So, you have a story of great value to share with a broader audience. You know that getting the attention of an established journalist will catapult your story to readers, viewers, and listeners across the nation, or perhaps around the world.
A quick search on Google will give you lists upon lists of tips on the matter. For something a little different, have a look at this simple three-step walkthrough...
There are thousands... no...millions of bloggers out there.
And yet, they all sound the same.
Kinda boring, don't you think? As a reader, take a look at what blogs you spend the most time on and the places where you leave the quickest.
If you were interested in healthy foods, would you spend more time reading someone who wrote like this:
" I made these a couple of weeks ago because I had a wicked craving for fish tacos and all I had on hand was shrimp. So I made a command decision: I made shrimp tacos.
It’s called troubleshooting! I’m good at it, but only if it involves food.
Put me in the desert and tell me I have to find my way out using my awesome sense of direction? Goodbye forever. Ain’t happening.
Did you know I can spin Marlboro Man around a thousand times with his eyes closed and with his eyes still closed he can point in any direction and determine whether it’s north, south, east, or west simply because it’s so embedded in his being?
Did you know I can spin around a thousand times with my eyes closed and throw up?I digress. Let’s move ahead with the tacos, okay? "
From The Pioneer Woman.
Or would you like to hang out at this blog:
"...First off, I would like to discuss the proposed theories that coffee has been affiliated with. Coffee has been believed to cause an increased risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension, stroke, cancer, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (1). Coffee has been thought to increase mortality in cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients (2). Also, the consumption of coffee may cause adverse effects with people who have hypertension (3). Lastly, many people believe that coffee is a diuretic..."
Taken from the American Society of Nutrition
Huge difference, isn't it?
Ernest Hemingway had said famously - “Write drunk; edit sober.”
As writers, we find that to be the best piece of advice that any writer can have in creating their masterpiece. But, how does being a borderline alcoholic help with your blog? What Hemingway meant was that after your initial burst of creativity, be ruthless in your editing. Because it's the editing process where you develop your tone and also where all the hard work is done.
So, the next time you start writing your blog, make sure that you spend the time to develop your writing style that will make your readers connect with you. Keep in mind that the writing style you use meets these two criteria:
You don't want to write with teenage angst if your audience are IT Managers... with LOL, OMFG and other acronymns which would only bring down your credibility.
But, don't also write in a dry, academic tone that would make War and Peace a light, frothy read in comparison.
So how do you develop your writing voice?
Hemingway had his own style that evolved from his time as a war journalist - short, clear sentences that was boiled down to the bare essence. His philosophy was - if you can communicate a concept in three sentences instead of five, do it. He once won a bet that he could write a story in six words. On a napkin, he wrote - For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.
However, there isn't really a strict set of rules in creating your writing style. There’s no “right” style that you have to follow. Your own writing style is really a combination of your personality, how you view the world and most importantly, how you speak.
Some people communicate in a very flowing writing style. Others write in short bursts of thought and focus entirely on the main points of what they write. What matters isn’t learning a style, but finding your own style and developing it.
The more you write, the more you will get better at it. And your writing style will evolve over time. At first, it may seem difficult and slow, however, as you keep writing, you'll notice that you become more efficient.
Here are some tips to develop your writing style:
1. Be a voracious reader.
Read every book that you can lay your hands on. Read blogs and magazines. Newsletters. Novels.. By reading more, you will understand the type of writing styles that you resonate with. Discover how articles are put together, understand how good writers create interest and engagement. You'll start learning what makes for uninteresting blogs and what really grabs your attention.
Your blogging too will naturally improve and evolve, especially if you are making the effort to study and learn technical skills such as grammar, the mechanics of the writing process itself, and certainly, the art of storytelling.
2. Write as much as possible.
Practice makes perfect. On top of reading as much as possible you have to write as much as possible. Play writing games with yourself... a good one is picking one word around a theme and writing for ten minutes - answering questions such as what memories does it bring for you, what emotional pull does it have, why is it interesting for you... Don't stop and don't correct until the ten minutes are up.
Other techniques that you can use are:
3. Learn from the top bloggers/copywriters
Although, we did mention that finding your own style is unique to you... learning the fundamentals of blogging from the masters can help you. Learn from top bloggers, such as:
By using them as a foundation for your own writing, you get a feel for how they communicate. Analyze their writing style, understand how they craft their headlines and how they create a compelling story that grabs the readers' attention immediately.
