In the world of business, I am sure there is not a Universal List of Marketing Laws; but I do have a list and for me many of these “laws” are actually myths. One of the biggest myths is that marketing “gets” you clients. Wait a minute, you say. Isn’t that what marketing is for, getting you clients. Ah, I see you have bought into the law/myth. Perhaps this myth that Marketing “gets” you clients is actually #1 on your list.
The Importance of Video on Social Media and Why You Might Be Missing Out
Even though I train lots of people to present well so they look good on video, I have not been using it as much as I know I could. This got me thinking? I began to research to find out the answer to this question, “Exactly how important is video in social media today?” Some would say that it’s absolutely everything, and there are those who have built a successful social media marketing campaign solely around video.
We live in a world where people have very short attention spans. We’re bombarded by so much content every single day, it simply isn’t possible to read and consume it all. The solution we have developed is to scan things quickly and decide if we want to invest the time to read the article, watch the video, or listen to the podcast.
Blog readers are no different. That’s why it is important to format your posts in a way that makes it easy to scan, get a quick idea of what the post is about, and then make a decision about reading it. That’s what formatting is all about. It’s an important step in your blogging process.
Add to that the fact that formatting is also an important part of on- page SEO and it is something you want to pay a lot of attention to.
Formatting For Your Readers
Always start by formatting for your readers. While search engines are important, they won’t do you any good if no one is reading your posts.
Make It Easy To Scan the Content
The most important thing you can do for your readers is to make it easy to scan the content. Use headlines, break up text, etc. to make it quick and easy to scan the post and figure out what it’s about. Of course your headline and your images are a big part of this.
Break Up Things into Bulleted or Numbered Lists
Break up your content, tips, ideas, etc. into lists. Depending on the context, those could be bulleted or numbered lists. Lists are easy to ready, quick to scan, and help readers consume your content.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Reading online is different from reading a print book or newspaper. It’s much harder on the eyes, and since we’re consuming so much written content on a daily basis and scanning much of it, our attention span for reading has gone down quite a bit.
Make it easy on your readers to read your posts by keeping your paragraphs short. One to three sentences is usually all you want in each.
Bold important Concepts
Highlight the most important concepts or keywords of your post by bolding them. Not only does this help readers understand that this is an important point, it also helps with scanning before they commit to read your post.
Formatting For the Search Engines
Now that your post is pretty and easy to scan and read for humans, let’s talk about formatting for search engines.
Use H Tags
Using H tags like <h1>, <h2> etc. show search engines what words on the page are important. Use an H1 tag for your post title. If you’re using blogging software like WordPress, your theme should take care of this for you.
But don’t stop there. You can use various other H tags throughout your content. Let’s say your blog post can be slit up into two major sections like this post for example. One section is about formatting for readers, the other for search engines. Those sub headings are H2 tags.
Bold Key Words
This one is easy. If you haven’t already done so for your readers, find your main keyword and make it bold. This will also show search engines this particular word or piece of text is important. Don’t overdo it though.
Use Alt Tags in Images
As you’re adding images, include text in the alt tags that describes the image, but also includes your main keyword. As with the other tags and formatting tips, this will help with ranking.
Use Your Keywords in the Text
Last but not least, give your post a quick scan and make sure you’ve used your keyword several times in the main body of your post. Again, it’s important to strike a good balance here. Don’t overdo it, but also don’t forget to include it. In a 400+ word article like this, using the keyword about 3 times is a good general rule of thumb.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The most important part of your blog post is your title. How well you write, how well-researched your content is, or how pretty your images are means nothing if you can’t get readers to click through and start reading your post. And the single most important thing when it comes to getting readers’ attention is your blog post title.
It’s also the most important on-page factor when it comes to SEO. So if you’re hoping for lots of free traffic from Google and all your favorite social media sites, you need to get good at crafting great blog post titles.
Start With Your Keyword
The key with great blog post titles is to strive for a balance between a title the search engines will like and one that your readers will find interesting and engaging enough to make them want to click on it. To get that balance just right, start with a keyword or key phrase that you want to rank for in the search engines.
Open up your favorite keyword research tool – like the Google Keyword Planner for example – and play around with it until you come up with the keyword or key phrase you want to rank for.
