Viewing entries tagged
cooperative content

9 Ways To Generate Traffic Without Building More Content

Just because you're too busy to blog doesn't mean your blog has to lose momentum. Here are 9 ways to generate traffic to your website without building new content.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever been busier than I am right now...which is why I’ve only posted one blog in the past few weeks. I’m making an international move, speaking at MojoCon Ireland and am booked up with a handful of exciting training sessions.

So, it’s been difficult to sit down long enough to write a super useful post, but I have just recently been inspired by my own insanity. Sometimes life gets in the way of building new content, but it’s sucks to lose momentum as followers unfollow, website metrics go down and your brand starts fading into distant digital memories.

During these past couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to come up with content to share without making anything new. But, as the busyness subsides, my creativity is coming back to me! Next time life gets crazy, I’m absolutely going to do these 10 things to maintain traffic and top-of-mind.

Curate The Content Of Others

Although this doesn't brand YOU as well as original content would, it still allows you to provide value to your audience. From sharing helpful stuff on social media to curating newsletters and whitepapers, simply save stuff as you come across it.

My favorite method right now is saving content from Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit and Feedly to Buffer. When a post inspires action that I don’t have time to take immediately, I save it to Pocket and add it to my to-do list on Asana later.

It’s also a great way to establish good will and get on the radar of ideal audience members and your awesome idols, which brings me to…

Partnerships: Formal Or Otherwise

These days, everyone is talking about formal affiliate plans to cross promote products and services, but not every partnership needs to be formal. Sometimes a simple give-take relationship on social media can go really far. It’s also a wonderful starting point for guest posting opportunities or podcast appearances when things or a little less busy.

Multiply The Content You Already Have

Chances are, you already have some awesome content. Turn a tip into a shareable image with Pablo or Canva. Clip a quote out of a video to share on Instagram or Vine. Turn a top 10 list post into an infographic for Pinterest or a Slideshare. Take some of those outtakes and turn it into a behind-the-scenes video. There are plenty of ways to breathe new life into your older content.

Create An E-Book From A Series Of Blog Posts

Chances are you have a full series of helpful blogs already written. Turn them into a list overview blog post with a download link for your e-Book. You could even sell it on Amazon, BookBub, Book Gorilla and AppSumo.

Original Social Content

Just because you don’t have time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard doesn’t mean you don’t have tons of tips floating around in your head. Hop on Periscope of Facebook live to give a mini-webinar.

Take it a step further by giving your followers an exclusive link to one of your related content upgrades, too.

Guest Blog Posts

If you’ve invested some time into 1 or 2, you have some relationships you can rely on. Ask people you respect for guest blog posts, or solicit them on social media.

Just be sure you have a way to "add value" for them. Maybe choose people who are 1 or 2 steps behind you but have a brand that jives with yours (without competing directly) and ask them to share their insight.

Guest Interviews

In my opinion, this is perhaps even better than a guest blog post because it only takes 20 or 30 minutes to provide a lot of value—and it’s a smaller commitment for your guest, so you’re more likely to get the ‘yes.’ You can post it to SoundCloud as audio-only, or record the video and post it to YouTube, as well.

You even have an easy content upgrade—a transcript! And it might not even take you any of your own time to create it—the app, Rev, charges $1 a minute to do transcribe for you. You also have the bonus distribution from your guest. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Expert Round-Ups

Take to Twitter and ask 10 experts what their favorite app, tool, tip or quote is. Take 20 minutes to fill in the blanks, pull together bios from their Twitter profiles and post it to your blog. Not only was it exceptionally simple, but you’ll also have 10 more people to share your blog when it’s complete.

(And, you've established some new relationships for options 2, 6 and 7.)

Post To Communities & Forums

Take time to answer peoples’ questions on Facebook groups, Twitter chats, Reddit and Quora. You’ll help people by briefly sharing your knowledge, and (depending on the rules) you could even link to previous posts that are directly relevant.


About The Author

Hey, I'm Sarah!

I love teaching online business bosses to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for?

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.


The 7 Files I Always Keep On My Phone (For Content Marketing on the Go)

filesonyourphone.jpg

When you’re a solopreneur, you often get to see every detail of your business—from the innovation process, to selling your services or products, to watching your customers succeed. Every step of the way is a story.

I work with a lot of large companies that are implementing a more agile content marketing strategy—one that’s based more on the moment than ever before. For once in marketing, the big guys are trying to do what the little guys like us could do all along—be there for all the small details so they can share them to show their humanity AND their expertise online.

If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you know that I love to turn every thing we do into an opportunity to create cool content, from videos to fun gifs to memes—and I love to do it all (or as much as I can) using just my iPhone.

But to do that, there are some consistent branding tools I like to have on my phone at all times so I can quickly check that everything I do fits my brand’s colors, fonts, message and goals. Here are the seven files I keep on my iPhone at all times to produce cool content really quickly on the go.

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My Logo

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many solopreneurs don’t keep a copy of their logo readily available. And I know the frustration of not having one when I need it. Try having to cobble together a video intro with a 72 pixels-per-inch screenshot of your logo! Don’t be that person.

Instead, I like to keep a handful of high quality logos on my phone always.

  • One transparent PNG version in my signature dark gray
  • One transparent PNG version in white
  • One gray version on a white 16:9 background
  • One white version on a dark 16:9 background
  • One transparent PNG version of my brand icon (the colorful circle)

With these five versions of my logo, I’m ready for anything that comes my way. I can quickly add my icon to blog images, I can watermark my original photography, or I can add branded introductions to the videos I produce on my phone. Not to mention, if someone needs my logo in a pinch, I can air drop it to them in just a few seconds.

