In our last 5 articles, we’ve covered at great length how having a website can build your business. Putting up a website for your business is definitely a step in the right direction. It will differentiate you from the 50% who still don’t have one. But a website by itself will not bring in business.
You have to invest time, effort and resources to generate inbound traffic on a consistent basis. Of the strategies you have at your disposal, content writing has been proven to be the most effective. And the cornerstone of an effective content marketing campaign is the blog.
If you have decided to put up a blog, then you’ve come to the right place! We at Mountaintop have helped many entrepreneurs and companies set up their blog and we certainly can help you with yours.
Setting Up Your Blog Page
As we discussed in “Blogging 101”, it is better to integrate your blog page in your website. In that article, we discussed 5 benefits of having 1 website for your business and your blog. In terms of SEO, a single website will boost your chances of moving up the search rankings than having a separate blog page.
If you already have a website, we can create a blog page for you. If you don’t have a website, then we can design one that best fits your business and include the blog as one of its key pages.
A few things to note when it comes to having a website with a blog page:
- Your website must be mobile-responsive; it should have the ability to accommodate the screen sizes of a variety of mobile devices.
- Your website must be fast and easy to download; you can lose potential customers or followers if your website loads slower than 9 seconds.
- Your website must be accessible by different browsers; Users will view your website from within a variety of browsers. Each browser will display your website differently, which means users could have different experiences with your website. It is critical that your website be designed and tested in multiple browsers to ensure the user experience is the same.
- Your website should have fully-functioning features with shareable content; its buttons and social media icons must be in working condition all the time. Otherwise, you might miss opportunities for opt-ins or social sharing of your content.
- Your pages must be optimized; no matter how beautiful the images and content are, if they can’t be found, they will not bring in much traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) must be implemented to increase the probability of readers finding your content.
- Your website must be self-hosted; having your own domain name is more professional. A self-hosted blog will give you more flexibility, control and a wider set of options.
The first 5 points are standard qualities of web design. They all deal with enhancing User Experience or UX.
But the sixth one is of particular interest if you want to have a blog page. The other option would be to have a website hosted by a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress.
If Mountaintop opted for a hosted website, our domain name would read: www.mountaintopwebdesign.wordpress.com.
Not only is the URL too long but having the “.wordpress.com” does not give our company the prestige it deserves.
There are also limitations to a hosted site. For one, we won’t be able to upload images and videos. If you want your blog to be well-read, it should have high-quality images or videos that are relevant to the content. Not only do images and videos add substance but it can influence more people to read your blog.
Lastly, with a hosted website, you don’t own your blogs. Since it is hosted on another entity’s web property, they can delete it whenever they want to.
Hosted sites have done this before and they will do it again. You have no control over the fate of your blog. Think of it; hours spent researching and writing content could be gone within minutes.
As we stated in “10 Benefits of a Website for a Small Business”, a website is not an expense. It is an investment where you can expect a return within a period of time. Don’t hold back on your website by using free, downloadable templates.
Remember the old saying, “No such thing as a free meal”. What you save up in a few dollars and cents may cost you thousands of dollars worth of foregone opportunities. The website is your online business address. Don’t just live in it; own it!
With Mountaintop Web Design, you have nothing to worry about. Not only can we provide you with beautiful-looking and fully-functioning mobile responsive design, but we also offer web hosting services that will fit your business needs and budget.
Writing Your Blog
In addition to enhancing your reputation as an expert in your industry, generating traffic to your website and helping you move up the search rankings, there are other benefits to blogging:
- It sharpens up your writing skills; everyone has the ability to become a blogger. You just need to dedicate time in a day to write.
- You are able to articulate ideas better; when you blog, you want to make sure the average reader will understand your content. In a way, it forces you to simplify information without compromising its overall value.
- It’s a great way to firm up your knowledge on any topic; research is a must in blogging. Even if you are an expert on the topic, you should always conduct thorough and updated research before putting content in blog format.
- It improves your confidence; the saying “knowledge is power” holds true when it comes to blogging. As your proficiency in a topic improves, so will your level of confidence.
- Opens new doors for opportunity; many bloggers have been discovered by reputable online sites such as Forbes, TIME, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur. They’ve been offered the opportunity to write for these publications and promote their own websites as well.
But blogging takes tremendous time and effort. Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow considers writing for her website Goop her full-time job.
