Archive for blogging

Edward Andrews Homes BlogWe’re always talking about how blogging is a crucial part of any company’s social media marketing strategy, but we’ve never really explained how your company can actually launch a self-hosted WordPress blog  and measure its effectiveness. Here are 12 quick steps to get you started:

  1. Name your blog. http://www.NameofCompanyBlog.com is a popular choice. Another option many companies choose is http://www.NameofCompanyNews.com. You can purchase your domain name from a domain reseller like http://www.GoDaddy.com, http://www.Register.com, or http://www.Domain.com.
  2. Determine hosting for your blog. Your blog can be hosted on the same server as your main website, but often you will need to explore other options. Some low-cost options include http://www.BlueHost.com and http://www.HostGator.com, but consider instead hosting your site at a premium hosting location. This will provide you with more control so that no known spammers are hosted with you. You will also be able to get a unique ISP address for your site. Read More→
Categories : Blog
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Jan
31

How does blogging effect SEO?

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Often referred to as social media, blogs exist on every topic imaginable, and in every industry.
Anyone with an Internet connection can set up their own cyber-soapbox in a few minutes — and for free on sites like Google-owned Blogger or Word Press.

But the question in the minds of many business owners: What possible return on investment can my company receive from launching a blog? There are numerous reasons why it makes sense to blog for your business, whether on your own site or on an industry specific site. Here are the top five:

1. Establish your expertise. By writing about what your business does and how you do it on a regular basis, you “show” that you’re an expert in your field.

2. Establish “real” credibility. Your blog allows you to be a real human and share your knowledge and opinions with the world (just be careful what you say — kids’ MySpace rants are keeping them out of college). Think of your blog as the online equivalent of casual Fridays. Show the world that your business is run by real people — and cares about real people — and that you’re not another Enron hiding behind a slick corporate web site.

3. Build a professional community. The best blogs create a network of people interested in similar topics. They comment on each other’s posts, and though they may disagree at times, the controversy increases the “buzz,” attracting more readers to the blog community. This community can serve as a source of referrals as well as a way to test new products or ideas and get feedback. Smart bloggers share their business secrets with this community — and whomever else might be following the discussion — increasing their perceived expertise and credibility, advancing their entire industry while sky-rocketing their own reputation.

4. Create relationships with your prospective clients. Your blog can invite prospective buyers “behind the curtain” and create a personal relationship with them long before they step foot in the sales center or visit the next open house. They can ask you questions in the comments section of your blog posts, which you should answer. Others will join in. Eventually your blog starts to act like a fishing trawler, hauling in prequalified traffic that is looking for your product or service.

5. Drive targeted traffic to your main web site. This is the biggest reason to blog. After all, the more traffic your site attract, the more potential sales. How does it work? Well, I’m sure by now you’ve heard of SEO (search engine optimization). Basically, SEO boils down to making your site rank higher for certain words or phrases on search-engine results pages.

In other words, you want your web site to show up when someone types words related to your business into a Google, Yahoo or MSN search. The higher you rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs), the more traffic you get. The more traffic, the more potential sales.

Categories : FAQ
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he said she said 2mRELEVANCE managing partners offer their respective expertise in this ongoing, “He Said. She Said” column. Each post in this series focuses on answering a question about online marketing from two different perspectives.. Carol Flammer answers from the reader’s perspective, where it’s all about content. Mitch Levinson answers from the perspective of a search engine.

Q: Why is Syndication important? And how does it help you expand your reach?

A: Carol – Tick Tock. Tick Tock. You are already writing the content, why not use it in other ways? This will help you save precious time and make sure that your messages reach your audience where they are. When your blog is set up to post through to your Facebook and Twitter you save time. Create an editorial calendar and make a plan for what you want to talk about each month. Use your Blog as the content machine (I sometimes call it a time machine), then come back in between the blog posts and have the conversations that naturally occur on Twitter and Facebook.

So many people worry about having enough time to do everything they want to do online. If you think of your blog as time machine and build a program centered around it, you’ll create a cohesive program and save time. Syndicate content out as far as you can, and allow readers to share content. Include social sharing tools because many hands make work easier. Remember that your blog is the only part of your social marketing program that is completely searchable, indexable and sortable. And, of course, best of all it is yours.

A: Mitch – There are lots of tools that help connect your blog with social media sites to help save time. To integrate your blog with Facebook consider using Networked Blogs, Graffit or notes. Once properly set up, any of these tools will update your Facebook status each time you post on the blog. To syndicate your blog content to Twitter, try Feedburner. Your blogs RSS (really simple syndication) feed helps to create a seamless auto tweet on twitter. The best thing about syndicating your content to Facebook, Twitter and other sites this way is that all of these links connect back to your site. Your social media sites become interconnected like spokes in a wheel to integrate with your overall marketing strategy.

Make sure that you include an optimized website in your marketing strategy. Your website and blog should be the center of the spokes in wheel. Drive all of your traffic back to these places. Make sure to incorporate public relations and local search sites. In order to drive credible traffic back, you want to be where people look for credibility.

