Become The Best Blogger

Become The Best Blogger.

Is it necessary to have a goal to become the best blogger in your niche? Is content marketing something that the public on the web is seeking? Many have asked that questions about the value of content marketing and wondered if it is limited to a few types of businesses. This article was printed in Hubspot in August 2014 titled, How To Become The Best Blogger In Your Niche. 

Back in 2012, Max Nisen wrote, “Content marketing is one of the biggest new trends.” He reported NewsCred’s CEO Shafqat Islam as saying, “Every Fortune 2000 company today is a candidate for content marketing. If they're not doing it, they will be.”

Two years later, Nisen and Islam’s prophecies have come to pass. We are in the age of content marketing — and it's showing no signs of going away. The content marketing arena is now so vast and so complex that people are starting to get lost. Don't believe me? Just take a look at this hodgepodge of an infographic from LUMA:

luma-content-marketing

In spite of the scary complexity, blogging is still the one of the most powerful weapons in the content marketer’s arsenal. And the better the blog, the better the content marketing efforts.

So here’s my thesis: If you are the best blogger in your niche, you can be the most successful in your niche. It’s only logical. If blogging is the core of content marketing, and content marketing is the path to success, then we must conclude that being a kickass blogger is the path to marketing success.

And here’s the really good news: You can become the best blogger in your niche. In the post that follows, I will provide three points that explain exactly how to gain that edge.

1) Know your audience.

Answer the most important question:  “Who is my audience?”

Too often, bloggers start with the wrong question. They ask things like:

  • How can I be interesting?
  • What can I write about?
  • What will make this post more engaging?

Those are great questions, but they are totally meaningless unless you first understand your audience.

I came across a line recently that stuck with me:

 

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When you blog for someone, you will have plenty of things to write about. What’s more, you’ll communicate in the right way — you'll be more "human" and familiar if you treat your audience like real people.

As you ask the big question, “who is my audience,” keep in mind these additional questions that will help you develop a deeper knowledge (From University of Maryland's Writing Resources):

 

  • What is the relationship between the writer and the reader?
  • How much does the reader know
  • Is the audience likely to agree or disagree with you?
  • What will the reader do with the information?

The clearer your view of your audience, the better your writing will be.

Your audience is smaller than you think.

Keep in mind that your audience is probably smaller than you think. Traffic metrics do not reflect an accurate count of your engaged audience. A better way to understand your audience is through engagement metrics.

In a study conducted by Chartbeat on Slate readership, they discovered that the most engaged readers were those who scrolled below the fold. A full 86% of engagement took place when readers scrolled to read an article.

 

chartbeat

Also, share metrics tend to skew the perception of an engaged audience. The people who share your articles don’t always read the whole thing, as an Upworthy study showed. This chart below indicates how long users stayed on a page compared to the point at which they shared the article.

attention_minutes

Your true readership is made of those who are engaged — the users who read your entire article and absorb the material.

You can build your audience.

Even though it is smaller than you think, you can also build your audience. Great bloggers grow in size and reputation. That’s what this article will tell you how to do.

The more you blog, the better knowledge you’ll have of your audience. You discover what they love, what they don’t love, what makes them click, and what makes them convert. In my Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience, I wrote this:

"A great blog begins with the content you create, but to be successful, a blog also needs a strong community or audience."

So you should not only learn who your audience is, but also shape that audience, too. To a certain extent, you get to decide who your audience is, and what they want to hear.

Everything starts with audience. If you know your audience and speak directly to them, they’re going to love you.

2) Be consistent.

You’re not going to be a wildly successful blogger unless you’re consistent.

An article on NewIncite had this to say about consistency:

"Quality of content and consistency are the most important factors in setting up your schedule … Consistency will keep them engaged, build brand awareness, and — if done right — help convert them to buyers."

It’s easy to talk about consistency, but it’s hard to do consistency. Bruce Springsteen wasn’t exactly a content marketing professional, but he had a great line about consistency:

"Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time."

