Is Your Blog Hurting Your Online Business? (Part II)

  When you started your blog, you undoubtedly had high expectations. After all, if a blog is a must have for your online business, it must be because it’s going to do amazing things for you. Right? In a perfect world, yes. In reality, sometimes. In the first part of this article, we talked about 3 things your blog does that could actually hurt your online business. And here you were, just trying to help . . . Here we’re going to look at those 3 factors again, and this time talk about how you can use each of them to help your business. (Now would be a good time to take a look at the first part of “Is Your Blog Hurting Your Online Business?,” if you haven’t read it yet.) 1. Are You Updating Your Blog With Great Content? The issue here is two-fold. One, you have to be consistently updating your blog. And two, you have to be providing your audience with great content. Defining “consistent” Perhaps the good news, and the bad news, is that “consistent” might mean something different to your business than it does to mine. I’ve been blogging for five years and I’ve had people tell me I needed to post every day, once a month, and about every number in between. And the thing is, none of them were wrong. They were all successful with the way they were doing it. Here’s what I can tell you about the meaning of “consistent:” You need to have a schedule. Don’t post 3 times this week, then just once next month. Pick the...

3 Keys to Attracting an Engaged Social Media Following

We’ve been talking about how to attract quality people to connect with you on social media. And how that strategy beats the time-consuming task of chasing the numbers. I told you that the best way to attract an engaged social media audience is to put out quality content, consistently. And then connect with others who are happy to help promote your content. Now it’s time to look at exactly how to go about doing those things. What is Quality Content, and How to Create Some A big part of social media is sharing other people’s content. And certainly you want to do that, and do it often. But, ultimately, you’re going to need your own great content to establish yourself as an authority in your market. With content marketing being “where it’s at” right now, it’s not good enough to just write anything and put it out there. Your content has to be quality, or no one’s going to come back for more. When I write, my foundation goal is always to produce something that will make people want to add me to their “favorites.” That could mean subscribing to my list; adding me to their Reader; or putting me on their Facebook Interest lists, Twitter list, or “special” Google+ circle. That’s how you define “quality.” How to create quality content could fill at least a book, but here are some of the important starting points to get you thinking: Be relevant and creative: This can be a little tricky. You want to be creative, and write about things others aren’t writing about. But, you also want to be relevant, and cover...

The #1 Way to Increase Your Social Media Numbers

When you talk about how to increase the number of social media followers you have, people listen. Because more followers equals more money for your business, right? Well, as we talked about last time, bigger is not always better when it comes to your social media following. The Social Media Numbers Game is Hard Work Most advice focuses on ways to get people to click “like” on your Facebook page, or establishing a daily routine of following and unfollowing people on Twitter. All with the goal of increasing your social media numbers, and therefore, hopefully, your influence. There are a couple of downsides to playing the numbers game with social media. First, you are going to end up with a lot of followers who you have no influence over. Two things will happen with these people. Either (1) they’ll never be anything more than a number to you, or (2) you’ll work long and hard to build a relationship of trust with them. The second downside to this method is that it takes a lot of time. Every day. Posting and replying. Searching out new connections. And not just on one social media network, but on two or three, or more. There is no effective “set it and forget it” method. No leveraging your time. But, is There a Better Way? You could decide that social media is just too time-consuming. And go after a quicker and easier way to build your business. But that’s not a good choice these days. Despite its drawbacks, social media really is the easiest and most effective way to build your business. However,...

Good-bye Google Alerts, Hello Talkwalker

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the demise of Google Reader, and I showed you how to easily switch to an equally good, if not better, Reader. Just like Google Reader won’t be missed, neither will Google Alerts. I haven’t seen anything “official” saying that Google is about to kill off its Alerts service, but it seems inevitable. I’ve noticed that I’m getting fewer and fewer results from Google Alerts. And I’m reading that others are having the same experience. I think it’s time to find an alternative to Google Alerts, even if it’s not shutting down soon. I’ve spent a few hours looking for alternatives. In my search, I found a great article by Gini Dietrich at SpinSucks. Gini recommended Talkwalker as the new Google Alerts, and I agree that it’s a perfect replacement. There are three reasons Talkwalker is your choice over the others that offer a similar service. 1. Talkwalker Has a Free Stand-Alone Alerts Service One of the things I love most about Google Alerts is that it’s a stand-alone service. It’s not connected to any other service. You don’t have to log in and get distracted by a dashboard showing you 20 other statistics that call out for your attention. Talkwalker is the only alternative I found that duplicates this. And it’s free! There are many other “alert-type” services. From what I found, they are either part of a package of related services, or they don’t search and return results for as many sources as Talkwalker does. 2. Talkwalker is Easy and Accurate Again like Google Alerts, Talkwalker is easy. When you...

5 Small Steps to Publishing Your First YouTube Video (Part 1)

Is publishing your first YouTube video one of your 2013 goals? Or maybe it’s just in the back of your mind that you should be on YouTube? YouTube is the second largest search engine out there. So, if using YouTube to market your business isn’t somewhere on your to-do list, I’m assuming there’s some fear that’s holding you back. Because you know you need to be there. The most common reasons I hear for not using video marketing are “I don’t know how,” “it’s too time consuming,” and “I don’t look good on video.” In this two-part series, I’m going to help you conquer those fears and get your first video out there. In this article, we’ll cover the first 3 of the 5 small steps to publishing your first YouTube video. But first, let’s knock out one of your objections. Your Face Was Meant for YouTube Before we get the camera rolling, I want to address the “I don’t look good on video” objection. More times than I can count, I’ve heard this response to that objection: “It’s okay, you can make screencast videos so that your face never has to appear on camera.” You’re not going to get that advice from me. It’s NOT okay that you think you don’t look good on video. Guess what? No one cares how you look. They care what value you add to their life. So, set your ego aside and start practicing. You will get better with experience. Really. And, if it makes you feel better, I don’t look good on video either. Still, I make a video every week....

5 Content Marketing Strategies For Getting it All Done

Back in the day, you could get away with posting on your blog a couple of times a week, if you had a blog at all. And that was all the content your business had to produce. The rest could be done with landing pages, Google Adwords, and email marketing. But, things have changed, as things do. And now, more and more, doing business online is all about content. As an online business owner, you are a content marketer. Or at least you better be. You may be thinking content marketing is fine for others, but you’re using social media marketing to grow your business. Well, call it what makes you happy, but social media marketing is content marketing. Sure, you can tell people good morning, good night, and show them a picture of your dinner on social media. But if you want to build relationships that translate into money, you’re going to have to also give them quality, relevant information about your market. It’s not just about blogging. Your audience expects good content from you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and yes, even Pinterest. And this is where the problem comes in. If you want people to get to know you, and if you want to keep them engaged, you’re going to need to be blogging at least twice a week, and posting on your social media networks daily. And then interacting with those who comment on your blog and social media networks. This quickly becomes a full time job, at least. So how do you keep up with your content marketing, and still have time for...