Not Enjoying Self-Employment? Here’s How to Fall Back in Love With Your Business!

From winning new projects, a diary full of promising meetings, to even decorating your new office and picking out all your fresh new folders and stationary… those first few development years of business ownership are exhilarating and full of adventure! No two days are ever the same and with every day comes a new experience and learning curve… and you loved every minute of it. But now? All of a sudden, those long hours you love to put in, are now a chore. Your focus is gone. Maybe your personal and home life are suffering as a result of the constant stress. Like everyone else unhappy with their job, you sit there with a sense of despair on Sunday night at the thought of another Monday back at your desk. Ultimately, everything about your business has become a burden. A burden that you undertake with zero passion.

You’re not sure how or when you started to feel this way. You just know something doesn’t feel right anymore. You’ve suddenly become one of those people who dreams of escaping your mundane unhappy work life in the quest for something more exciting. Starting your own small business is a bit like falling in love: it’s exciting, exhilarating, and new. You don’t mind putting in the hours and effort during the beginning because you feel like your building something good. But just like in the affairs of the heart, when it comes to business it’s all too easy to let the passion slide. Take off the rose-tinted glasses and after the adrenaline rush subsides the reality sets in and you may discover that not everything about running a business is so wonderful. There are tasks you absolutely hate to do, activities you find stale, technical difficulties to test your patience and clients and vendors who you may not get on with at all.

Before you make the huge decision to dump something you’ve worked so hard to make a success, consider how you can rekindle that lost spark. All people from all walks of life have those moments and periods of wanting to pack it all in, its completely natural. However, you owe it to yourself and your business to decide whether this is just a wobbly period (99% of the time is!) or your mind is made and that’s it you’re done!

Does this all sound familiar to you? Let’s highlight some of the danger signs and if you find yourself nodding along and saying ‘yep, that’s me’ then read on for top tips to get you feeling the love!

  • You’ve taken on too much, you’re wearing so many ‘job hats’ that it’s overwhelming
  • You no longer have the time to ensure you are keeping your clients/customers happy.
  • Business plan? Haha what is that… I haven’t looked at in ages/ever!
  • Your cash flow is a serious problem
  • You’re working long hours and hate every second of it
  • You’re putting things off and finding everything else to do but solve your problems.


Thankfully, you can rekindle the flames of passion for your business by making a few subtle (tried and tested!) changes in how you work and think. Here are seven tips to help you love your business again!


  1. Take a holiday! Most business owners rarely take a break, and if they do, they are still not fully switched off… they still answer emails, have the laptop available etc. Repeat after me … ‘YOUR CLIENTS CAN LIVE WITHOUT YOU FOR TWO WEEKS, THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END!’ Get a holiday booked that’s purely for you, designed for lots of rest and relaxation. No worrying about answering emails, listening to answerphone messages and dare I say it… no social media! You might find a holiday to escape from it all, and one that gives you (and your brain!) a chance to relax and slow down, is just what you needed to fall back in love with your business. Don’t feel guilty either – everyone needs a break and your clients will understand. Just give them plenty of notice and away you go.


  1. With your newly refreshed state of mind… start again! After a holiday you always feel relaxed, rested and re-motivated. Before you go back straight into work and catching up – take a day to spring clean your business. Use this new-found positivity to clear out the garbage (ineffective procedures, bad clients and maybe even literally clear out the garbage if you have a messy office!). Simply ask yourself questions such as; what can I get rid of that’s not working/making me unhappy? What’s something that’s costing me lots of money? Can I get rid completely or find a cheaper alternative? What can I do to make my business more efficient? What ideas can I implement to make my clients happier? What skills can I learn that will benefit my business? By examining your life and reviewing your typical work day/week/month you can work out all the areas that are good/bad and act on that to help you solve many of your business issues and set yourself up for success!


  1. Streamline processes to relive overwhelm! If the main problem within your business is that you feel overwhelmed, running around doing 1001 jobs, then you will really benefit from looking objectively at your business to identify the areas in which your time is being taken up unnecessarily. You can majorly improve your productivity and free up a lot of your time by implementing software, delegating tasks, hiring a freelancer and other tactics designed to be utilized by business owners like yourself to improve workflow and yield better results! Constantly chasing up invoices? Implement a software to do it for you. Absolutely hate answering the business calls? Hire a company who’s job it is to do that. You can easily free up your time by streamlining your current processes and delegating the ones you hate to someone else, leaving you happier, less overwhelmed and of course your business becomes more productive and professional as a result.


  1. Remind yourself why you started your business! If you’re unhappy with your life and business, it’s easy to forget why you launched your own venture in the first place and the huge benefits you receive from it. When it comes down to it, you‘re the boss. You can take time off when you want, work the hours that suit you, pick and choose your clients and have control over your future. Ok so you are thinking of quitting self-employment, for what? To go back to the ratrace working for someone else, 9-5, a condescending boss, traffic and working all the hours under the sun to make someone else rich! That’s crazy to want to go back into! If you need to fall back in love with your business, take a few minutes to be humble and grateful. You are living the life that most people only dream they had to guts to do! Yes it may be stressful at times, but surely all the massive positives outweigh the negatives you experience sometimes.


  1. Have good support around you! Running your own business can be a very lonely affair, especially if no one in your inner circle runs their own business so can’t relate to how you are feeling. It needn’t be, however as there are so many business support networks around in the form of monthly groups, networking opportunities, online communities etc. where you can meet up, get out the office and talk to like-minded people who can offer advice, support and a new way of thinking about things. Don’t underestimate a simple coffee with a friend or family member too! A nice chat to whinge and whine to get things off your chest can do the world of good – as they say a problem shared is a problem halved! – so make sure you have a lot of people around you who you can talk you when things are getting too much as this support can make the difference to help you succeed.


  1. Work out your plan! If you are on a weight loss plan, for example, how great does it feel when you hit your weekly/monthly target and keep knocking those targets out the park! How motivating it is to see yourself working hard to achieve this positive life changing goal. The same logic can be applied to building and making a success of your own business. Take the time to work “on” your business by setting time aside to plan your goals and create a bigger picture of what you want to achieve. Identify realistic goals and objectives and create a roadmap that guides you towards that success! Make sure you regularly review your master plan and check your progress toward achieving your goals. When you see yourself hitting those goals you will feel a sense of motivation and fulfilment knowing you are one step towards where you want to be. Importantly, don’t feel sad if you don’t hit your goal, simply assess what you missed and learn what you need to do to make sure you hit it next month… you’re only human remember!


  1. Book your next holiday! The logic here is that you will always have something to look forward to. Taking a break, even if its just a few days away is so important for a business owner. A holiday refreshes you, gets you a change of scenery, reminds you how good you really have it (after all, you didn’t have to ask anyone else’s permission to go on holiday – you just did it because you could as you’re the boss!) and that time away even gives you a chance to miss your business! All of which gear you up for an ultra-positive stint for when you get back to your desk!


What are your top tips for staying motivated as a business owner?

How to Build More Members of Your Facebook Group

Groups for Pages, enables the 70 million+ Pages on Facebook to create their own unique communities and feeds. More than 1 billion people around the world use Groups and more than 100 million people see Groups as the most important part of their experience on Facebook. Facebook Groups are the place to connect with other like-minded people and are becoming increasingly important for brands and businesses aiming to cultivate a community.

Whether you choose to have just a Facebook Page, Group or Both in your Facebook marketing mix, Here’s a quick overview of the positive features for each:


Facebook Page

  • Built-in analytics (Page Insights).
  • Call-to-action button (e.g. Sign Up, Book Now, Learn More) on your Facebook Page.
  • Boost your Facebook Page and Page posts with Facebook ads.
  • Like and comment as your Facebook Page.
  • Add apps and services to your Facebook Page, so that your fans can easily order a product, make a booking, get a quote and more.


Facebook Group

  • Built-in analytics (Group Insights) now.
  • Set your Facebook group as private (Closed or Secret).
  • Post documents, create polls, and even buy and sell in your Facebook group.
  • Group chat with your group members.
  • Members receive notifications about new posts to the Group.


Click Here to Learn How to Set Up Facebook Groups for Pages


10 Things you Can Use Your Facebook Group For:

  • Building Relationships
  • Growing a Community
  • Establishing Yourself as an Expert
  • Share your Blog Posts
  • Drive Traffic to your Website
  • Grow Your Subscriber / Email List
  • Launch New Products and Sell Existing Ones
  • Host Trainings
  • Find Partners


Tips For Growing your Group

  • Engage With Your Members Regularly

When your community is in its initial small stage, there might not be many posts from your community members. Help cultivate conversation by regularly (perhaps 2/3 times a week) adding relevant, helpful conversations to encourage engagement. For example, you could welcome your new members every Monday, initiate a discussion on every Wednesday, and invite members to share their weeks’ achievements on Friday.


  • Use Analytics to Inform Your Strategy

Group Insights can be accessed by clicking on “Group Insights” on the left sidebar. Here, you can find out insights such as how your Facebook Group is growing, when your members are most engaged, and who your most engaged members are. Use these metrics and insights to inform your community-building strategy.


  • Host Regular Events

Hosting events is a great way to get community members involved and attract inactive members back to the community. In-personal meetups help to reinforce the connections made online, making the relationships more meaningful. Here are some online and offline events you could host:

  • AMAs (Ask-Me-Anything) with a community member or industry expert
  • Q&As with someone from your company
  • Talks and panel discussions
  • Mastermind sessions or community discussions
  • Casual get-to-know-each-other gatherings such as brunch, picnic, dinner, etc.


Once you have planned your event, create an event in your Facebook Group and invite members to attend.


  • Email Your List and Invite them to Join

If people subscribe to your email list, send them a welcome email with a link to join your group!


  • Write a Blog Post Promoting Your Facebook Group

This is a great way to get in front of a new audience and attract more people to your group. You can use this piece of content and promote it on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to expand your reach.


  • Leverage Your Friends and Group Members

Encourage your members to invite their friends in your post, group description and per private message directly when inviting them to your group. You may also encourage your group members to help you and reward those who put in the most effort.


