Blog your way to business success
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Blog your way to business success

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Blogging tips and resources.

Blogging tips and resources.

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  • What is a blog?Definition of ‘Blog’A blog (ablendof the term “web log“)is a type of websiteBlogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptionsof events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reversechronological order.
  • Blogging is an important part of inbound marketing. Recently read a raintoday article Inbound Marketing Helps Consulting Firm Increase Leads By 193%You need a strategy for what you’re doing. Content strategy: best content is both entertaining and informative. OpenViewLabs has been able to get 90% of their employees to contribute to the corporate blog. Wanted to be leading experts for entrepreneurs. Make it fun...set goals, like most social sharing.
  • What is this blog going to do for you, or for your business? Are you trying to boost awareness? Are you trying to sell something, utilizing the blog as the top of your purchase funnel? Are you trying to build community and kinship around your company?All of these are valid reasons for having a blog, but they are significantly different in terms of how your blog is designed, written, measured, and judged. Pick an objective, and focus upon it with intensity.How is your blog enriching the lives of your readers? Is it directing them to resources? Answering questions? Provoking debate? And who are your readers anyway? What are their likes, desires, fears, and expectations? What other blogs do they read? The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve it.What’s your call-to-action? Depending upon how the blog fits your strategic business objectives, you may prefer your readers to download longer form content (like an e-book), or subscribe to your blog, or leave a comment, or tweet your post.Decide what behaviors you’re ultimately trying to entice, and design and write with those action objectives in mind. Certainly, you should optimize your blog for search, as Google is truly your most important reader. But beyond that, how will people know about your blog? Create a blog marketing plan and revise it when necessary.Make sure you do the basics like promoting your blog on your website’s home page (don’t play navigation scavenger hunt with your blog), and promote your best blog posts in your email newsletter.Certainly, you should optimize your blog for search, as Google is truly your most important reader. But beyond that, how will people know about your blog? Create a blog marketing plan and revise it when necessary.Make sure you do the basics like promoting your blog on your website’s home page (don’t play navigation scavenger hunt with your blog), and promote your best blog posts in your email newsletter.If you can work with your company to answer these 8 questions, I absolutely guarantee you will improve the chances of your blog being a smash hit.
  • There are four secrets to being a good blog writer:Read a lot of other blogs2. Always have a list of potential topics at-hand. For new blogs, I recommend writing 50 sample headlines before you write one post. This will help you better understand what your blog and editorial voice are REALLY all about.3. Don’t overwrite. This post notwithstanding, shorter is better, and spending a bunch of extra time to create the “perfect” blog post is almost never worth it.4. Be a great headline writer. It’s all a potential reader has to go on to decide whether to click and read (usually).Blogging is just one part of the content marketing ecosystem. If you’re not taking your ideas and atomizing them, cross-pollinating your thinking like a digital dandelion across the Web, you’re working way, way too hard.Your blog posts can become e-books, Slideshare presentations, podcasts, free downloadable worksheets, email newsletter content, Facebook status updates, and dozens of other potential bits of content flotsam.The success metrics you use are based on the core business objectives you selected for your blog at the outset. If you’re blogging for awareness, traffic is important (especially new visitors). If you’re blogging for sales, the success of your blog in getting people over to your “main” website, or downloading your price list becomes a key consideration. And if you’re blogging for kinship and community, comments and sharing are critical barometers.Far too often corporate marketers ask me how then can increase the number of comments on their blog. The problem isn’t too few comments, but rather thinking that for a blog devoted to sales (or awareness), that comments is a valid success metric.http://www.convinceandconvert.com/blogging-and-content-creation/lifting-the-fog-of-the-blog/If you can work with your company to answer these 8 questions, I absolutely guarantee you will improve the chances of your blog being a smash hit.
