posted by on blogging, content marketing, freelance writing, marketing, Uncategorized, writing

1 comment

As a professional writer and blogger I have been engaged in the practice of content marketing since the launch of this blog in the fall of 2007. At that time, my freelance writing practice was just beginning and I wanted to start getting my work out there as I did not have a lot of clients or clips to refer prospective clients to. Over the years I have attracted some amazing clients and built an impressive body of work with this blog.


My first blog, which I started in the fall of 1997, was a personal blog, so I was not marketing anything with it I guess except my own ideas and my world view. I never looked at my traffic stats and I was not trying to grow an email list. I was simply blogging for the sheer enjoyment of it and because I was part of a vibrant community of personal bloggers.


Marketing is simply telling the world about the products, services or ideas that you have to offer. Content marketing is the practice of creating and syndicating (purposefully sharing) valuable content in an effort to attract your target audience to your blog or website.


Once you have gotten them to your website your goal is to engage them and use your content to begin to foster the ‘know, like and trust’ factor that will ultimately either lead to a conversion from visitor to subscriber to customer to fan, or they may just go elsewhere. Actually, most people will end up going elsewhere, but that is fine because you only want to work with people who resonate with your message, and the only way to know that is to continuously get your message out there into the marketplace.


When I first started this blog I simply gave everything away. I researched meticulously and wrote blog posts on topics that I thought would be useful to my prospective clients. But as time went on I learned that there is nothing wrong with marketing yourself and the products and services you provide even as you offer valuable content to your readers.


Now I understand how crucial it is to include a compelling call to action in each blog post.  People want to be led, and if you want them to take a particular action you must tell them exactly what action they should be taking. Whether you want your readers to sign up for your email list, enquire about the services you provide, or buy a product that you are offering, you’ve got to direct them to the next best action to take.


Recently, my client work has begun to take over my life, and I found myself staying up late at night to keep up and not miss deadlines. Juggling single parenthood and self-employment is no joke. I took a hiatus from posting to the blog while I got a handle on my client work load, but also because I needed to re-visit my content marketing strategy. My business has matured to the point where most of my new clients are referred to me from my fabulous, current clients. But just this week I received an inquiry from a prospective client who found my blog and wanted to hire me—despite the fact that my blog had not been updated in weeks.


But I will say that I have also learned that in addition to providing a platform where I can share my expertise to attract prospective clients, I have been greatly encouraged to hear the positive feedback that I receive through the comments on this blog, and via email about how what I share on the blog has helped you in some way. I feel blessed to be of service to you.


So, please take a moment and enter your name and email address into the subscription box for my email newsletter where I share valuable content that you

posted by on marketing, media, personal development, professional development, publicity

1 comment

Interview with Yvonne Bynoe SOulful Affluence

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Yvonne Bynoe of Yvonne is an author, speaker and entrepreneurial mindset coach who speaks from experience as she shares her knowledge, wisdom, experience and humor with us in this audio program.

Listen up and learn about some specific mindset shifts that you can make to help transform your business’s profitability, how you can use your book as a marketing tool for your business, and a bit of encouragement and inspiration for those who want to build a business around the things that they love and have a passion for.

To learn more about Yvonne and her Inner Circle Coaching Program please visit:

Please listen and enjoy and please leave a comment.

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on personal development, professional development

No comments

You’ve got a lot going on in your life and like lots of other people you set goals  for the things you’d like to accomplish, but somehow it seems like you don’t accomplish as many of those goals as you would like to. You start off with a lot of energetic fervor and make some initial progress, but then life gets in the way and your momentum begins to slip until before you know it you’ve fallen back into your old, well-worn routines and your goal is a distant memory.

But let’s take a look at that. You fall back into your old routines, but why? It’s because those old routines are habits that you have learned simply by repetition. Think about the first time you went to your work place. You found it on the map and left early to leave enough time to navigate there through unfamiliar streets. But after having followed that same route every morning and evening for years you know that route like the back of your hand because you created new pathways in your brain.

If you want to accomplish a goal that will require you to change your behavior you will have to establish a new habit that will support that new behavior. Experts tell us that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. After performing the desired behavior every day, preferably at the same time each day, for 21 days you will no longer have to think about doing it because you will have created a new pathway in your brain and it will come as naturally as your path to work.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Internet Business Mastery, and Sterling and Jay were discussing this issue in the latest episode. They talked about how important tracking your new, desired behavior or skill by scheduling it on your calendar. I’m all about using tools to help improve my productivity, so I cracked open my Google calendar and I created two new calendars: one for tracking client projects and the second for training and self-study, which is where I will be tracking my new habits. I recommend that you listen to IMB episode #113 because they even have a few suggestions for habits that you might want to cultivate as an Internet business entrepreneur.

I spent a few minutes this morning geeking out over learning how to add items to my Google calendar from my iPhone. There’s a short code: 48368, that you can use to send a SMS message to your calendar to check what’s on your agenda for the day, or add a new event while you’re out and about. Just go to your Google calendar and register your mobile phone number first.

Some of the new habits that I plan to incorporate include: focusing on building my email list, working on my book daily, and reaching out to prospective partners for joint venture projects.

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on article marketing, marketing, media, personal development, press releases, professional development, publicity, social media, traffic

1 comment

Bloggers might sometimes get the feeling that they are fighting an uphill battle because theirs is just one of millions of other blogs out there competing for the attention of their prospective audience. But if you develop a solid marketing plan for your blog and take consistent action toward the goals you set daily, weekly and monthly, before you know it, your Alexa rankings will be falling and your Google page rank will begin to rise which means you’ll be attracting more visitors.

Let’s dive right in to 11 tips for getting your blog seen more in 2011:

1. Post consistently

Having a consistent posting schedule gets both your readers and the search engines used to visiting your blog more often.

2. Know the basics of SEO and how to optimize your blog and your posts for the search engines.

If you are running a WordPress blog there are several free plugins that will help you to maximize your blog’s SEO from both a structural and a content perspective. Optimizing your blog helps you get more traffic and better search engine rankings.

3. Comment on other blogs in your topic

Visiting other blogs in your niche or topic, reading the posts and leaving relevant comments is an effective way to increase your visibility with both the blog’s author and your fellow commentators.

4. Guest post on popular blogs in your topic

Guest blogging gigs are a great way to create a win-win with other bloggers in your niche. You help them out by providing content that is suited to their blog and audience, your presence on their blog helps get you exposure with a whole new audience, and the readers get to experience a new perspective.

5. Send out press releases

Whenever you are planning a news-worthy event, send out a press release. Not only might you attract media attention, but you’ll get a ton of high page rank back links to your blog and a nice, if short-lived, flow of traffic to your blog.

6. Host a contest/giveaway

Who doesn’t want something for free? Host a contest or a giveaway where you offer up a valuable product or service in exchange for your readers helping to spread the word about your blog.

7. Join or host a blogging challenge

A blogging challenge can have many benefits including increased exposure for the host and the participants, you get motivated and inspired to blog more to keep up with your fellow challengers and you get a little traffic boost and more comments as other members of the challenge make the rounds to the various blogs.

8. Offer a free product

If you are building your opt-in email subscriber list, offer a free product for visitors to your blog who sign up. Invite subscribers to share your premium with their friends and make sure that it contains a link back to your blog.

9. Be active in social media

Work your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to send traffic back and forth. Use a Facebook Fan Page to share valuable tips and info with your audience, host events and invite your followers and be a trusted resource that people want to follow.

10. Video marketing

Video marketing is an incredibly powerful way to gain some valuable exposure online. Create a series of videos containing useful how-to tips, recipes, instructions, or advice. Include a link back to your blog in the description box and a compelling call to action in the video. Share your videos on all of the top video sharing sites for lots of traffic and visibility.

