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Create Value with Your Emails

Create Value with Your Emails

We get too many emails (except for the ones you get from me; they are just right 🙂 ).  Few people have time to open and read through every single email that shows up in their inbox.  Not all of them are worth reading.  Good spam filters and setting up “rules” to handle email keep things manageable to some degree. But, everyone wants THEIR email to be the one that is read – especially bloggers and online business owners.  What about when it’s YOUR email that is getting blocked or ignored?  How do you get the “welcome mat”  put out for your email?  You know what I mean, right? Think of the emails you get that you look forward to. Think of the authors that you are anxious to hear from. What is it about their emails that keep you WANTING them? What is it about certain emails that you wait for in anticipation,  immediately notice, almost always read, and usually genuinely appreciate? Value. You have to create value for the reader.  You need to benefit the reader. You have to write emails that readers want to read – something that they open without hesitation when they see it buried in a pile of other messages.  You need to stoke interest.  When someone reads your email, they need to think “I’m glad I took my valuable time to read that message.”   People are rightfully selfish when it comes to their time. They want your emails to benefit THEM primarily. They are trading, literally, their “life” (time) to read what you send them – so it better be worth the investment. Here are some ideas to get you started in creating truly valuable and “wanted” emails: Have a clear and concise subject line.  Some people like witty or sarcastic titles but the majority of your readers want to know what they will encounter if they choose to open the message. Don’t give your readers too many directions.  If you fill your email with images, requests, sales pitches, and links, your reader won’t have a clear choice in what to do.  Most people will just delete and move on. Be aware of your audience.  Once you have a grasp on the type of people making up your target email group, write an email that will directly benefit that particular group.  Be personable.  Try to send emails from an email address that contains your real name (rather than a company name or anonymous “info” address).  Greet your audience and end with a sincere closing line and your name.  Personal doesn’t mean being too forward, or getting overly impersonal with “hey, sweetie” or “what up bro?” as your...

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The Right Way to Use Social Media

The Right Way to Use Social Media

  If you read anything related to social media, you are bound to run into “experts” who emphatically declare there is a “right way” to use each type of social media.  Without a doubt in their minds, we are all using Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Facebook the wrong way and we need to learn the “right way” to use social media to build our online businesses.  Predictably, they often have program, class, webinar, or e-book that will reveal to us the proper way to use social media.   Guess what? There isn’t a “right way” to use social media. There is only the BEST WAY that works exactly the right way for each of us individually as bloggers and online business owners.  It’s not “one-size-fits-all.”  You need to figure out how to maximize each social-media platform for the specific business you are running, or for the blog you want to be successful.  Or… don’t use them at all. Or pick and choose. Maybe your audience isn’t big on social media.  You decide what works for you and how you use it.  Social media can certainly be a tool to grow your business, and there are lots of people out there with good ideas on how to use the available social-media sites BUT as long as your readers are having fun and communicating with you and with each other, don’t stress about whether or not you are utilizing every social-media network. I think many people get overwhelmed with the pressure to be fully engaged in every big social-media platform. Here’s my advice:  educate yourself about social media. Listen to the suggestions of others about how to use it. Along with those suggestions, do your best to “throw out the rules” mentally and see if you can dream up some creative, non-standard ways you can use social media to benefit YOUR business and YOUR...

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A Quick Tip: A Great Way To Come Up With New Blog Post Content

A Quick Tip: A Great Way To Come Up With New Blog Post Content

You should spend a lot of time reading other blogs.  Why?  Reading is a great way to identify what people are interested in, what information they missed that you can provide, and for you to develop your own writing skills by evaluating other writer’s styles.  You also stand to learn a lot.  You pick up inspiration, styles, and creative ideas. Reading helps you develop your vocabulary.  On the flip side, you see what kind of posts are BAD and it helps you avoid writing the same. Now, here’s the quick tip:  As you read other blogs, identify blog posts that you can provide commentary on or rewrite to fit your blog. Focus on your reaction and opinion immediately after reading someone else’s content: What do I agree with? What do I disagree with? What would I have written differently? What did they leave out? What did they include that I would have deleted? What is my opinion about their content? How could it have been better communicated? How could it be rewritten with a new emphasis for my blog audience? You can either use the other blog post as a springboard for your own original content, or use links to the original article (or excerpts) making sure to provide the source link and give credit to the other blogger.  If your blog post impresses the other blogger, you might start a mutually beneficial relationship.  It may be that your commentary presents disagreement; but that’s okay, that’s part of blogging.  Don’t read past that too quickly… you have two good options: 1) taking the concepts and ideas of their original blog post, along with your thoughts on it (see the bullet list above), and then writing your own original post. Or, 2) include excerpts from the original post (with a link back to the original!) and then write your feedback and commentary after the excerpts.  Which option is best? That depends on your goals and audience. You know what’s best for your blog.  If you see no benefit connecting with the original blogger, Option 1 is the way to go. But, if there is some potential benefit to linking back to the original blog, then an “excerpt” approach works...

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Is Your Blog Showing Signs of Ruin?

Is Your Blog Showing Signs of Ruin?

I’ve shared many times that one of the key factors to having a successful blog is perseverance. Perseverance is “being online longer than the other guy.” But you have to take care of your blog too.

Think of your blog like a house. If you don’t care for it, improve it, repair it, and constantly monitor the quality of it, it will deteriorate.

Here are six danger signs that your blog might be deteriorating in quality…

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