Is Google External Keyword Tool About to be Laid to Rest?

Do you depend on the free Google external keyword tool for your keyword research?

Then this will interest you.

You’ll agree with me that the Google external keyword tool is one tool that SEOs and webmasters in general will not want to ignore with a wave of the hand. Despite the fact that there are many paid keyword research tools which you can use to do a faster job when doing keyword research the Google external keyword tool is simply a darling, whether you are an experienced or a newbie SEO!

Personally, I’m a big advocate of this keyword research tool. My preference for it is not because it is the best in the market but for the simple reason that Google, being the biggest and most popular search engine on the net right now, have more data that you can use for your keyword selection.

This fact is attested to by the many paid and free keyword research tools that use data from the external keyword tool.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, a couple of days ago while doing keyword research for the ongoing niche site challenge I saw something that caught my attention. Right on the keyword tool page there is this notice:

“In the coming months, the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. To get keyword ideas, sign in to your AdWords account and try Keyword Planner.”

Google External Keyword Tool going? As you can see the notice is very clear: the external keyword tool will no longer be available in the coming months!

And what more?

Google wants you to create a Google Adwords account and try their Keyword Planner if you want to have access to the keyword tool!

As you do know a Google Adwords account points to one thing, spending some money on Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) program which means you’ll need to make some money for Google as an advertiser! You can say Google’s business acumen at play again!

Recommended: Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!

Ok, for now you don’t need to spend money as a Google advertiser for you have a Google AdWords account. If you have a Gmail account (and who don’t have one these days when Google has tactically propelled us to have a Google plus profile?) you can login with that info right now and have access to the Keyword Planner for free.

But the question is, for how long will Google keep it open to everyone for free?

That is definitely a question that will be answered in nearest future. And please note that in that notice, Google said, “sign in to your AdWords account and TRY Keyword Planner.” (EMPHASIS MINE!) But that actually appears to be telling us that we are only trying out the tool, something else may be coming! 🙂

The External Keyword Tool vs The Keyword Planner!

It will interest you to know that the Google external keyword tool and the Keyword Planner don’t actually work the same. While you will be able to still conduct your keyword research within the keyword planner, the purpose of that keyword research within the Keyword Planner is focused on anticipating demand for topics related to your products and services. This means you will need to take some different approach when running a keyword research with that tool.

Additionally, the Keyword Planner can also help you research your keyword ideas while giving you the ability to estimate the potential traffic.

In this regard one will say Google is now giving us more, since you can use the insights from the Keyword Planner to optimize your existing website, blog and social content as well as inspire new content topics.

google-keyword-planner

But again, the question is: will Google give all these for free forever? While I cannot answer that question with a definite “yes” or “no” I think we may yet receive some more news from Google about this in the coming months!

But then we can rightly say right now, RIP Google Reader and to the Google external keyword tool we may say, may this not be your death toll! 🙂

Happy 4th of July, America!

Before signing off, let me use this opportunity to wish our American friends, brothers and sisters a happy 4th of July celebrations. As you celebrate the declaration of Independence and look forward to the fireworks my happy wishes are with you. Have a happy celebration!

If you are looking for some good deals as a gift to some loved one or you just want something for yourself to celebrate this day, then there is no better place to look than Amazon.com. Follow this link to check out these 4th of July Deals from Amazon.com!

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Amazon.com Widgets

Over to You: So, what do you think of Google pulling out the external keyword research tool? Do you think this is another way of Google trying to make some more money from SEOs? If Google turn around to put a restriction on the use of the keyword tool wanting only paid advertisers to use it will you gladly pay to use it? Please share your views in your comments below.

Choosing a Profitable Niche – A Practical Guide!

In my previous post I mentioned that choosing the right niche is crucial to succeeding with your niche site. In that post, I gave the criteria I normally use when researching a niche market and then promised to also give you a practical guide on how to pick a profitable niche. In this post I want to fulfill that promise.

So, if you are ready let’s get on with it!

Recommended: Riches in Niches Power Challenge: How to Pick a Profitable Niche Market!

Where Do You Look For Profitable Niches?

The truth is if you do not know where to begin your research, you will waste a lot of time running around! Now, I must say for your niche site to meet the criteria we set out you must stay away from anything “internet marketing” or “make money online”! Instead go for real, tangible products!

Why Real, Tangible Products?

There are lots of reasons but for this post I will simply say when you build you niche site around real, tangible products, you would be selling physical products and not some theoretical concepts. You would be delivering something of actual, tangible value to your customers and of course you don’t need to grabble with those pushy persuasion techniques you see on Clickbank.com!

Besides, building your niche site around physical products agrees greatly with the basic principle we are working with which is:

1.    Build a niche site that is optimized for the search engines…
2.    So, when a potential customer goes to the search engine and searches for a product…
3.    Your niche site shows up…
4.     The potential customer clicks to visit your site, looks around and then follows your affiliate link to the product site and there, make purchases…
5.    And then, you get your commission!

It’s that simple and honest, too!

You don’t have to use some underhand marketing tactics or some pushy salesmanship to “hand twist” the visitor because with physical products, the value of the product is obvious to the buyer already!

So, Where Do You Look For Profitable Physical Products?

Here are some good places to look: Amazon.com, ebay.com, Overstock.com, Rakuten.com (buy.com) and of course Google.com/shopping. For this guide, I’m going to use Amazon.com and a few other free online tools to show you how to pick a profitable niche.

So let’s begin.

Step #1: What Is Already Selling Out There?

For this step I could start either by first going to Amazon.com to see what is already selling there or I could use Google keyword research tool to know what others are looking for.

If you want to start with Amazon.com and work backward, what you simply do is visit the site and then specify “Books” to search. Then enter a niche you desire to target (you must have known this). Take a look at the results.   The number of books written on the subject at Amazon.com is an indication of how much that market spends on the topic. When you see people spending money, you have a potentially profitable niche!

Once you confirm that (1) The niche is targeted enough and (2) The niche is spending money, your next move is to know if the niche is big enough. From there you have to go on and use any keyword research tool of your choice.

For this guide, I’m working the other way round, starting with keyword research first and then going on to Amazon.com!

Step #2: Where Do I Look?

