Simplify your online marketing efforts in 7 easy steps

SIMPLIFYDespite what the snake oil sellers might tell you, there are no miracle shortcuts in internet marketing. It’s an ongoing conversation requiring commitment, effort and perseverance – but that doesn’t mean it has to be gruelling.

Smart planning can pay off, so here are seven tips to get you started.

1) Set up email alerts

Whatever your business, it’s important to track your brand’s internet mentions so that you can respond promptly to opportunities or criticisms, but running internet searches everyday is time consuming, so this is one job it’s wise to automate.

With Google Alerts you can set up multiple key words or phrases to be monitored. Choose the ‘comprehensive’ and ‘as-it-happens’ options and you will alerted immediately whenever Google indexes a web page containing those terms.

2) Subscribe to follow up comments

Commenting on a blog post or forum thread has numerous benefits – you will usually be allowed to hyperlink your name to your website, and if your comment is insightful, it may raise your profile among peers and potential clients. However, if your comment is responded to, you may need to come back to keep the conversation going.

You can’t revisit every post you comment on indefinitely, so always tick the ‘Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail’ checkbox and know automatically if you need to come back.

3) Recycle your blog posts

Go back through your old blog posts and see if they’re still relevant to your current audience. Bloggers often only promote their new content, but this isn’t giving due credit to your older work.

During your conversations online, look out for opportunities to mention an old post in relation to a current event and consider editing and re-publishing some posts to create a more contemporary version of some old material.

4) Share and re-share your pearls of wisdom

Once you have been blogging, tweeting and commenting for a while, you will have amassed a considerable amount of valuable advice. From time to time, review what you’ve written and extract the best pearls of wisdom into a central reference sheet.

When you have a spare moment, search through forums, message boards or LinkedIn Q&As for questions relating to your core topics. Chances are, you’ll already have ready-made advice on file. A word of caution though, while the core points will be the same, it’s important to make sure every answer is tailored to the questions asked– if you just re-paste your points verbatim, it’s essentially spam!

5) Don’t use all your best material at once

Lots of people take a town-crier approach to internet marketing – they just want to be the first and the loudest to get a new piece of information out. While being among the first to link to – or blog about – a new story can win you attention, it often pays to hold back.

Not all material is time sensitive, so if you’re online for an hour and find a dozen really useful articles on a subject, resist the urge to share one every five minutes. Keep a central record of valuable information and share it intelligently over time. That way, you’ll never be lost for things to say, and you’ll have plenty of inspiration for future blog posts.

6) Schedule your tweets

You can’t be on Twitter 24/7, so scheduling posts can be an effective way to make sure you reach different audiences at different times, and don’t miss out when you’re away from your computer.

Tools like Hootsuite and TweetLater enable you to schedule your Twitter posts, but be warned: repeatedly reposting items with identical wording is spam. As a general rule, vary your wording so that your posts aren’t duplicated verbatim, and limit yourself to three tweets, at least four hours apart for any one link.

7) Take a systematic approach and stick to it

People who struggle with interacting online as part of their marketing toolkit generally fall into two groups: those who lose momentum and forget to log in for days, thereby failing to engage people or retain followers, and those who log on with the intention of doing 30 minutes work, only to find they are still chatting several hours later. Either way, the problem is one of planning and efficiency.

The best way to get internet marketing working for you is to do a little bit each day, with some set targets that you write down and stick to. For example, “In addition to blogging once a week, I will log on to Twitter for an hour each day, comment on three blogs, have a couple of chats and post three links, one of which will link to my own site.”

Yes, there’s still a lot of work involved in internet marketing, but if you employ these time saving measures, it’s entirely possible to see a great return without breaking your back.

Need some help? Try my Social Media Marketing Mentoring taster for just£25!

 

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5 Reasons Your WordPress Blog Should Be Self Hosted

I’m a HUGE fan of WordPress for websites and blogging, as anyone that reads here regularly will know.

But did you know that there is a difference between having your blog hosted by WordPress themselves, and hosting it on your own hosting (known as self hosting)? If you didn’t, don’t worry, a lot of people don’t.

