Blog vs. Static Website: Why Blogs are Moneymakers?

profitable content website

High-traffic content website

If you’re still up in the air about what type of website is best for your small business, or you’re toying with including a blog, here are a few facts that may help you decide.  

Despite all the hype, a blog is really nothing more than a website. Essentially a blog is a website with an easy to use content management system that allows for quick updating in chronological order.  

Blogs or “weblogs” as they were originally called, trace their roots to online journaling and community building efforts. However, used as a business tool, blogs are uniquely positioned to make you money. Here’s why.  

The structure of blogs is perfect for revenue producing efforts.  

  1. Blog sites tend to be heavy on content and their ease of use makes it easy to add updates.
  2. Regardless of which blogging platform you use, you’ll be able to produce a content-based site with a series of well-targeted pages.

Why does this matter? It’s critical because search engines love content. Textual content keeps search engine spiders well fed and persuades them to visit again and again. Google, Yahoo and MSN reward information-packed sites with better positioning in search results and index these sites quickly.  

Blogs have an advantage when it comes to traffic.  

Effective blog use produces high search engine rankings and, thus, great traffic levels. Traffic is a key to profitability. Your site won’t make you money if no one sees it. The traffic advantage blogs enjoy with search engines is one of the main reasons to consider choosing a blog for your website or adding one to your existing static site.  

You’re probably thinking you can just add a lot of content to your static site and accomplish the same objective. But you should know that adding fresh content to a static site could be more of a hassle, depending on your setup.  

Ease of Use Makes Blogs Easier to Update.  

Unless you manage your own site, adding fresh content might mean writing the content (or paying to have it written), converting it to HTML, inserting the content into the static page and then uploading the page to the server again. Unless you are using a very easy site manager, it’s probably going to take less effort to add new content to a blog.  

If it’s complicated to add fresh content, you’re less likely to add updates as often as you should. Blogging solves this problem. All major blog platforms allow users to create new “posts” and to add them to the blog with a few simple mouse clicks.

There are two other benefits of the blog platform: 

  1. The comment feature makes it easy for site visitors to providefeedback.

    RSS symbol

    RSS symbol

  2. The RSS “real simple syndication” feature lets visitors sign up to get your feed when your site is updated.

This combination can make your blog sticky, making return visitors far more likely. That traffic, when coupled with the right moneymaking strategy can produce great results.  

If your business website is strictly static, you should consider adding a blog. With a blog’s proven traffic-generating advantages, you may be able to create a profitable, high-traffic site that requires minimal effort.  

In upcoming posts, we’ll talk about ways to outsource the content creation for your “hungry” blog. So join our list or sign up for our RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss anything. And leave a comment below to let us know if you found this post helpful.

How to Create Quality Content for Your Small Business Blog

Special Guest Post by Sierra Miller from JobDescriptions.net

Profitable-TipsA small business blog can be a fantastic way to boost revenue. The most successful ones ensure that they do this by adding quality content. This may sound like a simple enough formula, but defining quality content can be confusing. So, how exactly can you tell if the content is considered “quality”, and how do you find it?

Quality Standards Begins with the Reader

Producing quality content begins with the audience. Keywords are, of course, an essential part of driving traffic. However, there has to be a demand for the information you are posting.

Make sure that keywords have the potential to generate traffic. This means that internet users are searching for the information. Knowing the demographic and what they want to learn about is essential.

A good way to do this is to browse forums related to the subject material. Through diligent observation, a small business blog owner can identify topics that generate interest.

Create Content with a Purpose

High quality content gives the reader information they can use. A common mistake that some blog owners make is that they fail to offer the reader value. What does value mean? It is the process of including information that the reader can use, for free.

Each blog post should be between two hundred and four hundred words. Since there is a lot of room for variation in the length of the post, it can be helpful to know what you want to tell the audience in advance.

An easy way to do this is to think about each post as if it is answering a question. For example, a small business blog about appliances may tell the reader how to unstop a dishwasher clog. Alternatively, the topic may be how to make your refrigerator more energy efficient. The possibilities are limitless.

Write Well

A small business blog needs for the reader to feel like they are gaining expert knowledge. This makes the blog more credible, and therefore more likely to make money. For this reason, blog posts need to be well written and flow naturally. Mistakes in grammar and spelling, keyword “stuffing”, or incorporating the use of keywords poorly can create a bad impression.

Keyword density should be between 2% and 5%, as long as the post makes sense. Remember, the goal of a small business blog is to satisfy the reader and create a demand. If no one visits, then there is very little opportunity for performance.

This article was contributed by Sierra Miller from JobDescriptions.net, a complete job description guide. Learn more about managing a small business from her business administration job description.

Website Content – What to put on Your Small Business Website?

Website Content – What to put on Your Small Business Website?

Clipboard with website content ideasIf you’re reading this blog post you’re probably knee deep in planning for a new website for your small business. You’ve heard that “content is king” on the Internet. And you may be wondering – What content? Where do I get it? What will help my business?

