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While reading social media pundit, Mari Smith’s wonderful new book, The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web, she mentions creating a blogsite for your business.
A blogsite is a website, like any other website, except that it has a blogging capability, rather than a complicated and difficult to access (for non techies) html coded site which is often much more expensive, or one of those quickie do it yourself sites that are limited in features and functions.
My favorite site is WordPress.org, which allows you much freedom and flexibility in design, layout, and extra bells and whistles (aka plug-ins and widgets). I like to use a combo of a website and a blog based on WordPress, a style referred to as a “blogsite.” This type of site provides an all-in-one platform for both your website and blog—with less work.*
With the start of the New Year, if you have not set up your blogsite, or have a static site, sitting there, essentially doing nothing, consider making one of your resolutions to get your blogsite up and working for you in the first weeks of the year.
With a blogsite, you have the option to set your homepage up to look like a landing page or style a dynamic introduction to your business using images, videos, etc., rather than have it appear as a typical blog with posts running down the page.
For most entrepreneurs or small business owners, one of the most important things to focus on is building your list so that you can start creating relationships with your readers. This is usually done using an opt in box that is attached to your email marketing system such as aweber or Mailchimp. Generally your opt in box is placed on your right sidebar. Some marketers prefer their opt in box on the left. It’s a personal preference, although most people’s right eyes are prominent and they tend to look in the right direction first. An opt in box should also be featured under each of your blog posts, because people most often enter your site first via a post you have promoted on a social network such as Facebook or Twitter, rather than the homepage itself.
It’s important that your homepage be attractive, easy to navigate and have a clear call to action. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is having a cluttered homepage. Keep ads for other sites off your homepage. If necessary, sprinkle them lightly throughout your site or insert links into your text discreetly. (This would be the case for affiliate products – products of others you are promoting with the object of receiving a commission if a sale is made)
Here are some suggested resolutions for the New Year pertaining to marketing your business or project online:
- Get your blogsite up and running. Although it’s imperative to have a specific and effective marketing strategy, perfectionism and procrastination will cost you more money in the long run. Blogsites are easily changed if you make a mistake or want to change directions. Sometimes the simple act of creating a blog will steer you in the right direction.
- Build your list and start to nurture relationships with your readers. Remember that if you give you will receive. Create stellar content and do not be afraid to interact. The more you shut yourself off with privacy controls, no comments, or fear of having others share your content, the more you cut yourself off from making important connections with those who will move your business forward.
- Set up a system of communication with your list. An easy way to do this is by setting up a blog broadcast. This is easy to do using aweber or mailchimp. Each time you post, your article will go into your subscribers email. This can be set up on a template to look like an email newsletter or simply be a plain text email. (good for mobile phones)
- Be smart with your money. Don’t get sucked into every marketing scheme out there. There are tons. Use your common sense. There is plenty of free information on the Internet. Decipher what would work best for your particular business model and be hugely selective on who you follow and whose programs you enroll in. Not all marketing techniques are correct for certain businesses. What an Internet Marketer does, (one who talks about how to make money on the Internet) may not work if you are promoting a softer subject such as wellness or crocheting. Avoid becoming a seminar or webinar junkie as well. It is a time and money waster unless you get significant results. There is a difference between getting motivated and networking that brings results. You do not have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get motivated. Executing is far more effective.
- Follow the best and filter out the rest to avoid information overwhelm. Find the top people in your niche via Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Subscribe to their blogs either by email or RSS. I use IGoogle. Go to create a gadget. One the next page you can insert the RSS feed for a blog you like. If you find the content does not resonate with you after a while, simply delete the feed.
- Social networking is great but make sure you are getting results. Your blogsite is your home on the Internet. Focus on creating great content that can be shared on social networks. This brings the traffic to your site where you can truly create relationships once people are subscribed to you. Facebook is another great way to connect but most people get easily distracted by multiple conversations and eye candy. Twitter is hit or miss and increasingly spammy. Other networks depend on your niche.
*Smith, Mari (2011-10-03). The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web (p. 92). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition.