promote your books on social media

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Authors: How to Successfully Promote Your Books on Social Media with Lori Anding

Calling all authors and aspiring authors!

It’s no secret that the success of your book largely depends on how you promote it and spread the word to your audience. After all, you need to get your book into the hands of as many people as you can, right?

If you’re wondering how to effectively promote your current or next book on social media, we’ve got you covered with this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

There are tons of promotional tips that you can use, no matter what genre your book is! And there are some great tactics in this recap.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Authors: How to Successfully Promote Your Books on Social Media with Lori Anding

Our guest host this week was Lori Anding. Lori is a frequent participant of #ContentWritingChat. She knows a great deal about how to successfully promote your books on social media so you can increase sales. Keep reading to find out her tips and advice from other chat participants!

Q1: Do you have an e-book or self-published book? What strategies have you used to get them in the hands of readers?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share whether or not they’ve published a book before. And if so, we wanted to know what they did to spread the word. Here are a few responses:

Kathryn knows that building relationships is key to getting your books out there to your audience. People are more likely to support someone they know, like, and trust.

Although Lexie doesn’t have a book, she shared a great tip about contacting book bloggers. You can give an advance copy to some of the top book bloggers and have them review it. It’s a fantastic way to gain more exposure.

Although Annette said she’d do things differently now, she used to give her books away and sell them at poetry readings. That can be very effective if you attend events where your ideal reader is hanging out.

Q2: You’re in the process of writing a book. When should you start thinking about book launching strategies?

At one point in time do you start considering how you’ll promote your books on social media? Do you wait until it’s done or get started earlier? Here are some thoughts from Tuesday’s chat:

Lori said you should begin thinking about launching strategies before you start writing. This will allow you to build your audience and engage with them long before the book is available. That way, they’ll be primed and ready to buy when it launches. She pointed out that social media is a fantastic way to do this, so begin building your audience there now.

Julia said to think about how you will promote your book at least one year before you publish. Even better, she advises you to think about it before you start writing. As she said, you want to have a warm audience ready and waiting to buy your book.

Lexie said to begin thinking about your launch once you have your book topic and idea.

Maria agrees that it’s important to think about promotional strategies early on. It can help raise awareness and build engagement around the book.

Q3: What does it mean to think with the end in mind in terms of launching a book to your audience?

So, what does it mean? Check out these responses from the chat:

For Lori, thinking with the end in mind means knowing how you want to promote your books on social media. You may be relying on organic reach if you don’t have the budget to pay for promotion, which is totally fine. You have to determine what’s going to work for you.

She did share some great advice about organic promotion though. If you begin building your audience early enough, they can actually help you spread the word about your book. That can deliver tremendous reach!

Julia said it’s important to become an expert in your field and earn your authority before you start writing. People will be more likely to purchase your book if you’ve already established yourself.

Q4: Your book is finally complete! Does this mean all of the marketing is taken care of? If not, what’s left for you to do?

What happens after the book is all done? Do you get to kick back on the beach and relax? Or is there still work to be done? Here’s what you need to know to promote your books on social media once it’s complete:

Lori knows that the marketing doesn’t end once your book is on the shelves (or listed on Amazon). You still have to take action to get your book out there to the world. She suggests holding giveaways, which can generate a lot of excitement. You can also be a guest on relevant podcasts because you want to take advantage of any opportunity to talk about your book.

She also said to encourage people to pre-order your book. This is a fantastic way to boost sales and it could help get you a little closer to being on that Bestseller list.

Another tip Lori had was to record an audio version of your book as well. Many people listen to audiobooks while on their commute or when getting ready in the morning. You don’t want to lose potential buyers because you lack an audio version.

Julia’s advice s to create a specific sign-up page before launching the book. This is a great way to gauge interest. Plus, when the book is live, you can directly contact those people and let them know it’s time to buy.

She also suggests promoting a tweet or Facebook post with a video, emailing your current list, and linking to your book in all of your online bios.

Gene knows getting the word out on social is very important to your book’s success. He also suggests doing a book tour. If there’s enough interest and you have the funds, this is a fantastic way to boost sales.

As Terry said, we live in a digital age where there are so many ways to get creative with how you promote your book on social media. Some ideas he shared include: doing a YouTube series, running a contests on Twitter and Instagram, going on podcasts, running ads on social media, and doing book signings.

This is a great reminder from Zala. The networking never stops when you’re an author! There’s always going to be an opportunity to promote your book.

Q5: How can you use social media to generate more awareness of your book?

We all know that social media can really come in handy when it comes to spreading the word about your book. But how can you truly take advantage of what it has to offer? Check out these tips:

To promote your book on social media, Lori suggests holding giveaways/contests, being a guest on podcasts, and sharing the process on Instagram Stories. Giving potential readers a behind-the-scenes really helps develop a relationship with them. They’ll feel connected to you and more compelled to buy the book since they’ve followed your journey in creating it.

Don’t forget to be social on social media. It’s important to build relationships with people so they actually want to support you. Another tip that Kathryn shared is to create quote images with snippets from your book. It’s simple, but effective.

Lexie suggests using paid ads on social media to expand your reach. Just make sure you’re choosing the platforms your ideal reader is actively using. She also said you can target audiences who like a book that’s similar to yours, which is very smart.

Zala’s advice is to: build an audience, build a community, join Twitter chats, cross-promote on chats/blogs/podcasts/videos, and ask your network to help spread the word.

You can even share teasers, answer questions related to your book, create videos, and so much more.

Doing an Instagram Story where you visit book stores and find your book on the shelves in a fantastic idea that Terry shared with us. He also suggested doing a selfie contest on Instagram or Twitter where readers take a picture with the book and share it online. Give a signed copy or something else to a couple of people who participated.

You can post snippets from the book, ask readers to share reviews, and hold AMAs to generate interest. AMAs are a great way for the audience to get to know the author better.

Don’t forget to make use of trending and relevant hashtags to promote your book on social media!

Q6: What are some specific Twitter strategies you can implement to increase your book sales?

What can you do specifically on Twitter to see major results when you promote your book? Here’s some great advice from our chat:

Lori suggests creating graphics and videos to get people insight and host a Twitter chat about your book.

Zala said to include your link in your Twitter bio and take advantage of a pinned tweet for promtion. These tips are simple, but often forgotten!

Julia also suggests using a pinned tweet. She said dong a video works really well.

You can also add an image of your book in your Twitter header, plus a quote from the book or one from a reviewer.

Make sure you’re engaging with your audience and getting them excited about your book.

Q7: Once people have purchased your book, how do you get them to leave a review?

Reviews are crucial for authors because it can help them sell more books in the long run. But when everyone is so busy, how do you get readers to stop and write a review? Check out this advice:

Make sure you’re building a relationship with your community online. Lori feels this will increase your chances of getting a review. Plus, you can also send advance copies for people to review ahead of time.

Don’t be afraid to just ask people for a review. Sometimes they need the reminder and a little push!

Terry suggests sending out email reminders to encourage people to leave reviews. You can offer some sort of incentive as well.

Another great tip is to include a thank you page at the end of the book, which gives you the chance to ask people to leave a review now that they’re done reading.

Would you like to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’ll be chatting next Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central! Make sure you follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss anything.

What’s Ahead for #ContentWritingChat, Express Writers & Julia McCoy (Announcement: Switching to 1x/Month in June 2018)

This Friday, we’re doing a #ContentWritingChat “recap” in a slightly different style.

First, it’s Julia here, sharing the direction #ContentWritingChat is headed, in more depth.

I’m sure you all were shocked by our Tuesday announcement, sharing that we’re moving to a once/month format!

Before I get into the “why” behind the switch, first things first… I want to thank each and every one of you that show up every Tuesday.

It’s a big deal that we have so many “regulars” on the chat. It’s rare to find a community that contains this much loyalty.

Just take a look at our last 90 days of data from Keyhole, a Twitter real-time tracking tool. It shows quite a bit of traction.

keyhole #contentwritingchat stats

Plus, we have people from all over the world joining us during the live hour… even Russia!

keyhole #contentwritingchat stats countries

So, if you’re one of our regulars, serious gratitude is in order. We couldn’t call it a “community” without you!

Next, as you heard, we’re switching our chat to the first Tuesday of every month. This is a big change from our weekly chat hour, every Tuesday.

