Archive for Business Blogging

conversion text, business bloggingTime is currency online. The same person that will spend five dollars on a single cup of coffee won’t spend more than 15 seconds on your website.

Unless you know how to pull them in and keep them there.

According to Ginny Soskey at Hubspot, one of the industry leaders in online marketing, 55% of your website visitors will spend less than 15 seconds getting to know you.

The same is true of your blog posts and email, by the way. I know exactly how to convert readers into leads and sales for virtual assistants and business coaches, and I’m going to share some of my best blog and website conversion tips with you.

Ready to get started?

Before you begin, just remember that building a site that converts is a process anyone can learn. It takes a bit of testing and tweaking to make sure it speaks directly to your client, but that’s where the fun begins. And the rules for writing a website are the same for writing a blog post that converts, too.

As you evaluate your own virtual assistant or coaching site with this checklist, keep the 15 Second Rule in mind and the entire process makes total sense.

The Number One Problem of Sites That DON’T Convert

Typically, business owners and potential customers aren’t seeing the site from the same perspective.

When I do a site audit for a client, the first thing I do is read the content from their potential customer’s point of view. There is only ONE goal on your homepage, and you may be surprised, but it isn’t to convince them to hire you.

A homepage should answer one question: Can this person solve my problem? Click To Tweet

Your potential client needs help or they wouldn’t be there. We call that a pain-point. The key to a site that converts is to build a home page that paints a picture of their problem — solved.

Your goal is to answer that question in a way that creates a personal connection. You want them to talk to you about their specific problem. If you can’t make that connection…time’s up!

If your site highlights you, rather than your customer’s pain-points, you’re probably going to have a conversion problem.

Ask yourself a few basic questions.

  • Is the site friendly and inviting?
  • Does the copy focus more on you, or the client?
  • Did you inspire confidence that YOU can solve their problem?

It’s important to appear professional and efficient, but don’t lose the personal connection. You’re in a service profession and people feel connected to someone who is easy to talk with. They’re asking you to help them build their business. That requires earning their trust, so make your site approachable, friendly, and easy to navigate.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

We have a term in copywriting that you should get to know. When you open a website and you see the first screen — without scrolling — this is called “above the fold.” It’s a favorite newspaper/journalism term that means the most important stories are placed front page, “above the fold.”

The same principle applies to websites, blog headlines, and email. The most important information should be above the fold. Why? Remember that 15 seconds? That’s how long you have to make a professional first impression, and convey the most important information.

You’re probably catching on. The first few seconds of contact are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing. Hit ‘em with your best shot, right up front!

You’ve probably heard of the marketing funnel. Moz wrote a terrific article explaining the process, but basically, your website and blog are top of the funnel. People are shopping for someone to solve their problem. They may not be ready to call or ask for contact. They’re learning. They’re researching.

The content on your site, if it’s written with the potential client’s interests and problems in mind, will draw them further down the funnel. It narrows. It brings them closer to you and builds a connection while at the same time, increasing their confidence that you know what you’re doing.

The content that you put above the fold on your homepage is essential for beginning the sales funnel. Yes, in 15 seconds.

To convert, you MUST answer 5 questions above the fold:

  • Who are you?
  • What can you do for me?
  • Do you offer a way to keep me in the loop? (A.k.a. free give-away, newsletter etc.)
  • Can I contact you with ONE click?
  • Do you make site navigation extremely easy?

Explain who you are and what type of solution you offer. Notice I didn’t say what business you offer. Your business is the solution, but they don’t know that yet. Offer a solution. Tell them about the problems you solve. And tell them that you do that as a Coach or Virtual Assistant.

Your business is the solution. Offer solutions not marketing. Click To Tweet

Offer a way to stay in touch and place that prominently. Newsletters are still a great option with excellent conversion, but they are also labor intensive. If you can’t commit to a consistent schedule of content in addition to your blog, consider a short success story or guide to using a virtual assistant, for example.

And above all, if you should get that once-a-year client that wants to talk right away, make it extremely easy to contact you. Put your business phone number at the top, right-hand side of your page along with a clickable link to your contact form. The key is no more than one click or statistics show you’ll lose significant conversion.

Keep the navigation links clear and easy to understand. There are some SEO issues we won’t get into here, but it’s important to keep them easy to identify — no cute page title links. Stoney G deGeyter from Search Engine Journal explains in detail if you want more.

Learn to Write a Killer Headline

The second thread you’re probably beginning to understand is that website visitors are an elusive bunch. Let’s get real. Some have the patience of a toddler. You have to coax them a bit to keep them interested.

Enter the magic of a well written headline.

Headlines are an art, but it’s one you can master. Remember, time is currency online, so if you want them to spend time getting to know your business, you have to give them a reason. A well written headline does exactly that.

