Archive for How To Blog + Other Blogging Tips

10 Questions Your Blogging Strategy Must Answer

There are many blogs on the internet that have been started and then abandoned within a very short time frame.  In many cases, this is because the company did not have a clear blogging strategy before they started the blog and/or the blog writers did not have a passion for the blog’s main focus.

Developing a Blogging Strategy

Before you start a business blog, it is imperative that you have a solid blogging strategy or plan.  Your blogging plan should answer the following questions, just to name a few:

  • What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?Develop a Blogging Strategy: Answer These Questions
  • Who in your company likes to write, is good at it and would enjoy blogging?
  • Who will write blog articles?  Will your blog have multiple authors?
  • What topics will your authors write about? (Brainstorm a list of topics on a notepad so you always have a list of topics to turn to for inspiration.)
  • Will your blog always contain original content or will you also write short blogs that link to information your target market would find useful?
  • How long will your blog posts be?
  • How many times per week can, or will, your company post a blog article?  Are you willing to allot the necessary resources to accomplish this?
  • Do you have the resources in-house to maintain your blog or do you need to outsource it?

Business blogs should contain pure content that attracts your target market, engages them and keeps them interested, inspires or informs them and keeps them coming back for more great content.  The ultimate goal is for your blog readers to subscribe to your blog so they electronically receive your latest blog posts automatically.  (You don’t want to rely on them to magically remember to return to your blog…’cause it won’t happen!)

Benefits of a Successful Blog

Below are a few results that you will experience if you develop a clear blogging strategy and build a successful blog.  You will:

  • Increase the visibility of your business on the internet with more listings in search engines
  • Have an additional means of promoting your products or services
  • Establish yourself or your company as an expert in your field or industry
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase your sales leads

If you are looking for results like those mentioned above, you need to set yourself up for success and a great pay-off by developing your blogging plan BEFORE you start your blog. After you’ve developed a great blogging plan, and allotted the necessary resources, you need to have your blog set up and designed and then start producing great content on a consistent basis.  If you do, your blog will be off and running and you will start to see the positive impact it can have on your business.

Happy Blogging,
Kimberly

How To Detect & Block Blog Comment SPAM

While working with clients I’ve come across many blog comments that they “approved” that were actually “spam” comments.  Spam comments are often left by automated robots but they can also be left by humans who are just looking to promote their own business or get a link back to their website/blog.

Spam Can Hurt Your Blog

Spam blocking software keeps track of the IP addresses and/or email addresses that are flagged as spam creators…they basically put them on a blacklist.  If you approve multiple comments from known spam creators, it can hurt your blog and your blog’s reputation.  It is therefore important to know how to spot a spam comment and also to install a spam blocking plug-in.

How To Recognize A Spam Comment

When you are looking through your blog comments, look for the following tell tale signs of a spam comment:

  1. more than 1 pending comment from the same IP address
  2. in the “name field”, the commenter entered their business name, a bunch of keywords or just random letters…instead of their actual name
  3. there are links in the comment
  4. the comment is very generic or vague…it doesn’t say anything specific about the post or even the topic of the post
  5. the grammar is extremely poor
  6. the comment is about a topic completely unrelated to the blog post

Here is an example of a “spam” comment that initially someone might think is a “valid” comment:

Comment:  I just could not go away your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person provide on your visitors? Is gonna be back continuously in order to check up on new posts

Topic of the post:  How To Create An Organized Home Office Where You Can Be Productive

Name of commenter:  alexa chung mulberry bag

Why This is a SPAM Comment:  Not only is the grammar very poor in the above example, but the comment also matches red flag #2 and #4 above.

Paying attention to the above warning signs, and flagging comments as spam when appropriate, will help protect the reputation of your blog and keep the published comments relevant.

Two Spam Blocking WordPress Plug-Ins To Consider

There are numerous WordPress plug-ins that can be used to help detect and block spam.  The most popular Detect & Block Blog Comment Spamplug-in seems to be Akismet.  I’ve used Akismet on my own blogs for years and have been very satisfied with its performance.

According to Akismet:

For many people, Akismet will greatly reduce or even completely eliminate the comment and trackback spam you get on your site. If one does happen to get through, simply mark it as “spam” on the moderation screen and Akismet will learn from the mistakes.

Akismet now requires that you purchase an API Key in order to use the plug-in on a commercial blog.  If that isn’t something you want to do, I suggest you check out G.A.S.P. (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin).  I read some reviews about G.A.S.P. on the internet recently and then installed it on a few of my client’s blogs.  It is performing very well and saving me a lot of time!  (No more email notifications of comments that are actually spam and fewer comments to sift through when I login to WordPress.)

