Using The Right Blogging Platform For Your Needs

Using The Right Blogging Platform For Your Needs

Choosing which blogging platform to use is one of the most important decisions that you can make as a blogger. The right platform can make blogging a breeze, and the wrong platform can make blogging a chore. Because the program that you use to blog with is such a powerful part of your blogging experience, it is well worth putting in the time to find a platform that provides your ideal balance between a user-friendly interface and a flexible framework that allows you to make your blog look and feel unique. Finding the right platform isn’t always easy, but with a little bit of contemplation and a little bit of research, you will be on your way to finding the perfect blogging platform.

 

Deciding what your priorities are in terms of ease of use versus customization. Most highly customizable blogging platforms, like moveable type, are a bit more difficult to use than very automated platforms like WordPress. If you are new to blogs and to internet technology, you might want to sacrifice the ability to create a custom background design or to integrate a unique font into your template in order to find a program that will be easy for you to use. On the other hand, if you are a veteran web designer with knowledge of html or javascript, you will probably find the limitations of a user-friendly platform to be frustrating.

 

There is no such thing as a blogging platform that is objectively the best platform, because every blogger has unique needs. The blogging movement is very much about individuality, so it makes plenty of sense that there would be many different platforms available that are designed to meet the needs of different kinds of individuals undertaking different kinds of projects. This diversity is a good thing, because it means that you will almost certainly be able to find a program that suits your level of technical aptitude.

 

However, the fact that no two bloggers need the same thing from a blogging platform can make your search for the right platform a bit tricky. When you are reading reviews of different platforms, try to keep your priorities in mind and do your best to take into account the position that the reviewer is coming from. For example, a negative review written by an accomplished software designer who complains that a popular platform is too limited may tell you that the platform in question is ideal for a beginning blogger. There is no such thing as the perfect platform for everybody, so instead of looking for the “best” platform, look for the best platform for your specific criteria.

 

You can start learning how to use WordPress here.

 

Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash

A Great Idea For a Blogging Web Site is No Longer Enough

A Great Idea For a Blogging Web Site is No Longer Enough

Because there are so many blogs and web sites about blogs on the internet, it can be tough to distinguish your blogging web site from all of the others. Whether you are starting up a new web site aimed at bloggers or whether you are looking to make your existing blogging site more distinctive, the key to building and maintaining a site that will capture the interest and attention of the blogging community is finding your niche. If you can fill a unique need in a way that no other web site does, you’ll be able to build a lasting readership among web surfers. Once you have discovered a niche, you will still have a lot to do, but finding your place in the blog-o-sphere is the place to begin.

 

Every great blogging web site starts with a great idea, and you can’t build a successful site that will last without one. There are many great sites aimed at today’s bloggers, and competition for the attention of this growing demographic is fierce. To make your blogging web site stand out from the pack, you will need to offer something that no other site is currently offering, or you will need to do the same thing that an already popular site does but in a more impressive or valuable way.

 

One way to discover an ideal model for your blogging web site is to look at the sites that have successfully captured a blogging audience already to determine if you can appropriate some of their strategies to help realize your vision. Of course, you will also need to add a unique flair to your project in order to stand apart from your competition. Many people agree that the web sites that do the best in today’s market are the sites that have the most personality. The fiercely individual surfers who are bloggers are a demographic that responds especially strongly to personality, so consider how you can give your site a unique and attractive feeling by lending your own voice and sensibility to your site’s design and content.

 

Once you have a great idea for your site, have pinpointed a special niche that you are well equipped to fill, and have infused the site with personality, the next step is figuring out how to get the word out to bloggers. In the long run, a great idea just isn’t enough to propel your blogging web site to success. You will need to draft a smart and realistic marketing plan in order to draw readers to your site. Once you hook a blogger, your great content will keep them coming back, but it is vital to get that first glance or your site won’t have a chance to shine.

Blogging For Business Owners

Blogging For Business Owners

If you run a small company, you may find that the world of blogging for business owners is a world that you want to be a part of. Blogging is a great way to get the word out to consumers about your product or service, and it can even be useful for inspiring employee loyalty and helping you keep your workers at peak morale. If you are looking for a way to take your business to the next level, consider what starting a blog might be able to do for you.

Blogging for business owners has a lot in common with all other types of blogging, but it has its own unique pitfalls and strengths. The key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure. It can be all to easy to get sidetracked, especially if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology, but if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused. Write up a plan for how often you will update, how you will promote your blog and retain readers, whether you will feature
photographs or video, and other aspects of your blog, and then stick to it with the same kind of determination that you used when you built your company.

