Archive for Content Marketing

A Quiz: Test Your Content Marketing and Blog Writing Knowledge

Quiz What is Quality Content A Quiz: Test Your Content Marketing and Blog Writing KnowledgeQuality blog posts are key to your business getting found on the Web. While that may sound obvious – (“Of course, why would I write something ho-hum boring?”) it’s harder than you might think. Not everyone agrees on what quality content is.

Quality content scores high with readers, your target clients, and with search engines. If you want to get found, get known and get clients online, you need to write and publish quality blog posts that resonate with your readers.

Two weeks ago I posed the question, “what makes you mad?” This can be a great first step in uncovering a hidden drive – what motivates you. It can also help identify what drives your readers; what content resonates with them. Read More→

Great Blog Content: What Makes You Mad?

Driven Great Blog Content: What Makes You Mad?If you want to write great blog content, tap into what makes you mad. Or, what makes your readers mad? Either way, we don’t get mad about things we don’t care about.

Great blog content is always about what your readers care so much about it keeps them up at night. It makes them angry. Blood-boiling, foot-stamping, screaming mad!

In a previous post about Creating Shareable Content, I suggested that one way not to be boring is to go on a rant. This is relatively easy, as long as you know where your fire is. As a business owner and blogger, this is especially important for you.

Keep asking yourself “why?” and “how come?” you are driven to do what you do. What makes you angry? There is energy in anger, and when you uncover it, it will keep you motivated.

I’m not talking about the unhealthy kind of anger, the kind where you try to get back at someone for some real or imagined insult.

Look at your anger in terms of a higher purpose. How can you use your anger for a higher good?

For myself, I’m angry that I wasted too many years with a closed mindset, not believing that I could succeed on my own. I depended too much on others.

I actually thought that my lack of computer training was holding me back. But as I learned more about how things work on the Internet, at the same time the Web and online marketing was evolving to become more user-friendly.

At one point I adopted the belief that I lacked good enough copywriting skills to make sales online. I took a few courses and studied what worked, copied a few writers I admired. Another myth bit the dust.

Each time I got mad, I took action. I spent money to learn what I needed to learn. I hired people to help. I took courses. I learned.

Where’s your anger? Does your computer frustrate you? Is your marketing paying off? If not, get mad and take action. Spend some money. Invest in learning what you need to know. Get it done.

I use my anger to fuel my desire to accomplish my goals: true success, independence, money and freedom. I’d like to see other entrepreneurs realize their dreams as well.

That drives me, and in times of stress and discouragement, I tap into that anger. And then I take action… in a good way. I finally get off my butt and do something positive for my business. I may finally hire a consultant, get a coach, or open a book to learn what’s needed.

Every time I take action, I learn something and it pays off in terms of business results. Usually, it was something I needed but put off because I thought it might be too difficult… like learning to write great content, for example.

So tune in to what drives you, what makes you mad. Then get into action with your business today.

One more thing about finding your anger… what makes you mad may also make your target audience mad. This is a great way to connect with your audience. Find out what makes your people mad…

What about you, what makes you mad? About your work? About the Internet? About marketing?

Here’s a checklist to help you create great blog content:

Shortcuts to Content

The ABC’s of Business Blogging:
Create Shareable Content – Don’t Be a Bore

Create Shareable Content The ABC’s of Business Blogging:  <br>Create Shareable Content – Don’t Be a BoreIn the world of business blogging and content marketing, there’s nothing worse than a bore.

I know we’ve all seen bad content marketing – blogs that are irrelevant, outdated, full of incorrect information, typos, rambling rants and silly drivel. But what I find to be the worst is mediocrity.

Many bloggers are writing reasonable content. And they’re probably getting some results.

Most blog writers are just barely scraping the surface of what needs to be said. I believe most of you can do better than that. You don’t have to be a Hemingway or a Seth Godin. Just speak some hard truths and tell us something new or different.

The ABC’s of Great Blogging

A. A great headline

B. Be original and offer insight

C. Create shareable content – Don’t be a bore

In my previous blog posts listed and linked above, I shared tips on creating great headlines, and originality and insight. In this post, we’ll take a look at creating shareable content, and how to avoid boring mediocrity.

Mediocrity Stinks

I hate mediocrity, because you can’t really disagree with it or get excited, or anything. It’s just a waste of my time to read the same old things. With mediocrity, you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know it stinks.

I think there are a lot of boring blogs that could be much better. People are regurgitating what others are saying. Sometimes they add their own perspectives, sometimes not. But mostly they’re trying to post as much content as possible, without really saying anything new.

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?” is what I’m really thinking.

Here are some tips on how not to be boring. And don’t tell me, “it’s hard coming up with new stuff to write about,” or, “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to figure this out for myself.”

One Easy Way Not to Be Boring

Read More→

The ABC’s of Great Blogging:
Be Original and Offer Insight

bigstock Image of young pretty woman ch 50415758 The ABC’s of Great Blogging:<br>  Be Original and Offer InsightWhen it comes to content marketing and great blogging, insight and originality rules.

According to the authors of Content Rules:

“Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminate your message for you. More than ever before, content is king! Content rules!” ~ Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your business (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011).

This works, but it’s a lot of work. If you’re a coach, consultant, or service professional, say a doctor, therapist, lawyer, financial adviser, or health expert, you need to create content that will help your clients. You need to become a trusted resource for insights, and a go-to curator of tips and information to be helpful to people who are interested.

