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11 May 2022

Marketing Minute – Repurpose Your Blog Posts

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Since the 3 most recent courses that were added to our Library address how to create and develop a successful blog, we thought these tips would help you re-use your blog posts. Be sure to keep a file of them and track where you posted them to avoid missing an opportunity or to prevent duplication.

Re-purpose Your Latest Email Newsletter Content

Many Web marketers re-purpose their blog content as email newsletter articles. Take it a step further and publish links to these articles on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites where you have a presence. Utilize the great content you create for your blogs!

Promote Blog Posts on LinkedIn

Share the blog post URL as a Status Update on your Profile.

Share with Others

Develop relationships with symbiotic industry professionals and offer to provide them with some of your blog posts that would be a good fit for their industry. It’s a great way to get in front of others’ newsletters and blog readers.

29 Apr 2022

New Course – Search Engine Optimization

bloggingThis course will be available within the next few weeks. Just check the NICA website at this link and you will find it alphabetically. Of course, we suggest taking the Introduction to Blogging and Blogs – Creating and Marketing Content courses first, as they will give you a great foundation for the Search Engine Optimization course.  

This third course in the blogging series discusses that SEO is a process of optimizing your website and blogsite with the goal of improving your rankings in the search results and getting more organic (non-paid) traffic.

The history of SEO dates back to the 90s when search engines emerged for the first time. Today, it is an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry. Search engine optimization focuses only on organic search results and does not include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) optimization. Both SEO (Organic Results) and PPC (Paid Results) are part of Search Engine Marketing.

The search engines are used by internet users when they are searching for something. You want to provide the answer to that something. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product or service, write a blog, or anything else – search engine optimization is a must for every website and/or blogsite owner.

To put it simply: SEO is all the actions you do to make Google consider your website and blogsite a quality source and rank it higher for your desired search queries.

The topics presented in this course are:

Module 1 – Introduction to SEO

  • Key Aspects of SEO
  • Useful Vocabulary
  • Learning SEO

 Module 2 – Keywords

  • Keyword Research
  • Keyword Tools
  • Keyword Difficulty

 Module 3 – Basic Site Setup for SEO

  • Setting Up Your Blog
  • SEO Plugins for WordPress
  • Meta Descriptions and Page Titles

An addendum is also provided via a link at the end of this course. It is a detailed, step-by-step instruction guide for those who want to build their own blogsite. This information is not included in the exam. And, if you choose not to develop your own blogsite, our Associate Member Mary Gillen is an excellent web developer and will create a professional one for you.  

03 Mar 2022

Everything You Need to Know About SEO

SEOMany members have stated that they want to start a blog, but just don’t know how to begin. So last year we created 2 courses to help you do that: Introduction to Blogging and Blogs: Creating and Marketing your Content. Following up on these 2 courses, we are currently working on the first course for 2022, titled Search Engine Optimization. This will help you develop your own blogsite (or website) through the expertise of the authors of the other blog courses, Associate Member Mary Gillen and Member Tricia Hoekwater. Both have written courses for NICA previously, and we have always received positive feedback regarding the content and thoroughness of the information.

Watch for this new course, which should be available by the end of March. In the meantime, taking the blogging courses mentioned above will prepare you to take that information and develop your own blog – creating a great way to bring attention to your website, establish yourself as an expert in the industry, and promote your inventory business.

09 Dec 2021

Blogging – Are You Ready?

BloggingEach year we add new courses to the NICA curriculum. This year, we focused on blogging with Introduction to Blogging, which provides you with the framework and tools to create and write a blog. and recently we added Blogs – Creating and Marketing Your Content that includes the framework and tools to generate content and market your blog. 

Knowledgeable resources for ideas and information can be fellow NICA members. Read others’ blogs to learn from them, and periodically share one of their articles (remember to follow our Associate Members’ blogs, too!). Reading others’ material helps in many ways: 

  • Meet fellow members!
  • Possibly refer business to others throughout the country.
  • Gain information you might not have known.
  • Using someone else’s articles means you didn’t need to research and write it yourself.

