Category Archives: Starting a Small Business Website

Tips and advice for starting up your small business website.

3 Ways to Sell Shoes Online

If you have shoes that you want to sell, whether they’re used or new, online outlets make it easier to advertise and sell your wares.

If you are a shoe fanatic looking for a low-maintenance way to make money online, consider combining your two interests. Sell shoes online for a profit as a small business idea. You choose the latest styles to feature and push your fashion ideas to the public while making money. When you decide to sell shoes online, you have a number of options to choose from to accomplish your goal.

Sell Shoes Online Using Amazon Services

Sign up as a professional seller with Amazon Services. This program allows you to sell your shoes on the popular Amazon website. You will either pay a per-item fee (small individual sellers) or a monthly service charge to keep your account open (professional sellers) in addition to a few other expenses. You can establish and design your own seller store where customers can view your shoe catalog. Amazon is an ideal way to get your small online shoe store exposure fairly quickly because of the millions of visitors to this website. Choose between a monthly plan or a per sale arrangement to get your Amazon shoe store started.



Sell Shoes Online on eBay

Set up an account on eBay.com as an alternative. eBay is an ideal choice for someone who wants to start off small to test the waters with a few pairs of shoes, gauge demand, then grow by posting more shoe styles. You’ll pay a per-listing fee for each item you want to sell. Enter information about the color and style of each shoe you are selling. If you are selling a “lot” of the same style of shoes, select the “Fixed Price” option on the “Sell Your Item” wizard. Set the duration of the eBay listing for as long as possible (at least 30 days) to allow plenty of time for shoe lovers to find and browse your collection.

Sell Shoes Online by Creating Your Own Website

Create your own web store to sell shoes online. Sign up for a web-hosting service that has a “web store” feature and start adding shoe pictures and descriptions as well as available sizes and colors to your product catalog. If you don’t want to apply for an internet merchant account, you can sign up for a business account with PayPal to accept payments from customers. PayPal also allows you to set up an online store without any additional monthly fees. Keep in mind that this option requires a lot more work than selling on an established website. You have to generate traffic to your website, design the site from scratch and develop a reputation with customers all on your own.





Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Your Small Business Website: Planning Tips

The purpose of a small business website is to increase sales, leads and exposure to your brand. It’s also a way to inform prospective buyers and clients about your products and services so that they can make an educated buying decision. But your website has to be planned and executed correctly in order to be effective. Here are some tips for planning and developing your website.

Picking the Right Domain Name

The first detail to consider when you’re planning to create a small business website is the domain name you will choose. This is not a small matter — this is the name that people will come to recognize you by over time. Here are a few tips for picking the right domain name:

  • Use your company name for the domain name (i.e. HomeDepot.com or Forbes.com) if this website will be used mainly to establish and build your brand.
  • Use a name that describes what you do (FlowersandVeggies.com) if your main goal is to increase web traffic from search engines.
  • Do keyword research to find out what your target audience is searching for online when they want what you sell, then try to incorporate that word or phrase into your domain name.
  • Keep your domain name as short and catchy as possible so that it’s easy to remember.
  • Use simple, everyday terms in your domain name; words that an 8th grader would understand.
  • Stick with a dot com or dot net domain name whenever possible (maybe dot biz); most people trust clicking to a “com” or “net” address over the others.

Will Your Website Be Information-Rich or Action-Oriented?

Some business websites are designed to educate the consumer and provide extensive guidance or advice on a subject while others are meant to inspire quick action (a sale or a sign up). Decide which method best fits what you’re trying to sell because it will have an effect on how you build the site (the approach to designing and planning your site is also called “website architecture”).

Choosing a Design Platform

Once you know the general style and focus for your website, the next step is to decide which tool or program you will use to create it. Here are a few of the most popular methods:

–          HTML text editor. This is the most basic yet time-consuming way to create a website. You would use Notepad or a similar text editor program to manually type in HTML, PHP, JavaScript and other code to develop the website. Heavy website coding skills and knowledge are needed.

–          Web-based multiple page website builder. A number of online website building services give you web-based tools that you can use from your browser to put a multiple page site together using drag and drop features.

–          Web-based one-page website builder. This is a fairly new way to create a small business website. It is a web-based tool that also has “drag and drop” and “type and save” functionality, but it creates a dynamic and responsive one-pager site. All this means is that the entire website, including specific sections, is on one scrollable page that’s mobile-friendly. This is best for a modern, action-oriented website.