Here I’m assuming that I do not know what niche to target. So, I’ll start by using one of the “discovery keywords” I mentioned in the previous post – “how do you stop.”

I took that and entered it into Google’s search box and received the following suggestions:

Niche Site Product Research

Notice the two phrases I underlined. I will be working with these two but with special focus on the first one!

Step #2: What Really Is The Demand?

Next I will proceed to know if the demand is high enough. Is this niche a popular one? Are people looking to buy products in it?

So working with “how do you stop snoring” I opened Google’s keyword tool and entered this keyword phrase. Please note that I selected “Exact” as the match type. Here is a graphic of what I received:

getting details about the niche site research

 

There are actually two things that are my focus here these are “Competition” and “Global Monthly Searches!”

The competition is an indication of how other “sellers” sees this market. You’ll notice that for our example the indication is “high.” It is clear from all the keyword phrases returned in this experiment!

NOTE: A word about this competition. I have heard many say if this is high you should stay away from it because it means you will be up against a big competition. Unfortunately, it is not so!  This is only true if you’re using Google Adwords for your promotion. If however, your niche site will be monetized through Google Adsense and other affiliate products, going for this is your best bet!

For me, I don’t use Google Adwords. Search engine optimization is my specialty and writing SEO optimized web content is my stock in trade! And so, I actually look out for a high “Competition” as it is an indication profitability!

Step #3: How Profitable Is Really This Niche!

Now this step is only to confirm if truly this niche is profitable. For this I will use another online keyword tool and Amazon.com. The keyword tool is Spyful.com.

First, I will start with Spyful.com and I will be looking to find for our potential niche a search result of at least 1500 searches a day for all keywords combined. Also, I’ll check to know how much advertisers are paying per clicks (PPC) for these keywords on Google Adwords.

As a general rule, if the cost/click hits anywhere between 50 cents and $3.00, it’s a good indicator that people are making money in this niche market. A pointer that you too can make some money in it!

So, let’s see what Spyful.com has for our keyword phrase:

Keyword research using Spyful.com

Please take note of the data I’ve highlighted. These are worth explaining.

1.    Monthly Searches – This shows the local and Global figures from world-wide traffic as indicated by Google searches in all countries. For our example the local search is 240 while global it is 480! Of course, these looks insignificant but remember, I’m looking for a search result of at least 1500 searches a day for all keywords combined! For this, simply scroll down the page and you will see another section for “Profitable Related Keywords.”

Spyful.com Related Keywords

You should add these together and then divide by 30 to get the daily results.

2.    Cost Per Click – This is an estimate of the clicks an advertiser should expect from his advert on average each day and the the advertiser will pay per each click. Of course, this is only an estimate but for you as a niche site builder, it is an indication of what you can earn from such ads!

3.    Click-Through Rate – This is Google’s estimation of the number of clicks an ad gets vs. the total impressions the ad receives. If an ad appears 100 times, and it gets 2 clicks, its CTR is 2%! This is another profitability indicator for you. Please take note of this.

4.    Ranking Difficulty – Ranking difficulty takes into account the strength of the domains, on-page signals like “keyword in title,” and the number of .gov and .edu domains. We will talk more about this later when we discuss keyword research.  For now we will let it be!

So, there you have the data laid out for you. Easy to assimilate and simple to understand! All you need to do is use your experience and decide if this niche is worth targeting.

From my experience this is indeed a profitable niche however, from the “Monthly Searches” and “Ranking Difficulty” it will take some extra work to make an impact in the search engines.

But then you may want to check out Amazon.com before making your final decision.

So, what do you do?

Simply go to Amazon.com and enter the phrase, “how do you stop snoring” without the quotes.

So, what do we have?

Below are some of the products on sale at Amazon.com for this niche. Please note the customer reviews. Understand that if the customer reviews are over 30 it is an indication of how popular a niche is and as you do know, the more popular, the more profitable!

(i) Brookstone Anti-Snore Pillow!

Stop Snoring on Amazon.com

 

(ii) SONA FDA-Cleared Anti-Snore and Mild Sleep Apnea Pillow

Amazon.com - Stop Snoring

 

(iii) Doctor’S Nightguard Advanced Comfort, 1 Box

amazon.com Anti Snore Products!

 

Take Away: This is indeed a simple way of finding good and profitable niche markets.  How long does this take. For me, 30minutes to 1 hour is enough. But if you have not mastered the process it may take you a little longer.  You may decide to go for paid research tools. That is fine!

When I started the Niche Site Duel 2.0 I decided to look into some of these paid tools. And so, because Pat Flynn recommended the Long Tail Pro keyword tool I went on to download the trial version and tried it out. I also downloaded the trial version of Market Samurai having heard of it for some time now.

Now, I must say there are all good for keyword research.  But from my experience, to really get the best from them, you need the information I’ve just given you in this post. I must confess, I simply love using the free tools I used in this post. Yes, they may take time but I have a better grip on what I’m doing!

So, that is for now. In our next post we will talk about keyword research. Watch out for that post. If you have not signed up for our free updates do so right now, it is simple and free to join – see the box below!

Over to you: I will be glad to hear your thoughts and if you truly enjoyed this post, remember to share it!

Penguin 2.0 Update: Top Losers and How You Can Remain In the Good Books of Google!

A few days ago, I made a post on the recent Google Penguin 2.0 update where I pointed out that Google may play down on the Panda smack. I also mentioned that the impact of Penguin 2.0 may not be too serious as many were expecting.

True to my suggestions, hours after the update was rolled out, the results of the effect has proved me correct.

Now, let me quickly say that I do not claim to be an SEO expert but if you are a regular reader of this blog you will understand by now that I’m passionate about driving organic traffic from the search engines. I believe greatly that search engine traffic is the most valuable so far on the net and therefore search engine optimization should be top most in wise internet entrepreneur’s marketing strategy!

Recommended: SEO & PPC Compared: Would You Rather Pay $1.500 Or $0 To Drive Search Engine Traffic?

Also, as an SEO web content writer, I’m always researching the subject of search engine marketing and SEO to know what really to do at every point in time. This is why when the news of Google rolling out Penguin 2.0 hit the internet; I went out to research the subject.

So, in this post I want to update you on the results of Penguin 2.0 and also give you some tips on what you must do right away, since there are indications that this update will continue in stages in the coming months.

The Top Losers of Penguin 2.0 Update

For this I want to give the results as reported by SearchMetrics.com – an SEO software company that prides itself on providing quality data for businesses. Here’s a graphic as reported by the site:

Penguin 2.0 top losers
Google Penguin 2.0 Update: Here are the top Losers !

As you can see from the results above, it is clear that the top losers are porn sites and game sites. Others are big brands like Dish.com, the Salvation Army, CheapOair and Educational Testing Service (ETS).

According to Marcus Tober, SearchMetrics founder,

“My first analysis shows that many thin sites, sites with thin links and especially untrusted links face the problem. In addition, some small business sites were hit because they haven’t taken SEO serious enough.”

That indeed is instructional – sites that did not take SEO serious were also hit!

He also reiterated my earlier stance when he said,

“It’s not the update I was expecting. I thought that this Google Penguin update would have had a bigger impact similar to Panda 1. But that didn’t happen.”

Yes, not what many expected but we understand that Google is just starting with this, according to Matt Cutt in this video. That is why you must take the following seriously.

How Do You Ensure That You Stay In Google’s Good Books?

Here are two posts I did back in 2011 when Panda was released and in 2012 when Penguin was released:

  • Google’s Content Farmer: What You Can Do To Stay Afloat! (2011)
  • Google Panda And Penguin Updates: What You Should Know To Stay Ahead Of The Game!

But for the now here are some things you must avoid:

1. Multiple Links from One Domain

Penguin 2.0 big losers!This is one indicator that Google is using to determine link farms (commercialized link building networks). Google algorithms are now structured to identify these types of links and once you fall into this category your site will be “hammered!”

Now, I must say this is really one that I’m not really comfortable with because of an experience I had last year. I reported that incidence in a post: Blog Commenting for Backlinks: Can It Affect You Negatively?
Please read it because if you have too many links from a particular domain because of blog commenting, you could run afoul of Google Penguin rules!

2. Keyword Over-Use

Keywords, over the years, have always been the bedrock of search engine optimization. Because of this they, like backlinks have been the most abused by SEOs. This is what is called “keyword stuffing.” To guide against this it is advised that you use synonyms and related keyword phrases in your content.

Recommended: The Watertight Strategy for effectively Writing Content for SEO in A Post-Penguin Internet!

3. Links from Irrelevant Sites

Google gives high regards to backlinks pointing to your sites. To Google these are “votes” of confidence on your site. But with the increase of what Google now regard as linkspam, its algorithms are presently built to detect “un-natural” links. It is therefore pertinent that, from time to time, you check the links pointing to your sites and when you detect links from un-related sites, remove them using Google’s “Disavow” tool.

4. Links from Bad Neighbourhood Websites

Like #3 above, you must check if websites that have been blacklisted by Google have links pointing to your sites. As the saying goes, “Bird of the same feather flock together!” Google will regard your site as a spammy site if you have links from such sites. So, beware!

Conclusion

The fight to clean up the webspace by Google is an on-going one. It is therefore a wise thing to understand what is going on and then align yourself in the right camp, now.

If you are running an ecommerce site, it is advisable to install a blog on your website as this will help to keep the site regularly updated – a good way to keep Google happy! Also, hiring professional SEO web content writers to create marketing content for your sites will also help your sites to naturally get into the search engines instead of trying to use blackhat tactics.

Over to You: What is your experience with Penguin 2.0? Where your sites affected? Do you have some tips that for those who have been hit? Please, share with us in your comments below.

What Facebook And Other Social Media Sites Can Teach You About Blog Monetization!

Recently, there has been a whole lot of controversy regarding the subject of blog monetization. While some bloggers agree that monetizing your blog is a good thing, since you deserve some form of compensation for your labour, others vehemently oppose the idea emphasizing that blogs are for relationship building and trying to make money off your relationships is unethical!

Still among those who accept the idea of blog monetization, many readily frown at the idea of selling ads spaces on your blog as a way of monetizing your blog. To these ones, displaying adverts on your blog is simply a put-off and should be discouraged!

Now, I’m not here to argue whether blog monetization is right or wrong. However, having observed the confusion that many bloggers face because of these divergent views, I want to use this post to make a statement on these various beliefs and leave you to make your decision on what is best for you!

Recommended: Who Is Making Your Rules?

Blog Monetization – What Really Should You Do?

Blog Monetization: Example of Facebook and others!At this point let me say what really pushed me into writing this post was a comment in a discussions in one of the groups in LinkedIn.com. During this discussion, which centered on the recent changes by Facebook, a member of the group mentioned how much he now disdain Facebook because, to him, Facebook has lost its focus and is now more concerned with making more money for the site owners rather than being a truly social networking site!

What, Facebook has lost its focus?

Now, I understand that many people have this view. Of course, most of the new changes on the site are nothing but subtle ways of increasing the number of businesses and individuals that advertise on the site.  But does this make Facebook to have lost its focus?

Of course, you may not stand the sight of the ads on these social networking sites but you must remember that you are not the one who calls the shots. For one, you use the site for FREE, not caring about how the various resources you’re enjoying for free, are being financed.

Besides, how much do you know of the mission and vision of these sites that you now think that sites like Facebook have derailed because they are selling ads on their sites?

Indeed, when I read that comment the controversy surrounding blog monetization, which I’ve read on different blogs over time, came to mind. I realized then that why many are against the idea of monetizing a blog through advertisements, stem from the same root.

The fact is, a blog is nothing different from a social media site.  Indeed, many have come to accept it as a socializing tool – both for connecting with your readers and also building relationships with them.

But beyond that, a blog could be a business and a marketing tool.  In fact, to get the maximum results from your blog you must accept it to be so.

So, How Do Social Media Sites Make Money?

I think this is a question that we need to ask if we must learn anything from these social media sites and making money online. As you read this I’m sure you have profiles on different social networking sites. And of course, if you are on Facebook, which I believe you are, you have been using the site for free all these years.

But have you cared to know how they keep providing those tools and resources for free? Do you realize that Facebook, Google.com (G+), Pinterest, Linkedin etc are registered business concerns?

What this means is that while they offer you the opportunity to connect with your social circles on their sites for free they also aim to cut a profit as businesses!

