Tag 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.
 

Attract Free Traffic by Social Bookmarking

What is social bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is a great way to follow your niche all over the web while simultaneously allowing others to follow you (representing your web page) all over the web.

Here are some of the most widely known websites conducive to social bookmarking:
• Facebook
• MySpace
• Twitter
• Plurk
• Blogger
• Digg
• StumbleUpon
• Delicious

Maximizing the reach of online social networks helps your website become more accessible without relying on search engine rankings. Most of these social sites allow free usage, making your brand twice as visible without eating into your marketing budget.

Free or not, it is recommended that you learn more about the opportunities that social bookmarking offers, so that you get the most out of all your online marketing efforts. Below are the 3 fundamentals of using social bookmarks to attract the right people to your website.

1. Find out which social networks and pages your niche frequents

The basics are there to help you build a solid foundation. Go back to knowing your niche well. It would be helpful to figure out a select number of social bookmarking sites to work on instead of spamming the web with your site.

It would work to your advantage if you limit the “appearances” of your website or web page to places where your niche needs you to be—for example, a blog that talks about your category in general or a Facebook Group page of your brand.

2. Comment on entries that are relevant to your web page content

It would also be a wise move to build up your online presence by gradually increasing visibility in content-driven websites like blogs and forums. Pitching in comments that are relevant and informative helps build your credibility, which is very important if you’re a new player in the market.

Make sure you mention specific sections of your website that are closely related to the topic being discussed. If allowed, you can leave links to your webpage, exactly on the content that addresses the issue. If you spread yourself through the correct social bookmarks, your niche will follow you back to your website, and they’ll appreciate all the helpful content that you have to share.

Make use of your website to keep track of visitors’ behavior. Give them the opportunity to type in their own comments and leave their own trail. Follow them all over the web and discover other social bookmarks where you can add yourself.

3. Create an account, add your own content

Having a host of unofficial fan sites dedicated to your brand means that you’ve done well. Do reach that point. It would be a good idea to give your potential fans a little inspiration: create your own social network account. This will give you a chance to introduce your brand image in a way that is far from hard-selling.

Most social sites have fields that allow you to put interests, hobbies, beliefs—all wonderful opportunities to talk about yourself without the risk of being negatively challenged.

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 Things to Do While Waiting to Rank in Google

1. Rank in MSN
It requires the same optimization basics to optimize for the 3 biggest search engines. Maximize the SEO that you’ve already done with your website for Google.

While everybody—including your competition—is waiting for his website to rank in Google, it is a good idea to submit your website to MSN. The MSN marketplace isn’t as crowded as Google’s so it takes less than half the time to rank high. Although the bulk of your market remains loyal to Google, you shouldn’t alienate the handful who exclusively use MSN or those who use MSN with Google.

2. Visit top-ranking forums
Use this time to immerse yourself with your niche. Forums that host topics relevant to your website content can give you a lot of information—consumer insight, market trends, and even new niche vocabulary.

Participating in forums is an accurate way of gauging market behavior so that you can immediately tweak your website content to help speed things up with Google and for you to maintain your top position with MSN.

Moreover, being genuinely helpful and interested in what others have to say will surely up your credibility. Eventually, when you include specific links with your forum posts, people will feel better about taking a peek and giving the rest of your website a chance.

3. Visit credible blogs
Apart from forums, top-ranking blogs are also a rich source of market information. These blogs rank high due to the credibility that they already posses. If you can leave appropriate comments, do so. This shows how much interest you have for the topic, and like in the forums, you can eventually leave links when you’ve established your credibility.

The goal is to have these blogs link to your site, and you can do them a favor and have your site link to these blogs.

4. Start your own social bookmarking account
Social bookmarking has proven itself to be an important component of successful Internet marketing. Social bookmarking websites allow the public to share websites that they think are relevant or fun.

More than bookmarking your own websites, having your own social bookmarking account gives you control over which sites to share. When you’ve built a solid network, you can then start introducing your website gradually, until others bookmark them. This way, you won’t break any rules that could result to your account and your website being banned from the bookmarks.

5. Continue updating your content
Updated content is just as important as optimized content. You have to be consistently relevant and fresh to attract more search hits. Not only does this speed things up between you and Google, it also shows your niche how dedicated you are to helping them out and giving them information.

Being updated also helps you maintain a good relationship with your link network that includes blogs and other websites. Fresh content also ensures visibility in social bookmarking websites. Make sure you check for spelling and grammar errors before you publish any of your content

5 Ways to Attract Targeted Traffic

1. Optimize with article marketing
Make your brand top-of-mind by providing your niche with useful information through your online content. Article marketing is exactly that: marketing through articles. This means that your websites’ textual content does the job of creating awareness and nurturing a relationship with your niche.

