Archives for December 2013

Build Off Your Blog

 

When blogs first began to gain popularity, they were used almost exclusively as personal diaries.

Nowadays, however, blogs have evolved into something far more advanced; for both individuals and businesses, they act as invaluable marketing tools used to brand your business and interact with your audience like never before. To find out how you could be making more of your blog, read on.

Social Media Integration

This is kind of a no-brainer, but is so important it’s still worth mentioning. If someone happens upon your blog and likes what they see, the first thing they’ll want to do is connect with you on another social media platform. After all, having to seek out your blog each time they want an update is one thing, but being directly notified of updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is another.

To make this as easy as possible for your readers, you’ll want to add a row of attractive social media icons on your blog, preferably in clear view and close to the header. To do this, you can either hire a web designer or do it yourself for free. If you choose the latter option and aren’t an HTML whiz, try a quick and easy tutorial for help.

Comment Interaction

The comments section of your blog posts is, hands down, the very best place to engage your customers, gauge their interest, and learn what you could be doing better. If you have comments disabled on your blog, change that immediately; commenting is the lifeblood of the blogging world and should be one of your top priorities.

The best way to receive more comments is to leave thoughtful comments on other blogs similar to your own, and the best way to make those new commentors feel valued is to reply to their input. Whether they left compliments or criticism, reply with gratitude and a warm, conversational attitude.

If someone mentions something they don’t like about your blog, don’t take it personally or ignore it. Thank them for sharing their opinion and ask what specific aspects of your blog need to be improved on. If someone leaves a positive but very brief comment, replying with a simple “thank you” will leave a good impression. After all, people come to your blog out of curiosity, but they’ll stay for the quality content and the personal connection you develop with them.

Opt-In Email Newsletters

Giving your blog’s visitors the option to have news, updates, and special offers delivered straight to their inbox via an email newsletter is one of the best things you can do to foster the growth of a solid, long-lasting readership. For this to work, though, it is essential that you stick to a few key rules of thumb.

Keep your emails short and sweet–you want your emails to pack a quick punch, not ramble on. In addition, be sure to stay upbeat, positive, and honest. You want your readers to look forward to opening your emails, not feel weighed down by lackluster writing, guilt-based pleas for their business, or less-than-desirable deals (no one wants to read that they’re getting $25 off in the subject line only to discover in the fine print that the offer only applies if they spend $500 or more).

Time and energy spent making sure your graphics pop will make your emails seem fresh and clean, rather than cluttered or distracting.

Finally, never email people who haven’t signed up to be on your mailing list, never email people who have unsubscribed from your mailing list, and always give your recipients a quick and easy way to unsubscribe in the first place. It’s not just common courtesy; it’s the LAW. Stick to these guidelines and your reputation for being respectful of your customers and their wishes can only grow.

At first, using your blog as a crucial marketing tool can seem intimidating. By following some basic principles to build rapport with your visitors, you can be well on your way to growing a loyal, enduring readership in no time.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Mental Strength: How?

 

A Forbes article that has gone viral over the past week or so highlights 13 things that people who are mentally tough avoidin order to keep themselves on a positive trajectory. While the article is geared towards a more general audience, I definitely think that these tips can be applied to a business/tech perspective.

Mental Toughness

Are you guilty of not being as mentally tough as you wish you were? I definitely am. While reading the list of things to avoid in the article, I absolutely do some of these things. I can also identify some of these traits in my friends, family members, and coworkers.

Here are a few highlights of things that you shouldn’t do if you want to be mentally tough:

Feel sorry for yourself

When something bad happens, those who are mentally tough rise above. Instead of dwelling on the issue at hand, they either come up with a way to fix the problem or simply move on to the next thing. This includes taking responsibility for your own circumstances and not blaming things on others.

Be afraid of change

Let’s face it, most of us are resistant or hesitant about change. People who are mentally strong tend to embrace change more than the rest of us. While most of us are afraid of the unknown, mentally strong people see change as an opportunity to learn and grow more. Try to see change as a positive. Over time, you’ll be able to adapt your worldview.

Worry about things that are out of your control

This is something that I have had to work on for many, many years. I used to worry constantly about the what-ifs in life. I’ve slowly been able to teach myself that whatever happens, will happen and there’s often not much that can be done about it. Wasting your time thinking about what might or might not happen is not an effective use of anyone’s time. Try to focus on the present moment and you might be pleasantly surprised at how much less cluttered your mind is.

Expect results immediately

Instant gratification sure is nice, isn’t it! But we can’t always expect that we’ll get the results that we want immediately. You know the old saying, patience is a virtue? Well, it’s true in nearly every aspect of life. People who are mentally strong are able to wait to get the results that they want.

So are you mentally strong? Do you possess these qualities? You can see the rest of them in the full article here.

(Photo Source)

Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.