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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 Or maybe when you created it, it was a solid, well-put-together product, but now it’s out-of-date and really needs an upgrade.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.

The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

I was recently cleaning out some old papers I happened to find at the bottom of my desk, when I came across some teachings from Dan Kennedy.

If you haven’t heard of Dan Kennedy, he’s this old, grizzled marketing and copy guru and author of the No BS series of books. In the beginning of my career, I learned a lot about how to write traditional copy from him. (He was also the “Kennedy” in the Glazer-Kennedy Marketing company.)

I glanced through the papers and this Dan Kennedy quote caught my eye:

“If you’re still in the same business you were in 3-5 years ago, you have no business.”

I then looked at the date of the training and saw it was from 2012.

This really hit me, because, you see, my first thought when I read that quote was “how timely.” When really, Dan Kennedy wrote it six years ago.

For many entrepreneurs in the online information product industry (which includes the transformation industry), 2017 was a really rough year. That was the year we started to see how many of the business “truths” we thought were infallible were, in fact, very fallible.

And, for some entrepreneurs who had built businesses on those “infallible” truths, even big, multi-million-dollar businesses, were seeing massive cracks and their businesses crumble on what they thought was a pretty solid structure.

So, let’s start by acknowledging the truth: Yes, it can be scary. Very scary. If you’re worried or scared about the future of your business and you’re uncertain about what to do or which direction to go, you’re absolutely not alone. I  encourage you to feel whatever it is that wants to come up—just don’t let it stop you from taking action.

And let’s acknowledge another truth: It sucks.

Look, as humans, we are biologically wired to not like change. It’s in our DNA. Change can be dangerous to our very existence. So, as much as possible, our brains try to minimize change in order to keep us safe.

Which is why this idea of constantly looking at our businesses and seeing what we need to do differently is exhausting and overwhelming.

After all, don’t we want to just “set it and forget it”?

Wouldn’t it be nice to discover the “secret of success” and then finally stop looking?

Alas, if only it were that simple.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, I think first of all, acknowledge that it is both scary and daunting, AND decide to take action regardless.

Second, pay attention to your industry. Go to events, talk to friends and colleagues, follow people who follow trends and write about them (this blog can be a good place to start).

Third, know this:

Maybe it means that you tweak an existing product or service to better meet demand.

Maybe you change how you market.

Maybe you add a new product line or retire an old product line.

To be honest, you might even welcome some of changes.

Because, along with the landscape changing, you yourself are changing, and your business (which while not “alive” in the traditional sense, is still a living entity) are also changing.

Listen to what wants to emerge. Be open to what wants to change. (It’s easier to surrender to what wants to happen than it is to fight it.)

Lastly, know some things really DON’T ever change.

For instance, a business is really about finding and connecting with your ideal clients. It’s about building relationships. It’s about giving value. It’s about making offers your ideal clients want to buy. Those things don’t change.

And if you keep those business truths in mind (not to mention actually building your business on those truths and not the slippery, cracked “truths” of whatever is hot in the moment), you’ll be able to weather any storm …

No matter how scary it might initially look.

If you’d like to dig more deeply into building your business on a solid foundation, my Love-Based Business books can help, specifically my “Love-Based Online Marketing” 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.

 

 

[Video] Flip It! Are You Trading Your Success For Safety?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Trading Your Success For Safety?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay safe. The problem comes in when wanting to stay safe starts to interfere with your dreams.

I started this conversation on this episode of Flip It! called “A Simple Marketing Exercise That Could Transform Your Business.” There, I talk about committing to consistently taking action on one marketing tactic for a year and see what demons and triggers come up for you.

Chances are, your head will be full of excuses about why you can’t possibly do that, plus your fear-based emotions will likely raise their ugly heads so you’ll feel like absolute crap.

And, if that wasn’t enough, you may find other things happening to sabotage you, such as family dramas suddenly increasing or maybe you end up sick or so overwhelmed and stressed you’re not able to get much done.

The reason why all of that happens is because your brain, both your ego and your subconscious, are trying to keep you safe.

Not happy. Safe.

You see, if you are taking frequent and consistent marketing action, I don’t care what marketing action that is, but if that’s what you’re doing, something will change.

It could be a huge change. Or it could be something smaller.

But, your business and life WILL shift.

And, change can mean danger.

Right now, you’re safe. Relatively speaking. Clearly, something could happen that’s out of the blue and completely unexpected, but barring that, you’re safe.

