Why Do they Keep Saying Blogging is Dead?

Blogging isn’t dead. Blogging is publishing and publishing online is just beginning to evolve.Where can you take your own site once you get started? Never think you are stuck in one direction or theme or can not change your point of view or your voice as a writer online. If you have gone as far as you want to, take another direction and talk about something that works for you as you have evolved now. The web (Internet) is developing – there is no need for it to stagnate or die.

via Blogging Is Dead (Again) | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image.

Start Your Own Tourism Business

Another home business idea for a writer is a tour guide. You can run the business from your home, in your town or city. Research the history and locations and write up the guide which you will use to tell people about the area as you give the tour.

Tourism and travel are things we think about outside of our local area. We think about going somewhere and seeing the sites, the tourist traps, finding a great place to stay, to eat and to shop. How seldom we think about the tourism and tourists in our own area, right under our noses.

In fact, you could be setting up your own small business just showing people around your town. If you have been living there awhile you already know a lot of great places. If not, you can ask other locals where they have found great places for breakfast, best place to see a movie, best place to have a great view of the town and assorted other things a tourist would be happy to know about.

So, why not turn what you know into a business, a service you can offer?

Ideas for a Tourism Business

There are more tourism businesses than the bed and breakfast, lodging or restaurants. The sort of tourism you could do on your own are guided tours of your area. You might work with a specific genre like the haunted walk tours, garden tours, historical tours, eco-tourism and you can plan an event to attract tourists to your town. Or, you might work with a gimmick such as offering a tour from a hot air balloon, a pink limousine, something a little unusual and attention getting. Once you get an idea, the next step is to see how you can make it work – research the market, your available options and skills.

When you have your idea make local contacts like the historical society (and other local groups and societies with relevance to your niche), the Chamber of Commerce and a small business support group are good places to begin looking for people who can help you, inspire you and bring business your way once you are actually in business.

When you’re Ready…

Once you have an idea which interests you enough to drive your passion to make it work, you need to get on the practical side. Start with market research. Is the service you want to provide in demand/ needed in your area, or is there an already existing business which you would have to compete with or has someone else done it and failed?

Of course, market research is part of a business plan. So that is your next step. As you work on a business plan you look at the resources you need, the resources you have and the resources you can get. It’s a good way to iron out the details and find out if your idea can stand up and work in a practical, real way.

If you still feel good about your idea at this point your next step is to check with the city you live in and find out about any bylaws, regulations, permits, city codes, licensing, fire safety and any other laws to be considered for a tourism business. You will also need find out about what insurance coverage you will need for a business which deals with the public and how/ when you will be responsible for the people using your service.

Work out the details of the type of service you will offer, packages, tours, group discounts, how do you handle reservations, what types of payment will you accept and so one. Work with family and friends to have a trial run of your service a few times over. This way you will see what steps you may have missed while you were planning from the inside.

How will you find business, what advertising, promotion and marketing will you do? Can you afford all the marketing ideas you dream up or do you need to get thrifty and rely on people who know you to get you word of mouth business?

While working on your business plan you would have worked out some idea for the finances and the start up costs. Before you actually offer services you need to firm up all the financial details. If you have offers of financial aid, a partner in the business or anything else you need to get started make sure it is on paper, a sure thing you can completely count on. It’s a really good idea to have more money behind you than you think you will need. The unexpected will always crop up.

Links with More Information


Your Business Does Not Need a Blog

senseless bloggingMost businesses need to reconsider keeping a blog for something which would work better for consumers and take less time and energy for the business to maintain.

Why Develop a Blog When a Static Page Will Do?

I was reading a post which encourages businesses to have a blog, as if that is all they need to do. The answer to life, the universe and everything for a business is to have a weblog. It’s not. It’s actually very wrong.

First, let’s sort out what a weblog actually is.

A blog (AKA web log) is an online record of your thoughts, activities and information you choose to share online. A blog is actively updated, which means the posts are dated so they can be read in sequence. A blog is a form of communication which requires frequent maintenance to keep it active. This is not the kind of online communication a business needs.

Secondly, people are not taking time to read everything you blog.

