7 Unofficial Rules Of Blogging For Newbies

7-Unofficial-Rules-Of-Blogging-For-Newbies

Blogging has become an integral part of online business as it is a fantastic way of attracting traffic to a site.  Saying that, however, when you first start out in the world of blogging there is a lot to get to grips with.  That is why I decided to put together a set of unofficial rules of blogging for newbies to help them out.

1. Always Respond To Comments

Every site’s priority should be to try and build a community of people around their website.  There are numerous ways in which you can do this, but one of the very best is via the comment section.  Comments are essentially the lifeblood of any site so you should really make the most of them.

One thing that I see quite often and, that if I’m quite honest annoys me terribly, is when site’s don’t respond to any comments.  I can come across a well written blog post with plenty of comments left by readers, but none have been replied to by the author.   This is just wasteful!

If people have taken the time to leave a comment, ask a question or ask for help, etc. then it is your job to reply.  Not only is it simply polite, but it can also greatly benefit your site by doing so.  New visitors to your site will see that your website is active and that it is somewhere that they can go for genuine help/advice.  This can really help to build a community around your website and slowly build your readership.

2. Get Involved With Commenting

Sticking with the “commenting” theme, it is equally important to get involved on other people’s sites.  This can help spread the word about your blog and help people to recognise you online.  As well as that, if you can prove to be helpful on other people’s sites, they will be more willing to visit your own site.

Try to stick to sites within your own niche as this way people in your target audience can get to know you.  It can also help to get to know other blog owners by doing this, which leads nicely to my next point.

3. Acknowledge Other Bloggers

Don’t be reluctant to mention and link to other people’s content within your own posts.  Not only can this be beneficial in the eyes of the search engines (as they value content that links to other high quality content), but it can also encourage others to link to your content as well.

4. Share & Share Alike

Social media is a huge component in the blogging world.  In the same way that it is beneficial to link to and mention other people’s work within your own posts, it is also beneficial to share (Tweet, Like, +1, Pin, etc.) other people’s content with your own followers.

Whilst this may sound counter-intuitive, it can really help to build your following.  People generally dislike profiles that just self-promote themselves.  If you can mix it up a bit and share with your followers links to other high quality, relevant posts, then they will appreciate that.  Similarly, other bloggers will be much more willing to share your posts with their audience if you do the same.

5. Quality Is Always Better Than Quantity

One question that always crops up online to do with blogging is “How often should I post?

There are many varying opinions on this, but most would agree that quality is always better than quantity.  Instead of trying to publish as many posts as you can simply for the sake of it, focus more on producing high quality content that people want to read.

6. Longer Posts Are Better Than Shorter Posts

Another common question that comes up a lot is “How long should my posts be?

Again, there are varying opinions on this, but most would agree that longer posts are much better than shorter posts.  Much of this comes down to quality, as you can’t expect to include that much detail and helpful advice in a really short post.  Longer posts allow you to be much more descriptive for your audience and cover a subject in more detail.

It has been suggested that Google tend to favour lengthy posts, as articles of 2,000+ words ranking much higher than much shorter posts.  This is another reason why you should try to make your posts much longer.

At the end of the day though, there is no “magic number” that you need to aim for in terms of word count.  Your posts should be as long as they need to be, just remember to put more emphasis on quality.

7. Forget About Stats

Statistics are something that a lot of new bloggers love to look at and keep checking on a regular basis.  Whilst stats are very important for sites to monitor in the long-term, they are practically irrelevant to brand new sites.

New bloggers often wrongly assume that their site can sky-rocket to getting millions of hits within a few weeks.  In reality it can take a while for a site to begin to build an audience online, which is why constantly checking stats is a waste of time.  You are probably better off just forgetting about them altogether for the first few months and just focusing on getting your site up and running.  If anything, it can be demoralizing to see little to no growth when you first start, but like I say this can be quite common for the few months.

Summary

These are just some unofficial rules that came to mind when writing this post.  Ask other bloggers and I’m sure they would come up with some additional ones.   If you follow these though you will be on the right path to building a successful blog for the future.

What blogging rules do you live by?  What good advice have you been given to do with blogging?  We want to hear from you so please get in touch below.

Getting To Know Your Audience

Getting-To-Know-Your-Audience

When you start a website (or any kind of business really) it is very easy to lose track of things and focus on what you personally think needs to happen.  We all do it, it is perfectly natural to do this yet in the long run it can be quite damaging.  Any successful business knows that THE most important person for them is the customer.  You always have to keep putting yourself in the customer’s shoes to see where you need to improve, but in order to do that you need to know your audience!

Only by knowing who your audience is and knowing your target market can you begin to move forward as a business.  But how do you do that???

Questions To Ask Yourself

Websites and blogs are always trying to think of ideas for new content to publish on their site.  In fact, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is (along the lines of) “What can I write about for my site?”  I always give the same answer to this question – “Well who is your audience?” – which is often followed by “……erm?!?

Too often website owners seem to know absolutely nothing about the people that they are writing for.  This is crazy when you think about it as you wouldn’t expect other types of business to do this.  Only by knowing who your audience is can you better approach your website.

Take a few minutes to think about who your ideal reader would be.  Ask yourself;

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What is their native language?
  • How old are they?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What kind of job do they do?
  • What kind of education do they have?
  • How much do they earn?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are their driving ambitions?
  • What are their wants and needs?

Difference Between “Ideal” & “Actual” Audience

Now, there is a HUGE difference between your “ideal reader” and your “actual reader”.  Your ideal reader may be young, trendy, single and have a well-paid, exciting job, whereas the people who are actually visiting your site may be middle aged parents with little time on their hands due to having children.

This is why it is important to know your audience as you may be writing for the wrong kind of people.

How To Find Out Who Your Audience Is?

There are many different ways to actually find out who your audience is but one of the best ways is to use Google Analytics.  Analytics lets you track certain data that can give you a better understanding of who is actually visiting your site.  Specific data, such as; age, gender, language, location, in-market audiences, etc. can all be found within Analytics.

