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The Basics of Blog Management

The Basics of Blog Management

The humble blog remains one of the single most powerful marketing tools available to entrepreneurs, small business owners and big businesses. Your blog provides a place to highlight products and services, to give your business a personal face, to grow thought leadership, and to connect with your audience on a deeper level. However, it is crucial that you practice good blog management techniques to ensure effectiveness, save time and really create the impact you need to see. Let’s look at some of the basics of blog management.

Plan Strategically

Yes, blogs can be informal things. However, the most successful blogs are planned strategically and tied directly to a company’s goals. This applies to everything from the topics chosen to the posting frequency selected. In order to plan this way, you’ll need to determine your goals. Those must be concrete, attainable and specific. It does no good to set a nebulous goal, such as, “We want more readers”. There’s no way to measure progress toward that, nor does it tie in with any of the company’s products, services or its position in the market.

Get Your Topics Together Now

There’s a lot of freedom to be gained from blogging “on the fly” but while that might work for personal bloggers, it’s no way to run a business blog. You need to have your topics planned out well in advance. Ideally, you should have a minimum of a month’s worth of blog topics planned and the posts written at one time. This gives you at least some buffer, but it also ensures that there is a constant stream of relevant content being posted to your website.

Not Written as Articles

To be clear, articles can sometimes double as blog posts. There’s actually a lot of crossover between the two. However, when it comes down to it, blog posts should be more personable and articles should be more journalistic. Make sure that your posts strike the tone you want for your company. This will vary from one business to another, and will hinge on your brand’s perception, your position within the industry, and the persona you’re trying to create for your company.

Regular Posting

One area in which too many businesses fail when it comes to blogging is in regular posting. Many start off strong, posting once or twice a week for a couple of months. Then, something comes up. There’s a crisis in the workplace and it’s all hands on deck. Someone is out on maternity leave and there is no replacement planned. This is when everything falls apart. Without regular posting, your audience has no real incentive to check back, and they’ll eventually get out of the habit and you’ll lose readers and reach. Set a posting schedule during your planning session and then stick to it. Really, the frequency of posting doesn’t matter as much as staying consistent with your posting.

Reply to Comments

Blogs are social, but in order for that to happen with yours, you need to actually interact with your readers. Ask them questions in the post, but make sure you reply to their comments on each post. Of course, you’ll need to moderate spam or abusive comments, but your authentic readers and followers need to hear from you, and your responses should be timely or you risk alienating them.

Blog management doesn’t have to be a struggle. If you’re dealing with tight deadlines, a lack of staff, or any other challenge, Words You Want can help. Get in touch today to learn more.

How To Make Your Blog Posts Brilliant

How To Make Your Blog Posts Brilliant

The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been truer than it is today. This is particularly relevant in the world of content marketing. While your text should be the meat of your content, you cannot afford not to have photos. They catch your audience’s eye, encourage them to click to read the rest of the article, add depth and value to ebooks, and a great deal more. Of course, you need to ensure that you’re choosing the right photos for your content, and they’re not all created equal. Here are X of the most important tips you should follow when choosing pictures to use in your content marketing efforts.

Match the Mood of Your Content

All content has a mood, whether you’re writing a product review, telling potential customers about your new hiking gear, outlining the great things to experience at an amusement park or something completely different. Your images must match not just the topic of the piece (a picture of kids having fun and laughing in a piece on playing outdoors), but also the mood. For instance, if you’re writing a review for a new baby bottle design and it’s an upbeat piece, nothing works better than smiling, toothless little ones. You can also use related images that have bright, primary colors, or that exude a sense of peace.

Tie into the Emotion

Let’s face it – emotionless content doesn’t work. It all needs some sort of underlying emotion to carry it through and to connect with the reader. Choose photos that tie into that emotion. Is it a bleak piece on the dangers of environmental degradation? Bleak, cold photos can work. You can also tie that into outrage on the part of those who want to protect the environment with photographs of litter, corporation-fueled erosion and the like. All content has emotion. Your job is to determine what that emotion is and then find photos that tie into it.

Express Your Authenticity

Photographs within your content enhance and establish your authenticity. Without authenticity, your content is more likely to be passed over or ignored. In order for photos to lend an air of authenticity to your content, they must feature good technical execution (they’re not amateur photographs), they must have a trace of humanity within them, and they must be relatable to your audience.

