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Welcome to Futureforth

We are a social media strategy, digital marketing consultancy in Nashville. Our goal is to teach you inbound marketing, social media best practices, and everything you need to succeed with content marketing including your blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other favorite social networking platforms. 

Don't have the time to produce content? We can help with that too. 

The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

A Successful Kickstarter Campaign Starts With Your Tribe

Dave Delaney

Third Coast Comedy Club Improv Comedy in Nashville

I love improv comedy. I've written here several times about my own experiences performing improv over the years. In fact, my presentation at Hubspot's Inbound Conference was all about how you can improve your life with improv. Imagine how excited I was when I learned Nashville was getting a club dedicated to improv and other forms of comedy.

Four years ago, Luke Watson, an Atlanta-born and raised improv comedy actor, moved to Nashville. At the time, Music City only had several improv troupes performing in the bars, cafes, and restaurants scattered around town. Space was limited for live improv comedy because this is music city. There wasn't a strong comedy tribe, because each performer and troupe was traveling to multiple venues around town. They lacked an in-person place to all convene.
 
Luke founded his own improv troupe, LOL Nashville. He also founded and produced the Third Coast Improv Fest. The improv festival brought together local troupes in ways they hadn't connected before. During these networking opportunities, Luke met Scott Field, the artistic director of Music City Improv, and co-founder of Improv Nashville. They both noted the constant challenge for members of their tribes to find regular venues to perform in. This is when the idea of Third Coast Comedy Club was born.

If You Build It They Will Come

The excitement came swiftly from Nashville's improv community when Luke and Scott announced their vision of their new home for local comedians. They didn't just want improvisers. They wanted all comedic art forms: sketch, stand-up, variety shows, live podcasts, talk shows, and of course, improv too. They found a location, but it was time to raise the capital to make it all happen. This is when they decided to run a Kickstarter campaign.
 
One of the best ways to test a concept is by connecting with a community first and using a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter. Crowdfunding expert and CEO of CrowdfundingHacks.com, Clay Hebert told me, "Find your tribe. Let them inside your process. Show them the journey. And then, when you're ready, you launch the project to your tribe. Don't launch and hope that magically the platforms will bring your tribe to you."

With a goal of raising $25,000, they launched their Kickstarter campaign and quickly surpassed their goal to $32,480. They were ready to invest their own money to make their club come to life, but achieving their goal on Kickstarter meant they now had the capital and community support to do it. Luke told me he loved the all-or-nothing aspect of Kickstarter. Their tribe had spoken.
 
Luke explains what really made this all happen, "Without the relationships and friendships Scott and I have made over the last several years with local comedians, the club would never have happened. We wouldn’t have felt the dream was possible. We wouldn’t have hit our Kickstarter goal. We wouldn’t have had the extra hands to help us paint and finish the buildout. We would have never opened our doors. Nearly every interaction at every comedy event in Nashville paid off in making the Third Coast Comedy Club a reality."
 
Today, there are twelve improv troupes performing regularly around town. Sketch comedy is starting to pick-up, and there are over seventy-five opportunities to see stand-up this month alone in Nashville. When Third Coast Comedy Club officially opens it's doors, it will stand as a testament of a dedicated tribe of comedians and comedy lovers in this city.
 
In Seth Godin's book "Tribes", he writes, "You can't have a tribe without a leader and you can't be a leader without a tribe." Luke and Scott found their tribe. Take a few minutes today to ruminate about your tribe. I'm excited to tap back into my love for improv. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my tribe soon. Before starting your own Kickstarter campaign, be sure you have a tribe to support you too.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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Facebook: Secrets To Unlocking Its Search Potential

Dave Delaney

When it comes to searching the web, most of us start with Google. Savvy networking professionals know to broaden their search to LinkedIn, where they can discover whom they should connect with at any particular company (like Futureforth, you're following, right?). 

Did you know Facebook has it's own powerful search? The following are answers to popular questions on how to use Facebook's search.

How do I search my Facebook posts?

Have you ever wanted to go back to find that interesting article you shared on your Facebook profile? On desktop, select the upside-down triangle icon on the top right. Select "Activity Log." You can use the Activity Search engine, or you can scroll through your updates by date.

