Archive for blogging
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.
Our 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.
Communicating 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!
Still 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!”