write podcast E26

The Write Podcast, E26: Creating Content for the Millennial Entrepreneur With Coach & Marketing Strategist, 21-Year-Old Taylor Manning

Taylor Manning is ONLY 21.

She went from watching a video on “making money online” as a college student in debt looking for a way out, to making $80,000/month just a couple of years later.

One of her main routes to success is through the amazing content she creates, targeted to her community of millennials – and putting herself in “their” shoes, which was really where she herself was a few years ago.

For young people and the young-at-heart alike, this 26th episode of the Write Podcast is a don’t-miss!

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The Write Podcast, E26: Creating Content for the Millennial Entrepreneur With Coach & Marketing Strategist, 21-Year-Old Taylor Manning

  • 2:35 – 5:00: Taylor’s Story. Age has always played a big role in Taylor’s life. “Am I too young to do this?” is a question she often asked herself. She received her A.A. in high school, then her B.A. at 19. In college, she watched a video about how to make money online. That pushed her to create a profile on Upwork, the freelance platform. She created momentum and ran with it – all in her late teens and early 20s.
  • 5:15 – 7:30: Growth Tactics. Taylor managed to boost her earnings on Upwork, but she was stagnating. She hired a coach, but quickly realized she was providing the same service to her clients for free. She tapped into this potential and ramped up her efforts. She decided to go big or go home.
  • 7:45 – 12:44: Ambitious Millennial Entrepreneurs – How Taylor Found Her Niche. In the beginning, Taylor was targeting moms, because those were the demographics of a lot of her clients. What she didn’t realize: Her ideal target audience was right under her nose, and her relatively young age, something that gave her anxiety, was actually a huge selling point. Taylor explains how she used authenticity about both to gain more customers.
  • 13:12 – 14:33: Majorly Boosted Business. After Taylor’s age-related epiphany, business soared. She added group coaching, training products, and courses to her roster. Her income leaped from 2K/month to 10K/month, to nearly 80K/month.
  • 14:45 – 17:33: How to Speak to Your Audience. Taylor’s main point: It’s the hardest thing to do, but you have to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Don’t fool yourself if you’re posting content you think is for an ideal client, but is really for you. You also need to commit to posting a lot of content.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

Click To Tweet, what if they feel like I scammed them?’ @taylormcreative via @writepodcast” quote=”“My fear: if clients find out [my age], what if they feel like I scammed them?’ @taylormcreative via @writepodcast”]

“All of a sudden, this big fear I had became a selling point.” @taylormcreative via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“My content strategy is, really, show up every day.” @taylormcreative via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“To really speak to your ideal client, whether they’re a millennial or not, you’ve gotta put yourself in their shoes.” @taylormcreativeClick To Tweet
“Create content that holds value and story and tips, that’s relevant to that ideal client of yours.” @taylormcreativeClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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write podcast E25

The Write Podcast, E25: Course Copywriting & Strategy Tips with Maya Elious

So, you want to create an online course. What are some basic keys and useful tips for getting going?

Maya Elious has some answers for us. (FYI, this was recorded before I launched my course. I learned a couple things that I applied. :-)) She’s an online branding expert, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. I found her on Teachable’s Course Creation Workshop series, where she impressed me with her knowledge and insights.

Today, for episode 25 of the Write Podcast, she’s sharing her know-how about course creation strategies and copywriting tips. These are useful nuggets of wisdom especially relevant for the beginner but are great refreshers if you’re an old hat, too. Sit back and listen in!

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The Write Podcast, E25: Course Copywriting & Strategy Tips with Maya Elious

