Tag Archives: blogging

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.

3 Great Tools for Bloggers

Ask Joanne Blogs

I made a goal to blog daily (on at least one of my blogs) on April 5 2013 and (so far) have been able to keep that up. So, now that I am spending more time blogging I find that there are tools that I use regularly to help me keep going and feed the “relevant content” beast. I use WordPress for all my blogs, so this is not about platforms, but instead tools and services for bloggers.

  • Evernote is a fantastic tool for all kinds of web-clipping and note taking. You can download the desktop and/or mobile versions so that you can have access to your data from any device. I use Evernote to make notes on possible blog topics, outlines of posts, and all my references and resources. Evernote also integrates with Penultimate, Skitch and via 3rd party software, with Outlook. It’s a fantastic service and forms the basis of all my notetaking and information gathering.
  • Feedly is a news aggregator (like Google Reader) that allows you to pull into a single “dashboard” all kinds of online content (RSS feeds) sorted by topic, so that you can “watch” what’s being said on certain topics which can either help you with curating great content for your blogs or social media or help spark some ideas and references for your own new blog posts. You can also use Feedly mini to tag/flag/share great content for later use.
  • IFTTT : If This Then That is a wonderfully useful tool that can help you manage information by linking online activities together and automagically create other kinds of actions. For example, I have a “recipe” in IFTTT that when I tag an article in Feedly with a specific tag, IFTTT can create a draft post on HootSuite, so it helps me “fill the queue” with information that I might want to post to my social media channels.

I also watched a fantastic Mozinar “From Nothing to Expert: How to Blog like You Mean It.” I really liked several of the main points that Tanner Christensen presents like “Focusing on Answering Questions,” “Learn to Write Well” and “Interesting Things are Often Widely So.” It’s a great webinar and more than worth the time to watch. It helps to keep me inspired.

Do you blog? What tools to you use?