7 Reasons to Rethink Your Blogging Strategy: New Research

social media researchIs your business working with bloggers?

Do you blog?

This article examines new research that shows blogging is here to stay.

Like many social media tools, blogs have seen a steady increase in numbers and influence over the last several years.

Note the growth charted by Invesp. On Dec. 2, 2011, that number was 178,637,835 (according to BlogPulse).

Number of Blogs Grows

blogs according to technorati

14 million blogs were added since July 2011 (as of 12/2/2011).

If people are adding nearly 3 million blogs per month, surely this is a tool worth understanding and maximizing. That is the conclusion Technorati reached in their 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report.

In this report, bloggers fall into one of five categories:

  1. Hobbyist—Someone who blogs for fun and doesn’t report any income from blogging (this represents 60% of the study).
  2. Professional Part-time—These people typically blog to supplement their income and blog about personal musings or technology (approximately 9% of respondents).
  3. Professional Full-time—These individuals make their living by blogging, but typically work freelance (approximately 9% of respondents).
  4. Corporate—Corporate bloggers blog full-time as part of their job or are contracted to blog full-time for a company (8% of respondents).
  5. Entrepreneur—Entrepreneurs blog for a company or organization they own (13% of respondents).

***Please note that Technorati’s data is heavily skewed by the presence of 60% hobbyist bloggers—people who blog as a way to express themselves or influence their community, but don’t seek to make money. I will focus on results from the 40% of bloggers who have a business objective with their blogging.

#1: Bloggers are young, educated and experienced

Bloggers come from all over the world and span the age range. But with that diversity come some commonalities worth noting. (Go here to see all the statistical comparisons made by Technorati.)

Nearly 60% of bloggers are between the ages of 25 and 44.

age

Most business bloggers are ages 25-44, but nearly 50% of entrepreneurs are over 45.

Most bloggers are highly educated, with almost 30% having college degrees and an additional 50% who have started or completed a graduate degree.

blogging education

Bloggers are highly educated.

Most bloggers have been blogging for at least 2 years.

blogging experience

A vast majority of bloggers has at least 2 years of blogging experience, with a significant 20% carrying 6 years or more experience.

The average number of blogs managed by each respondent is three, up from two in 2010.

number of blogs

Business bloggers now manage three blogs on average.

40% of bloggers spend more than 3 hours a week working on their blog.

time spent blogging

60% of entrepreneurs spend 1 to 5 hours blogging weekly.

A majority of bloggers updates their blog at least two to three times per week.

frequency of updates

Over 50% of bloggers post at least two to three times per week.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Most business bloggers post at least two to three times per week. If you’re not posting that often, you’re missing out on some great search engine optimization value. Read this article on the importance of this;
  2. A majority of bloggers have been at this for at least 2 years.

So, if you haven’t started, why not start now? See this article by Marcus Sheridan for some reasons to get started.

#2: Bloggers help brands

Technorati found that a surprising one-third of bloggers have work experience in traditional media as journalists and in other capacities. They also found that consumers are increasingly putting their trust in blogs versus traditional media.

This reflects a major shift in marketing for brands of all sizes. Brands must become friendly with bloggers. If 40% of all blogs are business-oriented, that means there are around 72 million business blogs. Many of these represent an opportunity for you to foster mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers.

Not convinced? Check this out: 65% of bloggers follow brands on social media and most bloggers write regularly about the brands they follow.

following brands

A significant majority of bloggers uses social media to follow brands.

frequency brands followed

A vast majority of bloggers blogs regularly about the brands they follow.

Key Questions:

  • Do you know the bloggers who follow your brand?
  • Are you connecting with them? What are they saying about your business?
  • How can you help them achieve their goals while helping spread the word about your products, services and special offers?
  • Have you considered developing a brand advocacy program with some of these bloggers?

#3: A growing number of consumers trust blogs

As expected, consumers receive their information primarily through friends, whether in real life or on social media. Of all social media platforms, consumers trust information they receive through blogs more than Facebook or Twitter.

consumer info source

Consumers are almost as likely to look to blogs for information as they are magazines and newspapers.

consumer trust

Consumers have the lowest level of trust in a brand's social media sites.

