Archive for Getting Read

Expert Ebooks: Getting Reader Research Right

Research Readers 300x225 Expert Ebooks: Getting Reader Research RightI’ve been sharing about how to start your expert ebook project right, by being clear about who your readers are and what they most want to know.

How should you go about reader research? For example, if you wanted to know how seniors are using the Internet, you could look at the Pew Research site.

How else can you research your readers so that you get this important first step right: How do you focus your expert ebook content on readers’ frustrations and challenges by discovering what those are?

The truth is it doesn’t matter how much of an expert you are or how much you know about your field. You still need to research beyond what you already know or assume.

Don’t skip researching your readers simply because you already have 20-30 years of working with people like them. I don’t care if you’ve got a Nobel Prize in Economics.

Do you think Daniel Kahnemann rests on his ground-breaking work in Behavioral Economics? No, he does not. He is continually researching and discovering more about how  theories apply to real people in the real world. His bestselling book Thinking Fast and Slow is written (and priced) for readers, not academics. Read More→

5 Ways to Make Your Business Blog Remarkable

Blog Visibility 5 Ways to Make Your Business Blog RemarkableHow do you make your business blog really remarkable? Like, fascinating?

The main goal of writing a blog, whether for business or otherwise, is to get people to read what you write. Seems pretty simple. But attracting readers to a new blog (or even an established one) is easier said than done.

So how do you build a readership base and continuously gain new readers to keep your blog and your business going. Here are a few ways to make your business blog one to watch.

1. Keep up with current events – while you shouldn’t always write about what’s going on in the world, using relevant examples and anecdotes lets your readers know that you are knowledgeable.

2. Pay attention to your social media networks – what are people talking about on your social media pages? What are they asking you as a business? Consider using these questions and discussions for blog topics. You’re more likely to engage your customers by writing on topics they clearly are interested in than developing your own. Read More→

Business Blogging: How to Optimize Older Posts

Link to older posts 300x244 Business Blogging: How to Optimize Older PostsClearly, one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to a business blog is to share new content. But what about those older blog posts that are hanging out on your blog somewhere?

Why not make good use of older content? Make it easy for your blog readers to learn more about your solutions to their problems. This requires that you do more than just write an article from the heart. Yes, writing with passion is great, but as long as you’ve got readers on your blog, lead them to older posts.

For business blogging, you’ll need to become keyword-savvy, and use a plugin or two will help make it easy and automatic.

The screen-capture image at the top is a sample from Chip Scholz’ LeaderSnips blog showing how at the end of each post you can provide suggestions for related posts. It uses the YARPP plugin.

Business blogs can be tricky creatures. While it seems like blogging should be pretty straightforward, there are a lot of nuances to building a successful business blog that your potential clients can actually find. Read More→

How Blog Readers Find You – A Diagram

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  a business blog is the best way to get found online, the best way to connect with potential clients, and the pathway to turning readers into clients.

So, what’s your favorite excuse for not blogging for your business?

I keep hearing the same reasons, over and over.

Top 3 Excuses for Not Blogging:

  • “I don’t have time to blog.”
  • “My clients aren’t surfing the Web reading blogs.”
  • “Oh, that means I’ve got to write about my business every week?”

There are over a billion people connected to the Internet. I’m willing to bet my lunch money that quite a few of them fall into the category of “your ideal clients.”

It’s not likely they go online looking for you, your business or your blog. I’m not saying that. But they do go to search engines and they type in questions with keywords.

And they do go to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here’s what this looks like, how readers find your blog, in this Smart Draw diagram I did:

HowReadersFindYourBlog How Blog Readers Find You   A Diagram

Read More→

Business Blogs and the Parisbas Tennis Open

Ana Ivanovic 300x229 Business Blogs and the Parisbas Tennis OpenIs your blog like my tennis, a hit or a miss? Are you writing posts that are clear winners for your readers? Are you serving valuable, relevant content within the lines of your readers’ needs?

This week I’m watching the world’s best players battle it out on the courts at the Parisbas Tennis Open in Indian Wells, California. I’ve noticed a few things that applies to content marketing.

Persistence and control is the name of the game. With me, I get impatient in a rally, and with a burst of aggression I’ll end the point with a whopping drive… clear out of the court.

I know people who blog like that. They write 600-900 words every few weeks, then wonder why they aren’t getting search traffic.trans Business Blogs and the Parisbas Tennis Open

Blogging for your business doesn’t work that way. Steady as you go, writing at least twice a week, at least 350 words, focusing on the key words that drive results for your business, mixing information with stories, always keeping the reader in mind.

Business blogging is like tennis: you want to keep the ball in play. The “ball” is the conversation you have with your ideal clients, your readers. What problems can you solve for them? Keep the dialogue alive. You can’t do that when your blogging is inconsistent.

If you want to get found on the Web, you need plenty of content that’s relevant to your readers. The more you create new content, and publish on your blog, the better the possibilities your ideal clients will find you.

Get found, then get known by your readers. You are priming the pump towards getting new clients. Persistence pays.

If you’re an executive coach or leadership consultant who’s too busy with clients to manage your blog and content marketing tasks, consider outsourcing. Click here for information over on my site, Content for Coaches. I can help make your newsletters, blog, and Web pages rank high with both search engines AND your clients.

7 Ways to Format Blogs to Engage Readers’ Brains

intelligence 1 7 Ways to Format Blogs to Engage Readers BrainsWhat are the two most important parts (a.k.a. opportunities to engage readers) of your business blog post? Most experts will tell you this:

  1. The headline
  2. The call to action

The headline is what gets read and spread. It’s your “shout-out” on social media sites, in feed readers, and email updates. It’s the bait on your fishing hook which draws people over to your blog site to read your stuff.