How can I find friends in a specific city?

Whenever I am traveling to speak at a conference, I use Facebook to recall who my friends are in that city. In the main Facebook search, enter: "my friends who live in NAMEOFCITY." I love to catch up in person with old friends this way.

How do I use Facebook to recall how I know someone?

Select the person's profile. Click the three dots on the top right side of their profile cover image (next to Message). Select "See Friendship." Facebook will generate a page with photos, videos and status updates you posted on each other's walls. If you haven't had many interactions, the page might be rather bare.

How can I find someone I know who works for a particular company?

LinkedIn is always the top destination to determine who you might know that works for a business. You also can use Facebook to find this out, which is helpful if you aren't connected to all of your Facebook friends on LinkedIn.

Search "my friends who work at COMPANYNAME." If the company has multiple locations, you can search "my friends who work at COMPANYNAME in CITYNAME."

How can I find my friends who like a page on Facebook?

Let's say you want to chat with friends who like a specific brand on Facebook. You can find them by searching "my friends who like BRANDPAGE." Inquire with your friends before you make the purchase. After all, what are friends for?

I'm thousands of miles from home and craving barbecue. How can I find a good restaurant on Facebook?

We all miss the taste of home when we're traveling. Hop on Facebook and search "barbecue restaurants in CITYNAME." You will even see the restaurants your friends have liked.

How do I clear my Facebook search history?

If you found what you were looking for and want to clear your searches, do the following. Go to your profile and select "Activity Log" (like you did to search your posts). On the left side you will see "Photos, Likes, Comments, More."

Select "More" and "Search." At the top right corner you will see "Clear Searches."

I hope these Facebook search tips will help you get more from your use of the gigantic social network. If you are seeking help with your business page or Facebook advertising, please reach contact us.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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Smart Marketers Listen To These 7 Podcasts

Dave Delaney

I am a big fan of podcasting, which explains why I have written about the medium so much over the years. I have hosted and produced multiple podcasts, and I have even co-hosted a workshop to teach people how to create a podcast from scratch. As a digital marketing consultant, I need to stay abreast of new trends and technologies to recommend to my clients. To stay up to date, I subscribe and listen to several fantastic marketing podcasts. The following are a few of my favorites that will help you too.

7 Marketing Podcasts You Should Try

The BeanCast. Each week host, Bob Knorpp, welcomes a panel of advertising and marketing experts to discuss current industry news. There are always a few laughs and ah-ha moments. This show leans more towards advertising than marketing but is still extremely valuable to marketers. www.thebeancast.com

Marketing Over Coffee. I still remember back when hosts, John Wall and Christopher S. Penn, used to meet early in the mornings at a local Dunkin Donuts to record this show (hence the name). Both hosts are true kings of marketing who share industry secrets and opinions that will help you fuel your own marketing efforts. If you are seeking a conversational podcast that leans more towards marketing technology, this one is for you. marketingovercoffee.com

Beyond the To Do List. Erik J. Fisher hosts this interview show about ways to improve your productivity. It's not a marketing show, but everyone should strive to be more productive. If you are looking for clarity and techniques to get more done in a day, don’t miss this one. beyondthetodolist.com

Six Pixels of Separation. Mitch Joel is a well-respected thought-leader, author, speaker, and business leader in the digital marketing space. Each week he welcomes a guest author who shares insights. Mitch isn’t afraid of playing devil’s advocate, which helps keep the discussions interesting. twistimage.com/podcast

Duct Tape Marketing. If you are seeking a podcast that leans more towards sales but still includes plenty of marketing tips, don’t miss John Jantsch’s podcast. John is one of the best small business marketing consultants out there. ducttapemarketing.com/blog/category/podcast

Marketing Smarts from MarketingProfs. Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is a smart, personable host. This podcasts delivers actionable insights and real marketing advice from industry experts. Kerry brings a refreshing sense of humor and personality to her style. She interviews authors and experts in marketing. I recommend subscribing to the MarketingProfs email newsletter too. marketingprofs.com/podcasts

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Podcast. Michael Stelzner interviews his guests to discuss marketing tips related specifically to social media. I love how Michael reiterates key points and pushes his guests to outline their tactics simply. If you are seeking marketing knowledge in social media, check out this show. socialmediaexaminer.com/podcasts

Everyone needs to be a better marketer

Whether you are building your business or career, everyone needs to be a better marketer. I am confident these seven podcasts will help you achieve this. 