Establishing a Connection with Your Audience

The ultimate goal of using photographs within your content is not to simply provide visual stimuli or to illustrate the points made in your content. It is to establish a deeper connection with your audience. Human beings, no matter how analytical, and no matter what age, are emotional creatures. We connect with content not simply by a picture matching a point being made, but by that image touching us in some way. For instance, if your content deals with the dangers of cyberattacks, in image of money might make your point when talking about theft, but a picture of a cold, bleak future might make a deeper connection with the reader.

In the end, pictures are very important for all types of content that you’ll use in your inbound marketing strategy. The right pictures can make a world of difference. However, the wrong pictures can detract from your message. At Words You Want, we provide not only expert content creation, but we can also pair that content with evocative, effective photographs. Contact us today for more information.

6 Tips for Better Content Marketing Reach: Getting Your Message Farther

BlogThe centerpiece of any inbound marketing plan is your content. It should be of high quality, be highly relevant to your audience, original and interesting. However, it can meet these criteria and still not be effective if your reach is falling short. Content marketing reach is little more than a measure of how far your content gets out there on the World Wide Web and how many people read and share that content. It’s a crucial consideration, but it can be a tough nut to crack. To help improve your content marketing results, let’s consider a few of the most important tips for getting your message farther out there.

Use Social Media Ads

Yes, ads on social networks come at a cost. However, that can be money very well spent when you consider how much this can expand your reach. You can reach thousands of more people with the click of your mouse and the right image and text.

Create an Email List

There’s nothing quite like the additional reach provided by an opt-in email list. You can use these to spread your content far and wide, and because your recipients have already opted in to receiving your communications, you know 1) they’re interested in what you have to say and 2) there’s less chance that your emails will be trapped by a spam filter. Building a robust email list is actually one of the first steps you should take in creating a strong content marketing strategy.

Combine Your Text with Pictures

While 99% of the value will come from the text content, Internet users are primed to look for pictures, not words. In fact, a wall of text can be very off-putting, and can turn away even people who are interested in what you have to say. Use pictures to not only break up text, but to encourage people to click to read in the first place and even to encourage them to share the content with their own friends and connections.

Link to Other Useful Content

One way that you can boost your reach is to include links in your text to other useful, relevant content written by someone else, preferably an authority, or sites where there is an active social media team that can help promote your post. In addition to making your content reach grow, this will also provide additional value to your readers, and that, ultimately, is what this is all about.

Write on Hot Topics

While your content might be original, informative and well-written, if the topic isn’t particularly popular, you can’t expect to see much in the way of reach. Choose popular topics that are frequently searched for by your audience. Google search tools can help you learn more about what your audience wants to know, and then you can create content around those search topics.

Write Longer Posts

Once upon a time, it was normal to find blog posts and articles ranging from 200 to 300 words or so. Today, that’s a no-no. You need long form content that explores topics and subtopics in depth. This will help you rank better with Google, but will also offer more value for your readers (which is what Google is really looking for in the first place). Ideally, you should shoot for between 600 and 1,000 words or so, but don’t shy away from even longer pieces if they are compelling and informative.

Expanding your content marketing reach doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration, or something that requires immense amounts of work. Words You Want can help – get in touch with us today.

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5 Tips for Better Blog Management

Part of typing machine with typed blog wordYour blog is one of the most vital tools in your arsenal. It allows you to connect directly with your audience, and your posts can be shared far and wide around the Internet. However, if you’re not able to manage your blog effectively, you won’t see the full value of this marketing tool. In fact, depending on how badly you’re struggling, you might see no value at all. The following tips will help ensure that you can manage your blog effectively at all times.

Set a Posting Schedule and Stick to It

Nothing turns your readers off more than hitting your blog only to find that the same post from last month is still featured. This tells them several things, including that you really don’t care about producing informative content to keep them in the loop. You cannot afford that, even if you really do care and have just fallen behind. Create a posting schedule and then stick to it as closely as possible. While there’s nothing wrong with a few days’ worth of variance between posts, you can’t vary too much.

Use the Right Plugins

Whether you’re using WordPress, Blogger, or you have a built-in blog on your website, there are many plugins that you can use to help automate and streamline the blog management process. There are plugins for security, to validate commenters and users, to safeguard content that’s behind a paywall and more. If you’re not using the right plugins, you’ll find your job much more difficult, if not impossible.

