Archive for online content

Content Marketing: How do you know if it’s working?

different people on 3d abstract stairsHow 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→

How to Research Content
for Your Expert Ebook

Research-ContentHow should you research content in order to write your expert ebook? This is a huge question for most writers, and a major reason why some ebooks never get written or finished.

The field of online research methods is new and expanding rapidly. Using social media is a new opportunity for gathering information, but it’s complex and time consuming.

In some ways, research has never been easier. The Web is a goldmine. But it’s also a sink hole into which many writers fall, never to be seen again. Some writers die from an overdose of information, others simply disappear and give up, telling themselves there’s simply too much already written. Read More→

5 Blog Writing Lessons from the U.S. Open Tennis Championships

Every time I watch top tennis players compete, I learn something about blog writing.

The US Open is on right now, through next weekend. (Seriously, I think about tennis when I’m blogging.) Here are five blog writing tips.

  1. You’ve got to keep moving. When a topic is hot, you see a few hundred other posts about it, and you realize it’s time to move on to something else.
  2. Keep your eye on the ball. Never forget why people read your blog and why you started your blog in the first place. Stay on topic, deliver the winning shots.
  3. Start strong with a fierce serve. Your first sentence may be the only thing a reader sees in a feed. Make it compelling.
  4. Mix it up. If you’re always being positive and cheery, write a few negative posts and criticize some commonly held practices or beliefs. People won’t keep reading if you don’t surprise them.
  5. Never give up, stay in the game. Success is half persistence, half sweat. 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.

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.

Blog writing doesn’t work that way.  Steady as you go, writing at least twice a week, at least 300 words, focusing on the key words that drive results for your business, mixing information with stories, always keeping the reader in mind.

Bottom line: you want to keep the ball in play. The “ball” is the conversation you have with your ideal clients, your readers.

Are you writing posts that are clear winners for your readers? Are you steadily delivering valuable, relevant content within the lines of your readers’ needs?

Game anyone?


6 Writing Tips for SEO Friendly Content Marketing

Do you know how to write SEO-friendly content your readers will love? This week’s guest post by Christian Arno of Lingo24 shares 6 writing tips for writing online content that works for both readers and search engines.

Writing for the web can be like walking on a tightrope. Do you litter your blog writing and web pages with keywords so the search engine spiders can find you? Or do you make the copy interesting so people will be eager to read it and pass it on? Both, of course. And here’s how:

  1. Choose your keywords wisely

Make sure you’re aware of your essential keywords before you start writing on your blog, as trying to slot them neatly into finished copy could prove to be a tricky task. Use a handy tool like Google AdWords to work out which keywords are going to be best for you.

Make sure you know which keywords will both attract readers and be SEO friendly.

(Note: Not sure how keywords work? Try a subscription service to ScribeSEO Tool. It not only analyzes your blog writing for keywords and SEO-friendly content, but makes suggestions on how to maximize keyword usage. For more info: Scribe SEO Tool click here.)

2. Know where to place your keywords

Your keywords are important, but where you put them will have a significant impact on your SEO efforts. It’s essential to place a couple of keywords at the very beginning of your writing—the title is a great place to start. But be careful not to overuse them—it’ll be obvious to your readers what you’re trying to do.

3. Know the tricks of the trade Read More→

Content Marketing: Connect the Dots and Drive Results

How do you master the art of writing content for the Web so that you provide quality information on your web pages, blog, and newsletters that works to convert readers to clients? Ahhh, that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out for the last 12 years. In the World Wide Web, there often seems to be no rules.

But that’s not true. You have to find what works for you in your business, with your target audience. And then publish a lot of content in many different forms. But if you’re a busy professional, unless you have staff, you don’t have time for everything.

So on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 5 p.m. ET, I’m giving an open webinar to share my tips and tools that make online marketing manageable, especially for service professionals, solo entrepreneurs, busy consultants, coaches, etc.

Time-Saving Tips for Content Marketing Results – Register to get the recording, handouts and a marketing road map.
Wednesday April 20, 2011, 5 pm ET

Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn: For example, your content should accomplish these 4 goals:

  1. Connect with readers right away (ask them about their problems or challenges)
  2. Answer reader’s questions and educate
  3. Provide choices without confusion
  4. Compel readers to take one action

These goals apply to your website, your blog, your newsletters and everything you publish on the Web whether in text, audio or video.

Outsourcing your content needs will save you a lot of time, but only if you do it right.

Let’s say you’ve outsourced your newsletter and blog content to a professional writer, an expert in your field. The writer gives you content for your blog or newsletter. You publish it under your banner or logo, therefore it’s up to you to get it personalized and provide context.

This means you’ve either got to add your own stories, or introduce it with a personal note. (Or have the hired writer do this for you, which may cost more.)

Context: What I mean by providing context is that you need to connect the dots from your content to your business. You don’t want readers to read your content and say, “Oh, that’s interesting.”

I’m mean to say, sure you do, but that’s not enough. Draw a picture for them.

  • How does this content apply to the work you do with your clients?
  • Tell a story about a real person that illustrates the concepts in the article
  • Tell how you personally interact with and interpret these principles in your work Read More→

Content Marketing from the Inside Out

In your opinion, what’s the single biggest factor that builds credibility and trust in content marketing? To me, it’s personality.

Readers and viewers want to feel a human connection. They need personal stories about people and about you. It doesn’t matter what form the stories come in.