If you enjoy the shows, be sure to leave a review in iTunes. Consider paying for the free advice with some positive words and a five-star rating. I know each host will love you for it.

Bonus read: From Podcast to Page: Why Repeating What You Learn is Essential.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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Mine Old Messages For New Opportunities

Dave Delaney

Photo from wikimedia.org.

Photo from wikimedia.org.

Nurturing your network isn’t always easy because of limited time. Finding new business can also be challenging for the same reason. Believe it or not, you can achieve both by referring back to the conversations you have already started.

If you follow these simple steps, I bet you will rekindle old relationships and perhaps even find new customers and opportunities.

Email: We burn through so many emails in a day that it’s tough enough to keep up with new messages. However, if you set some time aside today to review older messages, you will find people you should check back in with. The best way to do this is to search for messages as far back in time as possible. You might want to set a goal of reviewing just a single month each day.

Text messages: I love scrolling way back to the earliest messages on my current iPhone. Scanning through these messages always gives me ideas on who I should follow up with.

Facebook Messenger: With over 900 million users (April 2016), this app is one that shouldn’t be ignored. It is likely you have used Messenger to communicate with your connections. Fire up the app and scroll through the messages to find people you should check back in with.

Twitter direct messages: DMs are the private tweets you have exchanged on Twitter. I am always reminded of people I need to follow up with when I review old direct messages.

LinkedIn messages: Go to www.linkedin.com/messaging/ and scroll through the messages you have exchanged with your LinkedIn connections. I did this as I was writing this article and found a speaking opportunity I need to follow up with.

Snapchat: According to Edison Research’s excellent Infinite Dial study, Snapchat is the second most powerful social platform in the United States. Snapchat has more users than Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The social network has grown as much in one year as Twitter has in four years combined.

Since Snapchat automatically deletes your previous chat messages (or “snaps”), reviewing the old ones is impossible. Instead, scroll through your friends, and send a new snap to those you haven’t heard from in a while. I recently started sending 10-second video note messages to friends I haven’t spoken to in ages. I heard back from one friend right away. We ended up hopping on the phone for over an hour and found an opportunity to do some work together.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. We are all busy people. If we take a moment to slow down and review the conversations we have had, we will find opportunities to help the people we are connected to.

Try some of these tips to follow up with the people in your life. Don’t forget to follow similar steps using your other favorite messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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WARNING: Facebook Phishing Scam Ahead

Dave Delaney

facebook phishing scam

If you administer a Facebook page, I highly recommend you be leery of warnings allegedly sent from Facebook. I received this one today, it's the first one I have seen. Like most phishing scams, it looks pretty authentic. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.03.12 AM.png

The most important thing to look out for in these types of messages is the link. If it doesn't point to facebook.com/SOMETHINGHERE it is a scam. Links can also be sneaky because what appears to be facebook.com/SOMETHINGHERE could actually link elsewhere. By clicking the link and signing back in, you hand over your password to the scammer on the other end.   

phishing scams

As a reminder, phishing is the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company. You have likely seen these in your email inbox before. Never click the link.

Don't be a victim

No business should ever send you a message with a link to change your password or log in to your account. Google has many images of examples of phishing. Be aware and avoid these so you don't become a victim. 

An bonus tip is to have an additional administrator on your Facebook page. Should you ever get locked out of your account your colleague can login with his or her account to assist you.

Find this helpful? Please share it with your friends. 

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Understanding Uber Price Surging

Dave Delaney

Enjoy your first Uber ride on me. I earn a free ride if you use this Uber coupon

Does your company have a behavioral economist? Uber does, and what I learned about dynamic pricing is fascinating. 

Keith Chen is Uber’s Head of Economic Research. He digs deep into the heads of Uber customers using the data behind the wildly successful business. Chen was recently a guest on NPR’s Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam. 

Chen is one of the people who help determine Uber’s strategic prices known as dynamic pricing. Prices are increased when there is more demand for drivers. This is known as “surge pricing” and customers hate it. What a single fare might cost you now could cost much more in five minutes. Chen explains how it works - and it makes sense. 

