Monthly Archives: April 2012

Great Tips for Successful Blogging

Blogging SuccessBlogging is one of the best tools for marketing a business. The following are some guidelines that can help enhance the success of your business through blogging.

Write on your areas of expertise

When you share information which helps your readers enhance their skills or attain their goals, you automatically gain some credibility. As a result, people will start linking to you and quoting you frequently on social media sites. Make sure every post you share is accompanied by an appropriate image.

Make your posts concise and clear

Each of your posts should be focused on one specific subject. This will enable you to keep your posts brief. Ideally, each of your posts should not be more than 500-words long. After writing a draft, go through the article and remove any unnecessary words. This way, you could reduce the word count by up to 20%. Media resources and other bloggers will find it easier to share your posts if they are concise and clear.

Readability

Make sure your posts are organized in a way that makes them easily readable. Write short sentences. Use sub-headers to divide your thoughts. Avoid using technical words which might be unfamiliar to your readers. If your posts are readable, your visitors will be encouraged to come back for more.

Post frequently

If possible, try and get at least two or three posts published every week. Social media sites and search engines work better with predictable patterns of publication.

Be personal

You will connect better with your readers better if you are personable. Therefore, feel free to reveal who you really are and to share your personal experiences. Let your passion for the subject, as well as your personality, shine through your posts.

Respond to comments

When people make comments on your blog, make sure you respond. This way, your readers will feel appreciated and will be encouraged to visit again and leave more comments.

Improve your ‘searchability’

You need to edit each post so as to improve your chances of being found through search engines. Keep your titles short, not more than 60 characters in length. In case they have to be longer, make sure the most vital words are placed first. It is also important for the title to include the main keyword. Create a list of relevant keywords for your post and insert them into the keyword field.

Network with other blogs

Build outgoing and incoming links for your blog. These links will be useful for enhancing your visibility on search engines. Create links to other bloggers and ask them to create reciprocal links to you. When you submit posts to other blogs, remember to include a link pointing back to your blog.

Participate actively in social media and forums

Each time you get a post published, share it on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon or Digg. If you are part of any forum which is relevant to your industry, make sure you interact with other members frequently. Every time you post a comment, remember to include a link pointing back to your blog. This will enhance your credibility and will also improve traffic to your blog.

Link Building – What to Look Out For

Link buildingBuilding links is one of the best strategies for enhancing the ranking of a website or blog. However, there are some factors that can cause link building to work against you. Here are some things to look out for.

Nofollow links

Some sites add a ‘nofollow’ tag to the HTML code of outgoing links. This means that such link have no value in terms of improving the rank of the destination site. Nofollow tags are normally used to discourage people from posting materials or commenting purely for SEO purposes. Therefore, if you are planning to post anything with a link on another site, find out if there are any nofollow tags on the source page.  When on the page you wish to link to, right-click on your mouse and then select View Page Source. If the nofollow tag appears, then you might not benefit much from a link on that page.

Outbound vs inbound links

Search engines take note of the number of outgoing links versus the number of incoming links. You might have many quality links pointing to your site, but have several outgoing links in your site which are not valuable. This might affect your site’s ranking negatively. It is therefore important to be wise in the selection of your link partners. Avoid linking to low quality or irrelevant sites.

Automatic link submission

You will find several offers suggesting that with a single submission, you can get hundreds of links. Search engines will automatically see such links as spam. As a result, you site might get banned from being listed in search results. It is therefore not worth it to get hundreds of links instantly, only to be blacklisted later.

Link exchanges

Link exchange is where you agree to link to someone on condition that they link back to you. This strategy could help improve your rankings if the incoming links are from other relevant sites. However, exchanging link with irrelevant or low quality sites is a waste of time, and may result in being penalized by search engines.

Paid links

Some paid link programs such as Google AdSense are in many cases beneficial when it comes to search engine optimization. However, paid link advertising does not necessarily help enhance your ranking. Before spending your money on paid advertising, try all the free strategies first and monitor your results. In the process, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. This might end up saving you several dollars later.

6 Vital Website Maintenance Tips

Web maintenanceIt is very important to maintain your website so as to keep it fresh and thus avoid losing visitors. The following are some tips that can be useful in website maintenance.

  1. Add fresh content

Search engine spiders will crawl your pages more frequently if the content is being continually altered or updated. It is therefore advisable to add a fresh post to your site at least once every week.

  1. Check for broken links

Broken links will put off visitors and discourage them from exploring the rest of your site. You might therefore end up losing many prospective customers. Websites or businesses that were previously linked to your site or blog might have shut down, thus resulting in broken links. It is therefore very important to check your site or blog for broken links at least twice every month.

  1. Build incoming links

The popularity of your site is determined by the number of sites that link to it. Sites which have many quality incoming links are usually ranked higher than those that have fewer links. You should therefore make an effort to get links from related sites which have a good ranking. Link building should be a continuous strategy for enhancing and maintaining your rankings.

