Do not use WordPress.com

If you want to blog for your business, and you should, WordPress is a great tool. You can use WordPress to build a blog for your business and for your professional website. However you do not want to use WordPress.com for your business.

I have been using WordPress since 2005 and never looked back. All my websites are built with WordPress and are doing pretty good on traffic via the search engines. Content is part of it and the correct technical structure of the page is another important part.

You have to take care of great content, so take time to write the best content. WordPress will take care of the technical part.

If you are going to use WordPress, remember two critical issues:

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Learn more in 2011 – Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Happy New Year!
Wishing you a great 2011.
Wishing you lot’s of moments out of your comfort zone

International
My overall theme for 2011 is international.

One of my long term goals is, international paid speaking gigs. This way I can meet people from all kinds of cultures and learn. Also it will give me the possibility to do video interviews with entrepreneurs that make a difference from all over the world. With these video’s I want to create an online inspiration magazine.

SOBCon
Last year Liz Strauss gave me the opportunity to participate in a panel at SOBCon in Chicago. The panel was moderated by Becky McCray and Sheila Scarborough, they started Tourism Currents at SOBCon 2009 and made it profitable in the first month after the launch.

The panel was about starting your business, “A Business is Born and Branded”. The photo is me out of my comfort zone in 2010 at the SOBCon panel 🙂

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Remove post or video to influence search engines

This is really funny and the wrong way around.
Sometimes I get a request from someone to remove a post or video that features their name or company name. The video or post is now on the first page of Google and they do not want people to see this on the search results. Sometimes this video or post ends up even higher than their own website.

Most of the time I adapt the post or set the video to private.
What do you do with a request like this?

I think this is the wrong way of thinking, influencing Google by removing the references that you don’t want to see on the first page.
It is a lot easier and more rewarding to put more content out there with items, articles, video’s that you do want people to see about you. This will then end up on the first page and push away the content that you don’t want on the first page.

What do you think?
Remove references or add the content that you do want on the first page of the search engine?

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Blog buddies to grow your blog

Blogging is really important for your visibility. A report from Hubspot shows that websites with 300+ pages have a significant increase in leads. Companies that write more blog post get more clients. Companies that blog get 67% (B2B) more clients than companies that do not blog. If your blog has 56+ articles than this leads to significant increase in leads.

So blogging is important if you want to grow your business.
And I want to grow my business, not just in Holland but also internationally.
Therefor I want to blog.

For now I have set a schedule for 2 blog posts per week. I also blog on two other, Dutch, websites for my business. Somehow this blog always comes in last. Something needs to change.

Last week Denise had a great question on her Facebook page that I responded to:

“How often do you post on your (primary) business blog? If it’s less than 2-3 times a week, what would it take to help you post more often? A blogging buddy? Share your blogging habits here and if you’re looking for a blogging accountability buddy, post your request here as well. Blog on!”

So I posted:

“How often do you post on your (primary) business blog? If it’s less than 2-3 times a week, what would it take to help you post more often? A blogging buddy? Share your blogging habits here and if you’re looking for a blogging accountability buddy, post your request here as well. Blog on!”

There were a number of people responding in the same way that I did and that need a blog buddy to keep a schedule. Using a tip of Denise I had contacted two other people that responded.

This is the way we ended up being four people and last night we had our first call. We all talked about our blogging goals and made them very clear. This way we can kick each others butt if we don’t keep the schedule.

Nice thing is that Denise shared the story on het blog as an example:

“If you haven’t been convinced that participating on social networking sites can be beneficial to your business, this should give you pause. Eydie not only has a new business partner and can expand her service offerings, but now four people from three countries are helping each other be more successful and there’s no telling what they will create together.”

Completely agree with Denise. I believe that online relations are real. Relations are essential for a business.

Of course you and I will learn in time if this works for all of us.
My blogging schedule on this site: Monday and Thursday. If I don’t keep up with this schedule just send me a note here or on my Facebook page.

Bron: Hubspot The state of inbound lead generation.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The best SEO and SEM information (crowd sourced)

When you have a website or blog it is good that the search engines find your content. Finding your content is not enought though it should list in the top 3 results of the topic you are writing about, if you want people to read it.

Robert Scoble is rebuilding his site from scratch. At this moment his blog on WordPress.com has no styling.

To make a good new start, even when his blog gets lots of visitors, he is aksing out loud what are good resources for SEO and SEM. Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing or the optimization and marketing of your site for the search engines. Great content alone doesn’t do it.

He asked this question on Friendfeed – which is much better than Twitter for these kind of questions, because the answers are listed just below the question. The question goes back to the top of the FriendFeed timeline as soon as there is a new reply or like. So you can identify interesting topics easily.

The first and many other replies are by the Google expert himself Matt Cutts. So here is a list of sites with the best SEO/SEM info (crowd sourced).

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

10 pages every small business blog should have

About a year ago I wrote an article on the 10 pages every corporate blog should have in Dutch. It has become a very successful article in ErnoHannink.nl.
small-biz-blog-pages2
Last week a client asked a question that got me reading that article again. A sort of competitor replied on her blog on a post. The remark she added did not add much to the post, and the commenter added 4 lines to the comment with promotion for her service. My client asked if she should just remove the comment or what the blog etiquettes are.

OK, when you want to remove comments from your blog once in a while, it is good to show on your site that you can do this. You may want to remove offensive comments in your blog. Especially comments that are not against you but other people.

So what pages should each small biz blog have.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission`s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."