This is a myth put forth by some marketing consultants and debunked in the book “Marketing Myths that are Killing Business”, by Clancy & Shulman. Truth is it is hard to tell if a marketing program is working. Well, that is until the internet and business blogging.Enter Google Analytics
When we blog for business, we keep our topic focused. That topic gets good initial visibility on the search engines and using the FREE Google Analytics software, we can measure the effectiveness of the posting. If people are digesting your content AND visiting another page on your company website, then your business blog marketing strategy is working… However, if the phone does not ring then one might conclude that the effort failed.Business Blogs Gather Traffic
Your website makes the case for people to call.
- Use your blog to capture keyword focused search engine visibility
- Provide value to the reader in the form of knowledge they can use
- leave the selling to your other Web Pages
All to often we, as business owners / operators, panic when we see lots of web traffic but not phone calls. This is a business matrix. Find the most common page visitors read next, after your business blog posting. Have a trusted friend read the second page and ask them this question:
What, if any, action are you inspired to take?
If the answer is none, then you have found the failure in your marketing program. Modify the page and repeat the process. In business, we improve that which we measure. Use Google Analytics to measure your marketing effort and keep adjusting until your phone starts to ring.
Business blogging increases search engine visibility through keyword focus in a text based presentation.
So how does a small business use their blog to find new customers?
A typical mistake is to write about your great deal, product features and benefits, or all the money one can save. Those are called sales pitches. American consumers do not like a sales pitch.
Write about your customers, your passions, your history in your profession, ways your product improves lives, your charitable efforts, and your feelings. Yes feelings.
All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know and like. Keep it professional and avoid any topics you wouldn’t discuss at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in a mixed crowd. Writing about your feelings is not writing a diary, rather your feelings as they pertain to your chosen profession.
Your blog can be a product announcement, so long as you say so right up front. Mixing press releases, product announcements, research and development progress with personal growth in your business will help give your readers some insight they can not find anywhere else.
Unlike all other forms of print media, your business blog is an informal marketing medium where you can lower your guard and speak from your heart. When you, you’ll find the comments and feedback you receive will go a long ways towards increase customer connections and higher search engine rankings.
Get a FREE business blog site at PDXchat.com
WordPress is a powerful personal publishing platform, and it comes with a great set of features designed to make your experience as a publisher on the Internet as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible. We are proud to offer you a freely distributed, standards-compliant, fast, light and free personal publishing platform, with sensible default settings and features, and an extremely customizable core.Contents
- 1 License and Platform
- 2 Managing and Administering the Weblog
- 3 Publicizing Your Work
- 4 Customizing the Design
- 5 Creating Content
- 6 Archives and Search
- 7 Discussion and Comments
- 8 Creating and Managing a Blogroll
- License : WordPress is licensed under the GPL.
- all comments before they appear on the blog
- comments with specific words in them
- comments posted from specific IP addresses
- comments containing more than some specified number of links.
Since blogging become the activity dujure, people like me have been trying to mold the technology into a business tool. Too often I see business people trying to blog about social activities or, worse yet, blogging direct sales pitches—both of which are doomed for failure.
My feeling is the problem with business blogging is the term blogging. Since a blog, more often than not, is viewed as an online diary/chit-chat arena; business people struggle to find the relevancy for inclusion in their marketing effort.
I have coached a few hundred clients now how to use blog technology to educate their consumer base, providing “how to” based info to capture “Long Tail” traffic, but many still struggle to gain traction using the medium because, I think, the word BLOG. So, we are creating a new word.
Business blogging is most effective as an education platform. Take Web and Educate and we get WEDUCATE.
Weducate – the process of writing search engine optimized articles that help consumers solve challenges they face with the goal of providing overwhelming evidence that you are the service provider with the knowledge to service their needs.
When we weducate our consumers, we do so absent of any direct sales pitch. While we are free to include targeted advertisements in the footer and sidebar areas of our weducation article, the article itself should be devoid of any sales-based call to action.