4. Learn copywriting
Although copywriting is used in direct mail pieces, landing pages and websites, to persuade a target audience to take action, the lessons that you learn from copywriting techniques can help you immeasurably with your writing. Some of the best bloggers are also copywriters. As mentioned earlier, they know how to craft a great headline and how to create a compelling post that grabs the attention of the reader immediately and keep them reading until the end.
5. Read your writing out loud
It's not the writing that is important - but the editing. As Hemingway mentioned - it's not the creative act of writing that is important, but the hard work of editing. One of the best tips that we've received in regards to editing, is reading your work out loud. You will pick up some nuances that may not come up when you're reading to yourself. Mistakes such as repetitive words, or tone of voice that sounds too casual, too formal, stiff or even dry can become evident to your ear.
Most importantly never stop learning.
Although Hemingway was known as a hard-drinking, big-game hunting, prize winning writer, he always took the time to help out others with their writing. Much of his wisdom was taken from a lifetime of writing and in spite of the years, it still can be applied to the art of blog writing today.
Like Hemingway, the best strategy is to keep an open mind with regards to your writing style. Learn from the pros, learn from your friends and peers, and learn from yourself.
If you persistently work and focus on writing.. your style will begin to meld and take shape. With millions of other writers out there all competing for eye balls… a unique style and perspective is the best tool to get them glued to your page.
Before writing a post, get your creative juices flowing. Have a glass of wine, drink a beer, take a nap or go for a run.. whatever it takes.
Write fast. Until you are out of ideas.. and then revisit in the morning for some cold sober editing.
This is the new era, of a content focus SEO at its finest!
It’s time to forget about the old days of spammy link strategies and poor quality content. As a search consumer, you no longer have to worry about going through hundreds of badly written articles and spam sites to find the one that gives you good information.
Like Apple back in the early days, Google+ has its fair share of skeptics. Recently, a report from RJ Metrics was published indicating that, although Google+ has seen some solid user growth, engagement still lags far behind Facebook and Twitter.
Google claims the report is skewed because of a small sample size and only publicly shared data is included. However, numbers aside, Google has made it clear that Google+ will play an important part in its continuous process to improve its search algorithm so that they can provide quality search results for their users.
If you’re a blogger, this is important. You cannot overlook the importance of social media and Google+ in your efforts to get more visibility and higher rankings.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider Google+ as part of your social media and content strategy...
Reason 1 - Google will index you faster
Google is now using social media as part of its social proof strategy applied to content. This is done for two reasons:
Reason 2 - Impact on Personalized Search
As the web has become more and more personal, Google has started to reorder search results based on recommendations in your given social graph. For instance, if you search pancake restaurant in Google, you may now see a connection from someone in one of your circles who has +1’d a given restaurant. That particular restaurant may rank higher in the search due to the number of pluses they get.
As the difference between a standardized search and a personalized one continues to grow, an increased reliance on your social circle (or community recommendations) and a less reliance on link popularity will begin to dominate search results.
Also, your Google+ profile picture has began to appear in the search results of your blog posts, allowing your posts to stand out even more. Although, the value of social sharing is still in its infancy, its impact will continue to rise as does Google+’s user base.
Reason 3 - Influence
One problem that could arise for Google’s new +1 approach is that spammers would ultimately take advantage and be “+1ing” poor content. However, over time as Google begins to analyze their +1 data, they’ll be able to find individuals who have more influence than others, and weigh their results accordingly which would combat this problem.
These changes won’t occur overnight, however as more and more people hop on the Google+ train, search results will change accordingly.
In short, getting people to naturally +1 your content will get you more organic traffic from Google.. at very little cost to you. As Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land put it, “...+1 becomes the new Page Rank.”
It turned out to be senseless to bet against Apple back in the 80s, will you do the same with Google+?
It is Google we’re talking about here.
The last few months have been an interesting time for the city of Montreal. Blocked traffic.
Smoke bombs in the metro.
Students being forced to not goto school.
Sounds like an uprising in a Third World country doesn't it? (Many people who live here sometimes consider Quebec to be a third world province, but we digress...)
