Well, as someone who has been following the Ten Commandments from the #BlogchatterHalfMarathon, I should experiment right?!
The Blogchatter Half-Marathon has ten commandments, of which the second is
Thou Shalt Be Consistent
This past year and a half have been surreal. I remember thinking in 2019: Wow! Look at the world! We jet off wherever and whenever. We’re fly away on vacations to Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok, everyone i know has a car or at least a two-wheeler, kids of eight and nine walk around with smart phones. Even the most ordinary person can dream big and know he/she will make it happen! India has made it I think to myself!
And then 2020 happened…
I cannot lie, the year started off well enough with New Years’ celebrations and visits with friends. I vaguely registered reading in the newspaper at the end of December that there was a new virus discovered in China before i jetted off to bring in the New Year in ishstylu!
March! Ah, March! You brought it with you; lockdowns, flight bans, business shut downs… Cozily you settled in at home – having stocked up for three months with everything you think you may need, including frozen snacks, because, well, you never know right?! You actually estimate a month of this and it’ll all be over!
Blogging takes a back seat as you became MasterChef, creating everything and anything you can in the kitchen. Cakes, chocolate chip cookies, lasagna, tacos and exotic food from YouTube pals took over. Oh yeah baby! You are consistent in the initial few months!
After many plate-banging’s and light-holdings and singing to an empty street (you live away from civilization) your cooking skills take a painful dive.
Yawn! What’s for breakfast Hun? Err…bread dear.
Dinner? Let me make you a dosai with the sambar left over from…hmm…anyway here’s the sambar, maybe you could make the dosai yourself?
Yup MasterChef takes a toss, along with blogging.
Thou shalt be consistent – yeah sure mate.
Okays, now let’s see, it’s now June…and guess what? You’re gonna take all those hundreds of black & white photos and those boxes of colour photos (Yup, you have those! Film, camera, negatives, prints and nothing on digital yet!). You are going to scan everything and up load them to the cloud and then all of you and your cousins can see every one of them!
Yeshhh! Now this is what you need to do.
Finding free apps to scan photos takes a whole three days. You try each one and then settle on The One. Okay, let’s start with the children’s baby photos… There are five or six different bunches of photos of at least a hundred in each. Hmm… maybe you should put them in chronological order first. Oh wait! Look how cute baby J looks in this photo… aww! Baby P is dressed up as Krishna! And another day goes in sorting, smiling, reminiscing about those days.
Ho hum, time to start scanning… here we go, scanning is happening fast, you’re through with four or five boxes on day 1. And so, it goes on for a week or two. A month. Whew! Now time for mom’s black & whites and dad’s and your own childhood photos…
Oh, Lockdown Lifted, Really?
Okayyy then, let’s get out of the house, it seems like years. Days go by in shopping, walking (fresh air and all that!) Scanning takes a backseat. You’ll do it later. Months go by but of course they’re stilling lying around waiting! Consistency is clearly not your name!
July comes and goes, Diwali, and then Christmas again, New Year’s… Time has been flying away despite work-from-home and some cautious travel. Travel bans, flight bubbles are here and there and your blog sits around waiting.
It’s now 2021
You didn’t touch your blog. After all, you aren’t traveling, so what do you write about? It dawns on you that you could have Improvised! You could have thought up a backup, there are so many topics of interest. You can just keep a record of all the social media posts about the pandemic. There are so many stories in posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Open your eyes and look! You can earn some passive income if you are consistent.
Finally, you realize this pandemic isn’t over yet. A second wave is on the horizon and you have wasted a lot of time. Prodded by your friend Sona, you start to review a book. Months have flown by, nothing has changed, except for a brief period of a few months. Thou shalt be consistent and all that; time to get going again.
You realize your fans are gone; you don’t have an audience anymore. Start all over again.
You decide that the Blogchatter Half Marathon may help you kick start your blog again and you grab the chance. Fingers crossed that you will stick to blogging from now on…
Why is Consistency so Important? Or Five Reasons to Consistently Blog During a Pandemic.
You have a captive audience and when you don’t deliver a blog post, they move on and when you do write, there’s no one to read it.
The more you write, the more long-tail key words you have. This means that there are more chances of Google picking up your key words for a search.
You share your knowledge and prove your authority in a chosen topic.
The more content you generate on a regular basis, the more a search engine will note it, and bring up your blog when a suitable search is available. This means search engines love fresh content.
And don’t even start on the money you can make when you monetize your blog. The more people visit, the more money you can make.
Don’t make the mistake this writer did. Continue to slog on your blog come hell or high water! Keep at it. Find a topic that not only interests your audience but something you like to write about. Keep a backup plan for when your content is no longer relevant or possible to write about. Get the world to see your blog by making use of social media to bring your audience in. You should be blogging consistently even during a pandemic.
So, let’s see now, may be time to organize the book collection at home, you know, catalogue the books, make a system…
Your clothes wardrobe could do with a makeover…
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.
You are a small business and are just wetting your feet in Social Media. Or you may have never tried it and think it is the smart way to go. It is! Your small business can kill it on Social Media if you know how!
Social Media use is just going to go up and up. You may have started out with Social Media for a variety of reasons. Social Media is not bad at all! Platforms may change, one becomes more popular than another, but using it to make your business known and to get leads is not going to slow down. In fact, it is a consistent way to get leads, more than any other type of advertising.
