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3 Tips for Starting a Business Blog

A Blog connected to your business website is an important arm of your online strategy in 2012. Blogs are integral in keeping your customers, clients and staff up to date and connected with your business on a day to day basis. Your feature articles and posts can be written by the staff, by other departments and even by your customers. Making use of one of the free blogging platform makes it easy, free and accessible for even the smallest of start up businesses. Here are my three tips for business blogging to get you started.

Once upon a time having a brochure style business website with a catalog was enough of a presence to lure online searches towards your business. In 2012, it is far more productive and a much more efficient return on your investment to make use of a business blog to share your business brand online.

First thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with a free blogging platform like blogspot or wordpress. Now, do you know what your business keywords are? Keywords are the most searched for terms that lead customers to your site and then convert the inquiries into sales? Put your keywords and wordpress together in a search and see what your competition is up to. You should see a list of other blogs that already focus on your niche. Now it is your turn to create your own blog and contribute your effort to the blogosphere.

Now you have done some research seeing what everyone else is up to, it is time to register your own blog. I would suggest you use a keyword and something related to your particular specialization or brand. So it all ties together and you have some brand transfer between your blog and main website.

Next, write a short post about your business. And for your second post you can write another few paragraphs about your business this season – what new stock or new products you have or how things are evolving at the workplace. See? You are getting the hang of it already! Be open, honest and a little bit candid or controversial to keep the readers’ interest. Remember, boring copy makes for tedious reading and time poor readers are impatient for quality content.

So now you have launched your blog it is time to offer guest posts to other staff and managers from different departments to contribute. Insist that they write up to 400 words about a personality based experience that involves the business or the brand. Keeping the personal element ensures that there is more to the post than just product promotion – and frankly reading product promotional material is not really that entertaining.

Aim to maintain a consistent presence on your blog – it will keep you readership loyal and interested and sustain their connection to your business and brand. You will find a plethora of resources to help keep you interested and inspired to produce worthwhile content – and remember – fresh original content is what drives a quality blog. As your readership grows you will have a veritable community of loyal followers who all share your interest and offer commentary on your posts. And above all, your business blog becomes a relevant and valuable asset to your business.

Moneyball – How a Baseball Movie Will Help Your Business Grow

This year at the Oscars, my favorite nominee for Best Picture was Moneyball starring Brad Pitt.

Many think it is a great baseball story but to me it is a terrific business story with lessons to help small businesses compete in a big money world. It’s a story about underdogs who had to rethink how to level the playing field against incredible odds.

In 2002, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) had a huge problem. The big money teams like the New York Yankees had lured away his top talent.

By comparison, the New York Yankees spent more than $125 million in payroll in the 2002 season while the small market A’s were limited to less than $40 million.

Beane knew the Yankees and most other teams had an unfair advantage with their big budgets but the A’s new owners refused to spend any more money. They demanded that the team be treated as a business and charged Beane with the task of winning in the Major Leagues with a budget that was smaller than that of nearly every other team.

Beane understood that he could not compete when playing the same game against the big teams and bigger budgets. He had to try a different path of do or die. In a desperate need for a way to compete, Beane went against conventional wisdom and set out to develop his own new unfair advantages with tools that didn’t require a lot of capital investment.

He turned to analytics.

Beane listened to new ideas and hired a 25 year old Yale graduate student who was a master at analyzing stats that were not generally considered top priority in the average scouting process. Ignoring traditional recruiting techniques, the A’s took advantage of more empirical gauges of player performance to build a team that could successfully compete in Major League Baseball. The new team was built with young players and cast-off older players who didn’t fit the norm.

The results?

The Oakland A’s finished 1st in the American League West with a record of 103 wins and 59 losses, and set an American League record of winning 20 consecutive games.The A’s won the exact same number of games that the Yankees won, but the Yankees spent $1.4 million per win and the A’s paid $260.000.

The recruiting game was forever changed.

Like many startup and growing businesses owners, Billy Beane was willing to try an idea that was disruptive to traditional thinking. He listened and hired an expert to assist him in creating a new plan.

Beane lacked the belief or support of his scouting staff, many of the players, the media and even the team’s manager who fought and ridiculed him every step of the way. But he committed himself to it and did not change course.

I suggest that you watch Moneyball movie twice; the first time for pure enjoyment of a fun film and the second time with your finger on the pause button, ready to take notes.

