Happy Holidays from NextGear Marketing!

This will probably be the last blog article I post this year. And unlike usual, this one will be short and sweet. This is always a busy time as I prepare for holiday travel and work extra hard to make sure all my clients’ projects are taken care of before I hit the road for a few days to visit family during Christmas.

I just wanted to take this opportunity wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Thank you to all my clients, friends, family and vendor partners for your support throughout 2018. It isn’t easy getting a small business off the ground, but each year is better than the last and I appreciate anyone who has helped with referrals and leads. On that note, if you know anyone out there in need of marketing help, especially when it comes to web content and blogging services, let me know or give them my information. Anyone can contact me directly through this site or you can email me at keith@nextgearmarketing.com

Otherwise, I hope everyone out there has a safe, happy and memorable holiday season and here’s to making 2019 our best year ever!

Coincidence, Fate or Plain Dumb Luck?

So, a weird thing happened to me this week. On Monday morning, I noticed I had no hot water. When I went to go check on the hot water heater, I found it was leaking pretty badly. My landlord was on top of things and had someone come out to replace it the next day, though I am still working to get the closet all dried out and cleaned up.

This morning, I went to get a glass of water from my water cooler and noticed it was out of water. So, I put the new jug in only to hear a heavy dripping sound coming out the back of the cooler. Somehow, this stupid thing had also sprung a leak! Thank goodness I already had a lot of towels out from the other mess I was cleaning up earlier in the week.

So, within a few days of one another, both my hot water heater and my drinking water cooler had major leaks and got water everywhere. These are two completely different and unrelated pieces of equipment, though they perform similar functions (one making water hot, one making water cold) in my condo. What are the odds of this?

Can Luck Lead to Success?

It gets me thinking about things like luck, fate and coincidence. Sure, luck is sometimes involved in success. Happening to be at the right place at just the right time can be very beneficial. Whether or not you want to call that fate is more a matter of how you choose to look at things.

Ultimately, however, you have to go out and make your own opportunities in life and business. Just sitting back and waiting for things to happen is generally not going to get you very far.

Getting the Word Out

A lot of people think they can start a small business, set up a nice website and the business will just roll in naturally. This rarely happens unless you get the best word of mouth ever. You have to be proactive and get your name out there, whether it’s through digital marketing/SEO, social media, blogging, print advertising, billboards and so on. And yes, it helps to have really good word of mouth, too.

My point is don’t count on luck, fate or whatever cosmic forces you believe in to generate your business for you. And if you have a run of bad luck like I did this week, don’t let it get you down. Stay positive, get out there and make things happen for yourself!

Here to Help You Succeed

If you need help with your marketing campaign—especially when it comes to web content and blogging—NextGear Marketing is here for you. Contact us today for more information and to set up a no-obligation marketing consultation.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

All businesses, big and small, can benefit from having a consistent blog. There are certain benefits that are universal, no matter how large your company is. A good blog will generate fresh content for the website, create more social media engagement opportunities, boost organic SEO properties and help convert more customers.

Small Business Blogging

I primarily work with smaller businesses. That’s partly because the larger companies and corporations can afford to have in-house marketing staff or a marketing firm that handles all aspects of their various print, web and social media campaigns. Mainly, it’s because I run a small business myself and understand the challenges you face. Smaller businesses are usually better off outsourcing their blog management because it’s a more affordable solution and they benefit from having a content marketing expert doing the work rather than trying to perfect the craft themselves.

Localized Benefits for Small Businesses

Ultimately, I think an effective blog will really help any small business in numerous ways. One of the biggest benefits in my opinion is being able to build a stronger local appeal. A big company likely already has a strong marketing presence across a wider geographic spread. A small business, on the other hand, is generally specifically targeting their local region.

Having a blog with proper SEO tags and links will really help your small business gain awareness in your local area, and that ultimately leads to better market share. You can compete more effectively on some level with some of the bigger franchise chains that are going to out-advertise you no matter how much you spend. You’ll also be stand out from other small businesses around you that may not have a good blog. The SEO, engagement and conversion results will continue to grow over time and put your company in a position to succeed.

In addition, blogging with a localized focus and proper social media integration will give you more customer engagement opportunities and develop stronger brand loyalty from those who know and trust your business.

Get More Out of Your Blog

If you have a small business, you need to have a nice website that includes a blog with regular posts. If you don’t have a blog yet, start one. I’ll be happy to help you out with that. If you do have a blog already, make sure you are regularly posting new content and articles to keep it from going stagnant along with the rest of your site. Last but not least, take advantage of the blog’s SEO capabilities, links and other beneficial features that will maximize the results.

Remember that you don’t have to be an expert blogger yourself to get the most out of your small business blog. You can hire one like NextGear Marketing for a very affordable monthly rate with no contractual obligations. Give us a try—even if just for a short trial period. You won’t be disappointed!

Contact NextGear Marketing to learn more about our small business blog and content management services.

Time to Follow My Own Advice

I’ll admit I haven’t been as consistent with my blog posts lately as I should be. It’s been a busy summer. I’ve been on the road a lot. My work time is primarily focused on taking care of my clients’ needs. In addition, I’ve been spending and extra time strategizing and implementing ideas to grow my business.

However, it’s important to remember that a blog is a business-building tool. It increases website traffic. It creates more social media engagement opportunities. It ultimately converts more customers.

How Often Should You Run Blog Posts?

For my blog clients, I typically recommend posting once every other week at the very least. Most of my clients run a blog post every week. Some go the extra mile with two a week. The important thing is being consistent with whatever frequency you choose. Posting a blog randomly any time you think of a good topic or just doing it “when you have time” is not a good plan.