“The only way to get everyone in a dense part of a city a car within five minutes is to use dynamic pricing to give drivers a strong incentive,” he explains. When the fare prices increase, drivers earn more money on each fare. 

Have you ever been stuck trying to find a taxi on a rainy night? There never seems to be any around. The reason for this is cab drivers have a financial goal to reach each shift. When it is raining, demand increases and they reach their goal faster. In most cases they end their shifts early after they reach their goal, this is known as mental accounting. When cabbies call it a night, there are less cabs are on the road. 

Uber drivers don’t necessarily go home. They get incentives by surge pricing. If prices are surging, they will earn more money. Drivers plan longer shifts when prices are surging to reap the financial rewards. Not all customers will use Uber when prices have increased, so this helps to reduce demand. 

The Round Number Effect

Increasing a price from 1X to 1.2X will see a 27% drop in requests. There is also a strong round number effect. When Uber increases their prices from 1.9X to 2.0X the regular fee, there is a 6X larger drop in demand than an increase from 1.8X to 1.9X. Customers feel 2X is too much. Surprisingly, more people will take a ride at 2.1X than 2.0X the regular price. 

Uber can detect interesting patterns from their customers. One of the strongest predictors of whether a customer will accept surged pricing is the level of their battery life. If your phone is nearly dead, you are more likely to use the surged price, rather than wait for the price to lower later after your phone has died. Chen assured listeners that Uber do not use this data. He only shared this fact as an example of the type of information Uber has learned about their customers.

So while surge pricing may tick off passengers, they should consider they would not need to wait in the rain for long. 

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

Infographic from MisterBeep.com. Get a free Uber ride using coupon code here.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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How to Newsjack a Story

Dave Delaney

newsjacking

Want to get free publicity for your company? Would you like to earn organic traffic to your site? An opportunity is waiting. It will take time. You will fail in some attempts, and succeed in others. The secret is newsjacking.

As a digital marketer, it is important for me to stay abreast of new trends and ideas for my clients at Futureforth. One way I do this is to listen to industry podcasts. Mitch Joel is a thought-leader in the space. His business, books, blog, and podcast are all proof that he truly is an expert.

On the five-hundred and thirteenth episode of his podcast, Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch interviewed David Meerman Scott. David is the author of several best-selling, marketing and advertising books. In 2011, he wrote Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.

He defines newsjacking as the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed. An example of newsjacking is Trent Silver, who runs a company called Cash for Purses. Silver purchases and refurbishes second-hand purses and sells them on Ebay and to boutique stores. His biggest problem was sourcing used handbags.

Back in 2010, news broke that actress, Lindsay Lohen, had declared bankruptcy. Silver wrote a blog post offering to purchase Lohen's old bags, so she could make some money. He then sent his blog post to members of the media who loved it.

The media coverage exploded across publications like The Huffington Post, The Inquisitor, and People Magazine. Each publication linked back to Silver's blog post. He ended up getting 8,000 online inquiries, closed eighteen percent of them, and made $250,000 from newsjacking one story.

In a business-to-business example of newsjacking, Eloqua's former CEO Joe Payne found an opportunity when a competitor called Market to Lead was acquired by Oracle. There was no news about the story aside from a three-sentence announcement on their site. Paine knew he had a good opportunity to newsjack the story by writing a blog post entitled, "Oracle joins the party".

His blog post was about the marketing automation industry. He included plenty of quotable quotes and statistics. He did not say anything negative about his competition, he welcomed Oracle to the industry instead. The media instantly had a better source for information related to the acquisition.

Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, and Forbes all mentioned and quoted Joe Payne. Payne then sent a link to the story to all of their customers and potential customers, resulting in one million dollars in new business. Nine months later his company was also acquired by Oracle for 850 Million.

How You Can Use Newsjacking

David Merman Scott suggests the best way to find stories to consider newsjacking is to visit Google.com/news several times a day to scan breaking news stories. Be sure to use the "Hide Private Results" option, so you see broad news stories that are not customized for your preferences.

