50 Blog Topics to Power Your Posts
Want to generate more interest in your blog? Keep coming up with interesting topics:
Pick one of these topics and get started on a post. Or write on something one of these topics inspired. Here's to your continued success building blog followers and clients, as you keep putting together your best year ever.... Enjoy a great month!
5 Kinds of Content That Pulls Readers In
Content marketing is more important than ever. Emails, blog posts, social media posts, web page content and downloads are all helping to grow all kinds of businesses. But generating leads and then customers takes content that pulls people in. The important thing is to write like you're talking to another human being. Here are five kinds of content that do just that.
1. Content That's Relevant. Know who your content is for, meaning understand your audience's desires and needs. Then write in a way that addresses how you fulfill those desires and meet those needs. Find out where your targets hang out online and what they search for. Best of all, collect as many of their email addresses as you can, because email still gets the highest rate of response of any online marketing tool.
2. Content That Sounds Honest. If your content sounds honest and well-balanced, people will be more willing to trust you. Nobody wants to be marketed to. A great example of honest content is providing links to expert opinions and customer reviews on third party sites. When you're not the one saying how great you are, it's a lot more convincing. If you don't have online opinions and reviews available, the next best thing is including customer quotes. Naming the source is best, but first get permission.
3. Content That Presents Evidence. When talking about the benefits of working with you, present hard proof. Your content arsenal should include some solid case studies of what you've done for people in key segments of your business. Show the reader how someone else with similar challenges used you to reach their goals. Again, try to get permission to use the customer's name, but if you can't, an anonymous case study is better than none. Also use overall performance benchmarks if you can. These can be based on how much money you saved customers overall, or where you rank in terms of sales volume or some other measure.
4. Content That Has Value, With No Strings Attached. Always think of your content as something that gives value to your audience. Information, insights, advice and help are what people want. Give those things freely, no strings attached, and you'll be amazed at the response.
5. Content That's Free of Jargon and Highfalutin Language. Even when you're talking to other professionals familiar with your business, avoid using industry jargon. And don't make the mistake of thinking that sophisticated language makes you come off like an expert. It could just sound pretentious. The fact is, people don't have the time for complicated communications. They want content that's easy to understand. You'll do a better job getting your message across if it's friendly and accessible. Also, be concise - try for 150-300 words for an email, blog post or landing page; 300-600 words for an e-newsletter or secondary information page; up to 2,000 words for a download. Always KISS your content: Keep It Simple and Short!
All these approaches can result in content that gets read and, most importantly, wins people over. Here's to your continued success building content and customers, as you keep putting together your best year ever... Enjoy a great month!
1. Watch where you walk. Use sidewalks, driveways, and paths. Cross the street at the corner or on a crosswalk.
2. Carry a cell phone, if possible.
3. Make sure kids are visible. Put a light or reflective tape on their costumes and have them carry a glow stick or flashlight.
4. Feed kids first. To keep kids from hitting the candy before they get home, give them a snack or dinner beforehand.
5. Don't lose the dog. If you bring along the family pet, use a leash and collar with ID.
6. Drive extra carefully. If you drive, stay super alert and go extra slow through neighborhoods.
7. Have ground rules. If your child is old enough to go trick-or-treating without you, agree on the route and make sure it only goes through familiar neighborhoods.
8. Go over stranger dangers. Remind kids they must never get into a stranger's car. Tell them to scream loudly and run if someone stops and asks for help or offers them candy.
9. Don't forget to have fun. Hey, it's Halloween–how great is that!
The Internet can do a lot for your business. But as you expand from website to blogs to business pages on social media, you want to measure how well these platforms are working for you. For small and mid-sized businesses, there are many free or relatively inexpensive web analytic tools available, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot. These can tell you the traffic you're getting on each of your platforms, so you can eliminate ones that aren't working and improve those that are. In order to make data-backed web decisions, you need to understand the web traffic terms these analytic tools use:
1. Pageviews/Views. A pageview, called a view by some analytic tools, is logged every time a browser loads a page on your website. That means if a visitor views a page, goes to a second page on your site, then returns to the original one, that counts as three pageviews. This data determines your site's stickiness, since it tells you whether visitors are seeing one page and then leaving, or sticking around to check out more content.
