How Much Time Should I Spend Creating Web Content?

Content Marketing Question Of The Week: Time Management

time creating web content

Question
I am relatively new to content marketing and wanted to know how much time I should dedicate to this strategy considering I have so many other things to do in my business.

Answer
I often say this when I work with clients but it is very important that you understand that content marketing at this point on the web is not only crucial but it’s mandatory. Without a foundation of content in your business, you are bound to fail. The web is fueled by content. Fresh content. So it’s important that you treat content marketing with the respect it deserves!

Carving out time to create content that your ideal prospects will want to read and share should be one of your top priorities. So carve out time for that priority as you would any other major aspect of your business. A lot!

Remember that the time spent in on content creation has a fantastic ROI.

For one hour’s worth of work and one killer article or video, you could possibly get over (and let’s be very conservative!) 200 new readers. A portion of them will convert and become subscribers to your list. Let’s say 75. Out of those 75, twelve of them really liked your next newsletter where you offered them a complimentary strategy session. They liked it so much that 7 of them booked the sessions.

Out of those 7 sessions, 3 people signed up for one of your offers. Perhaps it was two VIP Days and one 90 day client. Maybe all three joined your entry level membership program or ordered your book.

What does that income look like?

How much was one hour of your time worth to you?

Imagine if you wrote 3, 10, 100 more articles or videos? Consistently? And the same numbers applied.

What does your business look like now?

See wasn’t the time put in worth it?

Final notes – dedicate as much time to content marketing as you would any major marketing strategy in your business. I always encourage my clients to write for themselves in order to really capture the true essence and uniqueness of what makes you, well you. BUT you can always outsource things like article submissions, video editing, etc. for better time management.

Do what feels right for you and measure the results.

How much time are you spending writing content right now? Do you think it’s enough? Do you think  you spend too much time developing content? Share your thoughts with us!

 

Where Do I Start With Marketing My Business?

Q: Where Do I Start With Marketing My Business

Dear Lisa,
There is so much information out there on starting a business that I don’t know where to begin. I know you write all about content but don’t I need to start somewhere further back before I start writing? I mean where to I start when it comes to marketing my business?
Pricilla Reyes
Orlando, Florida

Dear Pricilla,
The very first thing you should be crystal clear about is what you are in the business of doing. What do you do? Who do you serve? What transformation do you provide them? After that — it’s all about content. Content is the lifeblood of the web. It loves to get more and it loves to give us more. So once you’ve decided on what you are in business for and who you serve, it’s now time to create marketable content. Uh – right away!
Thanks For Writing!

Getting To Know Lisa

Getting To Know Lisa Angelettie! Uh – Sort of:)

Lisa Angelettie & Husband

Me & Hubby

Among the dozens of questions that I get on article marketing, seo, and ePublishing — I get occasional personal questions too. I guess some folks are like: “Who is this chick?” LOL!  So I thought, what the heck, why don’t I take a few of those questions and finally answer them in a post (I try to answer all of my emails too:). Also, I thought maybe another great thing would be for you guys to do the same thing, and answer the questions as well in the comment section. Oh come on – it’ll be fun! Don’t leave me hanging:)

Question 1 – What Time Do You Get Up In The Morning?

I wake up at 6:45am every weekday and about 7ish on the weekends. I wake up at this God-awful time because I have three girls who have to eat and get their hair combed before school:) Plus, I have to take my new puppies out for a morning pee (Coco and Coffee).

Question 2 – How Many Cities/States/Countries Have You Lived In?

I’ve lived only in the U.S. in: Pennsylvania: Philadelphia (birthplace) & Elkins Park, Washington D.C., Maryland, New York & New Jersey. “East Coast!!”

Question 3 – What Is The Best Thing You’ve Done So Far In Your Life?

Well, the right answer would probably be having my kids – but honestly the best thing I did was creating a life that allowed me to be home with my kids. I feel so much more connected to them and their lives than me and my mom ever did. I attribute some of that to the fact that I spend a great deal more time with my kids than my mother could with me.

Question 4 – What Is The Scariest Thing That You’ve Done So Far In Your Life?

I was absolutely petrified of having a baby naturally. When I pushed my oldest daughter out, I felt like I had officially “grown up”!

Question 5 – Do You Own A Pet?

I am a dog person. Although I grew up loving my godmother’s cats too. Dogs I’ve owned included Buttercup (Minature Poodle), Pepperz (Chow & Labrador Mix), Simba (Standard Poodle), and now Coffee and Coco (Australian Labradoodles). I can tell already which of my kids will own a pet because they must, who will never have one, and who will get one if their kids bug them enough:)

Question 6 – What Was Your First Job Ever? And What Was Your First Job In Your Field?

My first job ever was in high school as a sales girl at a clothing store called “City Blue” in Philadelphia. We worked on commission so only the prettiest and most assertive girls did well. Let’s just say, that wasn’t my calling:) I also worked as a cashier in a drugstore, a camp counselor, and as an assistant for the government.

While getting my BA in journalism, my first job in my field was as a kids advice column writer for Gannet News. Gannet owns USA Today as well as hundreds of local papers around the country. At that time, I obviously did not have my masters degree yet, so I would write the column based on my own opinion and a psychiatrist would review my answers to make sure I wasn’t going to get the paper sued! I loved that gig and it really was the one that inspired me to combine my love for writing along with my work in psychotherapy and start GirlShrink & AskGirlShrink.

Question 7 – Favorite TV, Music or Books?

Ugh, that’s a hard one! I typically like anything romantic for TV and movies. Or anything about spies or agents. I love all types of music including classic rock (Led Zeppelin!), club music, reggae, R&B, pop, salsa, and hip-hop. As far as books, I go through phases. I’ve been reading supernatural books for about 5 years. And of course I am always reading – writing, publishing and internet marketing info. I invest quite a bit in my own continued education.

Last Question – What’s Your Tip For Getting More Done?

I do not get enough sleep according to Bob Greene’s 20 Years Younger:), because I like to work at night. Late night. But that’s not really how I get “more” done. I think the key to that, for me anyway, is to let go of the idea that I have to get everything done on my to-do list.

I create these massive “to-do” lists all the time. Really it’s simply a long-running, never-ending to-do list — but I do not create them to finish in one day. I am simply sorting and prioritizing things. I pick the top 5 things I need to do for that day and I do them, cross the off the list, and select the next 5 for the following day (or week) depending on the length of the to-do item.

Okay – I’m done. Now you’re it!!!

Can I Submit Same Articles To EzineArticles & Blog?

Can I Submit The Same Articles To EzineArticles & Blog?

I guarantee you that someone asks me this question every week, no matter how many articles I write about it. So I thought I’d feature it as one of my frequently asked questions this week. Plus, it sort of ties in with my whole Google theme this week.

Q: Lisa, one of the problems I am having is that I want to use EzineArticles to promote my articles as well as my own website. Can I use the same articles that I write for EzineArticles on my website?

A: I am a big believer in repurposing articles – so my answer is yes – but with a few caveats. First of all, I need to know where you are in your business. If you are just starting out, then I definitely recommend getting some momentum going by publishing articles to EzineArticles as well as your blog.

Don’t worry about duplicate content, etc. right now. EzineArticle’s WordPress plugin will help carry this out even faster. After you’ve published the article to your site, you can publish it as is to EzineARticles throught the plugin OR you can make a few changes tot he article and then publish it to EzineArticles via the plugin.

If you are in the middle of your business, meaning that you are generating some income and have been building a list for a while, then your site/blog has probably gained some traction on the web. You are appearing in the search engines, but now it’s time to really take your optimization a little more seriously. Duplicate content starts to matter to the established webpreneur.

Now when you submit your blog articles to EzineArticles or vice-versa you need to make sure that you change the article enough that it looks like a different article to Google. This is actually much more important now than it use to be due to Google’s latest algorithm update. Sites like EzineArticles took a hit because too many websites had identical articles to the ones on their site.

Ways to make sure your articles are different are to rewrite them (which I do) or use article spinning software. An article submission service that also offers a high quality article spinning service is SubmitYourArticle.

Bonus Tip!
Also, writing unique articles will be easy for EzineArticles and your blog because you should be using links to related resources/content in your blog articles. On the other hand, you cannot add links to your EzineArticles articles (or at least only one in the body of the article) the other links are only allowed in your resource box. Having an article with no links vs. one with links helps create two distinct articles that the search engines will view as different and unique.

 

 

Is The Economy Affecting How You Do Business?

Is The Economy Affecting How You Do Business?

economy affecting business

source: greeleygazette.com

In many gas stations in the suburbs of Pennsylvania where I live, gas has hit the four dollar mark. When I shop for groceries, I must admit that for years I did not pay attention to prices that much. I have certain things that I buy every week – and I buy them. Regardless of the cost. But I must admit that in 2008 I paid attention to the price of milk. It was outrageous. And now I am paying attention to the price of the block of extra sharp Cracker Barrel cheese that my family and I just love. It’s a little over four bucks. Maybe more depending on the market I’m at and the neighborhood that market is in.

My point here is that the economy is precarious. People who may not have normally paid attention to the price of everything that they bought (like myself) are now paying attention and making discerning choices about what they are going to spend their money on.

Now more than ever we have to be a bit more selective about what marketers and business owners we are going to spend our money with to further our own businesses. We are a little more careful about what products, books, coaching programs, and membership sites we join. And the same goes for our customers. They are going to be a little more hesitant to click the button and so they are going to need to see further “social proof” and other credibility factors to feel comfortable doing business with us — if they’ve never done business with us before.

Perhaps you are not doing all of the things that you did a year or two ago to gain traction in your marketplace. Maybe you’re going to skip that seminar you were thinking about attending or passing on that cool workshop that you wanted to take. Perhaps you are only making enough money to sustain the costs of doing business and you just don’t know where you would find the money to get the word out about your latest service, product, or event.

Are you so paralyzed in your business right now because you are afraid of spending money on the wrong things? Or are you petrified of not making money this month because you don’t think you can convince anyone to spend money with you right now? Well here are a few of my thoughts on that…

1. The economy should not stop you from moving forward in your business. In fact, what it should do is make you think how you can move much smarter. What tasks could you eliminate from your everyday routine that are not really moving your towards your business goals? What fat could you trim? What things really worked for you last year? The year before? Whatever they were, think about how you can do more of that; maximize that marketing strategy.

2. There is no ONE answer for anyone and everyone on how to make even $1 online. I know this is scary, but I bet there is someone out there who is reading this article, has been in business for over a year, and has not even made $100. That’s usually because they are listening to 10 different experts teach them 10 completely different strategies, which may have worked for those individuals, but probably won’t work for them. Find the one strategy that resonates with you — and run like hell with it!

3. Scared money don’t make no money. I know that’s some old-school gambling saying or something — but it’s kind of true. If you are scared and skimpy with your investments in yourself, you probably will see very little reward. It’s a karmic rule. You basically get back what you put in. If you smartly invest in yourself — you should see your investment come back to you with interest. So what I’m saying here in a nutshell is now is not the time to completely stop investing in your growth – just be selective with what you buy and what you do. And whatever you buy — implement! Don’t just let the knowledge roll around inside your head for a week and then just move on to the next thing. Use it!

4. Don’t fall for the okie-dokie. Okay, even people on “fixed incomes” are buying Kindles, iPads, and flat screens. Don’t fall for the okie-dokie and believe that no one is buying anything in this economy. That is far from the truth. In fact, just recently I read that online retail sales were up like 16% in March of this year. There are customers and clients that are willing to give you their hard-earned dollars, you just have to convince them a little more than before that you are trustworthy, that you know what you are talking about, and that money invested with you will be money well spent.

*Tight Economy Tip
One of the easiest things that you can do today to not only maximize your visibility in today’s economic climate as well as build your trustworthiness among potential prospects is to publish. Digital publishing is free and it’s one of the easiest things you can do to establish yourself on the web today. Publish content that people in your market want to read and you can conquer the world in any economy! People will always search for answers, for knowledge, for solutions. Remember that if you provide those answers, that knowledge, and those solutions that you are well ahead of your competitors in the trust department and the credibility corner.

Over the next few days, I will be discussing strategies for building your online credibility and your trust factor via free, digital methods. I look forward to freeing you from the thoughts and actions that may be paralyzing your progress and start moving you forward to a better business with more profits. You can make money in this economy no matter what the niche. It’s all how you position yourself.

Have any questions on this topic? I’ll answer them in the next article. Just leave them in the comment section below.

Can You Use Ezine Articles On Your Blog?

FAQ: Can You Use Ezine Articles On Your Blog?

Q: Can I use articles from the article directory EzineArticles.com on my blogs?

A: This question probably arises from a place of permission and/or duplicate content, which I think I can easily clear up.

PERMISSION
EzineArticles is a site whose purpose is to provide publishers with content. Years ago the main outlet for these articles was online ezines and newsletters. Now that has evolved into publishers seeking content for newsletters AND for their blogs. EzineArticles is aware of this and approves of this use. There are a few stipulations though, with frequency of publishing being a main one:

“Agree to limit the number of articles reprinted to no greater than taking 25 articles from our site per calendar year per unique domain that you own. In addition, for domain owners of many domains, you may not reprint more than 250 articles per year (10 sites x 25 articles reprinted per domain).”
Source: EzineArticles Terms of Service For Publishers

This part of the terms of agreement is there for a reason and the recent Google updates have shown evidence of that. It’s important to understand that you will only rank well in the search engines if you frequently feature high quality, original content. Using EzineArticles on your blog should be for fillers (because you were sick that day and didn’t want to write, because you are going out of town and needed a post to go up, because you wanted to add a post to your blog on one of the slow days of the week, etc.).

You do not want every article or even the majority of articles you publish to all be “reprinted” articles from any article directory source. That could and probably will raise some duplicate content filtering issues for you and plus it’s important to realize that the goal of blogging is to create a relationship with a group of people that may eventually want to pay you for your expertise. Using other people’s articles won’t achieve this level of authority for you.

Now if you’re an affiliate article marketer, it may be tempting to take more than your 25 articles worth for all your mini-blogs, but you will get penalized as a “Google Farmer” — so don’t do it. If you refuse tow rite original content, then try hiring inexpensive ghost writers or tweaking PLR content. You could also feature video content that you get from the various video sites to add content to your site.

DUPLICATE CONTENT
On another note, if you are wondering if you can publish the same articles to your blog that you have submitted to EzineArticles, the answer is yes for most of you and no to some. On one hand, EzineArticles has a WordPress plugin that enables WordPress bloggers to submit their blog articles directly to EzineArticles. So they don’t mind blog article submissions, and in fact are encouraging it.

So if you are an emerging entrepreneur then you shouldn’t have any issues with duplicate content (submitting identical articles to your blog and EzineArticles). Even with the hit that article directories like EzineArticles took after Google’s recent updates, EzineArticle’s results will no doubt be higher in the rankings then yours based on their traffic stats, pagerank, domain age, and other seo factors.

If you are an intermediate or advanced marketer and have made significant traction in the search engines, then I wouldn’t submit identical blog and EzineArticles. Re-write them. Spin them. Change them. And then submit. That’s what I do.

What Should I Include In My Autoresponder Emails?

What Should I Include In My Autoresponder Emails?

autoresponder emailsIt’s time you think about your business in the shoes of your prospects. What happens when they visit your site and follow one of your call to actions? For example, imagine you’ve written a killer article and the prospect clicks on your resource link. They are led to one of your landing pages and want to opt-in to your list. Now what?

It’s crucial to understand that if you do not follow up with your new subscribers (prospects) REGULARLY, when you do decide to send something out they may not remember who you are and mark your email as SPAM and/or unsubscribe. Regular communication is essential and it’s real easy to do with your autoresponder. So here you go…

Here’s An Easy-To-Follow Plan For New Subscribers:

1. Redirect them to a “please confirm” page after opting in. Most reputable autoresponder list services (like Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact) will require a double-opt-in.

2. Redirect them to a “success page” after they’ve confirmed their subscription.

3. Even after all of your hard work setting up your success page, many subscribers often do not see it, so it’s a smart idea to send a “success email” as your first autoresponder message. If you included a gift for subscribing, it’s a good idea to include the link to that gift in this first email as well. People want their freebies:)

4. Okay don’t stop there — and here’s where things really get good. After the first email, it’s important to keep actively working on building a relationship with your subscribers. An easy way to do this is to continue your communication with them and send them additional emails.

