#Digiblogchat questions July 14, 2020

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The topic for July 14, 2020 is The Lazy Way to Content Marketing. Join us on Twitter every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time!

Q1. How often do you procrastinate on creating content? 

Q2. How do you feel about copying your favorite author? (Stolen from @inkandcopy!) 

Q3. Why would you let the audience create content for you? (stolen from @RandyLyleClark)

Q4. How often can you repost a blog article? 

Q5. How many different pieces of content can you create from one article? 

Q6. Why is your commenting on someone else’s post a type of content? 

Q7.  What’s the laziest piece of content you’ve ever created? 

Q8. Would you consider looking at Amazon books for content ideas? Why or why not? 

Q9. What do you think about collaborating with another lazy person to double your reach? 

Q10. What is the limit to lazy content creation? 

 

How to Survive the Chaos of Twitter

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If you’ve ever been on Twitter and have more than 100 followers, you know how chaotic it can be. Nobody likes to experience a firehose of content! And yet, some people keep their followers low to avoid the chaos. You don’t have to do that! Here are some ideas to make your Twitter experience a little easier.

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Use Lists

Don’t just create lists, subscribe to others’ lists. And by use them, I mean check in on them daily. You can have many lists, and here’s a post you might like with all the details: Twitter Lists for the Power User. Yes, it’s five years old (but updated). And still a good guide. Additionally, use a scheduler like Hootsuite and create a column for your favorite list!

Participate in Chats

One way to avoid bots on Twitter is to participate in chats. You don’t necessarily have to participate in #DigiBlogChat, but get on one or two or three chats to find people who truly engage on Twitter. Then add those people to your own list and follow them there. By following the chat hashtag, you’ll weed out the other conversations happening on Twitter at the same time. A couple that I like are #KBtribechat (kitchens and baths) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesdays, and #Innochat (innovations) on Thursdays at 9 am Pacific Time. Twitter Chats: 101 Tips for Success.

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Avoid Twitter Storms

A Twitter storm is something that can happen if you post something controversial. Of course, people say controversial things every day, but sometimes tweets land at the right (or wrong) times. If you ever are involved in a Twitter storm, you may want to read How to Survive a Twitter Storm. This may happen for the right reason or the wrong reason. Either way, it can be overwhelming.

Have a Strategy

That is, know why you’re on Twitter, use a timer of some type, and get out when the gettin’s good! A scheduler can help you avoid putting too much time into Twitter. One strategy that helps a lot of people is to have a daily strategy. So you may want to post about a certain topic for each day of the week. Unless, of course, you’re just there for fun–in which case, all bets are off! Sprout Social has a terrific post about Twitter Marketing: The Only Guide You Need. And they also have a guide to which Twitter metrics you should be tracking. Hint: don’t worry too much about the vanity metrics, such as followers. And by the way, Twitter has analytics built right into the platform, so you can use those.

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Believe That It’s Possible!

That might sound silly, but it’s really possible to NOT waste your entire day on Twitter. Allot a certain amount of time, and get out. If you need to have a big buzzer go off when your time is up, do that. Put the big, bright shiny object down! Of course, you can contact me if you have any issues and I’m glad to help.

 

#Digiblogchat questions July 7, 2020

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The topic for July 7, 2020 is Netiquette for Online Meetings, with questions by @Lazblazter. Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time! 

Q1. What do your clothes say about you and your professionalism in the work context?

Q2. Is your attire relevant when you engage in virtual meetings with video on / off?

Q3. Does a virtual meeting require a “business environment” background scene? Please share your thoughts.

Q4. Is it important that you understand the tech you are using or is it okay to “blame” bandwidth or other gremlins?

Q5. What about eye contact, should you maintain this or is multi-tasking acceptable to show you’re busy?

Q6. How do you engage or invite others into a meeting discussion, do you wait for people to speak up or seek to involve them?

Q7. If someone is disruptive, how might you mitigate any inappropriate behaviours?

Q8. What about instant messaging and emojis, a useful addition to speech or a distraction?

Q9. Is wearing headphones acceptable or is it a better professional setup if you invest in a good mic and speakers?

Q10. Is it more respectful to finish a meeting 5 minutes early?

 

When Going Backwards Will Make You Look Forward

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Since Covid-19 struck, you might have made some changes to your life. It’s reassuring to bake banana bread, and you might have even created a Jell-O salad or three in your effort to bring back the past. Sometimes those moments of traveling back in time can be positive. You might even wonder why you stopped doing some things that you really enjoyed. Is the newest, shiniest thing always the best you might wonder? No, it’s not! So let’s bring back some of these!

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Writing the Old-Timey Way

One example of going backwards is writing in a journal. These days, the bullet journal has become very popular, especially on Instagram. But how about just plain ol’ journal writing? What’s wrong with that? Nothing, that’s what! You might like these 379 Bullet Journal Ideas.

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Thank You Cards

Paper ones–not virtual ones. Because who does that anymore? When was the last time you received an actual hand written thank you card in cursive? Probably Neverary! If you have a little extra time, why not send one? You might want to use Gratitude to power your social media campaign while you’re at it.

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Cursive

Since cursive isn’t taught in schools anymore, using it has become a kind of secret code. To me, cursive is very, very cool. Make that very, very, very cool. Seriously, when you write that thank you card, write it in cursive! And if you have a kid who loves cursive, they might want to join the Cursive is Cool contest.

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Actual Phone Calls

Remember when you used to use your phone…as a phone? lol Me, neither. Making phone calls is an excellent way to connect with people. You can even scare people by calling and not texting first. Again, nobody does that anymore. By the way, you might like this article: Yes, why not call your friends on the telephone? They might even think something is wrong if you just ring them up.

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Knitting

Now knitting has enjoyed a resurgence lately, but if you’re locked down in quarantine, there’s nothing better than knitting. You can knit while you’re on a Zoom call, while binging on NetFlix, or any time. It’s fun and relaxing.

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Baking

Of course baking is hugely popular right now, and stores are even running out of yeast and flour. Who knew baking would be so necessary? And if you have to eat your own cooking, why not making it extra special? By the way, if you’d like the recipe for the strawberry cake, let me know. (I’m rewriting it as I finish this blog post.)

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Conversation

No list would be complete without mentioning the art of conversation. To me, this is the most important of the lost arts. Being on our phones, watching YouTube videos, and texting each other doesn’t cut it. Do you agree? Engagement and conversation are what makes our lives better. In fact, many people have discovered that being closer to family is one of the best things to happen during the quarantine.

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#Digiblogchat questions June 30, 2020

The topic for #Digiblogchat on June 30, 2020 is: How and why to use visuals with Loni of @JorgensonLocker! Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Here are the questions:

Q1. Why do you think visuals are important?

Q2. Where do you get your visuals (images, infographics, etc) from?

Q3. How often do you use visuals in your social media posts?

Q4. How often do you use visuals in blog posts?

Q5. What catches your eye MOST when scrolling through social media feeds?

Q6. Do you think images or videos are more impactful?

Q7. From a global perspective, why should you use visuals rather than just words?

Q8. Considering that most people scan rather than read, how can you use visuals to tell a whole story?

Q9. Why are visuals important when it comes to making sites mobile-friendly?

Q10. What are your thoughts about GIFs?

 

How to Write Fresh Content That Will Help Reduce Your Stress

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We’re all really busy, although since we’re mostly working from home some of us are less busy because we’re not commuting. And some of us are not working at all, which adds to our stress. We all have the same amount of time, yet how we spend it determines our success in life. Some of us may binge endless Netflix shows, while others overeat. Right now, balance is difficult for everyone.

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Time Management

Many people determine what tasks get priority using the Eisenhower method of time management. You’ve seen the grid with the urgent versus the important, right? But are the urgent, not important tasks winning out too many times these days? Here’s the wikipedia on the Eisenhower Method. You can see that exercise, vocation, and planning are all in the urgent and important quadrant.

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Where Is Writing in Your Quadrant?

If writing is one of those important and urgent tasks that never gets done, why?  Is there a way to shift that task so it’s higher up? And if it feels like such a chore to do it, why? Sometimes I have to ask myself what’s going on, and answering that question allows me to continue writing. So if there’s a block somewhere, knowing what’s causing it might also help you write more. And if that writing really never gets done, contact me because I know someone who could help (ahem!).

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The Freshmaker!