  • 1:38 – 4:48: How Maya Got Here. Maya started out doing web and graphic design. She always enjoyed helping people “look good” online, which naturally led her to brand strategizing. She worked with coaches, authors, teachers, trainers, and more, but she kept running into the same questions, over and over. She took these concepts and put them into her first course.
  • 5:45 – 6:38: Beginner-Level Course Content Creation Strategies. Maya recommends starting with a course overview/outline, then doing a deep-dive. You’re ahead if you’ve worked with people 1:1. If you hear the same questions about a topic over and over, this tells you exactly what needs to go in your course.
  • 6:40 – 9:20: Be as Niche as Possible. Maya explains why her #1 tip is to go niche. Digestible content that doesn’t take months to go through helps your students see success at 100%, which is better for you overall – it will equal more testimonials, case studies, and positive reviews/feedback.
  • 9:55 – 11:05: Types of Media to Use in a Course. There’s no one right way to create a course. Maya gets personal and sits in front of the camera for her course videos. Think about how your audience likes to consume information – would they prefer to see your face? Or would slides work just as well?
  • 11:15 – 12:15: Make Students Want to Follow Along. Think about the results you want your students to get when they move through your content. This will help you avoid fluff and provide meaty, useful information.
  • 12:21 – 13:10: How to Create More Courses and More Passive Income Opportunities. Again, Maya discusses why going niche is the key to creating more courses and more income opportunities. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or all your best information in one product.
  • 13:15 – 14:35: Course Copywriting Pitfalls. Maya talks about the biggest mistake you can make while copywriting for your course.
  • 14:39 – 16:25: Course Platforms and Landing Pages. Teachable is a great course platform, not just for content, but also for sales pages. Build trust in the course outcomes before they ever get to the sales page.
  • 16:30 – 17:25: Final Takeaways. If your first or second course launch isn’t successful, give it a chance to get in front of the right people. Ask for feedback – how can you make it better? Refine and tweak as you go.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“When you’re really niche you attract the right people, and I feel like your students get better results.” @mayaeliousClick To Tweet

Click To Tweet.” @mayaelious” quote=”“People want a shortcut. If it takes someone six months to get through your course…you’re not providing [it].” @mayaelious”]

Click To Tweet to follow along?” @mayaelious via @writepodcast” quote=”“I’m always thinking: What is it I have to do for [students] to follow along?” @mayaelious via @writepodcast”]

Click To Tweet think: How much is this going to cost me if I DON’T make this investment?” @mayaelious” quote=”“We want to make [customers] think: How much is this going to cost me if I DON’T make this investment?” @mayaelious”]

“Give your course a chance to get in front of the right people.” @mayaelious via @writepodcastClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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write podcast E24

The Write Podcast, E24: On Becoming a Woman Entrepreneur & How to Win The Attention of Guest Blogs Like Forbes, with Author Danielle Tate

Welcome to Episode 24 of the Write Podcast!

Today I’m chatting with Danielle Tate, the tenacious founder of MissNowMrs, a business that eliminates the hassle involved with getting your name changed as a newlywed. She’s also a best-selling author and spokeswoman on all things entrepreneurial.

Danielle’s story is amazing. Her tenacity as an entrepreneur, and the success she achieved from that tenacity, is unbelievable! She has lots of wisdom to share about starting your own business with a unique point of view and zero business background.

Listen in for some fantastic tips and advice – including how to get publications like Forbes to notice you, and inspiration to commit to the long haul for amazing results in your marketing efforts.

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The Write Podcast, E24: On Becoming a Woman Entrepreneur & How to Win The Attention of Guest Blogs Like Forbes, with Author Danielle Tate

  • 1:29 – 3:04: Danielle’s Story: How She Became an “Accidental Entrepreneur.” Danielle started out with no business background, no MBA, and, of all things, a Bachelor’s degree in biology. How did she flip from wanting to be a cardiologist to becoming a successful entrepreneur? It all started with a personal problem she had — she wanted to change her name after she got married. The hassle of simply getting her driver’s license updated was enough to make her wonder: Why wasn’t the process easier?
  • 3:36 – 4:15: Looking Before You Leap. Danielle discusses how important the planning and research steps are when setting out on the road to startup
  • 4:17 – 5:25: Putting in the Legwork. Danielle describes how she made the transition from sprouting the seed of an idea to research and planning, to getting her business off the ground.
  • 6:38 – 8:29: How to Stay Inspired. To avoid getting worn down by the grind of a start-up, you have to know what you want out of it. Plus, don’t forget to cultivate relationships with people in a similar headspace.
  • 8:30 – 11:42: Be a Content Generating Machine. SEO is effective to expand your business, but you have to be in it for the long haul. Be a “content generating machine,” but also work on building strategic partnerships. LinkedIn is a great place to find people to collaborate with.
  • 11:47 – 13:45: How to Get Accepted at Major Blogs Like Forbes. There are some tricks to getting major blogs, like Forbes and Fast Company, to notice you. Danielle recommends focusing on writing a great blog in your unique voice, first and foremost, and then promoting it.
  • 13:47 – 15:00: Content Strategies to Gain Traction Early On. Early in the game, write about topics you’re passionate about, know what your audience wants to read, and use your expert knowledge to give it to them.
  • 16:15 – 17:54: Danielle’s Book, Elegant Entrepreneur. Danielle describes her best-selling book. She says, most of all, it’s for smart women with a business idea, but no business background. This is the book she needed when she was just starting out.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'People assume, when they see someone successful, that that's what you planned on doing. When you dig a bit deeper, there are always a few switchbacks in that journey.' @elegant_EntreClick To Tweet
'I didn't immediately quit my job and launch a start-up. I did a lot of research to find a viable market.' @elegant_EntreClick To Tweet
'I always advise new entrepreneurs, and even old entrepreneurs, to begin with the end in mind.' @elegant_Entre via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
'If you have a strategy and you know what you're writing about, and it's helpful, it will eventually get to the right people and will eventually rank and get to be worthwhile.' @elegant_EntreClick To Tweet
'The time's gonna pass anyway – write it, and build that blog out.' - @elegant_Entre on @writepodcastClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

