Posts Tagged ‘blog content’

What You Need to Know About Disclosure and Your Blog

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by chaseweb

The Federal Trade Commission recently passed new regulations requiring adequate disclosure on web marketing strategies and reviews. While it can seem like extra effort, this step is necessary to protect consumers throughout the internet world. If you’re endorsing or reviewing a product on your site, you are still responsible for creating and displaying a disclosure about the product or service, so it’s vital that you understand what your disclosures should display in your blog.

Disclosures are designed to prevent misleading consumers about a product or service being advertised, even if it’s just in a discussion within a blog. These disclosures must be both clear and visibly blatant on the same page of a company blog, to avoid any discrepancy or confusion by the reader. This means you can’t always use hyperlinks that redirect readers to another page.

Stay within the guidelines

To accomplish this, there are a few steps you should take to stay within the regulations and ensure your blog remains customer and federally friendly.

  1. First of all, you need to place disclosures close to or at least on the same page that the triggering claims have been made.
  2. Use text or other visual cues that inform the reader that they need to scroll down or up on a web page in order to view the disclosures.
  3. When text and other data is lengthy and may include videos and pictures, a secondary disclosure is recommended at the end of the blog to prevent any confusion and to stay within regulatory guidelines.
  4. In this case, where you have previously made a disclosure within the same document, you can create a hyperlink to a separate disclosure in order to conserve space.
  5. Other items within your blog cannot distract attention from the disclosure. This means that you can’t utilize advertisements or popups that would cover a disclosure.
  6. In order to make the disclosure as recognizable as possible, include it within a banner or use contrasting colors to emphasize its importance.
  7. If you’re taking advantage of video or audio blogs such as YouTube or even Facebook video uploads, your disclosure should also be in video or audio format. But, it must also remain clear and concise so avoid placing it only at the end of your video or audio blog. Instead, incorporate it into your video in combination with what you’re saying or advertising.
  8. Always use clear language and grammar when disclosing.

While these methods may seem to apply to those advertising products or services through their blogs, it covers every aspect of advertising- from businesses with a company blog to non-profit organizations that are just promoting their efforts.

Keep in mind that blogging and even social media incorporates advertising at some point during the blogging. You may be advertising your own product or another company’s, but it is vital that you take the time to consider what your blog is stating and if you need to reference a disclosure to protect your business or non-profit organization.

Disclosing references as well

Blogs are a great source for advertising in an indirect way. Many blogs cover information related to their company, but don’t necessarily endorse a product or service. While in this situation it may be unnecessary to create a disclosure since you aren’t endorsing a product, you should still post a disclosure that information in your blog is opinion related so as to cover all bases. And if you do post facts, be sure to credit them to a source along with a disclosure. This is something that has been widely overlooked in the social media world as Facebook users (mostly private individuals) post quotes, pictures, or even videos without offering a reference.

Utilizing a reference can be especially helpful in controlling disclosure issues. If you utilize previously posted or even copyrighted data (any internet source complies with copyright regulations) you definitely need to post a reference for any information gathered. This could even apply to consumer referrals that you post or discuss within your blog. Just be sure to protect yourself by giving credit where credit is due.

According to these new regulations, businesses and non-profit organizations need to start creating and applying disclosures to every aspect of their online marketing strategies. Blogs are amongst the most overlooked applications of these regulations, but it’s important to every consumer that they be protected from misleading information. Do your part and tell your readers and customers exactly what they’re getting when they read your blog.

Business Owners – Who Else Wants Your Blog Content?

Posted on January 4th, 2012 by chaseweb

Who else wants your blog content? As a business owner, it is in your best interest to make use of all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to online marketing. Starting a blog is a good way to create the content that search engines love to crawl and index.

Now, you can take that one step further by syndicating your blog content, or the content for your website, to gain more exposure. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Exposure is a business owner’s best friend.

Is your blog content up to snuff?

Start by making sure your blog content is the best it can be. You need to have ‘syndicate-able’ material, so here are some quick reminders of what content for a blog should be.

  • Write to your audience. Write as if you’re talking to one particular person, and make your content honest, fun and really helpful. Don’t be boring – people love to be entertained while they learn.

  • Give something of value. Don’t write just to be taking up space. Fill your blog content with valuable info, and your readers will keep coming back for more. This also helps to build up that all-important basis of trust.

  • Be concise. Don’t ramble on, or cram too much info into one post. Your window of opportunity is often narrow – people have short attentions spans – so keep your blog content to the point. And make it a good point.

  • Make it easy to share. People will hit the ‘share’ button without a moments hesitation if it is, 1) info they believe in, and 2) easy to share. If they have to search for that button, they’re not likely to push it. Make it easy for them.

  • Open the way for conversation. Don’t just say, “What do you think?” End your post with a good question, or some topic that people like to talk about, and you’re likely to get more comments.

Share your blog content through syndication

As soon as you have accumulated a good selection of blog posts, and shown that you can write well, and consistently, it’s time to share your blog content with the world. Syndication of your blog content or your website content is the next logical step in getting the word out about your product or service.

There are quite a few different sites that offer syndication for your blog content. Search ‘blog syndication services’ and take a look through all the sites that pop up.

For a start, check out Demand Media. It’s free to join, and once you’ve been accepted, your blog posts will be matched up with compatible sites, and your syndication will begin!

How can syndication help your blog content?

Once you are syndicating your blog content, the points I made at the beginning of this post are really important to remember. The point of syndication is to increase traffic to your site, and build up your customer base, while gaining the trust of potential clients.

When your blog or website content is syndicated, you will have a byline with a link back to your site, so the potential for more traffic is greatly increased. And more traffic can mean more contacts, more ‘shares’ and more sales.

You can keep track of which sites your blog content appears on, how often they are read, and how often the link back to your site is used. Keeping track of these stats will give you important feedback on which types of posts are most effective, and who is most likely to read it and follow the link back to your site.

If you are putting out great content that generously shares the information people are searching for, you’ll see an increase in visitors to your site. If you are putting out rubbish that doesn’t give real, honest or helpful information, your syndication days will be short lived at best.

As a business owner, you should be learning by now that as far as online marketing goes, content is king. So start your business blog, get some great content happening and then look into syndication to spread your website content far and wide. Grow your audience, and you’ll multiply your traffic, and your sales.

Corey Ellis is the Founder of Chase Web Solutions and an SEO Consultant in Raleigh, NC. Follow him on Twitter @chasewebsites

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