10 Easy Ways to Get More out of Your Business Blog Today

cute cat
#Caturday star power

Want to get more out of your business blog? You can. Each of the tips below will take you less than ten minutes to implement. If your blog isn’t (yet) enhancing your bottom line, it soon will be.

1. Got goals? Set ONE goal for each blog post

Just as you need goals for your blog, you need a goal for each piece of content you create. Usually, when a blog languishes, it’s because there are no goals for the content.

When you create a blog post (article), create a goal.

It can be simple:

  • Explain how install batteries in Product X (to cut down on support requests);
  • Share a customer’s review (to show social proof, encourage sales);
  • Share five photos from last week’s launch party (fun, show we’re real people who are approachable).

Or complex:

  • Develop our brand;
  • Compete with Company B on _____ (whatever.)

Try this: create a blog post template, and right underneath the title, add “THIS POST’S GOAL IS: ____.”

2. Share: ensure that your content is sharable

Want to be found? Encourage your site’s visitors to share your content.

It’s easy with social media plugins. If you use a popular service like WordPress, you’ll find plugins galore. If you’re implementing your own blogging solution, visit the social media networks of which you’re a member, and get the code for their “share” buttons.

Try this: add share buttons to your blog.

3. Get content from important people in your industry

Contact thought leaders in your industry, and ask for an article for your blog. The worst they can say is “no”, right?

You’ll have the most success with this strategy if your thought leader is promoting a new book, or a speaking tour.

Try this: make a list of successful people who can inspire your customers. Approach one person a week, via phone or email.

4. Got a list? Get one, and make becoming a subscriber a no-brainer

In this blog post, I suggested that you stop giving your leads away:

I’ve been working with a couple of clients who are busily promoting Twitter and Facebook. That’s not a good strategy. That’s throwing your leads away.

I’ve been using aweber to manage my mailing lists for over a decade. Whatever mailing list manager you use, create your own list. Then make becoming a list subscriber a no-brainer.

Try this: create a “goodie” for your subscribers. A coupon code, or a downloadable item, is easy to implement in a few minutes.

5. Revamp older posts: add action items, and calls to action

We talked about goals, in our first tip. In addition to goals, add calls to action to your blog posts.

A call to action can be simple:

  • Ask a question, and then ask for responses in your comments;
  • Ask readers to share the post via one of your social media buttons.

Try this: edit an older post today. Add a call to action, then promote the post on social media networks.

6. Integrate your blog with your website

Some blogs are like red-headed stepchildren. You visit the company website, and there’s no indication at all that there’s a blog. That’s a shame.

Be proud of your blog. Add your blog to your website’s navigation.

Try this: add links to relevant blog content to your product pages.

7. Do more with popular posts

Got a blog post that’s receiving hundreds of Likes and shares? Lucky you! Now make the most of it. Write new blog posts extending the original, or on a similar topic.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame wrote, How I Turned a Guest Post into 3 Million Visitors and Over 150,000 Social Media Shares:

  • 3 million unique visitors
  • 131,000 ‘pins’ on Pinterest
  • 25,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook
  • 19,000 RT’s on Twitter

No matter how modest your successes, bang the drum.

Try this: find a popular post. Can you extend the idea with a Part 2 of the original?

8. Persona-fy: target each blog post for a specific persona

We’re all individuals. However, the people who visit your blog will fall into broad groups. You can segment your traffic in any way you choose, but do create at least two personas.

We discussed personas in this post. Basically, a persona is a fictional representation of a segment of your traffic.

Try this: think about your audience. Create two personas.

9. Build a community around your blog (slowly)

You can build a community in many different ways. One of the easiest ways is by asking for comments.

Also consider creating a Facebook or Google+ page for your blog. It will take time to create a community. Be patient.

Try this: create a Facebook or Google+ page for your blog’s community.

10. What’s missing? Add images for added share-worthiness

We’ve talked about image marketing. Images on your blog posts make them sharable on sites like Pinterest, and Google+, which are heavily focused on images.

caturday on social media
It’s #Caturday on Google+

Of course you’ll post images relevant to your business, but consider other images too. “Caturday” is a a popular hashtag on Google+: on Saturdays, people post images of… their cats. Or just cute cat images they’ve found.

Try this: think beyond your blog. What great images do you and/ or your staff own? Post them on the social media pages you’ve created for your blog.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: somenametoforget via photopin cc

 

Blogging Short: Itty Bitty Blog Posts Anyone Can Create

ittybittycontent

Who’s got enough blog content? No one, that’s who. I’ve shared my big content time-saving trick – plan your content on Sundays. If you don’t want to plan on Sundays, do it anytime you like, but don’t do it in your office. You need time, and a calm, relaxing atmosphere. I hike myself and my iPad to our local park, or on cold days I snuggle up on the sofa to plan.

My big secret for the Sunday planning sessions is creating draft posts using the Drafts Dropdown plugin on my WordPress blogs.

On most blogs, I’ve got at least ten draft posts, so I know that on my worst day, I can create content.

Here’s my second big blog content secret: SHORT posts. Little itty bitty posts… You may find as I do that these little posts get more attention than long screeds.

Here are some ideas for itty bitty content you can create FAST.

Instant content: embed tweets

I save all my tweets to Google Docs using an ITTT recipe. Just activate Twitter and Google Docs in your If This, Then That account, and your tweets will all be saved for you.

Tweets saved in Google Docs
Tweets saved in Google Docs

I can click on an individual tweet, and embed it in any blog post.

Here’s one:

Facebook and Google+ allow you to embed content too – these embeds create short, fast, blog posts.

Create a tips list (just the list – expand later)

Create a list of tips about anything at all. Don’t bother expanding on the tips, you can expand on them later. If you have a blog post with ten tips, each of those tips can expand into a brand new article.

Create a roundup of posts from your own, or others’ blogs

Roundup posts are short and simple to create.

Some bloggers create roundup tweets, and roundup Google+ posts. Bring your older content to reader’s attention.

In similar vein, update older content with a fresh tip, insight, or with the latest news on the topic.

Post photos: quote images are HOT

We’ve talked about quote images:

Love them or hate them, quote images are everywhere. Here’s why. They work. They get Likes and attention. There are another reasons too — they stand out, and they’re FAST and EASY to create.

Create a poll

Do a Google search for “create a poll”, and you’ll come up with many sites which create free polls for you.

I use Polldaddy, because it has a WordPress plugin. Whatever blogging service you’re using, Polldaddy has embed codes, so you can add a poll to any blog post with copy and paste.

Other options for itty bitty content

There are many other options for short content. Create a post, and insert: a link, a YouTube video, an aside (short comment), a status update, a quote, a chat…

Blogging needn’t be a chore – it can be fun. Have a planning session once a week, and use itty bitty posts. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc