Blogging

How to get more out of your blog content

How to get more out of your blog content.png

One of the most frustrating things about writing a long piece of content is feeling like only a few people saw it and hours of your time writing had almost no impact.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to blog content that will help you feel like it was well worth the time invested. It’s as simple as making sure that nobody (including you!) thinks of your blog post as a “one and done” piece of content.

1)   SEO juice

Quality content on your website will help you rank higher in search engines (otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO). Even if you just think of SEO as being there to help you rank higher in search - that alone is still not a bad reason to create good content for your website (some businesses get most of their leads through search!).

Every time you create new content, your website is crawled by the search engine bots. So, when you create new blogs posts, make sure you’re using the kinds of words you want to be found for. You should also keep your blog posts to a minimum of 300-500 words for them to be considered quality, and whenever possible, link to other pieces of your content within your site and try to get other people to link to your content from their web sites.

2)   You’re giving people a reason to visit

Without new blog posts, there isn’t much of a reason for people to keep coming back to your website. How many times can you promote your ‘About’ and ‘Sales’ pages and expect people to take the time to come and visit again?

By consistently creating new content that you know is of interest to your audience, you have an opportunity to entice them to return and make them feel like they’re getting value out of what they’re reading.

Once you have posted new content, make sure you tell your audience you created the content. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and on Pinterest. Also send an email to your mailing list letting them know you created the new content.

If you don’t tell people you created new content, they won’t know to go and look – so, promote, promote, promote!

I once heard you should spend as much time promoting a post as you spend writing it, if not more. Keeping that in mind will help you figure out just how much effort you have to put into getting people to see it for you to feel like it was worth writing.

A few other tips for promoting:

  • Share it multiple times – on Twitter you can share it 5-6 times over 48 hours easily. On Facebook you can share it again 24-48 hours later.

  • If you’re worried about seeming repetitive, use ICYMI. It stands for “In case you missed it” and recognizes you’ve posted it before, but that you know not everyone will have seen it.

This next piece is really critical:

3)   Don’t forget about it.

Once you’ve promoted the content, plan to share it again over time. Not all of your content may be evergreen, but if it is it, plan to share it again in two weeks, six weeks and nine weeks later. You may even want to schedule it to share again in those time frames while you’re posting it the first time. It will save you time and make sure you don’t forget to keep re-sharing it.

4)   Reuse pieces

Don’t think of your blog post as just a blog post. Take pieces of it and do different things with it.

Reuse it as a script for a short video, take quotes out and share as tips on Twitter or create visuals and share on Instagram. 

Creating great content can be time consuming, but if you make that time well worth the investment then you will see results - results that make it easier to keep doing. By making sure the content is being properly promoted and shared on a regular basis, you’re going to see far more results with one piece of content than you did before.

Spend some time thinking about the content you’ve written in the past – how can you apply these things to it now?

What does your schedule look like?

When you think about your schedule – how do you feel?

For many business owners, there’s an UGH feeling that comes up.

Whether it’s having too many things to do, feeling that time is being wasted, or not knowing how to fit everything into your day, there are so many ways that your schedule can feel out of control and not productive. And not being organized with your time will probably lead to decreased productivity, more stress, and less money (UGH).

So let’s talk about it. I’m going to share some tips and tricks that can help you feel a bit more in control of your schedule.

What do you need to get done?

First things first, you need to be clear on your priorities. Think about the tasks you perform regularly and how much time they should, and do, take. Start keeping a list if it doesn’t come to you easily, so you can see how much time you have to work with. For example, just because a large portion of your business needs to focus on client calls doesn’t mean that there isn’t also administration work or content creation that needs to be done.

By mapping out what tasks need to be on your schedule and how much time they need allotted to them, you’ll have a better sense of what to schedule in your week. It doesn’t need to be precise, just a general guesstimate is good to start (but go for specific if that’s easier for you!).

 What are your main task categories and approximately what percentage of your time do you need to allocate to them?

What are your main task categories and approximately what percentage of your time do you need to allocate to them?

 

Take care of you

An unhappy you is likely an unproductive you.

Don’t forget to schedule things for yourself, whether it’s something like coffee with clients or friends, the gym, or even the little things like lunch and breaks.  Blocking time for this kind of thing keeps balance in your schedule and gives you a buffer of time to work with.

Take that information and use it to block certain times of the day during your work week. A basic schedule like the one below works fine, or you can schedule in blocks of 15 minutes. If you know that you have to do certain things – whether they take 5 or 45 minutes - dedicate time to it. Commit it to a time and lock it in.  Commit to going to the gym like you commit to a client call – because it’s important.

Having it in your schedule also takes away the guilt of doing something you feel like you shouldn’t be. If it’s in your schedule, it’s accounted for. If you decide to do it on the fly, you may feel like you’re shirking more important responsibilities.

