How to Create a Successful Blog for Your Business
When creating content for your business, you have so many choices: podcasting, videos, email marketing... it's easy to forget about blogs.
We'll talk about how to create a successful blog for your business, including finding the right blog service (or hosting it on your own website), how to find topics that appeal to your customers and the essentials you need to include in each blog post.
Why blog in 2022?
- Search engines still like words the most
- Blogs aren’t going anywhere
- “Blogging” as a profession is increasingly difficult - not quick money; blogging for business (like any content strategy) is the long game
- Alternative Blogging Platforms
- Gives you a chance to test out your voice/writing style/topics, find an audience
Great place to start if you don’t have a website
- Medium: https://medium.com/creators
- NewsBreak Originals: https://creators.newsbreak.com/creators
- Vocal: https://vocal.media/
Best blogging website platforms
- Make a list of your expertise, in granular detail
- What questions do you answer?
- Answer the Public / Google related questions
- Customer questions
- Research, research, research
Blog post essentials
- Headlines and hooks
- Embeds (video, Twitter, etc.)
- Call to Action
Promote and share your blog
- Social media
Words of Wisdom
The key to writing a good headline is to use something called power words and power words are different types of words that elicit different emotions around taking action and doing different things. When you're writing a blog post, you really want somebody to click on it and read it. That's the most important thing. — Jen
Blogging is another avenue to bring new people into your realm. I'm always getting people who are brand new, who are finding my blog, liking it, following it, and reading it every week. There are certain topics that they like and then you can also look at your statistics. What articles are the most prevalent? Who's looking at what the most? Then you double down on that content. — Shelley
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Transcript: Create a Successful Business Blog
[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: Hey, welcome to women conquer business. My name is Jen McFarland. I'm joined by Shelley Carney and that was such dramatic intro music.
[00:00:36] Shelley Carney: That was pretty awesome coming.
[00:00:39] Jen McFarland: This week's episode is create a successful blog for your business. If you think it's 20, 22, I really don't need a blog. We're gonna talk about why you actually do. And so it's important to remember that when creating content for your business, you have so many choices.
Podcasting videos, email marketing. It's easy to forget about blogs. My friend Bridget said blogs. Aren't sexy. I disagree. I think they're very sexy. So we'll talk about how to create a successful blog for your business, including finding the right blog service or hosting it on your own website, how to find topics that appeal to your customers and the essentials you need to include in each blog post that's.
So what do you think of that? That sounds pretty fun, right?
[00:01:25] Shelley Carney: I love blogs. They're well in the articles and they blend together for me, but. If I want information on the internet, that's what I look for. I don't look for videos first because videos so often take up your time and you have to sit there and wait for the people to talk about their lives and get a meat of the thing.
Now this is a podcast, so that's different.
[00:01:49] Jen McFarland: Yeah, that's true. That's true. So I think we both have some pretty, pretty big news to share today. Oh I graduated from concussion therapy. Woohoo. That means I don't have to stand on a trampoline and answer questions like what's five plus four and not feel like I'm gonna throw up.
Wow. That's literally what I was doing. That's where we were at some point. So I passed all my tests. I'm out of active physical therapy on that. And now I can, I'm released into the wild to do more role with podcasters. Yay. Not . I might not do that again. and so that's a big deal. That's really great news for me.
And then you have some big news too.
[00:02:29] Shelley Carney: We found out yesterday afternoon that my mom is coming home tomorrow. From the post-acute nursing home. And so we are just scrambling around today. We had to get a wheelchair and some other assistive devices. We had to move furniture around and it was like, ah, hair on fire because the problem is.
The insurance and the facility. It was okay. When, how much longer do we have? You have a maximum of a hundred days. Okay. So how much longer do we have? We can't tell you that it's week by week and we'll give you 48 hours notice when it's time to go. So if they'd have told us June 1st, okay.
Did June 17th is your day to leave. We could have been putting all this together and not stressing about it and, having some time to think. But since we didn't have time to think it was just like, my brother came over last night and my dad and I sat down with him and we just made a list.
Here's all the things we need to get done. And he got, my dad got up this morning at five o'clock and started building a ramp for the back doors. So he could get mom into the back bedroom and it. Ah, I love thanks, Carol. It's good news. It is good news that she's coming home. We're excited that she's coming home and she's excited to come home.
But it is okay, we gotta be ready. Let's go. you'll
[00:03:46] Jen McFarland: be ready. You'll be ready. And she'll be so glad to be home that even if everything doesn't go perfectly, she's gonna be. Just so excited. So it's yeah. People wanna be home. That's true. And then it looks like we've both been working hard on courses.
So epi, I did turn that website on, I'm still working on all the final touches and stuff, but that's at epiphany courses.com and it looks like you're working on a livecast life course.
[00:04:13] Shelley Carney: That's right. It's a companion to the book and the workbook that we offer, I am putting together a course called livecast lifestyle basically is what it's called.
But it's for entrepreneurs who wanna learn to livestream. Podcast and blog at the same time every week to promote their business and to grow an audience and become a content entrepreneur. And it's coming together. I'm what I'm doing is putting all the slides together for all the presentations.
And I'm probably about two thirds of the way through that. And once I finish all the slides, I'll just record 'em boom. I'll record. 'em on stream yard. And it'll be ready there. Won't be very much editing it all to put into it. So it'll just be on, off, on, off upload. It'll be ready by the end of June by the end of June.
But if you're interested in signing up for the waiting list to get one of these courses, that's gonna be so cool and awesome, because you can learn so much we have a waiting list that you can sign up for and it's at course.livestream.life.
[00:05:19] Jen McFarland: Okay while you're putting that in the chat, maybe so people can see that.
Gotcha. And I'm gonna do the new thing, which we're very excited about. We finally got sound effects to work. How exciting is that? So we're moving on to breaking news. The breaking news that I have. It's very interesting to me. There is a new search engine out there. It's called. Yep. So it's are you searching for it?
