Tag Archives: keywords

Social Media Sanity For Bloggers: Plan, Think, (and Write Fast)

Social Media Sanity For Bloggers: Plan, Think, (and Write Fast)

Social media is becoming essential for small businesses, but it’s a challenge, because it takes time. You can make the most of your time with a little planning, thinking, and finding tools to help you to write faster.

Your blog is the hub of your activities, so if you’re new to social media marketing, and don’t have a blog, set one up now.

Once your blog is set up, you need a smidgen of SEO know-how. Here’s an excellent primer on SEO for Blog Posts; be aware of “long tail” keywords:

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are usually 3 or more words. People who use these keywords usually have a good idea of what they’re looking for. There are also far less people searching these terms overall.

Next, create a list of keywords for your industry. Look at competitors’ blogs – you can usually see which keywords they’re targeting. Also, do a Google.com search for your industry, and look at the keywords people are using for Pay Per Click advertising. (The Google ads on the right side and top of the results pages.)

1. Planning.

Planning’s essential. You plan your business, and your overall marketing, and you need to plan your social media content creation too. If you’re not using Trello, give it a try. It’s an excellent planning tool for blogging and social media.

Start by deciding what results you want from your social media activities. Traffic is good, but conversions are better. Aim for conversions.

2. Thinking.

Planning and thinking go together. Keep your planning documents together, so that you can review your planning once a week, or once a month.

Social media and blogging can’t work in isolation. Integrate them into your business and marketing activities:

Make sure you direct people from social media to your website and make your website client friendly. Make sure you post different ways for people to get a hold of you. A contact us page, online promotions, online forms. Make sure people know who the CEO is and provide bios of your executive team.

3. Writing faster.

Blog writing can be a challenge.

Start by creating a check list for blogging, and as I recommended in that article, use an editorial calendar.

Vital tip: get creative with your writing. You don’t need to be sitting at your computer.

Here’s an Evernote/ Siri dictation strategy I’ve tried, and will be using going forward:

2) Open up a new note and type a quick outline.

Next, you open up a new note and start typing. To stay on point, I outlined what I generally wanted to say in the post before starting.

3) Click the microphone button to begin recording. Then, start speaking!

If you’re using WordPress, try the excellent WordPress Mobile apps. You can blog anywhere you choose. (Now you can blog while waiting for a meeting to start.)

Social media does take time. However, with a little planning, thinking and some tools to help you to write, you can boost your small business, even if you only have a few minutes a day.

 If you need help blogging your small business… contact me.

, and on Twitter: @angee

5 Keyword Tips To Inspire You: Never Run out of Content Ideas Again

keyword content ideas

Curses! Google’s turned off the free keyword tool, which means you need to log in to AdWords and use the Keyword Planner if you want Google’s data. But what if you want to use keywords to inspire your content creation, rather than to buy ads?

A little digression. Please be aware that since Hummingbird flew out of its cage, it’s vital to consider your audience, and its needs, rather than create content to any keyword formula. So these days, Google’s free keyword tool would be much less useful anyway. (We all feel better now, right?)

Let’s look at five keyword tips which ensure that you will NEVER run out of content ideas again.

1. Consider user intent, and focus on “themes”

I love this insight from Aaron Wahlstrom. He discusses how to find content ideas without using Google’s free keyword tool, and in the age of Hummingbird:

This is why keyword “themes” and specific theme landing pages will become more important. For instance, if a user historically was using the queries “A great SEO company for a B2B industrial company” versus “B2B SEO”, you may have received vastly different results. However with Hummingbird, the intent behind this search is largely the same. In this case, it is important to now have a page which targets a theme of Industrial B2B SEO, with good content, which will capture both of these queries.

Here’s how this could work for you in practice. Let’s say that you own a garden center, and you’ve been targeting specific keywords for fertilizers in your content. You’ve been writing about fertilizer brands, when and where to use fertilizer etc.

Corral all the “fertilizer” content you have, to see what you’ve got. Next, create an “everything you always wanted to know about fertilizer but didn’t know who to ask” page. Interview your own fertilizer expert, and the rest of your staff too. You want your new page to be as comprehensive as you can make it. Link out to the fertilizer content you already have.

As Aaron suggests in his article, this is your “theme landing page.”

As you corral the content you have, and create your page, 1001 new content ideas will emerge.

2. What’s in the news? Create alerts for your favorite keywords

Go to Google News, and enter your favorite keywords, one by one. Create alerts for them all.

I just entered “fertilizer” into Google News, and got the result you can see in the image below.

keyword in Google News

Depending on your keywords, you may get a lot of results, or very few. Either way, you’ll get some inspiration for content ideas.

