Start Blogging

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A comprehensive guide to blogging for business. Including how to begin, troubleshooting, getting set up, planning and how to maintain the momentum.

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Start Blogging

  1. 1. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 1 www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook Start Blogging How to use blogging to increase your Google Rankings
  2. 2. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 2 Table of contents Introduction - 3 1. Basic Blogging Tips - 6 2. Tell Stories and Talk from Experience - 8 3. Industry News - 10 4. General Information - 12 5. Attracting Search Enginers - 16 6. Finding Time - 17 7. Promoting your Blog - 19 8. Blogging Software - 22 9. Other tips and suggestions for blog posts - 24 10. How Standard Marketing Can Help - 27
  3. 3. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 3 At Standard Marketing we encourage all of our clients to actively partake in blogging on their website. We have seen a direct relationship between active blogs and rankings in Google. To help make your time more effective and to maximize the marketing power of your website we put together this manual to get you started. Your blog can be the most powerful online marketing tool you’ve ever had, and best of all it’s completely free. All it takes is some time and a bit of inspiration. This document is designed to help you with that inspiration, and to make your blogging as easy and as productive as possible. At its best a well-constructed regularly updated blog can transform your website into a hub for your industry - a place where people go to find out about new developments, important information, and resolutions to their problems. Even if your blog is not the center of your industry it can increase your rankings on Google and bring qualified traffic to your website. In return for a few minutes a week you get to: • demonstrate your knowledge and expertise • air your opinions • create a bond of trust between your company and potential customers • build a larger network and increase social media presence • drive more traffic to your website • improve your rankings on Google
  4. 4. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 4 Before you start writing there may be some challenges to your creativity. Don’t let them get in your way. The trick is to acknowledge these challenges and understand that even the best writers have writers block sometimes. So let’s put these challenges on the table and expose them for what they are: The “I can’t” attitude We encourage you to just write anything that comes into your head, and then go over it and edit it until you’re OK with putting it on your website. The perfectionist Perfection doesn’t exist, so give it your best shot and we can assure you that your writing will improve over time. 90% is good enough. Some action, any action, is better than no action.
  5. 5. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 5 The concern of making a mistake in your facts Remember what we said above, no one is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s quite common for readers to correct writers – and that’s okay! So do your homework try to get your facts right. But as mentioned above, there’s no need to be perfect. It adds credibility if you link to your sources. The worry of no one reading it Sure, you may not get as many readers on your first blog post as your 20th or 50th, but like most things, the more you put into it, the more momentum you’ll build up, and the better you’ll get. The response you receive will increase over time. The lack of originality As Pablo Picasso said “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” It’s hard to find originality – so read relevant blogs for ideas and add your personality. Ideas are free. You can write on any topic as long as you do it in your own words. Using other people’s exact words will get you in trouble.
  6. 6. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 6 1. Basic Blogging Tips
  7. 7. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 7 Blogs work best if they’re helpful, entertaining and personal. Write your blog like you are speaking to a single reader and express yourself informally like you would to friend over coffee, giving your personal opinions as well as your professional ideas. It’s OK to be a little outrageous, as long as you’re not so far out there that you’re alienating your potential customers or hurting your image. It’s much easier to get noticed if your blog entries are different than other people’s. If more than one person is going to be writing on your blog make sure they each have their own user name so readers can see who is writing and can feel connected to each person. In terms of length, there are no absolute rules. But if you use too many redundant words people will get bored and leave without finishing. Just make sure you use enough words to explain your point fully. If you only need 50 words use 50 words. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) we recommend 300 to 700 words. If you find yourself going off on a tangent save the thought, copy it into a new document, and use it as the basis for your next blog post. 1 2 3 4 5
  8. 8. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 8 2. Tell Stories and Talk from Experience
  9. 9. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 9 People love stories, so try to think of things that have happened in your business or personal life and use them as a starting point. Ask colleagues if they have a funny story about their day at work or an unusual situation they found themselves in. Think back to the last customer you interacted with and explain how you solved their problems. Talk about the new products or services you are offering. If you are a realtor write descriptions of the new homes you are listing. If you live and sell real estate in an area that thrives off tourism – sell your real estate by building up the local attractions, parks, trails, beaches, etc. If you sell clothes write about the new season’s lines. This is your chance to show people that you care and provide them with information they won’t get from your competitors.
  10. 10. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 10 3. Industry News
  11. 11. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 11 You know what is important to your potential clients, so put that information on your blog. News is free, so learn how to re-write stories you find in the newspapers or see on television in your own words and add your feelings to them. Subscribe to the important blogs or journals in your industry. You can find them just by searching on Google for topics related to your industry. Read the posts that apply to you or your clients, then re- write and add your own spin. For example, if you are a realtor in Edmonton, subscribe to the Alberta government’s monthly economic review, pull out information about home sales and interest rate trends, then write about how this might help or hinder the home buyers you deal with every day.
  12. 12. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 12 4. General Information
  13. 13. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 13 Think of the questions your customers ask, and write about how to solve them. They may be long term issues you take for granted, or new problems and issues you just dealt with for the first time. For example, if you sell running shoes, tell people how to measure and fit a shoe correctly and give them information on common injuries you see in runners and how to avoid them or on how different types of running shoes can help. Not only will followers of your blog find this information useful, but your post could be pulled up by Google when somebody searches for “measuring feet for running shoes”, and you could snag another lifelong customer as well as higher rankings.
  14. 14. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 14 5. Attracting Search Engines
  15. 15. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 15 Include your primary keyword first and a descriptive title after, such as “Vancouver Real Estate – Another Day in Stanley Park”. Try to keep the wording in your blog posts as natural as possible. Avoid stuffing keywords all over them. But when there is an opportunity to get keywords into titles and body text put them in. It’s likely that if you are talking about your industry there will be keywords in your posts anyway.
  16. 16. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 16 6. Finding Time
  17. 17. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 17 Blogs should be kept up to date. Two entries a week or more is what you should be aiming for, but just do what you can. Something is better than nothing. Finding time to write is a challenge for most people, so consider these techniques: Set aside a few minutes three times a week to write your blog. When you get ideas for a new post jot them down on a piece of paper. Write several blog posts at one time. Head to your favourite coffee shop, give yourself three hours, and try to write five or six blog posts. Publish them one at a time over the next five or six weeks. Take it seriously, set aside a space for writing and learn to prioritize tasks. a. b. c. d.
  18. 18. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 18 7. Promoting Your Blog
  19. 19. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 19 Add your blog to blog directories. Comment on other relevant blogs and forums making sure you add a link to a relevant article on your own blog. Invite big names in your industry (including important bloggers) to write posts for you. They might promote your blog on their blog. Build a large network in Twitter and other social media sites Share your blog posts on social media and add social sharing buttons to your blog a. b. c. d. e.
  20. 20. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 20 Get your Google Authorship Join relevant online communities (Google+ and Linkedin) and share your blog posts when appropriate.Share your blog posts at the right time – find out when here. Promote others as well as yourself. It may just come back to benefit you. Encourage your readers to share your blog posts by offering a prize draw for those who share your blog posts on their social networks. Build an email list and send out blog posts with a personalized message. f. g. h. i. j.
  21. 21. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 21 8. Blogging Software
  22. 22. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 22 WordPress is the best blogging software on the market at the moment. It’s simple for beginner bloggers to add and organize blog posts, and it’s free. WordPress really comes into its own when it is customized by professionals. Almost everything can be improved, from the fonts and title sizes to the images and colours. Most importantly the blog needs to be enhanced so your posts can be picked up and indexed by Google.
  23. 23. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 23 9. Other tips and suggestions for blog post
  24. 24. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 24 Invite guest authors to write on your blog. They want the publicity so they’ll be happy to do it. Interview somebody important within your industry, or a staff member who has seen the industry change over the years. People read blogs for advice, news and entertainment. You can give them all three. Define terms used in your industry. Get your suppliers to write about their products and add this information to your blog. Start off with a question to get people thinking and mentally engaged in the article. The first sentence is the key to generating enough interest in reading the entire article. a. b. c. d. e. f.
  25. 25. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 25 Format the text in your blog post for skimmers, using many headings, bullet points, and bold font for important points. Open your blog article with industry research and studies. People want to know facts. People are also more likely to share articles that introduce and discuss interesting research and relevant facts. Using quotes and block quotes is a great way to add some credibility and support to your claims and opinions. Don’t forget to be yourself and express your own opinions – if people agree with you great. If they disagree, that’s great too because it means that your blog affected them enough to respond. Being regular is better than being sporadic. Your readers will come to expect a new article from you and look for it. If you miss a week they may be turned off. g. h. i. j. k.
  26. 26. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Bloggin Page 26 10. How Standard Marketing can Help
  27. 27. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 27 We can get you up and running by installing a WordPress blog and database on your website, designing a look for the blog so it looks similar or identical to the rest of your site, and optimizing the blog so your posts will be picked up by Google. It’s always best to write your own blog, but if this isn’t possible we can write posts for you in your voice, or provide editing and proofing services. We can add an RSS feed to your blog so people who want to can receive your blogs in their RSS reader or by email. And we can link your blog to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, so whenever you write a blog entry it automatically is posted on your social media accounts. It’s better to write different entries on your social media accounts, but publishing your blog posts automatically is better than nothing. Read our blog: http://www.standardmarketing.ca/blog Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook. com/standardmarketing Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter. com/standardmarktg
  28. 28. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 28 An active and well managed blog is a very powerful marketing tool and the best part of all is - it’s free! Now that you know what it takes to start and manage your own blog, why don’t you put it to the test and see how it can become even more effective. Let us evaluate your blog and we’ll offer suggestions and guidance that will maximize your blogging efforts - for traffic, conversion or whatever your business goal may be. Free Blog Evaluation Get my Free Blog EvaluationGet my Free Blog Evaluation
  29. 29. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - Start Blogging Page 29 By Anthony Baisi Anthony Baisi manages social media & customer relations at Standard Marketing. He’s also responsible for developing clients’ content strategy and carrying out their Search Engine Optimization. He strategizes each client’s content to address the needs of their target audience while establishing a professional and consistent persona for the brand. He’s an important part of our marketing strategy team. Written by Anthony Baisi Follow me on Twitter @anthonybaisi

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