The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
The word on the street last year was that content marketing is dead. Slapping an abundance of keywords into a short article no longer yields results…that is certainly true. However, just because content hacking is dead, doesn’t mean content marketing is dead. The content you add to your website, blog, or portfolio still has as much significance as it did in the early days of the internet. Rest assured: If you’re starting up your first attempt at a blog in this new year, you haven’t arrived too late to the party…you’ve just got to reinvent your method of entrance.
Have you noticed that Hollywood seems to be releasing more remakes than ever in 2017? Have you ever thought about why that’s the case? In my opinion, they’ve run out of unique, interesting storylines. Every time they release something “new”, critics want to deem it “predictable” and “boring”. Every storyline seems to have been filmed over and over again. Hollywood is hoping that the young generation will bring in new issues to enhance, new stories to create, and new characters to make the nation fall in love with…but until that happens, they’re stuck working with what they already have. Bloggers are facing many of the same problems. Readers are just average people…and the average person is busier than ever before. They don’t have time to browse blogs just for the sake of browsing blogs. They have questions, concerns, and curiosities, that they need answered quickly and completely, as to not disturb their busy, daily schedules. If your blog doesn’t offer something new, fresh, and thought-provoking…you’ve got no chance at making it in the marketing world.
The good news is, as I said at the beginning of this article, content marketing isn’t dead…you just have to be ready and equipped to use your imagination a bit more than your blogging ancestors. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you figure out how to inspire that creative brain you’ve kept under lock and key for so long.
First of all, you need to stop looking at stories from the “common-folk” perspective. “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic princess tale that has been retold time and time again…but nearly always from the perspective of the beauty or the beast. How would the story be different if it were told from the perspective of Chip, the little teacup that so admired the princess? Would he have heard her innermost wishes and dreams that she dared not tell in her version of the tale? Would he have been angry at his master, the beast, for the treatment that the princess received, or would he have felt sympathy for the beast, because the beast had confided in him the level of pain and loneliness that the curse had cast upon him? The reader, no doubt, knows the story of the Beauty and the Beast, but casting a new perspective on the age-old tale could be exactly what is needed to attract a larger audience to the tale.
Another way to spruce up your writing is to pay attention to your own life. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the issues you face in daily life are quite similar to the issues your readers are facing. So, if you wouldn’t Google a question…don’t write about it. If you do Google a question, pay attention to the answer and critique it. If there is something you would add or take away from the answer you find, there is no shame in rewriting the article. Of course, make sure it is in your own words…plagiarism is a big no-no, but the idea is definitely a good place to draw inspiration. So, for example, if you run a cooking blog, you already know that there are thousands of online recipes for butterfly-cut chicken. However, butterflying a whole chicken in a cast-iron skillet in less than an hour is something not many people know how to do. Although, it could be turned into a very useful article, because nowadays, everyone is looking for a time-saving tip, especially when it comes to cooking.
The third piece of advice I must give you is this: Don’t be afraid to be controversial. In today’s world, everyone is walking on eggshells to be politically correct, and while it isn’t a good idea to walk around deliberately insulting every person you meet (remember, connections are still everything), it could be beneficial to business if you decide to disagree with the crowd, every once in a while. Take a glimpse at Kanye West. His career as never boomed as much as it has in the past couple of years. Surprisingly, he can’t say his success was from marrying a Kardashian, his success was actually from calling out Taylor Swift on an award show stage. Did this move piss off her fans? Of-course. Have his rants been controversial in the music industry, all around? Yes, they have. However, his little fits onstage have earned him extra stage time at recent award shows (+1 for publicity), an abundance of mentions in social media (+2 for publicity), and even some talk-show conversations focus…(+3 for publicity!). Controversial marketing has built the image of Kanye West that we all know and love (or hate), today. He is living proof that in a country founded on freedom of speech, you should never be afraid to give your opinion. It could save your brand.
The bottom line is: Offer a fresh perspective, get a little controversial, and solve the problems in your own life…follow this formula and you’re going to have readers coming back to your blog day in and day out looking for your latest article. Content marketing isn’t dead, and it probably never truly will be, you just need to stop playing it safe and start actually playing the marketing game. Your brand, and possibly even you’re career, depends on it.
