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12 Ways to Generate 12 Blog Post Ideas in 30 Minutes or Less

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

When I talk to clients they tell me a version of not having enough time or ideas to write on their business blog. Once we get started, they see their business in a different way. They’re able to generate blog post ideas and other content relevant to their prospective clients. 

What are the most common questions asked about you, your business, or your industry? Answering those questions is a great place to start when generating 12 blog post ideas in 30 minutes or less.

Track topics on a spreadsheet. As you add ideas, make notes and add relevant links to which you can refer when you go back and write the post.

Are you ready? Here are 12 Blog Post Ideas to get you started. 

  1. Organize. Before panic sets in, think of three or four topics on which you want to write. My client who is a marketing professional selected social media (general), networking, social media (Facebook and LinkedIn), and marketing plans as her topics. It was easier to fill in three blog post ideas for each topic than a longer list of twelve and she now has a variety of content on her blog.
  2. Old Lists. I don’t know about you but I am list keeper. To do lists, idea lists, spreadsheets for planning events, whatever I am doing that takes more than a couple of steps needs a list. To develop my list of 12 topics, I referred to my old content lists.
  3. Refresh an old post. My blogger pal and image consultant Tabitha Dumas has been refreshing old blog posts as part of her content and social media strategy for the year and her audience is loving it. I am pretty sure Tabitha is loving it too because she’s not having to reinvent the wheel to come up with new topics. She’s refreshing old posts with new ideas and publishing. Change at least 30% and you’re good with Google in terms of duplicate content or just delete the original blog post.   
  4. Newsletters. What’s in your email box? Newsletters aren’t just for reading and adding to the trash. Use the content from thought leaders in your industry as sources for your own blog posts. Jump from, “here’s what so and so wrote,” to give your opinion or tell how your business can help people in that situation.
  5. Google Alerts. I’ve set up Google Alerts for keywords. Then my email sorts it into a designated folder to which I refer when I am stuck for a blog post topic. Thought leader names, companies you follow, and client names are useful alerts.
  6. Google Analytics. Which posts generated the most traffic to your website? Which keywords are people using to find your site? Write those topics and use the keywords again.
  7. Social media. Check social media analytics to see which posts generated the most engagement. Write about those topics again.
  8. FAQ. What do people most ask you about when it comes to your business? Answer their questions in a series of blog posts.
  9. ICYMI. In case you missed it or what you wish people knew about you, your team, or your business. Did you add a new employee? Introduce them in an interview blog post. Did you renovate your office? Show readers pictures and tell about the experience or share how your new office is an improvement on the last.
  10. Community or company events. If you’re involved in the community, tell readers where you’ve served as a volunteer or sponsored an event. This is especially engaging if your business is locally based as opposed to online.
  11. Organize email. Set up email folders where you can easily save emails that you might find useful later. I go to my Content folder when I am struggling for a blog post topic. Not only is this helpful for inspiration, it keeps the inbox clean.
  12. Competitive intelligence. Go to blogs and/or social media of competitors to see what they’re writing. One of my favorites is to search Twitter using relevant search terms and hashtags to see what’s going on in the world of blogging. Do the same for your industry.

Stop making the excuse of not knowing what to blog and start writing!

If you’re still scratching your head at the thought of generating blog post ideas or writing blog posts for your business blog, schedule a Getting Started Session by calling 480-206-6452 or emailing anne@bloggingbadass.com.

why your business needs a blog

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

Blogging is my primary business and I love it. The biggest challenge for me and my web designers is creating an understanding of the value of a blog. Business owners often view a blog as an extra and unnecessary part of their business and website. The reality is that a blog is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have for your business.