 

 

Step Two of Your Content Marketing Funnel – Get Them on Your List

Step Two of Your Content Marketing Funnel – Get Them on Your List

The money is in the list. You’ve heard this a lot, I’m sure. The reason you hear it so much is because it’s true. It’s been true since the advent of email, and it’s even truer today. Email is not dead and using content marketing to get people on your list is the best way to accomplish building your list so you can nurture your audience with more content and convert them to customers and eventually turn them into brand advocates.

Choose the Right Platform for Your Needs

When you choose email marketing software, it’s imperative that you understand the terms of service of the platform. For example, if you plan to engage in affiliate marketing, some platforms don’t allow it, and some encourage it. Read the fine print but pick software that has room to grow, that you find easy to work with and understand, and that has the features now and in the future that you will use. Pay for the platform instead of using free versions. You need the features, and you need ownership.

Provide Many Opportunities to Enter Your Email List

To move more people to your email list, you need to have as many entry points as possible for your audience. Studies show that websites with 100 landing pages or more do a lot better than those with fewer landing pages. Make specialized landing pages for each product directed toward each member of your audience.

One product may have five or more landing pages, due to the audience you want to attract. For example, if you guest post on a guru’s site, you should create a specialized landing page for anyone who clicks through to your site from the article you posted.

Try Active Campaign for creating your first list.

Create Low Price and Free Entry Level Products and Services to Try

Your audience needs to build their trust for you, and one way to do that is to give away freebies or promote low-cost products that grab their attention. These products can be in the form of workbooks, checklists, cheat sheets, video tutorials, discount codes, PDF guides, trials, and more.

Plan Your Autoresponder Content

It’s not enough to just get people on your list, you must be prepared with autoresponder content in advance. You’ll need immediate welcome, thank you, and educational info to go out upon registration. Beyond that, you’ll need to plan for autoresponder content for pre-purchase information, during purchase information, and post-purchase and beyond information to go out to your list members based on how they signed up, so that it’s complexly personalized and relevant to them.

Promote Your Information

It’s not enough to create the landing pages, the freebies, or the low-cost and entry-level products, you must promote them too. Promote your freebies the same way you promote your highest-priced items so that they get the attention they deserve. You can promote on social media, in your profiles and bios, on your website, within the content you create for your blog, in certain Facebook groups, in your own communities and groups, where your audience hangs out, within your bio on guest posts, and within emails.

Check the Numbers

Once again, we’re to the point where it’s becoming redundant to mention it, but it’s so important that you always check the numbers and mind your data. The data you gather on your audience, on their behavior, and through the various platforms you use matters greatly. It’s the only way to be sure you’re using your time wisely and getting results from your actions.

The truth is, even more important than directly focusing on sales, you should focus on moving interested audience members to your email list. Most people just don’t buy these products simply by browsing a website. Instead, they buy based on the fact that they trust and believe in the person promoting the product. This can only happen if you help them get to know you better, and the best way to do that is your email list.

Step One of Your Content Marketing Funnel – Get Their Attention

Step One of Your Content Marketing Funnel – Get Their Attention

The first thing you need to do for any type of content you’re going to develop for your business is to know why you’re doing it. Every single piece of content needs a reason that is tied to a very specific and measurable goal.

When you’re focused on getting your audience’s attention, there are a few goals that you can work toward that work well in the attention-getting phase, or the awareness stage – such as building your reputation, getting to know your audience, and more.

Establish Your Expertise and Legitimize Your Reputation

Find ways to build trust in your expertise and reputation by publishing the right educational information that demonstrates your knowledge. You can also collaborate with experts by interviewing them a la Oprah Winfrey. When you surround yourself with other experts who are well thought of, you will be thought of as reputable too.

Types of content to use:

  • Expert Interviews
  • Long-Form Blog Posts
  • Educational Blog Posts
  • eReports
  • eBooks
  • White Papers

Where to publish the content:

  • Your Blog (Always)
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

 

Get to Know Your Audience and Let Them Get to Know You

Your audience is real human beings with problems and lives. Get to know them as much as you can by creating buyer personas for every single stage of the buying journey. For example, you might want to build a community on one of the social media platforms or by installing your own forum and message board on your website. User-generated content on forums and message boards is very important when building a community.

Surprise People with Unexpected Content and Bonuses

If you become too predictable, sometimes people tune out. Try to make the experience your audience has unique, regardless of the platform they’re using on which to engage with you. For example, if someone downloads your free eBook, why not give them a nice coupon or make a bonus offer to incentivize them to make a purchase – without telling them about it in advance. Or, you could host a spontaneous “live” event on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to show your audience behind-the-scenes action.

