Are You Linking up with Blogging Success?

Everyone running a business wants their company to be as successful as possible.

That said some running companies fail to capitalize on a number of opportunities around them. In failing to do so, dollars are lost and growth is tempered.

With that being the case, stop for a moment and review where your brand is winning and where it may in fact be losing.

One area where you may be coming up short is with your blog.

Those companies investing the time and energy into their blogs are typically the ones who see new business opportunities come through their doors on a regular basis.

Meantime, those companies giving their blogs minimal time and effort are typically the ones who see competitors snatching up new business, business that quite frankly could have fallen into the former’s laps if they just would have invested more time with their blogs.

When you take a moment to think about it, are you linking up with blogging success? 

Links and Their Importance

linkWhile you never want to be writing blog posts that come across as simply trying to sell something, you do want posts that are linking up with success.

For example, if you are doing some guest blogging for other sites, inserting a relative link in a post that runs back to your website is perfectly fine.

The key when doing this is always making sure that the link flows naturally within the copy, not standing out like a sore thumb.  An example of a bad linking strategy would be inserting a link to healthcare when you’re a Realtor and your blog focuses on real estate topics.

Even though this is not rocket science, it can be a little tricky at times, leading you to consider working with a guest blogging service.

That service provider can assist you with a link building guide, directing you towards natural links in your blog posts.

If you’re unsure of how to go about finding the right guest blogging service, start by doing a Google search.

While there are plenty of such services out there, you should be able after some research to whittle down the field in a rather short period of time.

Once you have the guest authoring service you want working with you, make sure to focus on:

  • Quality content – First and foremost, quality content sells. Using the example of the Realtor, he or she wants blog content which speaks to consumers looking to buy or sell real estate. Remember, consumers have a plethora of sites they can turn to in order to learn more about buying or selling the home of their choosing. Your content should be something that resonates with the consumer, not something they have seen time and time again. Also make sure your content has a call to action at the end. This is a great means whereby you can engage the consumer, encouraging him or her to act moving forward;
  • Marketing your content – As great as your blog content may be (and should be), what if just about no one was familiar with it? Working with a guest authoring service allows your content to be pushed in front of countless eyes, eyes that oftentimes will turn to their wallets or purses and make purchases with you. Your content should be marketed on all the major social sites for business needs (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.). As any social marketing expert can tell you, there is more to it than just doing the occasional share or tweet. You need to engage with others doing the same thing, along with responding to consumers when they come to your social sites with inquiries etc. Be sure that the social media conversations go both ways, allowing you to be seen as a leader in your respective industry.

There is so much potential sitting there in your blog, but are you putting it to work?

In order for your blog to link up with success, you must put in the time and effort to nurture the blog.

If you do that, you could very well be linking up with success.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers blogging topics on the web.

Is Your Business Giving Off The Right Impression? Here’s What You Should Be Considering

A business can just sail through sometimes. Neither making it into a big success or failing. It just seems to sail at a level. This is because you may not be giving off the right impression, and ultimately affecting your chances of growth. But don’t panic. There are some things you can do to turn this around. Which is why I thought it would be a great idea to share with you some of the things you should consider when it comes to the impression you make. I hope these tips help you improve.

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Start a blog

Businesses work well and succeed because of engagement with new and existing customers. One way to do that is through a company blog. This could be a way you supply content that may be of interest to your customers. Or it could simple be a way of you touching base in more details. More than perhaps you would through social media. Sometimes people like to hear the thoughts and opinions of people in a business. This is where you could change the impression people have of your company.

Your brand speaking to potential customers

Does your logo and brand give off a great impression? Does it look professional and appealing? Doe sit invite a customer to look into what you have or does it deter them away? These are all questions that you should consider asking yourself. You could try and take things to different level and look at redesigning your brand. You could utilise Adobe Illustrator and create a vector image. Creating spinning objects on Adobe After Effects or just working on the image at hand. Your brand and logo is the first impression you make, get it wrong and it will be the last one you make.

