Category Archives: About Blogging

Top 5 Blogging Goals

You main objective for setting up a blog is most likely to attract the specific type of readers that you want to have. Beyond this primary objective, there are other goals that the best bloggers all strive to achieve.

These 5 blogging goals all require you to keep the big picture in mind. Your team needs to understand the value that each goal contributes to the overall success of your blog. Like websites, blogs also take time to rank high—and stay on top. These 5 goals will make optimization easier and at the same time, help you build a better and a mutually beneficial relationship with your readers.

1.    Have a stash of good content ready for posting

Having a stock of pre-written content is a very good way to avoid cramming. However, even with a good stash of pre-written content, you still have to make sure that they’re relevant and updated before you post them online.

Editing for currency and timeliness becomes easy if your writing team is clear with the focus and the communication objective of your blog. Make it a habit to check for grammar and spelling errors before publishing.

2.    Turn your readers into a community

Your reader base starts off as a bunch of regular visitors. As your writing evolves to become more targeted and more directly conversational, people will naturally find themselves making your blog a part of their daily routine.

Effective writing elicits a reaction—whether a call to action, a positive comment, or a negative comment. When you’re consistently successful at getting reactions, your readers will build themselves an online community within your blog. People are naturally social creatures whether online or not. To achieve this goal, your job is to make your writing relevant enough for people to ponder on, make them wonder out loud and ask each other questions.

3.    Earn the respect of other top bloggers

Earning the respect (and links) of fellow bloggers requires very good credibility. You have to know what you’re talking about. You content cannot be a paraphrased version of someone else’s.

Visit top ranking blogs in your category and those related to your focus. You’ll learn a lot from these. While you’re at it, leave useful and relevant comments and spark interesting, on-topic conversations with other readers.

4.    Listen and interact with readers
Never neglect your readers. Acknowledge when they post a comment, and take negative posts as constructive criticism. Have the initiative to take out spam comments so as not to annoy your readers.

Take their suggestions to heart. You don’t have to apply all of them, but do promise that you’ll take their suggestions into consideration. Thank the right people when you actually decide to apply a suggestion.

5.    Turn mistakes into lessons for improvement
Acknowledge when you’ve made a public mistake. Fix it at once if you can. If you need more time, post something that tells people when you expect to get it done. Learn from each mistake, and tell your team about it. Find out how it happened, and discuss the different ways to avoid the same problem.

 

How a Blog Can Help Your Business

Businesses are beginning to realize that a website isn’t enough to make a powerful online presence. Marketers have started to include blogging as a vital part of their online marketing mix.

There are still some businesses out there that aren’t clear on how blogs can help them. They simply came up with a blog, not knowing how to make it work to their favor. Blogs are highly versatile tools that are capable of executing the different aspects of marketing—from the basic market researches down to creative guerrilla marketing, blogs offer businesses a lot of breakthrough opportunities.

Below are 5 of the most practical ways in which a blog can help your online business.

1.    Blogs make it easier to create relationships with your market

Publishing a blog makes it easier to give your brand a personality. Your blog allows people to directly interact with your brand, and they expect some sort of reply or acknowledgement that someone in your company has received and read their messages.

Maintaining this feedback loop allows you to keep an eye on your market and gives you a better conversion rate of prospects to loyal clients.

2.    Blogs attract fresh insights and inform you of new category trends
As you keep communication lines open for your blog readers, you will inevitably collect fresh insights and interesting suggestions. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to pay anyone to talk to the consumers for you, but you still get the information straight from the primary source.

It’s now up to you how you organize the information that you’ve gathered; make them work towards your advantage. You can take it a step further and cross check your data. Visit blogs of your competition and see what their blogs’ visitors have to say in the comments section. Doing so would definitely give you a better view of your marketplace.

3.    Blogs allow you to test your market before a full launch

Before fully launching an ad or any creative promo and campaign, you can execute a mini version of your plan through your blog and see how your audience responds. Suggestions and comments will pour in, giving you ideas on how you can improve and tweak it to better suit your market.

Companies spend a lot of money conducting FGDs and researches. These end up costing as much as—sometimes more than—a full-blown campaign. While blogs cannot replicate the accuracy of professional research groups, they can work well for a lot of market-driven studies.