  • Advertise Your Group

Remember to promote the link to your group on other social media sites like Twitter or in YouTube videos etc, wherever you can. You should also look to post the link to your group in similar groups and invite members directly to join your group via private message. Don’t be spammy with this technique though, simply ‘like’ other members posts and write them a private message, asking them to join your group so you can create new relationships at the same time and they will more likely have a look at your post in your own group.


Top Tip: Get rid of Spammers. Admonish or delete spammers to keep your group clean and on topic. Decide who you are going to accept in your group and check out their profiles if necessary.


  • Make Sure you Respond to Every Post in Your Group

You want to reward people for posting high quality content into your group, so reward them by commenting and letting them know how much you like what they’re posting. Think positive reinforcement.


  • Give Your Group What They Want

You’ll be surprised at how being of service will build your client base, no matter what your business is. Ask people what their needs, wants and desires are, and structure your posts around that. The more you can fill a need, the better.

7 Things You Must Do Every Month to Keep Your Social Media Profiles Fresh!

In order to keep your social media platforms fresh, relevant and effective there are several monthly maintenance jobs you need to complete. By regularly monitoring your pages and making it a habit to assess your settings, competitors and other important aspects, you ensure that your social media marketing is highly effective helping you to maximise your ROI.


  • Update Your Bios and Descriptions: Are your descriptions on your platforms relevant and up to date? Ensure you regularly update your bios with and new key information, links, messages or any other important information such as a new email address or website link.


  • Update Your Logos, Cover Images, Banners and Backgrounds: Are you logos and other visual identity covers up to date and relevant? By updating your social media logo and cover images to represent the current trends, seasons and any other important info like offers, sales and promotions, you keep your pages feeling fresh for your fans and followers.


  • Organise your Followings: If you follow a lot of blogs or have a large Twitter following it is worthwhile getting organised with up to date lists that contain the content and people you want to be able to find easily. On Twitter itself you can create lists based on interests or organise the updates from important users and influencers, if you already utilise this feature then ensure it is kept up to date and organised. If you don’t use Twitter lists then it’s worthwhile that you start.


  • Assess your Competitors Pages: Regularly examining what your competitors are doing on their social media platforms can reveal a lot of useful information to help you inform your own strategy. Explore keys are such as which social media platforms they are using, How engaged their fans are, what types of content they share , which types of content draw the most engagement, are they doing anything new? And are they using any social media platforms that you aren’t?


  • Review Page Permissions and Privacy Settings: It is important for security purposes that you review who has access to your social media pages, both people and third party applications and update these permissions accordingly. Ideally if a person who knows your passwords has since left your business you should change all of your passwords immediately. As a general rule of thumb however you should look to update your passwords on a quarterly or every few months basis.


  • Explore New Options and Keep up With Trends and Developments: Every month you should look at any emerging trends and developments in your industry and social media platforms that you need to be aware of and that you can utilise. Regularly check to see if you’re missing out on any new network features that could benefit you by checking the official websites and blogs of your social media platforms. You should also be up to date on industry trends, developments and any new emerging social media platforms by regularly reading articles and following industry influencers.


  • Revisit and Assess Goals: Key to your success is meeting your social media goals and objectives so ensure you regularly take a look at your analytics across your social media platforms to ensure you are meeting all aspects of them. As time progresses you may find your strategy and goals need to change or adapt therefore it is important to regularly assess your goals and ensure they are still the ones you want to aim for.


Useful Tools and Apps to Help You Market Smart

Updating Facebook, creating images for Pinterest; posting a stream of Tweets and or crafting your weekly blog post – all of these tasks can easily eat away at your day until there is little or no time for anything else. Those with the budget can hire a dedicated social media manager to do all this for them, but for a cash-strapped start-up with no budget for a freelancer, it can feel like a struggle to get your marketing successfully off the ground. Be thankful therefore, that there are a huge variety of great tools available that are all specifically designed to address these issues.  Utilising the ready available tools to help you manage your social media presence will make the whole process significantly more streamlined and free up your day for other important tasks to growing your business.


  • Canva

Visual content is vital in your social media marketing. Turn to Canva to help you easily produce high-quality, eye-catching mages for free or if you have a budget, gain access to thousands of graphics and photos. They offer numerous templates that help your images look like a great designer has done them (but in the fraction of the time and cost!).


  • Buffer

Buffer makes allows you to create a posting schedule for your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ pages all in one place, which makes posting your social-media content across multiple social media accounts is a whole lot easier.


  • Brand24

Brand24 delivers real-time information on what’s been said as well as what is going on with your competition. This continual insight not only saves you having to search around for what people are saying about your brand, but it will help you effectively respond to positive and negative comments across your social-media platforms, so you can stay engaged with your audience and utilise any potential sales opportunities.


  • Cyfe

Cyfe is a cloud-based service that allows you easily monitor and share all of your vital business data from one single location in real-time. It delivers detailed reports related to SEO, Google Analytics, AdWords and brand mentions. Cyfe can also help with industry and competitor research as a business intelligence tool, helping to turn data and trends into actionable insights.


  • Social Clout

Social Clout is a social media monitoring and analytics tool, that looks at where you can make significant improvements in engagement, campaigns and keywords. It delivers reports on demographics and social-media results, providing data on multiple social-media accounts to help you track the progress and be able to note the differences in responses across platforms.


  • AgoraPulse

If you use Facebook and Twitter for business, this tool enhances what you can do with both social-media platforms, allowing you to manage all Social Media messages in one place, schedule and publish content. It also offers solutions for customer relationship management, applications, analytics reports, contests and more.


  • Follower Wonk

Follower Wonk helps you find, analyze and optimize your social-media efforts solely for Twitter. You can get richer data about your followers, where they are located, and when they tweet plus the ability to locate new influencers and optimise your own tweets.


  • Inkybee

This social-media tool provides a way for you to locate and connect with influencers (bloggers, social-media celebrities etc.) in your industry who can elevate your brand and help open you up to and attract more potential customers.


  • Sendible

A popular and powerful social-media tool, Sendible brings together all aspects of your social-media management responsibilities. From gathering all posts and comments into one dashboard for analysis, measurement and engagement. To publishing, collaboration, mobile tools and customer relationship management.


  • Openr

This tool lets you add a relevant, targeted promotional message to any page you share on your social-media profiles. The result is more leads and traffic while helping you learn more about your audience.


  • Socedo

Socedo automates the lead generation process by bringing in relevant social prospects through social media into your sales pipeline. The platform matches users’ interest with your defined criteria and engages prospective customers, automatically using a customisable workflow. This tool also provides insights and analytics and insights allowing you to fine-tune the workflow in order to get better quality leads.


  • Hooks App

The Hooks app is an alert system to use on your iPhone allowing you to stay up to date on anything through push notifications. There are hundreds of channels, including music, weather, sports scores, weather, stock prices, shipping tracking and even a channel to let you know when a concert from a certain artist is upcoming. Think of any channel, then think of anything you want to be notified of on that channel, whether it’s every time a certain person tweets or when a website is down. For example, to do a Twitter alert, just set up the app, go to Twitter search and plug in the hashtag. You will then get an alert on your phone every time someone tweets that hashtag.


  • TwitShot

TwitShot is a free tool that’s a combination of a website, Chrome extension and iOS app that simplifies the way you find images for your tweets. With TwitShot, you can easily drop photos into tweets. Simply drop in a URL for whatever piece of content you want to tweet, and TwitShot will scrape the site and find all image options. This is much more efficient than downloading and re-uploading an image when you want to tweet.


  • Google Trends

Google Trends is a free service that provides you with on-demand insight into what people are searching for and whether it’s increasing or decreasing as a trend.  Simply type in a couple of keywords and compare their interest activity. Google Trends tracks activity on these keywords all the way back to 2004, and shows if activity is increasing or decreasing, relative to the other search term. You can do this worldwide, but or search by country and get insights into what people are searching for, see whether the trend is moving up or down and more.


  • Firefox Web Shortcuts

If use the Firefox web browser, there are some cool tricks you can utilise. For example, hold down Cmd+Opt+M (for Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+M (for Windows) to see how your site looks on mobile. By holding down Cmd+Opt+Q (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+Q (Windows) you can also see how your web page loads and what’s slowing it down. This is great way to test and troubleshoot your website.

24 Best Practices for Social Media Marketing Success

Want to ensure your social media presence is ultimately going to be a successful addition to your marketing strategy? Take note of these 24 best practices!


Have Goals and Objectives

Like every other marketing and business initiative, you need to have a goal or objective that you what your social media presence to achieve. Whether you want to use it to improve brand awareness or as a new outlet to interact with customers, having clear objectives for your platforms helps to optimise their reach and impact. In addition, having well-defined objectives also makes it clearer for you in what to measure for your return on investment. It is also worth noting that return on investment with social media marketing cannot always be measured in money. Whilst it can drive sales, the real power of social media marketing is in building relationships with customers. Whatever your objectives, make them achievable and relevant for your business and remember as you progress these objectives may change.


Portray Yourself Consistently          

It is important that before you engage in social media that you are clear on what kind of image you want to portray of yourself and make sure to keep it consistent across all platforms. This consistency equally applies not just to the ‘voice’ you portray but also to the creative aspects, that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. If your brand or company uses certain colours then be sure to apply these consistently across the presentation of all your social media platforms. This also extends to a company logo or picture, make sure they are up to date and reflective of the image you want to portray. Having a social media platform is a great way to show a ‘human’ side to your business that customers appreciate and prefer. From this, it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your page that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your company page is going to be managed by several different contributors. In general, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and customers will be more drawn to and engage with you. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your page it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.


Be Where Your Customers Are

It’s important to have a presence where your customers are looking to interact with you. To find out where you should be there are two easy ways; research the demographics of your intended social media platforms and also ask your customers yourself. When you start researching what platforms you think are best for your business, be sure that their main audience are the ones you want to target. The other option is for you to ask your existing customers where they are active online; this will then help guide your platform choices.


Get In The Habit Of Checking The News

If you’re not already doing this at least once a day, you need to start. Get in the habit of checking both industry news and the news in the world. You don’t need to read an entire newspaper and several journals, just look to bookmark a few key sites and blogs and at the very least, skim the headlines. Social media covers all aspects of people’s lives and the more you understand about them in a wider context, the more you can understand where your brand will fit into your followers’ newsfeed. The added benefit of scanning the news daily means it will also help you to find real time opportunities that you can utilise for your social media content.


