It doesn’t happen often, but over the past couple of days, I have ventured out of my home-office cave and headed into the Big Smoke for the inaugural Big Digital Adelaide Conference, held right here at the Science Exchange (pictured) in the city of churches.Read More
So, I woke up this morning to news that yet another start-up is basing its business model on delivering cheap small business content online.
Sigh. Many people already think writing (or any other creative pursuit) is “easy” and that, unlike everyone else in the world, for some reason we don’t need money to survive, just a passion for our art. And when you can buy a generic and unique blog post online for a measly $50 or $60, this just perpetuates this myth.
As we’ve all heard, “content is king” and “Google loves fresh content”. But while fresh content may grab the attention of the search engine bots, if it’s not fresh, engaging and relevant, it will drive people away in droves. So what makes content “fresh, engaging and relevant”? It’s actually not that much of a secret – have a look at the following 10 tips for some ideas. Solve a problem This post is an example of this. It is solving the problem of a dearth of ideas for content on your website. Have a think about common questions that your clients or customers ask – then answer them! Business lessons I have done this a few times – check out Lessons from a Freelancing Toddler, or Four more lessons from the freelancing front. These, and others like them, are often the most shared and talked about posts. People love to get an insight into what you have learnt in your years in the industry. Make a list Everyone loves a list. Which is why many bloggers use headlines such as “5 reasons to make a list”. Again, like this post. Industry updates You can use Google alerts to stay on top of any news mentions of your niche, and use your blog to tap into the zeitgeist. For example, if you are an accountant, you can use your blog to update readers on changes to the taxation laws. You can also give readers a heads-up about upcoming events, or share research into your industry. Useful tools What technology makes your life easier – and would make your readers’ lives easier? Make a list and share it! And don’t forget to explain how the tool works – perhaps even a how-to video. This is even better if it is an in-house product. Seasonally fresh Try a Christmas themed post, or a post about holiday proofing your business. Use the opportunity to promote any seasonal products or services or tell a story about your business that relates to the season or the holiday. Promote While a blog should never be used a purely promotional tool, there is nothing wrong with occasionally using it to focus readers’ attention on a particular product or service. Considering hosting a competition – but make sure you check what, if any, regulations you need to comply with. Re-purpose Have a look over your old posts – are they still relevant or have they dated? If the latter, take the opportunity to revisit and rewrite – and don’t forget to share on social media. Think strategically Have a look at your analytics – or do some keyword research – to see what incoming search terms people are using, then write a blog post around those keywords. Be controversial Although I don’t always set out to be controversial (it’s just my natural state), some opinionated posts on things like customer service and a great guest post I ran about signs you should NOT hire a copywriter have driven a fair whack of traffic...Read More
Does blogging help your business? Is social media worth the effort? Do businesses need to have an optimised website? These are the debates being hotly contested in a Linked In conversation I have been closely following. It started innocently enough, with one bloke asking if people in the group had a business blog, and whether they thought blogging for business is worth the effort. The conversation soon turned to other forms of social media and it become very apparent very quickly that one of the participants had strong opinions about the worth of blogging and/or social media for business, and his opinion was that it was “a waste of time” and that “blogging was a recreational activity for those with too much time on their hands”. Well, as someone who blogs, and who certainly doesn’t have a lot of time on my hands, I take umbrage to that! I have written before about why blogging for business works, and it has certainly helped build my audience (and convert that audience to clients), but I now realise that post should have included the caveat: If you do it strategically. In other words – know what the purpose of your blog is, how to leverage it into leads and, most importantly, who your audience is. Purpose The first thing to think about when you decide whether or not to blog for your business is what the purpose of blogging is. In my case, my blog serves dual purposes – search engine optimisation (I can throw in the odd key word and internal link) and so potential clients can gain an understanding about me and about my writing style. Not every post is written for SEO purposes, nor is every post written as proof of my writing ability. But these are always top of mind when I plan my blog posts. (it’s also a great way to get stuff off my chest – but that’s not about business!) Other valid purposes for a business blog are varied and include such things as driving traffic to your website, converting visitors to sales and setting yourself up as a subject matter expert. Leveraging your blog While the main goal of this blog is not necessarily to drive sales (although that is a nice side effect), it does lead to the occasional phone call/email about a potential project. And I know this because the client tells me they have been reading my blog for a while and are now ready to talk business. Or they are new to the blog, but have read a few posts and like what they see. In other words, a single blog post is very unlikely to lead to a sale, but a consistent series of posts can help turn a casual visitor into a client or buyer. A lot of people give up on blogging because “it’s not working”, but persistence is key. Which is pretty much the same for every marketing avenue – I would suggest there are...Read More
