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Topic: business blogging

Lead Generation with Business Blogs

People set up business blogs thinking that somehow the blog will help them with their business.

However, it is important to remember that business blogging software is only a software system to manage your articles.  You need to write regularly around topics that are important to your target audience.

If you do this well, then you will experience some traffic to your business blog.

But traffic does not make you money.

You need to have a strategy to either make money via affiliates and advertising, or you need to do lead generation for your business.

A lot has been written about how to generate affiliate income in this way.  But what is less often written about is how to create real leads for your business from a business blog.

Here are some ways to do lead generation.

  1. Download a white paper – Offer free white papers or reports to visitors in exchange for their contact information.
  2. Autoresponders – You can use autoreponder tools to create automatic email courses or sales funnels.
  3. CRM Integration – If you use a good CRM, it will have web forms.  You can use these forms on your business blog to invite people to schedule a free consultation or demo.
  4. Social Media – Make following you in Twitter, FaceBook or LinkedIn easy.  These people will keep getting regular messages from you if you use the tools, and some may become leads eventually.
  5. Webinars – Invite people to sign up for your webinar or teleseminar.
  6. Video Download – Very common now – people will happily add an email to a form to watch a video with a great tip or secret in it.

There are many more ways to do lead generation with your business blog software, but these are some of the most common.  Just remember, when you get a business blog set up, that is your starting point for lead generation and writing.  It is not the final product.

Marketing Blog – 7 Reasons not to start one

If you enjoy marketing on the web, you might be tempted to start a blog about marketing, social media, twitter or some other passion you have.  Don’t!

Here are seven reasons you should not start a marketing blog.

  1. A broad marketing blog has no appeal except to other marketers (and probably not even them) – it is not specific enough.
  2. Too much competition for general marketing blogs
  3. Does not address people’s specific marketing needs.
  4. marketing as a topic is constantly changing, to stay relevant is a full time job.
  5. Very difficult to not be a ME TOO marketing blog.
  6. Clients do not care about marketing – they are looking for people to solve their marketing issues, not wax poetically about them.
  7. Niche topics get great traffic – broad topics like marketing just do not perform well.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule.  Chris Brogan does a great job.  But most people that I know that write about marketing find it a good exercise but do not get big benefits.  Worth doing, yes.  But don’t get your hopes up.

Recently I set up a very specific niche blog for a client that targeted a good set of keywords.  It seemed very narrow to me, but he was not in a hurry to have readers.  Two weeks later and a brand new domain with 3 articles on it, he got 2,500 unique visitors.  The lesson of this story is that you should not write about what everyone needs and can already find, you should write about what a small group needs but cannot find.

Business Casual Blog

No, this is not a post about a blog that tells you how to dress.

I actually was helping someone roll out a new blog and they wanted to post a lot of promotional things. They could not quickly grasp that the blog posts should be more conversational and less promotional, yet never forgetting that there was a goal.

Then I used the analogy that websites are formal business attire, and blogs are business casual.

She got it right away.

Business Casual in the land of blogs means:

  1. Letting people get to know you without disclosing your party behavior.
  2. Talking about topics without selling.
  3. Creating a give and take, less formal way to communicate.
  4. Putting a face on the stogy business identity.
  5. Showing real people’s success are behind the business.

Your business blog should be business casual to be effective.

Business Blogging Webinar

I was very lucky to get involved with an excellent start up called Business Expert Webinars.  May 28th at 1:00 EST I will be presenting my first webinar on getting business results with your blog.  If you are interested in blogging or would like to get better results, be sure to sign up.

Part of the webinar is Avoiding Widget Creep.  How cool is that as a bullet?

Z-List Update

A while back I wrote about the z-list, which has vastly improved my technorati ranking.

Chris Brown did a new version of the list with descriptions and I thought it was simple yet valuable, so I am reposting it here.  Thanks Chris.

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Thanks to Gavin Heaton, Sharon Sarmiento and Becky Carroll for creating the full Z-list as a Download Zlist-categorised.doc or Download zlist_by_category.xls.

