Worked mainly in the media – publishing and also local radio brieflyBrought up family, part time work, became a single parent, did a degree, moved to oxfordshire. Alamy, self employed, magazine, Proof Fairy. Always loved writing, kept a diary as teen and again in my 30s. Blogged a lot, using different platforms – now have personal blog alisonneale.co.uk and more business focusses blog on theprooffairy.comI don’t claim to know everything ... Learnt on the job and I know how important having a business blog is.
Blog is short for “weblog” – read onscreen definitionLiterallya log of comments, hosted on the web. It differs from a standard website in that it’s not static - instead it’s constantly updated.Blogs used for all sorts of things, from travel diaries to political activism to reporting firsthand on breaking news - eg the Japanese tsunami - eye witness accounts, video and photos on blogs give a more personal and immediate perspective than traditional media.
Research from Hubspot found that .....
Attract more traffic to your website - because more traffic equals more potential customersCommunicate with existing customers - to build a relationship and keep them coming backShare your knowledge with the world - you get known as the person to go to for your specialist knowledge - so when people want what you offer, they won’t even consider your competitorsPurely for SEO reasons - which basically means writing stuff that can be found through Google (more later)A personal record of your business as it develops - for your own interest, and to show the human side of your businessTHE BEST BLOGS ACHIEVE ALL THE ABOVE!QUESTIONS?
There are over 100 platforms for blogging. Some are free, some paid, all have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are very easy to set up, others take more time but are more feature-rich
Blogger - one of the oldest blogging platforms, now owned by Google, about to undergo a makeover. Integrates with Picasa - good for photobloggingWordpress - My platform of choice - easy to use but can become as complex as you wish. Can use both for blogging and as whole websiteHosted – easy to set up and use, restrictions on what you can do with itSelf hosted – takes more effort but more rewarding, plugins to add features eg ecommerce, photo galleries, forums – anything you can think of!When choosing your blog think about what you want it to do and look for something that’s easy to set up but flexible enough to grow and has good online supportChoose carefully - not easy to move info from one platform to another once you’ve got going
Pros and cons of bothEvery post increases size of site – so Goolge sees your site as one of more authority/quality etcImproves SEO of entire websiteVisitors already on your website!Fresh content – gets the Google spiders excitedMaintain branded look across website AND blogQUESTIONS?
Picture the scene - you walk into a shop and it’s dark and gloomy inside. The shelves are dusty, the stock is all out of date and when you ring the bell for attention, no one comes. How would that make you feel? How likely would you be to do business there?Blogs are very similar to shops, in that if they are neglected they can actually do more harm than good. Which of these shops would get your money?post regularly - and by that I mean at least once a week wherever possible, not once every 6 months post information on your blog that’s entertaining, and informative, and has some value to the reader.
Posting regularly means that you have fresh content on your site. Standard websites can become static – for example, services pages might not often be changed. Apart from the site becoming a bit stale for visitors, Googles spiders will not be very impressed if every time they visit the content is the same - they might even wonder if it’s still used. Have a blog and write regularly and the spiders will get very excited about the fresh content, they’ll know your site is alive and kicking – and will rank your site higher.,. If people like what you’re doing they’ll come back for more, they might leave you a comment that you can use to start a conversation, and in time you’ll cultivate such a strong relationship with them that when they’re ready to buy they won’t even think about contacting one of your competitors.As I said before, every post increases the size of your website – better for Google rankingQUESTIONS?
Keep your blog interesting by including lots of variety in what you post. Think about what you have seen on blogs that really got your attention, or made you smile or laughQ&A – make a note of questions that your potential customers ask you – every one can be a blog postIndustry news – eg. New regulations, tax changes, new developments. Add your own response.New products and services that you are launchingReviews of products/services – your own or other people’s. Book reviews – choose titles that are relevant to your visitors. Even better, get an Amazon Associate account so if anyone wants to buy the book you’ll make a few pennies in commission!Photo stories – take half a dozen photos of, say, a day in your life, or a product you’re making. No need to add text – your visitors can tell the story themselves.Relevant videos from YouTube etc – with your own comments – or make your own video (vlog) – easy with webcam or phone camera. Video client testimonials!Case studies and interesting projects you have worked on – check with the client first, but most people will be happy for the publicity, especially if you include a link to their website.Hints and tips – 5 ways to smarten your house, 7 top tips for stress-free accounts, that kind of thing.How-to posts and videos – especially good if you do anything on the computer, eg web design, online accounting. Free software like Jing (http://www.techsmith.com/jing/) allows you to make short films of your desktop, with commentary. Most cameras or phones have video function – make a short video, upload it to YouTube, link it on your blog.Opinions on news stories relevant to your industryIn-house news (new offices, awards you’ve entered, new staff etc)Link to other bloggers – not as daft an idea as it sounds! If you read something on a blog that you like then copy a couple of lines, paste it in your post, explain what you like about it – and link to the other blog. With any luck that blogger will visit your website, may mention you on theirs and you will get some of their visitors come to see who you are.Guest bloggers – from businesses that complement your own. They will bring their followers to your blog! And never pass up on the offer to guest blog somewhere elsePLAN YOUR CONTENT - GET REALLY ORGANISED AND plan at least the type of post you’re going to make. Go for two or three a week if you can. spend an afternoon writing lots of posts and schedule them, or at least keep them safe so you just have to copy and paste when you need to update. Seasonal posts?
People ahve short attention spansKeep it simple, short and to the pointAim for around 400-600 wordsLonger – think about splitting into a series of posts, one a weekWill bring people back to read the next part!QUESTIONS?
Target niche areasEg website generally might focus on Bookkeeper OxfordDo you offer a special service for the agricultural industry?Write a post called “Bookkeeping for farmers”Include that phrase in the title, the page URL (permalink), two or three times in the text, no more.Google loves blogs, Wordpress particularly, and will respond well to careful use of keywords. They act as identifiers to the content of the pageBut beware ....
Guess the keywords there!Yup, that company was obviously targeting searches for “London Taxi Tours” and in fact they’d probably even overdone it for google - because too many repetitions of your key words count against you - but worse still, they made the text just about unreadable.The trick is to focus on a keyword or phrase, use it in your title and two or three times in the content - but no more!! Always remember that it’s people who will actually read your blog, not machines.QUESTIONS?
Remember the BBC’s maxim to:InformEducateEntertainMake your blog posts do just that and people will come back for more! Try and look for novel ways to promote your products and services – make them unusual enough or entertaining and people will share them – and could send your message viral ...
Fantastic example of viral marketingPLAY FILMStarted in 2006 - Series of films from Blendtec, who make a very powerful blender. They put all manner of things in it - golf balls, marbles, CDs, even an ipad - and then ask the famous question - will it blend?! They gave the Blendtec brand a personality and demonstrated the product in an imaginative way. films were so entertaining and so far removed from normal ads for kitchen appliances that they went viral in other words, people wanted to share them with their friends – and they’ve had over 180 million hits on YouTubebut better still, they led to a 1000% increase in profit over 4 years - and these aren’t cheap bits of kit they’re selling.
Just follow list on slideFinish with:The end Result is you expand your audience hugely – and build your business profileQUESTIONS?
Just follow slideQUESTIONS?
Thanks for taking the time to attend this webinarI hope you’re all really keen to either improve your current blogs or get started on a new blog.If you want to have a go with the self-hosted version of Wordpress, but don’t know where to start, I’d like to make you a special offer – 12 months web hosting, domain name registration and WordPress installation (with a theme of your choice) for just £75 – half my normal price. I’ll also give you an ebook that explains how Wordpress works, and also throw in 90 days telephone and email support so if you get stuck I’m there to help you out. Alternatively, if you already have a blogging facility on your website but don’t have but don’t have the time to keep it updated, t, I can write you 4 unique posts a month, upload them to your site, post them out to your social media accounts and manage all the comments for you, again at a discounted rate of just £120 a month.If you’d to find out more about either of those offers my contact details are on the website – www.theprooffairy.com and I’ll be emailing you a link to the recording of this webinar anyway, and will include details then.Thanks agian for listening – enjoy the rest of your dayd!
