Does Your Content Have Purpose?

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So big question, hey? No, I’m not talking about whether your content is deep, meaningful and will cause a life-changing epiphany for your readers.

Not at all…good content doesn’t have to be your life’s work or anything close to it.If you’re writing content for business purposes, it simply needs to serve a need for your readers…and in turn, how does it benefit your business?

A few days ago Annette, gave us some advice on using an editorial calendar and Kathryn provided more tips for planning your content.

All that planning is all well and good, but what I’m wondering is if you have a reason WHY you publish your content? It may not be something you think about consciously, but if you’re creating content, having a PURPOSE for that content is going to go a long way for you and your business. Because let’s face it, publishing content for content’s sake is only going to drain your time and/or wallet. So instead, consciously think about the purpose for each piece of content you publish.

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Give Your Readers What They Want - WITHOUT All The Hard Work - Pre-made fully-illustrated step-by-step tutorials make it easy to sell your products, build your list and grow your business. Click here to learn more.

More Steps for Content Calendars

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Annette asked if I was using an editorial calendar for my website. I had to say no. But an editorial calendar is a great idea for managing my content and keeping that content fresh and flowing. Taking my website to the next level means pushing beyond the ordinary. Creating a list for what I want to write and when I want it posted is definitely NOT the ordinary way I do things.

Most of my life has been spent meeting deadlines by the skin of my teeth. Planning things in advance might be an option, but procrastination kept them in the planning stage. I have always been a very good procrastinator. These last several months have helped me to understand the value of following the plan if I want my website to be all that it can be.

5 Easy Steps for Planning and Writing Content

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Give Your Readers What They Want - WITHOUT All The Hard Work - Pre-made fully-illustrated step-by-step tutorials make it easy to sell your products, build your list and grow your business. Click here to learn more.

Are Your Using an Editorial Calendar?

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A few month’s ago the esteemed Alexis Rodrigo blogged about New Year’s Resolutions for Content Marketer (It’s #8 on the list).  So the question is….are you using an Editorial Calendar?

What is An Editorial Calendar?

Quite simply, it’s a list of the content you’re going to publish with corresponding publication dates. You can find samples of what an editorial calendar can look like here:

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Give Your Readers What They Want - WITHOUT All The Hard Work - Pre-made fully-illustrated step-by-step tutorials make it easy to sell your products, build your list and grow your business. Click here to learn more.

If Email Marketing Dies, I’ll Eat My Shoe

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A few weeks ago, I gave you some encouragement when you just don’t feel like blogging (it’s OKAY!), And in that post, I honed in on an area that deserves plenty of your attention…and that’s email marketing.

And a little later, in my sheer frustration at people who claim email marketing is dead or at least dying some slow death, I asked social media enthusiasts to look at the big picture.

In that post, I mentioned that email runs across all platforms (i.e. you don’t have to be on Twitter to get your messages…people have choice of pop3s, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and for the online business owner, it also provides:

  • Private communication: It’s how your customers can ask questions and get support. And even if you use a ticket system, it’s still in conjunction with email. And yes, while some companies provide basic help to customers through Twitter and other platforms, detailed and private help comes directly through you.
  • Privileged communication: Let’s face it, our customers should be treated in a privileged manner. They’ve shown they’re interested and that they are willing to spend money. You want to give them special offers, advanced access and other perks you don’t give to just anyone who becomes a Facebook fan. You can make a TON of cash, just by treating your customers better than everyone else.
  • Direct communication of any length: No 140 character limits with email. Say what you want and how you want to say it…no extra clicks to the sale required. THAT is priceless.
  • Continuous access: Not everyone checks email every day, but you can bet that IN GENERAL the consistency with the average individual checks it is more consistent than with social media accounts. Of course, there are exceptions for those who live and breathe social media, but we’re talking about the general public here. And yes of course, you need to understand your own market to know what is best for you and for them.

But if that’s not enough for you, here are a couple more reasons why email isn’t going anywhere:

- It’s how people often communicate when more depth and detail is needed. And for many, it’s the only or main way they communicate online.

- It’s how people are notified of their new messages in social media and other collaborative sites. You can bet social media sites are sending out a TON of automated notifications via email each and every day.

For some reason, people feel lower delivery rates (due to aggressive spam filters) has somehow put a nail into the coffin for email. While deliverability is an issue, you have the same issue when it comes to social media sites (not everyone will see your tweet, update, etc.) and many will never drop by or open their RSS feed to read your blog post.

The fact remains, despite some challenges, email is an important part of just about every net savvy person’s life…

Even Facebook is Getting in on the Email Game

You may have heard that Facebook is rumored to be launching its own web-based email application. For the blinded-by-the-light social media starlets this may just seem like further proof that social media is taking over.

But for the shrewd business person, it’s a clear indication that Mark Zuckerberg and the gang understand the power of email. They know this is how people communicate and it’s the missing key to getting all the Facebook addicts completely locked on to their site. ;-)

So it’s up to you if you want to believe the hype or not. I recommend building your mailing list, building your RSS subscribers and making tons of “friends” on the net. Then let’s see what brings the best and most consistent results and what really fuels all your marketing, generates new sales and repeat sales. If I’m wrong, I’ll take a little salt and pepper and perhaps a nice glass of Cab Shiraz with my shoe.

What to Do Next to be an Email Marketing Success

A big part of email marketing success, comes from making it a regular habit. The more you work on growing and nurturing your list, the better your results. To ensure you develop those great habits, be sure to join me for the 30-Day Email Marketing Challenge. I’ll whip you into shape in no time.

Featured Article Directory: Articledashboard.com

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ArticleDashboard.com is a free article directory website and ezine that provides a place for authors to submit their articles and for website owners to access content. The directory was established in 2005 and continues to stand as a solid provider for a wide range of topics.

Article Dashboard has been working to establish itself as a top content provider since it first came on the scene in August 2005. It not only provides content, but also provides free software that allows sites to establish their own article directories. Websites can use this software to build resources for their visitors and the software can be customized for a specific need or niche.
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