5 Tips for Effective Blogging

Posted by on Sep 27 2012 | Blog, Blogging

Blogging has become a fairly popular activity due to which thousands of new blogs surface every day. The challenge is how to stand out and build a genuine base of followers.

1.    Build Individuality:  A blog is something very personal and it must carry a personality otherwise it will just be another webpage. The Internet is saturated with generic content and people read blogs to break this monotony. Always accentuate your posts with a personal touch to make your blog essentially unique.

2.    Maintain Consistency: There is no substitute for posting regularly on blogs as it naturally generates a trail of followers. Posting consistently also ensures that your followers have minimal trouble following you blog. Greater content on your blog will also help your blog to rank better on search engines.

3.    Interact: Interaction is central to the very idea of a blog. You must respond to comments so that your audience feels involved with your blog. Techniques like polls can also be used to invite opinion and feedback from your followers.

4.    Talk to Them: A blog must talk to the readers not inform them. No matter what kind of information you share, your writing style must build a rapport with your audience. Know your audience and write accordingly. Wittiness and humour also helps to build a bond with your followers but it must be used with caution.

5.    Accentuate the Content: Your page should not look like a chronicle of information. Adding photographs and videos will enable your blog to cast a better impression on your readers. Your blog should also have a well defined structure, so that the reader can navigate through your blog easily.

An ideal blog is a unique, creative and personal webpage. It must project the individual personality of the author. There are no set rules that pertain to blogging. So, never be shy of doing something out of the box.

Image courtesy Hubspot

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Effective Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Posted by on Sep 06 2012 | Social Media

Social media is probably one of the most aggressively used marketing tools of our times. The magnitude of the effectiveness of the various networking websites can be judged by the fact that many bigger firms today are spending more on their getting their social networking right rather than on their advertising campaigns. Here are some tips for effective social media marketing for small businesses-

  • Join Facebook Groups- Joining specific Facebook groups will help you meet other businesses and do you can conduct your research in a better way.
  • Focus on the Target Audience- If you have just created your Facebook page or a twitter account for your business, focus on your specific audiences rather than all users. If you are selling a product for the teenagers, spread the word on the youth groups and forums, not on a page created for the single moms.
  • Videos- Videos can be an extremely powerful tool in getting your business its own share of word of mouth publicity. Target the trending topics and make use of the popular culture. People love and share what they can associate with and giving them something to talk about will always do you good.
  • Set up a Blog- Blogging will get your business an instant identity. Blog about topics that are related to your business and make full use of SEO. Use tags and categories to increase traffic.
  • Unique Content- If you have just set up your Facebook or Twitter pages, provide your fan community with some uniqueness. Go online, find out the latest trends that rule your industry and keep posting your pages with interesting and unconventional content to keep them booked.

For startups and small businesses, building up a fan community, tapping the right audiences and the right communication can be a real test. So, while the above tips are good to follow, it is also advisable to test the waters, survey the competition and understand the market well before embarking.

Image courtesy Bolder Image

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5 Tips for the New Blog Writer

Posted by on Sep 04 2012 | Blog

Blogging is a great way to share thoughts and ideas on your own customized web space. For some people, it tends to be a creative outlet and for professionals, a great way to jumpstart a business or enhance SEO quality of their website. If you just started a new blog, read on for some great tips-

  • Use the Sharing Features - Sharing features are probably the biggest advantage that blogging has to offer. Once you have posted an article, share it on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Stumble upon, Tumblr, Reddit. If it’s a picture post, you can share it on Pinterest. Sharing will increase traffic to your blog and will get you spectacular exposure.
  • The Importance of Pictures - A picture is to a blog what a camera is to travelling. It is an essential tool that gives your reader an insight into what is being talked about. It enhances the aesthetic aspect of your blog, keeping your readers hooked.
  • Keep SEO in mind – SEO is an important tool for any blog. As a new reader, you must know that blog optimization is a part of search marketing. By using certain tags and categories, you can link and attract more readers to your blog and hence, to your business website.
  • Quality Content – Content over quality, always. New bloggers in the block must focus on the quality of the content that they post on the blog. Your readers may like the pictures and design of your blog but nothing works over or better than the quality.
  • Interact with your Readers – Interacting with your readers is important for feedback. The readers may communicate with you by commenting to liking your blog posts. A healthy interaction with your readers will help you understand their expectations as well as perception about your writing.

