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Discover how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business.

We want to help you to built a media reputation by teaching you to manage various properties over various social media platforms. 

We want to help your ministries and businesses build their media presence and fan following over various target markets and regions.

We want to help you to optimize campaigns in ways that help ministries and businesses engage with members and customers while reaching out to a wider targeted audience.

Media Excellence Summit:

Looking to quickly improve your social media tactics? Look no further…
Join fellow ministers and marketers at the media summit designed to empower and inspire you with social media marketing tactics.

You’ll be led by top social media marketing pros.

You will discover powerful ministry and business-building tactics as the experts reveal their newest social media marketing tips and practical, real-world, proven examples.

You’ll be able to take your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, video and visual marketing to an entirely new level. Plus you will be empowered to track and measure your results!
Discover how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business.
Here’s why you should attend this summit:
  1. Discover the best and newest ways to deploy and track social tactics.
  2. Reduce your trial and error time: Why experiment with your social media marketing when you can fast-track your time to success? The experts at this media summit will empower you to focus on what really works (and prove to others it works).
  3. Improve your professional development at a low cost.
  4. Network with ministers and marketers just like you: Make new connections in our private and exclusive group and chat live with other participants in our facebook chat room.
Our target during the Media Excellence Summit Is To Teach You To:

- Increase traffic to digital properties eg. Website, Mobile App etc.
- Manage Branding Online.
- Targeting the Right Audience.
- Increasing Brand Awareness.
- Engaging Customers with Promotions.
- Spreading Good Content.
- Increasing Your Online Presence.

Using the power of media can help get the right message to your customers or clients and position your brand or ministry strongly in their minds.
Discover how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business.

Discover how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business.
Discover how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business.
Disclaimer: Your results may vary. Participating in this event doesn’t guarantee success with your social media marketing.

Celebrity Branding Is Making A Comeback - Tips for Success

What do the words “celebrity branding” mean to you?

If you’re imagining washed-up actors and old athletes plastering on fake smiles and parroting a rehearsed speech while holding your product next to their head for twelve seconds (all for an outrageous fee, of course), then you’ve been missing out. We’ve come a long way since then.

I’ve been on both sides of the camera for this sort of thing, both hiring celebrities to endorse various products and putting my own mug on camera to help promote a product I care about. Cee Lo Green, 50 Cent, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, etc., have worked with me to give products a little push.

No two products are the same, and no two situations are the same, but celebrity endorsements are almost always a powerful boost to a brand.

So if you’re planning on getting some star power behind your product, I have a few points for you to consider.

First of all, make sure you’re clear on the difference between a celebrity endorsement and celebrity branding. An endorsement is the traditional paid statement sort of advertising, where the celebrity is paid to say nice things about your product. This can still be effective, although as audiences continue to become more and more jaded you might want to look into other approaches.

Celebrity branding, on the other hand, is all about using a celebrity’s position of prominence to start a conversation. It’s meant to make your product more visible, to get people talking about it and genuinely considering its merits.

This is what most celebrity placements look like on the internet these days. With the fragmentation of markets and the spread of social media, consumers are quick to recognize and discount a paid endorsement. A conversation starter from a celebrity to a large group of dedicated followers, though, is guaranteed to generate some serious interest in your product. To put it more simply, celebrity endorsement is the 20thcentury; branding is the 21st.

One of the most talented celebrity branding experts is Lisa Gal, owner of Hollywood Swag Bags. I took some time before this week’s column and chatted with her about what makes successful celebrity branding campaigns tick.
Celebrity Branding Is Making A Comeback - Tips for Success
“We have two clients, really: the big, established brand, and the new upstart trying to break in. The first thing you need to do is figure out which of those camps you’re in, because that’s going to shape your campaign and choice of celebrity.

Big established brands are usually trying to maintain or expand their market share with already-successful products. Usually they have something that people love and that celebrities already recognize. Their challenge is always keeping things fresh and interesting―doing something new without losing what makes their product great to begin with. Usually they find that they get a lot more bang for their buck with a few carefully-placed celebrity gifts than with a huge blanket advertising campaign.

On the other hand you have the small guys, the little boutiques trying to break into the market. They don’t have the cash for a big advertising blitz, but that’s okay―they do have a great product, and if they can get it into the hands of someone with a huge, active twitter following then they can make it big. A successful placement can be huge for the little companies, opening up other venues for distribution―online stores, brick-and-mortar retailers, etc.,” said Lisa.

One of Lisa’s most successful placements was a jeweler who included a beautiful, un-mounted gemstone on a prong in each gift package along with a note: 釘ring this stone by our shop and we’ll mount it for you.

This was a smart approach because it was engaging and led to further interaction between the recipients of the gifts and the jeweler. Also, because jewelry is something that is incredibly subject to personal taste, merely putting a generic worked piece in each gift bag was likely to be an expensive waste.

That’s what I mean by building a relationship―it’s not just about putting something in their hands and getting them to say they like it. The modern world has moved away from mass media and onto social media. Your celebrity partners have built up relationships with large numbers of fans via twitter, Facebook, and the like, and it’s this network of relationships that you’re trying access through your relationship with them.

“Honestly, this couldn’t exist without social media,” says Lisa. “I had one celebrity tweet their entire gift bag, bless them. We never pay directly for endorsements, but usually we’ll make donations to charity in a celebrity’s name if they mention a certain gift.”

A successful celebrity endorsement is now a tweet or Instagram post about how much they love your product along with an image of them using it. Even better is a link to your own social media presence, and a public conversation. It’s the internet equivalent of the host of a potluck praising the dish your brought; everyone is going to be after your potato salad recipe afterward.
Source: www.forbes.com

Selena Gomez’s Social Media Posts Estimated To Be Worth $550,000 Apiece

Selena Gomez can’t keep her life to herself. Well she could — but why would she want to when a peak into her luxurious celeb life paired with some product placement earns her $550,000 per social media post?

According to data company D’Marie Analytics the 23-year-old pop princess is the Queen Bee of social media buzz.

The former Disney channel darling, with more than 180.8 million fans across social media platforms, has taken the number one spot on the company’s list of influential media moguls, ahead of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and Beyoncé.
Selena Gomez’s Social Media Posts Estimated To Be Worth $550,000 Apiece

And as the top of the social media food chain, D’Marie estimated Gomez’s branded social media posts are worth $550,000 apiece when they appear across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook — a $300,000 increase compared to what her posts were worth a little less than a year ago, according to AdWeek.

It should come as no surprise though, considering the “Hands to Myself” singer has both the most Instagram followers — 90 million — and the most liked picture — it boasts 4.6 million likes — in the image-sharing app’s history.

And with an average of 200,000 new followers a day, it doesn’t seem likely that Gomez’s reign as social media queen will be coming to an end any time soon — but tell her something she doesn’t know.

Selena Gomez's Social Media Posts Are Evidently Worth $550,000 Apiece. Women rule Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Selena Gomez's Social Media Posts Are Evidently Worth $550,000 Apiece. Women rule Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .

Lifestyles of the Instagram-famous! Selena Gomez is named as social media's top A-list earner, commanding $550,000 for ONE paid-for post (but Kendall, Kylie, Beyoncé and Rihanna can do pretty well, too)
  • Selena, who has 90.5 million Instagram followers (and more on Twitter and Facebook) has the highest earning potential for sponsored posts
  • Social media analytics company D'Marie Analytics estimated that she could make over half a million dollars for a single online ad
  • Kendall Jenner, who has 61.7 million followers, could make $125,000 to $300,000 per sponsored post but doesn't seem to take advantage
  • Younger sister Kylie posts sponsored content quite often to her 68 million Instagram followers
  • Neither Beyoncé nor Rihanna share traditional sponsored content, though they do promote brands they collaborate with.
It's no secret that celebrities can make a lot of money simply by shilling products on social media.

But when barely-in-the-spotlight stars like Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan, Snooki, JWoww, and even the least well known women on Bravo are making bank on sponsored posts, it begs the question: How much are the biggest names in entertainment raking in?

Social media analytics company D'Marie Analytics did some math to find out, ranking stars with the hottest social media presence and determining what each of their posts would be worth to advertisers.

According to AdWeek, the company found that of every single star and brand on social media, singer Selena Gomez has the most influence.

With her 90.5 million followers, that's not exactly a surprise. The 23-year-old also has 61 million followers on Facebook, and 44 million on Twitter.

And with those followers comes power — the power to make lots and lots of money. The experts at D'Marie Analystics found that if Selena were to share a single post sponsored content across all three of those platforms, it would be worth a whopping $550,000.
Selena Gomez's Social Media Posts Are Evidently Worth $550,000 Apiece. Women rule Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 
They based that number off of not just how many followers she has, but also how much they engage with her on social media and how likely they are to buy something she promotes.

'The rate-per-post is her "ad equivalent" value per post across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,' the company's CEO, Frank Spadafora, told AdWeek.

'This may be different than how much she is actually getting paid when participating in social media campaigns. That is up to negotiations between her agents and the brands.

'This valuation is based on D'Marie's algorithm, which measures 56 metrics including followers, post frequency, engagement, quality of post, click-thru, and potential to create sales conversions from her social content.'

Despite this high-price potential, though, it doesn't seem that Selena actually takes advantage of the sponsored post market. She rarely shares posts with visible brands, and when she does, they're often those she already has a promotional deal with, like Pantene and Coca-Cola.

In that case, she may be getting paid for the individual post — though it's just as likely that she's just promoting herself when she shares behind-the-scenes images from a Pantene photoshoot, or she's getting a paycheck for generally promoting the brand across the board, in print ads, in commercials, and online.

'It's interesting that the statistically most influential person on social media is engaged in noticeably less campaigns than other celebrities,' Spadafora added. 'Personally, I think it's because she's being smart and she's aware that over-saturating her social feeds with sponsored content could negatively impact the relationship she has with her audience.'

The star with the second-highest earning potential, Kendall Jenner, also seems to mostly shy away from sponsored content. In December, the analytics company estimated she could make between $125,000 and $300,000 per post.

In the past, she posted campaigns for Estée Lauder, for which she is a brand ambassador, as well as her Kendall + Kyle collection and line for PacSun.

On Instagram, where she has 61.7 million followers, she also likes to show off her work for major designers like Fendi and Calvin Klein, and happily gives shout-outs to designers she wears on the red carpet.

The 20-year-old did, however, promote the SecretCloset.net mobile app on Instagram, as well as Magnum ice cream.

Little sister Kylie Jenner, though, is much more willing to take on sponsored posts — and stands to make the third-most money on them of every star on social media.

With her 68 million Instagram followers, she has a lot of sway, and likely raked in major cash for recent sponsored posts for FitTea, Burger King, and Daniel Wellington.

According to a WWD article from January, brands pay Kylie, 18, between $100,000 to $300,000 for a single one of these sponsored Instagram posts.

In forth and fifth place are Rihanna, 28, and Beyoncé, 34, respectively.

Rihanna, with her 82 million followers on Facebook, 63 million on Twitter, and 42 million on Instagram, sticks to shilling her own brands, like Puma.

Beyoncé also promotes only her own projects, like clothing line Ivy Park, and her husband's, like Tidal, when posting for her 65 million followers on Facebook, 15 million on Twitter, and 79 million on Instagram.

Other stars with major online ad earning potential include Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Cara Delevingne, Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry.

Here's What Kim Kardashian Just Taught Taylor Swift About Social Media

Kim Kardashian understands social media. Not only does she "get it" on a level that not many other celebrities/people/brands do, she executes flawless social media campaigns on a regular basis. 

Whether it's releasing a new app (she has 3), promoting episodes of her reality TV show, or sharing blog posts multiples times a day, she is always managing a full content calendar. So when Kim Kardashian decided to to release the secret, highly-talked about video footage of Taylor Swift and Kanye West's phone call, she knew how to do it.

One of the biggest challenges for marketers on Snapchat is that it's very difficult to gain a following on Snapchat. Discovering new people to follow on Snapchat is hard, and for brands it's even harder to get your followers from Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook over to your Snapchat.

It's safe to assume that like many brands, Kim Kardashian faces the same challenges. Kim's following on Snapchat probably wasn't as large as the rest of her social media accounts, especially compared to her younger sister Kylie, who is rumoured to be the most popular Snapchat user. Kim could have focused on the short-term and aired the video footage on her TV show for a ratings increase, but instead she used it as an opportunity to quickly grow her Snapchat account. By releasing the footage exclusively on Snapchat, Kim was investing in the long-term future of Snapchat, which makes sense considering that Instagram engagement has decreased 33% this year.
Here's What Kim Kardashian Just Taught Taylor Swift About Social Media
Let's take a look at how this Snapchat release worked for Kim Kardashian. Kim teased the release earlier in the night, after a Taylor-Swift themed episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired, telling her followers (and the world) to make sure they were following her on Snapchat. Knowing that this footage would break the internet yet again, Kim started with a tweet.

This was the right move to make, and one that brands can learn from. As I note in my blog post How to Turn Instagram Followers into Snapchat Friends, simply posting your Snapchat ghost or asking people to add you isn't the right way to get more Snapchat followers. Instead of just asking your audience to add you on Snapchat, you should provide a reason for them to add you. Think about how you can use your product in a weird or interesting way that will get people’s attention, and then tease that content on your other social media channels. As we can learn from Kim Kardashian, if you entice your Instagram or Twitter followers with something unique and creative that’s exclusive to your Snapchat channel, they will come over to watch it.

Kim, fully understanding social media, posted one Snapchat story. Taylor's response was to post a screenshot of the "Notes" app to all social networks, which makes her appear out-of-touch with her audience and social media.

By ignoring the strengths of how each social network operates (Instagram is visual, Twitter is textual, etc) Taylor's message is actually getting lost in the medium. Instead of people focusing on the content of her post, they are commenting on the way she posted it. In fact, the whole "posting a screenshot of the notes app" (in landscope mode, no less) is so ridiculous and out-of-date that is has now become a meme.