Yep. and it's out by RFS, which is a big SEO company. And it's at yep. Dot com. It's in beta right now. I do have a window if I could figure it out. I don't know if I can do a share screen right now.
[00:05:59] Shelley Carney: But you graduated from and you're not even on
[00:06:04] Jen McFarland: a tra I mean it . I know. So it's anyway. So here, I think I figured it out.
Look at this and I have to add it to the stream. Okay. So it's called. Yep. As you can see, it's in beta. So what that means is they're still testing it out, doing all different kinds of fancy things with it. What I like about this is that it is done. Oh, wow. They've even updated the page since yesterday. so what they do, that's different is that 90% of the ad revenue is gonna go to content creators.
. So that means that if you search on yep. Click on an ad, things like that. Instead of all of it going to the ad tech machine like Google or whoever , then the revenues are actually going to go to the content creators and they feel like it's an unfair search model that's being used.
And so this is very exciting because. This is a whole different way of doing things. The other thing that's pretty exciting about the search engine is they are also doing everything they can for it to be unbiased and then also private. So that means it's not like you're just feeding, like right now, if you go, as we do into Google and search you're feeding that monster.
You're telling Google or Amazon or apple, those are the three big places, where people go to search. You're telling them more information about you so there's not a lot of privacy when you do search that way. So with, yep. It's more private search. They're doing everything they can to kind of change it.
There are articles and things out there that are talking about this. There's a kind of a reality check on some of this, which is that. Everybody goes to Google. Like even people who've made some inroads, like duck dot go or Bing some of these other places. They've only ever gotten like a tiny slice of the search pie.
So even if Y gets 1% , that's like something that is big, it could go into, the pockets of creators and be a really big deal. So that is out there. I think it's pretty big news, but we'll have to wait and see, like we don't know it's still in beta. I did test what I could find.
I, it worked for me it's just like a search engine, just like anything else. I think that's a cool development. Do you have any breaking news?
[00:08:24] Shelley Carney: I do not. I was too excited about your news.
[00:08:31] Jen McFarland: oh, Kathy Turner. I can't believe you're watching. This is so fun. This is my parents' best friends and gosh, I have known the Turner since I was probably in like sixth grade. So thank you, Kathy. And my cute little headphones. I know they're so big and funny. Thank you for watching
[00:08:49] Shelley Carney: I use headphones because it's a podcaster thing and I'm a
[00:08:54] Jen McFarland: podcaster seeing podcaster.
There. It is a podcaster thing. I know it's part of what makes us part of what makes us cool.
[00:09:00] Shelley Carney: That's right. Professional podcaster. So
[00:09:03] Jen McFarland: so do you have any breaking news?
[00:09:05] Shelley Carney: I'm a professional podcaster know other than the, that I'm working on the course and it's coming out in June. That's my big deal.
That's my big news for the week.
[00:09:14] Jen McFarland: I guess we'll
[00:09:19] Shelley Carney: Charge
[00:09:21] Jen McFarland: into the training. Oh, I think that's a different sound than we originally had, but it's fun. It's about, that's fun. I love it into something else. And that's what we're gonna talk about today. So the topic is how to create a successful blog for your business in 2022 in the intro. One of the things that I talked about.
Is that many people maybe don't think that blogs are still relevant in 2022? I will say, , I don't know if I should bring up. I, it takes me too long to figure out how to share a screen. The thing about, yep. Did you notice, you entered words into the search engine? We're still using words in search blogs are still relevant because search engines still like words, the most words are the most popular part of any search engine.
I have all the
[00:10:07] Shelley Carney: best words.
[00:10:09] Jen McFarland: I have all the best words I had, all the best words, so there's that and for all the people who are saying, yeah, but they're getting better at video, they're getting better with audio. You still add a transcript to your webpage after for a podcast, you do that for people of low vision, you do that, so cuz some people like to read, there are a lot of accessibility reasons, different types of reasons, but it's also because search engines are better at words they just are same thing with video. So blogs aren't really going anywhere. What has changed about blogging? And this is why a lot of people, poo it is not a, it is not quick.
it's not an easy way to make money anymore. There used to be a time where you could be like, I'm just going to blog and then you would immediately make money. You could monetize it, you could sell ads, you could have all different kinds of things. And it was an instant success. It was something people could do to make a viable side income within.
I don't know, months probably. And now if you want to go into blogging as what you are doing, it could take years , it could be you to really niche down into something. And so it's not the same as it was years ago. So that's that's the difference of what we're talking about here.
It's also not what we're talking about today. We're not talking about becoming a professional blogger, talking about blogging for your business. Like when we talk about live streaming or podcasting, we are not talking about we try to make it as professional as possible and do everything that we can, but we are not professional live streamers.
It's part of what we do to promote our businesses. And we aren't teaching you to be, a professional live streamer either. Like you, we know that you still have a business to run. We know that you still have other things that you're doing. Hence, we're not really covering the whole, how do you make money with your blog?
We're gonna cover, how do you promote your business with your blog? How a blog can really help you achieve some of your marketing goals.
[00:12:10] Shelley Carney: That's right. And the fastest way to make money is to have a business and then to have these things that bring people into the business, right? Yeah. So that you can sell them your digital products, your coaching, whatever it is that you're offering.
[00:12:23] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. Yeah, we're never losing sight of the fact that blogs podcast live streams are a support system for the business. They help people learn about you, find out about you and then engage with you. Now so what else do you have to say about blogging in 2022?
[00:12:39] Shelley Carney: It's an important part of a healthy breakfast.
No, it's, important part of a content entrepreneur's calling card. It's a way to say here's what I think. Know to be, to gain visibility and credibility in the marketplace for people to come there and see all that you have to offer all of your ideas, all the help that you can give them. And it's excellent for people who love to read rather than watch videos or listen to podcasts.
