How to Get More Readers onto Your Blog

When you put time and work into writing a blog, you want people to actually take the time to read it. As you build a following you will have more consistent readership and be able to meet your goals as a blogger, but in the early days, it can be hard to figure out how. To bring more attention to your blog, follow this advice and you’ll get a lot more readers each week!

Write Better Titles 

Some people overlook titles of the blogs they write because they don’t think they are particularly important. However, the title is often the first thing that new readers see, and it is what they use to decide whether or not to read what you have written. That means that the titles you choose are your first impression and they should be crafted to draw readers in. Try to think of titles that are catchy and informative so you can reach your audience easily and effectively. Using ‘listicles’ and startling facts are particularly effective.

Focus on Keywords 

A lot of the success of your blog depends on you being able to maximize your success on search engines. This means using SEO to bring your posts to the top of each search. SEO is a long-term brand strategy that requires you to put a lot of work in. You don’t want to write blog posts on any topic, or not consider the keywords your intended audience is using on search engines. Best practices can change over time, so it is important to stay in the know about Google Analytics so you can put your best foot forward for your business.

Include Quality Content

One of the best ways to grow your followership on your blog is to have information that is sharable. This means writing the kind of blog posts that are compelling enough that your current readers will share it with others. The more compelling and shareable your blog posts are, the more readers you will gain. For that reason, it’s important to craft each blog post in a way that is easy to read and understand, and contains interesting information.

Running a small business is hard, and your blog is a big part of making your business more successful. By creating more compelling blog content and bringing in more readers, you can expand the work that you do elsewhere. With a better blog, your business will be much more successful!

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How You Can Start Monetizing Your Website

Few people would argue with the necessity of having an online presence in today’s market—how else are folks going to find you? But your website can be much more than just a way for customers to find you. Your company website can also be a moneymaker for your business. Here are a few simple ways you can use your website as an additional revenue source.

Place Ads

These days, the digital version of classic advertising is known as direct advertising. A business places an add on your website or specific pages within it, and pays you for the duration of the ad life. To be able to make direct advertising work for you, you’ll generally need to have a good knowledge of your website traffic stats (which you should anway).

Advertisers typically want to know that your website is attracting the right market for their products and/or services, so you’ll need to be able to show data on who your customers are. If you’re not the type to spend time crunching your website data, try checking out online advertising programs to see if you can enroll in one that will do the work for you.

Sell Products Directly

You can also try selling products directly on your website to generate extra revenue. For those unfamiliar with the e-commerce store, the basic idea is that instead of a link directing customers to another page to purchase a product they can purchase it on your page directly. You may have noticed this with the rise of Facebook Market or Instagram Shopping.

The bonus is that setting up an e-commerce store isn’t actually very difficult. It’s easier than ever to add an e-commerce store to your website with easy drag and drop features. Depending on your own market niche, some products may already be highly compatible with your wares.

Join an Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing programs.are similar to allowing for direct advertising, but it’s not quite the same thing. Affiliate marketing is sort of the digital version of authority appeal, to use a marketing term. Here’s how it typically works.

An affiliate will place an ad on your website, but instead of a direct encouragement to buy a product or service, the ads often aim to collect information. Affiliates typically pay for engagement, not just sales, and the goal has a broader application than direct advertising. Affiliate marketing ads are often targeted towards building brand awareness with a select customer base. It’s not uncommon for affiliates to offer “free trials” or coupons in exchange for customer engagement.

So there you have it…a few simple ways to monetize your website. Which strategies will work for you?

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Features Your Business Website Needs to Facilitate Customer Communication

Every business relies on a base of customers in order to be successful. There are a ton of different factors that go into creating that base, one of which is the ability to effectively communicate with them. With more and more of business being done online, it’s more important than ever for your website to have features that facilitate that communication. But what sorts of features should you have?

Chatbots

Chat features can be a great asset to your website. You have the option of using live chat, a chatbot, or a combination of the two. Which one will be best for you will depend on your business. Consider, however, that a chatbot is predictable (you programmed it, after all), can collect valuable customer information, and can drastically improve your response time. All of that can be done without having to pay an employee to handle customer chats.

