How to Create a Business Blog (Even If You Hate to Write)

Image courtesy Againstar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy Againstar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Not everyone is a natural writer. Perhaps the gift of prose is not in your basket of talents; or you simply don’t have the time or the patience to keep up with a blog for your business. But these days, if you want to build a successful brand, creating valuable content has to be an important part of your marketing strategy.

If you ask many business owners, they feel the same way that you do: blogging is a necessary evil. Content marketing has proven to be a valuable part of any business’ marketing plan for many years and it will continue to be because today’s consumers are taking in a high volume of content online. That includes blog posts.

So, knowing that you need to maintain a well-written blog for your business, but still hating the whole blogging process, what do you do?

Here is what you do:

Hire a ghostwriter

It sounds like something only celebrities do to get their life stories onto bookshelves, but hiring a ghostwriter is what many businesses have started doing to get quality content for their blogs and web pages.

You can find writers for hire through many freelance websites or search for someone who specializes in writing on your specified topic.

The most important factor in hiring a ghostwriter is to find someone who can capture your own tone and voice. This is someone who has to represent your brand in a writing style that is appropriate for you.

Check their writing samples and speak with previous clients about the quality of the writing they have done. Anyone can say that they are a writer on the Internet, but it takes the right kind of person to create content for your brand.

Share content from others

This does not mean copy-and-pasting another blogger’s posts into your own blog. Instead, what you can do is find content that is available for reposting. You can find blogs and articles that cover topics that relate to your business all over.

Find a way to contact the author and ask if you could repost the content to your own blog, giving them appropriate credit, of course. Many will be happy to have the content they worked hard on shared with another audience.

If you don’t want to repost the entire article, you can also write a short synopsis of the article and link back to the original blog post. Just remember to always give credit when you are referring to or reposting another writer’s content.

Conduct interviews

Some of the simplest, yet highly-read, blog posts are Q&A posts where a person is interviewed. You can interview important people in your industry. Reach out to them and let them know that you are interested in interviewing them and why.

Have a questionnaire ready that you can fill out for each interviewee ready to make it quick and easy.

Podcasts and Vlogs

If you are more of a talker than a writer, you could record podcasts instead of writing blog posts. You could record interviews, talk about product tips, or give an industry news report.

Another option is to record videos to post on your blog. You can demonstrate products; give a behind-the-scenes look into your business. If you write a fitness blog, record yourself demonstrating some exercises. If you have a food blog, prepare a recipe on camera.

When you’re not a writer, it is hard to be an enthusiastic blogger. That doesn’t have to stop you from creating a fantastic blog that will help your brand grow. Try any of these tactics to generate great content for your business blog.

Have you considered outsourcing your blog writing?

What do I Write About in my Article Marketing Efforts?

Anything you are passionate and knowledgeable about!

If you use article marketing to market your business, then you’ve probably struggled with this question on a daily basis.

It’s really not as hard as you may think.

We know without a doubt that article marketing is a great way for bloggers to build up a large number of targeted readers for almost no cost.

One thing that may keep you from jumping right in and cranking out articles to submit to directories is the question of what you should write about.

Just remember that writing articles is no different from writing your blog posts. They should be close to 500 words, which is about the length of most blog posts.

When you sit down to start brainstorming article topics, keep these tips in mind:

Write about what you know.

The point of writing articles is to encourage readers see you as an expert in your specialized area. When they have a question about a topic you focus on, you want yours to be the blog they go to for answers.

Find a topic you are passionate and comfortable with and do plenty of research, and then write articles that are informative and helpful. Since your blog also focuses on a topic you are knowledgeable about, this should be easy.

Find topics of interest.

When writing an article, just like a blog post, write for your target audience.

If you are writing a blog for work-from-home moms, then make sure you are writing articles specifically targeted to that demographic. The goal is to have more targeted traffic results.

Don’t choose to write an article on shopping for the latest fishing gear if you don’t have a blog for those avid fishermen. (Unless those fishermen are also interested in tips for potty training around a work schedule!)

