Whether a freelancer, entrepreneur or business, you need content marketing for awareness of your presence as an entity offering products or services.

There are forms of content marketing mentioned in a previous post.

As the search bots check for fresh content, if you are keeping up with fresh relevant content to what people are looking for, using content to explain what you have to offer them to help them with either a product or service they need.

Fresh content on a regular basis will help you climb the search engine latter.

If your content is relevant, visitors may consider your product or service. Your content must be relevant, engaging, easy to read, and establishes you as someone that has the right product or service people are looking for.

Your content should put the visitor at ease and work at building relationships with possible buyers of your product or service because customers will buy from someone they trust.

Your content should not always be about selling but showing what you do and how you have what people are looking.

If your content is about products, there should be pictures of the products. Pictures are content. This way, visitors can view your physical products and get a sense of what is looks like.

Again, I must stress that content be relevant to the product or service. Using tricks or “black hat” maneuvers is not a good tactic unless you want to run the risk of being unindexed by search engines or worse.

All content should be honest and authentic, you are the content and the content is you.

What would you do if someone offered a product and when you click to find out you find there are hidden costs or some other condition? You would probably leave and never return. Don’t do the same to your visitors. Always be open and honest.

Somewhere in your content should be a way to contact you for questions or comments.

Testimonials on your site are also content that will show visitors what others that have purchased from you think of the process and the product or service.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

Eight Forms of Content for Online Content Marketing:

Blog Posts

These types of blog posts should speak to the visitor’s pain point. They should answer the question of how you can help them with their pain point. They should contain relevant information, How-To, and educate them.

eBooks

Is there a book or guide you can write that is relevant to your product or service that you can offer to visitors to your sites? Something that can explain about your product or service that will explain what you have to offer.

Let’s say you design websites for example. You might write an eBook explaining some aspect of a website that draws traffic and offer it as a reward for visiting your site.

Email

Do ever offer contests, freebies, or other items to people on your email list? Sending emails or a newsletter to your list is a chance for you to enter the world of your visitors with items only to subscribers. I chance for you to offer posts about the niche you serve, and possibly a ready market to make purchases of your product or service.

How-To Guides

Here is your chance to offer some of your expertise within your niche that shows you are a go to person for help when someone has a problem not in the how-to guide.

It’s almost impossible to cover every possible problem that a person might run in to. This is a way to build trust with a potential customer. Something you said actually works.

Infographics

If you spent any time on the internet, you may have seen these. These are rectangles or some other shape containing graphs or information, which offers information about a specific subject, and posted on websites, social media and other venues.

A bookmark with information about a specific book or a play, a store is an example of an infographic that has been around before the internet. It is only recently the he term infographic widely used.

Podcasts

This is you chase to repurpose your blog posts to create something that people can listen to or their tablets or smart phones. You can offer information about your product or service by talking about the product or service in a way that is educational and not push sales only.

What can you come up with that you can create a video or audio about the product or service that can help educate the listener or viewer? Something they can learn and apply to help them with what they do or need to accomplish. What did they search for to end up at your podcast?

As with all content, it must offer relevant context of their search.

Videos

These videos are not your home movies but could be instructional, informational, and educational. Here is where visitors get to know you and what you offer, a chance to begin building relationships, with whoever visits or stumbles across your videos.

This is your opportunity to present yourself to viewers. You, a real person and not some anonymous name on a screen, it’s better to see the person to build trust than just some name that could be anyone on the internet.

Once again, and opportunity to help viewers with instruction or education and allowing your viewers to meet you, a real person, not just a name, now you are a name and a person they can relate to.

Website

Your website is where you offer your product or service, make contact, offer testimonials and a way for visitors to contact you, ask questions and interact with you.

This is a place for your story. Websites are a place where you can explain about your product or service, a site where you can list your services or product where visitors can read more about them and purchase.

A place where all of your contact information is in front of visitors to connect with you, ask questions or request a quote for a specific project they may need your expertise for in relation to how you charge.

All of the above is content marketing basics.

As you can see, there are many forms of content marketing. The next thing you need is a content marketing strategy.

I plan to cover content marketing strategy later in this series of posts about content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.

There are many goals to content marketing.

