My Blog.

fb-ctaSo if you weren’t already aware of this, then I have some really cool news for you! Facebook has just rolled out a new feature on your Facebook business page! You can now customize Facebook’s embedded Call-to-Action (CTA) button that is located on your cover photo, just to the left of your “like” button. It wasn’t there until just over the past few weeks if you were on the lucky ones to have it show up on your business page. Unfortunately, it did not show up on my business page until yesterday. Now it’s on everyone’s business page that I’ve seen thus far! Yay!

Here’s a screenshot of my biz page highlighting the new CTA button:

adm-fb-cta

Why a Call-to-Action?

If you’re a business owner with a web presence, hopefully you know how super-important it is to have some type of call-to-action on your website or even on your social media platforms. You WANT to bring your followers back to your website, time and time again. A great way to do this…A CALL TO ACTION! This can be in the form of a free offer signup, a contact page, a store page or even just sending the reader to your blog page to leave a comment. It’s just that simple! Leave your readers wanting more, so give them something to pique their interest and potentially call upon you to work with them in the future. 

To make it super-easy for you to get your call-to-action button set up on your own Facebook business page, I’ve created a quick demo video below (4.5 minutes in length) so you can locate your button and customize it. It will only take you just a minute or two to set it up. The sooner you have your CTA button set up, the sooner you can start watching the increase of activity on your website or blog! 

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favorite-list-posts-2011

For today’s installment of my Blog Content Generation series, I want to share with you a very popular format of posts for bloggers. It’s called “List Posts”.  As a blogger, I find it very easy to put together blog content that includes a list of items you can “bullet” or “number” and provide detail for each one, if you like. It’s also a great way to promote these lists via social media. If you are an avid Twitter user, these lists can be used to “tweet” out in a series of messages that you can share with your followers. For a reader, it’s easy to scan and pull information that they can use or share with others.

It only seems appropriate that I create a list post to share tips on how to create one! Here’s 10 quick tips on how to create a list post:

  1.  Decide how many items you want on your list. If it’s a “ways to” or “reasons to” list, then picking a number between 5 and 25 is a good number. Otherwise you can have a list up to 101.
  2. Keep each item in your list similar. Avoid mixing the idea you have in your list. Don’t jump from 10 ideas to… to listing quotes or websites or instructions.
  3. Come up with or brainstorm on more numbered items than you need. Scratch out the item that doesn’t fit within the list focus. If you keep it within the list, it may look as a filler to your reader.
  4. Order your list logically. It helps if you structure your post so that your reader can pick what items through scanning the articles or if a reader reads the whole list post, it will make it easier for them to grasp the sequence without getting confused.
  5. Break your long lists into sections. If you have a list that is over 30 items in length, you may want to break the lists into sections. Showing a huge block of text may deter your reader to taking the time to read it, skipping it altogether. If you do split your list in this way, you can optionally start renumbering at each section (eg. a list of “50 great sites” could become ten sections of five, each numbered “1, 2, 3, 4, 5”.)
  6. Consider making your list a series. Sometimes your ideas may be strong enough that you can expand your list posts into several posts if you are providing paragraphs for each idea. This way, you can break your lists and expand them into up to 20 posts if you like.
  7. Be consistent in how you write each item. Use a font format consistent throughout the list so not to confuse the reader that they have moved to a new section or sub-section.
  8. Always number your list items if you are sharing a number of tips or ideas in your list. Nothing more confusing than reading a list, but it’s not numbered. Your reader is forced to manually count down to see if there were truly the number of items you said there were.
  9. Invite your readers to add to your list. At the very bottom of your post, ending it with a question or an invitation for more items is a brilliant way to encourage comments, to get readers engaged and involved, and to help you find ideas for future blog posts.
  10. Choose a great blog title. Include the number. You can use words (“Sixteen ways to…”) or numerals (“5 great tips…”). Try to be consistent with other posts on your site. Use some catchy hype words to capture your audience too.

Of course, I’m going to close my post using Tip# 9. Do you have a great tip for writing list posts? Do you have a list post on your blog that was extremely popular? Feel free to share in the Comments section of this post.

Tomorrow’s Blog Content Generation topic: Opinion/Review Posts 

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nichePart of this week’s posts, I’m focusing on blog content generation techniques to help you make decisions on what kind of content you want to use for your blog. Today I want to focus on how to create a niche blog. A niche blog is a blog that’s content is narrowed down to a specific topic that the writer wishes to convey to a specific reader audience.

