How to start a successful blog in 2021
A blog is a proven way to attract and retain clients. It provides a platform for regularly sharing helpful information that your audience wants to know about. When done effectively, it drives traffic to your website, enhances your credibility, and helps you stay top of mind with referral sources. The good news is that blogging gives you significant flexibility in creating something that will help you get more business. If you are considering a blog or you already have one, but it isn’t meeting your expectations, check out these tips: (more…)
What does Google say about you? 6 tips to help beef up your online presence
When was the last time you googled your name? If you haven’t in a while, do it now and regularly hereafter. Studies show that over 70% of people research someone online before hiring or doing business with them. They may google you before or after contacting you to verify your credentials, learn more about you, and/or compare you to competitors. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to what shows up in your Google results and think about how you can beef up your online presence. (more…)
10 things you can do in your downtime to improve your marketing
Every business has been impacted by COVID-19, but this is not the time to pull back on marketing. It’s not about looking for immediate business. Instead, the focus must be on staying visible with your contacts, so they remember you when they or someone they know needs help in the future. If you do have some extra downtime, here are some tasks that will boost your digital presence. (more…)
5 tips to help you develop great blog post topics
One of the toughest aspects of blogging is coming up with topics. It’s even worse when you feel under pressure to produce something. The better way to go is to sit down periodically (alone or with staff members) and brainstorm ideas. Ideally, you can develop a bunch of topics at once, so you don’t have to go through this exercise very often. Here are a few tips to help get your brainstorming session started: (more…)
New Year’s resolutions to jump start your marketing
Like it or not, you need to market your practice if you want to ensure a steady revenue stream. The start of a new year is a good time to look at what’s working or not with your existing marketing and resolve to do better or try new ways to market. Here are a few resolutions to consider for 2018: (more…)
6 things you need to know for more successful blogging
Do you have a blog or want to start one? Blogging has many proven benefits as an integral part of your marketing strategy. However, if you want to be more successful at it (no matter how you define success), you need to consider these 6 fundamental questions. (more…)
7 tips for more effective blog writing for your business
Are you a good writer? Even if you’re not the best, you can still write an effective blog post. In fact, blogs are a more forgiving format than most other writing. You set the length, tone and style. But there are best practices you should follow to improve your blog writing in order to better market your business.
1. Start strong. Your first paragraph should clearly and concisely tell readers what you are going to talk about and why it’s important (i.e. how it benefits them). You want to give them a reason to keep reading so don’t bury the lead. Sadly people’s attention spans keep getting shorter. According to Microsoft we’re now at 8 seconds so you have to get to the point quickly if you want to get them to continue reading.
2. Use the same terminology as your target audience. Speak to them in their own language. Generally you shouldn’t talk to potential clients the way you would talk to your colleagues or referral sources. Using the right tone and wording not only will make your content more readable and interesting, but you will be proving that you can relate to your audience.
3. Break up the text. A big block of text can be harder to write and put off readers. Lists, bullets, headings and other strategies can help you organize and discuss your topic in a more readable and compelling way. And dividing the text visually enables readers to more easily scan and understand the points you’re making.
4. Incorporate stories. This is a great way to demonstrate how you help people solve their problems. Provide case studies and examples to let your audience see that you are dealing with others like them. They also personalize your work as well as your content. It’s more interesting to read a story, than a bunch of facts. And you can omit confidential/identifying facts without sacrificing the value of your story.
5. Keep it simple. Yes you’re an expert and have lots of amazing information to share, but you will confuse and overwhelm readers with too much information. You want to help readers spot the important issues and gain some understanding, not provide a step by step guide to solving their problems. If you have that much to say, then write multiple blog posts and link them to each other so readers who are interested in more information can keep reading.
6. Write it and then put it aside. It’s very hard to look at your work objectively right after you’ve completed a draft. I build into my writing schedule extra time to review what I wrote the next day so I can edit and proof more effectively.
