Archive for How to…Tips

Starting a New Blog?
6 Things a Business Blog Must Have

Are you starting a new blog? What should you include in your blog if you want to use it to attract clients?

I’ve been talking about how to start a blog in my recent series of posts. Your next step is to look at your design – 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. Read More→

How Do You Choose a Blog Platform?

WPPlatformChoiceHow do you choose a blog platform

In my last post, How to Start a Blog: 7 Steps BEFORE You Blog, I shared important information you want to consider before your first post, including signing up for a trial blog.

With so many great blog platforms available, including WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Ghost, Squarespace, Wix, Typepad, Weebly, etc., how do you know which is best for you?  This guest post, by Suzanne Bird-Harris, takes a look at the differences between two of the most popular blogging platforms to help you identify what factors to consider when choosing a platform.   Read More→

How to Start a Blog: 7 Steps BEFORE You Blog

Content-Marketing-with-Blogs-7-StepsHow do I start a blog

I hear it all the time:  smart professionals, who are great at what they do, don’t know how to start a business blog, and probably wouldn’t have time to blog even if they did start one.

Last fall Kris and I spent some time interviewing clients. We really wanted to know how we could best be of service.

What we learned is that while business continues to improve for our clients, and many are having tremendous success with their blogs, others had let their blog lag.  Sure, they had started blogging with great gusto – they put in a lot of time – but somewhere along the line got stuck, and never went back.

I hope this never happens to you. But if it does, or if you are considering starting a blog, please allow me to share this story…

Several years ago, I took up needle work, you know, cross-stitching designs on canvas with yarn. One day as I was completing a big canvas, I was listening to a motivational speaker.

All of a sudden, I heard these words:

Most people just start doing things without reading the instruction manual.”

Loud and clear. I looked down at my needle work and like a shock, it hit me. I’d been doing them all backwards.

Sure enough, a quick reference back to the user manual clearly showed that I was inserting the needle backwards, and not producing the right effect. I put down my work and never went back to that hobby ever again.

My point is that I see many professionals who are pretty smart at what they do, but they start blogging without reading any instructions at all. Later, when they get stuck, they complain about not having “enough time” to blog.

Read More→

5 Ways Blog Analytics Improve
Your Business Blog

Blog Analytics

How do you use your blog analytics? There are many easy-to-use blogging analytics tools out there, but the really successful bloggers know their results and tailor their blogs accordingly.

This is the fifth element in the CAST system for effective blog content:

Content (compelling)
Assets (free)
Social Media
Track

Here are the top five practices in business blog tracking, using analytic tools, and what to do to improve the performance of your blog so that you and your business blog get found, get known and get clients. Read More→

What Hemingway Knew: How to Write
Blog Content that Attracts Readers

Blog-Content-HemingwayIs your blog content compelling? Are you attracting new readers, engaging with them, and growing your reader base?

In my last post, I shared an acronym that you should be using when writing blog content:

Content (compelling)
Assets (free)
Social Media
Track

Hemingway did not have the technological advantages that we have, nor a blog, but he knew how to engage his readers. As Larry W. Phillips describes in Ernest Hemingway on Writing:

Don’t describe an emotion–make it. Read More→

I Just Googled Your Business Name:
Do You Need to Improve Your SEO?

GoogleOh no! If I Googled your business name, what would I find? Are you easy to get found online?

It is a sinking feeling when you’ve created quality content for your site that’s been optimized for content and keywords, and it’s still not showing up on the first page (or pages!) in a search return. So what can you do?

Downshift. While search engine sites should discover and index your site automatically, if you’re not showing up, or you want to improve your search engine ranking, try manually submitting your URL. You can do this quickly through Google, here, or Bing, here. Read More→

Get Found Online: 5 Question Quiz

Mindset How easy is it for you to get found online? Are you attracting the kinds of readers who could be your ideal clients? Here’s a quick 5 question quiz to reveal how well you’re doing:

5 Question Quiz

  1. How easy is it for someone to find you doing a search for answers to their problems?
  2. What comes up for your name?
  3. What comes up for the keywords that describe what your business does?
  4. Are you everywhere, or at least in the key places your target audience is? (Social sites, web, blog, articles, videos, etc.)
  5. Is your content optimized for search engines?

If you are struggling in any of these areas, here are some steps you can take to get found. Read More→

Get Found Online:
6 Principles of Quality Content

Get-Found-OnlineHow to get found online. That was one of the most common answers we heard to the question, “What is your biggest struggle?” during our recent client interviews.

In my last post, I shared why SEO and content marketing fit together.  While your blog needs good Search Engine Optimization, it has to start with quality content. But what exactly is the definition of quality content? Isn’t it subjective?

Epic Content Marketing, by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, offers a framework of criteria that I have adapted for coaches and consultant.  (It is based on six principles that anyone can and should apply to their writing, whether it be for  their business blog, e-newsletters, or e-books and websites. It’s great advice for any consultant and small business owner responsible for getting found.) Read More→

6 Big Content Marketing Challenges of 2016

Content-MarketingContent marketing is challenging, but it’s also the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. What more satisfying way to market professional services than by writing from the heart? When you address the problems your readers experience with your own knowledge, experience and wisdom, you help others AND build credibility authentically.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I do not believe in new year resolutions. And, I am not really convinced that goal setting, even marketing goals, is always the best thing, either. (Research has proven this.)

But, I do believe in strategy, clarity, planning and focus. Each year I pick a word, One Word to focus on. No matter what I am doing, I think about implementing that word, in every way I can.

For example, a few years ago my “one word” was “Care.” When I think about expressing care for my clients and readers, it shows up in the quality of my work:

  • I care if my blog has high quality, relevant content that helps readers
  • I care if I stay in touch more frequently with clients and offer to help them out
  • I care if I reach out on social sites more often to share good ideas
  • I show that I care when I ask more questions and listen better to friends and family

If I really do care, I want to get my marketing message heard by more people. It’s not about selling, it’s about being of service.

Last month Kris and I spent some time interviewing clients. We really wanted to know how we can best be of service. (Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the social media and content marketing channels available, especially in the always shifting future.)

What we learned is that while business continues to improve for our clients, their 6 big content marketing struggles are:

  • How to get found
  • How to grow readership
  • How to start a blog
  • How to blog
  • How to use social media
  • How to send out an electronic newsletter

What about you? Are these the biggest challenges you face with your content marketing?

If we weren’t able to connect with you, and you have other questions about content marketing, writing on the web, or creating an ebook, please let us know. Send us an email: patsi@writingontheweb.com or kris@writingontheweb.com

For the next few months, we’ll spend time focusing on these areas, and make sure that we can offer you good, useful information that can help you get found, get known, and get clients.

Oh, and happy new year, or as they say here in sunny Mexico, Feliz año nuevo!

Blog Readers: 7 Psychological Ways to Emotionally Connect

Stuck on my roof

How do you create an emotional connection with your blog readers? More importantly, how do you get them so inspired they want to take action, like join your list, opt-in, comment, or buy something? Here are some psychological secrets to keep in mind.

When writing on the web – either in a blog post, a newsletter or other forms of content marketing, readers are more likely to respond to your offers of service or products if there is a resonance between you. An emotional connection is forged when your reader experiences being on the same ‘wave length’ as you. This can be done several ways.

I have to warn you: this is not always easy to do in an email, ezine or blog. Why? Because people are so different, and what is appealing on an emotional level to one is averse to another. Read More→