Sometimes the best marketing strategy is to give readers tips for how to chose the right service provider. Your tips should include things to look for, ask for or ways to negotiate better deals. In reality, your motivation is to highlight how much service “you” provide as compared to your competition: however, you are not allowed to talk about yourself.
A tips and Tricks article does not follow the business blogging outline (i.e. state a thesis, support the idea, etc.), but instead your tip article will give several micro statements in the form of instructions. For example, let’s assume you are writing some tips on how to buy the right kitchen appliance. Your article might be phrases as such:
Don’t ask the appliance sales guy which washer he likes best, ask him to show you the consumer reports write up on three of his best washers. Take note of his reaction, those who use pressure based sales techniques will commit to asking his boss for the reports while showing you his top seller. The company who believes in service will have those reports with him, or in very close proximity.
Article length should around 300 words and be broken up into no more than five or six paragraphs. The idea is to brings visitors to your web site based on micro-chunks of knowledge. If your article is too long, reading it will feel daunting.
Limit the number of tips you write to three or four at most. Too many tips and your keyword performance will suffer.
Using our example above, you don’t need to highlight your companies focus on providing consumer reports to anyone who asks, it is implied in the fact that you wrote the tip.
In addition to understanding how your specific blogging software works, such as WordPress, there are some terms and concepts you need to know.Archives
A blog is also a good way to keep track of articles on a site. A lot of blogs feature an archive based on dates (like a monthly or yearly archive). The front page of a blog may feature a calendar of dates linked to daily archives. Archives can also be based on categories featuring all the articles related to a specific category.
It does not stop there; you can also archive your posts by author or alphabetically. The possibilities are endless. This ability to organize and present articles in a composed fashion is much of what makes blogging a popular personal publishing tool.Feeds
A Feed is a function of special software that allows “Feedreaders” to access a site automatically looking for new content and then post updates about that new content to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. Some Feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files. Dave Shea, author of the web design weblog Mezzoblue has written a comprehensive summary of feeds.Blogrolls
A blogroll is a list, sometimes categorized, of links to webpages the author of a blog finds worthwhile or interesting. The links in a blogroll are usually to other blogs with similar interests. The blogroll is often in a “sidebar” on the page or featured as a dedicated separate web page. BlogRolling and blo.gs are two websites that provide some interesting functions or help related to blogrolls. These sites provide methods for users to maintain these rolls effortlessly and integrate them into weblogs. WordPress has a built-in Link Manager so users do not have to depend on a third party for creating and managing their blogroll.Syndication
A feed is a machine readable (usually XML) content publication that is updated regularly. Many weblogs publish a feed (usually RSS, but also possibly Atom and RDF and so on, as described above). There are tools out there that call themselves “feedreaders”. What they do is they keep checking specified blogs to see if they have been updated, and when the blogs are updated, they display the new post, and a link to it, with an excerpt (or the whole contents) of the post. Each feed contains items that are published over time. When checking a feed, the feedreader is actually looking for new items. New items are automatically discovered and downloaded for you to read. Just so you don’t have to visit all the blogs you are interested in. All you have to do with these feedreaders is to add the link to the RSS feed of all the blogs you are interested in. The feedreader will then inform you when any of the blogs have new posts in them. Most blogs have these “Syndication” feeds available for the readers to use.Managing Comments
One of the most exciting features of blogging tools are the comments. This highly interactive feature allows users to comment upon article posts and link to your posts and comment on and recommend them. These are known as trackbacks and pingbacks . We’ll also discuss how to moderate and manage comments and how to deal with the annoying trend in “comment spam”, when unwanted comments are posted to your blog.Trackbacks
In a nutshell, TrackBack was designed to provide a method of notification between websites: it is a method of person A saying to person B, “This is something you may be interested in.” To do that, person A sends a TrackBack ping to person B.
A better explanation is this:
- Person A writes something on their blog.
- Person B wants to comment on Person A’s blog, but wants her own readers to see what she had to say, and be able to comment on her own blog
- Person B posts on her own blog and sends a trackback to Person A’s blog
- Person A’s blog receives the trackback, and displays it as a comment to the original post. This comment contains a link to Person B’s post
The idea here is that more people are introduced to the conversation (both Person A’s and Person B’s readers can follow links to the other’s post), and that there is a level of authenticity to the trackback comments because they originated from another weblog. Unfortunately, there is no actual verification performed on the incoming trackback, and indeed they can even be faked.
Most trackbacks send to Person A only a small portion (called an “excerpt”) of what Person B had to say. This is meant to act as a “teaser”, letting Person A (and his readers) see some of what Person B had to say, and encouraging them all to click over to Person B’s site to read the rest (and possibly comment).
Person B’s trackback to Person A’s blog generally gets posted along with all the comments. This means that Person A can edit the contents of the trackback on his own server, which means that the whole idea of “authenticity” isn’t really solved. (Note: Person A can only edit the contents of the trackback on his own site. He cannot edit the post on Person B’s site that sent the trackback.)
SixApart has published an official trackback specification.Pingbacks
For example, Yvonne writes an interesting article on her Web log. Kathleen reads Yvonne’s article and comments about it, linking back to Yvonne’s original post. Using pingback, Kathleen’s software can automatically notify Yvonne that her post has been linked to, and Yvonne’s software can then include this information on her site.
There are three significant differences between pingbacks and trackbacks, though.
- Pingbacks and trackbacks use drastically different communication technologies (XML-RPC and HTTP POST, respectively).
- Pingbacks support auto-discovery where the software automatically finds out the links in a post, and automatically tries to pingback those URLs, while trackbacks must be done manually by entering the trackback URL that the trackback should be sent to.
- Pingbacks do not send any content.
The best way to think about pingbacks is as remote comments:
- Person A posts something on his blog.
- Person B posts on her own blog, linking to Person A’s post. This automatically sends a pingback to Person A when both have pingback enabled blogs.
- Person A’s blog receives the pingback, then automatically goes to Person B’s post to confirm that the pingback did, in fact, originate there.
The pingback is generally displayed on Person A’s blog as simply a link to Person B’s post. In this way, all editorial control over posts rests exclusively with the individual authors (unlike the trackback excerpt, which can be edited by the trackback recipient). The automatic verification process introduces a level of authenticity, making it harder to fake a pingback.
Some feel that trackbacks are superior because readers of Person A’s blog can at least see some of what Person B has to say, and then decide if they want to read more (and therefore click over to Person B’s blog). Others feel that pingbacks are superior because they create a verifiable connection between posts.Verifying Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Comments on blogs are often criticized as lacking authority, since anyone can post anything using any name they like: there’s no verification process to ensure that the person is who they claim to be. Trackbacks and Pingbacks both aim to provide some verification to blog commenting.Comment Moderation
Comment Moderation is a feature which allows the website owner and author to monitor and control the comments on the different article posts, and can help in tackling comment spam. It lets you moderate comments, & you can delete unwanted comments, approve cool comments and make other decisions about the comments.Comment Spam
Comment Spam refers to useless comments (or trackbacks, or pingbacks) to posts on a blog. These are often irrelevant to the context value of the post. They can contain one or more links to other websites or domains. Spammers use Comment Spam as a medium to get higher page rank for their domains in Google, so that they can sell those domains at a higher price sometime in future or to obtain a high ranking in search results for an existing website.
Spammers are relentless; because there can be substantial money involved, they work hard at their “job.” They even build automated tools (robots) to rapidly submit their spam to the same or multiple weblogs. Many webloggers, especially beginners, sometimes feel overwhelmed by Comment Spam.
There are solutions, though, to avoiding Comment Spam. WordPress includes many tools for combating Comment Spam. With a little up front effort, Comment Spam can be manageable, and certainly no reason to give up weblogging.Pretty Permalinks
Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to refer to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. Because others may link to your individual postings, the URL to that article shouldn’t change. Permalinks are intended to be permanent (valid for a long time).