Consumers are almost as likely to share information they find on a blog as from a newspaper or magazine.

consumer sharing source

Consumers are more likely to share information found on a blog than from a brand on other social media sites.

Consumers are most likely to share information they find on blogs through email and Facebook with Twitter being the third most likely.

consumer share location

Email and Facebook are the most likely way consumers will share blog posts.

Key Questions:

  1. Are you making it easy for your followers to share your posts?
  2. Are you focused on becoming a trustworthy resource for your fans?
  3. Because blog posts have a longer shelf life than Facebook or Twitter, are you spending adequate time creating content worth viewing in 6 months or 2 years?

#4: Bloggers depend increasingly on social media

(see stats here).

Bloggers get their inspiration and insights from social media.

Bloggers spend 10-12 hours weekly on social media sites, with 14% spending at least 21 hours. Additionally, bloggers spend another 8 hours weekly reading other blogs.

time on media

Most bloggers spend at least 10 hours a week on social media sites.

Bloggers “like” Facebook.

Over 90% of bloggers use Facebook and at least 65% of non-corporate professional bloggers have a Facebook page for their blog.

The primary way bloggers use Facebook is to promote their blog, but a significant 61% of entrepreneurs also use Facebook to market their business.

facebook uses

Entrepreneurs are nearly as likely to use Facebook to market their business as they are to promote their blog.

Twitter is very important for bloggers.

Over 80% of bloggers use Twitter and all professional bloggers have at least 1000 followers.

twitter followers

All business bloggers have 1000 Twitter followers on average. Note that full-time professionals and corporate bloggers have more followers than accounts they follow.

Around 80% of bloggers use Twitter to promote their blog.

twitter uses

The most common use of Twitter is to promote a blog.

Bloggers are early adopters of Google+.

This is one of the first studies I’ve seen on Google+ adoption. Over 60% of all surveyed bloggers have a Google+ account, but few had established a page.

Here are some of the ways bloggers use Google+:

google+ uses

Bloggers use Google+ for bringing interesting links to light, even more than promoting their own blog.

Bloggers have a diverse social media toolkit.

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn and YouTube are the top social media platforms used by bloggers. At least 30% of professional bloggers also make use of StumbleUpon, Delicious and Digg.

other social media platforms

LinkedIn is the most commonly used social networking platform for business bloggers after Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The most effective social tools for driving traffic are Facebook and Twitter, with LinkedIn being a distant third.

social traffic

Facebook and Twitter lead the pack in effectiveness for driving traffic to blogs.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Bloggers look to Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to their blogs. Do you? Here are 19 tips on how to do that from Denise Wakeman;
  2. Many pro bloggers have at least 1000 followers on Twitter. Here are 17 tips from social media pros on how to maximize your Twitter marketing.

#5: Bloggers use multimedia

Around 90% of bloggers use some form of media in their posts, with photos being the most popular.

Videos are also widely used by almost 50% of all bloggers.

types of media

Photos are the most popular media type. Notice how audio is much less utilized.

#6: Bloggers are earning money through their blogs

While only 14% of bloggers earn a salary through blogging, bloggers are increasingly finding ways to earn money through advertising and brand partnerships. If you’re interested in knowing how bloggers approach revenue and advertising, see these interesting results.

#7: Bloggers are increasing their activities

Professional bloggers are generally increasing their blogging activity since they started blogging.

blogging

Professional full-time bloggers are significantly increasing their blogging activities.

How about you? Do your 2012 business plans include blogging? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Phil Mershon

Phil Mershon is the director of events for Social Media Examiner. He has worked nearly 25 years in corporate training and management. Phil is also a professional jazz and church musician. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.marketdrum.com/author/admin/ Samer Forzley

    Excellent post, with great useful data, What would be interesting to see is how that growth chart continues over the years.

