Entries Tagged 'blogging' ↓
March 27th, 2012 — blogging
A common dilemma: You run a business, your employees are super-busy selling, developing product, managing the office, etc. And you’re being told (truthfully) that if you want to compete successfully on the Internet, you need content, content and more content. But where, when and how are you going to do that?? Help!…
Is outsourcing your online content creation an OK approach? Yup, if you can afford it. (And please focus on quality, not just dollars; for example, offshoring can be uber-cheap and the results the same.) At the very least, you should pay someone to do research, writing and linking for your corporate blog and/or online articles.
At one time, the concept of “ghost” blogging - having someone else write with the CEO/VP’s name on it as the blog author - was considered something of a no-no as it pertains to transparency and all.
However, the push towards content on the web has gotten more and more intense - having become a fundamental requirement of successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You literally cannot get on Page 1 in organic Google search results today without having original, regularly added content.
Executives are not in their jobs because they can write well and quickly, as well as find suitable links, images and know how to optimize them all for search!
That’s where the “ghost” writer/blogger comes in. If transparency is key to your business (and why not) then consider using the approach of the CENTURY 21 Canada blog, which disclaimed that posts in its national blog that show the president and CEO as the author, were “supported by” another person. OK, not full disclosure, but close to it.
Your disclosure that someone is helping your blog authors (VP, Director, etc.) write their posts does not take away from the value of that original, fresh content going up on your site. Not for Google, nor likely to readers.
If you need the help, strive to find a ghost blogger who is not only a gifted, trained writer, but also understands how to SEO. And, if you require a second person, you should look for someone to create and optimize content specifically for other social media (besides your blog) - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other sites relevant to your business. If you can get it all in one supplier, all the better.
December 22nd, 2009 — blogging
I blog at Talk21, the national blog of CENTURY 21 Canada - posting at least 3 blogs each week for the past year. And as busy as I get, I always take the time to add SEO-friendly components to each post that goes up.
SEO-friendly blogging includes:
- Keywords in the headline (e.g. “Wind Energy” if that is what the post is about). You’d be surprised the number of blog posts I see that have a headline that does not relate at all to the content of the blog post!
- Suitable “anchor text” - aka the words that are hyperlinked in the blog post’s content. If you are linking to a page about alternative renewable energies, the anchor text for that link should read: “alternative renewable energies.” Logical - yes! And logic what Google-bots understand best. But not everyone gets that; hence the nasty proliferation of “click here” as anchor text.
- An image in every post - and that can be a photo, or illustration or graph, embedded video, etc. Not only will it catch the eye of readers and keep them engaged, images are another chance to add keyword-rich metadata behind the post. In our techie world, it’s known as “alt-tag” for images, and it’s simple as pie to add using today’s blog open-source software (such as WordPress used behind my own blog here).
- Tags: You should add tags to every blog post - no limit to the number of tags, as long as they are very relevant to the post’s content. So to use that example above, “renewable energy” “energy alternatives” “energy efficiency” etc.
- Add each blog post to only ONE category. (You should set up categories to group together related posts; see my Category list in the right-hand navigation rail on this page.) If you add a post to more than 1 category, the Google-bots could consider that ‘content duplication’ and slap you down for it, i.e. drop your page ranking or worse (de-index… gasp!)
- If you have the ability in your blog dashboard to write your own Title Tag, be sure to do so using the keywords that pertain to that post.
Doing these best practices every time you put a blog post up will stand you in very good stead and you should care - that is, if you’d like your blog posts to appear on page 1 of the search results served up by Google and the other major search engines!
December 24th, 2008 — blogging, social media
I was on a conference call last week with my business partner explaining our Social Media Optimization services to a prospect; the client was afraid he wouldn’t have time to write his blog, to Twitter, Facebook, etc. - even once we showed him how to set up the profiles, optimize, and teach him the rules of the road in social media. Without his active participation, we told him, all the social media sign up in the world won’t get him fan-sumers, links, PR, online reputation management and all the other social media goodness!
To speak to our client’s quandary, my business partner came up with a great analogy; he said “It’s like when you get a gym membership, and then you can’t figure out why you haven’t lost weight…(but, you hardly ever go to the gym!)”
The gift at the end of all that sweaty effort? That trim waist and defined biceps!
It’s a Conversation… a Virtually LIVE Conversation
David Armano, VP, Experience, Critical Mass, observes in a cool, group-sourced white paper about Social social media predictions 2009:
“Each [successful] social media initiative is supported by LIVE people, employees or representatives who will respond to a tweet, e-mail, phone call, blog post etc. This is what’s becoming known as a culture of rapid response…. The reason organizations will grapple with this is because we’ve become used to “launch and walk away” i.e. sites and e-mail blasts which which don’t require a response…. although it is now cheaper to launch an initiative leveraging Web 2.0 technology—it requires qualified and passionate people to make them successful.”
Amen, social media brother! (Note: that is my bolding on certain words in this quote.)
December 11th, 2008 — blogging
Gotta blog, right? RIGHT!! However…
Are you dog-tired of coming up with blog post ideas? Weary of nagging co-workers/employees to get the lead out and blog? Worried sick about getting in trouble in the blogosphere? All of the above?
If that sounds like you, you have lots of company… and solutions to the problem.
