Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Crock Pot Marketing: A fix to and forget it appraoch to online marketing

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Marketing is the bane of most entrepreneurs existence. On one hand it is necessary to communicate with your potential customer base while on the other hand it can be an incredible time suck taking you away from the business of running your business. It needs to be done and as the business owner you are the ideal person to get potential customers the info they need, so what is the answer? I can name that tune in one note…Automation.

Marketing, Marketing, Will Robinson

Ok, so maybe Robbie the robot is not exactly the type of automation we are talking about here but a factory analogy is not too far off. Think about it, the key to marketing (once you have figured out your message and the best way to present it of course) is messaging consistently over time to your potential customer base. The problem that most entrepreneurs face is the same issue that plagued the manufacturing industry in years past, volume. And how did manufacturers resolve the issue? Automation. So why not apply a similar principle to your marketing efforts? I know I am not making an apples-to-apples comparison here but you get the idea. It is all about having the time to generate the appropriate volume whether it be physical product or marketing content. We have established that the key to marketing is the number of touches (and no, not bad touches) you make with a potential client over time but just because you want to connect with them on an ongoing basis does not mean that you have to come back next week at the same bat-time and same bat-channel to bang out more brilliant insights. It is hard enough for entrepreneurs to get into a marketing frame of mind for their own business (even if that is what they do for others) so why not maximize that time when lightning strikes and begin filling a crock pot with marketing gems so you can set it to cook slowly, releasing your brilliance as it heats over the course of an automated campaign?

Recipes for Success

Ok, now you are sold. You know you can count on one or two good days each quarter when you can not only concentrate on marketing your company but you are actually interested in doing it. You have the ingredients, now all that is left is to find the right appliance to turn your marketing recipe into the culinary masterpiece you know it to be. So what are the Consumer Reports best buys for automated marketing:

Blog
One of the easiest ways to automate your marketing efforts is through Scheduled blog posting.  Blog platforms often allow you to set a date and time for your postings to go live. WordPress is especially good at this. You can hack out 10 blog draft blog postings and then schedule them to go live at the date and time of your choosing. This allows you to sit down on that one day a quarter and get it all out, all of the industry innovations, customer epiphanies and other nuggets of brilliance related to your business that have been building up but you had not been able to release to the wild. Then once you have extracted every last drop of insight, you can go through and set your wisdom to a slow drip so its magic fingers will touch your clients as regularly as possible. So then you can get back to the business of running your business secure in the knowledge that even though you are not even thinking about marketing anymore, your clients are receiving the benefit of your experience. And once your marketing build up reaches a critical level again you can just rinse and repeat to reset the circle of life.

Email
Email can work in much the same way with the added benefit of your appliance restarting itself for each new subscription so each individual feels the magic fingers at the exact same rate and in the exact same order no matter when they turned on the heat. How does this miracle appliance work you ask? The simple answer is “AutoResponder”. Now I know what you are thinking, “hey, wait a minute, that is what I set when I go on vacation, how can that possible fulfill the promise that you have laid out?” But worry not, the name might be the same but the function is drastically different. Email providers like MailChimp, aWeber or even a more involved service like 1ShoppingCart allow you to set up serialized  autoresponders that run as a result of a subscription to a given email list. These autoresponders generally allow you to set up multiple emails as well as a time delay from the initial subscription so that they can be sent in the order you want them received and with the appropriate time delay between each so your touches can trickle out at the proper rate.

Social Media
Social Media content distribution can also be automated  as an additional prong in your email and/or blogging efforts. Most blogging platforms and email providers offer options for direct social media integration so as soon as your blast of radiance hits your blog or email system, the same information can be immediately distributed to your different social media outlets like Facebook, and Twitter allowing you to magnify your audience all while you are focusing your time on servicing existing customer and business needs.

The bottom line is that through small time commitments and simple automation, entrepreneurs can effectively market themselves without sacrificing the business they are trying to build in the process.

