The Best Sources For Your Blog Writing Inspiration

The Best Sources For Your Blog Writing Inspiration

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” – Benjamin Franklin.  Let’s kick this off by saying that this isn’t a post to convince you that you need to write a blog. If you Google “does my business need a blog?” there are over 280 million pages to cover that topic, while remembering that many businesses have grown successfully without one. I will post a few stats though: Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric) 69% of marketers say content is superior to direct mail and PR. (Source: Custom Content Council) The most common content marketing delivery mechanism is social media, used by 87% of marketers. (Source: CMI) The one thing that I will say for blogs at this point, is that they’re valuable content to help your social media goals as well as having SEO benefits. Back to this post though, which is designed to offer some suggestions about where your content ideas could come from. So, in no particular order, here goes: Inbound Customer Contact – What questions are your customers and prospects asking of you – through forms, phones calls, emails, tweets, etc? What do they want to know that could form the content of a blog post? Competitors – What are your competitors talking about and what angle could you write from, that is relevant to your audience? Social Media Search – Search for your keywords on twitter, Linkedin, etc. that could tell you what your target audience are talking about and asking of each other. Forums & Groups – For example,...
Dealing With Your Social Media Mistakes

Dealing With Your Social Media Mistakes

“I was born to make mistakes not to fake perfection.” – Drake I recently wrote a blog, “How to Deal With the Bad and Ugly Comments on Social Media”, which looked at how to deal with the any negative comments that you may receive on your social media pages. But what if you’re the one making the faux pas? How do you come back from that? In this instance, I’m not talking about grammatical errors or using too many hashtags. That’s for another post. Firstly, remember that you’re only human. Most of the mistakes I come across are extremely small and stem from having the confidence to try stuff out.  In many cases, mistakes can humanise our businesses, which add to the story and personality that we’re trying to convey. Waitrose One of my favourite examples, included in  – which also highlights that these things happen to big brands as well as small ones – comes from the supermarket chain, Waitrose. In September 2012, they invited their twitter followers to finish this sentence “I shop at Waitrose because…” The idea of the exercise was to encourage customers to praise their shops, e.g. their service or range of products. What they received was largely anything but that and the tweets that followed included: “I shop at Waitrose because Clarrisa’s pony just WILL NOT eat ASDA Value straw.” “I shop at Waitrose because I don’t like being surrounded by poor people.” “I shop at Waitrose because the toilet paper is made from 24ct gold thread. (Unless it’s the Essentials range)” “I shop at Waitrose because I want to prove to Jeremy Kyle...
Featured Freelancer: Annie Browne, Hello My PA

Featured Freelancer: Annie Browne, Hello My PA

  Our latest Featured Freelancer is Annie Browne, who launched Hello My PA in South Wales almost 2 years ago. As well as being a busy Virtual Assistant, Annie is also a moderator on the Freelance Heroes FB Group and will be co-hosting the soon-to-be-launched Freelance Heroes Podcast. Back to Annie Browne the VA though, as the following story is all about the journey of her freelance business so far… What is your name and what do you do? Hi! My name is Annie Browne and I am a virtual assistant and blogger. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I have been freelancing for almost two years. My family relocated at the end of 2014 and with no local jobs paying enough to cover childcare costs (I have two young children), I took the decision to focus on the skills that I had to offer and started working for myself instead. Becoming freelance made the most sense for me and my family. What support did you have from family and friends? Did anyone advise you against becoming freelance? We live at least 3 hours away from our family so it is very difficult for them to offer much support; I am certain that there is also a lack of understanding with regards to what I actually do. Most of my local friends are actually fellow freelancers and that offers a great amount of understanding and moral support. I have been advised several times that I shouldn’t be self employed and I have often been asked things like “when are you...
How to Deal With Any Negative Comments on Your Social Media

How to Deal With Any Negative Comments on Your Social Media

“Disaster gave me two things: a moment to react and a decision to overcome” – Michael Dooley, NYTimes Bestselling Author and Entrepreneur. I read an article this week from Inc.com contributor Jessica Stillman, entitled “How to Bounce Back from a Social Media Disaster”. It reminded me of an increasing number of stories of epic social media fails that happen from people who forget they’re on a global network, or from people who should just steer clear of social media. The particular one that stands out, which I included in my book and still use on training courses today, comes from the beautiful city of Bath, in the West of England. The story goes like this… In February 2014, a woman visited a deli in Bath for a cake and coffee. After her visit, she left the following feedback on the deli’s Facebook page: “The cakes looked amazing and I wanted to try every single one BUT the cakes were on very open display with every customer essentially leaning over them to order.” She added “”So, all the cakes were getting breathed on (or worse) by every single passing person, plus the staff. Which is a crying shame as they really did look extremely good. But due to the above, we just had coffee.” The sensible response from the deli would have been to accept the feedback as it was intended, i.e. constructive and good natured, and respond with words such as “Thank you for your feedback which we’ve taken on board and have now bought covers for the cakes. We hope you come back and try them soon.” However,...
Social Media Is, And Always Has Been, Free. Or Is It?

Social Media Is, And Always Has Been, Free. Or Is It?

“Nothing in the world is free” – My Dad There are many reasons why the adoption of Social Media, as we know it today, was so rapid: e.g. Easy access – mobile technology, increase in Wi-Fi and 3G coverage, etc. The concept of sharing is deeply ingrained within us One of the other reasons, of course, is that social media is – and always has been – free. Or is it? Of course, I know you get that creating a Facebook page or group is free. Signing up to Twitter is free. Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn are all… free! However, I want you to consider this for a moment: How much do you invoice your customers for your time? £400 a day? £900? More? Let’s work on the lower end of that amount, for the purpose of this blog. Now, how much time do you spend, on average, on your social media activity each day? 1 hour? More? If you spend an hour a day on your social media activity (either collectively or in one go) and charge £400 a day, then one week on social media amounts to a minimum of £200 a week of non billable time.* Do you still think social media is free? In any downturn of a business, and every business has one, you need to justify the expense of all areas to a business, either to yourself or the number crunchers. That’s easily done for time spent on sales or the billable work that is charged to a customer. But how do you justify your time spent planning and delivering good social media content?...