Category : Blogging

Blogging Content Marketing social media

How to make your content more exciting

The problem with the web and with social media right now is that it’s brimming with boring content! And there is so much of it!

Many of the posts on social media are just not that interesting. They aren’t engaging and the content doesn’t inspire or tell us anything really. There is a real sense of ‘content shock’ happening right now!

It’s not just social media posts that are becoming dull and maybe a little irksome 😉 – It’s blog posts! How many times have you seen these: Get amazing skin, top ten things to share on social media, how to get toned arms? and so on….. I expect heaps and heaps of times.

Look, it’s really important that you educate, so writing something useful for your tribe is great but it also needs to stand out from the rest of the chaff! You need to make your content unique. Different. Interesting. Incredible. Compelling. Helpful. Educational. Inspiring and above all – Valuable and Unique.

[Tweet “You must be different to stand out on social media.”]

So how do you stand out in a crowded space and how to make your content more exciting ? Come up with something new! I know what you are thinking here… “it’s not that easy to come up with something new” You are right, because if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

Here are some ways to make your content more interesting:

  1. Repurpose old content into video or infographics – not everyone is doing this. Look at the content you have created previously, has anyone else created a video on the same topic? Could you create or commission an infographic that breaks down the content in a more exciting format?
  2. Tell a story – Share the same old content as everyone else but put a twist on it, your unique twist. Add a beginning a middle and end but with a narrative much like in a book. Storytelling never gets old. Hook in with a popular story and tell it your way.
  3. Turn images into Animated Gifs or stills – This is a great way to bring images to life and now most platforms support gifs, there is just no excuse not to. These Gifs are much more attention grabbing than static images!
  4. Live-stream – Use Facebook Live, Periscope and Blab (Plus many more) to deliver your content in a live, real and authentic way again not everyone is doing this, if you start now this will really help you stand out in the market you operate in!

Take your time to think outside the box. Ask yourself.. has this been done before? and then ask yourself has this been done in this way before? – If the answer is no…. Then GO FOR IT!

 

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Blogging Business Hacks internet marketing Just for fun Marketing online marketing Small Business social media

What is Influencer Marketing? and How do you do it?

Influencer marketing is the art of reaching out to people within your industry or niche with a huge social media influence and getting them to share your content to their large, engaged audience.

The point is that if an influencer shares your content, it’s almost like a recommendation or a leg up. And to have someone so influential in your industry do this, could mean you get loads of exposure for your own products, services or content to exactly the right audience, recommended by someone who they really look up to.

There are several ways to go about influencer marketing, here are some ideas:

Ask for Retweets on twitter by reaching out directly and publicly, this isn’t that much of a nuisance to them just make sure the content is relevant and of interest to your target influencer.

Write a blog post about your influencer or influencers, that is helpful for your reader yet includes a little ego stroking for your target influencer.

Write or vlog about a recent article your influencer has written and explain why their views are so important for your audience.

Meet your influencer in real life! – This may be a little harder but if you go to industry conferences you are likely to bump into that big publication or top journalist in your industry, talk to them, connect and share an image of you together on social media, this is a great way to connect offline and online and then make that social media connection (This happened to me! Deborah Meadon – Dragons Den – Has retweeted me! and said i’m so good at social media!) – This can give you and your business and credibility a huge boost.

Start small and work your way up. Start with your local news outlet or niche publications and when the time is right to reach out to the Richard Branson’s, you’ll know!

Be resilient, it can take time to get influencers to notice you. Keep posting great content, share your views with influencers and always thank them when they do share your content. Don’t be too desperate or overly spammy! This is a one way ticket to getting yourself blocked or called a stalker.

 

 

 

 

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Blogging Business Content Marketing Just for fun

Blogging to build your business (30 day challenge review)

Blogging CAN grow your business, it’s true. I write this after completing the amazing 30 day blogging challenge with Sarah Arrow (The blogging queen) at Sark EMedia.

As an online marketer I know already the benefits of blogging for business but until I embarked on the blogging challenge to create my own content daily for 30 days did I realise exactly how powerful blogging is. If I am honest I didn’t complete 30 posts in 30 days! It took me more like 90 days! But having said that it’s been immense for me. Not only have I grown my blog traffic, gained business enquiries but I’ve also been published in various business magazines and website. If that’s not enough, i’ve learned so much too.

The truth is it was so good for me I am going in for a second round. The great thing about taking a blogging challenge is that it get’s you writing and get’s you into a routine. If you thought you couldn’t come up with 30 posts in 30 days let alone 30 posts in a year you are very very wrong! Under Sarah’s expert guidance you will do it!

How does it work? – Sign up here (it’s free)

Each day you’ll get an email with more expert marketing and blogging advice from Sarah Arrow. You are also invited to become a member of the 30 day blogging challenge facebook group. Once inside, each day you post your blogs you have written and if you’d like to, encourage and comment on others blogs. The community is awesome too!

So there it is! My short and sweet review of the blogging challenge – which you can join here  – When I say it changed my business life – I meant it! – At the end of the day we all have something to say, here’s your chance to release that information in a supportive and collaborate environment.

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Blogging Business Content Marketing internet marketing

Why You Need To Create Killer Blog Content (+ How)

Killer blog content

In this post I will give you some ideas on why you should create killer blog content! as well as some ideas on how to create Killer blog content!

And this is all about content because having a great looking blog is just not good enough. To start growing your email list, your community and get more targeted traffic you need some really great, valuable content.

They Say Content is King….

What is content? Well generally content is writing and generally online writing is blogging. This is the content we are most likely looking for and find when searching on google. We use blog posts to get opinions, facts, reviews and entertainment. So by adding more good quality and targeted content to your website means we’ll give people a good incentive to visit the website and to come back to your website or blog.

There are so many more reasons that killer content is important! Take SEO for example – search engines work by matching search terms to content via a website (This is not the only variable used, Google has a complex algorithm). The more killer content you have, the more chance you have of being found in search. Of course, your content must be targeted at the audience you want to reach. It should answer a question, entertain or provide value.  The more targeted your content is the more chance you’ll have of being found for relevant search queries.

Content Marketing

Having Killer blog content is crucial to a good content marketing campaign. Content marketing is a form of marketing that revolves around creating great content and in this instance great content via your blog.

The best way to approach content marketing is to update your website regularly with killer content, great articles and valuable information that solves a problem. If you do this you’ll start to gain advocates of your work who will read and share your content again and again. They may also subscribe to your mail list and bookmark your page.
Content marketing also allows you to show your expertise on a subject, you can answer frequently asked questions, solve a problem or offer true thought leadership on the subject of your choosing. By doing this you’ll start to gain respect in your industry, people will seek you out to read your work, recommend you and feel like you aren’t selling to them but genuinely offering great advice or assistance. As an off shoot of this you’ll gain audience trust meaning that you’ll be able to sell more easily when the time arrises.

Killer blog content is an important part of your social media marketing (it goes hand in hand really! Content marketing works best when sharing through social media). When you share great content on social media, people see it, share it and you also gain more followers and more advocates for your brand or personality. –

[Tweet “Content is King and Social Media is Queen. “]

The success of your blog really does depend on the content you add to it! So start creating killer blog content today by adding value, answering questions and providing a solution to your target audience.

( If you want to know more about blogging, my course Blogging for Success will be enrolling soon. More info.)

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Blogging Business Content Marketing Getting Started Online Marketing Strategy online marketing Small Business social media Social Media Authority Social Media Tools

Be an Authority: How to gain audience trust on social media

Be an Authority: How to gain audience trust on social media

Social Media Marketing is mostly about building and maintaining trust of your audience. Being able to reach a huge audience is great but that doesn’t mean anything if that audience isn’t engaging with your social media posts! That’s why it’s really important for you to gain the trust of your audience / followers which will help you to establish yourself as the ‘go to’ or authority in your niche.

With that in mind, how does one go about building trust with relative strangers on social media?

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Before you begin your quest to build authority and trust in your niche you must understand it’s a long term thing, just like in real life people don’t suddenly trust you immediately, you’ll need to gain some credibility to do this you’ll need start to nurture your relationships and develop your content so you have something to make you seem more credible.

