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21 Quick Tips: How to Write a Blog for Your Business

21 Quick Tips: How to Write a Blog for Your Business

Do you want to improve how you write a blog for business?

Here are 21 tips on how to write a blog for your business blog in a step by step way. Below the how to write a blog for business graphic is a few tips on each step to help you get more clicks, more traffic and build your brand community.

21 Tips On How To Write a Blog For Your Business

My father always used to lecture me of getting the foundations right, getting the research or work done so you know what your doing. As a teenager whilst that was good advice I often ignored it and learnt the hard way (luckily no serious damage was done only some minor accidents e.g. a tree house that fell down with friends and me in it), that this approach did make sense despite my impulse to just jump in and do it.

If you want to learn how to write a blog then you need to understand your customers and write content that they are going to find useful and engaging. Do your homework and you will get more traffic, more click and more leads. But it does take time to get it right and for it to be on target with your customers. You need to prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Here are 21 tips to help you write a blog for your business blog and get better results.

Targeting Your Customers
how to target customers when business blogging
When you are learning how to write a blog you can easily spread yourself too thin and you will not get the results you are looking for – staying focused is critical.

  • Key action – write down who you key target customer is just one e.g. if BtoB: size of business, number of people, turnover, their sectors, greaography…
  • narrow down your marketing to niche market/market segments – think long tail here
  • Use marketing personas to build out who you are targeting and give them a personality.
  • Use any data you have to support your marketing persona e.g. age, demographic data.
  • Check with others in the business e.g. sales, customer service – that the persona(s) are right.

Find Them Online
how to focus on your customer when business blogging
Understand where your customers spend time online and you will be able to listen to them and connect in the right places.

Social Media Listening
how to write a blog and improve how you listen to your customers online for business blogging
Set a budget for the tools – whilst some are free, the better ones do cost but are worth the investment.

Understand Their Problems
how to write a blog for customers online for your business blog
When you are trying to master how to write a blog always put your self in the shoes of your customers. Listen to their problems – what information are they searching for, what service problems do they have, is their misunderstanding about a product or service, do they have wishlists…

  • Key action – Write a list of the most common problems, gaps in information and issues
  • Prioritise your list

Identify How You Can Help Them
how to write a blog and get to grips with customers problems when blogging
This is where you need to be realistic and match what you and your business are good at to their problems.

  • Key Action – With the list of problems highlight the ones you are confident that you can write about and fit to your business.
  • Draft a list of ideas around each problem – this will be used later

Review The Competition
how to write a blog and review competition when business blogging
Take into account what your competition are blogging about, what topics tehy are focusing on

Key actions

  • Identify their key topics e.g. categories on their blog page
  • See what posts have been popular and assess why
  • Identify how you can be different / better than them
  • Don’t be a copy cat

Identify How You Can Help Them
how to write a blog tell your brand message in your business blog
What do you stand for and why should people follow your – what is the core message that will attract and be relevant to your audience.

Key Actions

  • Develop an easy strap line that helps people understand what your about
  • Build your message into your blogs and communications

Set Your Goals, Objectives and Metrics
how to write a blog for business content marketing
This is the critical part. If you are going to invest in blogging set your self some clear goals for the results. What do you want to achieve (be realistic) and what business benefit will it deliver e.g. 5 leads per week.
Key Actions

  • Use SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed)
  • Be sure you can measure them
  • Produce a spreadsheet and plan out your targets by week/month and then your results

Develop Your Strategy and Tactics
set your how to write a blog strategy
Plan in the strategy that is going to work for you – how your blog content fits to your overall marketing plan and communications mix.

Key actions

  • What are the key resources and actions needed to achieve your goals?
  • What are the daily/weekly tasks you are going to schedule?

10 Build Your Blog
build out your business blog using wordpress
A good blog needs a good home. Invest in a WordPress blog that is going to fit to your brand and be easy for people to engage with.
Key actions

  • Make sure you choose a responsive theme – the rise of the mobile consumer is here see these stats
  • Build in the styles and design features that can help your blog stand out
  • Blogs are increasing becoming more visual so add in the styling that will help you produce a good visual layout – think more magazine than blog

11 Build Out Marketing Functionality
build into your blog the marketing plugins and themes you need
Your blog needs to be able to turn traffic into buying customers and to do that you need to have the right marketing functionality. Looking good is not enough.
Key actions

  • Build in your key conversion points and methods to convert customers
  • Add in tracking e.g. goals so you can measure performance

12 Link Your Social and Email
how to write a blog and build in social and email
Key actions:

  • Hook up your blog with your social networks so that people can easily share your content.
  • Also build in your email subscriptions to build your email list.

