How to Powerup your Blog: Action 4 – Powerup other channels – SlideShare

blog SlideShare

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

The goal of any company blog is to increase awareness of the company’s brand. To do that the blog must drive traffic to the company website, where the visitor is encouraged to browse other pages.

blog SlideShare

After you have organized your blog using categories and tags, shared your posts on relevant social media channels, and optimized open rates with keyword-rich headlines, there is one more action that will enhance your SEO and extend your blog’s reach – SlideShare.

The last post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looks at powerful channel for content distribution -SlideShare.

Action 4: Powerup other channels – SlideShare

SlideShare, now owned by LinkedIn, is a website that allows you to post content (PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, videos, documents, and others) as a presentation.

Once uploaded, your content is public, searchable, viewable, and even sharable! This increases brand awareness, expands your market reach, and drives traffic to your blog or website.

Benefits of using SlideShare

With over 60 million visitors a year, SlideShare is powerful channel for your content distribution. Some benefits of using SlideShare are:

It extends your reach to a large professional audience.

LinkedIn is the parent company of SlideShare, and we all know about the power of LinkedIn professional networks. It also means SlideShare users tend to be business-oriented rather than social browsers.

It boosts SEO

It turns out that Google ranks successful SlideShare presentations above blog articles, news stories, even YouTube videos (well, sometimes). This is a big boost for your blog’s SEO.

It’s free!

For startups and solo professionals, a big benefit of SlideShare is that it is free! For any business it is a smart marketing channel for your content marketing strategy.

It’s easy!

blog SlideShare

SlideShare is easy to learn. If you’ve ever used PowerPoint, you’re on your way. If not, there are many tutorials out there to help you get started quickly.

It helps builds authority.

On SlideShare you showcase your expertise in your field by sharing useful and relevant information. When readers come across your quality content on SlideShare, they will associate that content with you and your personal brand.

It includes analytics.

There is a free analytic tool that helps you measure how and when viewers interact with your content. You can track how many times each presentation or infographic is viewed, shared, liked, commented on or downloaded in a specified period.

How to use SlideShare

So, how do you use SlideShare to extend the reach of your blog? The easiest way is to make a SlideShare presentation for each of your blog posts. A presentation that summarizes the post and makes it easily consumable, understandable, and quick to digest.

Because you’ve already written the post, creating and publishing a presentation is relatively simple. Not only will you at least double your exposure but there is the chance your SlideShare will go ‘viral’!

If SlideShare delivers as predicted, you may decide to start writing your posts with a presentation in mind.

Action 4.5: Powerup SlideShare

You can take a few steps to optimize your SlideShare presentation for your readers and for search engines:

Template

People like things that are familiar. Put together a template that displays your brand, your message. Use it again and again. Make sure the template reflects the colors and style of your blog and website. Place your brand logo on every slide.

Headline

This has been covered in some detail in the 3rd post in this series – Action 3: Powerup your Headlines. Just remember to optimize your title for searching by including keywords/phrases relevant to the blog topic.

Tags

blog SlideShare

You can include up to 20 tags in your presentation, making your presentation that much more searchable. Base your tags on the tag strategy you worked out in Action 1.

Description

By include a compelling description for your SlideShare, you make it more appealing to your reader and increases its SEO. As with the meta description on your website, include relevant, highly searchable keywords/phrases in your description to help search engines find it

Links

Links are very important to your SEO. Google assumes that pages with the most links to them should rank higher in search results than those without links.

So, place links throughout your Slideshare presentation, as well as on the last slide. Include a “Further Reading” slide with a list of links to related content on your blog.

Conclusion

This last post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looked at powerful channel for content distribution -SlideShare. SlideShare:

  • Extends the reach of your professional network
  • Boosts SEO
  • Is free
  • Is easy
  • Tracks metrics

Share all your posts are presentations on SlideShare and see if you don’t generate awareness and drive traffic to your blog.

A company blog is a powerful tactic in a content marketing strategy. Posting quality content consistently is key to a blog’s success. But it’s not enough. In today’s marketing environment you will need to powerup your blog to get heard.

This series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, is all about helping you take action to increase traffic to your blog and website:

  1. Powerup your site structure
  2. Powerup your social media
  3. Powerup your headlines
  4. Powerup all channels – SlideShare

I have put this blog series into a SlideShare presentation. You can download the SlideShare presentation here.

I have published this blog series as a kindle book!

You can buy it here

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the water and environmental industries:

Check out WaterBlog!

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How to Powerup Your Blog: ACTION 3: Powerup your Headlines

blog headline

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

Driving traffic to your website is one of the primary benefits of a company blog. However, posting relevant and useful content consistently may not be generating the traffic you expected. Other action is required to powerup your blog.

blog headlines

We’ve seen how to structure your blog using categories and tags and how to share your posts on relevant social media channels. Now what’s really important is getting people to click on the link to your blog and then read it. The only thing that can make people do that is the headline.

