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How to Easily Write a Good Blog Post for your Business (Top Tips)

how to write high quality blog posts quickly

You’ve been told that you need to write blogs for your business, you now understand these blogs need to be >2,500 words, but how do you find the time in your schedule to actually write a good blog post?

Everything in marketing always comes back to finding systems that will work for your schedule to write an educational and informative blog post quickly.

In this post I’ll be going through my top tips for writing a good blog post quickly.

If you are just tuning in, over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about how to perform keyword research and find related keywords to include in your blogs:

Ok, so let’s jump in an get started.

First and foremost, when you write a piece of web content, it should be about something you are knowledgeable about.

If you are a psychotherapist who specializes in EMDR, but have never done Brainspotting, don’t try to write a blog post explaining the intricate details of Brainspotting. (I’m not an expert in either, so for our psychotherapist clients, I pass the writing of those blog posts to one of our all-star copywriters.)

As you are creating your content strategy and your blogging calendar, try to include blogs that are timely and relevant, but make sure you feel comfortable actually sharing information on them.

A 2,500 blog post may seem daunting as you are getting started, but it really doesn’t need to be when you follow the tips outlined below.

Tip 1: Once you have your topic, see what other articles have been written about it

Before you even get in the writing zone, do a quick Google search about the topic you want to write about. Remember, you want to get a sense of what those related keywords are to include in your content anyways, so this step has a dual purpose.

For this post, my search was for Write a Good Blog Post Quickly.

Guess what comes up?

A blog titled 5 Ways to Write High-Quality Content – Fast

5 Ways to Write High Quality Content Fast

Hey! That looks right on the mark for my blog post.

Ehh, actually after a quick read-through, this blog doesn’t include all the information I want to, but that’s okay! I know it is highly ranked on Google for my proposed keyword and includes super basic topics:

  • Have a brainstorm of ideas you can pull from
  • Batch your time
  • Know your own self and when you are most creative
  • Write ahead
  • Keep it simple

These are great tips, but again, I want to be more technical in this blog post on easily creating systems for writing a blog post quickly.

Don’t worry, my efforts to research what other people are already writing haven’t gone to waste.

If you do find a blog post that nails your topic on the head, make a quick note of the outline they follow including:

  • The headers they use
  • What keywords or topics stand out
  • The general flow

Then … CLOSE THE WINDOW. This is your blog and you need to make sure you aren’t plagiarizing. You want to make the blog post your own not a word by word replica of what you just read.

So why is it okay to open up an article or two that just don’t include the information you want to include? Well… It could be that you want to write about something completely off the grid or it could be that nobody has actually taken the time yet to post a detailed enough guide on the topic you want to explore.

If I open up an article that just doesn’t seem to include the information I want to share, I take a moment to consider what I would include in my blog post that is missing from the blog I just read.

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Tip 2: Take a Moment to Write Down What is Missing from the Blog Post you just read

Let’s go back to 5 Ways to Write High-Quality Content – Fast. Though the author has some great content tips, he’s missing some major items that help me write my own blog posts effectively.

Namely, the author is missing the steps to:

  • Research what other pieces of good content are ranking on Google
  • Create an outline for your blog post
  • Transcribe audio or video to create not only great written content for your website, but also to include multimedia in your blog posts.
  • Include filler adjectives and words
  • Outsource writing for blog posts

The post also has an incorrect fact about how short, concise content is the way to go. You don’t want to ramble on and on, but you want to give valuable information that will actually benefit the reader rather than a quick 300 word blog post (I’m already at 800 words and only on tip 2 for writing high quality blog posts quickly… you better buckle up).

Creating a list of what is missing from the example blog posts will help you create an outline for the informational blog that you want to write for your website.

Tip 3: Write down an outline for the content you are writing for your blog post

You now have the list of elements that are typically included in blogs related to your chosen topic.

You also have the specifics that are missing from the posts that you would like to include in your blog post.

AND, from before you even started your blog, you have the keywords you wish to include and the related keywords from Google.

Even though you already have this information compiled, I always find it helpful to write an actual outline for your blog post.

Why?

There are a number of reasons why you should, but most importantly it is because:

  1. You are a busy professional who will get called into a meeting or be interrupted by a conference call.
  2. You are a mom (or parent) like Amber and myself who will need to change a diaper, make sure homework is getting done, or run their child to T-ball.
  3. Do you really have the focus to write 2,500 words in one sitting?

As you get interrupted, it may feel like you can jump right back into the task at hand, but in reality, it takes your brain a few moments to get back on track and figure out where you are with your blog post.

Creating an outline allows you to more easily spend 15-30 minutes here and there on the blog without out feeling like you are spending half the time rereading what you’ve already written and trying to decide where to go next in the blog post.

Having an outline also keeps you on track for the final parts of your blog. Many writers often cut their blog short towards the end because they are just over the process of writing. Having an outline allows you to take a break, but not loose focus.

This process is called Batching your time (see I am including some of the information from the blog post example).

Tip 4: Batch your time while you are preparing to write and actually writing the blog post for your website

As I just mentioned, batching your time is the process of focusing on one at a time rather than trying to multitask.

Here, it means not checking your email or jumping to Facebook while you are writing.

Each time you shift your focus, your brain needs to reorient itself.

In the process of writing your blog post for your website, there are some things you can do to help you batch your time:

  1. Focus on each step in sequence: Keyword research and finding related keywords, researching similar blog posts, creating your outline for your own blog, actually writing the blog, going back and editing the blog, finding images for your blog, writing the title of your blog post.
  2. Don’t try to edit your blog post until you’ve gotten all of your information down.
  3. If you realize you need more information to write thoughtfully on a topic, but you’ve already done your initial research and are in your writing stage, make a note and then jump to the following section that you can write about. Unfortunately, if you jump back to reading articles, trust me, your blog will take 10 times longer to write.
  4. I’m sure I have more, but because I am using this blog as a way to show my own blog writing process, I’m jumping to the next section because additional points are not coming to me at this time. I may come back and add them, but for now, I move on. 🙂

So again, you want to think of writing your quality blog post as a process. Just like anything else in business, processes help to make you efficient and effective. Batching is one way to help you write your long blog post quickly.

