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quality content

Creating Effective Quality Content

When it comes to marketing today, there’s a certain idea all digital marketers have to follow. We have to add value before we get the sale.

What does that mean?

Well, for most, it means that we have to educate our potential clients or customers about what it is that we do or make.

In fact, it can take up to 6 to 8 touches before a prospect becomes a buyer.

Typically, those touches take the form of “content”.

Content can take the form of videos, audio, or even text – like this blog. And it’s usually in the form of an educational format.

In this post, we’re going to look at a few places that we can find ideas for good content in 2018 and beyond.

 

Natural Content vs SEO Driven Content

When we’re thinking about creating content that attracts potential customers, we might be tempted to do a number of things. Most of these fall into three types.

Natural Content Creation

The first type is one where the focus is mainly on what our own individual customers or clients want. As a creative entrepreneur, this is something that seems a bit more natural.

The goal of creating this content is usually to retain and educate the clients, audience, or customers you already have.

 

SEO Driven Content Creation

The second type of content is content that is created specifically for what Google (or other search engines) suggest people are searching for.

Knowing this information allows us to create content specifically based on these search terms or “keywords”.

The end goal of this type of content creation to bring in more people into your sphere of influence.

If you’re not familiar with the term SEO, it simply is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The idea behind it is that If a particular site has good SEO, the site will rank hire in Google’s search results.

The goal is to appear on the first page of results.

At one point, it was much simpler to understand what would rank a website higher than another in Google. So much so, that if you understood the fairly rudimentary rules, you could start your own solopreneur business or small agency offering it as a service.

In fact, I remember back in 2010, there were several people in my social circle that worked for a couple of startup SEO companies here in Indianapolis.

Today, while SEO still exists and is still useful, it’s getting harder and harder to predict how Google ranks websites. They’re constantly changing what variables make our sites rank higher.

Some of those variables even include traffic on the site, authority of the site, and how quickly the site loads for individuals browsing the site.

 

Hybrid Content Creation

Ideally, since the SEO world has become so hard to predict, the best thing we should do is create content that not only has keywords in it, but also is made to educate your currently existing audience.

The main way to do this is to simply to find out what your audience is asking about, find out what keywords in Google are related to those questions, and then build content based on the results you find.

Doing good SEO work on your site is not the scope of this particular post. However, I have two recommendations for you if you have a WordPress based site.

 

  1. Make sure you have the Yoast SEO Plugin. I personally recommend the premium version because it has some kick butt features (including multiple keywords) and you only have to pay for it once. 
  2. Secondly, when you’re searching for keywords, you can use a free tool within Google Adwords called the Keyword Finder. When you’re searching, there are two columns that everyone should consider. The average monthly volume, and the competition.


Ideally, you want an Average Monthly Volume of 1k – 10k (number of searches a month). If you try anything higher than that, there’s a much higher chance your site won’t be seen in the front of the results. If you use anything less than that, you might be targeting a smaller group of people.

Once you find a keyword that hits that 1k – 10k search sweet spot, then you’ll want to check it’s competition. Ideally, you want a keyword that has low competition. However, from time to time you might have to use a keyword that is marked as a medium. I rarely use those that have high competition.

Here’s a visual of what I’m talking about:

quality content

How to Find Your Audience’s Questions

If you choose to go the natural or hybrid route, you’re creating your content with your audience in mind.

If that’s the case, there are a few places where you can get topic ideas from your audience – directly and indirectly.

  1. Ask them! You can send out a survey to your followers (whether it’s through Messenger, email, or whatever you prefer).
  2. Check out what’s being asked and discussed in Facebook groups or other online forums that are related to your topic. If you think you can go into further detail than what’s covered in the post, go for it. 
  3. See what other thought leaders in your industry are talking about. What are your favorite blogs, podcasts, speakers, and/or authors discussing? They probably have already done the research to find a good topic to discuss. Feel free to add your voice to the conversation!

 

Action Steps

When we’re having to create content on a regular basis for our audiences, we might draw a blank when we’re looking. Once you have an idea of what kind of content type you’re going to be creating (whether it’s natural, SEO focused, or a hybrid of the two), then you just need a spark of inspiration. If anything, this gives you a good excuse to check in with leaders of your industry!

 

patrons only

Patrons Only! – Making Past Seasons of the AoL Podcast “Pay to Listen”

As I mentioned in the last podcast, I’m going to start putting past “seasons” of the podcast behind a Patreon paywall. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to flip the switch until late December… and I’ll only be asking $3/mo to have access. 🙂

It’s a result of a lot of strategic reorganizing I’ve been doing recently.