This third post in the series: How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, explains how to optimize open rates with keyword-rich headlines.

Action 3:        Powerup your headlines

First things first

Crafting a good headline should be the first step in writing a post. Start with the topic, one identified in your content calendar. Then, think about what benefit you will provide your readers in the post. With a topic and key benefit sorted, start brainstorming headline ideas, coming up with at least five drafts.

blog headlines

When writing the post, keep thinking about the headline, keep focused on the promised benefit and make sure you deliver in every post. The sections below will help you powerup your headlines to get them opened and read.

Keywords

There is some debate about whether headlines should focus on SEO or on “writing for humans”. As it turns out you should do both.

Keywords are important because they are words and phrases your audience is searching for. By using keywords, you attract more readers and drive more relevant traffic to your website.

Niche phrases, several keywords together, can add the human element. Although they generate less traffic, that traffic is more targeted with less competition. A niche phrase is more specific, and specificity makes for a better headline.

A really great headline, then, should speak in the language of the audience with keywords, presented in a proven formula that catches human attention and offers value.

Classic headline formulas

How to posts

How-to articles and blog posts are some of the most read, linked, and shared content online. Readers are looking for useful information that they can apply in a practical way. Try to focus on benefits that make your readers life better, easier, and happier. Follow up with great content that fills the promise of your headline.

There are many variations of the basic How to headline. The How to [Blank] and [Blank] was made famous by Dale Carnegie with How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it is still a powerful formula today. The How to [Blank] Without [Objectionable Action] title works because sometimes your reader wants something but doesn’t necessarily want to do what it takes to get it.

Numbered lists

A headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, tips, or actions works because it makes a specific promise to the reader. As long as you deliver on the promise with quality content, you’ll have a satisfied reader.

The human brain loves numbers, in headlines especially because numbers place information in a logical order. Interestingly, we seem to believe odd numbers more than even numbers. Odd numbers, the number 7 in particular, appear to help our brains process and recall information more easily.

The Content Marketing Institute recommends using the numeral 7 in headlines rather than the word seven. For example, instead of Seven Things You Should Know About Your Clarifier, try using 7 Things You Should Know About Your Clarifier.

Why and a declarative statement

People find it difficult to resist a headline that presents an interesting take on a topic they care about. This headline uses Why not as a question, but to put forward a point of view with the promise an explanation: Why Facebook May Be Bad for Your Business.

A reason to read

This headline formula is about giving readers a good reason to read your post. Use numbers combined with reasons to really powerup your headlines: 7 Facts about your Water Tanks that you May Not Know or 6 Insights into the Future of Membrane Technology

Conclusion

Optimizing with keywords and using winning formulas can powerup your headlines, increasing your click-through-rate.

The final post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, action 4 is about using all channels, SlideShare in particular, to extend your reach.

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the water and environmental industries:

Check out WaterBlog!

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How to Powerup Your Blog

blog social media

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

A primary benefit of a company blog is how it can drive traffic to your website. But maybe, just maybe, publishing consistently hasn’t generated the interest you were expecting. What else can you do attract attention?

blog social media

There is no better place to extend the reach of your blog than social media. But, as we all know, without a plan and some discipline, one can easily get sucked down the social media rabbit hole.

This second post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looks at how to promote your blog on social media, driving even more traffic to your website.

Action 2.        Powerup your social media

When planning a social media strategy for your blog, it pays to begin by establishing your goals. This will help you choose which channels to target and what focus your content should have.

To extend the reach of your blog on social media you need the right stuff. You need to have:

  • the right profile
  • on the right channels
  • with the right content
  • at the right time.

The right profile

The profile you use on your social media sites can help drive traffic to your website and blog. First, all social media channels give you a couple places to display your website’s URL. Use them all.

Then, fill your About and Biographies sections with relevant keywords. Complete every section to optimize your profile. Include a clear Call to Action to let readers know how to find more information or contact you. On some channels you may need to put the CTA in each post.

Every time you post a blog, share it on all your channels. Use the comments and questions you get to refer people to back to your site.

Place links in your social media biographies to further boost your SEO. When you link back to your site from your social media channels, you’re creating high-quality backlinks to your site.  This is a key benefit of social profile optimization.

The right channels

The business you are in and the content you intend to share will help you pick the social media channels to use. The following sections give a brief overview of social media sites used by B2B marketers.

Facebook

Although it’s changed over the years, Facebook is still an incredibly powerful B2B marketing tool. It remains the world’s largest social network and, used correctly, enables communication with your audience, your customer. Businesses are able to reach their customer base easily, and on personal level.

blog social media

Optimize your company Facebook page and remember that with the new algorithm it’s all about meaningful interactions. Best practice includes:

  • avoiding overly-promotional content,
  • creating and sharing content that’s relevant to your products, and
  • developing a company narrative that keeps your audience interested.

Twitter

Twitter is a channel where you build and manage relationships. Importantly, when you share quality content on Twitter you drive traffic to your site. Prospects that visit your site can then be converted to leads, and ultimately into customers. Twitter is a great place to provide customer service too. Respond to all enquires and comments to encourage engagement.

blog social media

Twitter is also a great place to get people talking about your company, your industry, and, yes, you’re your competitors. Use it to:

  • create buzz around a product launch,
  • give certain employees the power to act as personal contacts with your followers, and
  • develop relationships with bloggers and journalists for further reach.

LinkedIn

When blogging about business and professional topics, LinkedIn is an important channel. LinkedIn helps you reach a B2B-oriented audience. LinkedIn company pages allow you to showcase your business, brand, products and services, and job opportunities.

blog social media

Every time you post a blog on your website post a link to in on your LinkedIn company page as well as the personal page of your primary communicator.

Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest

blog social media

Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest are almost entirely visual. These visually-oriented platforms are most effectively leveraged for brand-building. This is where you share your multimedia and video content (see below).

blog social media

Instagram in particular has become important in brand building because engagement is high, and followers become brand-loyal. Develop a visual identity that reflects your website and brand.

The right content

Regardless of the social media platforms you choose, the key to successful content is shareability. People share content that:

Inspires – you create positivity when you inspire your readers

Entertains – when your content engages, it entertains your readers

Educates – sharing knowledge improves your readers knowledge and quality -of-life.

The content you choose to share will depend on the channel, of course. Remember your goal – driving traffic to the blog on your website – and mix up your offerings.

Infographics

Informative and visually appealing, infographics present facts and figures in a condensed visual format. Infographics are hugely popular and can be a huge source of traffic, especially if it is good enough to be re-shared.

blog social media

Multi-media

On channels like Instagram content must be shared as images or videos. Sharing this kind of content can be very effective. You know how much a picture is worth!

Company clips

This isn’t about boring, old-fashioned corporate videos. Think about ways to show off your team and your brand. Take the opportunity to humanize your brand. You have the potential to win many more followers if you do.

Tutorials, quizzes

Creating tutorials in multimedia formats allows people to see actual products or methods in use. Many in your audience might prefer watching a video rather than reading a 1,000 word post. Use quizzes to entertain your audience and with the right questions, perhaps learn a bit about them.

The right time

Hootsuite, a social media integration platform, investigated the ideal times for sharing content on each social media platform.  They found that each platform has its own peak timing for sharing. For B2B marketing posts, peak time is generally weekdays during business hours. The sections below summarize Hootsuite’s findings.

Facebook

The best time for B2B brands to post on Facebook is

Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday

between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.

LinkedIn

Being a professional network it not surprising that the best times to post on LinkedIn is before and after work on workdays, and at break times. Hootsuite found the best times for B2B brands to post on LinkedIn are:

Wednesday (followed by Tuesday)

at 7:45AM, 10:45AM, 12:45PM, and 5:45PM EST.

Twitter

An interesting statistic about Tweets: the average lifespan of tweet is only 18 minutes! That makes timing all the more important. Here, Hootsuite found that for B2B brands in the US, the best time to tweet is:

Monday OR Thursday

between 9AM and 4PM EST; focus on between 11AM-1PM EST

Don’t even bother on the weekend!

Instagram

Instagram is not as easy to predict due to its algorithm that prioritizes a feed based on the ‘recency’ of the post. The study by Hootsuite did not give specific projections for B2B business or the water industry specifically. They did find the following:

Professional Services

Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.

Technology

Monday and Tuesday

at 2 p.m.

A note about timing

The water and environmental industries, while B2B, do not always fit into the categories analyzed. You should test the same content at different times on each channel. Hone your timing to best suit your audience and upstage your competition.

Always, remember, however, that the best timing int the world won’t make up for bad content!

Conclusion

You can extend the reach of every blog post by understanding your social media audience. By developing the right profile and content for the right channel at the right time your build awareness of your brand.

In the next post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, learn about how to write a killer headline in Action 3: Powerup your headlines.

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the water and environmental industries:

Check out WaterBlog!

Contact me for quality and professional content writing services

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How to Powerup your Blog

blogging site structure

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

Scrolling through water and environmental industry websites, I always check for a company blog. A place where the company showcases its brand and raises awareness of its products and services. Almost every site I visit hosts a blog. Some companies even blog regularly and consistently.

blogging site structure

One of the primary benefits of a company blog is how it can help increase traffic to your website. But publishing consistently may not be generating the interest you were hoping for.

