How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

 

Every startup has heard that they need to update their website in order to stay relevant to Google and the little bots that crawl around on the interwebs. But how many of them actually start blogging? Very few, unless forced! Don’t ask me how I know–I just do.

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

So, how do you get started? Here’s a pep talk: How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in An Hour. Know that you can create something in an hour. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

Make an Editorial Calendar

There are many ways to create an editorial calendar, and I’d opt for the simplest if you’re just starting out. A spreadsheet on Google, shared by the entire team would probably do it. Here are some examples:

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

 

My blogging buddy, Bridget Willard, taught me that and I’ve never forgot it. If you don’t think you can write, start by speaking. You can get help with cleanup (that is, editing) later. Don’t worry too much about that for now.

Break it Down

Break it Down

Break it Down

As my friend Randy Clark explains, writing and editing use different sides of the brain. So do your writing first, then your editing. Don’t edit as you go for a faster experience. You might want to get some great examples of blogging at Randy’s blog about car wraps. And Randy’s book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever, on Amazon is a bargain!

laboratory photo

Research First

Research your topic before you dive into the writing. Or, if you’ve already started writing, create space where the researched topics need to go. For example, you could say something like add backup link here, and then keep writing. Since researching and editing use a different part of the brain, you can keep your creative juices flowing if you write this way.

 laboratory photo

Make an Outline

What do you want your post to be about? Create an outline before you start. Write a header first (here’s a post on How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click), then at least five paragraph headings. End with your call to action. Now go back and fill in each of those five paragraphs with two or three sentences.

 

 

What Ifs

What Ifs

What Ifs

Secret confession time: I hire both an editor (when I need one), and a full-time graphics person. I’ve been writing for years. Give yourself a break and hire it out if you don’t want to do it. Focus on your strengths!

  • What if you have bad spelling and/or grammar? Hire an editor!
  • What if you aren’t artistic? Hire a graphic designer!
  • What if you are a terrible writer? Hire a writer!

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

As mentioned earlier, a blogging buddy is a gift you can give yourself. Find someone else to inspire you. The blogging buddies idea can catapult your writing! Brainstorm ideas, and talk to your buddy when you’re stuck!

CONCERT LIGHTS photo

The Reward System

Like anything else, it’s good to give you or your team member a reward at the end of a successful session. Recognition is also an excellent idea, as outlined in an article from the Next Web: Rewards and Recognition: Two Highly Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees.

Start the Next Post Early

My best blog articles have been sitting on the back burner for days. I like to write in 15-minute chunks, sometimes once a day, sometimes twice. If you start your next post, it can simmer for awhile. Even if you think you’re not thinking about it, you really are! And don’t procrastinate, since that way madness lies!

laboratory photo

How Do You Speed Up Your Writing?

Or do you speed it up at all? Maybe you’re more the type of writer who grinds out words one at a time. Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

 

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

Do you get stuck writing your headlines? Here are some things I do to make my blogging life easier! Thanks to Bridget Willard (read her posts if you never have!) for the idea of making this into a blog post!

book open library photo

You Want People to Read

As bloggers, we all want extra eyes on our posts, whether we’re writing for a brand to gain SEO, or personally, when sharing our stories. Some people, like Ogilvie, believe that a headline is worth 90% of the cost of advertising. So spend some time.

 critique photo

Pick Your Topic (and Use Your Brand Voice)

What topics would entertain, entrance, or help your audience? Try to stick with those topics. Clement Lim has created the definitive post about branding: Creating a Kick-Ass Brand Identity, which I highly recommend for finding your brand voice.

Plug Your Topic Into a Good Headline Analyzer

My Secret Headline Analyzer

Plug Your Topic Into a Good Headline Analyzer

My first secret is the CoSchedule headline analyzer. Start with anything you want to write about. Go ahead: I’ll wait here. Keep trying different headlines until you get a number you’re happy with. For the blog you’re reading, I tried 15 different headlines. When I first began this method, I had to try 20-25 headlines, by the way. The process gets easier.

book open library photo

Get a Good Mix of Words

I like to have some common, uncommon, emotional, and power words in each headline. And I like either a B+ or an A+. The CoSchedule analyzer helps with the word balance and gives you the score, too. Since most people will retweet/share your post without reading it, according to The Verge, the headline has to be extra delicious to make people click on it.

writer photo

Put the Headline Into Your Blog

I like to write right on my blog. There are always a bunch of drafts, in various stages of writing. So before you forget your wonderful headline, throw it into your blog. You can come back to it later. Spend some time on your headline, though. Having a robust headline can help you whether you plan to post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

writing photo

Write for 15 Minutes

I like to write for a minimum of 15 minutes. Do you have 15 minutes? Sure you do! Write as fast as you can for 15 minutes. You have permission to stop after 15 minutes. But maybe there’s something else you want to say. I like to use an old-school egg timer. For some reason, the ticking sound helps. Sure, you know that writing a headline is a pain in the asterisk, but go ahead.