Good articles that get updated give your niche a reason to visit your site regularly and to check out your online catalogue. To make sure that your content remains relevant, do periodic researches on your niche to find out what issues are important to them and relate these issues to your brand.

2. Video and channel marketing
YouTube has revolutionized the way people interact and express themselves. Everything in YouTube (from the video titles, video description, down to the user profiles) is search-engine friendly. Search engine spiders are able to pull up videos and channels relevant to a keyword inquiry made on most search engines.

You can set up a YouTube channel for your brand. Make sure you write a good profile with the necessary keywords and place a link to your website. Produce quality videos that are visually appealing with relevant content. Enable others to embed your videos in their blogs or websites.

Of course, also apply the keywords when you come up with a description for each of your videos, and pick a relevant landing page to link back to. It is a good idea to add a new video on a regular basis so that your channel subscribers always have something to look forward to.

3. Build both internal and external links
Most online marketers tend to focus on building links from outside their website. Although this is effective, it is equally important to build links within your pages. When a user lands on any part of your site from an external link, it would be great if he could explore other parts of your website that are relevant to him so that he gets to know more about your brand.

4. Forum marketing
Online forums make great venues for you to build your brand’s credibility. Participating in discussions related to your brand will allow you to come up with recommendations to people’s needs and eventually solutions that your brand can provide. As people take notice and as you reply more to their posts, trust is built and you can begin leading them to your website.

When you include links in your posts, make sure that the landing page addresses the concern or is relevant to the thread. Immediately leading people to your online catalogue could make your credibility suffer.

Since you’re in the forums anyway, also keep an eye out for changing market trends and the keywords that might be useful for your article marketing.

5. Online viral marketing
Like the common cold, viral marketing begins with one amazed person and then it spreads to everyone in his network—and beyond. A funny or an incredibly informative video embedded in your site, a cool widget exclusively from your website, or a screensaver that can be customized only through your website are just some executions of viral marketing.

While creative and out-of-the-box ideas are great, keep in mind relevance and your market’s behavior.

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 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.

3 Strategies for Social Bookmarking

Adding social bookmarking to your online marketing mix can be a little tricky. Like search engines, social bookmarking websites have rules that users need to follow. For most social bookmarking sites, one of the most important rules is not allowing users to use the social bookmarking site as a means to promote one particular web page or website.

This rule is often implemented to keep the mission of social bookmarking sites intact: the goal to create a community that enables an individual to share informative or entertaining resources online that are relevant to his social bookmarking network. The great thing about this rule is that it controls spamming. On the other hand, it could result to a website being banned from the bookmarks, whether or not it belongs to the user that keeps bookmarking the site.

Don’t get stuck with the idea that social bookmarking is dangerous and detrimental. When done right and according to the rules, you’d be able to reap the benefits of niche traffic streaming into your web pages.

Below are 3 strategies to help you get your web pages bookmarked.

1. Create quality web page content
Before even attempting to bookmark your own pages, ask yourself if your content is worth reading, let alone be presented for worldwide consumption. Even if the anti-spamming law doesn’t exist, people will still not visit your site when they find out that it’s a waste of time.

Coming up with good content doesn’t mean talking about your brand non-stop. It means connecting with your niche and figuring out what their issues are and what’s important to them. Find a problem that your brand can solve. Every time you create content, keep your niche in mind. Give them a reason to come to you.

2. Share your knowledge through blogs and other websites
After bookmarking a handful of your best web pages, it’s time to have others find you worthy and bookmark you. A good strategy for this is to guest-write for blogs that talk about your category. Not only does this up your credibility, it also opens another Pandora’s Box of your niche. If the content you submit is good, then you will be bookmarked. Just make sure you leave a URL that leads readers to your related web page.

In relation to expanding your reach through other’s blogs and websites, it is a good idea to bookmark the websites and blogs where you contributed. This encourages the entire community to pay it forward and bookmark you.

3. Share your knowledge through forums
Joining different forums also helps increase your chances to be bookmarked while adding to your credibility. Make sure you join topics that are related to your brand or category. Pay attention to peoples’ questions and pick out issues that only your brand can solve. Reply to these posts with helpful tips. If people respond well to your contributions, you can eventually add links to relevant pages from your website.

Check back regularly for follow-up questions and other opportunities to make your brand shine. Make as many friends as you can and if they request you to add them up as your social bookmarking friend, happily oblige!