7 Pressing Reasons To Have An Active Business Blog

Business Blog

Is maintaining your business blog becoming a terrifying nightmare?

You know what the internet world calls a business owner with a stale blog? Non-existent 🙁

You have seen wrong writers, littered content calendar, that pressurizingly blinking cursor, the content marketing gurus who force you to take care of alt tags, meta descriptions and other robotic parameters you don’t understand and you think it is better to let it go?

Take a seat. I’ll be your blog-therapist for today. And in the end, I’ll leave you feeling good + a cheeky grin guaranteed!

You are tired of deception from the so-called “helpers”. You download all the free content creation calendars that promise you to take away your blogging woes.

But then, you end up staring at a blank worksheet that asks you the exact same questions … you have been digging the mud for??

And you graze your face exactly like that witch from a horror movie…That’s okay, swallow your snot. There is something more horrifying than this….that blank screen…it feels like your voice is being throttled. But sometimes, you go on a rampage and type out that entire paragraph like a solo engine taking test rounds around the station…and then when you read it, you press the backspace until you go back in time…to an intimidating-blinking cursor. Story repeats, yeah?

So, you make up your mind and you try to hire a “writer”…but, you end up scrapping all the work you were DELIVERED. You look at the chunks of kooky words that hang like your most ill-fitting garment catching dust. When you hit the sack, you are having nightmares where your prospects are barfing on your website. Eiks!

Forget all of this.

One fine day, you recover from all of this drama because it was a Sunday morning! You’ve had a fantastic week and now that you have an interesting incident to share with your audience, you decide to blog on your website. You grab your mug of fresh green juice and sit in the sun with your biz machine aka your laptop. All was good until you fall back trying to avoid the glaring sun … having no clue where to start, build context or structure your writing. Agghh, too much work! And you quit, right?

Or maybe you wrote it off that evening and then 11 months have gone by, your blog dons that stale blog.

If this is your story, there is help coming soon.

Look boss, I agree, you have challenges! You wanna go smash those sales figures, rock those goal-sy meetings, attend networking events, figure out the perfect funnel, grow your email list, hunt for the tech wizards who can set things up for you, go live on that podcast and the list never ends. You have A LOT on your plate!

But, are you putting your blog on the back seat because your time is TAKEN up?

Psst…aren’t you making a mistake big gun?

Tossing your blogging plan backward means you’re chapping up your business plan. Wanna know why? Here are 7 reasons (out of 119 reasons btw) to keep your blog active.

Blogging cuts down your sales time by 50%

Your blog is the place where your prospects get to know you, learn about your personality and identify your voice. It is where you show them who you are, instead of telling them what it is about you that they should know to buy from you. I mean, that’s what you do in a sales call, right?

By reading one piece of writing on your blog, your prospect has a registered impression about you. Now, it is up to you to build the tempo from here. A job well begun is half done? Obviously! You are already half your way through in winning that prospect. So, go blog darling!

Blogging gives you fodder to feed your social media profiles

You cannot go live 14 times a week to share your thoughts on social media. But, you can have blogs written to let the world (your customers) know, what your opinion on an issue is.

Now, why do you want to lose a stream of high-quality traffic just because you lack a blog?

Why do you want to send back those interested prospects to your competitors?

I repeat, why leave money on that frickin’ table?

Blogging makes you that money-making list

How else do you want to grow your email list? Yeah, you can tell me we have chatbots. But you know what? The chatbot is a vulnerable media. One click and poof, your messages are muted. You wanna talk to deaf ears? Nah…

I’d love to know if you have another method to grow your list (I am curious)

So, listen to me, get your blog up and going. Because honey, in that list is your money!

Nurture your authority. Earn respect as an expert

Imagine you are an authority figure or an influencer in your industry. If I meet you downtown and won’t stop admiring you and your work, how’d you feel? Mind=Blown!

That’s why, grow your authority. And this is a no-brainer. Come on, you are an expert already, and that’s why you are running a business. IT’s not just about someone admiring you. It’s the recognition that fetches you reputation. Your reputation is everything when you’re in business.

