Tag Archives: blog

7 Reasons Why You Should Blog

blog concept with word on nature still lifeIn case you didn’t already know (I didn’t!), November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). It’s a great time to end the month and join the conversation with a post on blogging.

NaBloPoMo celebrates the millions of weird and wonderful blogs on the Internet. To give you an idea of the astonishing number, statistics show that the cumulative total blogs on Tumblr.com from May 2011 to October 2015 had surpassed 260.5 million blog accounts, up from 207.3 million in the previous year. Wow…that’s a lot of people talking about a lot if things!

There are a lot of good reasons blogging is so popular. Mainly, it’s one of the most valuable tools that businesses have to engage with customers. If you’re not blogging, it’s high time to get started or get left behind. If you are blogging sporadically, you should consider doing it regularly…and, perhaps, more frequently. Here’s why: Continue reading

The More-Blogs-or-Better-Content Conundrum

Compare between quality and quantityLately, I’ve seen a number of studies on blogging. It seems as though all the blogging gurus have to back up their opinion on whether it’s quantity or quality of content that is better at attracting more readership, more customers, and more credibility.

Yet the debate goes on. Should you create higher quality content or more content of a lower quality? As a writer, I want to believe that, in an ideal world, it’s always better to create fewer but higher quality blog posts. But that’s not how blogging works. To grow your blog you need to consistently publish content that your readers enjoy. So we end up with the quality/quantity conundrum.

Last year, we published a blog on frequency that said, “After you’ve decided on posting blogs regularly, you have to decide exactly what is too often to blog, what is not enough, and what is just right for you. There is no right answer that works for everyone.” That’s not only true about frequency, but also about quantity and quality. The answer changes throughout the lifecycle of your blog. Continue reading

Promoting Your Blog: 9 Easy Ways to Spread the Word Fast

cms-265125_640I want to start with an important piece of advice for anyone who blogs. The old saying “build it and they will come” doesn’t work on the Web, where your blog is competing with hundreds of millions of blogs and websites and over 2 billion Internet users who don’t know (or care) you exist.

Don’t believe me? Look at these eye-opening stats from “Death to Bullshit“: In the next 24 hours, 4,000,000,000 things will be shared on Facebook, 499,860 posts will be published on WordPress, 103,680 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube and 144,800,000,000 e-mails will be sent.

But those numbers will not significantly hurt you, if you know how to promote. There are scores of ways  to build traffic, but they take a little work on your part. Pick the ones that work best for you and start promoting…and they will come. Especially if you promote the right message to the right people—potential followers, advocates and buyers in your target audience.

Amplify your message to make it load and clear

According to a post by Joel Lettke, you need an effective amplification strategy. Instead of just creating great content, he’d like us all to start telling ourselves to, “Create—and promote—great content.” Otherwise, your great pieces will float in the massive Web of the undiscovered when you don’t have an amplification strategy to promote your content.

The method of content amplification (or your promotion strategy) is based on the action(s) you want people to take after the content is shared—whether that’s leads, sales, a growth in your community, or awareness of your brand. (Keep in mind: Traffic numbers alone don’t count toward measuring an effective promotional strategy…you can’t deposit “traffic”  at the bank or add it to your bottom line.)

9 simple ways to promote your message

  1. Post super blog content—The most obvious way to promote your messaging is to consistently hone your marketing superpower, with the most interesting, more shareable content. People will tell each other and look forward to your stellar content.
  2. Share on social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin, email, and the like are the obvious places to start. So be sure to check out our recent post on sharing.
  3. Keep search engines in mind—Take advantage of Blogger’s Search Preferences features to make sure it easy for those seeking your content to find it.
  4. Put your blog URL in your email signature—Think of how many forwarded emails you’ve seen in your day, and just imagine the promotional possibilities.
  5. Tap into your advocates and allies—There’s no shame in sharing one another’s content with people who agree with your message, so build a small network of cross-promoters. And don’t forget about your own community, either.
  6. Think about multi-channel content promotion—Share your piece in your online newsletter, a white paper, a vlog (video blog), an infographic, an industry publication, or whatever else you can think of to support your content.
  7. Consider paid media—Some paid content promotion tactics can be very effective, including: StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, Promoted Tweets, Highly Targeted Facebook Ads, and more.
  8. Join a tribe on TriberrTriberr is a terrific way for you to promote your newest post and get a ton of social shares.
  9. Do a guest post— One of the best promotion methods you can do is to guest post. Write your best article and contribute to a “targeted” blog that is within your category.