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Look at your online presence and website

Most things are done online these days. People grocery shop, buy their clothes, order takeaway food. They can even book a holiday and communicate with people through online platforms. This is why your website and online presence needs to be top notch. Is your website easy to use? Are you searchable through an online search engine? Working on your online presence could vastly improve your company’s image and the impression that you make.

Utilise social media as much as possible

Social media is your chance to engage with customers directly.  Be those existing ones or new customers. Which is why your presence needs to be consistent and relevant. You don’t need to be on every form of social media available. Especially if this is something you haven’t worked on before. Consider trying a few of the most popular ones and taking it from there. Twitter is excellent for short and precise information. You amy want to consider the power of a hashtag and how this could work for your business. Or alternatively look into Facebook. It happens to be one of the most popular sharing sites for people. Used daily. This is where you could get your business seen by people who may not have had the opportunity to before.

I hope these tips help you create the right impression for your business.

3 Things That No Blogger Should Ever Do

There’s no denying that blogging has changed the way we share and communicate information. From expressing our opinions to sharing experiences, it’s a fantastic way to connect with others. The number of people starting their own blog has trebled in recent years, and some have even made lucrative businesses out of theirs. The blogging community is one that encourages involvement, no matter what your age, gender, beliefs or interests are. But they do have an unofficial etiquette you need to abide by. So if you’ve just set up your first blog and want to make a good impression, here are some things you should never do.

Expect overnight success

Many new bloggers think that creating a successful blog can be done in little time and with minimum effort. This is a common misconception of blogging and sets unrealistic expectations. Even though it often doesn’t seem like it, top bloggers work for years to build a good reputation and loyal following. They will plan and create original articles and images, which can take hours or even days to accomplish. So if you’re not prepared to put the work in chances are your blog won’t succeed. If you are willing to put the time and effort in, start considering how you can drive traffic to your blog. You could hire an Adwords Consultant to help you or promote it regularly on social media. In addition to this, use a calendar to plan your weekly blogging schedule and a notebook to generate ideas.

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Copy another blogger

While there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from another blogger, you should never directly copy their work. Copying and pasting their text and images shows a significant lack of respect for the blogger. They will have spent time and energy creating that content, and it’s unfair to take credit for their hard work. It also shows that you care very little about your content. Looking at other blogs is something that is encouraged, so don’t be put off from doing so. This is a brilliant way of learning how to blog effectively from people with more experience than you do. Contact them directly to see if they will allow you to write a similar piece based on their idea. As long as you credit them with having the idea with a link to their blog, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Ignoring their loyal readers

Even though your blog might be a personal outlet, it’s also a source of information and insight for your loyal readers. These are the people who return to your blog frequently and communicate with you. They are a valuable asset to your blog, so it’s vital that you take the time to acknowledge them. Otherwise, they will feel unappreciated and find a similar blog elsewhere. Encourage your readers to communicate with your by asking them questions. You can even ask them for advice on blog titles and content. You’ll discover that their ideas and feedback could improve your blog and make you a better blogger. Plus it will help you build a good reputation which could help you reach newer readers.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by blogging, and there’s a lot you need to learn. But knowing what you shouldn’t do is always a good place to start.

 

How to Come Up With Amazing Blog Title Ideas

More people than ever before have discovered the joys of blogging, both personal, professional, and financial. Businesses and individuals alike have found blogging to be a powerful way to connect with readers, whether they are potential customers or casual passers-by. A blog gives the opportunity to provide an insight into the workings or daily life or business. It can be a platform to review products, discuss upcoming events, connect with others and even ask for advice or interaction. Blogs have all the immediacy and scope of other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But crucially, they tend to be a platform upon which more detail can be provided. Engaging, original content that has been structured well is a major selling point of a blog. But there is also a blog feature that you cannot afford to overlook: titles.