But depending on the social media platform, the business model and monetization strategies may differ.  But the truth is, no matter how different the strategies may be, it still stand that they must make money for their venture capitalists!

Here are some ways social media sites are making money that could be interesting to a blogger:

1. Advertising – This is a common one to all the social media sites.

2. Selling subscription – Depending on the target market a few social media sites sell subscriptions to keep the network going.

3. Building and selling applications – This is another fast growing way social media sites are now monetizing their traffic.

4. Replacing affiliate links – This was actually the monetization model of Pinterest. They opened the site to all of us, encouraging us to share our user-generated content with our online friends, but unknown to us, something else was going on right under our nose!

5. Feature upgrades – This is a big one for LinkedIn. While you are free to have your profile for life, if you however desire to use some of the advance features of the site, you then need to upgrade your membership.

Any of these monetization methods can actually be used on a blog. take a cue from these social media sites or you’ll soon be packing your bags and luggage and hitting the door!

Recommended: Hey Blogger, Please Quit!

Go To the Ants and Learn!

Ok, that’s what the Holy Book says. And why not, if social media sites like Facebook and the rest are making money through the sale of adverting space, why not a blogger? And so, I’m saying, it’s time when bloggers should go to the social media sites and learn how to monetize their blogs.

I’ve always said it that bloggers are among the most hard working people on the internet today. That labor shouldn’t be in vain – a worker is worthy of his reward!

Or, don’t you think so?

Over to you: Do you think bloggers should sell advertising space on their blogs just like the social networking sites? Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.

8 Reasons Why Your Online Business Should Have a Blog!

Are you an online business marketer? Then hear this: as the Internet is evolving, so must your strategies for your online business marketing evolve. Nothing less is demanded of you.  That is the only way to make the best of your online presence!

Every online marketer understands that the website is the main focus of all online marketing tactics. And so to stay on top of the competition, your business website needs to be updated regularly. Online users have no time for an idle site. For your business, it’s simply a waste of financial opportunity.

The question however is, how do you ensure that your business website is updated regularly to remain relevant? The simple way is by adding a blog to it. It doesn’t matter what your business website is all about. Even if your business concentrates on local sales of services and products to the community, by adding a blog it can generate additional revenues that you may not realize. An active blog can help line the pockets of your business and help generate an additional revenue stream both from online visitors and physical walk-in customers.

The following are some of the reasons why a blog is an important aspect of your website in marketing your online business.

Business Blogging Tactics

1. Sharing

The blog for your business website can be a way to share current information with your online visitors whether they live in your area or not. While your primary focus should be those in your location, writing content tailored to everyone could help your website generate income from outside the locale. If your business is located in Michigan, the information you provide on your blog could help someone face a problem or learn something new in Guam. If you have services such as Adsense or affiliate marketing and the person in Guam decides to buy something from those methods, you just generated a certain percentage of the sale for doing nothing more than providing information.

2. Cross-platform

If you use a content management system such as WordPress to operate your blog, you can install plugins that will allow you to link a Facebook account to your content. Whenever you create a new post, you can “link” or “comment” on the post for Facebook which will add it directly to your company’s timeline. Any friends and fans you have generated locally will immediately receive the comment and it could spark additional interest to visit your site to read the entire post. And Facebook isn’t the only social media site that can be connected to your blog’s activity. Google+, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, YouTube, and a vast array of others can distribute your blog’s content as well.

3. Interest

You want to keep your customers interested in your business services and/or products. If you launch a newsletter campaign that distributes discounts or coupons from your blog, you can keep those customers informed about any changes or additions your business has made. In some regards, this could work far better than radio advertising or newspaper articles. As long as you keep the content of your blog regular, fresh, and current visitors will come and the interest in the business could solidify.

4. Revenue

As mentioned before, a business blog has a good chance to generate addition revenue from nothing more than your content. By attaching services such as Adsense, any visitor who clicks on an advertisement earns your business an extra few cents to a few dollars. Some popular blogs and websites have been known to generate a great deal of income through Adsense.

Another method that can help generate additional income is the use of affiliate banners. These banners link to specific companies using a tracking number to identify your account. If someone buys a product from these other companies after clicking on the banner from your website, you earn a percentage of the sale. All you need to do is write relevant content on your blog post, add the banner coding to it, and save your post. It’s literally that easy.

5. Personable

Blog content is a little different than providing straight facts as in writing general articles for websites. A blog post is usually written in first or second person which helps relate the content between yourself and the reader. It gives one the sense that they are getting information from a friend or colleague rather than a straight forward piece. Blogs are also a great form of personal opinion, or in this case a business opinion, about any given related subject. However, you want to keep opinions related to the type of business you conduct. You don’t want to fall into the same soup that Chick-fil-A did in 2012. Keeping your opinions related to your business practices will help keep you from facing the heat from the media.

6. Professional

First impressions are very important when it comes to your business. As most of the large companies have extravagant websites complete with blogs, eCommerce, and other add-ons, people may assume that a successful company needs to have all of these things as well. For instance; if you were walking into a restaurant that served the best grilled chicken sandwich in the world but the dining room looked like a storage unit, you’d probably move on to somewhere else to eat. Having an active website and a regularly updated blog gives people the sense that you are serious about your business. Your business needs to cater to the masses, not based on your own ideals of what you think they want.

7. Collective Knowledge

Writing regular posts of everything your business knows about its specific field could begin building a collective database and visitors will feel safe about trusting the content. Although blogs can be opinionated, which don’t necessarily mean the information is based on fact, the information you provide through the blog can potentially help millions.

8. Marketing

Blogs have a world of their own aside from general websites. Communities of all kinds gather across various areas to share information. Blog carnivals allow owners to post content increasing the exposure of their own websites and blog posts. Blog lists appear all over the Internet that can help readers find interesting blogs based on their own personal interests. It’s a method that can quickly spread the word of the business blog site across the globe. Within days, your blog could see a great increase of traffic which helps your business using revenue generating methods and customer acquisition.

Conclusion

A regularly updated blog, as a business marketing strategy, can be as powerful as radio advertising for your local customers. Some business blogs will actually perform a great deal better than many marketing strategies you may be considering.

