News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 30, 2012

Business Cents: Blog to increase sales in new year

Heather Strohm
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — As we wrap up a turbulent and economically challenging 2012 you may be asking yourself, how can I change things to be more productive and to provide a stronger revenue base in 2013? One of the most popular ways is, of course, social media. You have read and heard this before either in this series, on television, through friends, etc. It is truly something you must embrace in order to establish a market presence and build brand recognition. Today, I am going to touch on some techniques and tips to help you as you begin to blog you way to stronger revenue foundation and greater market presence.

What should a blog contain?

1. A call to action: Each blog should ask the reader to change or do something. It is true that blogs contain information, but think about blogs you have read before. For example, Seth Godin. In Godin’s blog, he provides ways to start doing things differently.

2. Catchy title: You want to title your blog something that will bring it attention. Although the title should relate to the blog, it is OK to be a bit creative with it.

3. Links: Your blog should link to other landing pages and also to social media buttons. The more your blog can be shared with others and that you create strategic landing pages, the more likely you are to have your blog read. And to be honest, that is what it is all about. The more people who read it, the more people know who you and your business are.

4. The platform: What are you blogging in? You should use the more recent version of your platform, such as Wordpress. In addition, be sure to take the time to learn the virtual editor.

5. Description: Make sure you create a meta-description that is less than a 160 characters. By honing in on the description you are more likely to capture your niche audience and customer.

6. Proofread, revise, and fine tune: Always, always, always be sure to proofread your work. If you like, have another individual review it as well. Your blog should be error free. I am sure you have read articles, blogs, stories and other items in which grammatical errors plagued the piece and it took away from the story’s purpose and the author’s experience. So proofread.

7. Google, Bing, Yahoo: Know your search engines. Each search engine has preferences. For example, Google likes freshness, experts and accessibility.

8. If possible, use images: Images allow the reader to understand the viewpoint of the author and what the author is trying to communicate to the reader.

Well, 2013 is just around the corner. Happy New Year and happy blogging!

Heather (Penney) Strohm is the regional director for Indiana State University’s Indiana Small Business Development Center.