  • Follow Danielle on Twitter: @Elegant_Entre
  • Check out her website, MissNowMrs.com
  • Danielle’s book, Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founder’s Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company is on Amazon and Audible
  • See Julia’s all-new Practical Content Strategy Certification Course at www.contentstrategycourse.com

Subscribe, follow and listen to the Write Podcast!

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write podcast e23

The Write Podcast, E23: Content Marketing Yesterday & Today with Joe Pulizzi

Welcome to Episode 23 of the Write Podcast! Today, I’m completely honored to publish an episode with one of my favorite industry influencers – Joe Pulizzi himself, the guy in orange, and the founder of Content Marketing Institute!

Today’s guest really needs no introduction if you work in the content marketing space. Joe Pulizzi is the founder of one of my favorite publications, Content Marketing Institute. He has been working in content marketing for nearly two decades and is considered one of the foremost authorities on the topic.

In this episode, we talk about the history of content marketing, including Joe’s unique role in its development. We also cover some major misconceptions about content marketing that are holding many companies back.

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The Write Podcast, E23: Content Marketing Yesterday & Today, A Look Back & 2 Reasons Why Brands Miss Out on Content Opportunities with Joe Pulizzi

  • 2:20 – 5:20: How Joe Got Started in Content Marketing. Originally, Joe worked in insurance but had an active interest in investing. This took him to About.com, where he eventually worked as the Investment Club Editor. Later, Joe began working for Penton Media and would go on to run their media department. This is where Joe became interested in content marketing as an approach.
  • 5:30 – 7:30: The History of Content Marketing. Joe and Julia briefly discuss the history of content marketing. While many people think of content marketing as being a new field, Joe mentioned that it actually goes back hundreds of years. One prime example is Ben Franklin using Poor Richard’s Almanac to help sell printing services.
  • 8:27 – 13:05: What Is Content Marketing? Joe may have popularized the term, “content marketing”, but it was actually used throughout the 90s, albeit inconsistently. Alternative terms included: “branded content”, “custom publishing”, and “custom media.” However, content marketing resonated best with marketers (though Brian Clark from Copyblogger never liked it).
  • 11:11 – 15:45: How Can You Stand Out from the Competition? Most companies don’t have a strategy to begin with. There’s no differentiation. Everything looks the same. The goal needs to be covering a specific topic in an in-depth way with expert information so you’re actually delivering value.
  • 15:55 – 17:00: Killing Marketing. Joe talks about his book, Killing Marketing. It describes 10 different ways to derive revenue from marketing and how to overhaul your entire business plan based on your marketing goals.
  • 18:33 – 18:50: The Most Important Marketing Goal. Joe reiterates the two biggest issues for brands of every size: are you telling a differentiated story and are you consistently delivering on your content promise?

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“Where most people are struggling is they don’t have a strategy.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“There are case studies that go back 300 years for content marketing. We just never looked at it that way.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcastClick To Tweet

Click To Tweet entry anymore.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcast” quote=”“There are no technology barriers to [content marketing] entry anymore.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcast”]

“You really do have to create valuable, relevant, and differentiated stories.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“You can’t target more than one audience.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcast #contentmarketingClick To Tweet
“Ask yourself: can you be the leading informational expert on that topic?” @JoePulizzi @writepodcast #contentfactorClick To Tweet
“Relook at your marketing department as something that can basically be the business model for the entire business.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Six months isn’t enough time to build a loyal relationship.” @JoePulizzi @writepodcast #contentmarketinglengthClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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e22 advanced blogging

The Write Podcast, E22: Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long

Listen to “E22 Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 22 of the Write Podcast! Today, I’m beyond thrilled to publish an episode with Glen Long, the Managing Editor of Smart Blogger, as my guest. (Smart Blogger was created by the amazing Jon Morrow, and it’s one of my favorite online blogs – ever. Jon has written some of the most-read blogs in the world. Here’s his story on Copyblogger.)

