Blogging for business

Blogging is much talked about, but scarcely done activity!  Recent research done by Passle has revealed that only 1 in 8 businesses maintain an active blog.  As their definition of an ‘active blog’ is more than 3 posts A YEAR, that actually means that blogs that have fresh content posted more than once a month are a tiny percentage.

As blogs are an excellent way of keeping your website fresh and interesting a good blog is a powerful business marketing tool.  If you want to know more about how to make it work for your business take a look at this presentation.

Blogging for Business

Ten top tips to make your blog go further

10 blog usesYou’ve heard the phrase ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ – and this applies to what you write just as much as it does to anything else you do.  Trying to do many marketing activities can appear to be very time-consuming.

If you want to create multiple means of engaging with your target audience and potential customers, here are ten top tips to make your blog go further and short-cut the time and effort you need to create many connections in different places and different ways.

1.  Start by writing a blog about one of your key areas of expertise – aim for 300-500 words.

2.  Take 3-7 ‘soundbites’ from your blog and package them as tips for social media – they can be posted to your Twitter, Facebook Page and Linked In account using a management tool such as Hootsuite.  Don’t forget to include a link back to the blog and to save these for use again later.

3.  Send the blog out to your list as a newsletter, add a link back to the online blog with an invitation to comment and you can add your current offers or anything else you want to promote to your list.

4.  Create a PowerPoint presentation with visuals and record the blog and post it to YouTube and Slideshare.

5.  Join AudioBoo and record an audio only version and offer this in the groups and forums you belong to.

6.  When you’ve done a few of these blogs, put 2-3 together as a longer article and post it to the article marketing sites such as ezinearticles.com and on your Google+ account.

7.  Collect a dozen or so blogs and edit them into an ebook with each one as a chapter on a particular subject and suggestions for action at the end of each one.  This can be offered for sale on your website or as a free gift for customers.

8.  Create a 30 minute webinar based on the subject of the blog and invite people as free or paid for guests.  Use GoToMeeting to allow you to share your screen and show people what you’re talking about.  Alternatively you could create a Google+ hangout and invite people to discuss the subject around your blog.

9.  Print the blog as a branded article on good quality paper and send it – in an nice envelope with a handwritten address, to a dozen companies you’d like to work with or to people in your network who might recommend you.

10.  Turn the blog into an infographic (www.visual.ly will help you to do this).

There are more things you could do – but this will be more than enough to get you started.  If you just do 3-4 of these with every blog you’ll soon have an impressive bank of material out there on the internet marketing you whilst you sleep.

A blog about blogging!

Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise and also to give people something interesting to read when they visit your website.  However, there are many people who are nervous of blogging for all kinds of reasons.  These are a few guidelines to get you started or move your blogging activity up a notch a two.

Why blog?

  • Share knowledge
  • Educate others
  • Develop your reputation as an expert
  • Keep your website updated and fresh
  • Create content for social media

Then the next issue is what to blog – and there’s a whole article with blog ideas here for you to download.  There are no rules on what you can blog about as long as it’s interesting to your target audience.

Infographic

This infographic is designed by Graphs (www.graphs.net)

This many sound daft, but writing is not the only way to blog.  If you’re one of those people who hates writing try one of these options:

  • Post an audio file (try AudioBoo)
  • Post a video (YouTube – and Google loves YouTube so that has added advantages)
  • Post an infographic – where images and information are arranged in a visual image (like the one on the right created by Jeff Bullas).
  • Talk to someone who does like writing and get them to write your thoughts for you (we have lots of clients that do this)

How long should your blog be?

It can be anything from a few words upwards.  Say what you have to say and don’t pad it out unnecessarily.  A great example of someone who does this very well is Seth Godin.  Some of his blogs are less than 100 words - like this one - others are longer.  Whilst Gihan Perera writes around 500 words for many of his educational blogs.  They are both great blogs!

The frequency of your blog can be anything from daily to monthly, but I’d recommend aiming for 2-3 times a month.

Where to blog

Another odd statement – where else would you blog except on your blog?  Well there are different approaches to having a blog; you could have your web-designer create one on your website so you are adding great content to your site all the time.  However, some people have a separate blog on one of the blog platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc.  If you have this I’d recommend that you have your own dedicated domain name for your blog and that it is linked to your website.

You can also blog on other people’s blogs.  Find people with a similar audience to yours who are not competitors and offer to provide a blog for them to publish.  Most people are delighted to have guest bloggers as they generally publicise their blogs to their own audience too so everyone wins.  Of course, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invite people to guest blog on your blog too.

There are also open blog forums that you can contribute to – that’s how the Huffington Post got started.  Take a look at:

Ragan.com

Birdsontheblog.co.uk

Blokesontheblog.co.uk

The Business Blogging Network

There are dozens of others and it’s a way to get your message read by a much bigger audience.

This should have given you lots of ideas – happy blogging.

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