Easy Ways to Repurpose Blog Posts for More Traffic

repurpose_blog_postsYou spend a lot of time researching and writing an epic blog post. It’s gets social shares and comments and then goes off into the blogosphere.

There has to be more than that.

By taking your old blog posts and repurposing them, you can reach new people and drive more traffic back to your blog. Here are some ways to take old content and turn it into something new.

Podcast. Taking written content and delivering it in another way is probably one of the easiest ways to repurpose your content. Pick a blog post (or bundle a few together) that presents some quality information and record a podcast.

Webinar. Another option is a webinar. You can turn your content into a script and record a video of yourself, or you can create a PowerPoint presentation. The webinar can be marketed as a paid class or even given away for free in exchange for email addresses.

Infographic. There’s a reason infographics get shared a lot. Internet users are largely visual and you can easily turn a list post into a shareable infographic.

Printables. People love stuff they can download and print: checklists, calendars, lists of useful tools, lists of resources. Turn a list post into a printable page of tools or a checklist. Create a printable calendar from a post that contains day-by-day instructions. There are many options for easy-to-create printables.

Social media quotes. Your blog posts are likely full of pearls of wisdom. Go through them and use sentences that can be tweeted, shared on Facebook or pinned to Pinterest.

Emails. List or instruction posts can easily be turned into many emails. Expand on each step, give detailed instructions, examples, images, resources, etc. You could use it as an email series or in your newsletters.

EBook. If you have a bunch of related blog posts, group them together and turn them into an eBook. Add some content into between each post to make sure the entire thing flows nicely, clean it up a little and you have yourself an eBook to sell or use as an opt-in freebie.

Quora answers. Quora is a question-and-answer website where you can really build up your authority. There are so many different topics that the information in your blog posts are sure to be relevant somewhere. Use pieces of your content to answer questions and link back to your original post.

LinkedIn and Medium. There are places to republish your content online, like LinkedIn and Medium. Take your best stuff and republish them and link back to the original article on your site. You’ll get more exposure and more site traffic.

More blog posts. Find a list post that you can expand on and go more in-depth on each point, turning each into a separate blog post. You may even create a series to draw in an audience and keep them coming back for more each week. If the topic was popular with your audience once, there’s a good chance it will do well again.

Conclusion

After spending so much time on your blog posts, you should be able to reuse your content. Pick some of your most popular posts and repurpose them into something else that can get you more attention and drive more traffic back to your site.

Now to you: How do you take your old content and put new life into it?

I’m Back! What Happens When a #Freelancer Suddenly Gets Sick

what_happens_when_freelancer_gets_sickYou may have noticed that my blog has been pretty quiet lately.

It’s not because I wanted to neglect the blog. Not at all. I got sick.

It started back in May when I couldn’t keep anything down. It lasted for weeks. I ended up in the Emergency Room twice for dehydration and really low blood pressure. The attending doctor from the first ER visit … she was gem. When I told her I didn’t have any other symptoms other than vomiting she couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. She actually stood there and kept saying “It’s so strange.” Great. Thanks lady. You’re helpful.

After some tests ordered by my physician, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. Basically my stomach muscles were paralyzed so I wasn’t digesting food or liquid. Okay, it sucks but I was happy to have an answer.

Unfortunately it didn’t stop there.

Shortly after, I noticed I was having a hard time lifting my left leg. I had some numbness in both legs for about a month already (my physician said it was due to the fact that I was lacking nutrition) but now I was losing movement.

From there, the motor function in my left leg quickly diminished. Within a week I couldn’t walk on it at all. Couldn’t lift it, move it on my own, nothing.

I visited a neurologist and was sent to the hospital that day. After getting a MRI and a lumbar puncture (which, by the way, is as horrible as it sounds), I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis.

Transverse myelitis is defined as “a rare inflammatory disease causing injury to the spinal cord with varying degrees of weakness, sensory alterations, and autonomic dysfunction.” There is an estimated 1 to 8 new cases per million each year. What luck right? My husband says I should play the lottery.

I was in the hospital for 5 days and given strong steroids to reduce the inflammation. Since I could barely walk, I was considered a fall risk and had to call a nurse for everything. Do you know what it’s like to have to call someone just to pee?

By the time I went home, I had regained some movement in my leg.

Since then I have only gotten stronger. I can walk unassisted pretty well now. I get tired quicker, but I’m walking. I can cook and clean (for short periods of time) again. I started driving again with my husband in the car. As someone who has been driving for a long time now, the break from driving was nice. At first. Being chauffeured everywhere gets old … fast.

So, let’s get to the point of this post.

As a freelance writer, I can’t just call in sick and have someone cover my shift. Getting so ill that you can’t work is something all freelancers may face at one point in time. So here is my advice on how to handle the situation.

Notify Your Clients

Start by emailing/calling your clients. Let them know your situation.

I’ll be honest; I have always been able to move things around just enough to take a single rest day here and there if I was feeling under the weather. But this was a whole ‘nother ball game and I was nervous.

Turns out, I had absolutely no reason to be nervous. I have some seriously awesome clients. These past few months, there were times when their content didn’t get written. Periods where they did not have a blog post to publish. And they were all okay with that.

And chances are, your clients will be too.

Trim Your To-Do List

Next thing you need to do is cut out the tasks that really don’t need to be done right now. In most cases, these are likely going to be the tasks that are non-billable. Things like your own blog (obviously this is me), social media, answering emails, etc. These are the things that you won’t get paid for and won’t seriously hurt your business if you miss a day or two.

Wait or Pass It On?

Now let’s talk about the tasks that you must do. Like your client work. You don’t want to do more than you are up to. If you are really ill, your first job should be to get better. Taking on too much right now will only prolong your sickness.

Basically, you have 2 choices here:

Delay – These are going to be the tasks you can put off for a few days until you recover. Things that have flexible deadlines or even projects for super cool clients can fall into this category.

Delegate – Tasks that absolutely need to get done can be outsourced. Tap into your freelance contacts and find someone you are comfortable handing these over to.

You can hire someone to do the work for you while you keep a portion of the payment as a referral fee. If you plan to completely hand these tasks over to someone else, make sure you are upfront with your clients about doing so.

Conclusion

Getting sick is no fun. Having to stay in the hospital was even less fun. As a freelancer, your work and current projects are always in the back of your mind. If you do get sick, follow these steps to handle the situation like a pro.

Over to you: Have you ever had to take a break from work due to illness? How did you manage your business and health at the same time?

 

8 Ways to Balance Work and Family

balancing work and family, work from home Balancing a work life and a home life can be difficult, but with a little knowledge and planning, you can make it work for you. Here are 8 tips that will help you balance your work life and home life.

  1. Set realistic goals. It’s pretty much a given fact that if you want to achieve something big, you have to make some sacrifices. While the select few can manage, most people can’t become a CEO and run a successful household. When setting your goals, be realistic and don’t stretch yourself too thin.
  1. Make schedules. Keeping track of work and your family can be difficult to plan. Try to keep a set schedule from day to day and week to week if you can. Always remember to make a written schedule and give everyone a copy.
  1. Take time for yourself. It’s a natural instinct of mothers to sacrifice themselves for the good of their family. However, it’s important to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Try to schedule in at least a few minutes of “you time”, whether it be going for a run, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in a room by yourself to relax for a few minutes.
  1. Get some exercise. Working out is not only a great way to stay healthy and gain energy, it’s also a great way to spend time with your kids. Instead of hitting the gym, go play ball in the park or take them for a walk.
  1. Prioritize. When making your to-do lists, figure out the things that are most important for you to do and get them done first. If there isn’t enough time to do everything, you won’t feel as bad about what you have to cut.
  1. Take classes. As many people will tell you, there’s no manual on how to be a good parent and have a successful career. But if you search around your community, you can find classes and seminars from people that have been where you are and managed to do well. They can give you inspiration along with helpful tips and tidbits to get through your day.
  1. Watch for burn out. Even if you schedule everything, take breaks, and do everything else above, what you’re doing may just be too much for you. Watch yourself for changes in mood or physical problems. They could be a sign that you’re burnt out and need to make some changes to your plans. Remember, your health is important too.
  1. Learn to say no. If you want to have a successful career and family life, you will have to learn to say no occasionally. If you try to do everything, you’re going to burn yourself out and not be able to take care of anyone. Being a good employee and a good parent doesn’t mean you need to do everything you’re asked.

Cost Considerations When Marketing Your Freelance Services

marketing costsSo you’ve decided to branch out on your own and become a freelancer? With today’s competitive job market, being a freelance worker can sometimes allow you to use your skills and earn the income you need in order to keep yourself afloat.

There are many things you need to consider when it comes to self-promoting, marketing and offering your freelance services to others. You must be committed to working hard and realize that your success is not going to happen nearly as quickly as you would like.

Once you have laid the groundwork for your freelance business, it’s important to begin to consider your marketing costs. Formulate a plan that will suit your budget. It’s not always easy to determine how much money should be spent on marketing your services. Your focus really shouldn’t be on how much you should spend. You need to be true to yourself and determine how much you can afford to spend.

Here are some things you really need to consider when you are trying to decide how much time and money you should spend on marketing.

  1. Who is your target audience and where do you find them? Decide who you will be providing services to. The type of business you intend to perform work for will help you make an initial determination about how much time you will need to spend in getting yourself noticed. Smaller businesses are sometimes easier and require less effort, whereas larger businesses such as huge corporations will require much more time and resources.
  1. What is your budget? Take a close look at how much you can afford to spend on marketing your freelance services.
  1. How much time do you have to spend on marketing? Marketing your business can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. Research, strategize and come up with a marketing plan that works. Once you complete your business marketing plan, it’s important to stick to it!
  1. Utilize the free or low-cost marketing resources made available to you. This can include things such as social media and building your own website by utilizing the free resources available such as WordPress or other similar sites. There are also some low-cost websites and hosting packages available for you to use.
  1. Do you have a well-planned marketing strategy? If not, it’s time to get it together and make one. Think about how much you can afford to re-invest in your business and how much payout you must have in order to exist on a day-to-day basis.

A successful freelance business is possible when you implement it properly, plan accordingly, strategize, and stick to your plan. Marketing is one of the most important elements in helping your business get to the level of success you desire. Determine your business goals and manage your time properly. Don’t spend more than you have in your planned budget.

The determining factor in how much time and money you will spend depends solely on the resources available to you. Wise choices and proper strategy will give your freelance business the success you desire and enable you to reach your goals.

 

Why Every Small Business Needs A Website Today

every small business needs a websiteImagine someone doing a search for a product or service you just so happen to sell. They do an online search and find your company information as well as your competitors. If your competitor has a website and you don’t, which link do you think this person is likely to click? If you guessed your competitors, you’re absolutely right.

People today are visual. They want to see something or read what others think before they decide to make any purchase.

That’s why, having a website is crucial nowadays. And for a small business it’s probably the best decision and investment you could make. Why? Let me introduce you to the ABC model of why every small business needs a website today.

A is for Advertising

Consider having a website as a form of advertising your small business. Besides showcasing your product or service you can offer more to your customers, like online specials, seasonal deals and easy shopping.

You can also post photos of your product or show off what customers have to say about your business or the service they received from you.

B is for Building Relationships

You don’t want to offer your product or service and forget about your customer after they buy it. If you want repeat business or referrals, you have to build relationships with your customers. Having a website will keep customers an email away from being in contact with you. And by you replying to their email and addressing their concerns, you’re gaining their trust and that’s a great thing for business.

With options like a sign up page, you can create a newsletter to stay in touch with your email subscribers and offer new deals or exclusive rates.

C is for Competition

This has to be the best reason to have a website. Your competitors, big and small, have a website and are already promoting their product or service and going after your customers.

Without a website you’re practically handing over potential customers to your competition. If you want to be seen, you have to play where the game is at – online.

Debugging the Myth

Some small business owners think it would be too expensive to have a website designed and to difficult to maintain on an on-going basis. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

While the cost for a website can be expensive, the fact is you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a nice one. The resource that is often overlooked is independent web designers.

If you do an online search for a web designer, chances are you will find an independent designer who can build you a quality website without stretching your budget.

When you think about it, it’s a win-win situation. You would support a fellow small business owner and they in return will build you a beautiful website with the same bells and whistles as a bigger company would, easy to navigate for your customers, and best of all, help grow your business.

A couple things an independent web designer has that a major web design company may not offer is things like:

  • Devoted time to create a website based on your ideas and preferences.
  • One-on-one, unlimited support. A bigger business would consider this an extra service and charge you an hourly rate.

