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Chicago Freelance Copywriter

Tag: Blog

How to Plan an Email and Blog Campaign

how-to-plan-an-email-and-blog-campaignDeciding to combine blog posts and an email campaign is a great idea. But most business think all they need to do is write a post and send an email. There is more that goes into a campaign than just those two steps. The most important component is having a plan and recognizing your goal.

Setting Your Goal

Understanding what you want to get out of a blog post/email campaign will help you achieve it. Do you want to sell a certain product? Get more Facebook fans? Get more readers to your blog post? Whatever it is, make sure you understand it and always have it in the back of your mind.

Create a Plan

Because you don’t want to inundate your readers’ email boxes daily or most likely even weekly, get out a calendar and pick a few days throughout the year that will have a blog post and a corresponding email campaign. You may want to choose holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day if it corresponds with your goal, or it may just be every 3rd Thursday. I usually suggest around 8-10 emails a year, plus a few other tricks to stay on the forefront of people’s minds.

Execute Your Plan

There are a few elements that you need to make sure to include in order to have the most effective campaign possible.

– Every blog post and email has to have an extremely strong headline

– Every blog post and email has to have a call to action

– Set up landing pages for those who click through to “land” on that makes it incredibly easy to achieve your goal.       For example, if your goal is to get more Facebook followers, your landing page will be a link directly to your Facebook fan page.

Pay Attention

Just because an email goes out doesn’t mean your work is done. Make sure you are monitoring your open rate, click rate, and purchases. If they seem weaker than you wanted, next time try tweaking the headline or having a super simple landing page.

Take the time to set up a blog and email campaign and you will see your sales and website numbers go way up.

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Why Your SEO Campaign Isn’t Working

why-your-seo-campaign-isn't-workingI’ve had a lot of conversations lately with new bloggers who want their posts to resonate with the SEO gods, but aren’t quite sure what their keywords are. Unless you have prior SEO experience, you’re going to need to hire someone to determine those for you.

Here’s why: if you are a dry cleaners in Chicago, that does not automatically make your keyword Chicago dry cleaner. It seems like it should, but it doesn’t.

The reason is there might be 500 other dry cleaners trying to optimize that key word. Meaning, there is intense competition and no way you can dominate that key word without spending thousands of dollars a month on an SEO campaign.

However, maybe there are 50 people a day searching for – best dry cleaner in Chicago. And there aren’t any dry cleaners trying to be number one for that phrase. That means there is low SEO competition, and you could easily dominate that key phrase.

Which is where a professional comes in. Determining your key words is an art and a science and is more than brainstorming a few words that describes your business. It’s determining what people are actually searching for vs. how hard it is to dominate that key word. Just because you think most people would search for dry cleaner in Chicago doesn’t meant they are. It just means you think they are.

SEO is extremely important to small businesses, and I strongly suggest everyone run an SEO campaign. However, unless you’re certain of your keywords, there really isn’t a point.

If you are thinking of starting an SEO campaign and need an SEO expert referral, I’d be happy to give you one.

I understand SEO is confusing so please leave any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.

Do you know your keywords? How did you figure them out?

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blogging-successToday I’m very excited to have a guest post from  Kiesha at We Blog Better.  I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….

I’ve been blogging for about two years now and during that time I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter who you are, who you don’t know, how old you are, whether or not you’re a strong writer, what niche you blog in, etc. I could go on and add to this list, but none of those details matter – if you want to be a successful blogger, there’s only one thing standing in your way.

When I started blogging in the Christian inspiration niche, I think I had to choose one of the hardest niches to get noticed in. After all talking about God isn’t the most popular thing to most of the world. But it was my passion, so I blogged every day, diligently.

To build my knowledge, I started visiting blogging tips blogs. I wanted to build my traffic and gain more exposure – so I started commenting, I started engaging people on Twitter. Then I started guest posting and it literally changed everything.

One day I wrote a guest post for a blog and the next day I got an offer to take over WeBlogBetter.com. It was an offer that I could not refuse!

I discovered that the power of guest posting and networking with other bloggers far outweighed any other traffic building method I had ever tried.

Once I started networking and getting to know other bloggers, I came to realize that the more you help others, the more they’ll help you back – and when you least expect it, in greater ways than you could ever imagine.

The only thing standing between you and succes is: ACTION.

Anything really is possible if you just stop procrastinating and get to it. I had a blogger friend tell me that I should submit my blog to be featured by Lisa Irby – it’s something I had been planning on doing, but I just didn’t feel like I was good enough, but his encouragement gave me the confidence I needed, and just a few weeks later, my site was finally featured – completely polverizing previous traffic records on my blog.

So, it really only matters how willing you are to put all of your ideas and planning, into action. It’s easy to quit after failing at one or two things. I’ve had many opportunities to quit, but I’ve decided, I’m just going to have to do whatever takes to reach the top.

My advice to new bloggers:

Post every day
To make it easier, create a schedule of recurring series.

Comment on other blogs
On as many and as often as you can. Don’t be bound by niches – variety is a great thing.

Guest post
As much as you can without sacrificing your own posting schedule.

Build your community
Reply to comments, visit the blogs of your commentators, tweet their posts and just be as helpful as you can be.

Be patient
There is no such thing as overnight success, it’s usually the result of years of hard work that have finally come to fruition. It only appears like overnight success to those of us who didn’t have to put in the work.

So what’s standing between you and your success? Will today be the day you finally take action?

Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, offering blogging tips and tricks. Sheís a writer, writing instructor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

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101-ways-to-use-social-media-to-improve-your-business-in-20111. Get on Facebook

2. Establish a business account if you don’t have one

3. Create a 200pix wide x 600pix high image for Facebook

4. Add Facebook links to every page of your website

5. Fill out your entire Facebook profile

6. Obtain a Facebook vanity URL to help customers find you

7. Add your vanity URL to your email signature

8. Add your vanity URL to your marketing materials

9. Post daily updates to Facebook regarding your business

10. Answer any customer questions on Facebook, whether they originate from Twitter or an email. It will help foster conversation.

11. Send an email or newsletter to all clients/contacts letting them know you are on Facebook and asking them to “like” your page

12. Make sure all privacy settings are updated to keep all personal information separate from business pages

13. Post links to articles other people have written as a way of adding value to your clients’ businesses

14. Don’t make your Facebook page about you — make it about your customers

15. Use features other than posting updates: add conversations, photo albums, blogs, etc.

16. Brand your page so that it is instantly recognizable as going with your website

17. Establish a conversation with your customers

18. Be part of the community

19. Run Facebook promotions — try a giveaway or contest using Facebook to promote

20. Try Facebook advertising

21. If you sell tangible products, use pictures to tell a story of that product

22. Realize Facebook allows you to humanize your business — try doing a funny video of your employees

23. Engage your own employees using Facebook

24. Crown an employee of the month on Facebook — it amuses customers and gives positive reinforcement to staff

25. Get on Twitter

26. Write a stellar Twitter profile, just because it’s 140 characters doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be amazing

27. Start tweeting at least one tweet a day for 20 days before you start trying to get Twitter followers

28. Make sure those tweets are helpful and interesting, otherwise nobody will follow you

29. Make your tweets 1/3 new content by you, 1/3 retweeting other content you think is interesting, and 1/3 conversing with other tweeters

30. Start courting followers

31. Try to follow people who you actually think are interesting. Don’t just follow someone who you think will follow back

32. Sign up for a service like TwitterUnfollow

33. Sign up for a service like HootSuite

34. Decide if you want to be a planned tweeter or if you want to be organic

35. If you want to be organic, be on a constant look out for good tweet ideas

36. If you want to be a planned tweeter, start planning your tweets days, or even weeks in advance

37. Write 10 tweets a day and spread them out over two weeks

38. Download the Twitter app to your smart phone so you can tweet from anywhere

39. Start exploring Twitter lists

40. Make Twitter lists so you can keep track of those who really matter to you

41. Retweet when others talk about you, especially if they are positive reviews

42. Share business updates in real time

43. Start a blog

44. Add the blog to your website

45. Make sure the style and header match the rest of your website

46. Brainstorm tons of ideas before going live

47. Write as many blog posts as possible before going live

48. Post at least one blog post a week

49. Make sure the posts are SEO friendly and you know how to use SEO plugins to optimize your blog

50. Put a link to your blog in your email signature

51. Send an email blast or email to your contacts/customers letting them know you have a blog

52. Understand that blogging is about adding value to your customers and keep that in mind with every blog post you write

53. Start looking for free pictures you can use with your blog

54. Get a feel for how long you want your blog posts to be

55. Hire a ghost writer if you don’t have time to write the posts yourself

56. Do a series of blog posts that all interact and help your readers accomplish something big

57. Learn how to write the best headlines you can

58. Learn how to write for the web — its’ different than print

59. Cut yourself some slack as you start, there’s a learning curve

60. Tell your story

61. Personalize your blog without being unprofessional

62. Make sure your brand is consistent on your blog

63. Establish yourself as an expert amongst your customers and amongst your peers — write what you know about

64. Foster your own creative thoughts

65. Disseminate your blog posts among social media including Facebook and Twitter

66. Start a monthly newsletter you send to customers encapsulating your favorite posts

67. Get on LinkedIn

68. Join groups to foster interaction

69. Make sure your profile is 100% up to date

70. Ask for recommendations

71. Recommend others

72. Put up a business appropriate pictures

73. Make sure all your employees are on LinkedIn

74. Recruit talent using LinkedIn

75. Answer LinkedIn Questions

76. Take the time to connect to all present and past customer

77. Use LinkedIn to keep in touch

78. Network with peers

79. Spy on your competition

80. Start an email marketing campaign

81. Join MailChimp or Constant Contact

82. Create a long and impressive email list from past clients and contacts

83. Put a place on your website for visitors to sign up for emails/newsletters

84. Write the blasts so they are helpful to readers and not about you at all

85. Make sure they are 100% branded with your company

86. Use short headlines that are informative

87. If possible, make your email mobile friendly

88. Include pictures, but no videos

89. Keep it short

90. Proofread like crazy

91. Use writing to engage in content marketing

92. Write and distribute press releases about new services or products

93. Brand the press releases

94. Hire a copywriter to write a case study — they are the newest wave in sales copy

95. Update your website copy

96. Make sure your copy is professionally written and edited

97. Hire a copywriter who can use words to turn visitors into customers

98. Make sure your website design is up to date, both visually and technically

99. Make sure you have a logo that is on everything from your website to business cards to email signatures to your social media profiles to EVERYTHING

100. Set aside dedicated time to keep up with social media, your business will thank you

101. Keep looking to the future, there will always be new ways to use social media to better your business, be first to jump on the bandwagon!

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Content Marketing Works – It Did For Me…

content_marketing_worksFolks, today was a weird day.  It was the first day in my life that I accidentally found myself on the Internet.  Let me tell you how it happened.

I was taking a break from work (I had just finished a case study and was starting in on a website – busy day), when I decided to check out one of my favorite blogs – Copyblogger.  Their post for the day was:  Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010.

I am always looking for new blogs to read and learn from, so I clicked on the third one, Make a Living Writing.

I started reading the first post on the site, which was titled: Top 10 Articles for Writers – December 2010.
Guess whose article was number 2?  Mine!  I actually refreshed the page to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  The cold Chicago air can do that to me.  But I wasn’t.  So I showed my husband, and he smiled, and then I wrote this post.

I just thought I’d share because it proves a few things:

1.) Content marketing works.  The more content you put on the web, the more QUALITY content you put out there, the better the chances of you being found by people who want to hear what you have to say.  I didn’t write that article as an advertisement, I wrote it because I thought it was useful.  And apparently others did too.  If I was able to find myself by accident, how many other people are coming across what I wrote as well?

2.) I’m excited!

3.) For my fellow bloggers, it just goes to show that guest posting really does work.  I doubt if I had put that same exact post on my website it would have been picked up.  Make connections with other bloggers and it will take you a long way.

So that’s my short post on how I accidentely found myself.  I wasn’t supposed to post this week, but I’ll wish you a very happy new year once again and see you in 2011.

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