[rws_note size="17" background="#fae588" color="#333333" radius="6"]Disclosure: Some of the links in this website may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Raven Web Services will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.[/rws_note]

Recently the results of some brilliant research conducted by the clever people at Ahrefs was published on their blog and it painted a pretty clear picture of what SEO actually costs in 2018. To help everyone we know better understand the costs of search engine optimization in this day and age we will give a summary of the article here and for those of you looking for the full details we also provide the source article at the end of our summary.

The Research

This data was collected through a survey of 350 Agencies, Consultants, and Freelancers in the SEO industry and Ahrefs manually reviewed every submission to remove duplicates, spam and anonymous submissions. They also promoted beyond their own audience (they have a large following in the SEO industry already), so they definitely reached a broad range of SEOs with this survey. The results provided insight related to hourly rates, monthly retainer rates and per-project fees.

Key Findings

This information should give anyone seeking SEO services a strong idea of what to expect as far as costs go but for anyone looking to get the finer details of the survey are encourage to check out the original article on the Ahrefs Blog.

[rws_note size="17" background="#fae588" color="#333333" radius="6"]Disclosure: Some of the links in this website may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Raven Web Services will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.[/rws_note]

What does an SEO agency do? Do I even need SEO services? Read on to get the answers.

As a professional Webmaster, everything I do directly or indirectly revolves around SEO. Things in the internet marketing industry change often, (algorithms, expectations, technology, etc) but one thing remains the same, almost no one outside the SEO field even knows what SEO companies do! Business owners and friends alike ask me three questions when they find out that I work in digital marketing and that I am constantly preaching SEO as a primary factor in any solid online marketing strategy:

"What Is SEO?"

“What does an SEO agency actually do?”

“Do I need SEO services for my business?”

First things first, SEO is the common abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines such as Google and Bing.

Since SEO is so necessary for any sort of online marketing success I would like to explain exactly what a SEO company (or at least one like mine) actually does.

What should an SEO company really do?

Many people don’t even understand what goes on at an SEO agency, but after reading this article hopefully they have a better idea of how much a decent SEO company or freelancer is actually doing for their clients.

Hiring a legitimate SEO agency is important to any business because over 90 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, and almost 50 percent of people click on one of the first three listings they see in the search results.

I said a “legitimate” SEO company because in the online world there are two general types of SEO: black-hat SEO and white-hat SEO. White-hat SEO gains search rankings based on actual hard work and data. Black-hat SEO involves shady methods that can get you to the top, but not for long—and these tactics are are usually damaging to your long-term presence (more on that later).

What goes into white-hat SEO? Well, there are a couple hundred factors that go into what makes a page rank high in the search results, but the ones that matter the most (and the ones white-hat SEO revolves around) are:

Services that should be included when you hire a SEO agency

The factors mentioned above are influenced by a few key SEO services, any good SEO company should at least include the following services:

Website structure analysis

Google and the other major search engines primarily want sites designed for users rather than search engines but it still needs to be structured properly for the engines to read if you ever want to get those users to begin with. Things an SEO looks for include:

Content analysis

Checking out the content you already have on your site can help to diagnose a number of issues related to:

Your website content is the most important thing you can have since it’s what will attract visitors and convert them to leads. So having an idea of the content you already have helps determine how to structure the plans for your website strategy. Performing a keyword analysis is very useful for finding good opportunities to rank higher and connect with more customers.

Off-page analysis

Much of the SEO success will actually take place off your website, on review sites, industry blogs, online directories, and more. The good news about that is that if you’re really popular online or have lots of awesome reviews from past customers, it’s easy to rank really well for your targetted keywords. The bad news however is that most small companies aren’t that popular and some may have more negative reviews than positive, no matter how good their services really are.

So, once your entire website has been audited, turn the attention to what people are saying about you. This includes finding mentions of your site across the web and seeing what can be adjusted to your advantage. If there are negative reviews, respond to them and hopefully make amends with the customer. The goal is for you to have a reputable online presence that users trust and we use the following tools to get there:

You would be surprised by how theses little things can make a difference when you’re trying to expand your web presence online.

Optimizing code and site structure:

If your site code and structure is in already good then it's likely it will only need a few minor tweaks. If your site needs more of an overhaul then an SEO team will optimize your site code and structure but more importantly, they should:

Optimizing on-page content

Content is king but when it comes to maintaining a website, it’s not just a one-off job. You can’t just create landing pages and assume that’s all there is to it. To consistently drive highly desirable organic traffic to your website, you need to constantly be creating new, meaningful content as well as regularly optimizing the existing pages on your website. A legit SEO agency will:

Optimizing off-page factors

Off-site presence is just as important as any of the on-site factors. A SEO company will work to:

Continued analysis

SEO is more than just making the previously mentioned changes to your website. Making all those changes would be pointless if the data is not analyzed. Collecting data and understanding what is means is the central component in a good SEO's workflow, throughout this process they will:

Should you hire an SEO company?

If you meet any of the following requirements listed below, then you need to hire an SEO company:

How do you find the right SEO company for your needs?

An SEO partnership is a long-term relationship, so you need to be sure of who you’re choosing. Remember the black-hat techniques mentioned earlier in this article, you are definitely going to want to avoid those at all cost.

You can certainly find promises that claim to give you some or all of these but you’ll regret it later when the results aren’t what you expected.

How to spot a black hat SEO

Red flags should go up anytime an SEO expert makes claims about getting results in X amount of time. The SEOs that give the industry a bad name use “churn and burn” practices, generally involving cheating the search engine rankings by:

In some cases these techniques do work but the problem is that Google slowly shuts them down. If you have never used black hat SEO on your website you have nothing to worry about but if you have you should strongly consider working with a reputable SEO agency that can help clean up your site so you don’t risk the chance of getting penalized by Google.

Also don't do business with someone that insists on owning the copyrights to the meta data they create, edit, or analyze. If they have this right assigned to them, they can legally bar you from using it if you choose to discontinue their services.

What to ask SEO agencies before hiring

Before hiring anyone, do a little research. If lots of people have had issues with a SEO service provider then there is cause for concern. The following questions can also be very helpful for finding a good fit for your business:

Hopefully this article will help you find the right SEO company that is a good fit with you and your organization. If you happen to be looking to hire someone for SEO then please consider Raven Web Services.

[rws_note size="17" background="#fae588" color="#333333" radius="6"]Disclosure: Some of the links in this website may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Raven Web Services will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.[/rws_note]

If you have a business, especially operating locally, claiming your Google My Business profile should be a no-brainer. Not only it is FREE it’s a fantastic opportunity to optimize yourself on search and control what prospective customers see when they search for your business.

Let’s show an example… If I’m looking for a local restaurant to visit, I head over to Google and type ‘restaurants in Falkirk’. The first thing I see is a map and the 3 of the top restaurants in the area.

I don’t even have to visit the websites, I can click onto the listing to find – the address, opening times, read reviews, get directions and view photos. If the business has claimed their listing, it will also show website links, images of the interior, staff, links to menus and reservations.

Claiming Your Google My Business Listing

If you’re an established business your details may already be listed on Google Maps. Google will sometimes generate and display basic information about your business pulled from other sources. However, problems can arise when the data is taken from out of date sources. Resulting in the wrong address, phone number and opening times displaying.

To ensure all your business information is accurate you can claim your free listing. By claiming ownership you can log in at any time to update your details, add new images, post articles and links to your website and respond to reviews.

How to claim your listing

Go to https://business.google.com/create and fill in your business information. If a listing for your business is already available, you can follow the steps to claim and you’ll be asked to ‘verify’ that you are the business owner. Verification is done by phone instantly or by snail mail, you’ll receive a postcard from Google with a code that you enter into the account.

Adding a new listing

If you’re a new business or can’t find your business details, you can set up a new listing.

How To Optimize Your Listing

An optimised Google My Business listing can help boost your local SEO strategy. By managing and controlling the information that people see about your business when they search for your products and services.

So, how do you optimise your listing?

Accurate contact information
Keep your business contact details including phone number, address and website up-to-date. A customer may type your business name into Google and call the number shown without visiting your website. If the number is wrong, that’s a barrier to getting an enquiry or sale.

Opening hours
Wondering why Saturdays are always quiet – fewer customers through the door? Have you checked your opening hours are listed correctly on Google? Always ensure your opening hours are accurate.

Photos and Videos
Enhance your listing by uploading photos and videos of your premises, staff, products and work. Giving potential customers a glimpse into your business can help them decide to shop with you.

You can post updates, offers and events which are display on your search and map listing. It can also be a great opportunity to share your latest blog posts.

Google My Business is a brilliant free tool that you can utilize and optimize to give your customers to most relevant information about your business. If you’d like help to regularly update and optimize your listing, get in touch to ask about how we can help.


Original Article: How To Claim, Setup & Optimise Your Free Google My Business Listing


If you have a business, especially operating locally, claiming your Google My Business profile should be a no-brainer. Not only it is FREE it’s a fantastic opportunity to optimise yourself on search a...

Read more



[rws_note size="17" background="#fae588" color="#333333" radius="6"]Disclosure: Some of the links in this website may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Raven Web Services will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.[/rws_note]

Here’s five often forgotten search engine optimization tasks that can help boost your rankings and were observed from around the web recently:

Many SEMs tend to get wrapped up in content creation and link building as ways to push rankings. While these SEO tasks are important and crucial to the success of a website, there are other smaller tasks that are equally important and will have similar impact.

While these won’t replace link building or content creation, they can supplement your monthly SEO tasks to grow even further.

Disavow Bad Backlinks

Not all backlinks are created equally. If you have a lot of backlinks from low quality websites will hurt you. You might have not created those links, or even known where they came from, but it doesn’t matter. Google is an algorithm, they are indiscriminate about who they flag for bad backlinks.

Using Google’s Search Console or tools like SEM Rush / Moz can help you find out what sites are linking to you. If there are a lot of questionable ones, disavow them with the Google disavow tool.

Create Videos (Then Optimize Them)

The vast majority of internet traffic comes from video. If you are looking for SEO signals from Google, having engagement on YouTube helps them know that your content is of high value. So start making video content to grow the diversity of your content, but don’t forget to optimize it like you would your blogs.

Take the time to write a helpful description and include links to your website where folks can learn more. The same rules of “internal linking” apply even when the content is hosted on YouTube.

Leverage Your Best Content

We’ve all got that one blog that gets tons of traffic. So how are you leveraging it to keep it strong and then converting? Are you writing supporting blogs that are canonicalized to show Google that this is the most important piece of content in that subject matter? These kind of internal linking strategies can help showcase content that will convert users and meet the goals of SEO, which are more sales.

Steal From Your Competitors

Do you have a competitor who’s got content that you’d like to rank for? Steal the idea. Just do a better job of creating that similar content. If they have 4 outbound links, do 5 better ones. If they have generic examples and images, use higher quality and more useful ones. “Real artists steal” isn’t just for designers, marketers can leverage their competitor’s work to help themselves too.

Focus on Accessibility

Alt image tags aren’t just for Google, you know. Lots of people use these tools every day to help them use the internet. The benefit is now two fold. Not only do you get to have your website be more useable for folks with impairments, Google won’t be too upset with it either.

Why? It’s reading your website in a similar way as a lot of screen readers. So those descriptive tags, and easy navigation items that you were primarily using to help those who need it, now help the search engines navigate your site better.


There will never be a replacement for link building and page optimization, but these items can enhance your links and content by rounding out your SEO strategy. There are tons of other things you can do, but these simple SEO tasks will help you get where you need to go in the search engines with less effort.


See the original article: 5 Forgotten SEO Tasks That Boost Rankings

Many SEMs tend to get wrapped up in content creation and link building as ways to push rankings. While these SEO tasks are important and crucial to the success of a website, there are other smaller ta...

Read more


[rws_note size="17" background="#fae588" color="#333333" radius="6"]Disclosure: Some of the links in this website may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Raven Web Services will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.[/rws_note]

Here’s some sweet Instagram tricks that were observed from around the web recently:

General Instagram hacks

1. Stop seeing posts and/or Stories from specific accounts you follow

Mute annoying users without the risk of offending them with an unfollow.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the … icon in the corner of a post from the account you want to mute
  2. Click mute
  3. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and Stories from the account
  4. You can also mute posts and Stories by pressing and holding on a Story in your tray, or from a profile

2. Rearrange the order of your filters

Put your most-used filters up front for faster posting.

How to do it:

  1. When posting a photo or video, go to Filter
  2. Scroll to the end of your filters and tap Manage
  3. Press and hold the three line icon next to each filter on the left-hand side of the screen to rearrange the order of your filters
  4. Check or uncheck the circles next to each filter on the right-hand side of the screen to hide or unhide filters
  5. Click Done to save your settings

3. See all the posts you’ve liked

Looking for inspiration? Why not review what’s already inspired you.

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to Options
  3. Tap Posts You’ve Liked

4. Clear your search history

Don’t let anyone who has access to your phone know how obsessed you are with your frenemies.

How to do it:

  1. Tap your profile image icon to go to your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to Options
  3. Scroll to the bottom, then tap Clear Search History

5. Hide specific search queries

Permanently remove specific searches (accounts, hashtags, places, etc.) from appearing in the search bar.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the magnifying glass icon to visit the search page
  2. Tap the search bar at the top of the screen
  3. Tap and hold the search you’d like to hide from your history (below Top or Recent), then tap Hide

6. Get notifications when your favorite users post new content

Never miss a post from your favorite people and brands!

How to do it:

  1. Visit the the profile page of the account you’d like to get notifications for
  2. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Select Turn on Post Notifications
  4. Note: If you’ve changed your mind, the option to turn off notifications lives in the same spot.