This week, I’ll be pushing out session 134 with Antonio Smith, and as I said in the last session with Dom Brightmon, it just feels with all that’s going on with New Inceptions and Amplify Indy – I feel like it’s time to actually get over the hurdle of going from strictly FREE to PAID content.

Personally, I feel that $3 is a good number for a monthly patron fee. It surely isn’t going to break the bank, and frankly, one typically can spend more on drive thru food. Since what the show has to offer is comparably more beneficial, I think it’s a fair starting price.

That said, you might be wondering what has taken me so long to pull the trigger on this decision.

Well, I’ve been struggling with what’s called the FREE to PAID hurdle.

This hurdle involves a few questions:

  • How do you make something that starts off free into something you pay for?
  • Will the audience still be there once it goes behind a paywall?
  • What’s the right price point?

In this post, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts after hearing a podcast over Fizzle awhile back.

 

Marketing Plays to Our Buying Habits

When it comes to what we think of the “traditional” offline world of business, NOTHING is free. However, since the mid to late 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized how marketing is done. No longer do we first hear something on a show or commercial on a major network or channel, then determine if we want to buy from there.

Instead, when we hear a name, product, or service we go look to see what’s on the web about said item or person. We look for reviews in Angie’s List. We look to see if they have any other content. Or we go to Amazon to see what others have thought about the item in question.

Usually, the more content this person has out there or the more good reviews they or the product have, the more we pay attention to it.

Eventually, there’s a good change we will buy whatever is being sold.

Podcasts in the past have been a part of this marketing. Inherently we think that most shows are free. But are they?

 

Monetization of Efforts

No content or work is free. It takes resources to produce a good or service. Shows that are on TV are powered by the sponsors of the network through commercials.

Big podcasts are typically sponsored by ads as well.

Heck, even when you look at big channels on YouTube, they’re doing some sort of monetization – even if you can’t tell up front how they’re making an income doing what they do.

When I thought about how I was going to monetize Angles of Lattitude, I originally thought that affiliate marketing was going to be the best way to do it. But as online streaming of podcasts has become more common, we’ve all grown accustomed to skipping past parts of interviews we don’t want to hear – including the pitch at the beginning and end. (For example, I know Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss usually take 5 minutes to get into their conversations!).

Because I’m not a fan of midrolls, I’ve opted not to use them in the show. Yes, I know they’re the only marketing that people don’t always tune out during podcasts – I just personally don’t care for that jump in the conversation.

So trying to think of an alternative to doing midrolls, I thought about how people on Twitch make their income.

And what I found out is that it typically is done through two ways:

  • A handful of large sponsors or
  • many individuals supporting the show through donations. Many times those donations are through a Patreon or a similar service.

After checking with a sample of listeners, it sounded like that last one was something you guys would prefer. A show for the listener powered by the listeners.

 

Action Steps

So there’s my reasoning for getting my account started on Patreon. Again, when you go on there you’ll see that there’s actually 2 categories of support. The first one is for supporters of the show and the the second is more for partners.

Remember, that I’ll be implementing this change before 2019 rolls around. So make sure you binge on shows older than a year before Christmas. I’ll let everyone know through the show when the official landing page is up.

Also, be sure to check out the post from Fizzle called The Hurdle Between Free and Paid if you’re thinking about making something you now offer for free into something you collect money for.

the marshmallow test

The Marshmallow Test – Does It Really Predict Success?

Why do we do what we do?

Let me clarify.

What makes us do what we do?

For most of us, if we really are truthful with ourselves, there’s an external motivation for us to actually get off our butts and do something.

For a lot of people, that motivation has to come at the expense of having a pain in our lives. But is this purely source of our success? Or is it something else?

But before we go there, here’s a bit of context.

There’s this recent video of Dr. Michio Kaku talking about the one test that predicts whether kids will be successful in the future: the marshmallow test. Here’s the vid:

What are your initial thoughts? Here’s mine…

 

Does Personality Play a Role?

When I watched this video, I started thinking about which group I identified with. I’d like to believe that I’d be part of the “wait for 2 marshmallows” group. In fact, if I was to recall myself as a kid, I probably would have waited.

I’ve always seem to be motivated by things that could be.

For example, I was never the kid to go on spending sprees whenever I was given a few dollars. In fact, I always saved the money I earned for something I REALLY wanted. Usually an upcoming video game. And since I had put that earned money into buying those games, I tended to play the heck out of that one until the next one I bought came along.

But where did that saving strategy of mine come from?

Michio brings up a good point. Do our personalities really affect whether or not we’d go for the immediate gratification?

