This article is a continuation or the second chapter of our 500 tips guide for content marketing. Please feel free to read from top to bottom or pick the points that you need most.
11) Find the Right Blog Platform for You- Many people use many types of blogs. Blogs built from scratch, Joomla extensions like K2 and WordPress to name a few. WordPress is probably the most easy to navigate and you can pay a small fee to get your own domain or have a blog integrated with your site. Other blogs like blogger provide free access to blogging, but don’t allow for the use of your own domain. Look around and get a feel for a few blog types to see which one feels best for you and go for it.
12) Get a Writing Schedule- Writing is sometimes tough and it can be hard to get motivated, even for a professional writer. That’s why having a writing schedule works to keep you on track. Schedule it just like your doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, meetings, or workouts. Keep a regular schedule and write at a time that is right for you. If you are more awake in the early morning then take the time to write, if not it’s ok to be a night owl too.
13) Find Your Sweet Spot- Your sweet spot is your niche or your area of expertise where you feel comfortable writing. Write on topics you have experience with and write on topics that your customers want to read. The same is true for infograhics, videos, social posts, and press releases. Keep it real, relevant, and respectful at all times for the best results with your audience.
14) Find Your Niche- Is your blog all over the place? Are you struggling to find the selling point of your brand? Then you need to find your niche. Try searching for keywords in your industry to narrow down the focus of your blog. The keyword tool from Google is an excellent resource. Put your website in, your product area, and search for keywords relevant to your specific needs to get laser like focus for your blog or topics.
15) You need a strong base of content so be prepared to publish regularly- A blog, website, or social feed is only as strong as its content. You really need content that is updated regularly, trending topics, and evergreen content to build a strong base for your blog, vlog, or social feed. To do this you need to be prepared to publish regularly, ideally once a week, or more. However some companies may choose to publish only once a month. Whatever frequency you choose be sure to be consistent and keep things fresh.
16) Diversify with different mediums like blogs, podcasts, videos and more to reach a wider audience- Blogging is great, but when you broadcast your content across different platforms and in different mediums you can reach a wider audience and make a greater brand impact. Shooting a video or Vlog is simple these days with a Smartphone and you can upload to YouTube right from your phone. Webinars can be run from Google Hangouts for free with just a little learning. Infograhics can be created easily in Canva and if you have some graphic design skills then you may want to try Photoshop as well.
17) Give Evernote a Try- Have too many notes floating around? Need a place to organize your ideas or research? Evernote provides a secure place to store all of your notes. You can update notes easily and jot down ideas at a moment’s notice. There’s even an app to help you keep track of things on the go too. I love Evernote and frequently use it to stay organized.
18) Create Core Content- Core content is evergreen content and content that you can build off of. An article with many ideas may lead to multiple blog posts that lead off of the original topic. Blog categories may help as well to keep your body of evergreen content in one place and allow room for your trending topics to grow, expand, and eventually be replaced or updated. Core content should be articles that your clients can relate to for years to come in your niche. A carpenter might talk about creating joints in furniture while a technology consultant might talk about system maintenance for your PC and why it is so important.
19) Create a Core Keywords List- Your core keywords can be pulled from the list that you used to find your niche. Building content around your most relevant keywords helps to establish the purpose of your brand and to keep your message consistent throughout your content. If you haven’t already go ahead and use the Google keyword tool to pull those core keywords to build your editorial calendar and get that evergreen content out there.
20) Build your Blog Calendar around Your Buyer Persona, Sales Funnel, and Keywords List- When you build your blog calendar you’ll need to grab your research list from Evernote and your keyword list that you pulled form Google. Get your buyer persona out as well and build a list of topics for the duration of time you want to plan for. I like to plan for six months when I can, but you can start by planning for a month if it makes things easier. Once you have your topic list look at your calendar and decide when the best time to release your content will be. Seasonal blogs or topics should be panned accordingly.
Why was the list written?
This list was written to help business owners, bloggers, and site administrators sharpen their content creation skills. The goal was to provide a comprehensive list of the best tips available currently to help you create outstanding content for your brand time after time. You can feel free to come back to this guide while planning, writing, or promoting your content for best results. There will be many parts to this article to be released weekly.
Who Should Use this list?
This list was written for beginners and advanced writers as well. You can use this list if you've never written a blog or if you are looking to boost your content creation skills as well. In this guide, you will find useful tips for content creation, including videos and infographics, as well as videos and articles. We will also delve into the wide world of content promotion and content branding to beef up your content strategy for stellar results.
Do I have to read the whole list?
You can feel free to read the whole list from start to finish if you’d like. You may also skip to the parts you’d like to see and come back to read the rest later. If you are just starting out you may find this list to be a handy guide. Advanced writers and content creators could also find this to be a handy reference. Feel free to use the list as you see fit, just like writing, there’s no one way to get the job done.
Tips 1-10 Building Your Foundation
1) Bring Your Social Media A-Game- Social media is no longer only a leisurely way to communicate with friends and family or a timer waster for our desks. It is a great way to connect with customers around the world as well and keep your brand constantly visible. Social media can help you to reach a wider audience around the world, even those you may not know yet. This can help to extend the reach of your brand for geographical expansion and enter new markets.
-To Get Social- You’ll need to get to know the major social media platforms including Google +, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to name a few. If you don’t have an account with these networks you’ll want to sign up now.
- Check out how you can build a Facebook like page
- Optimize your Facebook profile
- Optimize your Twitter profile
- Set up a LinkedIn account
- Set up a Facebook account
- Set up a Twitter account
-Managing your social media can seem overwhelming though but it doesn’t have to be. Schedule your posts with HootSuite which is my favorite social media tool. HootSuite has free and paid options; I use the first tier plan and add RSS feeds to keep my feeds constantly fresh. I also use the post scheduling feature to promote my own content and craft personalized posts to connect with my audience anytime.
- Using HootSuite
-Keep it human- Please don’t purchase followers, automate your following, or auto retweet accounts. These actions may cause suspension of social accounts that you have painstakingly nurtured. Instead interact with your followers in an authentic way by retweeting tweets you find interesting, tweeting personalized tweets, and using mentions to thank your followers a few at a time.
2) PR is Truly for Everyone-You don’t have to be a multimillion dollar company to take advantage of PR. You can manage PR yourself for little to no cost at all. In fact PR is as simple as good customer service and the best press release in town. PR can be best managed by best practices, concise content, valuable information, and regular updates on products, product launches, or additional products that your customers may be interested in.
Crash Course on PR in 30 Seconds
3) Make Friends in the Neighborhood with Your Fellow Bloggers- If you are a blogger then you shouldn’t try to go it alone. Make friends with others in your niche and connect with influencers in your industry. Then you have a win-win situation as you can all share content, promote the content of each other, and influencers can help even the newest blogs to gain credibility. Look on social for those who may be interested in your niche by searching with keywords or hash tags. Work to connect authentically with these individuals. Also look for those profiles with several followers but a lower follower amount. This means your blogger or influencer is selective in following and has valuable content others seek out, this is your influencer.
· Has Many Followers
· Follows Few
· Shares Regularly
· Content is Valuable
· Others Share Their Content Often
4) Leverage Contact with Your Current Customers- Our customers are a great source of feedback, information, and criticism that can help us to grow. It’s important to ask customers what they are looking for and how you can help them to get it. It’s also important to listen to them when it comes to critical feedback. Consumers are wonderful content critics and can help us to find gaps in need and information; they can also help to make suggestions on future content by recommending our current content. Not only can customers tell us this directly, but we can also make use of Analytics data to see which pages on a web site where customers frequent most. We can also see which pages they bounce from most often to learn which areas need improvement. Customer created content can also help to further branding, inspire confidence in potential customers, and also help to expand the reach of your brand.
5) Keep Content Planning Simple With Ready to Fill Templates on Hand-Templates are great for those who are just starting out to help you create a well developed article. Templates can help to give your article the structure it needs to build a strong foundation for shareable content that you can count on. For experienced writers templates can help to create content faster and keep things concise.
