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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

The Cornfield Paradox: How To Fix The Biggest Lie In Marketing

When I started out in business, I followed a few coaches and business/marketing experts. One of the things I came across more often than anything else was the notion that ‘If you build it, they will come!’

If you’ve ever seen Field of Dreams, you’ll understand why I call this The Cornfield Paradox. In the film, Kevin Costner plays the title role. He hears a mysterious voice talking to him in his cornfield one night, telling him, “If you build it, they will come.”

Deciding the voice is onto something, he builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield, and the Chicago White Sox appear, magically solving all his problems…

The basic gist of this (and its relevance to marketing) is the notion that by creating something wonderful, you will automatically attract people.

If you create fabulous products or services, people will naturally want to buy them.

And if you create wonderful content, people will automatically find it and read/watch it.

 

It’s a brilliant and wonderfully inspiring thought when you’re a fledgling business owner, just getting to grips with the myriad things required to get a business up and running. You pull yourself along with this belief that all you have to do is create your business, and customers will magically find you.

The problem with this concept, and why The Cornfield Paradox is the biggest lie in marketing, is that it doesn’t work.

Do any of these instructions sound familiar:

Blog regularly – preferably weekly.

Consistency is key – decide on a schedule and stick to it!

You need to blog for SEO, that’s how people will find you.

High-quality content is the secret to a good Google ranking.

This is all good advice, but when it’s coupled with an ‘If you build it, they will come’ mentality, it is fundamentally flawed.

Why?

Nothing good ever happens in a cornfield!

As many of you know, I’m a fiction writer. I’m a fan of fantasy, horror and various other genres, and I can tell you categorically that every time a cornfield appears, in any context, bad things happen.

Field of Dreams itself is a terrible film.

Cornfields are not where you will find the magical solution to all of your problems.

Cornfields are where you will find axe-murderers, aliens, cannibals, deranged lunatics, paedophiles, and innumerable other unsavoury characters and problems.

Nothing good ever happens in a cornfield, and this often-toted piece of advice coaches are so fond of is no different. THE BIGGEST LIE IN MARKETING is the notion that all you have to do is build it and they will magically come.

Here’s a truth bomb:

You can create the most fabulous content imaginable, but if nobody knows it’s there, nobody will read/watch it.

You can regularly produce blogs or vlogs week after week, be utterly consistent, optimise everything for SEO, and have a phenomenal Google ranking, and you’ll still get nowhere fast, because your content marketing method is based on a fundamental lie.

But don’t worry, all is not lost, there’s an easy fix… 

The Origins Of The Biggest Lie In Marketing…

I believe this mega myth of marketing originated in the early days of online marketing when the ‘If you build it, they will come’ model actually worked.

It’s not even that long ago since this wasn’t a lie, but a marketing true. When the internet was still relatively young, if you created a blog, and filled it with quality content, people would naturally find it, because there wasn’t the insane amount of content and information in the modern-day.

If you go back as little as ten years, Google something (especially something in a niche market) wouldn’t get that many results.

Now, you can Google exactly the same thing and end up with endless pages of results. Consequentlyt, even if you’re writing about a very niche subject, the likelihood of your specific blog post being the post that a large number of people find – enough to grow an audience organically – is slim. Simply writing good content just isn’t enough to get you discovered anymore.

There’s too much information on the internet, too many competing sites, too many posts discussing the same topics you are, and until people have actually read or watched your content and got to know you a bit, they won’t have any reason to favour your website other all the others on the same subject. Your Google search ranking helps with this – getting on the first page of Google will make it a lot more likely you will be found, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s not a simple case of optimising everything with keywords because everyone is optimising everything with the same keywords.

SEO Isn’t Enough…

You’re not doing anything unique with your SEO, what is unique about your content is YOU.

SEO can’t convey your ideas and prove they are better (or at least different) to everybody else’s; why your methods are superior; why your products are unique or better than everybody else’s; why your services are better than everybody else’s; why your take on the world is worth them coming back and reading/watching over and again. It’s only once they’ve experienced you, come to know, like, and trust you, and bookmarked your site, that they’re going to automatically come to you when they see you’ve written about a subject.

Your Google ranking is important, I’m not saying SEO is not important, it is.

It helps you get visible, it helps you get found, but the problem with SEO is that there is a perception that all you have to do to create a successful business is have a website and create good content that’s SEO-optimised, so people find you on Google.

Just build it, and they will magically come…

It does not work.

There are three things that you have to do to make sure that your blog is successful (check out my post on The Golden Trident: Three Magic Steps For Kick-Ass, Killer Blogging for more info).

The third step for kick-ass, killer blogging is that you have to HUSTLE!

It’s not enough to write good content, you have to get out there and tell people about your content. Share your content, spread it to the four winds, so that as many people as possible become aware of your content.

If you do that, then they will come, but they won’t just magically come wondering out of the cornfield and find you simply because you’ve written something.

The Cornfield Paradox…

The paradox occurs because so many people who decide they want to start a business buy into the biggest lie in marketing. They get interested in business, they get invested, they start learning about marketing, and they come across all these coaches telling them that all they have to do is ‘build it’, and people will find them.

So they build it, and they wait.

And they wait, and wait, and wait, and…TUMBLEWEED!

Nothing happens. And a great many people in this situation, when they reach this point, conclude that the reason blogging isn’t working because content marketing doesn’t work.

They reach this conclusion fairly quickly.

They start blogging. They keep it up for a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months. At the end of that couple of months, they’ve poured their heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into a weekly blog post. They’ve published at the right time, consistently, and sent out a newsletter to their list.

Nothing is happening.

The reason nothing is happening is that they’ve just started out. Their list consists of their friends (who aren’t really interested in their business), and a couple of people they know who genuinely are interested in business, but aren’t necessarily interested in the specific part of business that these blog posts are discussing.

Becuase they’re so new, they basically have no list. The few people on it aren’t their ideal clients, and they aren’t reaching anyone new.

They’re writing great content, but they’re just writing it and leaving it there. They’re expecting people to find their content, because they built it, and when nobody does, they conclude that blogging doesn’t work.

It’s not a viable marketing option, so they stop blogging.

I understand why this happens, but the mistake (and the paradox) is that if you’re not blogging, nobody will find you, but blogging, on its own, is not enough to make people find you., okay? So, if you stop blogging, nobody will find you. If you blog, but don’t do anything to promote your blog post, nobody will find you. So, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle here, in that if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come, okay?

If you stop blogging, nobody will find you.

If you blog, but don’t do anything to promote your blog post, nobody will find you. So, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle here, in that if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come, okay?

If you’ve bought into the ‘If you build it, they will come’ mentality, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle: if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come!

How To Fix The Biggest Lie In Marketing…

You have to get out there, share your content on social media, build your online networks, advertise your content when needed, and comment on other people’s blogs. Take the time to read their posts and leave a genuine comment; let them get to know you. Get them interested enough in you and what you’re saying that they click through to read your own blogs, and comment in return. Tweet out your posts, share them on Facebook, Instagram, and any other platforms you have.

And here’s the important part: you don’t just need to share your blog posts specifically.

You need to spend an awful lot of time simply building an online presence.

Whether you do it yourself or pay somebody else to do it for you, you need to be an active online presence. You need to be a person who more than just their blog posts.

At the time of writing this, I am personally failing in this regard and have been for a couple of months. I’m sharing my posts, but nothing else. Why? I don’t have time. Business suddenly got a lot busier this year, my workload has more than doubled and I had to let a few things go for the sake of my sanity. I’m in the process of outsourcing everything I no longer have time for, but in the interim, my social media marketing is next to non-existent.

And it shows.

The massive growth I saw in the first quarter of this year stalled in the second. And it’s all because of a very simple question I guarantee your audience is asking…

But What Else…?

You can’t constantly say, “I wrote a blog, read it. I wrote a blog, read it. I wrote a blog, read it,” because people get bored.

Even if your content is absolutely fabulous if you never say anything other than, “Read my blog post!” at some point they’re going to stop because they are over-saturated.

This is especially true in business.

If you have a personal blog, it’s a bit different. The very nature of your blog posts means the information you’re sharing differs vastly; you’re sharing an insight into your life, sharing quite a lot about yourself. Your topics will change from week to week, and it will always be of interest to your followers because that’s why they’re following you. You might have a lifestyle blog, and they’re interested in your specific lifestyle, or a hobby blog and they’re interested in your latest creations, or it could be a photography blog and they’re dying to see your new photographs.

If you’ve got a blog that constantly has completely fresh content, this it isn’t quite as true. But if you’re writing a business blog and blogging about a specific niche subject in business, or you’re a coach blogging about business in general, and all you’re doing is telling people to read your blog posts, they’re going to hit a wall. They’re going to shut off and stop reading, because they’re thinking, “I’ve read five posts about this, and they’re great and everything, but what else?

This is the awful truth about the nature of our consumerist society.

People are always thinking, “Great, but what else?”

It’s the buy one, get one free mentality. You buy into something and expect to get something else as well for free.

You say, “Read my blog post!”

They say, “Sure! Great! I’ve read it. What else do I get?