Google works this out by tracking the browsing tendencies of people online.  This is what “cookies” are used for, as they can help advertisers and website owners to better understand their audience.  Learn more about how Google determines user demographics.

Google Analytics - Location Demographics

So Analytics is good for learning about specific user traits, but what about other useful information, such as; passions, drives, wants and needs?  Well, a lot of this information is right there in front of you already.  Blog comments, social media streams, forums, emails, question and answer sessions, etc. that are already associated with your website can give you a big insight into the type pf people who are visiting your site.  If not, why not just ask your readers themselves.  At worst they can just say no, otherwise it can be a good way to get people talking and help to build a community around your site.

If you can use these two sets of information together you can build a more accurate representation of your audience.  That way, when you are thinking of ideas for what to write about, you can visualise what your audience would like to read about.

Create Reader Profiles

With the information that you gather about your audience, you can begin to piece together reader profiles.  The great thing about these profiles is that you can have more than one.

For example, let’s say that I ran a pet website.  My ideal reader would be family oriented, married people with young kids that have a dog or a cat.  The actual person that I found tends to read the site are people who are looking to buy their first pet, are quite young and often single.  I may also be able to create another profile of older individuals who have lots of pets who like reading about them.

Reader-Profiles

From these three simple profiles, I can come up with plenty of ideas better suited to each of them.  If my aim is to better target the “Family Oriented” people, perhaps I could publish more about pets & kids, for example.

There are plenty of ways to better understand your audience online.  Only by truly knowing who is visiting your site can you better aim your content and tailor it for them.

What type of people visit your website?  Which tools/programs/methods do you use to determine your audience?  We want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

It’s Better To Stand Out Than To Fit In – PART 1 of 2

Hello Everyone, firstly happy Tuesday – secondly how the hell is it June? Anyhow, here at Bizzebee we have a posting schedule that we follow here, and I am stepping in today for Andi who is otherwise engaged with work commitments so couldn’t post today …. All is not lost though, as I have a really great 2 part special for you today to really get your teeth into.

Some of these I may have already covered in some level of detail in previous posts and updates I’ve made. However, I have done SO much reading over time, and researching and thought it would be a good chance to put all of the information down in one place so you take take away from it what YOU want and start applying to your own business.

Every marketing campaign has the same end goal – to raise awareness of a particular product / service / business, its HOW you go about achieving it that is important. Social Media is a great FREE way (as I’m sure you are all very aware of now) of helping you reach this end goal.

My ‘Think Tank’ is a really great place to be at times, all of the information that I digest allows me to pull all of this together so I can share with you.

 Here are the first 25 ways of getting you to STAND OUT from the crowdIt's better to stand out than to fit in part 1 | Bizzebee

1)     FIND AND SHARE GOOD CONTENT – People want to see and share compelling, inspiring, helpful, valuable content – if you find it OR produce it, get it out there, people like to share it and that’s how it goes viral.

2)     WRITE CONTENT – Whether you are a great content curator, or have a flair for writing your own content, or even reviewing / posting an opinion about another article. This is crucial in starting ANY social media campaign. Gear the content at your target market – think about what they want to know about, and supply it. For more information on creating that all important blog check out http://startablogthatmatters.com

3)     BUILD THE HYPE WELL IN ADVANCE – Use your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ accounts to build the buzz surrounding the holidays – people often only do this as the holidays are upon us, but its far better to build this up in advance – get people talking and looking forward to whatever is coming up.

4)     ADD SOCIAL BOOKMARKS LINKS – Make it EASY for your content to be shared and commented on! Include the social bookmark links and buttons to your blog, website and most important posts

5)     CONSISTENCY IS KEY – Make sure you update regularly and consistently – its important that people identify WHO you are and what you are about – so if you have a style of writing, or make videos to get your point across – make sure you use that to get your message across so people understand what you are about. If people know you are hanging out where you say you are and are working on updates frequently, they tend to come back to see whats happening.

6)     BRANDING – It is important that people know what your brand is about, and you can really use social media to get the most out of it. Seasonal timeline covers, backgrounds and profile images – ensure that if you do update one, then you update them all to mirror the same.

7)     WRITE COMPELLING HEADLINES – You need to draw people when you are promoting your content on social media sites – write something that interests people so much that they want to read the rest of what you have to say. If you want to learn more about copywriting and writing compelling headlines then check out http://www.copywritingsupremacy.com

8)     MEASURE AND EVALUATE – Everyone goes on about ROI with Social Media, and it is very important to track your success rate, and how it compares to more traditional marketing methods – google analytics and dashboards like Hootsuite are great for keeping a check on your conversion rates and tracking where the traffic is coming from.

9)     CREATE POPULAR LISTS –  TOP 25 WAYS TO INCREASE TRAFFIC – A little bit like this list here – if you compile something like this they tend to get passed around online very quickly!

10)  METADATA AND TAGGING – Without going into detail about SEO (search engine optimisation) you can dramatically improve your visibility and ranking on search engines like google by utilising this. Metadata is data which is a description of the characteristics of a piece of information. Tags can be terms or keywords that are assigned to particular resource. Tagging and incorporating other metadata can help improve searching and measure the spread of information.

11)  COMBINE SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRADITIONAL MARKETING – Social Media is a PART of your overall marketing efforts, so ALWAYS ensure that any printed marketing materials show your social media addresses and profiles – brochures, business cards, leaflets, booklets et al. You want to FULLY get to grips with Social Media from the word go – then give The Social Networking Academy a visit!

12)  USE WORDPRESS PLUGINS – If your blog or website is powered by WordPress, then you must ensure that you incorporate the plugins that will help your page become more visible and the content is shared, particularly the ‘retweet’ button for Twitter.

13)  USE A MICROSITE – This can be a 1 page website or even a cleverly designed Facebook landing page that that can showcase your social media and general marketing efforts, and can also be specifically target driven to a campaign.

14)  COMMUNITY PLATFORMS – By this I mean Forums, Groups, FanPages – build up a following and a network of people to talk to around these. It helps with engagement and conversation, and if you are somewhat of an ‘expert’ in your niche / industry then get involved in Forums – answer questions and share information with people.

