen 100
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Default Blogging Tips

If a business who doesn't do any blogging, or does blogging poorly, asked you for suggestions of how to get started and for some of your best practices what would you suggest?

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Old 11th December 2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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Well, to start with -- and I realize this may be considered heresy in some quarters -- not every business needs to blog. Seriously.

If they don't have the time to devote, if their customers and prospects are not generally online (or aren't blog-readers), if they lack writing talent or any interest in keeping up a blog and hesitate to pay enough to get a good, dedicated writer to handle the blog for them... well, businesses managed to be successful for thousands of years before blogs, and they can continue to be successful today without a blog -- as long as they're doing effective marketing through other channels.

(In fact, they need to be doing effective marketing through other channels even if they have a wildly successful blog. A blog is just one marketing tactic -- not a substitute for good overall marketing strategy.)

That said, if they really want a blog, the first and best thing they can do is listen to their customers. Find out what kinds of questions their customers have and figure out how to answer them. People are much more likely to read when you're writing something they're interested in.

Second, develop a "voice." Too many times people write in a stilted, corporate-sounding way, and that's death for a blog. Read what you've written out loud. If you would never actually talk that way in real life, toss it out and re-write. Don't be afraid to sound like a real human being. In fact, for a blog, it's imperative.

Third, "if you build it, they will come" only works in the movies. While a blog can be a helpful marketing tool, you also have to spend some time marketing your blog. Be sure there are links from your main website to your blog. Put both your main web address and your blog address in your email signature file and on your business card and other business stationery. Mention it to people at business networking events. If you're running newspaper or magazine ads, include the blog address. Write posts that expand upon, confirm or refute things written in other blogs and link back to their original articles. The other blog owner will get a notification of your link, may come over to check out what you wrote, and may well link back to you.

Fourth, give it time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and even really good blogs don't get a massive audience overnight. Post regularly. You don't have to post every day, but on the other hand don't let it go months between posts. Keep posting, even if you think nobody is reading. When people do start showing up, you want there to be something for them to read, don't you? Besides, you want to give every visitor the impression there's plenty of new stuff happening all the time, to motivate them to subscribe or come back to check in more often.

And finally, don't worry if you're not getting tons of comments or "community building." Frankly, the vast majority of business blogs don't get a lot of comments and repeat visitors. (I attended a webinar a while back where the presenter used stats from his own -- very popular -- business related blog to show that something around 3/4 of all visitors to his blog were "first timers." Even he was surprised by the stats, but there ya go.) That's just not in the nature of a business blog. People tend to come out because they found an article that seemed to answer a question or respond to a need of theirs. They'll read that, maybe another article or two and be on their way. Some may come back or subscribe, but most will not.

This doesn't mean your blog is a failure.

Track how many referrals come to your website from the blog. Track how many of them convert to customers. Give it some time, put some effort into marketing the blog. Over time, those statistics will tell you whether the blog is beginning to pull its weight or not.

My

--Torka

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Old 11th December 2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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@Torka, Thank you so much for your reply! Excellent suggestions! I absolutely agree that not every business needs a blog and that if they aren't willing to take the time to write something useful and invest in a good writer then they best not undertake the blog in the first place.

Listening to customers and clients is absolutely essential! This is where the majority of the blog content should come from. What are the most frequent questions customers are asking? These are the things the blog needs to be addressing.

I appreciate your comment about blog comments and community building. I had recently read something that would counter what you said here but what you learned in the webinar gives your argument more ground, in my opinion.

Thank you!

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Old 11th December 2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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Title is most important part of the blog so create always eye catching title and create always unique content for your blog.

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Old 12th December 2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Title is most important part
Excellent point! I agree that the title is extremely important. If the post doesn't sound interesting from the title a blogger can lose a lot of potential readers. This is something easily overlooked by busy bloggers too.

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Old 12th December 2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen 100 View Post
I appreciate your comment about blog comments and community building. I had recently read something that would counter what you said here but what you learned in the webinar gives your argument more ground, in my opinion.
Well, to clarify a bit: this webinar was within the context of B2B marketing. Since that's my field, as well, I tend to think in those terms. Your mileage may vary if you're talking about a more consumer-oriented retailer's blog, for instance.

The ultimate point is, while "engagement" and "community" are excellent things to have, a business can't pay the bills with "engagement."

I don't know of any company that has infinite resources. (Google, Microsoft and Apple come close but even they have their limits.) If the company chooses to devote resources to a marketing tactic, that tactic has to pay off at some point, or it's a waste of resources that could be put to better use somewhere else.

So -- allowing a period of time for the blog to gain traction, and assuming the business has done a proper job of promoting the blog itself -- unless that blog eventually begins to refer at least a few visitors to the main website or inspire them to call/email, and unless some of those visitors/callers/emailers are (at some point) converting to customers, the blog isn't pulling its weight.

Again, it might not happen overnight, and it does require some significant effort toward marketing the blog itself. So beware of pulling the plug too soon. But if you've been publishing and promoting a blog for a couple of years and you can't point to even one sale that can be even partially attributed to the blog... well...

--Torka

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Old 12th December 2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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if you've been publishing and promoting a blog for a couple of years and you can't point to even one sale that can be even partially attributed to the blog... well...
Yes, that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification.

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Old 20th December 2013, 07:43 AM   #8
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Default Tips for blog post

For the any social media businesses need blogging. If you want to create a good blog so you should follow some tips for creating a blog e.g write catchy headlines, unique content for blog and write 1-2 minutes read-time length blog post.
Best luck for blogging.

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Old 16th January 2014, 07:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by torka View Post

Second, develop a "voice." Too many times people write in a stilted, corporate-sounding way, and that's death for a blog. Read what you've written out loud. If you would never actually talk that way in real life, toss it out and re-write. Don't be afraid to sound like a real human being. In fact, for a blog, it's imperative.

--Torka
I agree totally with this.

IF a person sees a blog that seems to be robotic, they aren't going to stay.

In addition, even if you are trying to sell something - don't put the whole blog pitching.

Give it value.

If you are trying to promote a book, for instance, you can ask them to look at the book at the end of the post, but you need to put at least 80% or more to giving something of value, teaching something, etc.

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Old 22nd January 2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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Here are some possible suggestions:

Understand the Audience

Have a good understanding on what type of audience you will be writing for.

Research the Website

The first thing you will need to do it research a few different aspects of the website you are about the write on

Keep to Relevant Sites

If you have your website, you should try and write guest posts on sites that are specifically about your niche or is at least relevant.

Write Something the Audience Hasnít Heard

You should check and see what the previous posts have been about to make sure you donít end up writing about something the audience already knows.

Focus on Winning Over the Audience

Your writing should convince the audience that what you post is always top quality and that they can get much more information from your website.

Use Good Links and Anchor Texts

Linking is a big part about guest blogging. Although your entire purpose shouldnít be all about links, you should have a good strategy that helps build your authority and rank throughout your website

Build Relationships

Once you have completed and posted an article on someone elseís page, donít just leave and never talk to them again. You should try and as many relationships within your niche as possible.

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