How I Got Invited to Write for an Incredibly High Traffic Blog

As an entrepreneur, I look for the most efficient way to market myself and my business. Two of the most effective are OPM and OEM.

  • OPM – Other People’s Money
  • OEM – Other Expert’s Markets

Both are great ways to increase your reach, while lowering your cost of marketing.

OPM can be through sponsorship dollars, co-op advertising, affiliate sales, and angel investors. According to an article on Inc.com, “There are different flavors of OPM from which to choose, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Depending upon the circumstances, some of forms of OPM may be easier to obtain or less costly than others. To minimize the cost, the entrepreneur must make strategic choices with respect to which category of OPM to seek, how much to seek and when to seek it.”

If funding is an issue for your business, consider collaborative efforts with OPM.

Another, somewhat underutilized powerhouse marketing strategy is OEM – Other Expert’s Markets. This is where you are invited into an established community to share your message.

It can be through webinars, teleseminars, summits, guest blogging, radio and podcast interviews.

Personally, I love OEM. When I’m invited to share my message with an established market, I gain instant credibility with that particular group of people.

The more visible you are, the more opportunity seems to come out of the woodwork.

Starting out

One of the best ways to create opportunities to get in front of someone else’s community is through proactive content marketing. Simply put, content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not overtly promote a brand but is intended to position expert status and/or generate interest in a brand.

The more high value the content is you distribute online, the easier it is to generate opportunities to get in front of other expert’s markets. In addition, you will find organizations seek out experts who do have a lot of outstanding content online.

Even if you are not sought out directly, you may subscribe to services that inform you of various opportunities. Or, perhaps you belong to organizations that offer the opportunity for members to gain visibility through their content marketing.

Make it Easy to Say Yes!

When these opportunities show up, it’s easier for someone to say yes to you, whether it be for an interview, an article for the ezine, a spot in an expert summit or a featured post on their blog when you have various types of content readily available. This gives the decision maker the chance to evaluate the risk of putting you (and your message) in front of their audience.

When I started online, back in the late nineties, I constantly searched out opportunity. Often, I was told no. Fast forward twenty years and the conversation is very different. More times than not, I am sought out to contribute. The primary reason for this is due to the amount of content I have online.

A quick Google search will bring up listings of interviews, summits, articles, blog postings and books I’ve contributed to. I’m a relatively low risk for someone seeking an expert with my background and perspective.

I don’t say this to impress anyone, but to impress upon you the importance of starting today to get your content out to market.

Two recent opportunities

Your Pursuit of Purpose Summit

What an amazing opportunity I was presented with when Ben Stein reached out to me. He said he had seen a few of my interviews, read lots of my content and felt I would be a great fit for this event.

Had I not had so much content online, he likely would not have found me. Content marketing is a powerful, powerful strategy.

http://www.yourpursuitofpurposesummit.com/kgage

eWomen Network Featured Blog Post

I’ve been a member of eWomen Network, the largest online women’s community of its kind. Boasting membership of thousands of professionals from around the globe, there’s a lot to be gained by being featured on the organization’s blog.

When the call for contributors crossed my desk, I wasted no time responding. After checking me out online, the editor quickly got back to me, officially inviting me to contribute.

Had I not had lots of content online, including on my own blog, it’s likely I would not have had such a positive response.

In both these cases, my success resides in the amount of my content one can easily find. In truth, I’m a very low risk to anyone who extends an invitation.

https://www.ewomennetwork.com/blog/ewomennetwork-1/post/how-i-turned-my-big-hairy-audacious-goal-into-a-reality-124

The best part of all is this; both opportunities allow me to increase my market reach, drive traffic to my blog, mention my books and increase my credibility.

It’s simple mathematics. OEM increases opportunity.

Where to start

I started my content marketing journey like others, at the beginning. By sticking with it, I am now able to fully enjoy the power of OEM.

With vision, time and commitment, you can too.

If you’re in the beginning stages of utilizing content marketing, the best thing to do is have a targeted and consistent approach.

Each day, post something. Whether it be a video, article, blog post, an interview or excerpts from a book you’ve written, or are writing, take daily action.

Here’s a simple checklist of activities.

  • Article directories
  • Social media posts
  • YouTube videos
  • Blogging on your blog
  • Guest blogging

Again, make a commitment to take one action per day and more if possible. Do this for the next 30 days and watch what happens.

 

 

Authors: Get Your Book in the Hands of Lots of Readers

If you dream of getting your book in the hands of lots of readers, you need to be proactive in the how, when and why of marketing your book.

To get the greatest results, your marketing efforts need to begin long before your book is published. Don’t wait until you have the book in hand to create a plan for marketing. The sooner you start, the better.

Three guidelines that will get lots of traction are:

  • Gear your marketing to specific groups rather than general readership
  • Be consistent in your efforts
  • Focus on building a subscriber list of buyers

Specific groups

The more targeted you are in your efforts, the better. After all, when someone does a Google search on a specific topic, if you have fine-tuned your message, it’s easier for a potential reader to find you.

Example: If you write a book about older women’s fitness, you will get a greater result by using terms specific to older women such as “women over 60 fitness” rather than “women’s fitness.”

What search terms are your potential readers using? Put yourself in the shoes of the reader as you develop your messaging. The more targeted you are, the better.

Consistent effort

To get the greatest result, it’s necessary to market every day. Rather than a hit and miss effort, create a checklist of marketing activities for your book. Each day, do at least two or three things to gain traction for your book.

Most authors do very little, if anything, to market their books. Imagine if you did something each day to gain visibility for your book(s). It takes more than sending out an occasional email, tweet, blog post or social media post to succeed in marketing your book.

Keep in mind that marketing every day is not marketing all day. As little as 15 minutes a day will get you results far better than authors who do nothing.

Subscriber list

Your marketing plan should include a strategy for building your subscriber list. One way is to include something inside of your book encouraging readers to visit a landing page for a special gift in exchange for their name and email address. This allows you to keep in touch with readers.

Another way is to create an independent landing page in which you encourage people to visit Amazon, buy the book and then return to the landing page to input their name, email and order number. In return, they receive a report, video or audio file.

Once the landing page is created, drive traffic to the page via social media, blog posts, and sending emails to your current subscribers.

Marketing your book doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. However, it does need to be a process.

Obviously, by planning out what you will do, you will achieve better results. Of course, it takes more than simply creating a plan. You must work the plan on a consistent basis to realize the greatest results.

 

 

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Authors: Your words have the power to transform, influence and change minds!

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“It seems from all I’m seeing, your major focus is on writing and marketing books. What’s gotten you so excited about this right now?” Brian Basilico, host It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon Podcast show, asked me during a recent interview.

“Now more than ever, we’re at a really critical time in our world and words have the power to change lives. I’m committed to helping as many authors get their message out in a big way,” I responded.

This was the kickoff to a lively conversation between Brian and myself.

(Full interview here https://www.baconpodcast.com/episode-287-power-writing-marketing-books-business-kathleen-gage/

The main point I wanted to get across during the interview is this; regardless of whether you write books, blog posts, articles or post your thoughts on social media sites, words have power.

It's a Critical Time

Right now, more than ever, authors need to step up to the plate and be willing to transform readers with your words.

As an author, are you willing to write your truth? Are you willing to take a position that CAN change lives? Are you willing to quit hiding out?

In my interview with Brian, I shared why writing is so important to me and the clients I work with.  If I can help a transformational writer get their message out to market, I’ve done my job.

In order to have this ability, it is essential for me to get out of the shadows. I must write about what is important to me. I must also be willing to not let other people’s judgment of me stop me in any way, shape or form.

Case in point

With all that is occurring around the Charlottesville, Va., there are those of us not willing to stand by in silence. The following is a post I recently posted on Facebook.

The great majority of people know right from wrong.

They know that there are evil and dangerous people. Many are speaking out against this evil, while others sit by quietly, not wanting to rock the boat. The boat must be rocked!

Here's the deal….

President Trump on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 sought to sanitize the stench of hate surrounding a deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia, calling armed, torch-carrying protesters clad in Nazi gear “very fine people” looking to protect their history.

Let's be very, very clear. Any Nazi is NOT a very fine person. Not at all. They are evil, dangerous and are not welcome anywhere. They are teaching their children hatred and attempting to infect the world with their poisonous BS.

Growing up, my mother shared stories of what it was like to live in a country occupied by the Nazis during WWII. As a young teen, she grew up knowing the evils, first hand, of what it was like to wonder if her home would be bombed, her friends taken to the camps (yes, there were many of her Jewish schoolmates who, from one day to the next, she witnessed disappearing), her own family under the threat of going to the camps and her uncle being beheaded by the Nazis for working the underground resistance. Every day my great uncle would do what he knew was right at the risk of losing his life, until one day he did.

Many people are speaking out as we watch the horrors unfold in the United States and around the world. Yet, many are passing judgement when they do not see others stepping up… or so they think.

In reality, we do not see all that our friends are doing. If you don't see that people are standing up for what is right and just, do not assume they are not.

My dear friend, Audrey Joseph is involved in San Francisco with organizing a march. In her own words “HEADS UP!!!! You have spoken and I agree the counter demonstration should happen in Civic Center at the same time on Aug 26th. More later but please be prepares to have your voices heard – to speak out against bigotry and hate.”

If you're not on Audrey's thread you have no idea what she's doing. And yet, Audrey is the kind of woman who rocks the boat, speaks up, organizes and does so with so much passion, power and persistence. She will not be silenced. She will not let hate prevail.

Do not assume because you haven't seen what folks are up to in the wake of hatred escalating that they are not doing something. Do not judge what you cannot see. There are many people at work on a grassroots level doing a lot.

Rather than judge others level of involvement, we must all ask ourselves, “Are we keeping silent out of fear of being judged and politically correct?” Screw political correctness. Our voices must be heard.

Are we offering up solutions or are we waiting for others to create the solution?

There is absolutely no time to stand by and hope this will go away. Each, in our own way, must be willing to stand up and be heard.

***End of post on Facebook***

Do What You Can

Truth be told, each, in our own way, can do. Each, in our own way, must do something.

Words have power. Words influence others. Words make a difference.

Are your words being heard, seen and read? If not, why not. Don’t wait for permission. Step up and be counted.

Interview on Bacon Podcast. https://www.baconpodcast.com/episode-287-power-writing-marketing-books-business-kathleen-gage/

Authors: Facebook Engagement Has the Potential to Create Raving Fans (and Readers)

Facebook is one of the best places for you, as an author, to build a community and develop potential readers for your books. Yet, many authors do nothing to create a presence. It's as if they are hiding out.

Groups

Groups are one of the best ways to focus your efforts on building a presence with people who have similar interests. There are groups for just about any interest both personally and professionally.

Groups are a great way to build community, create engagement and add value. Whether you own the group or belong to groups, involvement is essential.

My own Facebook group, Power Up for Profits, was created as a place for anyone who is into content creation. Whether it be to write books, develop information products, speak on the platform, offer webinars and teleseminars or blog, the goal with this group is to create an environment of individuals who want to up their game with content creation and content marketing.

I belong to several groups on Facebook that align with my own interests, as do many people I know. The group owners do what they can to get people involved.

Amazingly, lots of people will join groups, but do nothing beyond join. Rather than taking advantage of being in a group of people who have similar interests, they lurk.

Fact is, if you make yourself visible, create value by contributing to conversations, you may likely increase the number of people who are interested in your books, information products and/or services.

It’s not about blatantly selling, it’s about engagement.

Plan Your Engagement

Many people spend a great deal of time on Facebook, but have no plan for engagement.

Engagement is about interaction beyond views. Facebook defines engagement as clicks, comments, likes and shares. The more engagement, the better your metrics with Facebook.

Rather than simply hanging out on Facebook, develop a strategy for engagement. You will be amazed at how beneficial this can be.

Content Rules

Content is a huge part of engagement. Three types of content you can create to engage your community are images, videos and blog posts.

Images

Images have become incredibly popular on Facebook (as well as other social networks). They grab attention, are easy to share and have the potential for incredible reach. As an author, you can put images of your book cover, activities you’re involved with and your own quotes.

Video

Without a doubt, video is a great way to position your message. It’s simple to create video.  Whether it be from Facebook live or shooting from your iPhone, video can create incredible engagement. Of course, you can post professionally developed video, but for the sake of ease and simplicity, Facebook Live and iPhone video works great.

With video, you have only a couple of seconds to grab the attention of the viewer. Think through what you want to say before shooting. Then, once you go live, have fun.

Blog posts

A great way to encourage engagement and drive traffic outside of Facebook is with blog posts. However, rather than simply putting your blog URL use a permalink to a specific post. A permalink is the link to an individual blog post.

If you plan to run Facebook ads, you can create an ad for a specific blog post. When done right, this allows you to gather information on who visited your blog. From there, you can profile the people interested in your content and run ads to those people.

Engagement

The whole idea with Facebook is to create engagement. The more engagement, the more you create a community. The stronger your community, the more likely it is they will buy your books.

  1. Be yourself

Let your personality shine through. This is how you build community. Keep in mind, there are people who will enjoy you for who you are and others who will not. It’s better to build a community of people who appreciate you for you, rather than trying to create a persona that is not reflective of who you are.

  1. Use images

Images are a great way to attract attention. Post pictures of activities you’re involved with to convey more of your personality. For example, I often post pictures of my animals, my outdoor activity and my family. Recently, I posted images of my kitchen in the beginning stages of a remodel. I was amazed at how many likes and comments I received.

You can also post images with your own quotes. This is another way to let your personality shine through.

  1. Ask questions

When you ask questions, you give people a chance to get involved. Design your questions around your book. This creates the opportunity to make mention of your book.

  1. Vary your content

Keep things interesting. Visual quotes, images, video, text, fun facts, comics, quizzes, surveys and questions are all ways to engage your audience. There are so many options to choose from. Think in terms of how you can position the content of your book in order to build interest from your community.

As an author, you have so many options to create interest in your book. Engage your community to create raving fans. Because bottom line is this; raving fans want more of you and your books give them this opportunity.

Ready to learn how to Get to #1? Get my FREE video training CLICK HERE

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Books inspire… does yours?

In 1964 I was separated from my wife at that time and living in a rundown hotel. On the bed stand was a Look magazine with an article on Frankl’s book. I went to the library and got a copy and still have that book. As a result of that book I switched from engineering to psychology and have never looked back.” Ty Colbert.

I received this message from a gentleman responding to a post I wrote entitled, What Viktor Frankl did That Makes Him One of My Heroes.

Viktor Fankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, a book about his insights while a prisoner in a concentration camp during WWII.

Many of us have one book that changed our life forever. Sure, there are going to be more than one, but there is one that tends to stand out more than any other.

In my case, the one book is The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol.

One Book Changes it All

The year was 1975. My life was in shambles. I was working a dead-end job, in a relationship destined to fail, drinking to excess, 50 pounds overweight and wondering how my life got to the point it was at.

To ease the pain of a life with no direction, I took a drive to “figure things out.” Driving aimlessly around the streets of San Jose, California, it was a perfect day to “clear my head.”

My car was in need of major repair, rent was late and my normal staple of food was a bowl of ramen.

With nothing better to do than stop at the many garage sales I came upon, one in particular caught my attention. A strategically placed stack of books in the front of a driveway drew me in.

My passion for reading went back many years. Reading was an escape from reality. No matter what I read, I was always able to forget any problems I had.

Parking my car as close to the house as possible to avoid having to walk more than necessary, I made a beeline for the pile of books.

I was drawn to The Magic of Believing. The title caught my attention.

Carefully thumbing through the worn pages, I was hooked from the first chapter.

I desperately wanted my life to change. Where I was on that summer day in 1975 was a far cry from my middle-class upbringing. Although not rich by any sense of the imagination, my mother and father made sure we never went without what we needed.

“How had my life ended up here?” I wondered as I reached in my pocket to pull out what little change I had.

An attractive, well groomed, middle aged woman approached me.

“Ten cents,” she smiled.

A feeling of desperation, mixed with hope, swept over me as I handed her a dime.

Hoping beyond hope this book would help me, I turned to leave. I rushed home to begin reading the book that would change my thinking forever.

Did it happen in a day? Not at all, but it did start a lifelong journey of self-discovery.

42 years later, I have no doubt buying this one book, even for a dime, changed my life forever. It was the beginning of my willingness to invest in hundreds of books on personal development, spirituality, business development and anything that offers me insights for a better way of life.