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider a niche blog for your business:

  • Niche blogging allows you to indulge in a passion, whether personal or professional
  • It’s easier to create an emotional engagement with your readers
  • Niche blogging allows you to be more creative
  • It allows you to manage your blog a lot better if you are focusing in on just one topic
  • You can make your niche blogging fun when you have an engaged audience

If you feel like you want to start a niche blog, then follow these next five steps to get you started:

STEP 1

Choose a topic for your blog that you are passionate about. This means you need to have a good knowledge of what your niche is. You also need to have some strong feelings, opinions and ideas that are unique to your topic. Be sure you stay on topic once you build your niche community. You start to stray away from your niche and you are likely to lose your loyal following.

STEP 2

Choose a topic that you are very knowledgeable about (mentioned that above) or you feel comfortable researching and sharing your findings in your own voice. Either way, by writing with intelligence, focus and passion, you can make your niche blog stand out and be noticed.

STEP 3

Choose a narrow topic and stayed focused on it. A true niche blog can focus on a specific topic like German Shepherd dogs, rather than just writing on the topic of dogs. You can position yourself in an area that may have little content online. You can gain a following quickly when you provide information on a rare topic.

STEP 4

Beware of choosing a trend niche. In other words, don’t choose a topic that is hot today, but could disappear later on in the future. Make sure your niche has staying power.

STEP 5

Do your keyword research based on your topic. Specific keywords can hold a smaller amount of competition. In other words, instead of using “parenting” as a keyword, perhaps your topic narrows down to “teen responsibility”.

I believe if you have a specific niche you offer in your business that you can really target your audience around your expertise, gaining trust from them. Trust = potential clientele

Sharing is caring! Feel free to share these tweets!

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marketing_mishapMarketing your small business, whether online or offline, can be a huge undertaking if you are the one that is performing those marketing tasks on your own. You walk into your office, having your marketing plan for the day on your mind, then you put that plan into play. All is good…but what if you made an unconscious error in that well-thought-out plan? It can happen!

I still find myself making mini marketing mistakes when I am in a hurry to send out an email blast or I’ve quoted one thing to a prospect, only to quote them something else at a later time. That’s when you start to see inconsistencies in your marketing message. Ugh!

One instance of a marketing mistake or a marketing mishap for me is when I launched a WordPress training workshop in the Fall of 2013. I thought for sure that I would be able to fill up the seats in that program. Well, I was wrong! I did everything in my power (and time) to spread the word about the program, making it easy to gain access to the program web page and give my readers choices that they could not possibly pass up. Well, all but one person passed it up! I’m not exactly sure what I did wrong, but I believe I could have reached and converted more participants if I had made a compelling offer that no one could possibly pass up and not purchase. I thought I had a good reason to have participants buy my program, but even that did not work.

It was a lesson learned for me. It has forced me to rethink the overall vision of the program and how I will appeal to my audience when I market it this year. 

If you learn one thing about marketing after you have read this post, be sure and be consistent in your message. Take your time when inventing and writing your message too. It could save you a lot of headaches.

I would LOVE to hear about your marketing mistake or mishap. Please feel free to share your story in the comment section below. 

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StomachFlu_200Yep, you heard me right. This has been a week from h-e-double-hockey-sticks at the McManama house. What started as a productive week for everyone, turned into a nightmare and it was a stomach virus that took the whole house down. I kid you not! I’m not going to gross you out with the details, but I did want to impress on you to be sure and take steps to perform self-care on yourself as a business owner. 

When I was bedridden this week, for at least a couple of days, I was troubling over not having my blog posts ready and published for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. But you know what? It’s okay. I quit beating myself up because I wanted to leave the Ultimate Blog Challenge, having evidence of posting to my blog every day this month. Even if I didn’t post everyday, it’s going to be okay. What I’ve really learned from the blog challenge so far is not necessarily a race to end to see who can post the most blog articles, but it’s the connections you made, it’s the visibility you have gained from new and returning readers, and most of all, it has stretched you to your limits to place your blog in the forefront of your business. That’s what it’s all about.

Another thing I had to face this week was making sure my clients’ needs were met. Thankfully, I have some really understanding clients, so if there was anything pressing, I could work on their project when I could and take breaks if I needed to. Everything else could wait. What was important was for me to rest and heal so I can be back to my old productive self. I will say that it was hard because even though I felt like I was completely healed, it seems that the virus wasn’t finished with me. Just because people say a virus usually last about 24 hours, doesn’t mean it’s all over in 24 hours! Viruses can last up to a week, even longer if we’re looking at sicknesses like the flu virus.

Take my word of advice…like anything that has to do with threatening your good health, taking care of YOURSELF first, giving yourself ample time to heal, before you try to conquer the world, or in my case, conquering motherhood and running a business at the same time. Your well-being is important to a captive audience. Be well! 🙂

Take care of YOURSELF first, giving yourself ample time to heal, before you try to conquer the world.… Click To Tweet
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