Here are a few tips for great headlines.

  • Give them something of value
  • Make a promise
  • Draw a picture
  • Connect an emotion or desire
  • Add keywords for SEO

I love it when I can help someone else succeed. I think you can relate. When you write a headline, offer great value that can be of immediate use to someone, and then over-deliver in the content.

Offer great value than can be of immediate use and over deliver! Click To Tweet

Keywords for search engine optimization is a behemoth of a subject, but they play an essential role in the art of a headline so make sure to use them. Just remember to choose keywords that are relevant to the reader and use them at the beginning of the headline where possible.

It’s super easy to make a promise, and in my professional opinion, you should really work this one to make it worthy. It’s too easy to write, “Lose 20 Pounds by Next Weekend!” Sure it gets attention, but you’re bordering on click-bait, which is a way of playing on a promise that is almost too good to be true. Almost. People click to be sure. But if you can’t follow through with a truly amazing promise, you risk your reputation.

Hubspot has a great tagline, which is essentially a headline for their business. Where Marketers Go to Grow. It creates an immediate picture in your mind. “If I go here, my marketing skills are going to grow. I’ll have more value to offer others as well as my own business.” They paint a picture, offer value, a promise, and make you feel empowered and confident.

The ultimate goal of a good headline.

Know Your Customer

This sounds very basic, but actually, it’s the small things that count when you are creating a business website that converts.

Know exactly what makes them tick. Is their business exploding quickly? That’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Maybe they’re looking for help because they’re nervous about not being able to deliver.

Or maybe they would love to hire a virtual assistant, but they aren’t sure exactly what tasks you perform. No one likes to look uninformed. Both sound like great blog posts that provide value, create a connection, and build your reputation. A win-win.

Find out as much as you can about your potential clients, especially if you’re in a specialty niche. Build a file that includes:

  • Likes
  • Dislikes
  • What social media they prefer
  • The tone of voice they use when talking to their own clients
  • What professional associations they may belong to
  • Which trade journals they read

Anything that helps you strengthen the connection and enables you to offer the highest quality service is a perfect addition.

The Most Overlooked Point of Conversion

At the end of the day you’ve built a customer-focused site, provided value, over-delivered and written pages and blog posts that already help with their business. You’ve earned their trust.

Have you missed the one essential step to converting visitors to clients?

Ask for their business!

We call that a “call to action,” and it’s possibly the most overlooked component. You can’t have a site that converts if it’s a one-sided relationship. Don’t be shy. Let them know you’re looking forward to working with them and you’re available to talk if they have questions.

“Build it and they will come,” is a myth. As we know, it takes more than building a website. But if you want a site that converts, follow the five basic rules of writing for an online business and then invite them in by providing customer-focused content. They will come.

So what about your site? Are you ready to dive in and convert more visitors to clients? I hope I’ve given you some ideas that will help. I’d love to hear your comments. And if you like the tips, don’t forget to share!

business blog

Ursula Vogt

Ursula Vogt is a professional B2B copywriter and sustainability marketing specialist. She specializes in helping small and medium-sized companies market like a rock star! You can read more at The SME Marketing Blog. You can also email Ursula@UrsulaVogt.com.

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Blog image, business blog ideas
Image by Jay Lopez

Business blog ideas are valuable for most businesses because blogging can feel like a daunting task. This is especially true when you are new to online marketing. It is easy to feel like

“what am I going to say?” each time you sit to the blank page.

Or feel like

“I’ve said that already.”

However, until you add guest bloggers to the posting schedule, here are 5 easy business blog ideas to use.

Business Blogging Tips

The blog’s purpose is to drive traffic to your products and services. With this clarity, your business blog ideas should always relate to the category keywords. Each post should be tagged with one of your keywords and should be written in a way to leads the audience to join your list at the end of each post. You want your brand to be synonymous with the category keywords you have listed on your blog.

Business Blog ideas

Business, grief and success coaches can easily use news events, industry trends or personal experiences to show their knowledge, remain relevant and explain the benefits of using your products and services. Prove to your audience that you understand and can help.

Seeing how blog post ideas are to lead the audience to your services and products, the next step is how to streamline this process.

How to Save Time Writing

Another one of the business blog ideas that is time efficient is making the old new again.

What?!!

Yes, some topics are evergreen because they are standard in your industry. When this happens, you can take an old post and add more content to it. You can also remove what is no longer relevant then update your revised article.

Voila! You have a new post in half the time.

Professional bloggers use this idea all the time teaching readers how to attract more traffic to their site. Coaches can use it too. There will always be an improved way to do a service you provide so update old blog posts sharing the advances in your industry.