11. Article marketing

This tried and true strategy is still effective today, but you’ve got to be committed to creating a high volume of quality articles with links back to your blog. Write articles for some of the top websites in your industry to establish yourself as an expert and draw attention to your blog.

As you focus on increasing your online visibility remember those qualities that make you unique and set you apart. There really is no competition because you are one of a kind. The goal then is to get yourself out there in the marketplace of ideas so that you can shine your brilliance for the world to see. Being modest and shy will not serve you, so if you don’t have the gumption to get out there and share what sets you apart then you may as well fold up your tent and go home.

If you have a vision and a mission to accomplish, then it is your responsibility to share the message that you have been given with a world that is waiting to hear what you have to say. Make 2011 your year to break through. Those who succeed are those who never give up working towards their goals.

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on blogging, marketing, social media, twitter, writing

No comments

Regular readers of my blog know I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so when I heard that Julie Isaacs of the Writing Spirit Blog (I just *love* that name) is throwing down a blogging challenge to kick 2011 off as, “The year of the blog.”

Julie says that the goal of this challenge is to get bloggers in the habit of blogging consistently and meaningfully. Strategies for blogging consistently is one of the topics that I enjoy writing about, but honestly the one I most often feel challenged by. But, we tend to teach that which we most need to learn, and so I will continue to write on that topic in hopes that it inspires me and encourages my readers.

So what is the whole SHINE thing about? Well, your blog is the most effective way for you to increase your online visibility, establish yourself as an expert, and share your message with the world. Julie uses the word SHINE to illustrate this point:

Stand out

During this blogging challenge, I’ll be blogging about my favorite topics, which include:

  • Online marketing for writers, authors, speakers and coaches
  • Using your blog to attract your ideal clients
  • Growing YOU as you grow your business

It’s pretty simple to join us. Just visit Julie’s blog and follow the steps Julie has outlined:

1.  Decide how many times per week you want to blog–preferably twice a week or more

2.  Add a comment on this post with your blog address, and how many posts per week you’re committing to

3.  Use the hashtag #SHINEonline to communicate with other bloggers who are participating in this challenge

4.  Sign-up below if you would like to get blog tips and articles sent to you, along with blog challenge updates, and information on free teleconferences.

5. Start blogging! & SHINE on with your bad self. ;-)

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on blogging, marketing, media, personal development, press releases, social media


Online visibility is all about being found online by the target audience who is looking for what you have to offer. With millions of other websites competing for your prospective clients’ attention, your challenge is to find a way to rise above the ‘noise’ or the many distractions on the Internet, and show up consistently where your target audience is already hanging out.

What inspired me to write this post today was a meeting I had this week with a prospective client. He found me on social media and while he has been cooking up his project, he has been observing what I’m up to online. He visited my blog, my Facebook profile, Fan Page and Twitter and then he sent me a Facebook Inbox message to ask about working with me. These days I have not been publicizing my consulting services too much because my schedule is full to overflowing with producing lots of content for my fabulous clients. But part of my vision for the life that I intend to create for myself includes doing more consulting, and speaking. In order to achieve success in those endeavors I must continue to build on my online visibility.

Towards that end I am preparing to be a guest on a radio show called, “Being, with Ron Ash,” on Wednesday, January 19 at 9am EST. Ron Ash is an author and Pastoral Counselor. This will be my third radio appearance, and the previous two interviews came about because the hosts found my website and resonated with my vision and mission. Ron also found me on Facebook.

So, I guess what I am trying to say here is that you’ve got to be relentless about your marketing. Get yourself out there! Write about the topics that you are passionate about on your blog. Take a stand for something that you believe in and defend it. There will be haters out there, but there will also be people who are attracted to your authenticity and sincerity. And to that last point, be who you are. The world does not need any more copy-cats. For so long I felt insecure because I was always comparing myself to other people and feeling like I did not measure up. Thank God I have learned to get over myself, let myself off the hook and learn to love myself for who I am–warts and all.

