This is one of the best articles I’ve seen on blogging. Let me know what you think, and please share your blogging tips.
The following post is featured in SocialMediaToday, written by Stanford Smith.
Smart psychology types have discovered that we are hardwired to pay attention to three things:
1. Stuff that gives us pleasure
2. Stuff that causes pain
3. Stuff that is new
And it works brilliantly.
As a matter of fact, just knowing this little bit of psychology can help you predict the success of your next blog post.
Let’s give it a whirl.
Before you publish your next blog post, ask yourself:
Am I showing my readers how to enjoy something in their lives? Am I bringing a smile to their face? Can I give them a Eureka moment? Will my reader say that the 10 minutes spent with my blog post was fun?
A loud “Yes” means that you are cooking.
On the other hand…
Does your post warn your readers away from something that will harm them? Are you preventing humiliation, heartbreak, emotional or physical trauma? Will your readers thank you for saving them years of hassle and aggravation?
Yes = Success. By the way, most people avoid pain like my son avoids cauliflower. So pain posts are diabolically effective.
Does your post shock or fascinate?
Can you make even the savviest guru stop and notice? Does your post bring down enlightenment chiseled into stone? Or does your prose at least induce a daydream of possibilities?
Don’t worry if you haven’t written one of these 1,000 retweet sizzlers.
These posts are incredibly hard to pull off. Some folks (looking at Seth Godin) can wake up and reinvent sunshine every morning. Mere mortals get a bolt out of the blue, crash the car, and tap out their post one key at a time on their CrackBerry. The tough part is that if you write this post, you are better off giving it away (but that’s another post).
How to Make These 3 Attention-Getters Work for Your Post
Your readers are on the prowl for your information. Make sure you let them know early and often that you know how to deliver it. Do this and your post will get read – guaranteed.
Some quick pointers for the hands-on bunch:
1. List your readers’ most common pain points. Moms have no time for themselves. Dads worry about sacrificing too much. Business owners worry about going bankrupt.
2. Make another list of the stuff that makes your reader smile. Moms love when their children listen. Dads enjoy time teaching their kids what they know. Business owners dream of not worrying about payroll.
3. Put the benefit – avoiding pain or getting pleasure – right in the headline. For example:
“Moms! Here’s a Proven Way to Stop Your Children from Crying at Bedtime”
4. Build your entire post around driving home your point. Be relentless – don’t let your reader off the mat until they have received their full dose of caution or pleasure.
5. When all else fails, just shock the living hell out of your readers with a statement or perspective that challenges their beliefs and up-ends their view of the world.
Make sense? Tell me how you plan to put this to work in your next post.
About Stanford SmithStanford teaches passionate people how to lead spectacular and influential tribes at http://www.PushingSocial.com – Follow him on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/pushingsocial
This is a really helpful article on creative ways to engage your customers with your blog. Let me know what you think.
The following article is written by Mike Michalowicz, Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and is featured in the American Express Forum.
You know that starting a blog for your business is a good idea. Business blogs—done right—are a great way to drive traffic to your website, establish yourself as an expert in the field, and even build a rapport with your customers. But just starting a blog is not good enough.
Blogging Visibility. In order for you to gain all those benefits, and more, from your blog, you must make sure it gets noticed. There are millions of businesses with blogs out there, but nobody really knows about them. If you aren’t going to take steps to get your blog noticed, spare yourself the time and investment of setting up and running one.
Did I mention that getting one noticed is not all that difficult? It’s true. It will require that you be a little more proactive than just writing a few posts and hitting the publish key. There are many things you can do to help get your blog noticed in a cyberspace filled with business blogs, some that may be covering the same topics as yours.
Here are 10 things you can do with your blog to help get it noticed and keep people reading:
1. Make it personal. The last thing people want is to read a boring post that lacks personality.
2. Stand for something that is unique.
3. On the other end, try standing for something that has an enemy or is against something. Another business is okay, but it is probably better if it is an outdated philosophy.
4. Don’t let the blog get stale. Blogs have a shelf life, and you need to keep it fresh. If the content is stale, people will not come back.
5. Pick a niche, which ideally would be something related to your business or to the audience you are trying to reach, and then become an expert on the topic.
6. Get to know your readers and make blogging a two-way street. You can do this by asking your readers questions, allowing comments, and responding to those comments.