Think creatively about all the promotion options

There are many, many more ways to promote your blogs. If you’re looking for more ways to promote your posts, a good place to start is this infographic by Technorati. According to their philosophy, “It’s not about blogging more often, but about promoting more ways.” Some of their tips include: bookmarking sites, optimizing your posts for specific key words, pushing your posts through RSS feeds, and syndicating your blog. In promoting blogs, it’s okay to be creative as possible in tooting your own horn. So, feel free to toot away!

Want to know exactly what promotional tactics are best for you?  Just ask us!

To Blog or Not to Blog

keyboard-179456_640I was working with a client the other day who feels really conflicted about blogging. On the one hand she is hearing advice that she must blog regularly and then in the same day she’ll hear it’s pointless and she shouldn’t waste her time.

So what should she do?

Determining whether or not to include blogging as part of your business plan should be based entirely on the type of business you have and the goals you have for your business.

As a marriage and family therapist this client’s business is 100% service oriented. She doesn’t offer any products or programs and if you want to work with her the only way that can happen is if you visit her office for a 50-minute session. So while being seen as an expert in her field is necessary, a blog on her own site is not the only way to get there.

For the most part blogs are intended to create a community and a conversation. They are a fabulous tool but it takes a lot of work to build a community and a loyal list of followers. You have to ask yourself…

  • Will there be enough people rallying around this community for blogging to be a worthwhile activity for me?
  • Will it increase my revenue?
  • Will it bring me more clients?
  • Does writing come easy to me?
  • Do I have a running faucet of ideas that I can barely keep contained?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then blogging may make sense for your business; however, if the answers to most of those questions was no, then you may want to rethink the strategy.
Continue reading

8 Picture Perfect Tips to Show Off Your Brand Online

For business brand building in today’s visually oriented e-world, a picture is worth far more than a thousand words. On your blog and on the ever-growing array of social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Linkedin, OpenSky, Google+, Ustream, Vimeo, Tumblr, Flickr, and more), you have only a few seconds to show people who you are, what you do, and why they should work with you.

The fast and easy solution: clickable images. They tell your story at-a-glance, allow folks to click on a picture, and then navigate to a website or landing page to learn more.

Each brand-building online image is like a sci-fi “wormhole,” a shortcut through time and space that speeds up your marketing cycle, gets visitors to “like” you, and allows them to visually share, curate, and discover new interests and resources in a flash. (As an added benefit, graphics make your company more “human” and approachable making engagement higher.)

And, photos aren’t the only graphic images you can use. You can also incorporate drawings, infographics, charts, maps, screen capture shots, historical prints, postcards, and text that’s designed as an image as well as videos.

We’ve been applying these proven marketing tricks-of-the-trades at Solamar in our own social media and with our clients. Now we want to share the best-of-the-best picture perfect tips:
Continue reading

9 Ways to Add Marketing Superpower to Your Blog-Building Skills

blogCreating great content for your blog is a great and free way to to gain loyal followers, build your expert status, boost your search engine ranking, and attract customers who want to work with you.

That’s why it’s critical to have the know-how to get more people to become blog subscribers.

There are hundreds of ways to increase your subscriber base, but no one strategy works for everyone. What you do depends on your business, your ideal customers, and what’s important to them. Then, your blog must deliver information they want and make it easy for them to opt-in.

To hone your blog-building superpower, simply follow these 9 basic principles:

Don’t Post Just to Post

Post consistently, but only as long as you have something worthwhile to share. Keep a list of original topics on-hand ready to write and publish.

Something we do is maintain an excel spreadsheet that lists topics, possible titles, talking points, and links we’d like to use in articles. We add to it as new information becomes available and then when a blog post deadline approaches, we dip into the spreadsheet and pull one out. Since we’ve been gathering information and points we’d like to cover over time, the blog post practically writes itself.

Write about What You Know AND What You’re Learning

Blogging about subjects you know inside and out is a great strategy. This will make writing your blog posts faster and easier. And when you’re in a pinch, it works.

However, posts that share your own learning are usually far more interesting so be sure to add that to each of your posts. You want to surprise the reader and if you aren’t surprised, then he or she won’t be surprised either. So, don’t be afraid to show that you’re learning too. Be vulnerable by showing what you know and what you’re still trying to figure out.

In the end some people will like what you have to say and some won’t. That’s okay, because the ones who do will continue to follow you and (hopefully) become your customers and evangelists. There are millions of people out there, so you don’t need to appeal to everyone. When it comes to the Internet, a “few” is still a lot.