What worked for The Boss works for content marketers, too. You want to be a blogging rockstar? Take it from a real rockstar: Consistency matters.

Being a rockstar blogger feels good. But waking up early every day, hitting the keyboard every day, and maxing out your mental resources every day doesn't always feel good. But that gritty pain is what consistency is made of.

How often should you blog?

So, what does consistency mean in real numbers? How often do you need to publish a blog post? To answer this question, I’m going to be all evasive and tell you to refer to point one — know your audience.

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute wrote this on the topic of blogging frequency:

"As long as the blog post serves these two goals it’s worth doing a post: 1) Is a compelling and interesting story to your target audience (the reader), and 2) Serves the objective for your blog. If that means five posts per week, great.  If it’s one per week, that’s fine to. [sic] Focus on whether or not you have a story worth telling."

I can’t give you a hard and fast number. I can, however, recommend a minimum threshold — you should aim for at least one post a week.

Why? Frequent output — i.e. consistency — is positively correlated with greater traffic, as indicated by HubSpot’s research.

blog-slide-7-resized-600

In addition, HubSpot discovered that bloggers with higher output had better lead generation results:

blog-slide-10-resized-600

So consistency leads to accumulation of content, and the more content you have, the more results you’ll get.

3) Be totally transparent.

If you’re more transparent than anyone else in your niche, you’ll get more readers. People crave transparency.

Kevan Lee, Buffer’s blogger par excellence, writes this in his article, "The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post:"

"We aim for an element of storytelling in each of the posts we write, often starting a blog post with a personal anecdote or moment of transparency."

Transparency is a tricky thing. On the one hand, relationships are built on trust and transparency. But it’s hard to be transparent. Nan Russell, in Psychology Today, had some cogent insights about transparency:

"People want other people, not necessarily themselves, to be transparent … Some people find transparency threatening, especially at work, while others find it exhilarating. Some confuse transparency with authenticity, or think transparency means communicating everything or knowing everything they want to know."

Transparency is important in blogging, because you are building trust, developing relationships, and growing an audience. At the same time you must exercise your transparency in a thoughtful and intentional way. You’re not going to spill business secrets, gossip about others, or divulge information that puts you in a dangerous personal situation.

The best advice that I’ve read comes from the article I cited above, regarding the role of transparency in the workplace. These principles, as I’ve restated them and applied to blogging, will make you appropriately transparent:

 

  • Tell stories that demonstrate your openness and vulnerability.
  • Make sure you are respecting your boundaries of confidentiality and the confidentiality of others.
  • Use your transparency to help others, not simply for the sake of being transparent.

When we try to become transparent, we’re usually not as transparent as we think we are. But if we work hard to share personal stories — appropriate details included — we’ll get better at it.

Transparency engages readers and turns your blog into something that readers love. As I’ve studied many blogging niches, I’ve discovered that the bloggers with the greatest degree of personal disclosure are the most successful. So if you want to be a successful blogger, you’ve got to get personal and transparent.

Conclusion

Being the best blogger in your niche has very little to do with writing technique and flawless grammar. Those technical skills kowtow to some way more important things:

 

  1. Knowing your audience.
  2. Being consistent.
  3. Being totally transparent.

If you put these techniques into play, you’re on the path to blogging domination and content marketing success.

*How to Become the Best Blogger in Your NicheWritten by Neil Patel | @neilpatel

DR. Raymond Jewell, is a leading economist and Home Based Business Consultant. He is a Alpha Legacy member of Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Dr. Jewell is offering, for a limited time, FREE Markethive Systems just click and sign up and witness the power of the Hive first hand. 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – What is the Most Powerful Socal Network for Entrepreneurs of them all?

Well before I reveal the answer to that question, what is the real benefit of social networking anyway?

Why should any online marketer spend time on social networks?  Wouldn't time be better spent just blogging and communicating with prospects and customers using email and other more productive methods, instead of wasting time on social media?

I can understand that social media can sometimes seem like unproductive time, especially repeated posts on Facebook that few people will ever see.  