Before coming to Smart Blogger, Glen went to school for computer science and spent the first ten years of his career in programming and team leadership. As the internet started to go mainstream, Glen worked with companies building their first websites and launching their first blogs.

He wrote dozens of pages of marketing copy and developed a passion for comedy writing, which he eventually transitioned into, holding positions for the BBC and writing online sketches for them. He also wrote wedding speeches, professionally, before stumbling across Jon Morrow, randomly sending in his resume, and immediately getting a job as an instructor with his team.

Today, Glen calls himself the “Chief Content Monkey” of Smart Blogger. (We talk about the story behind the title in today’s episode.) And he’s an extremely intelligent one! Under his guidance, Smart Blogger gets hundreds of comments per blog, and stands out as one of the best online resources for content writers and marketers.

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The Write Podcast, E22: Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long

Glen and I cover a wide variety of points in this blogging-focused conversation, so hold onto your hats! From what he does at Smart Blogger to how bloggers can stand out in a world that publishes more than 2 million blogs each day, Glen provides tips on everything from avoiding burnout to new blogger mistakes. Here’s a recap of what to expect in the show, time-stamped:

  • 3:40 – 5:00: How he got involved in blogging. From a background in programming to master blogger, Glen provides some insights on how he got here from there. Also, why/how England doesn’t have a typical “lemonade stand” that many American entrepreneurs start out with at age 12 – and how it’s “biscuits” instead.
  • 9:40 – 14:00: Tips for bloggers who are just starting out. Learn why Glen believes the first step is knowing exactly why you’re blogging and going from there.
  • 14:07 – 20:00: The blog writing process. Glen talks about how he balances SEO, keyword inclusion, etc., with the process of writing for the reader.
  • 20:00 – 21:00: How he defines “success” for different types of posts. Glen talks about the difference between a successful social post and a successful SEO post.
  • 21:04 –22:40: The importance of topic selection. How he and Jon decide which topics to target and which to bypass.
  • 22:30 – 26:00: His balance between SEO and social and the 4 Ds. How he and Jon go about driving traffic to their posts and the 4 D’s: you either need to be better in design, detail, data, and drama than the rest of the traffic ranking #1 in Google.
  • 27:00 – 28:00: How to capture traffic driven by blogging leads. Glen talks about improving the ROI of your blog, and ensuring your efforts aren’t wasted.
  • 28:22 -32:00: His biggest success stories. What he’s learned from working with Jon and how he and his team leverage attitude, topics, and terms to engage their audience.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“At some point, you need to put something out there and see what comes back. Otherwise, it’s just speculation.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“If you can combine good testing with a strong sense of what you want to achieve, you’ll reach your goals faster.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“If you’re only focusing on the people you’ve already got, it’s difficult to grow your audience.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“For something to do well on social, it has to be appealing outside of your niche.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“You need to find the aspects of your topic that have broader appeal.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Know your audience for each post, and know what success looks like.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“A very poorly written post with the right topic will do better than a brilliant post with a poor topic.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Look at the competition that’s ranking in the top 3, 5, or 10, and ask yourself if you can do better.” @JuliaEMcCoy @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Once you’ve built up enough content people like, blogging can be a very powerful strategy.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Don’t write off a post just because it doesn’t bring immediate traffic.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Have confidence in your convictions. If you thought the post was a good idea at the time, it probably was.” @glenlong @writepodcast Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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write podcast E21 sujan patel content marketing

The Write Podcast, E21: Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success, & How to Be Productive in Yours with Sujan Patel

Listen to “E21 Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success & How to Be Productive & Create High ROI Content with Sujan Patel” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 21 of the Write Podcast. I’m thrilled to have Sujan Patel back on the show today! He was on my top-shared episode of all-time, back in Episode 6. Sujan is known as a leading internet marketer. He’s also the Co-Founder of Web Profits, a blogger and contributor to Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur, and is a prominent speaker at marketing and tech conferences around the globe.

