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    In the first part of the series, I looked at the variety of different methods available when you are looking to promote your Business. In this second part, we will take a look in more detail at some of the options we can use which are specifically used for blogs.

    Firstly, though, it should be pointed out that good content will in itself attract visitors to your blog as people recommend your blog to others – it will also attract people wanting to link to your site. The essence of the Blogosphere is its power of communication, much of which is achieved through linking, and is based on merit and quality. People will reference your site and comment on what you have written if it warrants it this will create a buzz around your blog and acts in a viral marketing way.

    a) RSS Feeds
    All blogs should have at least one RSS feed and over time possibly more as you segment both your content and your blogs readership. The RSS feed will generally be created automatically for you by your Blogging software and so your main task will be to make sure that it can be found – you can then augment the information that you gather from it and improve its use as a promotional tool by using Feedburner as outlined in this post.

    b) RSS Feed Directories
    There are also web directories where you can submit your RSS feed and where the content from the RSS can be searched on both for general subject area and in terms of the content of individual posts as well. A good set of RSS Directories can be found at All RSS.

    c) Blog Directories
    There are an increasing number of directories which are dedicated to blogs and which can offer a good way to get your blog referenced and linked to. Most are general directories with sub categories which function in the same way as the main web directories, though there are also some which are focused on certain particular market areas. Being found in these directories will help not only to direct visitors directly to your Business blog but also add to Page Rank element and so your Blog’s rankings in the main Search Engines.

    d) Blog Search Engines
    There are some main Blog Search Engines such as Technorati which are important to be indexed in luckily, this can be done rather more simply than is the case with the mainstream Search Engines by pinging the relevant web servers (see below). The Blog Search Engines will generally then index the new posts on your Blog almost as soon as you have posted them. This is one of the key reasons why you can find such up to date information using these Search Engines and a contributory factor as to why blogs are so valuable.

    e) Pinging
    Pinging, in terms of blogs, is where you send a short automatic notification to the blog servers (such as Search Engines) to tell them that you have posted new information on your Business Blog and that they should come to index it! Simple just remember to post and ping!

    Pinging can be set up to happen automatically within the Blog system itself in most cases and this is by far the simplest way. Alternatively, you do not have to ping lots of different places manually fortunately, there are some specialist sites which will help to do this for you such as Pingomatic or Pingoat.

    f) Blog Tags
    These are tags or phrases which can be added to a post by its author to indicate the main categories of its content and so should give an accurate reflection of what areas the post is talking about. For blogs, the most commonly used are tags for Technorati the Search Engine then allows you to search not only in a general fashion but also by individual tags. Other sites which were the pioneers of this type of social tagging are Flickr and del.icio.us

    g) Post Comments on other Blogs
    You should be keeping your eye on a number of other Blogs and following those that most interest you or you find most relevant. Ideally, once you have your own blog up and running then you should not only be reading them but also commenting on them. Its a way of getting your name out into the blogosphere as well as encouraging people back to your own blog.

    When you post a comment, most blogs request your name and your website address then, when you submit your comment, it appears with your name which forms a link back to your site. Try to avoid comments which just say “Great Post” or something similar; although it will create a link back to your site, it really doesnt encourage people to use it.

    However, if you add value to the post in your comment, then there is a greater likelihood that people will want to follow the link from your comment back to your own blog to read more of what you have to say.

    h) Trackbacks
    When you write a post which reference other blogs, then you should always credit the original source and place a link to it within the text of your post. Wherever possible, you should also use a trackback. A trackback will automatically inform the author that you have referenced their post in your blog and are continuing the themes from their article in your own post. At the same time, it will also create a link in the comments section of the original post which people can follow back to your blog.

    To add a trackback, you need to find the trackback address at the bottom of the post you are referencing and this should be copied into the relevant boxcon the screen where you write your post. Once again, the quality of the post that you write will then determine whether people consider it worthwhile to have followed the trackback and visited your blog so try to ensure that you are adding something to the original or taking it in another direction.