Guest Bloggers

A second way to save time is to purchase content. As I mentioned in my last post on article marketing, some companies’ strategy for new post ideas is to hire content developers. Here is an example.

11-15-2015_Business_Blog_Ideas

If you do not have the time to create original content on your site, purchase it.

Content Marketing Strategy / The Numbers

The final step is to put the content to work. Remember, the contents purpose is to lead your audience to your marketing funnel.

At the end of each post, include a sign-up form to join your list. It is productive to have a web form several places on your site. Remember the more you ask increases your chances that you will receive.

Don’t believe me? Talk to a child that wants fast food. Children perfectly demonstrate the universal principle; “ask and it is given.”

Lead traffic to your site from:

  • Twitter with a link to drive traffic.
  • LinkedIn’s Pulse to drive traffic.
  • Facebook, Google+, Pinterest to…yes, I know you now get my point.

Use these five business blog ideas to increase awareness of your brand. They will help your business blogging ideas to develop faster.

ElectraF-Image1AElectra Ford is an online marketing strategist that helps businesses get noticed on the Internet. She specializes in online marketing plans that connect entrepreneurs, companies and organizations with their audience to get traffic to their websites and make qualified connections. To learn more about implementation subscribe to my email list above.

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My LinkedIn referral traffic has increased inspiring me to learn more about the benefits of publishing on LinkedIn’s Pulse.

Haven’t heard about it?

Last year LinkedIn publishing platform was opened to all users. It’s similar to guest posting and article marketing by giving you another platform to post your content and gain more exposure. I’ve been researching LinkedIn Pulse for my coaching clients because the self improvement topic is very popular on the platform. Noticing that coaches are publishing on LinkedIn was another incentive for me to learn how to use LinkedIn Pulse.

The standard blogging strategies apply to use Pulse. Meaning it is important to have:

  • Compelling Headline
  • Share your experience to make that human connection
  • Write quality content
  • Share your post on your other social networking profiles
  • Tell your email subscribers

Publishing on LinkedIn Pulse provides the potential to reach millions of LinkedIn users. Using the strategies above amplifies that potential, because the more views you receive the more LinkedIn will reward you by featuring your article.

Publishing on LinkedIn can lead to a feature

As your article gets more views, it gains popularity. Your post can be featured on one of the LinkedIn channels. As your views and shares increase, your post qualifies to be featured on the LinkedIn publishing platform. In this position, you are achieving visibility far beyond your connections.

Some of the ways to get featured are to:

Like guest blogging and article marketing, the purpose of publishing on LinkedIn is to gain more visibility. Another benefit to using LinkedIn is that you have less writing to create a quality article. Short articles are also on the LinkedIn publishing platform with high view counts.

When guest blogging you have to write for:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Backlinks to another article
  • Most guest posts are over 1200 words
  • Eye-catching keyword rich headlines

As stated earlier, when publishing on LinkedIn you can focus more on content with an emotional connection and enticing headlines. Similarly to blog posts, images are valuable to your article on LinkedIn.

I suggest you review the LinkedIn pulse channels to see if you write the same or compatible content. If you are a coach, entrepreneur or marketer, I strongly advise you to consider publishing on LinkedIn. This platform is one of the recent benefits in gaining tremendous visibility. Visibility leads to opportunities and qualified contacts. Qualified contacts lead to subscribers and consultations. I’m planning my first article for pulse this month and I’ll see you publishing on LinkedIn soon.

Electra Ford imageElectra Ford is an online marketing strategist that helps business get noticed on the Internet. She specializes in online marketing plans that connect entrepreneurs, companies and organizations with their audience to get traffic to their websites and make qualified connections. To learn more about implementation subscribe to my email list above.

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Apr
23

How to Increase Blog Traffic

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Blog Image, increase blog trafficLast month a prospect asked, what is the purpose of a blog when they have a newsletter? This inspired me to write this week’s post. A blog’s purpose is to build quality content that serves your audience. It is also the way your website raises its position in the search engines. When your site is new, it is important to know how to increase traffic.

Market Samurai, one of the tools I use, lists pages/posts (indexed content) as a metric to show the website’s position for specific keyword as they are indexed in the search engines. If a site ranks high in the search engines for a specific keyword, it usually has a large amount of indexed content on the subject. Content is how to increase blog traffic and gain visibility.

What does this mean?

It means the more content you have, the faster your website will get listed on the first pages of the search engines. For example, if you type in client attraction in the search engines, any search engine, you will get a search that includes Fabienne Fredrickson’s website, client attraction. Fabienne has optimized her site and has enough content that her website ranks on the first page when anyone types this keyword phrase.

The next question you might ask now is – Do I only need lots of content?

No, that’s not all. The next question is actually should be –

How to increase blog traffic?

