Business Owners Blogging for Success

Your business blog

If you run a small company, you may find that the world of blogging for business owners is a world that you want to be a part of, because blogging is a great way to get the word out to consumers about your product or service; and it can even be useful for inspiring employee loyalty and helping you keep your workers at peak morale.

Keep in mind that people blog for a variety of reasons, consisting mostly of profit; and you’ll find that many of these bloggers are not individuals with extraordinary high intellect, but bloggers who possess only a basic grasp of blogging technology and a willingness to work hard. However, many bloggers who start out only to make a profit but do not have a plan with which to do so, often fail to reach that goal.

But if you already have a business, a reasonable assumption would be that you are also familiar with plans, goals and objectives, unlike many bloggers who have unrealistic expectations of how fast their readership will grow, and how much money they will make; and when their expectations are not met disappointment sets in and expectations remain unmet.

See the whole picture

You, on the other hand, can take your business to the next level by starting a blog, creating a plan and avoiding some of the unique pitfalls and strengths involved in blogging; because the key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging objective, since it can be all too easy to get sidetracked while working with the blogging technology; but if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused.

You cannot afford to think only about profit, gut rather on your long-term goals, one of which is to establish a loyal readership and build upon it, because the larger your readership, the more traffic your blog will attract and this will help your business to grow, both from your customer base and from the advertising revenue you will receive as a result of the large traffic volume coming to your blog.

So write up a plan for how often you will update your blog and how you will promote it, as well as retain readers; plus you can consider whether or not to feature photographs and/or videos on your blog, in addition to other aspects of your business; and then stick to your plan with the same kind of determination that you used when you built your company.

Learn and grow rich

You can learn a valuable lesson from the many bloggers who spend all of their time writing posts and almost no time marketing their project, especially since you have a business to manage. Of course you should update your blog on a regular basis, but also take the necessary time to promote your business by way of a link to your blog submitted to the search engines, directories and other websites of similar subject matter.

Understand that even if you are a marketing genius or have a really great idea for a blog, achieving success is not going to happen overnight; but rather by building the kind of readership that is necessary to maximize the exposure for your business, and in so doing, continue to increase your customer base on a month-to-month basis until; such time as you can be comfortable with the results of your blog marketing achievements and confident that you’ve achieved success.

Induce Opt-in Subscribers to Trust You

Promotional email as a service

While placing barriers and various other protective devices to keep email accounts spam-free has become increasingly popular over the last fifteen years, there remains a category of users who subscribe to email that promotes products, services and various marketing websites. This is mainly because these subscribes want to know more about what the particular promoters are offering that can be beneficial for them.

They expect to be kept posted on what they are interested in and updated on what’s new in the market or field they have elected; but the reasons for their acceptance of these marketing emails may entail far more than just being kept abreast of market trends. One of the most important reasons to subscribe to an opt-in list in the first place is the time saved by the subscriber, especially in view of the fact that scouring the Web for a particular piece of information (some refer to this as research) can be a rather time-consuming task, and most working people don’t have that kind of time to spare.

So those subscribers who view these email communications as a service in and of themselves, accept them as such and have no intention to put up email-prevention barriers. These are the kinds of subscribers and customers that most businesses would be elated to have, but may not have identified the basic element needed to get them, or demonstrated possession of it to the satisfaction of would-be subscribers. And since that basic element is trust, it is not easily meted out in a non-discriminate manner, especially in an environment like the Internet. It has to be earned.

Trust, reward and best practices

The simple fact is that when your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty! At the same time however, many internet users have gone to great lengths to protect their email accounts from spam mail, couple with the spam protection offered by some free-mail Internet providers and ISPs (internet service providers), while other Internet-based companies screen the mails their members and supporters receive. So there is a no-holds-barred effort to protect the email inboxes of many Internet users, the “protected” group.

So whether or not you are a member of the protected group of Internet users, if you subscribed to a list, you should be able to receive the email you authorized the promoter(s) to send; and if the promoter adhere to email marketing best practices, email marketing guidelines and the law in creating and managing the opt-in mail list, any email s/he sends containing promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media sholuld in most cases get through to your inbox.

But this has not always been the case because some email marketers – past and present – failed dismally, to act in accordance with the high ethical standards set forth by industry leaders, thereby evoking cynicism and distrust among Internet consumers. They seem not to know that the best way to build a good opt-in list is to induce people to trust them, thereby laying the groundwork for faster and better responses and build up, as well as satisfactory results.

Build a list and gain trust

In other words, if you are an aspiring email marketer, speed is essential because the faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company would be spreaded around the marketplace; and the bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you will get, resulting in even more profits. But while the math is easy when you think about it, getting the numbers may not be as easy as it seems, unless you build your email marketing business on a solid foundation of trust.

•Getting the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be such a difficult task, especially if you have a legitimate business, because such trust should be based upon your expertise. You have to understand that people rely most on other people who know what they are talking about; so it is important to garner all the knowledge and information about your business as you can. To be quite frank, if you decide to go into a business you probably should have some interest in that field; because if you don’t, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to pursue the particular field.

Show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling. Talk about how to install a roof if your into hardware products or provide articles on insurance settlements if you’re a settlement lawyer. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quicker than someone who doesn’t.

Keep subscribers trusting you

Be true to your customers, if you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you. Generally, people will trust someone they know, and when those people recommend you, the job of gaining trust becomes easier. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the others have experienced with you, so make sure to be consistent in the service you provide.