Contact Forms

Sometimes a chatbot just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes customers need to be able to get in touch with an actual person at your business. For this reason, it’s important that you have a contact form on your website to collect customer information. You can collect a phone number, email address, and a description of their query from them on the form. To make it even better, allow customers to mark their preferred method of contact. 60% of Millennials want text options when communicating with businesses. When you connect with customers the way they want to be connected with, you’ll find the experience is much better overall for everyone.

Links to Social Media Profiles

If you aren’t developing a social media presence for your business, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. Not only can social media be a powerful marketing tool, but it gives you yet another avenue for connecting to and communicating with customers. Make sure you include links to your social media profiles on your website. This may not be the go-to method customers use at that moment, but if they connect with you on social media they’ll have another way to reach you in the future.

Being able to communicate effectively with your customers is absolutely crucial. Given the increased emphasis on doing business digitally, it only makes sense for you to offer them ways to communicate with you that they can access through your website. Take a look at what features you currently offer and see what improvements can be made to increase your effectiveness when it comes to communicating with your customers.

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How to Rescue Your Business From Falling Sales

Whether you have just started your own business or if you’ve been running it for a long time, it’s likely that you have had to deal with some major difficulties since the pandemic. Recovering from hits to your business might seem like quite the uphill battle, but take it one step at a time. A few key changes to your approach could help you reset.

 

Reassess Your Key Metrics

Reassessing your key marketing metrics is a great place to start as you work to make your company more profitable. Start by looking at where you are allocating the majority of your resources and figure out how successful those approaches are actually being.

 

Look for gaps in your marketing—maybe you have a good amount of traffic but few conversions. Dig around to figure out possible reasons for this. The answers you find might surprise you.

 

Hire a Professional Web Designer

Another reason why you might be seeing falling sales is an ineffective sales page. About 75 percent of consumers judge your business based on what your website looks like. If they aren’t getting fun engaging vibes from your website, it’s likely that they aren’t connecting to your brand and won’t convert to customers.

 

As you have a web designer reassess your website, it’s important that they also take a good look at your load time. If your website isn’t loading within a few seconds, it’s likely that you are losing a lot of the visitors that initially click on your page.

 

Focus on Your Target Audience

One of the most important ways you can rescue your business from falling sales is to rethink how you are marketing your product. First, start by thinking about your target audience and how to best reach them.

 

For example, if you are running a test prep company, you’ll want to get into the heads of students more. Instead of spending a lot of money to have ads placed in various on-campus newspapers, maybe you need to offer students a free practice test in a simulated testing environment and a post-test assessment and consultation. Changing up your marketing by focusing on your target audience could help you generate a lot more interest.

 

If you’ve seen your sales falling, it can be quite discouraging, but don’t give up. It will take work, but changing up your approach in a variety of ways can help you turn things around.

 

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How Do I Get Good PR for My Business?

When it comes to how successful your business is, reputation is everything. Focusing on the needs of your customers and their opinions is one way that you can build good public relations for your business, however, there are many smaller parts that go into your perceived reputation. Once you can build good PR, you will be able to see your business grow.

Sponsorships

Giving to others is one of the best ways to build up a good reputation with those around you. Sponsorships where you give money to charities, sports teams, or larger companies are also a strategic choice to get your business’ name out in the community. For example, if you own a dentist office and sponsor a local hockey team, you will get press from being on their uniforms. As an added benefit, people who like the hockey team will translate those positive feelings towards your business. People will also learn from your sponsorships that your business is not selfish and that you want to help others instead of keeping all your money to yourself.

Online Reviews

If you are trying to improve how people perceive you, you first need to know how they currently perceive you. This includes looking at customer reviews left online. You should try to respond to as many reviews as possible, whether they are positive or negative ones. Next, you should encourage customers to continue to leave reviews. Not only do you want good reviews, you also want recent reviews. One of the easiest ways to get reviews is by sending a survey after purchase or delivery. You can take it one step further and offer a small discount or incentive once it is completed. Reviews will help boost your SEO as well.

