How to Write Gourmet Blog Posts

 How to Write Gourmet Blog Posts

A Single Serving

Single-Servings, Please

Well-crafted, relevancy-rich blogs are like gourmet meals: they’re served up in stages.

Attention spans are short. Demand for relevancy is high, and everyone needs a bit of time to digest one course before going on to the next.

The best blogs are short and intellectually or emotionally nutritious. Just enough, ruthlessly edited for readability and comprehension.

When you think you have a lot to say, say it – then edit it down by half. If it’s still more than three or four short paragraphs, break it into a series of posts, spaced a few days apart.

Just like a gourmet meal.

 

Google

 

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How to Be a Small Business with a Big Presence in the “D”

How to Be a Small Business with a Big Presence in the “D”

Small Business Big Presence

Building a reputation as a “player” in the metro Detroit business community has been a small-business challenge for years, but it needn’t stay that way, says Kelly Oles, Corporate Partnership Development Manager for Palace Sports and Entertainment.

“Under our new management, there are affordable print, broadcast, and event options for small businesses that are surprisingly affordable,” Kelly says. “People shouldn’t be scared off by the perception that partnering with the Palace is beyond their budget.”

Small businesses with a modest budget might consider:

  • Banner ads on the Palace website or advertisements on the new Pistons mobile app.
  • 30-second pre-game spots on the Piston’s radio network, which covers 92% of the state.
  • Holding a Holiday Party or Business-to-Business networking event at the Chairman’s Club. Events can be packaged with a game, if you wish.
  • Contract for a suite for a single game, or a concert.

Those with a bit larger budget might consider:

  •  Buying ad space in the Courtside Quarterly magazine, which is sent out to season ticket holders, suite holders, and the CEOs of the Corporate Sponsors – approximately 15,000 people per issue.
  •  Partnering with the Palace for a VIP party in one of the clubs—such as the new 300Club. Cost includes a ticket to the game, food service and beverages, and your choice of a cash or open bar.
  •  Indoor and outside signage, logo rights, and other sports marketing promotional vehicles.

Remember that Palace Sports & Entertainment includes DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadowbrook Music Festival, where there are also options for seasonal or one-show advertising online and in print!

For more information on how your small business can gain a big presence in metro Detroit, contact Kelly Oles at 248-377-8478, or email her at koles@palacenet.com

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Blog your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog Your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog your way to stardomEver since sites like WordPress were birthed, people have been launching blogs and linking to them in their social media networks.

Or at least they do it for a while.

Then the blogger runs out of topics, moves to a new job, or just gets bored with the whole thing. The blog fades into obscurity, and the business owner figures all the other social media “stuff” will take up the slack.

Not so, says Jeff Bullas, a globally recognized social media star and technology expert, and he’s joined by others such as Adam Singer of Future Buzz and Darren Rowse at Problogger.

They all say your blog should be your “online home,” and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn should be “outposts” – the places you have a presence. A strong blog following adds to your Search Engine rankings, and to your social media presence.

Your blog should be given priority for three reasons:

  1. Old articles are still read years later, and are thus given long life by the search engines. Old tweets, Bullas says, “live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.”
  2. Each blog post contributes to the cumulative results of your site. This is not so for Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Social Media sites are tools to share content. Use them to attract subscribers to your blog. Focus your community building efforts on creating a blog people actually want to read.

Follow these tips to get on the road to Social Media Stardom:

  • Blog regularly – at least once a week.
  • Make it visual – images make things more understandable, and can increase recall by up to 89%.
  • Use a conversational, personal style. Use first person, tell stories, avoid “lectures.”
  • When you motivate your reader, you create action. Ask thought-provoking questions, or activities that involved both sides of the brain. Our brains pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary.
  • Design your content to elicit an emotion. People remember things they care about – things they feel.
  • Solve a problem that is common to your customers or prospects. Leave the sales talk to someone else.

 

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The Black Hole of Social Media

the Black Hole of Social Media

Social Media Black Hole

The Black Hole of Social Media

For many businesses, social media is just a black hole, a virtual money pit, unless there is a strategy behind it that drives web traffic and lead generation.

It’s a money pit because every hour you invest in it is money out the window unless you are seeing an equal, or larger, return than the cost.

Before you say, “But social media is free! It doesn’t cost me anything!” consider this:  Let’s pretend you spend 2 hours on social networking sites over the course of the average day, and that your bill rate is $50/hour.  You are losing $100 per day by not producing client work. In 2 work weeks you’ve spent 20 hours and $1,000 has gone out the window.

Maybe you try to justify it by saying, “Well, it’s marketing time.” It would be, if you were seeing at least $1,000 – and hopefully much more – coming back at you as a result of the time spent. But if you’re not, you’re just another bright, shiny object spinning around in the middle of the vortex.

Your social media success isn’t about the number of followers you have. Any business with a credit card can buy followers. It doesn’t matter how many people “like” a post or retweet anything you say.

The real measure of success of your social media efforts is the effect it has on your website ranking, which is fed by traffic on the site, and traffic on the site comes from developing a business strategy based on research, and continual monitoring and tweaking.

Do you know your numbers?

  • How many hours are you putting into social media each week, and what does that cost you in terms of lost revenue? (if you don’t know, track it for a week)
  • What percentage of your site visitors are coming from each social media outlet?
  • What percentage of site visitors convert into clients or customers?
  • Does the income equal or exceed the outlay?

Over the course of several months, you will be able to gauge the exchange. If it’s in your favor – great. If it’s not, it’s time to consider a strategic social media marketing plan.

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Rating Your Website Customer Service

Rating Your Website Customer Service

If you’re like most business owners, you’ll probably rate your phone and in-person customer service as “pretty good.”  Customers are, of course, a high priority.

Now, how about the quality of customer service on your website?

I don’t mean how quickly you respond to e-mails originating from the site, or even how well your FAQ page resolves questions web visitors may have.

I want to know how well your customers feel served by your site when you aren’t there.

Customer Service Checklist

Do You Test Your Site Regularly?

 

  • How well/quickly do you answer their infrequently asked questions?
  • Do you solve their problem without phone support?
  • How easily can they navigate the site to find the information they need?

And the biggest question of all: When was the last time you conducted a test on any of those items?

If you test frequently and can answer all the questions, kudos to you!  You are one of the few folks creating a better web, and a great experience for your customers.

If you haven’t tested in a while, or if you haven’t ever tested, great opportunities might be passing you by.

Testing starts with answering a series of questions. Ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I looked at Analytics for my website?
  • What are the top 10 keywords driving traffic to my site?
  • What is my current “Average Time on Site”?
  • What is my bounce rate?
  • How was I doing last year vs. this year with overall site visits?
  • On which page do most people “land”?
  • From which page do most people leave the site?

In the next article, we’ll go into more detail about how often you should ask these questions, what these answers should be, and what you should do with the information.

Need help with your website customer service and/or analytics? Call 586-254-0095.

 

 

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