Creating Value on Pinterest: Video

We all know that content is king, value is where it’s at, and that we need to be creative and engaging. But how do you actually do that on Pinterest? It’s just a bunch of images with links, after all. So how do you ensure that every single pin you add to your boards is going to bring in new followers and new readers to your blog?

Creating value on Pinterest involves a number of steps, a keen eye for branding, and a clear purpose for your social media outlets. Let’s get to it in today’s video.

Creating Value on Pinterest

Today I’m talking about how to create value on Pinterest.

Hey Bloggers!

I’m Kim Herrington of Bear & Beagle creative. Every week I answer blogging questions and talk about tips and tricks you can use to grow your blog and start achieving your dreams.

I recently shared about Pinterest’s new Smart Feed and how that affects your blog content shared on Pinterest. The most important thing to know, if you haven’t watched that video, is Pins are now ranked on an algorithm that places good pins first in people’s feeds. Good pins are also shared on feeds of individuals who don’t follow the pinner through a new feature called related pins.

As a blogger, you need to capture as much of this ability to get your pins in front of the right people as possible. Making sure that your pins are well ranked by Pinterest is important.

What goes into a “good” pin

Pinterest wants you to pin things that are authentic and resonate with your audience. But that’s just the basics. If you want your pins to go even further, there are a few traits to aim for:

  • Vertical pins that are longer than they are wide
  • Clear images that attract attention and quickly tell a story when show in a small size
  • Positive messages that engage and excite

But applying these things can be kind of difficult to understand when it comes to your own blog.

Showing your Personality

The best way to use Pinterest is to show your audience what you stand for and who you are through your pins. Pinterest is a great tool to cultivate a visual identity that quickly explains what your brand is all about. After all, images speak louder than words, right?

Think about your brand and what personality it has. What kinds of images help showcase that brand?

Another thing you can do to show your personality, if it’s hard for you to do, is visually walk through what you can do to help produce results and the value you place on different aspects of what matters to your brand.

Answer needs of Your Audience

Your audience might be really enticed by your Pinterest’s look and feel but if you don’t offer them something useful, they’re going to go elsewhere.

It might be as simple as providing ideas for projects or more elaborate showing them how to use your products and services. Think about what your blog and brand is trying to achieve for your audience and provide a way for them to get there through your pins.

Tutorials are popular on Pinterest for a reason, after all!

Interact with your Audience

Pinterest can seem like a very one-way street. You pin things and your audience might repin some of them or click through. There’s not a lot of direct interaction. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I’ve been experimenting lately with using Pinterest comments to engage qualified leads.

Qualified leads, in case you don’t know what that means, are people who are already interested in what you offer. These might be people who are engaging with your pins, for instance.

When someone interacts with my Pinterest account in some way, I’m always sure to thank them for pinning my articles and refer them to my free audience building course. It’s a way for me to capture their emails and prove my worth more than just a pin or single article and starts us towards building a relationship.

You know what? It’s been super effective at getting qualified leads to sign up for my email list and to get others who didn’t even pin my articles to sign up too. They see the comment on the pin in someone else’s feed and click through to the course almost as often.

Think about a way you can better interact with your audience through Pinterest other than just giving them great pins!

I hope these tips help you with your Pinterest account but if you’re still lost, I’m offering a special blog audit service until the end of 2014! I’m only offering 10 of these blog audits that take a look at what you’re doing with your blog and what you need to do to grow. Learn more and reserve your spot before they’re gone!

Till next time, keep blogging.

What to Do About Google Analytics’ Not Provided

Today I’m going to cover the frustrations we’re all feeling since (not provided) as become so much more prevalent in Google Analytics.

What is Not Provided?

For a long time Google provided keywords in our reports for organic search traffic from Google. This allowed us to really dig deep into how people were getting to our websites and how well our content was performing to capture visitors from search. Google no longer gives us this data but instead shows “(not provided)”.

Without this data, it can be really aggravating to try to figure out how we can do better to make our content perform at attracting new visitors from search.

While I’m not exactly sure why Google is doing this, I don’t think it is likely that we will go back to an era with lot of keyword data from google.

In all likelihood they want us as publishers to focus less on keywords and more on providing great content for our users.

It’s kind of a catch 22. Having keyword data can help us make better content but with keywords, we can get obsessive about them and produce really crappy content.

How to Get Around Not Provided

So what can we do now that Google isn’t providing lots of data for us for keywords?

Well it’s the same things we need to do anyway to make sure our content is performing well.

