Here is a simple guide to getting started with blogging:
- What first? If you don’t have a blog, visit WordPress.com for an easy and free way to get started. If you have a website already for your business and want maximum benefits for search engine optimisation and traffic to your main site, ask your site manager to go to WordPress.org to download and integrate a blog to your main site.
- Next Steps. Next, spend a couple of hours getting ideas for your blog. Pull together any articles you have written in the past that could be repurposed. Write a list of frequently asked questions that you could answer on your blog too. Perhaps gather together a list of products to write about that might interest your target audience. Have this sort of blogging brainstorm every month or two so you always have a list of ideas to write about.
- How to do it. Blog 2-3 times a week. Keep posts relatively short. 200 words is about optimum, but it is fine to write 100 word updates too. If your posts go over 400 words, split them into two. Use simple jargon free language so as many people as possible will understand what you are writing about.
- Make it easy. Add in widgets so that your articles are tweeted automatically, use the Networked Blogs app to link your blog to Facebook, or join everything up using Twitterfeed. This means that your followers know when you have added a new article to your blog, every time.
- Spread the word. Get involved with bloggers writing on similar and complementary topics. Comment on their blogs, join carnivals and create response posts to big issues addressed by other bloggers.
- Stick at it. A blog needs persistence. Book time in your diary every week to add a few articles, using inspiration from your list of ideas, or find a ghostblogger to create content for you. Within a few months you should start to see more visitors to your site and clients for your business.
Using the Internet to make your event a success
Do you want to run an event? The Internet makes it much easier to ensure it will succeed. Here are 9 tips to help you:
- What’s the aim for your event? Do you want to make money, raise your profile, help people? Be explicit about your exact aim, and break this down into specific goals. This will help you plan an event that will meet your aims.
- Be clear about your audience. If you know who will benefit from your event, it will be easier to target your marketing to relevant websites and forums and sell more tickets.
- Set up an easy online way to buy tickets. Sites like www.eventbrite.co.uk make it easy for people to buy tickets, or consider www.constantcontact.com which offers event management and email marketing combined.
- Build your email list well in advance. Don’t think you can sell an event from cold without a lot of hard work: the more people you have on your list who are in the target market for your event the easier it will be.
- What are the benefits? When sending emails marketing your event be clear how people will benefit if they attend and focus on this in all communications and promotions.
- Use online meeting software like GotoWebinar to run pre-event live calls so people can get a taste of what they might expereince at the event itself.
- Partner up with other key people with email lists on relevant topics so they will promote your event to their list too
- Have an online Marketing and Media pack for your event from the start, explaining the costs and benefits to businesses that want to get involved. Offer the chance to sponsor your whole website or just a page. Aim for sponsorship and/or exhibitors right from the start to maximise what you can achieve with the event.
- Follow up your event with an email to every attendee. Use something like surveymonkey.com to get views on the day so you can make your next event even better.
Training at a time that suits you, and at no cost too!
If you find it hard to invest time in your own training, we’re excited to discover a new range of online training courses from ACEInspire. These no-cost training courses deliver bite sized chunks of information to your desk every day in the form of eLessons. You can learn about:
- How to make money online
- Business promotion basics
- Better business blogging
Each course is packed with fresh ideas and is guaranteed to help you take ACTION in your business to find more followers, get more customers or clients and make more money.
If you want to get some inspiration for your business, learn new skills and get tried and tested ideas, why not try out one of the no-cost eCourses today. Visit www.aceinspire.co.uk to pick your course.
Not sure which course will suit you? Try the ‘decision maker tool’. It will help you pick the right course for your needs. Simply answer the questions and the decision maker will choose the course that best fits your needs. You sign up and ACEInspire sends you the lessons. It couldn’t be easier, and will cost you nothing.
Why authors need a blog
Are you an aspiring author? Have you already got a publishing deal? Or do you have books already in print? Whatever your situation, if you’re not blogging you are missing out on a key way to reach new readers, and build a relationship with your fans. Blogging can also help improve your writing. Here are 10 reasons why every author should be blogging regularly.
- A blog is a great outlet for ideas. It is a place to add in all sorts of ideas that you may or may not use in your book.
- A blog will build your followers. Once you have started adding lots of great content to your blog, along similar themes to your books, you’ll find you attract blog readers. People who love your blog are likely to love your books too, so write about it when you have a new title out.
- A blog can kickstart your creativity. If you are a follower of Julia Cameron’s ‘Artists Way’ you’ll know the benefits of writing Daily Pages as a warm up. Writing a short blog article can act as a way to get your mind going before you start on the main work of writing the next part of your book.
- A blog can help you build a relationship with your readers. People who visit your blog site will be able to leave comments, telling you about what they like about your latest book or blog post. Listen and learn and this will provide useful guidance for your next book. Reply to comments and you can start to build a better relationship with your readers.
- A blog can help fans stay loyal between books. For most writers, a new book comes out once a year or less. For fans, that can seem a very long time. Blog regularly – every day, once a week or even once a month, and you’ll give fans something to look forward to. Whether you write a tip, tell them how the next book is progressing, or even give them a sneak peak, you’ll ensure that more people are eagerly awaiting your next book.
- Blog articles can turn into book content. If you have an idea that you want to write about, but it doesn’t fit into your current book, blog it! When the time comes to pitch your next book proposal, look through your blog for themes as you will find plenty of inspiration. Some authors have created books entirely based on blog articles.
- A blog allows you to contact people in a new way. Make sure you have a way for people to input their email to get blog updates from you. Feedburner is a simple way to do this, and it means that readers will be notified by email or in your RSS feed when you post. Put a strong call to action like ‘New book out for you to buy now’ in your post title, and people will know about your book launch before they even visit your blog.
- Blog readers will become book buyers. Alongside your Feedburner link, you can also use an email service provider. Embed an email sign up box in the sidebar of your blog and you can now get in touch with people directly with news and updates about your books. People who receive this sort of email are 167% more likely to buy.
- Make money while you blog. There can be a big gap between receiving the advance for a book and the time when royalties start to come in. A blog can be a great source of income. You could offer advertising subscriptions, eBooks, eCourses, all of which will smooth out the ups and downs in your income.
- A blog can get you a book deal. Yes, only a few people find that a publisher stumbles across their website and gets in touch offering them a deal. Many more new authors will be able to use their blog as a showcase for their writing and give potential publishers proof that they have the skills and commitment to come up with a great book. If you have yet to get a book deal, use your blog as a showcase for your work and network online to draw the right people in as readers.