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How to Build and Improve the Reputation of a New Small Business

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With an influx of new, innovative companies every day, it’s necessary to build a solid reputation around your fledgling small business. This can seem daunting since there are so many routes you can take when creating a reputation for your company. However, the number of choices you have should be seen as opportunities to create the best version of your business, brand, and possible customer-base.

The reputation of an online business can be discovered in many different ways. One of the most popular and first impressions made is usually done through the search results. If your website, blog, or brand isn’t ranking number one for your name or brand in Google, that’s the first sign of a bad reputation. You want to leave a great first impression on your audience and let them know you don’t have any negative feedback, complaints, or legal issues out there as well.

Here are some tips on how to build a good reputation for your new small business.

Having a Solid Presence on Social Media

Creating a nuanced social media presence is integral to building a long-term reputation for your company. Because we’re fixed in a digital age, much of your customers’ interaction with your SMB will be online. Even if you don’t have a social media account, people can research your company through websites like Yelp. If you’re poorly reviewed on these sites, and don’t have any positive information about your business, your reputation will suffer.

At the same time, social media is all about engagement. It’s not enough to simply create an online account and just let it sit there, you need to actually grow it out and connect with the right audiences at the same time. Through the use of Twitter growth automation tools, it’s now possible for small businesses and brands to select and target what type of demographic audiences they would like to go after, then let the software and automation do the work for them. A perfect example of this would be if you had an online service that helped with WordPress security and theme development. It wouldn’t be hard to target such an audience through Twitter, then allowing them to discover what your brand and services are really all about.

Let’s face it: People are scrolling through their newsfeed throughout the day, every day. They are taking in information whether you like it or not. Maintaining a solid and authentic social media presence will expand your growth and opportunities—so, create an account and have fun with it!

Building a Trustworthy Website

In addition to utilizing social media, your business should maintain and update a website. As well as the impact you’re making from your social media presence, your actual site is going to drastically impact your customers’ opinions of your business. So, make sure you’re using a site that is easy to navigate.

This can be made a lot easier when using a web hosting site since the platform does much of the work for you. There are a number of monthly web hosting plans that you can use to help maintain your website. Just remember to look at the features included, such as number of site pages, security functions, inclusion of business email accounts and more.

At the same time, just having a website or blog might not be enough. What if you wanted to create an online store or ecommerce business? When you start factoring in the different issues here, not only do you need to have a trustworthy web hosting provider and platform to create and list your products, you also need to have a solid payment portal and support system in place as well. This is where a solution like Shopify can really come into play — as they are a trusted brand and are currently hosting millions of online stores for brands and small business owners around the world. Be sure to check out this list of some of their most successful online e-commerce sites to get a better understanding of how to not just have a safe and successful online store, but to also improve your reputation and gain the respect of your audience in the process.

Establishing Brand Identity that People can Trust

Establishing brand identity might be the most important way to make a name for your small business. Anything you put online will either help or hurt your brand. Like with maintaining a good social media and website presence, knowing your brand is crucial in keeping customers interested—and crucial in having a solid web presence.

Effective brand marketing can give your business major success in the market. It’s like giving your customers an individualized promise, so make it unique to your business! The more you stick out (as long as you’re professional) the better. Obviously, you don’t want to stick out for the wrong reasons, like bad customer reviews.

Networking Your Way to the Top

Although online presence is important, networking with individuals and other businesses is just as crucial to building a strong reputation for your business. It’s a literal web of connections at your fingertips. Not to mention, it’s also a great way to expand your knowledge, learn from other companies, and obtain new clients. Take advantage of it. You’ll be glad you did.

Networking is extremely important for individuals, businesses, and brands of all sizes. Not only is it great for making new contacts, it’s also perfect for getting your name and face out there for personal discussions and making new introductions that simply can’t be done through email. In the world of affiliate marketing, blogging, and online business, there are plenty of great conferences in New York City and around the world that every entrepreneur should attend. If you aren’t in the NY area, no worries — there are new conferences and events taking place all over the world. Simply perform a Google search to see what’s going on in your area.