Tip 5: Don’t Write! Transcribe from Audio and Video to Create your Blog Post

This is one of my favorite tips for busy professionals who just don’t seem to have the time to get into a writing groove.

10 minutes of audio creates a blog that is about 2,500 words long.

So, after writing your outline for your blog post you could use an audio converter or record a video to transcribe your words to text to include in your blog post.

Some tools I recommend are Google Docs and YouTube.

Let’s take a look at Google Docs first. 

Head on over to Google Drive and click to create a new document. Better yet, you could create your outline as a Google Doc so you can add to it on the go if needed.

Under Tools, there is an option for Voice typing (Ctrl+Shift+S).

voice typing google

Click this, start talking, and your document will start filling up with words.

Now when I do this speech to text, I do find that I need to edit the text as I go. I’ll talk for about 5 sentences, stop the recording, and then edit what was written. You may be able to do the entire document based off your outline and notes, however.

The iPhone speech to text works well, as well. I’ve actually ‘written’ blogs while out for walks with the girls, but Apple will stop transcribing every couple of minutes, so you need to make sure you don’t keep talking with nothing being written down.

I’m sure there is other software you can use that also records your audio for use in a Podcast. Or you can send the audio file off to Rev.com for transcription at $1/minute. Totally worthwhile if you have spent hours trying to get into writing, but not filling the page with any content.

The other option is to use YouTube to transcribe a video.

Using your computer camera or your phone, record yourself talking through the outline you created.

When you upload your video to YouTube, you may need to first verify your account (enter in your phone number in the settings) to post videos that are over 10 minutes long.

Typically, most of our clients who generate a transcription of their blog upload their videos as Unlisted or Private, though I am all for listing these videos as Public to get more of a reach – blogs with videos perform really well, YouTube is a search engine, and you can share your video to social media (always think of how you can repurpose your content as you create it). Make sure the space you are in looks professional if you also plan to publish the video as Public and include it in your blog post.

After you have uploaded your video, click in to edit it and find the link that says Subtitles/CC.

youtube subtitles

You will be prompted to select your language (I use English though at times I’m not sure).

Then, click under Published where English is listed again.

subtitles for youtube

On the next screen you can download the subtitles created by YouTube as .srt.

save subtitles you tube

 

I’m not sure what a .srt file actually is, but all you need to do is convert it to a .txt file online and you will be able to open it with your computer. In the past I’ve used Subtitle Tools for the conversion, though a Google search for “Convert .srt file to .txt for free” will work just fine.

The text that is created will be formatted a little strangely with about 7 words per line and no punctuation. Honestly, I get a little overwhelmed by this, but the ability to create the video and written blog in one go is well worth the effort to run through your post and edit it.

Your outline makes this easier as well. 

You can work through small chunks and sections by pasting the text under the corresponding blog header. Please let me know if you often work through your transcripts, I’d love to feature more tips about converting a YouTube video into a blog post.

Again, if spending $10-$20 isn’t a problem, you can submit the video to Rev.com and utilize their transcription services.

Tip 6: Outsource your Blog Writing

We frequently outsource blog writing. I’ll keep this section short, but you can find experts in your industry who cost anywhere from $0.03 per word to $0.65 or more per word. So, depending on your budget and time you have available to provide an outline and edit your blog post, you may decide for yourself what budget for the blog writing really makes sense.

We utilize freelancers on Upwork.com and WritersAccess.com to find niche bloggers for our clients. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not an EMDR or Brainspotting expert, so why would I spend hours trying to write that blog post when someone else can write it for a fraction of the cost of my time to research.

Depending on your industry, you can also probably find Guest Bloggers who would write a post on your site for free if they can include their bio and a link back to their own website.

With Guest Bloggers, just make sure their content is unique and reserve the right to edit it slightly so the headers include your focus keywords and related keywords.

I love guest bloggers because they often then will share the link to their own networks or link to it from their website, which then in turn helps get new visitors to your website and helps in SEO.

How to quickly write a great blog post for your business, #blogging #bloggingtips, learn how to write a long blog, how to blog for your business, blogging for business

How to quickly write a great blog post for your business, #blogging #bloggingtips, learn how to write a long blog, how to blog for your business, blogging for business, #business

Wrap Up

Writing a high quality, long blog post doesn’t need to be a difficult task. Depending on how you work you may find that you are better suited to transcribe and audio or video file rather than sitting down and typing.

The most important starting point for any blog, however, is to make sure that you create an outline. I just sat down and busted out this blog before 9am, but it is on a topic I am VERY familiar with (have you checked out our blogging course yet?).

You may not have time to finish a blog in one chunk, so be sure to batch your time to most effective and efficient.

What long blog posts are you working on writing? I’d love to check out your work!

Not sure what Keywords to include in your Blog?

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Finding Topics Your Tribe Will Love [Video]

Topics Tribe with love

Content is King… When you know which topics you should be writing about.

This video is an excerpt from our NEW COURSE: Secrets to Effectively Blog For Your Business (which is included in the membership for our paying members).

In this video, we take a look at 3 of the ways you can find topics to blog about for your business:

1. A personal brainstorm
2. Your competitors
3. Industry and Trade Journals

And how you can utilize these topics to create a content calendar for your business.

As you tune in, be sure to have a pen and paper handy to start your brainstorm process.

