Blogging brings you business - but how? - August 2014


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Many businesses have their website in set and forget mode hoping this will be a useful digital shop front which will attract new business. Static websites may as well be invisible online, and they do not make the most of an expensive investment in terms of online customer service opportunities.
Blogging or having a ‘latest news’ section on a website means that your business can not only help your website flourish, it can bring their business’s personality alive to attract new business, and maintain existing business relationships.
This presentation demonstrates the power of blogging for your business to support your digital marketing strategies, as well as improve customer service strategies.

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  • Introduce yourself –
    Elearning ebusiness eportfolio consultancy
    Work with prominent business development programs/leaders like the City of Salisbury and City of Marion, as well as universities, VET providers and schools
    E-business Workshops / Webinars for national organisations such as ACPET, Wendy Perry & Associates

    Delivering this workshop as a small business owner who has been writing business blogs since 2008 and using them as part of VVC’s digital marketing campaign.

    Encourage questions / discussion

  • Discuss with the group:

    Put your hand up if you read blogs?
    What type of blogs?

    Put your hand up if you write / have written a blog?
    What did you write about, and why?

    So what is blogging, and why is it important for a business, and what’s driving it?
  • Blogging is regularly posting unique and useful content to attract visitors to your website, who may then contact you about your services or buy your services.

    Blogs offer real time communication to a world wide audience through commenting function, as well as polls/surveys and other calls to action

    Visitors can be attracted through organic web searchers, or encouraged to visit the site through prompts via social media and email campaigns.

    Visitors are encouraged to keep up to date and stay in touch with the blog’s content via RSS or Subscription options or by subscribing to an email list.

    Blogging is:
    Sharing information, content, facts which is useful to the reader not just selling and re-stating information which already existing on your website
    The information in a blog needs to have some value to the reader and not just be about your business and how wonderful it is
    Part of your overall digital marketing plan

    Blogging should be linked to your organisational goals and marketing strategy.

    Blogging enables your business to develop ‘Street Cred’ within its industry by sharing their knowledge – giving some of what you know to get the attention of your audience.
  • People are turning to the internet to find information. They are using social media, blogs and search engines including YouTube to stay up to date.

    Traditional newspapers and magazines are becoming a thing of the past, so in order to get in front of new audiences when need to be active online.

    Because there is so much information online, when need to be unique about what and how we share information online so that we stand out among a lot of white noise.

    Australia is currently one of the leaders in internet access – Image shows The global digital divide in 2006: Computers per 100 people – Source: Wikipedia -
  • Point out key features
  • Point out key features
  • Point out key features
  • Let’s do a brainstorm about possible blogging themes / topics?
  • Take a few minutes to write down some generic themes / topics which your business
    could be blogging about – which are reader-centre and value-add

    Think about your clients’ pains – how can you solve them?
    Think about your products and services – why would people benefit from them?

  • Addressing customer issues
    Topics which link to reminders about things
    How to’s
    Sharing why things are changing
    Asking for feedback / input (good for continuous improvement)
    Encourage testimonials -
    Good new stories – students who get a job, grant, promotion, course entry and how training helped that
    Polls / Surveys

  • Use a range of strategies to generate new ideas for blog posts
  • Write down 1-2 nouns which best describes some of the topics and themes which you have listed

    Go to Hubspot’s blog topic generator – what topics did it come up with?
  • Like any communication process there is a process that you should follow in order for it to be successful
  • Write down 3-4 things which best describes your ideal target market. Use demographic information to describe your target market, such as: age range, location, job position and/or income bracket.

    How you manage your whole business should be driven by who is your target market.

    Having a clear picture about who is most likely to buy your business’s goods/services
    Market the right information at the right time, and in the right place.

    Having a clearly defined target market will also help you determine what is important to them and help you decide upon what you should be posting on your blog.

    Draw on your own experience or think about who you think is going to pay for your goods/services if you haven’t started your business yet.
  • Write down what the purpose of having a blog.

    Drive more traffic to website
    Increase email list
    Increase enquiries / sales
    Provide better customer service

  • You have 3 secs to keep people’s attention on your blog so unique and useful content is king because:

    It will be attractive to people
    Help make your website a search engine magnet or help improve your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Let’s brainstorm what type of content will you use on your blog to make it interesting:
    text, images, video, audio, weblinks, ebooks, fact sheets, polls, checklists, infographics, question and answer forums etc. etc.

    Where will the content come from?
    Will you create it yourself, build from existing content? or
    Will you pay someone to develop the content for you?

    Not sure –
    look at 1-2 of your competitors’ blog
    think about how your target market interacts online. How are they using and interacting with information online eg do they prefer more visuals or interactivity?
    do some market research, ie: ask them, send out a survey to your existing customers, or ask people that you know within your target market demographic or observe how your target market are interacting online through your social media network.

    Answering these questions will help you develop a picture of the types of content you should be using on your blog.

  • Keywords – what are they?

    What are people searching for when they are looking for your type of business?
    What words best describe your business?
    What are your competitors doing – but your key words into a web engine – what’s most popular – what are they doing to make it popular ie look at their blog posts, page titles, content etc

    Source: 4 Key Steps the Pros Use to Get Traffic from Search Engines by Jason Chesters
  • Website Keywords – which ones?

    Write your content for your blog:
    Briefly describe what this article is about
    Put the words into Google – see what Google long tail keywords suggests
    use Google planner (part of Google Adwords) to see past data and search volumes.
    Optimise the page / blog post using the keywords in
    Page title
    First Paragraph
    SEO Title and description
    Body text
    Alt tags
    Interlinking pages etc
    Build quality backlinks – email campaigns, social media, guest blogging, articles etc (next slide)

    Source: 4 Key Steps the Pros Use to Get Traffic from Search Engines by Jason Chesters
  • Driving people to your blog:

    Promote through email list and social media, and linking to in discussion forums

    Search engine marketing (SEM) where you pay search engines to promote an ad

    Place an online ad about your blog website on third party websites

    Traditional advertising – write articles for newspapers, magazines, newsletters etc

    Commenting and leaving the link to your website-blog on other people’s/business’s blogs of a similar nature, or doing likewise in online groups of a relevant topic, helps to establish you as an expert in your field and this can entice people to want to find out more information about your/your business by viewing your site.
  • ROI – Return on Investment or Realization of Influence
  • How do you know if your efforts are getting you anywhere?
    Measure against the goals you set for the blog


    Google Analytics
    Website Analytics
    Facebook Analytics
    Conversion to sales / referrals /
    Benchmarking and evaluating
  • You will need to collect data to help you measure your ROI criteria. This can come from:

    Data analytics from your website-blog platform and/or Google Analytics
    Asking customers / people who contact you how they heard about your business
    Reviewing Sales/Revenue/Registrations data or Customer contact data
    Anecdotal information from speaking with your customers
  • Using your organisational and blog goals – determine what’s working and what’s not, and continue to keep doing what is working.

    Benchmark and evaluate
    Ask for feedback by users and your staff.

  • Writing online is both an art and a science … let’s look at the formula
  • Compelling blog headline

    Something people need
    Something which provokes interest

    7 Headline types (top 6 by “Authority Blogger” from Jeff Bulla’s 8 Key steps to blogging mastery ebook):

    Get what you want – healthier, wealthier, happier – ie The secret to …
    Crystal ball and history – predictions of the future and analysis of the past
    Problems or fears – Don’t be the last one in the unemployment line
    Fact, fiction, truth or ties – Little known ways to ….
    How to, tricks of the trade –
    Best or Worst
    Ways to fail (but offer the solutions)
  • Ways to keep them:

    Pose a question
    Use a quote
    Use a powerful story
    Enticing (or scary) facts / stats
    Provide context / background / mental image
  • People have become very good at filtering information so making it easy for people to determine if the information is right for them will help keep their attention longer
  • Have a clear call to action to wrap up the blog post:

    Provoke / encourage comments
    Ask questions or ask for suggestions
    Get them to engage with you
    Use hyperlinks, special/limited offers

  • Here are a few things to consider when blogging for your RTO:

    Who is going to do the blogging?
    Who is going to determine topics, write, edit, respond, market
    Have a blogging policy:
    Moderating of comments guides on the site
    Privacy policy
    Mechanisms which quickly deal with issues
    Just because no-one comments doesn’t mean it’s not working – lurking is ok
    Stay up to date about good blogging practice
    read Jeff Bulla’s blog
    Adelaide Business Bloggers facebook page
  • What will you investigate further and why?
  • Ask participants to complete the online workshop evaluation
  • Blogging brings you business - but how? - August 2014