Here’s why your business needs a blog:

  1. Establishes you as the expert: What better way to illustrate all that you know about your industry than to write about it for your readers. You might think you have nothing to say. Rest assured a good writer can help you create ideas and blog posts that will get your business noticed. Trust me. I write for a local plumbing and septic system business. The work is shitty (get it?) but I learn a lot.
  2. Gives free tips and information to clients and prospects: Just as I am doing here, a blog is your opportunity to share tips about your business and industry. You might tell people how to change a faucet but it doesn’t mean they will do it themselves. More than likely they will call you because you’re the expert. After all, it’s on your blog!
  3. Content is King (or Queen) with Google: If you want to be found online the best way is to play nice with Google. Strategically use keywords for higher search results and establish a Google+ account. Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. Posting to the G+ social network using keywords will get you higher in search results than with any other social network at this time.
  4. Simply a Website: Having a blog means your website can be fairly simple and straightforward. The blog is where the content changes. Search engines love new content so it’s a win-win.
  5. Maintenance: Because you’re not changing content and design of your website every time you sneeze (see #4) maintaining a blog is relatively easy. I recommend utilizing user-friendly WordPress as your website platform. It’s simple and straight forward even for a novice blogger.
  6. Drives traffic to your website: Combined with social media a blog can drive traffic to your website. They come for the blog post and stay for a tour of services and products. It’s a lead generator and all you did was write a post about what you know – your business and industry.
  7. Create, change or maintain a business brand: A blog is a great opportunity to show readers what your business. It gives your business a personality in a crowded marketplace. This is called branding your business.
  8. Establishes relationship with readers: Let your personality shine through on the blog. You’re creating a relationship with your readers who are either customers or prospects. You’re networking and building a relationship with your reader.

Share your blog in the comments and let’s get connected! No time to blog? That’s okay because we can ghostwrite posts under your guidance. Contact us today at 480-206-6452 to learn more.

What You Need to Know for Your Small Business Website (Guest)

Written by P Collins on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Solopreneur Ideas

When you’re about to launch your first website, it’s hard to know what you really need and what’s just an unnecessary expense.

There are a lot of platforms, both free and paid, that allow you to build a blog with the push of a button, such as Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace, Blogger, and many others. Those can be useful if your site is for a hobby. But if you’re launching a real business, you’ll want to self-host your website. Self-hosting means your website is totally under your control.

Self-hosting sounds technical and confusing, but it’s actually really easy.

All you need to get started is a domain name and hosting. You can purchase those pretty reasonably at SiteGround, InMotion or GoDaddy.

Your domain name is the web address of your site, like bloggingbadass.com or gotprint.net. Hosting is the space you’re renting on the internet that hosts your web files. When you’re just starting out, the basic package is perfectly acceptable. You can upgrade at any time. If you’re not happy with your provider, you can switch to another, so don’t feel like you are stuck with this choice for life.

Inevitably, once you decide to launch a website, you’ll be offered all kinds of additional products. What are all those extra choices? What do you need and what’s just an upsell by the hosting company?

Here are some common items hosting companies will try to upsell:

Domain privacy

When you register a domain, your name, address, email address and phone number are automatically published for the world to see. It’s required by law that the hosting companies collect this information. But many people don’t realize that this information becomes public in an international database called the WhoIs database. If you’re a big company with a physical location, like a grocery store chain or a school, this might not matter to you but if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you may not want all your contact information out there. If that’s the case, you can protect yourself from spam and scams with private domain registration.

Business registration

Some domain registrars and hosting companies want to see you a type of premium domain registration or business registration. This adds very little value to your website and is not worth the price. Don’t bother signing up for it.

Site Lock or malware scanner service

Depending in the price and features, this could be helpful to you. Security is important: No one wants their site hacked! If you don’t want to handle it yourself, ask your hosting company what they offer. The most important question is: Do they merely scan, or will they actually clean your site and put everything back the way it was if you’ve been infected? If you don’t like their answer or prices, I highly recommend installing Sucuri on your new site.

Backup systems

Speaking of security, having a backup system is imperative. If you’re using WordPress to build your website, look into UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy, two of my favorite backup plugins. If you want your host to handle it, be sure to ask them:

– How often do they back up your site?
– How many backups do they keep?
– Where are the backups stored?
– If something happens, will they help you restore your site, otherwise are you on your own?

At the very least, everyone with a website should download screenshots and copies of the photos and text that appears on their site. I go through my sites about twice a year and make sure I have manual copies of everything. Just in case.

SSL certificate

An SSL certificate is used to secure any website that transmits personal information. They are indicated by a green symbol or padlock by the domain name in your browser. Banks, retail stores, hospitals, schools, and many other companies that deal with sensitive data use SSL certificates. Some hosts provide SSL certificates for free. If so, take advantage. They are nice to have. If you’re taking payments on your site using PayPal or Stripe (or another payment gateway), they already have SSL built in. If you’re not certain if you need one, you can always purchase one down the road. You can typically buy them in 1-year, 2-year, 5-year, or 10-year terms.