First, we need to isolate organic traffic from all of our traffic by using segmentation.

Segmentation allows us to look only at a small segment of our data in Google Analytics, which important to analyzing our blog and website performance.

Think of it this way: does everyone who gets to your website get there for the same reasons? Nope! And segmentation helps you find out why.

After you segment out traffic, be sure to get rid of any traffic that isn’t worthwhile after doing a cursory analysis of it.

What is crappy traffic? traffic that immediately bounced at 00:00:00. This traffic is either bots or were people who didn’t even really let to page load before deciding to navigate away. While there will be some people who navigate away immediately, it’s usually for reasons you can’t control through content.

It is usually because your server was too slow to load, their internet wasn’t working, or they didn’t like when they saw the first little pieces of your website, like your title. If you have your Google Analytics code in your header, this is especially true. However, if you have your code in another place on your site, this might not be true!

After segmenting data and getting rid of crappy traffic, the next step is to start inspecting landing pages and learning about what people see when they get there. You can use tools to figure out how long it takes to read the page and different sections your content. This can help you figure out how much time it took people, on average, to read the content and how far they might have read.

It’s also important to figure out how long it takes to skip the content to see if it’s relevant. Try skimming through your article quickly and see how many seconds you spend doing it.

Analyzing your Traffic with Not Provided

Now that you know this information, you can judge how invested traffic was to reading your content and how much they might have read.

Take a look at what happened to the traffic that visited. Isolate it into even more segments, putting people who only viewed one page in one group and everyone that viewed multiple pages into another group.

Look at the traffic that only visited one page and how long they stayed on the page. You can break up the data by looking at other information, such as location, or other groupings to help you figure out what happened. How long did the stay? did they skim the page? Did they leave before they could have skimmed it? Did they read it almost all the way through?

When you skim the page, what do you notice about your content? does it do a lot to attract people who are just skimming? or is it difficult to do that?

Then read through it for as long as the average person did who only viewed that page, how far did you get? what do you notice about the place where they left? This isn’t a fool-proof method but can give you some great insights into your traffic.

The next step is to look at the groups of people who visited more than one page. It’s a bit more difficult to see how long they spent reading each page because google doesn’t let you divide out that information to that level. But what’s important here is to look at what they did once they landed on your website.

A good place to look first is in behaviors and see where they went after landing on that page. Because you’ve segmented out the data into people who only looked at more than one page, you shouldn’t see drop-off till at least the second page.

How did they get to that second page? What link did they click on? Why do you think they went to that second page? What might they have been looking for if they clicked through to another page quickly? Or after spending a lot of time on the first page?

Of course, this is all a long learning process and can take a really long time to figure out exactly what people were looking for when they got to your website. But hey, nothing is easy if it’s meaningful right?

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up on YouTube, tweet it, or pin it.

Till next time, Keep blogging!

3 Scariest SEO Mistakes

This week is a special SEO video for Halloween. I see a lot of SEO mistakes that bloggers make all the time. I share the three most common SEO mistakes I see made over and over again and some explanations about what changes you can make to improve your SEO.

(Don’t worry, it’s not really that scary. Just cheesy sound effects! I hate scary things.)

Read more “3 Scariest SEO Mistakes”

Instagram Tips for Bloggers

For the last few weeks, I’ve been focusing on learning how to better use Instagram. I’ve been playing around with different ideas and testing them out on my personal blog’s Instagram account. I’ve assembled these tips below into a short guide for better Instagram.

Did you know that Instagram’s base is actually bigger than Pinterest? Back in March, they declared they’d passed the 200 million active user mark. Pinterest is put at around 40 million. Twitter is at 271 million. Of course, “active user” definitions vary and these statistics could all be a lie one way or another. But it sure makes Instagram look a lot more important how, huh?

Read more “Instagram Tips for Bloggers”

Developing a Basic SEO Strategy: Video

Did you know that search engine optimization can be a great way to attract more leads and score more readers and customers? Today is all about the basic steps you need to take to implement SEO for your website.

What SEO Really Means for Your Website

We all think that SEO is the magic bullet that we’ve all be missing our blogging lives. SEO is supposed to bring us lots of new traffic and sustain us over time, if done right. The truth is, using SEO is just like any other strategy for online growth. It takes a lot of planning, time, skill, and patience to pull it off well.

SEO has lots of little bits to it, like heading tags, keywords, and all kinds of small changes you can make to improve your search performance. I’ve even written about them before on my blog.

