Tag Archives: blog

Why Blog for Business?

I’ve been doing internet consulting for many years, about a dozen at this point, and while I am an early adopter on some things (getting a website, learning SEO) I’m a little slow on some of the other things (social media, blogging). However, in the last couple of months I have learned a thing or two about blogging that I would like to share.

I’m going to let you in on some “behind the scenes” and show you my Google analytics stats for the month of May 2013 compared to May 2012.

Ask Joanne AnalyticsI began blogging regularly in April 2013 and have written about a post a week since then (sometimes more but not less). My site traffic has increased by 143% year over year, Unique Visitors are up 120%, Pageviews are up 448% and Pages per Visit are up 126%. Most remarkable to me is that my bounce rate (which used to be dismal) has improved by 95% (there is a reason why my bounce rate used to be so high, more on that later).

All from writing a blog post a week!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert at blogging by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what I think has worked for me.

I’m a naturally curious person and when I have a question about something or learn something new, I like to share it. In fact, I’m very like a “Malcolm Gladwell Maven” in that sometimes I can be “pathologically helpful.” My current most popular blog post is one I wrote on a whim when I found a cool Visual XML Sitemap generator for my colleague Beverly Sastri.

I try not to be too “sales-y” and directly promote my business or services too often. Blogs are not really about selling, but more about providing relevant information. That relevant information can be tips and tricks that are helpful to your audience, it can also be information about who you are … people like to know and trust who they are working with and a little bit of a personal spin on blog posts is not a bad thing. It’s also great to keep the blog open to comments so that you can engage your readers in conversation.

Sometimes my blog posts are just a quick recap of someone else’s content that I have “curated.” I include quotes and links in my posts from the original articles. Sometimes I write a summary of an article, or my opinion on the points being made. Sometimes I include an embedded graphic or video (my own or someone else’s).

And then, the step that I think could help any blog…. is telling people about what you’ve written. I use HootSuite to manage my social media channels. When I write what I think is a good blog post, I will send the link out to the appropriate social media channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Has all this blogging resulted in more business? Well, not yet. But, remember:

The Rule of 7 Touches There is an understanding that it takes 7 touches for the customer to buy from you. Touch them with a telephone call – #1. Touch them with a direct mail piece – #2. Touch them with an article written about you and your company – #3. Touch them with a reference given by one of their friends about you and your products/services – #4. Yada, yada, yada.

read more at: http://www.kordellnorton.com/The_Numbers_Rules_for_Prospecting.htm

Maybe my attitude is a little too laid back, but I just LIKE blogging, providing relevant information and being a little “pathologically helpful.” If I get more business from it, great! If not yet, blogging is satisfying in it’s own right.

Where to Find Images for Blogs, Websites and Social Posts

I have written other articles about where to find Royalty Free images and music for your website or blog:

What I didn’t realize, though I should have, is that there is a huge number of images on Flickr that are registered with a variety of different Creative Commons Licenses. Here’s a page with the different types and links to searches:

The different types of Licenses that allow you to use images in your website, blog or social media post are Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike. These do not restrict the use of the image for commercial purposes. You are required to make proper attribution to the creator of the image.

This is where the question arose for me… how exactly to give the proper attribution on my site (quickly and easily!). I did a little searching around and found this great article: http://librarianbyday.net/2009/09/28/how-to-attribute-a-creative-commons-photo-from-flickr/ that included this tip:

Example 4. You can use imagecodr.org to create it.  You put in the URL of the photo it automatically does the rest!  The alt text contains the author title and credits Flickr. The image links to Flickr. It adds the CC license image and author adds appropriate links.”

So, I gave http://www.imagecodr.org/ a try. All you have to do is copy in the image url that you found on Flickr. This one is a picture with Attribution only license, which means it can be copied, distributed, displayed but only if credit is given:

Pansy 20090307a 01 by cygnus921, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  cygnus921 
This one is Attribution-ShareAlike which includes the rights for Attribution, but also means that derivative works can only be distributed under an identical license that governs the original work.

I think this is going to be an incredibly rich source of fantastic images. I have also begun uploading some more of my images under the Attribution-ShareAlike license for others to be able to use.

Questions? Comments?

How to easily add Google AdSense to your WordPress Blog

I have a Google AdSense account, that I use on this blog and on my personal blog and hubpages. I wanted to experiment with adding ads above and below posts on the blog, but didn’t want to have to copy/paste the ad code everytime.

I found this nifty WordPress plugin, called Google Adsense plug and play. With a neat interface that allowed me to easily link to my publisher account and choose the ad units I wanted to display and where.

adsense-plug-play