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Guest posts are a great way to build unique content on your site

perfect-guest-post_600Its important to leverage guest posts as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Why? Because it has numerous benefits for you and your brand, even if that brand is yourself. First, it helps to spread your content across the web. Second, it taps into a new user base that can become regular visitors to your own site. Third, it establishes you as a genuine authority in your field, something you desperately need to maintain credibility on the internet.

But how do you properly write a guest post? MyBlogGuest, a site dedicated to guest posting, has come up with an infographic to break it down for you. Taking a high authority guest post and showing it on the left, they then use the right to point out each tip that makes up the anatomy of a truly good guest article.

Every tip is color coded, with an arrow that points out where it has been used. This allows you to clearly see the advice in action, and so better implement if for your own blog. It includes how to write proper titles, the trick to a perfect byline, the need for specific formatting tricks, the right way to link, and more.

As an added bonus, the post they have used as an example is another very useful one about using embeddable Google posts for your business. Which is a further little tip that you can use in your social media marketing, to further enhance your results. Who doesn’t like a bit of a bonus from their already helpful tutorials?

If you have been looking for a way to boost your content and figure out the way to make a truly impeccable guest post, this is the infographic for you. If not, check it out anyway…it is a must see for anyone who wants to brand themselves, build authority or increase traffic.

To download your copy, please go here: The Anatomy of the Perfect Guest Post. The PDF Cheatsheet is absolutely free.

A Guide To Creating A Successful Small Business Blog

In recent years blogging has become one of the easiest to use, yet most innovative tools for any website, small business or personal, to gain an audience. A blog garners attention because it enables you to get your voice out there. Whether it is a personal blog or a small business blog, the desired effect is essentially the same; to gain attention and get you or your business noticed.

Why should I bother blogging?

The principal is simple. You want to generate traffic into your small business or website. The easiest way to do this is to give your clients or potential visitors something that they will come to your website for, this is where the blog comes to the fore. The blog is simply a piece of content that will cause your clientele to want to read it on a regular basis, and therefore return to your website to do so.

How to creating a personal or small business blog.

The first step is to physically set up your blog page. If it is a personal blog then word press is a very easy to use site for setting up a new blog. You will need to purchase the domain name, these are usually fairly cheap. If you already have a small business website that you wish to relate the blog to, then you can just add a blog page to the existing site.

Visit this Wikipedia page to find out more about the origins of blogging.

Engaging content is everything.

The next step is the content. The key to a blog is that it must be either informative or witty. If you run a small business, then an informative blog that offers interesting advice within the field of your business will be beneficial to that business.

A blog can also set the precedent for how clients view your small business, as it gives them an insight into the workings and methods behind the business.

For example, if you were to have a marketing or P.R firm, a good blog would be one that gives advice to business owners on how to market their small business. If you were an information technology firm then you may wish to demonstrate your knowledge of the latest technologies by reviewing the latest products, a good example of this can be found on our it departments support website. This will in the long term bring you more clients as it shows firstly that you know what you are talking about, and secondly that you are willing to impart that knowledge and help others. It puts you on a good morale standing with your clients because before you’ve even spoken to them, they already have a feel for your company simply from your blog.

What writing tone should I use?

Funny blogs have an obvious lure to them and tend to be the blogs that attract the biggest audiences. Funny blogs tend to be seen more in personal blogs, however they make a very good platform from which to launch a marketing campaign. For example if you were about to launch a book, then you could create a blog in the months running up to the launch. By creating this witty blog and capturing an audience, you have a waiting client base into which the book can then be directly marketed.

When it comes to writing the blog you need to keep the tone on a friendly yet professional level. You have a website that no doubt already shows the professional front of the business. A blog allows the client more of a personal insight into the business, so although you should remain professional, the personal touch is important.

The importance of good content structure.

You need to ensure that as well as quality content, you also structure your blog with clear concise points. You do not want your readers to get bored, so don’t ramble.

