Blogging For Business … Is It Necessary?

I’ve been trying to convince one of my clients to focus on their blogging strategy, and they just don’t seem to have much faith in the idea of using a blog to build SEO. It seems crazy, especially since it’s a digital software company. You’d think a software company would understand the value of online content to building an audience, but no…

Then it occurred to me… I do this for a living. I understand the value of it, because I’ve seen it work. SEO is my forte, and I know that the phrase “Content is King” still stands. I mean, Bill Gates coined the phrase, for Christ’s sake. He’s one of the richest people in the world. That’s probably a sign we should listen to what the heck he has to say (at least when it comes to making money.)

So, I guess this post is my attempt to put into words what I’ve been wanting to say to this client, and then maybe if I ever get the balls, I’ll send it to them. (Probably won’t happen until after they fire me…)

Blogging is crucial for your business if you expect to build an audience online, and here’s why.

1. Having a blog lets you update your site on a regular basis. And Google loves consistency. You could build a website without a blog, but the chances that you’ll update it regularly with new pages and new keyword-rich content are slim. Why would you need to? Most rookie website owners have a “build it and they will come” mentality, but the real goal should be “update it and they will come.”

Not only does Google love regularly updated content; so do your social media platforms. When you have a blog, you’ve got more useful content to make use of on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like.

(By the way, if you’re reading this, go ahead and click the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the post to share it on your social networks. I’ll love you for it!)

2. Blogs are informative, educational and engaging. There’s no better way to engage your audience than to provide them with useful, relevant content that answers their questions, satisfies their curiosity, or just helps them accomplish something—whatever that something is.

Think about it. What do people usually do when they want to know how to do something or have a general question about how something works?

“Google it.”

There’s a reason why that phrase is so popular. Everyone turns to the Internet. A blog is the perfect place to house educational content that you wouldn’t otherwise publish on your regular website pages.

3. Blogs are a great way to build your brand. A blog allows you to showcase who you are in a way that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. People who read multiple blog posts from you will start to see a pattern in the way you explain things. That pattern is known as your “voice,” and it’s an essential part of your brand and how you build brand recognition.

If you have multiple writers on your team, a blog is also a great way to connect with your audience in a more personal way. Each of your writers can have his or her own bio and photo attached to the posts they write. That helps give your brand a face and a name that more people will recognize. Writers can also use their own social networking platforms to share your brand, which helps you build a wider audience.

As I mentioned before, I’m working on getting my client to see and understand the benefits of blogging for their business, but it’s taking some time. Hopefully this post is helpful to everyone else who may be reading it and considering implementing a blog as part of your digital marketing strategy. If so, do me a favor, and hit one or more of the share buttons below. Thanks!

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Why all SEOs should something something

You know that completely normal thing that you’ve been doing on a professional business level for years?  Well, you’ve been doing it wrong.  Fortunately for you, I have a fairly short and easy to read blog post that lists a number of reasons why you should be doing it differently – and conveniently, most of the reasons relate to the new product or services I’m selling, a new process I’ve developed to try and look cool, or possibly refer to popular culture in some unique, but probably tenuous manner.

1.  “Something” is like fish

You never see fish cry, do you?  Why do you think that is?  A valuable lesson in both business and in life for us all, I think you’ll agree.

2.  A famous philosopher once said…

“A man must tread carefully for he knows not who’s footsteps he follows and whose shall follow his” – powerful words that remind us that whatever we do – always cover our tracks!  You never know who will be following you – they might have a knife or a gun or a bazooka or a tank or a rabid dog!  And I don’t know why a rabid dog is worse than a tank, but it is.  It’s almost like a zombie dog and zombies are scary.  Although given the choice, I’d rather have a tank in a fight than a zombie.  Strangely though, fighting a zombie IN a tank would be the worst possible scenario.  The bazooka would be all but useless and I’d be concerned that firing the gun would cause some kind of ricochet.

3.  Nurses don’t obsess about links, so why do you?

If Florence Nightingale doesn’t give a second thought about links as she goes about her business, why do you?  Argument.  Won.