Build a Platform

Nowadays, people want to support businesses that have the same values that they believe in. As a result, if you want to have a better relationship with your customers, you should make your values known. This does not mean that you need to have a political stance on everything, but your business can benefit from having a purpose. For example, some clothing companies donate a pair of shoes for every purchase made. This entices people to shop from those businesses because they know they are benefiting a good cause.

Good PR can be hard to come by but can also make a huge difference for your business. Customers will be more likely to support your business if they have positive perceptions of you. By focusing on a few key areas, people will be naturally attracted to your business.

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Top Tips for Using Company Vehicles to Advertise Your Business

Using vehicle wraps to advertise your business is an often-ignored aspect of business marketing. Most companies tend to focus on their social media budget rather than physical forms of advertising. However, unlike archaic ads used in billboards and newspapers, a company car can show off your business no matter where you decide to drive.

Obviously, there is still some necessary strategy you must consider before you get the wrap applied. There are ways you can maintain your advertisement to look stellar as well. With a clever advertisement on the side of your car, you will be more likely to stumble into better business opportunities.

Vehicle Advertising Options

Registering your car in an event that thousands of people will attend is a great way to market your business. Independence Day parades, car shows, and other fun community events can all give you opportunities to share information about your business. You can also take these moments to pass out coupons or gift certificates for your company.

Honestly, the most consistent way you will advertise your product is by driving around. This is a form of passive advertising that can get people thinking about whether or not they need your product. Sometimes, just driving around can get you the attention you are hoping for, making extra pit stops even more worth it.

Maintaining the Appearance of Your Ad

You want your advertisement to communicate your brand clearly to the customers. One problem with vehicle advertising is that your car must face the elements fairly regularly—especially if you live in a mixed climate. See to it that you take your car to get washed at least once a week to maintain the waxy look. You are the company billboard, after all.

Ensure your design will also hold up over time. Less is more in some circumstances and can communicate class and professionalism. Include humor and bright colors to catch people’s attention. If your advertisement’s design doesn’t seem to be working or feels outdated, take it to a graphic designer to see what they can do!

Protect the Paint

Speaking of professionalism, nothing detracts more from your advertisement’s message than an ugly paint job. The wear and tear on your car is to be expected, especially if you have been driving your car for several years. However, you have to take precautions to protect the paint you have.

Most car wash places will give you the option to apply a protective wax around your car. This paint protection can last for years, extending the life and preserving the appearance of your vehicle’s paint job. It can cost a lot if you are hoping to visit frequently. You may want to invest in an annual pass to your local car wash to keep it looking pristine.

Clean the Interior

Now the exterior of your car is looking great, but what of the interior? While a customer isn’t likely to hop in your car for a ride, they may have opportunities to peer inside your “portable billboard.” If all they see is a trash heap, that won’t reflect positively on your business.

Make small, consistent efforts to clean your car’s interior. Have a small garbage bag available at all times so you don’t accidentally spill wrappers, drinks, or fast food in your car. Vacuum it out regularly (this shouldn’t be a problem if you go to the car wash). Take pride in how your car looks and feels inside.

Plan Your Parking

The best way to show off your business logo is by parking in strategic places. If you own a business that services peoples’ homes in some way—be it lawn care, electrical work, or plumbing—park your car in front of the person’s yard. It might not seem like a brilliant tactic, but neighbors might see your parked vehicle and think to themselves: “Maybe I should get that done, too.”

When visiting the store, always park as close to the entrance of the business as possible. More people will see your logo and think this to themselves as well—inspiring them to give you a call.

Ensure its Certified

You do have to be aware of the various legal ramifications associated with car advertising. It is not uncommon for a business to do something, only to find out that it is technically illegal. Find the most effective and quickest way to get your car certified.

First, view state laws to see what potential rules you might break. If you can’t find anything, head to your city’s laws. While these can seem complicated, a government worker can often explain the legal reasoning behind the decision. Reach out to your officials to get the matter settled immediately!

Be a Good Driver

It is true that the design and cleanliness of your car is one way an anonymous passerby will judge your business. But you also have to consider your driving prowess when using a company car. You are representing what your business stands for. As such, it is irresponsible and risky to speed, get parking tickets, or make bad traffic calls in these cars.

