Posts Tagged ‘ Blogging ’
We hope that you have enjoyed the month of October and Halloween last week. Truth be told, many of us enjoy the spooks and scares that come along with this time of year. In light of this, I decided to focus on FEAR. This week, I want you all to face your fears in the blogging department. Yes, you heard me correctly!
For some, blogging is frightening. Writing is definitely not for everyone, which is one of the main reasons why insurance agents and business owners will not take blogging into their own hands. You may fear not having anything important to say. This type of fear is enough to turn anyone off from taking initiative, sitting down and blogging. Why do we tend to set ourselves up for failure? You are an insurance expert… you have plenty to share with your clients!
To lessen your fear of blogging, I have put together a quick list of 5 tips for all the beginners out there. It may seem scary to start, but you are sure to conquer your fear if you…
… Start small.
Blogging five days a week? Now THAT is intimidating! If you are new to the blogging world, starts with one post a week. 500 words? Slow down! A blog post can be anywhere from 100-300 words, or as long as it takes to get a solid point across. Do not let numbers frighten you. If you prefer to write a post that is only 100 words, once a week, that is where you should begin. Overwhelming yourself will only lead to procrastination. The key is to write quality content, not a large quantity of content.
…Blog about what you know.
If you do not have a full understanding about the topic you are blogging about, it will most likely show. You want to sound credible, so stick to what you know! If you are interested in learning more about a topic and blogging about it, take twenty minutes or so to research.
…Write in a conversational tone.
Some writers prefer to sound professional when writing blogs and articles, while others take a much more conversational tone. Personally, I prefer to be conversational. I believe that many readers enjoy this tone because it is relaxed and easy to read. If you are worried about sounding too “boring,” just start to write as you would speak to someone. Chances are, you can make it sound great and you will be able to get all your thoughts on the Word document without over thinking your grammar. You can always go back and edit!
…Create an editorial calendar.
Plan your blog posts ahead to spare yourself the time you spend brainstorming each week. If you have four solid topics for each week of the month, you are off to a good start.
…Take turns blogging.
If blogging is too much to tackle alone, enlist the help of others in the office. Chances are, each person will have a different point of view, writing style and unique ideas to bring to the blog. This is an easy way to get great content up without putting the entire burden on one individual.
So; are you ready to jump on the blogging hayride this fall? I sure hope so!Continue Reading »
There aren’t many marketing teams who haven’t jumped on the business blog train. Not only can you create content for sharing across social media, your business can improve upon current SEO efforts and become a thought leader in your industry. Whether your company focuses on small business insurance or errors and omissions insurance, you can be sure a blog is a good idea. Building an audience is one challenge many businesses face and overcoming that obstacle can be tricky. These 4 tips will help you build your blog’s audience.
Find Your Niche
Find your online niche and join groups that are directly related to it. You can do this by incorporating keywords and anchor links into your posts and searching for groups and blogs with these same terms. Use the key terms of your business insurance company as a starting point in your search. Not only will you get to network with people in your niche and industry but often times those people become readers of your blog.
- Tip: Instead of targeting one or two specific keywords in each post, create a hierarchical category structure of top keywords and phrases to create a broader topic based blog while still incorporating content loosely targeting specific keywords.
What you write and how you write are what keeps readers coming back to your blog for more. However, posting on your blog once a month is insufficient to really gain traction. You need to post high-quality content frequently – whether that’s once every couple days or once a week (at the minimum). This also means focusing consistently on your particular audience. While it’s okay to branch out every now and then, keep your content geared toward those who would be regular readers.
- Tip: Develop an editorial calendar with when blog posts need to go live, the key concept of each, and keywords each post will focus on. A schedule such as this one will keep
Producing valuable content that is informational and interesting is the most important part of a business blogging. “Content is king” is one phrase that has been floating around for a reason. Your content has to motivate readers to comment, share, keep reading, etc. Current, insightful and relevant information to your industry is what will be shared. Make sure your blog content meets those requirements.
- Tip: Each blog post needs to have the appropriate “share” buttons for social media channels and the option to subscribe to your RSS feed.