When people read your first social media posts, in all likely hood you’ll be ignored, if you can get your new audience to read your articles or share posts and you manage to touch them in some way this is a great start! But it’s unlikely these people will be paying customers at this point.

As you continue to create valuable content and solve problems for your target audience you’ll find that they’ll read more of your content and you’ll start to build relationships more but only if this content is good and your brand is on point. It’s very possible, that if people in your audience enjoyed your content each time it touches them that they’ll start to trust in what your saying and become a part of your community and an advocate for your brand meaning they’ll be paying attention to your content in future.

Over a period of time your audience will go from paying attention or taking note to actively seeking out your content, it’s here that you can start to make sales! This process could take months or even years and will only happen when you are consistently creating valuable content, speaking ad engaging with your community on social media But don’t mix up consistency with quality! It’s also really important that you get a lot of great content out there but it has to be top quality. Try to be accurate, interesting and ahead of the game with the content you create. There are heaps of tools out there out help you do this. (also my online course ‘social media authority’ covers all of this)

When you are consistently creating great, relevant, valuable content and your audience is sharing and reading that content as well as seeing you as the ‘go to person’ to ask questions about your niche then you know you have become a true thought leader.

Speeding up the process 

It doesn’t have to take years to gain your niche audiences trust and establish yourself as a thought leader, there are a few things you can do to speed things up!

1. Reach out to influencers in your niche that your audience already trusts, if they share your content or mention you this is like getting an endorsement and can really help to get you some more credibility in your niche. Periscope is a great place to do this as it’s such an instant and easy way to get close to your biggest influencers.

2. Engage with your audience, ask questions, make them feel involved and always answer their questions! Be yourself and be friendly, approachable and responsive.

3. Keep your eye on the leaders in your industry niche and see what they are doing, you’ll be able to tap into some of their follower base and pick up some pointers.

Some people rise to the top on social media and others just seem to stay where they are, this isn’t by accident there’s no luck involved, if you spend time working on your plan, goals, creating great content, reaching out to influencers, engage your audience and work hard, you’ll make it there too!

Come on my course! Social Media Authority: for a short time it’s ÂŁ10 instead of ÂŁ97 to those who are up for offering feedback.

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Blogging Just for fun Small Business social media

The Perfect Post Length For Social Media and Your Blog?

In this post we will look at the perfect post length for social media and your blog.

 

So what is that perfect post length?

 

Firstly let me just say that there isn’t ‘really any ‘ideal’ anything! And it certainly does depend on your industry, your community, audience and customer demographic. However there are some stats out there, which give us some guidelines to help us decide the perfect post length for each platform or post.

 

Let’s look at each network independently:

 

Twitter – 100 Characters

 

The perfect Twitter post length, is 100 characters! Apparently according to Twitters guidelines they say that Tweets with 100 or less characters enjoy 17% more engagement! – On Twitter: Keep it short, keep it sweet.

 

Buddy Media carried out some research that supports this claim (sort of) they found that retweets peak for tweets of 100 characters while longer tweets do better than shorter. Therefore 100 characters is certainly the ultimate tweet spot! Nothing more and nothing less.

 

Facebook – 40 Characters

 

Short and sweet seems to be preferred on Facebook too! Funnily enough even though there isn’t a character limit on Facebook, it seems that 40 characters or less seem to do best! Social Media, Superstar Jeff Bullas carried out some research on brands using facebook. He found that short posts especially posts under 40 characters received 86% more engagement!

 

This sort of makes sense though doesn’t it? People are in a rush; there is a lot of content on social media and especially so on Facebook. If they can read and share quickly then it’s easier for them. But if your content is really long people may not have the time or patience to read the whole thing!

 

Google+ – 60 Character Headline

 

If you wish to avoid truncated text on Google+ your headline should be less than 100 characters. However this is also some value in using long headlines in G+ as it could seem more enticing especially as click bait. I would recommended that you find the right balance and experiment a bit with both long and short headlines. Your first sentence will show in the Google+ search so try and take advantage with making this irresistibly clickable for your readers.

 

Instagram 11+ Hashtags

 

For more Instagram interaction 11+ hashtags seem to be the hotspot! And the funny thing with Instagram is that the more hashtags you use the better! So don’t be shy of the #!