And it's another avenue to bring in new people into your realm, right? I'm always getting people who are brand new, who are finding my blog and liking it and following it and reading it every week. And there are certain topics that they like. And then you can also look at your statistics. What articles are the most prevalent who's looking at what the most, and then you've double down on that content.
So it informs you where you can go with this. If you're not blogging, what's wrong. What's wrong here. what's wrong with this
[00:13:41] Jen McFarland: picture? Something you mentioned. It made me realize something else. So there are ways to decide, you need to ask your audience, you need to ask your customers what they prefer.
Like you said, there are some people who prefer reading. I am old school. I love to read. I want to go through things. Sometimes I use those as how tos, like it's like a DIY and I could look at it like, oh, okay. I think I can figure this out. Like this morning when I was trying to get the sound board to work.
I really just wanted somebody to give me an instruction list that I could go through and check and it's that I had to go through six different videos before I finally got it to work. Yeah. And it's frustrating. It's not something that I wanted to do. Understand your audience, ask them how they engage with content.
Do they like videos? Do they like audio? Do they like to read? I've had people thank me for including a transcript on my podcast. Cause people like to read like it, it it just depends on what it is. You're covering. I think if they wanna
[00:14:39] Shelley Carney: go back and listen or read or pay attention to a particular thing that you said, it's so much easier when it's written down and they can go, okay, it was right here.
Let me study it. Let me go look up what she said here. And it's just easier to study when you have a video. It's great. If it's a visual thing that you're teaching somebody, like here's how you build a wheelchair ramp. That would be good as a visual, but it's also great to have, here's why I had to build it.
And here's how long it took me. And, and you put all that into written content and it just adds, it adds richness to your content.
[00:15:15] Jen McFarland: It really does. And I think that, people Don. Necessarily think about that. You, if you read all of these posts, you have to remember what people are using it for.
What are these posts really about? What are these posts, really what are they trying to attract? Who are they trying to be for? A lot of times, they're for people who want to make money from a blog. So I think I think we know that people read them. We know that search engines follow them and we have a lot of evidence.
So hopefully we've convinced you that blogging is still a thing. , it's still an important thing. So then the next thing is where do we put our blog? What is, what do we do with this? So there's a couple of different ways. We're gonna start with the ways that you can do it. If you don't have a website or you just wanna see if you even like writing, or if you even wanna just.
Practice your writing. It's a good place for that. And so there are a few different ways that you can do this. And I think it's important for some people, if you don't have a big audience, you can use something like medium, all of the things we're gonna talk about. You can use that to build an audience.
You can use that to test out things like headlines and different things like that. So don't feel like you have to have all this pressure to, to start a website and add a blog and do all this stuff. There are some things that you can do to get started with blogging that I think are really helpful in learning how to write articles.
And if your topics that you're going through really resonate with people and that's to have a blog on an, on somebody else's platform. And I have three different options here that people can possibly use one of which two of them I didn't really know about. So the first one is medium. I think a lot of people have heard of medium.
It's medium.com and it's medium.com/creators. If you're interested in that, I can put that in the chat and this would be a place to start if you don't have a website, medium is a place that most people have heard of. It's also a place where you can monetize. And I have had a lot of articles published on medium.
They get picked up by large publications, things like the startup, which has I think about half a million readers. So if , if you strike gold, if you write about something and you submit it to a large publication on medium, then it might get picked up. It, they also they're monetized. I think I've made a few bucks off a different articles that I've written because they.
If it gets picked up in the startup and people read it, then you get money cuz they require you to monetize it. Everybody gets a certain amount of free articles on all of these platforms. So it's not like you're locking everybody out. If you write on medium or news break or vocal, you're not doing that at all.
So the second one here is called news break. And what this is, I found, I keep coming up against these blog posts. This is another one where you can write blogs, you can share them and connect with other people. And it's another place where you can also monetize if you want to. So this will be another place.
They really seem to focus on local, which is something that's neat. So if you have a local blog or something like that, and you just wanna see if you can hook people in and get people to read, you can use news break for that. And it's fundamentally the same as It's fundamentally the same as medium.
The third option is called vocal vocal dot medium media and they are they do the same thing where you can just add your stories. You can monetize it, you can do all kinds of things. So I will say that with these, people tend to think that if you put your blog on medium or on news break or vocal, something like that, that the readers will just automatically come blogs are not.
If you build it, they will come. None of the stuff that we talk about week after week, or if you build it, they will come. You have to, which I watched field of dreams recently again, and it's delightful. But unfortunately it's not like building that field. people are just gonna come and participate.
You still have a responsibility to promote your articles, do all of that kind of thing. So it's not like it's a free, cheap and easy way of just making a lot of money, but it is a way to test some things out and get things out there. Have you tried anything with these?
[00:19:40] Shelley Carney: I used medium last year, sometimes I would use it and then I just fell off with it.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:48] Jen McFarland: It's fun. It's a good way to test. And when we talk about, coming up, we're gonna talk about the, like what I call it, like the anatomy of a good blog post . It's a good way to practice that. You can practice all of that on medium, if you already if you really want a website or you already have a website there are three different platforms that I think are the best blogging platforms.
And one, this is probably not gonna surprise anybody. And the other two might. It just depends on where you're at. Truly you can blog on just about any platform. It's a matter of how much traction you're gonna get by blogging on that platform. So if you have a Wix website, you can absolutely blog on there.
You will just have to work much harder to get eyeballs on it. Because that platform is still not as good with SEO, which is getting found in search as some of the other platforms. So if I don't mention the platform, your website is on, please don't be discouraged. And then there are other platforms that are great for SEO that generally just aren't used for blogs Shopify, great for SEO, but it's a product based site.
