Gaining Content With Guest Bloggers

If you have a blog on your site then you are well aware of the importance of keeping it regularly updated with fresh new content, but the big question (especially for smaller businesses that don’t have the resources available) is how can you afford to dedicate the time required to do this?

Simple answer – Allow authors to write a guest post for you.

Known as “Guest Blogging” this can be a win-win situation for both you (the owner of the blog) and the guest author. You’ll get a piece of free and exclusive content for your site, and the author gets their name out into the blogsphere with a link back to their site. Don’t deny the authors a link back to their site – you’ll be taking away their incentive to write for you if you do.

How to find guest bloggers for your site

http://myblogguest.com/ – This service allows both blog owners and authors alike to cut through the chaff of the internet by allowing both to meet through a dedicated service for guest blogging opportunities.

Twitter.com – Hopefully you’ll have been doing some Social Marketing and now have a healthy supply of followers, so announce the fact that you’re giving the opportunity for people to publish guest posts on your site and for them to get in touch.

Write a “Become a guest author” page on your site with a list of subjects you’ll be interested in receiving submissions for, and what the author will get in return. You don’t necessarily need a large subscriber base to your blog for this to be useful, those looking for guest blogging opportunities could find the page in Google.

Ask us! We have contacts to a number of copywriters with their own blogs so they may be interested in appearing as guest author on your site. Let us know and we’ll put it forward to them.

Things to keep in mind

Don’t always assume that you’re going to get exclusive content on your site because the guest author may have approached a number of other blog owners as well as yourself. Due to this, the content that you get may be duplicate content to that posted somewhere else – always check before you publish.

http://www.copyscape.com/ – use this free tool check any content you get to make sure that it hasn’t been posted anywhere else, and for a more in depth check to the originality there is also a premium version available. Probably the best way to explain their service is by showing there video (important bit for receiving content is from 1:27)…

Happy blogging!

Still Using Microsoft Outlook for Email Marketing? STOP!

Using Outlook to send bulk e-newsletters to your customers? Whoa! Stop Right There!

Ask yourself these vital questions:

  • What % of my customers receive my emails?
  • What % of my customers actually open my emails?

Now if I was to tell you that out of the 1,000 emails you send each month…

  • 110 never receive it;
  • 620 never bothered opening it;
  • and that only 54 click on anything within the email.

…would you still bother sending it? Probably not.

So? What am I doing wrong?

Well, there’s a chance your mailing list is out of date, that many of the email addresses are no longer used or are misspelt, or have been entered as .com’s instead of .co.uk’s. Then there’s the free email providers such as AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo and GMail all of whom have strict rules and monitoring in place to stop us from getting “spammed” or “phished” so they do two main things:

1.) Block emails from sources they believe to be spammers, based on a bizare and often unpredictable set of rules.

2.) Throw any low risk spam into your  “Junk Folder” so it doesnt upset the bona fide emails in your lovely inbox.

This of course means your beautifully-crafted email doesn’t get through to a vast percentage of your customers.

Even if your email is one of the lucky, triumphant ones and makes it to the inbox like one of those virtual tadpoles you see on sex education videos at school, it then has to convince the recipient to click “open”…

A whole new host of issues then arises:

  • Is the subject heading inviting/encouraging/inspiring/intriguing?
  • Does it come from a reliable source?
  • Is it swamped in a sea of more interesting emails?

Finally, the most important part – once opened, how do you keep the reader engaged and how on earth do you get them to click on that link directing them to your website so they can Buy, Buy, Buy! I’m not going to tell you that, but…

MailChimp Storms the Microsoft Castle!

MailChimp Storms the Microsoft Castle!

MailChimp has all the other answers!

We’ve used MailChimp for a couple of years now and honestly struggle to find much fault with it! (Hmmm – Well I guess it could be FREE??)

It stores and manages your entire mailing list, helps you create a sign-up page for your website, gives you email templates, provides detailed reports and most importantly …

Integrates All This “Social Media” Malarky

Ok, so everyones told you how important it is to be a Twit, to have 4,000 “friends” on Facebook, that your meant to “Digg” everything thats “Delicious” on YourSpace or MyTube? Well, MailChimp provides you with a slick way to adhere to all this advice, simply click the buttons once your spanking new email newsletter gets sent and you’ll be taken to all the relevant social media sites so you can make the most of your latest work of litery genius.

Practicing What You Preach

We recently launched our LandingNet Chinwag – our laid-back approach to e-shots, e-newsletters, email marketing…whatever you want to call it!

The results were great, more than doubling the industry averages for the percentage of emails opened and clicked on, whilst receiving a tiny fraction of the average “bounce” rate.

“Hard Bounces” are those where the email address does not exist and is instantly returned by the email provider.

“Soft Bounces” are where the recipients inbox might be full or the email provider has tried to deliver the email but after several attempts it fails.

Our LandingNet Chinwag only  received two “bounces” one hard, one soft and the hard bounce was actually our fault – we entered the email address in wrong! Whoops – hey, no-ones perfect right?? ;O)

Social Networking

bebo.jpgUser behaviour over the internet is constantly changing as new developments and ideas capture the internet audience. There has been a significant change in user behaviour over the last few years since Social Networking websites have found themselves on the internet. This was particularly evident amongst the mainstream brand and media websites who found themselves scrambling to capitalise on the increasing popularity of these sites.

The most popular Social Networking websites are MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Bebo and MySpace are the most popular, with fast mover Facebook on their tail.

Hitwise reports in June 07 that Bebo ranked 5th across all online industries, wheras MySpace ranked 8th and not far behind was Facebook, who ranked 14th.

myspace.jpgShopping and Classified websites such those in the Music section have seen a 121% increase in traffic from Social Networking websites year on year. Play.com received a 55% increase from MySpace referrals more than Yahoo!

Apparel and Accessory websites saw a 98% increase with TopShop and ASOS receiving twice more traffic from Social Networking websites than Yahoo! and MSN combined.

So what is the attraction of Social Networking websites? Sharing information, ideas and common interests through your own online profile is appealing. Making new friends and signing up for social gatherings opens up new events and new friends which people would not have usually found the opportunity for.

So with the growing popularity of these Social Networking websites, how can commercial companies benefit from them? Well, the truth would be, not all can, however, there are some industry sectors that with the right approach could find an increase in their online traffic simply because they took the time to participate in these Social Networks.

TopShop found that MySpace was the second highest referring website to send traffic to their website. This was more than the traffic they received from Yahoo! and MSN combined! When you read something like that, then it is certainly makes you stand up and take notice. TopShop have an Community profile set up on MySpace, this includes a section where people are able to discuss new fashions and shopping ideas. People found this interesting and participated in the group. TopShop found the right approach and it paid off.

facebook.jpgSimilar sites to TopShop will not be experiencing the same because they have not yet participated in these Social Networking websites. Until they do, they will be left behind, because it seems that Social Networking websites are the way forward and should be considered as a part of your online marketing campaigns.

Even if you “think” participating in Social Networking sites will be of no benefit to you, it is still worth giving it a go, and as the saying goes, you’ll never know unless you try it.