Given the explosion of blogs and bloggers, you probably think you’re going to get lost in a churning sea of information. That’s entirely possible. But, there are some things you can to do pull your blog into the boat and save yourself from drowning or getting lost at sea.
Why should you blog? For local businesses it’s a surprisingly good way of adding “juice” to your website. Google’s algorithm (the formula for delivering results) is constantly on the hunt for three things: 1) relevance, 2) freshness, and 3) connection. When you blog, you do all of those, making it far more likely that your business will turn up in the highly coveted organic results. Remember, Google wants be the go-to search engine so they give you results that really match your query. Then, the look for websites that are tended to. A blog shows that you tend your website without you constantly having to update your other pages. As far as connections go, the algorithm looks for social media connections and links. Comments go along ways to. See if you can solicit comments from some of your fans and remember to post your blog to your Facebook Fan Page.
In this infographic, that’s intended for new local business blogs, there’s great advice for both new and experienced bloggers to get discovered by Google. Of course, Google isn’t the only search engine but it’s used by 70% – 80% of all users. So it’s the 800-lb gorilla in the room. It cannot be ignored. Appealing to Google is the best way to juice up your blog.
Infographic by Digital Philippines
I’ve been trying to plot out my blogging plan for ages. I have articles and ebooks on 100 Ways to Create Blog Content, Guest Posting for Success, etc. Blah, blah, blah. Once again, I’m always drinking from the firehose and stumbling around looking for direction. It’s pretty maddening sometimes.
Then, today, the heavens opened and I found the BEAUTIFUL infographic below. Aaah, the angels sang and the sky wept. Maybe it was me, shedding a tear of joy! It’s a really, really cool plan/formula to create a blogging calendar. And, it leaves no mystery to how to do it. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with this amazing system from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog.
Marketing planning, no matter the size of your business, just gets tedious sometimes. Creating plans with seemingly far away goals can overwhelm you. Instead, if you are a local business owner, challenged with getting clients from the internet, see if this works for you. Based on the idea of a well-balanced diet, LinkedIn neatly breaks down the steps to creating a small business blogging plan.
No longer be overwhelmed with tips and tricks on blogging. Go tackle it. I know I’m gonna give it a whirl!
The Blogging Food Groups: A Well-Balanced Diet of Content [INFOGRAPHIC] from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
Image courtesy of Fanexperiences.com
Super Bowl 2014 ended on a high for Seattle and a low for Denver. Peyton Manning is a class act and Seahawks long-suffering fans ended their championship drought.
Some advertisers also ended the day in agony. Others danced for joy. They all ran big budget commercials throughout the game that could make or break them. Smart business owners know it’s risky anytime you’re marketing your business. Controversy is not favored when you’re answering to shareholders. But, controversy makes you go viral and that’s every marketer’s dream or nightmare.
If you run a small business, what does Super Bowl 48 have to do with anything? After all, all those commercials were created with well-paid creative minds and resources. Let me see if I can translate.
Here’s how I see it. The unifying theme around most of the Superbowl commercial advertisers is that they weren’t afraid to be different. They had a viewpoint and a voice. They knew their audience and worked to reach them. They were funny, sentimental, irreverent, odd and some were just plain weird. Weird may not be for everyone but, being funny, sentimental or a bit irreverent will make you stand out and be memorable.
Clear winners among the 88 aired commercials were Bud Light’s Hidden Camera, T-Mobile’s Tebow No-Contract, and Budweiser Puppy Love (with the Clydesdale mafia).
Puppy Love was a pure sentiment. It got lots of attention pre-game. Chevrolet’s promotion of World Cancer Day was wonderfully touching. In your local marketing, it’s okay to reveal your personal side, talk about your family as long as you keep it short, it’s not too revealing and has a point to it. Revealing sentiment humanizes you. Makes you relatable.
Chevy’s ad for World Cancer Day was very touching. I nearly cried.
World Cancer Day Chevy
Bud Light’s creative team seemed like they’ve relocated to the Southwestern desert and experimented with peyote. The whole Up For Whatever part 1 and 2 were fun. I laugh everytime I watch Arnold Schwarzenegger in that crazy wig. Of, course the former governor’s extra-marital exploits make him unpopular with some and his running of California touches off a whole nother legion of haters. Didn’t stop the Budweiser crew from making a lighthearted, hilarious commercial. Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself from time to time.
Up For Whatever – Part 1
Up For Whatever – Part 2
Tim Tebow – hated and loved by many. An excellent ballplayer with no NFL contract. Let’s make fun of it.
Time Tebow No Contract
Don’t be these guys. Audi’s mashed-up Doberman/Chihuahua dog was really weird, perpetuating Doberman’s undeserved reputation for being unnecessarily aggressive. The creators stretched their concept to match their message. Tag line: “Some combinations do work really.” Very forced and, at times, the mashed up dog is just disturbing.
Doberhuahua Audi Commercial
I could go on and on evaluating all these commercials. Just don’t have the time right now. Don’t be afraid to be different and let people know. In local small business, the entire business relies on you. Let the REAL you shine through!
Let me know what commercials you liked and hated.
Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake? Yes, please. Served this up at my blogging club this morning. Was a huge hit and very, very tasty. I’m exploring uses for pureed pumpkin. You can never go wrong when the recipe says “cream together brown sugar and eggs.”
Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake
Here’s the recipe. Great for year-round morning meetings!
From Williams Sonoma
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel
Lighter than you would expect, with the rich flavor of pumpkin and spices, and a thick layer of crunchy brown sugar and pecan streusel, this coffee cake would make an ideal dish for the winter holidays or for a festive autumn brunch. Serve with big steaming cups of joe.
For the streusel:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (see note below)
For the batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream
For more pumpkin pie-like flavor add clove and allspice.
For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp milk wasn’t enough. Add milk until glaze is the consistency of syrup. Use fork to splatter over coffee cake.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides.
To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Toss in the butter and, using 2 table knives or a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Alternatively, whir the ingredients in a food processor. Stir in the pecans. Set aside.
To make the batter, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix with the spatula. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.
Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto the rack.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Cut into thick wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch coffee cake
Baker’s note: To toast pecans, preheat an oven to 325°F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).