Tag Archives: blogger

60 Minute Blogger Fast-Start

Clients tell me: “I don’t have time to blog!” But what if you spent just ten minutes a day on your blog? 50 to 60 minutes a week is doable for most of us.

60 Minute Blogger Fast-Start

I wrote a series of blog posts on business blogging in 60 minutes a week a year ago. Let’s review ways in which you can become a blogger — even if you have no time to blog.

This process takes just ten minutes a day.

1. Ten minutes: how will you promote your blog?

Start by working out how you’ll promote your blog. You’ll go through this preparation each week, as you work out how to promote your blog post once you’ve written it.

Flip through the slide deck. Although it’s for people creating a new business blog, it gives you a quick overview of how to make a blog work harder for you.

2. Ten minutes: how many blog posts will you create this week?

Consider formats. In the original “60 minutes” article, I said:

Usually when I mention blog posts to a client, he thinks in terms of articles. That’s fine. However, if you’ve only got 60 minutes a week, you don’t need to spend that time writing just one article — or half an article, if you’re a slow writer.

Consider: photos, other images, short videos, MP3 interviews… If you’re posting MP3s, post transcriptions too. You can get transcriptions from providers at fiverr.com at a reasonable rate.

3. Twenty Minutes: outline and collect — batch-create

Here’s the original article: Schedule 20 minutes each week, to outline your blog posts, and collect resources for them.

Your resources might include:

* Images;

* Facts and figures;

* Quotes from customers;

* Marketing materials for inspiration.

Once you’ve collected your resources, make a list of topics you want to cover on the blog. Keep the list somewhere you’ll find it easy, so you can add to it when you get an idea. I keep my blogs’ topics lists in Simplenote.

Next, explore keywords.

Keyword Eye is still my favorite  free keyword tool.

free keyword tool

Keyword Eye is ideal for brainstorming quick blog post titles.

Create the posts after you’ve decided on the titles, and save the posts as drafts.  Add some quick notes to each blog post so that you won’t be staring at a blank editing screen when it’s time to write.

 4. Twenty minutes: write!

You’ve done your preparation, so the writing should go quickly.

Tip: focus on images. Images give you many ways in which to promote a blog post. If you have two images in a blog post, you can post at least twice on Pinterest (space out your postings.) You can also post a blog’s images to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, with a short commentary, and a link to the post.  

Over the past 12 months, I’ve discovered that images rule. I started posting about “image marketing” way back in 2012. In 2014, images are vital to draw attention.

So, there you have it. Your 60 minute blogger fast-start. Still think that you don’t have time to blog? :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

 

Blogging Tips For People Who Hate Blogging: 5 Easy Keys To Success

Blogging Tips For People Who Hate Blogging: 5 Easy Keys To Success

Do you hate blogging? Let’s look at some blogging tips which will help you to turn your blog into a powerhouse marketing tool. It’s easier than you think.

Start by considering how your blog appears to you. Perhaps it seems like a time sink; alternatively, you may look on it as a way to take your business to the next level.

Use these five keys to unlock the power of your business blog.

1. Consider your goals, then commit to a schedule.

Make a list of outcomes you’re looking for in 2014: increased traffic, better conversions, enhanced visibility… If this sounds complicated, keep it simple.

Create a statement: “In 2014, our blog will help our current customers by ________. It will attract new customers, who will see our business as __________.” Your statement summarizes your goals, and because it’s brief and to the point, you’ll remember it.

Put this statement where you’ll see it, on a sticky note perhaps. Use Google Analytics to track your results.

Then decide how often you’ll blog. You don’t need to commit to a schedule. If you do however, blogging will be easier.

2. Your blog is a publication: vary your content.

Blogging is instant publishing. Your blog is a publication and just like a magazine, and can have several contributors.

In 7 Steps To Make Your Blog A Marketing Machine, Heidi Cohen suggests:

Outline a series of on-going content columns. Extend the information you’re going to cover in terms of categories. Go a step further and think like an old fashioned magazine to create a set of regular features related to the focus on your content marketing strategy.

It’s excellent advice. Magazines have two primary forms of content: editorial, and advertising. Use both. This speaks to Tip 5: inspire action with your blog posts.

3. Collect a team, and add them to your editorial calendar.

When a client tells me he hates blogging, it’s because he’s taken the entire burden on his own shoulders. You need a team, and you may need to bribe people, or hire them. If you haven’t considered soliciting guest posts, consider it now. Ask members of your staff to volunteer (bribe them). Reach out to colleagues, suppliers, and even investors if you have them.

Consider reaching out to other bloggers too. Cast your net widely.

Make a list of possible contributors, and reach out to them. When you get a contributor, add them to your editorial calendar.

4. Reward yourself when you hit blogging milestones.

Set up blogging milestones. Your milestones can be anything you choose, and can involve traffic, and conversions. Or perhaps your milestones will be the number of social shares, or even  the number of posts you create.

They can be public, or private, as long as they’re meaningful. Rewards make good bribes for your contributors.

Make a list of milestones, and of rewards.

5. Remember to inspire action with every blog post.

What do you want your blog’s readers to do when they check out a posting on your blog? Perhaps you simply want to give them additional information about a product. You needn’t spend all your time discussing products’ features and benefits however.

If you’re selling oven ware for example, there’s no need to confine yourself to talking about your various products. You can talk about famous chefs, give recipes and tips, or post photos and videos of readers’ kitchens. The possibilities are endless, as long as you remember to inspire action.

Create a blogging template. At the bottom of the template, type: ACTION! (Include the exclamation point.)

 Become a full-time, or a part-time blogger

Blogging Maestro is a complete program: it will get you started on a new career.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Writing a Blog? Here Are My Top 10 Content Tips

Writing a Blog? Here Are My Top 10 Content Tips

These days, businesses large and small know the value of blogging. Not only does a blog bring new customers and clients to your website, your blog allows you to interact with the clients you already have. If you own a small business, or are a consultant, blogging is even more valuable.

I’ve been blogging for 15 years. I have many blogs, and create blogs for others. Let’s look at some blog content tips you can put into action today.

1. Know Your Reader.

Who’s your reader? Think of a “reader”, rather than a group. Even if you’re creating a business blogs, blogs are personal and social. Imagine this reader. Who is this person? What kind of problems does she have? How can your business help?

2. “So What?” Create Content Readers Can Use TODAY.

Any piece of content you create should have a goal. You’re creating content to inform, or to persuade… or to entertain. When developing content there are two rules — never be boring, and never leave your reader thinking: “so what?!

Speaking of entertaining, consider using humor in your content.  5 Hilarious Pieces of Branded Content That Will Inspire Your Editorial Strategy gives you some excellent ideas.

3. Grab Attention With Your Titles.

A blog post’s title is your headline. If a reader won’t read your headline, she won’t read your post.

Go to magazines.com and study the covers. You’ll get inspired to create some “must read” post titles.

4. Readers Love Lists.

Yes. They do. If you can come up with a “top 100″ or even a “top 10″ list of something or other, you’ll attract readers and links.

5. SEO Counts: Page Titles and Descriptions (readers need to find your content.)

Did you know that you can have a different post title and page title? This is important for SEO. If you want to write a title without any keywords, put a keyword into the page title.

6. Be Consistent: Create a content schedule and stick to it.

I create a content schedule for my blogs on Sundays.

You may prefer to create your content a month ahead, or three months ahead. If you blog regularly, and have a blog which is like a magazine or regular publication, consider creating an editorial calendar for the entire year. This is essential if you want to attract advertisers.

7. Forget Formality: Be yourself. Write as you speak.

Yes. Be yourself. Even if your blog’s relatively formal — you give financial advice for example — write as you speak.

8. Check It: Use spell check and proof read.

Typos are inevitable, but don’t court them. Proofread your content.

9. Connect With Others: Be social.

Promote your blog posts on social media, and elsewhere too.

10. Shine: Be enthusiastic and have fun.

Yes, have fun. Remember, blogs are “social”.

Update: June 18, 2014

I wrote this post over 15 months ago; so it was time to update it for 2014.

Here are the tips as a slideshow


, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Want to Move Your Free Blog to WordPress?

Moving your blog

I’ve been helping several clients to move their blogs, from free sites at Tumblr, Posterous and Blogger, to their own installation of WordPress.

Hosted blogs on free sites like WordPress.com, Tumblr and Blogger are fine when you’re new to blogging. However, WordPress on your own site gives you many more options. There are thousands of plugins. You can turn your WordPress blog into a membership site, or an online store, very easily.

Moving your free blog to WordPress is a simple process — you can do it yourself.

These links will help.

* How to Properly Move Your Blog From Tumblr to WordPress

This article gives you a comprehensive, step by step tutorial. Reading it will take longer than doing it.

Basically, you just go to the Tools section of your WordPress Dashboard, click the Import button, and go on from there.

Redirect your posts from Tumblr once you’ve imported.

When you’re done, create a final post on Tumblr, pointing to your new blog.

* The Easiest Way to Transfer from Blogger to WordPress (and keep your readers, links and rankings!)

Another comprehensive tutorial, and again, it’s easier than it looks when you first read it.

Just follow along. Then write a final post, letting your site’s visitors know that your blog has moved.

* Moving a Posterous Blog to WordPress

Posterous is closing shortly, so if you have a Posterous blog, it’s time to MOVE! Luckily, the process is easy. I’ve done it for a couple of my own blogs. This tutorial shows you how.

All moved in: install a SEO plugin

Once you’re moved in, let the fun begin. :-)

Although you can add a page title, description and tags to your posts without installing a plugin, I always install All-In-One SEO Pack, because it has additional useful features.

Alternatively, consider the Yoast SEO plugin; here’s a great SEO tutorial from Yoast. I’ve installed this plugin on several client blogs, and it performs brilliantly.

See? Moving your blog is easy. You can’t break anything. Before you know it, you’ll be all set on your very own WordPress blog. Happy blogging. :-)

Memories Coaching Workshop

NEW: Memories — Writing and Selling Your Life Stories (coaching workshop)

Image credit

If You Need to Write Well Online: 5 tips

Writing tips
These days, everyone needs to be a competent writer. I work with many clients, helping them to hone their writing skills and become proficient.

If you need to write online, but aren’t comfortable with it, you can develop the writing skills you need.

These five tips will help.

1. Practice every opportunity you get — it’s all practice

Writing is a muscle. Just as with every other muscle, to strengthen it you need to practice.

At times, getting the words out is hard, even for professional writers. Only practice makes writing easier. If you need to write for your job, set aside 25 minutes every day, just to write.

Writers know that writing can be fixed. Stop trying to write well. Write anything… just get something down.

Writing is a process:

* Drafting
* Outlining
* Writing
* Revision
* Editing

Some writers draft before they outline, others outline first, then draft. To “draft” is simply to get something — anything — on the computer screen. You can’t fix it, until it’s written.

2. Write a description of each writing task

Writing tends to morph. You set out to write a blog post about 10 ways to do something or other, and before you know it, you’ve gone off at a tangent to write something else.

You need to corral your thoughts. Do this by writing a brief description of what you want to write. Indeed, a writing “brief” is just that, a description of a writing task. Your brief can be long or short. I like to write a brief as soon as someone gives me a writing project. I send the brief back to the client, asking: “is this what you want?” When the clients says “yes”, I know that I have the scope of the project.

3. Create a list outline

A “list outline” is a list of the points you will make in the article; if it’s a book, it’s a tentative list of the chapters in the book.