 Can you block off your week to make sure all the things that you HAVE to get done have a specific time and are prioritized?

Can you block off your week to make sure all the things that you HAVE to get done have a specific time and are prioritized?

Appointments that work for you

When it comes to filling in time that you have dedicated to appointments with clients, make suggestions based on your preferred availability instead of working solely around your clients’ schedules.

Maybe you decide Tuesdays are your days for client calls. Start with the 8 am slot, then then 10 am slot, then the 1 pm slot, etc. Once you fill a day of appointments, start another day. This is far more effective for you than a call at 10 on Monday, a call at 1 on Tuesday and a call at 3 on Friday. It means you can dedicate other days and times to focusing on other tasks – admin, writing, development, outreach, networking, etc.

While there are always exceptions, try to keep in control of your own schedule so you can work efficiently. Many of us hesitate to “boss people around” by suggesting a time to meet instead of working with their schedule, but valuing your time and being assertive about your needs will streamline your entire process and benefit the client in the long run.

 Pick appointment days and appointment slots and give people times instead of letting them rule your schedule.

Pick appointment days and appointment slots and give people times instead of letting them rule your schedule.

Systems

This isn’t a natural one for me because I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person but systems can REALLY help in so many ways. They help you know what to expect of yourself and they help other people know what to expect of you.

For those with multiple clients in particular, set up an operating system with each to determine how you will spend their allotted time. Include details about the nature and timing of the tasks to be done, their expectations, your expectations, and the amount of communication to occur between you. For example, let them know what time of day or week you will be working on things for them so they don’t think they always have access to you (I know of someone who would only answer emails one day a week for one kind of task. You were not to expect an answer from her on any other day of the week. It was simply the way she worked and people had to work with that).

Set expectations for turn around time. If someone takes four days to give you feedback on something when they were supposed to get back to you in two, the timelines are no longer the same and you shouldn’t be expected to work within them.

Work together so you are both on the same page about how the job is going to look from a time perspective, and be willing to bill for your time. It’s not worth it if you’re worn out and not making money!

What will you try first?

Remember that not all these tips work for everyone. Experiment with and adapt different techniques until you find something that works for you and your business. You and your clients will benefit from being more organized and efficient, and less stressed. Leave me a comment and tell me if you use any of these, or which you’ll try out first!

Blog posts that keep working for you

One of the most frustrating things about writing long pieces of content is feeling like only a few people saw them and hours of your time was for nothing.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to blog content that will help you feel like it was well worth the time invested.

1)   Summon the SEO bots

Quality content on your website will help you rank higher in search engine searches. Even if you think of it as being there in order to help you work towards ranking higher in search (which we won’t), that’s still not a bad reason to create good content for your website.

This is important because every time you create new content, your website is crawled by the search engine bots. 

2)   Bring visitors to your site

You can send people back to your website for stuff that is already there, but often that gets tired pretty quickly – how many times can you promote your About and Sales pages without people getting frustrated?

Instead, by creating new content that you know is of interest to your audience, you have an opportunity to entice them to return and make them feel like they’re getting value out of what they’re reading.

It's key to make sure that you’re telling them you’ve created the content. Post it on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on Pinterest. Then send out an email to your mailing list letting your audience know that you created the new content.

If you don’t tell people that it’s there, they won’t know to go and look – so, promote, promote, promote!

I once heard you should spend as much time promoting a post as you spend writing it, if not more. Keeping that in mind will help you figure out just how much effort you have to put into getting people to see it for you to feel like it was worth writing.

A few other tips for promoting:

  • Share multiple times – on Twitter you can share it 5-6 times over 48 hours easily. On Facebook you can share it again 24-48 hours later.
  • If you’re worried about seeming repetitive, use ICYMI. It stands for “In case you missed it” and recognizes that you’ve posted it before, but that you know not everyone will have seen it.

But this next piece is also really critical:

3)   Don’t forget about it.

Once you’ve promoted the content, plan to share it again over time. Not all of your content may be evergreen, but if it is it, plan to share it again in two weeks, six weeks and nine weeks later. You may even want to schedule it to share again in those time frames while you’re posting it the first time. It will save you time and make sure you don’t forget to keep re-sharing it.

There’s a great tool that can help you do that, though it is relatively expensive, called Edgar. I’ve been playing around with it and if you can afford to invest it in, it definitely makes sharing consistently easy.

4)   Reuse pieces

Don’t think of your blog post as just a blog post. Take pieces of it and do different things with it.

Reuse it as a script for a short video, take quotes out and share as tips on Twitter or create visuals and share on Instagram. 

Creating great content can be time consuming, but if you make that time well worth the investment then you will see results - results that make it easier to keep doing. By making sure the content is being properly promoted and shared on a regular basis, you’re going to see far more results with one piece of content than you did before.