Unless you have a direct tie to the story, avoid any news that has negative consequences. During the interview, David shared several terrible examples of brands trying to capitalize off a tragedy. Mitch also brought up some controversial aspects of newsjacking you should consider.

Always be aware of the story and how you can align with it. Use serendipity and happy accidents of stories that no one expects. Be creative in how you approach newsjacking.

You should also avoid newsjacking popular events like award shows, sports finals, and elections. The competition is too high for exposure during these times.

David warns listeners that most of the time newsjacking won't work. He compares it to venture capital investing. VCs invest in many companies to take a gamble, every so often they land on a winner like a Facebook, Airbnb, or Uber. You will find your newsjacked stories may be duds, but eventually, you could strike gold. David said you will be surprised by the story that works the best. Even if the story doesn't get popular, you still have some good content for your blog.

I recommend you tune into the full interview on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast. If you work in or have an interest in marketing, you should definitely be following Mitch Joel and David Meerman Scott.

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6 Simple Steps to LinkedIn Promotion

Dave Delaney

I developed a content strategy for a client recently who was confused about how LinkedIn should be used. Many people create LinkedIn profiles and think of them only as online resumes. In addition to using LinkedIn as a powerful networking platform, it is also an excellent place to promote the blog content you create.

The following is a step-by-step guide to help you use LinkedIn to drive traffic back to your site.

Step 1. Write the blog post. Obviously, you need content to promote. Futureforth can help you develop this content if you don't already have it.

Step 2. Promote the blog post. When you have published the blog post on your blog, share a link on your LinkedIn profileTo do this, go to Home and select Update Status. Paste the link into the update box and wait for it to load. Be sure you have included an interesting image. Now, remove the link and write a brief update using the title of the blog post. You can also tag brands you mentioned in the article, so they will be aware of your post.

Step 3. Promote the blog post to groups. Take a moment to share the blog post with fellow members of groups you participate in. Don't spam groups with links to all of your posts. Only share content you feel the members of the group will benefit from.

Step 4. Publish your blog post to your LinkedIn company page. The followers of your company page will be notified that a new article has been added.

Step 5. Like the post. When you like the post on the company page, your connections are notified. This can pique their interest and have them click through to read what you liked.

Step 6. Re-publish the post as a Pulse article. Wait a week or longer to use LinkedIn's blogging platform, Pulse, to copy and paste the full blog post. At Futureforth, we help our clients optimize this content to help you achieve your goals. These goals can include growing your email newsletter, increasing free trials of your software and selling your products.

Following these steps will help you increase exposure for your original blog post. More qualified readers will lead to more conversions. While I have you thinking about your LinkedIn strategy, be sure to download our free LinkedIn profile optimization tips guide.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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Increase Online Sales With Personalization

Dave Delaney

Are you using personalization in your digital marketing effort? Savvy marketers are using personalization to improve experiences for their online visitors. This results in higher conversions, such as revenue from sales, email newsletter growth and new business inquiries.

I moderated a panel on this topic recently, and what I learned will help you to improve your business. Optimized Experiences Convert was a panel event featuring web marketing experts from Metacake (a client) and TechnologyAdvice. Each participant brought his own expertise to this modern marketing method that every business owner should consider.

To personalize your marketing, you must fully understand your customer. Who buys your products? What are their ages? Where do they live? What is their sex? This demographic information can greatly help you increase conversions.

If you are not using Google Analytics yet, you should be. Google provides this free service to allow any marketer to track demographic and geographic information about their website visitors. You can also learn how they are finding you online, which ads are working best, which blog posts are most popular, which social networks drive the highest amount of traffic and much more. You should also use surveys for your current customers to learn more about them.

Work Backwards with Clear Goals

To personalize your marketing, you should begin by working backward. Be clear with your goals and clearly define who your target market is. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What drove my conversions this month?
  • What are my main sources of traffic?
  • How are my customers finding me online?
  • What do they do when they are on my site?

Once you learn this information from Google Analytics, you can begin to personalize your visitor's experience. You should experiment with different landing pages, which are pages with custom language and visuals that appeal to your target market. Your landing page should include an email newsletter sign-up form and something of value for your potential customer. The valuable content could be a webinar, e-book or whitepaper.