    If you use all of these techniques then you will already be going a long way towards to successfully marketing your Business Blog. In part three, we will look at the general online methods that you can use in conjunction with these.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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    This is the first of a four part series which will look at the important subject of promoting and marketing a Business Blog. The other three parts of the series will individually focus on the blog specific promotion, general online promotion and finally offline promotion.

    There are a number of different ways in which you should be looking to promote and market your Business Blog to encourage the sort of traffic that you are looking to achieve. Like a normal website, if you believe that you can simply build your site and people will immediately swarm to it in their thousands, then you are going to be sadly disappointed.

    I have divided the methods into 3 areas covering:

      1. Marketing and promotion techniques which are specific to blogs;
      2. General online promotional techniques;
      3. Offline marketing

    These can be shown as below:

    While the methods have been divided into three sections, they should be considered and implemented as a single set of activities. An integrated approach combining all of the elements will provide the best results and so should be considered as such.

    1. Blog Specific marketing and promotion methods

    At the heart of a good blog will be good and focused content which will in itself attract visitors to your blog as people recommend your blog to others and also attract people who will want to link to your site.

    In addition to this content, you should be looking t at the following elements to promote your Blog.

      a) RSS Feeds
      RSS feeds are an excellent and easy method to help readers to find you and your content so use them wherever you can.

      b) RSS Feed Directories
      There are a growing number of directories where you can submit your RSS feed and where the content from the RSS can be searched on topic area and the content of individual posts.

      c) Blog Directories
      There are an increasing number of directories which are dedicated to blogs and which can offer a good way to get your blog referenced and linked to.

      d) Blog Search Engines
      There are some main Blog Search Engines which are important to be indexed in luckily, this can be done rather more simply than is the case with the mainstream Search Engines by pinging the relevant web servers.

      e) Pinging
      Pinging, in terms of blogs, is where you send a short automatic notification to the blog servers to tell them that you have posted new information to index. Simple just remember to post and ping!

      f) Blog Tags
      These are tags or phrases which are added by its author to indicate the main content focus – for blogs, the most commonly used are tags for Technorati.

      g) Post Comments on other Blogs
      You should not only be reading other blogs but also commenting on them. Its a way of getting your name out into the blogosphere as well as encouraging people back to your own blog.

      h) Trackbacks
      When referencing other blogs, then you should always link to the original source and wherever possible, you should also include a trackback as well.

    2. General Online Methods

    I have previously described blogs as websites with special characteristics which set them apart and make them so very useful. Nevertheless, this does mean that they can therefore be promoted in the same way as a normal website using the online methods available to us.

      a) Search Engines
      Search Engines are an excellent source of traffic so give your Blog the best chance to be found by making sure that it employs Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is referenced where possible.

      b) Generic Directories
      Submit your blog to the main web directories and any other relevant general web directories.

      c) Search Advertising
      Search Advertising, or Pay Per Click advertising, is just as applicable to Business Blogs as it is to websites for bringing additional qualified traffic to your blog.

      d) Write Articles
      Posting articles to online article sites is a good way to both raise your profile and create additional inbound links to your Blog.

      e) Online Forums
      Participate in online forums which are relevant to your business both content and the signature will add additional traffic.

      f) Email Signatures
      Not strictly online as such, but you should always make sure that the signature that you have on your email contains your Blog address.

    3. Offline Marketing

    Offline marketing techniques are equally effective for promoting your blog. You should therefore consider integrating the emarketing methods outlined above with the traditional offline methods that you already employ to market your company website.

      a) Personal and Company Stationery
      Make sure that your Business Blog address appears on your personal and company stationery such as business cards, letter heads and compliments slips.

      b) Business brochures and collateral
      Likewise in your brochures, flyers and leaflets, you should take the opportunity to give the recipients a direct link to further information on the subject.

      c) Presentations and Seminars
      You will normally have a section regarding you and / or your company so include here the address of your blog and the type of content that they will find there.

      d) Conferences and Exhibitions
      On your stand, on the flyers that you distribute and in any presentations that you give, you will have the chance to focus peoples attention on your blog.

      e) Direct Mailings
      A blog is often an excellent place to direct people for passionate views on the product or for a centralised information source for a conference you are running, for example.

      f) Press Release
      You could also issue a Press Release outlining the fact that you have decided to create and develop a Blog and giving the reasons behind it and the benefits that your customers can expect to gain from it.

      g) Word of Mouth
      Dont forget the age old method of simply telling people about it!

