Should I blog?

Here’s a business question I get all the time.  And the funny thing is I struggle with this myself constantly.  My usual questions are:

  1. Do you have something to say—in your area of expertise—on many different topics?
  2. Can you make a schedule of at least once a month and stick to it?
  3. Does anyone care?

When you can repurpose content from a blog into a newsletter, social media, etc…then a blog can be a good way to keep your content up on the web (since those other media will vanish over time).

Does being known as a thought leader in your area help your business, credibility and reach?  If so, consider blogging.

What if you don’t have anything to say?

I was working with my SEO specialist today and we were talking about a client we were working on.  This client started off on a high when we launched the website and spent a lot of time writing a thoughtful and timely blog post.  And she followed up about every two months or so with another new post…which always got a good response and comments.  (this is not a given!  lots of posts get no comments or spam comments only)  But then she got distracted with the everyday mayhem of running her business and living her life.  So her website has gone down a bit in search rankings and traffic.  If you are going to do a blog, you need to stick with it!  If your most recent blog post is from last year, you will lose credibility with real people and also get “dinged” by the search results since your site will not have fresh content.  If you are going to blog, blog.  Stick to a schedule.  They don’t all have to be long and involved and don’t even need pictures.  But if the commitment is too much (I get it, I myself do not blog frequently enough) then just don’t blog at all.  Do social media.  Write/send a permission-based newsletter every month.  It can be hard to come up with something new to say all the time so if this isn’t your thing, DON’T DO IT.

Email marketing is alive and well!

I had the privilege of running a learning session today for the New York UJA Federation and their member agencies about EMAIL MARKETING.  About thirty people attended, a wide range of young, old, men and women…some of them were “management” and some were the marketing professionals for their organization.  So interesting to hear how these different agencies handle email marketing—one place has 70,000 email addresses on their list and send up to three emails every day.  Yes every day!  Of course to different people, different segments of their list with different interests.  Email is still a really effective way to connect with your loyal followers and fans. 

Our website builder meets a real need…even now.

I had several conversations this week with different people—some clients, some technical, some not-so-technical and I am more convinced than ever that there is still a real need for the website building system we have developed:  Bold Business Tools.  Yes, sure you can shop around and find some simple solutions when you need your own website, but no one has curated the WordPress capabilities to turn it into a turn-key system that can really work for small business.  We’ve already got the plug-ins you need including SEO, store, blog, Google Analytics, social media, email marketing integration.  We host.  We back it up.  And the sites might seem pretty simple and not very fancy, but they are really working.  Phil Gallant’s Ticker Tape website helped him get his hands on three vintage machines.  Randy Rollins’ roofing website has gotten him major residential projects totalling thousands of dollars.  WordPress might seem really easy if you’re already a geek, but for the rest of us, my system really meets a need!  Haven’t checked it out yet?  Why not?  There’s a free trial (no credit card required!)  Sign yourself up now.

Delighted to be part of this 30-Day Challenge!

My friend and colleague Tea Silvestre (of www.storybistro.com) invited me to join an illustrious group of experts for a 30-Day Bloom Your Audience Challenge.  She’s got one easy, simple-to-implement tip per day ready to send you along with terrific offers from each of the participants.  So join me and the other experts in deepening your online relationships—it isn’t all about QUANTITY but about QUALITY.  Free of charge, of course.  Sign yourself up!

 

How is our system different?

A client recently asked me to help her understand how our Bold Business Tools system is different than “regular” WordPress. Thought it might help inform you, too!

How is Bold Business Tools different than “regular” WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source software that was originally developed for blogs (weblogs, online journaling). In the past five years, WordPress developers have created numerous templates, plug-ins and add-ons that have made WordPress a complete content management system for full-featured websites.
Because WordPress is not “owned” by anyone, if you want a website built with WordPress, generally you need to work with a technical person/developer/designer to put the various pieces together to create a website. Their work would usually include:
• Choosing/purchasing/customizing a WordPress template
• Plug-ins for features like Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, other software
• Hosting
• Security
• Backups
We think that paying a designer to do all of that is frequently overkill for small independent businesses who have relatively straightforward needs from their website. So we have simplified the process of building a website in WordPress:
• You can have as many pages as you want, with drop-down menus and sub-pages.
• Your pages can look like you want and you can create your own style/look.
• We have training videos that explain how to do almost anything on your site.
• We have technical and customer support staff who will help you at no extra charge.
• A banner (900 X 164 pixels) is persistent across the website and can be customized or use one of our graphics or all-type.
• Choose “sidebar” format or full-width format for every page, design each page including images, video, forms.
• There are no plug-ins or add-ons required.
• “Widget” choices built in including rotating content.
• We are pre-programmed to integrate with Google Analytics to track your website traffic.
• We have SEO functionality built right in, no add-ons required.
• Blog functionality built-in
• Store functionality and integration with ecommerce built-in
• Hosting is included
• Backup included
• Security included
• Customer support and training is included.

Sign up for a free trial here.

The Speed of Change

I have just completed a top-to-bottom rewrite of Shine Online, my e-book that is a guide to everything a small business owner or practice provider needs to know about marketing their business on the Internet…and I can’t believe how much updating it needed!  I went back and checked every single link and reference from the last update in 2012 and even in that short time, there has been a sea change.

I added new sections on mobile, video and beefed up the section on social media.  It is funny to look back and see what I wrote some time ago about things like Google Checkout.  Which is now out of business.  If Google can’t make it work, they just shut it down (which is one of my objections to using some of their products…that and there is no such thing as customer service).  Video is ubiquitous and now that Google owns YouTube, it is more important than ever to get your site found.  Search marketing has gotten more and more complex—in fact two of the experts I know in the field decided to go into other businesses because keeping up with the technology changes got to be too hard.

If you are just getting started with your business (or just getting online with it), you won’t find a better overall resource than Shine Online.  And if you buy it and then decide to purchase a WordPress website from me, I will credit you with your purchase price.  The $24.95 is well worth it, even if it just saves you from making other silly decisions about your web marketing!  Buy now.

Are you leaving a legacy?

My newsletter this month is a little more serious than usual since a little boy named Sam rocked my world.  There have been many moving tributes, articles, blog posts and sermons examining the impact this one child had, my words feel inadequate but I wanted to share Superman Sam with my community.

Read the article on Leaving a Legacy in my January Bold Business Works newsletter.

But I love Orange!

Driving around this morning, I heard a radio report that excerpted the results of a career advice study that if you are going for a job interview, you should still wear black or navy blue…that wearing those colors improves your chances of getting hired.  Red is listed as a power color—one of the last times I got hired to work for someone else (1996) I was wearing a floor length Calvin Klein swing coat.  The worst color?  Orange.

I have been carrying a super-cool orange Kate Spade handbag for a few months now and it is the most commented-upon item that I have ever owned.  I am no accessory hog and the fact that I’ve been carrying it around since the summer is probably an indicator that I am not that fashion-conscious.  But it makes me happy and I love that people take note of it.

Purple is probably my signature color, in my logo, banner, website, etc.  I like bright green and orange too.  I guess all of this means that I am a misfit for the corporate-type jobs that this study was referring to.  I can live with that.  Color expresses my individuality and creativity.  If someone wants to hire me, they will need to appreciate that anyway.

Want to read the original article?  Here it is.