Three reasons you should be too busy to blog

You probably left a job to start your own business because you got tired of trading your time for money. What you may not understand is that you are now spending money for time: time you want to enjoy with your kids, friends, or family which is why you started your own business in the first place.

The old saying, “it takes money to make money” is essentially true. You don’t necessarily need to take out a million dollar loan to buy a warehouse for the type of home based business you are starting, but you do need to spend “SOME” money to get yourself started.

You probably spent money on a domain name, URL, website, business cards, logo, etc. Well, now that your materials are purchased, your equipment is here, and you have a fan page on Facebook, you will need to market your products or services and that will take money. Again, not necessarily a LOT of money, but some.

If you can afford to, you can spend money on ads. If you can’t or you’d like to do more than just throw ads at your potential customers/clients, you will need to blog! Blogging not only helps you do soft selling, which is less intrusive and studies show a lot MORE beneficial, but it helps your sites SEO because it’s the least expensive way to update your site on an ongoing basis.

Here are three reasons you should be blogging:

1.If you are just starting out in business
When you first start out, you have sooo much to do. Everything has to be set up. You need to get into a rhythm, find your customer base, connect with them, and build a niche. Because you have so much to do, it’s easy to skip the blogging or do it only periodically as time allows and it never does. But blogging is the BEST way to connect with and educate your customers. It’s also the cheapest way which is perfect for start ups!

2. If you are growing your business
If you’ve been in business a little while and are already in a grove, you’ll probably notice that you’re even busier than you were when you first started out. What began as a once in a while blog post has become a never enough time for one deal.

This is the time when you have a bit of money to invest in your business, but probably don’t have the time, inclination, and/or comfort enough to do it regularly. THIS is a great time to invest in your business. Blogging now involves educating and keeping potential clients and customers entertained, educated, and coming back to consume what will likely be a steady diet of information that keeps them fed until they need to purchase what you provide.

3.If your business is running like clockwork
This is the time when your business has been well established and bringing in a goodly income. It’s at this point that you can slack off with the blogging, right? WRONG!

Your customers will only keep coming back if you have something of value to offer. Just because they have purchased from you in the past doesn’t mean their eyes won’t wander to a competitor who is busy ramping up their market share. It’s vital to keep giving your readers what they crave to keep you top of mind so they will purchase from you again. This is especially true if what you sell is readily available from other sources. However, even if what you sell is life changing and nobody else out there is selling it, people are busy. They forget easily. You could be all they talk about today, but a week from now they’re on to something else.

Keep your readers happy, entertained, and informed and they will keep thinking of you when they are again ready for what you sell. And if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, contact me!

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Why the Unique is in Unique Copywriter

Waaaay back when I was writing for Art of Eloquence, I had a few people jump in to edit for me. Some were better than others, but the big difference was the voice…MINE! An editor should enhance the writing not change the perspective of the author. Unfortunately, that’s what happened often when I had someone else edit for me.

I once made the mistake of having my husband edit for me. He writes well, but his style of writing is very professional as this is the main reason he writes. After he got done with it, my fun article teaching kids how important communication skills are sounded like one of the dry speech com books I had to read for my college courses.

Later on, my daughter edited for me. I homeschooled her and she grew up to be quite the grammar Nazi and then, creative writer. She got me and I was comfortable having her edit for me. Unfortunately, her time was not her own as she went off to college so I found myself in need of someone else to edit my work.

I tried to hire a few people, but they all made me sound like a college lecture. Then, I found a fabulous editor with a sense of humor just like mine. She made sure to keep my style. She made my work better, not sanitized and she was with me for the rest of my time writing for AoE.

Why do I share this with you? Because writing articles, booklets, and blog posts for clients is just like editing books in that respect. The idea isn’t to write an excellently formed piece of writing. The idea is to enhance the business: to tell their story in their voice. NOBODY understands this as well as I do!

So, if you’re looking to free up your time so you do less writing and more business building, make sure you find someone who will do that in YOUR voice, YOUR style, and YOUR way. It isn’t as easy as it sounds unless you’ve been there and understand how to write in someone else’s voice.

It’s a bit like acting. If you’re a true actor, you don’t say the lines as you. You say those lines as the character you are playing. The average person trying to act may not even know to do that, let alone how. The same is true with copywriting.

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Celebrating Work This Month

There are several “holidays” coming up this month that are centered around business. March 1st is both Employee Appreciation Day and National Sales Person Day. March 8th is International Working Women’s Day. The 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day and March 31st is World Back Up Day (the day you should make sure you have a back up for various electronic systems like your website and computer).

There are several ways you can choose to incorporate these into your business. Some of those ways will help your employees or business associates. Some of these can help you market your product or service. And some of these can help you spread good will. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • If you don’t have employees, send a card or email to a business associate who has gone above and beyond for you and your company.
  • Send a card or email to an affiliate who has done especially well.
  • Post a blog reminding your business customers to do one of the above.
  • Post a blog sharing about one of the people you recognized in your business.
  • Post to social media about your appreciation for a business associate.
  • Post to social media reminding them to back up their computers or websites.
  • Find a way to tie the holiday in with something your company is doing. (blog post, social media post, etc)

Looking to the conventional holidays is a good practice, but take a look at those “silly holiday” sites. They are packed with valuable information that can help you blog, connect on social media, and more!