3. Use Google Suggest: go through the alphabet

This is my favorite easy, keyword content idea inspiration-getter. All you do is go to Google.com, and enter your keyword, plus a letter of the alphabet.

In the image below, I entered “fertilizer”, and the letter “a.”

Google Suggest
Google Suggest

Just meander through the alphabet, and see what ideas you get. You’re sure to find several ideas which inspire content.

4. Hello Amazon: enter your keyword, and browse books on your topic

Depending on your keywords, you can get some great inspiration here, especially for your “theme” landing pages.

Just enter your keyword into Amazon Book Search, as in the image below. Then check out the Tables of Contents of any books which appeal to you, using Look Inside/ Table of Contents.

Amazon for content ideas

5. Use Soovle, for inspiration-at-a-glance content ideas

Wedded to Google? Google isn’t the only search engine. There are lots more, but don’t worry, you don’t have to click your way through them all. Let Soovle do it for you.

Soovle

As you can see in the image above, Soovle pulls from several search engines, including Wikipedia, Amazon, and YouTube, to give you lots of content ideas.

So there you have it. Five ways to get ideas for content, using keywords, and without using Google’s free keyword tool.

Need content? Contact me today.

, and on Twitter: @angee

No Soup For You! Google Encrypting ALL Keyword Data

Google Keywords
“No soup for you!”

Ouch. Google is moving to encrypt its keyword research data. Search Engine Watch reports:

Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in “(not provided)” data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.

Although a total shutoff hasn’t happened yet, Hubspot believes that 74% of user keyword data is now encrypted.

Why is Google encrypting keyword data?

Probably to shove recalcitrant marketers over to Pay Per Click, as Hubspot points out:

So Google says, the reason for the switch is to provide “extra protection” for searchers. Search Engine Land, however, suspects that Google may also be attempting to block NSA spying activity — since Google was accused of giving the National Security Agency access to its search data back in June (which it has strongly denied). We also can’t help but think that, because Google is encrypting search activity for everything but ad clicks, this is a move to get more people using Google AdWords.

The short answer to “why” is because Google can, and because it believes that it will gain an advantage (profit) in some way.

Can YOU live without Google keyword data?

Of course you can. Although having keyword data kindly provided by Google was a nice bonus, raw keyword data stopped being useful years ago.

In Hubspot’s article, Aaron Anders suggests:

“SEO marketers need to be focused on raising organic traffic as a whole, achieving business objectives like online sales and lead generation, growing branded communities, and earning brand mentions. This move by Google will force SEO marketers to focus on business results rather than keywords — which is where the focus should be anyway.”

Exactly.  (You can still get the data, of course. Just run an AdWords campaign.)

In general, focus on building your business — use your content to add value to your products.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: GaryRHess via photopin cc

 

Blogging? 4 Easy Ways to Save Time

whyarent

Trying to fit blogging into your busy schedule? We looked at itty bitty SHORT blog posts you can create. This saves time. However, there are other ways you can save time too.

Over the years, I’ve streamlined my blogging workflow so that I can get more done – and I continue to tinker with it.

Here are my four favorite time-saving methods.

1. Plan your blogging: planning reduces procrastination

I’ve talked about Sunday planning. This needn’t take long. You can do it while you’re watching TV.

Take action: write a paragraph or two for each idea. If you just write a couple of words, or a title, you’ll wonder what you were thinking when it’s time to write a post. Describe your idea. A minute or two saves time later.

2. Sort out your keywords: keywords count, but readers count more

When you’re planning, check out your website’s stats. Are people finding you for the keywords for which you want to be found?

If not, you may have a targeting problem. Brainstorm keywords your ideal customer might use to find you.

Take action: create a keywords spreadsheet.

Although keywords count, create your blog content for your readers, rather than for search engines.

3. Collect or create images

Collect the images you’ll use for your blogging in the following week.

Take action: if you’re short of images, or even if you’re not, use your cell phone camera. Take photos of your products, your staff, and your location. Image marketing is BIG in 2013.

4. Blog on the go

Most blogs will allow you to blog via email messages. When I update my clients’ blogs, I often type up some quick updates via email. When you do this, you don’t even need to log in to the blog.

blog by email
Got a WordPress blog? Save time by blogging via email

If you’ve got the Jetpack plugin installed in your WordPress blog, you can use the Post by Email option.

Alternatively, just set up an email address in your Dashboard – Settings/ Writing.

We’ve discussed how to blog on the go:

I do much of my blogging away from my computer. I’m more creative out of the office than in it. If you get frazzled and distracted, consider that you can blog anywhere.

