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Blogs That Shed Light On Your Products: 5 Tips For Writers

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Small businesses come in many different forms, but for those that focus on physical products over services, building a blog can be challenging. After all, how many ways can you talk about office supplies, bedding, or lamps? Over time, it can start to seem repetitive.

Facing this uphill battle, small businesses need to get creative to keep their blogs interesting and increase engagement with their products. If you’re seeking to expand your blog and highlight your company’s products in an exciting way, then, you need to broaden your content base. These five approaches can help you provide end users with added value, boost engagement, and – most importantly – turn traffic into sales.

Approaches To The Profile

Profiling your products is an easy way to highlight their features and build a lot of content, but from a practical perspective, this approach puts your sales strategy ahead of your clients’ needs, and that’s a big no-no. Whenever you’re developing blog posts, it’s vital that the content puts the customer first. If you want to write profiles, then you need to find ways to shift the focus, while still integrating key items.

One way you might approach the profile form other than through a particular product is by interviewing customers and staff members at your business. These profiles give you the opportunity to show that loyalty goes both ways; publicly thank top customers for their patronage, and let someone else be the booster for your products.

Examples of this include:

  1. Mail a Personal, Handwritten Letter
  2. Give a Thoughtful Gift (No Strings Attached!)
  3. Cover a Bill
  4. Highlight Special Customers
  5. Go Above and Beyond

As for your staff, blog profiles are a great way for you to give customers a peek behind the scenes at your entire business, as opposed to focusing only on an individual. Yes, this person’s perspective will personalize the post – and allow you to repeat the blog style more than once, but you’ll also be able to choose questions that fold your products seamlessly into the interview.

Set The Scene

While your small business blog should avoid highlighting products one-by-one, a great way to keep these items in the spotlight is by positioning them within a larger scene. If you already have a blog in place and are creating content, this is a perfect way to seamlessly integrate your products within actual value posts.

For example, these battery operated candles could be presented within the context of an entire table setting, with plates, linens, and centerpieces. Or, they could be discussed in a blog post about changes you could make to childproof your home. The approach can work for any product niche and also translates well to social media posts, including visual-first formats like Instagram.

Just take a look at the main page of their site and see the many different types of candles that are out on the market today. Scroll down and you will start to understand how an ecommerce based company can use blogging to their advantage, while also growing their business and serving value.

As we all know, pretty much everyone is heading to Google to find answers to all of their questions. The same holds true for everything relating to candles as well. If we head over to this site’s blog, we can see a bunch of detailed posts on the following topics:

  • Choosing The Right Luminara Candle
  • Selecting the Ideal LED Candles
  • Mini LED Lights Indoor and Outdoor
  • Window Candle Safety

The takeaway here is, if you can provide value to your audience and problem them with a solution to their question or dilemma (while also sending them to your site), then you can definitely start increasing your site traffic, sales, and branding in the process.

Time-Bound Posts

Not all blog posts need to be evergreen or even seasonal content. Instead, it can be beneficial to also develop some time-bound content. Indeed, you should never let a sale or special offer go unmentioned. Rather, posting about limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency and boost sales, whether you’re hyping your Cyber Monday deals or a sale that’s unique to you. And don’t forget: if you offer special sales to store members or other VIPs, make sure to talk about these. Your VIP deals shouldn’t be a secret because promoting them can be just what potential members need to transition to a higher engagement level.

Recap And Relate

Have you ever attended an industry event and thought, ‘Gee, I bet my customers would be interested in this’? Then why not highlight events you attend on your blog? Industry events can seem like a secret world to your customers and sharing about them is intriguing for them, as well as other professionals in associated fields. Additionally, industry event recaps lend themselves to a lot of content. You can profile speakers, talk about how you pitch your products, discuss networking strategies, and even post about industry trends. Depending on how long the event is and what topics you wish to explore, you could stretch these topics over several posts.

Here are ten of the 40 blog post ideas recommended by TheBalanceSMB to help you get started:

Don’t Forget High-Value Forms

High-value blog posts are the best way to build backlinks, yet many bloggers don’t make sufficient use of them. As you expand your blog, then, be sure to provide link roundups, cover frequently asked questions, and relevant downloadable resources. These posts are more engaging than straight product profiles, and are actually more likely to build your site’s domain authority.