What’s fresh in your world? That is to say, what do you consider to be fresh content? Pay attention to the articles that capture your attention as you look at other people’s blogs, or articles in your newsfeed that cause you to stop in your tracks. Could you write something similar? For example, you might like scientific articles with loads of data. Can you write about science and data for your own audience and make it interesting? Make sure that the types of articles you write will resonate with your audience, though. More about audience here: Target Audience and Social Media. Make sure to include your audience’s pain points when you write.

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The Writing Itself

Which brings us to the writing itself. If you want your content to be fresh, make sure it sparkles. Edit and remove any excessively flabby parts. Be ruthless with that virtual red pen! And if editing isn’t one of your strengths, hire an editor–it’s well worth the price. You might like this article about editors: Eleven Ways an Editor Can Make You Fascinating. As you might have guessed, I’m a huge fan of editors.

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Make it Fun

Without a sense of play, writing can become a chore. Do your readers enjoy themselves when they read your words? While it’s not always easy to measure, an occasional compliment from a reader can really help catapult you into writing more.

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Writer’s Block

In her excellent article, How to Beat Writer’s Block, New Yorker author Maria Konnikova outlines several ways writers have cured writer’s block. Graham Green kept a dream journal for many years. Others turned to psychotherapy. Letting writers have an escape, whether through a dream journal or through exercises designed to unleash creativity allow words to flow more freely. Perhaps lowering stress through any means helps with writer’s block.

 

#Digiblogchat questions June 23, 2020

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The topic for this week’s #Digiblogchat is: What is the new normal?! Questions are by @finolaineurope. Thank you, Finola! Here are the questions:

Q1. Rather than rushing into simply going back to how we were all living pre Covid-19, we now have an opportunity to address issues concerning the environment and social & economic problems.  What is your vision for how we\the world might develop as we leave lockdown?

Q2. Diversity must feature in the New Normal: When you have a diverse internal workplace with different viewpoints, abilities, skillsets & perspectives, you are better representing your customer & partner base.  How are you addressing this?

Q3. Have you identified any innovative ideas providing solutions for businesses, that would otherwise have no relevance during COVID?

Q4. Automation:  There will be a sustained move to digital and to cloud across the next 24 months and a huge increase in automation for certain types of work. Do you agree automation isn’t a job-killer in today’s economic environment and is becoming a mandatory capability to deal with a crisis?

Q5. What will replace your planned holidays abroad in this ‘New Normal’ and are you happy to not travel to another country?

Q6. With jobs at the heart of how work gets done, leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine them by rearranging work and having employees take on different responsibilities to better respond to the evolving needs of their organizations, customers, and employees. Do you agree and what do you propose?

Q7. Technology companies are having to innovate at lightening speed to help businesses to be fit for purpose for the future, using technology to have those human moments of contact.  Post COVID will we see a redress to community values, particularly as the world is going to be economically challenged?

Q8. Going forward we can anticipate permanent flexibility with a hybrid situation between people working from home at least half of the time, and physical offices for in-person meetings.  Is this your vision?

Q9.  COVID is preventing business travel.  Are email and virtual meeting platforms replacing traditional face-to-face meetings satisfactorily?

Q10. The question to ask during a time such as this is ‘what is my role in society in the New Normal?’

How Long Is Evergreen Content Actually Good for?

First of all, what is evergreen content? Evergreen content is content that stays fresh for a long time. It’s like a live Christmas tree as opposed to a cut Christmas tree. You can keep it, plant it, and/or use it again next year. It may be a solution to a problem, like Frequently Asked Questions, a research paper, or a tutorial. The best kind of content, in my opinion, is evergreen content. After all, you’re working hard to create content, so why not make it last a little longer.

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What Isn’t Evergreen Content?

News is usually not evergreen content. Breaking news, in particular, flits across our screens and disappears in a matter of moments. Anything that is time-sensitive isn’t evergreen. Some trending topics may also disappear quickly.

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Why Create Evergreen Content?

People are publishing more now than ever before. As this article from Copyblogger explains “…there is one type of content that can cut through the noise and deliver long-term results.” And by the way, notice that the article from Copyblogger is from 2016. So that says a lot right there! It’s still at the top of Google search results. And it’s still relevant in 2020!

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How Do I Start Creating Evergreen Content?