Dedicated Servers and Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

If you’re a beginner, don’t let an enthusiastic salesperson talk you into purchasing one of these. If you’ve outgrown your economy or basic plan, just move up to the next level that provides the adequate amount of space and bandwidth. A VPS is a monster of a system that requires an extremely tech-savvy individual to manage and is most likely way more than you need. Not everyone needs to have a fully dedicated web server. In fact, most people don’t. The majority of websites start out on shared hosting. That means you and 25 other people like you share a server machine in a giant building that’s connected to the internet. A VPS is a virtual server that is dedicated to you only. Hence the hefty price tag. Down the road, if you’re ready for a dedicated server or VPS, you may want to hire someone to assist you in managing it.

Domain email

Domain email is custom email setup with your domain name. For example, if I owned whitehouse.gov, I could set up the email address perri@whitehouse.gov or anne@whitehouse.gov. Most domain registrars and hosting companies offer this service. You can choose whoever you want to set up your custom domain email. I’m a huge fan of Google. It’s like Gmail for your company email. A domain email will amp up the professional appearance of your business and is usually worth the price, which can range from $50/year to $100/year, depending on what service you use.

Number One Piece of Advice for Your Website

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. One thing to keep in mind is that the web is very flexible. If you want to change your domain name to something else, you can do that. Don’t like the look of your site? Learn how to install a new theme or hire a web developer to do it for you. Want to switch hosting companies? No problem. Everything is changeable, so don’t be afraid to take the leap and crush it online.

Perri Collins, Collins Digital Media

Perri Collins, Collins Digital Media

Perri Collins is the Magical Unicorn of Creativity at Collins Digital Media. She specialized in web development, online digital marketing and social media. She started building websites in 1999 and has continued to help small business owners and individuals take their first steps on the web. She has worked with organizations both large and small, from Arizona State University to freelance writers, restaurant owners, TV news anchors, healthcare professionals, bloggers and comedians.

Don’t Let Your Blog Post Go Stale – 11 Ways to Repurpose Old Content

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

This is the pot calling the kettle black when I say don’t let your blog posts go stale. You need to repurpose old content and not just let it sit on your website. I’m putting a plan together to make more of what I’ve already written. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll see that I’ve been sharing; but that’s not all there is when it comes to repurposing old content.

Repurpose old content

Think about why you’re blogging.

  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Share your own content on social media.
  • Call people to action.
  • Make prospective clients interested in working with you.

You can’t meet any of these goals if blog posts are just sitting dormant and unshared on your website.

Make the most of your blog posts with these eleven ways to repurpose old content.

  1. e-book. You’ve got a lot of written content sitting on your website. Take a series of related blog posts and create an e-book website visitors can download in exchange for their email address. You may need to massage the copy a bit but it’s better than starting from nothing AND you’re building your email list.
  2. Podcast or livestreaming. Take the ideas from your blog posts and repurpose to a podcast and/or livestream where you can reach a new audience. Share podcasts and the transcript to your blog as new content.
  3. Share on social media. Breathe new life into old content by sharing it on social media. Share with the title and a link to the post. Then take shorter pieces from the body of the post and share on social media. Use a scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to keep the social media pipeline filled or hire a Social Media Manager like Leanna Glenn-Clark of Out of the Box Marketing.
  4. Revamp and re-release. Not every blog post is evergreen meaning that it stands the test of time. My old blog posts about social media like Which Social Media Fits Your Brand are outdated. I barely give a nod to Pinterest and never mention Instagram. As for livestreaming (Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat), it wasn’t even a “thing” yet. It’s on my to do list to revamp and re-release a blog post about social media platforms.
  5. Spin it differently. Instead of writing generically on your topic, write for a different audience. For example, if you sell life insurance, write about why people need life insurance, then also write life insurance for families, why you need more than just your employer sponsored insurance, spousal life insurance, life insurance tips for young families. Keep your target market in mind as you spin content differently.
  6. Case Studies. Let’s take the life insurance example from #5. Rather than telling people why they need life insurance, give them an example in a case study. Tell why the client came to you, what you offered as a solution, and the outcome. Use these stories as your commercials at networking events to get people more interested in what you’re offering.
  7. Value of links. When you’re writing new content, refer to old content. Link to the old content in the new post. You’re more likely to have visitors stay on your website and keep reading.
  8. Update the statistics or infographic. Take an old piece and update the numbers or the infographic and you’ve got a new post! Be sure you’re changing at least 30% of the content to avoid duplicate content issues with Google.
  9. Best of blog posts. Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating content for your website. Create a Top Ten list a la David Letterman about content on your site. Link to the old posts to get them back in front of your audience.
  10. Pinterest for Brands. If you’re a master of images, utilize Pinterest to drive traffic back to your website. The old post about picking the best colors for your website? Get it in front of your Pinterest following!
  11. Newsletters. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel every time you need newsletter content! Use blog posts to create a theme and message for the people on your newsletter mailing list. This will let them know what you’ve been up to and will drive them to your website.

