Does Your Blog Do Justice to Your Business?

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You shouldn’t get casual or flippant about the art of blogging. A lot of people think that blogging is fairly easy, something that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Even if the blog is part of a business website, many of those business owners seem to treat their blog as if it’s fairly inconsequential.

But your blog needs to serve your business. Blogs can be one of the greatest tools available in digital marketing and sales expansion, but you need to be ready to do it right. Don’t cut corners just because blogging seems easy. This article will guide you towards a professional and effective approach to blogging.

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Getting set up

The setup of a blog is more complex than you might assume. Yes, it can be as easy as heading over to Blogger or Tumblr and setting up a new account with not much more effort beyond entering an email address. A lot of business owners will make the mistake of doing this: that is, taking the easiest route possible, which isn’t always the best route. It means you’ll end up with a less stable blog, one that has to use one of a limited number of templates that such platforms offer. These platforms are great for personal use – but it’s not the approach your business should be taking.

You need to choose a renowned, stable, easily-manageable platform through which to develop your blog. A blog-based content management system will allow you to make a blog part of your business website, instead of creating an off-site blog to which your business website links. The most popular way to do this is to add a WordPress blog to your business site. Make sure the URL looks good, too. You don’t want a URL among the lines of www.tumblr.com/(businessname). You want something along the lines of www.(businessname).com/blog!

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Don’t be too insular

When it comes to the content of your website, you should make it varied. You don’t want to veer too far from your business’s course, however. I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim to entertain or spice things up with a WordPress gallery plugin. But if you run a printing company and you start blogging about Donald Trump’s wacky Twitter antics or the new Jay-Z album, then it will become pretty apparent that you’re basically just fishing for views by taking on whatever is “hot” at the moment, regardless of the topic’s actual relevance to your business. People will start to wonder if you’ve just hired a meme-obsessed teenager to run your blog.

That being said, there’s such a thing as being too insular. Yes, you should keep things relevant to your particular niche, but don’t take this so far that you only write content about your business. A lot of businesses only blog about company news that could only possible interest shareholders and, at best, a handful of their customers. Your posts should still remain informative, but they should also entertain a general audience. They should be fun to read. Keep your posts concise and rich with helpful information.

Authority

The world of blogging isn’t exactly dog-eat-dog. There are blogs out there which have millions of readers every week. Some of the blogs may even be in your particular niche. As with the business world in general, however, there’s a lot of mutual benefit in sharing information and resources. A lot bloggers are happy to help one another. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to take advantage of this. While some blog owners don’t like the idea of sharing their content with other blogs, it can actually be one of the best ways to direct more people to your blog – and, thus, increase your chances of your business getting more sales.

But the really good thing about guest blogging – and the reason it can be so great for your business beyond mere exposure – is the fact that it lends you an air of authority. This is great for business, and is something you should put a lot of focus on. If users can look to your business – and its corresponding blog – as an authoritative source of information and good products or services, then business can boom in a big way. This is another reason your blog content must be really high-quality. Something else that can increase your status here is writing an e-book which you can offer to people who subscribe to your business’s blog.

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Growth

A blog is one of the best ways to attract people to your business, hands-down. It’s massively underrated by many business owners, but the stats make it pretty clear. With this in mind, it seems that you should always look to make your blog bigger in terms of content, viewership, and impact. The more readers your blog has, the more eyes are going to be on your services or products. This drives sales. So how exactly do you grow your blog? All of the things we’ve mentioned previously will help when it comes to expanding your blog’s readership. But, at some point, you’ll need to keep up with the demand of a growing audience. You might need to look into outsourcing content creation.

It’s true that you could hire more employees to create content in-house. If you have the resources to do this, then that could work. But when it comes to content creation, it may be best to outsource it or look into getting remote contract work. After all, hiring new full-time employees is expensive, and it also requires location-dependence. Sometimes, the best content creators for your business aren’t even in the same country as you! Getting outsourced content idea generation, analytics, and SEO will help grow your blog while leaving your resources free for other business tasks.

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Another thing to remember is that your website needs to be prepared to handle more visitors. If your blog attracts thousands of more users to your website every month, you may run into trouble if you originally signed up for a domain with limited visitor bandwidth. You could start seeing website crashes! Make sure your blog actually has room to grow by considering the scalability of your website before making any drastic additions!

