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?

How to Drive Your Business With an eBook

Image credit elec-sellEvery business has at least a dozen stories to tell. Today, sharing those stories through an eBook format with your audience goes a long way in driving business. Using eBooks as a marketing vehicle is a hugely underutilized tool that so many businesses are missing out on.

Building your brand in the age of social media is all about engaging with your customer. They want to interact with your business on Facebook, follow your tweets on Twitter and see the images you share on Instagram.

Offering your customers free content created just for them is another way to forge a deeper connection. An eBook is a simple way to put out valuable content to your audience and it costs you little more than the time it takes to create.

Since so few businesses have begun to utilize this form of content, you can give yourself an edge over competitors when you offer your first one. Writing an eBook will show you as an expert in the industry. By giving more value to your audience, you are building their trust in you as well.

Writing an eBook lets you:

  • Tell the story of your business
  • Share your victories, big and small
  • Reward your audience

The great thing about an eBook is that it has a lot of flexibility. It can be just 50 pages or as many as 1,000. Whatever you need to tell the story.

It can include audio clips, videos, charts and images.

You can have an eBook published yourself without having to go through a publisher. Amazon has made the process so much simpler.

You can create the eBook either in an eReader format or simply as a PDF. As a PDF, your book will be easy to add to your website or blog and they will be easy to print as well.

When writing an eBook for your business, there are three rules:

1. Write what you know

This is true in all forms of writing. This is a chance to share your knowledge. Your audience wants information that relates to your business and industry and an eBook is your chance to give it to them.

You can write a how-to guide, share your own recipe for success, put together a cook book, a buyers’ guide, or even a collection of frequently asked questions along with the answers.

The possibilities of the type of content you can share with your audience through this format are endless.

2. Don’t just publish one

Get into the habit of releasing new eBooks as a part of your marketing strategy. If your audience is happy with the first one, keep their interest by offering something new on a regular basis.

3. Make them free

An eBook is a great way to score low-cost advertising. It can be downloaded and shared thousands of times and help connect your business to a lot of potential customers as well as strengthen the relationship you have with current ones.

You can offer a free eBook as incentive to sign up for your email list, purchasing one of your products or services, or signing up for your upcoming webinar. People love the word “free” and they will be more likely to return to your website in the future when you offer them something for nothing.

Think of all the knowledge you have gained since starting your business. Sharing what you know with your audience is one of the best ways to market your business and strengthen your brand. An eBook is one of the simplest and most effective ways to build your notoriety and become an expert in your industry.

Have you considered writing an eBook as part of your marketing strategy?

Do You Know How to Choose the Best-Selling E-Book Topics?

Choosing an e-book topic that will sell well is a lot like choosing the best wave to ride. You want to find the one that is on its way up. Like most things, e-book topics follow trends. One month, the topic of dog training secrets will be all the rage. The next, its clean eating tips.

If you want to be successful with your e-books, you need to stay on top of the rising trends. The idea is to find out what people are talking about, what information they are searching for right now instead of taking a few guesses at what they might like.

There are several tactics that you can use when you start to research popular e-book topics:

Clickbank

One of the best places to find e-book ideas is on Clickbank, one of the most popular places to find e-books. You can look at what topics are trending at the moment and what ones are on the rise.

To make the search even simpler, use a site like cbengine.com. CB Engine collects data from Clickbank, making it easy to find what topics are growing in popularity.

To use CB Engine, click on “CB Best Gain” in the left column. This will show you the products that have moved up in the rankings on Clickbank. You can choose your search criteria based on momentum, popularity, moving up and moving steady, and those that have big payouts.

Click on a product to go to its data page and review the vital statistics.

Using this information can help you stay on top of trends that are on the rise before the market becomes saturated with e-books. Keep an eye on topics that are jumping higher on the charts to take advantage of growing opportunities.

Do Your Keyword Research

Keyword research is a fantastic way to find popular topics for e-books. You start by writing down a few of your own topic ideas. For example, if you are interested in writing about gardening, you could list ideas like:

  • First-time gardening
  • Gardening when you don’t have the space for a garden
  • Container gardening
  • Organic gardening

And so on.

Write down as many ideas as you can based on your chosen niche topic. Use a keyword tool, like the one for Google AdWords. Type in your ideas, one at a time, and see the results.

The Keyword tool will show you how many people are searching for that keyword phrase (or something similar) every month. You will be able to see how popular those search terms are as well as how high the competition is for them.

Choosing keywords that have too much competition could mean that your e-book would get lost in the crowd. Look for keywords that have a high number of searches but with less competition.