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Driving traffic to your website
  3. Branding
  4. Telling your story
  5. Telling people about your product or service
  6. Add value through relevant information
  7. Building a following
  8. Turn followers into clients
  9. Build relationships

This is by no means a complete list, but you get the idea.

Content should inform and educate visitors to your website how you are the one to help them with your product or service.

Many people begin searching on the internet for information about a certain subject or How-to Guides because they have a need to satisfy a curiosity or need to learn something needed for a project or possibly a business need. Perhaps a person is someone for whom writing is as scary as insects are for others, a “pain point”. There are many freelancers that can write content, what do you have to offer that would make them hire you?

Does your content help them with this pain point? Is your content relevant? What separates you from other freelance writers?

Individuals and businesses may have many pain points. There are non-geeks that may need a website built, others may need content for blogs and webpages, some may need reviews, and authors may need editors.

Who is your product or service aimed at? That person is your audience. Why do you want to sell a product or service? Is it to make money or help your client with their needs?

The first order of business should be to build relationships with your ideal audience. Once you have built a relationship of trust you may have a loyal client and be in a position to request a referral to gain more clients.

The best method of advertising is word of mouth. If your content marketing is relevant, informative, and educational your visitors will spread the word about your site. This is true organic traffic.

Organic traffic from many different sources will raise your position on search engines.

Does your content fulfill the needs of your audience and does your site have an easy way for the visitors to ask questions or connect with you?

All sites should have some easy way of interaction with the site owner.

Businesses should listen to their clients and visitors.

This is the main goal of content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

Many people in business on the internet have heard the term “Content Marketing” but may not completely understand what the term means.

The Content Marketing Institute (The Content Marketing Institute is a place of resources and training for anyone interested in learning about content marketing) says of content marketing,

“Content Marketing – Formal Definition

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.

Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.”

This may be a bit too formal for some. My definition of Content Marketing is this:

The creation of value added content (any medium such as a blog, website, social media, networking, etc.) that explains what you as an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner have to offer that is of benefit to your customers.

I would also like to add the definition of the term “copy” which I use quite often when writing about blog posts, articles, press releases (PR), etc.

According to the definition found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition “Copy” is:
4 a: matter to be set esp. for printing.

b: something considered printable or newsworthy – used without an article
c: text esp. of an advertisement

Copy is anything suitable for printing. Is a blog post suitable for printing? When you hit the post button, your post is electronically printed. Therefore, anything created that involves text is copy.

Content consists of video, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Content is any media that positions you to drive traffic to your business with an audience looking for what you have to offer.
In subsequent posts, I will be covering more about the marketing aspect of content as it relates to your ideal customer.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

Is the new advertising old advertising?

McDonald’s brought back the “Hamburgler” and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brought back the Colonel in their respective commercials.

It is time that what is old is new again, or is it the fact that their current advertising isn’t working and they are scrambling to draw in patrons with what worked in the past.

Personal experience: My wife and I stopped at a KFC because we wanted to place an order from and television commercial. We placed our order and they were out of everything we tried to order. We ended up just driving thorough without making a purchase.

Note to KFC: Not a way to run a business.

When advertising a special or some product or service, be sure you can deliver or customers may not be in a mood to make a purchase or trust you in the future.

Things like bait and switch; trying to upsell before you’ve created a relationship with the customer isn’t the best way to create loyalty.

I have lived in California, Kansas, and now reside in West Virginia. I can tell you the not all franchises are equal.

Example: Red Lobster and Outback in San Bernardino, California were below par while Red Lobster in Salina, Kansas is a place to visit for a good meal. Outback in San Bernardino, California is place to avoid while Outback in Princeton, West Virginia is wonderful.

What is the reason for this stark difference, one word, “Management?”

As a business, never advertise what you can’t deliver. Whether you use so tried and true method or a new method of advertising, businesses must deliver what they are promising in the advertising.

To me, this is true truth in advertising. I can’t tell you how many times I have received and offer of something for free and then have to pay for shipping, or some amount after a period get charged a monthly fee that is beyond the budget of many people in today’s economy.

The point to this, if you want to cultivate customer loyalty, you must deliver on the inherent promise your advertisement offers and nothing less.

Businesses regardless of what they offer, the offer must be open and transparent. Don’t let customers come to you only to find out that something offered is not what they expected or costs more than they expected to pay for a product or service.

Businesses need to deliver that best product or service for the price, cultivate relationships, and deliver on all inherent promises to establish customer loyalty.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or business flexibility and change are omnipresent; as the responsible party, you need to be quick on your feet to address what is working and what isn’t working.

In my case, there is too much taking up time and not allowing me to concentrate on what is more important, writing and learning, to this end I am refocusing on my writing, blog posts, and taking courses that I am registered for.

Believing in lifelong learning, it is time to begin learning more about the interests I have in relation to being a well-rounded freelance writer and marketer.

Everyone wanting to work online must have a working knowledge of basic HTML, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, and Content Marketing to grow their business. Whether working solo, partnership, freelancer, or whatever you call what you do online, or brick and mortar you are a businessperson and must learn about how different business models operate. Even authors are business people and are entrepreneurs.

Businesses must be open to the myriad changes possible as technology and business opportunities that arise. To be flexible to be cognitive to these changes one needs to be open to refocusing how to achieve the goals of your business.

When refocusing, questions will naturally present themselves. This is a time to re-evaluate if you need to learn something new, revisit your goals, or begin outsourcing some of the administrative chores to a VA (Virtual Assistant) to perform these tasks to free up your time to make your business grow.

Is it time for you to refocus your business and join me on the journey to rediscover the joy of running a business or being a freelancer and finding the passion you once had. Without what you do bringing joy to you, why are you doing it? Is it just for money? If it isn’t fun, it will become drudgery and had to keep the civility in the business. Frustration leads to contempt for the business and family as the burdens grow.

Refocus on why you started your business in the first place. Was it because you felt you had something that made you feel good and thought you might be able to help customers and make some money as well.

Refocusing will bring the passion back you initially, and help your business prosper and grow. Enjoy the journey!

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

What do I mean pay to play?

Facebook, created years ago, has a growing membership in the multimillions. Facebook frequently changes their algorithms, with subsequent algorithm changes, organic page likes fluctuate as does post reach, unless an account holder pays for expanded reach. The more you pay the greater the reach, these costs for expanded reach range from five dollars to two hundred dollars. The more you are willing to purchase reach the greater the reach. Promotion and advertising reach will cost you whatever you can afford. The more you can afford the greater the reach.

What is Reach?

Reach simply put, is the number of people that will see your Facebook post or advertisement.

Is Pay to Play Right for Your Business?

First, no business should go into debt, to fund their business and reaching out for new customers and advertising. Going into debt to fund your business is one way you quickly go out of business.

NOTE: Never spend more than you can comfortable afford on your business from revenue.

If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business, how much can you budget for paying to play against revenue to run your business is an extremely important equation. This is part of your marketing budget expense. What can you realistically afford without leaving the business short of funding and operational expenses? All businesses must know this number at all times. Put your account hat on and keep a handle on your working capital and budget items.

Whether entrepreneur or freelancer, you are a business, this is something that you must keep in mind. You must also realize that the business income is not your money; the money belongs to the business for operation and growth, not for paying personal living expenses.

Under funding, is a major cause of businesses closing down. Can you afford to spend money you don’t have? Most people who spend more than they make are soon in deep financial trouble. Don’t be one of them!

If you plan is having money and time to be free by starting a business, don’t. For a business to be viable, you will be spending many hours, weeks, and months devoting both to the business.

There is a dramatic learning curve to creating a startup. Most startups cannot afford to outsource many of the day-to-day operations. In the beginning, these operations are up to you until the business can afford the costs of outsourcing which isn’t cheap.

This is what true pay to play is all about. You want to freelance, or create a startup; it is going to cost you to join the ranks of entrepreneur. Don’t spend what you don’t have from the business.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Read the rest of this entry »

One-third of a year gone as of April 27, 2015 bm-4

This year is the year of change. I have lived in two centuries, eight different decades, cease being a sexagenarian and become a septuagenarian.

I have been a reader, learner, and driver for over half a century.

After retiring in December 2013, I began writing reviews and web content in February 2006.

It is definitely time, to begin thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and quit being my own worst enemy.

Why did I want to be a writer?

  • I have always thought different than other people
  • I feel as though I have something to impart to readers
  • I wrote How-Tos while working and edited notes written by one of my supervisors (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, PacBell, SBC, which is now ATT)
  • While acting as Parliamentarian for Crestline Senior Citizens Club, rewrote the bylaws
  • Wrote the job description manuals for Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
  • I have edited manuscripts
  • Written Poems and Prose while taking courses online at Writers’ Village University
  • Created a writing workshop at WVU
  • Facilitated courses at WVU
  • Created a course at WVU
  • Critiqued poems and prose
  • Read from Asimov to Zola
  • Worked as an Intern copy editor for Celebrity Café
  • Built an online presence for Allbook Reviews International
  • Written and edited press releases
  • While living in Osborne, Kansas, helped a High School writing prodigy with her stories after meeting her in an authors’ group and asked to help her.
  • Wrote a letter of recommendation for a young writer for a position at a local press
  • A local magazine, Osborne Joy contacted me for a short story to be included in an upcoming issue while living in Kansas.

The question remains, what have I accomplished.

  • I began earning money at the age of around nine and a half as a paperboy delivering the News Pilot.
  • Next was working at San Pedro Marine through High School into college
  • I spent from 1965 until 1971 as an ARMY Reservist working my way to E6 and acting First Sargent over two platoons of forty troops each in Psychological Warfare Company.
  • From September 1966 until December of 2003 worked from PacBell on everything from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to Fiber Optic equipment as the technology changed and updated.
  • Created a trouble shooting guide for M1C equipment

What have I accomplished or learned?

Over the years, I learned much, which a good deal is of no use since I retired from PacBell.

  • I have been blogging about writing and freelancing.
  • I share what I consider interesting items
  • I try to answer question that people online may have
  • I have been working on a manuscript “Taming the Freelance Market”.
  • I have stories and poems, written or started, and some still in my head.
  • I am a freelancer who because of finances must wear many hats while trying to learn marking and converting visitors to my blog and social media accounts despite a litany of medical conditions that require daily medications. I say this not for pity but as one ages things begin to happen from a medical perspective. For some, “the golden years” are more like trips to doctors, specialists, and the hospital.
  • I enjoy reading and love editing
  • When working DIY, getting clients is difficult when competing with others from around the world.

Following some of my own advice

It is time for me to change my daily routine and make more time for writing and devote less time to that which is a time waster like Email, social media, and complete some courses I have waiting for me.

It is finally time to inhibit the procrastination bug from invading my life and work on what makes me fulfilled. Back to learning, reading, and writing is the mantra I should be living.

It is time to cull things that are not as important as what I should be doing, writing because writers write. I do consider myself a writer, 2015 is the year I should prove it.

Since money for traditional publishing is nonexistent unless I win the LOTTO, I must work on getting my ducks in a row, dot all Is and cross all Ts to get my manuscript turned into a finished book.

If I want to write, I must prove that to myself by writing and finishing my first book while continuing to hone the craft into readable content for any potential readers.

Has Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” I believe it.

It will take me months to whittle down the stealers of time so that I can devote more time to education and putting words on my computer’s monitor.

Be well!

Author

Robert Medak

  • Freelance writer
  • Blogger
  • Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Reviewer learning marketing, and much more

“Every day is an opportunity to learn something new”. ©RJM

During the last few of weeks of 2014, how did your 2014 goals list compare to what you accomplished in 2014?

Did you periodically analyze your 2014 goals list and adjust your time and effort in achieving your goals?

Did you reach all of 2014 milestones? Why or Why not?

Have you listed and scheduled periodic reviews of your 2015 business goals and are ready to make changes along the way?

What are going to do differently in 2015 than you did in 2014 to achieve your goals list?

The final questions for this post will be the following:

Are you willing to expend the time and effort required during the year 2015 to achieve all items on your 2015 goals list?

Have you established your editorial calendar for your blog in 2015?

Does your business have a blog? Why or why doesn’t your business have a blog?

Every business needs a blog. Businesses that have a website should have a blog as part of their website or a standalone blog to engage customers, to keep customers updated on what is new in the business.

