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Blogging for Dollars

17 Sep 2013 | Posted Under Internet
We've all heard of the Gold Rush where people uprooted their lives and moved clear across the country to pan for gold.  Well I’m here to tell you that the Gold Rush isn't over.  It's just moved to Cyberspace. Today 
there are people turning blogs into gold by creating huge followings online.  Even if you don't create hundreds of thousands of rabid fans for your blog, publishing a weekly blog is a great way to augment the bottom line. A blog can provide a platform to showcase your business, your expertise and your products. Add to this the fact that blogging can raise your credibility, increase your search ranking and allow you to spread your message on multiple social nets and you have a winning marketing tool. However, in order to turn prose into gold you have to learn a few new tricks.  You need to work the social nets to build your audience.  You have to learn how to use pull marketing to get them to buy.  In this article on Working the Web to Win we will discuss the ways you can use blogging to bolster your business' bottom line as well as making money directly through your blog 

Why do people love blogs?

I don't know if you have noticed it, but most people like their information in bite-sized chunks.  Most people have neither the time nor the inclination to wade through a ten page report.  They want their cookie and they want it NOW!  A well written blog feeds this need by providing useful, timely and relevant content in a compact space. Better still, it also allows bloggers to embed images, podcasts and/or videos which are designed to dovetail with the blog and provide even more readily absorbed information.  Adding mixed media to your blog is like offering dinner and a show to your crowd.  They not only get to chow down on the meat and potatoes provided by your prose, but they also get dessert in the form of video or audiocasts.  What's not to like.

You can get there from here

Of course, the rub is that you or someone in your employ needs to take the time and trouble to create the blog each and every week.  Most business owners say they would love to blog but have neither the time nor the expertise to do so on a regular basis. So, how do they bridge the gap? A business owner either needs to immerse him or herself in the learning process or they need to hire a copy editor or ghostwriter to help them produce the finished product. Sometimes copy editors not only polish your prose, but they can help you learn how to add blogging to your skillset.

Plenty of Free Help Online

There are many online help facilities that can assist novices in learning the art of blog writing. I highly recommend eZine Articles Online. They have tutorials and offer great examples anyone can follow to help them get started. Next a novice needs to practice by writing their own blogs. Understand that in the beginning your output may be less than Pulitzer material.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  That’s why in the early stages a copy editor is well worth the expense.  A professional writer will also keep you looking good because they will keep your submissions up to a higher standard than most novices are capable.

If you don’t want to spring for an editor, you need to at least opt for high quality grammar and spelling check programs. Always use the latest version of Microsoft Word, since it will help provide the most accurate first draft without any added expense. Two of my favorite grammar checkers are Grammarly and Ginger. These two online applications are powerful and full featured. No application is perfect so don't forget to always get another competent human to lay their eyes on your document before it gets published. (We refer to this individual in the trade as a Blog Buddy.)

Search Engines Love Blogs

Of course, even the most riveting story will lie there and die if no one reads it. (We refer to this phenomenon as a Billboard in the Desert.) One of the little known secrets of blogging and article writing is that a well crafted and distributed blog posts receive a relatively high ranking. The most important aspect of getting ranking is being read, commented on and shared.  Google and other search engines notice this readership and will often give it a relatively high score. Especially if the blog has a high keyword match, is timely, relevant, and has been viewed and commented on by a significant number of readers, it is not unusual for the blog to appear on page 1 of Google.  Apparently Google is gaga for blogs.

How do you build an audience?

This is where posting your articles to the social nets comes into play. More importantly, getting your friends, customers and coworkers to comment on them and then repost them to their social nets is the magic formula you need to master. About a year ago we created a subscription peer group where like-minded business owners help each other by committing to reading, commenting on and sharing each other's articles and blog post.

Don’t expect overnight success.  When you first begin this process you won't have very many readers. This is why it's important to grow your social networks. We recommend that you concentrate on the top 5 social networks. Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. All of these networks have a minimum of 200 million subscribers and give you a large pool from which to attract followers. 

It can take upwards of a year or more to create an audience that numbers in the thousands.  But it is well worth the effort.  Better still is the fact that unlike the original 49ers, you won't have to pull up stakes and travel clear across the country in order to get in on this gold rush.

Hector Cisneros and Carl Weiss operate W Squared Media Group, a digital advertising agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly radio showWorking the Web to Win which airs every Tuesday at 4 pm Eastern.

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