Repeat this process with all of your search phrases so that you can get a clear picture of how well each niche topic will do for you before you invest more time and research into it.

Search the Kindle Book Store

The Amazon Kindle Store is one of the most popular places to find e-books on virtually any subject. You can use the site’s lists of Top 100 books to see what is trending right now.

You will see how long a book has been on the Top 100 list, whether it is moving up the list or moving down. You can also break this down according to category to see what is trending in your specific niche.

Look at Forums

Internet forums are a great place to go when you are looking for topics that people want to know about. People will typically go onto a niche forum to post a specific question about something they need to know.

For example, on a gardening forum, you might see several people posting questions about how to deal with garden pests without harmful chemicals. With that information, you know that there are people looking for more information to help resolve this common problem so it is probably a good topic for an e-book.

E-books have grown in popularity over the last decade. Many people turn to them for quick information about a variety of topics. This is an area that you can focus on when you want to create valuable content.

Are you considering writing e-books? How do you brainstorm ideas for topics?

Do You Know the 5 Ways to Get More Web Traffic Now?

To be successful online, whether it is for your ghostwriting site, e-commerce site or your blog, you need to have a healthy flow of web traffic. When you have more visitors, you will increase your chances of making sales and boosting your profits. After you’ve researched and settled on your niche and supporting keywords, you can use these five tips in order to start seeing an increase in web traffic quickly.

Tag Your Keywords

If you spend any amount of time making sure that your content is optimized for search engines, then you need to remember to tag your keywords. Tags are where search bots look for keywords that match search queries. If you have no tags then your site will be overlooked.

Tags you need to focus on include:

  • Title tags: These are probably the main tags to focus your keywords on. The sentence used in the title tag should describe your business or blog in 90 characters or less.
  • Header tags: These are the next in line of importance. This is where you rank your keywords in their order of importance.
  • Meta tags: These tags give the small piece of text that is found beneath title tags on a search results page. These are typically short, about 150 characters, and should give enough information to encourage a user to click through to your site.
  • Alt tags: These tags are used to add description text for graphics. Any graphics or images on your site should have a description in an alt tag.

Keep Content Fresh

If you want to keep visitors coming back to your site or blog, it is essential for you to always have new and fresh content. Search engine bots look through a site’s content in order to set page rank. Try to add new content each day in order to keep things current and improve your ranking. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write as often as you need to, consider hiring a ghostwriter to do the writing for you.

Get More Incoming Links

If you have high-ranking websites linking to your web pages, the search engines will see your site as having more value. Not all links are given the same value. Links from websites that are credible and popular as well as relevant to your site will give you more value.

The two types of links are a text link, which uses anchor text to embed your web address into the content, and a direct link, which is the web address written out as is. A deep link is one that links to a page further inside a site instead of the homepage.

To encourage more sites to link to your pages, submit article to directories, add content to your site, participate in social networking sites and forums, blog and publish press releases.

Use Social Media

Today’s Internet is all about interaction and engagement. Social networking is an excellent way to help generate more traffic to your site or blog. You can keep an active presence on sites like Facebook or Twitter to interact with readers and customers. Create a profile, post updates and leave comments and links to your own site. Get involved and start conversations. Social media is a great way to help locate a much more targeted audience.

Advertise

Advertising doesn’t have to take too big of a chunk out of your budget. Most businesses rely on PPC advertising since it allows them to keep a tight control over their daily budget. You can also track results to see what is working best and bringing you the most traffic.

Planning your goals and strategy is an important part of being successful online. Spend time working out your own roadmap, taking these tips into consideration, and you will quickly see some impressive results on your traffic and profits.

How are you working on building up your web traffic? What has given you the best results?

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 4 Best Tips for Marketing Your New or Existing Business

Marketing a business, no matter if it’s new or has been kicking around for years, takes a fair amount of creativity. It takes a lot more than just designing a website in a day and submitting it to as many spam directories as you can find. If you want to increase your traffic and find people who are genuinely interested in the product or service you are offering, then you need a unique marketing strategy. The right strategy will get your website noticed by tons of targeted traffic each day.

These are four of the best tips to remember when you begin formulating your own marketing strategy for your business:

Write articles that go viral.

Writing an article that follows all of the SEO guidelines you can squeeze into it is an easy task. Writing an article that your readers actually want to share and pass along to all their friends is a whole different ball game. Get creative. Be conversational and entertaining. Write your article for the readers and not just for the search engine spiders. The readers are what really matters in the end. If you feed them a stuffy article that puts them to sleep, then your content isn’t going to get you very far.