Learn To Manage Your Time Effectively

On average, 64% of marketers spend at least 6 hours a week on social media. As more social media platforms, tools and features are added into your marketing mix regularly, it can become overwhelming to keep on top of your timing and not to have your social media management impact your other duties. Timekeeping is one of the most vital skills for an efficient social media marketer, so make sure you’re getting everything done by creating checklists for regular tasks and using social media tools that help you work smarter.


Focus on Building a Community Rather Than a Number of Followers

The number of people following you can only take you so far. Having 10,000+ followers is noteworthy, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they’re not interacting and paying attention to your content. So what can be done to build a community and increase engagement with your current and potential followers? Simple, always insert some personality, humor, and life into your brand and always converse directly with your followers: which is as simple as having a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content.


Create a Powerful Presence Across all Social Channels

If you want your audience to stay engaged, you need to be engaging. One of the great ways to do this by creating powerful social campaigns that run consistent across all your social platforms. How do you do this? Start by…

  • Telling a powerful story: Think of ways you can use your social channels to tell powerful, motivational and therefore compelling stories to your viewers. For example, you can share a story rooted in charity work that you do or support. Alternatively, you could share stories from your happiest clients on your blog and then create a social campaign with a unique slogan and hashtag to promote and create a movement around their stories. Team this strategy with…
  • Brand your movement with a unique name and hashtags: Branding your movement will make it memorable and stick out in the mind of your followers. Take time to brainstorm actionable ideas that will get followers involved, whether that is done by posting photos and using your hashtag to group them, running a contest, or throwing events run by your business. For example, you could use the inspirational aspect of getting fit, or New Year’s resolutions, or whichever angle you believe your customers would gravitate towards. Test out a few hashtags, find the one that resonates best, and brand your movement by announcing it on your blog and social platforms.


Suck Up to Influencers

The goal is to get these influential people to like you and like your brand. Once you get in with the people that matter, your business will exponentially grow because you are exposed to their audience and authority. Make a thorough list of key industry influencers and actively take the following steps to socially connect with them:

  • Favorite, like, comment, and re-share their content: Don’t favorite/like everything they post however, that is too obvious. Try to like and favourite a few times per week and comment when you genuinely have something educational and valuable to say.
  • Tweet at them: Whether it’s asking their feedback on your content or asking industry related questions, this strategy works very well as they will be flattered that you thought of them and consider them to be a valuable resource/influencer.
  • Use the same hashtags: This way when they’re reviewing their hashtag feeds they’ll see your content, and perhaps spark their interest.


Share Trending Content

Your platforms don’t exist to be solely self-promotional, this strategy will only make you be seen as boring and obnoxious. Rather, you need to strike a balance between sharing promotional content that markets your brand, interacting with your followers and influencers, and sharing other useful and entertaining content and news from other valuable resources. To help you become an industry influencer and produce content that is share-worthy, follow these four tips:

  • Look for viral videos on YouTube of hilarious children, adorable animals, and inspirational moments and re-share with your own unique spin.
  • Scan the news for the highest covered media stories and add a unique perspective keeping relevant to your brand.
  • Follow and use relevant trending hashtags to add your voice to the larger conversations happening on social media. For example on Twitter you can see “Trends.”
  • Use a popular tool like Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy.


Focus On Creating Content That People Care About and Inspires Conversation

On social media, you can’t depend on passive followers to convert themselves. You need to create as many opportunities to engage people as possible, and it all begins with your content. As people spend longer on social networks, their community expands and with every person followed, page liked, or friend added, they have a whole new set of posts and stories vying for their attention. Brands who have little respect for what people want in their newsfeed will find themselves further fenced off than before, therefore it is vital that the content you share is what your prospects and former customers generally respond well too. This may be a video about how your products work, interesting insights about the culture of your company or shocking stats about inefficiency in your industry for example. Whatever the case may be, build social content that gets your prospects talking to you.


Utilise Every Opportunity to Make Social Media Content

Every piece of content that you post is part of your story that you share with your audience. Everything from your ups and downs, your proudest achievements, to your charity work and the people behind your business are all prime areas in which you can create content that you can share with your viewers. So whenever you launch a new product, attend a conference or find a new way to use one of your products for example, look at the ways in which you can squeeze content out of it for use on your social media platforms.


Promote your Platforms

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to engage with you online. Once you begin, remember to promote all your social media platforms and that includes mentioning them on your e-newsletter, your email signature, business card, product packaging and anywhere else your customers will see it. Your customers and fans need to be told where they can connect with you through social media, so make it clear where you are.


Make Providing Value a Top Priority

Social media is centred on having conversations and engaging with people. That being said, unless the aim of your platforms is to be akin to a personal journal, the content you post should not be simply an update of what you are thinking or doing no with no real substance or value in what you are writing. To avoid to making this mistake every post and tweet should have a clearly defined topic as well as delivering something valuable to the reader, whether that be entertainment or information. You must also write your content with your target audience in mind so rather than trying to appeal to a generic wider audience, write content that contains specialised information and analysis that those interested in your services or in your sector would read. By openly giving out valued advice and information you will become an online repository of specialist knowledge and this will attract the attention of your target audience. Central to being effective is also realising that conversation is a two-way process so you also need to listen to what people are saying to you and about you and respond to them accordingly.


Be Active and Consistent

In order to get the most out of using social media as a marketing tool, you need to post content often. It is therefore vital that in the very beginning you figure out a comfortable writing routine that works with your editorial calendar, be it posting daily or several times a week, and stick to it in order to maintain consistency and maximise your impact. Although it takes some experimentation to find the best publishing schedule for you, there are two things that should always be considered and will dictate your posting schedule; your business goals and what your audience wants.


Respond Quickly

The fact that customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers means you’re publicly open to both criticism and praise online. From this, it is vital that you watch for any negative things that are being said about you and respond quickly and accordingly. Rather than simply deleting any negative comments you receive, as even the most universally loved businesses receive negative comments, view them as an opportunity to win over a customer offering help, guidance or even acknowledging where something went wrong. By dealing with negativity in an open and authentic way you can help build rapport and trust with your customers. Also remember that often you will get praise online in the form of a great review or comment, do not forget to say thank you.


Coordinate Your Social Channels

Your success will be limited If you treat each social media platform as a stand-alone effort. Your networks should work together to help you achieve your goals, with your website acting as your brand’s home base. Coordinate and cross-promote your social media efforts to reach new audiences, boost your following and to push people to your website where they can buy your product or service.


Boost Results With Social Advertising

If you want to accelerate your social media performance, it’s worth your time to explore paid advertising options. Facebook offers a number of advertising options to help boost sales, brand exposure, audience engagement and website traffic. Twitter has two advertising solutions: promoted content that helps you cut through the noise and serve your content to tailored audiences and promoted accounts which help increase the size of your Twitter following. Likewise LinkedIn also offers opportunities to reach specific audiences by advertising or by the use of the sponsored updates feature to increase your brand’s visibility. Even if your budget is limited, don’t dismiss social advertising. Used strategically it can produce great results to boost your visibility and success on social media.


Find Leads Using Social Media Monitoring Tools

Tracking and monitoring conversations happening around your brand and products is a time consuming but vital task that can be made manageable using social media monitoring tools. Ensure you actively make the effort to monitor mentions of your name, your business name, your products and any other keywords related to your business to find conversations already happening in your industry. Jump into those conversations and provide answers, guidance or helpful information where needed. Being useful is one way to start to build relationships with your target market.


Participate in Other People’s Communities (OPC’s)

Actively join and engage the discussions in the communities populated by people likely to use your services and share some of your expertise when it’s relevant. Make it your aim to become and trusted member of these communities. You never want to be promotional in social groups, but if you’re consistently helpful and engaged, prospects will likely be interested and click through to your profile where they’ll find your posts and marketing collateral.


Send Regular Emails with Valuable Content, Deals and Promotions

As your social media connections move into your email list, you can and should continue to provide valuable information, notify them of upcoming deals and promotions and provide general interesting business news and updates. At this point in the funnel you have likely already become a trusted source of information, meaning your subscribers are warmed up to buying from you. Social media is all about building connections with your target market, and making yourself the first name that comes to mind when they’re ready to buy. Take this opportunity to craft perfect email campaigns, using segmentation whenever possible to be sure your content and offers are targeted to specific groups of subscribers and by the strategic use of strong calls to action in your emails to make sure your subscribers know what you want them to do, and what to expect when they click on your offer/content. By continuing to cultivate them with engaging, valuable and entertaining information in your emails, you will help to build connections that will result in long-term, profitable relationships.


Create Customer Advocacy Opportunities

Customer advocacy is where your marketing ROI can take off. You’ll be putting in less effort to reach your marketing goals because your customers will effectively sell for you.

  • Continue to engage qualified leads and customers

There’s no reason why people should stop learning from you after they become customers. If they’re on an email list or subscribed to your blog, actively send out informational reminders for them to connect with your company on social networks.

  • Offer occasional incentives for customers to review your services or share certain posts

Depending on your business and market, offering vouchers or bargains such as free consultations can work well. The benefits for you are twofold: You’ll increase brand exposure and subtly help customers become your advocates.

  • Engage customers specifically about your products and services

If your company offers a complex product, it might be a good idea to create a forum on your website or an entirely hub that’s purely for continued customer support, just for you and your customers to interact around your products.  Externally, LinkedIn showcase pages and Facebook groups might be possible hubs for product-based conversations that build increased trust for your brand and position your company as worth advocating for.

  • Provide substantial advocacy opportunities for repeat customers

Over time, you might form mutually beneficial partnerships with repeat customers. Consider rewarding these relationships with more substantial opportunities such as inviting them to networking events.


Monitor Social for Un-Tagged Brand Mentions

Not every person who mentions your brand or products on social media will tag you in the post. In fact, many social posters may assume that you’ll never even see the posts they create mentioning you. Actively scan your social media networks for these types of mentions and join the conversation by provide pleasantly surprising customer engagement. You should look to actively monitor;

Your Own Brand Terms—make sure to monitor for all variations of your company’s name, including nicknames and common misspellings.

