The Secret to Successful Blogging

Every successful blogger knows that there is one secret factor that every successful blog shares. No blog can succeed without knowing this secret.

What's the big secret?

So, What’s the big secret?

Well, I’m going to share it with you now, so that you too will be “in on it”. The secret consists of only a single word. DISCIPLINE.

Discipline, or more accurately, self-discipline, is the difference between having a blog that works for your business, and continues to engage your stakeholders – vs. having a blog that just stagnates online and falls further and further down search engine rankings.

Notice, that I didn’t say, “hard work”, “great writing”, or “technical proficiency”. These are all things that can make blogging easier and more effective, but none of these things, or the 50 other things that can lead to blog success, will make any difference if you don’t have the discipline to post regularly to your blog.

What do I mean by “post regularly”?

That depends on your business and your blog. In an ideal world, in which the typical self-employed business person has lots of extra time available, regular posting would mean posting a new blog article every day. But let’s assume that you (and me too for that matter!) are not blessed with unlimited spare time—that we actually have businesses to run and families to spend time with—what’s really reasonable?

In the real wold we want to post something new to our blogs on a weekly basis. The bare minimum to keep a blog “alive” is monthly blog posts.

As an aside, one of the core services that I offer is a “keep-alive” package that includes daily Tweets and a monthly blog post. Contact me to arrange this.

The weekly (or if you are really pressed for time, monthly) blog post is where the secret comes in. It is impossible to maintain a consistent blogging schedule if you don’t actually schedule the time to do it!

The secret is discipline, and the secret to discipline is scheduling the time in your calendar to sit down and write. I’ve posted elsewhere on this blog, some tips to help you write blog posts, even when you are feeling pressed for content ideas. There is always something that you can write about, and remember, not every blog post has to be (nor should it be) a sales pitch.  But you won’t have a blog at all if you don’t actually blog.

Pick a day of the week. Pick a time of that day. Don’t “pencil it in”—carve it in stone! Who knows where a bit more self-discipline could lead you? But at the very least, you will end up with a blog containing new content for your customers, clients, suppliers—and for Google search engine optimization.

Content Curation: 7 Steps to Success

Content curation curator

What is content curation, and why should you care?

Content curation curator

What is curation:

Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter.
~ EContent Magazine

In the world of blogging, content curation is the artful use of other people’s content, to provide value to your readers, while simultaneously providing value to the originator of the content.

Why you should care:

Done right, and done well, there is no easier to way to provide high value content to the people you are trying to communicate with through your online marketing efforts. Done poorly, there is no easier way to damage your online reputation.

How to do Content Curation Right

Let’s break it down to just 7 simple steps:

  1. Know your audience
    Before doing anything else, you need to know who you want to talk to, and what type of content those people will find valuable.
  2. Search for content
    Google is your friend. Use it well. Use it wisely. Search for blog posts and websites that your audience will find interesting and of value. You may want to avoid using (and this promoting) the content of a direct competitor, but even this “sin” is forgivable from time to time.
  3. Start your curated article with a catchy, SEO friendly title
    It’s usually best not to directly copy the headline of the article or web page you are curating, but obviously, the title of your piece must be highly relevant to it.
  4. Introduce the article in your own words
    Write a sentence or two to introduce the content that you are curating. Name the source, name the author (link her name to her profile on the original site, or her own site), and explain to your readers why you think that they will find the article interesting.
  5. Quote from the original content
    Quote a few sentences, a paragraph, or at most, a couple of very short paragraphs, of the original article. Do not overdo the quotation! Your goal here is to provide enough of the original content to provide useful information to your readers—enough for them to decide independently if want to read the original article, on the original page—or if they are satisfied with the snippet that you’ve provided for them.
  6. Comment of the article
    This is where your curation skills matter most. Provide either a short summary of the rest of the article (in your own words), or provide an opinion of the article. Remember that your ultimate goal is to prove YOUR value to your readers.
  7. Link back to the source
    Content curation is all about adding value. That includes, not only adding value to your own audience, but also adding value to the originators of the content that you are curating. One day someone may choose to curate your content! You want to provide a shining example to that content curator of how it should be done.