Your Website Content Needs to Help Your Customer

Keep your customer or site visitor in mind when you plan your content.  Whether your site visitors are looking for the solution to a problem, or just surfing for information, your site needs to be all about them. With the exception of the About page, you should not focus on you or your company.

To focus on your site visitors, you need to know what they want. So how do you find out?

  1. Visit forums and social media sites where your target customers hang out.
  2. Ask them – Use a survey to determine their interests or ask them to suggest topics they would like to know more about.
  3. Visit the sites of competitors.
  4. Track your links in emails and or website, to see what content gets clicked.
  5. Don’t just track what people buy. If you have articles and other content on your site, pay attention to what articles they read and the videos watched to get a sense of interests outside your present offerings.
  6.  Of course, you want to give them a taste of your product or service, but whatever you share should be what they NEED or WANT. That’s why a lot of people place articles, videos and other content on their websites.

The type of content you include will depend on your business:

If you are a coach, trainer or consultant, you want them to experience your style and what it would be like to work with you. But you need to do that carefully by sharing a sample of what you would provide them as clients. You want them to get a sense of the value you would bring to their business or their life if your customer is a consumer. You can do that with your website’s content or the freebie you give away to encourage them to join your list.

Writers, photographers and graphic designers typically showcase their work, to let the prospect determine if their work is a good fit.

If you plan to develop an ecommerce site, you’re going to want ad copy that will sell your product or service. You’ll also want the prospect to see, hear and experience your product with a photo or video and maybe even a demo.  You’ll want them to hear a sample of your talks or speeches if you are a speaker.

Whatever you do, don’t talk about your company.

This sampling of what you have to offer and how it will benefit the buyer is much more important than all the details about your company. You do want to establish a relationship with your site visitor by giving them a sense of your company’s personality – but trust me, they won’t care until they have decided that they’re interested in what you’re selling.

Website content can take many forms.

 Be creative. You should offer a variety of formats to suit different learning styles and preferences. Some people prefer to read information while others are more visual. Some people need to hear your material or touch it before they can really make a decision. The more varied your website content, the better.

Website Content Ideas Chart 

Let your imagination go. Consider anything that enhances the quality of your prospect’s site visit. In our next post, we’ll talk about how to create great content and where to look for ideas.

Why the Content of your Small Business Website Matters More than its Looks?

Small business owners who worry more about how their website looks than what it says are making a critical error. That’s because site visitors and search engines pay more attention to a website’s content than they do looks.

In fact some elements often found on small business sites such as flash doorways are more likely to prevent a site from being found by humans and search engine robots.

So why is the content of a small business website so important?

Types of website contentOne reason is that consumers don’t venture onto the web looking for information about your business. They often aren’t looking to buy something. They want information to solve a problem. Even when they are searching for information about a product or service, they are trying to get the facts that will help them make the best possible choice.

So if you’re creating a website as part of your marketing arsenal, the site needs to work for consumers. It needs to provide the information they are looking for before you can begin to prove that you’re the best company to do business with.

Small Business Websites Need to Speak the Consumer’s Language – Meaning they need to use the keyword phrases consumers are searching for.

Most consumers begin their web exploration by putting keywords and keyword phrases, also known as tags into search boxes – probably on Google.com, although other search engines get a fair amount of searches too.

All of those search engines uses robots to crawl millions of sites using complicated algorithms designed to return the best possible results. If the robots see that the individual is using a computer in Kentucky, based on the IP address from which they are accessing the internet, they are likely to serve up any available local resources when you are looking for a dentist or chiropractor.

On the other hand if geography is not a factor, the search engine robots will look for the most reputable sites with lots of smaller sites linking to them. It’s a good bet that there are a great number of websites all vying for the same keyword phrases. So your first challenge is to identify keyword phrases or tags that give your business a chance to get on the first page of the search results.

That’s not going to be easy unless you have an older domain and lots of sites linking in but that’s a different lesson. It’s important for you to understand the challenge.

Now let’s talk about content.

Search engines robots can’t see your pictures or your site’s design. They prefer sites with lots of relevant content. The site visitor also will respond well to strong content that relates well to their search. You know yourself, that when you perform a search, you will move past entries that don’t appear to offer the information you are looking for.

It’s only after the searcher has determined that you have the right information that they are likely to pay attention to the site’s aesthetics. So you do care about how the site looks but that is only a small part of your strategy in building a website to market your business.

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll talk more about what content really is. A lot of things you may not see as content could be just what your visitors are looking for.

Using Your Site Stats to Plan Your Marketing Strategies for 2011

Goal setting graphic with person reaching for a star

Goal setting graphic with person reaching for a star

It’s that time again. Time to evaluate what worked well or failed with your marketing activities in 2010. It’s also time to look at today’s marketing trends to decide which activities you plan to pursue in 2011.

