Blogging for Small Businesses

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Find out how blogging can help your small business attract new customers, add new ways to be found online and spur customers to action. Get tips for achieving the right tone and finding the right content. See examples of small business blogs and award-winning blogs. Live links throughout the presentation let you directly explore more examples and advice. I curated this presentation at the request of the Eden Area / Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce. These slides are visual aids for a lecture, not a stand-alone presentation like my others here. But you'll still find *plenty* of great resources, examples and advice, so please have a look! Most of my writing and editing workshops are hands-on, with emphasis on breaking habits for greater efficiency and great results. My clients have included Intel, Yahoo and Google, as well as technology PR agencies through the San Francisco Bay Area, the nation and overseas in Asia and Australia. Please contact me directly to inquire about workshops for your PR agency or technology company.

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<ul><li> 1. Blogging for Business SuccessCurated by Lauren Edwards Corporate Writing Coach May 15, 2012</li></ul> <p> 2. Lauren EdwardsJournalist for 10 yearsTech PR writing coach for 10 years 3. http://twitter.com/LaurenEdwardsSVhttp://www.facebook.com/Lauren.Edwardshttp://www.linkedin.com/in/LaurenEdwardsSVhttp://LaurenEdwardsSV.blogspot.com/SV stands for Silicon Valley 4. Chamber members are asking What are businessblogs? What value doesblogging provide tosmall business? What kind of content isimportant? How can a blog boostbusiness? 5. Online diary for sharing: Helpful advice Opinions Anecdotes Knowledge Links News Announcements related to your business &amp; industry 6. Free blog hosts Wordpress Blogger Tumbler Posterous Xanga Twitter Weeblywww.makeuseof.comJan. 24, 2011 7. Reach Local, April 2012, blog.reachlocal.comhttp://blog.reachlocal.com/415197/2012/04/06/content-marketing-why-telling-your-story-is-important-for-your-small-business.html 8. Why blog?Intangible value is priceless:Reputation, relationshipsTangible value:Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization)Frequency + Quality = Traffic 9. Trust Barometer, www.edelman.com/trust/2011http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/uploads/edelman%20trust%20barometer%20global%20deck.pdf 10. Trust Barometer, www.edelman.com/trust/2011http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/uploads/edelman%20trust%20barometer%20global%20deck.pdf 11. Trust Barometer, www.edelman.com/trust/2011http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/uploads/edelman%20trust%20barometer%20global%20deck.pdf 12. Trust Barometer, www.edelman.com/trust/2011http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/uploads/edelman%20trust%20barometer%20global%20deck.pdf 13. Why blog?Intangible value is priceless:Reputation, relationshipsTangible value:Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization)Frequency + Quality = Traffic 14. Frequency + QualityAt least once a week Once a week Twice a week Daily Three times a dayMonthly, not so great 15. blog.hubspot.com/blog, April 2008http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4061/13-Ways-to-Use-Your-Blog-to-Improve-Online-Lead-Generation.aspx#ixzz1uhP6slet 16. www.hubspot.com gives loads of great advice for free 17. Guy says:1. Be likeable2. Be trustworthy3. Have a great cause 18. Chip &amp; Dan say:1. Simplicity2. Unexpectedness3. Concreteness4. Credibility5. Emotions6. Stories 19. Laurens how-to workshops:1.Right voice for blog2.Repurposing content3.Contributed articles4.Media pitches5.Case studies6.News value7.Business context8.Self-editing9.Editing others10. AP style for PR11. Top grammar mistakes bybusiness professionals12. and more 20. Good basic templatelifehacker.com DIY Magnetic Whiteboard Speech Bubble Reader Chris Burke painted a useful and good-looking magnetic whiteboard in his officecleverly, in the shape of a speech bubble. Burke explains: I needed a new whiteboard so I found some paint at Home Depot that allows you to paint a whiteboard anywhere youd like. I figured why not put a layer of magnetic paint underneath it. The only thing left to do is paint my face underneath the arrow. He says he put five coats of the paint to get it smooth and working. Now, that is a nifty whiteboard. Show us what youve done with whiteboard, magnetic, or chalkboard paint in the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Group, and we might feature your handiwork here. Nice job, Chris! [126 words including hedder and links] 21. Not like thisAs business professionals increasingly search for ways to make theircommunications stand out, Home Depot, the leading provider of homeimprovement solutions, provides the industrys first dry, concentrated,magnetic additive that can be mixed with high-quality primer/sealer,stain-blocker paint. The additive will enable users to utilize oil-based orlatex paint to enhance their magnetic painting experience, at home orthe office.With Home Depots top-of-the-line magnetic paint, I was able tocreate an effective whiteboard solution to enhance my workenvironment, said customer Chris Burke. Im delighted to find amagnetic paint that meets all of my requirements, including the abilityto design a whiteboard in the shape of a speech bubble. 