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!

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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write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

In this week’s episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Mark Traphagen. He and I have “talked online” for a considerably long time, including hanging out back on Blab.im when it used to be the new coolest kid on the block.

Mark is the Senior Director of Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting – he got started in SEO “by inventing it!” (Just kidding, his next ingenious remark is that he isn’t the Al Gore of SEO.)

In today’s awesome podcast, I talk to Traphagen about his story and beginnings in SEO, and how he turned something he stumbled into to become one of the foremost content creators, marketers and digital experts in the industry today! It’s a story you won’t want to miss. Then, we dial it up to chat all things storytelling, SEO, and even selling online (“never push your product. Work to be at the forefront of your buyer’s minds”).

Ideal for anyone who wants to overhaul their SEO, publicize their brand, and rank better online, this far-reaching conversation is packed full of gems. Enjoy!

write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

While Mark has held many jobs throughout his life, ranging from a salesman to a school administrator, he eventually found his way through grad school and went to work at a bookstore.

It wasn’t long before he realized the physical bookstore was dying due to digital competitors like Amazon, and his boss at the time asked him to take it online in an attempt to save it.

He dove in and learned his way through the process of digital marketing and e-commerce. Eventually, he found his way into Stone Temple Consulting, where he is currently creating some of the most unique video and text content on the web.

In today’s fun, enlightening conversation, we cover the following:

  • How Mark worked in sales, went into teaching, then went back to grad school and ended up working for a bookstore, where he learned how to setup an e-commerce store and actually conducted early influencer marketing with bloggers.
  • How he took inspiration from Rand Fishkin’s “Whiteboard Friday” videos. And how these led him to developing his own unique video content, “Here’s Why.”
  • How he learned to navigate his way around Facebook’s soundless auto-play feature. While these videos don’t typically offer much of an incentive to click, Traphagen discovered how to grab a user’s interest with visual material and captions first.
  • Why good SEO takes time. And how he and his team at Stone Temple Have learned to communicate this to their clients.
  • How to master the science of SEO. While things like ranking algorithms are difficult to get a handle on, Traphagen does a great job of explaining how ranking in SEO is a little bit like a scientist testing and developing a theory.
  • How you can build a successful platform by focusing on long-term SEO efforts. SEO isn’t an overnight game, and Traphagen helps listeners understand how to focus on cumulative efforts rather than one-off results.
  • How to create authority content that gets inbound links. When you write relevant, well-marketed content, people link to it and talk about it, which builds publicity and helps expand your business!
  • How you can become one of the few brands consumers look forward to hearing from. While many social media users say they don’t want branded content in their feeds, virtually everyone has a few brands they love. Traphagen talks about how you can learn to become one of those top-tier brands through trust, authenticity, and value.
  • Using guest blogging to build your brand. Through OPA (other people’s audience), you can build your brand massively. Traphagen talks about how to do this, and why (after creating content on your own site) it should be one of your main priorities.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'I am not the Al Gore of SEO.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'I went back to grad school and worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to use SEO.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“SEO is both a science and an art.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'We don't need to do a hard sell on people. Or push products. Be at the top of their mind by being the most helpful.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it, and the value of a brand.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!

Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. Guess what? Mark himself will be speaking in one of the sessions! And, I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it!

Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.

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write podcast e16 tor refsland

The Write Podcast, Episode 16: How to Not Be an Annoying Content Marketer & Win the Notice of Influencers with Tor Refsland

This week, I sit down with Tor Refsland, an award-winning entrepreneur and blogger, and the creator of TimeManagementChef.com. Tor has caught my eye for a long time, and our episode was dynamic (as I knew it would be)!

This is an episode you won’t want to miss – it’s jam-packed with amazing, inspiring and fun lessons for every content marketer.

In the last year, Tor has won awards for his blogs and continues to stand out as a top performer in the world of blogging and entrepreneurship. In just eighteen months, he’s a shining star in the blogging world (an amazing feat to do nowadays, with the rise of bloggers everywhere)! Jon Morrow even awarded this guy “Most Epic Blog Post.” That’s a big deal: Jon Morrow is one of the top bloggers in the world. He’s a self-taught guru. One time, he learned how to be a SAP Consultant, then was immediately head-hunted to be a SAP Consultant for one of the largest companies in the country! Tor is even a public speaker, garnering an audience of 3,000 for one of his public sessions in Nice. (For more amazing feats by Tor, read here.)

How did Tor climb to such fame in less than two years? How did he build thousands of followers, organically? Listen in to find out!  Today’s episode is inspiring – and it’s perfect for any entrepreneur or content marketer who wants to learn to increase productivity and get the biggest possible ROI from all of your marketing efforts!

write podcast e16 tor refsland

The Write Podcast, Episode 16: How to Not Be an Annoying Content Marketer, Win the Notice of Influencers, & More with Tor Refsland Highlights

  • What is content marketing? In the words of Tor, Content Marketing is the desire to “provide awesome value.” Learn how he does it every single time.
  • How Tor left a six-figure company to find his purpose and get started in content marketing. After two decades of helping founders and CEOs build their dreams, he decided to jump in and start doing it for himself.
  • How he quadrupled his productivity at one of the largest companies in Norway. And how he applied what he learned to his first business, TimeManagementChef.com.
  • How he built 3,000 followers organically at his first company. And what steps he took to reposition himself and his brand for better results in just three days.
  • Tor’s “pre-free technique.” How to create an opt-in form and landing page to test your product, and how he used this tactic to drive over $6,000 in sales for his course.
  • How Tor won the respect and trust of his audience by being transparent about the content and offerings of his free and paid courses. And how you can apply this approach to your online marketing, as well.
  • How he created an MVP (minimum viable product). One of the most important things Tor learned is to survey his audience and deliver the content type based on what they wanted.
  • How audience differs. To be a good content marketer, Tor believes people must learn that it’s not about what you Tune in to learn about how audiences differ and how you can find out what format your audience wants!

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“The secret to growing your tribe fast is removing your ego ENTIRELY from the equation.” @TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“Over-deliver like CRAZY!” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“It’s not about what you want to do for your audience, it’s about what they want from you.” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet
'You’re just a caretaker for the blog. You’re there to serve THEM = your audience.' - @TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“Provide value again and again without expecting or asking for anything in return.” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!

Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! Meet me and five of my staff members from Express Writers this November 2, at the SEJ Summit in NYC! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring several experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it! Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.


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write podcast episode 15

The Write Podcast, Episode 15: Tips on Balancing Entrepreneurship, Parenting, & Staying Productive with Business Coach Holly Diederich

I had so much fun connecting with Holly Diederich, a business coach I connected with a while back, in a podcast today! We met in mutual Facebook groups, and she quickly became a business friend who was there for me early on with solid advice on my big-ticket questions about publicizing the crazy embezzlement story.

We’d been trying to schedule this episode for weeks–well, it finally happened! In today’s episode, we talk about a lot of real-life stuff: the fun and busy world of parenthood while balancing being an entrepreneur, and Holly’s entire story, from leaving a comfortable corporate job to follow her dreams and how she made five figures fast (without a website)!

Before she started her current business, Holly was enjoying a managerial role at a publicly-traded Fortune 1000 company. She thought she was on top of the world, fulfilling her goals for herself, traveling and making big decisions.

Then she had her first child, and she, like so many moms, realized that her priorities had shifted.

In this episode, we dig into how Holly made the leap from what she thought she should be doing, to what she wanted to do, and how she made a great life in the process. Listen on Spreaker or in iTunes.

write podcast episode 15

The Write Podcast Episode 15 with Holly Diederich, Talking Life, Entrepreneurship, Parenthood, and Staying Productive: Highlights

Ideal for anyone who struggles to juggle family life with entrepreneurship, this episode offers a wide selection of great tips on productivity, efficiency, and caring for yourself, first. Here are a few highlights:

  • How Holly left the corporate world to start a coaching business, and what influenced her decision.
  • How she started her first company (an online boutique) and grew it from an idea to $4,000 of revenue in just 3 months
  • When she realized that she could allocate her time and energy more effectively by outsourcing key responsibilities, and how you can, too
  • How her coaching business grew up out of her own entrepreneurial pursuit
  • How her coaching business reached $10,000 in revenue in five weeks, without a website, and how she used LeadPages to do it
  • What types of content she publishes to attract leads in her wildly successful Facebook group (more than 1,400 members!)
  • Which tricks Holly has learned to care for herself and avoid burnout
  • Why all entrepreneurs can benefit from putting themselves first
  • How she finds the best courses to continue her learning and growth
  • How the biggest gains come from intentionally relinquishing responsibility (and outsourcing!)

Relevant Links:

And don’t forget…


For great content creation, from ebook writing & design to original blogs and more, visit our Content Shop!

Madalyn Sklar Twitter strategies large

The Write Podcast, Episode 14: Talking Twitter Strategy With Madalyn Sklar- Her Story, What #TwitterSmarter Is All About, & Ways to Rock Out Your Twitter

Today’s episode was a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with Madalyn Sklar, a huge Twitter influencer who I’ve respected for a long time.

Known around the web as a “social media power influencer,” Madalyn Sklar has made a name for herself for being one of the best Twitter marketers around with a solid knowledge of Twitter strategy and practices. With over twenty years of experience in social media (her roots were in starting GoGirlsMusic in 1996), she’s currently ranked the #1 Social Media Power Influencer in all of Houston. Madalyn keeps busy blogging, chatting and podcasting about all things technology and social media.

Over the years, she’s built a massively successful online business focused on helping her clients build buzz (and maintain it) on social media. She’s got the resume to back it up, too: the founder of GoGirlsMusic (the largest community of female musicians online), Madalyn has a long history of dominating Twitter strategy and social media and learning what it takes to be successful online.

The Brilliant Twitter Strategy of Madalyn Sklar: #TwitterSmarter

As if running a massive online business weren’t enough, Madalyn also runs the #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat and podcast – what a brilliant way to brand two different content styles and platforms under one umbrella! Her Twitter chat, #TwitterSmarter, happens on Thursdays at 1 PM CST on @MadalynSklar, and her podcast in iTunes, Twitter Smarter, specializes in offering Twitter tips and tricks to interested marketers.

Launched in June of 2015, the podcast has since featured some of the biggest names in online marketing, including Mari Smith and Tim Fargo. I’m also honored to announce that Madalyn will be scheduling me in soon for her podcast, so head to her website and subscribe!

Ep 14 Twitter strategies

The Write Podcast Episode 14 with Guest Madalyn Sklar, Talking Twitter Strategy: Highlights

  • Taking action is critical. When we join live Twitter chats, (and I’d even apply this to reading a blog or content piece online), we often enjoy learning new things. But Madalyn believes in taking action: this is “where the rubber meets the road” and is one of the most essential things a marketer can do. Don’t just talk about it – be about it!
  • You have to be on social media. Today’s marketers must have an online presence. It’s critical to getting found and building a following.
  • How Madalyn developed #TwitterSmarter as an online course in 2013, and what she did to grow it into the powerhouse it is today.
  • Why she loves short-form Twitter chats, and how she’s made short-form content work for her over the years.

Relevant Links:

Like my podcast? I would greatly appreciate your time to leave me a rating & review in iTunes! Click here to see the show in iTunes.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“I like short, concise, to-the-point, and I really found my home with that on Twitter in 140-characters.” – MadalynClick To Tweet
“From day 1, I saw the power of Twitter. I saw that I could use it to connect with people who were like-minded.” –MadalynClick To Tweet
“My big thing is taking action…I tell people we’ve got to go take action. That’s where the rubber meets the road.” – MadalynClick To Tweet
“People are always saying, ‘what can I do to stand out?’ Doing video on Twitter is a great way to stand out because so few people are doing it.”-MadalynClick To Tweet
“Go back to the basics...you’ve got to have an amazing Twitter profile.” -MadalynClick To Tweet

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write podcast ep 13 embezzlement to success

The Write Podcast, Episode 13: From Embezzlement to Success, Our May 2016 Story & 4 Major Biz Lessons

I’m here on the podcast today, raw and authentic, sharing an episode that took me four weeks to figure out how to say.

We went through one of the hardest months we’ve ever had in May this year, after discovering that two managers I’d trusted for over three years were embezzling from our company for a span of eight months. That month and the ones following were a trial by fire.

But we came out refined.

Join me and my solo self in Episode 13 today on the Write Podcast. Listen to the full story of the embezzlement that happened to us, how I took immediate action steps that worked and what those were, and the four major life business lessons I learned. Enjoy!

write podcast ep 13 embezzlement to success

Episode 13: From Embezzlement to Success, Our May 2016 Story & 4 Major Biz Lessons Highlights

One day in May, I had this gut feeling that something was off. It was like knowing that I had a mole somewhere in my business, but I couldn’t identify or pinpoint what exactly was going on, or what the problem was. That month, I paid everyone and then had I nothing left to pay myself.

Where was the money going?

I took a dive deeper. I audited the business after payroll that day, working late into the night and looking into all our finances at the company. I was shocked. Two of my main staff members were claiming three times the work they had actually done. My stomach felt sick.

4:10: Learn the action steps I took after the discovery in the second lesson I detail on the podcast.

It’s been more than three months now since this happened, and not only have we fully recovered, but we’ve reinvented so many of our processes that we’ve seen a higher client satisfaction rate than we’ve ever had. We have deeper team communications, and I’m hands-on in the training for every single new hire. We’ve found amazing new writers in the past few months, trained new staff members, and brought on some truly creative minds that are the force behind our better quality.

We’re in a better place than we’ve ever been, all thanks to the scary month of May and what it did to inspire me to take better steps. Here’s a summary of the key lessons I learned: listen for the full story on each!

  • Lesson one: Schedule and do a deep audit on your business finances every few months, if you run and own a business.
  • Lesson two: Honesty and transparency works.
  • Lesson three: you can’t cut corners, rely on one single process, or expect to put in no effort if you want to deliver an incredible product every time you serve your clients.
  • Lesson four: when you find amazing people, grab them fast and don’t let them go.

One more step that is going to happen for Express Writers this year, the cherry on top to our reinvented process, is the launch of brand new custom development in a new Content Shop and internal systems that my CTO Josh has been developing for more than 13 months. Our Content Shop v. 2.0 will be launching along with the custom built team room in about two months from now. It will be so much easier for our clients to order and our management team to pick best-fit writers for every order. Stay tuned!

Relevant Links:

Like my podcast? I would greatly appreciate your time to leave me a rating & review in iTunes! Click here to go to iTunes.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

It’s vital you know where every penny is going in business, so you can instantly see where you’re wasting money and close up the holes. This is especially true if you’re a service related business relying on people to fuel your deliverables.Click To Tweet
People are human, not a robotic machine that does everything you program it too. And that’s a good thing, but the bad thing is, some people are good and some aren’t. And you never know the absolute truth of their character till you actually see them working well in their role.Click To Tweet
Honesty and transparency works in business.Click To Tweet
I’m an authentic content marketer. I had to go with my gut and tell the real story to my clients.Click To Tweet
It’s amazing how transparency can unite you that much more to your client base. All in all, I think that every human being has the ability to relate to other humans. If you show them that level of authenticity, they’ll respect you in the end for it.Click To Tweet
Find people who help you build processes instead of just band-aid a problem.Click To Tweet
The creative-at-heart is the kind of person that is the fit for our @ExpWriters team.Click To Tweet
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The Write Podcast, Episode 12: How We Created a Twitter Chat from Scratch & Grew it To #11 in Trending on Twitter In 6 Months

Hey! Thanks for stopping by to listen to my now twelfth episode on The Write Podcast. (Psst: I have a new intro! I’d love if you let me know in the comments if you like it better than the other one!) Need the iTunes link? Here it is.

E12 write podcast contentwritingchat

Have you ever wondered about how to create or launch your very own Twitter chat?

Now is the time to do it, if you’re considering–they’re hot stuff. There are even chat hosts that are getting sponsors for their chats. (Businesses pay the chat owners to mention them.) Full disclosure: that hasn’t happened for us yet, simply because I haven’t had the time to set it up.

#ContentWritingChat is a chat I started back in January of 2016. It was part of a New Year’s resolution.

And in 6 months, it made the trending sidebar of Twitter!