To clarify, if your blog site has an address something like http://yourcompanyname.wordpress.com or http://yourcompanyname.blogspot.com then it’s hosted by either WordPress or Blogger / Blogspot.

If your blog has an address something like www.yourcompany.com/blog then the chances are it’s self hosted (although hat’s not always the case, drop me a line if you’re not sure and want to check).

So, read on to find out just 5 reasons (there are many more) why you should be self hosting your WordPress blog if you’re serious about your business blogging.

You’ll have more credibility

It used to be that if you had an @aol.com email address or a geocities domain name, you were seen pretty much as ‘second class’. And the newer version of that seems to be having a WordPress.com or Blogspot.com domain name for your blog.

It’s pretty simple – do you want people to see that your blog is a part of your business, or are you happy with them thinking you’re ‘playing’ at it?

I know and you know that there are some great blogs out there that AREN’T self hosted – but if you want to be taken seriously in 2012 then your blogsite needs to be either a part of your main site or have it’s own domain and be hosted on its own web space.

Are you serious about your blog?

You’ll get better search engine positions

A simple fact of life is that free blog sites just don’t do as well in the search engines. Quite odd really, especially as you consider that Blogger is owned by Google! But that’s how it is.

Add to this the fact that you can get some great SEO plugins for self hosted WordPress and it’s a no brainer.

Do you want your potential customers to find you when they search on Google?

You’ll have control

OK, it’s unlikely to happen, but what would you do if WordPress decided to take down your blog? Or remove your blog posts? Or jus remove access to them for a while?

While you’re hosting your blog on a freebie site, you’re at their mercy – your content belongs to them and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Self host, and YOU’RE in control – you can back up your posts, move them where you like, and run pretty much no risk of your account being closed down and your hard work wiped out.

Would you like to be more in control of your content?

You’ll have a better choice of themes

There’s a massive range of themes on WordPress.com, but let’s face it, how often have you seen the same themes being used time and time again by different industries? With self hosted WordPress you can have a hue choice of themes, from an out of the box standard one to one that matches or complements your own website.

Do you want to stand out by looking different to everyone else?

You’ll have better plugins

I alluded to this earlier with the mention of SEO plugins, but there are a whole array of plugins that you can use on self hosted WordPress but not on the free hosted version.

From Social Media plugins to sharing plugins to commenting plugins to analytics plug ins and beyond – if you’re serious about your blog you need quite a few of these plugins.

Are you serious about your blog?

In short, self hosted WordPress is the way to go if you want to look professional, have more control, have flexibility and make the most of your blog – what’s stopping you going self hosted today?

Like this post? Check out our Wacky WordPress offer to take you from free hosted to self hosted at a drastically knockdown price!

 

 

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5 Ways to keep your Blog updated over the Christmas period

You’ve worked hard all year on your blog, and your comments, visitors and Google traffic is reflecting that graft. But let’s face it, it’s Christmas week and you might not feel like blogging with a bellyful of mince pies, or nipping down in between basting the turkey and boiling the gravy to pop in a quick post or two. And then there’s that odd week between Christmas and New Year when no-one’s quite sure what to do…

So is your blog going to be a barren wasteland over the Christmas period? Will your readers think you’ve given up on them? Will Google wonder where you’ve gone?

Not if I can help it – here are 5 ways you can keep your blog updated over Christmastime, leaving you free to enjoy your family and forget about work for once.

1 – Schedule, schedule schedule

You’ve got a few days yet, so get writing! You’ve probably got some half written posts sitting around that you’ve either not finished or not used yet, so finish them off and then use the scheduling facility in WordPress to post them for you. Your blog posts will appear as if by magic, and you don’t have to lift a finger!

Install the editorial calendar plugin and you’ll be able to see at a glance which days you have or need posts for, and move them around with ease.

2- Grab some guest posts

A great last minute standby, guest posts could keep you going over the festive season. As long as you make sure they’re relevant and of interest to your readers, they could save you wondering about your blog while the sprouts are burning to the bottom of the pan!

