Monday, October 20, 2014

title pic Business blogging for beginners

Posted by Joanne Dewberry on October 17, 2014

This article originally appeared on Yahoo Lifestyle in 2011.  

I am asked a lot “What value will a blog give my business?” and that really depends on you. I would be lying if I said a blog didn’t take dedication. If you can keep it going, with lots of readers, Facebook likes, re-tweets and commenting you can build up a blogging community. I recently read an article that stated the reason blogs fail is due to lack of content, not blogging regularly and not using the blog as a PR campaign.

Your blog needs to work like a Facebook Business Page does in terms or building relationships with your customer/fan-base. Be human and show interest, use your blog to highlight your strengths in business, what you know a lot about. Businesses that appear to be ‘experts’ in certain areas will very much be sought after. And there are ways of using your blog to make money.

Search Engines love Blogs. Why?

The content is always fresh and new, with regular posting, categorised content and search engine friendly links and addresses. Your business blog is the ideal place for Search Engines to find the type of content they love and with it you can rank very highly!

Blogging for Business

Here are my top tips to blogging:

  1. Mind map topics, themes and ideas – relevant to your business. This will give you a basis for your posts, do this at least once a month. Take into consideration weekly/monthly features, reviews, guest posts etc.
  2. Schedule in these posts – this means you can spend a small amount of time writing in advance and your blog is active when possibly you aren’t. Blogging is all about time management, if blogging isn’t your main business then you NEED to schedule blogging in making it part of your routine. Once your content is regular you will start to build up a following.
  3. Social media promotion – use Facebook and twitter to promote your blog and encourage more readers
  4. Commenting – commenting helps to show other people how influential you and your blog are. In the beginning getting the first few comments can be difficult, think about 1) ending the post with a question 2) write in a style that helps to encourage comments and feedback 3) use your fanpage to promote your post and question what people think – see image below. To show how grateful you are and to keep people commenting respond to the comments made. Also is good etiquette to pay attention to what your commenter’s blogs are about and comment on theirs. You may also find their blog useful to you i.e. guest posts etc.

But the best tip of all is just do it and get blogging!

There are a variety of platforms that you can use some to build your blog. Most are self explanatory but if you do get lost just Google what you need. There are plenty of bloggers who write about start up and numerous videos on You Tube.

Blog platforms

  1. Blogger – this is powered by google and your google account. It is a FREE and great for beginners. Drawbacks … design is limited and you don’t own your blog so at any point (not that this happens very often but be aware) Blogger can shut you down.
  2. WordPress.com – also FREE and easy to set up. (You can if need be transfer your blogger to wordpress if you decide later to upgrade.) A great benefit is that set-up , upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc. are all taken care of for you. Everything is backed up automatically. HOWEVER – you cannot customise themes or PHP coding, display adverts and plugins aren’t compatible either.
  3. WordPress.org the back office looks the same as the wordpress.com and if your looking for full control of the templates and how it looks, plugins, change coding if your technically minded. The drawbacks are that you do have to backup your system yourself and do manual upgrades, which isn’t hard. But you do have to pay for hosting and this can vary considerably.
  4. Blogs attached to websites – many websites already have blogs attached to them and there’s no problem using these it’s great for your website SEO, just be aware they might not always be compatible with things. Charlie Moo’s blog for example is powered by create.net my website provider but this is not compatible with technorati as it does not have pingback facility I am also unable to add blog associate badges to the sidebars as these would appear on every website page which is not appropriate.

Tip – If your unsure about investing money in your blog start with blogger or wordpress.com as you can always transfer your blog content over later to wordpress.org

Sit down write a list and get started. You will be surprised at what a blog can do for your business.

title pic Why Content is King

Posted by Joanne Dewberry on October 16, 2014

Since I started Charlie Moo’s back in 2008 a general shift has occurred in how e- commerce small businesses online operate. Back then it was all about SEO and get the top of google. If you weren’t on page 1 you weren’t making sales. But now things have started to shift as google places its emphasis now more on content.

why content is king

Here are 5 (I like the number 5!) top tips on developing your online visibility :

  1. Update your website regularly with new, well written content be aware though that duplicate content is penalised. Keep your about us page and product descriptions up to date.
  2. Write a regular blog – blogging is a great way to provide fresh new content to google, become an expert in your genre of business (even if your genre is nappies or cleaning products!) and provide a human way to engage with your customer base.  You need to realistically publish a blog post once a week. If you are clever and use mind mapping and scheduling you can do 4 posts in a day meaning you spend little time blogging but reap the rewards.
  3. Blogging doesn’t have to be the written word – how about video blogging or vlogging as the cool kids call it ;)  Youtube is the second biggest search engine.  I am not great at creating video content but I think the key here is TO DO IT! I’m guessing its better to have content on You Tube than none at all.
  4. Get on Google+ – sharing content onto Google+ can rank higher in searches than your website itself – FACT! I’m still unsure of what I’m doing but there are lots of great blogs out there and I’m positive it will all slot into place soon! (fingers crossed!)
  5. Use social mediapinterest, Twitter, Facebook etc etc … to publicise your content and make your content easy for others to share.

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