The answer, I think, boils down to one word, REACH!.  If only one hundred people read a post of mine on Pulse, the blogging platform on LinkedIn, (for example), then that is one hundred more people that have read something I have written, and might decide to reach out back to me. If they had never read my blog post they probably never would have had that chance to read something that I wrote, and possibly connect with me.

Admittedly, that is only 100 viewers out of a total of 8,000 of my first level connections, so the percentage is not particularly high.  Supposing instead of a hundred or so views, I could get a thousand views for the same post that I submitted to LinkedIn?  That would 10X better than posting on Pulse, right? And if I could get 10,000 views of the same post, now that would be something substantial, at that point, right?

Social Media has the possibility of magnifying the reach of my outreach efforts.  Posting is one, and sharing content on social media is another.  Where on social media can you get the greatest bang for your buck, or the greatest reach for time spent?  The answer is Markethive.  It is a new social network for entrepreneurs that is available by invitation.  Just click on this link —-> Markethive, to find out more.

I have a number of posts on Markethive with thousands of views already, despite the fact that it is a relatively new social network. I have no doubt that with the new tools Markethive has recently implemented, I will soon get over 10k views on a single post. 

So why do posts get so many views on Markethive?

1) You can share your blog posts on Markethive with your other social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn, Stumblupon, and others.

2) With your permission, other bloggers on Markethive can share your content on their blogs, as well as on their own social networks.  You can also reciprocate to do the same with their content on your own blogs, and social networks.

3) As an owner of a group, you can share your content as often as you want with your group members.  LinkedIn limits your ability to post to your group to one message per week.  There is no limit to group messaging on Markethive. If you have valuable and interesting content to share with your group members, you can message your group members every day.

I give LinkedIn Workshops two times each week using one of the Markethive webinar rooms.  I have great respect for LinkedIn, and use it extensively to prospect and find marketing automation customers for my local marketing business.  There are so many great things that I like about LinkedIn, not the least of which is it's enormous size.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, and other social networks all have their strengths and weaknesses.

When it comes to blogging and my attempts to reach as many people as possible, however, I have to say, I prefer Markethive, and not only for it's blogging and sharing capabilities.  So, when I ask the mirror on the wall what is the most powerful social marketing network for entrepreneurs of all, it tells me that Markethive is best one of all.  

I suggest you give it a try, and you may find the same answer to your question that i did.  See you on Markethive!

John Lombaerde – Goldfinch Digital Publishing LLC

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

There Might Be Dragons (the Fear of Internationalization)

In the early 16th century, the Hunt-Lenox globe was drawn, showing uncharted (and presumably dangerous) areas marked with the warning: "HIC SVNT DRACONES" – "Here are Dragons."

there might be dragons

Subsequently, mariners sometimes adopted the phrase "there might be dragons" if they became concerned for their safety when in unfamiliar waters.

Of course, none of the mariners of old had actually ever seen a dragon, so each one conjured up his own image, and this is just as true today. For those of us who advise on internationalisation, here are a few perceived dragons that we hear about repeatedly:

I don’t know anything about internationalisation. I wouldn’t know where to begin.

You’ve already begun. Follow the International Man website. It has over five years of archived articles that cover virtually every aspect of internationalising. In addition, obtain a copy of Casey Research's Handbook for Surviving the Coming Financial Crisis. Go online to research destinations that fit your personal situation. Then, instead of taking a holiday at Disney World, go to a country that seems to you to be the likely best choice for either a second home or a complete change of national residence. You’ll be amazed at how extensive and varied the opportunities are out there.

Won’t I just end up as a slave to a different country instead of my home country?

Not if you choose your destination well. Many countries are far less invasive to your freedoms and wealth than the three jurisdictions mentioned above. Some, in fact, are just as prosperous and well developed as your present country, yet have zero direct taxes.

In addition, should you choose to live in multiple destinations, you’ll be less "owned" as a visitor or temporary resident than if you were a full-time resident and citizen.