–         Standalone Software. There are standalone web design software programs that you can use to build a basic multi-page or mobile-friendly website. You should be at least moderately familiar with HTML and web design.

–          WordPress.org (or WordPress.com). If you’re planning to create an information-rich small business website with plenty of content (namely blog posts) posted over time, a WordPress site may be your best bet. It allows you to set up your site design using a free or paid WordPress template, then post blog updates whenever you want. You can also add new pages to your site that have the same design with just a few clicks. With WordPress.org you host the files on your own server (maintaining total control; flexibility) and with WordPress.com they are hosted by WordPress (limited control and options).

If you are not familiar with how to use these tools to create a website and would rather focus your time on other matters, hire someone who does. A designer will also be able to provide more guidance on what tool is best for creating your small business website.

Your Content Plan

Once your small business website is up and running you will quickly realize that you need content — a whole lot of it — on a regular basis. The more high quality, search engine optimized content you post to your website (namely the blog), the higher its chance of being picked up by search engines. One statistic shows that companies who blog get 55% more web traffic. So if there’s an investment you definitely want to make in your website, it should be in writing content yourself or buying content from skilled writers.

Planning your small business website will take some time, but that’s okay — it’s best to take your time to ensure that it’s right. Once your site is finally up and running you can focus your attention on other details, like how to funnel more traffic to your site using social media, ads and promotions.

 

Louise Gaillard is a professional writer, marketing consultant and the author of Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Picking a Keyword for Your Small Business Press Release

You want to write a small biz press release that gets the right attention from media sources, journalists and bloggers. Here are a few tips.

Though many internet marketers have discovered that using press releases strictly for SEO (search engine optimization) linking purposes is not as effective as in the past, it is still valuable to write them when announcing important new business developments and offerings. One of the most important decisions to make when writing and submitting a small business press release is to choose the keyword phrase that would best attract the right attention to your story. Here’s a few tips for how to pick the right keywords for your small biz press release.

What Is Your Goal?

Decide what you want to achieve by writing this press release. For example, let’s say that its purpose is to announce the opening of a new online store that sells bird cages. Your main goal here is to attract editors at bird magazines, the pets and animals sections of popular news websites, shops and bloggers who write about pet birds. Now create a list of the types of things these people might type into a search engine when looking for stories. For instance, new bird cages, designer bird cages, bird cage technology, etc.

Google Keyword Tool

Pull up the Google Keyword Planner tool (available to Google AdWords subscribers) or a similar tool that will help you select keywords that will apply to your small business press release. What would people who are interested in your business search for online? In the earlier example obviously a keyword phrase containing the words “bird cages” is a wise starting point. Start with that and the keyword tool will provide you with more suggestions.

The keyword tool suggests a number of similar or more specific search phrases that you can use, such as “wooden decorative bird cages” or “Feng Shui bird cages.” Choose keywords that have low to medium competition and a solid number of monthly visits (at minimum of 1,000 per month). You may have much more success being found using keywords that don’t have too much competition with moderate monthly traffic over those with a lot of competition and a very high number of monthly hits.

Inserting Your Keyword Phrases

Choose your main keyword phrase to use in your press release and mention it three times in a 350-400 word piece – once at in the headline, once in the beginning paragraph, once in the middle and once at the end. Don’t overdo it, because that could turn off some search engines — they might look at it as keyword stuffing. If you’re going to provide a link to a page on your website, only use one (maybe two) that fit naturally within the context of your story so that readers can seek more information about the topic.

If you take the time to write it correctly, a small business press release can be a very valuable tool for your company. In addition to grabbing the interest of potential media contacts and announcing your plans to the world, it could also improve the visibility of your company website.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Small Business Tip: Invest in Good Web Content for Your Site ASAP

Making an investment in good web content is a key to long-term business success when marketing your company’s products and services online.

I have been writing professionally for well over 10 years now. When I first started out, I worked for a variety of clients who paid me for the full rights to each article that I wrote.

When I think back on the many hundreds (possible thousands) of high quality articles and blog posts that I wrote for these clients over the years, I have to wonder how much money these articles and posts have made them by now. Probably a fortune compared to what I was paid for full rights.

A Hypothetical Example
It’s probably impossible to come up with an accurate figure for the ROI on a good piece of content because there are so many different variables, so I’ll just theorize with a hypothetical example.

Say you sell a useful gadget on your website that costs $40.

