Category Archives: Uncategorized

Building a Successful Blog – Part 7 – Make Sure Your Blog Doesn’t Fail Before it Starts

Technorati estimates in its recent State of the Blogosphere that it has indexed 133 million blogs since 2002. And yet there are thousands of new blogs born daily. Some of them last and some of them don’t. They don’t last because the blog publisher gives up before they even really get started. Or they die a fast death due to the blogger not doing what is needed to make sure their blog succeeds.

Many, if not most of the people I talk to about blogging ask the same question, “how can I compete with 133 million blogs and get traffic on mine?” First of all, you are not competing with 133 million. Yes, there may be 133 million blogs being indexed by Technorati. The question you need to consider, how many of those blogs are even active. Do they post any longer and did they ever post to them. I would venture the guess the answer is no. Yes, there are a lot of blogs out there. But there are ways to make sure your blog will be successful.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure your blog does not fail before it even gets started. And you need to be aware of why blogs fail.

Here are some of the reasons blogs fail

1. Not setting clearly defined goals

There are a number of reasons you might want to start a blog for your business. However, before you start, what are you wanting to accomplish with your blog. Is it to reach out and connect with your customers and/or clients. Carry on a conversation with them about your products or services. Give your customers and/or clients a way to give you feedback or input on your business. Do you want a blog so you can have a way to “advertise” your wares or services? Or are you wanting a way to market by using an educational based marketing tool where you provide information to your audience so they are better informed. Are you wanting to drive traffic to your business Web site, increase subscriptions to a newsletter or other company publication. Or are you wanting to get people to talk about you either in the press or on other blogs.

No matter what the goal of your blog might be, the key is to set some and make sure they are clearly defined. You want you and your team to know exactly what you are wanting to accomplish by investing your time and resources in this type of marketing tool. Having clearly defined goals is also a must, if you ever expect to be able to calculate your return on your investment in doing a blog.

Recently on Altitude Branding, Amber had a great post called, ROI Begins At The End. In the post she makes this statement:

You cannot calculate a return on anything unless you know whether or not your goals – and your definitions of both Return and Investment – are the right ones. As a marketer or a communicator, you may determine that you want to drive traffic to your site, increase subscriptions to your newsletter, get people to blog about you.

We’ve often measured success in marketing based on eyeballs. Awareness. These things are measurable. But sometimes they’re based in our own corporate egos. Is that what makes your customers do business with you? Do you know for sure that those 25 blog post mentions are moving them closer to you? Is it enough to increase their affinity to your brand, or is a sale the only metric that “really counts”? What about the journey toward that sale? Does that have value?

You have to have clearly defined goals if you ever expect to know if you are getting a return on your investment. So many, no make that too many bloggers are so hung up on the numbers, they are completely missing what is truly important when measuring ROI. Does what I am doing matter to the customer? The secret of good marketing is about one thing – your customers. Nothing else matters.

That quote comes from one of the best post I have read in a long time about content, Creating Relevant Content Is About One Thing. They go on to give four questions you should be asking yourself:

o What keeps your customer up at night?
o How do they keep themselves educated in order to do their jobs better?
o What channels (online, print, in-person, mobile, etc.) do they use to get their information?
o How do they engage with each channel? When you are considering the goals you have for your business blog, you have to ask yourself those 4 questions. And you need to ask whether your own goals match up with all four of them. If they don’t, your blog is going to fail before it even gets started.

2. Unrealistic demands and expectations for your blog.

I am not going to sugar coat it one bit. To have a successful blog which is meeting your goals and getting noticed takes work. You are going to have to make the time to post to it a lot. If you can’t do it daily, you should be setting as your goal to post to it at least 3 or 4 times a week. The frequency of how many times you post also depends on how long the post are.

If you are doing short post which don’t take a lot of time, you should be able to crank those out pretty easy. If they are long, like this one (maybe a bit too long) you are going to have to set aside some time to sit down, research and write. If you don’t post to your blog, it is going to fail. You are not going to get the “ROI” you feel you should be getting and you will let it rot on a vine.  I am serious.

If you are not serious about making the time to post to your blog, don’t even start one. Go out and buy Yellow Page ads and put up a static Web site. Then when no calls come in, you can blame the Yellow Book and your web developer. But if you are serious about giving your customers and/or clients a way to get their hands on up to date, relevant content, do a blog. If you want to market and not just advertise, do a blog. If you want to develop a relationship with your visitors so they become readers and later customers and/or clients, do a blog.

A successful blog takes time and work. But it is well worth every bit of the effort and resources you allocated to it.

3. Not being prepared to doing research on what you should blog about and being consistent in your posting frequency.

Next to the claim that I don’t have time to blog, not knowing what to write about is the next reason I see business blogs fail. I have already talked about many ways you can keep on top of what to write about on your blog. Here are some ideas you can use to help you have things to write about.

o Read other blogs in your niche
o Blog about conferences you might go to
o Take client questions and make them a blog post
o Do some Keyword Research
o Invite guest bloggers or someone from inside your own organization to blog
o Do a book or product review
o Talk about new products or developments in your own business
o Do a reader poll and post about the results
o Tutorials on how to use your product
o FAQ’s you hear every single day in your business

These are just a few and I know you can think of more. You have to have a ready source of post ideas so your blog doesn’t fail for another reason and that is consistency in the frequency of your post. If you don’t post on a regular basis, you are not going to increase your readership and your blog will not last. You will loose interest in your blog almost as fast as your readers will.

4. Not having a way for your readers to communicate with you.

If you want to get my blood pressure up there are at least a couple of things you can do on your blog. One, not having comments and/or trackbacks at all. Two, making me login or register to leave a comment.

You have to give your readers some mechanism whereby they can give you feedback. You must give them a way to comment about a blog post or to give you feedback about you, your company and/or products. If you don’t, you are not blogging. In fact, I have always been of the position that a blog without commenting on it is not a blog at all. It is just an ego stroking tool for the blogger. It is a conversation, but only a one way conversation. That type of blog is not accomplishing as far as educating your audience in a way they feel they can participate in that education.

Most bloggers who don’t allow comments usually don’t out of fear. Fear that something may be said which they may not like or may harm them. I am not saying you should not moderate comments. What I am saying is you have to allow comments on your blog. Feedback or comments from your readers, good or bad creates a conversation and relationship between the reader and the business. Keep one thing in mind, the conversation and/or feedback is taking place somewhere, why not take the necessary steps so it takes place on your business’ blog?

5. Try to go at it on your own.

I would be the first one to admit, it is easy to setup a basic blog with such tools as TypePad, Blogger or WordPress. It is also easy to see how many of these DIY blogs are now dead and no longer serving any purpose but taking up good cyberspace.

The problem is that designing, launching and implementing a blog is not what you do for a living. You are in your particular business and you are good at it. You most likely don’t understand what potential complication there might be. You are not in a position to anticipate all of the contingencies or dependencies which might happen.

And are you in the position to know what you can do as far as taking the steps to increase your search engine placement? Do you want to spend four hours online trying to find the answer to a question which you could get answered by spending a half-hour or hour with a good blog coach?

If you are serious about your marketing and making sure you have a successful blog, I urge you to hire a blog consultant/coach and a design firm which makes this their business. Whether you hire me as your blog coach or my firm as your design firm, that is up to you. There are other great ones out there who do this type of work. The key is to hire one.

Finally, before you get too far in the process of setting up your blog, consider the above mentioned reasons why a business blog might fail. Consider in your own mind if you can set the necessary goals and stick to them or whether you may not be the right fit for a blog. Not every business should have a blog. However, if you are serious about using this type of marketing tool, and you use it right, I know you will have a successful blog. A blog which will get you results.

Blogging for Beginners – 5 Facts You Must Know

A lot of useful tips have been written by different people on blogging for beginners to help the complete beginner to blogging build a successful blog.

The 5 facts you must know about blogging are some hard truth that don’t get talked about too often but that are critical to your blogging success.

The aim is not to scare you from blogging, but to give you all the facts so that you make an informed decision and commit to it.

Blogging for beginners Fact 1: Blogging requires time and commitment

Before starting a blog especially if it is to make money from home you want to be sure that you have the time and energy to commit to it and grow your readership.

What you will mostly be doing are:

Providing valuable content on your blog on a regular basis, ideally once everyday but not less than three times a week if you intend to grow regular readership.

You also would be generating votes for your content. It’s called link building. You link build when other related sites link to your blog or a particular post on your blog, vice versa.

When your blog get some quality links from other sites, the search engine consider your blog as important. So it helps your content ranking at search engines which eventually equals traffic (daily visitors) to your site.

These are the two major but not only task you have ahead and they both requires time. Even when you have the time, if you fail to create a balance between these two activities, your blog will lack.

Meaning you can’t spend all your time writing content and forget about building links to those content else you would have a blog full of valuable content but no one to read them.

On the other hand if you spend too much time chasing links to your site and neglect content writing (which is worse), you will have visitors come to your blog but leave immediately as they came.

Blogging is a very rewarding work from home business. There are people making 6 income figures from it. But to get from a zero level (nave blogger) to a successful blogger requires time, knowledge, dedication and patience.

Not one of those qualities must be lacking, else you would have to consider another work from home venture.