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How to Use Your Values to Create Exceptional Content for Your Business

How to Use Your Values to Create Exceptional Content for Your Business

You’ve heard you need to have identified core values for your brand and business, but what does this actually need?

We recently posted a video about how your core values are a set of standards for your business and how values drive how people perceive your business. Now it is time to take a look at translating this into the content you create. Here, we are going to be taking a look at a few different facets of your marketing:

  1. How to use your values to identify your target market
  2. How to use your values to create content that will move your brand forward
  3. How to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Your brand and your mission need to flow through every aspect of your business and online, content is one of the main ways prospects can get a sense of who you are and what it would be like to work with you (or purchase your products). Do your personalities align or do they clash? Do you focus your attention on the same details your clients care about? How can you put your best foot forward online?

Let’s start with utilizing your values to identify your target market.

I’m sure you’ve been told that we work with people that we know, like, and trust. I must tell people this every single day. When your core values flow through your business, people with those same values will tend to be more attracted to working with you. They can help you really connect with those individuals who can then turn into raving fans.

A process to identify your target market that starts with your values.

Unlike most exercises that drive you towards creating a description of your target market, I invite you to think first about your values. More and more business experts are discussing how your employees should encompass your brand values, especially if they want to be more fulfilled, so why not bring this same notion to your consumers? Rather than focusing most heavily on the demographics of your target market, take a look at the psychographics. This includes the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

  • Values
  • Personality
  • Lifestyles
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior
  • Interests/hobbies

Think about how your product or service actually fits into your target consumer’s lifestyle, how will the product be used?

By going through this exercise, you open yourself up to thinking beyond just age, income, and location. You allow yourself to better understand what actually drives your consumers and what matters to them. Where do your business values come in? Well, ideally, your consumer’s values align with those of your business.

The next piece of your brand values is to use them to create content that moves your brand forward.

Here we will discuss possible topics that your business can write about that will better position your brand.

There are many different ways to come up with topics to discuss in your blog, so, just as a disclaimer, here I’m really only discussing one element of creating your content strategy. Your content strategy should be diverse, but there are ways to make sure within your strategy, your brand messaging and values come across loud and clear.

Actually discuss your values

We recommend sitting down once a quarter, or at least once per year, and actually write a blog about your values. This may seem strange the first few times, but provide examples about how your values have dictated what products and services you offer. Or create a blog emphasizing your attention to detail and customer relationships that also highlights testimonials from your clients. There are a lot of different ways to highlight your values in a blog post, but one thing I do want to emphasize is how important it is to try and relate these articles back to the benefit for your clients.

Nobody wants to read something only about you, but how interesting would a story be of how you found your supplier because of their fair trade employee salaries or how you came to be a life coach because of the struggles you had before you started living aligned with your values. These are things people can relate to, and topics that can help you form a real connection with your market.

Understand who you are writing for – and use words that convey your values

Okay, so this really ties into the first part of the blog where we look at psychographics to identify your target market. By understanding the values of your market, you can use language that they will relate to more clearly. Let’s say you are a winter sports company who is marketing ski helmets to parents. The language you should use should highlight the safety and comfort of their children. However, let’s say the company is edgy and markets to the park-rat. Do you think they should focus on comfort and safety?

No! Their target market wants to look cool and may care about being connected to their devices. They want a way to easily show off the sick tricks they are throwing in the half pipe while jamming out. Everything from the imagery the company would use to the verbiage would have to shift.

The same is true for your business. Who are those different consumers you are trying to work with? Do you find that you are intuitive when you work with clients or are you very process driven? Work to find what words you can use in your marketing that conveys your brand values.

Lastly, we are going to take a look at how to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Creating a process to respond to reviews online

Far too frequently, businesses with high integrity receive negative reviews online. Often times we actually see this for our clients’ when they work with individuals with conflicting values to the business, but here we really should focus on what you do after you receive a review.

First, visualize that you have just received a notification of a 1 star review. What is your gut reaction? You’ve worked years to build a reputable business and now everyone will see this negative review, who wouldn’t be upset?!

Before you do anything, STOP. Think about your values – how do you want to be perceived?

Most business values include some sort of idea around integrity or relationships, so you want to make sure that how you respond also projects this. Unless you are a business like Shinesty or Cards Against Humanity, where you embrace an ‘in the face’ brand presence, we recommend the following:

  • How would you respond if the reviewer was speaking to you directly?
  • Was this an issue that you had tried to resolve and were aware of?
  • Is the customer actually right? Often times with negative reviews, the customer just can’t get over something (or maybe even be a competitor posting as an irate customer), but other times we can actually learn from legitimate negative reviews.
  • Think about what else could be going on in the individual’s life. If you truly think you did everything you could and that you bent over backwards, perhaps this individual is having the worst week of their life. Changing perspective can help you to calm your nerves and think more clearly about a situation.
  • Draft a reply comment in a word document that explains that you are sorry they are disappointed with your service, that you take pride in X,Y,Z, and that you are available to speak offline via phone or email.
  • Sit back an hour and reread your draft response. Check it for any spelling or grammatical errors, then copy and paste it as a reply to the review.

Following these steps will make sure you aren’t jumping in with your gut reaction, but rather that you are allowing your values to dictate how you will treat others online.

Positive reviews are easier to respond to, but many businesses fail to actually write back each and every time they receive a review. Again, think about your values. Let’s say Community is a brand value, what better way to showcase this by taking the time to thank each reviewer and reestablish your invitation to them into the community that you are building.

In this post we’ve taken a look at how to use your values to find your target market, how to write content that exemplifies your brand values, and how to respond to reviews in a value-driven way. Just remember in every aspect of your marketing and service to clients, your values can and should act as your compass.

 

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Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business [VIDEO]

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business

What Are Core Values?