Nobody likes to be sold to right away. Instead, take time to learn about your visitors. Build rapport with them by producing quality content that proves you are an expert in your field. You should publish this content on your blog and other industry-related blogs, and use your email newsletter to share it with your subscribers.

Use advertising to target your personalized landing pages to your target market on Facebook. Refer to dribbble.com to see other advertisements for your industry for inspiration. Optimization is about testing to see what works, so use multiple ads for this purpose. During the panel discussion, Metacake urged the audience to experiment with retargeting (also known as remarketing) your advertisements. Ads that are seen again and again tend to receive a high rate of conversion. Consider how frequency works in radio and television advertising as an example of this.

Both Metacake and TechnologyAdvice shared helpful advice on how best to use email marketing. They recommended going easy on personalizing emails using the first name tag. Experiment using A/B split tests with different subject lines. Split an email into two small batches and test to see which subject line gets the highest open rate.

Are you ready to experiment with personalization in your online marketing?

Step 1. Use Google Analytics and surveys to determine who your target market is.

Step 2. Create landing pages specific to different types of customers and capture their email address.

Step 3. Use your blog and industry sites to share your expertise. This content must help your customers.

Step 4. Use online ads and retargeting to promote your landing pages and content.

Step 5. Use email marketing to keep top of mind with your target customers.

Sales don't usually happen overnight. It takes time to build rapport and trust. When your future customers are ready for your services, they will come to you. This is how optimized experiences convert.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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10 Expert Tips for Business Blogging Success

Dave Delaney

10 Business Blogging Tips

Using a blog can drive a considerable amount of traffic to your site, which can result in more revenue and a stronger bond with your customers and staff. A study by Hubspot found eighty-one percent of companies consider their blogs "useful," "important," or "critical" to their business.

Are you blogging for your business?

When I first connect with a new client, I conduct an extensive content marketing audit. One thing I often discover is a neglected company blog. There is nothing worse than a blog with the last post from months or even years ago. Excuses can vary from not having the resources or ideas, to not having the time to compose blog posts. In fact, we just launched a service to help you with original, optimized, blog content for your company blog.

If you are stuck with your blog, or you are seeking ways to improve it, don't miss this valuable advice. I reached out to several blogging experts to share their best tips for creating great content for your business blog.

10 Expert Tips for Business Blogging Success

1. Quantity over quality. That doesn't mean bad or unprofessional grammar. It means stop waiting for the perfect blog post. There is always something to write about: New hires, company culture, product details, upcoming events and conferences, executive team profiles ... I could go on and on. - John Ellis, @johnwellis.

2. Spend more time writing the headline than the post itself. - John Michael Morgan, @johnmorgan.

3. 80/20 Rule = spend 20% of your time creating the content and 80% of your time distributing it. - Bill Faeth, @bfaeth.

4. Dig deeper into a topic. Don't write the same My Topic 101 stuff as every other business blogger out there. Show yourself as the expert, not the person who skimmed a couple other blogs before writing your own article. - Erik Deckers, @edeckers.

5. Don't get too chummy. Find a tone somewhere between formal and conversational. - Angela Misri, @karmicangel.

6. Dedicate time each week to reviewing your existing blog content performance. Setup a monthly testing plan to ensure you are continually optimizing. - Suzanne Kline Coblentz, @scoblentz.

7. Ask your community for help with guest blogging. You get expertise from someone else and they do the writing for you! - Courtenay D. Rogers, @courtenayrogers.

8. Spellcheck and proofread (get capable help if needed). Just a few typos can ruin an otherwise excellent post and undermine your credibility with readers. - Hunter Boyle, @hunterboyle.

9. Never publish a piece of content you are not proud of. A blog post is often the starting point of the relationship with a potential customer. Put your best foot forward. - Ian Cleary, @IanCleary.

10. Don't know what to write about or think your business can't blog? Start with FAQs about your business and industry. Write a blog post to answer each of those questions. It's stuff your customers will value and it's the stuff your customer searches for on Google. - Liz Jostes, @LizJostes.

Your blog is the heart and soul of your business

Your company site is like a brochure, while your blog is the heart and soul of your business. Create content about your industry, your business, and your people. If you need assistance with content, let me know. We might have just the solution to help get your company blog started or resuscitated. Here are the details.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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