8 Things Your Business Wants You To Read

 

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Guys! I rounded up the best of the internet for you! Also, this awesome internet cat poster

Want to write an ebook? Here’s a 16-part (!) blog post series on just that – from writing to distribution to marketing. I’ve written three ebooks and now I realize how much more I could have done!

Related: an incredibly helpful post from Anna Watson who printed + published her own cookbook AND did a book tour AND all the promotion!
I reached out to the marketing department at Volkswagen on a whim, to see if they would be up for lending me a car for the trip. Amazingly, they said yes, and lent me a brand new silver Beetle Coupe. It was such a fun car to drive, and they let me just drop it off at LAX when I flew to Seattle. (I then flew back to NYC.) The whole trip lasted just under one month.

To help cover food costs, I reached out to Whole Foods (again, cold-calling the marketing department) and they agreed to cover the food and wine costs of the trip. GoPro also gave me a camera to document the trip – we got great footage, but I still have to learn to edit it so I can share it on my

Kyla rounds up a bunch of super helpful platforms and tools to help make your online business run more smoothly. I hadn’t heard of lots of these!

12 ways to get more people reading & sharing your blog from my girl Alex.

Do you have an auto-responder series?  It’s about half way down my internet to-do list. Here’s how to do it when we’re ready.

BOOKMARKBOOKMARKBOOKMARK. 23 Phrases Every Stressed Out, Strung Out, Well-Meaning (Yet Irritable) Business Owner Needs to Memorize TODAY.

“Though my hands are tied on this one, here’s what I can do:____________.”

“As a courtesy, I wanted to go ahead and send over my new rates for your records. (It’s such a blessing to be in demand.)”

“Thank you for the note, and the much-appreciated explanation regarding your position. Now let me help you understand a little bit about mine.”

Want to stay healthy while staring at a screen all day? These six stretches will help.

A cute home office is a productive home office, right? Here are 23 brilliant ideas to decorate and organize yours.

A couple posts you might have missed: 20 minutes to a (much) better business and Using Twitter lists for fame and fortune (or, you know, time-effective networking)

If you read/found/wrote anything awesome lately, leave the links in the comments!

4 Mistakes Just About Everyone Is Making Online

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Doesn’t that title seem alarmist?

Here is the  giant asterisk that should accompany it:
* And I was totally making these mistakes for years and only figured them out through working with hundreds of clients and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about this so you can be smarter than me and not screw this up for years, too.

But that’s a pretty big asterisk, right?

If I’ve given your site a free once-over and sent you three suggestions (available to anyone on my list) or if you’ve purchased a Secret Weapon, there’s a good chance I’ve made these suggestions to you – because they’re super common! Thankfully, they only take a few minutes to fix. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can set aside a few minutes every day to work through your archives and tweak old posts or you can just do this for all your future posts!

1. No call-to-action on the About page
Call-to-action is copywriter speak for telling your readers what to do next. Your About page is your most visited page – the page people read before they hire you, buy your products, or sign up for your newsletter list. So shouldn’t we be telling them (politely) where they can buy our stuff, how they can work with us, how to sign up for our newsletter, and where they can find us on social media?

Here’s how I do it on my Yes & Yes About page:

Are you a yeasayer, a world-traveler or someone who needs helps making their online space amazing?
If you want, you can…
* Be friends on Facebook or Twitter (I promise to share photos of my cat in costume)
* Sign up for my non-annoying newsletters (Yes and Yes newsletter // Small Business newsletter)
* Buy a travel ebook to make your next trip waaaay more awesome (Adventures In Lady Travel // The Wanderlust Workbook)
* Book a Secret Weapon with me to shape up your online life
* Buy these jeans, this lipstick, these ballet flats, these packing cubes and thank me later

2. Not using  images in tweets
Did you know that image-based tweets are 94% (!!!) more likely to get retweeted? Crazy, right? I can certainly see this with my own tweets. (If you want to see how your tweets are performing, go to ads.twitter.com and click on ‘tweet activity.’)  Images should be 440×220 and you can even pre-schedule them with Tweetdeck!

Is it a hassle to create images specific to Twitter? Yes. Is it worth it? Toooootally. It’s particularly worth it for pretty, design-y posts like this or posts with titles too long for 140 characters.

3. Not making posts Pinterest-friendly
I only realized I needed to do this when Meg wrote this guest post for me! For a long time I ignored Pinterest because I couldn’t figure out how to “leverage it for my brand” (puke) but that’s sort of not the point. Even if you don’t use Pinterest, your readers probably do and they’ll be more likely to pin your posts if you’re using tall, long photos with appropriate title text. This is particularly important if you blog about food, fashion, DIYs, or design.

4. Not linking to older posts (or services or offerings) within blog posts
So many of us tuck a ‘hire me’ or ‘services’ tab into our menu bar and call it a day or we’ve got one of those archive widgets in the sidebar. But it’s a lot more engaging and clickable when we link to related posts within the text of a new post or write posts that relate to our newsletter opt-ins.

If you’re not sure how to work older posts into new posts in a natural-sounding, organic way just use ye olde P.S. trick. It’s an established (and crazy effective) copywriting trick to drive people towards your archives and it works a lot better than that those ‘related post’ plugins. You can see how I use it the P.S. trick here and the write-for-the-opt-in trick here.

What are some of the mistakes you made when you first started blogging? And if you’ve got a suggestions for how I could improve my site or blogging I’d love to hear it!

P.S. 6 more oddly obvious mistakes you might be making

photo by Daniel Novta // cc

13 Ways To Grow Your List You (Maybe) Haven’t Thought Of

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Of course, of course, of course by now you know that 

1. You need an email list or newsletter (it’s where most of your sales come from!)
2. It benefits you to have as many people as possible on that list

And you also probably know all the best, biggest ways to get people on that list. Yes? Yes.
You’ve got a clever opt in. (Mine’s two free ebooks and a free once-over of your site)
You guest post on big-deal site (like this)
And you regularly remind people about said list (LIKE THIS VERY POST THAT I AM RIGHT NOW WRITING)

But over the years I’ve discovered lots of little tweaks and tricks that slowly add up to more subscribers. None of these tips are going to net you 700 new subscribers in one day and I suggest you spread them out over the course of the year so you don’t annoy your readers. But added up? They’ll bring you more subscribers and more sales.

1. Post your signup in multiple places.
I’ve got mine in three places: below my header, in the footer, and on my About page; I noticed a huuuuuge difference when I did added the signup to more places. Most of my opt-ins come from the signup box that’s below my header.

2. Add the image of a book cover next to your signup box.
It’s a lot more engaging than a string of text; I noticed I started getting a lot more signups when Kim added the image.

3. Create pretty images related to the opt-in and use those on social media.
Use tall, long images for Google+ or Pinterest, 440×220 images for Twitter. You can see how I did this here.

4. Create images with pull-quotes from your opt-in and @mention the people who gave you those quotes.
They might re-tweet you! Also: we all love sweet photos with clever quotes. You can see how I did that here.

5. Periodically remind people about your opt-in on social media.
If you’re not doing it already, you can add a widget to your Facebook page so fans can sign up right there. Use Mailchimp’s lead generation cards so followers can sign up right on Twitter.

6. Write blog posts that relate to your opt-in and link to your signup form in those posts.
Is your opt-in a collection of gluten-free recipes? Link to it every time you post a gluten-free recipe. Is your opt-in about building a following on Instagram? Link to it whenever you include a lot of your Instagram photos in a blog post. You can see how wrote content that matches my opt ins  here and here.

