Tag: blogging

Benefits of Blogging 24 Feb

The Benefits of Blogging [Infographic]

Blogging has been around since the ’90s, however, in today’s digital world, blogging has become an integral part of a company’s marketing strategy. Here are just some of the Benefits of Blogging:

  1. Blogs influence purchases
  2. Google likes to index blog pages
  3. Articles with images get more views
  4. The more often you blog, the more traffic you drive to your website, the more leads you generate. (3x a week is the charm!)

This infographic from SearhGroup.com.au illustrates the Benefits of Blogging:

The Benefits of Blogging

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The Future of Social Media is Trust

The Future of Social Media is TrustWhen you hire someone to do work for you, you are entering in a contract of trust. You trust that the person or company that you’re hiring will do what they say they will do. And before you hired them, you did your research. You checked online reviews, you asked friends or family for a referral. (I don’t know about you, but I would only recommend someone whom I know and trust that they are reliable, and will do what they promise they will do.)

How do you build that trust if you’re just starting out?

How do you portray that trust to other people – strangers – besides your current customers? Word-of-mouth these days is not enough.

Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. When they need or want something and they’re not sure where to get it, they’ll Google it. If they were looking for what you have to offer, what would they enter in the search box? Your company name? Not if they’re not familiar with you. They’re probably going to enter keywords or phrases of what they’re seeking. Sometimes it’s questions, sometimes they’re trying to alleviate a problem. You have to recognize and define what those pain points are and provide basic answers on your website.

That is where a blog comes in

Your blog contains short, 250-500 word, articles with tips and advice on how your potential customer can solve their problems. Then, you have to share that blog post in the social media networks. Think of it like a syndicated news column. That’s how it gets out to the public. That’s how you get noticed. That’s how you establish credibility and trust.

Google sees those posts. Twitter posts come up in Google searches. Anything posted “Public” in Google+ gets indexed in the Google search engine.

It’s really easy for a Facebook user to “tag” your company when a friend asks for a referral – only if you have a Facebook business page and it’s set up properly. Same thing for LinkedIn and Twitter.

Videos help you show off your expertise. People see your face and see that there is a real person behind the company. You can give tips or do a “how-to” video demonstrations.

All this requires both strategic and tactical marketing plans and learning how to use the social media tools properly and effectively to help you get known as an expert in your field – a person who your target market can trust to help them.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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Website DNA – 10 Tips to Build a Traffic-Driving Online Presence

Website DNA: 10 tips to build a traffic-driving online presenceThe backbone of any small business is its customers. Without a steady influx of patrons, even the most creative and well-run enterprises will naturally falter. It’s no longer a secret that having an effective online presence can help you reach and maintain the growing customer base you need, but what are the habits of highly effective websites? How will you know what methods do and don’t drive traffic? Trial and error is not an acceptable solution; we’ve got to get your traffic on the uptick as soon as possible! Fortunately, we’ve taken the guesswork out of what it takes to build an effective website.

  1. Use simple, clear navigation. Your site should be free of extra, unnecessary pages and and the pages you do have should be clearly labeled and visible.
  1. Write strong, meaningful headlines. If you had one sentence to explain what you do, what would you say? Convey that information as quickly as possible so your viewers know what they are looking at right off the bat.
  1. Include one or two calls to action for each web page. I’ve told you what I do; now there is something I want YOU to do. “Call in today!” “Click here for appointments!” “Subscribe to our newsletter.” Calls to action such as these boost your customer’s interactivity with your site and put more people in contact with you.
  1. Share your story on your About Us page. Who are you and why do you matter? Why are you in business? Share your passion for what you do, and add personalized visuals for extra power.
  1. Gather and publish testimonials. Positive endorsements from happy customers give your business amazing credibility. Talking about how great you are is a sales pitch if it comes from you, but it’s a testimonial if it comes from them. Ask your customers for their feedback and use third-party sites like Yelp to gather reviews. Be sure to ask permission to share them on your website.
  1. Add badges, logos and certifications. You went to school for XYZ, prove it! You’ve won local awards for best business, prove it! Adding these visual cues gives you a chance to associate yourself with a known, trusted brand. If you’re a Microsoft-approved technician who owns a computer repair shop, promote that affiliation — it will do wonders for building your credibility.
  1. Remove risk – offer a guarantee. If you aren’t willing to stand by your own service, nobody else will either. Give a price-match guarantee, show a warranty, or list your return policy. You want to tell customers that you are the best at what you do, but even if something does go wrong, you will still stand by them.
  1. Collect email addresses. Let’s keep in touch! How else will your customers know about your exciting news, special deals, or groundbreaking announcements? Offer a newsletter, tip sheet or guide. Send out samples or coupons via email to keep your subscribers engaged.
  1. Engage your customers on social media sites. Connect with your customers where they spend their free time — on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. If somebody likes your business page or shares your status, consider that free advertising targeted to friends of people you already do business with.
  1. Offer visitors something special. There are four barbecue restaurants within two miles of my house. Four! Why would I go to one over another? What does each restaurant offer that the others don’t? Offer a new customer deal, a sale of the week, a unique recipe, or a referral service.