Potential Pitfalls in Content Curation

There are two major pitfalls to avoid when curating content for your own blog.

  1. Providing poor quality content
    There isn’t much point in curating content that your audience won’t find valuable. Avoid poorly written articles. Avoid articles that lack depth, or that repeat content that is so easy to find that your readers will find it useless or boring.
  2. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is when you take credit for someone else’s writing. It is unethical, dishonest, and it will blow up in your face in numerous ways. Your online brand is your online reputation. It should not be taken lightly or squandered. Always link back to the original article and the original author. Never quote more than the minimum necessary to convey the key message of the article you curated. Search engines like Google are constantly improving their algorithms to detect duplicated content—and they can punish plagiarizers by demoting them in their page ranking. Don’t be that guy.

You are curating content that you located elsewhere. Don’t hide that fact, celebrate it by linking back to it. It’s what you should expect when your own content is curated by another blogger.

…and remember, good bloggers do more than just curate other people’s content. They create original content of their own too. For a few more tips about doing that, read my article about content creation.

Jobseeking and Blogging

Jobseeking

There is a lot to think about while we are looking for a job. Jobseeking is a tough job. It’s a world of resumes and rejection letters, of occasional interviews, and too much insecurity—and too many “helpful” people offering too much “useful” advice!

For most people, social media seems to serve mostly as a time wasting distraction from the real business of looking for a job, and blogging seems like the ultimate in self-centered vanity. But that is not how it should be.

Perhaps the most difficult part of jobseeking is networking. It can be tough to network when we are out of the natural networks formed in a workplace. Blogging and social media are the keys that can open up new networks. The important thing is to use our blog wisely, with purpose, and determination.

So where does one start, and what can one do?

Let’s start with Facebook

If you’re not already on Facebook, get on it today. And if you are already using Facebook, remember that nearly every potential employer is going to take a look at your Facebook profile. If your profile is hopelessly personal and full of party pix or politics, change all your privacy settings to make that profile as private as possible. Then set up a Facebook “Fan Page” in your name that contains all the information that you’d like a potential employer to see. If you don’t have a Facebook profile yet, just use your newly created one as a home for the kind of posts that you’d like a potential employer to find.

NOTE: Personal pictures, family posts, friends comments, are all OK on Facebook. The goal here is not to make Facebook look the same as a blog or LinkedIn; it;s to have the kind of Facebook profile that an employer will think, “Gee, this person seems like they’d be a great fit here.”

Speaking of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the jobseekers best friend. It’s imperative that every jobseeking person has a LinkedIn and profile, that the profile is complete, and it is always kept up to date. If you’re serious about finding work, do it today. We’ll talk more about LinkedIn, and Facebook soon, in our next section…

About Your Blog

OK, now we’re ready to start blogging. Having an employer friendly Facebook page, and an up to date LinkedIn profile, is only the preparatory groundwork for our real mission. What is our real mission?

To have an online content magnet that sets us apart from all the other people looking for the same kind of jobs that we are.

Since money is probably more precious than time while looking for employment, an exception to my general rule that every blog should have a unique Domain Name and URL can be made for the jobseeker. If you can afford 8 or 9 dollars a month for yourname.com, I recommend that you go for it, but if money is tight, you can always use yourname.wordpress.com. Don’t get fancy or cute with the name of your blog. You are the product that blog will be pitching. Make it obvious. Make that clear.

How Can a Blog Help me with Jobseeking?

This, of course, is the question that you’ve been waiting for me to answer!

Remember what our goals are—to build our network AND to be the person that potential employers want to hire when they find us online.

We’ve already accomplished part of that goal by having our name in the URL and in the title of our blog. The next thing we need to do is start writing blog posts. What to post? The blog is to help us land a job, so our posts should emphasize the kinds of skills that we have to offer potential employers. If your an IT professional, blog about IT. Are you a marketing professional? Blog about marketing. If you’re a lawyer, blog about the law.

What if I find writing difficult?

Not everyone finds writing easy. Maybe you are someone that finds writing difficult or intimidating. You can still blog! Here are few tips to get you started blogging—even if writing doesn’t come easily to you.

  • Start your post with an image. Pictures a re captivating. Take a photo, or find an image that illustrates a point you’d like to make. Don’t be a pirate! Always acknowledge the source of your images, and link back to the web pages that host them. Most bloggers are happy to share with people that help bring traffic to their websites.
  • Share an interesting article from another blog. Post a brief (no more than a few sentences) from the article, add your own value to the article with some thoughts of your own. And (as with images) always link back to the article on the original website.
  • Write an article about a company you’d like to work for, or one of their products. Remember, you might want to work for one of this company’s competitors too. Always be positive, never write anything negative about any person or company. Stick to benefits and value propositions.
  • I’ve talked a bit more about this here.

Getting Readers, or Why we Started with Facebook and LinkedIn

You knew we weren’t finished with social media right? Now that we have a blog, it would be nice if we had people visiting it, and reading our posts. We can probably assume that the people that might want to hire us upon receipt of our resume will visit, but what we really want is to get in front of people that don’t get our resumes or applications before visiting. Here’s where our accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn begin to serve double duty.

Every blog post should be shared on LinkedIn and Facebook. Post a brief excerpt, just enough to tweak interest, and then a link to your blog article. Oh, and while we are on the topic of social media, don’t forget to add your blog URL to your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Now Start Blogging and go Get That Job!

WordPress vs Other Blogging Platforms

WordPress

WordPress vs all other blogging platforms? WordPress wins!

I am a way huge fan of WordPress

I figured I should get that blogging bias on the table at the outset, so you know in advance where this is going! And now that you know my personal and professional bias, I’ll let you know where it comes from.

Let’s go back a few years. Back to the early days of blogging. There were basically three main contenders for the blogging platform throne; Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad. All three were good platforms, and all three are still around today. There were others back then too, but most have faded into obscurity and disappeared.

Blogger could probably be considered as the “winner” in those early days. It was easier to set up and easier to use, and became hugely popular with the first generation of amateur bloggers. These early adopters consisted mostly of angst filled teenagers and bored (and boring) diarists posting barely readable self-absorbed journal entries about their personal trials, tribulations, and occasional triumphs in their lives. Needless to say, the audience for this was pretty much limited to other angst-filled self-absorbed, literacy-challenged individuals. Blogging looked liked it was on its way to joining MySpace in Internet obscurity. Then things got interesting.

While Blogger (now owned by Google) was concentrating on making things easier for the “average Jane”, a couple of things happened.

  1. Facebook:
    The community space occupied by Blogger & MySpace completely migrated to the social media giant. Blogger’s role as a communication platform for bored teenagers and stay-at-homes was basically killed. Facebook allowed for a far richer sharing platform that made it easier to share only with the people that you wanted to—while still making it easy to share with the whole world if that’s what you wanted to do.
  2. WordPress:
    Wordpress did something that was pretty much unprecedented as a business model. They split into two divisions. One part (WordPress.org) gave its platform away for free to anyone who wanted to, and was capable of, installing it on a server. The other, WordPress.com, became a profit center. At one end they offered a “free” blog to anyone that wanted one. This was basically as easy to set up as Blogger was, but offered a more polished interface and look. It’s “free” factor, actually fully funded by advertising revenue generated by ads that were run on free blogs. For an affordable, but not inconsequential, fee it was (and is) possible to remove the ads. At the other end, and less widely known, WordPress offers a sophisticated full service hosting platform to major organizations at the Fortune 500 level of the economic spectrum. Blogging became serious business, for serious people.

