Blogging is a great outlet to provide information, promote your business and establish relationships with your readers. Whatever the reason you have a blog, it’s important that your blog has a purpose and is written for a specific audience.So, how do you take your blog to the next level? Avid bloggers, Chris Brogan and Michael Pollock have identified some great tactics to get you there. I’ve broken down the top 10, so check them out:1. Write with purpose: First and foremost you must have an objective for your blog. It's important to have a focus and think about what you want your readers to get out of it, what you can do for them, and what you want them to do after reading your blog.2. Give them a purpose:Okay so you’ve provided your readers with all of this information, now what? Extract the insights for your readers and let them know what to do next. It’s better to provide your readers with content that’s helpful versus thoughtful. Give them a reason to read your blog and a reason to come back for more.3. Know how people read: Put your best information first. If they like what they read, they’ll keep reading. People want information fast, so make it easy for them to get through your post. Bold the first sentence of paragraphs and lead with a strong sentence. Break up the post and make it easy for your readers to skim through and understand what they’re going to get out of it.4. Be Brief: The key is to keep your blog short and simple. No one wants to read long complicated paragraphs. They want the facts, so be short and direct.5. Ask Questions: This is a great way to get your readers thinking and involved in what you’re talking about. It’s important to make the question relevant to the reader and to ask thought-provoking questions, not just ones with yes or no answers. Make sure you check back and see if people are commenting, if so respond. Another great tactic is to start your post with a response to one of your reader’s questions.6. Be human: It’s okay to sometimes let your personality shine through. Find a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level, if it’s appropriate.7. Learn from others: Some of the best blogs are a compilation of others ideas. See what people are talking about and what people are reading. This might give you some inspiration or help you go in a different direction. You’re in the blogging business now, so get out there and see what’s going on in the blogging world.8. Join the conversation:Start commenting on other blogs and provide a link to your blog in the comment section. This is a great way to not only learn from others, but gain possible new readers as well.9. Build your audience: Want more readers? Try promoting your blog. There are many ways to do this, but one is to run your RSS feed through a service such as FeedBurner. This allows you to extend your feed and gain more exposure. Your URL is the ultimate link, so make sure it’s everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, company website, back of your business card, a part of your email signature, you name it, just get it out there.10. Don't overstuff your post with Keywords: Keyword search tools are great ways to figure out the terms most commonly searched by your audience. But don't over-do it. Google, Bing and Yahoo will discount your blog post if they feel that you're trying to game the system. The best approach is always to simply write good content that your target market will share with others.For 5 more tips on blogging, check out the 60-second video below: Posted by Rebecca Wilson, marketing analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.
Jack in the Box restaurants decided to stop providing toys in their kids' meals, a technique made famous by McDonald's over 30 years ago."While we've been aware of efforts to ban the inclusion of toys in kids' meals, that did not drive our decision," Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb said."Our advertising and promotions have focused exclusively on the frequent fast-food customer, not children," added Randy Carmical, also a Jack in the Box spokesman.As reported in the International Business Times, "Carmical said the San Diego-based company has been more focused on the food in its meals for children, such as grilled cheese sandwiches or grilled chicken strips. The company pulled toys from the meals when it began offering parents the option of substituting sliced apples with caramel sauce as an alternative to French fries, he said."Not long ago, I created a 60 Second Marketer video for our YouTube channel that discussed the Kids' Meal technique developed by McDonald's over 30 years ago. To watch the video (and learn why this was a revolutionary strategy), click the video below.If you like what you read today, you can have these blog posts delivered to your in box each morning by clicking marketing blog. Or, you can sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter by clicking marketing newsletter.Posted by Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer of the 60 Second Marketer. Jamie is also the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media.
It seems as though every new marketing article or blog post these days is focusing on social media or mobile media. But email marketing is still one of the most efficient ways to connect with customers and prospects.So, how do you get consumers to actually open your email and read the valuable contents inside? Mashable and AdAge broke down a list of smart and effective email marketing tactics. Here’s a baker's dozen you should consider implementing into your campaign.1. Combine with social platforms: Brands are seeing success when using Twitter and Facebook to gain email subscribers. Send your followers tweets with a shortened URL that allows them to easily click and opt-in to your email mailing list. By creating easy email subscription sign-ups on your Facebook page you have the opportunity to attract more subscribers.2. Know who you’re talking to: Companies often make the mistake of sending universal email blasts to their entire mailing listing with zero regard to who they're actually talking to. Segment your database and design personalized emails that the specific viewer will actually want to read. One way is to screen your subscribers when they first sign up. Ask them what they want to get out of these emails and find out who they are as a consumer. This way, you're sending them content they actually want to and will read.3. Let them know who's talking to them: According to AdAge, 70% of consumers say the “from” line drives their decision to either open or ignore the email and 30% say it’s the subject line. These two touch points give you an opportunity to brand your email and let consumers know who’s talking to them.4. Give them an incentive: Everyone loves getting a little something special in the mail. Send your subscribers a free gift on their birthday or a 20% off coupon for Father’s Day. Give them a reason to open up the email and they’ll be wanting to come back for more.5. Extend the offer across social platforms: Extend this incentive across social media platforms by giving viewers the ability to share their news on Facebook and Twitter. By making consumers an advocate for your brand, their friends and followers will be interested in signing up, too.6. Create mobile-friendly emails: According to ComScore mobile email usage increased 36% in 2010. By creating mobile-friendly emails, your on-the-go viewers have the opportunity to read and click-through while on the train or waiting at the doctor’s office.7. Where to put your most important message: When designing mobile-friendly emails, the key is to make sure the first line in the email is your most important message. Why? The first line is what shows up as the preview on smartphones. It's about putting your best foot forward.8. Expand your email list with SMS text: Give consumers an easy way to opt-in to your email database with a simple text. You can do so by letting consumers know all they have to do is text their email address to you SMS short code to subscribe. 9. Make announcements: Consumers are more likely to open up an email with announcement of news. Letting them know a sale ends soon, a new product alert or limited time offers gets them to open up the email and act fast.10. Frequency and Relevance: AdAge reports that these are the two key elements to keep in mind when using email as a marketing tactic. Don’t bombard your subscribers with a flood of emails, but don’t neglect them either. Provide them with relevant content. If they just bought a product at your store, send them a survey to learn about their experience.11. Current event tie-ins: Mashable states that viewers respond well to emails related to current events and pop culture. Find creative and fun ways to tie in what’s going on in the area with your brand.12. Test your tactics: Test subject lines, offers and messages to see what works and what tanks. By testing your tactics you have the ability to know what grabs readers attention and gets them to interact with your email.13. Listen to feedback:Make it easy for your consumers to leave comments and give feedback so you can give them more of what they want. Email is and always should be a form of two-way communication, so give them the opportunity to respond.Posted by Rebecca Wilson, Marketing Analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.
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