Encourage interaction with readers.

You want your potential customers to know that there is, in fact, a person behind the website. Encouraging them to interact with you on the website is an excellent way to create a bond between your business and the customer. Get them to respond to your blog posts with comments (and be sure to respond in kind!). Interact with them on a forum or on social media sites.

Give them honesty and they will reward you with loyalty.

You don’t want to give your website’s visitors any reason to be disappointed. Instead of blowing their heads full of false expectations, give them honest answers. You want your customers to be realistic when they sign up for your offer or buy your product. If you can’t absolutely guarantee that their hair will be lush and luxurious in a month, then don’t promise it. This is a fast way to lose the respect- and repeat business- of your customers. Be honest and give them the facts and your customers will keep coming back.

Give, give, give.

Everyone, customers especially, love free stuff. If you have things to give away with a purchase, throw it in the box. If you have an eBook that you can offer for free when someone signs up on your website, hand it over. Give your customers a coupon towards their next purchase and that just increases the chance that they will come back again and again. When you go that extra mile to make your customers feel valued, they will become long-standing customers and spread the word to everyone who will listen.

Remember, having a successful marketing strategy can make a big difference in the sales figures for your business. Without a creative approach to marketing, you’ll be waiting around for customers to come, which will just lead to disappointment.

What marketing strategies have you implemented in your business? What is the most effective tip you have learned? Let us know!

Three Steps to Improving Your Article Marketing Efforts

When you are using article marketing for your business, it is easy to become frustrated quickly. You may not be reaching goals you had set and that can leave you feeling disappointed with your plan. That doesn’t mean you should wave the white flag and give in! In order to cross the line from failure to success in article marketing, you need to have a plan.

To improve your marketing strategy, there are three important steps you need to take:

Step 1: Figure out Your Message

What are you trying to tell customers? They are looking for solutions to their problems. They have a need and want to know if you are going to fulfill it. Review each of your products or services and write out why the customer needs it. When you have a clear understanding of why someone needs to buy your product, then you will have an easier time explaining it to them. Customers want you to answer their questions so they can be confident you are the person to go to when they need something.

Step 2: Know How to Get Your Point Across- Quickly!

A lot of studies show that the average Internet user will only stay on a website between thirty seconds and one minute. That doesn’t give you very much time to grab their attention and convince them to buy your product. There is likely a lot of competition out there for the products or services you offer so you need to make yourself stand out right away. It will help by having headlines that will get the attention of readers while using your keywords.

Don’t be afraid to be entertaining! Your content doesn’t have to sound stuffy and dull. Make your content enjoyable to read and the customers will keep coming back. Be snarky, add a little humor or put a unique spin on it. Content should be engaging.

Step 3: Be Customer-Friendly

The Internet can be a very impersonal marketplace. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat your customers as you would if they were there in person. How would you talk to your customers if you had a brick-and-mortar store? Be personable. Chat them up. Form a bond, which will create a loyalty that isn’t often seen in too many businesses today.

Think about how you would want to be treated as a customer. What would you want to hear from a seller? What would make you trust them enough to hand over your money? You don’t have to throw a bunch of razzle-dazzle at them, but customers want to be handled in a friendly, thoughtful manner. And putting a smile on their face goes a long way in getting repeat customers.

Article marketing is just like any other form of marketing strategy. You need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and figure out what they want to hear and how. Listen to your inner consumer and you will soon know exactly what you need to do to improve your article marketing efforts.

Tell us what you have done to create better online content for your business. Where do you get your inspiration? Let us know!

Things You May Not Know About Ghostwriters

For many Ghostwriters and writers in general, there are many methods of getting published in existence today. However, some writers feel they lack certain traits or components to consistently produce engaging, solid and fresh content.

So, what happens when writers struggle with publishing or content creation? They hire a Ghostwriter! It happens a lot more than you would ever imagine.

Generally, Ghostwriters handle a number of assignments and a heavy work-load. They are well-versed and experienced in handling many tasks such as single article writing, web content creation, proofing, editing, and blogging, just to mention a few, all the way up to helping with a full-length novel. The term “Ghostwriter” simply means they do not receive any credit for the writing they do for their clients, and their clients can publish the work as if it were their own, with no repercussions.

Ghostwriters specialize in many areas and can write a number of different things.