I’ll show you 5 easy ways to build authority…right here, right now

  1. Recommend products you use (clink clink..already making money from affiliate marketing? Nice uh!)
  2. Give your audience helpful tips that they can ACT upon (they’ll thank you forever and feel indebted to you even if they are paying money to get your secret tips and saucy advice)
  3. Get yourself featured on elite publications and look at how clients swarm your doorway. (In case you don’t know, check out my piece on the prestigious Thrive Global that got me 3 new leads within a week of posting it)
  4. Make powerful connections and flaunt them. This isn’t hard at all. All you have to do is one round-up post on your blog featuring influencers from your industry and you have an invaluable network in your back pocket.
  5. Once you do these 4 steps, you become a “credible source of valuable information” naturally. You become more authoritative.

Now, all you have to do is, share information + ideas consistently.

Blogging brings Traffic + SEO

If you have a website and do not want traffic, you are mad. I mean, not you you..come on you obviously want traffic. Imagine leads come and land on your website and they head to your services page and end up hiring you. All because you shared a blog post of yours on social media. And, if you have kickass copy + a fantastic funnel, nobody can stop you from building your list, growing your biz and making a ton of money.

Plus, there is a lot of noise out there. You can cut through that noise by talking to people in your voice on your blog, on your uncluttered space. So, my dear, get a blog!

Tip: If you need more information on SEO, check it out here.

Strike conversations with your clients over a blog post

Your blog can act like an intense knowledge dissipating FAQ repository. The information can itself act as sales objection tackling mechanism which puts your prospects in your pipeline. Having your would-be clients in your digital vicinity is cool, right?

Also, who doesn’t want an opportunity to talk to clients isn’t it?

Offer YOUR solutions (services) to your clients’ problems (opportunity)

Imagine talking about a meeting in your office that sped up productivity that leads to you landing a high-ticket client. If you talk about those innate occurrences and unique experiences, you are making your clients believe you are a real, working breathing human being. And they trust you enough to buy from you.

Quick Recap

To conclude, your blog is not just beneficial for your business, it is your creative asset. It helps you capture your voice and your reader’s attention.

Your blog is the virtual bridge that connects you with your customers. If you want to resonate with your clients, build your personal brand, grow your authoritativeness, drive traffic to your website and benefit from all of the other advantages it comes with, get your blog running.

P.S: If you are totally convinced that your blog has to have a game on but you do not have the time or capacity to maintain your blog, click here.

How to create timeless content : 5 powerful strategies

How to Create Compelling Content

Let’s admit this. A business cannot operate without content.

Content is the endocrine system that decides the fate of your business. No exaggeration. Content is what makes your company a brand.

Pick any big name and you know about it because of the reach the company has had. This kind of outreach is a product of spectacular content the brand has managed to create.

But creating compelling content isn’t an easy affair. It is a lot of hard work. And if you are looking to create content for your business or for your client, follow these 5 essential strategies to make your content evergreen.

5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
  1. Create content that can never be replicated
  2. Create content that is easy to use
  3. Double check your grammar and spellings
  4. Create content to connect with your readers
  5. Do not deviate from purpose and context

Create content that can never be replicated

Create Timeless Content
Click to tweet this

The word “real” instantly makes anything come alive. Generic content is found everywhere. If you want to make your content an experience, it has to be unique and individualized.

To make it unique, use excerpts from your own business interactions. Talk about events that occurred between you and your clients. Narrate de facto episodes and instances in your content.

There is a very high chance of your prospects accepting you because of the real experience you bring to their table – which means better connections leading to higher conversions.

Banking on the not so good things

You can bring your negative experiences and present them as valuable lessons. To show you how –  nobody knows about the ordeals you have had with your past clients/customers. And this often happens because of miscommunication. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this.

By talking about these learnings, you demonstrate your openness. Plus, you are bringing a real story that has lived with you. Real stories are charming because everybody wants to know what happened and who you really are. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.

Help your content with the what happened factor and you succeed in eternalizing it.

Create content that is easy to use

The web is filled with content that beats around the bush. The same thing is said over and over again in a different way employing different patterns in the name of content repurposing or content upcycling. It is a waste of your reader’s precious time if you are telling them what they already know. Right?

Let’s look at an example. You often see blogs that start talking about salt harvest process when the headline clearly is meant to give you a recipe for microwave baking!