Ask your Twitter and Facebook followers if they have any blog posts lying around they’d like you to feature, or maybe they could write you something in the next couple of days? No takers? Then pop along to the fab MyBlogGuest where they have a whole host of bloggers with content to spare – you could find a great source of guest blogs well into 2012!

3 – Create some round up posts

Round up posts are great for filling space, and for only taking a little time to set up. If you’re on WordPress, install the Instant Weekly Round Up plugin – it allows you to pick and choose the categories you want to include from your old blog posts, move them around, and delete the ones you don’t want to show. For only a couple of minutes work you could have a great post ready to go, purely from all the work you’ve put in this year.

4 – Reschedule some older posts

Not everyone will have seen your post the first time around, so why not spend some time going through your archives and reschedule and reuse some of your older posts? Maybe ones that didn’t generate the traffic you thought they would, or haven’t had as many comments as you would have liked, or even really popular ones you think people would be interested in seeing again.

Different to a round up post, this is a reposting of a whole blog post. In WordPress simply change the post from ‘published’ to ‘scheduled’ and you could get a whole new audience.

While you’re scheduling you may even see bits of the post you want to elaborate on or change, or there may be an update you can add – a great way to use old content in a new way.

5 – Get someone else to do it for you

(Come on, you knew this was coming, right? 😉 )

It’s not too late to hand your blog over to someone else for a couple of weeks and give yourself a complete break.

A fresh eye, some new ideas, and more importantly some great content to ensure that your blog isn’t forgotten over Christmas.

Whether it’s your trusty VA or someone like me who gives small business blogging management, you can rest assured your blog is in good hands and isn’t going to languish. An added bonus is that I’ll give you a swift kick in the New Year to either get back on the blogging horse, or decide that you’re happier leaving it to someone else.

OK Nikki, if I decide to use you, what’s it going to cost?

Depending on your blog industry, the amount of blogs you need over the Christmas period, and how long you need me for, it could cost as little as £50 per blog site for me to write blog posts, upload them, optimise them and promote them while you’re pulling your Christmas crackers with your kids.

But, as always, places will be limited (to 5 in this instance) – I’ve got to have time to cook my own Christmas Pudding and those parsnips aren’t going to maple glaze themselves!

Interested?

Drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com and let’s chat.

So there we are – 5 ways to keep your blog going over Christmas with the minimum of effort and hopefully the maximum of results.

Enjoy your turkey!

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and kickstart your blogging in just 30 days!

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Would you like an hour of a Social Media Marketing Specialist’s time?

Telephone

Telephone (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

*** STOP PRESS *** First 10 places gone – price now increased to £50 for next 10 places!

I ran this service a while ago, and it went really well, but time constraints and lack of internet stability meant I had to stop – but I’m back!

Nikki’s Social Media Marketing Telephone Mentoring

It’s easy to read generic information, advice and tips about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, SEO, Pinterest etc, but it’s not so easy to apply this specifically to your own website.

And while you’re spending all of your time learning and practising the new skills you’ve learned, who is running your business?

While I fully believe it’s possible to learn everything you need to know just by reading, sometimes you need a little extra help.

Imagine if someone could advise you:

  • How many times a day to post to Facebook
  • How to get interaction on Twitter
  • How best to direct people to your blog
  • What could be improved in your SEO
  • What you’re not doing with LinkedIn that you could be
  • When you should be posting to Pinterest
  • as well as answering any questions you have
  • and more!

Well that’s what this service is for!

In a one hour phone call with me, Nikki Pilkington, you’ll learn all the above and more. You’ll also get a follow up email detailing everything we’ve spoken about, as well as suggesting 5 blog post titles you should be writing.

In addition you’ll have email or Facebook chat access to me for 2 weeks afterwards.

OK, I need your help, how much?

In the future I will be £75 per call for this service, but as I’ve not offered the service for a while, the next 10 people to sign up and book their call will get this fantastic service for just £50.

