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3 Tips to Increase Productivity as a Work from Home Mom

As a mom of a one year old it is incredibly important that when I am working I know exactly what needs to be accomplished and I have a framework for completing the tasks at hand. I’ve always been fairly good at not procrastinating, but I won’t say excellent, at prioritizing the things I need to get done. However, working from home with my daughter has proven to be quite challenging over the course of the year! For one, you never know if the nap is going to go longer or shorter than expected. Then there is the constant distraction of her learning new skills and growing to be more independent. Many of our clients, may second guess our decision to have Mary Catherine home while I work, however one of our big goals was that she would not have to be in daycare for the first year. Trust me, now that she is 12.5 months old, we are now looking at other options!

I have found the following steps to be essential to getting high caliber work done on time.

Tip one: First prioritize your day.

The night before I always create a list of the things that need to be accomplished the following day. From this list I know what are the top priority tasks. This helps me figure out those top three things that my business would not function without and what I could potentially hand off to one of our contractors. One way to prioritize your tasks is through the Bullet Journal technique. While I haven’t implemented this, folks I know who have found it to be incredibly helpful!

Tip two: Keep track of filler tasks.

In addition to the tasks that I know need to get done on a specific day, I also know the tasks that are outstanding but don’t need to be tackled immediately. There are additionally things that need to be done every week, but the day doesn’t really matter quite as much. These items I call my filler tasks. Filler tasks work wonderfully if Mary Catherine sleeps later than expected or is happy playing by herself, but still needs me to check in on her every once in a while.

Tip three: Structure around naps.

This next tip is combining the tasks above. My day is structured where my goal during Mary Catherine’s nap  is to complete as many of the top priorities as possible. When she sleeps longer I can fill the time with filler tasks. Additionally, during other parts of the day when I can concentrate on multiple items at once, I do these filler tasks, as well.

However, at times if Mary Catherine’s naps are much shorter than usual, I’ll need to tackle my list once my husband gets home from work and finish up the top priorities from the day. The worst, as I’m sure many of you have experience, is when you have multiple days of short naps and it feels like nothing ever gets done! During these days I put away my computer and just focus on Mary Catherine and the dog – hello work on weekends!

3 tips to increase productivity as a working mom

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Search Engine Optimization For Your Blog

This post about SEO is focused specifically on aspects of your blog that you can easily adjust to help optimize it’s presence.

Below are 5 tips to increase your blog search engine optimization.

Tip 1: Use Header Tags

Breaking up content and using header tags helps search engines (read Google) understand what content is important and the flow of your blog post.
How to create a header tag: 
WordPress/Squarespace/most other content management systems: highlight text >> in Style drop down (typically the default is Normal or Paragraph) choose H1, H2, H3, or H4 tag. Best practices is to have one H1 tag per page, 1-2 H2 tags, and then for smaller sections have h3-h4 tags.
If you view the html or page source of your blog, these are noted by <h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>, etc.

Tip 2: Media in your posts

Upload at least 1-2 images in each blog post and be sure to add an Alt Tag to the image.
How to: In WordPress when you upload a media file, there are text boxes for Title, Description, and Alt tag. We recommend copying and pasting the blog title as the alt tag of an image in your blog.
If you want to go above and beyond, insert an audio or video file into your blog post. Diverse media often works well to make your blog post rank higher than others on the same topic.

Tip 3: Internal Linking

We all know that inbound links to your content from 3rd party websites is useful for SEO, but so are internal links. Basically, these are just links between topics you’ve written about previously on your blog or links to services pages, landing pages, or promotions on your site.
Links like these help search engines to better see within your content what pages are more meaningful.
How to: I recommend making a list of the keywords you want to emphasize on your site and the landing page for these keywords (this can be another blog post). The first time this keyword appears in your blog, simply link it to the existing content. Do this for 3-5 keywords within your blog.
There are also plugins to help streamline this process. With these plugins, you’ll need to identify the keyword phrase, what page you can to link to, how many links should be added to each piece of content, and if the plugin should automatically add links to pages or just posts. These plugins can be incredibly useful, especially if you are writing frequently!

Tip 4: Alternate between different lengths of posts

Recent research showed that posts 350-500 words often received the most comments and shares whereas posts 1500 words long ranked the highest in Google. Our frame of thought is to vary the lengths of your blog posts so some are more apt to be “shareable” and others are meant to rank higher on search engines.
How to: If you’ve always only written shorter posts, combine them to form longer ones! We don’t recommend deleting the old post, but write a new message saying you’ve updated the post to include more information and link to the new blog post. When you combine the posts be sure to separate the different original blogs with H2 tags and the subtopics within these with H3/H4 tags.

Tip 5: Share your post!

Though Google doesn’t necessarily count every share to a social media or social news site (Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc) site as a backlink, however, these provide another opportunity for your target market to find your site online!
How to: You can either manually post each blog to these sites or you can use a variety of tools to make the process easier. We often use a combination of sharing directly to the network or website, using automation tools like OnlyWire, Zapier and IFTTT, and plugins through WordPress that link to our accounts.

What other tips do you have to make sure your blog post is SEO friendly?​

5 tips for better seo on blogs

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Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing a Blog

A lot of business owners say they’re too busy managing their business that they don’t have time to write blogs. Others put off blogging because they think it’s just a waste of their time and effort. What they fail to realize is that blogging is a great tool that can provide a wide range of benefits for their business. This is especially beneficial for small businesses.

If your business doesn’t already have a blog, we encourage you to create one today. Here are 4 reasons why your business should be writing a blog. Hopefully, these benefits would encourage you to start a blog for your business.

Establish your business as an industry leader

Blogging allows you to share your expertise. Here, you can post how-to articles, tutorials, trends, industry news, your thoughts or opinion about relevant topics and more. If you run out of ideas to write about, we suggest that you listen to questions customers and prospects usually ask, and answer them in your blog. By providing them with helpful information, people will eventually look to you as a reliable source for information in your industry.

Let your brand’s personality shine.

Blogging gives you a chance to reach potential and existing customers. Through this platform, you can share your business’ story, provide more information about your products and services, as well as future events. Every post you publish helps increase brand awareness and provides more insight into your company. Through this platform, you can show people what your business is all about.

Drive traffic to your website

Writing blogs is one of the most effective ways to attract prospective customers and bring traffic to your website. Most people go online when looking for answers or when they want to learn more about certain topics. If you can provide them with content that are interesting, informative and unique, they’ll keep coming back to your website. Once you gain the trust of your target audience, it would be easier for you to turn them into paying customers.

Boost search engine optimization

Blogging is an effective way to improve your site’s SEO –if you do it right, that is. When people research about specific topics, most of them would only visit websites on the first page of search engines. Some would only check out the first 3 sites.

Search engines like Google reward websites that produce great content. By taking time to create good quality content and publishing one on a regular basis, your website is likely to rank on search engines. But if you write poor quality content or just copy someone else’s blog posts, Google will penalize you by placing your site on the last page.

With all the benefits listed above, now is the best time to start a blog for your business. If you need help writing them, please contact BIMS today. We can help you create blog posts that are informative, unique and relevant to your business.

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Blogging: What to do after you publish a post

You wrote a blog… now what?

We often are asked, “I wrote an article, what happens now?” This checklist provides an overview of the steps to publish your blog or article and how to share it as part of your digital marketing content strategy.

Prepare for Publishing

  • Write an effective post title that includes keywords and is persuasive
  • Divide text into smaller sections with headings
  • Deep link to past posts
  • Add a question at the end to encourage discussion
  • Add on-brand, SEO-ready images
  • Add “alt text” to your images, which will be used as your Pinterest pin description
  • Add a featured image (on WordPress)
  • Make sure your blog contains keywords and header tags

Share your Blog

  • Pin your post image onto Pinterest
  • Schedule it to be pinned to any Pinterest group boards that are relevant
  • Share your post on Facebook and Twitter
  • Create a LinkedIn Group Discussion from your Blog Post
  • Post your blog to your LinkedIn Company Page and Personal Profile
  • Schedule your post for Twitter 3-5 more times over next few days and weeks
  • Share an excerpt from your article to Medium.com
  • Respond to comments
  • Check the analytics of your post to see how much engagement it received. The worksheets in our Blogging eBook offer one place to store this information.
  • In 1-2 months, repin your post onto Pinterest and re-share on other social media channels

We often are asked, “I wrote an article, what happens now?” This checklist provides an overview of the steps to publish your blog or article and how to share it as part of your digital marketing content strategy.

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Introduction of 60 x 60

What’s up with 60 Blogs in 60 Days?

This is a challenge I’m making for business owners (or marketing managers) to blog every day for 60 days straight. In our mind, blogging is one of the most important content creation activities you can do online. It not only is a way to show your expertise, it also provides collateral for you to share through other marketing avenues, and aides in boosting your on-site SEO.

Most small business owners can realistically commit to writing one blog every month, or those who really understand the value make an effort to blog once a week or hire a contractor to provide a few additional blogs here and there. Now imagine Google is trying to figure out which website is more relevant – one that has had 12 blogs in the past year, or one that has been actively updated, every day, for the past month?

Additionally, the blogs are a place for you to explore and dive deeper into topics that you haven’t focused on for a while or topics your clients and prospects care about. This additional writing can help you to position yourself as the expert you truly are.

What’s my goal with 60 x 60?

We have a team of individuals who write blogs for our business and for our clients. These blogs are incredible, but our writers aren’t in the daily grind of operating a digital marketing agency.

My goals for committing to 60 x 60 are two fold:

  1. To cultivate a community of business owners who are looking for support and guidance as they too work to change their business through blogging.
  2. To explore topics and create resources that we’ve rewritten over and over again for clients and prospects. These blogs are hopefully going to allow me to share my knowledge from the last 10 years of digital marketing and empower others to better position themselves online.

How can you get involved?

The more the merrier as we jump into the quest to write 60 blogs in 60 days! Please join our Facebook Group to gain insights into what practices and tips have worked for others on this journey or write in the comments about how you’ve taken your blog to the next level. We want to hear your successes (and failures), your goals, and the actual results of this practice!

Looking forward to working by your side as we transform our businesses!

Blogging Your Business

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Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

Whether you’re running a small business or a multi-million dollar company, having a business blog is important. It helps attract prospective customers, drive traffic to your website and enhances your inbound marketing effort. In order to reap these benefits, you need to create content on a regular basis.

While there is always something out there for you to blog about, overtime, you may find it difficult to come up with interesting and relevant topics to write about.

Here are 4 clever ways to ensure you never run out of blogging ideas

Recycle old content

You have probably written some great contents that your readers have enjoyed reading. These pieces of contents are packed with lots of information that readers still appreciate them even after posting them a few months ago. But with the surplus of information on the web, people tend to forget about these timeless gems as businesses and bloggers churn out content every day.

Instead of giving up on those long forgotten contents, you might want to breathe new life into your older articles by rewriting them.

Current events

Something is always happening, so you’ll never run out of topics to blog about. It’s understandable if you want to do away with politics, but if you have an opinion on certain issues, why not blog about them? Topics can range from industry news, natural disasters, latest celebrity hook-ups, trending videos, movie reviews etc.

Check the calendar

Most businesses focus on topics that are relevant no matter what time of the year. After all, these topics retain their value even after a few years and can easily be repurposed. While evergreen topics are valuable, you might want to include some seasonal topics as well.

Write blog posts revolving around the holiday season or holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July and Thanksgiving. This is especially beneficial if you’re offering certain products or services that are specific to that holiday or season. Plus, there are less content around these topics; hence, helping you reach more new visitors.

Ask your readers

One of the best ways to know what types of post your readers would like to see is by asking them. Not only will it ensure that they’ll read your blog post, it’s also an effective way to connect with your audience.

Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

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How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

If you’re the content person for your brand, you’re probably busy creating pieces of content that aims to give out information about your products or services. You may also be focused in writing content that tell about your brand’s story. Amidst the churning out of content, have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to buy from your company? The answer is simple. It’s because they trust your company.

Whether you’re creating content for your clients, existing customers or new prospects, it is important to keep in mind that the real purpose of content marketing is to build greater levels of trust with your audience. Trust and credibility are important to win the loyalty of your customers.

Use these tips to create content that will help you enter your customer’s world and become an important part of it:

Put people first

In order to build trust and enhance your influence, you need to remember who you’re writing for. The content you create should be relevant to the people you are trying to communicate with. Know their demographics, determine your niche focus and stick with it.

Deliver high quality and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis. Overtime, people will see your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll keep coming back for more once they see you as a trustworthy source.

Be consistent

People don’t have an idea how reliable you are unless they start working with you. But by observing your activities and posting schedule, they can decide whether or not they can rely on you.

Choose your social media channels carefully and commit to being there regularly. Also, make it habit to post new content on your blog and update your site from time to time. By turning up regularly and publishing high quality and relevant contents on a regular basis, you will start to earn the confidence of your marketplace.

Interact with your audience

Newsletters, social media updates and blog posts are a great way for your audience to stay up-to-date with your business. But it’s not supposed to be a one-way communication. Find ways to interact with your audience online.

You can ask questions, encourage them to send photos of them with your products, share their stories etc. Don’t forget to respond to mentions on social media and reply to comments on your blog. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your target audience. Through this relationship, they will come to trust you.

