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If a small business owner wants to establish his or her company as an industry leader in another country, creating a business blog may be the best, and least expensive way, to do it.
For small businesses with limited budgets for advertising, gaining prominence through guest blogs can be an invaluable marketing tool for attracting foreign customers. For a cost effective way to send money overseas to guest bloggers, business owner should consider using a trusted online foreign exchange service.
Here, experts offer their advice on how to blog successfully:
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WordPress is currently the top blogging site in the world. According to Web Technology Surveys, 17.5 percent of all websites using a content management system use WordPress, and a majority of website design companies are now seeking expert WordPress designers for web design services due to this platforms strong demand. WordPress also offers plug-ins that translate content to other languages and reporting that tracks which countries visitors come from.
If someone doesn't have experience writing about business, start by addressing common customer questions. People will find it when they are searching for answers, and the business owner is immediately established as an expert, says Phil Montero, CEO of Montero Consulting, an eBusiness and virtual team consulting firm in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. He is also co-author of The Anywhere Office blog.
To increase the chance that a blog will show up in Internet searches, business owners can include tags and keywords about the business, as well as the countries, industries or types of clients they're seeking. "Keywords exist mostly on normal Web pages while tags are something specific to blogging," Montero says. "They mostly serve the same purpose which is to choose specific words that help describe the content or topic of your article or blog post. These are weighted heavily by search engines when determining if your article/post is a good fit for someone's search results."
"People don't have a lot of time, so you want your blog to get to the point," says Rebecca Brooks, senior marketing associate and blog writer for Animoto, an online video creation service based in New York and San Francisco. She tries to limit her posts to a few lines and often embeds a video link and an image to entice readers.
"It's just like being at a party," Brooks says. "You don't want to be the guy who's always talking about himself." Instead, business owners should write about their industry and answer questions specific to clients' needs.
Every time small business owners add a post to their blogs, they should tweet about it, link to it on LinkedIn and Facebook, and notify people on their mailing lists, Montero says. Content marketing is a key piece of any businesses website marketing strategy to grow their business, and capitalize on the reach Google and other online channels offer a business to grow their business. Montero uses an auto-share device in WordPress to automatically share posts to social media sites so he doesn't have to do it himself. "It's a smart way to automate your business," he says.
And chances are, foreign customers will be on one social networking site or another. According to the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project: "Social networking has spread around the world with remarkable speed. In countries such as Britain, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic and Spain, about half of all adults now use Facebook and similar websites."
Business owners should invite partners, employees and clients in the countries or industries where they wish to expand business to write guest blogs or to be interviewed. This is a good way to stretch a business's international exposure, and demonstrates to the world that the business is tapped into life in their country.
By using an online foreign exchange service to submit international payments to the guest blogger, business owners can send money overseas on the go using their mobile devices. Plus, guest bloggers will be able to see where their international payments are at in the transfer process.
Creating a blog to target foreign customers might be easy and inexpensive, but ensuring its success requires a little maintenance. With these steps, a business owner can use a blog for its full value and connect to customers and the world.
 "Social Networking Popular Across Globe," Dec. 12, 2012, Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project
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