You want your readers to like what they read in the article and click through to your blog for more information.

Make sure your articles are keyword-rich.

Another great thing about writing articles is the potential traffic from search engine results.

With the larger article directories, content is indexed by search engine spiders fairly quickly. So, if you have titles and articles that include relevant keywords and phrases, you will see an increase in your search engine ranking. That means, more people finding their way to your articles and then your blog!

As you start to write articles, remember that you are writing for people- not search engines!

Do your blog articles show off a bit of your wit and sparkle? Then your articles should do the same. You want to sound smart and professional, but you don’t want to come across as a know-it-all who will look down on others. You want each article to have a natural flow that leads the reader to click on your link and follow along to your blog.

Write quality content that is easy to read. Most readers will only skim through content so break it up with white space, sub headers and bullet lists. They want answers fast so don’t drag it out.

If you are passionate about the topic you write on, the readers will feel it in your articles. Any time you get an idea for a new article topic, write it down! Keep a journal of possible topics and then, whenever you feel at a loss of what to write about, you have a whole list to look over and choose from!

Have you started article marketing to increase your blog readership? Have you been hitting roadblocks in your writing? What topics do you feel the most confident about with your writing? Let us know!

Why Article Marketing?

Because, it works!

When I started my article marketing and ghostwriting business in 2006, I was at a loss as to what types of marketing to invest and participate in.

With absolutely no money, (you know how it is when you are just getting started), I decided to learn everything I could about article marketing. I mean, I loved to write, so why not put this skill set to use as well?

With my mission in mind, I started researching, compiling information, studying, learning, asking questions to others in forums and blog posts, anything and everything about SEO, content ideas and locating the best distribution sites for my articles.

From there, I went on to teach myself all the ins and outs of this highly effective marketing tactic.

There are many, valuable reasons to use article marketing in your marketing campaign. It has helped me to achieve high-rankings in Google search results. It will help you do the same. The more visibility you have, the more sales you’ll get.

No matter what type of blogger or business owner you are, you want to have a strong readership. You can be writing about cooking, sports, movies, books or family life, but without fans, you’ll pretty much be writing for yourself. Driving traffic to your site will ensure that you have a broad fan base that will be eager to read each of your posts. Article marketing is one of the best ways to drive your targeted audience to your blog.

With article marketing, you will create small articles that you can distribute to various article directories, which will give you some quality backlinks to your own blog or website. The best thing is that most of these directories are free to publish your articles!

You might think it’s strange to offer your words of wisdom for nothing, but the benefits of article marketing are well worth the effort!

Attain Expert Status

An important part of being a blogger is becoming an expert in your market. If you can say, “I have 30 published articles about dog training,” more people are going to see you as a professional in that area. Readers have more trust in someone who they think is an expert. When people start to look to you for advice, then you can start building a wider audience.

Get a Stamp of Approval

Having articles on a well-established article directory, like EzineArticles.com, can act as an unofficial recommendation. This will boost your reputation as a writer and draw more readers to your blog or website.

Link Up

Anytime you publish an article on a directory, you will get a link back to your website or blog. Those links can help you rank higher in search engine results. The better you rank on search results pages like Google or Yahoo!, the higher number of organic traffic that comes to your page.

Because there are so many free or cheap options for distributing your content for article marketing, it is one of the most cost-effective methods for gaining publicity for your blog or website.

Before you get started on an article marketing project, it’s important that you have a specific goal in mind. You need to know exactly what you hope to accomplish by writing those articles. Do you want to get more readers for your blog? Do you want to increase sales? Drum up more clients? When you write with these goals in mind, they will be much easier for you to achieve.

It doesn’t matter what you blog about or how long you’ve been writing; article marketing is an excellent and affordable way to drive more traffic to your website and increase your readership numbers.

Take it from someone who knows!

What is your experience with article marketing? Share with us your problems or success stories.

