The Top 8 Reasons to Hire NextGear Marketing to Manage Your Blog Content

I try not to get too salesy on this blog, but I am running a business and sometimes a little self-promotion is in order. If you have a business, you need a good website with a good blog. NextGear Marketing offers business blogging services that are affordable and effective. Let’s look at the top reasons why you should outsource your blog to us:

1. Affordability

Having a weekly blog written and managed by NextGear Marketing is a lot more affordable than you think. We offer different frequency plans to suit your budget and blogging needs. Call me at 714-348-0642 for current pricing.

2. Expertise

You could hire a part-timer or delegate the blog management to an existing staff member, but you are losing out on specialized expertise in the art of business blogging.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Having a blog means better organic SEO potential. You will have new content added to your site regularly and the content will be optimized for search engines and social media appeal.

4. Better Customer Engagement

A blog is not only about SEO, it is about engaging the potential customers who do read it. You will gain more regular site visitors, social media followers and customer conversions with a professional business blog.

5. Personal Service

I oversee every client’s blog personally. If you ever have a question, concern, revision, idea or anything you need to discuss, you can call or email me at any time. I’m always happy to help and will customize the plan and service to meet your specific preferences.

6. Custom Work

Every blog post written is done fresh to minimize repetitive/plagiarized content. There is no copying and pasting here. This is another benefit that helps with your overall SEO appeal.

7. Behind-the-Scenes Benefits

There’s a lot more to a blog post that you do not see in the article itself. There are meta descriptions, titles, SEO tags, keywords, links and many other components that go into an good business blog. These will all be handled for you to make your blog as effective as possible.

8. Variety of Posts

At NextGear Marketing, we don’t just do one type of blog post. We write articles on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to your business. We’re talking about service/product features, employee profiles, industry news and events, general information topics and more. A well-rounded blog is a better blog.

These are just some of the best reasons to make NextGear Marketing your business blog provider. Contact us today through this link or call me personally at 714-348-0642 for more information about all the blogging, web content and general marketing services we can provide.

Celebrate Your Milestones and Achievements!

I’ve talked with many business owners who are hesitant to start a blog because they just don’t think they have enough to write about. The truth is there’s no shortage of topics to consider.

Even those businesses with regular blogs often forget to post news about their companies. Followers like to know what’s going on and these types of articles are great ways to work in relevant details and information that will boost SEO potential.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the business milestones you should be celebrating in your blog:

1. Company Anniversaries

When did your business start? This is an article you can post every year if you want, or at least every 5 years. Celebrate your anniversary and key dates in your company’s history. Talk about the history of the business and its evolution over time. Talk about future goals and plans. It’s a great way to show what your business is all about, where it’s been and where it’s heading.

2. Employee Milestones

Did an employee just celebrate an significant anniversary with the company? Did you just hire someone new? How about a promotion, an award or other achievement? Use your blog to highlight your employees and their contributions. It makes them feel valued and potential customers love to see this kind of human recognition displayed.

3. Business Milestones

Perhaps one of your products sold a noteworthy quantity or you’ve served a certain number of customers over the years. Maybe your monthly production hit all time highs. Make note of these kinds of business milestones in your blog. Don’t be overly braggy about it, but be tasteful in promoting key accomplishments made by the company and/or people within the company.

4. Customer Reviews

Authentic customer reviews are always a great source of content and they can be turned in to excellent blog articles. Ultimately, they hold a lot more value than just talking about yourself. After all, it’s a third person—a genuine customer—speaking out and praising your company, product or service.

5. Special Events

The blog is a great place to talk about recent events related to your company. This could include industry events or training conferences attended by your employees, awards ceremonies, charity events and fundraisers you are involved in and more.

These are just a few key events and milestones you can consider writing about in your business blog. More things are newsworthy than you might think. When you find the right blend of relevant information, news, branding and company culture, you will have a very successful blog.

To learn more about blogging or to outsource your company’s blog to NextGear Marketing for low monthly rate, contact us today.

Declare Your Independence!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Many clients of mine are small, independently owned businesses. They are run by families and local entrepreneurs, and in many cases, they are up against large franchises when it comes to marketing.

You may not ever have the same kind of marketing budget as a large corporation, but if you are smart with your strategies you can get the most out of your advertising and compete for local market share in your community.

Market with an Independent Message

One sound method is to embrace your independence and use that to your advantage in marketing. Build marketing messages and an overall brand strategy around the fact that you are locally owned and operated. If it’s a family-run business, highlight that fact as often as possible. Position yourself against the big names rather than trying to keep up with them. When you declare your independence like this, you might be amazed at the results.