 

Blog – 1600 words

 

Your blog is a little different from social media but your social media and blog should be used together to help with content marketing (or getting your blog content read as much as possible!) Medium the newspaper type content aggregation site suggest that posts with around 1600 words seem to get the most attention and the average reader gets through this content within about 7 minutes. So having a more in depth post means you’ll capture peoples attention more and get those people to stick around on your blog a bit longer!

 

What do you think? – Will you be experimenting with your social media and blog post lengths?

 

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Blogging Business Content Marketing internet marketing Marketing Marketing Strategy online marketing Small Business social media Social Media Authority Twitter

Simple Strategies To Build Your Authority on Social Media

Build your authority on social media

Are you looking to build your authority on Social Media?

In case you didn’t know by now Social Media is a really powerful marketing platform that when used properly can help you reach an unlimited number of potential customers with very little monetary investment.

Although social media may be very powerful it will only be great for you if you have a great strategy in place. If you haven’t already established yourself as a credible authority then you may find everything you do is pretty much ignored! If you want to improve the effectiveness of social media then becoming a credible authority within your field should be one of your top goals!

I’ve put together a list of simple strategies that will help you to build your authority on Social Media:

 
Blog / Podcast

Start a blog or a podcast and write, record as much excellent information as possible. Give all of your pearls of wisdom away by creating top tips and how to’s which help your target audience or solves a problem for your audience. You must then share these posts on social media many times, packaged up with different titles and using hashtags to help others easily find your information easily. – this is called content marketing and is one of the best ways to build trust and authority on social media. If you find it difficult to write then try podcasting, periscoping or even Vlogging and use these same principles.

 
Build Your Followers 

I am afraid that if you have a low number of followers on social media sites such as Twitter you will have a pretty difficult time getting masses of people to read your content or look to you as an authority. Follower counts shouldn’t matter but when it comes to looking like an authority on social media they do! It’s actually seen as key indicator of your influence so building those followers is ever so important! – There are several strategies that work to help you do this.

 
Be Yourself

Most people love to see a real human behind a digital and faceless social media account and by being you, you can start conversations as yourself which in turn will help to build trust and of course credibility. It’s okay to post up a personal update or fun life image now and again as this can really help you to connect with your fans.

 
But be Professional

Having said be yourself  – try not to be unprofessional such as posting drunken statuses or images or tweeting about your love life. People could lose massive respect for you even if you think it’s funny, others may find it unprofessional and when respect goes down the toilet so does credibility. Leaving your dreams of world domination in tatters!

 

 

Brand

Having strong branding with great images and a well written, concise bio will make you look the part.  (here’s my guide on writing a great bio for your social profiles)

 
Spelling and Grammar

Using bad spelling and grammar does look a bit unprofessional. We all make mistakes but for some people certain errors are unforgivable, make sure you check your posts and spell check if you can before you start scheduling content or publicising your blogs. Does having spelling mistakes make a statement untrue? No! But can it make you look less credible? Yes. – It’s sad but true.

 
Share Content and Post reguarly

If you leave it ages without sharing content or posting on social media you will look like you aren’t present. Key is to create content regularly, share facts from your blog posts and other relevant content. If you feel you can create content but don’t have time to be on social media constantly the key is to use a bulk social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite to free up some much needed time.

 
Reach Out

The very best way to appeal to other authorities on your subject is to reach out to them on social media! If you network with authorities such as industry newspapers or websites and they retweet your content to a large targeted following this will most definitely help your cause!

 
Network and Chat 

Get involved in community groups, join in with twitter chats. Respond to peoples questions you find on social media on your authority topic. By offering help and value you are showing how much expertise you have which is literally a free way of advertising. This strategy is often referred to as social selling.

 
Quality and Value

Always post and share content of great quality and post content that gives your followers value. If you wouldn’t charge for it don’t share it. Share content that serves a purpose or solves a problem your community may have. You may hate me for saying this but you should also….. give it all away for free!

 

Do you already do any of these? Share your thoughts I always love to hear from you!

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Blogging for your small business

blogging for your small business

What are the benefits of blogging for your small business?

First check out these pretty powerful stats about blogging: According to Hubspot:

  • B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  • By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.
  • The only thing blogging costs you: your time.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.