Any business starting online, whether they sell entirely online or just want to set up an online presence, needs basic information available for the consumer. Basic information is not likely to change. Your contact information, what you sell and how you sell it are not going to change daily or weekly or even monthly. Yes, you may have new objects to add to your catalogue but that is a catalogue, not a blog.

A blog is more likely to be information overkill and just make things confused and cluttered looking. What use is a blog if the consumer has to hunt down the address (or some other key information) for your business? A simple site presents the information upfront and keeps it easily visible.

Lastly, running a blog is going to take up too much of your time and energy.

A business online should focus on giving that basic information on a static website. Starting a blog is just putting in more time and energy than you need – especially in the beginning when you really just want people to find you online so you can tell the consumer who you are and what you have to offer. This is not the time to start a blog with articles about what you sell. Just give them the basic information they need. Not all the fancy stuff, the extras and the media hype. Keep it simple.

Don’t put your time and resources into developing a blog just because everyone seems to be doing it these days. Focus on your real goal, not impressing other people with how big your site is or how much traffic your blog gets. Your real goal for a business is sales, not marketing.

Consumers are not asking for more marketing. Less is more, in the eye of the consumer. Consumers want information so they can decide to buy your product or service. The more marketing clutter to add to your message, the less likely a consumer is to find it. So keep it simple. Create a simple site with simple navigation – keep the most important information to the consumer right out front and centre. If you have extras, like a catalogue, give them a link to take them directly there.

A Business Site Should be for the Consumer, not the Business

If you want to add extras to your site think about it in a practical way. What would your consumer really find useful?

  • A catalogue of your goods or services.
  • A contact form with the physical address, email address and phone numbers for your business.
  • A list of prices for your services and packages available.
  • Any events you may be taking part in locally.
  • Specials or promotions or contests currently running.
  • A coupon they can print out. (Or refer to if they don’t have a printer).
  • Your mission statement.
  • Your guarantee or warranty.
  • Your returns policy.
  • A how to guide for using your product.
  • A list of relevant groups or associations locally.
  • Any health warnings or risks.

This is just a generic sort of list. Each business will have their own needs and limits in the information available or necessary for the public and consumers.

Most of the necessary information can be located on one main (index) page of your site. Extras like a catalogue of goods or services can be on another section of the site with a link easily found on the index page.

Make the contact information a priority. Think about your own experience using a site for a business you wanted to know more about. What was the most frustrating thing? For me it is almost always trying to find a way to contact the business. How stupid is that? What was the point of them putting up a site if I can’t ask a question or get some feedback?

If you Still Must have a Blog Make Sure it Adds Value to your Business

If you still must have a blog, spend time planning your goals and strategy for using it.

Make sure the time, energy and resources you will put into the blog will pay off.

Make sure you have the stamina, writing skill and the content to keep a blog active.

In short, make sure the blog is worth the expense of maintaining it. Chances are there are other things you could be doing which would bring you a better return on your resources.


Social Media Marketing In 15 Minutes A Day

Remember these two rules to social media marketing and you’ll be well on your way:

1. Don’t push a sale. Engage. Social media is all about conversation. It’s not a magazine or TV ad.

2. Only post relevant content. If you have nothing exciting to say, don’t post anything at all. It’s important to keep up a reputation for worthwhile, interesting content.

via Social Media Marketing In 15 Minutes A Day.

Give Away your Toolbox

4) Display Your Toolbox

If done right, a tools/resources page can really rev up your earnings.

Why?  Because it’s easier to convert with affiliate marketing when you actually use the products.

Also, many of your readers are naturally curious about what tools/services you use for your site or niche anyway.

via Tips on Making Money From a WordPress Website / Blog.

Pretty smart idea. Especially if you have an affiliate link to sell the tools you use, like your blog theme or template. I don’t use anything paid right now. But, I could have set up Thesis as an affiliate link and could yet do so if I go back to using Thesis.

The toolbox idea is still good because as web publishers and writers we love to know what others are using, what works for them. Those are the type of post I will almost always stop to read when I notice them on another site.

What Does a Managing Editor do Online?

Cut and pasted from the job boards on ProBlogger.