Your business website can be more than merely informing visitors who you are and what you do. It can be a method to share information with the community while generating additional interest from those outside of your locale. The possibilities are great and in today’s world, it’s senseless to let your website sit idle.

Over to you: The above are nothing but my thoughts. I’ll love to hear your views also. What do you think of adding a blog to a business website? Share with us in your comments below.

Alert: Your “Killer” Content is ACTUALLY Killing Your Content Marketing Efforts!

How many times have you heard that common copywriting advice about writing “killer” headlines or titles?  Of course, you know what I’m talking about. The one that goes somewhat like this: “If you want to make great impact with your marketing copy, write a killer headline!?”

How about the one that says you should spend 80% of your time on the headline or title and 20% on your main content – the 80/20 rule! – because the title is the most important part of your content?

You are familiar with those content writing tips, right?

Of course, I must agree that these are generally accepted content writing tips passed on to us by seasoned copywriters. However, may I inform you that simply putting together any piece of marketing content and stamping a “killer” headline on it will not help you achieve your dream result?

Truth is, you might have just packaged a “killer” with all the capabilities of KILLING your marketing efforts!

What do I mean?

Now listen to this:

Creating marketing content that is relevant and remarkable is beyond writing crafty headlines and titles. You must understand that content marketing as an inbound marketing technique, uses new content creation tactics aimed at attracting the right audience to your offers. It is not about trying to prize the sales from some reluctant prospect using covert headlines and titles but through using highly engaging, trust-building and thought-leadership content that employs the rules of inbound marketing content.

So, applying the 80/20 rule in creating your marketing content is nothing but “putting old wine in a new wine skin” – a sure path to failure!

Recommended: Top 3 Reasons Why Content Marketing Will Fail You!

How to Create Killer Web Content!

Here Are 5 Signs That Your ‘Killer’ Marketing Content Is Indeed Killing Your Efforts!

1. No Target Audience

This is indeed the first sign that your marketing content will end up a failure. Your content could be of the highest quality, expertly written and accurate in details but without a specific target audience that content will definitely flop.

Every piece of marketing content should be written with a picture of your ideal customer or prospect in mind. Who are they? What are their needs? What are their biggest concerns? How do you aim to solve those needs and concerns with your marketing content? How best should you reach them? Etc.

To understand all of these it is important that you do some basic research. You should be able to know who really, is the most common buyer for your product or service. If possible, lay out a detailed description of this ideal customer.

This is what a buyer persona is all about.

Write without a target audience in mind and your content would indeed qualify as a “killer”!

Recommended: How NOT to Create Marketing Content that Sucks!

2. Content Not In Sync With Buying Cycle

Marketers agree that every prospect goes through a certain journey before making a purchase. This is the buying cycle or buying process. Target Your Prospect with Your ContentA typical buying cycle goes something like this:

(i)    Awareness

(ii)    Research

(iii)    Comparison, and

(iv)    Decision or purchase.

Each of these stages of the buying cycle requires different forms of content.

You need to identify the buying stage you want to target with your content before creating that content. This is important because if your “killer” content is not in sync with the prospect’s specific stage of decision making, it would as well be just a piece of entertainment – making the prospect feel great but without any tangible returns for you.

3. Not Optimized, Socially And SEO-Wise!

One thing that savvy marketers have come to realize is that writing content for the web is miles apart from conventional content writing. And one area where this difference is most noticeable is writing SEO optimized and SMM optimized content.

While SEO content ensures that your marketing content is optimized for the search engines, social media marketing optimization ensures that your social media updates are optimized to achieve the desired results on the platform you are using.

Unfortunately, many marketers or content writers never care about optimization and this is truly a grave mistake because without the right optimization tactics, any “killer” piece of content will end up driving the wrong type of traffic.

This is indeed a specialized area of web content writing. But the good news is that you can always get a professional SEO web content writer if you are challenged in this area. A professional will help you create the form of marketing content that will achieve your marketing purpose.

4. Does Not Engage Your Target Audience

What, in your own opinion, makes a marketing content a “killer”? Is it because you put the word ‘killer’ in the title? Is it simply because it is relevant to the subject discussed?

Make Your Content Highly Targeted!etAs much as these are good reasons, you must understand that without truly engaging the prospect, the content will have little impact. Prospects and customers do not want to simply hear from you, they want to engage with you. It is important therefore that in creating your marketing content you must find ways to make it create a sense of shared value with your target audience.

Like a seasoned orator, you should be able to empathize and resonate with your target audience making them more open to do what you want.

Using the basic conversation skill of empathy, your marketing content should be able to engage your prospects and lead them along until they click that button or link. Anything short of this will be a wasted piece of content.

Recommended: Inbound Marketing Misconceptions Unveiled – The Sure Path to Succeeding As an Inbound Marketer!

5. No Calls To Action

The CTA is one major aspect of a marketing content that many content writers easily overlook. But the truth is, the word “marketing” is what differentiates marketing content from other forms of content. Content marketing is nothing but using content to market your products and services therefore, writing your marketing content without any clear-cut “Call to Action” (CTA), is like a fisherman who throws out his net, encloses a big catch but refuses to pull it in!

For example: The author of this article is a Freelance Blogger and Professional SEO Content Writer. His passion and specialty is in the are of helping entrepreneur bloggers and small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) write web content that both engages your site visitors and is pleasing to the search engines.  Every of his content is designed to enhance your site’s search engine rankings, drive more traffic, increase your brand visibility and boost your site conversions.  If you desire truly ‘killer’ marketing content that will not jeopardize your marketing efforts, then visit his SEO content writing site and request your free quote today!

Did you see what I’ve just done here? That, is a typical CTA that can go with this article. You must make the best use of your marketing content. Warm up your target and then, tell them what to do next – your Call to Action!

Conclusion

Content marketing as an inbound marketing tactic is a new form of marketing that requires new rules and tactics. Trying to use out-dated and fragmented outbound marketing techniques to boost sales will only result in ruining your marketing efforts. Instead of depending on these outbound “killer” tactics, you will do your business much good if you will create your content using engagement tactics based on your understanding of your target audience and what they need. Know where they are in the buying cycle and use your piece of content to easily guide them along until they make that final decision.

Over to You: I’ll appreciate your thought on this post. Do you know any other killer mistake content marketers are making today with their web marketing content? Share with us in your comments.

