Here is something different for the blog! Recently i appeared on the "Thriving Launch" podcast with Luis Congdon and Kamala Chambers. We ended up having a great conversation and I shared a lot of cool Twitter strategies you might not know about. Click below to listen.
Recently, a member of my online community, The Front Row posted a question that received such amazing tips, tools, and feedback that I wanted to make sure and capture it all and share it with the world at large! (Here’s the original thread.)
I’m looking for some advice on something that's really getting me down. Basically, I need to learn to write faster! I tend to be the slow and fastidious type when it comes to writing, both for myself and for my clients, but struggling to produce a single blog post in a day is harming my profitability and stopping my business from growing further. Does anyone have any advice please?
Batch writing! Writing several pieces in one sitting/in a row, rather than trying to write one a day? Also "writing prompts" can be very helpful -- just to get your mind flowing. If you are writing about a specific industry, try journaling/brainstorming a list of topics and then break each topic down into different ideas. Also, just old-fashioned story telling works -- sharing personal stories, defining moments in career, hurdles overcome, crazy things on the journey, etc are always a hit -- people love to read about other people's stories. Give yourself permission to free-flow write -- a lot of it will be junk, but you will find the treasures in there too!!! http://www.serped.com/client-blog-post-ideas/1903
Contributed by April Adams Pertuis
Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft (maybe using April's ideas above for prompts, batch writing, etc). Print out what you've written, read for clarity and punch, and edit.
I'm suspecting you are putting undo stress on yourself by thinking you are letting your audience down and ultimately hurting your credibility and bottom line. If you write out of stress and anxiety- it shows. It sounds to me like you would benefit by resetting your expectations of your blog to something realistic so that you can work on other higher priorities. Chin up. There's only 24 hrs in a day and 12 of them are reserved for your personal strength. Yes?
Contributed by Colette Noelle Micrae
Recording yourself talking almost always reduces the stress, gets ideas flowing, and gives you a ton of material to revise and edit later. A key to making this work is not to try to edit or revise as you speak. Just talk and record. Also Dragon dictation, Google Voice, or Evernote recorder can help, too..
Contributed by Marnie Ginsberg
Repurpose. Write it. Take out lines and make great quotes. Write a riveting intro for people to click to read the rest. Can you make 5 ways to do this or 7 ways to do that out of it? Break it out. Squeeeeeeze all the juice out of it you can. Write a blog about getting stuck. Repurpose the heck out of it. Share your solutions and continued challenges. Another trick I have is I write my rough and leave it. Then I might another 2 or 3. I give it a good day. Then I go back. Give myself 20 mins on it and break again. Over and over I come back, until it's either complete or I become more inspired. Something about the limited time and upcoming break helps.
Contributed by Isabelle Baker
Next time someone does something nice for you, make mental notes on how you would tell this story to a child or someone with a very short attention span. If you only have a few minutes to make your point and get to the "feel good" punch line, you'll have to be brief. When you edit, make sure that most of the story is about the person and the kind act. It’s best to start at the end of your content by asking the question, “What is the main purpose of this piece of content?” Once you know the purpose of your content, for every sentence you write, ask yourself this question, “Am I going off track and confusing my reader, or is this sentence helping achieve my content goal?” When you know the ultimate goal of your content, you’ll find yourself writing both faster and better. (Source: http://www.influencewithcontent.com/writing-engaging.../ )
Contributed by Brian Lee Rouley
I do a lot of outdoor activities (walking, running, biking, dog play) and find that some of my best "writing" happens when I'm in motion. I don't make any record of it, analog or digital, but rather just rough out main points in an outline in my head. Key phrases tend to get memorized easily too. I think anyone can benefit from this, as I think it's not a gift but rather a craft. Just the other day, columnist Connie Schulz had a nice post about walking, thinking, and writing
Contributed by Tony Ramos
Anytime I'm stuck, I go to my dragon (google voice works too) and start talking thru what I want to say - sometimes I start with " I'm trying to explain XX and I'm having trouble - here's what I wish I could get people to understand ... talk it thru. Then I leave it alone for a couple of hours (or a day if deadlines permit) and go back to reframe and edit. It works. Also - HUGE fan of SFD - it's the only way you're going to get words out of your head some days.
