Today I’m very excited to have a guest post from Kiesha at We Blog Better. I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….
I’ve been blogging for about two years now and during that time I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter who you are, who you don’t know, how old you are, whether or not you’re a strong writer, what niche you blog in, etc. I could go on and add to this list, but none of those details matter – if you want to be a successful blogger, there’s only one thing standing in your way.
When I started blogging in the Christian inspiration niche, I think I had to choose one of the hardest niches to get noticed in. After all talking about God isn’t the most popular thing to most of the world. But it was my passion, so I blogged every day, diligently.
To build my knowledge, I started visiting blogging tips blogs. I wanted to build my traffic and gain more exposure – so I started commenting, I started engaging people on Twitter. Then I started guest posting and it literally changed everything.
One day I wrote a guest post for a blog and the next day I got an offer to take over WeBlogBetter.com. It was an offer that I could not refuse!
I discovered that the power of guest posting and networking with other bloggers far outweighed any other traffic building method I had ever tried.
Once I started networking and getting to know other bloggers, I came to realize that the more you help others, the more they’ll help you back – and when you least expect it, in greater ways than you could ever imagine.
The only thing standing between you and succes is: ACTION.
Anything really is possible if you just stop procrastinating and get to it. I had a blogger friend tell me that I should submit my blog to be featured by Lisa Irby – it’s something I had been planning on doing, but I just didn’t feel like I was good enough, but his encouragement gave me the confidence I needed, and just a few weeks later, my site was finally featured – completely polverizing previous traffic records on my blog.
So, it really only matters how willing you are to put all of your ideas and planning, into action. It’s easy to quit after failing at one or two things. I’ve had many opportunities to quit, but I’ve decided, I’m just going to have to do whatever takes to reach the top.
My advice to new bloggers:
Post every day
To make it easier, create a schedule of recurring series.
Comment on other blogs
On as many and as often as you can. Don’t be bound by niches – variety is a great thing.
As much as you can without sacrificing your own posting schedule.
Build your community
Reply to comments, visit the blogs of your commentators, tweet their posts and just be as helpful as you can be.
There is no such thing as overnight success, it’s usually the result of years of hard work that have finally come to fruition. It only appears like overnight success to those of us who didn’t have to put in the work.
So what’s standing between you and your success? Will today be the day you finally take action?
1. Get on Facebook
2. Establish a business account if you don’t have one
3. Create a 200pix wide x 600pix high image for Facebook
4. Add Facebook links to every page of your website
5. Fill out your entire Facebook profile
6. Obtain a Facebook vanity URL to help customers find you
7. Add your vanity URL to your email signature
8. Add your vanity URL to your marketing materials
9. Post daily updates to Facebook regarding your business
10. Answer any customer questions on Facebook, whether they originate from Twitter or an email. It will help foster conversation.
11. Send an email or newsletter to all clients/contacts letting them know you are on Facebook and asking them to “like” your page