5 Easy ways to Stress Free business blogging

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Everyone who has a business blog (and whose business is not blogging) has the same issue, content. You got into business to do what you do best not write about it but in order for others to know about it, you need to get them to your site. To get them to your site you need to enhance your SEO. The best way to enhance your SEO is regular content updates and the easiest way to regularly update your content is with your blog. Everyone knows they should be blogging but figuring out what to write about is not only a huge source of stress, but sometimes the bane of an entrepreneur’s existence. But it does not have to be that way. In fact if you look hard enough you will find that half of your work is already done.

So with that in mind I offer you these 5 easy content sources for your business blog (Ginsu Carving knives not included).

  1. Customer questions
    When it comes to content the first and best place to go (which is where most of my most polished gems emanate) is right to your customers. Those questions you answer time and time again with each new client. Those things that you take for granted and just roll off your tongue without a thought. Those are perfect fodder for new posts. And if you play your cards right, you can take one common question and turn it into a series of posts. Just think of all of the great material you have at your finger tips. No, seriously, think about it…NOW….See, there is a lot of stuff in there that you did not realize you had. No mater how run of the mill you think it is, if it is a question you answer regularly or information you routinely provide to new customers, then as Jeff Foxworthy might say “iiiit might be a blog post”.
  2. Competition
    Another great place to look is back to your old school motto, “When in doubt, plagiarise”. OK, well not exactly but stay with me. One of the best sources for information for your blog can be your competition. Yep, you heard me, competition. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to copy what they are doing, I am different”. Well true as that may be, they can still be a good source of ideas. Take a look at the information your competitors provide about their products and services and no matter how different you are, it will give you ideas that are all your own. And sometimes you might just find content that could be helpful to your clients on its own. In those cases you don’t actually want to copy what they have but take that idea and create your own version of it that is tailored specifically to your business and your clients. And you don’t have to limit yourself to direct competitors, you can look around the net and see who is doing what in your space and jot down some topics because, “iiit might be a blog post”.
  3. Webinars or other marketing materials
    When sourcing content for your blog you should never overlook existing materials especially things like webinars. Many companies put webinars on a regular basis to keep clients up to speed on products or services and with each new one you do you can be sure to find at least one posts-worth of information. Even if you have already covered the content in a cursory way on your site or in a brochure make sure to look closely because, “iiit might be a blog post”.
  4. Industry changes
    Changes in your industry are another no-brainer for content. When new reports come out that have any bearing on what you do, its time to play telephone and repeat what you’ve heard. You should try not to lose any meaning in the translation but you understand what I mean. First make sure that the information is potentially valuable to your clients and potential clients. Then all you have to do is take the information you have received and put it in your own words and,  “iiit might be a blog post”.
  5. Customer success
    When it comes to blogging, customer success is often overlooked but your blog is a perfect forum for sharing this information with current and potential clients. Think about it. You can keep it simple and just explain how Company X is making use of your product or service. Other clients or potential clients can see that and put themselves into the story. No matter how specific a product or service is, every company that uses it will use it slightly differently. This differentiation opens up the possibilities for existing customers to see new ways of making use of what they already have or why they might need something else from you. So when it comes to customers, no matter what you are doing for them, you can now look at them with fresh eyes and realize that, “iiit might be a blog post”.

There is a virtual plethora of other simple sources out there just waiting to make your life easier. So get out there and let them be discovered because you never know,  “iiit might be a blog post”.

What is RSS and why do I care?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Almost every site you visit these days not only allows you to connect via various social media icons but also has this funny little icon with three arced lines over a dot. It is usually orange (but not always) and many people do not know what it does. What that icon represents is an RSS feed. RSS or Really Simple Syndication has been around since that time in the distant past before the current era of the smartphone when PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistants) ruled the world and most of them did not include an internet connection. At this time you had to synchronize your device in order to update information and while you are at it you could also synchronize information from websites using these feeds so you could read it offline. At that time you only really found RSS feeds available through news sites or other outlets with constantly changing content. Now though you find them everywhere because most sites contain a blog and what is a blog but an updated version of those same old news feeds but now they contain the most up to date info about your business rather than the latest crime statistics or the life and times of your favorite celebrity.