For the sake of illustration let’s say our keyword example is “best blog hosts” and the post will be a review of five of the best hosting companies for WordPress blogs. “best blog hosts” is the keyword we want to rank for in this example.
Make It Interesting
Now that we have the keyword, it’s time to make it interesting for our readers. There are plenty of different ways to turn our example keyword into an interesting blog post title. Here are a few ideas:
- The Three Best Blog Hosts Reviewed – Read This Before You Sign Up
- Looking For a New Home for Your Blog? The Best Blog Hosts Reviewed
- My Top 5 Best Blog Hosts Revealed – Here’s Who I Recommend
- Wondering Who The Best Blog Hosts Are?
- Is Your Host On The Best of The Best Blog Hosts List?
Do you see how this works? Start with the keyword and then try to think about why your readers would be looking for this information. Focus on what’s in it for them by sharing content that will help them out.
Stay Authentic and Stick With Your Style
Last but not least stay authentic and stick with your own style. This is particularly important if you’re an established blogger. Don’t just copy and paste the blog post titles above. They may not reflect the style and tone of voice of your blog posts. In other words, they may not be you. Balance the need of the search engines to easily find what your content is about and the need to keep things interesting for your readers, with your own voice.
You may find it helpful to write a few different blog post titles down and then chose the one that resonates most with you (and hopefully with your readers). If you do this, you won’t need to resort to a cute baby smiling to get people to read your post. Love to see what titles you come up with.
Hey B-A-D Bloggers-
Welcome to the Blog-Day-Challenge October 2016
This is going to be a great month and this challenge is a little different than the challenges in the past. First, you don’t even need a blog- you can post on LinkedIN, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Youtube- whatever channel you use to get your message out there. Frankly all I want is to have more eyes on you.
Each of you are also supporting a great cause, Curing Retinal Blindness (www.crb1.org) at the same time. How cool is that!!!
The theme this month is MOVING FORWARD because thriving is all about taking one step forward at a time, consistent small actions lead to SUCCESS.
For this weekend (October 1st and 2nd), please introduce yourself in the comments section (this will allow me to approve you as a commenter). Tell us a little bit about your blog and what you are passionate about. Post a link here back to your blog so we can all get to know each other better.
Please also throughout the month, go and comment on each other’s blog posts and SHARE them
If everyone comments and shares on social media, everyone will have greater visibility. You can still invite your friends at blogadaychallenge
IMPORTANT: Post a comment now to this post so that I can approve you as a commenter.
This is going to be a great month for all!
Have fun and look forward to reading your posts- sue
Want to join us and learn more about getting your message out to the world:
No matter what kind of company you have, you need to be blogging. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or blogger, it’s essential because your business blog offers another touch point with your customers and It’s easier to do than you think.
Here are 5 reasons why you should blog:
- To Create a More Personal Connection
- Establish Your Expertise and Credibility
- Customize Your Marketing
- Improve your Search Engine Traffic
- Increase Visibility for Your Products and Services
Create a More Personal Connection
Like social media, your blog gives you a chance to connect with your current and potential customers on a more personal level. While your website is a static page that simply tells them about your business, your blog is interactive. It’s a way to start a dialog where they can leave comments and get to know you better. Your blog gives your business a human face. Make sure that you use it as a way to humanize your business. In order to connect with your readers, be active and reply to each comment they leave.
Establish Your Expertise and Credibility
One of the best things about a business blog is that it gives you an opportunity to establish your expertise and build your reputation. You can blog about things you know. For example, if you’re a law firm, blog about simple legal questions people have. If you’re a cleaning company, share some easy house cleaning tips. Your blog shows your website visitors what you know and this engenders trust in your business. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust.
Customize Your Marketing
Blogging offers a much more effective and lower cost way to promote your business than other methods. If you want to place advertisements on other sites, this costs a bit of money. Other costly methods don’t make the same kind of impact that a blog written by you does. You also get information on your target market through their reading behavior and comments. Thus you know what problems they are looking to solve and you can offer them the right solution. When you are coming from a place of serving your customers and helping them, they will come back for more information.
Improve Your Search Engine Traffic
Adding a blog to your static website is a great way to attract traffic from search engines. The search engines favor sites that have fresh, updated content. If you write just one blog post per week, you’ll see more searches coming your way, especially if you choose a few good keywords for each post. Write two or three blog posts a week and you’ll really see your traffic climb. If you are making these posts relevant to your audience, you will also see more comments and these also act as fresh content in the eyes of the search engines.
