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View Full Version : Is blog or article better for increasing business?



wenwriter
07-16-2007, 05:51 PM
I have my own website for my business (www.writeonthedot.com). For some time now, I've been writing and posting an article on my site that is intended to help my target market (and thus increase my business). Now I'm beginning to wonder if posting an article is not the best approach and if instead, I should be adding a blog to my website?

In your opinion, which do you think would be more successful in increasing clients?

Thanks a bunch!

HBada
07-17-2007, 12:03 AM
I checked out your website. Nice looking home page.
The other pages are quite impressive too, not overbearing but classy.

You were asking whether to switch your article for a blog instead (the original post is not visible at the moment). I quickly read "Designing Websites for the Elderly..." and I like the content you included there.

I think it's exactly what you need, a helpful-info type of article to show that you are consultant-level in your writing specialty. Of course, only people who found your website will read it, but that's ok. It's a confirming piece to erase doubt they had about your abilities, right? A blog seems too invasive into your lifestyle, IMHO, and could make it look like you've got too much spare time. You're marketing to an industry, right? So those individual people have information overload, deadlines, and real stress; a concise article is much easier for them to get hooked on, I suggest.

Off the top of my head, I was wondering on a similar issue, have you tried to write articles for mainstream news, or done any public speaking to expose your expertise to the masses? For example, write an article on healthcare for a chamber of commerce newsletter. Your byline would say "Wendy... health industries writer at Write on the Dot services in Maryland" or something else that makes them take down your name and number. You also want them to print and save that article for future reference. It's a good article for that reason.

Personally I would also pick a marketing purpose for that article-either that they should save it for later reference (tell them "Here are some of my techniques that are useful even for your internal memo writing")-- don't give away your secrets until they've indicated interest in hiring you! Or, tell them your expertise is available for hire in the healthcare specialty- as opposed to hiring someone else or hiring no one-- and make bold the "offer" that you will work on projects as an independent contributor without all the hassles of dealing with an ad agency or overworked staff writer. The actual tips you give are good, of course, but you could get away with also offering yourself for hire, with the mood: "here are some techniques I use, and I'll share them with you so you can be more productive." This is just a re-hashing of advice given in the writers' books at my library.

P.S. I aim for my future web site to be as organized and inviting as yours.
Cheers. Heidi Bada in Victoria B.C.

wenwriter
07-17-2007, 11:36 PM
Good advice, and I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Thanks a bunch!

limitedtimeauthor
07-24-2007, 07:55 AM
Wenwriter, I have to disagree. I think a blog would be a great addition.

I looked at your site and thought it was fabulous. And the article on designing websites for the elderly was impressive - it shows that you know what you're doing. But immediately, I was looking for links to other helpful articles, to see what else you know.

Since a blog allows you to archive previous posts, you can gain credibility by making that part of your site a wealth of information.

I don't think it will look like you have too much time on your hands if you're providing helpful, knowledgeable content to your site's visitors.

My .02.

ltd.

Kathleen F.
08-09-2007, 03:11 AM
Now I'm beginning to wonder if posting an article is not the best approach and if instead, I should be adding a blog to my website? In your opinion, which do you think would be more successful in increasing clients?

I continue to be amazed at the number of writers, technical or otherwise, that don't have blogs. Blogs were invented for people like us!

I started a blog on a whim, under pressure. I was dating this guy who was hoping I'd take to it, which would leave me less time to hang out in single's chat rooms. Two and half years later, I have the number one site in my industry. Being self published, without distribution and selling in strictly trade (my industry) circles and not book stores, I sold enough books to live on (word of mouth) but I didn't have money for a lot of extras. After I started blogging tho, things changed quite a bit. While I'm certainly not wealthy, money is no longer a problem. Two years later, I have no debt other than a mortgage and have saved money. If you're looking for "fame", you get that too and many opportunities you'd never have had. Assuming your site fills a niche and meets visitor's needs. Regardless, you'll get exposure you wouldn't have had. Search engines like blogs too, more than static sites.

I married that guy I was dating btw. He says he knew it'd be a money maker and that I am/was his retirement plan.

Jeff Colburn
09-26-2007, 11:20 PM
Here's what you need to do:

* Keep posting your articles on your website.
* Create a blog and post the articles there too.
* Put your articles on as many free article sites as you can find, and include a good resource box.
* Go to MySpace and create a blog here with the same content as your first blog
* Go to Squidoo and create a lens.

These steps will get your name out there, and since you're using the same content it won't take that much longer.

