Archive for April, 2009

Should I Have a Blog?

Friday, April 24th, 2009

I’ve spent as much time talking clients out of starting a blog as I’ve spent talking them into a blog. If you hate to write (or can’t pay someone else to do it), can’t find the time to write, or don’t think you have anything to say, save yourself the heartache and don’t start a blog. But! If you want to get clients from the internet and are willing to write (or pay someone to do it), blogging is a great way to get people into your sales funnel.
The following is a down-and-dirty quick way to decide if blogging is for you and your business.

 

Benefits of a Blog:
– It’s a lot easier to add a new blog post than it is a new web page. With a little training, a non-technical person can add a blog post but you need a programmer to add a web page.
– A blog is a great way to build relationships online.
– A blog is a great way to keep in touch with clients and prospects.
– Because readers can comment on what you’ve written, you can create a dialogue with readers. (Depending on how you set up a blog, you can moderate comments before they are viewable to others.)
– A blog is a great way to become a recognized expert in your industry and to the media.
- People can find your business in ways they otherwise wouldn’t be able to find you. (i.e. blog directories, mentions in other blogs, social media sites like Digg or Technorati)

Blogging Options:
The first decision that needs to be made about a blog is figuring out where it will “live.” A blog (like a website) needs to be hosted on a server. There are two ways to do this:
Use a service like https://www.blogger.com/ where the blog lives on their server.
Host your blog on the same server as your website.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each:
  Using a Service Hosting Your Own
Benefits It’s free
Can be set up in a few minutes
It does nothing for your own website’s rankings
To get it to look like the other pages on your site, you need to have someone create a custom template
Drawbacks Can drastically improve your website’s rankings
Looks more professional than using a service
Can make it look like the other pages on your website
Need to have someone set it up for you
May need to have a slightly more expensive hosting plan
 
Which option should I choose?
- Use a service if money is really tight or you’re not sure you will keep up with it, go with a service. You can always go with hosting your own later. BUT, it’s kind of pain to move your old blog posts to a new blog.
– Host your own if improving your rankings and looking professional are important.
How the eMarketing Strategist Can Help:
– Explain how all this works in plain English.
– Help figure out what features you need.
– Give you pointers on what can be done to help improve your blog’s rankings.
– Coordinate with the programmer to minimize programming expenses.
– Give you pointers on how to increase readership and comments.
– Submit the blog to blog directories.

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My Two Cents on Twitter

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I can’t take it anymore. I have to weigh in on Twitter. I thought the “trying to figure out how to make money from it” hype was bad when blogs came along but that had nothing on Twitter.

If your only goal is to “figure out how to make money from it”, please do us all a favor and cancel your Twitter account. You’re not going to make money from Twitter. I don’t care what the self styled internet marketing Gurus are telling you. You might – and that’s a big might – make money because of relationships you’ve nurtured on Twitter but that’s it.

There is no 1:1 relationship between Twitter and your income. And I think that’s a good thing. The internet was originally designed as a way to share information and despite the best efforts of the Gurus, it’s still primarily a way to share information. If sharing of information leads to business, great. But it starts with sharing information!

I only follow people who provide quality information. My time is valuable to me and I’m sure you’re time is valuable to you. It’s one of the few things in life we can’t make more of or get back once it’s gone.

My Twitter Red Flags…

You follow more people than follow you.
It tells me you think Twitter is a numbers game and you expect that if you follow someone they will follow you. I’m sure there are self proclaimed internet marketing gurus who think it’s some great secret they’re sharing when they tell their minions “You can get TONS of traffic (they love the phrase “tons of traffic”) by following everyone you can find because they will follow you back. If they don’t, un-follow them.”

You measure your Twitter success by the number of followers you have.
Me, I graduated from high school. Not just literally but emotionally. Having 9000 followers on Twitter won’t make me feel more confident about the success of my business. Having quality relationships with people I respect and trust makes me feel better about the success of my business.

All your Tweets all start with @friendsname.
If your Twitter stream consists primarily of replies, it tells me you use Twitter as an instant messaging service. I actually take the time to read tweets and I really don’t care to follow your disjointed personal conversations. Sometimes replying to a Tweet can be interesting but please, try to include the rest of us in the conversation.

Most of your Tweets are back to your own content.
Really? You think you’re the only one with something interesting to say? Oh I get it! You’re using Twitter as a “traffic generator.” (Smells like the Gurus again!) You know. You can also get traffic by sharing other people’s content. Not only does it make you look well informed, it makes you look generous. And it makes you interesting.

Phew. Okay. I feel better now.

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