8 Simple Tips to Improve Your Business Blog

With the rise of the digital age, there are plenty of ways to get your business’ voice heard, but don’t discount the importance of your blog. Business blogging is a valuable investment that your business should be putting time and consideration into.

You’ve probably heard it before: blogging provides the perfect platform for thoughtful, long form content that will help you better connect with your target audience. So your business started a blog and then what happened? Did you see the results you were hoping for?

If done well, blogging can enable your business to experience many benefits beyond just sharing information with your audience. It can help you increase conversion rates, generate awareness of both your business and the products or services you offer, and can even play a major role in helping you boost your search ranking. In fact, if you keep your blogs updated, lively, and informative, and your marketing engine can coast effortlessly to lead generation.

But, if you don’t know what it takes to create a successful blog, you might be wasting your time. In this post, I’ll provide tips on how to improve your blog so you can reap all of its benefits and move your business forward in the digital world.

1. Learn about your audience

Starting a business blog will give your company a chance to nurture your website visitors and build a sense of trust between your ideal audience and your brand. But to build genuine connections with your target audience, it’s important that you write about topics they care about and that match where they are in their customer journey.

With that in mind, you need to have a detailed understanding of the people you’ll be writing for. One great way to do that is to develop buyer personas. If you’ve never created buyer personas, or if you’re unsure how to create them, try out this buyer persona template from HubSpot. It will walk you through how to conduct research to build buyer personas and create a clear picture of your ideal audience.

Once you’ve defined who your audience is with your buyer personas, you can use tools like BuzzSumo or forums like Quora to learn about what your potential buyers are searching for and connecting with on social media. Understanding your audience and their needs will help you better tailor your content to them and their interests.

2. Interact with other blogs

With so many online blogs, making your blog unique might seem like a daunting task. Remember that your blog should be a part of the wider conversation regarding your brand and your industry. You should be linking to other blogs and sources of research whenever you write a new piece of content. This can lead to an increased amount of sites backlinking to your own site, too.

While it may seem counterintuitive, you want other sites to grab your information, as long as they give you credit by linking back to your original content. Backlinks are like online referrals, with other sites saying they think your information is so good they’re pointing others there.

As you garner backlinks, search engines note the popularity of your site and move it up in search rankings. So, treat your links to other sites as networking tools to help improve the authority and relevance of your business.

3. Be consistent

Your blog needs to be a reliable source for your readers. Sporadic blog posts are frustrating for people who are interested in what your blog is saying! This means that you should be organizing what you post and when you post it.Consistency is key to building a steady audience that repeatedly comes back for more and moves through your sales pipeline.

If you haven’t already, consider creating a content calendar for your blog to help you better plan out your posts. Whether you choose to post every day, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, make sure you keep a regular schedule so that your readers know when to check out your latest content.

4. Highlight your products and services

Blogging isn’t necessarily about selling to your customers directly, but don’t underestimate the power of well-written blog to help convert prospects. Sharing information delivers a valuable sample of what you have to offer. In fact, did you know that 57 percent of the purchase decision is already complete before customers even call the supplier?

That means that most of the buying journey has taken place digitally before the customer has contacted a sales rep. So, your blog articles should act as an introductory sales person, highlighting the benefits of your products or services to help accurately inform your prospective customers.

5. Be a valuable resource

One of the best ways to attract more readers is to produce highly valuable content. This works on two levels. The first is that your current readers will recognize that you have depth of knowledge in your field and will continuously turn to you whenever they have a question pertaining to your industry. Think Neil Patel and Brian Dean, both of whom are marketing gurus with a huge following because they’ve proven themselves to be credible experts through their online content.

It’s similar to a test drive. Most auto buyers take a test drive before falling in love with a vehicle. Even those who have the willpower to walk away to “sleep on it” are drawn back. Your blog should do the same for your business. Readers click in, read, and cruise away; but you will inevitably pull them back for more if you’ve provided them with helpful content.The second level has more to do with your search rank and how it drives traffic.