Blogging for beginners Fact 2: Know your Market

I consider this the most important part of this article which is not usually emphasized enough as it should.

This step either make or mare your blogging success.

Just like every other business, you must know the market you want to venture into before actually doing so.

Your market in the blogging world is the niche or topic you have chosen to write on.

It means you must carry out an effective research of your market to gather all the necessary data that you will need to make an informed decision.

After looking deep into a topic, you might realize that it is just not profitable enough to pursue it.

Here are the data you need to gather and evaluate before going for a topic.

The Monthly searches for the topic: Are there people searching for information on the topic? If yes how many? Is it high enough to bring you good monthly traffic?

He who has the traffic has the web.

The competition for the topic: The people already publishing online for that topic are your competitors. How many are they? There is always a room for another blog or website on the web. But you have to be realistic. As a beginner to blogging, your chances of topping the already existing sites on that topic are low, especially if they are well established authority sites.

Moreover, you easily make your mark when the competition is low or fair.

Pick out hundreds of profitable keywords: If you are writing on relationship for example, make a list of all the keywords that fall under relationship that you can write about. These keywords will form your blog’s overall content.

So after creating your blog you don’t fuse about what next to write on. You just go to your list and pick a keyword and write on it.

This way you build valuable focused keyword rich pages.

The Monetization options available to you: It will be heartbreaking to put all the effort into achieving a high number of readership only to realize that you topic can’t be monetized with the major monetization models.

So first ask yourself: What are the monetization models you will like to apply on your blog? Then make sure the topic you are going for can be profitably monetized with those options.


If AdSense (pay per click content ads) is a must for your blog’s monetization, then you want to make sure that the Cost Per Click for your topic and its closely related sub-topics (keywords) are above $1. But preferable $2 above if this would be a primary monetization model for you.

If you would like to sell third party products, then check places like clickbank to see that there are relevant books available to monetize your blog with.

Spy on your competitors: Is there a monetization model your competitor uses that appeal to you? How are your competitors addressing the topic? Maybe there is a better angle you can address it from.

Get general ideas but DO NOT copy your competitor’s work. Let their work give you ideas to better position yourself in the niche, in other to stand out from the crowd.

All these research and more are needed for you to make an informed decision about your blog’s topic. We have passed the time when just your passion for a topic can bring you success in it.

Especially if you are considering blogging for business, gathering all these data before even buying a domain (comes last after thorough research) and setting up your blog, will help you maximize profit from your market and topic.

There is always a difference between a site that was planned and the one that wasn’t and this will be evidence in the number of regular readership and traffic.

Blogging for beginners Fact 3: Keep It Real

In whatever you will do relating to your blog, always keep it real. Let things work naturally. Always at all times consider the two most important people to your blog success – Your readers and the search engines.

Some of the sites that will link to your content will require a link back. Do not just link to a site because of the benefit it will bring to your ranking. Link to a site because it offers value to your readers. And your readers will be grateful.

When you promote a product, make sure it actually offers your readers benefits. Do not just promote for the commission you get as a result.

If you try to take the fast root to the detriment of your readers and search engines, chances are that your blog will not go all the way.

Build honesty and credibility among your readers and good things will naturally happen to you.

Blogging for beginners Fact 4: Do be in a Hurry to Monetize your blog

This is very common with Blogging beginners. Once they set up their blog, the next thing is to monetize.

While there is nothing wrong about this it could distract you from what is at that moment important – building content and getting traffic.

It makes no sense to monetize a site with zero traffic.

I remember when I started my first blog. I added AdSense immediately and everyday I always check my AdSense account to see if I had made some money. But since I had no traffic, what I always saw was $00.00 which always brings down my spirit to move forward with my writing.

So build some content first. Then some traffic, before monetizing. That way you can start making money in your first month of monetizing your blog.

Traffic equals money

Blogging for beginners Fact 5: Build Relationships

Familiarize yourself with fellow bloggers especially of related niche. You can do this just by commenting regularly on their blog.

Building relationships with bloggers in your niche could bring some good deals. And you never know when you need a favor.

It is easier to ask for a favor from a friend than from a stranger.

It also keeps you updated about what is going on in your niche, which is important.

Most of all build relationship with your readers through comments, e-zines and newsletter. It is among what determines whether or not you get repeat visitors to your blog. The major determinant though is whether or not your content provide value.

So when you get frustrated about every other thing, just write more content. You can never go wrong with it.

Always keep in mind the saying: Content is KING

Commercial Loans – Know What You Are Getting Into

In business there are many ups and downs along the way. When things are going great guns you need to consolidate your position and always be prepared for the rainy day. And God forbid, if the rainy day does arrive, you have to be ready to deal with it. But what if you don’t have enough buffers in your business to tide you over rough times. Commercial Loans are just what you need at times like these to pull through any crisis and get back on your feet. But beware of money sharks in the market who might want to exploit your vulnerable position.