If you’re wondering which of these is most effective to re-engage your audience, use Google Analytics to track website traffic. Not only can you see which posts are getting the most views, you can review keywords and social media sites that are driving visits.

Creating content isn’t a one-time event. With a content strategy you can repurpose old content into newsletters, e-books, live streaming, social media updates, and new blog posts.

Not sure where to get started blogging? Schedule a Getting Started session with me today by calling 480-206-6452 or emailing anne@annemcauley.com.

For more blogging tips, join the Blogging Badass Facebook group where we’re talking blogging and social media.

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10 Things (almost) Every Blog Post Needs

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

every blog post needsMobile devices have made it easy for us to read content while we’re on the go. What happens if the blog post includes killer content but isn’t easy to read? Most of us abandon the site in favor of one that is more pleasing to the eye.

Bold, headlines, numbering, and graphics are just a few of the things (almost) every blog post needs.

  1. A killer headline to grab readers’ attention. We have short attention spans and need you to grab us from the start or we’ll scroll to the next post.
  2. Engaging opening so they continue reading. Try writing the opening after you’ve written the rest of the post. For me this process works well from a creative perspective; I’ve dumped all the ideas out of my head and see where the blog post is going.
  3. Numbering. I am a writer for a good reason; I am not good with numbers. Please don’t make me count. If your post is called 10 Things, number the things.
  4. Bold and headers make the post visibly appealing. More than 25% of websites are searched via mobile device. If your post is too long and doesn’t catch our attention, we’re going to stop reading or not read it at all, no matter how good the content is.
  5. Mobile-friendly website. When I see a killer headline, I click the link. I am 40+ years old with reading glasses and somewhat tech challenged. If I can’t easily read the article, I will go to the next one. The website probably isn’t mobile-friendly. If you’re not sure about your website, look at it on your cell phone or tablet. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time for a new template.
  6. No more white font on black. This is especially true if your ideal readers are of an age where they need reading glasses like me. I can’t see white on black or gray print easily and will leave your site quickly. It’s not worth the risk of headache.
  7. Craft a killer closing. Summarize the points made in the post and then ask readers a question. Would you like to learn more? Then add a call to action.
  8. Call to Action. I’ve had clients who refuse to add a call to action to their blog posts for fear that they sound too sales-y. These clients don’t last long because they don’t understand the point of blogging for your business website is to drive interest in your brand and prompt readers to contact you. Include a call to action like call us, email, or download our ebook.
  9. Photo or graphic. Sites like Canva and Pexels make it easy for bloggers like me, who aren’t designers, to add photos and graphics to blog posts and social media. These sites are free or low cost. Add the blog post keyword to the image settings for an extra SEO boost.
  10. Spellcheck. Before hitting publish, put your post aside for a few minutes and do something away from your computer. Call a friend. Walk your dog. Take a shower. Forget the post. Run spellcheck and grammar check and read your post with fresh eyes. If you’re satisfied with what you see, hit publish. If you’re not sure about your editing skills, hire a professional proofreader or editor.

Bottom line is that your blog posts have to be visually appealing in addition to having killer content or readers will opt for another source. That’s a tough pill for those of us who love words and not graphics but that’s what readers want so we must deliver.