Another tip in getting a customer to trust you quickly is to provide them with an escape hatch by showing them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want; and emphasize on your web form such information on how to unsubscribe from the list. Guarantee them that they can let go of the service whenever they want to, because there are those who would be wary of getting stuck for life and therefore would worry that they’d have to abandon their email accounts or be pestered with spam.

Remember that when you gain the trust of your clients you must do everything in your power not to lose that trust. For example, don’t – for the sake of a quick buck – do anything with their email addresses (selling them, swapping them, etc.), because you will lose many subscribers from your list as well as potential subscribers. But the true quickest way to gain the trust of your subscribers is when you are recommended by someone they trust, so be diligent in your approach to managing your subscriber list, as well as what you do to keep them comfortable.

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About Bloggers and Affiliate Merchants

Blogging as an affiliate tool

If you are new to affiliate marketing and wish to increase your earnings, an ideal way to do so is by making contact with merchants who own the products/services (‘products’) and/or affiliate programs in which you are most interested; this way you can save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache, because you will know – first-hand – what is expected of you in relation to those merchants’ products.

That having been said it should also be pointed out that affiliates who prefer to use blogging as the method by which to promote a merchant’s products must be receptive to the idea that the topics they cover in their blogs should meet a number of objectives. In other words, the topics these affiliates blog about should be of interest to a large section of the blogging community, while simultaneously be compatible with the affiliate products they are marketing.

For example, some of the most popular blogging topics pertain to money, various types of loans, debt consolidation, and other financial topics; but also encompass tips and techniques on how to make and manage money. These are just a few examples of popular topics that bloggers explore on the web, so it is no surprise that so many bloggers turn their attention to dealing with debt.

Gain the merchants’ confidence

Once you, as a new affiliate marketer, decide that you intend to utilize blogging as your way to promote products you should contact the affiliate merchants to let them know what marketing strategy you are using – or will use – to promote their products, even while you ask for their advice as to what they have found to be the most effective strategy for marketing such products.

Merchants will know their product the best and they will have a good idea of the strategies being employed by other affiliates that have been proven most successful in making sales. In addition, contacting the merchant also shows them that you are dedicated to achieving success in your affiliate marketing vocation, which should give them some extra incentive to work more cooperatively with you.

Keep in mind that once you have stated your intention and disclosed your marketing strategy to these merchants, they might make the extra effort to design (or brand) marketing materials specifically for you, so it is important that you be consistent in your approach, topic and medium. If your topic pertains to debt, you might want to blog about the ease with which consumers fall into debt and the difficulty they have in getting out of it; this way merchants might have more confidence in your marketing approach and expertise.

Know your blogging topic!

There’s nothing wrong with creating a positive impression on your affiliate merchants, and contacting them also shows your enthusiasm for marketing their products. Merchants having an in depth knowledge of affiliate marketing also know that over 90% of sales are generated by less than 5% of their affiliates; so good merchants will recognize your efforts and provide you with tools, information and other resources that will help you achieve success.

If you intend to blog about some of the popular topics mentioned earlier, make sure you have some knowledge about these topic, since you wouldn’t want to blog about loans, debt consolidation, savings, and certain types of investments unless you have a thorough understanding of financial management or consulting. If, on the other hand, you are already familiar with loans, debt consolidation, savings, and types of investments, make sure to use your knowledge toward achieving your blogging goals.

By sharing expertise you have in a given field, you will certainly be able to help your readers solve any problems they may have in that particular area, while reaping sizable monetary rewards for your time and knowledge. So while popular topics can prove to be very fruitful to blog about, you must be able to write intelligently about them.

Many of the more successful bloggers who make a substantial income from their blogs spend a significant amount of their time writing about money; so if you know how to entice and woo advertisers while building a blog fan base, you can also earn a considerable income simply by talking about money; as long as you do proper research on the topic and learn how to write compelling posts about it.

Dealing directly with merchants

The more success you have blogging about a particular topic, the more interest you will create in your blog, such that if and when you email a merchant and they don’t respond, you should have no problem getting the attention of other merchants; and you should really refrain from any dealings (partnership?) with a merchant who fails to communicate, since such failure might be indicative of other problems, such as refusal or failure to pay your commission.

An affiliate marketing partnership is by no means a problem-free arrangement, since it has been shown to involve a number of problems, including but not limited to, poor quality products, poor/non-existent customer service and failure/refusal to pay affiliate commissions. Keep in mind that some merchants also make big promises and set high payout rates knowing full well that very few affiliates will actually meet their objectives. You should avoid working with such merchants.

Communicating with merchants

When you communicate with merchants, you should ensure that you use a professional tone; and if you have suggestions on how a merchant can improve his/her offers, you should let them know, because most merchants appreciate feedback, and know that a lot of the feedback they receive can improve their programs.

Always remember that smart merchants understand the value of good affiliates and will treat you with respect, assist you with resources, and pay your commissions promptly; while smart affiliates understand that merchants want quality promotion and sales performance.

To get the most out of your partnership, you should always be professional and make an effort to cooperate with your merchant; and try to understand that good merchants are always busy, which might make them seem like they aren’t that good; but be assured that they will answer your questions and emails, even if it takes them a bit more time.

The longer you work with a merchant, the more you will understand how they do things; but if you are just starting out in affiliate marketing, you have to realize that a merchant can help you understand how things work. So if you listen to the the reputable ones and show initiative, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as an affiliate marketing blogger.

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