There are two big reasons why I’m making this change. Let’s get into them.

2 Big Reasons We’re Changing to Once/Month Format for #ContentWritingChat

1. I’m Focusing on More Strategic Moves Ahead

few things, focused and honed-in on, can be much more profitable than focusing on many.

My word for 2018 was “strategic.” And I’ve been applying it to EVERYTHING. I invested more, chose higher-level routes, and sunk my teeth into some deep things this year.

One of those deeper things was launching my first ever live masterclass, an introduction to my 6-week training program, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

An even more far-reaching project of mine for 2018: I’m writing my third published book, Woman Rising, which will be a memoir of my success story thus far in live. How I left a cult at the age of 21, where I was controlled heavily, mentally and physically abused growing up under my dad’s religious regime. I left this abusive environment six years ago in the middle of the night, went through a journey of emotional and mental healing, and forged my own success: start a company that now has 75+ team members, write two bestsellers and make it to the top 30 in my industry.

This story is heavy. It’s beautiful. It’s going to be a raw, rich, storytelling-style read. This particular style of writing is my favorite. I truly believe I’m tapping into my most gifted realm by writing it. I have a close circle of 10-12 friends reading it, and they’ve been absolutely blown away so far.

What I’m finding as I write each chapter (I’m on the 5th) feels a lot like punching through a new barrier. Last week, talking to some people from my past that have also left the same cult, I found out that my grandfather’s cult is heavily active and there could be hundreds of people, especially women (this particular religion hits hardest on women – both my mom and I were beaten) in abusive situations now. As we speak, my dad’s cult goes on. My siblings are in his house, and my mom is there, too. My grandfather’s cult lives on in another state in the U.S.

With this story, I have many goals. The horizon is broad, and huge. I want to reach women on a massive scale, and show them that success can be had for the taking–that they have what it takes to be whoever they want to be. No matter what they’ve been told.

To make this HUGE story happen, I need more time.

I need more mornings where I can focus on this book.

#ContentWritingChat comes secondary to this gigantic project, and getting three more Tuesday mornings back in my month will be huge for better focus on Woman Rising.

2. Express Writers’ Growth

This year, more than ever, I’m focusing on growth at Express Writers.

In the past months as I’ve researched, tested and analyzed, I see very few connections from our Twitter chat that lend directly to our growth.

Most of our attendees are writers, so they have no interest in the content creation services we offer directly from Express Writers. A few have traveled directly to my book and course, which is great! But, that’s been 1% or less.

Given that very simple fact, it doesn’t make sense to pay hundreds of dollars in time, investment, and design to run #ContentWritingChat.

We’re not a publicly-funded company, and we have zero VC investors. So, every dollar that goes into producing the live hour you join every week is from my pocket. I have to make sure we’re getting ROI out of our carefully-delegated funds.

When you run a business, you quickly realize that channels where money is going must mean ROI. And if they don’t, it could be time to cut back.

Final Word: Join Us Once a Month for an Even BETTER #ContentWritingChat Experience

The good news is that switching to once-a-month means that we can devote more care and attention during that once-a-month period and provide a education-filled experience for our participants.

We’re also listening to your answers from this Tuesday and we’re going to modify the format just a tad: more Q&A time, and a little bit of actionable “to-do” homework at the end! This is to make the live hour go even further and mean more, for each one of you. I want to treat it like a live class and put extra attention into it, which is more possible if we slim down to once per month.

Thank you all for joining us live this Tuesday!

And now, I’ll pass the “pen” over to Rachel, who is going to share with you a few key tweets from our live hour this Tuesday, May 15.

#ContentWritingChat May 15 Live Recap: Highlights

Many chat participants are just like Bill. They want to join a discussion they can confidently contribute to. For that reason, we’re all about covering the topics you are interested in!

Tony knows that a great chat guest host engages with the other participants. This is something that we want to make sure always happens with each #ContentWritingChat. That interaction with the audience is crucial!

And of course, you always want to make sure a guest host knows their stuff! With our switch to a monthly format, you can still count on us bringing in amazing experts who can really bring the value.

What makes a chat so special is the people who join during every live session. They’re the ones who are engaging, sharing their thoughts, and making the conversation happen.

Another change we want to add is wrapping up each session with a Q&A featuring the guest host. It’s the perfect opportunity for participants to get their questions answered. We love what Alexandra said about a Q&A making the chat fell more exclusive and high-level.

To make the chat more actionable, we’d love to add a “homework” feature. This means there would be a task assigned to you at the end of each live chat. Don’t worry though, it won’t be anything too crazy!

Many of you seemed excited for this addition, including Maria. As she said, it helps motivate people to take action instead of just talking about it.

Gene feels a group assignment provides accountability and creates a tighter community.

Not everyone was cool with the homework idea though! But that’s okay because you won’t get a failing grade nor will you be banned from future #ContentWritingChat sessions for not participating. Haha!

We also asked for suggestions on where we can improve. One tip was to decrease the amount of questions. This could make it easier for people to keep up with other responses that have been shared.

Darcy is all about continuing relationships outside of the chat so we can all support one another.

And of course, we’re glad to hear many of you love the chat as is. Don’t worry, Eddie! We won’t be changing things up too much!

Ken doesn’t want to see too many changes either, but he’s ready for the homework!

We’re excited too, Rachel! And we hope all of you will continue to join us on the first Tuesday of every month.

blog content

#ContentWriting Chat Recap: How to Create Blog Content That Sells & Ranks

How would you like to create blog content that ranks on the first page of the search results?

Wouldn’t you love it if your blogs could sell your products and services on autopilot?

It sounds like a dream, but it’s totally possible when you have the right strategy in place!

And luckily, we’re here to help you make it happen with our latest #ContentWritingChat.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create Blog Content That Sells & Ranks

This week was our monthly community chat where our participants are in the spotlight. They voted for the chat topic, but since it was a tie, we decided to combine the two winning options for one amazing conversation. Let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: How do you plan your content strategically to ensure you’re reaching goals in terms of sales and ranking higher?

If you want to see major results online, you have to get smart about your content. But how exactly do you do that? Here’s what you need to know about strategic planning:

Jeff suggests building a content calendar around your key goals for the year. This will ensure you’re being smart about the work you publish and achieving major results online.

It may help to try Bill’s tactic! He suggests working backwards by determining your end goal and figuring out what steps a reader needs to take to get to that point.

Lexie’s advice is to learn all about your audience. You need to discover what they’re looking for in terms of content so you can deliver it.

Creating a series of topics can be a fantastic move since everything will connect with each other. It’s the perfect way to interlink your blog posts.

You can also learn a lot from looking at your competitors! See what they’ve done in the past and what you can learn from them.

Q2: When seeking sales online, what tactics can you use to promote your products/services through blog posts?

If you aren’t actively promoting your offerings through your blog posts, you’re missing out! In order to boost sales online, try implementing these tactics to generate income:

Julia’s advice is to get to know your audience and develop a content plan that answers their questions. She also mentioned how we use CTAs at the end of our posts to drive sign-ups, sales, etc.

Make sure you’re providing value, solving a problem, sharing your own experiences, and encouraging people to take action.

It’s so important to build a relationship with your audience. Lexie knows this is essential to establishing trust with your readers, which will make them more likely to purchase.

Amanda’s advice is to build relationships, offer advice, and then give it to your audience. Don’t forget to ask for the sale as well!

Try writing blog posts about the products or services you offer. It doesn’t have to be done in a salesy way, but it can be a how-to guide, best practices, or a case study. Even placing banners in your sidebar can be helpful!

Share the research, facts, best tips, and how-to advice that will get a reader’s attention.

Bill suggests telling a story or sharing a case study.

Both Jeff and Sarah urge you to not forget that call to action!

Q3: How can you determine if your blog posts are actually leading to sales?

Once you’ve implemented the previous tips, you’ll need to keep an eye on your metrics to see what kind of results you’re getting. You have to know if your efforts are effective, after all! Here’s how you can see if those sales are really rolling in:

Be on the lookout for conversions. Are sales consistently coming in? That’s what you need to watch for.

Erika suggests setting up goals in Google Analytics because this will help you track the most important metrics. And she said to use UTMs when sharing content.

It’s all about the analytics! Sarah suggests even paying attention to the keywords your audience is searching.

Take full advantage of Google Analytics because it holds so much data.

