Tomorrow is going to be a great day. Mack D. Male, one of Edmonton, Alberta’s blogging elite will be hosting a seminar downtown at the Alberta Business Link. For those who can make it, there is no need to RSVP. Just show up with some business cards and GET YOUR LEARN ON.
In honour of Mr. Male’s upcoming session, I would like to share some perspective on business blogging and where the Red Paper Clip team sees it going.
Tip 1: Growth does not equal saturation
The consistent growth of business blogging over the last few years is impressive. Email marketing and social media promotion of business blogs are new but essential methods to build leads, authority and community. Their flexibility through the use of platforms and services like WordPress, MailChimp and Aweber makes it easy for even the most novice of content creators.
But the continued growth of business blogs hasn’t slowed down the readership. In fact, it continues to blossom in ways that puzzle even the craziest economists. The readership resource is far from extinguished. For new bloggers, the water’s still warm.
Tip 2: Let your data be your guide—er, DRIVER
Don’t ever let a content strategist, social media person, or anyone who has a job on the Interwebz tell you that data doesn’t matter. One of the greatest advantages of the internet is that everything is trackable. Use this to your business blog’s advantage. Track clicks through Google Analytics, search socially trending topics on Twitter trends and Google Alerts, and get a sense of what people really want to know. Your relevance to them—and your popularity—will skyrocket within a few posts.
Tip 3: Treat your business blog more like a moving magazine
We’ve entered a really interesting time in content creation and management. Today, it’s easy to post images, diagrams, client testimonials, comments, questions, videos, clickable links and audio conversations. Take advantage of these content possibilities by looking at your business blog more like a magazine and less like a sidebar newspaper column. I’ve seen industrial business blogs that look more like climbing magazines (by design, of course), and they earn a much higher yield of leads and traffic than their more conservative counterparts.
Tip 4: RSS is D-E-D: Stick to email marketing for leads and business
The fact that I have to further explain so-called Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds to new and established clients is proof that they are never going to catch on. I can’t be bothered to tome on their history (since I predict that their death knell might be in 2012), but here is a great explanation. I always suggest that companies keep their email lists close to their hearts, because it’s where some of your best leads will always come from.
Tip 5: Mobility isn’t the it-girl, but she’s about to be!
I like imagining mobile and smartphone communication like I imagine Zooey Dechanel’s recent explosion on television. Dechanel’s been in film for a few years, and she’s been working her skills on the big screen just fine. But since earning the lead role in The New Girl, she has been surrounded by a crack team of comedy writers and producers that has really shaken the industry up. Mobile phone use is the same. We’re sitting in a perfect storm of mobile market advantages (ease, cheap prices, easy applications, ubiquity) and the world has thus responded. Keep mobile users in mind when preparing your blog topics. Avoid anything that might not translate well to mobile users, and they will continue to visit.
Tip 6: There will always be bloggers who know more, but only YOU can tell your story.
The proliferation of business blogs has created one problem: There is so damn much information out there, readers often don’t know who best to follow. Many of us in the same profession may have similar views on best practices. So how do you keep those lucky few who visit? Tell your story and keep it up top in your messaging. Readers like to connect with people more than information. Be human. Be courteous. Be professional. Be yourself.
Tip 7: Use SEO blogging best practices to stay visible.
People will read only what they can find. Using simple and effective search engine optimization practices will ensure that you rank where you need to, captivating the right audience to build those leads. Great content is invisible without good SEO. We’ve a few good articles on the matter here.
So for those of you in Edmonton, I look forward to meeting you at the Business Link seminar tomorrow!