Blogs and ebooks take a leading role

ebook2Blogs and ebooks can help businesses connect with customers, build brand loyalty and drive sales.

“Ebooks are an evolution of the old white paper but they’re more user-friendly and not weighed down with lots of data,” says Rachel Christianson, director of fulfillment at social media marketing company HipLogiq.

Christianson works with customers on content and manages a team that produces over 250 blogs and ebooks a month for clients.
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How blogs give businesses a big advantage

Blogs give companies a massive boost, with b2b firms with blogs generating 97% more leads than non-blogging businesses, according to an infographic compiled by fatjoe. Creating original content is the biggest challenge for marketers and nearly two-thirds of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company that creates original content.

Content marketing business fatjoe found that nine out of 10 consumers say custom content is useful and 70% prefer to learn about a company through a series of articles rather than through advertising. Here’s the infographic with the firm’s full findings.

Get a sense of an ending to succeed with a blog

Blogging pioneer and best-selling author Chris Brogan says bloggers should beware of giving their opinions rather than information and many are failing to offer any resolution at the end of a post.

He blogs about social media, business and marketing at www.chrisbrogan.com, which is an elegantly designed WordPress site running on the Genesis framework theme from StudioPress, and has written Trust Agents and The Impact Equation, both with Julien Smith, as well as Google+ For Business and It’s Not About The Tights, An Owner’s Manual on Bravery.

In a great interview with Blog Herald, Mr Brogan, who started blogging way back in 1998, says most bloggers make the mistake of thinking people want to read their opinion rather than useful information. He adds that most posts end badly, without resolution or call to action.

But he thinks the most important aspect of a blog now is to have responsive design and says if your site isn’t flawlessly beautiful on a smartphone and a tablet, stop blogging.

Mr Brogan makes a lot more fascinating points about type of content, monetisation, writing 4,000 words a day and coping with depression. Read the interview at Blog Herald.

How to build a blogging brand

brownstoner1jJonathan Butler set up the Brownstoner property blog in 2004 to cover Brooklyn and has since widened his business interests to establishing the Brooklyn Flea outdoor market and the Smorgasburg food market and he’s sticking to his branding as he extends his blogging reach.

Brownstoner claims to be the leading site about Brooklyn real estate and renovation and has a marketplace with over 3,000 real estate listings and 250 local businesses. It has more than 200,000 unique visitors and almost two million page views per month. The site features a Building/House/Condo/Rental of the Day which often includes fascinating historical facts complete with maps as well as details about the area as it is today. It really is a blog that’s got to grips with its market and succeeded with an individual approach.

Now Mr Butler has started a new property website covering the Queens borough of New York and is keeping the Brownstoner branding for Queens Brownstoner.
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WordPress makes mobile move with Poster buy

posterapp1Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com, has made an interesting mobile move by buying Poster, a widely acclaimed app which enables users to post to their WordPress blog from mobile devices.

Tom Witkin, the one-man band behind Poster, is joining the WP mobile team and the app has been removed from Apple’s App Store. Witkin says: “I’m elated that I, along with Poster, will be joining Automattic. I’ll be working with the mobile team where I’ll be designing and coding. Poster will no longer be available for purchase but if you’ve already bought the app you’ll always be able to re-download it. I’m continuing to support it.

“I get to keep doing what I love: creating apps and experiences that enable and delight. The only difference is that I get new opportunities to continue to learn and develop personally and now get to work with some amazing people. I truly believe that something great will come from devoting my time and attention to Automattic.”
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In blog we trust – why top influencers rely on blogging

blogbulb1Blogging is the top focus for social media marketers, with nearly two-thirds of marketers saying blogging is the social media platform they most want to master.

The 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner found that 62% of marketers put learning about blogging as their main priority, ahead of Google+ in second place and Facebook third, followed by LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
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Top free WordPress themes: Sundance

Sundance is a free theme from those fine folk at Automattic, the company that runs the WordPress project and owns WordPress.com, so you should be assured it’s up to date with all the latest WP developments. It has been downloaded from WordPress.org nearly 127,000 times and almost 80,000 blogs use it on WordPress.com.

As you might suspect from the name, Sundance is really set out to be a video theme, although I think you could also use it as a general theme as you can just leave out the video carousel and it’s a nice clean blogging theme with decent typography. You can choose to add a sidebar or have a single-column set-up with posts spanning the full width of the site.
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WordPress founder Mullenweg thinks Yahoo! got Tumblr on the cheap

The billion-dollar price paid by Yahoo! to take over micro-blogging platform Tumblr could turn out to be a bargain, according to WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.

Financial analysts have questioned the fundamentals of the £1.1 billion cash deal but Mullenweg says: “I think we’re at the cusp of understanding the ultimate value of web publishing platforms, particularly ones that work cross-domain, and while Yahoo’s all-cash deal by some metrics, like revenue, is very generous, I think it’s a tenth of the value that will be created in these platforms over the coming years.”
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Over half of the world’s top blogs now running on WordPress

WordPress is overwhelmingly the choice of top bloggers and now 52% of the world’s top 100 blogs are running on WordPress, with the remainder fragmented between other platforms and custom-built systems.

A survey by Pingdom shows the second-placed platform among the top 100 is Drupal, with just seven sites using it, while three websites run on Blogger and 12 use custom-built systems.

More details of the survey can be found at royal.pingdom.com.