Core values are a set of standards for your business that everyone involved in your business must use in order to deliver the best possible product or service.

Core values force you to raise the bar and set the standard, the tone, and the cadence of your business.  Make sure you are doing what you can to set the right standards for your business to get the outcome you are looking for.

This video will help you establish core values for your business.

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Blogging in 2017 – The Startling Truth About Blogging

Blogging in 2017

Ahh! Run for the hills, blogging is dead!

Wait, what? After all this work blogging every day for 2 months, I’m now saying blogging is dead? Let’s step back a moment.

There is always someone talking about social media being dead or blogging being dead, but the truth of the matter is that even if one strategy isn’t working as it used to, another strategy jumps in and takes its place.

Let’s take a look at blogging.

[Disclaimer: I do not think blogging is dead. It has absolutely changed in the past year or two years, but doesn’t everything shift, change, and get better over time?]

In 2015, Hubspot reported ideal blog lengths. The report stated that:

  • Shorter is better for blogs. In fact, Forbes even published an article stating “After 750 word — or sometimes after only half that — you risk losing your readers’ attention.” [Source]
  • Most posts on WordPress were only 280 words long.
  • In general, however, for this short blog post strategy to work, you needed a large network and needed to post frequently. In essence, your blog feed started looking more like a social media account news feed.
  • Around this time, articles also started popping up that stated blogs under 750 words received the most shares, whereas blogs over 1,200 or 1,500 words ranked the highest organically.

Blogging in 2016

As the months passed, this shifted drastically! By early 2016, it started becoming clear that not only was content still king, but LONG content reigned top. The longer the content, the more shares and inbound links you would find. But, it wasn’t just articles 1,500 – 2,000 words long. We were now talking 3,000 – 10,000 words long!

Shares by Content Length

 

What this means is that even though in 2015 bloggers were posting short blogs frequently, they were overlooking the importance and response they could get by going more in depth in a topic. Most bloggers weren’t taking the time to go into depth about their topics. The surge in shares for pieces of content that were between 3,000 – 10,000 words went against older common sense that people would lose interest in longer articles. The truth was that these longer articles actually capture more of the reader’s attention!

Looking back at 2015/2016 it actually was that bloggers didn’t want to spend the time going into depth.

During this time, as well, Medium.com completed a study on the optimal post length to capture a reader’s attention. Not surprisingly, considering the data we’ve already reviewed, the best length was approximately 7 minutes, or  between 1,500 and 1,750 words. Again, however, we see the same trend that a majority of posts on Medium represent 3 minute reads. These 3 minute reads were viewed the most frequently, because there are more of them, but the best length for engagement was at the 7 minute mark.

Total Engagement or Time on Article

Total Views By Post Length

Okay, so it is pretty clear from this data that blog posts generally have been getting longer and readers tend to enjoy this longer content. We see this in not only the time people stay on a longer article, but also the number of times longer content is shared and the organic rankings of longer content. This is still all in the past, however!

Let’s jump to 2017, what can we do now to make the optimal blog post?

Researchers are still pointing at longer blog posts and unfortunately tend to reference older data to stake their claims. There are, however, some incredible insights about what this data now means!

In 2017 long form blog posts are where you need to be. It is more difficult for some people to create this content than others, but if you are hoping to use blogs for SEO and to appeal to clients, you need to make sure that a majority of your blogs are over 1,500 words and at least a few blogs every month are in the 3,000 to 5,000 word range.

Why is this?

As you write more in depth on a topic, you are utilizing more related keywords. Google and other search engines are able to pick up on these related keywords and understand the topic you are talking about more clearly. Think about it… the longer your content, the more words you use, and the more likely the words you are using relate to one another.

You want to be mindful about these related long tail keyword phrases you are using.

One way to double check your work as it comes to long tail and related keywords is to simply turn to Google.

Let’s say your keyword was Search Engine Optimization. Type this into Google. The text box automatically pulls up other keywords people often search for. Here we see definition, how to do, techniques, etc.

search engine optimization related words

These words and others also appear at the bottom of the search results page. Just scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a section titled “Searches related to search engine optimization”.

How to use Related Keywords

Each of these words can make great long tail keywords to include in your content. You can also get a sense of what spin you should take in your writing. Are people looking for how to’s and tips or for more informative background or even specific products relating to your content?

Include media embedded in your longer blogs to make them more shareable.

Longer pieces of content also tend to have more media inserted. Blog posts with at least one image tend to outrank and be shared more than those with no image.

When you have a longer piece of content, you also have more opportunities to insert images, videos, and podcasts. Each of these then may appeal to one individual or another. Take the time to build graphs, infographics, and other imagery that can help your content stand out.

Internal and External Links in longer blog posts for SEO

Additionally, writing longer content creates more opportunities to increase your internal linking and provides more incentive for external websites to link to your content. As you are writing, you are showing your expertise and knowledge on your subject. As you write, be sure to add links to other blog posts you’ve written. These longer blogs also create an opportunity for yourself to then highlight an eBook or freebie on your site.

Longer blogs create prompts for additional content on your site.

Often times, a longer blog post actually works very well as a starting point for your marketing for webinars and products. When you write the blog you are cultivating the information that can then be shared through different avenues. You are better able to repurpose your information that appears in the blog post.

To repurpose content, start with your blog post. This information can then be expanded upon in an eBook, which can be used to collect email addresses. Your email newsletter then in turn works as an avenue to share additional blog posts that are on information related to the eBook.

From here, you can measure which topics get the most response from your own market. These topics that get the highest engagement rates, then provide the basis for more in depth blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and finally products that you can sell online (or in person). Each blog post should also be shared on social media, as LinkedIn articles, and through sites like Quora and Medium.

Through repurposing the content you are building even more links between pages and reaching even more individuals.