Chinua Achebe: A Tribute to a Literary Icon!

On 21 March, 2013, the news of the demise of one of Africa’s greatest literary icon broke upon the world leaving us all flabbergasted. Chinua Achebe, a poet, novelist, professor, and critic, has bowed to the cruel hands of death at the age of 82.

As a result of the influence this man had in my love for writing, I want to dedicate this post to sharing a little about him. I can authoritatively say I fell in love with writing because of the influence of great African writers  Chinua Achebe (Nigerian), Ngugi Wa Thiogo (Kenya), Peter Abrahams (South Africa) and many others.

Back in the early eighties, as a young man in secondary school (high school), I was fascinated by Achebe’s writing style – using proverbs, traditional folk stories and philosophical thought to vividly bring out his narratives – a style that has influenced many other African writers. Till this day his novel, Things Fall Apart, has never ceased to fascinate me.

Who is Chinua Achebe?

Chinua AchebeChinua Achebe was born Albert Chinualumogo Achebe on 16 November, 1930 in Eastern Nigeria. He grew up surrounded by the complex fusion of the native traditions of his people, the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, and the colonialists.

Education and Early Life

In his early school days, Chinua Achebe was a brilliant scholar. It is reported that as a result of his intelligence and performance in school, he was quickly moved to a higher class.

After his secondary school he moved on to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria to study medicine but later studied literature. After which he went on to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Company in Lagos.

Literary Career

His literary work began with Things Fall Apart (1958), his first novel. Though he has written many other novels, poems and essays, Things Fall Apart has remained the greatest of his works. The novel has been translated into 50 languages, making Achebe the most translated African writer of all time. The novel has also sold over 8 million copies worldwide!

Ironically, this same novel was initially rejected by many publishers because back in 1958, the belief was that fiction from African writers had no market potential. It only took the intervention of an educational adviser,  Donald MacRae, who convinced the executives at Heinemann of the potentials of the novel, for Things Fall Apart to see the light of day!

Achebe’s other literary works include: No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), The Novelist as Teacher

(1965), A Man of the People (1966), Chike and the River (1966), The Trouble With Nigeria (1984), Anthills of the Savannah (1987), and There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra, (11 October 2012 ) his last published work.

Achebe and the Literary Movement in Africa

Chinua Achebe was central to a new literary movement both in Nigeria, his home country, and Africa in general. His literary style which drew on the intersection of African traditions and modernity (as embodied by European colonialism) inspired other Nigerian and African writers.

Achebe was an arrow head of the African Writers Series, a force that brought postcolonial literature from Africa to the rest of the world. He was also instrumental to the publishing of many other African works like, Weep Not, Child by Ng?g? wa Thiong’o

Chinua Achebe and Nelson Mandela

Chinua Achebe the Critic

Chinua Achebe was both a social and literary critic both in his writings and practical life. Many Nigerians would remember him for his refusal recently of a National Honors Award given to him by the Nigerian government as a way of protesting the economic and political situation of the country.

This action is not in any way surprising to many because back in 1976, he had also lashed out at the archetypal Nigerian intellectual, whom he described as,  divorced from the intellect

“but for two things: status and stomach. And if there’s any danger that he might suffer official displeasure or lose his job, he would prefer to turn a blind eye to what is happening around him.”

In the international scene he was also critical of the European intellectual as displayed in his criticism of Conrad’s famous novel, Heart of Darkness, which he described as, dehumanizing Africans, rendering Africa as “a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognizable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril.”

Achebe’s criticism, given while delivery a Chancellor’s lecture in 1975 when he was on a professorship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was later to become a mainstream perspective on Conrad’s work. It was so significant that Critic Nicolas Tredell later divided Conrad criticism “into two epochal phases: before and after Achebe.”

Wisdom Quotes from Chinua Achebe

This tribute will not be complete without an insight into the wisdom and insight of this great African. Here are some of his quotes taken from his literary works and comments on life generally.

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”

-The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays

“The impatient idealist says: ‘Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.’ But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace.”

-No Longer at Ease

“The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The African writer should aim to use English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.”

-Morning yet on creation day: Essays

“What I can say is that it was clear to many of us that an indigenous African literary renaissance was overdue. A major objective was to challenge stereotypes, myths, and the image of ourselves and our continent, and to recast them through stories- prose, poetry, essays, and books for our children. That was my overall goal.”

-There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra

“Oh, the most important thing about myself is that my life has been full of changes. Therefore, when I observe the world, I don’t expect to see it just like I was seeing the fellow who lives in the next room.”

“The problem with leaderless uprisings taking over is that you don’t always know what you get at the other end. If you are not careful you could replace a bad government with one much worse!”

“When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see.”

“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.”

Later life and death

From 2009 until his death, Achebe served as a professor at Brown University in the United States. (Visit this link for a profile of Achebe on the University’s website.) He was indeed a moral and literary model for countless Africans. He was also a great influence on such American writers as Morrison, Ha Jin, and Junot Diaz.

Though many thought he deserved it, Achebe never won the Nobel Prize in literature. However, he won different awards in his time. In 2007 he received the Man Booker International Prize, a US$120,000 honor for lifetime achievement.

His death on 21 March, 2013 may indeed still be a shock to many of us, but the truth is, Achebe has served his generation well and we cannot but say, Adieu Achebe!

Hey Blogger, Please Quit!

What? Is this supposed to be a pun?

Nope! I mean every word in that title and as it says, it’s time for you to quit being a blogger!

Frankly, I’ve been thinking of doing this post for close to seven months now but somehow I have not been able to bring myself to writing it. For one, blogging is fun and I’m very much aware that many bloggers have become addicted to it. To many of us blogging has become part of our lives and therefore a post like this will meet with every resistance.

Nevertheless,  I have hinted on it in different posts and at various times. This include:

All these posts plus a few others were borne out of my own experience and what I have seen around the blogosphere.

There is no doubt, bloggers are the hardest working people on the net. Every day we brainstorm post ideas, do research, write and publish posts, promote our blogs through social media networking sites, comment on other blogs and reply to comments on our blogs, visit forums and interact with other forum users, etc.

