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Author Archive for Hazel Butler

Facebook Is Dead: 5 Reasons To Care More About SEO Than Facebook

If your marketing focus is organic reach over paid advertising, but you don’t have the time for networking, and you can’t face video marketing I have a newsflash for you (and you’re not going to like it!):

Facebook Is Dead.

Not completely dead. It’s still a phenomenally powerful platform BUT (and it’s a big, fat, hairy but) Facebook is only effective if you have either native video content, or lots of time to network, or the budget for paid advertising.

You don’t need all three, but you need at least one. I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated by Facebook this year, until finally, I had enough:

“It’s not me,” I told the Facebook gods several months ago, “it’s quite definitely you. We’re breaking up. I’m leaving you for SEO…”

If you’re sitting there shaking your head and/or fists and asking, “But why?!” I will tell you. Here are five reasons you should be putting your focus on SEO rather than Facebook if you want to drive traffic to your site organically…

#1 Facebook Reach And Engagement Are In The Toilet

We saw the beginnings of it in 2016, and there were worries before that, but 2017 was the year Facebook got so big and so successful that it peaked, and organic reach and engagement promptly plummeted.

Both organic reach and engagement have hit an all-time low on Facebook this year. Which means it doesn’t matter how many Likes or Followers you have, if you’re not creating the kind of content Facebook want, and sharing it in the way they like, nobody is going to see it.

What do they want? Video.

How do they want you to share it? LIVE.

My engagement and reach on Facebook was better than ever at the start of the year when I launched my vlog, but as the year wore on I became increasingly time poor and had less and less time to record videos. And I certainly didn’t have time for Facebook Live. I could probably have made the time, but in all honesty I didn’t want to.

Not this year. It’s been a tough year.

And I’m not alone in this. Most entrepreneurs are incredibly time poor. And, also like me, they hate spending any of that precious time on anything that’s not going to bring them a great return on the investment.

The ROI on I was seeing on the platform was plummeting while the amount of time required was increasing. It wasn’t difficult to come to the conclusion it wasn’t worth it until I could spend the time doing what the Facebook gods wanted.

In the interim, Facebook is officially dead to me.

#2 You’ll Get More Organic Reach From Google

My content marketing in 2017 relied entirely on organic reach. Virtually no paid ads (I ran a GoogleAd campaign for a couple of weeks in February on a very low budget), no boosted posts.

Organic traffic was been the name of the game.

A recent review of my Google Analytics showed me that traffic to my site is fairly evenly split between Google Search and Social Media. SEO has a slight edge, driving 59% of traffic compared to social media’s 41%.

Yet SEO is doing a lot more for my traffic than any single social media platform; it’s the combination of my platforms (currently Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) that collectively generate as much traffic as SEO alone generates.

I’m going to repeat that, because it’s really difficult for some people to fathom…

Here’s the next thing you end to realise: the majority of the organic traffic I get from Facebook is due to networking. I get some traffic from my page and some from my groups, but the majority of it is from networking.

And networking takes a lot of time and mental bandwidth. Which is not good, when you’re a time-impoverished entrepreneur!

I’m not alone in this, one of my fab clients, Robyn Kyberd over at Optimise and Grow Online recently asked me about the organic reach, engagement and traffic we were getting from her own content marketing efforts on Facebook.

A quick look at her Google Analytics revealed she was also getting roughly half her traffic from social media, and a lot of that from Facebook. But like me, Robyn is active in groups on Facebook, and the majority of that traffic was coming from sharing her blog posts in those groups.

Networking.

This is time-consuming.

This sucks.

That conversation with Robyn is actually what prompted this post, because it’s one I’ve had a few times with clients.

The question they inevitably ask is, ‘How can I improve my organic engagement and traffic from Facebook?’.

The answer is:

  1. Share your content in video form
  2. Use Facebook Live regularly
  3. Pay for ads
  4. Spend time networking

This is the answer. Unfortunately it’s an answer that pisses everyone off, including me!

At the moment, there simply aren’t other options. I’ve fine tuned the strategy we use on Facebook in The Divine Blogging Design to get the most possible engagement without any of these measures, and still, it’s currently crap compared to what it was a year ago, and compared to other sites.

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, the results I’ve seen on all these platforms has been steadily increasing with time as I improve the Divine Blogging strategy. Not Facebook. No.

The Facebook gods are currently being incredibly uncooperative to anyone without an abundance of either time or money.

I’m going to be reviewing Divine Blogging’s Facebook strategy over the Christmas/New Year break to see if I can improve on it without the need for that time or money, but I’m seriously considering changing the standard scheduling package (which currently includes Facebook and Twitter marketing as well as blog scheduling) to Instagram instead of Facebook.

When you consider that Instagram is owned by Facebook this is particularly bizarre, but there you are. My clients are seeing amazing results on Instagram, while Facebook is completely and utterly dead.

#3 You Don’t Have Time For This Shit

That’s not to say Facebook isn’t capable of driving traffic to your site. It is. But if you’re time-poor, hate video, and have a system that relies on automation rather than networking and personal interaction (which usually happens because you’re time-poor!), Facebook is not your friend at the moment.

I mentioned it briefly but here’s the full scoop. Earlier this year I stopped all my own social media marketing for one simple reason: I didn’t have time for it.

At the beginning of November that changed and I was able to give my attention to it once more. But having had a break from Facebook, and seen the results my clients were getting in the interim, I knew the situation hadn’t improved, but only degenerated.

You may have noticed TWCG has a shiny new Twitter account, started at the beginning of November, that I’ve been active on.

Facebook? Not so much.

The traffic I was going to gain from Facebook with the amount of time I had to dedicate to it simply wasn’t worth it. Not when I was so swamped with client work that I was already working late nights and over the weekend.

There literally weren’t enough hours in the day for time-consuming social media marketing efforts, and with such a low ROI even the quick and easy ones for Facebook were beyond my limited availability for most of this year.

In addition to my lack of time, the time off was due to burnout where Social Media was concerned.

I’ve been busier than ever this year, and at one point Facebook was seriously draining me. It felt like a constant barrage of abuse and nonsense from every quarter.

The value I used to find in the platform is now virtually impossible to see due to the tidal wave of adverts and sponsored posts and notifications from people I didn’t know, or follow, or care about.

My friends’ posts are lost in the flood and even the businesses and brands I’m genuinely interested in are getting swamped. I have to remember to go to their pages and look for what they’ve been doing, or I don’t see them at all.

Before you scream at me to turn on my notifications, they are on. I’ve switched them on for people I care about and off for people I don’t and STILL there are so many notifications that  are utterly irrelevant to me that I miss most of the ones I’d be genuinely interested in.

Facebook had become exhausting, and the biggest time-suck ever.

So I stopped.

I broke up with Facebook and did a week long ‘digital detox’. It helped, but when I came back I didn’t want to backslide. I’m on there occasionally to message friends, check a few things, or post on the regular threads in a very select few groups, but my time on the platform is now strictly limited to a minute or two at a time.

Never longer, and never more than twice a day.

That was something I was forced to do in order to manage the overwhelm and anxiety that was caused by the platform.

It’s a feeling I don’t get on any other social network, and never used to get on Facebook.

How I Got Back To Social Media Marketing

I made the executive decision to put a pin in social media marketing for TWCG until I could afford to hire a social media manager. The irony was, I was still managing client social media accounts.

In October I finally hired that social media manager (the fabulous Liz) and you’ll have noticed a sudden resurgence of social media activity for TWCG from the beginning of November.

The amount of extra time I have now I’m no longer dealing with any of it is ridiculous.

And the reduction in my stress levels is actually worrying.

Don’t over-think it, don’t worry about it, just stop.

Either pay someone else to do it for you, or simply abandon it. And if you’re paying someone, make sure you’re paying someone who knows what they’re doing, and understands the challenges faced.

Meanwhile, invest your freed up time in creating amazing new content for your website and building your SEO.

Where Facebook is concerned, you don’t have time for this shit.

#4 People Prefer To Find Information When They Want It

Another huge problem with Facebook’s shift to a focus on advertising is that there are so many more adverts. And you have no control over who targets you with those adverts. If the targeting algorithms think you’re a match for someone’s ad, they’ll show it to you whether you want it or not.

Just because you’re the target audience doesn’t mean you care about the content.

This is largely because a lot of people aren’t very good at effectively targeting their adverts. You end up seeing stuff that’s only tangentially related to things you genuinely care about, or stuff that you might have been interested once, or may be at some point in the future, but aren’t right now.

While they may click on an advert out of curiosity, if they’re actively searching for something it’s because it’s an immediate need or want. There’s nothing to guarantee curiosity in an advert will translate to a desire to actually acquire what you’re offering.

This is why conversion rates from organic traffic are generally higher than they are for paid traffic. The fact that paid traffic is capable of commanding more traffic faster often skews this, because you can achieve the same results far quicker with paid ads that organic traffic. It’s also a lot easier to quantify the results of advertising than it is SEO.

But where conversion rates are concerned, it’s far easier to convert people who found you because they were looking for you and what you offer.

#5 Facebook Prioritise Certain Content, And It’s Not Yours

Does and of this sound familiar?

You’re not uploading original, native videos to Facebook. The thought of doing Facebook Live brings you out in hives. You don’t even know what Facebook Watch means (seriously, is that like the Apple Watch?), and you’re fairly sure you don’t want to find out.

You have a genius system that automatically reshares all your old content on Facebook, but it’s not video, it’s not live, and you’re not doing any personal sharing in networking groups, so your engagement and reach suck and nobody sees any of it.

You have a killer social media schedule in place for every blog post, ensuring your content is repurposed on your Facebook page and in your group, but the organic reach it garners is minimal, and you aren’t willing to pay to advertise it.

If this is you, don’t worry.

You’re still doing everything right.

You’re not screwing up.

Your content isn’t letting you down.

It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, and so are you.

But there’s another reality that you are going to have to deal with:

Facebook doesn’t like your content.

The Facebook gods won’t prioritise it until they see it has a bucket load of engagement and reach, which you’re not going to get without:

  1. Paying to advertise it.
  2. Spending a lot of time engaging with people and encouraging them to engage with you directly on your page (easier said than done).
  3. Taking advantage of Facebook Live.

There’s no getting around it. Those are your options on Facebook.

Why I Turned To SEO Over Facebook

In addition to The Write Copy Girl I also have an author blog for my fiction writing. I pretty much abandoned this in the summer of 2016 so I could focus on TWCG. I hadn’t updated the website or posted a blog in 18 months when I went on to check something and, while in the dashboard, happened to notice the traffic stats.

Which were somehow steady and surprisingly high considering it was 18 months since I posted a blog or did anything on my author Facebook page or Twitter to drive traffic to the site.

A quick check revealed something really surprising. I had been holding steady at a respectable traffic rate all that time due to a few key blog posts that rank very well on Google and had been consistently driving traffic to my site despite me abandoning it.

One post in particular, which is now two and a half years old, still gets a bucket load of hits daily.

Every. Single. Day.

Without fail.

Facebook does not have the power to do that. In the same time-frame there hasn’t been any traffic from my author page on Facebook despite its thousands of followers.

Why?

Because when I stopped blogging on my author page I also stopped my social media efforts to support my fiction on Facebook. With the exception of a weekly post sharing whatever was happening on my column on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, nothing happened on my Facebook author page for months on end.

When your social media marketing stops, your traffic from social media stops.

SEO actually increases over time. The longer your posts are live, the higher your page authority improves.

If your content marketing stops, your existing content on your website keeps working for you.

Forever.

The truth of the matter is, if video, paid ads and networking aren’t options for you, you’ll get more bang for your buck with other social media platforms (at least at the moment). And due to the nature of social media compared to SEO, you will get the most bang from the latter, because it’s as effective as all social media combined!

I’m a propounder of the Hustle, it’s one of the three pillars of content marketing, but there’s a world of difference between the Hard Hustle, that drains your time, energy and resources and gives little in return (it’s basically a vampire), and the Hassle Free Hustle, which allows you to effectively promote your content with minimal effort and expense.

So I’ve left Facebook for SEO. Facebook is dead to me.

Fortunately I’m a fan of zombies, and will happily return my attention to Facebook in the event it organic reach and engagement rise from the grave, or I develop enough time to do Facebook Live consistently.

That’s not to say TWCG won’t still be posting to Facebook.

But my efforts will be entirely governed by Liz (my fabulous social media manager) for now. In the new year I’m hoping to have time to devote to Facebook Live and building engagement through personal interaction.

Until then I’ll be focusing on creating the most fabulous content possible, and making the most out of my SEO and other social media accounts.

For example, in the last four weeks I’ve acquired almost 1,000 new Twitter followers and got great engagement without the need for networking, paid ads, or video of any kind.

That’s two thirds of the total following it’s taken me 18 months to create on Facebook!

My traffic from Twitter has never been higher, and I landed a new monthly blogging client despite having posted only a handful of promotional Tweets, all of them for a freebie!

Sorry folks, but there’s no saving this one. Where organic reach and engagement are concerned, Facebook is deader than Michael Jackson teaching a Dodo the moonwalk…

 

Why You Should Make Content Marketing Your Top Priority In The New Year

When I first started out as an entrepreneur I put my knowledge of fiction, books, and general love of writing to the best possible use I could think of: and edited and proofread other people’s words.

And I did a million other things, from book covers and graphic design to illustrations, 3D mock-ups and even fancy email signatures.

If it was related to books and writing I offered it, with one exception: writing.

For some reason it took me a long while to wrap my head around the concept of a business that let me write full-time.

Just write.

Nothing else.

Writing, to me, was not work.

Why would people pay me to do the thing I loved? The thing that lit me up, made me feel whole and sane and healthy.

The thing I did for fun, to relax at the end of the day after a lot of tough, boring work.

That’s what work was.

Work was boring, monotonous, hard.

Otherwise it wasn’t really work.

This was a particularly bizarre notion given that people were already paying me to write, long before I started my business.

Looking back now I really don’t understand why my immediate choice wasn’t to set up as a copywriter, but sometimes the most obvious thing for us feels like an impossibility.

Writing is my passion.

You don’t get paid for your passion, right?

Wrong.

Why You Should Make Your Passion Your Paycheck

Entrepreneurship is a tough gig. Everything rests on you (at least initially), there’s a massive amount of pressure to find clients, retain clients, find more clients, market, market, market, build your brand, grow your business.

And that’s before you even get to the work you need to do for your clients and customers, and the creation of new products and services.

Innovation, trail-blazing, thought-leadership, building a business you are passionate about, that allows you a liberated, free and abundant lifestyle…they’re all beautiful dreams of entrepreneurship that are swiftly quashed under the reality of running a business.

I love editing, and proofreading, and helping other people hone their words. I can be tremendously passionate about that.

By my passion, my true passion, is crafting words of my own, and teaching people how to do the same.

It took my clients to make me see the truth of this. 98% of them asked me at some point about the best way of promoting their products (usually books) and services (frequently done-for-you versions of what their book was about). The answer was simple: blogging.

Or more specifically, content marketing.

“Create fabulous content that showcases your expertise,” I’d tell them. “Fabulous free content that interests people, that lets them get to know you, fall in love with you, and trust that it’s well worth paying for more from you. Start blogging.”

The response I got 99% of the time was, either “Urgh! I seriously hate blogging!” or “Blogging doesn’t sell shit!

From that point they naturally split into two groups. The ones who immediately asked, “Can’t you do it for me?” and those who said, “Can you teach me how to do it?”

The answer to both questions was, “Yes, of course!” and before I knew it my most popular service by a few million miles was not editing, or proofreading, or any of the myriad other things I had been doing, but blogging.

Why I Made Content Marketing My Top Priority This Year

2016 was a game-changing year for me because I finally got sick and tired of spending all my time doing one thing, while desperately wishing I was doing something else.

No more working to live. That doesn’t work. Especially not when you’re a new entrepreneur and you have to work an obscene number of hours just to get things off the ground.

There’s no time or energy left at the end of the day to do the things you love.

In August 2016 after a lot of work behind the scenes I shutdown my old business and launched The Write Copy Girl. I dropped all my existing offerings bar one: blogging.

The more I blogged for other people the more I invested in the mechanics of blogging itself. Not just the writing process, but the whole shebang:

“What makes a good post?”

“How do you attract readers?”

And the big one: “How do you convert readers into paying clients?”

Part of this was for my own benefit.

I knew my new business model had the potential to be amazingly successful, but I had nothing to invest in marketing it other than my own time and skills. Content marketing had to work as an effective marketing strategy because it was the only marketing strategy I had.

There was no money for any kind of paid advertising, and I had no list to speak of so email marketing was out. Social media marketing was an option but required a massive amount of content, not to mention time time when it came to scheduling content and building engagement. With more clients that ever, I didn’t have much time the invest in my own social media (though ironically I was doing it for my clients to promote the blog posts I wrote for them).

All I had was my blog.

Beyond that I wanted to ensure the blogs I wrote were more than just well-written articles. In order to deliver the maximum ROI for my clients (good for them but also for me in terms of word of mouth and repeat business), I really had to dive deep into the specifics of blogging as a marketing tactic.

The simple answer to all my research and questions was this: just blogging isn’t enough.

Not anymore.

Content Marketing is the only sane way to go, and the only way to directly make money from blogging (as opposed to earning passive income from ads or affiliate programmes that capitalise on your blog traffic, or using blogging to simply boost your SEO).

I wanted to spin my words into gold.

But the problem with Content Marketing is that there are so many moving parts:

  • Creating posts
  • Promoting posts
  • Optimising posts
  • Converting readers to subscribers on your list
  • Nurturing that list to convert subscribers into clients
  • Creating offerings that are good enough and/or numerous enough to give you a great return on the massive investment required for content marketing. Not just your products and services, but passive income products like books, eCourses, and affiliate programmes.
  • So many parts. It all runs on content (hence the name!), yet the various elements of that content require a seriously broad skill-set.
  • Skills that go far beyond simply writing:
  • Strategising
  • Ideal generation
  • Writing, editing, proofreading
  • Research
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing and Sales tactics
  • Web Design and Development
  • Email Integration and Marketing
  • Branding
  • Customer Care and Understanding

It wasn’t enough to write great content for my clients.

Too many of them had no idea how to leverage that content and use it to make money.

More still knew how to do that, but didn’t have all the skills required.

And still more had the knowledge and the skills, but no time.

The more I talked to existing and potential clients, and other biz owners, the more I realised that my initial observations about blogging held true. When it comes to content marketing people fall into two camps:

  1. Those who are willing or able (or able to learn) to do their own content marketing, but don’t know how.
  2. Those who are unwilling or unable to DIY their content marketing but would happily pay someone to take it off their hands.

So I set about creating a system that offered the complete solution that all entrepreneurs (including myself!) craved. A system I could do for my clients and teach to those who preferred to DIY it, or couldn’t afford to outsource it.

Why You Should Make Content Marketing Your Top Priority In The New Year

For 18 months I’ve been offering Divine Blogging as a paid service for the clients who simply want their Content Marketing handled.

The results have been rather amazing, and very clearly demonstrate why you should make Content Marketing your top priority in the New Year…

Triple Your Income

Even if I don’t get any extra work in between now and the end of the year, my 2017 income is already over three times that of 2016. With the exception of a trial month of Google AdWords with a limited £250 budget, I’ve done zero marketing or promotions in the last year beyond my content marketing. And, due to limitations with my website, and severe time constraints, I’ve not even been running at full speed.

The Divine Blogging Design uses extensive content upgrades and lead magnets, as well as social media marketing to drive traffic and support list-building, drive traffic, and promote great engagement.

I’ve been unable to utilise the former due to the limitations of the existing website and my own technical ineptness, and the latter due to having no time for my own social media marketing. I’ve just hired a social media manager to solve a large part of the time issue, and a shiny new website will be up and running very soon.

But that is literally only just happening.

Which means that, even without the full content upgrades and social media elements that are essential to truly spectacular content marketing, my income has more than tripled in 12 months.

See for yourself…

Why You Should Make Content Marketing Your Top Priority In The New Year

Double Your Email List, Then Triple It

So, how do I know content marketing is amazing for list-building if I’ve not been using that aspect in my own biz?

Simple, my clients get amazing results.

Take the fabulous Robyn Kyberd as an example. In the first month of the Divine Blogging Design being up and running on Robyn’s site, Optimise and Grow Online, she doubled her list.

We’ve just reached the end of her first three months, and she’s almost tripled it.

To put that in context, four blog posts doubled Robyn’s list.

(I’ve taken on a few ‘guinea pig’ clients this year, offering them a discounted rate in exchange for sharing their results as case studies of how effective the Divine Blogging Design is – Robyn is one of them. The service is usually 100% confidential.)

Zero To Hero On Twitter In 3 WeeksZero To Hero On Twitter In 3 Weeks

I mentioned I’d not been taking advantage of the social media elements of The Divine Blogging Design due to lack of time. I’ve recently hired a social media manager to deal with this. Well, three weeks in and I’m already seeing great results. I have a personal Twitter account that has always functioned as the face of everything I do – my fiction, my business, and my work with bipolar disorder.

I have to confess, I’m really not a fan of social media. I am on Facebook a lot because it keeps me in touch with my friends, most of whom live too far away for me to ever see them. But I’ve really never ‘got’ Twitter.

I know it has great advantages for business, and I know how to use it in that respect, but personally I’ve never personally used it for my business beyond a few cursory Tweets promoting blog posts.

So I decided a little experiment was in order.

I set up a brand shiny new Twitter account dedicated entirely to TWCG. At the start of November, when my social media manager came onboard, there were a handful of Tweets on it, and I had a grand total of 12 followers.

I had done nothing to promote this new profile, literally nothing, and that was quite purposeful.

Once my social media manager was up to speed on exactly how Divine Blogging, I handed over my new Twitter baby and left her to it.

At the time of writing this I’m three weeks in, and in that time my new Twitter account has exploded from 12 followers to over 600.

Zero To Hero On Twitter In 3 Weeks 600+ New Followers Zero Advertising, Zero Effort

That may not seem like an impressive number of followers in total, but for a totally new account, achieving that with ZERO advertising and no need for time consuming and tedious tactics is pretty damn impressive.

That’s repurposing blog content and a killer automation, plus a couple of minutes a day sharing interesting and relevant posts, and responding to any interaction.

But here’s the thing.

Six years and 5,621 Tweets on my personal account has achieved a grant total of 678 followers.

Nurture Your Clients

Content Marketing is awesome for building your list, but the content you create also ensures you can effectively nurture all those leads. Your nurture sequences run on content. And beyond that your existing clients will get a great deal out of your content marketing efforts. Sending them fresh, new, regular content has several great benefits:

  1. It reaffirms your expertise
  2. It reassures them you’re the right person for the job, and they shouldn’t be looking elsewhere
  3. It keeps you front of mind, so that when the time rolls around to renew their contract, or upgrade their product or service, it’s an easy decision.
  4. It promotes word of mouth, and makes it more likely existing clients will tell people about you by sharing your content, or recommending you when friends, family and colleagues need someone with your expertise.
  5. It increases the lifetime value of your clients by encouaraging them to buy new offerings and invest in additional products and services with you.
  6. It ensures customer satisfaction by providing the answers to question they may not have thought of yet, or already had but hadn’t got round to asking.
  7. It ensures a high-value client journey. Simply providing them with regular content will make your clients feel you are delivering exceptional value, above and beyond what they’ve paid for.
  8. It will help stabalise your income so you generate consistent revenue rather than a feast or famine effect. Take another look at my income this year compared to last year. Happy clients sign up for long term contracts, join monthly subscription programmes, and come back to you again and again for the same tried, tested and adored products and services.

Start Where You Are

It should be a top priority, but it’s super important to go about it in an organised manner. It’s vital that you choose a strategy that’s right for you and your business. And it’s essential that you set up the infrastructure needed to support your content marketing efforts, and monetise your content as much as possible.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the notion, just remember – you don’t have to do everything all at once. I certainly didn’t have the resources or time available to fully implement the Divine Blogging Design in my own business all in one go. I started by writing blogs, I doubled up and began recorded the content in video form, and then I added in social media marketing and a website with all the bells and whistles when I could afford it.

The original Write Copy Girl website is one I built myself, from scratch, over a few weekends before I launched. It didn’t cost me a penny. And while it’s true it also isn’t exactly how I wanted the site to look, and didn’t do a lot of the things I wanted the site to do, it still did the job.

18 months in I could afford to pay a professional developer and designer to overhaul it for me. I could afford a professional brand photo shoot. I could afford to outsource social media management.

There is no way I could have done that right out of the gate, even though I was already doing it for my clients.

Start where you are, with what you have. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to do it all yourself, but really want to harness the epic power of content marketing in your business, book a discovery call and we can chat about what Divine Blogging can do for your business…

To achieve greatness, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

18 Epic Content Marketing Tools For Massive Business Growth

Winter is upon us, which for me means two things: National Novel Writing Month, and a seemingly endless cycle of walking Dexter, bathing Dexter, then cleaning up all the mud he tracked over the house. I’ve been making do with the cleaning supplies I was able to steal from my mum’s house for the last couple of years. This did not include (among other things) a mop. Which meant that last winter I was cleaning the mud off the floors with a dishcloth.

I didn’t realise how laborious, tedious and utterly needless it was to crawl around on my hands and knees, scrubbing the floor with a Terrycloth, until I got a cleaner…She lasted a week before demanding I bought her a mop.

It seemed like a perfectly reasonable request, so I obliged, but I hadn’t had occasion to use said mop until winter set in and the annual season of mud began.

My god, it was a REVELATION.

The ease of cleaning the floor that is afforded by an £8 B&Q mop can only be appreciated by a person that spent two years using a threadbare dishcloth.

Believe it or not, I do have a point…

Digital marketing is much like cleaning. It’s so much easier when you have the right tools.

Everything somehow feels sparkly and exciting when you have the perfect tool for the job at hand, even when that tool is as mundane as a mop.

Whether you’re using awesome blog posts to drive traffic to your site, crafting the perfect nurture sequence, of totally rocking your social media marketing, creating an effective content marketing strategy is a lot of work.

But with the right content marketing tools everything stops being a massive ball ache and actually becomes fun. Not only that, it’s faster, more efficient, more effective, and waaay easier to maintain.

With so many different moving parts in a comprehensive content marketing strategy, there is no one-size-solves-everything tool. There are, however, a lot of super-powerful tools that excel at very specific things.

I’ve spent the last few years fine tuning my own content marketing system and figuring out – through trial, error, and a lot of angry cussing when things went wrong – exactly which content marketing tools to use to ensure a everything works seamlessly…

Content Marketing Tools - CoSchedule to schedule blog posts and easily automate social media marketing

#1 CoSchedule – Editorial Calendar, Scheduler And Planner

98% of my content is scheduled using one awesome tool: CoSchedule.

There are a few things I don’t schedule via this epic little editorial calendar, mainly videos that need uploading natively to a site, blog posts hosted on LinkedIn, and Instagram posts (it is capable of doing it, but it requires using the App rather than doing it directly from your desktop).

Otherwise, every piece of content I produce (both for myself and my clients) goes through CoSchedule.

The drag and drop calendar makes it ridiculously easy to use. It also includes other tools for super-easy content marketing such as automatic resharing of existing content, workflow templates, task templates, social media campaign templates, and the ability to assign tasks and posts to specific people in your team.

You can also integrate a lot of other tools with CoSchedule, including Evernote, Bitly and more. It works directly in WordPress, so you can access it on your website Dashboard as well as the desktop application and App, with the ability to edit and create posts anytime, anywhere.

As if that wasn’t enough it also comes with comprehensive reports on the performance of your content. Until very recently this was limited to a single report for all your social platforms, but they’re currently Beta testing a new system that provides bespoke reports for each individual platform.

I said there wasn’t a one-size-solves everything content marketing tool, but CoSchedule comes bloody close.

The downside to CoSchedule that it’s a paid System as a Service (SaaS). For functions like requeue and templates you need to get the higher end packages and it gets quite expensive.

I personally think it would be worth its weight in gold, if an intangible virtual system weighed the equivalent of a small elephant. I happily pay £215/month for the Growth Plan + Agency Pack + Requeue, with all the bells and whistles. My team and I can use it for all my content marketing, and all my clients who have The Divine Blogging Design with Scheduling.

#2 Google Analytics – Website Metrics

The more content marketing you do the more obsessed you become with metrics. This is good, but only if you have an effective way of collecting and analysing them.

It’s super-powerful, capable of giving you a detailed look at exactly which content is most popular, how much traffic you have, where it comes from, how long it stays, how much of it is new and how much returning, how long people stay on various posts, and how much money individual posts earn.

It’s free, easy to use, and simple to integrate with WordPress and a lot of other systems.

#3 Moz – SEO Research

While there are some amazing free resources you can use for SEO and keyword research (in particular Google’s Keyword Planner), my personal favourite tool to use in this area is Moz.

You can absolutely do all the research you need with free versions (and in fact Moz has free tools), but if you were to pay for an SEO research tool, Moz is the one to go for.

#4 ActiveCampaign – Email Marketing

I’ve tried a few different email marketing service providers over the years, including MailChimp, MadMimi and AWeber. They served me well when I was a noob, but when I started developing nurture sequences I switched over to ActiveCampaign. There were several reasons for this:

  • I find it more user-friendly and very easy to use.
  • There are a very good range of templates.
  • The functions for autoresponder sequences are far more versatile and visually much easier to setup.
  • It has great integration and works perfectly with my website and list-building tools – (mainly ClickFunnels, Thrive Leads, and Thrive Quiz Builder).

The downside of ActiveCampaign over the likes of MailChimp and MadMimi is that it’s a SaaS and there is no free option, regardless of how many subscribers you have. The price increases in proportion to the number of subscribers; it’s $23/month for up to 1000 subscribers and increases incrementally after that.

If you want to include the CRM and other functions available, that will also increase the price. At present I only have the basic option, as it does everything I need it to, but I did trial the more complicated versions and found them to be comprehensive and well worth the extra if you need the additional functionality.

#5 ClickFunnels – Sales Funnels

This one is a new discovery for me but thus far it’s proving to be another revelation. I signed up for the free trial to test ClickFunnels out ahead of overhauling my sales funnel in the new year. I was torn between ClickFunnels and InfusionSoft, but in the end the lack of a free trial on InfusionSoft, and the need to pay £1000 as for a non-optional setup lesson I didn’t need or want was the deal breaker.

I have no intention of setting up my sales funnels myself, as technical wizardry is well outside my zone of genius.

Honestly, I get Tech Rage (like Road Rage, but without the possibility of running people over).

Fortunately I have a fabulous web developer in the form of Chris over at Roots Creative, who is currently working on a brand spanking new website for TWCG, and a genius tech monkey in the form of digital marketer Robyn Kyberd at Optimise and Grow Online.

I love Robyn so much she’s actually joined the team and we’re about to roll out some exciting new options for The Divine Blogging Design, including full content upgrade and lead magnet setup and integrations, and sales funnel creation.

I plan and write, Robyn techs (yep, that totally need to be a verb!), and Liz (my new Social Media Manager) handles all the scheduling and social media post create.

It’s a dream team made in content marketing heaven…

Anyway, back to ClickFunnels. Robyn will be setting up a complex sales funnel to accommodate my growing business needs and offerings. I’ll do a more complete breakdown of that and ClickFunnels once it’s fully setup and I’m completely used to it, but the elements of the trial that won me over were:

  • Excellent funnel templates, including one specifically designed for promoting books (I’m getting ready to launch Divine Blogging the book in the New Year, so this was very appealing!).
  • A page creation system so simple even I can use it!
  • Excellent integration with everything I need it to work with (WordPress, ActiveCampaign and Stripe).
  • Competitive pricing – ClickFunnels is an SaaS, making it a fairly pricey ongoing cost, but compared to InfusionSoft and other alternatives it’s relatively inexpensive.
  • No mandatory lesson in using it that I don’t need, want, or wish to pay £1K for!

#6 Schedugr.am – Instagram Scheduling

Although it is possible to schedule Instagram posts through CoSchedule, that wasn’t an option until very recently. Consequently I’m very used to using Schedugr.am for scheduling Instagram posts, and continue to use it despite CS now supporting Instagram.

Instagram are really picky about which software can directly schedule content to the platform. You can line your content up on CoSchedule, but still have to go into the App to publish it.

That, to me, is too much faff and a huge turn off.

This makes Instagram scheduling impossibly simple, and allows you to batch your scheduling without having to faff about doing it.

It may well be that CoSchedule’s Instagram function is a lot more user-friendly than I think, but at present I have a Nokia Lumia phone, that can’t support the CoSchedule App (which is required to schedule to Instagram).  

Although I just got the iPad (literally last month) that can use the CS app, and haven’t looked at Instagram scheduling since getting it. So I don’t actually know what the app is like for Instagram.

For me though, the fact you have to faff around with the app at all, rather than being able to do everything from the CS desktop calendar (which is where I schedule everything else!) is more effort than I’m willing to spend.

The point of a scheduling system is to be as easily automated and simple as possible. Schedugr.am gives me that, so for now I’m sticking with what I know. When I have time I will investigate the CoSchedule Instagram function more.

Schedugr.am is a paid service, but it’s relatively inexpensive at $15/month.

#7 Outbrain – Paid Content Promo

This is one I have used for my clients, but don’t currently use for my own content. At some point, if I decide to run paid ads for my content rather than relying on SEO, and organic and free promotion via social media marketing and networking, I will use Outbrain.

It’s extremely simple to use, and allows you to either hook up your RSS feed, or add specific posts manually to a list. You set your audience and budget, and Outbrain takes care of the rest.

The premise is really simple. Outbrain places image links with meta descriptions in the ‘recommended posts’ section of posts read by your target audience.

It’s great because it doesn’t look like an advert, and will be genuinely related to the post in question.

Outbrain is a pay per click (PPC) ad service, and isn’t the cheapest. If you have an advertising budget it’s an excellent way of driving targeted traffic to your content and website, in a way that’s arguably far less intrusive for the user than, for example, sponsored posts on Facebook and other social media platforms.

It is not, however, by any means a vital addition to your content marketing tool kit – you can effectively promote your content without paid advertising if you have an effective system in place.

#8 GoToWebinar – Webinars

You may have noticed I don’t run live webinars very often. I have, in fact, only ever done one for The Write Copy Girl to date. I’ve always found the entire process of running webinars incredibly stressful. None of that stress and anxiety is due to the presentation itself (I used to lecture at Bangor uni, that part doesn’t bother me bit).

But the tech infuriates me. Tech in general infuriates me, which is why I love finding awesome tools that make it super-simple.

Webinars have previously been ineffective because I wasn’t able to get the technology working as it should. That meant losing all the huge list-building potential of the webinars, and struggling to get them to even run.

Then I discovered GoToWebinars.

The last webinar I ran was a huge success in comparison to previous efforts. The downside is that it’s a SaaS and not a cheap option.

But in my opinion, if you’re going to run webinars GoToWebinars is the only sane way to go about it. BUT, there’s a caveat:

That infrastructure is the one area of my own content marketing strategy that has been missing due to my own technical limitations. That’s set to change next year after the new website is live and the all-singing, all-dancing sales funnel I’ve created has been implemented by Robyn.

At that point, I’ll be using GoToWebinar regularly, because it will be worth the investment. At the moment, the amount of new leads I’m capable of attracting and converting is simply not high enough to justify the expense.

#9 Evernote – Content Creation

If you’re anything like me, ideas for content don’t conveniently hit you when you happen to be sitting at your computer, with a blank document open ready to receive them.

Instead, the muse strikes at random, varied and frequently inconvenient intervals.

I have a hoard of notebooks scattered about my world so there’s always something to write in, but there are several problems with this system:

  1. Most of them are full. This leads to writing on anything handy including (but by no means limited to) the paper bags they give you in the convenience car on Virgin trains, and my own skin.
  2. I frequently forget which notebook I wrote what in, leading to hours wasted fruitlessly searching.
  3. I often have a shower without typing up whatever is covering my limbs.
  4. Even more frequently I forget I had ideas entirely and stumble upon them again after the point they would have been most relevant.

To combat this I stopped writing in physical notebooks so much and transferred my idea creation and scribbling to the cloud. I use two systems for content creation now, Evernote and GoogleDocs (see below for that).

Evernote is perfect for when I’m on the go, and has been a particular blessing in recent years as I’ve had a desktop computer and no laptop. It’s only very recently I bought an iPad, prior to that if I had an idea when I was away from my desk (which happens on a daily basis, usually multiple times) I put it on Evernote on my phone.

Trains, bus stops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, my mum’s house, friends’ houses, and the wilds of Cheshire (which I frequently wander with Dexter) have been no obstacle to writing since I did this. I no longer have to remember a notebook with space in it and a functional pen (I always fail at the last part), I just need my phone.

And I always have my phone in case of emergency, or a desperate need to play Tetris (this happens more frequently than you might expect).

#10 Canva – Graphics

From the feature images on your blog posts, to the cover images on your YouTube videos, memes, in-text images, graphics, infographics, content upgrades, lead magnets, eBooks, print books, email marketing, not to mention your website and any physical packaging or advertising you may have, there’s no getting away from the need for images.

As long as you don’t need to do anything complex, like format the inside of a book, Canva will handle everything you need. It has templates, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop creation system, settings for your brand fonts and colours, masses of free templates and graphic elements, as well as both free and paid stock images, and the ability to magically copy and resize designs to fit multiple different platforms.

The latter is the biggest time saver ever. You can create one set of images for one platform, then resize them for all your other platforms.

Content Marketing Tools - Use Movavi Video Editor Suite for super easy video creation and editing

#11 Movavi – Video Creation And Editing

I’m always banging on about the super awesome power of Video Marketing, and the biggest block people have (aside from being self-conscious!) is that they don’t know how to edit videos.

Because it’s technical and complicated and scary and shit.

As we’ve established, I’m a huge technophobe with zero patience for things like this, and yet somehow I’m perfectly content creating and editing all my own videos.

From my weekly vlogs to complicated behind the scenes videos from the photoshoot for the cover of my novel in Edinburgh, I’ve made all my videos.

With ONE SERIOUSLY AWESOME TOOL.

This is a paid product, but it’s not an SaaS, so you only make one payment and that’s it – you own it. A personal licence will cost you around £75, while a business licence is about £130 (prices do vary, so check before you buy!).

For a full breakdown of all the kit required to totally rock your video marketing check out my Masterclass, How To Start A Vlog: All The Technical Needs…

#12 Issuu – Magazine Publication

Issuu is another thing I’ve been playing around with this year. I haven’t quite started using it yet, but fully intend to once I’m ready.

If you fancy publishing a magazine – as in, a real magazine, rather than a newsletter or series of post on your blog or website – Issuu is the way to do it.

It’s not cheap, but it’s very easy to use and has proven extremely effective for several people I know in several key areas:

  • List Building (by giving your finished magazines away for free)
  • Brand Awareness
  • Generating Advertising Revenue
  • Generating Passive Income (by charging for your magazines)

I am plotting a magazine of my own, which I originally intended to release this year, but ended up putting on a back burner so I could focus on getting the Divine Blogging book, free challenge, and eCourse out as soon as possible (watch out for those in the new year!).

When I finally get around to it I’ll blog more on the use of Issuu, but for now, suffice to say that if you’re looking to make a magazine part of your content marketing strategy, Issuu is the way to go!

#13 SurveyMonkey – Research

What is it about monkeys and marketing tools? Between MailChimp, SurveyMonkey and Monkey Web Apps it seems the world is obsessed with apes.

SurveyMonkey is a stupendously powerful tool for researching all that lovely content you’re creating. It’s also fabulous for market research.

There are two options: free and paid. The paid options aren’t cheap, but if you’re working on something BIG and need the weight of statistics behind it, it’s well worth it. Having original survey data (on a scale large enough to constitute a reasonable data pool, usually 100+ people) does a few things that are really tricky to achieve any other way:

  • Makes your content 100% original, even if the subject you’re discussing has been talked about extensively elsewhere.
  • Demonstrates your viewpoint, theory, or method is more than just a personal opinion but carries genuine weight.
  • Builds trust with your readership as they have tangible proof that what you say is demonstrably true.
  • Drives traffic (especially if your survey results demonstrate something controversial, previously unacknowledged or unknown, or extremely interesting).
  • Naturally builds links to your content as people are forced to link to the source of the data you have collected if they want to use your stats.
  • Helps you land guest blogging and PR opportunities by giving you a great hook and unique angle.

So paying for extensive surveys or large numbers of results can be well worth it. But there are loads of great ways to use SurveyMonkey for free.

You can create surveys with up to ten questions without charge, and share them as much as you like for free.

If you have an extensive network it’s entirely possible to collect a good number of results without having to pay for them (especially if you can afford to spend little on advertising or an incentive prize up for grabs).

Use surveys to monitor your own performance and client satisfaction.

I have a series of surveys I send to clients on The Divine Blogging Design to check in with them every two months, and shortly before they are due to renew their contract. It gives them a chance to easily tell me if they’re unhappy with anything so I have chance to fix it. It’s also very helpful for me in improving my services as it flags any areas that could be working better, or common problems clients are experiencing beyond the scope of the service, that I could solve by expanding it to include additional services.

For example, I have several clients who commented in their surveys that they loved the content I was creating but struggled to integrate the technical side of things in terms of hooking up content upgrades and lead magnets, and creating nurture sequences.

Due to my own technical ineptness, this was never included in The Divine Blogging Design originally, but it’s a natural need that arises for clients as a result of working with me. Unless they are technically capable, or have someone on staff who is, hooking up all the content I provide is an issue.

It was a no-brainer for me to expand the service to include technical support for those clients who needed it; they were literally asking for it!

The survey gave them an easy way of telling me what else I could do for them.

#14 Google Docs – Cloud Writing And Collaboration

As previously mentioned, content creation can lead to an overwhelming number of notebooks and an astonishing lack of organisation.

Or, you can use Google Docs…

Google Docs is perfect for content creation for oh, so many reasons, but the main ones are:

  1. Cloud storage so your data is safe, secure, and backed up in the event your computer melts under the force of so much typing.
  2. Super-easy sharing of documents between the numerous people who may need to work on it, from other team members to friends, family, and clients. (All my client work is done on Google Docs, allowing for super-easy sharing!)
  3. Tracking and commenting functions, which enable collaborators to ask questions, make edits, leave notes for each other, and communicate very quickly and easily directly on the document. It’s essentially a live document you can edit as you would with Tracked Changes in Word, but there’s no need to email it back and forth, upload it, download it, and try to coordinate changes made by multiple people and several different versions of one document. You can see who is viewing your document in real time, and even watch as they make changes to it. (This is actually kinda creepy…)
  4. Pretty much all the functionality of Word PLUS built-in HTML formatting. What does this mean? You can write a blog post in Google Docs and format it with headings, tables, and everything else you need, then copy it directly into your visual editor on WordPress and BAM, fully formatted blog post. (The only thing that won’t translate are images, which you will need to upload to your site and insert as usual.)

#15 WordPress – Website Creation

I’ve tried other website platforms and I just don’t like them. If you’re serious about content marketing, a WordPress site is a must-have. It has so much more functionality than other DIY website creation tools. The range of themes and plugins available for WordPress is far more extensive than other platforms. Your WP site will integrate seamlessly with pretty much anything.

Also, and I really can’t stress this enough…you can’t use a lot of the other tools without it.

CoSchedule is a WordPress plugin. For that reason alone, it’s worth having a WordPress site!

(No, I don’t get paid by CoSchedule for blathering on about how awesome they are. I gain nothing by recommending it other than a warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you’ll be floating on a cloud of Content Marketing bliss if you use it.)

#16 Character Count Online – Social Media Content Creation

This is the simplest tool on the list but it’s so useful!

Twitter may have just upped the character limit on Tweets to 280 but that doesn’t take away the need to obsessively count your characters.

Even if you’re not marketing on Twitter, most social media sites have some form of character limit in place (even Facebook, although it’s so high you usually don’t have to worry about hitting it). Simply paste whatever you want to use into the character counter and it will instantly tell you how many characters you’re dealing with.

A few things I find this super-helpful for:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Writing Meta Data Descriptions (which are capped at 160 characters)
  • Elevator Pitches
  • Taglines
  • Product Descriptions (for designs that have very limited space)

A couple of other handy tricks to count your characters if you don’t want to faff about copying and pasting. Use these shortcuts to bring up the word count (including characters with and without spaces):

In GoogleDocs, simply select the text you need to count and hit Ctrl+Shift+C (on Windows) or ⌘+Shift+C (on Mac).

In Microsoft Word, select your text and hit Ctrl+Shift+G (on Windows)…if you know how to do it on Mac please comment below and let me know and I will add it (I’m not a Mac used and I couldn’t find it!!).

#17 Designrr – Ludicrously Easy eBook/Content Upgrade Creation

Want to offer a downloadable eBook version of your blog post for people to read on the go? Copy your URL into Designrr, click a few buttons to select your template and BAM.

Instant Content Upgrade, zero design, technical skills, or extra writing required. Get PDF, Kindle and ePub versions!

#18 Thrive Quiz Builder – Lead Magnet Quiz Creation

This is another new one I’ve been experimenting with recently, and I love it. Part of the Design Blogging Design is the use of archetypes to build a really detailed profile of your ideal client, and tailor your content marketing schedule to appeal to their psychological makeup. There are twelve archetypes, and I wanted to create a quiz that would allow people to easily identify the main archetype of their ideal client.

After fiddling around with a few different quiz builders (I also tried DilogR and Viral Quiz Builder) I shelled out $97 and got Thrive Quiz Builder. (You can get it for $67 if you only want it for one site, but I got it with a 5 site license in case I wanted to use it elsewhere.) 

Genius plugin, I love it so much!

It’s extremely responsive, has an incredibly easy-to-use drag-and-drop dashboard that lets you create complex quizzes very quickly, and is responsive enough to display bespoke content depending on the result of the quiz (vitally important!).

I’ll do a full review of it and some tutorials next year, but if you’re looking for a way to generate a ridiculous number of email signups with a hook that can be perfectly tailored to your core offering, a quiz is the way to go.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Ideal Client Archetype Quiz, which will be rolling out with the new website at the end of the year. And if you need help creating the perfect content marketing schedule for your business (complete with all the best content marketing tools!) book a discovery call now and let’s chat about what The Divine Blogging Design can do for you…

How To Write Your Way To The Head Of The Pack

There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, and that’s fabulous. What’s not so great is that the awesomeness of entrepreneurship is hardly a secret. The freedom and success it can bring have made competition fiercer than ever.

Every industry has a pack of hungry wolves fighting over the same territory.

When you’re in business, the name of the game is establishing yourself as the head of the pack.

The alpha.

There’s an old expression, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. Speaking as a girl who has a lot of pens, and a lot of swords, I can safely say I’ve achieved far more with the former than the latter. (Unless having badass wall hangings counts as a great achievement!)

But the premise goes a little deeper than that, and it’s particularly apt for marketing.

You can (and should!) write your way to the head of the pack.

But with everyone and her wife branding themselves ‘experts’, that’s easier said than done.

Exactly how do you use writing to establish your expertise and claim the coveted spot as pack alpha?

Here’s how to cut through all that digital noise and demonstrate that your knowledge and industry savvy is more valuable than everyone else’s…

Write, Write, And Write Some More

Bona fide experts with multiple degrees and years of experience in their fields still start at zero when it comes to building an online reputation.

It’s an uncertain journey from online noob to highly successful digital expert and it can be long.

Writing is an incredibly powerful way of establishing that expertise but it’s not a quick fix.

You have to write a lot.

It takes time to develop your voice and style as a writer, and learn how best to create the type of content that catapults you to the forefront of your niche.

And it takes time for your writing to gain traction online. It’s not something that’s achieved writing bits here and there, or giving up after a month or two.

You need to write, write, write some more, and when you think you’ve hit your limit and you can’t possibly face any more content creation, you have to keep writing.

It’s not quite as simple as that (you have to write with purpose and have an effective strategy in place!), but writing your way to the head of the pack, becoming the go-to expert in your niche, and establishing yourself as a credible professional really boils down to this:

Just write.

Own Your Expertise

While writing and content creation play a pivotal role in establishing your expertise there is also a crucial mindset shift you really need to develop as quickly as possible.

One way to do this is to literally refer to yourself as an expert in your niche.

Not everyone is comfortable with doing that, and it can sound a little arrogant, pretentious, or egotistical.

There’s another old adage: show don’t tell.

Don’t tell people you’re an expert, show them through the amazing content you create. Demonstrate it with every word your write. And allude to it by writing yourself a killer tagline, one that perfectly encapsulates your knowledge, understanding, unique talent, and the fact you are a standout leader in your niche.

For example, here’s mine:

Hazel is a freelance writer and content marketer helping fabulous entrepreneurs build dedicated tribes of ideal clients. Hazel is also an Urban Fantasy author, Huffington Post blogger, and editor at Sci-Fi Fantasy Network.

Here’s The Write Copy Girl tagline:

The kick-ass copywriting service every ambitious female entrepreneur needs to grow a dedicated tribe addicted to their passion and products.

I don’t use the word ‘expert’ anywhere in either. I don’t need to. It would actually be far less effective if I described myself as a ‘content marketing expert’, a ‘copywriting expert’ or (and it actually makes me slightly nauseated typing it) an ‘expert writer’.

The word ‘expert’ is used entirely too liberally.

Hear a word often enough it stops sounding like a real thing. Instead it sounds fake, and vaguely sinister.

If you have to call yourself an alpha to ensure people know you’re the head of the pack, you’re not genuinely the top wolf.

Wolves lead by doing, not speaking.

Wolves don’t get to be alpha by howling the loudest, they simply lead.

Actions, not words.

This may sound rather odd when I’m telling you to do this thing by writing and using your words, but there’s a huge difference between writing like an expert, and repeatedly telling people in your writing that you are an expert.

One positions you as a leader because you are leading.

The other is just howling at the moon.

And there’s nothing new about that.

Find Your Passion, Write For Your Ideal Client

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is ‘What should I write about?’

While that’s a really good question, it’s not nearly as important as figuring out who you’re writing for.

You’re looking to establish yourself as the head of your pack, the leader of your tribe. You can’t do that until you know exactly who the other wolves are…

That means knowing your audience, and by extension your competition. Figuring out exactly who your ideal client is will not only ensure you end up leading the right pack (by which I mean niche), and working with the people you genuinely want to work with (it’s a lot easier to get this wrong than you might think!), but it will also answer the question of what to write.

Before you can figure out who you’re writing for, you need to understand exactly what you’re doing. If you don’t already have a business, make sure you design your business model so that you’re working directly in your zone of genius and making your passion your paycheck.

If you have an established business, this is hopefully already the case, but if it isn’t, don’t be afraid to shift your direction slightly in order to position yourself more firmly in line with your true passions.

For example, in 2016 I felt totally stuck in my business. I asked myself three questions:

“What do I want to do all day?”

“Where have I achieved great results by doing that?”

“Who is in a position to consistently pay me to do that?”

The answer turned out to be easy, and I completely rebranded and launched The Write Copy Girl so I could focus on writing.

Just writing, because that is my passion.

I specifically focused on offering blogging and content marketing services, because I’d got great results for my clients with those already.

Once I made that shift, the question of my ideal client solved itself: I’d work predominantly with female entrepreneurs who were either ready to handle their content marketing like a boss and hire someone to do everything for them, or take an online course and learn how to do it all themselves.

Ask yourself these questions and you will have a basic understanding of your ideal client.

Once you know exactly what you’re doing and who you want to work with, you need to crawl inside their heads. Figure out what makes them tick, what they want, what they need, and where your particular talents, passions and expertise overlap with those things.

That’s what you write about.

Your ideal client should be the heart of your content marketing strategy; they should dictate what you write, when, and how frequently.

Develop A Goal-Driven Content Marketing Strategy

So, now you know you have to keep writing, and that you have to be writing for your ideal client. But what exactly are you supposed to write?

You’re going to be writing about the stuff your ideal client cares about and desperately want to read, but what form should that writing take?

It’s easier than ever to get your content out there, and the multi-media nature of digital marketing means there is a huge range of choice here. The go-to for establishing your expertise through writing is to start blogging.

You should definitely do that.

But there are loads of other forms of content that you can create.

The most important thing to do is ensure you’re not just banging out blog posts and other content without purpose. You need a goal-driven content marketing strategy.

When I first started out I didn’t have this key part of the puzzle in place. Despite spending a massive amount of time writing I had very little to show for it. After a couple of years of fumbling about in the dark I finally wised up. I dedicated myself to figuring out the perfect content marketing strategy to propel me to the head of the pack of ravenous wolves (aka entrepreneurs) loitering in the digitalverse, helping other entrepreneurs desperate to lead their own tribes.

Network Like A Ninja

All this writing isn’t going to do you a great deal of good if nobody reads it. The single biggest lie in marketing is the notion that ‘if you build it, they will come’ (I call this The Cornfield Paradox).

While social media marketing and email marketing go a long way towards spreading your content, and paid advertising is always an option, networking is essential.

Forging strong networks, through personal interactions, in relevant groups and communities (both online and in-person) will spread your content further and faster.

It will also, crucially, give you ample opportunities to further demonstrate your expertise.

People naturally ask questions. They need things, want things, and both need and want to understand things. How to make something work, how to achieve something, how to do something better, simpler, more efficiently, for less money. How to be more successful.

They also crave simple human contact, friendship, kindness.

While static content (content created, published and distributed) can offer the former, the latter can only come from personal interactions. Building real relationships with people is time-consuming, and generally can’t be easily outsourced, but it’s really worth the effort.

Here are a few easy steps to help you demonstrate your expertise while forging genuine relationships:

  1. Join key groups full of your ideal clients and regularly share your content with them in the appropriate threads each week (check the group rules and stick to them!). Spend some time looking at the content other people have shared. If something genuinely interests you, click through to their site and comment directly on their post, then let them know in the group that you liked their stuff and have left a comment.
  2. When someone asks a question and it’s in your wheelhouse give a genuine and personal answer – take a little time with it, don’t just copy and paste a link, existing text, or send them to your website.
  3. Wait for people to ask for a link to your site before you give them one.
  4. Ask your own questions – groups of this nature are often full of a really diverse range of people. Be a little vulnerable and give other people the opportunity to share their own skills (you’ll learn a ton in the process!).
  5. Post your latest promotions in designated threads, and again, take the time to check out other people’s stuff.
  6. Take advantage of opportunities to get involved in live events, showcases, or times when the group owner/admin needs one of the members to take over management or contribute their own content. Offer to collaborate with them in order to provide their group with a load of great content and insights – it’s great for their engagement levels, and perfect for getting you in front of the right people.
  7. Show up without agenda. If the only time you participate in groups is to share links to your content or promotions, you’re not building relationships with anyone. Show up in the groups just to say hi, share a win, tell a funny story that the other members will relate to, or simple scroll through other people’s posts and join in the discussion.
  8. Don’t think of it as selling. It’s not, it’s building relationships. The less you think of networking as selling, the better.

Networking is time consuming, there’s no getting around that. There’s a lot you can do on social media that’s automated and scheduled. You can also outsource a load of it to an assistant, content marketer, or social media manager, but there are some things you just have to do yourself, in real-time. Networking is one of them.

The good news is, as your business develops and grows and you become more widely known, people will start coming to you.

If you don’t want to spend all your time trawling through other people’s groups, start your own and begin building your own dedicated community. You can grow your own thriving community, and rather than spending so much time in other people’s networks, you can focus on engaging with and growing your own.

Write A Book

When it comes to establishing yourself as an industry leader and an authority in your niche, nothing does it better than a book.

There are loads of great benefits to writing a business book, and if you’re already writing a lot of content it’s often a lot easier than you think. When you’ve been consistently producing content on core topics for a year or more you’ll find you’ve amassed a lot relating to the same subjects.

Collate them, edit them, add a fresh perspective or twist, and expand on some of the best points. Look at your content stats on Google Analytics and social media and identify the specific points and topics that proved most popular. Focus on those.

It will not only do wonders for your content marketing (and marketing efforts as a whole), but will propel you to the head of your niche’s pack.

Self-publishing has made it easier than ever to step up and become an author. Books enable you to attract media attention, dazzle your prospects and potential clients, and can even lead to speaking gigs.

A book is also a great way to showcase your signature services and methods, earn passive income, and create an incredibly powerful lead-magnet that directly ties into those services and any paid courses or coaching you might have, or plan to launch.

Be The Weird Fish

The hardest part of establishing yourself as a thought-leader and expert is finding a way to stand out. The digital world is incredibly full. The amount of content produced on a daily basis is excessive, and you can guarantee that whatever you have to say about your industry, it’s been said before.

Multiple times.

By people with bigger audiences, greater reach, and more to spend on advertising than you have.

The newer your voice is to the crowd, the harder it is to be heard. Even established industry experts can struggle to stand out.

But you don’t need to be the biggest fish, you just need to be the most interesting.

Be the weird fish.

Do things your way, say things your way. Use your words to express yourself and all that fabulous knowledge and wisdom in a seriously interesting way.

Adding a little controversy to your opinions is a great way of ensuring you stand out.

Don’t box yourself into regurgitating the opinions and methods of other people. Think outside the box, look at things differently, develop your own unique ways of doing thing.

And if all else fails, and you have to say something that’s been said a million times before, find a way of saying it that’s completely unique, memorable, and genuinely interesting.

Tell Stories

One way of doing this is to use storytelling in your writing. Storytelling is phenomenally powerful. Working personal and professional stories into your content, as well as familiar narratives from pop culture, will help your readers relate to you, and what you do.

It will also make your take on the subject completely unique. Even if you’re essentially parroting what other experts have said before, you’re placing it in a different context and explaining it in a new way.

Stories also shows that, even if you agree with what other people think about a subject, you aren’t simply repeating what others have said.

You understand it and connect that understanding to all areas of your life.

In other words, you know your niche so well that normal, mundane, everyday situations remind you of it.

You’re capable of taking lessons from real-world situations, film, television, books, the media, and anywhere else imaginable, and directly applying them to your zone of genius.

Be Consistent And Patient

If you’re thinking this all sounds like a massive amount of work, you’re not wrong.

Writing isn’t a quick fix for your online profile, an instant boost to your status, or an easy way of making you stand out as an expert. It can be incredibly effective, but it requires two things in abundance: patience and consistency.

You may not have the time for that, or the inclination. If you hate writing, really suck at it, or just have a million other things to do and can’t afford to make it a priority, don’t worry – that’s what ghost writers are for!

Whether you’re looking to establish yourself as a leader in your niche and work your way to the head of the pack through content marketing, or desperately dreaming of becoming a published author and want to release a book, I can help. Book a discovery call now to talk to me about my content marketing services, and how I can help you become the alpha of your niche.

And the best part? Nobody will ever know it was me.

Blogging Doesn’t Sell Shit: How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

Since refocusing and rebranding my business as The Write Copy Girl last August, life has been a bit like an episode of Star TrekThe ship blows up two minutes in. You’re sat there thinking, “What the damn hell?”, then time jumps back and it all happens again. And again. And again.

The same series of events playing out repeatedly, always ending the same way:

Death.

I love the Groundhog Day trope in Sci-Fi, but I’m a little less enthralled by it in real life. And yet for over a year now I’ve been stuck in a time loop.

You see, I keep having the same conversation. It goes something like this:

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a Content Marketer.”

“Oh, cooooool….wait, WTF is that?”

“I help entrepreneurs sell their stuff by blogging and creating other fab content for them.”

Blogging? Is that a scam? Come on, blogging doesn’t sell shit!

This seems to be a commonly held belief.

Blogging is fun and all, but it doesn’t actually sell stuff. It’s not, like, a viable business model…

I understand it coming from people who aren’t involved in online marketing. I find it worrying coming from digital marketers and entrepreneurs, yet many genuinely believe blogging isn’t capable of actually selling anything.

It’s useful for, like, SEO and stuff, but it’s not really marketing is it? You need ads and stuff for that…

Today I’m addressing the issue head on and telling you exactly how to make your blog convert like magic, turn readers into paying clients, and sell your shit.

How I Know Blogging Sells Shit

Before we go any further, I want to reassure you that I’m not full of shit myself.

I know blogging is a viable marketing model, fully capable of not only selling your stuff, but selling enough of your stuff to build a successful business.

That’s exactly how I built mine.

Since I started as an entrepreneur I’ve never had enough money on hand to pay for advertising. The few times I tried Facebook ads in the early days I didn’t have enough of an understanding about how marketing works to make them effective.

It took me a long time to figure out exactly where my Zone of Genius lay.

I finally realised my focus should be on writing and nothing else when I noticed the most successful offering I had was writing blog posts for other entrepreneurs. My clients used the posts I wrote to sell stuff, and the more people I worked with the more I learned about writing blog posts that convert.

Trial, error, and a lot of experimentation led to the development of my signature service, The Divine Blogging Design.

In August 2016 I shut down my old business and started The Write Copy Girl, offering the same blogging services I’d had such success with, and my newly developed content marketing service as my core offerings.

So I know blogging sells. It sells for my clients every day.

It’s also the only form of marketing I currently use.

With the exception of a four week long AdWords campaign with a very low budget, run in February this year, which resulted in a couple of small pieces of work, the only marketing I’ve used in The Write Copy Girl to date is blogging.

No adverts. No PR. No paid marketing methods of any kind.

Just content.

How Blogging Tripled My Income

It’s currently the beginning of November and I’ve already TRIPLED my income on last year.

See for yourself…

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

I may end up more than tripling my income, given that there are almost two months left in the year. I also turned down a lot of work between April and July as I was managing some health issues and limited myself to work that was already on the books during those months.

So for four months of the year I was actively turning away work, and still, I’ve tripled my income.

And I had zero marketing budget.

Zip, nil, nada.

That’s an incredible amount of growth, entirely achieved by blogging.

Blogging sells.

There is, however, a caveat to that, and it’s a big one: blogging sells when structured effectively.

Too many people dismiss content marketing as an unviable strategy for generating sales because they try it, and it doesn’t work.

But converting readers into paying clients isn’t easily done.

Just because blogging works, doesn’t mean it works without effort.

There are a litany of mistakes people make that prevent their content marketing strategies from ever earning them a penny.

The kicker is, any one of these mistakes can put a serious dent in the profitability of your content marketing efforts. And making more than one or two of them at once will keep you from making any money at all.

Rather than writing a post explaining how to blog for profit, I thought I’d collect the various reasons I’ve observed over the years that cause blogging efforts to fail.

Avoid the pitfalls, and you have a recipe for success. So, if you want your blog to convert like magic, make damn sure you’re not making any of these common mistakes…

#1 You’re Not Writing For Your Ideal Client

When your goal is to earn money it can colour the way you write. You start coming up with topic ideas and posts that you think will effectively promote your stuff.

The problem with this is that it results in writing for yourself, to promote your objectives, rather than writing for your ideal client, and provide them with valuable content.


And they’re not stupid.

If you write something from the perspective of a seller, rather than a provider, they will see through you.

They won’t respond well to your writing, and may be turned off completely.

Think about what their wants and needs are. Write stuff that will genuinely help, entertain, inspire, comfort, or inform them.

If you do that, they will naturally want more, and happily pay for it.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#2 You Have Fuzzy Objectives

Just because you’re writing with your ideal clients’ needs in mind doesn’t mean you should abandon your own needs.

You need a crystal clear objective for every post you write.

Your overall objective is ‘to make money’, but that’s a big picture goal. It’s extremely rare for a blog post to achieve it, and even rarer for it to achieve it for any length of time.

Instead, each of your blog posts will achieve a small victory that builds into a greater whole.

Here are some key objectives your content needs to achieve on a regular basis:

  • Raising awareness of your brand
  • Informing readers about the value of what you’re selling
  • Providing social and statistical proof that you’re the best person for the job
  • Building the know, like, and trust factor with your audience
  • Driving signups to your email list
  • Encouraging people to follow you on a social media platform

While your posts may help you achieve more than one of these things, you should only have one goal for each post. A core objective that the whole post is designed to further.

#3 You’re Using The Wrong Blogging Model

This is by far the biggest mistake I see people make.

There are different ways of blogging, and some are more suited to selling than others.

Hobby bloggers, for example, rarely try to actively sell through their blog. When they do, they’re not selling products or services in a business, but have byproducts of their hobby on sale.

Book versions of blogs are really common.

A knitter might sell their own knitting patterns, or finished products.

An artist might sell their paintings or pottery.

At some stage the amount being sold dictates that the blog is a business, not just a hobby. Yet the method of blogging used only shifts to a business model if the core goal of the blogger ceases to be ‘writing about something I love doing’, and becomes ‘earn money from doing what I love’.

If you started off as a hobby blogger, the odds are you’re still blogging with a hobbyist’s mindset. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re happy for your business to tootle along.

But if you’re looking to maximise your profits and grow your business, you need to stop blogging like it’s a hobby, and start blogging like it’s a business.

And even then, different blogging models exist depending on what you want your blog to achieve for your business.

SEO Blogging

Some people use blogging as a means of improving search engine rankings and driving traffic to their site. Blogging is only part of their marketing strategy, it’s by no means the whole, and its core function is SEO, not content marketing.

In this model, blogging helps with sales, but there is no direct correlation between the blog posts written and the money earned.

Because of that, it’s easy to think that blogging isn’t selling anything.

Entrepreneurs who use this blogging model are the ones that say things like, “Yeah, it’s great for SEO, but it doesn’t actually sell stuff.”

Technically, it doesn’t sell stuff. They’re not wrong. But SEO blogging forms a cog in a much bigger machine, and that machine does sell stuff!

That machine wouldn’t run if the blog cog suddenly stopped turning.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing, on the other hand, has a direct correlation between blog posts and profit. You can see how effective it is.

You know which posts have led to the most signups to your email list.

You can even see how much money you make from each person on your list, and backtrack it to figure out how much has been earned from each individual post.

It’s tangible profit, and therefore a lot easier to understand.

Whether you’re a hobby blogger, an SEO blogger, or a content marketer, all three forms of blogging have the potential to sell your stuff, earn you money, and convert readers into clients.

BUT if you use the wrong blogging model for your business model, you won’t get anywhere.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#4 Your Posts Are The Wrong Length

Using the right blogging model impacts your ability to sell through your blog for a lot of reasons. One of those is post length.

That requires a lot of time and/or resources, as well as expertise. If you are a hobby blogger, or only writing blog posts to boost your search engine ranking, content marketing is likely a greater investment than you’re willing or able to make.

Even if you are willing to make it, it may not be the most productive and profitable way for you to spend that time and those resources.

Boosting your SEO can be done quickly and easily using short, c.500 word posts, and this is the form of blogging favoured by a lot of business owners, especially those with product-based business models, or bricks-and-mortar businesses.

It can work very well, but it is not an effective form of content marketing.

As I mentioned last week, the days of content marketing being synonymous with blogging are long dead.

If you’re trying to drive signups and establish your expertise in a niche, a 500 word post just won’t cut it.

So it’s important to understand post lengths and create content that is the right length for your business model, blogging model, and core objectives. (This only emphasises why it’s so important to clearly understand your objectives!)

#5 You’re Not Search Engine Optimising Your Blog Posts

One of the biggest ways blogging will earn you money is by boosting your search engine ranking, and driving a massive amount of organic traffic to your site.

Great SEO means you have no (or very little!) need for paid advertising.

The majority of my own traffic is fairly evenly split between organic traffic coming from search engines and social media.

If you’re not optimising your blog posts effectively for search, you will miss out on all that traffic. That will not only eat into the number of people on your website, it will massively diminish the number of new people who find you through your content.

Unless you have 100% client retention, any blogging strategy that doesn’t consistently attract new readers is going to fail eventually, even if it makes money initially.

I mentioned SEO blogging and content marketing as separate models, and they are, but long-form blog posts are actually much better for your SEO when properly optimised. The reason they’re not used in SEO blogging is that the benefits drawn from SEO alone aren’t usually worth the effort and resources they require.

The reverse is not true. The SEO benefits of a full content marketing strategy are massive and in order to leverage your strategy to earn you as much as possible, SEO is essential.

Just because your core objective is list building, or launching a service, rather than building your search engine ranking, doesn’t mean SEO isn’t vital to your objective.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#6 You’re Not Building Your List

Just as content marketers often forget about SEO, search engine bloggers often neglect to build their list.

In fact, list-building is one area of blogging that entrepreneurs across the board often shy away from. They may not believe it’s worth the effort, or think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Some of them simply don’t know how to do it effectively. Others know they should, want to, and are fully aware of how to do it, but they haven’t started yet.

They’re waiting until they have money or time to achieve it, or can afford to outsource it.

But one of the most powerful ways your blog can sell your stuff is by growing your email marketing list. Your list is usually what actually sells stuff, but your list won’t sell a thing if it’s not populated by your ideal clients.

That’s where your blog comes in.

People don’t magically materialise on your email list, they have to choose to sign up to it.

This is done through the creation of a lead magnet – a free resource that has enough value that you could actually charge money for it, if you chose to. Instead, you’ll give it away for free, but only in exchange for people joining your list.

If you don’t have any lead magnets, you’re not actively doing anything to build your list.

That’s going to seriously curtail your earning potential!

#7 You Don’t Have Any Content Upgrades

Most business owners who use email marketing are aware of the concept of using Lead Magnets to grow their list. They may not have any, but they know they should, and plan to create one (or more) soon. A lot of entrepreneurs already have lead magnets and are using them to great effect.  

The trick they miss, however, is the ease with which you can build optin opportunities into your blog posts through content upgrades.

These take far less time and resources to create, and can easily be added to your blog posts. You can work them naturally into the text, compelling people to signup at multiple opportunities.

#8 You’re Not Promoting Your Content

There is a myth in online marketing that I refer to as The Cornfield Paradox.

The notion is really simple: if you build it, they will come.

This is the biggest lie told in marketing. Building a website and writing blog posts IS NOT ENOUGH. Your blog will never sell if you’re not promoting your posts.

Before you start screaming, “Hey, hey, hey! You said I didn’t need adverts!” – cool your tits.

When I say ‘promote’ I don’t mean paid promotions. I mean sharing your blogs on social media, sending out email newsletters, spending time networking, and sharing your content in targeted groups of your ideal clients.

If you’re not promoting your content, nobody knows it’s there. SEO is one form of promotion, and effective SEO will raise awareness of your content, but even that, on its own, isn’t enough.

Like I said, my website traffic is half SEO driven, and half social media driven.

To really make money from your blogging, one is not enough.

You need both.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#9 You’re Not Promoting Your Content ENOUGH

The next mistake people make is massively underestimating how much they need to share their content. One Tweet isn’t going to do much good. One share on Facebook is likewise not going to get you very far.

If you’re already promoting your content, I applaud your efforts, you’re doing great, but ask yourself, are you promoting it enough?

#10 You’re Promoting The Wrong Thing

I’m a great advocate for promoting ALL your content, but there are certain types of content that need more attention than others. There are certain types that don’t really stand to be shared a lot.

Seasonal posts, for example, are only relevant for a brief window and shouldn’t be promoted after that window has passed.

Evergreen content, on the other hand, can and should be promoted for extended periods.

There’s also the question of those times you choose to pay to promote your business.

If you’re going to pay for people to look at anything on your website, drive traffic to a killer blog post that includes a solid call to action to sign up for an amazing lead magnet.

Don’t advertise your sales page!

Unless you’re in the middle of a launch, when things work a bit differently, you will find it far more effective to drive traffic to the content most likely to get people on your list.

#11 You Don’t Have A Nurture Sequence

Which leads me to the next mistake people make. They expend so much energy in getting people to sign up, and then do nothing with them.

You need a carefully written nurture sequence with a solid structure and strategy, bolstered by more of your amazing content, in order to convert people from subscribers to clients.

Your blog is a catalyst compelling people to sign up. Once they’ve signed up it’s also the fuel that keeps them moving down their journey.

Your nurture sequence is the delivery mechanism for all that fuel. Without it, your conversions will stall.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#12 You Aren’t Using Multi-Media Formats

Blogging isn’t all about writing. Not anymore.

If you haven’t already, start a vlog! I cannot overstate the super awesome power of video marketing.

Video is only going to become more vital to your marketing as time goes on. Start now!

#13 You’re Not Effectively Explaining The Value Of Your Services

The biggest gap in any blogging or content marketing strategy is that which lies between your audience’ knowledge of you, affection for you, and trust in you, and their ability to grasp the value of your products and services.

If they don’t understand why the thing you’re selling is valuable to them, it doesn’t matter how much they know, like, and trust you, they will still never buy.

Pack your blog with posts that demonstrate you understand exactly what your readers’ problems are, and you have the perfect solution to fix them.

Paint them a picture. Show them a world free from their pain points. And make sure they’re fully aware that all they need to do to get to that shiny Nirvanaesque place is buy your shit!

#14 Your Content Is Inconsistent

Lack of consistency is another big problem a lot of people have. A blog post here and there won’t do any good.

You need to produce content that is consistent in quality and regular in its publication.

The frequency with which you post isn’t nearly as important as posting consistently!

If you post once a week for 12 weeks and then nothing for nine months, you’re not going to get very far at all.

If, on the other hand, you post once a month for a year, you’ll make better progress.

Of course, you would ideally post once a week for a year, but that’s not always possible.

Choose consistency and quality over quantity every time!

#15 You’re Not Automating Your Content

I’m not going to lie, creating a blog that converts and earns money is tough.

Good blogging doesn’t happen without effort.

Content marketing is hard work, and a lot of it.

You can quickly exhaust yourself and your resources. The more you streamline the process the greater your ability to achieve quality and that much-needed consistency becomes.

Automate as much as you possibly can. This is especially true of the promotional elements of your content strategy. There is no reason not to automate your social media! You can still post and interact with people in real-time, it doesn’t have to be 100% automated, but automation ensures consistency and takes a lot of the pressure off you.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#16 You’re Not Repurposing Your Content

Tied to this is the need to repurpose everything.

A Tweet will get almost the same amount of engagement the second time you post it than it did the first. It may even get more!

Not everyone will see your content when you share it, so sharing it multiple times isn’t an issue.

In fact, it’s a necessity.

This is one of the main reasons I encourage everyone to record content in video form. Videos can be converted into any other form of content. You have visual, audio, and written options.

Every time you create a blog repurpose it. Use bits and pieces for social media messages, take quotes from it and create memes, pull it apart and put it back together in as many different ways as you can.

Got long-form content? Write short-form versions for use on different platforms!

The possibilities are endless and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

#17 You’re Trying To Do It All On Your Own

Overwhelmed yet?

The number of things you need to do to make your blog convert like magic are seemingly endless. A fully functional content marketing strategy takes a phenomenal amount of work.

Research, writing, editing, SEO, proofreading, formatting, designing, image creation, recording, uploading, promoting…

If you’re running a business you also have a few billion other things to do.

The main reason blogging fails is not a lack of understanding on the part of the blogger, but a lack of time, resources, and inclination to get it all done.

It’s just too much.

At least, it’s too much to do all on your own.

I am a professional content marketer and I don’t do all my own content marketing!

In the early days, I did everything myself. When business was relatively slow and I could spend the time on it. Then business picked up and some of it fell by the wayside. My social media promotion has been virtually non-existent this year because I no longer had the time to do it.

Sorting out my clients’ social media took priority. My marketing suffered as a result and something had to give.

Despite this, I still tripled my income this year. Had the social media strategy I use for my clients been up and running for my business, I’m quite certain that figure would be even higher.

I’ve spent most of the year building a cracking team around me to take off as much of the load as possible. I now have a VA who handles my newsletter, a social media manager who deals not only with promoting my content (you may have noticed a huge boost in activity starting last week!), but all my clients’ content too. I have a web developer, a web designer, and a technical assistant who collectively handle the website.

The strategy and writing are still my responsibility, because that is where I excel. That is my Zone of Genius. But the rest of it is stuff that is best left to other people.

It’s too much to do on your own!

Identify the areas of your content marketing strategy you’re amazing at, do those, and outsource the rest.

If you feel you’re unable (or disinclined) to do any of it, outsource the whole lot!

#18 You’re Genuinely Trying To Sell Shit

There is one final point that needs to be made.

Sometimes the reason your blog isn’t selling shit, is that you’re literally trying to sell shit.

If the services or products you’re offering are no good, no amount of blogging in the world will sell them. There are loads of reasons they might be bad, from being over (or under!) priced, to being poor quality, failing to effectively solve your audience’s problems, failing to meet the genuine needs of your audience, and much more.

It could easily be that they’re good offerings, they’re just not right for the people you’re trying to sell them to. If that’s the case you either need to retarget at the right people, or change your offerings.

When you’re doing everything I’ve covered in this post, and doing it well, you should be selling your shit left, right, centre, upside down and backwards.

If you’re not successfully selling, and you’re absolutely sure you’re doing everything right, the problem is not with your blog.

It’s what your blog is trying to sell.

If that’s the case, go back to your ideal client and figure out what they really, truly need. Find the point where those needs crossover with your skills and Zone of Genius, and create something new to sell.

Something you can show the value of, that they will fall over themselves to have.

Something they can’t live without.

And if you’re looking for help developing a complete content marketing strategy that covers all the bases, and gets your blog converting like magic, check out The Divine Blogging Design (aka the system that tripled my income this year) and book a FREE discovery call now…

10 Awesome Content Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2018

Content marketing has been a growing trend for digital entrepreneurs for some years now. Creating the perfect strategy is an obsession for those looking to grow powerful tribes of dedicated ideal clients, and successful, sustainable, online businesses.

As with most areas of business, each new year brings new trends within the trend, the continuation of existing methods, and the passing of former tactics that are no longer working. In the run-up to the New Year, we’re all making plans for 2018, and your content marketing strategy should be top of that list.

To that end, here are 10 awesome content marketing trends to watch out for (and take advantage of!) next year…

#1 Original Content For The Win

It’s going to be more important than ever to invest in the creation of your own high-value, original content. This is hardly a new trend, but the point needs reiterating, as do several items on today’s list. This one though, is the most crucial:

If you want to be viewed as an expert in your niche, a thought-leader, a player, you must have original content.

And by original, we’re not talking a simple regurgitation of the same type of content everyone and their dog has been churning out in relation to what you do.

Originality is far more than simply ‘not plagiarised’.

Focus on the aspects of your business that are unique, and the elements of your brand that set you apart. Play these up to ensure each and every piece of content you create has its own slightly unique spin, even if it is (by necessity) similar to existing content published by your competitors.

If you really want to up your game, create a signature service, product, or method, that delivers extremely high value and is, in some way, completely unique to you.

For example, The Divine Blogging Design is my signature service, providing a comprehensive content marketing solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs who lack the time, skills, or inclination to do it themselves.

There’s nothing inherently unique about offering a service that provides blog posts and social media marketing, but the inclusion of regular content upgrades and a mega lead magnet is something you don’t usually get in a single service. There is also the specific way I determine what forms of content to create, on which subjects, and how frequently, that’s based on a unique method utilising psychological archetypes to very specifically target your ideal client.

Having a signature offering gives you a massive amount of scope for the creation of totally unique content that sets you apart, demonstrates your expertise, and promotes your core offers.

Why is 2018 the year for unique content?

Apple has recently revealed they will be investing over $1 billion in the creation of original content. Ahead of an anticipated push to launch a new video streaming business, Apple is looking at positioning itself as a distinct voice in a new niche, one capable of rivalling Amazon Prime and current the streaming video God, Netflix.

More than that, Apple needs to ensure they remain at the top of their game, consistently excellent, and bang up-to-date.

This is how they established themselves as an industry leader, and one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Apple is hardly alone in their content marketing push next year. Amazon is one of the greatest investors in original content, and Facebook isn’t far behind. Even Google is snapping up original content from other brands as well as media companies, in order to fill the gaps in content their own search algorithms have exposed their native content.

The upshot of all of this is that, if you want to get anywhere with your content marketing next year, focus on the creation of consistent, highly-original content that’s specific to your niche, and directly targeted at your ideal client.

Why does original content matter so much?

Look at it this way, if a potential client has a choice between you, and one of your competitors, and they have a bucket load of original content relating to your niche, you’re at a disadvantage. All that content is constantly working on building the know, like, and trust factor between your competitor, and your potential clients.

If you don’t have original content of your own, it’s going to be tough to compete.

The great thing about this is the flip side: if you create amazing, original content before your competitors, you will have the edge. You will have an amazing and highly effective means of wooing your potential clients, raising their awareness of your brand, building trust, and endearing yourselves to them.

More than that, original content is the key to monetising your content marketing strategy, and fully leveraging to not only provide you with a mechanism for promoting your products and services, but a form of passive income in its own right.

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#2 Video Still Reigns As King

We’ve been talking about content marketing in generic terms up to now because really, ‘content’ can mean pretty much anything. There are many great and successful forms of content.

But if the creation of original content is the most important thing you dedicate yourself to in 2018, the creation of Video Content is hot on its heels.

2016 proved to us that video was rapidly taking over the field when it comes to successful forms of content.

2017 has only reaffirmed this emerging trend.

According to IBM, 82% of all online content will be in video form by 2020.

If you’re not already recording your main content in video form, now is the time to start.

Whatever your current groove is, be it blogging, podcasting, email, or social media, now is the time to start a vlog.

For a full breakdown of why video is, hands down, the best form of content, check out my post on The Super Awesome Power of Video Marketing. But to summarise, a video is:

  • A succinct, visual way of delivering quality content quickly (the visual aspect is why it has an edge on audio-only content like podcasts).
  • Easier to digest than written forms of content.
  • Simple to map to every stage of your clients’ journey (see below for more on this!).
  • Effectively supports your brand message.

#3 Live Video Is The New Overlord

If video is the king of content, live video is the new overlord.

It’s now well over a year since Facebook Live launched, and 2017 was the year for perfecting this new tech. It was also the year several other social media platforms started to jump on the live bandwagon.

We’ve known for years that posts including images gain higher engagement. Video posts on Facebook garner an extra 135% when it comes to organic reach, and users will spend 3 times longer watching live videos while commenting over 10x more on live videos than pre-recorded ones.

Not only is live video amazing for your engagement but it’s viewers are also 80% more likely to watch a live video than standard versions. In addition, your viewers will be more interested in live videos than written social media posts.

Live video is also a great way to get ahead of the curve when it comes to video marketing, as only 14% of marketers investing in video content are currently utilising live videos.

Given that 60% of marketers are now hip to fact video is the way forward, that’s an astonishing statistic.

At the time of writing this, I’ve yet to pop my own Live video cherry, despite being a huge advocate of video marketing. I totally found my video marketing groove this year with the  new vlog. Still, I find there is an innate fear what it comes to live video – there are no do-overs, no editing, and you’re totally exposed.

It’s a fear I’m going to have to face myself this week. I suggest you do the same.

Rip the bandage off.

The sooner you (by which I mean we!) start, the sooner you will grab your audience’s attention and boost our engagement.

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#4 So Much More Than Blogging

As the world moves on and new formats like video rise in popularity, and social media marketing continues to be at the heart of many businesses’ promotional schedules, it’s now about so much more than blogging.

The most successful content marketing strategies have a multi-media approach. That almost always includes blogging, and your blog is still the heart of your content, but it’s the beginning, not the whole.

The content you create for your blog needs to be tailored to suit different audiences, different platforms, and sometimes even different ideal clients. Personalised content (highly-tuned to the desires of the individual members of your audience) is growing increasingly popular, and will likely be the ‘next big thing’ for content marketers to wrap their heads around (see below for more on that!).

Your audience has growing demands and your business needs to step it up to accommodate them. A modern content marketing strategy doesn’t just require a cracking writer or two, but also all the various skills and talents needed to create a multifaceted, multi-media approach.

To give you some idea, the talent behind The Divine Blogging Design looks something like this:

  • Top-notch writing (that would be me!)
  • Video production and editing (also currently me)
  • Content scheduling, distribution and promotion (on multiple platforms)
  • Graphic designer
  • Content optimisation (on multiple platforms)
  • Branding, communication and social management (on multiple platforms)
  • Campaign management, strategy development and execution (me again)
  • Advertising and PR strategies
  • Metrics, analytics and reports

If I ever get around to podcasting to my repertoire, I’ll also need an audio producer and editor.

When I first started out I did all of this myself. In the last year, I’ve been steadily expanding my team to include specialist superstars who can handle aspects that don’t involve strategy and writing. They’re able to do a much better job than I can alone, and I’m now down to dealing with only three elements.

At some point there will be nothing for me to do but write, and I’ll be in a Nirvanaesque state of bliss.

Why You Should Invest In Your Team

When you’re handling all your content marketing alone, diversifying and incorporating more than simply blogging into your strategy can seem overwhelming, but it’s utterly essential if you want your efforts to pay off.

Content marketing is astonishingly powerful, and drives all other forms of marketing in your business (whether you realise it or not!), but you don’t get that much power without putting in a hell of a lot of work.

If you want to reap the rewards, you have to invest in the strategy.

Remember, just because you can do everything doesn’t mean you should. You will soon reach a tipping point where you’re trying to juggle so much you’re not doing any of it as effectively as you could, and some things just aren’t getting done at all. As soon as you can afford it, start building a content marketing team consisting of experts in any of these areas you’re not an expert in yourself, and any others you feel will be needed to complement your talents. (Alternatively, you can just hire me and my fabulous team!)

#5 Transparency Over Everything

The more familiar your audience becomes with sales tactics like brand-sponsored influencer content and native advertising, the less trusting they are of branded content. To combat this, your brand must be completely transparent.

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#6 It’s All About The Journey

Digital marketing runs on content. You’ll be hard pushed to find any strategy that doesn’t require content in some form. On any given day your business is creating content in numerous forms, whether you think of them as ‘content’ or not:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Social media posts
  • Email marketing and regular emails (still content!)
  • Content upgrades
  • Lead magnets
  • Pre-recorded videos
  • Live videos
  • eBooks
  • Nurture sequences
  • Testimonials and case studies
  • Podcasts and other audio
  • Landing pages, sales pages, and other static website content

Even your paid advertising strategies rely on content (written and visual) to drive sales and convert prospects into paying clients.

Content marketing has been establishing itself as the core of all marketing strategies for some time, but 2018 is set to be the year everyone catches up and realises that, without a content marketing strategy, your business doesn’t have a marketing strategy.

Or at least, not one that’s going to be effective.

And all that content doesn’t just ‘happen’. Each and every piece is part of a journey your prospective clients embark on when they first hear about your brand. The more content they’re exposed to, the further their journey with you progresses, eventually transforming them into paying clients.

If they’re pleased with the journey, they will provide testimonials and case studies, and become part of that content themselves.

Your content draws in prospects, compels them to sign up to your list, leads them through your nurture sequence, and finally converts them into paying clients.

Most people can wrap their heads around this, but where a lot of people are falling down is in thinking that a funnel should naturally be top heavy. It’s an understandable thought, given the shape of a funnel, but it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to converting readers that simply getting them to sign up.

Which means you need a content-rich approach to every stage of the journey, from sign up, to conversion, and beyond.

#7 Nurture A Team of Brand Ambassadors

The more you nurture your audience with quality content, the more clients you will have. And the more you continue to nurture clients, the more happy brand ambassadors you will create.

A brand ambassador is any client or customer who will gladly recommend you to friends, family and colleagues. They are the people so in love with your brand that they share your content, come back to you time and again, and are extremely vocal in their support of you and your business.

These ambassadors for your brand (also called ‘influencers’) are becoming increasingly critical. This ties back in with the problems surrounding trust and the need for transparency and authenticity.

The modern world is not a trusting place.

The sad truth is that people are far more likely to trust you if they have social proof that you’re trustworthy.

In other words, it’s not enough for you to tell people you’re good at what you do, and can be relied upon for quality and expertise. Positive word-of-mouth is crucial to raising brand awareness and building to trust in your brand. For that, you need ambassadors.

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#8 Goals, Strategy, And Accountability

Analytics have always been essential in content marketing. Without them, you have no way of knowing how well you’re performing. But what has been less prevalent until recently is the importance of having complete clarity when it comes to your goals, a strategy that is driven by those goals, and accountability to ensure you reach them.

Your analytics will tell you how well you’re doing, but if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how will you judge if you’re successful?

If you don’t tailor your strategy to those specific goals, how can you expect to achieve the best results?

And if you have no accountability, what true consequences are there (aside from the obvious financial implications) if you don’t hit your targets?

Studies have shown that writing down your goals and updating a friend on your progress weekly makes you far more likely to succeed than simply winging it. In fact, these two simple steps will make you 33% more successful at achieving your goals.

#9 Micro-Moments Are Taking Over

The concept of ‘micro-moments’ is one of the emerging obsessions to come out of the rise of mobile devices and gadgets. With everyone constantly online via phones, tablets, watches and more, even when they’re not at a computer, clients are interacting with your brand at more points and in more ways than ever before.

Searching for the perfect shoes? Looking up recipes? Ordering your groceries? Checking train times? Tweeting about your latest facepalming incident? Can’t get a song out of your head but forgot the lyrics? Need to settle an argument with your other half? In desperate need of immediate help in your business?

What do you do?

Reach for your smartphone.

And you’re not alone. 96% of internet users immediately grab the nearest device and search for the answers they need online. Not just once a day, but multiple times a day.

Our days are filled with innumerable micro-moments that constantly trigger us to reach for our phone, grab our tablet, or tap on our shiny new Apple Watch.

Think With Google describe micro-moments as touch points that are vital to the client experience. They are a critical element of your audience’s perception of your brand, and the more micro-moments take over (and believe me, next year they will be more prevalent than ever!) the more important it is to nail them.

Clients expect brands to be constantly available. If you’re not there exactly when they want you, they will go elsewhere and find someone who is.

You need reliable, up-to-date, compelling information on-hand to cater to their every whim, anytime, anywhere.

Truly successful brands are those savvy enough to anticipate the questions and needs of their ideal clients, and provide regular, consistent, high-quality content to address the needs inspired by all those micro-moments.

If you haven’t already, make sure your website is 100% responsive, enabling easy content consumption of every device imaginable.

#10 Create Highly Personalised, Customer-Centric Content

We’re all familiar with personalised content in the form of emails landing in our inbox bearing our first name (sometimes our last name, a random collection of characters, or the dreaded [First Name]!). But as technology evolves, our ability to provide personalised content that is highly customer-centric is growing increasingly important.

What do I mean by personalised content?

At its simplest, personalised content provides your audience with stuff tailored to their specific interests, preferences, and requirements, through the intelligent use of information that relates to them personally. That info could be gathered from their account profile, quizzes and questionnaires, and various other sources.

Amazon is a great example of this, providing you with a homepage fully tailored to you based on information given on signup, past order history, and the habits of other customers who have purchased the same things you have.

More than that, Amazon regularly send out email blasts containing those recommendations, as well as highlighting new releases they think you might be interested in.

Amazon knows my favourite authors, and invites me to preorder their new releases as soon as they’re available. They also let me know about brand spanking new authors nobody has read yet, if they’re in a similar genre or style to my favourite authors and they think I’m likely to enjoy their books.

Half the stuff I buy on Amazon I’d never have got were it not for the personalised content they send me!

That’s effective use of personalised content.

That is a customer-centric approach to content marketing.

If it sounds like an awful lot of trouble to set up, here are some stats to convince you it’s worth it:

  • Forbes recently reported that 94% of executives view personalised content as vital to success.
  • 75% of clients are more likely to buy from you if you recognise them by name, and provide recommendations based on their individual quirks and needs.
  • User-directed calls to action perform 42% better than generic CTAs.
  • 88% of professional content marketers (myself included!) are searching for ways to add personalised elements to their content marketing strategies.

Bonus Trends! Hero Assets And Cluster Topics

Two new terms have really taken off in 2017 and are set to be major elements of all good content marketing strategies in the new year. I’m not going into detail on either here, as I have dedicated posts coming out on both very soon, but here’s a quick look.

Hero Assets

This is one of the best buzzwords to emerge in 2017. Catchy, empowering, and very cool. You may be slightly disappointing to learn that a Hero Asset is essentially just a very high value piece of content. They are usually eBooks or guides, and focus on a very specific topic in great detail.

They form the basis of long term marketing plans, designed to be part of your content schedule for weeks and months, possibly even years.

Basically, ‘hero asset’ is a new word for ‘content upgrade’ or ‘lead magnet’, but it refers to an extremely specific type: an uber-long-form written piece (as opposed to checklists, workbooks, or even video courses).

The term has partly emerged as a reaction to the prevalence of content that’s available now, and the changing approaches to gateways (the points at which you ask people to signup to your list).

Check back in a few weeks for more details on exactly what Hero Assets are, and how and why you should be using them next year…

Topic Clusters

Like Hero Assets, Topic Clusters are an evolution of an existing method used in blogging and content marketing: cross-linking.

The concept is really elegant and solves several problems at once:

Create a core or ‘pillar’ post that gives an overview of a main topic. Within that pillar post, create a section for each subtopics within that core subject. Publish the pillar post first, followed by one or more posts on each of your subtopics. Link to all the subposts from the pillar post, and optimise each and every post for at least one different but related long-tail keyword.

You end up with a ‘cluster’ of posts on a single topic, all optimised for different keywords (avoiding clashes and competing with yourself), while building an amazingly high-value resource for your tribe.

The best part about this method is that you can design an extensive cluster of posts in advance, but you aren’t face with writing a massive amount all in one go. You can add a post to the cluster as and when you have the time and resources available. It also enables you to go into great detail on every aspect of a topic, without overwhelming your audience with too much info in one go.

When you’ve finished all the posts you want to create in your cluster, you can package up the collective information in an eBook and use it as a lead magnet (or rather, HERO ASSET!), and even sell it for a little passive income.

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What Does This Mean For Content Marketing In 2018?

Many of these trends are a continuation of existing elements of content marketing strategies that have been emerging over the last few years. Original content and the fact video is coming to dominate content is not news, but it is still becoming increasingly vital with each passing year.

A year ago we weren’t sure exactly what would happen with Live Video – it seemed like the next big thing, but so did Mini Discs when they first dropped.

Not all crazes are destined to survive.

Live Video has not only survived, but thrived. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of it, you really shouldn’t put it off any longer.

The main takeaway is that diversity is the name of the game.

Invest in multimedia content, available on multiple channels and devices, that tailors itself to the individual, and enables your audience to feel you both know them and value their uniqueness. Make sure you have the support in place to create, distribute, and promote such a diverse strategy. And if you’d really rather someone else just dealt with all of this for you, book a discovery call now, and let me tell you what The Divine Blogging Design can do for your business in 2018…

How To Kill It This Halloween: Spooktacular Business Lessons

Halloween is traditionally a time for scaring the shit out of each other, and invoking a little witchcraft and supernatural hoodoo.

Witches get a bad rep but the practice of The Craft is actually very beneficial to your business. If you missed last year’s epic marathon of a halloween special, check out my post on The Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft

This year I thought I’d further indulge my inner Goth and talk about monsters.

In fairness, I do this most of the year over on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, where I’m the editor of the Supernatural section and frequently write about vampires, zombies, and various Fantasy shows like Shadow Hunters and Game of Thrones.

I’m currently covering the new Star Trek: Discovery series, which is a little offbeat for me, so it’s nice to get back to talking about monsters.

Or more specifically, the business lessons we can draw from the various creepsters, critters and bizarre superstitions running abroad at this most wonderful, hallowed time of year (seriously, Christmas has nothing on All Hallows Eve in my house!). From Black Cats to Mummies and everything in between, here are five Halloween staples that can help you totally kill it in your business…

Black Cats

There’s a lot of superstition about black cats around Halloween. They’re perhaps one of the most easily recognised symbols of the season. Most people associate black cats with bad luck, and indeed folklore has it that there are a great many things about black cats that can lead to bad luck…

  • If a black cat should cross your path by moonlight, it’s an omen of death. Specifically, that you will die in an epidemic (zombie apocalypse, anyone?).
  • Should a black cat cross your path as you are driving, it can also bring bad luck, unless you mark your windscreen with an X, and turn your hat backwards (unsure what you’re supposed to do if you’re not wearing a hat).
  • Seeing a cat from behind is also considered to bring ill-luck.

But not all black cat superstitions are negative.

  • Finding your doorstep occupied by a strange black cat will bring you prosperity.
  • If you discover a white hair on an otherwise entirely black cat it will bring you good luck.
  • Charms made from black cat bones are believed by some cultures to have magical properties. Irish tradition, for example, believes they have the power to render the holder of the charm invisible (do not try this at home!).
  • And for all that seeing a cat from behind, or walking away from you, are omens of ill-luck and imminent doom, a black cat walking towards you brings good fortune.

Black cats are basically the perfect metaphor for prospective clients in business.

When a lead is walking your way they have the potential to bring luck, prosperity, and general happiness.

But when they’re walking away from you they can leave you with a sick, awful feeling of rejection, inadequacy, and the fear that you’re crap at everything and will never succeed.

The lesson? Make sure you have a cat-attracting super-converting system in place to draw all those kitty cats to you, and seduce them into staying with bucket loads of catnip, stellar products and services, and a dedication to creating the best client journey possible.

Vampires

They suck the life right out of you. It’s important to be aware (and wary) of vampires when you’re blogging. You want a tribe made up of ideal clients who are both interested in your work, and not only willing, but capable of buying from you (or at least, very likely to be at some point in the future). Check out my post on finding your tribe and killing vampires for more details…

Shambling Mummy Syndrome

There are two main types of mummy monster. One is the Shambling Mummy, who looks something like this:

The other is the Magic Mummy, who looks more like this:

The Mummy Spooktacular Business Lessons From Halloween

In their original form (not the Hollywood, post-CGI form we see the likes of Tom Cruise, Rachel Weisz and Brandon Fraser battling), the mummy is the most ineffectual monster ever. They’re slow (yet somehow always catch people), lurch around as if blinded by all those bandages, and generally don’t do much to freak a person out.

I mean, yeah, they’re dead folk walking, and there’s something fundamentally eerie about that, but they lack the blind terror that comes with the rotting flesh of the walking dead, hell bent on trying to eat you alive.

Seriously, what exactly do shambling mummies do when they catch you? Yes, they kill you but…is that it?

Really?

You just die?

If that’s the worst that befalls you in a conversation about mythical beasties and things that go bump in the night, you’ve got off easy.

Why Mummies Are The Joke Of Halloween

Vampires slowly drain the life out of you, potentially turning you into one of their own and forcing you to spend an eternity allergic to sunlight, and dealing with an odd compulsion to watch teenagers sleep for no discernible reason.

Werewolves and zombies tear you to pieces and eat those pieces.

Witches are capable of all manner of nightmarish curses.

Ghosts are far more effective and genuinely terrifying because they can be anywhere, at any time, and if they get you you’re very likely doomed to spend the rest of eternity trapped as a ghost yourself.

Shambling mummies are the joke of Halloween.

They’re not frightening, they don’t even look particularly creepy most of the time. You can get away from them by moving at a brisk pace, and all it would take to foil them is digging a big hole and pushing them into it. If they can’t walk without their arms out in front of them to figure out where they’re going, I’m not sure how they’d climb out of a pit.

Make it a fire pit and you’re covering all bases.

Fire kills everything.

Except Daenerys Targaryen, but that’s a different genre, so it doesn’t really count.

So where are the shambling mummies in your business?

Simple – anywhere you’ve slapped a bandage on something and left it to fumble around in the dark.

The Mother Of All Blogging Mistakes

The blog posts you half-ass because you haven’t the time, can’t be bothered, don’t know what or how to write, or don’t believe they’re worth the effort – they never work anyway, right? That’s a shambling mummy, right there. If you want to turn it into a magic mummy you need to do one thing: figure out what you want your blog to achieve, select the right blogging strategy, and apply that strategy effectively and consistently either, by doing it yourself (I know, sucks to be you, right?) or, hiring someone to deal with it for you (Shameless plug! Check out my SEO Blog Bundles).

The Content Marketing Shambles

How about the content you pour your heart and soul into but do nothing to promote, and wonder why nobody’s reading it? You need to create a killer social media strategy and/or PPC marketing campaign instead. Do a little husltin’! (Alternatively, sign up for my awesome Divine Blogging Content Marketing package and get me to hustle for you!)

Sales Funnel Freak Outs

Then there’s the sales funnels you never quite finish, or put together with whatever is handy rather than bespoke, targeted content and a clear plan. You need to create an uber-effective sales funnel.

The Death Of List-Building

And let’s not forget the list-building efforts that go nowhere because you have nothing to tempt people into signing up? You need genius content upgrades and lead magnets to entice them onto your list! (psssst The Divine Blogging Design will take care of that for you, too!)

Not Realising You’re Dead

And for those of you sitting there smugly thinking, “I’ve totally nailed all that! Shambling Mummy Syndrome isn’t a problem for me or my business!”, answer me this:

When’s the last time you made all those systems better?

Sure, they work, but if you’re not constantly updating, learning, finding better methods, and creating new content your business will plateau.

Here’s the thing: If you let your business stagnate, you’re still a shambling mummy, you just haven’t noticed you’re dead yet.

You have prettier bandages than most, and you’re not lurching along, but you’re not yet up to Imhotep speed.

How To Avoid A Shambling Mummy

If you’re unable or unwilling to perfect an area of your business right now, and must slap some bandages on it to deal with the issue, make sure they’re the best damn bandages you can find.

And don’t grow complacent; in business terms, lack of growth is tantamount to death.

Magic Mummies are cool, effective, and utterly terrifying.

Shambling Mummies are a total joke.

And your business isn’t a joke, is it?

Haunted Houses

Another staple of this spooky season is the haunted house. Many a blogger finds their business crumbling under the strain of such a desolate and creepy phenomena.

Your website is your mansion. It’s the home of your business, brand, and products and services. At least, it should be!

The residents of your mansion (by which I mean your audience) will die off if you stop blogging, or fail to blog to begin with. If you don’t update your site or produce any new content, attracting traffic to your site will be very difficult and expensive. You will have very limited organic traffic, forcing you to pay to reach potential new clients. And what will they find when they reach your site?

Nothing.

Literally, zip.

The thing with haunted houses is that they’re very rarely genuinely haunted. They’re just some creepy old abandoned building that people tell ghost stories about. They hype gets out of control, you go there, and all you find is a load of musty crap and a shit ton of rodents.

They’re still creepy – abandoned buildings are always gloriously creepy – but they’re not the fun-packed fright fest you were promised.

The only good thing about them is that you generally have a bit of fun taking the piss out of whichever idiot bought into the fact it was haunted, and started freaking out.

Oh, and the candy floss.

Because what’s a trip to a haunted house without candy floss?

An abandoned website is about as creepy, off putting, and disappointing as a haunted house. But worse, because you have to endure it without the fun and promise of candy floss.

The solution? Update your site regularly with lots of high-quality content!

Ghosts

If you find yourself saddled with a haunted house and you don’t have the time, skill or inclination to get in there, do it up, and transform it back into a mansion, there’s a really easy fix…

Get a ghost to do it.

Ghosts are very happy haunting old dilapidated houses, ensuring those who visit get a great experience, tell all their friends, and come back night after night eager for more.

And don’t worry – you don’t have to trick someone into working on your site and then unceremoniously kill them. Ghosts are available to hire…

No blog content? No problem!

If you’re looking for a boost in your Google rankings, hire a ghostwriter to create SEO blog posts.

Or, if you’re looking to build a dedicated tribe of raving superfans and market your business via your email list, hire a ghostwriter to design the perfect content marketing strategy, complete with high-value blog posts, content upgrades, killer lead magnets and social media marketing posts.

It just so happens that I’m a ghost, offering both these services and more, so if you’d like to know exactly what having your own pet ghost can do for your business, book a free discover call now. Until then, I wish you a Spooktacular Halloween…

How To Easily Find Your Tribe And Kill The Vampire Hoard

A client of mine recently shared a common problem. “My blog posts are amazing,” she said, “but they’re just not selling anything.” The problem was deceptively simple. My client has a business selling local services in and around London. A lot of people face the same issue when they sell locally based products and services, that can only be obtained in a particular area or region. It comes down to the fact that it’s difficult for you to find your tribe when you run a local business. And even when you successfully pull it off, there are a limited number of them.

My client has a lot of followers on her social media, so her content was reaching people. They were reading it, loving it, and responding really well to it, but the majority of them weren’t actually in a position to buy anything from her, because they weren’t living in London.

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve got plenty of followers, people love your stuff, and read your stuff, but you’re just not selling anything. The problem isn’t that you don’t have people following you. The problem, is that they’re the wrong people.

They’re not your tribe. Sure, they look, talk, and act like they are, but they’re never going to convert. They’ll keep sucking up your content, but they’ll never give you anything in return.

Yes, they’re vampires.

It can be tricky to recognise vampires in your midst, because they look very much like regular ideal clients. Here’s how to easily find your tribe and kill all those time-sucking vampires.

Lots Of Followers Does Not A Tribe Make

Having lots of followers on social media makes you feel great. It’s a really good ego boost. But if those followers aren’t ever going to be in a position to pay you money, they’re not going to do your business any good.

If you have a business that sells local services that require people to be in a specific location, or products that can only be shipped to certain areas of the world, this is a real problem.

Your content marketing needs to reach the very specific people who are capable of buying from you. Because as much as that content will bring value to people outside your catchment area or delivery capabilities, you’re not going to get anything out of it.

No matter how lovely and wonderful these people are, and no matter how much you would love them to become clients, they’re just sucking the life out of you.

They will take, take, take, are never giving anything back.

Which is why I call them (rather unfairly I suppose), vampires.

They gobble up all your content, and greedily take anything you’ll give them, but they will never, ever buy from you.

Not because they don’t love you and your stuff, not because they aren’t perfectly happy to invest in you and your business, but because (for whatever reason), they can’t.

The Vampires In Your Tribe

Vampires might be people who are outside your catchment area. They might be people who live in countries to which you can’t deliver products. But they could equally be people who simply cannot afford your prices, or could afford your prices but are never going to pay your prices because they don’t believe your product/service is worth investing money in.

They will happily read free content, but they will never, ever stump up the cash for a paid version of that content.

Say that you offer an online course or a book on exactly the same subject as the free content they love. these vampires will happily read the free stuff, but don’t care enough, or don’t value it enough, to pay money to learn more.

Not even if the amount they would need to pay is small, like the price of a £10 book. They’re never going to pay it; it’s not something they prioritise or place any kind of monetary value on.

The Nature Of Vampires (In Business)

Vampire are not (generally) malicious people. They don’t mean you any harm. They’re not unpleasant or being purposefully nasty. It’s just that they get as much as they can from you in the form of your free content.

And it’s okay to have a few vampires loitering in your tribe.

Some of them (if you do a stellar job with your content marketing), will eventually turn into people who are happy to invest in you. Just because they’re not willing to invest in you now, doesn’t meal they never will be. But that kind of conversion takes a really long time.

If you’re converting readers who are actively looking for your product or service, it already takes time and a lot of effort on your part to convince them that you’re worth buying into. And they are people who already want what you’re selling.

The likelihood of converting people who don’t want what you’re selling is a lot lower, and if they do convert it will take an awful lot longer.

So for your business to work, for your business to prosper, you need to have a tribe of people who are very likely to invest in you, and capable of investing in you.

They need to check both those boxes. They need to be within your catchment area, or within the area that you are capable of delivering to, and they also need to be the kind of person who are both willing and able to pay you money for your products and services. Anybody else, and as much as they might fit into your model for an ideal client in other ways, they are not part of your tribe.

They are just time-sucking vampires.

You Need To Target The Right People To Find Your Tribe

There are three really important things that you have to do to combat this issue. The first is to make sure that you are targeting people very specifically online. So when you’re finding your tribe and growing your following there are a lot of ways to gain organic reach. But that’s quite a slow process, it takes time. It’s also difficult (though not impossible! See below) to get really targeted with it.