2017 how to increase seo | Blogging | Blogging and search engine optimization | How to use blogging for SEO | Search Engine Optimization in 2017 | SEO | SEO 2017 | State of industry with blogging

Lastly, we need to look at where the industry is heading.

In the future, I don’t think studies of blogging will only measure effectiveness based on how many words appear in an article. Recent trends show that it is becoming increasingly important to include video and audio in blog posts. My hypothesis is that the research on blogging effectiveness is going to shift to measure the effectiveness of having these more personal elements. This unfortunately means a lot of us are going to have to step out of our comfort zone!

If you take a moment to consider how we choose to work with certain businesses and individuals, it really boils down to us knowing, liking, and trusting the person. Video is such an incredible way to tell people who we are and to show our personality.

As a Recap

  1. In the past, shorted blogs worked well for business
  2. Businesses and bloggers still tend to write these shorter posts, but need to dive into more detail
  3. To run an effective blogging program, you need to write posts that are 1,000-5,000 words long
  4. In these long posts, be sure to include Related Keywords, link to other blogs on your site, and share the posts to your other networks and email list
  5. Base eBooks and freebies on your site on content repurposed from your long blog posts as a way to manage your time more effectively
  6. Start stepping out of your comfort zone and include audio and video in your blogs posts in addition to images and infographics

60 Blogs in 60 Days – Unexpected Consequences of Blogging Everyday [Recap]

Wow! Time sure flies. The past 2 months I have been blogging Every Single Day. This was an experiment to not only see the effects of blogging on our business, but also to embark on an educational adventure. Change obviously isn’t instantaneous, but my new attention to the business and writing blogs certainly had unforeseen outcomes.

In this blog post I’ll be reviewing some of the trials and tribulations as well as things I’ve learned, real results, and where we go from here.

Setting the stage:

In 2017, I wanted to take a more purposeful interest in our own digital marketing. So many of our clients are through relationships we’ve built offline, that as a digital marketing agency, I knew at some point we needed to start walking the walk. We’ve been cruising along with a 6 figure business managing marketing efforts and doing web design for small businesses, but our own online presence has always been more of an afterthought.

After years full of competing commitments and lifestyle changes, 2017 became the clear year that I needed to attention on the business to really get it to the next level! In 2015 I graduated with honor from the Leeds School of Business after getting my MBA while working and running BIMS full time. Then in 2016 we welcomed our gorgeous (and tough) little girl to the world. I was back to jumping on conference calls while breastfeeding within days (probably more like hours) of bringing her home. Though I cut back face to face meetings, I continued to run a networking group and somehow managed to juggle a transition to motherhood as a business owner as we went into our most profitable year in business. However, throughout this time, I knew there had to be an easier way to do business. I love working with clients face to face, but sitting as the face of the business certainly has its pitfalls as you can never really step away.

My goal for 2017 is to set the systems in place to redirect our business to less hands on work and more digital assets. Blogging for 60 days straight was meant as a launch pad to refocus attention on the business, our email lists, and ultimately launch a program that could be repeated over and over again. Surprisingly, besides blogs for clients, I had never actually written a post for our site as we always have had interns and contractors writing for us.

Not sure quite what to talk about, I followed the advice we  give to our clients and created a content plan utilizing Trello as an organizational guide. Before technically starting the 60 Blogs in 60 Days challenge, I was off to a good start with a weeks worth of posts ready as drafts in Trello. About 30 other topics were listed with notes and bullets to make the writing of the content a little easier. Then I jumped in!

Getting Started with Blogging:

It was exhilarating writing the blogs and publishing them on the site. Not one to really share personal information on my own social networks, I set up tools to automatically post the blogs including:

  • Zapier: On Zapier I create 3 Zaps. Two Zaps automatically posted the featured image to Pinterest (on 2 different boards) and the third was actually to automatically post our business Instagram images to Pinterest.
  • SNAP (Social Networks Auto Poster) Plugin: This plugin is great for WordPress. It automatically links your blog with Delicious, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook and other networks so each blog post is published or back linked elsewhere. Though I never quite got the settings figured out for LinkedIn and the Medium SNAP became disconnected, I theoretically had the blogs going out to a handful of networks without needing to do anything else on my end.

Finding time to write the blog posts got more difficult, but at the  start of the 60 day challenge, I often used Voice to Text while walking our dog. Unfortunately, Mary Kathryn started wanting to walk during our walks rather than just hanging out in the stroller. Once this started, I decided not to multitask and just focused on playing with the girls on our walks. That’s when evening blog writing started and I’d carve out time after dinner to write the blogs hoping I wouldn’t need to finish them during the sacred morning nap time (or as I like to call it, the most productive part of the day).

Initial Results from Blogging:

The initial results from daily blogging were fantastic! Within weeks we had seen an increase in traffic to the site. Now keep in mind, like a lot of business websites, our site was really just a brochure for our business should someone we met in person want to read about our services. It was really built as an afterthought, rather than designed to fulfill a specific purpose.

We were pretty pleased with the initial traction we were getting from the blogs and actually sharing the blog posts to our social media networks online. To track this, I ran a Google Analytics report comparing the date range of 4/2-4/22 to the previous period. From here, I pulled the reports for Acquisition > Traffic > Source/Medium and Behavior > All Pages to see where people were coming from and what pages they were visiting on our site.

Traffic to BIMSTeam.com has INCREASED 117.65%!

Pageviews on BIMSTeam.com has INCREASED 83.02%!

An increase in traffic of 117.65% certainly was exciting even though our traffic numbers are still relatively small for a 6 year old business making 6 figures. This increase had to be a good sign, right? The only problem was that the site wasn’t set up to capture emails and leads. Once someone landed on a blog, that was that. We didn’t have any freebies or downloads. Recognizing this, my schedule of blogging once per day because a little more challenging.

