The term social media can be misleading. We may think of teenagers talking to each other, or friends texting each other while in the same room. Social media is important for businesses too. Find out why.
I know, lots of you don't like to use social media. You may even think its for teenagers. It's important to find the best social media platform that fits your business goals. If you are selling things on Amazon, Twitter or Instagram might do fine. Instagram is popular right now. Pretty much everybody is using Instagram because it's easy and you can keep the messages short. Career type content would likely fit linkedin better then Twitter. Make use of linkedin if you are a start-up business.
No matter what business you're in, creating an online presence is a must. If you present content that is useful, and shareable then your online presence will grow. Consumers today want information on any device of their choice. Remember that consumers control the market today.
Much research has shown that engagement with social media drives more traffic to websites. Hopefully that will lead to more conversions. If not, you still might have people spread the word about your business or your products. Consumers want information on every device now, and they want it on their own time.
It's a good idea to have a strong online profile. It's best to create the same message, profiles, and headlines for all your platforms. They shouldn't be too different from one platform to another. Join online communities, make comments, and ask questions. All this helps you to build a stronger brand image. You can also show your human side and how you differ from others.
Your content should be provide information and be positive. If you write interesting posts, you will drive traffic to your site. This is a great way to build engagement with readers. Don't post too much "salesy" type content, or people will think you are spamming them. Many people think that longer posts won't get much traffic, but evidence suggests otherwise. Longer posts are more likely to be shared if the content is useful to the reader and they end up sharing it.
Find out who the experts are in your field or niche, and follow them on social media. You will learn a ton of information from them, and who their mentors are. You can receive their newsletters filled with valuable tricks and tips. You don't have to be on all platforms, but pick a couple and stick to regular posts. Many readers like to read and share stories on social.
Network and engage followers and you will be rewarded. Social media followings are important to your brand. Many of the people you follow will add to your own expertise because they often publish free content.
You can't write for just anyone, so how do you get your content read? Check out the tips on this blog.
Many novice bloggers think that everybody's interested in what they write and post online. No, unfortunately that's not the case. There is so much competition for people's time, and readers want something quick and easy to read. If you go the longer route, you have to keep it interesting and to the point. If you offer content that is valuable, they may keep reading, and if you're lucky they will share it.
It's been shown that longer content gets shared more often. Surprised? I was too. The content must be broken up into sections with subheadings, bullets or numbered lists. It must be easy to read, and formatted so they can skip over things.
Who is your audience?
What is their age, their gender, their education? Are they business people or health enthusiasts?
How you can better engage your Audience:
* Research helps deliver some credibility to your blog. You can use googlescholar.com or pewresearch.org If you know your topic well, then most readers will find your content both inspiring and informative.
Doing a few of these things well, will help ensure that your content is read and shared. Yes, it's hard to do all of these things on a regular basis. The most important takeaway is to add value to what you write and post...if you want people to like and share your content.
Here's what I have learned from blogging over the past two years. I am going to make this post short and sweet.
Blogging first came about as a way to express yourself and tell stories. The problem is that people are way to self indulgent, and that adds little value to the reader...if any. So what do you write about? Some people blog to get something from others. Human nature is the other way around. People reading want to know what's in it for them.
First, ask yourself why you are writing, and then ask yourself what do you want readers to take away from the piece. If you are blogging for your business, then you might want to ask what information would my customers like to have? What would make them remember my brand or name when they are ready to buy something?
I spent some time on linked In this holiday season. I began to see flaws in my own, and other people's blog posts. Yes...blogging is a process, and you learn as you get more practice. We are inundated with loads of advice. Who is really qualified to give advice?
Having said that, I have found some excellent posts out there, but I have also found that some well published bloggers are doing exactly what I have been taught not to do. It's not that they don't have great information to present, but it's how they do it. You can get information on any subject on the internet, so it's hard to engage readers period.
Here is a short list of things you should consider Not doing
The two big ones for me are, the negative and harsh language (even if you mean well). An example would be "You'll never succeed at blogging if you..."
Remember your purpose for writing is to increase awareness, entertain, and give the reader a takeaway. Tone is something that has to be considered with the target audience in mind. Tone is very important unless you are talking to a 12 year old audience.
If You want to attract a business audience you need to use a certain amount of formal language, but at the same time keeping it conversational. You can do this without abandoning all language skills. If you aren't sure, check out the linked In course by Shani Raja, an editor with the Wall Street Journal. He teaches a really good editing course. You will learn a great system.
