Blog Marketing: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know!

Over the years blogging has become an essential tool for business online promotion. Unfortunately, many small business owners, till this day, still look at blogs as personal journals. Worst still, many others simply consider blogs as some social networking tool that is popular among young people out there in cyber space!

If you have that opinion back in 1995 you would be correct but not today!

One thing you can be sure of today is, Blogging Has Evolved!

The question is no longer, should you blog? Rather it is, do you have a blog?

Let me say it categorically that if as at this day you’re not blogging, as a small business entrepreneur, then you’re missing out BIG! And so, you must move from defining blogs as personal journals. They are presently powerful marketing tools. Savvy business owners are using blogs for brand recognition, connecting with clients/customers and of course, create more opportunities for their businesses.

But in this blog article we are talking about blog marketing.

Small business blog marketing tips

So,

What Is Blog Marketing?

It is important that we have a clear understanding of what blog marketing is for us to better appreciate its benefits. Over the years I have to tried to really get a grasp of this. I want to say that of all the definitions of blog marketing that I have come across, I think this clearly captures the true meaning:

Blog marketing is any process that publicizes or advertises a website, business, brand or service via the medium of blogs. This includes, but is not limited to marketing via ads placed on blogs, recommendations and reviews by the blogger, promotion via entries on third party blogs and cross-syndication of information across multiple blogs.

As you can see blog marketing involve a whole lot of things. But for this article I will restrict myself to the aspect that is concerned with using your business blog to directly market your business online. This consists of creating blog articles and using same to drive traffic to your business website.

Why Blog Marketing?

There are various benefits your business can get from blog marketing. Please read this article to understand some of the reasons why you should add a blog to your business website.

But to really understand the importance of business blogging, here are some stats that will interest you:

  • B2B marketers that blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
  • By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.

As a small business owner it is sure you wouldn’t ignore such stats, or do you?

 5 Tips for Effective Blog Marketing

Here are some ways you can ensure good results from your blog marketing efforts:

1. Link Your Business Blog to Your Website

If you have a website for your business, link your blog to it. This is a good way letting your customers/prospects know you do blog. This could create an immediate surge of traffic to your small business blog thereby making it popular in a short time.

2. SEO Optimized Content

When you are marketing a blog, you pretty much do it the same way that you would market a website. It is going to need keywords, and content. You can write the content yourself, or pay someone else to write it for you. That part is totally up to you. However, you will want to be sure that the content is decent and something that your readers will want to read. This will keep them coming back.

Make sure that the content is written from special keywords that you choose. You will also want to become familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO will help you to optimize your blog to get a better ranking with the search engines.

3. Exchange links with relevant sites

Once your blog is up and running with the right keywords and some content published, you will need to get it out there some more. Link exchanges are wonderful for marketing your small business blog. You want to try and exchange links with sites that are relevant to yours, but not in direct competition. If you try to exchange links with sites in competition with yours, you are going to find that many of them will turn you down in fear of losing business to you.

4. Submit To Blog Directories

While this may not really make much impact today but it is not a bad idea to do this. There are many online directories that caters specifically to blogs. Submitting your business blog to these directories is a big part of small business blog marketing. You can pay some directories to list your blog URL in their directory under the specific category that it falls under. However, some of these even have specific qualifications that you must have to get in. Follow all of the application steps, and you should be ok. Just do not try to submit your blog to a directory that it does not qualify for, or fit in.

5. Make Your Business Blog Truly Interactive

This is important for small business blog marketing. For example, if someone leaves a comment on your blog, acknowledging and responding to it make your blog a truly interactive platform.

You can also comment on other blogs that are relevant to yours, and leave a link to your blog as well. This will help bring in visitors to your blog, and you will begin to see more and more traffic.

Conclusion

Small business blog marketing is something that anyone can do. It’s not rocket science. Having a blog and keeping it up to date with the latest information is not hard. All you need to have is a plan and you will be set to market any type of business from your blog. Whether you are selling a product or a service, it does not matter. A blog that is marketed the right way will be beneficial to any business whatever it might be.

30 Covert Selling Tactics That Will Boost Your Online Business With Ease!

Covert selling strategies for your online business

It’s indeed surprising that many want to make money online but the idea of selling is however absolutely repugnant to them.  This is because they believe selling has to do with manipulating others. But that shouldn’t be.

Believe it or not selling is actually something all of us do every day whether we are selling tangible products or selling our ideas to others. It’s important therefore that we should learn how to market our businesses on the net if we want to make any head way.

In this article I want to give you some covert selling tactics that will help you boost your business starting now!

First, you must know that marketing online is evolving by the day. Strategies and tactics that used to be very effective a few years ago are far from effective today.  It is important therefore that to stay ahead of the competition you need to put in place your own strategies based on what you may have “discovered” in the course of running your business or what you have seen others using on which you put a “twist” on, Such strategies are unique to you and therefore can work wonders for you.

The strategies presented in this post are industry-tested and will greatly help boosting online sales. However, the idea is that you will be able to use them to build your own strategies and adapt them to your peculiar marketing needs.

Related Reading: The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!

Online Business-Boosting Selling Tactics

1. Use affiliate programs to multiply your efforts

Start an affiliate program and put your marketing on viral power. For example, package a product,  put it on an affiliate networking site or start your own affiliate marketing program. Create a customizable e-book and give it away to your affiliates. Ask them to customize the ebook with their own affiliate links and then give the ebook away for free. Doing this will both create a viral effect for your product as that one ebook will soon begin to pull in links from different sources online.

2. Improve you conversion/traffic ratio

You could change your headline, offer a stronger guarantee, add testimonials, etc. For example, one week you could have your headline say, “How To Lose 5 Pounds In Two Days!” and the next week use, “Lose 5 Pounds In Only 48 Hours!” Just see which one pulls more orders per visitors.

3. Uncover your most valuable leads

One way of doing this is by offering a free e-zine. The visitors who are very interested will subscribe to it. Once they have subscribed, you can sell them related products again and again. Just make sure your e-zine has enough original content to keep them interested.

4. Boost your business exposure by teaming up with your competition

When marketing online your competition is as close as the back of your hand. But instead of treating them as enemies you can actually partner with them by starting an association for your specific industry. Each member could be given graphics to put on their web pages. This would increase your membership and business exposure.

5. Publish an e-zine for your employees

This could motivate them to do a better job or keep them advised on where your business is headed. For example, you could include articles about friendly customer service, being more productive, getting along with other employees, employee profiles, etc.

6. Monitor your brand on social media

Setting up alerts to monitor your brand on social media, news sites and other discussion forums will greatly help you in knowing what others are saying about your brand. Some of the comments you find could help you improve your business. For example, you could find someone complaining about your customer service, an employee, your web site design, product, etc. Then you’ll know what to improve.

7. Attract more people to link to your web site

You can do this by offering them a discount on the products you sell or give them free items for linking. For example, you could say, “Get A Huge 30% Discount On Our E-book If You Agree To Link To Our Web Site For At Least One Month!”

Must Read: 6 Reasons Why You Should Integrate A Blog Into Your Home Business Website!

8. Build your own opt-in email list

Give your  website visitors a reason to give you their e-mail address. Allow them to sign up to free items and contests. Just get their permission to e-mail them again in the future for other things. For example, you could say, “Sign Up For Your Chance To Win A Color
TV!”

9. Create a “PR” web page for your business

List information that could be considered newsworthy for e-zines, newspapers, magazines, etc. There are many ways to get into the media, like launching an unusual product, donating a large amount to charity, holding big events, etc.

10. Boost your credibility

By referencing web sites that have written positive stories about your business you will greatly increase your credibility. You could link to them right in your product ad. For example, you could say, “Just See What (name) Magazine Is Saying About Our Newest E-book!”

11. Improve you newsletter subscription through more incentives

Almost everyone is publishing an e-zine nowadays so it’s important to give something extra with the free subscription. You could offer a weekly contest for new subscribers. For example, you could say, “Subscribe And Have A Chance To Win Our Latest Home Study Course!”

12. Provide your visitors with more valuable content.

Your content will be more attractive to your visitors if it’s up-to-date or original. You could also offer people the option to reprint the content in their e-zine or web site. If your content is super original, you could use something like “Never Seen Before” in your titles.