Consider the difference between being able to target female entrepreneurs, using #fempreneur or #FemaleEntrepreneur, and then compare that with the ability to setup an advert that specifically targets people who are interested in female entrepreneurship, and live in a certain area, and are a particular age and gender, and spend a certain minimum threshold online.

If you do that, then you not only know the people that you’re targeting are female entrepreneurs, that they are also definitely in whatever parameters you’ve set for your ideal client. They’re capable of buying into your products and services, and they’re likely to do it.

While there is an awful lot you can do with your content that will gain you organic reach and organic likes, to be really specific in who you end up gathering into your tribe on social media, it is a very good idea to advertise some of your content to that extremely specific audience. To ensure that as many people as possible following you are the exact people that you want to be viewing your content; the people who are most likely to be able to buy from you.

Sell Digital Products To Welcome More People Into A Limited Tribe

The next thing that you can do to help deal with this is to help setup digital products. If you’re limited in your business to people who live in the specific location that you are in (for example, you can only cater to people within a 15 mile radius of your base), that’s a very small area to focus on.

It can work very well for a particular businesses. But if you want to expand beyond that, cater to a wider range of people and take advantage of all the followers that you’ve established online, you can create digital products.

Then you’ve suddenly opened yourself up to a much wider audience.

The Importance Of Slaying Vampires

The final thing that you have to do is slay those pesky vampires. It sounds cruel, and in many ways it is a bit mean, but you have to remember that you are running a business here.

The bottom line is your bottom line.

So if you have a tribe but they’re not supporting your business, if they’re not bringing in any income, if they’re not actually going to give you what you need to sustain the business they love, they’re a really bad tribe.

It’s so worth you taking the time to filter your tribe a little to make sure the people you’re attracting are genuinely going to enrich your business, and to be the kind of people that you want following it.

The Trap Of Thinking You Have A Truly International Business

So you might be sitting there thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, especially if you do offer digital products and services already.

It’s easy to fall into this sort of comfort zone of thinking that because you’re digital, you don’t have to worry about vampires creeping into your tribe and sucking the life out of you.

I’m here to tell you, you do have to worry.

Everybody has to worry about vampires.

For example, I offer exclusively digital products at the moment. I will have books coming out next year, but at the moment that’s not happened. So everything I sell, I sell purely online, all of it’s digital. It would easy for me to think it didn’t matter who I targeted in my marketing in terms of location, because I’m online and anybody with an internet connection can buy from me.

But while my services are available internationally, they’re not actually suitable for an international audience.

They are only suitable for English speakers. Because I’m a writer, I write in English. I’m not capable of writing in any other language. So anyone who doesn’t want their content in English is screwed coming to me. There’s just no way that they’re ever going to buy from me. So even if they speak English, if the content that they need creating is not in the English language, they’re never, ever going to buy my services.

So when I’m targeting my content at people, I’m always sure to target it at specific areas.

The UK is a no brainer for me, I’m based in the UK, I’m English, I write in English, that’s the end of it.

But I also target people in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Beyond that, I don’t actively target anywhere else in the world.

I have people who follow me from elsewhere in the world, but they’re people who’ve found me organically.

The majority of my tribe are British or American, with a few from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

That is by design, I did that very purposefully.

Why You Should Be Selective About Finding Your Tribe

If you don’t sell digital products but you do sell products on an international level, you might again think that it doesn’t matter where your audience is based, because you can ship anywhere.

But can you really ship anywhere?

Think about that for a minute. Think about the postal costs involved with shipping to certain countries. Think about import charges, export charges, airmail charges, all these other things. If you are genuinely capable of shipping to absolutely anywhere in the world for the same price, okay? So for the same cost to you, then absolutely go for it. You can advertise to anybody as long as they can understand your adverts.

If you’re based in the UK, you may find it preferable to ship to people in the UK, because that is a lot easier and a lot less expensive.

You may find that you are happy to ship elsewhere, but you prefer to only ship to people in Europe or the US, because again, those are the places that we can most easily ship to in the most economical way possible.

If you’re shipping physical products, there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re costing the amount of postage.

People often fall into the trap of offering free postage because that’s a really good offer to give people. Or they offer a flat rate of postage. If you’re going to do that, it’s a very good marketing tactic. But you can run into real trouble if you do it without thinking through who may take advantage of that.

I have had this problem before in my publishing house where I’ve been selling books. I had a flat international rate that was very reasonable for certain countries, but for other countries that cost four, five, six times as much money to actually post things.

I had people ordering and paying for the product and the flat rate, and by the time I’d actually posted the item to them, I’d spent money sending it to them. Rather than earning anything from the sale, it actually cost me money.

That was one of the earliest lessons that I learnt when I was first starting out running my publishing house (long before I started a writing business): was you have to be really careful when you’re posting physical things to people, that you calculate the shipping rates properly and that you target the people in areas that you are best able to cater to.

I could have simply changed the shipping rates to reflect a realistic rate that wouldn’t cause a problem, but doing so would have meant charging clients a small fortune. Instead, I now only ship to people in the UK. Anyone else I direct to Amazon so that they can buy off their local Amazon site, because it’s just the only logistical way I can do it without costing myself a fortune. I don’t make as much money per sale I would selling direct and charging proper postage, but my clients are better served (they save a lot on P&P), and I am in an area I can comfortably handle.

Sometimes it’s not about what you are capable of doing, but what you want to do most.

Why It’s Hard To Find Your Tribe When You Have A Local Businesses

Businesses that deliver services in person are the most obvious people to run into this problem.

You have a local business that’s based in a specific location and you can only cater to people within a 10 or 15 mile radius of that location. For example, you offer cleaning services and you can only clean the houses of people that are within a certain travelling distance.

It’s no good having people in your tribe who are outside of that catchment area. It doesn’t matter how much they love your content, it doesn’t matter how much they love the sounds of your business and your services, you can’t physically get to them to give them those services.

They’re never going to pay you to come to their house; you can’t go to their house.

So how exactly do you fix this problem? That’s what you all want to know.

The biggest step in dealing with this situation is to realise that you have vampires in your midst in the first place. They can be difficult to recognise. So it’s important to actually look at your tribe and the people who are engaging most with your content, and figure out whether they are the type of person who is ever likely to pay for your stuff.

If they are not, then you have a problem, you have vampires among you.

Why Are You Beset By Vampires?

The next thing you need to do is figure out why they are not going to buy from you.

Are they in the wrong place physically?

Are they in the wrong age or gender group?

Are they outside the scope of your business from a cultural perspective, so are they speaking literally a different language to you?

Or are they just the type of person who is quite happy to learn about what you’re offering for free, but is never, ever going to be willing to invest any money in getting any more?

Once you’ve figured all of that out, you should be able to work it back and figure out exactly how to define the people who will be perfect for your tribe. People who are in the right area, in the right business, who will value what you have to offer, and will be willing to invest in it.

You need to specify that as much as possible, with tangible, quantifiable factors that you can put on it. So a geographical location is quantifiable, it’s tangible. You can literally put a pin in a map and say that is exactly where people need to be.

Target Your Tribe With Pay Per Click Advertising

Once you’ve got it all worked out, there are a few different things that you can do. The first one is using very, very targeted pay per click advertising. So there are loads of platforms that offer PPC advertising, like Facebook, Google AdWords, Twitter, various other social media accounts. It’s usually possible to get really, really specific with who you want to see your advert. So this can be basic, like saying that you want them to speak English, or you can specify age, gender, but you can also specify things like geographical location down to miles, okay? So it doesn’t have to be England. You can put in your exact postcode and say that you want people within X number of miles of that postcode, okay? So that’s how you get people in your catchment area. You can say, “I want people within 15 miles of my home postcode.” Or, “I want people in this specific city or town.”

More than that, you can target people based on their interests. So I mentioned female entrepreneurs before, that’s a way of targeting people based on their interests. So you might target people who were interested in entrepreneurship, in blogging, in digital marketing, in yoga, in healthy eating, in whatever it is that your business does. If you find the right way of putting it into the parameters of your advertising system, you should be able to target people who have a specific interest in your specific niche. The more parameters that you put in to your pay per click targeting, the more specific it will get, the fewer people you will be able to reach with your advert, okay?

So it gets a bit scary for people. They look at it and they see the number of people, the estimated number of people that their adverts will reach, shrinking. They think, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I have to stop. Because before it was going to reach 15 million people and now it’s only going to reach 500,000. That’s stupid. I need to reach as many people as possible.” But that’s wrong, okay? That’s very, very, very wrong. It’s no good reaching 5 million people or 500 million people, or however many people there are if they’re the wrong people, okay? So if you’re paying for an advert that is going out to loads and loads of people, who are not very specifically targeted, that is called spray and pray advertising, when you basically spray your advert at anybody and everybody and pray that some of them buy.

Targeted advertising, on the other hand, you will reach far fewer people, but the people you do reach are going to be the very, very specific type of people who are most likely to buy from you. So even though your advert will be seen by fewer people, it will be far more successful.

Find Your Tribe With Localised SEO

You can also use localised SEO, that’s search engine optimization, to target your content at people. This is a great way to do this organically. So if you don’t want to pay for an advertising campaign, but you still want to make sure that your content is targeted at your specific niche audience, you can use SEO to do that.

So you would include keywords that were localised. So for example, if I was going to do this, my keywords that I would be optimising my blog posts for wouldn’t just be copywriting services, for example, they would be, copywriting services in Manchester, or copywriting services near Chester, things like that. So you could get really, really specific with the keywords that you use, and you localise them, so that when somebody who is in your area is searching for your specific service or product, they’re not just going to type in ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in things like ‘copywriting services near me’.

So when people are searching for a local product or service, they’re not going to do it by putting in the generic search term for that. So for example, somebody searching for a local copywriter is not just going to type in, ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in, ‘copywriting services near me’, or ‘copywriting services in …’ and then their specific town. So by localising your SEO, you will catch the people who are very, very specifically searching for what you do, where you do it.

Direct Mail Marketing

Now, another great way to make sure that people are within the right geographical area for you, is to actually use direct mail. So rather than email marketing, use good old fashioned postal marketing. So you print up some flyers, leaflets, brochures, whatever you like, and you send it out to people via the post. Now, this does require you obviously to have their addresses. So it can get a little bit more complicated. But it’s actually quite easy to fix. Every time somebody inquires about your business via your website, if you have a form setup, make sure that the form they have to fill in in order to send their inquiry includes their postal address.

You can do this really politely. So for example, on my website the field on the form that asks people for this information doesn’t just say ‘address’, it says ‘postal address, so I can send you cool stuff’, okay? So you can let them know that the reason you’re asking for it is so that you can send things to them for free, not so that you can turn up on their door and accost them in their homes.

You may find that people don’t want to hand over their address. So you might not want to make it a required field. If you make it a required field, you will put people off. But if you put it there and give people the option of giving you that information, then you’ll find a lot of people actually do happily give it to you, because they want you to send them free stuff. They’re not stupid, they understand that when you say free stuff, you mean offers, okay? So when you send direct marketing out to people, you don’t just send them a price list and expect them to buy. You send them an incentive. So you send them 10% off voucher, a coupon for buy one get one free, or something that makes it worth their while to actually buy from you.

Local Ads And Hangouts

You can also take advantage of local areas and put adverts in physical locations, so you might put them in the post office, in the window of local shops, café houses, or anywhere that you know your ideal client is likely to be. So I recently went and had a massage at my favourite beauty spa in town. So I came out ready to pay, and on the counter was a stack of leaflets for a mindfulness class that was being run locally.

Now, it had absolutely nothing to do with the beauty spa whatsoever, it wasn’t a product or service that they sold, they just let the people running the workshop put them in there because they knew that a lot of their clients were interested in finding ways of calming themselves down and being a little bit more mindful, and it worked really well. I picked up a leaflet, I bought the seminar, I paid money for it, I went, I attended, it was great. So that’s a really good example of using the places that you know your idea clients will be, to put things in front of them that get them to notice you as well. So the lady that was running that mindfulness workshop hadn’t paid the beauty salon anything to include the flyers on the counter, they’d done a swap. So when I went to the mindfulness course, there were flyers there from my beauty salon as well. So it goes both ways, it’s a reciprocal relationship that can work really, really well.

Find Where Your Tribe Are Online

Another great way of targeting people digitally is to identify places that they will be online. Facebook groups are a really good way of doing this, or groups on LinkedIn, and other social platforms that offer group functions. If you can find groups that are filled with people you know are your ideal client and you get involved in those groups, join in the conversations, and share your knowledge, your understanding of things, and when appropriate, your products and services, that’s a great way of making sure that the people who come to know who you are and start following you are people who are likely to actually buy from you.

Following Through With Your Tribe

Of course, once you have started building your tribe of ideal clients and getting rid of all of those pesky vampires, you need to make sure that you have a really effective way of getting in touch with them to tell them about your amazing stuff. So you need to gear as much of your efforts as possible towards building an email list. Now, when you’re putting that much effort into growing your online platforms, so your social media and various other things, or if you’re putting loads of effort into attracting people to come to your bricks and mortar business and actually be there physically, it’s really easy to forget that you need an emailing list.

So you know, you can post on Facebook and your Facebook followers will see. You can tell people in person when they come in and see your shop, about various offers and services that you have. But the problem with that is, what happens if nobody comes into your shop? What happens if Facebook crashes and you lose all your followers? So you need to have a way of contacting your list that is just yours, that is exclusively your own, that they have willingly opted into, that you can use to get in touch with them whenever you like.

Need a little help creating a Content Marketing strategy that works for you and your business? If you’re beset by vampires and looking to use your content to find your tribe, The Divine Blogging Design is perfect for your needs. Book a free discovery call now…

How To Spark, Nurture And Manage Your Creativity

Creativity is one of those things that’s really difficult to quantify. We all know it when we see it, but we’re never sure exactly how to describe it, and it’s different from one person to the next. Creativity is the thing that keeps you motivated, innovative. It keeps you moving forwards, constantly finding new and better ways of doing things.

If you’re an entrepreneur, creativity is vitally important to your business. Whether you have a creative business or a corporate business, it doesn’t matter.

The creative spark you have, the thing that made you want to start a business in the first place, is key to keeping everything going.

But creativity can be really difficult to find. Some days, it’s gone; your muse is rebelling. Others, it’s bubbling over; there’s so much you don’t have enough time to get all your ideas down.

As a writer, I rely on creativity an awful lot. Probably quite a lot more than the majority of other business owners, because my work is inherently creative.

Everything I write requires creativity.

How Do You Stay Consistently Creative?

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is, “How do you keep those creative juices flowing?” Or. “How do you to write so much?”

I do write a ridiculous amount.

I spend all my time writing, and not just in work: in my spare time I write fiction.

So, creativity is something that I interact with on a daily basis.

I know for a lot of people, that daily flow of creativity can be really difficult to create. So I wanted to give you a few tips, from my own experience, on how to spark your creativity when it’s not flowing, and how to nurture it, to ensure flows in abundance, as much as possible.

Finding The Creative Balance

I aim always aim to find a good balance. The aim is to create daily inspiration, daily creative energy, and daily outlets for that creativity, but to maintain it at a manageable level.

I’m not sure whether this is a creative person’s ‘thing’ or whether it’s more to do with my bipolar, and the nature of my brain in general, but for years I really struggled with creativity.

It was either a flash flood of wild abundance, or it was just gone.

One extreme to the other.

That’s incredibly difficult to manage when you’re trying to turn turn your creativity into a viable business. You need regular income. To do set jobs on a regular basis. And you need to work on and in your business regularly and consistently.

Creativity comes in these big, huge bursts and flashes, that allow you to get loads done. But then it’s suddenly gone and you can’t do a thing for days, weeks, sometimes even months.

That’s just not conducive to running a business at all. Since I became and entrepreneur, I’ve worked hard to manage that swinging pendulum of creativity. I’ve created a few excellent habits that keep my creativity flowing consistently and steadily. Now, it’s usually there when I need it.

I say usually, because (as previously discussed) the Muses are fickle, feckless creatures.

There are still days when it’s just gone. They are normally days when I’m not feeling well. The rest of the time I manage to keep my creativity quite consistent and regular.

Daily Habits For Developing Creativity

These are some of the habits I’ve developed, which helped me create that consistency, and which spark my creativity when it’s missing, and I need to get to back!

Deep Thought Massage

One of the main habits that I’ve developed on a daily basis is what I like to call Deep Thought Massage. That may sound like a peculiar thing, but if you stop and, erm, think about it, how often do you actually think deep thoughts?

By which I mean, how do you take the time to pause and think about normal, mundane, everyday issues, situations, things you do, things you want? How often do you stop and really think about them in a way that goes far beyond a surface level?

And how often do you dig deeper and figure out exactly why? Why are you doing something, why do you want something? Or why are other people doing things? And how it is that certain situations arise?

This is a really useful technique to use if you are working on mindfulness, either trying to improve your mindfulness or just improve your self awareness.

Deep thought massage can be very useful for a lot of things, but I find it extremely useful for sparking my creativity. Simply taking the time to relax and think, helps me to tap into whatever part of my brain considers things in a peculiar way. The way that makes my ideas different way, that makes me creative, and causes my creativity to work in the way it does.

My creativity will not be the same as yours.

Nobodies is.

So it’s no good me telling you exactly what I think about.

But think about the time you spend in a day working, and doing various other things you have to do: running errands, doing the housework, etc. and how much time you spend relaxing.

Do you try really hard to avoid thinking when you are trying to relax?

The Avoidance Of Thought

Most people, when trying to relax, like to just switch off. You stick the tele on, read a mindless book, go out with your friends and have a few drinks. You have a nice conversation but you don’t really talk about anything important.

You try to keep things light and easy, nice and relaxing, because you’re trying to relax.

Thinking often isn’t conducive to relaxation. The more you think, the more stressed you get, the more anxious you become, the more worries creep up on you, the more upset you get about various things bothering you. And that makes existing take more effort, because you’re actually think about things properly.

That’s not really conducive to relaxing.

So most of us, when we’re trying to relax, don’t really think.

We actively avoid thinking.

If we catch ourselves thinking too much, we try and distract ourselves. We try to take ourselves out of the thought process and do something that makes us feel better. Because for a lot of people, thinking too much is not good.

Certainly, in the past, it’s been very bad for me (and anybody else suffering from depression or other mental health issues).

Spending too much time dwelling on your own thoughts can be really negative.

But you can turn it to a positive advantage if you start to purposefully direct your deep thinking process at things that are going to help you get creative.

Manage Your Creativity By Thinking Deep Thought

Deep thinking can do wonders for your creativity, not only in your work but in life generally. Say you’ve been wrestling with a problem:

  • A work issue.
  • A new situation, task or issue (personally or professionally), that you’re unsure how to handle.
  • A daily task (personally or professionally) you feel isn’t quite working right.
  • A problem (personally or professionally) someone else has told you isn’t working, or you’re doing wrong.

These area all scenarios that greatly benefit from a little deep thought massage. Sit down and really thinking them through. Doing this has real advantages, especially in business.

The process of giving yourself permission to really dig deep into things in empowering. Spend quite a bit of time thinking through all the variables involved, the possible solutions, the things you’ve tried in the past, things that you might try in the future, and the things that are most likely to work. That level of thought is something we don’t often give ourselves permission to do in business, because we always have so much to do.

You have a list of things a mile long. Half of them are problems that need solutions. Really, the only thing in your head, is to find a solution for each problem as quickly as possible.

Cross it off the list and move on to the next thing.

You have to, because there’s so much to do.

You will almost certainly find it very rare that you devote some truly deep thinking to your work. You give them enough thought to solve the problem, keep yourself moving, and keep your momentum going, but you never dig deeper than is necessary.

It’s time to start.

Give Yourself A Daily Deep Thought Massage

I found that picking one thing every day and actively thinking about it in a lot more depth than usual does wonders for my creative process. It’s also a great way of training your brain to think creatively on a regular basis.

Choose something to think about. It could be a problem or issue, but it could also be something positive – a goal, something you’re trying to achieve, or want to create. When I’m relaxing, or sitting watching tele, I’ll have a notebook handy, or my laptop out. I’ll decide what I’m going to focus on, and make notes as and when things occur to me.

I don’t sit there forcing myself to concentrate (I am trying to relax!), but I let it percolate in my mind. When a thought comes to me, I write it down.

This is a process I use for business work, fiction writing, and general ‘life stuff’. Everything from stuff I want to write about a particular topic (which usually ends up on the blog), to products and services I’m thinking of creating, to character profiles and blog outlines for my stories, and even outfits I want to get, or how I’d like to redecorate a room in the house.

This is all stuff you think about daily anyway, you’re just pushing yourself to go a little deeper than normal. Even if you’re already a generally deep thinker, dive deeper!

I find myself just scribbling ideas down on a particular topic for a couple of days, even a week. At some point, I realise I’ve actually got a quite a lot of thoughts on this. I’ll then sit down and go through them all systematically, making some kind of sense out of them. Then I do spend time focusing on it, working through it all and seeing what ideas I’ve produced. Seeing what comes up.

Do this on a daily basis. Always let your mind drift and think about things a little more deeply then you would normally. Get into the habit of constantly letting your head go where it will. And make a note of where it ends up, rather than letting it drift off into the ether. Do this regularly enough, and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to do. It develops into a natural habit your brain just does that of it’s own accord.

Like autopilot.

Having that autopilot deep thought process in place makes it an awful lot easier to maintain creativity on a daily basis, because your brain is naturally doing half the work for you.

You don’t have to force yourself to think about things creatively. It’s just how you think.

It’s like getting up and brushing your teeth, or having a shower, or any of the things that you do every single day without even thinking about it. No longer a chore, just second nature.