“Pretty” Permalinks is the idea that URLs are frequently visible to the people who click them, and should therefore be crafted in such a way that they make sense, and not be filled with incomprehensible parameters. The best Permalinks are “hackable,” meaning a user might modify the link text in their browser to navigate to another section or listing of the weblog. For example, this is how the default Permalink to a story might look in a default WordPress installation:
How is a user to know what “p” represents? Where did the number 423 come from?
In contrast, here is a well-structured, “Pretty” Permalink which could link to the same article, once the installation is configured to modify permalinks:
One can easily guess that the Permalink includes the date of the posting, and the title, just by looking at the URL. One might also guess that hacking the URL to be /archives/2003/05/ would get a list of all the postings from May of 2003. Pretty (cool). For more information on possible Permalink patterns in WordPress, see Using Permalinks.Blog by email
Some blogging tools offer the ability to email your posts directly to your blog, all without direct interaction through the blogging tool interface. WordPress offers this cool feature. Using email, you can now send in your post content to a pre-determined email address & voila! Your post is published!Post Slugs
If you’re using Pretty Permalinks, the Post Slug is the title of your article post within the link. The blogging tool software may simplify or truncate your title into a more appropriate form for using as a link. A title such as “I’ll Make A Wish” might be truncated to “ill-make-a-wish”. In WordPress, you can change the Post Slug to something else, like “make-a-wish”, which sounds better than a wish made when sick.Excerpt
Excerpts are condensed summaries of your blog posts, with blogging tools being able to handle these in various ways. In WordPress, Excerpts can be specifically written to summarize the post, or generated automatically by using the first few paragraphs of a post or using the post up to a specific point, assigned by you.Plugins
Plugins are cool bits of programming scripts that add additional functionality to your blog. These are often features which either enhance already available features or add them to your site.
WordPress offers simple and easy ways of adding Plugins to your blog. From the Administraton Panel, there is a Plugin Page. Once you have uploaded a Plugin to your WordPress plugin directory, activate it from the Plugins Management SubPanel, and sit back and watch your Plugin work. Not all Plugins are so easily installed, but WordPress Plugin authors and developers make the process as easy as possible.Basics-A Few Blogging Tips
Starting a new blog is difficult and this can put many people off, there are then other people who have blogs with no comments or visits. You want to stand out from this crowd of millions of bloggers, you want to be one of the few hundred thousand blogs that are actually visited. So here are some simple tips to help you on your way to blogging mastery:
- Post regularly, but don’t post if you have nothing worth posting about.
- Stick with only a few specific genres to talk about.
- Don’t put ‘subscribe’ and ‘vote me’ links all over the front page until you have people that like your blog enough to ignore them (they’re usually just in the way).
- Use a clean and simple theme if at all possible.
- Enjoy, blog for fun, comment on other peoples’ blogs (as they normally visit back).
Before diving into business blogging, we need to compare and contrast Personality Based Marketing with Traditional Social Networking. While not an exact science, we can use basic math to weight each marketing model to determine which has more potential. Traditional Social Networking Model Traditional Social Marketing Connection Diagram Traditional Social Marketing Connection Diagram
The strategy behind business blogging is to create multiple points of entry for your company website AND establish a connection with a target consumer market.
Looking at traditional social networking, the multi-connection opportunity exists in the relationships between friends. For a complete list of the connection relations, click on the diagram.
Social networks are classified as word of mouth marketing. With word of mouth marketing, success is dependent on the openness of the relationships between online friends. For our example, we will assume person 1 grants full social network access to person A AND because of person 1′s relation with person 3, person 3 grants access to his social network to person A. Last assumption is we do not count person 1 in our formula because we are assuming he to already be a customer of person A and therefore is not the target audience for the sales presentations.
Conversion rate expense is the time it takes to navigate the network from node to node and while it seems extensive the actual expense is unknown and therefore ignored in our equation.
Conversion success is dependent on the qualification process, but using a traditional one out of ten conversion factor, person A would need to convince person 1 to grant access to all six of his friends AND convince person 3 to grant access to his one friend.