Building a reputation on Social Media doesn’t just mean getting a huge following. What if that same following doesn’t give two hoots about your business? Build a genuine following that is right for you. You want people who follow you to have interest in your business. If you are a local business, you want the locals to know who you are. You need to build brand awareness. So first let’s create a social media presence for you. But to do that, we need a logo and brand impression that matches what you offer.
Find someone who can help you to create these and social media visuals that will help find your brand’s voice. Its not always possible to do everything yourself, apart from the every day demands of your business, you may need support initially.
Getting Clients to Follow:
Facebook is still the most popular platform despite the fact it’s in the news so much. So, a good place to start is by creating a Facebook Page. Its not very hard and the app guides you through it. Geotagging is essential so that when your customers check in, you get free advertising! Have you seen people check in to movie theaters and restaurants on Facebook? That can be your business too!
Instagram is another popular place right now, and there’s plenty of opportunity for stunning photos if you are in Fashion, Lifestyle, Food, or Travel business. See if your business profile will suit it and start a business account so that your clients can tag you and you can recreate your brand’s gorgeous ambiance.
Other platforms like Twitter or Pinterest, may suit your business better, so analyze them for your customers’ presence and join in.
Think of offering an incentive like a discount on services if people do check in or join your Page or follow your handle. Giving an incentive always makes things happen quicker.
Find a little time once a week to creating social media posts ahead of schedule so that you don’t have to take valuable time from your day to do it. On a daily basis you can just hop in twice a day to like, comment and otherwise engage with clients, peers and potential leads in the platform you are involved with. This is important in order to develop relationships with the online community. You may also attend networking meetups that also help develop followers.
Start off with your social media efforts this way and slowly build it up to include platforms that may have potential clients, a website that converts, and learn to use tools that help you whiz through creating and posting. If that’s not possible consider hiring help. The ROI will be worth the effort when social media is done right.
You already have a web page and now why should you have a landing page? Your web site is already doing that right? You have the layout, the offers, the goods now what? The landing page highlights one important aspect of your website. If you have offers running, the landing page is a good way to attract leads that convert.
The difference between the website and the landing page:
Your website tells visitors everything about your business, services, etc. You may also have a blog or a forum in it. It tells everyone about everything you offer. It tells people about your brand, about you if it is a personal page.
The landing page highlights offers, coupons, eBooks, how-to PDFs, tools that you offer. With it you can have a sign-up form to collect emails for a newsletter or other information you require. Your audience also gets to see something special that he might otherwise miss on the website without the landing page to spotlight it.
The landing page makes it easier for visitors to find services, schedule appointments, download things, sign up for gated or exclusive content. You may not sell products but offer services, coaching or guides. Your landing pages will help the visitor to know the newest, important or most helpful items in your website.
Provide a Service:
Your visitors find services easily. The services are clearer, more attractive, and get the attention you want them to have and sign up can be simpler for the target.
If you have different locations for different products or services, a landing page can make it easier for the customer to find.
Highlight features of your products on every page of your business.
Landing pages are a good way of getting attention where you want it to go. You can have different landing pages for visitors from different Social Media platforms too. Your Instagram traffic may be a demographic totally different from your Facebook or Twitter visitor. Cover them all with well-thought out landing pages
SEO, Search Engine Optimization – it is the watch word for every website. You want to know the latest SEO techniques to get up there with the big boys! You want your website to rank high enough that you get organic traffic from Google. You know about key words, rich content, backlinks, long-tail keywords and every other White Hat SEO tactic. But did you know about Google’s RankBrian? Yup, I’m afraid there’s a new guy on the block! And it is an important component of the Google search algorithm.
RankBrain is used to show results when the search does not have a proper answer. It uses machine-learning algorithms to decipher search results that are not specific enough. The most famous example possible is the word Apple. It could mean the fruit or the company. With Google RankBrain you could get a mix of results that show pages with both types of answers. It’s been around since 2015, learning as it goes to give you better and better results when you do a search.
When you first query Google with a mixed result kind of question it will show you a variety of answers. But as other people also search and click in the same type of link, RankBrian learns what people are looking for using machine-learning and starts to narrow down the results according to what people may like. SEO experts need to understand the way it works so that their websites to rank well.
RankBrain is one of the three most important parts of SEO according to Google. Its ranks with Links and content as the third most important part of search results.
So, okay, now how do you make use of this for your website?
Just knowing keywords is not enough. You need to be able to guess what kind of vague questions someone could ask and provide the answers in your content in order to show up in the first page of results. Another most effective way to make use of RankBrain according to a top Google employee is to make your content sound natural and human. If it sounds like a computer speaking, then watch out, RankBrain is NOT going to understand! How’s that!? The key seems to be to sound natural, simple huh? NOT!
The plain fact of the matter is guys, that Google wants great content. There’s just no getting around that. The more exclusive and the more useful your content is, Google will rank you up. And your content has to sound natural, like regular human speech for RankBrain to understand it. So conversational is definitely in. Stop with those stilled sentences already! This is especially so with voice search becoming more and more popular.
Remember that RankBrain is learning every second. with machine-learning algorithms. So, with high-quality, and the latest content, you can rank higher. Stay relevant, update old posts, have good back-links, If you do all of this, you have nothing to worry about. You should rank well. As always, we come back to the fact the content is key. Which is logically right, since Google wants people to find what they are looking for after all! They are in the job of Search Engine, and you would stop using it if it didn’t give you what you wanted, right!?