How to Start an Effective Business Blog

How to start a business blog that attracts new customers

Why should a business blog?

Every business needs to start blogging to:

  • Drive traffic to its site
  • Get potential leads
  • Become an authority and expert in its niche
  • Connect with people interested in the business’s products and services
  • Gain long-term wins and benefits through an accessible medium (the internet)

Marketing statistics

  • 81 percent of companies consider blogs “useful”, “important” or “critical”
  • Companies that published 16+ posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly.
  • 47 percent of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
  • 58 percent of marketers voted for “original written content” as the most important type of content

Your steps to getting started

  • Setup a blog using either WordPress or Joomla or Drupal.
    • WordPress is the best choice for beginners because it is easy to use, it works well for small to medium-sized websites, blogs, and smaller e-commerce stores. WP is also lightning fast in terms of setting up and running your blog fast. WordPress is also not only beginner-friendly, but also budget friendly, and free. WordPress has a community of developers who have a support forum for people to learn about WordPress and its plugins for free.
    • Joomla is a great platform for e-commerce or social networking websites, but it requires a basic understanding of technical skills.
    • Drupal is the most difficult, but also the most powerful. It requires a familiar understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP.
  • Create Your Content

Your blog’s tone will become your business’ tone and voice, choose the proper one for your blog posts, and create content with a specific target reader in mind. Remember to have a variety content types – Video, texts, texts & images, infographics, and podcasts.

  • Publish your content

Consider the following when publishing your content:

  • Design and Usability  First
  • Layout and Formatting. A full block of text is difficult to read
  • Use of headers, subheadings, bullets, and numbered lists.
  • Publication frequency. A content calendar is important.
  • Publishing during peak times

References:

How to Start an Effective Business Blog

Focus on High Tech: Applied Card Technologies

Company Overview of Applied Card Technologies Ltd.

Applied Card Technologies Ltd (ACT) is a company that designs, builds, and manages smart transaction systems for retail, tourism, public and transport sectors worldwide. The company offers HOPS, a ticketing management system for concessionary and commercial ticketing requirements. It also provides a cloud ticketing service. The cloud ticketing service offers passengers a convenient way to top up their smart cards. In addition, the company offers managed hosting, advisory, software integration, project management, service desk, and learning and development services. It provides solutions for commercial transport ticketing, concessionary travel, citizen smart cards, loyalty programs, and tourism city cards.

Early years at Applied Card Technologies

 

ACT’s early mission was providing support to retail and tourism managers in rewarding their customers. It developed smart card transaction systems so that a company could take control of its customer management and relations.

From the start it offered turnkey project delivery covering requirements capture, solution design, system build, test and deployment followed by a portfolio of services. It found that this made its products accessible to many more organizations.

ACT has been at the heart of some fantastic projects over the years including the British Museum eMoney programme, the Manganese Bronze black cab hailing system (for taxis in London), the ESSO smart TigerMiles loyalty programme in Ireland and the Las Vegas city card.

ACT learned how using smart technology provided a new dimension in the way its clients ran their businesses. Through practical experience and sheer hard work, ACT’s technology approach began to mature. Applied Card Technologies clients were able to visualize the benefits of intelligent systems that could really improve the customer experience. ACT became convinced that it could truly make a big difference in the world – connecting people with services.

ACT started building for future success through research and development programmes. Applied Card Technologies invested in the enterprise-strength infrastructure and product development that would show its passion.

It made perfect sense to it, if it wanted to unlock all a city had to offer then it absolutely needed to embrace transport ticketing. It knew full well that the transit marketplace would be full of experienced providers and things would be tough to start with.

 

Professional Brand Tips for Facebook Business

Helpful Professional Brand Tips for Facebook BusinessAuthenticity is vitally important to how well received you are by your target audience, and how much they trust your brand in general. Let’s look at the Facebook business tips you can use to increase your brand page’s authenticity on Facebook:

Tips your social media team should follow on Facebook

 

Register your username

Usernames allow Brands to easily promote their presence with a short Page address. Only an admin can create a username for a page. Your Page’s username will appear below your Page’s name, in search results and in your Page’s URL to help people find and remember your Page. An example of a username could be @nathanielmoikabiofficial if the Page name is Nathaniel Moikabi.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you create a custom username:

  • You can only have one username for your Page or profile and you can’t claim a username someone else is already using.
  • Usernames cannot be less than 5 characters long and can’t contain generic terms or extensions

Add your website.

Brands should always add their website to their information on the about tab of their pages for their visitors to easily navigate their way there and find out more information about them or their organization.

Add your milestones.

Brands should add their milestones to their pages because milestones are a great way of telling their company’s story.  They should use milestones to highlight moments they are proud of or want to emphasize.

Like other pages on Facebook

As a brand you should show an interest in other companies by liking their pages. By liking other Pages and integrating with them, you increase their visibility and your own.

Add Information About Your Brand

You should give a presentation for your organization. This gives the visitor information about your brand and what to expect if they choose to follow you on Facebook.

