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Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

It happens all the time. You have what you think is a “marketing problem.”

You have a disappointing product launch. You have issues consistently selling your services. A program that used to sell well stopped.

There are a lot of reasons why this could be happening, and in most (if not all) of the cases, the issue comes down to what looks like a marketing problem.

But, what if the marketing problem was a symptom, and not the cause?

What if the cause was something deeper … what if it had more to do with WHAT you’re selling?

And it’s really a form of sabotage?

And, the reason why it’s sabotage is because you have misgivings about the product or service or program you’re offering.

Before I dig into all the ways you can sabotage yourself, let’s explore all the ways you may be less than thrilled with your products, programs, or services.

• You don’t particularly like the product, service, or program you’re selling.

There’s a lot of ways this can manifest itself.

Maybe you became a coach only to realize you don’t like coaching, but now you have all these clients, and you’ve got money coming in—money your family is dependent on—so what can you do?

Or, maybe you love some types of coaching but not others. I see this a lot in the industry I’m in. There are many folks who want to be life coaches or spiritual coaches, but they struggle to make money, so they become a business coach instead.

Over time, many of these spiritual or life coaches come to detest business coaching.

I’ve highlighted some of these stories in my Love-Based Money podcastBarb, Anastasia, Sierra—all these women built up very successful coaching businesses only to tear it all down when they woke up one day and finally had to admit to themselves how much they hated what they built.

• You know this particular product, program, or service isn’t your best work.

Maybe you threw it together because you saw an opportunity and wanted to act fast, and the finished product ended up being on the sloppy side. Or maybe you discovered errors in it after the fact. Or maybe when you created it, it was a solid, well-put-together product, but now it’s out-of-date and really needs an upgrade. Or maybe the content is fine, but it has technical issues (bad video, bad audio, typos, etc.)

Regardless of how it happened, you know it’s not as good as you’d like it to be, and every time someone buys, you find yourself cringing inside.

• You don’t particularly like the clients, customers, or buyers you’re attracting.

If you’re selling a product where you have absolutely no contact with your buyers, this is less of an issue, but if the product or service includes any type of interaction, this is clearly an issue.

Think about it—if you dislike talking to your customers and clients, you’re probably going to dread getting on the phone with them or meeting them in person, or maybe even answering their emails.

How can you possibly get excited about marketing something that is going to require you to interact with people you don’t like?  Even if you are making good money, eventually there will come a time when the money no longer matters, and all you want is out.

• You’ve outgrown your product, program, or service.

Businesses are living entities. Over time, they grow, change, evolve, and even die.

As your business changes, so do your offerings.

Maybe a product or program or service that used to be a good fit isn’t anymore. Maybe it’s not in alignment with who you are or the message you want to get out into the world in a bigger way. Or maybe the graphics or branding around the product, program,or service needs an upgrade.

If you no longer feel what you’re offering is a good match for where you are now, it’s going to be difficult for you to promote it.

• You’re lacking the team, support, system, backend, etc. to create excellent customer service.

You may love coaching and your clients, but you have no system in place to onboard new clients. Your “welcome packet” (if you can call it that) is a mess, and it’s a crapshoot if you’re able to get your new clients scheduled in a timely manner.

Or maybe you have an online learning platform that doesn’t work very well, so you know every time you get a new student, you’re going to also get customer service emails full of questions and problems.

Or maybe you have no systems created around taking care of new clients and customers, or maybe you don’t have the right team members in place to take care of your clients and customers. Or, maybe you have a fabulous team, but they’re tapped out. They can’t handle any more clients or customers, so you’re not able to grow.

How can you market yourself when you no every new customer, client or buyer is going to add stress to your life?

• You’re secretly afraid your product, service, or program isn’t any good.

There are a lot of ways this can manifest itself: You don’t value yourself or what your offering, you’re afraid you’ll fail and let down your clients, you feel like you’re a fraud, you feel like you need to read “one more book” or get “one more certification” before you’re an expert.

If you feel like you’re selling snake oil, and the last thing you want is to be a snake oil salesperson, it’s going to be very difficult to consistently and effectively market or promote or sell your offerings.

So, those are some of the top ways you may be less than thrilled with your product, program, or service. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives you some ideas on the questions to ask yourself around the product or program or service that just isn’t selling as well as you’d like.

Because if any of these are true (even if it’s just a little true), there’s likely a part of you that really doesn’t want any customers or clients to buy it. (Hence, why, on the surface, this would look like a “marketing problem” even though underneath what’s really happening is a form of sabotage.)

Think about it: If you don’t like what you’re selling, you’re not going to want to sell it.

If you don’t like your customers, you’re not going to want to spend time with them.

If you think your product or program or service is outdated or not very good, you may be embarrassed to have people buy it.

If you’re lacking the backend or customer support, you may know new clients and customers are just going to turn into massive headaches for you, and who needs that?

And, if you have any sort of feelings of fraud or not being good enough, how on earth could you in good faith take other people’s money for something you’re secretly afraid is crap?

Now, it’s entirely possible (and certainly does happen) that you can feel this and still push through to make a lot of money at whatever it is your selling. (My Love-Based Money podcast guests are a great example of forcing themselves to grow a business they weren’t in alignment with.)

But, for many entrepreneurs, even if they are able to make money in the short term with the product or service, they can’t sustain it. So, they end up in a financial rollercoaster.

You see, if you’re going to “force” yourself to market or sell something that you either don’t like or are ashamed of at some level, that means you’re going to need to use a lot of willpower to keep you going.

And, willpower will only take you so far.

So, then, what happens?

That’s when the sabotage kicks in.

Well, maybe you cut back on the number of emails you send in a launch, despite knowing (or being told) not to do that.

Maybe you deflate at the end of a sales call (and end up never making the sale).

Maybe you bomb any opportunity you get to be in front of your ideal clients (talks go wrong, weird tech issues show up on webinars, etc.).

Or maybe you and your marketing just slowly disappear. Maybe you stop hanging out on Facebook, even though you know it’s a great source of prospects for you. Maybe you stop posting regularly to your blog, or you don’t record your podcast consistently. Maybe you “take a break” from emailing your subscribers.

What do all of these have in common? On the surface they look like a marketing problem. (And, don’t get me wrong, they ARE a marketing problem.) But, what’s really going on is sabotage–you’re taking unconscious actions or making unconscious decisions to hurt your marketing.

You may not be aware of what you’re doing, or maybe you have some really good excuses for not doing the things you know you should. (And, truly, it’s not your fault if this is happening to you as this typically shows up as a big blindspot.)

