Blog Articles from Fawkes Digital Marketing
It is any given Sunday morning with coffee, a warm fire, and quiet. Everyone is sleeping and my mind is focused on an upcoming day. I read the next blog topic on writing from your heart. I close my eyes and think for a brief moment on what to write and then like a crash of inspiration I think what better way to talk about writing from the heart then talking about how I write every blog article. In the past four months, many have noticed my writing style has changed. This wasn't by accident and is actually a thought process I put into every day. I have challenged myself to speak more from the heart, educate, inform, and share my love with the world.
When it comes to search engine optimization or SEO and you are talking about organic SEO every conversation will eventually cover backlinks and why you need them. Backlinks are a key way to organic search engine success but that doesn't mean they are a good thing. As with everything in life, there are good and bad when it comes to backlinks. backlinks are links from domains outside of your control that link back to one or more pages to your website. backlinks are also referred to as referring links or referring domains.
A domain registrar is whom you purchase your Internet domain name from. For example, jm2marketing.com purchased their domain name from a company called GoDaddy. They are not the only game in town. There are names like Network Solutions, 1&1 Internet, and Namecheap is just a few of the main players in the United States.
There has been a lot and even more speculation from the social media industry since Facebook announced less organic (e.g. free) reach between businesses and consumers online. This isn't the first time that Facebook has made a change to its algorithm to limit the amount of free exposure to push people to move to online advertising. Facebook is a great and central source that more than 2 billion people use. They are also a publicly traded company and are accountable to the investors of Facebook shares. Many are saying that now is the time to expand your reach and grow to other outlets, like Instagram (also owned by Facebook). So, what is a company to do, what is the right thing to do, and most importantly what is the wrong thing to do? Let's dig in and find out.
We talk about the benefits of SEO or search engine optimization with every project we work on. Whether it be a basic brochure site, a site designed for lead generation, a customer support site, or an eCommerce site. You can build the most beautiful site in the world. You can have the greatest content in the world. Only when you let people know it exists will they be able to find you.
Blogs are often considered a waste of time by those that don’t understand the importance of having one. They see taking 20-60 minutes of your day writing to be a complete waste of time. It is true that when you first start writing a blog the only people reading it is your very close inner circle. Over time that changes and that change have profound effects on the growth of your business in more ways than you can imagine. Let’s look at the top ten ways a blog will help your business grow.
Honesty is often taken for granted until someone is caught in a lie. Trust is initially given when you don't know someone. This trust is given freely but can be quickly removed when you find that someone has been less than truthful. Some will have honesty as part of their core values but not their first core value. So why do we put it as the first value when others don't? This is a separator that allows us to be different, unique, and to stand out from the rest. Being from a small town of Chesterton Indiana I was brought up on a 'Leave it to Beaver' type of lifestyle where a handshake is worth more than any document written by a lawyer to seal a deal. All services should be priced fairly and not rip someone off, and that communication should be polite, honest, fair, and yet firm when communicating.
We all live in our comfort zones and getting out of them is not necessarily fun and why people fall into routines. As a software developer, you would think I would love staying consistent and not pushing myself. That is partially true but I also love to learn on a daily basis and grow myself. Tonight, I wrote the information below to the team (note: this doesn't count as one of the challenge articles I put to them – that would be too simple). We cannot grow beyond our comfort zone without being pushed for a challenge. Our team continues to grow and each individual brings a new perspective into the equation in making us a stronger company as we push nationally in our web design and digital marketing. We believe in pushing ourselves and this is just another effort to push myself into a land I don't know what to expect which is the true definition of life itself.
When you post to Facebook as a business account you may see the option to “boost post” and this may seem like a good idea. However, there are still many things to consider. Using this option will surely boost your post engagement but it will do that alone, boost your post meaning you may get more likes, but this will not ensure a boost to your page or link clicks.
Businesses are always looking for ways to justify the existence of their digital marketing. One way companies do this is with eCommerce products. Depending upon the level of customizations you want you to have choices such as Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, and of course nopCommerce which is what we're writing about here. We love nopCommerce from the standpoint of its acceptance of internet standards, being open source, and the allowance to tie and integrate with many backend systems within growing small businesses.
We've heard of Facebook removing our organic reach for small and growing businesses. A key takeaway we've already taken is the importance of your own website. Facebook cannot control your business outside of Facebook. Your website is your voice, your products, and your brand messages all the time. Your website will use your sales funnel, marketing techniques, and lead generation to improve your bottom line. Facebook going back to its roots and it has upset many people that manage social media sites. We find this as a new opportunity to not only double down on the true marketing aspects of the business but grow it. This is where Facebook started and has grown from. Businesses, such as ourselves, have overtaken and enjoyed the ride of free promotion. That time has changed and it is now time we business owners have to 'pay to play'. Let's take a look at the core items that are happening with this change and how the business owner can take advantage of them.
When businesses ask individuals to talk to their organization, their customers, or a group of unknown individuals for an event they are looking for what is called an influencer. An influencer is someone that is considered, in part, an expert in their field. This past week I was asked to talk to two groups (note: I don't consider myself an influencer [yet] but I am definitely pushing to be one). One group is to a select twenty people in a very large company (who isn't our client – and we know never will be as they are not in our core market size). The group I will be talking to is their entire marketing department to change and improve their digital marketing foot print from locally to nationally. Of course, I accepted as just talking to a group of such great people is something that makes us truly proud. The other group is to over fifty people of their current and potential clients (and is one of our clients) related to helping learn the art of search engine optimization or SEO.