Blogging is important for businesses as well as for any writer to share his work or pictures. Go on and make the most of your blog.

 

Image courtesy succeedasyourownboss.com

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SEO for A Local Business

Posted by on Sep 02 2012 | SEO, Social Media

When it comes to SEO, the local businesses of a city are still struggling to gain a foothold. The learning, understanding and execution of search engine optimization are sinking in. Unfortunately, there is no crash course to ensure successful SEO applications. The hope is there with the knowledge shared by businesses that have managed to sail through the early storm. The gist of it is listed here:

Blog More: First things first, when one starts with a business, there are no dearth of discursive topics. So, it is better to take the discussion from the conference table to the website. Sport a blog on the site, sharing business ideas and hiccups.

Listing: It is absolutely essential that the business is listed with the search engine. So, with the customer looking for specific requirements in a particular locality, the business should appear as part of the Google search. Also, the business should not miss out on the opportunity of the smartphone applications. With local hub search being introduced to mobiles, the consumer would be looking for ‘you’ just about anywhere, anytime. So, be present.

Bookmark: The next step in luring the web traffic to the website would be through book marking tools. The social bookmarking comes easy with sites like Reddit, Digg etc. By bookmarking the latest content on the blog to these social networking sites, the content will be introduced to the world. This would facilitate for more traffic inflow.

Get Linked: It is important to understand that website submissions should be made to have increased inbound links. This would not be possible if the submission is not done to a relevant website directory. Thus, if your business deals with catering, the links should be placed strategically to food and dining categories. Making sense of business and smart associations with websites help optimize the business the right way.

Tweet: Tweeting about your product and new ventures is a good way to go about optimizing your business. One must know that SEO for a business does not happen over content which is ‘business’ but more when it speaks of/about the business.

Image source: seoservicesgroup.com

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5 Essentials a Travel Writer Must Carry

Posted by on Aug 27 2012 | Travel Writing

Travel writing is one of the most delightful activities for most writers. Given that travelling across the world is one of most followed passion for many individuals, a travel writer does the job of recreating a place on paper for a curious reader. Since many readers travel to a place without actually getting there, travel writing has to be information dissolved with creativity.

Here are the 5 essentials that every travel writer must carry with him for a better experience-

  1. Photography Equipments- A travel write-up is incomplete without the pictures of the place visited.  As a travel writer, your aim is to take your writers to where you already have been, through your words and pictures. For this purpose, make sure you carry photography equipments with you wherever you go. Carry your DSLR camera, batteries and charging devices.
  2. Backpack- An explorer cannot afford to carry a heavy baggage wherever he goes. A travel writer has to have a backpack that perfectly fits all essentials – a few light clothes, body care kits, headphones etc. As a traveler, you may not always get the luxury of living in hotels and well organized places. Carrying a backpack is the need of the hour in such circumstances.
  3. Map and guide books- A few places that you visit may not have the sign boards to guide you everywhere, hence, a map is a must for all those who travel into new places and especially travel writers. Guide books can be second priority as the deal is also about travelling into the lesser known.
  4. Sharing devices- Many a times, some of the best write-ups turn out to be the ones written on the spot. Sharing the pictures of the place on the social media websites before a travel piece comes out is also a great way to keep your readers wanting for more. For this purpose, always carry your laptop, IPad or any other device that keeps you connected with the rest of the world.
  5. A Notebook- Carrying a notebook may sound ancient, but it’s a must to have in your bag. One cannot write on a laptop while interviewing a local on the road. A notebook will help you get your facts right and collect the information too.

As they say, nothing is more enriching and enlightening than travelling. While you’re at it, ensure that you get the most out of a place using the essentials stated above.

Image courtesy ATCNA

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Google Panda Updates: 4 Things You Should Know

Posted by on Aug 21 2012 | SEO

With Google Panda quality becomes a serious business. For those who still don’t get the basic Panda tactic, it is the new algorithm that automatically lowers the Google ranking of low quality content/ website/business. Seems scary? Watch out!!