Local Support

When I am writing blogs or other personalized web content for my clients, I make sure to mention often when they are independently owned. Though some people will prefer to work with the the big brand names in town, many will prefer to support local businesses. Tap into what those people stand for—and more importantly, show what you stand for as an independent business—and it will be a strong marketing message.

If you do it right, promoting your independent spirit will really help position you as a local alternative to the bigger, faceless corporations.

A Personalized Approach

To learn more about personalizing your marketing and building a stronger brand message with your blog, web content and other advertising, contact NextGear Marketing today. Let me help you get the most out of your small business marketing plan!

How to Blog About Your Specialties

If you have a specialized service or product that appeals to a very targeted group of customers, then you probably already have some understanding of niche marketing. In other words, your marketing efforts need to be targeted to reach the specific people who will be most likely to buy your product or service.

Specialized Blog Posts

Your blog is a great tool to reach targeted audiences who may be searching for information about a specific topic or interested in a specific product/service that you are offering. In this article, we will look at some ways to use a targeted blog post to your advantage.

First, remember that not all your blog posts have to be targeted to such a niche market unless that is your primary audience to begin with. In that case, you have to go full force with a niche approach in every piece of marketing you put out there.

Many businesses, however, might have one or more very specialized products or services (as part of a larger suite of products/services) that they want/need to promote from time to time. Therefore, the weekly blog posts may cover a wider variety of topics to appeal to a wider range of potential customers. Then, it makes sense to a very targeted post every so often specifically for your niche product/service.

Remember Your Targets

For example, I work with a lot of automotive repair shops, so you will see an auto-shop-specific blog post every once in awhile on this site. However, it’s not my only audience, so I can’t do every article for that niche market.

But let’s say you have an auto shop and you have a specialty service you offer. Perhaps you are really well known for custom exhaust designs and installations. Once every couple months, it really makes sense to do a blog post centered around that subject. Click here to see exactly such an article I wrote for one of my blog clients. You can highlight jobs you’ve done, walk the reader through the custom exhaust installation process, showcase client testimonials, write aftermarket exhaust product reviews or talk about specific exhaust components and what they do. There is no limit to the type of specialized articles you can write on any given subject.

The Advantages of Specialized Blog Posts

What this accomplishes is that someone out there searching for information on this kind of specialized product or service is more likely to find your blog. You will have multiple specialty articles tagged and optimized for SEO with very targeted qualities. This person may not be interested in all in your other general topic articles, but they will find what they are looking for and you will build strong value in their minds.

So, if you have a specialized product or service that appeals to a specific niche audience, take advantage of that with an occasional blog post centered around that topic. It is an effective strategy that will enhance your overall approach to business blogging.

Hopefully this article makes sense, but if you have any questions email me at keith@nextgearmarketing.com. I’d love to hear your feedback!

Making Mountains Out of Molehills

We’ve all heard this saying: “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” It’s good advice (most of the time) to not overreact or blow things out of proportion.

I’m getting ready to embark on a vacation to the Lake Tahoe area along the California/Nevada border. It’s right in the middle of the Sierra Mountains and it is truly a beautiful place. So, you could say I have mountains on my mind right now and that’s the inspiration for this post.

The Problems with Overreaction

When it comes to marketing, it is very important not to overreact to negative occurrences or to build something up as bigger than it really is. However, you can eventually make mountains out of molehills in a marketing sense. I’ll explain that later, though. For now, let’s look at the problems with overreaction as it relates to managing a marketing campaign for your business.

First, there is the concern of overreacting when something bad happens (or nothing happens at all). You put out a good marketing campaign and work hard to put good strategies and materials in place. However, you get one negative response or no responses immediately. The worst thing you can do is panic. Remember, most marketing is a long-term process that takes time to build up and catch on.

If you overreact right away by pulling the plug on the campaign or changing to a radically different direction, you may never see the results you are looking for. Yes, it is important to study the data and responses that come in to see what is working and what is not. Then, you can fine-tune and adjust your marketing efforts over time to produce the best possible return on your investment.

Blowing Things Out of Proportion

Next, there is the hazard of blowing something out proportion. Let’s say you are just getting started on your social media campaign and building up your Facebook following. It will take some time and a lot of effort to get as many followers as you desire and to keep them engaged. However, a good Facebook campaign will not be all you need for a successful business. It is just one facet of your overall marketing plan. In other words, don’t invest all your time in just one direction. Today’s marketing is all about diversity and reaching potential customers from as many angles as possible. Put the work in to make your Facebook page great, but be careful not to overlook all your other marketing opportunities through various media. Good marketing takes both a “big picture” perspective and a “small picture” attention to detail to be effective.