The typical day of a blogger is filled with activities that, from all indication, seems to be moving you forward but as my good friend, Theodore wrote some time ago, we mustn’t mistake activities for productivity!

And, this is really the irony because it is not about working harder but working smarter!

Stop blogging and start making money

Scaring, About 85% Of Bloggers Are Making NOTHING From Their Blogs!

I read a disheartening post on a blog recently.  In the post the blogger revealed that one of the bloggers who I have always admired, is rarely making anything from her blogging efforts. Unfortunately,  this blogger was actually using that as a yardstick to justify he’s not making anything from his own blog. His reasoning, if such a great blogger is not making much from her blog and she is still blogging, he knows that he is not alone!

Pathetic right?

Now, the blog in question, from all indication, appears to be a highly successful blog. On average each post has upwards of 60 – 80 comments. The content is great – highly engaging and expertly written. Over the years this blogger has been able to build a really large and engaged optin list.

Sometime in 2011 when I did a post appreciating all my blog readers during the Christmas celebration, this particular blogger mentioned that post to her list and it was indeed a great boost for me because it did not just help in driving more traffic to that post but it also add a few new contacts to my own list! 🙂

But I couldn’t bring myself to accept it that that very blog is not making anything substantial all these years. To check things out for myself I hopped over to read the post where this blogger revealed her earnings and I was flabbergasted!

Why Do Bloggers Work So Hard Without Any Good Returns?

Now, I’ve read many bloggers recently detailing why they blog and I have no grouse with that. It is your life and you have the right to choose what you want to do with it.

But, the truth is if you invest that much of your time into that blog (and they say time is money) you deserve a good return on that investment.

I don’t care if you are blogging for the fun.

I don’t even care how much exhilaration you are getting from connecting with other bloggers and readers!

Ttruth is, if you are spending a good part of your time and life on that blog you deserve something better!

So, let me emphasis it again by saying, it’s time to stop blogging and start building a business!

Here are few things you may want to do right now:

1. Stop comparing yourself with average bloggers –  Start listening to entrepreneur bloggers. When you measure your success with those you are doing better than, you are only harming yourself. Aim higher!

2. Stop building a blog. Start building a business!Download this guide to learn how to start an online coaching business as a blogger

3. Ditch the bloggers mindset – If you must build a business you need an entrepreneur’s mindset. This post will surely blow your mind: Why are You NOT Making Money with Your Blog?

4. Every business has a product. Decide on your product today! – This could be a physical product or a service. Choose what best suits you! Starting an online coaching business is something you may want to consider.

5. You have developed various skills as a blogger – Turn them into a business! You have more knowledge about online marketing than most people. Don’t waste it.

Conclusion

Was I too blunt in this post? That could possibly be why I have withheld from doing it all this while. So whether you want to throw stones at me or not, I still believe that just blogging because you feel good about it is not enough. Your time, effort and resources could be better invested in other things. So, take this as a wakeup call.

You could start by removing the, I am a blogger tag and replace it with, I am an entrepreneur blogger! As simple as that may be, it will go a long way in readjusting your thoughts and approach to blogging.

To me, blogging is simply a business tool. That is why you rarely read blogging tips on this blog even though those tips are needed. But I always want to stay within the purpose of this blog which is, to educate, inspire and empower our esteem readers and friends with wisdom that will help them attain their highest vision online!

And, I hope this post have been able to inspire you in some way. If not, feel free to throw the stones. You have the floor let’s hear from you!

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How NOT to Create Marketing Content that Sucks!

In these days when content marketing (or inbound marketing) has become the buzz word, businesses are expected to produce a constant flow of content to keep up with the hunger for information amongst internet users. But one thing that is sure is that people are not just expecting to see more content.  They want good quality content.

This means as a content marketer (blogger, web entrepreneur, article marketer or whatever other garb you put on) the type of content you show-case on your site will tell, to a great deal, what type of content marketer you are because it is your marketing content that helps you to connect with your target audience.

As a blogger and a freelance content writer, I’ve had the opportunity of reading many blogs and other online content while doing research for clients’ projects. One thing I have observed during these times is that many entrepreneur bloggers and business persons suck at content creation!

Most times I’m perplexed and just wonder what these people really want to achieve. You know, if you cannot articulately communicate your marketing message with simple and legible content, how do you expect your audience to take the right action?

I think this is very important because you are in competition with millions of other content marketers, bloggers, web entrepreneurs, and information merchants vying for the attention of your target audience. And, as you do know, attention span on the net is a split second.  Your marketing content must be able to make the best use of that split second – arrest the attention of your target audience, gain their trust and convince them that you are the right person to listen to!

Recommended:  The Watertight Strategy for effectively Writing Content for SEO in A Post-Penguin Internet!

Create Quality Marketing Content

So, how do you guide against creating marketing content that sucks?

Here is how….

1. Know Your Purpose

I’ve written severally, on this blog, on why and how to provided value with your content. But for you to provide that value you must decide the purpose of every piece of content you put online. Decide the purpose ever before you write any piece of content.

First ask yourself, what do I want to achieve with this content? What impact do I want to have on them? How is this going to be helpful to them?

Settle this and work backwards from there. Yes, start with the end in mind!

2. Who Are You Targeting?

The second element that will make your content not to suck is having a perfect picture of your target prospect in mind. You are not creating that content to fill space on your blog. No, no, no! And remember this, no matter how strongly you feel about your content it is what your target audience feel about it that truly matters.

So, research your market and answer the following questions: Is this what they truly want to read? What pain or question will this piece of content heal of solve? Can you really provide a solution with this piece of content?

The key? Know your prospect and give them what they want.

3. Your Presentation

Your content presentation is another critical element that will decide if your content sucks or not. How you present your content is most times determined by your target audience. So if you’ve done your research very well, choosing how you present your content will be much easier.

To make better impact with your content presentation you should focus on presenting the benefits in the language your prospect can connect with. Don’t sound like someone giving a lecture. Understand how they describe their pain and then use that same language in presenting your content.

Recommended: A Content Marketing Strategy to Beat Google and Its Demons!

4. Promotion

Your content needs promotion for it to achieve its purpose. This is where many content marketers get it wrong. When you have spent hours researching and creating a piece of content designed to heal your prospects’ pains, it will achieve no good if your prospect do not get to know of it!

