Content Ideas: Easy Types Of Content

Content Ideas: Easy Types Of Content
At least once a week, a client complains that they’re all out of content ideas. I created a quick mind map of easy types of content for them. The map usually sparks lots of fresh ideas, and inspiration. They realize that they have content which can be repurposed.

You have more content than you think you do

Often, all unknowing, a client has a mass of content that’s able to be repurposed. Product manuals, for example. Yes, I know that sounds dry and horrid, but if you’ve ever searched online for a product manual for a stove or a washer, you know that generally all you’ll find is a bunch of scraper websites. (Why Google allows this kind of junk is beyond me. It’s beyond frustrating to wade through this rubbish, deeper and deeper down rabbit holes of more and more scraper websites.)

Where there are scraper websites, there’s interest. The scrapers only use keywords for which people are actively searching. People search for product manuals every day. So, if you’re in a business which has product manuals dig them out and post them. Don’t forget older products which are a few years old. Create a special section on your blog called “manuals” and post away. Scraper sites will hate you. :-)

Advertising is content too

You’ve paid an agency for marketing collateral, or the manufacturer or distributor of a product has provided you with promotional materials. That’s all fine. However, there’s no law which says you can’t create your own materials.

Recently I was working with a client and asked him whether he used his own product. He gushed that his wife loved it (it was an appliance), and it saved so much time, and was so easy to use, and so on and so forth.

“Why isn’t that on your website?” I asked.

He could easily have posted everything he told me onto his website, but he didn’t think of it. If you love and use what you sell, why wouldn’t you talk about it? Ask your customers for their experiences too. Post them.

Closeouts: check out the bargains to help you to write more, and sell more

Writing programs to increase your profits, from today -- closeouts mean you SAVE

To meet my goals for 2015, I’m closing out some of our bestselling programs, so that I can focus on coaching and publishing. This means that you get special offerings on some of our current programs. When they close, they’ll close for good. And yes, you receive coaching with them too. :-) Enjoy.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

5 Blogging Tips To Help You To Love Your Blog

5 Blogging Tips To Help You To Love Your Blog

A few days ago, one of my students said that she was giving up her blog — it was taking too much time, for too little return. Many more people give up their blogs than commit to them for the long term, so maybe you feel the same way. If you do, here are some blogging tips to help you to fall in love with your blog, perhaps for the first time.

Before we get started, think about your reasons for blogging. WHY are you blogging? Maybe you want to become a full-time blogger, or you’re marketing your business, or a book.

Grab a notebook, or open a new computer file, and write three paragraphs about why you’re blogging. Start with: “I’m blogging because…”

Here’s a secret. When I started blogging some 16 years ago, I had no clue why I was doing it. It seem stupid… but my intuition kept nudging me to blog. I tried to ignore the impulse. I couldn’t. It kept coming back.

Finally I was exasperated. I wrote a list of “why blogging?” thoughts in my journal. It boiled down to: “Because I love writing and it’ll be fun.” Silly ideas, since writing is the way I make a living, and I should have spent the time wooing magazine editors, or writing a book proposal. (That was long before Amazon launched the Kindle, so you sold books by writing proposals and sent them to editors and agents.)

My point: you may not be able to articulate your ideas about blogging any better than I could. Maybe you just feel that blogging is for you. Go with your feelings. Blogging’s done more for me than I could ever have imagined, so trust yourself.

These tips will help you to love your blog.

1. Spend time on your blog…. read your posts

Remember what it felt like to be in love? You wanted to spend all your time with the person you love. Perhaps you once felt like that about your blog.

Whether you did or not, commit to spending ten minutes a day with your blog. You don’t have to write anything, or do anything. Just read over the material you have. Imagine yourself a year from now. You have many more blog posts, and loyal readers who visit your blog.

When you spend time with your blog, and think about your dreams, you’re giving yourself a chance to fall in love.

2. Talk positively about your blog: share your hopes and dreams for it

Abraham Lincoln supposedly said: “folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Whoever said it, it’s true. You decide how you’ll feel. If you talk lovingly about something, you’ll feel positive towards it. Similarly, if you denigrate something, you will start to dislike it.

This has nothing to do with positive thinking. It has everything to do with how your mind and body work.

Talk positively about your blog. Find bloggers who love blogging, and talk to them. Their ideas and positive emotions will inspire you.

3. Make a list of blogging adventures you can try

There are no rules for blogging. No one forces you to blog their way. You can blog any way you choose. Think about things which sound like fun. Maybe you can snap an image a day, and post that.

Tumblr blogging

If you’re blogging on Tumblr, you can choose the kind of post you want to create from your dashboard. It’s a handy reminder that you don’t need to write 1,000 words — you can just post a link, a quote, or an image.

Neil Patel, in How to Generate $100,000 a Month from a Brand New Blog, is on an adventure:

“… you told me you wanted me to create a new company in a space that I had no ties to. So I’m now starting a nutrition blog.

“The official start date will be April 1, 2015. And within 12 months, I have to get the blog to generate $100,000 in monthly revenue.”

Brave, right? Yes, but also clever. Neil will become inspired, because he’s trying something new, and inspiring himself, as well as his readers.

Make your list, then choose your own blogging adventure.

4. Dress up your blog: change your blog’s look and feel

No matter which platform you’re blogging on, you can change the look of your blog with a few clicks. Over the years, I’ve tried all the popular blogging platforms, and I found that when a blog started to bore me, I could get inspired when I changed the blog’s look.

Try it. Choose a new theme for your blog. Create some images, or pay someone to create them for you.