So, other than publishing quality content, consistently, how can you optimize your blog to extend your reach?

This series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, will discuss four actions you can take right now to get more traffic to your blog:

  • Action 1: Powerup your blog structure
  • Action 2: Powerup your social media
  • Action 3: Powerup your headlines
  • Action 4: Powerup all channels – SlideShare

This first post explains how to structure your blog with categories and tags so search engines can find your content, driving more traffic to your website.

Action 1: Powerup your blog structure

Without a proper structure, as your blog grows, your readers will get lost in the search for the information they need. Your posts will disappear in the crowd. Search engines won’t be able to find them.

blogging site structure

How do you add structure to your blog? You start by using categories and tags. Strategically implemented, categories and tags extend your blog’s reach, get your content found, and improve your SEO.

Categories

You use categories to group your content into ‘global’ segments. Categories increase usability and enhance SEO. Search engines will find posts more easily if they aren’t competing with each other.

You can define and describe your categories in WordPress under the Posts menu. Each post should be assigned a single category. The description you use is displayed on the category page so make is compelling. For instance, the WaterCopy categories are based on the services I provide: Content marketing, White papers, Blogging etc.

Once all your blogs are assigned to a single category, you can put category pages on your site. Category pages sort your posts and display them on a separate page for each category. Links to category pages can be on a menu bar on in a sidebar. Remember, search engines love more pages!

As your blog grows you can add sub-categories to add another layer of structure. Evaluate your site structure regularly to keep it in order.

Tags

Hashtags are a word, or group of words after the # sign (like #hashtag, #watercopy, #contentmarketing etc.). Most people know of them from their use on Twitter as “tweet chats” – open group discussions around a particular topic. They are also known as metadata tags. You use tags to add further structure to your blog by describing your posts in more detail.

There are several types of tags:

Brand & Campaign tags

A brand hashtag is your company name or tagline. You use your business tag on all of your social media sites.

A campaign hashtag is one you develop for each of your marketing campaigns. If you can get people to use your hashtag, your campaign will get extended reach. Link relevant posts to campaigns with campaign tags.

Trending tags

A trending hashtag identifies a topic that is very popular. By using a trending tag in your blog post, you can potentially get your message out to a very large audience.

Content tags

Content tags are common hashtags that are related to your post content. You use content tags to further sort your posts, improving SEO. Base content tags on keywords related to the category and the post.

Content tags help get your updates seen by prospects who are searching for, or using, the hashtag words.

There are different ways to structure content tags. You may want to use:

  • product hashtags (e.g. #whitepapers, #casestudies)
  • service hashtags, (e.g. #contentwritingservices, #proofreading)
  • location hashtags (e.g. #onlinefreelancer)
  • event hashtags (e.g.#endofyearsale)

As well as adding structure to your blog, you can engage with people using related common hashtags – whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Like on LinkedIn.

Conclusion

Structuring you blog with categories and tags will increase traffic to your blog by enhancing SEO.

The next post in the series, How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your reach, action 2 is about effectively dispersing your message through lots of different social media channels.

For more free information about how content marketing provides benefits to the water and environmental industries:

Check out the WaterBlog!

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Search Engine Optimization Statistics Infographic

SEO statistics infographic

Is all that work optimizing your site for search engines really worth it? Will publishing quality content help? Check out these amazing stats about organic traffic and you’ll see the answer to both questions is a resounding YES!

WaterCopy SEO Statistics Infographic

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you need help producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.  Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT A BLOG PLANNER/WRITER

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Lead magnets in the water industry: Why? What? How?

lead magnet checklist

If you’re going to give it away make it worth it. An 8-point checklist

Introduction

In the last few years, the term lead magnet has become a bit of a buzzword. But what exactly is a lead magnet? And why is everyone making such a big deal about it?

lead magnet checklist

Essentially, whenever a prospect lands on your website, your end-goal is to drive profitable action. But visitors are seldom ready to make a decision right away. They want useful and relevant resources and information. That’s where lead magnets come in.

When you use lead magnets, you give your prospects access to gated content. In return, they fill out a signup form on your site. Voila! They just joined your email list, which makes it much easier to engage with, and convert them into future buyers, through email marketing.

In this post, we’ll look at why you need a lead magnet, what kind of lead magnet to offer, and how to make sure your lead magnet meets its goal.

Why give stuff away?

You may be asking why you should develop something valuable just to give it away? You do it because a lead magnet is a piece of content that will draw in the type of leads you want to your business. It’s a way for you to identify potential customers.

lead magnet checklist

The main benefit of a lead magnet is to grow your email list. Your lead magnet must, therefore, be valuable enough for a person to give you their contact details in return. Once a person has given you permission to email them, you can start to build a relationship with them. Pure gold!