WordPress has evolved into a powerful and extensible CMS, making it the only serious contender for a website on which blogging is a major component

Today there are several new platforms competing in the DIY space, but none of them really fill the same cyberspace as the blogging platforms. Most of the new Content Management Systems (CMS), like Wix, Weebly, and Sqarespace include a blogging add-on, but WordPress has evolved into a powerful and extensible CMS, making it the only serious contender for a website on which blogging is a major component. Web platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn also offer different blogging experiences, and are all fantastic Social Media Platforms, but there is no way to get the kind of branding experience possible with content on a fully branded blog and website. It’s important to remember that social media blogging is free because, at the end of the day, the content creators (you and me) are the product that they are selling for profit—nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s a fact that can’t be ignored.

So while WordPress is not the only alternative, it offers a compelling (and in my view, unbeatable) combination of features and value. And we haven’t even talked about the huge number of plug-ins that allow bloggers to make a WordPress blog/site do just about anything, or the thousands of design theme templates available for free or for fee, that can make your blog look fabulous no matter what your personal view of “fabulous” is!

WordPress vs. the rest? Yeah. I’m with WordPress!

5 Blog Problems and how to Deal with Them

Common blogging problems and how to deal with them

Starting a blog is fun and exciting. As we start writing posts, and putting our brilliant ideas out into the ether of the Internet, we wait with baited breath for the first comments and kudos to start rolling in. We wait. And wait some more.

Then frustration and insecurity begin to cloud our happy excitement.

Are we perhaps, not as brilliant as we thought we were? Are we doing something wrong? Did we offend the Google Gods somehow?

All of the above questions represent possibilities. But, more likely, we have not done anything wrong. We are just being too impatient. So the number one way to deal with our blogging problems is to just be patient! Keep writing. Keep posting.

In this fabulous article from Vandelay Design, Steven Snell identifies five common problems, and discusses the best way to address each one.

  1. No Visitor Comments
  2. Not Enough Visitor Traffic
  3. Blogging Without Purpose
  4. Visitors are not Returning
  5. No Revenue Generation

READ STEVEN’S ARTICLE

Real Estate Blogging, for Agent’s Eyes Only

Real estate is a great topic for a blog

Very few independent professionals put more time, effort, and money into marketing than a real estate agent. And, nearly every agent enjoys considerable support for their marketing from the brokerage firm that employs them. Brokerage support usually includes some web presence, but is that presence really enough to support your own marketing efforts as an independent agent?

Many real estate agencies also have a blog. The agency blog is a fabulous tool for the agency, and is helpful to agents as a group or team. However, because of the agency blog, many agents don’t think that they should have blogs of their own. Relying exclusively on the agency blog represents a lost opportunity for the agent.

The agent/brokerage relationship can be complicated at times, since there are always going to be a mix of mutual interests, compatible interests, and sometimes even competitive interests. Here is the root of the relationship complication:

When you do well, the brokerage does well. Obviously then, your brokerage wants you to do well. And that’s great!

BUT

Your brokerage does equally well when any other of their agents does well too. There is not much incentive for your broker to help you become more successful than your peers.

As an independent sales professional, it is necessary to distinguish yourself, independently. The “free” blog on the agency website does not help you to separate yourself from the pack. If your brokerage has one, good. It’s better than nothing. But it is not enough.

There are many real estate companies with excellent blogs. And these blogs bring people into the firm’s orbit. Chestnut Park, in Toronto, has a good blog, that helps the agency stand out. But Chestnut Park has over 300 agents, how much can the “corporate” blog help any one of them individually?

A Blog Just for You

There are two approaches to independent;y blogging for sales people with contractual and/or employment relationships with a parent organization, such as a real estate brokerage firm.

  1. The Direct Approach
  2. The Indirect Approach

The Direct Approach

This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, you set up your own blog, under your own name, and start blogging about your work as a real estate agent, your experiences with the properties, and kinds of properties you sell, etc. Basically you become a real estate blogger, blogging about your work and your passion for that work.