Taylor Swift is also missing a huge opportunity, because Taylor Swift isn't even on Snapchat. A smart move would have been to use all this social media attention to launch her own Snapchat channel and quickly gain millions of followers, like Kim did. Imagine if Taylor had created her own Snapchat, and instead of posting a screenshot of the Notes app, she posted a video of her saying that exact statement. Not only would it humanize her rather cold response, she would have also gained thousands of Snapchat followers that normally wouldn't be interested in adding her. And with a rumoured album coming in September, that would have been a major win for her to market her album on Snapchat.

So what can brands learn from all this drama?
  1. Mishandling the medium of a social network can draw more attention than your actual message.
  2. If you create content that people actually want, they will follow you to any social network.
  3. Snapchat is definitely the "next big thing" for social media. If your brand isn't on Snapchat already, now's the time to start thinking about when you're going to start. Avoid these 3 Mistakes Businesses Make on Snapchat
What did you think about how this all went down? Let me know in the comments!

I should also mention that so far, there haven't been any reported instances of Snapchat take-down notices. If Kim had posted the video to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, there could have been potential for those networks to remove the post. Also, apparently Taylor Swift's ex is the Snapchat CEO... #theplotthickens
Source: Taylor Loren Content Marketing Manager at Later

The 5 Key Things Every Online Business Owner Needs

If you read from here until eternity about how best to set up a successful business, you’d come out at the other end with a very large pile of books, and a pretty confused state of mind.

You’d also probably be so full of conflicting pieces of advice, you’d be as clueless as you were when you first started out.

The problem with advice on entrepreneurship is that business models are usually unique.

An individual makes a success of an idea, and then capitalizes on that success by publishing a guide about how it can be replicated. Usually by this point, the market has evolved, consumers are looking for something different, and the unique set of principles governing the initial idea will no longer yield any profit.

Given this, if you are like every other online business owner out there and a bit strapped for time right now, I thought I’d distil what I’ve learned in to five simple things.
The 5 Key Things Every Online Business Owner Needs
These are the lessons I have learned about succeeding online, in one straightforward, clear list:

Customer Focus
Your business is, has always been, and will always be all about your customers.Without them, all you have is a nice site and no revenue. Unless you maintain absolute customer focus in every single thing that you do, from product or service design through to marketing and the service itself, your online venture will not work. Nurture your customers, think with their perspective, design and innovate with them in mind, and your business will thrive.

Decent Kit
If you are currently reading this blog post on a screen with pixels missing, or have to wait for half an hour every morning to log on to your network, or if your mouse is playing up and giving you repetitive strain injury, it’s time to invest in decent hardware. Similarly, if you are spending too much time on your invoicing, or struggling to get your wi-fi to work, it’s critical to upgrade, refine and enhance what you have. Just as a joiner will work better with great tools, or a dancer performs better with the right shoes, so you need to make sure you have the kit you need to work efficiently online without frustration. Streamline your office environment, and great work will follow.

When you first start to work from home, space seems like the last thing you hanker after. The days seem too quiet and you miss the bustle of a busy office. However, as your business grows and your customers start to engage, it seems like you have a crowd of people at your side every time you log on. People clamor for attention, vying to get responses to queries, chat with you, e-mail you…and that’s just in the virtual world. Your kids may want to see the emoticons on your laptop. Your spouse may be popping in to vacuum or have a conversation about where you’re going on Friday night…and your ability to achieve plummets. Clear space above all else, to support you to work at optimum and deliver great results.

Successful business ownership demands routine. It may sound boring, but without a clear plan every single day which tells you what you should be doing, when, you’ll easily get distracted and lose focus. Things won’t get done, you’ll miss deadlines, forget to do everyday tasks and let crucial jobs slip. While this is the least glamorous aspect of your role, it’s arguably the most important. Work out your long-term plan, and then work out what everyday tasks you need to undertake to make it become a reality. Your business will thank you for it!

I’m not talking about software programs here, but rather that dogged, steadfast determination to achieve something with your business every single day. That feeling when you wake up that compels you to do what needs to be done, and then makes you analyze your achievements before you go to sleep every night. It’s this constant determination, dedication and application that will reap rewards for you in the long-term, setting you apart from your competitors and gradually turning your online venture in to a truly formidable enterprise.

So, there you have it.

The top five things every successful business owner needs to make their dreams turn in to reality, and see the fruits of their labor come in to being.

I reckon I may have saved you a few hundred dollars in self-help books right there. You can pay me when you apply the five principles, and see your business thrive!

Effective Brand Building Strategies to Attract Customers

Brand building is an integral aspect of personal and business development. It not only increases the voice and consumer awareness of a brand, but it also gives it an identity and worth. 

The advent of participatory and interactive platforms has given many businesses the chance to enhance brand awareness and equity. If you have been thinking of building a personal or business brand, then it is important for you to know that brand building takes a great deal of time and resources. In the section that follows, we shall define brand building and also look at different types of brands and the steps to create a successful brand.

What Is Brand Building?

There is no one definition that actually captures the essence of brand building in its entirety. Many people think that brand building is all about communicating and exposing your brand. That is just one side of it. The best way we can define it is that it is a process of creating value to consumers. It encompasses all things that consumers know, feel, and experience about your business in its entirety.

Having defined brand building, we shall now look at 3 popular types of brands and what they stand for.
  • Service brand - this brand is built on knowledge, culture, and experience that one has with the service delivering agency/company/people. Think of Geek Squad or Molly Maid.
  • Retail brand - this brand is built on a mixture of products and service experience. Think of Chick-fil-a, Kroger, or KFC.
  • Product brand - is built on the experience that one has with a specific product. Think of Nike, Ford, or Sony.
Having looked at the 3 popular types of brands, we shall now proceed to look at steps involved in brand building.

1. Define Your Brand
The first stage in brand building is defining your brand. This is a very critical step as it ultimately determines what your brand truly stands for. When defining your business brand, you should create a checklist of its core strengths. Similarly, if you’re defining a personal brand, you should look at the skills and expertise that you possess especially those which stand out. On the same token, you also need to know what your brand stands for and what is important for your brand (brand values). Your values should in one way or another show that you are contributing to environmental, social, and economic well-being of consumers. You may not realize some of these important aspects of brand building immediately, until you look at them objectively.

2. Differentiate and Position Your Brand
Before embarking on brand building, you have to take time to differentiate it so that you canattract attention and stand out from competitors. To differentiate your brand, you have to create a unique advantage in the mind of consumers not merely getting attention by brand building colors or logos or other superficial elements. Once you come up with a unique value proposition, you should use a good branding strategy to position your brand in a way that will help consumers see and appreciate the greater value of your brand over competing ones in the market.
Effective Brand Building Strategies to Attract Customers
3. Build and Expose your Brand
As I indicated earlier, brand building is not a one off thing. Building a unique and powerful personal or business brand takes time and consistency. To build your personal brand, you have to keep reinforcing your values and skills by taking up new roles and assignments that will give you more exposure. Alternatively, you can use promotional channels, blogs, forums, andsocial media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to create a voice for your personal or business brand.

When building your brand, you should also endeavor to develop brand personality (what people know, think, and say about you). This is what drives or motivates people to identify with and engage with your brand. The truth is; if you execute your brand building strategies consistently, then you will easily establish a pattern that will forever be associated with your brand name.