Take action: set up an email address now for your blog, so you can blog anywhere, anytime. You never know when you’ll see something blog-worthy.

Everyone’s busy these days. With a little preparation, you can save time blogging.
, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Bye Bye Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Error message which appears when you try to access the external Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Error message which appears when you try to access the external Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Nothing lasts forever, not even the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. It’s been replaced. When you try to access the page, you get the above error message.

You need to log in to your AdWords account to access the external tool’s replacement, the Keywords Planner. Of the Planner, Google says:

To find new keyword and ad group ideas, use Keyword Planner just like you would the Keyword Tool. You can search for ideas related to a keyword, your website, or a category. A new feature in Keyword Planner also allows you to ‘multiply’ keywords, or combine two or more keyword lists to generate new keywords. Unlike Keyword Tool, where you were only able to target countries, you’ll now be able to target individual cities and regions within a country.

 

 

 

Business Blogging in 60 Minutes a Week 3: Outline and Collect

Outline and collect

One of the most useful books I’ve ever read is A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write, by Kenneth Atchity. I read it years ago, and commend it to you. Although I haven’t read it in decades, here’s what stuck with me — Atchity points out that starting a project is difficult. You’re fighting against inertia. Once you’ve got a project moving, it proceeds quickly.

If you can avoid this “starting” time in your blogging, you’ll be able to create a powerful business blog in under sixty minutes each week.

The easiest way to fight this natural inertia is by scheduling some “collection and outline” time.

Batch-create starting points for your blog posts: weekly, or monthly

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.

Your next step is to do some keyword research. Use your favorite tool. My current favorite is Keyword Eye.

Keyword Tool

As you can see in the image above, Keyword Eye gives you a word cloud of keyword terms related to your topic. I used the term “website design” and ended up with the image above.

Next, brainstorm blog post titles. Don’t agonize over this, you can always change them later.

Add several points you want to make in each post underneath the title. If the post will be a photo, just make a note: “need ten office photos’. (Why ten? Any number will do, but always take more photos than you’ll need.)

If you’re using a WordPress blog, you can use the Editorial Calendar plugin, to create draft posts. Most blogging platforms will create draft posts for you, so check the Help files of your platform if you’re not sure how to do this.

All done. Your blog posts are almost ready.

On another day, complete a post or two, and schedule their publication time and date on the blog.

Image credit

Book Marketing: Go Where Your Readers Are

Yesterday, we talked about book marketing, and said:

Marketing your book starts BEFORE you write it, believe it or not. In our ebook mastery coaching workshop, our focus is on promotion, before you start writing. Why? Look at the image on the right. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year.

Today, let’s talk about where your READERS are.

I’m a voracious reader — I read anywhere between five and ten books a week — so here’s where I go. My reader friends use these sites too: Goodreads and LibrayThing.

Big tip: please DO NOT use these sites solely to push your books. You’ll just annoy people. Use the sites firstly as a reader.

You can promote your books of course, but do it in a professional manner.

Both sites have Help pages for authors:

* Goodreads authors’ program;

* LibraryThing authors’ page.

Fab Freelance Writing Ezine

Book Marketing: 3 Simple Marketing Tricks You Can Use Today

Book Marketing

Marketing your book starts BEFORE you write it, believe it or not. In our ebook mastery coaching workshop, our focus is on promotion, before you start writing. Why? Look at the image on the right. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year.

When you send your book proposal to an agent or acquisitions editor, they glance over your overview, then flip directly to your marketing plan for the book. No plan? No contract.

Yes, I know this sounds tough, but it’s reality. Remember, your book is one of many, many thousands of books being published each and every year.

Cheer up! :-) Enough doom and gloom.

Let’s focus on three simple book marketing tricks you can use today.

1. Get a book idea and make a marketing plan

A couple of decades ago, I took my first marketing course. Marketing 101 teaches you that you look for a market, then concern yourself with a product.

Book ideas are everywhere. You can come up with a dozen ideas in five minutes, I’m sure.

As soon as you get an idea, check to see whether there’s a market. Or preferably, develop ideas to suit a hot market.

What if you’ve already written a book, and you need to market it NOW?

Your task is harder. It’s never to late to find a market, however. WHO would buy your book? Why? Answer those two questions, right now. You can’t market, until you answer them.

2. Pitch an agent, even if you’ve written an ebook

On my “write a book” blog, I wrote this article, If You Hate the Thought of Pitching Your Book | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:

“Should you send your pitch to one agent at a time?
I’m often asked whether you should send your pitch out to many agents simultaneously.

