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10 must-haves for your blog

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Blogging is one of the most effective tools for building value with current clients, generating qualified leads and improving your SEO.

While it can be a very powerful tool, using a blog incorrectly can have the adverse effect of hurting your website—and your credibility.

The following 10 tactics will improve your blog and ensure it’s a successful part of your overall marketing strategy:

1. Purpose. Have a consistent theme and purpose so readers know what to expect when they log on to read your blog.

2. Consistency. Try to stick to a regular posting schedule of at least once per week (twice or three times is even better).

3. Social sharing buttons. Make it easy for your readers to share your content on social networks.

4. Images. Blogs with images are more impactful and engaging.

5. Video. Images are good, but video is considerably better.

6. Powerful titles. If you fail to get your readers’ attention with the title, they’ll never take the time to read the rest of your content.

7. Keywords, within reason. While keywords are important, overuse makes readers (and search engines) unhappy.

8. Email capture. Many people will visit your site and then leave, never to be seen again. Avoid this by providing an email or subscription form so they can be notified of future posts.

9. Shorter posts. People love blogs because they are short and to the point, so be sure your posts are succinct and easy to read.

10. Calls to action. Always include a simple, easy-to-understand call to action.

If you implement even a few of these strategies, you’ll see a significant increase in readership, interactions and eventually sales.

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John Scranton is an insurance agency marketing expert and vice president of StartUpSelling, Inc. which helps small businesses with lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information and tips from John, visit www.StartUpSelling.com, or go to his blog at http://startupselling.com/blogs/johnscranton.