With those stats in mind you can’t ignore the power of blogging for your small business.

One of the greatest benefits of blogging is that it gives the business owner a place to answer questions they get asked regularly and helps to raise the profile and credibility of the business or the business owner.

The online world is now a competitive area especially for online businesses, there are more tools and information available than ever making it easier than every for everyone to start a business that leverages online marketing. By creating exceptional content be it using a blog, reporting or videos you can still set your business apart from the crowd and get more business than your competitors who are not yet doing it.

How do you get started with blogging for your small business?

Another amazing benefit of blogging is that you aren’t expected to be an expert blogger or a literary genius you just need to have the basics down. – I recommend the 30 day blogging challenge with Sarah Arrow to get you started with the how to’s and to get you into good habits around blogging. Through blogging you can create a wonderful and educational platform that shows your expertise, your talent and showcases your small business to the world and more importantly to your existing clients.

My personal experience was getting started with blogging by simply writing a list of questions I get asked about social media or digital marketing most frequently and went from there. I feel this is the best way to get off the mark with your own blog. Think of your most asked question or enquiry and blog the answer in detail. This will benefit you in 2 ways. 1. Potential customers may find your blog when searching for the answer to this question (which could end up a nice lead) and 2. You have somewhere to refer people to in your proposals or on social media when they ask that same question which of course in the future could save you a ton of time. This type of blog post is usually referred to as evergreen content because it doesn’t change and it can be referred to and shared again and again.

There is no rule for the amount of times you should publish or when you should publish so just go with the flow. Remember good content can be shared on social media again and again.

Quick Tips: Blogging for your small business:

1. Get started by putting together a list of possible blog topics

2. Write detailed answers to your most frequently asked questions (1 for each post)

3. Try and create blogs / content that solves a problem or answers a question

4. Use an online spelling and grammar checker. Nothing say’s ‘I can’t be bothered’ more than someone who can’t be bothered to differentiate their ‘their from their there’ and their ‘your from their you’re’ – Tip: If spelling and grammar isn’t your strong point just have a colleague or friend read your post over just to be sure.

5. Be personal. There are a lot of people blogging for business now and probably covering the same topics. To stand out you’ll need to make your posts special to do this you must be yourself, don’t be shy about including your own ism’s and quirky ways to your blog.

6. Create a graphic for your blog post to encourage more click throughs on social media. I use Canva as it’s easy and there are 1000,s of templates available.

7. Don’t make it all about traffic and hits. Trying to engineer the perfect post for SEO isn’t always the best SEO! Just writing naturally and making sure your title explains the article content really is a great place to start.

8. Get started!!

A MAN'S GUIDE ON HOW TO (11)

 

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What are the benefits of podcasting for business?

Podcasting for Business

When you think of podcasting for business do you picture this geeky guy sitting in their spare room with an iMac and Mic with ambitions of becoming the next big radio presenter? – This is what I thought when I heard about podcasting for business!

But now podcasting for business isn’t just geeky tech guys in their spare room or garage, it can now be used as a mainstream marketing and communication tool for small businesses and individuals with the potential to help grow audiences and brand awareness which contribute to revenue growth. Its easy to see why! We have so much less attention from our audiences, there is media everywhere and it’s hard to cut through the noise with just articles alone. Technology has made it much easier for you and I to set up a podcast and websites like fiverr mean we can get intro’s and production done for $5 making podcasting a cost effective and viable option for small businesses looking to create content. There are also some great iPhone apps available where you can simply create a podcast from start to finish using nothing but your phone or device.

So what is Podcasting?

Simply put Podcasting is where you make radio quality audio shows available for download through an RSS feed to a computer, MP3 player or mobile phone. Listeners only have to subscribe to a podcast just once! After this new content is automatically delivered to them as soon as it becomes available. With computers and portable media devices being everywhere, podcasting is a powerful tool for businesses to extend their brand, improve “customer stickiness” and increase sales and their online visibility.

Did you know?

[Tweet “Small to mid-sized businesses are known for being early adopters of cutting-edge technology”] because they are generally more willing to try new things that can help them gain a competitive advantage.

Why is podcasting for business so good?