With only seven people in the network (in our example) there is a 70% * 10% or a 7% chance of closing a deal. Put in terms of out one to ten close rate, there is a 70% chance that the marketing effort will produce a conversion.
Social networking only works one sales presentation at a time. There is little to no long term value in the introduction. Person 3 has no direct connection with person A and therefore no emotional influence towards doing business. With each new sales presentation there is a one in ten chance of a conversion. With our 70% conversion factor: * two presentations equal 1.4 conversions * three presentations equal 2.1 conversions * four presentations equal 3.5 conversions
Ignoring the possibility of SPAM tagging, we will assume best case scenario. Modified Traditional Marketing Connection Diagram Modified Traditional Marketing Connection Diagram Actually, person 3′s business relationship with person A is also emotionally tied in with his business/personal relationship with person 1. If the relationship between person 3 and person 1 dissolves, there is no further connection between person 3 (and and person A.
If person 3 drops out of person 1′s network after your first sales presentation, then the formula changes:
50% * 10% = 5% conversion percentage or a 50% conversion rate. so here is our new conversions chart:
* first presentation, 7 people .7 conversions * second presentation, 5 people 1.2 conversions * third presentation, 5 people 1.7 conversions * forth presentation, 5 people 2.2 conversions
By losing one member from person 1′s network, your conversion rate has dropped 38% Social Networking Theory Dr Robin Dunbar theorized humans have the cognitive ability to maintain stable relationships with 150 people. These 150 people are considered ones Social Network. While other scientists has suggested numbers higher than Dunbar’s, 150 is a good enough number to use for our exploitative purposes. Six degrees of separation Six degrees of separation
We have all heard of the theory called Six Degrees of Separation. Putting Dunbar’s theory together with the six degrees theory, we can conclude that every social network will have 25 people in common. While there is incredible value in the value of any one person’s social network there is great expense to gaining access to the network. While we ignored the actual time expense value we can conclude the value is number of sales presentations * X (representing time).
In our example above, our time expense would be 22X or 22 sales presentations times the amount of time it took to make the sales presentations.
Social marketing is the act of using common relationships as evidence to support expanding access to your social network in exchange for access to the other parties social network.
Most social networking sites automatically report friends in common, but the sharing of unique friends is voluntary on the part of the member. Because of SPAM abuse and predatory horror stories on the internet, the sharing of social networks is reserved for teenagers and other non-business people.
A new system of connecting business people together must be developed. One that is more efficient, higher success rate, and less SPAM. Personality Based Marketing Model Personality based marketing connection diagram Personality based marketing connection diagram Personality based marketing is using topic based information to build multiple connection points through the major search engines.
In this diagram, website A has four categories (a, b, c & d). Each category has five articles (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5). Each article is the primary point of entry and is open to everyone who search for the topic of the article. Success using this marketing approach is dependent on topic focus so the search engines can verify classification. High relevancy will improve organic search result listing. All paths from the internet to the website count as a point of entry.
Each article has an author and those authors become associated with the category and topic of the article. These become connections between people with similar interests.
From a conversion point of view, building a relationship with the reader prior to making a sales presentation improves the conversion factor. Conversion improvement is dependent on writing style and quality in relationship to the product or service, but there is a disconnect from the author if the subject is only about the product or service being discussed, so there is an unknown point where conversion success drops off exponentially. To simplify our equation, well assume the article is written correctly.
If the same seven people in person 1′s direct and indirect social network are browsing the web and come across person A’s article, then all things being equal there is a 70% chance of a conversion right from the start; but the conversion rate is actually higher.
Because each person who reads the article found the link in an organic search result and not through a word of mouth connection, the emotional impact of the presentation is higher than our previous sales example. Now instead of relying on the chance of interest we know with absolute certainty there IS interest. Transaction Stool Concept Transaction Stool Concept If we view each transaction as needing legs to support the decision, our stool would need at least three legs.
By searching for the specific topic which brought the searcher to your article, the prospect has already shown a need or want and thus has a 33.3% conversion rate.
Building trust or likability between you and the reader (i.e. consumer) improves your close rate to 66.6%.