7. Allow for the possibility of a popup.
Are popups annoying? Yes. Do they work? Super yes. I’m using an IP-sensitive popup right now. That means once you close my popup, you won’t see it again until you empty your cache or use a different IP.  I like to believe it’s not tooootally annoying ;)

8. When you write a guest post for someone or buy ad space, rather than just linking back to your homepage, link to your newsletter signup page.

9. “P.S. sign up for my newsletter!”
As you’ve probably noticed, I love a good P.S. It’s an old copywriting trick and it works like a charm! Occasionally, at the bottom of posts, do something like ‘P.S. Don’t want to miss the good stuff? Join my list and I’ll send you my best writing once a week!’

10. When people say nice things about your newsletter, be sure to retweet them or post about it on social media – and include a link to the signup page.

11.  If you haven’t already done it, customize your opt-in page, thank you page, and confirmation email.
They should all feel unique, personal, and on-brand. I regularly get compliments on mine!

12. Link to the opt-in in your email signature

13. Link to the signup page in your Twitter bio
Hilary Rushford does a good job with this!

That’s it! Those are all my slowly-but-surely, no-longer-secret tips!

Now tell me, have you done anything special or surprising to grow your list? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

P.S. If you’d like more awesome insights like this – but customized for you and your business – you might like my Secret Weapon. I tripled a client’s signups in two months!

photo by Hannah // cc

5 Ways To Really, Actually Enjoy Networking (Or At Least Hate It Less)

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This guest post comes to us via
Alexa Fischer, a communication coach who helps her clients feel confident and comfortable speaking anywhere – in presentations, at networking events, on video. You can get free admittance to her Public Speaking 101 course here or follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Did you put ‘Attend more networking events‘ at the top of this year’s list of resolutions?
Make awkward small talk with strangers while shoving my business card in their direction‘?
Wander around hotel ballrooms while avoiding eye contact‘?

No? Now I find that surprising. ;)

Most of us think we hate networking. We think it’s a necessary evil and if we do it at all, we probably do it with a healthy dose of grumbling and side eye. Regardless of your industry – coaching, photography, copywriting, or a brick and mortar business – your business will benefit from networking.

And it’s really, actually possible to do without dying inside. Here’s how.

  1. Stop telling yourself (and anyone who will listen) how much you hate networking events

If you spend 20 minutes complaining about networking for every 10 minutes you spend actually networking you’re not going to get any closer to liking it. We all do things we don’t like that are good for us in the long run (I’m looking at you, 6 am spin class). It’s part of being a successful adult. It’s okay if networking isn’t your new hobby, but commit to stopping the complaints.

  1. View networking as an opportunity to help + connect people (rather than just promote yourself)

This is the biggest, best thing you can do for yourself and your business. Can’t you just feel your shoulders relaxing at the thought of it?

Instead of feverishly prowling the room looking for people to pitch, what if you just approached someone with a friendly face and talked to them like a human being? And then when they mention that they’re struggling with social media, you can tell them about your beloved Twitter guru. Or when they say they need a virtual assistant for 10 hours a week, tell them about yours.

If they’re buying something you’re selling or need help with something you know about, by all means tell them about it! But don’t worry or rush or force yourself to ‘always be closing,’ just be the kind, helpful human that you usually are.

  1. Don’t limit the conversation to business stuff

You’re more than a web developer or a wedding photographer – and so is everyone else at this networking event. Go ahead and ask people what they did last weekend, if they’re doing anything fun this winter, what they’re reading. Their answers will give you insight into their personalities that a job title won’t and you’ll be a lot more likely to connect when you discover you both love winter vacations to Utah.

  1. Invite people to join your conversation

Don’t you hate hovering at the outside of a conversation circle, doing that thing where you nod and make eye contact and devotedly hope that someone will include you? Be the person who invites others in.

Include them by telling them what you’re talking about and inviting them to contribute. “We were just talking about our post-holiday plans and our obsessions with Park City, Utah. Are you doing anything fun to get through the rest of the winter?”