15)  ADD A FACEBOOK LIKE BOX – This is the quickest and easiest way for someone to ‘endorse’ your brand – the power of the ‘like’ is incredible, and if there is a one click box on your blog or website that is easily visible then people will use it! Facebook make it even easier to add this, with their social plugins that are added to your sites with a simple piece of HTML code., and people can still LIKE your page whilst visiting your website and blog.

16)  ADD A FACEBOOK SHARE BUTTON – Install the wordpress plugin that will allow the content your audience is reading to be posted directly to their Facebook wall without even leaving the page they are looking at!

17)  DON’T OVER HASHTAG TWEETS – If you are anything like me, I kinda switch off to those tweets that just have 4/5 # per tweet – that’s to get their visibility up, not necessarily providing me with anything of value

18)  WORK TOWARDS A HIGHER FOLLOWERS TO FOLLOWING RATIO – If you are seen to have more followers on twitter than you it kind of enhances your influence on the site which then add’s to your twitter profile’s SEO potential AND also further backs up the concept / idea that you are a leader in your field / niche

19)  AVOID ‘OVER SELLING’ – Rather than constantly tweeting and updating about what you are selling across your social profiles, look for useful content to post about how to help people out, by doing this, and occasionally adding a self promoting post you are building up trust between you and your audience – which increases the chances of them turning from a prospect into a paying customer.

20)  ADD A LINKEDIN SHARE BUTTON – Install the wordpress plugin which allows the content to be posted directly to a linkedin profile and any relevant group people are a member of on there, again without leaving the website page they have visited. (gotta love these wordpress plugins!!!)

21)  COMMENT ON BLOGS – Find the top 10 influencers in your niche, and start commenting on their blogs – this forms a big part of making and establishing connections with people

22)  USE YOUR ONLINE COMMUNITY – There is no point in building it up if you don’t use it! Ask for feedback, run competitions and giveaways and always remember to THANK people if they mention you, retweet your posts or share your updates.

23)  GIVE OUT FREE TIPS AND ADVICE – Twitter is a great place to do this, by added a specialist branded hashtag – I regularly do this on my twitter and I find that it sparks a lot more engagement and responses from people. To take it a further step, you can link your twitter to a Facebook tab purely for twitter and then start to use Youtube to create videos to expand on these tips and create some great helpful tutorials.

24)  CONDUCT RESEARCH POLLS – You need to find solutions and answers for people, the only way to do so is to ask them what their challenges and limitations are – this will then allow you the chance to review and look at how your product and service can help them, and then communicate that to them.

25)  WRITE BENEFIT RELATED CONTENT – Your audience will always be thinking ‘Whats In It For Me’ so it’s very important than when writing content or sharing content always highlight and talk about the problems that your product and service can solve! People don’t tend to be that interested in what your product or service features are, but more what it can do for them!

Wow, that’s a LOT of information that I’ve shared there with you!!! Stay tuned for part 2 – where I run through another 25 top tips that will ultimately HELP you generate more traffic and visibility online.

One thing I would like to stress to you here is that, if like me, you are finding there is a BIG long list of things that you know you need to do, and that is always growing …. Try setting yourself smaller more manageable lists. For example, if you accomplish ONE of the above 25 tips each day, in just under 1 month you will have made BIG progress towards your end result.

Have a truly fabulous week everyone & I look forward to writing again for you soon!

Clair

The Online Story Of A Real Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business

Hello Readers,

Things have been really busy for me in both the online and offline business world of late, and as such I wanted to write this weeks’ post to give an update on the offline business that I have involvement in. It’s been 3 years now since I started to use Social Media to network and create more business opportunities for it and as we’ve just recently moved to our new printing premises, I thought it would be apt to share this post with you all today.

As you may (or may not) know my family business in the offline world is in Printing and Graphic Design I make now secret of how hard this industry is, and during the last 5 or so years it’s taken a really big hit. 3 years ago or thereabouts I decided to give myself a little “project” and that was to see exactly what social media was about for business, and more importantly HOW it could help my family business with more opportunities. I have been working tirelessly investigating new avenues to reach new people, market some of our products and offers too, and when I realised the strength of Social Media if applied correctly I’ve steadily grown the business month on month over the last 3 years now.

Our business handles all sorts of different jobs. Sometimes we just have to design a logo for someone’s website or business, and other times we have to handle printing whatever fliers they will be distributing. We also do poster printing as well as invitations, and signs of all different dimensions. As varied as our business is, it can be difficult at times to let potential clients know we are available and provide these services, which is why I undertook this project.

Before I progress, I just want to let you know, we do not rely 100% on Social Media efforts for getting new business, and neither should any business – it’s just ONE part of the marketing mix. 

I’m a firm believer in never putting all your eggs in one basket, our Social Media work forms a part of a much bigger picture, and I only have an allotted amount of time that I can dedicate to this particular business, because of all the other work that I have going on. The business has a clear cut marketing plan that combines both the traditional marketing methods, along with the new, and I think that it is very important for ANY business to not pigeon hole themselves or be ‘closed’ to any opportunity to network / create new business possibilities.

WHY? Because in this world today, all types of marketing has a time and a place, for anyone that doesn’t believe in the power of one method, or places one over another, I would just urge you to research and keep an open mind, not all marketing tactics and plans will work for each business, but without investigating the possibility further, you could simply be missing out that vital ingredient that could transform your business.

3 years in and our turnover has increased by £100K during that time and is growing month on month. Mainly from a promotion of selling 500 Business Cards for the price of 250 (£27) Make NO mistake I am not stating that this is a life changing figure, but what I am trying to highlight is that in a ‘real’ business selling products in an industry that is effectively killing itself with undercutting on pricing, our achievements are commendable. None of those orders are ‘bad debts’ either, we have taken zero risk in selling print, none of those orders taken have been on a ‘credit’ basis. All orders are exactly the kind of clients and customers that any business today who wants to try and do better needs. Payment always in advance / at the time of order.