And if you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to ask people how they discovered your products/services and what made them buy.

Q4: If you aren’t seeing sales from your posts, what improvements can you make to turn things around?

The sales are coming as plentifully as you would have liked… Instead of sending yourself into a panic, you need to make some changes! Here’s some advice:

First, you want to look at why you aren’t making sales. Lexie suggests seeing if users are bouncing right from the post. She said you may then need to change your CTA or take other steps to lead people to your offering.

Bill said you might not be seeing sales because of poor messaging, poor distribution, or wrong timing.

Sarah suggests changing up your layout, imagery, headline, or CTA. There are a number of things that can be done to boost sales. That’s why you always have to test!

Spend time getting to know your audience better and make sure you’re delivering the content they want to see from you.

This is great advice from Kim Garst that was shared during the chat!

Q5: What are the most important factors in creating blog content that ranks on the first page of search results?

So, you want your content to show up on the coveted first page of those Google search results… In order to make it happen, there are a few things you need to know!

The content should be properly researched, contain long-tail keywords, provide images and stats, should be written in a way that’s easy to understand, and should solve user intent.

This is great advice from Neil Patel’s blog!

As Erika said, your content needs to be the best if you want to rank on the first page. She suggests discovering what the gap is with the pages that are currently ranking at the top. How can you improve and make your blog post better?

Always determine what’s in it for your audience and make sure it’s clear to them.

Don’t forget to examine your website itself. Sarah said that your user experience needs to be good, which includes fast loading time, clean coding, and more.

Q6: Are there any other ways you can boost your organic reach for your online content?

Besides relying on Google, how else can you grow your organic reach? Try out these ideas:

These are all great ideas from Himani!

There’s nothing like a great blogger collaboration! Guest post on their site while you guest post on theirs! It’s a fantastic way to expand your reach.

As Sarah knows, generating those links is very important online.

Try participating in Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups. Amanda knows how useful they are for making connections online.

If you have employees or influencers you work with, have them share your content as well.

And always remember that a great visual can really do wonders for your content!

Q7: What are your favorite tools for seeing how well your content ranks in search results?

There are plenty of tools to help you track how your content ranks! These are some favorites among our community:

For Jeff, it’s all about Moz.

Erika relies on Moz, BuzzSumo, bit.ly, and Google Analytics.

SEMrush, Moz, and Google Analytics are must-have tools.

Julia’s go-to tools are worth checking out!

Q8: Which online resources have help you to become a better, more strategic blogger?

Twitter chats provide so much value!

Andy Crestodina definitely provides amazing content!

Julia enjoys learning from Content Marketing Institute and Joe Pulizzi, Caitlin Bacher, Ann Handley, Copyblogger, and HubSpot.

Darcy loves ProBlogger, Blog Tyrant, and SmartBlogger.

How would you like to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat on Twitter, then be there for the chat on Tuesday at 10 AM Central!

masterclass cta

spring cleaning for your content

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Spring Cleaning for Your Content: Boost Your Reach & Profitability with Julia McCoy

Are you updating your blog’s archives?

Or are you letting that older content collect virtual dust?

If it’s the latter, it’s time to make a change and luckily, this week’s #ContentWritingChat has all the tips you need! We talked all about spring cleaning your content to keep everything fresh.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Spring Cleaning for Your Content: Boost Your Reach & Profitability with Julia McCoy

Our guest host this week was our own CEO, Julia McCoy. Updating older content is something she’s spoken about before, so she had a ton of great tips to share with everyone! If you want to polish your archives, this is one recap you’ll need to read. Let’s dive in!

Q1: What’s the purpose of updating and “spring cleaning” our online content?

So, what’s the big deal with spring cleaning your content? Is it really necessary? Will it really bring in some big-time results? Here’s what a few people from our chat had to say:

Julia knows that giving your older posts a refresh can give you a boost in ROI. You don’t want to miss out on that, so make updating your archives a priority.

As Sarah said, you want to keep everything updated for your readers. No one wants to stumble upon a post that’s terribly outdated with old information.

Lexie said you want to make changes to your content that will help get it in front of more readers. You also want to make sure it’s accurate for when they do visit your site to check it out. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk hurting your authority.

As Gene said, it’s possible you’ve learned something since you originally published the post. This is a great opportunity to update it with the new information you’ve picked up.

Q2: For someone who wants to get started with spring cleaning their blog, what are the first steps they should take?

Now that you’re ready to get started with your spring cleaning adventure, you might be wondering where to begin. After all, a big archive of content can certainly feel overwhelming! Here’s some advice to help you out:

These steps from Julia will help you identify where to begin when it comes to spring cleaning your content. Consider if you’ve had any branding updated, what could be better optimized, etc.

Sarah and her fellow team members take a look at their analytics. You can see what’s bringing in the most traffic and update those posts to ensure they’re accurate and continue to perform well.

Lexie said you can also see which blog posts have a high bounce rate and work to reduce that.

Maria’s priority includes making sure every post is full optimized. She also looks out for any broken links that need to be updated.

Think about which of your blog posts are doing well and which ones aren’t. Determine what improvements you can make to boost the results of the posts that are slacking.

If your content isn’t getting the reach you hoped for, you can always make improvements to generate more views.

Q3: How can you determine if a post from your archives is worth updating?

With so many posts that you’ve published, which ones do you start with? It depends what your goals are! Check out these suggestions:

Julia encourages people to track and update the blog posts that rank highly. If you have something that’s ranking on Google, but it’s outdated, make that a priority. She relies on SEMrush to help out with this.

Determine if the post is still relevant to your audience and whether you have anything new you can add.

Make sure you’re updating those posts that continue to attract readers.

After all, it’s important those posts keep performing well!

Q4: Once you’ve found a piece to update, what changes can you make to improve it and boost its success?

There are all kinds of improvements you can make to your blog posts to keep them fresh. But here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

Some things you’ll want to update include: new meta title and description, updated copy, refreshed stats, improved voice, and new CTAs.

Gene suggests adding new ideas or going deeper into the topic you originally wrote about. He also suggests cleaning up the formatting, as this will enhance readability.

As Lexie said, you’ll want to update your meta description to take advantage of those extra characters Google gave us a while back!

Don’t forget to update images, statistics, and any design elements you’ve incorporated.

You can also add recent news and more visuals. Make sure you also test all links so you know they’re still working.

You can even get creative and add more content variety. If you’ve recently gotten into video, consider creating a video for some of your older posts.

Q5: From an SEO standpoint, how can updating your older content be beneficial for your blog?

So, what is all of this going to do for your blog’s SEO? Here’s what you need to know:

If you’re not updating content, you could be missing out on more rankings. Don’t let that happen!

As Sarah said, search engines want to see that you’re offering the best to readers, plus they love fresh and relevant content.

Search engines will notice those updates and that can improve the credibility of your site in the long run.

Maria knows making updates will keep your content relevant. Very crucial!

And by making these updates, you increase your chances of attracting more readers.

Q6: What can you do to ensure you get the most reach once you’ve updated an older blog post?

Your post is all updated, now what? You need to make sure plenty of people are checking it out, so you’ll want to try out these tips:

Julia suggests sharing your updated post on social media and sending it to your email list.

Gene agrees! It’s important to spread the word wherever you can.

Let everyone on your go-to social media platforms know you’ve freshened it up with new information.

You can even tag people who might be interested in seeing the updated version of your post.

Share it with social media followers, online communities, and your newsletter. Don’t forget to consider ways to repurpose the post to generate more traction.

Q7: Which tools can help you effectively spring clean your blog?

To help you clean up those archives, check out these tool suggestions:

SEMrush and Google Analytics are just a couple of tools Julia turns to.

Lexie relies on SEMrush as well, plus a few others.

For writing, the Hemingway App certainly comes in handy. But if you’re updating graphics, Canva or Buffer’s Pablo tool can really help.

Gene also suggests Hemingway, as well as Grammarly.

Canva, Google Analytics, and BuzzSumo are just a few must-haves!

A lot of love for Google Analytics and SEMrush!

Q8: Are there any brands that are doing a great job at updating their archives and keeping content fresh?

Take a cue from these brands because they know how to give their archives a major refresh!

As Julia said, Content Marketing Institute and SmartBlogger have done a great job at updating their archives.

Carla said ProBlogger has done a great job at this as wlel.

