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Insights into the purpose, creation and maintenance of a blog. Also covered: philosophy and guest blogging.

Resources

General Advice

  • Needs its own name
    • Headline, tagline with purpose
  • Do your target market research (source: Personal Branding Blog, Feb 6 2015, link above)
    • Then meet the needs of that audience
  • Create a login box and attach at end of articles
  • A mission I love
  • Target audience
    • Ask them what they want
  • Blog posts: use image with text and my logo on it! (example)
  • Have a regular schedule
  • Use it to showcase your services, products...
    • Be sure to have high quality content first!
  • Guest Posting: use only your best content

Design & Setup

Article on Social Media Examiner, May 19, 2015

  1. Layout: e.g. no sidebars, 1 or 2 sidebars
  2. Mobile: beautiful Altitude theme (Studiopress)
  3. Many opt-ins! Getresponse's Form Builder / SumoMe / OptinMonster
  4. SEO: fill fields, using e.g. Yoast's plugin. Important!
  5. Social sharing! Shareaholic | Filament | See also below
  6. Analytics: Google! Info in article re. Webmaster Tools etc.
  7. User Accounts: for every blogger

Social Media Integration

  • Include a pin button (Pinterest) with your blog images
  • Integrate Click to Tweet so users can share your tweetable phrases!

Content Ideas (Post Types)

What to post? Carol Tice has a ton!

  • The How-To Video: interesting personality, effective technique, prod values
  • Similarly: how-to post
    • Step by step!
  • Announcement
  • Q&A Series: webinars, teleseminars, interviews: customers, experts, employees
  • Answer a common question (FAQ-type post)
  • Feature: employee, partner, entrepreneur, client
  • Money-making opportunity
  • Mention companies, celebrities
  • Interview: interesting people
  • Round up expert advice
  • Multimedia: slideshows, video, audio
  • Co-opt current news
  • Trend mashup
  • Observe and report on topics that drive high traffic
  • Follow-up posts/updates on similar topics
  • Offer alternate take to current big stances
  • Link roundups re. popular topics
  • Forecast trends, future
  • Review or compare products
  • Educate customers: e.g. which choice to make?
  • Top-X-List
  • One-point list
  • Fresh data (new research)
  • Professional Networking: be nice, relevant, interesting
  • Giveaway
  • Write about small, quick wins: techniques that are fast to implement and generate benefit! Best: from my own experience. Include either of these:
    • Step-by-step breakdown
    • Video
    • And then opportunity to subscribe
  • Combine the above!

Strategy

For a successful business blog:

  • Establish Goals
    • Why a blog?
    • Purpose for me?
    • Purpose for audience?
  • Blog's Purpose
    • Why should ppl visit?
    • What makes my info special?
  • Audience research
    • Same profile as customer
    • Who are they?
    • What to do they need?
  • Decide posting frequency
    • Reasonable schedule
    • Post regularly (doesn't have to be often)
  • Identify writers
    • Find ppl to join you
  • Editorial calendar
    • Virtual agenda / to-do list
  • Develop blog brand
    • Perception to readers
    • Design, colours, style
  • Write
    • Compelling, engaging
  • Market
    • Everything to do after publishing
    • 35 ways
  • Measure your success
    • See article for ideas

Monetizing

  • Use the "Funnel Strategy": visitors take a planned pathway through my blog ending in a sale
    1. What is my best niche?
      • Overlap between benefitting audience, my passion and expertise
    2. What are the markets in my niche?
      • Think about people's urgency
    3. Which product would be a good fit?
    4. How can my blog setup support the funnel?
    5. What content will draw readers into the funnel?

Guest Blogging

  • Copyblogger on safe guest blogging
    • About Matt Cutts' "Guest Blogging is dead" article and developments since
    • Use "rel=nofollow" to be safe with links (re. shady sites)
  • Checklist:
    • Content quality: does it fit the audience? Inform? Entertain? Clear? Fitting my host?
    • Check backlinks: use "nofollow" for odd ones
    • Focus on social networking: G+ authorship, then Twitter/Facebook share
    • Niche
    • Get mentions from media!
    • Terminology: "contributor" instead of "guest blogger"? Invent my own!
    • Infographics
    • Include links in body (to strong sites!)
    • Write in the voice of the audience
  • Tom Ewer recommends: combination of "Hire Me" page and bylines (on clients' pages!)

Getting Comments

  • Get rid of spambots, ensure respectful dialogue
  • Make in-person connections
    • Market the blog to them
    • On business card
    • Make a mastermind group
  • Headlines with obvious benefit => share on social media
  • Don't pack all the information into my article
  • Request comments: question at the end ("What's your take?" / "How do you...?")
  • Controversy: tackle the great issues in my niche
  • Go negative! Negative headlines generate more traffic
    • "How to aggravate top bloggers so they'll never help you"
  • Hold a contest: "bribe" them
  • Write to one person, and one person alone
  • Speak their language!
  • Check for comments regularly and respond - personally, specific!
    • "I read your message first thing this morning. Wow! Already shared the feedback with my team!"
    • "I met with the team this morning and we decided..."