Your website is your online brochure. It is that specific piece of information that fills the prospective client in about who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. It is the who, what, where, when, why and how, behind your business. Bizjournals.com states that, “As of 2010, D&B estimates, there were about 23 million small businesses in the United States.” Less than half of those companies have websites. That’s means that those business’ are missing out on one of the greatest marketing outlets available to get the work out about their business.
So what should be in a blog?
Blogs help with getting your website, and ultimately, your business noticed. Content will always be necessary, regardless how the media is displayed. A blog is forum to stimulate discussion, to share information, and provoke questions. It is an opportunity show your expertise in a short article. Simply sharing helpful hints stir up discussion and eliminate potential dilemmas your prospective client may face. One of my favorite blogs is published by Daily Finance entitled The Savings Experiment. This blog shows about products, services, purchasing habits, etc. Analysts behind the blog share what is least expensive to use or what the least expensive approach would be. For example, cooking in a stove versus a microwave or a toaster oven.
A good blog should:
- Be informational, showing your readers that you care enough about their potential needs that you want to help.
- Be accurate. Too much propaganda and too many e-rumors float around the internet. Before publishing any piece of information, research it and validate it. Remember you want to come across as the expert in your industry.
- Be relevant regarding services or products you offer, or the message and call to action you are trying to convey. Make sure your content is current and not outdated.
- Be interactive allowing for relationship building.
- Be personable, as in represent your personality. For example, if you are a financial planner, you want something more formal and professional; yet, a tattoo artist can get away with a more, well let’s just say, relaxed presentation.
- Be short and sweet. Have enough words, around 800 words, to gain SEO ranking.
- Be easy to read and simple to understand. Write using short paragraphs and bullet content.
- Contain keywords for search engine recognition, such as Google, Bing, Ask, and others.
- Be visual, with at least two pictures or some type of graphics.
- Have a consistent page layout.
- Be published on a regular basis, usually weekly.
I should mention that blogs are not limited to characters on a computerized page. Also, blogs can be in video format as well.
YouTube.com is the third largest blogging medium on the worldwide web today, putting words into visual demonstration. A blogger’s dream is for their content to go viral; however, my humble opinion is that you never want to put content out on the web at the price of someone’s safety or reputation, unless you have their consent. I also don’t recommend doing anything dangerous.
When video blogging, you want to include the same principles mentioned above that would apply, as well as these best practices listed below:
- Make sure that people can see clearly what you are presenting or demonstrating. Have bright enough lighting above you, so that silhouettes and shadowing is not an issue. For example, if you are showing someone how to replace a computer keyboard, move your hands aside and use a pointed object, of contrast color, to show what part you are working with. Try to zoom in to objects to show details.
- Make sure that sound quality is loud, clear, and easy to listen to. Allow for room to adjust volume. If you are recording outside, make sure you have a microphone to adequately pick up voices and sound.
- Speaking of sound, filter out distracting noises, such as cars going by, a telephone ringing, or children laughing, or any distortions.
- Open the video introducing yourself and your website, thank them for watching today, and clearly state what your goal is behind the video.
- Close the video with a solid conclusive sentence, a thank you for watching, and reference how they can find you @ your domain name.
- When narrating make every attempt to sound and look natural. Speak clearly and slowly. A script is okay, but rehearse it a few times until you are completely comfortable with your presentation. Make sure that you avoid “um” “er” or “ah” or other filler terms during points of hesitation. My thoughts are, if it isn’t natural, peoople will not perceive that you know the subject.
- Write and post a short narrative about the purpose of the video.
These are only two types of blogs that can help increase your website’s traffic.
Social media is going to be around for a long time. The need for social content today, is as vital as an encyclopedia was during the twentieth century. The question is how to communicate the information. In fact, I am more convinced than ever that it will connect and impact our daily lives beyond what we can imagine. I am also convinced that multi-media of the future will continue to knock our socks off. I believe visual media will eventually be so intricately woven in to our average day, so much so, that everything we touch may convey some type of message or communication. Imagine the average everyday appliance, tabletop, bathroom mirror, or wall being transformed into a communication tool. If you can’t, than just check out Corning’s video series entitled “A Day Made of Glass”. Before this video, I could not even imagine the possibilities that could convey your message. It will be exciting to find out, won’t it?
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