  • Top Reasons Why Business Blogs Shouldn’t Be On BlogSpot.com   1. Google Doesn’t Need The Help:  Lets assume you have a company website (you do have a company website , don’t you?).  This website is probably on its own domain (example:  yourcompany.com)  By hosting your blog as a sub-domain on BlogSpot.com you’re basically depriving your primary website of any real search engine optimization .  Instead, if you’re using blogspot.com, you’re kind of benefiting Google instead.  Trust me, Google does not need your help to rank highly on its own search engine.  Even if you don’t switch blogging platforms, please do yourself a favor and get your own “real” domain now.  At least this way, if you decide to switch later, you won’t lose all the search engine optimization (SEO) that you’ve built up.  See the next bullet for more details. 2. Domain Lock-In:  Savvy technical people will tell you that the right way to move a website or blog from one domain to another is via what is called a “301 permanent redirect”.  In lay person’s terms, what this means is that you setup a clean forwarding address from your old site to the new site.  By using this approach, you don’t lose any of the search engine love you’ve pulled together.  Guess what:  Google does not let you do a 301 redirect from your old site to anywhere else if you’re using blogspot.com as your domain.  Let me repeat this.  If you currently have a blog that is something like mybusiness.blogspot.com and you build a ton of inbound links to the site, Google does not let you redirect that SEO value to a new site (like your company website).  This is a Very Bad Thing.  Not enough for me to call Google evil, but enough for me to at least think it. 3. Transferring Data Is Unreasonably Hard:   Dave Kurlan(the guy whose blog we moved off of Blogger) is a prolific writer.   He had over 130 articles authored on the Blogger platform.  Clearly, we wanted to move his data over using an automated process.  No problem, we thought, Google is nice enough to provide a programming interface to support this.  In fact, they have multiple such APIs (application programming interfaces).  As it turns out, neither of the versions of these interfaces that Google provides works completely.  One version doesn’t let you migrate comments (an important part of many blogs).  The other doesn’t let you move more than a few dozen articles – period.  Basically, Google has seemingly made it intentionally difficult to migrate off of their platform.  This is just annoying.  We ended up writing a fair amount of custom code and jumping through a few hoops to get all of the data migrated over (which we finally did).  But, this was much harder than it should have been, and we’re trained professionals (so please, don’t try this at home).  If you’re not a programmer, chances are you won’t be able to do this yourself.  It shouldn’t be that hard. 4. Mediocre Feature-Set:  I just think Google’s blogging product (Blogger) is just not with the times when it comes to advanced functionality that is of value to today’s business bloggers .  It doesn’t support things like article tagging, comment subscriptions and easy integration into other sites like Technorati.  This is probably not such a bad thing for the millions of mainstream personal bloggers out there.  But, if you’re a business blogger, and hope to be a power-blogger someday, I’d suggest that some of these missing features are important.  Currently, I’m adding a new feature to HubSpot every week as my startup blog ( http://OnStartups.com ) becomes more and more popular.  OnStartups.com has over a reach of over 3,000 people a day and is now in the top 1% of blogs on the Internet – as ranked by Technorati. I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve that I think will push the state-of-the-art for business blogging.  You’ll see them at first at OnStartups.com, followed shortly by the blogs of our early clients. So, in summary, though Blogger is free – it’s not really free.  The value of your time is much more important.  If you’re looking to build a successful business blog that will help you find more clients and grow your business, you should find a professional blogging platform that is designed for your needs.  HubSpot has one such offering (it’s a piece of what we do).  But, if all you need is a blogging tool, we’d recommend WordPress.  If I didn’t have maniacal control over the HubSpot software, I’d likely be using the WordPress product for my personal blog. If you’re on BlogSpot.com right now and need help getting off, drop us a line.  Even if you don’t pick HubSpot, we should be able to help a bit.
  • You can try wordpress.com first as a personal blog with no risk, and then when you’re ready, go to .org. But don’t try to transfer the whole blog content. You’re better off just starting with .org if you know it’s for your business.
  • Plugins extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress blog. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins you can add to your site to optimize it, customize it, add some bling, make it easy for your readers to navigate and so much more.
  • Once you have WordPress installed, you’ll want to get to know it a little bit. Specifically, you’ll need to find your way around the very extensive – yet easy to use – WordPress control panel. This is the backend of your blog. It’s accessible only to you. If, at some point in the future, you decide to have guest writers for your blog, you’ll be able to add them as a user very easily. More on that another time. For now, take a little time to explore.3. Create your first post. 4. Delete the default “Hello world!” post.Each new WP install comes with one post already in the database, so we want to get rid of that one. So, click on the “Manage” tab on the top menu (WordPress may ask you to login again here. If so, just go ahead and re-login). You’ll be taken to a page that says “Last 15 Posts.” Look for the post you just created, then just below that you’ll see the default post with the title “Hello world!” Then to the far right of that post, you’ll see a “Delete” link. Go ahead and click it, then click Okay when it asks if you are sure you want to delete the post.http://www.solostream.com/blog/tutorials/lesson-13-get-to-know-the-worpdress-control-panel/Click on the “Write” tab at the top. You’ll be taken to the “Write a Post” page. Go ahead and write something. Write anything. Even a test post is fine for now. Just write “Test Post” in the Title field, and then write “test post” in the Post field. When that’s done, click the “Publish” button just beneath the Post field.5. Delete the default Blogroll links.You new WordPress blog also comes with a built-in blogroll (i.e. links to other site). The only problem is you probably don’t know any of the people in that blogroll, so we want to delete them. So, click on the “Links” tab from the top menu. On the following page, you’ll see 7 links to osme folks who may be absolutely wonderfil people, but who probably don’t need to be in your blogroll, unless you want them there. To the far right of each link, you’ll see a “Delete” button. Go ahead and delete each of them.6. Explore the control panel.Now that we have all the default stuff cleaned out, go ahead and explore the copntrol panel a bit. Click on all the tabs along the top menu. Then click the sub-tabs under each of those areas. WordPress is loaded with a lot of cool features, and we’re just getting warned up with it.That’s it for this lesson. Next, we’ll start Hacking the Kubrick theme to customize the look and feel of your blog. Start thinking about what colors you might want to use. Till then, keep blogging, keep hacking.About the Author (Author Profile)Hi I’m Michael, a business coach and a creative entrepreneur. I inspire and empower people to make a difference in the world while they create an amazing life for themselves and those they love.
  • The common examples are the plug-ins used in web browsers to add new features such as search-engines, virus scanners, or the ability to utilize a new file type such as a new video format. Well-known browser plug-ins include the Adobe Flash Player, the QuickTime Player, and the Java plug-in, which can launch a user-activated Java applet on a web page to its execution a local Java virtual machine.Plugins extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress blog. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins you can add to your site to optimize it, customize it, add some bling, make it easy for your readers to navigate and so much more.
  • Plugins are so exciting.  There are so many of them on the web.  You can basically make your wordpress blog do anything with the help of plugins.  You can have events calendars, polls, social media links, membership site logins, etc.At first you might feel a little daunted by the thought of installing plugins, but know that you can’t damage anything.  If  you install a plugin and it is not what you want, you can simply disable and delete it with no harm done
  • The tag cloud is easy to scan.If you do use your tags in your sidebar, then use the tag cloud. A list of categories is very easily recognised because it is in a list. A list of tags will be clearly recognised as such if it is in a cloud. The cloud works because it fits a lot of information into a small space, and is easy to scan over.
  • Plugins extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress blog. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins you can add to your site to optimize it, customize it, add some bling, make it easy for your readers to navigate and so much more.