In our previous example it required 22 sales presentations to close 2.5 deals; using the Personality Based Marketing Model we need only make 8 sales presentations to achieve the same close rate. Multiplier Effect of Business Blogging Multiplier Effect of Business Blogging The effort that went into making the 22 sales presentations we determined was 22X. In the Personality Based Marketing Model the time investment is higher, we will call it Y and we will assume Y is greater than X, but where X increases with each sales presentation Y remains constant.
Since Y represents the time it takes to create one article, 2Y represents the time it takes to create two articles. Using the traditional social networking model our target market never changed, they were the same individuals. Using Personality Based Marketing, each article can target a different market segment and because every article remains indexed on the search engines, the long term search value of the article continues making sales presentations to anyone who searches no matter when they search. Business Blogging Concept
Blog articles are a reflection of you. Your believes, ethics, and thought process become searchable marketing material. When balanced against equal options for your product or service, knowing your believes, ethics and thought process will help sway the consumers purchase decision.
What if the consumer doesn’t agree with your believes, ethics or thought process? Then they will probably not do business with you. However, for every person that chooses one way there is a consumer that will choose another way. Putting your believes, ethics and thought process in a searchable manner will attract consumers with similar believes, ethics and thought processes. Business Blogging in Practice
Business blogging can be a way to increase consumer awareness, customer satisfaction, or industry recognition. No matter how you slice it, business blogging is about building relationships.
Typical marketing experts will tell you to use features and benefits based or solutions based presentations. While these marketing approaches are very valid and work in most every other internet based presentation, business blogging is a perfect platform for a personality based marketing approach.
Originally created as a social communication medium, blogging was a way for people to tell their story. While political discussion forums, news outlets and and other social blog sites have flourished, business blog sites have struggled to gain readership traction. Why? Because, unless your business is social in nature, using a social marketing approach is foreign.
Like any language, learning how to adopt a social slant for business blogging is a relatively straight forward process. First you find your voice and then you practice. To help find you voice, you need to know what consumers want to hear, so keyword selection should be an ongoing process for you to learn what searchers are searching for on the major search engines.
Once you identify your primary keyword selections, it is time to focus your article text to capitalize on search engine visibility strategies. Writing for search engine visibility is more of an experiment than an exact science. While there are very clear, industry recognized, techniques for getting seen by Google, Yahoo and a like; you won’t really know what works until you try. This means you will need to make a concerted effort to find the right language for you and your product or service offering.
If you need assistance building or improving your business blog we can be reached at (503) 709-1454 or via eMail.
You can’t win the game focusing on the scoreboard. Focus on the game of engagement and the traffic will come.
Social networking, by definition, is designed to get you involved AND keep you involved. Building a large following, in a sense, becomes a game. In business, it is not about who has the most followers, but are you gaining more customers?
While it is important to build your following; your following is NOT the business building activity, communicate with your network is. No matter if you are on Twitter, Facebook or you own blogsite, knowing your audience is always the best approach.
Answer the following questions:
- Who is your desired audience.
- What topics interest your desired audience.
- Why are they interested in that topic?
Create a social marketing plan (or a business blogging plan), stick to the plan, feed you audience’s desires.
Ed Bejarana Zenith Exhibits, Inc.
BusinessBlogging.net is the internet marketing business division for Zenith Exhibits, Inc. We specialize in providing face-to-face and internet marketing to small and medium size business and we love saying, “we affordability do for you what you can not afford to do for yourself.”
A business blogging plan is a written strategy guide for your social marketing effort. Like all business documents, your business blogging plan is a living document! Expect and plan for frequent changes. It is reasonable to expect your plan to change at least seasonally (based on business seasons).Goal
What do you want to achieve? While you can achieve multiple goals, narrowly defined objectives allow for easier and quick success.
- More search engine visibility (SEV)
- High Google page rank
- Increase company buzz
- Instigate online discussions
- Capture customer input
Your goals can be anything, but it must be documented!Measurement Matrix
How you measure your effort will often dictate where and how you blog.