Have Fun,
Jeff

lykke
09-30-2007, 03:29 AM
Adding a blog certainly couldn't hurt, but in my own experience I find most business folks aren't interested in reading blogs (or they don't see it as a business activity, but instead as something one does during their personal time.)

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

Dawno
10-03-2007, 07:01 AM
A number of large (Fortune 500-large) companies (including the one I work for) are adopting a very different attitude about communication and collaboration via the web. These same companies are "building" virtual campuses on Second Life, promoting sites like "LinkedIn" for networking and encouraging the growth of internal wiki's for project collaboration. My opinion is that more business folk than ever are interested in blogs and blogging, as well, and it will continue to grow and evolve.

Go for it.

Susan Flemming
10-03-2007, 10:02 PM
Here's what you need to do:

* Keep posting your articles on your website.
* Create a blog and post the articles there too.
* Put your articles on as many free article sites as you can find, and include a good resource box.
* Go to MySpace and create a blog here with the same content as your first blog
* Go to Squidoo and create a lens.

These steps will get your name out there, and since you're using the same content it won't take that much longer.

Have Fun,
Jeff

Actually... I've read several different articles that say reposting the same content over and over on different websites/blogs is frowned upon by the major search engines and can lead to your site being penalized or receiving lowered page rankings.

talkwrite
10-04-2007, 07:12 PM
Actually... I've read several different articles that say reposting the same content over and over on different websites/blogs is frowned upon by the major search engines and can lead to your site being penalized or receiving lowered page rankings.

I would have to agree with this but from the site visitor's POV. It may look like you are using repeated articles as filler which indicates a lack of material.

Susan Flemming
10-04-2007, 08:27 PM
It may look like you are using repeated articles as filler which indicates a lack of material.

Good point, talkwrite. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but you're right it could look like that to a site visitor.

K-Mark
10-05-2007, 02:17 AM
Hi, Wendy. I agree with those who like your site. it is very professional. And that is saying a lot because I work for a web design company and I've seen people come to us with some very poor websites and leave with very good websites.

I wanted to give my opinion on a blog. I think it would be a good fit for you. People are correct when they say that not all websites or industries need or a good fit for a blog. Evaluate it on a case by case basis. However, it would be a good idea for you to have a blog. Here is why...

1) You are a porfessional writer. It would be a good idea to show people how well you write. A quasi-showcase.

2) You are trying to generate business (leads). One of the great ways to garner interest is to teach, write, inform, and connect. A blog can help you do this.

3) You are establishing yourself as a professional in your field (writing). A great way to establish your professionalism is to talk about your professionalism. I know it sounds egotisitical, but it is true. If you are confident and proud of what you do, talk about it like a professional. Or in this case blog about it.

There are some reasons I think a blog is a fit for you. As I said I work for a web desing company and I am the marketing manager. I am the SEO, SEM, PPC, online marketing specialist for the websites we design. As of September, I began a blog about online marketing, website design, and blogging. (www.onlinemarketingstudy.blogspot.com (http://www.onlinemarketingstudy.blogspot.com)). It is fairly new, but I write every day. The reasons? Establish myself as a professional. Help others who cannot afford agency services, generate interest in my services for those who can afford my firm's talents. Awareness, instruction, lead generation.

As for search engines and blogs, Engines love blogs. Why? Fresh, updated content. Engines do not read graphics or images, only text, therefore feeding the spiders frequent updated text about your services, helps them understand where they should rank you in regards to certain keyword phrases. Like handing them flies on a platter.;)

Hope this helps. If you have any questions about setting up or getting started, I'd love to help. Feel free to PM me at any time.

Jeff Colburn
10-06-2007, 07:04 AM
Actually... I've read several different articles that say reposting the same content over and over on different websites/blogs is frowned upon by the major search engines and can lead to your site being penalized or receiving lowered page rankings.

This information usually comes from the free article sites that want to tell visitors that they have articles that other sites don't. Matt Bacak has a staff writer that writes 3-10 articles a day, then submits these articles to hundreds of free article sites. When you do searches for his stuff he's usually on the first page of search engines, and often in the number 1 or 2 spot.

You're probably asking yourself, as I did, how he submits to hundreds of article sites every day. He uses Article Submitter Pro. It's about $170 and automatically submits your article to over 900 articles sites. You can check it out here http://www.articlesubmitterpro.com/ I plan on buying it soon. I currently use the free version of Article Submitter here http://articlesubmitter.imwishlist.com/ which lets me quickly submit my articles to almost 90 article sites.

