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How to Write Amazing Blog Content (That Keeps People Coming Back)

How to Write Amazing Blog Content (That Keeps People Coming Back)

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase that “Content is King” right?  Throughout all of the algorithm updates Google has released over the last six years – one thing has never changed.  Google loves to index fresh content.

Content Marketing is an amazing strategy to find and engage with loyal customers – and it’s only increasing in popularity because 90% of customers prefer to learn about a brand through content vs ads.

But simply knowing that you need excellent content is one thing – actually creating it is a whole other thing altogether.

Just recently, Google made an appeal to website owners regarding their use of SEO techniques. What the search engine giant essentially said was that these techniques are not the most important considerations for ranking highly in search results.

The most important factor is that website owners offer relevant and quality info to their readers. If you do that, Google will reward you with better rankings in their search engine.

This has given rise to the term content marketing, which is simply a new name for a very old concept. By publishing interesting and engaging content for your website visitors, which converts a percentage of them into regular visitors while at the same time, attracting new ones too.

The ultimate purpose of content marketing is to get your visitors to do something that you want them to do. Such as signing up for your newsletter or visiting your brick-and-mortar location, and buying your products & services.

But that begs the question: what is “interesting” content?

A lot of people get it all wrong when it comes to blog content.  Too much self-promotion is the fastest way to get a reader to click the back button so what should you feature instead?

Choose Topics That Interest Your Readers

What you post all depends on your business industry. Ask yourself what your website is about. And then put yourself in your reader’s shoes.  What content would they find useful?

Here are some suggestions for your topics:

  1. “How to” articles. If you sell products, you can write articles on how to use these products, or how to take care of them.

If you offer services of some kind, you could write about how to get the most out of the service you provide or preventative maintenance to avoid it from happening again

Another idea is to create a buying guide. These are practical tips that many customers will find useful. And they also establish your authority in your industry.

  1. List-type articles. Most people love lists. Publishing articles like “the top 3 most energy efficient double pane windows” or “most popular hairstyles of the season for women in their 20s” etc. You can also publish the top ten worst lists, just to give you some ideas.

Check out many of the list-type articles online, and you’ll notice that they also generate a lot of comments. Some comments may offer suggestions as to which items were left out from the list,(which gives you valuable insight) while others agree with your choices. What’s undeniable is that these lists can attract a lot of active interest – which is a good thing.

  1. Head-to-head comparisons. A lot of car magazines pit one car against another car in their comparison reviews, and you can do the same thing with your own products or services. This offers a tangible demonstration of how your business is better than your competitors.

The trick here is to pick a suitable match for your comparison, and then emphasize the ways in which your business is better.

  1. Answer Common FAQs – Do you find that customers ask the same question over and over? Then it makes sense to create a blog that answers it.

Instead of repeatedly having to explain it, you can post a link to your blog post on your social networks and direct customers there for other great information too.

  1. Video Posts, also referred to as “vlogs”– Do you own a smartphone or video camera? Consider starting your own “how to” series on topics in your industry. Post your videos to a dedicated YouTube channel, add them to your written blog posts, and promote them through your social media channels.

Know Your Audience

The best way to engage your audience to know who your audience is and what type of profile they have.  By knowing their profile and having an idea of who your visitors are in your head, you can create content that they would find interesting even if the topic isn’t directly linked to your products or services.

The tone of your blog content matters too.  It’s not just what you say… It’s how you say it. For some businesses, like a landscaping service for example – a casual “write as you speak” tone might work best. Giving tips on how to get a greener lawn should probably be written in a more “neighborly advice” tone.

But for other industries like legal services, a more professional tone will likely be more appropriate – but again it all depends on your audience.

There’s an exception to this rule, however. For many smaller businesses, where you are the “face” of your own business it’s also important that your readers get a sense of who you are.

In this circumstance, you’re aiming for a more “intimate” relationship with your blog so people can identify with you easier – which will help to build your personal brand.

Final Notes

Blog articles are not purely words. Graphics and images will help illustrate your message better.  Also, consistency is critical. Updating your blog regularly has a multitude of benefits – including better SEO rankings.

Don’t be afraid to delegate – you don’t have to write ALL of your content yourself.  Guest bloggers or even your employees can contribute articles. A blog that is not updated often will eventually lose its readership.

There are many ingredients to creating amazing content for your blog. Hopefully, by implementing some of these suggestions you can create a content recipe for a successful blog that has your visitors coming back for more!

How to Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

How to Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

Here’s the deal. Your business can have a huge presence on Facebook with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of fans, but still struggle to get new clients. Why is this? Well, for the most part, it is because you’re not doing a good enough job of turning those fans into actual paying customers.

You have done a great job with the first step in the process which is attracting people on Facebook and ultimately building a raving fan base. Now is the time, however, to take that next step of turning those fans into people that actually pay you money for what you have to offer.

Here are 4 strategies to consider that will help your fans turn into customers.

Be Consistent  With Content

In the overall scheme of things, it is important that you keep your Facebook fans engaged and keep your brand in front of them at all times. To that end, it is very important that you as a business owner maintain a consistent approach to the content you are publishing for your followers. A good practice is to put something out there once a day that is likely to be shared or liked a lot. Not only will this help your content go viral and get in front of more people, but it will also establish you as an authority in your industry.

Examples of content that you can post on a daily basis are how-to articles, tips related to your industry, or even interesting photos that your fans may want to see.  The key is to make this content as engaging as possible so that it keeps getting shared and it keeps your fans coming back for more.

Now, when one of your fans needs the service or product you offer, who are they going to call? Exactly! They will call you because they know who you are and consider you an authority in your industry.

Reach More of Your Fan Base

In order to convert more fans into customers, first, your fans actually have to SEE what you are posting and promoting so they have the opportunity to become a customer.  One of the most dramatic changes Facebook has made recently is minimizing organic reach for brands.  Basically, this means that only a tiny fraction of your fans will see your updates in their newsfeed.  According to Edge Rank Checker as of March 2014, it was estimated that you reach about 6.5% of your fan base with every post you make on your fan page.

There are a number of ways you can increase the visibility of your posts within your fans’ newsfeeds, and one of the best ways is to promote your posts.  A promoted post starts off just like any other post you’ve made on your fan page.  You simply choose a post you want to promote, like a special sale, or a story you want to share about your business.  Then you set a budget and the post is shared with a set number of Facebook members depending on your budget.  Your post will be seen by your fans, and even friends of your fans depending on your budget.  Promoting your posts is a very inexpensive way to ensure you get maximum visibility.

Another way to ensure your fans see your updates is to educate your fans that they can ‘Get Notifications’ from your Page.

Most of the time, users aren’t even aware that they aren’t getting seeing your updates.  Simply by telling them how they can stay better informed with your business’s special promotions will boost the number of people that actually see your posts.

Create Offers with Urgency or Scarcity

If you want to turn more of your Facebook fans into paying customers then you are going to have to market to them – plain and simple.

Now, a common and effective practice to use is creating offers and posting them to Facebook that have an element of scarcity or urgency to them in order to get people to act right away. In other words, why not post a coupon limited to the first 10-people who claim it for a certain percentage off your service? Or what about a special offer on a service that expires in 24 hours? Make the offer something that your fans cannot pass up and you will see the phone begin to ring! That said, once you complete your promotion it is your job to keep them coming back. Use these special offers as a way to get them there – it’s up to you to keep them there.

Another way to reach your audience with a special deal is through Facebook Offers. This is a form of paid advertising where you can create an ad and target specific people with a special offer that will fit their needs.  Once the ad is created and displayed it will have a “get offer” button on it. When a user clicks this button they will be directed to an area where they can claim the discount offered by your company. The thing that makes Facebook Offers unique and very powerful is that they will actually email the person that claimed the offer to remind them to use it. In other words, they will do some of the dirty work for you to ensure that the person actually becomes a paying customer!

Drive Fans to Your Email List

Having a robust fan base on Facebook is great and can be very profitable but there is an even better way to engage these people to turn them into customers. What is it you ask? Simple, it’s email. If you are able to drive your fans to your email list then you will be able to communicate with them on a whole other level.  Email newsletters are still the best way to communicate directly with your audience.

Think about it for a moment. Not only are you engaging them within Facebook, but now you are also engaging them within their inbox. This is very powerful as the more “planes of engagement” there are between you and your potential customers the more you will see your bottom line increase.

The best part about building that email list from your Facebook fan base is that it’s easy! You simply need to drive your fans from Facebook to an email opt-in form on your website or to an opt-in form right within Facebook. There are many apps out there that make it really easy to create these lead capture forms right within Facebook so the fan never has to leave if you don’t want them to.

Please keep in mind that people will only opt-in to your email list if you give them a good reason. Don’t be afraid to offer a discount or some other valuable form of content to ensure they sign up right away!

Show Them Some Love Too

A final strategy to turn fans onto customers is to show them some love too! What this means is making sure you are active on Facebook and sharing content that your fans have produced. This will create a feeling of reciprocity between you and your fans and also show that you are just a normal person too – not a corporate machine.

People love being engaged on social media. If you take a few minutes each day to engage with some of your fans then you will see that investment in time come back to you tenfold. All of a sudden a normal fan will become a raving fan just because you reached out to engage them. Who do you think that person will do business with when they need what you have to offer?

All in all, getting your Facebook fans to turn into paying customers is easy if you know what you are doing. Just follow the strategies that are outlined above and watch your business take off like you never thought possible!

How Your Local Business Can Get More Online Reviews from Customers

How Your Local Business Can Get More Online Reviews from Customers

You’ve done it – taken the plunge and entered the online world.  You are even using social media for your business. But I know you are wondering, “Do I really need to worry about online reviews from my customers?”  The short answer is YES!

In today’s inter-web-driven world, a business must be online to succeed.  However, using that online power is what will drive your business to succeed or dig its early grave.  Consumers today are all about getting instant information about a business to help them make an educated buying decision.

In fact, statistics show that most consumers will not shop at a new business until they read their reviews.  Social media has created a way for consumers to respond immediately about their experience with a business and it is shared with the world.

The same holds true for your business, online reviews from your customers are important to the success of your business.  There are many benefits of customer reviews, including free advertising, improved search engine rankings, a more direct relationship with your customers, and they can really set you apart from your competition.  So now that you understand the importance of online reviews, let’s look at some ways in which you can actually get more reviews from your customers, and really boost your business reputation.

  • The most important thing you can do to generate more positive online reviews is to take care of your customers 110%.  This may sound rather silly, but happy customers will leave positive reviews if they feel like you’ve gone above and beyond. Pretty simple concept – but very effective when practiced.  If there is a problem with an order or service, take care of it immediately, and make it right. Look at negative reviews as an opportunity to provide exceptional customer service & turn a negative into a positive. Customers value integrity.
  • Pay attention to your reviews and online comments daily (even multiple times a day if needed). You can set up Google Alerts to notify you every time someone mentions your business or website online, or use a service like Reputology to monitor your online reviews for you.
  • Make an effort and keep your social presence active– answer questions, thank customers, make comments about upcoming sales or new releases, and more.  Give them that extra attention that consumers thrive on. The more you are engaged with your audience, the more they will interact with you, which will lead to more reviews and more buzz.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for honest reviews from your customers. Don’t be pushy, but explain to them that your business thrives on reviews from customers, and if they had a good experience, please help spread the word.
  • Leave an amazing impression – In order to elicit a comment or review, you must make the experience memorable to the consumer.  This goes back to making sure that you take care of the consumer and that they are happy with the experience. When you do this, oftentimes the rest will happen naturally!
  • If you do receive a bad review, it’s okay – but do not EVER fire back in defense of your company, product, or employee.  Instead, thank the consumer for the comment or review and make it right. In most cases, that’s all it takes to “make lemonade out of lemons” and more often than not if you play it cool and fix whatever issue they had they’ll update their original review.  Now, not only do you have a happy customer, you have social proof of excellent customer service- voila!
  • Make it stupidly easy for your customers to leave a review.  The easier the better. One great strategy is to set up a “feedback page” on your website, with links to all of your review pages like Google Local, CitySearch, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc. Simply direct happy customers to this page, and then they can choose which option is easiest for them.
  • Add a “Call to Action” to receipts and invoices.  By simply adding a call to action at the bottom of your receipt, you are letting your customers know you value their feedback.
  • Print out and display customer reviews in key areas of your business, preferably where most customers will see them. Not only does this demonstrate that you take the customer experience seriously but also you also are appealing to their ego.
  • Thank reviewers publically on Twitter.  Another great way to encourage more positive reviews is by acknowledging your existing positive reviews. Your customers like being acknowledged and you are demonstrating that their reviews have an impact.
  • One of the best ways to increase customer reviews and comments is by making the review process part of increasing your work process.  In short, explain to your employees the importance of asking customers for their reviews. When you implement an incentive program with your employees, they will suddenly begin asking all customers to do a review.

No matter what strategies you choose to increase the number of online reviews, keep in mind that it is only one part of the marketing process.  Follow-up is key in keeping the reviews coming and ensuring that your business thrives from these reviews and comments. If you do not participate in the review process by responding back and engaging in conversation, you will eventually stop receiving reviews.

The review process today is about engaging with the consumer and making them feel like they are a part of the bigger picture.  Consumers want an experience. Let’s be honest – they can purchase your service or product anywhere. So give them what they want – good products or services, good customer service, and good feedback.  When you involve and engage with your consumers, they will invest in your business, creating repeat business and a virtually free referral and advertising network for you!

Revealed: Here’s how to create lifetime customers

Revealed: Here’s how to create lifetime customers

Many business owners make the mistake of chasing after new leads and creating new opportunities without first making the most of the resources and opportunities they already have.

If you have a website and you’re focusing all of your energy on getting new people to visit, then you are likely missing out on a lot of potential business from your current visitors. It’s much easier to get someone to buy from you who has already done business with you in the past, so that’s actually the smartest place to focus your efforts.

Likewise, you’re much less likely to get a sale from someone who is visiting your site for the first time versus someone who has been visiting for a while and who you have established trust with.

Read on and we will look at how you can turn your visitors into customers and your existing customers into repeat customers.

Make it Easy

This is where your branding becomes incredibly important. If someone lands on your website and is impressed by the way you present yourself and what you offer, then you need to make sure that they are able to get back to you again when they decide to bite. This means you need to have a clear and obvious banner/design that is memorable enough that they can track you down in the future. Likewise, an easy and memorable URL can go a long way. You can even encourage them to bookmark your page through a popup or the like.

A Mailing List

Better yet is to get them to join a mailing list or newsletter of some kind. This will then ensure they get frequent updates from you which will keep you at the forefront of their minds. What’s more, it will allow you to reach out to them with specific offers and deals that might interest them based on your previous interactions. Lead capture is one of the most crucial aspects of your online presence, so don’t neglect it!

91% of Consumers Check Their Email Once a Day or More

Email Marketing Has an ROI of 4,300%

Social Media

Similar to a mailing list is a social media account – by using a Twitter or Facebook account you can keep your customers up-to-date and provide yourself with a means of staying in touch long after they’ve left your site.

67% of Twitter Users Are More Likely to Buy From Brands They Are Following on Twitter

Providing Value

Another good strategy is to ensure that your website itself provides value which most companies try to achieve through a blog. Give your site a blog and that way there will be useful content for your visitors to come back and read. If your website is literally just an advert, then there’s really no need for them to return to your site unless they are looking to buy something.

Deals and Special Offers

Running some kind of deal or a special offer is a great way to increase your turnover for a period and potentially gain some free marketing. At the same time though, it’s also effective at demonstrating to your visitors a good reason to check in from time to time. If you mention your promotion in a Tweet then you’ll find it’s a good way to attract a lot of previous visitors back to your site who maybe were interested in some of your products but didn’t have the money at the time. Make sure to get involved in larger deals and promotions too like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday 2017 Online Sales Reached $5 Billion

Tell Them to Come Back

Sometimes the best techniques are the obvious ones: why not just literally instruct your visitors to come back to your site? This could literally just be a case of including a message at the end of your content saying ‘be sure to come back soon’, or telling them how often your content is updated or how you occasionally have deals and offers. Of course, they might just ignore your request but at least you’ve planted the idea and you’ve made your case for why they should keep you in mind.

Use a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is a fantastic way to get your customers to come back time and again. Here you offer discounts and other bonuses to customers who use your services or shop with you regularly which gives them an additional reason to use you over your competition. At the same time, many people find it somewhat addictive to see their points rack up and will often go to lengths to keep them growing!

Create a Social Element

At the time of writing, Facebook has 2 billion daily active users. What makes it so popular? That would be the social aspect which lets people check in on friends and have conversations on topics they find interesting.

Basically, social interactions keep people coming back because they want to see the responses to things they’ve written/continue their discussions. Simply adding a comments section on your site then can be a great way to create a community around your business that builds loyalty in a big way.

Make Them Feel a Part of Your Business

Using the web is a great way to get people involved in your business and to help them feel like a part of it. This in turn gives them a stake in your success and they’ll be much more likely to come back as a result, as well as to spread the word.

What does this mean? Well, it could mean outsourcing an idea. It might mean running some kind of contest. Or it could just mean answering a question and engaging with the audience. Even giving away t-shirts can make people feel like they’re a part of your ‘movement’ and really get behind you as a result. This is also another very good reason to be on social media and to leverage other social elements.

63% of People Follow Small Businesses to Show Their Support on Twitter

Leave an Impression

Most important of all though is simply to ensure you leave the right impression on your visitors and your customers. At a basic level this means creating a website that runs well, loads quickly, looks great, and maybe has a few nice touches that stand out.

Going deeper though means ensuring that the entire experience of dealing with you is memorable in all the right ways. This entails thinking about your packaging. Maybe it could mean under-promising and over-delivering in terms of shipping. Or how about packaging a freebie in with their order/sending a personalized message? These small touches are what set amazing companies apart from the crowd and build real loyalty. Show you care about your business and about your customers and you will find they reciprocate!

Our Favorite Way To Keep Track Of Everything Happening In Your Business

Our Favorite Way To Keep Track Of Everything Happening In Your Business

(Skip reading and click here to watch “Getting Started With Evernote“)

What is Evernote?

Evernote is a multi-platform system that enables you to keep all those post-its, to-do lists, and bits and pieces in one place. It’s a fantastic and now very commonly used tool that is proving itself to be not only a great application but an essential for anyone!

The application works seamlessly on both Mac and Windows computers, as well as on iPhones, Android, iPad, and other smart digital devices. Its extra features, such as the Web Clipper, can be tied in easily with most browsers and offers not only the capabilities you always wanted, but plenty more you’d never even thought of.

Depending on the device on which you’re running Evernote, there are a number of different features to pick from, including:

  • Email notes directly to Evernote
  • Create different notebooks for different types of information
  • Grab and store images/text online via most browsers
  • Record audio notes
  • Share notes on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn or via Email
  • Keep track of your notes via tags/date/location
  • Create PDFs of notes
  • Create Slideshows of notes
  • Search your notes, images, and attachments
  • Set yourself reminders on notes

How Does Evernote Work?

How often do you think of something that you need to remember? How many times a week do you come across an idea… and then forget about it? Perhaps you dreamed of something that could have been great, only to forget it ten minutes later? Even more importantly… where does all of your inspiration come from, and how much of it gets lost?

Evernote allows you to grab all of these little bits of information and store them in one place by creating ‘notes’ for each item. No more scraps of paper, scrawled-on napkins, or misplaced paper notebooks. It’s all there on your digital devices, your computer, and in the cloud – accessible from anywhere you are at the moment.

Possibly the most impressive part of this app is that you can create notes in pretty much any format, such as a photograph, an email, grabbing something you saw online, or using your phone to record a voice message and then converting it directly into text.

You can even drag and drop things from your computer or a web page right into a note.

Create a multitude of different ‘Notebooks’ for different themes or projects and keep everything stored efficiently and in a way that you can come back to it at any point for a quick refresher.

The multi-platform integration of Evernote means that even if you think of something in bed that needs to be jotted down immediately, you can put it on your phone and then access that information from any other device on which you’ve downloaded the Evernote app.

And when you search for information in Google, you can add search results from your Evernote account too. That way, whenever you’re looking for something particular online and you may have forgotten about relevant notes you’ve already made, Evernote will remind you!

What Do People Use Evernote For?

Evernote can be applied to any area of life; whether it be professional or personal. Some examples include;

  • To collect inspiration for a creative pursuit
  • Writing
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Sculpturing
  • Carpentry
  • Interior design
  • Music creation
  • To keep track of elements of a project
  • Resources
  • People involved
  • Costs
  • Deadlines
  • Materials
  • Collect ideas for a new project/product
  • Encourage collaboration between team members
  • General record keeping
  • Daily organization/To-Dos
  • Shopping lists
  • Daily/Weekly planning
  • Resource lists
  • Material lists

So, do you think Evernote can help you be more productive and organized? Maybe make your life a bit easier?

Watch “Getting Started With Evernote” and then Click Here to get your free Evernote account.