7. Add and manage multiple accounts

You don’t need to log in and out to switch between accounts.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the person icon at the bottom of the screen to visit your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to Options
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Add Account
  4. Enter the username and password for the account you’d like to add
  5. Once you’ve added a second (or third, fourth, or fifth) account, the profile icon in the navigation bar will change from the silhouette of a person to your profile image
  6. To switch between accounts, go to your profile
  7. Tap your username at the top of the screen
  8. Tap the account you’d like to switch to

Note: You can add up to five accounts.

8. Pin your Instagram post to Pinterest

Pinterest isn’t listed as one of the network choices when sharing a post from Instagram, but there are workarounds for both Instagram mobile and desktop.

How to do it on mobile:

  1. Go to the post you’d like to Pin
  2. Tap the three dots icon located above your post to the right
  3. Select Copy Share URL to copy the post link to your clipboard
  4. Open the Pinterest app on your mobile device
  5. Tap on your profile image icon to visit your profile
  6. Tap the plus sign icon at the top right of the screen to add a new Pin
  7. An “Add a board or Pin” menu will appear, select Copied link
  8. Pinterest will automatically open the link saved to your clipboard
  9. Choose the image you’d like to Pin and finish posting as usual

How to do it on desktop:

  1. Visit Instagram.com and find the post you’d like to Pin
  2. Right click on the post and select Open Link in New Window

9. Delete comments

Whether you need to hide an offensive comment or erase a typo, deleting comments is easy.

How to delete your own comment:

  1. Tap the speech bubble icon beneath the post you commented on
  2. Find the comment you’d like to delete
  3. Swipe to the left over the comment
  4. Tap the trash can icon

How to delete another user’s comment on your post:

  1. Tap the speech bubble icon beneath the post containing the comment you’d like to delete
  2. Swipe to the left over the comment
  3. A partial swipe will bring up a trio of options, allowing you to reply, flag, or delete a comment
  4. Tap the trash can icon—or continue swiping to the left—to delete the comment

10. Filter and block comments based on keywords

Dealing with a social media troll? Comment controls allow you to filter and block comments containing specific keywords.

How to do it:

  1. Select your profile image icon to visit your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to Options
  3. Choose Comment Controls
  4. This feature will hide comments that contain words or phrases that are often reported as offensive
  5. You can also choose to add your own list of custom keywords that you’d like hidden from your posts

11. Turn off comments on a particular post

How to do it:

  1. Begin posting a photo or video as usual
  2. When you reach the screen where you add a caption, location, and other tags, select Advanced Settings
  3. Toggle the Turn Off Commenting option on
  4. Note: you can change this setting even after a post has been published by going to the post, tapping the three dot icon above it, and selecting Turn On Commenting. You can also turn off comments on a previously published post by following these same steps.

12. Save and organize posts where only you can see them

The perfect hack for squirrelling away bits of inspiration. Or use this feature to keep tabs on your competitors.

How to do it:

  1. Go to a post you’d like to save
  2. Tap the bookmark icon underneath the post you want to save
  3. Add the post to an existing collection or tap the + icon to create and name a new one
  4. To see your saved posts and collections, visit your profile and tap the matching bookmark icon (next to the Photos of You icon) to go the Saved tab

13. Remove old posts from your profile without deleting them

This is possible thanks to Instagram’s archive feature.

How to do it:

  1. Tap … at the top of the post you want to remove
  2. Select Archive
  3. Tap the Archive icon in the top right corner of your profile to review all archived posts
  4. If you want to restore content to your public profile, simply tap Show on Profile at any time and it’ll show up in its original spot

14. Zoom in on a post

How to do it:

  1. Go to the post you’d like to zoom in on
  2. Pinch using two fingers and slowing the pull them farther apart
  3. Enjoy the details

Instagram hacks for photo and video sharing

15. Make your captions more readable with line breaks

If you favor the long-form caption a la National Geographic, this hack will make your posts more readable.

How to do it:

  1. Edit your photo and proceed to the caption screen
  2. Write your caption
  3. To access the Return key, tap the 123 key on your device’s keyboard
  4. Use Return to add breaks to your caption

Note: The breaks will start a new line, but not create the white space that you would see between two paragraphs. If you want a paragraph break, write out your caption in a note app and copy it to Instagram. To break up lines further, consider using punctuation, such as bullet points or dashes, to hold the place of an empty line.

16. Edit a friend’s photo and send it back to them

How to do it:

  1. When viewing a photo message from a friend, tap the camera icon at the bottom and capture a reply
  2. Your reply includes a sticker of what you’re replying to
  3. Move and resize it, and add your own twist with stickers, text and drawings

17. Use individual photos to make a larger one

Get creative and have fun with Instagram’s grid format.

How to do it:

  1. To share a #triplegram, simple share three related images consecutively so that they take up an entire line with a single unified look

18. Adjust the intensity of filters

For those who want something close to—but not quite—the #nofilter look.

How to do it:

  1. After uploading or taking a photo, tap the filter you’d like to use
  2. Tap the filter again to open edit options
  3. Use the sliding scale to adjust the intensity of the filter
  4. Tap Done to add the filter to your post and continue your edits

19. Upload or capture a post with multiple scenes

It’s an Instagram Story that never disappears!

How to upload a post with multiple photos and video clips:

  1. Tap the + icon in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen
  2. Tap SELECT MULTIPLE on the Library tab
  3. Choose the photos and videos from your camera roll that you want to include in your Story
  4. Choose and edit your filters (you can choose a different filter for each photo or video or make it consistent across the entire post)
  5. Once you’ve selected your videos, you can tap to trim them or press and hold to reorder
  6. To delete a clip, drag it to the centre of the screen
  7. Finish your edits as usual and share your masterpiece

How to record a video with multiple clips:

  1. Tap the + icon at the bottom of the screen
  2. Tap Video
  3. Tap the circle icon to begin recording
  4. To take multiple clips, lift your finger off the circle icon to pause, then press and hold it when you want to begin recording again
  5. To delete a previous clip in your video, tap Delete, then tap again to confirm

20. Share videos without sound

If the audio is bad and/or doesn’t add to the viewing experience, you may as well remove so it’s not a distraction.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the + icon at the bottom of the screen to select the video you’d like to upload
  2. Tap Next
  3. Tap the volume control icon at the top of the screen to mute the video’s sound

Note: This can also be done in Instagram Stories. After recording a video, simply tap the volume control icon at the top of the screen to mute.

21. Save drafts for later

You’ve snapped the perfect shot and edited it to perfection, but the perfect caption eludes you. Save the post as a draft—with all your edits intact—and come back to it later.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the + icon at the bottom of the screen to shoot or upload a photo or video
  2. Edit the post as you like, adding filters, captions, tags, or a location
  3. Hit the < icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to go back to the editing screen
  4. Hit the < icon again
  5. A pop-up menu will appear, select Save Draft
  6. When you’re ready to continue with your edits and share your post, tap the + icon, then select Library
  7. A new DRAFTS section will now appear above CAMERA ROLL
  8. Tap your desired post, or select Manage to view all of your saved drafts

Note: To delete a post from your saved posts, select Manage to go to Drafts, then tap Edit. Select the posts you’d like to get rid of and tap Discard Posts at the bottom of the screen, then tap again to confirm.