Yesterday, I delivered a marketing workshop to a small group of people keen to learn how the internet can help grow their business. We covered social media, email marketing, online press releases, WordPress and more. But the issue that captured most attention was blogging for business – especially when I shared my site’s analytics report, which shows big spikes when I post a blog. They were skeptical at first about the benefits of blogging for business, but as I went through the details – and the fact that it is not as onerous as it seems, I could see their eyes lighting up. So for the benefit of that group – and the rest of you – here are my top 10 reasons why blogging is good for business. Blogging for business 1. Search Engine Optimisation: When you want to improve your rankings for certain pages or keywords, it’s a fairly simple thing to use those keywords in a blog – and hyperlink to relevant pages. It’s how my site ranks better for “annual report writing” at the time of year that people are looking for an annual report writer. 2. Become a subject matter expert: Sharing your opinion on relevant issues affecting your niche sets you up as a subject matter expert. And even if visitors don’t need your product or service right now, if they see you as an expert, you will be front-of-mind when they do need you. 3. Social sharing: Posting regular blogs means that you have regular content to share on your social media profiles. Not to mention to invite other people to share. Who knows, one day, one of your posts may go viral. 4. Cost-effective marketing: While not every post should include the hard sell, it doesn’t hurt to occasionally use your blog to promote your products and services. And while it might take an hour or two to write, it is relatively cost-effective compared with other traditional forms of marketing. And if you work on some on-page optimisation, and have content that people want to share, most of the hard work is done for you. 5. Keeps you on your toes in your biz: If you commit to weekly (or even monthly) blog posts, it means you need to keep abreast of any changes or news in your industry. So you can kill two birds with one stone – professional development and marketing. 6. Attract new leads: When someone shares your post via social media they are promoting your biz to a whole new audience. And who knows how many of them are in the market right now for whatever you are selling. 7. Show some personality: These days, mainly due to social media and the conversation it allows customers to have with brands, it is getting more and more important for businesses to show their brand personality. And what better way than through a regular blog? 8. Drive traffic to your site: As mentioned in the introduction, each time I...Read More
Today Black Coffee Communication is proud to host guest blogger Caylie Price on her 21-day Blogging for Growth Tour You made the choice to invest in a copywriter and the results have been brilliant. Your copywriter has saved you time; saved you money; improved your search engine rankings as well as attracted and converted new clients for your business. Previously your copywriter has written your annual report, sales page, white papers, blog posts and newsletter broadcasts. You might be thinking ‘what more could I want?’ Let’s answer that with so much more! The brilliant thing about all the content previously produced is that you can leverage and repurpose it. Your message will never achieve 100% saturation of your target audience but you can certainly increase the percentage without major expense hikes. Given the content has been generated once, repurposing will cost less or may even form part of a package. Further, repurposing content is excellent for improving search engine optimisation as related keywords are employed across the various platforms. Following are three options your copywriter may suggest depending on the characteristics of your audience and where your audience are found online. 1. Info Products. Your copywriter has distilled your expertise into white papers and blog posts. Your voice and authority can be experienced throughout. You now have the opportunity to expand or divide the content into e-courses, e-books and mini-resources thereby creating additional income streams. 2. Presentations. Are you targeting small or micro business owners? If you are, Slideshare is the best place to upload your presentations. With 60 million unique visitors per month it is a great option to reach new audiences. Your copywriter will rewrite your content to suit Slideshare. Users can then embed your presentations from Slideshare into their blogs providing you access to their circles of influence. Further presentation platforms you may wish to consider include Mural.ly and Prezi. 3. Pinterest. Your copywriter may not be an expert in graphic design however they are likely to have basic image editing skills or a graphic designer in their network. Why is this important? Well, try these Pinterest statistics on for size. Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors referred from non-social channels. 80% of Pinterest users are women… important unless you have forgotten which gender makes the majority of purchase decisions. 69% of Pinterest users have found an item they’ve wanted to buy or have bought compared with 40% of Facebook users. Source: Expanded Ramblings Ask your copywriter to extract the best quotes, key messages or statistics from your existing content and package it with branded images. As the images are pinned and re-pinned, your exposure and brand awareness will increase. Bonus Repurposing Option 1 – Other Social Updates Those same quotes, statistics and facts can be used as status updates on more social media platforms. Think Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. Again, before posting consider which platform is most appropriate for your audience. Bonus Repurposing Option 2 – Autoresponders Once you have subscribers on...Read More