Contributed by Phyllis Stubblefield Nichols
Start with the single thought that guides all your storytelling and strengthens the conclusion. Divide it into three blocks, to make it simple for you to write and the others to read. Make three titles and subtitles first, that are explanatory and interesting. Then comes the central text. The first one is "intro block", where you may start with one strong phrase that describes and intrigues at the same time and contains also your keywords. Like saying something about the issue and then start with a question. In the intro, you can make three phrases, not more. The second block gives more details and you can make the list of terms that you will use to explain it deeper (bullet points). The third block is the conclusion that has at the end the call to action. You can use also the self-explanatory images for each block. If you start with this simple structure, it will help you to take out the "image" you want the others "see" and "accept" about something. Imagine you have a friend who would like to know "what happened". Just like that. Once you have this "habit" to take out the structure, you can work on formats. And this way will help you to shorten your time and finish the article in max few hours. (Put some good music on while writing.)
Contributed by Valerija Brkljac
What are you best tips? I'd love to know. Comment below or send me a message.
Other posts on this topic you might find helpful:
Social Media Marketing World 2017 was absolutely incredible! We talked about everything. We talked about live streaming, Facebook ads, blogging, chat bots, artificial intelligence and every social media channel that there is. And I'm excited to give you a rundown of all the most important stuff. And I'm gonna cover all of that with you in this rundown. But what I really want to focus on is Facebook messenger and messaging apps.
(TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO ABOVE) The most exciting thing that I took away from Social Media Marketing World 2017 was information about chat bots and Facebook Messenger. Let me explain. First of all, when I talk about Facebook Messenger and chat bots, I'm always going to be talking about it in regard to your business page on Facebook, not your personal profile. So here we are on my Facebook page and I'm going to go into "settings." And what Facebook has had for a while, in their settings that a lot of people didn't know about is that for quite awhile you've been able to set up automated responses. So if someone messages your page, you'd been able to set up an autoresponder. Mine used to say "Hey. This isn't the best way to connect with me. Hop onto my email so I don't miss whatever it is you want to talk to me about." And that served me well for a time. But a whole new world has opened up. Let me explain.
I'm going to go over to a third-party app called ManyChat. Go ahead and purchase it right now. Its about $10 a month; worth every penny when you see what this bad boy does. So as you can see I have 15 subscribers. What does that mean. These are 15 people who have opted in to my messenger, they have messaged my page and engaged with me. There are only 15 because I just started this yesterday.
The next thing I want to show is this. This is a broadcast I sent to everyone who is a subscriber, and I want you to see the "open rates." As you can see, there is a 100% open rate. This is revolutionary. This is what almost made me fall off my chair when I watched this presentation by Molly Pittman who works for Digital Marketer. She showed and explained to us that currently messaging apps have now surpassed social media when you look at the world at large. Like in Asia, most people do everything inside messaging apps. Everything- schedule their doctor's appointments, buy their groceries, interact with their bank accounts; everything. And we're heading in that direction as well. People find it more convenient to be in a messaging app. So we don't have to click away and open up our messy inboxes over on email. So that sort of explains why we're getting these huge open rates. And what this app allows you to do is basically allows you to send out sequences (I'm going to go to "sequences" then "sample sequence." This is something that they've setup). And as you can see, just like with an email service provider like Convertkit, Click Funnels or any of them, you can send out an automated messaging sequence and because its popping up in someone's messenger, they're definitely more likely to engage with you. I want to say right here, right now, that I know people are going to abuse this and this isn't going to be soon enough. Like people are going to abuse this, and we're going to get super annoyed with pitch messages. But I don't know about you but I'm not going to use this for pitches 95% of the time. I'm going to use this to really have some nice, genuine and FUN engagement with my audience.
Now, the thing is, you can only message your people who have messaged your page. So ManyChat has these growth tools that allow you to do some really cool things. So if I click on Facebook comments what I'm telling ManyChat is, I created a post on my Facebook page that ask people to engage. So it says "Hey I need your input. What email service provider do you use?" 22 people responded. And then, when they respond, they get this message: "Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm doing a little research. Let me know the size of your email list." And I gave them 3 choices A, B and C. And then they would type the answer below. Once they do that inside your messenger, they are now a subscriber. And they're notified accordingly and ManyChat also let's them know they can unsubscribe at any time but that's how they become a subscriber. So this is one way that you can grow your list of subscribers using ManyChat.