This is how we evolved into a system in which list-building hinges on giving away freebies and opt-ins, because it’s not enough to write a post and at the end of it, say, “If you want to read more of my blog posts, sign up for my newsletter!”

Because the response will always be, “Great, I’d love to read more of your blog posts, but what else?”

There will always be a “but what else?”

The Golden Ratio…

The “but what else” where the cornfield paradox is concerned is telling people about you, and your business, and your blog, in such a way that you’re only expecting them to ‘buy’ into it a small part of the time.

The golden ration is 80/20.

80% of the time, you should let them get to know you, seeing what you do, and gain insights into your daily life.

You might ask them questions, share behind the scenes snaps, useful information beyond your own blog, inspirational quote or memes. You want to build engagement and get a conversation going. Craft a living, vibrant relationship with your online followers, so that they actually know you quite well outside of what you write in your blog.

If you can build that kind of relationship with your audience, and grow an engaged audience, they will happily read your posts week after week and you’ll reach a point where you don’t need to tell them you have new posts for them to read. They will learn what day you post on and go looking for them.

For example, there is a blog I read religiously, The Bloggess, and she doesn’t have to email me to tell me that she’s got a new blog post, because I automatically check her site weekly. I know new posts will be there and I know they’ll always be funny.

There’s a video reviewer that I follow, who puts out three or four videos a week. I’m not even on his newsletter list, because all his newsletter does is send me a link to his new videos, and I know what days he posts them, so when I’m sitting having my lunch on those days, I automatically go to his site to watch the videos while I’m eating my lunch.

The same is true for my favourite channels on YouTube: I know what days Denise Duffield-Thomas, and Marie Forleo‘s videos come out every week, so I go and look for them.

Why The Biggest Lie In Marketing Is A Paradox…

The Cornfield Paradox is paradoxical because it does and doesn’t work.

If you create content, if you’ build it’, people will come and you will develop an audience, but only if you go the extra mile and tell people you have built it. Tell people enough about yourself and what you have built to ensure they are interested enough to keep coming back and remain engaged, interested and reading/watching the content that you’ve put out.

Are You Struggling With Your Content Marketing?

If (like me) you find there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, and you’re at the point where you need to delegate some essential elements of your business, don’t worry, I totally get it. Content Marketing isn’t for everyone. It’s time-consuming, often tedious, and requires a phenomenal amount of time, effort, and expertise.

Why not let me do it for you?

Unsure about hiring a copywriter? I totally get that too. That’s why I offer all new clients a totally free blog post to test run my services before they decide whether to invest. Grab your free post (no string attached!) now!

How To Use Corporate Storytelling To Empower And Skyrocket Your Blog

This week I’m going to be talking about exactly how to use corporate storytelling to empower your business and skyrocket your blog.

Last week was National Storytelling Week, and I did a special video about stories and why they are so awesome and amazing. I promised you I would be back with more details on exactly how to use corporate storytelling to build a phenomenally powerful brand, and create a marketing powerhouse in the form of your blog. 

There are loads of ways to use stories to build your brand and market your business; I would literally be here all day if I tried to go through all of them. So this post will focus on five, and I will be back later to explain some of the rest….

 

How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Emotional Punch

One of the most vital ways to use stories to empower your business is through the emotional impact they have; stories pack a real emotional punch.

There is a false perception in the business world that marketing has to be very logical, very clinical, very unemotional. The theory goes, “There is no feeling in business”.

Sorry, I’m calling bullshit, that’s a load of crap; there are loads of feelings in business.

People are really emotional beings – thoughts, actions, and most importantly, decisions all turn on emotion, and stories carry some of the strongest emotions going.

Science tells us that LOGIC + EMOTIONS = DECISIONS.

Most of us have the logical part of marketing down. Most of us understand that if we explain, in a way people can comprehend, what their problem is and how we can fix it, they are going to buy from us; that’s the logical course to take in marketing.

The problem with this approach though is that it completely lacks emotion. It also often completely lacks anything even vaguely interesting. It’s a very clinical, very sterile way to try to convince people that your brand is right for them, your products and services are right for them, and that they really want to get on board and work with you and nobody else.

That kind of decision takes emotion, that kind of decision takes a connection on an emotional level between you and your potential clients.

Through the use of corporate storytelling you can learn how to craft stories that speak to people on a really deep, emotional, primal level. Stories that compel them to not only buy your products and services, and love your brand, but also become lifelong customers.

Stories can get people invested in you and your brand a hell of a lot quicker than anything else. And because of that emotional connection, people are going to move to action faster. Stories trigger people to action far quicker than anything else because they talk to their emotions as well as the logical parts of their brain; they tap into both at once.

There is a logical narrative to a story that can explain something in an easily understood, logical manner. But there is also an emotional narrative that’s going on at the same time, which makes you feel a certain way.

And what is it that all marketing does? It tries to get people to act on a call to action.

Marketing is built on calls to action.

We put them in everything – blog post, sales pitches, web copy, newsletters; everything. Calls to action get us paid; stories make people act. 

How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Memories

Another great way stories empower your business is that they are truly memorable. How many times have you listened to a seriously dull sales pitch? You hung up the phone, logged off your email, switched off the Telly, or just walked away and started talking to somebody else, and within five seconds you have completely forgotten that pitch. You may have a vague recollection of it if somebody mentions it, but you won’t remember the specifics, you won’t remember the main points that all the marketing behind that pitch were trying to get across to you.

There’s a simple reason for that: the majority of marketing is just not memorable.

If you want your points to stick, if you want people to retain the information you’re so painstakingly telling them, you need to craft a message that is truly, truly memorable.

A memorable message consists of your key points, very clearly articulated and nothing else

Stories are a way to quickly and easily make your points in a compelling manner that people actually remember, without having to go into a load of detail that they don’t care about and don’t need to know, that’s just going to put them off and drown your real message.

Stories trigger emotional responses in us, and those emotional responses translate to memories.

When somebody tells you a story and it affects you in any way, good or bad, if it has an emotional effect on you, you’re going to remember it. Whether it makes you feel happy, sad, uplifted, empowered, or simply makes you laugh, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to remember it.

That is an astonishingly powerful tool to use in your marketing. You can tell a story, and use it to put across your marketing message, your pitch, and the points that you have to drive home. But because it’s a story you have done it in such a way that it’s not only entertaining or empowering or uplifting or funny, it’s memorable, people will remember it.

Another tenet of marketing is that it takes a lot of touching to get people to buy into your brand.

I’m not being dodgy. I mean you have to connect with people multiple times before they will actually get on board and buy what you are selling. They might read a tweet, an email, or a blog post, see a video, get your newsletter; it doesn’t matter what the form of contact is. You need to be talking to people, touching them, and connecting with them multiple times before they will actually relate to you enough, and be invested in you enough to part with their money.

If you combine the power of video and stories (because video is the most powerful media there is available), you have an astonishingly powerful marketing tool at your disposal.

People remember stories and the messages they carry much more quickly than they do everything else. There is a reason that adverts on telly often tell stories.  Which adverts do you prefer? Which adverts do you actually pay attention to? Which adverts do you remember? They are the ones that tell a story, the ones that make you feel something, those are the only ones you remember.

You can’t buy a brand if you can’t remember what the brand is.

How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Distinct Brand

So, now that you know that stories are emotionally powerful and extremely memorable, let’s talk branding.

Specifically, how to use stories to make your brand more powerful.

The answer is really simple: archetypes.

Archetypes are stories that have been and will be around forever. They crop up in every single culture across the world in one form or another, same story, different characters, different details; these are archetypes. There are archetypal plots, and archetypal characters; you can use both in your branding. They are really simple and very effective ways of crafting a stupendously powerful brand that is also very distinct. 

The thing with branding is you need to be able to create a really memorable brand; a brand that is very distinct, that does something, says something, supplies something that only you can do.

That’s the only way to create a strong brand.

If your brand wishy-washy and unclear on what it represents, if it’s just, ‘Same old, same old, everybody else does this, what’s new? I don’t care!’, then nobody is going to pay any attention. A brand needs something distinct that sets it apart, something that differentiates it from the competition. 

Stories are the perfect way of putting across your ideas, your principles, your methods, your products in such a way that they simultaneously talk to people on an instinctual, primal level, which they intuitively recognize and respond to, and at the same time create a brand that’s very different.

This is the magic of archetypes.

Archetypes give you the blueprint. You are the dressing, the details: your personal experiences, your philosophies, your education, your background, your aspirations, your passions, your goals. These elements of you are the characters and details you are going to infuse that archetype with, and craft a story everybody already knows, but make it yours.

You create a brand that is universally understood, completely different, and entirely your own, all at the same time.

That is one of the strongest ways that stories can empower your business: giving you a distinct brand.

But stories can also be used in this way to empower your blogging. Filter all of your blogging efforts through the archetype system, when you use archetypes – archetypal plots, archetypal characters – to tell your story, to explain to people what you are doing, who you are, what you have, and how it will make their lives better. Suddenly you go from being a ‘Same old, same old’ to a ‘Oh my God, I want more! Oh my God! I must have that’.

The way to get people to have that gut reaction, that visceral ‘I must have that now!’ response is to make yourself stand out. To make yourself so unique, so interesting that people just want more. 

Want more on archetypes? Check out How To Use Archetypes To Revamp Your Vision Into An Irresistible Brand…

How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Imaginative Spark

Stories capture the imagination, they are inherently interesting.

Stories are what we turn to when we’re bored.

How often have you been bored to tears at work, come home, slumped on the sofa and switched on the telly?

Why?

You’re looking for something interesting, something fun, something to take your mind off all that mind-numbing work you have done all day.

You are looking for stories.

And they are supplied in the most insane numbers these days, they are everywhere. Gone are the days when the only forms of stories were told around the campfire. We have bookshops, websites, and e-readers that are full of them. And if we haven’t got enough stories from our books, we can switch on the telly or go to the cinema and there are a million more.

TV is nothing but stories.

It doesn’t matter what channel you’re on – the news is stories, TV shows are stories, films are stories, every single thing you watch on television, including the adverts, are stories. 

So if the we turn to stories for fun, why on earth don’t we use stories in our business to make our business less boring?

How many times have you tried to pitch to somebody and you felt that you were losing them?

How many times have they looked like they were about to fall asleep on you?

How many times have they started checking their phone, their email or just walking the other way when you are talking to them?

You’re not holding their interest. And that is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s really difficult to hold people’s attention these days. Our attention spans are getting increasingly shorter, but the amount of information that we need to convey is getting increasingly more complicated. Marketing is getting so much harder every year, because the things we have to explain to people, the things we have to convince them of, are getting more and more complex. And yet, they are not able to pay attention as long as they used to be. It’s getting to the point where people need to get your message in the space of seconds or you’ll lose them.

When you only have a few minutes, or even just a few seconds to capture somebody’s attention, you need something that will capture their imagination rather than boring them to tears. 

Stories are the way you keep people’s interest; they are inherently interesting. If you tell them right, they are not only interesting, they are incredibly entertaining. You want your audience to be informed and entertained at the same time. 

How To Use Corporate Storytelling: The Motivation

Stories also have a massive motivational impact on us. If you have gone to all the effort of connecting with people on an emotional level, if you have managed to explain your methods to them in a way that they can understand and relate to, if you have made it memorable, if you have differentiated yourself from the competition and really stood out from the crowd, and if you have kept them entertained in the process, you are almost home.

There is only one more thing that you have to do, but it’s vital.

You have to motivate them. You have to get them to actually take action.

As I said earlier, marketing is all about getting people to act upon a call to action.

What exactly does that mean? And how exactly do you get people to act? How do you motivate them to take the specific action you want them to take?

All good stories have a moral at their core. You know the expression, “The moral of the story is…”

You can use the message of your story, the moral of your story, to drive home your point, the objective that you are trying to achieve. You can use the moral of your story to compel people to take the action you want them to take, simply because your story has convinced them that what you want is the right thing to do.

How good is that?

Stories can convince people to do what you want them to do, not because you have tricked them into it, not because you have flashed a load of shiny objects at them and offered them a load of free stuff, not because you have undercut the competition, not because of any of the marketing tricks you can think of, but simply because it is the right thing for them to do.

And the majority of people are hardwired to always do the right thing if they can. 

So, now you are on board with the how and exactly what stories can do for your business, you probably want to get down to the nitty-gritty and figure out exactly what it is you need to be doing, day in, day out, to use stories in this way, and to get that awesome power into your marketing.

Don’t worry; I am here to help.

I will be back with more tips and tricks on how to use corporate storytelling in your business really soon. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video! 

How To Use Corporate Storytelling To Empower And Skyrocket Your Blog (6)

The Golden Trident: 3 Magic Steps For Kick-Ass, Killer Blogging

The Golden Trident is part of my Divine Blogging Design, which is my signature blogging method. Now, those of you who are familiar with mythology may have seen tridents at some point. Certainly if you know anything about Poseidon, God of the Sea, you will have seen him running around, touting his trident. Even if you’re unfamiliar with mythology you will have almost certainly watched The Little Mermaid. Ariel’s father is essentially Poseidon, and he runs (or rather, swims!) about with a golden trident – a big staff with a three-pointed fork on the end. 

In the Divine Blogging Design there are three absolutely vital steps that you really have to take. They are the power rods of the whole system, these steps are going to make your content shine. It will ensure you produce consistent content your readers will love, and it’s going to rapidly build your tribe.

Basically, it’s the shiz.

As it happens there are three steps, and three prongs on a trident. So I thought, “Hmm. I’ll call it The Golden Trident!”

These are the three things that you absolutely have to do when you’re blogging to make sure that you’re always writing for your ideal reader, that you will always, absolutely nail your content.

#1 – Your Ideal Reader

This really is the core of the Divine Blogging Design. It’s what it’s all about….

You have to know who you are writing for.

A lot of people really fall down on this. They think, “Well, I’m writing for business women,” or “I’m writing for mothers,” or “I’m writing for stay at home dads.”

It doesn’t matter who your target audience is, they are going to be a lot more specific than you think. They are going to like much more specific things than you expect. But more than that, there is a lot more to them than just the reason that they come to you.

Do they really want to read about the reason they are coming to you?

If you use me as the example, I’m a copywriter. That’s what I do for my clients; that’s what they come to me for, they want copy. But do they really want to read about copywriting?

Do they want to read about the process of copywriting?

Do they want to read about how you find jobs as a copywriter?

Do they want to know the ins and outs of grammar?

Do they want to know all the intricate things I have to know and learn as a copywriter? Probably not.

If they did, they wouldn’t be looking to hire a copywriter, they would be looking to be their own copywriter.

There is a very big difference.

If you think about your work and what you do, if you actually stop and think about it, depending on what you do, you will likely find that the things that you actually do day in and day out in your job are not the things that your readers want to know about. You’re trying to attract people who will hire you to do that for them. Why would they want to know how to do it themselves? If the goal is to attract people who want to do it for themselves, what would they need you for?

If you write about what you do, you will end up attracting people who want to know how you do what you do, and that might be a good thing if you’re a coach. But if you’re not very careful you’ll end up attracting almost the right audience, but not quite.

The results of that is you produce out all of this great content, but because it’s for the wrong audience you’re still not getting any clients. And we don’t want that.

You need to really know your ideal reader. Know exactly how they tick, what they want to read about, how often you should be giving them exactly what they want to read about, and how often you should be varying your content with other relevant topics. The Divine Blogging Design is based on character archetypes, which will tell you all of this information is fabulous detail.

#2 Q & T

The second fork on the trident is what I call Q & T. Quality & Truth.

Quality Content…

Quality is a given. It’s a given that everything you produce needs to be extremely high quality. But have you stopped to consider that quality is not only about having well-written or well-recorded content?

It’s about the nature of the content you produce and how interesting it is on a week in, week out basis.

Think of it this way, how many blogs do you follow by people who are money experts, or PR experts? Week in, week out, they tell you about whatever it is that they do. One example I can think of is an absolutely brilliant PR coach that I follow, fabulous, fabulous woman, her content is absolutely brilliant. But week in, week out for about a year, every single post she wrote was the same.

After a few weeks I just stopped reading them, because she had said it all already.

She wasn’t giving me anything new, she wasn’t giving me anything different. She was still giving me exactly what I wanted as a potential customer, but because she was saying the same thing over and over in a slightly different way, I just completely lost interest.

You need to not only know what your clients want, and what they want to read, and why they’re coming to you specifically, you also need to know what else they want to know about. This will be related to what you do but adds a bit of variety.

The archetypes in The Divine Blogging Design help you to see which areas you should be writing about and how often to write about them.

In order to have really high quality content you also need to have versatile content. You need to have a variety of content. You need to switch it up every now and again. You can’t just have content that repeatedly tells people week in, week out, this is how you blog…this is how you blog…this is how you blog…this is how you blog.

Even if you really love blogging, even if you just live and die for knowledge about blogging, there comes a point when it’s like, “You’ve said this already! Give me something new, give me something different. For the love of God, switch it up a bit, would ya?”

This is exactly why on my blog I don’t talk about blogging every week.

Shocking, I know, but I don’t.

I don’t even talk about writing every week. I talk about entrepreneurship, how to cope with the various stresses and strains of being an entrepreneur, and various other things to do with marketing; I talk about loads of different stuff. All of it relates to what I do, and relates to what my readers are doing, but it’s not the same every week. If can’t be. If it is, you’re just going to lose people. 

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Be True To You…

Always be true to yourself in everything you write. There is no point trying to put on a persona, a front, or a mask when you write and record content because people will see right through it.

You will have one of two reactions to that kind of content:

People won’t connect with you at all, because they can’t relate to you and won’t really care about what you’re saying. And you might find it a bit interesting but it will be quite flat. It’s the equivalent of somebody talking to you in a monotone. Did you ever have a lecturer at uni or college who had a really droning voice. They spoke in the same tone for an hour solid and expected you to somehow pay attention. That’s the effect you achieve when you pretend to be something you’re not. Even if you don’t mean to, even if you try and play a really interesting character, it’s not really who you are and it will simply come across as fake.

