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How to Perform Keyword Research for Your Small Business

How to Perform Keyword Research for Your Small Business

Perform Keyword Research

Jessica Swanson
by Jessica Swanson

Let’s face it. Keyword research is a hassle. It takes time. It takes energy.

And if that’s not enough, it can be, well…kind of boring.

Scrolling through hundreds of keywords, trying to find that “perfect keyword phrase” is just about exciting as watching paint dry.

So, can’t you just skip it?

Nope.

Keyword research is the foundation and groundwork for all your marketing efforts.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re building a website, optimizing your social media profiles, or writing a blog post, it all starts with keyword research.

Why, you ask? Because you need to know the exact phrases that your prospects are using when they are searching for your products and services. And, here’s the kicker. It’s not enough to just “think” you know what they are searching for. That never works.

Sure, you may be an expert in your field, and know every expression and catchphrase to describe your industry. But, that doesn’t mean that your clients or customers use those same phrases. Chances are, they probably don’t.

You need to research and investigate the actual words and phrases your target market uses when they are ready to make a purchase. And there are probably dozens, if not hundreds of money-making keyword phrases that you can uncover.

Once you’ve discovered profitable keyword phrases, you can use them as a foundation and road map for all your marketing efforts.

Okay, before we dive in and get busy with keyword research, we need to differentiate between three types of keywords.

keyword research kit

3 KEYWORD CATEGORIES

Head Keywords

Head keywords are single-word keywords that have tons of search volume and insane amounts of competition.

The keyword “weight-loss” is a perfect example.

There are hundreds of thousands of people searching Google every month using this particular keyword. And at first glance this may seem like a good thing.

But, here’s the real deal. The competition is fierce and the first page of Google is filled with sites like health.com, webmd.com, and authoritynutrition.com.  There’s no way you want to try and compete with those types of authority sites.

Not only is the competition fierce, but another problem is that we aren’t even sure what the searcher is looking for. The word “weight-loss” is way too broad. Are people looking for weight-loss recipes, weight-loss programs, or weight-loss tips? Who the heck knows?

Body Keywords

Body keywords are 2-3 word phrases that get a decent amount of search volume.

The keyword “best diet plan” is a good example.

Body keywords are often still competitive, but every so often, you can find a diamond in the rough — that high-volume, low-competition keyword phrase.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are 4+ word phrases that are much more precise and exact.

The keyword phrase, “best diet program for women over 40” is a perfect example. These phrases don’t get a lot of search traffic on their own (usually just 100 to 1,000 searches per month), but they do make up the majority of all online searches.

So, the million dollar question is which type of keyword should you use?

Skip the Head Keywords

You can just forget these guys. Head keywords are too competitive and the searcher’s intent is too broad. In a nutshell, these phrases don’t convert well.

So, why waste your time?

Long-Tail Keywords

The key here is to find long-tail keywords that get a decent amount of search volume. The best part is that the buyer intent is usually incredibly obvious and clear-cut.

When you find a long-tail keyword that gets more than 100 searches each month and doesn’t have crazy competition, snatch it up.

Body Keywords

You should focus most of your energy on body keywords. They end up being the perfect blend of high search volume, low to medium competition, and obvious buyer intent.

Hang in there, we’re almost ready to begin.

But, before we get into the nitty gritty of keyword research, let’s go through a few keyword research definitions.

keyword-research-kit

KEYWORD RESEARCH DEFINITIONS

Keyword

A keyword is a word or phrase that describes the content of a web page.

Ok. Simple enough.

Let’s say you’re finally ready to get that full-sleeve tattoo you’ve always wanted on your left arm.

So, naturally, you head over to Google and type in the keyword “tattoo.” Google is going to generate about 773,000,000 web pages, blogs, videos, etc. that use the keyword, “tattoo” to describe the content of that page.

Search Volume

Search volume describes the number of people who search for a keyword in a given period of time.

Now, let’s imagine that you’re a world-class tattoo artist. Not only are you a master of your craft, but you also want to investigate how many people are searching for keyword phrases about tattoos.

Using a few tricks and tools (which we’ll talk about later), you find out that about 135,000 people every month are typing in the keyword phrase, “sleeve tattoo,” on Google. Interesting.

Competition

Keyword competition refers to the amount of competition that exists for a particular keyword.

A highly competitive keyword will have lots of competitors who rank on the search engine result pages using that keyword.

A low-competition keyword doesn’t have as many competitors. And those competitors are more likely to be niche sites or blogs.

For instance, the keyword “sleeve tattoo” has low competition.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty refers to how challenging it will be to get on the first page of Google for that particular keyword phrase.

There are all sorts of online tools that measure keyword difficulty. Generally speaking, this metric is determined through a variety of factors including on-page SEO factors, back-links, site age, trust flow, etc.

Using online keyword research tools we can determine that it would not be difficult to get on the first page of Google with the keyword “sleeve tattoo.”

The Magic Keyword Research Formula

To make things as simple as possible, you’re looking for a 3-part formula when it comes to keyword research:

  1. High Search Volume – there are a lot of people searching for the keyword every month.
    X
  2. Low Competition – there are not a lot of competitors for that keyword.
    X
  3. Low Keyword Difficulty – it won’t be very hard to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword.

It’s going to take some time and energy and to find keywords that fit into this formula. But, no matter what industry or niche you are in, it’s possible. Just keep exploring, researching, and digging deeper until you find them. They are there — I promise!

So, let’s start this keyword research party!

LET’S GET ORGANIZED

Before we get down and dirty with our keyword research, we need a place to organize our keywords.

As we begin researching keywords we’ll focus on three main categories: keyword volume, keyword competition, and keyword difficulty.

1. Setup Google Sheets

Open up a blank document in Google Sheets.

perform keyword research in Google Sheets

Label Columns A – E:

A: Keyword
B: Volume
C: Competition
D: Difficulty
E: Notes

Perform Keyword Research with Google Sheets

START BRAINSTORMING

We’re going to start by using the ol’ noggin to brainstorm as many keywords as possible. We’re not going to use most of them, but it’s the best place to start.

Brainstorm all the phrases you think a prospect would type into a search bar when trying to find you. Consider phrases that define your industry and describe your products or services.

If you were searching for your products or services, what keywords would you use?

Imagine you’re a doctor who specializes in helping patients lose extra fat.

For fat loss this might be:

  • Lose fat
  • How to lose fat
  • Fat loss programs
  • Best fat loss programs
  • Ways to lose extra fat

Add Your Phrases to Your Google Sheet

Perform Keyword Research with Google Sheets

USE ONLINE TOOLS

Using keyword research tools can help you uncover additional keyword phrases, while also determining search volume, competitiveness, and keyword difficulty.

Let’s start with Google. If you’ve done keyword research before, you’ve most likely started with the Google Keyword Planner.

Google’s Keyword Planner can be a good tool, but it’s definitely geared toward advertisers using pay-per-click to generate traffic. That being said, it’s not the best tool for diving deep into keyword research.

So, we’re going to head in a different direction. We’re going to use Google’s Related Searches.

Google Related Searches

When you search for a term in Google, you’ll see searches related to your keyword phrase in the “Related Searches” section at the bottom of the page.

Here’s all you need to do.

Type Your Seed Keyword in Google Search

Perform keyword research with Google Suggestions

Scroll to the Bottom of the Page

Perform keyword research with Google Suggestions

Add Relevant Keyword Phrases to Your Google Sheets

Perform keyword research with Google Suggestions

UBERSUGGEST

UberSuggest is another awesome online tool for keyword research. And, best of all, it’s free.

The tool works by scraping Google Autocomplete and if used properly, it can give you some promising keywords.

Since Ubersuggest will spout out a lot of suggestions, it’s best to type in a short, head keyword.

In our case, we’ll type in the keyword “fat loss” and let Ubersuggest offer relevant suggestions.

Perform keyword research with Ubersuggest

View as Text

Check relevant keywords and view them as text.

Perform keyword research with Ubersuggest

Copy and Paste

Copy and paste the keyword phrases into your Google Sheet.

Perform keyword research with google sheets

LONGTAIL PRO

Our next step in the keyword research process is using a powerful keyword research tool called LongTail Pro.

LongTail Pro does cost money, but they have a 7-day free trial to test out the tool. And if you’re going to get serious about keyword research than you probably want to invest in some sort of online tool. LongTail Pro is a great way to go.

Longtail Pro allows you to analyze:

Search Volume: The average number of times each month people have searched for the keyword.  You’ll want to look for > 100 searches each month.

Competition: The amount of advertisers across all search networks bidding on the keywords. Focus on low and medium competition.

Keyword Competitiveness: A number from 0 – 100 that measures how difficult it is to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword. Look for KC < 40.

Type in Your Keywords

Load your keywords into the “seed keyword box” and set some filters based on monthly searches and competition.

keyword research with long tail pro

Sort Your Keywords

If you don’t want to scroll through competitive and difficult keywords, set filters to sort by volume, competition, and average keyword competitiveness.

keyword research with long tail pro

Analyze the Competition

One of the highlights of this keyword research tool is the competition analysis feature. Just click on any keyword from the list and Long Tail Pro will analyze the top 10 competitors for that keyword.

long-tail-pro competition

The Competition

Now you can dig deep and find out everything you need to know about the competition. Everything.

This includes: trust flow, citation flow, domain trust factor, external backlinks, indexed URL’s, internal links, and site age.

long-tail-pro competition

The Final Keyword Research List

Once you’ve found additional golden keywords from LongTail Pro that fit into our keyword magic formula (high search volume, low competition, and low keyword difficulty) add them to your Google Sheet.

If you really want to get keyword crazy, you can add a few notes about each keyword as well.

final keyword list

The Winners!

Now it’s time to scroll through the keyword list and pick one or two that fit the bill.

You’ll notice that both “fat loss plateau” and “fat loss before and after” would be fairly easy to rank on the first page of Google. Nice.

keyword list winners

WHAT NOW?

Okay. So, you’ve found the perfect keyword phrase. What do you do with it?

Remember, this is a keyword that your target market is actively using to find your products and services. 

So use it everywhere, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Guest blog posts
  • Website content
  • Social media profiles
  • On-page SEO
  • Press releases
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Online advertising

Your ultimate goal is that when people are searching for your product or service, they can find you.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Keyword research isn’t just another marketing strategy. Sure, it might take some time. It might take a little elbow grease. And, it might be a bit tedious and mundane.

But, once you understand the importance of keyword research, your views will change.

You won’t mind putting in some extra time and elbow grease if it brings you additional traffic, more leads, and an increase in sales.

Because there’s nothing tedious and mundane about boosting your small business profits. Absolutely nothing.

So, let the keyword research begin!

keyword-research-kit

Jessica Swanson

CEO of Shoestring Marketing

Jessica is the Founder and CEO of Shoestring Marketing, a digital marketing agency that provides low-cost, high-quality marketing services to small business owners.
Why You Must Offer a Remarkable Guarantee

Why You Must Offer a Remarkable Guarantee

Why You Must Offer a Remarkable Guarantee

Jessica Swanson
Jessica Swanson
Shoestring Marketing

Just the other day I ordered a suitcase online. When the product arrived, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Let’s just say that I was one of those “unsatisfied” customers.

The company did showcase a luke-warm “guarantee” on their website that indicated that if you weren’t completely satisfied with the product, it could be returned within 5-days for a full refund. So, I emailed the company and politely asked for a refund.

Here was their response:

If you are going to request a refund, here are the steps that must be taken:

1) Download our “Request for Refund” form.

2) Fill out the 3-page form in its entirety and fax it back to our office.

3) We will determine if the refund request is valid. Please understand that we must receive all documentation within the 5-day refund request time-period. We will email you our decision.

Wow.

So, I begrudgingly jumped through all of their “refund hoops” and two hours later delivered the signed and dated documents.

Mission accomplished.

Here’s how I feel about that whole experience.

I will never buy another product from that company again. Period. It’s just too much work. And, in the meantime, they destroyed any shred of “good feeling” that I carried for them.

Like it or not, if you’re a small business owner, you are going to receive refund requests. The question that you must ask yourself is: do you cheerfully and quickly honor your refund requests or do you make the process tedious and frustrating for your customers?