4. Personalize your Brand
If you want your brand building campaign or brand to be successful, then you have to personalize it. It is important to give your brand an identity. Let consumers see and experience the personality of your brand in its entirety. Look at your brand as something that a consumer wants to identify with pretty much as they would with their favorite cars, cellphones, or computers.

As you engage in brand building, you should also invite customers to be co-creators of brand values so that they can feel that they also own it and relate with it. Top brands encourage consumer-brand interaction by personalizing products to meet the needs and preferences of consumers. When you personalize your brand, you give consumers reason to participate and engage with your brand for a lifetime.

5. Review Your BrandYour brand is not static; it will go through a range of motions in its lifetime. Depending on your brand strategies, your brand will either grow in strength, or remain dormant, or recede with time. In the brand cycle, new events, changes, and circumstances bring challenges and opportunities to enhance the value of your brand or re-establish it. All these possibilities should give you the impetus to take charge of your brand building activities.

As your brand name grows, so do the responsibilities and expectations to continue with brand building. The best way of ensuring brand growth is reviewing your activities and evaluating your successes through metrics such as levels of brand awareness and levels of engagements. Regular reviews will help you seize and exploit new opportunities while upholding your commitment to remain true to your vision and brand strategy. It will also help you steer your brand in the right direction and keep it relevant as you move into the future.

As you can see, brand building is not a one off thing. You have to define your brand, differentiate, present it, and review what your brand stands for from time to time. It is very important to be clear about your branding strategies and how you’re going to implement them. You should also adopt brand strategies that will add value to your consumers and help them develop the right impression of your company and what it truly stands for. www.aabacosmallbusiness.com

Six Ways to Build Your Brand Through Customer Service

When it comes to brand building, customer service is often the last and most-ignored piece of the puzzle. This is a big mistake–and big missed opportunity. 

Aligning customer service and your brand is an essential but under-used way to attract and retain customers, differentiate the business, and boost brand loyalty. Done right, it can create a truly sustainable competitive advantage. Here are six ways we’ve seen to use customer service to reinforce brand identity. These methods can be used to align customer service with established brands or to build a brand through customer service.

1. Establish and execute to a brand-aligned customer service intent

Successful companies formulate a strategic intent and execute to that intent for market success; savvy organizations map that strategic intent to a brand intent. While businesses often capture brand intent in their advertising, they ignore it in delivering customer service, whether it is through their websites, contact centers, stores, or branches. This could result in damage to the brand. It is therefore important for C-level executives to launch a brand-aligned customer service initiative to make sure it is implemented across customer-facing and back-office operations.

2. Design brand-aligned processes
Customer service processes often involve multiple steps, tasks, people, and organizations. For instance, contact center customer service includes call routing, interactions, resolution, and fulfillment, and could also include proactive outbound communications, based on pre-determined business rules. High-touch brands should design processes that emphasize human-assisted customer service over self-service, whether it is in a brick-and-mortar environment or in a contact center setting (e.g., phone and web chat). It is also important to ensure that promised service levels are met through robust customer service process management tools. Non-intrusive brands should refrain from aggressive in-person or live chat customer service.
Six Ways to Build Your Brand Through Customer Service
3. Provide brand-aligned human-assisted service
Human-assisted service is here to stay- complex customer service requests and certain transactions require human involvement. Moreover, some customer segments prefer the human touch. As such, it is important for companies to hire and retain brand-aligned people for customer service. HR organizations could match the personality of the brand to the desired personality of frontline reps to ensure brand-aligned agent recruitment and retention.

The knowledge and conversational styles of “role model” (i.e., the most brand-aligned) call center agents can be captured in customer service management systems in the form of knowledge base content and interactive guidance to agents at the point of customer interaction, and even in customer self-service systems. Forward-looking retail and financial services companies are extending such systems to brick-and-mortar stores and branches to improve the effectiveness and brand alignment of in-person customer service.

4. Provide brand-aligned self-service
Self-service provides a great opportunity to further build the brand. For example, sophisticated guided-help knowledge base systems and online chatbots modeled after the company’s multimedia advertising spokespersons can orchestrate brand-aligned self-service interactions with customers. A hypothetical example would be chatbots modeled after the gecko or the “cavemen” for GEICO and William Shatner for priceline.com. In fact, a leading financial services company in Japan has used a chatbot, modeled after an actor featured in its television commercials.

5. Use brand-aligned metrics
A critical misstep in customer service management is the misalignment of brand strategy and service metrics. For instance, force-fitting Wal-Mart metrics to a Nordstrom brand intent is not a good strategy. High-touch brands should not emphasize throughput metrics such as average call handle times.

6. Brand-align all touchpoints
Most businesses still have interaction, data, and knowledge silos in phone call centers, online service centers, and self-service systems, where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Of late, many companies have started unifying customer interactions and knowledge bases into common platforms as the first step to unify customer experience across channels and service agents. However, most companies have yet to brand-align customer service across communication channels. A unified platform approach to cross-channel customer service and brand alignment can help them get there quickly, and their customers won’t have to face Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as they go from one communication channel to another, or from one agent to another.
Written By: Anand Subramaniam | Anand Subramaniam is the VP of Worldwide Marketing at eGain Communications Corporation.

Fundamental Keys to Blogging Success - Content is King

Content is truly king in the blogosphere and it has been misplaced on so many blogs. Many bloggers now come up with different substitutes to quality content and you will see others come up with reasons why content is not king.

Content is king and it has no substitute. At the same time, you should also realize that not all types of content are king. There are different types of content; we have filler content and valuable content. Valuable content is the one that changes the life of anyone who reads it.

There have been many arguments that marketing is superior to content but from personal experience I’ve seen it’s not, I’ve written a post which I never promoted and till date it has been read by thousands.

Now that we know that not all type of content is king it will be very important to know which type of content is king, I will be giving some details into various types of content we have and how they can influence our blog’s success.
Fundamental Keys to Blogging Success - Content is King

Types of Content
1. Long Posts: This might look dumb but I intentionally included this on the list and made it number one. Many people are of the impression that because a post is long it will easily go viral, this isn’t true and a post does not go viral because it is long but a post goes viral because of the value people gained from it.
Long posts have the potential of going viral easily because you can write what is supposed to be written in 3 or 4 short posts in one long post. For example, you can write a post on how to build a powerful blog while still explaining various ways to get traffic to a blog. The end result is that these types of post are usually rich and resourceful which makes the readers more interested in sharing it.

When trying to write long posts, it is very important to make sure you have your reader’s attention – what’s the essence of writing a post that would not be read? It is also very important to make your long posts scannable because it will make it easier for people to read and understand it.

2. List Post: This type of post also tends to go viral if properly written. There are different types of list posts and it can be in the form of the top list or the 101 post etc. For example, I recently submitted a guest post to shoutmeloud.com titled 101 ways to get quality backlinks to your blog, this post really went viral and has sent hundreds of visitors to this blog.

Another great example is the recent one by retireat21.com featuring the top 30 young bloggers making money online.

List posts are known to go viral easily and if you could make your list post packed with value then you will be amazed at the results you will get.

3. Pillar Content:
This is the best type of content I will advise every blogger to be writing and it is this type of content that is king.

