Tag Archives: blog

Link building with content writing

Link building got quite a beating after the first Google Penguin update but it is still considered one of the most effective ways of improving your search engine rankings, especially when it is hinged upon quality content writing and well-meaning content marketing.

Why do you need link building?

In case you have been living inside a cave (nothing wrong or extraordinary about that) Google uses incoming links to your website in order to rank it. The more high-quality incoming links your website or blog has accumulated, the higher are going to be it’s search engine rankings. It’s kind of a validation and that’s why linking needs to take place only for the value you provide and no other purpose (for instance, paying websites and blogs to put your links on them).

Link building and content writing

So how does content writing help you in link building? As Google says, people should link to you based on the value you provide. How do you provide that value? By providing valuable and useful content. Why would people link to you if you publish high-quality content?

Writing comprehensive blog posts and articles isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, nonetheless, people want to maintain blogs and websites and they want to publish content on them for the sake of engagement, link building and better search engine rankings.

There are many content aggregation and curation websites and blogs. They don’t want to write content themselves; they want to link to external blog posts and articles, insert couple of paragraphs of their own, and then publish them on their websites and blogs. This way they don’t constantly have to scramble for new ideas. They don’t even have to hire content writers in order to create original content because instead of having to create content, they are aggregating good quality content from other websites and blogs. They want to become a resource, creating further link building opportunities for themselves.

This can work to your benefit. If you can write content they are looking for, they are definitely going to link to it, creating lots of back links in the process.

Of course regular content writing doesn’t just straightaway lead to back links. For example, you may feel discouraged after publishing 20-30 blog posts or articles without getting any back links. Link building doesn’t just happen; unless people find the content written and published by you, how can they link to it?

Herein comes content marketing. Write enough content and then make it easier for people to find it. One way of achieving this is keep on writing on your own blog and then letting the search engines index your content randomly and then presenting it to their users according to their own judgment. This works in many cases, but it may require lots of writing, even to the extent of creating 300-500 blog posts and articles before people begin to even notice you.

A better option is, aside from creating those 300-500 blog posts, disseminate what you have written and published through as many channels as possible. These days you have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and various other platforms and channels where you can promote your links so that they begin to get noticed by people and some of them may start linking to them. Even search engines these days list content from social networking websites on their natural search engine result pages. So constant content writing and then sharing your links on social networking platforms can create lots of link building opportunities for you.

One of the most widely used link building methods through content writing is guest blog posting. When you write for other blogs, they include a small bio of yours in which they also include a link to your website, blog or one of the inner pages. Since you should only guest blog for reputed blogs, this can bring you great link building benefits.

In the beginning this may seem a bit difficult because it is upon the sole discretion of the owner of the blog whether he or she wants to publish your blog post or not. It will help you to first understand what sort of content is published on that blog, what sort of language is used and what is the general flow of the content appearing over there. You can also spend some time interacting with the stakeholders of that blog via Twitter or Google Plus because then they will be more eager to publish your blog posts.

7 advantages of having a business blog

7 advantages of having a business blog

Are you still wondering what are the advantages of having a business blog? You may find yourself facing this question especially when you’re planning to invest time and money in this particular aspect of your online marketing effort and just like any other function of the business, you have to decide what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a business blog.

The advent of social media has definitely disillusioned some people. Many have started claiming from the rooftops that the days of blogging are numbered. They actually don’t understand blogging. You see, blogging was never a fad. Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter may go tomorrow, and an alternative may surface, but blogging is going to remain there. I used to maintain a blog even when the term hadn’t been defined and one needed to upload blog posts as individual HTML pages.

Listed below are the 7 advantages of having a business blog.

Improved search engine rankings

When you want to know the biggest advantages of having a business blog, this one often gets the first spot among business owners. Good search engine rankings matter to every business because it’s the targeted traffic that helps you do business on the web. Improved search engine rankings can help you bring down your search engine marketing costs considerably. Just imagine if you’re paying per click on Google Adwords how much money you must be spending for, say, 200 clicks. The same 200 clicks can be obtained, practically free of cost, if your blog can help you improve your search engine rankings.

When you have a business blog you constantly create content on specific topics and this automatically improves your keyword density in a natural manner. When you create truly relevant and useful blog posts you begin to get targeted traffic for not just shorter keywords and key phrases, but also longtail expressions.