Nothing is set in stone at this stage. It can and will change.

Write something, anything. Writing is always discovery — you won’t know what you think, until you write it down.

I’ve found Sondra Perl’s composing guidelines useful for my students:

These writing guidelines will help you discover more of what is on your mind and almost on your mind. If they seem artificial, think of them as “exercises.” But they are exercises that will help you to perform certain subtle but crucial mental operations that most skilled and experienced writers do naturally.

4. Read the kind of writing you need to do

Read. Read what you want to write. Read anything and everything, from poetry, to prose, and graphic novels. Read the classics — 100 best books will get you started.

Read as much as you can. Read instead of watching TV — read.

5. Use spell and grammar check in your word processor

The spell and grammar checking utilities in your word processor aren’t perfect. They’re just useful, so use them. If you’re not sure of grammar, sites like this one can help.

Big tip: if you’re writing for a commercial site, rather than a personal website or blog, hire an editor to proofread your material. This is money well spent. Nothing destroys trust as quickly as dodgy word use and grammar on a commercial site, or in email.

Team Up 2013

Over time, the more you practice and read, the more comfortable you’ll become writing. If you need specific help, contact me.

Personal Branding: Write a Book, Or Write a Blog?

This question’s come up several times in my clients’ coaching sessions: write book, or write a blog?

If your primary aim is branding yourself, a blog’s better. Your blog will grow with you. Once you’ve written a book, it’s frozen in time, so if your aim is thought leadership, you’re better off blogging.

But are there too many blogs? This post, If You’re Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging – Dorie Clark – Harvard Business Review, says:

“Of course, it’s no secret that the number of blogs has shot up in recent years; at the end of 2011, there were 181 million, compared to only 36 million in 2006. It’s harder to get noticed as the noise level increases. But there’s reason to believe that serious (high-quality, idea-focused) competition in the blogging world is likely to wane in the future, further increasing your impact.”

You’re writing for a specific audience, so the total number of blogs doesn’t matter. You just have to find a way of getting your blog in front of your audience.

Look at it this way: when you write a blog, you’re writing your book as you publish. It’s simple to create a book once you’ve written your blog posts. And it’s fun, too.

Blogging gives you options. :-)

 

Memories Coaching Workshop

NEW: Memories — Writing and Selling Your Life Stories (coaching workshop)

Tumblr Advertising: It’s All About Community

Yes, I still love my Tumblr blog. Yesterday I wrote about why Tumblr is appealing to businesses (an engaged audience.)

Although it’s five years old, and has an audience of 165.5 million a month, according to this article, Tumblr’s next step: Become a real business | CES 2013 – CNET Blogs, Tumblr’s only just starting to pay attention to advertising, with a new strategy:

“That strategy is all about storytelling in a way that is holistic to the Tumblr community. Units are meant to be compelling and on par with high-quality television spots. On Tumblr, advertisers don’t have pages — they have blogs, just like regular users, which means brands must be creators and interesting contributors to the community in order to participate. For this reason, so-called self-service units are off-limits, said Gottfrid, who added that Tumblr is still undecided as to whether it wants to create a self-service component at all.”

Ad packages on Tumblr start at $25,000.

Even with my limited experience on the platform of just a few weeks, I can vouch for the fact that Tumblr fosters community. Tumblr recognizes that; it’s unique. Neither Twitter nor Facebook have the same kind of community feel. Google+ is trying for a similar cosy feeling with its Communities.

Make Your Website Sell

Blogging When You Have No Time To Blog

Lazy Rich Blogger Fast Track

No time to blog? Me neither. That’s why I just started a new blog.

If that sounds like a paradox, it is. How can someone who has NO time to blog — because I have too many blogs already — commit to yet another blog?

Several reasons, the primary one being image marketing — Tumblr blogs make it very easy to post and repost images.

Image marketing was the big news of 2012; it’s important going forward — I owe it to my clients to stay up to date, and to figure out how they can use image marketing.