13. Offer a free online directory

The directory could be full of interesting e-books, e-zines, web sites, etc. If people find your directory to be a valuable resource, they will visit it over and over again. You could also put your whole directory into e-book format and allow people to give it away.

14. Give your visitors a free e-book

You could also include your own ad in the e-book and allow other people to give it away. If you don’t want to take the time to write one, you could ask other writers’ permission to use their articles. They will just want you to publish their resource box too.

15. Hold free online classes or seminars

Webinars are becoming the in-thing right now. They could be held in your web site’s chat room or you can use any of the many webinar providers out there. The idea of “live” information will definitely entice people to visit your web site. You will become known as an expert on the topic. You could hold them weekly or monthly to get people to revisit your web site again and again.

16. Give visitors a free entry into your contest or sweepstake

The prizes should be something of interest or value to your visitors. Most people who enter will continually revisit your web site to get the results. For example, if your target audience is business owners, your prizes could be computers, business e-books, business services, etc.

17. Create your own or sponsor downloadable free software

It could be freeware, shareware, demos, etc. You could even turn part of your site into a free software directory. If you created the software, include your ad inside and let other people give it away. You could also allow people to link to your free software directory so they could offer it to their own visitors.

18. Offer free online services or utilities from your web site

They could be search engine submitting, copywriting, proofreading services. The service or utility should be helpful to your target audience. For example, if your target audience is e-book publishers, offer them a free e-book creation service.

19. Give free consulting to people who visit your web site

You could offer your knowledge via e-mail or by telephone. People will consider this to be of huge value because consulting fees can be very expensive. You could also create a product by recording or saving the information you gave them and selling it to them as a handy reference.

20. Give your visitors a free membership to your online club

People want to belong to something, why not your online club? You could also give away a free e-zine for club members only. You could make money by offering a deluxe membership for a monthly fee.

21. Persuade visitors to link to your web site

Give them a freebie in exchange for them linking to your web site. It could be content, software, etc. You could make the freebie even more valuable to them if you allow them to give it away with their own customized links in it.

22. Link to web sites that provide useful information or services for your visitors

If you have many useful links on your site, they may make it their start page. For example, wouldn’t you like to go to one webpage and have on it all the links you like to visit or research?

23. Spice up your web site’s wording by using plenty of adjectives

It gives your visitors a clearer vision of what you’re explaining or describing to them. For example, if you were describing a software program you could say, “This easy-to-use software gently guides you through the whole set up process.”

24. Don’t make your banner ads look like ads

Most people ignore banner ads. Design them to look like content and have people click to read the rest. For example, you could say, “How To Increase Your Sales By 200% by Larry Dotson. To Read Click Here!”

25. Join affiliate programs that go with the theme of your web site

You’ll just be wasting valuable space and time if your visitors aren’t interested in them. For example, if your target audience is softball players, you would want to join affiliate programs that sell softball bats, balls, uniforms, magazines, etc.

26. Market your web site as a free club instead of a web site

This will increase your repeat visitors and sales because people enjoy belonging to groups. You could have a members’ message board, give visitors’ membership IDs, give them membership graphics to place on their web sites, etc.

27. Interact with your online customers on a regular basis

This will show them you care about them. You could use your blog or add a chat room, forum or an online message system to your site. Always be interested in what people have to say, answer their questions, give them compliments, and take the time to talk about things other than just business, etc.

28. Check and update your web site links regularly

If people click on a link and it doesn’t work, they usually won’t risk wasting their time clicking on another one. For example, would you revisit a web site after two of the links you really wanted to click on didn’t work? You probably wouldn’t even bookmark the site.

29. Give visitors a positive experience when they’re at your web site

Provide them with original content and free things. They’ll tell all of their friends about it. You could also persuade them to tell their friends about it by starting an affiliate program. It could pay per sale, per click or per lead.

30. Share customers with other businesses that have the same target audience

Offer their product to your customers if, in exchange, they do the same for you. For example, if your business is selling toys, you could cross-promote a business that sells kids’ games. You both have a similar target audience.

In closing

The above are just a few online selling tactics that you can strategically put to use in your business. Of course, all of these may not apply to your business right now but with a little creative thinking you will uncover some unique ways to apply them.

Will love hear what you think of these selling tactics. Are you using any of these right now?