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And Another 15 Minutes

The writing process is not about correcting yourself. You can do that later! Or you could hire an editor to help you with it. Either way, just get started. Keep writing. And don’t edit yourself.

Read Your Headline (and Article) to a Friend

I am blessed to have an editor friend for when I get stuck. Remember, you can’t call your friend all the darn time to have them help you. Pay them or take them out to lunch, for the love of Strunk and White.

Tweak the Headline

If what you’ve written no longer reflects the headline, go back and tweak it. You might want to run it back through the headline analyzer tool.

critique photo

Need Help Writing?

Yep, I do help others with their blogging and social media.

critique photo

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

The first thing to do? Set that timer for an hour. Another good thing to do is make sure you have a reward for yourself once you’re done. How about a frozen yogurt with sprinkles?

fine dining photo

First 15 Minutes

Brainstorm ten topics. Here are some ideas to kickstart you:

  • A question that your clients always ask. Or one they rarely ask.
  • A news story you could discuss and how it affects your clients.
  • A recent testimonial, and how happy you were to receive it.
  • Reasons you’re better than your competitors.
  • What people don’t ask about your business but you wish they would.
  • Funny things you’ve learned plying your trade.
  • Tell a story about a crazy client you’ve worked with (anonymous, of course!).
  • How you work with people in another field (for instance an app developer and a website developer).
  • How people can work with you (for instance, Social Media Managers: Ten Secrets to Care for Yours).
  • Behind the scenes in your business–describe some of the people who work at your company.

This tweet from Randy Clark might make you think twice:

Second 15 Minutes

Pick the best topic from your brainstormed list.

Choose only one! If you like two, write about the other one next time. Here’s a bit to help with blogging in a post I wrote about Orange County WordCamp, by the way (create five topics). Now speak out loud and write down what you say. Pretend someone else is there, or call a friend and talk into the phone. If you can use speak to text, even better and faster. I like an “hourglass shaped” post, starting with the macro, going to the micro, and back out to the macro. That is, begin with something generic and then get specific. Now write three short paragraphs about whatever your point is. And then wrap it up with another short paragraph.

ice cream photo

Third 15 Minutes

Add Links. Add at least two inbound links to your own blog (if you don’t have any, don’t worry–you will soon!), and two outbound links. For an article of 350 words, I like to have a total of four links. For instance, for this post, I linked to my own blog twice, and two external links. Search on a topic or two that could use more explaining, and add the URLs.

Add Tags. Pick a few to identify the content of your post.

Fourth 15 Minutes

Add Images and a call to action.

Images

Go to Creative Commons and find something you like and plug it in. I like Flickr, but you may find another favorite–be sure the image you like is available for commercial use and modification. You don’t need a lot of images, but at least one or two at a minimum. Find something compelling that represents your words, but don’t stress over it too much. If you have your own images, that’s even better.

light downtown photo

Call to Action

Here are some typical CTAs:

  • Join us now!
  • Add a comment!
  • Sign up for our newsletter!

Here’s a list of 11 Kick-Ass Call to Action Examples that you might like!

Enjoy Your Reward!

Are you enjoying your reward now? Tell me what your reward is in the comments below! (And how did you like that Call to Action?)

Why Friday is the Worst Time to Publish a Blog Post

Why Friday is the Worst Time to Publish a Blog Post

Why Friday is the Worst Time to Publish a Blog Post

You want the most eyes possible on your blog post, right? So you’d like to know when to post, the same as all of us. I’ve been posting on Thursday mornings at 7 a.m., Pacific Time. But others may like the beginning of the week, or the weekend. Why not Friday, you say? After all, that way you have the whole week to write your article.

editorial photo

The News Dump

Friday is known as a “news dump day.” that is, bad news or news that media outlets don’t want to be noticed goes out on Fridays. Yes, it’s a thing, and you can read about it in the Political Dictionary. If you must publish something, but don’t want anyone to notice, send it on Friday.

crowds photo

The Zombie Apocalypse That No One Knew About

If you want to keep the zombie apocalypse quiet, or want no one to know about that affair the President is having, you could quietly release it on Friday. By the way, here’s an article about how a zombie apocalypse would be better than having an old school social media manager that you might like.