6) Define Clear Objectives for Each Piece of Content As Well As Your Overall Content Strategy-When creating an article create a clear objective and present it in an attractive way in your headline. Keep each paragraph or section on track by creating a strong outline in advance as well. Avoid dipping into irrelevant topics and keep your laser-like focus until the job is done and your article is complete, or at least through the first draft.
7) Discover Your Target Audience- Use your customer persona to define your content to speak directly to your target audience. If you aren’t sure who your target audience is then it’s easy to find out. You can survey your current customers to find out demographics, location and more. Use Google Analytics as well to learn more. Use the demographics feature to learn more about the age and gender of your customers. Use the location feature to learn where your content is having the most impact around the world. Checkout the time on page to see which pages your customers like or don’t like and then build your persona out into a real person that you can speak to with valuable content.
Learn how to be a pro at Google Analytics
8) Get Your Content Management Under Control- Content management is sort of like a lawn, it needs constant maintenance, but with good scheduling, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Keeping a content planner, research log, and a good content calendar can help you to manage your content like a pro.
9) If Your Website is A Brand Statement What is it Saying?- Take a long hard look at your website, have some trusted customers take a look, and have your team or a friend take a look as well. What is your website saying? How does it align with the message of your brand? Do the colors, design, and text portray the image you want to give off? What about your offline materials? Are your mailers, brochures, flyers, or coupon books helping you to put your best foot forward?
10) You Need a Content Calendar- A content calendar can help you to keep a good eye on your stream of content to produce a constant flow of valuable content for your customers. Planning ahead for content one, three, six or even twelve months in advance can be invaluable to help you keep on top of your content needs. Planning ahead can also help you to keep on top of your research as well.
We all want to get great clients. After all, great clients make your business both enjoyable and profitable. So how do we get great clients?
Where can I find great clients?
Great clients can be found almost anywhere. Keep your eyes open as you go about your day to day activities for someone who might need your services. When you spot someone, strike up a casual conversation and hand them your card, you never know what might come of it. Clients can often be found online or on freelance platforms as well. Just be sure to check the client reviews and investigate their reputation before signing on with an online client. You could also look for help wanted ads on job boards or you may also find great clients at local networking events. The point really is to know who can use your services before hitting the streets, though.
When can I find great clients?
If your business is seasonal then you may have certain times of the year where clients are more plentiful. Landscapers might want to start signing clients in early spring for lawn mowing, or they might sign on clients in late summer for leaf removal and gutter cleaning in the fall. Other businesses, like tour companies or vacation rentals, may have better luck in the summer as well. Here in the US CPA's can often gather many clients between January and mid-April due to income tax preparation needs.
Who could be a great client?
Develop your buyer persona to learn who your target client population is. Then you'll know exactly who to approach with your services for better sales face. Work to really understand your current clients as well so that you can fulfill their needs and have them make referrals to others that they know who may also be in need of your services.
What makes a great client?
A great client is a client who needs your services, works in an ethical and mature way, and has the ability to pay for your services. Great clients come in many forms so be careful not to judge too hastily. Appearances may be deceiving and you may lose good business by being far too selective. Do try to approach those who could use your services though rather than simply approaching everyone in your area.
How can I close the deal with a great client?
Be respectful of your client's time and show up on time to complete any paperwork. Listen to your client and then be upfront about what you can or can't do with your current skill set as well. Be sure to maintain open communication with your potential clients as well and promote yourself honestly when necessary to keep those clients rolling in.
E-books are a great way to provide something of value to your clients or potential customers. Using ebooks as a free gift to customers when signing up for your newsletters or site is also a great way to gather leads. Learn more about publishing ebooks now!
Why Should I Publish E-Books?
E-books are a great way to get your name out there for free. It allows you to become an expert in your field and helps to show others that you really know what you are doing. They also allow you to provide something of value to current or future clients as well. You can offer these free ebooks as a simple download from your site anytime for individuals who are just browsing, but not ready to sign up for anything. You can also save your juicier materials as thank you gifts for joining your email list or for subscribing to your services.
Where Can I Publish E-Books?
You can publish ebook on:
Is it Free to Publish E-Books?
In most cases yes. I love using Kindle Direct Publishing and it's always free to publish there. I simply upload my book and cover design, set my price (it would be free in this case), and then publish. Readers can find my book through the site itself or I can link back to ebooks in my blog or website as well.
Want to write an ebook for your business, but don't know where to start?
Many business owners are wondering if a Yellow Pages listing is still relevant in 2017. After all with so many other marketing avenues available isn't the yellow pages old news? Maybe...
Who should advertise with Yellow Pages?
Businesses that are looking to build a local following are really the only businesses that need put their advertising dollars into a Yellow Pages ad. However, if you have a very small advertising budget or your business is just starting out, then the Yellow Pages may not be the best option for you due to the time commitment (one year of advertising) and the expense involved could run anywhere from around $700 to $19,000 annually. Local ads are usually less expensive, with national display ads running at the upper extremes of a budget.
Why should you advertise in the yellow Pages?
The Yellow Pages could be a good place for local businesses with a larger advertising budget to spend on these spaces. For smaller businesses, though you may find ads in the local chamber of commerce directories, Google AdWords, lettering or decals for fleet vehicles, or a quick ad on local cable may be a better choice if public access is an option for you. Otherwise, a small ad in your local paper or signs on your business property may help just as much if you are located in a well-traveled area.
When should you advertise in the Yellow Pages?
Advertising in the yellow pages is done at the beginning of the year and you'll be committed to an entire year of display advertising there.
Where should you place your ads if you aren't going to advertise with the Yellow Pages?
Local Business Directories
Signs on Your Property
Local bulletin boards if allowed
Forums in the signature line or in your own email signature (not an ad actually, but still advertisement)
What measures can you take to ensure that your ad budget is being spent wisely?
Spend your budget on the advertising that brings you the most conversions. It's really that simple, but to do that you'll need to keep track of your costs, impressions, clicks, conversions and more. With Yellow Page advertising this can get complicated to keep track of. Google AdWords and similar platforms make measuring your advertising success a breeze by logging each metric for you after you install a small snippet of code on your site.
Have more questions about your marketing needs? Contact us today to put your marketing worries to rest once and for all!
Ah, drop shipping, it looks like the elusive holy grail of e-commerce, but is it? Let's take a look at drop shipping, even the more dark and gruesome aspects, to get a better idea of what drop shipping is all about...and if it could really be a reliable income source.
What is drop shipping?
Drop shipping is the process of offering products in a catalog or other publications (including web pages) and then having customers order them. At this point, the seller will forward shipping fees to the drop shipper and the drop shipper will fulfill the order from their warehouse. Sellers do not maintain inventory, nor are they active in the shipping process.
So what does this all mean?
It means you would theoretically be able to make money with little work and never have to worry about cluttering up your home or office with items that may or may not sell. You also would not have to worry about ordering more products or shipping them on time to customers. You would just need to set up the order area and take the money.
When did drop shipping start?
Drop shipping is as old as catalogs themselves. Specifically, Sears and Roebuck comes to mind. The first publication of their catalog was a small mailer in 1888 and from there the mail order business took off for many companies both in the US and internationally. Drop shipping was in the beginning, as always, designed as a way to reach large numbers of customers with as little effort or cost as possible. This allowed many customers to order products regardless of location and for items to pulled from a warehouse and sent out while companies at the head of these mail order operations kept a large share of the profits.
So how does it work?
Pick your niche-choose a niche that is relevant to you and your interests or the interests of your intended audience.
Find a drop shipper
Sign up for an account and pay any fees associated with working with the company of your choice.
Build your web page, booklet, mailer, etc... to sell your products
Get those orders and take the cash
Pay the drop shipper for the merchandise and shipping
Retain any profits left to use at your discretion
Seems simple doesn't it? It always does...
However, there are many problems that may be encountered when starting or maintaining a drop shipping business.
Picking a niche may be difficult and you will need to do research on the demand for products in your particular niche. As a rule how you choose your niche for drop shipping and the marketing for your drop shipping venture should be based on your knowledge, interests, and abilities. Choose products that you would love to own or that others with your similar interests would like to buy. So if you have a skateboarding niche selling oven mitts probably isn't going to cut it.
Finding a drop shipper may be harder than you think. May have expensive services, hidden fees, or sell merchandise with little room for you to make a profit when you crunch the numbers in the end.
Making a profit may be difficult as mentioned above because many drop shippers may sell products at a marked up price to make a profit leaving little meat on the bone for sellers in the end.
So is drop shipping worth it?
Yes...and no. Yes, drop shipping can be wonderful with a profitable niche, a decent drop shipper, and some good work ethic (there is more work involved than you might imagine). However, drop shipping is not for everyone and it isn't a get rich quick solution. It's also worth it to mention that it may be difficult to make money on sites like eBay due to the marked price of many products and the need to charge shipping when working with a drop shipper. If you are going to drop ship, save yourself some time and get web hosting along with a custom website for your needs.
Selling on your own site gives you more freedom to customize your listings for individual products and tp provide as many images or details as you'd like. Selling outside of traditional platforms can also allow you to make more money to possible make drop shipping a viable option when you see higher profits from your sales. Increasing your profit margin is a must, because otherwise, you may not even break even when it comes to drop shipping. So play it smart when you choose where to sell for maximum profits because we'd all like a bit more change in our pockets.
If you are going to sell on some of the more popular platforms here are some guidelines on how to succeed:
Looking to sell on eBay? Check out this handy drop ship guide!
Is Amazon more your style? Check out this quick guide to drop ship selling in the Amazon marketplace!
Curious about Shopify? Learn more now!
Has anyone ever made money successfully with drop shipping?
Yes, many people have made money with drop shipping, including some large corporations. The key is to know your business, know yourself, and to know your customers. Check out this discussion between some experienced drop shippers to get a better idea of the success rate of drop shipping in the real world.
So you've decided to go ahead with drop shipping, but how do you promote your store?
eBay and Amazon along with other large selling platforms have the advantage of high rates of traffic, but as mentioned above it may be difficult to make a profit. If you've ventured out on your won there are ways to promote your site. The best way is social media. It's free, it's fast, and you can reach tons of people as your following grows. The key to social media marketing is to provide relevant content regularly to your followers and limiting self-promotion to every third tweet or so or post depending on the platform you are interacting with. you may also choose to use a blog, which is a great way to get customers to come to your website and to offer knowledge or advice to them for a valuable user experience. Of course, the content of your website matters too. so keep it clean, targeted, avoid spam, and above all make it interesting.
You could also branch out into to PPC advertising with google AdWords. AdWords is easy to use, easy to budget and can provide a ton of traffic for your site when setup correctly. AdWords works by letting you set a daily budget and then creating ads with keywords targeted to the searches of your audience. Then each time a user clicks you pay a small fee from your daily budget and if no one clicks you don't pay a thing. AdWords also makes it easy to track your conversions to see the effectiveness of your marketing efforts quickly. Not sure how to get started with AdWords? Contact us or check out these great guides from Google to learn more!
Need help promoting your website or building a custom website of your own to call home for your drop-shipping venture? Contact us today to get started with a free quote!
A content retainer is a great option for you to get a great deal while maintaining a stream of fabulous content for your website or blog!
Do you offer a content retainer option?
Yes, we do! Please feel free to contact us anytime to learn more about a custom quote for your content needs. Subscribing for regular content could lower the overall price and keep you ranking well for SEO as well.
Why will a retainer save me money?
Ordering in bulk and regularly allows us to lower our prices a bit with the promise of regular work from our clients. We want to help you save money which is why we usually already work on a per piece rather than a per hour rate.
How do I know if I need a content retainer option?
