5 Reasons Why Blogging Is the Backbone of Today’s Business

We all, more or less agree to the old adage “Change is the only constant.” Yet, in this dynamic world of web, we have come to witness that each day. With changing technology and resources, content on the web has also become dynamic and variant. As a user, it is difficult to stay loyal to a particular website unless it is a popular one.

Given this, every company (big or small), entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and the like, all understand that having a website is just not enough. With more than a billion websites on the worldwide web, a website cannot bring visitors by itself. And unless you have visitors on your website, you might not be able to showcase the services that you offer. Often, prospective customers are gained when they embark upon services which they find are useful for them. Unless your website is frequently updated and active, visitors or perhaps prospective customers would not find their way to your website.

Evolution in showcasing the website and to bring it to the fore led to the creation of blogs within the website. Blogging is one of the effective options available to keep the website active. Customer behavior has been changing and research shows that majority of the buyers are visiting blogs/forums before buying a product or availing a service.

What is Blogging?

Blogging means publishing articles, which are relevant to the services you provide or the products you sell, on your website on a frequent basis. The articles, as mentioned, should focus on the business offerings, industry in which the business operates and updates related to the industry or company. A blog is a medium for sharing of knowledge/best practices, “How to” related to products/services and so on.

The number of blogs per month and the frequency with which they have to be published differ based on the business model (B2B or B2C) of the company. The business strategy of the company should also be considered while deciding the same.

Post publication of the article, it is important to promote the article with your peers, followers, business partners, like-minded groups etc. so that the readers get the value from your article. A blog is a two-way communication; it encourages interaction via comments and feedback.

There are many reasons why blogging is important for any business. However the five reasons listed below are the most important ones:

a) Improve visibility

Invite visitors to your website By writing relevant content for your target audience, you can attract visitors to your website. Marketing of the article in various social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), social book marking sites (Reditt, StumbleUpon and Digg) and forums in which your business is active is key to ensure visibility of the blog. Content is King and this applies to a blog as well. The quality of your content will impact visitors. An impactful blog with impeccable word power will ensure that the visitors sign up for your blog posts. Blogs creates an impression on the visitor and if your content is helpful, they will share it with others.

b) Cost-effective

Blogging is one of the cost-effective content marketing strategy. Every blog is your asset as it stays as long as your business is active. It is a one-time effort but the benefits are huge. If the article is on a general topic which are evergreen (eg: Benefits of Outsourcing), you will get more benefits as the meaning of these topics are not going to change. On the contrary, if the article is on a specific topic (Tax slab rate for the financial year 2016), the content is relevant to the year 2016 and not beyond that.

c) Branding and Thought Leadership

The quality of content and ideas expressed in your blogs will become the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for building your brand and promoting you as a ‘Thought Leader’ in your respective field. With a good number of blogs in your website and with the help of social networking sites, you will eventually have a list of followers which is only going to increase over the years. These blogs are the ambassadors of your brand and the thoughts/ideas which you share and preach. All this will help you to attract more customers.

d) Engaging your customers

Your blog is the platform where you meet new visitors who are your potential customers and connect with existing customers also. Regular interaction through blogs helps in building a stronger relationship with the customer. Pain points of your customers/ Requirement of your customer which you have highlighted in your blog invokes the interest in your visitor to know more about it and this will lead to a discussion.

A blog gives you an opportunity to understand your customer requirements better and provide solutions which makes it a win-win situation. In an indirect way, it also helps in translating a visitor into a customer who is in need of a similar product or service. Today’s age is an age of engagement, you have to keep talking to every stakeholder around you in order to improve your services and identify new business opportunities from your existing customers.

e) Improves SEO

Search engines are always on the lookout of fresh content. There is no better way to keep feeding fresh content into the web than a blog. Frequent blogs will provide the required fodder to search engines which will identify your website as a credible one. Including keywords, article topics, businesses, product or service which you want to showcase and get identified by search engines in the blog, will serve the purpose of bringing new visitors to the website.

Blogging is an integral content marketing strategy for each and every business. It is one of the cost-effective marketing tool for your business.

5 Tips To Get Your Blog Read

You put a lot of time into writing your blog posts – heck, you spend a lot of time just figuring out what to write about – so you want to make sure your blog gets opened and read. Here are 5 tips to make sure your audience will want to read yours.

#1. Ignite the Spark.

It can take time to come up with a relevant topic (and “relevance” is key) so do your homework. Research what your audience wants to read about then make it interesting.

