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October 2013

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Selling Digital Products on Your Blog (Step Five)

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Step Five Serving Cusomters

Your product is out there! You’re starting to make some money! Now you can sit back and just watch the passive income roll in, right?

Wrong.

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when selling digital products is thinking that the work ends after launch day. Very few people can “set it and forget it” when it comes to digital products. You need to provide great customer service to turn your fans into customers and to turn your customers into advocates.

Step Five: Continuously Serving Your Customers

Today, before ending this series of posts on selling digital products, I want to delve a little deeper into the life of a digital product after launch day. Let’s talk about…

  • Whether or not digital products are actually a source of passive income
  • Finding new customers beyond the initial burst of sales
  • Short-term customer care
  • Long-term customer care

When Passive isn’t Really Passive

Everyone always talks about how great passive income is, but the fact of the matter is this: passive income isn’t typically truly passive. Whenever you have money changing hands, customer support is needed. There will always be someone who has trouble downloading your product or logging into your website. There will always be someone who wants a refund. There will always be someone who has problems with payment processing.

This can be passive in the sense that you don’t have to be personally providing the customer support. You can instead hire a team of VAs to help you with this task. Then, all you’ll need to do is some initial training.

Just be aware that if you choose not to provide customer support, the result will not be good for your bottom line. People who have bad experiences tend to be extremely vocal on social networks. When someone googles your name/product, do you want a bunch of bad reviews to be the first thing that pops up?

Finding Customers

Launching a digital products is exciting because you typically see a rush of sales on launch day, slowly dropping off over the course of a week or two. But what then? If all you do is link to your product on your sidebar, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Every person who visits your blog is a potential sale. How much money are you missing out on, simply because you leave it up to people to figure out you have a product for sale?

So what can you do to find new customers continuously? Here are a few ideas?

  • Set up an email campaign some that when someone signs up for your mailing list, they get a message about your product.
  • Write blog posts about similar topics and link to your product at the end.
  • Write guest posts for other bloggers and mention your product in your bio or even within the post if relevant.
  • Run promotions throughout the year, offering discounts or free trials.
  • Work with your affiliates for special promotions.
  • Host a Google+ Hangout and talk about your product.
  • Come up with a plan to mention your product on social networks on a regular basis.
  • Create free products related to your paid product to give away, then upsell to the full product.
  • Do a free webinar about a related topic and talk about your product at the end.

Short-Term Customer Care

Short-term customer service is all about taking care of problems, right? Well, kind of. Problems should be your main focus, since these are opportunities to turn a bad situation into a good situation. However, don’t ignore your customers who are singing your praises or you biggest group of customers–the ones who say nothing at all.

Create an automated email sequence so that about a week after your product is purchased, the customer receives an email follow up. Ask for feedback, offer a surprise bonus, or simply thank them a second time. You want that “second touch” with each customer to show that you really do care.

Make sure you reply to anyone who emails you, even if they are not inquiring (or yelling!) about a problem. The people who love your product or just have a question are the people who will sing your praises if you give them a little attention. We all like to feel like we’re important. When you personally reply to someone, even to just say thank you, you’re making your customers feel noticed.

While I do advocate you doing this yourself, you can have a VA help you manage this part as well by categorizing your emails so you can reply more quickly.

Long-Term Customer Care

Think about how you’re going to connect with your customers long-term as well. Why should you care? Because they’ll give you even more money! When you have another product for sale, someone who has felt they received a lot of value from you in the past is going to pull out their credit card a second time.

It’s about more than a great product. You do want to be sure that what you’re selling is awesome. But more importantly, if you go that extra mile, you’ll have people begging you for another product or even giving you more money in the form of a donation. Pat Flynn once told a story about people purchasing a product from him that they didn’t even need just to say “thank you” for his free help in the past!

The key is VALUE. Here are a few ways you can offer long-term value:

  • Offer a free “second edition” version of your book to people who purchased in the past.
  • Ask your customers to become affiliates so they can earn a little income from recommending your product.
  • Engage with customers on social networks. Beyond just talking about your product, get to know them and share their links from time to time.
  • Create a community around your product, offering forums, Facebook groups, etc. for customers to talk to one another.
  • Do a call/webinar with your customers around the 3-month-since-launch mark to answer any lingering questions.
  • Touch base via occasional emails.

The point is this: keep people involved. Then, when you have another product for sale or want a boost in sales for your current product, ASK your community of customers to help you! They can…

  • Tweet, pin, and otherwise share via social networks
  • Send emails to their friends and followers
  • Write testimonials
  • Review your product on other sites

So, while you might be thinking of your digital product as a passive source of income, if you put some more time into building a community around the product, you’ll sell more products over the long term. Passive? Not really. Profitable? Absolutely!

I hope this series has helped you prepare for selling your next digital product. Remember to check out all of the other posts in the series if you haven’t already!

 

See Other Posts in This Series:

  1. Step One: Building Relationships
  2. Step Two: Choosing the Perfect Product
  3. Step Three: Creating Your Product
  4. Step Four: Planning Your Launch
  5. Step Five: Servicing Your Customers (this post)

Image credit (altered): Bigstock

No More Excuses: Top 10 Reasons to Start a Business Blog in 2014

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bigstock-Beautiful-woman-with-thoughtfu-29888243(1) A few weeks ago I taught a blogging webinar for consultants as part of a social media education series. At the beginning, I did quick survey to gauge the knowledge base. Not surprisingly, my audience ranked high on awareness and interest in social media, and also appeared savvy in running their businesses.

What I didn’t expect, though, were the reasons accomplished business owners didn’t have a blog: lack of confidence, worrying about that first step, not knowing where to start. See a theme here? It’s all about getting started. For all you “blogcrastinators,” 2014 is the year to launch your small business blog. With each passing day, you’re missing out on one of the best, easiest, and most fun ways to grow your business (yes I said fun). Not convinced? Here are the top ten reasons:

#10-Be an original: Blogging was the first social media: If you think showing your social media chops consists of retweeting other people’s ideas, reposting industry articles on LinkedIn, or asking provocative questions on Facebook, you’re not seeing the whole picture. Blogging is the granddaddy online social media provocateur, and in a larger sense, the hub of all social media network connections—so go be an integral part of it.

#9-Regurgitated content doesn’t help your business: All that social media you are blasting out might be interesting, but it doesn’t have your thumbprint on it. Why not take advantage of social media to its fullest? Even better, your blog will provide you with an ample, endless supply of content to use, repackage, and repurpose for other marketing. In other words, promote yourself first, others later.

#8-Add instant cred to your business: Want to impress a client, customer, or new prospect? That’s guaranteed when you mention your blog in conversation, include it on your email signature, or any other subtle PR move—people will automatically take your business more seriously. It tells the world that you’ve made the investment to reach, influence, and connect with your audience, and those perceptions help your business star rise.

#7-Create an “open space” for thought: One of the great things about blogging is that it will stimulate and trigger an amazing cornucopia of ideas. You’ll find yourself constantly scouring for interesting ideas to post (in a good way), getting inspired to tackle topics you wouldn’t have dreamed of otherwise, and feeling the push to research new topics of interest. Blogs provide a great venue for this. You have to experience it to believe it, but trust me you will.

#6-Win-win with the competition: Check out the blogs of your competitors and see what they’re writing about, their style, how often they post. Then make sure you are writing better and differently, with a style unique to your business. Stand out in the blog crowd. And of course when you’re pushing yourself to higher standards, it nudges everyone else to get on that higher ground too.

#5-Become a better writer: They say a habit takes three months to adopt: When you start blogging on a regular basis, I guarantee you’ll find that your writing becomes more crisp, focused, and better as time goes on. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and nowhere else is that more true than the art and discipline of writing.