Calico Monkey
Focuses on the ToonBoom software to create animation.
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Art-focused, including thoughts on the art that Tammy produces.
Woolgathering
Looking, thinking, drawing, being
World Blog Collection
Blog listings categorized by type; goal to add 1000 links in ’07.
Blogging Secret
Part personal but mostly blogging related site.
Blogging to Fame
All aspects of online business from SEO to usability and blogging.
Blog-Op
How to improve your blogging by Chris and others.
Daily Blog Tips
Tips to improve your blogging from tools to design.
Mike’s Money Making Mission
Making money using free blogs.
One Reader at a Time
One blogger’s experiment in building and engaging with online communities.
Ruminate this site
Reviews blogs and sites so that we don’t have to.
SMogger Social Media Blog
The ethical use of social media for bloggers and other web users.
SuccessCREEations
Blog Consultant bringing the twin passions of business and blogging together.
Successful Blog
The legendary Liz Strauss, blogger extraordinaire and creator of the SOB award.
Troy Worman’s Blog
Focus on writing, ideas and connections
Copywriter’s Crucible
The importance of copy in corporate blogging
Copywriting Tuneups
How to measure reading effectiveness and why it is important in the blogosphere
Dipping into the Blogpond
Blogging about starting an Internet company in the Sutherland Shire.
BrandSizzle
Broad and deep insight into the branding process.
Own Your Brand!
Blog to help businesses re-imagine their brands.
The Emerging Brand
Corporate branding blog focused on leadership.
The Engaging Brand
Using technology and marketing knowledge to improve business communications.
What is Brand?
Japanese readers/speakers? Anyone?
Presentation Zen
(Site in English) Tips for great presentations, marketing, and business communications.
Bob Sutton
Discussions of “jerks” in business.
Perspective
Health, wealth and the freedom to choose. Archived blog. New one is jugaad (http://www.nitibhan.com/jugaad).
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full
Views on business life.
Simplicity Mary’s Blog
Business development, marketing troubleshooting
Funny Business
Wide ranging discussion on business with a funny and pictorial approach.
Creative Think
Fun Ideas to stimulate your creativity.
The Copywriting Maven
marketing and SEO copywriting tips.
Brain Based Biz
Tips for stirring creativity in business.
Experienceology
How to create great customer experiences on the web and in the “real” world.
QAQNA
Business blog on call centers, quality assessment, and customer service.
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
The irrepressible Tim MasiGuy Jackson and Co’s slant on bicycle marketing.
MineThatData
Tips for database marketing from the viewpoint of a DM wiz.
Design Sojourn
How to do good design and create clever products.
aialone
Design, innovation, as well as Jon’s cartoons!
Frozen Puck
Making cool stuff with expensive toys
Africa Unchained
Discussing issues and solutions in Africa.
Energy Blog
News, information and updates on the Energy generation industry.
Movie Marketing Madness
Marketing with a focus on Hollywood. No info on About page.
gDiapers
Corporate blog discussing environmental issues.
Time to Budget
How to gain financial freedom by controlling your finances.
Soloride
A project raising awareness and funds for children with dyslexia and learning differences
Girls Swimsuits
The name says it all, new site, small archive.
Home Business Wiz
Collection of resources about home business.
Working at Home on the Internet
Home business entrepreneurs and making money from home
Kristie T
Fun, mom-geared work-at-home tips and advice on making money on the net.
Asia Inspection Community
Blog for Inspection Engineers based in Asia. Includes job board.
Employment Law Colorado
Resource for employers and employees on Colorado employment law
Leading Questions
Real life leadership, organisational tranformation and practical tips for leaders of all kinds.
Steve Olson
Chronicling one family’s quest for personal freedom.
Make It Great!
How to take your life from good to great by focusing on relationships.
You Already Know This Stuff
Reminding us all that what we need to know is already in our minds and hearts.
HolyMama!
Funny perspective on life from a stay at home Christian mom.
My Marrakesh
Expatriate American with an eye for style, architecture and good living
Gangster Sonny
Fascinated with all things mafia … from movies to weapons.
Talking Story
Management and leadership, Hawaiian style.
AENDirect
Freelance art director’s view on creativity and advertising
Being Peter Kim
Personal insights from the depths of Forrester (note: this is his personal, not Forrester, blog).
BizandBuzz
Brand building and marketing from an Italian perspective
bizsolutionsplus
A passionate and respected author, marketer and activist.
Blog Till You Drop!
Marketing, advertising, branding, blogging
Branding & Marketing
Designed for business professionals with an interest in branding and marketing.
Business Garden
French readers/speakers?
Buzz Canuck
Passionate exponent of word of mouth from Canada.
Buzzoodle
Creating buzz with word of mouth marketing.
Christine Kane
A recording artist, Christine harnesses the power of community to reach her audience.
CKs Blog
Clever strategies, the new best practices, and the smart marketers behind them.
Conversation Agent
Connecting ideas and people—how talk can change our lives
converstations
Known as the blogging yoda (for insight not looks), Mike is a conversation generator.
CrapHammer
Marketing using new media.
Customers Rock!
Marketing the customer experience; its importance for businesses.
Diva Marketing
The Diva herself, aligning technology, marketing and branding for businesses.
Dmitry Linkov
Everyday and business issues
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Where strategy and passion collide
eSoup
Productivity, marketing, web media, small biz development and other stuff entrepreneurs ought to know.
Flooring the Consumer
Improving the consumer experience, particularly in flooring (carpeting)
Get Shouty!
Digital strategy and thoughts on blogging.
Golden Practices
Thoughts on marketing for professional services firms, including lawyers and CPAs.
Hee-Haw Marketing
There is no box. New media marketing strategy thrown together with a few cuss words and a dash of panache.
Hola! Oi! Hi!