Known for being a risk-taker that pushes the limits, Sujan has spent his life focusing on finding smart ways to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make serious impact online. He specializes in helping founders and entrepreneurs learn to create killer content – be it a videos, blog, or a long-form guide.

Today, I’m exploring with Sujan a topic that virtually all content marketers struggle with: productivity and making ROI happen. As we all know, content marketing is a long haul, and Sujan and I talk a lot about how he stays focused and avoids burnout. We also talk about the nature of marketing itself: How long is the long haul? How do you create content that’s worth publishing for your audience? How do you give them the information they want to know?

write podcast E21 sujan patel

The Write Podcast, E21: Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success, & How to Be Productive in Yours with Sujan Patel

Here are a few of the winners from this episode: 

  • 6:00-7:00: How to apply repetition after success for the best results in your content. Instead of coming up with a weekly cadence and trying to make it successful, Sujan recommends attacking it the other way around.
  • 7:00 – 8:00 : Why you need to say “no” more than “yes” with your content. And how this can help you stay focused in your content.
  • 12:00 – 15:00: Several ways that Sujan involves the questions of his audience and customers and creates content around them. TIP: Sujan looks for questions that repeat constantly in conversations with clients in sales or support threads. Questions that are repeated 3, 4, 5x are high value to his audience. He has a spreadsheet going.
  • 15:30 – 18:00: I talk about AnswerthePublic.com and what a fantastic tool it is for discovering audience questions, plus how to use it. Sujan adds what his team does to find questions that will make great content and discusses what phase to use Answerthepublic.com in.
  • 16:45: Content isn’t a one-person task anymore! If you want it to work, you’ll need more involved to help you scale it.
  • 18:10 – 20:00: Sujan discusses his favorite tools in content marketing! He categorizes his favorite tools by what helps him with research and creation. A great section for curious marketers.
  • 20:55 – 22:00: Sujan talks about how he creates content, and what his editing and ideation process looks like.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

Content marketing is like a savings account. You don't get rich overnight but if you keep at it, it pays off. @sujanpatelClick To Tweet
#Contentmarketing: At the end of the day, it’s all about consistency. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
If you’re looking for results today, content marketing isn’t for you. But next year, you’re gonna wish you started it last year. @sujanpatelClick To Tweet
Say no more than yes when creating content, and focus on quality. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
On #contentmarketing: if you can’t hang, don’t do it. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
To appeal to your audience, make sure to create content that’s talked about. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Next year, you’re gonna wish you started content last year. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
The difference between you and your closest competitor determines the success. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
It’s not just about volume, it’s about quality in content marketing. @JuliaEMcCoy via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
We launched #authoritycontent last year to answer the need of content marketers. @JuliaEMcCoy via @writepodcastClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

Tools Sujan Recommends: 

Follow Sujan on Twitter & visit Sujan’s site.

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e20 write podcast

The Write Podcast, E20: Influencer Marketing – Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known Online with Mark Schaefer

Listen to “E20 Influencer Marketing- Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known with Mark Schaefer” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 20 of the Write Podcast! I’m thrilled to have on my show today the amazing Mark Schaefer, a globally-recognized social media keynote speaker, consultant, and the author of five six best-selling marketing books. (Listen to the first few minutes to catch that joke.)

As a blogger, I’ve been inspired for a long time by Mark—he actually runs one of the top five marketing blogs in the world! He also runs the Marketing Companion podcast, and is a college educator who enjoys teaching social media marketing courses.

e20 write podcast

The Write Podcast, E20: Influencer Marketing – Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known Online with Mark Schaefer

Mark is a “celebrity” online in every sense of that word, and I’m honored he came on my show! Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • How Mark got into marketing. A nutshell telling of his story.
  • The process he went through to start his own company 9 years ago. And how he knew he wanted to leap out on his own.
  • How his podcast came to be, and how that was a pivotal point in content creation. For a couple years, Mark focused on growing his audience instead of adding a new channels just because he could.
  • What influencer marketing is. A great explanation by Mark!
  • How connecting with influencers can overhaul brand marketing. Influencer marketing is one of the hottest things in content marketing right now, and Mark has some great tips about how to access and capitalize on it.
  • How small businesses can access influencer marketing without going broke. Mark offers some great tips for small businesses and individual marketers who don’t have huge budgets.
  • How marketers can get known and in front of their audiences. Mark offers actionable tips on how you can still build a following without the traditional model and trappings of publishing,
  • …And more! Listen in to catch it all.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

It’s not about broadcasting, it’s about building relationships. - @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Through social media, we have a historically important opportunity to connect. - @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Pick one social platform and do it well for a period before moving onto something else. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
You have to become known. You have to do it yourself. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Brands become people that we love. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
People have always wanted to buy from who they know, like, and trust. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
There is an interrelationship between branding, connecting, influence, and becoming known. @markwschaefer via @writepodcast Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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express writers write podcast e19

The Write Podcast, E19: From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper

Listen to “E19 From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper ” on Spreaker.