Add a class for your page

Here is a Complete List of Facebook Business Page Categories and Sub Categories:
  • Local Business or Place
  • Company, Organization or Institution
    • Aerospace Company, Agriculture Company, Automotive Company, Biotechnology Company, Cargo & Freight Company, Cause, Chemical Company, College & University, Community Organization, Community Services, Company, Computer Company, Consulting Agency, Education, Elementary School, Energy Company, Finance Company, Food & Beverage Company, Government Organization, Health/Beauty, High School, Industrial Company, Insurance Company, Internet Company, Labor Union, Legal Company, Media/News Company, Medical Company, Middle School, Mining Company, Non-Governmental Organization, Non-Profit Organization, Organization, Political Organization, Political Party, Preschool, Religious Organization, Retail Company, School, Science, Technology & Engineering, Telecommunication Company, Tobacco Company, and Travel Company.
  • Brand or Product
    • App Page, appliances, Baby Goods/Kids Goods, Bags/Luggage, Board Game, Brand, Building Materials, Camera/Photo, Cars, Clothing (Brand), Commercial Equipment, Computers (Brand), Electronics, Food & Beverage Company, Furniture, Games/Toys, Health/Beauty, Home Decor, Household Supplies, Jewelry/Watches, Kitchen/Cooking, Office Supplies, Patio/Garden, Pet Supplies, Pharmaceuticals, Phone/Tablet, Product/Service, Software, Tools/Equipment, Video Game, Vitamins/Supplements, Website, and Wine/Spirits.
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure
    • Actor, Artist, Athlete, Author, Band, Blogger, Chef, Coach, Comedian, Dancer, Entrepreneur, Fashion Model, Fictional Character, Film Director, Fitness Model, Government Official, Journalist, Motivational Speaker, Movie Character, Musician, News Personality, Pet, Photographer, Political Candidate, Politician, Producer, Public Figure, Scientist, Teacher, Video Creator, and Writer.
  • Entertainment
    • Album, Amateur Sports Team, Book, book Series, Book Store, Concert Tour, Festival, Fictional Character, Library, Literary Arts, Magazine, Movie, Movie Character, Movie Theater, Movie/Television Studio, Music Award, Music Chart, Music Video, Performance & Event Venue, Performance Art, Performing Arts, Podcast, Radio Station, Record Label, School Sports Team, Show, Song, Sports League, Sports Team, Stadium, Arena & Sports Venue, Theatrical Play, Theatrical Productions, TV Channel, TV Network, TV Show, and TV/Movie Award.
  • Cause or Community

 

For more information on making your brand more authentic, visit the Facebook Business Help Center

 

The Remarkable Robert of Guma Group of Companies

The Remarkable Robert of Guma Group of Companies

Biography:

Robert Gumede, 55, is the fifth child of seven in Nelspruit. Gumede serves as the Founder at Guma Group (Pty) Ltd.

Gumede has had a prolific experience as an entrepreneur and a hard worker, beginning at seven years old, when he began to help his mother in her second-hand clothes business. After school he also worked as a gardener and a petrol attendant to supplement his single mother’s income. His mother was often not home because of work so Gumede stayed in a three roomed house in Nelspruit with his grandmother and 11 relatives.

Gumede studied Law at the Zululand University. Gumede and some donations from the members at the golf course where he was caddy and gardener funded his tertiary education. He was a very studious young man with good grades, played sport and got involved in the cultural aspects of school such as debating and the theater club. Gumede graduated from the Zululand University in 1986 with a Dip Juris, a diploma.

After studying, Gumede worked as a clerk at the Magistrate’s Court of Kabokweni .

In 1988, he founded Gijima Electronic & Security Systems. He moved to Joburg in 1992 to build the company from there. He opened an office – Guma Group’s 1st office, in a basement. As they were a new business, he had to pick up marketing and networking skills to win clients. He was also the business development executive of LTA (now Grinaker-LTA) during his time in Johannesburg. In the mid-1990s he registered several Gijima companies, including a firm that provided protection services to the Mpumalanga government.

In 1999, Gumede’s Gijima consortium got a R800-million contract to develop an electronic identification system. He bought 26% of Applied Card Technologies (ACT) from John Sterenborg to enter the smart-card market in August 2000. A year later Gijima bought the balance of ACT’s shares. In 2002 Gijima Afrika Smart Technologies (GAST) won a multi-million-rand tender from Telkom to produce phone cards.

Gumede shot to prominence in 2005 when listed IT firm AST sold 37% of its shares to Gijima. All the original Gijima companies changed their names to Guma.

Through Guma, Gumede also has an interest in tourism group Tourvest, and the Gauteng Lions rugby union.

Gumede has built a business empire, owning Guma Group,  a group that covers eight sectors: Investments and Private Equity;  Infrastructure and Construction; Information & Communications Technology; Energy; Railways, Mining; Tourism & Hospitality; Water & Sanitation; and Strategic Business Consulting. Robert Gumede’s company services 90 of the top 100 companies in South Africa.

What is the future of Guma Group of Companies?

