Tag Archives: value of exchange

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

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.

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

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

Bullet 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

The 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!


Better Business Blogging – How, What, Where (Part 1)

Social Media is the online equivalent of word of mouth, which really encapsulates its usefulness to businesses. Blogs are popular because they allow readers to leave comments in an interactive format. People post blogs but also build social relations with their readers & other bloggers. Plus writing regular blog posts on your website is a great way to increase search engine traffic & and keep your customers and target audience returning to your website regularly.

What is a Blog?

Weblog – a journal written online and accessible to users of the internet. A website featuring a writer’s experiences, observations and opinions, often with images & links to other sites. Blogging isn’t just about the text – video, audio, images and other media also play a vital role … these are otherwise known as Vlogs, Podcasts and MP3s.

Podcasts, are a powerful medium through which to reach new audiences. You could even turn your videos into Podcasts. They have advantages for visually-impaired visitors to your website and are increasingly used in schools, universities and businesses – usefulness for lectures, slide shows, video clips, etc.,

Vlogs are particularly recommended as YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and is owned by Google. 70% of communication is non-verbal and a video tantalises the senses in a whole different way to the written word. You might think about using video to introduce your blogs posts which is a really smart tactic – it doubles your presence.

Why might you Blog?

Your website is a mostly information about your company, your blog is a way to give your business a face & a personality. It helps you communicate directly with those interested in what you have to say. It will Increase yourwebsite visibility. You might be seen as a ‘trusted adviser’ and an authority in your industry (thought leadership). You may reach markets you may not otherwise have access to at virtually no cost, other than in time & effort.

Then the more active your business appears to be online, the more you will be perceived as an open and honest business, you can use it to ask questions and obtain instant feedback from customers, peers & prospects and create an audit trail of online activity, providing a permanent reference point.

How might you Blog?

Your blog helps to synchronise all your Social Media channels to maximise your audience, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Think about your customers and what sort of information would be helpful to them. Treat every post as a webpage in its own right and an opportunity for a Google listing under a new unique keyword or phrase. Use titles that are easy to understand so people want to click on them to read more.

Repackage content such as your company literature and your website – news is cyclical. You can repost old posts if they are still relevant today.

If you are a small business, seek out support forums or groups of likeminded individuals and use this focus groups to test out blogs to gauge interest. Find other Bloggers and build relationships with industry experts/influencers and share their content. Subscribe to other blogs – read what is being talked about and join the conversation. By all means delegate to a ghost writer or encourage colleagues to blog or brainstorm ideas for content if you have others that you work with. Finally, plan your posts for the month with an Editorial Calendar – decide on dates and times.

What might you Blog about?

Like all social media, blogging is ultimately about solving your readers’ problems. Your blogging wins when it’s full of passion and helpful information. Use personal stories and turn them into lessons – People do business with People. Offer resources your customers find helpful, such as reviews, links, tutorials or ‘How To’ articles. Don’t forget to include a call to action/ethical bribes, e.g. Download free e-book or attend this webinar …

Use contextual hyperlinks for further information, for example supporting video clips, photos or screenshots. Frequently asked questions are a good source for appropriate blog posts. Or you might review your industry trends or perhaps look at relevant products/service price comparisons.

Where might you Blog?

  • Your Website
  • Set up a WordPress blog or other blogging software
  • Links from your email marketing
  • Other social networks – Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, etc.
  • Other people’s blogs as a guest
  • Comment on other Blogs and include a link back to your own
  • Register on blog directories & article submission sites to widen your audience

What do you blog about? Leave your comments here!