And typically people who are starting a blog, they aren't just starting with Shopify, but if you have a Shopify site, you can absolutely out a blog there. And get a lot of traction because it's got SEO baked in meaning you can find a topic, you put it in the URL and you talk about it.
Just if you have a product on your Shopify website, you will get seen on Google. So the three best blogging platforms are WordPress, which surprises nobody. It's like the most widely used website platform out there in the world. And every, everybody automatically, when you think blog, just about everybody thinks automatically about WordPress.
Am I right? Shelley?
[00:21:43] Shelley Carney: Yeah. I'm on WordPress. you betcha!
[00:21:47] Jen McFarland: Yeah. I was on WordPress for years until very recently. And I've been talking about it for a while. WordPress is built for content. So when you go to find your website or do some blogging, you, you might not. You might just automatically go to WordPress, which is fine. It would be great. It's built for that.
You have to add some plugins to get SEO to work. If you have a wordpress.org website so it's great built for content works really well. The second option is the platform that I'm on now is called ghost. And as you can tell, it is entirely about turning an audience into a business. It's part of the reason why I added it.
They do everything from From being a publisher to a membership, they have this nifty dashboard in here. I wish this was my dashboard with 13,000 members . But it is a way for creators to publish, share and grow business around their content. It is so much easier to add content to once it's set up, it's just a delight.
It's a delight to write articles and create things. You can see some of it in here. I've had a really great time using. Ghost as a way to build out a blog. And I really really recommend that as a second option. It also has SEO baked in it has been much easier to create and do things on a blog with ghost.
The third option. Let me share my screen again. Boy, look at me look at me, do the, doing this. It's like crazy how much I can share a screen if I'm being forced to. So the third one the third option. Believe it or not is square space. So it used to be that Squarespace was crummy when it came to having a blog.
It used to be that it was not as well thought of or well regarded when it came to blogging. The Squarespace has really done a lot to help you in terms of creating a beautiful blog in terms of helping you get it found out on Google Bing or yep. The one we just talked about and it also now has a membership platform as well.
So if you wanted to create content that was only available to people who are paying you for exclusive content, you can also do that on Squarespace now. I will say that these are in order. WordPress is probably the best for SEO. However, it is very difficult to set up the SEO and get it to work.
And a lot of people don't find it fun to work with. And then there's a lot of bells and whistles. If you wanna do extra stuff, you can do just about anything with WordPress. But it is highly technical. Ghost, you might need some help setting it up, but then once it's set up, it's really easy.
And then square spaces for non-technical non-technical people who want to set up a blog. Awesome. You still awake over there? Shelley
[00:24:57] Shelley Carney: I put my blog on WordPress and then I have an RSS feed of course with that. And then I share the blog on our pod page, which is our kind of, it's an automatic kind of a website for podcasters that brings in all of your content.
So it brings in our podcast, our videos, and I place our blog on there after I've put it up on WordPress first. That's what I do. And then my LinkedIn article is really more of a blog because I talk a lot about personal stuff and then I tie in the business. That's my favorite place is LinkedIn.
But it's different from my blog too. So I write two different things during the week.
[00:25:41] Jen McFarland: yeah. And you can absolutely use LinkedIn. I thought about including that on the list. And then I didn't, so there are a couple of things that you can do if you want to write on LinkedIn, medium news break vocal and say you have your own blog.
So Shelley has her own blog. So what you can do is you can actually republish in both places, but you have to set up the page, like on your website and it's called the canonical link. So you have to say this one is the authority. So typically that's the place where it's published first. You can actually have content in two places, but then you just have to set it up so that you're telling Google and everybody.
Yeah, no, this is in two places, but the authority is here. So you can totally do that. And you don't have to write two different things or you could even share it. if you know that you have people who aren't on LinkedIn, but they're on your they're in your podcast audience. For example, you can have it in two places.
It's a little bit technical, but there are ways that you can satisfy both audiences with the same content. If you want to. I think LinkedIn is probably, you, I don't know, Facebook used to do articles for a while. It failed. There are other places on social media. LinkedIn is probably the best place for articles.
If you want to do that, they also have that newsletter feature. Shelley, you've talked about that a lot. Are you still experiencing a lot of growth with the newsletter? Not a lot.
[00:27:05] Shelley Carney: I'm at 350 and I started off with zero in January and took me this long to get to 350. So I don't know if that's a lot or, and I don't know if it's going to someday get to a point where it's being shared and People have excitement about it. But I do share, like I said, it's a tie my last week show into my next week's show on my LinkedIn article blog newsletter, whatever you wanna call it. And it's great because people will see it there who don't normally see my other content and it'll direct them back and forth to that other content.
[00:27:46] Jen McFarland: No, that's awesome. Yeah. Oh, and if you have any questions about blogging, please let us know if you're watching or listening in another tab, you can click over, please give us your questions. We think we know what it takes to make a successful blog, but if we are not answering your question, Please. And if you're listening to the show, please know that every week at Thursday at 10:00 AM Pacific time, that's LA time we are going live on Facebook, YouTube.
And then my LinkedIn. Oh, and I guess on Twitter too, but I don't think we have a lot of people who are watching our Twitter feed and you can leave us comments and come on with any questions that you have at that time. That's
[00:28:24] Shelley Carney: right. So what that's right. That's right. That's right. Jen
so I'm like ed McMan, right? That's right.
[00:28:38] Jen McFarland: Oh my God. That's so funny. I haven't thought about ed McMan in a Gillian years. I know, right
[00:28:43] Shelley Carney: next I'll be coming in with a big giant
[00:28:45] Jen McFarland: check . I will accept checks, giant, small whatever size check you have. I will take it. If I had a check, would you take it.
[00:28:58] Shelley Carney: I sure why not? it's got my name on it or cash
[00:29:06] Jen McFarland: cash dollar bills. I take your money anytime. So the next thing, and this is usually where people start to get nervous when we talk about blogging is finding topics.