Can you believe we’re almost at Episode 20?!

In today’s episode, I sit down with Tara Clapper, the Content Development Specialist here at Express Writers – yes, I have the honor of employing this wonderful woman! Tara has an impressive background in content marketing. She’s the founder and senior editor of The Geek Initiative, a community for women in geek culture, and worked as the Blog Editor at SEMrush before she joined my team last September. Tara knows it all when it comes to creating great content and the industry of content marketing. She’s edited, written hundreds to thousands of articles, hosted webinars, and even Twitter chats, to name a few things.

Today, Tara and I are talking about brand storytelling, and how you can weave the elements of story into your content marketing to create impactful, audience-engaging brand content. (Learn more about Tara’s storytelling process in her recent blog on LARPing!)

express writers write podcast e19

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper Show Notes

Tara started her career in content marketing just after graduating college. She struggled through the experience of getting started in the industry in a tough economy. In fact, she persevered through having the same job outsourced from underneath her…twice! At 35 years old, Tara says she “grew up when the internet did,” and learned to create a web presence from the ground up early on. One of the first pieces of content she created was an email newsletter for a community of Beatles fans in an online community. She went on to work in various agencies, write hundreds of content pieces, and worked at SEMrush as their primary Blog Editor before finding a home working in my agency, Express Writers.

Tara’s unique skillset for today’s discussion actually comes through LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing. She’s even created her own LARP game and started writing and marketing it on her own, which became a foundation for her career, rooted deeply in content marketing and collaborative storytelling.

In this episode, we discuss the following:

  • How Tara started The Geek Initiative. And how her experience working as an independent contractor with sites like Yahoo! helped her hone her skills and develop her voice.
  • Why it’s so critical for marketers to understand that content is a long haul. While it’s tough for some marketers to see why content is a long-game approach, understanding this is critical. Tara talks about how long it took her to achieve her own marketing goals.
  • How to find a story, mold it, and tell it in their content. Tara says you should practice storytelling without thinking about your brand or company. When it comes naturally, it feels more authentic.
  • Why it’s so critical to tell the stories you want to tell. And how marketers can make their brand storytelling stronger by practicing creative writing and developing stories with other people.
  • The importance of routine for freelancers. Freelancers seldom have solid, set schedules. Tara talks about how routine can help freelancers keep their work, quality, creativity, and storytelling strong.
  • Why Tara advocates working on the idea as soon as you get it. Tara talks about her process of bullet-pointing content, and then sitting down and writing it. This keeps ideas and content fresh.
  • Which brands she thinks tell amazing stories.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

Once all the content mills folded, all I had left was my site. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Four years later, thousands of hours invested, my site has just started to turn a profit. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Sometimes the investment in content, although it’s worth it, is SO long term. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Content marketing is a long haul. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
The Geek Initiative is finally getting ad requests. Four years later, I am getting paid for my work. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
The only way I can do sales is to help people find the content they’re looking for. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
With content marketing, you’re not going to get a paycheck next week, but you’ll see results later. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'I didn’t see real results in links to my podcast till twelve months after it launched.' @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
It can be hard for brands to see the long-term vision with content marketing. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'I go for the 80/20 rule: 80% evergreen, 20% somewhat newsworthy content.' @irishtaraClick To Tweet
'My biggest tip for storytelling is to practice it without thinking of your brand.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Work on the idea as soon as you get it.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“I love that @irishtara truly cares about what she’s selling to our clients.” -@JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“If you want to be innovative in your career, be on the ground floor.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Be on the ground level of innovation. You’ll get a heads-up about what’s coming down the pike.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Get right there next to the people creating things that inspire big companies.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“If you’re first in the ground floor, your content will be indexed.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Trust from brand to consumer is hugely important.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet

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write podcast new look

The Write Podcast Update February 2017: New Look, Updated Schedule, & Favorite Recording Tools

The Write Podcast got a (minor) facelift this February! New cover design and style, now live in iTunes, Spreaker, and Soundcloud!

