Archive for How to…Tips

4 Ways to Keep People Reading Your Blog

Blog Chamber 4 Ways to Keep People Reading Your BlogThe thing to know about business blogging is that it’s a continual quest to make your blog better. One good post now and again isn’t enough; you’ve got to keep readers coming back.

Most of us don’t blog for the fun of it, we do it because we want readers coming to our website. We want people to actually read the content that we craft because we know it has value to them.

So how do we keep readers interested and coming back to your site over and over? Here are some simple ways to spark readers coming back for more:

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→

5 Goals for Your Blog & Website…
and One Big Challenge

bigstock A venn diagram showing dreams 49152311 300x256 5 Goals for Your Blog & Website… <br>and One Big ChallengeWhat goals have you identified for your blog and website? What do you want your blog to do for your business? No really, it’s not as obvious a question as it might at first appear.

I’ve been working with executive coaches and consultants for well over fourteen years now, helping them improve how they show up on the Web. In that time, I’ve seen a number of changes to the way websites look and function. It doesn’t matter if you use a traditional website, or a blog, or a blog as a website, the principles are the same.

Yet many professionals aren’t clear about their content marketing goals; their website and blog goals and expectations are vague. I made some notes for one client and thought I’d share them with you here.  I came up with 5 goals your site should strive to accomplish in the first minute or two. One of them is a big challenge… Read More→

Simplify Your Blog Writing:
Shortcuts to Publishing a Leadership Blog

bigstock maze 24055184 300x199 Simplify Your Blog Writing: <br>Shortcuts to Publishing a Leadership BlogHow’s your blog writing going? Snap, crackle and publish? Or are you a little blocked, maybe even constipated?

Do you feel dread and overwhelm when it’s time to post on your blog?

You may offer great solutions and services for your clients, but if you don’t simplify your blog writing tasks and publish frequent, compelling content, you won’t get great content marketing results.

In a blog post last week I shared that the two most common statements I hear about blogging are: Read More→

Blog Goals: 5 Tips to Keep Your Blog
Focused and on Track

Blog Goals Blog Goals: 5 Tips to Keep Your Blog <br>Focused and on Track

Is your blog focused and on track? Do you find yourself saying, “I don’t have enough time to blog,” or “I don’t know what to write about?”

Guess what? These two questions are related to the same problem: not enough clarity about blog goals. Here’s how I help my clients solve this problem of clarity:

  1. Define your business Ps & Q – (3Ps + 1Q):
    => What Problem do you solve?
    => Who are the People you serve?
    => What Products and services do you offer?
    => What makes you uniQue??
  2. Create a course outline or a table of contents as if you were writing a book or teaching a class on this problem, i.e., your expertise.
  3. Make a list of keywords, categories and topics you’re qualified to write about and that must be addressed to solve the problems of your readers.
  4. Make an editorial calendar for each day of the week you’re going to be blogging. Make sure you cover all the topics and categories, and that your keywords are repeated frequently in posts and titles (search engine optimization).
  5. Make a weekly blog schedule to include writing the content, sharing it on social sites, researching and commenting on other blogs, and formatting, editing, linking, etc.

Don’t underestimate the time it takes for all the peripheral upkeep of blogging. Maintaining a successful blog takes more time than just writing a post. And it almost always takes longer than the 30 minutes required for writing.

Are you focusing on client needs?

Read More→

Content Marketing Graphic:
What’s Missing in this Visual?

Content Marketing Steps 300x224 Content Marketing Graphic: <br>What’s Missing in this Visual? I ran across this great slide share about how content marketing works on Vizedu from Sandeep Arora, but there’s something missing. Don’t get me wrong, I love this explanation of what content marketing is, how it works, and the difference from traditional marketing.

In order for your readers to find you, read your content, and remember you, you’ve got to grab their attention, spark an emotional engagement, and get them to take action.

How do you do this? Read More→

How Winning the French Open is like Writing a Business Blog

Rafael Nadal volley cropped 300x270 How Winning the French Open is like Writing a Business BlogSuccess, whether it is winning the French Open or writing a business blog, is half persistence, half-sweat.

Rafael Nadal dominates on clay courts and has the world record number of wins: the last eight of nine French Opens. Earlier this season Nadal was struggling, and some are saying that he won’t be successful with a win this year. But consider this:

  1. Nadal has a superb serve: 177 aces and 83 double faults in the last nine years.
  2. He is quick on the clay and can get ahead of the best shots.
  3. Nadal was trained early in life on clay courts and knows how to use the slow speed and the unpredictability to surprise his opponent.
  4. He has a winning fore-handed topspin.

This is very similar to writing a successful business blog. You’ve got to:

  1. Start with a strong serve –Include a keyword in the title and first sentence of your blog post, and make it compelling. Your title and first sentence may be the only thing a reader sees in a feed.
  2. Be agile and quick – Anticipate when it’s time to move on to a new topic. If you don’t, your readers already have.
  3. Mix it up – Write with a different voice or perspective. If you’re always positive and cheery, write a negative post and criticize some commonly held practices or beliefs. People won’t keep reading if you don’t surprise them.
  4. Deliver winning shots –Stay on topic, be relevant, and always keep your reader and their needs in mind.

When it comes to winning the open or writing a successful blog, the most important thing is to never give up – stay in the game. Your ability to refocus your writing and get back on track even when you don’t feel like it, will pay off in the long run.

Nadal knows this. He won’t let his past struggle undermine his current focus.

 

 

 

Out-of-Office: 4 Time-Saving Social Media Tips to Keep Connected

Social media 298x300 Out of Office: 4 Time Saving Social Media Tips to Keep Connected How can you use Social Media tips when you’re away from the office for a week?

What can you do to stay in touch with your clients when you’re out of town on a trip or vacation? I’ve been playing hooky: I went to a tennis ranch in Texas where we played tennis six hours a day. I was able to schedule publishing on my client blogs ahead of time, but my own blog suffered.

The good news is that it got me thinking about shortcuts and what can be done to extend your reach of online content marketing using social media tips.

Many of my readers are busy professionals who don’t have a lot of time. The danger of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is that they can suck you in and spit you out hours later… and time is money.

For those of you who have the bare minimum of time, and still want to get results, here are a few social media tips. Please feel free to join in and add other tips in the comments section. I must be doing something right: these tips have resulted in new clients directly from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read More→

How to Make Yourself Blog When You Just Don’t Feel Like Blogging

bigstock boom 400058381 300x216 How to Make Yourself Blog When You Just Dont Feel Like BloggingHere’s a tip for how to make yourself write a blog post when you’re totally uninspired. Use other people’s inspiration to motivate you.

For example, take a look at what you’re reading on the Web right now. If it’s good enough to catch your interest, maybe you can use that spark to create something new for your readers?

Here’s how I went from barely awake blog procrastination to publishing this morning.

You can tell a lot about a person just by reading the titles of the web pages they’ve got open. Right now I’m reading posts on Harvard Business Review:

  1. “How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want to”
  2. “The Daily Routines of Geniuses”
  3. “Stop Trying to Control People or Make Them Happy”

And one on Hubspot: “12 Inspirational Writing Tips from History’s Greatest Authors.” Read More→