If you are an employee, you can get written up or fired for driving poorly. Make sure you are demonstrating maximum patience and adherence to the law. You will keep your job and be a happier person.

Bigger is Better

There is a reason billboards are still a pretty common form of advertising. They are giant signs pointing you to a business you may or may not be interested in. Most people like the old saying: “Bigger is better.” Well in advertising, this tends to be true.

Your design may be loud and big on its own, but if it is trapped on a smart car, fewer people will be inclined to look at it. Trucks and vans are the prime choice for vehicular advertising—particularly for hardware and contracting jobs. But it really depends on what message your company wants to convey.

You have all the possible resources to make your vehicle advertisement successful. It’s one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising out there and is a simple, one-time cost. If you wrap your car, it is likely your business will get more “traffic.”

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Content That Your Website Needs to Keep Visitors Engaged

There are a lot of steps to creating a quality website that keeps its visitors engaged. When you think of the sites you visit the most you often associate ease of access, providing what you are looking for, and responsiveness with that site. You can likewise retain your visitor’s attention by posting informative blog posts, offering a variety of visual content, and providing opportunities for visitors to interact with comments and discussion boards.

Informative Blog Posts

Most users that visit your website want to learn more about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. They are not merely interested in a single product; they want to learn about everything behind the product. As they learn about you, they come to understand and support your vision.

Publishing informative blog posts is an excellent way to let your customers inside your business. Whether you are posting about the benefits of using your product or the process of making it, your visitors want to know about it. Keep your visitors engaged by giving them content to discover and learn about. 

Visual Content

While your visitors want to read about you, they also want to visualize you. To keep your visitors engaged, provide visual content that makes the discovery process more enjoyable. Short videos, pictures, characters, and font variety are a few of the ways to catch someone’s attention. Never underestimate the power of case studies and infographics. Case studies and infographics can add quality to your blog content. Rather than reading about the product, let your visitors visualize the way it can benefit their lives.

Comment & Discussion Boards

Humans are wired to connect. When you provide comments and discussion boards on your website, you become more personable which means your visitors start to connect and develop a sense of loyalty to you. Some of the ways you can provide interactive discussions are by allowing a comment section after each blog post or providing a way for users to submit questions and suggestions. Providing a method of interaction and then acting on it, will personalize you and your business with your current and potential customers.

First-time visitors will make quick judgments about your website which determines their likelihood of doing business with you. Capture their attention by providing blog posts, varied content, and interactive methods. Following these suggestions will provide the content needed to keep your visitors engaged.

I can create the perfect website to keep your visitors engaged. Contact me to get started!

How to Set Up a Home Office That Will Help You Succeed

Working from home comes with plenty of benefits, but it can also come with distractions that the regular office doesn’t have. That’s why putting together an effective home office for your business can help you to be much more productive. Your office should look and function in a way that works for you, but there are a few necessities that will help you to get things done.

Keep Your Workspace Clean

Organization is key to any home office, but it is especially important when you are running a business from home. Having a clean workspace helps you to focus and removes unnecessary distractions. If you are seeing clients in your home office, then a clean workspace is even more important. A clean space shows that you are professional and committed to your work and just generally helps you to make a better first impression. Having a clean and organized space will also help you to feel happier and more productive so you don’t get distracted working on cleaning tasks instead of your more important projects. Make sure to spend a little time each day working on tidying, so the mess doesn’t build up and become overwhelming.

Light the Area Well

Good lighting will help your office to become a more functional and productive place. Working from your home often means you are stuck with the overhead lighting that you have but adding lamps and natural light sources can help your space to feel more inviting and energizing. Make sure you have effective blinds or other window coverings so you can control the natural light and minimize any glare that you may notice. A poorly lit space simply isn’t conducive to work and can lead to midafternoon naps instead of productive time after your lunch break.

Keep the Temperature Comfortable 

It is always worth it to have your office at a comfortable temperature. Discomfort hurts productivity, and there is no reason to suffer when you have control of the thermostat. If you notice that your office isn’t heating and cooling as well as you would like, you may have a problem with your HVAC system which could use repair or even replacement. While HVAC systems can be pricey, you can always write it off in part as a business expense. Having an efficient HVAC system will also help to keep your utility costs low which is always a plus when you are running your own business.