£50 for 19 years of internet marketing knowledge.

£50 for a personalised plan of action.

£50 for 14 days access to me.

£50 to find out where you’re going wrong, and how to put it right.

You’ve probably spent more than £50 of your time just reading and testing the things you’ve read, right?

I’m in – how do I book?

Using the Paypal link below, you can book your session. Upon completion of payment, you will be returned to our calendar where you can book your call at a time of your choosing.

Remember, the next 10 only will be £50 – after that the price will revert to £75. So book now and let’s get your social media marketing and SEO back on track!




Why Small Business Should Start Taking Blogging More Seriously

 

mappa_blog

mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)

Do you blog?

Back in 2010, I talked about why small businesses should blog more, and since then I believe it’s become even more important.

If you started blogging in 2010, the chances are that you were pretty early on in your industry (unless you’re in SEO or Social Media) and so you should be reaping the rewards right now, getting more visitors, more comments and more sales than your competitors who came to blogging later (or maybe still don’t blog!)

If you’ve still not got around to starting a blog though, all is not lost. Make 2013 the year that you really start to explore how blogging can work for you and your business.

Why?

Businesses that blog get:

  • More pages in search engines = more chances for potential customers to find you
  • More traffic = more chances for you to prove to your potential customers that you are credible and here to stay
  • More comments = more chances for you to interact with your potential customers
  • More credibility = more of a chance that potential customers will come to you rather than your competitors

What’s not to like?

Setting up and customising a blog isn’t difficult, and you could be up and running within a couple of days.

Writing isn’t as hard as it sounds, there are plenty of articles out there to help, and of course you could ask me about my Blog Mentoring Package.

So here are 5 blog posts you should read if you’re looking to kick start your blogging in 2013:

  • 5 Reasons Your WordPress Blog Should Be Self Hosted
    While it’s not a bad thing to start with a freebie blog, if you want to be taken seriously you really need to look at self hosting, and this blog post tells you why. Need help with self hosting WordPress? Drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com
     
  • 21 Things You Could Blog About Right Now
    Often people put off blogging because they think they won’t have anything to say; this blog post talks you through 21 different things you could blog. Even if you post one a day that’s 3 weeks worth of blogging! No excuses now!
     
  • 67 SEO Tips for Blogging Newbies
    This title is a bit of a misnomer to be honest; even if you’ve been blogging for a while, this handy guide will more than likely tell you somehing you didn’t know about how your blog can help you to be found in search engines with very little effort.

  • Tips for Landing a Guest Post Every Time
    Guest blogging is one of the best traffic generators you’ll find, and if you’re not doing it yet, you should be! This post talks you through how to become the perfect guest poster and have people lining up to feature your posts.

  • Bloggers Have You Established Your Route to Fame?
    Once you have written a blog, how do you go about promoting it? If you feel as if you’re talking to yourself at times, this post will walk you through how I promote a blog post – it may help you to promote yours.

So, blogging; it’s not as hard as it may seem, but trust me, you will reap the rewards.

 
If you’re already blogging and think you’re making the most of your blog, check out our 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook, as a kick up the bum and a good solid workout for your blog and you.
 
I’d love to know more about your blogs – post a comment below with your blog address so I can have a look!
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50 things you could do today to promote your website…

… or 50 Shades of Yay!

If you can manage to put down Mr Grey, and drag your mind back to your business ;) let’s take control of your website.

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

For any small business owner it’s easy to feel shackled to your website, chained to Google, and to tie yourself in knots worrying about how to bring in the traffic.

My 50 Shades of Yay will give you release from all of that frustration, allowing you to fulfill your potential and giving life to your website.

50 Shades of Yay!

50 Shades of Yay is an ebook split into 5 different areas of promotion. This blog post aims to give you a sense of each section, but you’ll need to download the ebook to get the full 50 (don’t worry, it’s free).