Will I have rights there, since I’ll be a foreigner?

For those countries that fall under English common law, your rights will be almost identical to those of the locals. (This is less true in countries that come under civil law – notably Spanish America and much of Europe.) However, most everywhere, you will be regarded as a guest and, in many ways, be treated better than locals. In some countries, you will be treated better by both locals and the government than you were at home.

Will I have to learn a new language?

Yes or no, depending on your choice of destination. For anywhere in Central or South America (except Belize, Suriname and Guyana), yes. For the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the UK and many Pacific islands, English is the primary language. In many other countries – Israel, the Philippines and most of Europe – English is spoken by a majority of residents. Your choice of destination may, in part, depend on your ability (or willingness) to learn another language.

What if I can’t find any friends?

Most choice destination countries already have entire expat communities. However, many who expatriate themselves find that they prefer the locals and choose to live in either integrated communities or predominantly local communities.

If I cash out here, my funds to start over elsewhere might be limited. How can I be sure that I’ll be able to afford to live there without giving up my lifestyle?

First, if you wait to cash out until after an event such as a real estate crash has occurred at home, or confiscation of your bank deposits has occurred, then yes, you will have less when you leave. Hence, the sooner, the better. Second, your lifestyle will be likely to change, as you’ll probably make different choices than before, based on new opportunities. Third, you may choose a destination where you’re already far more wealthy than most locals – where the cost of living is far lower than what you now pay. Fourth, even in a high-cost-of-living destination, if you choose to work, you’ll probably make more than you would at home. Fifth, if you move to a low-tax or no-tax jurisdiction, you’ll retain much more of your gross income. (My own country, the Cayman Islands, is such a destination, and I’ve met countless people who came here without even enough money to buy a used car, but ended up very successful.)

What if I’m unhappy there?

It’s a big world. There are many other choices and your first stop needn’t be your last. However, if you do your homework well before going, you’re likely to pick more wisely the first time out.

What if I decide I want to go back?

Some people (but not many) do make that choice. But they then find that any government that wants your money is more than happy to take you back. (Governments have no objection to wealth coming back in; they only try to stop it going out.) Even those who renounce their citizenship often find that they’re welcomed back into their first country, either on a visa or by reinstating their citizenship. However, the great majority, having succeeded at internationalising, never choose this option.

Many people fear perceived dragons when considering internationalisation. In doing so, they often overlook the very real dragon that’s creeping up behind them – the dragon of a declining world power that’s compensating for its decline through overreach – increasing taxation, removal of basic freedoms, an increasing police state, plus ever-expanding capital controls and governmental surveillance. As the situation worsens, the known world may well become more threatening than the new one.

The Middle Ages came to an end in part because new lands were discovered to the west by the mariners. Many people opted to stay put, for fear of dragons. Others opted for the slogan found on the reverse of Spanish coinage at that time. The two pillars on the coins represented the Straits of Gibraltar, and the slogan on the pillars – "PLUS ULTRA" ("More Beyond") – signified a whole world apart from the old one, with new opportunities.
 
The choice today is the same. Your future may depend on your outlook – whether you see the greater world from the standpoint of "HIC SVNT DRACONES" or "PLUS ULTRA."

Note: If you’re alarmed by the growing threat – from your own government – to your financial health and personal freedom, I can’t blame you.

You’ve seen the crowded parade of new laws, taxes, and regulations recently passed or now in the works. While many of those measures seem small, together they threaten to clog the arteries of the economy. Prospering – or just holding on to what you already have – won’t be easy.

In fact, I’m afraid that as financial resources shrink and government deficits rise, the grab for money will become more desperate. Governments will go beyond taxation and reach into retirement funds and into depositor accounts at banks to ask for help.

Events around the world show that capital controls, income tax hikes (to rates as high as 75%), debt monetization, nationalization of private pension vehicles, bail-ins, bank deposit confiscations, and other futile but destructive options aimed at your money will be used by cash-strapped governments.

