If not, have you thought about blogging?
Did you know that blogging can really move the needle for your business?
Some of you may be asking what is blogging? Should I be doing this for my brand?
WHAT IS BLOGGING
According to Wikipedia, a blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).
Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic.
The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
THE ORIGINS OF BUSINESS BLOGGING
Blogger was the first software interface, developed in 1999 that made publishing to the Web easy for anyone who wasn’t a programmer?
The first companies to start blogging were technology companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Cisco and Sun Microsystems. These businesses understood that blogging was a new medium to communicate with customers in a different way.
THE BENEFITS OF BUSINESS BLOGGING
1. Drives traffic to your website
Would you like more website visitors? I would!
- Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right?
- Think about how often you update those webpages. Probably not that often, right?
Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems.
Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published that they should surface.
2. Establishes Authority
3. Helps to convert traffic into leads
With a blog you now have traffic coming to your website, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads.
Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. And the way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.
Often, these calls-to-action are things like…
- Free eBooks
- Free webinars
- Free whitepapers
- Free informational fact sheets
- Free trials
Basically, any content you have in exchange for customer information.
4. Drives long-term results
Everything counts! Imagine you are disciplined to sit down and write a blog post in 1 hour. You do that at a minimum once a week, and your competitors do not. You are building indexed content for the search engines that will be out there next month, next year and the years beyond.
I’ve got content from over 4 years ago that people are still discovering on the web. That can be you.
DETERMINE YOUR THEME
This has nothing to do with your design, but everything to do with CONTENT!
Most bloggers take one of three approaches.
1. Write about what interests them at the moment.
2. Focus on a primary theme, but occasionally deviate from it.
3. Others select a single theme and stick to it.
Before you begin to blog, ask yourself these two vital questions:
1. Can you generate high quality content on a regular basis? 1-3 times a week
2. Will your content attract a loyal and growing audience?
SELECT A BLOGGING PLATFORM
The choices are many, but boil down to just a few.
- Free vs. Paid
- Tech vs. Non Tech
The top blogging platform for those choosing the paid route is WordPress.org. Hundreds of great design themes.
Google and the search engines prefer this platform over all others. Search engine friendly. However, you’ll need to pay for a design theme, which can be less than $100. Hosting the site can run anywhere from $5.95 a month to $50+ a month. Service and up time are critical.
What other businesses have done is to get with their webmaster and add BLOG to the navigational menu at the top so all the traffic stays with their website and is not a standalone site.
Recognize that images are still the number one engagement tool at your disposal. Video is rapidly changing that and in the next year or two, video will be the #1 tool to use for engagement.
1. Feedly – Great resource as you set the the topics and it gathers all the information for you.
2. Scoop.it – You are the content you publish. Great thought leaders and curated content all in one place.
3. Bottlenose – Provides live social intelligence for you by analyzing activity across all of the major social networks. It allows you to “surf the stream” and discover what’s trending in social media in real time.
4. Quora – Is an amazing Q&A site that features questions with answers containing facts, opinions and humorous stories that are voted on by Quora members.
5. TweetChats – Are regularly scheduled events where people from all over the world get together to have a conversation over Twitter about a certain topic. Basically, it’s an updated version of chat rooms, conducted over Twitter.
These are great resources for finding blog content, because a TweetChat almost always involves questions, answers, facts and opinions.
Be sure to check out our upcoming seminars. Join us for our upcoming Blogging workshop on Oct. 29th.
SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR SERIES
1. Google My Business – Better Search Results in Google! [Sept. 17]
2. Tools & Apps for Business – Gain more hours. [Sept. 24]
3. YouTube & Video – Business Branding [Oct. 15]
4. Blogging – Generate leads & get new customers [Oct 29]
5. Twitter for Business – The fastest way to spread content [Nov. 11]
6. Facebook Ads – How to create, implement & gain sales [Nov. 19]
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, SEO, increase revenues, and raise more funds.