  • : When you write a guest post to be published on another blogger's blog. Typically, you contact a blogger whose blog you enjoy and ask if you can provide a guest post contribution. Whichever way you participate in guest posting is effective in terms of growing the audience for your blog.How Guest Blogging Increases Blog TrafficWhen you write for another blog, you're introducing yourself to the entire existing audience for that blog. With that in mind, it's important to submit guest posts to blogs that are established with a steady flow of traffic. On the other hand, when someone writes a guest post to appear on your blog, you can be sure he or she will promote the guest appearance and drive traffic to your blog. You'll have the opportunity to establish a relationship with that blogger and expose new visitors to your blog at the same time.Bottom Line About Guest BloggingGuest blogging is a win-win situation for both bloggers involved. It helps to grow traffic for both blogs and strengthens blogger relationships. Don't be afraid to ask for guest posts from bloggers whose content you enjoy (and who you think can write a post relevant to your blog's audience) or to ask if you can write guest posts for them.Guest Blogging
  • Article in reference slideshttp://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/Jay Baer“We Will Create _______ Posts Per Month, With ______ in Charge of Editorial, and _________ in Charge of Analytics.”It takes a village to raise a blog. You need content creators, naturally. But you also need (if you have multiple authors) a strong editor who can achieve consistency in tonality and layout while managing the editorial calendar. Optimally, you should also have a person dedicated to blog success metrics, using data analysis to tweak and improve your efforts.

Blog your way to business success Blog your way to business success Presentation Transcript

  • With Ann Shea
  • Somethingswe’vepromised: How to get started Business benefits from your blogging Beating writer's block What's a Plug-In and which ones to use Managing your blog Link Building What are Widgets? Exploring guest blogging Getting readers for your blog and responding to comments Free Resources Blogging's fit with your other Social Media
  • Someoverallgoals, inadditiontolearningaboutblogging… Learn Share Unleash your inner creativity Have fun!
  • GroupSummary Describe your blogging status. Blog Platform you're using (if applicable). Biggest blogging challenges are…
  • Group Summary
  • Group Summary
  • Group Summary
  • Group Summary
  • Howmanyblogstherereallyare? 3 million new blogs come on online every month!
  • about the many different bloggingplatforms available? Most-used platforms are: WordPress and Blogger, followed by Tumblr. WordPress.com has over 63 Million blogs. There are about 63 million WordPress sites around!
  • How are we going to get YOUR blog to stand out? Hint: We’ll discuss this today!
  • theseinteresting bloggingfactoids? More than 50% of bloggers have more than one blog! 1 in 5 bloggers updates their blog daily 15% of bloggers spend more than 10 hours each week with their blog.
  • Don’t worry: We’ll discuss how to get a handle on this today!
  • interestingblogging factoids: Professional bloggers maintain an average of 4 blogs at the same time! Talk about time management… Even though it is a dream of many, only 27% are actually full-time bloggers!
  • Professional bloggers maintain an average of 4 blogs at the same time! Talk about time management… Even though it is a dream of many, only 27% are actually full-time bloggers! Bloggers use an average of five different social media sites to drive traffic to their blog. Which social media sites do you use? Blogging success doesn’t come overnight. 20% of bloggers have been blogging for over 6 years! Over 80% of people prefer to read blogs in the morning! Keep that in mind when you schedule your posts/tweets etc.
  • your
  • Get traffic for your business online. Build your brand. Express yourself. Reinforce your position as a reputable expert, resource. Provide a level of service, information. Build your email list. Expand your reach. Practice or start your idea flow for other writing, presenting, etc.
  • “Once We Have a Blog, We’ll Be Able to _______” • “People Read Our Blog Because It Helps Them _____” • “After Reading, We Want Blog Visitors to _______, or _________” “_______, _________, and _________ Will Let People Know We Have a Blog”
  • “We Will Create _______ Posts Per Month, With ______ in Charge of Editorial, and _________ in Charge of Analytics.” “This Blog is About ________. Sample Headlines Include _________ ….” “This Blog Will Create Content That Will Also Feed ______, _________, and _______” “We Will Measure the Success of The Blog by Tracking _______, ________, and ______”
  • Communication. Community. Creativity.
  • Live example: http://www.andreavahl.com/facebook/4-inspiring-examples-of-an-engaging-facebook- about-page.php
  • Many are free! Most are very easy to use! Blogging is fun! Sample Fill
  • Determine if your blog will be a stand-alone blog, or attached to a primary website. Then Google “WordPress” (or whatever platform you’ve decided to use).
