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Capital Region Business Journal Article

Article Originally published in the Captial Region Business Journal - March 2010 (page 35)

Title: How to get your blog noticed

By: Jonny Buroker

companies that blog do better online

According to some recent HubSpot research, companies that blog have far better online marketing results that those that do not.  Consider these stats based upon a study of 1,531 HubSpot customers (mostly small to medium-sized businesses), 795 of which blog while 736 do not.  The companies that blog have:

·         55% more visitors to their websites

·         97% more inbound links

·         434% more pages indexed by the search engines

What could this mean for your business?  More visitors means more leads and sales, more inbound links signals authority to the search engines (which helps to get your pages ranked higher), and more pages indexed means your site has more opportunities to be found by the search engines.

So, if your company doesn’t have a blog yet, now is a good time to consider starting one. 

blogs aren’t for everyone

While blogs are great for search engine optimization (SEO) due to the fresh content they provide and the additional inbound links, they aren’t for everyone.  The mistake many companies make is assuming that just having a blog will increase their PageRank and get them to the top of the search engines.  The recipe for blogging success consists of:

·         Quality content that is search engine optimized

·         A commitment to blogging regularly, and

·         The technical savvy to install and maintain your blog. 

Forgetting any of these key ingredients will leave a bad taste in the mouths of your target audience.

how to start a blog

If at all possible, host your blog on your own domain server (www.yourdomainname.com/blog).  There are a number of benefits, including branding, promotion, control, inbound links, and SEO.

There are several choices for developing the blog CMS (Content Management System), from a custom built solution (this can be the best choice if you have the time, money and resources) to a free online solution like WordPress.  WordPress can be made to look like your existing website and it has several great plug-ins available like All in One SEO, Google Analytics, Share This, and many more, that make promoting and managing your blog much easier.

Once the blog is created and ready to go, your next step can be one of the hardest – deciding what to blog about.

what to blog about?

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas of what to blog about as it relates to your business or industry, do a little research on the most frequently asked questions.  Wordtracker provides an easy to use tool to research the questions that have been searched for over the last year.  For example, enter the word “insurance” into the tool and you’ll see that “how much is car insurance for a 16 year old” was searched for 494 times in the last year, while “what is comprehensive car insurance” was searched for 318 times.  If you’re in the auto insurance business and are starting a blog, creating a blog post titled “how much is car insurance for a 16 year old” could bring you lots of additional site traffic (and hopefully followers and new leads). 

Caution!  Do a search for your blog topics first to see if there’s already a lot of competition (meaning there are numerous search results that appear to be right on topic) and if there is, consider selecting a different topic that doesn’t have as much competition.  That will make it easier for you to get to the first page of the search engines.

how often to blog?

There seems to be a mentality that you have to post to your blog daily (or even more often) in order for it to be successful.  In reality, there are many successful blogs that are updated 2-4 times per month or even less.  Sure, the search engines like, and reward, fresh content, but what are your followers looking for and is there enough quality content to warrant more frequent posts?  If you inundate them with useless posts, they will quickly abandon your blog and move on.  The key is to post when you have something worthy to say and the time to do it well.

Other blog tips

There are lots of additional tips we could list, but two that you should consider are:

·         Ensure that people can follow your blog through an RSS feed.

·         If your blog is still new with not many followers, turn off the “comments” capability until you have more followers.

Start slowly, but surely, and keep blogging!

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