#4-Get out of your comfort zone: It’s not often we get to email an industry expert to get an interview,  become an instant authority overnight by reading up on a topic voraciously, or whip up commentary post on anything we desire. Whatever path your blog takes, you will meet interesting people, learn about new things, and blogging will surely stand out as a unique, creative part of your business—and life.

#3 Become the master of your blog domain: Don’t drive yourself crazy with high expectations that you will be blogging on a daily basis—That is just not going to happen (feel free to prove me wrong though). Start your postings slow and build up—consider once a month or every other month. Then add in as you can. Posting every week on a certain day is a noble act, but only commit to what you can reasonably do. I advocate regularly and religiously, but not ridiculously.

#2-Cultivate a new way to express yourself: For those fearing the combo click of the keyboard with the white computer screen, you’ll be surprised at how you enjoy writing when it’s a topic you’re interested in, and even passionate about (here’s hoping you find your business at least interesting, otherwise you should find another lot in life). That’s not to say that some posts won’t be difficult to write, or get rewritten 20 times and you’re still not happy, but in the end, you will be proud of your accomplishments as a whole. That I know to be true.

#1-Your small gains can lead to big changes: I’m not sure what the attendees of my blog webinar did after that course I taught a few weeks ago, but I can only hope it pushed them to the next step of starting a blog, whether it was to check out blog templates, or commit to some topics to write about, and in some way ultimately get over their fears to begin a blog. Speaking from personal experience, having and nurturing my own blog for three years led to a regular monthly post here at BlogWorld and a cascade of blogging work for my own business. Ask any successful entrepreneur, anyone who has changed a habit, or any small business owner that started a blog—it’s totally worth it on all levels. So start 2014 with your blog!

What’s your excuse for not starting a blog? What’s holding you back?

Image credit: BigStock

Podcasters, We Want You! Apply Now for the NMX Podcast Pavilion

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Want to do your podcast live from the Expo floor?

leo at Podcast Pavilion The Podcast Pavilion was the place to be for podcasters at the 2013 show and it will be again at NMX 2014. There was always something new happening at the Pavilion, and this year we want you to join us!

Recording your podcast from the expo floor brings a whole new energy to your show. You never know who will show up. Last year Success Freaks saw Leo Laporte walking by and pulled him into their show. When it comes to getting guests, that’s a win!

Fun times for your audience too. When the Beerist Podcast  had a little mishap involving beer flowing into Anastacia Kelly’s boot, well, the visual was priceless. You just had to be there.

So bring your show to our show! We have two full stations, including two mics*,  where we provide the all the equipment you need to record your show and a third for folks who like to use their own equipment.

 

Click here to apply now

 

Spots are limited–the conference goes by fast–so if you’re interested, make sure you apply immediately to get a spot on the schedule.

* Thanks to Charles McFall and R. Mordant Mahon for providing extra mics.

Five Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting an Online Business (Sponsored Post)

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Online business Starting an online business is not easy. It takes time, discipline you never knew you had and requires a herculean amount of effort to stay focused. But you did it! Congratulations! You got the word out, are great at what you do and are growing your online business. You have leapt far over all of the hurdles that have stopped lesser businesspersons in their tracks and are on the way to total world domination.

But even the savviest start-ups can have a few hiccups. Lucky for you, most of them can be avoided.  Here are five tips to help make your online business a runaway success.

Tip #1: Separate your personal and business social media accounts

We know it’s a pain to have separate accounts for your business and personal life, but your business will thank you. Let’s face it; not everything that is appropriate to share in your personal life sends the right message for your business. Photos of your breakfast and angry rants about the postal system might not mix so well with a repost of a great review of your services.  Also, a change in your relationship status might be more information than your customers need.

Keeping a separate business and personal identity also allows you to evaluate what social media platforms are best for your business, which brings us to the next point:

Tip #2: Remember that not all forms of social media will be appropriate channels for your business.

