Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where the !$?BLEEP?*%! Should I Blog?

You have heard all about the importance of blogging by now. Everyone says it’s the way to bring your marketing into the new millennium, and I agree. It's becoming more and more common for business owners to blog as a way to boost their visibility, share information with their customers, and network online. And when you’re blogging authentically, your perfect customers are more likely to recognize you when they find you. They gain trust in you and become more likely to work with you.

What I’ve discovered is that certain blogging or social network sites rank better than others. Though every web hosting program offers their own blog software these days, not all blogs are created equal. It makes sense that a blogging tool owned by Google, or one that hosts Google Ads, would rank better than others. Here are the sites I’ve found most useful for regular, every day entrepreneurs to get to page one of Google for their niche keyword phrases.
Blogger brags that you can be up and blogging in ten minutes with their program, and that’s true. This is why I chose Blogger as my main blogging tool, and the first one I teach in my 10 week webinar “Attracting Perfect Customers Online.” You can see my Law of Attraction Marketing blog. Since Google owns Blogger, your posts will rank well when you use this tool.
WordPress is a pretty sophisticated blogging tool with a variety of possible options for customization. I personally find this tool more complicated to use but it is more robust and vastly customizable. I recently designed a WordPress blog for my client the Creative Sage, and if you look at it you will see how robust the sites are. With WordPress you can customize a home page and link it to a blog. In this case, 3 blogs are linked from that one home page. I’ve also created some simple WordPress blogs that even with very little content are getting to page one of Google.
Squidoo is a site where you can share your expertise on a topic. Google puts AdWords on these pages so they rank really well. They’re easy to set up and you can put cool modules on them like YouTube videos, products for sale, pictures from Flickr, and the all important links to your main sites. You can see my squidoo lenses here.

Like Squidoo, HubPages is a social network site for folks who want to share their expertise in any area of life. Here’s the HubPage that got to page one of Google in only 22 minutes.

My suggestion is to post to these 4 blogging sites on a regular basis to exponentially expand the visibility of your message. But even creating one blogger post or Squidoo lens that links back to your website will help your site ranking. So what are you waiting for? Get off your bleeping butt and blog!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What the !$?BLEEP?*%! Should I Blog About?

Part 2 in a 3 Part Series on Blogging

I just learned that over 20% of the world’s population is now online according to the latest report from Internet World Stats. This is a growing potential customer base we can’t really afford to ignore. With the availability of free blogs and social networks, everyday entrepreneurs can speak to a wider base, amplifying our message to a national or even international audience while capturing better placement on the search engines. Gone are the days when only the technically adept could contribute new content to sites on a regular basis and get to page one of Google.

What New Content?

There’s the rub. Many of us have started a blog but only have one or two posts on it. We get to a point where we don’t know what to blog about. Here are some tips on creating blog content that helps you keep current customers interested, improve your search engine ranking, and help you attract more perfect customers.

What Do YOU Care About?

The Law of Attraction says that “like attracts like” so the subjects that interest you are likely to interest your perfect customers. You have access to knowledge that fascinates you and also will captivate your customers. Just sharing authentically about your passions and interests will grab their attention and offer true value.

Answer the following questions and see how many blog post ideas you can create.

1) What resources have you discovered that can benefit your customers?
2) What tips can you offer people that will make a difference?
3) What current events or news items are pertinent to your peeps?
4) What challenges have you faced and what have you learned from them?
5) What marketing messages do you want to promote?
6) What humorous antidotes to today’s reality can you share?
7) What interesting adventures have you taken recently?
8) What subjects are your customers searching about now?

Write down all the ideas you come up with and refer to them when you are looking for a new blog topic. How often you blog is up to you, what is sustainable for you. Consistency is key and if you're offering good value on your blog, you'll be rewarded by your expanding customer base.

Some Keyword Considerations

As you create your blog posts, make sure you consciously and consistently use the keywords and phrases you want to be found by AND that express your true purpose. I call these Magical Keywords and they empower logic with attraction.

It’s most important to use your keywords in the title, headlines, subheads and links on your posts and web pages. And if you submit your blog post to a variety of sites, you will be more likely to appear in searches for those phrases.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why the @#Bleep?*! Should I Blog?

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series on Blogging

It’s bound to happen sooner or later. Maybe it already has. You’ll find out everyone already has a blog and you feel two years behind! Believe me, it happens to the best of us. Denial may follow. You could be there now. (And I’m not referring to a river in Egypt.) It may present itself like this.

“I don’t need to blog. I already have a website but I haven’t done much with it, and most of my customers come from word of mouth anyway.”

It may all be true, or you could be fooling yourself. In the past few years, Internet use world wide has expanded dramatically, by 40%. And that number is growing in every country on the planet. This is changing our every day habits, including our purchasing habits. Word of mouth is still a very strong marketing method, but I’m telling you, having a blog and a website allows people to get to know and like you before they call you, and more people can find you when you’re online in a big way.

Here are some really good reasons to blog. Check these out and then you can make up your own mind whether now is your time or not.

To Get People Interested in You and Keep Them With You
If you put valuable content on your blog, you will be offering a free benefit to your potential customer base. They are interested in your products and services, but may not be ready to buy just yet. Remember what Dale Carnegie wrote in “How to Win Friends and Influence People,“ that people will do business with people they “know, like and trust.“ Offering real value on your blog will help people get to know you until they are ready to do business with you.

Distinguish Your Brand and Show You’re Passionate About Your Business
With a blog, you can define who you are and authentically share your mission in a way that promotes everything you’re up to. Write about things you care about and let your potential customers get to know you better. Blogs are a great way to create current buzz about your offerings and keep people interested in you. And because you can update them easily yourself, you can keep your blog fresh with new content as inspiration hits.

Get Good Google Page Ranking
Many blogs rank much better than your average new website. That’s because Google, Yahoo and the other search engines consider blogs as ‘authority sites.’ Blogger (which is owned by Google) and WordPress perform extremely well on search engines. And pointing to your website from your ‘authority’ blog can help your website’s ranking as well.

Drive Traffic to Your Website
Create a blog to offer extra information about your product or service and the culture behind it, and then link it to your website or online store. Because blogs rank well on search engines, your blog may come up on searches before your main site, and capture the interest of potential customers who would otherwise not find you.

Be Seen as a Leader in Your Industry
Well, let’s face it. If you have a blog and others in your industry don’t, you have a leg up with potential customers online. Blogging is still new enough that you’re likely to be seen as exceptional if you have one, and you can be seen as ‘the expert’ in your field.