If you are lucky, you will get full support for this direct approach from the broker that employs you. They might even set up your personal agent’s blog on their website. You get to blog your own content, and to distinguish yourself as an independent expert, on their dime.

If you are less lucky, you will be faced with technical and procedural barriers, or told to let the agency handles all inbound marketing, and you should just forget about it and leave it to them. Hmm…

The Indirect Approach

Blog about something else! One of the nice things about blogging (and social media) is it allows us to build our personal brand. The people that buy real estate have many other interests, just like the people that sell real estate. There are amazing opportunities to build your brand through other interests. Are you interested in architecture? Blog about the architecture in your city or town. Interested in history? Blog about local history and historical sites in your city. Do you like to bicycle? Start a blog about the best cycling routes in your city. Into gardening? How about a photo blog of the best gardens in the neighbourhood.

Every blog post lists the author. That puts your name on top of every article you write. And of course every post should also contain a link back to your bio on the company website.

By blogging about a passion one step removed from your vocation you build your brand and boost your visibility. You offer value to your clients. You expand your web presence beyond your employer’s website. You let people learn about other aspects of your personality and interests, and become someone that they look forward to hearing from.

Why Blog at All?

Whether you choose to blog directly about real estate (or your industry specialty), or you choose to blog about something else, blogging is a fantastic way to reach out to your current clients, and to potential new customers. A blog may not result in an instant increase in new closings, but it is a great way for you to distinguish yourself from the crowd (in a very crowded field) and great way to provide something of value to the people you care about.

My last post offered a short list of 7 Benefits of Blogging, if you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Remember the goal of blogging is to make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services and buy your products.

…make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services

~ Allan Revich

7 More Reasons for a real estate agent to blog:
(even if you blog about something besides real estate)

  • Homebuyers (and sellers) think of you first
  • Reach potential new listing clients
  • Reach potential new purchasers
  • Rank higher in Google
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Share your knowledge
  • Stay ahead of competition

7 Reasons to use my Secret Marketing Trick

Listicle graphic

Click bait listicles might be annoying, they might be huge time wasters, they might even make us angry—sometimes at ourselves. But love them or hate them, they are a secret that is here to stay.

Listicle graphic
Quantifying the Clickbait and Linkbait in BuzzFeed Article Titles

The thing is, headlines using lists, or offering secrets revealed, take advantage of human nature. We can’t help noticing them, and we cannot help ourselves from being curious. The Internet is getting more crowded every day, and it is getting harder and harder to get attention, and to hold attention. In that crowded environment marketers and bloggers must adapt or face extinction. Some of us (like me) would rather do neither, but reality turns out to be non-negotiable.

What is a Listicle?

In a nutshell, when you combine the words, “list”, and “article”, you end up with the new word, “listicle”. So, a listicle is an article that consists of a list, and the explanations for each item in the list. Listicles are easy to read online, and the headlines promoting them, make great clickbait.

What is Clickbait?

Clickbait (or click bait) is a slang term for an online image or headline, that attempts to be so engaging that the typical internet user finds clicking through it, irresistible. Headlines for listicles (see above) are the most common form of clickbait, often accompanied by a suggestive image—that may, or may not actually be relevant to the article.

Why should you use this secret human weakness?

  1. It works
    OK, this is so obvious, I could have left it out—but it’s still the number one reason.
  2. Clickbait is hard to resist
    We post content to our blogs with the hope that people will read it. Anything that we can do to increase the chance that someone can benefit from our wonderful content is good.
  3. People like lists
    Lists organize information and make it easy to digest.
  4. Listicles are easier to write than articles
    It is difficult to constantly come up with new ideas, and then to organize our ideas into articles suitable for posting to a blog. Writing in the form of a list can be easier than writing in sentences and paragraphs.
  5. Lists are easy to read
    Reading from a screen is still less comfortable for many people than reading from a printed page.
  6. Lists are easy to come back to
    Bookmarking a listicle page offers an instant advantage when searching through our bookmarks for later refrence.
  7. Enjoy guilty pleasure
    Maybe this isn’t actually a good reason? But what the heck! If you’re going to feel guilty about manipulating the Internet, helping people find and read your content, isn’t really such a bad thing. Is it?

