One of if not the best ways to grow your small business is to get people's eyes on your business. Traditionally that was done with advertisements and that is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Small businesses need the same thing large businesses new, eyes on their business, but small business cannot afford much advertising.
One way around that is to blog, if you write or pay someone to write your blog that can gets eyes on your business and products or services. An informative blog will get good attention.
But that alone is not always going to be enough. Search Engine Optization will drive those eyes to your business if you do it right.
Blogger is a great starting point. In your blog you can link your social media and web sites to increase your links which will increase the likelihood of hit on searches.
Another way is to link your blog post to Medium where hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to follow articles written by people like you on dozens of topics. There are Publication that are like online magazines and they may accept and publish your articles.
One of the services we do for our subscribers is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. That means we do things the increase the chances that your page will show in the first page of a Search for "CONTENT" or "Keywords" on your page.
Here is a link to an article that will help you understand what SEO is all about. I won't copy and paste here, so you can go and read it yourself and then come back here to finish. https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
Ok, now we follow this guide in all manner of things when our subscribers have a full page, or web site plus a blog plus all the social media pages, we link all these together, so a blog post is reflected in a link from the web site, web page, social media and often in another blog. These links carry weight in the rankings. Traffic is another ranking factor out of hundreds, so doing a good job in the CONTENT is a big help with SEO.
Here is an experiment you can try.
There is perhaps no greater tool available to webmasters researching the activities of the engines than the freedom to use the search engines themselves to perform experiments, test hypotheses, and form opinions. It is through this iterative—sometimes painstaking—process that a considerable amount of knowledge about the functions of the engines has been gleaned. Some of the experiments we’ve tried go something like this:
Register a new website with nonsense keywords (e.g., ishkabibbell.com).
Create multiple pages on that website, all targeting a similarly ludicrous term (e.g., yoogewgally).
Make the pages as close to identical as possible, then alter one variable at a time, experimenting with placement of text, formatting, use of keywords, link structures, etc.
Point links at the domain from indexed, well-crawled pages on other domains.
Record the rankings of the pages in search engines.
Now make small alterations to the pages and assess their impact on search results to determine what factors might push a result up or down against its peers.
Record any results that appear to be effective, and re-test them on other domains or with other terms. If several tests consistently return the same results, chances are you’ve discovered a pattern that is used by the search engines.
Keywords that are linked to the content of the page will carry the most weight.
Keywords and Title that are Unique carry the next highest weight.
Common Words, Names and places carry the least amount of weight.
Search for Mike Oliver and you will get quite a few links, some relevant and some not.
Search for Mike Oliver Consultant will get more focused results.
Consultant Architect, Makati City, Philippines will get even more focused events.
Consultant Architect, Makati City, Philippines, Search Engine Optimization for Beginners will get even more focused results.
Ego's get in the way, I know people that have google alerts on their name with no other keywords and get paranoid when the rankings change..nothing personal, just not focused enough.
I am sure that most of my readers will identify with the sudden loss of a job and the scramble to find new work. This post is related to my experiences over my career, mixed with a little faith and a little philosophy.
My Contract at Smart Communications has ended, and I am looking for work. Ok, nothing special there and with my experience and contacts, I am sure I will find work sooner or later. In my career I have done this several times. When I left the Active Duty Air Force, when there was a mass Layoff at Sperry, when Presidential Airways went bankrupt.
Each time, including this one, there was a tendency to take the first job that came along. Sometimes that worked out ok, sometimes less so. The situation is complex for sure, having to do with personal finances, savings, the current job climate and now with my location in the Philippines. But I am writing this to share what I have learned from each of these.
First a bit of my philosophy that I have refined over the years from my experiences. My confidence comes from my ability to produce. I know that I am an effective technologist and have the ability to contribute to any Information Technology endeavor, particularly when it involves Service Oriented Architecture, Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Technologies and Process Improvement. The lesson there is to always strive to improve your skills so when someone asks you "Can you _______" you can reply with "Yes I can and here are my credentials." One of my favorite sayings is, "Your job security is totally dependent on your ability to produce."
Next, a couple of times, when unexpected, I had inadequate savings to withstand any lengthy unemployment, and one time I had just used my savings to buy a new house when Sperry merged with Boroughs and there was a massive layoff. The first wave of layoffs was by seniority and I was laid off. The forced sale of that new house did not recover my down-payment and my savings were gone. I was forced into Bankruptcy. Only my membership in the Alabama Air National Guard allowed me to look for a new job and not take the first thing that came along. I made a career change and moved out of Computer Sales and into Computer Software and Software Development. I took a job with Presidential Airways as an Airline Pilot and that gave me income while I built my Software Business. That has led to my best single event in my career, and I have loved software development and that love led to great success, even if I do say so myself. That leads to my second favorite saying "Things always seem to work out best for those that make the best of the way things work out."
I had another occasion where I was surprised at losing a job, and I had sime significant skills and credentials. Within 2 weeks I was offered a job with even higher salary than I had before, so I took it. That seemed good for a while and surely it took advantage of my background, contacts, and skills. Despite how good it seemed, it turned out to be the worst decision of my career. Why? Another of my favorite sayings is just this, "If someone hires you, they will gain more by having you than they are paying you or they would not hire you." The lesson there is that, at the moment I went on the market, I had another choice, that seemed more risky, but with no risk there is no pay off. Looking back, if I had hung out my consulting shingle and been an independent consultant, I would have made more money, had more freedom and more opportunity for creative efforts.
The bottom line is that if you are prepared for any eventuality, having savings or other sources of income to give you some wiggle room if you lose your current job, don't jump at the first job that comes along, and keep my lessons learned in mind. Good luck and God by with you as he has always been with me.
There are many ways you can start and grow your small business. Depending on your own skill and the skills of your initial employees you may have the ability to do all the work yourself or with your staff. Another option is to hire a freelance expert in various areas to help you. Another option is to find a company that can help you as part of a single service. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. This blog post will attempt to give you both a blueprint of the tasks you need to accomplish and the alternatives and associated costs so you can make an informed decision.
What are the tasks you will need to accomplish? Here is a list along with the cost of a typical freelancer.
Start off with a new Logo - $35+
Create a great web site - $150 + hosting @$15+/mo
Create an email list and funnel - $35
Search Engine Optimization of your web site - $45
Setup a Social Media campaign - $35
Setup and link a Blog to your web site - $20
Offer a translation to a local langage to increase traffic - $35
Go Mobile with an Android or iOS App - $200
Manage Social Media - $25/hr
Create new graphics - $35/hr
Create new video and incorporate in your Social Media and web site - $45/hr
Even if you or your initial staff has these skills, it may not be worth your time in comparison to the cost of a Freelancer, that is up to you.
Consider the up front costs of these 11 tasks. The total minimal cost of these will be $695. Then you have the monthly cost of hosting and management which will add up to $120/mo for just one hour of professional services tasks 9-11 each month, some will need more and some less. Not included in this is any sort of Online applications like a shopping cart, accounting software or eCommerce. Many of you will need more so please consider this to be a minimal list of costs.
We offer an alternative in a package that I am sure can meet your budget.
Please go to http://open4businessonline.com/grow-your-business and check out the pricing from $10/mo to $60/mo and at $60/mo that includes 12 hours of Tasks 9-11 as you might need them plus ALL the other tasks from startup through management.
Pretty clear choice in my opinion and we take all the hassle and risk out of dealing with Freelancers.