Video is also gaining in popularity as a high-value format, less because it yields a lot of backlinks and more because it facilitates a high level of engagement. Users spend more time on pages that feature video, and as a business owner, you can parlay your video content into multiple other posts and use it across a variety of platforms. Video storytelling is also a great way to create a personal connection between your business and your customers.

Your company’s blog is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal and, if used correctly, it can fuel substantial growth. That’s why it’s important that you don’t limit yourself to a few formats. To broaden your base, you need to expand your blog’s horizons.

How will you think about your products in a wider context?  

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Srish Agrawal is an entrepreneur, branding consultant, and angel investor. He is also the Founder & CEO of A1 Future Technologies, which includes sites like Logo Design Team and Infographic Design Team, and has helped over 25,000 clients improve how they look online.

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Blogging

What Is the Harshest Blogging Wake Up Call?

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My harshest blogging wake up call occurred nearly a decade ago.

I would write and publish one post weekly. I spent 1 hour writing and publishing the post.

I spent the rest of the week:

  • watching TV
  • watching YouTube
  • working out
  • hanging out with friends

After a good year of following this routine I saw a few visitors to my blog daily. I recall 3 daily visitors for many months, stumbled upon my blog.

I experienced a big time blogging wake up call; you cannot build a successful blog by listening to music and watching TV all day long, minus the 1-2 hours you spend blogging, weekly.

The harshest wake up call: blogging gives you what you give blogging.

Blogging Gives You What You Give Blogging

I know of a few bloggers who complain about having terrible business prospects. When will they get more clients? When will they get more traffic? When will they make more money? I mean, they have been blogging for 5 to 10 years already. Things should be growing SO much more quickly right now, they say.

These individuals will get more clients when they stop watching Netflix all day. Do you want to be a professional Netflix watcher or a professional blogger? Pro Netflix watchers spend hours daily watching Netflix. Not sure how well that job pays. Professional bloggers spend 6-8-10 hours daily:

  • creating helpful content through your blog, through guest posts and through videos
  • building your friend network by generously promoting other bloggers and by genuinely commenting on their blogs
  • freely promoting your premium products and services through each piece of content you create
  • generously following the prior 3 steps for months

The person who follows each bullet point for months, then years, sees more and more clients. Traffic increases over time. Blogging profits increase over time. Blogging gives them what they give blogging.

Janice Wald is always after it. She’s a hustler. Follow her for inspiration.

Ditto for Saurabh Tiwari. He is one of the most dedicated bloggers I know. Follow him for inspiration.

Do Not Fight Good Advice

I have personally coached bloggers who fight my smart advice. These people say networking is not for them. These folks resist creating content because they do not want to force it. This crowd ignores good advice, then goes back to watching Netflix or sports for the next 3 hours.

If you fight good blogging advice, you will struggle and fail. It has to be that way; you are doing the opposite of what it takes to succeed. Put your ego to the side. Follow smart advice. Succeed.

Listen to the guy with this home office in Thailand. He knows what he’s talking about.

Your mind wants you to fail because it fears the fears you need to face to become a successful blogger. I feared facing deep fears years ago, so spent most of my time and energy doing everything BUT blogging. You may nod, then, go back to watching Netflix or YouTube for the next 2 hours. 2 weeks down the road, after you spent only 2 hours of your time and energy blogging daily, you feel frustrated and want to quit because you have signed up no new clients, money seems to be running out and no business looks promising, on the horizon.

It is 100% YOUR CHOICE to spend 6 hours watching Netflix today and 2 hours blogging. You are doing this. You are making this choice.

It is 100% YOUR CHOICE to make a massive shift; spend 8 hours creating content and building connections, today.

Blogging just mirrors back to you your choices and energy, you make every waking hour of every day.

Right now, you have the next 8-10 hours to generously help people through creating and networking, or you choose to focus on yourself, watching TV, streaming Netflix, hanging out with friends.

Spend those 8-10 hours daily blogging for 3-6 months, and eventually, you will see more clients.

100% your choice, your decision, your energy, your commitment to blogging success.

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Blogging

5 Blog Monetization Tips to Grow Your Passive Income

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blog monetization tips

As a blogger these days, sharing information is no longer enough.

Monetizing your knowledge is key to a profitable blogging lifestyle.

Of course, the goal is to always increase your earnings.

Whether it’s tweaking your current strategies or learning new ones, there’s always room for bloggers like you to grow your revenue.