Your Own Product Terms—A less frequently used strategy involves monitoring social for some of your popular products, as well as the common nicknames and misspellings.


Create an Internal FAQ Document

Consult with everyone who manages your social pages and build a document that houses all of these questions and some solid answers. Whilst you should never simply copy-paste those responses over to your customers, you can use this document to quickly guide your response.


Do What Is Right for You

As you become a regular participant on social media platforms, you will find unique ways in which they can be used to the best advantage for your business. Nobody knows your customers and what they expect from you better than you yourself so delivering the content they want and engaging with them is the most important thing and will dictate your decisions surrounding your social media marketing efforts. As with any other marketing efforts, you will learn in time what works and what don’t, the important thing is to learn by doing.

GUEST POST: Essential Small Business Tax Tips

Devlin-Whitworth Accountancy are a well established small family run accountancy & bookkeeping practice which has been operating out of Bolton for over 15 years assisting a wide variety of clients throughout the region ranging from self-employed individuals to small companies with several employees. The brilliant Simon Whitworth has written a thorough guide to small business tax tips for you!



For many small business owners, tax is one of the most challenging areas of running a business. And with good reason, too – the tax system can be complicated at times.

Good planning can help small businesses identify areas where they can save money on tax, money which can then be reinvested in the business. But there are other equally compelling reasons to take tax planning seriously, such as ensuring you are compliant with rules and regulations.

Thats why we at Devlin-Whitworth Accountancy have put together a list of the most essential tax tips to help your small business navigate the taxation minefield.


Know the deadlines

As you begin to run your business you should be aware of your tax deadlines, the first of which is the dates a tax year runs to and from; 6th April to the 5th April the following year. Any money received or paid out by the business during these dates will be the basis of your annual self-assessment tax return, which must be submitted by the 31st January after the end of the tax year.

For example if you begun your business in May of 2018, your tax year would run from 6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019 and your self-assessment return would be due to HMRC by 31st January 2020.

If you are running a limited company you will have the additional dates which your company accounts will due to Companies House and the date which your corporation tax return is due to HMRC. Be aware these are not always the same date.


Be aware of your allowances

When you begin working for yourself you will be  required to pay income tax on your profit over your personal allowance, which as of 2018-19 tax year is £11,850. This means that income is only due once your profits are above this amount.

There is also the Marriage Allowance which is a government scheme to help couples where one partner earns less than their personal allowance (£11,850). Where this partner is earning below £11,850 they aren’t receiving all of their tax-free allowance. So they can transfer 10% (£1,185) of this allowance to their partner.

This means that the high-earning partner is taxed on less of their salary, so their take-home pay increases. This can save couples up to £230 a year.


Keep records

When the time comes for you (or your accountant) to file your self-assessment tax return the basis of it will be the incomings and outgoings of your business throughout that tax year. This can become tricky and stressful if records haven’t be adequetely kept and could lead to things being overlooked and you paying more tax than you otherwise should.

To eliminate this or atleast to keep this to a minimum you should ideally maintain 3 sets of records, which includes:

  • Cash book

The payments into and out of your bank account. Keep it up-to-date, and after a few months you’ll be able to use it as a forecasting tool rather than just a historical record.

  • Sales invoice file/ledger

Store invoices in chronological order. Keep those which haven’t yet been paid at the front of the file to help your credit control.

  • Purchase invoice file/ledger

Get used to making notes on invoices about when you paid them and how (BACS, cheque, cash    etc). File them in chronological order. This will make your life easier and keep your accountants’ bill down.

Alongside these records you should also get used to keeping a piece of paper for every transaction be it a receipt or invoice. It’s easier to collect paper as you go along, rather than try to find it years down the line.


Pay yourself efficiently

The amount you pay yourself from your business obviously has an impact on the amount of tax you pay. How you pay yourself can also have a significant impact also.

The structure of your business can determine how best to pay yourself aswell, for instance if you are running a limited company it may be more beneficial to pay yourself a small salary and then make up the rest through dividends. This can save on tax and national insurance as dividends are taxed at a lower rate.

Also if you are part of a partnership paying yourself brings up its own issues and complications, usually how the profits of the partnership are split is detailed in a legal agreement drawn up at the time of incorporation.

This is not as much of a worry to sole traders but it is always worthwhile being aware of how much income tax and antional insurance is due on your income or pay.


Don’t leave it until the last minute

Its probably not the best idea to wait until the deadline to plan your taxes and file the relevant tax return(s) with HMRC and leaving it too late can often result in having penalties or more tax to pay.

The earlier you start preparing your taxes, the more time you have to get it right—for example, tracking down missing receipts so you can claim all the deductions you’re eligible for. If you’re up against the deadline, you may be tempted to let them go.

Save yourself the potential stress by getting your tax filing over with ASAP.

Filing taxes can be overwhelming, complicated, and even scary at times, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

We at Devlin-Whitworth accountancy offer a fully comprehensive service, if you would like more information get in touch for a free consolutation at or visit our website

The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Businesses

Blogging offers an easy way for businesses to share informative content with subscribers, fans and followers. Blogs are often considered at the heart of social media as they present the opportunity for you share better, more engaging content than a typical update on social media. This allows you to provide more value in every piece of content you create, helping you to connect with your audience more and become a valued source of information.

What’s Good About Blogging?

  • A great tool for improving search engine rankings
  • Adds personality to your website, showing a ‘human’ side to your business
  • Helps boost industry perception and can place you as an authority in your sector
  • It’s inexpensive, there are many blog platforms such as WordPress that allow you to set up a Blog for free


What’s Not so Good About Blogging?

  • Not useful for companies that cannot be open with information
  • A successful blog takes a lot of thought and time so is not suitable for businesses without the time, talent or expertise

Need to Know Facts, Stats and Tips About Blogging

  • 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority (HubSpot).
  • 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.
  • 36% of people prefer list-based headlines (ConversionXL)
  • In 2017, 66% of marketers reported using blogs in their social media content. (Social Media Examiner)
  • B2B marketers (75%) are more likely to use blogs in their social media content than B2C (61%) (Social Media Examiner).
  • Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages.
  • The Number of Bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020 (Statista).
  • 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Demand Gen Report, 2016).
  • Blog articles with images get 94% more views.
  • 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
  • B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.
  • 71% of marketers report using visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy.
  • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts.
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Just over half (51%) of business owners report that content management is “very important” or “absolutely critical” to creating a cohesive buyer journey.
  • 70-80% of users ignore paid ads and only focus on organic results.
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.


Why You Need a Blog for Your Business


It’s Great for SEO

Blogs are a fantastic resource for improving search engine rankings as filled with relevant content they provide an ideal platform for your targeted keywords to be used in a natural setting. A blog also encourages people to link to your website that adds to your credibility in the search engine’s eyes and also allows you to build internal links within your site, making it more easily navigated by search engine spiders. By providing regular and fresh content search engines will visit your page more frequently helping you gain maximum search exposure as quickly as possible.


Allows you to Easily Keep People Informed and Shows Your Personality

The internet can often be an impersonal place; however having a blog offers an informal and chatty platform for your opinions, stories, humour and advice that gives your business a human face. This great ability to humanise your business through blogging ultimately makes your business appear more engaging, relatable and trustworthy to others. The space that blogging gives you to go over and above the basic, everyday postings on social media presents the opportunity for your customers to get to know you better, so whether you are sharing industry expertise, reviewing a product or sharing an aspect of your brand story, each post acts as a small piece of your business puzzle that each makes up the elements of your story. As those pieces all fit together they give your customers the wider picture and put your business into context, helping them to better understand who you are, what you do, and ultimately tells them why they should care about you.


It Increases Your Authority

By regularly updating your corporate blog with valuable, interesting and relevant industry analysis and comment, it shows that you have a deep interest in your sector and are more informed than the average participant; giving potential customers a compelling reason to choose you over competitors. Moreover, those customers will continue to visit and spread the word to others of your valuable and interesting blog.


Blogging: What, and How Often?

Before you jump in and start blogging there are seven key strategic questions you must answer in order to ensure your blog is going to be in line with your business objectives and ultimately be a successful addition to your social media marketing strategy.


Have You Determined Your Blog’s Business Objectives?

One of the first things you must do is determine what you want your blog to achieve for your business. Whether you want to use it to support sales by giving potential customers useful information in the form of how-to videos, or use it as an outlet to build your brand by providing content that supports your offering, having clear objectives for your blog helps optimise its reach and impact and when you later come to measure your success, you will have a clearer idea of what metrics to track.

Common Blogging Goals

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Attract new Customers or Generate Leads
  • Provide Post-Sales Support
  • Inform, Educate and Entertain your Audience
  • Demonstrate your Expertise and Become and Authority in Your Sector
  • Drive Direct Income
  • Build Long-Term Relationships with your Community


Where Will You Host Your Blog?

One of the initial hurdles when forming a blog is picking a service that will be right for your business. Many businesses choose free providers in the beginning such as WordPress and switch to self-hosted sites once they are more comfortable with blogging. Much like when you choose what other social media platforms to be on, you need to choose a platform that is relevant for your business and that offers you the services you are looking for.


Have You Defined Your Target Readers?

In addition to determining your objectives, having a clear idea of your target readers is paramount as your posts can then be tailored around content that maximises interest and engagement from your readers. It is also important to consider how your demographic behaves on social media for example how they like to receive their information and whether they are people who actively comment or not, as blog posts can then be tailored accordingly in order to maximise your potential for impact and engagement.


Have You Developed Your Blog’s Voice?

Blogs are a great way for business to show a ‘human’ side to your business that customers appreciate and prefer to interact with. From this, it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your blog that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your business blog is going to be managed by several different contributors. Put simply, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and customers will be more drawn to and engage with your blog.


Have I Chosen the Best Blog Layout?