The BIG SEO Secret for Bloggers

What blogger doesn’t want to see his or her blog listed right there on the coveted first page of Google’s search results? Is there a secret trick, some magic spell that can get you there? Many of us have spent hours in endless searching, scouring other blogs and forums for tips on getting our blog to the top of the search results page.

Here, pro blogger Dr. Adam Stetzer will reveal the key to getting your blog noticed. It’s not a magic spell, it’s just good old-fashioned work!

The BIG SEO Secret for Bloggers

I talk to bloggers just about every day. For a while last year my blogging blog was on page 1 for the Google search “blogging”, though we are now on page 3. With this type of exposure comes some crazy organic traffic. In fact, over 39,000 bloggers have registered with my blog since I opened it in 2007. With each passing year I am continually amazed by just how many bloggers are convinced that there is a BIG SEO secret out there. The conversations seem to follow a familiar pattern. It goes something like this.

Blogger: “Hi Adam, how can I get to page 1 in Google?”

Adam: “It’s a TON of hard work, very incremental, takes a long time and requires some really good content and some awesome backlinks.”

Blogger: “Thanks, I’ve heard all that before, so tell me REALLY how to get to page 1 now.”

They are convinced there is an SEO secret that I won’t tell them. These bloggers feel that if they could just discover the piece of knowledge they don’t have, they will be richly rewarded with huge rankings, traffic and money. They just know it. Since this sentiment is so prevalent, I’ve made it my mission to try to set the record straight with the truth about SEO. And the truth is: The big SEO secret is that there is no SEO secret.

The BIG SEO blogging secret: There is no secret

This is the point in the blog post where I lose most readers. Due to the very phenomena described above, most readers will leave this blog post and continue their frantic search for the secret blogging SEO secret that will instantly solve their problems.

For the 5% of readers who are still with me; Congratulations! You have finally graduated from the masses of mediocrity and are ready to start your journey to success with SEO and blogging. And this was a big step. If you jump over this hurdle, you are mentally ready for the challenge ahead. And most importantly you’ve figured out that you are wasting valuable time searching for an answer that you probably already know.

The second big SEO secret for bloggers: The time you waste searching for SEO tips could have you on page 1 already.

How many forums do you read? How many blog posts do you follow? Make a mental calculation of all the time you spend on “TIP searching” activities and let’s do a little exercise. For the next month, every time you feel the urge to search for blogging or SEO tips you instead actually sit down and work. If you did this, how much extra time will you have? My guess is a fair amount. If you take that time and split it 40% toward creating awesome content and 60% promoting your blog, you will be very pleased with the results.

Again, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. And feel free to argue with my percentages. Perhaps you feel it’s 30% / 70% or 50% / 50% – whatever. The point is that you have moved from the unproductive place of self-doubt and answer-searching to the very productive activity of DOING. And DOING is where the success lies.

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Thomas Edison said these great words more than 100 years ago. And I think they apply as much to SEO, blogging and the Internet as they did to his endeavor to invent the light bulb.

While great ideas are required once in a while to jump-start a project (such as a new blog or to find new SEO keywords to go after), the idea-generation needs to be outweighed by a ratio of 99:1 with work. Plain, simple, non-sexy, work. It’s hard. It’s monotonous. It doesn’t sell tabloids. But hard work is still at the heart of why your website or blog is not on page 1 in Google.

And at the risk of becoming a marginalized motivational blogger, I urge you to stop reading, reflect on what you already know about SEO, and think about how you can get more done with the time you already apply to your blog. You already know about keyword selection.

You already know about title tags and keyword density. You already know about Google Adwords search volume estimates. You certainly know about backlinks, guest blog posts and building relationships. And you’ve had the importance of high-quality content pounded into your brain. So there you have it. The leading SEO tips for bloggers were already in your head. So get to it.