And you need to create strong feelings around your published content so that people will take action and keep coming back. You need them to subscribe, to sign up, to download, to ask you questions and engage with you so they become clients when they are ready. Read More→

Content Marketing: How do you know if it’s working?

bigstock different people on d abstrac 44765554 300x225 Content Marketing: How do you know if its working?How do you know if your content is working for you? Everybody says they want more traffic, but quite frankly, traffic stats leave me scratching my head and saying “Okay, that’s nice…and so what?”

Maybe it’s because I’m not an analytical type, I prefer big picture thinking and gut feelings and intuition. But if I had a metric I could look at and be able to tell if my content is working, i.e. having an impact on readers, then maybe I’d become more analytical.

You know how those yearly physical exams give you a print out of your lab test and tell you if you’re in the “normal” range or not? Why can’t we have a report for our blogs? Or for e-newsletters? Or for overall Web content marketing?

On Monday mornings, for example, you log into your “Content Marketing Impact” account and get a free print out of how well your content has impacted readers:

  • Blog…82%
  • E-newsletter …75%
  • Articles…56%
  • Landing pages…
  • White Paper…
  • Free Report… etc. etc.

Read More→

How to Become a Pinterest Warrior

PinterestWarrior How to Become a Pinterest WarriorAre you using Pinterest effectively?

Although you may have made excellent written content a part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that there is more to social media than just writing a great post or article. In fact, one of the most important aspects of social networking is much more visual and not as textual as you might think.

The most popular shared items across all social networks are pictures, which shouldn’t be too surprising, given how many images we see on the web in a day. If you want your content to be not only seen but shared, it will be important to consider making image sharing a significant aspect of your game plan. Where should you start? Well, with Pinterest of course! Read More→

Writing Services & Quality Leadership Content for Coaches

CCC Header 2014 Writing Services & Quality Leadership Content for Coaches If you’re a leadership coach or a consultant to leaders you know how time-consuming it is to write quality leadership articles and blogs. Here’s a professional writing service just for you providing leadership articles for your newsletters and blogs.

And, you can get a 10% discount on annual subscriptions with Content for Coaches, if you order before Thursday, July 31, 2014.

If you’re interested, go to Content for Coaches Summer Sale, here.

This is a special opportunity to save money on new subscriptions for quality leadership content. Read More→

E-Newsletters: What’s the Ideal Format?

eNewsletter 10 TEAL E Newsletters: Whats the Ideal Format?Newsletters: What’s the best format to send yours so it gets delivered, opened, and read? 

There is a definite divergence of opinions, but according to my readers, the preferred formatting and distribution method for e-Newsletters is HTML. Half of those who responded to my poll indicated they preferred HTML, and a third preferred plain text.

With more and more people using smart phones, iPads, e-readers, and laptops, does anyone prefer plain text? What about PDF files? (Either sent as an attachment, or viewed as a page on their websites.)

Here’s my perspective:

  • If you want readers to focus primarily on your message, then plain text is valuable.
  • If you also want to impress people visually with colors, logo and other branding elements, then it makes sense to get the most out of graphic design by using HTML formatting.

Can there be an ideal merge of both of these important elements – design for branding AND showcase valuable content?

Read More→

E-Newsletter Review: Is There Something Wrong?

Enews crop E Newsletter Review: Is There Something Wrong?How’s your e-newsletter? You may be doing all the right content marketing things (e-newsletter, blog, social media, articles, etc.) and still not get good results (get found, get known, and get clients!)

If all you’re doing is publishing good information, without personality, without offers, what’s the point? Last week I asked which was best for marketing: blogs, social media or e-newsletters.

I have written a “Shortcuts” list of questions to ask yourself when planning your e-newsletter and you can access it for free here.

I shared many positive comments on the benefits of sending newsletters. I also received an email from a client who lamented the poor results from her emailed newsletter. After a year she reported:

  • No new clients came to her after reading it
  • No new sign-ups were happening (or were rare)

She asked what she was doing wrong. Here were some of her questions, followed by my answers. This would be a good time to check your own e-newsletter for opportunities for improvement. Read More→

Newsletters, Social Media, Blogs:
What’s Best?

e Newsletters 300x200 Newsletters, Social Media, Blogs: <br>Whats Best?Have blogs and social media replaced e-newsletters? In a poll I did with professionals who publish a newsletter, people shared that they still send out regular e-newsletters, and told me why their subscribers like getting news:

“It helps me stay connected and it provides me with thought provoking ideas, and useful tools to be successful in life.”

Ask other professionals if they’re getting results from an e-newsletter, and then judge for yourself if it’s worth the time and effort (and money). Here are other comments I received:

“I just met with the COO at a company where I’ve been coaching. He told me that the employees (the ones I coach) forward him my newsletter. He said, ‘They want me to read it because they feel the content is often pertinent to what’s going on at the company.’ There are over 100 employees at this company and I’ll soon be asking if I can send everyone my newsletter.”

“The newsletter is an intimate way to stay in contact with clients and a non- threatening resource for potential clients to learn more about me and how my coaching can help meet their needs.”

“It has heightened awareness, helped build our brand and brought in inquiries, referrals and requests for information.”

“… when it goes out, I always receive emails from people I don’t usually hear from, telling me how much they enjoyed reading it, found my information timely and applicable, and in general, thanking me because they look forward to receiving it.”

“… when at business functions, I will often have someone say to me ‘I know who you are, I get your newsletter.’ I believe it keeps my name and what I do ‘out there.’ I see my newsletter as contributing to
my success. It makes a statement that speaks to my brand.”

Read More→