What’s even more amazing is the community that literally sprouted from a mere grassroots beginning through #ContentWritingChat. We schedule guest hosts every single week, experts in all areas of content marketing, and what we hear from participants is truly glorious: many people leave learning something new. I’ve seen both solid regulars and brand new people come in every week, making for a variety of people and a super fun, energetic environment.

Rachel, our social media manager at Express Writers, runs the Twitter chat as smooth as butter every single week, creating all our imagery and content ahead of time and scheduling out in Buffer. She joined us when I’d just created the chat, about three weeks out from its inception. And her consistent, smooth management means it runs without a hitch every single week. She’s a marvel!

In today’s episode, she joins me to discuss all about how she runs and manages the chat; what tools she uses, the basics of what she does to interact during the live hour, schedule guests, and even create the chat recap we post every Friday. You won’t want to miss this one.

In Episode 12 of The Write Podcast, I talk about #ContentWritingChat with our Social Media Manager Rachel Moffett

  • The backstory of how I created #ContentWritingChat from scratch
  • A rundown of how Rachel manages our Twitter chat every week
  • How we find and Rachel sets up great guest hosts & the importance of a guest host
  • The tools we use to manage and create content for our Twitter chat
  • How Rachel creates a recap of the chat every Friday, like this one (hint: it’s not an automated tweet stream)
  • Why and how you DON’T need 5,000 followers to start a great Twitter chat
  • ….& more!

 If you like what you hear, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes here. It will help the show and it’s ranking in iTunes immensely. I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!

Transcript: Episode 12, How We Created a Twitter Chat from Scratch & Grew it To #11 in Trending on Twitter In 6 Months

Julia: Hello and welcome to episode 12 in The Write Podcast! This is your host Julia McCoy, and for this episode, our social media specialist at Express Writers, Rachel, is joining us today. She and I will be discussing how we created a Twitter chat from scratch and how Rachel continues to manage it for us every week.

I launched the chat in January this year and in just six months we’ve seen it hit number 11 in the trending sidebar of Twitter. Better yet, we’ve seen a community sprout up out of nowhere around this chat that is just wonderful, friendly, helpful and we see a lot of people leaving saying they’ve learned something new every week.

Rachel, welcome to the show, I’m really excited to have you on with me today.

Rachel: Thanks for having me, I’m excited to be here.

Julia: Yes we finally get to show a voice to your name. I know you’ve been with us for a while. [LAUGH]

Rachel: Yeah I know. [LAUGH]

Julia: So to begin I will just go into how I started the Twitter chat itself.

So our Twitter chat is around the hashtag #ContentWritingChat. I started it this January, it was actually the first week of January in 2016, and the backstory is pretty simple. I was in Twitter chats myself for about a whole year, my company and I (the company is @ExpWriters on Twitter it’s just @ExpWriters). And what I was doing was I was bringing in my company Twitter handle and myself, and I was alternating and then joining Twitter chats just getting familiar with them, getting to meet a bunch of new people.

I did that for about a solid year. And then after I was doing that for a good while, I realized there was no chat that really drew in a lot about what I do, what we do in our field as writers and in our company. And I realized that I had a good chance of creating one. So I came up with the hashtag #ContentWritingChat in about literally five minutes. [LAUGH]

It was a really simple idea and in January I just made it one of my New Year resolutions to get it started and it was that simple. I just announced to all of our followers on Twitter that it would be starting every Tuesday at 10 AM CST. And we launched it the first week of January, and it’s just taken off since.

So Rachel is actually the one who manages it for us every week. So Rachel, just walk us through a little bit about how you manage the chat.

Rachel: Yeah so prepping for the chat actually includes quite a few different stages. So first we always have a guest host very week, and one of the first things we have to do is to get the guest scheduled.

So the great thing about having a guest host is somebody can come on and share their expertise with our audience. And once we lock in a guest, we come up with a topic and the questions for the chat and topics are always chosen based on the guest areas of interest and what they might be considered an expert in.

And for the questions, I basically draft a bunch of questions, send them over to Julia, she gives me her final list back and then I send them over to the guest host to approve them in advance. We like to make sure that our guest host has the opportunity to look at the questions ahead of time and maybe prepare their answers or give their feedback.

And really once everything is ready to go, I create all the graphics in Canva for each of the chat questions and I schedule them out in Buffer prior to the chat which is all pretty simple. I just find it a lot easier to manage the chat when the questions are already scheduled, you can just focus on engaging with the chat participants, liking their tweets, retweeting things.

Because that’s really what’s key in interacting with your audience, so having all those questions scheduled ready to go so you don’t have to worry about it during the chat is a huge help.

Julia: And what you said about engaging with the audience, that’s really the biggest key of the chat.

For example whenever I started the chat, I had no idea about how many people we’d see. I just kind of launched it and we started out with the intention to interact with as many people as we can who join the chat. And since we are replying to people, Rachel’s actually doing that now from our Express Writers Twitter account, we reply to people, we retweet, we like, we keep the conversation going, and like you said that’s just a huge part of what makes the chat so successful.

Rachel: Right that’s how you build a community around the chat, and why people coming back every single week.

Julia: Exactly. And tying into that, the marketing for our chat, I’ve had some questions come my way about that. How do you actually market the chat? And Rachael and I have a pretty simple, I’d say fairly simple system.

Of course she does all the work. [LAUGH] So run us through how you do that. I know it entails reminding people on Twitter from our account.

Rachel: Right, it’s actually not that crazy, it’s not like we’re doing this whole marketing plan or anything.

Julia: Exactly.

Rachel: The simplest thing is really just sending out reminder tweets prior to the chat.

And I noticed there are a lot of other chats to do that as well, and there are some chats that don’t do that. And I just find that when we send out those reminder tweets, it’s just really helpful to make sure everybody knows hey it’s Tuesday, #ContentWritingChat’s today, and I think I send these out about five hours prior to the chat which saying that out loud now it actually seems like a lot.

But I send them out early in the morning and it gives people the opportunity to say, yes I want to join today’s chat and they can maybe block off time in their schedule or set a reminder on their phone or whatever, so they know to join. Right at the time the chat starts and I’ve also gotten to the habit of including our chat graphic with those tweets, because I tag people specifically.

People that we would love to see in the chat, people that are regulars, people that are maybe new and need a reminder, and by including the chat graphic that we have it shows our guest host and topic for that day. So then people can easily see what we’re gonna be talking about, who we’re talking to, and they can determine whether or not today’s chat is gonna be something that they’re interested in talking about.

It’s super simple, nothing really involved. It’ doesn’t take a whole lot of work. I’ve got a set list of people I tweet every week. We add to it, take people off the list if maybe they’re not responding. And that’s really been key just reminding people and having people show up every single week.

Julia: And with those reoccurring reminders, we see so many faces that return to the chat, and it seems like some of them are there five minutes ahead of time. They look [LAUGH] forward so much to the chat, they are there.

Rachel: Right, people join before the chat starts. There are still people tweeting after the chat ends.

Julia: Yeah.

Rachel: It’s kinda funny but it’s great because it shows you really have built an amazing community around this Twitter chat.

Julia: That’s awesome. The engagement part is so huge, and the fact that I did have a presence before I launched it. I didn’t just launch it cold turkey.

But one thing to throw in as well, I’ve seen a lot of experts say that you have to have something like 5,000 followers before you even start a Twitter chat.

And we actually only had 2,000 followers when I started the chat and we’ve doubled that. I know we have over 4,000 now. And we doubled that literally just from doing the chat.

Rachel: Right, I have to say, I don’t think anybody should follow that advice necessarily because like you said, you didn’t have 5,000 followers before you started the chat and it’s done well.

And I’ve actually managed two other Twitter chats for different brands in the past, neither of which had a huge following but the chats did really well. They consistently brought in people every week and it helps build their following. So for anybody who is listening and wants to start a Twitter chat of their own, don’t think you need to have a ton of followers, in order to do it.

I mean the amount of followers you have you can invite them, invite people on your email list or whatever and people just might show up. And once you continue to chat every week more people are gonna find out about it.

Julia: Exactly, we see so many new faces come in every week and I’ve seen people say I heard about it because my friend on Twitter told me.

And what you mentioned abut sending an email that’s a good point. We actually did that whenever I started the chat I sent an email campaign out, it was a week before the chat started, and then we sent another email campaign out a day before the chat started. And interestingly enough I noticed that the people that were reminded on Twitter actually joined, and then the people in my email list, it was probably like 1% or less actually joined the Twitter chat.

So I’ve quite email marketing at all about the chat, and we just rely on what you do with reminding people.

Rachel: Right, I guess with the email list it kinda depends.

Julia: True.

Rachel: If your email subscribers would be interested in something like that if they’re really on Twitter then it does serve as a good reminder to them especially if you’ve a got a lot of subscribers if you could invite.

So it really depends but yeah, doing the reminders every week really does help.

Julia: Is their any other way we can market a Twitter chat besides the reminders? Is their anything we’re doing, like for example, are we following up after the chat? Just run us through anything you are doing there.

Rachel: Well the great thing is that after the chat’s over, I’m always participating in other chats which I do think helps other people to discover our chat if they go look at our profile. And the reality is some many people who are in our chat are actually in a lot of the other chats that I participate in.

So it’s really great because in it helps to build a connection with those people, even outside of our Twitter chat. And it’s really a reminder for them to come back to ours every week.

Julia: Exactly that’s how I began the awareness for the chat before I started, it was just through being in other chats.

And then I mentioned at the end of a couple chats I was in some of the biggest ones I just mentioned, oh hey I’m starting a chat next Tuesday if you’d like to join. And I think that’s how we got a lot of the reoccurring people at first.

Rachel: Because so many people who are in other Twitter chats are looking for other chats to join, so they are the perfect people to mention it to an to encourage them to join yours as well.

Julia: And since you are the one helping us pick guests now, run us through how you pick a guest and how do you approach them.

Rachel: Well picking a guest is something that when we started you kind of came to me with a list of people that I know you wanted to have and I reached out to them. And some people that I get in touch with are people who really stand out to me in other chats, because a great guest is someone who they have a level of expertise in a certain area.

And whether we’re seeing them sharing amazing content on their blog or on social media, or like I said I’ve seen them in other Twitter chats and they’re doing really amazing. And some of the people that we’ve been able to connect with through those chats are very knowledgeable and engaged with the other audiences.

So they’re great people to have and really I just reach out to them. If there’s somebody I think would be a great guest host I reach out to them either through Twitter or through email if I have their email address. And let them know about the chat, what kind of things we talked about, why I think it would be great to have them on.

And fortunately everybody has pretty much said yes that we’ve reached out to which is awesome.

Julia: Yes that is awesome. And I’ve noticed there are some chats on Twitter that don’t have a guest host and as a rule we’ve seen much more engagement happen whenever we do bring in a guest host.

The first chat I started the first week of January, it was actually me just me as the guest host. And then it was me again the next three because we were still planning our people to come in as guest hosts. But we’ve seen especially certain guest hosts that had for example a bigger blog following, it seems like they’ve brought us a lot of traffic to our chat.

Rachel: And I think having guest hosts is really helpful. Obviously you don’t need to, but the great thing about having a guest is that you get exposure to a whole new audience. You get to be in front of their audience because they may promote the chat to their followers and when the chat takes place and they are tweeting and posting, their followers are gonna see that and they’re going to be more likely to join in.

So it’s really a great way to get new people to find out about the chat each week.

Julia: That’s true. So run us through some things you do during that hour. I know it’s really busy and it seems really hard to keep up so you have a lot on your plate during the hour. But what do you do to interact with people?

Rachel: Right, well like I said I schedule all the questions in advance so during that hour, I can just focus on interacting with people.

And I think kind of two of the key things that I feel are important to do is when people come into the chat, they introduce themselves, greet them, say hi to them, let them know that you see that they’re there, and make sure you thank everybody at the end as well. It’s simple but it makes people feel appreciated and throughout the chat, obviously it is impossible to respond to everybody.

The chat gets pretty busy. I swear if you look away from the chat screen for like five seconds, you will come back to like at least 10 new tweets, you can’t look away.

Julia: True.

Rachel: I can’t respond to everybody but I definitely try to respond to people and let them know if they’ve shared a great answer or answer any questions they may have or get them to elaborate on something or like their tweets or retweet the really amazing tweets that people would love to see.

And I think that’s important because like I said you can’t respond to everybody, so you wanna do something to show that you are engaging with them, that you are seeing what they are posting.

Julia: Exactly, and as a rule of thumb, most chats do this and this seems like a good practice just liking everyone’s tweet who is using that hashtag.

Rachel: Right yeah, it’s a lot [LAUGH] especially when you have a lot of tweets coming in at that hour so.

Julia: It’s a lot.

Rachel: But I basically just, sit there and TweetDeck because TweetDeck is what I use to manage the chat. I’m just hitting like, like, like, like and trying to click everything and retweet the really good ones.

And it gets a little crazy but it’s not too tough to manage.

Julia: Do you have time to drink coffee? [LAUGH]

Rachel: I don’t often look away from TweetDeck during the chat. I’m pretty sure I stay laser-focused on my laptop screen and sometimes I feel like I may need a nap when it’s over just because staring at your laptop for so long, it actually does get a little tiring after a bit.

Julia: I join it every week but I don’t manage it now. You do, so it’s hard for me to keep up so I can only imagine whenever you like every tweet what that gets like.

Because our last Twitter chat on last Tuesday was actually the most popular one to date and it’s six months after we started it. And it was so cool, it hit number 11 and it made the trending sidebar of Twitter.

Rachel: Yeah that’s awesome. We had quite a few new people join and that’s how it’s been week after week. There’s always at least a couple of new faces which is amazing to see and especially all the regulars who come every week.

It’s so cool to see everybody coming back time after time.

Julia: Yes, it’s very neat to see the type of community not only the questions being asked and what’s being shared in the knowledge, but also I think our community is so warm, friendly and helpful. It’s not your typical marketing community. It’s very open, warm and friendly and I love that we’ve been able to build that.

Rachel: Right and I have to say two of the main things for me with a good Twitter chat is that one, you learn something from it and at the end of the chat you feel like you’re taking something away. And two, just having a really great community around it.

Social media is meant to be social and I think a lot of people forget that and may spend so much time scheduling all of these posts with links to their blog and their products and their services that they forget to take the time to just talk to people. And Twitter chats really are the simplest and best way to do that, because there are so many people that you can interact with within the span of an hour.

Julia: It’s really neat how Twitter has become a platform where that happens. And it’s so social, like you said. [LAUGH]

So one thing you do for us that is really great is creating a weekly recap of the Twitter chat which goes on our blog post. I proofread it but you put it all together.

So run us through how you do that.

Rachel: So basically the weekly recap is essentially just a bunch of tweets from the chat. I really just go through all of the tweets that people posted during that hour, and choose some of the top tweets and I try to really get a mix. I wanna make sure that I include everybody at least once just because I wanna make sure everybody gets included in there.

And then of course you wanna share some of the most valuable answers. Because I know a lot of people do chat recaps where they have this Storify stream of every single tweet.

Julia: [LAUGH]

Rachel: And that’s a lot to look at. So I really try to go through and curate some of the top tweets and the tweets that are gonna add value to people who are reading these recaps, and who missed the chat and want to still learn from the recap.

So I try to make sure I get a variety of tweets in there and a lot of some of the best posts. And then the great thing is that we can mention people on Twitter when we’ve quoted them in the recap, and it’s funny because I always love to see what people write back saying that they appreciate it that they were quoted in there.

And then they share it with their audience which sends traffic to the site but it also brings more awareness of the Twitter chat. And one of the other things with the recap is that it’s not just a stream of tweets, I try to add some commentary to each tweet which somebody, I can’t remember who it was, but somebody a while back said that he actually really appreciated that we added that commentary on there.

And that it wasn’t just a bunch of tweets embedded into a blog post.

Julia: I think it makes it so much more personal and it just has so much more than just that automated looking stream of tweets. 

Rachel: Exactly.

Julia: So you went through some of the tools you use and you mentioned TweetDeck and then Canva for the images.

Are those the two main tools that you use for the chat?

Rachel: Yeah those are the two main tools I use. TweetDeck is definitely my favorite for managing the chat, just because with TweetDeck you can create columns for specific things. So I have a column specifically for the hashtag which shows me all the tweets, for the hashtag during the chat.

And then I have columns for the mentions and the notifications that we get so I can keep track of everything. I seriously never miss anything with those columns set up. Because I mean Twitter chats get a little crazy and when you have a ton of people joining week after week, it’s not something you wanna try to manage on Twitter’s actual website, that’s gonna be stressful.