You hire someone to write a quality blog post or article to post on your website that is related to your business, industry or product. This evergreen (relevant indefinitely) content that you post is compelling enough to draw a 2 percent conversion rate from your traffic (I think that’s modest).

Here is a conservative, hypothetical model of the traffic that the article draws over the next 5 years:

1st year: 5 clicks per week in first 6 months it’s published; 15 clicks per week in the second 6 months = 390 clicks per year

2nd year: 25 clicks per week = 1300 per year

3rd year: 35 clicks per week = 1820 per year

4th year: 45 clicks per week = 2340 per year

5th year: 50 clicks per week = 2600 per year

Total traffic from this one piece of content over 5 years = 8,450

So with a conversion rate of 2% that one article sold 16 gadgets for a total of $640.

Say you paid $100 to a content writer for full rights to produce that custom blog post (500-1000 words). The return on investment (ROI) is

(Return – Investment)/Investment

640-100/100 = 5.4 or 540%

This is a conservative estimate of how the content would perform, but clearly this would be a smart investment for your business. Not to mention the sales continue indefinitely into the future.

In Conclusion
So when you’re managing a small business website, whether it’s to sell a product or service, you have to look at each initial expenditure as a long term investment. An investment in quality content is one of the best decisions you’ll look back on 3, 5 or 10 years into the future.

 

Louise Gaillard is a writer, marketing consultant and the author of Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Make Cool Interactive One-Page Websites with this Free Website Builder

My review of Strikingly – a web-based Website Builder that produces attractive one-pager sites for businesses, projects and personal branding.

Let’s face it, the usefulness of developing a full scale website with countless navigation options is pretty much over — at least for small to mid-sized businesses. Most people visit a website, look at one or a few pages/blog posts, and then move onto other things. This is especially true for social media users.

Website visitors just don’t have the time to luxuriously browse every site they encounter.

So what if you offered them a one-page site that was fully equipped with everything they need to know in a quick and attractive responsive format?

That’s basically what Strikingly offers. It’s an online website building software that allows you to create modern-looking one-page websites using easy clickable tools — you don’t need any coding skills. You can pretty much see what they offer by visiting the Strikingly home page and scroll down.

My Experience

I tried out the software for myself because it looked like something that would work for a few of my offerings, including my Kindle books and content writing services.

These were the benefits / results that I found after using this software:

  • Strikingly gets you started right away. Literally in seconds you’re designing. There are no delays or requests for a credit card, etc.
  • There aren’t too many choices for templates, which is actually a good thing. There are studies about how the more choices someone has, the less likely they are to make a good choice. One of the templates they provide will likely work for your specific purpose (business/project, personal or portfolio).
  • The software provides tracking details for the previous 24 hours or 7 days. Longer analytic reports are available to pro users.
  • The final result after using the web builder is a very attractive, responsive site that inspires quick ACTION. This is the site where people will go when they’re ready to make a purchase. The entire finished site that you create is basically a very nice looking squeeze / sales page.
  • The mobile version of the site also looks great (automatic) and is easy to navigate. It funnels the visitor quickly to the “buy now” link.
  • The publishing process is nice and quick, just how I like it. It took me about 2 hours to edit and publish.

I have created and managed many websites over the years, and though I love doing it, it can take days to get it just right. So 2 hours (which includes the time I spent creating a custom header) is pretty great. I decided to feature one of my books on Twitter advice and tips on my first Strikingly site. Here is what the finished product looks like:

home
The “Home” Section
The "Info" Section
The “Info” Section
The "Benefits/Features" Section
The “Benefits/Features” Section
The "Buy Now" Section
The “Buy Now” Section
contactme
The “Contact” Section

 

These are all elements of the same “page.” Looks pretty nice, huh? I’ve already been getting some traffic to it after tweeting it to my followers and will probably be tweaking it some more, possibly adding a different background. Everything is pretty much already set up, including the contact box at the end — I just had to add my email address to receive messages from customers.

Here are some other notable features of this website building software:

  1. Social media “share” links are automatically provided.
  2. It offers simple publishing tools (simple enough for a beginner).
  3. Custom settings can be made for the title, descriptions, header and footer.
  4. It offers options to adjust the style (fonts and colors) to fit your branding.
  5. Upgrading to a pro plan provides even more options (like adding a custom domain or buying a domain, adding more sections and adding custom codes).
  6. Strikingly has a “Discover” page where people can go to browse all of the current sites using this software — another way to draw new traffic to your site.
  7. SEO-optimized design.