Since that time, I have written several books. I write because I am called to write. I cannot not write.

Hope Floats

My hope is that my words inspire others the way Man’s Search for Meaning inspired Ty Colbert and The Magic of Believing moved me.

It’s the same with the books you are meant to write. Often, as authors, we forget the impact our words have on others. We lose sight of how impactful our insights can be to another. We get lost in the amount of work it takes to write and market our book(s) rather than realize we are the vehicle for the message.

Words change lives. They impact. They inspire. They motivate.

Yet, if you don’t do all you can to write, you are depriving countless individuals the opportunity to learn from you.

By the same token, if you don’t do all you can to market your work, you are missing the opportunity to impact others in a way only you can do.

Want to know how to get your books high on the charts? Get my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

Maybe you prefer watching my training on How to Hit #1 webinarCLICK HERE for an hour of content driven video.

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11 Ways to Promote Your Book with One Blog Post

Yesterday, I wrote about using Blog Tours to sell books. Today we will go further to look at repurposing and gaining visibility for your content.

Evergreen

One of the first rules of thumb for repurposing content is to make it as evergreen as possible. What this simply means is that the content will be as timely today as a year from now.

Infographic

Take a portion of the content and add it to a graphic to create an engaging infographic. Lead people bac to your blog with the URL in the graphic.

Reformat

Reformatting your content for different mediums means appealing to more audiences and extending your reach such as recording the content, shooting a short video, or moving information around with a new intro paragraph and closing paragraph.

Granted, in some case, you won’t be able to repurpose without doing a major rewrite, while in other cases, the changes will be minimal.

Promotions

Something else that will get your more mileage for your efforts is to promote the blog post.

The more visibility the post receives obviously the more opportunity to sell your books.

Here are 11 ways to promote your book with a blog post:

Promote your posts

  1. Post the permalink on social media. It’s likely you have several social media accounts. These are ideal places for you to position your blog posts.
  2. Take short snippets from your blog post and turn into tweets. Within minutes you can likely get dozens of tweets from one blog post. Add in the permalink to drive traffic back to your blog post.
  3. Use hashtags to gain more traction. For example, if you have a book on dog training, you could use #dog #dogtraining #dogs as some of the hashtags.
  4. Post the full article on 3 – 6 top article directories. In the resource box, direct readers back to your blog with something like, “For more articles by _____________ go to _____________.”
  5. Add your post to blog communities. There are plenty of locations that allow you to promote your blog post. There are often 30-day blog challenges  for getting lots of traction for your efforts.
  6. Stay on top of comments posted about the post and respond in a timely manner. The more interaction you have with your readers, the better.
  7. Keyword optimize your post and headline. This is essential for getting the most out of your efforts.
  8. Ask readers to take some type of action at the end of the post. This could be to leave a comment, opt in for something, buy your book or simply hit one of the social media share buttons. The more you can get readers to take an action, the better.
  9. Provide various ways for visitors to get on your subscriber list. Offering something that solves a specific problem will generate more opt ins than something that is too generic.
  10. Put portions of your blog post in an autoresponder (AR) sequence leading back to the original post by way of the permalink at the end of the AR message.
  11. With high-trending topics, make the media aware of your post. You never know what can happen as a result.

Bottom line is this: your job is to do all you can to get the word out about your book. Using blog posts to do so can result in lots of traction.

Keep this in mind: if you don’t do all you can to get your message out, you are doing those who would benefit from your information a huge disservice. Unless they know about who you are, what you do and how you can help them, you cannot impact them in the least.

The more visibility your content receives, the more you, as an author, can reach potential readers. One reason you want to gain the visibility is for readers to become fans. One of the first places fans go to in order to check out the works of an author is Amazon.

If they like want they see, there’s a great chance they will buy your book(s) directly from Amazon. When they buy your books, your rankings go up. So much in fact, you could even hit #1 on Amazon.

Want to find out how to increase your chances of hitting #1? Check out my FREE webinar – Insider Secrets to Hit #1. Click here.

Content Marketing Equates to Visibility and Increased List Size

Most experts who conduct business online and offline know increasing their subscriber list size can equate to increased revenues. Increasing your list with qualified leads takes more than simply adding numbers.