Thoughts of a Brazilian newly arrived in the US with a marketer’s point of view.
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
A marketing-business oriented blog on website development.
John Wagner
News and views on marketing, advertising, media, PR and grass-roots communications
Kinetic Ideas
Marketing tips, ideas, strategies, and musings for small businesses.
Logic + Emotion
The intersection of marketing, brand engagement and experience design. How to turn your passive consumers into active brand participants.
Marketing Hipster
Online oriented blog on marketing and web 2.0 tools.
Marketing Nirvana
How corporate marketers can leverage the web & social media for better results
Mindblob
Using alien intelligence to follow the path of ideas as they come to life.
Multi-Cult Classics
Musings on Multiculturalism in the Ad Industry and Beyond.
Nick Rice
Marketing strategy combined with creative thinking and design.
On Influence & Automation
A marketing and technology blog
OTOInsights
Corporate blog focusing on using technology to create and sustain customer conversations.
Pardon My French
Online strategy and marketing with great case studies of real projects.
Pow! Right Between The Eyes!
The importance of surprise in business
Purple Wren
Tools and techniques for communicating life through print and images.
Servant of Chaos
Gavin’s rant on the world of branding and storytelling.
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Musings on marketing and related ideas.
Small Business Blogging
Using web media to market your business
Tell Ten Friends
Marketing using new media to make connections.
The Branding Blog
Branding principals, opinions and prejudices he’s developed
The Experience Curve
Social media and marketing from an experiential point of view.
The Instigator Blog
Entrepreneurial focus on marketing, ideas and building your business
The Marketing Minute
Expert insight into marketing and branding. And Drew loves Disneyland.
The Viral Garden
Mr Community leads the way in using technology to create conversation.
Two Hat Marketing
Views on targeted marketing.
Unconventional Thinking
The art and science of growing businesses
Viaspire
Marketing and Communications consulting firm blog
Popcorn n Roses
Movie industry blog with reviews and musings.
Current World news
“Breaking” news across a couple of categories. Small archive.
Choice at Your Fingertips
News and tips for making money blogging. No archive.
Blogtrepreneur
How to be an online entrepreneur and also build community!
Can I Make Big Money Online
Tips for making money online including research, design and blogging.
Dosh Dosh
Trying to source legitimate methods for making money online.
Internet Bazaar
Tips and ideas for making money online.
Kumiko’s Cash Quest
Trying to make money online and sharing the experience.
Million Dollar Experiment heads Down Under
Can thinking positively make you a cool mill? Rob hopes so.
Quest to make money on the internet
Currently up to £128, this site makes money by letting out its posting space.
Above Popular
Motivated to make the world a better place.
Critical Fluff
Ranks various things in life with mulligans, crabapples, and pineapples.
Forged Euphoria
Some sponsored links.
OrbitNow!
Miscellaneous musings
The Sartorialist
Photos of fashion on the streets, geared to inspire designers.
Bullshitobserver
Politics and commentary.
New Millenium PR
Bringing business, branding, marketing and PR together.
The New PR
Public relations in the online world.
Carpe Factum
Blog that focuses on the things you need to do to accomplish things. Especially big things.
Work, in Plain English
A design and marketing focused blog on project management. Interesting mix!
turned out
Minister blogging to connect everyone with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Evolution…not just a theory anymore
Creation vs evolution, commentary and archaeology by an independent scholar.
SEO Blog
New site on SEO and use of blogs to improve rankings.
Flee the Cube
Starting up a small business in web design.
Community Guy
Online and offline community building tips and tricks.
A Free and Decent Blog Host
Technology news focusing on blogs and blog software
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Changing the world with little bits of knowledge
Connected Internet
All things to do with technology, mobile phones and gaming.
darrenbarefoot.com
Tech news, writing and marketing
Deepak
Focuses on the technology of the Internet and loves Google.
MapleLeaf 2.0
Tech news stories relating to Canada
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Musings on technology, IT management, and online community.
Small Surfaces
Interaction design, user interface design, user experience, usability and social trends related to mobile devices.
TechBuzz
Tech new and reviews written by 17 year old in India. Awesome.
Masey.com
Design and photography blog.
Through the Lenses
Travel/photography blog includes stunning shots and photography tips.
Travel And Vacation On Blog
Lightweight travel guide/destination information on selected cities. Needs more.
The Best Guides to eCommerce with Favor
Viral marketing tools, memes and SEO tips.
Web Metrics Guru
Web analytics, in particular for blogs
The Future of the Web
Use of new technologies for the web.
Social Media on the fly
Learning social media on the fly
http://asyuu.asablo.jp/blog/
Japanese readers/speakers? Anyone?

Newspapers and Blogs

Yesterday the local Akron Beacon Journal did an article on business blogging that heavily featured me. Including a huge picture of me smiling that made me look fat, my wife says.

The funny thing about the article was that it did not have a link on the web and did not generate any internet traffic at all. I was actually down yesterday. What it did generate was a lot of emails from people, some of whom I had not spoken with in a while. That was nice.

Then, local Small Business Guru and blogging expert Anita Cambell mentioned it in her blog the next day. That did generate more traffic.

The moral of the story is that buzz is not isolated. One thing leads to another, that leads to another, and can build up to nice buzz for you.

Small Business Blogging

David Lorenzo and I seem to be trading references here, but he has an excellent short post with some facts in it. Did you know so many small businesses are blogging and buzzing about suppliers and bad service?

Online Lead Generation