Marketing with Infographics – Create a Wordle

 Wordles – A Cool Way to Promote Your Small Business

Marketing with infographics - wordles
a Wordle of NCWebDiva.com

Marketing with infographics is very, very hot right now. Basically an infographic is “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.”

Usually they are custom made for a company for each information piece or data set.  Quality infographics cost anywhere from $500 to $2000+.

But I have found a very affordable (free way) to create an “infographic alternative” – an Wordle Read More

Is Perfectionism Killing Your Blog? 3 Things You Can Do to Save It.

Is Perfectionism Killing Your Blog?

Is trying to be “perfect” killing your blog posts and your rapport with your web visitors?

If you are like me growing up in America, you quickly learned that the way to an English teacher’s heart was by using correct punctuation, grammar and spelling. This was fine, during your school days, of course.

However, perfectionism can have a detrimental effect when we are writing for business.

Perfectionism creates a sense of formality or even a sort of superiority that people unfortunately can read into business documents such as company blog posts. Read More

7 Business Blogging Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Business Blogging Mistakes…Getting You Down?

Business Blogging Mistakes - Are you making these common business blogging mistakes?
Are you making these common business blogging mistakes?

Just imagine…

– What if you could have a website that attracted all the traffic you needed?

– What if you could have a website that captured more leads & better sales opportunities?

– What if you could have a website that helped you pull in more profits?

Yet somehow your business blog is not working as well as you might have hoped.

If you want and need to get better results from your small business blog… but you keep feeling like you are standing in your own way then read on and see if you are making these 7 common business blog mistakes.

The 7 Biggest Business Blogging Mistakes

Mistake #1: Not Enough Blogging – The biggest cause of failing with a business blog is that basically, we don’t blog enough to make a noticeable difference.

It has been scientifically proven that action – massive action can help you make money. It’s one of those common sense business concepts.

So “Action trumps (almost) Everything” should be tattooed on every small business person’s forehead (including mine)!

Yet most of us just don’t take enough action – creating content for our blog to make money.

For example, we create an in-house video and upload it to YouTube, but we somehow “forget” to ever embed it on our own site?

We might write a few guest blog posts here and there but after a few times, we get too “busy” to rewrite and re publish them on our blog?

But not creating enough blog posts is a HUGE mistake because Google has a known preference for both fresh and frequently published blog content.

So when it comes to online visibility, if all things are equal; the more you blog, the better Google likes your site. And the more traffic it will direct your way.

Mistake #2: Not Building an Email List – Now I admit, for the longest time I was as guilty as the rest of you. I wanted to believe that “drive-by” web visitors would somehow magically help me keep my inbox full of qualified leads.

So I keep waiting…and waiting… and waiting.

But while I was waiting, a client wanted me to create an email marketing system for her business. So I set up the email account, and had some kick-butt email templates designed.

I then placed email signup forms on every page and on the sidebar of her blog. Plus I made her place an old fashioned “pen & paper” signup sheet near her checkout.

And now 3 years later, we have built a very small (by internet marketing guru standards) yet a very profitable in-house list.

This list-community of made up of customers and prospects who really read what we send them and who respond by – gasp – purchasing products!

The light finally came on for me after seeing the success of such a little list. Email marketing REALLY does work for small or local companies. So go start building your list.

Mistake #3: No links to high authority sites – If you have spend any time at all studying website optimization, you have been told that when a high authority site links to your site – the SEO gods (Google) will smile upon you.

But did you know that your site linking to authority sites can also help you improve your search engine rankings?

Yep, a kink to a high authority website or blog can tell Google that you’re not a spammer (spam sites NEVER link to authority sites) and that you are trying to offer high quality content for your target audience.

But what is an authority site? An authority site is any informational or content site that is seen as a resource in it’s field or industry. Like MSNBC for business news; or Copyblogger for online marketing.

By linking a blog post to an authority site you also auto-magically tell Google that your site (no matter how small) is related to one of these online behemoths.

Which is why I recommend that you occasionally “piggyback” or curate content from a blog post on an authority website. “Content curation is the process of finding existing, relevant content and sharing it with your online audience.”

Pull in quoted content from a interesting post you have read (no more than 100 – 200 words, please!); add your personal insights (why is it important to YOUR audience ) and then give a “source” link back to the post where you found it.

The cool thing about content curation is that allows you to supplement your blog with other people’s content, while it helps boosts your SEO results at the same time.