About the Author: Dr. Adam Stetzer has a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology, which includes the study of motivation, job satisfaction and performance at work. He has published in many nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed, journals and maintains his own personal blogging blog. He is also the president of HubShout, an SEO reseller company with industry-leading SEO software. He has been active in the technology field for over 15 years working with large companies such as General Electric, Verizon, Ford, ChevronTexaco, and PepsiCola. Blogging blog link: http://blogskinny.com/ SEO reseller link: http://hubshout.com/

9 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Article Writer for Your Specific Content Needs

Article writing, ghost writing, freelance writing and blogging are all very time consuming tasks associated with running any type of business.  Good article writers and bloggers are in high demand and can create the much needed content you are seeking.

Good news…there is a solution that will give you back the time you deserve and need for those precious and enjoyable moments in life.  Outsource your article writing and content blogging to a professional and experienced freelance writer.

How do you choose a writer and one that is perfect for your content needs?  Read on for some helpful tips.

1.  Prepare a set of interview questions.

Be prepared on your end as well.  Have a particular and specific set of questions you’d like to ask your potential writer.  Have you ever written “xyz” content?  What is your turnaround time on articles or blog posts?  What areas or topics are you experienced with?  You will need as many details as possible to determine the perfect writer for you and your business.

2. Speak with your potential writer directly.

Arrange a meeting to discuss some of the details over the phone.  Get a feel for their personality, demeanor, attitude and professionalism.  Do they listen without interruption, (listening skills are paramount)?  It’s the little things that make a real difference.

3.  Make sure the content produced is original and unique.

You want and need original information created just for you within your specific guidelines.  Do not hire someone that cannot produce 100% original content.  You want to be sure that your article is the only one like it and that there is no duplication whatsoever.  This could hurt your search engine ranking if you do not have original and unique, written just for you information.

4.  Do you know how to optimize articles?

Most businesses have a set of keywords based around their products or services.  It is critical that your content be SEO optimized with your specific keywords in order to rank in the search engines.  You’ll need to supply those keywords to your writer and then they need to know how to work those into that content seamlessly.

5.  Ask for samples of their work.

You may choose to ask for samples of work they have previously written, or have them create a short 200 to 300 word article specifically for you.  Keep in mind if you have them draft an article for you with your guidelines and you like and want to keep that particular article, be prepared to pay for it.  Did they follow instructions in detail?

6.   Ask for references.

Get references from people they have written for in the past.  Did they provide specifically what you asked for?  Did they meet all deadlines?  Would you rehire them?  What sort of results did you obtain from using their writing services?

7.  What is their writing style?

If your brand requires that someone portray a hip, fresh, laid back style, then make sure your content matches that strategy.  If your brand is more conservative or technical, then that will require a different voice as well.  Find the voice that matches your branding strategy.  You want a writer that can get to know you and what you care about, someone that can learn and understand your market and be able to bounce ideas off of.

8.  Copyright or no Copyright?

Most writers will keep the rights of the content and you are then limited with where you can publish and the amount of times you can publish that content.  If you are interested in keeping the copyright to your content, then find a writer willing to give you the rights.  In these cases, I have seen where this might cost a bit more to do; however, it is worth it in the long run.

9.  What are their rates?

There are many ways writers charge and you need to know which one will fit your business the best.  Do they charge by the word or page?  While there are article writers that charge a very low price for their articles, be very careful of this.  This could be content already previously written or content they have plagiarized.  Remember, you want original and unique content well written.   One other thing to consider is whether or not they are native English writers.  This is very important as well when it comes to proper sentence structuring, proofreading, grammar and ease of reading.

There you have some helpful tips in finding your perfect article writer.  Look for someone with patience and a strong desire to understand your business, your brand and details of your product or service.  Choose someone who will not give up easily when things don’t go well.  Writing is hard work and it takes diligence, patience, understanding and communication to get the results you are seeking.

What are some of your guidelines in choosing a writer?

You’ve made it this far, please leave a comment.  I don’t like to talk to myself all the time…LOL.