Buy a Comfortable Seat

Your office chair is an important part of your impression and your productivity, so you should choose wisely. A beautiful chair can make a great statement, but if it isn’t comfortable as well it can lead to problems as you work in it every day. Look for an office chair that looks good but also gives you the support you need to make it through the workday without experiencing any pain from your back or neck. The more comfortable and supported you are by your chair, the easier it will be for you to navigate the workday and get your tasks done on time.

Choose a Desk with Lots of Storage

Your desk is where you will spend most of your time while running your business, so it should be a useful and effective piece of furniture. Choosing a desk that has lots of storage and organization built in will make your life easier and facilitate productivity. Not all desks are made the same, so think about your storage and organizational needs and choose a desk that will make it happen for you. Style is also important, so finding a desk that you like will also make your job of running a business a little more fun.

Decorate Effectively

Your office décor will have a profound effect on the energy of your space and the flow of your work. Choose a single style for your decorations and stick to it to create a cohesive look. Having a complementary color scheme can also help the flow of your office. Choose a couple of statement pieces for your office and then have the rest of the décor help to set the general tone. A clock can be a great piece to add style to your space while also serving an important function in your office.

Don’t Skimp on Necessary Technology

When you are just starting your new business, the budget can often be tight, and while there are some areas it is okay to be frugal with there are other things that are worth the expense. Making sure you have the tech you need to run your office effectively is an essential task. Having a laptop with a good docking system and a nice monitor and keyboard can make your life a lot easier, especially when you travel for work. Investing in high-speed internet will ensure that you can always complete your tasks effectively and on time. As you look at your home office budget, make sure to keep technology as a purchasing priority.

Separate the Space

It is important that your office feel separate from the rest of your home so you can leave it behind at the end of the day. If you have the space for it, a separate room or suite is ideal, but even in a small space adding some degree of separation can make a big impact. Adding a room divider is one way to create that separation in a multipurpose room. If all you can do is dedicate a corner of a room to your office at first, that works too, just make sure to keep that space as office space, so you don’t feel like you are always at work.

Putting together your home office is a pretty big project, but you can split it up over time if that makes it easier on your schedule and budget. Focus on getting the essentials first and then continue working on the space until it perfectly suits your needs. Your business deserves every chance of success, and a great home office can help make that happen.

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Intangible Business Assets and How to Use Them

Figuring out how to manage tangible assets is usually a pretty manageable task, but intangible assets are a whole other story. Intangible assets can be harder to understand because they don’t represent physical objects, but instead are more abstract. Understanding and taking advantage of your intangible assets can help your business to achieve great success.

Your Brand Name

You have spent a huge amount of time and energy establishing your brand and becoming recognizable in your community and beyond. That makes your brand name an amazing asset that you can use to your advantage. Though you can’t exchange it for monetary value, you can use your brand to attract new customers and extend your reach. Different people may have very different ideas about what your brand means to them, but they likely will share some key elements that help to establish your brand overall. Figuring out how to leverage your brand to expand your reach will allow you to use this asset to its best possible ability.

Backlinks

Backlinks are an interesting asset because they can often feel out of your control. That is because backlinks are links to your website or pages on your website from other sites and companies. Having a significant number of backlinks points to your business is a trusted resource for other businesses. Backlinks also can make your SEO more effective and help your site to pop up higher in searches. By taking time to reach out and build relationships with other businesses and even news sources, you can cultivate a collection of backlinks that support your business through the help of others.

Reviews

Reviews are incredibly useful resources and assets because they are one of the main tools potential customers use to evaluate your business and decide whether to make a purchase. To take full advantage of your reviews, you must take the time to respond to reviews, especially negative ones. When you respond to a negative review, you have an opportunity to help that customer which can often result in them replacing their review with a positive review instead. Make sure that you are friendly and helpful, not defensive when responding to reviews so you can make it a positive experience for your customer.

