Entries Tagged as 'Blogging Tips'

Blogging Basics for Entrepreneurs

It seems these days everywhere you look, people are talking about using the internet to earn money. Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur using the internet to inform and find new customers or running an online store, your goal should be to drive qualified traffic to your website.

A qualified visitor is someone who is genuinely interested in the products or services being promoted, and who is ready to take a specific action (called a conversion), such as making a purchase, filling out and sending in an online form, or calling to schedule an appointment.

Anyone can publish a website, but unless you have a plan of action and know what you want your site to achieve, it will be next to impossible to determine if you are successful. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once a website is posted, your job is done. That’s like opening a store and forgetting to advertise that you are open. Once a website is online, your marketing has just begun.

One way of driving traffic to your site, is to tell your friends and relatives about the site. Too many people take this one step, and this one step only, hoping for the best, and then wonder why their results are not better. What’s more, they judge their results from lack of sales, or on verbal feedback or phone calls from an extremely limited audience. If you are serious about using the internet as an income source, you’d better have a plan of action that includes expanding your market beyond your friends and relatives. After all, you do have the entire world at your fingertips.

In order for people to find your site among the millions of websites on the internet, you’ll want to achieve page-one rankings in the search engines. While this may seem like a formidable challenge, establishing and implementing a strategic plan of action is necessary in order to achieve repeatable results.

In my opinion, a blog should be an integral part of your website, as it gives you the opportunity to easily post up-to-the-minute information, packed with essential keywords and phrases intended to lure targeted traffic to your blog, where you can include links pointing to a precise landing location on your site. In order to maintain a blog and update regularly, it’s only necessary to understand word processing and the blog interface, so you can forego learning html and complex web design programs.

All blogs are websites, but not all websites are blogs. The administrative section of the blog is password protected and is accessed on the internet. There are lots of sites that offer free blogging software and a server where your blog can be stored. We use WordPress, but you can google blogging software to find other free blogging tools. All the WordPress documentation is online and there are forums at the site where you can get plenty of help if needed.

I’ve seen too many people create a “post,” or a blog article, and miss the essentials, completely wasting the opportunity to reach out to their target market. When writing the blog post, answer the following questions with every story: Who? What? Where? When? How?  Why?

If you’ve decided you’re going to have a blog, here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Establish an appropriate tone – “you,” or “yours” … not so good for a press release, but a blog post can be a bit more informal…this one certainly is
  2. Don’t make it into an “ad” by using the type of language you would put on a sales flyer
  3. Keep links within reason and make sure they are relevant to the topic at hand (some press release distribution sites frown on links)
  4. Make it about your customers and how they can benefit, not about how great you or your products or services are
  5. Post regularly – should be published at regular intervals, and can be more frequent than once a week
  6. Include important keywords and phrases, as well as contact information when appropriate
  7. Write an engaging headline to capture the attention of the person seeking the specific product or service you offer

7 Ways to Edit Yourself for Social Networkers

* If you wouldn’t say it to a client or boss – don’t say
it where they can read it either.

* If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother – don’t say
it on your public posts.

* If you wouldn’t say it to a police officer – don’t post it
on your social networks. For that matter, don’t do it either.

* If you plan to lie to your boss – don’t put the truth where
they can see it.

* If you plan to go out and get drunk and know you have a
tendency to post while drunk – give your phone to a friend
to keep for you.

* Learn how to use privacy settings and understand how visible
your posts are on different social networks.

* If you want a place to vent – create a completely different
identity for yourself to do that. Name no names in your
posts, and make no connection to your other profiles or
email addresses.

To read the article by Nicole Hernandez,
How You Use Social Media Can Kill Your Business
By Nicole Hernandez (c) 2009

Nicole Hernandez is a web developer with a specialty in web
standards and accessibility. She is the owner of Website Style
and publishes technical articles on her blog called Beyond Caffeine

Send Your Press Release to Online Distributors

This is a great resource for distributing your press release. You will have to sign up to be on their email list, but if you’re serious about marketing your website, do it.

Ain’t the Internet Grand?

I hope future generations don’t lose site of what a wonderful thing a free internet is. You can begin a quest to learn about anything using software tools that are available to anyone with no cost. Just this afternoon I was thinking about how a blog could help my business, so I began a Google search with a headline in mind: “Blogging for Business.” The results quickly took me to About.com where we begin our journey into land of the blogosphere.

Post Upcoming Events Online

A workshop, seminar, class promotion or other event that might be of interest to fellow networkers or the community is an example of one way you can use the blog. If you are hosting or sponsoring an event that you believe would have value for our networking partners or to your target audience, choose the appropriate category and post your “press release” in on the blog.
Be sure to include all of the important information:
  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. When
  5. How

While this may be an over-simplification, thank goodness, this blog allows comments, so you are encouraged to contribute by commenting on a post. You’ll find our “comment” button at the lower right corner of a published post.