And as you mentioned, we use Canva for the question graphics and also for our chat graphic in general where we promote the topic and the guest host and really the only other tool that I use for the Twitter chat is Buffer, just because I use Buffer to schedule out all the questions in advance.

So whatever scheduling tool is your preference go for that but we use Buffer for all of our social media posts which makes it super easy.

Julia: Exactly.

Well I think that covers the essentials of how we run our Twitter chat. And just maintaining this every single week is probably the biggest key to seeing it become successful, because it’s taken six months for us to get in the sidebar of Twitter which is actually faster than I thought.


Rachel: Right let’s face it, that’s seems to me pretty quick.

Julia: Yes.

Rachel: I was surprised when you shared that in the chat on Tuesday, I couldn’t believe it, but that’s amazing.

Julia: Yes that was like the ultimate reward of what we do. [LAUGH]

Rachel: Yep.

Julia: Well thank you so much for coming on and sharing what you do in our weekly Twitter chat and thank you for being so awesome at our social media, really appreciate it.

Rachel: Well thank you for having me it was a lot of fun. And hopefully people listening will now join the Twitter chat.

Julia: Yes which remind us when that happens and what day.

Rachel: So the Twitter chat is #ContentWritingChat. It takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM CST.


Join #ContentWritingChat to learn all things content marketing, writing, and creating! Follow @ExpWriters and the dedicated chat account, @writingchat on Twitter. We look forward to seeing you!

write podcast with brandon schaefer

The Write Podcast, Episode 11: Why Content Marketing is Like Eggs to Your Cake with Brandon Schaefer

If you only listen to ONE of my episodes today, I’d point you to E11. You know why? I connected with someone who was as equally as passionate about content marketing as me–and so wonderfully expressive about their passion. Brandon Schaefer is the bomb! He’s an expert growth and business strategist, as well as mentor; and has helped companies like BuzzSumo, Hashtagify and many others (that he can’t name for NDA reasons) climb to the top. He’s also founded multiple companies of his own, including MyVirtualSalesForce.com. Brandon comes from a family of entrepreneurs and is an avid proponent of content marketing–you can tell it all throughout this episode! I enjoyed having his passion and expertise (not to mention personality!) on my show.

write podcast with brandon schaefer

In Episode 11 of The Write Podcast, Brandon Schaefer joins me for an epic discussion on content marketing:

  • Why it’s absolutely essential to businesses of ALL sizes
  • How brands can get started right now (hint: it’s as simple as writing, writing, writing)
  • How Brandon came from a family of entrepreneurs
  • What a “butt to the gut” is and how it applies to content marketing (basketball term)
  • How to connect with influencers (don’t go for the jugular right away)
  • Shoutout to Sujan Patel!
  • How content types and mediums are like the ingredients to a cake
  • ….& more!

 If you like what you hear, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes here. It will help the show and it’s ranking in iTunes immensely. I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!

Transcript: Episode 11, Why Content Marketing is Like Eggs to Your Cake with Brandon Schaefer

Julia: Hello and welcome to episode 11 in the Write Podcast. I’m here with Brandon Schaefer, who is a business strategist and mentor. He currently owns and runs myvirtualsalesforce.com. He’s a business mentor at Score Mentors and he’s worked with multiple companies in growth hacking and brand awareness. He’s also the author of Wake Up To Win.

Brandon, I’m really excited to have you here today.

Brandon: Oh thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I’m thankful for the opportunity.

Julia: Absolutely. So let’s start. What would be your number one piece of advice or something fundamental for someone that’s looking to grow their brand?

Brandon: Get a plan, sit down with somebody. [LAUGH]

Julia: [LAUGH]

Brandon: I don’t even write stuff, I type, I don’t even carry a pen, but get a plan and sit down with maybe one or two people in your market segment that you can count on, if you don’t know somebody, find one or two people that aren’t actually trying to sell you anything. That they’re maybe in a similar market segment or somebody that you can sit down with and kinda share where you’re at.

Because most people have spent like six months a year, 12 months 24 months investing your time and money into something, and they don't see the results so then they get upset and then they just bail, they give up and I understand it. But if you just realize that if you put some time in, it's like working at a gym you go to the gym you don't walk out looking buff, wherever the heck you are it takes time.Click To Tweet

Get an unbiased opinion and not from a wife, a husband, partner anything else like that. Get somebody that can sit down with you and be honest with you and say like, listen how I’m I gonna make this thing work? This is what I’ve done so far, this’s the amount of money I spent and this is the amount of money I have left in the reserve.

What can I do over these next three months and get a strategy together, because I talked a lot of people and they always dumped, like, $70,000 so far and they don’t have a website yet. So it’s like we’ve been launching the website and it’s like don’t wait for perfection.

Get a strategy and don't spend a lot of money upfront, and don't wait for perfection.Click To Tweet

All three of those, you need to really focus on. There’s not anything what, those three are my three magic portions there, strategy, don’t spend a lot, don’t wait for a perfection because none of them are, you’re not gonna have a lot of perfection, you’re not gonna have a lot of money probably when you start and you’re probably not gonna have a lot of strategy either so those three things are the triangle that will yield good results I love it.

Julia: That reminds me of how I started my company. Every point you said just reminded me of how I began. So four years ago, actually five years ago now, I started my company because I was a really busy freelance writer. I had too much work on my hands but I didn’t want to turn away any client.

So I identified the need for a writing agency that had really good writers because back then it was like the industry was more populated with non English writers so I just identified that need and then in five minutes I literally coined my business name and I wish I’d spent a little more time on it [LAUGH] because I just took that business and ran and now I’m like, oh, I could have been more creative.

You know I just took it and ran and now we're a seven-figure company.Click To Tweet

Brandon: Yeah, I mean the thing is like with your story, it’s kind of like your sitting then your like, oh this just seems like good idea, just do it. You’re not like spending like a ton of money because you go out you hire these big firms to do these websites to look like Walmart and Target and stuff like that or some like site that spends hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Just go to work, get something starting, blog or something, get something started, prove your model and as you prove your model, then you can start to spend some money, but you just don’t dive into the pool without knowing how deep it is.

You gotta out your toe in, feel it around, see what type of feedback you get like you did. An outlook. You got an incredible experience.

Julia Right. I spent $75 total to start my company. I coded my own website, I learned how to do it all myself, I learned how to post everything so [LAUGH] yeah, you don’t need much.

Brandon: I tell you what Julie, this is what most people that come to me I’m like, most companies, this is what I say initially.

I’ll sit down with you, I’ll go over the strategy, come back to me in 30, 60 days I’m gonna see how you’re doing. If you prove that you’ve done what I’ve recommended, then I’ll work with you. But until then, it’s not going to work because when someone jumps in, everyone has expectations that are like here because all we hear on the web is success stories.

All you hear is the tip of the iceberg, super success stories. Like hey I just started this, or hey I did this and this, we don’t hear about the 20 billion other people that just haven’t made a dime. It’s just shiny object syndrome.

But take the recommendations, start out slow and build it up from there and write Everyday, write every single day, I don’t care if you write 300 words, 500 words, what’s the guy, he posts everyday, he writes, Seth, who is it?

Julia: Seth Godin.

Brandon: Yeah, what’s he write? His posts are 100 words, I mean he has some more in-depths, I mean he’s an incredible guy, incredible resource, but his daily posts are like 200 words.

I mean that’s it.

Julia: They’re really short. Yeah that’s great advice. That’s something I do all the time, is just sit down and write. Maybe three fourths of my week is writing.

Brandon: Yeah it’s a diary. I mean for me personally I take the train on most days, so I just write on the trains. An hour ride each way on the train.

So usually in the morning time or afternoon, really in the afternoon I’ll take half hour and I’ll just write. And whatever I can write in a half hour, I write. And that’s me. I’m not sending this to get reviewed or anything else like that. I’m writing and publishing and firing. And I’m on to the next thing.

I know it’s not gonna be perfect. You hear me speak, I mean I speak crazily. I mean I speak with passion, I get loud, I get crazy.

Julia: That’s great.

Brandon: I jump up and down.

Julia: [LAUGH]

Brandon: Sometimes I have trouble talking, I mean it’s just because I’m excited. That’s it.

Julia: Right, well, your passion shows.

Brandon: Oh cool, thank you.

Julia: Tell me a little bit about your background as a business strategist.

Brandon: I grew up in business, my grand father was an entrepreneur, my mother is an entrepreneur. So I just naturally grew up around business strategy, around people always talking about that at thanks giving dinner, at holiday dinners or whenever, that’s all we ever talked about talked about was kind of business stuff, so he can say at some point it’s unfortunate, but kind of learned a lot.

I learned a lot about testing things, and failing, and that it’s okay and get right back up and tie those shoes on; you got to tie those laces on your shoes tighter the next day and get up and test something else out.

So as for planning, no. I always say failing to plan is planning to fail, right? So and that’s all that strategy is. It’s just taking the time to set out kind of a road map for yourself to go on.

Julia: I love that advice. So tell me a little bit about the companies that you’ve helped grow?

Brandon: Well I know one of them was BuzzSumo, I know you had mentioned that when you first reached out to me.

I recently worked with those guys. And I will tell you, that company does everything that they do 100% correctly. They have a small lean staff but they are truly an incredible model and if anybody on here, you reach out to Steve from BuzzSumo he will definitely talk with you. But yea those guys they do it, they do everything 100% correct and in the content world I guess, so much information is driven through content now that that market space that their in is a home-run because everybody is looking for content to share right? It’s perfect for everything for them right now. So it’s a really great company.

Hashtagify, for certain hashtags and stuff like that, that’s another home run of a company. Great brand that’s been around and is very popular in the social media space for attracting hashtags and searching to see which ones are most relevant, which ones are trending and stuff like that, and then we go all the way to sports equipment companies, you name it.

I’m not gonna go on and on with this stuff, for those who are probably two of the ones that would hit home most with your audience. I mean obviously they’re on all different types of market segments.

Julia: Yes you’re right, I use and I love both of those tools and BuzzSumo has been huge for content marketing.

I look at it like an essential content marketing tool, you can’t do much better than that. I haven’t found one that’s really better and you mentioned that what they do they do the best. I’ve reached out to Steve, he’s actually been on my podcast and I love—

Brandon: Oh my goodness okay.

Julia: Yeah and you’re so right about that, one thing he told me was that he has stayed up later than the competition, and that’s been like their number one secret.

Brandon: Oh and they’ve also got another secret, her name is Susan and she does all the web access and all kinds of stuff. She is a phenomenal lady. I feel like well I work with a lot of people but she is a phenomenal phenomenal resource for them.

Julia: That’s cool. It’s often people behind the scenes that are doing so many neat things and you don’t know them, but they’re there working really hard.

Brandon: Well that’s the key with business, actually probably a good point to bring up is that in business there’s always these secret hidden weapons, these secret weapons right, these people that really can get you to where you want to go or can help you along.

And we all see this bright shiny object and everybody especially when you’re trying to get into an account or something else like that, or get a guest post or something else like that, you always go right for the jugular.

Like we’re on an African plain like a lion trying to take down a hyena or something. You don’t look for the jugular, you hang out in the car, in the Jeep or whatever, see who does what. You’ll see that there’s hidden influencers behind all the big influencers or figures. So, if you can aim and start to hook up with some of these type of people, and whether you’re selling or in type of big sale, or whether it be an enterprise or a big company or whatever, whatever the case is, there’s always these hidden influences.

I always try to find a hidden influences or form relationships with them and then they can lead me when the time is right.

Julia: That’s really interesting, I love the advice. So how do you find someone like that?

Brandon: Well it’s, you gotta have, I call it butt in the gut, right? So, it’s like physical, like if you play basket ball, you will always butt in the gut, I’m not, I’m not like a basketball guy but I know my son plays basketball so he’s always coaching me on stuff which helps.

But yeah, it’s by paying attention, it’s by listening, because we all want to, and not just speaking for myself here and you know it’s like, I wanna say how great this is or what we can do or what problems we can solve and how great we’re gonna do it, but people want to really know what’s in it for them though? Like what effect is it going to have on us? Like if we do this service with you, then what results can we expect? What can we, what’s going to be different in our company? So, it’s important to stay focused on always providing value to the client, keeping them first.

Julia: That is so true and that’s funny, because I just published a blog today about how to stand out as a blogger and one of my number one tips is to focus on your audience, and sort of just you and, your brand whatever you’re selling and if you can focus on your audience and talk to that person, that’s so important, because that draws them in and they feel engaged and they’re probably more likely to go to your site and do something.

Brandon: Yeah and you’ve gotta get active, I mean, as, just as you know, you gotta go out to the conferences, if you can’t afford to go out to the conferences, then get involved in online groups, or Facebook groups, there’s lengthy in groups, there’s Twitter, you name it, just get engaged, get involved, with these different types of people and just give, give a response every once in a while, if they write something, I’m more into e-mail, I will rarely comment on an actual blog but I will get an e-mail address for them and send them a personal note like hey this is where this really hit home for me, thank you so much, like this is really cool, I was just thinking about this, like that type of stuff, so, I’ll take it actually offline right away, in most cases, if I’m gonna take the time to read a comment I’ll actually take the time to find their e-mail address and send them a personal e-mail and that’s, you wanna get your butt in your gut, that’s really get’s you belly to belly with somebody.

Julia: Exactly and that reminds me of how I touched base with you, I think it was just through a tweet.

Brandon: Oh yeah, that’s exactly how it works, you send me something today this is like this or whatever, we took it offline, and it’s a message I said hey send me an e-mail, and a couple of days later we were talking so.

Julia: Exactly, it’s amazing how quickly that can work. You know it’s like something, something so simple just to reach out directly and there’s so many platforms now like you mentioned going to events and Blab is huge.

Brandon: Yes, yeah.

Julia: For the networking, it’s been enormous.

Brandon: And there’s one thing that I always like to do too with these influencers, just kinda circling back on the, influencer stuff.

Julia: Mm-hm.

Brandon: Find out what platforms they hang out on and hang out on those platforms that they hang out on. So you try to get in front of somebody, but if someone’s big on Blab or someone’s big on Twitter or anywhere else and always on there, find out where they hang out the most and then communicate with them on that channel because there’s so many different channels as you know, we’re all kind of flipping back and forth, we’re getting with stuff.

I mean most people use tools, I know we use a bunch of tools to monitor tracks and hashtags and direct messages and email. There’s all day long there’s stuff coming come again, but if it’s sincere outreach, we’ll immediately respond back to that. Or if it’s something bad, we’re gonna immediately respond not that that happens a lot but wherever, but we’re prepared to take that conversation offline immediately as well.

Julia: Exactly. That’s so true about finding the platform where they I remember I was trying to reach out to someone on Twitter, when I was looking for someone to write my book for and I finally got Sujan Patel to do it but whenever I was looking for people, I reached out to someone on Twitter and they were like, well I don’t know you, so this was an influencer there.

Brandon: Yeah.

Julia: He’s like I don’t know you, but why don’t you come join my Blab and then we’ll get to know, to know each other and then yeah, maybe I’ll do it.

Brandon: Oh, that’s cool. Is it Sujan—Sujan?

Julia: Sujan Patel.

Brandon: Susan, okay. Does he run Contentmarketer.io or is that-

Julia: Yeah, he started that.

Brandon: I’ve actually reached out to him real quick about how to actually do something. I’ve actually tested out that software, it was pretty cool. He’s got a couple of different things going. He seems like a pretty cool dude, I like his profile picture and if he’s ever in Philadelphia here I’ll be sure to catch up with him.

Julia: Oh that’s cool. Influencers connecting with influencers.

Brandon: That’s [LAUGH] that’s it, is it.

Julia: So Brandon, I just wanted to touch on as well content marketing, in your experience as a business strategist and growth hacking, how important would you say content marketing is to a business that’s looking to grow?

Brandon: Oh man. It is vitally important.

If I like don’t answer you right away is because it hits directly to my, it’s like you stab me in the heart with a knife because it hits so close to home with me, like I’m actually catching my breath before I say something so-

Julia: [LAUGH]

Brandon: Oh yeah content marketing is vital to any size business, any size.