Without a striking title that hooks the reader, blog posts will simply never get read. No matter how high the quality of the post itself, if a title isn’t appropriate and eye-catching, it will never reach its intended audience. Nailing incredible blog titles is an art as well as a science. But there are a few tried and tested means to getting it right every time. Over time, you will soon develop an instinct for what sounds and “reads” right. You’ll watch the audience of your blog skyrocket as a result.

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Read Widely

The best way to learn to write is to read. If you’re interested in blogging, it is likely that you already follow a few blogs or read some regularly. It’s time to read them in a specific way. Notice the rhythms and sentence structures of well written articles. Online, they tend to be punchy and easy to follow. Shorter sentences are often easier to follow on a screen. They are also more likely to hold the attention of the reader. Titles can be the same. Try to notice a wide variety of titles for varying styles of blogs. Are they longer or shorter? If they’re long, how do they retain audience attention? Perhaps they promise a solution or use wonderful words. Think scientifically about why a particular title might have been chosen and then read the article. Does the title still suit it? Perhaps the title was only to lure the reader to a specific section of the article. It is a skill that takes some development. But titles encourage your reader towards a special area or point of the text, even if your reader is only skim-reading. On many blogs, it is possible to search for the most popular posts. Pay special attention to the titles here and note down if they have anything in common. There might be a title that you can adapt for your own work, even if it is simply using the structure. Become accustomed to the rhythms and conventions of writing titles, and you will soon feel confident coming up with your own.

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Think About What You’re Really Saying

Many blog posts have something specific that they’re trying to say. They then prove their point throughout the article or over step by step points. For example, an article might be encouraging someone to start their own blog. There may then be step-by-step points on how to achieve this. But look closely. Is the blog post really talking about the benefits of starting a blog, or how to avoid potential pitfalls, for example? They are subtle differences but can have a significant impact on the title. Think carefully about what you really want your post to say. There will undoubtedly be some filler or some additional points you would like to make. But narrowing down the focus of the post will not only enable you to write in a more focused way. It will also narrow down exactly what your title should be. Identify any hidden features or aspects of the post that you really want your readers to come away with. Construct a title that advertises it!

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Keep It Conversational

We have a society with a greater level of interaction than ever before. The internet and social media mean that it’s possible to connect with others all over the world. This has lead to customers and readers expecting a high level of interaction. If the register and tone of your blog allows, keep things conversational. You can still write informatively and formally if necessary. But conversational titles can draw a reader in like a friend or family member. They will feel engaged, involved, and valued. This is likely to lead to a much higher level of engagement. Imagine you have some great news or an interesting story to tell a friend. Think about how you would do it and what phrases you would use. “You’ll Never Believe” might be one. “Have you ever heard of…”, “You would never have thought of…” and so on might be others. Humans are natural storytellers. Many of us instinctively know the parts and features of our stories we should emphasize and the order we should tell them in. We know what is likely to hold the attention of others and what can be discarded. Apply this to your blog writing. You might be excited to have found a wonderful new product, or would love to tell others about a scheme they can benefit from. Try to capture the enthusiasm you would have around a friend. Even if you are writing more formally in the post, an enthusiastic, eye-catching title can be enough to start people reading.

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Collaborate

Blogging can easily become a solitary activity. When we work alone, it becomes important not to lose perspective or slip into bad habits. Collaborating with others, whether in person or online, can be a powerful antidote! If we are struggling to come up with a suitable title, it can be helpful to run our ideas past others. We can quickly lose track of what looks and sounds right if we have spent too much time thinking about it. Asking others for input can be helpful or we can even try this great title generator by Fat Joe. We may not always have time to seek out the advice of others directly. An online title generator can solve this problem. We should always make sure we tweak the suggested title afterwards, but it can be a wonderful source of inspiration. It can also be helpful to use the work of others as inspiration. There might be a famous phrase, novel, or movie title that we can capitalize on. A carpentry company discussing the friction of various materials titled a blog post “Pulp Friction”, for example. It was a playful reference to the well-known Tarantino picture “Pulp Fiction” and will have certainly got the attention of a reader! These aren’t always easy to do and we don’t have to rely on them too regularly. But every now and again, there might be a perfect opportunity to boost our title in this way!

