Category Archives: General

5 Things To Ask Yourself If You’re Not Seeing The Results You Expect From Business Blogging

The benefits of regular business blogging are vast and varied, but it must always be remembered that blogging isn’t a quick fix.  You won’t see huge increases in traffic a day after you publish your first blog post, nor will you rocket up the search engine rankings a week or so later.

Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to blogging and we always recommended our business blogging services are utilised for a minimum of 12 weeks – this is the amount of time our experience has shown to be the minimum required before you start to see results from blogging.  Of course, you’re likely to see improvements before this, but a three month period allows for the blog to become established, a good amount of content to be produced and a decent, basic presence on social networks to be developed.

If you’re six months into your blogging and social media strategy and you’re not seeing the results you expected, however, it’s time to start asking questions why, with these five being a great place to start.

1.  Are you expecting too much?

One of the most common reasons why you’re strategy isn’t delivering the results you expect is because you’re expecting too much.

At the start of any blogging and social media strategy, we sit down with our clients and talk about their expectations.  We look at what they’re wanting to achieve and give details of how this relates to blogging.  Often we can develop strategies to deliver the results exactly as the client first wishes, but other times we have to tweak the expectations in one way or another.

For example, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to say that a properly maintained business blog could help you see at the very least a 10% increase in website traffic month-on-month, even from the start of the strategy.  However, we’ve seen it be considerably higher than this (over 100%) and always mention this to clients, so to explain the possibilities and potential – yet a lot of clients take these higher figures as standard, when the truth is they are achievable, but only over time through continuous development.

2.  How many blog posts are being produced?

It’s understandable that some clients don’t want to invest heavily in blogging to start with.  It’s still a relatively new resource in the commercial sense and as results often aren’t seen for at least 12 weeks, it doesn’t give an immediate return on investment.

However, generally speaking, the more blog posts that are produced, the quicker the results are going to be seen.

Quality must always come before quantity, but if you’re only publishing one blog post per month, you’re not going to see results in the same timeframe as you are if you’re publishing a weekly blog post, which in turn isn’t going to produce results within the same period as two weekly blog posts.

3.  What’s happening after your blog posts are being published?

If blog posts are published on a blog and simply left, the blog will naturally develop over time.  People will visit, they’ll return time and time again to see what’s new and your blog will be active.

However, by promoting your blog posts in a variety of ways – such as via social media or e-mail – you’ll find that the results appear considerably quicker than if the blog posts were just left on the blog to develop on their own with no assistance.

As with the number of blog posts produced, quality should always come first to quantity, but even a basic amount of social media activity should see your blog posts put in front of an audience that they simply wouldn’t have been if they were just left on the blog without any promotion.

4.  Is social media being properly utilised?

We mentioned above that through social media, you can promote blog posts and raise the awareness of them, driving more visitors to your blog.

The problem that we so often see is that people fail to stick by the quality over quantity rule in various senses.

For instance, rather than working on developing a fantastic following on one or two popular and industry suitable platforms, they try to have a presence on half a dozen platforms, believing the more channels they can promote their content through, the better.

And yes, this is generally a great idea – but only if you can have a high quality, active presence on each platform.  No one wants to see updates from a company who are just promoting their blog posts and the occasional bit of company news.  They want to see a company who is regularly engaging with others, providing content of all types and interacting with their audience.

When this happens, you develop loyal followers, followers who are waiting for you to talk again, essentially giving you another established audience for your blog post content.

5.  What do your statistics look like to date?

Whilst you should generally see great results from blogging by the six month point, the simple fact is no one can guarantee this.  Just like SEO agencies can’t guarantee they’ll get you in the first position on Google for your chosen keywords, no one can say for definite that after six month’s of blogging, you’ll be seeing an x percent increase in traffic, y amount of top of funnel leads or z new clients – it’s an impossibility.

For some clients, the results of blogging are seen earlier than expected and for others, they take slightly longer.  It really does vary from organisation to organisation and industry to industry and so it’s important that if you’re results aren’t as expected yet, you check your statistics so far to see if you’re heading in the right direction.

Are unique visitor numbers rising?  What about returning visitor numbers?  Does your ‘average time spent on site’ figure look healthy?  Is your bounce rate decreasing?

If things look like they’re moving forward, chances are you’ll start to see the results you expect soon and it’s just been a slow start, as it can be.