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The great thing about using Social Media to achieve this is simple – it requires minimal effort (in the grand scheme of things), being realistic here, as long as you are there everyday (at some point) you are naturally going to meet people and make connections and build relationships. The biggest bonus of course is that the only real thing it costs is your time (which to be fair is actually of real value – but a lot of people tend to judge “cost” in monetary terms, so in that respect its “free”)

The printing business is a family run business, and my Dad is very hands on in his role as the boss, we sit down and regularly review orders in, who our new clients are, the promotions and offers that we want to run, and the more you throw yourself into getting involved the more momentum builds. He now leaves the running and managing of this side of things to me and across the social networking sites people now know me as the ‘face’ behind the company.

I am a big believer in showing your personality, and I do honestly believe that this has been a big part in developing our online presence. People feel like they ‘know’ me, they know if i’ve been away, TV shows I’ve been watching and all kinds of things on a surface level. On the other side of things, as someone who tweets, uses linkedin and connects with various facebook pages I find I am naturally more drawn to those profiles that I feel I can ‘see’ a person behind the company name.

Without a doubt the work that I have been doing has created brand loyalty, these people that we have printed business cards for and designed logos for will recommend and praise our services to their peers if they ask for a good, affordable, reliable printing company! The best thing here is, we have not asked for a single recommendation. As a consumer, when something is good today, we all love to make a deal out of it and share it with the social networking world. And I think that is a key factor right now.

Social Media encourages ‘sharing’ as much as we might have frowned or disagreed with Mark Zuckerberg at F8 Conference when he introduced timeline and said he wanted to bring the world together to connect and share their life experiences, he was right (to a degree)

If you have immersed yourself in Social Media on both a business and personal level, you want to share stories and experiences with your peers. I have, and will continue to do so. If I get a good service, or I rate a product I’ve used, then I will tell people about it ….. and similarly I do the same when I have a bad experience too!

Do you know what else is great? Out of all the orders in the last 3 years we have generated, a LOT of them are returning customers …. Something that as a business we feel is very important, because it proves that we have built trust and provided a good service with these people, and for a business relationship born out of a ‘virtual’ environment clearly means that we have been doing something right.

One customer who has been with us for the last 2 years is continually growing his monthly spend, and if things continue, he could be spending between £5k a month with us by the end of the year. We are working together to nurture our relationship and build the trust on both ends, and for now, this is a risk free customer, who we are dealing with on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.

I had a conversation only last week with yet another returning customer, and he said to me this ‘its amazing what the power of ONE tweet can do’ And I am inclined to agree with him you know! The facts truely do speak for themselves.

In conclusion to this post, I think the message I want to get out there to you all is this:

If you are wondering ‘can Social Media work for MY business’ or you are wondering whether it is worth the effort, all I can say to you is ‘TRY’ You have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If I didn’t make the effort to try this out with the offline business, I probably wouldn’t be sitting in the position I am now in (for the opportunities it has opened for me personally is unbelieveable) and more importantly my Dad’s business wouldn’t have reached the amount of people it had, nor built an online following that has allowed us to reach new prospects AND turn them into paying customers.

Finally, like I have said many times before, I am no Marketing ‘expert’ or ‘guru’ I am just a regular person, who saw an opportunity and took the chance to explore and develop it. The printing industry is a tough place to be, and with not much going on around me, I got nosey, and with time on my hands during work hours I decided to make myself busy. So if you think ‘I don’t have a clue’ then trust me you are not alone, because 3 years ago or so, I was that person – I used facebook to upload and tag pictures and talk to my friends!  Now I am advising people and helping people to make a start using these free tools that are at the end of our fingertips to establish their business’ online and make a big difference to how they approach marketing, all thanks to the ‘on the job’ research and training I have done with the Printing business.

Check out this timelapse we did last week on an iPad showing our new machine entering the building – again a great use of social media to connect and show people who we are 🙂

I will continue to update you with the progress that we are making with the offline business, but if you want to stay in touch then give us a follow on any of our social channels – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or G+

Speak to you all soon 🙂

Clair

3 Simple Words Every Online Business Should Memorize

3-Simple-Words-Every-Online-Business-Should-Memorize

If I told you that there were 3 simple words that every online business should memorize, what would you guess they would be?

Dedication, innovation, strategy, marketing, turnover, trust, efficiency, advertising, sales, networking, experience, goals, etc.  These are all fantastic words that spring to mind, but they aren’t the ones that I want to talk about.  What if I gave you a further clue and said that all 3 words begin with the letter P.  Any ideas?

Well providing you haven’t cheated and scrolled down the page already (shame on you) I’ll tell you.  For any of you that have never come across it before, there is a fantastic quote by Napoleon Hill, a very famous American author and advisor to President D. Roosevelt.

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

I love that quote as it really gets to the heart of what success is.  All the words that I listed above (and many others) all play a part in that success, but without patience, persistence and perspiration you won’t get very far.

Patience

Starting your own business online is a very exciting process.  Your mind is full of ideas and you are keen to make those ideas real.  This initial excitement and drive is fantastic, but like anything, nothing lasts forever.

Online businesses, just like traditional offline businesses, take time to get off the ground and even longer to grow.  This is where patience comes in as you need to prepare yourself for the long road ahead.  If you think that your website will take off and start attracting millions of hits after only a few weeks then you are in for a shock.  Websites need time to grow, to attract traffic, to build up a loyal readership and get noticed by the search engines.  Factor in that there is a lot to learn about if you haven’t run a site before (i.e. SEO, blogging, social media marketing, link building, HTML, CSS, etc.) and you can begin to see why it can take time to build up some momentum.

Persistence

Now, since websites can take a while to get up and running online, it is vital that you don’t give up when the going gets tough.  Persistence is needed, not only to get your site off the ground, but also when it does start to pick up you need to be able to continue that drive to grow it further.

I speak to quite a few new bloggers who are thinking about, or have just started, their own website.  Whilst some are very enthusiastic initially, that can quickly turn after a few weeks because nothing has really happened.  Despite encouraging them to persist, many give up and move on to something else.  Now some of those sites may have been destined to fail, but I can almost guarantee that some will have gone on to become successful IF they had not given up so easily. Life Coaches can help you to improve a lot on this, check iNLP Center reviews

It is dead easy to give up on something, anyone and everyone can do that.  What is much harder is to persist and see through an idea/project to the end.

