Why You Need to Create Visual Content (and How to Do it)

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Creating custom images for content has been all the buzz lately.

There’s good reason for it, research and data show that when you include visual content (i.e. images or videos) in your blog posts and social media you tend to get more traffic, clicks, and engagement.

Now doesn’t that sound like something you’d be interested in?

After all, unless you’re inundated with traffic and customers, there are very few brands out there that wouldn’t love getting more eyeballs to their websites and more clicks on their content.

That’s where a small change like adding some of your own visual content to your blog posts and social media, can give you big results.

The Numbers Behind Visual Content

So why the big push behind visual content lately? Well, turns out, the numbers don’t lie, it does make a noticeable difference.

Check out some of these statistics from both Twitter and Facebook to start.

According to some in depth data analysis performed by Twitter, “photos averages a 35% boost in retweets.”

visual content twitter

Photo courtesy of Twitter

You can see similar numbers when it comes to Facebook.

Got Great Content? How to Quickly Grow Your Page Count (and Inbound Links) Using Guest Bloggers

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Not another blog post! 

Did you know that 50% of online content never sees more than 8 shares? 

It’ll take forever to grow your blog and brand with 8 shares per post! 

Well, it won’t grow. Which is the point…

Content marketing is having a mid-life crises. Great content isn’t enough anymore, and the 30-page report by BuzzSumo sheds a dim light on the future of content for small business owners. 

Anything we write has, most likely, been written by someone else already. 

What to do? How do you increase page counts, inbound links, and share counts…all at once?

(Keep reading. This post doesn’t say what the rest of them do.)

How to Find Content to Help Automate Your Social Media

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Your social media stream is one of the very first things people notice about your brand.

Yup, I said brand.

Regardless if you are the social media manager of a large company, the “marketing department” for a small brand, or a solopreneur, your social media matters.

It helps establish loyalty, 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to them. It also helps with overall influence, “93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media – because 90% trust peer recommendations.”

If that’s not a case for getting your social media on point, I’m not sure what is.

But, the big question is how should you approach your social media? What content should you be sharing? And, how do you find the right content to share?

The last thing you want to do is share all your own content all the time. Gary Vaynerchuck, famed entrepreneur, author, and social media guru of sorts, follows the “jab, jab, jab, right hook” approach to social media.

Jabs are content that you share that highlights others, interesting topics, expert opinions, and information that appeals directly to your readers.

The right hook is the ask. It’s your own content.

This mix of sharing content you think your followers (and potential customers) will love is the perfect formula to educate, provide value, and set yourself up as an influencer or authority.

Now that you realize how important it is to share different types of content, including a mix of your own. You’re next step is to find that content.

This is where a lot of people get stuck.

It can be hard to find great content that both applies to your industry and interests, as well as  educate your followers.

As you’ll see with most influencers you’ll find online, they seem to have a “knack” for sharing content that gets tons of shares. Their secret isn’t that they just have access to better content than you do. Nope, it’s that they have systems of finding it.

That’s what we’re going to cover today. I’m going to share with you exactly how you can set up a system to consistently have a pipeline of great content to share online.

The first thing you need to do?

Know where to look.

How to Create An Opt-In Offer That Makes People Actually Want to Opt-In

how to create an opt-in

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I know what you’re thinking. 

The last thing you need is one more thing you “should” be doing on your to-do list. 

You want to focus on building your business. You’re trying to keep up with the often-annoying details of running a website. Pages, posts, social media, content promotion, and more. 

More is inbound marketing. Otherwise known as how-you-get-people-to-visit-your-site.

‘Cause if no one’s visiting you, no one’s buying (or reading). Case closed. 

What if I told you that you can give something away that will have your target audience knocking down your website door to give you their email addresses?

It’s free, too.

Even better, the free thing won’t take you more than a few hours to create and promote.

Sounds impossible? It’s not. 

The Basics of Keyword Research for Content Marketers

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A certain mystique has developed around search engine optimization (SEO). 

It’s understandable, when you consider that the details of how search engines go about indexing and ranking web pages are quite literally super-secret, kept under lock and key, protected by multi-million dollar non-disclosure agreements.

And that mystique has left many small business site owners struggling to get found in search results by potential customers. 

Even site owners who have embraced content marketing, which makes it much easier to rank well in search engine result pages (SERPs), inevitably feel frustrated and overwhelmed by complicated and often contradictory SEO advice.

The Secret to Running a Contest That Drives Inbound Traffic Like Crazy

running a contest

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Be honest.

How often do you actually enter your email for a chance to win?

Or click a friend’s referral link for a fantastic discount – and complete the purchase?

How often do you share a promotion or referral link on your social feeds?

© Minerva Studios / Dollar Photo Club..

Enter now for your chance to win…..…blah, blah, blah.

Who cares?!

Not me.

The problem with online contests is you have to enter to win.

To enter, you have to want to win.

The traditional contest model of ‘enter and share to win!’ is dead.

The point of a contest is to attract potential customers.

Potential income.

And you can only do that if you offer the right prize in the right way.  

Contests Fail Because Prizes Don’t Have the Right Value

Usually, the prize is too:

  • Cheap: Nope, I don’t have time to read 10 random books that you’re giving away for free (and that you got for free).
  • Broad: I have an iPad, thanks.
  • Specific: I do not need a free course or consulting session (unless it’s REALLY valuable and you’re REALLY well-known).
  • Expensive: Yes, your product sounds cool, and I’d love to win it…but I still have to buy [insert additional product or software] to make it work. That costs money. 

Business owners and entrepreneurs throwing out the ‘hey, let’s run a contest!’ line are better off handing out cash out to strangers on the street.

At least giving money away would make people smile.

After you convinced them you weren’t filming an episode of Punk’d.

Contests should an easy strategy for list-building – but they’re not.  

Give something cool away and the contest will sell itself, right?


Good contests, promotions, and giveaways can be expensive, time-consuming, and tough.

Traditional contest models make me want earplugs to drown out all the ‘tweet to share!’ chatter. 

Youre Fighting A Battle You Cant Win

Unless you have a rabid fan base that shares your content like crazy and you enjoy a 70% email open rate, a plain ol’ contest just won’t work.

(If you have a 70% open rate, teach us, oh wise one.)

If you don’t, listen up.

3 Email Campaigns Every Service Business Needs

Email Marketing

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Ahh email marketing.

It’s a lot more than just sending out dozens of spam emails and hoping someone, anyone clicks a link.

Now, you may have read our overview post, The Beginners Guide to Email Marketing that covers the basics on email marketing. It’s a great start, and we’re going to build on the foundation of that here.

In fact, email marketing is one of the best tactics any brand can employ to generate leads, build connections with potential customers, and of course, make more sales.

But first, let’s take a look at how important email marketing can be in growing your business.

Need proof?

We thought you’d never ask. 

Check out some of these email marketing stats:

  • Salesforce found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25
  • A study by McKinsey noted that email is close to 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter
  • The Direct Marketing Association found that email marketing “yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.”

If that doesn’t convince you about the importance of email marketing…

Still with us? Glad to hear it! Now, if you’re a service business you might be wondering how email marketing campaigns can work for your brand.

You’re in luck, here we’re going to share with you three different autoresponder campaigns any service business can use to help grow your business.

Let’s take a look. 

3 Simple Tricks to Make Sure You Always Write the Right Blog Post for Your Audience

Write Better Blog Posts

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You want one thing from your blog. 

You want people to notice you.

In a good way. 

You want readers that come back for more while shouting your brand from the rooftops.

I get it. I’ve been there.

You need to attract attention to your blog and business

But you can’t stand on a street corner and wave, hoping to catch someone’s interest. 

That would be inefficient, unnecessary, and pointless.

(Kind of like writing a blog post that no one reads.) 

Successful bloggers do three things:

  1. Develop solid relationships with influencers 
  2. Find new readers/clients
  3. Keep existing readers/clients as happy as newlyweds 

Readers want to find a community that ‘gets’ them. They want a writer who’s inside their head.

But blogs (and their writers) can’t be everything to everyone. 

A blog will never: 

  • please everyone
  • catch everyone’s attention
  • convert every blog reader to a client
  • write for everyone every time

It’s time to take a deep breath and let go of unreasonable expectations. It’s okay. 

Readers are not like leprechauns. They exist, and they’re trying to tell you what they want to read. 

You just need to know where to look and you’ll find your pot of blogging gold. 

But first…

The Essential Content Promotion Checklist

Essential Content Promotion

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

You write an awesome post, click publish, then sit back and wait for the hordes of adoring readers to leave hundreds of comments on your site.



Sound familiar?

Chances are this has happened to most of you at least once because this is exactly how most people go around promoting their content, by focusing the vast majority of time writing it. The promotion part ends up being an afterthought.

The funny thing is, this is exactly the opposite of what most big bloggers that have seen success are doing.

As Derek Halpern of Social Triggers is always quick to say:

“It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more. Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you’ve created.”

You see, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one knows it’s there.

The good news?

We’re gonna change all that.


A Deep Dive into the World of Guest Blogging

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So you’ve got a fantastic business blog, and a decent amount of traffic to it. But you’re impatient. You want more visitors to your site now. A great strategy to add to your content marketing mix to get more visitors is guest blogging.

By contributing blog posts to other sites that attract your target demographic, you build a connection to that blog’s audience. If you provide really useful content, you’ll catch their attention. Because you’ve got your bio at the end of the post, people can easily click to learn more about you and your business. There’s no easier way to reach a wider audience — not even with advertising, which many people tend to ignore

Let’s say that you run a marketing firm, and you start guest blogging for sites catering to your customer demographic: owners of software companies. You’ve written posts for several high-profile blogs, and you start getting calls and emails from new potential clients. When you ask where they found you, they mention one of the sites you guest blogged for.

When people start to see your face and name on multiple blogs that they read, they start to think, “hey, this person seems to know what they’re talking about. I should hire them.”