It can help to subscribe to similar blogs and create a “sample” file where you search for topic inspirations. That doesn’t mean copying what they write (not cool)… but instead look for the spark that triggers an idea you can work with, especially one that you can create a unique twist to the subject matter or tie it in with something going on within your industry, your community, or perhaps a global trend.

#2. Do Not Sell!

Your blog is a place to give new insights. Share ideas. Inspire others. Educate. It is not a place to sell – that is the purpose of an advertorial.

There is nothing worse than reading a great article that has given you a plethora of new insights, only to discover half way through that the author has duped you and turned the content into a blatant advertisement. You no longer trust anything you just read and will probably never read anything from this author again.

#3. Write Well.

Yes, proof reading and editing are important. Read your article out loud – backwards, even – to ensure there are no mistakes, or least minimal typos.

• Bold your subheadings.

• Use bulleted points.

• Write short paragraphs.

• Keep sentences short.

• Include keywords so your blog will be found online.

And be creative! Paint a picture for your reader by using specific words to describe settings and characters. Instead of saying, “the building was very tall,” tell the reader exactly how tall: “The building was ten stories high.”

Eliminate weedy words, which waste space, such as just, very, really, some, certainly, etc.

#4. Give Your Article a Great Title!

Just imagine you’ve picked up your favourite magazine. The first thing you do is open it up to the index page and scan the titles. The title that jumps out at you first, is the article you’ll read first – it has impact.

Make sure the title of your blog post jumps off the page – or off the screen – so it gets read first!

#5. You Don’t Have To Be a Writer.

This may sound odd, but if you can talk you can write. Remember, you’re sharing a story. But you may not have time in your schedule to write – so hire a ghostwriter! A good ghostwriter will write in your voice so it sounds like you’ve written it, it will say you’ve written in, and you will be gain expert status to help your business.

The key with writing articles is be known for your expertise… to be remembered when your prospect is finally ready to buy your product or service… and to help drive traffic to your Web site – so keep your blog active.

Business Travel Tips!

When you travel the world around you, it changes the world within you. That was one of my quotes a few years ago from my travel blog when I was blogging the World Tour. It holds true to this day, in my opinion.

I have traveled a lot these past 3 months, in particular, and am often asked how I do it. How do I maintain my energy, my focus, my connections, my health. So here are my best travel tips – try them, you’ll like them.

TIP #1 – MAINTAIN REGULAR SLEEP HABITS. This is normal for me, anyway, whether I am travelling or not. But when I am on the road, it is critical for me to get my sleep. I adjust to the time zone I am in and go with it. I ensure the room is dark, cool, quiet and normally, when at conferences, for example, I always room alone. I know that many people find great joy sharing a room when attending events. That doesn’t work for me because I get enough stimulation during the business days and meetings – I don’t need the additional stimulation of someone in my room wanting to de-brief for the next few hours. It’s my down time so that I can get mentally ready for a restful sleep. That also means limited electronics or TV.

TIP #2 – GET REGULAR EXERCISE. These days, that can mean just counting your steps in the airports – they are so HUGE! It takes a lot of time and a lot of steps to get around. I hired a personal trainer this year and, when I am at home, it makes a huge difference. When I am on the road, I stay accountable, get my exercise and post photos for my trainer so I show evidence of my commitment. At a minimum, I do some Yoga moves which helps with stretching after long plane rides. I bring my exercise DVD with me, too – me and Jillian Roberts – look out world!

TIP #3 – I MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES. There’s not really any reason to look at a menu when I travel. I know what I regularly eat for breakfast, lunch and supper – now, remember my 80/20 rule. When I am somewhere special (like in Africa – I WILL have the chocolate croissants… just sayin’!) – I will try different foods. But for normal travel – I stick with my regular food choices – and rarely will I have a drink when I am on the road. It ruins my sleep. I know it. So why do it?

TIP #4: I KEEP MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL. Next to my exercise clothes, my Gratitude Journal is the one thing that goes in the suitcase. It IS when I travel, that I realize and recognize what a blessed life I live and I want to keep my attitude of gratitude.

TIP #5: KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR. Travel these days can be frustrating, challenging and difficult. There are many things beyond my control. It is so important to keep a sense of humor – and I do that by people watching. I love it! Most people have their face glued to their electronic devices – I just sit, with my latte, and watch. It’s great for keeping stress levels low. (good quality chocolate and a Starbucks latte makes me a happy traveler! – find your happy place, too!)

I have travelled a lot and will continue to do so. My travels tips are not rocket science – they are pretty basic and yet they work. Try them – you’ll like them too.