What to give away?

The type of lead magnets you offer will depend on your product and on your prospects. Some good types of lead magnets for the water industry are:

Useful and educational resources

Once you have identified a topic your audience wants more information about, develop a short, concise piece of content that educates and informs. Infographics are excellent useful and/or educational lead magnets when professional designed and presented.

Just keep content assets short and leave them wanting more. Leave them wanting more information they can only get from contacting you directly.

Cheat sheets, and checklists

Cheat sheets are popular because they save people time. They work similarly to a checklist, only cheat sheets have a more actionable nature to them.

lead magnet checklist

Both cheat sheets and checklists are useful if you’re sharing tips that help readers understand complex tasks for the first time.

When developing a either cheat sheet or a checklist, remember to keep things brief and concise. With this type of content, it’s not about telling a story, it’s about getting straight to the value of your offering.

Video training/tutorials

Video tutorials have been shown to boost your conversion rate as much as five times! There are technologies that make it easy to create a step-by-step video product in just minutes. Tutorials help customers understand a process or see how easy it is to use your product. An excellent choice for demonstrating your water and/or waste treatment processes.

Webinars

Webinars are another highly efficient and currently quite popular lead magnet. Regularly scheduled webinars encourage your visitors to learn more about your company, your products/services, and your business culture. Remember, avoid making it purely promotional. In fact, you must offer value before asking for commitment from your leads.

Software downloads/demos

If your product is more intangible, like software, think about offering free downloadables. By offering a trial or a slimmed-down software version, you can significantly increase your conversion rate. Make sure your visitors have to opt-in before downloading your free product.

Surveys and quizzes

Depending on your audience online, surveys and quizzes can be effective. They encourage prospects to test their skills, knowledge, or attitude. You get to ask them for their contact information while entertaining them. You can also gain valuable information about your audience with clever survey/quiz questions.

How do you know your lead magnet is good? 8-point checklist

You’ve decided you need a lead magnet to build your email list. You have picked the perfect type of lead magnet for your audience. The next step is to develop an effective offering. So, what makes a lead magnet good? This checklist explains the eight criteria of a successful lead magnet:

  1. It is specific

Your lead magnet must be ultra-specific to the audience you want it to engage. If your offering isn’t relevant to their wants and needs, they aren’t going to download it.

  • It focuses on one emotionally compelling idea

It is a common theme in content marketing: one emotionally compelling idea. Your lead magnet should engage your reader on an emotional level. Solve a problem – generate gratitude. Offer a useful resource that makes their job easier – build trust. Give them an engaging quiz – entertain them.

  • It will solve a problem

Successful lead magnets are focused on solving a problem for the reader. Make life for your prospects easier, better, smarter.

  • It is useful

The offering must have value – actual value. Solve a problem for your lead. Provide valuable information. Offer a demo or free trial. Make sure it is valuable enough to your audience from them to give you their email address.

  • It is actionable

Lead magnets should provide instant gratification. Solve a problem, entertain, or educate – just do it quick!

  • It is concise

Lead magnets are for quick consumption. The rule is no more than 5 minutes to experience the content. Leave them wanting more.

  • It shifts the relationship

When the reader trades their contact information for your lead magnet, they are demonstrating trust. Trust that you will value their connection. Trust that you will follow up with them.

  • It must have high perceived value

Just because you are giving something away, it shouldn’t look free. Design and formatting must look professional and of high perceived value.

Conclusion

If you want to build a relevant contact list and establish a relationship with your prospective customers, you need a lead magnet. Email marketing still delivers the highest ROI of any channel, so the quality and size of your contact list is extremely important.

With a lead magnet you give your prospects something they want for free. In return you get contact information to use in email campaigns. However, before creating your next lead magnet, ask yourself this question:

What can we give away for free that will make our prospective customers’ lives better?

If you can answer that, you’ve got a great idea for a lead magnet!

Are you so busy making a difference to your clients that you don’t have time to tell your good news stories?  Have you solved a wastewater problem for a client, a community, a country? Then get that story out there!  Let the world know how your company solves problems and makes a difference.

That’s where WATER COPY comes in.  I research and write top quality science-based content. (Click here to see more details about my skills and experience).

Contact me to discuss your next content asset.


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Get that company blog up and running in 4 weeks: Week 4: Awareness: Put up a more effective company blog

effective company blog


4 weeks to an awareness-generating company blog

Introduction

Do you have an effective company blog?  What makes a blog effective anyway? 

You established your company blog to reap the benefits of blogging.  You want to establish thought leadership, build trust, and generate leads. You’ve made a plan and written your first post and put it up on the blog page of your website. Now what? It’s time to get it out there; get it liked, and shared. An effective company blog achieves its goal of building your list, increasing traffic to your website, or generating awareness of your solutions.