In this post, you will let learn how to monetize a blog even more using the tried-and-true tactics below.

The blog monetization tips you must take to heart

The tips below should help you maximize the earnings from your blog.

None of the advice should yield an “a-ha” moment from you if you’re a seasoned blogger.

However, you must at least draw inspiration from these practical blog monetization tips. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make a big difference.

1. Fortify your SEO strategy

Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or not, you should know better than to do SEO on your blog.

It’s the best way to generate tons of traffic that lead to conversions and sales.

However, here’s a frequent mistake that most affiliate marketers do:

They only optimize their blog’s on-page SEO.

As crucial as on-page SEO is, it’s just half the battle.

And as a result, their half-baked SEO campaign leaves their blog rankings a tad below the first page of organic search results.

If you’re like these affiliate marketers and want to increase your rankings, then you must:

  • Build backlinks from high-quality sites
  • Research your competitors and observe their every move; take action to their plans using the data you’ve gathered
  • Monitor your backlinks and see whether you gained or lost them; find a way to get back the lost backlinks

These tasks sound like a pain in the neck. And I’m not going to lie – they are!

That’s why you need to use a tool that can help you manage all these SEO tasks for your blog.

In the crowded SEO market, I suggest that you use Serpstat.

It’s a fairly new tool that’s powerful enough to help you organize your on- and off-page SEO responsibilities.

serpstat

I wrote my unprejudiced review of the tool and I still feel it’s one of the most budget-friendly SEO tools out there.

2. Track your conversion rates using a heat-mapping tool

If you want to grow your blog’s revenue, you must scale it.

You need to know how much you’re earning and why you’re earning as much as you are now.

And you can’t do that without a heat-mapping tool.

It helps identify which parts of the page people click on the most.

Clearly, you want visitors to click on the right buttons on the page.

So if they’re clicking on all your links except your “Buy Now” button for your online course or your Google Adsense blocks, then something’s wrong!

With a tool like Crazy Egg, you’ll find out why.

You didn’t place the button or link on the section of the page where visitors can clearly see it.

Or the appearance of the button is preventing it from generating clicks.

With Crazy Egg, you never have to guess.

It lets you benchmark your content’s conversion rate and put different factors to the test!

You can change the appearance of your button, move it from one place to another – anything to hike up your page’s click-through rate!

If done correctly, you can enjoy greater conversion rates and greater revenue down the line.

3. Improve your content’s conversion abilities

Sometimes, your content – for a lack of a better word – stinks.

Even if you are a native English speaker, your choice of words can spell doom for your blog’s performance.

Here’s the thing:

You need to know who your audience is.

That makes you need to be aware of the words you’re typing in your content.

If you’re catering to women, you can’t use masculine words in the post. They will turn off your audience and leave your blog. And vice versa.

Unless you have the powers to get inside your reader’s minds, you can settle for Webtexttool instead.

webtexttool

It works similar to Yoast SEO for WordPress. The difference is that Webtexttool analyzes your content’s ability to convert.

It takes different factors into consideration such as:

  • Ease of readability
  • Text credibility
  • Target audience
  • Sentiment
  • Text layout

The tool provides an aggregate score of these factors. The higher the score, the more effective your content is.

It also shows areas of improvement for your content so you can work on them.

4. Share your site’s key metrics

If you’re offering banner space to advertising opportunities for brands, then you need to know this:

Advertisers want visibility.

They’ll be paying you to feature their banner on your blog.

But they won’t part ways with their money that easy.

You need to give them a reason why they should.

The quality of your site should speak volumes regarding this.

If you have a site that generates a least a thousand visitors every day, then you must be fielding offers on a regular.

If not, then maybe your site isn’t on that level yet. After all, advertisers won’t invest on a site that can’t even draw below a hundred visitors every day.

OR…

Maybe they just don’t know much about your blog yet.

So show vital metrics of your site’s performance!

Here are things you can feature:

  • Traffic from Google Analytics
  • SEO metrics such as Moz DA, Ahrefs DR, Majestic Flow Metrics, Alexa ranking, etc.
  • Social media followers and email subscribers (goes to show your reach outside your blog)

 

Showing off these metrics give advertisers a better idea of what your blog is about.

The higher the metrics, the more opportunities will come pouring your way!

5. Publish a blogging income report religiously

I bet you are familiar with Pat Flynn’s now-defunct income report every month:

smart passive income monthly income report

Pat’s last published income report was in December 2017.