22. First &amp; Second Person I figured why not From where I sit, If you need a You could run with ... Weve listed some practical ways 23. Imperative mood (commands) Show me a way to Eat a lettuce-filled sandwich. Dont forget that 24. Neutrality is tepidOffer opinions and invitations,not just informationBeauty of because Its so awesome that Ihad to share it. Say *why* you are writing. And that, of course, iswhy I thought youd like this What I like about it is *because* . The only thing regretfulabout Can you believe ! Can anyone tell me ? 25. Posted by bartmusings at 11:36 AM 1 commentsMONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010Pants Liberation Front - No Pants 2010 Project?I guess if theres any place to do it, its in the Bay Area. Those in support ofImprov Everywhere, a NYC based performing arts group, paraded free ofpants while riding BART yesterday. Call me whatever you wish but I find stuntslike this extremely inappropriate. If they want to show their support in publicby not wearing pants, do it in a plaza, like at Embarcadero or Union Squarewhere people have the choice to walk another direction, but not on the trainswhere space is already a premium, where there are little ones around, andfellow passengers are forced to be within inches of you.Carolyn Jones of Chronicle reports: "Some wore frayed cotton boxers, othersopted for pink satin thongs, and a few forewent underwear entirely."Its ridiculous. Thank goodness it didnt happen today.138 words 26. Posted by bartmusings at 10:50 AM 2 commentsTUESDAY, JANUARY 05, 2010iBART LIVE iPhone app: Expensive but coolIf youre willing to fork out $4 for up to the second tracking of trainarrivals, iBART LIVE is worth the investment. Ive had iBART (the free version)for quite some time and found it very helpful, however, to find out aboutdelays, I needed to open up the "advisories" notification and read aboutthem.Well, with iBART LIVE, you will have the same info as the scrolling ticker thatwe see on the platform right on your iPhone. Very convenient for someonelike me who does not have the patience to wait around on the platform fordelayed trains...I do wait, but youll read about it for sure here or on Twitter!Why $4 though?? Thats a bit much for an iPhone app in my opinion. Cansomeone explain?130 words 27. When choosing tone, look for 1.Word count, syllable count, sentence length2.Sentence fragments?3.Anglo-Saxon versus Latinate (start v initiate, next v adjacent)4.Connotative versus neutral (thirst for/interest in, mutter/say)5.Reader-centric content v. company-centric content6.Reader-centric point of view v. company-centric point of view7.First &amp; second person (I, you), not third person (he/she/it/they)8.Opinion, personal experience9.Imperative mood (giving commands: show me, try this)10. Inviting versus informative 28. Rules not to break 29. Give greater emphasis than before to Visuals (videos,slide shows, info-graphicsand photos, photos,photos)Personal experience,opinions, demos 30. Custom bike shopwww.spectrum-cycles.com/blog 31. Personal trainerwww.fitwithbrit.com/blog 32. Stationery &amp; invitation designwww.momincdaily.com 33. Supermarket chainwww.wegmans.com/blog 34. Niche advice, sells his bookthefranchiseking.com/blog 35. Or, just a place to store niche FAQslaurenedwardssv.blogspot.com 36. Award-winning blogs2012.bloggi.es 37. New habits youll need Use natural language keywords that customersuse so online searchers will find your posts Listen for customers pain, find out wherecustomers are talking about this now Write about comments in a step-back piece Think about how to encourage inbound links Actively go find visuals, links and resources Provoke dialog 38. Try to listen more than you talkCommentConsume Create 39. Hubspot advice on joining in 40. Hubspot advice on blog promotion 41. GDS International 42. How a blog boosts business Adds new ways to be found Attracts new audiences Optimizes website Builds brand Helps customers know you Teaches you more about customers Creates customer service channel Spurs customers to actionSource: www.socialmediadirectbiz.com 43. Measure successCount whatyou can: Comments Page views Conversion 44. Plan, set goalsWho matters?Where are they?What do you want them to do (not know)?Be patientAt right:http://www.business2community.com/social-media/social-media-goals-discovering-the-possibilities-0136636 45. More resources How to plan &amp; strategize (socialmediatoday) 13 ways to improve lead generation (hubspot) 10 tips for a profitable blog (flyte) 5 metrics to measure success (fixcourse) 6 recommendations for measuring (kaushik.net) 9 tips for business blog ideas (problogger.net) 11 ways to find customers (smallcompanybigimage) Why telling your story is important to your smallbusiness (ReachLocal) </p>