There are seven actions you can take today to make your company blog more effective.  Each one is just a small action, but they add up to a more effective company blog. In this last post of the series: Get that Company Blog Up and Running in Four Weeks – 4 weeks to an awareness-generating company blog, Week 4 we look at each action that makes for an effective company blog.

Week 4: Awareness: Put up a more effective company blog

An effective company blog helps build awareness of your solutions, your unique value proposition. Once your blog is up and running, there are seven actions you can take to increase the effectiveness of your blog. Let’s check them out, in no particular order.

Action #1. Name your author(s)

effective company blog

Naming a blog author establishes credibility and builds trust.  You can work on developing a unique voice in your industry.  Because your audience changes through the sales funnel, your content should too.  You might establish several blog authors, that address different aspects of your buyers’ journey. Even when working with a freelancer, make sure your writer understands the persona of the published author.

Blogging is a key element in establishing your company as thought leaders. Naming your authors provides a sound foundation to build on. Provide a short bio for each author, establishing their expertise.

Action #2. Keep the same domain name

A major benefit of a company blog is moving your company page up in the rankings of major search engines. Each time you post a blog, a page is added to your website.  That’s another page for search engines to investigate and rank.  But it only works if your blog is on the same domain as your company website – blog.companydomain.com or companydomain.com/blog.

Action #3. Enable subscribers with an RSS feed

Don’t miss the value of building up a following of loyal blog readers. The more readers that subscribe to your blog, the more opportunities you have to fill the top of your sales funnel.   You also increase the number of visitors coming to your website regularly.

By enabling RSS feeds on your site, readers can subscribe to be notified when a new post goes up. Every time you post a blog, a message goes out to your list, letting them know it’s up.  Your subscribers may share that email with friends and colleagues, who then may subscribe themselves.  Every new subscriber is a potential new lead.

Action #4. Maintain consistency and quality

effective company blog

An effective blog provides its readers with quality content on a consistent basis.  This is where your blog planning pays off.  An important part of a blog plan is the publishing schedule.  With a publishing schedule in place, it is much easier to post regularly.  Whether you blog monthly, weekly, daily, or multiple times a day, you want to keep it consistent.

A corollary to blogging consistently is providing quality content in each post.  Without quality content your blog may not achieve the traffic goals as planned.  You should monitor responses to each blog and how they impact site traffic on a monthly basis.  You may need to up the frequency to achieve your traffic goals.

Action #5. Encourage action with a CTA

Encourage your audience to take an action in every post.  A clear Call to Action (CTA) will pull them further into your site.  After reading quality content, your reader is primed for more valuable content.  Be sure it is relevant to the topic of each post. 

For example, a powerful CTA:

  • is concise, and
  • action-oriented (maybe a short phrase using an action verb),
  • that plays on a visitor’s fear of missing out, or
  • evokes excitement and enthusiasm to stimulate action.

You might add an incentive to convert, some added bonus for acting.  Just be sure to encourage action in every post.

Action #6. Facilitate sharing on social media

Your blog should facilitate sharing with social share buttons. That way your readers can share that fantastic article you recently posted.  The success of your blog depends on how many people read it.  As a matter of fact, social sharing buttons can increase click-through rates by an astounding 55%!

There are several plug-ins that allow social sharing.  Be sure to include links to all your social media sites on your blog.

Action #7. Optimize for speed, mobile, and SEO

Speed

Optimize your blog so that it loads quickly on all devices.  There are online tools you can use to check loading speeds and identify areas for improvement.  One thing to check first is the size of images on the page.

Mobile

Given the increasing use of mobile phones for internet searching, be sure to optimize your blog for smartphones and tablets.

SEO

You want to ensure readers can find you through search engines.  Part of optimizing your blog is in optimizing your content.  Planning your blog topics around keywords makes it easier to optimize them for SEO.  Your focus keyword should feature prominently featured in page titles, headers, alt tags, and images.

effective company blog

Another trick is to link other relevant content within your website.  Perhaps you have white papers or case studies on a related topic.  Where appropriate link to your product or services pages.  Search engines love this sort of linking and it will help move you up the ranks.

Ranking high on searches is incredibly important.  In fact, Marketshare found that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

Conclusion

In Week 4 of building your company blog consider these seven actions you can take to increase the effectiveness of your company blog:

  1. Name your author(s)
  2. Keep the same domain name
  3. Enable subscribers with an RSS feed
  4. Encourage action with a CTA
  5. Maintain consistency and quality
  6. Facilitate sharing on social media
  7. Optimize for speed, mobile, and SEO

By taking these actions you will find your blog effectively:

  • increasing site traffic,
  • establishing your thought leadership and building awareness,
  • moving you up in the search rankings, and
  • helping convert leads.