22. Blur the background on a portrait photo

How to do it:

  1. Open the camera and select Focus among the options under the record button
  2. Take a selfie or switch to the rear-facing camera to snap a photo of someone else
  3. The subject will stay in focus while the background blurs

Note: this feature is only available on select Android devices, iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X.

23. Request to join another user’s Live video (or encourage followers to join yours)

Brands can use this feature when partnering with other businesses or influencers for announcements, Instagram takeovers, and the like. Or, encourage your followers to join a live Q&A you’re hosting.

How to request to join a live video:

  1. When watching a live video, tap Request in the comments section
  2. You’ll see a confirmation when the user accepts and you’ll have a moment to prepare
  3. Once you’re live, the screen will split in half
  4. You can leave the live video at any time

How to accept a request from a follower to join your live video:

  1. When hosting your own live video, you’ll see a notification for each request in the comments section
  2. Tap View and then choose to add the requestor or cancel the request
  3. The icon with two smiley faces will have a red number showing how many requests you have
  4. Tap the icon, and you’ll see both requests and current viewers
  5. You can either accept a request or invite any viewer to join you. You can remove a guest and add someone else at any time

24. Save your live video

How to do it:

  1. After your live broadcast ends, tap Save in the upper right corner
  2. After saving, tap Done and your live video will be saved to your camera roll but will no longer be available in the app

Instagram Story hacks

25. Record video hands-free

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right from your home screen to open the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Swipe through the options at the bottom of the screen—normal, Boomerang, etc.—and stop at the HANDS-FREE recording option
  3. Tap the record button at the bottom of the screen to begin recording
  4. To stop recording, either let the maximum time run out or tap the capture button again

26. Add as much text as you want to posts in Stories

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right from your home screen to go to the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Snap an image or record a video
  3. Tap the screen to add text OR tap the Aa icon in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Write your desired text
  5. Tap the > icon
  6. Repeat as many times as needed to add more text

27. Change the color of individual letters or words in your text

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right from your home screen to go to the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Snap an image or record a video
  3. Tap the screen to add text OR tap the Aa icon in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Write your text as usual
  5. Press and hold on a word or individual letter to select and highlight
  6. Choose your desired color
  7. Continue editing and share as usual

28. Add multiple stickers to an Instagram Story post

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right from your home screen to go to the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Snap an image or record a video
  3. Tap the smiley face sticker icon in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Choose your desired sticker
  5. If desired, tap the sticker to cycle through multiple options (for example, with the temperature sticker you can choose between celsius and fahrenheit)
  6. Resize and place your sticker as desired
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 as many times as you want

29. Change the colors or info displayed on a sticker

How to do it:

  1. Select a sticker to add to your post
  2. Tap it for different color options, or, in the case of things like the temperature sticker, you can choose between celsius and fahrenheit

30. Share someone else’s post in your feed on Instagram Stories

The Instagram Story version of a regram—great for sharing user-generated content or giving a shoutout to another relevant brand or influencer.

How to do it:

  1. Click on the paper airplane icon below the post you want to share
  2. Tap Add post to your story
  3. The post will appear as a sticker with a custom background
  4. You can rotate, scale, move the sticker, and tap it to explore other styles
  5. Once you’re happy with how it looks, tap the Your Story button to add it to your post. The post will show original poster’s username. When someone taps the post, they’ll be able to see the original post and more content from the person who created it.

Note: You can only share posts from public accounts. If you don’t want your posts shared on Instagram Stories by other people, you can opt out in settings.

31. Share a song or album from Spotify on Instagram Stories

Show off how hip your brand is.

How to do it:

  1. Open the Spotify app
  2. Find the song or album you want to share
  3. Tap the three dots to open the options menu
  4. Scroll down and tap Share
  5. Tap Instagram Stories
  6. This will open the Instagram app and you can add a sticker, text, or doodle to the image of the album you’re sharing (if you’re sharing a specific song, the app will still display the album it’s on)
  7. Then tap Your Story to add the song

32. Mention other accounts in your Story

For brands, this is great way to give a shout-out to another business or showcase an influencer in a takeover.

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right to open the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Take a photo or video
  3. Tap anywhere on the screen OR tap the Aa icon in the upper right-hand corner to add text
  4. Use your keypad and type the @ symbol immediately followed by the username of the account you’d like to mention
  5. Select the correct account from the menu
  6. When you mention someone, they’ll get a notification letting them know they’ve been tagged, as well as a direct message from you that includes a preview of your Story

33. Save your entire Story to your camera roll

In case you want to publish it on a different channel at a later date.

How to do it:

  1. Open your Story
  2. Swipe up on the screen
  3. Tap the arrow in a circle icon in the top right corner of the screen
  4. Note: You can also save individual posts from your Story as you upload them by tapping the downward arrow icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. If you’ve already shared it, go to the photo or video you’d like to save, tap the three dots icon in the bottom right corner, and select Save Photo.

34. Share your Story to your profile

If your Story’s hot and you want everyone to see it—even those who don’t login during the 24 hours that it’s live—publish it on your profile.

How to do it:

  1. Open your Story
  2. Tap the three dots icon in the bottom right corner of the photo or video you’d like to share
  3. Tap Share as Post
  4. Edit—add filters, tags, a caption, etc.—and post as you normally would

35. Find out how your Story’s performing

Want to know how your Story’s doing? Check out this little-known feature to find out who’s watched it.

How to do it:

  1. Open your Story
  2. Swipe up on the screen
  3. Instagram will display the number of views as well as the names of people who have seen each photo or video in your Story

36. Zoom in and out on videos with a single finger

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right to open the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Hold down the capture button with one finger to begin recording video
  3. Slide up or down with the same finger to zoom in or out

37. Hide your Story from specific users

How to do it:

  1. Tap the person icon in the bottom right of your screen to go to your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to access Options
  3. Tap Story Settings below Account
  4. Tap Hide My Story From
  5. Select the people you’d like to hide your Story from
  6. Tap Done

Note: You can also choose to hide your Story from people as you’re looking at who’s seen your Story. Just tap the three dot icon to the right of the person’s name and select Hide Story From [Username].

38. Pause, skip, and go back when watching Stories

You don’t have to watch Stories in a strict progression if you don’t want to.

How to do it:

  1. While viewing a Story, tap on the left side of the screen OR swipe right to go back to the previous photo or video
  2. Tap on the right side of the screen OR swipe left to skip ahead to the next part of the Story
  3. Tap and hold on the screen to pause a Story

39. Upload multiple photos and videos to your Story all at once

How to do it:

  1. Open Instagram Stories and tap to upload new media at top right corner of your screen
  2. Select up to 10 photos and videos from your camera roll
  3. On the edit screen, you’ll see a preview of all the media you’ve selected lined up at the bottom, you can tap each one to edit individually with stickers, text, etc.
  4. When you’re happy with them, you can preview the content, which will appear in the order you selected it

40. Add a text-only post to your Story

A picture says a thousands words, but sometimes you only want to say a few words.

