Goal Setting Simplicity: Bullet Journal Wins

Goal Setting Simplicity: Bullet Journal Wins

It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are looming, and it’s time to wrap up 2014, and set some clear and simple goals for 2015. I love goal setting, but the process can get out of hand, so I decided to look for an app. With luck, the right app would help me to both clarify my goals, and to track them.

So, I searched, and searched some more. I found apps which were either too complicated, or had social integration, or were unappealing to me in other ways. Apps may work for you. If you’re looking for apps, check out Michael Hyatt’s list of seven goal achievement apps.

At the end of it all, I decided that…

I’m Sticking With My Bullet Journal

Why? Because for me, setting goals, and working toward their achievement, requires lots of thought. You can set and track a simple goal, such as improving your health by exercising each day, using an app. However, larger goals are more complex. I’ve made a short list of two primary goals for 2015, but they’re complex. They require setting mini goals, and creating projects to achieve those mini goals.

As I said in this article on bullet journaling resources, I’m a big fan of paper; working something out on paper is powerful.

In my bullet journal, I can create collections for each goal, and collections for mini goals too. Major tasks go into the monthly spread. Things can handle daily tasks which repeat each day, or several times a week; it’s fun to tick them off — entering all my “must do daily” tasks into the bullet journal isn’t efficient. The day entries become too cluttered.

Planning: in Evernote, and Two Journals

I keep Evernote open all day; I write drafts of everything in a Drafts notebook. Whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I create a note in Drafts, with a short outline. However, for planning, paper’s essential. Recently I bought two notebooks from NanamiPaper.com, because I’ve become obsessed with thin Japanese paper.

One’s for ideas — oddly, enough, it came with a Idea Diary tag. The other notebook’s for goal planning.

I’d started using this system before I started looking at apps. Three notebooks for goal setting seemed like overkill. As it turns out, it’s what I need, for now.

How do you manage goal setting? I’d love to know if you’ve developed a system, and what you use.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Free Image Editing Just Got Social

Free Image Editing Just Got Social

Canva proved how easy free image editing can be: no design skills required. If you love Canvas as much as I do, you’ll be thrilled that the site’s just gone social: now you’ve got your own profile page. You can view friends’ images in a stream, and can comment on them.

And if that’s not enough, I just noticed that there’s a square Instagram template too. That joins all the other templates — for everything from social media graphics to presentations.

New to Canva? Click the Design School link at the top of the page, for lots of tutorials on making the most of Canva’s editing tools.

Stuff to Know About Canva

Tip: Canva keeps your designs. This makes it easy to reuse a favorite design. If you’re logged in, you’ll see your designs, and you can reach them at any time by clicking the Your Designs link at the top of the page.

Scrolling through your designs can inspire you. If you’ve ever “lost” a design — you can’t remember the file name, and it’s lurking somewhere on your computer — you’ll bless this feature.

Another tip: clicking the Copy This Page icon makes it simple to create infographics and presentations. Add your pages, then save the file as a PDF. If you’ve created a presentation, you can upload it to Slideshare immediately.

Please Add Images to Your Blog Posts: It Makes Them Much Easier to Share

A plea to my favorite bloggers. If you’re not using images in your posts, please add just ONE image. It makes it much easier to share your latest posts on social media networks. Thank you. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators According to Alexa, Pinterest has a global rank of 26, and a US rank of 16. (Alexa ranking is an estimate of popularity.) However, few companies are using Pinterest effectively. Look on it as both a social, and a sales tool. Pinterest traffic may well surprise you.

I encourage my copywriting clients to engage on Pinterest as well as on Facebook, for a couple of reasons:

Let’s look at some fast ways to promote on Pinterest.

1. Images Count: the More the Merrier

Look on Pinterest as the ideal showcase for your products. When you’re launching a new product, or service, create 20 images you can use on Pinterest. You won’t use them all at once, of course. However, combined with descriptions (see below), you can create interest, and increase traffic to your product pages.

Tip: it can be tempting to look on your Pinterest account as an online catalogue, but remember… SOCIAL. Create boards for entertainment, as well as business. Consider your customers’ interests, and create boards around those interests.

2. Create an Engaging Description: It’s an Ad, With a Call to Action

Pinterest gives you 500 characters (100 words) to use in your pin descriptions.

You have space for a tiny ad — make it engaging. Write for users, but remember keywords and hashtags — and a call to action. Include prices too; pins with prices get more repins than those without.

3. Create a Board for Your Blog (Your Blog’s Your Content Hub)

Your blog is your social media content hub. Create a board for your blog. This is on my own To Do list for 2015. Add a couple of images to each blog post; this gives you more pinning options.

Integrate Pinterest with other social media networks.

A workflow:

  • Create a blog post with two (or more) images;

  • Pin the post to two different boards (one image each board);

  • Promote the pins on your other social media networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

4. SELL! Use Contests, and Pinterest-Only Offerings

To get more engagement, consider Pinterest contests, and Pinterest-only offerings. Promote them on your website, your blog, and your other social media accounts. Reach out to companies with complementary products to yours. Suggest a quid pro quo: they promote your contest, you do the same for them.

The more planning you do for your contests, the more you’ll get out of it. Pinterest has guidelines for contests, so keep them in mind in your planning.

When you’ve built an audience on Pinterest (even a small one) consider creating Pinterest-only offerings. Not only will you build your audience, as your customers learn to watch for your offerings, you can promote these Pinterest-only offerings on your other sales channels.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

5 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

As you may know, I do a lot of writing, only some of which is copywriting. However, I find that insights I’ve developed from copywriting inform all my other writing. On the whiteboard next to my desk, I’ve always got some copywriting tips. Usually they’re quotes from David Ogilvy.

His quotes always inspire me. Let’s have a look at five gems.

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun:

“Creative people have apparently mastered the art of turning off this part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination,” she writes.

Before I write advertising copy, or a sales page, I spend ten minutes reading P.G. Wodehouse. Lord Emsworth and the Empress of Blandings (the earl’s prize-winning fat pig) always make me smile.

You know what makes you laugh, so do it, read it, or watch it, before you settle down to write advertising copy.

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”

Know what you want your advertising to do; the form doesn’t matter.

Although I love words, sometimes an image needs to take the stage. Look at Apple’s advertisement for the iMac. Click on the first image, and scroll. Amazing, right?

Click off the primary image, and scroll down the page. See how how the images of iMacs frame the words? Apple knows its market: Mac users. They look at the iMac on the screen, then the Mac on their desk, and consider upgrading.

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

Content again. Know your audience, what you want your audience to do, and decide what you want to say. Then find the most effective way of saying it. Getting back to Apple’s iMac ad, the ad’s brilliant, because you don’t need to do more than glance at the words.

The words aren’t a sales pitch; that isn’t needed. Good copywriting is good writing: have something to say, and say it.

“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”

Emotion comes through in your words. Your audience senses how you feel, and if you don’t value the product, and don’t believe what you’re saying, that comes across.

“There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”

Content marketing’s hot because we’re exposed to so much advertising all day, every day, that we just tune it out. Our challenge is to write editorial content which sells. Is it easy? No. Is it effective? Yes, if it’s done well.

Here’s what I love about quotes from David Ogilvy: no matter how many times you read the quotes, and even if you know them by heart, they get you thinking. And writing better copy.

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, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.