In terms of content, you need to provide value to your readers. What questions do your customers ask you? What are the key words that will bring people to your site?

Search engine optimisation is something you should be considering if you are serious about the marketing of your small business. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a simple case of incorporating a certain word or phrase into a piece of content, in this case the blog. For example if you run a boarding kennel, you might include the phrase ‘look after my dog’ several times in a blog post, or across several blog posts. If someone then types this phrase into a search engine then your site would be optimised by the search engine for stating this phrase several times.

The importance of a blog title.

The title is everything, and possibly the most important part of the entire blog. It is a handful of words that will either blend into the endless streaming background of words that is our news feeds on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or it can be that catchy little caption that lures in your potential customers. Think hard about the title to each blog.

The association between blogging and marketing.

Another aspect of blogging is the marketing. The modern method of marketing is of course social media. Blogging is no different. There is absolutely no point in writing a blog that nobody knows about. Sure a few people might happen across it by chance, but if you want to generate real numbers then you need social media.

If that’s the case, then why not just advertise the small business through social media and forget the blog, I hear you say. Simple… advertising is boring. If you look through any twitter feed you will see hundreds of advertised businesses with links to their sites. They’re tedious and no-one wants to see them quite frankly.

When a blog is linked to a twitter feed, you see only the title. The title is catchy and appealing, most people will read it, even if it’s just out of curiosity. They click the link and voila you have gained a viewer into your website.

You can also use an email subscription whereby readers who like your blog may subscribe to receive email updates when a new post goes live. This keeps readers coming back to your blog and site. Email subscriptions are also a crucial marketing tool. If you are able to get people’s contact details from them willingly then you can send marketing material to them that is relevant to your small business. Google Feed burner is a popular email subscription service and is added to any site by simply copying and pasting the code provided by Google into the html box on your site.

A blog then is a valuable marketing tool, and a great way to project a company image. There is a certain art to creating a good blog, but if you follow these basic principles then you should have a successful blog.

Helpful resources:

The art of blogging – http://taoblogging.blogspot.co.uk

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/

Lucy is a serial blogger that loves to blog about blogging!!! Lucy runs numerous blogs for various clients across the United Kingdom.

SEO Basics: Search Marketing For Bloggers

rinse wash repeat

rinse wash repeat (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

How is your new blog working out?  Did you get it setup OK?  Getting your new blog up and running is just the beginning – but how do you get traffic?

SEO Basics

It is hard to learn all the ins and outs for search marketing for bloggers – and once you get the site setup – what do you do next?  What are the things a blogger needs to know about SEO to get started?  If you have a new site – or even an older one and know its time to take action or low traffic – you need to learn some SEO basics and get your site on track.

Search Engine Optimization strategy for blogs is all about content – the more unique content you have, the more “magnets” you will have to attract visitors.

3 SEO Basics for blogging success

  1. Keywords – keywords are very important.  You need to make sure each page has one and only one set.
  2. The title is also needed – here is how you combine the title with keywords for success.
  3. The H1 tag, again – important, here is how to maximize your H1 for SEO with keywords.

You need to keep the content fresh – no matter what your blog’s subject.  Writing one article and then forgetting about is not going to get lots of visitors and will not be expected to earn great returns.  You must always update and add fresh information so that your website stands out from the rest of the SEO optimized websites.

Consistency is the key – make sure content is high quality and not plagiarized. This will assist you in reaching your goal of a successful Search Engine Optimized blog.

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Content Creation or Content Curation? (It’s Not an Either-Or Scenario)

I’ve heard a lot of buzz lately about whether you should be spending most of your time on creating your own content or whether you should really just be curating other people’s stuff. It’s really a false argument.

You can’t get by simply on curating other people’s content, since you won’t develop your own voice that way. You aren’t really demonstrating your own expertise, no matter how much people will appreciate your skill at finding great links.

And you can’t get really get much attention by churning out content without ever poking your head up to see what other people are doing. First of all, your information could wind up becoming vastly out of date that way.