4.    Blogs help you spread yourself online
The blog sphere thrives on an amazing link network. Bloggers are usually fine with linking fellow bloggers that they find interesting. It pays to befriend top-ranking blogs in your category and those that belong in other related categories.

Make sure you deliver regularly updated and relevant content to keep your credibility rating high.

5.    Blogs allow you more room for creativity
Your blog can be the fun alter-ego of your corporate website. While this doesn’t mean a complete dissent from your brand’s identity, blogs allow you to close the gap between how you define your brand and how your market perceives your brand.
 

Business Blogging in 5 Easy Steps

Blogging for business isn’t that difficult if you get the right help and if your team is working towards the same business objective. When you decide to take the plunge, remember to devote time to planning before publishing anything that is accessible to the online public.

Unlike websites, blogs can be set up and maintained by one person. However, if we’re talking about investments, ROI and your brand, you cannot take any chances. It is critical that you lay out a strategy before doing anything.

Here are 5 important steps to help you get the ball rolling, without making detrimental mistakes.

1. Read up
Reading up doesn’t stop at How-to books and SEO manuals. Going through actual blogs will give you a better perspective of what you’re getting yourself into, and an overview of the work that a good blog requires.

Get a feel of both good and bad blogs. Read beyond the blogs in your category. Having a broader view can spark more creative integrations and ideas.

2. Get professional opinion
Although most blog platforms are simple enough to DIY, you have to remember that you’re blogging to make a profitable impact on your market. If you don’t have an SEO consultant yet, it’s time to get one. If you already have an existing website, you can get your SEO guy on-board for your blog.

It is interesting to note that there are a lot of professional bloggers out there that you can hire for consultancy.

3. Align your blog to your website’s existing SEO efforts
Alignment of all your marketing efforts—online or otherwise—is very important to preserve the value of your brand. Your blog is not an exception.

While blogs give you enough room for more unique and creative executions, you should still take the rest of your campaign into consideration. Make sure that the core message is the same despite varying delivery and executions.

4. Commission a pool of great writers
It is very important for your blog post to have just the right tone to successfully communicate with your market. The aim is for the readers to feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

One regular writer should be enough to begin. However, expanding into a pool of good writers is a great idea as varying ideas could make your blog more interesting. Make sure that your writers achieve the tone that is most effective for your readers.

Be strict with deadlines. When you promise scheduled updates, make sure that you deliver. It’s not good to repeatedly disappoint readers with delayed posts. Apologize if you can’t help a delay.

5. Track and measure
Almost all blogging platforms provide users with analytics. This requires your attention because it tells you how to make your blog successful. Each entry records people’s reactions—this is how you know what works and what doesn’t.

Be careful on how you interpret results. Don’t allow yourself to be dictated by random fluctuations. Maximize the services of your SEO consultant and hold periodic meetings dedicated to analytics.

Blog Flipping: 5 Tips to Maximize Profits

A lot of big companies have come to realize the power of blogging and what it can contribute to their bottom line. Despite this realization, a lot of companies still find it difficult to come up with their own blogs due to a lot of factors, including lack of time, lack of budget, and zero patience to learn something from scratch.

All these corporate hindrances have given rise to another Web 2.0 business—Blog Flipping.

Blog Flipping allows good bloggers to make blogs for sale. Companies are attracted to these blogs because after purchasing a functioning blog, all they have to do is update content—which they could also choose to outsource. If you want to catch the Blog Flipping wave, here are 5 things to keep in mind so that you can maximize your profits.

1. Pick a topic and stick to it
Take a look at the different industries, and zero in on the field where blogs are scarce. Next, pick an industry focus you want to blog about, and stick to that focus. This will make it easier for you to identify the best keywords for SEO. A blog with a focus fares well in search engines, because Google, MSN, and Yahoo appreciate good web content.

2. Develop focused and optimized content
Now that you’ve chosen a category to focus on, it’s time to start writing. You have to do a little studying to know more about the industry you’ve chosen. Internet users and search engines can tell if you know what you’re talking about. Moreover, blogs get ranked according to how relevant they are to the viewing public.

Your content should reflect expertise in at least one aspect of the industry you’ve chosen. Make sure that you regularly update your content so that your blog remains relevant and informative.

3. Study the audience you want your blog to attract
Make it your mission to know the target market of the business you aim to sell your blog to. This allows you to come up with better blog entries, the kind that really speaks to your market. Research on the way they talk and what jargon they use. Most importantly, know what’s important to them, and that’s what you write about.

Remember that you’re not just selling a blog with stuff in it. You can demand a higher price if the blog you’ve created comes with a following that is profitable for the interested company.

4. Build relationships with top-ranking blogs
On top of an instant blog community, you can still charge more if your blog comes with approval from other top-ranking blogs. These blogs rank high and stay on top because people already consider them authority figures. Getting their approval will rub off a little of their clout onto your blog.

Read what these blogs have to say, and learn how people react to each post. You’ll definitely get tips on how to write better and ultimately, how to attract more of the right people.

5. Auction off your work
The moment you appear on the first page of Google for the keywords your prospective clients optimized for, it’s time to auction off your blog. Make sure that bidders understand the value of the readership and the industry credibility that already come with your blog.

Blog and Earn in 3 Easy Steps

Blogging started out more than a decade ago only as an online personal diary. The early blogs contained rambles about everyday events from normal people who are just trying to make sense of their lives and sharing their insights to family and friends. Indeed, blogging was a convenient way to keep in touch, updating a group of people the blogger personally knows (and even those he or she doesn’t) on the ups and downs of life. Soon enough, both private individuals and corporations alike realized the tremendous potential of blogging as a tool for marketing and advertising products and services. What used to be a way to keep in touch with readers has now become a creative and relatively easy source of income. Blogging is easy, fast, and most importantly, free. You never have to get up from your personal computer or laptop to earn money from it. Here are 3 steps in starting a profitable blog:

Step 1: Choose a blog platform
Many people around the world use Blogspot and WordPress to run their blogs. These are free services that you can upgrade if you buy a domain name and pay for monthly or yearly hosting. Once you’ve chosen a blog platform, register your unique blog URL to start blogging. Voila!

It’s really a no brainer to put up a blog since blogging platforms are constantly trying to make it easier and smoother. Set it up with a good stimulating theme to attract visitors. You can hire a web designer for this or make your own if you can. Just remember that the more unique and tasteful, the better.
Step 2: Decide on the content of your blog
What do you want to write in it? The most effortless topic to write about is usually the one that you are most passionate about. It could be sports, news, politics, beauty and lifestyle, travel, entertainment—these are the most popular topics, and the ones that attract advertisements from companies both online and offline.

It helps to choose a niche where only a few bloggers venture in, since you won’t share the traffic with other similar blogs. Being unique definitely has its rewards on the web. However, take care not to choose topics that are too specific and only interest a few people; your goal here is to get as much traffic as possible from visitors in order to increase your revenues.
Step 3: Produce content
This is the most crucial step. Instead of writing blog posts, you may want to make podcasts, video posts, or photo galleries. Always make your content interesting, fresh, and concise. Do not plagiarize other people’s works because this can get you blacklisted if the real owner finds out. If the revenues start to kick in more consistently, then you may opt to hire writers for your blog. All you have to do then is to sit back and watch the money coming in. Blogging is as fun as it is profitable. However, it takes time and patience to carve your little place in the Internet before you start to earn from advertisements. Don’t expect to earn immediately. You need to build your reputation and credibility first before this happens.

5 Tips for Your Blogging Success

The most successful blogs have remained on top for so long due to strong foundations. They knew what they wanted to achieve and they never got distracted. Most of these blogs never invested that much time and effort with aesthetics. They just nailed the basics and never looked back.

Here are 5 of the most important things you need to get right. The more you do these, the better you will become and the easier it will be to maintain a top spot.

1. Have a blog marketing plan
A marketing plan serves as a fantastic guide for online businesses. It gives your team something tangible to refer to when decisions need to be made.

Good marketing plans aren’t one-sided. They seek to protect both your business and your consumer—who should be the center of your focus anyway. Your marketing plan will definitely make things easier as the Internet landscape changes time and again. You’ll have data to look at, which tell you when changes need to be made.

