Better Business Blogging (part 2) – Why, When, How

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A Note on WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blog-publishing applications in the world used by millions of individuals, businesses & organisations. It allows up to 10 users – enabling different people to post different blogs at different times. Each user may be authorised with different privileges, e.g. publishing, editing, etc. It integrates elegantly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. You may use templates, search-engine friendly links and widgets (drag-and-drop sidebars, Facebook Like boxes, etc.)

It automatically skim reads your content and suggests relevant or popular keywords (as do Podcasts) to tag your articles with. You can publish material retrospectively based on original date, e.g. existing testimonials/blogs. You can make special blogs ‘sticky’ – which means you can choose what to promote regardless of publishing date and it give you free analytics to measure the impact of your blog and traffic to your website.

When might you Blog?

At least once a week, the more you Blog the more likely you will attract attention. You might want to use an editorial calendar to schedule content and vary types of post and their length. Choose a specific time and day of the week to create anticipation amongst followers and choose a keyword to focus on and then measure the results through the analytics.

A Pretty Good Tip! Plan your blog posts for the month and write and schedule as many as possible in advance – this frees up your time to deal with daily tasks and social networking.

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Optimise your Blog Posts

Be Sociable – Sharing Buttons will extend your reach & encourage readers to share your content across their Social Media channels

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words – use compelling images to convey what the post is about, grab attention & emphasise points

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What’s Your Format? – use bold, CAPITALS, italics & underlining to highlight text & draw your readers’ eyes to your main points

Don’t Hide Your Light Under A Bushel – begin & end with your main points – Google show the first 165 characters in search engine listings

Box It In – boxes around quotes and key points can similarly get the attention of readers

bulletstyles2011_04Bullet Your Points – posts containing bullet points tend to be linked to far more other blogs than posts of the same length that do not

Give Your Blog A Heads Up – Headings/Sub-Headings draw the reader’s eyes down the page to what interests them

Give Yourself Space – helps readers not to feel overwhelmed and draws their eye to what’s inside

Keep Paragraphs Short – your readers will get lost in large blocks of text – break it down and they’ll stay longer

The Value of Exchange

iStock_000005011796Small-celebrate-social-media-success-900x300The relationship between your brand, employees & consumers which is more than just a single transaction or subscription.

Remember – you are writing for both your target audience/customers and for search engines. Brainstorm ideas with colleagues, family and friends if you’re not sure what to blog about, then when you write be yourself! Let your personality shine through and write in a conversational and friendly tone.

Avoid the sales patter & advertising – people trust peer recommendations more, instead invite conversation by asking questions, add social media buttons so readers can share your posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Decide on one key phrase or word for each post and include it in the title, content & tags. Link, Link & Link again!

Content is King – the more you post the more you will be found.

Network online with other bloggers and blogging communities, not just your followers, seek out like minded folk to interact with. Identify and follow those blogs you think will be most relevant to your business & provide you with the most information. Make sure that you measure the value of exchange not the return on investment – doing business with people that know, like & trust you will make you money – social media is merely the platform!

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