Pillar content markets itself because of the type of value it has. One great characteristic of pillar content is that it is always relevant and will still be useful in years to come, and that is why this type of content is always the most popular on most blogs.

Pillar content self-promotes itself and it will keep on getting traffic long after you have stopped promoting it.

There are still other types of content but the above are the three most important type of content in the blogosphere.

You shouldn’t rely on others telling you your content is great (I do get a lot of compliments from my readers even when I was writing rubbish ;)), you will have that conviction in yourself if you truly write great content. www.writersincharge.com

Fundamental Keys to Blogging Success - Social Media

Social Media: Social media marketing is another great form of marketing and it is becoming increasingly important and effective in getting the word out about your blog.

Effectively utilizing the power of social media can help you get thousands of views to a single article in one day.

There are several ways to get great results from your social media efforts and I will be outlining two very important ones below:

1. Work with Influencers: If there is one way to shortcut your way to success in the social media world then it is by working with the influencers. Try to work on building stronger relationships with them and they will be very happy to help when you need their help.

This method can be very effective but it is always very difficult to get this to work, which in turn leads us to the second point.

2. Learn The System: Being someone who has been trying to get the best by leveraging the power of social media, I will tell you this is not very easy to do but the results might worth the effort.

Learning the system is really one of the best ways to market your blog with social media because you have the power and you can easily do anything you want without needing the help of others.

Don’t Play with Your Headlines
One of the most important aspects of your content that makes it easy to market is your headline; if you just come up with headlines without thinking about it twice then you are not doing what is right.

The headline plays a very important role in making your content a success and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to promote, your headline can still impose some limitations on the results you will get.

When writing headlines, we have what we call “important words”; these are words that automatically makes a reader want to read a post because of the headline, in this post you will notice the two important words are “fundamental” and “keys“.

Fundamental Keys to Blogging Success - Social Media
There are many tutorials on writing great headlines but I have never seen a resource as valuable as Copyblogger.

#3 Design Matters
One very important element that has a lot to do with your blog’s success is your blog’s design and I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I don’t read because of the design.

Having a great design is really important because it makes your blog user-friendly and it also makes your content presentable. I am someone who really didn’t care about having a great design, but one great thing I learned from Glen Allsopp is the importance of having a good design – while he might not tell me in words, I was able to analyze his blog’s success and what really made him a success, I discovered the reason for his success was not only his content but also how he makes it presentable.

Your content is important but you can make your readers bored by not having a great design.

There are many steps you can take to improve your blog’s design, you can choose from a lot of premium themes or you can decide to hire a designer to help you design your own custom theme, it all depends on you.

When trying to get the perfect great design for your blog, it is also very important to make sure you have a great navigation structure and you should also make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog.

#4 Goals Bring Results
One very important factor that can affect your blogging career is your goal. If you have great goals then you will get great results and you will never be a mediocre but if you don’t care about having goals or you think everything will just come and go then you are most likely not going to get results.

Many people joke with having goals and I think this is a very critical part of your career that you should never joke with. There are several types of goals and I will be listing some important type of goals every blogger should have.
  • Achievement goals: This type of goal should be based on what you want to achieve within a time-frame. You’re the only one that can limit yourself from success, nothing else can! Your goals should not be limited by anything and your goals should also not be based on the present but you should train yourself to see far ahead into the future. What is it that you want to get? What is it that you want to achieve? It might be monetary, traffic-wise, influence-wise, or even in form of the number of subscribers you want to get. It doesn’t matter how achievement-based your goal is, it is always important to have one. Another thing of note is that you shouldn’t try to get discouraged should you not achieve your goal but you should rather work hard on getting things done and setting goals wisely.
  • Action Goals: It is this type of goal that deals with what you will do. For example, one of my action goals is to be writing a minimum of 30 guest posts every month. You might have an action goal based on how you promote your blog or how you update your blog. If you want to get the most of your traffic through blog commenting, you can decide to have an action goal of you commenting on “X number of blogs” everyday. Your action goal can also be based on how you update your blog, for example, you might want to be updating your blog every 2 days.
  • Limit Goals: This is a type of goal that has a restriction or that has a number attached to it. For example, if your goal is to be getting X number of visitors in X time, then we can say you have limit goals.
If I am asked, I will advise every blogger to have limit goals, because goals like this are easier to achieve. If you come up with a goal like I want to be the top blogger in 2010, it might be very difficult to achieve this type of goal and by time you begin to realize what it takes you might eventually get discouraged but if you come up with goals like “I want to be getting 2,000 unique visitors a day after my 1 year of blogging”, you might find it easier to achieve – because it is based on something, “after 1 year and 2,000” and this makes it easier to achieve because you know what you want and when to achieve it.

We still have other types of goals but the above 3 are very important for every blogger, you don’t need to set goals for its sake but set goals that make you get things done.

So Helpful – So Deadly
One major truth is that the difference between the success and failure of many bloggers will be determined by their goals.

The power of having goals should never be underestimated because there is strength in setting goals; your goal is what keeps on motivating you, your goal is what keeps you going – because you are not seeing the present, but the future ahead of you.

Even as important as setting goals is, it is can also be very dangerous and can be the reason behind the failure of many bloggers – it is very dangerous if you begin to toil with your goals. www.writersincharge.com

Blogger Or WordPress – Comparing The Two Best Blogging Platforms

The arrival of blogging platforms brought the greatest revolution in the history of internet. Thanks to platforms like Blogger and WordPress, our blogs go live on internet in very less efforts.

They made it so easy that the craze of blogging spread like wildfire. Hundreds of new bloggers started to come out day by day.

But since a number of blogging platforms have evolved, it becomes a challenge for newbies to pick the most suitable blogging platform.

As WordPress and Blogger are the two most popular blogging platforms, the most common question newbies ask is which is better of these two.

Please Note
  • This is WordPress.org and Blogger comparison.
  • WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different.
  • Blogger and Blogspot are one and the same.
Believe me, no straight answer to this question is possible if you just want to hear one name – either Blogger or WordPress. Some favor Google’s Blogger whereas some fancy WordPress. People love both and complain about both.

Unfortunately, these are the only clear fact you come across. All the discussions end at a never ending discussion. Leaving you reached nowhere. Still confused.

Blogger And WordPress Are Priority Based Choices
All have different choices based on their requirements and priorities, and that’s why they call one better. Some find comfort in the free custom domain hosting feature provided by blogger. They happily compromise with its limitations in other terms.

Some want more functionality than just a blog, so WordPress comes as a better option for them.

Some get attracted to the visuals, and go for WordPress. Whereas to some, blog security assured by Google (for free) matters a lot.
Blogger Or WordPress – Comparing The Two Best Blogging Platforms
So this is somewhat how it goes.
I too have had enough experience dealing with both – the WordPress and the Google’s Blogger.

I will say, it is not justified to recommend any one over the other without understanding your requirements and priorities.

Rather, presenting a clear picture is required.

So which one is better in terms of…

Custom Domain Hosting
Although both WordPress and Blogger are free to enjoy blogging by creating an account, if blogging to you is only fun with no goals such as popularity, carrier, or revenue, is associated with it. Then a yourname.blogspot.com is all okay.

But as you’re reading this article, I suppose you’re serious about blogging, more or less.