Mistake #4: The website formatting is hard to read (or boring) – Ok, this mistake is bound to tick off your web designer. Yes, I know they worked very hard, and you probably spent a lot of money to get the website or blog you have now.

But I will say again, a pretty website is not always a pretty profitable one. Web designers if left to their own designs (pun intended) they will make things look beautiful.

Which is NOT the same as readability. I work now on a blog that has been redesigned with a custom theme.

The theme was created by people who were more interested in making pretty than profit. And yes the blog is GREAT looking and it is also freaking hard to read for long periods of time!

But since the owner is still going, “Oh, look…pretty!” I have had to change my marketing focus from prose to pictures (and videos) to keep the momentum going.

How it will all work out in the long run is anyone’s guess…but I do know now from personal experience that good web design is not is as important as readable web design.

Mistake #5: Not optimizing our blog posts – This is one of most overlooked elements when it comes to improving your online rankings and traffic generation.

SEO or (search engine optimization) at first glance seems overly complicated. But the basics – the stuff you need to do every time you publish a blog post or page really isn’t all that difficult to do.

And if you have a super-cool plug called WordPress SEO by Yoast installed on your blog , you can easily and effectively optimize a post within a couple of minutes.

I will write a blog post and create a video on this topic soon…I will give you a link to it when I’m done.

Mistake #6: We’re not writing with our authentic voice – One of biggest obstacles to online writing is the fear of looking foolish. We all have it.

So when it comes to writing blog posts we stress about grammar and punctuation. Okay four words of advice – Get over it, people!

Gosh, this ain’t the fifth grade anymore. Mrs. Wombat or whoever was your elementary English teacher doesn’t live at your house. You can write whatever you want – anyway you want.

Now this is NOT a liscene ( license) to turn off your spell checker. But it is a get-out-of-writing-jail free card that you can use to create blog posts you enjoy writing and that your prospects in enjoy reading.

So how can you do this in one easy step? Just talk then type!

I know sound crazy right? But in my experience, talking out-loud (or under your breath) is the fastest and best way to create content that speaks with your real voice.

Think about it a second, we all learned how to talk…years before we learned how to read or write. So for most of us talking is our first (if not our best) communication skill.

So by talking out what we want to write and then typing it as we go, most of us can churn out some pretty acceptable blog posts.

Is it Hemingway? Well, no. But if you can talk to a customer or prospect face-to-face then you can learn how to talk to one in a post.

Mistake #7: Trying to Do Too Many Things At Once – The hidden cause of failing online is doing things that aren’t important to your success.

You don’t need to spend 6 hours a day checking your Facebook, or making Twitter tweets detailing every waking moment of your business life.

What you need is FOCUS. Focus on the things that make you most money. You only need to focus on a few marketing strategies in order to be successful.

The 80/20 Principle basically states that the majority of your profits will come from just a small number of your customers or clients.

So your job is to stay in constant contact with that core audience.

You can continue build trust and rapport with them by offering valuable information that answers their questions and/or helps them solve their problems.

And you can do all of that by performing these three simple tasks:

  • Use your blog to attract targeted traffic,
  • Presell that traffic and convert it into pre-qualified leads
  • Keep making relevant offers to those leads until you make a sale.

business blogging mistakes

Now this doesn’t seem hard, right? But people always think that online marketing is somehow terribly complex and needs to have a lot of bells and whistles on it.

Not so. Just look over the mistakes above and the steps you need to correct them and you will be pleasantly surprised as how quickly your business blog results will improve.2012NCWEBDIVALOGO.jpg

Become A Guest Blogger – Why Guest Blogging Can Boost Your Small Business

Become A Guest Blogger

I love blogs. I strongly encourage almost all of my clients to start a blog as either a companion piece for their standard HTML website or as their standalone primary website.

But most small business website owners don’t own or use blogs regularly. Usually only a handful of brick and mortar companies in a local niche market truly embrace internet marketing and use it to its maximum potential when it comes to blogs. Read More

4 Common Business Website Mistakes – No One Talks About

round-tuit

Are You Making these Four Website Marketing Mistakes?

I screwed up.

I have hodge-podged this site together for a long time – writing blog posts and updating things whenever I could get around to it.  You may be familiar with the world-famous ’round tuit’  above…

But once I became interested in writing and developing educational programs about building better websites,  I needed to rework this site to correct the marketing mistakes I had made due to rushing through everything.

Like that old saying goes, “Doctor, heal thyself!”

Read More