I now recognized that we needed these additional resources as a way to actually capture the leads and again walk the walk of the advice we always give to clients. Traffic to the site is great, but you need to make sure you are being purposeful about what you then DO with those individuals.

Competing Priorities:

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but when I launched the 60 Blogs in 60 Days, I also signed up for ConvertKit as a way to provide daily emails to other individuals who wanted to commit to 60 Blogs in 60 Days. The one problem was that the day I first posted the landing page to some Facebook Groups, I immediately got 20 signups in a day. Great right!? Not for me. As I wrote the blogs, I also needed to make sure I wrote the corresponding daily email to be sent to subscribers. These emails include tips, blog topics, motivational quotes, and how to’s for SEO, sharing your content, writing headlines, and so much more. At times I was able to turn the email into a  blog post, but often it came down to basically writing 2 blogs Every Single Day.

I urge you to sign up for the 60 Blogs in 60 Days Challenge if you want to read all these tips 🙂

60 Blogs in 60 Days

So what did this mean… Well, basically from the beginning I had competing priorities. I wanted to fulfill the challenge myself, but I also had a commitment to the individuals who had registered for the challenge. To date, the landing page for the challenge has a 34% conversion rate – not too bad, ehh?! It was the first landing page I created with ConvertKit, so looking at it now, I would probably adjust the page and content some, but at 34% visitor to lead sign up rate, I may just keep it as is and test a second design if I decide to keep pushing the program.

As I also mentioned, I realized a few weeks in how important it was going to be to offer resources and freebies for site visitors as a way to grow our email list. This resulted in me continuing to write the blogs every day, but slowly nearly falling behind as I also was creating guides, ebooks, and a digital course.

About 3 years ago or so, I remember stumbling upon the Nectar Creative and loving the resources Melyssa Griffin offered. It seemed really unique to have one signup and then access to her full collection of downloads. Of course she’s now one of the business owners you want to emulate and has done an incredible job growing her business. But, when I first saw her resource library, I set out to recreate all of the resources. Getting caught up in business school, growing a family, and managing every day business operations, I never actually created a single download.

Knowing that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today, I jumped in and got started. There is only so much you can do by kicking yourself for not acting on something years ago, but life is about prioritizing, right? For the past few years, my priorities weren’t growing the BIMS Team’s online presence. Now, at last, it is!business blogging, how to blog for business

SO, in addition to the daily blogs and daily emails, I now set out to create resources. As you work on projects like this, it can be difficult to stay committed and focused. Though I’ve always tried to be really good about not multitasking, I began to feel like my head was spinning and I would start jumping from project to project while trying to also finish up web design projects, on-boarding new clients, and fulfilling client obligations.

With hundreds of browser windows open, I began scrambling to balance the time I spent educating myself, committing to furthering BIMS, and working with clients. Above this, most days I also had Mary Kathryn by my side. Time management and prioritizing, one my dear friend, became a distant memory. So much for following tactics laid out in the Four Hour Workweek or discussed by Todd Herman. In the span of one month, I went from one neatly organized notebook to a cluttered desk and three notebooks each with meeting notes and to do lists from every day. I’m so excited as a am moving back towards normalcy as it comes to my time management and prioritization of tasks.

Did I mention that at this same time my husband left his job to focus on building his freelance business? At least I now have more consistent help with the girls 🙂

Actual Results from 60 Blogs in 60 Days:

Beyond slowing picking myself up from complete disarray, a lot has been accomplished in the past 60 days! Actually, even more than I imagined has been pulled together. Granted, some of the blog posts were god-awful and never edited and I think some may have been published without actually being completed, I did fulfill my goal of posting a blog every single day for 60 (actually 64) days.

But above and beyond that, through emphasizing a commitment to my business, I’ve begun creating some REALLY great resources for business owners, people just starting out, and bloggers.

Some examples include:

  • This Website Planning Guide: A free workbook that covers the steps you need to take before you start designing and developing your own website. It includes prompts for your brand values, fonts, and colors, as well as a step by step guide for writing you About, Services, and Product pages. My goal is for this to turn into a Website in a Weekend Program for those Do it yourself-ers who want to make sure they are building their site the right way without spending thousands for a web designer to build a site for you when you don’t have the money coming in the door.
  • Blogging Your Business: This course was built mostly using content from webinars we ran last year, but also provides the exact template we use to build an editorial calendar, broken down to daily posts, for our clients. It is a go-to resource to understand how blogging can be useful for your business  as an avenue to propel growth to the next level.
  • Blogging 101: This is a easy to implement guide for outlining your blogs and best practices for SEO. It is a great tool for those who just need a little extra help outlining their blog topics. [Sign up form is below].

The process of writing a blog every day allowed me to explore certain topics in much more depth than I ever had in the past. It created an avenue for me to actually set aside time to begin creating resources and to focus on the digital marketing for The BIMS Team.

We’ve always gotten clients through RFP’s or word of mouth and networking, so a lot of changes needed to take place on my personal accounts specifically and some of the layout of the website. These website changes are almost complete, but prior to a month ago, we had no forms or calls to action.

Additionally, as you can expect, website traffic increased as did email sign ups! We currently have 928 active email subscribers, of which 100 are new from the various calls to action and content upgrades on the site!

Where to from here:

While I wish I could continue blogging every day, the posts with the highest engagement and most traffic were, as you can guess, the longer blog posts. These posts I never wrote in one sitting and very clearly show cased more information than the shorter and sometimes poorly written posts.

My game plan after this is to:

  • Write 1 blog post per week that comes in at 1,500 + words
  • Write 1 blog post per month that is 5,000 words
  • Create 1 video per week or audio to complement the blog post
  • Focus on building Pinterest with more of a game-plan
  • Continue creating, updating, and optimizing the Content Upgrades or Free Resources on our site
  • Turn my attention on continuing to grow our email list
  • Update the Blogging Your Business course to include even more actionable advice

You can follow the progress and receive free tips, tutorials, and advice on our email list here.