And there you have it. As promised. Seven Reasons to use This Secret Marketing Trick

Does my small business need a blog?

Blogging on a laptop

Every business needs a blog. And here’s why:

Establish yourself as a knowledge leader. Blogging is the perfect platform for sharing knowledge and passion with the people will benefit from it. A blog is good for you, good for your customers, and good for business. Blogging is an affordable and cost effective marketing tool for businesses of every size and type.

7 Benefits of Blogging

  1. Blogging builds businesses. A blog is as important today as website was a decade ago, or as a Yellow Pages listing was thirty years ago.
  2. Blogging helps us uncover our strengths and clarifies our own thoughts, and improves our ability to express them.
  3. A blog serves as a repository of knowledge. Your clients are not the only people that can benefit from an organized and searchable knowledge base. You can also revisit past posts for refreshing your memory!
  4. Being a blogger demonstrates expertise. People like to deal with experts. Your blog is your portfolio of expertise.
  5. Search engines like blogs. Search engines now favor sites that contain high quality data – information that is current, fresh, and relevant. Blogging means that you are constantly increasing both the quantity and quality of content on your website.
  6. A blog is the critical core of every online, inbound marketing campaign. Your blog contains all of the high protein ‘meat’ of the marketing meal plan. It serves as the base station of your online and social media marketing campaign.
  7. Blogging allows for community building with your stakeholders, including, customers, potential customers, related businesses, the public at large, even competitors. Being at the heart of a community has always served small businesses well. From sponsoring the local Little League, to supporting local charities, community building is good for business, good for ourselves, and good for society. Online communities are as important as local “real-world” communities. Blogging fosters community.

Need more than 7 reasons? Here are 50 more! (OK, they aren’t all gems, but if you needed more reasons after the seven really good ones that I just gave you, well this fellow [Marcus Sheridan] came up with 50)

Geez! You need even more reasons to blog? Here are 15 more good ones that are NOT just about marketing, business, and selling.

BTW, When you have enough reasons, and you agree that your business needs a blog—Contact Me.

You Should Care About Link Spam

Many different kinds of spam

What is Link Spam?

Link spam is defined as links between pages that are present for reasons other than merit. Link spam takes advantage of link-based ranking algorithms, which gives websites higher rankings the more other highly ranked websites link to it. ~ Wikipedia

Everyone wants their web pages to rank highly in search engines. An entire industry (SEO) has grown specifically around optimizing web pages to rank higher in Google, Bing, etc. Inevitably some providers of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services have sacrificed ethics and professionalism in favor of attempting to game the system. Since all search engines include the number of links in and out of a web site in their ranking algorithms, the shady operators offer page links for pay to their clients.

Why You Should Care About Spamdexing

Google and Bing employ legions of very smart people to program their search ranking algorithms. Their job is to make sure that search engines provide only the highest quality search results. When the “jig is up” for a particular page rank game, they change their algorithm. When the change comes (and it always does) not only will the game stop working, but anyone trying to play the game will find their website “punished”. In the most serious cases, your entire website could be removed from Google’s index. You will never be found again.

I don’t use link spam, and never would. Why should I be concerned about this?

Unfortunately, if you have a blog, it is possible to be punished for link spam even if you never use it yourself. How can that be?

One of the “dirty tricks” that link spammers use, is placing links to disreputable websites into blog comments. The less sophisticated spammers use bots (automatic computer programs) to randomly make spammy comments on every blog they encounter that permits unmoderated comments and lacks prevention measures. If your blog is unprotected, your posts will quickly fill with gibberish filled comments that exist for the sole purpose of getting someone else’s website link into your web pages. More sophisticated spammers may use actual human beings to bypass prevention measures and insert links into comments. These comments are usually recognizable by very generic messages of praise, often with spelling or grammar issues, and a couple of weird links to pharmaceutical or pornographic websites. Either way, your website has inadvertently become the source of link spam!