And, if you stay in your comfort zone, you will likely stay relatively safe.

Your ego and subconscious have done their job.

But, just because you’re safe, doesn’t mean you’re happy. It also doesn’t mean you’re successful.

So, if you want to become more successful than you are right now, you have to get outside your comfort zone. You have to do things differently.

You have to take risks.

And, you’re likely going to feel awful while it’s happening. Your inner critic is going to criticize you and all sorts of uncomfortable emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, guilt, shame and even grief, will be triggered.

Your job is to both feel your emotions and not listen to your inner critic.

And, keep moving forward.

Because, if you stop, you’re choosing safety. That’s what your ego and your subconscious want. They want you to stop so you stay safe.

They’re not trying to make you feel bad because they’re being mean or they’re evil or something. They’re doing it because they have your best interests in mind. They want you to be safe! What more could you possibly want?

But, if you push through, that’s the place where all your dreams live.

The best part? Your subconscious and your ego WILL adjust and eventually even success will become your new comfort level.

Until you’re ready to move to the next level of success, that is.

(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.

[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.

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.

My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

In the fall of 2016, I came to a realization. The main marketing campaign I had been focusing on for much of my entrepreneurial life wasn’t working the way I had intended.

This wasn’t a big surprise. For years, I had been watching the trends in the information Marketing/Internet Marketing industries and I could see we were headed for a reckoning.

And I had a feeling the reckoning would be sooner rather than later.

“Business as usual” (at least the way it had been defined in this wacky online world I had chosen to do business in) wasn’t going to be as effective as it once was.

It was time to change to a different marketing campaign.

And, that’s what I spent 2017 building from scratch—a new marketing campaign for my business that was based on a solid, long-term marketing strategy that, once I got it in place, would continue to bring ideal clients, customers, and buyers into my business organically … and I wouldn’t even have to spend advertising dollars to make it work. (Although advertising certainly would make speed up the process, it wasn’t a requirement.)

It took a year to finally start seeing results.

I’m going to say right now it wasn’t easy.

In fact, there were times it was downright frustrating. Mostly because I had to battle my secret fears and demons. There’s nothing like having all your inner doubts surface six months into a long-term marketing strategy, even though you KNOW it may take months and months to see results, and you’ve told yourself you’re good with it.

This isn’t going to work.

You’re wasting your time.

Every single successful business owner you know would tell you you’re being foolish. Maybe they are right.

Maybe it’s time to chuck in the towel and do something else.

And on and on.

Nevertheless, I kept going.

Even though my fear-based emotions kept trying to stop me.

Fear, worry, doubt, shame, anger, even grief.

I felt the emotions, let them move through me, and kept going.

So, yes, I will share precisely what I did, but before I do that, I want to set the stage a bit. Because what I did may not be the right strategy for you and your specific business, goals, and dreams.

And, what I DON’T want to happen is for you to read what I did, and then dismiss it. “Oh, that’s all?” Because if you do, I feel like you’d be missing the larger point, which is:

Now, more than EVER, you need to have a long-term marketing strategy in place if you want to have any hope in building a solid, successful, profitable business over the long haul.

HOWEVER, that does NOT mean it’s your ONLY marketing strategy. Long-term marketing strategies are NOT designed to bring in money right now. They’re designed to attract a steady stream of warm ideal clients, customers, and buyers to your business, which of course puts your business on a lot more solid footing than if you don’t have a warm audience of ideal prospects who love to hear from you. But they’re not designed to bring in cash NOW.

So, if you’re looking for an immediate cash infusion, you may need to modify my marketing campaign so it’s less aggressive. This way, you’ll have time to focus on short-term marketing strategies to keep income flowing in, at the same time.

Okay, let’s talk marketing campaign.

How I Decided on My New Marketing Campaign

1. One of my big missions is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world in a massive way. Therefore, for me, it was important that the marketing campaign I chose not only be scalable, but also built for the masses.

For you, that may not be the case. Maybe you just want to have a profitable coaching business and are happy if you have a dozen or so highly-invested coaching clients at any one time. Following my marketing campaign may be overkill for you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my BIG vision for my business?
  • How big do I really want to take it?
  • Do I really want a seven-fugure business or a multi-seven-figure business (which requires hiring a big team)? Or is something smaller more my style?
  • Is the marketing campaign I’ve chosen a match for my vision?

(Note: My “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” is full of questions like these to help you get very clear on what you want to invest your time, money, energy and life force building. It’s free and you can grab your copy at the below link.)

