If I were to list 5 must-haves to run a successful business in 2016, be it internet-based or otherwise, garnering a thriving online presence will certainly be on it.
How do you build a solid online presence? Content marketing.
A Forbes article says that 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy.
If you are not already on the content marketing bandwagon, what are you waiting for? Hop on!
Be sure, though, to know that you are in for a lot of strategic thinking and decision making.
The most mind-boggling question when you first step into the content marketing is – should you outsource your content marketing or do it in-house?
Predictably, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, you must do your due diligence and determine what the best answer for your business.
Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to arrive at the best answer for your business:
1. How fat is your budget?
It is very important that you carefully figure out how much to budget for content marketing early on.
That said, if you don’t have a fat budget for content marketing, outsourcing may not be the best option after all.
So, what do you do when the budget is not fat? You self-learn content marketing by reading blogs, listening to podcasts/webinars – and then hire a freelance writer. Once you see some results and are in a good position to scale up, you can move on to hiring a full-time professional writer, and a full-scale agency further down the line.
The point is – get started no matter what! The best thing about content marketing is – even the tiniest of efforts can bring a reasonable amount of results.
If you do have enough budget, start working with a specialized agency. Build an in-house team only when you have a clear understanding of what works best for Business Storytelling.
2. Do you want to do go niche?
Although most content marketers have great writing skills, it just might not be enough to market your business to a niche audience. If the aim is to do niche content marketing, you need someone who’s an expert in the discipline.
For example, a Tech startup can generate more leads by predicting trends rather than doing regular listicles or how-to posts.
If you have the budget for it, hiring a full-time niche writer is certainly a good idea here. One, they have expertise, and two, when a single person handles all of your content, there is consistency in writing style and presentation.
You can also outsource it to a medium-to-large agency because these agencies usually have many writers who are experts in different fields. Hence, you can trust that your content will be handled by an industry expert.
Freelance writers and small agencies are not a very good bet if you are looking for domain expertise as most of them are generalists and not niche writers.
Although there are a few niche freelancers, it is still not an assuring bet.
3. What is the weight of content marketing in your overall marketing efforts?
First of all, did you work to determine which type of marketing will maximize your profits? If so, then how much weight does content marketing carry?
You should determine how much of an emphasis you must put on content marketing to increase your profits. For example, for some businesses, outdoor hoardings might get them all the customers they need, and the blog is not a lead generation avenue – these guys need not spend much on content marketing.
If you think that content marketing is not your major cashpoint, don’t spend too much on it. Pick the cheapest option for you in terms of time and money.
For example, if you think that in-sourcing content will consume too much of your time and energy and that it’s not worth that – hire a small agency and produce an average amount of content; but if you think you need to do prime-time content marketing – hire a full-time
4. How keen are you about building a consistent brand?
I’d like to start by bursting a bubble: Not everyone needs to build a solid brand. What if you’re a small company with a small marketing budget where every dollar counts and every mistake is felt deep? Branding – well, not so much!
If you decide that outsourcing is the best way to go about your content marketing game, wait! You haven’t asked the most important question yet: Can the freelancer or the agency, capture the essence of your business in their writing? Because if not, your story will not be good enough to generate profits.
Before outsourcing, you must have a detailed talk with the agency of what your expectations are; what kind of content you want to publish; what writing style represents you; and your business philosophy and more.
You must look to see if the agency is receptive to your requests and ideas. Instead of staying out of the picture completely, you must monitor the work produced by the agency and they have to be comfortable with your nose.
Hire someone who confirms to your requirements and is willing to work towards getting to know your company. Hire someone who’s passionate about what they write – passionate writing is still the best way to reel in more readers.
Generic and out-of-the-place content isn’t going to cut it. The content must represent your business, and everything that you stand for.
If you don’t find an agency like that, taking in an employee and grooming them would be a better choice.
Re-capturing all of the above:
Small budget: go in-house, or hire a generalist freelancer.
Fat budget: hire a specialized agency, and build a team when you understand what works.
Niche marketing: either an in-house expert or an agency which can offer specialized writing services. Freelancers and small agencies not a good bet.
Content marketing a lead generator: either an in-house senior expert who builds a team, or a specialized agency.
Not a lead generator: hire a generalist freelancer, or work with a small agency.
High on keeping a consistent brand image: a specialized agency with personalized and tailored services, or a senior in-house expert.
Not very keen about a consistent brand image: hire a generalist freelancer or a junior marketer.
Over to you:
- Anything else that businesses should consider while deciding whether to go in-house or outsource?
- Can everyone really do content marketing on their own?
How to Better Handle Blogging Obstacles
Take a breath.
Now, take a deep breath.
This, too, shall pass.
Every blogging obstacle dissolves into opportunity the moment you breathe, slow down and calm down. Nothing good happens fighting obstacles because your fighting gives attention to the obstacle, making the obstacle grow into something big and scary. But breathing deeply, feeling the fear fueling the obstacle, and letting go the fear-obstacle alerts you the transitory nature of the block, and how it passes into solution.
Better handle blogging obstacles by following a few tips.
1: Take a Deep Breath
Breathe. Take 1-5 deep, slow breaths. Breathing slows down your mind, thoughts and feelings. Slowing down everything allows you to be in the moment, to feel the fear fueling obstacles. Simple process but few bloggers take this step so obstacles appear to run wild.
Take a deep breath, now. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Breathing deeply and relaxing expands your awareness. Do you feel nervous now or anxious? Do you fear some obstacle related to time, and losing it? Breathing deeply allows you to be here and now, to feel fears fueling obstacles.
2: Feel the Fear
Fear fuels obstacles. What is a blogging obstacle but fear you cannot get past something? Imagine seeing the white screen of death on your blog. How would it feel? Scary? Why? You fear you cannot get past your blog being a white screen. Other fears cascade into mind; fear of losing readers, fear of losing money, fear of losing reputation, fear of being criticized.
Be with these fears. Feel the fears. You cannot solve obstacles being burdened by fear for you only see what appears to stop you, not solutions, being shackled by fear. Feel fear, release and proceed.
3: See the Opportunity
Opportunities plant themselves in obstacles. Imagine facing some pressing backoffice issue, tech-wise, blogging-wise. You received an opportunity to:
- learn more about tech, to solve the problem
- hire a web developer to solve the problem, outsourcing
- ask your readers and Facebook friends how to solve the problem, humbling yourself
Every blogging obstacle dissolves the moment you breathe deep, feel fears and relax, because opportunities arise in response to following these steps. Everything is abundance. Everything is opportunity. Fear is illusion so obstacles cannot be real.
4: Invest in a Resource
Do you always seem to be getting tripped up by blogging obstacles?
Buy my eBook:
Resources offer you complete guides to reference when times get tough. Minds race. Feelings fluctuate wildly. But breathing, feeling fear, seeing opportunities, and having a resource in your blogging library levels you out, calms you and helps you find solutions quickly.
Obstacles Are Not that Scary
Blogging obstacles are not that scary if you know to solve these mental blocks. Few bloggers put a strategy into place for handling blogging crisis so they panic, struggle and fight foolishly through resistance. Following a few steps alerts you: blogging is not so hard and facing obstacles need not be some endless nightmare creating hours, days or weeks of panic. You are a human, not a tree. Use your awareness, follow these steps and knife gracefully thru obstacles toward greater blogging success
3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers
Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.
Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.
What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.
I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.
Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.
Follow these tips to bond with influencers.
1: Buy a Resource
The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.
Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.
When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.
2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking
Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.
Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.
Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.
3: Never Rush the Process
Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.
Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.
Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.
Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
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