I hope the above tips help you reduce the amount of spam comments that your blog gets, and more importantly, that it helps you recognize spam comments and flag them appropriately!

Cheers!
Kimberly

 

3 Ways To Get Found Online More Often

I just had a consulting client say that they are totally lost when it comes to how to promote their new website and Facebook fan page.  This blog post is meant to help answer that question for you in case you are in the same situation.

There is only so much you can do to announce a new website or fan page especially if you don’t have a large mailing list or online following.  But don’t stop at merely making an announcement to people you already know.   You need to work at increasing the “online” visibility of your website, Facebook fan page or other social media profiles and “attracting” new people to them.  Doing this really boils down to doing these 3 things:

  1. Strategically & Actively participating in social media, blogging & online marketing
  2. Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) principles
  3. Advertising online via pay-per-click ads, banner ads, etc…

Participating In Social Media & Blogging

This blog post is focused on the first item listed above.  One of the best ways to participate in online marketing is through social media and blogging.  Through active AND strategic participation in social media & blogging, you can generate additional:

  • links in search engine results so your website/blog/social media profiles are found more often
  • traffic to your website, blog or social media profiles
  • incoming links to your website/blog which helps your SEO (this only happens IF people find the info valuable or educational)
  • leads, inquiries & customers

By “strategic” participation I mean the following:

  • Determine what type of info, resources and/or discounts your customer or prospect wants AND give it to them via social media & blogging.  Here are a few questions that might give you some ideas:
    • Would they be interested in info or resources that will help them do business better or smarter?
    • Is there a special discount or loyalty program that they would be interested in?
    • Would they like to have their customer service questions answered via a Facebook fan page, Twitter or a blog?
    • Is there info that you can provide that would help them get more out of your product or use it in different ways?
    • Can you provide tips that would help them reach a goal that they have?
  • Make sure that your blog posts (& at least some of your social media posts) contain the keywords your target market is actually searching on
    • This step requires keyword research/analysis to determine what search terms your target market is typing into the search engines

What Are You GIVING Your Target Market?

You must GIVE your target market WHAT THEY WANT or there will be no reason for them to “like” your Facebook business fan page, follow you on Twitter, interact with you on social media, share your website or blog link with their contacts, etc…

  • You need to answer the question “what’s in it for our customer or prospect…what are we GIVING them via social media & blogging?” in exchange for their like, follow, referral, comment, order, etc…

Invitation to Post Questions or Comments

Feel free to leave a question, or your thoughts on this blog post, in the comments section below.

Cheers,
Kimberly

What Is A Blog & Why You Need To Be Blogging

Through working with clients I’ve realized that many people do not know what a blog is.  I’ve also learned that many people read blogs but don’t realize it. If you’ve heard the terms “blogging” or “blog post”, but don’t know their meaning read on because below I’ll shed some light on blogging and why it is a very good marketing tool for a business.

Frequently Asked Blogging Questions & Answers:

What Is A Blog?

Business Blogging Simplified

Blogging Is An Effective Marketing Tool When You Put All The Pieces Together

  • A blog is a type of website and can therefore be found on the internet.
  • Each blog has its own unique URL  or website address.
  • Some businesses buy a separate domain name/website address for their blog while others simply add a blog to their existing website.
  • Businesses typically set up a blog because they want to publish content to the internet on a regular basis to keep their prospects and customers informed of something specific.  (Example: The article you are reading right now was published on our blog which is part of our site at SocialCRO.com.)

What Is A Blog Post?

A blog post is basically an article or a piece of content (such as the article you are reading right now) that is published on a blog.

Why Is A Blog A Good Marketing Tool For a Business?

The primary purpose of a blog is to provide non-promotional information that your target market or ideal customer is interested in and searching for on the internet.

An effective blog can help your business:

  • increase online visibility
  • get found in search engines like Google when people search for information that is in one of your blog posts
  • improve customer service
  • engage with & build strong relationships with your readers, other blog owners, prospects & customers
  • announce events, new products/services, etc…
  • answer questions about your industry, product or service
  • position itself as a “go to” resource
  • generate leads & more

Google and other search engines strive to display the best possible websites and blog posts when someone searches for information on a particular topic.  You have a very good chance of having your blog posts found by your target market if you do the following:

  • write high quality blog posts about topics that your target market wants to know more about
  • learn how to optimize your blog posts for both people and search engines
  • follow blogging best practices which we will cover in future blog posts on this site

If you have any questions about blogging, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now),
Kimberly

P. S. – Join The SocialCRO Flock at Facebook.com/SocialCRO.