5 Ways to Get Your Staff to Blog

You’re not the only one with a blogging problem. Here’s how I’m overcoming the problem in the organizations I serve:

1. Separation of duties: keep the writing, editing, picture creation or capture, posting, and promotion processes separate. Even if they are all done by the same person, you’ll get better results if they are all done as separate tasks.

2. Internal interviewing: get staff members to interview other members about the topic and include the best excerpts as quotes in the blog post. This has a secondary effect of getting everyone more invested in the process.

3. Schedule time for blogs: when leadership allows staff to block off time for blogging activities, the results are two-fold. It allows dedicated time to achieve the stated result and let’s the team know that management is aligned with the outcome.

4. Measure the metrics: publicly record and distribute to the team the metrics you want to improve. For example, if you want more blog posts, track “# of blog posts per month”. Replace the metric with whatever element you want to improve.

5. Make it interesting: attribute goals and rewards for stretch goals based on blogging metrics. For example, if “# of blog posts per month” exceeds the stated goal, the team gets to go out for lunch together ‘on the office’ as a fun gift.

Need more tips on blogging for business? Need some help writing blog posts for your business? Email me.

History vs. Story

When a company is asked to provide their story, they typically tell their company’s history, but what people really want is their company’s story. What is the difference between history and story? Let’s look at some examples:

Company History A

Founded by field service experts in 2001, Field Service Management Software offers solutions that enable end-to-end field service operations. Our comprehensive suite of integrated products provides intelligent and automated field service scheduling, partner management and real-time wireless communications for mobile field service resources.

Company History B

Our story starts three years ago with two brothers, two backpacks, and one wild adventure…an adventure that would open their eyes to healthy foods around the world. With their hearts set on exploration, Luke and Matt Geddie ventured through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, and Vietnam with a desire to see and experience everything nature had to provide.

Both of these examples are stories about how the company started. It may be interesting to some, but it fails in one big way: it doesn’t make the reader the hero of the story. Let’s see how we could write it differently:

Company Story A

Originally developed for one of the largest companies in the world, this exclusive software is now available for small business owners like you. Get the power of enterprise-grade field management software you deserve at a price your company can afford.

Company Story B

When her son brought home a new type of coconut oil from Vietnam, she immediately noticed a difference. As a holistic practitioner who understood the power of raw, alkaline foods, she wanted to do everything she could to help other people like her get access to this new type of oil.

History vs. Story

What’s the difference between the ‘company history’ examples and the ‘company story’ examples? When companies are forced to fill out “About Us” pages and description boxes on social media, it’s easy for them to state facts, but what people identify with is stories – but in particular, stories the target market can identify with.

In the first example, the software company is trying to invoke trust by saying they’ve been in business “since 2001”, but in software-years, that’s an eternity and it wouldn’t really matter if they had said “2011”. In the ‘story’ version, the focus is shifted more towards the value that the customer now can access. Something has been unlocked for them, something that’s precious and rare. They are now the hero for recognizing this exclusive opportunity to get “enterprise-grade software” that’s just recently been made available for small business owners like them.

In the second example, the coconut oil company is trying to make the two, young founders be the hero of the ‘company history’ by telling about their exotic travels through Southeast Asia, but this has nothing to do with their typical customer: a holistically-minded mother. In the ‘story’ example, the orientation of the story is flipped to be told from the perspective of the mother, who is more like the target audience. This helps readers identify with the story and they begin to think about how they can be a part of that story – to help spread the word about this new oil.

10 Places to Submit Your eCommerce Product Online

Looking for free publicity for your product? “Cool new product” blogs are one of the best places to do that. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to submit your e-commerce product online:

  1. Shut Up and Take My Moneyhttp://shutupandtakemymoney.com/contact/ – home, kitchen, clothing, tech, gaming, toys, bacon/zombie, beer/wine, random
  2. I Waste So Much Moneyhttp://iwastesomuchmoney.com/submit/ – apparel, fandoms, food and drink, for kids, for men, for pets, for women, gear and gadgets, home and office, nerdy, toys and games
  3. The Awesomehttp://theawesomer.com/suggest-link/ – tech, wearables, leisure, art/design, living, rides, games, lux, music, funny
  4. In Stashhttp://www.instash.com/contact – culture, tech, gear, living, rides, style
  5. The Manualhttp://www.themanual.com/contact-us/ – fashion and style, living, food and drink, travel, grooming, and guides for men
  6. Cool Huntinghttp://www.coolhunting.com/contact-us – design, technology, style, travel, art and culture
  7. Gear Patrol – http://gearpatrol.com/ (email tips@gearpatrol.com) – cars, culture, design, drinks, eats, sports and outdoors, style, tech, travel, and watches
  8. Gear Hungry – http://gearhungry.com/ (email gearhungry@gmail.com) – gear, tech, style, gadgets, food and drink, sports and outdoors
  9. Thrillsthttp://www.thrillist.com/contact – food and drink, travel, recipes
  10. Outblushhttp://www.outblush.com/contact/ – fashion, beauty, home, life
  11. Uncratehttp://uncrate.com/contact/ – gear, style, cars, tech, vices, body

What’s an Example Email to Send Potential Bloggers?