2. Next, I got very clear on my message and who I am here to serve. For me, this was a no-brainer, because my mission is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world. I knew whatever I chose had to focus around that message.

For you, the questions you need to be asking for yourself:

  • Am I clear on my message?
  • Do I HAVE a clear message that I can easily communicate in my marketing?

3. Lastly, I set a clear goal based on the different ways money would flow to me using the marketing campaign—everything from books and low-end products to sponsorships to one-on-one services. I was very clear on how I would fund the campaign not only while I was building it, but also what it would look like once it was built.

For you, ask yourself:

  • Am I clear on my different offers?
  • What type of business model do I want to build? (I.e. Are you just interested in one-on-one services, or do you want to sell more products and group programs, or a combination, or what exactly?)
  • Will this marketing campaign fit into my business model?

Okay, are you wondering what my marketing campaign was, precisely?

Drum roll please …

I started a new blog from scratch.

(Yes, I can hear everyone saying, “Well, geez, is that all?”)

I started this blog, the LoveBasedBiz.com around December2016/January 2017.

Why?

Well, my first blog, which is on my MichelePW.com site, was actually a very old blog with some very old (and valuable) back links. I’m still getting organic traffic to that blog even now without any new posts for over a year.

But, I had made tons and tons of mistakes with it as well.

I felt like those mistakes were hindering my organic SEO reach—I had reached a ceiling because of them. (Another way to look at this of course is that, despite my mistakes, I still ended up with more organic traffic than that blog likely deserves.)

Plus, there was just so much old energy in that blog that I didn’t think a fresh approach would overcome.

I wanted to start fresh. Yes, even though I heard the same things many of you do … “It’s too difficult to start a new blog and get any organic traffic from it …. Blogs are dead … They’re too much work/take too long/not worth the return on investment.”

(Not to mention blogs are unsexy and not nearly as hot as complicated Facebook ad funnels. Right?)

The difference is, I didn’t really believe any of that.

I KNOW content marketing still works. And, it’s likely ALWAYS going to work (especially if you focus on crafting high-quality content and not just crap you throw up really fast).

I also know, since I can see it first-hand with my old blog, that once you’ve got a blog established, visitors continue to visit … EVEN if you stop posting.

Now, there’s no question a blog does require work and commitment. And, I knew it was a long-term strategy, so I knew it would likely take me a year (or longer) to get a fresh new one set up.

AND the past six months were still brutal. I doubted myself and this course of action, wondering if I was wasting precious time that I should have been focusing on something else.

But I kept going.

Other Things I Did to Set My New Blog up for Success:

  1. I was very strategic about my posting.
  2. I set up a schedule where I was posting three times a week—a podcast episode, a written blog post, and a video blog post. (Although, I must confess, there were a few months near the end of 2017 when I dropped down to only two posts a week, because it was difficult to keep up with the three posts a week when I wasn’t yet seeing results).
  3. I was consistent and followed my schedule.

My Results

After only about one year, I’m finally getting some decent SEO/organic traffic momentum, plus my overall visitors are almost equal to my old blog’s heyday (when I was posting regularly) AND I have A LOT more page views (probably triple). While those are great wins, what’s even better is the FINANCIAL win—I wanted to more sell more of my love-based books, and that’s precisely what’s been happening.

If you’d like to learn more about what I did, check out this post where I walk you through the precise blog strategy I used to set up this blog for success, Clearly it’s a great resource for anyone who is interested in having their own successful blog, but I also included a few takeaways for everyone, no matter what you pick as your main long-term marketing strategy.

Main Takeaways

  1. Stay the course. Don’t give up in the middle, even if you have a lot of doubts and fears come up. If you know what you’re doing is going to take some time to take off, then give it the time it needs. (And, quite honestly, most successful strategies in business OR in life need time to fully mature.)
  2. Be wary of what you see in advertising and marketing messages. There’s one right now I see on Facebook that talks about how building an audience is a waste of time. (This one irks me so much I’m going to do a full post on it in the future.) Remember, marketing gurus need to make money, too, and as blogs DO take both time and work to get going, it’s an easy tactic to cut down in favor of whatever they’re trying to sell you. So, don’t believe the hype. Do you own research on what you think is the best marketing strategy for you, and give it the time and love it needs to succeed.
  3. 3. No matter what marketing campaign you pick, being strategic—setting up a regular schedule and staying the course—WILL help you succeed.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can fall in love with your Internet marketing strategies, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.