It takes a targeted effort including knowing who you want to reach, where they are at, and getting in front of them in a way that establishes your credibility.

It also takes consistent, and ongoing, effort. One of the best ways to position your expertise is through content marketing.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Full article click here. 

The idea is to get your content seen by as many people as possible who have an interest in your information.

There are lots of ways to do this with some of my favorite being…

  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Presentations
  • Interviews (Podcast and Radio)
  • Article marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Quotes
  • Joint Venture Partnerships involving shared content

Blogging

Obviously, having your own blog is a great idea. To be effective you need to post relevant content on a regular basis. If you’re short on ideas of what to blog about, ask your audience. People love giving their input. And what better than to write about what they want to read?

Guest blogging

Many blog owners are constantly on the lookout for great content by experts. What better way to reach a completely new set of eyes than to guest blog? There are ample opportunities and this one strategy alone could generate a lot of traffic to your own site if you add links in your post. Include a giveaway in that link (with the blog owner’s permission) and your list is likely to increase in size.

Presentations

Yes, presentations qualify as content marketing. After all, when you’re in front of an audience, you are sharing your information. That is, unless you’re under contract with a company that requires you share only the company’s information. But if you keynote, host workshops and seminars, you are in a great position to share your content.

Interviews

There is no shortage of interview opportunities. A quick google search for internet radio shows or podcast shows will result in ample locations to share your message. Your message is your content.

Article marketing

Short, 400-600 word articles can generate a lot of traffic when posted in the right locations. There are thousands of directories constantly in need of well written articles. There are industry and market specific directories, trade journals, and even company newsletters, where you can distribute your articles.

Social media marketing

With places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other high traffic social networks, you can distribute articles and blog posts directly to these locations. A simple way to do this is take the first paragraph or two from a post or article with the permalink leading back to the full article.

Quotes in Images

People love pithy quotes. Sure, you can post quotes from famous people OR imbed your own quote in an image followed by your name and web address.

Expert giveaways via Join Venture Partnerships

Expert giveaways are a great way to increase value to your market as well as the market of the other experts involved in the giveaway. How it works is that each expert contributes something of high value and then promotes the giveaway during a specific time period.

Currently, I’m involved in a very high quality Expert Giveaway. The brainchild of my friend and colleague, Cathy Demers, the launch of the giveaway has over $7,000 of value. Cathy handpicked the experts she wanted to be involved in this campaign.

The best part of an expert giveaway is what is called borrowed credibility. What this simply means is you can increase your credibility, as can the other experts, by who you are being associated with.

CLICK HERE to access the great gifts from Cathy's expert partners (valued at over $7,000)

Regardless of which route you decide, content marketing is a must do for any expert and entrepreneur wanting to grow their business and revenues.

You know you’ve hit the mark when people tell you, “I see your information everywhere.”

When you hear this, you’ve done your job effectively.

Try this… for one month, implement content marketing every day. Imagine how much will happen if you consistently do at least one thing everyday for 30 days.

 

A Few Must-Knows When Using Images in Your Blog Posts

There's no doubt about it, images94%45-60 increase views on a blog. According to digital marketing expert, Jeff Bullas, “Articles with images get 94% more total views. Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%.

“60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.”

If your not using images, you may be missing out on increased interest in what you write about. And isn't getting people to actually read your posts what you want? If it's not, why the heck are you blogging for in the first place? If it's purely for your own satisfaction, go for it. But for most of the people I know who blog, myself included, we want people to read our posts and in many cases, take some type of action.

If you're selling products from your blog, images definitely increase the interest of the potential buyer. However, the quality of the product image is essential.

When using images you want to make sure you follow a few simple guidelines. Avoid copying images off of Google without either paying for the images or getting expressed permission from the photographer. If you miss this key point, you could set yourself up for a lot of problems.

You can utilize services where you pay for single use of an image. There are plenty to choose from such as iStock, Bigstock and Shutterstock.

If you're looking for ample choices on photos check out Pixabay. They have lots of free images you can choose from. Be sure not to use the ones with watermarks. This means you likely have to pay for the watermarked images.

The least expensive and safest bet is to use your own photos. But make sure they are not blurry and as high quality as you can get them. The best part of using your own photos is being able to  edit your photos into a real masterpiece you can call your own.