It all started when students rose against the government over the increase in tuition prices, but, somehow degenerated into a protest against everything that the current provincial government stands for. Whatever you political affiliation, what is fascinating though, is how important social media and the internet plays in the keeping the movement alive.
And how the people and even the police have used social media to push its points and maintain communications. A few lessons can be learned from this event for online marketers and we've boiled it down to two:
1. Real-time social media monitoring is necessary in order to keep up with the latest trends.
The Quebec student strikes seem to follow a similar pattern: organize, gather, protest, disband and often repeat. In scale the protests are quite significant, but the most remarkable component is the organizational abilities of the students, amidst the Montreal Police’s valiant efforts to put them to a halt.
If it were not for social media, student protesters would never be able to effectively organize and communicate in such an effective manner. Through Facebook groups, status updates and tweets, everyone is aware of the most up to date information - in real-time.
It may seem obvious, but the student’s dependence on social networks is a glaring sign of today’s reliance on the most up-to-date information through social networks.
So, what's the lesson for the online marketer??
In relation to online marketing, today’s newest trends and success stories will stem from the ability to monitor and respond to emerging consumer sentiment online.
In order for companies to develop strong relationships with their clients, they need to be constantly monitoring the social networks that their customers hang out at. Just as the police are monitoring the same networks that the Quebec students are using and likewise, the reliance Quebec students have on these same networks to communicate with each other.
Within minutes, hundreds of thousands of Quebec students can be informed and unite; the same should be said for online marketers looking to cash in on new trends.
2. Organizational mistakes or alterations can be amplified to have disastrous impacts.
The Charest government never thought that a $254/year increase in tuition fees would result such a massive uprising. Although small in monetary value, the scope of backlash has caught on to 83% of Quebec’s students. The protests show no signs of slowing and recently, the Quebec Minister of Education has resigned under the increased pressure of her duties.
The same could be said in the world of online marketing.
The ability of news and ideas to spread instantly means even small mistakes can have disastrous effects for companies. Back in January, McDonalds tweeted the hashtag #McDstories in an effort to promote positive stories from their suppliers.
However, unhappy customers hijacked the hashtag, unveiling a wide variety of unpleasant experiences they’ve had - such as finding fingernails in their burgers. @SkipSullivan tweeted, “One time I walked into McDonald’s and I could smell type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up. #McDstories”.
Within minutes a parade of similar tweets was sent around the twittersphere, all in criticism of the Golden Arches.
As news and ideas spread can now spread to hundreds of thousands in less than a second, organizations must be extra cautious regarding the messages they send out, and also the people they put in charge.
Here is a recap on what's happened this week in regards to content marketing.. Enjoy!
The content conundrum: 5 ways to create expert content with little resources
If you're a small business, it's more than likely, there is one person handling not only social media, but also the content marketing. This involves blogging, writing email newsletters, answering social media comments, and writing guest posts as part of blogger outreach. As your customers are more than likely to use social media as a way to do their research before purchasing, it's extremely important that you produce great content that will build your credibility and develop relationships.... Anita O'Malley from PerspectivMarketing.com shows you how.
General Mills explain their success in content marketing
An interesting article by Forbes who interviewed the top 3 leading advertisers and their content strategy. General Mills discusses their magazine Tablespoon and how it helped their brands.
How to be a formidable content curator - a 17 step guide.
A great post on how to share awesome, relevant content for your audience using the simplest of tools. Chris Lake of econsultancy.com explains that being a resource can mean finding information that your readers can't find on their own.
7 New things to do after you've written a new blog post
A week late, but here is a great update from Brody Dorland from DivvyHQ on how to promote your blog post to get maximum visibility. We highly recommend #3 - tie in Google+ to your blog especially with the Panda and Penguin updates.
A great way to keep up-to date on the newest online marketing tactics and trends is by learning from the best. Many of them share their knowledge on their their own blogs and Twitter feeds . We have a small list of some of the top internet marketers, their blogs and Twitter accounts. Read and learn from them!
Jill Whalen ( @JillWhalen) is considered to be an old-timer of the online space. She has been involved in SEO since the early 90's as CEO of High Ranking, a SEO agency in Boston. She maintains a great SEO newsletter called the High Rankings Advisor and is a prolific tweeter. She is highly engaged with her followers and provides some great insight into the SEO world.