Let’s talk about the ways….the many many ways.

  • Writing quality content that enlightens and helps the audience you aim to serve is the number one way to increase blog traffic.
  • Create a calendar or list to make sure you are uploading your content on the primary social networks multiple times (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter).
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is another priority to increase blog traffic. Using the client attraction example again, the keyword or phrase that you use in your content is how most of the search engines will list your page. This is the way you need to think about SEO. When people type X, I want my content to come up in the search engines.
  • Include a call to action. Take them somewhere else on your site. Lead them to sign up for your programs, subscribe to your newsletter or inform them of what is new in your business. After you increase traffic to your blog, remember to invite them to your email list or to make a purchase.
  • The longer your content, the higher the ranking from some search engines. Google ranks long content posts more favorably.
  • Connect older post to your new content when applicable.
  • Join Viral Content Buzz or a similar sites for industry influencers to see and possible share your content
  • Create accounts for BizSugar (or a similar site)
  • Create an account for Inbound.org (or a similar site such as Growth Hackers)
  • Publish on Digg, Delicious or Reddit
  • Your blog gives you more freedom than any other platform. You can create keyword-rich titles that will rank well in the search engines. You can also create emotional headlines that will speak to your community. Remember you are talking to two groups: the audience you want to serve and the search engine bots for correct indexing. Cultivating this skill to get your audience to respond to you will increase blog traffic.
  • Comment Luv. This plugin is more than a comment area at the end of your posts. Comment Luv is optimized software.
  • Do roundup posts. These are posts made up of questions that you ask of industry professionals. Their responses create an informative blog post, and their names attract attention. Professional bloggers use these posts to increase traffic to their blogs.

This is a general list to get you started syndicating your content on various platforms to be seen and to increase blog traffic.

As you grow as an affiliate marketer or establishing your credibility in your industry, you will increase your knowledge of how to increase blog traffic for your site by attending online and live events.

Electra Ford imageElectra Ford is an online marketing strategist that helps business get noticed on the Internet. She specializes in online marketing plans that connect entrepreneurs, companies and organizations with their audience to get traffic to their websites and make qualified connections. To learn more about implementation subscribe to my email list on the homepage.

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Nov
07

Marcie Hill Interview

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Marcie Hill, author, professional blogger

This article was updated 11/20/2014

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Marcie Hill, author, freelance writer and professional blogger. Marcie shared that she loves words and in our conversation she demonstrates how she is using her written word to contribute to the progress of women and technology and respecting diversity.

My conversation with Marcie covered professional blogging, growing the confidence to be authentic in your work and practicing resilience to reach your goals. The words I use to describe Marcie are creative and resourceful. I had a great time talking with her and my intention is that this information expands your knowledge regarding reaching your goals and the blogging industry.

 
Electra: It took us a while, but I am glad we are here today to have this discussion. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.

Marcie: Thank you for thinking of me.

Electra: Absolutely, since we last talked you have published two books, which are, How to Write Powerful Professional Bios and 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block.

Marcie: Actually, I published the 62 Blog Posts first which is how we met on Twitter and then I published How to Write Powerful Professional Bios this year.

Electra: Yes, I remember your post on Twitter doing research for your book is how we met.

Marcie: Yes, the electronic version of Overcoming Blogger’s Block is available on Amazon and it will be published this year so a hard copy will be available by December.

Electra: Congratulations! I know you have been receiving excellent reviews on your books which we will discuss when we talk about social media promotion in our conversation.

Most recently I read one of your blog posts where you shared ways to attend conferences for free. Reading the article, I noticed how you didn’t let your budget limitations at that time or their conference officials’ responses stop you from attending the BlogHer conference. In the article, you explained that you could volunteer but wasn’t able to pay the registration fee even when they offered it at a discount. Sometimes people let their financial bottom line or fees stop them from what they want to do or experience, but I found it refreshing that you pursued your goal. Did you feel confident that continuing the conversation would lead to a way to the conference?

Marcie: Yes. I was determined to be at conference because it was here in Chicago.

First, I submitted a volunteer application and was rejected. I kept getting updates about the conference and really wanted to be there. So I emailed the conference coordinator asking if there were volunteer opportunities. She responded by offering me discounts to conference events. I told her that I was unable to pay anything at that time. She forwarded my message to the volunteer coordinator who offered me opportunity to work in the writer’s lab.

Since I am a writer, this was the perfect opportunity for me. I mainly directed attendees to the right sessions and sat in on a few sessions.
Electra: That’s an excellent demonstration that you know you are your greatest asset. What was your largest take away from the BlogHer conference?