Another one in favor of Content Marketing Institute!

Come join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat, then be on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central.

ContentWritingChat CTA

thought leadership

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Community and Thought Leadership on Social Media with Gene Petrov

Are you hoping to one day become a thought leader in your own industry?

Well, you just might want to read this #ContentWritingChat recap first!

In this week’s chat, we talked all about the importance of community and establishing yourself as a thought leader. What do you need to know to truly stand out online?

We have the answers!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Community and Thought Leadership on Social Media with Gene Petrov

Our guest host this week was Gene Petrov. Gene is a regular here at #ContentWritingChat. He’s a leadership and management consultant and he had tons of great information to share with us. Let’s dive into the recap to see what he had to say about thought leadership!

Q1: What are your first thoughts when you see or hear the words “thought leader”?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what comes to mind when the term “thought leader” comes up. What do they think of? What does that mean to them? Here are a few responses we received:

Gene knows there’s an important connection between a thought leader and their community. He also said the title needs to be earned.

For Bill, it’s all about having a unique, industry-impacting perspective.

Thought leaders are truly shaping the conversations in their industry and influencing the community they’ve built.

Sarah views thought leadership as being innovative in your thinking within your field.

Thought leaders are typically well-respected and provide a lot of value to their community.

Maria feels a thought leader is leading the charge on a specific topic and is knowledgeable in that area.

It’s also about being an expert on a topic and brining new ideas to the table.

Q2: How do you define a thought leader?

How would our chat participants describe what a thought leader is? Here are a few of their answers. Are any what you had in mind?

Gene knows it’s largely about the experience someone has, as well as the trust they’ve built with their community. Many thought leaders identify trends early on, which is something to always be on the lookout for.

One key aspect that Sarah brought up was confidence. Thought leadership requires you to be confident in your skills and your thoughts.

Since thought leaders have established themselves as an authority, their audience typically looks forward to the content they produce.

Curious, experimental, and willing to explore new territory are all great characteristics.

Q3: Who are some examples of thought leaders in your field?

These are great examples who you can certainly learn a lot from:

Simon Sinek and Mark Schaefer are just a couple thought leaders that Gene follows.

Julia looks up to a number of people, including Joe Pulizzi and Brian Fanzo.

Ray enjoys content from Michael Port, Guy Kawasaki, and others.

Some of Ben’s go-to thought leaders are Madalyn Sklar, Brian Fans, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Zachary also suggested Gary Vaynerchuk as being a thought leader in his field.

Q4: What common connections might you see between these thought leaders?

Do the thought leaders in your industry share any similarities? There’s a good chance they have a few traits that are the same if you look close enough! Here are things many thought leaders have in common:

Gene shared many similarities of those in a thought leadership position. They include high intellect, emotional intelligence, a sense of service, and dedication to their craft.

Lexie knows that risk taking and courage are two important characteristics!

Sarah mentioned that they can’t be afraid to fail or to be wrong. If you mess up, you have to pick yourself back up, fix it, and move on.

For Shawn, it’s all about understanding, communication skills, and passion.

Julia shared a few great characteristics that are all important!

Fresh ideas and interesting perspectives go a long way in helping you stand out from the crowd. Warwick also said that sometimes thought leaders are the ones to say what everyone else is thinking, but are too afraid to speak up on themselves.

Excellent marketing skills certainly come in handy as a thought leader!

Terry knows that caring is one important quality thought leaders should have.

Q5: Why is community so vital to the thought leader?

We all know that community is hugely important when building your presence online. But why is it so important for a thought leader to have an engaged community? This is what you need to know:

As Gene said, how value is an insight if you don’t have anyone to share it with?

Community is everything if you want to be seen and heard online.

Warwick makes a great point. After all, your community will help you get the word out.

Thoughts need to be shared and your community can help you with that.

They can help amplify your thoughts and allow you to better resonate with your audience.

Are you even a thought leader if no one is listening?

Q6: What are the benefits of having that community in place?

What good can a community do for you? These responses from Tuesday’s chat are spot on:

Gene feels a community provides amplification and support. You can also get feedback from your community, which can be very beneficial.

Your community is going to be essential in helping you gain exposure online.

Julia knows just how powerful an organic community can be.

With community, you have support, can receive constructive criticism, and so much more.

You can also learn a lot from the people in your own community, which can shape the content you create.

Q7: How do thought leaders cut through the noise to communicate their ideas?

It’s a busy, noisy world in the online space… So, how is a thought leader supposed to stand out from the crowd? This advice can help you communicate ideas with your audience:

Thought leaders will tap into their community to help spread their message. And as Gene said, they need to play an active role in engaging with that community and serving them by providing value.

Passion, persistence, and progress are sure-fire ways to help people recognize you.

Make sure you’re sharing valuable information that resonates with your target audience.

When you have valuable content, your audience will help spread the word!

You can also get smart and repurpose your content to expand your reach even more.

Q8: How can one become a thought leader?

To become a thought leader, what action do you need to take? Is there anything that can actually be done to establish yourself? Here’s what you need to know:

Remember that thought leaders aren’t out there pursuing the title. As Gene pointed out, they’re chasing something much bigger than that.

To establish yourself as a thought leader, you really need to focus on serving your community. Provide value and engage with them. You’ll also need to make building a level of trust one of your top priorities. Then, continue working on how you present your message to your audience. It’s going to take time and practice. It won’t happen overnight.

Jade says it’s all about posting valuable information and constantly learning.

Gain experience, take risks, try new things, and be in it for the long haul.

Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts and opinions. Then, back that up with action and results. It’ll come to you in time, as Ben said.

Ready to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central. Come join us by following @ExpWriters and @writingchat!
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content marketing engagement

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Unlock the Power of Questions for Content Marketing Engagement with Susan Moeller

Do you pay attention to the questions your audience is asking you?

And if so, do you let those questions influence your content marketing strategy?

If not, you might change your tune after reading the recap of this week’s #ContentWritingChat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Unlock the Power of Questions for Content Marketing Engagement with Susan Moeller

Our guest host this week was Susan Moeller. Susan is the Senior Marketing Manager over at BuzzSumo. We’re big fans of BuzzSumo here at Express Writers, so we were thrilled to have her join us once again as a guest host!

Q1: How does asking questions play a role in your content marketing strategy?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share how they incorporate questions from their audience into their overall content marketing strategy. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

At BuzzSumo, Susan feels their best content begins with a question to research. This allows you to really tailor your work to what your audience wants.

As Julia pointed out, questions are a great way to get real information from your audience and make connections. You can learn more about them through social media, email, and phone interviews.

Lexie knows that audience questions can help you decide what content you should be creating. That’s an essential step in shaping your online strategy.

When you know what your audience is asking, you can steer the conversation in a favorable direction.

Maria knows that it’s the perfect opportunity to tap into the mindset of your audience. You get to know them so much better and you can essentially speak their language with the content you write.

Q2: How can identifying audience questions make your content marketing better?

What is it about finding your audience’s questions that’ll help you product better content? Well, consider these responses from the chat:

Susan knows that the content you publish is useless if no one sees it. By creating content that addresses popular questions, you stand a better chance of it being discovered.

For Julia, it’s all about customization. Being able to tailor your content specifically to your audience is the best way to drive exponential results online.

Your audience’s questions are the foundation of your content marketing strategy.

When you know what your audience is asking, you can speak their language and create content that resonates. Use their wording in your messages to really appeal to them.

Gene knows that addressing your audience’s questions will help you create content that truly resonates. When you do this, you can better help them with whatever they need assistance with.

Q3: Once you identify audience questions, how do you use that information to create content they’ll love?

You have the questions. Now what? You need to create the content that solves the problems your audience is dealing with. Here’s how:

Susan’s advice is to focus on providing the best possible answer to that question with your content.

Lexie agrees with Susan’s response. She also said it’s important to make the content easy to navigate. When your website and content are user-friendly, people are more likely to stick around.

Knowing your audience’s questions also provides a tremendous opportunity for education.

Sarah gave some great advice about answering questions in a blog post or creating a FAQ page. You can also create ad campaigns and do so much more. It’s all about figuring out what works for you.

You can even tailor your content based on the stage a reader is at with their customer journey.

Whatever you do, don’t just rehash answers other people have already shared. Shelly said you should craft an answer that delivers more value.

Q4: How do you find your audience’s questions?

