5 Tips to Becoming a Top Blog in Your Industry

social media how toHave you ever dreamed of becoming one of the top blogs in your space?

Are you wondering how some bloggers find success and why others struggle to survive?

If so, keep reading as I reveal five tips and techniques that have helped large blogs (such as Social Media Examiner) grow into influential and widely read publications.

First, Rethink What it Means to Blog

When I started Social Media Examiner back in October 2009, I made the decision not to call our site a blog.

Instead, I opted for the phrase online magazine.

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How Content Can Spur Change for Businesses

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation and president of Twist Image.

Mitch shares insights into how content has changed the way we do business.

He also gives you insights into the questions to ask to find the right marketing strategy for your business today.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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5 Reasons Your Business Should Be Blogging

social media viewpoints

Does your business blog?

Have you been thinking it might be time to consider a blog, but aren’t sure (a) you can pull it off and (b) it will provide value?

Keep reading. This article will help you (or someone you know) understand the value of a business blog.

Is Google the Only Reason to Blog?

I have a question for you, and it’s a serious one: If you never garnered another single visitor to your company blog through search engine optimization (SEO), would you still have one?

For many, especially execs who don’t necessarily “get it” when it comes to content marketing, the answer would be, “No way!”

But for those persons and companies that have watched the magic of blogging and its effect beyond SEO, the answer would be a resounding, “Of course!”

That’s what this article is all about. There’s much more to having a company blog than just getting more visitors to your website because Google decided to send them there.

In fact, here are 5 other powerful reasons why you should be blogging, and I look forward to hearing what you would add in the comments section at the end.

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5 Tips to Sell Your Blog

social media viewpointsDo you wonder if your blog has the potential for a big payoff?

Here are 5 tips to position your blog to attract corporate buyers.

The $315 million–dollar acquisition of Huffington Post by AOL definitely raised some eyebrows as bloggers started to realize that they’re holding “real” assets that can attract top-dollar investments.

But for many, it may seem like selling your blog isn’t even a remote possibility. Perhaps you’re still trying to figure out how to make it attractive for readers.

As you consider what’s next for your blog, start thinking like an entrepreneur and recognize that your blog has the potential to earn income like any other business.

Here are tips to take your blog to the next level, while making it more attractive for corporate buyers.

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UnMarketing: Stop Pushing and Praying, Start Pulling and Staying

social media book reviewsWhen marketing consultant Scott Stratten worked with the owners of a new restaurant, he recommended inviting residents of a nearby condo complex to a free dinner. Over two nights, the owners could get 150 people to start the buzz about the new restaurant in town.

But the owners balked at giving away free food, which they estimated would cost them several thousand dollars. Yet they had spent $5,000 on a magazine ad!

“How many customers did it bring in?” Stratten asked. “We don’t know,” they replied.

Does this sound familiar? Stratten calls this the “push and pray” marketing strategy. You push your ad out to thousands and even millions of people, and pray that some respond.

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When Consumers Revolt Against Traditional Marketing, What Should You Do?

social media book reviewsWhen little-known, first-term Illinois senator Barack Obama faced Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, he knew he couldn’t compete with her financially. He couldn’t afford telemarketing and direct mail campaigns or TV and radio advertising.

So instead of playing by the old rules, he made new rules. He started blogging and he created profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

He also hired the co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes, to be his Internet strategist. And he won the Democratic presidential nomination even though he spent a lot less money than his opponent.

At the time of the election, Obama had five million fans on Facebook—over four million more than Clinton. On MySpace, the numbers were approximately 800,000 and 200,000, respectively. On Twitter, he had over 100,000 followers and his opponent had about 5,000.

And he did all of that by following the principles of inbound marketing.

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10 Top Business Blogs and Why They Are Successful

social media reviewsDoes your business have a blog? Are you looking to generate engaging comments and new daily visitors? If so, look no further.

This article showcases 10 top blogs in multiple markets. Follow their lead to take your blog from good to great. And if you don’t have a business blog yet, now’s the perfect time to get in the game!

Each of these successful blog examples has incorporated unique features that have attracted thousands of readers. The great news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel—just model the best. Take a look at these thriving blogs and apply the same success strategies to your own blog.

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The Top Social Media Tool for 2011 is…

social media research

If you heard about a marketing strategy that could substantially lower your marketing expenses and return 600% or more of your investment, would you be interested in learning more about it?

When Social Media Examiner surveyed 1,900 marketers in 2010, half said they wanted to learn more about this strategy.

Of those just starting out in social media marketing, 65% wanted to learn more about it. And 81% of all the marketers surveyed said they would definitely increase their use of this strategy.

No, it’s not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Sure, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were among the top four social media tools among this group of marketers.

But what was first?

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The 5 Pillars of Business Blogging Success

social media how toAre you looking for practical tips for blogging success? Are you wondering what to avoid? While my position is generally that there are no “rules” in blogging, there are best practices that will help your business blog succeed.

There are a lot of obvious elements you need to include to make a blog reader-friendly: quality, compelling content, good navigation, a contact page, an about page, focus and clarity about the subject of the blog… and there’s a lot of not-so-obvious or overlooked things that can really help make a blog stand out if they’re implemented.

While I do have my own list of do’s and don’ts included, I decided to get input from other smart, savvy bloggers. I posted a request on LinkedIn Answers and received many great do’s and don’ts. I’ve grouped the tips into five categories: Planning, Content, Design, Marketing and Engagement.

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