Business blogging is still new.  Yes, it’s been around for a few years and blogging itself has been available to utilise for over a decade, but compared to other digital resources, such as search engine optimisation, business blogging is still in its infancy (and there are plenty of people out there who don’t fully understand SEO – it’s just the nature of the resource).

And because of this, we – understandably – see people getting frustrated as the results of their blogging strategy aren’t being seen as quick – or to the extent – that they expected.

If this is the case, it’s important that you don’t simply give up on blogging, but instead take the time to work out why the expected results aren’t showing – there’s a chance it’s because of something to do with the blogging strategy itself, but there’s also every chance that the strategy is working perfectly and you simply need to reevaluate your expectations.

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Auckland is a metropolitan city in New Zealand and is known to be the most populous city in the entire country. Surrounded by the Hauraki Gulf facing the Pacific Ocean and many mountain ranges, along with a warm climate and various attractions, Auckland has become one of the top tourist destinations in the entire New Zealand. It has many natural attractions as well as man-made ones. Let’s take a look at some of Auckland’s tourist attractions.

Bush and Beach Hobbiton Express

Not many people may know this, but actually New Zealand was the site where the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was shot.  An upcoming film, The Hobbit, was also shot in New Zealand, not too far from Auckland, making for a nice day trip. In the Bush and Beach Hobbiton Express, you get to see the actual set of the film. One will see the actual Hobbit houses and feel as if you are part of the actual film. On top of visiting the set, you get a free souvenir to remind you of your “adventure”. More here.

SkyCity Auckland

SkyCity is another great place to visit when you are in Auckland. This location is famous of the tallest tower in the entire New Zealand measuring up to 1,076 feet. When you get on top of the tower, you get a 360 view of the entire city even up to 80 kilometers away from the base of the tower. There are also many fine dining restaurants in SkyCity that offers delicious gourmet and breathtaking view of the entire city especially during at night.

Zest Food Tours

Food lovers get to treat themselves with the different dishes and meals from different restaurants and food establishments in the city. The food establishments are all are different from each other, thus you get to taste a different menu every time. Beautiful ambience, great views and good service adds up to the beautiful food treat.

Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail

If you want to feel what it’s like to be on the countryside, then this is the perfect place to visit. Few miles away from the city, this spot will surely take you away from the noise and pollution of a busy city. You can visit the vineyard, feel the warm New Zealand sun and get to taste their wine fresh from the vineyard itself. You can also do hiking along the trails if you opt to.

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Here are some tips that will effectively make your trip more affordable; ways in which you can enjoy a vacation without having to spend a lot of money.

  • Booking airline tickets could be a bit challenging if you’re on a budget, but there are tricks on how you could be ahead of other customers. Most airlines will tell people about their promos by sending emails, so register in the airline of your choice (preferably a budget one) and wait for the announcements in your inbox. This is usually a battle of who can log-in first, so always being online is a plus.
  • Booking during holiday season or in dates where there are famous events happening will result to expensive fares, so you may want to set your next trip in off-peak dates. In terms of flight schedules, booking for a late night trip would be more affordable, as more people want to leave in the morning; and weekend flights are more likely to be pricier because more travelers prefer these days for their trips.
  • There are also promo bundles of airfare and hotels that would be offered in the airline, so don’t ignore these. Compute the money you have to spend on accommodation and see if the airline-hotel joint promotion will save you more cash–sometimes they actually do.
  • When booking for a hotel, it is best if you do it with online booking websites. Sites such as Agoda, Expedia, and BackBid have more affordable rates to offer, so choose this over having a direct transaction with the hotel of your choice. Both budget and luxury accommodations have tie-ins with travel booking websites, so you will be in good hands.
  • Check accommodation status before departure – There have been stories wherein guests would arrive at a hotel and find that it’s fully booked, so after you’ve paid and received confirmation from the booking website (do this a day or two before you arrive), contact the hotel and ask if your reservation has already reached them.
  • Cut down on the beers. This does not mean that you should stay sober the entire time–a drink or two is always good, especially if you’re trying to socialize with new people.  Skipping those two bottles could already give you enough money for a filling lunch, so try to have some self-control and know what to prioritize. Besides, it’s always a better vacation if you can actually remember what happened the night before!
  •  This would make you have an idea of the money you should set aside for food. Look for recommendations and reviews of restaurants, bars, and cafes near where you’re going–you don’t want to end up in a place that would charge you triple the cost.

