posted by on blogging, content marketing, marketing, traffic, writing

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photo credit: sxc.hu/mmagallan

This is a quickie post to share this handy little pdf that is full of 100 practical things that you can do bring more targeted traffic to your website. Every day you can pick a tip and do what it says. Keep following the tips consistently and you will begin to see more traffic and exposure for your website.
Here’s a sneak peek at three more of my favorite tips from this free ebook:

  • Tip #30: Get your blog on Kindle
  • Tip #70: Make effective use of your default 404 page
  • Tip#86: Use a Translation widget

With this post, I am following tip #22. I am freely passing this ebook along that was given to me because I know that if you actually do what it says you will see results.
Of course, I would be remiss, and I might have to have my writer’s card revoked if I did not harp on the fact that the foundation of good traffic is excellent content. Write about what you love, what makes you insane with anger, share good, valuable information about your products and services and visitors will be drawn to your website and they will share your content.
Be consistent with your traffic generation strategies and you will see results sooner or later.

Read. Enjoy. Do it! ;-)

Download 100 Traffic Tips here

 

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posted by on blogging, content marketing, facebook, marketing, twitter, writing, writing tips

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photo credit: istock photo

Do you use blog writing to attract business? Do you wonder how you can double your blog output and still have a life? Do you worry about whether your blogs offer quality content that your target readers will love, so they will subscribe? Know the biggest benefit to strategic blog marketing means that Google will like your blogs. Each time you write a blog post, you build your website traffic.

I can relate. When I started a blog over 6 years ago, I got discouraged because of little audience response and little traffic increase. Against my better judgment, I quit. Now, after four years of using a WordPress blog, I realize I just needed to multiply my posts so Google would notice me and I’d get more targeted subscribers. As a writing coach, I already knew what I could do. I just needed to do it. You can relate, yes?

I recommend you post at least two times a week and share your blog URLs on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

For your best results, here’s my proven top 3 Ways to create quality blog posts faster.

One. Write a Title of One Specific Question to One Specific Audience and Answer it.

You may be marketing a book or your service. Your target audiences want their questions answered. Questions are one of the best ways to write a blog title. To find out where your audiences are now, you can poll your audience with a survey by email or on one of the social media platforms. Simply ask them to state their biggest challenge or problem.

They may have many questions. That’s great. You can leverage each blog post by a complete answer to their question. For example, book writers ask, “How can I write my book fast and sell it faster too?” Of the nine pre-marketing answers given to this in a book chapter of my “Write your eBook or Other Book – Fast!” I simply address one at a time in nine different blog posts. For example,”Do you know your Target Audience for your Book? This one blog post became 1000 words. That number is good for some audiences, but the sweet spot for blog length is around 500-800 words and many will want shorter lengths.

Two. Rewrite Similar Content for a Different Audience.

Many authors have multiple audiences, so to bring more sales, they need to write different blogs aimed at the needs of different audiences. For instance, one client who is a coach for eating disorders, now writes blogs for her three audiences – bingers, bulimics, and anorexics, because you can binge, but not necessarily be a bulimic or anorexic. She’s writing specific tips for each one. This approach will multiply her numbers and keep her audiences coming to her website, where she offers her other programs and new books we’re working on. Many general book titles will benefit from this approach.

Know your article’s purpose and specific audience and narrow your slant or focus your information just for them. They will feel as though you speak directly to them and get engaged with your post, leaving comments and clicking the links to your site where they can get more of you.

Three. Write a 500-Word tip blog post.

No matter what your topic is, your audience loves tips. This shortest “how to” blog post with numbered tips is the most popular of all.

*To create around 500 words, you need to…
*Choose a title that works for tips.
*Outline your topic.
*Write a one-two sentence hook or introduction.
*Include four to six sub points in outline form.
*Write each paragraph to support each sub point.
*Write only two or three short sentences for each paragraph.
*Create three to five paragraphs from each heading.
*Finish with a one or two sentence conclusion.

This kind of blog post blueprint will not only shorten your time, but will create consistent, organized, and easy to read blogs.

Now that you know three blog writing strategies that will keep your audience coming back for more quality content, will you share your latest blog writing challenges and successes with us?

25 year Book Coach, Judy Cullins helps you in business to write a “best seller” and build your brand with a short book to sell all the books and get all the clients you need. To double your blog writing, ask Judy about her blog coaching at bookcoaching.com/blog-editing.php

 

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posted by on conferences, events, marketing, media, professional development, publicity

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 SistaSense Power Circle Telesummit

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of LaShanda Henry, founder of Black Business Women Online. LaShanda is hosting another SistaSense Power Circle TeleSummit for Web Women Entrepreneurs, and I wanted to tell all of my readers about it. If you are a women entrepreneur with a business on the web you can’t afford to miss this fabulous event.

Are you ready to take your online business to the next level of greatness? The SistaSense Power Circle TeleSummit for Web Women Entrepreneurs is BACK by popular demand and its happening on March 1, 2012. LaShanda posted the registration page a few days ago and the virtual seats are going fast (BTW, there are only 50 seats available).

There will be a power house of speakers including some of your favorite business women from last year’s circle and 5 new women you need to have in your circle today! Speakers include: Pam Perry, Jai Stone, Richelle Shaw, Deborah Owens, Katrina Harrell, Beverly Mahone, Ananda Leeke, Tara Jefferson Pringle, and Artiatesia Deal.

The mission of this TeleSummit is to help women entrepreneurs take their online businesses to the next level with solid PR, branding, blogging, wealth-building, marketing, working with media skills and more. The Success of Your Business Depends on the Company You Keep! Get in Good Company by joining us for the next Power Circle – 12 Live Sessions + Access to all Replays –->> Use Early Bird discount code EAR10.

You don’t want to wish you were there and you don’t want to keep wishing things will just get better. Join us for the next all day Power Circle. To register today and get session details visit: http://bit.ly/ACOhQ8 and use discount code AFF10 if the early bird discount code has expired.

 

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posted by on content marketing, tips on writing a book, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book

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Last week I published a blog post, Blogging Tips: How to Blog Your Way to Writing a Book. I wrote about the process that I used to write the content of my upcoming book from a series of blog posts.  I received a comment from a reader named, Tamara who said,

“Congrats on finishing your manuscript! I love the concept of blogging your way to publishing a book. I am a dessert blogger, so my question is do you think this can work for me too? I already have a few concepts in mind for cookbooks, but I think recipe development is key for me as opposed to writing lengthy blog posts. What are your thoughts?”

Tamara also left a similar comment on my Facebook business page, so I answered it there. As I was thinking of a response I got the idea for a blog post because there may be others of you out there who are thinking about using your blog to help you come up with the content for a book.

Here is our exchange on Facebook:

Now here are five practical tips for blogging your way to writing a book:

1. Announce your intention to write a book on your blog

Announcing your intention of writing a book publicly on your blog serves several purposes at once. It creates a sense of accountability. Now that you’ve announced it publicly, you better believe that your readers are going to ask you about how it’s going, and it makes the project more real to you and that might motivate you to stick with it until it is finished.

2. Blog about the theme of your book

If you are working with a publisher, then you’ve already done the work of creating a book proposal for your project. Now you will tailor your blog posts to fit in with the outline of the book. You will not be writing the entire book—word for word—on your blog. You will still have additional sections to write outside of the blog, but if you are having trouble finding time to fit writing a book into your crazy schedule, and you already have an established blog, your writing gets to do double duty for you.

3. Set a deadline for completing your book

Working towards a deadline can be a great motivator. Let your readers know what your deadline is for finishing the manuscript. You might even put one of those countdown clocks on your blog that displays how many days you have left to finish. This will create a sense of urgency and drama and help pull your readers in. It will also spur you on to stick to your writing schedule to avoid public humiliation if you don’t finish on time.