5. Interview people who love blogging to get new ideas

Make a list of bloggers who blog in your area. Interview them, either live, or via email. Post the interviews on your blog.

Their enthusiasm will be catching. Too often, when we lose heart in blogging, we spend time thinking about how disheartening blogging is. We talk to others who validate our feelings.

Change that. Talk to people who LOVE blogging, and it will rekindle your own passion for your blog.

So, there you have it. Five tips to help you to love your blog. Put them into action, starting today.

Free blogging report: “Quit Your Day Job And Follow Your Dreams — 28 Hot Blogging Tips To Make It Happen”

Want to fall in love with blogging? Download your free report now.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Who Needs Another Blogging Platform?

Who needs another blogging platform? No one, if you believe that current platforms are perfect. After 15 years of blogging, and after trying just about every platform — I know that no platform is PERFECT.

Each and every platform is either too simple (not enough functionality) or too complex. And no, I’m not looking at WordPress when I say “too complex.” WordPress is perfect for what it does; it’s my favorite platform, but I’m not enraptured when it comes to usability. If you just want to write a quick post, it’s challenging. You know that you’re not going to be done and dusted in under ten minutes.

Perfection in a blogging platform is impossible

That doesn’t mean that developers should stop trying. As bloggers, we should encourage developers. Not with nitty-picky “I want this” or “Gimme that” demands. Rather, encourage developers to envision a platform that’s not only robust, but is also a pleasure to use.

If I were looking for developers with vision, I’d start with the Realmac Software people. When I switched from PCs to Macs in 2005, while still actively writing for PC magazines, I was nervous. Was I insane? Why oh why…? I talked myself out of buying a Mac for months. Then I did. Then I discovered apps like RapidWeaver (from Realmac Software), and Curio. Then Scrivener. And my switch to Macs enhanced both my productivity and creativity.

Realmac are launching a new blogging platform

When I heard about this Indiegogo campaign for Typed.com, I had to contribute, of course.

I couldn’t be more eager to see what Realmac deliver. I love blogging, and when people who’ve delivered inspired apps like RapidWeaver and Clear promise a new blogging platform, I know we’ve got a treat in store.

The campaign is doing amazingly well. It just started a couple of days ago, and is already well over its goal, with 24 days to go.

Blogging’s a challenge: inspired tools inspire you

I’m a software addict. I used to feel bad about this. It seems frivolous. On the other hand, if you buy an app which makes your work easier and more fun, and you’re more productive, there’s nothing frivolous about that. It’s common sense.

I can’t wait to blog on Typed. It’s something to look forward to. If you love blogging too — or even if you dislike it, but need to do it — remember Typed. If it becomes as popular as I suspect it will, you may be using Typed before too long.

 

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

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

3 Tips To Make Your Business Blog Work

Is your business blog making your company look bad? I’ve been working with a content marketing client, who asked me to look at business blogs across a range of industries, and create a report.

Yesterday, we looked at content marketing mistakes and how to fix them in a slide deck. Today, let’s look at some easy tips to make your blog work for your business.

Some companies do a fantastic job of integrating their blog with their overall marketing. They get it. A blog isn’t an obligation, or something “for the search engines”. It’s a publication. Consider blogging to be instant publishing, and think about your most recent blog post. Is that post something you’re proud to publish? Would it work as a brochure?

If publishing a blog post were as expensive as publishing a brochure, business blogs would get a lot more respect. Many companies blithely push blogging and social media onto their least experienced employee. Not a good idea.

Each and every blog post is a gateway to your website. It represents you, and every post, no matter how short, can work for you.

Let’s look at some tips.

1. Publish real content: forget junk content for “SEO”

If someone says to you: “a blog is good for SEO”, ignore them. The days when shoveling junk onto the Web in the hope of getting search engine rankings have LONG gone. In fact, those days never existed.

A lot of great companies have woeful blogs. They’re updated infrequently, with content which looks like placeholder text.

On the other hand, many companies have good blogs. Here’s one.

I enjoy shopping at The Good Guys, and their blog does them proud.

To repeat, your business blog is a publication. Integrate it with your website; The Good Guys’ blog does product reviews. You can too.

2. Get personality: blog for real people

Consider magazines. Next time you browse a magazine rack, pick several magazines devoted to the same topic — any topic you choose. Each of those magazines is slightly different. It has a vision — a personality, if you like.

Your blog should have a personality too. Consider this blog.

Rhodia Drive is a blog published by the Rhodia paper company, and promotes its products. The blog is for people who love paper, and buy and use paper notebooks. It’s got personality, and the blog appeals to people all over the world who love paper.

What could you do to give your blog a personality? Start by considering the people who buy your products. The Good Guys do this: they’ve got recipes and videos for people who love food and cooking — and those people are a part of The Good Guys’ market.

Years ago, Microsoft had major PR problems. Robert Scoble’s blogging went a long way towards showing that Microsoft, big as it was and is, is a company made up of real people.

You’re human. Your company’s made up of people. Relate to your customers as people via your blog, and you’ll reap the benefits.

3. Know what you want your blog to do

Again: your blog is a publication. You can publish anything you like instantly. Your blog’s a huge opportunity to humanize your company, and differentiate you from your competition.

If you’re not happy with your blog, start your blog’s makeover by checking out what your competitors are doing. Then check out the blogs of big companies. Check out the magazine rack too.

Consider your customers. Create customer personas, if you haven’t done so already. What magazines do your customers read? What movies and TV shows do they watch?

Your blog is a huge marketing opportunity. You can be one of those companies which does blogging, and content marketing, well.

Want some blogging inspiration? Contact me.

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

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