Aside from quality content, search engines like Google also consider your popularity while ranking your links. This popularity can be gauged by the number of people linking back to your website and blog, and the level of engagements that you have with people on various social networking websites. If more people share your content on their websites and blogs your search engine rankings improve. If the content that you post on your social networking timelines gets promoted by other people, your search engine rankings improve then too.

By constantly providing valuable content you encourage people to promote your links directly and indirectly.

Greater social reach

No matter how many messages you exchange on your Facebook and Twitter timelines, unless you create authoritative blog posts and then share their links you cannot make much impact. If all the time you are promoting someone else’s links, you are just doing what others are doing. Having your own blog allows you to share your knowledge, wisdom and experience with your visitors and your social networking friends in depth. It’s no use creating longer posts on Facebook and Google Plus and generating quality content for them, why not do it for your own blog?

When you publish quality content on your own blog, you also provide an opportunity to your followers and friends to promote your links rather than promoting someone else’s.

Educated and aware customers and clients

This is one of the greatest advantages of having a business blog, and this is where your actual conversion rate improves. When you constantly educate your customers and clients and provide them the information they need, they are always going to do business with you rather than someone who always seems aloof. People don’t like always being told what they should buy. They want to make these decisions on their own, or based on the recommendations of their friends and people they trust. You can become someone they trust by continuously providing them relevant and topical information.

Community and brand building

Businesses and brands that have thriving communities built around them enjoy a solid customer base. How can you build a community around your business? By constantly engaging your visitors. You can do that by posting interactive content on your business blog and then encouraging your visitors to leave their feedback. The more you are able to do that, the more reasons they have to visit your blog multiple times and consequently, develop an affinity for your presence.

The advantage of developing your own community is that people don’t just talk about your business and brand on your own blog, they also do it on various other forums and social networking websites, providing you free publicity in the process.

Have your own PR channel

Is your business attracting negative publicity? Do not let the press depend on random sources, provide all the information on your blog so that later on nobody can deny what you said or misquote you.

Easy to maintain

Despite tremendous advantages of having a business blog, it is very easy to maintain. Once it is setup, just a training of a couple of hours can enable all your employees to use your blog to create fresh content. Here is an advise that may cost me some business, but it will help you. There are many businesses who train their present employees to write for their business blog instead of hiring a dedicated content writer. This is because, who would know the business better than they do? Anyway, the point is, it is extremely easy to set up and maintain a blog.

Easily brand-able

You don’t need to use the default theme of the blog that comes with your typical blogging software like WordPress. You can easily create a blog theme that looks just like your business website with a little help from someone who knows how to use style sheets and a little bit of PHP.

So this was a list of 7 advantages of having a business blog. Do you have some more advantages in your mind? Do mention them in the comments section.

Here is a small video describing the 7 advantages of having a business blog:

Why a blog is important for your small business

Business blogging

Do you publish a small business blog? As a small business if you don’t have a blog you are losing out on many aspects of online marketing, SEO and social engagement.

Having a small business blog has many advantages. Small businesses normally don’t have big marketing budgets and they have to depend on individual effort in order to survive and thrive. Blogging kills multiple birds (I don’t endorse killing of birds for entertainment and leisure purposes, in fact I loathe such acts) with a single stone. Once you have set up a small business blog and accumulated some high-quality blog posts

  • Your website begins to rank higher on various search engines
  • Search engines index and rank greater number of pages and blog posts from your website
  • Your overall keyword density improves
  • You have useful content to share on your social media and social networking profiles
  • Your followers and friends get more opportunities to promote your links as you publish fresh content regularly
  • You establish yourself as an authority due to the expertise you constantly share through your small business blog
  • Search engines and social media websites begin to regard you as an authority and hence attach more importance to your content
  • You engage your visitors in meaningful conversations and hence improve your recognition and identity and consequently, strengthen your brand

Having a small business blog is easy

You can either set up a business blog under your existing domain name (something like //yourwebsite.com/blog) or you can have a separate domain name for your blog and put your main website link there. Although there are many free blog hosting services that you can use; I recommend using WordPress for your small business blog because it gives you full control over your blog in terms of layout and content. Besides, you can freely download it and install it on your server. This is more important especially now when online services are randomly shut down by even reputed companies like Google..

Provided you already have a website and you want to host a small business blog under your existing domain name, it doesn’t cost you much. You can either do it on your own, or you can hire somebody who is comfortable installing WordPress blogs. The benefit of hiring someone experienced is that within a couple of hours you are ready to go.