4. Get your readers involved

In the case of Tamara, who wants to write a dessert cookbook, she will not necessarily write most of the cookbook on the blog. As I mentioned in the Facebook comment, she can use her blog to share photos as she goes through the recipe development process, she can write about the ingredients she is using, where and how she sources them, her inspiration for the dessert items, where she gets her ideas from, and how she narrows down which recipes get included in the book and which ones get cut. She can involve her readers in all of these kinds of posts by asking them questions and soliciting their feedback.

5. Set a daily or weekly writing goal and stick with it consistently

Setting and keeping a daily or weekly writing schedule is the only way you will get you book finished. I set a time limit of 30 days, and the goal to write a blog post every single day for 30 days straight. You will have to figure out how many pages your book will have, and then estimate from there how many of those pages you want to write on your blog, and then set your deadline date.

An additional bonus to using your blog to help you write your book is with every blog post you are building your writer’s platform. You are establishing the audience for your book well in advance of publication.

I hope you found those tips to be helpful. I think that with just a little bit of creativity you can find a way to write many different kinds of books on your blog. If you have blogged your way to writing a book, please include a link to it in the comments so we can go take a look.

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posted by on tips on writing a book, writing, writing a book, writing tips

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I’ve been blogging for many years, and looking over my blog archives I’ve often figured that there was enough content there for a book. I’m a freelance writer, so much of my writing time and energy is devoted to writing for my clients. I’m also a single mom with three kids and I run a business from my home, so I had lots of excuses for not finding time to write a book.

There are countless benefits of being a published author. Whenever I introduce myself as a writer, people almost always ask if I’ve published a book. I have grown weary of making excuses for why I haven’t published a book, so last year I decided to use my blog to help me come up with the content for a book. I gave myself a focused challenge and I write a post every day for a month. I then took those thirty blog posts and expanded them and added additional content. Now I have got an almost completed manuscript for a book based on the content of my blogging challenge.

This morning I came across this article, 7 Things You Must Do Before Writing Your Book, which is full of great tips for those who are thinking about writing a book. The author, Ofili, writes about the power of blogging to help you get your book written, ” I put myself on a strict and disciplined regimen of writing at least one 1500 article every month. I did this unfailingly starting January of 2011 and at the end of the year, I had 20+ quality articles chapters and over 25,000+ words in my book.” The secret is to commit to a focused writing schedule and be consistent.

There are a few benefits of blogging your book. One of those benefits, as Ofili mentions in his post, is the opportunity for instant feedback from your readers. Another benefit is that you are establishing a platform, building an audience for the book and getting your name and writing out there in the world. The best benefit, I believe, is the responsibility to your readers to blog consistently. Once you hook your readers in with what you are writing, they are going to want to stay in the loop and find out what happens.

Bloggers who want to become authors should go ahead and give it a whirl. Choose the topic of your book and focus your blog posts around that theme. Tell your readers what you are doing and get their support and encouragement. The positive comments I received when I did my blogging challenge really motivated me to stick with it no matter what.

Now that my manuscript is almost finished I am researching publishing options. It will launch first as an ebook, so you will be the first to hear about it when it drops. Keep on writing.

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posted by on writing, writing tips, writing tools

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I stumbled across this writing tool when they started following me on Twitter. I checked out the website and gave it a try. There’s a blank field on the main page of the website where you can paste your written copy and then click the ‘analyze,’ button. The pro writing aid software analyzes your writing and gives you suggestions for revisions in categories such as:

  •  Overused words
  • Sentence variation
  • Clichés & Redundancies
  • Repeated words & phrases

The pro writing aid tool also analyses sentence length, clichés and the pacing of your writing. If you are going to hand your writing over to a human editor, you might want to first pop it into this free tool and make the suggested corrections that you agree with and then see what your editor has to say.