This ain’t your mama’s RSS.

I know what you are thinking, we are no loner in that distant past, we are in the now and the age of the smartphone is here so who cares about RSS feeds anymore, right? Well, you should if you have a website. The age of the smartphone is upon us but there are still a significant number of less intelligent calling devices still in operation and many of those have the ability to access RSS feeds with their basic mobile browsing. Not only that but RSS feeds have a myriad of other uses including the ability to be integrated into other websites just by using the links. All that aside, the single best reason for you to have an RSS feed available for your content is because it is the easiest way for clients and potential clients to subscribe to your content. Like the PDA apps back in the day (which was a Wednesday as I recall..) there are apps available on the web, for smartphones and for desktop computers known as RSS Aggregators (A.K.A. “RSS Readers” or depending on how old you are, “News Readers”) that allow you to subscribe to content from your favorite sites and then be notified when updates are made. When site owners use web based apps like Google’s Feed Burner, it makes the process even easier for end users. These apps allow the site owner to connect their RSS feed to the apps notification system and then the end user is notified by email when updates are made to the site. It is like giving your clients and potential clients a sales rep to put in their pocket. Whenever the site is updated, that sales rep pops up and lets them know about all of the exciting and new things going on with your company.

So now that you know what RSS is all about and how it can benefit your company, you now realize that RSS feeds are like a Moving Buddy in the movie Toy Story – “If you don’t have one, GET ONE!”.

3 Simple ways to help secure your WordPress site

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Website security is not always a major consideration for small businesses but there are a few simple things that can be done to help prevent becoming another statistic when things pop up like the recent Brute Force attacks against WordPress sites.

Admin Account
If you are currently using the “admin” account on your site, we recommend that you change it but this is easier said than done. Although you cannot change a username to something different on the WordPress system you can create a new username and then delete the “admin” account once you are finished. Also keep in mind that email addresses on the system have to be unique so you will need to change the email address associated with the “admin” account before continuing. To convert your existing “admin” account to something different, follow the instructions below:

  1. Login to your WordPress Admin and go to “Users” in the left menu
  2. Find the “admin” account and click to edit.
  3. Once in the account, go down the the email address field and change it to a different address (assuming you want the same email address associated with the new account)
  4. Click “Update Profile” to save the changes to the “admin” account
  5. Once you are out of the account, go to the top of the page (or the side menu if you prefer) and click the “Add New” button
  6. Fill in the new username (anything you like other than “admin”), email address (if you changed the one associated with the “admin” account you can now use your old email here) and Password.
  7. Set your role as “Administrator” in the drop down list
  8. Click the “Add New User” button
  9. Once the account is created you will need to logout of the WordPress Admin and log back in using your new account
  10. After you log back in you will want to go back to “Users” and delete the “admin” account. Make sure during the process that you do not delete the posts associated with the account. You will want to attribute them to your new account instead so you do not lose any ground during this transition.

Strong Passwords
It is recommended that you update your passwords on a regular basis and more importantly to use very strong passwords. Make sure to use a combination of capital and lower case letters along with special characters like !@#$%^ (don’t worry, that was not an cartoon expletive, those are the characters I meant). Using numbers as well is also helpful. The best case is to create something that is easy to remember but hard to guess using a dictionary type attack. An easy way to do this is using elite speak (substituting numbers and special characters for letters in words you can remember). A better way to do this is to get a password logging program like “LastPass” and allow it to automatically generate super secure passwords for you. You create one secure password for the system and then allow it to generate and remember the secure passwords for you.

