Guest speaker Dave Barnhart, owner of Business Blogging Pros, offered his insight and expertise on how to increase our audience, customers and sales through blogging.
Examples he gave us supported the statement ‘Starting a blog is the best way to market on budget.’ Here are the ABC’s of the many points he presented.
A. Where to Begin
a. Set objectives – decide on two or three main objectives of your blog. Is it to increase brand awareness? Establish you reputation as an expert? Improve your Google ranking? Whatever the objectives you choose, write them down and keep the list close to your computer to make sure every blog contributes to fulfilling those objectives.
b. Know Your Audience – Who are they? What’s important to them? What do they want to know? Dave introduced the concept to us of Criteria Evolution – educating your customers to evaluate the competition in terms of your known advantage. (“If I knew then what I know now, I would have bought that one.”)
B. Build An Audience
a. Keep your focus narrow. Google now uses the concept of “silos” as part of their ranking and search criteria. Think of each silo as subject and then, start at the bottom of the silo with a very focused blog related to a small detail of the overall subject. Continue to fill the silo with more related blogs and eventually Google will recognize you as an authority on the subject matter.
b. Outreach – Don’t drive traffic, draw traffic. Start looking for other websites related to your audience and listen for questions. Write blogs that provide the answers and point those asking similar questions to your post. Join communities through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Message Boards to find people with interest related to your blog.
C. SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Utilizing what is known about how the search engine processes information is the key to getting on the first page of Google. Google and other search engines are always evolving. The criteria use today is much different from that used two years ago.
Dave recommends WordPress for creating webpages/blogs due to Google’s ability to ‘understand’ WordPress. Whereas in the past, the positive ranking for search results was dependent on the entering the appropriate keywords, Google can now focus on “natural language” and will automatically look for and draw associates between phrases within the content of the blog. Key words associated with your subject and objection should be part of the natural flow of the composition.
Google has a number of tools to help you use the right language to attract the right readers. Check out goggle.com/blogsearch and https://adwords/google.com for starters.
Dave also suggested frequent updates to your blog … the more the better.
Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up – post short and long blogs – but post them regularly. Once or twice a day to start with, and once or twice a week on an ongoing basis. Google loves new content so use it to improve your ratings.
For more tips on using and optimizing your audience through blogging. Take a look at Dave’s website at www.businessbloggingpros.com.