Think about your successes as well as your failures. You may want to show off a client who succeeded because of your product or service. On the failure side, you may want to explain how things could have gone differently. A failure has the additional benefit of showing transparency. And also, you can use self-deprecating humor (my favorite!). You might like this article: How to Use Smart Failure and Learn Faster.

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How-To Guides Can Be Helpful

Is there some area where your talent really shines? Then why not write a how-to guide? Recently, I saw a tweet and the tweeter asked What is a subject that you could talk about for an hour without notes? That could be your how-to guide. Simply talk and write down what you say for an hour. Or have a friend take notes for you .With a little massaging, that could be your how-to guide. Remember to address your specific audience when you write your how-to guide, as this article, 3 Ways to Write a How-to Guide from WikiHow reminds us.

Inspirational Pieces

Pieces that are particularly timeless can be inspirational pieces. Maybe you still remember what a beloved teacher or friend told you when you were in grade school. If you can inspire someone with your writing, that piece may last even longer than a how-to guide.

To Answer the Question

Evergreen content can be good for years, as evidenced by some of the evergreen articles I’ve referenced above. Whether that’s two, three, or more years, depends upon a few factors. Even if things change, you may be able to update your evergreen content. For instance, I recently updated this article: Three Business-Friendly Tools for Twitter. Perhaps there’s an older piece of content that you could update, too.

Questions?

Have any questions or comments? Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

 

#Digiblogchat questions June 16, 2020

 

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The topic for the June 16, 2020 #Digiblogchat is Using Data in the Era of Covid19. Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

Here are the questions:

1. What is your most trusted place to find Covid19 data?
2. How often do you check local data?
3. What changes have you seen in how the COVID-19 numbers have been reported?
4. What’s your favorite way to digest data? Graph? Infographic?
5. What type of data would you like to see that you haven’t seen?
6. What emotional response do you have to seeing the COVID-19 data?
7. How can governments track Covid19 and respect privacy?
8. Which countries have gotten their data tracking right?
9. What do you like about how your local officials are reporting Covid19 data?
10. If you were in charge of the Covid19 data, what would you do?

What is the best kind of content for my blog?

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Maybe you feel that there are millions of topics to write about. Or, maybe like so many, you have no idea what to write about and your mind is blank when you start to write. Either way, you need to consider your audience first.

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Who are you writing for?

If you’re just starting out, consider who your ideal reader is. If you already have readers, then you may have a better idea of who you’re writing for. Consider anything about that person that may help you. For instance, what are their pain points? What problem does your product or service solve? Write about that. You might like this article: Target audience and social media.

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Who is on the platform where you’re sharing your writing?

Each platform is different and has different types of users. For instance, according to SproutSocial’s excellent article Social Media Demographics to Inform Your Strategy, “You want to make sure that people within your ideal target audience are actually participating actively there.” Look at the income, education level, and age of people on the platform you’ll be on. Does it make sense to share your content there? If not, where would be a better place?

What Frequently Asked Questions does your audience have?

Do people always ask you the same questions? Write about those. Even if you think you’ve been repeating yourself over and over, chances are, your audience doesn’t think so. You may want to write about the same thing in slightly different ways, too. For instance, if you’re blogging for a zoo and people always ask what kinds of animals you have there, change it up. Talk about the giraffes first, then the penguins. Or vice-versa. Search Engine Journal has some helpful examples of Frequently Asked Question pages.

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Write about Where You’re Going

Are you a startup about to pivot? Would you like to move into a different area in your business? Why not write about that? After all, most people are more interested in your future than in your past. You’re probably more interested in your own future, too. So go ahead and write about your dreams and aspirations (not that it hurts to look at your own history). Right now, you might write about what you’re going to do once Covid19 and the shelter in place is over. How will that affect your business?

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Do You Have Opinions?

Of course you do! If there’s something someone in your service or industry is doing that you do or don’t like, why not write about that? Also, if you pretend you’re talking to a friend as you write, that will help speed up your writing.

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Still Stuck?

If the idea of coming up with content topics still has you shaking your head, this article might help: What to Write About When You Have Nothing to Write About. You could revisit an old article, do a best of post with a collection that you really like, or respond to a video or another blog post that you liked.

 

 

 

 

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