Apply these steps for you to have a wonderful time in another country and not have to spend all your life’s savings. Preparation is key–if you don’t rush things out and you plan early, you will have a lot of time to do arrangements and research. Good luck, and plan wisely!

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How to buy a printer for your office of home

Buying a new printer may sound simple, but once you get to the shop, you’ll be faced with so many choices that you may have to go back home and do more research, or worse, spend a longer time at the store while the staff explain lots of complicated stuff to you. Here are some things that will help you narrow things down–tips on how to figure out what printer is best for you.

1. You should be aware of your needs. The two choices that you’ll find are inkjet and laser, and you need to know what type of function your activities require. Here are some of the main functions and advantages of each:


– Ideal for those who are printing black and white texts–lasers are still unbeatable when it comes to speed.

– There are two types of laser printers: the monochrome laser printer, which will produce excellent text and line graphics; and the color laser printer, which prints fast and print quality color and black and white texts and images.

– Perfect for those who are printing large / high volume print jobs (this is one of the reasons why lasers are common in offices).


– Produces quality images i.e. photographs from your camera, images from the internet, colored charts and graphs for reports, etc.

– More flexible than lasers, because they produce both good images and text.

– Most inkjet printers have smaller sizes, so they’re usually preferred by those living in dorms or apartments.

2. Know where you’re going to put the device. Going home finding that your printer won’t fit in your workspace will just make things hard for you, so before you make the purchase, see to it that you have an idea of how big your printer space should be (providing exact dimensions will  help a lot).

3. Read online reviews.  In order for you to arrive on the best model, you should read reviews of experts or users who have bought the product. A good place to start is or (for reviews and comments)

Once you’ve done the finger work. Pop down to your local store such as Noel Leeming or Bond & Bond – speak to their staff about the printer(s) you are interested in buying.
4. Ask about the warranty and service. Know the coverage of repairs, services, part replacements, and the overall warranty that goes with the product. Also think twice before purchasing an extended warranty (especially for the cheaper models, which could expire in a span of just two to three years), because sometimes it will be more economical to buy a new one than have an old model repaired.

5. Last but not least is to know whether the printer will be compatible with the computer you’re using. Take note of your operating system and ask the experts at the shop if your device will have no problems installing the model you want to purchase.

Not having enough knowledge on printers in the market today could lead you to purchasing the wrong product. Take note of these things and do further readings in order for you to find the exact item you’re looking for. Good luck, and choose wisely!

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3 Things You Need To Know When Looking For Blog Post Ideas

Whenever we start talking to organisations about our business blogging services, we always explain that they can have as much or as little involvement as they wish.  Some prefer to be really hands-on, working closely with us during all parts of the blogging strategy, while others take more of a back seat, providing input only as and when needed.

A lot of our clients naturally tend to sit somewhere in the middle, with one of they key parts they get involved in being the development of blog post ideas.  Something we actively encourage, as alongside our knowledge and experience of blogging, our research team’s work and our client’s understanding of their industry, we are able to develop the most suitable content possible for their audience.

When clients want to get involved at the blog post ideas stage, however, we always discuss the process in-depth with them and what we’re looking for as topics.  The reason behind this is our focus for the blog posts can vary widely on the client’s original ideas and we need to ensure that they are as beneficial as they can be when produced for client and customer alike.

Covering a range of different points, these three give you an insight into the things we tell our clients when they’re looking to be actively involved in developing blog post ideas.

1.  You need to think like your readers

It might sound a little cliché (or like an ancient Chinese proverb), but it’s important you look at your blog – and the ideas for the content – as if you were a reader, not the writer.  The blog obviously needs to have a commercial focus, but it generally shouldn’t be in the blog posts themselves, as this is likely to do nothing more than put readers off.

Imagine your blog was attached to your sports equipment website as an example.  Although the footballs you have on sale and the new tennis rackets you’ve just got in are likely to feature on your blog, as a reader, is this really something you’d want to be reading about every day?

You need to be focusing on sports in general, linking back to your website occasionally, such as through an overview of the last cricket match or an insight into the next boxing event.  Remember, blogging is about engaging with your readers and it’s not about selling to them – develop a community feel where readers return regularly and your blog will grow considerably and organically to the extent that when you do publish the occasional piece of sales-type copy, your audience will be more likely to respond to it in a positive way.