[00:29:18] Shelley Carney: Yeah, it's funny. But Jen had been, has talked about how your first hundred blog posts are practice.
And it's true because once you've done that many you're like, what do you mean? It's hard to find topics that is right about what happened that morning. You become more aware of everything going on around you and you have an event happening in your life. Oh, that would make a good blog post.
I'm gonna write that tomorrow, so you're more aware when you're doing it consistently of. Things that you can pull in and you see something, breaking news, this is happening. Oh, I'm gonna write about that. It's, it becomes a part of your life. It becomes a part of you that you are a writer and you write a weekly blog when you do it consistently.
It's not a problem coming up with content. Give you that as a place to aim. But when you're first getting started, all you have to do is ask a question and answer it. Go to Google and ask a question and if, and Google will say, people also ask this question and you go, oh I like that question even better.
Let me add that to my blog. , there's so much prompt material out there for us to find and to use. So what do you think,
[00:30:34] Jen McFarland: Jen? I agree. As a matter of fact, I pulled it up. Yeah, so people can see exactly what we're talking about, because sometimes I've talked about this before, but you wanna see it. So I have a Google search up here.
That's just blogs. So I went to google.com typed in blogs. Actually if we wanted to, we could go into yet, but I don't think that they have questions yet. So let's go into Google and there's this first section here, like what is a blog? And it's giving, it gives you answers or prompts about what it is that it thinks people are asking.
This is really important because it's something I've talked about before, which is people go to search because they have a question and
[00:31:20] Shelley Carney: be afraid that, oh, somebody's already answered that question. You have a unique viewpoint and yours is brand new. So people are always looking for the latest and greatest.
So don't be afraid to write about stuff that people have already written about.
[00:31:33] Jen McFarland: I absolutely a hundred percent agree. Yeah. This is, and this is the thing there's a ton of questions here, cuz people are asking about this all the time. Then you see, as you go through Google, there's a lot of articles that they're suggesting that you can look at.
There are also images for blogs and we can, let's go back and we'll talk about this in a minute. And like how you show up in four images for blogs. So that's important too. Then you see some related searches where you can see like popular places where people have blogs and so that's important.
And then down here at the very bottom. . This is also another place where Google is trying to guess what it is that you were searching for. And these are also blog topics down here at the bottom where it's giving you alternative searches. So these are like related keywords to what it is that you're searching for.
So for example, it says popular blogs, read blogs, blog, examples. These are all different things that you could be writing about if you wanted to. And Google is trying to help you out. in giving you additional information, cuz they want you to get to that answer that you are looking for. Yeah. So in the related searches here, these are our.
Tend to be platforms where you can have a blog hosted. Then we have the, of course the Google ad sense and Google search console. They're throwing in their own products here. And there's all different kinds of ways that you can have a blog. We've given you the best ones for business right now, then there are the images.
So one of the things that people forget about a lot when it comes to blogging in general or their website in particular is that the names that you give photos and the photos that you add that all ties together, it all matters. So what you're seeing here are not only images that have blog in the article title.
These are also images that are named. With the word blog in them. So even if you see things that don't really have a blog on them, , those are probably misnamed, but Google is going through and looking for things, images that have so instead of all of your images on your blog being IMG one, two through three, four dot four JPEG , you wanna rename images that you put in to match the title of the article.
Describe what's in the photo. You wanna give your images a caption, if you can, all of these further describe and they communicate to Google that these are ways that this is what you're trying to teach. These are the keywords that you were using and then, oh, by the way, they show up in image search. You can do this a lot of different ways.
So if I look up like my own name, you're gonna see my picture and anybody else named Jen McFarland and there are all these different pictures in here. You wanted use all of the factors, all of the signals that Google is giving you to help you further your blog to help you get your blog moving in the right direction.
[00:34:43] Shelley Carney: And don't get overwhelmed because there's so much information out there. Just pick the one that feels exciting that day and do that because yeah, if you don't write it down, it gets started and it just swirls around in your brain and makes you like analysis paralysis kind of a thing like that is too much.
I can't do it. Just pick the one that feels good and do it.
[00:35:06] Jen McFarland: Yeah. So what I say before you even go to the Google machine cuz that can be really overwhelming. What we just went through, make a list of your expertise. What is it that you're good at? What is it that you like to do? And you make a list of your expertise in granular detail.
Like it can't just be like. Like for me, it couldn't be like, I do the marketing
[00:35:30] Shelley Carney: I does marketing. I
[00:35:31] Jen McFarland: does, I do marketing. I am into the marketing. So no, it has to be what types of marketing who do I help? What, every aspect of that. So it could be, if you are, a handyman woman person, if you're a handy person, you can write down, do you fix roofs?
Do you work on down spouts? Do you resurface driveways? Do you do electrical? Like you go through all of the different things that you do and how you help people. And these are all excellent topics because you always know more than your customers. Otherwise they wouldn't hire you. that's right.
So you go through that in granular detail and guess what? These are all things that you can write about. These are things that you can make videos.
[00:36:19] Shelley Carney: There's certain things that all of us could just talk all day about, I could talk all day about live streaming. Jen can talk all day about apps and marketing and stuff.
So that's the best place to start because that's your, that's what gives you joy and just bubbles up out of you. So do that. Yeah. What Kelly said. Yeah. .
[00:36:42] Jen McFarland: That's it right there. Yes. So write all of that down. Think about all of that. Then you can go into all of the other stuff. You can go into Google, you can go to answer the public, which is another thing that we talked about yesterday or last week seems yes.
Seems oh my God. I know. So answer the public. You can look at testimonials. You can think about all of the customer questions that you're getting, all of that kind of stuff. And then you can research it. What is it? That people am I using the right words? There's so many different things you can do to help you find the right topics.