The reality is that without a great strategy behind these small changes, you’ll never see the big changes you want for your online growth. Instead of focusing on the nitty gritty of SEO, you first need to focus on the bigger picture of your blog and website.

Here are the first steps you should take when developing an online SEO strategy.

Is a Local SEO Strategy Needed?

If you’re a hyper local blogger only writing about stuff in your area of have a business that doesn’t sell products nationwide and only serve a small area, you’ll need to focus on creating a strategy for your community that’s targeted specifically for your area.

The rest of us, however, don’t compete only locally and have a much wider audience. It also means we typically have a much larger pool of competitors. But there are a lot more opportunities for us!

Neither approach is better than the other—it just matters what works for your goals. It wouldn’t really make much sense for a company that only sells their products in Arkansas to market to California unless they planned on expanding soon.

Do Competitor and Search Research

Start researching your competitors and see what people are searching for in your niche.

Don’t focus solely on keywords and minute details here. Take a large big picture approach when you’re first developing your SEO strategy to make sure that you’re not missing out on important trends and information.

Search for things you think people might search for to find you and see what comes up.

  • Who’s at the top?
  • What are they doing?
  • Do they blog?
  • Do they have lots of article about them in different magazines and newspapers?
  • What kinds of things are they banking on for marketing?

It’s important here to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to start figuring out what people might search for when looking for your services and products. Google can help give you a good direction but remember you shouldn’t rely on it too much at this stage. This is just to give you a basic idea of what you want to work towards.

The goal is to figure out what your future customers are looking for and what kinds of words and terms they use to find it online. What you might think about how people talk about your products might be entirely wrong.

Bloggers, remember that your articles are your products in this situation so you want to think about what you love writing about and what kinds of words people might use to find what you write about.

Create a Content Strategy Based on Search Research Findings

Before you get too far into keywords and SEO specifics, start creating a content strategy.

  • What are the most common concerns and questions your audience might have?
  • What have you been asked in the past about your business or blog?
  • How can you provide answers to readers about your niche?

If you’re starting completely from scratch, that’s okay. Just make some educated guesses and get to work.

Be sure to provide sincere value with your content and that it is something useful to your audience. That’s more important than SEO at this stage of your website. If you need help really digging deep into what you audience wants, sign up for my free audience building course.

Make choices informed by your competitor research and start to really think about how to best serve your leads before they decide to be loyal customers or readers.

Analyze Your Results

This is where you start to really dig into your numbers and see what’s working and what isn’t. Google Analytics is your best friend when it comes to this stage of the SEO development process.

You need to start digging into your data and seeing how your content is performing and what actions people are taking at your website.

  • Are they reading it?
  • How are they getting to your website?
  • If they’re coming from search, what’s happening to their traffic?

Make conclusions here about your audience, like what they’re looking for and what directions you might consider going in for your content and SEO strategy.

Revamp Your Strategy and Include SEO

Now that you’ve got some data, start focusing on making your content better both to serve your audience and better from an SEO standpoint. This is when you can start thinking about SEO nit-picky things, like using keywords appropriately and setting your website up to be better for SEO.

While other SEO experts will say to do this step first, it’s got a pretty high level or entry for people who haven’t had much of a strategy in the first place. Most SEOs don’t start websites from scratch but fix them up after they’ve been around for a while. Taking this same approach can help you make better choices about what directions to move in for your SEO strategy, especially since you’re not a professional.

Keep SEO Simple—For Now

Of course, this is a super simplified approach to SEO strategy and you could stand to get a lot more information from me. After all, I work every day to help my clients do better in search!

I’m releasing an SEO workbook soon to help non-seo professionals get the most out of Google. Be sure to sign up to receive an alert when the book is released, as well as a little special something when it comes out that I’m only sending to my subscribers.

Using a Blog Manifesto to Keep Your Direction

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. One of my blogs is coming up on a 5 year anniversary, but truth be told, I’ve been writing on the internet for over a decade. One thing that’s really helped me stay the course has been a blog manifesto. Creating one of these can help you better define your blogging goals, live up to our own expectations, and move forward.

We all know that writing valuable content is important, whether that’s on our blogs or in our Tweets. But if you’re honest with yourself for a minute right now, have you always lived up to delivering great content all the time? Did you hit publish on that post or social media message that wasn’t quite up to par?

Let’s call ourselves out and create a way to keep ourselves accountable.