7 steps to business blogging success
7 Steps to Business Blogging Success Presented by Alison Neale The Proof Fairywww.theprooffairy.com
During this presentation you’ll find out: What you want your blog to achieve Which platform is best for you Why you should update your blog regularly How to be creative with content Why Google loves blogs How to keep them coming back for more The Bloggers’ Code of Conductwww.theprooffairy.com
About me Background in media & publishing Started The Proof Fairy in Nov 2009 Proofreading, blogging, social media and WordPress Keen writer!www.theprooffairy.com
What is a blog? Blog a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links. To blog to maintain or add new entries to a blog.www.theprooffairy.com
Why should you blog? Websites with a blog get 55% more traffic than websites that don’t! More traffic = more potential sales!www.theprooffairy.com
1. Work out what you want your blog to achieve Attract more traffic to your website Communicate with existing customers Share your knowledge with the world Search engine optimisation A personal record THE BEST BLOGS ACHIEVE ALL OF THE ABOVE!www.theprooffairy.com
2. Choose your platform carefully!www.theprooffairy.com
Top two blogging platforms www.blogger.com www.wordpress.com (hosted) or www.wordpress.org (self hosted)www.theprooffairy.com
Integrated blog or separate blog? INTEGRATED SEPARATE Every post Backlinks increases size of Useful for irrelevant site blog Improves SEO Visitors already on your website! Fresh content Maintain branded lookwww.theprooffairy.com
3. Update your blog regularlywww.theprooffairy.com
Why updating regularly is important Fresh content – for people and search engines Return visitors! Increase size of sitewww.theprooffairy.com
4. Be creative with your content! Q&A Industry news Product launches Reviews Photo stories Videos Case studies Hints and tips How-to posts / videos Opinion In-house news Guest bloggerswww.theprooffairy.com
How long is a blog post? 400-600 words ... Because we have short attention spa....www.theprooffairy.com
5. Make the most of SEO ... Target niche areas Use keywords wisely Google loves Wordpress!www.theprooffairy.com
...but write for people, not computers! London taxi tours is a London taxi tour company that provides London taxi tours around London. Your London taxi tour driver can tell you lots about London during your London taxi tour and he will make your London taxi tour a London taxi tour to remember.www.theprooffairy.com
6. Attract an audience and send your message viral ... Inform Educate Entertain!www.theprooffairy.com
Blendtec: masters of viral marketing Since 2006: 180 MILLION views on YouTube 1000% increase in sales of blenderswww.theprooffairy.com
...Make it easy to share! RSS feed Email subscription Post to social media sites (twitterfeed.com) Share/like buttons Encourage comments – and reply! Engage with other bloggerswww.theprooffairy.com
7. The Bloggers’ Code of Conduct Take responsibility not just for your own words but also for the comments you allow on your blog Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person Ignore the trolls!www.theprooffairy.com
To summarise ... 1. Work out what you want your blog to achieve 2. Choose your platform carefully 3. Update your blog regularly 4. Be creative with content 5. Remember the SEO benefits – but write for people, not for computers 6. Attract an audience – and send your message viral 7. Remember the Bloggers’ Code of Conductwww.theprooffairy.com
Before you go ... Thank you for watching this presentation! Here are some special offers for you ... 12 months’ web hosting, domain name and WordPress installation just £75 (normal price £150) Standard blog package (4 unique posts per month + blog maintenance) just £120 per month for 3 months (normal price £150) Email email@example.com and quote SLIDESHARE2012 for special rates!www.theprooffairy.com
The Proof Fairy www.theprooffairy.co mwww.theprooffairy.com