Is your company blog doing what you thought it would?  How do you ensure your blog is effective?

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, how do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog every week?  WATER COPY can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT A BLOG PLANNER/WRITER

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Accelerate your blog: 10 things every effective blog must have

effective business blog

Introduction

Is your company blog effective?  What makes a blog effective anyway?

You established your company blog to reap the benefits of blogging.  You want to establish thought leadership, build trust, and generate leads.

There are 10 actions you can take today to make your blog more effective.  Each one is just a small action, but they add up to an effective company blog.

  1. Know your AUDIENCE(s)

The trick is to create blog content for your buyer personas.  But who are you talking to?  For a water effective business blogindustry blog, your audience may change through the sales funnel.  There are project managers investigating a problem their company is facing.  There are upper management decision-makers considering proposed solutions.  There are technical boffins assessing if the proposed solution will solve the problem.

Your blog shouldn’t be about a hard sell.  It shouldn’t be a platform for discussing current trends.  Your blog should be a way to educate your audience.  A way of engaging with prospects and moving them through the funnel.

  1. Name your blog AUTHOR(s)

Naming a blog author establishes credibility and builds trust.  You can work on developing a unique voice in your industry.  Because your audience changes through the sales funnel, your content should too.  You might establish several blog authors, that address different aspects of your buyers’ journey.

Blogging is a key element in establishing your company as thought leaders.  Naming your authors provides a sound foundation to build on.

  1. Keep the same DOMAIN

A major benefit of a company blog is moving your company page up in the rankings of major search engines.  Each time you post a blog, a page is added to your website.  That’s another page for search engines to investigate and rank.  But it only works if your blog is on the same domain as your company website – blog.domain.com or domain.com/blog.

  1. Enable SUBSCRIBERS

Don’t miss the value of building up a following of loyal blog readers. The more readers that subscribe to your blog, the more opportunities you have to fill the top of your sales funnel.   You also increase the number of visitors coming to your website regularly.

Every time you post a blog a message goes out to your list, letting them know it’s up.  Your subscribers may share that email with friends and colleagues, who then may subscribe themselves.  Every new subscriber is a potential lead.

  1. Maintain CONSISTENCY

An effective blog provides its readers with quality content on a consistent basis.  This is where your blog planning pays off.  An important part of a blog plan is the publishing schedule.  With a publishing schedule in place, it is much easier to post regularly.  Whether you blog monthly, weekly, daily, or multiple times a day, you want to keep it consistent.

  1. Provide quality CONTENT

A corollary to blogging consistently is providing quality content in each post.  Without quality content your blog may not achieve the traffic goals as planned.  You should monitor responses to each blog and how they impact site traffic on a monthly basis.  You may need to up the frequency to achieve your traffic goals.

  1. Encourage ACTION

Encourage your audience to take an action in every post.  A clear Call to Action (CTA) will pull them further into your site.  After reading quality content, your reader is primed for more valuable content.  Be sure it is relevant to the topic of each post.

For example, a powerful CTA:

  • is concise, and
  • action-oriented (maybe a short phrase using an action verb),
  • that plays on a visitor’s fear of missing out, or
  • evokes excitement and enthusiasm to stimulate action.

You might add an incentive to convert, some added bonus for acting.  Just be sure to encourage action in every post.

  1. Facilitate SHARING

Your blog should facilitate sharing with social share buttons. It’s the way your readers will share that fantastic article you recently posted.  The success of your blog depends on how many people read it.  As a matter of fact, social sharing buttons increased click-through rates by an astounding 55%!

There are several plug-ins that allow social sharing.  Be sure to include them on your blog.

  1. Optimize for SPEED and MOBILE

Optimize your blog so that it loads quickly on all devices.  There are online tools you can use to check loading speeds and identify areas for improvement.  One thing to check first is the size of images on the page.

Given the increasing use of mobile phones for internet searching, be sure to optimize your blog for smartphones and tablets.

  1. Boost your rankings with SEO

Although there are many channels for promoting your blog, you want to ensure readers can find you through search engines.  Part of optimizing your blog is in optimizing your content.  As discussed in the blog: 4 Ws and an H: Blog planning in five steps a couple of weeks ago, planning your blog topics around keywords makes it easier to optimize them for SEO.  Your focus keyword should feature prominently featured in page titles, headers, alt tags, and images.effective business blog

Another trick is to link other relevant content within your website.  Perhaps you have white papers or case studies on a related topic.  Where appropriate link to your product or services pages.  Search engines love this sort of linking and it will help move you up the ranks.

Ranking high on searches is incredibly important.  In fact, Marketshare found that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

Conclusion

That’s ten actions you can take to increase the effectiveness of your company blog:

  1. Know your AUDIENCE(s)

  2. Name your blog AUTHOR(s)

  3. Keep the same DOMAIN

  4. Enable SUBSCRIBERS

  5. Encourage ACTION

  6. Maintain CONSISTENCY

  7. Provide quality CONTENT

  8. Facilitate SHARING

  9. Optimize for MOBILE and SPEED

  10. Boost your rankings with SEO

By taking these actions you will find your blog effectively:

  • increasing site traffic,
  • establishing your thought leadership and building trust,
  • moving you up in the search rankings, and
  • converting leads.

Is your company blog doing what you thought it would?  How do you ensure your blog is effective?

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, how do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog every week?  WATER COPY can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT A BETTER BLOG WRITER

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Blog Writing: It’s not just about words.  Write blogs that get clicked, read, and shared.

business blog writer

Introduction

You’ve decided you need to upgrade your company blog.  You need to provide quality content to your audience to build thought leadership and generate leads.  You need to quit filling your blog with product launch announcements and trade show pics.

You’ve written the blog plan.  You have a production schedule and a list of topics.  Now you need to write.  This can present a challenge, whether you like writing or not.  How does one go about writing a blog?

Check out these three tips on how to write a blog that gets clicked, read, and shared.

Tip 1: Get the basics right

There is a basic structure to any piece of quality content.  Get the basics right and your blog is that much more likely to get read.

Title/headline

The headline presents the first impression of post.  It’s important to get it right or readers won’t click through to read the content.  A headline should be actionable and keyword-focused.  Try to keep it brief.  Be clear and definitive, maybe even intriguing.

There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline.  Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:

  1. including numbers,
  2. adding an intriguing adjective, or
  3. using action verbs.

The body copy

Any piece of content will be more engaging if it is focused on one emotionally compelling idea.  A blog post is no different.  You should have that emotionally compelling idea based on your keyword research, as discussed in last week’s post.  Now it’s time to write the post.

Always start with an outline.  Organize all the information that supports the one big idea and make sure it follows a logical flow.  Use headings and subheadings to divide the supporting information into sections.

Start with an introduction, where you tell the reader what you’re going to tell them.  Follow with the body copy, subdivided into sections with headings and subheadings.  This is where the real information is.  Finish with a conclusion that tells them what you told them.

Unique to blogs is the chance to get a conversation started.  Find a way to invite your readers to comment.  Follow the discussion and contribute solutions.

The call-to-action

Finish every post with a call-to-action.  As a powerful top-of-the-funnel tactic, your blog is the perfect place to pull prospects further into the funnel.  Get your readers to subscribe to your blog or to contact you or to read about your product and services.  Be sure to include that CTA.

Tip 2: Readability IS the new SEO darling

Although keywords and keyword phrases remain important, search engines are increasingly focused on readability.  Search engines want to be sure your content will fulfill the reader’s intent.  Most readers prefer easy-to-read text.  Here are some ways to make your text easy-to-read:

Use personal pronouns

Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone.  Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer.  A conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.business blog writer

Avoid jargon

In the water industry, it is easy to fall into using technical terms that may confuse some readers.  If you must use a technical term, especially when you’re writing for non-specialists, define it so all your readers can understand.

Avoid padding

Words like very, really, actually, or carefully don’t serve any purpose.  Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.

By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start engaging your audience.  Use personal pronouns, where appropriate.  Avoid jargon by choosing the right word. Avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.

Tip 3: Design it so readers will move right through to the CTA

You may not want to know this but not all your readers will read your entire blog.  Many blog readers (43%, according to Hubspot) admit to skimming content.  Rather than being offended by this, play to those readers.  Cater to all readers with the design of each blog.business blog writer

White space

Dense blocks of text can intimidate readers.  Clever use of white space – areas with no text or graphics – will lessen the stress.  Put in a few pull quotes to add variety to the blog’s visual flow.

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings not only help with the flow of logic of the post, they provide a break from the text.  They allow skimmers to get the gist of the blog without having to read the entire article.  Optimize headings for keywords where possible.

Bulleted or numbered lists

Anytime your information allows, break up blocks of text with bulleted or numbered lists.  Again, they cater to skimmers, but they also help organize information into short concise portions.

Images

Photos, graphs, charts, and tables add visual appeal while providing in-depth information in an eye-catching format.  Keep graphs and charts relatively simple.

 

Conclusion

After all the meetings, the brainstorming, the planning, it’s time to write.  Writing posts for the company blog may never be your favorite thing to do but with these three tips you can help to ensure your post will get clicked, read, and shared.

 

How do you check the readability of your content?  Which tools do you like best?

 

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, business blog writerhow do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog?  WATER COPY can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT A BETTER BLOG WRITER

Please follow and like us:
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