Perspiration

You can have all the patience and persistence in the world, but the one key ingredient that is needed to be truly successful is perspiration.  It takes bloody hard work to get anywhere in life, no one is going to hand it to you on a plate, you have to get out there and put the work in.

There are plenty of people out there that will live their entire lives trying to get around doing hard work and taking the easy way out when they can.  It’s their life, let them do that if that is what they choose to do.  Bar winning the lottery, there is no shortcut to success so it is up to you what path you are willing to take.

The 3 Words Every Online Business Should Live By

Running an online business is no walk in the park, but it is very achievable if you approach it in the right way.  Patience, persistence and perspiration are the key things that you really need.  If you have them, everything else will fall into place.

Do you follow the 3 P’s of success?  What words do you try to live by?  Let us know below by leaving a comment.

Ways To Improve Your Google Ranking

Improve-Your-Google-Ranking

How to improve your Google ranking?’ is a common question that crops up online because it is such an important issue.  Search engines send, by far, more traffic to websites than any other method, so it makes sense to make the most use of them.  You can only do this, however, by ranking highly within them.  But how do you do that?  My friend bought from this https://glassboxmarketingconsultancy.com/ and is getting huge ranking boost for his website. The agency put together 11 free ways that you can use to help improve your Google ranking.

Let’s get started!

1. Give People What They Are Looking For

First things first, in order to attract traffic to your website you will need to know what people are searching for.  This may sound simple (and it is really), but too often website owners write for themselves and not for their readers.

The easiest way to go and find what people are searching for is simply to open up Google or Bing and start typing away.  Whatever subject/topic/keyphrase/question, etc. that you were aiming to rank for can be instantly adapted to fit in with what people are actually typing in and searching for online.   Of course there are some excellent tools online that can help you do this, such as the keyword planner tool and Google trends, but nothing can quite beat a quick manual search on the search engine yourself.

Only by providing this type of targeted content will you be able to improve your Google ranking, so make sure that you spend some extra time to research your keywords and keyphrases.   This leads nicely to my next few points…

2. Use Keywords Within Your Post Titles

Once you have identified which keywords and keyphrases that you are aiming for, you need to include them in your content.  By far the best and most effective place to do this is by using them within your post titles.  It makes sense of course because obviously (as we have just covered) this is what people are typing into the search engines, but also it encourages people to click onto those pages.

Now, before you go cramming as many keywords and keyphrases into your titles as you can possibly fit (titles can only have a maximum of 70 characters), know that the ones that read properly and make sense are the ones that get the most clicks.  This is why ‘question’ titles work so well as;

  • That is what people are typing in,
  • That is what people are wanting answering.

For example, let’s say that I was searching online for help on how to make pancakes.  If I type into a search engine “How to make pancakes” all the relevant posts and pages will appear.  Any post that wanted to rank for this term but simple stuffed their title with keywords (e.g. Pancakes, Cook Pancakes, Easy Pancakes, Pancake Recipe.) then they won’t stand a chance.

How-to-make-pancakes

As a rule of thumb, try to only use 1-2 keywords/keyphrases within your title and ALWAYS make sure that it makes sense when you read it.

3. Use Keywords Within Your Post Content

Your keywords and keyphrases should also be used throughout the main body of your content.  Search engines don’t read in the traditional sense that we do to understand what an article is about, instead it scans your content for words and phrases and determines what it is about based on that.

Again, this doesn’t mean you should stuff your articles with as many keywords and keyphrases as you possibly can.  Search engines wised up to this practice long ago and now penalise sites that do this extensively.  They should make up no more than 3-4% of your overall article, but if you write normally anyway, you are bound to include plenty naturally.

4. Use Keywords Within Your Post Headings & Subheadings

Keywords and keyphrases should be included in your headings and subheadings, much for the same reason that we include them in our titles.

As we have said, search engines scan through your content to determine what it is about.  What they also do though is they look more closely at the text that you make standout in your posts.  Subheadings come under this (also known as H1, H2, H3, etc. tags) as they are a good way to gauge what each of your post sections are about, but this can also apply to italics, bold words, quotes, etc.

5. Internal Links Can Improve Google Ranking

A very simple and effect thing that you can do to help improve your Google ranking is to include internal links within your posts.  These are links that point to your other articles and pages of your site.

This is especially relevant when you use internal links that are relevant.  For example, this professional resell seo company has a lot of information about Search Engines Optimization;   This is actually another way that search engines assess what a post is about by looking at what content you are pointing to (both internal links and external links), so it always helps that they are relevant.

Of course the added benefit of using internal links is that readers will get to find more of your own content and stay on your site for longer, which is always a good thing.

6. External Links & The Importance Of Anchor Text

Whilst internal links are very useful, they are expected as obviously sites want to keep people viewing there content for as long as possible.  What search engines do though is they also look specifically at the external links that you include (links that point to other websites).

Search engines value the fact that you are willing to point readers to other sites, but which specific sites you point to is especially relevant.  Again the key word here is RELEVANT as sites/posts/articles that you link to should in some way be related to what you are saying.

For example, for this post I can quite happily link to other sites that talk about the benefits of external links and SEO techniques because they are relevant to what I am saying.  If on the other hand I randomly linked to a site about Orangutans, that would be out of place.

The same can be said about anchor text (the text that you use for the link).  This needs to reflect what you are linking to and not be generic (i.e. ‘click here’ is not as good as ‘SEO techniques’ when linking to a post about on-page SEO techniques).

Orangutans Laughing

7. More Links To Your Site = Good

Search engines look at the number of links that point to a site and use them as a way to assess how good that site actually is.  Think of it like a popularity contest, sites with lots of links pointing to it clearly must be good because they have so many people wanting to link to it.  Sites with not very many links pointing to it must be less popular or not very good.  This is clearly a very basic way of putting it as obviously, as we have discussed, there are many other factors that are taken into consideration, but it is one metric that search engines use.

