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 One of the worst things that can happen to a professional's blog is for it to become obviously out of date.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 17, 2010
Many people might think that the life of a professional speaker is glamorous, easy and fun. While it's true that those of us who are in the speaking profession often love our work, it's not always easy - or glamorous!
Here are some popular myths and misconceptions about being a professional speaker, motivational speaker or group coach - and the "real" realities:
Myth: Professional speakers get paid to talk.
Reality: It's not just "talk" - there's a lot of planning involved. The best speakers put in several hours of research and preparation for every hour that they spend actually speaking or coaching. There is a lot of “behind the scenes” work that has to happen before the “show” can start.
Myth: Being a motivational speaker is all about presentation, performance and pizzazz!
Reality: You need to have some substance behind what you're saying. It’s not enough to just put on a good show; you also need to be a respected authority in your field of expertise. And some of the most popular speakers are not necessarily the ones with the most charismatic styles of presentation – there are many ways to win over an audience.
Myth: Professional speakers and group coaches just talk off the top of their heads, using a standard script that they’ve memorized and delivered thousands of times.
Reality: The best motivational speakers and coaches take the time to prepare something special and unique for each audience. They adapt their message and target their expertise to the particular needs of every audience – so that every speech or group coaching session is a little different. The best professional speakers don’t give “cookie-cutter” speeches.
Myth: Professional speakers and group coaches just show up, deliver a speech, collect their pay and move on – they don’t really have to think about the longer-term effects of their work.
Reality: It’s much more than “just” a speech. The best professional speakers and coaches make sure that they leave a lasting impact on each audience that goes beyond the time they spend speaking. Every group coaching session or motivational speech is a chance to help change an audience and influence the direction of the organization. Whether it’s a cleverly-packaged “leave behind” document, an e-mail survey to gauge audience feedback, or a formal follow-up session, the best speakers and group coaches find a way to leave a lasting impression with their audience that will have lasting results.
What are some other misconceptions that you've heard from other people when they hear you're a professional speaker or group coach? And how do you work to overcome these misconceptions in your own business?
DeLores Pressley is an international keynote speaker, author, life coach and the Founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide. DeLores has spoken to more than 107,000 people in over 65 major cities and countries. She has been interviewed on America’s top rated shows including, OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight. She produces Speak for Hire, an educational program teaching entrepreneurs, speakers and coaches how to speak and grow their business. More about DeLores