You can make a comment in response to a post, or create a post of your own on a different subject. But before you can create a post of your own, you have to “Register” and subsequently log-in to participate.

Step One for Bloggers

In order to actively participate in many blogs, including the Conejo Networking blog, users must first “register,” and subsequently “login.”

While anyone can view our content, a variety of levels of control over the blog can be assigned by an administrator(s). In order to contribute content to the blog, you need to be “logged in,” where you’ll have access to a contributor’s interface, called the “Dashboard.”

The Dashboard provides access to writing tools, and web content can be saved and managed for timed uploads, and published as desired.

In this article, let’s get logged in and turned on.

  1. Make certain you are on the home page of the blog, and not the home page of the main site. Type or paste this address into your browser: http://conejonetworking.com/blog/. Since you are reading this, you may already be on the right page, however, if you intend to follow along step-by-step, you may want to print this post.
  2. When you’re on the blog home page, bookmark it in your browser so that you can participate frequently.
  3. Set up your email program to accept email from (admin@oakcreekmarketplace.com). The email you’ll receive will include a password which you must use in order to “Login” the first time. If for any reason you don’t get the email, contact Nancy Haberman to gain access to the blog.
  4. Register-on the bottom right, click on “Register.” You’ll register one time only.
  5. From the Dashboard, click on “profile,” top right, where you’ll be able to set a custom password known only to you.contributor dashboard
  6. Click on the “Profile” button. Here you can modify some of your personal settings and reset your password in order to maintain privacy.

You are now free to move around the blog

Now that you are registered and logged in, you are free to write and manage your posts and comment to the posts of others, a great way to participate in online discussions. Check back frequently for more tips for bloggers.

Establish Credibility in Your Field of Expertise

We’ll need a whole lot more than this little article to list all of the reasons to use the blog, so we’ll periodically explore ways to build our businesses and help our networking partners by using the Conejo Networking website and blog.

After years of working with different types of businesses, our design team has found that a large number of customers prefer to manage their own websites. In order to do so, there’s a learning curve, but by using a blog, even beginners can jump right in and create and publish content.

The Conejo Networking website and blog are benefits extended as part of your membership dues. Think of the blog as your very own business newsletter. There are no fancy programs to learn, no more printing bills. Once you take advantage of the marketing opportunities afforded by using the internet, new leads and business will materialize out of the ether.

Your company and the products and services you offer can be presented in a number of different ways. By writing an article, or a “post,” and choosing relevant categories where your article will appear you are able to use the very same tools and marketing technology used by every large corporation and media outlet in the modern world.

Establish credibility in your field. Inform, educate, persuade and entertain your readers. The blog provides a perfect opportunity for our members to publish on a regular basis.

Observe email etiquette and get the most from our blog

Hi fellow breakfast buddies. I’d like to say thank you for letting me introduce, or re-introduce our website to you. I always love sharing the wonders of technology and how we can use it to improve our businesses, among other things!

A few days ago, one of us sent an email to the group, which resulted in a flurry of comments going to all of the members. I understand how easy it is to hit the “reply all” button without thinking, but often it results in lots of needless and unwanted emails creating distraction and clutter for most who are on the receiving end.

Fortunately we have a solution.
It’s a virtual meeting place, where we can exchange information by taking a few moments on a regular basis to check in and see what’s happening. It’s a place where we can form impromptu groups based on what we’re in the mood to discuss at the moment. Mike Harris had mentioned the possibility of conducting a webinar so that each of us can be at our computers at home and follow along with the blogging workshop.

Brilliant, Mike. What does everyone else think?

At this morning’s meeting I spoke only briefly, and did not hit all of the high points of blogging; in fact, I only skimmed the surface. I failed to mention the ability for comments on posts, which is one way we can carry on a group discussion.

Let’s test it out.
I’ve offered to do a two-hour workshop to teach members how to use the blog to help market your businesses. In order to schedule it at a time that is convenient for most, post your suggestions and questions on this subject by clicking on the “comment” button below this text.

Ways to Use the Blog

Bookmark the blog and make it part of your business routine to check it daily while you’re online. Blogging gives you a chance to continue your networking activities throughout the week by posting in the following categories. If you want to suggest a category, do it here on the blog.

  1. Affirmations & Quotations - Run across a good one? Post it on the blog and share it with others during the week.
  2. Agenda Items – Something you’d like to discuss at a Wed. meeting? Post the request on the blog.
  3. Book Reviews – Read a good book lately? Don’t keep it a secret.
  4. Business Promotion – Use this category to post your 30-second elevator speech & more.
  5. Bylaws Discussion – This is a good place to state opinions on topics that demand discussion.
  6. Charities – News about a charity? Post it here.
  7. Networking Events – Post here so they are always accessible.
  8. Speakers’ List – Post here so all are up-to-date