In the land of business there is always a need to have meetings. Many consider meetings a complete waste of time but when handled correctly can push a business to the next level of success. The key is when you have a meeting to have a plan, make it effective, and not waste people's time so that they can continue to be effective. Over the years I have been in more meetings than I care to count. Many have been good but more often than not they were a waste of everyone's time as not everything was properly prepared beforehand. After each meeting whether I held it or someone else did I took some personal notes and thought I would share as many of the items have been shared but I have never run across a blog post that covered all in a single post that was short, sweet, concise, and didn't waste my time. So, let's take a look at the list
We often want change in our lives and continue to live in our comfort zone. In the past four months I have pushed myself harder to be outside of my comfort zone and it's taught me some very valuable lessons that many would've said 'duh' to. We all learn and grow at our own pace. A pace that we set for ourselves and one that allows us to become better at a pace that works for us.
We pride ourselves when it comes to educating, informing, and teaching our clients in all aspects of social media and websites. We believe every client is more than capable of doing the work themselves and that we are their tool so they can focus on their business rather than the marketing aspects. A client should have knowledge in doing even if they don't want to do it. They should be made aware of the latest terminology so that they comprehend any information they hear in an effective manner.
As I wait for the next festivities of the day to begin I scroll through my Twitter and Facebook feeds in anticipating of inspiration and education. As I continue to scroll endlessly I come into a realization that in the past few years we have killed off the 'space' (bar) in our postings (a take on Radio Killed the Radio Star -- Buggles - Video killed the radio star 1979). No longer do you see 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy Holidays', or even 'Happy Birthday'. All we see is #MerryChristmas, #HappyHolidays, and #HappyBirthday. We have ultimately in our desire to become hash tag relevant have ultimately killed space (bar) itself.
We have won the second-best Information Technology company within Northwest Indiana multiple times. One might think being second place isn't something to talk about but for us it's a very unique item. Yes, we didn't win and we are thankful for it. It's not our core business. In fact, it's not our business at all. That's right we do not do Information Technology at all. It isn't because we aren't capable of doing it and our owner has over fifteen years of being an Information Technology administrator. So, we are extremely thankful that we have been voted second best as that shows we are truly rocking our client's websites, security, and infrastructure for them. Beyond our web servers, database servers, and mail servers we don't do Information Technology.
We see marketing content all day long but how making content that sticks are the key to content marketing success. If you are like me your phone is across the room to force you to get out of bed to turn it off so that you don't wake the rest of the family sleeping. This not only forces me to get going at 4am but also gives me my first dose of content; my daily calendar. Content is around us and that content needs to engage us so that we want more of it. Today we added our first full-time content writer with the second already set to start early next year. To get her started in writing stories not only for our clients but those that aren't our clients I started writing at 5am seven core aspects that will help our clients or any business grow with their art of storytelling. Let's delve in and see what the first seven items are and in no particular order of importance as they are all important.
There is no decision that I ever make without sleeping on it. In the past two months I’ve slept a lot more than normal which has allowed me to do a lot more thinking than normal. I wake up more refreshed, crazier ideas (I like crazy), and a renewed effort to be myself. I have gone from four-hour nights to six-hour nights. That increase has made some interesting changes in our company, telling the overall story for our clients, and who I am as a person. Having been in big business with companies that have 3,000 or more employees for so many years I went into what I am calling culture shock. You had to play a role, you had to fit a specific mold, and if you tried to step out of that mold you were squashed like a bug. Your individuality, creativity, and personal growth were limited to the projects you were working on. You were no longer allowed to grow. This is the nature of big business and what made me realize my love, passion, and desire for small businesses.
If you pay attention to social media, specifically Facebook, you've probably noticed that it's been going through a few changes when it comes to pages.
Yesterday we talked at the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce AM Valpo event. We announced two items and couldn't fully get out the third within our 30-seconds we were allocated. That's okay as that is one of the great benefit of being able to write articles. Starting in 2018 we are giving away as part of our own marketing a free story about your growing business. Not only will this be for businesses in and around Valparaiso Indiana where we are located but anywhere within the United States. Below is the announcement of what is coming in 2018.
You hear it all the time about companies, marketing, and the company 'brand'. But WHAT IS a company brand and why is it important to the success (or failure) of your business? Branding has many meanings and definitions. A brand has been known as your company name, a slogan your company uses, a logo, the products you sell, the services you offer, a symbol you use to define your company, or a combination of these items. A 'brand' has evolved over time to be these terms and more. A company brand is more than these mere objects.
I was going to write an article about a client I met with last night but instead went through my list of old articles I had written back in 2014 and never published. Not that I couldn't write anything better today but this was just as good and rang so well when I read it that I think it speaks perfectly to the situation of many people following instead of being the leader they want to be. All too often we see small businesses following, focusing on the wrong items, and not working on their core strengths.
We've all done it, we hate we are not perfect, and it sucks to have dropped the ball. What you do with that drop is what truly defines you and your company. It's not something any of us is ever proud of. It shows we're human, our systems we've put into place aren't perfect, and that we have a lot to learn. That statement resonates with me each and every day. I do weekly reflections on Sunday thinking of everything that happened in the past week. I also look at my previous day each day from 4-6am when I write these articles. Some days I nail out only one while other days I can nail out four articles in that two-hour span as my fingers become a machine (or I have that much running through my mind). I use this time as my personal reflection and insight to keep things fresh in my mind. Recently you'll notice that I start posting a lot of these. There are two reasons for this and I am going to explain as you read on.