Hey [name]!

I saw your recent post about [subject related to yours]. I’m a huge fan of your work and thought you might be interested in learning more about our product.

I sell [product] and people love it. You can check it out here: [link]

If you’d be interested in hearing more about it, let me know. You can reach me at [phone number] if you have any questions. I think your readers would love to try our product as well.

I’d be more than happy to send a sample your way as well :)

Talk to you soon,

[your name]
[contact info]
[website url]

5 Hints for Getting Potential Bloggers to Cover Your Product

  • Have an intriguing email subject that gets their attention and makes them want to open your email immediately.
  • Include a phone number they can reach you at in case they have any questions. This adds legitimacy.
  • Offer a product sample, even if you have to pay for it.
  • Add some personality to your email. Be yourself.
  • Follow up after a week if they haven’t responded.

How to Get More Followers on Periscope: 5 Ways

Periscope is the new video streaming service from Twitter. It lets you stream video live from your smartphone to anyone with the app or via their website (if published).

But how do you get more viewers to watch your Periscopes?

  1. Make a title that intrigues people to watch (definitely don’t leave it blank)
  2. Make sure the “Twitter Post” icon is selected when you’re starting a new Periscope
  3. Encourage or incentivize people to like the Periscope by tapping the screen
  4. Follow more people on Periscope. Like Twitter, they may follow you back
  5. Instead of making it public, choose the private option and invite specific people to watch

Periscope Followers

How can brands use Periscope for marketing?

  • Have a celebrity “take over” the company Periscope for a live broadcast
  • Showcase company culture & the people behind the brand
  • Live Q&A sessions and instant feedback
  • Sneak peeks and teasers
  • Build and interact with community

How are you using Periscope? Got any tricks or tips for use? It’s still a relatively new program so I’m sure there will be more new features and announcements to come, but for now, get as big a following as you can!

Beginner Business Blogging

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is about educating potential customers over time, gaining trust, and establishing credibility. It does this by creating knowledgeable, interesting, and shareable content of value to the reader.

Content marketing is the act of creating stories to promote your business. Every blog post, tweet, or email you send out is an asset your business now uses as part of it’s overall marketing platform.

Once a blog post is created it can be repurposed, cross-referenced, or re-used in a variety of different ways. For example, a blog post could be summarized in an email, and then further summarized into a tweet. In the same way, a series of blog posts can be strung together as a white paper, a special report, or an ebook. Images created for blog posts can be pinned to Pinterest or used in a Slideshare.

What-is-Content-Marketing

As the business owner or expert in your field, you have acquired a ton of knowledge about your craft – that’s very valuable information and people will look to you for insight. Content marketing is a way to educate and help your clients and potential clients – all while boosting your profile and enhancing the value of your product.

Why Building a Platform for Your Business is Important

Let’s say you’ve just developed an awesome new product or service and you want to let the world know about it. How would you do it?

You could pay to put the message out in a newspaper or magazine, you could post it on Facebook and pay to have it promoted, or you could publish it to your own platform for free.

Why-Business-Platforms-are-Important

A “platform” is the collection of business resources you own for the purpose of promoting your business. The central hub of this collection is your website, but primarily, your blog.

If you were to build a house, would you build it on rented land? Your best assets should be built on your own platform, not one someone else runs. Those other sites can point back to the blog.

That’s why having a blog is so important. It’s a critical part of your overall marketing platform. It serves as the hub for all social media, email marketing, and other promotional activities.

In other words, your blog is kind of like your business itself, and should reflect it.

Why Do I Teach Business Owners About Blogging?

I believe that blogging is the single most important thing a business can do to gain more customers, streamline internal processes, and grow the business. But why do we teach it?

Business owners create jobs that help people take care of their families. Our mission is to help people make more money and the best way we can do this is by helping businesses grow.

Why-Do-We-Teach-Business-Blogging

I have worked with large and small companies. I understand what it’s like to be just starting out and what it’s like to grow as an established company.

I also understand how powerful stories can be to communicate your company’s value to current and prospective clients and how blogging does that while building a community around your business. The best way to tell great stories is to have great stories and we want to help businesses and business owners share how great their story can be.

I’ve taken our shared experiences in helping businesses manage people, processes, technology, and marketing to take your business to the next level – whatever that level may be.