  1. If you’re really, truly shy, don’t force yourself to stay for three hours

If you’re introverted or really uncomfortable in groups don’t force yourself to network for a million hours. Give yourself a goal (talk to three new people, stay for 45 minutes) and when you’ve met that goal, head home to your Netflix. Maintaining your sanity is a lot more important than exchanging one more set of business cards.

How do you feel about networking? Share your best tips in the comments!

P.S. How to befriend bloggers

photo by Rex Roof // cc

A Holiday Break + 5 Of My Best Posts

It’s December! Which means it’s time for egg nog and ugly thematic sweaters and being simultaneously excited about the holidays and stressed out.

In an attempt to create some of that work/life balance I’m always banging on about, I’m taking a break from my small business blog for the month of December.

But I’ve rounded up five of my most helpful archived posts to keep you busy. I’ll still be tweeting about gummy vitamins that don’t taste enough like candy and posting photos of my strange travel destinations, so you can always follow along there.

And if you’d like the holiday gift of a teeny, tiny consult – sign up for my newsletter and send me your URL. I’ll give your site a once-over and send you three specific-to-you suggestions to make your online space leaner, cleaner, more lucrative + traffic-ful. 

Happy holidays, guys!

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5 ways to get the internet excited about your products

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So you’ve create The Most Amazing product.
Maybe it’s a literary-themed cat calendar.
Or a line of sweet little leather clutches.
Or an espresso rind-ed hard cheese (!!!)

And (of course) you want everyone and their cat to know about it. But how do you create buzz around your products without annoying everyone? How do you engage your customers and invite them along for the ride?

Here are five things you can do to get people excited about your stuff.
These tips are most applicable to physical products but with a few tweaks coaches and marketers could use them, too! I’d also suggest spreading this business out gradually and gently over the course of months and guest posts – it will be a lot less likely to annoy/overwhelm your readers.

With that said, let’s dive in!

1. Post photos of your products in the sidebar of your blog or website
So many of us hide our products on a separate Etsy site or under a ‘shop’ tab. People can’t buy your stuff if they don’t know you’re selling it! Install the Etsy Mini app on your WordPress site or just add images of products to your sidebar and embed links to their sales pages.

2. Share behind-the-scenes photos of your work space and creative process
People love seeing works in progress and before-and-afters. Oooooh! A ball of yarn becoming a cowl! A half-dressed mannequin! When you post these photos, link to the sales page of similar products or tell your followers when they can expect to see these products for sale. Elise does a great job with this as do my friends at Frostbeard studio.

3. Share photos of your happy customers using your products
People love using your stuff because it’s awesome and more people will want to buy your stuff when they see tangible evidence of how awesome it is. When I sold my cat calendars, I asked pet owners to send me photos of their pets with the calendars and then I assembled an adorable Facebook album of the results.

Ask customers to submit photos of your products in action; you can even sweeten the deal by offering them a discount on their next purchase!

4. Create content about different ways to use your products
You sell cold-pressed olive oil? Do a round up of olive oil cake recipes. Share DIY olive oil beauty treatments. Share seasonally appropriate recipes that use olive oil. You get the idea.

And every time you publish a post like this you (obviously) link to your sales page.

5.  Share sweet testimonials or reviews on social media
Since your stuff is fantastic, I’m sure people are saying lovely things about it. Right? Right. Don’t keep that information to yourself! Share it on Facebook; Danielle does it with class here.

If you get positive feedback in the form of a tweet, retweet it! If the review is longer than 140 characters turn it into a 440 x 200 image and embed it directly into your Twitter stream – like I did here. Of course, you’ll cleverly wrap up these testimonials with a link to your sales page.

How do you build buzz for your products? I’d love to hear your best stuff!

P.S. How to take gorgeous, sales-making product photos

photo by Eric Danley // cc

How To (Nicely) Set Boundaries With Your Clients + My ‘Collaboration Guidelines’

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A friend once described me as ‘the one with boundaries.’

Now, I’m not entirely sure it was meant as a compliment but I chose to interpret it as one.

When you’re newly self-employed it is so incredibly easy (and even advisable!) to say yes to every client and every project that comes your way. And we’re often so hungry for business we allow our clients to walk all over our deadlines, expectations, and tip toe over our boundaries.

But what if we never made those boundaries particularly clear?

In a perfect world, that client would apply a bit of Golden Rule logic when calling you on Saturday afternoon or dawdling on their invoice, but we teach people how to treat us and people frequently need to be taught in a rather blunt-if-loving way.

I do two things to establish (what I hope are) loving, mutually beneficial boundaries with clients: 

1. I work on one small project with them before we commit to an on-going, on-retainer relationship
One of my secrets to a sane, sustainable, not-freaking-out-about-rent-this-month freelance life is having several clients on retainer – that way I know even if I sell zero ebooks and no ad space, my rent and bills are always covered.

But you wouldn’t jump into a Serious Business Relationship without a few dates. My clients and I might work through a few blog posts or a ghost written ebook before we dive into something big and committed. If they need more than three rounds of edits or want daily check-in phone calls, it’s probably not meant to be – for either of us.

2. I have a set of ‘collaboration guidelines’ (which you can totally copy)
A happy, healthy relationship – romantic, platonic, professional – requires open communication, knowing how your partner works best and what annoys the sweet bejesus out of them.

Enter my ‘collaboration guidelines.’ Once my client and I decide that we’re in it for the (relative) long-haul, I try to initiate a conversation about how each of us do our best work.

Verbatim, here’s the email I send them:

These will probably strike you as ‘holy crap obvious’ but they are all things that have (sadly) actually come up with previous clients.  And I always feel that putting all our cards on the proverbial table from the get-go is the best policy.

So!  Here are my ‘collaboration guidelines’!

* After being shorted by a client who’s a pastor (!) I ask that first time clients pay for 100% of their package up front.  After we’ve worked together for three months, we can create a different payment arrangement if you’d like.

* In an attempt to have an actual life outside of work, I try not to respond to emails or phone calls after 6:00 pm CST on weekdays or on at all on weekends.  And I don’t expect you to, either.  If I email you on a weekend or at night, please feel free to ignore it till the morning or Monday. ;)

* Whenever possible, I prefer email over phone calls.  I work in coffee shops a lot and we all hate that person who talks loudly on their phone in coffee shops.

* I won’t call you unexpectedly if you won’t call me unexpectedly.

* My usual turn around time for writing is 2-3 business days.  It’s unlikely that I can write or edit something for a client that day or the next.

* In an effort to keep my email inbox under control, I like to limit communication to one or two long, information-filled emails each day.  I promise I won’t email you one-liner emails if you won’t do that to me. ;)

* I will usually write your piece and share it with you in Google docs. You can add comments or suggest edits by clicking ‘insert’ and ‘comment.’

* I ask that all clients who have purchased a 10 hour package with me use those ten hours within three months of purchasing it.

Tell me how you work best and if these make sense!

….

The amazing thing? Every.single.time I’ve shared these with my clients they’ve been appreciative of  my transparency and given incredibly valuable insights into how they work best.

One client likes confirmation that I received each email she sends me. Another has a list of words she doesn’t want included in the posts I ghost-write for her. A third prefers Trello comments over emails.  And I’m totally happy to accommodate all of those needs now that I know!

Do you struggle establishing boundaries with clients? If you have any good tips, please share them in the comments!  

P.S. How to deal with people unsubscribe/unfollow/troll your blog

photo by 
 // cc

9 Things You Should Read If You Take Your Blog/Business Seriously

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hilarious shirt via Wild Republic Designs.

SUCH A GOOD IDEA! (all caps necessary) Tackle your passion project with the 90-90-1 rule:
For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.

I’ve pretty much given up on Facebook now, but if you haven’t, here’s how to see what is and isn’t working.

A checklist of 40 (!) things to consider before publishing a blog post.

How many of these do you do? 12 weekend habits of highly successful people.
Timothy Ferris: Don’t multi-task
Multi-tasking is so 2005. It may be tempting to maximize your weekend productivity by running on the treadmill while calling your mother and trolling your newsfeed, but successful people know that this just reduces efficiency and effectiveness. Instead, be present for each single activity. Ferris recommends a maximum of two goals or tasks per day to ensure productivity and accomplishments align.

Ever get a little annoyed when people want to ‘pick your brain’ (re: get free consulting from you)?
Now you can say no, gracefully.

Loved these five tips for new business 
Attract now, repel later.
As a new business, in the beginning it’s a good idea to stay open to different kinds of clients. Learn from each and build a solid financial cushion before specializing. Once you’ve passed the year mark, step back, reevaluate and decide who you’d like to attract more of. Focusing in on a particular niche will help you to position yourself as an expert and when you specialize, you’ll be able to charge more for your services.

Five really easy ways to make sure people open + read your email newsletter.

A good reminder when it comes to creativity: you’re a river, not a reservoir.
Be the river. Allow life, and people, and the universe to pour into you. And instead of worrying if you’ll ever get anything more, let it go, pay it forward, release it on into someone else’s life. Create the space for more to be poured into you!

If you’re a beauty, fashion, or design blogger you should really know about these 12 blogger blogger outreach programs.

And a few posts I wrote that you might have missed: How to blog if you don’t like writing and 6 oddly obvious mistakes you might be making online.

P.S. If you don’t want to miss any posts, jump on my list! I’ll give you two free ebooks as a thank you!

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Crowdfunding Your Business

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This guest post comes to us via Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes who co-founded MoolaHoop. It’s a rewards-based crowdfunding platform created by women to help women leverage the “power of the crowd” to grow their businesses. MoolaHoop enables female entrepreneurs, business owners and managers to garner financial support for their projects by reaching out to their customers, offering Rewards in the form of special pricing on their products and services and unique experiences. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter

So, you’ve heard the impressive crowdfunding success stories and are looking to launch your own campaign for your business. Great! Crowdfunding can be an excellent debt and equity-free way to raise funds to grow your company.

However, a crowdfunding campaign is a full-time marketing campaign. It involves a lot of preparation and hard work. Before you start your project, you should assess whether it is the right funding tool for you. Here are five questions to ask yourself to determine if your business is right for crowdfunding:

  1. What kind of business do I have?

Crowdfunding works best if you have a consumer product or service.  If your business serves other businesses, this may not be the method for you.

Rewards-based crowdfunding is essentially a pre-sale of products that your customers want right away. So the most successful campaigns offer early availability of new products or exclusive deals on things your customers love.

  1. Do I have a “crowd”?

Before you take on a crowdfunding campaign, you need to have a concrete list of who your customers are.

Collect their e-mails, invite them to like you on Facebook and have them follow you on Twitter. Once you have your followers, you’ll be able to start a conversation and engage real people in your business.

You can do things like provide special discounts, event invitations or access to behind-the-scenes content. Offer them something exclusive that is only available to people who join the community

Before you start a campaign, you need to determine how big your social network really is. How many people follow you on Twitter? How many receive your e-mail newsletter? These are the people you will be inviting to support your campaign, so the bigger your crowd, the wider your reach.

40-50% of your pledges will come from your direct social network and the remaining 50-60% will come from their networks. This means you have to have a big crowd and a story that people are compelled to share with their friends and family.

  1. How do I tell my story to best engage my supporters?

People always want to be part of a success story. They want to be able to say that they “knew you when.” They like the idea of supporting you in building your dream.

So, you have to tell your story in a way that lets your supporters be a part of an exciting narrative. Rather than saying “I can’t make my rent payments for the next three months, please donate to my campaign,” instead tell people that there’s enormous demand for your product or service but that you need their help to raise the funds to bring your product to market or move your business to a larger space. Always frame your story in a positive light to get people excited about your next step.

  1. Can I offer appealing rewards?

A crowdfunding campaign runs for a limited period of time so your rewards have to invite people to act now. That means either they get the product before anybody else, or they get a deal or experience that will never be offered again.

Get creative. For consumer products, considering offering a limited edition color or style. For services, a special event or a behind-the-scenes experience can be very enticing.

Offering things that are currently available on your website or at your place of business is unlikely to elicit enthusiastic support.

  1. Am I that person?

A crowdfunding campaign is a 24/7, nonstop marketing push. It requires you to ask and ask and ask for support. That will mean personal calls and e-mails as well as face-to-face meetings. This is definitely not for everyone. You have to be willing to really sell your business (and yourself) to be successful. You can’t just sit back after you’ve launched your campaign and hope for the pledges to roll in.

In addition to your supporters, you’ll need to get writers, bloggers and press interested in your story to give your campaign some extra PR fuel. It’s best if you’ve built some of these relationships prior to starting your campaign. In other words, you have to be constantly getting the word out.

This checklist should help you determine if crowdfunding is going to be the right method to help you to obtain the capital you need to expand your business. We look forward to seeing you grow!

Have you ever crowdfunded a project? How did it go? Share your stories and tips in the comments!

photo by david marcu // cc

An I-can’t-believe-I-haven’t-been-doing-this Trick To Get More Out Of Your Guest Posts

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A few months ago, the good people at Mind Body Green were kind enough to syndicate an old post of mine.
We edited it a bit, added a new, more engaging title and allofasudden 18,000+ people liked it on Facebook.

Amazing, right?!

And you know what I did to capitalize on all that traffic and all those new readers?
I blushed happily when people tweeted about it.
I bragged to my cat about it.
I looked through my archives and wondered what other posts I could repurpose.

Which is to say: I did nothing.

I did absolutely nothing to turn those tweeters and new readers into social media followers, newsletter subscribers, or clients.
18,000 people liked what I wrote and shared it with their friends and I did nooooothing with that.

You know what I should have done?
Created a page specifically for the the readers of Mind Body Green and linked to that page in my bio.

When you guest post for a high traffic website, you get a tiny slice of bio, 50ish words to convince those readers that you’re worth following. Do you point them towards your newsletter? Your huge Twitter following? That other applicable post? Your free ebook?

Yes.

You can do all that when you create a page, just for them, with all your best stuff and then link to this page-of-awesome in your guest post bio.
(You can see how I did that for my Mind Body Green readers here.)

What should you put on your specific-to-guest-posts page?

1. A greeting to your new readers
Readers will feel all warm and cozy and taken care of when you greet them. When you come to my house for dinner, I’m going to take your coat and pour you a nice glass of red. Do the same for your blog guests.

2. A selection of posts you think they’ll like
Based on the posts Mind Body Green publishes, I can surmise that their readers like life-y, inspirational, instructional posts. So I rounded up some of my best life-y, inspirational, instructional posts, made some pretty images for them and then linked the ish out of ‘em.

If I was writing a guest post on a travel blog? I’ve obviously link to my best travel posts. You get the idea!

3. Links to your social media accounts
Because if they follow you on social media, they’re a million times more likely to see future posts and products. (Are we friends on Twitter? Or Instagram? I’d love it if we were!)

4. A signup for your newsletter
In a perfect world, you’d have real, actual sign up boxes in the post (rather than a link to a second page) but any mention of your list is better than nothing. Not sure if you need a newsletter? You probably do. Here’s why.

Clever, no? You can use this specific-to-readers page to capture readers when you buy ad space or link to it (rather than just your homepage) when you guest post!

P.S. If you’d like more awesome internet/creativity/business advice, I rounded up all my favorite resources here!

photo by JD Hancock // cc