No matter how well-protected your government tells you your money is, how comfortable can you really be if it’s all in one country?

Doug Casey has said over and over that spreading your political risk beyond one jurisdiction is the single most important decision you can make today.

Dubbed the ‘International Man’ roughly four decades ago, Doug Casey has not only established residency in nearly a dozen countries, he’s visited 145 nations (he recently got back from Mauritania where he inked a new TV deal), and has been a major investor in over 1,000 businesses across the globe…

It’s safe to say that there’s probably not another American alive today who knows more about international diversification than Doug Casey. It’s all about making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunity.

Original author: Jeff Thomas April 21, 2016

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Google Analytics improves small business marketing

 

 

 

 

 

Google Analytics improves small business marketing

Google Analytics is a highly effective website analysis platform that allows businesses to assess how well they’re doing with their online marketing efforts. But for small business owners who aren’t all that comfortable with technology, the thought of digging into the analytics can be intimidating.

You don’t have to be an expert to glean valuable insight from Google Analytics, according to Mark Boyd, Search Engine Optimization Director at MIND Development & Design, and a SCORE blogger. By familiarizing yourself with how to pull some basic information, you can gain an understanding of how well your business website is performing. “Not only can you track results, but you can also track how you’ve gotten those results,” said Boyd.

With Google Analytics, you can track:

n Traffic volume. View your daily and monthly traffic and monitor ebbs and flows, highs and lows.

n Average time visitors spend on your website. See the pages visitors viewed while on your site and how much time they spent on them.

n Bounce rate. This reflects the number of visitors who left your website after only visiting one page. Bounce rate and average time spent on a website are closely tied. When a visitor views multiple pages, the time onsite is typically longer than if they land on one page and leave.

n Number and percentage of new and repeat visits. Knowing this can help as you build engagement with your audience. You can see what percentage of your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly visits are new visitors versus repeat visitors.

n Traffic sources. You can see geographically where your website traffic is coming from, and if the traffic sources are organic listings, pay-per-click ads, referrals (such as from social media), etc.

n Compare current traffic to that of previous months and years. This enables you to compare performance and detect trends.

All of these can help you understand how your website engages visitors and how effective your off-site digital marketing efforts are at driving traffic to your website.

These are only the tip of the analytics iceberg. There’s much more data available, but interpreting some of it requires a higher degree of knowledge about the platform.

“My favorite part of Google Analytics is comparing current numbers to the previous year,” said Boyd. “It’s amazing how you can see the same traffic trends from year to year. That’s very helpful in planning your SEO, paid advertising and social media efforts.”

To power up your social media techniques, plan to attend the free SCORE workshop on May 10 at 6:30 pm, at the Traverse Area District Library, Woodmere branch. Seating is limited, so please pre-register at www.upnorthscore.com.

Michael McCrary is a principal at Pine River Consulting, LLC and has been providing marketing and strategy consulting to clients globally since 1990. He has been a SCORE mentor since June 2015.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Source: Michael McCrary: Google Analytics improves small business marketing | Local News | record-eagle.com

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Entrepreneurial Skills Needed To Effectuate Positive Social Marketing Changes

There is a distinct dissonance regarding the behavior and social change espousements between people who believe that all marketing is evil and those who believe marketing has some redeeming qualities for the good. This diversity of opinion gets played out in program planning meetings, conferences, policy debates and resource allocations (such as found in RFPs and TORs). Not everyone who works to solve intractable problems needs to be a social marketer; yet, learning some basic marketing skills will be advantageous because the most important aspect of marketing today rides with the entrepreneurs who are shaping the social changes and solutions.

1. Entrepreneurs Learn to Listen
Entrepreneurs are constantly listening, looking for ways to maximize opportunities, leverage relationships, and connect to people. And while anyone can be a good listener, doing so as a marketer requires an analytical mind—the process is not at all passive. By being trained in the analysis of your prospective customer using focus groups, and other appropriate techniques, you’ll start to learn how to really listen to what your VIP members and investors want.