Plugins
Better account security can always be augmented with plugins that can be added to your site to limit the number of failed login attempts and some that can even allow you to blacklist IPs that are generating brute force traffic. You can go with a simple plugin like Limit Login Attempts that will allow you to set the number of times a user can attempt to login before they are punished for a period of time. You can also go with something more involved like Wordfence that not only limits login attempts but secures files on your site, and will allow you to scan for anomalies in your core WordPress system files and fix them as well as allowing you to blacklist IP’s. Some sites may experience performance issues while using Wordfence depending on their complexity so you will need to test it before you decide to deploy it for the long term

If you do not feel comfortable making these changes to your site on your own, your web developer will likely be happy to help you integrate whatever you need.

However you do things, taking a little time to make these simple changes now can save you some incredible headaches later and will help keep you ahead of the curve for future cyber attacks.

 

The best things in life are FREE…Now including publicity

Friday, November 30th, 2012

You’ve all heard the song and it is true that the best things in life are FREE but now that old adage has been updated to include publicity. Yep, you heard me right, publicity. How much time do you spend each year trying to get exposure for your company or products using regular marketing channels just to get lost in the minutiae that is the internet? How would you like to get some of that much needed exposure, possibly even in national media like ABC and AP? Well…wait for it…NOW YOU CAN!

You may not be the inventor of the exciting new Miracle Wrench that tightens bolts, loosens bolts and even takes bolts all the way off. And in all likelihood you will not get your very own nuclear submarine absolutely FREE so that you can be the first person on your block to Level Cleveland. What you can do though is Help A Reporter Out and possibly help yourself out at the same time. So how can you make those kind of connections, you ask? Easy! All you need to do is become a  HARO Hero.

So what exactly is HARO and how do you become a hero? HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and it is the easiest way to FREE publicity. HARO is a new type of social media service that helps pair reporters with sources for their stories and it is free for everyone involved. All you have to do is follow these three steps:

  1. Visit HARO’s site and register to become a source.
  2. Watch for emails for PR opportunities that are sent out three times a day.
  3. Respond to inquiries that you feel will benefit from your insights on the subject.

If your response fits the need you will be contacted by the reporter to follow up and you could find yourself with anything from some additional search engine links for contribution to a bloggers post all the way up to some national exposure for your expertise on a certain subject. You could be one of many sources on a subject or you could find yourself as the subject of the article altogether like our sister company Virtual Technique did when it responded to questions about hiring a bookkeeper.

You may have heard that “The Truth is Out There”, you just may not have realized that you could be the source. So put your knowledge to work to Help a Reporter Out and who knows you may find yourself with a whole new pool of potential clients.

Spicing up your boring website text

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Differentiation is always at the forefront of marketers minds but until recently the only way that could be done on the web (outside of stellar content that everyone wants to read) was through the use of flashy designs and creating graphics for all of the headings you wanted to use your logo font. Sure the @font-face CSS tag was added to the CSS2 spec back in the late 90’s but only in the last few years have all of the major browsers begun supporting it.

So what does that mean exactly, you ask? It means that you might finally be able to escape the same old boring Times, Arial, Georgia, Helvetica loop you have been stuck in since 1993 without having a degree in graphic design. Or if you are happy with your existing San-Serif choice, perhaps you will just be freed up to bring some Holiday Cheer to your otherwise dreary website.

There are a great many ways to achieve this new level of style but for the purposes of this post I will stick with the two easiest:

@font-face

As I stated above, this CSS tag has been available since the late 90’s and is the most basic implementation. All you do is upload the necessary font files to your web server and then link to them using the appropriate CSS code. But don’t go wild and upload all of the fonts on your system thinking that you will make a tapestry of crazy on your site because most fonts are NOT licensed for this type of public distribution. As time goes on, more and more will open up but be very careful before implementing this method.

So how do you know what fonts you can use? Well, to be safe, stick to sites like this one when looking to trick out your site using this method..

 

Google Web Fonts

Like with everything else you need on the web, Google is there for you again with their Web Fonts API. With hundreds of fonts to choose from and simple search features Google does it for you with probably the easiest method for implementing this new found font freedom on your boring site. They even go so far as to give you the code you need to simply copy and paste into your style sheets and pages. What could be simpler?

Don’t believe me? Check it out for your self.