  • http://twitter.com/jordanrunsit Jordan Smallwood

    Phil, I really like your thinking on the longevity of blogging and the various blogging strategies. Even better, I like that you believe in the strategy of integrating your other forms of social media with your blog. Many fail to realize that your reach on any social media outlet can be increased by simply conglomerating your social media outlets and having them complement each other. Where can you be contacted?

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  • Jennifer Erchul

    This article backs up everything I share with my clients! Thanks for sharing it so everyone can see the value of blogs.

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  • PhilMershon

    Thanks, Samer. I’m sure there will be many following these trends over time.

  • PhilMershon

    Thanks, Jordan. Good points! 

    Feel free to contact me at phil@socialmediaexaminer.com

  • PhilMershon

    Thanks, Jennifer. Technorati has done the research and now we can clearly see the strong benefits.

    Keep on blogging!

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  • http://socialfresh.com/blog Jason Keath

    Saying that if you blog more you will get better SEO is misleading. A bit more complicated than that. 

  • PhilMershon

    That is true, Jason. This assumes that you are using good blogging tactics for SEO.

  • http://internetconsultantindia.com/ Soumitra

    Yes, Quite rightly said. I have a number of blogs , they not only help link building , but also get me excellent leads.

    Blogs are not only to stay , but will grow in numbers in years !

  • PhilMershon

    Thanks, Soumitra. Stick with it!

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    Mr Mershon, you have thoroughly ruined my morning… in the best way possible! As it turns out, I’m about to step out my door for a long walk to reconsider my entire blogging strategy. The whole thing. Top to bottom. Soup to nuts. This article is incredibly encouraging, as well as timely, and I can see right now I’m going to have to dig into the links you provided. 

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

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  • PhilMershon

    Dave, have a productive walk. I know this research has me thinking about things on my personal blog and hope that you find some valuable new strategies.

    We’d love to hear your success stories. :)

  • Dragan Mestrovic

    Great work and an excellent outlook for the blogosphere :)

  • Preston D Lee

    I think would also be interesting to see how many bloggers have included multimedia in their blogs (audio, video blog posts instead of just written). Seems like that’s going to be a HUGE swing in 2012.

  • Pturner

    I must be missing something.  How are bloggers using YouTube, a video content site?

  • http://Wordfruit.com/ Richard Clunan

    Thanks Phil, for that well presented article, and for the link to Denise Wakeman’s tips — that’s useful for me.

    richard 
    http://Wordfruit.com/blog

  • http://elainefogel.net/ Elaine Fogel

    Excellent stats and info here, Phil. Thanks for sharing. I have a question for you. To increase SEO on bloggers’ name and/or companies, should we be including these as key words in each post?

  • DianaWebster1

    Thanks from a wet-behind-the-ears newbie blogger, Phil. There is so much information (think fire hose!) out there on blogging that I was grateful for your visual data presentation of these very interesting statistics.

    Cheers!
    Diana
    http://www.humaneadvisor.com

  • http://www.brianfarello.com/ Brian Farello

    Great article Phil! I really appreciate how you took time to gather all those statistics. I definitely gained a lot out of this article and am ready to revamp my own blogging strategy. My followers will get a lot out of this article as well so I’m definitely going to share it with them. Thanks!

    -Brian
    http://brianfarello.com

  • PhilMershon

    Thanks, Dragan!

  • PhilMershon

    Preston, I believe that was the point of their question that yielded photos as the top utilized media with video being second. I was surprised how low audio was on that question as podcasts are still growing in popularity.

  • PhilMershon

    Many bloggers will link to a YouTube video as part of their article. Many of Social Media Examiner’s articles will do this, for example. 

  • PhilMershon

    You’re welcome. Glad that is helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/RobertMcGuire3 Robert McGuire

    Phil, thanks for the #blogging info, tips, and link. I have been recruited to blog for the top real estate blogger in Denver. This helps!!

  • PhilMershon

    Thanks for your question, Elaine. The short answer is to find your key words and incorporate them into your copy and titles in a way that feels natural and to take advantage of your meta descriptions.

    For a more detailed answer, I suggest this article by Rich Brooks: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ultimate-bloggers-guide-to-search-engine-optimization/

  • PhilMershon

    Glad to be able to provide a good overview, based on research. There are several other articles on Social Media Examiner that can take you deeper. Just do a search on blogging and have fun!