7. Include a call to action. What do you want readers to do after reading your blog? Contact you? Sign up for something? Make sure to have a clear next step for the reader. You’re using the blog to help your marketing so you want to encourage people to continue to engage with you in some way.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re writing a blog post. To read more writing tips, see 5 dos to help you create content that your audience wants to read and 5 things not to do if you want people to read your content.
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5 things not to do if you want people to read your content
Do you feel like no one is reading your content? Why bother blogging, sending newsletters and creating other content if everyone is too busy to read it. Giving your clients and prospects valuable information is a proven way to market yourself. But how can you make your content interesting so people will want to read it? There are plenty of dos and don’ts to get you started. We covered some of the do’s previously, here are some don’ts:
1. Don’t just report the news or new developments. There are lots of sources for news. Yes there is value in passing along items you think might interest your audience, but you want to take the extra step. The real difference you want to provide is to talk about how the new development impacts the client’s situation. Offer insights and practical advice. That’s what will help you stand out from your competition.
2. Don’t be self-promotional. It is okay to talk about your activities and awards to demonstrate credibility. However, keep it to a minimum. Think of the 80-20 rule – 80% useful content; 20% promotional content.
3. Don’t use canned content. There are lots of sources of canned content. Even though the content can be well-written, it’s also very basic, generic and boring. It doesn’t focus on the specific issues of your audience, won’t be enticing to read, and doesn’t showcase your unique value proposition. It’s also “duplicate content,” – that is, content that appears on lots of websites. Google will penalize you for that and it will hurt you in search engine rankings.
4. Don’t worry about perfect grammar and syntax. Just recently I read a blog post from Top Rank Marketing that reminded me how we get caught up in writing like it’s a term paper. Write in a way that’s comfortable for a real person to read and also shows your personality. You can still be a professional and not have your writing feel like a treatise.
5. Don’t forget about headlines. A great headline entices people to read more. A lot of lawyers, accountants and other professionals write very dense factual headlines. Give your audience a reason to read on. Even if you can’t find a way to be clever or funny, make sure you’re clear about why they need to know something; how it’s helpful; and what’s the benefit or risk of not knowing.
It’s hard to create compelling content. Keep these tips in mind to help make sure your information gets read.
Do you need help producing great content that will attract clients? Contact me for a free consultation.
5 dos to help you create content that your audience wants to read
Is your content boring? Giving clients and prospects interesting and helpful information is a great way to attract attention and build trust. The problem is how to create the kind of content that gets read. This week I have a few Dos to help you get started developing engaging content.
1. Do answer real questions. I am consistently asked by clients and prospects – what should I write about? Among the best sources for content are the frequently asked questions you get from your own audience. Put together a list of them and start answering them. Don’t worry about giving away too much information for free. You don’t have to go into minutia with your response, but you do want to be genuinely helpful. Highlight what they should know about their problem and possible solutions so they see you know what you’re talking about and can solve their problems.
2. Do listen to your audience and talk about the issues they are following. Where do your clients and prospects turn for information on their problems? As a start you can ask your own clients, but then go deeper. Identify and subscribe to publications your clients read, set up google alerts to monitor areas of interest to them and use social media to “listen” to what topics they care about.
3. Do use stories. This is a great way to demonstrate how you help people solve their problems. Provide case studies and examples to let your audience see that you are dealing with others like them. They also personalize your work as well as your content. It’s more interesting to read a story, than a bunch of facts. And don’t worry; you can omit confidential/identifying facts without sacrificing the value of your story.
4. Do use the same terminology as your target audience. Speak to them in their own language. You shouldn’t talk to potential clients the way you would talk to your colleagues or referral sources. Using the right tone and wording not only will make your content more readable and interesting, but you will be showing that you can relate to your audience.
5. Do keep it concise. Sadly people’s attention span keeps getting shorter. According to Microsoft we’re now at 8 seconds. Think about format. Lists, headings, visuals, and other strategies can help you organize and relate your content in a more readable and compelling way.
Next time I’ll cover the Don’ts – 5 things not to do if you want to create compelling content.
Do you need help producing great content that will attract clients? Contact me for a free consultation.