Calls To Action

I produce a lot of videos between meetings, on airplanes, or generally in inconvenient places.

For example, whenever I do a training session that requires travel, I find that the plane ride home is a great time to produce a testimonial video about the training. Depending on how far I’ve traveled, I can usually produce the testimonial video and handful of direct-to-social promotional videos.

No matter what video I’m producing, I always like to add a call to action at the end.

Videos have an exceptionally high conversion rate, compared to any other medium. For example, landing pages with video have up to 800 percent higher conversions than the same page without video. And people who watch videos are 85 percent more likely to buy, 144 percent more likely to add it to their card, and 52 percent more confident in their product purchase.

Landing pages with video have up to 800 percent higher conversions than the same page without video.

Once someone has invested their time into your video, they’re primed for the next step. Make the ask! What do you want them to do? Follow you on social media? Sign up for your newsletter? Make a purchase?

The most common calls to action I use are:

  • Share the video on social media
  • Follow us on social media
  • Join the newsletter
  • Buy a course
  • Book a training
  • Book me as a speaker

As my aunt always said, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Get.”

Brand Style Guide

Trying to guess your brand colors never works out. So, I always try to keep the things I expect to need close at hand, including my brand colors, fonts and patterns.

I also keep any style guides for sub-brands I’m working on, too. I always like to know what I’m going for so I can be sure everything on-brand.

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Royalty-Free Music

Although many video apps come with stock music for you to use, it’s important to note that most of it isn’t licensed for commercial (i.e., your business) use. To play it safe, I always keep stock music I’ve purchased on my phone to quickly add to my videos.

Music can quicken the pace of your videos, it can make people feel specific emotions. Use it to your advantage! Here are a few places I like to look for stock music:

  • Audiojungle
  • Incompetech
  • ccMixter
  • Beatpick

Evernote

You never know when inspiration will strike. Some of my best blog posts were written in just a few minutes when inspiration hits me. It’s always easier to write when you’re in the right mood.

Use Evernote to never miss out on those moments. Keep track of blog ideas, blog outlines, anecdotes and more. 

Asana

This is a new addition for me, but I am quickly beginning to wonder what I ever did without it. It’s easy to track your projects and to do lists for a variety of big picture goals.

So, you want to update your site? Tick off each item as you accomplish it, and keep track of upcoming deadlines and recurring projects. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Calendar

I used to be a pen-and-paper person, but I’ve seen the other side and I like it. If you’re still clutching to your paper planner like it’s 1995, at least start scheduling your annual events, like birthdays, doctors appointments, domain renewals and more.

You’ll quickly realize how keeping this info on your phone and at your fingertips can save you time and keep you organized.

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About The Author

Hey, I'm Sarah! I love teaching online business bosses to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for? Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Year of Cooperative Content

content marketing, blogging, branding

The summer after my freshman year of college, I returned to my hometown for an internship at an advertising agency. To subsidize the unpaid internship, I picked up my part-time job from high school at Sonic, the fast food restaurant.

After bringing extra Sonic burgers to the agency for probably the fifth time, my boss asked me, “Don’t you hate being around the same food you spend 20 hours every week making?”

To me, that question was absurd. I really did believe Sonic was the best fast food restaurant—where else could you have your drink one of nearly half a million different ways?—and I vehemently told him so! I guess I drank the Kool-Aid—or, limeade, in this instance.

“If every employee everywhere had that mentality, we’d all be out of a job,” my boss remarked, mostly joking.

With 78 percent of CMOs thinking custom content is the future of marketing, its estimated that $135 billion was spent on new content in 2014, up from $118.4 in 2013.

With a burgeoning focus on content marketing, its estimated that companies reliance on existing employees’ help generating content will continue to grow.

According to Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, 2015 will be “The Year of Cooperative Content.” Yes, I’m talking about insourcing.

“[It] will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways,” he says. “The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers.”

But why?

  • First of all, it takes a village! Think of the blogs you follow—if they aren’t being updated with fresh content, adiós!
  • It provides a creative outlet. Employees often find meaningfulness in creative work, which can increase work satisfaction and engagement, as well as employee performance and retention.
  • Each and every employee at your company has something useful to share with your audience. If not, why are they there at all?
  • In many instances, your employees (and existing customers, for that matter) are already your biggest cheerleaders. They show up every day to promote and propel your message, your goal and your brand.

But just as any good leader knows, you must empower your employees to succeed. So what can you do to get your brand’s cheerleaders ready for the big game?

  • Make sure your employees understand what makes a good story...And help them identify stories worth spreading.
  • Consider hiring a content editor to maintain the “Culture of Content,” and provide a sounding board and supportive environment for employees as they learn this new set of skills.
  • Take into consideration what each employee might be best at and most interested in producing. The guy who listens to NPR at his desk all day may be interested in creating podcasts or audio slideshows. The woman down the hall with the stellar Instagram might love to incorporate that into her daily routine at work.
  • Give them the tools and knowledge to create the content you want, whether that’s blog posts, videos or something entirely new. If they don’t know what you’re looking for and how to accomplish it, chances are your “opt-in” content creators will quickly get frustrated and opt out.
  • Collect feedback. What can you do to make the process better? Which content most resonated with them and their friends and family? Basically, what’s working and what isn’t working.