Unless you’re a really, really good actor it’s just not going to work.

And at the end of the day, is it really worth all that effort? Going through all that effort to pretend to be somebody that you’re not on the off chance that people will relate to that more than they will to you.

The real you is fabulous, you don’t need to be anyone else!

When you are creating your content, be yourself. I wear my own clothes, I don’t put on business clothes and try and look posh and corporate because it’s just not me. I write as I would speak. I don’t use overly formal terms, phrases and expressions and I don’t really use academic language. I can write in academic language; I have an academic background. If I need to do it I do. But for blogging, that’s not really where I want to be, I don’t want to be in an academic, formal, overly precise zone. That’s not how I speak, and that’s not how I would talk to you if we were having a conversation. Blogging is essentially a conversation, and airs and graces just don’t work. You need to be a real, genuine person with quirks and flaws.

This is especially important if your branding is anything like my branding. If you have a personal brand, if your photograph is all over your brand, if you are really trying to infuse a sense of your personal ethos and passion and creativity into your branding, it is so important that you are yourself when you write.

If you try to be somebody else, it just won’t work.

#3 Hustle

The final branch on our magical, shiny golden trident is hustle.

I’m going to say that again: Hustle!

Here is a bit of a truth bomb for you…

Your content doesn’t promote itself!

The fact that you have published it isn’t enough to get it seen, because nobody knows it’s there. Social media is a brilliant way around this – it was literally made for content. You need to be promoting your content on social media, and I mean a lot.

Don’t send one tweet and think that’s it; that’s not it.

One tweet has a shelf life of about fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes after you post that tweet nobody is ever going to see it again.

You need to be tweeting about a post, not once, but several times on the day that post it. I’m talking at least five times, ten if you can. Then on subsequent days make sure you tweet about it again. You don’t just have to do it on the day you publish, but the whole of that week, or that month, depending on how often you blog.

Keep tweeting!

Also, it’s not enough that your followers see your tweets. The point here is to get more followers and expand your audience so you need to be hashtagging the living hell out of those tweets, with relevant keywords, to make sure people who don’t know you yet find you through your contact.

If you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, whatever, make sure you are posting your content, not just when you publish it but afterwards as well. For Facebook, don’t go nuts. Post it the day you publish it, post it again a couple of days later, and a week later. Have a schedule set up so that you know exactly how often you should promote each blog post, on each of your social media platforms.

If you can, automate it, that’s really, really important. It’s going to save you a shed load of time. Get something like CoSchedule, which lets you publish your blog posts to all your social media sites at the same time. Set up a template that you use for each of your posts, it will automatically populate the social media messages that you send out.

I’m telling you, it’s lifesaving.

If you haven’t watched it already, check out my Masterclass in How and Why You Should Be Using CoSchedule, that will explain it more. 

Social media aside, what can you be doing to really, really hustle? And I mean it now, you have to hustle. Unless you already have a huge following on at least one of your social media platforms, social media marketing alone is not going to be enough.

A few other options to consider:

  • Advertising – if you are already posting on social media the easiest way to do this is to use social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising.
  • You also need to be guest posting. This is where you write full content, give it to somebody else, and let them post it on their site, and promote it on their social media, and put it in front of their audiences.
  • The final thing I want to mention is PR. PR is so important. Guest posting is a part of PR but it kind of takes it to the next level and sees you doing things like posting for theHuffington PostTiny Buddha, and Mind, Body, Green, as well as other sites that take guest bloggers, and who have an audience that might be interested in what you’re saying. But, more importantly, they are have recognizable names that your audience will know and pay attention to. For example, when people hear that I’m a Huffington Post blogger, they know what the Huffington Post is, they recognize that as a major news distributor. And it’s a bit of a feather in my cap. Guess what? The more feathers you put in your cap, the better and bigger your cap becomes. It’s a bit like pirates – the bigger the hat, the better.

So my darlings, that is The Golden Trident:

  1. Know Your Ideal Reader – what is their character archetype, what does that tell you about them?
  2. Q&T – Quality & Truth. Give your audience quality, variety, and value. Be true to you
  3. Hustle your little ass off.

Are you struggling with your blogging? What’s bothering you? Let me know, I’d love to help!

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft

With Halloween on the horizon and National Novel Writing Month hot on its heels, my thoughts have turned to one thing: witchcraft. More specifically, the ways in which the secrets to blogging success are not actually writing secrets at all, but secrets of THE CRAFT. As such I’m delighted to present you with a SUPER MEGA POST this week, as my Halloween Special!

Don’t Freak Out…

I’m not about to bespell you with magic and hex you into oblivion. As many of you know, while I’m a fabulous copywriter by day, I’m also a fearsome fantasy author by night. I know a thing or two about magic. In fact, my main series of Urban Fantasy novels is all about magical women.

Witches, in fact.

Chasing Azrael, the first in this series, is all about a necromancer, and the second and third books, Death Becomes Me and Bespell My Heart (which I’ll be working on next month during NaNo this year), are about a very powerful witch of a different kind.

Witchcraft is kinda my thing.

So it should come as no surprise that I spend a lot of time thinking about magic, and Halloween is my favourite holiday. I simply love Halloween. This year, as I was pondering my blog schedule and a suitably spooky post to write for you all to celebrate the season it struck me that many of the secrets of successful blogging have a lot in common with witchcraft. My own personal brand of blogging – The Divine Blogging Design – is especially attuned to these magical influences, not least because one of the twelve patron goddesses of my signature blogging method is Gaia, the mother goddess, and the goddess many Wiccans pray and witches worship.

Weird Coincidences…

As it so happens she’s also the goddess on the cover of the grimoire I’m currently writing in while I work on Bespell My Heart (it’s the purple one you can see in the photos). The coincidence of this hit me when I realised that Gaia is also the patron goddess of today’s blog post, making a post about the link between blogging and witchcraft kinda perfect for both Halloween, and my schedule. (I rotate through the twelve goddesses in a special order which determines my blogging schedule, you can learn all about this by signing up to take part in The Divine Blogging Challenge, which is coming very soon!)

The Divine Blogging Design uses archetypes to determine what kinds of content your ideal client will value most, which topics you should blog about, and in what frequency. It also helps you refine your voice so that it is authentically you, but also speaks directly to your ideal client. There are twelve archetypes, each represented by a goddess (hence the name), one of whom is your patron goddess. Your patron goddess governs the bulk of your blog posts. The subject you write on, tone and intention you have each week is determined by the goddess governing that week. Gaia is but one of these twelve goddesses, and she is not my patron goddess. If she were she would show up on the blog schedule every three weeks and it wouldn’t be much of a coincidence. But since Athena is my patron goddess, and Gaia is one of my secondary goddesses, I only blog in Gaia’s voice once every ten weeks.

And low and behold, the first post she’s ruling over happens the be immediately before Halloween… Spooky.

But there’s more to the notion that blogging secrets are actually witchcraft than one little coincidence…

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Words Have Power

Secrets to Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft…

#1 Words Have Power

In witchcraft the written and spoken word is a form of power. Words are literal power. Witches uses incantations and chanting to channel magic, through language, to a specific purpose in order to achieve the desired outcome. The majority of witchcraft requires words in one form or another, either as written spells that form a recipe to follow, or as spoken spells, curses, hexes, and incantations. Even non-witches uses curses and harness the magical power of words…

It’s called cursing when we swear for a reason – swear words are considered stronger and more powerful than normal alternatives. They’re even taboo for some people to utter. Just like a witch’s curse.

Invoking the power of a person’s name works for a reason – how often have you ‘full-named’ a child, friend, or loved one, to get their attention, emphasise a point, or put them in their place? Names have power…

Your True Power As A Blogger..

This is the greatest of the secrets to blogging success and it’s so simple: put the right words, in the right order, for the right people, and suddenly you have something magical on your hands.

You must never underestimate the power of words. If you get them right they can do wonders for your business. If you get them wrong, they can not only derail your business but get you in serious trouble, both personally and professionally. The best case scenario of a badly worded blog is that people will think you’re unprofessional, or simply not very good at what you do, and go elsewhere. The worst case scenario is that you will damage your client base and lose existing business, or (in the very worst case scenario), earn a bad reputation.

Words are powerful, do not underestimate them.

I’ll be drawing many comparisons between witchcraft and blogging in this post, but the greatest one of them all is quite simply that they are both referred to by the same name, the same words, because they are both essentially the same thing.

Words woven together create magic. Whether it’s in the form of a hex, a helpful lesson, a funny story, or an inspiring tale, those of us who know how to harness the power of words for our own ends are using magic whether we realise it or not. And whether you’re a witch or a wordsmith, that talent is referred to by the same name:

THE CRAFT.

The craft of writing is the most powerful tool at a blogger’s disposal. Practice it, refine it, hone it. You don’t have to be an award-winning author to blog, but the reality is that the better you are with words, the you will be at blogging. It’s that simple. A successful blog requires an accomplished wordsmith. If that’s not you then you have two choices: refine your own writing abilities, or hire someone else to write your blog for you.