As with everything there are pros and cons to any method you choose. Most methods for spicing up your fonts differ slightly in the pros but the main con is the same for them all: limited selection. But don’t let that dampen your creativity! As long as you have a little time and some patience, chances are you will find either the exact font you want or something close enough for government work to get the intended result.

 

Marketing success for the summer or making hay while the sun shines

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Most small businesses ebb and flow with the seasons and summer more often than not is one of those slower times. The kids are out of school, vacations loom and clients are slower to respond even when they are very anxious to get something completed. During these times it is important not to lose focus. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve a break and should take some time to smell the roses but think of how much easier your life will be the rest of the year of you take a little of this time surplus and apply it to some of the housekeeping things you have been forced to ignore? So what can you do now that will make your life easier the rest of the year?

  1. Editorial Calendar
    As you know, regular site/social media updates are the cornerstone of any SEO success. I know you have your blog setup and have been dazzling everyone with the shininess of the pearls you have been putting on display but how much easier would it be for you if you had a calendar to rely on for your blogging, newsletter, social media and website update topics? Take some of the extra time you find yourself with this summer and rather than spending it trying to beat your old paddle-ball record, use it to sit down and come up with an outline of topics to get you though the rest of the year.
  2. Design updates
    If you are thinking about making updates to your identity in the form of design changes for your logo, website, collateral materials or social media themes, now is the time to put those thoughts into action. If you have plans for a new media blitz in the fall, you don’t want to lose valuable time going through a design process when you could already be reaping the rewards. Get the things you need done in process during your slow times so you can take as much time as you need to make sure any graphical updates are exactly what you want rather than rushing the process and accepting an inferior product because your are in a hurry to get things out the door.
  3. Blogging
    Now that you have your editorial calendar, why not take a little of this time to go ahead and bang out some of those posts? If you are using something like WordPress for your blog, you can go in and write as many posts as you like and schedule them to go live over time. How great would that be to be going into fall with posts queued up to run at regular intervals without a thought. Just fill up that marketing crock pot and let it run. And who knows, you might find some other marketing uses for your brilliant prose along the way.

Summer is finally here but fall is right around the corner so make sure to make the most of your summer and smooth out some of the business wrinkles for the rest of the year.

Timing is everything…especially with email and social media

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

No matter what you do from submitting a proposal for a very lucrative contract to trying to use the restroom after the latest summer blockbuster, timing is everything and online marketing is no different. Many of you might have some idea that when it comes to email marketing there are certain days and times that are more effective than others but did you know the same was true of social media? So what are the best times to make the most of your online marketing?

  • Email
    As a direct descendent of that old marketing standby direct mail, email has been around the longest but the ideal days and times for sending campaigns have remained the same since the beginning. The best windows for Email are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. or between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m.. The research bears it out but the reasons are simple. Monday emails will either get lost in the morning or post lunch purge and Friday emails often go unseen because people are trying to finish up for the week and they end up being caught in the same combine as the Monday emails. The morning time slot is great for single time zone emails because they make it in after the morning purge, but before the after lunch purge and are generally seen. The afternoon time slot is best for emails that go to multiple time zones because they achieve the same result avoiding purges on both ends of the spectrum.
  • Facebook
    Social Media is somewhat new to the game but it has found its own windows for maximum traffic. Facebook falls in line with emails love of middle of the road travel with links sent between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. getting the most traction while Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. being the best time to post on Facebook all week. This does not mean you should stop posting the rest of the time, on the contrary, if everyone did that, the trends would change to accommodate the content patterns (besides, lets face it, not everything you have to say is a gem). All this means is that you should adjust the timing for your most important content to go out in that sweet spot to maximize visibility.
  • Twitter
    Social media is the great equalizer for marketing and Twitter proves the rule once again with its disdain for established timing. For maximum Twitter traffic, the best time to say your peace is on a Monday between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET. So just when you thought you would start taking long weekends, you realize that you will have something to do Monday after all.