Of course, when using others’ blog posts, always include a link to that specific blog article. This is a plus, also, as it gives good back-links for your blog, helps spread the word about their blog, and most likely they will reciprocate and occasionally use some of your articles, along with a link to your blogsite.

If you haven’t yet earned your 5 CEUs to retain your certification, these 2 courses will provide you with the CEUs as well as great knowledge to help your start and maintain your blog!

05 Aug 2021

The Value of Blogging

Blog TilesBlogs serve many purposes. The number one reason people in our industry blog is to market their services. Being able to educate your readers is a perfect way to gain business. Once people learn the need for an inventory – and the various reasons they would need or want one – many will choose to hire an inventory professional. Of course, they will most likely hire the one who writes the blog they read that is full of helpful information.

NICA encourages you to begin a blog of your own. Our Introduction to Blogging course will help you get started with the planning process and learn some great tips on how to market it. It’s best not to rush into this commitment, but the course will give you plenty of topics to think about and consider.

Writing a blog will help to educate your readers, share information with other inventory professionals, and even include blog articles from local referral sources (who might also include some of your posts in his or her blogs). The bottom line, you will gain recognition which will help grow your business.

The 2nd of 3 blogging courses is in the works now and should be released by early fall. The 2nd course delves deep into how to create content, where to find it, and how to market your blog. The 3rd course will be more technical, teaching you how to create your own – on your own. If you already know that you’d rather have a professional set it up for you, Associate Member Mary Gillen is exceptional in all things technical and we highly recommend a conversation with her before you begin. 

Get started now – if only to learn about blogging and if it’s for you – by taking the Introduction to Blogging course. As a plus, you’ll receive 2 CEUs towards your CIS renewal.

14 Apr 2021

Changes to the Blogging Course – One is now Three

Change is GoodAs stated in last month’s newsletter, Member Tricia Hoekwater and Associate Member Mary Gillen co-authored a very thorough and in-depth course about blogging for the personal property inventory industry. It was scheduled to launch this month.

HOWEVER, once it was completed, we realized that it was just too in-depth for one course. The details and information when “digging deep” into marketing strategy and how to develop a blogsite are needed, but cramming all of this into one course would not be in your best interest. It was the epitome of “too much information!”

Therefore, we decided it would be best to break it down into three courses instead of cutting out a lot of great information. By doing this, it also allowed for additional information to be added, making these individual 3 courses even better!.

Dividing, editing, and adding information, obviously, delayed the projected timeline of having the Blogging course available in March. We are working on this now, and the first course – Introduction to Blogging – should be available very soon.

Blogging can seem overwhelming and intimidating, so the basics and details are included to give you a great start with a solid foundation of knowledge. It’s easy to put blogging on the back burner. Like any new undertaking, it takes a commitment, willingness to learn, and a plan that can be executed and followed. Starting a blog and keeping it alive is a noteworthy achievement. We are confident this course gives the information to do just that! The modules in Introduction to Blogging are:

Module 1 – Building the Foundation

  • Introduction to Blogging
  • What is a Blog
  • Why Blog
  • Start Right
  • Pros and Cons

Module 2 – Creating Content for Your Blog

  • Generating Content Ideas
  • Types of Content
  • Content Formats
  • Developing Fresh Content
  • Images

Module 3 – Naming and Branding Your Blog

  • Naming Your Blog
  • Branding Your Blog
  • Promoting Your Blog
  • Resources
03 Mar 2021

New Course – How to Build a Successful Blog

E-learningMany members have stated that they want to start a blog, but just don’t know how to create one, where to find content, etc.

We listened! We reached out to Associate Member Mary Gillen and Member Tricia Hoekwater. Both have written courses before and we’ve always received positive comments about the content and thoroughness of information.

They once again came through with an exceptional course – far exceeded expectations! Once you’ve completed How to Build a Successful Blog for Inventory Professionals, you’ll be ready to tackle the project of starting and maintaining your Home Inventory Blog!

Following is an outline to see what you can expect. The course should be available before the next newsletter is distributed. Look for it mid-March!