As a freelance content writer, I must say many clients also get this so wrong. Except where this is factored into the contract, you must understand that promoting the content, once it has been written, is your sole responsibility. No matter how great that content is, without promotion it is nothing. It is only by promoting that piece of great work that you can reap its rewards.

Again, your target audience will determine where to promote. You must know where they congregate, where they spend their time, online or offline, and at what time to reach them. This way, your efforts will not be wasted.

5. Your Reward

This is the ultimate determinant if of your content actually achieved its purpose. Were you able to deliver your promise to the prospect? Did they take that action you desired for that piece of content?

This is where you check if the prospect truly feels that they have received enough value in your presentation. Once you are able to achieve this they will be ready to listen when next you speak.

Fulfilling the other elements listed above will help you to achieve this one!

Conclusion

Content is your medium of expression on the internet. It is what helps you to pass across whatever you have to say. It may be in text form, video, graphics, etc. but except you are able to expertly present your message having the prospect in mind, knowing what she wants and seeking to fulfill those wants, your marketing content will be a failure. If you don’t want to suck at content creation therefore, put the above tips into use!

Over to You: Ever written a piece of content that fell short of its purpose? Share your experience in your comment below.

How To Effectively Use A Blog To Boost Your Home Based Business Success!

 

So you have dreams of having a successful home based online business, right? And to actualize your dreams you have setup your business site and you’re passionately working on your promotional strategies while looking forward to hordes of traffic flooding your site, right?

But, hold it for a moment. How about a blog, did you add a blog to your home business website? You did? Oh, that’s great!

Fact is if you’re running an online business and you do not have a blog added to your website then you are like a swimmer is swimming against the current! No matter what you may have heard before now, simply setting up an ecommerce website does not guarantee that you will have clients and customers standing in line for your offers. You will need to use different strategies to drive enough traffic to guarantee your business success. This is one reason why you need to add a blog to your home business site because it’s simply an incredible online marketing tool right now.

Now, despite the many gains of adding a blog to your home based business site, there is a big problem faced by those who decide to add a blog to their business sites. This problem is that of concentrating more efforts on updating the blog to the detriment of their business!

Online business marketing strategies

This is really a big problem. For example, in running your blog you will need to constantly write highly engaging content, read and reply to readers’ comments, visit other blogs and post comments, be on the social media sites to connect with other bloggers, join blogging communities to connect with others, etc.

While all of these are necessary, the unfortunate thing is that you have just enough time to do all of these and also focus on other areas of running your home based business, especially if you are a solopreneur. And this has resulted in many abandoning their main businesses and becoming “emergency bloggers” without any real goal for their blogs! This is really pathetic and I’m sure you don’t want to be in this situation.

In this post I want to offer you a few tips on how you can effectively incorporate a blog into your business website without endangering your main business. Used well, these tips will definitely help you gain an edge over your competitors who are not blogging.

So, if you are ready, let’s boost your website success with these business blogging tips!

1. Determine Your Business Objectives

Once you’re convinced of the potentials of a blog the first thing you need to take care of before starting that blog is to determine your business objectives and how a blog will be of help in achieving those objectives.

This is definitely important because the key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure. It can be all too easy to get sidetracked, especially if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology. But if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused.

Write up a plan for how often you will update your business blog; how you will promote the blog, how you will retain your blog readership, and of course other areas of your blogging adventure. Once you have these set out, you must ensure that you stick to this plan in everything you do.

2. Get a Good Blog Design

When you use a free blog platform like blogger.com you’re provided with pre-designed templates. But it is a wise thing to go for paid blog services like wordpress.org if you truly want the benefits of a business blog. Using a free service takes the control of your blog from you. In fact, the blog is not yours as the hosting service can pull it down at any time. But if you opt for paid blog service (my advice is go for wordpress.org), you’ll need to get a good designer to design and layout your blog to match your company’s identity and needs.

3. Choose Your Blog Topics with Care

Of course, this should not be a problem since you’ve determined your business and blogging objectives in the first place. You just need to have a line-up of topics you want for your blogs but be sure they are in consonance with your business objectives. Strive to be consistent with your topic all the time. That does not mean you shouldn’t blog about general and unrelated topics that have broad appeal. This could sometimes make your blog more popular. But remember, your blog is there not on its own but a tool for marketing your business.

4. Understand the Do’s And Don’ts of Blogging

There are several blogs out there dedicated to teaching people the dos and don’ts of blogging. Please do READ them! Also include in your reading, blogs that are consumer-based in order to give you ideas on running your business blog. Remember that legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities. Create blogging policies and schedule updates regularly.

Recommended: How to Make Your Business Truly Awesome in 2013!

5. Strive To Hold On To Your Readers

Update your content regularly and keep it relevant and fresh. Avoid outright marketing on your blog or you will shy away your readers. Learn how to make your business blog pull in your readers without necessary sounding like a salesman. In all you do always reinforce your company’s core values.

6. Use the Right Methods to Promote Your Business Blog

Actively promote your business blog by submitting your blogs to blog search sites and directories. Your blog is like a setup booth in the biggest trade show on earth today. Marketing possibilities are just around the corner waiting to strike your sale scales up. Be sure that your blog contain valuable and exclusive information and ensure that it is constantly updated to keep readers popping in.

Use effective keyword phrases to generate high ranking status in the SERPs. In this way, you have better chances of people finding your business website through your blog. Remember more traffic means more potential sales.

7. Listen to Your Readers

Regularly monitor your blog traffic through implementing good stats and monitoring tools like Google Analytics. Read readers’ comments, measure your results by what they are saying and if necessary make the needed adjustments. First impressions matters and your blog design plays an important factor here. You can always play with your blog design but remember that whatever design you decides on agree with your company’s identity.

Conclusion

Using a blog to promote your home based business is not different in most ways from making money blogging. However, business blogging has its own unique pitfalls. If you must successfully include a blog in your home business marketing strategy ensure that you have a clear indication of what you want. Put the above tips into use and never forget that your business blog is simply a marketing tool for your home business website.

Over to You: Do you have a blog as part of your business marketing tool? What are the challenges you are facing running your blog in conjunction with your business? Are these tips in any way helpful? Please share your experience with us in your comments below.