Building a Blog Post

Blog posts add umph to your website!

Let’s talk about websites, the key to a blog, and what they can really do for you.

  • Websites are your on-line brochure.
  • Websites hold your photo gallery.
  • A website is the hub of your online marketing.
  • All of your social media points back to your website (or a landing page).
  • Your website is the repository for your blog articles.key to a good blog

The key to a good blog is to write one. Regularly. Let’s talk a bit about search bots. When your website is new and you first publish it, the bots come and scour your site to see what you have out there. They check out the keywords and all of the goodies that you put out there to make it bright and shiny. They come back in about 30 days to see what other new shiny stuff you added. If you added several things, the bots reprogram to come back more quickly than the last time. If you didn’t they wait till maybe 45 days to come back. The more frequently you add new items to your website the more often the bots return ranking your higher in organic search results. The less often you add new items or changes to your website, the lower your ranking becomes until one day…

Whenever I build a website for someone, I typically use a WordPress platform. If I do that, I always include the Yoast SEO plug-in. Here are the tips I give to my clients when they write a blog post:

Make your blog heading a continuation of your title with the keyword in the beginning. Highlight the text and make it a heading 2 from the WYSIWIG bar.

Make sure to employ the “Press this” option offered so that when you read another person’s article, you can use the handy dandy tool to add a post to your blog and write your opinion on what you just read.

If you do that, make sure that you include a link to the original. Like this: You can read the whole article here. Highlight the word here, click on the chain link in the WYSIWIG bar and add the link to the original article – Ensure that it opens to a new window.

Write your thoughts. Include an image. There are many resources for free images. Don’t use any images from a website with a UK extension. One resources to check is pixabay.com Read about more options here.

Make sure to write 270 to 300 words. Complete the Yoast SEO boxes that appear below the blog post content frame.

Your keyword should be in your title, heading, meta data and body text.

Select the category on your website in which you want your post stored.

Add additional tags, especially if you have a tag cloud on your website. If you mention an organization or a searchable term, add the tag.

Last but not least, make sure to share your just finished post on your social media!

Let me know if I can assist you in any way.

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It’s a Numbers Game

Do the Numbers Add Up?

Recently I was asked by a colleague to help her with a debate she was having with a coworker about posting frequency.  Here is the advice I offered:It's a numbers game
How engaged is your audience? The frequency that you post depends upon the engagement level that you see. It also depends upon the type of post you are making. If you are constantly pushing promotional items, the audience will disengage. For example, if you are a B2C business and you are sharing pictures of people you will probably build your engagement level. Videos these days are the rage on Facebook, especially if they are short and make someone laugh. Use it to your advantage.
My rule of thumb is 70-20-10.
  • 70% content in your industry from other sources
  • 20% content from your industry that you create
  • 10% promotional information
The exception to that rule is if there is an event coming up, that 10% may rise to about 25% especially closer to the deadline for registration or the event itself.
Here is the tricky part – the frequency. Because of the algorithms, the more often you post, especially on Facebook, the higher the likelihood of your audience seeing it. The algorithms have dropped to about 3% of the posts you put out actually make it to a followers news feed. That number, at one time, used to be 16% of your followers would see your posts. If you want higher engagement with fewer posts, you have to make sure that all of your posts hit! This won’t happen. Try to arrange some “ringers” who will like and share your posts. This could drive the engagement rate and up the % of your followers that will see the posts.
Here is what I suggest to the “average” business user:
  • LinkedIn – 3-5 times per business week
  • Google+ – 3-5 times per business week
  • Twitter – as often as you can, link from Facebook, Pinterest, and feeds from other sources
  • Facebook – 1-3 times throughout the day for your business week. If you are a restaurant, that might mean Tuesday -Sunday, for a CPA firm Monday- Friday
If you are following the 70/20/10 rule, you should build the engagement level as well as find out what kinds of posts are drawing the engagement.
If you use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can use the auto schedule features they offer to pick the best time for follower interaction.  But remember that as frequently as you post, you need to have someone checking to see if people are engaging with you. If they comment, you need to be able to respond, SOOOOO don’t post more frequently than you can manage to check back and follow-up if necessary.
It really is just a numbers game.
This 2014 article from FastCompany sums up more details that you can use as reference.
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Stay Connected, no matter who it is

How do you stay connected with your acquaintances?Connected to some new folks at my Alton High Redbirds reunion

A few weeks back I attended a high school class reunion. It has been about 15 years since the last one I attended.