In the name of long-form content and comprehensiveness, you might be boring your readers. Don’t do that.

Follow the 3 check rule to make your content consumable:

  1. Clear and concise content
  2. Content with visual support to back your points quickly
  3. Actionable content that inspires to do more

The great overwhelm

Do your readers a favor, save them that unwanted stress! If the gurus tell you to write a minimum of 2000 words and the content you are creating doesn’t stretch that far, then do not write 2000 words just to keep up with a random rule. Write for your readers, not for rules.

Creating flubby-dubby conundrums or writing lengthy unwanted stories, stuffing images unnecessarily, throwing in stats at the drop of a hat makes your content forced and coerced. So, avoid all of this.

People are (enough) stressed with information overload, bring a breath of fresh air with content that lightens them up.

Cultivate your brand with helpful and actionable content that your readers appreciate and look forward to. – Content Primer

Double check your grammar and spellings

Grammar syntax exists for a reason. Bumbling with syntax brings unwanted confusion. Imagine this for a moment. Let’s say that the plural form of a mouse is “mouses”.

Did this just mess with your head? You have been wired to call more than one mouse – mice (Although I don’t agree with the logic here because etymology can sometimes be insane).

You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that might have a mice-mouses error like this one. Moreover, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.

But, in a quest to obsess over grammar, syntax, and spellings, don’t ignore the big work.

Typos can be forgiven if the content is exceptional. – Adam Connell

Adam Connell, the chief wizard behind Blogging Wizard goes on to say – “We’re only human, so mistakes can and will happen. That said, when people find typos, it can cause them to question the credibility of a website – particularly in sales copy or any page that someone would use to evaluate a buying decision.

Ultimately, how significantly typos impact your results can largely depend on the type of content and exactly who your audience is.”

So, if you do not want to risk your position, it is best to avoid typos and severe grammar errors that question your credibility.

Create content to connect with your readers

We write and create content to communicate what we know and express what we think. This is just one side of the story.

Your readers read your content because they want to learn, know, make aware, be informed and ultimately feel how they want to feel. That is why, it is important to write content that influences, and not just informs.

Sharp writers choose each word with piercing precision. – Henneke Duistermaat

No doubt Henneke is the best of writers. She knows how to evoke your senses. Look at the choice of her words – piercing precision! Isn’t that incredible? Your word selection makes or breaks your content. Likewise, no one enjoys being under the shadow of unimpressive words and flabby stories. More about this in the next section.

Do not deviate from purpose and context

Are stories overdone? We all know that marketing pushes stories like it’s the bloodline of the marketing system. Stories are being pumped into content like never before.

But, what we see today, especially in email newsletters is a bunch of irrelevant, irreverent stories with a connection so weak that it makes me gag.

What should you be doing instead to make your content NOT-boring?

Cut the crap and deliver what is needed. Even if you have to break rules.

When the whole world is drumming about using stories in your content, it is alright to go without it if you do not have a worthy story that connects.

I have seen emails with subject lines like “My mother’s death anniversary + Fast action bonuses”. I find this kind of subject lines obnoxiously careless and insensitive. You too, right?

Capitalizing on your mother’s death and mixing business by writing a story in the email about how loving your mommy was – an absolute NO!

It is a huge turn-off and people unsubscribe. You don’t have to bring your mother’s death anniversary to build context. It is off-putting.

So please, avoid using such click-bait headlines and cheesy marketing tactics. It is 2018! If you promise something in your headline, make sure you keep your promise by delivering what you are supposed to.

Tip: Check how to write promising headlines and also keep​​​​​​​ the promise.

Conclusion

Evergreen content is continuously improvised and nurtured. It is not a one-time task, it is a process. So, to summarize:

Timeless content is – exclusive, consumable, grammatically correct, evoking and in context.

What do you do to make your content evergreen? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below.

Why every small business needs a content calendar

Content Calendar

Before you think you don’t need a content calendar, tell me if you do all of this:

  1. Scroll Facebook endlessly in the name of networking?
  2. Wander on Twitter not knowing what to do?
  3. Being there on LinkedIn but you don’t know whom to connect with?

Do you do all of this as a freelancer or solopreneur? I bet you do.

Do you know you are wasting days and months and may be years sitting behind your screen and think why your other peers are doing good as freelancers while you are lingering around social networks for work?

It is because you don’t have a content calendar.

How will a content calendar solve your business woes?

Your calendar is like your ideal manager. If you do things according to what your calendar says, you will stick to a schedule and your productivity shall spike.

It is very easy to get distracted and also stay there. I have done it. I keep reading meaningless posts where the group admin asks, “What are you baking today?” and there are 256 comments talking about the Thai curry they tried to bake. Now ask yourself, where is this Thai curry going to help you in your career? It won’t. It only boosts the engagement profile of that FB Group and you will be bombarded with more of such meaningless posts that waste your time. This is why social media gets overwhelming.

On the other hand, imagine having a robust calendar that tells you what to do? No brain damage.

Have you ever imagined how a certain business develops engaging content day after day, every day, even on a Sunday? This is how they do it.

How to design a Content Calendar?

Hubspot has a very cool way to get you started.

Hubspot’s content calendar is based on a concept called the content cluster. Now you don’t need to start off with a platform like this, to begin with. I used a plain excel spreadsheet to design my calendar. It is distraction free. The less the application is polluted with features, the more it will help you accomplish your goals. The more it will help you turn your ideas into executable tasks.

But, I am using the concept of the content cluster to design my content strategy. It gives a good perspective and the approach is holistic. You get to design an overview of your strategy instantly with something like this.

Content Marketing further branches out to:

  1. Market Research
  2. Customer Persona Design
  3. Copywriting
  4. Business Blogging
  5. Social Media Engagement
  6. Email Marketing

Below is a picture with the core idea in the center. I named it content marketing because that is my core service.

Content Calendar
Content Cluster for a Business Blogger

You could be a freelance blogger, yet you will need all the other branches of content marketing to be successful.

You will need Market Research to find out who your customers are so that you generate content accordingly.

After you gather information about your prospects, you need to design Customer Personas.

Based on the Persona, you need to write web copy that will attract your audience.

With the help of web copy and lead magnets, you capture email ids.

Then begins email marketing to grow, retain and engage your lists.

Meanwhile, you promote the generated content on social media to gain visibility and attract traffic.

This is how the content marketing cycle runs. At every step, you evaluate the results to see what is working for you and what is not.

I shared a blog post about writing content in 50 minutes by putting up appropriate and trending hashtags. I increased my Twitter followers by 150% in 3 hours.

I could do this because I made use of the right hashtags on Twitter.

How to identify the right hashtags for your business?

  • Choose the hashtags most relevant to your content.
  • Choose the hashtags that are trending at the moment.
  • Choose the hashtags that carry relevant semantics.

This is what Content Strategy can bring to a marketing business. Content Strategy is also about retaining inbound traffic with the help of content clusters.

I generate content around these clusters to stay in tune with my niche. Isn’t this an efficient way to manage your content, be productive as well as not get overwhelmed with all the (mis)information you come across?

Advantages of having a Content Calendar

By having a definitive content guide,

  1. You will not feel lost about what to write in this wide, web world bursting with information.
  2. You get to focus on subjects that boost your industry authority.
  3. You will save 2 hours of time in a day. How many times have you wished for a 26 hour day as an entrepreneur?
  4. You can plan content according to events like Women’s day or Black Friday.
  5. You can outsource social media promotion to a VA or teammate and be rest assured that this won’t get messed up.
  6. You can easily upcycle content by clubbing two or more topics depending on the need.
  7. You can also design FREEBIES based on the topic so that the freebie stays relevant and can garner maximum lead capture.

Now, are there any reasons you don’t want a content calendar? I follow a weekly content calendar that keeps me organized. It also helps me come up with new content to write. Do you want to know how I do it? Download my Content.

 

What is copywriting and why every business needs it?

Direct Response Copywriting

Copywriting. This term can be condescending, I know.

The word “copywriting” can evoke baffling questions like these:

Is copywriting about copying? Is it copy-pasting?

No kidding, such questions are asked for real.

So, what is copywriting?

Copywriting is the art and science of putting words that absolve the reader’s objections and persuade the reader to take a pre-defined action.