2. Know what you want to focus on
You blog should be a vehicle to establish you as an expert in your field or category. Maximize your blog to play up on your strengths and knowledge. Credibility is the currency of the blog sphere, and the tangible manifestation of good standing is a thriving community housed in your blog.

The fast route to good credibility is to earn the approval of fellow bloggers who are at the top of their game. Check them out to learn best practices. Leave relevant comments, useful information, and thank them if they reply to your questions. When you’ve established a relationship with them, you can ask them to check out your blog, and hopefully, they’ll link you up on their blogs.

3. Research on your readers
Having a good grasp of who your readers really are will help with content generation. You start and end each post with your readers in mind. Although the message comes from you, the way you deliver your message will rely heavily on the personality and behavior of your market.

Invest in research, and make sure you conduct one periodically. Web 2.0 is composed of a fluctuating market—the only way to be effective is to keep up.

4. Optimize for the right keywords
How searchable your content will be depends on how well you choose your keywords. Your niche keyword list depends on your market research data: the insights that you’ve gathered and actual responses.

Go the extra mile and scour blogs in your category and check out how readers post their comments. Be sensitive to the words that they use, including the words they commonly misspell.

5. Track and measure
Make sure that your host can generate periodic reports. Tracking and measuring are important because these will tell you how well you’re doing. If you make changes, shifts will occur to tell you if it’s worth pursuing or not.

5 Things to Consider When Deciding on Your Blog’s Host

You determine what you want your blog to do, but your host determines your blog’s capability. It is critical to decide on a good host that can accommodate the work that you and your readers expect your blog to produce.

There are a lot of hosts out there to choose from. Each of them hypes a particular set of capabilities, and there won’t be one that is perfect. However, all good hosts should be able to provide you with good service on the most basic blog requirements, and these are the first things you should check before you spend time evaluating the more complex functions and services. Below are 5 of the foremost things to consider before you decide on a host.

1. Search engine friendliness
Before going any further, check first if your host has good standing with the 3 biggest search engines. You wouldn’t want to anchor your brand’s publicity on a host that is on the black list of Google, MSN or Yahoo.

Also make sure that the host’s platform is accessible to search engine spiders. The easier you make it for spiders, the better they can crawl over your site and identify keywords.

2. Ease of customization
How relevant your content is depends on how often you update. Everyone who has anything to do with creating and updating content should be comfortable with how your host handles content management. If your team finds it complicated, chances are, less updates will happen and your content will fall behind. Make sure you always give your market a reason to come back to your blog. See to it that your host doesn’t make it difficult for your team.

Ease of customization doesn’t stop at content. This should also include aesthetics and special features for your blog to become truly unique, which brings us to the next point.

3. Space for uploading photos, videos, and files
Another basic service you should look for is provisions for data file and media file storage. Having a good storage and retrieval system in place can help your team plan content timelines.

Remember to have text content accompany each media file. Search engine spiders only crawl over text, so it’s important to have video descriptions and photo captions in text so that these also turn up as search engine results, ultimately driving traffic to your blog.

4. Room for comments
Most blog hosts now offer an optional comments section. You can opt to turn this section off or on, depending on your blog’s direction and objectives. For SEO purposes however, it is advisable for you to maximize this feature.

Comment posts are considered text content and will be crawled over by search engine spiders. It is also ideal for you to reply to your readers’ comments to promote interaction.

5. Availability of blog activity reports
Blog reports are a good way to measure and track your blog’s performance. When you implement updates and changes, you can see how these affect your blog’s popularity and you can adjust accordingly.

Make sure that your host can give you regular reports so that your team can have valid and relevant data for analysis.

5 Most Important Things Your Blog Marketing Plan Must Have

There is a sea of blogs that blanket the Internet, but only a handful of these make profit. While a lot of blogs are really not meant for business, the ones that have commercial objectives find it difficult to succeed in the blog sphere.

The ones that are popular and high-ranking share the same success quality—these blogs have a marketing plan that charters their course towards the top of the biggest search engines: Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

Just like traditional businesses, marketing plans for e-commerce also vary according to objectives. However, there are 5 basic must-haves regardless of brand or company.