I hope this post will encourage you to get a website for your small business. If you have any questions about web design, I’m here to help!

corina ramosAuthor: Corina Ramos, Quality Websites On a Budget
Corina is a blogger from Houston, Texas and she has developed a passion for creating websites. She helps small businesses grow their online presence by designing beautiful, user-friendly websites at an affordable price. Visit her at  Quality Websites On a Budget and contact her to get your website designed.

How Creating Webinars Can Rock Your Business

webinars_rock_your_businessIt seems like more and more businesses are creating webinars.

And for good reason.

Webinars are the perfect means to boost your business and generate leads. They can help you level up above other businesses in your industry, and stand out in the eyes of consumers.

Why Webinars?

There are so many reasons to do webinars. Among them:

You can become an authority. Who doesn’t want that? There’s something about speaking and presenting that makes you really look like you know what you’re talking about.

You can increase web traffic. People love stuff that will teach them something, especially if it’s free. Promote a free webinar on your site and watch the traffic roll in.

It’s a great way to capture emails. Your sign up form should also subscribe webinar attendees to your email list. It’s a great way to add qualified leads to your mailing list.

It can help you create a bond with subscribers. Listening to you live is as close to actually meeting you in person as it gets for most people. Since they can also interact with you during the webinar, it’s a great start to a relationship.

You can promote a product or service. Have a product related to the topic of your webinar? This is the perfect opportunity to push it to people who are already interested.

Getting Started

I hope you’re convinced that hosting a webinar can really help your business. Now don’t worry, webinars are actually easy to create.

Start by picking the right topic. An easy way to do this is to simply check your blog. Look at your most popular posts to see what your followers and people in your industry are interested in. If you have enough content on your site, you can even take a few of your related posts and repurpose them into a webinar.

Don’t have a blog? (By the way, you should have one. It’s an easy way to get traffic and turn you into an instant authority source) Do some research on other blogs and see what people in your industry are talking about. What questions come up the most? What topics are discussed? Find something that has good organic search potential. You will have to do some keyword research for this.

Set up a landing page on your site to help promote the webinar. Share your link on social media and with your existing email list. Place a sign up form in a prominent location on your site. You may even want to shoot a quick video telling people what your webinar is about.

A webinar is a great way to increase your authority and really boost your business. And they’re not difficult to do.

5 Tactics to Help You Find More Customers for Your Small Business

Small businesses can grow at a steady rate, but sometimes you really want to propel your results. If you are on a mission to grow your small business, there are several proven tactics you can use to find more customers. Check out this infographic for some tactics that you can use to find even more customers for your growing business.

find_more_customers-2

How to Get More Reviews On Yelp

get_more_reviews_on_yelpFor businesses to get ahead, positive online reviews are like gold. So it’s no surprise that Yelp reviews have become the word-of-mouth of yesteryear. Consumers flock to Yelp, not only to look for suggestions, but to check out reviews before patronizing any business. If you have positive reviews on Yelp, you can bet you have a greater chance of getting even more business.

But what do you do if you don’t have any reviews on Yelp? Here are some tips to help you gather some quickly.

Claim your page. Go to Yelp and claim your business page. Fully customize it by adding images, a description of your business, business hours, contact information, etc.

Add a Yelp badge on your website. Make it clear that you’re on Yelp! Add a review badge and a link on your site where it can easily be seen.

Put a sign in your store. If you have a physical location, place a sign “Find us on Yelp” sign in your front window or near the register.

Add the link in your email siggie. The more exposure you can bring to your Yelp page, the better. Add your link to your email signature, your email newsletters and anywhere else you can.

Cross promote your Yelp profile. Utilize your social media followers to get reviews. Don’t go begging for positive reviews, that just screams desperate. Instead, post that you’re on Yelp and would love to hear what people think of you. Or simply say “Check us out on Yelp.”

Ask your loyal customers. If you have customers you have you serviced for years, you may be able to nicely ask if they would be willing to leave you a review on Yelp. You may even offer an incentive for leaving a review – like a coupon or discount.

Ask your vendors. Vendors you have worked closely with often know your business best. Like hitting up your loyal customers, don’t bribe or blatantly ask for a raving review. You can, however, ask vendors if they would review your business, not as a customer, but as someone how has worked with you.

Conclusion

Peer influence is great motivator when it comes to consumers. Yelp reviews are a great way to grow your customer base. If you don’t have enough (or any!) positive reviews on Yelp, follow these tips to help get your name on the Yelp board.

What Does the Perfect Social Post Look Like?

perfect_social_postOkay so there’s no such thing as a perfect post. But there are some elements you should include that are specific for each platform. Let’s take a look at the components for an optimal Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube post.

Facebook

While this one seems like a no-brainer, there are some elements that are often forgotten. Start with your link. If your goal is to increase your website or blog traffic, it’s best to share links to your own stuff.

Make sure you include a description. Don’t let your link preview do all the talking. This is where you can add extra details and keywords to really bring your post some attention. And of course, make sure that your image is displaying correctly.

Twitter

Short and sweet, there may seem like there isn’t a lot to know about Twitter. But here’s a tip: keep your posts less than the allotted 140 characters. It leaves space for others to RT without losing any of the valuable content. The best way to do this is to use a link shortener like bit.ly. It will also let you track your clicks.

Another thing that works well on Twitter is adding a call-to-action. Make it clear what you want people to do after they have read your post.

Pinterest

For this image-based site, it’s best to use images that seem to work well. Images with less background tend to have the most repins. So do images without human faces. Colorful images do way better than black and white ones, as do images with multiple colors. You can also use hashtags to make your pins easier to find.

YouTube

This search engine giant is great for bringing traffic back to your site. The first part of creating the perfect YouTube post is to get your title right. The title is what will entice viewers to click on your video. You also want to make sure you add a description. Using keywords in your description will help your video rank better and will help people find it. Make sure that you include links to your site and affiliate links to any products that you mention.

Lastly, optimize your video. Add tags that will help it get found. Customize your thumbnail to attack more clicks. Pick an image that is interesting but still relevant to your content.

Conclusion

While there really isn’t a definitive right or wrong way to post on social media, there are some things that can greatly help your posts gets traffic and attention. Use these tips when crafting your posts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Email Marketing for Local Businesses 101

email_marketing_local_businessesEmail marketing is one of the top strategies for online businesses, but what about local businesses?

Many local businesses disregard email as a marketing method simply because their business is offline and they think it’s not a relevant tactic.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Email marketing still works extremely well for local businesses. Email has the power to engage your current customers and increase your sales. Whether you are new to email marketing or need some tips to boost what you’re doing now, these tips should help.

How to Build Your List

The first step to utilizing email marketing is to build a decent-sized list. Here are some tips to help you do that.

Include the sign-up in your checkout process. You can place a small sign and have a way for people to sign up at the register. If your checkout process is electronic, you can add an email screen that will allow you to collect emails upon checkout.

Give them an incentive to sign up. Not everybody is keen on getting a bunch of emails, so make this is easy decision for them. Offer a special coupon, discount or the prospect of getting future discounts just for signing up.

Add your opt-in form to your website. In addition to collecting emails in-store, make sure there is an opt-in form on your business website as well. Place the form at eye level, or even use a pop-up) to ensure people will see it.

Add it to your Facebook fan page too. If your business has a fairly active Facebook fan page, you can take advantage of it and get email addresses there too. Follow these instructions to add an opt-in form on your Facebook page.

Make it easy for them to sign up. Keep your website opt-in form minimal. No one wants to fill in a ton of fields just to receive a small discount. Make signing up for your email list easy and appealing by requiring just their email address.

Creating Awesome Emails

Now that you have collected a bunch of subscribers, you want to send emails that not only keep their interest, but boost your business. Not sure what to send? Here are some ideas.

Add social buttons to your emails. In your footer, don’t forget to add your social sharing icons. This will encourage readers to share your messages and inspire even more subscribers.

Check all your messages before they go out. Many online readers are now browsing on mobile devices. Because of this, it is extremely important that you double check your messages to ensure they look good on all sorts of devices.

Keep in touch regularly. While you don’t have to send an email every week, you should engage your subscribers at least once a month. Share your latest blog posts, announce upcoming events and sales, or include a product or service feature.

Send surveys. By surveying your subscribers you not only help your business, you also help your readers. Ask them what they want to see in your newsletters, and follow through with it. People are much more likely to continue reading your emails if they feel they have an impact on you and your business.

Send special announcements. Have a big sale coming up? Make sure your email subscribers hear the news first. You may want to offer special coupons that are only for subscribers, or give them first dibs on a flash sale. Make signing up for your email list worth their while.

Conclusion

Even for brick and mortar stores, email marketing works. It is a way to engage your customers both in-store and online and keep them coming back for more.