So if Friday is a bad time, when is a good time?

So if Friday is a bad time, when is a good time?

Thursday and Saturday Mornings Rank High

Thursday and Saturday mornings, according to this article in Kissmetrics, The Science of Social Timing, are both good times to post, depending upon your audiences. Men are more likely to read an article at night, and women in the morning. Additionally, Coschedule has a nifty long article, When is the Best Time to Publish a Blog Post that again emphasizes that mornings are the best.

Fridays Are Pre-Weekend Days

Think about it. Mondays everyone keeps their head down, is trying to get over the weekend, and is focused on themselves and getting the work done. And on Fridays, people are looking forward to the weekend. Isn’t that how you are? Then why would your audience be any different? Some people don’t even work a full day on Friday, instead keeping their eye on the clock and how much time they have left before they leave.

It Depends on Your Audience

Of course if your audience is around on Fridays because your audience consists of pescatarians looking for fish recipes, then Friday would be the perfect time to publish. So keep in mind that you should take these recommendations with a huge grain of salt and test, test, test. Speaking of audiences, you might like this article, Audience: Use Their Language.

What’s Your Favorite Day to Publish?

If you’re a blogger, when do you like to publish your article? Have you done any testing? Let me know in the comments! Thank you.

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Wikipedia is not going to help you much with finding your next Social Media Manager (“SMM”). In fact, Wikipedia can’t tell you anything about how to choose an SMM. Google can help to some extent, if you get your search terms correct, and focus on a good headline. (By the way, if you’d like to know about writing headlines, those can be a pain in the asterisk!) So what can help you? Here are some ideas.

1. Don’t look under a rock. Hint: Those are worms!

If you want to find a good SMM, you might want to look around on social media. Check on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or wherever you’d like to be posting. See if the person you’d like to hire is posting there, too. Their posts don’t have to be perfect (because, after all, they’re busy with clients), but they should have some posts of substance.

2. Check out their websites and social platforms.

Most SMMs have a website, although I know some fab ones who don’t. Check out their testimonials and what other people are saying about them. If you can’t find anything, you could ask for testimonials directly. See whether their website has been updated in, say, the last two months. It should be active. And of course, check out their social platforms.

Check out websites and social platforms

Check out websites and social platforms

3. Read their blog.

Does your SMM have a blog and do they post about social media? That would be a good thing, especially if you need help with blogging. Is their writing clear? Do you like their style? If they’re writing about Twitter, for instance, do they include particulars that you like?

When you read a SMM's blog, do you like the particulars?

When you read a SMM’s blog, do you like the particulars?

4. Look at their writing skills.

These days, many SMMs have degrees in writing or related fields. If you want your SMM to do a bit of writing for you, a degree in English could be beneficial. Or perhaps experience writing. Some SMMs, myself included, have a background in technical writing. If you have a particular grammatical mistake that bugs you, such as the abuse of commas, check their work for that. Here’s a list of 10 Common Grammar Mistakes (“lose” and “loose” are often confused).

5. Ensure that they embrace “social.”

Broadcasting your message over and over (and over!) is old-school marketing. Make sure that your SMM enjoys interacting with others. Saying hello, while it sounds simple, usually causes others to say “hello” back! Engaging with others on social media is the fastest way to an engaged and engaging account on any platform.

Ensure that you SMM embraces "social."

Ensure that your SMM embraces “social.”

6. Ask them some questions.

For instance, ask about their least favorite platform. That should help you get some idea of what their favorite platform is and isn’t. Also, ask which subjects to avoid. There are many more questions you can ask.

Ask about their least favorite platform

Ask about their least favorite platform

7. Your SMM should be excited at your success!

When you make sales, or when your posts are shared with lots of people, your SMM should be happy for you! They should have in mind a vision for you and for your success. After all, it’s in both your interests that you should succeed.

Finding a good social media manager shouldn’t be this hard, right?

With overpriced agencies and undervalued CMOs, it’s a serious challenge to find that juggernaut to pave the way for your future marketing strategy. Do you have a successful story where your SMM has developed your online presence into what you wanted? We would truly like to hear about your experience(s).

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

 

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog. You’re getting ready to get started thinking about it. That is, right after you finish that new business plan for next year. And waxing the car. And don’t you also need to balance your checkbook again?

The secret to great content is to begin creating it. Maybe your writing isn’t perfect. Whose is? If you never start writing, you’ll never know. And great, original content on your blog helps your SEO with Google. Here are a few ideas that helped me get started with blogging.

Don’t procrastinate.

“Procrastination, quite frankly, is an epidemic,” declares Jeffery Combs, the author of “The Procrastination Cure,” says in an article “How to Stop Time,” via the New York Times. Don’t add to that epidemic.

An unfinished blog post

An unfinished blog post

Glue the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.

Sit and start writing the first thing that pops into your head, and do that for 15 minutes. Can you do that? Sure you can! Now, you’ll probably go back and delete 90% of it, but there will be the glimmer of a good idea in there.

Write every day

Write every day

Write every day.

Write whether you feel like writing or not. Often you will not. That monkey brain of yours will want to do other things. Pinning banana recipes on Pinterest comes to mind. You will procrastinate on this important job. So get it over with. Once you get past that first 15 minutes, the rest will get easier. Jeff Goins, in his article “Why You Need To Write Every Day,” says: “If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day.”

Talk, then write.

Speak your ideas, then write them down. Or have them written down by someone else. Or use Dragon Naturally. Whatever. Just get the words down. You can change them later. Because everyone can talk.

Don’t expect perfection.

Perfection will never happen. Just make sure to get something in writing. You can come back and insert some long, impressive-sounding words later.

Let it simmer

Let it simmer

Let it simmer.

Here’s the fun part. Go away. Get in your car and drive around. Go for a walk. Come back and everything will look different. When you return from your sojourn you can wear a different hat and edit your words.

Create five topics in your blog.

Today’s topic was one that I began months ago. It languished in my blog, along with some other unfinished work. But one day, you may not know what to write about. You’ll go to your website, and that half-written piece will start to take shape. By the way, here’s a post with some tips for blogging for startups.

Don't wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going.

It’s going to be work, but once you ‘re done, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Your competition is already done. Don’t get left in the dust. And when you’re done, make sure to promote that blog, too.

How to Promote Your Blog Like a Pro!

How to Promote Your Blog Like a Pro

How to Promote Your Blog Like a Pro

If you’ve just started blogging, or even if you’ve been blogging for a while, you might not realize how many ways there are to promote your own post. These ideas are divided into beginning and advanced ideas. If you’re more advanced in the ways of social media promotion, you can skip to the more “Pro” ideas.

Pinterest

Pinning your blog post (you did create a board for your own blog posts, right?) is something everyone can do, and is a fairly simple way to get more traffic to a post. You could have your own blog board, where you pin all your posts. If you need a beginner’s guide, you might read my Top Ten Tasks for Pinterest.

Invite Others to Your Group Blog Board on Pinterest

Invite Others to Your Group Blog Board on Pinterest

Pro

  • Repin that post, especially if the first time you pinned it, it didn’t get any repins. Delete the old post and pin it again.
  • Create a group board for your blog posts, like the example below, and invite lots of people to pin. You can invite anyone who follows your board. You could invite other bloggers who aren’t on Pinterest, too, and they might be motivated to be on Pinterest more often.
  • Repin the blog post using a different picture and onto a different board. For instance, my post about Introverts and Social Media could be repinned on a Social Media board, my blog board, my Pinterest board, etc. But I’d space them out, time wise.

Facebook

Post your wonderful writing on Facebook, with a good call to action and a big picture or two.

Schedule Your Facebook Post When Your Fans Are Online

Schedule Your Facebook Post When Your Fans Are Online

To find your Facebook analytics, go to your business page==>Insights (at the top of the page). Examine when your fans are online and use the native Facebook scheduler. For instance, my analytics show that most of my fans are online at 8:30 am pst. Another good time would be around 2:00 pm.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.11.23 PM

Note: my top three posts above were all boosted.

Pro

  • Promote your post for as little as $5 per post. You can choose who sees it and get more eyes on your post that way. Most people can afford $20/month for promotion.
  • Tag people who might be interested in seeing your words of wisdom (but do this carefully–nobody likes to be tagged too many times).
  • To see what your post will look like, schedule it 10 minutes or more in the future, so you can edit it if you need to.
  • Check your business page’s analytics to see when the best time is to post.
Can You Schedule Like a Pro?

Can You Schedule Like a Pro?

Twitter

Of course you’ll want to tweet about your newest creation. And you can schedule it one or more times. Guy Kawasaki retweets his posts about four times a day, but you may want to wait days between posts! Of course, use a scheduler like HootSuite to get the word out.