Become The Leader You Need To Be

If you want to run a successful business, then you have to be a leader. Without a leader, efforts are disorganized, people are unmotivated, and the train doesn’t really leave the tracks. Not everyone is a natural leader, but they don’t have to be. Leadership can be learned. So, how do you learn it?

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Take charge

Don’t sit back and hope that you’re going to be a convincing communicator and an effective administrator. Leadership is about understanding the principles of organization and decision making and then applying it to the people looking to follow you. Some education in business fields can help you find exactly how to do that. Even if you’re starting your business, you can take time aside to learn in an online bachelor of arts in organizational studies class. Your leadership isn’t going to kick in just by hoping for it. Get educated on what it means to be a leader.

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Get some experience

If you haven’t started the business yet, then it might be a good idea to cool your jets for a while, first. As far as leadership exercises go, running a business is throwing yourself into the deep-end. Instead, you can find more relaxed opportunities to gain that leadership experience. You can switch career tracks to try to find a managerial position for a year or so. Or you can get involved in community and charity efforts. Learn what it means to organize people and get a small-scale example of the difficulties you might face in leadership before you face them in a much more demanding field.

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Remember it’s about the people you lead

Some people have a warped idea of what it means to be a leader. It’s not about being a “my-way-or-the-highway” egomaniac who believes they are always the right answer. A leader is about the people they lead first and foremost. It’s about listening to the team, finding out their wants, hearing their difficulties, and affecting change based on that. Good leaders free up good employees to get the best work out of them. They make decisions and set directions, yes, but these should always be informed by the people doing the work.

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Always keep learning

The moment you begin you have it all figured out is when you become a real liability in business. Besides your employees, you should keep up with other experienced business leaders, too. You can find a mentor for yourself, or you can attend networking events and take place in the marketplace of ideas. New work processes, new management techniques, new industry trends. Your knowledge must continually be updating if you’re to help your team continually evolve.

Beyond the tips above, remember to keep working on your soft skills. Practice confident public speech by striking up more conversations at random and by attending networking events. Spend time learning about the people in your business and their personalities. Find what motivates them and use that to frame how you communicate with them. Keep working on yourself and the confidence to be a natural leader will follow.

How Technology Is Changing the Nature Of Job Hunting

Technology: giveth, and it taketh away. For every new outcry about the impact that technology will have on jobs (which is a real concern: 40% may be lost in the coming years), there are another thousand jobs created because of technology. It’s permeated virtually all aspects of the job process, including how we’re searching for jobs – and whether we’re hired it or not. Below, we take a look at how tech has improved the job process, as well as some of its drawbacks.

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Versatility

Spare a thought for all those people in days gone by, who had to hope that their flimsy piece of paper would find its way into the office of the people who matter. If it did, they had to hope that piece of paper would outline all their skills and make the employer interested. Not so much these days. Thanks to technology, people can really sell their personality and skills. Video resumes are increasingly popular, with people making videos of themselves tailored to the company they want to work for.

Power to the Employee

It’s not only getting noticed that technology has helped employees, either. Thanks for the internet, a person can find out everything they need to know about a company’s hiring process and the pros and cons of working there, regardless of what industry they want to enter. Trying to enter the information technology field? You can look up IT interviewer questions and give yourself an advantage when you sit down for the interview. If you’re unsure about working for a particular company or just want to know more, you can look up anonymous reviews of the company online. Employees haven’t always had the upper hand when it comes to work, but tech has made it more equal.

Back to Bite

With that being said, employees haven’t got all their own way. There’s one big aspect that can cost even the most promising potential employees a job offer: their social media accounts. A person can have all the right qualifications, be enthusiastic and willing to take the job, only to not receive an offer all because of something that they broadcast on social media. Tech has made job hunting more open, but it’s also open enough that some people end up causing themselves more harm than intended.

Round the Clock

You can be anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, and be applying for jobs across the globe. Globalization has been fuelled by technological advancement. No more job listings in the local paper! It’s all online now. And if you’re looking for a job, you might want to investigate the “secret” job listings.

More Tech, More Human

Ironically, the job hiring process is more human now than it ever was before. That’s because of technology’s greatest gift: the power of communication. Employer and potentially employee can Skype, get to know each other on a level that’s deeper than just professional, and companies can be more open and human than in the past.