It was a big internal debate for a while about updating the look, since, you know, I have 18 episodes out that have the same exact image on all of them. But I did it.

It came down to which of two important questions I answered with a bigger “yes”:

  • Will this mess with my podcast “brand” too much?
  • On the other hand, will I benefit from updating the cover “image” to what I currently look like if you met me on the street today and align more with?

It’s no secret — I do change styles a lot, it’s the creative chameleon in me. I finally went with a “yes” on the latter question.

I haven’t changed the actual colors, but my designer changed up the overall style for me and added an updated headshot of me. It’s not a complete re-brand or re-haul, but rather an updated look. We went back and forth on ten revisions to get the final new images.

new itunes cover write podcast

Why I Went With a (Somewhat Scary) Near-Rebrand Decision for The Write Podcast

Sometimes, accommodating change and growth is more important than “staying in the lines” of branding. - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet

That’s a careful edge to work on, beyond a doubt, but when you evolve and grow, why not show that transparently, authentically to your audience? – instead of sticking with the stale look you launched with but don’t like or identify with anymore (yes, speaking of myself here). You know, I used to just hear this, but now I believe it. Showing up 100%, not 99 or 98%, to everything you do will result in your greatest success.

Showing up 100%, not 99 or 98%, to everything you do will make everything you do successful. - @JuliaMcCoyClick To Tweet

The evolution of the Write Podcast has been serious. I was a complete novice when I launched mine, and the picture was shot exactly a year ago – last February, 2016!

Fun fact, I was very, very sick when the picture in the suit was taken (let’s all just stop for a moment and appreciate what a lot of good makeup can do). I had a respiratory, stomach, and sinus infection, built up from a serious reaction to allergies in Austin. No one else knew that, but every time I looked at the picture, I sure did, and always sighed internally. The new picture, on the other hand, couldn’t be more opposite. It was taken in a photoshoot paid for by Mailchimp (more on that here) – I felt so strong, confident, and happy during that shoot! It aligns with the huge strides in progress I’ve made now in 2017, vs. where I was in early 2016.

Going with the updated image fits. It’s the current “me,” who has grown a ton from the last “me.”

My podcast has evolved this much since launch:

  • I’ve learned a lot about how to create a great podcast. I know exactly who I want on my show now (when I started, only three out of five guests actually made it live—I realized after recording a few that they weren’t a good fit for my audience).
  • Halfway through the last eighteen episodes, I ditched a cheap intro and went for premium music (purchased royalty-free) and recording my own intro. I feel it’s so much more authentic and resonates more with the audience.
  • I got my first sponsor in October, six months after launching!
  • I have re-occuring guests planned out that will add high value to the audience.
  • I have a backdated list of topics and guests now.
  • I’ve decreased my editing time greatly because I don’t have to cut as much. I’ve improved as a podcast host! Fun fact: 30 hours went into recording, editing, writing show notes for, and publishing the first 3 episodes. One episode now takes me two hours tops, from recording to editing and even publishing. Whew!

New Schedule for the Write Podcast

Due to a careful survey of my commitments, and a ton of over-commitments last year (read my Medium post about saying “yes” to opportunity for more about that), I’m changing the podcast schedule from my over-eager early promise of “1x/week” to “1x/month.” This is now reflected in my new intro.

Some of the things I’m working on day-to-day, besides podcasting:

  • Two books! (Life story and lessons for female entrepreneurs, and a second book which I can’t disclose just yet.)
  • Courses – for MarketingProfs (on invitation), and my first course ever for my own community here at Express Writers!
  • Inbound and content marketing – Guest blogging at Content Marketing Institute, Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, and of course, lots of blogging over at the Write Blog.
  • Internal Express Writers improvements – this can take up to 80% of my work week. We just launched new services like project management, involved copy editing, and more in the Content Shop, and my days are filled with Skype conversations, sales meetings, hiring, writing new standards and training, and much, much more.

I’m also excited to announce two re-occuring guests this year:

  • Sujan Patel, entrepreneur, content marketer, keynote speaker & serious online marketing genius.
  • Tara Clapper, my agency’s Content Development Specialist, Founder at The Geek Initiative, and a real content marketing gem.

Look for them to appear (and reappear this year!) The next episode out in a few days, E19, will feature Tara Clapper’s first appearance on the show.