  1. Keep track of your site’s rankings

Search engines can change their system of ranking overnight without any notice. If you don’t keep track of your rankings frequently, you might not understand why the performance of your site has deteriorated suddenly. It is therefore very important to stay abreast of search engine changes. You will then be able to make changes to your site accordingly.

  1. Evaluate your web copy

You could receive many visitors on your site or blog, and still end up making no sales. The problem might be your web copy. Try thinking from the customer’s perspective and rewrite it. Don’t focus on the features of the product, but rather on its benefits. At times, all it takes to improve your sales is changing a line or two.

  1. Monitor your website statistics

Most web hosts provide site statistics which show how many people visited your pages and which keywords they used when looking for your site. These statistics will help you identify the keywords that are used frequently by people visiting your site. You can then use these, as well as other alternative keywords to optimize your pages, and thus increase traffic to your site.

A good website maintenance plan is essential for a site to operate at an optimum level. As a result, you will be able to increase your sales and keep a step ahead of the competition.

Email Marketing Tips for Photographers

Many photographers market themselves through emails. The following are some ideas for maximizing the impact of your emails.

1. Use striking and high quality images

This is obviously a very important requirement. However, you should not judge your work by yourself since you will have a tendency to be subjective. Therefore, you need to find other people to offer their opinions of your work. This could be either a photo buyer or a photo editor.

2. Use relevant subject lines

The fact is that there are many photographers out there looking for work. Most photo editors receive dozens of emails on a daily basis, meaning that some emails go unread. Therefore, if your email is going to be opened and read, you need to make sure your subject line is relevant and catchy. Avoid the temptation of writing deceptive subject lines or creating unnecessary urgency by using words such as ‘Urgent!’ You will only end up losing the trust of the buyer or editor.

3. Use relevant images and text

The story idea and images that you are sending should be relevant to the recipient and immediately obvious. Avoid beating around the bush and get to the point right away. Since photo editors are very busy people, you need to make sure that they can quickly scan your email and understand what it’s about.

4. Have a distinct technique and style

Don’t try to imitate other people. As a photographer, you need to have your own distinct approach and style. If you just think and look like any other photographer out there, there is a high possibility of being ignored.

5. Use images representative of your site

The subject matter and style of the images used in your email should be representative of what is available on your website. If a photo editor or buyer is impressed with your style, they might want to have a look at your site. When they arrive there, make sure they get more of what they saw in your email.

6. Target your mails

It is important to know who the recipient of your email is, what their interests are, what styles are relevant to their publication and what images they have used recently. This way, you will be able to send each person a personally tailored email.

7. Appeal to emotions

Playing with emotions of your recipients can be a very effective way of getting their attention. When they read your stories or see your images, let them feel something. Describe moods and feelings and sell your photos and story using expressive terms.

8. Share previously published work

If your work has been featured in other publications before, you need to share it. When photo buyers and editor see your work in these publications, they will get a good picture of your professionalism and range.

9. Mention geographic location

Photo buyers and editors are interested in knowing where you are located. Most would want to work with a photographer who is readily accessible and doesn’t have to travel. Therefore, it is important to mention where you are located so as to take advantage of work that is available in your area.

Online Fitness Marketing Tips

Fitness professionals are increasingly using the internet as a marketing tool. Previously, fitness marketing was done primarily through direct mailings which were very expensive. Nowadays, social media has made it very easy to carry out marketing campaigns at almost no cost. The following are some guidelines for online fitness marketing.

  • Have a objective of making a specific number of followers, friends or fans on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace or Twitter
  • If you have a fitness blog, network with bloggers in the fitness industry and request them to link to your blog
  • Post a short video of yourself to your site. A video will enable you to connect with your audience in a more personal way
  •  Market your products or services on YouTube using short videos. Remember to include a link pointing back to your site
  • Offer free webinars and use opt-in forms to capture email addresses
  • Share fitness news and tips regularly on Twitter and Facebook

Social media marketing is just one way of connecting with many prospects and establishing a thriving business. However, there are many other strategies that can be used in fitness marketing.

  • Identify your niche market. Make sure your web content is specifically targeted to this market
  • Find out what people really desire or need, then offer a solution which will help them attain their fitness objectives
  • Market your products or services to people face-to-face whenever possible. This is a very effective way of creating customer loyalty
  • Whenever someone asks for additional information through a phone call or an opt-in form, make sure you respond fast
  • Build backlinks back to your site by writing posts for other sites
  • Create RSS feeds so as to keep your potential clients and existing customers updated about your business
  • Update your website content regularly so as to keep it current and fresh
  • Offer former customers special discounted prices to lure them back
  • Make use of video and live chat to communicate with people
  • Take advantage of online marketing strategies such as customer testimonials, search engine optimization, as well as auto-responders
  • Offer your existing customers rewards when they refer new clients
  • Promote fitness programs instead of fitness sessions. This will help you establish sustained customer relationships

These are just a few of the strategies which can be applied in fitness marketing. The most important thing is to understand your target market and find the most effective way of reaching them. As you market online, don’t forget the power of offline marketing.