Be Disruptive but with Caution

One way to grab attention has always been to be disruptive. Studies show, unfortunately, that negativity gets more engagement and views than positivity. This doesn’t mean that you need to be nasty. Poke the pain points; disagree with a guru. But always ensure that whatever you do that is disruptive isn’t painful or hurtful but instead ultimately helpful to your audience.

Mind Your Data

Everything you do must be data-centric. The only way you know why about anything you do is because you check the numbers. For example, you cannot assume a new blog post or interview is directly responsible for all your conversions unless the data supports that idea. When you set up the metrics based on your goals and really use them, you’ll improve your success with content marketing exponentially.

As you’ve learned from studying the buyer’s journey, as you build your content marketing funnel, the first step to connecting with your audience is to gain their attention. You can do this by focusing on content that informs, instructs, interacts with, and inspires your ideal audience to learn and act on the information you provide to them. To do this, you must get their attention. That is the first step in the buyer’s journey (awareness) and the first step in your marketing funnel. The next step is to move them to your email list, and you’ll learn about that next time.

 

Mapping Out a Marketing Funnel from Content to Sale

Mapping Out a Marketing Funnel from Content to Sale

Content marketing follows the same process as any type of marketing. You need to know your audience, your products and services, and when, where, and how to get your audience’s attention. The marketing funnel consists of the three or more steps that also covers the buying journey.

A marketing funnel includes:

  1. Awareness – This is when your customer may or may not know yet about the problems they have, that they can be solved, and that you can solve them.
  2. Consideration – This is the time when the audience now knows that they have a problem that can be solved, and you need to give them exclusive content that helps them pick your solution over others.
  3. Purchase – They’ve made the purchase, and are now your customers, so now it’s your job to keep them and delight them by sending them the right content.

Understanding this cycle and what it means for the buyer is important because it also means something for you as the content creator who wants to attract and serve their ideal customer in a very customer-centric way. A content marketing funnel seeks to map the content you’re going to push to your audience and customers to the place it needs to be within the marketing funnel.

I think it’s helpful to make this funnel more in-depth to get even more specific about the content you need to develop and publish. Creating a mini funnel at each stage can be very helpful for keeping it straight in your mind.

The main reason is because even though the existence of the funnel makes it seem like the audience moves through the funnel the same way each time, the truth is, any entry point to your funnel works. So, whether they get on your list in the awareness stage or after they make a purchase, the process is the same.

Awareness

Awareness can consist of many levels of your funnel and not just one. Some people in the awareness stage know about their problems, some don’t. Some know about the solutions available, some don’t. You’ll need content for all the levels you identify. The types of content you can create for the awareness stage includes:

  • Blog Posts
  • Social Media Updates
  • Infographics
  • Images and Photos
  • Memes
  • White Papers, eBooks and eReports
  • Web Pages
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Print Magazine or Newsletter
  • Primary Research
  • Webinars

 

Consideration

When people are in the consideration stage, they’re trying to evaluate the problem and the solutions that they have discovered. Think of this also like an evaluation. The types of content that are needed to navigate this part of their journey include:

  • Educational Resources
  • Surveys, Quizzes, and Interactive Content
  • Discounts
  • Offers
  • Emails
  • Other Types of Resources
  • Downloads
  • Webinars
  • Events
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies

 

Purchase

The purchase stage of the buyer’s journey and the marketing funnel includes making a purchase or sometimes called conversion. After all, sometimes conversion isn’t about making the sale, but about getting someone on your list. Also, remember that purchase includes getting them to make the purchase or convert, as well as a time you can delight the customer too. The content that works great for ideal customers in this stage of their buying journey includes:

  • Demonstrations
  • Customer Stories or Case Studies
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Spec Sheets
  • Stats
  • Thank You Notes
  • Exclusive VIP Offers
  • Events and Masterminds
  • Bonus Information
  • Offers
  • Reports

 

Loyalty and Advocacy

I like to add this, which should go under the purchase designation of the buyers’ journey and the marketing funnel. The type of content you can use at this stage is a combination of the content used at every stage, and then some, because you really want to delight your customers so much that they become brand advocates. The content you can use here includes:

  • Loyalty Programs
  • Exclusive Emails
  • Exclusive Events
  • Exclusive Access to You
  • Case Studies
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Interviews
  • User-Generated Content
  • Webinars
  • Content in Groups and Communities
  • Contests
  • Conversations

 

Of course, for all this to succeed, you need a clear vision first. You need to know who your audience is, what they want and need, and why and how you can provide it to them. The more understanding you have of them and yourself, the easier and more effective your content marketing will become.