To blog, or not to blog – that is the question.
With apologies for paraphrasing the famous opening line in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, it seems apropos in debating the merits of blogging vis-à-vis hiring search-engine optimization (SEO) experts.
If you’re like most business owners, budgets are tight. So you have to make sure to get the best return on your marketing investment. That means a strong ROI from online and traditional marketing.
With all due respect, you’ll find millions of people online who have proclaimed themselves as SEO gurus. And every day, they contact me or my associates looking for work.
Many, possibly, are successful. But many can’t back up their claims. Why?
If you have to choose between hiring an SEO person or blogging, the former simply doesn’t lay a long-term foundation for Web prominence as well as good blogging.
To use a sports metaphor: If you launch a great blog, you won’t have to look over your shoulder as much, and worry about your online competition.
You can focus on aggressively running your race.
Blogging is a platform for content marketing, and there are valid reasons why savvy B2B marketers like content marketing. SEO should only complement a blog.
So if you have budgetary constraints, and you have to make a choice, your best branding bet is to budget time for a blog and to add it to your Web site.
- Ironically, regular blogging is inherently a SEO best practice, especially for B2B marketing. Meaningful blogging on a regular basis and promoted on Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook serve as catalysts for highly prized links in business. Links are an SEO objective.
- Frequency of change is an important criterion for search engines. After you post a blog, search-engine crawlers are all over your Web site noting the change. The crawlers along with choice keywords, generate valuable traffic and links. The more you write, the more links you get.
- Google, in particular as the No.1 search engine, places even a higher premium on quality content. In evaluating your Web site, Google asks 23 key questions about your Web site.
- You can get added credibility by using Google’s author program.
- Internet users crave information. They especially will appreciate your checklists, tips and strategies.
- A blog ties in well with press releases. If used correctly, they’re a great tool to promote blogs, and strategic press releases will help you beat your competition. However, don’t use the same verbiage in your blog as in your press release.
- Blogs are a platform to display rich media, eBooks, and white papers that you can sell. (For example, see the 11 best practices to profit from writing a business white paper.)
- You will be able to create opportunities to interact with your visitors — it’s a great idea to engage your potential customers or clients.
Further, blogging is easy if you can write. It will be a source of great satisfaction for you.
From the Coach’s Corner, for success in blogging, here are additional tips:
9 Content Traits of the Best Blogs — In blogging, it helps to be trustworthy and a great storyteller. My sense is that the best blogs share nine common traits in publishing quality content. Why do the best blogs share nine common traits? I base my conclusions on two factors: Information gleaned from Google and from my own journalism experience.
13 Tips to Develop the Best Content for a Top-Rated Blog — Content marketing has become an art form via blogs. Google the term, blog, and you’ll see millions of search results. At last count there were 190 million blogs. So you face serious competition for readers’ eyes. That’s especially true if you want to be known as a go-to informational site in your niche.
SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog — To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies. If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work. You must have a strategic blogging goal.
Worried Your Web Site Losing Visitors? Best Practices to Fix it — If your site’s visitor numbers are falling, there are five possible reasons. The key is to know what’s wrong before you start applying solutions. It used to be that Web-site owners only had to worry about losing traffic in the summer.
Make Your Blogging, Social Media and PR Work to Attract Fans — Businesspeople have discovered social media is a work in progress. It takes huge amounts of time, not only to implement innovations, but to succeed.
“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional.Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Multi-million dollar venture-capital financing decisions are affected by bloggers and social media.
That’s the conclusion from an academic study, “Putting Money Where The Mouths Are: The Relation Between Venture Financing and Electronic Word-of-Mouth.” See the 2012 report here.
But blog coverage can be tricky. The research shows VC applicants should be strategic in soliciting publicity. The right strategy yields a higher funding amount and valuation.
“I talked to VCs from many top VC groups, and VCs in general rely on few popular blogs such as TechCrunch, GigaOm, and Venturebeat,” said Professor Aggarwal. “Given their reading behavior, these findings totally make sense.”
But there’s a downside. Beware of the possibility of negative blogger reviews.
“After all it is more of a rejection process than a selection process,” explained the professor. “VCs want to sift through the pile of startup plans on their desks quickly, and are essentially looking for a reason to reject a plan and move on.”
But there’s a downside. Beware of the possibility of negative blogger reviews.
Early funding rounds
He indicates blog coverage has a strong effect in the early funding rounds. But the impact of the publicity diminishes in later rounds.
“This makes sense, because in the early stages, all they may have is a dream of what they could be,” explained Professor Aggarwal. “As time passes, users, usage, and other accounting measures start to give a better signal about their actual potential.”
To be sure, private equity funding has been a successful approach for the world’s biggest technology companies, such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Startups need the funding to develop products, recruit employees, pay vendors, and for marketing. In the dot.com heyday, an aggregate $135 billion was raised from VCs in one year.
Since 2000, the total annual VC funding has been more than $25 billion annually. The beneficiaries typically have been IT entrepreneurs.
The study’s co-authors are Harpreet Singh of the University of Texas-Dallas, Ram Gopal of the University of Connecticut and Alok Gupta of the University of Minnesota.
It’s also interesting to note the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business has programs in entrepreneurship, technology innovation and venture capital management. It launched the country’s largest student-run venture capital fund with $18.3 million.
From the Coach’s Corner, here’s additional recommended reading:
Eight Strategies to Consider Before Starting A Tech Business — Before you launch a tech business, here are eight salient strategies to remember.
What No One Tells You about Raising Investment Capital — Downturn or not, investment capital is indeed available. That’s true during all economic cycles, according to leading consultant Joey Tamer.
What Should You Divulge When Asking for Investment Capital? — If your startup is the next big thing, but you want venture capital, you can start smiling. Yes, financing has been difficult to obtain in recent years. But entrepreneurs wanting venture capital have reasons for at least a small celebration – the money is starting to flow again after the Great Recession took its toll.
How to Attract an Angel Investor — Now that a UNH study indicates early stage financing by angel investors is more advantageous than venture capital money, what now? An angel investor offers seven tips.
Why Women Receive Less Angel Funding Than Men — It’s well-known that women receive less angel funding than men, but it isn’t because of a male-oriented bias.
“Persistence, persistence, persistence. I’m surprised how few entrepreneurs follow up.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
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