Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part – 6

Promote Your Blog

The reason to attract people to your blog is to help them head to your website or buy from you directly through the blog. To make this happen, there should be people coming to your website regularly. You can help this happen by networking with other people. However, there are other ways to get results.

Networking is essential throughout the blogging world. Therefore, you should find those businesses which work in a similar way to your own but are not in direct competition. For example, to collaborate with someone who is promoting healthy food or perhaps cooking accessories, you can both work together to cross-promote the blogs. Often, you just need to email the other individual and it is likely you will have a good response since most blogs need this type of promotion.

There are several things which you can do with other bloggers:

Write a guest post

You write a post on their blog, they write a post for your blog. In turn, your readers get something new and interesting to read which you will promote socially, of course. In addition to this, you gain some readers from the other blogger. The same works for the other blogger as well.

Comment on posts

Be active in these individual’s blogs. To do this, leave a few positive, yet informative comments on their blog posts. When you do this, you will be able to leave your website link. This does several things for you. It is likely you will get some added traffic from individuals who read your comments and want to learn more about you.

Benefit from back links

Your link on other websites is crucial to the well-being of your website and blog. Therefore your website’s link should be on your blog, too. Google likes to see links to various websites on their pages. If five other websites have a link to your blog and in time this should grow even higher than this, it shows Google that your website is useful, interesting or something good. They will rank you higher for this.

Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part – 5

Get Social

One of the key tools used to get traffic to your website is social media. Go out and talk to others. Encourage them to come and visit your site but in an indirect way. It is important to avoid spamming people or otherwise push them to visit your blog. You should position yourself as:

  • Interesting
  • An expert in the field
  • Someone who is fun and cool to talk to

When you do so there is a good chance that people will follow you to your blog to learn more about who you are. You will need to persuade them to click the link which brings them to your blog and eventually to your website.

How do you create this type of attraction?

The first thing to do is get social!

Social bookmarking and social networking is one of the easiest and most enjoyable parts of the Internet marketer’s business. All that is necessary is to help others to learn about you, about your blog and even about your website is by sharing it out there.

Social bookmarking is a good place to start the process. There are many useful websites to visit for this. Here are some ideas showing how you can get socially active with your blog using bookmarking websites.

Step 1: Write newsworthy posts

Posts should be written in such a way which allows them to be bookmarked Most of the social booking sites are interested in something which is newsworthy, interesting and unique. You may have to think a bit harder about this to make it happen, but it is worthwhile. Going back to the bakery products, you may wish to write a blog post about a new product or a discount on offer. Be sure to keep it from being too promotional though.

Step 2: Sign up for a number of the social bookmarking websites

There are many of these, but some of the most important are:

Digg.com

Here, you can just “Digg” posts you find interesting. Other members of the website can also “digg” them and this helps more people to read the post. Over time, you can develop a good base of friends on these websites to help push your posts farther.

MySpace.com

Do you have a MySpace.com page? If not, go and get one. Make friends there and anytime you publish a new blog post, send a message to everyone to let them know about it. These hits from MySpace.com to your blog post will help with search engine ranking, too.

Mix.com – used to be StumbleUpon

This is an interesting website. All you need to do here is to find any article which is interesting. Those who use Mix can also read your post, as they meander their way through sites.

Facebook

Facebook is an amazing tool for building contacts, leads and friends. If you are selling baking supplies, you can use Facebook to help you to network and find other people who may be interested in buying them. Create a relationship with them and be sure to send them links to your new blog posts. You can do this with many of the social bookmarking and networking websites as well.

Twitter.com, YouTube and many others are very easy to use websites. The goal there is the same. Meet other people you may know and new people you do not. Develop a relationship with them by just chatting. Then, when you post a new blog post, you can promote the link to it using these websites. People go to your blog, read your post and then head over to purchase items from your website.

Step 3: Use these websites

For any kind of social networking to work, you must use them and use them frequently. No one likes a person who shows up to do nothing more than to push their product or sell their link. Rather, they work best if you develop a relationship with people and then network with them regularly.

Once you become experienced in using these websites, it becomes far easier to do. It only takes a few minutes to drum up quality traffic to your website just using these resources.

Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part – 4

Post Regularly and Often

Right from the start, you must post often and regularly to your blog, (not something of which I am a shining example). Many leads can be obtained directly from search engines and this is a key benefit provided by the use of a blog. This can only happen if you make it obvious to the search engines that your blog is active. It is important to give the search engine “spiders”, as they are often called, regular “food”. This encourages them to come back to your page time and time again. Your blog will see good growth in traffic if you post often.

How often is often? At first, there may not be sufficient time to post every day, but try to work towards this. Posts need not be long but should be unique. Some additional tips to help with setting up a blog which ranks well are shown below.