If you need at least one blog post per week for three months or longer you can sign up and save at least 10% on your content costs. That's a savings of around $16 per month for just one blog per week. It also allows you to focus on running your business rather than your content marketing which takes time and is often stressful for small business owners.
How does it work?
When you sign up you will deliver the blog topics or your list of content needs for each month. We will write blogs, articles, or posts as specified by your schedule. We are also happy to upload this content to your blog at no extra charge to make things even easier for you! Content is always original and is always relevant to your business. We do not spin, keyword stuff, or write with fluff. You'll get quality content every time with no hassles.
Learn more today about our content retainer services!
Getting started with Google Business is easy. In just a few minutes you can have a polished Google Business page that you can be proud of.
You'll need a Google account to get started and a Google + profile preferably. Your Google Business account will be connected to your Google account for easier access as well.
To start go to https://www.google.com/intl/en/business/ and sign up and follow the directions listed there.
You'll be asked to provide some basic information first like your legal business name, address, and phone number of your business.
Next, you'll need to select a category for your business, be as exact as possible to be sure targeted leads are reaching your page. You can choose to add categories here to further refine the results your page appears in.
Now you'll need to tell everybody what your business is about. Speak about your values, services, strengths, and awards or recognitions you've received as well.
Finally, you'll need to snap some pictures! Walk around your business and take pictures of customer areas, team members, and any other areas of interest such as lounges, patios, or portfolios where visitors can relax if applicable.
After about a week you will receive a postcard in the mail at your business address with a unique pin to verify the location of your business and your Google Business listing.
Need help setting up your Google Business page? Contact us today!
Our Unique Approach
Our approach is simple! We return emails and calls from our leads and never cold call. We do not spam and we do not pressure. We want clients to be ready to work with us and build a rapport with us to be comfortable throughout our time together. Meetings are conducted in a casual way by phone or Skype (face to face meetings are rare here for efficiency). Initially, we will chat about your business, your clients, and your current marketing or content challenges. Then we will allow you to pick from our service packages or build a custom package from our individual services listing. We prefer to work by the project to save you money, but hourly rates and retainer rates are available too.
Why do we do what we do?
It's easy! We have seen countless clients come to us with few results after spending hundreds of dollars on other marketing resources. they are frustrated and sometimes feel nervous about working with us after past experiences elsewhere. We strive to be transparent in our work while helping clients to see low spending with high returns on investment. In short, we started this marketing company to bring integrity back to marketing, transparency to business, and the best marketing techniques to clients around the world for explosive growth quickly.
Who is The content Oasis?
We are an independent marketing company founded in 2014 with best practices and integrity in mind. We are inbound marketing and email marketing certified from HubSpot too! We strive to help our customers get the best services for the best value every time. With best practices inbound marketing and content creation expertise, we've helped a variety of businesses around the world and we'd love to help you too!
Your website is the way you present your business to the world online so it's understandable that you'd want to put your best foot forward. So you may be asking should my website be a DIY project?
Well, That all Depends...
Do you have coding experience? If so the sky is the limit if you have the time to devote to the development of your website. If not there are still options such as Joomla, WordPress, or Weebly to name a few, quick note I have no affiliation with these sites or businesses. If you have very little experience online you may want to at least get some assistance or have someone build it for you.
If You Want to Build Your Own Site Then You'll Need a Few Things
First, you'll want to get a domain and hosting. Then you'll want to choose which platform to build your website on. I personally like Joomla best, but other people swear by WordPress. Choose a platform that makes you feel more comfortable with after reading the documentation to the site. Now you're ready to build.
Remember to keep user experience in mind when designing your site. Is the navigation easy to use? Are components of the site working? Do the colors look attractive? Do you have calls to action in the appropriate places? These are all questions that can help you to plan or improve your site for better rankings along with visitor satisfaction.
You'll Also Need Great Content
Don't forget to add valuable content to your site pages, blog, and any other user areas. When creating content be sure it's relevant to your audience and relevant to your business. Share content often and make sure your blog is updated regularly. We'd love to help you with your content development as well so drop us a line if we can.