You want to start strong and the way to do that is to make a personal connection with your readers. While there are many ways to make that connection in each issue, your first issue is where you set up expectations about the value you'll provide. It's often the point at which subscribers choose to stay or go.
Here are some things you might want to include: Write your introduction to your ideal client.Acknowledge that this is your first issue and that you appreciate your readers' attention.Tell readers what they'll be getting and how often. Outline the benefits of staying subscribed.If you have added your customers and business contacts to your subscriber list without their express permission, acknowledge that you have done so and why you have. (For example, you might say that they have bought something from your store, or you met at a networking event.)Tell readers that it's easy to unsubscribe via the footer in this and every email.Ask for feedback and suggestions…
A wrap-up article is a logical and unique grouping of pieces of content where the grouping provides value to the reader beyond the individual pieces on their own. You might think of it like a themed gift basket.
There are several reasons we need to be creating these wrap-up articles. They... serve as a great resource - valuable information grouped togetheruse commonly searched keywords and phrases (good SEO)encourage deeper readingare often faster to createprovide a process to repurpose past contentremind us of what we've written and provide inspiration to write more
Wrap-up articles serve us better than just about any other content we might create. Of course, we have to be creating content on a regular basis to be able to wrap it up.
There are lots of different ways to group pieces of content: by topic - e.g. content idea generation, writing tipsby use - e.g. how-to, conceptual, tipsby thing - e.g. infographics, videosby user - e.g. for beginners, for expertsto conclude a series -…
Email is an ideal way to communicate details, such as meeting minutes, action lists, project updates, instructions, reference data, decisions, event info, checklists and much more. Sending previously prepared information is a snap - just attach, or copy and paste.
When I started specializing in enewsletters, I quickly discovered that there are a lot of details to discuss and make decisions about. Some clients like communicating by phone and others by email. But for some of this detailed communication, email is definitely the best method regardless of preference. It allows me to standardize the process, provide checklists, track action items, explain complex ideas, show examples, and document decisions.
Here are some tips for communicating detailed information by email: Strive for clarity. Be brief, but not to the point of leaving out relevant information. Use point-form numbered or bullet lists. This makes it easy for your reader to mentally check things off, or to use a pen on printed…
Sometimes we surprise ourselves. I didn’t imagine there would one day be 500 posts on Work Better, Not Harder when it started back in 2010. I wasn’t thinking beyond the stress of getting that first post published. Yet here we are and I’m feeling a little emotional… in a good way.
It’s not easy to pinpoint one or two blogging success factors so I settled on eleven - down from a much longer list.
1.Give value to your current/potential customers plus referrers.
People who know me are surely tired of hearing me say this: figure out what would be useful or interesting to your target market and give them that. Writing for your current customers is a great way to get started.
2.Watch your stats frequently.
Pay attention to what readers are interested in and do more of what gives you the best results. If something isn’t working, ditch it and start something new. If you aren’t watching your stats at least weekly, you won’t know what’s working.
File cards - yup, I've been walking around with a few in my purse, wrapped in an elastic band. File cards are fantastic for catching your great content ideas, and here's why: Small size - less space than a notebook and no bigger than a cell phoneEntertainment - can keep you occupied while on the bus or waiting at a coffee shopTransportable - featherweight, fits in your back pocketSkins/cases are cheap - you can change the colour of the elastic band whenever you wantExpandable - easy to add notes or do a quick outlineCustomizable - different colours, lined or unlined, different sizes, add star stickers to your best ideasRecyclable
Plus they enable creativity. When you're frustrated, throw them up in the air. Examine how they land to see unexpected connections. This is a tactic of Sue Grafton's private detective Kinsey Millhone... and it works for content, too. Click to Tweet this Article
It's always useful to check in on your blog stats so you can see what people are interested in reading. This year I'm a little surprised with some of the posts that have been read the most on Work Better, Not Harder. Here they are:
#1. 7 Out Of 12 Small Business Bloggers Agree On This When I teach marketing courses, the group eventually tires of seeing this list of key reasons for publishing a blog or newsletter come up on the screen in every class. Focus on only 2-3 main goals.
#2. Social Media Day Halifax 2018 Marketing Conference For the first time, Halifax celebrated Social Media Day in grand style this year. I'm proud to be one of the organizers of the first Social Media Day Halifax conference which took place on June 22nd.
There is so much I want to write about but, oddly enough, first I'm going to write about one of the sessions I didn't get to attend - Mike Tanner's Beyond The Mic: The Real Work of Podcasting. Here's the thing - Mike recorded his session and posted it to his podcast (the same day!)
Mike talks about starting a podcast in the same way I talk about starting a newsletter...
What's the best way?What do you want to do?What can you do? Taking on too much can be a quick path to failure. If you can figure out how to fit it into your regular activities, you'll have more success. It's an important message for all of our small business activities. I encourage you to listen to Mike's podcast.
If you're feeling - like I am - that you need to get focused for the next quarter, perhaps my list of planned activities below will be helpful.
Business development: Continuing to refresh and work a business plan is a top priority, but sometimes it can get lost in the daily grind. I have several activities I'm keeping alive and making progress on by using a simple project management tool (Trello). I recommend reading The Phone Lady's post with advice about how to reach your revenue goals this year.
Website refresh and audit: It's a good idea to do an audit of your website quarterly. It's even better if you pay or beg someone else to do it for you - they will see things you won't. Over the summer I've been working with Alison Knott on a brand refresh that you'll see roll out in September. A full audit will be part of that process.
Masterminding: This continues to be an important road to business development and growth for me and my company. If you're n…
When was the last time you audited your brand? If it's been more than a year, it's time.
Your brand is more than your logo - a lot more. It's also more than all the pieces you can touch or look at. But all of those pieces need to be just right to pull their weight as part of your marketing strategy.