It's the one aspect of my business that still gives me nightmares: Search Engine Optimization. SEO is just another term meaning "your website's ranking in the search engines" or possibly even "the popularity and relevance of your website". Basically, if you don't have good SEO tactics, you are still hiding in the deep, dark corners of the world wide web. Take a moment to think about the vast majority of individuals, businesses, and organizations that have websites. That's all fine and dandy until you are trying to attract new potential clients to your webpage. How are they going to find you? It's impossible to sift through every website ever created to find exactly what you want, so even if you are the company that they don't even know they need, they aren't going t be able to locate you if your SEO tactics are terrible. I'm going to share some of my SEO tips with you today. Now, I'm no expert, but these are the tactics that allow me to sleep a bit better at night.
1. Do Not Buy Traffic
It's tempting. Honestly, it's like the Devil is dangling a red velvet cupcake in front of your nose. Don't approach SEO in this manner. You must be strong. It is against the Google guidelines and terms of service to buy traffic for your website. It might boost your rankings in the long run, but if you are caught, your reputability is going to plummet. In addition to the prospect of being caught, looks might be deceiving when it comes to these types of services. Even if your analytics show that you are getting thousands to millions of hits a day, you need to take into consideration whether or not those clickers stayed on your website. Is your bounce rate high? You might have bought bots instead of real human traffic. Maybe you bought China traffic. Whatever the case, buying traffic for your website is the most common method of playing with fire in online businesses.
2. Write Professionally, Write Casually.
When SEO first began to become a big industry, some business owners felt like all of their web content needed to be loaded with SEO optimized keywords. Essentially, this worked in the beginning, but the effectiveness of keyword-loading dropped drastically when "everybody started doing it". In the long run, the business owners who had overrun their website with keywords lost readers because the content was too difficult to understand. If you have to choose between including a keyword or ease of reading for your audience, always choose the latter. In the end, SEO comes down to the number of faithful readers you have for your website. If they can't understand your writing, they aren't going to keep reading, and your SEO statistics are going to drop.
3. Write Interesting Content.
I'm just going to start out with an example to explain this tip, because I believe the title should speak for itself. Let's say you are a "Mommy Blogger", and there's nothing wrong with that, it's actually kind of a cool hobby. You have a blog that is being read by women around the country who have children. Your blog is a place for parents to connect, share experiences, etc. Your blog is an escape, a therapy session, and an information portal all wrapped into one. If you run out of writing ideas, and you just start writing about the funny faces and weird noises that your baby has been making at the dinner table, no one is going to want to read your blog except for yourself and possibly your spouse. If your readers wanted that kind of content, they would go fix dinner and feed it to their own children. It's your responsibility as the writer to give them something else to ponder. Now, let's say you saw a news update on your mobile phone that announced a popular brand of baby food has been recalled. This would be something interesting to inform your readers of. Many of the parents reading your blog have probably used that brand of baby food, are currently using it, or know someone who has used it. This is need to know information. Once they realize you are a reliable source of useful information, they will continue to come back to read your blog. You might even start a conversation in the comments regarding other recalls that are currently active. Now you can say you've done your job as a blogger, and you might want to check your rankings again, because you're probably a few steps closer to the top.
4. Work Is Advertisement Too!
If you want people to be able to find your website, you need to advertise it. Obviously, you can buy advertising from popular companies. There are radio advertising offers, television advertisements, flyers, brochures, business cards, etc. You can also buy advertising from popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, or you can use those platforms for free advertisement. One type of advertisement that people often overlook is the work you do. As a blogger, you should be working with other blogs. You should be submitting your work to other platforms. The more places your name appears, the higher your rankings can go. It takes a little bit of extra time and effort, but guest posting on another blog is a great way to shoot to the top!
This morning, I logged into Twitter. I noticed a hashtag trending worldwide that actually seemed worth looking into: #WednesdayWisdom. Now, I don't know about you, but I am always appreciative of a little bit of wisdom, especially on a Wednesday which tends to be one of the slowest paced days of the entire week. Of course, there were quite a few true but overused quotes about kindness, more than enough bad jokes that didn't even make me crack a smile, and a ton of businesses just trying to promote themselves by using the popular hashtag. However, I did take note of certain tweets in particular pertaining to literature and business that I thought would fit perfectly into this blog. So, on this very dreary Wednesday, I shall bestow other individual's wisdom on you. You can thank me later.
Many people have tried to find success on Fiverr, and have failed. They see these "Fiverr Super Sellers", and they get the bright idea that they will reach that level of success overnight. In reality, it just isn't so. You see, Fiverr is a freelance platform. Essentially, you are running your own business. Obviously, not everyone is cut out to run their own business, in much the same way that some people just aren't meant to be doctors, and others just don't have the right skills to be a hairstylist. Anyone can call themselves a freelance writer, but it takes a special kind of person to be a successful freelance writer. Now, in all honesty, if you compare the amount of success that I've attained on the Fiverr platform to that of a Fiverr Super Seller, you might not be all that impressed. However, if you spend just a few minutes in the dark depths of the 'buyer request' section of the site, you'll probably come to the conclusion that I'm not doing all that bad either. In my opinion, I'm doing pretty well for someone like me that puts such a small amount of time into the site. Just like in any other business, you get back what you put in. So, how do you build up an impressive profile on the popular website?
1. Grammar has NEVER been more important!
I have seen it too many times. A seller has a great idea for a piece, but no one messages them from the buyer request page. Why? Maybe because the quality of their English was comparable to that of a 2nd grade student. It's a bit harsh to say, but it's the truth. When you are marketing yourself as a writer, you need to be able to write properly. It's not all about the content, at first glance it's more about the way you deliver the content. Likewise, if you are trying to sell a video editing service, but the video you use to market your service is poorly fashioned, you probably aren't going to get that many orders. This is really a matter of common sense when you think about it, but you would be amazed how many individuals choose to forego the entire "thinking" process.
2. Be a nice person, ALWAYS!
Your buyers are going to be on high alert for any attitude you might allow to seep through. Remember, this is not face-to-face conversation, this is not even over-the-phone conversation (if it is you are actually violating Fiverr policy), this is written conversation. These are online messages. Unless you are using a ton of emojis in your e-mails (which, in my opinion, is not very professional), then you must keep in mind that the person(s) you are communicating with cannot read your emotions. They simply read what you write. Professionalism is usually the best way to go, but even professionalism can come across as cold or distant. You don't have to necessarily be friends with your clients, in fact I would advise against that, but being nice is very good for your business.
For example: someone asked me to write a best man speech for them to read at a wedding they would soon be attending. They sent me some pretty terrible ideas as to what they would like to talk about in the speech, so I let them know (politely) that they might want to reconsider. Professionally, if I had written what they requested and turned it in on time, I could call it a job well done. However, I took it a step further and decided to save them the embarrassment they would have to face at the ceremony if I had used their original ideas.
So, remember, always try to do the right thing when you are doing business.
3. Use shameless self-promotion on social media to your advantage.
So, you have a Facebook account. You have a Twitter account. You have a Tumblr account. You have a... must I go on? The point is, you probably have more social media than you can keep up with at the moment, and followers from more countries than you care to count. Why can't you do some self-promoting on these sites? I'm definitely not encouraging you to bombard your followers with a ton of spam-like promotional messages, that's actually counter-productive. I AM, however, encouraging you to tweet a little update on your work day, or maybe instagram a picture of your latest project. It gets people interested in your work. Even if they don't need your services, they might know someone who does. Word of mouth is one of the most surefire ways to build up a clientele. Another DON'T for social media would be creating an account specifically for your business. While this is useful in some ways, I find it to be repetitive and boring as well. First of all, time management is one of the most important skills to have in the freelance business, and if you really start to crunch the numbers, you might realize that you are putting more time into these "special" accounts than they are actually worth. Especially, when your personal account would work just as well. A business account is more than likely just going to attract business people, and business people are usually apt to do their own writing. So how is that earning you any new buyers? Now, if you are weary about making your personal account public, then I understand why you would create a new account. You just need to take into consideration your specific situation. You know what's best for you.
These are just a few of the tips that I would give to anyone who aspires to become a successful freelance writer on Fiverr, or any other platform for that matter. Brush up on your skills before you try to market your services, be nice to everyone you encounter, and do a little bit of self-promotion on social media, but don't go overboard. If you follow these three steps you should be well on your way to forming a very successful business.
Welcome! I know many of you may be familiar with the blog that we previously run on www.sierrawoodcock.com. You see, the problem was, the blog wasn't updated very frequently, and we noticed that it became a bit more of a spam page than a blog. With the new year, we decided to step up our blogging game, as well as redesign the entire website! (Just in case you hadn't already noticed.)
This blog is going to be like taking a glimpse inside of my mind when you read it, filtered of course, and a bit more organized than my Tumblr blogs. There will be posts about literature and writing obviously, there will be contests, opinion pieces, and television reviews. Pretty much anything you are looking for can be found here.
Like I said in the bio, you are encouraged to participate in blog conversations, start conversations, and share on social media, but please be polite. There is enough negativity in the world without you creating even more of it. Everyone is welcome here.
I hope you all enjoy the updates to come on our blog!