How to do it:

  1. With Instagram Stories open, select Type under the capture button
  2. Tap the screen and write your message
  3. Click the button at the top-middle of the app to cycle through the various styles
  4. Choose a background color and text color(s)
  5. Press the > icon when you’re happy with the design to post it to your Story

41. Share any size photo or video without cutting anything out

Now you can share that wide-angle company photo without cutting out Gary from accounting.

How to do it:

  1. Upload your large photo or video and pinch to zoom out to share the original dimensions
  2. Any extra room will be filled with a custom color gradient that matches what you’re sharing

42. Pin your best Stories to the top of your profile

Brands can now keep their best Stories on their profiles for as long as they like with the Instagram Stories Highlights feature.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the New circle at the far left on your Instagram for business profile
  2. Choose any Stories from your archive (note: Stories from business profiles are automatically saved to the archive when they expire)
  3. Select a cover icon for your Highlight and give it a name
  4. Your Highlight will appear as a circle on your profile that plays as a stand-alone Story when someone taps it
  5. To edit or remove a Highlight, tap and hold it on your profile

Note: Highlights stay on your profile until you remove them, and you can have as many Highlights as you’d like.

43. Easily share your Instagram Story to your Facebook Story

You can do this for individual post, or set it up so all your Instagram Stories automatically our published on Facebook as well.

How to do it for a specific Story:

  1. Start creating a Story, then tap Next
  2. Tap Your Facebook Story
  3. Tap Share

How to set up automatic Facebook Story sharing:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and tap the settings icon in the top-right corner
  2. Tap Story Settings
  3. Toggle on Share Your Story to Facebook

44. Share a replay of your live video on Instagram Stories

Another feature available to business accounts.

How to do it:

  1. When you finish broadcasting a live video, simply tap Share at the bottom of your screen and the video will be added to your Story.

Note: The recording will be available for 24 hours. While it plays, it will display all the comments and likes from the original broadcast. Brands will also be able to see exactly how many people watched the video—both live and in Stories.

Instagram bio and profile hacks

45. Include a hashtag or profile link your bio

You can now link to a hashtag page or another account in your bio.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the profile icon to go to your profile
  2. Tap Edit Profile and go to the bio section
  3. Type # or @ and then a list of recommended hashtags and accounts will appear
  4. Once you select the hashtags and accounts you want, they will linked to in your bio

Note: When you mention someone else’s profile in your bio, they will receive a notification and can choose to remove the link. Their profile will remain in your bio but without a link.

46. Hide photos you’ve been tagged in (or remove the tag entirely)

Has your brand ever been tagged in an image that you’d rather not be associated with? There’s ways to remove it from your profile.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the person icon to visit your profile
  2. Tap the person in a box icon beneath your bio to go to the Photos of You tab
  3. Tap the photo you want to remove from your profile
  4. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Photo Options
  5. Select Hide from My Profile or Remove Me From Post if you want to untag yourself

Pro Tip: You can also choose whether or not you’d like tagged photos to appear on your profile. To do it, go to the Photos of You page, tap the three dots icon, select Tagging Options, then choose either Add Automatically or Add Manually.

47. Add line breaks in your bio to make it stand out

If you’d like to break up the block of text that is your bio, this hack is for you. Line breaks are a great way to include info in a visually appealing way.

How to do it on mobile:

  1. Open up a notes app and write out your bio as you’d like it to appear—line breaks included
  2. Select all the text and choose Copy
  3. Open the Instagram app
  4. Tap your profile image icon to visit your profile
  5. Tap the Edit Profile button
  6. Paste the text from your notes app into the bio field
  7. Tap Done to save your changes

How to do it on desktop:

  1. Visit your Instagram profile on the web
  2. Select Edit Profile
  3. Space your bio as you’d like it to appear
  4. Click Submit to save your changes

Note: Whether edited via mobile or on desktop, profiles viewed on desktop will appear without line breaks.

48. Include a link in your bio to drive traffic

Your bio is a great place to drive traffic to your website or another social channel with a link.

How to do it:

  1. Tap your profile image icon to visit your profile
  2. Tap the Edit Profile button
  3. Enter in the link you’d like to share
  4. Tap Done to save your changes

49. Switch to a business profile to run ads and get analytics

If you’re a brand and still don’t have an Instagram business profile, you’re missing out on key features and insights. Make the switch now.

How to do it:

  1. Tap your profile image icon to visit your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to Options
  3. Select Switch to Business Profile
  4. Tap Continue at the bottom of the screen
  5. Instagram will ask you to connect your Facebook account—you must connect a Facebook account to set up a business account on Instagram
  6. Once you’ve chosen the Facebook Page you want to connect, fill in the information requested by Instagram—you must provide a phone number, email, or physical address for your business
  7. Tap Done to save your profile and settings

Instagram hashtag hacks

50. Find the best (and most relevant) hashtags

How to do it:

  1. Select the magnifying glass icon to visit the Explore tab
  2. Type in a keyword and tap the Tags column
  3. Choose a hashtag from the list
  4. This will take you to a page of posts bearing that hashtag
  5. Above the “Top” and “Recent” portions of the page, there appears a small bar labeled “Related.” Next to this, Instagram will display a list of relevant hashtags that you can swipe through for inspiration (and further research)

51. Follow your favorite hashtags

Great for content inspiration!

How to do it:

  1. Select the magnifying glass icon to visit the Explore tab
  2. Type in the hashtag you want to follow
  3. On the hashtag page click the Follow button

52. Save hashtags for future use

If you often use the same hashtags for every post, save them in a note to save time.

How to do it:

  1. Create a new note in the notes app on your mobile device
  2. Add all of your most-used captions to a running list
  3. Whenever you’re sharing a post, navigate from Instagram to the notes app, copy your text, then paste it in your caption

53. Hide hashtags

Don’t clutter your captions. Hide your hashtags to keep the reader focused on what’s important.

How to do it—method No. 1:

  1. One easy way to hide your hashtags is to simply leave them out of your caption altogether and put them in a comment below your post
  2. Once you’ve got another comment, your hashtags will be safely hidden in the comments section

How to do it—method No. 2:

  1. Another method is to separate your hashtags from the rest of your caption by burying them beneath an avalanche of line breaks
  2. Simply tap the 123 key when composing a caption
  3. Select Return
  4. Enter a piece of punctuation (whether a period, bullet, or dash), then hit Return again
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 at least five times
  6. Instagram hides captions after three lines, so your hashtags won’t be viewable unless your followers tap the more option on your post

Instagram direct messaging hacks

54. Turn off your activity status

If you don’t want your followers to know when you were last active on the app, you can turn off activity status within Instagram Direct Messenger.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the profile icon at the bottom right of your screen
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS or the three dots on Android to go to “Options”
  3. Scroll down and select Activity Status under “Settings”
  4. Toggle off activity status

55. Send disappearing content to other accounts

How to do it:

  1. From the home screen, tap the camera icon at the top left of the screen. Or swipe right to open the camera. Or open Instagram Direct by tapping the paper airplane icon at the top right of the screen, then tapping the camera icon in the top left
  2. Shoot a photo, video, or Boomerang
  3. Edit it as desired
  4. Tap the > icon at the bottom right of the screen
  5. Choose your recipient OR tap New Group to send your message to several people in a single group chat
  6. Tap Send at the bottom of the screen

Note: If you select multiple recipients without creating a group, each user will be sent the same message separately.

