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Showing posts from April, 2016

My Blog Post Recycling Process

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Each time I post a new article on this blog, there are a few regular things I do to start the recycling process. You may find some of these useful, too.

#1. After emailing subscribers and posting on my social media feeds, I save time by immediately scheduling some future tweets (including images) using Hootsuite - once a month for the next 3-4 months.

#2. Next, I grab sentences that can stand alone as tips or quotes for posting on social media. These go into a spreadsheet so I can continue to rotate them, for example, my daily enewsletter tips. (You can grab a similar spreadsheet here.)

#3. I fire up Canva and make some graphics with tips and quotes for future use. I've got a file folder I can delve into when I need something to post.

#4. If the blog post was a suitable list or process, I file it with my soon-to-be infographics.

#5. About a year later, I'll review the post with the intention of repurposing my ideas. Depending on the post, I may expand on it in a new post, or …

Repeating Ideas is Strategic

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I'm a big fan of recycling content for a few reasons. I've written about 350 blog posts and I know you haven't read every one. That means you've likely missed a good idea that might appeal to you - so I should repeat my ideas. Finding different ways to do that means my ideas will impact a larger audience. Rereading my past articles often triggers new ideas for me to write about. Plus I make the most of my content creation time investment.

photo by localben / Flickr
originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on April 28, 2016

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eMail Productivity: Automate Course Certificates

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If you're a teacher or trainer, you've likely struggled with the process of providing Certificates of Completion (or Certificates of Attendance and such) to your workshop attendees. Using a Word template, your process might be something like this: prepare your spreadsheet for a mail merge, complete the merge, convert each .doc to .pdf, print, fold, mail merge the envelope addresses, print labels, affix to envelopes, stuff envelopes, lick stamps, run to the post office. Even if you're paying someone to do this for you, it's pretty labour intensive and prone to error. Add the cost of printing and postage, and providing certificates isn't cheap.

Consider using your bulk email application, such as iContact, to automate this process. There is a little set up involved but, once it's done, it's quick and easy to use.

How to set-up your certificates:

First design a certificate template in your email application. You can do this in much the same way as you would in W…

How to Set Up a PayPal Link to use in eMail

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When promoting anything, it's always best to have a way for people to pay right away. PayPal is usually an easy way to do this but sometimes I need a PayPal button in a place where I can't embed the html code, like in an email, Word document, or social media post.

You may not know there's a simple way to get a PayPal link without the button code. It's a link just like any other url and can be shared anywhere online (although it's an ugly link so you'll want to hide it behind text).

Here's the caveat: you have to avoid using any of the 'customize button' options. Once you're finished creating your button, on the next screen, click the tab for 'email' and copy the link. (see image)

Now you can have people 'Buy Now' using that link instead of having to embed a PayPal button.

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Content Template - The Newsjack

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Every part of your business needs some type of content. And you need to develop content consistently to reap the benefits.

There's a content creation trick that can speed up the process by providing structure. Using a content template is sort of like filling in the blanks on a form, and often in a particular order.

Don't waste time staring at a blank screen. Use a template and plug in your ideas to create fresh original content. This technique allows you to write quickly.

The Newsjack Template

The purpose of this template is to help your readers stay up-to-date with news that affects them, such as breaking industry news or new regulations. Click here to download this template now (.pdf).

Get More Templates

If you like that one, grab our mini workbook Quick and Easy Content Creation which has 10 templates, plus some tips for using them to be more productive.

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What Happens Once You're Found?

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"We’ve mistakenly made being found the number one goal of our marketing." 
~ Bernadette Jiwa

This line from a recent article really caught my attention. Over the past few years I've heard many people talk about SEO (search engine optimization) as something desirable without really knowing why.

SEO is something done to your website so it'll be found in Google searches. So, what happens when someone gets there?

There's no value in investing in SEO if your website can't make something more happen when a potential customer arrives. Imagine having a store with no employees.

First, make sure your website can work for you. It should contribute to reaching your business goals and the here's-what-we-do-feel-free-to-call approach won't do much for you. It's one thing to get found and quite another to make the sale.

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