2.  Topical pieces often work very well – as long as they offer something different

Some of the most successful blog posts are those that are produced around a topical news item.  As the subject is already being heavily discussed, you can essentially piggy back on its success.  It doesn’t have to be something that’s directly related to your organisation or industry either – however, it has to be understood that you can’t simply replicate it or put your own spin on it.

Think about it logically.  Your readers will no doubt have read all about it on news websites, heard about it on the radio and seen it on TV, so why would they want to read all about it again on your blog?

What you need to do is use the topic in a way that’s going to make the post stand out.  Without doubt link back to the news item, but the piece in general needs to focus on something different.  Something that’s going to make the reader want to get to the end of the piece and believe they’ve just read something from an organisation who aren’t simply churning out the same content as everyone else.

The reason we’re mentioning this is when we get e-mailed a link to a news story from a client, their expectations of the post that’s created around it aren’t usually what we recommend and so it’s important to know why – and understand the impact of not doing so – from the start.

3.  Your business blog isn’t the only one out there

Getting inspiration from other blogs is always a good idea.  Part of our research team’s focus is to look at what a client’s competitors are doing, what worked for them and see if we can develop content that follows the same path in some way.

But what we never do is blatantly copy content, ideas or focus.  Not only does this show a lack of imagination, understanding of your audience and a generally poor business approach, but it just provides the same content to your readers.

What a lot of organisations fail to realise is that even if their blog has hundreds or thousands of regular readers, it’s unlikely to be the only blog those readers visit – and if you therefore don’t provide fresh, unique content, when they visit your blog, they’re going to be quickly put off as they’re just seeing reworked copy from another blog.

The most important aspect of blogging is to provide content that’s fresh and unique.  People don’t want to be seeing content that they’ve read elsewhere, even if you do take a slightly different spin on it.  As we said, getting inspiration from other blogs can be great, but you have to realise that the end product is likely to be vastly different, as that’s exactly what your readers will want.

We always encourage our clients to be as involved as they can be in our business blogging strategies.  We’re more than happy to develop and implement their blogging and social media strategies with only minimal involvement from themselves, but as we always aim to be as transparent as possible with our services, when our clients see exactly what’s happening and how we approach certain aspects, their involvement can not only be beneficial to the strategy, but to their organisation as a whole.

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Flying could be complicated if it’s your first time. The processes you’ll have to go through in the airport alone could already be stressful, as you’d have to go through different windows and security stops even before you get to the aircraft.


Don’t let these things scare you. With proper preparation, you will be able to get to your destination smoothly. If you’ll be taking your very first airplane ride soon, read on. Here are some tips that will help you  have a trouble-free trip.

1. Research before you leave.

Each airport / airline is different, and you should get to know the rules days before you fly. Go to your airline’s website and look at the rules and regulations. For example, if you are departing from Auckland International Airport, then you should checkout the Airport Information section (of their website). This is where you’ll find the things that you should and shouldn’t bring. Some of the most important details that you have to pay attention to are: luggage requirements and weight limits (how many carry-ons are allowed, how many bags can you check-in without additional charges), and rules on liquids and gels (hair products, perfumes).

2. Make sure you have all the necessary documents for the flight ready (print extras, too).

Aside from your passport, ticket, and itinerary, you should also have at least two I.D.s with you (most check-ins would require identification with photo). Print extras of all your important documents and put them in different bags so you’ll instantly have back-up in case you misplace a set.

3. Wear clothes you are comfortable for your flight 

Most airports will require you to take off your shoes, jacket, and accessories (or other forms of metal such as keys), so dress up in comfy clothes to make the process move faster.

4. Arrive at the airport early.

Frequent travelers would usually be in the airport two hours or less before the flight.  You will most likely ask questions on where to go and what to do when you get there, so you’ll need more time. Here’s the usual process in most airports:

– Show ticket and passport to security at the entrance.

This is also where you’ll be assigned a seat (window, center, or aisle).

– Go to the check-in terminal and go through inspection / scan by security.

– Go to your gate and wait until they call you for boarding (if you’re there early, you can go around the airport, eat, and maybe do some shopping).

5. When you’re already in the plane, put your carry-on in the compartment and take a seat. Listen to the safety video and watch the flight attendants demonstrate all the security measures.