Rand Fishkin (@randfish) is the CEO and one of the founders of SEOmoz.org. He has managed to grow SEOMoz to become one of the most respected companies in the SEO space. His knowledge of online marketing, SEO and social media is great. He and his team write extensively on internet marketing and have some great insight on how to rank well.
Todd Malicoat (@stuntdubl) is an SEO teacher who creates and organizes certification programs in online marketing for Market Motive. Another one of the old-timers in online marketing, he has been involved in the internet industry in many capacities. Most recently as a consultant for various companies such as Meredith Corporation, PBS and Real Networks. He has a great blog on StuntDubl.com , where he writes about SEO, social media and online marketing.
Dan Zarella ( @danzarella ) for lack of a better term, can be considered a geek. He is the original madman scientist of social media for Hubspot, always experimenting and trying to figure out how to improve online marketing. He also maintains a blog at DanZarella.com outlining some of his experiments. An interesting experiment he recently did for a federal intelligence agency was the use of Twitter to predict social unrest and map it.
As part of our ongoing series on successful bloggers to answer the question - what makes a successful blog, we've interviewed Nick Thacker. He is the owner of Livehacked.com, a great blog for writers on how to achieve success in the publishing world.
1. Who is Nick Thacker?
I'm a creator. Writing books, blog posts, articles--or music, building businesses, or whatever--I enjoy the process of creating something from nothing. I've been an entrepreneur for around 7 years, most recently at LiveHacked.com, where I am trying to help people find out their inner passion for building and creating cool stuff, then find the confidence to "ship" it!
2. Why did you start Livehacked.com? How does Livehacked.com make money?
LiveHacked.com is part personal blog, part resource center for budding writers, entrepreneurs, and creators. Its target focus is "productive writing," "platform building through blogging," and "getting more done in a distracting world." The current stage it's in is solely as a content-center--the monetization will come through books and paid resources for people who like what's going on (for example, I'm just about finished with a book on creating a business plan for a blog by answering 101 "questions" about your passion and topic.).
The next stage will be community-driven: creating a tribe and launching a movement of people who want to engage and interact with others and create content out of it.
Eventually, I hope to roll out a publishing resource site for authors and bloggers--we'll see!
3. Why not a video blog? Or a podcast? What made you choose to write a blog?
Truthfully--quality control and consistency. I don't have good enough equipment to create high-quality video and do the lighting. I know I could do something simple with my MacBook Pro, but spending years doing A/V production in church sort of ruined my ability to accept that quality! If I do it, I don't want the quality to be a hindrance to the brand.
The consistency part is why I haven't done podcasting. I read and write all the time, so blogging is easy (or easier!). Podcasting, though, might be fun for awhile and then become a chore--I don't want to either be stuck producing a podcast that's not fun for me, or worse: produce something people can TELL I don't enjoy!
Both mediums are amazing ways to capture and exchange ideas, though--I hope to be able to incorporate them into my platform soon, but for now I'm sticking to my guns!
4. How do you come up with the content that meets your readers' needs?
The first thing I do is ask myself what I would want to read--is there a question I had (or have) that I can try to answer? If so, I'll do some research and write about it.
Second, I ask anyone who reads the site--if you sign up for the newsletter, I ask, "what are you struggling with?" (thanks to Derek Halpern for that AWESOME advice!), and then personally respond to the email, thanking them for their response. Then I try to help. If it's a question they ask ("how do I promote my book," or "how can I get people to read my blog?") then I can do some more research and provide an opinion. If it's a more intangible response, like "I'm struggling with getting started on my big projects," I might try to offer some insight based on what got me through the bigger projects, etc.
The last way to come up with content is to steal it! Not steal the actual content, necessarily, but to steal the subject matter or the idea: if there's a post a certain subject that's getting massive response, there's a good chance people want to read about that subject! If it's something I know about and have an opinion on that might help others, I'll write something on the same subject, or from another perspective, that explains a different aspect of it. That way, I'm not actually "stealing" anything--just writing on a topic I know is currently popular!
