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Showing posts from November, 2017

What Feedback Do You Pay Attention To?

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Have you ever fallen into the trap of making a change because of one single piece of feedback? It's happened to me and I've seen it happen to others. Don't change your brand's font (or anything else) because one person doesn't like it.

One person's preferences will never represent a significant sample of your target market.

We want feedback, we ask for feedback, and when we get it, we feel we have to act on it. Not so. Instead, we need to think about it, give it careful consideration, and get more feedback from our target market - because it's their opinion that matters when it comes to our marketing.

originally published in Work Better, Not Harder newsletter November 30, 2017

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Where Do You Get Stuck?

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When it comes to writing articles for your blog or newsletter, what's your stumbling block? Perhaps it's...

coming up with ideasadapting your ideas for writingstarting to writefinishing writingediting and proofingfinding or creating graphicskeywords and publishing
If you can identify where you get hung up, you can find a solution!

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What are Your Competitors Writing About?

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Whether it’s for your small business blog or newsletter, researching what your competition is writing about will benefit you in two important ways:
You will have something with which to compare your own content strategy and your execution of it.It’ll trigger new content ideas and topics to write about. After you've assembled a list of blogs to inspect, these are the things to pay attention to:
layout and design (look and feel)ease of reading and interactionkeywords and topics coveredwriting style and formattingfrequency and consistencythe value offered Now consider:
How does your content measure up?What holes do you need to fill?What can you do to improve? Make a plan. You don't have any competition, you say? OK follow this same process and research others in your industry or servicing the same target market. You'll get the same benefits.

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Editing Tips to Benefit Your Readers

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“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” - Henry David Thoreau -
It is always easier to edit someone else's writing. We're emotionally invested in our own words, wanting to hoard them and take ownership of them.

The thing is, you don't need to justify anything you write. I often see words and phrases like this which can be completely eliminated:
"I want to say that..." or "I want to let you know that..." or "I want you to know...""It's my opinion..." or "I personally think/feel that...""... of mine" (as in "friends of mine" or "colleagues of mine") Then there are those phrases and even whole paragraphs that should be about the reader instead of the writer: "I'm planning to..." or "I'll send you..." Try starting with "you" instead, as in, "You'll receive..." You can often eliminate many "I"s

13 Ways to Make Your Small Business Blog More Interactive

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Why do we want our blogs to be more interactive? I googled that question and didn't find any kind of consensus or a clear answer to share. This seems a little odd with everyone talking about engagement (and lead magnets and sales funnels).

As soon as a reader takes some action (often a click), they are much more inclined to take a second action, and a third, and so on. It's exponential, and it's what engagement is.

If we know we want our readers to keep taking actions, we need to give them encouragement to do so... but not all at the same time. Here are a few ways to make your business blog more interactive.

#1. Use a link strategy within your posts to move readers along to more relevant content.

#2. Conduct a one question poll. Link to your poll in an app like SurveyMonkey which allows you to show results after someone answers. This poll could be legitimate research or a fun distraction. You can even publish the results in a future blog post.

#3. Include a special offer f…

Long Term Planning for Your Small Business Blog

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While teaching a blogging class to small business folk recently, we were doing an exercise to get us thinking about our blogging strategies beyond the next post or the next month.

We posted flip chart sheets around the walls and together filled in all the topics and themes we could think of for each month (or season). The answers reflected the different types of businesses represented in the room - lots of variety. By walking through the months, paying attention to the many holidays and seasonal activities, we mapped out the whole year.

Sure, we all know when Christmas is, and that September is back-to-school. Some people are romantic at Valentine's, and others are gardening in the summer. Go the extra step and think about how your target market is impacted by these events, how they're feeling about these things.

Even if you can't solve their biggest problems, maybe you can make them feel better by helping in a smaller way.

To find those opportunities, you'll want to …