Including research and depending on the complexity of the topic plus its targeted length, it may take you anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to complete 1 blog. That is time best spent managing the core functions of your business.
While blogging has been proven to be an effective business- building strategy, it is not a core function but rather a specialized task. It requires a specific skill set and demands its own time.
Another option you should consider is to outsource your blogging to a professional writer.
Outsourcing is a process that started out as a way of helping businesses reduce costs. Instead of setting up a new department; accounting for example, a company would just outsource it to a third party.
Thus, the company did not have to pay salaries, employment benefits, rent, Internet bandwidth and the usual schedule of expenses that came with hiring full-time employees.
Other than reducing your costs, outsourcing content will also allow you to focus more time on the core functions of your business while being assured your blogs will be expertly- written, optimized and delivered on schedule.
We have a roster of talented writers all of whom can craft high-quality blogs for you. If you’ve read our articles on blogging, you can be assured we know our stuff!
What can you expect from our writers?
- Well- researched, fresh and original content.
- Blogs will pass Copyscape.
- Topics and titles that are relevant to your business.
- Blogs that are written in a conversational and engaging manner.
- Well- balanced, keyword- rich content.
- Timely delivery of blogs.
Your involvement would only cover 2 stages of the blogging process:
- Discussion on blog topics and titles – You are the expert when it comes to all matters related to your business. Let us know which areas of the business or the industry you want us to blog about. We can do keyword research to come up with suggested titles that your audience may be looking for.
- Review on submitted drafts – If you’ve heard interviews on Sir Richard Branson, you probably hear his voice when reading his blogs. The tone of his blogs capture the same personality you hear during interviews.
This is why we like to say the blog is your voice on the Internet. When we submit a draft for you, let us know if this is how you would talk to someone interested in your services.
We will make the necessary edits and revisions on the blog until you are confident that the content accurately captures your voice and ideas.
Because you own the blog, you will reap the expected benefits from it. You can monetize a blog through paid ads and product reviews. It is also possible that blog sites that have enjoyed your content would offer you a paid opportunity to write for them.
Keep in mind that the most successful bloggers in the world also employ other writers on their teams. They start out blogging but eventually outsource work as their business begins to gain traction.
Once you have given final approval of your blog, it would be time to publish it on your website. But that is not enough. Even with an optimized website, you still have to work on distributing content. This is where Digital Marketing comes in.
Digital Marketing is a process which utilizes a variety of tools, techniques and strategies for the purpose of generating more traffic to your website. Some people alternatively refer to Digital Marketing as Online Marketing or Inbound Marketing. Regardless of the terminology, it is about creating buzz that will entice enough people to seek out your content.
A Digital Marketing strategy typically uses the following processes:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Writing
- Link Building
- Online Advertising
Similar to blogging, Digital Marketing is a specialized task and demands its own time. The first step is to draw up a Digital Marketing campaign strategy. This is summarized like a “calendar of events”; it summarizes the list of activities that will be undertaken for a specific month.
|Blogging – Business Topics||Blogging – Business + Entrepreneurship||Blogging – Business + Special Interests|
|Trivia of the Day||Trivia of the Day||Online Quiz|
|Email Marketing – New Year Business Tips||Email Marketing – “How To” and List-type content||First E-Book|
|Network Building||Link Building||Stage 1: Podcast Planning|
Running a campaign presents its own set of challenges. In order to have a successful campaign, you have to be dedicated to the schedule. Planning a campaign is one thing. Implementing it is another.
Here is a shortlist of activities that you have to do when managing a Digital Marketing campaign:
- Create a schedule for the production and distribution of content to various social media networks.
- Review, edit and finalize all submitted content.
- Qualify all websites that should be targeted for guest blogging or link building opportunities.
- Regularly check all social media networks for engagement.
- Prepare customized invitations to connect for pre-qualified potential contacts.
- Conduct web analytics to evaluate the performance of the Digital Marketing campaign.
- Prepare, submit and discuss performance reports with the client.
Exhausting right? The good news is we can design, implement and oversee a Digital Marketing campaign for you. We have experienced Digital Marketers, SEO professionals, social media experts and as mentioned earlier, fantastic content writers in our team.
We can get this done for you while you focus on managing the key activities of your business.
So if you’re serious about launching a blog on your website, please drop us an email or better yet, give us a call. We can give you a more detailed presentation on the blogging process and how we can help your content generate traction on the Internet.