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Archive for the ‘Energize Your Business’ Category

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I borrowed this title from a new “fan” friend. I apologize for not remembering who it was or what exactly she said on Sunday night, but the gest is here. (If you are that person, please comment so I can give you credit!)

Sunday night, where do I begin?

After working hard all weekend to garner the 25 fans necessary to get my unique username for my fan page on Facebook , they changed the rules. They upped the limit to 100. I was close, with 15 fans by Sunday afternoon, but I knew getting 100 fans would be an impossibility. But as my mother said, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE if you just believe (or was that a movie line???).

At any rate, about 8pm Sunday evening I read a post by Mari Smith (the Facebook all knowing expert) about a social chat going on at the moment to help small businesses get their fan counts. It was set up by Hazel of SocialBees and the place was buzzing (literally) with traffic. The concept? Post your Facebook fan page link and other small businesses would “fan” you. I liked to call it, “Paying It Forward on Facebook”. Mari was there pumping up the troops, as was Hazel and it was an amazing night of fun. I started with 15 fans and by the end of the long evening, I had 98. At 4:00am I called it a night, with only 2 fans to go to reach that unattainable 100 count.

I learned something that night. People are basically generous. They want to help and share and connect with other business owners. I also got to know many small business owners and got introduced to their businesses by “fanning” them as well. It was a marvelous night of co-sharing and learning, as well as seeing the basic generosity of others.

The next morning, I woke up (late I might add) to 8 more fans, pushing me over the top and enabling me to secure my username: ParentCollegeCoach. But as far as I’m concerned, I gained so much more by connecting with other small business owners like myself, paying it forward on Facebook!

Here is Mari’s Facebook page link (http://www.facebook.com/marismith)

Here is Hazel’s SocialBees Facebook page link (http://www.facebook.com/socialbees)

Here is my Facebook Fan page (Parents Countdown to College Coach) link (http://www.facebook.com/parentcollegecoach)

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You want your blog to drive search traffic. But how?

search According to Chris Baggott of Compendium Blogware, “all search is driven by content and relevance”. Yesterday during a FREE webinar, Chris discussed the importance of driving traffic to your blog so that they can be converted from “searchers and strangers” to sales.

Chris made some great points throughout this webinar, but I was especially impressed with the questions he answered from those attending at the close of the presentation. He took the time to call prior to the webinar and ask how he might address any questions I might have.

Instead of highlighting the webinar presentation, I wanted to share the questions along with the answers here, in hopes they might help you as they did me.

How do you use a blog and a website simultaneously? Use the blog to lead the charge to the website. Since blog posts remain with key words and the content should change regularly, use the blog to put your business at the top of searches. Make sure your blog has a “call to action” (i.e. catalog, download, connect to products).

Why would someone read my blog and what kind of content should it contain? Remember that those who land on your blog land there because they have done a search with the key words you have used in your content. You want them to know you’re a credible authority on whatever they did a search for. Since the majority of all interactions begin with searches, it’s your chance, once they land there, to convert them.

What type of keywords should I be using? Start small. Carve out a few words and see if they work and how effective they are in driving traffic to your blog. The title of the blog itself should be targeting the key words.

What is the best way to integrate Twitter and blogging? Think of your blog as the social network hub. Use this to push out to Twitter and Facebook. But never forget that search is the primary objective.

Do you have to be a great writer to use a blog as a marketing tool? Most people don’t read, they skim and scan. It’s doesn’t take great writing. Talk to the people and tell them what they need to know.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website? Web pages are facts and figures. Blogs are stories. The more narrowly you tell that story, the more successful you will be.

And one last piece of advice from Chris:

Burn your thesaurus. Think about the words people use to find you and use those words in your copy.

Happy blogging!

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