12. Make sure all privacy settings are updated to keep all personal information separate from business pages
13. Post links to articles other people have written as a way of adding value to your clients’ businesses
14. Don’t make your Facebook page about you — make it about your customers
15. Use features other than posting updates: add conversations, photo albums, blogs, etc.
16. Brand your page so that it is instantly recognizable as going with your website
17. Establish a conversation with your customers
18. Be part of the community
19. Run Facebook promotions — try a giveaway or contest using Facebook to promote
20. Try Facebook advertising
21. If you sell tangible products, use pictures to tell a story of that product
22. Realize Facebook allows you to humanize your business — try doing a funny video of your employees
23. Engage your own employees using Facebook
24. Crown an employee of the month on Facebook — it amuses customers and gives positive reinforcement to staff
25. Get on Twitter
26. Write a stellar Twitter profile, just because it’s 140 characters doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be amazing
27. Start tweeting at least one tweet a day for 20 days before you start trying to get Twitter followers
28. Make sure those tweets are helpful and interesting, otherwise nobody will follow you
29. Make your tweets 1/3 new content by you, 1/3 retweeting other content you think is interesting, and 1/3 conversing with other tweeters
30. Start courting followers
31. Try to follow people who you actually think are interesting. Don’t just follow someone who you think will follow back
32. Sign up for a service like TwitterUnfollow
33. Sign up for a service like HootSuite
34. Decide if you want to be a planned tweeter or if you want to be organic
35. If you want to be organic, be on a constant look out for good tweet ideas
36. If you want to be a planned tweeter, start planning your tweets days, or even weeks in advance
37. Write 10 tweets a day and spread them out over two weeks
38. Download the Twitter app to your smart phone so you can tweet from anywhere
39. Start exploring Twitter lists
40. Make Twitter lists so you can keep track of those who really matter to you
41. Retweet when others talk about you, especially if they are positive reviews
42. Share business updates in real time
43. Start a blog
44. Add the blog to your website
45. Make sure the style and header match the rest of your website
46. Brainstorm tons of ideas before going live
47. Write as many blog posts as possible before going live
48. Post at least one blog post a week
49. Make sure the posts are SEO friendly and you know how to use SEO plugins to optimize your blog
50. Put a link to your blog in your email signature
51. Send an email blast or email to your contacts/customers letting them know you have a blog
52. Understand that blogging is about adding value to your customers and keep that in mind with every blog post you write
53. Start looking for free pictures you can use with your blog
54. Get a feel for how long you want your blog posts to be
55. Hire a ghost writer if you don’t have time to write the posts yourself
56. Do a series of blog posts that all interact and help your readers accomplish something big
57. Learn how to write the best headlines you can
58. Learn how to write for the web — its’ different than print
59. Cut yourself some slack as you start, there’s a learning curve
60. Tell your story
61. Personalize your blog without being unprofessional
62. Make sure your brand is consistent on your blog
63. Establish yourself as an expert amongst your customers and amongst your peers — write what you know about
64. Foster your own creative thoughts
65. Disseminate your blog posts among social media including Facebook and Twitter
66. Start a monthly newsletter you send to customers encapsulating your favorite posts
67. Get on LinkedIn
68. Join groups to foster interaction
69. Make sure your profile is 100% up to date
71. Recommend others
72. Put up a business appropriate pictures
73. Make sure all your employees are on LinkedIn
74. Recruit talent using LinkedIn
75. Answer LinkedIn Questions
76. Take the time to connect to all present and past customer
77. Use LinkedIn to keep in touch
78. Network with peers
79. Spy on your competition
80. Start an email marketing campaign
82. Create a long and impressive email list from past clients and contacts
83. Put a place on your website for visitors to sign up for emails/newsletters
84. Write the blasts so they are helpful to readers and not about you at all
85. Make sure they are 100% branded with your company
86. Use short headlines that are informative
87. If possible, make your email mobile friendly
88. Include pictures, but no videos
89. Keep it short
90. Proofread like crazy
91. Use writing to engage in content marketing
92. Write and distribute press releases about new services or products
93. Brand the press releases
94. Hire a copywriter to write a case study — they are the newest wave in sales copy
95. Update your website copy
96. Make sure your copy is professionally written and edited
97. Hire a copywriter who can use words to turn visitors into customers
98. Make sure your website design is up to date, both visually and technically
99. Make sure you have a logo that is on everything from your website to business cards to email signatures to your social media profiles to EVERYTHING
100. Set aside dedicated time to keep up with social media, your business will thank you
101. Keep looking to the future, there will always be new ways to use social media to better your business, be first to jump on the bandwagon!
When I was younger I used to make myself multiple lists of new years resolutions. I never kept a single one. Ever. It wasn’t because I didn’t try, it was because I would give myself impossible goals to reach.
Not only that, but half the time I had no idea what exactly my goal meant. Save more money? That sounds simple, but really that goal doesn’t just involve eating out less, it’s also includes taking the time to keep track of money, figuring out where I’m spending that I can cut back on, etc. A better new years resolution would have been: track my spending using Quicken.
