Voice Does your business blog have a unique, recognizable voice? If it doesn't, you could be in trouble, since voice is one of the most important elements of a successful blog , according to our top inbound marketing of the past week.

So what is voice, and how can you express it through your blog? This week's featured post explains how.

1. Four Steps to Finding Your Ideal Writing Voice  

Author: Joy Tanksley on Copyblogger

Joy's article encourages bloggers to identify their unique voice, or the way readers 'hear' what they're saying through the words they use and the way they use them.  She offers a number of tips to help bloggers find their voice, which is critically important to blogging success.  No voice (or a weak voice) won't capture readers' attentions, but a strong voice will keep them coming back for more.

Her four tips to helping bloggers find their voice include free-flow writing, writing like you talk, forgetting conversation and writing what you know.

Marketing Takeaway: Make sure your blog has a powerful voice to keep readers engaged.

2. 5 Ways to Get More From Local Search

Author: John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

Ranking in local search results is a hot topic for small businesses.  Are you doing what you can to make sure your business is getting the most out of it?  To improve your company's chances of rising to the top of local search results , review John's 5 steps, which include the following:

  1. Create localized content by incorporating geography-based terms.
  2. Create separate landing pages optimized for specific locations and communities.
  3. Claim profile pages on 'place' sites like Google Places, etc.
  4. Generate more citations in business directories.
  5. Write guest posts for local publications.

Marketing Takeaway: Local search is not a passing fad. Start optimizing your site for location-based searches today.

3. What is Great Customer Service?

Author: Jay Ehret of The Marketing Spot

Jay's article starts off by recognizing that we all probably understand the concept of good customer service.  But what about great customer service, he asks?

While Jay thinks the definition of great customer service is a bit fuzzy, he believes it's often delivered by companies that have built it into their culture.  Second, he suggests that companies give their customer service a personality, or characterize it using adjectives that describe how they want their brand delivered.

Marketing Takeaway: Make good customer service great by personalizing it and aligning it with the culture of your brand. Remember, customer service is marketing , too!

4. How to Make LinkedIn Questions Part of Your Routine

Author: Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer

Answering questions relating to your industry can be a fantastic way for B2B companies to exhibit thought leadership and -- bonus -- generate leads from social media, says Jason, because LinkedIn is a very natural environment for B2B lead generation.  On the other hand, it's also very under-rated.

So how can you make answering questions on LinkedIn part of your daily routine?  Jason outlines two simple steps to help you easily adopt the practice to start demonstrating your expertise and generating leads via LinkedIn .

Marketing Takeaway: Are you reaping the benefits of LinkedIn's potential for lead gen?  Get started today!

5. 5 Reasons You Should Invest Your Time in Networking

Author: Chris Garrett of chrisg.com

Chris advocates the power of networking online and offline in this article, pointing it out as one of his most valuable business-boosting tools.  So, what's the problem? Chris thinks everyone who recommends networking recommends it in the same way, simply by telling you to 'try it.' But why, and how?

Chris' article therefore highlights the benefits of networking, how it delivers value and why readers should spend time doing it.  He elaborates on reasons such as friendship benefits, opportunities, advice, assistance and positive influence.

Marketing Takeaway: Don't undermine the power of networking; its effects are significant and long-lasting.

Photo by Demi-Brooke Jennings

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Originally published Jun 21, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated June 10 2021

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