We’ve come a long way from the days when ad men (and they were usually men) could represent products or services with snappy jingles and cute copy.  Online marketing today includes plenty of content in all forms, all of which communicate personality through stories:

  • Web pages
  • Blogs
  • E-newsletters
  • Social media profiles and updates
  • E-books, white papers and digital downloads
  • Video clips
  • Webinars

Some companies have personality through characters like the Aflac duck and the Geico gekko. Did you know they have their own Facebook pages?

Others use their company president like Razerguy for Razer and Ben & Jerry’s founders. Some use their customers:  Dove uses women and Old Spice uses men.

Obviously, if you’re an independent professional such as a doctor, psychologist, any kind of health professional seeking clients, you’ve got to have your own personality in your content marketing to stand out from all the others. Same for lawyers, authors, speakers. Yet how many professionals share their personal stories on the Web? Read More→

Content Marketing for Coaches and Consultants

If you’re an executive coach or consultant or a professional working with leadership issues, may I make a suggestion? Content marketing for coaches and consultants can be outsourced, here’s how.

You can get quality content at my other site,  When you become a subscriber you benefit from article discounts up to 45% for the year. Plus, in many states and countries, your purchase qualifies as a business expense and will be tax deductible.

Up until midnight ET December 31, 2010, you can use discount coupon codes and get an additional 10% off subscription prices.

Content for Coaches offers subscriptions for articles, formatted newsletters, blogging services, or All-in-One E-newsletter Service management for 10% off the regular prices:

  • Save up to $40 per article – pay only $39 per article on a subscription of 12, or $49 per article for a subscription of 6.
  • Save up to $99 on a subscription of 6 or 12 PDF formatted newsletters, either four pages or two pages.
  • Save $240 on the design, formatting and distribution of your e-newsletter with an annual All-in-One Ezine Service.

Here’s a list of links for additional details and the corresponding coupon codes you can use at checkout to receive the 10% discount.  Let us know if you have questions.

Article Subscriptions 2010ArticlesBonus

PDF Newsletters 2010PDFBonus

All-in-One Ezine Service 2010EZINEMGMTBONUS

Blogging Service: We are offering a 10% discount on ghost blogging for both 6-month and 12-month options. However, since this is individualized original content, we only have openings for two more clients. Send me an email if this is of interest to you.

Here are some sample titles and topics available: Read More→

Content Marketing Tips to Get More “Juice”

Here are some content marketing tips to save you time and energy while getting more visibility on the Web.

I began these writing tips when I wrote about taking one nugget of information, and instead of posting it as one blog post, you make a list of 3-5 sub-topics or issues. Then you expand each one into 3-5 blog posts.

The point is that as long as you are writing quality posts for your readers, use that content in multiple ways, at multiple points in time, and deliver it multiple ways.

For example:

  1. Take a 300-word blog post, write an introduction, a conclusion and make it into a stand alone article of 450-500 words you can submit to article directories. Be sure to name it using a keyword-rich headline, and include your resource box with links to your blog, website and ezine sign up page.
  2. Write one longer article (600-850 words) that ties together the 3-5 blog posts you used in your series. Write an introduction, a conclusion, and add your resource box including links to sign-up for your ezine and your blog. Submit it to article directories with different a title. Read More→

7 Mistakes Speakers Make with Presentations

We’ve often heard the brain can only hold seven things in mind. The brain research behind this is valid, and in everyday life we experience it with 7-digit phone numbers.

This week in Las Vegas, at Chris Farrell’s and Mike Filsaime’s event, many speakers presented “7 Steps” to better internet marketing. But I think there’s a perception that an audience will listen and remember 7 things from a presentation which is wrong.

What’s true for phone numbers isn’t true for concepts.

Try 3-4 things instead. There’s no way anyone can  remember seven tips from a presentation. No way. Especially when there are 6-7 other speakers on the podium per day, over two days.

Let’s get real, folks. The other things is, that to be effective, you need to repeat your message several times. Now some of the speakers were able to do this, even in spite of having 7  tips. But that makes for a lot of repeating and it’s still not going to be remembered.

But with 3 things, yes, you can drill them home. 1-2-3. Repeat at least 7 times, and you’ve got a message that will be remembered and associated with your name.

The more I think about this, this “rule of 3” should also apply to other content you publish and communicate: newsletters, blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc.

Especially in this era of information overload, we need to become more aware and considerate of our target audiences’ capacity to receive and retain messages. Only 3 main points or steps to your solutions. Not 7. Read More→

Ghost Blogging for Executive Coaches

If you’re a busy professional, you know how hard it is to run your business and provide quality services to clients, and have enough time to take care of your online marketing and publishing tasks.

You may be a thought leader in your field, but if you’re not publishing content on  the Web, you’re not going to get found, get known, and get clients.

You need to be blogging 2-3 times a week, submitting articles to directories, participating on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook… impossible for one person to manage and still have a life.

Somethings like social media updating and article submissions can be handled by a V.A. But others, like blog writing, needs to be very good so that it sounds like something you’d say, professional and informed.

There are a lot of outsourcing solutions but very few good ones. When it comes to quality content for executive coaches, I don’t recommend you hire anyone who doesn’t have experience in your field, a thorough understanding of your clients and target market and good Web knowledge and experience.

Good help is hard to find, as they say. If you’re an executive coach, let me know if I can help you. If you’re in another field I probably can’t write for you, but I can revise what you’ve written, edit it, make it suitable for Web publications.

Click here for more information.