  • PhilMershon

    You’re welcome, Brian. I learned through the process, too. Happy implementing! :)

  • http://RumShopRyan.com/ RumShopRyan

    Great information, all that data took some time and effort to bring together. I did have 3 blogs but just sold one because my main site http://RumShopRyan.com is a growing monster and taking more and more time. I agree that media (especially video) is becoming a huge part of blogging. The web is a visual medium and blogger and turning to video to raise the bar. Seeing some interesting and well produced videos from my fellow travel bloggers.  Keep it up everyone! Cheers!

  • PhilMershon

    That’s awesome, Robert. I’ve spent six years in the Denver metro area and love that city.

    All my best,

  • PhilMershon

    That’s a good success story, Ryan. I agree that videos are becoming increasingly important–especially short ones (2 minutes or less). Keep up the good work!

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  • http://twitter.com/sabrinamantle sabrina mantle

    After a long hard first year of blogging, I finally feel like I am getting heard and only plan on doing more, so I agree with this article,long live the blog!

  • Nigel LD

    Thanks for some very useful info.
    Nigel

  • Katherine Krige

    There is a lot of fabulous info here. I think I am going to have to come back to re-read this, just to follow all the links that you mentioned alone. 

    As for me, I have a personal blog that I have been writing since 2009, but I also maintain 3 other business blogs & will begin contributing to another in the new year. I certainly don’t make any direct money from my personal blog (poetry, short stories, prose, etc), but it was a huge factor in work coming my way. 

    Katherine

  • http://www.singfreenow.com Mark Bosnian

    Definitely bookmark this article! Great reference guide. I have some clients who don’t appreciate the need to blog regularly and post links via their social media accounts. I think this article will help support what I have already have told them.

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  • PhilMershon

    I’m finding that my personal blog is helping me become a better writer for other blogging. Thanks for sharing that.

  • PhilMershon

    Thank you. Glad it’s useful.

  • PhilMershon

    That’s good news that you’re seeing the fruit of your labor!

  • PhilMershon

    You’re welcome!

  • http://www.thenerdynurse.com/ The Nerdy Nurse

    Blogging is rewarding for all parties involved. It is no wonder that blogs are increasing!
    I trust a blog before an advertisement any day. 

  • http://twitter.com/RAWTimes The RAW Media Group

    Another really useful article on BLOGGING strategy and a virtual kick up the arse for those of us who require one!!!

  • http://www.smsproducts.com/brochure-boxes/brochure-boxes.htm Brochure Boxes

    As a consumer, I am not buying anything until I read about it on the manufacturer’s website, then Yelp, then random “consumer reports” review sites. People know almost more about the products than the people selling them because people are tired of being screwed by bad products. Nice graphs by the way. The visuals are appreciated.

  • Lisa

    so excited to be joining the blogosphere! bring it on 2012 – I’m ready for my new year’s resolution to become a great hobby!

  • http://www.wholesalepages.co.uk/ Wholesale Suppliers Directory

    This is useful information provided by you. The most important thing according to my knowledge is your first point that blogger should be educated. It provides him chance to manage things and getting rid of problems that he faces in different conditions. A well educated person always keeps in search of finding solutions for different problems that occur in common life. All the points are important that have been discussed in this post and I want to appreciate you for such a nice post.

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  • http://twitter.com/buzzquotient buzzquotient

    Great tips! will definitely help is blogging more effectively. People turn to blogs for personalized information or reviews so brands and companies must have a good blogging strategy in place.

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  • nichecafe

    thanks

  • http://www.NetArgument.com ramesh

    Thanks for sharing great info.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    It is awesome. It is another more useful post about the blogging strategy. I like it.