But again, like Shelley said, don't overwhelm yourself too much. You have a lot within you that you can use automatically. You don't have to go externally. That's
[00:37:21] Shelley Carney: right. Start on the inside. cause then it's more fun. And it's you cuz that's the most important thing about a blog post? Is that it's you. It's unique.
It's what you can bring to. The world, rather than just regurgitating something, somebody else said
[00:37:41] Jen McFarland: a hundred percent and I've shared it before. That's how the magic happens. Like I wasn't asked to be in a documentary because I wrote the same old ClickFunnels review that everybody else wrote.
I was asked to do it because I wrote something different. It was a little cheeky. It was a little bit different. It was a whole different take on it than the thousands of click funnels, reviews that are out there. , bring
[00:38:03] Shelley Carney: a new perspective.
[00:38:05] Jen McFarland: Yeah, absolutely. And don't be afraid to take risk yeah, try it.
[00:38:14] Shelley Carney: what's the worst that can happen.
[00:38:18] Jen McFarland: no, really? What is the worst that could.
[00:38:20] Shelley Carney: Nobody reads it.
[00:38:21] Jen McFarland: That's the worst. That's the worst it could happen. Yeah. So yeah. Make it original, make these, make it original, make it about what your expertise tells you. Things just start to flow when you go that way. And then you might find you have so many ideas.
You have so much content that you'll never run out of ideas. That's right.
[00:38:41] Shelley Carney: That's right. And then come up with themes and you go, okay my next 10 blog posts are gonna be about this thing and all the different parts of this thing. And then I can turn that into a book. So
[00:38:55] Jen McFarland: purpose still trying to get me, look at me.
I'm just sharing screens. So that's okay. I really think that we're getting there.
[00:39:03] Shelley Carney: We are getting there. So we talked about finding top oh
[00:39:07] Jen McFarland: testimonials. Yeah. I covered all of that. I'm looking for something specific to share. So then let's talk a little bit. Blog post essentials. So this would be what I would consider to be the anatomy of a good blog post cool. So the first thing that I have on this list are headlines and hooks. And the secret that you maybe don't know is I will spend almost an insane amount of time writing a headline for a blog post. I research the keywords, I think about how, if I would click on it. I look at other headlines about something similar and think about which one I would click on.
Do you do anything like that, Shelley? Very
[00:39:56] Shelley Carney: often I'll take a look at if I'm doing something for YouTube, especially. I'll check. I'll do keyword with two buddy. Cause I have two buddy, so I'll check the keywords and try to get as close to the a hundred percent mark as I can. And, just interchange a few things and see what works and see what people are looking for.
But doesn't have too much traffic. Yeah I do. I do it, but I probably don't do it as much as you do.
[00:40:24] Jen McFarland: But I'm a word nerd. So it's okay. But what tools
[00:40:26] Shelley Carney: do you use for your keyword research?
[00:40:29] Jen McFarland: A matter of fact, I'm gonna share a tool.
[00:40:32] Shelley Carney: I knew it. Jen has a tool for everything. I have a tool
[00:40:35] Jen McFarland: for everything.
So the key to writing a good headline is to use something called power words and power words are different types of words that elicit different emotions around taking action, doing different things. When you're writing a blog post, you really just want somebody to click on it and read it.
That's the most important thing. So that's why you focus a little bit more on writing headlines that people are gonna, people are gonna click on. So there are all different types of words. So there's seductive emotional, sensory all of these different words. And so I really like this blog post about it.
I usually end up going here. And then within this article on rank math rank, math is a S an SEO tool for WordPress. It's an excellent SEO tool for WordPress that I used right up until I left WordPress. And so let me put this, we'll put this in the show notes for sure. But it's a guideline that you can go through.
I also use a service to test out my headlines and it's a really, it's another way of like writing headlines co schedule has a thing called headlines studio. It used to be free but it's not anymore. Unfortunately then you can see why, because it's like super duper useful.
So this is a recent blog post that was written by my colleague Nedra seven easy ways LinkedIn increases leads and referrals. And you can tell, I wrote it like several different ways. so I have a lot of different ways of doing it. I believe this is the one that won because as the highest headline score seven ways to leverage LinkedIn to increased leads and referrals.
So what you see here is the keyword balance. So common words versus emotional words. Versus power words. This tool actually does have a way that you can go into the word banks and you can see here you can look at different emotional words. So that's why you see a lot of blog posts that have the absolutely best tools for blah, blah, blah.
And it's because there are certain words that get you to take action. I tend to always with the exception of one or two, I'm always going for some sort of positive sentiment. Sometimes people are writing rants or different types of posts and they want like a negative sentiment or different things like that.
This tool will tell you if it's too long, what the character count is, and then the reading levels. So you have to realize that even if you are super smart, like I know everybody is who listens to this show and watches this show, most people who are out there reading. It's about a sixth grade reading level.
So you wanna really write in a way that everybody can read it and understand what's going on. Sometimes I struggle with this cuz I write about a lot of technical things so it takes me a while to get to different ways of looking at a headline so that it is gonna appeal to a broader audience.
So the next tab in here is about the SEO score. So this is headline studio pro on coschedule.com. And what this tool does then is it takes a look at that headline and it compares it to other people who wrote similar articles and tells you whether or not your headline is likely to get clicked on. And it goes through different.
These are different articles about LinkedIn and about getting leads on LinkedIn and how your headline stacks up against that. I have used this for years. I was super bummed when it stopped being free and I had to pay for it, but it was worth it for me to pay for it and get the most out of my headlines because I, when I first started, all of my headlines would score like 30 or 40%.
And then I realized people weren't clicking on the blog posts because they didn't understand what was going on or they didn't know what the blog post was about. So I'll put, this will be in the show notes as well. So if anybody wants help with writing headline. , it's a really good tool. And it's headlines.coschedule.com.
And that's the secret sauce. Have you ever seen that before? Shelley? Have you ever heard of that? I have.
[00:44:46] Shelley Carney: I have. And I have to say those types of tools. If you use them frequently, they will train you to yeah. Do better at writing headlines and to think more about what's going to work well for being clickable.
I just want to remind everybody that if you promise something in your headline, then you must deliver it and your article or people will not read from you anymore. If you say seven ways, you better have seven ways in there. You might even throw in a bonus, but make sure you have at least those seven things, anything that you promise in your headline, make sure you come through in your article.
[00:45:22] Jen McFarland: And that's what yeah. And we do that here too. So if you go through, we'll talk about how to create a successful blog for your business. That's what we're talking about today, including finding the right blog service, which we've already talked about or hosting on your own website, which we've already talked about, how to find topics that appeal to your customers, and then essential as you need to include in your blog post.
This is about delivering on that promise. And doing it. So you'll notice that we're going through step by step on every single thing and with the hope that people like it and they come back. I wanted to break and talk about that because it's important for people to get that, like we are walking or talk here, in a very
[00:46:03] Shelley Carney: that's right way.
That's yeah. And very often you'll even have written the article first with a dummy headline. And then after it's all done, you'll look at it and go, okay, what am I saying here? What am I writing about? Then you'll refine your headline at that point.
[00:46:19] Jen McFarland: Oh yeah. No, I don't write the headline first. Yeah. I'll wait until the end.
cause I do want it to resonate. I wanna know what I wrote about I have a general topic and then I headline it
[00:46:30] Shelley Carney: here. Yeah. Yeah. And you could always change it later if it's not hitting for you. If people aren't clicking on it, you could go in and change it. Yeah. Yeah. It's your
[00:46:40] Jen McFarland: blog.
[00:46:41] Shelley Carney: Yeah. so keep practicing and keep tweaking and make sure that, you don't just write it off because nobody learned it.
Maybe you can do something with it and tweak it and make some adjustments and then people will read it.
[00:46:53] Jen McFarland: Exactly. Yeah. All, yeah. All of these things are. Yeah. That's the great thing about marketing. You can change it. , that's the great thing about writing. You can change it and again, it's about practice.
Like when you do any of these things, you wanna practice, you wanna get in there and test it out and practice. I talked a little bit about images. I haven't really talked about hooks, so there's headlines and then there's hooks. So you have a good headline, but it's also important to have a good hook.
Sometimes this is like usually the first couple first paragraph, maybe the first two paragraphs. You want people to understand why they're there, give them that high level of why they're there, make it something fun to read and descriptive and useful. And they're more likely to continue with you.
[00:47:38] Shelley Carney: Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes you wanna tease a little bit. You're like, okay what are you doing wrong? And, little bit of a negative oh my God, what am I doing wrong? So that you wanna read ahead and check it out. You can throw that into your hook or your title.
And that, yeah, as long as your article itself is uplifting and positive, the scary parts can be in the title and the hook.
[00:48:04] Jen McFarland: That's right. That's right. So let me give you a little bit of an example. Let's go back to the same article that I talked about a minute ago about leveraging LinkedIn to increased leads and referrals.
We talked about that headline. So what you'll find here is then the hook. So the title is seven ways to leverage LinkedIn, to increase leads and referrals. And then it says LinkedIn is a powerful networking platform. Here's how to learn the art of connection boost leads and capture referrals using LinkedIn.
So that's telling you very clearly, what you're gonna get from this article. Hopefully it's also helping you say, okay. Yeah, I wanna continue. And then Nedra does a great job here of if you're an entrepreneur, especially one with a service based business landing, a new client can be very costly, learn seven easy ways to leverage LinkedIn to increased leads and referrals without breaking the bank.
And then guess what? There's seven, seven simple ways to leverage LinkedIn for your business. So these are all hooks that are being used to get people to read. Its they're very descriptive and it really helps people get a better understanding of what to expect from your writing. That also really helps people engage with it.
You'll notice that there are a few other things in here. You don't have to have a table of contents. It just makes it easier for people to go down to the sections that they like. You'll notice that there are subheads in here that are also very descriptive about actions you can take or what it is that you can do.
And then you'll notice, look, we have some links in here that are easy for people. There are also images in here. You don't want it to be entirely gray and there are also some call out text, different types of quote boxes and things like that. So you wanna find, and I'm not even, you wanna find ways that you can keep people on the page.
You also want to have links that are high quality that send people to other places where it's going to really help them deepen their knowledge and further things. Also, you wanna have links to things that are highly regarded, high authority websites. Because that helps you position yourself as an authority.
And it also signals to Google that you're not scammy, you're writing things that are of high quality that you think people should use. Yeah. You're really good at this. You do a lot of research and you always include links to high quality re research. I
[00:50:35] Shelley Carney: try to, and of course I link my own things too, because I want people to be able to find my video.
If if you're writing something and it's visual, you can say, go watch the demonstration on this video and you can embed that in there so they can just click and go, or you can embed your podcast if that's what you're doing. And then the images can be, things.
Like maybe if you're Jen, did, she did a blog post about her office and she included a picture of how she set it up. That was extremely helpful to people who are trying to set up their own office with a streaming or a podcasting setup. It gives them ideas. Oh I have that. I can do that. Yeah.
So things of that nature that are your own, that you're, offering as well, so
[00:51:21] Jen McFarland: helpful. Incredibly helpful. And don't forget that call to action. So you would definitely want to. Tell people what that next step is, share something with them about how they can continue the relationship with you, whether it's, buying a service from you, whether it's a newsletter, I'm a big fan of the newsletter, because then that's free and they can continue to engage with you.
That's right. But you can also if you're promoting like a specific service, you can also use that. And it's a highly effective thing to do. A lot of times people forget that part and you want to get people to stay with you for as long as possible and come back.