5. How long does it take to create a blog post for you?
I'll spend anywhere from 2 hours to upwards of 4, but the longer I spend on a post the more I tend to think it can better served in another format, like an ebook or course or something. Length isn't really the issue--I write quickly enough--it's the organization of my thoughts into a coherent format that makes sense, and finding the research/studies/images to support the post.
I have the exact same process for posts on LiveHacked.com as I do for guest posts--neither is "more important," and both are permanent, so I try to write equally in-depth stuff for other websites as I do for my own. The only difference is that I might try to leave a guest post more open-ended to get traffic to my site, and on my own site I'll end with a call to action ("sign up," "leave a comment," etc.)
6. What's your marketing strategy?
Those are the lofty, idealistic things you'll find in my marketing plan. Here are the things in my marketing "bag of tricks:"
Basically, the crane/platform strategy is an exotic form of "start small." But it really works, and got me in the right mindset!
7. I noticed that you have a free course on writing a novel. Why's that?
I've always read fiction thrillers as my escape from the real world, and so I decided to write one awhile ago. I learned so much during the process--not just on writing fiction, but on goal-setting, productivity, and creation in general--that I thought it would be helpful to other writers as well. Half of my readership is made up of people who love to write, but can't get to "The End." The other half is people wanting to build something from nothing; to get noticed. Writing a novel may not help, but the tools I found and used certainly help me build other stuff as well!
And it's free because it's a crane--leading to a larger platform!
8. On Problogger, you mentioned that leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to drive traffic back, however, with Google disallowing any backlinks from commenting, is this still a good strategy?
I think it's a great way to develop the long-tail in your overall traffic strategy. Looking at Analytics data over the few years I've maintained my site, I see tons of incoming traffic from sites I've left an insightful, thoughtful comment on. Sure, I REALLY want to leave a comment on those sites that aren't rel="nofollow" or whatever, but I've had real traffic in the long run from people who clicked over from another site.
It's not something I'm going to recommend as an SEO tactic--there's just too much work involved for too little payout. But for overall traffic and engagement, absolutely. Plus, as a blog owner, I understand the feeling of getting a great comment on a blog post--so it's a way I can "pay it forward!"
"...I can bet that our current understanding of SEO won't be anything close to the future understanding of it--except that people like great content, and they want to figure out how to answer their questions and solve their problems..."
9. What is the best way to discover guest posting opportunities as a way to drive traffic back to your site?
I start by looking at the sites I already read! What works really well for me is to find a search bar on a site I read, and search for "guest post" on it. Many times I'll find a long-forgotten page detailing the guest-posting policy, or at least a contact form. I don't spend too much time seeking out sites I don't already read--it takes too long to get acquainted with the readership by commenting and interacting.
However, whenever I come across a site I love, I'll subscribe immediately and start the process of becoming a "regular reader"--and whenever I'm ready to guest post, I'll already have more of an "in" with the site owner.
10. Is guest posting one good way to create backlinks or part of a larger strategy?
Definitely part of a larger strategy; that of getting targeted readers. To me, there's no reason to focus only on SEO--my site will be successful by building long-term relationships with actual readers, not by generating traffic and clicks. Yes, the backlinks help--but they don't pay the bills.
11. What is your opinion on Google's action against blog networks such as Buildmyrank and others? How does it change your blog marketing strategy?
You know, it's upsetting that the Panda update and Google's recent actions have hurt certain "repository"-style websites. But if you build an entire business model around a proprietary algorithm that you don't fully understand nor control, how can you be expect to maintain the status quo at all? In all honesty, I've always focused on SEO as an integral part of an overall strategy, but nothing more. I'm focusing on capturing long-term readers, and whether or not a backlink increases my external SEO or not, it definitely increases the chances someone will find LiveHacked.com!
Google has a stranglehold on the entire Internet currently, but it won't last forever. I have no idea what it's going to look like ten years from now, but I can bet that our current understanding of SEO won't be anything close to the future understanding of it--except that people like great content, and they want to figure out how to answer their questions and solve their problems.
If we can help them do that, it won't matter what Google or any of the other search engine players decide to do.
12. What are some of the mistakes that people do in promoting their blog?
I can answer this one very well, because I've made most of the mistakes! First, thinking that the online world is any different than the offline world in terms of what people want. They want engagement and relationship, NOT self-promoted hype and hyperbole.