Yay! 1 -SEO

1: Check your page titles

Your page titles are the words that appear at the top of the browser window. For example on the front page of my website, mine says ‘Social Media Marketing Support – NikkiPilkington.com – Internet Marketing Expert UK’. Titles are one of the most important aspects of SEO, as they tell Google where to put you. Change yours to describe what you do, not just to say ‘MyCompany.com’. Make each page’s title different. You should be able to do this in your Content Management System.

2: Work on your META descriptions

Although general theory says that the description tag isn’t used in determining where a website is placed in a search engine, it is still an important part of SEO. Your description is the thing that will make people click through to your site – if it’s dull, people won’t click. Again, every page should have a different description tag, and you should be able to do this through your CMS.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the free ebook now and please share with other people!

Yay! 2 – Blogging

1: Sort out your tags and categories

Tags are like keywords for your blog – you should add 4 or 5 to each blog post. Let’s say you wrote a blog post about children needing sunblock in the summer – your tags could be: children, kids, summer, sun care, skincare.

Categories are there to help you and your readers, so use them. They’re different to tags in that they can be more generic, and relate to areas of interest, topics, rather than specific posts. So, a telemarketing blog may use categories such as these: telemarketing, telesales, appointment setting, business development, lead generation. All related to telemarketing, but in different areas.

Tags and categories help search engines and readers – use them!

2: Write an editorial calendar

If you’re rubbish at blogging, the best thing you can do is put together an editorial calendar. This is a document that plans your blog posts for the next month, 3 months, however long you want. It not only makes you think about what you’re going to write, it gives you a sense of resposibility to then write it :) WordPress has a great plugin called Editorial Calendar  that allows you to look at each month at a glance and enter topic ideas for the future. Or just make your own in Word and stick it above your desk!

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and why not mention this blog post in your next blog?

Yay! 3 – Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

1: Ask for the business

We’re so bombarded with people telling us that we shouldn’t use Twitter to sell, and social media is about being social, that we’re scared to put a foot wrong.  I’m not saying those statements are wrong – anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m a great believer in the ‘Social’ in social media.  However, most of us are there to build our businesses – we’re not just in it for a laugh. So I’ll be interested to see how many of you take up my next challenge – which is to ask for the business.  Not from your followers, but from people they know.  In the true spirit of networking, ask your followers if there’s anyone they could refer you to:

–       Who do you know who needs xxxx, I’d love an introduction

–       If anyone says they’re struggling with xxxx pass them my way, I may be able to help

–       Do you know someone looking for xxxx, please introduce me to them

No hard sell, no desperate please, just straightforward networking. If you see others posting this kind of thing, think about who you’ve seen or know who has been saying they have that particular problem recently, and introduce them.  I get a lot of my suppliers from Twitter, but I also post Tweets looking for suppliers that get no response – one of those could be one that may bring you business.  So go on, ask for the business – I dare you ;)

2: Track your results

As in anything, it’s nice to see how well you’re doing on Twitter. There are many tools out there to measure Twitter impact, both free and paid. Twittercounter www.Twittercounter.com will track the amount of followers you have, predict how many you’ll have in X days and allow you to see how many Tweets you’re sending a day. Tweetstatswww.Tweetstats.com – this is an amazing free application that will graph your Tweet stats for you.  Tweetreachwww.Tweetreach.com – will tell you how many people your Tweets reached, counting reTweets – well worth playing with.  SocialMentionwww.socialmention.com – allows you to track mentions of your name in various social media and is very addictive! There are many paid Social Media tracking systems out there – of these, in my opinion, Sprout Social is the best – www.sproutsocial.com. Pricing starts at $39 per month.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now – then please pay it forward by Tweeting about this post.

Yay 4! – Facebook

1: Update your description

I see many Facebook Business Pages not using their description effectively. The ‘about’ description is the text that will appear when someone shares your page on their profile – use it to fully describe your page so people will know what it’s about. Change it regularly and track what works best.