In this condition, you have to have a custom domain. It’s possible to run it on WordPress as well as on Blogger.

But let’s see what’s the difference…

Custom Domain Hosting On Blogger is Free
Yep! Blogger allows you to host your custom domain purchased from anywhere and get it hosted on Blogger for free. So you can use www.example.com instead of the by default example.blogspot.com.

Since your Blogger account is associated with your Gmail account, you have the space quota provided by google for every gmail account. Google doesn’t object to let you utilize the space quota as a hosting space for your custom domain.

If the free hosting facility attracts you the most, go for it. But remember, you have to be satisfied with the limitations both in terms of looks and functionality.

WordPress Is Cost Effective
It’s is an open source software that you can download and use for free. So, to enjoy WordPress, it’s not mandatory to use the premium service by WordPress.com. It is just an official premium service by the WordPress company.

You can buy server space from any hosting company and install WordPress on your server. You’ll be able to enjoy the complete functionality of WordPress on your custom domain.

Follow – Quick Tutorial For Creating A WordPress Site.

Bottomline: In spite of all the limitations of Blogger, free hosting is a big point for newbies to go for it. You can put rest of the things aside.

Blog Ownership & Control

Sovereignty has its own taste! You decide what’s right, ‘that’s freedom’.

Blogger is not owned by you, so the final say will always be someone else’s. You have to be careful of their terms and conditions all the time.

However, Google shutting down a site is an extremely rare case. It doesn’t happen without a warning, or without a clear evidence of copyright violation. In that condition, you’ll have to migrate your whole website to another platform.
But no such worries in case of WordPress. It has nothing to do with anything. You domain is self hosted, and you decide when to call off. In this situation, the extreme case can be that google will no-index your blog from the google search results. So that’s the relief!

Bottom Line: Choose WordPress and never look back! Your blog will be up and running for always.

Blog Security And Data Backup

Website Security and backups always need to be taken care of.

If you use Blogger, google takes care of everything. Due of this fact, it is considered incredibly safe and secure.

WordPress is also enough safe, but in its case you’re responsible to take care of security and backup.

Initially, it requires some security methods to be implemented to become hacking proof. There are many reliable free security tools available to secure WordPress websites.

Follow – How To Make WordPress 100% Secure.

Bottom line: If you opt for WordPress, take time for security setup. Use Blogger otherwise and go tension free.

Availability Of Blogging Tools
The blogging craze inspired developers to think about creating tools that will be the future of blogging.

Tools have shifted Blogging to an another level.
WordPress is the richest in terms of availability of tools. From SEO tools, Social tools, advertising tools, there is truckload of plugins, the make it easy for you to optimize your blog for more traffic and more revenue.

On using Blogger, you’ll miss the party!

Bottom Line: To experience the advance level of blogging with tools, use WordPress. Or let it be okay for sometime.

Appearance Wise
Whether it is about changing your template or making customization in your existing blog template, WordPress is several thousand times better than not just Blogger but every blogging platform out there.

It makes switching your blog design very easy. Complete transformation of a blog becomes possible with wide range of WordPress blogging themes and plugins that enhance the layout, coloring, and typography of a blog.

Blogger on the other side, is full of limitations, and customization doesn’t always work out the way you want. There is a limited set of templates and you have to put enough efforts customizing. Also, blogger themes and plugins are not very rich in functionality.

Bottom line:
If good visuals are to be preferred over free hosting facility, the choice has to be WordPress. Source: www.inkthemes.com

Why Blog? Should I Start a Blog? 34 Reasons You Should

Each day, about 172,800 blogs are created. That’s two blogs every second. With so many blogs springing up daily, you might be wondering, “Should I start a blog?”

Well, I think yes!

In my short life, I’ve taken up and dropped a lot of vocations and hobbies.

I’ve done phone engineering and repair. I’ve devoted years to playing football. I’ve been preoccupied with video games. I’ve experimented with drawing and painting. I’ve engaged in moot court practice. I’ve even played with shoe making and other crafts.

But none of them has molded my person, given me as much freedom and fulfillment, and brought me influence and financial stability as blogging.

I’m such a big fan of blogging. Here are 34 compelling reasons to start a blog.

1. It helps you learn new things:
Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.

Think of it this way: when you set out to wash clothes, your objective is to clean the clothes, not your hands, but it’s your hands which become clean first.

2. It makes you think clearer:
The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills, yet one of the things you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you grow your thinking muscles exponentially.

You’ll learn to reflect deeply on your life, your relationships and your society; engage with others intellectually, appreciate the strengths in arguments and point out the flaws in them; appreciate the tiny distinctions between what, why andhow; the nexus and disparity between excuses and justifications, and so on.

3. It helps you write better:
Many things have boosted my writing proficiency over the years: essay contests, tapping from mentors, reading books, etc. But none of them has challenged me so consistently as blogging.

Here’s why: writing mastery comes with constant practice and blogging is just about that. In his epic book, On Writing, Stephen King discusses how once he didn’t write for several weeks due to an accident, and how when he started to write again, his words weren’t flowing well.

That’s how inconsistency weakens your writing muscle, and that’s why blogging, which keeps you writing regularly, helps you write better.

4. It builds your confidence:
I used to be a timid introvert. Until I started blogging.

Blogging helps you learn to voice your opinions, dare to be wrong and stop being so scared to make mistakes. With blogging, you learn to recognize and build your strength, and also admit and improve on your weaknesses. With conversations happening on your blog, you learn to hear flattery without being carried away and take criticisms without losing your cool.

5. It helps you speak more coherently:
A great speech starts with a sound script. The more you learn and share ideas about your areas of interests on your blog, the more comfortable you get discussing them verbally.

And over time, you grow confidence to face an audience and manage your nervousness on your subjects of interest. Soon, this diffuses to other verbal conversations.

6. It can make you money:
Earning decent incomes from your blog is attainable once you create value with, and grow an audience around, it. Many big blogs make millions of dollars every year.

And me? I’m not a millionaire but I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from blogging over the years. And I’ve done that while having ample time for my family and other engagements I enjoy.

7. It can help you aid good causes:
Whether it’s bringing drinkable water to more people, supporting the education of orphans or building schools for poor communities, blogging can help you lend a helping hand to great causes you believe in.

When some bloggers launch an online course for instance, they pledge a percentage of the income to a charity. Jeff Goins donates 10% of sales from his course, Tribe Writers, to charity. Recently, Pat Flynn raised $26,251 from his blog readers in 24 countries, and added $25,000 to it himself, to build 2 schools in Ghana, in celebration of his 32nd birthday.

8. It requires no prior knowledge:
With my step-by-step guide, you can have your blog up and running in just 15 minutes. You don’t need knowledge of HTML or other technical stuff. All you do is click options you want and save it to see the results.

I’ve helped hundreds of people who had no prior knowledge on creating a blog do that already. So, anyone can now start a blog because it’s super easy.

9. It challenges you:
Let’s be honest, we all need to do something challenging at some points in life. It’s easy to slide into our comfort zones and stop growing. Not with blogging though!

Although starting a blog is easy, managing it is not. Coming up with interesting ideas, interacting with readers and building a community around the blog are awesome challenges that would force you to keep learning and growing.