- Phone Calls, eMails, Online Forms Completed
- Analytics Software or Web Log
- RSS subscribers, Links, and/or Pings
Many FREE blog sites don’t allow for the installation of analytics software. Knowing how people interact with your website is very important, otherwise future topics are little more than a shot in the dark. i.e.: without a measurement system in place, you will never know how many people consume your knowledge.
For example: if you are going to measure your effort by the number of phone calls you receive, then include a call to action that drives people to the telephone.Target Audience
Who are you writing for?
- Age, Gender
- Social Activities, Religious Beliefs, Political Leanings
- Financial and Marital Status
- Favorite Books, Movies, etc.
The intent is to understand as much as possible about who you are writing for. It may not be apparent what information is relevant until you are struggling with developing content. Spending time up front to create a complete demographic profile will save you time over-coming writers block.Income Connection
If the goal is NOT to directly generate income, what is the connection to income? In business blogging there must always be an income connection, else the effort is not “business” focused.
For example: if your goal is to increase company buzz, then your income connection is the product or service you sell. While this sounds trivial, compare company buzz to writing about new employees. Blogging about your staff will generate company buzz, but what consumer capture opportunity have you gained?
Note: while we are listing the income connection, we are not business blogging sales pitches! A sales pitch, like personal blogging, is not “Business Blogging”.Time Commitment
How much time can you realistically commit to writing per day?
Depending on your writing skills and organization, the typical 200 word business blog article will require 20 to 30 minutes to write, revise, proof, edit, link and publish. Your blog site should publish at least once per week. To be successful, like other marketing activities, you must set aside appropriate time.Competitive Advantage
What sets you (or your product) apart from your competition?
These points will become your major keyword qualifiers. For example, let’s say you sell trade show displays. One of your competitive advantages may be very low overhead–which translates into lower priced displays to meet small business budgets. Your competitive advantage keyword distinction becomes “affordable trade show displays for small business”.Reaction Plan
Business blogging is not an exact science because it is social in nature. Trends and fads will impact your blogging approach and potentially adversely affect your consumers’ perception. You must always be on guard for negative user input AND be ready to respond. What will you say when someone complains online about your product or service?
Sample Business Blogging Plan
To improve SEV such that every blog article gets index on Google by one of the companies
Primary measurement will be time on site from visitors finding the article on Google. Seeking an increase of 30% longer on site.
Women owned small business. She leans slightly to the right of center politically and values less government impact on her business. She is in her mid 40’s to late 50’s, recently divorced or widowed. Her children are grown and married. she loves to read mystery novels and watch drama movies. She is financially secure, but seeks an affordable solution from someone she can trust. She values working with men over women.
Design and sale of trade show displays
I will allocate 30 minutes per day to blog on ZenithExhibits.com and promote my blog postings on LinkedIN, Facebook, CraigsList, and Twitter.
No overhead equals lower prices for small women owned business.
I pledge to not fight negative reactions, but rather focus my time on resolving the complaint publicly.
I’ve been asked that question more than a few time by sole proprietor based business folks. When business gets busy, most of the time, we put off those things which led to our success (sadly). I know this to be true because I JUST did it myself.
My wife and I were traveling this summer and I took that opportunity to visit with a few distant customers (WAAAYYYY down in California). It is good to get a way from the office and go visit your customers and find out first hand how things are going. This recent trip gave me some new perspective on the business blogging and internet marketing concepts.
One of my clients was blogging diligently until the phones started ringing and then writing went by the wasit side. I sat down with her this past week and we talked a bit about her writing process. It turns out that she was over writing her articles. She spent about two hours researching and prepping the article and another hour writing and proofing it. I reminded her that business blogging (i.e. Social Marketing) involves making conversational type presentations to your target audience.
General Rule of Thumb to Business Blogging
It if takes you longer than 20 minutes to research, write, proof and publish your business blog article, then your topic and/or presentation to too broad. Narrow your scope to a sinle topic, give fewer examples, use less filler language and write more often.
Ed Bejarana Zenith Exhibits, Inc.