6. It’s normal to be nervous on your first time on an airplane, but try your best to relax. If listening to music, reading a book, or watching a movie will help you ease up, take some with you. Entertainment will be provided in most flights, but it’s better if you bring your own. If you’re feeling uneasy, you can let the flight attendants know that it’s your first time–they would check up on you every once in a while during your flight. Also, do not forget to ask questions. The crew will always be ready to help you out.

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How Far In Advance Should You Schedule Your Business’s Blog Posts?

No matter which business blogging strategy you look at, the one constant between them all is the production of quality content on a regular basis.

The topics will change from organisation to organisation and the style, tone and general approach can all vary massively.   It doesn’t matter what type of content it is, however – the most effective blogging strategies are the ones that deliver quality consistently several times a week.

To the reader, it can seem as though the blog post was written and published immediately that day.  There is nothing to indicate otherwise.

However, the business blogs that see the most success are very often the ones that not only utilise a long-term content strategy, but the ones that schedule content ahead of time.

Having an array of benefits, one of the questions we often get asked is just how far in advance you should schedule your blog posts.  A content strategy might be accurate for the next twelve weeks, but does this mean you need to have twelve week’s worth of blog posts scheduled and ready to go live?

Generally speaking, the answer is no.  In fact, with all of our business blogging services, we generally work one week advance.

Meaning we can produce content that’s topical or on trend with the latest discussions, getting the content ready a week in advance also ensures that any changes that need to be made can be done so with enough time from our point of view and the client’s.  It could be something small, such as a quote has been made that now needs to be included or it could be something similar to a full rewrite, due to a change in the news that has brought something new to light.

Imagine that happened if you weren’t scheduling your blog posts.  It’s never a good idea to edit an already published blog post, so you’d simply have to keep it unchanged, something that could potentially have a negative impact.

Whilst one week in advance is a good guide, it shouldn’t be stuck to rigidly, as for some organisations and in some general situations, more flexibility is required to meet the different needs.

One of the most common examples of this is when we are unable to work with a client for a temporary period in regards to messaging or content approval.  It could be a client’s internal project which is going to mean they won’t be available or it might be that they’re simply going on holiday.  In these situations, we often need to schedule blog posts two or three weeks in advance.

It does mean the blog posts won’t be as topical as they could possibly be, but for a temporary period, that doesn’t have to be too much of a problem.  It’s simply a matter of taking the time to develop content that will make readers not miss the topical feel – a ‘How To’ series, for instance.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are some organisations who are almost unable to schedule their blog posts any more than a day or two in advance.  Perhaps they have a technology blog or they simply like to provide the most up-to-date information within their industry, something that their readers have come to expect.

In these instances, although one week is unlikely to be a possibility, there should still be procedures in place that stipulate a blog post needs to be scheduled in advance, whether that’s by 12 hours or two days.  If nothing else, it ensures there is sufficient time to make any last-minute edits before it gets published to an audience of what could easily be thousands.

All blog post content should be scheduled in advance.  There might be the very rare occasion where a last-minute post needs to be published, but these occasions are few and far between.  Giving you a tremendous amount of control over the content that’s being produced and delivered to your audience, scheduling your blog posts should never be the question – instead, it should be ‘how far in advance?’.

And although all organisations’ needs vary, a good rule of thumb is one week.  For the majority, anything less is likely to be unnecessary and anything more could result in content that isn’t as topical as it could be.

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Having two or more bags for traveling is not a problem, as you just need to throw in just about any stuff you think you need in your luggage. Sometimes, however, if you need to travel with just one bag, things could be way more complicated–careful choosing and deliberation must be done, as you will need to squeeze in all the necessities for the small space you have. 

Why travel light. …?

Before we give the tips, let’s enumerate some advantages of traveling light.

1. It’s cheaper – By having just one carry-on bag, you don’t have to pay the fees for excess baggage (this varies, so better check your airline for rates. By traveling with a single bag, you will also get to skip the usually-overpriced taxis and private vehicles and take public transportation like trains, buses, and shuttles instead. You won’t also be obliged to give tips to porters who will carry your other luggage.