A word of warning though.  Don’t just think that you can spam links to your site to help boost your ranking.  There are many dodgy companies that offer to sell X thousand links to your site, but you should avoid these like the plague.  Often these links are from dodgy sites themselves who you don’t really want to be associated with.  Also, search engines look at the rate at which sites build up links.  If anything looks unnatural (like buying X thousand) then it looks suspicious and could cause you more harm than good.

8. Social Networks

Social media is the most influential channel for you to promote your website or business plan. You can use various social networking sites for marketing purposes which can be pivotal for your online business. Positive social activity can upgrade your chances of exposure and recognition. My friend Ameet Kahbra in Ameet Khabra Marketing helped me really set up a business social media account.

A company doesn’t need to have a physical presence to become a retailer on the internet. Even the smallest online company can turn out to be engaging and as functional as a large one. A little effort in the right direction can help a business reap its rewards in the future.

9. Shippment Logistics

From the manufacturing facilites and before to reach the end consumers, the products will transit through centralized distribution centers.

For each one of these steps, goods will be split further and carried on shorter distances to more locations; For instance, the manufacture will produce several goods in bulk, and they will be shipped to the distribution centers; Generally the manufacturer will take care of all that huge scale logistic work, but you still need to delivery the products from your warehouse to the end consumer, depending on the size of the order and customer location it can take a lot of unnecessary physical effort and transportation vehicle requirements. I suggest to contract our pick and pack delivery services in order to save valuable time, money and effort.

10. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Once you are done with the website the next step you have to take is to draw attention of the users through SEO, you can find a local seo company in your area to help you. A survey reports that 89 percent of people use search engines to find a product online, this is exactly why you need your business to appear first on the search engine listings. It is crucial to keep a constant check on your content and make sure it is updated and correct.

11. More Quality Links To Your Site = Better

Quality-over-Quantity

As the old saying goes – “It’s quality not quantity that matters.

Search engines look at the sites that are pointing to yours and judge their worth based on how good those sites are.  This is done using Google’s PageRank (PR) statistics.  High quality PR8 sites are significantly better than much lower PR2 sites.

So having 1,000 links from PR1 sites is good, but it is MUCH better to have 100 links from PR5 sites.

In order to help improve your online Google ranking then, try to aim to get links from quality websites within your niche instead of from any old site.

12. Improve Your Google Ranking By Improving Your Website Speed

Increasingly, search engines are taking into consideration how fast a site is.  The faster your page load time is, the better.

This is actually very beneficial to your readers, so this is something that you should look to improve upon anyway, regardless of the search engines or not.  It is estimated that people only stick around on a site for a few seconds before getting bored and navigating away.  If they click on your site and end up staring at a blank screen whilst waiting for everything to load, then they won’t hang around for long.  Instead you really want everything loaded up quickly so that they can start reading or viewing your content.

13. The Longer People Stay On Your Site The Better

Another factor, that is both beneficial for your website in general and search engines, is how long people stick around on your website.  This includes;

  • Pages / Session
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

If you can increase how long on average people stay on your website and how many posts/pages they view in a single sitting, then you are on your way to dramatically improving your rankings.  Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to these problems and can be affected by things like; website design, writing quality, how easy it is to navigate around your site, etc.

14. Your Site Gets Better With Age

Search engines can see and record how long a website is active for.  The longer you are around online, the better it looks.  Think of it like this – if a site was rubbish and no one was interested in it, then it wouldn’t last very long.

This is why many people like to buy existing sites and “do them up”, so to speak.  They get the benefit of a matured domain and everything that comes with that, whilst they can improve upon it and attract more traffic.

Obviously this point is something that you can’t really get around.  You simply need to focus on creating and maintaining your site to a high level over time.

Summary

Improving your Google ranking is certainly not easy, not least for the fact that search engines never quite let on exactly how they rank sites as they are always changing and adapting.  Hopefully though, these free tips will help you to focus your attention on what does work.  If there are 3 key things to take from reading this post though, it would be;

  1. Use relevant links,
  2. Quality is what really matters,
  3. Improve your site for your readers and it will improve in the rankings.

What are your views?  What other free methods would you add to this list?  Do you have any questions?  Please feel free to get in touch below via the comments section and we will try to answer them for you.

The Secret To Blogging Success – Fast Food Of Course!

Fast-Food

Yes, you heard me right.  The secret to blogging success is, of course, fast food.  I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it?

OK, maybe I should explain before you pick up the phone and order another [insert favourite food] from your local take out.  The secret isn’t about the food itself – that will just lead to diabetes and obesity – instead it is more about why fast food is so popular.

Why Fast Food?

Ask yourself why fast food is so popular.  We all know that it is bad for us (really bad!) yet people still eat it.  I consider myself reasonably healthy and I even follow fitness plans from sites as https://www.tophealthjournal.com/, yet I am still partial to the odd curry from my local take away restaurant now and again.
hre
You see, fast food (and junk food in general for that matter) is popular, not because of the taste but because it is both convenient and cheap.  Just walk down the street and you will pass several take out restaurants.  Supermarkets are stocked full of convenience food and there are vending machines on just about every corner.  Frankly it is everywhere!

What Has This Got To Do With Blogging?

Ok, bear with me.  I’m getting to my point.

Fast food is simply a product that is widely available to the mass population, which is why it is so popular.  Blogs can learn a lot from this as the real key to success is to simply try and make their content as widely available to the mass population as it can.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  Never before have we been so connected as a global species.  Despite this fact, sites still need to work on making their content accessible in order for people to find.  Just because it is online, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be able to find it easily.  You need to do what all the fast food companies do and get your quality content in front of as many people as possible.

There are plenty of ways of doing this, including;

Anything basically to help people find you and your site.  Some of the biggest fast food retailers (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.) aren’t really successful because of the food they make (I could make a better burger), it’s more to do with the fact that they can deliver that food to everyone because they are everywhere.

Advertising is usually the first method that people choose to use to help promote their website, but arguably the better option is to focus more on SEO.  Search engines are how the vast majority of people will find you online, so by concentrating on improving your ranking within Google, Yahoo & Bing, you can greatly increase the visibility of your site online.