If you’re considering a business blog, chances are you also use various social media channels. Use these networks to spread the word about each blog post. You can also incorporate these posts into your email marketing campaigns. Link to other articles you’ve written using specific keywords or phrases to promote other posts and encourage your visitor to keep reading.
- Tip: Space out when you promote the new blog posts on different channels. Doing so will give your post a longer life-span and because each network has optimal post times, you can maximize your impressions by posting at those specific times.
Many businesses are under the assumption that blogging is only for certain industries, or that only the blogs that provide certain information, will generate traffic. People are searching Google, Bing and other search engines daily for information of all kinds, ranging from SEO optimization to various types of business insurance. Having a blog that fits your industry and business’s niche and embraces keywords, engagement and sharing is the best way to generate new readers and build a fan base from current ones.
Author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as commercial insurance and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com.Continue Reading »
Summer is here! Sure, it may be tempting to put away your laptop and put your blogging efforts on hold but that would only hurt your insurance marketing strategy. Instead, you should consider getting the best of both worlds. Have you thought about working outdoors?
Whether you are blogging or even working on your agency’s social media strategy, it doesn’t hurt to juice up your laptop’s battery and sit outside for a few hours (just remember to sit in the shade to avoid the sun’s glare!) Here are five reasons you should be working outside this month:
#1: Boosts inspiration and creativity. New sounds, new sites, new colors, new atmosphere… new ideas! Sometimes all it takes is a little change to get your creative juices flowing.
#2: Change of scenery. Staring at the same screen in the same setting each and every day is not exactly inspiring. While routine is great, this break from the indoors will allow you to think outside of the box. For example, maybe you are blogging about home insurance. In the office, you may be struggling for a topic. However, outside your home, you may be looking around and notice that your garden needs some care. Now you have something great to blog about! Gardening and yard care tips are great for home insurance posts around this time of year.
#3: Fresh air. The office tends to get a little stuffy sometimes, don’t you think? Even a half hour outdoors will do wonders for your overall mood and attitude. Instead of getting frustrated with a blog topic, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feels good, right?
#4: Lessen the chance of procrastination. You may be working indoors, but are you being productive? On a beautiful day, you are most likely staring out the window! Get the best of both worlds and you will be less likely to put off the five blogs you need to write.
#5: Peace and quiet. If you blog out of a noisy office, chances are you usually turn to your headphones to get away. If you find a remote place outside, you will not have to worry about the constant chatter or your blaring headphones. Just you, your laptop and the sound of nature!
These benefits sound tempting, right? We thought so! The key is to NOT get distracted while you are outside. Take advantage of this time to enjoy the fresh air but remember that you still need to get your work done; your strategy depends on it!Continue Reading »
If you’re a frequent reader of Insurance Marketing HQ, you know we’re all about blogging. It’s a great tool for SEO, the perfect way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and just an overall a wonderful resource for insurance marketing. In the past, we’ve covered topics like blog inspiration and touched on promoting your blog posts. But what if you want to go above and beyond?
You write an amazing post, publish it, and then what? Social media is a great place to get your name and your blog out there! Here are some tips for content writers using social media:
- Use the big networks. Make sure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’re comfortable with it, go for Google+, too. On Twitter, try using your blog’s name as your username. Do the same with your Facebook vanity URL. Have a link to your blog in your public profile.
- Share posts. When you post a new blog, share it on each platform. We recommend using link shortening services like bit.ly, which can help you track clicks back to your post. Include a short (one or two lines) blurb about the post to interest readers. Occasionally, share older posts as well. If you wrote a post a few weeks ago about the dangers of texting while driving, and your state just initiated a ban on texting, share your older post! It’s still timely.
- Interact and engage. Make sure you share your posts, but don’t forget to interact. The whole point of social media is to have a conversation. Don’t wait for people to come to you – go find users talking about the topics you’re writing about, and start commenting or tweeting with them! Follow accounts, like pages, and join groups. Participate in intelligent conversations to establish yourself as an expert.
- Be friendly. Happily promote other blogger’s content – they just might return the favor!