You can do whatever you feel is best. However, I suggest one agent at a time. Research the agent online first. Read her/ his blog. Study the agent’s client list.

Personalize your letter/ email message, to ensure that the agent knows that you’re not sending out a mass email. Write something like:

‘I enjoyed your blog post on _________ (whatever. Tell her why you enjoyed it.) _____ (Author name) is one of my favorite authors, I loved his ________ (whatever) book.’”

The literary agent business is changing, just as publishing is changing. Agents are looking for ideas.

Therefore, pitch your book to an agent, even if you have zero interest in a traditional book deal.

Here’s why: you need to focus on BOOKS rather than a single book. An agent will teach you that. Agents have their fingers on the pulse of publishing. The 10% or 15% you pay an agent is a powerful motivator.

Agents deal in ideas, so your pitch is a calling card. Talk about your ebook. The agent may be looking for someone like you for a deal she’s putting together.

3. Keywords are your secret weapon

Keywords, or “tags” as Amazon calls them, are the key to your book being found.

Spend time on your tags. It’s a simple, but very powerful trick. If they can’t find your book, they can’t buy it.

Writing and Selling Ebooks

Image credit

Keywords, And More Keywords: Google’s Fun, Free Keyword Tools

Web content is all about the words — keywords. The search engines index them or they don’t… If they don’t, you’re in big trouble.

If you’re not sure where to get started with keywords, let’s look at some free tools.

Google’s Keyword Tool

Google Keywords Tool

Google’s venerable AdWords tool is a great place to start.

Tip: if you have an account, make sure you log in; it saves you bothering with the captcha, and has some excellent utilities.

Google Trends Timeline

Google Trends

See what people searched for over time — “hot trends” is very useful, this shows you the most popular search terms over 24 hours. Currently, “Felix Baumgartner” is the top search, with over a million searches.

Yes, Baumgartner’s a daredevil, and a very brave man. He’s also a marketing opportunity, as this article points out:

But while the stunt is a rallying cry for science, it’s also proved to be a huge marketing opportunity – and not just for the expensive watch strapped to Baumgartner’s wrist.

Energy drink Red Bull has sponsored the entire event, from Baumgartner’s training all the way through the skydive itself – complete with branding on the parachute.

Tip: there’s a BIG lesson for you in this. If you can tie your content to a hot trend, you’ll get lots of traffic. Be careful with this strategy. It works, and it’s powerful, but it can also lead to a lot of useless traffic if you’re not careful.

Google Suggest

To use Suggest, just go to Google, and start typing. Google offers you ideas of what you may want, depending on what you’ve typed.

Google Suggest

You can use suggest in various ways.

Tip: choose a keyword, and then work your way through the alphabet for your next word.

For example, if your chosen keyword is “keyword”, type “keyword a…” etc.

So there you have three of Google’s free and fun keyword tools. There are more; these will get you started.

Keywords: The Right Words, At the Right Time

Web Content Provider

In some circles, “content marketing” is the hot new trend that’s like platform shoes and mini skirts — it fades, and then comes back into fashion.

It’s two words: “content” and “marketing”, but the marketing aspect gets lost, so it becomes all about the content. It’s NEVER about the content, it’s always about the marketing.

Content, no matter how “keyword rich” is just useless words. As this article points out regarding content, Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers:

“But how much more effective would those ranking-centric efforts with content marketing be if there was more consideration of target audience needs during the buying cycle? What about optimizing for customers and business outcomes vs. keywords and rankings?”

Your keywords need to be the right words, at the right time

Google delivers results for a billion searches a day. Those billion searches are all made by people. Those people have intentions — goals — when they search. They want information about something, or they want to buy something, or they want to get to a specific site, or page on a site.

The more words in the search query string, the clearer the searcher’s intention becomes. A search for “iPad” tells you nothing at all. The search “iPad accessories” tells you a little more, as does “iPad cases” and “iPad 3 cases”. What about searches like “iPad 3 apps free”?

What about the words no one’s searched for — yet. Some 25 per cent of Google search queries are new, in the sense that no one’s ever searched for those words, in that particular order, before.

Wen I’m working with my Web content creation clients, it’s usually about the keywords for which they want to rank, at least in the beginning. Then we decide which keywords are worth ranking for. That depends on their marketing goals.

What keywords would you like to rank for? Are they the right words? Can you deliver them to your clients at the right stage in the buying cycle?

It’s always about the words, but they need to be the right words, at the right time.

Try this: think products, customer personas, keywords, and then content

Stop thinking CONTENT marketing. Take the focus off content for now. Put your focus on your products, and customer personas first. Then work on delivering the right content, at the right time.