7A: Website: Having a website is important!
- We recommend WordPress.org sites – If you do not already have a website, please be in touch with us. We have a very reasonably priced web master that we refer our clients to. She is fun to work with and is very intuitive about working in line with your vision.
- If you do not want to go the route mentioned above, you can also get a free blog at blogger.com or wordpress.com.
The key is that you should have a central hub for the rest of your internet presence.
Your website should include:
- Blog: Blogging is very important both for search engine optimization, for sharing your point of view and to build your following.
- Book Page: This page on your website should be dedicated to your book(s). You will want to include your cover image, a description of your book, the price and the link to where the book is being sold. If you are an Amazon associate, be sure you use your affiliate link so as to earn a little bit more money on each sale. Be sure to create links to all of your books as this helps with search engine optimization as well as provides a central place your readers can find your books.
- Media Page: This is where you will be putting recordings of all your media interviews, and a schedule of any guest blogging and podcast interviews.
- Links to all social media: This way visitors to your site can pick their preference of ways to follow you on social media.
- Opt in Form: This form allows people to sign up for your free bonuses, newsletter, etc.
- (You will want to create an email list…so you can communicate with your followers. There are many services that automate this. Mail Chimp, Aweber, Constant Contact to name a few.
Social Media: Make sure to list your website in all of your social media profiles, and invite them to join your mailing list.
Note: Please see the week 4 Resources for Social Media
- Facebook- You want a Facebook Page. This is important. Do not try to run a business with your personal profile as Facebook frowns on that and can shut you down.
- Twitter – Twitter is a popular social network. In time we encourage you to learn how to use Twitter, but even before you fully know how to use Twitter, it is easy to set up and easy to post content that your followers will easily get.
- Google+ – Think of this: We all know that Google is the most popular search engine…so it stands to reason that you should have a google+ account.
Be sure to link all of your social profiles to your website.
- As we suggested above, use a service for this, such as Mail Chimp, Aweber, Constant Contact or as us about building a hub for you in the platform that we use.
- EMAIL LIST – When you send out your emails be sure to set up your email signature line, and include your website, book title and tagline.
- Opt in form on website
- Free bonus offer to entice your website visitors to opt in for what you are offering.
What we want you to understand here is that the steps above will help you to establish your brand. It creates a system or a hub that will allow your followers to interact directly with you and a way for you to tap into your followers when you want to announce a book release.
What Does Your Blog Accomplish? Why Should Your Blog?
We all know that we should blog…but in the everyday activities of running a business, it is easy to set it on the back burner or find ourselves at a loss for what to say.
The challenge we face is to make sure our blog conveys a message about why it exists. Does your blog focus on the reader? Who is your reader? Why would someone, (ideally your avatar) want to take time from their day to read your content?
Take the time to consider the outcome you want for your blog.
Remember this key points when blogging.
- It’s the purpose
- the benefit,
- the reason why,
- and making clear to your new or returning visitor, that their “what’s in it for me” is satisfied.
The challenge with a blog, as compared to say a landing page or sales page which have one objective, to get the opt-in or convert the sale, is that blogs are trying to do multiple things, including:
- You want people to read your content
- You want them to opt in to your email list
- Subscribe to your RSS Feed
- Subscribe to your blog updates via email
- Browse your archives
- Click your sponsor’s banners
- Click through to your product or service sales pages
- and more…
In spite of all we would like to accomplish with our blog…the true heart of the matter is that we want our blog to be read!
It’s the very same goal if you are blogging via video or podcasting…except of course those formats will be listened to!
Your content should be the primary focus of your attention, because if you can get the attention of your audience, you will most certainly meet your other objectives.
Remember that your blog articles are typically the first exposure new visitors to your website will receive. Your blogs will change regularly, so keep in mind that no matter which blog or what your content it will be, it is that first impression that matters.
Often, our clients will ask about the difference between a landing page and blog. Landing pages serve an entirely different purpose and earn much higher conversion rates than blogs do for email opt-ins, even if you use a pop-up on your blog, because the focus is clear – give me your email and I’ll give you this in return.
However blogs do so much more than landing pages. Blogs are meant to get traffic from search engines (landing pages rarely do this well because the content is sales pitch, and very brief). The purpose of blogs is to attract an audience long term, attract repeat visitors, demonstrate the expertise of the author, create real relationships over time, in addition to the benefits already mentioned.
Landing pages, combined with a solid email follow-up sequence, can accomplish attracting the traffic initially but it’s not something landing pages do inherently by themselves. You need another traffic source, like affiliates or Pay Per Click to drive the traffic, whereas blogs can drive traffic in and of themselves.
Basically, the reason people question the purpose of blogs, is because blogs serve such an important role. Often we have so much information to share, deciphering out to make that great “first impression” with their blog.
How To Make A Good First Impression With Your Blog
So what is the key to explain what your blog is about in a matter of seconds?
The first course of action is to TEST. Ask a relative or friend who is not savvy to Internet marketing or blogging and have them view your blog. Give them 30 seconds or so, then ask them what your blog is about. If they can’t answer with something close to what impression you want to give, then you need to make changes.
The challenge is that you simply may not know yet what your blog is trying to do because you are new to blogging and have not established your strategy. The key is to spend the time needed to set in place a funnel that makes sense. Until you figure out your funnel, you will need to consistently blog good content, and be willing to be flexible enough to make changes as you develop your funnel and your vision,
Here’s our advice on how to make a clear statement about what your blog is about –
- An incredibly important factor in clearly defining what your blog is about is developing your tagline. A tagline is a simple sentence that clearly defines the purpose of your blog. Choosing the tagline for your blog is the same process you go through to develop your elevator pitch or unique selling proposition (USP) for your business. Our blog at Publish Yourself to Wealth is “Providing Authors tips, tools and techniques to use their book(s) as the springboard to build their platform for prosperity.” This sentence sits just below the title/logo of your blog. Our advice: Develop your tagline and add it to your blog…today!
- Your tagline is so important because, while the logo and name for your blog is absolutely critical, and represents your brand, because it is short, it doesn’t offer enough information about your blog. Combining a good logo-title with a good byline, then you have a really good combination that can both leave a lasting impression and offer a practical explanation about your blog. This is why it is worth taking some time before deciding on what to call your blog.
- Typically your blog title is the same as your domain name. The challenge with the domain name and title is to get a combination of good brand, good keywords and good explanation of what your blog is about. You can’t always satisfy all these elements equally, but it is worth your consideration.
- The title tag (this is the title at the top of the browser bar) is undeniably the most important element of your blog, especially when it comes to optimizing your site for the search engines. Above that, it is something that your visitors will see first as they search for good content.
You need to come up with a solid title for your blog, that presents a clear message about your blog’s subject matter, and also hits the right keywords for search engine queries.If you’ve set up your blog’s internal structure right, then each page of your blog has a unique title tag (usually the headline of the article itself), and only the homepage has a descriptive sentence the attempts to encompass what your entire blog is about. This is a good place to once again use a sentence to clarify your blog’s purpose, bearing in mind this is also the information search engines will show in their results pages, so it’s even more important.
- Your main call to action, like an opt-in box, or a video play button, or a large graphic, whatever the first element of your blog that grabs the attention of eyeballs, needs to further represent your blog’s purpose. If you’ve prioritized your blog design elements, after your first article content headline, the next element, or it might even be the first element you focus reader attention on, is some form of call to action, usually with an opt-in box along with it.
Your main call to action says a lot about what your blog is about, even though it’s only in reference, since it has a purpose of its own.
- Your blog content headlines, if you’re following my suggestion to focus on reader engagement, will be in the hottest area of your blog (the left top or center top areas), which means not surprisingly, what you write about tells people what your blog is about. This part of your blog is the area that changes the most frequently, since each time you publish a new article, a new headline features in the hottest area of your blog. Depending when a person comes to your blog homepage, dictates what message you deliver to them. This is why it’s important your blog content strategy stays on-topic and consistent. If your subject matter jumps all over the place, you’re sending mixed messages about what you stand for and what your blog is about. Of course if you’re not sure yet, then don’t put too much pressure on yourself either – you are allowed to experiment with content, that’s what is fun about being a creative writing blogger – but try and get yourself to a defined topic area eventually.
The rest of the features of your blog don’t have as much of an impact on your blog’s first impression. If you focus on the list above, you give your audience a clear indication about what you offer them.
Bear in mind at all times focus on benefits for your readers, rather than features of what you are talking about. Emotional benefits always win over feature explanations, which create a lasting impression and a higher level of engagement.
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7C Social Media
This segment will be on setting up and utilizing social media to grow your business.
While we would like to say we were brilliant enough to have created all this training on social media, we have opted to use the resources already available. This is a complete course in and of itself and in our research, we found some amazing step by step guides. We hope you will utilize these resources!
There is an attachment below that discusses the importance of Social Media and why it should be implemented as part of your marketing strategy. The company that provides this information is Constant Contact and we want to give them full credit for the information that follows:
Note: Be sure to follow the links in each of these segments.
Online Listings and Reviews: http://blogs.constantcontact.com/online-listings-and-reviews/
Great Resources: http://blogs.constantcontact.com/category/social-media-marketing/
We suggest you subscribe to their newsletter, as they are constantly updating information on new tips and techniques as well as tools.
We also know that this is a massive amount of information. It is meant as a resource. Pick one or two, get comfortable and good at it. Be consistent.
Use resources such as Hootesuite.com that allows you to go to one place to schedule out your social media content.
Keep a calendar of your posts….time goes fast and it is easy to let weeks slip by without engaging in social media. Consistency is key.
For content, repurpose the information in your book into bite size pieces that you can share. Put spins on them, ask questions, do surveys.
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