We’re looking for a content expert/managing editor to help with our content marketing strategy. You’ll work with a very talented team of people all around the country.
Key responsibilities

Creating high-quality, compelling content:

* Edit and rewrite articles and other types of content for tone, accuracy, and brevity
* Being able to manage content creation across a range of media types, including written, visual, audio-visual content (blog posts, ebooks, infographics, white papers, interviews with experts, survey reports, videos, webinars, etc.)
* Identifying and managing a team of writers and other contributors to produce high-impact, high-quality content
* Supervise and coordinate work of writers and other contributors
* Hire other writers as necessary
* Ensuring content is produced to a high standard, on time and on budget
* Developing and managing a content calendar
* Repurposing existing content for multiple uses
* Assist with e-mail marketing duties
Curating high-quality, compelling content:

* Working with the marketing team to understand the subjects of greatest interest to Treehouse’s members
* Identifying and curating content that matches those areas of interest
Engaging and researching community and social media:

* Suggesting the places where high-quality, compelling content can be promoted
* Planning, writing and managing social media posts including link posting, participating in conversation, commenting on content produced by others
* Planning and managing activities aiming to generate traffic from social media

Desired Skills & ExperienceAt least 3 to 5 years of proven experience in content editing and web-based content creation. Skills of copyediting, copywriting, and project management are a requirement.

Content editor experience:

* Knowledge of content production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes different ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media
* Proven ability to research and understand a wide variety of web design, web development, marketing, business and technological topics and bring them forward
* Have established relationships with journalists, writers and subject matter experts
* Great project management skills: ability to organize and prioritize work between different types of contributor
* Excellent copywriting and copyediting skills
* Ability to manage and process a variety of document and media files
* Very high level of accuracy and attention to detail
* Ability to take instruction and work independently
* Excellent oral communication
Content curator experience:

* Ability to identify target audience in online communities
* Ability to research ideas and topics for creation
* Experience in collating the existing content and reusing it
Experience in engaging online communities:

* Experience in managing an online community, moderating comments, overseeing social media communication.

Add Gamification to your Site?

Have you heard about gamification.  Adding badges and such to your site to get people using more parts of your site in order to earn rewards and work towards goals like badges for good attendance, most comments, etc.

It’s likely you have already been on a site which uses this technique. What do you think about it? Does it make you feel belittled, is it addictive or is it just simple fun?


Website Magazine: How to Gamify your Website

Mashable: How to Gamify your Marketing

Mashable: 4 Reasons Every Online Brand Should Explore Gamification Strategies

Don’t Forget Context When you Add your Content

How to make my posts impacting?
← 6. Topic Management

On the view mode of your topic, edition features are available for each post to:

Add Context: why should your audience read this? How is it connected to other posts you’ve curated on the same topic? Connect the dots, give your opinion and thoughts: the Post description area is just here for that, either directly from the publishing window or, once the post is published, by clicking on the pen icon.

via How to make my posts impacting? – Customer Feedback for Scoopit.

I think we do forget context when we write our content. It’s such a race to get a new post finished and posted that we forget to give it the extras that make it relevant to readers and show them not just why we wrote the post but why they should read it.

I don’t mean showing them why they should read it in that marketing way that treats everyone like they read at the grade school level and just took a giant happy pill. I mean actually thinking about why someone should read your post, what they can get out of it. Think of why you would read it yourself and what you would hope and expect to get from it. Then, make sure you have that information in the post you wrote.

When it comes to curating content it is so easy to get a bit lazy or try to rush through and add several links while skipping the chance to add your own commentary. But, links without that context are less likely to be clicked. Think about yourself – how often to you click a mystery link versus one which comes with the context to tell you what the link (or the blog post) is about.

Ladies Learning Code

We’re a women-run not-for-profit group working to empower everyone to feel comfortable learning beginner-friendly technical skills in a social, collaborative way.

Ladies Learning Code started in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in June 2011 – with a tweet. It is through the hard work and dedication of many people (many, many more than are pictured here) that we bring to the Toronto community our take on monthly workshops and other events.

We are:

  • marketers
  • developers
  • designers
  • project managers
  • business development managers
  • research technicians
  • marketing managers
  • digital strategists
  • community managers
  • consultants

Ladies Learning Code (llcodedotcom) on Twitter.