I tried it with an article I wrote this morning, and I found the edits useful. It pointed out to me how much I overuse certain words, it revealed my penchant for beginning sentences with conjunctions and prepositions, and it showed how I could improve the pacing or my work. I also tend to write long, rambling sentences. Long sentences are fine as long as you vary the length of all the sentences in that piece of writing. Every single word should carry its own weight.

I often coach beginning writers about the importance of separating the creative process of writing from the mechanical process of editing and revising. After you have written something, set it aside for awhile and then run it through prowritingaid.com to help improve the finished product.

While it’s never going to replace a human editor, prowritingaid.com is a handy, free tool that you can use to run your writing through to clean it up and catch common errors.

 

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posted by on professional development, tips on writing a book, writing, writing a book

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By Steve Harrison

In the 20+ years I’ve spent working with entrepreneurs and authors, I’ve found that one of the best ways to grow your business is to be seen as an expert. People value experts’ opinions and advice. They want to buy from the man or woman who wrote a book on topics they’re interested in.

How to become known as the expert in your niche
Surveys show that more than 80 percent of Americans dream of writing a book someday. But most will never do it. So if you have written a book, people will see you as having accomplished something that sets you apart from other experts.

Writing a book will elevate your status, your income and your influence. It will also position you as a knowledgeable authority they can trust. Let me give you an example of how this works.

A few years ago, I spoke to a mortgage loan officer who told me this story. He said that he used to get calls all the time from people asking about his mortgage rates. The minute he told them, they’d hang up the phone and start calling around looking for the cheapest rate. He realized he needed to find a way to stand out from other mortgage brokers. He then decided to target people who had a bankruptcy in their past and now needed a mortgage. So he wrote a book about how people who have had a bankruptcy or foreclosure can still get mortgages.

The book brought him a lot of local publicity. He did a number of radio, TV and print interviews and even got his own radio show. Now people were contacting him after reading his book or seeing him on TV. Clients would come into this office and feel privileged to learn from an expert on this subject, and some even asked him to autograph their book. This is a powerful example of how writing a book can help you expand your business tremendously.

What writing a book will do for you
A lot of exciting new opportunities will arise once you become a published author. Here are some of the biggest benefits that could come your way:

A lot of exciting new opportunities will arise once you become a published author. Here are some of the biggest benefits that could come your way:

1. Free publicity. It’s much easier to get radio, TV, magazine and online publicity if you have a book. The media need experts to interview, and often call upon authors to comment on timely topics in the news.
2. More sales leads and referrals. Once you have a book, you can promote and sell it to your existing customers. Some authors give their books away to key clients to create more word of mouth. This is a great way for people in a service business to generate referrals, since a book is much more powerful than a brochure.
3. Speaking engagements. People who book for corporate events, conferences or workshops may never have heard you speak, but they know people want to hear from someone who’s written a book. Almon Gunter is a good example. He’s a former world-class sprinter turned motivational speaker who wrote a book called Focus on the Final Seconds. Almon told me, “I had a very successful business before, but the book increased my speaking engagements by 50 percent.”
4. Higher fees. People are willing to pay an expert more money than someone without that expertise. Having your name on a book usually leads to higher name recognition–and the ability to command higher fees.
5. Dream customers will find you. The best way to take your client base to the next level is to find customers who can spend a lot more money with you. This is something that happens all the time for authors. Their completed book is like having a marketing agent that never sleeps; it continues to build exposure and bring in new clients.
6. It could lead to a whole new future. Your book can make the difference between feeling stuck in your current career and doing what you’re really called to do. Greg Kozera was a Halliburton executive with a passion for leadership. He believes that no one is a born leader–you have to learn how to lead. After Greg wrote a book called Learned Leadership, it generated so many speaking engagements that he was able to leave his job and speak full time.
So, whether you want to reinvent yourself, increase your sales and publicity or generate a whole new line of business or a consulting practice, a book can do that for you.