Marcie:

  1. I had the opportunity to connect with other women offline.
  2. I learned it’s important to be ready for where your success takes you. At the conference, I met several bloggers I wanted to interview but they felt that they were not prepared. These women were very shy and the idea of being interviewed was out of the comfort zone.

Electra: I can understand that can happen. How has blogging take you out of your comfort zone?

Marcie: I am more confident in sharing my thoughts. Although I still have moments where I wonder if sharing my opinion will make others label me as an angry black woman or deter me from other writing opportunities.

Electra: I understand that definitely. One of my first mentors explained that it would be beneficial to add my picture to my website when I was starting out. She shared a story with me on how she mentored another African-American woman that felt like adding her picture on her website would block her opportunities. My mentor told her if she had to hide in order to work for someone then that’s not a client you want. I agreed. If someone needs you to dishonor yourself in order to work with them then, you do not want that contract.

Marcie: Yes, that’s true. I know I want to write more about women and diversity and technology. However, I will gladly write product reviews for Cannon and HP if they want to send me a camera or computer.

Electra: (smile) I agree you have to put the energy out there and see what comes back to you.

More people are aware that fresh consistent content is required to engage with prospective clients and current customers and for that reason they are looking for more blog writers. Have you seen an increase in requests for blogging from companies or on the directories where you have a presence?

Marcie: Yes, there is an increase in work but the issue now is payment. Problogger Darren Rowse has a job board but some of the rates are low. Brands are posting jobs, but they often offer exposure in lieu of payment.

Electra: I understand because in the virtual assistant community we also meet prospects that are unaware of our value.

Marcie: Brands understand the value bloggers bring, but some do not want to pay; they will offer you exposure instead. For example, a blogger should be paid at least $250.00 for a 500 word blog post.

There are different rates for freelance writer positions as compared to blogging, but it still comes down to brands paying for the value of the work. At some point, we have to say that exposure doesn’t pay bills. You can get exposure from writing on your own blog or from guest blogging.

Magazine writers can be paid $1.00 per word but in the blogging community the rates are lower. A blogger may write a 500 word blog post or product review for $100 because that money is enough to pay some bills. That is the current dilemma in the professional blogging community.

Electra: Yes, that is the entrepreneur’s job requirement – thinking of ways to generate work and demonstrate your professional skills.

What are some of your biggest lessons when you transitioned from employee to employer?

Marcie: My biggest challenges were:

  • Knowing my target marketing
  • Making my ownopportunities
  • Learning when I have to go outside of my network to reach some of my goals

For example, I have an idea for the local Walmart, but there is no one in my network that can help me make this connection. I was talking to my mom about ideas and she helped me with unique strategies to deliver my proposal. To reach this goal I am going to go outside of my network and social media is helping me. LinkedIn is a site where I can meet and make connections that I am not able to locally.

Electra: How have you been able to continue to generate work and engage to grow your business?

Marcie: Business writing for organizations is something that I have been doing for a while and these connections, I make within my network. I am also a contributor for the Chicago Independent Bulletin. I do freelance writing for publications and I want to do more paid opportunities for magazines.

In making my own opportunities, Forbes published one of my articles, How to Write Captivating Professional Bios. I also continue to pitch stories to publications where I aim to be published.

Electra: Yes, as long as you put your work out there the investment of your energy is going to come back to you.

When you consider accepting a project from a client, do you specialize in certain subjects or are you open to various topics?

Marcie: I am open to various topics, but I mainly write about blogging, business, diversity, women and technology. I would like to write app reviews for payment. Interviewing is also a freelance writing opportunity. I enjoy interviewing people and allowing them to tell their stories and heir history.

Electra: Earlier you mentioned that LinkedIn helped with projects when you needed to venture outside of your network. How has social media and online marketing helped you connect with clients?

Marcie: Social media marketing has not connected me with clients yet, but it has helped to build relationships indirectly. You and I met when I was researching my first book. I use:

  • LinkedIn to connect with my industryprofessionals
  • Twitter to connect with otherindustriesand my targetmarket
  • My blog, Marcie Writes, is my portfoliosite. It helps me to connect with prospectiveclients as well as promote my work.

Using social media allows me to share more of myself and connect directly with people.

Electra: I remember that soon after meeting you on Twitter I learned about Ms. Ileane and saw your picture as a guest writer on her blog. Do you gain more exposure online or offline?

Marcie: Online, because I can connect with my target market better. I do have a community blog, Shorty, Your Chicago Southside Resource, where I connect with my actually community online and offline.

Electra: Yes, I remember reading on your blog that after your eBook, How to Write Powerful Professional Bios, received a positive review, sales increased. How can you be found online?