Blogging Success Secret: Respect the craft and never underestimate the power of words. Get them right, even if it means learning to become a better writer, or hiring a copywriter.

#2 Pure Intentions

There’s a great deal about witchcraft that comes back to intent. According to magical theory, all forms of magic have an element of karma about them. If your intent is pure, your result will be as you wished it. If you have evil intentions, something will go awry, or you will pay for it further down the line.

This is especially true of love spells.

Most witchcraft and spell guides I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot, research and all that…) agree on the point that casting a spell to draw love to you is a good thing. It opens you up to possibilities and to the arrival of positive things in your life – potentially even a soul mate. But casting a love spell on a specific person is very different. You are effectively forcing that person to love you, against their will, against their natural emotions. That’s a form of mind control, of manipulation, and it’s in no way good. It’s selfish, and will inevitably go wrong.

In short, karma’s a bitch.

Successful blogging depends on pure intentions. If you’re out to make green and nothing else, it shows. If you are constantly trying to sell, sell, sell, you’ll get nowhere. If, on the other hand, you open yourself up to the possibility of working with people, by freely offering content specifically tailored to their needs, without the expectation of anything in return and without forcing the issue, good things will come your way.

No exceptions. No expectations.

The most you will ever ‘charge’ for a blog post is a request to sign up to a mailing list, so that your reader can get more of your lovely free content. And if you’re doing it right, even that comes with a bonus gift. You don’t require people to sign up to read your blog, you request it, and you give them something of value in return.

It’s not about you. It’s about them.

At least, it should be.

If you’re blogging for business then yes, of course your intention is to promote your business. Nobody would expect otherwise, it’s a business blog after all, and there are plenty of hobby blogs out there that have no corporate angle what so ever. If people don’t want to be ‘sold to’ they can go elsewhere. But there are ways of doing things. The golden 80/20 rule tells us that 80% of the content we produce should be freely given, without any expectation of something in return. 20% can be created with the hope that it generates income. One easy way to do this in blogging is to have a membership site. A free blog that is available to all, with a small percentage of content available only to those who pay a membership fee. But this content is PREMIUM. It is SUPERIOR to that which you give away.

And you have to give away a hell of a lot before people will buy into a club. They need to know, like, and trust you first, understand how you work, what you have to offer. They need to have seen, week after week, that you’re worth it. You need to have proven that your intentions are pure, and even when the offer of a product or service is on the table, it’s there with the understanding that if you don’t want it, there’s no problem, you can keep enjoying the free stuff.

Blogging Success Secret: Set your intentions for every blog post you write, for your business, and for your blogging efforts. Ensure those intentions are 100% pure – if they’re not it will come back and bite you on the arse.

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Crystal Magic

#3 Crystal Magic

As well as the need to be pure in your intention when you’re getting your craft on, you also need to be very clear. If you’re even slightly fuzzy you might well find yourself on the wrong end of your own spell.

It’s not enough to have good intentions, you need to have a crystal clear objective.

Crystal magic is often used by Wiccans, pagans, witches, and people who are a little ‘woo woo’. Denise Duffield Thomas, the money manifesting genius behind LuckyBitch.com, and the author of Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, is really into crystals and I love it! Check out her recent Instagram post in which she shows off a rather gorgeous crystal board that she was using to help manifest a money goal she was working on…

Denise Duffield Thomas LuckyBitch.com Manifesting Money With Crystals Law of Attraction 5 Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft

I love this! Denise is using crystals here to focus her attention on her goal. She’s written her goal down on paper – setting it, making it very clear, and reinforcing it with the power of words – placed it in the middle of a circle, and surrounded it by crystals to amplify her intentions and really hone her focus.

There’s no way she can look at that grid and not think about the goal at its heart.

Goal Clarity…

Denise is using her crystals to manifest a goal she is working on (manifesting goals is her specialty, so if you’re interested in that you should definitely check out LuckyBitch.com). In witchcraft, crystals are used in much the same way, to focus your intentions and clarify your objectives. Crystals themselves have a magical quality about them: they look magical; they often have great sentimental or monetary value; magical objects are frequently made or decorated with crystals; and they have some fairly amazing scientific properties that will impress you even if you don’t believe in magic. When using them in rituals you select specific crystals based on their attributes. For example, jasper is an earth crystal used in healing magic and for grounding and centering after rituals. It’s also used as a talisman for luck.

What are your objectives?

Just as you must choose the appropriate crystal to focus your intention on a specific goal in witchcraft, you must set your intention with every blog post your write, and clearly define what your objective is for that post. What are you trying to do?

Educate?

Build your list?

Drive sales?

Grow your Instagram following?

A big blogging mistake a lot of people make is to have a list of objectives and a blog, and think that blogging will magically (ahem…pun intended) achieve those objectives. This misconception is unfortunately reinforced by a lot of business coaches and gurus who tout the need to blog weekly and consistently without ever explaining that having a business blog isn’t enough. Just blogging each week isn’t enough. If you’re not being very specific in your intention and objective for each and every post you write, you will never achieve your goals.

You need a master list of blogging objectives, but this should be used as a reference while planning your wider blogging strategy.

One post. One objective. And it has to be crystal clear.

The Difference Between Clear And Fuzzy Objectives

Let’s say one of your objectives is to grow your email list. Blogging once a week won’t grow your list. You might get a trickle, the odd sign up here and there, but your conversion rate will be very low.

You need to have blog posts with content upgrades (associated freebies that people will sign up to access) so the post itself is one giant call to action, and a taste of what your reader will get for free when they sign up.

Having a box at the bottom of each post saying ‘Sign up to my newsletter’ is NOT ensuring your blog is growing your list.

Not even close.

Not even if you have a box that says ‘Sign up for my newsletter and get this free thing’. This is a fuzzy objective. You want your blog, as a whole, to achieve it for you, but you’re not really putting any effort into it. You’re just expecting it to happen. A clear objective sees you using specific posts in a targeted way to action your objective. Different posts can have different objectives: as long as each post has one totally clear goal it will work.

Getting Crystal Clear…

Unless the freebie on offer is directly related to the blog’s specific topic, there’s no guarantee your reader is interested in what you’re giving away. Even if they are interested, there’s no guarantee they’re interested now. We’re fickle creatures with limited attention spans and we’re constantly time poor. It’s hard enough to find the time to read, and will to concentrate on, a blog post about something we need/want right now. Your reader just isn’t going to go the extra mile for something they don’t need/want immediatelyWhat they need/want immediately is what they’re already reading! For that blog post to convert into new signups to your list, both it and the freebie associated with it need to be optimised and incentivised to one very specific topic, with several calls to action:

Sign up for more of this!

Sign up for a cheat sheet that helps you do this!

Sign up to download the amazing thing this blog post has demonstrated!

Sign up to action this blog post right now!

Blogging Success Secret: Ensure you are crystal clear about your objectives for every post you write, and for your blog as a whole. Revisit your objectives regularly, as they may change. Focus your attention on one specific goal for each post.

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Grimoire

#4 Grimoires

One thing witches are renowned for are spellbooks filled with potions, curses, the history of witchcraft, the use of various ingredients, hexes and the like.

A grimoire, or Book of Shadows, is partly a spellbook, but it’s so much more than that: it’s the collected knowledge of a witch, as well as her own signature methods of practicing witchcraft. Sure you’ll find its pages packed with the recipes for her favourite spells, hexes, and curses,  not all of which will be original, but you’ll also find information on the best herbs to use for each, how to grow them, where to find them, the proper way to conduct certain rituals, diarised accounts of her practice, what worked and what didn’t, and a lot of information gathered from other sources.

No two grimoires are the same.

These aren’t books you walk into a shop and buy, or order on Amazon. They’re specific to the witch that wrote them, containing only things she herself knows and has personally experienced. It will be informed by the knowledge of others, but it is far more than the sum of what she has been taught because she’s poured herself into it. She may share that knowledge with other witches, who can learn from her, but they will also learn from others, and develop their own special brand of magic, their own personal methods, which they will write their own grimoire.

A grimoire is the essence of a witch’s practice of the craft.

Your blog is your grimoire.

It should be a collection of your unique knowledge, methods, insights, and the culmination of all your expertise. Yes, there will be things you don’t share freely on it, which are held back for paying clients (superior or advanced information, services, and physical products), but those things are just part of a different volume of the same grimoire. Your blog should be completely unique, not a cobbling together of things you’ve stolen from others. It’s personal. That doesn’t mean you need to bare your soul and share every detail of your private life online. You can, and some people do, but it’s not always a good idea.

What it does mean is that your blog needs to be authentic.

It needs to be a distillation of you, your brand, and what you have to offer. Given that, you may wonder how a copywriter can possibly write your blog for you, but here’s the thing: words have power (see #1). If your written accounting of your business is not completely up to snuff, your business will suffer for it. And writing may not be your thing. It may be something you’re disinclined to do, haven’t got the time for, or are unable to do to the standard you need. Words have power. The words associated with your business are particularly powerful.

A copywriter takes all the raw magic you give them and hones it with their own powerful brand of magic to supercharge it, your blog, and your business.