Second, I made a big mistake when I first started in online marketing by trying to offer what I thought people wanted, rather than what I was passionate about. The result was a quick level of growth, then a plateau after I lost interest, then a decline.
A third mistake is trying to do a little of everything. The web makes it easy to try so many new things in promoting our work, but that doesn't mean we should. It's great to explore the traffic strategies to see what works, but we can quickly become spread too thin and fizzle out. Instead, it seems like focusing on a few or a handful of proven growth strategies and sticking with them for some time would be the best long-term strategy.
13. Where do you see Livehacked.com in the future?
Planes, trains, and spaceships, entire branded theme parks, and becoming a household name. No, really--I hope LiveHacked can grow, for sure, into something that more people can get use out of. Everyone has a "big project" or "lifelong dream" that they're completely and totally capable of accomplishing, but for whatever reason, don't.
I want LiveHacked.com to become the site that helps people figure out what that reason is, and get over it. Eventually, I see LiveHacked moving from a personal blog to more of a community-driven publishing and content-creation project. We'll see!
Brad Smith is the founder of Fixcourse.com, a lead generation agency for small businesses. He’s a digital marketing consultant, who’s worked with clients in a variety of industries.. Today he provides us with insight as to how a small business can compete effectively with great content...
1. How different is small business marketing online vs. online marketing for corporations?
The most obvious difference is resources (more money to invest/spend and more people to help out).
But the other thing is that successful companies in online marketing understand how to systematically scale and grow their businesses.
They know what the Cost of Customer Acquisition is, and the Lifetime Value of a Customer. So they know how much they can spend on paid channels, and how to optimize conversions and testing to improve.
They have a long-term strategy set in place, and the individual tactics they use or experiment with follow that strategy.
Smaller companies, or less successful corporations spend too much time obsessing over tactical issues (that usually don’t have a huge influence), and may lose sight of their goals because they don’t/can’t quantify their effort.
2. How can the small business stand out online?
Have a voice (personality): I was once at a conference, and one of the panelists was in charge of PR for a large multinational. She literally had a list of “social media responses” that her legal team blessed. She (and her team) weren’t allowed to deviate from that.
That is the exact opposite of how social media works. No one will feel passionate about a brand that hides behind a list of standard responses.
So you can be more human, and use speed to your advantage.
Stand for something: SImon Sinek has a great TED talk about how people buy “why you do it”. Almost every product or service you can sell today is a commodity. So what you need to realize is that people don’t buy your “product” or “service”, they’re buying a solution.
So Simon’s talk hits this point home and gives you pointers on how your business can stand for something.
Have enemies: If your business is going to stand for something, then there needs to be examples (whether it’s other companies or ways of doing something) that you don’t agree with. You’re not trying to market to every single potential customers. You’re trying to market to customers that buy into your worldview.
So these customers will respond when you get them emotionally engaged and committed to your cause - not the other persons.
3. What is content marketing in your eyes?
Content marketing is the process of creating content for the purpose of increasing awareness, attention and engagement around your brand.
It can help companies create their own media marketing asset - which gives them the ability to build an audience and market directly to that audience over time.
The result is that you’re able to acquire customers for much less, and keep them around longer (all while decreasing your costs related to advertising, etc)
4. Which forms of content marketing are effective for small businesses?
5. What are the 3 most important criteria that a business owner must look out for in creating a content strategy?
6. With all the talk about social media (Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest), should I have a blog or just use social media instead?
Your blog, hands down!
Why should a business (or any person interested in making money online) get involved in social media / blogging in the first place?
The answer is to get attention. (That’s why blogging is like a media marketing asset). You want to provide value (by doing these things) in exchange for their attention.
So the most valuable thing to an online marketer needs to be their audience’s attention (and data).
When you’re on other social networks, you don’t have control or ownership over your customer’s information. If your company page violates Facebook Guidelines (which is really easy to do), then you’ve just lost all that data and valuable information.
Is there a great example of a small business using content marketing and the web to stand out and increase sales?
The best (and most well known) that come to mind are Copyblogger, SEOmoz, and HubSpot.
They’re all software companies that use content marketing as a way to get customers.