One of the first things you need to do when you start a blog is to choose a blog template layout. Do you want your blog to look like a traditional website? Or an online portfolio or magazine? Most blogging applications offer a variety of themes to choose from. Here are the most commonly used blog layout options to help you decide which one is right for your blog:


  • One-column typically looking similar to online journals, this layout includes a single column of content with no sidebars on either side of the content. The benefit of this template is that readers give 100% of their attention to your content, however this template layout doesn’t leave you with room for promotion of additional information, except throughout or at the end of posts. Choose this layout if you have a personal blog and have no need to display any additional information other than the content of each post.


  • Two-column This is the most common layout as it allows bloggers to offer more information and features on the same page as their blog posts. This blog layout template includes a wide main column, which typically takes up at least three-quarters of the screen width, as well as a single sidebar that can appear to the left or right of the main column. Usually, the main column includes blog posts and the sidebar includes additional elements such as ads, links to archives, RSS subscription links for example. The key to making this layout work for your business is to ensure that the sidebar focuses on your business goals, with the most important elements at the top.


  • Three-column A three-column blog template layout includes a main column that usually spans approximately two-thirds of the screen width as well as two sidebars. Blog posts are usually displayed in the main column and additional elements are shown in the two sidebars. If you produce a large amount of content that you want to promote alongside your articles, the three-column layout gives you plenty of space for promotion. This layout can distract readers from the main article but can also keep them on your website longer, as they’ll have plenty of related content to click through to.


  • Magazine A magazine blog template layout uses a variety of boxes of content, or featured spaces, to highlight specific content such video, images, and blog posts. This makes the home page look more like a page on a newspaper than a blog, however, interior pages can look like traditional blog pages. This type of layout is best for a blog that publishes a significant amount of content each day and as such needs a way to display a lot of content on the home page at the same time.


  • Photo, Multimedia, and Portfolio If the majority of your blog content is made up of images or video, this type of template layout would be perfect for your blog design. These layouts are used to show a variety of images or videos in an appealing way, with images or videos displayed attractively across the home page.


  • Website or Business This type of template layout makes your blog look like a traditional website. If you want your blog to look like a website, use a website or business blog template layout.


  • E-Commerce An e-commerce blog template layout is designed to make it easy for you to display products using images and text and usually incorporate a shopping basket function as well. If you plan to sell products through your website, this template layout would be a good option for you.


  • Landing Page A landing page blog template layout turns your blog into a sales page that is designed to drive conversions using some type of form or other mechanism to capture desired results. This layout is perfect if you’re using your blog as a place to capture leads, sell an eBook or drive app downloads, for example.


  • Mobile A mobile blog template layout enables you to create a site that is completely mobile-friendly. If you know your audience will be viewing your site through mobile devices this template layout is vital as it ensures content loads quickly and accurately on smartphones and tablets


  • Resume A popular layout among job seekers and individuals who are trying to build their brand online. If you’re looking for a job or need a site to communicate your skills and experience, a resume blog template is a very good option for you.


Whichever blog template layout you choose, remember these top tips!

  • Unless you’re an affiliate marketer or a publisher that generates income from advertisers, don’t give visitors any external links to leave your website, unless they point back to your main website.
  • Strive for simplicity: Simplicity is the best rule in design. Whilst Many WordPress themes come with lots of colours, complex layouts, flashy animations, etc. in most cases you don’t really need all that. Simply put, find a theme that looks good, is not overly complicated but without compromising on usability and simplicity.
  • Responsive is Not Optional: Responsive themes adjust their layout across different screen sizes and devices. Google shows mobile friendly websites on top in their mobile search results and a significant number of web traffic today is generated from mobile devices. This means that regardless of your site’s topics and demographics your blog needs to be responsive and fully mobile ready. Most WordPress themes are already responsive by default, but ensure you check that the theme you are choosing for your website is mobile friendly.


Have you Listed Features to be Regularly Included in Your Posts?

Deciding on what major content categories you want to include regularly helps you to stay focused and maintains a clear direction for your posts to go in order to ensure your content is in line with your business goals and is targeting reader’s needs. Part of this process is to also determine how often you will post new content on your blog as having a clear schedule of when you will be posting is paramount in order to ensure it supports and is in line with your wider social media strategy.


Have You Outlined Your Creative Elements?

Consistency should also be applied to the creative aspects of your blog that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your blog it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.


Have You Included Multiple Opt-in Forms?

If you want to convert blog readers into email subscribers to promote your business products and services, you need to have multiple opt-in forms on your blog. There are several different ways to implement them on your blog with SumoMe, for example being a popular tool that allows you to add a variety of opt-in forms to any website. You can add opt-in forms anywhere on your site, including the sidebar, footer, after a post, in floating bars, in slide-ins and in pop-ups. Whilst you don’t want to go overboard, it is important to make sure that there is an opt-in form available on your blog so readers can subscribe at any time.


Have You Included Social Sharing Buttons?

Social sharing buttons are vital for your blog post content as they make it easier for your readers to share your content on the social networks. If you’re comfortable editing your blog design, you can choose to add the official sharing buttons from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and your other chosen networks. If you’d rather use a plugin, there are a vast number of tools available with Shareaholic being a popular example as it works with most major website platforms including Bigcommerce, Blogger, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, Squarespace, Tumblr, Typepad, Weebly, Wix and WordPress. The advantage of using a social sharing platform rather than installing the buttons manually is the analytics that become available to you, allowing you to learn more about how your content is shared and who shares it.


Have You Installed Content Analytics?

Besides the above social sharing analytics, there are several additional analytics tools you need to set up on your blog to help you assess how well your content performs. Two popular tools are Google Analytics with functions such as The Behaviour report that show you details about the traffic your content receives. In addition, Google Webmaster Tools has a great feature called the Search Analytics report which shows you how your content performs in search based on the number of times seen, the number of clicks and the average position in search. By utilising these tools and regularly analysing your blog content analytics you will optimize your content marketing strategy to ensure that you’re driving the best results from your blog posts.


Have You Created Unique User Accounts?

If you have multiple people blogging for your business, whether they’re employees, guests or freelance writers, you should create a unique user account for each new person. Platforms like WordPress already allow each author to have a custom author bio with their posts and an author page that archives all of their articles. Not only is this beneficial from an organised point of view it can aid your SEO efforts as when people search for the author in Google, they might stumble upon your blog. If you have dozens of popular authors, this will allow you to get additional visibility in search and increased traffic to your blog.


How Will Your Blog Align With Other Marketing Efforts?

Maintaining a blog should fuel and enhance your overall content marketing efforts. So similarly when you create a clear posting schedule for your blog be sure to consider how each post is going to fit in with and enhance your other marketing efforts. Consider questions such as how am I going to use my other platforms to promote my blog posts when they are published? And how can each blog post supplement this week’s promotional strategy?


Now it’s time to write your Blog, there are several fundamental basics to follow to ensure you create a powerful and engaging Blog post!


Say Something Interesting and Useful

Write your blog with your target audience in mind so rather than trying to appeal to a generic wider audience, your content contains specialised information and analysis that those interested in your services or in your sector would read. By openly giving out advice and information you will become an online repository of specialist knowledge and this will attract the attention of your target audience.


Be Creative

People always respond better to something that is new, fresh and clever so always brainstorm ideas in the mind-set of producing something that is creative and breaks the mould of other generic blog posts. You are competing in the fast-paced and growing world of social media marketing so you need to make yourself stand out and give potential customers a compelling reason to choose you over your competitors.


Keep it Short and Sweet

An ideal blog post is between 400- 1,60o words in order to be easy enough to digest quickly.  It is widely accepted that online readers are becoming lazy and it becomes difficult and unappealing to read something crowded with text and heavy paragraphs so keep paragraphs succinct and sentences short and snappy. Keep in mind that readers will often read less and less the further down an article or post they read so may sure the important point or link you want to make is made early on.


Never go for the Direct Sell

When you first start blogging it may be tempting to go with the direct sale approach posting information about how wonderful your business is and all of the things you sell or offer. This however is not a successful approach and in most cases will see you viewed as a spammer and will quickly lead to people losing interest in your blog. To avoid making this mistake you must strike a balance between subtle business blog posts and ones centred on customer engagement, with a favourable emphasis on the latter.


Have a Compelling Title and Leading Paragraph

It is paramount to draw the attention to your post by making your headline and introduction exciting. Choose the major point of your post and outline it clearly in the beginning, this is essential if you are going to encourage your readers to click through to the full post.


Balance SEO with Good Content

Whilst it is important to include keywords in your blog, especially within titles, you need to strike a balance between catchiness and SEO. Don’t flood readers with keywords, but do pay attention to the basics such as clean URLs and Meta descriptions.


Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Blog posts should end with something that moves the reader onto a next step be it a call to comment or to connect on another social media platform, this should not be an opportunity to directly hard sell a product however, as this often loses your readers trust.



How to Write an Effective Blog Post



The headline represents one of the most important parts of your blog post. It is the deciding factor on whether a reader is compelled enough to click on and read your blog post or not and for this reason it needs to grab attention and be concise in stating to the reader the benefit of clicking the link and reading the content. Don’t stress out over your blog titles before you start writing. Often, the best titles come after you have already written a post. That being said, it can be helpful to come up with a basic title before you start writing. Whilst 9 times out of 10, you’ll change this title later on, it will in the beginning give you some direction and focus as you write. Whilst there is no definitive perfect headline template, there are several key characteristics of a powerful headline that compels the reader to click on. Powerful headlines are very concise and specific, they focus on the reader and what interests them and also are keyword-optimised ensuring the right type of reader is going to find them.


  • Focus on Blog Title Accuracy

Whilst it may be tempting (and is relatively easy) to come up with a headline that gets clicked, for example “10 Tips To Increase Your Productivity By 10,000%”. These types of crazy, outlandish headlines will ultimately destroy your credibility. You need to ensure that whichever headline format you decide on, the basic premise of your title is accurate and when people click on your headline they are genuinely pleased with the content they discover as it meets their expectations and delivers on whatever promise the headline made.

  • Keep your Blog Title Length Short

According to Kissmetrics, the ideal length for a headline is just 6 words as it is easily digestible, short and snappy. When it’s not possible to stick to a 6-word limit however, Buffer suggests using your most important words at the beginning and end of your titles where readers are most likely to notice them.