A blog is the perfect method of interacting with customers through your clear call to action. A call to action may be as simple as getting them to use your contact form or some other action that will tell you what your customers think and want on your site.

In addition to a blog or website, businesses need a social media presence to inform potential customers of information about themselves through interpersonal communication. The main point of social media is to establish relationships with individuals that may be in need of what your business offers.

Social media is also a good platform to mention a sale, discount, survey, or what is happening in a business. Social media allows businesses to learn what customers are looking for by asking questions or have a complaint about something that a business may be able to help with.

Using social media allows businesses to view the pulse of what people want through what they share. How businesses are using social media to their advantage in finding new customers and how businesses use social media for brand marketing.

No one can learn the nuances of social media overnight. In the era of digital, social media and mobile is necessary for businesses to survive and thrive in the digital world we live in.

2015 is a new start for every business from freelancer to large corporation to learn new technologies and use them to their advantage in establishing and growing brand awareness.

Using technology is paramount for entrepreneurs to compete with larger businesses in the digital market.

Annually entrepreneurism is growing worldwide because individuals can no longer rely on the economy on a global scale. It is up to individuals to create their own economy through entrepreneurism. Taking courses in entrepreneurship is no longer a luxury but a necessity in these times of global economic uncertainty facing everyone. There are no longer jobs where one could follow in their father or grandfather’s company.

Those seeking work as more people retire and more jobs outsourced to countries because of lower pay and tax breaks, gainful employment is becoming a myth. Individuals have to fend for themselves in creating a living wage.

Is it easy being an entrepreneur? The short answer is no. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but it can be rewarding for those willing to work hard and gin the knowledge required to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s economy.

Good luck in all of your endeavors for 2015 and beyond.

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

Please leave a comment

Why People Should Care about Net Neutrality

  1. In the United States, the loss of net neutrality is looming and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which oversees licenses and regulations for technicians operating television stations, radio, cell phones, and armature radio technicians. The FCC is presently in the process of determining whether the Internet shall remain free (neutrality); or end users of the Internet should pay a fee to use it to the various Internet Service Providers (ISP).
  2. In the worst do nothing congress and house in history who seems to work on the demise of what was termed “middle class”. To allow politicians to dictate that end users of the Internet should have their Internet connection speeds determined by how much they are willing to pay the ISPs, is to reduce the quality of Internet to subscribers and what type of content they will receive depending strictly on dollars is idiotic. Mark Cuban (Of Shark Tank) has come out against allowing the government to control the Internet.
  3. If you are a cable subscriber, it does not take long to realize that there is no competition, but you must deal with a monopoly that supplies the cable service you must subscribe to if you desire digital services in your home, television, telephone, and Internet.
  4. Some companies are under legal action because their Internet speed is not what subscribers are paying for. Under net neutrality loss, ISPs could charge more for less, which means the subscriber gets the shaft while the ISP gets the money.
  5. More and more companies are buying other companies creating conglomerates, which offer the end user few options for ISPs than currently available. Mergers of companies into larger companies will make it harder as they vie for control of cable offerings and charging producing companies a higher percentage to carry their product and pass on more costs to the end user since they will have a monopoly in certain areas just as phone companies have for close to a century, monopoly by address.
  6. For other than large corporations and 1 percenters, the potential costs to the consumer could possibly price the solopreneur and small business out of the market to the point of losing out to corporations with their Internet speed and content. Web content in general might change the landscape of what the average consumer has access to, and thereby stifle entrepreneurship and the growth of small business that require the Internet for social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). The loss of net neutrality could affect blogs.
  7. Loss of net neutrality has the potential to cost people with smart phone to pay a premium for access to the Web. How is fighting for the end of net neutrality? Cable companies for one. If net neutrality is lost, all ISPs can charge whatever they want for access to information and at whatever speed the consumer is willing to pay. Loss of neutrality means that working poor, on a fixed income, an entrepreneur, or a small business will pay significantly higher rates to have adequate Internet for the speed.

Anyone that accesses the Internet should watch the FCC loosely about the subject of net neutrality. Also, contact your local and national representative and let them know how you feel about net neutrality.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

Robert Medak Freelance Writer

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