Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Tips for Small Business Success

Originally posted in Strategies, Austin Business-Journal, January 11, 2008

ASK THE EXPERTS

Jeff NovakHas your experience as a professional athlete been a blessing or a curse in the business world?

My experience as a professional athlete has been a blessing. Anyone who reaches the top of their profession, be it in sports or in business, understands what it takes to win. Proper preparation, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, accountability to your team, striving for a unified goal – all the things you learn in sports transcend athletics and become applicable in the business world.

Jeff Novak
CEO, IF Development
Former offensive lineman, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars

About Jeff NovakĀ 

Jeff is the chief architect of business direction at IF Development . He is responsible for translating a client’s financial objectives into a master sales and marketing plan, complete with sales forecast, financial outlook, sales compensation plan, and identification of key marketing milestones. With the master sales and marketing plan in hand, IF Development clients have clear visibility to execution and measurement of the overall strategic game plan. Jeff Novak, who played out a career of eight full seasons in the National Football League as a hard hitting offensive lineman and is a possible future Hall of Famer, is known for his natural leadership and high moral standards. Along with Will and Tony, Jeff is also an active public speaker who is passionate about motivating young people, being a positive influence in his community, and being a person who delivers results with integrity.

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Is blogging really good for my company? Or just a buzz word?

Broaden your internet marketing program, increase your website’s value, and make yourself more visible to search engines… all at once! Business blogs can deliver all of this and more.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a frequently updated website featuring news, commentary, advice or insight. Blogs are published using third-party content management systems, which makes them simple to manage – even for beginners. Blog content is usually displayed in reverse chronological order (newest post at the top) and can be easily categorized by the author(s).

The Benefits of Blogging

Business blogs are becoming popular for a number of reasons. Blogs have a user-friendly publishing interface, so companies often update their blogs more frequently than their regular website. Some of the most popular business blogs get updated once or twice a day. In addition to keeping readers coming back, this also improves search engine optimization by adding fresh content to your online business presence.

Step 1 – Set up your blog

Ask an employee or hire a firm to install third-party blogging software onto your web host and test it for proper operation. Be sure that you use a software that allows you to customize your business blog with your logo and colors. You may not be able to get the blog to completely match your website. Think of it as an opportunity to create a new online look for your company. It is good for the blog to have you logo and similar colors to your website, but you have a chance to give your blog its own look!

Step 2 – Learn how to Blog

You should be given access to a user-friendly management center where you can log in and begin publishing immediately. If you feel that you don’t have the time to do so, consider assigning this task to an employee. You should pick someone who can write professionally and understands your business and its products. If you do not have anyone in your company with these skills, hire a marketing firm who can write the blog articles for you.

NOTE: Writing articles for a blog is different from writing articles for a press release. Be sure that you hire someone who understands this!

Blogging is easy. In fact, if you can type an e-mail you can post content to a blog. It really is that simple. However, general business e-mail rules still apply. Do not put anything offensive or off-color in your blog articles. This includes images. Keep your content professional, but still with a familiar voice. You don’t need to write an encyclopedia entry. Don’t capitalize entire lines of text or bold every word that you feel needs emphasis. This is extremely annoying to online readers and they will start to overlook your phrases.

Step 3 – Blog

Once you’re comfortable with your blog, you can post content on a regular basis. You’ll actually be growing your website with quality news and information – good for your readers, and good for the search engines too.

Pick at most three key phrases in every post and link them to three different pages on your website that match the phrases. This gives you a chance to create a legitimate linking campaign on the internet. If you will look above, you will see that I chose three phrases and linked them to pages on our company website. I didn’t just choose random pages. I chose pages that match the key phrases. Internet users dislike it when you link a phrase to a web page that does not match the phrase. This might get your blog blocked from ever being used by that user and you will have lost a possible future client. So don’t try to trick the reader.

What to Blog

Stumped over what to write about? Here are some ideas that you can always fall back on.

  • New product or service
  • Upcoming event
  • New hire
  • Awards
  • Spotlight on a client or employee

The topics are endless. Anything that is news in your company can become news on your blog!

Get Started!

Blogging is easy and can bring a valuable resource to your company. Give it some consideration. Look at some of the other blogs out there and see how they are being used. This may be something that you add to your website that gives you the edge over your competitors!

Learn More

If you would like to talk to a marketing firm about helping you to set up a blog for your site, consider contacting Intra-Focus, Inc. Their friendly staff has a great deal of experience with blogs and would happy to help you realize your blog possibilities.