Due to the vast subjects across the web, Ghostwriters are very flexible and can fit in just about anywhere in a wide variety of genre’s and niches.  They may be summoned to create content for websites, online businesses, brick and mortar businesses and even other writers.  Some Ghostwriters may choose to specialize in certain areas, where others may be more versatile in their knowledge and experience and prefer to create content on any topic, genre or niche.

Generally they are hired to help create articles for article marketing, blog posts, newsletters, email campaigns, web pages, BIOs, press releases, white papers and eBooks, to name a few. Some Ghostwriters are experienced in helping authors get their books into print publication, proof reading and editing.  Some might even write speeches, eulogies, business plans, and other areas where technical or formatted writing is needed.

How can you find or get connected to a Ghostwriter?

Ghostwriters can be found all across the internet. Many Ghostwriters or Ghostwriting companies have websites with examples or portfolios, contact information and rates. They are also marketing savvy and create marketing campaigns through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like.  Ghostwriters also network with other writers by joining different forums and writing communities, which may lead to referrals and recommendations.  If you’re in need of hiring a Ghostwriter, finding one that suits your business needs won’t be very difficult.  However, finding a great Ghostwriter will take in-depth research or possibly even a referral from a trusted source.

With the way technology is soaring and the marketing needed for online business owners, Ghostwriters are in high demand.

What Skills is Necessary for Great Ghostwriting?

If you are interested in writing for companies within the United States, you must have a solid understanding of the English language.  In addition, you’ll need to have detailed research skills, excellent typing, spelling, grammar, ability to meet all deadlines, work in a fast-paced and stressful environment, marketing, constant contact with your clients, and knowledge of the different writing styles.

How can you be a Ghostwriter?

Becoming a Ghostwriter takes persistence, dedication, discipline, motivation and organizational skills.  It certainly helps to have a true passion for writing. I can’t imagine anyone doing this that doesn’t truly LOVE it and feel it is their “calling.” If you write without passion, then others will certainly be able to recognize it, and that could damage your reputation.

You’ll need to learn how to market yourself, your services, set your rates, set up a website, create marketing plans, perform article marketing, set limits, figure out your niche, stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology, and most important…practice, read and write a lot.

7 Topics to Consider When Starting a Virtual Assistant Services Business

Have you been thinking about starting a virtual assistant services business? Take a look at some of the things to ponder before you jump in. When starting my virtual assistant business these are some of the things I needed to know and hopefully it will assist you in getting started. So here are a few guidelines to start you on the entrepreneurial path.

1. Establish your niche

ü What do I have to offer?

ü What have I done in the past or currently doing that I absolutely love doing?

ü Who are my target audiences?

ü What do I NOT want to do? Finding your niche is imperative in the virtual assistant industry.

2. Research, research, research!

ü Research and carefully consider on what to name your company or business. Put a lot of thought into this as this will stay with you forever.

ü Research domain names and don’t be too quick to purchase the first thing you like, make sure it has appeal and easy to remember, same thing to consider for a business name.

ü Research what sort of website you want, blog, WordPress, etc…

ü Research other VA rates and see how you fit into that category with your particular skill set. Are you qualified to charge that particular amount?

3. Purchase Domain name

ü When purchasing a domain name, consider purchasing for more than one year. This shows longevity, stability and credibility. It will give your clients the satisfaction and comfort of knowing that your plans are to be around for awhile and you take this very seriously.

4. Education and training

ü Consider taking classes to heighten and sharpen skills or to learn something new.

ü Obtain certifications if necessary for tasks you will be performing.

ü Learn the basics of HTML, SEO, blogging and article marketing if you don’t already have this skill set. If this is something you do not want to do, outsource it!

5. Marketing

ü How do I market my virtual assistant business?

ü How in the world do I get the word out to the millions of people on the internet highway?

ü What makes me different than other VAs?

ü How are my skills better or different than others?

ü Why would someone choose my services over others? These are just a few things to seriously think about when it comes to marketing. Don’t have that skill set or simply don’t want to do it, hire someone to do for you!

6. What are your county or state requirements?

ü What sort of licenses is required in your state or county?

ü Do you need Liability Insurance?

ü Do you need to have an LLC or Sole Proprietorship?

7. Miscellaneous

ü Make sure your typing, spelling and grammar skills are all up to speed.

ü Learn how to prioritize and organize.

ü Consider obtaining a coach, mentor or buddy to show you the ropes.

ü Become a part of an active networking community.

ü And last but not least; you must have a positive attitude, be able to work independently and have flexibility.

Be courteous, appreciative and incorporate awesome customer service in everything you do within your business and you will become successful!

www.youreverythingservices.com