Increase Visibility for Your Products and Services
Through your blog, you can tell your customers about your products and services. Let them know about discounts, special offers, new inventory items and offline events that you’re participating in. You can also add a feed to your social media sites so that every blog post shows up there as well.
Now, if writing gives you a case of the willies, don’t despair. Blogging isn’t like writing the Great American Novel. Focus on the wants, needs, interests and questions of your customers. Write short, conversational posts as if you’re speaking directly to them. Pick something related to your business and share your expertise with them. Your business blog doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel; it just needs to be helpful and engaging.
If you would like help getting started or just need more ideas, you can download my e-book “Blogging Brainstorming” at www.blogadaychallenge.com. This is the first of a 10 article series on Business blogging to help you thrive as a business blogger. Look for my next article, “Where to Start with Your Business Blog” tomorrow.
Today, I invite you to step into being GREAT. To connect with people in a bigger way, to live today with just a little more passion. To pick a goal that you thought was a little too big and take 1 step toward it.
Everyone is born with innate greatness and when you connect to that AND live into it- WOW! that is where the juice of life is and when the magic happens. Try it on for today and then perhaps tomorrow and then….
Enjoy your wonderful fantastic day!
Living each day with intention is a core focus of mine. I begin everyday in my hot tub where I think about how I want to experience my day. I review what I am going to do that day, who I am going to connect with and how I want to FEEL about all of my interactions. And I literally, set my focus for the day thorough my intentions. And since these intentions are positive (such as feeling connected, productive or creative…), my day starts off in a positive manner.
It is as if I am setting my map for the day. However, I don’t just leave the rest of my day to chance. I check in throughout the day to make sure I am on course with my intentions and to reconnect if I have gone off-course (for example, if I intended to feel creative and am a bit stuck, I will do something that helps me be creative.) I also set mini-intentions before each call I make, before each class I teach, and before each interaction I have so I can feel aligned. This allows me to show up fully present.
So what is your intention for your day?
Thought I would do something fun for today, the 23rd of the month. Here are some reasons why 23 is the greatest number of all time as stated by www.urbandictionary.com I changed # 8 to It is Tennis Day because that is important to me (see my blog post on “Why I am addicted to Professional Tennis”) and #12 because, come on, we all need to celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Enjoy!
Here are 23 Reasons why 23 is the greatest number: It is…
1. a prime number, as are 2 and 3.
2. Michael Jordan’s number.
3. the NBA record for most consecutive points scored by a single player in a game, done by none other than Michael Jordan.
4. the number of chromosomes in a human sperm or egg.
5. the angle between the earth’s magnetic and rotational axis.
6. the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees N Latitude.
7. the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 degrees S Latitude.
8. Tennis Day
9. the most quoted Psalm in the bible (“The Lord is my shepherd…”
10. the number of people executed in “A Tale of Two Cities”
11. the smallest number of people for which there is at least a 50% chance that two will share the same birthday.
12. International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
13. one of the “Lost” numbers on the television show….also the sum of two of the other numbers (8 & 15)and the solution to 42-15-4=23, all of which are also Lost numbers.
14. the number of times Caesar was stabbed in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
15. has been prominently featured in the following: Serendipity, Futurama, Star Wars A New Hope, Monty Python The Life of Brian, Seinfeld, The Big Lebowski, The Matrix Reloaded, and Die Hard III among MANY MANY other movies.
16. the number of flavors Dr. Pepper claims to be a blend of.
17. the number of distinct orientations of Tetris pieces.
18. the sum of U2, the greatest band ever. U is the 21st letter of the alphabet.
19. the number of letters in the latin alphabet.
20. the number of the Illuminati.
21. the letter W in the english alphabet, a letter with 2 points down and 3 points up.
22. the smallest number of integer sided boxes that tile a box such that no two boxes share a common length.
23. the only US president to serve between nonconsecutive terms of another president (23rd president Benjamin Harrison serving between Grover Cleveland’s terms).
Good morning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to tackle our last week of the Blog-A-Day Challenge. Time to play with some other mediums as I have seen some of our bloggers doing. Think also about creating a way to have people connect with you beyond the challenge (special report, a webinar etc).