  • WordPress.com is for anyone who wants to keep a journal type blog, without an intention to one day turn this into a monetized solution. Ads and any kind of referral traffic which generates revenue is not allowed in the WordPress.com platform. WordPress.org is for the more serious blogger/small business operator. The number of modifications that can be made allows you to build a site which meets your exact specifications. For more to help you decide, see: http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/ and http://amillionblogs.com/wordpress-com-or-wordpress-org/
  • http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
  • You'll manage your blog from your control panel or dashboard. From these administration pages you can add new posts to your blog, manage links, comments & archives, edit your plug-ins, and more.
  • Blogger.com
  • 1. Login to your control panel. 2. Change or set your password. 3. Create your first post. 4. Delete the default “Hello world!” post. 5. Explore the control panel.
  • definition a plug-in (or plugin) is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing software application. When an application supports plug-ins, it enables customization.
  • Plugins extend and expand the functionality of your blog.
  • Somegoodones SEO for WordPress (Yoast) Akismet (prevents spam in comments) Google Analytics for WordPress WordPress Database Backup FBLikebutton
  • Plugins 3D Rotating Tag Cloud AddThis Social Share Contact Form (WP-ContactForm) Feedburner FeedSmith Footnotes Notifier Reviewer The Notifier Reviewer plugin notifies administrator of posts pending for review.
  • Widgets are a handy, easy and simple way to add some flare to your blog. Whether you'd like to display the number of currently online visitors to your site or simply the weather report for Los Angeles, you can do it with widgets. The first rule of widgetizing your blog is - don't overdo it!
  • FeedCount - show off the number of visitors to your blog with this handy little button. Google Site Translator Open your blog or site up to readers from around the globe with Google Site Translator. Visitors can click on their country's flag to view any page of your blog or site in their language (English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian sites.) See more: Blog Widgets http://www.widgetbox.com/list/blidgets 50 Great Widgets For Your Blog http://mashable.com/2007/09/06/widgets-2/
  • Tag Clouds Tags Categories http://www.bloggingtips.com/2013/07/23/5-ways-money-blog/
  • Example: http://howtoblogguideonline.com/
  • Google image search Creative Commons Stockvault http://www.handmadeology.com/the-5-best-places-to-find-free-photos-for-your-blog/
  • Google image search Creative Commons Stockvault http://www.handmadeology.com/the-5-best-places-to-find-free-photos-for-your-blog/
  • Google image search Creative Commons Stockvault http://www.handmadeology.com/the-5-best-places-to-find-free-photos-for-your-blog/
  • “Snipping Tool” to screen capture “Wordle” Word Art in PowerPoint or MSWord
  • “Snipping Tool” to screen capture http://www.juicyresults.com/2013/12-ways-to-write-a-killer- headline/#.UfMjrW1YWU4
  • “Wordle”
  • Word Art in PowerPoint or MSWord
  • Sound files, anyone? • http://www.freesound.org/
  • Video, Video, Video! http://www.juicyresults.com/2013/how-to-not-write-like-a-snob/#.UfMkuG1YWU4
  • Word cloud of topics Archive List Example: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mikehall/default.aspx
  • The “Biggie”!
  • definition Link Buildingis the process of building quality, relevant links to your website, which in turn help your website achieve higher ranking and drive traffic to your site. Link building can be time consuming and difficult but will optimize your website and blog.
  • Link Building is the difference between the first page & the second page, the #1 spot and the #2 spot, the authority blogs & the subpar blogs.
  • Guest blogging is used by bloggers as a way to network with other people within the blogosphere, grow relationships with other blog readers, and increase traffic for their own blogs.
  • There are two primary types of guest blogging: Inviting Guest blogging on your own blog Guest blogging on someone else's blog
  • Twitter Twitter is an excellent tool to share links to your blog content and spread that content to wider audiences.
  • Facebook – Post to your Facebook page. Use hashtags, now working with Facebook. LinkedIn – Your updates & groups (know group rules) Pinterest - Make sure your graphics are pinable Social Bookmarking – Offer all the major ways to share.
  • Flip through any issue, especially a current one and find topics that you have an opinion on. You can quote the original article in your post.
