Archive for How to…Tips

A Brief History of Business Blogging
(And How to Make It Profitable)

Business-BloggingHow do you make money from business blogging? This is a question I was recently asked by a friend. It seems like a straightforward question, but the answer is complex.

Most blogs aren’t profitable, but people devote a great deal of time and energy to them. There must be a good reason, no? You need to understand how to use business blogging to suit your business goals.

Things have changed in the blogging stratosphere, rapidly. Let’s review how it all started, because it’s revealing.

According to NYMag, the first business blog was created in 1994, Do you remember Altavista, Webcrawler or AskJeeves? In case you don’t, that’s how early adapters searched the internet.  And then Yahoo launched in 1994 and utilized man-made descriptions with each URL. This was a game changer for many. Here are a few key dates that led up to business blogging: Read More→

Business Blogging: 4 Tips
PLUS 1 Great Video on Creativity

Business-bloggingBusiness blogging can be frustrating for professionals. Does this happen to you? You sit down to (finally!) write on your business blog, you’ve done a bunch of research, you’ve created lists, outlines and even saved a few great blog post drafts, but you haven’t actually published any of your content… There always seems to be one more thing to check before you pull the ‘publish’ trigger.

I talk to professionals all the time who are ‘blog publishing shy’. Perhaps the most crucial stage of business blogging is implementation: PUBLISH THE POST! In this series of blog posts, I’ve been sharing my tips on the four stages of writing a great blog post. It follows the same steps of any creative process:

Preparation => Incubation => Illumination => Implementation

Business blogging is creative but it also follows steps. If you want to write quality content that reflects the quality of your services as a professional then follow these four steps all the way through to implementation.  Creative blog posts are written by a process. Read More→

Tips on Writing a Great Blog Post:
Give it a Rest

Bird BandageIt’s the rainy season here in Mexico – a great time to do a lot of reading, writing and recovery – at least, that’s what I told myself when I scheduled my shoulder surgery.  But I’m having trouble with my blog writing.  And now I’m stuck. I’ve got Blogger’s Block.  (Yes, even experienced bloggers can get stuck from time to time.)

So I pull out my bag of great blog post tricks, and determine where I’m stuck in the process.  And that’s it.  I had altered my writing process.  But that shouldn’t matter… should it? Read More→

The 4 Step Creative Process for Writing Blogs:
(& Happy Birthday to WOW Blog)

Writing-BlogsDo you struggle with the creative process of writing blogs? Do you cringe when you need to find a topic for your blog? You’re not alone.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve written a ton of information about writing great blog posts and newsletters, as well as e-books, white papers and articles to increase your visibility. Sometimes it feels like I’ve already written as much as I have to say. There’s nothing new, it’s been done before.

But then I remember that people forget and new people come to visit all the time. It’s motivation to keep my blog posts fresh and interesting.

So how do you choose a topic for writing blogs that will be most relevant to your readers, and hasn’t been said 1,000 times before? Trust the process and get busy.

Almost 100 years ago, Graham Wallas observed that creative solutions appear sequentially:

Preparation => Incubation => Illumination => Implementation

The same is true for writing quality content – blog posts are written by following a creative process. Read More→

Business Blogging Time-Saving Tips for You (and Your Cat)

When it comes to business blogging, how do you save time and still get results? How do you make blog tasks so easy your cat could do it?

It’s the dog days of summer but around our house that expression isn’t acceptable. Doodles and Buster would have a cat fit. Here in Mexico we’re in the rainy season, when the heat of the Summer is tempered by the cool nightly rains. Which brings our year-round average temp to a mild 73.  Not bad when you’re a tennis enthusiast and enjoy time outdoors.  Which is why it’s even more important to me to save time when blogging.

Over the years I’ve purr-fected my blogging system. And as a thank-you to all my content marketing blog clients (shout out to all my new and renewing content subscribers who took advantage of our sale last week), I want to share it with you all. Plus I figure it will be good Kitty Karma – maybe it will even help keep the cats off Facebook. They want their own pages now… Read More→

Social Proof and LinkedIn:
‘Tis Better to Give, than Receive…

ExcellentAs I’ve shared in previous posts,  the value of social proof — referrals, recommendations, and client testimonials — cannot be underestimated.

Similar to how frequent, quality content enhances your website pages, social proof enhances your professional credibility.  When readers learn from the comments from other people about your business, they become your most persuasive sales people. Comments from others are such strong persuasion triggers, you shouldn’t limit them to just a page, but have them scattered throughout your web pages, blog, and social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.

With over 350 million members, and over 1 million members publishing blog posts on LinkedIn, you’re likely to encounter a few colleagues you know.  So make sure you take the time to recommend and endorse them.  Your recommendation or endorsement on LinkedIn is social proof for a other people; it signals that the person is qualified and recognized as a valued colleague. Read More→

Client Testimonials: Readers Know When They’re Phony

Client-TestimonialsThere’s no doubt that social proof is one of the key ways people decide to buy or try your products or services.  But if you don’t have a lot of clients, or you’re starting a new business or product, how do you get quality client testimonials?

I get asked about this by some of my consulting clients. Nothing can backfire and destroy trust and credibility more quickly than phony testimonials.

I was working with a client who – now that he owned his own business – didn’t feel comfortable using testimonials he had acquired when he was part of a team effort, working for someone else.

I don’t blame him. Even though he had a solid reputation as an expert in his field, he was concerned about authenticity and sincerity. He was afraid that the client’s comments were not genuine because they were not about his new company, products and services.  And he is right: Readers can smell a phony testimonial a mile away. Read More→

How to Make Social Proof Work for You


When writing on the web about your services or products, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of testimonials and client reviews. Social proof is such a strong persuasion trigger you shouldn’t limit these comments to just a page, but have them scattered throughout your web and blog pages.

Know what works best for your content marketing strategies, especially when creating a website or blog, introducing yourself, a new product, or special promotion.

In my previous post, Social Proof: Why It’s So Important, I reported on research that showed travel destinations with client recommendations and photos of the reviewer were selected 20 percent more than destinations with no review.

But not all recommendations (and ratings) will yield the same results. According to Dr. Susan Weinschenk, in her book Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click: Read More→

Best Kept Secret of an Email Newsletter Bio

Email-NewsletterWhat’s the best kept secret of a newsletter bio? As I mentioned in my last post, your bio on your blog or website About page should be current and tell a story, rather than be a resume written in the third person. The same is true for an email newsletter bio.

Unfortunately, I see many coaches and consultants use their resumes for their sidebar bio. (“Dr. Smith has 20 years experience in strategic planning and holds an MBA from Harvard, etc.”)

Then there are those who go to the other extreme: They tell too much about their achievements and come across like an ego-maniac.

While everyone wants to know about who you are as the author of an email newsletter, mostly they want to know “what’s in it for me.” (WIIFM) Read More→

5 Key Elements for Your “About” Page:
How to Tell Your Story

About-Page-My-StoryWhen’s the last time you updated your bio on your About page on your blog or website?

Smart bloggers know that this is one of the most visited pages: People want to know who’s behind a business. Personalities count. Yet many blogs and sites have a standard resume written in the third person, boring as all get-out.

Certainly client lists are important. But so are you. An About page is an important content marketing opportunity. Tell your story, your real story. If you are the sole author of your blog, write it in the first person. Read More→