2. You won’t have difficulty moving – mobility is one of the most important parts of travel, and if you don’t have much stuff to bring, you’ll easily be able to explore more places. Small bags will also save you from end-of-the-day back pains and throbbing arms. There’s a reason frequent flyers travel light…they have learnt the hard way that lugging a huge suitcase across a crowded airport terminal isn’t much fun, nor is dragging it in and out of taxis, buses and hotels. And unless you go upmarket you will be doing a lot of your own lugging!

3. It saves time – Having only carry-on luggage means you don’t have to wait for your other bags to go ’round and ’round the airport conveyor. Also, because you never know what will happen to your checked-in stuff while you’re in transit, you will not be at risk of waiting for delayed (and possibly damaged) luggage.

After choosing a bag (make sure that it fits the airline height and weight requirements for checked-in luggage–it’s usually 20lbs per bag), lay out all the things that you want to bring. Before packing, check everything twice, and only put them in the bag if you really need them. Don’t bring bulky items (big shampoo bottles, boxes of snacks) that will be available in your destination, and avoid bringing too many thick items of clothing.

Opt for doing your own laundry.

If you’re up for doing some laundry, bring a small pack of detergent with you. This way, you could wash your clothes immediately after you use them–these won’t feel like a chore, as you’d be washing them in small batches. If you don’t want to do your own washing but would be willing to shell out a small fee, you can ask the hotel to do it for you (they would usually give it back after 24 hours or less).

Roll your clothes.

This tried and tested way of packing will allow you to store more things in your bag. Aside from saving space, rolling clothes (many travelers even roll two items together) will also cause less wrinkles. This method will also allow you to easily find what you’re looking for–folded clothes will give you a harder time if you don’t want to take everything out of the bag.

Leave room for purchases/souvenirs.

Last but definitely not least: save some space for your purchases–pack your bag about two-thirds full so you’ll have extra storage. If this is not possible or if you think you’ll need a bigger space, you can also pack a separate light nylon bag that you can easily carry on your way back home.

Packing light won’t be difficult if you don’t rush, so take your time in listing/packing what you need. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to having less headache and hassles when you travel.

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How To Get A Guest Blog Post Spot Here On The Blogshop’s Blog

We’ve talked previously about our love for guest blogging.  We’ve used it ourselves, for our clients and have had people produce great guest blog posts here on our blog.

Sometimes we’ve talked about the benefits of guest blogging and other times about how you can go about securing a guest blog post.

We get e-mails on a regular basis from individuals asking whether they can produce content for our blog in exchange for a link, but the whole conversation is almost always poor for a variety of reasons.

The following information should give you a clear understanding of what we’re looking for (and undoubtedly what others are looking for), but don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.

Triple check your e-mail

As humans, we aren’t perfect and the occasional typo passes through everyone’s checking procedure.  However, when you’re writing an e-mail asking to publish content on someone else’s blog, you need to be certain that the e-mail copy is as near to perfect as it can be.

If you add in an extra letter to a word (let’s say you wrote ‘For exampple’), chances are it’s a genuine error that’s simply been overlooked.  However, if you wrote ‘its’ when you actually meant ‘it’s’ all the way through the e-mail, that just shows either a lack of understanding of the English language or an inability to truly check through your work.

Ask to produce relevant content…

Blogging is a varied subject and with a little thought and imagination, you should be able to tie it in to a range of subjects.

We’re also quite open about content here at The Blogshop.  Yes, we like our blog content to have a focus on blogging, but the most important point is that it’s of value to you, our readers.  Therefore, if you approached us about a blog post on SEO that only touches briefly on blogging, chances are we’d be interested – our audience are interested in various digital tools, resources and platforms, so as long as there’s a bit of a discussion around blogging, an SEO focused article would work.

What we don’t want to see is an e-mail suggesting topics around medical insurance or football coaching.  Unless you have some fantastic story about them that you can link to blogging, the content is going to be irrelevant – and therefore useless – to our audience.

…and talk about relevant links

In the past we’ve had people contact us who want to produce content around blogging, which is fantastic – but they’ve then gone on to say they would like a link back to their completely unrelated website.

Whilst the content is going to be suitable, by providing a link to a seemingly pointless website, it’s going to be of little benefit to the guest blogger (guest blogging is a great way to develop backlinks, but SEO isn’t just about getting any links – one backlink on a relevant website will be better than 10 links on unrelated websites) and it’s going to potentially alienate our readers (remember, guest blogging might be of benefit to you as the blogger, but it needs to first and foremost be of benefit to the audience and the company you’re going to be guest blogging for).