Your business doesn’t have to have a presence on every social media platform. In fact, forcing engagement where it doesn’t naturally occur can do more harm than good for your brand. Twitter might be a great way to get info and updates out to your customers as well as a fantastic avenue for direct customer service. However, you might struggle with how to position your business on Instagram or Vine.

A good rule to determine whether a social media platform is right for your business is to consider the ease at which you can create content. If you find yourself struggling to make your messages fit the platform, it isn’t right for you.

Tip #3: Register a good domain name.

Just putting up a Facebook page and calling it a day is a rookie mistake, and you run the risk of losing all your content and engagement with customers if your page gets taken (permanently or temporarily) down due to a mistake in following Facebook’s guidelines or a malicious report. Your business needs a website and a domain name.  When you control the website for your online business, you control your business. We recommend something personal, memorable and catchy: .ME offers the ability to truly get connected with your customers with a URL they will keep coming back to.

Tip #4: Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

The best lesson about starting an online business to not learn the hard way is to not make promises you can’t keep. Whether it is a vacation for your significant other or a job for a friend once you can afford to expand, don’t say it out loud until you know it is a reality. We get it. You’re doing well, you’re proud of your work and you’re on track to having a better year than you projected but you have to keep it a secret until you are 100% ready to follow through on your promise. If you announce and then fail to deliver, it will haunt you and make you feel BAD. Don’t let this happen to you.

Tip #5: Control your momentum.

If done right, your business will gain momentum. Make sure you constantly check-in with yourself about your work load and control the pace at which you are growing. Since you are a human being and not a machine, there is a finite amount of time in a day to get things done. Take on only the projects you know you have time to well. Saying “yes” to everything and failing to deliver will hurt your business and brand far more than saying “no” politely.

With these five tips under your belt, you are ready to go out and conquer the online business world. Also, we would love to hear from you: What tips would you add for navigating the rough waters of online business?

Pinspiration Saturday: Time for Podcasting with Daniel J. Lewis

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We’re back for another Pinspiration Saturday, our weekly series where we highlight a quote from one of our amazing speakers every week. If that quote resonates with you, we hope you’ll take a minute to share the “pinspiration” with your followers on Pinterest by pinning it! And as always, you can also share via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any of your favorite social networks.

It's how you use your time

Today’s quote comes from Daniel J. Lewis who recently devoted an episode of The Audacity to Podcast to one of my favorite topics: time management.

In this episode, Daniel starts by mentioning the fact that we all start every day with the same amount of hours. Rich or poor, tall or short, male or female, we all get 24 hours per day. Your success with your content, and in life in general, depends on how you choose to use those 24 hours.

The rest of this episode is filled with awesome tips about making enough time to podcast. And really, most of his tips can apply to any task you are trying to accomplish. We could all use a little more time with our families, a little more time for passion projects, and a little more time for happiness. So check out Daniel’s podcast for more tips on making time for whatever you need to get done in your life.

Also, did you know that Daniel will be speaking in the podcasting track at NMX? Check out his bio and the rest of the speakers on the NMX 2014 Podcasting Spotlight page! Don’t forget to pick up a ticket to the show to attend Daniels’ session live.

The NMX 2014 Schedule is Now Posted!

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speakers

It seems like just yesterday when we announced our first round of speakers for NMX. Now, the event is just around the corner!

As we continue to build our our programming, we’ll be adding a ton of session and descriptions to help you plan your personal schedule for NMX. However, our base NMX 2014 schedule is now available on our event website here: http://nmxlive.com/2014-lv/schedule/

You can also create an account on Sched.org if you want to save sessions, create a schedule you can refer to later, and tell others which sessions you’ll be attending.

Don’t forget to visit our speaker bios here to find out more about all of our speakers and tweet messages of support to everyone who will be on stage at NMX 2014.

Today is the last day to get a discounted ticket to NMX 2014, so if you haven’t picked up your ticket yet, don’t delay. And hey, we’re friends, right? Use ALLI20 for a special 20% discount on any ticket. I’d love to see you at the show! Learn more and register here.

Guest Blogging Tips That Work: A Step-by-Step Guide to Guest Posts

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The marketing world is in a guest-blogging frenzy right now. However, rushing to join in without a sound strategy, wastes a rare opportunity to improve brand awareness, increase your subscriber base and inbound links, build authority and ultimately become a niche trailblazer. Guest blogging can offer you all these benefits when you work with a thought-out approach. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of successful guest blogging.

The Basics of Guest Posting: Know the Benefits

Two or three links won’t really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy Internet world, as Humphrey Bogart might say today. If you want to be successful at guest blogging, you need to understand the real benefits.

Guest blogging is all about relationship building. The friendships you build for your brand can help you stay ahead of the pack, no matter what your niche, but these relationships need to be mutually rewarding and persistently nurtured to work out. That’s why guest blogging is such a great option: yes, there is benefit for you, but it is also helping the other blogger, since you’re providing quality content and encouraging others to visit their blog.

Of course, there are some SEO benefits to guest posting as well, but if you’re just in it for the links, you’re missing out.

Assess Your Options

If you read other blogs in your niche, you probably know at least a few people who accept guest posts. You can use Google to research even more options. Search using the keywords “guest post” and “guest post guidelines,” preferably with other keywords that define your industry to find blogs you could guest blog at. Create a list of at least 25 potential blog post opportunities.

Blogs worth considering should:

  1. Have substantial readership
  2. Be actively shared/discussed on social networks
  3. Be relevant to your industry

It’s better to have one quality link than five cheap ones. Pratik Dholakiya at MOZ says that guest bloggers should avoid being associated with sites that over-publish content or that are too lenient with substandard material.

For the best results, sites with a low PageRank should be avoided and I personally recommend targeting blogs with a Domain Authority (which you can check with Open Site Explorer) greater than 30. This is not a hard rule; you can make exceptions, but only if there is something about guest posting on the blog that is advantageous.

Niche blogs tend to have higher engagement. Stop thinking of your niche competitors as your enemies. Guest blogging at their blogs lets you increase your exposure to an otherwise taken market segment.

While some niche sites might not have as high of a PageRank or Domain Authority, if you’re reaching a very targeted audience and building relationships with others in your niche, they’re better options than larger sites covering a broad range of topics. Weigh all of the benefits before reaching out to ask about guest posting opportunities.

Approaching Other Bloggers

Before you communicate with the targeted blog owners, it’s wise to interact with them through consistent social media engagement. Leave thoughtful and purposeful comments; engage with them on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks where they are active. When someone recognizes your name from an earlier interaction, they’re more likely to answer your email.

Neil Patel at Quick Sprout states that successful blog owners are inundated with guest blogging requests. He personally received 931 requests and admitted to accepting none. His explanation was that they all read like SPAM.

Make sure your request is:

  • Professional (yet not too formal)
  • Brief
  • Relevant
  • Complete (i.e., including topic suggestions, outlines, and anything else the blogger requires)

Check out this post about common phrases that can get your guest post denied or ignored.

Your Content: What Should You Write?

What you should cover in your guest post depends on your knowledge and the blog where you want to publish the post. Here are a few tips:

  • Be relevant and expand on a hot topic. Don’t recycle what others have written about a million times before. Offer new insights and different interpretations and don’t forget to add your own flavor.
  • Write on what you know. Build your credibility and boost your status by focusing on a subject you’re knowledgeable in. Guest blogging is your chance to establish your authority and increase your impact.
  • Study the blog’s keyword phrases. This will impress the blog owner. In you, they would be finding a keyword researcher in addition to a great writer—double the value! You can easily research keyword trends and appropriate keywords for the blog with tools such as Google Alerts, which keep you up to date with the latest trends and the hottest topics.
  • Focus on showmanship. Make a dazzling headline out of your keyword, preferably one that’s share-worthy. A common blogging mistake is creating quality posts that have indifferent titles or introduction. Your title should entice your readers, giving them a reason to want to read further.
  • Follow the guest post guidelines. Read the guidelines set by the blogger very carefully. If you ignore their guidelines, they will likely reject your post.
  • Use quotes and case studies. Substantiate your arguments whenever possible with scientific studies and other authority references and statistics. Always verify your facts.

Post-Publishing

 After the post is published, your work isn’t done. Here’s what you need to do once your guest post is live:

  • Interact with your readers. Be sure to respond to questions or comments once your post goes live. If you find that your post isn’t getting much engagement, then it’s possible you are lacking in the “call to action” department. Ask the blog’s readers for their comments, perhaps phrasing a relevant question to continue the discussion.
  • Reply to both positive and negatives comments. Offer clarification and re-assert arguments that the readers debunked. Carol Billingsley at Social Media Today, suggests that the formula for responding to negative feedback is apology+solution= happy reader.
  • Promote your post. Work for your guest blog and it will work for you! If you want to solidify your relationship with a successful blog owner do your best to bring in traffic. You can direct your own community to read your guest post through social media.
  • Check to see how well your guest posts performs over time. You might not examine analytics information but you can keep track of comments, likes, shares, and other useful data.

Guest blogging is the ultimate adventure in building authority and driving sales. With the proliferation of blogs, article directories, commercial websites and online magazines, there is an abundance of knowledge, and yet not enough quality content.

If you can produce quality content, you can earn powerful links and build authority around your brand. Guest blogging offers tangible and instantly felt benefits. With a clear guest blogging goal and a carefully planned approach, you can unlock its multifaceted potential too.

What do you consider a must-follow rule when it comes to successful guest blogging?

What A-List Bloggers Know about Supporting Their Own Content

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When I first started blogging, I made a big mistake: I wrote about the topics that inspired me.

Before you take up arms and lecture me on how important it is to feel passionate about the topics you cover on your blog, hear me out. I think it’s fine to write about content when you are inspired. Passion is a very good thing if you want your blog to thrive. But if that’s the only way you plan your content, you’re not doing your posts justice.

The Reader “Sales” Funnel

How many posts do you have to read by someone before you’re hooked? Maybe it’s just one really awesome post…but more likely, you have to see that person’s name a few times before you start to take notice. We’re bombarded with so much content every day that it’s hard for a single author to stand out unless they consistently wow a reader. Only then, will the reader perform an action, like following on social networks, subscribing to a mailing list, subscribing to an RSS feed, etc.

Reader Sales Funnel In the world of sales, we talk about a “sales funnel.” This funnel exists on your blog too, even if you aren’t actually selling anything. At the top of the sales funnel, you have your widest audience of readers – people who land on your site for any reason. Next, you have a smaller number of readers – people who actually read your post instead of clicking the back button right away. Then you have a smaller number, people who read the entire post without clicking away. Then an even smaller number – people who want to read more. Then the smallest number – people who take an action that you want. That’s the red part of the diagram at right. We actually posted a really great explanation of sales funnels last week that you should check out for more information.

Your goal is to get as many people as possible taking that action, and to do that, you need to do two things:

  • Increase traffic from the top
  • Increase the conversion rate of people who move down the funnel at each level.

I’ll leave increasing traffic conversations for another day (check out this post for example). What I want to talk about today is moving people down the sales funnel.

If you have great content, people will automatically move from “sticking around” to “reach the end of the post.” And really, most people who actually read to the end of the post want more information. You have to hand it to them, though. If you wait for them to find it, you might be waiting a long time. People are lazy. If you want them to read related content, give them the link on a silver platter.

After you get people wanting and reading more, you can move them on to take an action.

