Posts Tagged ‘Business Success’

September 11th, 2021

Reprise: 5 Tips for Starting a One-Person Business

by Rahimah Sultan





Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.





Are you the only person in your business or are you just starting a business?

You can run a small business on your own, although it requires planning and lots of patience.

You need to write your business plan, meet with a business advisor to discuss activating your plans, and have patience.

Your business plan needs to include the right business structure. You’ll need to prioritize tasks and set goals.


Following are 5 tips for starting a one-person business:


1) Start as a Side Business


Continue reading…


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August 30th, 2021

Increase Creativity in Your Writing

by Rahimah Sultan






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



What is creativity?

This is in the dictionary:  1: the quality of being creative   2: the ability to create

A Google check shows this: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

These are just for starters. Of course, you can find many more definitions and even come up with some of your own.

Anyone can be creative. Creativity is not something that is bestowed upon a few seemingly extraordinary people.

Research shows, that once you get beyond the average I.Q. of about 100, intelligence and creativity are not at all related.

You still have the potential for great creativity when writing copy.



Why Are Some People, Seemingly, More Creative Than Others?

Seemingly is the operative word here.

You may not be striving to write a book. But, when it comes to writing copy for your online business endeavors, you’re trying to get prospective clients’ attention and to get them to take a specific action for a particular purpose.

It’s a matter of immediacy, a sense of urgency. 

You want to come up with different ways to get prospects attention and to engage them. It may be time for another blog article and you need new ideas.

In these situations creative thinking is crucial.

You may have tried what someone else has advised that didn’t seem to work for you, or you may have some mental blocks.

Imani Campbell of The Sage Neuroscience Center states “A mental block is your brain reaching a barrier in accessing creativity, motivation, or productivity.”



So, What to Do?

This inability to clearly think or process information can be caused by many things.

If you really care about the outcome of something, you can become very anxious. For instance, that article you need to write looms like a giant question mark. What ifs begin to creep into your thoughts – what if it’s not good enough, long enough, clever enough, etc.

Whoops! Here we go with the blockage.

People learn bad habits that are mental blocks to creative thinking. These seven things may be holding you back:


1. Using different types of thinking simultaneously

Creating is generating new ideas, picturing, looking forward, considering possibilities.

Evaluating is analyzing, judging, picking apart ideas, and categorizing them as good and bad, helpful or not.

You need to separate the two. Set down your ideas first, then go back and evaluate their worth.


2. Following advice without question

There are many gurus who tell you their success secrets. It’s fine to listen, but following advice without question could lead to stifled creativity. Many have found success doing what others said wouldn’t work.


3. Fear of failure

No one likes making mistakes or failing. However, trying too hard to avoid failure sets you up for avoiding success.


4. Lack of confidence

There’s some level of uncertainty in every creative undertaking. A little self-doubt is natural.

Just have confidence that you can create and effectively carry through with solutions to challenges.

You’re on your way to becoming more confident and more creative when you understand that ideas often seem ridiculous at first, that failure is a learning experience, and nothing is impossible.


5. Discouragement from others

Most people will not see things as you do.

You may be all excited about some new venture you’re considering and they say you need to be sensible or they subtly imply that it won’t work.

Ignore them and once you’re successful, they’ll have to reckon with you.


6. Information overload

Over analyzing and cramming so much information into your brain before actually starting a project can cause you to lose the ability to act. You have to know when to stop collecting information, for that article, and start writing.


7. False limitations

Don’t become trapped by false limitations, self-imposed products of your experience. Be open to new things.

Step outside your comfort zone and explore something unrelated to what you do. Consider how people in those areas do what they do. You may find something that seems impossible today doable in the future.



How do You Regain Creativity?

Now that you know what may be holding you back, there are several things you can do to free your natural creative abilities:


1. Establish routines

Plan your necessary daily activities so you can have free time for creative ideas to show up and proper space to develop them.


2. Rest your mind

Block out the noise in your brain with scheduled time for daydreaming.


3. Move around

To create space for mental clarity you can walk, jog, run, etc. each day.


4. Complete mini projects

For practice in completing goals that require long-term commitment, perform a small task each day so that at the end of the week you’ve finished a project.


5. Take steps that help you achieve your long-term goal

Break down your long-term goal into a list of manageable tasks for each day, and check off one daily no matter how small. Don’t do more.

This is about sticking with a large project, rather than doing a lot of tasks fast and suffering burnout or losing interest.

You want to get into the habit of taking steps that help you achieve your ultimate creative goal.


6. Relax

Do something every day that you love. Spend 10 minutes daily doing just that and focusing on the good feeling you get.

You’re more likely to get new ideas when you feel relaxed.


7. Play around with your thoughts

Don’t always accept thoughts as truth. Think of the opposite as being true. If you’re worried that a situation may not go as planned, see the possibility of it going smoothly. Envision how you want it to go.

Playing around with your thoughts allows more creative solutions to arise.


Remember, creativity is not something that is bestowed upon only a few individuals. People learn bad habits that are mental blocks to creative thinking, and there are ways to regain your creativity.

These are just a few suggestions to increase creativity in your writing.



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June 25th, 2021

What to Do Before You Start Blogging

by Rahimah Sultan







Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



If you’re just now thinking about setting up a blog, the first thing you need do is start building your list, on the first day.



Why Build a List First?

You need to start building your list ASAP! It’s absolutely necessary if you want to run successful email marketing campaigns and reach people who are truly interested in your business.

Despite the popularity of social media channels, email marketing remains one of the most used digital marketing techniques.

If you want a successful business, you need people to market to.



What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing as defined in Wikipedia, is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email… Email marketing strategies commonly seek to achieve one or more of three primary objectives, to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.

An email is often the first step in a customer’s journey with you, the initial communication.



What is the Connection Between an Email and Your Blog?

You can think of your blog as your main base of operation, the place where you send people for your products/services or any related information. It’s a marketing tool.

It is also the place you can acquire their information in order to begin a relationship with them so they can get acquainted with you, and begin to like and trust you.

These are the people who will receive your emails. This is a part of your list building. Once your blog is set up, you can strategically place opt-in forms on it asking visitors to fill in their information – full name and email address – so you can contact them. Stick to the basics, name and email. Nobody wants to fill out much more than that.



How Do You Get People to Give up Their information?

1. Pick an email marketing service. I use Host Then Profit (affiliate link).

If you’re just starting out and your budget is tight, you can use a free service. You’ll need to check around and compare the pros and cons so you can choose one that best suits your purpose.

2. Place opt-in forms on your blog.

3. Give visitors a reason to give you their email address. Offer them an ethical bribe (subscriber bribes, lead magnets, opt-in bribes, free offers, free gifts, and content upgrade).


Most people won’t give you their email address out of the goodness of their heart, even if they like you.


Freebies are proven lead magnets.


Give them a free worthwhile gift.


Your subscriber’s bribe should be simple.

Don’t fall into to the trap of trying to get too large and creative with your lead magnet, which could end up in you not creating one at all.

You can educate your visitors by giving away free downloads filled with actionable tips and helpful tools they can use.


Some things you can give away:

Free blog articles
Emails with coupons
Videos
Tutorials and courses
Templates
E-Books


You can start with a one-page simple short PDF checklist offering tips on a particular subject.



To build an email list from nothing you need:

 1. To understand your audience

Decide who will be your audience — name, job title, work, demographics like age, gender, education, etc. In other words, create a persona.

You can find out a lot about people through social media channels.

2. A website

Your blog will, eventually, become your website.


In the meantime, you can use a landing page, a single-page website that contains your email opt-in form.


You can use any of the services below to create an opt-in form.


Some of them have free trial periods.

Landerapp.com
iContact.com
Hubspot.com
Leadpages.net
Wix.com


Note: Some advertising channels require that you have a multi-page website that includes pages such as Contact, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policies.


3. An email marketing service. I use Host Then Profit (affiliate link).


4. A great offer, a free worthwhile gift.


Now that you have some pointers on what to do before you start blogging, start building that list.



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April 26th, 2021

Effective Email Marketing

by Rahimah Sultan





Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



Email continues to be an essential part of daily business and consumer interaction.

Since an email account (i.e. email address) is required to sign up to any form of online activity, it  is essential to the overall Internet experience including social networking or any presence on the Internet.

Over the years, email marketing strategies have changed, although effective email marketing is still key to any marketing strategy. The best online marketers use email.


Why do the Best Online Marketers Use an Email Marketing Strategy?

Because it produces results. Email marketing technology has advanced in that the software is becoming more powerful, and advanced features are now more accessible due to the growing number of affordable options on the market.

One email marketing trend that’s really taken off is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

AI tools have come a long way recently. You can use them to help create subject lines, calls-to-action and content which can produce a substantial boost in campaign results.

With AI, after you’ve created your email marketing campaign, you can opt to have it sent at a specific time and on a certain day or you can use the “send at the best time” feature.

You do not have to send all your emails at the same time nor should you always be selling. Just send a few that offer tips or something that may be of interest, then send one offering one of your products or services for sale.

Another aspect of AI is personalization of emails.


Why Personalization?

Personalization can increase open rates. If people see their name in an email they’re more likely to open and read it, thus giving you an opportunity to follow up with them which can lead to more income.

When it comes to personalization you can complement your email with tools like live chat, SMS, push and more. You can do research and find the tools with the options that fit your needs.

While personalizing your emails, you may also want to use segmentation.


Segmentation

If you are expanding or want to grow your business you might consider using CRM (Customer Relations Management) software instead of spreadsheets. CRM works like a task manager. While using a spreadsheet you may track:

Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Type of customer
Date of purchase


With CRM you can start with an email address and add the things already mentioned plus whatever else you want such as:

Lead scoring (A feature that enables you to have a more complete view of how clients are interacting with you.)
Multiple contacts
Notes
Current sales stage of customers and prospects
and more


Make your emails engaging and offer good quality content and solutions to problems. Do not email just to introduce new products or services. No one will want to open them until they’re ready to know what you’re selling or they’re ready to make a purchase.

Make sure there’s a strong reason to open your emails, regardless of whether you’re selling something or not.


How?

Be sure your emails are valuable to your reader in and of themselves.

Include relevant educational content like tips and inspiration to maintain subscribers’ interest, while building trust in your product or service. When collecting signups set expectations from the beginning by pointing out the value you’ll offer. Then, stick to that promise and you’ll grow a list of engaged subscribers to convert when the time is right.

So, in order to have effective email marketing your strategy must be well planned and include the tools you need for efficiency and effectiveness. Be personable, informative and engaging in your emails. Set expectations from the start, keep your promise,  and build trust.



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March 14th, 2021

7 Home-Based Business Ideas


by Rahimah Sultan






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.


Many people who are trying to start a full-time or side business are looking for home business ideas. With new technology and software, opportunities to create a low-cost home-based business have never been easier.

Here are 7 home-based business ideas:

1. Web Development and Digital Marketing

Although websites have seemingly been around for ages, people still need high-quality sites. As a web developer you have many options for creating websites.

In order for you to create custom websites, you’ll need to learn code. If you are proficient at WordPress, you can set up sites for people or teach others how to use it. WordPress and others like it are semi-custom websites.

A semi-custom website can earn you about $2,500. However, if you build websites using code you can make up to $15,000 or more.

Digital marketing is a term that includes any online strategies used to get more customers to a business. This includes online Ads, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and Google My Business.

The goal of digital marketing is to help businesses make money. If you can do that, you can create a business as a freelancer or marketing agency.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Although the term affiliate marketing has several meanings, it typically means selling someone else’s products for a fee.

Affiliate marketing can work for you if you recommend a product, service, or software on your website. You earn a commission for every person that clicks on your unique link and buys a product. The difficulty is finding people to sell affiliate products to? You have to build an audience of people who know, like and trust you. You can do this by way of a website, an email list, social media channels, or a video platform. Once you have an audience you can recommend your affiliate products and services to them.

3. Personal Trainer

As a personal trainer you can freelance in your own home, a client’s home or a public place such as a park, beach, or parking lot.

It’s helpful to have documented results from clients. If you’re just starting as a personal trainer, consider taking on a couple of committed clients at a cut-rate and document their outcomes. Then you can show their success on your website, on social media, and in your marketing materials. Rates can range from $11 to $52 an hour.

4. Yoga Instructor

Yoga instruction is similar to personal training in that you can host classes outside. You can also teach virtual classes with a software to assist you like namastream which provides the tools needed for a successful virtual yoga business. Use the software to create multiple membership options, set up autopay, and integrate email marketing.

5. Voice-Over Artist

The demand for voice over artists is high due to the rise of e-learning and e-books. Also, the diversity of voice quality has increased with people looking for unique accents and dialects.

Technological advances have proven advantageous to the voice over industry and have brought it to a new level with the arrival of podcasts, audiobooks, and even smart devices that enable self-command features.

You are not limited to jobs in your local area. With a voice coach you like and believe would properly train you, try remote coaching which makes use of video chat apps such as Skype and FaceTime, and podcasts and webinars.

Even as assistive apps such as Alexa and Siri have grown in popularity, people still prefer the emotional connection of a real human voice.

6. Sell Handmade products

You can sell handmade products through a third-party website like Etsy or AmazonHandmade. If you use a third-party site instead of your own ecommerce site, you gain access to the third-party site’s visitors.

On Etsy and AmazonHandmade you can sell jewelry, pet toys, candles, ornaments, bath bombs, face masks, knitted products, and personalized planners.

It will take time to build credibility. The potential trust customers have in your products and store will increase as you get more satisfied customers.

7. Pet Sitting

Consider becoming a pet sitter if you love pets and have experience taking care of them. While you can do your own local marketing to find customers, you can also use a website such as Rover.com to connect with those looking for dog boarding, walking, and day care.

As far as pricing, a walk in your local neighborhood can be $15 to $20. A trip to a dog park which requires more work and supervision may cost $20 to $30. Day sitting ranges from $25-$50, and overnight boarding costs between $50 and $75 per night.

To increase your fees you can offer additional services such as mobile grooming or dog training certification.

Freelancing using one of these seven home-based business ideas is a great way to start a home-based business. You can practice your service on, or sell the product to people you know in exchange for free or at a discount and get testimonials. When you have quality experiences and good results to share, use that in your overall business marketing.


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January 23rd, 2021

5 Tips for Starting a One-Person Business

by Rahimah Sultan







Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.




Included in the abundance of business advice is the fact that you should delegate certain tasks so you can focus on your business rather than work in your business. This is sound advice, unless you happen to be the only person in your business or you’re just starting a business.

Can you run a small business on your own?

You can run a small business on your own, although it requires planning and lots of patience.

Following are 5 Tips for starting a one-person business from some entrepreneurs who have successfully done so. You can use your own plan, although this framework tends to lead to success.

1) Start as a Side Business

It’s going to take time to build your one-person business, and quitting your job will create financial challenges if you don’t have quite a bit of money saved.

For financial security, starting your one-person business on the side is often the way to go. If you develop a client base while working a full-time job over a year or so, you’ll be bringing in money and be set  to grow an already established brand once you take your venture full time.

Starting your business on the side allows you the time and opportunity to see what challenges may occur or whether you should change course and choose another type business.

Starting your business from home on the side affords flexibility to make mistakes and fail without losing your only source of income.

2) Determine the Right Structure for Your Business

The type of clients or audience you want and your branding play a part in structuring your business.

The simplest forms of business available are sole proprietorships which offer a lot of flexibility. You can be an independent contractor, operate a small more traditional business or do freelance work.

Although this seems like a logical choice, you are solely responsible for everything including any potential lawsuits that may occur and any applicable employment taxes.

The usual advice is to form an LLC or incorporate the business. In doing so you, as the owner, are provided with liability protection.

If you’re a one-person business and operate as a sole proprietorship you can change the structure when you become a multi-person organization.

Click here for more information on choosing a business structure.

3) Prioritize Tasks

Since you’re the only one working in your business, it’s critical not to procrastinate or waste time.  You need to prioritize your tasks.

Schedule your day and your tasks. You’re going to be pulled in many directions with phone calls and messages and such. You have to decide what needs immediate attention and what can wait.

Organize tasks with both a short- and long-term view. Block out times of the day to work on different tasks and long-term goals and projects. If your working only a few hours a day on your side business, there’s not a lot of time for tedious tasks and checking emails.

Help prioritize your tasks by setting long-term goals.

When working alone it’s easy to get off track and make little progress. Take a long-term goal setting approach, and hold yourself accountable to those goals. You can set long-term goals to accomplish in three-month increments.

Let’s say you’re just organizing a plan of action because you’ve not actually started your side business. Consider how you’ll get the word out about your business. Consider whether you’ll use a blog, social media or both. Then set target dates for having these in place. Set dates for when you want to begin posting to your blog. Decide how often you want to post and when you’ll write your posts. Setting goals helps you stay on track.

Although sticking to the grindstone and getting work done is great, you’ll need some help from other sources. Surround yourself with great people. That can be other small businesses and independent contractors who can provide a variety of services such as website development, graphic design, and video production. Working together and exchanging ideas and being flexible benefits you and your clients.

4) Community Supporters

Running a one-person business can be mentally tiring, so connect with like-minded people and build a community of supporters. Find activities that are not work related to get involved in like joining clubs and joint fitness groups for human interaction to allow time away the day-to-day office drama.

Connect with business peers for advice and to reduce business loneliness. Reach out to local business owners and entrepreneurs. Talk with experienced business people in your area and share advice and viewpoints with them. This builds connections and gives you a group of people to turn to for advice. LinkedIn is an easy way to connect with business people in your area and quickly build a network.

Attend SBA (Small Business Administration) events in your area that interest you and meet others who are experiencing what you’re going through.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it’s not wise to run a one-person business alone.

5) Growth Limitations

Your growth limitations are determined by your definition of success. You can grow only so large without a team. If you find the limit that you can get to on your own and are able to maintain, you can certainly sustain that as long as you desire.

If you have no goals of building any level of empire, you might be completely content to stay on your own. But if your definition of success involves anything more than that, you’ll need to start considering having a team.

So, write your business plan, with these five tips for starting a one-person business in mind, meet with a business advisor to discuss activating your plans, and be patient.


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December 24th, 2020

Insurance for Your Home-Based Business






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.



If you’re an entrepreneur with a home-based business, you may have considered getting business insurance. Well, hesitate no longer. The question is not whether or not to get insurance, but what type of insurance to get.

You definitely need insurance for your home-based business.

Just because you can run your business in your pajamas doesn’t mean it’s not a real business. So, it needs to be insured just like any brick and mortar establishment.

Your homeowner’s policy carries little or no coverage for a business and some insurance companies may even invalidate your policy if you file a business-related claim.

As a result you’ll have no coverage for:

Buildings used for business purposes
Loss or damage to business records or data
Loss of income that results from a business shutdown caused by physical loss to business property.


Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Home-Based Business?

Consider the following:

1) You run a consulting business from home, as an IT professional. If your home is robbed and all your expensive computer equipment is stolen, you may find that it’s not fully covered under your homeowners’ insurance because it is considered business property.

2) A business delivery person is leaving your home-based architect office and slips on some wet steps and sustains injuries. Your policy might not pay for these injuries because your insurance doesn’t cover business deliveries or any third-party injury claims.

3) If you run a landscaping business out of a building adjacent to your home and it catches fire and burns your equipment, you’re mistaken to think your homeowner’s policy covers such an incident.

4) As an accountant, you advise a client on a financial matter that ends up costing her money. As a result, she files a lawsuit. A homeowner’s policy won’t come close to touching that.

These are only a few reasons to purchase home-based business insurance.

Neither homeowners’ nor renters’ insurance policies cover home-based businesses.


The many types of business insurance include:

Business property insurance which covers any kind of equipment used to operate your business including your computer, printer, fax machine, furniture, etc.

Liability insurance that protects you and your business from being liable for damages caused to another person or property.

Product liability coverage to protect your business from damages to property or a person caused by a product you supplied, manufactured or designed.

Business automobile coverage which will provide coverage if you are in an accident while making pickups or deliveries, visiting clients or performing other business-related tasks. Your personal auto policy does not cover using your vehicle for business.


Here I have covered only a few types of insurance for your home-based business. There are many more for you to consider, depending on your particular business.

It is wise to work with an insurance professional who can furnish the details you need for the particular type of home-based business insurance that’s available for your business.

Based on the many potential business liabilities, you’re probably better off having at least a combination of a few policies, depending on your business needs. And that could be one less thing to keep you awake at night.


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December 13th, 2020

Blog Article Marketing for Your Business






Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.




Blog article marketing for your business is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website or blog. It’s also a way of acquiring potential customers, a way to get your website indexed on search engines, and a way to promote your site and to get backlinks.

Using blog article marketing for your business makes good sense. Since blogging doesn’t cost anything on most websites, you can choose a popular blogging platform and connect your blog with your other marketing campaigns. This lets you connect and have conversations with the people that visit your site and it’s a great way to engage customers.

Starting your own blog doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is an article that was written some time ago, but the information it contains is still current.

Once your blog is set up and you consistently write informative articles, your reputation within your niche will improve and this offers you a good way to improve your income.

A blog is an indispensable tool for your business.


Build Your Following

To build your following offer your readers important information that is helpful. Share useful and interesting content on a regular basis.

Use a warm, friendly casual style even when writing on technical subjects. You don’t want to be boring and drive away readers.


Get Found by Search Engines

To help your article get found by search engines, use your main keyword or keyword phrase in the title, header, sub-headings, and in the URL, which leads to more traffic and sales.

The first paragraphs of your article should be the best and very powerful. Include the best information here to grab the attention of both readers and search engines.

You want your audience to read the entire article so don’t give away too much at the beginning, just enough to grab their attention. Lead them down the page using your sub-headings under which you feed them even more interesting information.


Do Not Duplicate Content

For the best quality content, write your own articles. They should be original and fresh. Put forth your own spin and offer a unique outlook or suggestion to impress your readers. If search engines detect duplicate content you will be flagged and penalized, and your marketing becomes ineffective as search engines will not “pick up” your article.

Even though it’s true that the more people you have viewing your writing the better your chance of success, you don’t have to target large audiences with your article. You want the people that do read your articles to be those who are truly interested in what you have to say.

Never ignore your dedicated readers.

Blog article marketing for your business can be extremely lucrative. One of the most exciting parts about it is you’re building interest in you and your company and offers through unique and interesting articles.

Nothing is more important than drawing in readers and giving valuable information that will keep them coming back time and time again. The key to building long-term business relationships with your visitors and potential customers and clients is in providing them with valuable, quality information.



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August 23rd, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 3)

by Rahimah Sultan






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 2



You got your readers to click the headline, enticed them down the page with your introduction, and now it’s time to give them what you promised.



Now the rules for delivering valuable and easy-to-consume content.


CONTENT RULE #1. Add Stopping Points

Use subheadings as stopping points.

Readers are scanners, because there is so much content to be had.

Subheadings are a way to prove your content is valuable. To keep enticing them back into your post when they want to leave.



Four Tips for Writing Your Subheadings:


1. Add a Subheading Every few Paragraphs

Add a few subheadings throughout your post to lead readers down the path your post is heading, making their experience feel clear, easy and enjoyable.

Remember, your blog posts are all about the readers’ experience.

When readers are scanning and see too much text, they feel overwhelmed.

Example:

A short post with subheadings.


2. Avoid Subheading Mistakes That Make Readers Disappear

Subheadings serve the same purpose as headlines; to make readers curious so they keep reading.

Avoid the following mistakes:

The Plain Label Subheading
Again, don’t bore your readers. Treat your subheadings like mini-headlines and be sure they arouse curiosity.

The Spoiler Subheading
Hold back information in your subheading so readers feel compelled to continue reading.

The Cryptic Subheading
Readers don’t like to play guessing games, so don’t try to be witty. Adding curiosity shouldn’t come at the expense of clarity.

Example:

If you’re talking about the effects of diet for good health, your subheadings might be:

The Importance of a Good Diet
Eating the Right Food Will Improve Your Overall Health
Skip the Junk and Feel Better


The first subheading is rather generic, the second doesn’t encourage you to keep reading, and the third doesn’t say much of anything.

The following subheadings will do a better job of getting readers’ attention:

Diet is Important for Good Health
Eating Right for Your Overall Health
Foods to Avoid to Maintain Good Health


3. Compare Each Subheading to Your Main Headline

Each subheading must be related to the overall headline of your post.

Your subheadings must all lead to what you promised in your main headline.

If the subheadings get off track and don’t deliver on the overall headline, readers will feel lost and confused.

If that happens, you’ll have to change your subheadings or your main headline.

Example:

If you’re writing a post titled “Benefits of Meditation in Daily Life” and you include the following subheadings:

1. Using Meditation in Everyday Life
2. Reducing Stress and Anxiety with Meditation
3. Using Meditation to Maintain Focus in Spite of Distractions
4. How to Gain Mental Strength, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation

The fourth subheading is a little long and disrupts the flow. It’s also differently structured by beginning with “How.” The first three subheadings are fine and relatively short.

This inconsistency is distracting to readers.


4. Follow a Format

When you’re listing different “tips,” “steps,” “ways,” “methods,” “signs,” etc., to attain what the headline of the post promises, keep the format consistent.

Let’s say your post is “13 Ways to Invest in Yourself,” and you have a subheading for each of the ways.

If you take your subheadings from the post and list them, you can see if any stray from the pattern.

Example:

So, your first few subheadings are:

Try to Meditate
Make a Gratitude List
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Get Plenty Sleep

There is Nothing Like a Morning Walk to Clear Your Mind

Something in the last one seems a little off.

The first four are about the same in length and start with a verb.

The fifth subheading suddenly changes the format and interrupts the flow. It doesn’t start with a verb and it’s much longer than the others.

This may seem like a small detail, but it distracts readers.



CONTENT RULE #2. Add a Little Surprise

Your post needs to be unique, bold and eye-opening; not the same old boring advice.

You can list your main points and add a unique perspective or something unexpected to them.

Do you know something that most people don’t? Is there some system that you challenge? Do you use methods that others won’t know about?

Example:

Seth Godin puts a unique spin on serious topics.

Don’t overdo it just for the sake of shock value. Your information needs to be genuine and useful. You want to challenge yourself as a writer and educate your readers.



CONTENT RULE #3. Follow a Format

This post has a very consistent format.

Each section is quite similar in length. All the subheadings follow a pattern. Each section ends with an example.

Consistency in your posts makes for a better experience for readers.

So you write a list post about seven steps to accomplish something. If the first step is 300 words, the second and third steps are 500 words, the fourth step is 200 words, the fifth and sixth steps are 400 words, and the seventh step is 100 words, it doesn’t look very neat.

You want your readers to have a great experience. Be attentive to small details.

To look even more professional, you can look at the beginning, middle, and end of each section and create a guiding format. You can start each section with a story or a daring statement. Use the middle section for your advice. You might want to add a graphic. Then end each section with a call to action.

Adding formats to your posts makes for easier writing, and they look more polished.

Example:

Here’s a bare-bones example of a blog post format that can be used as a starting template.



CONTENT RULE #4. Be Outrageously Giving

Don’t worry about giving away too much in your posts. After all, your goal is to have people sign up for your paid products or services.

If you’re not giving with your readers in your posts, they’ll have a negative impression of your paid products.

Carefully go through the problem with your readers. Give them thorough solutions and compelling advice. Be outrageously giving and they will become loyal readers and customers.

Example:

This 3,000-word plus post by R. L. Adams is extremely generous. I’ve read longer ones, up to 10,000 words.

Never fear. You can wow your readers with your generosity and thoughtfulness, just the same, with a 1,000-word post.



CONTENT RULE #5. Begin and End Strong

Not only should your introduction and conclusion grab your readers, but you want the main body of your post to also begin and end strong.

Every section should have great content, but if you’re presenting seven ways to achieve something, save your very best tips for the first and seventh. The first will get your readers’ attention while the seventh will leave them totally pleased.

Example:

Nathan Thompson gives you 7 Proven Tips to Create Blog Posts That Convert Like Crazy.

Make an outline containing your main points before writing the main sections of your post.

Make it clear and simple so your post will have clarity and conviction.

Now, it’s conclusion time.


Rules for your inspiring conclusion:


CONCLUSION RULE #1. Motivate Your Readers

Give them a pep talk. Show them what they’re capable of, how far they’ve come, and how things will look once they’ve applied your instructions.

Motivate your readers by showing you expect more of them. Encourage them to immediately take action.

Make them see that no matter what they’ve struggled with in the past, they should believe in themselves. They can achieve the goal you promised in your headline.  They can do this.

Example:

Read the encouraging conclusion in this post.



CONCLUSION RULE #2. Include Nothing New

A common blogging mistake.

Don’t all of a sudden include new information or tips in your conclusions.

It really throws your readers off and leaves them befuddled as to why you didn’t just include it in the body of the post.

Example:

In this post Alex Nerney lists nine blog ideas and topics.

His conclusion begins with, “Okay, that’s it…”

It would be jarring if he added another idea or topic after that.

When writing the conclusion, imagine how your readers are feeling or what they are thinking. How will things change for them if they use your advice?

Put more thought into your closings.

Most readers just skim. Reward those who trust you enough to read to the end. Take the opportunity to tell them the next step to take.

Now that you’ve written your post, carefully edit it. One way to do this is to read it out loud to check the flow, unnecessary wording, and sentence structure.

There are so many things to learn. Blogging platforms. Social media. Content marketing techniques.

So, before you start down the blogging trail, you need to know how to write professional blog posts above all else. The rest doesn’t matter if you don’t.

Good news!

Writing good blog posts is a skill you can and must learn.

Inside you are compelling words and ideas waiting to be released. To transform readers’ lives.

When you’re ready, use this information as a guide.

Your audience is waiting.


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August 8th, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 2)






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 1



Now that you’ve intrigued your readers and drawn them in with a great headline, you have to keep their attention. As a blogger and copywriter you have to write in a way that keeps readers from taking a quick glance and moving on.



Following are rules for creating an introduction that draws in your readers.