 

4 ways that technology can advance your career

When attempting to advance your career, it is important to think outside the box. You may be a diligent worker; the first one to arrive and the last to leave. You may also have an impressive CV, which shows that you’re highly experienced in a number of areas. You may even be an expert in your field; educated at the highest level. However, nothing is ever enough when it comes to competing in a competitive industry. Technology is a fantastic way for you to ensure that you have an edge. Below are 4 ideas in regards to how technology can advance your career.

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Online presence

For many employers, it is standard practice to look at their employees’, or potential employees’, online presence. LinkedIn is a great way for them to do this. The majority of professionals have a LinkedIn profile, and so, the website almost acts as a comparison site for people. Make sure that not only do you have a profile, but you also have an impressive one too. Try to rate other people as much as possible, so that they are encouraged to return the favor with a high rating. Also, ensure that you regularly update your skills and experience.

Online job sites

If you are currently seeking employment, don’t forget to visit online job sites. This is where the majority of companies will list their vacant positions. You can also set up email alerts for jobs that are relevant to your search. Simply enter in the keywords that link to your career, and you will be sent any postings immediately. This is a great way to stay completely up to date with your job applications.

Logo maker

If you already have a career, and more specifically are the owner of a business, why not consider using technology to make your own logo? An online logo maker is the perfect way to save money. It is completely free and really easy to use. Even if you don’t own your own business, why not suggest this idea to your employers? They will surely be impressed by your attempts to save them time and money. A new logo is also a great way to inject life into any brand.

Social media

It is important to be aware of the impression you are giving out with your social media presence. When it comes to your career, you may be a very professional person. However, on your personal social media accounts, you may forget to hold anything back. This can become a problem if your employers, or future employers, decide to run a background check on you. This may sound over the top, but it is actually very common practice. Don’t lose out on a great opportunity because of a silly post or photograph that doesn’t need to be posted. Instead, use your social media as a platform for demonstrating your ability to be both professional and personable. Your profiles don’t have to be boring, just make sure that they aren’t too controversial.   

Bullseye! Targeting Customers With Discretion

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A lot of businesses are working very hard to find new ways to engage with customers, without seeming intrusive. In the past, a lot of companies found success in methods like cold calling. But, as more and more were exposed to methods like this, people became less patient. Now, to get new customers, you have to be as discreet as possible. When someone knows they’re being targeted, it’s hard to make them feel comfortable. So, instead, this has to be kept hidden. Of course, you still need to be targeting the right people. But, it can’t be obvious. To help you with this, this post will be going through three of the easiest ways to start targeting your customers, while they have no idea it’s happening.

Advertising has long been one of the best ways to get new customers interested in what you have to offer. But, unlike in the past, this sort of work is done nearly entirely digitally, nowadays. This has given companies the chance to start building platforms which can target customers based on the searches they’ve made in the past. For example, if you’re looking to buy a new laptop, your browser will keep this in its records. Then, when you go to a site with adverts, you will be shown ones for laptops, based on the browsers snooping. Cookies are used to do this, and they can be turned off. But, most people don’t turn them off. Using a service like Google’s Adsense, you can have your adverts spread across the web. They will only ever be seen by people who care about them, though.

Next, it’s time to consider your website. A lot of businesses don’t realize that their website can be the best lead generation tool they have. And, this is a shame. Using a tool or service like Visual Visitor, you can have all of your web traffic reported back to you. You will get access to information about your visitors that you never had before, like locations and demographics. And, you’ll be able to put a name to a face when people are regularly visiting. Being able to generate leads based on simple visits is great. Along with the targeted advertising you have, this sort of tool can seal the deal in a lot of circumstances.

Finally, this last option can be seen as almost a cross between the two of these different platforms. Millions of people use social media sites every day. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three of the biggest out there. And, all of these sites let businesses post for free. This sort of advert can be the best you ever run. If it goes viral, you could be looking at exposure into the hundreds of thousands. Of course, this is unlikely to happen. But, for the sake of posting for free, it’s worth at least giving it a try. All the while, you’ll be targeting new customers thanks to the liking and following systems these sites have in place.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done, when you’re figuring out how you’re going to get new customers. People don’t like to think that they’re being watched by a business. So, you have to be careful to make sure you’re not treading on their toes when you do this.