Pro

  • Pin your tweet to the top of your Twitter feed. Upload a picture (tweets with images are much more likely to be retweeted), as in the image below.
  • Repeat your tweet, but use a different picture and headline.
  • Ask for a retweet (again, don’t ask very often unless you’ve been giving to others as well). Tag others who might be interested.
  • If you mention others in your blog post, call them out in your tweet.
Pin Your Tweet to the Top of Your Twitter Feed

Pin Your Tweet to the Top of Your Twitter Feed

LinkedIn

Post your wonderful writing after you’ve created it on your blog. You can upload a picture, too.

Pro

Get Syndicated!

If you’re a regular blogger, you might consider getting syndicated. My blog posts are syndicated at Business 2 Community. There are lots of reasons to be syndicated; here are a few.

Are You a Blogger?

Try a few of these ideas and let me know how they work for you!

 

 

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

The 9-1/2 Best Places to Find Inspiration

You’ve been wracking your brain trying to figure out what to write about on your next article or blogpost, but have come up with nothing. Zero. Zilch. When you’re at your wit’s end, here are a few places to go for inspiration.

Go Into Nature for Inspiration

Go Into Nature for Inspiration

Go Into Nature

There’s something about the sight of trees, the sound of rain, the smell of the ocean, and the feel of sand and rocks that help you to refocus and rediscover what’s important. Here’s an interesting article about sounds: Why Buffalos and Crickets Help Us Relax. A field trip to a nearby park can really get the inspirational juices going.

Take a Shower if you want inspiration

Take a Shower if you want inspiration

Take a Shower

A warm shower is one of the most relaxing places there is. You don’t have to take one with your dog to get the benefits, but that could help as well. Look at how happy that dog looks!

Get Enough Sleep for Better Inspiration

Get Enough Sleep for Better Inspiration

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep has been touted lately as important to alertness and health. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at these articles:

Go for a Drive

A drive forces your mind to focus on something other than your work (unless you’re a taxi driver). Hopefully, there’s a place to drive nearby with trees and that doesn’t involve sitting in traffic. Rolling the windows down and feeling the wind can help clear the cobwebs out of your mind and help inspire you.

Get inspired: Go Drive

Get inspired: Go Drive

Explore Other Blogs–Or Your Own

Other blogs may give you ideas that you hadn’t thought about. You could even search Google for “Inspiration,” and see where that takes you. Another idea is to go back through your own blog and see if you could take off or expand upon an idea that you had.

 

Explore Blogs

Explore Blogs

Spend Time with Pets to Be Inspired

Spend Time with Pets to Be Inspired

Spend Time with Pets

Your pet cat, your pet iguana, and your dogs would all like you to inspire you. And it turns out that you can get a lot of great ideas from man’s (and woman’s) best friends. Being more curious is but one of the things you can learn from your pets.

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Go Somewhere with No Internet

Better still, go there without any way to record those new ideas. Then you’ll be forced to remember that idea. Many of us who are online all day find being offline a welcome relief.

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Answer the Questions Your Clients Ask You

Clients will often ask you the best questions, questions that you didn’t know that anyone had! Last week, someone asked me how to have a conversation on Twitter, and seemed surprised that a conversation was even possible. That could turn into a blog post, or a series of tweets.

Talk to Your Friends

Talk to Your Friends

Talk to Your Friends

I’ve talked about having a blogging buddy before. That is someone who supports your crazy, crazy ideas, and inspires you to have more of them. Bridget Willard is mine. You could also have coffee or lunch with someone, especially if, like many entrepreneurs you often eat lunch alone.

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Let Tweetchats Inspire You

Sometimes I’ll get inspiration from others on the #DigiBlogChat Tweetchat (Tuesdays at 1 pm pst if you’d like to join!). Recently, someone asked about Twitter best practices, so that became a blogpost and it also turned into chat questions, too. Yes, the tweetchat idea was the 1/2, but really it’s more like one and one-half. That chat always invigorates me!

 

 

 

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk*

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it's a Pain in the Asterisk

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk

You have a perfect topic for your next blog post. You go out and take a million beautiful photos, all photoshopped and sized just right for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest cross-posting. Then you suddenly realize: you don’t have a headline! Has this ever happened to you? Here’s why headline writing is so tough!

Everybody Says to Spend More Time on Headlines

Your headline is the first thing people see. In fact, some people will retweet or report that snazzy article of yours without even reading it. Not convinced by me? Read these articles, then (Copyblogger says to spend 50% of your time writing the headline):

So there’s a lot of pressure to come up with something grand.