About the Author

Erik Wong with GoDaddyErik Wong is a small business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has been a published author and blogger since 2008 and in his wilder years has been a featured writer for RealClearPolitics. When not writing, he enjoys watching loud movies and sleeping through his morning alarms.

 

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Don’t Neglect Your Social Media When You’re on Vacation!

By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Beach vacation? Don't forget to schedule your social media!Whether you’re heading for the beach, the slopes or over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, the last thing you want to think about is your social media and marketing. But…..

Social media doesn’t stop just because you’re on vacation!

Ski vacation? Schedule your social media in advance!If you don’t keep being social, blogging and posting, you’ll risk losing followers — the followers that it took so long to get! Not everyone goes on vacation. Many people use this down-time to catch up with their to-do list, do research or get organized.

Here are a few steps to take before you hang up the “gone fishing” sign:

  1. Plan ahead – At the end of every month, you need to review site statistics and analytics, review your marketing plan and adjust and plan for the next month accordingly. If you know you’re going to be away, take that into consideration and plan for it! Related: The Power of a Good Marketing Plan
  2. Schedule posts – use free tools, Twitterfeed, HootSuite and TweetDeck to schedule posts to go automatically while you’re away. Related: What’s the Best Time to Tweet? ; Video: How to Use SocialBro & HootSuite to Schedule Posts & Tweets in Bulk
  3. Schedule blog posts – make time before you leave to write a few blog posts and schedule them to post in the future. Use that wait-time at the airport to write quick blog articles. Related: WordPress Tools
  4. Get the mobile apps – all the networks are available for iOS and Android – not all are available for Windows phones. Most of the tools are also available for mobile: Feedly, HootSuite and even WordPress.
  5. Post about your trip – you’re human, you connect with humans – humans have fun on vacation – have fun with social!

If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to relax and worry, if people will think you fell of the face of the earth – even if you want to actually do that.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping small to mid-sized business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. WordPress sites and blogs. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Grammar Check: Proper Use of Commas

By Sharon Bohm

The Misunderstood CommaAlmost everyone knows that all sentences need to end in punctuation. It’s the punctuation within the sentences that causes confusion. The comma is the most used (and misused) punctuation. Here’s a brief summary of the most common uses of the comma.

Here’s a guide to the Proper Use of Commas

Comma use in a series

Always use a comma when listing items in a series. Example: I woke up, ate breakfast, and went to work. Although I have seen the comma before the conjunction omitted, in formal writing, it is still used.

Comma use with a conjunction and two independent clauses

An independent clause is one that can stand on its own. A conjunction (and, or, but) is needed when you connect two independent clauses. Example: I wanted to see the movie, but I arrived too late. Notice the comma comes before the conjunction not after.

Comma use with an introductory clause or phrase

When starting a sentence with an introductory clause or phrase (like this sentence), always use a comma. Example: Looking up at the clock, Jennifer noticed she was behind schedule. In cases where the clause has fewer than three words, it may be permissible to omit the comma. Example: Yesterday I went to the mall. I use a comma, but in a case like this, it is a stylistic choice.

Comma use with parenthetical phrases

A parenthetical phrase can be referred to as added information. This phrase can be removed from a sentence without changing its structure. Example: Mark, and his colleagues, came to the meeting. Taking out the phrase “and his colleagues” doesn’t change the sentence structure. Mark came to the meeting is a complete sentence.

Comma use with quotations

Always use a comma to set off a quotation. This is most commonly found in novels. Example: Susan asked, “Is this where the party is?”  The phrase “Susan asked” is not part of the quote. The comma comes before the quotation.

Comma use with coordinate adjectives

This may not come up as the others, but it is still important to know. A coordinate adjectives are multiple adjectives that describe the same noun. Example: The tall, pretty woman standing there is my friend.

These are just a few of the most uses of the comma. There are many more. If your head isn’t spinning enough about when to use the common, I will briefly discuss a couple of common instances not to use the comma.

Do not use a comma to separate two independent clauses

An independent clause can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Look at these two independent clauses. I bought a pair of pants. They were on sale. If you wanted to make these sentences into one, you must use a semi-colon. I bought a pair of pants; they were on sale. No comma.

Do not use a comma when there is a dependent and an independent clause

A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. Here is a variation on an example I previously used. Example: I wanted to see the movie but arrived too late. Notice the comma is omitted. The phrase “arrived too late” is not a complete sentence as it lacks a subject. Therefore, the comma is not used.

What grammar mistakes do you make or need clarification on? Please comment below…..

About the Author:

Sharon BohmSharon Bohm is a local freelance writer. She taught English Composition for the Maricopa Community College District for many years. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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