    1. 1. Salisbury / Modbury Blogging brings you business – but how? Allison Miller, Vanguard Visions
    2. 2. You’ll find these slides at:
    3. 3. Session Overview • What is blogging? • What should you be blogging about? • The blogging process • Writing a blog post • Key considerations • What will you investigate further? • Workshop evaluation
    4. 4. What is blogging?
    5. 5. Blogging not flogging • Sharing not selling • Customer-centred not company-centred • Value add • Building relationships – improving customer service • Driven by organisational goals • Give to get CC-BY Image by Gideon Burton – Blogging Street Cred -
    6. 6. Image: Digital Divide - Internet is changing everything • 92% of Australian business have internet access • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) • 79% of Australian homes have the internet • Good e-practice guidelines for disadvantaged learners in VET (2013) • 90% of Australians have an internet-enabled smartphone • AIMIA Mobile Phone Survey (2013)
    7. 7. Example
    8. 8. Example
    9. 9. Example
    10. 10. What should you be blogging about?
    11. 11. Which blogging themes / topics? CC-BY Image: by Geralt - Exchange Of Ideas Silhouettes Man Woman Face -
    12. 12. Blogging themes / topics Issues, Reminders, How to’s Feedback, Good news stories CC-BY Image: by Geralt - Exchange Of Ideas Debate Discussion Entertainment Competitions, Polls / Surveys
    13. 13. Join industry online groups Tips for getting topic ideas Subscribe to training announcements Join workforce development online groups Survey staff, learners, clients Social media trends Read other RTOs’ blogs
    14. 14. Blog topic generator
    15. 15. The blogging process
    16. 16. Understand your target market CC-BY Image: Clipart – Target with arrow by anonymous -
    17. 17. Your blogging goal CC-BY Image: by Public Domain Pictures - Goal Soccer Sport Aim Ball Grass Objective Cup -
    18. 18. What content? Image: Content Spray Paint Logo - CC-D23 BY Expo Image: 2011 – Marvel Panel -
    19. 19. Types of content? Where from? How? CC-BY Image: US Army 53138 United States Army Africa - official website and social media center.jpg - _official_website_and_social_media_center.jpg
    20. 20. Using the right keywords “Great content first, keyword research second!” – Jason Chesters 4 Key Steps the Pros Use to Get Traffic from Search Engines by Jason Chesters CC-BY Image: by Cambodia4kids Beth - Tags: Keywords to describe digital objects -
    21. 21. Which keywords? 4 Key Steps the Pros Use to Get Traffic from Search Engines by Jason Chesters CC-BY Image: by Cambodia4kids Beth - Tags: Keywords to describe digital objects -
    22. 22. Email lists Driving people to your blog Social media Online forums Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Traditional advertising Other online advertising
    23. 23. Measure and monitor CC-BY Image: Understanding the relationship between cause and effect by Brian Solis -
    24. 24. Use those stats - Data Analytics • Google Analytics • Blog Analytics • Facebook Analytics • • Conversions / referrals
    25. 25. Measuring your ROI CC-BY Image: DIRECT ROI INDIRECT ROI Immediate sales/contracts Sales/contracts which come at a later time Increased hits on your website Referrals for business from unknown sources Reduced time spent on customer service or information provision Increased enquiries about your business
    26. 26. Rinse and repeat CC-BY Image: PDCA Cycle -
    27. 27. Writing a blog post
    28. 28. Compelling blog headline CC-BY Image: Casera Black Beans by Caribbean Shibe - 7 Headline types: 1.Get what you want 2. Crystal ball and history 3. Problems or fears 4. Fact, fiction, truth or ties 5.How to, tricks of the trade 6. Best or Worst 7.Ways to fail Top 6 types come from “Authority Blogger” via Jeff Bulla’s 8 Key steps to blogging mastery ebook:
    29. 29. Keep with the first paragraph Ways to keep them: 1.Pose a question 2. Use a quote 3. Use a powerful story 4.Enticing (or scary) facts / stats 5. Provide context / background / mental image 6. Analogies Jeff Bulla’s 8 Key steps to blogging mastery ebook: CC-BY Image: by Nemo - Paragraph Return Carriage Arrow Next Line Text -
    30. 30. Chunk and change Support filtering: 1.Sub-headings 2. Small paragraphs 3. Short sentences 4. Lists / Indent 5.Images, Infographics, Video, Podcasts, Slides etc 6. Bold, underscore, italics 7.Hyperlink – your website, flyers, eBooks Jeff Bulla’s 8 Key steps to blogging mastery ebook: CC-BY Image: SJ3868 : Blacon Community Mosaic at Blacon Old Station site - segment 5 -
    31. 31. Call to action Speak to us, share with us, click here, CC-BY Image: Megaphone Shout Action Call Scream Loud Speak by Mickyroo -
    32. 32. Key considerations
    33. 33. Who’s responsible? Lurking’s OK Blogging policy Stay up to date
    34. 34. What will you investigate further?
    35. 35. Workshop evaluation
    36. 36. Allison Miller 0400 732 270 Register for eUpdates: Connect on: Twitter - Facebook -
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