Create Topics and Research Well Ahead of Time

One of the largest holdups in the blogging process is just coming up with topics and then researching them. After all, blogging is not likely your fulltime job and you have plenty of other responsibilities calling for your attention. If you’re doing your own blogging, make sure you schedule time to come up with topics and research trends and areas of interest for your audience well in advance. Alternatively, you can hire professionals to do this for you.

Track Visitor Origin and Focus Sharing on Those Locations

While some of your traffic will be from visitors who actually type in your URL and visit directly, a large portion will come from social shares, either from your company or by readers sharing your content. Track the origin of those visitors so that you can double-down on sharing within those networks. The higher the percentage of visitors from a specific network is, the better fit that network is for your needs (the higher the concentration of users who are interested in your company, products, services or industry).

Schedule Your Posts

While you might write all your posts for a month on a single day, you don’t want to post them all at the same time. Likewise, posting one each day is time consuming. There’s a better way – schedule them ahead of time. Most blogging platforms now feature a tool that allows you to upload and schedule a post to be published on a day in the future, even at a specific time on that date. Use this tool to your advantage.

With these tips, you should find your blogging is simplified and management is made easier. Of course, you can also find professional help with everything from blog writing to blog management with the experts at Words You Want. Get in touch today to learn more.

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Infographic: Why You Should Be Blogging

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Boost Your Traffic with Blogs

By now most businesses have implemented blogging as part of their marketing strategy. Businesses are using their blogs as a means of communicating with their customers and potential customers, letting them know about new services, practical ways they can use their services or products, etc. However, blogging on a consistent basis isn’t always happening for many businesses and many businesses aren’t really blogging for the right reasons – they just know they should have a blog.

Our infographic above gives you solid stats on why you should implement blogging as part of your inbound and content marketing strategy. 97% more backlinks, 67% more leads, 13% more likely to achieve a positive ROI – those are some pretty impressive numbers.

If you’re ready to implement blogging or you need help blogging consistently, fill out the form below and we can help you out! Words You Want has been providing companies with blogging services for over a decade!

Blog Management Packages – Outsource Your Blogging to Lighten Your Load

Part of typing machine with typed blog wordBlogging is a critical part of having a business today. It does not matter how small the business is right now or how large it is, blogging is an essential element when it comes to your marketing, your SEO, and the way you communicate with customers and prospective customers. The content that you place on the blog helps to establish your identity and your status as an expert in your field. Any company that does not blog and have a blog management system in place, regardless of the industry, is doing themselves a huge disservice.

Of course, telling someone that they need to blog is all well and good, but many people simply have no idea where to start, how to come up with great topics, or how to write the things and post them!

Running the daily operations of your business is a large job. In fact, everyone working at your company has their hands full with their daily tasks, and the last thing they need is to take on yet another job, such as blogging. What are you going to do? Working with a specialist in blog management can help immensely. Professionals know how to come up with good topics, and they know how to research resources and information that your visitors really can use.

Outsourcing Is a Great Option

Many companies today are looking at outsourcing many different parts of their work. They have companies and freelancers create their website, take their photos, and even help with their social media. It’s only natural to consider outsourcing your blogging to specialists. Of course, you need to make sure the company you choose is able to work with your type of business, and that the company can provide quality content on a regular basis.

Instead of hiring someone at your company to do this, or struggling and trying to do it all on your own, you can simply outsource. It’s a good way to alleviate your frustrations and improve your company’s online footprint all at the same time.

What’s Right for You?

You will want to consider blog management options for your company that will work for your specific business. We’re able to offer a great blog management package that will take all of the work off your plate. We’ll post four posts of 600 words each to your blog each week. We’ll even include images in the posts, since images are essential when it comes to getting the attention of readers and since they can help with SEO. We can handle the entire management process, including posting for you.

Of course, you may have other needs. You might need longer or shorter pieces, and you may choose to post them on your own. No matter your need, we’re able to help you so you can get your blog running the way you need it.

You Need Regular Content

You need to have regular blog content on your site, and it needs to go up at least two or three times each week. We’re able to offer four blogs that we can post regularly. This means your readers will know that they can come to your site each week and find some high quality posts that are interesting and that they actually want to read.

Having regular blogs up on your site is essential to the success of your site’s SEO, as well as your content marketing. Do not waste another day without a regularly updated blog. We make it easier than ever to stay on a blogging schedule that will be great for you as well as for your site’s visitors.

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