  • Optimise your Blog Title for SEO and Click-throughs

If you want your blog posts to rank for specific keywords or phrases, placing these in your title is vital. Using keywords in your titles is also very important for getting people to click on your posts in the SERP’s (search engine results pages). When people search for a particular phrase, they’re highly likely to click on search results that closely match their search term.

  • Google Search

While it is important to include your keywords in your title, you also want to make sure your title is catchy and clickable and makes readers actually want to click through.

  • A/B Testing can Make all the Difference

Testing out various headlines on your audience is a time consuming but vital task as having the right headline can make all the difference


Example Headline Templates That Grab Attention

  • How to Get The ______ you Want Using ______
  • 5 Secrets your ______ Won’t Tell you About ______
  • 10 Things ______ Can Teach You About ______
  • 5 Little Known Ways to ______
  • The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to ______
  • Best Practises for ______
  • 100 Shocking Statistics About ______
  • Now You Too Can Have ______ with These 5 Easy Steps
  • How to be a World-Class ______ Like ______
  • How to ______ a ______ You Can Be Proud Of
  • 10 Things you Must Know About ______ But Don’t
  • 15 Things you Never Knew about ______
  • 5 Unexpected ways to be Successful at ______
  • Why Your Business Needs to Know About  ______
  • 3 Things You Must Do After ______
  • How to ______ in ______Days
  • 20 ______ Every  ______ Should Include
  • 10 ______ Mistakes that I Should Have Done Differently
  • Why I Don’t Do ______
  • 11 ______ Tips I Wish I Had Known



Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph or introduction is meant to provide the setup for the main content and put the subject matter into context. This section of the blog post needs to clearly explain to the reader what your blog post is going to address and compel them to feel as though they will achieve a significant benefit from reading on and taking in what you have to say. As a general guide there are several key characteristics of a successful opening paragraph that you need to include.

  • Be Direct: Online readers prefer to be clearly told what they are about to read and why they should do so. So avoid over complicated, artsy style writing and make it clear to the reader what you are talking about and why they should listen and take note.
  • Be Concise and Compelling: The success of getting readers to read your whole post lies in how well you convince them at the start of your blog post that they simply have to read on. So whether you are offering exclusive content, a competition or some highly valuable advice, make it clear to the reader and in doing so give them a compelling reason to want to read on.
  • Be Bold and Creative: Ensure you set yourself apart from other generic blog posts by being creative. Don’t stick to generic writing styles, layouts and subject matter as being bold but still informative and valuable can attract a lot of attention and encourage a reader to carry on and read the whole post.


The Main Body

The main section of your blog will provide the substance to what you have outlined in your title and opening paragraph.  It is important within this section you adhere to several characteristics that constitute a well written blog post;

  • Logical Structure – You need to ensure that your blog follows a clear and logical structure that flows coherently, making the topic easy for your reader to understand.
  • Short and Succinct Sentences – Short and succinct sentences ensure readers keep interest as it makes your content easily scannable and digestible, an important aspect for skim readers.
  • Examples and Evidence – Providing evidence and examples that back up your points helps you appear more of an authority with your writing as well as helping your readers to grasp concepts by offering clear and obvious examples that clearly support what you are discussing.
  • Images Having a variety of images helps the visual appeal of your post as they break up the blocks of text and help to visually illustrate specific points.



The conclusion should be a short statement that clearly summarises and wraps up your post. This is the area when you should also include a clear call to action in which you direct the reader onto a next step after they have finished reading your post. Whether it is a link to an external site or encourages them to subscribe, you need to ensure the connection with you doesn’t end when your blog post does.


 Proof Reading and Optimisation

Once you have finished writing your blog you need to consider the important factors of proof reading and optimisation before you publish your post. This process includes a thorough read through of your blog looking into areas such as formatting, grammar, spelling, keyword placement and other optimisation opportunities. Look to analyse these several key areas;

  • Strategically Placed Keywords – By including relevant keywords and phrases that your target readers are using and strategically placing them throughout your blog post you tailor your content in a way that is going to ensure you are targeting reader’s needs and the chance for maximum search engine visibility. Look to strategically place these keywords across your post from your URL, to your blog title and subheadings.
  • General Formatting – Ensure your blog post is readable and visually appealing by thoroughly checking your formatting and paying attention to key areas such as including sub-headings to help break up text, breaking large blocks of text with images, being consistent with font choice and text size and generally ensuring ease of read with succinct sentence structure and clearly made points.
  • Correct Links and Visuals – If you have included links ensure that they point to the correct location. If you have included visuals such as pictures and videos also ensure you reference and credit where you got them from.



8 Quick Content Ideas for Blog Posts


  • Tips and How-To’s

Providing informative tips, advice and how-to posts can be very useful to your customers and has the added benefit of promoting your product and its uses.

  • Behind the Scenes/ A Day in the Life of

People love to see behind the scenes as it shows them an aspect of your business that they wouldn’t normally see. ‘Day in the life’ posts are a popular example.

  • Contests and Other Exclusive Content

Running a contest and sharing exclusive content always generate engagement and interest. Just make sure the content and/or prize you offer is relevant and valuable to your audience.

  • Relevant Industry News and Updates

If you know any relevant news/ events that are going to interest or affect your customers then share it with them and you will become a trusted industry news source.

  • Compile a Useful Resource List

If you come across any valuable and informative resources such as links, websites, books and products related to your business and industry, then share it with your customers. This can go some way towards establishing your blog as a trusted source of information.

  • Customer Testimonials / Success Stories

A customer testimonial goes a long way in terms of establishing credibility and interest in your product or service. So if you have received a good recommendation or someone has found another useful use for your product then share it on your blog.

  • Interviews with Industry Leaders/ Key Figures

If you have an industry expert that is of interest to your customers or have celebrity contacts then conducting an interview and sharing it on your blog is a sure fire way to attract attention, even more so if they share exclusive content.

  • Content that Helps Humanise Your Brand

Sharing stories from your business founders, staff members, charity work to your business morals and values and your business highs and lows helps your audience get to know and care about you as it shows there exists a real human behind your real business.


Top Tip: There are plenty of ideas for content out there. Every book you read, event you attend, blog you visit and interview on the news you hear, is rich with ideas for content. So keep your eye out and keep a notepad handy so you always write down any ideas. But what happens for those times when you run dry? Here are four tools to help generate content for your blog:


  • Google Trends: Google Trends keeps you up to date on the day-to-day pulse of your audiences’ interests. With Google Trends you can see the frequency and popularity of Google searches related to your topic and test the subject with Google Trends.
  • MyBlogU: This free online platform allows you to crowdsource and brainstorm with other content creators.
  • Quora: This is a crowd-sourced, question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organised by its community of users. This can help lead you to the types of questions that real people are asking. As well as having the benefit of building your authority, engagement, and traffic from being a regular contributor on Quora.
  • Buzzsumo: A fantastic source for research, with Buzzsumo you enter a topic or a URL in its search box and then displays a wealth of information. Buzzsumo provides backlinks and shows the content that performs best on social media.



8 Point Checklist Before You Publish Your Blog Post


Have I Met my Goal for This Blog Post?

Whatever you set out to achieve with your blog post, whether it’s getting people to take part in research, purchase a product or sign up to your newsletter make sure that the material and links fully support your aim and you have clear and relevant call to actions. Having clear goals also makes it easier to measure your success later down the line and assess whether the blog post achieved what it set out to do.


Is my Post Easy to Read, Well- Developed and Presented?

Having a well- formatted blog post is crucial for both ease of read and keeping the attention of readers. Blog posts even when the tone is causal are ultimately still professional papers and when writing them you are representing your business as much as you do when at meetings and in general. From this, it is vital that you generate a structured blog template and form a routine before you publish around proofreading your post paying particular attention to several key areas;

  • Is your information bulleted and has numbered lists for easy consumption?
  • Are the links you use relevant and pointed to the correct webpage?
  • Have you used short and succinct sentences to get your point across successfully?
  • Are your section headings clear and specific to their individual points?
  • Is your post well concluded with good evidence?
  • Does the tone of voice/language fit the overall tone of your blog, and your brand’s editorial guidelines?
  • Did you use custom-made images and screenshots instead of stock photos whenever possible?
  • Have you given proper credit to the images/content you used in your blog post?
  • Have you taken to time to proofread and made sure your format is consistent with spacing between paragraphs as well as font styles and sizes?


Have I Directly Targeted my Audience in This Post?

You need to ensure that your blog post has been directly written with your target audience in mind. This involves you knowing and learning aspects about them from what content resonates best with them to what needs, interest, problems and questions they have as customers. So ensure your content contains specialised information that your customers will want to read. In doing so will not only will you be maximising interest and engagement from your readers, you will be proving your expertise in your industry.


Does my Post Contain Relevant Keywords?

In order to increase the potential for your blogs reach, every blog post you write should focus on and reiterate certain relevant keywords for your business. Ideally, when you are writing keep in mind 5-10 keywords and weave them into your content from the title through to the main sections of you post, taking care to not over flood your content making it unreadable and incoherent. As you become more comfortable with writing your posts you will soon find that you develop this skill to fully optimise your posts confidently.


Does the Title Grab my Attention and Make me Want to Click on it?

The main section of your blog post may be full of brilliant and valuable content, but if you don’t invest the time into creating an optimised your title that makes readers want to click on it, you are making a mistake. When forming a title consider whether you yourself would click on it, is it going to solve a common problem? Improve and aspect of your life or is it exciting exclusive content? Whatever you decide make sure it is compelling enough to click on and is optimised with keywords. You should also pay attention to the length of your title, bearing in mind that the optimal length is between 40 – 69 characters long. A shorter title may not be as descriptive and specific enough to capture attention, and a longer title will be cut off at 69 characters in search results, making your click-through rates likely to decrease.


Have I Backed up my Points with Good Evidence?

One of the key ways to become a trusted source of information is to provide content that is reliable and backed up with solid evidence to support what you are claiming. So before you publish your post make sure all the points you make are coherent and evidence is there that supports and justifies what you are claiming. Remember people may be making business decisions based on what you write so you must appear informed and reliable and give them clear reasons why what your saying is true and accurate.


Have I Included a Clear CTA?