But how can you go about finding the questions your target audience is asking? Here are some tips to help you out:

Susan suggests using forums, blog comments, customer service inquiries, and surveys to locate your audience’s questions.

Don’t forget to check your analytics!

Andrea likes to refer to Quora to see what people are talking about.

Amanda said to check your inbox for emailed questions, look for comments on blog posts and social media, and maybe even send out a survey.

You can also set Google Alerts and do so many other things to keep track of your audience.

No matter what, never be afraid to just ask them. If you don’t know what your audience needs help with, reach out and ask.

As Sarah said, you can do a survey or poll. This is great for getting quick responses. You can also reach out in person, via a phone call, or through email.

Q5: Which platforms provide the best opportunity for you to engage with your audience?

If you want to chat with your audience, you need to determine the best platforms for doing so! These are the ones some of our chat participants rely on:

For Susan, the BuzzSumo blog and in-person events are the best opportunities to engage with her audience.

Refer to Facebook groups, Twitter ,or your email list. The opportunities are endless here!

Lori knows Twitter is a fantastic place for content marketing engagement, if only brands used it more effectively.

For the Launch Marketing team, LinkedIn and Twitter are the top platforms for engagement.

Just remember that it’s all about being where your audience is. Otherwise, your message will go unnoticed.

Kathryn suggests making the most of the platforms you’re most engaged on already.

Q6: How do you measure the effectiveness of content that answers questions?

How will you know if your content is really getting your desired results? This is what you should keep in mind:

Susan knows that it’s all about the goal you set for your content in the beginning.

Sarah agrees, as she knows goal setting is crucial. Having a goal in mind will allow you to craft content accordingly and track the right metrics.

Eddie’s formula is spot-on!

Ask yourself if the content delivered a clear and satisfying answer. That’s a great place to get started when measuring its effectiveness. Shelly also said to determine if it was memorable and whether or not it impacted buyer behavior.

If your content is getting plenty of organic traffic, you know you’re doing something right. The next step is getting those people to convert.

For Julia, it’s all about those conversations.

Lexie suggests checking out a heatmap to see how your audience is interacting with your content.

Q7: Do you rely on any tools to help you discover questions?

Tools can come in handy when you’re working to boost your content marketing engagement. These are some favorites among our chat participants:

It should come as no surprise that Susan relies on BuzzSumo! Being able to pull questions from Reddit, Quora, and Amazon is a game changer.

Even using the Google Analytics you’ve already installed can pay off big time.

Lexie loves using SEMrush’s Topic Research tool.

Julia’s go-to tools include BuzzSumo, scoop.it, and Answer the Public.

Q8: Are there any brands that really shine when it comes to engaging with their audience by answering questions?

Which brands do a great job when it comes to content marketing engagement? You can learn a lot from these examples:

Some of Susan’s favorites include Razor Social, Content Marketing Institute, Tailwind, and our very own team here at Express Writers!

Buffer is certainly one team that really stands out from the crowd.

Andrea has a lot of brand favorites, including Kissmetrics, Buffer, Jeff Bullas, and Social Media Examiner.

For Julia, the Twitter chat hosts really stand out. Some of her favorites include Madalyn Sklar, CoSchedule, and Manage Flitter.

Are you ready to join us for #ContentWritingChat? We hang out on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

knowing your audience

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Knowing Your Audience & Creating Content That Resonates

When it comes to writing new content, there are two important things to keep in mind.

The first is that you need to know who your audience is. Without knowing who you’re targeting, you can’t create the content they’re searching for.

And second, you have to create something that’s going to resonate with them and inspire them to take action. Otherwise, what’s the point?

All of this is easier said than done though.

That’s why it was the topic of this week’s #ContentWritingChat. So now, all the tips you need to know in order to understand your audience and create content they’ll love is right here in this recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Knowing Your Audience & Creating Content That Resonates

This week’s chat was our monthly community chat. That means we skip having a guest host one week out of the month and allow you, the participants, to be the focus. We also gave you the chance to vote for our topic and this was your top pick!

Q1: Why is it important to know who your audience is before you start creating content?

What’s the big deal with knowing your audience before you start writing? Well, we have the answer! Check out some of these responses from the chat:

If you don’t know who your audience is, then you won’t know who you’re creating content for. As Ashley said, marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. You can stand out from the crowd better by no one who you’re trying to reach.

Knowing your audience allows you to deliver the content they need and want.

Amanda said you can’t speak to every person in the world. When you write with an audience in mind, you can address their problems, goals, and triumphs.

As Ben pointed out, knowing your audience also allows you to tailor your content to them.

Your target audience will shape your content in a variety of ways, including the tone, length, and purpose.

Without knowing your audience, you can’t serve them effectively. And as Bill said, your content should be pre-customer service.

Q2: Since you need to be clear on your audience first, what should you know about them in order to create content they’ll love?

Now that you see the importance of knowing your audience, you’re probably wondering what you should learn about them. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Knowing your audience means knowing their location, their understanding on your subject, questions they may have, and their age and gender. These are all basics everyone should know about their ideal reader.

Lexie brought up a great point about knowing how your audience would like to receive content. Not everyone learns best through written blog posts. Some people prefer videos or podcasts and you need to determine what works best for your people.

Determine what their days are like and what they enjoy. Think about the challenges they’re facing and how you can solve them.

You need to know how to help your audience in order to create the content they’re going to love.

Gordon’s advice is to think about why your audience is visiting your site. What problems are they looking to solve? What information do they need? By knowing the answers to these questions, you can create the content they’re searching for.

Q3: How can you get to know your audience better? Are there any helpful tactics you rely on?

But how do you figure out all these things about your audience? It might seem like a challenge, but luckily, there are plenty of easy tactics you can take advantage of. Here’s what you need to know:

To learn more about your audience, you’re going to have to do a little stalking. Sarah said to see what they’re doing with content from others, like how they’re engaging with it. You also want to check out your analytics.

Lexie suggested asking questions via a survey or social media. Then, take the time to follow-up with them.

For Julia, she relies on Facebook’s Audience Insights to get information about her potential audience. For the existing audience she has, sending out a survey is a great strategy.

Make sure you’re engaging with your audience. There’s nothing better than talking to them on social media, on the phone, or in person.

Bill agrees that a direct conversation is the way to go. You can learn so much by just chatting with them.

Q4: Do you set goals for the content you produce? If so, what kind of goals do you typically strive for?

When it comes time to create your content, are you writing with a specific goal in mind? If not, you should be! Here’s what some of our chat participants strive for:

If you don’t have goals, you’re already behind! As Terry said, your content should serve a purpose.

Julia’s goals are focused around SEO, brand awareness, and sales.

For Gordon, he typically focuses on whether or not he’s meeting the needs of his audience. He also pays attention to whether or not his content sparks a conversation.

The goals you set for your content will depend on the goals you have for your business. You might be looking at conversions, engagement, etc.

Q5: How can you tell if your content is actually resonating with the right people?

After you’ve published content, it’s important to pay attention to how it’s being received by your audience. Is it actually resonating with the audience you’re hoping to reach? Here’s how you can tell:

Direct engagement is key! If people are taking the time to comment, that’s a good indicator it’s performing well.

It’s all about whether or not you’re achieving your goals.

Positive comments, direct messages, and emails are a great indicator of your content’s success.

Julia agrees that it’s all about the conversations your content generates. It’s a great feeling knowing that your work gets people talking.

Q6: If your content isn’t driving the results you hoped for, what changes can you make?

Unfortunately, your blog posts aren’t performing the way you had hoped. Now what do you do? Here’s some advice for you to keep in mind:

As Sarah said, you first need to figure out WHY you aren’t getting the results you hoped for. Otherwise, you can’t address the issue head on.

It may also help to go back to the drawing board and learn more about your audience.

Shannon said she goes back to the content to review the headline, keywords, and make sure the links are working.

Warwick mentioned how Julia McCoy is a big fan of updating old content. This could help drive some major results for you.

And if you’re still getting crickets, watch this Facebook Live Julia shared.

And remember, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes you have to learn and pivot in a new direction.

Make sure you never stop creating!

Q7: What is the secret formula for creating content that grabs a reader’s attention and holds it?

