Archive for business blogging

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 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→

The ABC’s of Business Blogging:
How to be Heard above the Noise

bigstock Concept Vector Graphic Leader 46226926 The ABCs of Business Blogging:<br>How to be Heard above the NoiseLet me ask you a couple of questions about your business blogging. When you’re competing online with other experts in your field, what makes you stand out? How are your prospects (and clients) finding you among all the other blogs and sites online?

Independent professionals who use the Web for marketing their services can learn a lot from big businesses with big budgets. They hire professional writers to create compelling headlines and creative content to attract audiences to their sites. You can too.

It’s not expensive, but it does require some creative thinking. Here are some tips for good business blogging, simplified, as simple as ABC.

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

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→

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→

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.

 

 

 

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→

Better Blog Writing: Getting Hooked by Your Own Hook

MagneticHeadlines 300x225 Better Blog Writing: Getting Hooked by Your Own HookIt must have been the coffee. But there I was at 5 a.m. looking for a “hook,” a magnetic headline that would draw readers into my client’s blog like bees to honey. The client needed a post that day, and I needed to write and edit what she’d given me quickly. After all, my morning tennis partners were waiting for me.

Eureka! I cried as I found a cleverly compelling hook, saved my post as a draft and ran off to the tennis courts. Only, when I returned to the office two hours later, my client had a left a message, “Uh, …it’s great except for the headline and lead. Call me back.”

I blame it on the coffee. The hook was indeed inspiring, only it had little to do with the message my client was trying to convey. But a little caffeine and dopamine in the brain can fool you into thinking your writing’s great – and never mind it’s missing the point. Read More→

Blog Writing Tips: How to Become Productive and Prolific at Those Tasks You Hate

Manage Your Time 300x252 Blog Writing Tips: How to Become Productive and Prolific at Those Tasks You Hate How can you develop more productive blog writing habits? When are you going to stick to your content marketing calendar? What’s it going to take?

I know many small business owners who purposely procrastinate on writing and finance tasks they hate. Are you one of these professionals who work better when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in? Think about it. Read More→