- Avoid self-promotion. Don’t sign off every comment with a link back to your blog – you’ll just look like spam. Instead, be genuine! People will be more likely to interact with you and trust you, and eventually click back to your blog.
Remember that this will take time. You’ll need to establish yourself as an expert, as a good writer, and as a genuine person. As much as we all sit behind screens, we still like to know that an actual person wrote what we’re about to read. So go ahead and have fun with it. When you give your network good content, a friendly attitude, and valuable information, they’ll want to read what you’re writing!Continue Reading »
Say hello to warm weather! While it may be tempting to put all insurance marketing efforts on hold and hit the beach, that would not be ideal for your business. What you CAN do is bring some summer fun into your blog posts over the next few months!
Here are 20 blogging topics you can use over the course of the summer:
Other seasonal policies:
Now that you have 20 ideas to go off of, hit the beach or a local park for some quiet time. Blogging outdoors is a great way to get the best of the summer weather while still being productive. It can also help inspire some creativity; it’s a win/win!Continue Reading »
The old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Sadly, when it comes to blogging, many online readers do. For bloggers, our cover is our title. If you do not produce an eye-catching, jumping-off-the-page kind of headline, your blog will be quickly dismissed. There is nothing worse than that for us bloggers! In order to avoid having this happen to our posts, it is important that we are all aware of a few tips and techniques on how to create interesting and relevant titles in the world of insurance.
Before we get into the techniques, there are a few ground rules that one must follow. Both of these rules are what make the title process so tricky, but they are important for your insurance marketing strategy.
This definitely changes the difficulty level of titling your post, but it is not impossible! Now that we have the two rules in place, let’s talk about creativity. Below, you will find a list of tips and techniques that may help you when you go to write an interesting title.
- Top 10 lists. Numbers will often catch readers’ eyes and it means that the blog must be broken down into sections (much easier to read than long paragraphs that blend together). Example: Top 10 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance!
- Ask a question. Many online readers are often looking for answers when searching. By asking the question, you will lure readers in for answers. Example: Looking for Ways to Save on Health Insurance?
- Pop culture. If you write an interesting blog post having to do with pop culture, make sure you mention it in the title! This is a sure way to make your blog stand out from the straight-forward titles. I have a great example from a successful post I wrote about Shark Week. Example: Shark Week Rocks and So Does Life Insurance!
- Excite your readers. If you sound excited by using an exclamation point, you may get others excited. You want to get your readers revved up! Example: New Year, New Goals, New Coverage!
- Be a know it all. Online readers love being told how to do something. Write a title that showcases the fact that YOU know what you are talking about and have the steps to prove it. Example: How to Write a Blog Post in 60 Minutes or Less
As you can see, these are all great ways to make your title jump off the page the next time readers are scrolling their search engine results. Yes, catchy-titles take time, effort and a little practice but with these tips and a little research, you will be producing creative titles in no time!
Have you guys ever created a title that was a hit? Tell us about it in the comment section- we would love to hear about your successes!Continue Reading »
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been blogging for a while, there are a few blogging strategies you should be aware of to generate success from all those hours you’re spending or are about to spend on your blog.
In this post, we’ll talk about one blogging strategy that could really improve your insurance marketing plan. Have you ever considered writing content for each phase of the buying cycle? In insurance, there are a few phases most customers go through when deciding to purchase.
The first phase is the awareness phase. This is a good time to grab potential customers’ attention by writing about local events or recipes because, in this phase, a customer might not even be thinking about insurance. He or she is simply searching the web for other things.
Awareness Phase Blog Content – This is a great time to really brand your agency by writing about what’s unique about your agency. Perhaps your agency sponsors a local Little League team or gives to charities. Or perhaps your agency employs a host of gourmet cooks. Write about whatever sets the personality of your agency apart.
The second phase is the research phase. In this phase, customers may not be looking to purchase right away. They may just know they want to switch insurance agencies so they’re looking around on the web, not really urgently needing a new policy.
Research Phase Blog Content – This content can include blog posts about the product that is being insured, such as tips on how to properly maintain your car or tips on how to hire the right people for your company. Your goal is to get in front of people who are just browsing or thinking about purchasing a new policy.