I definitely want to follow my own advice and start being more consistent with my regular blog posts like I used to be. Or, I need to consider outsourcing it to someone who does have more time than I do.

Outsourcing Your Blog

That’s why businesses turn to me and NextGear Marketing for my blogging services. They don’t have the manpower, time, focus or dedication to keep up with their own weekly blog posts. They hire a professional blogger who knows how to maximize SEO potential, integrate with social media and create more customer conversion opportunities. Outsourcing blog management is a more affordable, effective and efficient solution to a necessary marketing activity in today’s technology-driven marketplace.

Stay In Touch

As my own blog inconsistency shows, my clients always come first. I put their needs way above my own. Yet, stay tuned to this blog and I promise to be better at practicing what I am preaching. I will continue to share good ideas and strategies for blog management, web content, social media, print/direct mail and all forms of marketing.

For more information about business blogging services and other marketing help from NextGear Marketing, fill out this contact form or call (714) 348-0642 to speak with me directly.

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!

“Copy and Paste” – The Two Worst Words in Content

When it comes to your web content, the term “copy and paste” should be one that never crosses your mind. This is true whether you are talking about static site page content or dynamic content such as your business blog.

What Do We Mean By “Unique?”

We’ve talked plenty on this blog about the importance of having unique content whenever possible. However, let’s delve a little deeper into the meaning of “unique” in this context. It doesn’t mean that every solitary idea, topic or piece of information you share has to be 100% original. Odds are, any topic you are writing about will have already been written about somewhere else online (multiple times).

The trick is to make it your own. Put your own spin on it. Add personal insight. Make the messaging relevant to your specific brand identity.

Above all else, never simply copy content from another online source and paste it on your website or blog. You can write about the exact same topic, but take the time to rewrite it and make the language unique to your site. Ultimately, the article may say the same basic things, but as long as they say it differently it will be well worth the effort.

Why Be Unique?

The algorithms used by Google and other search engines are extremely sophisticated. They can detect copied content (and even heavily plagiarized wording) from miles away and it can work against you. The more unique (yet still relevant) your content is to your site, the better your organic SEO appeal will be on search engines like Google.

The only time it is acceptable to copy and paste is when you are quoting another source, such as a customer review. Let’s say one of your customers writes a glowing review on Yelp. Feel free to share that on your website and attribute it to the source. Maybe even break up the quote and write a testimonial-based blog post. Even though the content may not be completely unique, the value of a strong (and genuine) customer review is worth its weight in gold.

Otherwise, avoid copying and pasting, as well as blog feed services that give you the exact same content as hundreds of other clients. Customize your content as much as you can and you will see the difference.

Content Services from NextGear Marketing

If you are interested in custom blog content for your small business, contact NextGear Marketing today. We’ll help you stand out with unique and engaging content that will boost your organic SEO and convert more customers.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Content

If you look on LinkedIn and various job posting sites, you will see plenty of listings for Content Marketing Manager positions. That’s because there is a growing need for this specialized service. Most large corporations and big companies will have an in-house content marketing manager, or sometimes a whole team dedicated to overseeing the online content creation and distribution. Smaller businesses have to decide if they need a full-time content marketing manager or if they should hire an outside provider.

The Role of a Content Marketing Manager

First, what does a content marketing manager do? Depending on the company, content oversight roles will include managing a blog, writing and editing all website content, and preparing white papers and informational pieces. Good content fuels social media and powers SEO. If your company does webinars or YouTube videos, a content manager should help with the scripts and information to be covered. A good content manager will also oversee brand messaging to make sure all the content produced is reflective of the company’s desired public image.

The larger the company, the more content is usually needed. Hence the requirement for in-house staff dedicated to content management. However, most small businesses will prefer to seek out the help of an outside content marketing provider because they simply do not have as much content they need to produce or manage.

What Content Do You Need?

When it comes to having a blog for your small business, I recommend once a week as a good frequency to start with. You may consider bumping it up to twice a week over time if you really want to be aggressive. Your website content should be reviewed and updated every six months, partly to keep the information up-to-date and partly to help with SEO.

Other content needs such as press releases, white papers or video/webinar scripts are at your discretion. Depending on your company and your products/services, you may want to be more active with these types of contents than other businesses.

Outsourcing Saves You Money

So, why does it make sense to outsource content marketing management as a small business? The most obvious answer is money. Hiring a full-time (or even part-time) staff member won’t be cheap and you’ll want to find someone with specialized experience in content management. We’re talking about a salary, benefits, office space, computer equipment and other expenses associated with in-house personnel.

An outside content marketing management provider like NextGear Marketing is set up to produce and manage content specifically for small business owners. And, it will cost you much less than hiring someone in-house. For example, you can have a weekly blog written by us for $349 a month.* We’re talking about custom-written, relevant articles that are 300-600 words in length and optimized for SEO. These posts can be shared on your social media pages to spark conversations and the depth of new weekly content on your site will be incredible for organic SEO appeal.

If you need white papers, press releases, info sheets, video scripts, print material content, copy editing or website review/revisions, NextGear Marketing can help with all your content marketing needs.

To learn more about our content services and custom blog packages, contact NextGear Marketing today.


*Listed price is for four blog articles a month and is valid for 2018. If you are reading this article in the future, please contact for current pricing and packages. Blog packages are contingent on your website having blog capabilities that NextGear Marketing can have access to on an admin level. If you need help building a new business website with blog capabilities, we can help with that, too.