This blog has been in radio silence for way too long, and my only excuse is both lame and understandable: I’ve been super busy with work. I believe it’s a case of the shoemakers’ children syndrome. I’m so busy blogging for others, I haven’t had time to do it for myself. But the truth is I’ve really missed writing my own blog posts, so I’m going to get back into it.
Before I start back with a truly informational blog post, I wanted to catch you up on what you’ve missed.
I’ve been busy writing websites for a variety of clients including two law firms, one court reporting firm, one cerebral palsy FAQ site, and a professional organizer. I truly love writing websites, and can’t wait to share them. Only one of the websites is up and running, but please take a look:
I wrote the content for the site along with the blog posts.
In between writing websites for various companies, I’ve also been maintaining blog posts for many clients including lawyers, a moving company, a laundry bag manufacturer, and more. If you’re interested in how to have a green move, or how to create the perfect laundry room, take a look:
I also have been busy creating content for social media campaigns for a majority of these blogs.
And that’s just my blogging and website work! As I said, it’s been a busy couple of months. But I’m back to blogging and can’t wait to share some ideas on how to use content and copy to really skyrocket your marketing and your business.
Summer and fall have really brought on an explosion of clients, and I’m loving every minute of it. I also have another top secret exciting blog project in the works that I can’t wait to share when it’s ready, hopefully just another week or two.
What have you been up to? Is fall bringing as many fun projects for you as it has for me?
There are a million reasons to keep up a company blog. One of the main reasons is to position your company as an expert in your field. Sounds hard doesn’t it? It’s a daunting task, learning how to use a blog to make yourself an expert. There is a trick I am going to share that makes it quite easy. It’s not something that can be used with every blog post, but once every week or two it is worth putting out there.
One way to position yourself as an expert is to be a go-to source of information for your field. Every week search out interesting articles, blog posts, and videos that are current and useful.
Take those articles and write extremely short blurbs giving an introduction to the article, and explaining why you, as an expert in your field, found it to be interesting and worth a read. Link to the article.
And that’s it. If potential clients know that instead of searching out their own information, they can come to your site, they are more likely to stop by. Plus, if you find truly great content to share, they will start to associate you with that greatness.
The next question is obvious. Isn’t it hard to find great quality content? The answer is no. I’ll explain how.
Go to www.google.com/alerts. Put in what you think are a few keywords on your subject. If you’re a pet store and want to be known as an expert on how to keep pets healthy, some phrases to use may be: canine health, pet health, dog health, how to keep pets healthy, and so on.
Sign up to receive the alerts every day, and one day a week go through them, finding the best articles and writing up your blog post. Easy as pie.
You’ll still want to write posts on certain topics that you want to be an expert in. For example, today I’m writing a post on how to write blog posts, but perhaps next week my post will simple be a round-up of other posts on the same topic. It’s an easy way to get out quality content that paints you and your company as an expert.
I’m trying an experiment this week. I am going to try to keep both posts under 200 words and still get my point across. I want to see if shorter blog posts can still be effective. I think shorter posts will get read more because they can hold people’s attention span. Let me know what you think of short vs. long in the comments. And now here we go (these words don’t count toward the 200☺):
Blogging takes time, effort, and money (if you pay a freelancer). They’re fantastic on a website because they show visitors you’re current, you follow through on commitments, and blog posts help position you as an expert if you write about topics you know inside and out.
If you’re taking the time to write the posts, why not leverage them even further? Here are three places every blog post should be disseminated to.
Create a Facebook fan page and put those blog posts on them. Even if you don’t have any followers, get in the habit of posting and then start working on building followers. Tip #1 on how to get followers? Put a link to your Facebook page on your website.
Ditto on the followers. This is a great way to hit people who might not be potential customers but find your blog useful, which gives you more credibility.
There is a WordPress plugin on LinkedIn. Add it to your profile and let everyone who views you see your blog. It will impress them.
My top three ways for making every blog post count. What do you have to add?
*196 words. What’d you think? Not in depth enough or refreshingly short?
Disclaimer: I am not a web designer. Not even close. But I do write a lot of content for the web, which has given me some insight on what aspects of web design draw in readers and let the content do its job.
This is one of those aspects of web design that if it’s done right, you won’t even notice. Navigation is what allows visitors to move from one web page to another. It is essential to the functionality of the site and the ability to absorb information.
The most important part of navigation is that it feels intuitive. There should be a clear path from one page to another, and shouldn’t be hidden or disguised, but instead should offer up information on a silver platter.
While fancy website design might be appropriate for some businesses such as a fancy car dealership or a high-end event planner, most websites would benefit from a dose of minimalism.
The simple fact is that nobody is coming to your website to see how it looks, they want to know what you can offer. Which means, the only reason people come to your site is to read your content. Don’t hide it behind fancy graphics and loud music. Make the design beautiful and understated so the copy — the reason people are on your site to begin with — can do its job.
I see a lot of websites that don’t use the footer for anything. This is a mistake. If a visitor has gotten to the bottom of your page, that is a very good thing. Reward them with a footer that actually is useful. Even if it’s just your contact information so they can reward your well designed and beautifully written content with a phone call or email.
The footer, when done correctly, can have a very high click rate. If you want to take it up a notch from just contact info, this is a perfect place to link to other areas of your site you want more traffic to come to, a contact form, a newsletter sign-up page, and so many more. Think about what you want to bring more traffic to and try adding it to the footer. Monitor the analytics on the page and see if they go up.
Obviously there is a lot more to web design than these three parts. However, I think if you nail these parts, the rest will naturally follow. Are there any parts of web design that I didn’t hit on that you think are important? I’d love to hear.
p.s. I have a guest post up at We Blog Better today! Check it out.