Another way to think of it is like this.  Think of each of your blog posts as fast food outlet.  The more of these quality “outlets” that you have ranking highly; the more people can potentially find you online via the search engines.  Only then can you make money yourself via your own advertising, product sales, affiliate links, etc.

There are too many bloggers out there that give up and throw in the towel simply because they are not getting the traffic that they expected.  On inspection of their site however, it is usually clear to see that many of these are doing very little promotion (if any at all) of their content, which is why they are getting no traffic.

Summary

I hope this post has helped highlight the important factors that you should be focusing on with your blog.  The fast food metaphor was simply used to try and hit home the message.

I’m now off to eat something incredibly unhealthy.  Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.

What Is Feedly | Bizzebee

What Is Feedly?

Afternoon Bee Readers 🙂

Wanted to write today’s post to share with you one amazing FREE tool, that I personally can’t function without, and if you read a lot of content online, you probably won’t be able too either!

Since Google Reader went into retirement last July (2013) people have been using different alternative’s to house all of their content they want to read online – and if like me you need to really keep the finger on the pulse and don’t want to miss any information, then you really do need a great RSS feed reader, and up until very recently we’ve relied heavily on Google Reader, and I would like to thank my Bizzebee colleague and friend Matt Smith for introducing me to this fantastic content tool.

What Is Feedly | Bizzebee 

What is Feedly?

There are probably a number of ways that you could better spend your time online and in jumping from site to site to try and visit all of your favorite pages in an effort to make sure you don’t miss anything new, exciting, or late breaking.

Luckily, with Feedly, you’ll never have to worry about wasting your efforts on the above ever again.

Feedly is an RSS reader on steroids

RSS technology has been around for a long time, it’s always been a relatively “sloppy” service that pumped all of your information directly to your email account (can’t cope with seeing all those emails, can you?) – or through some unwieldy software programme – with bits and pieces constantly slipping through the net. A little bit like someone with selective hearing – the old technology tended to lack consistency in what you saw.

Jumping all over the web to pull in every single one of the RSS feed, Feedly does all of the heavy lifting for you in making sure that it pulls in content from your favorite websites, news sites, RSS feeds, blogs, and YouTube channels – as well as a whole host of others with tight integration – to make sure that you never miss another new update.

Magazine like experience with every drop of your content

While most of us today have given up entirely on more traditional magazines {and rather sadly so I might add}, the truth of the matter is that the way that those printed magazines were organised delivered such a good reader experience and was so well organised. Now, thanks to the design of Feedly and the integration across multiple content sources, you’ll be able to basically create your very own magazine, and best of all …..  one that is personalised to your tastes.

Every single time that you add sources to your Feedly account they will be integrated inside of the program, helping you to get the utmost out of your content sources. Not only will you be always up-to-date with your information – but it will also be curated in an attractive, easy to read, and even easier to use format.

The best bit, you can MERGE your old Google Reader account direct to your new Feedly account :)

Specifically designed for a mobile experience, the Feedly application is the best way to make sure that you are constantly updated, wherever you may be. 

The other exciting element!

By enjoying the Feedly service  you’ll be able to take all of your content on the go – even if your regular content sites don’t have proper mobile integration – thanks to the ingenious mobile application. Redesigning all of the content that you have pushed directly through your Feedly account in an attractive user interface that is a dream to use, and this is how all web content should be enjoyed. It works SO well on my own iPhone & iPad – I literally couldn’t live without it now!

The service is available free through the iOS marketplace as well as the Android, & Google Play marketplace – making sure that you can connect to your Feedly account no matter what you happen to have on hand.

Finally …. 

If you’ve been looking for the ultimate solution in curating all of your content from around the web into a single source – so that you never have to worry about missing anything ever again – and then you need to sign up for a account as soon as humanly possible. Download the specific tools to your phone or tablet (or just use the browser-based solution that is available) and you’ll soon understand why so many people go absolutely crazy for this service too!

That’s all from me today Bee’s 🙂 thank you for stopping by!

Queen Bee – aka Clair

Curating Content For Your Business Website.

If you are a small offline business and you are building up your online presence with a blog and a social media campaign you will know that it isn’t easy unless you are creating and sharing content.

Creating fresh content isn’t particularly easy either especially if this is all new to you or creating digital content is not the nature of your job. I am a writer and content creator and I knew that I had to write a post today but I was struggling to think up what to write about, and I write regularly so for someone who is new to all of this it can be a real nightmare.

I looked through a few of the last posts I had written recently for numerous projects and found some inspiration for today’s post. For a new website owner you might not even have much to go back through to help inspire your creative side.

Well today I want to share with you the best and fastest ways to create content for your website and social media campaigns and that is to curate content from the web. Content curation is a newish term that describes basically what newspapers have been doing for years now.

NewspapersPapers need to sell papers for their businesses to survive and to keep people buying those papers they needed to fill their pages with good content. If there were a big event happening like the tragedy of September 11th 2001 then there is a lot of content for them to fill their paper with but if it was a quiet week for news and they needed to fill out their pages they would source interesting news stories from around the country and often the world then re publish them.

sept 11 newspapersThere would be a specific journalist who would look for these stories then re write them to go into the paper and include all the relevant and important source credits. The people who read the paper would still keep on buying it even if a lot of the stories were sourced from other papers.

They very rarely went out and changed their daily paper for those where the stories came from, mainly because they were too numerous to mention and often small regional papers. They preferred to have all of the interesting news and stories delivered to them in one place.

When you have a website and a social media campaign you can do the same as long as you give the right source credit and play fair. cupcakesFor example, if you ran a local Cup Cake Bakery and you had a blog that you were building up, you could do a post that included the ’10 Best Cupcakes We Have Ever Seen’ and include 10 pictures of cakes you have seen in magazines or on the web.

You write a little blurb about the cakes then add any relevant source links to the image/cake owners etc and then you are good to go. You might see in a magazine an article with images about a cup cake bakery in Australia and decide to re write the article in your own positive way re using the images.