I recently discover Canva and love how easy it is to edit and create my own images. I can also buy images they provide for $1.

Another resource I recently discovered is BeFunky. Fun, fun, fun photo editor.

Here are a few of my “first attempts” at both Canva.

spirit-ready30-day-challenge

I'll be the first to admit I'm not an artist or editor. But I've been having lots of fun with Canva and BeFunky.

I know the more I use each of these, the better I will get. (Isn't that true for anything we do!) For my first few, I'm pretty happy with the results.

Regardless of what route you go, images do make a difference. Think about it. Amazon wouldn't sell anywhere near what they do if it weren't for the images of every product listed on the mammoth site.

For example, I recently bought a table water fountain for my office. I liked it so much, I bought a couple of my clients the same water fountain.

If I were to try and describe it without a picture, you may not get the actual feel for what it looks like. But with an image, you know exactly what I'm referring to.

The image below lets you know if this is something you would be interested in…or not. Click the image to go to Amazon for the full description of the water feature.

Put careful thought into the images you use. Make sure they tie into your message. Avoid simply throwing something into your post just because you heard you need images.

As with anything, the more effort you put into what you're doing, the better.

If you enjoyed what you read, be sure to join the Power Up for Profits Facebook Group. In there you will find lots of like-minded entrepreneurs who are living lives of passion.

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21 Ways to Promote Your Book with One Blog Post

You’ve got the book. You’ve got the digital product. You’ve got the virtual training. Now what? Simple. Now you have to promote it.

With all that’s available online, you have a wealth of possibility at your fingertips.

One of the most effective methods for spreading the word, establishing credibility and positioning your message is through blogging. But it takes more than just posting on a blog.

Let’s assume you have a book you are promoting. Once you have the blog post completed, then it’s time to put some targeted effort into sharing the post.

The more visibility the post receives obviously the more opportunity to sell the “thing” you have for sale.

Here are 21 ways to promote your book with a blog post:

  1. Rather than simply writing content for your blog, you will get much more traction by posting a bit of the content elsewhere in order to lead readers back to your blog postings. Send the first few paragraphs to your subscriber list with “read full article” with the permalink leading back to the blog post.
  2. Post the permalink on social media. It’s likely you have several social media accounts. These are ideal places for you to position your blog posts.
  3. Take short snippets from your blog post and use these as tweets. Within a 5 – 10 minute period, you can literally write 25 tweets, if you simply take the content out of your blog post.
  4. Be sure to use hashtags to gain more traction. For example, if you have a book on dog training, you could use #dog #dogtraining #dogs as some of the hashtags.
  5. Post on Social Network groups you belong to that permit you to do so. Not all groups allow you to self-promote, so be sure to adhere to the group rules.
  6. Post the blog post to Slide Share. It’s amazing how quickly you can get hundreds of views for your posts on Slide Share. Invite readers to go to your blog to read more posts you’ve written.
  7. Post the full article on 3 – 6 top article directories. In the resource box you can direct readers back to your blog with something like, “For more articles by _____________ go to _____________.”
  8. Add your post to blog communities. There are plenty of locations that allow you to promote your blog post.
  9. Add images specific to the topic you are writing about. In the case of your book, an image of the book cover is always a great idea.
  10. Stay on top of comments posted about the post and respond in a timely manner. The more interaction you have with your readers, the better.
  11. Keyword optimize your post and headline. This is essential for getting the most out of your efforts.
  12. Add video to your post. More and more every day, video plays an important role in gaining interest and traction for your efforts. A short 30-second video can do wonders for generating interest.
  13. Ask readers to take some type of action at the end of the post. This could be to leave a comment, opt in for something, buy your book or simply hit one of the social media share buttons. The more you can get readers to take an action, the better.
  14. Have various ways visitors to your blog can get on your subscriber list. Offering something that solves a specific problem will generate more opt ins than something that is too generic.
  15. Put portions of your blog post in an autoresponder (AR) sequence leading back to the original post by way of the permalink at the end of the AR message.
  16. With high-trending topics, make the media aware of your post. You never know what can happen as a result.
  17. Include an invitation for other bloggers, media and those with a large reach to interview you for their podcast show, blog or be a featured expert on a telesummit.
  18. Create a short video about the blog post that you load on YouTube. Put the post permalink in the description of the video.
  19. Get a simple infographic designed that highlights the main points of the blog post. Post the infographic on various social media locations.
  20. Repurpose the content into an article. Post on a minimum of three article directories with mention of your blog post in the article.
  21. Utilize Pinterest and Instagram to catch the visual fans and lead them back to the original post.

Bottom line is this: your job is to do all you can to get the word out about your book, info product, or other digital product. The fact is you’re not selling the “thing.”

You’re actually using the “thing” as the vehicle for something bigger—your message. The packaging is only one piece to the puzzle.

Keep this in mind: if you don’t do all you can to get your message out, you are actually doing those who would benefit from your information a huge disservice. Unless they know about who you are, what you do and how you can help them, you cannot impact them in the least.

Imagine if you used just half of these strategies for every blog post you created. How long do you think it would take before you got lots of visibility for you, your book and your message?

 

30 Day Challenges…They DO Work!

30 dayWhen I initially agreed to do a 30 Day Blog Challenge, I had no idea how beneficial it would be. Eleven days into the experience, I’m finding it has given me a new level of discipline and focus that has far reaching benefits.

It was during a private mastermind meeting with my clients that I first agreed to the Challenge. I was leading a discussion on the importance of short term goals to achieve specific results. The conversation geared around visibility.

As a proponent of blogging and article marketing, I invited my clients to commit to doing both for 30 days. One of my clients asked if I would be willing to commit to a 30-day blogging challenge.

“Absolutely!” was my immediate response. “I will blog Monday through Friday without fail for 30 days.”

Knowing my clients would be watching to see if I followed through, I knew it was essential for me to stay true to my agreement. I also knew there would be topics coming to surface though at the moment of making the commitment, I had no idea what they would be.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fun the challenge has been. I’ve also been pleased with the range of topics I’m writing on.

The best part of all is this?  Once the post is written, I have them posted on a few article directories. I’ve also posted the permalink from each of the posts on various social networks I am active on. This gives me more reach and benefit for my time invested in writing the posts.

Why 30 Days for a Challenge?

Actually, there is a lot of benefit to relatively short term time-frames for challenges. Rather than someone committing to “forever” or for a year at a stretch, short term challenges are much more achievable.

30 day challenges became very popular regarding health and fitness, business, and personal goals.

Plank Challenge

30 Day Plank Challenges became all the rage over the last couple of years. If you’ve never done planking, Day One is going to be rough for most people. By Day 30 you will be amazed at how strong your stomach muscles have become and how great you feel.

NOTE: Do this challenge at your own risk. You need to be in relatively good health to attempt this.

Video Challenge

Then there is the 30 Day Video Challenge. This is where you shoot one short video a day for 30 days. When done right you can get a great deal of visibility and SEO juice with this type of challenge.

The key is to make the videos short, engaging and of high value. Giving tips on a specific topic is a great way to use the video challenge.

Cleaning Challenge

30 Day Clean Out One Drawer or Closet a Day Challenge is amazing. I created this for myself in that I had a few areas in my home I wanted to get super organized. The thought of doing it all at once was rather overwhelming, but doing one thing a day was very doable. Within a short period of time I had accomplished a great deal.

Phone Calling

What about the 30 Day Calling Potential Client Challenge? This is where you set a goal for a minimum number of outbound calls you make to people in your database, those you met at networking meetings and conferences.

Imagine committing to calling five people a day for 30 days. That’s 150 people. Without a doubt you would secure business from this strategy.

If you challenge someone to make 150 calls, that can be very overwhelming.  But ask them to make five calls a day; that’s very manageable.

Conclusion

Regardless of the challenge, when you stick to them, they work. It’s quite simple.

In the 11 days since I’ve been doing the Blog Challenge, I’ve found myself digging deep to come up with high value posts.

What has worked for me is to do my blog posts first thing in the morning. My mind is fresh, ideas are flowing and I’ve found that by staying the course, I have a great sense of accomplishment to start my day.

What is something you know would benefit you by committing to it for 30 days? Whether it be a change in physical activity, eating, business, your relationship or just about anything, make the commitment, stick with it and watch what happens. You’ll likely be amazed.