Writing magnetic headlines is crucial. And you know yourself that a well-crafted headline gets more traffic than a bland one.

The call to action is what gets you business results and turns readers into clients. Even when it’s not a direct “go-buy-click-here” request, it’s part of your funnel process. It starts the participation process.

But hold on there, wait a minute.  There are 7 ways to format your blog posts that will help prime your readers for action. It happens before you ask readers to do something. It must happen, otherwise your readers won’t even read your complete post, they won’t get to the call to action part.

You must engage their brains. You must get inside their heads by triggering unconscious desires and thoughts.

Okay, that sounds a bit oowy-woowy and sneaky, maybe even dangerous. I’m not talking hypnotic suggestions or even tapping into Freudian drives of sex or fear…(although, heck, that sure works, too!)

But if your blog content doesn’t appeal to one of several persuasion triggers (reciprocity, social proof, etc.) then you’re not doing enough with your posts. Your readers may scan your post, without getting their thought processes going, and move on.

It’s not complicated. You’re probably already doing it (unconsciously)! How? Read More→

Vote: What Makes You Read a Blog Post?

sitting on laptop Vote: What Makes You Read a Blog Post?What do you find is the most important thing about a blog post? What makes you read? Mark Schaefer over at {grow} blog asked this question and gives his opinion.

Here are the choices:

 

Take a few minutes to decide, then leave a comment about the top blogging elements that get you to read a post.

Read More→

E-Newsletter Review: How’s Your Ezine?

orange man thinker E Newsletter Review: Hows Your Ezine?You may be doing all the right content marketing things (e-newsletter, blog, articles, etc.) and still not get good results (get found, get known, get clients!) If all you’re doing is publishing good information, without personality, without offers, what’s the point?

I got 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.

  1. Could it be the article is too long?
  2. Could it be I don’t know how to sell myself with my newsletter?
  3. Could it be that I don’t choose the right article for my clients (they are small business owners and at time managers in various companies)?
  4. Could it be that many people check their emails on their phone and do not have time to read my newsletters?

The person asking these good questions is an executive coach. She needs to “sell herself” by providing quality content that demonstrates her expertise in coaching matters and leadership and personal development issues. Read More→

Blog Writing Tips for Business Clarity

Butler Service Blog Writing Tips for Business ClarityGood business writing should be like a good butler: working smoothly in the service of the reader without calling attention to itself.

This means that you avoid language that sounds impressive. This weekend I was reviewing some books on business writing, including Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Better Business Writing.

Although these tips are designed for business professionals who write reports,  proposals, presentations and memos, they are totally applicable to blog writing.

There is no better way to approach business and blog writing tasks than to keep in mind three realities:

  1. Business readers are content driven
  2. Readers are pressed for time
  3. Readers are seeking out solutions

There is a confusing amount of contradictory advice about how to compose a business report:

  • Writing should be clear – but it should also “sound good”
  • Information should be simple and straightforward – yet cleverly composed to stand out
  • Get to the bottom line quickly – but don’t leave out background details

Use your words to carry information, ideas and build relationships with readers by speaking their language. Go easy on the jargon and cliches.

How you organize your content is important. Your readers will be drawn into reading your words when they are logically presented to flow in a way that makes sense.

Readers decide whether or not to read your post or report based on the first few sentences. You need to grab their attention immediately, and create a desire to know more.

The number one question readers are asking when they glance at material is this: “Why am I reading this? What’s in this for me? Why should I care?”

Not to be harsh, but they don’t care about you. The introductory paragraph needs to quickly establish the relevancy and utility of the document to readers.

An effective introduction briskly tells a story built around four elements:

  1. The situation: A quick factual sketch of the current business situation that serves to anchor the reader.
  2. The complication: A problem that unsettles the situation in the story you’re telling. It’s why you’re writing the memo or report. Read More→

Top 10 Tips for Creative Blog Writing

LCS logo gif1 Top 10 Tips for Creative Blog WritingWhat creative writing tips would you offer to budding writers?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of introducing my husband (aka Attila the Honey) at the Lake Chapala Society, our local gringo gathering place and library. We were having a book signing party to celebrate the publication of Rob’s first two novels, Die Laughing and Future Schlock.

I’m sharing with you here my speech, because there are some tips for writing creative content not only for novels and fiction. These tips also apply to blog writing.

Content marketing ideas come from many sources, and sometimes you have to go against conventional wisdom and standard trends.

My speech was called:

Rob Krakoff’s Top 10 Tips for Writing 3 Novels in 18 Months…

  1. Don’t follow your wife’s (or partner’s) advice. Sometimes I call an idea stupid just because it’s too far-fetched to be believable. Wild, crazy ideas will certainly get people’s attention and avoid boredom. If someone says it’s stupid, it just might work…
  2. Don’t follow your writer’s group advice: Other authors will tell you to only write what you know about. If that were true, then all mystery writers would be murderers. Don’t squelch your imagination.
  3. Don’t follow your English teachers’ rules: Don’t get hung up on grammar. Write and worry later about the rules, or get someone else to do that. So what if you don’t believe in commas.
  4. Don’t study how others write, or how books should be written: It’s more important to just get started, get your stories going.
  5. Don’t worry, be happy: feed your creativity by squelching anxiety and fear. If you’re not happy, then use that energy to write like hell. Either way, you’ve got no excuse.
  6. Don’t do any housework, just spend time writing. (That’s not entirely true, but it helps not to worry about the ‘other things’ in life.) Read More→