    It is the integration of the methods that are mentioned above which will bring the best results rather than individual elements in isolation. So concentrate on focusing on those which are most appropriate to your main target audience and the continue adding the others to build up the traffic over time.

    The next part in the series will look in more depth at the Blog based promotion methods.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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    Using a Blog as the central Public Relations tool for a general or internal event can add really weight to the publicity and profile that it can achieve, as well as providing the perfect focal point for other marketing and promotional activities supporting it.

    The Event might be a conference, a seminar (or a series of seminars), an exhibition, a Trade Show or a product launch, but the requirements of being able to distribute information as widely as possible remains a key factor. Only when people know about the Event and get information on it can they choose to attend!

    What are the key elements which makes a Blog such a great tool for anyone organising an event, whether internal or to the general public? Some of the main reasons are:

    • Blogs are ideal vehicles to generate Search Engine attention and hence spread information to a wider audience

    • Marketing department can enter the information themselves so making updates are easy and immediate

    • Information remains always up to date and is permanently accessible: no need to send out hundreds of follow ups because people have lost part what they have been sent

    • Communications with attendees is simplified either using RSS or email by referring people to the information contained in the blog rather than sending it to everyone.

    • Instant feedback can be obtained from attendees to give valuable information for future events

    • It provides a central point for all information which both online and offline marketing for the event can then focus in on

    There are several phases during the event where the blog will lends extra value to the event and a valuable source of information and feedback for the attendees. These start right from the moment that the Event is announced through to the post-Event distribution of information and the ongoing ability for continued publicity for your company and your follow up events.

    The main benefits are:

    1. Announcing the Event
    The starting point is an announcement of the Event, outlining its format, its content (or expected content) and providing an explanation of its goals and who it will benefit from it. By including the framework of the event, you give the initial key information, start the work on the Search Engines visibility and give yourself the basis of future enhancements to the blog.

    2. Additions and updates to agenda
    The Business Blog format gives the perfect method of keeping the agenda up to date, no matter how many changes are made to it. It is likely that the conference agenda and the speakers will not be finalised before announcing the event but, because updating a blog needs no technical input, it can be done easily and quickly by those running the event. Updates are then instantly available and attendees can be kept up to date using RSS ideally or email.

    3. Pre-Conference Promotion
    By adding additional information on the content of the event, you can continue to drive the publicity machine through your general marketing activities and through the Search Engines. Articles around the subjects the event will cover or information from the speakers, for example, will bring people back to your blog and ensure Search Engine coverage.

    4. Commentary during the Event
    Commentary can come from two sources during the event: from the organisers as they add details about the presentations and keep coverage of the event up to date; and, perhaps more importantly, attendees can contribute their own thoughts and impressions about the event. These can be incorporated immediately and so be displayed while the event is still ongoing.

    5. Event survey
    Often surveys are run during targeted events to get feedback on certain aspects of its set-up and running, including content of the presentations or initial thoughts on the product if relating to a product launch. The survey can easily be run through the blog and then of course the results can be posted there (and distributed by RSS) or emailed out.

    6. Distributing Presentations and other downloads
    Presentations and other supporting material from the Event are often made available to be downloaded after the event. The Blog is the ideal place to post this information and, because of the focus before and during the event, it will also be the natural place for them to look.

    7. Post event appraisal
    After an event, all of the feedback and comments from the attendees who have used the Blog to comment either on the presentations or the vent itself will be invaluable to assess its success and help future developments. This, together with the event survey, will form the basis of the internal evaluation of the event.

    8. Ongoing permanent archive
    Of course, after the event, all of the content that you have created remains to be continually indexed by the Search Engines, giving a continual boost to your business profile and, for regular events, free promotion for the next one. If you wish to remove it you can, but the benefits from leaving it and letting people access it will be much more powerful.

    One event at last year which shows the power this can bring and also gives additional information on the use of Business Blogs in general was its use for Global PR Blog Week. Check out how they used it it created a large amount of publicity for the Event and continues to do so.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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