Write Interesting and Sharable Content

Blog readers love how-to tips, lists, personal case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and ongoing series. With each type of blog post, you can drive different types of traffic to your blog, break up the monotony, and expand your audience. In their ebook on blogging, Hubspot, recommends being the first to cover a topic and then do so comprehensively. And, if you can’t cover it first, just make sure you cover it with an interesting angle nobody has thought of yet. Worth checking out are 43 Creative Ways to Breath Life Back Into Your Blog from Boostblogtraffic.com.

Guest Post

Identify 10 bloggers who share a similar audience and who you would love to get in front of and then see if they accept guest posts. A quick scan and you’ll be able to tell if it is a multi-author site. Then, write a post that would provide value to that audience and then link back to your site with a post that would be relevant to them. For example, if you’re an exercise guru, you might want to link to sites promoting healthy eating, organic gardening, or wellness products.

If you want to learn a proven strategy for guest posting, check out Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course.

Write Terrific Headlines

Reel in readers with a must-click title that intrigues them, catches them off-guard, and makes them want to read more. According to writer Jeff Goins, “Don’t publish until you’ve got a catchy headline that grabs more readers, more buzz, and more love.” He recommends using numbers; interesting adjectives; a unique rationale; trigger words like what, why, how and when; or making an audacious promise. You can also use clever puns like in these blog posts: My Beef with Pink Slime (from a restaurant owner), The Spy Who Loved D…or to D or Not to D (from a doctor writing about the need for Vitamin D timed to James Bond’s 50th anniversary), or What’s Eating You May Be What You’re Eating (from a nutrition specialist).

Directly Ask People to Subscribe

Don’t be timid, ask people to stick around. That’s why you’re writing in the first place, right? To build an audience. So sometimes you’re going to have to nudge them along. Sure, you have a “subscribe” box on your home page, but as you promote subscriptions on other marketing channels, like social media, email, and calls-to-action, you need to de-complicate how they sign up. The easy solution: create a dedicated blog subscription landing page.

We also recommend adding a plug-in such as “Bottom of Every Post” so that at the end of every post, the reader is offered the chance to subscribe right then and there.

Play on Social Media Sites

Status updates are only the beginning when it comes to establishing a presence. Consider all of the pieces of social media real estate that are at your disposal. Among her 25 tips, marketing expert Heidi Cohen recommends using a featured Image on Facebook as a reader magnet and asking visitors to follow you on Facebook and Twitter in your sidebar. On Twitter, you can include a link to your blog in a custom background you create.

In addition, you not only need to post your own information, but it’s also a good idea to interact on the pages of people who you want to notice you. Just make sure you provide value to the community first.

And, when it comes to engagement, don’t just post and run, especially on Twitter. If you want to be on Twitter, then be on Twitter but it won’t be a valuable or worthwhile experience for you if you just post and go. Twitter is about having a conversation and those who get the most out of it, are those who understand that.

And, if you find one platform that is better suited to your style, just go with it and let the others go. There is no social media police out there who are going to take away your business license if you don’t saturate every social media platform there is. Stick with what feels good for you and then be sure to track whether or not it’s delivering a result. Just like any marketing strategy, if it’s not giving you a return on your investment, you should reconsider the time you give it.

Think Creatively about Promotional Opportunities to “Pimp” Your Posts

Many people think they can write a post, publish it and then be on their way. But that’s not going to give you the best bang for the time you put in. So, if you want to learn more ways to promote your posts a good place to start is this infographic by Technorati. According to their philosophy, “It’s not about blogging more often, but about promoting more ways.” Some of their tips include: bookmarking sites, optimizing your posts for specific keywords, adding your blog posts to your email newsletters, pushing your posts through RSS feeds, and syndicating your blog. In promoting blogs, it’s okay to toot your own horn. After all, you aren’t in business for shits and grins, are you?

Make Your Images Irresistibly Shareable

Include high quality visuals into your blog content…they are simply more interesting and sharable. Content posted as photos gets more prominently featured on a business page than just links. Be sure to put some thought into the images you select for your blog content to increase the likelihood that readers will engage with your content. Also, make the updates you publish to your own social media accounts much more visual and share-worthy. (There is actually talk that soon you’ll be able to filter Facebook posts that are just images. That’s how much people prefer them.)

Okay, now you have action items to build blog subscribers that will lead to more traffic, greater reach, and bigger marketing impact. To gain real superpower in your blog marketing, you don’t have to go it alone. Talk to the experts at Solamar!