What a-list bloggers know is that it isn’t enough to just point people to other posts on your blog. Your content has to actually work together in a way that makes sense.

If you only write when you’re passionate about a topic, it is really hard for your content to support itself because you’re just jumping from conversation to conversation.

An Analogy: A Conversation with A Friend

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you’re having coffee with a friend you haven’t seen for several years. Well, don’t actually close your eyes…because then you can’t read the rest of this post! But imagine it. It’s an experience we’ve all had.

Usually, you start off talking about one topic and then three hours later you’re still chatting away, even though you’ve moved to a completely different topic.

You didn’t have a break in your conversation where you both said “Okay, we’ve talked about our kids long enough. Let’s talk about our jobs now.” No, you just naturally moved from topic to topic. That’s how a blog works when you write content in a way that supports itself (only doing this takes a little more planning than you would do during a conversation with a friend!).

Now think about saying goodbye to your friend after a conversation over coffee. No matter how long you talked, you probably had more to say, and you might even be thinking, “I wish I would have asked about…”

You don’t want this to happen on your blog. You want to provide your readers with all the content they need about your niche. That’s where planning and a content calendar come into play. Don’t allow your content to fall into the deep abyss of forgotten blog posts on the Internet!

Your Content Calendar

If you don’t have an editorial calendar, you need one. That’s the best way to plan out a natural flow of supportive content. This post is a really great introduction to planning your content with an editorial calendar.

Beyond scheduling effectively, though, what you really need to do is make sure each post has the opportunity to shine not only on the day it is published but by being linked to in other posts.

Think of your blog posts as vines. Your want those vines intertwining and growing as much as possible. This will create a maze of content for your readers – and believe me, it is a good thing when someone gets lost in your blog because they are finding so much value!

For example, let’s say that I run a pet food blog and I’m going to write about the best brands of dog food. As I write, I may realize that I don’t have any posts that talk about doggie dental health, but there’s a great opportunity to link to that. So I write that post. Then I realize I should also have a posts about shiny coats and foods that are dangerous to dogs. So I write those posts too.

So far, my post schedule might look like this, with the arrows indicating that a post links to another post.

best dog foods 1 As you keep brainstorming posts, though, look back at your calendar. Always try to find that connection so you can link to posts you’ve recently written. So in our example, I wouldn’t leave the “best dog foods” post hanging. I would think, what are some follow up posts that I could write about this topic? AND, even better, are there follow up posts that I can write to link to some of the other recent posts on the blog as well? Also, what content do I need to write that is not on the blog yet?

So, my post schedule might expand to look like this:

best dog foods 1 From there, I would keep expanding the ideas, and I would also edit older posts to link back to newer posts when appropriate. The key is to always make sure each post is linked back to at least 3-5 times from other posts. That way, you’re creating a chain reaction. See how I might expand even further:

best dog foods 1 As you can see, it starts to get a little messy, but what is important is that nothing it left “hanging” without connections to other posts. All posts include links and are linked to by others. At least, that’s what is being built. If you map out your content, you can see what holes you have to fill. In our example, I would probably what to write something that links to cat hairball control next, since nothing is linking to it.

The best bloggers out there are organizing their content this way, rather than just writing whatever they want and not tying it into their other content. For example, check out this post on Problogger:

problogger post

It starts off by saying that recently they published a post about a certain topic, and this new post would be expanding on that topic. Throughout the post, there are also other links to old evergreen content.

Here’s another example, from Rich Brooks at the Flyte New Media blog:

flyte example

See how the post starts with a reference to a previous post, to tell readers that this new post is an expansion on the same topic and you should go read the other one too?

You don’t have to be as blatant about it if you don’t want to. You can just simply link to other posts without actually saying “Hey, I wrote this other post…”

The point it, you need to link internally, and the top bloggers do so in a structured way, not just willy-nilly. Don’t leave anything hanging out there by itself. Don’t leave it up to your readers to find your best content. Help them along the way. Support your own content. That way, your posts will live on and readers won’t  be able to leave your site.