Aiming for high quality should be your utmost priority. And also take note of the following points:

  1. Don’t Let Ads Lure Away Traffic. Where links and advertisements were considered important for SEO, for making the Panda work for you, it is suggested that you keep links and ads that can supersede your content, to the minimum. The more the ad blocks on your content page, the more will be the drop in your ranking
  2. Pay More Heed to Social Media. Sharing is important. Share your content on social media websites and help increase its visibility. Make your content interactive. Make it worthy of being shared by others. This will automatically determine your content’s quality.
  3. Improve Brand Indicators. This will help you win some much needed trust. While discussing the technique of improving brand indicators is beyond the scope of this blog, it is important to understand that an increased level of trust comes from high quality and means higher Google ranking.
  4. Make it Exclusive: Before you share your content, ask yourself the following:
    1. Is it “Engaging” and will it be shared?
    2. Does the content have a goal and does it reach a conclusion?
    3. Is it complete?

If your answer to all these is a yes then you can take a deep breath and be assured that you haven’t just added to the heap of low-quality content on the internet. The list given above is not comprehensive. It comprises of the simplest ways of dealing with the Panda. If you are sure of the quality, your ratings won’t be adversely impacted.

Even though it may seem like another bottleneck towards achieving quality, Google Panda is, indeed, a way of rewarding excellent quality. Having expressed its wrath against substandard content, the Panda pushes your content on the route of perfection.

Image credit goes to www.berkenboschmarketing.com

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Cost of Writing

Posted by on Aug 15 2012 | Content Writing, SEO, website content writing

With demand for online PR services at its peak, the cost for professional web content writing has gone up further. The basic principle behind outsourcing the job of writing for a company’s website is to maximize traffic to the website. Now there are different categories when it comes to website content, and each has its own price points:

Landing page

To understand the significance of the Landing page, you only have to remind yourself of the cliché, ‘first impression is the last impression’, which pretty much says it all. A landing page may be welcome page or the about us page of a website that talks about the company and its services in brief. Monotony is the tendency of the hour when it comes to writing for such pages. For converting the browsing audience into buyers, the content has to be innovative that catches attention on first contact. This is when the need to spend extra bucks on the website content arises.

Reputed copy and content creation agencies quote a higher price as they have the best writers in business. A lot of research goes into writing for the landing pages that is successful and acts as an effective salesman for your website, thus justifying the expensive fees.

SEO Blogs

There is no dearth of shortcuts to anything and everything, and so to increasing the website traffic. SEO blogs count among the most convenient and effective ways to increase traffic to your website. The conversational blogs give people a reason to visit a website and browse it. Blog writers can target topics based on the study of analytics and success of a particular write-up in the past. They are better attuned to the penchant of the readers, making sure the next click after the blog is the website URL.

Linkbait articles

Now there is not much of a difference between Linkbait articles and SEO blogs, minus the length and viral-ism associated with Linkbait articles. These articles require much more than just a regular write-up or a writer. People entrusted with writing a Linkbait article need to be more innovative in their writing and they have to spend a considerable amount of time while researching and writing these articles. Editing these articles takes even more time than writing. Most content writing companies would charge you per word when it comes to Linkbait articles.

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Love Cinema? Write for it!

Posted by on Aug 13 2012 | Blog, Cinema

The Tale of India Cinema

Ours is a country obsessed with cinema. Commercial cinema labelled as Bollywood is one of the most admired and successful industries in India. The industry rose to fame with the emergence of the Superstars and the reflection of trends on the audiences.

What Makes it so Magical?

Even within the film industry, there are mini branches that collectively make it grand.  There is regional cinema which pertains to the audiences of specific states, commercial cinema which focuses on mainstream Bollywood films and then, cinema produced by other countries. The grandeur of cinema lies in the fact that it isn’t just about producing films and showcasing them, but the way it is perceived by the world.

What’s Writing Got to Do With It?

It is undeniable that cinema produces a number of jobs. Apart from the technical aspects, there are jobs in writing as well as editing. If you have a penchant for cinema, doesn’t matter which kind or part of the world it belongs to, you can try your luck in writing for cinema.