10. It is free (or affordable)
Anyone can start a blog for free. And if you want more freedom with your blog, you can self-host, which is affordable for almost anyone.

What you’ll pay for a hosting package and a domain name is less than a movie ticket. With less than $75, you can get started and have your blog running in 15 minutes.

11. It helps you build an audience:
People are attracted towards things and places they get value from. When you start a blog, you can start creating value and building an audience.

By the first half of 2012, I had won 5 writing contests. Consequently, friends started asking me to teach them how to write, and tell them about writing contests they, too, could enter. I would explain the same things to different persons at different times, each day.

The demand became overwhelming and so I thought of turning the problem into a prospect. That’s why I started my first blog, and the value I’ve created over the years has helped me build an audience of over 50,000 monthly readers.

12. It lets you help other people:
You want to inspire young people to discover and explore their true potentials? Start a blog. You want to spread the virtues of your faith? Start a blog. You wish people would make better choices in relationships and want to help them achieve that? Start a blog.

It’s happening. Ordinary people everywhere are choosing themselves to do extraordinary things in other people’s lives via a blog. You can do it too, and now’s the best time ever to start.

13. It can help you influence public policy:
Here’s a story you’ll love about how two girls, aged 9 and 13, and respectively in Scotland and Brazil, started their respective blogs to expose poor learning conditions in their schools. The first blog (which inspired the second) attracted almost 8 million readers in four months, while the second attracted over 200,000 readers in less than four weeks.

Expectedly, local authorities took notice and swiftly improved the schools’ conditions. The first blog even went ahead to raise £114,000 to feed school children in Malawi. How inspiring!

Whatever your age, you, too, can do so.

14. It disciplines you:
Showing up at regular intervals is hard. Blogging helps you cultivate that discipline.

Personally, I’m lazy at connecting with people and keeping schedules. But with my blog, I have an incentive to show up, to write and publish often, to get the job done and eschew excuses. I’m grateful for it because it’s made me a better me.

15. It helps you build credibility:
Certificates are fast losing their standing as the acceptable way to prove you have skills or knowledge on a subject. Whether you’re a job seeker, an entrepreneur seeking investors, an NGO representative seeking connections, or a professional seeking clients, starting and running a blog is the best way to build credibility.
By regularly sharing helpful information about a subject, and openly sharing bits about your life, your struggles and glories, you build trust and position yourself as an expert, and reaching your other goals becomes much easier.

16. It helps you get published:
If you’re still waiting for a publisher to come pick you – who have no readers yet – you might wait till… forever. The way out? Pick yourself. The easiest way to get published today is to first get a blog and build a loyal readership.

Theresa Ragan was rejected by traditional publishers over 100 times spanning 19 years. Then she got smart and self-published, and within a year, she sold over 300,000 books!

She’s not alone. From Hugh Howey to James Altucher, today’s smartest authors are razing the entry barrier set by traditional publishers and self-publishing their ways to bestsellers, thanks to their blog audience.

17. It can land you speaking engagements:
Your blog opens you up to a world of opportunities, including speaking engagements. The feeling is amazing. I know this because it’s happened to me. I’ve been invited to speak at events and keynote at conferences, thanks to thoughts I’ve shared on my blog.

James Altucher in his amazing book, Choose Yourself, discusses how he landed well over 100 speaking engagements in 9 years thanks to his blog and books. He made over $1 million from the speaking engagements and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives.

18. It can get you consulting deals:
Thanks to his blog, Neil Patel has landed juicy consulting deals with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Ebay, NBC, GM, HP, TechCrunch and Viacom. He’s been paid as high as $5,000 per hour for some of the consulting deals.

If there’s a subject you know much about, you should start a blog about it and it can land you consulting deals. If you think you don’t know enough about anything to be an expert at it, don’t worry. Just start a blog about a subject you love and you’ll learn much it and become an expert at it soon.

With the consulting deals, you can make a lot of money for yourself and help your clients reach their goals. Everybody wins.

19. It can get you freelance writing gigs:
Carol Tice is a Seattle-based freelance writer killing it. With the help of her blog, she’s built a thriving freelance writing career that makes 6 figures annually, while teaching others and having quality time for her family. If you love writing, start a blog because there’s no better feeling than getting paid doing what you would gladly do for free.

And before you think this is only possible in the U.S., meet Bamidele Onibalusi, a Nigerian, resident in Nigeria, and making thousands of dollars monthly from freelance writing. There are tens of thousands of other such writers.
Why Blog? Should I Start a Blog? 34 Reasons You Should
20. It can promote your art or hobby:
We all have things that make us tick. Whether yours is writing, bead making, drawing, painting or singing, a blog can help you promote it.

Enter Hugh MacLeod who draws on the backs of business cards, and everyday on his blog, he posts one drawing. Thanks to that, he’s inspired hundreds of thousands of artists and helped them live their dreams without going hungry.

This inspiring piece by Leanne Regalla provides an in-depth examination of how 49 creative people use blogging to promote their art.

21. It sharpens your observation:
Blogging challenges you to look beyond the obvious, to ask questions where everyone else simply nods, and to set the status quo on its head. The more you blog, the better you see and appreciate tiny details others take for granted. This translates to a better memory and improved performance in other stuff you do.

For instance, I’ve had excellent grades in my academic works without burning out, and I can honestly attribute this feat to my now keen observation skills, thanks to blogging.

22. It helps you stay in touch with distant friends and family:
One of the most important concerns everyone should have in life are his family and friends… Family members who love and care. And true friends always ready to help and support your dreams.

But sometimes, dear people aren’t near. When the adventures and challenges of life come calling, we get too far, too busy or too distracted and forget these important people in our lives.

Having a blog where you document your life adventures, ideas and struggles (and maybe even receive comments) is a great way to stay connected with family and friends who might be thousands of kilometers away.

23. It advances your resume:
Seth Godin argues that “if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.” He says a sophisticated project, or an insightful blog can sell you better than a resume.

You may not agree with Seth on not having a resume at all, but a blog can surely make your resume stand out from the pack. Feel free to see this inspiring story of a blogger whose blog made an employer come hunting for her and hand her a job she’s very excited about.

24. It boosts your offline business:
According to a 2010 study by the Kelsey Group, 97% of all consumers use online media to shop locally. Also, another online study conducted by Intelius shows that 78% of consumers consider it important to look up information about businesses online before deciding to interact with them.

The conclusion is this: blogs help to influence customers’ buying decisions and if your business doesn’t take advantage of this, your competition will.

25. It boosts your creativity:
Blogging pushes you to be resourceful, to envision and try to create the beautiful things you want to see in the world. You imagine better, create ideas that challenge norms and share your genius with others.

That’s how to become an idea machine. And you can go ahead to give the world something essential it doesn’t know it lacks.

26. It helps you make better choices:
Many things happen in your life, relationships and environment every day. You read, see, feel and hear many things every day. You won’t be able to blog about them all. That means you’ll develop an eye for meaningful things.

By selectively blogging on only the most important things to you and your blog readers, you’ll improve your filter, and become more skilled at making better choices in your life.