Let’s face it… Our attention spans are SHORT. So, how can we create content that captures someone’s attention and keep their attention through our entire post? Well, there are a few things you should know about that:

As Gene said, it all starts with a great headline. That’s going to grab their attention and get them to your blog post in the first place.

Bill’s recipe for effective content hits all the right points!

Remember that it’s all about what works for YOU. Sometimes that’s going to be different from what is working for everyone else in your space.

Gaby said content that gets attention is relevant, innovative, creative, unique, insightful, and valuable. It also understand your audience, utilizes storytelling, asks questions, and invites engagement.

Kathryn suggests making the content interesting. If you can add emotion, you really have a winning formula!

And remember to always be yourself. People connect with that more than anything.

Q8: What resources have helped you to become a better writer?

To strengthen your writing skills, check out these resources! You’ll be even more proud of the work you’re creating.

Sarah knows that reading books is a fantastic way to better your writing skills.

Julia loves to read the classics, but she also turns to blogs like Content Marketing Institute and SmartBlogger.

Make sure you also write often. You can’t become a better write if you never practice.

As Gaby said, lifelong learning is a must. You can read, take classes, collaborate with others, and do so many things to grow your skills. And using a tool like Grammarly doesn’t hurt!

Want to join us next time? #ContentWritingChat happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!

brand authority

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating Content That Builds Your Brand Authority with Maria Duron

It’s no secret that content is important.

What we publish on our blogs and anywhere else online plays a role role in building our authority as a brand.

That’s why we need to take it seriously and put the effort into creating content that truly shines.

And in this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we’re showing you how to establish your authority with the content you produce.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating Content That Builds Your Brand Authority with Maria Duron

Our guest host this week was Maria Duron. She’s a marketing coach and speaker.

Q1: Why does content play such an important role in establishing your brand?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share why content is so important for our brands. Here are a few of the responses we received so you can see just how valuable content can be:

As Maria pointed out, your content is an opportunity for people to sample your character. They get to know who you are through your blog posts, videos, and social media posts.

Jason said content is your voice, your personality, how people will judge you, and how they’ll decide whether or not to follow you. It’s essential for building your brand online.

As Bill said, your brand is the perception others have of you. You’re truly missing out if you aren’t publishing content that showcases your expertise.

Content helps readers understand what you do, while also building trust with them.

Lexie pointed out that content helps build authority and trust when you can provide content your readers find useful. When you do this, they’re more likely to come back time and time again.

Amanda agrees that content is all about trust!

Through the content you produce, you can position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Megan said content is how your target audience gets to know you. They can learn all about your brand’s personality and values this way.

Q2: What does it mean to have content that builds your brand authority?

So, what exactly can content do for you? Here’s what you need to know:

Maria’s advice is to know what your unique promise of value is. Determine what makes you unique and incorporate that into the content you publish. Think about why people go to you and how you can help them.

As Julia said, you can’t build your brand with crap content. You need to put your best work out there to build a loyal audience.

Lexie knows that great content is going to stick with your audience for a long time.

Sarah also agrees that great content will stick with people and help them remember you.

Your content is also an opportunity to showcase your skills. Amanda said the work you publish should also move people to act, to think, and to change their own lives for the better.

Content is essential in helping your brand emerge as a leader in the industry.

Q3: What are the key elements every piece of amazing content should have?

Now that you know the importance of content, we need to talk about what makes your content truly great. These are the key elements that everything you publish needs to have:

As Maria pointed out, your content needs to be spoken or written in your brand’s voice.

Gaby feels great content serves a purpose, offers value, is consistent with brand values, is relevant, communicates the brand’s USP, and generates engagement.

Maria knows that content is all about providing value to your audience. Her trifecta consists of consistency, value, and relevancy.

Jason knows it’s important to educate your reader. You want them to take something away from the content they’ve consumed.

Your content should provide value to your reader. You can do this by educating them on an industry topic, providing a how-to on a product or service, or giving them a solution to their problem.

Make sure you’re giving people an answer they’re searching for, while also being relevant and tapping into their emotions. As Sarah said, your work should inspire readers to take action.

Great content should be helpful, thorough, visually appealing, and easy to repurpose.

Lexie knows that good grammar is important! Your blog posts should also be easy to read.

Make sure your content is always actionable and scannable. Amanda knows that wasting your readers’ time is a big no-no.

Q4: How can storytelling play a role in creating content that establishes your brand authority?

How does storytelling come into play for your brand? Check out these responses from the chat:

As Maria pointed out, stories sell. That’s why they’re worth incorporating into your content strategy.

She suggests using the children’s book formula. “Once Upon a Time” sets the stage for something that happened where you were able to save the day. “Suddenly” addresses any obstacles or issues that were experienced along the way. “Luckily” details how you were able to save the day or solve the problem.

Instead of focusing on what you do, your story tells the audience WHY you do it.

Gene feels storytelling is an opportunity for transparency and vulnerability.

You can use stories to give your audience more background to provide them with a better understand of your brand. This can be key in building a relationship with them.

Storytelling is a great way to keep your audience engaged.

Even Julia sees the value in storytelling, as she uses this tactic to start off her blog posts.

Q5: What does your brand-building content marketing strategy look like?

We asked everyone to share what their content strategy looks like and here’s what a few of them had to say:

It’s all about getting to know your audience first! As Lexie said, you need to determine what your audience wants from you and how you can help.

Researching your target persona is an essential first step in creating content that’s relevant to them.

Julia’s content strategy includes a number of steps, which all starts with surveying her audience.

Carla shared some great advice about reviewing questions your audience has been asking. You can then provide answers through your email newsletters, blog posts, etc.

Honesty and delivering what your audience wants are two key features of great content.

Q6: Once you’ve published new content, how can you spread the word to get more traction on the work you created?

Your blog post is live, now what? These tips will help you get more traffic to your posts:

Maria’s advice is to use your established social media networks to spread the word. Think about where your audience is and share your work there.

One great way to get more traction is to send your new blog post to your email list.

Social media, email campaigns, and guest blogging are just a few great ideas that Narmadhaa shared with us.

Make sure you’re choosing the right social media platforms so you can actually reach your audience.

Don’t be afraid to share your content again shortly after the first post. You want to get as many eyes on your post as possible.

You can even go live on Facebook and do a little teaser of your new blog post. Share a few tips from the post to entice them, then lead them to your post to read the rest.

Don’t forget to contact anyone who was featured in the post. Odds are, they’ll want to share it with their audience too.

Share your content repeatedly to spread the word. You can also experiment with different hashtags to see what gets the best results.

Q7: How will you know if you’re seeing the desired results from the content you create? What does successful content actually look like?

To determine whether or not you content is a hit, keep this advice in mind:

What’s your end goal? As Maria pointed out, you need to know what you’re working to achieve in order to track the right metrics.

Kathryn’s steps include defining your goals, taking action, measuring your results, and then seeing how your content performed.

When you know where you want to go, you’ll be able to understand if you’re getting closer.

Keep an eye on engagement, as this can be a great indicator of success if your mission was to spark conversation.

For many people, they want to see those conversions rolling in.

As Jade said, many times it’s all about the sales or leads you’re generating.

Every piece of content you produce can have a different view of success. Eddie said it could be page views, comments, email sign-ups, etc. It all depends what you’re working toward.

Q8: Which brands create stand-out content in their industry? And what can we learn from them?

These brands are worth watching to draw inspiration from! Make sure you check them out:

Disney and Cinnabon are two brands that stand out to Maria.

Lexie kindly mentioned our team here at Express Writers!

Amanda is a fan of Buffer, ConvertKit, and Teachable.

For Julia, some of her favorites include BuzzSumo, Content Marketing Institute, CoSchedule, and Smart Blogger HQ.

Narmadhaa reads content from Buffer, SEMrush, and Express Writers.

Some of Terry’s go-to brands include Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, and Marie Forleo.

Come join the fun! #ContentWritingChat happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central on Twitter! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

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LinkedIn for your brand

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies on How to Use LinkedIn for Your Brand with Warwick Brown

What are your thoughts on LinkedIn?

Are you actively using this platform as a tool to build your brand online?

If not, you might want to reconsider! It can be a fantastic way to generate brand awareness, as well as bring in leads for your business.