Define Blogging Purpose in a Blog Manifesto

The first step to digging into creating your blog manifesto is determining you overall goal for your blog. Knowing exactly what you want out of your blog and what you want to work towards is the most important thing when developing strategy for your work online. Without a clear direction, you’ll float from one idea to the next without any end game in mind.

Determine Your Business Blogging Goals

Blogging for business is generally easier than personal blogging. Ultimately, every business blogger has the end goal desired: to make money. Of course, there are endless strategies to get to that end goal. It might be:

  • Positioning yourself or your business as a thought leader
  • Generating strong relationships with your audience
  • Express your brand identity
  • Provide better customer service, like product use ideas or answers to questions
  • Build an email list
  • Attract top talent
  • Capture earned media
  • Set your business apart from everyone else

Whatever you’re doing with your business blog, you want that to transfer into customers and profits. It might just be a roundabout way to get there.

Always remember that while you’re on a mission towards a successful bottom line, you need to hold yourself to the same standards as personal blogs. You need to bring passion, creativity, and a unique approach to your content topics. While readers can acknowledge the difference between business blogs and personal blogs, they read content in the same way.

[Tweet “Readers expect passion, creativity, and uniqueness from business blogs as much as hobby blogs.”]

A blogging manifesto will help you make sure you’re providing your customers and leads with the right message, no matter what your bottom line is looking like.

Determine Your Personal Blogging Goals

Personal blogging is a lot harder for most people because it can be really hard to determine your end goal. There are thousands of reasons to have a personal blog. Here are some common ones:

  • Become a better writer, thinker, or whatever else
  • Express yourself
  • Boost creativity
  • Keep yourself accountable on projects, ideas, or life goals
  • Connect to others
  • Inspire or help others

Keep in mind that if you’re trying to make money from your blog in any way, whether from sidebar ads, products you sell, or even donations from readers, you should consider your blog a business. It will change the way you look at your blog and make sticking to goals much easier.

If you’re not on a mission for money, however, it can be difficult to stick with one thing. Your blog is a representation of you and your life, after all, and that changes throughout your life. One month, you might be really into one idea. The next, you might be headed an entirely different direction.

A blogging manifesto helps ensure that everything you publish is worthwhile and embodies the spirit and thought behind your blog even if your interests vary.

[Tweet “Trouble sticking to one blog topic? Instead, think of moments of your life as the topic.”]

Manifesting Value on your Blog

Your audience has a million and one other things to do than read your blog. On top of that, they could pretty easily find the information elsewhere on the internet. There’s not much information that isn’t already covered, in some manner, by someone else.

If your blog and social media isn’t providing something useful and worth your audience’s time, you’ll be talking to no one. Not only is that bad for business blogs, it’s frustrating for personal bloggers. It’s why so many people give up, stop blogging, and move on.

What can you bring your audience? This is where you need to marry the purpose of your blog with what’s meaningful to you. Whether you’re blogging for business or for fun, what can you do to help your audience? How do you fit into your audience’s life?

Your blog manifesto needs to drive you towards helping your audience and keeping yourself accountable to do that. Those half-hearted posts you published because it was a post day? You need to let those go and demand better from your blogging efforts.

After all, what’s the point if your audience isn’t going to read it because it’s valueless and you don’t really enjoy creating it?

You might want to include in your blog manifesto that every post you publish must have:

  • Actionable advice your audience can act on to make their lives better
  • A way for your audience to connect with you on a meaningful level
  • A push to give your audience a new outlook on their lives or change their thinking

Or anything else that requires real value from you for your readers.

[Tweet “Marry the purpose and meaning of your blog to create value for readers.”]

Defining Your Blog Audience

Knowing your audience is key to understanding what they find valuable as well as how to talk to them. Your blog obviously only appeals to a small group of people in the world. Not everyone is going to like your content much less let you become a part of their lives.

Defining your audience isn’t a easy task and getting to know them and what they want can be even harder. I’ve developed a great free ecourse to help you know your audience better.

Sign up for the free 6-week email course and better define and serve your audience.

If you know your audience well, define them in your blog manifesto and stick to serving them and only them in your posts. Only write for others if you’re making the conscious decision to start including them in your audience in the future, not just for one post.

[Tweet “Write for your audience and only your audience.”]

Manifesting Feelings on Your Blog

This is much less touchy-feely hippie dippy than you might realize. In Contagious by Jonah Berger, he discusses research he did of the Most Emailed articles on the New York Times. If you’ve ever wondered why boring scientific articles are shared as much as articles about politics or the best new intriguing foods? It has to do with the kinds of emotions they activate.

