5 Ways To Blog More Effectively

When it comes to business blogging, you can do it more effectively. All of us can.

In fact, as a business, you owe it to yourself, your employees, and your customers to make the most out of your business blog. You should do all you can do to improve your blogging so that you and your readers get the full benefit. Here are 5 ways to blog more effectively.

  1. SEO Your Blog Posts – Are your blog posts well optimised? If not, you should study search engine optimisation techniques and make sure each of your blog posts are optimised well for search.
  2. Social Media Optimisation – You can increase your social media exposure by tailoring your titles and headlines to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks that you use for promotion.
  3. iPhone Optimisation – WordPress now has plugins that allow you to convert your blog for the mobile phone browser. Make your blog posts visible to iPhones and iPhone apps.
  4. Redesign Your Blog – Is your blog designed well? Make sure you use every opportunity to design your blog for high traffic and conversion.
  5. Promote Your Products – Is your blog an e-commerce machine? Why not add a shopping cart and promote your products to the right customers. Get more sales.

Today, it isn’t enough to just have a blog. You must make it work for you.

December 5th, 2011 / Blogging

Why Blogger Might Be Your Best SEO Tool

We’ve been big proponents of WordPress for a long time. You buy a domain name, upload the WordPress blogging platform to your server, design your blog, and start blogging. It’s a good tool for SEO, reputation management, business branding, and overall marketing. Blogger, Google’s blogging platform, has been mediocre at best.

But that may be about to change.

You see, Google has announced that it is integrating Blogger with its new social media platform, Google+.

Of course, this has been in the works for a while. Google has said from the beginning that it plans to integrate all of its services into Google+. Picasa is already in for photo sharing. And more services are on the way. So what is the big deal about Blogger being integrated into Google+?

If you are a Google+ user, you’ve probably noticed that your Google profile will rise to the top of the search engines the more you use Google+. That’s great for reputation management.

And if you are a heavy user of Google+, then you can use Blogger for more SEO and general search engine exposure for your brand. The two could make a very powerful partnership for your search engine marketing efforts.

I’m not saying you should convert your current WordPress blog to a Blogger blog, but if you have plans to add a new blog down the road, you could try your hand at Blogger and see how well it pulls.

October 25th, 2011 / Blogging

5 Reasons To Start A Blog

There are no doubt more than 5 reasons to start a blog, but these 5 reasons are 5 of my favorite. I should point out, however, that many businesses use blogs in different ways. You can use your blog for all 5 of these purposes or come up with your own.

  1. Search engine optimisation – A blog is a good SEO tool. You can use it to add new content to your website every day, which the search engines will crawl and increase your chances of getting more, and better, search engine rankings.
  2. Branding – A blog can also be used as a branding tool, to position your business in the marketplace so that you can engage customers and develop your business.
  3. Reputation management – You can also use a blog to improve your reputation online. By keeping positive content in cyberspace about you and your brand you have less of a chance that someone will come along and ruin it.
  4. Social media engagement – A blog is a very powerful social media tool. Keep your readers engaged by encouraging comments.
  5. Customer service – Many businesses use their blog for customer service. It’s a great way to dialogue with your customers about your products and services and to improve your processes based on the feedback.

These are just some of the ways you can use a blog in your business. What ways do you use your company blog?

September 18th, 2011 / Blogging

How To Promote Your Blog

Do you have a blog promotion plan? There are a number of ways to ensure you drive traffic to your blog daily. Here are some ways you can promote your blog and increase your traffic to your Scotland website.

  • RSS feed – RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a way for your readers to receive and read your latest blog posts. They need a news reader and need to subscribe to your blog. They’ll be updated every time you update your blog.
  • Subscribe by e-mail – Instead of an RSS subscription link – or in addition to, rather – provide a Subscribe By E-mail link so your readers can be notified every time you update your blog.
  • Blog promotion newsletter – If you have a strong and responsive e-mail list, you can start a newsletter to notify your list every time you write a new blog post.
  • Social bookmarking – Every time you write a new blog post, bookmark it at the popular social bookmarking services, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and Google+ too.
  • iPhone appsCreate an iphone app that is interactive and keeps your readers on your blog more often.
  • Search engine optimisation – Be sure your blog is well optimised and achieves respectable search engine rankings.

There isn’t just one way to promote your blog. There are hundreds of ways. Figure out what works best for your business and be consistent.

August 16th, 2011 / Blogging

How To Blog Successfully

If you are ready to start a blog to market your Ayrshire business, there couldn’t be a better time. Blog marketing is one of the best ways to attract attention for any niche in any area. A blog can increase your search engine optimisation effectiveness and make your website more social.