There are many lessons for business in the movie’s dialogue. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • “There are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap…and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game.” (Be honest about where you really are in your business)
  • “Your goal shouldn’t be about players, your goal should be to buy wins.” (Keep the real objective in sight and in mind)
  • “A dollar for a soda?…Welcome to Oakland.” (Don’t blow the value of goodwill by being cheap with pennies…it’s the old penny wise – pound foolish)
  • “We’re not New York. Find players with the money that we do have.” (Be honest and firm. Play the cards you’re dealt)
  • “You guys are talking the same old nonsense; we’ve got to think differently.” (Clean the slate and start from scratch)
  • “The first guy through the wall always gets bloody.”
  • “When you get the answer you want, hang up.” (keep it short and to the point)
  • “We’re going to rethink the game. If we win, this team will have changed the game.”
  • “So what’s my biggest fear?…that a baseball will get hit in my direction.” (acknowledge and face your fears and self-doubts)
  • “The question we should be asking is do we believe in this thing or not?”

How about you? Please share your thoughts and any favorite Moneyball lines. Shoot me an email at [email protected]

May all your hits be homers and you have a winning season!

11 Reasons Why Your Business Requires A Blog

Ever thought of having a blog for your home business? Many businesses whether small or big require a blog for their business. A blog makes it easy for you to interact with your existing customers. It also adds new customers and sets up your skill.

Competition in every market place is a must, and so for you to have a voice you need to consider creating a blog. A blog can increase your sales and profits since you will be giving your business a say on the internet.

Here is how a blog is your super easy solution for your business to achieve success.

1. Attract And Retain Potential Clients

Online advertising is the new approach of doing business. Not only does a blog generate traffic, but also assists to maintain that traffic, thus keeping potential clients coming back hence increases your online trustworthiness.

2. Educates, Entertains And Engages

Most people are turning to the internet to research and get information before they purchase anything. For you to penetrate your market place especially when you work from home, writing your content with customers in mind is very important. Informed and educated visitors become confident and reliable customers.

Some people prefer listening to reading; videos can be used to entertain, which in turn assists you to make sales in your online business.

A blog is a great platform to directly address your clients. Every good blog allows the readers to comment and add their own expertise. You can call them to action by asking them questions. Reading their answers or comments will help you work on your business and improve on your weak points, hence building a relationship between the reader and you as the author.

3. Increases Trustworthiness

Trust is vital in every business. People are more likely to buy products or services from businesses they are familiar with. To ensure that clients constantly visit your business for new developments which you are updating frequently, a blog would be a simpler way to do this. By building this association’s based on trust, you are well making a face for your product, for this reason growing the possibility for more additional sales.

4. Tells your story

People like to know that the business they are dealing with is done by real people. They want real information from real people. A blog is a good way of telling people about your business. These readers will see how your business has grown and how you have dealt with challenges that come along with running a business. In the long run some of those readers will invest on your information and achievement story; hence they will find it hard to imagine working with anyone else.

5. Good For Visibility In Search Engines Results

Writing on blog posts can really help your business achieve more through the use of simple phrases and keywords. Search engines will use these keywords and send searchers to your site. To ensure visibility of your business, writing more posts increase the chances of search engines showing one of your posts to a searcher by means of keywords. To sum it up, a blog will help people find you more easily.

6. Leadership

Having a blog establishes you as an authority in your industry because you have a blog while others don’t. Since you are pushing out great contents and great ideas, it makes it easy for a customer to buy.

Having a blog helps you get the word out to potential buyers. Since they will have had a part in giving you opinions, they will as well be willing to turn into buyers.

7. Easy Marketing

A blog creates more customers at a lower cost and it also has reduced marketing costs for your business, hence more achievement.

8. Links From Other Businesses

Business associations and unions can be attained by having a blog. Since you will be online, other businesses will locate you effortlessly and in so doing help build your experience, leads and sales.

9. It Shows Your Professionalism

People are online looking for solutions to there problems. A blog gives you the ability to demonstrate your stuff. Be the solution and people will be loyal to you and tell others about you. By updating your blog regularly with the right content, people will see your professionalism in what you are talking about, which in turn becomes good for the growth of your business.

10. Be Reachable Round The Clock

You do not need to worry about the working hours, since a blog works round the clock. That means that people can access you any time even while you are asleep. This will help you work with less staff hence reducing your expenses.

11. Social Networks

When you write a blog post, you can share it across the world through social media. For you to get more result in your online advertisement, you can link your blog to social media platforms, these includes Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter, by this you will find out how easy marketing your business on social media is.

Conclusion: Many business owners have a list of excuses of why they don’t have a blog for their businesses. Whether you are a small business owner or a large business owner and you are looking for ways to grow your business, then a blog may be the best tool you need to achieve your business goals.