I don’t care if you’re bricks and mortar, Mom and Dad shop, that you’re 70 years old and you’re in some small town. Content marketing, first it’s free. Well I don’t know if anything’s free anymore because time costs money and you know here and there but if you don’t have the advertising dollars to actually pay Google or pay Facebook or pay Twitter or any of these other platforms to run ads on or banner or whatever and you’re a happy writer, even if you’re not a half decent writer, but you’re writing about making saddles for English riding and horses in Wyoming, if you’re very specific, there’s a very, very good chance and you’re offering some information that’s unique, there’s a very, very good chance that your content is going to get seen by people and have some type of you’re gonna get more leverage and more opportunities to talk to more people.

Not only that but you also have the opportunity to get back lengths like qualified backlinks—

Julia: Right.

Brandon: Not like junk crap backlinks that don’t mean anything. It would be like me linking to you linking to you know and that shows basically free SEO so and there are so many types of different content to like get on a blab you can do a blab then you can transcribe what you went over and what you talked about you can do portions you can do quotes from that you know there is just you can make it into a SlideShare then you can make it into another video on YouTube, there is 15,000 things to do so there is no excuse you know?

Julia: Exactly I totally agree with that and that’s something I found just launching a podcast is in the amount of content I can re-create out of this podcast. You know we’ve done transcriptions for every episode, and the transcriptions have been like 6,000 words, and we post that as a new piece of content on our site and that’s huge attracting already new rankings.

Brandon: Yeah of course it works and it’s important there are so many companies that are still kind of not believing in it And I mean listen you can pay I was just doing a guest post for Tor Refsland, he just picked me yesterday about a guest post for something similar to this so I sent it back yesterday but you got to believe in it right so there are so many companies that are paying Google. And when I pay Google I mean I’m just guilty of it as well right so it’s like when I go to the water falls and I turn the water falls and then water comes out right it’s the same thing with Google when I pay Google traffic comes, right? And then when I stop paying them the traffic stops coming and it just still be a little bit of leakage here and there every once in a while.

But when you implement content marketing and you do it good and consistently and when I say consistently it’s not just like once a week or you can do whatever is comfortable for you like I just share like once a day, once every other day, I’m just here like a business experience that I’m going through I won’t mention any names because we always disclosure agreements but I won’t mention any names but I’ll just share like a similar story or something else like that and it works it’s a way to get it to work.

Julia: Right. So how would you look at different mediums of content as like for example being more important or more essential than another, like blogging I suppose, to doing a video or different mediums like that. So how important is a blog for business in general?

Brandon: Again you are stabbing me in the heart because these things hit so close to home. Always on my mind. You are doing a great job.

I look at it like this right so when you make a recipe at home not that I cook a lot and stuff like that my wife thank goodness for her does that, but so when we cook or something when we do we need all the ingredients right we need something like mushrooms.


We need some onions, we need some oil, we need some butter. We need some chicken if we’re gonna put in there or whatever. So those are all the ingredients, and no one type of content is good for everybody. So you gotta take a little bit of each one of the pieces, whether it is video, whether it’s actually an infographic, whether it’s by chair whatever platform it is you need to fold them all into the blender right and you need to hit, it just gets you, you need to touch on all basis and then once you do that for like a month for like 30, 60, 90 days then you can see which one is giving you the most ROI right and then you can start to really focus on that one, but you can’t leave the rest of them out of the picture right because all of them equal to pieces of puzzles.

So if you find one piece that like yields you better results than the others then always have that issue of primary focus but still make sure you are always hitting on this other types of content as well.

Julia: I love it that reminds me of a phrase I’ve seen a lot, like the eggs to your cake. That’s like—

Brandon: Exactly.

Julia: The content to your marketing.

Brandon: Yeah that’s exactly what it is.

Julia: Thanks so much for being here Brandon, I really appreciate it.

Brandon: Anytime and I’m available any time anybody wants to talk, anybody wants to chat in whatever, I’m here to help.

[MUSIC] Thanks for joining today’s Write Podcast. For more online content, tips and strategies, visit expresswriters.com/write-blog and now here’s your host Julia McCoy with a final message.

Julia: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode, I absolutely loved connecting to and talking with Brandon Schaefer, you can find them at myvirtualsalesforce.com or on Twitter @MyVSF_Brandon.

I’m really excited because my, book So You Think You Can Write, The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing came out April 19th and I’ve seen it already hit #2 and 3 on the charts on Amazon. And even better than that, I’ve been hearing from so many people including people around the world that are telling me how much my book is helping them create better content online, and that to me is so inspirational. That’s why I wrote this book, I really think that the hands-on skills involved in online content writing are not taught or talked about enough in a way that everyone can understand. It took me over five years of self teaching to learn all of this skills after a lot of trial and error and finding out what works and what doesn’t. So I’ve put everything I’ve learnt into a book, So You Think You Can Write, the Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing and you can find it right now on Amazon, Print and Kindle as well as Barnes & Noble and iBooks. Go to www.bit.ly/soyouthinkyoucanwrite for all the links.

Thank you so much for joining today’s Write Podcast!


The Write Podcast, Episode 10: Book Chapter Read of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing

EEK. My first-ever published book, So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Online Writing, launched TODAY on Amazon.


In today’s episode, I read aloud part of the Introduction, where I talk about how I got started in this crazy world of online writing, and the first chapter from my book, where I share a section I thoroughly love: starting grounds for the online writer. Enjoy!

In Episode 10 of The Write Podcast, Julia reads an excerpt of her new book, So You Think You Can Write?

  • Learn how storytelling is an underlying fundamental of great online writing
  • Find out which companies are leading the forefront in creative, spectacular online writing skills
  • Hear some of Julia’s history, from her early days as a content marketer to today
  • Be inspired as you listen to what makes up some of the great stories in content marketing today
  • ….& more!

 If you like what you hear, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and it’s ranking in iTunes immensely. I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!

Transcript: Book Chapter Read of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing

Julia: Hello and welcome to The Write Podcast! This is Julia McCoy, and today I’m really excited to share with you that my book So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing is finally out. It went live today as print and Kindle on Amazon! This book is a summary of every skill I’ve learned and taught myself in the last few years to create successful online content, from blogs to webpages and much more.

To buy my book on Amazon just go to bit.ly/juliamccoy. The direct Amazon book link will also be in this podcast description. 

I’ve had this book idea for years and I started working on, So you think you can write about a year ago. It’s been crazy just to get through this year of writing a book, I have a whole new respect for authors.

Writing a book is no small task, especially if you really wanna make it a good and worthwhile book. Worthwhile book. So the section I’m gonna read to you begins at the Introduction and I will read you chapter one, so let’s get started. Introduction. As an online marketer, site owner and freelance writer I’ve been and in online consecrations since 2011.

In a short few years I have seen the entire world of online content evolve for 100’s of businesses. The good news is that I’ve seen a great deal of progression, in 2011 I saw a lot of sub par online content do just fine then Giggle Panda hit the web a lot of duplicate cured stuffed poor content got struck down from the rankings.

Every time a major Google update has come out I’ve researched it, written about it and watched marketers flinch and then adapt. Some of my favorite clients were the marketers who came to me with the need to change and fit their content to the new Google rules and regulations. I think I was on speed dial for some of them [LAUGH] It was simple really.

Many of these marketers just needed higher quality content or they needed to replace the duplicate content on their site that they had copied over from somewhere else on the web. Yikes! So today’s overall online content direction is progressing toward a higher content quality and standard all over the web.

And who’s the major driving force? Google. I’ve been doing this for half a decade now and I run a seven figure company with a team of talented writers delivering online content to businesses of all kind. This has been my self taught full time career path. Here’s my belief about succeeding in this field, you don’t need a college course to learn to be an online writer, the nitty gritty, hands on, real world skills of online content writing aren’t taught in college yet.

I’ll agree that a foundational knowledge from college English 101 or 102 is applicable if it helps to refine your basic writing skills. Consequently a journalism degree does help if you choose to write press releases, but I firmly believe anyone could be self-taught in successful online content writing to create great content for themselves or earn a living doing it with the caviar that they have a passion and talent for writing because passion and talent will keep them going.

I’ve seen this manifest in my own career. If you’re this kind of writer but you don’t know how to bring your talents online yet or you want to solidify your knowledge in creating good online content, then my guide is just for you. I am giving you such a thorough definitive guide on online content writing that if you find all of it, you’ll be ready to write any kind of content that will rank well online and be successful, whether it’s for your clients or for yourself.

