Small Business Blogging and Podcasting Best Practices


Blog PodcastSmall Business Blogging

*A blog (a shortened version of the term “web log”) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject.

  1. Blogs are a great way to communicate a unique message in significant detail. They establish you and/or your business as an expert in the field and greatly increase your SEO rankings and traffic to your website if written regularly.
    1. Use a third party blog platform such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com or Tumblr.com. This will allow greater visibility of your blog on those platforms and will also increase opportunities for back links to your website which is the single most important way to increase SEO rankings (according to Google)
    2. A good website content management system (CMS) can integrate these third party blogs directly into your website so that you don’t need to re-post the content on your site once you publish it on WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger. (I prefer WordPress)
    3. Create a regular schedule of blog posts so that subscribers will begin to look forward to your content. Search engines also favor fresh relevant content.
    4. Once you write a few articles, you can begin to categorize content and use it for training purposes, new client tutorials, new staff orientation, press releases, webinars, etc.
    5. Integrate your blog into your Linkedin page using a free app provided by Linkedin.
      1. Currently, the only blog app Linkedin provides is for WordPress.
    6. I would also suggest rewriting and cross posting your blog articles on an article marketing site such as Ezine.com. This are article distribution services that will allow even greater distribution of your content across the web. However, it is important to rewrite the content so that it is not seen as duplicate content by Google. Ezine Articles is one of the best places for article marketing since they have very stringent rules for article. The top article marketing directories include:
      1. EzineArticles.com
      2. HubPages.com
      3. eHow.com
      4. Squidoo.com
    7. Consider branding your email signatures with links to your website AND blog.
      1. Blog Signature
    8. Create a custom URL for your blog such as “TheInkBlog.net

White Papers for Small Business Promotion

A **white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and may be a consultation as to the details of new legislation (product or service).

  1. White papers can be written in the form of a blog entry, but are often positioned as stand alone documents that can be delivered to interested parties as a way to increase newsletter subscriptions and/or Facebook fan connections.
    1. Create an engaging white paper with a meaningful title and unique content that will entice readers to read more.
    2. Create a Facebook ‘reveal page’ that will require visitors to ‘like’ the page AND subscribe to your newsletter in order to receive the free white paper. This is one of the most popular strategies in Social Media Marketing circles to increase Facebook fans and grow email lists. (We can quote you a price for this option)
    3. Promote the white paper on your Linkedin profile, website and other media channels.

Videos and Podcasts to Promote Business

***A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of files (usually audio) subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication. The word is a neologism derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod, as podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.

  1. Podcasts are beginning to take a back seat to videos, but they are much easier to create and distribute. Since podcasts are typically voice-only interviews or presentations they can be streamed from your website and do not take up much digital space. Videos however create a more visual connection with your target audience and can be loaded into your website and social media channels using free apps provided by the major platforms including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.
    1. Record and post podcast or videos to your website, Facebook page, Linkedin page as an update, etc.
    2. Distribute links to the video/podcast in your newsletter
    3. Brand your email signatures with links to your podcast or video channel
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_paper
***http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast

About Brian Loebig

Owner of LoebigInk.com, author of TheInkBlog.net, CriminalThinking.net and part-time Technology Manager for the Alliance for Performance Excellence, Brian has over 15 years of experience working in the quality improvement, human services and technology fields as an administrator and consultant. Brian has also worked as a practitioner and administrator in the corrections, substance abuse and human services fields with a special emphasis on technology. He continues to work with numerous community-based non-profits as a web technology consultant, board member and volunteer. Feel free to .
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15 Responses to Small Business Blogging and Podcasting Best Practices

  1. Joseph says:

    You mentioned “I would also suggest cross posting your blog articles on an article marketing site such as Ezine.com” are you talking about directly copying the article from your own site and posting on these article sites?

    I thought that would incur a duplicate content penalty? Have you had success with this in the past?

    Great post man, great value!

    • BrianL says:

      Great question Joseph! Cross posting a well written article to another site like Ezine Articles hasn’t resulted in any penalties on my search results. It has actually helped more people find my content. Google has exclude results from Ezine to provide the most relevant content which it defines as my WordPress blogs, but it hasn’t affected my rankings. Some people search content exclusively on particular sites such as WordPress, Ezine, etc. Having duplicate content there assures articles are seen by the widest audience possible. Here is an article I agree with on the concept of duplicate content penalties: http://article-blog.thephantomwriters.com/article-marketing-duplicate-content-penalty/

  2. Great point on article marketing, I’m glad you said that it’s a good technique. People have been saying since 2007 that article marketing is “dead,” but it’s still one of the most reliable methods of SEO. It may not always be as much of a powerhouse as other methods, but it’s QUALITY content that’s not going to get slapped by a Google algorithm change. Plus, you’ll always have those articles in your personal collection to use later. I learned a few other good, totally legitimate SEO techniques here – http://www.profromgo.com/surviving-white-hat-seo-tactics
    Overall, it seems that the more you lean towards the creation of quality content – and away from repetitive link-building – the better-optimized your blog and linked sites are going to be.

  3. I completely agree with you, Brian – submitting to article directories does not count as dupe content. Matt Cutts has repeatedly said that duplicate content occurs when you’ve got multiple iterations of a piece of content on the SAME URL. Basically, it’s what happens when people spam their own sites to make them seem “extra” relevant. I heard the same from this article – http://www.profromgo.com/duplicate-content-penalty-nonissue-internet-marketers

    There may be a penalty for oversyndication, but it’s a big maybe. Ultimately, Cutts has also said that as long as you index your own site’s version of the content first, and as long as you’re optimized for your keywords – you own article will come up first in the rankings. Ezines and other directories may show the same article further down, but you’ll mainly just be getting linkjuice and in-site readership from them.

  4. Pingback: WordPress Blog Management | The Ink Blog

  5. cricketmuse says:

    I’m not clear about how blogging can generate income. I have learned of WordPress users getting shut down for drumming up business. Wouldn’t sending posts to e-article sites be a form of creating income? Does a person have to buy the pro package in order to generate income?

    • BrianL says:

      Hi CricketMuse. There are no rules against making money from a WordPress blog in Automattic’s terms of service: http://en.wordpress.com/tos/. Automattic is the company that owns WordPress. In fact, many people use WordPress for the expressed purpose of making money. Income can be generated either directly through commissions on ads that are served though your site or by offering products and services. For example, you could include a Paypal button at the end of an article excerpt for people who want to download the full document.

  6. Burl Stepaniak says:

    Podcasting is still very popular these days despite the rise in popularity of microblogger…

  7. I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your
    site and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I opted in for your Feed too.

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