A: Carol adds – Remember that the whole program is not automated. So much of social media is about building relationships and having conversations. You can feed your blog through, but you still need to be on the sites checking in, commenting and conversing.

For more information on blogging or online content, please contact mRELEVANCE at 770-383-3360.

Categories : News, Tips
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Blogging teamOften people ask me, “Who should be the author of the company blog?” And like so many things in life, there is really not just one right answer. It could be someone in sales or marketing, or even the company president or CEO.  Maybe it is even all of the above.  Your corporate blog can be a team effort.

One of the fun things about having a group of bloggers is that your blog will have multiple authors and multiple voices.  This allows your readers to identify with one or more of the writers. Each author should post under their own name so that they are easily identifiable. You will discover that each blogger develops their own group of followers over time due to different writing styles as well as their humor and personality.

An additional benefit of having multiple bloggers is that it removes the burden of all having all the writing fall on one person. However, one individual should manage the blog.  The blog manager could be an employee or you could outsource this task to an interactive marketing firm like mRELEVANCE.

The blog manager will:

  • Oversee the blog schedule
  • Review the editorial content
  • Ensure that writers post content regularly
  • Moderate the blog

Moderating the blog entails checking posts for proper SEO (keywords, anchor text, and links), monitoring and responding to comments, and forwarding comments that require a response from someone else to the appropriate individual.

If you are interested in learning more about blogging, contact Carol Flammer at mRELEVANCE for more information.  We’d love to help you set up an effective company blog and social media program.

Categories : Tips
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he said she said internet marketing and social mediaOur ongoing, “He Said. She Said” column continues. Each post focuses on answering a question about online marketing from two different perspectives. mRELEVANCE managing partners offer their respective expertise in this column.  Carol Flammer answers from the reader’s perspective, where it’s all about content. Mitch Levinson answers from the perspective of a search engine.

Q: How often should I post?

A: Carol – Post regularly on your blog. Keep your readers in mind, typically two to three times a week is about all they will “accept.”  Think about how the content posts through to Facebook and Twitter.  If it automatically posts to these sites then think about how much content these readers will accept. They want to see you as credible source of content, but you don’t want to post so much content that they start ignoring you.

b. Mitch – The more often you post, the more fresh content you have on your site, and the more often you encourage the spiders to visit your site and re-index your pages. Strictly from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, every single day is the best answer, but that may not be realistic. You want Google and the other search engines to notice you and you want them to keep coming back to feed on your content and keywords as often as you can get them there. But you need to maintain that balance – it is like the difference between art and science. You have to get the search engines there, but you also need to keep visitors interested in your topics.

From the science standpoint, the more often you encourage the search engines to reindex the more often they come back to site and the more relevant the site will appear. Carol, you’re right in that the media you use will determine what will be tolerated so you’re not ignored. It is easier to publish a lot of content on Twitter , and not as easy to publish a lot of content on Facebook. Your goal is to achieve a balance of the art and the science of SEO.

For more information on blogging or online content, please contact mRELEVANCE at 770-383-3360.

Categories : Tips
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Signature Homes blogmRELEVANCE, LLC is pleased to announce the launch of the new Signature Homes blog, http://signaturehomesblog.com. This highly optimized blog serves as a source of information for homebuyers and real estate agents in the Bay Area and Sacramento region, and is at the core of the overall social media marketing strategy created for the Northern California builder by the mRELEVANCE team. In addition to the blog, the Signature Homes social media program includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube components.

“We worked closely with the mRELEVANCE team to develop our new and improved blog, and are pleased with the results,” said Charlie Roter, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Signature Homes. “The current blog enhances our social media presence and provides a fun and interactive way to connect with our homebuyers.”

The Signature Homes blog is fully integrated with the builder’s website and other social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Visitors can use the blog’s interactive map to find townhome, condo and single-family home communities, as well as information about each community, builder news and special offers and promotions.

“The blog is a key component of Signature Homes’ social media program, and helps engage prospective buyers and agents with the organization’s brand,” said mRELEVANCE managing partner, Mitch Levinson. “The Signature Homes blog is a great addition to the builder’s website, allowing the builder to provide in-depth stories in a conversational tone about its communities and the homeowners themselves. This gives prospective buyers insight into what it is like to own a Signature Home.”

For more information on how you can take your home builder marketing to the next level with an integrated approach to blogging, social marketing and search engine optimization, contact mRELEVANCE.

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No Spam 300x250In your travels through the blogosphere, I’m sure you’ve seen spammy comments from some internet users. You know what they look like—blatant advertising in the form of irrelevant, impersonal comments with multiple links. They shamelessly promote people or products and want to spread as many links back to their sites as they can. Their authors probably mistakenly believe it’s an appropriate cheap substitute for working to build relevant links.

Blog spammers- you know who you are- beware and keep reading! Here are three good reasons to stop the spamming and properly promote yourself.

  1. Spam comments cast producst and even the spammer’s own image in a negative light. If you chiefly use others’ sites as a means for your own promotion, your product will seem unworthy of attention and cheap to your would-be buyers. The spammer also appears deceitful and lazy.
  2. Bloggers who are constantly on the receiving end of blog spam become angered when they repeatedly have to delete them. In a world where the internet is a staple and technology is becoming more heavily depended on, alienating opinion leaders, especially online bloggers, is a move that will come back to haunt any spammer in more ways than one.
  3. It’s not just the authors of blogs who have a problem with spammers; even blog readers are upset. That’s because blog readers see spam as detracting value from their insightful comments as well as the blog itself. Even though spammers might not think so, their comments are just plain disrespectful to the authors.

Don’t take advantage of someone else’s hard work with spammy comments; it’s like taking a free ride. Instead, contact mRELEVANCE for help in developing an online communications plan complete with an editorial calendar and a plan to syndicate your blog content.

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BlogCommunicating with your customer base is fundamental, especially in an age where your competition is only a click away. Social media helps maintain communication, and a blog is the perfect tool to use. Businesses use blogs to showcase new products, give advice to potential clients, discuss industry news or share current events. A blog can help position your company as an expert, build your brand and even increase your website traffic. If this sounds like a communication tool that you’d like to use for your business, read on. I’ve included some guidelines to get you started.

1) Start with a Plan. All successful business blogs have a plan for creating content. The content created should showcase the scope of your business. Below are some quick examples:
a. An Ornamental Tree Farm should post about its various species of available trees. Photos of the trees should be included.
b. A real estate firm can post pictures of homes for sales with links to relevant sales information.
c. Legal firms can upload videos offering basic legal tips. They should choose what tips to highlight based on the questions they get the most often.
2) Assemble a Team. Don’t try to do it all yourself, find and enlist the help of others. You may be surprised at which team member of  your business love to write and are interested in posting.
a. Create a plan for who will be posting on the blog.
i. Will it be the owner of the firm or an employee?
ii. Will all content be produced in-house or will you employ a PR firm or copywriter?
3) Strive for Consistency. Blogs that attract the most visitors and the search engines are ones that post articles on a consistent basis. Of course quantity alone is not enough, your site must have quality content.
a. Keep a consistent posting timetable. Will you post twice a week, three times a week or just four times a month. Find your publishing groove and stick with it.

These first three steps will help you start thinking about the strategy and planning that goes into blogging. Look for future posts on SEO and ROI, using the blog as the center of your social networking outreach and syndication, and types of blog software. Lots of decisions go into creating a successful blog that has reach with your customers as well as the search engines.

As you start blogging, let me know what questions you have. The team at mRELEVANCE is here to help, contact us!

Categories : General Information
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Nov
12

Sometimes You Get What You Pay For!

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Free BlogsStill looking for ROI from your blog and social media? If you set up a free blog, chances are you will be looking for ROI for a long, long time. The phrase, “you get what you pay for” is just as appropriate for these blogs as in all other situations. Of course, your free blog does provide you with a place to post additional content online, but without the benefits of  SEO, targeted syndication and a marketing strategy (complete with tracking quality results), how do you expect to see direct results and produce a return on your investment?

Besides, free isn’t really free. Your time is worth money. . .  isn’t it? It will take you time to set up your free blog and time to post content on it each month. Unfortunately at the end of the day, free is still free and depending on the goals for your social media program your free blog may not be capable of reaching any of them.

Set yourself FREE! Your self-hosted blog on your own URL is the only part of your social media program that you can own. Shouldn’t you build it such that you get the maximum return on your investment?

If your goals include:

  • increasing website traffic
  • better organic search results
  • reputation management
  • building brand and credibility
  • creating a conduit for conversations with consumers

then you need a self-hosted Word Press blog.

There is no such thing as a FREE lunch. . . If you are ready to experience effective results that can show actual increases in sales, along with 50 – 600% increases in qualified traffic, contact mRELEVANCE. “The ‘m’ in our name stands for Marketing, because all of your Marketing should be RELEVANT!”

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Sep
28

A Higher Education: 50+ University

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Back to school with social mediaThe Atlanta 50+ Housing Council has teamed up with 50+ Councils from around the country to present  50+ University Day. More than 20 guest speakers will serve as the instructors and panelists on Thursday, Oct. 14 at the Cobb Galleria Center.

mRELEVANCE founder, Carol Flammer will present a 3 hour seminar on “How to Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool.” GREC credits are available for this course. Learn how social media can help your business reach existing customers AND build relationships with new ones.

Social Media as a Marketing Tool will cover the “how to” basics for promoting your business through social networking and blogging. Learn how to create an effective integrated strategy for your business and save time online. Bring your laptop and come prepared to set up sites and get questions answered.

The cost of the conference is $80 for 50+ council members and $125 for non-council members. If you’re looking to take advantage of additional savings, non-council members can increase their value by simultaneously becoming a member of the Atlanta 50+ Housing Council and registering for the conference for only $150. That’s a savings of $75.

Space is limited, so act fast to take advantage of this offer. For more information about 50+ University Day, including online registration and class schedule, visit the website.

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