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Basic Blogging Tips

Last week, I shared how important it is to keep up your blog on a consistent basis.  This week, I’m going to share some tips that will help you do that.

Tip#1: Set Aside a Blogging Day
It’s so much easier to do something when you are fully immersed in the activity.  Once in the blogging mode, it’s much easier and faster to knock out four weekly posts.  Set aside a day or two as blogging days. Write and schedule them a month ahead so you don’t need to think about them anymore…til next month.

Tip#2: Keep Your Goal in Mind
What is it you want your blog to do? If your goal is to educate potential clients about your industry and lead them to hire you, keep that in mind as you write. There may be other things you could talk about, but that should be your blog’s main focus.  Don’t get sidetracked.  You can take a break for fun holiday posts, but your focus should be evident.

Tip#3: Plan Ahead for Holidays
While you’re writing and scheduling your posts a month ahead, don’t forget to take a look at the calendar.  You might want to include a sale or promotion for Christmas, but you might also want to recognize your business anniversary or milestone as well.  Looking at your calendar will help you get ideas for what to post.  When I was building my Art of Eloquence (speech communication) business, I put Ronald Reagan’s birthday and date of death on my calendar because he was known as The Great Communicator.  If I was in a rush, I could put up a short post about him and include an embedded YouTube video of him speaking.  Easy peasy!

Tip#4: Look at Those Silly Holidays
If you’re REALLY stuck for a blog post idea (or social media content for that matter), you can look at those websites that have silly holidays like Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.  Look for anything that has anything to do with your business blog topic and run with it.  People have so much stress in their lives that a little humor and silliness is usually a welcome relief!

Tip#5: Think Series
Break up larger topics into a three or four (or more) part series. Instead of a HUGE long post that many will not read due to the sheer length, break it up into smaller bite-sized pieces.  You’d be surprised how much mileage you can get out of an article!

Tip#6:  Google Your Topic
Search out other blogs or sites that discuss your topic. What are they talking about? Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts on that topic.  Please don’t plagiarize, but make it your own take on that or similar topic.

Tip#7:  Repurpose Your Content
As I said last week: “Keeping up with your blog writing schedule can be difficult for most business owners, but this post I wrote over the holidays will help you find ways to get more out of the posts you’ve already written.  The biggest tip I can give you about blogging is to try to set aside a day or two each month to write and schedule all of your blog posts for the month ahead.  It’s easier to blog when you’re in blogging mode.”

As always, if blogging isn’t something you want or have time to do, you can always hire me!

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Are you keeping up with your blog?

If you’re not posting regularly on your blog, you don’t have a blog! You also don’t have a reason for your potential customers to keep coming back to your site.  As I told you last week, you cannot constantly SPAM your potential customers.  They’ll ignore you at best or have disgust for your company at worst.

The BEST way to keep your customers coming back to your site is if you consistently provide them with value: information, entertainment, or anything else that your audience would value.  The easiest and cheapest way to do that is to update your blog on a regular basis.  Oh, and by the way, search engines just LOVE a site that is constantly being updated and posting blog entries are the easiest way to do that too!

So, how often should you blog? Well, that all depends on your particular audience and how much time/money you can spend.  You may be able to get away with once a month.  Some topics or clientele will expect a weekly post while others will demand it be done daily.  The general rule is that blogs are expected to be updated at least monthly.

I post here on a weekly basis because the topics I cover are for small business owners.  They expect value, but don’t have time to read a daily blog (which works for me because I don’t have time to post one!).  I have a few sites that are monthly.  A daily blog would be way over the top unless it was for a Daily Deals or a news site.

Even if your audience would prefer a daily or weekly post, you may not have the time or budget for that. The key is to be consistent.  Tell your audience what to expect and then stick to that promise!

The most egregious blogging error I come across has a schedule similar to this: January 1st, March 23rd, June 12th, and 25th and 30th, July 9th, and December 23rd.  Since this audience has no idea when or even IF this blog will be updated, they simply go away.  It takes time to build a business, but it also takes time to build your business tribe.  In order to build your following, whether, on a blog or social media, you will need to bring them value on a consistent basis.

Keeping up with your blog writing schedule can be difficult for most business owners, but this post I wrote over the holidays will help you find ways to get more out of the posts you’ve already written.  The biggest tip I can give you about blogging is to try to set aside a day or two each month to write and schedule all of your blog posts for the month ahead.  It’s easier to blog when you’re in blogging mode.

As always, if blogging isn’t something you want or have time to do, you can always hire me!

I’ll be back next week with some more blogging tips!

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Here’s why you can’t afford NOT to hire a copywriter!

Are you starting 2019 with a plan for your business? I hope so. It’s been said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” January is a GREAT time to start planning your business achievements for the year.  Part of that plan should include marketing and a HUGE part of marketing should be giving your customers/clients value.