By ensuring you include a clear call to action in every post you are making sure that each post is purposeful for your business. Whether you direct the reader to an external site or ask them to leave a comment for example you need to consistently encourage the reader to continue the interaction with you.


How am I Going to Promote this Post?

To ensure maximum reach and impact you need to consider how you are going to promote your post once it’s published. There are many tips later on in this section, but also consider the means of promotion you personally have at your disposal that can help get your blog post seen more.


Although it takes some experimentation to find the best publishing schedule for you, there are two things that should always be considered and will dictate your blogging schedule; your business goals and what your audience wants.


In general, publishing one new blog post a week is optimal because it helps maintain good relationships with customers, attract natural search traffic, and avoids burnout from writing too often.  This however may vary depending on what works best for your company, goals and readers so it is important to experiment to find a blogging schedule that works for you. For example, if your goal is to become a cutting edge information resource, you might want to post shorter articles more often or if your main audience is mostly interested in technical or behind-the-scenes details, you’ll probably publish longer articles less often. So the first step to determining your ideal blogging frequency is to find the perfect balance of what you want and what your audience wants.

To maximise the benefits of having a blog you need to ultimately ask yourself, Can you keep this schedule consistently?,  Can you always publish high-quality content at this rate? And will you have enough content for this schedule? Once you’ve discovered the best times to blog, being consistent with your publishing schedule has the benefit of increasing SEO value and encourages readers to come back regularly for more.


How to Build a Following and Amplify Your Impact


Writing your blog post is only the beginning. The next challenge is to promote your blog in order to get maximum exposure and attract attention. Having a loyal band of readers who regularly engage with your blog and come back for more is fundamental to achieving success as a blogger. You may have the best blog in your niche filled with valuable and informative content, but what good is that if you don’t have a regular stream of readers to appreciate and act on your work? Not matter what else, you need faithful readers who keep coming back for more.

Relying solely on search engines mixed with a bit of promotion might get you a few eyeballs, but fundamental to your success is recognising that building a loyal readership isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, it is an ongoing conscious effort to create, maintain and learn what works best for you, through the use of employing smart marketing techniques and tactics.



One of the most powerful mechanisms of a Blog is its RSS feed that allows you to automatically feed your Blog’s content to many different places, including many social networking sites. This can significantly expand your reach and saves you hours of time where you would otherwise have to post your content manually. There are also many other social sites that allow you to plug in your blog’s RSS feed, make sure to link it to all of your available platforms and the potential reach of your blog becomes significantly increased.


Seek Out and Comment on Other Blogs with Similar Topics

Providing helpful, valuable comments on other blogs can be a great way to generate traffic, develop relationships and build a following. Once you have finished a blog post on a topic it is worthwhile to do a quick search to find other blogs covering the same topic, you can then add your viewpoint in a genuine, non-self-promotional way. Showing yourself to be insightful and willing to provide advice is always welcomed and appreciated and is often rewarded in the form of new relationships with other bloggers who are more likely to mention and promote your blog.


Promote your Blog

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to look at and interact with your blog. There are several key areas in which you can promote your blog,  from mentioning it on your e-newsletter, your email signature, to your business card and product packaging, promoting it across all your other social media platforms and reaching out to influencers in your niche when you publish great content.

  • Email Marketing – highlight your blog post by including a clear link to and/or a section of your blog post to help drive traffic to your blog and your website.
  • Twitter– Tweet a summary of your post, a quote pulled from the post, or share a link to and encourage others to comment on the post itself. You can also include your blog’s URL within your Twitter bio to help drive traffic.
  • LinkedIn – Share your post with your groups and others that you know may be interested in it, this can start discussions, encourage engagement and debate that can fuel new content for future blog posts.
  • Pinterest Create a board that is purely for your blog posts remembering to use an interesting and relevant image to be pinned along with it and keep the boards location high so it is clear and one of the first boards that is seen when on your profile.
  • Guest Post Opportunities – Be proactive in looking for other bigger websites and blogs that have opportunities for guest posters. This is a great opportunity for more attention from a potentially new audience and linking back to your own blog can help with traffic. Similarly you yourself can encourage others to guest post that can bring with it a new audience and following.
  • Meetings, Events and Giving Presentations– Remember that whenever and wherever you meet people this presents an opportunity for you to promote and refer the audience to your blog. Similarly for the very savvy marketer, you can also utilise digital technologies such as QR codes on your packaging that can allow people to quickly and easily subscribe to your blog.
  • Social Media Advertising – For particularly important and popular posts, consider using social media advertising to promote shares of your blog posts on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


Utilise Website Banners

A website banner provides the perfect opportunity and space to create a clear call to action for driving traffic to your blog. Consider placing calls-to-action banners on different pages of your website and use language that encourages people to want to go forward and view your blog. One of the most popular website banner CTA’s for blogs is to emphasise the number of people who are already subscribed to your blog and encourage the person that is reading to join them.


Encourage and Ask for Participation

Blogging is a great way to build an engaged community. By writing your posts in a way that fosters interaction and discussions from your readers you benefit from an active and interested community that will respond to what you write. By listening to what your readers have to say you will gather important information about them from their opinions, interests and ideas to suggestions about your business, all of which are greatly beneficial as they will help guide future content creation and inform business decisions.


Host a Contest

Hosting contests are a popular and successful way of attracting attention from an audience. From asking people to pick their favourite blog posts of yours and why to having other bloggers publish a post on their blog about you, any relevant and engaging contest will help to expand your blog’s reach and attract new visitors.


Publish on a Consistent Schedule

You need to publish quality content on your blog, but it’s also important to publish quality content on a consistent schedule. Aim to publish a new blog post at least once a week as readers will come to expect a new blog post at a certain time and that will keep them on the lookout for it. They’ll know that if they go to your blog once a week, they’ll be greeted with new content. Similarly, if they go back to your blog and never see new content, they probably won’t return. Making it vital to create and maintain a consistent posting schedule.


Offer Multiple Ways to Subscribe

Whilst growing your email list is one of the most important things you can do for your business, email shouldn’t be the only subscription option that you offer. Not everyone wants to receive more email in their inbox, and if visitors can only subscribe via email, they likely won’t. Everyone should be able to find at least one option (email, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter for example) that suits their preferences.


Show Off More of Your Content

Visitors who enter your blog through your homepage should see lots of content options, however take the care to not make it overwhelming. Showcasing lots of content means readers will more likely find something of interest and stay on your blog for longer. However if you prefer to maintain a minimalist design on your blog page, you can showcase extra content on your individual posts. You can do this by ensuring readers get to see related content and are encouraged to read more posts by referring to related blog posts using text links throughout your content. These links should compel visitors to click through to more of your content since it relates to the current blog post.


Get Content Ideas From Visitors

One of the best ways to get visitors to keep coming back to your blog is by letting them know that you want to create content just for them. You can do this by adding a quick and simple survey feature to your blog that asks visitors what they want to read about next. A survey not only helps you learn more about what content your visitors want, but also ensures that you won’t run out of relevant topic ideas. An added benefit is that once visitors submit a topic idea, they might subscribe to your blog so they can see if you use their suggestion for new content.


Allow Comments

There is a recent trend to turn off comments on blogs in favour of social media engagement or, in some cases, to reduce the amount of moderation required because of spam. By allowing visitors to leave comments on your blog you turn a site with informational articles into a community. Visitors just want their voice to be heard and if they know they can ask the author questions and interact with other readers, it makes them more likely to return. To encourage visitors to become loyal readers and members of your community, be sure to actively reply to comments on your blog after a post has been published.

Tips for Success


Write for People

With all the technical aspects of blogging to consider when you are writing it is easy to forget that you are ultimately writing for people. Whilst it is important to consider aspects such as keywords, the most successful bloggers are those that never stop listening to their audience and strive to better understand their needs and interests and as such this passion and genuine intention of getting to know their customers is reflected their content that is always valuable and engaging.


Show Your Personality

To stand out from the crowd you need to humanise your blog by sharing your personality, interests and stories that helps people to get to know you and really connect and care about your brand. Consumers want to know the real people behind a business and by showcasing your personality and what makes you unique you will ultimately grow a collection of loyal followers.


Keep Going

Maintaining a successful blog is a process involving a lot of effort, time and thought and as time progresses often gets neglected or becomes lower down in a business list of priorities. The key is to keep going and keep it one of your top priorities as search engines and readers want regular, fresh content that will keep them coming to your blog otherwise they will both soon lose interest.


Deal with Negativity in a Positive Way

Rather than simply deleting any negative comments you receive, as even the most universally loved businesses receive negative comments, view them as an opportunity to win over a customer offering help, guidance or even acknowledging where something went wrong. By dealing with negativity in an open and authentic way you can help build rapport and trust with your customers.


Include Your Key Contact Information

You need to remember to include your key contact information clearly within your blog as you want to make it as easy as possible for a potential engagement or business opportunity to get in touch with you.


Make Sure you Include Social Media Sharing Buttons

To help give your blog content extended reach ensure that you include social media sharing buttons on every post. This encourages readers who have enjoyed your post to share it within their own personal networks and this will expand your posts reach beyond your own connections, opening your content out to a whole new audience.


Include Visuals

Typically, blogs that include visuals such as a photograph, infographic or video tend to perform better than posts that are purely text based. So be sure to include some type of visual content within your post that is relevant and position it to make the format more visually appealing to readers and breaks up blocks of text.


Make Your Post Easily Digestible for Skim Readers

In order to keep readers attention it is important to format your post in such a way that it is easily digestible for skim readers. This involves using sub headings, bullet points and short, succinct paragraphs that ensure there are no heavy paragraphs and your post is clear and easily readable.


Don’t Forget Your Sidebar CTA’S 

The homepage for your blog is a great area in which to utilise and help generate leads and interest. Make sure you place prominent and interesting CTA banners and buttons at the top of and on the sidebar of your blog. These are great areas to encourage others to connect with you on your other social media platforms to promoting your latest offers and more.


Don’t Forget to Ask For Feedback

Remember as you grow your blog and develop and gain new audiences it is vital that every so often you conduct a survey on your audience to gain feedback and ensure that the information you are posting is still resonating with them and they are finding it useful and interesting. Questions should address topics such as what formats they prefer to receive their content (text, video or audio etc.) and remember to give readers the opportunity to make their own suggestions that will ultimately benefit your efforts and provide future content ideas for you.