Module 1 includes the whys and hows of setting up a blog:

  • What is a Blog
  • Blogging vs. Traditional Websites
  • Why Blog
  • Benefits of Blogging
  • Develop A Successful Blogger Mindset
  • Pros and Cons of Blogging
  • Content Marketing and Content Marketing Strategy for the Inventory Professional
  • Naming & Branding Your Blog
  • All the steps required to set up your professional blog

Module 2 provides tips on Generating Content Ideas:

  • Identify Relevant Topics and Key Takeaways for Your Readers
  • Focus and Harness Your Train of Thought
  • Content Research
  • Questions Straight From Your Target Audience
  • Identify Your Inventory Niche Communities to Generate New Ideas
  • The Most Effective Types of Blog Content
  • Repurposing Content
  • Content Promotion Strategies

Module 3 shares tips and tools for successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Brief Intro to SEO
  • Understanding Search Engines
  • Keyword Research
  • Basic Site Setup For SEO
  • The Best SEO Plugin For WordPress
  • Optimizing Your Page Titles
  • Optimizing Your Meta Descriptions

Just as important as creating a successful blog, it is also necessary to know when to take a break. The Conclusion shares information on how to take productive breaks.

18 Nov 2020

Marketing Minute – Free Holiday Writing Prompts

Mary GillenOne of the new courses that are currently being written and will be introduced before the end of the year covers the topic of Blogging. NICA member Tricia Hoekwater, CAE and CIS of Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions and Mary Gillen, NICA Associate Member who writes these Marketing Minute articles and is also a marketing professional and website developer, are co-writing the course.

As a “teaser” for this course, Mary provided this Marketing Minute of ideas for your holiday blog posts and beyond (if you already write a blog). If you currently do not blog, now is a great time to start! If you aren’t yet ready to launch a blog, but know it’s in your future, be sure to save this information. After taking the NICA Blogging course, you will most likely find that it’s a great way to promote your business and to share your knowledge for this industry.

The Marketing Minute today is to encourage you to visit Bryan Cohen’s Build Creative Writing Ideas Website for free creative writing prompts. He says, “These creative writing prompts act as your launching pad to help you use your brain to start a story right away.

“If you have a story idea in mind, but you aren’t sure how to start it, try one of these prompts to get you out of the starting blocks. It doesn’t have to be a perfect start, you just need to start! If you never put down word one of the greatest story ever told, it will never be told.”

Just click on this link: http://www.build-creative-writing-ideas.com/creative-writing-prompts.html and let your writing begin!

12 Aug 2020

Time to Begin Thinking About Recertification

CertifiedWe have entered the 2nd half of 2020. It’s been a unique year, to say the least! One constant is the benefit of being industry certified. We have a growing library of courses from which to choose when planning your recertification, which consists of acquiring five (5) Continuing Education Units annually. Two new courses are being created and will be available within the next few months. One of the new courses will cover the benefits of blogging and the other course includes information on marketing to the senior population.

This month we are featuring Social Media for Businessa course that is currently available and is helpful as you begin or increase your social media presence. Remember, most social media sites are free, which means you can make others aware of your inventory business and it only costs you your time! 

There is no longer a question of whether social media is here to stay. For the business owner, the questions now are often how to use social media to market their business, what platform(s) would be best for their industry, what type of content to share, and where to find the content.

Knowing the format and purpose of each site is important so you know which ones are a good fit for your industry and will help you achieve your goals. Should you have a personal and business account or just one account for each social networking site? Is it best and keep them totally separate, completely intertwined, or partially mixed?

You will be introduced to the most common business social media platforms and their cultures, how to market your business using social media, and how to integrate social media into your current marketing initiatives. Also included are tips on finding and creating content, along with time-saving tools to assist you in the process. This is not a how-to course on setting up your accounts. Since formats, pages, and settings change frequently, we leave that up to the individual companies to provide current information.

The three modules are:

  • Introduction to Social Media
  • Using Social Media to Market Your Business
  • Posting and Analyzing Your Information

Upon successful completion of Social Media for Business, you will be awarded three (3) Continuing Education Units.