7 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Write Your Next Blog Post

1.   What did my readers love about my last blog post?

2.   Can this post become an extension of my previous post?

3.   Can this blog help me turn my previous post into a series?

4.   What were my best social media outlets for my previous blog post?

 

5.   Is this blog post an original and not just a reworded version of the previous post?

Asking these seven questions can help ensure that your second (or next) blog post compliments your first. Your next blog doesn’t have to be the beginning of a series, but your brand and voice should start to take shape in the eyes of your reader. If you’re working on your second (or next) blog, drop a link to your first blog in the comments section.

Happy Blogging!!

4 Quick Ways Bloggers Can Use Twitter To Increase Their Readership

Ok, biz owners and bloggers – let’s get right to it.

  1. Hashtag. Hashtag. Hashtag. Every author should use hashtags, but they should use them strategically. Don’t use super generic hashtags. Let use an author (who IS a small business owner) as an example. An author should not use the hashtag #author when #nonfictionauthor will yield more focused results. Use genre specific hashtags to call out others in your industry and to engage with your readers.
  2. Use the 5/5/5 rule when using Twitter. Spend five minutes responding to tweets and congratulating and connecting with others. Spend five minutes following your followers and searching out influential people you need to follow. Spend five minutes creating new tweets with appropriate hashtags.
  3. Don’t spend all day on Twitter. Do look like you spend time there, though. Tweetdeck is a free app that lets you schedule posts, giving the appearance that you’re active even when you’re engaged in other productive activities.
  4. Build a relationship with your customers and potential customers first. Then sell to them. Make sure your posts include pics and funny quotes and clips and memes and that it follows the 70/30 rule. 70% of your tweets should be topics, tips and articles of interest to your reader. The remaining 30% can then be self-promotional and focused on selling.

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.”
– Amy Jo Martin

Happy Blogging!!

4 Simple Ways Your Blog Can Generate Cash

If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or startup, you should have a blog. Period.

If you have a blog it should make you money. Period.

Now that we’ve established those ground rules. Let’s take a look at four easy ways you can use your blog to generate income.

  1. Share the genius content that’s already in your head (you’re using it to run your business), lead magnet, or info-product. Using your blog to share short bursts of your information and resources will sway your blog readers to head on over to your purchase URL and buy. Offer a discount for your readers and PLEASE include a purchase link. You’ll be surprised at how many bloggers don’t do that.
  2. Have you ever heard the following expression: It’s a poor dog that won’t wag its own tail? Use your blog to showcase your business expertise skills. No one can hire you to do anything if they don’t know about you and what you do.
  3. Start a relationship with non-competing companies your target market buys from. Include their links in your blog and every time someone clicks their link, you get paid. Cha Ching!
  4. Attend blogging conferences and conferences related to your target market. You’ll find all the clients you need together in one place. Just keep in mind that the money isn’t in the conference, itself. It’s in the follow-up.

If you need help keeping up with your blog posts, I offer custom blog writing services. If you prefer to write your own blog posts, but need help coming up with blog topics to write about, I offer custom blog calendars as well. They’re customized specifically for you and your business.

Blogging can be a cool way to stay home and work your own hours, using skills you already possess. Create a blog that gets attention and then use that attention to earn the cash you need to live the life you want.

Happy Blogging!!

 

5 Reasons Content Marketing Works For Small Businesses

Running your own small business is a huge accomplishment. Marketing it well is a huge challenge.  You’ll be competing for the attention span and disposable dollars of every member of your target market – as will every business owner. Content marketing via your blog can help you stand out in the crowd. Here are five reasons you should give it a go.

  1. Content Marketing Can Be Uber Specific
    Marketing to all people with skin is a waste of time. Period. Marketing to people who have expressed an interest in your topic/genre and who have money to spend on your products and services is strategic thinking. Niche. Niche. Niche. You can use content marketing – and its targeting tools – to reach these people and make more sales. Put plainly – use content marketing to reach the readers whose problem you solve. Period. 
  2. Content Marketing Creates Relationship
    Most consumers are looking for something when they make a purchase. They’re looking for an answer. A solution to some problem.  A blog or Twitter Chat or Facebook post that solves their problems and keeps them coming back does more than sell your wares. It creates a relationship with your reader. And we all know that old adage: people do business with people they know, like and trust.
  3. Content Marketing Is Cheap
    Your business can be refashioned into a lot of content. Creating follow up content for your marketing efforts takes far more time than money. Take the time to mine your genre for quotes, nuggets of wisdom and tweetables. Include that info in your blog posts.
  4. Content Marketing Gives Your Target Audience A Sneak Peek
    Like a movie trailer, your content marketing material can be used to give your target readers a sneak peek into what you’re writing. One great way to do this is by blogging. Blogging is a wonderful way to get your readers invested in and engaged in your small business.
  5. Content Marketing Reaches Your Target Market In Multiple Ways
    From word-of-mouth to online reviews to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, content marketing can be shared over a plethora of channels.  Having multiple entryways makes it easier for clients to find you.

Here’s a shameless plug for my friend and colleague, Lisa Larter. Lisa authored one of my favorite blog posts on how to turn one piece of content into five. Talk about great content marketing! Whew!

There you have it. These are my 5 favorite reasons to use content marketing to grow your business.

Happy Blogging!!

3 Grammar Mistakes That Make Your Blog & Other Writing Look Unpolished

Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than a good blog that’s rife with errors and difficult to read. Like everyone else, I sometimes have to double check grammar rules to be sure I’m compliant (I’ll share two of my favorite grammar tools at the end of this post). There are a few grammar errors, however, that should almost be knee-jerk knowledge. Here are three grammar pet peeves that you should abolish from your blog posts (and other writing) at all costs.

Two. Too. To.

  • Two is a numeral and means more than one, but less than three.
  • Too means as well as or also.
  • To expresses or identifies.

Consider the following sentence: Those two people are going to the store and the bank, too.

Your. You’re.

  • Your is a possessive adjective.
  • You’re is a contraction of you and are.

Consider the following sentence: You’re only as good as your word.

It’s. Its.

  • It’s is a contraction for it is or it has.
  • Its is possessive.

Consider the following sentence: Taxes are increasing in the city and its suburbs.

One of my favorite grammar jokes: What do you say when you’re comforting a grammar snob? There, their, they’re.

Grammar is important. It’s the framework for effective communication. Without proper grammar, sentences might run on, clarity might get lost, and communication surely becomes confusing. Take time to proofread your blogs or ask a grammar snob friend (we all have at least one) to do it for you!

Need more grammar help? Take a look at Grammarly or Grammer-Girl. Grammarly is a robust grammar correcting software. Even its free version is powerful and robust. Grammar-Girl is educational and hilarious! Check them out and help your blog and other written work put its best foot forward.