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Category: Small Business Tips, Twitter & Marketing

  1. 6 ways small businesses can use the internet effectively

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    How being online can improve your small business

    It seems recently there has been a massive boom in the number of people starting their own small businesses.  Not only have I read this is the case in various news articles, but it also seems to be the case in my close circle of family and friends.  Perhaps it could be to do with my age.  Now I’m in my thirties and have settled down with a family, many of my friends are in the same situation.  We’ve re-evaluated what’s important to us and want a flexible working lifestyle that fits around our children.  We are also tired of working for other people for low wages to make only the bosses at the top richer, and thus we seek the more satisfying reward of earning our own income.  Nowadays it is becoming much easier to start a small business, generate leads online and market a business effectively thanks to the wonderful world wide web.

    Here are six ways you can use the internet to effectively grow your small business:

    6 ways small businesses can use the internet effectively online

    Use online forms to generate leads

    There are now many great tools you can use to create responsive interactive forms to help generate leads online.  Whether you want to capture email addresses for your newsletter, a potential client’s interest or customer details, using an attractive easy to use form makes things a whole lot easier for you and your customer.

    Talk to your customers in real time

    There’s nothing more frustrating than having a question as a consumer and having to wait several days for a reply to an email.  Luckily you can now reply almost immediately to queries using online chat or social media.  A fast response can make the difference between a customer deciding to purchase from you or looking elsewhere for a quicker reply to their answer.

    Share your expertise through blogging

    Blogs are a great way to share your expertise and prove how knowledgeable you are in your field.  Blogging gives you more content for your website to increase your digital presence and make you more visible online, especially when it comes to search engines.  There is an abundance of blogging tips and guides online to guide you through setting up a blog.

    Show up in local business listings

    It is super important for you to list your business in business listings and especially in the search engine business listings, such as Google.  Almost everyone nowadays will perform a search online when they are looking to buy a product or need a service.  There really is no better way to be found than online in the present age.  Make sure you have a local Google listing to show up in local search results.

    Prove your professionalism through your website

    First impressions really are key.  In the online world this translates to an easy to use, professional looking website which is optimised across all devices.  If your website is cluttered or hard to read, people will soon click away and find a more visibly pleasing competitor of yours with a friendlier website.  It’s also important your website can be accessed by a mobile as more people use mobile phones to browse the internet than ever before.  Creating a website is very easy thanks to the internet and there are ready made platforms even for those with no technical knowledge.

    Showcase your reviews

    If you offer a great service or product, then let everyone know through the power of reviews and testimonials.  Set up a testimonials page or a review feature for your products and share these on your website.  A bucket load of five star reviews is sure to sway any pondering customer’s mind.

    Do you have any more tips on how to make use of the internet for a small business?

    6 ways small businesses can use the internet effectively

    *collaborative post

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  2. How to market your blog effectively offline *

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    7 Ways to promote your blog when you’re not online

    Colour Graphics recently produced this survey questioning how we bloggers market our blogs both online and offline.  It questions whether offline marketing is effective for bloggers and whether it’s used at all.  I mostly market my blog online, though I do not believe offline marketing is totally dead and for some it can still be a successful way to gain new readers.  When you start to think about it, you probably do market your blog offline without even thinking about it. Something as simple as telling someone about your blog and them going home and looking at your blog is successful offline marketing!

    Here are several simple ways to market your blog offline:

    Tell everyone you meet

    I expect you do this anyway?  If not, why not?  Be proud of your blog and skill!  I too felt embarrassed of my writing and blog when first starting out, but now I love my blog and I’m proud to share it with people.  It’s highly likely those you tell will ask you for your blog name or web address.

    How to market your blog effectively offline - 7 Ways to promote your blog

    Use business cards

    This ties in nicely with the above point – have a business card at the ready!  It’s so affordable nowadays to get a stack of business cards professionally printed, why not get some made for your blog?  As soon as someone asks for your URL you can give them a business card.  They’re great for dishing out at networking events and meet ups too so people can look at your blog after the event.  You might be able to leave a few in cafes and other reception areas that allow you to do so.

    Go to local networking events

    Find a local small business networking event and sign up.  You may meet other likeminded people and gain some valuable contacts.  Remember to take your business cards with you!

    Attend blog meet ups

    There are lots of blog meetups throughout the year in various locations where you can network with bloggers just like you.  This is a brilliant way to get new readers as they’ll be super interested in your blog and understand exactly what a blog is!

    How to market your blog effectively offline - 7 Ways to promote your blog

    Post a local ad

    Support your local leaflets and news by posting an ad about your blog.  You’ll have to come up with a really catchy tagline to entice the paper readers online!