Marcie: In addition to my portfolio site, Marcie writes, and my community site, Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource, I can be found often on:

  • Twitter
  • Overcoming Blogger’s Block, the website for my book 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block. The published version will be available in December.
  • My fun site is Real Skate Stories. I created it because it links two of my favorite things – skating and history. As I mentioned I love listening to people’s stories and this website give me an opportunity to record some artistic and roller derby skating history.

Electra: I definitely will look forward the printed version of your book in December. I know you will include the images and one of those images is of my website, the virtualofficecenter.net. What do you see yourself doing in five years as a freelance writer?

Marcie: My current goals are to:

  • Monetize my Blogsite
  • Develop an eCourse
  • Create a Writer’s retreat. I’m considering Wisconsin in September 2015.
  • Continue to research and information for my publication pitches

Electra: Wow! That’s a busy year already planned. I like that. I have learned as an entrepreneur it is important to have goals to continue to progress forward and prepare for expansion.

Thank you for sharing with the readers where they can find you online. What is one suggestion that you can leave them with that they can start using today?

Marcie: I love lists. Make a list with at least three tasks to complete weekly.

Electra: That’s great because that is not an overwhelming number when you consider there are generally 5 work days and 7 days in a week. Three actions to complete do seem achievable.

Marcie, it has been my pleasure and inspirational for me to interview you today, thank you for giving your time today.

Marcie: Thank you for thinking of me.

Electra: I will get this posted and my intention is that others will gain insight on ways to achieve their blogging goals. Or, they will read something here that will help them start or continue their progress toward their professional or personal goals.

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Ms. Ileane, Basic Blog Tips

Ms. Ileane, founder of Basic Blog Tips, shares blogging, social media and podcasting tips that support aspiring Internet Marketers to achieve their personal and professional goals. Her contribution to the blogging community includes making valuable content available on various platforms and giving presentations. This year she was one of the instructors at the content success summit hosted by Social Media Examiner.

In this interview, she shares the process of becoming a professional blogger and advises how to achieve success in this field. Ms. Ileane has a wealth of information so prepare to take notes and sign up for her content on Basic Blog Tips.com. During this interview listen for Ms. Ileane’s three Cs that guided her success on her Basic Blog Tips blog site.

Click below to listen to founder of Basic Blog Tips, Ms. Ileane’s Interview

To receive more blogging tips, visit Ms. Ileane’s website at Basic Blog Tips. I highly recommend you subscribe to her newsletter, podcast and YouTube channel. Click the link below to view the transcript of Ms. Ileane’s interview.

Ms. Ileane’s Interview

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Aug
17

Nine (9) Best WordPress Plugins

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WordPress.org LogoThe consistent practice that content is king is one of the first requirements for Internet marketing. Although posting actionable knowledge is primary, there are other components to consider. The plugins you use to communicate share and track your blog posts influence online can help you increase your subscribers and page ranking in the search engines. Below are nine plugins that will increase your blog’s performance and enhance visitors experience when viewing your blog posts.

Akismet

This plugin is to help bloggers reduce spam comments. The software compares comments to its web service to identify spam. After downloading this plugin click on the get Akismet key. Register your blog, identify its use, (business or personal) then receive your key in an email. Enter the key and update the plugin’s settings.

All in One SEO Pack

Use this plugin for search engine optimization. Fill-in all the fields for every page and post of your blogsite and the search engines will index your pages by the keywords. Each time these keywords are typed in the search engines, it improves your pages and posts chance to attract more visitors.

Contact Form 7

Contract Form 7 is one of the widely accepted Plugins available. It is easy to customize and supports CAPTCHA for Akismet spam filtering.

JetPack

Once exclusive for WordPress.com users, Jetpack has several features to strengthen your blog’s presence on the Internet. Some of its features are wordpress.com stats, Vaultpress, Gravatar Hover cards and WP.me shortlinks.

Sexy Bookmarks

This popular bookmarking plugin includes a quality list of social bookmarking sites. Visitors can easily use this plugin to share your posts increasing your exposure.

Social-Metrics

This plugin is a favorite. This plugin informs of the frequency posts are shared on the social networks. This data confirms which content is most useful as well as displays how often posts are shared. After installing this plugin and customizing the settings, click on Social metrics to view stats.

W3 Total Cache

Speed is a factor regarding your visitor’s experience and page ranking. One of Google’s algorithms tracks the efficiency of your page loads. This plugin improves your sites performance enhancing your visitor’s experience by loading the page faster. Visit W3 Total Cache’s page to read other benefits of using this plugin.

WordPress Database Backup

It is encouraged to click the save button continuously at least every five to ten minutes when creating a document. This practice also applies to working on your blog. Use this plugin to schedule automatic backup for your database. With over 1.4 million downloads, this backup plugin has proven its benefits.