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Scintillating Words and Quick Tricks

Always try to pepper your titles with exciting features for the reader. The title in itself should make for great reading before the post has even begun. Blog readers are often avid readers in any case, so they love the use of words. Don’t hesitate to use words that ignite the senses. “Sensational” might be an option. “Mind-Blowing”, “Awe-Inspiring” and even “Secret” can all draw a reader into what they feel will be a memorable reading experience. It can be rare that we get the opportunity to use these words in real life so take full advantage! Use these words to inspire you to create a post that’s really powerful, helpful or engaging. Even words like “Easy”, “Foolproof” and “Underrated” rank highly on the list of words readers like to hear. If you’re explaining a complicated situation or process, the word “Simple” can be a breath of fresh air for your reader. Think carefully about how attractively you can use numbers, steps, and scintillating words in a title and you’ll always be onto a winner.

Put Blogging to Use and Rent More Business

realestateAs a property manager, you know the importance of keeping the properties you manage full. That task is easier, if you can reduce turnover. One of the best ways to bring in new tenants while retaining current residents is by creating a blog.

Blogging offers many benefits to property management companies as part of your marketing strategy.

Provide Information

One of the best ways to capture the attention of potential tenants is by providing valuable information on your blog. Use it to let others see what it’s like to live in your community. Think about the questions potential tenants would have and answer them on your blog.

For example, talk about where your property is located if you get a lot of out-of-town tenants. Let them know about nearby amenities and what the culture is like onsite. If they like what they read, they’ll be more likely to choose your property and stay once they move in.

Introduce Yourself

As a representative of an unknown landlord, you must be the face of the property. Let your personality show in your blog posts. Don’t write blog posts that are dry and only based on facts.

Instead, showcase your personality, so the tenants know what to expect when dealing with the manager face to face. At the same time, potential tenants can get to know other residents if they reply to your posts.

Encourage this interaction by asking questions to get the opinions of others.

Choose a Variety of Topics

Keep a running list of topics that appeal to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and ask what they would want to know more about. Start with general ideas and narrow them down into single thoughts.

As the article, “7 blogging tips for your property management sites”, says, keep a file of ideas you get as you go about the rest of your job.

Ask your residents to provide ideas. Find out what they wanted to know or might still have questions about. This ensures that the topics you select are relevant and interesting.

Know Your Audience

What works for one demographic won’t work for everyone. Don’t generalize your blog to reach random applicants. Instead, know who you want in your properties or who is most likely to be interested and write to them.

If you have mostly college students, talk about the nightlife near your properties. If you have families in your apartments or homes, mention the schools or nearby parks. Discuss the low crime rate or the security guard you have onsite.

For senior rentals, you want to focus on the issues which matter most to them.

A blog can continue to bring in new tenants long after the posts have been written.

Make sure your blog is meeting the needs of your intended audience, and you’ll find a marketing strategy that continues to work for the long term.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including marketing and running a small business.

Make It Your Business to Communicate with the Best Tools

communicationCommunication is at the heart of any good business, which is why it’s so important to have the best communication tools at your disposal.

When equipped with the right tools and technology, you’ll take your communications to new heights.

Here are just a few ways your business can increase productivity with the right communications tools:

Anywhere Video Conferencing

Face-to-face communications is a major benefit for businesses of all kinds and technology is making this type of interaction possible from anywhere.

For starters, voice over Internet and hosted PBX phone systems make it possible for your business to videoconference with clients from any office location on any Internet-enabled device.

Likewise, there is conferencing software available that allows your business to videoconference with a number of individuals at once on any mobile device including smart phones and tablets.

This technology also lets your business live-stream conferences and meetings online for a larger audience to view.

Communication efficiency like this is a huge productivity booster.