Develop A Voracious Reading Habit

One absolutely brilliant way to spark your creativity is cultivate a voracious reading habit. This is something I did years ago, and many people do for the love of reading, rather than a need to be creative. Certainly when I first got into the habit it was for love of literature. But more than anything else, when people ask me how I came to be a writer, how I came to write the way I do, and how I know about so many subjects. There’s no trick to it, I just read a phenomenal amount.

Now, I research many different subjects for my clients. Before becoming an entrepreneur I spent a decade at uni, researching in academia. As well as all of that, I’m just generally interested in a lot of things. I’ve read an awful lot.

People will often hear me say something and they get this look on their face and I know the question is coming: “How do you know that?”

The answer I always give is quite simple: “I read.”

It makes me laugh, because a lot of people get quite offended by this. It’s not my intention to offend them, but the comment can sound like a criticism – as if I’m suggesting they’re illiterate! But it’s really not that at all. I do just read a ridiculous amount on an incredibly broad range of subjects. So, I don’t just read things that interest me. I read things that are important, but not necessarily interesting. I’ll read things related to my client work, which is extremely varied. From business coaches, to recruitment executives, jewellery makers, accountants, holistic healers, nutritionists, wooden floor specialists, bulldozer hire, digital marketers, techy types, lingerie designers, sex shops, I work with some fascinating people, all doing very different things.

And I read about all those subjects, as well as business in general. There’s also a slew of books in my house relating to the fiction that I write, including books on writing, books in the same genre, and research books I use to build my worlds.

Read What You Love, Read What You Hate

I read a lot of fiction the genres I write in (Fantasy and its various off-shoots). But I also read an awful lot of fiction in all the other genres even the genres I don’t like.

This is difficult for a lot of people. They’re like “Why are you reading a book you hate?”

Here’s the thing…In order to be a good writer, you need to know how to write. You also need to know how not to write.

It’s important to understand what other writers do that make you dislike their writing. Exactly what it is about different genres that you don’t like? It’s need to understand different styles of writing, and see different ways of doing things.

As a fiction writer, as well as a copywriter, reading a very broad spectrum was instrumental in getting me where I am today.

It helps me to stay on top of things creatively, keep the juices flowing, and keep myself trying out new techniques, or looking at things slightly differently.

And that doesn’t just apply to writers!

Cultivating a voracious reading habit. And by voracious I mean read every day.

Read a lot every day.

You’ll get through a book or two a week, if not more. I sometimes get through three of four.

Read anything. Everything. Read about things that relate to your work, your business and niche, but also read about other things that relate to business. Other industries that aren’t yours, but could perhaps help you with yours.

Read things that annoy you.

And particularly, read things that make you really angry. Things that make you think “God, that’s a terrible way of doing this.”

Don’t just read people you like. Read people you actively dislike.

You don’t have to do it a lot but make sure you do it. Read subjects that you wouldn’t normally pick up. Every now and again I’ll go into a bookshop, head straight for the fantasy section, choose something and head to the checkout when I pass Chick Lit, or True Crime, or something I normally don’t read.

I’ll think, “I should try something.” And I’ll find something that I think actually sounds as interesting as possible.

You don’t have to look for the most boring book imaginable and force yourself to read it. Find things you might actually like, but in a genre or subject area you wouldn’t normally read.

Do it in an area of business that you wouldn’t normally think about.

Read authors you would normally avoid, because you don’t like them personally, or you’ve read something of theirs before and you didn’t enjoy it. Writers are constantly evolving, changing, and growing. If you read something and absolutely love it, track down every single thing the person has written and read all of it, you will find things you hate.

Why I Read Shit Books

The best example I can give of this that I am quite famous among my friends for detesting certain books.

There are books I really hate. The Twilight saga? Don’t get me started! Fifty Shades of Grey? Don’t even mention it.

A lot of my friends like these books. They are always, to a fault, shocked to discover I’ve actually read them.

“Why have you read them when you hate them?”

But really, how could I know I hate them, if I hadn’t read them?

How can I know that I don’t like a book, or judge it to be bad, before I’ve read it and formed an opinion?

It’s not uncommon for people to really dislike certain authors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, actors, singers…for whatever reason they’re just not your cup of tea.

If you’ve never heard somebody sing, you might not like them as a person, but you can’t comment on their singing. And if you’ve never read a writer’s books, you might think you don’t like them, but you don’t actually know.

You’ve formed an opinion based on them as a person, rather than as a professional. You may find them annoying, you may disagree with their position or options, and therefore don’t want to read their stuff, but unless you’ve actually read them, you really can’t say that you don’t like their writing.

You’ve never read their writing.

Read their writing. It might make you angry, but you will learn a hell of a lot in the process. Sometimes the best way to spark your own creative genius is to get seriously pissed off about someone else’s.

Make Like A Tree

One great piece of advice for nurturing your creativity is this: make like a tree.

It’s really easy to become stagnant in your thinking, your business, and your day to day life. When you do the same things day in, day out, or you’re so focused on building one particular aspect of your business that you neglect other areas, it’s so easy to get stuck. It’s important to keep pushing yourself (personally and professionally) to grow. To constantly push the boundaries, constantly push yourself outside your comfort zone, make yourself try new things and do new things.

Even if you do them and discover you hate doing them and never want to do them again.

Just the act of doing them will teach you an awful lot, giving you a new perspective on the things you already do, and things you might want to try in the future.

Growth is so important. It’s doesn’t have to be about always pushing for the next income bracket, always trying to make more money, or always trying to bring out new products and services. You don’t have to constantly change or increase what you have in order to consistently grow.

You can take what you already have and make it better.

Consider business growth from a personal development perspective. Personal development is all about taking what you already have and improving it. I like to think of my business in that sense. It’s good to get in the habit of thinking about what is working in your business (and life in general), and how you can make that even better.

Also, how you can replicate that success in other areas that aren’t working quite so well?

Release Your Inner Rebel

Another really useful thing to do to manage your creativity and boost your creative spirit is to rebel a little.

Go against the grain.

Shake things up a bit.

Take things you have and see how you can do them differently.

How you can look at them in a new way? How you can just revolutionise them?

That might mean looking at something that you’re already doing, that you know works, and works well, and seeing if there’s a different way you can do it. Not because it’s not working, just because a different way might work even better. People have a lot of resistance to this – the whole ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ thing.

But just because something isn’t broken, doesn’t mean it’s working as well as it possibly could.

Constantly challenging yourself to think of new ways of doing things, which could work better, is a great way to not nurture your creativity, and get yourself thinking about things more creatively. It’s a great way to constantly push yourself and your business forward, and do that wonderful growth we were talking about.

Indulge Your Inner Seeker

Following on from that, you need to indulge your inner seeker.

Both this point and the last tie into the archetypes I use in my signature service, The Divine Blogging Design. If you’re not sure about what the different archetypes are and mean, check out this post and pay particular attention to the Rebel and the Seeker.

The seeker is a really important element of yourself to nurture when it comes to creativity. Because the seeker is always (as evidenced by the name), seeking new things and experiences.

Just find new things to do.

They can be small things, like changing the way you walk to your friend’s house, or huge things like skydiving or something adventurous you’ve never tried before.

The more you try new things, the bigger your mind gets, and the more scope you have to think about things and form ideas. It nurtures your creativity, because trying new things gives you new perspectives. It gives you new ideas. It breeds creativity. The more you try (even if you just try it and discover you really don’t like it) the more you’ve added to your internal world, and your understanding of the external world.

Like reading outside your favourite genres or specialist subjects, trying new stuff does wonders for creativity.

Find Your Creative Medium

One thing that I love to do to spark my creativity is listen to music. I know a lot of people don’t like listening to music when they’re working, because the find it distracting. I’m often the opposite: I can’t actually get any work done at all if I don’t have music on.

This is what I call my creative medium. For me, it’s music. I listen to and play music every day. Not a particularly proficient musician, but I do play the piano. I love singing (again, not good at it!). But I love doing it.

Music, for me, is a way to tap into my creativity. Whether I’m listening to it, playing it, or singing, it helps me to open up creatively, let in the creativity and channel it into something productive, rather that a mess of incoherent noise.

Music might not be your thing, but most people have a creative medium of some description.

Most people have something they do that, for whatever reason, helps them get those juices flowing. It puts them in that creative mindset. It might be something you can do while you’re working, like listening to music, or something that you need to do before you work, or as a break during your work, like going for a walk or run.

That’s another thing I love to do. Getting outside and just wandering about in nature is very good for creativity.

Find whatever helps you feel more creative and get in that open and creative zone. Do that thing every day, without fail.

Stream Of Consciousness

If you’re really stuck and need to get creative fast, this is a great exercise for ‘on demand’ creative spark. It just gets you in the right head space. There’s a nifty little writing exercise called Stream of Consciousness that works wonders.

Sit down with a blank piece of paper and write whatever is in your head.

Don’t think about it.

You don’t have to think at all for this one, it’s the totally opposite of a Deep Thought Massage! You literally write down whatever pops into your head. Then keep writing.

Let whatever is in your head fall out onto the page.

The goal is not to create anything during the exercise. The goal is not for this exercise to produce something. You’re not trying to write a story or a journal entry, you’re not brainstorming stuff to write late, or jotting down notes on anything specific.

You’re really not trying to write anything at all.

Just get everything that’s in your head out.

So there is something about having a totally open channel between your internal thoughts, and what you’re putting out into the real world. Something about having that complete freedom to just let it all flow, that really opens you up and gets you in that creative space. I find this particularly useful to do first thing in the morning, before I start work.

I’ve just sat down at my desk and I’m still half asleep. I’m thinking “Ugh, I really don’t have it in me to write today”, or “I don’t know where to start with this!”, or “I don’t know what to do!”.

I pull out a piece of paper and write for five, ten minutes. Just whatever is in my head. It gets me in that creative space, which lets me get on with my work.

Start An Ideas Book

Another useful trick that you can use from the writing tool bag is an ideas book, which is exactly what it sounds like.

A notebook (I tend to make them very pretty notebooks, because that helps), that you have somewhere close at hand.

You might have it in your handbag, on your desk, in the kitchen, wherever. If you’re like me, you’ll and have one in every room in the house (including the bathroom!).

Whenever something occurs to you, write it down. You don’t have to go into massive detail, or do anything with it, but just make sure you always have a means of recording the things that occur to you.

Because you will always think, “Ahh, that’s a great idea! I have to remember that.”

Then instantly forget.

Just get in the habit of keeping an ideas book. You will soon find you have a new abundance of creative ideas and inspiration just sitting there.

If you get stuck, you can just flip through and read your various ideas. Reminding yourself of your own creative ideas can energise that part of your brain.

Have A Creative Hobby

Another thing that I find to be a great habit for creativity is having a creative hobby. It sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but loads of people don’t really have a creative outlet outside of work. They get really creative when they’re working, but lack creative stimulation when they’re not.

If you’re a creativity junkie this quickly leads to burnout, because you end up doing nothing but work in order to get your creative fix.

This is very bad. If you’re a creative individual (or trying to become one) you need a creative hobby.

I write even when I’m not working, I play the piano, I draw, paint. and occasionally knit. Over the years I have amassed a vast collection of hobbies from jewellery making, to soap making, to candle making, to … I can’t even list how many things I’ve tried over the years. I’m currently in the middle of making a dream catcher.

Just indulge yourself with something that is purely recreational and yet still creative. It’s the perfect way to manage your creativity.

If you are the creative sort, you do this already. But if you don’t, you should definitely start. Even if you do, try and broaden it a little bit. Try new creative hobbies (because we’re indulging our inner Seeker, remember?).

Indulge Your Imagination

Finally, perhaps the best think you can do to help your creativity is to seriously indulge your imagination.

I have a very active inner world. So much so that I occasionally get lost in it, and prefer to spend time living in my own head then I do in the real world. It’s perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world, but it does make me a lot more creative, especially in my writing.

It’s extremely helpful because I’m at the point where I can literally put myself in my story world, or any situation in the real world, and imagine it in intricate detail. If it’s a fictional scenario, I become the character. I see the whole world, learn its sounds, smells, tastes, and appearance. Feeling what your character would feel makes you a better writer.

Picturing your business and the various elements related to it in that level of detail is similarly helpful. It’s a lot easier to create the success you want, and drive your business in the direction you want to god, when you know exactly what you’re aiming for.

It’s a great way of achieving goals. If you can imagine yourself having already achieved your goal, in as much detail as possible, it’s a done deal. It’s a lot easier to figure out exactly how to get there when you’re crystal clear on what ‘there’ looks like, and the various paths that lead to it.

I’m not a massive law of attraction fan. I know the basics of it and I do follow Denise Duffield Thomas, who is a money mindset coach. But that’s really the extent of my knowledge of it.

What I do know is that if you really want something, and you imagine yourself having already achieved it, getting there is a hell of a lot easier.

10 Epic Forms Of Content Marketing

“What are the best forms of Content Marketing?” is a question I get asked almost as much as, “What is Content Marketing?“.

A Content Marketing strategy is like a character in a novel (bear with me). The best books are the ones that have truly compelling characters. The kind of characters with depth, who seem to breathe life into the pages, come alive in your mind, and really stick with you.

The trick to writing such characters is ensuring they are thoroughly well-rounded and completely three-dimensional. They need to have many facets, many different elements to their personality, thoughts, words and actions, all working in harmony to form a cohesive whole that’s impossible to ignore.

A character who is impossible to ignore makes a book impossible to put down.

That’s the kind of effect you want your content marketing to elicit in your ideal client: your business needs to become unputdownable…

How To Make Your Business Irresistible…

Regular blogging or social media posts are a great start to this, but they are only two facets of content marketing, two characteristics if you will. To flesh out your strategy and ensure it’s as strong as possible, you need to avoid the faux pas of thinking they are enough.

Blogging is a phenomenally powerful marketing tool, but it’s only as successful as the number of people who read your blog.

Social media can ensure you drive traffic to your blog posts and boost the level of engagement with your content, but not everyone has time to trawl through Twitter or get lost in the Bermuda Triangle that is a Facebook feed. And not everyone has the time or inclination to read a 2,000-word blog post, no matter how informative, useful, entertaining, or amusing it may be.

Video and audio both provide easy solutions to this problem, giving people a user-friendly means of absorbing content with minimal effort. Videos are fun to watch and astonishingly powerful forms of content, while audio is versatile enough that your readers can listen to your content anytime, anywhere, and with any device capable of playing it.

If all your content is on your blog, you’re missing out on a whole circus of tricks that would help you reach more people, and gain a much higher ROI on your content marketing efforts.

But a lot of entrepreneurs are very uncertain when it comes to content marketing. Exactly what forms of content are best? How they should be used? And how many different forms do you need to include in your strategy to create that coveted unputdownable status?

To answer these questions I’ve put together a brand new Content Marketing Masterclass covering the top ten forms of content. From blogging and vlogging to the best types of social media posts to use, and how to use webinars, courses, and even books, this class will help you create a phenomenally powerful strategy that will catapult your business to success.

Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing and are unsure where to host your blog, or you’ve already nailed a solid blog plan and are looking to really up your game, you’ll find everything you need in this masterclass….

Content marketing has loads of fantastic business benefits. The one type of content marketing most people are familiar with is blogging. Beyond that people seem to get a bit stuck. They’re not sure exactly what is and isn’t content marketing, or how to expand past their blog to create a really strong content marketing strategy. Having that in place is essential to marketing your business and attracting new clients, so today I’m going to run through the top 10 forms of content marketing that will do wonders for your business…

Forms Of Content Marketing #1: Blogging

If you have a website, you almost certainly already have a blog (even if you’re not using it). Most websites come with them built-in. If you don’t have a website, it’s extremely easy to set one up. You can do it completely free on a site like WordPress and other sites that allow you to host your own blog on their domain. You can also set one up very cheaply by buying your own domain name and using something like WordPress, Wix or any other website-building software or portal.

While some social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram limit the number of characters per post, other platforms will happily let you host blog posts on your social media site.

LinkedIn is a great example of this. They have a really user-friendly portal for uploading blog posts and promoting them on your profile.

Facebook is another one that you can very easily use to publish longer written posts. While it doesn’t exactly host it, as you would expect a blog to be hosted, with separate posts you can click through to, there are ways of ensuring they end up as articles, accessible when you click on a particular link on your profile.

Other sites, like Goodreads have dedicated blogs available to members.

If you are planning to use blogging as a form of content marketing, I really recommend you do it primarily through a website.

 

I talk a lot about blogging in my other posts, so I’m not going to dwell too much on the ins and outs of exactly what you should do in order to blog for content marketing. Instead I’m going to refer you to The Golden Trident, which covers exactly what you need to do to maximise your blogging efforts. You should also check out the Halloween Special I did on Secrets of Blogging That Are Actually Witchcraft.

A Note On Where You’re Sending Your Traffic…

If you have an existing website, start blogging right now. It will do wonders for your website in terms of SEO and visibility, and enable you to start drawing people in and promoting your products and services through your content.

The whole point of content marketing is getting people where you need them to be. The reason it’s so useful to host your blog on your website is because most of the time, when you have a website, getting people on your site is the key to selling your stuff.

If you don’t sell your stuff through a website, then it can work quite well using a social media platform to blog.

That being said, in today’s world of online marketing if you are running a business and seriously trying to market a product or service, having a website really is a no-brainer.

There are loads of different ways you can use content marketing to help you promote and grow your business, but they all have to lead somewhere.

Whatever form of content you use it has to send people to something, or it’s not serving its true purpose.

If you have a bricks and mortar business you can do this through social media alone, without the use of a website. I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend it, but it’s certainly possible.

There are businesses that don’t bother with a website at all, they just have very active social media accounts. Generally speaking though, it is a very good idea to have a website.

Forms Of Content Marketing #2: Vlogging

Blogging is the type of content marketing pretty much everybody’s heard of. If you’re not doing it already, you’re likely aware you should be doing it (and you really should). But there are several other kinds of content marketing you should be taking advantage of, that you may have heard about didn’t realise they counted as content marketing. If you did, you may have discounted them as being ‘not for you’.

This will be for one of two reasons:

You’re unaware of the potential they have, and how powerful they can be in marketing your business.

You have a personal issue with doing them.

Vlogging is one that most people avoid due to a personal issue. If that isn’t the case, and you’re still not vlogging, it’s because you’re not fully aware of the super awesome power of video marketing.

What Is Vlogging?

A vlog is literally a video blog; basically a video version of a blog post.

A blog post is a written post you have on your website (or a social media platform) that hosts written content and can take many different forms. A vlog can also take different forms, but the most common in business marketing and content marketing especially is the ‘Talking Head’ format used in the video above. A static video of a person speaking directly into the camera, often with only their head and shoulders visible. The words are the same as if you were writing a blog post.

Some people write their blog post, stick it on an auto-cue and read it into a camera.

Other people do what I’m (currently) doing and speak off the cuff, without a script. This is either because they don’t have an auto-cue (at the time of writing this I don’t, which is the only reason I don’t use one), or because they prefer that natural flow that comes with an off-the-cuff style.

It doesn’t matter how you record your videos. It doesn’t even matter if your videos take a different form. If you put content in a video format and use it as you would a blog post, it’s a vlog.

Some people also like to record themselves as they’re going about their daily tasks. To give people a behind the scenes look at their life and their business. They take the camera around with them everywhere and show themselves getting in the car, going to the shops, going to meetings, doing work, doing yoga, doing whatever else it is that they do in the day.

A lot of people when they hear the word ‘vlog’ think of this kind of fly-on-the-wall video. It’s almost like a diary, a journal entry of personal stuff you’ve been doing and behind the scenes business stuff. This perception leads to some confusion over what a vlog is, as people discount the possibility of it simply being a video version of your blog. This is why a lot of people who have weekly Talking Head videos they release every week. without fail, have separate videos they label as ‘vlogs’, which take a totally different format.

This is a candid camera format that is essentially them titting about with a camera recording random shots which they cut together and call a vlog.

Marie Forleo is a great example of this. Marie TV is a weekly, Talking Head vlog she releases, but she’s recently a behind the scenes video entitled ‘The Dangers Of Vlogging’, in which she discusses recording the fly-on-the-wall stuff as being totally separate to her usual weekly video. The weekly video is Marie TV, candid camera is ‘vlogging’.

It’s not wrong to call candid camera videos a vlog! But it’s important to understand they are not the only format a vlog can take.

Anything that you want to record as a video is essentially a vlog. You can write a blog post about anything, format it however you like, and it’s still a blog post. Vlogs are no different.

How To Vlog For Business

When it comes to vlogging there are a few things that you will definitely need, and other things you may want. You will need some form of camera to record your videos. You will need a way of uploading those onto a computer, and editing them (at least a little bit). And you will need somewhere to host them.

The easiest place to do that is on YouTube, where you can upload your videos and embed them anywhere else that you need to put them.

You can add them to your website, share links to them on your social media, and basically get them anywhere they need to be once they’re on YouTube. In addition, it’s definitely worth uploading your videos to certain platforms separately.

If you want to share your vlogs on Facebook, you should upload your videos directly to Facebook. Host them on Facebook, rather than sharing links from YouTube on your Facebook page. This will ensure you maximise the positive effect they have on your Facebook page in terms of building reach, likes, engagement and loads of other great benefits. It will also increase your searchability.

The main reason for this is simple: Facebook is incredibly biased.

If you have a video hosted on Facebook and you share it, Facebook will show it to more people than they would do if you shared a link to exactly the same video, hosted on YouTube.

It’s that simple.

To get the most out of your videos on Facebook you need to upload them to Facebook.

The other great benefit of doing that is that there is a video tab on your Facebook page which is very easily found. If your followers want to watch your videos, they know exactly where they are. our vlogs are easily found. If you share a link to a YouTube video, unless it happens to be your pineed post (and remember you can only pin one post at a time), your audience will have to scroll through your whole newsfeed to find your videos. To do that, they need to already know you posted them and actively look for them again.