But you don’t need a copywriter to write your blog for you. You’re quite capable of doing it yourself, the question is, do you want to? Do you have time? Are you good enough yet? And if not, do you have the time, inclination, and ability to learn?

Blogging Success Secret: Your blog is a collection of all your expertise, use it to showcase your zone of genius, demonstrate just how good you are, and most importantly, show you are completely unique in what you do – nobody does it quite like you do!

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Bones

#5 Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones…

Animal bones are often used in witchcraft for a variety of things. They’re used in divination (see #6), in a similar manner to runes and tarot cards. They’re also used in hexes and spell casting to invoke the spirit and power of the animal they come from. They’re used as sacrificial offerings to various deities, and they have an aesthetic appeal that leads to them being used as decorative items – skulls in particular, are very popular. Witches are also generally associated with bones. In Russian folklore, for example, the great witch Baba Yaga lived in a house surrounded by a fence made of bones, and the house was supported by boney chicken legs (if you’re wondering how I know these things, you should read ‘Grave’, a short story of mine published in the fairytale anthology Willow, Weep No More). Bones are also a symbol of death, used to commune with the spirit world.

They’re tools.

What does this have to do with blogging success?

Ever heard the phrase ‘make your bones’?

It’s actually a bastardised Americanism for ‘establish one’s bona fides’. In blogging, and in business, you have to make your bona fides.

Bona fide literally means ‘real, genuine, or authentic’, and ‘without the intention to deceive’. We covered the need for pure intentions, but the need for authenticity in business and in blogging is huge. It’s so big it ties into every point in this post related to blogging success.

More than that, the phrase has taken on different connotations since it changed to ‘bones’ rather than ‘bona fides’.

Bones comprise a skeleton, without which the body can’t function. Making your bones, taken literally, means you have to first establish a skeleton before you can stand, walk, run, do anything. Without your skeleton, you’re a puddle of goo on the floor. Consider also that the lack of a backbone is seen to be a very bad thing. If you’re ‘spineless’ you’re weak, you don’t stand for anything, and you can’t stand up for yourself. You don’t know what you’re doing.

A spine of steel, on the other hand, is synonymous with success, power, strength.

What does all this mean?

Your blogging efforts need structure. It’s not enough to simply blog, as we’ve already established you need to set your intention and have a crystal clear objective for every post you write. You also need to have a strong structure in your blogging efforts, a skeleton on which to build everything. Each blog post must be well structured on its own, and must also build into a greater whole that is stronger still. You must be consistent in your efforts, or the structure will be uneven, and you can’t expect to launch a successful business off the back of a blog (or any content marketing strategy), until that structure is in place.

Until it’s well established.

For example, nobody is going to buy into a membership club on a website if there is little existing content on the site to demonstrate the benefits of the membership club, and show what the site is all about. The more authentic you are, the more structured and consistent your blog is, the more people will come to know, like, and trust you, and the stronger your business will become. The more likely they will be to buy into your club (or whatever else you’re offering).

Blogging Success Secret: Make your bones – build a solid foundation for your blog and ensure you are authentic in everything you do online.

(Please don’t worry, no animals or humans perished for the sake of my photographs!)

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Divination

#6 Divination

At first glance it may seem divination – the study of a situation or future question using tools and rituals to gain insight – has little to do with blogging. But many people seek out readings in an effort to better understand their lives. Likewise, witches use divination to guide them in their own lives and practices, help them make important decisions, plan for the future, and achieve clarity in questions they may have about current or future situations. By actively seeking this clarity ahead of time, and acting on it, a witch is able to better guide herself on a path of her choosing and (hopefully) be a greater agent of her own destiny.

Tarot cards, runes, crystal balls, scrying, palmistry, they’re all ways of gaining divine insight. Creating order from chaos. Like crystals and bones, they’re tools, and they’re the same tools we use in business and blogging.

They just have different names.

Business plans, cash flow forecasts, and schedules, are all used to organise and predict where things are heading. The more information we have, the more confident we feel in making decisions, and when it comes to the big choices, we are often steered more by our premonitions of the future – hopes, dreams, predictions, plans – than we are by actual facts.

The entrepreneurial existence is once of faith.

We know we can do it, we can see it in the cards, we’re just not quite sure how to get there.

We have a brilliant idea, but that’s all it is, an idea, until we take a leap and invest time and money into it and transform that idea, that dream, into a reality. We saw it before it was real and we made it a reality.

If that isn’t divination I don’t know what is.

One of the secrets of blogging success is having a clear plan. This feeds back into our last point regarding structure, as a solid foundation is not build over night – it takes careful planning. It requires you to anticipate the future and work your schedule to what you foresee on the horizon.

Consistency is key when blogging, but true blogging consistency requires a rock solid plan. A schedule. And extremely keen insight into what your business, readers, and clients need.

Sitting down to have your tarot read (which, by the way, I love doing) is a lot like sitting down and planning out your blog schedule. You have certain questions in mind during a reading. You know what elements of your life you want to explore, and a good tarot reader will guide you through the deck and the reading in the directions you have chosen to contemplate.

By the end of the session, the answers to your questions are laid out on the table before you. They are specific to you, personally, and if someone else came in and chanced to glance down, the cards would hold no meaning for them. Another person would see which images were facing up, but without context those images would be meaningless. The most they could do would be to draw their own meaning from what they saw. And that would be totally different to your meaning, your interpretation, because you each have different needs, wants, fears, and uncertainties.

Blogging is exactly like this.

A blog is business specific. When a client comes to me asking for help planning out a blog schedule I am essentially doing a tarot reading for them. They have questions. They have specific goals. They know what needs to be considered and they need guidance to get to the right answers. We look far into the future, six, twelve, eighteen months at a time, and plan accordingly. The schedule I design for one client is never the same as for another. They are entirely unique. In fact if one of my clients looked at another clients’ schedule, they likely wouldn’t understand it, anymore than you would know what the layout of cards on this table means:

Secrets To Blogging Success That Are Actually Witchcraft Divination

I know what it means, it’s the result of my last tarot reading. The answers and clarity that came from the reading will help me, but they’ll do little for you.

Blogging Success Secret: Seek clarity in your blogging efforts. Consider the questions, goals, and needs your business’ unique blog has, and devise a blogging strategy fully informed by that divine insight before you start blogging.

Content Marketing Masterclass: Why And How To Use CoSchedule

Hello gorgeous girls! As part of my continued dedication to helping you all build better blogs and become even more fabulous writers, I will be doing a monthly Copywriting Masterclass. This month’s is a crash course in HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE COSCHEDULE! For those of you who don’t know, CoSchedule is a BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING TOOL and it’s seriously the best investment I ever made for my business. IF YOU BLOG, YOU SHOULD USE COSCHEDULE!

The trouble is, if you’ve never used a tool like this before it’s difficult to appreciate just how amazing it is. Since I started to use CoSchedule I would estimate that I’ve cut the amount of time I spend scheduling posts and organising my social media marketing by half, probably more. It’s difficult to tell because my blog schedule has changed dramatically in that time too, but here’s the crux: I am blogging ten times more often than I used to – many weeks even more than that – and yet I am spending LESS TIME on scheduling and social media management: I’m getting A LOT MORE DONE IN MUCH LESS TIME.

Sound good?

I thought you might like the sound of that! So, without further ado, may I introduce today’s Copywriting Masterclass, introducing you to the PHENOMENALLY POWERFUL BLOGGING TOOL that is COSCHEDULE. I use it. I love it. You need it. Here’s why…

 Why And How To Use CoSchedule

GO HERE TO START YOUR FREE TRIAL OF COSCHEDULE AND GET YOUR BLOG PURRING LIKE A FAT GINGER KITTY…

What did you think of the Masterclass? Was it helpful? Leave a comment below or head on over to my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Let me know what you thought!

I WILL BE TAKING REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MASTERCLASSES!

If there is something specific you would like me to do a Masterclass on, let me know. These classes will be up at an hour in length. These are NOT short tutorials or quick and dirty tricks. These are in-depth looks at some of the pro tools and techniques that you NEED TO KNOW TO REALLY SUPERCHARGE YOUR BLOG. You can let me know on any of my social media channels, by leaving a comment below, or by contacting me directly!

I will be doing more videos and tutorials that are far shorter and cover a range of different topics. Be sure you never miss a video and subscribe to my YouTube channel right now!

Never Miss A Video! SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

 

 

Content Mills: The Pit Falls Of The Word Mines

When you’re running a business and have, like, a million thing to do, regular blogging is tough. Hiring a copywriter is a tempting prospect. Whether it’s for one post here and there, or on a regular basis, knowing there’s someone to lift that burden is a serious comfort. It’s a godsend. But copywriters are expensive. I’m not going to belly dance about the bush on that point. Hiring a copywriter isn’t cheap. The better they are, the more they cost, and it’s tempting – so very tempting – to turn to content mills for posts to fill your blog schedule.

At first blush, content mills are the holy grail – a super-easy way to get a massive amount of content, for a reasonable price.

But there’s a BUT. And it’s a BIG BULBOUS BUT.