Perhaps.

If I was thinking about the DISC personality profile, I’d imagine Supportives and Calculatives would be the natural two marshmallow types.

Being a base Supportive (S) myself I know a few things about them. Besides being tremendously stubborn, we tend to only do things that are going to mean something in the long run. If we can’t make that connection, there’s not much motivation for us to act.

That being the case, it makes sense how I would have developed my saving strategy early on.

As far as Calculatives – I’d imagine that they’d think “Oh, two is better than one. I can put in a little more time to get that reward.” So that’s pretty straight forward.

As for D’s and I’s – I think they might be more prone to being “one marshmallow now” types.

Dominants are known for wanting results right away. The I’s, (called Imaginatives) are known to be constantly seeking fun. Waiting for 2 marshmallows – that’s not fun! Having one now is!

But then again, Dominants are usually the most successful people out there and I’d believe that many celebrities on TV are Imaginatives.

So I don’t know if I’d say that personality yields this response.

 

Which Motivates More? Future possibilities or pain?

In The Delusion of Passion, David Anderson shares with us what he had to go through growing up. He went through a TON of pain before he got his opportunity at Goldman Sachs. Growing up, more often than not, he had to battle the odds to get what he wanted. He did so because he was uncomfortable being where he was in life.

He had a pain that he used as motivation.

Who would have predicted that he’d be as successful as he’s been? Would he have been a one or two marshmallow kid? Hard to tell.

If I had not much going for me growing up, I’d think that taking the marshmallow right away was the only for sure option. In fact, The Atlantic addressed this in a recent article. The article essentially states that the whole test produced unreplicable results and, at best, was biased. Apparently the pool wasn’t all that big and the sample they used for the study was full of kids that grew up around Stanford.

Yeah, that’s a bit of a bummer that we can’t predict people’s future as simple as Michio would have said.

Or maybe it isn’t?

If what the article says is true, then the potential for what could doesn’t motivate all of us. So what does?

I believe that we’re still motivated by things that could be true. But looking at David’s story, it would seem that pain has been as much of a motivator (if not more so) for him as the possibilities of what could be in the future.

Maybe it’s this combination of having some emotional pain and hope for what could be that is the driving force behind so many successful people. The more pain, the more fuel they have?

Action Steps

So now that you’ve soaked all of this in. Think about what you’ve accomplished in life. Legal or not, are there things that you’ve put together that were successful?

Why did you put together that process or do those actions? Was it from pain? Was it because you imagined something that wasn’t there? Or was it both?

Make sure you make a journal of this so when you’re ever running on empty, you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Knowing your Why is essential in long term achievement.

 

business outsourcing

Chris Schwab – Local Business Outsourcing: How Virtual Assistants Can Make an Impact in Your Local Business (AoL 127)

Starting a business comes natural to many people. You see a need and you deliver a solution. Suddenly, you have a business. Many small businesses are you’re everyday cleaners, mechanics, and other local service providers.

In a world where making passive income and traveling the world is a fairly well known lifestyle, it might seem that these local business owners might have missed the boat.

How can someone who performs services in real life like painting or cleaning make their business more passive? How can they move their business from one where they own the job to a business that they actually own?

Today’s guest, Chris Schwab, is a young entrepreneur who’s figured it out. He started his cleaning business with the end in mind back when he was in college. Today, he lives in London while running this Washington, DC based business.

Think it’s too good to be true for you?

Listen in as we hear how he uses virtual assistants in a way that many of us might not consider!!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Chris become a ‘citizen of the world’? 8:24
  • What’s a place that he perceived one way but when he actually experienced it, it was completely different? 9:40
  • How’d he realize that traveling was going to be a long term lifestyle after graduation? 10:55
  • How did he come up with how to run a cleaning business remotely? 12:16
  • How does someone find reliable people to be part of their remote business? 14:01
  • What are some skills that Chris would say need to be utilized in running a business remotely? 18:13
  • How does he find the discipline to make sure that the business is running smoothly? 19:43
  • Who should consider working with Chris and his VAs? 25:13
  • What’s his new project “Local Business Hustlers” all about? 35:09
  • What’s he looking forward to in the upcoming future? 39:20
  • Who’s Chris’ 3 top influential people in his life? 40:31
  • What’s a gift he loves giving others? 41:23
  • How does he stop the feeling of being overwhelmed when it he feels it creeping in? 41:48
  • What’s his favorite social custom from around the world? 42:33
  • What is something that he would want all high school students to know? 43:42
  • Is there a tip Chris would offer that would allow traveling to be easier for people? 44:19
  • What’s the secret to personal freedom? 45:16

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Automating a Cleaning Business (part 1 of Chris’ Journey)

How to Expand Your Cleaning Company Services (part 2 of Chris’ Journey)

What is Local Business Hustlers?

