Blogging for your Business


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Anna Cunningham, Social Me

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  • today we’re gonna talk about blogging from a business perspective... \n\nconsultant\nstartup\nsmall business\nfortune 500\n(focus mostly on small business but this applies across the board)\n
  • when Murray and I first started talking about putting this preso together a quote came to mind from article:\nI Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You\nwe all know this, but I think it’s worth reminding ourselves especially when we are talking about blogging from the perspective of a business. So today, we’ll look at blogging from the lens of:\n- how can it generate more revenue\nNOT\n- how can it make you look cooler\n(it is one component but it is NOT the be all end all in the equation)\n\n
  • having a blog and maintaining an active presence on that blog, should be a no brainer. \n\n(stats)\n\nthere are real quantitative benefits to blogging. \n\nBut to get more specific, and touch on some of the “softer” reasons, here’s what I like to think blogging can offer a business:\n
  • This is probably the simplest one...a blog is an opporunity to let prospects and current customers know:\n- alive (if you are looking at this from the pessimists’ angle\n-growing (from the optimists’ angle)\n-thriving\n-doing new things\n-have lots to talk about\n
  • It’s also a great way to differentiate. \n\nthe rest of your website may have to take a more traditional approach to communication, but a blog is opportunity to have a little bit more fun with your story, and let people get to know YOU and your team, not just your company. \n\nand bringing this back to revenue: make your prospects LIKE you and WANT to do business with YOU (opportunity to sell yourself)\n
  • A blog is also a way to provide support and guidance to existing customers\n\nshow them some love / give them attention\n
  • Last but not least, this is probably one of the most significant reasons why a business should blog: SEO...\n- a blog gives you the op to create content your site gets credit for\n- create FRESH content (which search engines prefer)\n- create content around the keywords you want to be associated with\n\nI like to think of it this way: each blog entry is one new way for a prospect to find you via a search engine. One more feeler, one more tree branch to grab onto. \n
  • So, those are all the reasons for blogging, but why does blogging work? \n
  • So next I’m going to touch on some best practices, but before we go there I wanted to take a high level look at the process of blogging... \n\nHere’s how to think about things... \n
  • So now taking one step back... if you are in the position of just launching a blog for your business, or in the early stages of doing so, here’s what you should be thinking about\n\nIdentify goals: purpose of VigLink blog is to help existing customers use our product more effectively/efficiently, AND introduce prospects to the company and engage with them. Our audience is bloggers / forum owners / online publishers. \n\nIdentify topics: VigLink: we don’t cover site monetization (WAY TOO MUCH THERE), we cover content monetization\n\nResearch keywords: think about the difficulty of ranking on a keyword AND popularity of that keyword... Murray covered this last time, so I won’t spend too much time here....\n\nstart writing: even if your product/service isn’t launching for six months START blogging today, it will help you from an SEO AND lead gen perspective, give you instant history/credibility as soon as you launch\n\nTrack results: this comes back to the point of optimizing your blog as a lead gen/revenue tool... it’s great if you are writing 2x per week and your entries are beautiful but if you don’t know what’s working and wants not there is little you can do to optimizze and improve. If you don’t know:\na) how people are finding you\nb) what people are finding\n\nit will be difficult ot improve on what you are doing. \n
  • so, next we’re going to talk a little bit about what you can write about, but before that I wanted to briefly touch on how to optimize your BLOG from an SEO perspective. Murray touched on this last week but the main factors are... \n
  • early on in the blogging process you might think: I don’t have much to say, I don’t know what I could do 2 blog entries on a week. \n\nbut spend some time thinking about and you’ll probably find you have a ton to say...\n\nwhen i think of blog entries for business they typically fall into one of these categories and you’ll find there is a lot of ground to cover here\n
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  • before we wind down, what are some of the things your blog is NOT for... \n
  • That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize and pull every lever you can if something isn’t working, BUT don’t give up on blogging altogether if you aren’t seeing immediate results. \n\nDon’t think in terms of 30 / 60 / 90 days, \n\nthink in terms of 3 / 6 /9 months\n
  • Blogging for your Business

    1. 1. Blogging for your Business Tips & Tactics to Generate Leads, Revenue & Mind ShareAnna CunninghamSocial Media Manager SF Blog Club Meetup@annaestherc@viglink October 18, 2011
    2. 2. Social Media is Not “Cool” © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 2
    3. 3. With that in mind... Companies that blog have far better marketing results than those that don’t.* On average, their websites receive: 55% more visitors 97% more inbound links 434% more indexed pages * data courtesy of HubSpot © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 3
    4. 4. “I’m Here”An active company blog shows prospects your organization is activeand thriving. © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 4
    5. 5. “I’m Not Like All Those Other Guys”A company blog is an excellent opportunity to differentiate, show yourorganization’s personality and allow prospects to get to know you. © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 5
    6. 6. Support Existing Customersget customer feedback | crisis avoidance | share best practices © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 6
    7. 7. Reach a Larger Audience © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 7
    8. 8. Why Does Blogging Work? Accessible (Requires time/knowledge, not money) Large addressable market (Most people are online) Permission-based (non-intrusive / interruptive) Inherently viral (content sharable, it promotes itself to a certain extent) © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 8
    9. 9. Process Blog post, presentation, video, Create comment, news release, Tweet, forum post, podcast, white paper, photo, article Include keywords, catchy title, ALT Optimize text, back-links, include an image, tags, categories WordPress, Slideshare, Flickr Publish YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn Group, Digg, Ning LinkedIn Group, Twitter, Email Share Linkedin Status, Post to blog, comment on blogs / forums © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 9
    10. 10. Best Practices: Getting Started Identify Goals - WHAT do you hope to achieve blogging? - who do you want to engage with? - what problems do they have that you will help solve?Identify Blog Topics/Themes - You can’t cover everything effectively, and you want to keep your message on point Research Keywords - Helps w/ SEO & Determining what to write about. - Use Google Keyword tool for help researching. Start Writing! - pick the right blogging tool - write regularly ( 1-2x / week) - Post in your name Track Results - Google analytics © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 10
    11. 11. Best Practices: SEO Use Readable URLs Add tags and use categories Optimize your title and first paragraph Consider hosting your blog as a subdomain (e.g. not “”) © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 11
    12. 12. Best Practices: What to Write About Company News Products, Events, People, Stories Success Stories Examples of how customers are successfully using your products/services Product Benefits Why should a prospect buy/use your products/services? What makes you different? Industry News What do people that use your product/service care about in the world? How will a particular news story impact them? Opinion / Thought Leadership Where do you want your company to be in 1/5/10 years? What themes/stories is it important to communicate to get there? Customer Support What tools, tips, insights can you share with existing customers to make them happier? © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 12
    13. 13. Best Practices: Maximizing Reach & Driving Revenue Include share buttons Include a subscribe option Invite others to guest post (particularly those with a large following) Interview experts in the field you are covering Participate on other blogs (guest posts, comments) Publish content to other channels: FB, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Forums, Other Blogs Include a call-to-action © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 13
    14. 14. © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 14
    15. 15. Best Practices: What Not to Do post press releases verbatim post news stories verbatim publish long, detailed or complex articles rant write something you wouldn’t say directly to someone write something that isn’t truthful/accurate forget to attribute sources © VigLink All Rights Reserved. 15
    16. 16. Stick with it. Consider blogging a long-term marketing initiative.© VigLink All Rights Reserved. 16