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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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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What the Ad Blocking Trend Means for Your Content Marketing

A couple weeks ago, I talked about why content marketing is so important for your business.  This week, I want to go into a bit of depth as to what ad blocking is telling you about your content marketing.

1. Your articles and posts should not even resemble ads!
The number one most important thing you should learn from the ad blocking trend is not to make your content marketing look like ads! Consumers are pretty savvy. They know clickbait when they see it and they can feel ads clothed in information on the information highway.  So, make sure to give your readers the valuable information or entertainment they crave without making them feel like they’re being sold!

The idea of content marketing is to give value such that the consumer trusts your company and wishes to reciprocate when it comes time to buy.  The task is to make them feel so indebted to you that they not only think of you first when they are ready to purchase but feel bad about looking anywhere else to fill their need.

2. So what do you put in there and how do you get leads?
What you write about will, of course, depend upon your audience. Do your potential customers need to know something about your industry that affects them?  Do they want to learn how to do something related to your industry? Are they looking to be entertained? See a need and fill it.  More specifically, see a “want” and fill it.   

I said this on a Facebook women’s business group and got some flack for it, but after years of being in sales and owning my own businesses, I can tell you that it’s true.  People buy what they want and not necessarily what they need.  There are those who will not buy something even though they need it and others that will buy what they want even if they can’t really afford it. 

The flack I took for that was the concept that this thinking is bad for people and takes advantage of them.  I disagree.  Taking advantage of people is almost forcing them to buy something they don’t need or can’t afford by means of trickery or deceit.  Recognizing that people will buy wants and not necessarily needs is smart business.  If you know that most people who need something won’t buy it, you probably shouldn’t sell it.  If you recognize that your customers want X with their Y, then you’d better make sure your Xs have Ys!

3. Give value!
I cannot emphasize this enough.  GIVE VALUE!  If your potential customers want to be entertained, entertain them!  If they’d appreciate knowing something, share it. If they want to be the first to have something, let them know.  Whatever it is they value that will help your company reach its goals, make sure you know about it and are actively giving it to them.  

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Why You Can Get 3X the Leads with Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute, in 2017, reported that content marketing can get three times as many leads as paid search advertising.  That’s a rather bold statement, but here’s why it’s true:

1.  What IS Content Marketing
In order to understand why this is true, we need to understand what content marketing is.  According to CMI, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The idea is to give your potential customers or clients information they value, which keeps them coming back to your site to consume.  This leads them to trust you and want to reciprocate your generosity by purchasing from your company when they are ready to buy-in to what you provide.

It makes logical sense that a person would become loyal to a company they trust who has gone out of their way to give them value, but to better understand why content marketing is far superior to ads, we need to identify one very powerful statistic.

2. Ad Blocking
You and I both know how annoying ads can be. We record our favorite shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. We ignore all the ads on social media, and we know friends who block ads on their browsers.  According to 2018 Marketing Statistics, here are some alarming ad blocking stats if you’re considering paid advertising as your main source:

  • 87% of people say there are more ads than two years ago.
  • Adblocker Plus, the most popular ad blocking app, has reached 300 million downloads worldwide.
  • 64% of ad blocker users do so because they believe ads are annoying or intrusive.
  • Ad blocking in the US has increased from 15%-30% since 2014.
  • 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago.
  • 73% of people dislike pop-up ads.
  • 4 out of 5 of people have left a webpage because of a pop-up or autoplaying video ad.
  • 72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad.
  • 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.
  • 70% of people dislike mobile ads. Mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year.

3. Here’s what you need to do
Knowing that there is a growing distaste for ads, why waste good money to place them where your potential customers will ignore them at best?  Why not give them value, make them trust your company, and bring you top of mind when they in the market for what you sell? Spending money on content marketing pays off!

However, to make it so, you’ll need to not only give them value, but be predictable and do so consistently or they won’t come back. If you don’t want to do that yourself, contact 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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Best of the Blog 2018

I share a TON of information here on the Unique Copywriter blog, but busy entrepreneurs don’t always get enough time to read all they want to learn.  Most will put the posts aside for a time when they have more time.

The problem is that busy business people never have any free time!  However, it’s important to MAKE the time to learn things that will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.

So to that end, I’ll be sharing the Best Of every so often to recap the posts I think you REALLY ought to take the time to read through.  Here are the highlights from the past few months:

Technology May Be Easy, But Being Effective Isn’t 

How to Give Your Customers Value, So They Come Back and Buy

Facebook Changes: Are You Ready?

11 Hidden Reasons Why Business Owners Need Excellent Communication Skills

If you’ve got a bit more time, there are other valuable posts on the blog, but those are the most important ones.  To scroll through the blog posts, just click Blog at the top of the page.

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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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Gearing up for the Christmas rush?

It’s the end of November and we are coming to the close of 2018. I pray you have had a blessed year in your small business.

For those of you who have a service or product line that doesn’t lend itself to the Christmas rush, it’s a time of slowing down and enjoying the family events.

For those of you who have a business that depends upon the Christmas buying season, this is your busy time!  I actually have both.  My purple product line over on Grape Stuff is open for the Christmas rush this year after I revamped the site to Go Purple! ROFL  However, my Unique Copywriter business here is slowing down for the holidays.

If you’d like a last-minute holiday blog post or video, I have the time to do that for you. Just contact me and I can probably have the turn around time expedited for you.

Merry Christmas from JoJo, the Unique Copywriter.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Not much business gets done during the holidays so I’m taking this week just to wish all of my clients, blog readers, and Facebook fans a very happy Thanksgiving.

I pray you are making memories with your family this week as we head into the holiday rush.  If your business is like one of mine that provides gifts, you’ll be busy filling orders, but if your small business is like this one (Unique Copywriter), you’ll be taking time just to build memories and goodwill with your clients and customers.

So, before you head off to spend time with your family and friends this holiday season, may I take this time to remind you small business owners to create a blog post, fan page post, video, or meme that shares with your customers and potential clients your sincere holiday greetings to them.

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