Research shows that a customer will buy only after being exposed to the product/service about seven times.  These days, ads are either ignored or actively despised so you can’t hit up your potential customers with an ad seven times before they’ll not only NOT buy, but they’ll have a very poor opinion of your company.  You need at least six times when you give them valuable information that leads them to want your product/service.

In order for this to work, you MUST give them a reason to come back to your site.  And that brings us to what I call soft sales like your blog and social media posts. These posts give your customer valuable information without a direct sales pitch and that means you’ll need to invest in good quality blog articles and social media content.

The myth many small business owners believe is that they can’t afford help unless it generates immediate income.  But just the opposite is true.  You can’t afford NOT to invest in good content for your blog and social media accounts.

One way is to invest your time and talent.   Even if you are a good writer, you need to factor in your time.  How long would it take you to write a good blog post? A few hours?  For some of you, it’s a few days!  If you spent that time developing your product/service or if you spent that time talking to customers and made some sales, how much would those hours cost you?

The other way is to invest your money.  If you can’t afford the time to write or don’t like to write, you can invest a little money and have a professional copywriter do it for you! It may not generate immediate income, but those blog posts and social media content will bring you an audience ripe for your product or service in the near future!

The larger your audience, the larger your sphere of influence and the larger your profits!

Building a business takes time. Building your audience takes time too.  You can either do it all yourself or you can invest in your business and have a professional build your audience leaving you more time to build your business.

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Scheduling Time Off for the Holidays

If you’re anything like me, you struggle with taking time off for the holidays and wanting to be there for your clients/customers.  It’s a difficult balance come this time of year.  Here are a few guidelines that can help:

1. If your business isn’t busy during the holidays, you may want to close up shop for a week or two.  My Art of Eloquence site isn’t very busy except for just prior to each semester as we mostly sell speech communication curricula for homeschoolers.  Nobody says, “All I want for Christmas is a debate book.”  Well, I did have that one boy who told his mom that, but the point still stands.

2. If your business is VERY busy during the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you set your sales, promos, blog posts, etc up in advance so you only need to do a minimum of work during the time you’d really want to be with family!

3. DON’T let emails go unanswered! Most of your customers will understand if you don’t reply on or right before or right after Christmas, but they won’t understand if you allow that question to go unanswered for a week!  So make sure you still set aside time to respond to customers calls/emails in a timely manner even during the holidays.

4. Don’t neglect your blog and social media!  If you can’t schedule things ahead of time, you may want to hire someone (raises hand!) to write blog posts and take care of social media for you during the holidays.  There are DIRE consequences for not being regular with your social media and your blog. You need to be consistent even through the holidays.

NOTE: If you need a blog post to come out, but you don’t really have time, I’ll have some tips for you in next week’s blog post.  Stay tuned.

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Is it Time to Fire Yourself?

I once received a junk mailer that said: “Is it Time to Fire Your Maid Service?”  My response was, “I’ve been meaning to have a talk with me about that!

You see, I was my maid. I did my own housework.  Was it because I loved cleaning toilets? Was it because I thought only I could clean my toilets well? Then, why?

It was because I didn’t think the value of paying someone else to do the things I didn’t want to do (or didn’t have time to do) would be of greater benefit to me than the money I would have to pay someone else to do it.

However…having said that, consider this:

There are dire consequences for not keeping up with your blog and social media fans!

If you don’t clean your house on a regular basis, what’s the worst that could happen? It may get a bit dusty and a tad dirty.

What happens if you don’t regularly post to your company’s blog or manage your social media accounts for your business on a regular basis? You don’t grow your customer base! You don’t make as much money!!  You have to work harder for each sale or client!!!

Two things happen when you don’t manage your blog and social media well:

1. Readers and fans will go away!
All that work you put into your blog and social media presence will be for naught.  Do you know how much effort it takes to build momentum? Once you have it, it doesn’t necessarily stick with you when you ignore them.  If they don’t see you posting, fans figure you’re no longer active and unsubscribe.  Once you miss a few weeks of blog posts, readers conclude your company isn’t feeding their interest and stop going back to your site.

What happens when readers no longer find value in your site and fans no longer find value on social media?

2. They don’t purchase from you because you are no longer Top of Mind!
Customers are a fickle bunch. Studies show that 96% of customers don’t buy the first time they encounter a company.  The internet is CHOCK FULL of information, so to keep their interest, companies MUST continue to be Top of Mind by offering value to their audience both on their site and on social media.

* Did you know that 56% of people feel more inclined to buy from a company if they have seen a recommendation on social media?

* Did you also know that it takes between three and six (3-6) times for the average customer to purchase from a company?  

Information Overload is rampant in the Information Age.

Your company needs to keep offering your potential customers value if you expect them to keep you on the top of their mind when they need what you offer and are ready to purchase!

So, what you really need to ask yourself is this:

Is the small investment of hiring a unique copywriter, who LIVES to write and LOVES social media, worth it if it frees you up to do the things that will make you even MORE money?

If you answered yes, contact me!

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