Again you make sure you have the right credit links in place, if you do then most people would be flattered that you have featured them or their work on your website. After all it is free advertising and exposure for them.

Some people may ask you to remove their images or stories from your site but it isn’t personal, just remove them if you are asked. It is unlikely though, if they do then they are seriously missing the big picture. As I said it is free advertising and exposure for these people.

Now you are beginning to see that you can mix up your website content with your own images and content with content you have found and enjoyed that is other people’s work. This is actually good for your social media campaign because it can do two very important things..

  1. Your followers will not get fed up if you share content that is interesting and not just yours. If you posted on Facebook & Twitter everyday your own images with a dull ‘Like My New Cupcake Picture’ style posts people will get fed up. Sharing other interesting stuff and other people’s work shows that you are an interesting person and not just out to ‘Constantly Sell & Push Your Products’.
  2. You can start to build a network of likeminded friends, you may not be able to meet up with or work with your fellow cupcake bakers in Australia but you can share ideas, chat work and share each other’s videos, pictures and articles. You might make friends with bakers in a neighbouring city which might lead to some work or at least a great friendship.

It is building up a network of like-minded friends that led to this bizzebee site being developed.

Curating content is big business and yes there is some work involved especially when re writing the content or adapting it into a series of fun images but there is no big thinking needed or planning required. You have access to all of the information right in front of you and usually all of the images you need just require you to download them to your computer and upload them to your site.

cupcakesIf you want to add more content such as a YouTube video or more images you have all of the details you need to do a search for more information. For example if you were recreating an article on the ‘10 Best Cupcake Shops In England’ and you were writing about the shop ‘Cupids Cupcake’s’ in Colchester (Fictitious example). But the article you were using as your base only had 2 images for this shop yet it had four for the rest, you could easily do a Google search for more because you have the exact keywords to find out more information and images for ‘Cupids Cupcake’s.’

Curating content is not theft if you correctly use source credits and links to the places where the images and content come from. You might not have permission to use them and if you really want to be all above board then shoot off emails to the right people asking for permission but usually it is seen as ‘fan advertisement’.

There are millions of websites online run by fans and they often write about the things they love like films & TV, books and sports, they would use images of the actors/sports people but rarely get sued because they were generating free advertising which is good for these industries. In fact when blogging by fans became huge with many websites having millions of regular visitors big companies took notice and now regularly send fan writers free stuff to review or just to say thank you.

When you curate content you are not using those images for commercial gain in its truest sense, yes you are using it for site content to help grow your business but you are not using their images as your own or recreating them within a book that you plan to sell.

They can ask for the content to be removed but if you have done your work properly then the chances are they will be happy that you have shared and featured their work or they will ask for the content to be removed in a friendlier manner than they would if you had stolen the work for your own use.

So if you have a website and growing a following on social media but struggling to think up or create content then why not look at the things you are reading and enjoying online then curate it into your own relevant content? It can be done while relaxing at home in the evening in front of the TV because it does require less thinking than creating your own unique content.

Change Is Good | Bizzebee

Change Is Good

Afternoon Everyone,

Firstly, my apologies for missing our regular Monday post yesterday, but there have been a few things happening in our Bee HQ which meant we wasn’t able to hit our schedule yesterday.

Today’s post, you will be pleased to know, is going to be more informational, and explaining some changes that we are making with both Bizzebee the blog and also The Hive.

Change Is Good Change Is Good | Bizzebee

I’ll start by letting you know that the team is changing dynamic, and we are moving from a 6 to a 5, but for the short term you will only be seeing updates and posts from just 4 of the team. Sometimes, external factors in the real world need to take precedent, which is what has been happening for some of our team at Bizzebee. However, rest assured we are as dedicated to our readers and followers as always, and will continue to over deliver on our content, information and training.

With that change in mind, we have decided to alter the weekly posting schedule from Mon | Weds | Friday down to Tues | Thurs of each week (hence this Tuesday slot filled by yours truly) – We tossed about the idea of keeping the 3 x a week posts, but moving forwards we need to focus our attentions in slightly different areas to fit the business needs to take this project to the next level.

Alongside that, our weekly round up, which features the best of the web in 5 posts is being moved to a monthly round up (so the competition is fierce!!!) but whilst we are in a transitional period, this is going to be put on hold (it doesn’t mean we won’t share posts across our social channels we read and like, because we will do)

Lastly, but by no means least, We’re changing the concept of “The Hive” – we all spend a lot of time online, talking to people and seeing whats going on, and it’s become apparent that as a team we can cover pretty much everything and help you all in so many ways, but we might not have been presenting it in the right format with the Hive.

So, we are going to put together individual courses and learning that we will be advertising and selling within The Hive – so effectively we are turning it into a market place for our products, and rather than offering the one product with a membership site, we will be offering several which you can pick and choose from dependant upon your needs, which in some cases will be free training, and some will be a one time payment (rather than a monthly membership subscription)

Some of the areas we will be covering will be

  • WordPress
  • SEO
  • Web Design
  • Social Media
  • Graphics
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Creation & Blogging
  • Video Marketing
  • Product Creation
  • Affiliate Marketing

Of course this isn’t a finalised list, but just some of  areas in which we will be putting together online training courses that you will be able to enrol and learn about.

This means, we are giving ourselves more work to redevelop the Hive to fit this need, and of course we need to work on putting together course materials for you, so the change in blogging pattern and losing the weekly / monthly round up in the interim is to help us have more time to develop our product library for you.

Whilst we are waiting on this to happen, we will be releasing some of our training into other online market places, such as Udemy, and focusing on creating a great affiliate programme for anyone who wants to resell our products and earn commission for doing so!

All in all, a very exciting time for Bizzebee, and one that we are 100% committed too, and excited to deliver to you – change is always inevitable, especially in the online business world, but we believe in the power of our new HIVE market place, and the cogs are already in motion.

I shall leave you with a quote from the infamous Jim Rohn – which is kind of apt for this post today I believe

“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree”

Stay tuned, we’ve not even scratched the surface yet!

Queen Bee ….. Clair 🙂

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