What Can You do About Comment Spam?

There are several options available to prevent link spam from infecting your blog. The first, and easiest, is to moderate every comment. This will prevent all spam from appearing on your site, but will become a hugely tedious task, without other measures.

The most important measure is to block bot access to your blog. This means using a CAPTCHA program (plug-in) on your blog. Google now offers an excellent captcha for free (image matching). There are several others available with various levels of sophistication and ease of use. Of course every blog built by Blogs Mean Business includes a captcha plug-in.

Other options include subscribing to “black listing” services, that prevent known bad actors from even reaching your website. WordPress itself includes built-in blacklisting capabilities that will prevent posts containing certain words from ever appearing in comments, and prevent access from accounts that have tried to spam your site in the past.

Your Website Still Benefits From Links!

So whatcha gonna do?

  1. Always include some high quality outgoing links in your web pages and blog posts. This is easy to do. It’s a nice way of helping build the search engine relevance of the sites you link to as well. Just make sure that the sites you link to are logical for your content, and are themselves not guilty of SEO crimes.
  2. Build your network. There’s nothing wrong with asking for links from other bloggers or webmasters. There is nothing wrong with exchanging links with other bloggers and webmasters—again being careful to exchange links only with other quality blogs and bloggers.
  3. Social Media links. Once you’ve posted your brilliant new content, it’s important to let the world know about it. Tell your Facebook friend. Tweet the link on Twitter. Let your LinkedIn contacts know about. Put it on Pinterest. Social Media give you a double-whammy win. Not only do you get to post links that add SEO value, but hopefully, the people reading those posts will be drawn to your content, and post links of their own.
  4. Write compelling content. This is far and away the most important, and most difficult way to earn incoming links. If your content is good, other people will link to it.

What is Inbound Marketing? What is Content Marketing?

Inbound marketing. Content Marketing. Everybody’s doing it, right? But what exactly is it that they’re doing? These terms are everywhere we look now. But what do they mean? Are they the same thing?

Inbound marketing and content marketing are not the same thing, even though the terms are often used interchangeably. Oddly enough though, even though they are not the same thing, they can still be used interchangeably, because they are both accomplished the same way.

The whole idea of “content marketing” and “inbound marketing” is to provide useful and interesting content to your customers and potential clients.

Content Marketing

This refers to the information, data, ideas, etc., that you produce and publish, for the benefit of your audience. The most common platform for content publishing is a Blog. Blogging allows us to easily publish the kinds of things that our customers are likely to appreciate.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. ~ Content Marketing Institute

Inbound Marketing

This refers to the idea that by publishing our content, our desired audience will come to us, because they find value in our content. Our sales funnel is being filled by people dropping into it because they’ve chosen to, not because we’ve gone out and chased them into it. And how do we accomplish this amazing feat? By blogging of course!

Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. ~ Hubspot

Blogging

Publishing a blog, and publishing new content on it as frequently as we can, is the best way to effectively promote our business benefits to the people who we want to reach. Blog articles are actively sought out by millions of people every day. Some of them are our customers and potential customers. It makes a lot of sense for our business, to put content on the web that our audience wants to explore. Our blog can either be part of our website, or stand on its own, with its own URL (web address). Having a separate blog is perfect for sales professionals whose main website presence is managed by their employer, for example real estate agents, mortgage brokers, investment advisors, manufacturers reps, etc.

Is Blogging Enough?

Blogging is where we begin. Once we have a blog, we are faced with a new challenge though. Getting noticed.

A blog is far and away the best home for our great content, and it is important that we help our customers find all the great content we’ve just provided for them. The most effective way to promote our blog is by using social media, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social Media Marketing is an important aspect of our Content Marketing strategy. More on that later.

Just so’s ya know… I include Twitter account setup, and Twitter blog integration to all of my blogging clients. Contact me to learn more.