It helps them reach new customers, but it also helps them keep existing customers around longer (so they buy more products, or buy more frequently).
7. If you believe having a blog is important, what are your top 3 words of advice on how a small business can leverage it today?
8. What advice do you have for the small business owner who has trouble coming up with engaging content?
I just wrote a post about this.
9. What are the biggest mistakes that a small business owner could make in online marketing?
Did you like this post? Subscribe to our RSS feed at the top of the blog
As writers, we love anything related to content marketing and writing, which is why we've compiled a list of great content tips and articles from around the web... Check it out.
27 awesome ways to get people to listen to you
As a blogger or content marketer, not only do you need to create and maintain your editorial schedule, but you also have to do some blog marketing. This involves commenting on other sites, doing guest blogging, promoting your posts and connecting with others through social media. All this is tough to maintain over a period of time. This article shares a few ways how to get your readers to listen to you...
3 tips for increasing your content productivity
Being productive in your blogging is a problem that many online marketers have. Your success in blogging is dependent on being consistent, organized and relevant. This article outlines how you can produce quality content frequently.
12 important steps bloggers should never forget
A blog is a great way for you to get your message out. However, if you're not showing up on Google and your traffic is low, make sure that you follow these steps.
10 must have templates for content marketers
Being organized is key in your content marketing strategy. These templates will help you clarify your vision and create an content map that will allow you to provide fresh, relevant content that meets your prospects needs.
Benny Hsu is the founder of the Get Busy Living Blog and author of the Get a life that doesn't suck ebook. He writes a great blog on personal development and how you can achieve your life goals. We interviewed him on how you can get started in blogging and live a balanced life...
1. Who is Benny Hsu?
I'm 34 years old and I live in Florida. I have a regular job, but I have my passion in making iPhone apps and in blogging.
2. What is your blog about? How did you start it?
My blog is about helping people bring out the best in them to live a better life. I started it in the beginning of 2011, but I actually had the domain for almost three years. I just didn't know what to write about so that's why I didn't start a blog earlier. Finally I found a topic, personal development, that I really wanted to talk about and knew I would be interested in it to write for a long time.
3. When did you realize you made it as a blogger?
Well I don't think I've made it as a blogger yet (still shooting for the top), but I do remember my first post that went viral for me. It was a list post about 40 bloggers that were doing great things online. I got so many comments and retweets from it. Brought me a lot of recognition and new readers.
Since then I would say being asked for an interview makes me realize I've done something right with blogging.
4. How does your blogging career differ from your previous careers - especially in terms of life satisfaction?
It's much more satisfying. I love it. I could spend all day reading about blogging and working on my blog. It allows me to be creative which I love. I get to meet people all over the world. I get to inspire people and hear from people how much I've helped them. It's really rewarding.
5. What were your challenges in starting the blog and how did you overcome them?
Getting readers was a big challenge. We always want more readers. We don't just want ten visitors a day. I overcame it by constantly commenting on other blogs. I would share other great posts. I would focus on writing content worth sharing. It wasn't an overnight success. I had to do everything a little at a time.
6. How has your success as a blogger affected other aspects of your life?
It's given me more confidence. It's opened more opportunities that I would have never had before. I've been able to meet some amazing people.
7. How did you grow and market your blog?
I did it one step at a time. I did a lot of commenting on other blogs. It wasn't a quick "Great post" comment, but I took the time to really read their post and leave a good comment. I created a Facebook page and slowly got followers. Now Facebook is one of my top sources of traffic. I created a free ebook to give away and that's helped with gaining new readers. I love Twitter so I use that to share any new post.
8. What are the most effective revenue generators for your blog?
Right now my biggest source of revenue is affiliate marketing. I'll promote products I trust to my readers and make a commission from them.
9. Blogging takes a lot of work - how do you balance your life?
I try to focus on only blogging when I have time. I try to not let other distractions bother me when I'm blogging.
10. What would be the best advice for people new to blogging?
Just get started. Don't wait to be perfect before you start. Every A list blogger started as a beginner. Start now and focus on learning as you go. It's much better that way.
11. What is your vision - where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself as having a media empire. I love being an entrepreneur. I'd love to be in video, writing, speaking, and creating products. I'd share my experience and knowledge with others to help them perform at a higher level and make more money.