13 Develop Your Editorial Calendar
build your business blog editorial calendar for effective blogging
This is probably on of the most important steps. An editorial calendar will help stay focused and give you a good schedule to work to. It is even more important if you have more than 1 person in your business blogging.
Key actions

  • Be realistic and don’t forget to add in the other content that you are producing
  • Balance out your categories to make it more varied and interesting for your audience

14 Research Your Keywords and Phrases
develop the seo that is right for your blog

Key actions

15 Develop Your Killer Headlines
how to write a blog killer headlines
Your titles make the difference between a click and no-click a share and just a read. Spend time coming up with awessome titles.
Key actions

Key Actions

  • Think like a magazine editor here
  • Download our content marketing guide and use our list of formulas for killer headlines

16 Write Your Blog and Format
how to write a blog and format headlines
Write your blogs and rewrite them. Find your own personal voice and practice – it takes to to develop a writing style that is right for you. Write as if you are talking to your marketing persona and helping them.
Key actions

  • Don’t be afraid – everyone goes through times of uncertainty and doubt when writing. It can be hard but bit by bit you will improve
  • Remember there is only one you and that is unique and special use it to to your advantage and intertwine the personal and business
  • End each post with a call to action or ask for people’s opinions

17 Publish To Your Social Networks
publish and market your business blog
You have to promote your blog and ensure it is found.
Key actions

  • Publish to your main social networks and invite comments and feedback

18 Respond To Comments
respond to your audience comments
Comments are the gold of blogging and so actively invite comments and always respond promptly to them

  • Use a good commenting system such as Disqus
  • Respond and be helpful, never rude. Remove any spam to keep you blog clean

19 Track Your Performance
track the performance of your blog
With each blog post you move one step closer to achieving your goals. Track your metrics and review regularly.

20 Rinse and Repeat – Improve
how to improve your business blog
Some blog posts will do well whilst others may not achieve the results you had hoped for. Learn from your spikes and dips and continually refine your editorial calendar to improve titles, content and how you reach and attract your audience. Importantly make sure you are turning your blog into tangible business results.

21 Don’t Forget To Enjoy It and Be Creative
how to write a blog and be creative
This may seem obvious but have fun, enjoy it and if you are passionate about helping people and equally enthusiastic about your business your blog will do well. Experiment by adding in different media and help to make your business human. Your customers will appreciate being part of your tribe.

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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Blogging

 

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6 Easy Steps To Book Your Author Blog Tour

6 Easy Steps To Book Your Author Blog TourIt’s pretty common knowledge in the publishing industry that most book signing tours don’t generate big bucks for new authors. Sure—book tours can stir up buzz and interest. But most of the time, bookstore tours are put in place only after an author has established some kind of meaningful reputation that can translate into lines that wrap around the store.

These days, there’s a new way of connecting with readers that doesn’t involve brick-and-mortar book signings: blog tours. A blog tour is when an author does a series of interviews or guest posts on the blogs of book readers and reviewers. Blog tours are fantastic for author self-promotion.

Most of the time, blog tours are synchronized with book releases so that writers can sell more copies of their books. Blog tours can be inexpensive, fun, and rewarding!

How To Set Up a Blog Tour To Promote A Book

There are many ways to kick off your promotional blog tour. You can:

  • Hire a publicist to nab spots on popular blogs.
  • Hire an established and reputable book blog tour company (NOTE: There are unscrupulous companies that claim to get gigs for their clients on dozens of blogs, many of which lack a meaningful audience or are owned by the companies themselves).
  • Set up blogging dates yourself.

If you’re a DIYer and want to book a blog tour without having to pay for publicity help, here are the five steps that will get your book on great blogs.

1. Start reading book blogs. Do your research and narrow your focus to those blogs whose audiences are active readers in your genre. Make a list and track the blog’s attributes, audience participation, readership, and proclivities. HINT: Establish a clear minimum number in your head for the number of blogs that you’d like to appear on.

2. Establish a relationship. If possible, begin leaving comments on the blogs you like. Visit regularly. You may need to demonstrate your genuine appreciation of the blog before you’re invited to appear on it. Use Twitter and other networks to give shout-outs to blogs you like.

3. Write up a pitch plan. Some bloggers have writers beating down their door, begging for reviews and free promotion. You’ll need to make yourself stand out with a personal touch as well as an incentive. Are you willing to give away free copies of your book? Is your idea of what you’d like to “do” on the blog consistent with what the blogger is already doing? Are you willing to do interviews or only guest posts? Will you host the blogger on your author blog in exchange?