It’s not likely they will remembered a video, then taken the time and effort to scroll all the way back through your Facebook page to find it. If you want to get the maximum engagement possible you want to upload it onto Facebook so it appears in your video tab and you really make the most of it.

As with blogging, I’ve done loads of other posts on vlogging so do make sure you check those out for more details…

Why Vlogging Is The Smart Choice For Those Who Hate Blogging

How To Start A Powerful Vlog For Your Business

Masterclass: How To Start A Vlog – All Of The Technical Needs

Forms Of Content Marketing #3: Podcasts

The next type of content marketing that is really, really popular and can do absolute wonders for your business is podcasting. Now this is not one that I have any personal experience with. I am not a huge fan of podcasts. I don’t listen to them myself and I don’t have one. I may start one at some point, but at this point I’m just not focused on that and that is purely down to personal preference on my part. Like I said before, when there is a type of content that you’re not using it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either you don’t understand how effective it can be or you have a personal hangup with it that just makes you not want to do it. For me, that is podcasting.

It’s important for you to find the type of content that works best for you. Just because there are lots of different kinds of content marketing that you can use, it doesn’t mean that you should or have to use all of them. If you love blogging, and you are really just interested in doing anything else, then stick to your blog. You can absolutely make a content marketing strategy work brilliantly with just one kind of content. It just happens to be that it usually works a lot better if you add in some extras. Promoting your blog post is an awful lot easier if you also have social media posts that you sue to promote your blog content, which is two separate kinds of content marketing working together to create an overall strategy that’s a lot stronger.

If you then add extra kinds of content in like videos or a podcast you can make that stronger still, but content really only works as well as it should do when you’re thoroughly invested in it and when you’re confident in it and when you’re comfortable with it, so if you really, really hate the notion of sitting down in front of a video camera and recording videos like I’m doing now, if you just can’t stand the thought of it there is absolutely no point in making yourself do it because there are other ways to use content marketing to promote your business that don’t give you that awful ick that make you feel bad.

Is there any kinds of content on this list that you get that icky “Ugh, I really don’t want to do that” feeling? Don’t worry about it at all, you can just skip those. Don’t force yourself to do something that you’re not comfortable doing. Your audience can tell. They know when you’re not really happy with something. They know when you’re not really into doing something and when you’re not really invested in it. The other option is obviously to outsource it and to get somebody else to do it for you. The problem with both videos and podcasts is that even if you get somebody to write them for you, which you can absolutely do, it’s a service that I provide for my clients is to write the scripts for them and they record them, but that’s the issue. They still have to actually record.

The big benefit of podcasting and using other audio content is that you can get the multimedia benefit that comes with video without people actually having to see you. I know a lot of people, the reason they don’t like the idea of recording videos of themselves is because they’re self-conscious about the way they look. To be perfectly honest, I put off starting a vlog for a very long time for that exact reason. I was very self-conscious about the fact that people would be able to see me all the time. Recording audio content is a brilliant way of getting around that. If you’re camera-shy but you don’t mind people hearing your voice, it’s the perfect medium to use.

It also depends on your ideal client and your audience and how they’re going to be absorbing your content. If your ideal client is really busy and constantly rushed off their feet, maybe they’re parents, maybe they’re already working another job and they’re trying to start a business on the side or maybe they just have an awful lot of commitments and they enjoy absorbing their content while they’re in the car or while they’re out on their morning job or while they’re doing the dishes, cleaning the house, whatever. If they just like being able to listen without having to read anything, without having to watch anything, then the audio version is the perfect medium for them because it makes it really, really easy for them to access your content and they can listen to it as much as they like when they’re driving the kids to school or doing whatever household chores they have to do, when they’re walking the dog. It doesn’t matter where they are or what they’re doing, they can always listen.

When you’re considering what kind of content to use, that is one really, really important thing to bear in mind. Not just what you are most comfortable with creating but also what your ideal client will be most comfortable absorbing and the manner in which they will find it easiest to absorb your content because the easier you make it for them, the more effective it will be.

Forms Of Content Marketing #4: Webinars

Now another kind of video marketing that you can use that’s really, really beneficial for your business are webinars. These are fantastic list-builders. They are one of the best lead magnets you can use, are running free webinars online. You can also record them when you do them live and then have them available later as recorded content that you can either give away for free as part of an opt-in, as part of a auto-responder sequence, or you can actually charge for them. Package them up in a course and make some passive income from them. Webinars are possibly one of the most multi-functional types of content that you can create.

Video in general is really, really versatile. You create a blog post, all you have is a written blog. If you create a video, whether it’s a vlog or a webinar, you can have that transcribed. You’ll end up with both the video content and the written content. You can convert it into an audio format, so you can use it as a podcast. You can use it as an audio file or an MP3 download. You can take the written version, chop it up into little bits and use it as social media posts or various other pieces of content, but webinars go one step beyond that and say you’re not just going to have the benefit of having it in video content that you can convert into every other type of content, you’re going to record it in the first instance live rather than pre-recording it, which gives you a lot more options in terms of growing your list, attracting interest. People can ask you questions on a live webinar, they can talk to you, they can interact with you, they can really get to know you, interest you a lot more when you’re live.

In addition to that you still get all the great benefits of having video content. One thing I will say if you are going to create webinars, make the most of them. Make sure you advertise them as much as you can beforehand whether that’s paid advertising or just networking and spreading out the word as much as you can on your own. Get as many people pre-registered for it as you can before you go live. When you do go live, make sure you have additional content that you can give people on the webinar. Free downloads that you give at various points throughout the webinar are really useful and just extra bonuses for people that will keep them watching to the end.

At the beginning of the webinar you can say, “Stick around because I have this great offer” or “I have a great discount” or “I have this wonderful free course” or whatever your offer is. Make sure you mention it at the start but don’t give it to them until the end so they actually have to stick around and watch for the whole thing. That’s really, really important and of course at the end of your webinar, take the opportunity to pitch something. A paid product or a paid service or something that’s actually going to earn you some money because people expect that of webinars. They’re quite hip to this format now. They understand that they get an hour of your time for free if you teach them something on a webinar, that that can expect at the end of that that you will pitch them something. You will say to them, “I hope you enjoyed what I’ve taught you today. If you’d like more of that then you can get it this way.”

Most people, they don’t mind that and if they do mind that, they’ll tune out before you get to that point, so you’ll never have people sitting there listening to you pitch something to them who are getting annoyed with you for pitching it because if they don’t want to listen to it they will literally just stop listening, but a lot of people will be interested and they will want more and the fact that they’ve already had an amazing webinar with you and they’ve had the opportunity to understand how good the content you have to offer is. By the time they get to the end of the webinar, they’ll be sat there thinking, “Wow. If this is your free stuff then I want more and also, how much better must your pay stuff be if this is how good the stuff you’re giving away for free is?” Don’t be afraid to stick that pitch at the end. A lot of people get gun-shy when it gets to that point and they feel like they shouldn’t so they don’t and it’s just a huge opportunity that you’ve missed.

Other opportunities that you will very likely miss with webinars either because you don’t think about it or because you feel a bit icky about doing it, have an auto-responder sequence set up long before you actually do the webinar to make sure that everybody that pre-registers for the webinar is reminded about it so they get as much opportunity as possible to actually jump on the webinar live. Then make sure that they have reminders sent out to them with a replay so that the ones that couldn’t make it to the live event, because we’re all very busy people, so some people won’t be able to make it to the live event can still watch it. Then after that don’t be afraid of having a nice strong sequence in place that will promote the pitch that you have at the end of the webinar.

Whatever it is you’re promoting, whether it’s a service or a programme that you’re selling or a particular product, whatever it is, your auto-responder sequence should include several sales emails that build up to offer them this product or service and really, really sell it to them. Make sure you don’t skip any of those steps. When you’re done with all of that, you can take the recorded version of your webinar and you can do one of two things with it. You can keep it as free content that you offer that’s freely available that you then set up basically an automated version of everything that you did live. Rather than it being a live webinar that you do again and again, you have the pre-recorded version of it that people sign up for and then they can watch it pretty much as soon as they sign up for it, and they still get the auto-responder sequence, they still get all the great content. The only difference is it’s not live so they can’t actually ask you questions while you’re on it.

The other option is to use it as part of a paid product or service that you then later give away fro free. You do it once as a free webinar, as free content and when you’re advertising it, you’ll say, “This is all my best stuff on this. This is a one time only thing. It’s the only time I’m going to do it for free. After this, this is going to be a paid product that you’re going to have £15 to watch or £50 to watch” or £100 or £500 or however much it is. You can package it up as a single low-cost thing that you can use as part of your sales flow, or you can put it in a larger course and use it as one video in a series that you put together and sell as a larger course. It doesn’t matter. There’s so many things that you can do.

Don’t forget that you can get it transcribed and you can use that written content everywhere else as well.

Forms Of Content Marketing #5: Live Social Media

While we’re on the subject of video, social media posts and there are lots and lots of different forms of social media posts. Written ones in the forms of tweets and status updates and then you have photographs and you have videos and you have loads and loads of different things. Basically any kind of content that you can think of, you can put on social media in one form or another. I’m not going to go into the minutiae of all the types of social media posts that you can use in this.

There are a couple that I want to highlight as being particularly powerful when it comes to content marketing and the first one is live posts. We’ve just talked about how powerful live webinars can be. Live Facebook posts can be just as effective. You can even do webinars live on some of your social media platforms. Facebook Live is particularly good for longer ones like that. You can do a Facebook Live for … You could do a full hour webinar on Facebook Live if you wanted to. You can also record live stories on Snapchat and on Instagram. Exactly which social media platform that you use for your live-streaming is entirely up to you. It’s again, a matter of your personal preference, so which one you’re comfortable with but possibly more important than that is which platform your ideal client are on.

It’s no good doing Facebook Lives if all your ideal clients are on Instagram. It’s no good doing Instagram stories if all your ideal clients are on Twitter. You need to make sure you’re putting your content out on the platform that your ideal client is most likely to see it on and in the format that they are most likely to absorb it in.

Forms Of Content Marketing #6: Memes

While we’re on the subject of social media, memes are another absolutely brilliant form of content marketing. Some of the really popular social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are all about images. You actually can’t post anything on them without including an image on it.

A meme isn’t just an image. A meme is an image plus, shall we say. It’s an image with text on it basically, so images alone can be really, really powerful and you can post images with written content attached to them, but when I say meme, what I mean is, an image which has written content on the actual image. It’s the kind of posts that you see that go viral really, really quickly and really, really easily. They tend to be very eye-catching and very simple. They’re not bogged down with lots of words, they’re not really, really busy, they’re not confusing. Or if they are confusing, they’re confusing in a enigmatic way that makes you pause and go “What the hell is that?” They’re meant to gran your attention really, really quickly and get across something important that’s going to make people actually stop and pay attention.

They’re great for your engagement, they’re great for reach because they’re very easily shared and they’re also very, very good for establishing what you do and how good you are at it really, really quickly. You can create memes of your own quotes. One of the popular options to do with memes is to make a really, really pretty visual representations of famous quotes. Quotes by your favourite celebrities, quotes by relevant experts in your niche, things of that nature. They go down really, really well and they’re great, but the better thing to do is to create the same kind of thing, so lovely, beautiful images with text on when you are quoting yourself.

Every time you write a blog post or record a vlog, every time you create any kind of content you want to be pulling little bits out of it. Just short sentences and little snappy things and turning them into memes that you can then share because it’s just another way for you to repurpose that content that you’ve already created. You’re not having to reinvent the wheel. You’re not having to create a whole new information, things to give people. It’s the same content, you’re just putting it in a different format and you’re making it really, really easy for people to see it, to share it, and to digest what you’re saying.

Forms Of Content Marketing #7: Questions

The final one I wanted to mention for social media are questions. Now questions are, I think, perhaps the best way of getting people engaged in your posts and actually having a conversation. You might want to say something really controversial and ask a question at the end of it. You might want to pick a particular pain point that all your ideal clients are struggling with and ask them firstly whether they’re having problems with it, and secondly how they deal with it. Or you might want to play Devil’s advocate and pick something that you know is going to really, really irritate them. Ask them a question that you know is going to make them go a bit like, “Oh. I don’t like that” and make them actually answer. You can then make it clear that obviously you don’t agree with the position that you took initially, you just wanted to know why everybody else thought about it, but it’s a really, really good way of getting people talking.

Forms Of Content Marketing #8: Email Marketing

Another great form of content that you should definitely be using is email marketing. Now I mentioned this very briefly when I was discussing webinars and I mentioned also response sequences and that is one way that you can use email marketing is to set up a series of emails that go out to people when they take certain actions. If they sign up to your newsletter list, you might send them a series of emails welcoming them. If they sign up for a freebie you might send them a series introducing them to that freebie and then upselling them something else.

Beyond that, once you have people on your list, once you’ve got them on your emailing list, you need to be emailing them regularly. You want to send out a weekly newsletter and in that weekly newsletter you should have a round-up of all the content you’ve put out that week. If you only put out content once every two weeks, then you’ll only do this once every two weeks, but I really do recommend that you try and publish content once a week. A blog post a week, a vlog a week, both a week. Make sure you’ve got one or the other or a podcast once a week so that you can send out your weekly newsletter and say “This is my new post, here’s the link to it” and you can include a snippet from the beginning to get people interested. You can include the whole thing in written form if you want, but just make sure you send it out because it helps with your engagement, it helps with your reach, it keeps you front of mind for everybody on your list.

It reminds them why they signed up to you in the first place and what you do and it makes sure then that you can really get your content out to as many people as possible. Of course you’re not limited to only sending out email marketing for existing content that you have, you can send out emails whenever you feel like it. If you’ve got something that you particularly wanted to say but you maybe didn’t want to blog about it and something that you wanted to share only with the people on your list, so exclusive content that you have just for them, and of course sale emails. If you want to sell something or promote a particular offer that you have or a service or something new that you’re doing, email marketing is a great way of doing it.

If you’re struggling to build your email marketing list, check out The Cake Construction, which breaks down exactly how you can use content marketing you grow your list.

Forms Of Content Marketing #9: Books

One kind of content that people often don’t think of as content marketing and one that they definitely don’t see the huge potential in as a possible form of content marketing are books.

Books are the dark horse of content marketing; the one nobody really thinks about with astonishing potential.

Now I love books. That’s no secret. I write them, I read them, I’m a voracious reader. I absolutely love books, but as far as content marketing goes, you can actually use books as a really, really strong form of content marketing. I think probably the best example I can think of with this and I use her all the time as an example because she’s brilliant at content marketing, is Denise Duffield-Thomas who has to date got two books published and she’s just signed a deal for the third, if I’m not mistaken and she really has used her books as content marketing.

Rather than creating them as paid products that she wants to sell, she created them as a form of marketing and the fact that she earned money off them as well was a happy bonus. That’s the way of looking at it. That’s not to say that you can’t earn money from books. You’re right, you absolutely can, but if you’re trying to use them as a marketing tools it’s useful to approach it thinking of them as something that you’re going to use to market your business and that your focus is on making sure you get as much mileage out of them as possible in terms of marketing rather than trying to make as much money out of them as possible.

The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive. You can use them as a marketing tool and make money off them at the same time, but normally your approach to selling them is very different depending on which you’re trying to do. You want to use them as passive income and that’s your focus is to create a passive income stream. That’s a brilliant way of creating passive income. By the way, that’s a great thing to do for your business but your strategy in marketing your book is going to be quite different to how it would be if your primary goal was to use your book as a form of content to market other products and services in your business.

If you’re sat there thinking, “Oh god, I can’t possibly write a whole book” the funny thing about content marketing is once you start doing it, once you start regularly producing content, you can end up with a book a lot quicker than you think. If you write a weekly blog post, if you publish your blog every single week, after a year you’ll have 56 posts. If you’re blogging properly, if you’re really using a good blogging strategy, they will be on relatively similar topics. You’ll have a core subject that you stick to, and really all a book is a series of blog posts when you think about it. If you equate a blog post with a chapter or if you’re writing 2000-odd word blog posts, that’s a chapter. Every time you post a blog, you’ve essentially posted a chapter. After you’ve got quite a bit of content amassed you can go through all the content you’ve got and you can turn it into a book.

Now I really don’t suggest that people just cut and paste. I have seen people that do this. They literally get their blog posts, they shove them together and they publish them as a book without doing anything else with them and I do not recommend you do that because it will really irritate the people reading the book, especially if they’ve already followed your posts. They’ve already read the posts, they want something more than that. You need to put a bit of effort into it. You need to find a coherent theme. You need to put them together in an order that makes sense, you need to edit them.

When you come to edit them, you’ll probably find that you have more to say than you did when you first wrote them, so that’s especially true if quite a bit of time has passed since you first wrote the post or first created the post. You’ll have had people commenting on your content, you’ll have had people engaging with it on social media, you’ll have maybe had clients that you’ve spoken to about similar topics before or you’ll just have learned more or thought more about it yourself. You will naturally find when you come to put all your content together and try and make a book out of it that you have more to say and you should definitely, definitely say it.

Don’t just take the easy option, cut and paste all the posts, stick them together and think it makes a book. It doesn’t. It does take a bit of effort but it is well, well worth it and it gives you a form of content that is just super, super versatile and so valuable. You can take the first chapter or two of your book, you can put it in a nice PDF, you can use it as an opt-in freebie. You have an absolutely massive list-builder there, giving away the first few chapters of your book for free. Does wonders for building your list, and you have a built-in upsell just right there. You give the first couple of chapters away for free, people read them and it’s natural for them to then want to buy the book. That is the easiest upsell you will ever do in your entire life and if you do it right, you’re smart about it, you’ll make the subject of your book something that naturally leads into, promotes, or explains something else that you’re trying to sell that’s worth an awful lot more.

This works really, really well if you have a course that you’re trying to promote, that you’re trying to sell. A paid programme that’s quite expensive. Programmes, they’re normally at least a few hundred pounds if not even more and you’re creating by writing this book as your introduction to it, you are creating the perfect funnel because you have, by creating the book, got the opt-in that will get people on your list, you have the email sequence that you need to upsell them to the programme with an easy upsell for them to take one step up and go from the free chapter to the paid book and then from the paid book to the paid product or service. This works really, really well.

Books as content marketing it a total no-brainier. It is the simplest thing in the world. It is so effective. The only reason that everybody isn’t doing it is because, I will not lie, writing and producing a book is tough. If you’re creating one completely from scratch and writing about a very specific subject, it’s really, really hard to do. Even if you’re essentially collating content that you’ve already created and turning it into a coherent book, that takes time. It takes effort and if you want to do a really, really professional job you’ll need to have it edited, you’ll need to have it proofread. You’ll need to have it professionally formatted. If you want to create physical copies of it rather than just selling it as an ebook, you’ll need to find a printer. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating books. It’s not a quick process and if you don’t already know what you’re doing it’s not an easy process, but the good news is I’ve already done it many times, so if I can do it, anybody can.

Forms Of Content Marketing #10: Mini-Courses

The final kind of content marketing that I want to talk to you about is a mashup of all the others that I’ve talked about so far and that is the mini-course. Now I’ve mentioned webinars, I’ve mentioned paid courses, and I’ve mentioned video marketing. This is basically all of those things rolled into one. What you want to do is create a short series of videos or webinars that form a mini-course that people can have as part of an auto-responder sequence over the course of three or four, maybe five days. I wouldn’t go any longer than that.

If you want to do a webinar, do a webinar. If you want to do a mini-course, do a mini-course. The mini-course itself is one of the best kinds of lead magnets that you can ever create. You don’t need to create a lead magnet to get people to sign up to the lead magnet. The mini-course is the lead magnet. If you want to do a webinar then great but you don’t need to a webinar in order to promote the mini-course. Unless of course you want to charge for your mini-course, in which case go for it.

A mini-course really is a combination of so many different kinds of content marketing. You will want to create it in video format, ideally. You can just do it as a written sequence of emails though that you send out but ideally you will want to create four or possibly five videos. You will want to send them out in a series of marketing emails and have them available on your website for people to watch on your website. Ideally also with extra things for them to download that go with it. One of the best things you can do is create a workbook for people to download at the beginning of the first video and then write in right through as they watch the mini-course. Other kinds of content that you can use are checklists or workflows, anything that helps people action what you’re teaching them in the mini-course.

A lot of people get really nervous at the notion of giving away a whole course for free. It feels like you’re giving away all your best stuff, you’re wasting an opportunity to make money. It takes quite a lot of work to create one and it can take a bit of money to set it up, especially if you’re not very good at doing the technical stuff yourself and you have to outsource that to somebody, so you may have to pay someone to do that for you. When you go to all that effort of creating it, possibly the expense of getting it set up as well, it can feel quite counterproductive to then just give it away for free, but if you are trying to promote anything of substance, if you’re trying to promote a big course that’s costing a few hundred pounds or more, if you’re trying to promote a premium service that you offer that’s worth hundreds and hundreds of pounds or more, anything that’s quite tough to get people to buy into because you need to be able to really, really clearly demonstrate the value that they’re going to get out of something.

You need to be able to make them see and feel and understand exactly how good this thing that you’re asking them to pay that much money for is going to be and exactly what it’s going to do for them, and this is what you use the mini-course for because it’s your opportunity to really, really show your stuff and to really make people understand that although it’s an investment that it’s an investment that they should absolutely be making because it’s going to be so, so worth it.

Content Marketing Masterclass 10 Epic Forms Of Content Marketing Blogging, Vlogging, Podcasts, Webinars, Live Social Media, Memes Questions, Email Marketing, Books and Mini Courses

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