Writing has changed over the past ten years. Less formal is more popular. But try not to get sloppy with language, you will insult your reader. Don't make yourself superior to the reader. Make them want to read your next blog.
Marketing is a big topic in today's digital world. Trends change, but basic human nature doesn't change. The type of business you do may dictate the kind of marketing approach you use. See what you may have overlooked.
Many experts believe that you should develop a marketing plan. Personally, I have found that writing down goals is achieved quicker for some reason, even my daily to do lists. You can create specific goals for timelines. Make charts, and put them in a place you can see everyday.
Here Are A Few Tips To Consider:
What works best for your type of business depends on many factors. Don't forget to try something new if what you are doing isn't working. Do some research on pricing strategies, so that you know if your pricing is too high or too low.
Some people engage in social media marketing, but that's not enough. You need a human presence. Blogging is helpful, it certainly increased traffic on my websites. Give readers some value in your posts. I like writing "how to" posts. You might consider guest blogging, or have guest posts on your site.
Create newsletters, they give value to your website. The reader takes away something.
After you make contact, you can mail a brochure with a letter and business card. Peter Bowerman, Author of The Well-fed Writer, suggest that you always give a person two business cards. One may end up in another person's hands.
More About Blogging
I come from an academic background, so I had to make adjustments in my writing style. After blogging for two years, I discovered something valuable.
This summer I published a post that was emotionally charged, and it was something many people have experienced. Guess what? My readership increased almost overnight. I guess it's fair to say, emotionally charged content is good for your blog. As a copywriter, I have been taught that appealing to people's emotions is a valuable marketing tool. So always appeal to the reader's emotions.
You will hear many people out there giving advice about marketing. Different types of marketing work for different types of clients. Check what your competitors are doing. Most of all, keep an open mind.
Finally, here is the post that follows 7 ways to increase blog Traffic. Summer has got in the way again, but I'm back from my holidays. The information comes from a book written by Robin Houghton, and it's new. Great read!
Post by Debbie L. Belair
Use more long tailed keywords. You can use a number of different free keyword tools. Every single post should be keyword optimized to help readers find the content they are searching for. However, avoid keyword stuffing, because Google is set up to have radar to detect keyword stuffing and other abuses. It depends on the platform you use, but usually, you will be given a limit of words to enter. Not sure about WordPress, but Weebly, shows you where to put meta tags and descriptions used for SEO.
Make comments on other bloggers Posts
If you make comments and "like" other blogs, often they will reciprocate and check out yours as well. This is a great way to give exposure to your content. It might mean that a person who wouldn't have found your post otherwise, reads it. This happened to me recently, and now I have gained several new followers. If you are lucky, they may even share the post with other readers.
Don't get too hung up on Numbers
It takes time to build traffic to your blog. People have a lot more to read now then 10 or 20 years ago, and often, they won't read, they might just skim content to see if it catches their interest. If you follow a few basic principles, and you make your content interesting and easily read, you will find that the numbers come eventually. Don't give up blogging just because you aren't getting a lot of traffic yet. It comes with persistence and hard work.
Post often and Regular
You don't have to post every day, but maybe once a week or every two weeks. It's more important for the content to be of high quality, and if it means less frequent posting, then so be it. Others may disagree, but I think quality content that offers value to readers is more important than how often you post.
Teach or inspire Others
Write content that inspires or teaches hands-on tips. Many people blog on their personal experiences and that's fine,but remember, that reading is optional, and you have to give them a good reason to read your post. Telling stories tends to draw in a lot more readers. I like writing information centered content, about health and writing tips. If you write about topics that are important to everybody, you can't go wrong.
Email and Newsletters
Not everyone has time to write newsletters, but having a sign-up email list helps you keep track of your readers. This is helpful if you have some news or you are going to be off somewhere for a few months. Yes, it takes a little more work to make up one, but you might find that you it increases your leads (if you're selling something). It saves time to use the same template each time.
Hopefully, this little post has been informative. Remember, there are differing opinions on how blog posts should be written. The ideas I have put forward come from ideas that I hear the most, from experienced bloggers. One thing I still struggle with is the length of blog posts. If you have ideas on this please feel free to comment or send me an email.
People blog for different reasons. Here are 7 ways to make your blog a success. Here's how you can rank in search engines without spending a lot of money.
By Debbie L. Belair