Category Archives: Blogging

6 Business Uses for a Blog

by mallton

When I mention to a business client that their new website can have a blog (like in Blogging for your Business), I’m often asked, “what would I use a blog for?” Most of us have seen how individuals might use a blog as an online journal of their lives – a place to vent and talk about what’s important to them – but how does a business use a blog to actually benefit the business?

Here, in no particular order, are a variety of ways that a business can make great use of a blog format.

1. Answer Questions

If you ever receive questions about your business or industry, either direct or implied, you can answer those questions in your blog. You simply start by posting the question, leaving out who asked it of course, and then answer it.

This is particularly effective since most people end up asking themselves the same questions, so it’s likely that you will be providing valuable information to many people. In fact, you should fully expect that eventually people will be using a search engine like Google and will type in your exact question and your blog post, with the answer, will come up as a result.

If you have an FAQ system or page, you can discuss the same questions and topics – the format of the blog post is simply more casual and conversational, while an FAQ entry should generally be more formal and to the point.

2. Client Spotlight

If you just completed a large or interesting project, or simply have something nice or compelling to say regarding a specific client, use your blog to share. It’s a great way to illustrate how you might handle a specific project or even a challenge. Be sure to get the client’s permission before you post your entry.

3. Reviews

If you read an article in the newspaper or some other online source that you think your customers should read, post a link to it in a blog entry and explain why you think it’s relevant to your clients. Conversely, you could also use this method to respond to negative press your business or industry may receive online.

You can also review a new product or service.

4. Teach

Regularly take a topic or issue from your industry and teach your clients all about it. This method involves a little more work on your part, but is eventually even more rewarding and compelling than others.

First, do your homework. Make sure that everything you state is correct and verifiable. Use statistics if you can and cite your source

Second, create your blog entry in a Word file and see how long it is. Break it up into smaller sections if its lengthy and label them Part I, Part II, and so on. You now have not only several blog posts, but a series that will entice readers to come back for the next part.

5. Lists

A particularly common technique is to make lists. You can list anything you want, anything that might be interesting to your clients, and talk about each list item for a moment before moving on to the next. An easy topic might be Do’s and Dont’s for your clients as I’m sure nearly every business has common pitfalls that their clients struggle with, as well as things every new client should be doing.

Do not feel forced to come up with a specific number, like “Top Ten”, as that will simply frustrate you when you can only think of 8 items. It’s your blog, so list 5 or 50 if you want to.

6. Events & Conferences

Use your blog to talk about and announce upcoming events and conferences, if it’s something you think some of your clients may want to attend or be interested in. If it’s a conference for vendors like yourself, then talk about it afterward and share some of the things you learned that might prove valuable to your customers.

Regardless of which method you use, always make sure that you re-read your entry for correct grammar, spelling, and factual information. Also, whenever possible, make sure that you’re using your targeted keywords. If you can, refer to older blog entries or articles you may have written and link back to them (that’s referred to as deep linking).

Of course, the beauty of a blog is that there are no rules or regulations. Your posts can be as long or as short as you want, and on any schedule you like (though the more regular you post, the better). Furthermore, there’s no reason why you can’t utilize each and every one of the techniques above, and anything else you might find or invent. Your blog doesn’t have to be the same each and every week, as long as the overall topic remains the same – your business and your industry. Continue to write interesting and helpful information and your blog will become a great sales tool for you and your website.

About the Author

Michael Allton is the lead web designer and owner at Stadia Studio, a web design firm in St. Louis, and has been helping businesses get online since the 1990’s.

Start Your Own Blog In 3 Easy Steps

By Michael Fleischner

Photo by kuribo
Blogging is a great way to reach your audience, share your thoughts, and even help you with your Internet marketing. I’ve been blogging for nearly 3 years and continue to enjoy the benefits of not only communicating with an audience, but engaging in meaningful dialog. Starting a blog is easy to do and pays huge dividends.

There are a number of free services available that offer free blog services. Sites like Blogger and WordPress only require a brief registration and set up. Once you determine a theme for your blog and a template, you’re ready to begin posting. Posts are entries you make on your blog that are published instantly.

Some bloggers post comments to their blog each and every day, others once a week. Regardless of how frequently you post to your blog, content can be focused on a specific theme or random topics. The most popular blogs focus on a specific niche and provide valuable information, content, and commentary that encourage interaction with blog followers.

Sign up for a blog service. Begin development of your blog by signing up for Blogger or WordPress. Once you have an account, you can quickly set up your blog. Consider the goal of your blog and what type of commitment you are willing to make. Start small and be consistent.

Determine how you will monetize your blog. If you want to use your blog to generate revenue, there are a few techniques you can apply depending on which platform you’re using. One of the most popular methods of monetizing your blog is with the help of Google Adsense. This is a popular option and very easy to add to your blog. Not only does it generate a small amount of revenue for you on a weekly basis, but it also provides relevant links based on your posts.

Another great way to monetize your blog is through paid links. The concept of offering paid links is pretty straight forward. You create a section of you blog that lists recommended sites. In this list, you only place links that people have paid you to post. There are some tools you can use to automate this process. I simply add a link to a post that says, “How to post your link” with directions and a pass through to a Paypal page. You can set up a single time payment or subscription, allowing would be advertisers the opportunity to purchase a link on your blog monthly or for a longer period of time.

Many individuals are monetizing their blogs by using pay per post or other blogging network. Essentially, advertisers search for bloggers who are willing to write a post to promote their product and services or brand. You can sign up for one of these networks quite easily and be contacted when advertisers feel that your blog would be ideal for distributing a message. You write a blog post and get paid for doing so.

One thing to keep in mind is that the success of you blog is based on a number of factors. I believe that having a targeted blog that offers original content is ideal. You will build a large following. This is essential because most of the monetization methods are based on having enough traffic to make your blog appealing to advertisers as well as blog readers.

About the Author

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Top 10 Traffic Ideas for your Blog

Blogs are popular ways to create an online presence for personal and business reasons. You can build a blog for free and begin posting content right away. But, what good is that content if no one is reading it. Here are ten ideas to bring in the traffic your blog needs to survive.

Of all the successful blogs on the Internet, hundreds more have failed. Running a blog is like running a business website. Unless you are willing to put the time in and treat it seriously, you won’t be blogging long.

That is not to say that the failed bloggers weren’t serious about blogging. Mostly, new bloggers aren’t prepared for the work that goes into creating a successful blog. Just building the blog doesn’t mean that people will necessary come to you. You pursue the audience and give them a reason to see what you have to say.

1.    Fresh Content – no one wants to visit a blog day after day and see the same posts. Update your blog content at least twice a week. This will be easier if you write several posts ahead of time and upload them at the appropriate times.

2.    Article Marketing – the niche you’ve chosen for your blog is one that interests you. If it is interesting you will spend more time doing it. Create content not only for your blog but also to be submitted to article directories. Use the resource box to advertise your blog so people can find you.

3.    Social Networking – these sites are everywhere. Join Facebook, MySpace, Squidoo, Twitter or a dozen others and make connections. You can join groups of likeminded people who are also bloggers or entrepreneurs.

4.    Viral Marketing – this is where you spread the word about your blog. Talk to friends, family and even strangers. Give out business cards that have your blog address on them.

5.    Use RSS Feeds – RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Readers can subscribe to your feed and get email updates when new content is posted. It is an easy way for them to keep up with your blog without spending all day online.

6.    Submit Blog to Search Engines – doing this allows your blog to be ranked. Google and Yahoo! are two of the most popular search engines you want to crawl your blog pages. It doesn’t guarantee top ranking, though. You’ll have to do a little more work for that.

7.    Joining Forums – as a blogger you are a budding entrepreneur. Right now you are marketing yourself to find traffic and then profit. Become a member of business forums, work at home forums and others to meet new people and share ideas. You can add a link to your blog in the signature line so others can find you.

8.    Visit other blogs – show your appreciation to those who visit you by also posting comments on their blogs. It is a kindness that shows others you are not just out to advertise your blog alone. Add links to your blog in your comments.

9.    SEO Marketing – whatever you write, use relevant keywords. Keyword density between three and ten percent is good for getting higher page rankings in search engines. Base your keywords on a research you do to find the most popular words used in search engines for your niche.

10.    Social Bookmarking – submitting posts to social bookmarking sites allows others who are members of those sites to track you back to your blog.

Using any of these ideas will start the traffic moving in your direction. It takes time but you will build the readership you want.