After examining my own business activities, my list includes:

  1. Focusing on building my lists
  2. Nurturing my lists
  3. Using video marketing
  4. Developing more content using varied media
  5. Expanding my use of social media and social marketing
  6. Consistently providing quality content on my blog
  7. Using article marketing correctly and writing many more articles.
  8. Posting on forums regularly in my niche
  9. Continuing to learn to be a better internet marketer by reading leading blogs in my niche, books, and attending webinars and live events when possible.
  10. Teaching what I learn.

That’s a pretty tall order, but if I succeed in doing even half of what I am planning, I will consider 2011 a success.

It’s important to stop long enough to plan. Sometimes taking a hard look at your business is painful. But there are important lessons to learn from the process.

Google Analytics sample pageHow do you do this?

  • Take a hard look at your stats using such tools as Google Analytics and Awstats (the stats available from your web host.
  • Determine who your visitors are (their demographics) , where they are coming from (referring sites) and what pages they are visiting on your site?
  • What keyword phrases or tags are they using to find your site? What opportunities are you missing — by that; I mean related keywords you could use to develop additional content?
  • Determine what your bounce rate is and where your most avid visitors are coming from. For example, I didn’t distribute many articles last year to article directories, but one of the things I learned was that site visitors who come from Ezine Articles are more likely to visit several pages and spend more time on my site. At the same time, I discovered that people referred by search engines like Google often bounced right out after only a few seconds. That suggests that I need to pay more attention to my keyword research, and that I should write more articles.
  • Spend time on Google’s Webmaster tools to determine who is linking to my site and try to develop ways to get more links from high ranking sites in my niche.
  • Focus on projects until they are completed – I have a fair number of projects in the works that I need to wrap up before starting new ones.
  • Determine how well your site is converting visitors to subscribers and customers.

This is my list. Yours may be different depending on which business model you are pursuing and the niche and the type of content your site has.

Why discuss my evaluation process?

One reason is to let you know that it takes serious effort to succeed online regardless of what some marketers suggest. Often you don’t know what you’re doing badly until you do it and examine the results.

Some marketers test everything they do – every headline, every email marketing campaign, every call to action and every landing page. Those who take the time and effort to subject their efforts to such scrutiny often experience greater success in terms of subscribers or leads, sales and conversions.

So I suggest, you take a couple of afternoons and dig deeply into your site’s stats. Look at everything closely – to learn whatever you can because that examination will show you what and where you need to improve.

To learn more, join the list for this blog. List members will get special reports on some of the topics mentioned in this post.

How Franchon Beeks Uses Facebook and Mobile Marketing to Sell Entertainment

Franchon Beeks

Franchon Beeks

 Like millions of Americans, Franchon Beeks has a day job. But unlike most of us, she gets to indulge her creative side once a month by producing and performing in her own artistic expression shows alongside some of her favorite local musicians. 

Franchon, A.K.A. SuiteFranchon, is a poet performer, author, live performance producer and community advocate. Usually she performs to packed audiences, which she attracts using two popular marketing vehicles – mobile marketing and Facebook. 

Franchon is not alone in discovering the power of mobile marketing and Facebook as promotional tools. These high-tech tools seem to work so well because word of mouth still reigns in the Web 2.0 era. As major corporations and marketers everywhere are learning all over again, people are much more likely to be influenced by their friends and family. 

“As an entertainer, FB (Facebook) is the best,” Franchon says. “I have been able to expand my fan base and create a network of people who love and appreciate live artistic expression.  I recently set up group & fan pages to promote my last event.” 

How Franchon Uses Facebook and Mobile 

Franchon's Peace, Love & Poetry posterWhen the details of her next production are set, Franchon updates her Facebook page or group – Suite Franchon. Then she gets on the horn – via her cell phone – to everyone on her mobile list to spread the word. 

Her loyal audience knows they won’t miss a show if they are following her on Facebook, or part of her mobile list. And as word spreads of Franchon’s colorful performances, her lists grow. 

Franchon said she avoids Facebook Invites because everyone’s email is clogged with them and often people don’t look at them and respond any more.  “So, the group page allows me to target those who show a genuine liking to what I do.” 

If you are not on Facebook or using mobile to promote your local business, you should definitely give it a try. Be sure to visit Suite Franchon on Facebook to sample one of her performances, and if you happen to be anywhere near Wilmington, Delaware on the last Friday of the month, you should try to catch Franchon live. 

As you may know, Facebook surpassed mighty Google in 2010, with the largest audience online at any one time — more than 500 million visitors in a single day. And as consumers spend more time on Facebook than they do anywhere else, the site is beefing up its search tools and advertising vehicles. 

But don’t think you can spam your way onto the site that focuses on social interactions. There is a right way and a wrong way to engage people on Facebook. Get it wrong and you could get banned forever. To learn more about how to turn Facebook into a powerful marketing vehicle for your business, grab your free copy of Facebook Marketing Secrets by joining our list. 

We’ll provide list members with lots of great extras about Facebook marketing, mobile marketing and internet marketing in general, so you don’t want to wait. Join now! 

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SuiteFranchon Presents is working on a tour for 2011. For a publicity package or to schedule an event in your area, contact her at suitefranchon@yahoo.com or (302) 442-1223.