1. Don’t try to sound overly academic

Up to 90% of people that lose weight end up gaining most or all of it back within


Research is valuable, but not in this context unless you’re a healthcare professional. As a blogger you don’t want to bore your readers with statistics.


You want to put yourself in their shoes by showing empathy. Let them know you understand what they’re going through.


You’re sharing the tools you used to overcome a problem.



Example:

Do you hear that?

That little voice speaking to you?

That little voice whispering to you that there’s something else you really want to do. Telling you to go ahead and make the change.

But you’re afraid.

You’re afraid to quit your job and do what your heart is pulling you to do.

You’re afraid of not having what you need to survive; a place to live, food on the table, a car and on and on.

But, mostly you’re afraid of making a mistake. You doubt yourself. You’re afraid of being wrong.




You don’t need to start every post with the empathy aspect. You can choose something else, maybe a story.



2. Get Into the Role

Trigger your readers’ emotions. Think about the range of emotions you want them to feel then get into that role as you write. Is there fear, doubt, anger, sadness, happiness, love, hope, and so on.


As you feel the emotions yourself they will come through in your writing and will be authentic.


So, decide on the emotional journey you want your readers to experience and put that in your writing and your audience will feel that.


Although this rule applies throughout your post, it is of utmost importance for your introduction.
When we write our words reveal our feelings.



3. Entice Readers down the Page


A) Open with Question a Short Sentence

This is a proven technique to draw in your audience.

If you start your post with a long paragraph readers will feel overwhelmed just looking at it.


B) Use Fewer Words

Use as few words as possible.

Write efficiently to give your words power. Whatever the number of words you use in your first draft, cut that in half.

The more you apply this technique the more proficient your blog writing becomes.


C) Set the Tempo

All writing has a pace and rhythm.

The pace of your introduction should be a little fast. Later, you can slow things down by:

Using short sentences or even sentence fragments
Keeping paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences long
Using delayed transitions to weave sentences together
Making each sentence a paragraph that leads into the next one
Reading the post out loud to be sure it flows properly and is moving forward smoothly


You want your readers’ journey to be fast and slow. To ebb and flow. To keep their attention.


That gives your words pace and rhythm.


Example:

“You’re not stupid.

You know what writing is truly about.

It’s a never-ending battle for your readers’ attention.

Every sentence is a link in a taut chain that connects your headline to your conclusion.

And you are just one weak sentence away from losing your reader forever.” — Shane Arthur


He then slows things down in the section that follows with longer sentences.



4. Make Them Beg

Have readers begging for your solutions by adding some fear to your opening.

What are readers’ concerns? What will happen if they don’t solve the problem you’re addressing?

When you expose those fears readers feel your empathy and are more eager for your solution.

Let them know we all have fears and don’t need to hide them.


Example:

Maybe the skeptics are right. Maybe you’re foolish to think you could earn an income doing something you love, instead of tolerating what you’re doing. Who knows?


The fear of failure is painful. Giving a voice to that fear is validating and makes your audience excited for the solutions that will set that fear free.


The fear of failure is painful, yes. But giving voice to it is validating and makes readers eager for the solutions that will set that fear free.




5. Hint at the Solution to Come

As you wrap up your introduction, hint at the solution to come.

The promised purpose of your post. What readers will gain when they follow your methods.

Don’t give it all away. Just a hint to keep readers engaged, because they bore easily.

An introduction is for setting the stage for all the sincere advice your post will provide, not to give answers.



Example:

You’re thinking about setting up a blog to advertise your side gig. You know nothing about blogging. Where do you begin?

A post for beginning bloggers, 4 Blogging Tips



I didn’t know much about blogging, but started anyway.

I used it for an affiliate program I signed up for online.

The program owner offered




Of course you’ll keep reading.


When devising an introduction, try writing two entirely different versions approached from different angles and sparking different emotions. Doing so will highlight the techniques and emotions that work best for both your audience and the content of your post.


Your introduction must satisfy search intent or readers will click the “back” button and you lose them forever.


Search Intent is the reason for the Google search.


It is a large part of SEO (search engine optimization) which would be another article by itself.


If someone searches for “5 Tips for Business Success,” and the post begins with an anecdote people will click away without ever reading the rest of the wisdom-filled post.


Figuring out a keyword’s intent is one of the first things to do. It forms your headline, meta description, introduction, word count, and more.


Take time to analyze results in Google so you know why people enter the particular query your blog post will be targeting.


Figure out the intent, and then make sure your introduction matches it.



Part Three will be covered in my next article.



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