The past few years I’ve gotten better at making resolutions. The reason? I follow five simple steps that allow me to make goals that I can follow and are beneficial to me and my life and my business.
There are a lot of business owners who are making social media their #1 goal for 2011. Whether it’s to get started on Twitter or to get more involved in accounts that are already set up, behind losing weight and saving money, I bet it’s high up on many people’s lists. However, in order to make smart goals, I suggest following these five steps:
By making goals that are specific, you have something tangible to work toward. For example, you don’t want to make your goal to join Twitter. Instead, your goal should be to tweet once a day. This is something you have control over and can work toward.
Don’t set your goal as something that most likely won’t happen. If you’re just joining Facebook, don’t make your goal to have 3,000 followers by the end of 2011. Unless you’re a big name brand, that’s just not going to happen. Instead, set a goal that is optimistic but attainable, perhaps trying to get 10-15 new Facebook followers a month.
Take the time to sit down and think about what will really make a difference in your business. Do you have very old web copy on your site that no longer applies to what you do? Then don’t make your 2011 goal to get 1,000 more Twitter followers. Those 1,000 followers aren’t going to do you half as much good as a really well-written website.
Do not set a goal for all of 2011. That leaves you 12 months to forget about the goal and therefore, not achieve it. Instead, set time increments. If your goal is to get new website copy, set several goals that will ultimately lead to new copy. For example, your first goal can be to have hired a copywriter by the end of January.
New years goals are hard to keep in the first place, so try to set goals that won’t only help your business, but get you excited thinking about them. If social media doesn’t get your tongue wagging, but the thought of using a case study on your website does, then make your goal to write a case study.
What goals are you setting for yourself in 2011?
p.s. I wanted to let everyone know in 2011 I am changing my blogging schedule from Mon-Wed-Fri to Tues-Thurs. So look for new posts Tuesday and Thursday mornings!
I apologize for my lack of post on Monday. It’s the first time I’ve missed a regular posting date in six months, and it felt bad. However, the end of the year is always hectic, and trying to finish up a ton of projects has left me with little time or energy to write posts for my own site.
I’m also in the process of trying to get a portfolio of some of my past work added to my site. Now that I’ve completed a lot of projects that I’m really proud of, it’s time to start showing off.
So please excuse the absence of post Monday, and basically today as well, while I focus on getting my clients the quality work they deserve, and work to update my own site.
In order to make up for a post that really does not add any value to your life of business, here are two articles that I really enjoyed and I hope you will as well. This is the sharing portion of the program:
One article is about the small business secret holiday weapon.
The other is about Built in Chicago, a new site that aims to bring Chicago’s entrepreneurial and tech community together online.
If you’re in Chicago, I hope you’re surviving the cold.
Did you know that social media is basically just inbound marketing? Social media gives companies the tools they need to get interested potential customers to come to them, rather than spending their money on trying to reach them with traditional marketing.
I’m not going to say that traditional marketing is dead, because it’s obviously not, and probably never will be, but nowadays, inbound marketing is the way to go.
The idea of inbound marketing is to “get found” by those who are looking for exactly what you do. The way it works is to set up your website and social media sites in such a way that it naturally appeals to those who would want to hire you.
So if you were going to stop putting time and money into traditional marketing and instead go the route of inbound marketing, where would you start?
You need to set up blogs, videos, ebooks, an amazing website, etc. By putting all of this information into the Internet, there’s a larger chance those who are looking for you will actually find you.
Making the investment to hire an SEO firm and doing what is necessary to get you on to the first page of the Search Engines will pay off tenfold. However, it is an investment. SEO doesn’t come cheap.
Encouraging people to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn means you will be in their face every day. Most people check their Facebook accounts before even their email. Being in those people’s faces with daily updates is a great way to remind potential customers that you exist.
In the end, Inbound Marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing, and targets better. It’s definitely worth the switch. Do you already practice Inbound Marketing? Do you have any tips for those just starting out?