The coaches I know are inherently creative people and often resist things like publication schedules. However, your group coaching blog can benefit tremendously from having an editorial schedule, just like any successful publication.
In my experience, the frequency is actually less important than the consistency. Whether you post once a month, once a week, or every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, see if these reasons can help you stay motivated to publish on a schedule.
- Blogs that publish on a predictable schedule get more traffic and who doesn't want more traffic? You could extrapolate this point to mean that bloggers who publish more frequently get even more traffic. That's true, too, particularly if you use social media to promote your posts when they occur.
- Blogging regularly pushes you to keep generating innovative and timely content. Your blog gives you an ideal testing ground for ideas that can seed your group coaching programs. Use your blog to try and test ideas for relevance within your community.
- Ever heard the phrase "A body in motion stays in motion?" Your blog can benefit from the same kind of momentum. By having a publication schedule, you are much more likely to continue updating your blog even when other things are distracting. One of the worst things that can happen to a professional's blog is for it to become obviously out of date. Site visitors will assume that your business is not operating effectively when your blog is not being updated.
- Writing a blog requires commitment and inspiration. Your clients may sometimes benefit from your inspiration but they will always benefit from your commitment. A regularly updated blog is a clear demonstration that you are a committed coach.
- Publishing on a schedule forces you to dig deep and develop your expertise. A blog provides an opportunity to become recognized as an expert in your field. Take advantage of the research opportunities that blogging provides you. You may be pleasantly surprised by how quickly your regular blogging creates a substantial body of work which could be translated into a book, workshop, or new group coaching program, all of which build your authority.
If you're still struggling to commit to a schedule, consider finding a blog buddy or an accountability partner or group. Or just go public with your commitment! You and your blog have everything to gain.
image credit: comedy_nose
Laurie Foley has been helping people and organizations thrive online for more than 15 years. Resourceful and intuitive, she's an online business coach and dedicated guide for those who want to create meaningful work and amplify their message. Besides writing as Group Coaching Mastery's Blogging Expert, you can find Laurie at http://lauriefoley.com and on Twitter as @lauriefoley.
July 1, 2010
Have you experienced that wonderful feeling of writing an article and getting great feedback on it from readers? Or how about a lot of wonderful comments on an article you may have written on a blog. There's nothing like feeling that you were able to reach someone, educate someone, or make someone laugh. Yet imagine that feeling multiplied by 10 - when you write an article series.
While many business owners write article series, the reason why coaches should write article series is a little "special". As coaches, we have to work much harder than the average business owner to stand out in a sea of competitors and marketing clutter. I don't know about you, but I don't have a huge marketing team behind me or my own publicist on retainer; but what we do have is a distinct coaching perspective and a unique voice. There is no better way to express that "voice" than by writing a series of articles that walks your prospects through a process, explains a concept, or discusses a hot topic in depth.
Then there's the added bonus that article series improves site stickiness, length of time on site, reader interest, and ultimately conversion. Some of my most loyal readers and active ones (those who comment, retweet, etc.) are people who have read my article series. It's really basic psychology if you think about it. Most people won't (or can't) stop reading until they know the ending of the story.
Now if this sounds like a lot of work and you are a little intimidated - don't be. Writing an article series is nothing more than writing one long article and cutting it up into chunks. So here's an example of what you could do…
1. Write an article explaining how to housebreak a puppy in 7 days (yeah right:).
2. There are a lot of steps to cover in this process, so you write a 1200 word article (which is much shorter than you think).
3. Break that article up into three 400 word articles. So basically articles covering step 1, step 2, step 3.
4. You write a small introductory article about housebreaking which can be about 250-300 words. Perhaps how you learned or why it's important.
5. You can also write a wrap-up or conclusion article too. This article can remind folks about the housebreaking steps and how to maintain good housebreaking habits — and can perhaps mention your "housebreaking bootcamp program" if they run into problems.
The intro and conclusion article will not contain any "new" information about the topic. Just introduce it and wrap things up. So those will be short and easy to write.
6. IMPORTANT - make sure to include links to the previous articles in the series at the bottom of articles. This will encourage more clicks and keep folks on the site and reading.
*Bonus Tip - You can create an article series from previously written articles. Just use a couple of related articles that you can bring together. Write a quick introductory article to give them a "series" feel and you're done.
Lisa Angelettie is a professional coach, published author, and article marketing expert. She's been using articles exclusively since 2003 to drive traffic to the websites of her clients as well as her own. Lisa is the Article Marketing Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. Stop by and read some of Lisa's free article marketing tips over at her site: Article Marketing Tips.
June 29, 2010
I preach to my clients all the time that they need to be consistent throughout all their marketing. So, me saying Unfocused Focus sounds like quite the opposite doesn't it? So, how can a detail-oriented, consistency preaching person like me talk about being unfocused? Well, I'll explain. Most of the time we hear everyone telling us that you have to be focused on the internet. Pick a niche, get specific, and go after your target market. You've heard that, right? They're WRONG!! Okay, well, sort of wrong.
Here's the thing. You DO need a specific niche for your target market. You DO need to be targeting them and attracting them through everything you do on the internet. This kind of focus is very important for increasing your trust factor with potential clients.
HOWEVER, don't forget you also want to attract other types of business support.
Do you want affiliates?
Do you want joint venture partners?
Do you want to speak?
Are you always looking for team members?
Are their others you'd like to attract to help build your business?
Then you need to get a little unfocused and add in places for these other people to come to you. For example, your website. Here you are focused on attracting your target market. You want to move them through your sales funnel and make them a regular client, right? GREAT! Now, let's get a little unfocused for a second. I have an affiliate program for my products. So, not only do I have information that will attract my clients, but there is also a link for anyone interested in my affiliate program.
The key is to LOOK focused (which my home page does), but be slightly unfocused and include little places here and there for those who can help grow your business to latch onto. After all, there's a built in level of trust when someone is referred to you or has an experience of you when you speak etc… So, you want to take advantage of that!
One more example is social networks. I'm on Twitter all the time. I talk a lot about what's going on in my business. I put information out that will help potential clients, as well. I'm not JUST there to get clients though. I also am looking for JV partners, affiliates, speaking gigs, and to get to know some REALLY cool people. Many people would say that's too unfocused. No, it's not. My main conversation revolves around what I do for a living (FOCUS). However, I do throw in other things here and there to make sure my partners can see how we are a good fit (UNFOCUSED). I'm also sharing things about who I am as a person. This is three-fold, it gets my clients interested, it attracts other business owners who share my interests AND the transparency is a huge trust-builder for all groups (FOCUS). So, it's unfocused focus.
So, are you just focused? Or are you sprinkling in some unfocused marketing? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Kristen Beireis is the Trust Marketing Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She helps coaches and other personal transformation professionals establish trust through marketing. First, she establishes a foundation that's rooted in your authentic differentiation. Then she follows up with solutions that bring consistency to everything that has your name on it — from your newsletter to your business card to your social media pages. And while she's happy to teach you how to do all this yourself, many of her clients love the way her team reduces their workload and overwhelm.
Greater trust means a shorter sales cycle, more of the right clients, and the confidence that comes from knowing your sales and marketing are in integrity with who you are as a person.