Google’s number one goal is to create an incredible user experience, and it does that by providing searchers with the most relevant answer to their search query.So, if you’ve written the most valuable blog post on Google RankBrain (Iike Brian Dean did here), then Google will recognize that through your website analytics and will reward you by placing you higher on the SERPs. And we all know, the closer you are to the top of the results page, the more clicks you’ll attract.Not sure how to write valuable content? Check out this video from Moz on how to 10X your content.

6. Let your audience be a part of the conversation

Your blog should be a knowledgeable resource for users, but you need to be careful not to sound too removed from your audience. Readers want to feel like their engaging with a resourceful community, not being lectured by an anonymous source. You can achieve this by focusing on the tone and style of your writing.

Use your blog to generate action and gather user details (subscribe to a newsletter, follow, like, respond to a poll, etc.). Get them to interact with you, and be sure you give them some incentive to share their contact information with you.If your readers message you on social media or write a comment at the end of your post, make sure you respond. One major key to a successful blog is to build a relationship with your readers, and engagement is a sure way to help you build those relationships and increase your readership.

7. Write well

This seems like a pretty obvious tip, but it’s important nonetheless. Your blog should be easy to digest, so make sure to maintain a conversational tone and keep your paragraphs and sentences short. Incorporating pictures and white space throughout your post will help break up large chunks of text that are harder to read/focus on.And, always triple check for grammar and spelling mistakes. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but multiple typos can count against your credibility and can easily convince readers to click out of your post. Try using tools like Grammarly to catch errors before you hit the publish button.

8. Focus on topics, not just keywords

SEO is part art, part math, part mystique. With search algorithm updates like Google’s RankBrain, search engines are getting better at understanding searcher intent, rather than just matching results to the keywords in the query.With this in mind, the best way to improve your rank is to prove you’re an expert on topics as a whole. One way to do that is to write quality content (see tip number five above) and the other is to write about various aspects of the same topic.

For example, if you’re a jeweler, you can write about the many aspects of purchasing an engagement ring, such as “How to Determine a Ring Budget that’s Right for You,” and “Why Cut is More Important than Clarity,” and “Diamond Alternatives for the Nontraditional Bride.”By writing multiple helpful posts about a given topic, rather than simply stuffing various keywords into one post, you can establish topical authority, and over time, Google will recognize you as the best resource for anyone searching about engagement rings.For more information about gaining topic authority, check out this post on how to create topic clusters.

Stick with it and see the results

If your business has started a blog, but you haven’t seen the results you were hoping for, try implementing these 8 simple tips to improve your blog. Don’t get discouraged if your blog traffic doesn’t skyrocket right away.As is common with content marketing, it may take a few months for your content to get indexed by search engines, but if you remain a consistent source for original, high-value articles, you’ll reap the benefits of blogging in no time.

Source: 8 Simple Tips to Improve Your Business’ Blog – Relevance.

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Why Having Too Much Free Time Might Actually Be a Bad Thing

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, having too much discretionary time is “linked to lower subjective well-being.” In other words: more free time won’t always make you happier.

It sounds pretty damn counterintuitive — who wouldn’t want to lie on the beach or couch all day long? — but the project’s researchers discovered that having an abundance of task-less time often leads to a “lacking sense of productivity,” which can only be reduced when people spend time on activities that give them a sense of purpose.

Marissa Sharif, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study, told The Washington Post that a “moderate” amount of free time appears to be best: “[It] leads people to be better off or happier compared to having a large amount of free time.”

What does moderate mean? Somewhere between two to five hours a day. Push past five hours and human beings tend to feel aimless and idle. They rue their lazy choices (e.g., Netflix binges) and have trouble commencing whatever creative project they swore they’d start (e.g., the next great American novel).

In order to reach these conclusions, the authors analyzed data sets from both the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey and the Society for Human Resource Management’s National Study of the Changing Workforce to get a feel for how much free time Americans have, and how they generally respond to that free time.

Fascinatingly, the study also pointed out that having too little free time is a poor mental health play. That may not seem particularly revelatory, but it’s a reminder that the American worker — one of the most over-stressed employees in the world — gravely needs. In this case, spending less than two hours a day on time to oneself (whatever that may mean to you), will lead to a drop in well-being.