These loans aren’t very different from personal loans only they are used for business purposes and are often backed by hard collateral like real estate.

In business stakes are high and risks major, which is why if you are seeking a loan to bail you out, it’s understood that you are in a tricky position. There are lenders out there who might try to take advantage of your situation.

Hiring services of a Commercial Mortgage Broker is a good option because.

  • It is his job to watch out for your best interests.
  • Being an experienced broker he might will the inside outs of the market and will be wary of notorious lenders.
  • Hiring a broker might make the process a tad bit longer but they are known to come up with innovative ideas to overcome any problem you might face.

Commercial banks, mutual companies, other financial groups and hard money lenders will be able to offer you Commercial Loans. With market regulations being lifted in recent times, such loans are easily available today, which might make them seem like an attractive proposition. But you need to be aware of the some malpractices that have crept into the business.

It’s important to understand how money lenders work so that you can be on guard.

  • Different types of lenders have hugely varying criteria based on which they offer you the loan. Commercial lenders are usually more lenient than banks if your financial qualifications are not up to the mark.
  • Commercial lenders will weigh your collateral heavily and although they might be quicker in dispensing the loan to you, they will charge higher interest rates than a bank.
  • Bridging Loans are for short term arrangements till your primary loan is sanctioned. They will salvage any drastic situation for you but interest rates are generally much higher.
  • Some hard money lenders ask for fees to investigate the nature of your proposal upfront. There are high chances that you might not get your loan after all and fees won’t be returned. You need to be wary of such practices and money lenders.
  • If things turnaround for you and you want to make pre-payments, you might be charged a hefty fee for doing so. Always check the pre-payment clause in your contract.

With such simple measures Commercial Loans will make perfect business sense to you.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Lender and the Right Commercial Loan

It is often tempting to jump into the first opportunity for a commercial loan that you may come across. While your tendency may be to focus on how additional funds may support or expand your business or commercial real estate portfolio, you have to take the time to make two important considerations – choosing the right commercial lender as well as the right loan for your business. You should evaluate potential lenders as well as their commercial financing options to see which are best suited for your needs.

Is the lender trustworthy?

You need a lender who will act as a partner for your business. There are reliable and respectable lenders who are willing to guide you through the difficulties of acquiring the right financing package. On the other hand, there are less-than-reputable lenders who prey on and take advantage of companies in need of quick funding. While the top lenders have solid reputations, you should check for references for smaller lenders.

Do the lender references check out?

Ask the lender to give you five to five references, so you can evaluate their experience and background. If permitted, contact the references for feedback to see if they are satisfied with the lender.

Does the lender offer a wide range of financing options? Is financing accessible?

Check if the lender offers a range of financing options / loan packages that serve your present as well as your future needs. You may need a simple loan arrangement now, but can the lender support the future needs of your business? Accessibility in acquiring the funds right when your business needs them is important.

How well does the lender know your industry?

Lenders who know your industry will generally know the needs, capabilities and potential of your business, and they are in a better position to give you a suitable loan package. They can also see the total picture and recognize temporary limitations against your business’ potential.

Choosing The Right Loan

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential lenders, you can evaluate their financing options to determine which is most suitable for your business and for your needs.

Term Loans

These are the most common loan types that are used for general purposes such as working capital, expansions, purchases and acquisitions. Term loans are used to support your straightforward needs for additional funds, which are to be used for clear and specific purposes. These loans will allow you to acquire large sums over long periods which are to be paid monthly or as in the case of short-term loans, smaller amounts that are paid in full at the end of the term.

Credit Lines

These types of loans are more flexible as they allow you to draw additional funds whenever the need for additional cash arises. Interest rates for credit lines are based on the outstanding loan balance. Different lenders offer many variations of credit line type loans – you must evaluate each credit line carefully and determine which will fit your needs without being too costly.


Another not so common option for smaller companies is factoring or receivables financing. Factoring allows you to “sell” your invoices so that you can have the funds immediately. If your business has active but slow paying accounts, factoring may be very useful.

Meeting your needs

If you have taken necessary measures and the time to properly evaluate potential lenders and their loan packages, you will be able to choose the right commercial lender and the right commercial loan to meet not only your current needs, but the future needs of your business.

Find Commercial Loans using our free Commercial Loan Application to compare rates and submit your information to multiple commercial lenders. We have over 300 commercial real estate lenders, business and construction lenders as well as private equity groups waiting to help you. Best of all, GlobalBX is FREE!