Don’t forget that when you offer guarantees that you deliver on begrudgingly, you’re losing a lot more than you realize including your customer’s trust, dedication, and loyalty.

Let’s flip to the other side of the coin and talk about a little bike store named Zanes in Branford, CT.

Zanes Cycles

Zanes philosophy is that their relationship with their customers is infinitely more important than a couple of “refund requests.” And so instead of making their customers jump through hoops, Zanes just makes it easy.

They guarantee lifetime free service, life-time parts, 90-day price protection and 30-day test drive on all of their bikes.

Their motto is: “the only difference between us and our competition is the service that we offer.”

Is Zanes concerned about a few “refund requests?” Nope. Their only concern is losing a potential customer. And so they do whatever it takes to make their customers happy, including offering a rock-solid guarantee that delivers immense peace of mind.

Does it work? Well, this little bike store sells over 3-million a year from one single location.

What can you guarantee about your product or service that will give your customers peace of mind?

Make it easy. Make it simple. Refund your unsatisfied customers cheerfully and swiftly and then watch as loyal customers begin lining up at your door.

WHY DON’T MORE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OFFER GUARANTEES?

 

Most small business owners are terrified about providing a small business guarantee. The main reason is that they feel customers and clients are going to take advantage of their generosity.

So, to avoid that possibility, they offer a weak, measly guarantee that is hidden at the bottom of their website in fine print.
Or, worse yet, they simply don’t offer a guarantee at all.

But, guaranteeing your products and services is a proven way to increase your sales.

5 Reasons You Should Offer a Guarantee

1. A GUARANTEE REMOVES RISK

 

As a rule, your prospective customers are resistant about parting with their hard earned money. When you offer a strong guarantee, you significantly lower the risk that your customer take when making a purchase.

2. GUARANTEES INCREASE REFERRALS

 

Guarantees generate feelings of loyalty and trust from your customers. And, as we all know, a loyal and devoted customer happily spreads the word about your small business.

3. GUARANTEES SET YOU APART

 

Many of your competitors offer weak or ineffective guarantees; some don’t offer a guarantee at all. However, when you guarantee your products and services, you prove to your prospective customers that you stand behind them 100%.

4. GUARANTEES FORCE YOU TO GET BETTER

 

Customer complaints and returns can be a powerful way to improve your products and services. Could you enhance the quality of your products? Do you need to adjust your prices?

5. GUARANTEES INCREASE YOUR SALES

 

According to Doug Hall, author of Meaningful Marketing, some small businesses achieve a 40% increase in sales when offering a guarantee.

Guarantees create a risk free environment that encourage more prospects to buy, so that you make more sales.

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

So, the next time you’re on the fence about offering a guarantee, make sure that you understand that a guarantee will actually increase your sales, increase your referrals, and set you apart from your competitors.

Sounds pretty good to me!

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How to Create a Sales Page That Makes Money

How to Create a Sales Page That Makes Money

How to Create a Sales Page That Makes Money

Jessica Swanson
Jessica Swanson
Shoestring Marketing

As a passionate small business owner, you obviously love your product or service. You’ve poured an immense amount of valuable time and energy creating it, and you couldn’t be prouder unless you had actually given birth to it. (And, let’s face it, sometimes you do feel like your small business is as precious and time-consuming as your own child.)

So, now you’re ready to show your prized possession to the world.

But, there’s one big ‘ol problem. Once your prospects encounter your product or service, how can you convince them that your product is as wonderful and amazing as you know it is?

Not to worry. It’s called a sales page and if you can count to ten, you can create one. A profitable sales page simply follows a formula.

So here it is: your 10-step formula for creating a sales page that will make you money:

1. CREATE A COMPELLING HEADLINE

 

Your headline is the most important component of your sales page. And believe it or not, that headline has about three seconds to capture your prospect’s attention and keep them reading. In order to accomplish this, your headline should use large font and summarize clearly and succinctly the greatest benefit your prospect will gain from your product or service.

2. BUILD AN INTRODUCTION

 

Your introduction should pinpoint a particularly pressing problem that your prospect is facing and clearly explain why it’s imperative that they find a solution. Appeal to your reader’s emotions by again revealing to them how their life will improve once they have purchased your product or service.

3. ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY

 

Skepticism, uncertainty and distrust are all natural responses from online prospects. Therefore, it’s imperative that you establish credibility and trust in order to convince your readers that you have the expertise to help them. Here are a few simple tips for building credibility:

  • Explain to your prospects how your particular expertise relates to your product or service.
  • Use specific numbers rather than generalizations.
  • Include your own personal struggle and how you were able to overcome it through the theory behind your product or service.

4. HIGHLIGHT THE MAIN BENEFITS

 

Use a list of bullets to recap the benefits of purchasing your product or service. Bullets are a reader’s best friend simply because they are easy to scan and outline the pertinent information about your product or service.

5. USE TESTIMONIALS

 

Testimonials build trust and offer social proof that others have experienced success with your product or service. It’s important to make sure that your testimonials are believable by providing a photo, full name, location, and website URL.

Those testimonials that read “Jim, New York'” seem pretty darn fake – even if they aren’t!

6. ADD BONUSES

 

Bonuses add additional value to your product or service. Your reader should already be swayed by your offer, but the bonus should push them over the top. The good news is that your bonus doesn’t need to be costly. It can be a quick start guide, tutorial, or downloadable ebook. In addition, attach a specific value to your bonus in order to drive up the overall value of the purchase.

7. PROVIDE A ROCK-SOLID GUARANTEE

 

Don’t be afraid to offer an iron-clad guarantee. It’s critical that your prospect feels safe, and a strong guarantee can help eliminate the feelings of skepticism, uncertainty ,and distrust. Your guarantee should remove any sense of risk associated with the purchase.

8. VALIDATE YOUR PRICE

 

Your prospects need to understand that they are receiving maximum value at minimum cost. You might compare it to similar products or services that are more expensive, recap how their life will change for the better, or outline everything that they will receive for an unbeatable price.

9. INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION

 

By the end of your sales page, it’s important to ask for the sale and tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do.
Provide clear, specific instructions on how your prospect can purchase your product. In addition, summarize the benefits your prospect will receive, your iron-clad guarantee, and why it’s important that they act immediately.

10. ADD A POST SCRIPTUM

 

Most prospects will read a post scriptum (commonly know as the P.S.) before they read the rest of the sales page, so take time to include a strong P.S. with an additional call to action. Your ultimate goal of your P.S. is to sum up the main benefit of your offer, reiterate your guarantee, and include an additional call to action.
So, the next time you sit down to write a sales page, follow this 10-step template, because a money-making sales page is worth its weight in gold.

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How to Create Loyal Customers

How to Create Loyal Customers

How to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers
Jessica Swanson
Jessica Swanson
Shoestring Marketing

We all want satisfied customers, right?

But, what exactly is a satisfied customer? Well, here’s the thing, a satisfied customer is one whose needs and expectations have been fulfilled. No more, no less.

Maybe those satisfied customers will keep doing business with you. Maybe they won’t. Who the heck knows? If a better situation comes along, they’ll probably abandon you without a second thought.

With all the competition out there, it’s not enough to create run-of-the-mill customer experiences. You can’t run a successful small business if your customers are merely “satisfied.”

Here’s the thing.

You need your customers to be delighted with your products and services, overwhelmed with your customer service, and devoted to your small business brand.

You want to create fiercely loyal customers. In other words, customers who will stay with you until the bitter end.

To create intense loyalty, you must get to know your customers, understand their needs, and exceed their expectations in all phases of your business.

Here are 12 Simple Ways to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

1. GATHER CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

 

It’s important to continuously gather feedback from your customers. This helps you understand what works, what doesn’t work, and then get busy fixing it.

There are all sorts of ways to get feedback from your customers. You can call them, email them, or use social media to gather responses.

Probably the simplest way to get feedback is to create a free online customer satisfaction survey (Survey Monkey is a good choice) for your customers to fill out.

Keep in mind that short and simple surveys that can be completed in less than 30 seconds will generate the most responses.

2. GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS PERSONALLY

 

There’s nothing more that customers like than to feel like you know and understand them.

So, use whatever means necessary to actually get to know them. Obviously, you should know their name and where they live. But, you should even strive to get to know their likes, dislikes, and what makes them unique.

And, it doesn’t matter if you have 10 customers or 10,000 customers. Use a free CRM system (we use Hubspot’s Free CRM) to take detailed notes about each customer.

The bottom line is that the better you know each customer, the more loyal they will be to you.

3. SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE FREELY

 

Don’t be secretive with your knowledge. Believe me, nobody likes a stingy, ungenerous small business owner.

You’re the expert in your field, so provide answers, solutions, tips, and tools to help out your customers when you can.

And, even better, share your knowledge with leads and prospects as well.

4. SOLVE PROBLEMS

 

As a small business owner, it’s your job to solve problems when they arise. It’s also your job to solve these problems in a timely and efficient manner.

When customers email you, email them back. When customers call you, call them back. Even if you don’t have the immediate answer, let them know that you are working on the problem and when they can expect to hear back from you.

5. CREATE COMMUNITY

 

Research suggests that when customers are part of a community, they are more devoted. So, consider adding a forum, wiki, or off-line networking events to create a community for your customers and clients.

No matter what industry you are in, there are eager customers just waiting to join your community.

Don’t think so? Well, there are already knitting communities, a Sponge Bob Community, and yes, even a Chihuahua forum, for all things Chihuahua.

6. FOCUS ON QUALITY

 

Of course, it goes without saying that your products and services should be first-rate.

You should feel, deep in your heart, that you have provided the best product or service at the best possible cost.

If you skimp on quality or artificially jack-up your prices, you could find yourself as a recipient of the LifeHacker Shonky Awards. And, this is an award that you do NOT want to receive.

For example, Clean and Green was a recipient of the Shonky Awards. Why? They create 12-cans of bottled air from Biondi that will set you back $245.00. Yep, you read that correctly. Bottled air for $245.00.

What. the. heck.

7. BE PROACTIVE VS. REACTIVE

 

Sometimes you know that there is a big, fat problem heading your way. Unfortunately, most small business owners ignore the danger signs and just hope the problem will somehow go away.

Well, it won’t.

You should stop problems before they arise, offer solutions before they are needed, and say that you’re sorry when necessary.

8. SHOW SOME “WOW!”

 

Give your customers something to talk about. It could be unbelievable value, it may be stellar customer service, or it might be a unique “buying experience.”

Decide what it is that makes you unique and flaunt it.

Go ahead and steal the words of Rihanna and “shine bright like a diamond.”

9. HAVE A LITTLE FUN

 

Smile, laugh, and make it a true pleasure to work with your small business.

We’ve all been the victims of crabby and bad-tempered business owners and employees. And most of us aren’t going to keep doing business with them.

If you’re not having fun, neither are your customers.

10. UNDER-PROMISE & OVER-DELIVER

 

Sometimes you’ll do just about anything to land that sale. But, if you over-extend yourself on the front-end, you’re only making trouble for yourself in the long-run.

Only promise what you know you can deliver each and every time. Better yet, promise less than you can deliver, then shock and amaze them with your “extra” service.

11. PRACTICE SUPERIOR FOLLOW-THROUGH

 

If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Simple as that.

12. MAKE ONE CUSTOMER’S DAY EVERY SINGLE DAY

 

If you focus on making just one customer’s day, every single day you will go far in creating loyal customers.

Make a phone call, send a card, or make a referral every single day.

It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to happen.

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

As a small business owner, you’ve got to go the extra mile when it comes to your customers.

Your ultimate goal is to create customers who are thrilled with your small business, loyal to your brand, and continuously make purchases from you.

If you strive to implement these tips as new customers and clients come through the door, you’ll soon find that you have a group of fiercely loyal customers who will stay with you until the end.

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How to Blog Even When You Hate to Write

How to Blog Even When You Hate to Write

How to Blog Even When You Hate to Write

Jessica Swanson
Jessica Swanson
Shoestring Marketing

You’ve started your small business blog and suddenly you have an awful, gut-wrenching realization. You actually hate to write.

Writing is frustrating, hard, and one of those marketing activities that you avoid at all costs.

But, you also know that blogging is one of those “essential” marketing platforms for today’s small business owner. A tricky situation indeed!

So, is blogging a tool only available to the gifted and talented writers of this world? Absolutely not!

Even if you hate to write, you can still maintain a successful small business blog.

There are dozens of other ways to get your point across to your readers and writing is just one form of communication.

You can communicate with your audience through video, audio, PowerPoints, infographics, pictures, and cartoons.

But, even if you create blog posts that you don’t personally write, you still want to follow a few rules:

  • Offer fresh and unique content often (at least once a week).
  • Always provide useful information to your readers (latest updates, news, and topics in your industry) so that they view you as an expert in your field.
  • Provide a solution to your readers’ problems. No matter what industry you are in, your customers have a unique set of problems that they are trying to solve. Offer them a way out from their predicament.

Ultimately, your blog should be a place for busy, over-stimulated people to find the information that they are looking for quickly and efficiently.

Here are 7 blogging strategies for the non-writers of this world:

1. CREATE VIDEO POSTS

 

If you have a video camera you’re ready to go. And, it doesn’t have to be a big, fancy Hollywood video camera either. Your smartphone will work just fine. Find a quiet place in your home with a nice-looking background and start recording.

Obviously, you want to make sure that your video is well-lit and that the audio is clear. But, if you aren’t afraid of being in front of a camera, then go for it!

People love videos and will love meeting the person behind your business.

Are you a blogger who hates to write? Here are 7 ideas just for you!Click To Tweet

2. CREATE SCREEN CAPTURE POSTS

 

Even if you don’t relish the idea of being an actor, you can still create a video post using your computer screen and free screen capture software such as Camstudio.

All you need is a good PowerPoint or on-screen tutorial and you can record it in video form. It’s a great way to teach your audience a specific “how-to” skill that they want to learn.

3. CREATE PODCAST POSTS

 

Podcasts are definitely rising in popularity. And rightly so!

Just take a look at Ted Radio Hour which is a “journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.”

Obviously, you don’t have the budget to setup a full-fledged radio studio. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started.

All you need is a decent USB microphone and free audio software such as Audacity.

 

learn how to podcast

4. HIRE SOMEONE DIRECTLY

 

Believe it or not, many small business owners hire “ghostbloggers” to write blog posts for them.  This option works best if you don’t have much time, but have the funds to outsource the work.

You can hire a writer for just $5 on Fiverr.com. Just make sure that they have a great rating, are fully qualified, and agree that all the content they provide to you is copyrighted and owned by your company.

5. WORK WITH AN ESTABLISHED COMPANY

 

With the current need to create content, there are several companies who already have a staff of qualified writers that you can hire. WriterAccess.com allows you to post a job to their US-based writers and pay for the finished product based on the quality and length of their writing.

6. USE PRIVATE LABEL RIGHTS

 

Private Label Rights (PLR) articles are written by ghostwriters and allows you to add you own name as the author and edit the articles in any way that you want.

Because the same article could be sold to someone else, you don’t want to upload the article “as-is” to your blog. This could signal “duplicate content” to Google and your content may not show up in their search engine results pages.

Google's Duplicate Content

At the very least, you’ll want to tweak the article so that it is unique in the eyes of the search engines. and contains your own personality and voice.

Obviously, it takes time to find appropriate articles and edit them, but you will never again face the daunting task of coming up with fresh content.

To find PLR articles, you can use a company such as EasyPLR.com or simply do a Google Search using the term Private Label articles to find additional options.

7. ADVERTISE FOR GUEST BLOGGERS

 

Let other bloggers know that you would like them to write guest blog posts for you blog. One of the best places to find guest bloggers is at BloggerLinkup.com and MyBlogGuest. There you can advertise (for free) that you are interested in obtaining guest blog posts.

These sites are great for small businesses that are just starting to build a blog audience. You’ll be able to find some mid-level bloggers through these sites who will offer solid content and help you build an audience.

While these resource sites are helpful, you should still vet the writer by reading some sample posts and checking out their online presence. Save yourself some time and money by looking into a writer before you ask them to post. Put the work in up front to avoid headaches later.

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

So, whether you are a bonafide Ernest Hemingway or not, there are still ways that you can maintain a highly successful blog that will help build your small business on a shoestring marketing budget.

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