2: Highlight a post

Once you have written a post on your Facebook page, if you hover next to your name and click the star, this ‘highlights’ the post. What this means is that the post is made double width and thus gets more attention from visitors to your page. I’ve used this to good effect to promote my 30 Day Challenge books, so it’s well worth doing for important posts.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section?  Download the ebook now – please consider posting this to your Facebook wall and share the love 🙂

Yay 5 – Extras

1: Pinterest – rename your boards

When you first start with Pinterest, it’s tempting to give your boards funky and funny names – but that’s going to do you no good in search. Look at your boards and give them names that mean something and are likely to show up in a search. As an example, my board called So True is never going to turn up in a search (which doesn’t matter because it’s only quotations and funnies) but my board named Business Blogging Beginner To Pro, and the one called Facebook for Business, does show up. Don’t just give your boards generic names such as ‘blogging’ and ‘telemarketing’ – think this through as an SEO exercise and use your keyphrases where you can.

2: Forums – change your signature

Often when you sign up to a forum such as UK Business Labs, you’re entitled to use a signature file with links. You set it up, include a bit of HTML to create a signature, and Bob’s yer uncle, your signature is set in stone, to be appended to any post you make. If you’re like most people your signature will stay as it is for months, maybe even years, with no change. But if you regularly change your forum signature you not only create interest within the forum itself, you’ll be developing varied links into your site (which Google loves).

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and consider sharing this post on Pinterest, in forums, LinkedIn etc.

Bonus Yay!

1: This post – share it on your networks ;)

Yes, that benefits me, of course. However it also benefits you. Why? Well, for one, your networks will appreciate the share and probably remember you for it, making them more likely to recommend your content in future. Secondly, if you tell me that you’ve shared it, *I’M* more likely to promote your content and share your Tweets etc in future.

So, go ahead, Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Digg, Pin, Blog and more – and if you’d like to offer ebook as a free download on your own website please drop me a line on nikkipilk@gmail.com

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What Pop Songs Can Teach You about Viral Blog Content

Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line SEO.

Music guitar

You may wonder what pop tunes could possibly have in common with blog content. But, if you think about it, because both are creative representations of the emotions and/or ideas of the artist, it’s not really that difficult to see how some of the same basic popularity principles could apply to both.

Here are four characteristics of pop music hits that can help your blog posts go viral:

Hit pop songs are …

Trendy and Current

Pop music is trendy music that reflects the current culture. Rather than being progressive, it speaks to “today” and often puts a modern spin on timeless and lasting themes that help listeners relate to its message. The message isn’t always deep or profound and is, in fact, often pretty light or mundane. But, it does speak to the culture of its day in a language the culture understands, which helps it catch hold of its audience and spread like wildfire.

You, too, can use these elements to encourage the sharing of your blog content. You can be trendy by sharing the latest news and happenings in your field using language your audience understands. You can make your content more immediate by putting a modern spin on an age-old message. Or, you can create a buzz by presenting a tried-and-true topic in a brand new way. By writing on timeless topics–even if they’re dressed in modern garb–you create evergreen content that people can share again and again.

Catchy, Memorable, and Compelling

The pop songs that become most popular have catchy tunes and compelling, easy-to-remember lyrics that people walk around humming or singing as they go about their daily lives. They don’t plan to respond this way; it just happens because the song contains elements that elicit this response. How can people resist buying and listening to music that affects them this way? The answer is, “They can’t.”

To use this concept on your blog, be sure your content is memorable, compelling, and presented in a way that’s easy to grasp, assimilate, and recall. That might involve organizing your ideas, presenting your content in bite-sized but thought-provoking chunks, using subheadings, and expressing your ideas as simply as possible so they don’t strain the reader’s mind. If your points are clear, compelling, and simple, people will share your content.

Emotionally Engaging

Pop tunes that become hits always elicit some kind of emotion in the listener. Whether that emotion is happiness, amusement, or even nostalgia, the emotional content of the lyrics and music carry the listener along on a wave of euphoria, making that critical emotional connection that makes the person want to hear the tune again and again and pass along their fabulous find to all their friends.

In much the same way, emotionally engaging blog content captures your readers’ imaginations and creates feelings of connection that help those readers relate to the content and make them much more likely to share your posts with their networks.