Chapter One: Starting Grounds.

Success in online writing, both monetary and in the subsequent value and ranking of great web content can happen for any passionate writer and brand given the opportunity to learn the tricks of the online writing trade. The tough part is there’s no one easy course to sign up for it that teaches you all of the tricks you need to know to succeed.

I was completely self-taught and I picked up some of my bet skills by learning them on the job as I wrote online content for my clients, not what I’d suggest for everyone. I think that essential writing skills are born from a passion that surfaces at a young age. This passion can’t be taught and it’s the starting point of what it takes to be a stellar content creator and copywriter.

My stunning growth can be traced back to writing fiction when I was just 9 years old. Many professional copywriters, probably more than half, double in fiction When the mood strikes them. Writing fiction maintains and sharpens the base skills of creative writing. When we grow up telling stories it’s only natural that we incorporate pieces of them into our current writing, and guess what, fiction writing is the fertile ground where some f the greatest storytelling genius is born and cultivated.

A passion for storytelling born at an early age can blossom into amazing online content writing skills at a later age and thus translate into well developed copyrighting chops for the world’s most successful brands. Ordinary writers doing extraordinary things. Storytelling comes from showing reality from a different perspective, it could be summed up that simply.

An interesting, unique point of view can really draw a person in, and when you combine the identifiable point of view with a good story to tell you transform that story into an extension of someone’s life. A good story and advertising copy makes the person witnessing it subconsciously think – GEE, that sounds like or could be me!

How was that emotion pulled out? By a story told so well that it became relatable and real. Very often that person goes on to become a customer for the company that drew them in and related to them on a personal level. Although story telling styles and media has changed over time, the idea that a good story appeals to the audience is timeless, it’s why we tell our kids stories adapted from 16th century German fairy tales.

The story is in itself a timeless art form. Once upon a time stories were used as a means of promoting discourse. Socrates presented his thoughts to the public in the form of fables. Many ancient Greek and Roman philosophers such as Euclid and Plato used to couch their factual knowledge and Story telling, and you know what? Stories stick.

Who remembers the first grade fairytale rather than the sixth grade Geography or Math lesson? Me too. It goes to show that a relatable story is often remembered far more accurately and much more vividly than drier content pushed down our throats as a road to memorization. This persistence of memory is also another reason why the story has taken root in modern day advertising.

Storytelling allows us to bring the audience into the front seat and bad times make each person feel like the most important person in the room. Nothing is as memorable as a show put on just for you, unless it’s a show that is starring you. In our attempts at storytelling we try to put the audience in the driver’s seat and have them experience the feelings and emotions that an ordinary person would feel in such a position, like the myriad of writers that came before us, from Herodotus to Shakespeare.

We continue to carry on the timeless work of telling stories. What are the online writers stories made of? Now obviously online copywriters don’t write the kinds of stories found in books. You just won’t see a guy staring at a full page ad and reading it like a novel enjoying its use of double entendre, maybe we’ll get there one day, whenever any single one of us enjoys the fabulous art of reading entire volumes voraciously, but I highly doubt that’s likely.

Our attention spans are currently dwindling not growing according to research. So the way an online writer builds a story is a little different. While a fictional writer has a toolbox full of plots, devices and character portraits, the content writer has a trunk full of information about whom they want to reach and the most effective way to do it.

We began by researching our audience first and foremost before we even start writing. A fiction writer starts with the premise and then finds the audience but the copywriter starts with the audience and then generates the premise, and they create a story that sells to that audience.

There are a number of different success tales in businesses, both large and small that testify to the usefulness of this story as a marketing tool. Recent trends in marketing have shown that combining the idea of a story to teach the audience something has a far greater impact on final sales.

As entertaining as the story is, if it doesn’t sell then it isn’t successful from a marketing perspective. So are there limits to storytelling? Will the story ever detract from a message you need to get across to a potential customer in order to sell him or her? Enter the following example, marketing storytelling so good it sold crap literally.

An example of storytelling success in marketing: Poo~Pourri. Recently I came across an example of brand storytelling so good it blew my mind. It was an ad by the brand Poo~Pourri on YouTube. This 3 minute 5 second video captured me and held my attention the entire time. Yes they interrupted the writing of this book.

The video opens with a beautiful, English, redheaded girl drinking tea and eating baked goods with her lady friends. She suddenly experiences the passing of gas, looks into the camera and says, my butt trumpet is about to blow [LAUGH] and when the eclairs spreads my hot-crossed buns no one will ever know. It’s time to go down the crappit hole, where smelling is believing.

The viewer then proceeds to get flushed down a toilet, and to a music video where people are doing yoga and simultaneously singing about crap with their heads between their legs. Did that just make you say what? And then immediately you want to know more.

The maker of this newer brand sold no less than 4 million products to date. And I think the magic of their story telling is their primary reason. Make your story educating and entertaining. Potpourri’s example is so crazy good it’s out of this world literally I haven’t seen a better tale in marketing.

If you can nail a story that creative then my hat is off to you. Not every brand will be able to come up with that amount of successful crappy puns, pun intended. So even if you cant be the next Poo Potpourri here’s how you should be using the hugely important element of storytelling in your content.

The overall aim of our online storytelling should be to educate and entertain and from that naturally to sell. Educating validates the idea of a value-based content system, what Google and readers love today. Success for the online marketer is found in copy that isn’t aimed at a hard sale, but instead offers useful and insightful information.

Through visualized content that naturally attracts more leads out of viewers and entertaining is simply your desired and achievable level of creativity. However far you want to go to make your story entertain your fans on a one to Poo~Pourri level. With a truly useful educational, entertaining story line and consistent content output, regular blogs, videos or other content types you’ll draw and warm leads will keep reading your content because it gives them an answer or solves their problems, and these leads are much more likely to buy your product.

Then the readers face with the cold sale. This is big news for us writers, since a whopping 40% or more of the world’s population now has access to the Internet, which means there are more than 3 billion people online, Internet marketing is the primary advertising avenue for all businesses.

More than 8 new people get online every second and over 139,000 new websites go live everyday based on 2013 statistics. 46% of people read blogs more than once a day and 82% of marketers who blog daily gain a customer from their blogs. Adobe has reported that Internet TV will be replacing traditional cable television with Internet video viewing growing by 388% annually, and cable TV is seeing the lowest number of viewers today than it has ever seen.

I could cite stuff all day long but the point is if you’re in business your best audience is found online and the foundation of all online marketing is good content. Fundamentally good story telling is the key to writing contents that excels then add too this strong underlying foundation it make as your knowledge research skills and the ability to thoroughly address all of your readers questions.

Learning to create captivating headlines that correctly reflect what the content is about is another important tool in your skill set. This described process is also what I’m about to teach you in my book. This approach is already working, numbers don’t lie, companies such as General Electric RedBull have utilized the medium of story telling in a bold new way giving theirs viewers and readers stories informing as opposed to selling.

Go read and watch some of the media on their websites if you want to be inspired, and as I showed there are brands like Poo~Pourri taking storytelling to the next creative level. and simply sewing through the power of an astoundingly fun brand. Providing useful engaging content is the new face of marketing.

If you’re aware of this concept and can manage to blend storytelling with useful information then you’re well on you way to becoming a first class content creator, and when And once you’ve had some experience in storytelling, whether it is making up fables on the fly or your kid brother, eating up volumes of beautiful fiction tales at a time or writing a lengthy essay you actually enjoyed creating for your middle school teacher, then you probably have the skills for this type of content.

Truth be told I personally find it easier to write from an ad or targeted online copy perspective than just writing from a fictional perspective. Fiction gives you a lot of freedom to experiment but too much of a good thing means you have no limits or boundaries and it’s very easy to wonder off message.

In contrast online copy almost every time has defined guidelines to work within and although you were challenged to think outside the box where really good ideas are born, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll end up doing something wrong if you stay within the guidelines while exercising your writing talents and skills.

In this type of writing once you understand the instructions it’s impossible to stray off the beating path, fall off the cliff or wonder into the weeds.

End of chapter one.

I really hope you enjoy this brief excerpt of my book So You Think You Can Write, The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing.

Thanks for joining The Write Podcast.


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