So Who Would Love This Software?
Here is a short list of the people who I think would love  and benefit from the Strikingly one-page website builder:

  • A seller who has a clearly defined product that can be purchased online/shipped. If you sell one or two products, you’ll like this software. It allows you to feature the product front and center and then provide more information about it.
  • Someone selling a package or basket of products related to a specific theme. A lot of retailers are finding success combining existing products into convenient packages for sale, like Valentine’s Day packages, haircare products or “new pet kits.”
  • A professional who offers a set of services that can be packaged neatly. Writers, consultants, graphic designers and other service providers can use it to set up a portfolio and list their offerings in an attractive format.
  • A local business that wants to attract new business online. Advanced mobile options are available to pro plan users like calling, texting and getting directions to an address.
  • Folks who don’t have the time or know-how to create an attractive responsive website. It’s just a matter of clicking, typing and uploading images.
  • Entrepreneurs who know the art of the “squeeze” page. Sales writers will have an easy time setting one of these pages up for quick sales.
  • Businesses that want to collect email addresses from social media users. Most social media marketers understand that your best shot at turning a Twitter user into a customer is to get their email address. You can create a compelling argument for why they should do that in an easy to follow format using your Strikingly one-pager.
  • A marketer who writes sales pages and needs a better looking way to present them. A lot of online marketers swear by long-form sales pages, but they aren’t always the most aesthetically pleasing sites. Strikingly allows you to set up a sales page that’s more interactive, attractive and easy to navigate.
  • Story telling. Some businesses need to tell a story in order to sell their product or service effectively. These one-page Strikingly sites provide a simple platform to do just that — section by section you can tell your story then give them a “buy now” link at the end.
  • Someone promoting a crowd funding effort or social cause. The one-page style of a Strikingly site makes it a perfect place to talk about your fundraising project or to promote a charitable cause.
  • A job seeker. The site offers a resume builder (integrated with your LinkedIn profile) so that you can create an interactive resume to distribute to prospective hiring companies.

The paid plans are pretty affordable, ranging from $12-$20 per month (less if you purchase a yearly plan instead of monthly). You can try out an upgraded plan for 14 days before paying to see how it works.

A Simple Solution

If I could use one descriptive word for Strikingly, I would say “simplicity.” As someone who has managed many different websites and keeps a fairly busy schedule, anything that makes my life easier and simpler while giving me nice results is a winner. I’m thinking about using these Strikingly sites to set up a new business.

Bookmark this post — I may do an SEO update in the future.

 

About the Author:
Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and the author of Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.


Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Why Do 55% of Small Businesses Not Have a Website?

A recent news story revealed new data showing that a majority of small businesses still don’t have a website as of 2013. To be exact, about 55% of small businesses surveyed said they don’t have an online web address. The process of creating a website is fairly simple thanks to easy web tools and WordPress, so what’s stopping small business owners from establishing websites in this day and age?

Fear of Uncontrollable Growth

You know, most people want their businesses to grow, but not everyone does. Some people are comfortable with their current volume of business and don’t want to expand. When a company gets to a certain level of success and notoriety, it can become overwhelming for some people to manage. So some owners may not want to get online out of fear of uncontrollable growth and too much of a demand on their time.

Little to No Computer Knowledge

A good portion of small business owners are over the age of 55 (about a third). They don’t have much knowledge or interest in the Internet or computers. If they do use the computer it’s to check email occasionally — managing and updating a website is out of the question. Lack of knowledge and general mistrust of the world wide web could be a reason why so many small businesses aren’t online.

It’s Just Not Really Necessary

Although I’m one of those people who believes that every business can benefit from having a website, some companies just don’t see the point. For instance, unless a pizza restaurant plans to take online orders, it doesn’t really need a site. It can get plenty of foot traffic by simply getting listed in online directories and putting up a huge sign outside of the door.

However, some storefront businesses can actually benefit from having a website but just don’t know it. For instance, a small neighborhood boutique could double its business by setting up a quick web store and posting fashions for sale online. A dance studio could post videos of classes on a simple WordPress website and get a surge of new visitors ready to hand over some cash.

There are some viable reasons why 55 percent of small business owners still don’t have a website — plenty of companies stay in operation without one. But at a time when close to 80 percent of Americans and over a third of the world population are online you have to ask yourself, why not?