  • http://www.cottageblogger.com/ Heather

    Great information.  I encourage vacation rental owners (now a massive market) to use blogs to promote their locations and drive traffic to their listings and sites.  The statistics shown here will be very useful to persuade them to start a blog in 2012  http://www.cottageblogger.com

  • greatestmuscle

    Just amazing tips, for all of us that are starting in the field of social media. Get access to the website in the beginning is a very tough task and social media is a huge weapon, while you can not achieve good results in search engines

  • http://www.ferreemoney.com/ Neil Ferree

    Excellent post Phil! 
    Not only does your piece touch on the many dynamics that will impact the gains/losses a site will encounter if it doesn’t include SMM but that conventional SEO tactics while still valid are becoming less important when you consider how SMM drives user behavior and engagement. The guys at dmangmedia’s take on this is similar albeit phrased differently https://plus.google.com/u/0/117978532104530871635/posts/6hBzmrN7mAS

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  • http://twitter.com/nextstep2000 Ronald Outlaw

    This is a Great Post, I will definitely be using two ideas I found here.
    Cultivate relationships and being Helpful.

    Thanks Phil

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  • steve8897

    Being a new blogger this is great information as always thanks.

  • http://iquariusmedia.com/ Dequeandreu

    Great share!

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  • http://amyhall.biz/ Amy Hall

    Excellent article! I love blogging and SMM as a business marketing strategy. Blogging does take time, but I really, really like the idea that one can write an article, show off their expertise, educate their audience on the topic they are writing about and receive instant feedback in the form of comments and leads. It’s the perfect platform! I love the challenge of the intricacies of melding the different SMM platforms together in a sort of dance to gain search engine rankings, followers, fans and customers! It’s all a huge, fantastically fun puzzle!!! Thanks for dumping all the puzzle pieces out on the table and lining them up for us. Now all we need to do is put the pieces together and discover the beautiful picture on the puzzle! The beautiful picture being more clients and revenue. 

  • Debbie

    What are Linked in, StumbleUpon, and Hoot Suite mainly used for?

  • Vimal Dwivedi

    Very collective and informative post you really did a huge research for making all things together….

  • http://www.ydeveloper.com/e-smart-ecommerce-suite.html Ydeveloper

    Blogging is the best way today together the people of same community by offering interesting thoughts, information, guides etc. via blog. To continue all these people follow your blog regularly, you have to take part and answer all queries related to topic you shared via commenting, social networks, forums etc. In addition, you can also promote this blog using SEO and other activities.

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  • Sarah

    Great article! And encouraging for those of us blogging away regularly, both on behalf of a company as well as on a personal blog.

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  • samthewiseman

    This has interesting statistics but, to be fair, they are really only statistics.  Though the number of blogs has increased, that doesn’t mean anyone is reading them.  Anyone can create a blog and write about anything. 

    And though people are more likely to trust a blog over a business’ soc. media, that trust factor is still relatively low – around 30% according to the above stats.  That’s well below trusting a “friend” on a social networking site. 

    So though I think blogs can be used effectively this post doesn’t really prove anything about the Importance of blogs.  Maybe better statistics to share would be How Many Unique Visitors Regularly Check Your Average Blog or How Many Readers +1′d a Blog, something along those lines.  This article wasn’t bad at all, but it doesn’t really speak to the effective use or the ROI of blogs.  Just about their growth.  Right?

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  • Stacy_Lynn

    Great read with some promising stats.  Have been at the blog for 4 months, not 2 years, but hopefully things pick up before that benchmark. 

     @a4be48f445217f991575e52d4c24fec5:disqus , I absolutely agree with you.  ”Number of blogs has increased…doesn’t mean anyone is reading them.  Anyone can create a blog…” True.  However, at my paralegal work (when I google a legal query), the top hits are usually from blogs.  And the most useful websites (condensed, informative, relative) are blogs as well.  

    While I’m not making money off of my blog, blogs in general provide a lot of value to me.  When I google something, the top hits are generally wikipedia, the organization website (if applicable), or blogs.  True, I often need to vet or cross-reference the information.  But I’m pretty impressed at how far the blog has elevated in the past several years.    

  • http://www.brianfarello.com/ Brian Farello

    Thanks Phil!

  • patelanjali

    Like many social media tools, blogs have seen a steady increase in numbers and influence over the last several years.

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  • http://www.yourdigitalspace.com/ Swamykant

    Interesting post. These facts will surely help us to improve our blogs. Thanks for share.

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  • http://twitter.com/TheHappypreneur Celene Harrelson

    This was a fantastic informational post.  Thank you for sharing.  I am going to share this right now on social media!  I’ve always preached the know, like and trust factor that your blog can create in a way that no other media can. I have not used LinkedIn or Google+ enough, I can see that now.  Good stuff!

  • restreitinho

    Blogging has most definitely become a part of my personal strategy for 2012. It’s the best way to spread your ideas, connect with other bloggers and start making a name for yourself. So far, so good!

  • Laura Vincent

    Wow, nearly all the data presented here fits me exactly. But there’s still plenty to learn too – thanks for this great article!

  • Guest

    Very interesting article… Have you ever considered the importance of Blog Preservation? Archiving blogs and putting the into a single repository is a very interesting idea! http://blogforever.eu is an EU funded project. Its key objective is to develop robust digital preservation, management and dissemination facilities for weblogs.

  • http://about.me/kirsten.lambertsen Kirsten Lambertsen

    I had already read the report at Technorati, but I really appreciate the way you pulled out the important takeaways.

    I can’t seem to find any data or estimates as to how many blogs are actually active (or inactive – I’ll take either). Any ideas there?

  • Linda Reinholtz

    Loved the way you described all this Amy! Being new to Social Media and especially blogging, this helped it all make more sense!

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  • Lillian Cherry

    This is a great article. Especially for bloggers who fall into the “Entrepreneur” category, blogging can be a hassle that takes away from other important aspects of business. 

    For businesses with a need for a blog but no time to keep it up, Blogmutt (www.blogmutt.com) offers weekly content provided by a crowd of writers. This allows the busy entrepreneurs out there to focus on other aspects of their business without giving up the benefits of a blog.

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  • http://www.examiner.com/internet-and-technology-in-national/david-frankk David Frankk

     These are some very helpful tactics. There is a general misconception that the popularity of blogs is decreasing whereas this article has something completely different to say.

    Software Development Companies

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Atkins/100002557175252 April Atkins

    Make the content compelling to read. This should come as no shock that good content gets more interaction, but just high quality isn’t enough. It also needs to be interesting and make the reader want to keep reading and participate. Imagine a good story-teller, the ones that have you on the edge of your seat when they talk. You need to do that in your writing. Of course, picking a topic that has some strong opinions once in a while can help too!

     URL : http://www.addvalue.com.au

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Atkins/100002557175252 April Atkins

    Get on social sites. If no one knows that your blog exists, it’s kind of hard for them to leave you comments, right? Using social sites can be one of the easiest ways to get your content out. But remember, if all you do on those sites is promote your content, no one will care for long. Use them as tools, have conversations and build relationships then share your content.

     URL : http://www.addvalue.com.au

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Atkins/100002557175252 April Atkins

    This should come as no shock that good content gets more interaction, but just high quality isn’t enough. It also needs to be interesting and make the reader want to keep reading and participate. Imagine a good story-teller, the ones that have you on the edge of your seat when they talk. 

     URL : http://www.addvalue.com.au

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Joelmitchell2020 Joel Mitchell

    Great Post! One thing I might include is a Gravatar commenting strategy. Small companies who plan to establish a brand name or certain reputation need to employ the Gravatar tool. The Gravatar gives you the capability to define your digital foot print for online search engine giants like Google or Yahoo. Google loves when you the Gravatar is to continuously make good high quality comments on the blogs of the leaders in your market niche. A crucial point to remember here is to post good pertinent information and facts. The deeper the context of your remarks, the more credible you’ll become. Google then starts to recognize you as one of market leaders. When Gravatars are correctly used search engine ranking becomes much easier. Google is following everyone’s actions on the web so, you’ll want to create a set of actions that position you as an expert in your niche, making it very clear for Google to follow. Not only a small business blog strategy to execute for your business, but also a possible career booster for you personally. Make sense?– Joel Mitchell, Small Business Thoughts.







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