There are several mediums that offer you an opportunity to publish your work. Here are a few you can try:

  • Blogging - To start with, you can have your own cinema blog. You can write on a number of subjects related to cinema such as Film Reviews, Film gossips, Critical analysis of performances on screen etc. Once you have a certain number of followers, you can make it a website and make it more informative for your readers.
  • Newspapers and Magazines - There are many newspapers and magazines that are devoted to writing about cinema and those involved in the business. E.g. Film fare, Stardust magazines. Once you have a substantial information and knowledge about a particular film industry, you can apply for a job with these mediums and be a writer.
  • Social Media – Writing for cinema in 21st century is beyond just print media. Once a film is out on the table, it needs promotion to grab attention. And just like other brands, it needs to build PR, which is done through mediums like Facebook and Twitter. So, if you are well versed with these platforms, go ahead and write for them.

Apart from these options, you can also try writing for a number of film websites, PR firms specializing in promoting cinema etc.

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Corporate Blogging

Posted by on Aug 07 2012 | Blogs, SEO

In today’s times of blog-boom, corporate blogs seem to be a great idea for marketing your company and its offerings without indulging in selling. Blog is a powerful way of attracting your customers and increasing the traffic to your website.

Now there is an art to corporate blogging and one needs to follow certain simple steps to master this art:

Think out of the box:

Now your blog doesn’t have to be the place where your readers get minute by minute updates on your latest offerings and other news bulleting pertaining to your company. Bring a more personalized touch rather than strictly keeping an official tone. There aren’t many people out there who are interested in reading a pamphlet-style blog explaining the policies and products of your company.

A blog must feel like a conversation between a blogger and a reader, rather than a brand and its customer. The latter part makes people feel they are conversing with a robot with a pre-loaded set of instructions

Keywords is the key

SEO is the focus when you write anything on the internet, blogs are no different. Include words which are search-engine friendly but look for keywords that are related to your industrial sphere as it will make search engine prioritize those keywords and drive traffic to your website when a user enters a query that relates to your industry.

Don’t Sell

Your website has plenty of pages to educate readers that they can buy your offerings and services at such and such prices. Don’t let blog be the place where you are selling. Self promotion is useful, but only if done discreetly.

Choose a Theme

Choose a theme that relates to your company’s expertise and also focuses on what readers would want to read. Make sure you have listed the topics you and the other bloggers are to write on. Creating editorial guidelines follows next. With listed guidelines, it is easier draw the verticals for blogging

Encourage Interaction

Blogging is much more than just writing something and posting it online. Blogs should be written by intent to build a blog community where users read your blog and comment on it. Some comment might just be more opinions and some of them may be questions that await your answer. Make sure you answer each query. A blog is different from a regular website in the sense that it encourages two-way conversation, giving your readers a fair idea what your company is all about.

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A Miracle called ‘Bhutan’: Diary of a Content Writer

Posted by on May 19 2012 | From the Writer's Desk

Blessed by the universe to flourish as an independent country, Bhutan is what one can call ‘a miracle of life’. The dragon land is known for the simplicity of life that it offers to each and every citizen and to the tourists. The Buddhist country claims itself to be the happiest in the world, and indeed it is. Rich in architecture and diversity in culture, it is where one can find all the goodness stored for each person.

Having called myself a frequent traveler for over a year now, it was about time that I gained some nature consciousness and allow my creativity to enhance as a result. What else could be better than a land enveloped in passion and enlightenment from all sides. Bhutan is where I explored my sense of being and found a sensitive side towards the flora, fauna and avifauna.

After four days of hectic travelling in trains and buses, I touched upon Thimpu with the image of green mountains and blue rivers resting in my eyes. Far away from the hues of a hectic city life, it is situated in the lap of nature amidst the flowing rivers of faith. A trekker’s paradise as it is called, the city is home to some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries built years ago by the monks.

On the first day, I was given the instructions to carry lots of water, warm clothes and oodles of physical strength. At 6 am, as the bright sunlight played hide and seek with my feet on the roads, I was made to climb a 1000 feet high mountain.  What seemed impossible at that time, turned out to be an enlightening experience, much to the inner peace of my soul.

The next city to conquer was Paro. A three hour drive from Thimpu, Paro has the only airport in the country and indeed a spectacular one. Imagine stepping out of a plane to witness the beauty of mountains and the rivers even before getting out of the airport.

Waking up every morning to the sight of crystal clear water washing the white stones at the riverside can be such a pleasant experience for anyone. Life got happier as I went for evening walks with the sound of white water running across clear streams hitting my senses each day. This is what Paro had in store for me, a solace to accompany me all the time and an ocean of belief to take a deep dive in the enigma of life.

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