Before we explore the deep crevasse of that enormous BUT, let me fill in a few details…

What Are Content Mills?

Content Mills (or The Word Mines as I like to refer to them) are websites dedicated to producing content. Business owners and bloggers provide keywords or topics they want posts on, pay a nominal fee, and receive bucket loads of content.

Here’s an example: Copify

I’m using this site because I’ve worked for them as a writer myself, so I can provide the view from both sides.

Copify is a well-respected, very popular site. They have high standards when it comes to the writers they hire – I know copywriters now at my level, charging the same as me or higher, rejected by Copify. They demand experience, qualifications, and all applicants must write sample posts. If you pass, you join the ranks of the Copify Typing Monkeys. If you fail, your arse hits the curb pretty darn quick.

How Much Do Content Mills Cost?

Let’s talk prices – that’s what you really want to know, right?

Copify have very reasonable fees. You can buy content for the measly price of £0.04/word (believe me, that’s cheap), or you can sign up to a monthly plan and pay £69 for a set amount of content each month.

Sounds glorious, doesn’t it?

£69 a month on Copify will buy you four posts per month, Royalty Free images, auto-publishing, and Social Media sharing.

For the same price, you can get a single blog post from me, with change.

Not kidding.

You’re probably sat there thinking, “Why the hell are you telling me this? Now I’m never going to hire you!”, and you may have a point. But before you scamper off to sign up to Copify, or one of the many other content mills out there, read on…

Pitfalls riddle The Word Mines, and if you’re not very careful, that £69 will be wasted.

Blogging Is A Bloody Hard Slog

I’m not lying. Running a successful blog is difficult. I’m not patronising you. It’s tough.

Even I find blogging tough, and I blog for a living!

Regular blogging is a bloody hard business. It takes a lot of thought, planning, and a serious commitment.

Time. Energy. Patience.

And the work isn’t done once your post is written…in fact, it’s only just begun.

Because you now have to market it.

Blogging is one of those things that we know, as modern business owners, is essential.

But content marketing requires two things in abundance: content and marketing!

I know! Shocking. Also true. You need to have a lot of quality content, you need to post it consistently, you need to make sure it’s tailored to your ideal client, that it’s going to drive sign ups and sales, that you are monetising it as much as humanly possible, and you need to share it everywhere, like, A LOT.

And we’re back to the million things you have to do.

There are several huge differences between hiring a copywriter and using content mills. They go something like this…

#1 You Get What You Pay For

You’re a savvy Lady Boss. You already KNOW buying cheap content means poor quality compared to what you’d get hiring a professional. An individual. A person to crawl inside the machine that is your blog and treat it with the loving tenderness Scotty always showed The Enterprise*.

There’s a difference between churning out four posts a month, four little shrimpy posts in a sea of other bland, monotonous content. and treating your blog like a PRIZED PEDIGREE. One of these people will get the job done as quickly as possible and move one, without further thought for you, your blog, your content, or the posts they’ve just written. The other will love your blog. She will groom it, nurture it, feed it, see that it gets out and meets other, high breed, Crufts Champions. She’ll spend hours training it, teaching it really cool tricks, and carefully choreographing the Freestyle Routines that will ensure you, and your blog-pooch, are the next duo stealing the show.

You get what you pay for.

You know this.

But what you probably don’t know is exactly how little you’re paying the writer for the post they are providing.

You’re thinking like a freelancer. We are psychically linked, I hear your thoughts: “£69 for four posts, that’s not too shabby, £18 a post. Not brilliant, but how long can’t take that long. That’s far more than minimum wage!”

Nope. It’s not.

It’s not even close.

You pay Copify (or whoever) £69/month. The writer only gets a quarter of that.

Copify pay £0.01 per word for their basic package posts.

YOU think you’re paying a writer a fair amount for a reasonably good piece of work.

How It Really Works

The reality is rather different.

At the time of writing this, minimum wage is £7.20/hour in the UK. That means writing 720 words per hour, just to make minimum wage. Those words also need to be researched, edited, proofread, checked to make sure they meet the client’s brief, style, and include any necessary links, and possibly make amendments. You have to do all that, for every one of those 720 words, in every hour of your working day.

Just to make minimum wage.

You can only ‘claim’ one job at a time. So you can’t sit down in the morning, decide which jobs you’re doing that day, and work until they’re complete.

You have to do one job, and pray there are still more left when it’s finished.

The upshot is that those words get churned out as fast as physically possible. And that is no reflection on the writer. It’s not that they don’t care, they simply need to eat. Pay the rent. Keep the lights – and their computer! – running.

You think you’re paying them £18 per post. In reality they’re getting £3.50.

I’m not kidding – 350 words/post is all you get on the £69 package.

To put that in perspective, this section (‘#1 You Get What You Pay For’) is twice as long as a post you’d get from most content mills.

If you want more words, you have to pay more.

£69 a month will buy you four posts, of 350 words each, written as hastily as possible, by someone who doesn’t know you, your business, or your blog, and has no plan in place to sustain growth and drive sales for you. Not only that, different people will write your posts.

If you want one specific person, you have to pay more.

A writer in a content mill will spend 10-15 minutes writing your post.

I spend at least two hours just writing every post I craft. Add in the bells and whistles and it’s three hours a post.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

#2 Quality Over Quantity

A small amount of something very high quality is always better than a massive amount of crap.

This particularly true when blogging because your blog represents your business, your brand, and YOU.

Your blog can consist of a massive amount of crap, telling clients and prospective leads that your business is a pile of shit. Or you can have QUALITY CONTENT that’s been primped and preened like a CRUFTS CHAMPION, telling clients and prospective leads your business is THE SHIZ**.

Your blog can either be shit, or SHIT HOT.

It can either be a tub of Sea-Monkeys…***

Sea Monkeys

OR a PRIZED PEDIGREE…

Dexter - King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

It may seem counter intuitive to say this after pointing out the posts from Content Mills are ‘only’ 350-500. Surely they’re better, because they’re shorter?

Not so.

The latest research into blogging and content marketing shows that posts of 2000-2500 words are better for your business. They perform more consistently over time, offer more value to your clients, and are far more meaningful.

You will notice that the main posts on this site (like this one) are always in that range.

There’s a reason for that!

For £70 a copywriter will give you a quality post, of about 1000-2000 words (more if needed). You may ‘only’ be getting one post, but the post is worth far more than four, low quality posts, of only a few hundred words. You’re churning out more posts, but you’re giving your readers far less value. You will get a far higher return on your investment purchasing one professionally written post per month than you will spending the same amount on four posts from a content mill.

#3 Social Sharing Does Not A Social Media Manager Make

Content Mill packages come with a lot of lofty promises: blog scheduling, Royalty Free images, and social sharing. I know a lot of people who have fallen into the MAJOR PIT FALL of thinking that a content mill kills two pesky birds with one reasonably priced stone.

You want content marketing to be at the heart of your business, but you don’t have time to write posts, you don’t have time to schedule them, and you don’t have the time (or inclination) to spend hours searching for suitable images, formatting everything, and repeatedly sharing it across social media.

A true copywriter knows you and your business, understands your vision, your brand, your products, your goals. She knows what you’re aiming for. How much time you have to devote to various aspects of the business. How much time she needs to put in to make sure everything is to the highest possible standard. She’ll write in your voice, for your ideal clients, according to the topics you decide are most important. She can design your whole blog schedule for you, taking out all the guess-work.

She’s the spirit in your website.

Unseen, unacknowledged, an invisible force that breathes life into your blog.

A true social media manager picks up that life, the essence of your business, and flings it to the four winds. She’ll ensure your blog runs like clockwork, that your posts go out on time, every time, and are shared and re-shared across all your social media channels. She will research hashtags, compose tweets, write status updates, find relevant external links to share, create memes and other visual content, and ensure that every single social media platform you have is a lively, buzzing place filled with happy, engaged readers, who regularly visit your website and buy your products.

She is the alchemist. The sorceress that keeps everything running like magic.

A writer in a content mill is a shrimp, in a sea of shrimp, struggling to reach maturity because there’s never enough to eat!

A content mill will push a few messages on your Twitter or Facebook, and that will be the end of it.

If you’re very, very lucky, you will find a copywriter who excels at both writing and social media management. Someone who is your copywriter and your social media manager (for blog posts at least). If you find such a gem, hold on to her! She’s worth her weight in gold.

The writers in content mills may become this proficient (many do), but they’re not there yet. They’re at fledglings, or struggling to find work elsewhere.

It Boils Down To This

Content mills have their place. They’re very useful for creating large volumes of content that (by necessity) need to be short, sweet, and requires no research and minimal skill to write. This is NOT because these writers are incapable of quality research and writing. But few are willing to work hard for so little. They’re not lazy or greedy: they need to earn a living!

If you’re looking for bulk product descriptions or website copy that doesn’t need to be pristine or perfectly on-brand, a Content Mill is PERFECT for you. Away with you and fill your boots!

If you’re building a defined brand with a clear voice and message, and/or use content marketing as the core (or a large element in) your business, YOU NEED TO HIRE A COPYWRITER.

It doesn’t need to be me!