The best way to get discovered is to be everywhere all the time. Participate in social media, work your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Network with your peers and get on the ‘radar screen’ of those luminaries in your field that you would love to work with. Comment on blogs. Contribute articles to the major publications in your niche or topic. Guest blog for a few of the high profile blogs in your niche. Submit press releases when you are doing something newsworthy, and, oh yeah, do something newsworthy! Submitting press releases is an amazingly effective way to generate buzz, which is what you really want.

While you are getting out there, make sure that your house is in order. Make sure of the following:

  • Your blog should look great and has lots of valuable content for your new visitors to consume.
  • If you will be sending our press releases, make sure you’ve got a ‘Press or Media’ page with links to your media kit on your blog.
  • Put your email list opt-in box above the fold and in the upper-right hand section of your website.
  • Create an engaging intro video about yourself and post it on your blog.
  • Create a Facebook Fan Page with a keyword-optimized title and post valuable content there.
  • Share your friends’ content and they will reciprocate.

Gaining online visibility takes time and commitment. It will not happen overnight barring your appearing on the evening news for some reason. If you intend to get discovered by prospective clients you’ve got to be willing to lay a strong foundation and put in the work required.

Remember, there is no one else out there like you. No one else can do the genius work that you were sent to this planet to do. If God has given you a vision then it is your responsibility to bring it to fruition. You would not be given the desire without also having been given the means by which to fulfill that desire. It is your job to take the first step in faith. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about me working with you to boost your online visibility.

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on blogging

No comments

2010 was a great year full o f lots of information packed blog posts on the Productive Pen blog. I decided to do a little roundup of ten of my favorite posts for the year and share them with you again, or for the first time for my new visitors.

Now that I have finally installed a WordPress blog on my personal domain, , I will be moving the personal development posts to that blog and focusing the content on this blog around online writing, blogging and marketing.

So, please browse through some of these ‘oldies but goodies,’ and see if you find something useful for you. I also welcome you to subscribe to my email update list. I share tips and information there that does not get shared here on the blog.
1. Finding Your Passion and Purpose: What is YOUR Super Power?
2. Marketing Tips: Applying the Spiritual Principals of Seedtime and Harvest to Your Business Success
3. Content Creation Workshop: How Many Ways Can You Re-Purpose Your Blog Content for More Traffic, Links and Sales?
4. Blogging Tips: 7 Strategies for Keeping Up with Posting Consistently
5. Mindmapping: An Effective Idea Generation Tool for Writers
6. Marketing Phobia: Don’t Get Spooked! How to Sell Yourself with Confidence
7. Social Media Optimization: Strategies for Maximizing Your Social Media Presence
8. Blogging Tips: Professional Development for Bloggers and Online Marketers
9. Facebook Trounces Google Ads–Are You Ready to Go Where Your Customers Are?
10. Be Grateful for Everything

Enhanced by Zemanta

posted by on facebook, marketing, personal development, twitter

1 comment

Happy New Year! I took a month’s hiatus from the Productive Pen blog and devoted my attentions to doing a 31-day challenge on a new blog project called 31 Days of Intentions. I really enjoy writing on the topic of personal development and spiritual concepts, so I decided to devote an entire month to writing about something else that I am really passionate about.

As part of that project I decided to give away a free blog setup as a way to encourage some participation. I got lots of wonderful comments and visitors sharing blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. I learned that it makes a difference when you repeatedly ask for participation on a blog. I also learned that I’ve got some fabulous, generous readers who left some very thoughtful comments, and I am grateful for their participation.

Here’s what the winner of the blog giveaway will receive:

“The grand prize is a free WordPress blog setup on your domain, a content package that includes an article, a 60 second slide show video and a three minute audio. I will also toss in a 30 minute training consultation on how to maintain your new blog.”

And now, after I gathered all of the names of those who left comments, tweeted, shared posts on Facebook and commented on my Facebook page about the blog, the winner is. . . (drum roll please!)

