​The Write Podcast, E31: Content Strategy for High-ROI Guest Blogging with Aaron Orendorrf

​The Write Podcast, E31: Content Strategy for High-ROI Guest Blogging with Aaron Orendorrf


On Episode 31 of the Write Podcast, I have the honor of speaking to Aaron Orendorff. Aaron is an incredibly impressive content marketer. He’s the founder of Iconic Content, and his site slogan happens to be: “Saving the world from bad content.”
Seriously – one of the best taglines I’ve ever heard.
Today, Aaron shares (generously) his clever, high-level strategies on the strategy behind writing for coveted guest blogs, that offer a huge payoff and high ROI.
Aaron is a rock star content contributor at CMI, Unbounce, Copyblogger, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Business Insider – and that’s just for starters. He has authored some of the top-read, top-shared blog posts of the year. You could say he is a genius guest-posting machine.
On top of all that, Aaron recently became the editor-in-chief at Shopify Plus, which gives him a unique perspective from the other side of guest blogging – the gatekeeper side.
If getting more guest-blogging opportunities is on your resolutions list this year, this episode is a must-listen!
Ready? Let’s go!
E31 Content Strategy for High-ROI Guest Blogging with Aaron Orendorff

T he Write Podcast, E31: Content Strategy for High-ROI Guest Blogging with Aaron Orendorrf

  • 3:25 – 5:28: How Aaron Went from Freelancer to Editor-in-Chief – Aaron focused on guest-posting for two years, most of it unpaid. He explains how he started freelancing for Shopify Plus, which eventually turned into a big game-changer for his career.
  • 5:30 – 7:50: What Aaron Does in His Shopify Plus Role – What does being editor-in-chief at a major B2B entail? Turns out, a lot of it is old-fashioned SEO and content marketing 101, including targeting niche keywords and scoping out audience intent.
  • 7:51 – 10:15: Leads Over Social Shares – It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics like social shares or likes – leads from your content are the real gold. Aaron recounts an interview where that point was driven home.
  • 10:16 – 12:45: How Do You Get Guest Blogging Gigs on Major Sites? – Aaron shares a few secrets for nabbing the guest-posting gigs of your dreams. He also divulges the blog format that can score impressive engagement, which will make editors welcome you back for more content.
  • 12:46 – 15:32: More Tips for Scoring Guest Blogs – There are a few things that Aaron did a little differently when it came to getting posts on sites like Mashable, Fast Company, and Entrepreneur. A big one: He wrote posts specifically for the site and their audience, then sent them to the editor in a cold email.
  • 15:33 – 18:59: Today’s Guest Posting Climate and What You Need to Get Noticed – Aaron talks a little bit about why his method is necessary for guest posting today. Hint: Huffington Post closing its contributor network is a good example to learn from.
  • 19:01 – 21:36: Expect Rejections, but Don’t Quit – When one of Aaron’s guest posts got rejected by Forbes, he revised it to fit the next publisher on his hit list. When they rejected it, he went through the same process. Eventually, that piece got on Mashable.
  • 21:46 – 24:47: Top Do’s and Don’ts for Guest Bloggers – There are some basics you should and shouldn’t do before approaching a guest blog platform with your content. Aaron shares his top tips, including making sure to read the platform’s contributor guidelines. He also suggests a Chrome extension called Contact Out to help you email editors directly.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet:

'The thing about writing for an enterprise audience is you will get called on faking it, fast.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet
'Some of those giant posts that are guest posts, that do build up your personal brand, are absolutely amazing for lead generation as a freelancer.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet
'The real big ROI of guest-posting: You're not going to get a lot of traffic, but if you get the right traffic, that pays off huge.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet
'It's so easy to get lost in the deluge of traffic, shout-outs, and social shares. That can be good for a certain goal, but when it comes to feeding the bottom line – lead generation – that's not the game.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet
'SEO content has built our bottom line.' @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
'What opened doors for me on the guest-posting side of things: I don't think I ever sent a pitch.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet
'Make it easy for (guest blog) editors to say yes.' @AaronOrendorff Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned:

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​The Write Podcast, E30: Productivity Improvement for Content Creators & Writers (How I Beat Content Creation Laziness & Had My Best Year Ever, in 2017)

​The Write Podcast, E30: Productivity Improvement for Content Creators & Writers (How I Beat Content Creation Laziness & Had My Best Year Ever, in 2017)


Welcome to episode 30 of The Write Podcast!
For our 30th episode, I’m doing things a little differently. It’s just me in a solo episode, sharing the secrets behind how I was able to do it all last year: create and launch a course, run an agency of more than 40 team members, write and self-publish a 366-page book, launch a YouTube show, try public speaking for the first time, and, publish more than 70 posts – all while maintaining a home life (and my sanity).
“How on earth do you get that done?” is probably the #1 question my community asked me throughout all of 2017.
Finally, you learn my productivity secrets. It’s all right here. Listen in!
Sit down with me and grab some ideas to beat content laziness and boost your own productivity and professional output for 2018. ?
And don’t forget to head on over to my Content Strategy Course site to read the in-depth blog I wrote, for the full case study: www.bit.ly/juliasproductivitycasestudy 
productivity improvement for content creators