 

Louise Gaillard is a social media manager, prolific writer and author.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

3 Simple SEO Tips for Small Businesses

When you put your small business website online you’ll quickly learn that SEO (search engine optimization) is key to your site’s overall success. Search engine optimization is the process of publishing your site so that search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing will index it and find your posts for the best possible ranking. Here are a few simple SEO tips for small businesses that might help you get better results. The effectiveness of these tips may vary depending on the latest Google update (as of this posting it is called “Hummingbird” — who knows, it could be Elephant, Tiger, Bear or Kangaroo in the future) but they are still good practice, no matter the algorithm.

Use Long Tail Keyword Phrases

Sites that have been around for 3, 5, 10 years or more are likely going to occupy the top spots of popular one and 2-word keyword phrases that get a lot of traffic. If you want to get more traffic to your business website, start using long-tailed keywords in your posts and pages. For instance, instead of optimizing a post for the search term “cat advice” you might use “long-haired Persian kitten advice” instead. Get specific and use those phrases in your posts. Sometimes all you need to do is add a couple of adjectives to make it a good long-tail keyword phrase. Use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword planner (available to AdWords accounts) to learn about long tail keyword ideas that get a good amount of monthly traffic.

Title, First Paragraph, Last Paragraph

Keyword stuffed articles don’t work as well as they did in the past (repeating the keyword phrase over and over again). However, it’s still valuable to use keyword phrases in your article. Try posting the phrase once in the title, once in the first paragraph and once in the last paragraph as a rule of thumb.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

There was a time when website publishers thought that quantity was the most important thing. The strategy was this: just throw up as many keyword-rich articles possible, even if they barely made sense, and get a good ranking. Back then, that strategy worked, but now it’s probably the worst idea you could possibly implement if you want your small business website to succeed and get ranked.

Focus on publishing high quality content over publishing a high quantity of content. Search engines are looking for sites that provide searchers with the answers that they’re looking for in a well-written, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand format. The general rule of thumb is to write your website content (especially blog posts) in language that an 8th grade student would clearly understand.

Provide Value

The best advice I can give you about SEO optimizing your website for success is to provide your web visitors with value. When you do get a click, your visitor should leave feeling as if he’s learned something new — preferably he won’t leave until he buys your product or service!



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Create a Nice Small Business Website in 1 Hour for $18

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????There really isn’t any excuse not to have a professional-looking small business website thanks to WordPress. Even if you do not sell things online, it’s good to have a website for your business. Here is a simple process for creating a small biz site in under one hour (assuming you’re familiar with internet basics) for $18.

– Visit WordPress.com and sign up for a new account using your business name.

– When you’re signed in, choose the option to purchase a domain for $18 (price as of the date of this initial posting).

– Select the option to activate the newly purchased domain name for your new WordPress site.

– Click the “Appearance” button on the dashboard and then “Themes.” Choose the drop down option to view all FREE themes.

– Activate the theme that you like best and select the option to customize it to your liking (options are limited for free themes).

– Click the “Pages” button to add pages to your site (About, Contact, Squeeze/Sales page)

– Update the “Widgets” (also located under the “Appearance” menu) with links to the pages advertising your offerings or service.

– Start posting blogs related to the theme of your new business to draw traffic to your site.

BOOM you’re done.

Of course the process will take more than one hour when you count up the time you’ll spend updating, posting to and tweaking your new small business website on WordPress, but there’s no reason why it should take you more than an hour to get it started. No excuses!

Now keep in mind, if you want more options and freedom to do what you want with your new small business website, will have to establish it with the software at WordPress.org. This is the official WordPress software that you host and manage on your own hosting account. That requires you to get a web hosting plan that supports WordPress installations. Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand every single detail just yet — you’ll get the hang of all this as time goes on.

Expect to pay about $10 per month for a hosting plan (here’s one for $6.99 per month). Most web hosts have a one-click installation and easy instructions for how to update your site. In most cases you’ll update your WordPress website from http://www.mywebsite.com/wp-admin (where “mywebsite.com” is replaced by your actual domain name). The management process is very similar to how you would update it using WordPress.com . If you want a more attractive theme than the ones offered for free, you can find a nice one that can be customized to your needs here.