  • Post basic information – Information which helps to educate readers who are looking for something to learn. The commonest motivation is that visitors are looking for answers to their questions.
  • Blog posts can be short, as short as 250 to 300 words – Keep the keywords in line with the length of each post, aim for under 3 percent. Too many keywords will cause the search engines to notice this and rank you negatively because of it.
  • Do some research to find unique items to talk about in your posts – What are people really looking for? Do they want to know what options they have for baking bread or cakes? Are they looking at the wide assortment of cooking utensils and are unable to make a choice? Use blog posts to identify the questions your consumers may have and provide a learning tool for them.
  • Enable comments, with approval – Most blog posts allow for individuals to post comments. Monitor these so spam and inappropriate comments can be avoided. But, if you allow others to post comments it can give you many benefits. You may get ideas for new blog posts. It should help you answer their questions and gain their respect. It may even help you to get a sale!
  • Keep blog posts engaging! – Make them interesting to attract a range of different people who may be more willing to bookmark your blog so they can return often. Regular readership is important!

Once you have an idea of what to talk about in your blog posts and are aware that you need to post at least most days of the week, what comes next? There is more to do to get your blog posts to translate into leads. To get leads, you must ensure your blog is attracting the right type of visitor who will want to head over to your website to make a purchase.

Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part -3

How to Drive Traffic Using a Blog

Once your blog is in place, the next step is on the face of it, simple: drive traffic to your blog so you can then drive the traffic to your website. When people arrive at your blog, they are likely to be highly targeted leads. When they get to your website, they are often many times more likely to buy than they would have been had they not visited your blog. This, of course, only happens if you can drive traffic to your blog. There are some important ways to increase traffic to your blog and as a result, get traffic to your website where you can do the selling or promotion.

Search Engine Optimization

You must give some thought to search engine optimization for all parts of your blog. This need not be time consuming, difficult to achieve or something which must be researched extensively to get it right. As with any other website, a blog must have the most appropriate keywords placed throughout. This will enable search engines to find the site and rank it appropriately.

Keywords are those those interested in your topic are most likely to type into a search engine which in turn will point them to your website or blog. These words most accurately describe your website’s topic. To determine the words which are most appropriate you can use a free keyword research tool. These are available throughout the web, including at Google’s website and WordTracker.com.

Type a few words associated with your website. In our earlier example of bakery products, you may have keywords such as baking utensils, flour, flour improver, yeast, and so on. The tools will provide words which people most often type into a search engine when they are looking for this information. It is vital to have appropriate keywords throughout the website as this helps Google and other search engines find the website and to rank it well.

How to Use Keywords

Once you have determined your list of keywords, use them. Some ways in which keywords can be included in a blog to attract the attention of search engines are:

  • Use them in each post in your blog. Sprinkle the keywords throughout your text but do not use too many. Try to keep keywords under 2 or 3 percent of any post and try to ensure they are incorporated in such a way as to make sense
  • Use a keyword in the title of each blog post: this is vital to good search engine ranking!
  • Incorporate a keyword in the first 90 characters of each blog post
  • Use keywords in the “tags” and “keyword” functions of the blog. These are often asked for when you are posting the blog
  • Use keywords in your tags, when creating pages in your website, or in the blog’s set up
  • Pick two to four keywords to use per blog post. Too many keywords can make a post sound strange and limit your ability to communicate with your audience

In addition to these items, be aware of other aspects of search engine optimization. For example, search engines prefer to see short paragraphs. It is also best to include at least one set of bullet points in your post, even if it just lists a few items at a time.

Use a Blog To Generate Leads Part -2

How to Get Started With a Blog

There are many benefits and advantages to be obtained from blogging. Remember these things when you set out to create your blog.

If you are new to blogs and blogging, two good places to get started with a blog will be Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Both of these websites allow you to start a blog for free. Both are simple to use and will allow you to produce a blog literally in minutes. After some practice, it will be worthwhile to invest in a paid blogging program. But it is a good idea to learn how to use and personalize a blog using free tools. You will then have some better ideas about how a blog can be used to promote your business.

  • Blogging can give you a constant supply of new pages which search engines such as Google love. This is an extremely important reason to incorporate a blog into your business. It provides an easy way to get regular search engine rankings. This is often not quite so easy with a website.
  • Blogging is easy enough to do. However, remember that it is a regular commitment if it is to be done properly. If you do not have the ability or time to manage the blog, help is available. Many professional bloggers ghostwrite blogs for other people. Someone can be hired to do this type of work and it need not cost a lot.
  • Communication through the blog is essential. It is an informal way to speak to others and does not require too much commitment. However, it is vital to keep posts going but also to keep the dialogue going too! This can be rather difficult in some respects. Chatting with consumers is immensely worthwhile but not something everyone likes to do.

So far in this post and the previous one, I have covered some of the important basics of blogging. Now to make a start. Once your blog has been registered and a web presence for it has been established it is time to start posting. Depending on the way you are setting up your blog you may need to have hosting set up. I shall be covering some of the issues involved towards the end of this series of posts.

What will you talk about?

To generate leads to your website, you must create blog posts. These post must somehow, even indirectly, relate to your website’s topic and overall goals. For example, if your website sells bakery products, your blog should be bakery or at least food related.

Your blog will give you an opportunity to display your skills and knowledge and to establish yourself as an expert in the field. Do you need to be an expert to get sales and traffic? In most cases, the answer to this is yes. People will seek out people they can count on as experts, to buy from. If you are not an expert, why would they want to buy from you? However, to someone who knows nothing, an expert can easily be someone who knows a little.

Start planning a few posts!