Author: Bonnie Harris

In past posts we’ve talked about using the language of your readers and the semantics of choosing between using your “local” language  (Canadian or British English, for example) or the universal language of the internet (US English). That discussion brought up other questions – like whether or not you should be making appeals to your local readers with your content. This week I started thinking about the issue again after a client made a comment. After posting an article on an NYC business’ site, the client commented on a line that said the following, “People who have been coping with a cold winter climate....” His comment was “we’re a business in New York, isn’t that kind of redundant? All of our clients just experienced winter.” Inarguably, if you’re writing strictly for a local audience, that kind of statement is redundant. But, when writing client blogs I very rarely include a local perspective when it’s a general interest topic where location is irrelevant. After further discussion with my client, it came out that his perspective was “only local readers are going to turn into clients”.  It is a fair point – but I think you know that I just don’t agree that it’s everything, and here’s why:

Thanks to Wes Towers for this easy yet powerful list for business owners. Here's how you turn blogging into marketing. Marketers understand blogging is one of the best ways to reach out to their target audience. It has become an efficient way to share updates, news and other information to your customers and prospects. It is also a great way to share thoughts on issues as well. Although it will never replace the power of the telephone for one-on-one communication, blogging wins hands down for communicating to the masses in a cost effective manner. A blog site sitting along side your main website lets you as a business owner boost your online presence. It’s an opportunity to share your company’s latest news, events and what’s happening in the industry. The problem is, many set out and never seem to get the readership required for it to really be of benefit to the business. Now, let’s just say that you already have set up your blog and have even started posting content. What are you doing to let your target audience know about it? What have you done to increase your blog readership? Nothing? Sadly, that’s the answer most people give. Here are a few pointers to help you turn your blog into a powerful marketing strategy:

By Beth Graddon-Hodgson Recently I’ve noticed that the line is becoming blurred between blog and SEO content. Theoretically, anything you post online must by SEO-friendly, but there are still noticeable differences – or so it used to be. If you’ve been following, you know by now I don’t like to fit blog writing into a limited definition as many do. But I also don’t think that absolutely anything goes because you don’t want your blog to become overly technical. Before I get into where that line should be drawn, let’s consider what role an SEO article (you know the type that’s often produced by the major SEO firms) plays versus what a blog should accomplish:

This weekend Nick Bilton wrote a piece about companies that are providing Online Reputation Management services called "Erasing the Digital Past" He continues on in a blog post today discussing how one's online reputation may be the "modern day credit report." As a publicist, dealing with a client's online history has become a bigger and bigger part of my job and next week I'll be announcing a service to help people improve their online reputations and search results. I remember a client of mine several years ago who was launching her first book based on her experiences as a Silicon Valley executive and lifecoach. These careers were after a rather successful one as a lingerie model, that included appearances in Howard Stern videos and some Playboy publications.  Although her married name showed no results, once we found her maiden name online it turned out some of her photos were even being used as cellphone wallpaper! That may be a drastic example, but as most people know Google alerts are simply not enough. We know that company's like Toyota are quite skilled at burying bad news and poor press, as I wrote about in a February 2010 post. We may not all have advertising budgets like Toyota, but there are many things you can do to clean up your reputation online fast. On Thursday I'll give you some tips based on what we do for clients, to create an image online that's just as wonderful as your image in person.The first task, however, is to understand how to determine the current state of your online reputation.  Here's how:

In Monday's post I blogged about whether or not press conferences were still a valid means of communication. The main point was that whenever you have breaking news that everyone is interested in, a compelling visual or stunt, or a crisis to manage a news event can be very effective. But how best to manage it? Here are a few tips that can help everything run more smoothly.

Many businesses are nervous about sticking their neck out when they blog – they’re worried about people latching on to an idea or opinion voiced that they don’t like, and they’re concerned what that will do to the business. But here’s the thing, without taking risks, you’ve got nothing to offer, so it is a must. Otherwise, all you’re doing is relaying the same news and fact that everyone else is already providing. Let’s face it, if you’re a small business looking to blog to increase brand awareness, you’re a small fish in a big sea.  You’ve got to stand out or there will always be bigger businesses and sources that people turn to for industry news. I lose interest while rewriting and simply reiterating something someone has already said, and that won’t say much for the interest of your readers. You don’t always need to take extreme risks to attract an audience. There are different types of risks every blog can choose to take. It comes down to your personal comfort level, but here are some ways to go about it: