Blogging Help for Small Businesses is here!
Quick Start Method to Help you in Your Blogging
Here’s the Quick Start Method I developed for Small Business Bloggers, step by step.
Add Video to your Blog Post
Here’s a tip: Voice-to-Text.
I actually wrote this draft using a voice-to-text transcription function inside of Gmail. It’s a great tool, and is pure gold when I want to get an idea out of my head.
Vintage Blogging Tips
Here are some tips from a piece I wrote a few years ago. It’s fun and instructive to see how far things have come in less than 10 years.
Marketing Interview with Kelly Weller on Marketing FC Dallas: Blogging Tactics and Tips
This is a great interview piece with Kelly Weller, the former VP of Marketing for FC Dallas. In it, she discusses the different strategic concepts she and her team used to market the team. Dallas is a Football town (Go Cowboys!), so the challenges in marketing a soccer team are significant. There are many lessons here for any Dallas area small business owner. Click the link below to read the piece.
What does it mean for you?
- Know your Audience. Build buyer personas, and pitch to them in your content
- Know your Tools. Educate yourself, or hire that knowledge. Don’t play the game without knowledge
- Know your Competition. Don’t spend lots of time and money trying to conquer hills that are too tough to climb. Find the low hanging fruit
Slow Sites to get Punished by Facebook
Following Google’s example (but you know Mark Zuckerberg would ever admit that!), Facebook is now targeting sites that have a slow load speed for punishment. Whether they will be charging more in their ad ecosystem is not clear yet. You can check out the Facebook announcement on page load speed effects here.
This article in Search Engine Journal, written by Danny Goodwin (follow him on Twitter here), also covers some great info for small business owners on how to follow Facebook’s demands on optimization, as well as covering the newly announced “Prefetching”, which is another tactic to make pages load faster. Again, this will be an interesting watch.
What does it mean for you?
- Analyze your site for speed, or hire an expert to do it. Find out what’s slowing you down
- Build an action plan with a deadline to address any slow spots
- Make sure your content is relevant, so that Facebook and Google algorithms like you. That way, they’ll return your content higher!
Behavioral Targeting Coming to Snapchat, (because you knew it would)
Facebook has proved the model for successfully monetizing a social media channel, and everyone else either is currently or will soon fall in line. Well, all except Twitter, who seems to find the longest way around every problem. What does this mean to you? Not clear yet. At a minimum, it seems unlikely that it will retain its “cool” status among the youths, but that part will be interesting to watch. Instagram’s steps in that direction don’t seem to have hurt it yet.
What does it mean for you?
- Don’t make any hard and fast plans yet; more change is to come. Dip your toe into Snapchat, but don’t hinge your entire marketing plan on it; it’s still evolving.
- Work on your Facebook and Instagram strategy, because most likely, what works there is going to come close to working on Snapchat.
Google is Taking Down (or has taken down) the Mobile Friendly label from SERPs!
This is an interesting move, signaling something akin to “the new normal” in search having arrived. Of course, you have to already know that mobile-friendly is critical for your business, and if you don’t already have it done, it’s job #1 for you. You simply can’t compete in any cohesive Content Marketing strategy without planning for mobile. This article walks you through the facts in this latest move by Google in the continuing migration to a fully mobile world.
What does it mean for you?
- If you’re just now starting to understand that mobile is important, you’re WAY behind. Get educated as fast as you can, and that probably means hiring a pro
- If you have some understanding about mobile, but are not actively using it in your Strategic Marketing, then change that, TODAY
- If you understand where Google is going, then you won’t be surprised by moves like this
BONUS MOBILE PIECE From American Genius:
Mobile stats point to a true tipping point in Mobile usage. Get on the train or get left behind. I literally opened Facebook after publishing this piece and was greeted immediately by this great piece by Nichole McNeil, writer for the American Genius, so I had to include it.
Search Marketing Recap From SearchEngineLand (SEO, PPC, Google, Bing, etc..)
No roundup for Dallas small business owners would be complete without discussing search engine Marketing, so here it is, a Recap of All Things Search by SearchEngineLand. This piece includes discussions of targeting, ad snippets by Google, Bing’s latest moves, and more.
What about Blogging Goals?
Don’t Let Your Goals Slow You Down
Sounds crazy, right? But if you’re like me, and a lot of people I’ve talked to, the combination of the rush of endorphins from planning or setting goals for your coming year, followed by real life slapping you in the face and scattering your carefully-made plans to the four winds, can leave you feeling like you’re stuck in mud that’s all-too-familiar.
The key to victory is in how you and I face that, and that’s what I’m writing about today. Mostly, I’m telling my story, but I’ve learned that many successful people have walked this familiar trail, too. They conquered it, which gives me permission to “fail forward”, as my friend Stan Tyler likes to say. I’m passing that permission on to you. Let’s dig in some more.
By the way, I included the image of Brian Tracy’s wonderful book, “Goals”, because it’s one of my favorite books. Here’s a handy resource page with more.
I Started My Content Marketing, Now What? Where Does Blogging Fit In?
You set goals for blogging. How are your goals going? How are your New Years resolutions going? How about your plans for 2020 that you spent all that time on?
If you’re like me, and a lot of others, these questions can make you feel guilty. The crush of starting the new year, new month, and then finishing out the second full week of the month brings me to the shocking realization that I’ve actually lost focus on those nice, shiny goals I worked so hard to plan. In the past, this was a complete defeat, and would actually put me in a state worse than if I had not planned any goals at all. “Here we go again, not getting anything done”, my mind would say.
That’s the important thing to understand, that most of what holds you back, and me, too, are our own thoughts; how we process “victory” and “defeat” is powerful. If, like me, you have never really conquered the “goals monster”, then you don’t know what consistent victory in this area looks like. I didn’t. I keep pointing back to giving myself permission, and I’m doing it again. Give yourself permission to not get it all right the first time.
What do you Expect? Did You Expect Blogging To Be Easy?
“Expectation Management” is a big deal in the process of serving customers in any business. It’s also big when dealing with your own beliefs. Do you actually expect to set your goals, and then everything just falls into place with no effort and no “missing the mark”? I think we can all agree that this is not a reasonable expectation, but I find myself behaving as if it is. This is what produces the guilt; if that’s my expectation, and this pile of what feels like broken promises sitting in front of me is my reality, how can I feel anything but?
Take all those feelings of guilt and remorse and regret, wad them up and throw them in the trash. Guilt can’t do anything for you. Regret and remorse can’t move you forward. Planning can. When you hit your wall (we all have at least one), go back to your plan and either recommit to it or tweak it, then get back on the horse.
Here are 3 quotes that I use often to help me keep perspective:
Inertia is your enemy, until you’re moving. (read the link)
You can’t steer a ship that’s not moving.
There is no failure until you quit.
A very good friend of mine, who was also my pastor, had a phrase that he used often: “Rebound and keep moving”. The simple beauty and power of this statement is rooted in the idea that you give yourself permission to get up off the ground from “failing” to do one thing or another, figure out the plan for your next steps, and get back on the horse.
Keep moving, press forward, take the next step, get help, hire a consultant, join a mastermind group, get accountable.
The last thing, the ONLY thing, you cannot do, is beat yourself up about what you have not achieved. That’s a useless exercise. Think about it: what does it actually produce? How does that move anything forward? What tools or direction does it give you to get you back on track?
So I’m starting a new tradition. Every year, January 15th, it’s “Forgive Yourself Day”. On this day, you forgive yourself for not making huge strides from January 1st to January 15th. You recognize that, if I’m like everybody else in the world, you’re not perfect. Just kidding nobody else is perfect either. Since you know that nobody else was perfect, you know the others struggle with this too. Give yourself permission to fail, and “fail forward”.
January 15: Forgive Yourself Day
So, again, on this day, from now on, if you haven’t achieved all your goals, or you’re not moving as fast as you would like to (OR THINK YOU SHOULD…a real killer), then on THIS day, you reassess your goals, take the easiest steps that you can to move any of those or all of those forward, and do it.
Celebrating easy wins is important, and powerful. If you’ve even moved an inch (a metaphorical inch, and no I’m not going metric, because ‘Murica) on any goal, reward yourself and attach that rewarded feeling to the next small victory you’ll have. Remember, you can’t grow without being wrong, else where would the growth be?
You Can’t Grow Without Being Wrong
Do it. That’s the victory. The victory is in taking the next step to move your goal forward. I’ve read many, many biographies about successful people, and I discovered something surprising; they all failed. A LOT. OFTEN. They had something I did not (at the time); they had developed the ability to welcome failure and disappointment as the logical outgrowth of the fact that the present was not their future. Then they made another plan and moved forward. They all ran into stumbling blocks, roadblocks or obstacles, most of which they had not foreseen, and yet they still moved forward. This is not because they were super human, but because they were willing.
“Willing” to take a step they had not taken before; willing to be accountable and honest with themselves (but not hyper-critical, knowing that produces nothing); willing to be accountable and honest with a group of people who would in turn hold them to certain plans and promises; willing to dream big, plan big, and act big.
So now you do it. Go forth and fail, grow, and Blog about it!
Read through this piece and let me know if you’d like other material covered, or get in touch is you simply have questions about any of the material included in this piece.