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Article by Neil Ashworth
I’ve been building a business online for several months now and one of the best ways to create interest in your business is to provide information about it for others who might be reviewing or researching your company (in my case, Carbon Copy Pro). But what’s the best way to provide that information? Well, this article will look at blogging tips and techniques to help you build your business online, so sit back and get ready to discover five steps to successful blogging.
1 Getting Started – Blogging platforms.
There are a variety of different free blogging sites available to get you started at no cost with your own website. Here is a short list;
If you have little or no money to get started building your business online, these are all adequate and you can build an audience across the various social networking sites using these free blogging platforms by adding your blog address to your profile page. However, if you want any real marketing power and you want to get found online when people search Google, MSN or Yahoo for information on your company, product or service, you will need to go with a self hosted blog and WordPress is the easiest to operate.
Installing WordPress is a lot easier these days than it used to be with several hosting providers offering a one click install from your admin panel (sounds confusing at first glance but believe me it isn’t and sites like Bluehost.com offer video tutorials to take you through this step).
The advantage of a self hosting blog is search engine optimization, although don’t be fooled; a well constructed, SEO optimized, keyword targeted blogger blog can get you onto the front page of Google as fast as a self hosted blog if not faster. Perhaps both options are worth your time and investment to grow your online business the right way?
2. What To Do Once You’re Inside – Blogging plug-ins to help you make your mark
Once you have your WordPress site set up you will want to install a few plug-ins to help you manage the site and prevent unwanted visitors spamming your posts. Here is my list of top plugins to get you started;
SEO Smart Links – allows you to pre-configure the blog so that posts with specific words in them will automatically link to a url of your choice. This allows you to link a set of words like “online business opportunity” to your own website landing page as the post is added into your blog.
In addition, this plug-in allows you to link back to your own posts within the blog which is equally important in the eyes of Google. Internal linking and building good backlinks, coupled with unique site content, is the key to great search positioning over time. Set your blog up the right way to begin with and this will make life a lot easier.
Google xml sitemaps – make it easy for Google to navigate your site and they will come back for more, as simple as that. This plug-in automatically updates your site map and keeps things in good order without you having to worry about it. A must!
Askimet – the king (or queen) of spam capture. You will need to register with WordPress (its free) to activate this plug-in and once set you can leave it to do its duty, blocking spammers and keeping your site looking and feeling the way you want it to.
All In One SEO Pack – an updated version is now available for this plug-in and if you haven’t seen this one its time you did. All in One SEO pack will provide all you need to rank well in search. It takes a little bit of work to get it into shape but once done you will not look back.
Sexy Bookmarks – Don’t worry! This is far less risky than it seems. If you write something worth reading you want people to share it and this is the best social share plug-in available, hands down. Set this up to show at the end of all your posts to give people the option to share your great content!
Broken Link Checker – This one does what it says on the tin, as the saying goes. It sits in your admin area and monitors your blog posts to see if you have any broken links within any of the posts and if you do, it notifies you from within the admin area of your WordPress blog. This allows you to keep your site free from broken links and will help you in the eyes of the search engines.
Why is this useful? Because Google and the other search engines don’t like a page with broken links in it and it will damage your page rank. Keep it tidy and keep Google happy and you’ll benefit from increased traffic to your website.
3. What To Wear When Blogging – WordPress Theme Selection
This is the part a lot of people get wrong. Get it right and it can increase your readership tenfold. Get it wrong and your site will be like a spring board, as soon as someone lands on it, they’ll bounce straight off. Theme selection is vital to building your internet business online by blogging.
Here are three of my favourite themes to give you an idea of where to start;
Blue Blix – a free WordPress theme which is bright and spacious and well laid out either in a two or three column style. Great for adding adsense too!
Talian – this is a great theme and one which you can customize to bring in adsense income as well as leads for your online business. This is how I have used it to provide information about carboncopypro while bringing in revenue through advertising on my site.
Flexibility – a marketers favourite. This theme allows you to add custom widgets, colours and styles and also to integrate an aweber newsletter sign up form very easily.
Thesis – a paid for premium theme but one which is SEO optimized and packs a powerful punch online to give your marketing ambitions some real weight behind them.
Personally, I like a minimalistic theme, bright, spacious and easy to navigate as well as read. Whatever theme you go for be sure to go for one which can be
modified to add your own widgets, header photos, a newsletter opt-in form and adsense to make it unique, personalised and profitable at the same time.
4. What To Say And Who To Make It Pay – (How Successful bloggers build their business)
There are three simple ways that bloggers make money online and if you’re intending to build a carboncopypro business or any other online business by blogging then cashflow is essential to your success. Here is a short list of how successful bloggers make money from their site;
They sell products by reviewing them on the blog.
They sell advertising space on the site
They sell knowledge to their readers through a newsletter
What each of these income streams needs is traffic, ongoing traffic from a trusted source and there is no better way to continue to drive traffic to your
website than through an email list. This is not so much new traffic but re-using what you have over and over again. Provide value and quality information to
your list and they will continue to return to your site, increasing its overall traffic value and providing you with more opportunities to make sales from your readership.
Add an opt-in form to your blog to encourage readers to leave their email and contact details in return for ongoing coaching or information on your business, whether that’s carboncopypro or any other online business you decide to build. So get out there and start to put that news letter together!
5. The Final Frontier – Online Promotion
Finally, when you have your site set up and ready to go and you have written a great article to launch it you’ll want to get the word out about your website
and tell the world all about your online business through your blog. Here’s a short list of places to promote your blog to. Add a link to your website when
you set up a profile on each of these social networking and bookmarking sites and you will soon see your page rank and traffic start to climb.