Leveraging PR Opportunities is Key

Having a public relations (PR) plan for your business should be near the top of your list in establishing a good reputation. Developing PR plans ensures a connection with consumers, fosters loyalty, and is quite simply just more effective than advertising.

Leveraging PR opportunities helps inform the public about your offers in an editorial (rather than advertorial) way. In other words, it helps showcase your expertise—all the while driving conversation of your business in the market. This can include stewarding your brand online and targeting your audience.

These tips on building a reputation for your small business can get you up and running with a solid reputation. Just remember to stay true to your brand and update and maintain your web presence according to your specific audience.

As an active entrepreneur and blogger, my topics of discussion are mainly on business strategy, tech startups and motivating others to succeed. You can read up on my latest content at BlogReign.com.

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Blog Content or Promotion?

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Freaking both!!!

I just scanned a tweet. Someone noted how a well-read blog stressed promotion over creating content, going so far to say that blog traffic does not come from publishing great content. 100% of the time, this statement is not true. Why? If you do not publish valuable, helpful, great content, you could promote it in 1 billion places and nobody will care. Nobody will read it. You will not get traffic. Nobody will buy your stuff. You will not boost profits. I know top bloggers mean well, but sometimes they get so analytical that they blind themselves from truths, and advise bloggers inaccurately.

Blog content needs to rock, for people to share it, and for people to buy what you offer, or for people to hire you. But blog promotion needs to be top shelf too, or else you blog in a cyber cave. Nobody will know who you are or what you offer unless you promote your blog effectively through guest posting, through genuine blog commenting and by building your blogger friend network. No way around that one. Like I say in my course for getting featured on top blogs, you want to write your butt off and bond with niche leaders. This means plenty of creating, and plenty of connecting. Or, content and promotion.

But never get promotion twisted, guys. I received a few common emails this morning; strangers asked me if they could submit a guest post to me. I have no idea who they are, what they offer or heck, anything about them. But strangers who never earned my trust want to promote themselves and their blogs on my blog? Nope. I ignore these emails or alert them to buying my eBook so they can learn how to guest post on popular blogs. Promoting your blog is not about promoting YOUR blog. Promoting your blog is about building friendships with bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. Allow friendships to form. As bonds form, blogging buddies promote your blog freely, expanding your reach and increasing your traffic and profits.

Of course, you need to practice your writing regularly to create skillful content showing off your expertise. Readers only gobble up and enjoy content created by skilled writers. Skilled writers practice writing daily, either online or offline. Nobody becomes skilled unless they write a bunch. But skilled writers do lay the foundation for a prolific, successful blogging campaign because folks freely share good content published by experienced, expert bloggers.

Both Content and Promotion

Focus both on creating helpful content and building bonds leading to cross-promotion. Think of promotion being an indirect thing. You will not promote your blog in 1000 places daily by copying and pasting links. But you will make friends with top bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. These friends promote your blog in many spots; indirect but powerful, and effective, in spreading your blogging word around the clock.

Keep helping people through your content and through assisting other bloggers freely, asking for nothing. Content, and promotion, both create a dazzling blogging campaign. Beware about getting caught up in either/or; focus too much on content and you lose your blogger friend network, along with massive indirect promotion. Focus too much on promotion by building your network, and you have no quality content for them to share. Easy does it. Balance between each aspect of blogging and you will become a successful blogger.

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Does Blog Content Make You Money?

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Nope.

My eBook:

How My Wildest Travel Experiences Can Help You Become a Successful Blogger

starts off with a Bali Bang. I slammed into the ground during a wicked motorbike accident. Pain followed. Big time pain. Excruciating pain. What was my life and blogging lesson? Never take your eyes off of the road. I looked at a dog for a split second who’d been hit by a car or motorbike. Shaking my head at his injured paw, I missed the oil slick ahead. Ouch. 2 seconds later, I felt like 40,000 monkeys stabbed me in the back and lungs, after hitting pavement, Superman-style.