So now that you have found some of the sweet spots for your marketing exposure, you might need to revise that editorial calendar I know you have for all of your communications. And if you don’t have one already, it might be time to start thinking about one so you can make sure that all of your marketing brilliance will not fall on deaf ears.

5 Easy ways to Stress Free business blogging

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Everyone who has a business blog (and whose business is not blogging) has the same issue, content. You got into business to do what you do best not write about it but in order for others to know about it, you need to get them to your site. To get them to your site you need to enhance your SEO. The best way to enhance your SEO is regular content updates and the easiest way to regularly update your content is with your blog. Everyone knows they should be blogging but figuring out what to write about is not only a huge source of stress, but sometimes the bane of an entrepreneur’s existence. But it does not have to be that way. In fact if you look hard enough you will find that half of your work is already done.

So with that in mind I offer you these 5 easy content sources for your business blog (Ginsu Carving knives not included).

  1. Customer questions
    When it comes to content the first and best place to go (which is where most of my most polished gems emanate) is right to your customers. Those questions you answer time and time again with each new client. Those things that you take for granted and just roll off your tongue without a thought. Those are perfect fodder for new posts. And if you play your cards right, you can take one common question and turn it into a series of posts. Just think of all of the great material you have at your finger tips. No, seriously, think about it…NOW….See, there is a lot of stuff in there that you did not realize you had. No mater how run of the mill you think it is, if it is a question you answer regularly or information you routinely provide to new customers, then as Jeff Foxworthy might say “iiiit might be a blog post”.
  2. Competition
    Another great place to look is back to your old school motto, “When in doubt, plagiarise”. OK, well not exactly but stay with me. One of the best sources for information for your blog can be your competition. Yep, you heard me, competition. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to copy what they are doing, I am different”. Well true as that may be, they can still be a good source of ideas. Take a look at the information your competitors provide about their products and services and no matter how different you are, it will give you ideas that are all your own. And sometimes you might just find content that could be helpful to your clients on its own. In those cases you don’t actually want to copy what they have but take that idea and create your own version of it that is tailored specifically to your business and your clients. And you don’t have to limit yourself to direct competitors, you can look around the net and see who is doing what in your space and jot down some topics because, “iiit might be a blog post”.
  3. Webinars or other marketing materials
    When sourcing content for your blog you should never overlook existing materials especially things like webinars. Many companies put webinars on a regular basis to keep clients up to speed on products or services and with each new one you do you can be sure to find at least one posts-worth of information. Even if you have already covered the content in a cursory way on your site or in a brochure make sure to look closely because, “iiit might be a blog post”.
  4. Industry changes
    Changes in your industry are another no-brainer for content. When new reports come out that have any bearing on what you do, its time to play telephone and repeat what you’ve heard. You should try not to lose any meaning in the translation but you understand what I mean. First make sure that the information is potentially valuable to your clients and potential clients. Then all you have to do is take the information you have received and put it in your own words and,  “iiit might be a blog post”.
  5. Customer success
    When it comes to blogging, customer success is often overlooked but your blog is a perfect forum for sharing this information with current and potential clients. Think about it. You can keep it simple and just explain how Company X is making use of your product or service. Other clients or potential clients can see that and put themselves into the story. No matter how specific a product or service is, every company that uses it will use it slightly differently. This differentiation opens up the possibilities for existing customers to see new ways of making use of what they already have or why they might need something else from you. So when it comes to customers, no matter what you are doing for them, you can now look at them with fresh eyes and realize that, “iiit might be a blog post”.

There is a virtual plethora of other simple sources out there just waiting to make your life easier. So get out there and let them be discovered because you never know,  “iiit might be a blog post”.