Hopefully this overview of my experience with blogging 60 days straight was informative for you and provided advice and guidance that you can bring with you as you create your own blog and digital marketing plan!

Blogging | Blogging Management | Best practices for blogging | blogging for business

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Blogging Is Dead: The Startling Truth About Blogging in 2017

Ahh! Run for the hills, blogging is dead!

Wait, what? After all this work blogging every day for 2 months, I’m now saying blogging is dead? Let’s step back a moment.

There is always someone talking about social media being dead or blogging being dead, but the truth of the matter is that even if one strategy isn’t working as it used to, another strategy jumps in and takes its place.

Let’s take a look at blogging.

[Disclaimer: I do not think blogging is dead. It has absolutely changed in the past year or two years, but doesn’t everything shift, change, and get better over time?]

In 2015, Hubspot reported ideal blog lengths. The report stated that:

  • Shorter is better for blogs. In fact, Forbes even published an article stating “After 750 word — or sometimes after only half that — you risk losing your readers’ attention.” [Source]
  • Most posts on WordPress were only 280 words long.
  • In general, however, for this short blog post strategy to work, you needed a large network and needed to post frequently. In essence, your blog feed started looking more like a social media account news feed.
  • Around this time, articles also started popping up that stated blogs under 750 words received the most shares, whereas blogs over 1,200 or 1,500 words ranked the highest organically.

Blogging in 2016

As the months passed, this shifted drastically! By early 2016, it started becoming clear that not only was content still king, but LONG content reigned top. The longer the content, the more shares and inbound links you would find. But, it wasn’t just articles 1,500 – 2,000 words long. We were now talking 3,000 – 10,000 words long!

Shares by Content Length

 

What this means is that even though in 2015 bloggers were posting short blogs frequently, they were overlooking the importance and response they could get by going more in depth in a topic. Most bloggers weren’t taking the time to go into depth about their topics. The surge in shares for pieces of content that were between 3,000 – 10,000 words went against older common sense that people would lose interest in longer articles. The truth was that these longer articles actually capture more of the reader’s attention!

Looking back at 2015/2016 it actually was that bloggers didn’t want to spend the time going into depth.

During this time, as well, Medium.com completed a study on the optimal post length to capture a reader’s attention. Not surprisingly, considering the data we’ve already reviewed, the best length was approximately 7 minutes, or  between 1,500 and 1,750 words. Again, however, we see the same trend that a majority of posts on Medium represent 3 minute reads. These 3 minute reads were viewed the most frequently, because there are more of them, but the best length for engagement was at the 7 minute mark.

Total Engagement or Time on Article

Total Views By Post Length

Okay, so it is pretty clear from this data that blog posts generally have been getting longer and readers tend to enjoy this longer content. We see this in not only the time people stay on a longer article, but also the number of times longer content is shared and the organic rankings of longer content. This is still all in the past, however!

Let’s jump to 2017, what can we do now to make the optimal blog post?

Researchers are still pointing at longer blog posts and unfortunately tend to reference older data to stake their claims. There are, however, some incredible insights about what this data now means!

In 2017 long form blog posts are where you need to be. It is more difficult for some people to create this content than others, but if you are hoping to use blogs for SEO and to appeal to clients, you need to make sure that a majority of your blogs are over 1,500 words and at least a few blogs every month are in the 3,000 to 5,000 word range.

Why is this?

As you write more in depth on a topic, you are utilizing more related keywords. Google and other search engines are able to pick up on these related keywords and understand the topic you are talking about more clearly. Think about it… the longer your content, the more words you use, and the more likely the words you are using relate to one another.

You want to be mindful about these related long tail keyword phrases you are using.

One way to double check your work as it comes to long tail and related keywords is to simply turn to Google.

Let’s say your keyword was Search Engine Optimization. Type this into Google. The text box automatically pulls up other keywords people often search for. Here we see definition, how to do, techniques, etc.

search engine optimization related words

These words and others also appear at the bottom of the search results page. Just scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a section titled “Searches related to search engine optimization”.

How to use Related Keywords

Each of these words can make great long tail keywords to include in your content. You can also get a sense of what spin you should take in your writing. Are people looking for how to’s and tips or for more informative background or even specific products relating to your content?

Include media embedded in your longer blogs to make them more shareable.

Longer pieces of content also tend to have more media inserted. Blog posts with at least one image tend to outrank and be shared more than those with no image.

When you have a longer piece of content, you also have more opportunities to insert images, videos, and podcasts. Each of these then may appeal to one individual or another. Take the time to build graphs, infographics, and other imagery that can help your content stand out.

Internal and External Links in longer blog posts for SEO

Additionally, writing longer content creates more opportunities to increase your internal linking and provides more incentive for external websites to link to your content. As you are writing, you are showing your expertise and knowledge on your subject. As you write, be sure to add links to other blog posts you’ve written. These longer blogs also create an opportunity for yourself to then highlight an eBook or freebie on your site.

Longer blogs create prompts for additional content on your site.

Often times, a longer blog post actually works very well as a starting point for your marketing for webinars and products. When you write the blog you are cultivating the information that can then be shared through different avenues. You are better able to repurpose your information that appears in the blog post.

To repurpose content, start with your blog post. This information can then be expanded upon in an eBook, which can be used to collect email addresses. Your email newsletter then in turn works as an avenue to share additional blog posts that are on information related to the eBook.

From here, you can measure which topics get the most response from your own market. These topics that get the highest engagement rates, then provide the basis for more in depth blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and finally products that you can sell online (or in person). Each blog post should also be shared on social media, as LinkedIn articles, and through sites like Quora and Medium.