56. Send a live video

You can send your own live video or one you’re watching to a user or group of users.

How to do it:

  1. When shooting a live video, tap the Direct icon (paper airplane) at the bottom of the screen and send your live video to friends (you’ll also have this option when going live with a friend)
  2. Once sent, the recipient will see your live video in their Direct inbox. Friends can only view your video if you’re currently live


SEE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW: Instagram Hacks: 57 Tricks and Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

Master these Instagram hacks and start posting like a pro.

Read more


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Here's some juicy blogging tips from industry experts that our digital ravens observed from around the web recently:

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. With the help of a website, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. The next step is to build a successful business blog.

Business blogging can do so much for your business. It helps you establish authority by writing articles that add value to your readers. It also helps in driving traffic to your website so visitors would know your products or services.

A few statistics to show why blogging is crucial for your business:

If you’re ready to start blogging now, here are 19 tips from the experts on how you can build a successful business blog.

Find a Unique Angle

“Business blogging is one of the most competitive niches you can get into, so if you’re just starting out it will be critical that you find a unique angle that isn’t already being covered well by other bloggers. You could do this by writing about a specific type of business (i.e., how to run a successful outdoor adventure guide service, or how to start a microbrewery, etc.).

However, there are so many bloggers out there that unless the business you’re writing about simply didn’t exist until very recently (such as something related to drone photography or virtual reality), it is probably being covered by other bloggers.

A better approach might be to start a business blog focused on a specific geographic area or economic region. Other than the business section of your local newspaper, there probably isn’t anybody covering business news in your area in an in-depth way, so you’ll have very little competition.

If you start a podcast to compliment your blog (highly recommended), you can begin interviewing local business and community leaders for your podcast, which will probably be a unique and exciting experience for them. They will help you promote the podcast and blog because it will be in their own interest to do so, and as long as your content is good you’ll have a devoted following of readers and listeners in no time.”

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is the owner of Redpoint Marketing Consultants and the host of the Small Business Marketing Minute, a podcast about best practices for marketing a local service-based business. You can find his podcast on iTunes or on his website.

Visit Redpoint Marketing Consultants

Write Content With Your Audience

“I’ve been blogging since 2001. I started blogging so that I could share my ideas and help other entrepreneurs get visibility for theirs too. Back then, there weren’t as many business bloggers, but I was able to meet and help many fellow entrepreneurs.

Over time, blogging became a tool for business to promote their own expertise and grow search traffic. And social media sites took over as the place to meet people and give visibility to worthwhile ideas and entrepreneurs.

But, I still think of blogging as a key way to build community.

That’s why we write our content with our audience, not for them.

We tell our partners that our marketing channels – of which the blog is our primary one – are their marketing channels. If they have a message they want to get out about something they are doing, they are welcome to leverage our channels.

We also ask others to contribute to our content. So far, more than 900 people have done that.

As a result of our approach, we’ve grown our traffic from just a few thousand sessions per month to 50,000 and have built our email list to 32,000 subscribers. We’ve also helped our partners generate 10s of thousands of visitors and leads.

Being collaborative has paid off for us and our community.

If you’re going to blog, don’t just make it about your company or achieving your goals. Create community goals too. If you put your community’s goals first, you’ll find that the benefits accrue to you too.”

Peter Caputa

Now the CEO of Databox, a tool that helps companies monitor, improve and report their performance by pulling in performance data from other software, Peter Caputa is a serial entrepreneur. He is most well known for building the HubSpot Agency Partner Program from nothing to $100M+ in annual revenue.

Visit Databox

Make It Easy for People to Write

“More than any other tips that I can provide, the most important things that I can impart is that you have to make it easy for people to write. If one of your salespeople isn’t contributing to your blog, meet with them and talk about potential topics. I always try to make topics based off of the things they are working on, or that they have experience with.

Remember, contributing to your business blog is unlikely to not be in the job description for your writers. For that reason, it takes proactive effort to make sure everyone has a topic that they can write. Last thing to keep in mind is that blogging takes a while to drive results. Revenue River has been blogging very seriously since 2013, and we’ve grown our blog traffic significantly over that time.”

Nathan Bracy

I'm a hard-working and goofy digital marketer that's passionate about history, soccer, snowboarding, and too many other things to list off here.

Visit Revenue River

Organization Helps

The best way to build a blog is to stay regimented. When you’re building a business blog, and your income depends on the success of the blog, staying regimented is especially important. For example, you need tools to help you. Can you afford the tools? Are you on a shoe-string budget? I use these tools to help me promote my content. These tools are all free.

You also need a way to get people to opt-in to your email list. The best opt-ins are the most creative and not downloadable. I published an article explaining how to get 1,000 subscribers to your email list within a week. These are my top tips for building a business blog.

Janice Wald

Janice Wald is an author, a freelance writer, a blogger, and a blogging coach. She blogs at MostlyBlogging.com where she shares tips for bloggers and marketers. Follow her over to Mostly Blogging and get a free downloadable of 123 free tools to save you time.

Visit Mostly Blogging

Follow These Handy Tips

“I have many tips on building a successful business blog. They include:

There are more, which I am sure will be shared by others in this round-up, but these are my best pieces of advice when building a business blog.”

Lorraine Reguly

Lorraine Reguly, B.A./B.Ed., is an English teacher-turned-freelance writer and editor for hire. She is also an author AND helps others become authors! Lorraine gives Wording Well subscribers a free e-book, too: 20 Blog Post Must-Haves. Pick up your copy today!

Visit Wording Well

Build Backlinks the Right Way

“Building a successful business blog is a big challenge these days. You are now competing against tens of thousands of other business blogs in all niches run by other dedicated entrepreneurs, ambitious small businesses, and global corporations with vast resources.

Aside from consistently creating exceptional unique content and building up your social media following, you’ll need to build a lot of high-quality backlinks. Getting natural backlinks from respected websites in your niche will improve your blog’s Google rank so you can generate the necessary organic traffic to compete in a crowded and cut-throat market.”

Mike Schiemer

Mike Schiemer is a digital marketing manager, sought-after consultant, award-winning blogger, and author of The $10 Digital Media Startup.

Visit Bootstrap Business

Keep in Mind These Three Things

“The keys to having a successful business blog are threefold:

If you do these 3 key activities, you’ll gain a competitive edge and attract customers and clients with free, organic traffic. You’ll be able to reduce ad costs and do content marketing to set your business apart. You’ll also be seen as a thought leader in your field because of that content.”