I just started my new Tumblr blog last month, but I’ve learned a lot already, so I’m glad I did it. Some of what I’ve learned is the interaction of Twitter, Pinterest, and a Tumblr blog. I’m a long way from formulating any theories, let alone any strategies, but it’s fascinating.

Blogging when you have no time to blog

Here are some ideas on how to blog, when you have no time to blog.

1. Get interested

Relax, I’m not asking you to create another blog. However, consider this: maybe the reason you have “no time” to blog is because you’re not interested in blogging, even though you realize that a social media presence would do a lot for your business. My new Tumblr blog has reenergized my blogging in general.

It’s reenergized the blogging of a couple of my clients, too. Tumblr has a very nifty iPhone app. You can take photos, shoot videos — it makes the blogging experience painless. Click, post, done — blogging in seconds.

2. Start your posts wherever you are

I was in the bank yesterday, and the queue was out the door. Usually when you’re stuck like that — you know you’ve got a delay and there’s nothing you can do about it — you get stressed.

I just pulled out my phone and tapped away, brainstorming ideas for blog posts in Drafts. Then I chose one of the posts, and created an outline for it, in another Drafts document.

Drafts

Drafts is the most-used writing app on my phone, and on my iPad, because you can write, and zoom your writing off to an email address, DropBox, Twitter, Evernote… almost anywhere you can think of. I usually send my draft blog posts straight to Evernote, so I can complete them later.

Although I spent 15 minutes in the queue, I got a lot done. By the time I hit a teller’s window, I was a little annoyed that I had to stop in the middle of writing a post.

All smartphones have notes apps. Use your notes app to start your blog posts anytime you have a spare minute or two. Not only will you be productive, you’ll also be a lot less stressed.

3. When you really have no time, blog on Twitter

Twitter can function just like a blog. If you truly have no time to blog, tweet. Sending a tweet takes seconds. Responding to tweets takes a little longer, but not that much longer.

You can blog, even when you have little to no time. If you want blogging help or advice, get in touch. I’m always happy to help.

Content Marketing in 2013: Guest Blogging Still Works

I’ve had some questions from writing students about guest blogging. Apparently the word in the online marketing community is that guest blogging is “no longer effective”.

That’s false.

Eric Ward makes good points in this post, Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013:

“My dad used to tell me you are known by the company you keep, and this is true in the guest blog posting world as well. So, the way to use this tactic effectively is to think of it not as a mass shotgun approach, but a laser target approach.”

The point about guest blogging is promotion — get your name out there.

Get your name out there

As long as you choose popular and relevant blogs for your guest posts, what’s not to like? You get traffic, and links. It’s not a silver bullet, but then nothing is. :-)

I wish I had more time to devote to guest blogging; it just hasn’t happened this year. I hope I can squeeze more in next year, both for my clients, and for myself too. As regards guest blogging for myself, I’m like the cobblers’ children who go barefoot; I’m so busy doing stuff for others, there’s no time left over.

So, if you’ve been hearing people scoffing about guest blogging, ignore the nay-sayers. Get your material onto great blogs. :-)

Here’s an excellent post on Blogger Outreach from Blue Glass which will help you with your guest blogging pitches.

Blogging: Speed Up Your Images With Jetpack’s Photon

Photon

Large graphics can slow down your WordPress site. They’re also a menace to manage when you change the theme — you can end up with an ugly site if your images aren’t resized.

Help is at hand. If you’re using Jetpack, some of your image challenges will be eliminated.

There’s more about Photon here, Photon — Jetpack for WordPress:

“Photon is an image acceleration and editing service for sites hosted on WordPress.com or on Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. Simply click the ‘Activate’ button for Photon on the Jetpack page in your blog dashboard, and your images will be served dynamically from the global WordPress.com cloud. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers.”

I’ve just started using Photon, and I’m very happy with it. One less thing to worry about. :-)