He’s one of the first guys who did it in this space.

The income reports are very useful for marketers who are interested in building a passive income.

The goal is not to make people feel small. Nor is the purpose to brag your earnings.

Here’s the real objective of income reports:

Evangelizing your audience.

Documenting your journey towards profitability helps you connect with like-minded people who share the same path as you.

At the same time, you are transparent to your readers with your business practices.

You open the dialogue between you and your readers above what worked and what didn’t. You then are able to build a brand by sharing things that helped you grow your income and that people can replicate.

So, the question remains:

“How exactly can I earn from income reports?”

Simple – here are a few ways:

  • Use the income reports to drum up interest to your online course about (drum roll please)…how to grow your blogging income
  • Same as above but, instead of an online course, you’re selling an ebook about passive income
  • Get feedback from readers and exchange ideas on how to improve your process and make more money

These are just three quick ideas off the top of my head. You probably have more ideas in you right now. Use them!

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Blogging

How to Deal with Travel Blogger Trolls

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Have you picked up my eBook for dealing with blogging criticism?

This could be a helpful read if you don’t know how to effectively deal with blogging trolls.

I read a post from rocking blogger Jo Karnaghan on a travel blogging group run by Meg Jerrard. Jo encountered her first dyed in the wool, major league, travel blogging troll. For the uninitiated, trolls are critics. But we are initiated, aren’t we, Bruce? (I work Batman lines into posts.)

I recall writing a Huffington Post piece advising folks visit Turkey after the coup attempt. I spent a month there 1 week after the attempt. A few folks sent angry messages telling me I was not responsible, assailing me for making such a suggestion, in nasty fashion.

Dealing with trolls feels uncomfortable. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to crawl into your blogging cave, to avoid these folks? Nope. All exponential growth ends if you pull back after meeting a travel blogging troll or 2.

Follow these tips to effectively deal with blogging critics.

1: You Are a Mirror

Travel bloggers; you are not the object of criticism. You are a mirror, reflecting back to the critic something about themselves. All criticism is a projection, since we are all connected. All trolls speak of themselves. Trolls say nothing about you. Knowing this, you can breathe a bit more easily, because it is not about you.

2: Cultivate Compassion

I am typing these words in a sleepy village in Northern Thailand. Pretty cool experience.

I imagine how angry and in pain I’d have to be, to send an email to Jo, like the email she shared. I imagine how fear-filled and in pain I’d need to be, to message me as trolls-critics have messaged me in the past. These people are not sick; they are afraid and in pain, calling out for attention in bizarre fashion, one way fear-filled, pained people call out for attention.

Have some compassion for critics. Critics suffer. Otherwise, they would not be critics.

3: Turn Complaints into Creations

Commonly, we travel bloggers do a bit of complaining in response to critics, or troll-slaying. But turning the complaint into a helpful:

  • blog post
  • video
  • podcast
  • eBook; like mine above (or below)

is a smart way to help people and to prosper.

Complaining about critics or fighting trolls or trying to prove right-wrong, all waste your energy. Ultimately, you learn from criticism or you regress by fighting critics, or, by fighting your feelings.

4: Be with Feelings

I recall facing my first few angry critics. Embarrassment, rage, anger, fraud-feelings, annoyance and all types of fear-based energies coursed through my being, indicating a part of me agreed with them. I saw truth in their criticism. I sat with the fear, felt it, cleared it, and freed myself of fear-fight-fright. Clearing fear-fight-fright allowed me to see future trolls as pained, afraid people I could release instantly. No wasted energy on these folks.

Do not fight troll-induced fear-pain. You need to clear it to handle criticism with grace, ease and detachment.

5: Do Not Gang Troll Bash

Again; newbie bloggers or newbie troll facers often share updates of their encounter, leading to mass troll bashing. Not good. Not effective use of energy. No human benefits from a large group of hurt, pained, afraid bloggers saying, “Hey that guy’s a freaking jerk!”, because the troll is not a jerk, but afraid. Have you been afraid? I have. No sense kicking a dog when it is down. No sense showing your fear-pain by piling on, because only unclear, unfocused folks spend time or energy judging an obviously hurting, afraid individual.

Trolls actually like what you do. If they did not like what you did, these critics would ignore you.

Betcha you didn’t think of criticism that way, eh?

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