Robert Gumede & his company Guma Group want to expand into sectors such as renewable energy, IT for taxation and population registration with a citizen card among other things. Gumede thinks it’s unfortunate that African continent is home to most of the world’s fresh water and yet many people across Africa struggle to get clean water to drink. This is tragic, and the Guma Group is exploring ways to solve this issue for the African continent’s poorest people. Currently, they have interests across the Africa and with international partners beyond our borders, such as China. They are consistently looking for regions to expand their portfolio to, innovate where they can & deploy their present portfolio.

Submit Interesting Entrepreneurs in Africa Now

Since May 2017, I publish the list of Interesting Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders in Africa. In its first month, the list has become an influential guide to the most interesting entrepreneurs in Africa.

Submit Interesting Entrepreneurs in Africa Now

Submissions have been open for the Africa Business Entrepreneur and Leader List since May 2017.

I am asking you, the reader to send entrepreneurs who are making the most dramatic impact in Africa today in manufacturing, technology, real estate, media & entertainment, financial services, agriculture, retail, fashion and the service industry. I am on the lookout for a builder and leader, innovator and risk taker.

Submission Requirements for Africa’s Most Interesting Entrepreneurs

  • Citizen of one of the 54 African countries with their business based in an Africa
  • Entrepreneur and leader who has built businesses or organizations with at least 7 employees.
  • Ethical and socially responsible entrepreneur and leader.

To have an idea of the sort of entrepreneurs I am searching for, have a look at the list here.

Entrepreneurs now listed in the African Entrepreneur and Leader List include:

  • Akerele-Ogunsiji, the Nigerian Founder / CEO of Rise Networks, a Leading Social Enterprise in Africa, with a deliberate interest in Technology and its relevance to Youth and Education Development across Africa.
  • Alloysius Attah, a Ghanaian who leads Farmerline, which works with thousands of small-scale farmers in Ghana. Farmerline aims to increase access to agricultural information, productivity and income small-scale farmers in Ghana.
  • Fahad Awadh, a 29-year old entrepreneur who has set up a cashew processing facility in Tanzania to bring international standards and traceability to the cashew nuts.
  • Fred Swaniker, a Ghanaian serial entrepreneur and leadership development expert who has launched five organizations that aim at developing leaders, primarily in Africa.
  • Gloria Michelle Otieno,  CEO/HR consultant at Recours Four Kenya Consultants, Kenya. a fast-growing professional HR services firm in Nairobi, Kenya.

We need to find more entrepreneurs like these.

Email me at [email protected] or Facebook me your submissions @NathanielMoikabi anytime.

List of Business Leaders in Africa

Profiles of Powerful & Remarkable Business Leaders in Africa – F

Since May 2017 I have made a call for people in Africa to send World Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs Profiles and I’m assembling the African Business Entrepreneur and Leader List

In no particular order, meet the people who are making dramatic impact in entrepreneurship, business leadership and personal development in Africa.

 

Fahad Awadh, Influential Leader in Cashew industry

Fahad Awadh, One of World Business Leaders in Africa

Fahad Awadh is a 29-year old entrepreneur from Tanzania, he has set up a cashew processing facility in Tanzania to bring international standards and traceability to the cashew nuts. He is the founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing, a cashew processing company that is adding value locally while creating jobs. The company’s flagship processing facility in Zanzibar has an installed capacity of 2,500 Tons per annum. YYTZ Agro-Processing recently raised a $500,000 investment to set up another facility in Mtwara.

Growing up, Awadh attended St. Christopher’s, a private British school in Bahrain, where he lived for 8 years. Awadh got accepted to an International Business and Technology program at the age of 11. It was a foundational experience that instilled and nurtured in him an entrepreneurial spirit. He started learning about Accounting, Business Marketing and Entrepreneurial studies from a young age. By the age of 12 he had created a business with a product.

Folorunsho Alakija, Influential Business Leader Among African Women

Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest African women and one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014 she unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. Alakija is Forbes’s richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. As of 2015, she is the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Alakija started her career as a secretary for the now-defunct Merchant Bank of Nigeria. She quit her job in the 80s to study fashion design in England, returning to her native country a few years later to set up Supreme Stitches, a fashion label that catered for élite Nigerian women.

Fast forward to 2016 and the 65-year-old businesswoman is Africa’s second wealthiest woman, estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.1 billion. No, she didn’t make all her money from her fashion venture. Instead, a significant part of Alakija’s fortune comes from her oil exploration company Famfa Oil. She also has investments in real estate.

 

Swaniker, One of Interesting Ghanaian Business Leaders


Fred Swaniker is a Ghanaian serial entrepreneur and leadership development expert. He has launched five organizations that aim at developing leaders, primarily in Africa. Fred is the founder & CEO of the African Leadership Academy, an institution located outside Johannesburg in South Africa. The African Leadership Academy aims to develop 6,000 transformative leaders for Africa over a 50-year period. He is also the founder of African Leadership Network, Global Leadership Adventures and Africa Advisory Group.

Before he hit eighteen, Swaniker had lived in Ghana, Gambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

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