Posts tagged blog
Do I Really HAVE to Blog? Short Answer: YES!

Ahhh blog. The “4 letter” word that can strike fear in the heart of many business owners. You open up that word document to that big, blank, white page and see that cursor just sitting there, blinking. All of a sudden your mind goes blank, and you have no idea what to write about.

Creating content for your blog or social media sites can be a daunting task. With so many other things you have to do on a daily basis to run your business, posting to a blog can seem like the absolutely last thing on your list. You may even be thinking to yourself, “Why would I bother writing a  blog anyways?”

Here’s the deal, for those of us that aren’t fans of writing (or being in front of a video camera), putting together a blog or vlog (that’s right! You don’t just have to write it!) can seem like a daunting task. But whether you type it up, or film it from your iPhone, a blog can be super valuable for driving more sales to your store. Let’s break it down a little.

  1. It boosts your SEO - When it comes to ranking higher in Google searches, blogging is the #1 way to do it. Part of Google’s algorithm ranks websites based on how much recent content has been posted, and if the keywords in it match someones search. Writing, or creating video blogs, gives you the opportunity to add fresh content all the time, and add tons of keywords to your site. Increasing your SEO means more organic traffic (and more shoppers) headed to your website!

  2. It connects you with your customers - While customers will always love a good sale, sometimes you may not have anything going on. Or maybe you notice your email open rates, or social media engagement, going down because the only time you reach out to them is when you’re pitching them to buy something. A blog is a great way to create content that can connect with your customers, and get them talking about your brand in a unique way. Creating content around top trends, upcoming new product launches, and style ideas can get your audience excited and ready to shop.

  3. It makes you the expert in your industry -  People like to buy from brands that they trust. Creating a blog filled with great tips, advice and information builds that trust with potential customers. Not only are they more likely to buy, but they are more likely to become brand champions, promoting you to their family and friends.

  4. It makes you shareable - Getting in people’s newsfeeds is getting harder and harder these days. And only posting about selling your products isn’t going to cut it anymore. Blogs are a great way to get your name out there and shared among people who may not be in your current network.

But here’s the deal, don’t feel like you have to commit to a single format that you’re super uncomfortable with. Don’t like writing? It’s all good, put together a vlog instead! What’s important is that you’re creating value for your customers. Creating content is one of the most cost effective things you can do to grow your business. Don’t shy away from it, and watch how traffic and engagement grow!

Video 8 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

It’s the final installment of our 8 week video blog idea series, and we’re ending it up with something timely to the season.

That’s right, it’s all about playing up the season, time of year, or things that are happening in the world around you. But, how can you relate it back to your business? I’m giving you a few real life examples of how you can take your business and make it relevant to the time of year.

Check the video out below and in case you missed any of our previous blogs make sure you check them out and get your blog game strong for 2019!

Video 1: Using your customers

Video 2: The most bookmark worthy blog posts

Video 3: Getting blogs without having to actually write them

Video 4: What you probably are forgetting to do

Video 5: Utilizing articles and news content

Video 6: The topic you know the most about

Video 7: The best blogs for SEO

Get monthly Masterclasses and Expert Trainings each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub. Click here to learn more!

Video 7 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

Outside of providing amazing value for our clients/customers, we also should be using our blogs to drive more organic traffic and rank higher in search.

In today's installment in our 8 part Blog Idea videos series, it's all about SEO. I'm giving you my top tips to writing blog posts that move you up in Google Search Results, drive more organic traffic, and create new brand champions.

Not only is this week's topic meant for SEO, but it's also mean to attract new customers to your brand, and ease them into your area of expertise in a way that makes them feel comfortable, understood, and valued.

Check it out below!

Get monthly Masterclasses and Expert Trainings each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub. Click here to learn more!

Video 6 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

Part 6 of our 8 week blog ideas series should be a topic start that should come easily to you (even if writing doesn’t). It’s something you know a TON about (trust me, you do), and have probably told the story of multiple times, over and over already.

What’s the topic? You!

That’s right, this week it’s all about you, and it’s the perfect topic as 2018 wraps up and we look to the new year. Check out the video below to get my take on how to tell your story, and why talking about yourself can be so important.

Get monthly Masterclasses and Expert Trainings each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub. Click here to learn more!

Video 5 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

This week it's all about how to get content out without having to write it yourself - because sometimes you're just too busy, too tired, or just simply don't have anything you want to write about yourself.

We’ve all been there - in fact, many of us feel like we live in this place. Staying consistent with writing and sharing great content is HARD. It’s why so many business owners and entrepreneurs go weeks (and months, and even years) between posting content on their site.

It's all good! There is NO judgement here about that (because I’m guilty of it myself). Just know that you can share valuable content with your audience, get great SEO keywords on your site AND not spend hours trying to think of something to write about. Check it out below!

Oh, and if you want another tip for getting maximum blog impact with as little effort as possible, check out the video from Week 3!

Video 4 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

There’s something that all great businesses should do but that we often forget about (I know I am absolutely guilty of this as well).

There’s something that not only will create amazing blog content, but can be used in your email campaigns and social posts as well. It’s something that showcases your business in it’s best light, and helps push potential customers and clients over the edge.

Dying to know what it is? Check out the video below to find out!

Get monthly Masterclasses and Expert Trainings each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub. Click here to learn more!

Video 3 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

We’re back and today in part 3 of our 8 part blogging idea series we've got something to help you get content out when you just don't feel like writing it.

That's right - it's a hack to get maximum impact for minimum effort. Because sometimes you need that in the middle of the week. Check out the video below to learn one of our favorite techniques to getting great content out there when you just don’t feel like it.

Get monthly Masterclasses and Expert Trainings each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub. Click here to learn more!

Video 1 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

The hardest part about creating new content and blogs is actually coming up with an idea of what to write about.

Picture it: You’ve set aside some time to write your blog. This week you’re going to actually do it! You open up your lap top, click on Microsoft Office, and that white screen pops up. Now that little curser is sitting there blinking at you, waiting for your brilliant words to come spilling out.

And… nothing is coming out. Now you’re staring at that blank screen with that blinking, mocking cursor. You’re feeling more and more anxious, but nothing is coming to mind. You scan through the inner recesses of your mind but you just can’t think of single, solitary idea. Finally, you slam your computer shut and decide you’ll try again next week.

Ok, maybe that is slightly dramatic, but it’s pretty close… #amiright?

Well, you don’t have to stress any more. For the next 8 weeks I’m brining you some genius (if I do say so myself) hacks to easily brainstorming content ideas. They’re easy, insightful and guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Ensure Your Blogs Actually Get Written

Ok guys, I'm bringing you some tough love today!

Ok, maybe it's not that tough, but it is something that you may not want to hear. It's all about content marketing (aka blogging). Now, before you start going off on how "blog" is a 4 letter word, listen up.

I get it - blogging is tough.... especially when you don't enjoy writing. But we all know how important content marketing is (and if you don't... then just go back and look at some of my previous videos/posts)

So, today I'm bringing you one of my favorite, easiest tips to help make staying productive easier, and help alleviate that "blank page" anxiety.

Oh, and I've even got a super cool blog brainstorming template for you to download and fill out so you can streamline your ideas so you always have something to write about.

Download my Blog Idea Planner

Want even more tips, tricks and advice? Get curated Masterclasses and Expert Trainings delivered to you each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

How to Stick to the Commitment of Content Marketing

I recently saw a quote that spoke to my soul (ok, maybe that's a little dramatic but I really liked it). "Content marketing is a long term relationship. It's not a one night stand." - Unknown

This is something I preach to all of my clients. You can't have a successful content marketing strategy if you don't stay consistent. You can't move up in Google search if you refuse to blog. You can't authentically connect with your target through ads alone.

But I totally get it. Creating authentic, real content on a consistent basis is REALLY hard. It takes time, and it takes energy, that a lot of small business owners don't feel like they have. So, how can you stick to a successful content marketing strategy, when you don't feel like doing it?

1. Schedule time in advance. This one seems simple but it's the one thing that I've found makes the biggest difference for most of my clients. Before the start of each week, mark off an hour in your calendar that you are going to devote to creating content. Trying to squeeze it in between other activities, greatly reduces the chances of you actually doing it. Here's the deal though, you HAVE to treat this time like a meeting or other event you can't blow off. Do not schedule anything over it, or push it aside. When looking to put something else in your calendar, know that time is truly booked.

2. Work in a format that you enjoy(ish). Do you absolutely, positively HATE writing? No matter how much you try to force yourself to blog, the words just do NOT come out? Then stop it! Shift your focus to a format that feels more comfortable for you. Think about doing a weekly video blog, or Facebook Live that you can host on your site after you do it. Like to talk, but don't want to be in front of a camera? Look into starting a weekly podcast. While any of these may still be a chore to you, picking the one you like the most (or hate the least) makes it a little bit easier.

3. Find someone to do it for you. If you still just can't stick to a consistent blogging and social media schedule, look into finding someone to do it for you. Yes, it's that important that it's worth investing in. Find a freelancer or consultant (I happen to know a good one ;) ...) that can get you back on track. Don't have any budget for it? Scout out some local colleges for marketing or writing interns. At the end of the day, try to open up some space to finding outside sources to help you in this area of your business. Creating authentic content is one of the best ways to move up in Google search, cut through the noise, connect with your audience, and convert them into paying customers.

The 5 Pillars of Digital Marketing

Here at Hub Digital, we believe that there are 5 main pillars to digital marketing. They are the 5 different areas that you should be exploring to help promote your business online. What are those pillars you ask? Good question!

- Blogging
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising

Seem overwhelming? I mean, running your own business is hard enough! How are you going to tackle all these different things on top of that?

Don't stress! Yes, you should do make an effort to use each of these pillars in a successful marketing campaign. BUT, it doesn't mean you HAVE to do everything in each of those pillars. Explore ways that you can integrate some of these strategies into your marketing routine.
- Can you repurpose your blog into a weekly or bi-weekly email campaign?
- Can you spend 10 minutes each month researching those keywords and using those as future blog topics?
- Can you spend a few dollars each month to boost a great Facebook post to get some more reach on it?

See! It doesn't have to be hard!

Check out our Facebook live from last week to learn more about these 5 pillars, why they are important and how you can integrate them in your business' marketing.

How to write blogs for Google AND Your Customers
writing blogs that appeal to potential customers and for SEO from Hub Digital.

We talk A LOT about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to write blogs and content that satisfies the "Google God's" and all their algorithms. But often times, it's easy to get caught up in writing for Google, and forget that there are REAL people on the other end who are actually reading your content. Today we wanted to dive into 5 of the most important things to keep in mind when writing your blogs to ensure that you're appealing to both the automated search bots AND the human beings who have the potential to become your clients or customers.

  1. The Importance of Being Human Even (or Especially) When Writing for SEO!  We can’t stress enough that being human matters.  Always remember that the whole point of all of this is to grow your business.  Right?  So, once you’ve gotten someone to your site you want to keep them engaged by sharing authentic information that will set you apart from your competition and hopefully build relationships (brand advocates) (and clients) that will convert to sales!  Write in an authentic voice that is speaking directly to that target audience and make sure you’re sharing relevant information that they (should) find of interest.  
  2. Self Awareness & Keyword Research…  We always work very closely with our clients to identify their UVP (unique value proposition) and/or differentiator in their business vertical.  It is so very important to really understand what you do, why it is special, what you enjoy doing in your business and what your clients or customers like, enjoy, and find special about your business. Sharing information based on this information is key to creating rich content that works for you.  Then doing research around all of this and utilizing these keywords and key phrases through your SEO strategy is super important.  Need help researching keywords? Check out some of our favorite resources: Google Keyword Planner , Moz Keyword Explorer 
  3. Hone in on ‘Who’ Your Searcher Is and Write for Them Only!  Do you have a clear picture or, even better a written down description of who your target audience is?  Can you paint a clear picture of them in your mind?  If not, this is a GREAT best practice tip in and of itself.  Once you’ve figured this out you should always be mindful that that is who you are writing for.  The title that they would find interesting, the keywords you’ve identified that they would be searching (which should be in the title and the description, and don’t forget your meta data), content that they will find of interest, and so on.  Get what we’re trying to say here?  

    We know that #TheStruggleIsReal and we hear so many clients, friends and students complain about sitting down to write only to end up staring at a blank screen with their fingers on the keyboard for 30 minutes with nothing to show for it!  Have no fear! Our FREE booklet ‘A Year’s Worth of Blogspiration’ is nothing short of pure gold with an entire year’s worth of idea generators to help you be proactive and get sales!  Go ahead, don’t be afraid, get it now and we promise it will make all of this so much easier!   
  4. Use Internal Links (back to your own site, like we just did in the last tip ;)) and External Links (to other reputable sites)!  We often recommend that you write first, then go back through and add these links. It is generally easier to flow freely (once you’ve identified your topic and done your research of course) then go back through to make sure this important tactic is used!  It’s a super important ‘best practice’ in your overall integrated SEO strategy.  
  5. Break Up Walls of Text.  Humans have a continuously shrinking attention span.  Fact. Scientists continue to study and prove this!   So, when you’re writing your blogs make sure to format it in an engaging and ‘pleasing to the eye’ way.  Subtitles, lists, bullet points and images (or video) are great ways to accomplish this.  You don’t have to stress about writing long articles or white papers. Instead focus on creating 400-600 word engaging blogs weekly (or at least twice per month) is optimal.  And when you are using those eye-catching, engaging images just don’t forget to have your ALT tags in place!  

We love educating and empowering our clients, and you, the small business owner – it is just who we are and what drives us.   We hope you find these tips helpful.  And, as always feel free to share the love and empower other friends, family or colleagues…knowledge is power!

Big SEO For Small Businesses - Online Class!


Having a hard time mastering Search Engine Optimization? Not even sure what SEO is and how it will even help your business? We're so excited to announce enrollment is opening for the only SEO class you'll ever need.

In it we'll walk you through; what SEO can do for your business, understanding everything that goes into an SEO strategy, and how you can master it to drive more website traffic and more sales.

Everything you've ever needed to know about SEO and how to optimize it all in 15 easy to follow lessons that you can take in your own time and when it benefits you. Not sure you need this class? Let us tell you why you do:

  • 70% of links search users click on are organic.
  • When consumers are exposed to both search and social media influences by a brand, their overall search click-thru-rate went up by 94%.
  • The #1 driver to websites is search, beating out social media by more than 300%.
  • SEO Leads have a 14.6% close rate, while leads from advertising have a 1.7% close rate.*

*Stats courtesy of Search Engine Journal

What You'll Learn

Big SEO For Small Businesses, is a 15 module course designed to walk you through everything you need to create a comprehensive SEO strategy that will drive more traffic to your website and help convert that traffic into sales.  Learn More!

Do You Blog?
Why blogging is important to your online marketing strategy from Hub Digital

Inspire and engage your audience by creating consistent content. Is blogging a word that glazes your eyes over, maybe brings out a bit of a cold sweat and even creates some anxiety? We promise it doesn’t have to be that stressful.

Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it?

Understanding who you are, what you do and why you do it is the key to what will make YOUR blogs interesting. Do you feel like you don’t have anything to share that people will want to read? We bet you’re wrong! Have you ever heard the snowflake analogy? It is so very important(we really can’t stress this enough) to clearly identify, then always be mindful of, your differentiator(s) and unique value proposition(s), and not just when we’re talking about blogging…but as the base of everything you do in your business!

Know your audience?

We’re not just talking about your potential clients here (though of course that is a major part of the audience you want to be in front of) but we also recommend you stretch a bit and think about who might refer clients or business to you. Do you have strategic partnerships or collaborative and complimentary business relationships that might be prone to sending business your way? Don’t forget about friends and family too. Having a clear understanding of ‘who’ needs to know exactly what you do and why you’re special is crucial.

Help them help you!

We are always using this simple phrase ‘help them help you’. Think about it, how many times have you read an email, a blog or an article that you’ve wanted to share with a friend, family member, colleague or your network(s)? Do you share? Have you shared? If you did or do share content, think about how easy or difficult it was. If you wanted to share with your network(s), was the email, blog or article enabled with easily sharable links - like Twitter, Facebook (to personal or a page you manage), Google+, LinkedIn, etc…? If you wanted to share with an individual, how did you do it? Did you forward if it was an email? Did you just copy and paste the URL if it was a blog or article? Make your content easily sharable! Remember that old Vidal Sassoon commercial “and she told two friends, then she told two friends…” help them help you!

How often? How much?

We usually recommend you write at least 2 blogs per month. We also usually recommend you utilize these blogs in your email campaigns, post to social media and so on. As for length…that depends on what we’re talking about, but for blogs the basic rule of thumb is 500-600 words - although you can do as little as a few sentences or much longer. When you use your blogs in your email campaigns we often recommend you share the first two paragraphs then have a link back to the website so they can read more, which increases traffic to your website!

What should you write?

You’ve identified what you do and why you do it. We’re guessing there are all kinds of things you can write about that your audience will find interesting. Can you put together a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)? Maybe keep a note pad near by and jot down ideas as they come to you. We promise that it’s a lot like exercise… hard at first, then it starts to feel good and gets easier the more you do it. Check out some tips for dreaming up content here. We guarantee that the more prepared and committed you are, the more successful it will be. Consistency pays off BIG time!

Happy blogging. 

The Infamous Question - How Do I Come Up With Blog Ideas?

One of the biggest mental blocks most people have when creating blog posts is coming up with ideas. You can stare at that blank word document for 30 minutes, wracking your brain for something to put down to impress the masses. It's easy to become discouraged or frustrated and push it off until tomorrow. Unfortunately, that "tomorrow" gets farther and farther away and before you know it, it's been 2 months since your last blog post.

Well have no fear. Today we have a lists of 5 best practices to help you stockpile a ton of ideas so you never have to stare down that plank page ever again.

1. Compile a list of FAQ's - There's a reason these are called "frequently" asked questions. If more than 1 person has asked you the same question in a meeting or at an event, it's likely a lot of other people want to know the answer as well. Think about questions you get asked daily in your job and jot them down to create an easy list of topics.

2. Utilize your bookmarks folder - Like I mentioned last week, bookmarking relevant articles and websites is a very underutilized tool. Create a special bookmark folder called "Blog Ideas" and save anything that isn't timely to it. Bookmarking content ideas with a long shelf life will ensure that you'll always have something relevant to post when you need ideas.

3. Pull up your notes app - Despite the fact that I use my phone for everything else in life, for some reason I always forget to use it for storing information on the go. When you're out during the day, quickly pull up your notes app on your phone to jot down ideas or questions that come to mind. Even if you end up throwing some of them out you won't forget the stroke of genius you had in line at Dunkin Donuts. 

4. Sign up for industry newsletters - Find some newsletters related to your industry and sign up for them. Even if you don't read them everyday, you know you can always quickly pull them up for a list of relevant articles and content.

5.  Stalk your competition - Google other businesses in your sphere and see what they're writing about. Look at content that people are responding to and see if you can expand upon it. Have another (aka better) way of doing something? Use that a springboard for your next post. Notice a topic that isn't getting a lot of attention? Cross that off the list and don't waste your time.

The busy girl's guide to time management

So I am officially the worst at time management. Take a look at this blog - The last one I wrote was 6 months ago! Between planning a wedding (that is yes, in 3 weeks!) and managing a new, very large and very demanding client, I've let my blog, email and social media fall to the wayside. I am officially the cobbler with holes in her shoes. I preach to my clients all day about the importance of staying on top of their digital presence and here I am letting 6 months go by without even so much as a "Hey" to all those hundreds (or tens?) of people who actually take the time to read my content. So here it is! A new blog post. I can't promise I'll update this regularly moving forward, especially with a nice relaxing Honeymoon around the corner, but I'm going to try harder. The first step is managing my schedule better, and making sure I set aside time every week to focus on my business. How am I going to do this? Well, I'm here to share my "secrets" on how I plan to get shit done.

1. Getting my ass out of bed in the morning. I have a nasty habit of taking my work home with me. On any given weeknight you can find me with a computer on my lap, "Say Yes to the Dress" on in the background and a fiance who gets more attention from the dog than me. After multiple nights of 1 am bedtimes, that 7am alarm begins to be pretty meaningless to me. No more! I am making the commitment to shut down at night, and head to bed a reasonable hour (do I sound like my Grandma right now?). On the rare occasion when I actually can get in front of my computer by 7:30am, I find myself knocking out client invoices, balancing budgets, updating Facebook pages and writing blogs all before my first cup of coffee. By 10am I'm out the door and pretty much unreachable for the rest of the day. Having those 2 hours in the morning will help me focus and power through all that "admin" work that easily gets pushed off as the day goes on.

2. Ignoring calls I don't know or plan on having. Ok I pretty much do this already. If I don't have your number in my phone, you can pretty much guarantee I won't pick it up. However, if you leave me a voicemail I have this compulsive urge to listen to it immediately (I can't stand having unread notifications on my phone) and call you back ASAP. What usually ends up happening is I stop whatever I'm doing to follow up on that call (or email for that matter), and waste an hour not doing what was originally on my schedule - which by the way is still sitting there not finished. I'm officially going to let that little red dot in the bottom left sit there (it's ok OCD, just breathe through it) and will finish what I was working on BEFORE I call you back.

3. I will focus on one thing at a time. Oh those wonderful Google Chrome tabs. At anytime I will usually have Facebook, LinkedIn, 2 emails, Google and at least 3 other websites up. Because of all this noise, I find myself writing half a blog (I just did it with this one!) then jumping off to check updates, post to a client page or respond to a new email. Because I'm doing things so disjointed, it takes me twice as long to get each task done. Goodbye wonderful little tabs. I will miss you!

4. Ok Amy, just suck it up! This one is going to be the hardest. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing stuff. Too bad! We all have to do things we don't want to do sometimes. If I can stop myself from eating ice cream at night (and just so you know, I usually can at least 4 times a week, which is a big win for me) you can shut off Real Housewives for 30 minutes and write a blog post. This is what we have DVR for.

Ok so there you have it. They may not be rocket science, and they may not be as lofty as some time management "experts" may suggest, but these steps are probably (hopefully?) going to work for me. I'm not going to start using some kind of time management program, and I'm not going to realistically be able to "schedule in time to reply to emails". But I am going to do my best, and maybe this will inspire you to start making your own small changes to start getting more stuff done.