  • Search your key idea as a hashtag on Twitter
  • Keep it short. No time to write? Cool - they have no time to read. Lists rock (like this one!) Shoot a 2-minute video. Post to YouTube. Embed with 3 lines of setup. Optimize title, tags and description with your keywords. Boom - done. Interview other experts. Three questions max. Post and voila! Interview prospective clients and customers. Promote them and their company. Repeat. Go to bank. Review your favorite books - both related and unrelated to your main business.
  • So, how do I get them?
  • A case example…an excellent blog, with quality information. What would YOU recommend?
  • A case example…an excellent blog, with quality information. What would YOU recommend?
  • Another good example http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/46/Why-Business-Blogs- Shouldn-t-Be-on-BlogSpot-com.aspx
  • Here’s how this social media game works…
  • Another good example http://www.convince andconvert.com/blog ging-and-content- creation/lifting-the- fog-of-the-blog/
  • Encourage comments… Example: http://www.michaelgaigg.com/blog/2009/03/13/go- figure-10-comic-strips-that-have-something-in-common/
  • Add to your Twitter account Example: https://twitter.com/JezzDallas
  • Add to your email signature Example:
  • Add to your Facebook page Example: https://www.facebook.com/GrandmaMaryShow
  • Add to your Facebook profile Example:
  • Add an rss feed option to your blog. Example: http://www.michaelgaigg.com/blog/2009/03/13/go- figure-10-comic-strips-that-have-something-in-common/
  • Make it easy for readers to sign up. Add a subscribe link to your website’s homepage, blogs, social media accounts, and signature lines of your employee’s emails. You might also consider giving people something for free if they sign up, such as a white paper or research report. Remember to keep the process simple. Stay away from long, complicated subscription forms. Name, company, and email address are all you need.
  • And ENGAGE with readers: Example: http://www.marismith.com/the-social-scoop/ Note, if Mari can post rep with this many followe you can too!
  • Add to your Twitter account Example: https://twitter.com/JezzDallas
  • Decide who you want to contribute to your blog… Figure out a realistic frequency for posting Create a blog editorial calendar Figure out a reminder system Block out: research time, copywriting time, image search time, proofreading, etc. Schedule it. Stick to it. Shoot for 2-3 updates a week and amazing things will start to happen.
  • Have an electronic “junk drawer” to collect blog ideas. It can be a running list in a Word Doc, a series of separate mini-drafts, an excel spreadsheet, or anything else. Don’t forget manual “idea” collections…a folder of pages ripped from a magazine, a note pad by your bed for midnight inspirations.
  • Blogplatformdecision WordPress.com or WordPress.org – A Guide To Making The Best Decision http://amillionblogs.com/wordpress-com-or- wordpress-org/ How to Start a Website http://www.inc.com/guides/make-a-website- for-business.html
  • Blogging platforms The 10 Best Blogging Platforms http://onlinebusiness.about.com/od/blogging/a/The-10-Best- Blogging-Platforms.htm http://www.solostream.com/blog/tutorials/lesson-13-get-to- know-the-worpdress-control-panel/
  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com http://www.convinceandconvert.com/blogging-and-content- creation/lifting-the-fog-of-the-blog/ Article about having a free Google Blogger blog attached to your domain: How to Link My Custom Domain to Blogger, by Jason Artman http://smallbusiness.chron.com/custom-domain-blogger-29313.html http://www.domaining.com/ Finding Readers for Your Blog – What We Wish We Knew http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/07/14/finding-readers-for-your-blog-what-we- wish-we-knew/
  • PluginInformation 24 Impressive Blog Plugins You Should Consider http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/24-impressive-blog-plugins/ How to install a wordpress plugin – WordPress How To http://howtoblogguideonline.com/wordpress-how-to/how-to-install-a- wordpress-plugin-wordpress-how-to/#more-981 90+ Best WordPress Plugins – Want Unfair Advantage? http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/06/best-wordpress-plugins.html
  • http://www.rgbstock.com/ Open Word or PPT and make a graphic from a key phrase you pull from your blog post
  • Dukeo » Blog Writing » 20 Tips for Coming Up with Fresh Ideas 20 Tips for Coming Up with Fresh Ideas