5 Ways to Make Business Blogging Work for you

Friday, January 27th, 2012

So you have a business blog but can’t quite manage to add content on a regular basis, welcome to the club. More and more companies are jumping into the blogosphere to aid their online marketing efforts but as with most things, just creating a blog is not enough to see any real benefit to your company. To really make your blog work for you, you need to update it on a regular basis. So then the $64,000 question becomes, “How do I do that?”. It can actually be simpler than you think. Here are 5 easy ways to keep those cards and letters coming:

  1. Write what you know
    I know it sounds like a simple statement but think about it. When dealing with clients and potential clients, how often do you find answering the same questions over and over again? If you are like me, that answer would be “quite”. So if you are answering things on a regular basis, there must be some value to what you are saying so why not write it down for posterity? Whenever you find yourself repeating an answer that you have given to other clients time and time again, make a note and VIOLA!, you have a topic to write about. Talk to a few customers in a week and you might find yourself with a whole treasure trove of untapped brilliance just waiting to be shared with an unsuspecting world.

  2. Editorial Calendar
    An editorial calendar is a simple concept used in marketing departments worldwide but somewhat of a foreign concept to most small business owners. What is it you ask? It is nothing more than an outline to follow for communications each year. It usually refers to content being developed for e-Newsletters, websites and other publications to help plan how to roll out content for products, services and events throughout the year. Once such publication is a blog so why not take advantage of this useful tool and create an outline for yourself for the postings you want to generate? You can sit down and think through anything you have planned for the upcoming year (or even just quarter if you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself) and simply jot down topics that relate to your products, services or events that you want to promote at each time. And then as things evolve, you can evolve with it and simply adjust the calendar to work with any new pressing topics that may be more important that your original. The important thing is to make a plan because once you have that done, you are half way there.
  3. Contributing Authors
    Platforms like WordPress allow you to provide limited access to colleagues, employees, partners, customers or friends  so that they can become contributing authors on your blog. If they have something to say on your topic, why not make use of their expertise to help expand your reach. They can login, add their post to the system, then you can approve the content before it goes live. It is a win, win for everyone involved. You give them a voice and they help you by providing different perspectives on things that are important to your clients and potential clients. And if your existing clients are willing to contribute, you can expand the reach of your most effective (and unpaid) sales tool, word of mouth advertising.
  4. Media Content
    Can’t think of anything to say (or you spell like I do)? No problem, why not just give your audience what they really want? Turn on that webcam that came built in to your new laptop and serenade them with the dulcet tones of your industry acumen. Let them get to know the real you (and if you are like me you can share your impeccable comedic timing while you are at it). It is not only an easier way for you to communicate complex thoughts – because lets face it, you are amazing at what you do and sometimes text is just not your medium – it is also the perfect vehicle for potential clients to get to know you before they decide to do business with you.
  5. Scheduling Posts
    The biggest problem entrepreneurs face when it comes to blogging is the time to do it on a regular basis but that kind of commitment is not entirely necessary especially when it comes to platforms like WordPress. One of the most amazing and overlooked features of WordPress is the ability to schedule posts. Now I know what you are thinking, “Great, but what exactly does that mean”, well hold your horses I am getting there (if you haven’t noticed from previous posts, my wisdom is something that trickles out slowly amidst bursts of comedic brilliance). By default any new post is added “immediately”. This just means that at the time you decide to publish, it captures the date and time of that moment and uses it as the time stamp for your posting. What most people do not realize is that they can edit the post time and even set it for a future date so that your post can go live whenever you want. So, “big deal, what does that mean to me and my time, right?”. Well, what it means is you can sit down for an hour or so when you have the time and bang out any number of postings from your list of questions you have jotted down or the editorial calendar you have painstakingly setup and set them to go live over whatever period of time you see fit. Ideally you should be posting at least twice a week but that is a pipe dream for most. But you can make the most of what you have by staggering the release. You can sit down for a few hours at a time and have blog postings that will automatically post to your site over the course of a month or more. Going on vacation? No problem. Schedule postings to go while you are gone and let your site continue to communicate with the search engines and do your marketing for you while you are away. Have a conference coming up or a really big project, no problem just set that crock pot of inspiration to slow and get to work.

So now that you have some ways to get the content out there, you have no more excuses. Share your secret cache of knowledge with the world and build your thought leadership, website influence and customer relationships all at the same time.