1. Your target audience, defined
It is important to put your desired market on paper. This way, you’re able to check if you’re still on the right track, every step of the way. It also helps everyone working on your website to keep everything aligned to the brand so that your market gets the same message even with different Internet marketing efforts.

You can go the extra mile and include a detailed profile of your target market. Based on insights and behavioral information that you have collected, you can paint a better picture of your niche for your team.

2. Your category
Being able to define the category you belong to is just as important as being able to define your target market. When you figure out the market battleground you belong to, it becomes easier to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats.

Being part of a definite category also makes work easier for everyone. You’d be able to know what is expected of you and how far should you go to deliver something better for your market.

3. The type of content you want to put
When you already have your market and your category on paper, it becomes easy to come up with rules and standards for your blog content. At first, this sounds limiting. But after a few posts, it becomes natural for you to know how to give a little extra to keep things interesting.

Remember that your marketing plan serves as a guide. It’s not made to limit creativity and ingenuity. Rather, it seeks to challenge your team to come up with fresh ideas while maintaining the essence of your communications and marketing objectives.

4. The keywords you want to optimize for
While most sections of your marketing plan stay as they are, the keywords section should undergo constant updates. The base personality of your market remains consistent. However, market details (where media and culture are huge factors) are bound for changes—like vocabulary and the things that they spend time on in the web.

Stay on top of your keyword list so that your content is always optimized for the right keywords.

5. The link associations you want to make
Your blog marketing plan should define the type of associations you want to allow for your brand. Although you cannot guarantee zero negative publicity, having a guide will make everyone extra-conscious of to which sites they link your blog, and in which forums they participate on your behalf.

5 Blogging Tips: Turning Occasional Readers into Loyal Readers

If you’re blogging for profit or if your blog is part of an Internet marketing campaign, then your primary goal is to get the attention of your desired market and maintain your hold on this base.

The Internet is a highly pervasive medium that demands users to divide their attention. Websites and blogs all want a slice of the pie, making it a challenging landscape. Here are 5 tips to help get you a foot in the door, and to follow through with a maintenance strategy once you’re in.

1. Regularly update your blog content
Regular content updates show dedication and knowledge in your field. People have no need for obsolete information, this is why updates are important—they give people reason to check out your blog regularly.

Regular updates also keep you on top of the latest niche keywords. Your updates are useless if you don’t optimize for the right keywords, because you’ll hardly turn up in search engines.

2. Give readers something to look forward to
On top of your regular content updates, you can conduct special promos that your readers can look forward to. You can have simple Q&A contests or offer small prizes for your readers to contribute content.

Once a month is ideal. However it still boils down to how much you can spend on prizes and what type of games and contests your readers respond the best to. Make sure that whatever you come up with still ties in with your blog’s focus. Keep in mind that you can use your readers’ entries as a source of fresh insights and ideas.

3. Keep in touch with all your readers
This shouldn’t be hard to do if you make it a point to respond to every comment made. Of course, you can choose to respond collectively, but be careful to acknowledge everyone—or no one at all.

Replying to your readers’ comments makes them feel like there’s an actual person behind the blog (well, you’re REALLY a person anyway), and that they’re being listened to. Thank them for their comments whether positive or otherwise. Take criticism constructively and promise that you’re making continuous improvements.

4. Feed the growing community in your blog
Keeping in touch with your readers can be made easier if you use your blog as a community that houses them. You can even create a mailing list exclusive for your blog’s readers. This encourages them to discuss your blog posts and other related topics.

As your community grows, you can think of hosting get-togethers for your readers maybe once or twice a year. This way, people can put faces to online names. You can enlist the help of social networking sites like Facebook. These sites can help you manage communities by creating group and fan pages, making event and content update announcements easier.

5. Listen to your readers
When readers leave comments that applaud or complain about something, it is a good idea to acknowledge them and reply appropriately. You can thank them for complements, and you can apologize for mistakes or promise to consider suggestions.

You don’t have to apply each suggestion made. However, it is wise to consider them because your readers are life of your blog.