    Use a car vinyl

    Have a car vinyl printed with your URL to stick on the rear screen of your car.  Make sure it’s clear to read when cars are waiting behind you.  Give friends and family one to stick on their car too.

    Write for a local paper

    Lots of local papers regularly need new writers about all sorts of topics.  Offer your services once a month and in return they should let you add your name and website under the article title or at the end. 

    What do you think?  Can you, or do you, successfully market your blog offline?

    You Baby Me Mummy

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  3. How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph

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    How to get more page views and more time to blog

    Wondering how to save hours every week by scheduling your tweets?  Wondering which platform allows you schedule tweets the easiest?  Wondering how to increase your page views and have more time to work on your blog?

    Read on!

    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph

    Blogging as a profession is hard work.  If you want to get your posts seen it takes a lot of time and effort.  One of the biggest things I see bloggers complaining about is lack of views.  My biggest complaint would be that I don't spend enough time actually blogging.

    Yep, believe it or not I don't blog enough!

    If I had it my way I'd be writing blog posts 24/7, but that's sadly not the reality.

    I probably spend 20% of my time writing if I'm lucky and the rest is spent doing admin, emails, updating spreadsheets, searching for work, finding images, updating social media, tweaking my website and so on.

    What if I told you there's a way you can save hours every day and get more page views?

    The answer is Twitter scheduling.  And most importantly, scheduling with Social Oomph.

    There are still the anti-scheduling bloggers out there, but personally for me it's so important. Scheduling  means I can get my content out there throughout the day, even if I'm not around, and instead concentrate my efforts on writing or other tasks. 

    After all, no one can be on social media 24/7 and have time to create amazing content and do all the other tasks that need doing daily.  Oh plus raise a family and keep a home, etc etc.

    Scheduling with Social Oomph means my content is regularly shared on Twitter to reach as many people as possible making Twitter my number one traffic source!

    How long do you spend scrolling your Twitter newsfeed each day?

    Me?  I spend around 10-20 minutes looking at my newsfeed each day.  I have notifications set up for the accounts I don’t want to miss and saved columns on Tweetdeck for those (like me) who post a lot.  Otherwise I don’t really spend that much time scrolling through the newsfeed.

    This means to be seen by me you’re really going to have to be posting exactly at the time I am looking at Twitter.

    So imagine you only post three tweets a day at 9am, 3pm and 6pm.  But I’m scrolling for twenty minutes at 9pm.  I’m not going to see your Tweet!

    Apparently the ‘life’ of a tweet is only 18 minutes.  Twitter is busy, very busy and if like me you follow thousands of people then only those who post often throughout the day are going to stand a chance of standing out.

    I used to schedule using Tweetdeck, but I spent one hour every morning scheduling that day’s tweets.  That was 7 hours a week.  That time could totally have been spent on growing my website in other ways.  That’s pretty much one whole day’s worth of work just spent on scheduling!

    Now you can see why I LOVE Social Oomph.

    It takes me a few minutes (if that) after writing each blog post to schedule it regularly for the next few weeks whilst it’s new content and then if it’s evergreen content I’ll add it to my ‘Blog Posts’ reservoir where it will go out forever more.  My blog posts reservoir has over 400 blog posts that are scheduled to go out once every 30 minutes during the day, one at a time, so it takes a long time to get through the lot, then it starts again!

    A few clicks and my new blog post is shared regularly for the next four weeks and occasionally forever more if I want it to be.

    That’s it.  It saves me hours every week being able to set up recurring and forever more tweets!

    Of course I still log in to Twitter two to four times per day to check my notifications, so don’t so leave those tweets running and run!  Make sure you still interact with those who interact with you.

    Social Oomph really is a no brainer if you want more traffic, more visibility on Twitter and a heck of a lot of time saved scheduling every week.

  4. 4 ways to improve your domain authority (DA)

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    Whoop my DA is back up. Here's how I think I did it.

    DA is a minefield. I had no idea until this year that it could fluctuate so much. Last year, once I found out about DA, mine was steadily increasing month on month.  This year the opposite happened.

    I went from being in the mid 30s to 28 from December to March.  It seemed the more I tried to increase it, the lower it went!

    Luckily this month it's gone from 28 up to 33.  In this blog post I'll share how I think this has happened.

     how to increase your blogs domain authority DA score 4 tips

    Now, I'm no expert and I really don't totally understand it at all, but I'll tell you what I've been doing as it may have helped.

    (Or it may not at all and next month who knows, my DA may just disappear altogether. Is that possible? I sincerely hope not.)

    Why worry about DA at all?

    I see so many arguments about this very subject all over social media between bloggers, SEO agencies and PR companies.