Blogging is similar. You will be punished if you take your eyes off of the proven, straight and narrow road of blogging fundamentals. One such fundamental is knowing YOU, not your blog, and not your content, makes money. Sometimes, we say blogs or content makes money because we speak in casual terms to help people see importance in creating and connecting. But getting clear, and helping you understand this simple concept, behooves me to stress how your generous practice, your creations and your connections make you money through your blog. Never, ever is it the other way around because blogs are inanimate objects. Content is an inanimate object too; it cannot do anything, or be anything,

You are the one, the blogger, the being, that puts everything into motion. This involves your generous effort, your willingness to learn a skill and your daily practice, creating and connecting for years, to make your content pop. Sure I sell stuff THROUGH my content but it was me, and my generous effort, and not the content itself, that did the selling. The content is not anything. Content cannot do anything. Content is worthless unless bloggers inject worth into it; see what I mean? The blogger makes it pop, or, makes content a dud, and that pop-dud outcome bases itself solely on a blogger’s generous effort and full commitment to learning their craft, day after day, for years of their lives.

You can and will succeed. You can do it. Really. But you need to understand how you are the center of it all. Everything moves according to your focus, practice and generosity. Content is a tool; like a hammer, if by itself, totally useless. Hammers need humans to work, and hammers need skilled carpenters to really sing. Content needs skilled, generous bloggers to make it sing, too, and the skills increase as your focus and generous practice, and service, increases.

Does blog content make you money? Nope, not at all. Put in the time and energy to helping folks for free. Improve your skills. Increase your exposure. In time, slowly add multiple streams of income to your blogging campaign. Allow cash to flow to you as people see you in all types of spots, making a serious impact where you show up, because of your blogging skills. Everything gets easier if you commit 100% to honing your skills blogging-wise because the content genuinely sings when you get the job done, with your prodigious, polished blogging skills.

Content makes zero dollars.

You, through your practice and generous service, develop the skills through which you make your content top notch. Profits follow.

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Why Do You Want to Publish an eBook?

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One subsection of my eBook on writing eBooks is:

Know Why You Want to Publish an eBook

Knowing why gives you clarity if you write to free yourself and to free your readers. But if you write just to make money or to be well know, clarity lessons. Fear invades your mind because you write mainly to get, not to give. Shifting from fear to fun intent-wise just takes a little decision on your part. Small potatoes really. But this shift does feel a bit uncomfortable if you are new to the eBook writing process because you need to face fears. Who wants to face fear? Nobody, really.

But facing fear is one tax to pay for being successful in blogging and life. Ditto for your self-publishing journey. I largely faced fears to be who I am today, although I keep uncovering fears along the way. Part of the journey. I am cool with that. I had to ask why I wanted to publish an eBook about 4 years ago when I went on a tear, but even before, in 2014, I asked why I published an eBook in the first place? Simple. I created a new blog and brand in Blogging From Paradise and just believed having an accompanying eBook would help me be successful. I only had one eBook in mind. I never thought beyond the single eBook. But someone told me I deserved to write another eBook so after my first, I wrote and self-published a second eBook. I caught the writing bug.

100 plus eBooks later, here I am, writing eBooks for years, and now, promoting the eBooks effectively. The why, the emotion I chose in writing eBooks, propels me forward because I do what I do to have fun, to spread love and to help you, largely. One small part of me wants to make money online too. This is OK. As long as it is a small part of what you do, eBook-wise. Moving that money aspect mostly to the side gives me the energy to keep writing and to keep promoting, should I choose to write another eBook. Now I am all about promoting those suckers.

Why did you consider writing and shipping an eBook? Be honest with yourself. Think through your driver. Money? Fame? Sweet passive income stream? Each primary driver saps your energy because money, fame and passive income flow to you years or minimum, months, after publishing your eBook. What do you do during that zero dollar time? Money drives you, but you see no money. Since you lose your motivator, you quit. This is why so many authors fade into obscurity. Poor driver. Sell 3 eBooks, get flustered because you made $4.35 over 6 months, and quit, because money drove you but you made no money. On the flip side, bloggers and authors who choose a fun, freeing intent promote and write every day for their online career because the work is the reward. All else feels like a bonus, gravy, extra, or icing on the cake….including money.

Be straight with your eBook driver. Do not bother writing an eBook if you mainly want money because you quit and fail when money does not arrive. Even in rare cases if you make money pretty fast, you lose your heart and feel bad reaching money goals because we are mainly designed to have fun and help people, not to make money.

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