Here is your step-by-step blueprint for successful company blogging:

  1. Blog every day
  2. Pick out 10-20 specific keyword phrases related to your niche and target those in your blog posts
  3. Target one keyword phrase for each blog post you write, but rotate them so that you don’t target the same phrase every time.
  4. Include social sharing buttons on your blog posts
  5. Bookmark every blog post you write at the popular social bookmarking sites around the web
  6. Promote your blog using Twitter
  7. Plug your blog into BlogCatalog and Facebook Networked Blogs
  8. Promote your blog on your Facebook wall
  9. Promote your blog off line in Ayrshire and where ever you conduct business
  10. Submit your blog to niche directories and blog directories
  11. Write articles that improve people’s lives and submit them to article directories, Google Knol, Squidoo, and HubPages
  12. Become a guest blogger at other blogs within your niche
  13. Make sure every blog post your write on your blog helps people in some form or fashion and improves their lives
  14. Don’t just sit around and wait for ideas; be proactive

Blog marketing is effective if you are diligent. Write every day, keep SEO in mind, and be social.

July 1st, 2011 / Blogging

Where To Find Blog Content

Where do you go to find blog content for your blog? There are plenty of places you could go to for ideas. In fact, once you discover how to find unique blog content ideas, you’ll never be without ideas again. Here are 15 ways to find ideas to write about for your Scotland business blog.

  1. Read other blogs in the same niche and borrow their ideas (just be sure you don’t steal the content)
  2. Find one of your own old popular posts and write about the same topic from a different angle
  3. Use popular bookmarking sites like Delicious.com, Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon
  4. Use Google’s Wonder Wheel
  5. Ask your readers
  6. Visit an article directory and see what the most popular articles are
  7. Use your analytics (what keywords are people finding your site with?)
  8. What PPC ads do you run are most popular; which keywords do they target?
  9. Scan the Q&A websites (Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and Answer.com)
  10. Watch a few YouTube videos in your niche
  11. Play off a popular news story in current events
  12. Go through your Twitter stream
  13. What are people talking about on Facebook?
  14. Use question-based keyword research
  15. Read the headlines in your RSS reader – does something stand out?

There are plenty of places to find blog post ideas. If all else fails, hire a ghostwriter to write your blog. Then you won’t have to come up with ideas.

June 26th, 2011 / Blogging

Should You Blog Every Day?

How often should you write to your business blog? It depends. How much traffic do you want?

I’m not trying to be flip, but asking “How often should I blog?” is like asking “How often should I take a bath?” You don’t have to do either every day, but if you want results, then you should do both as often as is necessary.

Some people update their blog daily. Others update their blog multiple times a day. Some people only write when they have something important to say. But if you want to use your blog to establish search engine results, I’d say you should do it more, not less.

The search engines crawl your website every time you update it. If you update it five times a day, then they’ll crawl it five times a day (or more). And each blog post then becomes a separate web page with the potential to rank in the search engines on their own merits. Can you see the opportunity now?

If you blog daily, at the end of one year you’ll have 365 blog posts. That’s 365 potential ranking opportunities for each keyword you target.

Blog marketing is effective only to the extent that you do it. Do it more and you’ll achieve more effectiveness.

May 8th, 2011 / Blogging

Blogging And The 3 SEO Benefits

I don’t mean to imply that there are only three benefits to blogging, or that there are only three SEO benefits, but these three benefits to blogging are three of the most important benefits. I call them The Big Three.

  1. Search engine ranking opportunities – The search engines consider every blog a separate web page. Because of that, each blog post has the potential to rank for your keywords.
  2. Get crawled more often – Search engines like fresh content. Every time you update your blog, you are inviting the search engines back to crawl your website and that means it is being re-evaluated for ranking purposes. You could move up in the rankings.
  3. Build valuable links – Because you can link from your blog to your main website, you can pass valuable link juice to those important pages on your site that you want to rank higher in the search engines. Valuable link anchor text can be an SEO benefit in and of itself, plus you can direct your blog readers to the important pages on your site that you want them to visit.

Blogging has its own value. You can use a company blog to brand yourself, talk directly to your visitors, build a community, and close sales. But don’t forget about the SEO benefits either.

April 22nd, 2011 / Blogging

What’s A Good Headline To Do?

So you’re writing your blog and trying to figure out how to write a good headline. Do you know what your headline’s job is? Knowing that is the first step to writing a good one, so let’s examine what a good headline should do.

  • Get the click – First and foremost, your headline should get the click. It is likely that your reader will first encounter your headline at a search engine. She may also encounter it at Twitter or in a social media setting. Its job is to get her to click through and read your story.
  • Inform – Your headline should inform your reader as to what your story is about. If it misses the mark on this one and your reader reads a blog post only to discover it wasn’t what she wanted, she likely won’t be back to read more blog posts.
  • Spark some curiosity – Your headline should get your reader curious about what your story is about. If you do that successfully, you’ll have a happy reader.
  • Make a promise – Your headline should promise your reader something. Your blog post should follow through on that promise.
  • Tell the reader it is easy – Your headline should put your reader at ease and let him know how easy it is to click the link and read.

Headlines that do these 5 things are successful headlines. They are happy headlines. They are headlines that are doing their jobs.

April 12th, 2011 / Blogging