2. Entrepreneurs Learn To Make Better Decisions
Knowing how to find and interpret data about your VIP members and investors means that you’ll derive a better understanding of the problems you are facing and how to tackle them in new ways. Of course, you’ll also get in the habit of shortcutting through a lot of unnecessary paperwork and honing in on the relevant data and revelatory insights that are most important.

3. An Entrepreneur Matures In His Communication Skills
The best marketers learn how to gain perspectives into different personality types and how to apply different techniques for engaging with them, based on what their idiosyncrasies are. This could be described as learning tact.

4. An Entrepreneur Does Not Waste Time
Because everyone is on a shoe-string budget, you have to be particularly perceptive concerning the prioritization of resources which is fundamental for small and large organizations and independent operators. Being creative about who ultimately falls into your sales funnel and concentrate on, the ways you reach them, and how to economize while still being effective will help you turn into an efficiency machine.

5. An Entrepreneur Must Be Aware Of The World Situation

Marketers have to be aware of what’s going on in the world culture. This means they read, attend social gatherings, try to figure out what kind of trends are making waves, and generally pay attention to the zeitgeist. No matter what industry you operate in, one must learn to be particularly sensitive to their milieu, which is very advantageous in results shown. One must become accustomed to not focusing on the details of the situation one is found in but train oneself to focus on the bigger picture. This will ultimately payoff by enabling more productive work ethics and help one do better in their chosen workspace. As a byproduct of this kind of focusing one will probably end up having a keener interest in a lot that’s going on around you, which makes one a person who is more interesting for others to be around.

Leading In Social Change

If the foregoing matters are carefully worked through then the foundation is laid for the entrepreneur to be perceived as the leader who can be emulated. This is the most effective way to become an influence for the good in the role of societal movers and shakers. This kind of functioning must be consistent and without hypocrisy in order to acquire the standing to bring positive changes to the way business is carried out. This is the challenge for the entrepreneur, but the dividends are huge.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Blog for SEO: Write Blog Posts to Rank Well

SEO Page Rank

You are probably writing a blog hoping your ideal customers/prospects will find it.

Some simple changes that you can make to help you with your campaigns will be found in this article. You can increase your search engine visibility, drive more traffic to your blog and generate more leads or sales for your business.

Focus on keyword-rich subjects.

Why are blog sites a tool that are is so powerful for SEO (search engine optimization) and online visibility?

Because every post you compose becomes another web page, and every web site is another chance to rank well for a search that is a specific client is performing at this time. Or in 30 days. Or in a year. Because good, evergreen content continues to attract visitors to your website or blog for decades, producing more leads/customers for your offer.

There are a number of techniques to create tips which can become content for your website:

  • Turn consumer concerns into “Dear Abby” style posts.

  • Scour websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn or other forums where you can find questions to help solve.

  • Simply take some keywords through Google Keyword Planner that you’d like to rank well for and run them. This device is free for you to find how many individuals are looking for your phrases each month, recommends associated phrases that might be better opportunities, and lets you know just how competitive that search is. (The higher your competition, the tougher it will be to split the page that is to begin the search engines.)

Create a keyword-rich title.

By default, the title of your post becomes the title of your web page.

Search engines give more importance to your page title than just about any other variable.

Too often, businesses give blog posts vague titles like, “A Word to the Wise,” or “A Lesson from Man’s Best Friend.”

Unfortunately, your ideal customers aren’t searching for those phrases. And if they are, they’re probably not interested in your post specifically.

Here are some tips to title a blog post for maximum visibility:

  • Lead with your keywords. Search engines give more weight to the first few words in a title. Examples might include, “Pinterest Marketing: How to Generate Leads from the World’s Hottest Social Media Site,” or “Men’s Bowler Hats: What’s Hot This Season.”

  • Number your lists. I know many people hate numbered lists, but they speak to how busy we all are. “101 Ways to Save Money for College” or “3 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview” are generally more engaging, and will generate more click-throughs at the search engines, which may increase your overall rank.