[00:52:02] Shelley Carney: Yeah. We learned that from the, all the platforms that, that want you to, stay the longer you stay on my YouTube channel, the more YouTube loves me.
The longer you stay on my website, reading my blog, the more you're gonna love me. So that's right.
[00:52:15] Jen McFarland: Yeah. So we are out of time. Really? We I love blogging. So I talked about me too. I love it. But make sure you share your blog a big platform. I love for sharing your blog. It's not like you just write it and people will come.
I really enjoy missing letter. I really like lately, these are both places where they will take all of the writing that you have done and autogenerate social media posts and help you schedule them out over the long term. You want to share it, you wanna share it in your newsletter. You wanna share it on social media.
You wanna encourage other people to share it. If they find value from it. All of these things will help you get more people reading your blog and then, On your website, which is really what you want is that place where you own the space. . Anyway, that is that's wrapping up the blogging.
I would like to invite you to, to subscribe to the women conquer business newsletter if you found this useful every week and I it's every week and I love to write, and that's a place where you can see my writing on display. Yeah.
[00:53:18] Shelley Carney: Also, if you'd like to learn more about how we blog and get a free worksheet that you can go through we have a workbook download at guide.livecast.life, and that will get you started on all the just bringing your ideas together into one cohesive package.
That's. So do that, do both, make sure you subscribe to Jen's newsletter, cuz it's always fun and interesting. And it comes out on Sundays when you're not doing too much anyways. Or it's
[00:53:49] Jen McFarland: the first thing on Monday morning? That's right. Those are like, I love it. The two ideas is
[00:53:55] Shelley Carney: I love it
[00:53:55] Jen McFarland: after that.
Okay. I guess we have to go really quick on tweaks of the week tweaks of the week. I know we're not used to having music. It's so fun. It's fun. So last week in my newsletter, I wrote about repurposed.io. I forgot how much I loved it. I've gone back to using it. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. I've pulled in videos from the last few shows and created awesome little video clips, shared them with Shelley and if we want, we can put them on social.
It was all automated. For my other side project 3 0 2 marketing redirect, we now have it set to automatically publish the episode on captivate, straight from.
[00:54:36] Shelley Carney: Nice. Very good. Smart.
[00:54:37] Jen McFarland: Talk about you. And I sure if you want, and then what have you got? You see something
[00:54:42] Shelley Carney: here about Google slides. I've been putting together slides for my course.
And there's this cool thing where you just highlight the text box. So if you've got bullet points one after another, and you got three or four of them, you highlight that box. And there's a thing at the top that. Animate, I click on that and it can, and you can have it pop, one at a time you click by paragraph.
It appears by paragraph and it's super fun. And I just haven't I been using this all my life. It's so cool and easy. You don't have to make 10 different slides of the same thing, which is what I had done in the past. And I was just like, what does this do?
love this. So definitely check that out. It also with, if you have, and I've been using my bit emojis, so if you wanna add bit emojis to your slide and then you can animate those two where they can zoom in from the side and then they can zoom out at the end. It's really cool. So play with that and Google slides.
[00:55:39] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And I think it's just great to have fun with your. Yeah,
[00:55:43] Shelley Carney: I love it. I love my little bit emojis. They're so fun and they could change their clothes. So they're wearing a different outfit in every slide set. It's so
[00:55:50] Jen McFarland: cool. I know you send me bit emojis all the time. I need to, I should probably put it back on my phone.
I love your bit emoji. It's been years. Oh, that's just from, within my iPhone. I have that. That's cool. Yeah. Are you ready for the inspirational nugget? Let's do it.
[00:56:09] Shelley Carney: It's magic. Today's inspirational nugget from the daily. My daily stoic is Marcus aureus meditations and he said, don't be ashamed of needing help. You have a duty to fulfill just like a soldier on the wall of battle. So what if you are injured and can't climb up without another, soldier's help. You're still a valuable member of of that group because you contribute.
And when you ask for help, the other person who's helping you feels really good that they could do something to help another person. So you're giving them a gift by asking for that help. And as a newborn baby, we need a lot of help and that we learn to ask for that help by crying. And our needs are met by our parents, our mom, our caregiver, our grandma, whoever that we're with.
And we learn that it's okay to ask for help. And it just means we're loved. So we are loved. We can ask for help and people who get to help. We get to bond with them. We get to have that love relationship. So I personally have needed a lot of help recently because getting my mom home from the nursing home, we had to go today to the Sheriff's posse in sun lakes and ask for help.
They offer equipment that you can borrow medical equipment like a wheelchair and canes and things of that nature. And they give them to you for 90 days and there's no charge. And we're like, this is just exactly the help that we needed. And they were there. And how wonderful is that?
And they felt good that they could help us to bring mom home and that she would have these things. So don't be afraid to ask for help. We're here for you. If you need any kind of help with anything to do with your business on making content using apps. That's what we're here for and we would love to help you.
So please do reach out to Jen and I, and all of our information scrolls across the bottom. It's in our show notes. All you have to do is reach out and we're here to help.
[00:58:21] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And I just hope everybody has a great week. Thank you so much for being here and listening or watching, and we will talk to you next
[00:58:30] Shelley Carney: week.
That's right. Thank you for joining the women conquer business podcast posted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem. Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support.
They need to expand their brand and share their message with the world. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.
Ahrefs releases Yep search engine (https://yep.com/) (in beta)
- Yep uses a 90/10 profit share business model where 90% of advertising profits are paid directly to creators.
- Claims to offer an unbiased, private search experience that rewards and compensates the makers behind the content.
- More info: https://searchengineland.com/yep-search-engine-385613
Tweaks of the Week
- Repurpose.io is a dream for automation
- Google Slides animation feature adds fun to your brand
“Don’t be ashamed of needing help. You have a duty to fulfill just like a soldier on the wall of battle. So what if you are injured and can’t climb up without another soldier’s help?” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.7
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