Emotions that make us engaged and high active, like awe or anger, make us want to share, says Berger. Passive emotions, on the other hand, like contentment, inclusion, or sadness, won’t help you much to create viral content. You can watch a 40 minute Google Talk about that theory and the book by Berger if you want to skip reading the book.

Taking this research to task, what feeling do you want to create in your audience? Do you want them to feel:

  • Exhilarated
  • Disgusted
  • Inspired
  • Furious
  • Delighted
  • Afraid

Motivating your audience with feelings needs to be part of your blog manifesto to get the biggest effect out of your work.

[Tweet “Write for active emotions to get engagement from your audience.”]

Blog Manifesto Worksheet

I’ve created a handy Blog Manifesto Worksheet for you to use to create your own blog manifesto to keep you on target with your blog.

Create a blogging manifesto with this free worksheet from Bear & Beagle Creative. Get your blog on track today! Create a blogging manifesto with this free worksheet from Bear & Beagle Creative. Get your blog on track today!

To use this Google Doc Worksheet:

  • Click the link to go to the file
  • Print it to fill in by hand OR
  • File > Make a Copy > Save it to your Google Drive to fill in in on your computer

I hope this helps you get more out of your blog and be more productive with your blogging work. If you loved this post and worksheet, share it with your fellow bloggers!

And don’t forget that if you’re completely lost, I offer blog coaching sessions and workshops to help you figure out more about what you want out of your blog and develop a strategy that’s right for you.

[Tweet “I loved this free Blog Manifesto Worksheet!”]

Poster mockup from Mike Delsing.

Pinterest Changes Their Stream: Video

If you’ve been spending time on Pinterest lately, you might have noticed your home feed is looking a bit different. Noticed little text on pins that says “Related Pins?” How about pins from people you don’t actually follow?

Well, that’s because Pinterest changed. And you need to know about it! You can watch the video above for a visual example of how it works or read the transcript below.

Read more “Pinterest Changes Their Stream: Video”

Should Your Blog Use Autoresponders?

Have you ever visited a website, liked what you read and decided to sign up for updates only to never hear from the website ever again? In fact, it probably happens more than you even remember. The thing is humans have pretty short memories when it comes to the endless amounts of content we encounter every day.

If you’re not doing something to be at the top of people’s minds, you’re going to be forgotten. This is where autoresponders come in. They can make a huge difference in building relationships with your new readers.

Read more “Should Your Blog Use Autoresponders?”

Tips for Better Blog Photos: Video

Wonder how to take better photos for your blog content to gain more traffic? This week’s Build Your Blog Vlog is all about three simple things you can do to take better photos. It’s not difficult to learn how to take better photos for platforms like Pinterest. All it takes is some know how and persistence!

How to take better blog photos

I’m talking about three things you should do to make your photo standout!

Hey bloggers! Welcome to the Build Your Blog Vlog. I’m Kim Herrington of Bear & Beagle Creative. Every week I answer blogging questions sent in by you!

We all know that photos are really the way that we attract a lot of attention especially on platforms like Pinterest. If your photos are eye-catching and it is immediately clear what they’re about, you’ll see more click throughs to your content. Pinterest is a huge referral traffic source for many bloggers so taking advantage of all that it offers your visual content is really important.

Here’s the three things that you need to do to make your photos really awesome.

Use a Decent Camera

You’ve heard it said over and over again by lots of bloggers they all use what’s called a DSLR. I use four cameras on my blog. I have two DSLRs, aCanon Rebel T3 and another Canon 60D that I used to record this video. The other two? I use my iPhone 6 and my iPad mini!

Between my two DSLR cameras I can take really great, detailed photos because I have great sensors with good lenses. I use my iPhone and iPad for quick photos for social media and sometimes for blog content.

However knowing how to take the photo is even more important than my equipment. Having great equipment does make good photos look better. There’s no denying that.

Before you invest in cameras, learning first how to take great photos is important. Make sure that you know the basics about taking photos. You can learn with your smartphone camera about composition to get started.  The iPhone 6 has a fantastic camera that takes great shots to get you started. But, if you’re really serious about images and have a photo-heavy blog, you’ll really need to invest in a DSLR.

If you do have one, I really recommend shooting in Raw. You can clawback the data if you mess up and it’s much easier to edit photos quickly!

Have good lighting

They key to clear images is clear lighting. Great photos can be ruined when they’re in a really dark setting. Most photos that are really successful on Pinterest are well lit.