Not sure where to start? Join the Blogging Badass Facebook Group to learn more about what every blog post needs and what to do after you hit publish.

How to Blog When You Have No Time to Write

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Solopreneur Ideas

We each have 24 hours in the day but I have days that feel a lot shorter. I make excuses for not focusing on my own writing projects but it boils down to how I manage my time. To blog when you have no time to write means thinking ahead about what, when, and how you want to organize your content.

Before quitting the idea of creating blog posts for your brand, consider these:

  1. How to Blog When You Have No Time to WriteGet into a Routine. My blogger pal Robbi Hess has been telling me, for way longer than I care to admit, to block time for my own writing. It wasn’t until recently that I made it a priority. Each morning I start my day by writing a blog post for one of my websites. Just that simple act focuses and inspires me to write.
  2. Plan Ahead. Spend time creating a list of blog post ideas that includes links to related articles, notes of what you’d like to include in the post, and a focused theme or category. I am not an outliner but I know bloggers who outline posts as they get ideas, filling in the blanks when they have time to finish. I tend to outline in my head and then start writing. There’s no right way to blog so find what works for you and do that.
  3. 80/20 Rule. 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. There’s a large amount of activity that you can delete because it’s not helping your business. If you’re going to coffee meetings with people who aren’t colleagues, masterminds, or prospects, cut those meetings from the schedule. This creates time for blogging.
  4. Create in Batches. Be ahead so you can take time off to spend with family and friends or focus on other business activities like networking or business development. Write a few posts and schedule them to go live over a longer period of time. I recommend four posts a month for most businesses. Write two posts a week for two weeks and a month of blogging is done!
  5. Set Reasonable Goals. I don’t know about you but I am an overachiever that struggles when it comes to goal setting. Take this blog challenge as an example. When it started my goal was 12 blog posts in six days but I soon realized that I only had time for one post. Instead of feeling like a failure, I reset my goal to 12 blog posts in 12 days. This is the fifth of those posts. The lesson? Set reasonable goals for blogging and track results. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.
  6. Hire a Professional Blogger. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of creating content or have ideas and no time to write, it’s time to hire a professional blogger.

Sometimes 24 hours isn’t enough time to get everything done. That’s where I can help. As a professional blogger, I work with my clients to create content that speaks to their target audience. Contact me via email at anne@annemcauley.com or call 480-206-6452.

For more blogging tips, join the Blogging Badass Facebook Group.

Where to Start Writing Blog Posts When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

You’re staring at a list of blog post ideas waiting for the posts to write themselves but they never do. Where do you start writing blog posts when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, do something else, then return with a new approach.

Do anything that gets your mind away from the blank page.

Go for a walk. Play with the dog. Dance.

Start Writing Blog PostsYou will be amazed at what 5-10 minutes away from the screen can do for your creativity and blogger motivation.

Believe me when I say I spend as much time in my backyard pondering as I do writing.

Come back to the list of ideas or the piece you’re writing with new eyes.

Start where you’re comfortable.

Pick a topic from your list that inspires you and write. Some days that’s easier said than done.


There are two ways I approach blog post writing:

  1. Write the middle of the post first. Then a conclusion. Craft the opening last. It’s often easier to write the opening after I’ve gotten all of my ideas out of my head.
  2. Write what I know on the topic. Write from the heart. Research and make notes. Then go back and craft a piece my client will love.

Find your flow. There’s no right way to write.

On my list(s) of blog post ideas, whether for my own writing or for a client, I add notes and relevant links that trigger me when I come back to write. If I have only a topic listed, I don’t always recall why I wanted to write on that topic and it causes a feeling of overwhelm.

I have a list of 100 blog post ideas that gives me anxiety.

I wonder why I haven’t written these posts or how I could, if I wrote them, repurpose them into an ebook, livestream, or guest blog post. My chest is tight just writing about it.

Finally I took the list of 100+ blog post ideas and broke it into a smaller list of 25 ideas. That’s where I got many of my 12 blog post ideas in 30 minutes or less.

12 ideas is less overwhelming than 100 ideas or a blank page with no plan.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and come back with a new approach. Make your list shorter. Focus on one category rather than a huge list. Write a topic that interests you in the moment.

