Today, we are proud to welcome our first guest blogger, Rick Ellis, of Tomorrow’s Online Marketing. Rick has a lot to share on the subject of business blogging, and we hope you’ll utilize the tips he shares here.
As a representative of a TopOnlineMarketingFirm, I’m often asked, “Rick should my company have a blog?” The answer is, “You can’t afford not to…” Why? For starters, it’s a nearly free (it really only requires time) way to promote and market your business, its products/services, its mission. Read on and see my 5 reasons why you should be blogging.
What is a blog anyway?
10 years ago, almost no one blogged. Blog is short for Web Log. At the beginning personal blogs were a sort of online diary in which writers could speak to the anonymous internet universe. Today however, business blogging is….well…. big business. It’s a tool being used by almost all of the companies in the Fortune 500. But where do you start and what landmines must you avoid? This my friends is where the rubber meets the road….
BLOGGING POORLY CAN COST YOU EVEN MORE…..I PROMISE.
Fortunately, blogging for business is no longer a new activity, and those who came before you have paved a pretty nice path that should assist you in not only getting started, but also in creating systems for generating, publishing, and promoting your blog content.
5 Reasons Business Owners Should Blog
1. Blogs allow you to establish and promote your expertise in your field
2. They enable you to connect with your clients: Blogs allow you to build a community. Getting to know & interact with your target market is invaluable.
3. Blogs give your company a “face.” Reading and interacting with your blog allows readers to feel that they have a personal connection to your company. Prior to blogging this was near impossible. In this way blogging is another form of social media marketing.
4. You can promote your newest product or service: what’s your newest product or your current sale?
5. Your competitors are likely doing it already. This is a strategic advantage. So get started!
5 Blogging Mistakes That Cost Companies A Lot!
1. LACK OF CONSISTENT PUBLISHING: As the old adage goes, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right!” If you blog every once in a while, or when the mood strikes you, you are wasting your time & money. The most productive blogs have such regular & rich content, that people come back often to see what’s new. The blog becomes a community of people with one thing in common….your company!
2. ERRATIC TOPIC SELECTION:
Would you get your hair done at Frank’s Tire Barn and Hair Salon? I hope not! Well your blog audience needs to know that you are laser beam focused on a topic that interests them and they can trust you with their time. If you post on Monday about your companies newest product, and then on Tuesday you post a recipe from your Aunt Jenny, you confuse the reader. You MUST identify your audience and speak directly to them. If your company sells products or services related to home improvement, then write specifically about that topic. You’ll have DIY’ers flocking to your blog regularly.
3. FAILURE TO DEFINE YOUR GOALS!!!: What’s the intended result of your blogging efforts? Is it PR? Maybe you want to sell a product. Would you like to connect and interact with real customers? Each of these are great goals for a blog. If you have multiple goals, consider having multiple blogs! They are FREE!!!
4. FAILING TO MATCH THE BLOG WITH YOUR BRAND:Your blog is a brand. Stay consistent in design and content to ensure that your blog matches all of your other marketing efforts, online and offline.
5. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME….NOT!: You absolutely must market your blog. It’s not a stepchild of your company, it’s the FACE of your company. It’s an OPPORTUNITY, to toot your own horn, and tell people about the AMAZING things your company is doing. But if they don’t know you exist then all that effort is wasted. Most of the promotion of your blog will occur away from your blog.
SocialMediaMarketing: Every blog post should be featured on your social media pages. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. If it walks like SPAM, and quacks like SPAM, it’s probably SPAM. If you don’t know how to do this, consult a Social Media Marketing Expert like our mutual friend and Social Media Guru Camille Rodriquez!
Interaction with similar blogs: Blogging is a community. Bloggers do not view each other as rivals, but rather champions of the same cause. Read their blogs. Make comments on posts that are relevant to the mission of your blog. Leave your web address or a link to a specific post from your blog. DO NOT SPAM. If you do this well and encourage reciprocity, you will make a friend and both of your respective audiences should grow.
SEO for Bloggers
Now that you have a blog and you are writing regularly, you should seriously consider optimizing it so that when someone interested in your area of expertise searches Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., they will find you.
From Wikipedia: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines’ “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results.
If you would like to learn how about searchengineoptimization as well as search engine marketing for your company’s website or blog, feel free to email me directly. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Ellis is a self-proclaimed “Online Marketing Evangelist.” He is the local representative of Tomorrow’s Online Marketing which prides itself on being WAY more than an SEO provider, offering a wide variety of products and services that increase their client’s online visibility, and having a high focus on converting traffic into revenue.