The key here is to find an amount of time between two to five hours that works on a consistent basis, and can be revisited after life-changing events. Consider: the period in between jobs, or immediately after your retirement. Having a plan (which you can keep reasonably loose, for spontaneity reasons) is your best friend.

And speaking of friends, about the only situation in which having too much free time actually helped subjective well-being was when it was spent with friends, family and colleagues. So pencil in leisure time with peers. Think dinners, tennis leagues, game nights. Alone time can be healthy too — a reading habit is dynamite for your mental health — but too much of it could put pressure on your psyche in the long run.

We long to get all our work done in order to have free time. But we should be very careful with leisure. Having nothing left to do work-wise can be a very dangerous challenge for our psyches: it can bring on despair and self-loathing. It may be that always having projects on the go can insulate us from mental unwellness. Sign up to our new newsletter and get 10% off your first online order of a book, product or class: https://bit.ly/2TMs0dT For books and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop: https://bit.ly/34vN4uL Our website has classes, articles and products to help you lead a more fulfilled life: https://bit.ly/2EzjKsp Join this channel to get access to exclusive members perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7Ic…

Source: https://www.insidehook.com

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How And Why The Right Visuals Can Attract Attention To A Crisis

A picture, as the saying goes, is worth 1,000 words. And the right pictures have the potential to generate more attention and interest about crisis situations than words alone ever could.

People can immediately grasp a story or message that is being told by a picture, illustration, video or other visuals. And, given their increasingly shorter attention spans, many people often don’t want to read about a crisis when a picture or short video on social media or a television newscast is all they think they need.

Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, noted that, “Study after study has shown that humans respond far better to visuals than text alone. You can tell your story in text and have it ignored, misinterpreted, or used against you. Images are harder for people to ignore or willfully misinterpret.  It’s important that the images you use are heavily vetted, however. You need to test them internally to be sure you’re saying exactly what you want to say.”

Challenges

The challenge for business leaders who are managing a crisis for their companies and organizations is to find the best visuals to help show or tell their side of the story in an appropriate and attention-getting way.

Of course, if you don’t provide visuals for a crisis, don’t be surprised when news organizations or people on social media find and post their own. And news outlets, of course, can find the visuals that best illustrates the crisis — but which you might prefer not be seen for whatever reason.

Coronavirus Crisis

Last Tuesday, ABC News reported that, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers paid tribute to the more than 676,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19, [by] visiting a memorial on the National Mall that displays hundreds of thousands of small, white flags, one for each life lost.

“As we look at this work of art and see it fluttering in the breeze,” Pelosi said, “it really is an interpretation of the lives of these people waving to us to remember.” The lawmakers walked silently among the rows of flags, trails that stretch more than 3.8 miles, according to ABC News.

Climate Crisis

Earlier this week, motorists passing by the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC might have seen what appeared to be a submerged house near the Jefferson Memorial. According to Washingtonian.com, “Constructed out of wood and floating on pontoons, the hollow house was a warning from climate activists with Extinction Rebellion DC of what the city might face should unchecked climate change continue to contribute to rising sea levels.”

As is often the case with attention-getting visuals, more people likely saw news coverage or the YouTube video of the submerged “house” than saw the visual in-person.

Gun Violence

In 2018, to call attention to the number of children that were killed since the Sandy Hook school shooting, 7,000 pairs of empty shoes were displayed outside the U.S. Capitol.

CNN reported that, “The global advocacy group Avaaz [had] been collecting donated pairs of shoes for two weeks and early Tuesday morning lined them up one by one, 18 inches apart, in roughly 80 rows on the Capitol lawn, as Congress continues to sort through a debate over gun violence and school safety.

“Shoes are individual. They’re so personal. There are ballet slippers here and roller skates. These are kids,” said Nell Greenberg, the campaign director for Avaaz.”

‘The Power Of A Visual Image’

Baruch Labunski, CEO of marketing agency Rank Secure, said, “I’m a marketing expert, but you don’t have to be one to be one to understand the power of a visual image.