4. Draft your “nice to meet you” letter. Reach out to the blogger via a personal email when possible. Be kind, flexible, and maybe a little deferential: you’re asking to be invited to the party, after all. Express your appreciation for the blog and volunteer to host a giveaway (should the blogger believe that his/her audience would benefit from your visit to the blog).

5. Follow instructions carefully. If a blogger agrees to host you, be sure to follow directions. Also, include links to your social networks and author website in your post—just don’t overdo it.

6. Set up your blog calendar. On the days that your blog post is to appear on each guest blog, be sure to put in an appearance that day. Leave comments, interact with readers, thank the host for having you. Then, if you’re running a contest, follow up as soon as possible by sending out the prize.

When Your Author Blog Tour Is Over

Be sure to thank your host for his/her willingness to help you; you might even want to mail out a little thank-you gift. Then, keep your contacts well organized so that when you have another reason to do a blog tour, their contact information will be at your fingertips.

QUESTION: Do you like the idea of doing a blog tour?

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing — 001: Get Active on Social Media

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 001: Get Active on Social MediaI was toying around with the idea of making a series of articles called “101 Self-Publishing Tips.” I dutifully began compiling a list of tips, but after the first few dozen, I realized that a lot of them were not tips so much as thoughts, but still things that I felt were important to mention to those interested in self-publishing. Besides, I don’t know if I am really the one to be giving people tips. That would imply I know what the hell I’m doing. Also note that these thoughts reflect my personal experiences. Your own experiences may differ.
So here, presented one at a time as they occur to me and as I have the time to write them, are my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing. They will be presented in no particular order, but I’ll try to keep related thoughts flowing in a logical manner. I’ll try to do two or three a week, but I’m not making any promises just now.
001: Get Active on Social Media
If you’ve found this blog, chances are you came across it on social media. Why is this important? Well, you now know my name, and if you look to the right of this page you know the titles of my books.  Even if someone who finds you the way you found me isn’t initially inspired to buy your books, that name recognition builds valuable word-of-mouth potential. When a friend recommends a book, having heard of the author provides an addition “authority”–nebulous as it may be–and a reader is more likely to act on that perceived authority. Even if they’re just scanning titles on Amazon, your book will stand out if the readers thinks, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of him/her!”
Social social media is great for two things: getting your name out to the public and building relationships, both with other authors and potential readers.
Now, social media can either be a blast or a pain in the ass. It can either be valuable time spent marketing and networking, or it can be a black hole into which all your hopes and dreams are relentlessly sucked. But for a self-published (and even trad-published) author, it is an essential part of getting your books in front of eyes.
I am personally active on Twitter and Facebook.
With Twitter, you can do a lot of things in 140 characters: greet new followers, share jokes and random thoughts, compliment and congratulate other writers on their books, etc. Even so, I find the format annoyingly limited. It’s difficult to have a true, relationship-building conversation on Twitter. But it’s great for making connections that one can later pursue on Facebook or via email, and I have met some wonderful friends that way. Promoting your book on Twitter is important, but be sure you spend at least as much time posting things not so obviously self-serving. Triberr is a great program by which you can post links to others’ blog posts and they in turn will post yours. It keeps your content varied and ensures that you’re posting a lot of information that is not directly leading back to you. Just be sure to limit the number of groups (called Tribes) that you participate in, or Followers can get overwhelmed by your constant Tweeting. More on Triberr in a future post.
Facebook is great for building on the relationships you’ve formed on Twitter. Since you can get across a lot more information than you can on Twitter, it’s also best for sharing quotes from reviews, updates about your releases, or even just sharing the things that are going on in your life. You can also make a “page” on Facebook for people to like if you don’t want your private Facebook account to be public. This does, however, limit the flow of conversation as you won’t see the posts of people who have liked your page; you can’t engage with them by commenting on the things they post.
I’ve met some authors on Facebook or Twitter who had one but not the other. By not using both, you are unnecessarily limiting your potential reach. There are certainly other social media sites, but I recommend all self-published authors get active on these two, at the very least.
There are also book-specific sites such as Goodreads. I’m not as active there as I could be, but just by having an account, I get tons of friend requests. As mentioned above, those are people who are learning my name and the titles of my books, and that has powerful potential. You can also announce events such as book giveaways, contests, new releases, personal appearances, etc. Even if you don’t do a lot on Goodreads, I recommend keeping your account up to date by adding all new releases. It’s just one more place for people to see your books.
If you enjoyed today’s thoughts, look to the sidebar on the right and you can follow by email to receive notices when I have new posts and also join the site with Google Friend Connect. If you have additional thoughts or observations, I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below.
All the Best,
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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