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.

Attention All Bloggers: Why aren’t you on Triberr???

I wrote a post last year that included Triberr called 5 Social Media Favorites from 2011. Today I wanted to take a deeper dive and try to undercover why more bloggers are not using this valuable platform. Triberr is self described as a website for bloggers interested in increasing their reach. This reach is increased via tweets on Twitter. Triberr is so much more. It all starts at the top with Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo. Dino is the entertaining and charismatic voice of Triberr, while Dan is more technical in nature coding away and continuously answering questions. These guys care. They care about you and your blog getting more exposure. They continue to work feverishly to provide a great environment and community. So, why aren’t you on Triberr???

Getting Started – Triberr had been by invitation only until a couple of months ago. Now you can stroll over to Triberr and be registered in minutes.

1) Join for free at Triberr
2) Connect your Twitter account(s)
3) Connect your RSS Feed(s)
4) Find a Tribe or start your own
5) Start Posting (Well not so quick, but close)

Find a Tribe – A tribe is a group of users that make up a team. While you’re able to start your own tribe I highly recommend that you find a tribe to join, and ease into the platform. For the newbie, starting your own tribe and building an efficient group is extremely challenging and time consuming. The first thing you want to do is click on “Bonfires” and then “Looking for Tribes” to start your search. “Bonfires” is an internal messaging area for different discussions. Post on “Looking for Tribes” and communicate what your blog is about and give your site address. You will also see Tribe leaders looking for bloggers in this forum. While Social Media, Marketing, and Mommy Blogs are very popular, you can find many other areas of interest. Some of these include: Food, Travel, Health & Wellness, and Finance, etc. With Triberr open now, the number of topics are growing, and you should be able to find something that meets your needs. Just about all tribes are topic specific, so all members write about the same topic. There are not many hodgepodge tribes that I’ve seen.

1) Click on “Bonfires”
2) Click on “Looking for Tribes”
3) Post your message on “Looking for Tribes” on what you write about and your site
4) Be Proactive
5) Feel free to contact me @sbhsbh if you need some direction

Game Time – So let’s say you’ve landed in a tribe with 15 members. Each time one of the members in your tribe publishes a post it hits your Triberr stream for review. You can either approve or delete from your stream. Unless something is total garbage or just not your taste you can delete the post, and it will be removed from your stream. The posts you approve will be tweeted in 20 min. intervals. Below are a few that I tweeted earlier today. Your mindset should be I’m going to approve all posts, unless your tribemate(s) give you a reason not to. Publish solid original content and you’ll be in good shape.

Sharing, Sharing, Sharing – I hope you heed my advice and share. That is the heart of Triberr, and in many ways Social Media. If you want to make the most of the platform you need to share. You’ll also be amazed on how many relationships you can build within Triberr by sharing. Under Each post there are share buttons that allow you to send to Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, and StumbleUpon. There is a ton of great content that comes through my stream from tribemates, and I want to share that on various platforms. This is seamless when using the share buttons. It’s another form of content curation. On any given post of mine I’ll get 20+ StumbleUpon thumbs up. There are a fair amount SU fans in Triberr. I’d highly suggest for current and new Triberr members to take advantage of SU. You can learn more about Stumbleupon here, Bloggers – Make StumbleUpon your Best Friend in 2012. SU drives traffic to your post.

Reach – The number of Twitter followers you have can play a part in being invited to certain tribes. In some tribes a minimum following of 5K, 10K, or 20K may be a requirement for that tribe. Those are the facts. However, there is good news. There really is a Tribe for everyone. The big follower tribes are more the exception. So don’t let that deter you from joining Triberr. You will find a Tribe. So let’s talk about reach within Triberr. Reach is defined as the total number of followers from all your tribesmates. For example, I have 296 tribemates within the 13 tribes, and those 296 tribemates have over 9.5 Million Twitter followers. Now, this number is skewed as it includes duplicates. This is something that should be fixed in the next 30 days to give accurate numbers. I’d say the true number is closer to 160 unique tribemates with a reach of 6 Million. Can you see the power? You can really expand your current reach by being part of the Triberr community. This really helps the little guy like myself.

Exciting and New – I mentioned above that Dino and Dan are always moving forward and looking to make Triberr stronger. Well, earlier today Triberr launched a Global Comment System that allows users to comment within Triberr, without going to the actual blog. The comment will appear on the blog, and this feature expedites the commenting process. Triberr will also be delivering a Reblog Function where you have the ability to pull a post from a Tribemate and put it on your blog. A Guest Post if you will, where the original author gets full credit. This will only be available to self-hosted WordPress users through a Plugin for now. I could probably create another post on these two new features alone, but you can check it out yourself on Triberr.

So why aren’t you on Triberr? – Back to my original question, why aren’t you on Triberr? Is this your first time hearing about Triberr? Did you think it was by invitation only still? Oh I know, you don’t have a Twitter account. If you post once every lunar eclipse then it’s not the platform for you, but if you post at least once a week you’re missing out on something special. As you might have noticed, I’m somewhat passionate about Triberr. I think I’ve missed logging in two days in the last five months. If you’re serious about your blog, and want more viewers, I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t try Triberr.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, it’s always appreciated. I would love to hear from bloggers that are part of the Triberr community and those that aren’t today. If you’re not a part of the community, I would like to hear the reasons. Maybe there are some misconceptions that I can clear up for you, or some questions that you need answered. Please hit me with your thoughts.