2. Visits. A visit is counted when someone lands on your site from a source outside your website domain. Analytic tools usually count only one visit, even if a user goes to several pages on your site while there. This is why visit counts are generally smaller than pageviews, since multiple pageviews still only log as one visit. With some analytic tools, when a person visits your website, clicks a link to another site, but then comes back to yours, it counts as two visits.
3. Sessions. In Google Analytics, this is a series of interactions on your website by a visitor, occurring within a given time frame. Think of it as a container for the actions a visitor takes during a specific period of time. Google's default sessions are 30 minutes, but you can specify any time, from a few seconds to several hours. A session ends and a new one starts when either: 1) the day ends at midnight; 2) there's been no activity for the specified length of time and the user resumes activity; or 3) a visitor comes from one campaign, leaves, then returns by a different campaign.
4. Unique Pageviews. This term is used within sessions. If a person views the same page two or more times during a single session, all those views are counted as only one unique pageview.
5. Visitors or Users. A visitor, called a user by some web analytic tools, is someone who lands on your site. One visitor can make multiple visits to a site, or be involved in multiple sessions (in Google Analytics). Some tools track visitors by placing cookies in their browsers, which are generated by tracking code installed on your site. Others use complex calculations to tell you how many different people-"unique visitors"-visited your site during a particular time frame.
6. New vs. Returning Users or Visitors. Data comparing these gives you a sense of how well you're keeping visitors interested, as well as how good you are at attracting prospects. Some tools, however, will track a visitor on a computer as new again if they visit for the second time on a mobile device.
Bear in mind that different web analytic tools can have different definitions for the same term. Check the tool's documentation to understand what it in fact is measuring. Here's to your continued success online and off-line, as you keep putting together your best year ever... Enjoy a great month!
7 Prospecting Tips to Keep Your Pipeline Full
It's important to keep current clients happy, so you can get their repeat business and referrals. But that won't get you all the future business you need. You still have to bring in new customers. So you still need to prospect! Here are some tips that will keep the pipeline full:
1. Engage in prospecting every day. No matter what's happening in your business or your life, spend time each day prospecting. To succeed at prospecting, you need to be consistent.
2. Choose a prospecting approach you like to do. There are many prospecting approaches — cold calling, direct mail, emailing, blogging and social networking, and face-to-face meetings, conferences, and events. They're all good, but you can't devote equal time to them all. Pick the one approach you enjoy doing most and put the majority of your time and effort into that.
3. Keep at it. The only thing that always works with prospecting is persistence. Make cold calls to the same number of prospects at the same time each day. Keep to a regular schedule of direct mailings and emails. If blogging and social media is your thing, work on writing posts every day. All the blogs you post stay out there, working for you even when you're not.
If face-to-face is your strength, scope out the business groups you can join in your area, such as the Chamber of Commerce. Keep an eye out for industry conferences you should attend. Think about organizing or sponsoring your own event, such as a workshop, a seminar, or an open house.
4. Ask for help. If a prospect you contact isn't a good lead yet, ask them if they know someone who might need your services or products. If you've made a positive impression through your contact, most people will be glad to help you if they can.
5. Stay motivated. There is no magical approach to finding new business. Prospecting takes time and effort. So the trick is to stay motivated. Remember how vital it is to keep your pipeline full. Remind yourself that the most important time to prospect is when you're busy. You don't want to wait until business slows down.
6. Follow up. Get back to everyone who is the least bit warm. Just be sure to let some time pass, so you don't come off as an annoyance.
7. Keep a positive attitude. To acquire customers, you need to attract them. Being positive pulls people in. Negativity is always a turnoff.
As long as you have a decent pipeline, you have a healthy business. Keep prospecting, be patient, and you're sure to keep your business humming. Here's to your continued success bringing in new clients, as you keep putting together your best year ever... Enjoy a great month!