My Favorite Podcasting Tools

Lastly, since several people have asked me, I thought I’d share this list.

My favorite podcast tools (this is all the equipment I use to podcast!) and the prices of each are below. It can be cost-effective to produce a high-quality podcast—together, all this equipment cost me less than $120!

Here’s my setup, in the office, with Audacity open…

julia's podcast setup

I’ve even packed it all up for an airplane trip and taken it to an Airbnb to record an episode!

podcast setup

Thanks to all of you who have subscribed and shown love for the Write Podcast! I appreciate each and every one of you – you’re the reason I do this and press forward.

Subscribe, follow and listen to the Write Podcast!

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E18 Keesa Schreane

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content: How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane

Listen to “E18 The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content: How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane” on Spreaker.

I first listened to Keesa Schreane last November at the Search Engine Journal Summit in NYC, where she covered Inspired Marketing: How To Leverage Emotions In SEO. Her presentation was of so much value that I had to invite her onto my podcast! We connected on Twitter, then LinkedIn, and the rest is history. 🙂

Keesa, the API, platform and analytics content marketing head at Thomson Reuters, joined me today to discuss how online content works hand-in-hand with customer relationships and service. This is a unique topic to my podcast, and one to be sure to listen to all the way through.

If there’s one thing I think that’s not maximized enough in today’s content marketing world, it’s how to draw out super valuable content ideas from the very problems your own customers face daily. If you can uncover that, you’ll discover the hottest content topics to talk about to capture a motivated audience who will only enlarge your own customer base!

Win, win. Keesa is all about serving those you sell to–and her ideas are golden.

Enjoy this week’s episode!

E18 Keesa Schreane

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content- How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane Show Notes

While Keesa’s background is in journalism, she’s spent years writing about personal finance, entrepreneurism, and careers. People describe her as “curious” and she believes deeply in maintaining this as a marketer, as well as a journalist.

This curiosity lead her into a career with entrepreneurs. In this podcast, Keesa talks about why she loves working with entrepreneurs so much, and how this dynamic group of innovators has led her to develop her own outlook on customer service, content, and digital relationships:

In our conversation, Keesa and I discuss the following:

  • Keesa’s role at Thomson Reuters. Keesa also gives us a glimpse into how she arrived at her dynamic role, and how her background influenced her decisions (and how curiosity is so important to content marketers!)
  • Why we build the things we build. Keesa talks about how great customer service and communication tie into great content. Keesa helps listeners understand how businesses can use customer service to develop great relationships while also incorporating the mission into the content they create, to create massively effective content!
  • Why it’s important to talk to your client ‘as if they were a 6-year old.’ While jargon can be tempting, Keesa describes why she thinks clarity and simplicity are central to shareable content–even with a high-level audience!
  • How businesses can start building a core message for their audiences. Plus, the importance of fleshing your customer personas out into real, semi-fictional people.
  • How to communicate and reach your target audience most effectively. Keesa talks about why it’s critical to read what your audience reads and visit the platforms they love.
  • How brands can provide the message of “great customer service” and show you care for your customers through content and branding. How building a “use case” can help set up your workflow and show your customer you understand their processes.
  • How to keep your audiences coming back once you have them hooked. And how finding out how your service and product is important to your clients will help you predict their future pain points.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“Be clear on why you do what you do, and why you serve what you serve, and marry that to a need in the marketplace.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'Great customer service and communication ties into great content.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'Businesses can build a great customer relationship while tying that in to the copy they create. Which will create massively effective relationships and keep them customers craving more.' -@JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“How to keep them coming back for more: know where your customer hangs out. Get to know X by knowing where X hangs out. Understand what motivates them, what’s important to them.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'If you're not ahead of the trends, in content marketing, you're behind.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“How can we find out the best way to serve a customer if we’re not having one-on-one conversations with them?” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Nurture a client relationship by talking to customers. Listen to them, but also ask them questions. Be right there with them on their next question.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'I know it's old-school, but I use Excel as my editorial calendar.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“Sometimes old school is all you need.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Reach out to a small trial group of customers, maybe a dozen, and ask: “hey, this is what I’m thinking about for next quarter blog. Does this resonate with you?” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Look for topics that prompt more conversation.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“We want every point in the customer journey to be the best for that customer – to be tailor-made for that customer.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“If a writer sticks to the story, the readers are going to be drawn to the authenticity of the article.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

 

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