Tag Archives: blog

Have You Checked These 5 Things On Your Blog Post Before Publishing?

I love blogging concept

When it comes to blogging, there is a lot to consider. Writing the post and clicking ‘share’ is only half of it – and it can sometimes be easy to forget the checklist of things to help you optimise the post for reach and purpose.

Therefore we thought we’d round up some the most important things you need to check before you publish your blogs. By spending just a few minutes to look at these things beforehand, you can add more value to your content. These tips are especially useful for those of you who are just starting out with blogging

  • Have You Optimised Your Blog Post With Links?

Having links throughout your blog post not only makes it easier for it to be found in Google search. It’s also a great way to get people looking at other areas of your website and other blog posts you have previously shared – all you have to do is highlight the relevant keywords throughout the blog and add the hyperlinks to them. By doing so, it will help readers to better understand your blog post and help you to verify the points you are making. You will also be driving traffic back to other useful content, it could be your older posts giving them new life – or signposting the reader to explore your services, products or other relevant content. Remember – just because you’ve published a post, doesn’t mean you should forget about it – each post is a valuable asset in which you can give new life to.

Tip 1: Consider including other bloggers in your blog and link back to them – this will draw them into the conversation allowing you to listen and trade ideas with others.

Tip 2: Be sure to keep your links and sign posts going throughout the post. And don’t neglect the fact that many readers only read the first one or two paragraphs to get the gist of the blog to see if they want to continue reading on – so be sure to keep your links up top where they will see them.

  • Have You Proof Read Your Blog?

There’s nothing worse than finding a really good looking blog post that’s full of spelling mistakes! Having a blog full of spelling and punctuation mistakes only makes your business seem as if you are lazy and careless. If you want to be the ‘go to person’ in your sector, then showcasing a poor standard of content is the worst way to go about it.

Tip: Once you’ve completed your blog, start reading it out loud. You can’t know if your sentence structure and word choice are clear and easy to understand until you read the post out loud.

  • Have You Added A Photo or Image?

Not only is it important to add a photo or image to your blog post, but you need to make sure that it is an attention grabbing one. Having a highly engaging image will engage readers and make them want to read your blog post. There’s a lot of buzz about how many more views a social media update gets when there’s an image – and the same goes for your blog post. It needs to be designed as a piece of content compelling enough to share on social and any other channels – so it’ll need a captivating image too!

Tip: Don’t forget to also make the image pinnable. If people are pinning the photo on your blog post to Pinterest, then that will help to grow traffic even more.

  • Do You Have A Strategy In Place To Promote The Blog?

Don’t just assume that Google will find your blog and everyone will be sharing it. You need to make it easy for people to find. Start thinking about whether or not you’ve properly tagged the content – this means to check whether or not you have included keywords that are used often and are relevant to your blog post – and ideally use them in the title of your blog – as well as peppering the content with relevant keywords throughout. Think about what someone might search in Google that relates to your post. It’s also best practice to add categories to your blog; this makes it easier for you to check whether or not you’ve added the relevant tags.

Tip: Make sure that the post is social media friendly too! To encourage readers to share your blog, it’s important to make it easy for them by including sharing links for all social media channels – giving them choice to share as they like.

  • Can You Repurpose The Content?

You don’t just share a blog once do you? In order to make sure you get your blog seen by others, you should be sharing it multiple times throughout the week. Once a day would be fine as long as you put a different spin on it each time! One day you could use the title, one day you could pick out an important tip – just always remember to keep it light, and keep it interesting.

Tip: You could also think about sharing the content in a completely different way – through video perhaps? A short and sweet Vine video could even do the trick!

Don’t think that after doing these 5 things you have done your job. These are key important elements to consider, but blogging is a continuous learning process. Aim to keep learning how to make a successful blog – tune in to other master and smart bloggers, review that they do and follow, helpful / advisory blogs to help you on your blogging journey.

Happy blogging!

The Simple Science of Engagement for Facebook

There’s no getting away from it, Facebook is the biggest social network!

Having high customer engagement rates is becoming essential for a business’ success on Facebook. Therefore we thought we’d put together some of the most important scientific facts, so that you can measure and compare how well your engagement with your fans is going.

We have broken down the science for you behind raising ‘Engagement Rates’, ‘Best Posting Times’ and ‘Rules for Images.’

Engagement facts:

  • Keep your posts as short as possible – posts with 80 characters or less normally get up to 23% higher interaction rates.
  • When posting pictures, why not ask fans to write captions for it now and again. This is a fun way to encourage engagement and can increase comments by 5.5 times!
  • Ask a question! A simple opinion driven question or a request for fans to ‘fill in the blanks’, will bring in 90% more engagement than your average post.
  • Post to your Facebook Page daily; remember that 96% of fans aren’t coming back to your page, so posting frequently is the only way to reach them.
  • Be relevant and not too pushy – posts related to but not directly about your brand tend to perform best. No one wants to be directly ‘sold to’ on social. It’s a turn off – so keep that in mind.
  • Almost 99% of brands do not actively network or engage with the brands they like. So, have a think about the brands or businesses out there that you like, or that could be really useful for your business or brand – look them up on Facebook, give them a ‘Like,’ say hello and start a conversation!