Some entrepreneurs like to write personal emails on a regular basis which absolutely have their place, but if you’re looking to save time, and more importantly expose your subscribers to more of your content – use your autoresponder.

So What Do You Put In These Autoresponder Emails?

It’s a great idea to take inventory of the articles and other content on your site. What are your favorite articles? Which ones received the most comments and created the most buzz on Twitter or Facebook? These are the articles I would select to spotlight in your autoresponder emails.

So say you select 7 articles. Now you will create 7 separate emails – each introducing the topic of your article and also including the link to the full article on your site.

It’s important to understand that you are not promoting or selling anything from these emails. You simply want to lead new subscribers back to your site and expose them to more of your great content (your articles). This more than anything will help you to build trust with your list and will also establish you as the “go to source” when you are then ready to promote your next offer.

How Often Should You Send Out Your Autoresponder Emails?

There are experts out there with wide varying opinions on how often you should send an email to your list, but I try not to send my members anymore than two emails a week. That means one email is my weekly newsletter and the other is one of my autoresponder emails.

Want to see this in action? If you’re new to the site or you subscribe via RSS feed, you can sign up for my list and pay attention to the emails I send you. They have a very high conversion rate.

 

 

 

Subscriber List Building: How Can I Get More Email Subscribers?

List Building: How Can I Get More Email Subscribers?

This is the latest reader question asked by one of my Facebook pals and to tell you the truth by a lot of people — and it’s all about list building. Even the most savvy marketers are constantly tweaking and testing their systems for adding new subscribers to their lists. So there’s no shame in beginners wondering how on earth they will get more than the 10 subscribers that they already have (mom, dad, and their college roommates!) I want to help demystify the subscriber list building process…

Q: How do I get my subscriber list to grow past the 10 names I have on here (my friends and family)?

A: First, I am not a typical marketer, so I’m going to tell you the truth. There is no quick fix for list building. There is no bright and shiny marketing product or tool that will help build your list by the thousands in 30 days! It takes entrepreneurs a good deal of time to build a highly responsive list (one that actually converts and buys from you).

Second, building your subscriber list is really about finding the marketing techniques that resonate with you and then going full throttle with those babies! Stop thinking that this “next thing” is going to be the solution to all your list building prayers. Most likely it isn’t. It’s simply a distraction. If you know that you are a good writer — then article marketing and blogging may be the major way that you build your list. If you are a social butterfly, perhaps social media will be more up your alley. If you don’t mind investing in advertising, perhaps Adsense pay per click or Facebook ads are the thing for you. Use a list building strategy that you enjoy doing or you will never make it past those 10 names.

Third, make sure you have all the parts necessary for building a good subscriber list:

  • You will need a list service or autoresponder service like Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.
  • You will need a list building landing page to capture subscriber names.
  • You will need an opt-in box to place on that page.
  • It’s important that you have a bit of copy on that list building page that entices the reader to opt-in — a.k.a. stress the benefits of joining your list.
  • Make sure you have something to say to your subscribers once they do opt-in. Think about an email autoresponder series. What kind of information would your subscribers like from you? Or better yet — maybe you publish a newsletter that you will send out on a regular basis. The key thing here is that you need to say something to your list to start building a relationship with them — or they will soon forget you.

Fourth, and this is what you really wanted to hear:) — use some of these list building strategies to get things rolling:

  • Submit articles to article directories (such as EzineArticles.com). Include a link to your list building page in the resource box.
  • Write articles on your own blog. Include a invitation to get more updates and/or join your list at the end of every post.
  • Write for other blogs — again include a resource box or call to action.
  • Get your list building page up on your Facebook fan page.
  • Get active in forums appropriate for your niche. Add your list building link to your forum signatures.
  • Join Twitter Chats & Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Periodically refer to your newsletter op-tin as a resource.
  • Consider adding a subscriber building pop-up to your website. I use PopUp Domination.
  • Give away something really yummy for signing up with you (a free ebook, teleclass, mini consultation, etc.) Think about what readers would love to get for free and give it to them!
  • Make sure you give folks every opportunity to join your list if they are on your blog/site. An opt-in box should always be visible on every page.

Try one or a few of these strategies to start building your list. Figure out which one (or two) you really love and use them consistently! That is what will move your list out of the “friend zone” and into a growing database of potential clients and customers.