WPTouch

Mobile marketing is an important strategy for companies with an Internet presence. The WPTouch plugin enables visitors to have good experiences using their mobile devices. It works quickly after it is installed on your site. Using this plugin is another demonstration of why it’s important to tag each blog post accurately. As surfers type keywords into the search engines, leaving your blog posts in the ‘uncategorized’ category diminishes traffic. Remember to tag all of you blog posts with a category and fill-in the All in One SEO Pack fields.

Categories : Business Blogging
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Jul
12

Hosting Interviews for Your Blog

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Interview ImageConducting attention-grabbing interviews that subscribers look forward to require several steps. Because a recording has the task of pulling its audience’s attention using only conversations, it is necessary the discussions come across lively and the individuals entertaining. If you use streaming programs like Ustream  there are several technical steps required to support a successful recording. This article summarizes the planning essential to produce interesting interviews that are enjoyable and informative.

Research

The primary responsibility is research on the guest. Gain as much knowledge as possible about the guest’s products or services. These facts will help you construct motivating questions that support an engaging exchange between host and the guest. This kind of communication will deliver compelling conversations for your subscribers and first time visitors. Review the writer’s work enough to understand the essence of the book’s significance. Also, read the book’s reviews for an all-inclusive inquiry to support a successful interview.

Questions

Begin with a conversation to make the guest feel at ease. Formulate questions around what the audience wants to learn. Ask questions in a way that guide the guest to answer succinctly. For an energized exchange stay away from questions that will call for a long explanation. Keep in mind the questions fulfill two intentions. First keep the guest’s motivated and second entertain and inform your audience.

Invite visitors to comment or ask questions at the end of the interview. If you are using Internet radio or streaming software, invite the audience to post their questions using the chat feature. Read the posts for your recording to involve the guest more in the interview. Using these programs also enables you to ‘share’ the interview on your social network profiles using its widgets. Connecting with blog subscribers and social network contacts using these strategies will initiate dialogue and attract more first time visitors to your blog. In addition, stay mindful to keep the interview within one hour.

Marketing and Set Up

Market your upcoming interview in a way that entices subscribers to look for the recording. Create eye-catching titles and post on your social network profiles and in your newsletters. Schedule posts at different times on your Twitter profile and remember to post in your LinkedIn groups. Schedule announcements and reminders to your email list and confirm that your guest is promoting the program as well.

To set up your successful radio show:

  • Register an account
  • Complete your profile
  • Schedule your show
  • Promote your show on your website, social network profiles to email subscribers
  • Set up autoresponders to remind your email subscribers to listen to the interview
  • Post the announcement in a widget area on your blog to promote your upcoming interview
  • Advertise on colleague’s radio shows
  • Listen to radio hosts
  • Complete a practice run to make sure everything is working properly

To set up to record a teleseminar interview

  • Register an account on a software like Freeconferencecall or Instant Teleseminar or Audio Acrobat
  • For these recordings do not ask for audience input to avoid the potential silence in the recordings.
  • Set up autoresponders to remind your email subscribers to listen to the interview
  • Post the announcement in a widget area on your blog to promote your upcoming interview
  • After the interview stop the recording then ask listeners if they have questions.
  • For WordPress sites, use audio player Plugins to upload your recording
  • Using audio acrobat, copy the code the player and paste it in the html tab of your WordPress site. If you are using a static website login and paste the code using the source tab option.
  • Complete a practice run to make sure everything is working properly

To set up a recording using Ustream

  • Register an account
  • You will need a video Camera or a webcam and Skype
  • Guest will need to select video call so they can be seen in the video
  • Set up autoresponders to remind your email subscribers to listen to the interview
  • Post the announcement on your blog to promote your upcoming interview
  • Embed the video on your blog post
  • Include the transcript of the blog post below the video

Employing these actions to create, host and promote your blog interviews will support everyone experiencing an excellent interview that is fun and enlightening.

Jan
19

Video Blogging

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Image of Person recordingVideo Blogging has grown in the last year or so. It is being used for entertainment, for connecting to certain areas of our lives and for business purposes. You are the director of your own video. Videos for blogging are known as vlogs (short term for video blog). It is not just an outlet for media response; vlogs can also be profitable. Business experts tell us that by creating video advertising products and linking with various web directories, fast income is a possibility.

Youtube is a typical example of a resource for vlogs. It’s a media-friendly digital file anyone can author and direct anytime, anywhere, anyhow.

What should be the content of my vlog?

Anything you can think of. Why not a mixture of humor, downfalls, heartaches, struggles, and life’s pleasures. You could feature anything –business product, use it as a teaching and learning tool, or advertisement for your business. Let your imagination be your guide.

How can I start my own video blog?

