Tag Archives: blogs

To Blog or Not to Blog…

BlogThat is the Question

With time and attention being seriously limited for those of us entrepreneurs (not that other people have more time and attention, but perhaps more support in their allocation), we have to be strategic about resource management. Some of you may be wondering if blogging would be a good use of your time. Here are some of the benefits to creating your own content.

Let’s start with an understanding of this thing called “blog”. The word “blog” is a contraction of the two words “web” and “log”. Web logs started as online communities in the 1990’s with the emergence of internet platforms for the average person.  This technology leveled the playing field such that anyone can be an author and create  community around any topic imaginable. Most professional blogs are between 300-600 words and should include keywords naturally. WordPress, the most popular platform for websites currently, started as a blog site and has that integrated into every website. It is not advisable to create a blog off of your website, even if it links to your site. You want to keep all that good content and traffic directly on your website.

Google’s algorithms are set to look for website updates as a way to determine’s the site’s value. Simply having new content on your website can be good for your search results.  Because search ranking, or search engine optimization (SEO), has become an important way to drive traffic to sites, businesses are realizing that anything they do to help this process has a positive impact on their ability to be found online. Generating original content fulfills that objective. Be sure not to copy other website’s content onto your site, not only for the obvious concern of plagiarism. Google will punish (decrease rankings) sites that have too much content deriving from other sources.

Here are some benefits to investing in regular quality content creation:

1. Frequent Change – Every time a blog with appropriate keywords is posted on a website, it increases the potential for search engines to find the website.  Weekly blogs posted on the website create frequent updates which signals to the Google-bots that your site is relevantwhen someone searches using one of your keywords.

2. Something of Value – The more you create and share content that your target audience can benefit from, the more value you bring to your offering, and consequently to your client relationships.

3. Original Content for Social Media – Your blog can be posted on social media sites as original content directly from you. Though there is no shortage of quality, industry-specific content for sharing on social media sites, posting regular content of your own makes your sites totally unique and more interesting.

4. Industry Leader – When you write, or have someone else write on behalf of your company, it signals to others that you/your business is an industry expert and thought leader. This is very affirming when establishing and maintaining credibility with prospects and referral partners.

5. Content for your next Book – You never know when you may be compelled to share your knowledge and experience with others on a grander scale. Regular blogging organizes your material in a way that makes it easier to pull together when your ready.

Some people are concerned that they don’t have enough content to do a weekly blog. You may be surprised how much expertise you have to share once you start putting it out there.  If you need help with your blog, or if you would like to get started but don’t know how, please feel free to let me know.

 

Content is King…

content is king

Online Platforms are the Domain

 

You may have heard the expression  – “Content is King”. As a business metaphor, this means what you put on your website, on your collateral material, post on your blog and social media sites is incredibly important…arguably the most important aspect of your online presence and digital marketing campaigns. That’s not to say design, style, form, and function are insignificant. Quite the contrary. Working with quality graphic designers, such as True Creative Services, in Northern Virginia has been key for our clients to present the image they want online.  The visual branding and design attracts and intrigues, but if the content isn’t there to back it up, visitors are not likely to stay and become clients.

Words, phrases, meaning, interpretation, terms, acronyms, jargon, and links, tell our audience who we are, what we do, how we do it, and more importantly, what we can do to solve their problems or enhance some aspect of their life. This content is absolutely reflective of our core purpose, which is why it is so important to get it right. There are several places online where your business content shows up. I didn’t include directories and list sources in this because though they are important avenues to be represented, they generally do not include extensive and ongoing content, but rather basic profile information.

Content Outlets

Website – Creating the perfect content on static platforms such as websites and brochures presents a certain challenge as a single project. You need to capture your audience’s interest, provide relevant information about your company and industry, access to your products and service, and drive them to a call to action. You want window shoppers to become patrons of your business in some way. How does the content of your website achieve these objectives? Are you an objective observer of your own content? Probably not. You may want to have someone not associated with the business look at your website with a critical eye and give you feedback as “secret shopper” on your site.

Blog – For the most part, once your website is complete and material written, it won’t change very often. On the other hand, effective blogs are updated at least weekly.  The benefits of writing a regular blog are multi-dimensional. Original content is big for search engines such as google. This refers to written word, images, video, and pictograms that are originated from the efforts of the business or individual posting them. . Original content doesn’t mean you have to write the content yourself, we ghostwrite a lot of blogs for our clients. Not everyone is blessed with writing abilities or time to pontificate through the written word. You can delegate or outsource blog writing to others who will do it better and more consistently than  you will. Regardless of how you get your blog, this is original, relevant, industry-specific information that would be of interest to the target audience for your business.

Updating content through a weekly blog is great for your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It also give you original content to post on your social media platforms and puts you in the position as leader in your industry. Clearly, only those with the greatest mastery of their subject matter have so much valuable information to share.

Social Media Platforms – Popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, google+, are a perfect place for businesses to post content. The beautiful thing about social media is that it easily allows professionals to showcase not just their products and services, but their company culture, brand identity, connection to their community, values, and mission in the way a website just isn’t designed to do. And, it is free to use. Social media content distribution takes a commitment of time and attention, but it is worth it. If you have been working with your social media sites for a while, do a review of the posts, comments, likes, and shares over time and a community begins to emerge. You may not have a cheering section, but the connections made and reinforced with each post, are an asset to your business, not to be under-valued.

Finding Content

This is actually the easiest part of content delivery on digital platforms. Thanks to search engines, finding good quality content for your industry is as easy as a google search. Because inbound marketing encourages sharing content, posting articles written by others is easy to do and attributes the originator automatically, so there is no concern for plagiarism. This is how we find content to post for our clients:

1. Identify of a topic related to the industry…for example, our painting company client’s audience may be interested in something on color ideas for the bathroom

2. Google “Color ideas for the bathroom”. Choose an article or non-competitor site that talks about that topic or a website by a leading paint distributor with this subject on their site

3. Highlight the website URL, copy and paste it into the dialog box of the social media platform. This will automatically populate the article’s title, author, and link to the original source

4. Scroll down the Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed, and Linkedin groups. When relevant or interesting content posted by a connection shows up – like it, comment on it, share it, or all three

5. Don’t just post content about your business or industry…stretch a bit and share posts announcing events in the area or fundraising opportunities. highlight your referral partners too

Remember, inbound marketing is more than just promotion. Use your content to add value to other businesses, the community, and your audience. Content is King…Online Platforms are the Domain. Contact me if you would like help with your content creation or social media management.