27. It makes you happy:
Personally, I’ve found that the feeling of having inspired, helped or saved someone is what gives me the greatest joy. I’ve heard many other people say the same thing.

And since I’ve embraced blogging, it has helped me become more generous with my knowledge. There’s an amazing bliss I feel with every positive comment, email, tweet and Facebook share I get from readers whose worlds my words have impacted.

It’s a great feeling and money cannot buy it.

28. It gives you freedom:
Blogging can give you the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time of the day and on things you actually enjoy doing. It can give you the freedom to finally have ample time for your family and your hobbies.

And it can afford you the freedom to travel the world as you please while making a modest living from your blog.

29. It helps you acquire valuable new skills:
When I started blogging, I didn’t know a thing about domain names, hosting servers, HTML, social media, link building, SEO, blog design, etc. Now I do.

With your blog, you instinctively start learning about these stuff and more. Within a short time, you’ll have amassed a ton of valuable new skills that you’ll be proud of. These skills alone can make you thousands of dollars. I know it because that has been the case for me.

30. It eases your personal problems:
Everyone has problems. Whether it’s your health, family or finances you have challenges with, blogging can be an avenue to get listening ears and maybe seek help for your personal problems. And isn’t a problem shared halved?

A great example is Alice’s Bucket List, a blog started by 17-year-old Alice who has cancer. She shares her dreams, her experience of cancer and the things she’ll like to accomplish before she passes away.

Not only does she immensely inspire her readers, she also gets support and encouragement from them, which I believe she really needs.

31. It allows you document your life:
With a blog, you can tell your stories in form of an online diary. And if you don’t tell your stories, no one else will. And if they do, they might be biased. Or innocently wrong.

I love how that awesome novelist, Chinua Achebe, put it in an interview with The Paris Review:

…I was introduced to the danger of not having your own stories. There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter… Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian… so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.

32. It makes you stand out:
I believe only 1 percent of Internet users produce the content online. The remaining 99 percent? They just consume. They’re just onlookers watching as humanity progresses and history unfolds.

Don’t just consume, or you might consume anything. Also produce valuable content. By blogging, you stand out from the pack of content consumers who live on others’ ideas online without contributing theirs.

33. It builds your network:
Blogging helps you connect with and make friends with people from all walks of life. Thanks to blogging, I’ve come to make friends with people I admire… people everyone else consider as “gurus,” influencers and geniuses.

Again, I’ve met and made friends with many ordinary people making extraordinary impacts. Many of them have helped me grow and maybe one or two of them have got some benefits from me. And I’ve gone ahead to meet many awesome folks who take me as mentors. That feels great.

34. It helps you live forever:
You’ve heard it before… that writing can make you live for many centuries after your death. But that’s true only if you publish your words to the world. You won’t live for long after your death if you don’t write at all, or, if you only write and file it.

A blog can help you build a legacy that would outlive you.
Go start something awesome

If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, it’s time to start your own blog.

I leave you with the words of Oprah Winfrey:

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

Go start your own blog now. howtostartablogonline.net

Reasons Why You Need A Blog

I know, I know–you’re already running a business, writing a book, raising children, and trying to have a life.

I get it.

But you’re here, which means that you’re into things like productivity,getting things done, and creating space in your life for the good things.

But it’s probably not enough.

Most likely, you’re able to maintain your 200+ emails-per-day workload, multiple projects at a time, and still have enough sanity to get home in time for dinner.

So why am I advocating adding another thing to your daily task list? Why am I telling you why you need a blog?
Reasons Why You Need A Blog
Because blogging isn’t going anywhere.
More importantly, it’s not something that should be seen as adding to what you’re doing. On the contrary, blogging (if done well), can be the most productive thing you do all day, and can even take the place of many of your daily “to-do”s. You might need to step out of your comfort zone, but trust me–it’s worth it.

Here’s a list of some of those things blogging can help with:
  1. If you’re a business owner, it’s a great way to connect with customers. Forget Twitter, networking events, and call centers. Blogging is a personal, down-to-earth method of keeping your customers informed and in-the-know about not only your latest product offerings, but your internal culture as well.
  2. Finding new clients. In the same vein, don’t discount the marketing advantages of blogging. If you do it right, you could be on to something. Many businesses chalk up a large percentage of their revenue from blogging and blogging-related activities, and you can have a piece of that pie.
  3. Getting more done. Just because you’re writing every day on a blog doesn’t mean other things won’t get done. Blogging is an activity that can literally happen anywhere. Wake up early, go to bed late, whatever–blogging doesn’t usually take long, and you can press pause whenever you like. The “Getting Things Done” mentality happens as you start writing that first sentence–you’ll find yourself invigorated, energized, and motivated by the words you’re writing.
  4. Getting better things done. Once you start realizing what exactly it is you’re going to offer to people through your blog, you’ll start to prioritize your day differently. You’ll have comments to respond to, emails to answer, and social media promoting to do, but all of this is building a pipeline of targeted warm leads to your business.
  5. It’s creation. Period. You’re creating stuff. Stuff can be bought, sold, added to, reworked, and changed, but most importantly this stuff is a form of asset–an asset you own and control. No word ever published online has a negative value.
  6. Blogs are the news vehicle of the future. This one might receive some flak, but oh well. I truly believe that blogging–at least the general, broad definition of content-creation by the lay person–is the new form of news delivery. We’ll still have reporters and journalists, but the news and noteworthy stories of the day are now in our hands–it’s our job to be the first-hand eyewitness accounts of the current goings-on.
  7. Blogging can boost productivity in unforeseen areas.You might not realize it yet, but blogging leads to a funny ailment I like to call “picking-blog-headlines-for-everything-that-happens-in-your-life.” If you’ve been driving down the freeway and want to suddenly write a post bemoaning the terrible billboard ad called “7 Reasons Your Company Sucks At Advertising,” you know what I mean. This productivity booster is a cool thing, though–it helps keep the “idea bucket” full, and it transfers into many other forms of content, not just blogs.
  8. Blogs are a great way to measure success. However you define success, blogging can track it. You can search through your year-old archives or do a specific series–either way, your words won’t lie (unless you lied when you wrote them…). Want to earn $100,000 this year? Start blogging the results of your business’ advertising and marketing campaigns, and include revenue reports.
  9. Accountability. This one’s simple. Blogging is usually a public-facing event that we engage in with the sole purpose of gaining readership. These readers, while sometimes harsh, are for the most part verytruthful. They’ll keep us focused on our published and public goals, and that alone is worth the asking price.
  10. Because everyone else is. Okay, I didn’t want to use this “cop out” reason, but there it is. If you’re a business owner without a blog, you’re already behind. If you’re an individual with something to say, get started saying it. You may not realize it, but there’s at least one other person in the world who needs the kind of expertise you have, no matter how trivial. Everywhere you look, there’s a blog, video feed, or YouTube channel dedicated to the obscure and random. Do us one better and create something worth sharing.
Maybe I’ve convinced you, maybe not. But you won’t change my mind–the benefits of blogging (creating content and sharing it online) far outweigh the downsides and work we need to put in to it. This is why you need a blog.

Blogging can take your business or your life to another level, and it’s not hard to do. It takes work, sure, but everything of value does anyway! www.lifehack.org
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