The Write Podcast, E30: Productivity Improvement for Content Creators & Writers (How I Completely Beat Content Creation Laziness & Had My Best Year Ever)

1:40: Part 1 – My Productivity Case Study

  • 1:40 – 3:12: What I Accomplished in 2017. I had a full plate last year, no question. I give a run-down of what I was able to accomplish professionally, including creating a course, writing a book, and launching a YouTube show.
  • 3:15 – 3:56: Read the Case Study. For an in-depth, detailed look at how I did it all last year, read about my process at the link provided (see “Links Mentioned” below).

3:57: Part 2 – How Exactly Did My Productivity Take Off? + 18 Actionable Productivity Tips

  • 4:30 – 4:57: The Number One Reason Behind My Super-Powered Productivity in 2017. I credit the long task of creating the in-depth curriculum for my course as the instigator for my improved productivity.
  • 4:58 – 6:54: Forming New, Productive Habits and What the Studies Say. The idea that it takes 21 days to form a new habit is a myth. So, what does it really take? I cite some studies that provide enlightenment, then show how my own experience proves the research. It’s no joke (it’s hard), but it worked for me.
  • 6:56 – 7:19: Setting Deadlines and Accountability That Stick. Another reason behind my productivity: I put some accountability factors in place from which I couldn’t back down.
  • 7:20 – 9:16: Becoming My Most Productive Self. I talk about how the new habits I have formed from 2 rigorous months of hard work have paid off.

9:17: 18 Actionable Productivity Tips

  • 9:17 – 10:08: My #1 Tip. Choose your work environment carefully – don’t just work anywhere. Have a dedicated space where you get sh*t done.
  • 10:10 – 13:02: Productivity Tips 2-4 – My Recommendations for the Best Work Environment. The next few tips are all about where you sit, how you sit, and how they can affect your output. For instance, tip #3 is to work in natural light, which boosts your mood, helps eliminate headaches that fluorescent lighting can cause, and more.
  • 13:05 – 16:36: Tips 5-9 – Increase Your Speed. Invest in better tech, improve your typing speed, know some handy keyboard and tech shortcuts, and your output will be able to keep up with your brain power!
  • 16:37 – 19:50: Tips 10-13 – Make Healthy Productivity Habits Part of Daily Living. One part of being productive (and staying productive for the long-haul) involves taking care of your body. If your body is fueled with nutrients, hydrated, and energized, you’ll be able to work better, including focus better, longer. I share my favorite tips for doing just that.
  • 19:52 – 24:00: Tips 14-15 – Set Deadlines, Get Up Earlier, and Get an Accountability Partner. This is the winning trifecta that helped me successfully finish my course in 2017. I explain how they go hand-in-hand-in-hand (there’s a lot of stumbling in this story, but the point is I pulled through some hard early wake-ups!).
  • 24:02 – 25:20: Tip 16 – Listen to Music for Focus. The right music can make a huge difference for focus. I recommend my favorite type to play while I work.
  • 25:22 – 26:32: Tip 17 – Get the Support You Need. This tip is especially big for entrepreneurs. No one can do it all alone.
  • 26:34 – 27-13: Tip 18 – Busy ≠ Productive. Don’t just spin your wheels. Multi-tasking can go overboard. Focus on getting the right stuff done.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet:

'Forming a habit in 21 days is a myth. It takes 2+ months before a new behavior becomes automatic.' @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
'A 2-month period to complete a project and teach yourself a new schedule can impact your productivity.' @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
'The easiest thing to do when the going gets hard: stop. Habit training can show you how to counteract that feeling.' @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
'Give yourself deadlines for everything and then work to meet them, if not beat them.' @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned:

Read the Full Productivity Improvement for Content Creators Case Study on the Content Strategy Blog

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​The Write Podcast, E28: Strategies to Help You Develop Your Marketing Message with Small Business Expert Ivana Taylor

​The Write Podcast, E28: Strategies to Help You Develop Your Marketing Message with Small Business Expert Ivana Taylor


Welcome to episode 28 of The Write Podcast!
Today we’re diving into a huge topic for any marketer, whether you’re just starting out or are an old hand in your niche: your marketing message.
Our guest who will be offering tons of tips and advice on this topic is Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers.
As a small business marketing expert, Ivana has over 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s an online publisher and influencer and the creator of DIY Marketers, which is dedicated to helping small business owners on tight budgets meet their marketing goals.
This is a meaty episode with lots of actionable insights. Listen in and enjoy!
E28 ivana taylor write podcast

The Write Podcast, E28: Strategies to Help You Develop Your Marketing Message with Small Business Expert Ivana Taylor Show Notes:

  • 1:43 – 3:00: About Ivana (and How We Know Each Other!) I met Ivana in real life at Content Marketing World, and we regularly engage on Twitter.
  • 3:04 – 6:44: Marketing Tips for Businesses Just Getting Their Feet Wet. How can a new business find and solidify their marketing message? Ivana has four words for you: Give yourself some space. From her personal experience, she shares why it’s so important to work for your own marketing
  • 6:55 – 8:10: How Active Listening Is One of Your Best Tools. Ivana describes how listening is a must if you want to glean your ultimate marketing message, one that encapsulates you and drives your business forward. However, you have to listen the right way to get the right information.
  • 8:12 – 9:13: How Express Writers Differentiated with Our Message. I talk about how, once EW found its message, we leaned into it and showcased it on our Values page and got great results.
  • 9:13 – 12:35: Three Questions Every Successful Brand Answers with Their Marketing Message. Ivana divulges the three KEY questions every successful brand has definitively answered. The first one is “Who are you being in the world?”
  • 12:37 – 16:18: How Do You Answer Those Questions for Yourself? I talk about how going straight to your customers and talking to them can help you get the answers you need. Ivana adds helpful tips on HOW to go to your customers. A big one: Hire someone impartial to survey/interview your audience!
  • 16:21 – 20:36: Once You Know Your Marketing Message, How Do You Deliver It? Ivana talks about ways to deliver your message via blogging, email, and other channels. One great tip: Repurpose your best content that helps broadcast your message across various channels and platforms.
  • 20:40 – 23:52: How to Position Yourself as a Leader with Your Marketing Message. How do you come off as an expert when you don’t feel like one (for instance, you don’t have the experience/degree/what-have-you that you think you should)? According to Ivana, it all comes down to your point of view and expressing it distinctly and clearly.
  • 23:57 – 27:05: Play to Your Strengths! Spend time developing your strengths as a marketer instead of trying to improve your weaknesses. Ivana recommends checking out the book StrengthsFinder to help you pinpoint and put words to exactly what your strengths are. This can help drive your message.
  • 27:06 – 28:55: Own Your Authority. Finally, Ivana says that to come across as an authority and get your message heard, you have to own that title.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet:

My number one tip is to give yourself time and space, and dig into ‘what is your business about?’ @diymarketers Click To Tweet
Ask yourself: 'Why am I doing this? Why does this matter to me, to the customer, or to anybody else?’ @diymarketers Click To Tweet
'Listen to customers: but don’t just listen TO what they’re saying, listen FOR what they’re saying.' @diymarketers Click To Tweet
'Marketing isn’t about what you do. It’s about who you are.' @diymarketers Click To Tweet
'Choose a side and stand in the place of a leader or an authority.' @diymarketers Click To Tweet
'Be the expert that you intend to be; do the things that experts do; & you’ll have what experts have.' @diymarketers Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned:

Subscribe to The Write Podcast for More Content Marketing Advice and Insights

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

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


Taylor Manning is ONLY 21.
She went from watching a video on “making money online” as a college student in debt looking for a way out, to making $80,000/month just a couple of years later.
One of her main routes to success is through the amazing content she creates, targeted to her community of millennials – and putting herself in “their” shoes, which was really where she herself was a few years ago.
For young people and the young-at-heart alike, this 26th episode of the Write Podcast is a don’t-miss!
write podcast E26

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

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

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'My fear: if clients find out my age. What if they feel like I scammed them?' @taylormcreative Click To Tweet
'All of a sudden, this big fear I had became a selling point.' @taylormcreative Click To Tweet
'My content strategy is, really, show up every day.' @taylormcreative Click To Tweet
'To speak to your ideal client, whether they’re a millennial or not, put yourself in their shoes.' @taylormcreative Click To Tweet
'Create content that holds value and story and tips, that’s relevant to that ideal client of yours.' @taylormcreative Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

Subscribe, follow and listen to the Write Podcast!

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

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


So, you want to create an online course. What are some basic keys and useful tips for getting going?
Maya Elious has some answers for us. (FYI, this was recorded before I launched my course. I learned a couple things that I applied. :-)) She’s an online branding expert, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. I found her on Teachable’s Course Creation Workshop series, where she impressed me with her knowledge and insights.
Today, for episode 25 of the Write Podcast, she’s sharing her know-how about course creation strategies and copywriting tips. These are useful nuggets of wisdom especially relevant for the beginner but are great refreshers if you’re an old hat, too. Sit back and listen in!
write podcast E25

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

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

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'When you’re truly niche you attract the right people, and I feel like your students get better results.' @mayaelious Click To Tweet
'People want a shortcut. If it takes six months to get through your course, you’re not providing it.' @mayaelious Click To Tweet
I’m always thinking: 'What is it I have to do for students to follow along?' @mayaeliou Click To Tweet
We want to make customers think: 'How much is this going to cost me if I DON'T make this investment?' @mayaelious Click To Tweet
'Give your course a chance to get in front of the right people.' @mayaelious Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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