Customer Data

Your customer data is an incredible marketing tool and can help you to improve your business in a variety of ways. That’s why you must protect your customer data so that you don’t experience a breach. Robust IT support can help you stave off threats to the cybersecurity side of your business. Customers will trust you more with their data if they know that it is well protected. In addition to keeping it safe, use customer data to support your marketing efforts and use contact information to distribute newsletters, and keep your customers abreast of any sales or events you may be holding.

Your Reputation

Although it is closely related to your brand, your reputation is another important intangible asset that you should take advantage of and continue developing. Your reputation is the way that people feel about your company and the trust that you have established. If you already have a solid reputation, it will do a lot of work for you, but if you have had problems in the past, it is never too late to make repairs. Repairing your reputation often comes down to reestablishing trust and resolving past issues so that your customers know that they can depend on you to follow through with any promises you may make.

Trained Employees

Having employees who are well trained and good at their jobs is a huge asset to your company. Developing training methods and materials that can improve the training process and help your employees get up to speed is an invaluable asset for your company. To get the most out of this asset, make sure to value your employees for the work they do and the expertise they have. When your employees feel appreciated, they are much more likely to continue with your business and continue adding to your value as a business. Empower your employees to learn and grow at your company and they will return the value to you.

Patents

Any patents that you hold are additional intangible assets that you should take full advantage of. Patents can protect your company by preventing others from profiting from your intellectual work. If you don’t currently have patents but you do have intellectual property that is new or have invented products, it is worth going through the process to get a patent. There is nothing worse than spending your time and energy to create something new only to have someone else take your idea and earn profits off of your work. A patent can protect you from this situation.

Your Website

It may not seem like an asset, but your website is a huge asset for your company, especially if it is well designed and easy to use. Your website is how customers can find you and how they interface with you online. That means that your website is invaluable to your company and its upkeep is one of the best things you can do to keep your business in the best possible shape. If your website isn’t currently as good as it can be, you should invest in professional design services, or even hire an in-house designer to help improve your website so it can be the asset it has the potential to be.

Every business is made up of a variety of tangible and intangible assets that help them to stay afloat. The more aware you are of your tangible assets, the better able you will be to improve your business and keep moving forward towards your goals. Taking some time to get familiar with your assets is a great way to deepen your understanding of your business and increase your abilities.

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How to Keep Your Customers Happy with Your Business

Maintaining a happy consumer base is the best way to grow your business. Happy customers will share their experience with other people, leading to more sales through word of mouth. Make sure you have the fundamentals of business down to ensure your customers enjoy their experience the whole way through.

Show Genuine Care

People like to feel cared for and heard—especially if they are patronizing your business. As a business owner, you should have an incredibly accommodating attitude toward the people in your store. Train your employees to do the same.

If a customer seems to be having a hard day, or if you are feeling generous, offer special deals to them to improve their day. Find ways to show your customers you care. Welcome them as they step through the door. Try your hardest to answer their questions as seamlessly as possible. Strong effort will show that you genuinely care about who walks in your door.

Make Communication Painless

Customers hate having to wait for answers—especially difficult ones. Thankfully, convenient digital options have become mainstream. After experiencing pandemic-related changes in communications, 86% of consumers expect that convenience to continue. That is a huge amount of your customer base that you will have to reach out to.

Technology is obviously the best way to make things better. Ensure your website has an FAQ and live chat option. Make sure your website is intuitively designed and suited to new customers. Have a phone operator or receptionist available to answer business questions that the website cannot provide.

Offer Rewards and Deals

When a particular customer has made your day a little bit easier, it is perfectly acceptable to offer rewards or deals. You may be sacrificing a little in the short-term, but these sacrifices build customer loyalty and result in more committed sales in the long run.

Creating a loyalty program may also incentivize customers to come back. Not only is it fun to fill out a card or create an account, but it literally rewards patrons who come to your business regularly. Analyze the way your business operates and determine how a loyalty program could work for your customers.

By doing these things, you will likely increase your customer satisfaction and achieve higher sales goals. Making your customers happy in every aspect of your business is an indicator that you are doing something right. Analyze fair reviews and determine what your future goals should be.

Ready to make your business a winner? Schedule a call with me!