There’s isn’t a right or wrong way to write your blog posts. Find what works for you and go with the flow to create content that reaches your target audience.

Not sure where to start? Schedule a Getting Started Session today by calling 480-206-6452.

Why I am Writing 12 Blog Posts in 12 Days

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Projects & Press Releases

blog posts

Originally I was going to write 12 blog post in six days but that just wasn’t a reasonable goal. I updated to 12 posts in 12 days which is more attainable. 

I need a challenge.

Not an income challenge. I already did that Q1 when I exceeded my income goals three months in a row and running. It seemed like a good idea until a I realized I was also planning my wedding. It was a crazy time. Thankfully my supportive husband was with me every step of the way.

Not a client challenge. I’ve gotten the hang of nurturing leads so that when a client and I decide to no longer work together there are prospects waiting to work with me.

Not a physical challenge. I joined a gym in February. I am enjoying working off stress and sleeping better, not to mention the benefit of my clothes fitting better.

I need a blogging challenge.

Why I am Writing 12 Blog Posts in Six 12 Days

Clients approach me with an understanding that content is important to their marketing and social media strategy but don’t have time to write. That’s when they hire me for a 12 post blogging package. Within 4-6 weeks we develop 12 blog post ideas that they can use as blog posts, newsletter content, and/or LinkedIn publishing.

I’ve never done a 12 post post blog project for my own website and it’s about time for that to happen! And I am going to do it in Six 12 DAYS!

Sounds crazy but the timing is perfect. I’ve wrapped up a few projects and am waiting for a few to start. I have ideas on lists all over my office, in my head, and on my computer.

To start, I am handpicking 12 blog post ideas that I’ve had rolling around in my head for a long time. This post is the first of 12.

If you’re thinking about creating content for your business blog, join us in the Blogging Badass Facebook group where we’re sharing our blogging tips and ideas.

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Are you paralyzed at the thought of writing a blog post? Read this. 

What NOT to do as a Professional Blogger

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Solopreneur Ideas

When I decided to become a professional blogger, I did it with my ass on fire and really had no idea what it meant to be a professional blogger or social media manager.

All I knew was that I had been laid off from corporate America and wanted to pursue my dream of being a writer. A dream, 14 weeks of severance, crash courses in blogging, social media, and networking, and I was ready (ish) to go.

Over the years I’ve offered a variety of writing services to my clients. The projects didn’t always turn out the way I wanted but I learned along the way.

Here’s what NOT to do as a professional blogger:

  1. Listen to the naysayers. I would have started a side gig before leaving corporate America if I had ignored a certain person at my corporate job. She told me I couldn’t make money blogging and I believed her. I never thought to do my own research or give it a try. I could’ve at least had a running start on a full-time business.
  2. Start without a plan. I know what you’re thinking — that I didn’t have a plan and I am okay. Yes, it’s okay but there are days when I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to get a j-o-b and start a side gig before jumping in full-time.
  3. Fail to have a strategy. I’ve spent A LOT of time spinning my wheels, doing what other people said I should be doing, and never had my own strategy. Whether it’s short or long term, you’ve got to plan where you’re taking your business. Once I did that, I was able to focus my efforts on social media and marketing, making the most of the time I spend on my business and on client work.
  4. Let clients dictate your pricing and packages. I thought it would be more sale-able to let clients tell me what they needed and then I could put a price on it. Boy was I wrong! Here’s the secret: clients don’t always know what they want. I ended up down a rabbit hole of projects and clients I didn’t want. Once I defined my pricing and packages, I was able to say, “Here is how I can help you and the cost.” It’s easier to tell someone that they didn’t fit what I offer and refer them to someone else rather than taking on work I didn’t really want to do.
  5. Assume people will do what they say. Last year I made the mistake of assuming a company was going to refer a certain amount of business to me so I didn’t fill my pipeline with leads. When they didn’t come through, I was left without the income and without any leads to fill the gap. Ouch. Lesson learned.
  6. Be afraid of change. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a professional blogger, it’s that change happens and you just have to ride the wave. When I started my business, I was a social media manager for most of my clients and blogged for a few. I discovered that blogging is a higher margin and, more importantly, I enjoy it more so that’s where my business is focused now. It was an interesting shift but well worth it in the end.

Even without a plan to start my life as a blogger, I’ve been able to learn, grow, and change along the way. Are you interested in becoming a blogger? Do you want to start a blog on your business website? Schedule a Getting Started Session today by calling 480-206-6452 or email anne@annemcauley.com.

My Experiment on the Best Times To Post on Social Media

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

My social media strategy was stale. I needed to revamp and refocus my efforts.

Since 2010 I’ve been researching and experimenting using social media for business. When I began, the strategy was simple – have a presence on social media – but it has gotten more complicated, not to mention more crowded. While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn remain my steadfast platforms, there are a lot more players on the scene that need consideration — Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope and more.

best times to post on social mediaOver the years, I’ve studied the return on social media investment, target marketing, and best times to post. While I’ve dabbled in the latest news on these topics, I’ve primarily stuck to the beat of my own drummer.

I post what I think my social media communities think is helpful, amusing, or engaging and it’s worked to get me visibility, networking contacts, leads, and clients.

BUT

The landscape of social media is changing. It’s significantly more crowded, making it more challenging than ever to get my brand’s voice heard.

I suspected my content was not the problem but  rather it was the times of day I was posting – Monday through Friday, primarily during business hours. That’s when I came across the Co-Schedule download called The Ultimate Best Times to Post on Social Media and confirmed my suspicions.

Rather than paying attention to the day or time, I was posting whenever the mood struck me. That’s not necessarily when my community was online so even if the content was good, they weren’t seeing it or paying attention to it.

What did I do to adjust the times I was posting to social media?

For the better part of the year I was paying for the Awesome access on social media scheduler Buffer but I wasn’t always using it consistently. Even when I was, I hadn’t adjusted the time zone or posting times in months. That alone could help me but I decided to follow CoSchedule’s guidelines for time zone and best times to post on social media for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, my primary social media platforms.

When I started my experiment I had:

Twitter – 2880 followers

Facebook Blogging Badass Page – 620 likes

Facebook Blogging Badass Group – 107 members

LinkedIn – 718 connections, 802 followers

Goals of the Experiment

  1. Schedule one month of posts on Buffer.
  2. Add live posts at various days and times.
  3. Use the same posting times for Facebook page and group.
  4. 3,000 Twitter followers
  5. Increase engagement in the Blogging Badass Facebook group.
  6. Engage with target market on LinkedIn.

Honestly, I am surprised at the results of the best times to post on social media experiment. By the numbers, here’s where I ended the month:

Twitter – 2975 followers <+95>

Facebook Blogging Badass Page – 619 likes <-1>

Facebook Blogging Badass Group – 114 members <+7>

LinkedIn – 728 connections <+10>, 815 followers <+13>

Overall I feel like I spent less time on social media and got better results

but

the numbers aren’t the whole story of the best times to post on social media.

There were two surprises.

The first was the increase of 95 Twitter followers with little effort. The newest followers are aligned with my target markets of SEO and marketing companies, content creators, digital marketers, and fellow bloggers. I think that the times and consistency of tweets has helped as well as participating in twitter chats with complementary businesses, retweeting, live tweeting, and making strategic connections.

The second surprise was on LinkedIn. Not only did the number of connections and followers increase, there was more engagement on my posts. It is worth noting that along with adjusting the times, I made an effort to comment on posts by people in my target market. That got me seen by more people including two new clients.

Interestingly, during this experiment I didn’t publish on LinkedIn or my blog. I only recycled content I had already created and shared the best of what I found from others.

What can be learned from this experiment?

I learned that with focused effort and strategy I can grow my business and increase engagement in my online communities – and you can too.

  • Identify your target market.
  • Choose social media platforms where your target market spends time.
  • Create and share your own content.
  • Share the best content from others.
  • Post relevant content at times when your community is most likely to see it.

Was the CoSchedule guide the key to the success of my experiment on the best times to post to social media? Yes but…. so was Buffer …. and so was the kickass content I created ….and so was the kickass content I found and shared. The real lesson is realizing that while I’ve learned a lot about social media in the last five years, there’s a lot more to learn.

Are you interested in learning how to use social media as part of your blogging strategy? Join the Blogging Badass Facebook group

Source: The Ultimate Best Times to Post on Social Media

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