What are you doing to support your own content? Do you link internally in a structured way? Do you cover topics according to a content schedule?

Don’t Miss This Massive NMX 2014 Speaker Announcement!

Author:

Oct Speaker Group

We’re nearing the end of our speaker selection process for NMX 2014, and today we have a huge, awesome group of speakers to announce! This is shaping up to be the best conference in the history of NMX/BlogWorld, and that is not an understatement! Check out the amazing new speakers that will be joining us in Las Vegas this January (and remember, you can see all of our 2014 speakers here):

  • Bill Momary from Ebyline, whose session will teach you how to sell yourself to the media without selling out
  • Carol Cain from Girl Gone Travel, who will be doing a special session for travel bloggers
  • Cora Harrington, who will be presenting a community session in the Blogging Track
  • Dan Miller from 48 Days, who will be teaching us how to create a top-ranked podcast
  • Elsie Escobar from Libsyn who will be joining us as part of the Podcasting Track
  • Heather Greenwood Davis, the travel blogger behind Globetrotting Mama, who will be teaching you how to make money with your blog
  • Ian Cleary from Razor Social, who will be giving you tools to make you a more productive blogger
  • Jason Keath, social media specialist and speaker who is the mastermind behind SocialFresh
  • Kathy Doyle from Macmillan Quick & Dirty Tips, which produces award-winning podcasts like Grammar Girl and Nutrition Diva
  • Lian Dolan, a powerhouse in podcasting whose panel you don’t want to miss
  • Lisa B. Marshall, who will be joining us on a panel in the Podcasting Track
  • Luvvie Ajayi, who will be leading a personal branding workshop
  • Neal Schaffer, whose podcasting session is one you don’t want to miss
  • Paula Pant, a personal finance blogger who will help you rethink the way you create content
  • Ray Edwards, a podcasting panelist who will teach us what it takes to have a top podcast
  • Todd Cochran, the CEO of RawVoice, founder of the Podcast Awards, and host of the New Media Show and Geek News Central

Whew! What a great group of blogging, podcasting, and business speakers! And if that wasn’t enough, we’re also proud to announce a huge group of speakers who will be participating on panels and presenting solo sessions in the Web TV & Video track, led by Tim Street.

These speakers include:

  • April Grant
  • Avi Glijansky
  • Christine Weatherup
  • David H. Lawrence XVII
  • Frank Krueger
  • Greg Benson
  • J. Lee
  • J. Sibley Law
  • Jeff Burns
  • Jenn Page
  • Jennifer Selke
  • John Gilles
  • Kim Evey
  • Lon Seidman
  • Matt Morgenthaler
  • Michael Terpin
  • Paul Kontonis
  • Scott Brown
  • Shilpi Roy

We have even more speakers and panelists coming to this track, but as you can see, it is shaping up to be an educational experience you don’t want to miss if you are interested in producing, directing, acting, and editing.

I hope to see you at NMX 2014 to learn from all of our amazing speakers. If you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for? This is the LAST week to get your ticket at a discounted price, so don’t delay: Join the  media revolution today!

026 The Podcast Report – Things To Do While You Are In Vegas

Author:
Play

PodcastReport-150 Erik Fisher and I are back with another episode of The Podcast Report, the podcast devoted to the Podcasting Track of New Media Expo.

In this episode, Erik and I are joined by Dustin Hartzler, from Your Website Engineer, and Cesar Abeid, from PM For Masses, as we discuss only a few of the exciting things that you can do while you are in Las Vegas.

 
 
New Media Expo Promo
If you have an interest in promoting NMX to your audience, we have created a professionally produced promo that you can play on your podcast. This is a great way to encourage your community to come meet you, face to face, at this event.

Click Here To Download The Promo

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