Invite Guest Bloggers

Inviting guest bloggers has several benefits, from giving your audience a fresh perspective to driving new audiences and helps relieve a bit of pressure off you if you do not have the time to post a blog yourself that week/month.


Read and Learn

Reading and learning from other blogs in your industry is a great way to better your own posts. Not only will you boost your own knowledge in your field and become a better writer, you can learn other important aspects of other business blogs, from what they write and how their audience responds and what they say as well as giving yourself the opportunity to voice your opinion and add your thoughts to the conversations of others. Reading lots of other blogs will also help guide future content creation for you as you can share any valuable blogs or articles you come across and of course you can be inspired to create your own posts based on ideas/debates/topics you have seen or read.



Common Mistakes to Avoid


Not Enabling Conversation

Your blog is an on-going social conversation, and not allowing conversation to occur on your blog is a mistake. Whilst allowing blog comments can open you up to criticism and negativity, it also provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with your audience. Your audience is vital to the success of your blog and likes to know that they are being heard so you need to open yourself to the conversation and enable and encourage your audience to respond to what you write. Beyond enabling commenting on your blog, you also need to remember the conversation is two-way, so respond to the comments readers leave and you are likely to develop a community around your writing that can help turn your customers into fans who will promote your products and services and provide you with quality feedback.


Posting Inconsistently

Over time blogs often become neglected and not updated regularly as businesses let it slip down their list of priorities. An inactive and forgotten blog can have negative impact on your online image so is not going to benefit your business or be a successful addition to your marketing strategy.  It is therefore vital that you continually assess your time and resources and if you find yourself unable to maintain your writing routine comfortably then edit and change it in order to maintain consistency and maximise your impact.


No Diversity Among Post Types

When businesses struggle to generate fresh and interesting ideas for their blogs this often leads to posts sounding generic and similar. When this is teamed with another common mistake in not including media content such as relevant videos and pictures, blog posts can look uninviting and will not capture a reader’s attention.  To avoid making this mistake make sure to post insightful and valuable content that your readers will want to read and looks visually appealing also.


Only Talking About Your Business, Products and Services

It is very common to see businesses using their blog purely as a place to hard sell their products and services. This is one of the worst mistakes a business can make as to truly benefit from using a blog and social media in general you need to be social and develop relationships and connect with your audience. This involves getting to know them and build a rapport in order that you can directly address their needs and share informative and valuable content that is going to build trust and create a community of loyal brand advocates.


Publishing Without Promoting

Your blog could be full of ground breaking ideas and brilliantly valuable information but that is no good if no one can find or see it. Once you have published your post, remember to promote it across all your platforms and that includes tweeting it, mentioning it on Facebook, emailing it to someone you know would find it useful and putting it into your e-newsletter etc.


Neglecting to Optimise for SEO

Whilst you are ultimately writing for people, you still need to consciously act on the various ways you can optimise your blog for search. This means utilising your blog post titles with key words and strategically placing them throughout your content. Part of this process also involves a consideration of your blogs tags and using SEO friendly Text.


Ignoring the Design Aspects of Your Blog

Remember to consider the design aspects of your blog and ensure that they are optimised to boost and generate leads and traffic for your business. From ensuring you have social media sharing buttons, a search box, a subscription CTA, clear website links and contact information to a clear, organised content filing system.  All of these need to be taken into account and optimised in order to make it easier for visitors to find and view content and ultimately connect with you and take actions.


Not Really Thinking About Your Post Title

Your blog post title represents one of the most important aspects in the success of your blog as it is from seeing it that a viewer will ultimately decide whether to click on it and view your post. This means you need to take the time to understand the importance of optimising it and making sure it grabs attention, is clear and concise and directly targets and will be of interest to your audience.


Ignoring Blog Analytics

If you fail to analyse your blogs analytics you are missing out on the opportunity to gain valuable insight as to whether your blog is successful and is reaching your business goals.  It also helps you to determine which types of posts are most successful and which aren’t, which will help guide future content creation and ensure you make informed decisions that will ensure your blogs future impact and effectiveness.


Trying to Write for the Generic Masses

Remember when writing your posts you need to do so with your target audience in mind as this will ensure that your content is focused, interesting and informative to those who are interested in you and your industry. Writing to please a generic mass of people will not help your goal of becoming a source of valued information and expertise in your industry, so always consciously aim to directly target and address the needs and wants of your audience within your posts.


Neglecting to Check Your Post for Typos

Neglecting to read through your work to check for typos and other errors not only makes a post difficult to read and a point harder to get across, it also negatively impacts on your corporate persona leaving the reader with a less-than-professional opinion of you and your blog. So take the time to go through and address easily fixed errors such as spelling mistakes, typos and bad links as they can cost your business greatly in terms of readership and general opinion.


You Don’t Read and do Enough Research

Doing your research on your blog topic before you write it is an important aspect of blogging. Reading allows you to be exposed to and learn from different types of literatures, writing styles, opinions and thoughts all of which will inform your own posts and help you develop a solid writing style. By gathering information and educating yourself on the debates surrounding your blog topic you also ensure that you can write a balanced article filled with accurate and relevant debates which will go a long way towards establishing your blog as a trusted and valued source of information for your audience.


You See Other Bloggers as Nothing More Than Competition

A common mistake bloggers make is to see others like themselves as competition and not utilise the great opportunities for your business that comes with collaboration. Rather than ignoring other bloggers, take the opportunity to build relationships with them and encourage interaction by joining their conversations and contributing to their sites by adding your voice with valuable and positive commentary. This goes a long way towards establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By collaborating with other bloggers and sharing their articles you will also benefit from increased reach and will be opened to a whole new audience as they will likely reciprocate by sharing your content also.


You Expect Overnight Success

Having a successful and popular blog takes a lot of time, patience and consistency as it takes a while to grow an audience, find a comfortable writing style as well as posting schedule. Don’t make the mistake of expecting to become an overnight success as in most cases it doesn’t happen. Rather it is the result of a lot of hard work, patience and continually listening to feedback, checking your analytics to see what works and what doesn’t for your blog and its audience.



Measuring Success


Like any other marketing strategy, the success of your blog must be measured against your business objectives. Analysing your blog’s metrics will show you a wealth of information and insights and help determine whether your blog is having a measurable impact and whether the data is reflective of the overall goals and what you wanted to achieve by having a business blog.


Measuring Visitors

One of the most basic metrics you can track is the count of people who actually read your blog content. You can look to them to assess whether your blog is successfully growing over a period of time and importantly you can to look at this data to view visits by individual blog articles. This important metric can then help you better understand what content resonates best with your audience and help you determine what the similar factors of your most successful blog posts are and use this to create content in the future that will maximise effectiveness.


Measuring Leads

Measuring what blog posts generate leads for your business is as true measure of a successful business blog as leads are what ultimately fuel the growth and success of your business. Look to examine what leads you generate from your blog posts and the rate at which those leads then convert into customers.


Subscriber Count

Your subscribers are the base readership of your content and you want to ultimately see that readership grow. Looking at how many people subscribe to your blog provides a solid indicator of the quality and consistency of your content.



Engagement is about gauging how much people interact with you and the comments on your blog are a good way to measure engagement qualitatively. Your aim should be to create conversation and if your readers are interacting with and responding to your blog posts then it is a good indication that you are engaging your readers making them more likely to respond to and keep coming back to your blog.



A key validating factor for a blog is when others are discussing and referencing what you say. So look to measure the rates at which your blog posts are getting cited or referenced as this will give you a good measure of your authority. If you are consistently providing valuable information to your readers that they cite and share with others, not only do you generate a conversation you also become an authority within your sector.



Blogging Maintenance Checklist 



  • Look through blog posts others have posted (ones you follow, blogs of industry insiders and others that you come across) and if relevant respond by adding your thoughts and/ or sharing it.
  • Look to see if any new connections from other social media platforms have a blog and subscribe to it
  • During the week gather information and sources for the following weeks blog post(s)
  • Respond to any interaction and comments from others on your blog post(s) daily



  • Check Your Analytics – Your analytics will help you figure out what your audience likes and doesn’t like, so you can plan your future content better. It’ll also help alert you too any red flags early on. Regularly go through your analytics and ask look at how is your traffic? Are there specific pages on your site that people seem to be bouncing out of? What kinds of topics resonate best with your audience? What headlines grab attention? What kind of keywords are bringing people to your website?



  • Update Your WordPress Installation, Theme and Plugins – Make a habit of performing updates on a regular basis and remove unnecessary themes and plugins you’re not using anymore.
  • Backup Your Site – Backing up your blog regularly helps prevent disasters as if your site ever gets wiped out, you can simply do a restore. Backing up your data is made easy by a variety of different backup plugins. Popular examples include VaultPress or BackupBuddy.
  • Check for Broken Links – The majority links in within your posts will still work even months and years from today. But some of them won’t. When that happens, it reflects very badly on you. To avoid broken link issues, scan your site for broken and whenever possible, replace your old links with new resources.
  • Check Your Ads – If you are running ads on your site, get into habit of checking what ads are showing up on your site and that they are relevant and more importantly aren’t offensive in nature.
  • Check Your RSS Feeds – Make sure your RSS feeds are working properly. It’s best to check on several different RSS clients as sometimes feeds can work in one reader but not another.
  • Review Your About Page – Is your About page up-to-date? If anything about you, your blog, or any other content on your About page has changed since you published it, then you should update it.
  • Test Your Forms – If you have any forms on your blog, be sure to test them to ensure that they are functioning correctly. This is particularly important for your blog’s contact form. If you use third-party plugins or tools to create and manage forms on your blog, make sure you always keep them updated with the latest upgrades and fixes.
  • Delete Spam and Trash Comments – Clean out your comments by deleting spam and trash comments. These can add up quickly so make sure deleting them is part of your ongoing blog maintenance.
  • Clean up Your Sidebars – Regularly assess that all of the elements in your blog’s sidebar are still timely, useful, and relevant. Keep it clean and useful by deleting extraneous elements and placing the best content in a prominent position.