How to Make Mountains Out of Molehills

Lastly, I mentioned that you can actually make a mountain out of molehills, and that ties in directly with my previous point. A good marketing campaign will incorporate many different media and a comprehensive strategy. If each component of your marketing plan is considered a “molehill,” you can eventually build them up together over time and you’ll end up with a “mountain” of a business. McDonald’s began with just one little burger shop and look where they are today.

This will give you all something to think about while I am away enjoying the mountains. If you have any questions about marketing or need help with your online or print marketing campaigns, contact NextGear Marketing today. We’re here to help you take your business to the next level.

3 Tips to Make Your Business Blog More Personal

It’s great if you already have a business blog. If you don’t, send me an email and NextGear Marketing will be more than happy to help!

However, many business bloggers miss out on valuable opportunities to personalize the messaging within the blog articles. They think of the blog as only an SEO tool to beef up their site’s content. Though that is definitely the biggest advantage of having a good blog, it is not its only purpose.

Why You Need Engaging Content

A good blog should also have engaging content that will attract site visitors, spur conversations on social media and also lead to more customer conversions. The SEO aspects may get someone to your blog, but then what happens? If the content is too dry, they won’t even finish reading the one article they came for, let alone stay on the site and seek out more information.

That’s why you want to look for ways to “personalize” the content while still keeping it and informative and SEO relevant. Here are a few simple tips you can try:

1. Write in First Person

This is often debated, but if you want to have a more personal feel to your blog this is a great way to do it. Write in terms of “we” and “us” (or “I” and “me” if you are a one-person business or a figurehead representing your business). You do have to be careful about being too salesy at times because first person perspective can exacerbate those messages, but you’ll find the articles are easier to write and will definitely provide a more personal style.

2. Inject Personal Insight

If you are still writing in third person, include some quotes from key people within the company. If you are writing in first person, just make sure you inject some personal insight and interpretations rather than just reporting information or data. Be careful not to get overly opinionated (especially with sensitive political or societal issues—unless that’s part of your brand’s identity) on any subject.

3. Include Brand Messaging

In addition to personal insights, don’t forget about your brand’s overall message. Again, your blog isn’t just spewing out cold hard facts, data and general information that can be found anywhere on the Internet. Remember the personality of your company’s branding and incorporate key brand messages throughout your articles for more effective results.

I hope you find this article helpful in building a better business blog. If you have questions or want to talk more about how to take your blog to the next level, contact NextGear Marketing today!

5 Simple Tips for a Better Business Blog

Having a blog for your business can be a powerful marketing tool. It will enhance your website’s organic SEO appeal, it will keep followers of your business engaged and it will help attract and convert new customers. Having a good business blog is easier than you think. Here are a few simple tips that will help you get the most out of your blog:

1. Keep Up the Frequency

Posting regularly is important, and try to stick with a regular frequency. Once a week is ideal, and aim for running your posts on the same day at the same time each week. Once every other week is adequate, especially if you are just getting acclimated to managing your blog. Twice a week is fantastic, but it can be tough to keep up with. Anything less than twice a month just won’t give you much impact, so that should be the minimum goal.

2. Use All the SEO Tools

Pretty much any blog management portal such as WordPress or whatever system your web host uses will have plenty of back-end SEO tools that you can utilize. Familiarize yourself with each and use them all. We’re talking about setting primary key words/phrases, tags, titles, meta descriptions, featured images, categories, etc.

3. Incorporate Calls to Action, But Don’t Be Too Salesy

It’s a good idea to plug in a call to action or two within your blog articles (“call us for more information,” “click here to sign up,” and so on), but be careful not to get too salesy in your articles. You can make strong points to support your business message, but lean toward being informative in your posts rather than making super hard sales pushes.

4. Utilize Links to Your Advantage

Internal and external links can be very beneficial in your blog articles. They help naturally with SEO, and inbound links especially can keep your readers engaged if they click through from one article on your site to the next.

5. Share Your Posts on Social Media

Social media is a great way to get new blog followers and your blog is a great way to keep your social media followers engaged with regular content, comments, likes and other important activity. Share a link to each blog post you write on all your social media pages.

When it comes to running a successful business blog, these simple tips are just the beginning. The more advanced you become, the more powerful your blog will be. If you need help with your blog and want to hire a business blog management specialist to ensure the job gets done right, contact NextGear Marketing today. Writing effective and engaging business blogs is what we do best. We’re here to help you shift your business into the next gear!