Social Media

As the following article looks at, if you’re wondering how communication tools can improve your business productivity, then it’s time to consider social media.

That’s right, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin give your business a direct line of communication with customers and other businesses.

With the ease of posting messages and sharing content, your business can increase customer outreach quickly and easily using social media.

As social networking grows in popularity, your social outreach will continue to reach an ever-growing audience, which also helps increase, your online presence.

Business Blogging

Another way to boost communications productivity at your business is by adding a blog to your website. Business blogging is a great way to share news about your industry and continuously add content to your site, which helps with your SEO endeavors.

Likewise, you can also use your blog as a way to answer and respond to customer questions.

By allowing your blog visitors to add comments to your blog posts, you can increase outreach and communication productivity by simply maintaining your business blog on a daily or weekly basis.

Sharing Files

A large part of productive communications is collaboration, which is exactly where file sharing comes into play. With the latest file sharing software, you can share files and entire folders with everyone on your network.

Not only that, most file sharing programs make it possible to update and edit files in real time.

Whether you need to edit a document you already sent or you need to add an update to a folder, those changes will take place automatically without having to resend the file.

Project Management Software

Communicating with other employees is the key to productivity, especially when multiple departments are working on the same project. Project management software helps take the guesswork out of collaboration by keeping everyone on the same page.

From completion deadlines to last-minute changes and other updates, project management software will take your inner-office productivity to new heights.

If you’re looking to increase productivity in the workplace, consider using some of the communication tools above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including technology and business communications.

The Need for Properly Marketing the Travel Industry

If you work in the travel industry, you know the importance of using social media to advertise your business, get your name out there and gain new clients.

travel_blogWhether you’re a travel agent, travel insurance associate or you simply are a full-time traveler, having a blog and a social media presence are essential to your business’ marketing efforts.

Think about the last time you planned a vacation. What inspired you to plan one?

Most likely, it was seeing photos of family and friends’ vacations on social media in addition to needing a break from work.

When it came time to actually plan the trip, you probably searched online for the best deals and vacation packages. You might have visited travel websites and travel blogs to learn even more about your destination of choice.

Travelers all over the world plan vacations online.

That is why you absolutely need a blog and a social media following.

How to Start a Travel Blog

The idea of starting a travel blog might seem a bit confusing, but once you dive in it’s really not that difficult at all.

In fact, you can probably have one up and running within an hour.

As the following article looks at, here are the steps needed on how to start a travel blog:

Step 1: Purchase a Domain Name

A domain name is your blog’s URL. You’ll want it to be easy to remember and to fully encompass what it is you do.

If you’re a travel agent, for example, you may want “Traveling with (insert your name)” as your domain name. If you already own a travel agency, you should be able to use your website’s existing domain name and add a “Blog” section to the site.

Step 2: Find a Host

A host is the company that your blog will run on. Bluehost is an affordable option chosen by many.

Here, you can pick your domain name and purchase your hosting all on one site.

Once that’s taken care of, download WordPress or another self-hosted blogging platform.

Step 3: Choose a Theme

A theme is what viewers will see when they visit your blog. You want to pick a theme that’s easy to read and that can be navigated easily.

Simple, clean themes usually attract the most viewers because the viewer isn’t distracted with ads or bright colors.

Step 4: Create Engaging Content

When creating content for your travel blog, think about what people are searching for.

If you specialize in tropical vacations, you might want to do a series of posts on “affordable vacations in the Caribbean” or “how to save money on tropical vacations.”

By writing about what people are searching for, you’ll bring more readers to your site. These readers could easily wind up using your services to book their next vacation.

To get your blog exposure, create social media pages to go alongside your blog.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the platforms you should start with, as those three have millions of users and growing.

When you post a new blog, share the post with your followers on your social media sites.

Hopefully your followers will also share your post and your blog will slowly increase in traffic.

Travel agents and those working in the travel industry need to have both a blog and social media profiles in order to market their companies and see continued success in the travel business.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including social media, small businesses and travel.