Sue Dunlevie

Sue helps bloggers make money with their blogs so they can work at home, be their own boss and spend more time doing what they love

Visit Successful Blogging

Find the Best Plan and Strategy to Grow

“There is no right formula for building a successful blog. But, I’ve built two business blogs that have helped me make a living as a professional writer and blogger. Each blog had a completely different plan and strategy to grow.

My freelance writing blog, Elna Cain, started with the idea of making money. I opened up a freelance writing service and created a blog. It soon turned into helpful advice for new writers.

So, while I was collaborating on big projects with influencers and small business owners by providing content for them, I was in the works of monetizing my freelance writing blog. I did this by providing coaching first and then some affiliate marketing. I stopped coaching as I was limited on time and focused on creating a course for writers.

While this has helped me generate income, what really helped with positioning my blog as the place for freelance writing help was networking with bigger bloggers, guest posting and being featured on popular sites like Freelance Writing.

A big mistake I did with this business was do nothing after that! I continued to land freelance writing projects but I did not create any more courses or products, until recently.
My goal for this blog is to create two more courses and more tripwire products and guides. Takeaways for building a successful blog:

My other blog, Twins Mommy, was more of a passion project when I first started. I started this blog with the intention of building a blog the “traditional way.”
What this meant was focus on affiliate marketing since many bloggers learn towards this monetization method first.

At first, I wasn’t invested in this method and wasn’t successful. I signed up for affiliate programs I used and placed my links in various posts. I didn’t make any money doing this.
It wasn’t until I focused on promoting my affiliate products in a post that I suddenly generated income. I created tutorial posts and guides based on the product I was promoting and this has helped me generate income.

I moved into product creation a year later and have created several products and am working on more. The plan I focused on with growing Twins Mommy was:

But I have a bigger overall plan. My business plan for this side of my business is to build blogs up. I’ve secured more blogs and am slowly growing their traffic. Tactics I’m using:

A challenge I have with one of my blogs is trying to grow my income using Amazon affiliate marketing. This tactic isn’t generating enough income per month and I have to switch tactics from income generating to traffic generating for one of my blogs.

I think for any new entrepreneur, you have to look at building a business as a series of steps and challenges. You will succeed and fail many times. But, learn from those mistakes and use them to grow from!”

Elna Cain

Elna is a biz strategist and freelance writer. I help mamas make money blogging by sharing tips to grow your blog, income and list.

Visit Twins Mommy and Elna Cain

Create the Best Content

“The biggest challenges when building a successful business blog are that there is usually a lot of competition and it takes time for a new blog to establish authority and attract an audience. It may take more than 12 months for that business blog to gain the authority it needs in order to compete with those who are already successful.

At the beginning your competitors seem unbeatable: they have their own audience, email list, social media following, budget to spend on PPC and they’re on the first page of Google…

You can outrank them if you have the persistence. It will be a marathon of creating better content than them and building links to your site on a weekly basis. If you’re not a leader in your industry, nobody is linking to your blog, you have to build the links yourself.

In a nutshell, create the best content that responds to user’s intention and build links to your articles and home page. Slowly but surely your blog authority will start growing and you will start ranking for some keywords on Google.”

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called DigitalNovas. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment. Hit him up on Linkedin or Twitter under @GeorgiTodorovBG.

Visit DigitalNovas

Be a Thought Leader in Your Industry

Any business should aim to build their blog into an authoritative resource around the industry they’re serving. Think of companies like Canva, Hubspot, Groove. But tips and tutorials aren’t the only things they should be doing. The most successful business blogs have a very personal element to them, where the founder will share what they’re doing to grow their business.

It may not be content that directly targets their target customer, but it’s a great way to get links and social shares. This type of content can also lead to opportunities like being invited to speak at conferences or tell their story in podcasting interviews, all of which help build strong links.

Chris Lee

Chris Lee is an SEO consultant with a decade of experience, and founder of RankXL, an SEO blog.

Visit RankXL

Find the Right Tone

“It’s always important – and challenging – to find the right tone while also getting straight to the point. The main reason people read business blogs (especially if they’re going to find yours through Google) is to get quick answers to problems. This is why so many blog posts start with “How to…” So it’s essential that your posts are clear, with good headings and not too much waffle.

But at the same time, you want your blog to stand out, to feel special, and you also want to enjoy writing the thing. And you’ll quickly get bored if your posts have no feeling or humor in them.

When you set out, think about what you want people to do with your posts. Chances are, you’re giving advice and tips. So it’s crucial that you write in a straight-forward manner. But you can still leave room for fun. Jokes and informal language do have a place in business writing, just as long as your posts are still functional first and foremost.”

Patrick Whatman

Patrick Whatman is Head of Content at Mention. He lives in Paris, loves music, and writes his own brand of cultural criticism for fun. Tweet him @mrwhatman where he mainly talks digital marketing, American sports and New Zealand trivia.

Visit The Mention Blog

Passion First

There’s one key secret to having a successful business blog and it’s this – you have to be so in love with helping people and teaching people that you would write the blog even if it didn’t help your business or career.

It’s that simple. If you don’t have that kind of passion and drive, then there’s no way you’ll write enough to break through the clutter of the gazillion other blogs out there. And there really are a gazillion. I’m not kidding.

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner, Author, Speaker, and CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com

Visit 60 Second Marketer

Requires Hard Work

“You have to work hard at your blog to make it a success. You must work with others by networking and collaborating.

You have to invest lots of time and some money to become successful. Marketing is NOT free. That is a misconception. Marketing is a big part of blogging if you want it to be successful.

My biggest challenge is to market myself. I find it hard to promote myself and need to get over that hurdle. I tend to be shy online.”

Lisa Sicard

Been in the newspaper business since 14 years old. Began as a typist back in the day to a graphic designer. Later became a multimedia consultant. Worked in online business for the past 7 years. Webmaster, blogger and social media buff.
Blogs on many platforms and on several blogs. WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Blogger, and more. Mentioned on Huffington Post in “How to Tweet Properly for Increased Traffic and Profits”, January 2018.

Visit Inspire to Thrive

Backed by Research

“A recent marketing report said, nearly 50% of business buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Companies that posted 16+ blogs per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies who published less than 5 posts. This alone says what you are missing if you aren’t blogging!”

Roberto Garvin

Roberto Garvin, Co-founder, Pushflew.com/Mofluid.com

Visit Pushflew

Roundups, ftw!

Roundups – just like this one – are an excellent way to create top quality content that people will want to share and link to. For one, people who are mentioned will want to share it with their network, but as well as that the multitude of answers will provide a valuable resource that people will find genuinely useful.

One great way to build an expert roundup is by sending out a HARO request – which suitable parties can respond to. All you have to do is select the responses worth using and include them.

Bonus tip: to promote it, create a mailing list based on similar content and send out a mail merge letting people know about your awesome new post.

Izaak Crook

Izaak Crook is a Digital Marketing Executive for AppInstitute, a SaaS App Builder platform that allows anyone to create their own iOS and Android app without writing a single line of code.