But, regardless, the outcome is the same. Your sales aren’t great, and a part of you (which may be buried really deep inside) is glad.

And, this cycle of continuing to sabotage yourself while having it look like a marketing problem, will continue.

If any of this resonates with you, and you feel like you may need to go deeper, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

Before I get to the story about the business with 12 Million followers, I want to start by discussing a Facebook ad about the “truth around building an audience” that drives me bonkers every time I see it, so I decided to share my analysis around why I think it’s extremely misleading (and could even be dangerous to your financial and business health).

In a nutshell, the ad makes the claim that if you have a business, building an audience is a waste of time. You should immediately stop all of that blogging and podcasting and shooting videos nonsense, and instead, just follow this particular guru’s simple formula to immediately fill your business with high-paying clients. No audience required.

Simple as that. No mess, no fuss.

Now, a few disclaimers before I get into my analysis. First off, while yes, I’ve obviously read the ad, I have not actually watched this person’s webinar, so I don’t know what his simple formula actually is. If I were to guess, I would assume he teaches how to use some form of paid ads (most likely Facebook ads) to attract prospects into a funnel that ends in a sales call.

If that’s what he’s teaching, it’s perfectly legitimate, and I’m sure it does work.

I’m also a big believer that businesses should be profitable and make money for their owner. If his system works as advertised, the fact that he’s selling it isn’t the problem.

It drives me bonkers because it’s incomplete. And because the claim the ad makes is incomplete, it has the potential to hurt entrepreneurs.

Here’s the truth:

In order to have a successful, profitable business, you need both long-term and short-term marketing strategies.

Long-term marketing strategies are for audience and platform building. That includes those pesky tactics such as blogging and list building.

Short-term strategies are to generate cash now. So, any type of sale emails or, in the case of this Facebook ad, a paid advertising strategy designed to generate prospects so you can close them on a sales call.

Focusing mostly on long-term strategies (especially before you’ve built up a big platform) could lead to big time cash flow challenges.

Focusing on short-term strategies could lead to a massive feast/famine financial cycle. Plus, if your short-term marketing strategy stops working for some reason, you could lose your entire business.

The Internet is littered with stories about entrepreneurs who built their platform around (or had most of their income coming from) one source, and when that source dried up, their business tanked—sometimes as fast as overnight.

This is especially true if your short-term marketing strategy is linked to something you don’t control. For instance, let’s look at this strategy of using Facebook ads to close high-ticket clients.

* What if Facebook suddenly jacks up the rate of those ads overnight. How will you then get a high enough return on your investment, to make this particular strategy worth it? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if Facebook bans you from advertising? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if something happens to Facebook? (As I write this, Mark Zuckenburg is testifying in front of Congress about Facebook’s privacy policy. What if Congress decides to regulate? What if Facebook becomes less popular?)

Now, maybe none of these “what ifs” actually happen, but the point here is that you don’t know.

Things change at lightning speed in the age of the Internet, which means if you aren’t spending time building your presence on a platform you control (such as a blog or website) in addition to building your audience and growing your subscriber list, the more vulnerable you are.

It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook page or YouTube channel. You have no way of contacting them if Facebook or YouTube changes the rules.

Which means, if the rules DO get changed, you’ve just lost your audience.

For example, there was once a little publishing company that built up a Facebook following of 12 MILLION followers. They posted daily videos that were liked and shared and followed.

Then one day, Facebook changed their algorithms to show more posts from personal contacts than businesses, and they lost over 75% of their organic traffic.

Just. Like. That.

That little publishing company didn’t recover. It went out of business.

The worst part of this story is it didn’t have to happen. This company had a ton of content. Why wasn’t it posted on YouTube? (At least then there would have been a second platform to turn to.) Why wasn’t it posted on a company blog?

In this case, the work was already done. It wouldn’t have taken much effort at all to put a little love into building up a couple of other platforms. It wouldn’t have taken much to invite their Facebook fans to opt in to an email list.

But, it wasn’t a priority for them to build a platform outside of Facebook. Likely, the owners never even considered that Facebook would change the rules overnight. Maybe they even thought it was a waste of time and energy to do anything else, when they were getting so much traction and momentum from Facebook.

Anyway, let’s get back to you.

As a busy entrepreneur (who maybe doesn’t even like marketing all that much), you may be reading this right now while experiencing sinking feeling in your stomach.

Where will you find the time and energy to create both long-term AND short-term marketing strategies?

Well, here’s my answer—you get help.

I’m a big believer in focusing your time, energy, and love on what you most enjoy. Find the marketing tactic you love and do that. (My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes a “Love Your Marketing Assessment” that can help.)

You also may need to put some time into the cash flow part of your business as well, to make sure it’s running smoothly.

Then, hire a team member (or members) to help with the long-term marketing strategies.

You don’t have to do it fast, or dedicate a lot of time to it. If all you can handle right now is a weekly article, then do a weekly article (or a weekly podcast or video).

Commit to what you can. And budget what you can to get help.

And, take a deep breath. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So, know the long-term marketing strategy may take a little longer to see results, but at the end of the day, you WILL have a stronger, more stable and more profitable business because of it.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

Hiring the Right Copywriter for You: Best Practices

Hiring the Right Copywriter for You: Best Practices

One of the many team members entrepreneurs and business owners can’t wait to hire is a copywriter.

And it makes sense. The amount of writing needed can feel overwhelming, especially if you do a lot of online marketing. There always seems to be another email or blog post or video script to write. Even if you like to write, it likely can feel daunting at times.

And, if you hate writing? It’s hell.

But, hiring a copywriter can be easier said than done. How can you tell the good from the bad? How do you know if you’ve hired the right copywriter for you?

Well, today’s your lucky day, as I’m going to walk you through best practices for hiring a copywriter. This way, not only will the process become effortless for you, but you’ll get a return on your investment. (Good copywriters should pay for themselves—part of their job is to craft marketing materials that sell.)

In addition, I’m also going to walk you through what you can do to prepare for your copywriter, so it ends up being a great experience for both of you.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Copywriter

  1. Do I resonate with the type of copy he or she writes?

There are a variety of copywriting styles out there—everything from traditional/hardcore, to very soft and warm. (Not to mention everything from fear-based to love-based.)

As you can imagine, if you choose a copywriter who doesn’t typically write in the style you prefer, everyone will probably end up unhappy. You likely won’t get precisely what you want, and the copywriter is going to struggle trying to write in a way that’s not comfortable for him or her.

So, it’s definitely worth it to do some research before you hand over a check. Ask to see samples. Ask for testimonials from previous clients. You can even ask what type of copy style he or she prefers to write.

  1. How professional is he/she?

Is there a contract, or does it feel sort of loosie goosy? I’ve heard stories about copywriters taking the money and never delivering any work. Or, the work being completed, but then the bill is received and it’s higher than expected/agreed on.

Typically, the more professional a copywriter is, the less likely you’ll run into problems like these.

  1. Do I want a copywriter who can also help me with marketing? Or am I just looking for an “order taker?”

Most copywriters simply want to be told what to write. They’re not interested in (or comfortable with) answering marketing questions or coming up with marketing strategies.

If you have the marketing component handled, that will probably work out great for you. But, if you’d like some help with marketing strategy, make sure that’s something the prospective copywriter is willing to help you with.

(Side note, I own a copywriting and marketing company that specializes in—what else?—love-based copy. We offer either option—providing you with copy, and/or assisting with strategy.)

  1. Do I feel like I’ll be supported throughout the copywriting process?

Many copywriters are freelancers or solopreneurs, which means they’re working alone. Because they don’t have a team, you may not hear from them as often as you’d like. In addition, if they get busy or sick or take a vacation, you may be stuck without a copywriter.

Only you can decide if you’re okay with that. (My copywriting company includes a team of copywriters and project managers who can support both your copy and marketing strategy needs.)

Also, you may want to find out how the copywriter prefers to get information from you. Does she have a questionnaire? Does he interview you? Can you send her an audio or a transcript or written notes?

Some copywriters are very particular when it comes to their preferred method for receiving information from you (for instance, they may always want to interview you, or they may always want transcripts or typed notes). It’s a good idea to make sure you’re good with how they want to work with you before you find yourself in the middle of a project.

Bonus Tip: Trust your gut.

Above all, you should feel great about your decision. After all, you’re hiring someone who is going to be the “voice” of your marketing. You should be delighted with the person you’ve chosen. Check in with yourself to make sure you are.

Now, once you’ve chosen your copywriter, what can you do to make sure you’ve set the relationship up for success.

Here are a few of the main questions your copywriter will likely ask you.

  1. Do you know who your ideal client is?

This is crucial. Good copy speaks directly to your ideal client (when I teach this concept, I say you’re writing a love letter to your ideal client). Obviously, if you don’t know who your ideal client is, it’s going to be next to impossible to write copy that will attract, inspire, and invite them to become your client, customer, and buyer.

Bonus Tip: Be absolutely clear on your ideal client, whether you’re hiring a copywriter or not. It’s one of the fundamental foundational principles your business is built on, so getting that clarity will definitely pay off.

I have a couple of articles to help you pin down your ideal client here and here.

  1. Do you know what’s keeping your ideal client up at night?

Your ideal clients are looking for you right now because they’re in pain, and they want a solution to that pain.

If you don’t actually know what’s keeping them up at night, they likely will never realize you’re talking to them in your marketing materials, so they won’t pay attention.

As part of my Love-Based Copy Philosophy, I teach the truth about pain, which is this:

Pain is a part of life.

There are people who are born who can’t feel physical pain, and because they can’t feel their body trying to tell them something is wrong, they tend not to live long.

Pain is our body’s way of letting us know there’s a problem. The same can be said about the mental/emotional pain your ideal client is experiencing.

Pain also helps us grow spiritually and emotionally.

To that end, respectfully addressing your ideal clients’ pain (or what’s keeping them at night) is loving. Trying to pretend they aren’t in pain because you don’t want to talk about it is actually disrespectful.

However, agitating the pain and turning it into suffering is NOT love based.

I explain more about the difference between love-based and fear-based copy here, but in a nutshell, the more you can articulate what’s keeping your ideal clients up at night in a respectful manner, the more successful you will be inspiring and inviting them to move forward with your paid offers.

  1. Do you know what your offer is?

Your offer is the unique way you help your ideal clients sleep at night. The more you understand your ideal client, and how your offer is the solution to their pain, the easier it will be to communicate your value to your ideal prospects. This post can help you nail down your message.

  1. Do you understand the basics of powerful copywriting?

I am a big believer that every entrepreneur should know at least the basics of copywriting. Otherwise, how will you be able to judge the quality of the work a copywriter provides?

If you want to delve into this more deeply, my copywriting books are a great place to start. There are also lots of other copy-related posts on this site (including articles on writing headlines, bullet points, and emails) that will give you the basics.

  1. Do you have samples of your own to share with your copywriter to make it easier for him or her to match your style?

My copywriting and marketing company has specialized in matching your unique style, and one of the ways we do that is by getting samples from our clients. To ensure your copywriter nails your style, provide him or her with samples.

There may be more things your specific copywriter would like, but this list should get you started.

And, if you want to delve deeper into the skill of copywriter, check out my “Love-Based Copywriting” books right here.

 

 

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

When creating a content marketing plan, a lot of entrepreneurs I know do it backwards.

They sit down and start brainstorming a bunch of topics. Which can work. But, it can also be a big time waster (especially if the entrepreneurs get stuck and have no idea what they want to create). There’s also a high likelihood they don’t end up creating content their ideal client wants to consume. (Which is the whole point of putting a content marketing plan together in the first place.)

Or, in some cases, they skip the plan altogether and simply jump in and create whatever tickles their fancy that day.

Again, this can sometimes be successful strategy. (It wasn’t for me.) But, I think in most cases what you typically end up is a content marketing plan that’s hit or miss. (Truthfully, more miss than hit.)

So, is there a better way to create a content marketing plan? Why yes! And, where it starts is by making sure you have a solid foundation in place.

Not only are you more likely to create a successful blog or podcast or video channel or whatever you’re creating because you’ve focused on building a solid foundation, but it’s also going to be soooo much easier for you to create content on a regular and consistent basis (which really is the key to creating momentum and results around your marketing).

Plus, just sitting down and creating a content marketing plan for a year (or even for the next quarter) can feel overwhelming. That’s why I think taking a few steps back and getting your foundation in place BEFORE you create a content marketing plan is so essential.

And, the best part? Having this foundation in place will help focus ALL of your marketing efforts, not just creating a content marketing plan.

Without further ado, let’s dive into these three crucial steps.

1. Be clear on precisely what your expertise is (and isn’t).

If you’re a new entrepreneur or new to whatever it is you’re doing, this can feel daunting. It can also feel daunting if you are like me and have a bad case of “fraud” syndrome, or “I have to read one more book or get one more certification before I’m an expert” syndrome.

I’m not going to give you the same advice you may have heard from other gurus, which is if you know 80% more than your ideal client, you’re an expert.

While technically that may be true, in practice that’s a horrid platform to build your content marketing plan on.