How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

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4 Ways to Get Readers to Spend More Time on Your Blog

4-ways-to-get-readers-to-spend-more-time-on-your-blogA blog’s success greatly depends on its readers. Without readers, all those content you’ve created will go down the drain. The problem is that, modern internet user have short attention span.

More often than not, people will browse through your post for a few seconds. If you fail to give them what they want, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to another site. You’ve worked hard creating those contents, but why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your posts?

Here are 4 ways to get your visitors to stay on your site longer.

Provide them with valuable content

Content remains the number one reason people visit your site. You need to provide readers with valuable content. This includes detailed information about your products, educational tools, industry news or updates.  This will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with your prospects and will eventually help you build a loyal fan base.

Use subheadings

Most people will scan through a post and just pick out pieces of information they need. Make it easier for them by using subheadings with descriptive wordings. This way, it will be easier for them to find what they need and allow them to jump to the appropriate section if they wish.

Ensure fast loading time

Your site speed is also critical to its success. No matter how interesting and informative your contents are, people may not be interested to read them if your site takes too long to load. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people to hang around. A sluggish site will cause you to lose readers and subscribers. Don’t make people wait.

Make it visually appealing

People make snap judgements. In fact, it only takes less than a second for people to decide whether they like your site. You want to make sure you make a good first impression.

Aesthetics play an important role in first impressions. People like to look at pretty things. A visually appealing blog can attract attention, and may even convince them to stay for a little longer.

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Simple Ways to Generate Leads from Your Blog

Simple Ways to Generate Leads from Your Blogs

Your business’ blog can do a lot of different things. Blogging does more than let your followers know about upcoming events or recent news. Rather, it can help you develop better customer relationships, position your brand as an industry leader and generate leads.

If you’re not happy with the leads you’re getting from your business blog, then we urge you to keep reading. Use these lead generation tactics to drive more traffic and attract more high quality leads to your website.

Pen a killer headline

Make sure your title is interesting enough to capture the attention of your target audience and will compel them to click through and read your blog post.

Go social

Since you own a blog, you probably know how to write a blog post that that will generate leads. Now, your goal is to extend your reach to those people who know little about your business. Consider sharing your blog posts on social media so that people will come, learn something valuable and share them to their family and friends. This will help spread the word about your business.

Build a mobile-friendly site

A huge percentage of visitors use their tablets or mobile phones to access the internet. If they find it hard to read your blog posts or navigate your site through their mobile devices, they’ll leave even before they start reading your posts. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly or you’ll lose visitors.

Be consistent

Publish new content more frequently if you want people to visit your blog regularly. We know you’re busy, so you don’t have to write a blog every day. However, it is important that you keep up with your posting schedule.

Show up regularly and your readership will grow faster. You can’t expect people to return to your blog if you don’t have new content for them to read. Make sure you offer some valuable content to inspire them to keep coming back.

 

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Blogging Benefits that Will Change Your Business Forever

Blogging Benefits that Will Change Your Business Forever

Whether you’re a multi-million dollar company or just running a start-up business, blogging is an important part of your online marketing strategy. But in today’s social media marketing environment, there is some debate out there as to whether blogging is still relevant.

If you’re thinking it might be time to start blogging, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the time and effort, then we urge you to keep reading. Here are 4 blogging benefits that will change your business forever.

Boost search engine optimization

SEO is extremely important for any business operating on the web. Every time you write a blog post, more pages from your domain become indexed in search engines. This gives you another opportunity to be found by people.

Search engines don’t want to send users to abandoned websites with outdated content. By regularly publishing contents to your website, you stand a better chance of being found by your target audience.

Drive traffic to your website

Blogging is an inexpensive way to attract more potential customers and drive traffic to your website. Studies suggest that companies who blog get 67% more leads as compared to those who don’t. In order to do that, you first need to know your target audience and create contents that will be of value to them.

Position your brand as an industry leader

Blogging is especially beneficial for small businesses looking to gain credibility. Majority of people go online to because they want information. By providing fresh, valuable information in your blog posts, you can build trust and clout within your industry. Over time, people will come to you for informative, helpful content and will be seen as an industry leader.

Convert traffic into customers

Now that you have captured the attention of your target audience, you want them to keep coming back to your site. To do that, you need to provide them with fresh, interesting and informative content on a regular basis. Once you have built an audience of loyal and trusting readers, it will be a lot easier to sell to them. In fact, studies show that 67% of American buyers have made a purchase based on blog posts.