Take some time to think about how you can better light your photos.

If you’re taking photos at home try to do it in front of a open window and use pieces of white paper to reflect light onto your subject or go outside. Another trick you can use is actually to construct a large array of lamps. That’s what I use for these vlogs instead of a professional lighting rig a lot of other vloggers use.

I went and picked up a few $10 lamps. It’s super easy and I even use these lights in my apartment for regular lighting.

If you do want to get crazy you can always make a desktop lightbox using dowels. It’s really easy to make good lighting for your blog photos. It just takes creativity.

Think about Composition

You’ve heard me say over and over again so far that you need to think about how to construct your shots.

One of the hardest things to learn is actually how to look at three-dimensional objects and see it in two dimensions. To start to see the world this way, compare the differences between your viewfinder screen and what you see. Ask yourself “If I saw this on Pinterest, would I click through? Is this grabbing my attention?”

Creating attractive graphics really depends on how you present the story. When you’re taking your photos, think about ways to tell your visual audience what the post is about.

I use a lot of stock images on the Bear & Beagle Blog but take all of my own for my lifestyle blog. One image that worked really well is one of my email templates post. Can you see the story? A woman is sitting at her computer alone, trying to write an email to someone but doesn’t know where to start. Combine it with the attention grabbing text and it’s pretty enticing.

I’d love to get to know you on Pinterest! Comment below with your profile and let’s get pinning.

If you loved this video, you might like this week’s article about the boards every blogger needs on Pinterest. If you enjoyed this, please share this with friends and subscribe!

Thanks for watching the Build Your Blog Vlog and until next time, keep blogging!

Is Blogging an Online Marketing Ploy?

Do you think that blogging is a marketing ploy? Feel slimy about using online marketing for your business? Let me convince you why you should reconsider.

Why Online Marketing can be Scammy

I have a lot of discussions with business owners throughout my day. Every so often, I’ll talk to a business owner who is hesitant about expanding their online presence with blogging and social media. In fact, one business owner was completely convinced that online marketing was a scam and just not worth his time and money.

I mean, really, who can blame him? We all suffer through thousands of spammy messages online every day. Online marketing can really seem like a waste of money when you have limited funds to invest for your business.

Let’s put this in perspective using some old-school business tactics most people see as very useful.

Old-School Networking versus Cold Calling

I’m a member of my local chamber here in Arkansas. Every once in a while, I’ll receive a phone call from another member. Pretty normal tactic for businesses. Networking is something pretty much every business owner does and most experts advocate you should do it regularly.

I recently met with a woman who works with a national chain of payroll services. She called me up, we met for coffee, and she got to know me as a person and about my business. She was a friendly woman who clearly cared about getting to know me, even though I explained before we even met that I’m a solo entrepreneur without payroll needs.

Even still, she talked with me about what she does and asked about my business goals.

When we parted, she handed me a folder with a few payroll forms every business must complete to start paying employees in case I know someone else who needed help. She also grabbed a few business cards for my boyfriend, who is an attorney here in Arkansas and helps small businesses.

A few days later, I got a call from another payroll company. He didn’t ask to meet me but just asked if I needed payroll services. I don’t—right now at least—and thanked him for his call but politely declined to speak with him further about what he offers.

Can you see the difference in these two approaches?

Good Online Marketing is Great Networking

Your online marketing won’t work if you’re simply calling up people and trying to sell them your services. If you develop a relationship with your leads before they need you and establish trust for referrals, you’re well on your way.

The truth is, I am going to need payroll eventually if my business keeps growing at the rate it is now. When I need payroll or know someone who does, I’m going immediately call up the woman who took the time to get to know me who already demonstrated she’s a great payroll resource who cares about my business.

Cold calling rarely works.

Your online presence should act as a sales person who really cares about people and what matters to them. Online marketing is an opportunity creator that establishes your authority in your niche. On top of it all, valuable content means better SEO. Which means more clicks!

That’s where blogging fits in. Consistent and valuable content that acts as your networking sales person and creates a relationship with your audience is the best thing you can do for your business online.

[Tweet “Online marketing is an opportunity creator that establishes your authority in your niche.”]

A bad online marketing plan only sells, tries to attract attention by yelling, and doesn’t contribute anything meaningful. For SEO, bad marketing can really backfire and create negative long term effects for your business.

Is online marketing and blogging a ploy for sales? It can be—but that means it’s not going to work.

Have great intentions behind your website for your audience and you’ll see results.