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Create a Viral Post

If you haven’t read my When Posts Go Viral: Four Lessons, you might want to take a look. A controversial headline (for instance, Is it Time to Quit Facebook?) can spark people’s emotions and cause a small or large furor. Again, no pressure (just kidding!).

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Like a good tweet, a good headline needs to have all the right elements. It can’t be too short or too long. The important words need to be near the beginning of the headline. And you need to include “power words,” like “secret” and “magic.” And so on. Is that not a pain in the asterisk?

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Every blogger wants traffic, right? When that post you wrote explodes all over the Interwebs, your blog gets a boost, you get more followers, and that 15 minutes of fame will follow you from platform to platform. So that’s another reason you have to get it right.

You Can’t Outsource It

Everybody has outsourced everything. I’m surprised we don’t remove our own hair and ship it to the Philippines (no disrespect to anyone in the Philippines–it’s just something I’d prefer to do myself). But if you want your post to be in your own words, then you have to do the work yourself.

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points

Your audience experiences pain, just as you experience pain when you try to write a headline. So you want that headline to draw your reader in. The headline has to be magnetic enough so people will want to read it. It might be fun to write, but if it’s not fun to read? Fuhgetaboutit!

I'm Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

I’m Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

You Thought You Were Done

You outlined that article, got your topic sentences down, have all kinds of good images, and now you have to come up with a headline? Are you kidding?

The World is A Noisy Place

The world is getting noisier, and more crowded. The Internet has more people competing for the same space. So your headline has to be the juicy, juicy hamburger, and not the bun! It has to stand out.

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

When You Try to Think, Nothing Happens

You can only come up with one-word headlines, or headlines that don’t make sense. If you think they’re boring, what will your readers think?

Always keep one eye open. You never know who's lurking.

Always keep one eye open. You never know who’s lurking.

You Come Up with a Perfect Headline and Someone Steals it

It’s not a very good feeling, is it? But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then is stealing even more flattering? I don’t think so.

*And you know what that asterisk really stands for, right?

 

 

 

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

Lately I’ve been running into a few people who are such perfectionists about their social media that they believe everything has to be perfect before they can make a single tweet. They listen in on conversations, don’t participate in tweetchats, and endlessly wring their hands over posts. Meantime, their social media is noticeably quiet. I’d really like to encourage you, if you’re one of these people, to get out there and start making some mistakes. Nobody’s going to like you any more or respect you if you wait around until everything is perfect.

Life Isn’t All Black or White

If your tweet, post, or pin has to be perfect in order for you to be worthy, then you need to knock it off. Get out there and do your best, but don’t spend ten times as long as everyone else getting it perfect. Simply adopting the mantra that you’re willing to be less than perfect goes a long way towards avoiding perfectionism.

Choose Your Social Media Battles

So maybe that tweet isn’t worth getting your undies all in a knot. Maybe spend more time writing that blog post. Or picking the right image for that post you’ll share.

In Ten Years, Will Anyone Care About That Tweet?

The point is to get some distance by using the filter of time. Even if you make a terrible mistake, will anyone remember in a year? Five years? Ten? Probably not.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

You’ve heard this slogan, or read it in bumper sticker format on the back of a car. And like everyone else, it’s one thing to have the bumper sticker, and another thing to live by it.

You Can’t Please Everyone

Sometimes aphorisms are aphorisms because many people have the same issue. This is another one. Please yourself first and let the ones who disapprove fall away like autumn leaves.

Stop “One More Thingitis”

This is my personal one. When you have five minutes before you head out the door, do you start another project so you don’t waste that five minutes? That’s something I do. Then five minutes turns into ten. One more thingitis is part of perfectionism. It’s also rolled up into time management. It’s ok to do nothing (or just breathe) for that five minutes.

Don’t Tie Your Self-Worth to Your Work

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

10 Ways to Avoid Social Media Perfectionism

This one is a little tougher to implement. Social media is part of your life, but there’s more to you. A lot more. Maybe deciding not to care comes with age, or having a few failures under your belt.

Ask Friends to Give You a Reality Check

I am blessed to have other social media managers as friends. Having a core group of people who can tell you when you’re too close to something can help you.

Be Kind to Yourself

Maybe you can be kind to other people, but how about being kind to yourself? Treat yourself like your own best friend and tell yourself what a best friend would say.

Laugh

Laugh at yourself, kindly. I love this article from Tiny Buddy, The One Thing You Need to Overcome Perfectionism.

If you’re a perfectionist, is it hurting you or helping you?

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