The other thing that is really, really exciting involves Facebook advertising inside of Messenger. So you can advertise inside of Messenger but what I like is this. I'm going to go to Ads Manager on Facebook. And I've already set up an ad, and its a little video (which by the way, you can now put video gifs as a video ad inside of Facebook) which says "Message me." And this is what it looks like. There would be a bunch of texts above. "So this is text. This is where my comments go." And its populating over there on the right. So you'll be able to see. This is what the ad looks like which really looks like any other ad you see. The difference is here. You see the button that says "Send Message"? When people click on that, its going to take them into your messenger and then you get to engage with them or have your bot engage with them.
Now finally, I'm going to go back to ManyChat and show you some pretty incredible things. So this is a broadcast that I sent. Its just a silly little broadcast that I did to demonstrate ManyChat's capabilities. So it says "Hey [First Name] (because of course you can customize this) I'm recording a tutorial on how to use all the cool new features on Facebook Messenger with ManyChat. If you have a second please reply with the emoji that best describes your day so far. Here's mine, which is a smiley face. So I gave them the option to say "Sorry. No time." And if they click that, then they get this message: "No worries. I completely understand." Or if they the smiley face, they going to get this automated response: "Yay! I'm glad your day is going well." And if they do the poop emoji, then I'm going to say "Uh oh. I hope your day gets better. Anything I can do to help?" No one, I noticed, clicked that.
So let's go ahead and create a broadcast so I can show you a couple of these options. So I can say "What's your favorite social channel?" And then maybe here. So the first button is Facebook (and I can also include a picture there if I want, or a video or an audio to go with that message). Let me just grab something so you can see. If they click that, then I am going to reply with this message. I can either write something, open a website or call a phone number. So I am going to create a message and say "I love Facebook too." Have you seen my latest free training?" Then I can add a file or I can add a video to that free training. Or I can add a PDF or I can put a sales page or take them to a lead page. So many options. I hopefully light bulbs are going off all above your head right now with all the possibilities that are in store for you with ManyChat. Essentially, what ManyChat allows you to do is create your own chat bot. This is just the beginning of this chat bot world that we're entering and I've said it a million times already in this short training but I am super duper excited about it.
The next big topic as you can imagine at Social Media Marketing World was Facebook Ads. In fact, Facebook ads was such a popular topic that Social Media Marketing World had to turn away hundreds of people from each of these sessions because there just wasn't enough space for everybody who wanted to come in and listen. So my takeaway from our session, with Rick Mulready, a Facebook ads expert were that we should experiment using vertical video in our video ads on Facebook because what will happen is when people watch your ad on mobile, which most of them will, it takes up their whole phone screen. So I definitely made a note of that. And he's the one who let us know that you can use animated gifs in a video ad. He also pointed out, which I have overlooked, which I think is a great idea, that you can upload several videos for one ad and create a video carousel. We've always been able to do that with pictures but now we can do it with videos and he said that's a great way to use your video testimonials. So if you're launching a course, and you have 4 or 5 video testimonials you can put that with your ad. I thought that was a great idea.
Then the John Loomer sessions, was phenomenal! John Loomer is also a Facebook Ads expert. I would say he probably goes more deeply into the nitty gritty of Facebook ads than just about anybody else out there. And he basically said the number one reason why our Facebook ads don't do well is usually because of targeting. And he reminded us that we can now create custom emails inside Facebook based on just about anything you can imagine. From people who visit your website or different pages of your website to any kind of specific engagement that they take on our Facebook pages whether they click on an ad or engage in an ad in some way, whether they comment or share or whether they save your ad or page or save a post that you've written and any interaction with any video that you have on your page. Do that now. He also pointed out that launching Facebook ads to a cold audience is not a good long term plan. Obviously our ads do better with a warm audience. And so we have to create those warm audiences especially if we don't have big email lists or a lot of people liking our Facebook page. And so doing these custom audiences is a way of doing warm audiences. Then he pointed out "not all warm audiences are the same." I know in my own advertising, I will post an ad to my warm audience, period. But he says "There are different degrees of warm audiences." So if you're considering people who watch your videos for 10 seconds the same amount of warm as someone who's been on your email list for 2 years, you're wrong. They're completely different. You might want to consider talking to them, or showing them different content. The people who know you really well don't need an introduction to you. But the people who saw your video for 10 seconds, they might need to be introduced to you and your brand.