Have Fun,
Jeff

BohemianWordsmith
10-07-2007, 12:07 AM
^You mean you don't believe in duplicate content penalty?

Jeff Colburn
10-09-2007, 10:50 AM
^You mean you don't believe in duplicate content penalty?

Nope.

What the search engines are looking for is mirror sites, but the article only appears once on a website and each website is different so it doesn't show as a mirror site. Headers, links, and other items are different on each site so it looks unique to the search engines. Besides, the same topic appears in hundreds or thousands of articles all over the net and the search engines don't care.

Have Fun,
Jeff

talkwrite
10-09-2007, 11:49 PM
O.K. I'm curious. It sounds like a great tool. I thought I was doing good enough with Writers Market online.
BUT
I checked out the product site and it doesn't tell you how how the program does the market search. I would need to target by genre or topic. I would need to know that it covers a technical subject area which is the umbrella topic of my articles.
Does it track and manage your submissions record?
And it mentions other software that does this, can it get any less expensive?
Thanks!

Jeff Colburn
10-10-2007, 12:32 PM
The free one I use has a spot to put notes for each site, and it has a column that shows when you last went to that specific site. The first time you use these programs it takes time. You have to register with some sites, and see what they cover. But after the first time it gets much easier. It all boils down to this question. Do you have more time or more money? The answer will tell you which product to use.

My girlfriend just came across this http://neoarticle.com/login.php After you log in you can download a free article submission software package that submits to 300-400 places automatically. Haven't tried it yet, but for free I will.

Have Fun,
Jeff

talkwrite
10-10-2007, 06:15 PM
Thanks. But what markets pool does this program work from ? Is it all ezines in publication or can you count on a good selection of a specific genre. Some of these search providers don't- that's my concern.

Jeff Colburn
10-12-2007, 08:25 AM
It's pretty much a shotgun approach, they all are. Some article sites will specialize in specific fields, but not many. By offering a broad selection of topics, they get more people to use their site.

Have Fun,
Jeff

talkwrite
10-13-2007, 12:22 AM
Gotcha. Think I'll stick with the trade publications then.
Thanks
Have a groovy weekend.

Talia
11-02-2007, 04:26 PM
I think blogging is the way to go. People like fresh information and they like to be able to search archives for helpful resources and a blog is an easy way to do that.

Don't forget to check out AW's blogging forum for more information...

Sophia2
12-02-2007, 03:14 AM
I continue to be amazed at the number of writers, technical or otherwise, that don't have blogs. Blogs were invented for people like us!

I started a blog on a whim, under pressure. I was dating this guy who was hoping I'd take to it, which would leave me less time to hang out in single's chat rooms. Two and half years later, I have the number one site in my industry. Being self published, without distribution and selling in strictly trade (my industry) circles and not book stores, I sold enough books to live on (word of mouth) but I didn't have money for a lot of extras. After I started blogging tho, things changed quite a bit. While I'm certainly not wealthy, money is no longer a problem. Two years later, I have no debt other than a mortgage and have saved money. If you're looking for "fame", you get that too and many opportunities you'd never have had. Assuming your site fills a niche and meets visitor's needs. Regardless, you'll get exposure you wouldn't have had. Search engines like blogs too, more than static sites.

I married that guy I was dating btw. He says he knew it'd be a money maker and that I am/was his retirement plan.

Fantastic, well done!

Sophia

Dustry Joe
12-29-2007, 11:38 PM
Not a bad looking website, attractive without distraction. One suggestion I would have is that the way the background textured blocks work is odd, giving an unfinished look. I would suggest that you run your dark texture as BG for the entire page, and use the pink only on the block where you have your blurbs.

Blogs are all fashionable and everybody has one whether they have anything to say or not, but I really have a hard time seeing how they would help you with this.

What you have here is not something vying for eyeballs and "stickY". It's essentially a businesscard/flyer for the web.

People who want your services aren't there to be entertained, they are there to evaulate you as a potential provider of writing services.

A lot of what you see on current sites (like flash animation intros) is fun for the designer but actually harmful to the job at hand.

Try to put yourself in the place of a prospective client and ask yourself, "What is going to be in a blog that will sell me on this gal?" I don't think you'll come up with much, actually.

BTW
I thought it odd your name isn't on the home page.

Also...I am seeing blue, underlined links which clashes with your page. (I personally HATE underlines on links...I use colors and underline in the HOVER) I see your css file but not the colors it specs. You might consider a quick brushup on css sheets and redo of the specs for links.