Your ideal prospects are NOT (let me repeat NOT) looking for the same, watered- down content everyone else and their brother who are also “80% experts” are putting out. They are NOT looking for content that is basically regurgitated from a book or a program.

They are looking for solid, high-quality content that either educates them or entertains them, or both.

So, what DO you do then, if you’re new to your business and you don’t have the level of expertise as other experts who have been out there for a decade or more?

First off, there’s no law that says your content marketing plan can only include content YOU create. What about using other people’s expertise? You could start a podcast and interview other experts. You could write blog posts that quote posts and books from other experts (giving full credit of course).

Over time, as you grow your business, you’ll start to find your voice and your style of teaching., and as you do, you can start creating content from your voice.

And, quite honestly, THAT’S what your ideal prospects are looking for. They’re looking for you because they want to hear how YOU perceive the content and YOUR angles and how you interpret it from YOUR unique life experiences and stories.

There are very few things that are “brand new” right now. But, what IS new is your unique spin on similar ideas. Right now, you may not be feeling brave enough or comfortable enough to truly step into your unique voice. That’s okay. While you’re developing that, see what you can do to leverage other people’s expertise.

2. Be clear on precisely who you’re serving.

Your ideal client is going to influence how you present your content.

For instance, let’s say you’re a money expert. You’re going to present content around money very differently depending on whether you’d rather work with entrepreneurs or employees.

What if you’re a relationship expert? You’re going to see things through completely different angles depending on whether you’re working with men or women, and whether your ideal clients are 20-year-old women or 50-year-old divorcees.

That’s why getting clear on who your ideal clients are and what is keeping them up at night—and making sure the content you’re creating is relevant to them (not to mention something they want to consume)—is super important.

3. Be clear on precisely what you offer them that no one else is, and why they should come to you.

Again, if you’re new, you may find this one a little scary.

But, here’s the thing: If you can’t communicate what makes you unique, you WILL struggle in your business.

Your ideal clients are going to want to know why they should plunk down their hard-earned money to work with you versus someone else. And, if you can’t tell them, they may wonder if they can get what you offer cheaper somewhere else.

Because, you see, if you aren’t able to explain to them your value, they’re going to make their buying decision based on whether or not they feel like they can afford what you’re charging.

If you make it clear what your value is and how what you do is different from everyone else, then price becomes less of an issue. You can’t be price-shopped, because no one else offers the same value you are providing.

If you struggle with this, this article walks you through my formula on how to craft your message so it resonates with your ideal client.

Once you know this, you’ll have a much better idea of the sort of content that will resonate most with your ideal client. (This doesn’t mean you won’t want to do some testing on the best content for your ideal clients, but you’ll definitely have a solid place to start with your content marketing plan.)

So, you may have noticed that all three of these steps have one thing in common, which is … (drum roll)

Clarity!

To me, clarity is one of those things that just doesn’t sound all that sexy, but yet, the more clear your are, the easier everything is.

I know for myself I prefer the “just jump in and figure it out later” approach. However, I’ve definitely had mixed results with that. Some things have worked out great and others … not so much.

While I think you can also go the other way and spend TOO much time in research and preparation and “getting ready to get ready,” I also think there’s a happy medium between getting clear and just getting started.

If you want to see my specific strategy on how I got clear before creating my second blog, I walk you through it here.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

[Video] Flip It! A Simple Marketing Exercise that Could Transform Your Business

[Video] Flip It! A Simple Marketing Exercise that Could Transform Your Business

If you’re ready to transform your business, this simple marketing exercise may help.

But before I tell you what this marketing exercise is, let me share the inspiration behind it. Recently I wrote a blog post called “Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You” where I make the case that you should only start a new marketing tactic if you commit to two things:

  1. You will consistently and frequently use it — and by consistently and frequently, I mean a minimum of once a week. (So, for instance, if you decide to start a blog, you commit to posting a minimum of one blog post a week.)
  2. You stick with this strategy for at least one year.

Now, the point of this marketing exercise isn’t to lock you into something you absolutely can’t stand. Clearly there are circumstances where stopping a marketing tactic or strategy is warranted. For instance, if you’re spending a ton of money on Facebook ads and getting zero return and are quickly going broke, yeah, you may want to reconsider.

But, what if you took option of quitting off the table? What if you decided no matter what, you were committing to this particular marketing tactic for one year? What if it was acceptable to tweak the strategy to improve your results, but you couldn’t quit for at least a year?

How does that feel?

Does it make you more cautious? For instance, maybe rather than jumping into this week’s hot new can’t-miss marketing strategy, you pause and consider if it’s something you actually can commit to frequently doing for at least a year?

Does it make you want to research the marketing tactic more? To see if it is a good fit for you and your specific business?

Does it make you not want to do any marketing at all? Because it’s way too scary to commit for a year?

Are you busy listing excuses in your head how this “wouldn’t work for you?” After all, you’re a creative soul! You can’t possibly commit to doing something for a year. You might get bored and uninspired and then your marketing would suck. No, you need to keep your options open. Besides, you’re busy. What if it takes more time and energy than you have? What if your kids get sick or something happens in your personal life? Or what if you realize you need a team and you can’t afford one?

Or, maybe, maybe, what’s coming up is something deeper and darker. Maybe you’ve failed before and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure again. Or maybe you don’t want to make that commitment to yourself because you have a history of breaking commitments and promises to yourself in the past and you don’t want to do it again.

Ouch.

Okay, so let me circle back to the point of this exercise, which actually isn’t to convince you to commit to regularly and frequently using a marketing tactic for a year. Yes, I do happen to believe that’s the best way to get results with your marketing, but that’s not the point.

The point is to see what comes up for you. Because, whatever you’re telling yourself right now and however you’re resisting is likely the reason you’re not as successful as you could be.

And, if you decide you’re ready to break this nasty little mindset block so you can step into your greatness, I invite you to actually commit to a marketing tactic for a year. And then do it. And see what comes up for you and what tries to stop you.

What I’m suggesting isn’t easy. But, if you choose to do it, it could end up being your biggest breakthrough yet.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book and my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

Is YouTube on the Way Out?

Is YouTube on the Way Out?

I recently came across two contradictory articles about the effectiveness of YouTube.

First, the bad. In December, 2017, Business Insider had an article about how many (but not all) of the biggest stars on YouTube are seeing both their followers and their video views dwindle.

Now, the good. In January, 2018, a popular blog called IncomeMediary had an article about 8 SEO trends and listed YouTube as being the place where it’s at. (According to that site, YouTube is the second most searched platform on the Web.)

So, what’s the truth?

My suspicion is, like anything, the truth is what personally works for you. For some people, YouTube will always work great even if the overall trend shows it’s less and less effective. For others, YouTube will never work no matter how hot of a platform it is.

But, as that’s not the most helpful advice, I did a little research on my own on the YouTube experts I follow.

While I can’t be sure about the diminished followers part, I will say that overall watches in 2017 were down compared to previous years.

I will also say that some of the claims around video I found in the IncomeMediary post directly contradicted the stats I’ve seen on video watching over the years. Now, that doesn’t mean IncomeMediary is lying or being otherwise untruthful. It may very well be that the site is pulling data from other industries that I’m not as familiar with.

Which, brings me back to my earlier point, which is different marketing strategies are going to work or not work for different people regardless of what the overall trend is. Not to mention different marketing strategies and tactics are going to work better or differently depending on the industry and the specific ideal client group you’re trying to attract.

So, where does that leave us with YouTube? And if Business Insider is correct, why is the overall watches and followers dropping?

Well, the Business Insider article didn’t really have an answer for why this was happening, so I thought I’d take a stab at it.

Is the problem the videos themselves? In other words, are fewer people watching videos these days?

I’ve seen no evidence that this is the case. People still appear to be watching as many videos online as they ever did. In the U.S. alone, 85% of the Internet audience watches videos online, which is likely why there are so many platforms for watching them. For example, on Facebook, you can both upload existing videos and create Facebook Lives, Twitter has Periscope, Instagram allows for videos, and let’s not forget Snapchat, which is all about videos.

And, if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, using videos as part of your overall marketing strategy makes sense. One statistic I’ve seen claims that business that use video grow their revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

However, it’s important to note that not EVERYONE likes to watch videos (at least in regard to educational purposes—it’s a lot higher than that when we’re talking watching a movie or an episode of Game of Thrones). Only about 25% of your customers prefer watching videos over audio or reading.

BUT, people who DO watch videos are far more likely to become buyers, which is why it makes sense to integrate videos into your overall marketing strategy.

So, taking all of that into consideration, my suspicion as to what’s affecting YouTube is the number of options we now have for viewing videos online. Years ago, there was only YouTube. So, if you wanted to watch a video, you went to YouTube.

And, while you can certainly comment and like videos on YouTube, it’s not precisely a social networking platform. YouTube is about watching videos. Period. Commenting and liking is secondary.

Whereas if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, you’re there for the networking and the connection. So, if you can also get your video “fix” there, why wouldn’t you?

People are busy. Going to YouTube to watch a video is an additional step and an additional distraction in a busy day.

People are also lazy. Going to YouTube to watch a video is an additional step they may not feel like taking.

So, as an entrepreneur, what makes sense for you?

Let’s start with videos. Should you or should you not use them in your marketing?

I believe you absolutely SHOULD and here’s why:

1. Yes, only about 25% PREFER learning via video, that doesn’t meant only 25% will WATCH.

It’s been my experience that far more folks than that will at least take a quick peek at your videos. Even if it’s only one to two videos total.  (IncomeMediary says 55% of online users watch videos every day, and that is a stat I can believe, although let’s keep in mind that stat likely includes people wasting time watching cat videos.)

Video is also great for creating connection. People will get a much faster sense of who you are and if they want to learn from you via video than any other medium. So, a lot of people will watch from time to time, even if it’s not their preferred method, and if they like your energy and how you present yourself on video, they’re more likely to stick around (and maybe even eventually buy something).

2. If you want people to consume your marketing materials, it helps if you provide them options so they can choose HOW they prefer to consume it.

Just like in your paid training, people have their favorite way to learn whether it’s via reading, listening, watching videos, or interacting with the training in some way. That’s why giving people choices of watching videos, listening to audio, or reading a transcript is a great way to serve all learning styles.

And, if you want to market more effectively, it’s nice to do the same for your marketing materials. Give your audience options on how they choose to learn from you, even if it’s completely free on your blog, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty.

3. If you’re interested in expanding your marketing reach and visibility, creating videos gives you more options.

If you’re willing to do videos, you can have a presence on Snapchat and on YouTube. You can also expand the presence you have on platforms like Facebook if you start using videos. Those may be smart marketing moves.

Now, let’s look at YouTube. Should you build up your presence there or not?

Only if you’re planning on shooting stand-alone videos. If you are, then sure, why not load them up on YouTube as well. But, if your video strategy right now is to focus on something like Facebook Lives, I wouldn’t bother.

It’s early yet and things could turn around for YouTube, but right now, it’s sure looking like becoming a YouTube star isn’t what it used to be.

Speaking of YouTube stars, this is yet another great reminder about how all of these social network platforms are great to have a presence on, because they’re likely where your ideal clients, customers, and buyers are, BUT building your entire brand and platform on someone else’s site is (ahem) foolish. Your focus when you use these sites should always be to connect and encourage people to follow you to your blog or website, or some other platform you 100% control. (Personally, blogs are my fave.)

If your entire audience is on YouTube and you have no subscriber list and no blog and no following outside of YouTube, then the only way you can “talk” to your audience is by posting a video. But, what happens if the video is a dud? Or what if something technical happens and your audience doesn’t get the notification you posted a new video? Or what if your audience stops hanging around YouTube (as what appears to be happening now)? Or what if YouTube decides to ban you or shut down your account for some reason?

That’s why building your own brand on your own platform that you control is soooo important. Use YouTube as the tool it is, not as a substitute for building your own business.

If you liked this post, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

Having one of your blog posts or videos or podcasts go viral is something most people, including entrepreneurs, authors and artists, dream about.

What’s not to love? It means you matter.

Right?

So, before I get into some tips on how you can make something go viral, let’s talk about the ramifications if you succeed in having something go viral.

For most people, they imagine it’s going to feel like a huge validation. They did something a lot of people loved and shared. That has to feel good, right?

And, if you’re an entrepreneur, well you just got the golden ticket. It’s like Brene Brown and her Ted Talk, she parlayed that talk on vulnerability into a massive platform.

But, what if the wrong thing goes viral? In other words, what if you’re inspired to write an article, that ends up going viral, and takes your business into a direction you didn’t want it to go?

A blogger I follow just wrote about that. A post she wrote went viral, and after she saw the results of that post, she decided she didn’t like what she saw and needed to tear down what she built so she could create what her heart and soul truly desired.

And that’s the thing about things that go viral. No one really knows why it happens, so trying to build your business around it is problematic at best.

You may never create anything that truly goes viral. Does that mean you failed as an entrepreneur or artist or author?

Or, maybe something you create DOES go viral … and you hate it. In a way, that happened to Louisa May Alcott. Her most famous and popular book, Little Women, was also the work of art she liked the least. And yet, that’s what ended up most defining her.

Or maybe what ends up going viral is something that is more of a distraction, taking you off in another direction that isn’t helpful.

In other words, having something go viral may not end up meaning what you think it might.

That said, while no one really knows why something catches fire and something else doesn’t, there’s three things you can do to improve the odds of it happening.

Step 1: Create things. Blog posts, videos, speeches, podcasts. The more content you have out there, the more likely something will go viral.

Step 2: Create high quality things. Don’t just put out a lot of crap. Take the time to make sure what you’re creating is solid and high quality. Crappy things are less likely to go viral.

Step 3: Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to have something go viral. As the saying goes, Good fortune favors the bold. Be visible. Take chances. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail (or, at the very least, don’t allow your fear of failure to stop you). The more opportunities you give yourself to have something go viral, the more likely it will happen.

And, above all, relax. Have fun. Chances are, if you’re trying to hard to make something go viral, it won’t. It usually happens when you least expect it, when your back is turned and you’re focusing on something else.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Recently, I was at an event half-listening to a speaker give his speak-to-sell talk about his favorite marketing tactic, when I heard him say something that jolted me out of my daze (I’m paraphrasing, here):

“I’m going to show you why speaking is the only marketing tactic you need to build your business.”

Why did this jump out at me? Well, not because it isn’t true (or at least, not necessarily untrue), but because it’s incomplete.

Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I have no issue with him doing a talk designed around selling his program. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs should be well-paid for facing their fears and putting themselves out there to build a business and make a difference.

Also, he’s not wrong.

Speaking absolutely IS a great way to market your business.

But, is it the best way? Depends on how you define “best.”

Is it the only way? Absolutely not.

Are there negatives associated with speaking? Oh my goodness, yes. (In fact, I’ll list a few here, in regard to speaking on local stages, as the speaker recommended: stage fright, getting dressed up/doing your make up and hair, travel time, ending up in front of a crowd of folks who aren’t your ideal clients (which means you waste all that time and energy), speaking in front of your ideal clients and bombing your talk, which is also a waste of time and energy, etc.)

And, that’s the issue I really have with what the speaker said at the event.

If you listen to the marketing “gurus,” they all have their one “perfect,” “can’t-miss” tactic for growing your business. And, as I said earlier, they’re all trying to make money, so they’re not necessarily going to share the drawbacks (or if they do, they’re going to downplay them), and they’re going to hype the positives.

For some entrepreneurs, the tactic they’re selling will absolutely be right for them.

But, for others, not so much.

It can be very confusing to try and take in marketing advice and sort out which is the best marketing strategy for you.

So, I want to help! Here are two questions to ask yourself every time you’re considering implementing a new marketing tactic:

  1. Does it light you up?
  2. Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

Now, let’s dig into both of these questions more deeply.

Does it light you up?

I’m a big believer that there is a marketing tactic for everyone. There are SO many ways to market yourself that you can most definitely find SOMETHING you’re both good at and enjoy.

It’s not about forcing yourself to market in a way you hate.

Now, are there times it makes sense to adopt a marketing tactic you’re not crazy about because it’s perfect for your ideal clients? Of course. In this case, consider hiring some help to make it more palatable for you (for example, maybe you hire a writer to write blog posts for you, if you hate writing).

But it’s also entirely possible to build your marketing around a marketing tactic you love, and that will work for you.

The key here is being consistent—if you’re consistent with your marketing, virtually any tactic can work for you over the long haul.

(My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes an assessment designed to help you figure out which marketing tactic is right for you.)

Now, let’s look at the second question.

Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

My friend Lisa Sasevich often shares this story on her stage about how she decided to have a second child:

After her son was born (who was a very easy baby), she and her husband were contemplating having a second.

And, she couldn’t decide.

She kept making lists about the pros and cons of having a second baby, and the list of cons far outweighed the list of pros. Did she really want to get back into diapers and sleepless nights? What about the expense of a second child? And so on.

But, she kept feeling a little soul around her, wanting to be born, and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, finally a friend of hers said, “Choose your regrets.” She advised that either way, whether Lisa had a second baby or not, she would have regrets. So why not choose them?

When Lisa looked at it that way, the choice was easy, and she ended up having her second child, a daughter.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say any marketing tactic has “regrets” attached to it, it certainly has “drawbacks” or “cons.”

So, in this case, choose your drawbacks.

Every single marketing tactic out there has drawbacks.

Every. Single. One.

Which drawbacks can you live with? Which ones can you work around?

And, is there enough about the marketing tactic you enjoy that outweighs the drawbacks?

OR, are the results of the marketing tactic awesome enough that you’re willing to push through everything you don’t like?

Bottom line …

That doesn’t mean you can’t try some out and see if you like them or not. That also doesn’t mean you can’t simply stop doing a marketing tactic you absolutely can’t stand, or that isn’t getting you the results you’re looking for.

But, here’s the thing about marketing tactics—they only work if you use them.

Consistently.

If you only use a marketing tactic for a month or two, get bored or frustrated for lack of results and move on, you’re never going to get the traction or the momentum you need to bust through and start seeing big results.

So, whatever marketing tactic you choose, you need to commit to it.

Then, you need to use it consistently (which of course looks different depending on what it is, but likely, it’s putting something out there in relation to the tactic at least once a week).

For at least a year.

Yes, you read that right. A year.

If you commit to that, after one year, you’ll have solid data to help you decide if it’s something you want to keep using, or if it’s time to try something else.

I know for many entrepreneurs, we move fast and make decisions fast, and we love nothing more than to jump right in when an idea strikes us (or, as one of my friends would say “We wake up with our hair on fire”).

On the flip side, we also abandon ideas we once thought were the “next best thing” just as quickly.

If we want our marketing to be successful, we can’t do that. We need to stick with it. Again, for at least one year.

So, choose wisely.

And, if you want more help selecting a love-based online marketing plan that’s right for you, make sure you check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

After all the mistakes I made with my first blog (aka my “starter” blog), I decided I needed a better plan for how to start a blog successfully.

In fact, I would say knowing how to start a blog on the right foot is crucial. Even when you do everything correctly, it can still take months to start seeing results.

And, if you don’t start out right, it will take even longer.

(Of course, the flip side is once you start seeing results, you’ll continue to, even if you aren’t always on top of posting.)

Even knowing it will take time to see results, it cam still be difficult to keep moving forward when you have little to nothing to show for it (trust me, I know, I just went through it). It’s even worse when you’re also listening to a nagging little voice in the back of your head questioning whether you’re doing it right.

Because, hands down, worst of all, is finding out months down the road (after expending all that wasted time and creative energy) that you did, indeed, do things wrong and that’s the reason why you’re not seeing results.

That’s why I’m going to walk you through my precise strategy on how to start a blog today—so you can duplicate it and experience the same type of success I am with my new blog, LoveBasedBiz.com. I started this blog in December 2016, and it took about a year to start seeing results. But now, I’m finally getting the traction and momentum I was looking for.

That said, I think I could have seen results months sooner if I hadn’t gone through a “crisis of faith” about six months in. I started doubting myself and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

I didn’t let myself stop, but I did cut back on how much I was posting each week.

Looking back, I see that was a mistake—one I don’t want you to make.

Here’s the thing: it’s still totally possible to grow a blog from scratch. It’s also totally possible to still use SEO (search engine optimization) and attract organic visitors to your blog.

AND if you set your blog up right, it’s also possible to make money from it. (In my case, I’m selling books and products with my blog.)

All you need is the right strategy.

(Now, that said, I do want to add that you can always find someone who isn’t following one or all of these steps, and is still rocking it with his/her blog. Unicorns exist. However, I do believe the vast majority of folks who decide to disregard what I say below are likely going to be frustrated with their blogging efforts.)

How to Start a Blog Step 1: Get clear on your message.

Gone are the days when you could create a business around rehashing what other experts and gurus teach, or even worse, relying on “new” to cut through the marketing clutter and give you momentum.

Now, you really need to get clear on your unique voice and message to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Yes, you have one (trust me). If you’re feeling called to change the world with your unique gift (even if you’re not entirely sure what that gift is), you have something to share.

You just have to find it.

Chances are it’s some sort of combination of what you find super easy to do and your personal story and life experiences (including your core wounds and/or your shadows). It’s definitely worth the time and energy to dig in and get clear on what you’re meant to bring forward into the world.

For myself, I knew I needed to get the love-based message out in a big way.

How to Start a Blog Step 2: Get clear on what your blog is about.

Yes, yes, I’m also disappointed that people aren’t rushing to my blog to read my personal musings on whatever pops into my head, no matter if it’s related to my overall brand and message or not.

But, unless you’re super famous and/or have a big following, that’s life.

Your visitors are coming to you because they expect a certain experience on your blog. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s entertainment. Maybe it’s both.

If you don’t provide that experience consistently, they’ll likely stop coming.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. It also doesn’t mean your blog can’t evolve over time. What it DOES mean is that getting clear on what your blog is about, and then aligning your content with it is the key to success.

For myself, this was easy. I knew I was being called to get the love-based message out into the world in a bigger way, so that’s what my blog needed to be about.

How to Start a Blog Step 3: Choose a blog template that’s both mobile friendly and looks up to date. (And, get comfortable with the idea you’re probably going to have to update it in a few years.)

With more and more people accessing the web using phones and tablets, if you don’t have a mobile-responsive blog, you’re just asking to be ignored by a lot of potential visitors.

How to Start a Blog Step 4: Write posts around popular keywords.

If you want to build up your organic traffic (“organic traffic” refers to the posts that will show up organically when your ideal clients are searching the web using those keywords), this is non-negotiable. (I’ll dig into this strategy in more detail in a future post, but in short, find popular keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, and write your posts around them.)

How to Start a Blog Step 5: Write high-quality, longer posts.

I can’t stress this enough. Just throwing up a fast, poorly-written, poorly-thought-out article is NOT going to help you over the long haul. Take time to create solid content, even if it means you can’t post as often as you like.

Also, I suggest writing at least one long post a week (and by long, I mean between 1,000 and 2,000 words). Studies show that longer posts get shared more on social media, and get more SEO love.

How to Start a Blog Step 6: Use graphics and pictures.

I haven’t done a lot with infographics (yet) but Michelle Schaefer, one of the blogging mentors I’ve followed, swears by them. For myself, I’ve definitely found that having unique pictures (I take a lot of my own pictures) encourages people to click and read.

How to Start a Blog Step 7: Consider integrating podcasts and/or videos.

Not all of your ideal prospects like to read. Not all want to listen to podcasts or watch videos.

That’s why offering multiple modalities for consuming your content can make your blog more accessible and desirable to a bigger audience.

In addition, you’ll also open up more platforms to advertise your blog on. If you have a podcast, you can then advertise your blog on all the different podcast platforms. If you have videos, you can build your YouTube channel and presence.

Which leads me to the next step …

How to Start a Blog Step 8: Have a social media strategy in place.

Alas, blogs don’t promote themselves (at least not anymore). Along with setting aside time to write your blog (or have it written for you), you’re also going to have to set aside time to promote your blog (or have a marketing assistant promote it for you).

Luckily, promoting your blog is an excellent way to also promote your business—especially if it’s set up correctly so it reflects your brand and message. When people visit your blog to read your juicy content, they also get a taste of what it would be like to work with you on a deeper level. Hands down, this is one of the best ways to market your products, programs, and services.

People don’t want to be hit over the head (especially on social media) with your sales messages. But providing a link to a meaty blog article or podcast or video is something they may even end up thanking you for.

So, what’s the best way to promote your blog? Social media of course. Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter can all be easily incorporated into your marketing strategy. In addition, you may want to take a serious look at Pinterest. I’ve been playing around with it more, and a lot of my research points to Pinterest as being one of the best platforms to promote your blog.

How to Start a Blog Step 9: Be clear on the action you want your visitors to take, and then make sure you ASK them to take that action.

Building your email subscriber list should always be one of your biggest calls to action on your blog. But, I also think you should consider soft selling your products, programs, and services. Now, that doesn’t mean you should expect someone to read a blog post and buy a year-long, high-end coaching program. But, you can certainly seed the results of that coaching program on your blog, which can get your ideal prospects to start to consider working with you.

If you’re an author, blogs are an excellent way to sell books (both fiction and nonfiction), so definitely incorporate them.

So, there you have it—how you can set up your blog for more success. And, if you’d like to dig into even more Internet Marketing (including setting up your online marketing plan), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

In 2016, I took a hard look at my blog, my business, and my industry, and I knew I had to make some new choices when it came to marketing and promoting my business. (I share my story in depth here.)

Along with deciding a blog was still the way to go, I also decided my blog (which I now lovingly refer to as my “starter” blog) had so many issues, it seemed the best thing to do was start over with a fresh, new blog.

Mind you, it wasn’t the easiest choice to me. My starter blog was getting a decent amount of organic traffic. Not great, but it was something to build on.

Plus, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to build my SEO back up. While my research showed it was entirely possible to build up a new blog’s organic traffic, I also knew it was more difficult now than when it had been when I had first started blogging.

In the end, I just felt like I had made too many mistakes with my blog to justify keeping it. It felt like it would require too much work to fix what I had done versus starting over fresh.

So, what were those mistakes? I lay them out for you below.

1. I didn’t keep it up-to-date.

My blog no longer fit my brand. It was built around my old brand, which was “The $Ka-Ching!$ Marketing Strategist!” I had named my blog “Rev Up Your Results!” None of this fit into the new Love-Based Business brand, which is where my business is now.

In addition, the blog theme itself was old and dated. It desperately needed a facelift.

Now, it’s true I could have simply rebranded everything. Put it in a new template and added new graphics. But, that’s actually easier said than done. I had A LOT of content on that blog, and making sure all the content survived the transformation is not only tricky, but a ton of work.

If that was the only mistake I made with my blog, I may have attempted it. Alas, there was more to come.

2. There was no clear focus.

When I started my blog years ago (I’m not even sure when I first started it), I did it because at the time the “new” marketing strategy that was getting all the attention was BLOGGING.

Throw a blog up! Get thousands of visitors! It’s the new, hot thing!

Okay, I could do that. Plus, I was already writing a weekly ezine (well, nearly weekly, maybe three times a month), so I had content I could post.

Made perfect sense.

Needless to say, while I do believe having a blog is better than not having one, this isn’t the best blogging strategy. Having a clear focus, goal, and plan for your blog is essential, if you want it to be successful.

And, that lack of initial focus ended up being reflected in the content I posted over the years.

Now, before I get into all my wanderings in the blogging wilderness, let me put things in perspective.

I started my business as a freelance copywriter in 1998. Since then, I’ve morphed into a copywriting company and further morphed into the Love-Based Copy and Marketing Company. I’ve published a non-fiction book series (the love-based business books) in addition to fiction books (I have two novels published and a three-book series due out later this year), plus I have a lot of other plans in the works.

This type of shift in business focus over a twenty-year time period is pretty normal.

After you’ve been in business for a few years, you’ll start to see that your business is a living, breathing entity. It grows and changes just like you do. (And, just like other living things, sometimes it dies, too.)

So, expecting your blog to have the exact same focus when it’s over a decade old isn’t realistic. And, if your blog IS that old, I don’t think it’s a problem if some of the older content is different from your newer offerings.

That said, my content problems were bigger than normal “growing pains.” Mine stemmed from not having a clear vision for my blog other than attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. So, when I didn’t attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, I would vacillate between tinkering with my plan to ignoring my blog in frustration for weeks (or even months) at a time.

Needless to say, that’s not a plan for success. (For anything, not just blogging.)

But, looking back, I feel like a lot of what I did was a necessary part of my journey. In some respect, I used my blog to help me find myself and get clear on my message and what I stood for. I posted some beautiful tributes (the ones to my mother and my dog, Roxie, are two that come to mind). I also posted some very odd, more personal posts that really had no place on a business blog (like one about tequila during my Cabo vacation that still attracts a visitor every now and then—needless to say, those visitors aren’t my ideal clients).

Overall, though, my “starter” blog gave me the freedom to explore my creativity and test what worked and what didn’t. And for that I’m grateful.

I was able to see which posts worked better than expected, and which ones flopped. That was priceless information.

Unfortunately, however valuable that creative experimentation was, in the end, it still led to the bigger problem, which was my blog felt disjointed. It didn’t hang together right. And, just liked the branding issue, it felt like too much work to tinker around to try and fix it. (Especially since I wasn’t even sure precisely what to do to fix it.)

But, even this paled in comparison to Mistake #3.

3. I wasn’t sharing very good content.

Ouch!

Yes, I’ll fully admit it.

Okay, so to be fair, pretty much all of my “not great content” happened over approximately a two-year period where I had tried not one but two different strategies to boost my number of visitors to hundreds of thousands.

It started with me joining a 30-day blog challenge and deciding to post every day.

This was a mistake. A big one.

Not because posting every day won’t work. It can. But, there’s a catch.

You need to be posting good, solid content.

And, I wasn’t doing that.

You see, for years I had a problem with the concept of speed. I had bought into the hype to move quickly, so I did. But, unfortunately for me, part of how I defined “quickly” was pretty close to “sloppy.”

On one hand, the blog challenge was a success. I posted every day for a month. I even extended the blog challenge for a few months (although I didn’t quite make every day, I was definitely posting four to six times a week).

Some of those posts were good. But, others were crap—something I simply threw up so I could check off the “yes I posted” on my to-do list.

Eventually, the “nearly-every-day-blog-post” started to wear on me, so I switched strategies (again) because I still wanted multiple blog posts a week and I thought if I changed my system, it would be easier for me to create them.

Unfortunately, the bad habits I had picked up during the blog challenge stuck with me, which meant some sloppy content still got posted.

In addition, because I was trying to move quickly, I didn’t have my editor edit my posts, so that contributed to a further decline of quality.

So, again, trying to sort through all that mess just gave me a headache. Plus, since I had switched strategies and visions so often, the whole blog felt energetically confusing, and the thought of putting my beautiful and powerful love-based message on a discombobulated platform sent shivers down my spine.

While this was probably my main reason for rolling the dice and starting from scratch, there were a couple other mistakes that turned this decision into a no-brainer.

4. I was dealing with broken plugins.

For whatever reason (maybe the technology was reflected in the content mess), I had a few strange technical issues with my old blog. The podcast plugin never worked, so I never did get my first, “starter” podcast on iTunes (or any other platform). I added one of those Tweet plugins, which worked for a little while and then stopped. It just seemed to be a never-ending battle with apps and plugins that just wouldn’t work right.

This was more annoying than anything, and maybe if my heart was more into saving that blog, I could have landed on a satisfying technical solution. But, I was also missing a vital piece.

5. I had no call to action.

Now, this wasn’t entirely true. I did have a CTA at the end of each article to sign up for my free gift.

But, part of where I wanted to go with the love-based platform was to also wrap the articles around one of my books. Selling the love-based business books was most definitely part of the overall vision for the new love-based business blog.

And, if I used the old blog, with the old posts, I would either have to go in and edit a whole bunch of articles OR live with the fact that my older articles (i.e. the ones getting organic traffic) didn’t have a CTA around the books.

Again, it felt like a much easier and less stressful project to simply start fresh.

So, now that I’ve walked you through the mistakes I made with my blog, check out this post where I walk you through what I did to set the new one up for success.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can be more effective with your Internet Marketing (including your blogging strategy), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.