Posting Times:

  • If you’re posting on weekdays during work hours, be sure to get a healthy number of updates in between the hours of 1pm and 4pm. Facebook is at its noisiest in the afternoon -so be sure to join the conversation and engage with your fans when they’re keen to engage.
  • Test schedule some posts ‘out of hours’ after normal work hours and before 8pm.  This is the time people are potentially commuting and turning to their smartphones to catch up on news and chatter.
  • Many research reports show that 3pm on a Wednesday is the optimum time to get interaction on a Facebook post. So, if you do only post one a week (which we hope isn’t the case!) make sure it’s on a Wednesday at 3.
  • During the weekends, the worst times to posts are before 8am and after 8pm; as people tend not to engage before and after those times. Let’s think about that, who’s going to get up before 8am on the weekend?!  (Unless you have young children of course!)
  • Generally, users tend to check their personal Facebook Page more than their Business Page. Around 41% check their Business Page up to 1-2 times a day! We hope this isn’t the case with you – because in order for your business page to be a success, it needs to be constantly checked for comments and opportunities to engage.
  • These posting times and tips are taken from general research.  However, posting times will vary depending on the type of business you are – e.g. if you’re a bar/restaurant then you may get more engagement in the evening. Our advice is to watch, listen and learn. Test different times and see when it is that you get the most engagement, then be sure to share at the times you know you get the most engagement.

Facebook Images:

  • Remember when posting on Facebook always include images.  Images increase interaction rates by 39% more than your average post!
  • Images draw engagement rates in more than videos and text alone! Up to a whopping 120% more than your average post.
  • Image posts generally attract 104 more comments than the average post.
  • Link clicks are generally higher than text and link posts alone, receiving up to 84% more clicks.
  • Posts that include photo albums receive 180% more engagement than the average post.

So folks, make sure you’re up to date with these important facts and don’t be afraid to experiment…

Happy Facebook posting!

Kat

Kat West is a Social Media Community Manager at Carvill Creative – the Online Visibility Experts. Kat spends her days, tweeting, sharing, listening, researching and blogging. (As well as a little sleeping and eating and having fun too)!

Social media – add it to your mix! 5 things to do right now…

It’s likely that you are familiar with most of the ‘traditional’ marketing practices; direct mail, email marketing, advertising, telesales, pr etc – however, for a few years now, given the opportunities the internet provides, the term ‘new marketing’ has been bandied around.   If we think of traditional marketing as ‘push’ marketing – mediums we use to push our messages onto others ‘interupting’ them, then the new marketing relates to ‘pull’ marketing – marketing activities we do which ‘attract’, as a magnet would, interested parties, at their own accord, to view our wares.

Pull activities include; blogging, social media networks (think Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Bizzbug, Ning, Xing, My Space) actively participating in forums; (http://www.UKbusinessforum.co.uk, socialmediatoday, ukbusinesslabs, womensmarketingforum), making your information more widely available via resources such as Digg, Blogburst and others – effectively, sharing your knowledge, know-how, experiences, advice, contacts, news, views and opinions to build interest in who you are, what your business is about, what you do – with the hope that users grow to follow what you say and  are encouraged to buy and refer – effectively, building ‘positive share of mind’ – in an online and hopefully viral way!

Social Media activity is not a direct sell – it’s a bit of a slow burner – and in just the same way as we practice traditional marketing, it’s not something that you do in isolation.  For maximum impact, it’s wise to work the social media mediums in an integrated way.

Here’s our my 5 tips for getting started and integrating just some of  what’s available:  (Believe me, if you stretch yourself too far, it becomes a full time job just trying to keep on top of it all).

Continue reading Social media – add it to your mix! 5 things to do right now…

20 tips for successful blog writing (from a relatively new blogger!)

I’m a relatively new blogger – having only been blogging for the past 6 months, but my passion for blogging is relentless and my appetite HUGE.  I’ve learned quite a bit about blogging over the past few months – and and keen to continue with this curve.  But meanwhile, I thought I’d share my ‘hands on’ Top 20 tips with you:

1) Keep your posts relatively short. Having researched blogging to a good degree – then 500-800 words seems to be a good benchmark.  Short and concise is ok.

2) Keep your posts varied. Have some posts that are very factual – drawing on information that will help the users. Make some light and humorous so that the user understands that whilst you know your stuff, you’re not taking life too seriously. And they get an insight to your personality. Make some posts a little controversial or challenging the user – to stimulate conversation.

Prior to this post I ran a series of Marketing Plan Template posts – breaking up a plan template I created – not sure this was the best way to do things as I lost a subscriber (ouch) but hey, you live and learn.

3) Always watch your spellings. Poor spelling really does hinder credibility.

4) Use images in a post to break up the text and add some relevant interest. Check out www.flickr.com or www.istockphoto.com or www.fotolia.co.uk for some cheap yet very good quality shots.

5) Create interesting headings. The piece of advice I came across (Hubspot webinar which was pretty useful) advised that you should write the headline imagining that the user won’t even see the article. So the headline has to grab attention and tell the story.

6) Use keywords where you can – in headers and throughout the content of the article.

7) Keep it going. Stick to a tight publishing schedule. Blogging pays off over time – it’s a marathon rather than a sprint and it takes time to build up relevant and optimised content. I set my schedule to publish 3 times a week.  And I’ve posted twice today, which is unusual!

8) Insert a call to action such as Subscribe to Blog on the site so that users can easily subscribe. I use www.feedblitz.com but there are many others www.feedburner.com is popular too.

9) Claim your blog on Technorati – Google Blogsearch and Technorati are the two main ways that people search for blogs. That way others can find your blog.

10) Promote links to your blog on your website and in email footers, businesscards and other off and online relevant marketing materials.

Continue reading 20 tips for successful blog writing (from a relatively new blogger!)