  • The colon is your friend. If you have a couple of competing keyword phrases that both seem appropriate, use a colon (or some other spacer) to cast a wider net. Do you write an Asian cooking blog? Try “Chopstick Instructions: How to Use Chopsticks.”

Work your keyword phrase into your copy early and often.

Your title is critical, but it can’t stand on its own; it needs to be supported by the rest of your copy.

You should work your keyword phrase into the first sentence or two of your blog post, and then repeat it several times throughout your post.

If you feel it’s difficult to work your keywords into the first sentence, try this trick: open up with a one to two sentence overview of your topic. If you still can’t work your keyword into the overview, then your blog post probably isn’t about your keyword anyway.

Warning! If you overuse your keyword phrase it can backfire. This is called, Keyword stuffing.

Google and other search engines may punish you for “over-optimizing” your post.

How much is too much? There’s no magic formula, but if your post doesn’t read well and the keywords feel forced into the rest of the copy, you’re probably guilty of over-optimizing.

You can also break up your keywords. If you wanted to rank well for some certain phrase you could use that phrase exactly once or twice, but also use each word separately in other sections of the blog article.

Share your post through social networks.

Inbound links—links from other websites and blogs—increase your search engine visibility, all other things being equal. However, links from social media sites and the comments section of blogs often carry the “no follow” link, meaning no search engine benefits are being transferred.

The search engines are a little cagey about how much impact social buzz has on their search results, but there’s no question that Facebook powers Bing’s customized search, and Google+ affects your Google search results.

By sharing your post through these and other social media platforms, and getting others to do the same, you’ll drive more traffic and build awareness of your post. Even if a tweet or a LinkedIn update doesn’t boost your overall ranking, it might introduce you to a blogger who links to your post from within a post, which does carry search engine weight.

To encourage more sharing, be sure to add any appropriate “share” buttons to the top and bottom of your blog posts, encouraging visitors to share your content.

Transfer your blog’s search engine visibility to your website or e-commerce store.

Blogs are often more conversational, less sales-y than a traditional website. The non-sales-y approach often encourages other bloggers to link to you, where they wouldn’t normally link to a business website or e-commerce site.

However, your goal may not be to have the most popular blog, but rather to build your business. If you’d like to leverage your blog to grow your business, you’ll want to create keyword-rich links from blog posts to sales pages on your website.

A blog post about tips for growing tomatoes in a home garden might link to your page that sells tomato seeds. A post about finding the right nursing care for an aging parent might link to your page on transitional services for families.

Search engines focus on the words in links, so instead of creating a link that says, “click here” or “learn more,” you’ll want to create a link that says, “heirloom tomato seeds” or “transition plans for aging parents.”

By creating multiple blog posts—including leveraging guest blog opportunities—that point to a given page on your site, you can increase the search engine visibility of any web-page you wish.

Be the master of your own domain.

There is a huge following for WordPress blogs, however, never run a business blog with the WordPress.com domain. Or Typepad.com. Or Blogger.com.

When you blog on someone else’s domain, i.e., gardenshop.wordpress.com, you’re building their search engine visibility, not yours.

Many blogging platforms have gone under in the past few years. You might be able to save your blog posts from the wreckage, but you’ll never recover all your inbound links and the trust you built up at that domain.

It’s critical to your success that you blog at a domain name you fully control. This could be part of your current site, i.e, gardenshop.com/blog, or it could be a separate domain entirely, i.e., gardenshopblog.com.

Conclusion and Summary in a Nut-Shell:

To create a blog that generates search engine traffic and new leads for your business, follow this simple formula:

  • Build your blog on a domain you own and control.

  • Focus each blog post around a narrow, keyword-rich topic.

  • Create a title that starts with your best keywords.

  • Use your keywords early and often in your blog post.

  • Make your post easily shareable through the social networks.

  • Leverage your blog’s new-found search engine power by linking to critical pages on your website or e-commerce store.

Based on an article by: Rich Brooks

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member