Maintaining a small business blog demands some time and investment

Of course as a business tool a small business blog cannot be 100% free. Either you yourself will have to create content or you’ll need to hire a content writer for that. Initially, in the fit of enthusiasm you can create a few well-written blog posts but eventually you will need to look out for an experienced content writer who can take over your blog and make sure it always has fresh, relevant and useful content.

Rather than quantity focus on quality

For your small business blog it is very important you don’t get swayed by the keyword hoopla and focus on the broad quality of your content. Getting 100s of keyword-centric blog posts may get you lots of traffic, but if that traffic doesn’t convert into business, you are simply wasting your money and effort. Instead, invest on high-quality content that not only ranks higher on search engines and performs better on social media and social networking websites, but also improves your conversion rate.

Besides, these days you can be penalized by search engines like Google for over-using your keywords. So use your keywords whenever they are necessary and don’t needlessly stuff them. Even your content writer must know that. Sometimes people indulge in keyword stuffing unknowingly and if your content writer is doing that, you will need to remind him or her not to do it.

Does having a small business blog actually help you?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you think your small business blog will immediately increase your business, it may not happen. It is a publishing platform. It helps you build a communication tool that can help you in whichever way you want. There is traffic, and then there is targeted traffic. Targeted traffic to your small business blog will always have a greater conversion rate compared to non-targeted traffic.

The success of your small business blog also hinges upon your clarity of purpose. Do you want to build an audience that will eventually turn into your customers, or do you want to straightaway sell your products and services via your blog posts? To be frank, whether it makes sense or not, on the Internet people are turned off if you are directly trying to sell them. Of course everybody understands that eventually you need to make a living, and nobody resents that. But if you are providing quality content, just provide quality content through your small business blog. Don’t try to trick people into buying your product or service just because they have come to your blog to read your blog posts.

Yes, your small business blog can increase your business. Use it to increase the level of credibility. Use it to develop a strong readership base. Encourage people to subscribe to your e-mail updates and try to engage them as much as possible. Remember that it is the level of engagement and recognition that will eventually encourages them to do business with you, and this you can be easily achieve by publishing a regular small business blog.

Why content marketing is important for your business

Content marketing is a misunderstood terminology. It has got nothing to do with conventional marketing where you keep on pushing your messages and then wait for response.

There is often some confusion regarding why you need content regularly and why it needs to be marketed through proper channels. Unlike your brick and mortar business, the game is totally different on the web. You cannot compete on the Internet on the strength of your money, market reach and off-line reputation. You need to have a presence, and you need to have a convincing presence, and only high-quality content gives you that presence.

On your website or your blog, you cannot directly communicate with your visitors unless you are constantly online and are using a webcam or a chat interface to talk to individual visitors (this is feasible, but only up to a certain point). Your web pages, and what they contain, become your representatives, your voice on your online presence. So your content helps you communicate.

But this is not the only reason you require ongoing content and subsequent content marketing. You also require content to

  • Strengthen and establish your brand
  • Generate traffic from social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Establish yourself as an authority
  • Keep your visitors/customers/clients informed
  • Provide answers to the most common questions regarding your business
  • Keep on communicating with your prospective and present customers and clients so that they remember you when they need the product or the service you provide
  • Give your visitors a reason to visit your website or blog regularly

Why content marketing

After you start publishing on your website, people need to know about it. Since there are zillions of pages and blog posts on the Internet it is practically impossible to publish 50-60 odd web pages or blog posts and then expect the traffic to pour down from all over the Internet. Some people may have 500-600 web pages or blog posts, and some may even have thousands of them. So in terms of quantity and quality, you are in a constant competition on the Internet, and the good thing is you need to compete constantly. Why I say this is a good thing is because then everybody gets a chance to compete on the strength of his or her ability to produce and market high-quality content. This way, even while working from your basement, in your undergarments, you can compete with as big a company as Forbes by producing better content and marketing it properly.