I arrived after having looked through my high school yearbook, checking on a directory to see who from my class lived near or far. Needless to say, I didn’t recognize everyone. What did help is Facebook. I was able to be in contact with several of my classmates over the past few years, so recognition of those people came pretty easily.

After the reunion, I looked up a few people with whom I was able to spend a few minutes speaking on LinkedIn to connect there.  I am sure I will eventually look for others as time permits.

The whole point of this article is this:

  • Social media did not exist when I was in school. For that matter, neither did the internet, and computers were in their infancy.
  • Networking meant shaking a lot of hands and making a bunch of phone calls.
  • Your network is broader than you think.

How will you stay connected with all of those people, especially some with whom you may have lost contact? Using social media is probably one of the easiest answers. If you are trying to reach a particular person, look at your network to see how you might be connected to them. When I teach LinkedIn my adage is;

“It’s not about who you know, but who they know.”

Being able to leverage your network to your advantage is, what I feel, the entire purpose of social media. Get connected, build relationships, share useful information, pay it forward, and don’t over-sell.

Six degrees of separation 01Remember the theory of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It was originally created in 1929 and popularized in 1990 and has spurred things like the Bacon foundation at sixdegrees.org and the six degrees of the Dali Lama. If you aren’t familar, the theory says that you are connected by six steps to every person in the world. I think that with social media, the gap will decrease tremendously. If you need to learn how to close the gap on social media, give me a jingle.

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The Basics of Using Hootsuite

Try using a scheduler like Hootsuite to save you time.Hootsuite's mascot - Owly

Sometimes we get busy and forget to post content to our social media platforms. What could you do to make sure that you are getting your message out socially and still run your business? Try using a content scheduler like Hootsuite. It used to be that third party tools like these were dinged by the platforms because the content wasn’t posted directly. Recent research by others in the industry say that is no longer the case.

Here is how you might use the tool:

  • On Sunday afternoon, you may sit down after your weekend activities are complete, and schedule your posts for the week. (We all know that when we own our own business, the work week is never really done.)
  • During the week, you are reading your emails, run across some industry articles that you would like to share. Click on the icon in your Google Chrome browser to share your article. Let Hootsuite auto-schedule it for you. Hootsuite will pick the best time based on when your audience click on your posts.
  • Thursday afternoon you are preparing for your vacation the following week. Take a few minutes to schedule the weeks posts, including the Monday and Tuesday for the week you return.
  • You have an event coming up. Create a few draft posts that you can share on the fly or schedule in advance – a few weeks in advance.
  • Have a post that you want to share now? You can do that too! It even counts your characters so you can stay under 140 for Twitter.

There are other options included with the tool, take a look at this video to see the basics of how to use the scheduling tool:

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Write positive reviews, not just negative

Do you take the time to write positive reviews? Or do you just review a place when they don’t meet your standards?

Today peer recommendations seem to be what 90% of people rely on to make a purchase or visit an establishment (Watch this). How do they make the best of a situation when a friend doesn’t suggest an option? People look to reviews.Facebook reviews

Reviews tell readers the good and the bad. If the majority of reviews are positive and there is one lonely negative review, people will often discount the validity of the negative review. My suggestion would be to launch a campaign to increase your reviews on sites where people go to look for your business. Yelp is a huge player in this arena. Google+ for all of it’s faults is a major platform to make sure you have good reviews associated with your location on the map. Bing and Yahoo both have similar functions with their mapping programs. What if you are a restaurant? Sites like Urbanspoon and others will help people make a decision about whether they choose your establishment or the one down the street. Are you in the home improvement business? Angie’s List is huge. Medical practitioners have similar sites as well.

When I worked retail, years ago before computers and the internet, the adage was that if you provided great service a customer would tell 2 people. If it was poor, they would tell 10 people. Today with social media, that 10 people turns into millions in some cases. You cannot afford that.

Negative reviews can be detrimental to your business. If they are not responded to in a timely manner they could be devastating. Make sure you are asking for your clients to provide positive reviews. The best time to do that is right after they express how satisfied they are with something you have just completed for them. Maybe you could even hold a contest to reward those who take the time to write a review for your business.

Need to talk more about this opportunity? Give me a call!

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