So there you go. Jump in and get started so that you can finally put a classy website address on your business cards.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Small Business Blogging Tips: Getting People to Read Your Blog Posts

The average blog reader isn’t going to read your whole post unless they’re hooked from the start. If you don’t grab their attention right away, they’re going to hit the ‘back’ button on their browser and forget that they ever even visited your blog. There are several things that you can do to draw the reader in and compel them to not only read your entire small business blog post, but also to take a look at your products, services and offerings.

readingThe Title Is Crucial
Coming up with a great title for your small business blog post is incredibly important because it’s what first inspires the reader to click on your site in the first place. It should encompass what your post is all about in an inspiring way. For example, if you run a boutique and you’re writing a post about the latest fashions, don’t give your post a generic title like “The Latest Fashions for Spring.” The average browser is going to assume your post is as common and everyday as your title. Instead, try something like “2014 Fashions that Will Make Him Do a Double Take” or something else to inspire action. That’s the type of title that gets clicks.

Have an Opinion and Stick to It
It’s important to have a solid point that you want to make in each blog post. Keep coming back to that point and have strong proof to back it up. To grab maximum attention it helps to be a bit controversial and ruffle some feathers, but be true to yourself and your business. Don’t be bold or contrary just for shock value, but it’s important to get your reader feeling strongly about your post, even if she disagrees. If the reader is moved to respond or leave a comment, you’ve hooked her in and she may bookmark your site for future visits.

People Do Judge Books by Their Covers
While your content is absolutely the most important part of your small business blog, the cosmetic stuff matters too. If you use a generic, boring theme, the reader might judge your blog before he even reads a word that you’ve written. You might want to invest in a paid WordPress blog template that was created by a professional designer and either learn how to integrate it with your website or hire someone who does. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in how people interact with your blog.

Other ways to make your blog look more interesting:

– Use expressive pictures or art in each post that are related to the content (make sure the photos are public domain or royalty-free and you have the rights).
– Use larger call out quotes to draw attention to important points in the text.
– Add widgets to the side of the content with links to your other interesting blog posts to encourage visitors to stay around awhile.
– Add widgets showing your recent activity and comments on social media.

Above all, to get people to actually read your small business blog, you must develop your own unique voice. Just focus on blogging about the things that you know and care about—your passion and personality will do all of the “hard” work for you.

 

 

© Dreamstime Stock Photography & Video Footage | Dreamstime Stock Photos


Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Blogging Tips: Generating Ideas for Your Small Business Blog

Blogging can be fun and it gives you the freedom to decide how you will communicate with your website visitors. However it can be difficult to choose topics to blog about that will not only pique the interest of your visitors but also draw in new traffic to your small business site. Explore these tips for how to choose topics for your small business blog and you may find that you’ll soon be flooded with new ideas.

Breaking News
If your small business blog deals with issues that may come up in the mainstream news, stay up-to-date with breaking news stories that relate to your company’s products and stories. Providing your unique perspective on even seemingly insignificant stories may draw lots of traffic from interested readers. Monitor the major news sites for breaking news daily, or set up a Google alert that brings you all of the latest stories in your industry. The sooner you post about the breaking news on your blog, the better your chances of seeing your blog post ranked highly on search engines for related keywords.

Twitter Trends
Another invaluable resource for learning about topics to blog about is Twitter. Twitter posts the top 10 trending topics at the moment (what everyone is tweeting about) and you may also find that some of the people that you follow are posting about new trends and interesting stories. If you want your popularity as a blogger to grow, you may want to just stay logged into your Twitter account 24 hours a day.

Take Cues from Your Comments
Sometimes your blog visitors will give you great tips on issues to blog about when they post their comments. Blog visitors often have a strong knowledge of your topic and can provide you with some insights. So read your comments regularly and write down new ideas. Also, ask specific questions at the end of your blog posts to open up the floor to your readers and generate more potential topic ideas.


Check Your Search Stats
After managing your blog for some time you might start to notice trends in your search statistics. For instance, if your small business blog is about home décor, you might find a lot of searches for a specific style of decorating. After you blog for a while, you might find that a lot of visitors who come to your site are looking for answers to specific questions. Generate new blog posts that directly answer their questions to keep that visitor traffic flowing in.

Keep in mind that while it can be tempting to follow the lead of trends in the news and social media, it is important to stay on track with your small business blog’s main purpose. For instance, if your core business is selling pet supplies, don’t get sidetracked with entertainment news (unless it has a specific relation to pets). Be consistent, posting at least 3-5 quality posts per week, and soon enough you’ll have a thriving blog with regular visitors who are very interested in what you have to say AND what you’re selling.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.