7. People love to read facts, so try to include some, as well as practical advice and useful tips that they can use. If you can offer them something they can use, they will be back, as well as most likely sharing it with others.
8. Give people something to think about. If they read your post and then move on without giving it a second thought, you haven’t done the job right. Write about something that will get them thinking, doing things differently, etc.
9. Write something that is so good, helpful, or controversial that people feel as if they have to share it with others, once they are done reading.
10. Let the reader see you, by adding a picture or “about” page, and let them get to know you personally.
The More They Know. When it comes to blogging, it’s often said that the more they know, the more your blog will grow. People don’t want to read something that is cold, impersonal or boring. Even when it is a business blog, they want to get to know the person and their personality, so they can feel like they are sitting across from you at Starbucks, having one of those fancy drinks.
Creating a business blog can be a smart marketing tactic, but only if you are willing to do what it takes to get it noticed and to keep people reading. If you don’t, your blog will become just another Technorati statistic, and that won’t do much to boost your bottom line.
Using blogs to market your small business can help you raise awareness of your brand, attract new customers, get media attention and drive sales. Here’s how to market your business with blogs, according to SCORE, an organization that supports and mentors Small Business owners.
Before getting started, decide what you want to achieve with your blog. Do you want to become known as an expert in your industry? Do you want to get attention from the media? Do you want your website to rank higher in search results? Do you want to attract more customers to your website? Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you determine what to blog about.
Choose Your Platform
The three most popular blogging software tools are WordPress, TypePad and Movable Type. Because they offer a range of pre-designed templates and tools, all three are fairly simple to use even if you’re not a tech expert. Your blog can integrate with an existing website if you already have one, or stand alone if you don’t.
Posting new content regularly is what attracts search engines to your site or blog, so plan to add at least one new blog post (i.e., article) per week. The more frequently you can post, the better. Most experts recommend posting at least three times a week.
Keep your posts short (300 to 500 words is generally a good length), as Internet readers have short attention spans. Use numbered lists, bullet points and short paragraphs so busy readers can quickly scan the information in your posts.
If writing several times a week is too much for you to handle, enlist some of your employees to blog as well. You can also outsource your blog duties to a freelance writer. Elance.com, Freelancer.com and Guru.com are three good sources for finding freelancers.
What should you blog about? The potential topics are almost unlimited, but here are a few ideas:
Your opinion about a current trend affecting your business
Tips and advice to help your readers
News about your business (new product launches, expansions, etc.)
Report back from a conference or event you attended
Interview with a key client or industry expert
An event at your business
Guest posts from owners of complementary businesses
Read other blogs in your industry to get ideas for topics and see what you like (and dislike). Alltop.com (www.alltop.com) is a directory you can use to search the most popular blogs in a wide range of topic categories.
Be sure the information you write about is legitimately useful to your readers. A blog that is too promotional will not hold readers’ attention or attract visitors for long.
Spread the Word
Promote your blog everywhere you can. Include the URL on your business cards and other marketing materials and in your email signature.
Also get to know other business bloggers in your industry. Visit their blogs and comment on posts. By doing so, you’ll build up connections that will help get your blog noticed and build your reputation as an industry expert.
A SCORE Mentor can help you complete this exercise and determine your next steps. SCORE has over 13,000 successful and experienced executives with small business know-how who want to help you. Find a Mentor at www.ebusinessnow.org
Blogging is the process of electonically sharing your thoughts and expertise on just about any subject. Blogs also allow visitors to comment on posts, making it a mutually beneficial tool.
Many also use blogs in an attempt to improve search engine ranking. This can, however, work against a websites generic placement by saturating the website content to the point where there is no distinction as to what content should receive the most emphasis.
For instance if you leave a blog unattented and allow visitors to post comments as they please, then it is very possible that visitors can add content that will dilute your website content. Additionally a blog that is not regularly updated can quickly become outdated and boring.
You can manage a successful blog by spending time each day writing content and monitoring posts. It is usually best to not automatically approve posts, but manually review each post before allowing it on your website. For this reason, a properly run blog will require daily maintenance.
Anyone can start a blog for free. It is not necessary to place blog content on your business website, as you can simply link to it from your website.
I personally use http://wordpress.com for all of my business blogs.
For businesses that do not have time to create an effective blog, Masterful Social Media can help. Give us a call today at 913-558-6024.