Through repurposing the content you are building even more links between pages and reaching even more individuals.

2017 how to increase seo | Blogging | Blogging and search engine optimization | How to use blogging for SEO | Search Engine Optimization in 2017 | SEO | SEO 2017 | State of industry with blogging

Lastly, we need to look at where the industry is heading.

In the future, I don’t think studies of blogging will only measure effectiveness based on how many words appear in an article. Recent trends show that it is becoming increasingly important to include video and audio in blog posts. My hypothesis is that the research on blogging effectiveness is going to shift to measure the effectiveness of having these more personal elements. This unfortunately means a lot of us are going to have to step out of our comfort zone!

If you take a moment to consider how we choose to work with certain businesses and individuals, it really boils down to us knowing, liking, and trusting the person. Video is such an incredible way to tell people who we are and to show our personality.

As a Recap

  1. In the past, shorted blogs worked well for business
  2. Businesses and bloggers still tend to write these shorter posts, but need to dive into more detail
  3. To run an effective blogging program, you need to write posts that are 1,000-5,000 words long
  4. In these long posts, be sure to include Related Keywords, link to other blogs on your site, and share the posts to your other networks and email list
  5. Base eBooks and freebies on your site on content repurposed from your long blog posts as a way to manage your time more effectively
  6. Start stepping out of your comfort zone and include audio and video in your blogs posts in addition to images and infographics

SEO | Search Engine Optimization | State of Blogging in 2017 | Making the most of your Blog

 

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How to go from 0 to 100,000 Website Visits

Moving from 0 to 100,000 visitors takes a lot of leg work, no matter how easy a blog post or interview makes it sound. Unless of course you are buying ads, which provides a short-term solution, you’ll need to get working!

Depending on your industry, Pinterest. Reddit, Quora, and LinkedIn can all provide avenues to increase your site traffic. I’ll take a look at each below.

In order for any of these to be successful, however, you need to make sure there is a reason to go to your website. I recommend a combination of new blog posts, freebies, and diverse media (videos, infographics, etc).

  1. Pinterest: On Pinterest there are a variety of ways you can boost your traffic. You need to start with the basics.
    • Complete your profile and confirm your website. By confirming your account, your profile tends to rank higher in search results. Also, let people know what to expect if they follow you.
    • Use Rich Pins. These add more content to your pins from your site, which can increase their impressions and clicks.
    • Optimize Descriptions: Not only do you want your pins and boards to appear in search results, you also want to entice people to click them.
    • Engage: Don’t just go through and Follow everyone you can to gain Followers, go through and Like, Comment, and Repin appropriate Pins before Following someone (yes, there are automation tools like this, such as NinjaPinner or Tailwind*).
    • Participate in Group Boards: Find group boards that fit your business and request to join them. Of course follow the rules when you pin to these boards, but they open the door to a much wider audience (BoardBooster* is great for automating your pinning).
  2. Reddit: The goal on Reddit is to get a lot of Upvotes. When a post makes it big, it can bring thousands of visitors to your site. Reddit is set up to prevent spammers, so you do need to be cautious about what type of content you are posting here.
    • Find your subreddits: These are the subcategories that you can post to. You need to find the ones that is made up of your target market. You can find these subreddits through searches on Reddit. Look for the results that are relevant and have high traffic. You can also use Metareddit to find subreddits. Just make sure that the subreddits you decide on FIT your topic and aren’t too broad.
    • Research the posts in the Subreddit: take note if you see consistencies in the posts and what the most upvoted posts tend to be. You will want to emulate what works within each specific subreddit.
    • Participate: Hold off on posting your links for just a bit more and focus your energy on commenting on other posts (new accounts can only comment once every 10 minutes or so).
    • Post your own links! But only if it fits the guidelines for the subreddit. When you are posting, don’t hesitate to test different headlines and time of day. Always be clear about what the post is about and then don’t try to upvote your own things. Redditors can smell marketing from a mile away, so don’t try to hide what you are doing. Of course sometimes, even if you get downvotes, you still may make a sale, which has happened a few times to me).
  3. Quora: We are just starting out on Quora, so there are other folks who can provide better insight here, but participate and provide great answers to questions.
    • On Quora the best way to  is to get traffic to your website is to find questions to answer have followers, but less than 10 answers. This means you have found a question people are interested in learning more about, but you can have your answer stand out compared to others.
    • Don’t be afraid to answer questions that aren’t directly related to your business, either. You have expertise in a lot of different areas, so you can more generally have your profile stand out if you start receiving up votes across the board.
    • Research how other people are answering the question. Are they writing quick responses or going into detail? This can show you how you need to be writing the replies.
  4. LinkedIn: If you are B2B, you need to be on LinkedIn. I highly recommend using Group Discussions to push out your blog posts and LinkedIn Articles to re-publish your popular blogs with a call to action back to your site.
    • Find Groups: LinkedIn has switched around their interface, but the goal is to find active groups that fit your target market.
    • Participate: Just like with Reddit and Pinterest, you need to participate. This means liking and commenting on other members’ discussions.
    • Post Discussions: Often your discussion will be flagged if you just post the link to the blog post, so you want to start by asking a question as the discussion title. In the body of the discussion, use some of your blog post and then provide the link to your site.

With each of these tactics, you need to be CONSISTENT and focus on sharing high-quality content. If you want to learn more about how to grow your traffic, please join my free email course on digital marketing.

*Affiliate Link

The Definitive Guide on How to Grow Your Website Traffic from 0 to 100,000: Moving from 0 to 100,000 visitors takes a lot of leg work, no matter how easy a blog post or interview makes it sound. Unless of course you are buying ads, which provides a short-term solution, you’ll need to get working!