You will need a camcorder or a mobile phone, microphone for better sound, tripod and your own imagination and script. Put the lens in front of something that you think would be interesting and would catch your viewer’s attention. Then start recording. You are in control of the content, time and message.

When is the right time to start?

After you’ve assembled the right equipments, make a go of it. Take it as you wish. Record it as you please. Anytime is the best time. Just make sure viewers can comprehend what you’ve created.

Here are 3 easy steps for beginners and first timers on how to put up a vlog:

  1. Visualize – how your vlog would look. Visualize how it would start and how it will end. If you have no idea on what a vlog looks like, research the internet. RIGHT NOW!
  2. Design – after streaming the content of your videotape into the computer, and editing with software such as Audacity or Camtasia, it’s time to think about where you will showcase it.
  3. Upload – post your vlog on your favorite website. And voila! You’re very own video blog. At last, a tiny space among millions! Easy isn’t it?

Make your vlog appealing by advertising creative words people would search for. You have just completed your first vlog!

Resource Box:

Sheila Edens-Brown, Virtual AssistantSheila Edens-Brown is a Certified Business Coach through the Emotional Endurance Institute. She mentors virtual assistants and provides consulting for individuals that are transitioning from Employees to Entrepreneurs. Specifically she empowers women professionals to grow in business and life through marketing, mindset, and success coaching factors through Christian Lifestyle Coaching. For more information about Sheila visit Sheer Elegance Virtual Assistant

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Jan
10

Blogging for Beginners

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Blog categories were the subject matter of one of my Facebook group discussions last week. I noticed the answers covered a lot of personal reasons for the category names chosen. This conversation inspired me to share with you some of the mechanics I’ve learned about blogging and why it’s useful to apply keywords for your categories that describe your services. Blogging is the best way to strengthen your website’s page ranking in the search engines. Blogs achieve this through indexed content. The content you share that helps your audience build up the credibility of your website especially when other site’s link to your page or retweet your page on the social networks and social bookmarking sites. This is one of the main motives for business blogging. This post is a checklist to help you write your blogs easier, get your content indexed correctly in the search engines and connect you with your audience.

Make you Keywords Your Blog Categories

First, I recommend that your categories describe your services. Use keywords that are getting traffic for your categories. Each week write a tip or share industry information that is useful to your audience. Allow the keywords to also guide your blog post titles. Your blog posts will benefit from a keyword rich title so remember to use keywords in your titles when applicable. The search engines will index your content according to your categories and your tags (Tags is a designated text box field where you add your keywords.  Right below this text box field is the ‘PSP Meta Index and No Follow Tags’. Make sure the button ‘index, follow’ is checked. Checking this box instructs the search engines to index your page according to the categories and keyword tags you included. If you are using keywords that are receiving traffic and you are building your content by blogging weekly or several times per week then you are raising your opportunity to reach with your audience.

Backlink and Socialize Your Blog

My next recommendation is to backlink to your blog when appropriate. If you have written a post and a previous post gives more details about a niche you mentioned then encourage the subscribers/visitors to read for additional information by linking the previous post to your current page. Also, make it convenient for readers to promote your blog posts. Remember to add the social Plugins such as ‘Retweet’, the Facebook ‘Like’ button and use social Plugins like the ‘Sexy Bookmarks’ by Shareaholics. Backlinks and social sharing are recommendations from valid websites and visitors; each click strengthens your blog’s credibility and raises your page ranking.

Blog Contributors

Now that we have the mechanics of how to communicate to the search engines to build your blog’s presence, it’s time to talk about writing styles that help you engage the audience. Some ways to build community is to invite staff members or compatible business owners to contribute to your blog. Staff members can write on their specific responsibilities to help the customers understand the process or give a behind the scenes look at what happens to create a product or service. A compatible business owner can write a post on one of your categories helping your audience complete a specific task.

Content is still KING

Write with the mindset of bringing value to your audience. Your purpose is to help them understand or complete something that is industry specific but they can accomplish with your useful information. Write with the purpose of being helpful to larger industry. Write your posts with a specific niche in mind and that will help your audience connect with you. When suitable add staff members photos and consider uploading videos of the office to give your subscribers a look at the operations. These blog posts will draw your customers in and help them get a clearer understanding of your work.

Blog Design

Last portion of the blog to mention is the design. Make it user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Include photos and graphics that are semantically related to the topic. Stay mindful of making it easy for your blog subscribers to navigate through your blog site. If you have resources, make sure that section is easy to find. Avoid cluttering your site as it may confuse your audience.

Goal when Blogging

Focus your blog on helping individuals and industries. Help these groups identify your products’ and services’ benefits or show them to complete a task on their own. This goal will build your credibility with your audience while continuing to raise your site’s position on the search engines. Enjoy your blogging!

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