The last phase is the purchase phase. This means potential customers have shopped around and they’re ready to purchase or they urgently need a policy.
Purchase Phase Blog Content – In this instance, very straightforward blog posts about what a particular type of insurance covers or how to save money on a particular policy are your best bet to converting a potential customer into a lead.
The purpose of writing blog content for the different phases of your customers’ buying cycle is to increase the number of internet leads you get from your blog. When you provide a mix of content, it’s more effective than if you just write the same type of blog article over and over. So mix things up and try writing different content for your potential customers’ different phases.Continue Reading »
Every writer gets writers block sometimes. With all the great content out there today, how can you find creative ways to stand out? Blogging is a great insurance marketing strategy on the Internet and, i’ll tell you, one of the best ways to think of a topic is finding inspiration from the season we are currently in. Whether it’s, winter, spring, fall, or summer, there are always great ways to spin an idea through that thought process.
Whether you read local newspapers, Internet blogs, or you find inspiration from your everyday life, thinking about the time we are in is important. Using the seasons as a starting point for your idea takes a timely and immediate approach to your writing.
Some ideas to get you started:
Finding inspiration and topics to write about can be difficult, but put a little fun in your topics and you are more likely to be interested in what you are writing about. The change of seasons will give you a plethora of ideas to choose from.
Remember always write your ideas down as you think of them so you can use other topics in the future. All the topics above you will be able to relate in many ways to your readers and, it will give you a more timely approach to your writing which is very important. So stop draining yourself by thinking too hard and take a seasonal approach to your writing today.
Continue Reading »
A few weeks ago, I covered 15 different movies that you could incorporate into your blog posts in order to make them much more interesting and shareable. Why should the fun end at the movies? There are tons of television series that can also be thrown into your insurance marketing strategy mix!
If your readers are able to relate to the content that you are writing, you are sure to hit home. Bonus points if you can add a touch of comedy to your post!
Here are ten television series that deserve to be blogged about:
So, are you convinced that insurance and pop culture can actually work in harmony? The next time you watch an episode of your favorite television series, start taking notes! Chances are, you will have an awesome blog post by the end of the half hour.
As always, share your ideas in the comment section!Continue Reading »
We have all heard that content is king and while this is true, there are other things to keep in mind while blogging. Of course you want to write a blog that is interesting and relevant to your readers, but you also need to make sure you spread the word to as many people as possible. What good is a well written blog if no one reads it?
For as many times as we have heard someone preach about the importance of a blog’s content we have also heard that the content needs to be “SEO friendly”. All of this is true but there are other things you can do to optimize on your blogging efforts.
Here a number of things which are just as helpful for driving traffic to the site that you may not have heard about yet:
1. Using email to promote your blog
If you have an email list why not use it for your blog? Email is a very effective channel of communication that should not be forgotten about. Sending a brief preview of your blog in an email or company newsletter with a link to “read more” will boost readership of your blog and traffic to your site. You could also include a link to your blog in your signature or reference your blog when addressing a specific question from a client or potential customer. With Social Media being the hot topic everyone is talking about it is easy to forget about email, but you shouldn’t.
2. Announcing your blog on Facebook and twitter
Like I said, social media is all the craze these days- and it can be used to broadcast your blog to a larger audience. By posting a link and a short enticing message about your blog on your social media pages you will be sure to drive more people to your blog. There is also an opportunity for people to share your content through their own accounts and help your content “go viral”. In this day in age the challenge is not deciding whether or not your company will use social media but instead how well you will use it.
3. Taking advantage of social sharing sites
In addition to sharing your blogs on your own social profiles you should consider taking advantage of social sharing sites such as StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Reddit. These sites provide great channels for sharing your content but this requires some additional work. Each site has their own set of rules and formats for posting so you must make sure you play by those rules. If you want to receive the benefits of these online communities you must become a respectful member of the communities.
So the next time you publish a blog remember these tips and tools for optimizing your efforts. First you must write a blog with great content and then you must make sure that content gets the attention it deserves. Good luck and happy blogging!Continue Reading »