Technologically Driven

Pop music has always placed a strong emphasis on technology, as opposed to musicianship, and on recording, as opposed to live performance. While that emphasis hasn’t necessarily precluded good musicianship, the focus has always been on the technological aspects of the pop song. Basically, pop music is dance music, and much dance music tends to be heavy on the technological gimmicks and gadgetry. Pop music audiences respond well to gimmicks and effects that make the music feel and sound more immediate and more exciting.

How does this apply to your blog? Like pop music, blogging depends totally on technology as its delivery system. And while blogging technology may not equate directly to gadgetry or gimmicks, when bloggers make the most of technology by posting multimedia content and promoting their content via the multitude of available digital channels, they can help that content go viral in much the same way that the most legendary pop artists have used technology to create number-one hit tunes.

Try these four pop-artist tricks when you write your next blog post, and watch your content spread across the Web like an infectious pop tune fills the airwaves!

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line SEO. Peter contributes to various websites, he’s a marketing expert and enjoys writing articles about SEO & online marketing strategies.

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So you’ve written a blog post, now what? [infographic]

Another great infographic from Unbounce with a fab checklist on what to do once you’ve published your blog post. Do you do all these things?

 

What happens when I don’t take my own advice…

Sad face

Sad face (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, a hectic, crazy, mad few days have ensued. It was my own fault for thinking
a house move 5 minutes down the road could go well, really. I’ve moved house
enough times in my life to know that nothing ever goes completely smoothly!

First it was no internet in the old house (that we were still living in) and
then it was no internet in the new house (that we moved into over the weekend)
and a complete lack of 3G coverage that rendered dongles and Mifi completely
useless.

I can’t forward the phones to my mobile as ‘I don’t have that service
activated’ and I can’t activate it as ‘the line is in the middle of being
moved’.

And to top it all, the fact that I’ve ignored my own advice means that my own
business blog has been sorely ignored.

What advice? The advice to plan ahead, always have a few posts in hand, make
sure you have guest posts ready to fill gaps and if all else fails, rely on
infographics – that’s what advice!

Concentrating too much on keeping up with client work and organising the move,
I did the one thing I tell you all not to do – I let my blog go for over a
week. Not good, if you’re me.

Why am I telling you this? Surely I should be announcing that my fab
organisational skills meant my business ran smoothly while I was moving and
leave you all marvelling at my fantastic multi tasking? Well, I could, but
that’s not my style.

I believe in being honest with you – social media and keeping up the marketing
is hard, especially when life gets in the way.

I’m lucky; the enquiries are still coming in. I’ve kept most clients updated
via my phone on Twitter and Facebook. Most have been extremely good about it
and understand how hard I’m working this week to catch up. Others think I
should practice what I preach and be perfect 🙂 If only that were so!

But it’s made me realise more than ever how easy it is to let things slide –
when the gas man is condemning your boiler and you’re wondering how you’re
going to feed your 2 year old, somehow writing a blog doesn’t seem so
important.

Talking to some of my clients this week, they’ve reminded me that the Summer is
here (allegedly) and that the season of holidays and days off is almost upon
us. Kids will be breaking up for the holidays and things other than marketing
and social media will become more important.

I’m lucky I’m back on track, but I wouldn’t wish the last week on anyone to be
honest, much less you!

So I’d definitely recommend that you start planning now for any time you’re
going to be taking off.

Use Buffer http://www.bufferapp.com and
Hootsuite http://www.hootsuite.com to
schedule your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts while you’re away – just a
couple a day will keep you in people’s minds.

Start writing blog posts now that you can schedule – they don’t have to be
masterpieces, but they could be the difference between someone sending you an
enquiry or forgetting who you are as you’re not in the forefront of their mind.
Write more than you need – learn from my mistake!

If you need help with your blog posts, I’ve opened up my order book for July on
the Bonkers Blogging Offer –
http://www.nikkipilkington.com/bonkers-blogging-offer/ – rest assured I’ll not
be taking a holiday this Summer, I’m saving my time off for when you’re all
back from your jollies (and I have a house move to recover from!).