In order to compete, along with publishing relevant information you also need to market it. You need to highlight it and promote it where people can see it. Here are a few things you can do in the effort of content marketing without spending much money:

  • Search engine optimize your content: Although this comes under search marketing, basically it is content marketing. With the help of your content you are trying to promote your business on various search engines. If you are able to optimize your content, it is going to rank well on major and minor search engines and this can bring you tons of traffic. Choose the right keywords, pack your articles and blog posts with as much information as possible, and make them as helpful as possible.
  • Write for other websites and blog posts: You can publish articles on article directories (although they are losing their charm over search engine rankings because there are 100s of such article directories). A better thing to do is write blog posts as guest blogger for reputed blogs. This might not be easy so first you will have to interact on the blogs and let the blog publishers become familiar with you. Many start-up companies use this content marketing tactic with great success by publishing blog posts on tech blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch.
  • Maintain an active social media presence: This may include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube. These days your website may get traffic from multiple sources and you need to maintain a vibrant presence over these places. Regularly interact with your friends and followers on social networking websites and generate content for social media websites like YouTube and Tumblr. Lots of content is shared and passed around using these platforms and you never know which of your links might go viral.

These are but a few ways you can carry out your content marketing effort. As mentioned above, content marketing is important for your business because first of all content is important for your business, and second, you need to make as many people aware of the existence of your content as possible.

What makes your content click

Content writing is not as challenging as it seems sometimes. With little bit of dedication you can create 3-4 blog posts or webpages for your business, and you can also get an unending stream of topics and ideas by visiting other blogs and subscribing to their RSS feeds (you can also search Twitter and Facebook and stumble upon some really good stuff).

The real challenge is to make your content click. What does that mean? Your content publishing and content strategy has an objective or an agenda, right? Why are you spending so much time on creating and publishing content for your website? Fine, the quick answer would be to increase your search engine rankings. But are you really achieving that?

Very few people actually sit down and think about what they are doing when it comes to writing content and implementing a solid content strategy. Your content clicks when it has the desired effect. When you are publishing content you are trying to achieve the following (you may have different priorities though):

  • You want to increase your search engine rankings
  • You want to provide great and valuable content to your visitors so that they keep coming to your website
  • You want to maintain a lively buzz around your online presence
  • You want to educate and inform your prospective customers and clients so they are not in double mind when it comes to doing business with you
  • You want to establish yourself as an authority so that people trust your judgement, respect your knowledge and believe in you when you ask them to do something

These are but a few things you want to achieve through content publishing.

Here I am not talking about the base content on your website: your home page and other business pages. I’m talking about all the extra content that you continuously publish because eventually it is that content that increases your search engine visibility and keeps people hooked on to your website.

So how do you achieve the objectives mentioned above (and many more that you may have in mind)? Here are a few things you can do:

Have a consistent theme

Your visitors must know what they are in for when they visit your website or blog. Then they already have receptive by the time they start reading your content (or watching/viewing in the case of images or video). For instance, if you have a content writing and content strategy business, and if you want to publish a business blog then most of your blog posts must be centered around content writing and content strategy. This way people who are interested in your topic can relate to your blog or website.

Having a consistent theme also shows that you have a lot to say about your business and your expertise. In fact, you have got so much knowledge, that you can constantly share it with your visitors for a long time. Always remember that having a niche is always better than writing for a highly broad audience.

But having a theme doesn’t mean you cannot write on something else. For instance, some of my blog posts talk about SEO, social media and social networking, blogging and even web design and web structuring. I write these posts because I believe that they can help my business as well as my clients.

Provide solution-oriented content

Does your content solve a problem and makes life easier for your visitors? Does it give them what they are looking for? For instance, what do people look for when they come to my website or when they read my blog? They are either looking for a content writer or trying to figure out how they can write content on their own in a better and effective manner. They might also be interested in reading about content strategy – how to formulate it, how to establish it, and then how to implement it.

Provide content people can share

Eventually everything boils down to how much of your content is shared. You might be getting lots of traffic directly from search engines and that is really great, but if you don’t want to solely depend on search engines, then you have to focus a big part of your energies on to encouraging people to share your content through their social media and social networking profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. But they are not going to share your content simply because you have published it. It should be of great value whether it informs or entertains. People share content mostly for the following reasons:

  • They want to pass some relevant piece of information onto their followers and friends
  • They are curating quality content for later use
  • They want to entertain or make their followers and friends laugh by sharing something funny and amusing
  • They want to trigger a debate or discussion while using your content as a platform and as a central point
  • They want to associate themselves with the standards represented by your content
  • They want to show you that they agree with what you’re saying or disagree with what you’re saying
  • They want to highlight their online presence through the niche you represent and write about
  • They are your parents, siblings or friends who would share anything you post just because they love you and cannot resist that

So if you provide any of the above mentioned reasons people are definitely going to share and promote your content (although the last point may not have much business value but it doesn’t mean it is not important) and be affected by that.