4.   Something about ethics

5.   Insert current jargon reference

“Something” will help protect you against (delete as appropriate) – negative SEO, bad neighbourhoods, link networks, black hat SEOs, grey hat SEOs, asshat SEOs, scraper sites, MFA sites, link removal requests, unnatural link profiles, Google bowling, Google bombing, Google Panda, Google Penguin, Google Koala, Google Bearded Dragon, Google Mongoose, Google Zombies, Matt Cutts, Matt’s cat, Matt’s Youtube channel and Pinterest Meme Spamification (PMS…*snigger* – I think we should adopt this phrase!).

6.  Time to name drop

We don’t really believe that linking out to “authority” sites has any significant impact on the success of the article, but we do it anyway.  So this is the point where you write a little bit about the links you bought on SEL , the guest post you wrote on SEL or your time spent pitching your company, speaking at a conference.

7.  Unzip, let it hang out and compare it to others

Remember that time you did that thing for so many years that you became an expert?  Great!  This is a great opportunity for you to reinforce your credentials, because even though you are targeting this article at your contemporaries, you really hope that you’ll make such a good impression that they’ll send lots of business your way.  Because marketing to your competitors is much more sensible than marketing to your customers.  Hey, it’s fine – you’re an SEO – it’s all about being number 1, right?

Make sure your blog post has this statement somewhere:  “I wouldn’t use a SEO service that doesn’t do…” – PPC, social media, link building, marketing, coding, design, telemarketing, DIY, World of Warcraft, knitting, juggling.  Be sure to pick the area that you are strongest in – that way people will think that this is important see you as the best.  Even though you’ve probably written an article with so much jargon that only other SEOs will read it.  And know.  They’ll know.

8.  Bonus tip!!

If you are guest posting on another site, then absolutely DO keyword link to your own niche product or service in an article centred around that niche product or service.  There’s no way that anyone – SEOs, real people or Google – will ever construe that is being self-serving.  Credibility +1.  Sure you say, Google Penguin taught us that lesson, right?  Yeh, that’s new and now you know…

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5 Tips to Land Your First SEO Client

Had a meeting with a potential client today thru my new Charlotte SEO agency job with LukeHot Leads. It took me back to the days when I first started my SEO gig and all the horrible memories of trying to land that first client.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a good meeting. But we left some major details and decisions up in the air. It wasn’t one of those easy deals that just closes right when you meet the guy for the first time. I could tell he wanted to really make sure I could deliver on my promises to get him ranked and send him leads. (Even though we’ve already sent him around 50 leads in the last 2 weeks…)

Needless to say, I’m a little frustrated, but motivated all at the same time. Like I really want to impress this guy. I hope to close the deal by next week, but in the meantime, I figured I’d spell out some tips for any aspiring SEOs who are wondering how to land that first client. So… here you go. You’re welcome.

1. Deliver upfront results. Everyone and their mother’s uncle is out there trying to close SEO deals by promising they can “get you ranked.” Newsflash: businesses are tired of hearing “we can get you ranked on page one of Google.” Well I’d sure as shit hope so, if you’re gonna charge me $1-5K a month for your services.

Don’t be like every other company out there and charge thousands of dollars out the gate and then over-promise and under-deliver. Do the opposite. Deliver great results before they even give you a dime. Start sending them leads. If they start closing them and making more money, they’ll likely want it to continue. And they’ll come to you to make sure that happens.

2. Be confident. If you walk into your business meeting with confidence, like you actually know what you’re doing, you’ll have a much better chance of landing that client. I was scared to death when I met the owner of the first business I worked with, but I decided to put my fear behind me and walk in with confidence. We ended up having a great conversation and I landed a deal that was a win-win for both parties.

3. Make more offers. Don’t rest your entire business on one prospect. The more lines you have in the water, the more fish you’re likely to catch. So pitch your services to multiple leads each day. By the end of the year, you’ll have built up a pretty decent client list.

I use Screencastomatic to create short videos for my prospects, showing them exactly what I do and how my services can move their website to the top of the search engines.

4. Outsource when necessary. There are always parts of the SEO process we don’t like doing. And the more clients we take on, the harder it becomes to manage them all. That’s where outsourcing things like content creation and local citation building comes in handy. I guess this is more of a long-term tip, and not so much relevant to landing your first client – but it still applies.

5. Don’t turn down money. If your first prospect low-balls you, take it. You can always go to his competition, get a better offer, and renegotiate later, once you’ve proven your worth. At the same time, know your long-term value, and don’t settle for less if you can help it. If a client wants to be a cheapskate after you’ve made him thousands of dollars, it might be time to move on and look for someone else to work with.

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