“When businesses are communicating with the public during a crisis, optics—both figurative and literal — are everything. Companies in crisis need to project a stable, consistent image that’s coherent with their brand. And in cases of transgressions or when a company is correcting a mistake, a visual image that reflects an amended ideology may be appropriate and effective,” he noted.

Advice For Business Leaders

“Here’s my cautionary advice,” Lubunski said. “Be authentic. Putting pictures of trees on a plastic water bottle doesn’t make your company environmentally friendly. Putting minorities on stage at an event while your entire C-suite is white doesn’t make you genuinely diverse.

“Make sure the visual images you choose reflect the actual values of your company. If you need to make amends, do it for real, rather than just for show,” he advised.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a crisis management/communication expert, consultant, and author of the award-winning Crisis Ahead: 101 Ways to Prepare for and Bounce Back from Disasters, Scandals,

Source: How And Why The Right Visuals Can Attract Attention To A Crisis

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The Hottest Perk of the Pandemic? Financial Wellness Tools

In the midst of the Great Resignation, with employers scrambling for ways to hang on to experienced staff, financial wellness programs might be an attractive addition to the benefits bag.

That was a key finding from PwC’s annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey, which was conducted in January 2021 and released in April. Among those polled, 72 percent of workers who reported facing increased financial setbacks during the pandemic said they would be more attracted to another company that cared more about financial well-being than their current employer. About 57 percent of workers who hadn’t yet faced increased financial stress said the same thing.

Financial stress doesn’t just affect worker retention; it also has an impact on productivity. PwC’s survey showed that 45 percent of workers experiencing financial setbacks have been distracted at work by their money problems. The menu of financial wellness tools employers might elect include educational tools for personal finances, one-on-one financial coaching, and even access to rainy day funds.

It’s a growing business sector, too. HoneyBee, a B2B financial wellness startup, recently closed a round of funding with $5.7 million in equity, TechCrunch reported. The financial technology company grew 225 percent during the pandemic and saw a 175 percent increase in usage for its on-demand financial therapy tools. Origin also recently announced that it raised $56 million in its Series B funding round, which it will use for customer expansion, as it saw increased demand for financial planning services during the pandemic, Business Wire notes.

Although one in five workers waits until they experience a financial setback to seek guidance, when they are offered continual support, employees are more likely to be proactive with their finances. According to the PwC survey, 88 percent of workers who are provided financial wellness services by their employers take advantage of them.

By Rebecca Deczynski, Staff reporter, Inc.@rebecca_decz

Source: The Hottest Perk of the Pandemic? Financial Wellness Tools | Inc.com

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Critics:

Making money is definitely the cornerstone of financial wellness and increasing your income can help you obtain your goals. You do not need to be a millionaire, but it’s important to obtain some level of income stability. Being financially well starts with having a reliable income and knowing at a consistent time, you will expect to be paid a certain amount. Steady and reliable income is one of the cornerstones of financial wellness.

Even if you don’t like budgeting or planning, it’s good to set goals for yourself. You are more likely to stick with it when you have goals to reach and can see progress. By creating a plan, you are visualizing the what, why, and how you will get there. If you don’t already have a household budget, grab your most recent bank statement and look at the total amount of money you have coming into your household each month. Then, factor in fixed, required expenses – things like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and more.

f you do not have an emergency fund, now is the time to start building it. The goal of an emergency fund is to have available funds for when you are dealing with unemployment or you have an unforeseen cost. You won’t stress about the money because you have a nice cash reserve that you can access quickly. Finance experts often say that you should have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. If you have nothing in savings, putting away just $25, $50, or $100 a month is an amazing start. Ultimately, it’s what you feel comfortable with. You can also consider putting it in a high savings investment such as CIT Bank’s Savings Builder, which helps put your savings to work with very little risk.