10 possible formats for writing a good book FAST!
Let’s say I’ve convinced you that it’s a good idea to publish a book. How do you decide what to write about? I’d like to make it easier by giving you some examples of different formats you can choose from. Starting with a proven model will make the writing process much less overwhelming. (Note: most of these ideas are designed for nonfiction authors.)
1. The Mistakes Book. People are always interested in learning about mistakes they can
avoid, so this is a popular format. A good example is this title: New Sales Speak: The
9 Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them by Terri Sjodin.

2. The How-to Book. I want to address a concern that many authors have. They often
ask me, “Why should I put what I know into book form? Will people still buy from me if I
give away this information?” Yes, and here’s why. Dan Kennedy is a well-known copywriter who gets paid tens of thousands of dollars to write a sales letter. But he still wrote a book called The Ultimate Sales Letter. By revealing how difficult it is to write strong sales letters and how much work goes into it, Dan’s book has brought him many new paying clients. When you give readers good solid information but don’t tell them everything you know, they will want to contact you to find out more.
3. The Question and Answer Book. Do people ask you questions when they hear about your area of expertise? Which questions are you asked most often? Maybe they could become the basis for a book. A good example is What’s a Synthesizer? Simple Answers to Common Questions by John Eiche. Imagine having a book titled “Answers to Your Most Common Questions:” (about your topic), and see what comes to mind.

4. The __ Ways to Do Something Book. You’ve probably heard of the bestselling book 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. This is a format that many authors have successfully imitated. You can use any number–7, 10 and 101 are other numbers that are frequently used.

5. The How to Hire Someone Book. Two books that use this format effectively are How to Hire a Nanny and Before You Hire a Contractor, this a great way to showcase your expertise and gain new clients by sharing information you’ve learned in your line of business.

6. The Book of Interviews. J.M. Trippon is a CPA who followed this model when he wrote How Millionaires Stay Rich Forever. His book became a great networking tool that enabled him to connect with millionaires and interview them.
7. The Collection of Stories. One of the bestsellers our company helped launch is Chicken Soup for the Soul. This format is easy to follow–you request other people’s stories on a particular topic and choose the best ones to reprint (once you get their permission). Sales trainer Dan Seidman wrote another book I really enjoyed. In Sales Autopsy, he told and analyzed 50 funny stories about salespeople who have really screwed up a sale.
8. The Memoir or Biography. Most of us love hearing other people’s stories, if they’re compelling and well told. That’s why memoirs and autobiographies often show up on bestseller lists. Consider telling your own or a family member’s life story or sharing lessons from your life.
9. The Joke or Quotation Book. People don’t think lawyers are funny, but two attorneys disproved that when they compiled The Lawyer’s Joke Book. The media love topics that are funny and entertaining. This joke book opened many doors for the authors and led to dozens of media interviews.
10. The Collection of Your Previous Writings. Have you been doing a blog or writing articles? Do you publish a newsletter or an ezine? These could provide lots of great material for a book.
I hope I’ve inspired you to embark on your own book project. Writing a book is not as difficult as many people think. Like all journeys, it begins with a single step. I encourage you to take that step, and wish you the very best in your quest to grow your business by becoming a published author.

Note: This article originally appeared in Steve Harrison’s paid print newsletter Book Marketing Update which goes to members of my Million Dollar Author Club – get info at http://www.milliondollarauthorclub.com

 

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posted by on blogging, facebook, twitter, Uncategorized

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In addition to being a writer, I’m also an artist. I’ve got a passion for DIY crafts such as knitting and sewing, I love to cook and I appreciate fine fashion. Now I’ve found a social media site called Pinterest that allows me to indulge in collecting and “pinning’ images of all of my favorite things in one place.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites. It’s an online pin board where members can collect, organize and share images of things they love.