Lisa from Practically Intuitive

I have given her the good news, and I can’t tell you how thrilling it was for me to award a winner on the first day of the year. Watch out because I’m thinking that I am going to be doing a lot more giveaways around here.

So, congratulations to Lisa, for being our first winner. After I do her blog setup I will post a link to her cool new blog for everyone to see.

Happy New Year again, to all of my readers and followers. May your 2011 be your most fabulous year yet!

posted by on blogging

1 comment

This has been such an amazing year for me, and I have been meditating on how I can express my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with, and I came up with what I think is a fabulous idea called the Productive Pen Big Give Contest.

The grand prize is a free WordPress blog setup on your domain, a content package that includes an article, a 60 second slide show video and a three minute audio. I will also toss in a 30 minute training consultation on how to maintain your new blog.

In order to be eligible you must contribute in some way either to this blog or to my new blog project, the 31 Days of Intentions blog. A contribution can be comments, a guest blog post, re-tweeting posts, sharing posts on Facebook or other social media sites. What I am looking for is engagement—to create a sense of community around the idea of setting positive intentions for the coming New Year. At the end of the month on New Year’s Eve, I will choose the winner from the pool of names of those who contributed.

As the proprietor of this blog, I reserve the right to delete comments that are blatant spam, so please actually read the posts and give a response that reflects your actual thoughts and feelings about it—positive or negative. We’re not wearing rose-colored glasses here. I get that not everyone will agree with every word that is shared, but if you can disagree without being disagreeable or rude more’s the better. We’re doing this in the spirit of sharing a positive message.

So, as we begin this last month of the year in this season of magic and possibility. I invite you to spend some time coming up with your intentions for what you will bring forth in the New Year. I also challenge you to come up with a way to give back in a way that encourages and uplifts those around you.

posted by on personal development, Uncategorized

1 comment

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” — Meister Eckhardt

As I sit writing this blog post about gratitude, I am struck by the desire to write something unique—something that will make you pay attention because it’s the time of year when so many of us gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. I bet your eyes have already glazed over at the thought of yet another sappy, sentimental treatise on everything that I have to be grateful for. Well, snap out of it, because this is something you may not have heard this season.

I was looking at a few of my favorite inspirational quotes about gratitude, and I came across this one by Wallace Wattles, author of, The Science of Getting Rich. He says,

“It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Mr. Wattles says that we should be grateful for,  “every good thing that comes to you,” but I submit to you that we should be grateful for everything that comes to you whether you interpret it as good or bad.  If you think about it, what makes something good or bad? What makes something good or bad is simply how you perceive it.

Most people are grateful for the things they perceive as positive and they pray for protection from those things that they perceive as negative when it reality it’s all good. As a co-creator with the Universe of your own experience, you get what you focus on, so every experience is as we would have it be.

How many times has something that you perceived as catastrophic eventually turned out to be for the best in your life? I think that most people can come up with an example of how things eventually worked out for the best, so why not be grateful now?

So, be grateful for everything. It’s all in perfect order because it is. Focus on the good and you will invite more good into your life. When something you perceive as good shows up in your experience be grateful and say to the Universe, “More, please

Your gratitude accomplishes two things. First, you express your pleasure to the Universe adding positive, attractive energy to it and thereby attracting more experiences like it. The second thing it accomplishes is that it makes room for more good things to flow into your life.  Expressions of gratitude keeps you in the abundant flow of ever-increasing good.

If you have children, teach them to express their gratitude every day not just on Thanksgiving. Anyone can keep a gratitude journal, or recite out loud the things that they are grateful for at the end of each day.

If you have a business, express your gratitude to your customers for their patronage of your business. Make them feel appreciated and reinforce their reasons for having chosen you over your competitors.

Finally, be grateful for every breath because your breath is the vehicle of spirit. Breathe in peace and tranquility and light. Breathe out fear, anger and pain.  Be grateful for this moment right now.

Enhanced by Zemanta