Good copywriting is backed by a thorough study of the psychological behavior of the business’ audience. It involves a step by step procedure that gathers detailed information about the target visitor. 

In the digital age, copywriting is synonymous with web copywriting or direct response copywriting. Web copy is written to lead the target prospect to act on a CTA.

Copywriting is an intense process. As a copywriter, it is your responsibility to know your customer’s business in and out. The business functions, benefits, features, USP, value proposition, objections, problems, FAQs, mission, vision, audience and so much more.

What does a typical copywriting process look like?

  • Ideally, a copywriter gets business information from the client in the form of a questionnaire with specific answers. Specificity is the key. It is up to the copywriter to ask questions that fetch unambiguous information avoiding back and forth communication. 
  • Based on the information in the questionnaire, the copywriter studies the customer info and derives a customer profile.
  • The copywriter designs a wireframe sketch to make the copy come with a flow. The wireframe sketch decides the fluidity of the copy.
  • The positives and features of the product or service are aggregated and converted into benefits.
  • The copywriter comes up with a clear value proposition that tells the purpose of the business website. No beating around the bush here. It has to be clear and concise.
  • This is followed by rounds of editing, search engine optimization and testing the copy.

Note: A  prospect is determined by the business whose products are designed for a certain demographic. 

Why should a copywriter know everything about the company?

To define the value proposition

You are writing copy for the company’s customer. You are writing copy to convince the prospect. The prospective visitor comes with many questions. Answering all their in-mind questions on-page is the goal of web copy.

In order to answer their questions, you should know the business inside out. If you do not know about the company functions and operations unique to that company, your value proposition fails. If you do not know why the company does what it does, you fail to get the purpose in words. 

The value proposition is the most distilled version of the company’s prime purpose.

To understand and reproduce the purpose

When the “why” is not projected strongly, there is nothing that moves the prospect to establish an emotional connect. The emotional connect is not about instantly liking your brand. It is about a feeling your words can evoke

Let’s talk about a common activity you and I both do. Do you feel good shopping on a website that sells the products you love at your happy price? Do you see the key-points here? Love..Happy!

Ultimately, you do what you do to make yourself feel the way you want to. Even if it means trading money.

Jim Keenan, the author of Not Taught says you cannot sell to your prospect if the prospect doesn’t perceive value in your product or service. The “value” here can take any form. But it eventually boils down to a feeling. An emotional state of content that happens after an action.

Great copywriting is about salvation, not sales. – Aaron Orendorff

When you invest your money in a worthy product, you willingly trade your hard earned money because you have assigned a value to the product. That is all a customer pays for – Salvation. And, copywriting is the art and science that brings out the value out of a product and projects it in the form of words.

If you succeed to provide that reason of fulfillment your prospect is looking for, you have written good copy. That is when your copy becomes convincing. You don’t need to put any more effort, even in terms of fancy-glittery graphics. They do not matter. All you have to do now is drive your prospect to take an action. The sale is just a resultant action. And, congratulations! You just sold your product.

How to edit your copy?

To get the most pristine version of your copy, try removing one random word from one random sentence of your final copy. If you see a discrepancy, in any form, you put back the word and publish it. If not, repeat the distillation process.

Good copy is achieved when if you remove a word from the line, it obstructs the meaning of the sentence terribly.

Why is copywriting called copywriting?

The above definition implies that anything worthy of being reproduced to preserve its existential value is copy. This highlights the monumental importance copywriting holds in the business world. 

Why every business needs copywriting?

When I began my career as a copywriter, I wondered what copyblogger meant. It sounded weird. I get it, the word is formed by the amalgamation of two words copywriter and blogger. But why? Why would anybody do that?

Now, when I know why every business needs copy, I fully understand the profound reasoning behind naming the legendary website CopyBlogger. In simple terms, CopyBlogger is a resource that teaches you conversion blogging or business blogging but not limited to blogging. 

It is all about conversions. You cannot grow your business without conversions. Can you?

You need copy to convert.

Copy that converts + A well positioned product = Sales that spike your revenue

And after all, sales is the ultimate goal of any ethical business. Now that you know why every business needs copywriting, what are the steps you are going to take to write copy?