Users create boards that they can give unique names to. After dragging the bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar, you can just click on the ‘Pin It’ button whenever you see an image on a website that you want to add to a Pinterest board.

Pinterest has great potential for marketing when it’s done discreetly. For businesses and brands that have a visual focus such as fashion, food, art, design, etc., Pinterest has obvious appeal. However, even brands that are not product or visual image based can benefit from using Pinterest to communicate the personality and aesthetic of their brand image and philosophy.

If you are already posting images to Facebook and Twitter, you can easily work Pinterest into your routine, and you can even add a cool Pinterest plugin to your WordPress blog. The Pinterest RSS Widget displays the thumbnail images and titles of your latest Pins on your blog using the Pinterest RSS plugin.

Because Pinterest is still in beta testing, you’ll need an invite in order to join. Send me an @ reply on Twitter, @evelynwrites, with your email address and I’ll send you an invite.
Once you’ve joined, be sure to follow me: http://pinterest.com/evelynwrites/

Are you already on Pinterest? Please add me and I will follow you back.

 

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posted by on blogging, content marketing, marketing, media, professional development

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Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a fan of LaShanda Henry, aka SistaSense. She’s the founder of Black Business Women Online, and for me, a work at home business woman to watch. Yesterday she created this video to share, ’5 Things Happening Right Now,’ so I wanted to share this video with my readers because it’s full of timely information if you’re running an online business and want to stay up on what’s up in the world of marketing and growing your business online. Enjoy!

 

posted by on marketing, personal development

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If you are a small business person who works from home, one of the biggest benefits is that you can work according to your own schedule. Unfortunately, that’s also one of the challenges.  If you are not disciplined and focused distractions can pop up and steal your attention limiting your daily productivity.

Here are some resources that can help you to create the action steps that will work for you to help you to achieve your business objectives:

Six Daily Marketing Practices

By Robert Middleton

I’m subscribed to the feed for actionplan.com, which is Robert Middleton’s blog where he writes about, “marketing ideas for attracting more clients.”  Today’s post is, “Six Daily Marketing Practices,” and it caught my attention because it’s concise, to the point, and it totally lays out a system that you can use and get results from. This is the kind of content that establishes you as an expert because it shows that you are willing to freely share your expertise.

My favorite of Middleton’s six steps is: “#4. Track your progress every single day.” This is an area where I will admit I fall down. I often, ‘fly by the seat of my pants,’ because I have way too many things going on. I keep a white board in my work area, so I plan to write out the six steps and work them for 30 days (hmmm. I feel a 30 day challenge coming on. . .) and see what happens. Source: http://bit.ly/zxxDlc

 5 Essential Marketing Action Steps

By Marty Marsh

When I read this article I focused in on step #2, “Know your ideal/perfect client.” Marsh writes, “Because when you decide who your ideal client is — who will bring you the most joy to work with and who will happily pay you what you are worth — exactly those kinds of clients begin to show up. It’s the best example of the Law of Attraction at work that I know of.” Also be sure to pay attention to step five, which asks, “What is your client education process?” This is crucial because how you educate your prospects will have a direct impact on your conversion rate. Source: http://bit.ly/zQecd5

Create an Action Plan Now

By Ray Silverstein

This article on entrepreneur.com lays the ground work for helping you to develop your own action plan. Once you have come up with a plan, Silverstein advises readers, “Don’t tuck it in a drawer–keep it close by for constant reference. Make regular appointments with yourself to review your plan and ensure you stay on track. It is a work-in-progress, and you can expect to make changes as you proceed. That’s okay, just don’t stop working on it.” Source: http://bit.ly/xU4KOn

The goal with all of this is to create new daily habits that support you in attaining the goals you have set. It also helps to have an accountability partner such as a coach or trusted business adviser that you can report to, get support, advice and tough love from.

What are the action steps that you do at least weekly that you attribute to your successful habits? Please share your story in the comments.

 

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