    I'd love to not worry about it, but unfortunately many companies offer greater opportunities for bloggers for those with a 'high' DA only. Once I dropped to 28 it meant I wasn't considered for campaigns requiring 30+ DAs. 

    When your blog is your main income you  need all the good opportunities you can get, so having a good DA becomes crucial.

    As you can probably tell I'm no expert, but I read what I can and here's what I think has upped my DA by 5 in a month:

    Remove broken links

    I will hang my head in shame as I had never done this! Oops! Apparently it can really affect your score. I had over 100 dead links so spent a whole afternoon finding them and removing them. Quite a lot were from bloggers leaving their blog URL in comments and now their blog no longer exists. It's a boring time consuming process, but a must. I'll do it once a month now and it won't feel like such a chore! Search Google for a dead link checker to find a free tool to check your site.

    Reinstate my home page

    I had a moment where I was going to remove my home page. I thought it was a bit pointless. I didn't remove it, but deleted all the text. I asked Twitter whether they thought home pages still had a purpose and luckily everyone said yes, so I kept it. Thing is I only had two images on it for a long while. I then read something saying internal links and information on a home page is held in high regard as it should explain what your website is about. So I rewrote my homepage and included lots of juicy internal links to all of my websites main topics.

    Increase back links

    This is one of the hardest things to know how to do as a blogger, but I have secured quite a few links from others this year. I'm always up for being interviewed and offering tips/captions for blog posts so I keep an eye out on Twitter/Facebook for these types of opportunities. I've also written a couple of guest posts, but must find the time to do more.  I've no idea if placing ads with other bloggers helps, but I've placed a few and it's always nice to support other bloggers with their advertising options.  They're often great value and you'll meet some wonderful bloggers.

    Add internal links

    I've been painstakingly going through my blog posts one by one in the hope of improving them both for my DA and SEO purposes (another minefield).  I've around 600 blog posts and I've gone through around 120 so far. Hopefully it's worth it! I'm moving my first image to below the first paragraph, instead of the first photo being at the very top of the blog post. This ensures the text is crawled first and not the image. I'm rewriting some of these intro paragraphs or creating them from scratch if there isn't one. I'm trying to include some key words in the opening sentences. I'm adding 2-3 relevant internal links per blog post. I'm also making sure each blog post is at least 300 words. Most are, but there were a couple that aren't. This is a mammoth ongoing task which I hope I'll get through soon! A few blog posts a day is my aim.  I've read quite a lot that internal links can boost SEO and good SEO can boost your DA.

    How is your DA this month? Do you have any tips for me?

    You Baby Me Mummy

     

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  5. How to set up the perfect home office *

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    Tips to create your perfect home office

    Having a home office when you work full time from home is pretty essential.  It keeps the ‘work’ slightly separate from the ‘house work’ by creating a work place.  It is also a great place to store everything work related in an organised manner.

    If you don’t have the space for a dedicated room as an office, perhaps you can turn part of a room or even a corner into your work space?  My home office is a third of my children’s playroom, divided off by their play sofa!  The plan was the children could play whilst mummy works, though it doesn’t always work out like that!  Ideally I would have a separate home office altogether, but this is something we will address once the children are older as Reuben is only two so needs to be with me at all times still.

    How to set up the perfect home office

    Here are a few tips for setting up the perfect home office:

    Position your desk near a window

    Natural light can really help to give you energy and keep you motivated.  It's much nicer than artificial light.  It can also provide a great view which is much better than staring at the wall.  If walls are your only option then pin up some of your favourite photos and motivational quotes.

    Invest in a comfy ergonomic chair

    If you work from home then you may not always sit at your desk.  I mostly curl up on the sofa with my laptop on a feather cushion, but if I have something really important to do I’ll sit upright at my desk.  It’s crucial to have a comfy well designed chair that isn’t going to break your back after a few hours work.

    Add greenery

    An indoor plant or some easy to care for succulents will instantly cheer up any desk, whilst also promoting calmness and happiness.  They’ll also give you something pleasant to look at whilst all those exciting business ideas are running through your mind.

    Keep it light

    Keep the walls and furniture a light colour and save any hectic colour schemes for the rest of the house.  Light calming colours will allow your mind to be free and concentrate on the task at hand.  If you’re a blogger like me invest in a white desk – it’s a great background for all those product shots.

    Hang a custom door sign

    Do you have an amazing business logo that you’d like to show off?  Why not consider a custom internal door sign created by a company such as Stocksigns?  This will make your workspace more professional and will definitely impress any clients who call by.

    Declutter

    Tidy desk, tidy mind, or so the saying goes.  A clutter free workspace will help to keep you more organised and focused on the task in hand.

    Do you work from home?  What are your top tips for creating the perfect work space?

    You Baby Me Mummy

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