Visit AppInstitute

Create Buyer Personas

“Know your audience! You have to identify and clearly define your buyer personas before you start blogging. Who is your ideal customer? Job title? Company size? Gender? Age? Location? Interests? Education? Knowledge in this space? Pain points? Challenges? Goals? Decision maker or influencer? Budget? Where do they go for information? What do they value? What do they do in their spare time?

I see so many people skip this step, but it is crucial. Once you know who your target audience is, write every blog post with them in mind. Speak directly to them. Use language they use and understand. Answer questions they have. Explain concepts they might not understand yet. Solve problems they face. Offer them value.”

Sarena Brown

Sarena works with a team of talented writers and editors and together they craft compelling content that helps client companies attract prospects, generate leads, and drive sales. With a degree in communications, a number of content certifications under her belt, and a wealth of marketing experience, Sarena lives and breathes content marketing and has a passion for helping businesses produce cost-effective, original content that their customers actually want to read.

Visit Westman Editorial

Think Like a Customer

“Write content that people actually want to read. Sounds obvious, but too often people write about topics that they think are interesting, before doing any initial research. Here are a couple of proven ways to find out what people are interested in:

Maggie Aland

Maggie Aland is a staff writer for Fit Small Business and editor of the Reviews section. She also writes on a variety of marketing topics, ranging from newspaper ads to how to market your business on Facebook. Before joining Fit Small Business, Maggie worked as a marketing associate at a niche publishing company. There she was responsible for determining the marketing plan and keeping up with the budget of 10+ B2B products. Her experience includes email, direct mail, social media, events, and more. When not editing or writing, you can find Maggie looking for the best brunch spots in NYC.

Visit Fit Small Business

Collaborating Helps

“Create collaborative content with non-competing companies that serve the same audience as yours. Sometimes we can focus on working with companies too close to ours, but that doesn’t actually expand your reach as much as going outside your own corner of the internet a little bit.”

Brittany Berger

Brittany Berger is a writer and content strategist for SaaS companies and leads a community of online business owners who are writing their own productivity rules

Visit Brittany Berger

Provide Solutions for Your Readers’ Problems

“Most businesses immediately focus on news & company announcements when they start their blog.

And while these types of posts definitely have their place, you need to create a more diverse content strategy.

Your blog is a platform to grow an audience that can, in turn, help your business flourish. And you’ll grow that audience will grow so much faster if you publish content focused on solving their pain points.

Start off by putting together audience persona’s so you can get an idea of who your ideal reader is. Then use it to plan a diverse editorial calendar focused on content that solves their pain points.

Just don’t forget that a content calendar isn’t the same thing as a content strategy. The content you publish needs to be underpinned by a strong strategy that ties everything together.

For a better idea of how this process works, check out my post on persona-driven content.”

Adam Connell

Adam used to manage the content marketing efforts for brands earning well over 8 figures in annual revenue. Now he teaches bloggers how to create a blog that thrives in a noisy online world.

Visit Blogging Wizard

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, writing content for your website is not an option–it’s a must. Follow the expert tips above so you can start building a successful business blog.

We can help you implement content marketing strategies and grow your profit with time. If you are serious about your business, let’s schedule a call, discuss your business goals and plan your successful future.



See the original article below: Expert Tips on How to Build a Successful Business Blog

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. With the help of a website, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. The next step is to build a successful business blog.Business blogging ...

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Here's some blogging advice that our digital ravens observed from around the web recently:

You’re getting ready to launch a blog for your business. Most often, this happens as part of a larger website overhaul. Maybe you’re already revamping your site, and while you didn’t have a blog on your old site, you’re ready to start a content marketing strategy with your new website.

Or maybe you used to blog more, but fell off the wagon. Now you’re refreshing your blog page to make it look more modern. The question is: Do you need to have a backlog of content before you launch?

The answer, as so many things in life, depends on your circumstances. If you’re launching a new blog, relaunching an old blog, or in the middle of redeveloping your current blog, your strategy will vary. Here’s our breakdown of what you should do in each of those circumstances.

If your blog is ready to go, just start publishing.

Some businesses want to build up a backlog of blog content so they can launch with more of an “impact.” In general, I think this is a misguided way of thinking about a business blog. You aren’t Netflix; no one is waiting with baited breath for your content to drop.

Building a blog backlog is all well and good so long as it doesn’t prevent you from publishing your content right away. However, if you’re done developing your blog, there’s no reason to wait. In fact, doing so only delays your ability to rank for keywords.

As we’ve said before, it usually takes about 6 months for blog content to begin ranking organically. If you delay the launch of your blog for a month or two just to build up a backlog, you’re only prolonging that period. And by the time visitors do start coming to your blog through organic search, you’ll already have built a backlog from your blogging.

If you blog once a week, it will take two months to create a content backlog. The only question is whether your content is available on your blog during those two months as you write it. For me, the answer is a pretty obvious “yes.”

If you have time to build up a backlog before your blog launch, do so.

That said, if your current website and it's blog are under development, or if you’re revamping an existing blog page, this time is a perfect opportunity to begin building a content backlog for your blog.

After all, the main reason to launch your blog with a content backlog is that it adds immediate credibility to your archive. If someone comes to visit your blog page and they only see one or two posts, the lack of depth to your content catalog will be somewhat anticlimactic. On the other hand, if you already have a page or two in your content archive, it’s a signal that you can speak authoritatively on the subject.

On its own, this reason isn’t important enough to justify building up a pre-launch content archive. But if you’re already waiting for your website or blog page to undergo development, then it’s smart to use that time to create your backlog.

For our clients, we usually like to launch their websites with 4–8 blog posts. This fills up the content archive and gives those initial blogs an early chance to start ranking.

Blog posts from a previous blog can be gold, just post and backdate.

Blogs from the past might come with baggage—a mixed bag of old content that may or may not still be valuable along with some true gems. If you have this, great! Having a content archive that goes back a few years looks good for your blog, even if older posts are a big sporadic.

You should clear up anything that is irrelevant or so dated that it would make you look bad. For instance, if you used your blog to post old company announcements, job listings, new hires that are now hold hires, etc., it’s good to delete these. Similarly, posts that contain information that is no longer accurate should go.

But do keep the pieces that have aged well, and if you can import them with their original publication dates, all the better. If for whatever reason you’re importing blog posts individually, it’s not strictly necessary to keep their original publication dates, but it does look good if you can. Just make sure you don’t publish them all on one day.

Once you launch, stick to your schedule.

After you go through all the trouble to design and launch your new blog, it is important that you maintain a regular posting schedule for three reasons:

Launching with a content backlog for a blog is far less important than posting regularly once you do launch. With regular posting, you will have a content backlog in a matter of weeks anyway. Without regular posting, your blog launch won’t mean anything, because your blog won’t last.


SEE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW: Should You Have a Content Backlog for Your Blog Launch?

You’re about to launch a blog for your business. How much content should you have first?You’re getting ready to launch a blog for your business. Most often, this happens as part of a larger website ov...

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