It’s OK to Map out Your Blogging
Firstly, Plan, Plan, Plan! It’s not counter-intuitive to have an ‘editorial schedule’ of topics you’ll be tackling on your blogs in the months ahead. (I had one client who said, “But aren’t blogs supposed to be spontaneous?” Well, whatever pops into your addled mind when you’re blogging about your cat or latest diet, maybe.)
Check out this advice from Lee Odden in his Online Marketing Blog:
“After the honeymoon of starting a blog wears off, those tasked with writing content often get distracted by their other responsibilities. Bit by bit, posts look less and less like keyword- optimized web pages and sink back to the familiar writing styles common to public relations and corporate marketing. Gone are the keywords that consumers are searching on. Gone is the traffic that used to come from search engines. If SEO efforts persist, they can get sloppy without ongoing oversight either by an outside SEO consultant or an internal blog champion.”
Why Blog? Why in God’s Name, Not??
Blogging is the supreme form of communication online - for anyone. Why? Because it covers off:
- Search Engine Optimization: as noted in this quote, keyword-rich blog content gets you more searchers for those terms.
- As a form of Social Media Optimization, blogs let you join the online conversation where Consumers Rule. (Just don’t forget to reach out to other bloggers in your space.)
- Directory and search engine inclusion: get listed on dozens and dozens of blog search engines.
- Link building: Folks find your blog in all kinds of places and link back to it: more love from the Google, more ways to get traffic to your site.
So, roll up your white-collared sleeves and dive on into your corporate blog:
- Plan it!
- Promote it!
- Pen it! (2-3 times a week, ideally)
- Participate! (guest-blog elsewhere, link to other blogs, leave comments in forums, much more!)
November 6th, 2008 — blogging
Dozens of blog search engines exist, and you would be foolish to miss the opportunity to list your blog (for free) in the best of them. Remember, these search engines only accept BLOGS, not other kinds of websites - so be sure to submit the exact URL where your blog lives, e.g. http://www.company.com/blog.
Google Blog Search
Globe of Blogs
May 22nd, 2008 — blogging
I have written about it before, but it bears repeating: A blog is not a real blog if it doesn’t let other people comment!
This notion came up for me yesterday when I was telling a business owner about the value of blogging; she pointed out how much she likes the commenting feature on my own blog. I was relieved, as that avenue of feedback from the public can be scary for some companies. Clearly, she gets the importance of conversation online.
And that reminded of my ongoing irritation with “blog snobs” who don’t see the need for comment boxes at the end of blog posts. After all, one can comment instead via one’s own blog (known as “trackback” links). If you don’t have a blog? Oh well, guess you can’t join the conversation.
Conversation for all!
Yeah, right - like the whole world should be blogging. That presumes a level of narcissism I’m not going to condone. And as for that attitude of exclusivity…!
(One of the biggest bloggers of them all, Seth Godin, doesn’t allow comments to be posted on his blog. Strangely, he apologizes for it, but doesn’t change the practice.)
Commenting, to my mind, is the raison d’etre of blogging: anyone anywhere anytime (and yes, that includes people without blogs!) can join the conversation.
April 30th, 2008 — blogging
Short answer: No, you don’t have to blog.
But lots of companies are blogging in order to join the online conversation about their products/services…
and because their sites are even more Search Engine Optimized by the practice of blogging!
Google loves fresh, unique content - lots of it and often. It’s one of the factors they consider when choosing websites to move up the page rankings.
Writing a blog is an easy way to upload content frequently. A simply - forgot those cumbersome content management systems of yesteryear; wait until you try (free) blogging software.
Still think of blogging as too personal, too opinion-oriented, too ‘young’ for your business?
You can use blogging software to do other things, too, that will make The Big G happy.
What else can I do, beside blogging, to help SEO?
Fresh and unique content can go up on your site via:
- Product pages - featured items, discounts, new items carried; good writing as well as tech specs and great product photos.
- Articles - “how to”, “Top 10 tips on using XX,” etc. relating to your products or services.
- Newsletters (monthly at the minimum) posted as HTML or PDF on your website, and archived.
- Press releases, ditto re: archiving and formatting and frequency.
- User Forum on your site - but remember, you’ll have to moderate the discussion to keep it clean and focused on your chosen subject(s).
Maintaining a steady stream of new, relevant content to your website is an integral part of a successful SEO strategy. We tell our clients that once we’ve search engine-optimized your site so that you get found online, we hand the reigns over to you to keep getting found and read, over and over.
I’m B2B - who blogs in that space?
Please don’t assume that blogging doesn’t suit your market. You might be surprised to know that many “unlikely” businesses write blogs (e.g. FirstAidKitBlog.com written by a manufacturer).
These companies - small, large, retail, industrial, whatever - find it an easy and emotionally engaging way to serve the information needs of their market. Blogging software is free, and it’s faster and easier than you think. (MA in English Literature not required.)
And be aware that cyberspace is increasingly becoming the “blogosphere.” Blogs don’t just get ranked in Google and the other major search engines; they also show up in blog search engines such as Technorati and Google Blog Search.
The more exposure the better. And the more feedback from your customers and prospects the better - newsletters and press releases don’t allow for user commenting. Blogs do. Think online focus groups; free market research, anyone?