Author Archive for Patsi Krakoff

Blog Design Blink Test:
Simple, Easy Navigation

Navigation and SimplicityIn order to impress visitors and showcase your business expertise, your blog must pass the “blink” test.

As I mentioned in my previous post, your blog design must incorporate three critical elements:

  1. Branding/Personality (Banners, logo, photos)
  2. Navigation/Simplicity (Layout, use of white space and read more)
  3. Quality Content (Problems you solve for your readers)

Navigation/Simplicity

Your blog design should offer easy navigation, easy ways to find solutions to their problems.

Read More→

Does Your Blog Pass the Blink Test?
3 Critical Blog “Must Haves”

Blink TestDoes your blog pass the blink test? Content is king, but if your design stinks, visitors won’t get past the banner. They won’t stay, they won’t get to know you and they won’t subscribe to your blog.

I mentioned this in my previous post: in order to impress visitors and showcase your business expertise, your site must pass the “blink” test.  If it doesn’t, you could be spending a lot of your valuable time blogging for nothing.

Bad blog design = bad marketing = no new business. Stinks, doesn’t it?

The three critical blog “must have” elements you need to consider:

  1. Branding/Personality (Banners, logo, photos)
  2. Navigation/Simplicity (Layout, use of white space and read more)
  3. Content (Problems you solve for your readers)

Branding/Personality

Read More→

5 Best Business Blog Goals for 2015-
And 5 Steps to Get You There

Achieve the BestWhat goals have you identified for your blog and website for 2015? Have you created a map to help you reach your goals?

It’s true, I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions.  But after 15+ years working with executive coaches and consultants, I know that having clearly defined goals and expectations for a business blog or website is critical to help you get found, get known, and get clients; it will improve how you show up on the Web.

I’ve found that many professionals are vague when it comes to setting their business blog goals. They haven’t clearly identified their expectations, or what they want their blog to do for their business. If you fall into that category, and you haven’t identified your goals (or you want to refine the goals you’ve set), consider this checklist: Read More→

Business Newsletter Tips: Don’t be the Grinch this Holiday

If I’ve said it once, I’veBizBook-Nuggets said it a thousand times: your business newsletter content must solve problems for your readers or help them meet a need.  So, if your newsletter topic is something that you can’t cover in an e-newsletter, don’t be the Newsletter Grinch: give it the attention it deserves and cover it properly on a blog page.  Your audience will appreciate your attention to detail, as long as you provide value.

In my previous blog post, I shared tips to get your business newsletter read, specifically, how to grab attention with a compelling subject line and headline. But once you get your readers to open your email newsletter, make sure they keep reading by offering compelling, relevant information.

For example, I create and distribute a newsletter called Biz Book Nuggets (if you haven’t subscribed, you can sign up in the upper right corner of this page.)  This newsletter includes insights gathered from all the leadership business books I read. Read More→

Tips to Get Your Business Newsletter Read

eNewsletter 10 TEALDoes anyone read your business e-newsletter?  How do you get your clients and prospects to open that email? In a previous post, I asked if you were sending a holiday newsletter for your business. Here are a few timeless tips to help you get your newsletter read.

Grab Attention with a Compelling Subject Line and Headline

Remember that the singular purpose of a subject line is to get readers to open the mail. The purpose of the headline is to get people to start reading. That’s it.

Research has found that the most compelling subject and headlines cater to:

  1. The three greatest human goals: to make or save time, effort or money
  2. The three greatest human desires: lust, greed or comfort
  3. The three greatest human teasers: curiosity, scarcity or controversy

Read More→

10 Great Things for 2014:
My Business Blog Gratitude List

thank youYou may have heard me say it before – my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It’ a fairly big holiday in the U.S., and a great way to celebrate gratitude. This year, I updated my gratitude list, and perhaps you can relate and it will inspire you to make up your own list.

I’m grateful for (in no particular order):

  1. Business blogs that make it easy to stay informed and connect with others
  2. LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook that make it easy AND fun to build communities!
  3. Shopping cart systems like Kick Start Cart that make it easy to build a database list that’s easy to segment, broadcast messages, and seamlessly process registrations and purchases
  4. Google that makes it easy to do research and locate information and people
  5. SEO tools like Scribe, that make it easier to optimize blog posts for better search engine results
  6. Smart Internet marketers who by their clever ideas light the way and show us what’s possible
  7. Stupid Internet marketers who show us what not to do
  8. The 2.8 billion people connected to the Internet world-wide, some of whom participate and contribute
  9. All the geeks behind the scenes who continue to develop software and hardware for the rest of us
  10. All of our clients who have invested their confidence and time with us to learn better online marketing. Thanks so much for reading. Thanks for subscribing. Thanks for the occasional comments, tweets and re-tweets. You make my life so much more interesting. It’s a privilege to write here for you. You keep me on my toes, reading, learning, writing.

I wish you the best for Thanksgiving and for the end-of-the-year festivities in your own countries!

 

Should You Send Holiday Newsletters?

eNewsletter

Shortcuts to Newsletters

Are you sending holiday newsletters for your business? Even though you may be tempted to put all your time and energy into maintaining your business blog, a newsletter is still a vital, viable way to stay connected to clients and prospects. Holiday newsletters are a great opportunity.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask other professionals if they’re getting results from sending out an emailed newsletter, for the holidays, or any time of year, and then judge for yourself if it’s worth the time and effort (and money).

Here’s a great example of what I hear: Read More→

Your Business Blog Sweet Spot:
How to Find It and Keep It

Business Blog Sweet SpotHave you found your business blog sweet spot? In previous posts I shared how storytelling and personalization are key to creating a blog with personality, and that the biggest mistake business bloggers make is ego-centric blog posts.  So how do you find that sweet spot, just between the two?

First and foremost, you must clarify your topic, and keep the readers’ needs in mind as you write each post.

One way to understand their needs to is to know their online habits and interests. This will allow you to create blog posts that area engaging, and you can focus your content on the keywords your readers, and prospects, are likely to use in searches.

You can’t do that without asking them what their interests are. Yet how many of us post on a blog or upload a video to YouTube without taking time to survey what are our target audience‘s interests, wants and needs?

Here’s a quick list of survey questions to ask your target audience to help define what they want to read: Read More→

The Biggest Mistake Business Bloggers Make (and how to avoid it!)

Oops!The biggest mistake business bloggers make is that they are frequently ego-centric. This isn’t necessarily all bad, it simply doesn’t bring the blogging results that smart professionals expect.

Bloggers are so passionate about their message and their expertise, they preach. They shout. They proclaim. They implore. They explain. They document and support their logic.

But they forget about that old background tune that repeats in the head of all readers: “What’s in it for me?” Bloggers assume that their readers are like them and interested in the same things.

How to Avoid Bad Blogging

If you want good advice, refer to the classics. There’s no better style writing advice than The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White. Here are 10 tips that adapt Strunk and White’s advice to blog writing (the first 8 are from Dean Rieck over on Copyblogger and is titled The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide): Read More→

The Scariest Blog: No Personality

Scariest Blog PostWhat’s the scariest blog post you have ever read?  For me it’s a blog or website without any personality.

Storytelling and personalization is the key piece in content marketing as I see it. People are good at writing about what they know. They aren’t as good about expressing who they are and why they do what they do.

If you’re not writing real stories, your content – on your blog, in your newsletter, on your web pages – runs the risk of being boring. You may be excited about what you do as a professional, but your clients will get bored or overwhelmed if you just throw information at them.

What’s your back-story? Read More→