If you don’t need help, remember to keep on top of things – scheduling is your
friend 🙂

Yours, in cobbler’s children’s shoes….

Nikki

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4 Ways You Could Use Blogging Today

I don’t know where the week has gone! Last week I was plagued with internet problems so this week I’m working hard on catching up and my feet don’t seem to have touched the ground.

I’ve been speaking to a few clients and potential clients about their blogging this week, and it seems that some people are struggling with making their blogging work for them. Too many people are treating their blog as their ‘news’ page, only posting ‘me, me, me’ type articles, and they’re wondering why it’s not working for them.

So I thought I’d share with you how some of my contacts and clients are using their blogs – who knows, it may spark a few ideas!

1) DIY Childcare Vouchers

http://www.diychildcarevouchers.co.uk/blog/

These guys offer a DIY system for employers to offer Childcare vouchers to their employees. It’s a little known fact that this can save employees around £900 a year in tax.

The problem is getting to the employers to tell them that they SHOULD be offering this service and they CAN do it easily.

So what Andrew has done is to give them a very easy list of reasons as to why they should do this, citing employee loyalty and productivity, among other things. (emotional)

Childcare costs are big in the news at the moment and you’ll be seeing blogs about that (topical), as well as blogs encouraging employees to get their employers to offer the scheme (appealing to influencers).

Could you write blog posts that touch the emotions, offer a topical opinion or appeal to the influencers of the people you want to buy from you? I bet you could!

2) Bathbomb.biz

http://makebathbombs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/natural-cleaning-challenge-week-3-eco.html

A retail company offering supplies to make your own soaps and bathbombs / fizzers, Bathbomb.biz have decided to appeal to their target audience by proffering a Natural Cleaning Challenge.

Incorporating the power of Twitter by using the hashtag #NatClean2012 (shareable), the posts include requests to tweet and retweet (call to action) and offer free natural cleaning recipes for various items around the home.

On the face of it, these posts have nothing to do with bathbombs, but it’s a good bet that if people are into natural cleaning recipes, they don’t want to be buying chemicals in their soap and are open to making them at home. Who do you think they will come to for supplies? (relateable)

What could you write today that is shareable, includes a call to action, and is relateable to your audience?

3) London Chauffeurs

http://www.londonchauffeuruk.co.uk/does-andy-murray-need-chauffeur-to-get-to-the-wimbledon-final/

Offering chauffeur driven corporate transport and wedding cars, London Chauffeurs are in a crowded market.

Rather than a humdrum run of the mill ‘Here’s why you should use us’ type of blog, with their latest they’ve gone for “Does Andy Murray Need a Chauffeur To Get To Wimbledon”.

This relates to Wimbledon, which has just started (topical) and has a tongue in cheek slant boot (humourous) all while ending up stating they’re happy to help.

Take some time today to see what’s topical that you could write about, and considering adding a humourous aspect to stick in people’s minds.

4) LeighQuantrill.com

http://www.leighquantrill.com/top-reasons-to-use-pinterest/

Leigh (who some of you know is my eldest daughter and is building her business) makes no bones that while she’s fab at most aspects of social media, she’s new to blogging and finding her feet.

In this post she shares an infographic she has found (repurposing content) that tells people about Pinterest (educational). She’s also tied this in with an offer she has on setting up Pinterest accounts http://www.leighquantrill.com/pinterest-account-setup/ (tie-in).

Think about what content you could repurpose, how you could educate your readers, and maybe how that ties in with one of your products or services.

That’s just 4 of my contacts and clients I have shared with you – I might make this a regular thing and share once a month – it doesn’t have to be just clients and my close contacts though – if you’ve written a blog that you’re proud of and want to share the reasoning behind it, tell me about it in the comments below.

And if you’re struggling with your blogging and just how to fit it all in, I’m opening up my July order book for our Bonkers Blogging Offer at http://www.nikkipilkington.com/bonkers-blogging-offer/

Happy Blogging!

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