Once you get a handle on your finances, you can start to map out life events and large purchases, so you can begin saving! Planning ahead is always helpful, and once you get a handle on your current financial plan, set some goals for what comes next. By building a plan, you have a road map to help guide you through the rest of your story. Putting even a small amount into savings on a consistent basis is one of the best ways to get your savings to grow so you can meet your goals, small or large. Set your own personal savings rule to live by and make a plan on how to achieve it. Prepare for life events and large purchases by planning ahead.

Your credit score is another critical part of your financial health. Things like late payments, too much debt or high balances negatively affect your credit score. Keep watch over your credit report and credit score with a free credit report from places like Credit Karma. A higher credit score tells banks and lenders that you’re a reliable and less risky borrower. 

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SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

Brazil’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Mercado Bitcoin raised $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund, Mercado’s parent company 2TM Group announced today. The investment values 2TM Group at $2.1 billion and is SoftBank’s largest capital injection in a Latin America crypto company.

Following closely on the tails of SoftBank’s investment in the $250 million round raised by Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso in May, the deal shows a growing interest in bringing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to Latin America.

“This series B round will afford us to continue investing in our infrastructure, enabling us to scale up and meet the soaring demand for the blockchain-based financial market,“ says Roberto Dagnoni, executive chairman and CEO of 2TM Group. “We want to be the main solution provider for corporate players.”

The São Paulo-based exchange aims to increase the number of listed assets (the exchange currently lists approximately 50 tokens) and grow its 500-member team to 700 by year’s end. Further plans involve regional expansion with focuses on Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia and growth acceleration across 2TM Group’s portfolio, which also include digital wallet provider MeuBank and digital custodian Bitrust (both are subject to regulatory approval).

Founded by brothers Gustavo and Mauricio Chamati in 2013, Mercado Bitcoin has become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. In January, it scored its first financing round co-led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures with participation from an array of other investors.

Like many of its counterparts, Mercado Bitcoin has seen significant growth over the past year, with its client base reaching 2.8 million in 2021 – more than 70% of the total number of individual investors on Brazil’s stock exchange B3. Approximately 700,000 clients signed up just between January and May.

Over the same period, trade volume on the exchange had increased to $5 billion, surpassing the total for its first seven years combined. “Every single month [of this year], we are trading the full volume of 2020,” says Dagnoni.

“Mercado Bitcoin is a regional leader in the crypto space and the leading crypto exchange in Brazil. They are tapping into a huge local and regional addressable market measured by potential use cases for crypto,” says Paulo Passoni, managing partner at SoftBank’s SBLA Advisers Corp. (which manages the SoftBank Latin America Fund).

“At SoftBank we look to invest in entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo through tech-focused or tech-enabled business models that are disrupting an industry – Mercado Bitcoin is doing just that.”

Despite the rapid growth of the local crypto market, Brazilian regulators have been lagging behind. In 2018, Brazilian antitrust watchdog, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), opened an investigation into the country’s largest banks for allegedly abusing their power by closing accounts of crypto brokerages. The probe was ongoing as of last year.

In April 2020, Senator Soraya Thronicke proposed an extended set of rules for Brazil’s “virtual asset” businesses, custodians and issuers, consumer protection, crypto taxation and criminal enforcement, however no apparent action has been taken on the bill so far. Nonetheless, Dagnoni says the nation’s regulatory environment is favorable, and the company is closely working with regulators “to build a consistent framework for alternative digital investments in Brazil, in line with its vision of a convergence of the traditional and blockchain-based financial markets.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

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Critics:

SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. The Group primarily invests in companies operating in the technology, energy, and financial sectors. It also runs the Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused venture capital fund, with over $100 billion in capital, backed by sovereign wealth funds from countries in the Middle East.

The company is known for the leadership by its founder and largest shareholder Masayoshi Son. It operates in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, information technology, finance, media and marketing, and other areas.

SoftBank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 36th largest public company in the world, and the second largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota.

The logo of SoftBank is based on the flag of the Kaientai, a naval trading company that was founded in 1865, near the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, by Sakamoto Ryōma.

Although SoftBank does not affiliate itself to any traditional keiretsu, it has close ties with Mizuho Financial Group, its main lender.

See also

 

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