Spend some time thinking about some of the content you’ve written in the past – can you do some of these things with them now?

 

 

 

What are you trying to achieve by using social media?

I've been conducting a lot of one on one sessions lately and before we can come up with a strategy for any specific social media efforts it's really important to be clear on three things:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Who are you talking to?
  • What do you want them to know?

Over the next little while I'm going to write a post for each of those questions to hep you figure out how to answer them. Once you have those three things clear it will be a lot easier for you to figure out what you should be saying online.

What are your goals?

Spend some time thinking about your business goals in general but more specifically about what you're hoping to achieve by being online. It's probably (though not necessarily) a given that one of your goals is to make more money. But your goals may also include things like:

  • Being known as an expert at something
  • Being seen as a resource on a certain topic
  • Expanding your audience geographically or demographically
  • Getting more engagement online and building community
  • Increasing sales in a certain part of your business
  • Getting other people to talk about you to their communities

Because it always helps to see specific examples I'll share some of mine and create some fictional examples:

  • Be seen as an expert in explaining social media for small business
  • Be seen as an expert in nutrition and wellness
  • Expand audience beyond the Ottawa-area
  • Expand audience to new moms 
  • Increase sales in one-on-one coaching and speaking
  • Create content that is linked to by other bloggers and media outlets
  • Be more findable in search

You can be even more precise and create goals that are channel-specific:

  • Increase Facebook likes by 300 people
  • Establish a presence on YouTube and get 1000 video views
  • Get retweeted and tagged by industry experts on Twitter


Really understand what you're trying to achieve

The more you work to figure out these goals and why you're setting them, the more likely you are to be able to work them into your plan efficiently. Take a few minutes and write down an explanation of what you mean by each one and why they're important to you.

For example:

I really enjoy helping small business owners figure out how to use social media for their business. I get charged and excited when having one-on-one coaching calls with business owners and hearing them figure out what they could be doing. Their lightbulb moments make my day. I want to do more of that so I need to make it clear that this is something that I do, like to do and am good at.

You may feel that it's time to expand beyond your local market. You like to spend time in Toronto and Boston and want to start by growing your audience in those specific cities next. To do that, you need to start to grow an audience in those cities so there is already a start of a customer base in those cities when you arrive to hold an event or launch a product.

Time to do the work

I challenge you to spend 10 minutes right now coming up with 3 or 4 goals for your use of social media over the next 6 months. Really think about what you like to do, what you want to be doing and why you want to be doing it. Then leave a comment and share some with us here!

Is what I’m doing online worth the time I’m investing?

build a successful online presence

Creating a successful online presence requires a lot of work and a lot of content. It can be overwhelming and figuring out if what you’re doing is actually working can be really hard. 

In my experience, people's unrealistic expectations are the main cause of discouragement when it comes to their social media use. People get upset that more people aren’t opening their newsletters, that more people aren’t commenting on their Facebook updates or that more people aren’t viewing their blog posts. But here’s the thing... success doesn’t need to come in thousands of page views or dozens of comments, and it definitely isn’t instantaneous.

The slow build of consistency

Social media and online marketing rarely result in immediate sales and even more rarely does a post go viral. You need to think of social media as an opportunity to prove your expertise and your credibility, and building those things take time. 

We have a really valuable client who followed our content and read our weekly newsletters for two years before signing on with us. That may not be the ideal or the norm, but it shows that consistently sharing content and providing value kept us top of mind until they were ready to work with us.  

Think of the content that you're putting online as a way to build your reputation, make it easier to find you online, as well as giving your audience opportunities to work with you through clear calls to action and demonstrations of what you do and how you can help them. 

Quality over quantity

I know “quality over quantity” is one of those things that you hear constantly and is everywhere nowadays, but it’s true. You can have a small email list and only a few hundred likes on Facebook, but if those people are people who really want to know what it is that you’re doing and selling, they can convert just as well as someone who has tens of thousands of disinterested people on their lists.

Did you know that the average open rate for marketing emails is only 15-25%?

Are you wondering if you’re getting a decent amount of traffic on your web site? Like this article says, the key isn’t so much what your number is, but how well you’re doing by benchmarking against yourself.  Are your numbers steadily increasing? Are they decreasing? What seems to work well? Do more of that. 

Have a plan

Knowing why you're doing what you're doing and how to do it well is key to success in online marketing. It's why we are always 'harping' about having a plan and why we try to offer you all kinds of ways to learn how to use the tools well to increase your opportunity for success.

Want to learn more about blogging? Join us next week on Thursday, April 2nd at 1 p.m. EST for a free webinar all about blogging. During this free webinar, we will give you valuable tips to get you started right, so that the time you spend online IS well worth it. Reserve your spot by clicking HERE.