Suraj Sodha is back on the show and this time we’re covering the topic of internet marketing blogs for business. How to leverage the power of blogging to generate more traffic, build authority and make more profit. Suraj teaches blogging through workshops and conferences across the world. James and Suraj recently caught up in Dubai and Bahrain where they were both speaking at Unlimited Power Online
Summary of the blogging for business call;
What is a blog?
Blogging can be described best as a diary where you post events or upodates. In the business perspective, blogging is like an online magazine for your business where you put relevant information or news relating to your company or industry.
What are the different ways to run a blog?
News channel – You provide information on what is going on in the industry, an example for the internet marketing industry is you can blog about new products that have been launched, seminars coming up, and other related information.
Multi- media blogs – Such as podcasts, videos, and info graphics that you can share on your blog. An advantage is that this caters to different audience types as it has a variety of media for getting the information across.
Why blog? What are the advantages?
Blogging allows you to position yourself above others in your field and build your authority. When you share your opinion or views on topics relating to your industry, you show your audience that you are an expert in your field and they in turn have more confidence in buying your product.
How do you prepare content?
It is import to realize that when you know more than your audience, you have something to share. There are many ways to prepare content and a great way is to answer common questions in your market.
Record an audio or video as a response to the inquiry
Get that audio/video transcribed and you now have an article for your blog
Recycle your content. If you have a video, you can strip the audio and you now have a podcast.
What is the best platform?
Setting up a blog is easier and cheaper than it was years ago. You can start a blog with only an $8-9 domain investment per year and $4 per month in hosting. You gain benefits such as authority, connection to a wide audience and deep trust.
Suraj recommends using the platform wordpress.org, as it is free and very easy to use.
Should a blog be integrated in to your website?
Standalone blogging also has an advantage as it allows you to link content to your primary site. But, generally it is advised that your blog should be integrated into your main site, although this does depend on the outcome you want and the nature of your business.
The advantages of having your blog integrated to the site is that you have only one site to manage. You also have your business info at hand, so your audience can view your contact information or product page which increases the likelihood they’ll buy.
What is the best structure for a blog post?
It is important for blog posts to have text so they’ll be indexed by Google. Google understand text content very well. This will benefit your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and page ranking purposes. And there are also audience types who prefer to read an article.
But also equally important is to add a variety of media to your post – you can embed a video or a podcast and include a picture. This adds value to your end user, especially since they have a variety ways they can consume your content.
How often should you add content to your site?
It depends on which industry you are in. In an industry with a lot of updates and changes, you can blog as many as 10 posts a day, but generally content should be added at a minimum twice a week.
What is important in adding content to your blog is consistency. If you add content to your blog twice a week, it creates an expectation that your audience should receive updates twice a week, and you should maintain that over time. Otherwise, you will confuse your audience and that is not really a good thing. So the key is really to add content in the frequency that you can maintain in the long run.
The content to sales ratio
There is an 80/20 rule, where 80% of the content on your blog should contain value and information, and this is where you add updates and news or a review of a product or service for example. The 20 % is where you do your sales pitch and promote your services.
You may also use affiliate marketing, where you earn a commission or referral fees when you promote other people products or services.
How do you drive traffic to your blog posts?
The most important thing is to start with relevant and important content. At the start it may look a lot like you are talking to yourself, but stick with it during the first 10-20 posts. Eventually, search engines will start to pick up your content naturally. Utilize social media and share your blog across your social media profiles. Your social media connections already know you and they trust you and are likely to share your content.
What is the best first step to take?
If you already have an existing site- look at how you can integrate wordpress into your site.
If you are starting from scratch build your site and your blog under one roof with worpress, get hosting, and if it something you need help with, ask a mentor or outsource it to someone who can do it for you.
For more information on Suraj Sodha, you may connect with him through his blog, www.surajsodha.com