[Tweet “Podcasting for business is very inexpensive and is a quick and effective way for businesses and individuals to get their messages in front of new customers all around the world!”]

Because listeners have a vested interest – otherwise they wouldn’t subscribe to the show – delivering specific information precisely to target audiences yields a higher return on investment than any direct marketing or advertising campaign.

Instead of sending out monthly newsletters or holding offline training events, podcasting for business is an easy way of  sharing information. Simply create a podcast and your target audience can listen to the information whenever and wherever they want by simply downloading it into their phone or device. Not only does this create a more enjoyable listening experience, it’s cost effective and less time consuming than the old traditional methods of content creation.

We are still finding out about the benefits of podcasting for business! It’s only a matter of time before businesses leveraging podcasting as a marketing tool become commonplace. Cost effective and easy to implement and greater Return on Investment, podcasting is one of the most effective tools a company can use to communicate with potential customers and grow its business!

When will you get started?

Listen to the audio version here:

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Blogging Content Marketing Getting Started Online LinkedIn Marketing online marketing Small Business social media

4 Steps to writing a successful LinkedIn article

How to write a successful LinkedIn Article. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with customers and potential new business. There are now 347 million active users on the social network, numbers which are too large to just ignore.

If you are currently using linkedIn as a marketing and networking tool for your business you’ll have seen many people now publishing long from posts which is LinkedIn’s version of blogging.

The social network has now rolled out publishing to everyone. Which means there is a lot more competition when it comes to getting these long posts or articles read.

So how can your contributions cut through the crowd and be seen?

Some articles get a handful of views and some get hundreds or thousands very quickly! So what separates the Wheat from the Chaff?

Many people are using LinkedIn Publishing to promote events, Some are using it to promote products. But the best articles are those that offer true value with no sales pitch. They educate people, they are inspirational, aspirational. They make us think and they make us take action in our lives, careers or businesses.

  1. Choose a great title

A great title is the first thing people see – this title is the difference between a click to the main article or not.

Poor Title Examples:

  • New event launching
  • New blog up
  • ‘Your company name here’ launches new service

These titles won’t work as they offer no value to your reader and are over promotional, too much about you and your business than how you can help them or solve a problem.

Keep your titles educational and helpful If you are an expert in your industry then flaunt your expertise by revealing a new way of approaching a subject or teaching the Lay person how to do elements of your job themselves. This will show you as a leader in your industry, the GO TO person, the expert. If you showcase your expertise and give tons of value away, you’ll soon see a positive effect in terms of new leads, job prospects or relationships.

2 – Great Cover Image

If your cover image is a dull stock photo that everyone else is using people will automatically associate it with other content. The Key is to be Original here. Original, Eye Catching and related to your title!

Use free tools such as Canva or Pic Monkey to design your own image that reflects the originality and personality of the article. You can use elements of stock photos from places like Canva or Dollarphoto club. Check you have the correct cover image dimensions and create an image the right size for the space. This will make your posts look even more professional. And help your article stand out from the crowd and encourage more click thru

3 – Great Content

Once you have that perfect title and the perfect picture the content needs to be equally are great! It needs to do what it say’s on the tin.

Be original – Don’t write about the same things we’ve all seen before it makes for a very uninspiring read.

Use your insight and expertise to create an article that inspires people to take action.

Share content that will last the test of time. News and reactive articles are good but sharing Great Content that will provide value for weeks or even months to come will ensure you’ll increase your views and shares on LinkedIn. This content is evergreen and will last the test of time. By investing in creating a great article now means you’ll eventually save time, as you won’t be scrambling around for new content to share. It is preferable to write one GREAT article that gets views and shares month after month than to write a sub standard piece every week.

4 – Share

If you want those likes, shares and comments it’s time to start sharing. Don’t just post and run. Post and share to your LinkedIn feed, share in groups that will be interested in your content, share on Twitter, on Facebook, Pin the image to Pinterest, Instagram and so on. Share the article again In your email out. The bottom line is sharing increases awareness of your content.

Don’t just share once. Make a schedule as to when you will share your content in the future, this way more of your audience will see your article over time.

 

Lucy Hall

Lucyshall.com

Lucy@Lucyshall.com

 

 

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