For some, blogging is a book in the making. Blogging about four hundred words a day coupled with a two thousand word blog once a week will soon amount to being the book it may have been intended to be. Yes, a blog could be a book in the making. Alternatively, it may be an ever changing e-Book. Given a dynamic subject, like that of this e-book, having a printed edition will ensure obsolescence. Blogging is about learning, writing and sharing, and the latter objective is met by continually updating an e-book.
You need to be telling a story, and you need to do it well to connect with your audience and maintain their interest. By monitoring the statistics on your blog, you will be able to determine if your blogging is reaching the target market that you intend it to reach.
The suppliers of products need, as a minimum, to showcase their wares and they need to offer deals as a call to action. The providers of services need to showcase their facilities and their wisdom or expertise.
Given that you are a dentist, a corporate coach or an animal trainer, then you are in the business of rendering services. Blogging is an ideal way of branding yourself and of establishing yourself as the local expert. Blogging consistently to a plan that seeks keyword dominance will move you up the Google search ranking within a short period.
When your blog is successful, how will you know? Does your blog have a purpose, vision, mission and a set of values? Does it have measurable objectives?
If it does, it is more likely to succeed. Offering solutions or special offers is a great way to excite interest, but it is not sufficient to sustain a blog. What is needed is participation. When you belong to the world how do you get it to belong to you? By way of participation; yes, no, maybe?
Do you want to add meaning to a cause or do you want to build a bridge to Link to Income earners (for the purpose of sales conversion)? Examples include sponsor’s products, affiliate products, target market audience list building (lead capture), books and e-books, adverts, workshops, seminars, conferences, public speaking engagements, webinars, online or offline courses, consulting and paid blog subscribers. When you know where you want to go with the blog then blogging is an effective way of attracting an audience. Be sure to link your blog to Google Analytics so that you can study the demographics of your audience.
12.1 What’s the Secret to Blogging Success? Allow me to offer an opinion.
Oh dear! I do not know. There is no blogging rule book, but I do have a few pointers or clues to share. Blogging is a conversation; one-sided conversations are a bore! So, when I chat I want to listen, but I also want to share an idea or two. That’s right; it’s about giving and receiving. Yay, nothing new for a change! What do you think? Nice of you to ask, so here goes; either you’re introducing a topic or you’re responding to one; that’s right; it’s a conversation; leave room for responses; better still; encourage opinions; end with a question. Why? Mmm... Good question. I think it shows vulnerability and sincerity, which draws others to the conversation.
Why is that? Well, you want to build your audience, no you do not seek an audience you seek participation and the convergence of collective thought towards consensus. Eish! You want all to agree with you? Nope, most certainly not. Success lies in understanding the point of view of a broad-based participative audience. When you know what they want, you can meet their needs and grow your business. Ok, so how do you get it? You go blogging... but more to the point what do you think?
Blogging is about growing conversations, and this will happen if you build relationships with the readers that you connect with. Content is the key as is the consistency of relevant discussion topics. You need not know everything if your audience participates. In the end, success will ensure that the blog is dynamic and that the community of users that it serves are diverse and satisfied. Much depends on upon audience building, and this can be assisted by blog technology enablers, such as are found on this blog. Enablers such as viral blogging by way of tweet archiving, Facebook and LinkedIn integration plus Google search metrics will go a long way to getting your conversation growing.
12.2 YouTube is a blog; It’s just in a different format.
In many ways, YouTube is a blog. The variation being that the content is offered by way of video, and it has a built-in comment option. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and as access to video cameras in smartphones grows so too will YouTube move to narrow the usage gap between it and websites. There was a time when websites were stage produced to be “bling” hosts to well thought out canned messages. What followed was the Facebook revolution that told the world that they could be themselves and that having empathy and compassion is more important than flashy graphically designed webpages with “bling slogans!” Mobile phones have done this for online video content hosted by YouTube. No longer does one need multiple camera studio productions as you can just record and upload a video (blog post) from your mobile phone.
12.3 Be yourself and make it conversational.
- Open with an interesting aside rather than a CV.
- Generally, people are interested in the entertainment or information value of what you have to say rather than in whom you are.
- There are exceptions to this advice. If you are in an industry plagued by scam artists then starting by establishing your credibility is a good idea.
- Try to chat as if you are telling a story.
- If you can, illustrate with an example of where there was a problem and discuss the fact that this problem is widely experienced.
- As has been said by many. Subtle bragging helps... it worked for me it will work for you.
- Use an odd number: 7 Steps to... or 3 Must do things ... etc. Small numbers give the idea that it is easy & can be done but be sure that the content allows this to be plausible.
- Start your introduction with a minimum of 2 paragraphs. Each can be one sentence, but the paragraphs should be less than six lines.
- In the introduction use the words “You” and “I” often to make a connection with your readers.
Vary the start in your blog posts. Try starting with a question versus starting with a “Why” or ‘Here’s Why.” Alternatives to how you start blogs allow you to keep the content delivery fresh by using non-standard introductions.
12.4 Offer a solution.
- Unpack some common problems looking to the causes and the effects.
- Discuss how the solution has had an impact on a range of possible outcomes.
Keep it conversational. - Keep it informative. - Keep it educational.
12.5 Discuss some frequently asked questions.
- Research what is topical about this matter. What information do users seek?
- Address any obstacles to buying and using the product or service that you are promoting.
12.6 End with a call to action.
Be sure to end with a call to action. Get your readers to engage by doing something so that they participate. This may be a buy now link; a read more link, a follow me/subscribe link, a request for them to comment, etc. A popular call to action is the request to cast a vote on a poll on your blog. It raises curiosity about what the current trends are on this topic that is satisfied by the browsers going to your blog.
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12.7 Register your hashtags and use them on hashtag friendly sites
You can protect your hashtag brand by registering it on http://www.twubs.com where you can set up a free trial account. You can do the same on https://www.hashtags.org
Remember to include hashtags in your YouTube description. Hashtags offer the opportunity to narrow down keywords and also they offer another channel for your site to be found by those that search for defined hashtags. See the section on hashtags for more information on this aspect.
YouTube predictions have consensus around the prediction that by the end of 2018 nearly 80% of Internet traffic will relate to video streaming. The use of video in B2B marketing thus merits serious attention when considering channel options for a marketing plan.