Don’t forget to reply

Arguably one of the most annoying things we’ve encountered with guest bloggers is their inability to reply to e-mails.  They’ve e-mailed us, we liked their idea, got back in touch – and then never heard anything back.

Even when we don’t like an idea, we always reply thanking them for their time and explaining we’d be open to future suggestions if they were more appropriate, but we don’t get any response.

Whilst such a reply would mean you’ve essentially got your foot in the door and have developed that relationship with the company, it’s simply common courtesy to reply – you’ve contacted a company, they’ve replied, so an e-mail in return is considered to be the right, polite thing to do.

From increasing your online reach to improving the awareness of your brand, an effective guest blogging strategy to supplement your own business blogging activities can see some fantastic results.

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How Important Is It To Add Meta Data To Your Blog Posts?

For several years, completing your website’s meta data was seen as an integral part of the SEO process.  Particularly with regards to the title, description and tags sections, filling these in for every live page on your website was considered to be an attributing factor to a high positioning in the search engines for your chosen keywords.

Whilst today its importance when it comes to SEO isn’t as substantial as it once was – some even say that its SEO value is negligible – the effective completion of your meta data when it comes to your blog posts can be extremely important to their success.

It must be understood that you don’t have to complete meta data for your blog posts to be a success.  Just like you don’t have to share them via social media and you don’t have to stick to a strict posting schedule, completing your meta data properly, however, can help your blog posts be as successful as they can possibly be.

The idea here isn’t to think of meta data as part of SEO, but instead, as a marketing tool and for this reason, we’re not going to talk about the tags aspect.  Yes, most WordPress plugins will give you the option to fill them in – and it’s good practice to do so – but it’s the meta title and description where, if used properly, you’ll be able to see some potentially huge benefits.

If you’re not particularly au fait with the meta title and description information, they’re the pieces of text you see for each individual website when you type a phrase into a search engine, meaning meta data is often the first interaction a potential customer will have with a company.

As an example, when you type “The Blogshop” into Google, “Business Blogging Services, Blog Writing Services | The Blogshop” is our meta title and “The Blogshop is a dedicated business blogging agency providing tailor made, SEO friendly business blogging services, from SME to enterprise level.” is our meta description.

With this example, we’ve used the meta data as advertising copy.  We’ve used it to attract the readers’ attention and provide them with a basic introduction to our company, including what we deliver so they know what to expect when they click through.

And this is exactly what you need to do with your meta data for each and every one of your blog posts.    You need to treat it as an advertising resource, thinking of it as something you can utilise to first grab the readers’ attention and then draw them in to your blog post – which is where, as a business, you’ll not only have your customer-focused content, but your calls to action.  Your links, your signup boxes and your promotions.

Starting with the meta title, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as it will almost always be your blog post title.  As this itself should be as attractive and enticing as it can be, it should be able to be copied word-for-word into your meta title.

Generally speaking, search engines only show the first 60 characters of the meta title and it’s therefore important that any text you enter here fits in – no one likes to see a title that cuts off mid-word.  This shouldn’t mean you have to completely rewrite your blog post title and more often than not, it’s simply a matter of restructuring the wording and potentially omitting a few words that aren’t absolutely necessary.

The meta description, however, can be slightly more tricky.

You have around 160 characters to draw the reader in.  You can’t use any more, as you’ll simply be cut off mid-word and you don’t want to use any less, as you want to ensure you fully utilise the characters you have available.  You want to refrain from giving away too much information, but you want to provide enough to make the reader interested and perhaps most importantly, you want to feel confident that as a reader, you’d want to click through.

The 160 characters need to be engaging.  They need to be informative.  They need to be honest.    They need to leave no room for manipulation.  In essence, the 160 characters need to act as direct sales copy for the blog post.

And once, as a reader, you’ve clicked through and are on the blog post itself, your expectations should instantly be met, else your work on the meta title and description is potentially going to be wasted.

For traditional SEO purposes, meta data isn’t as useful as it once was and completing the information for SEO is likely to have only a minimal impact on your positioning.

However, completing it for advertising, promotion and even reputation purposes could benefit your blog tremendously, not only helping to improve click-through traffic, but sending visitors who are highly targeted and more likely to convert from top of funnel leads into paying customers.

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