Livestreaming. This was another one of those topics/sessions that were just jammed pack at Social Media Marketing World. And my takeaways there are a couple of things. Rick Mulready reminded us that Facebook likes it because users like watching live stream. So if people comment and engage with your live stream. It tells Facebook "Hey, this is good content." So they're going to reward you handsomely for that. So remember, when you're streaming to ask people to comment. Give them multiple choice questions and ask them to put the answer in the chat box, really encourage them to engage with you during your live stream.
And then finally, Chalene Johnson. She's a health nut/guru for years. She used to do infomercials and she was part of "Beach Body" and now she's really a marketing expert and she just gave a fantastic, off-the-chain closing keynote. It was full of energy and funny! But what was really great was that she was sharing her experience as an infomercial person and that they launched this infomercial not too long ago for her latest workout video called PIYO, I think. And, it BOMBED. And they had spent well over a million dollars producing it. So she went to the company and said "Hey, let me film this, on my iPhone and do some live streaming and let's see what happens. Well, you know, the rest is history. It sold like crazy. And she was talking about how when she sells anything on live streaming which isn't very often (she's not always selling) but if she's got a program or something she uses what she calls the "infomercial formula." I'm not going to go through every step of her formula here but I will list it down below. But its sort of like 15 or 16 things you want to hit on to sell most effectively if you are promoting something. One thing I really appreciated is when she said "Go slowly when you present your offer." Which really made sense because so many of us rush through our offer because we're uncomfortable in that space of selling. But what she said was a really good point. When you're buying something, and you've stuck around that far into the broadcast to get the offer that means you're considering the offer and if you're considering purchasing something, don't you really want to know all the features and everything that's included? The answer is YES- at least it is for me!
Chalene Johnson's Infomercial Live Streaming Formula
- Grab them in the 1st 10 secs of broadcast
- Establish your expertise position
- Detail the problem
- What you figured out
- How you figured out solution (like they do on Shark Tank)
- The possibility (testimonials)
- Why is it unique? Your USP
- What, in detail, is this? Go slowly! (Show the course)
- Price comparison "You can go to Harvard and spend 200k or you can sign up for this course" or, does it save people time?
- Why act now?
- Proof of concept (testimonials)
- Reduce risk (guarantee)
- Call to action
- Walk them through the process step by step: "after you click the purchase button, you will be taken to a log in page..."
In the world of blogging, content marketing, and online entrepreneurship, sometimes one of the biggest challenges we face is trying to figure out WHAT TO TALK ABOUT.
I know I’m not the only one who has spent the better part of a morning staring at a blinking cursor on a computer screen and feeling discouraged. It happens.
When I’m really stuck, I have a go-to list of exercises and resources and I’m going to share those with you today (Make sure to download the comprehensive cheatsheet and workbook below.)
Amazon (the Bestsellers section and the Most Wished For categories — just make sure you drill down!) Look in the comments for questions that might help you.
Answer the Public http://answerthepublic.com/
Portent Idea Generator https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker
Take a peek at what’s trending on YouTube (type in your topic) https://trends.google.com/trends/hotvideos
Graphiq Search (alternative to Google Squared)
Dummies Research (what topics have they published books on?)
Alexa (specifically their Top Sites by Category)
Social Bearing (a search engine powered by tweets)
Also search on Google:
[topic/niche] +forum (example)
[topic/niche] +discussion (example)
[topic/niche] +community (example)
[topic/niche] +blog (example)
And of course, Twitter. Even if you are not a big Twitter user, when it comes to looking for ideas, it’s a gold mine and worth having an account if only for that purpose. Here’s what to do: (watch the video)
The very best way to come up with great ideas is to ask your audience. Even if your audience is very very small. Pick up the phone and call a customer or client and ask them what they want to know! Yes, the good old fashioned telephone works wonders!
If you have a list of ideas, but you just aren’t feeling motivated, you might be a little burned out. It happens to the best of us. No matter how passionate you may be about your business, some days are just blue days and it’s hard to get excited. On days like this, acknowledge what is happening and trust that the fire in your belly will return. In the interim, WALK AWAY for a little bit.
Work on something completely different, such as:
E-learning. Catch up on that online course you never finished.
Podcasts. Go for a walk and listen to a podcast that is outside of your niche. Find something inspiring.
Ted Talks. Listen to a random Ted Talk. These are marvelous for inspiration.
Listen to music.
Read a book (again, outside of your niche.)
Organize your workspace.
What do you do when you need a little motivation? I’d love to know. Reply below or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org