Rabu, 12 September 2012

Blogging 101 - A Beginners Guide

For many businesses, both large and small, starting a blog can be quite a large undertaking. Not only does a server and website infrastructure have to be set up, but once the blog is ready to go... someone actually has to WRITE it. Not only that, but once a blog article has been written and published, it needs to be promoted so people actually read it.
Think it sounds easy? Well, we try to practice what we preach and as you may have noticed, we haven't had a new blog article published in nearly 2 months. Could it be because we're over encumbered with the amount of work lately? Have we come across a case of "bloggers" block? Regardless of the reason, publishing blog articles on a regular basis is crucial in order to ever gain a solid, loyal viewer base.
Think of your blog as a brand new television show with very little, if any, advertising. If it resonates with a few select people who come across it, they will tell their friends, family and coworkers. However, if there's only a new episode once a month, and at random times, they will never know when to tune in.
So, let's assume that you've written your first blog post and hit the publish button. Great stuff, you're on your way, but now what? Assuming you have no readers yet, you need to actually promote your post.
Where should you do this? Well, while there are certainly some great ways to get the word out, this is a task that social media was really cut out for. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as hundreds of other online services, provide you with the perfect opportunity to spread the word. The ability for users to share, Like and comment on services they use on a regular basis, allows you to quickly reach hundreds, if not thousands of individuals.
While not every platform will suit every business, it's worth testing the waters to see. Promoting your post should be a part of your regular blogging routine.
By using a technology called RSS (i.e. Really Simple Syndication), a blog is able to be inserted into nearly any other platform in order to populate them with your content. These platforms include everything from Facebook, to Twitter, even a CMS such as Aumbry®.
The reason this is so beneficial, is that while a visitor may not necessarily be an avid reader of your blog, they may feel at home on your Facebook page or LinkedIn account. Syndicating your blog on your social media accounts acts as a form of promotion, by bringing the content directly to your fans allowing them to share, comment and 'like' with ease.
Guest Blogging
Depending on the industry, many blogs are open to guest writers contributing content to their websites. For instance, if your company manufacturers and sells tennis racquets, chances are that a well known tennis fanatic blog would love to hear what an actual manufacturer has to say about the industry.
There are likely hundreds of blogs online talking about your business' products and services, but it's up to you to engage with them and offer your opinions. Guest blogging not only increases credibility and trust with potential customers, but can create very valuable back links to your corporate website or blog as well. Growing relationships with your fan-base can provide very valuable returns.
Back Linking and other pretty basic SEO stuff
Just writing, publishing and promoting a blog post should be enough to get you on your way however, since optimization doesn't just apply to certain websites, it should be performed on each and every post. What exactly does this entail?
  • Back link or Inner link relevant keywords to pages on the corporate website or other internal blog posts.
  • Write a concise but informative (and preferably, a keyword rich) META Page Description.
  • Apply tags, relevant to content in the article.
  • Ensure that images have search engine friendly filenames (i.e. Wilson-Tennis-Racquet.jpg instead of Prod_W9912.jpg) to increase authority for Google Image search.
Blogging isn't exactly a science, it's simply voicing your opinion and getting as many people to listen as possible. If one of those people buys your product or subscribes to your service as a result of your efforts, you will be able to apply a direct value to the blog.
Even if the blog does not generate revenue (and most don't), they still help generate brand awareness and provide extremely valuable content for a number of platforms.

From : EzineArticles/Dan s John

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