Second of all, there are so many people competing with content these days that it’s really hard to get “heard” above all of the noise, even if you have the best keyword strategy on the planet. The people who get heard are selflessly making connections with other people, and those connections generally go way beyond commenting on their blogs. They’re usually actively sharing other people’s links in their own blog posts.

So what’s the right way to go? How many posts should you write? How many should you curate?

Well, that’s really not the right way to think about it.

In general, it’s best to think in terms of joining a conversation. Every now and then you can share something awesome just to share it. Blog round-ups are really good for this kind of curation.

But it’s usually better to share it, and then add your own thoughts about that content. Talk about the issue. Add some opinions. Expand on points that the original poster didn’t have time to cover.

Give a screen shot from the comment section that demonstrates your point of view. Or use those comments to spark full blog posts while sharing both the comment and the original post that prompted the comment.

Now what happens? Well, now the original blogger has plenty of reasons to come over and comment, not just with a “thanks for the post!” comment, but with a continuation of the conversation as well.

When you do this you find that you rarely run out of things to post about or talk about. You also find that your content becomes a lot more trustworthy in the eyes of the people who visit your site. You become a recommended thought leader, someone that people take the time to talk to and about.

You don’t have to do this on every post. Just do it on enough posts. You will see the difference almost immediately.

About the Author:

Carmen Rane Hudson is the Content and Social Media Manager for TVS Internet Marketing, a local SEO company that helps small business owners get more visibility and sales online.

Boost Blog Traffic By Writing Good Titles

Far too often, bloggers will either just write down the first title that comes to mind and dive into the rest of their post or slap a post on what they’ve written when they’re done. They may only think about what is in the post and try to describe it, without considering the more important factors of a title. Here are a few things your blog titles should try to do. If you can get at least three of these goals accomplished in a title, you probably have a suitable title. If you can get all five, you have done a great job.

1.    Utilize Good Search Engine Terms

Obviously one goal is to get as many eyes to see the title as possible on search engines and otherwise, as this gives you more potential for views. As a result, there are a few things you can focus on. First, make sure that you utilize relevant high traffic keywords in your title. This gives you a chance to get a high ranking on a page that a lot of people will see.

You may be thinking that common sense says to go after long tail keywords you have a better chance of getting a page one ranking on, but remember that a title has to be short anyway.

Second, try to put the keywords as close to the beginning of your title as possible, as this will have a bigger impact on your SEO.

2.    Make the Reader Ask a Question

What happens when people ask a question? They want to know the answer. Try to invoke this in potential readers, because if your title makes them ask themselves a question, they are significantly more likely to click on the link and check out your post.

If you’re struggling for good ideas, you might want to listen to sports or news talk radio and pay close attention to the teases before commercial breaks. The top radio personalities are experts at getting people to ask questions that will hold their attention through a commercial break to keep them around for another segment. Their ideas may give you some ideas for strategies in your titles.

3.    Make the Reader Feel an Emotion

If you can make the reader feel an emotional response to your title, you may get more clicks. This can be excitement, joy, sadness, sympathy or anger, among others.

Much like media personalities that try to get people to love them or hate them, the stronger the emotion toward your title the more views. Even if people dislike the idea strongly, they may still read about it just to re-affirm their emotional response.

4.    Make it Catchy

Often the difference between a best-selling book and an afterthought is not the content, but the title. Some authors have revealed that they tested their potential book titles through Internet ads to reveal click through rates or by selling a copy on eBay and seeing which version of the title got more bids and higher bids.

This proves that the title does matter and if it has a ring to it, people will be interested.

5.    Don’t be Misleading

Now this is an important one, and the challenge is to make it jive with the other four ideas. Make sure that you are not writing titles that are overly misleading, as people will stop coming to your site and it is important to build up repeat readers.

Valerie Mellema is the owner of Words You Want. Words You Want offers SEO writing services as well as guest blogging packages, eBooks, press releases, blog writing and more. Visit the Words You Want blog for weekly specials.