It DOES needs to be someone who can plan a proper schedule for your blog, work on your branding, help you hone your voice, ensure consistency, quality, and take the weight off your shoulders.

The whole point of outsourcing your blog posts is for you to have less to do, and less stress in your business. Make sure you find someone who can do that for you.

 The Divine Blogging Design - Claim Your Free Professionally Written Blog Post

 You must forgive the occasional Star Trek reference. I’m a geek. I’m unashamed.

** The Shiz: The antithesis of shit, meaning: awesome; cool; fabulous; so freaking fantastic people are overcome with JOY at the shizzyness of your blog.

*** Sea Monkeys are brine shrimp you get in a funny little tub.

How to Plan A Killer Blog Schedule That Drives Signups & Sales

We all know blogging is essential for a successful online business, but pinning down exactly how to plan a blog schedule that will build your business is a rather more elusive concept. In this post I will outline the essential steps every business should take if they was to plan a killer blog schedule that drives signups and sales.

Step #1: Know Your Reader

You may call them your ideal client, your perfect patron, your dream customer, or your perfect protégé. I tend to refer to them as ideal clients (in the case of copywriting clients) and perfect readers (in every other instance-fiction, blogging, mental health etc.). It really doesn’t matter how you refer to them, as long as you know them. Backwards. Inside and out. For your business in general you need to know as much about them as possible, but where your blog is concerned there are a few key things you absolutely must ensure you know:

  1. What blogs do they already read?
  2. What news sites do the read?
  3. Where do they hang out on social media? Narrow this down to ONE MAIN PLATFORM. That is now YOUR main platform! This isn’t about which platform you like best – it’s about where your ideal clients spend the most time.
  4. What authors/celebrities do they like?
  5. Who are they following on social media?

Step #2: Find The Points Of Common Interest To Help, Inform & Entertain

The more you know about their common interests the more you can tailor your posts and especially pop culture references and external links, to speak directly to them. Compile a list of common interests that your ideal clients/perfect readers share. These do not have to be business related! 

Now, make a second list. This list should contain the topics that fall under your Zone of Genius. Topics in your niche. If you don’t have a clearly defined niche for your business it’s really worth doing that at this stage – the more you niche, the more successful your blog will be.

Take your two lists and do a little brainstorming – how can you relate the common interests shared by your clients to the list of topics you want to discuss as part of your business?

This will get them reading about your business in a way they will enjoy.

A way that doesn’t feel ‘salesy’.

A way that helps them, informs them, or entertains them.

You should end up with a list of TOPICS you will discuss on your blog. YOU NEED AT LEAST TWELVE.

It’s very important to stick to these topics when you plan your blog schedule – it will ensure you create a consistent, quality blog your perfect readers will return to again and again. If you stray from these topics, you will quickly alienate people. This is why it’s so important to niche!

Step #3: Build Your Temple

When I’m designing a blog schedule I use my signature method, The Divine Blogging Design. This method utilises psychological archetypes combined with the previous steps to identify the perfect topics to use in a blog. I use this for my blog schedules, and for my clients – it is how I ensure your blog will run like clockwork and always, always directly speak to your ideal reader.

Part of the method involves constructing a ‘temple’. Each of the twelve archetypes is represented by a goddess, and if there’s one thing a goddess needs it’s a temple.

Each goddess forms a pillar, which together form a temple (a similar idea to Maria Forleo‘s fabulous ‘6 Pillars Of Business’ method). To learn the twelve pillars of The Divine Blogging Design, sign up for The Divine Blogging Challenge. This awesome 7 day challenge will get you started in no time and really help you build your temple!

Once you know the twelve pillars the construction of a temple is simple:

  • Use The Divine Blogging Design to identify which topics belong with which goddess.
  • Identify your primary pillar, the patron goddess of your temple – this is the goddess that most exemplifies your ideal client/perfect reader (don’t worry, this is all covered in The Divine Blogging Challenge!).
  • Identify your secondary goddesses – these are the goddesses that exemplify many of your ideal clients, but not all. I advise people to have three secondary goddesses.
  • Construct the inner sanctum – your patron goddess should is at the centre, surrounded by your secondary goddesses. Together they form the inner sanctum.
  • The remaining goddesses form the supporting pillars around the outside of your temple.

Where your goddesses (and their corresponding topics) appear in your temple is pivotal to planning your blog schedule.

Step #4: Get Colouring!

If you are a lover of adult colouring books, you will adore this part. Get a big pack of coloured pens (I like Sharpies), and give each of your goddesses a colour. If you can find stickers in twelve different colours, that is A LOT EASIER (especially if you make a mistake)!

Ideally, invest in a wall planner – I have a big A2 18 month planner from WHSmiths which cost £6 and is absolutely perfect, but you could use a calendar. If you prefer working on your computer, download The Divine Blogging Topic Planner Spreadsheet (you can always print it off and stick it on the wall!).

Decide when you are going to blog, then stick to it! People get used to new blog posts coming out at the same time. Whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or less frequently, it really doesn’t matter. CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

The main posts on The Write Copy Girl are published at 9am every Tuesday. Book reviews are published 9am on a Sunday. Guest posts, tutorials etc. at 9am on a Thursday. These are fixed points in time. They do not change.

Ever.

Consider the following:

  1. How frequently can you realistically blog? Remember, you have to stick to this, so if once a week is a pipe dream, don’t aim for it!
  2. Look back at the research you did in step one and the blogs a lot of your perfect readers are already following – how frequent are they? Aim for this, but remember, you don’t have to do it all at once!
  3. What day will you post on? Look at your research – what days work for the people your perfect readers follow?

Download The Divine Blogging Design Planner and fill it in.

Remember, you’re not WRITING all of these posts right now, you’re simply PLANNING THEM.

  1. Divide your posts into THREE BLOCKS, with one post from each block running in a repeating pattern.
  2. The first block is dedicated to your patron goddess. Mark every third post with her colour. On The Divine Blogging Planner patron goddess posts are PURPLE.
  3. The second block is dedicated to your secondary goddesses. Posts in this block will alternate between your secondary goddesses in a repeating pattern. On The Divine Blogging Planner each secondary goddess is a DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE.
  4. The final block is for your supporting goddesses. Repeat the process you used for your secondary goddess posts, rotating through as all your remaining goddesses (if you have three secondary goddesses, you will have eight supporting goddesses). On The Divine Blogging Planner supporting goddesses are GREEN, LIME GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, DARK RED, GREY, AND BLACK.

Step #5: Assign Your Topics

If you only have one topic per goddess, this part is really simple as each colour will correspond to ONE topic.

If you have more than one topic for some goddesses, number each topic and write the numbers on your plan, rotating them as you did when adding the colours.

I strongly advise you to download and fill in The Divine Blogging Planner – the colour coding (which is the tricky bit) is done for you. You will be left with an easy list of posts to follow, including date, goddess, and topic, for every week.

You can either use the spreadsheet on its own, or transfer them to a wall planner like I do.

I also advise you to sign up for The Divine Blogging Challenge which will take you through each of these steps with video tutorials, making the whole thing a piece of exceedingly delicious (and very helpful) cake!

Step #6: Subjects & Titles

Once you have your completed plan, count how many posts you need for each topic. Take some time brainstorming specific subjects for each post. Once you’ve settled on them fill in the subject for each post. You can fill in specific titles, but I find it best to keep a separate, dated list of title ideas so you can easily change them if you want.

Step #7: Create Optins And Content Upgrades

This part of the process is something you can start to plan now, but it is really an ongoing, long-term process.

Ultimately you want an optin freebie that is directly relevant to every topic you have. There will be a LOT of crossover here – you don’t need a different optin for every topic! Look at the topics that have common threads. Design your optins for these common threads, not the individual topics.

If you have planned your pillars correctly this should be very easy, and you will end up with a list of 2-5 ideas for optins.

You don’t have to create them all at once!

One should be very closely tied to your patron goddess, and thus will relate to at least 1/3 of your posts – start with this one!

When you have the time/resources, you can add others.

Once you’re in the writing groove and you have settled into your new schedule monitor your posts. Make a note of which are the most popular, and which continue to be popular over time. These are your evergreen posts, and you should aim to add content upgrades to all of them.

For example, this post has a planner you can download and fill in to help you nail this method – that’s a content upgrade!

Content upgrades are time consuming and requires a lot of work and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight!

Why The Divine Blogging Design Works

For a blogging schedule that drives signups and sales you must connect viscerally with ideal clients every week, giving them amazing content that they really need, and link the best of that content to a signups that provide them with more amazing content they need.

The tricky part is figuring out what that magic content is for your business, and your ideal clients.

The Divine Blogging Design works because it gets inside your perfect reader’s head. It gives you content tailored specifically for them week in, week out. Not only that it takes into account the various personalities you will have within your tribe, and ensures you are catering to ALL OF THEM. It ensures your content is fresh and interesting, avoiding the pitfalls of ‘samey’ posts that regurgitate the same stuff over and over again. And at the same time, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week. You will have a foolproof blueprint to follow that tells you exactly what to write about, and how to pitch it.

What more could you ask for?

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