However, the key to success with any social media platform is to know how to use it effectively. And that’s exactly what we talked about in this week’s #ContentWritingChat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies on How to Use LinkedIn for Your Brand with Warwick Brown

Our guest host this week was Warwick Brown. He helps account managers find success by sharing tons of skills and tips with them. Warwick has also been a member of the #ContentWritingChat community for some time now, so it was great having him step into the guest hosting role. He’s very knowledgeable on LinkedIn and he shared a lot of great tips during the chat. So, let’s go ahead and dive into the recap!

Q1: How does LinkedIn feature in your content marketing or social media strategy? Is it a priority?

To kick off the chat, we had to see just how many people were already taking LinkedIn seriously. Responses were all across the board, with some who love LinkedIn and are active on the platform, and others who aren’t fully invested. Here are a few of the answers we received:

For Warwick, LinkedIn is his biggest priority when it comes to social media. And that should really come as no surprise, otherwise we couldn’t have invited him to speak on the topic for our chat! Because of his passion for the platform, he’s learned a lot about using it effectively.

Warwick went on to say it’s a great place to hang out and find like-minded people within your industry. It can be fantastic for anyone looking to make new connections.

Jade said LinkedIn is a top priority for him as well. He’s very active there and see a lot of engagement as a result.

For Amanda, LinkedIn has been helpful in reaching potential clients and connecting with other freelancers.

Corina said LinkedIn is a must for her as well, primarily for making new connections.

Gene said he’s trying to learn more about the platform in the year ahead.

Suze is also wanting to learn more about LinkedIn to use it more seriously, as she sees the potential it has to offer.

For Narmadhaa, LinkedIn isn’t exactly a necessity.

The main reason many people hold themselves back from using LinkedIn is because they aren’t sure how to use it effectively for their brands. Rachel feels the same way.

Q2: Do you publish content on LinkedIn articles? What do you like (or dislike) about the publishing platform?

Next, we moved into talking about publishing content on LinkedIn’s platform. It’s something that many people have experimented with, but is it worth investing your time into? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say about it:

Warwick feels LinkedIn has one of the easiest content publishing platforms. He finds it to be very user-friendly, which could make it worth trying out.

Janine also loves how easy it is to publish on LinkedIn, mentioning how straightforward the feature is to use. She’ll share blog content through LinkedIn.

As Ben pointed out, this is a great platform to share your thoughts and position yourself as a thought leader within your industry.

Amanda said she’ll publish specific LinkedIn articles on occasion, but she struggles with an issue many other content creators face… Not having the time to do so consistently!

Maria tries to post articles to LinkedIn often, so she’s obviously seeing great results from her efforts.

For Jeff, he gets a little creative when it comes to his LinkedIn articles. He said he’ll provide two or three paragraphs as a teaser to the full content, which will be shared on his blog. It’s a simple way to drive more traffic to your website.

Unfortunately, Andrea didn’t see the best results when publishing original content to LinkedIn. Repurposing blog content, however, has been well-received.

Even Julia has published to Pulse before, but she’s scaled back her efforts there. Previously, she’d post once per month to the platform, but now only does once per quarter.

Q3: Have you used video on LinkedIn? What were the results?

Video on LinkedIn has been a hot topic lately. Have you tried it out yet? That’s what we asked everyone during the chat and here are some of the responses:

It should come as no surprise that Warwick has been testing out video on LinkedIn. He’s also been seeing some great results from it with 2,000+ views on his videos.

His advice is to keep your videos short, use captions, and post only one or two a week. You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to video content. He also suggests making sure your videos provide value to your audience or teach them something. You can also spark a debate with your videos.

Andrea has repurposed some blog posts into short, native videos on LinkedIn. This could be a great way to get started with video on LinkedIn.

The team at Source Media has noticed videos are getting more engagement than the other posts they’ve done. That’s a good sign that it’s wroth the effort!

Scott has also been happy with the results he’s seen by sharing videos on LinkedIn. He’s been seeing a great amount of views, as well as engagement.

Ben hasn’t tried video yet, but he’s seen the value it’s provided to others. And who knows, maybe this chat will inspire him to post his first LinkedIn video!

Brent also hasn’t tried video, but he has noticed they grab more attention that text or photos. It’s worth giving it a shot to see how your audience responds.

Q4: Do you think Groups are dead? What’s been your experience?

Have you tried out any LinkedIn groups? Do you have thoughts on them? Check out these responses from the chat and you can decide if joining LinkedIn groups is a smart move for you:

Warwick said he’s disappointed with groups on LinkedIn. He doesn’t see much engagement taking place in them, so he feels they need a major revamp in order to be successful.

Chaim pointed out that groups are hard to find, which could be one reason people aren’t actively using them as much as LinkedIn would probably like.

Shelly isn’t convinced that groups are worthwhile either. In order for a group to take off, meaningful conversations need to be taking place and this doesn’t seem to be happening in most cases.

Lexie pointed out that LinkedIn groups aren’t dead, but Facebook’s groups have certainly taken over. It seems to be the go-to for building connections.

Michelle feels that LinkedIn’s groups are nearing the end of their run.

On the flip side, Ben has found groups to be very useful. He’s been able to initiate conversations and receive plenty of value from some of the groups he’s participated in.

Jade also likes to refer to groups for information. It can be a helpful way to learn something new if you know where to look.

Jeff hopes LinkedIn groups aren’t nearing the end because he’s found them to be very beneficial.

As Narmadhaa pointed out, it all depends on the group. Some may be active and highly valuable, while others are total flops.

Q5: Have you heard of the LinkedIn Social Selling Index? Do you use it and why?

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to check out LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. After asking this question during the chat, it became clear many people hadn’t heard of this tool or use it before. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Warwick feels the SSI tool is worth checking out! He shared the link so you can access it and get your score. It’s a great opportunity to see where you can improve on LinkedIn.

For Jade, he’s seen his score as high as 83!

Ankitaa discovered SSI earlier this year. It can be a great way to see what’s working in your LinkedIn strategy.

Q6: What makes a good LinkedIn profile? What are your tips?

If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, you obviously want to polish up your profile a bit. It needs to be able to catch the eye of your intended audience and keep them around! To help you out, check out these tips you can implement:

A good photo is obviously a must because this is the first thing people are going to notice about your profile!

Warwick also says to ditch the CV. He recommends talking about how you enjoyed a previous role and what you did, but doing so in a conversational way. He encourages you to tell stories because this is going to make your page more exciting to read.

Just two of the tips that Chaim offered were to make sure you have a professional headshot and use your headline as an elevator pitch.

Make sure you optimize your profile with relevant keywords to help you be discovered.

Use LinkedIn to inform and engage with your audience.

Jade said a professional photo and brief descriptions of prior jobs are a must. He also said to post relevant, original content as well to share your knowledge.

Iain’s advice is to update your connections with the progress you’re making. He said to let your passion for the projects you’re working on shine through. That’s a surefire way to see results.

Brent said to write a headline that explains who you help and what you do. Overall, your profile should explain your vision, who you are, and why you do what you do.

Make sure you stand out from the crowd. Jeff said to use your headline to communicate more than just the position you currently hold. Use it as a chance to grab the attention of others.

Q7: What are some mistakes you’ve made (or seen) on LinkedIn?

We all make mistakes when it comes to social media, but it’s certainly one thing you want to avoid! To help prevent you from making any major blunders, here’s what you should keep an eye out for?

Warwick shared a number of major LinkedIn mistakes with us, but his number one is not having a point of view.

He also said you shouldn’t send people away from LinkedIn. His advice is to share more photos and videos, as well as write articles on LinkedIn. This can drive greater results than just sharing links. Warwick also said that never commenting is a mistake as well because you want to add to the conversation.

And the final mistake he shared was not having fun! He said there’s nothing wrong with telling stories and being light-hearted.

Not headshot, no bio or introduction… That’s a red flag for Julia as a ghost profile. Make sure you’re filling out your profile, otherwise people won’t bother.

Gene said not being active is a huge mistake. Make sure you’re putting in the time to grow your connections.

When a company doesn’t have a LinkedIn page, but there audience is there in full force, that’s a big no-no! It’s also not doing you any favors to have a company page that isn’t active.

Q8: What are your tips for growing your network and making relevant connections?

You’ll obviously want to build your network on LinkedIn, but how can you make sure you’re seeing results? These are some great tips to use:

Warwick’s advice is to: see what’s happening in groups, respond to messages, check out who is viewing your profile, and check your activity stats. These are tasks you should be doing weekly.

Kathryn said you need to have a plan in place for your LinkedIn strategy. Without a plan, how will you know what purpose your presence there is serving?

Don’t forget to engage with other people!

Ankitaa also agrees that engagement is a priority.

Amanda suggests building your connections by starting with people you already know. This is a great way to get the ball rolling, then you can work on expanding your network even more.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re hanging out on Twitter every Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central Time. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and we’ll see you there!

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#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Implement Successful Livestreaming Into Your Content Marketing Strategy with Ross Brand

Have you been using live video as part of your brand’s online strategy?

If not, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon because it certainly isn’t going away!

But if you’d like some tips to help you become a livestreaming master, we have everything you need to know right here! This week’s #ContentWritingChat is filled with valuable advice that’s worth reading before you hit that “Go Live” button.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Implement Successful Livestreaming Into Your Content Marketing Strategy with Ross Brand

Our guest host this week was Ross Brand. He’s behind the site, Livestream Universe, which is all about helping businesses leverage the power of livestreaming.

Q1: Why is livestreaming a valuable component of a content strategy?

If you’re not convinced that livestreaming is worth your attention, you’ll start thinking otherwise after reading these responses! We asked everyone to share why they think it plays such a big role in their overall content strategy. Here’s what a few chat participants said:

As Ross pointed out, live video is a great way to build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor with your audience. It allows them to get to know you better and see what you’re all about.

Jason said live videos can add a human element to your content. It’s raw, unedited footage and your viewers can relate to what they see since they’re getting the real you.

Maria also agrees that livestreaming humanizes a brand. She also feels it strengthens your credibility and maximizes transparency.

Iain said it gives people a window into your company. They’ll get to see what things are like behind-the-scenes.

As Amanda pointed out, people want to get to know the person behind the brand. And going live is a fantastic way to show people what you’re like!

Live video also gives your audience a unique vantage point.

It’s all about helping you connect with your audience in a more personal way.

Everyone in your audience is different! And as Lexie pointed out, some may really appreciate a live video because they consume content better that way.

Q2: How does someone get started with livestreaming? What gear do you need?

Now that you’re sold on the value of livestreaming, it’s time to get started with your first broadcast! But what exactly do you need before you can go live? Here are some tips:

As Ross said, there’s no need to spend a bunch of money on livestreaming if you’re just starting out. You can absolutely use your smartphone to go live, as well as a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone.

If you do want to splurge on some new gear, Ross suggests getting a good microphone. Audio is important, after all!

Kelly said you can get a new microphone, invest in lighting, and purchase a better camera if you want to step-up your production quality.

As Varun said though, your smartphone and a good internet connection is really all you need to get started.

Don’t be afraid to just keep it simple when you’re starting out!

A good phone, good content to share, and an audience to watch is really all you need.

Kathryn’s advice is so important. Don’t wait until you have all the perfect, high-quality gear. Get started with exactly what you have right now.

Q3: What skills are helpful for success with livestreaming?

There are a few skills that really come in handy when you’re livestreaming. What are they? Check out these responses from the chat:

Ross said livestreaming is part broadcasting and part social media with a little tech thrown in. Going live allows you to provide value to your audience, showcase your personality, and so much more. But it’s also your opportunity to engage with your audience and build a relationship with them.

He feels tech is the smallest element here. But he does think it’s necessary to know enough about your gear and any software you’re using. This will come in handy in case of technical difficulties.

Being a great communicator is definitely important! You also want to have knowledge and passion for what you’re talking about.

Be personable! That’s what will help draw people in.

Julia said it’s all about having a fun, engaging personality. You want to be yourself and enjoy the time when you’re live. People will resonate with that.

Varun’s advice is to be prepared to interact with your audience, have knowledge of your topic, and be ready for any criticism. You never know what could come up with a live video, so be ready.

Chris feels problem-solving skills are a must. This will come in handy if something goes wrong.

Don’t overthink anything. You don’t want your livestream to feel forced, so just let things flow.

And remember this key advice from Terry! Don’t be afraid to fail or look silly. We all make mistakes and that’s something your viewers can relate to.

Q4: What platform do you recommend for people starting out with livestreaming?

There’s Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube, Twitch, and more! How in the world are you supposed to determine which one is right for your business? Here’s some advice:

Ross said that both Facebook and Instagram are great options for going live. It’s worth trying each one to see what works best for you. Plus, Instagram has built-in capabilities for adding a guest, which is a huge plus.

Brian’s advice is to start where you’re comfortable. He also said to consider the format and the features and make sure they match your needs. In time, you’ll become more comfortable and you can start going live wherever your audience is most active.

Brian also shared this great piece of advice with us. These are all great factors to consider when choosing a platform for live video.

Lexie’s advice is to go live where your audience is hanging out. This is sure to help you reach them!

Sarah agrees that it’s all about where your audience is spending their time. After all, you want to make sure they have the opportunity to tune in!

Varun said to try Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube if your audience is using those platforms.

Facebook is certainly great for live video, as you can view metrics afterwards. Plus, you can always practice going live on your personal Facebook page before doing so for your business.

And there’s no harm in practicing your live video skills in the mirror!

Q5: How can you monetize livestreaming?

Since many of us are looking to make money online, you might be wondering how you can use livestreaming to increase your profits. Check out these tips, which will come in handy for your next live video:

For Ross, he feels there are three different paths you can use to make money with your livestreaming efforts.

His first suggested path is to directly sell products within your live videos. These videos are focused on making the sale and he said they could be a QVC style broadcast. Share the benefits of your product, give a demonstration, and answer questions people may have.

For his second path, Ross said to focus on providing value and building relationships with your audience. When you share your knowledge, you begin to gain trust and credibility. People are more likely to purchase when trust is involved.

He also suggests trying what he calls the portfolio method. Create live videos that you can repurpose. Build your digital footprint and show potential clients what you can do for them.

As Brian said, people will buy from people they can relate to and livestreaming helps you build that relationship and trust much faster.

Talk about your products and services during your live video. You can also encourage people to join your list and follow-up with them later about your offerings.

Terry said to view your livestream as a funnel to your offer. You can share helpful tips and encourage people to join your email list, which will allow you the chance to promote something afterwards.

Julia created a book launch party on Facebook to boost sales of her book when it launched.

Kelly has a friend who does live demos and tutorials, which helps increase sales. You can do the same for your products.

Q6: What are some of the best use cases for livestreaming on behalf of a business?

Need some ideas for your next live video? Here are some great suggestions:

Ross shared tons of great ideas from doing client interviews, showcasing employees, and giving viewers the behind-the-scenes. Find ways to be creative!

Jade said to share your knowledge with people to help build trust.

Give people a behind-the-scenes into your business through live videos.

You can do a Q&A with customers for the ultimate in engagement.

These are all fantastic ideas for building your brand and helping people build a relationship with your company.

Zala’s suggestions are all worth trying out, from workshops, announcements, and so much more.

Q7: How do you recommend repurposing livestreaming content?

You don’t want to do an amazing live video and then let it collect virtual dust, do you? You can get more eyes on your video after it’s ended by repurposing it. These tips will help:

Ross suggests downloading the video and uploading it to YouTube. He also said to share shorter snippets to social media platforms.

Turn your livestream into a blog post or even a podcast!

Amanda said you can even create a mini-course with your live videos and sell them as a bundle.

Warwick suggests breaking the videos down for social media. Promote them across the platforms you use.

Kathryn said to use the audio recording for short podcast episodes.

You can create an eBooks from the livestream, embed the video into a blog post, and so much more.

Doris shared a great tip about creating Pinterest pins for your live videos.

Another great idea is to add it to an email or share it via a messenger bot for those who missed it.

Q8: What role does writing play in livestreaming?

So, where does writing fit into all this? These are some of the responses we received to close out this week’s chat:

Ross feels outlines are better than writing. You want to be present in the conversation and give it a more relaxed feel, instead of it being like you’re reading from a script.

He also suggests scripting your intro and outro so things go smoothly.

As Sarah said, writing plays a role in every aspect of marketing.

Even having bullet points will help you stay on track during your live video.

For Carla, she keeps her notes nearby so she doesn’t ramble once she’s live.

Keep it authentic and real! Don’t give yourself an entire script to read, but jot down key talking points instead.

Ready to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re live on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you can join in!

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