An Update on Local Business Hustlers


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

linkedin lead generation

AJ Wilcox – Get Yourself Noticed by the Right People – Why LinkedIn Lead Generation Might be Perfect for Your Business (AoL 126)

When many of us online business folks think of running an ad campaign, we immediately think of Facebook. However, that market is totally saturated and it might not be the greatest fit for your business – especially if your customers are other businesses.

If you think that might be the case, today’s guest, AJ Wilcox, might just be your new favorite marketer. His specialty is helping B2B businesses market on LinkedIn.

This is an almost a nonexistent niche. In fact, when AJ was learning about it, he realized there were relatively no search results for LinkedIn Ad Campaigns. So he’s definitely the guy to know!

In today’s chat with AJ, Harrison and I discover who this opportunity is a good match for and some key things to know when you’re getting your feet wet!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What did AJ do before he started his own marketing business? 10:22
  • What’s the difference between doing ads on LinkedIn vs other social media platforms? 12:40
  • Are the ads on LinkedIn strictly B2B or is there room for B2C advertising? 14:41
  • What’s the UI like for LinkedIn when it comes to placing ads? 18:13
  • What should newbies consider when they’re first placing ads on LinkedIn? 19:33
  • What’s a good way for a beginner to budget their ads so that they actually move the needle? 21:44
  • How has LinkedIn changed over the years as a whole? 24:39
  • How is videos changing LinkedIn and can people use them in ads? 28:35
  • What are the metrics that matter on LinkedIn when someone is running a campaign? 31:43
  • What are mistakes that newbies make when they’re starting with marketing on LinkedIn? 33:45
  • Are there some trends that AJ sees on the horizon? 36:35
  • Might LinkedIn start using Chatbots and other AI on their site soon? 39:05
  • What does AJ think about the barriers that are preventing social media platforms from fully utilizing AI? 42:49
  • What’s the experience like to work with AJ? 44:21
  • How does he incorporate his faith into his business? 46:49
  • What’s he looking forward to in the future? 48:26
  • What are AJ’s top 3 favorite podcasts? 49:23
  • If LinkedIn wasn’t a thing, what would he be doing? 50:52
  • One thing all high school students must know? 51:47
  • Something under $100 that has changed his life? 53:58
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 55:23

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

The Ultimate LinkedIn Ad Checklist

Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn Ads

Search Ads vs Social Ads

How to Structure Your Social Ads


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

achieving the dream

Achieving the Dream – Why One Degree Makes All the Difference

I recently got the opportunity to spend some time with Harrison and Dr. Ping up at Purdue. We had a chance to see a lot of the change that is going on around campus – and… man, there’s a lot!

While we were exploring a bit, we also paid a visit to the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Whenever someone’s new to the area, that’s one of my go to places because it’s been a Purdue establishment since 1929. In fact, it’s such a local treasure that Guy Fieri visited it back in 2007 for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

achieving the dream

After leaving there, we went to meet up with one of my business mentors – Mike Cassidy – on campus.

As Mike was chatting with us about our plans, we came to a part of the discussion where we were talking about his students and members of the Amplify Hope program.

Something got stuck in my mind about both groups of people. I realized that they were trying to build their dreams without fully having a real plan in place. They’re doing what they’re doing because their emotions are telling them to. (That’s actually one of the things that Mike helps his students with – getting out of their own head and looking at their business objectively.)

There might be a few minor issues they’ve overlooked, but over time those minor bugs can lead to huge problems.

 

Why One Degree Can Make a Huge Difference

These minor issues might not seem like a big deal. I mean, a few minor tweaks going along the way and the problems they might cause can be mitigated, right?

Well, sure.

However, if they’re not taken care of, then we’re looking at problems that might be noticed until it’s too late.

The traditional illustration of this principle is one of distance traveled:

Let’s say you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree. After one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?

 

  • After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
  • After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
  • After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
  • If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
  • Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.
  • etc…

 

See what I’m talking about?

In real life, this can mean the difference of creating a business or nonprofit that is sustainable or pursuing a mission that makes someone take a 2nd or 3rd mortgage out on their house.

The key is to not let emotions and the pursuit of passion get in the way of our own success.

 

Delusions of Passion

David Anderson and Mark Nathan spoke in detail about this in their book, The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success.

In the book they argue that there’s several delusions we Millennials struggle with.

  • Where there is Passion, There is No Pain
  • Where there is Passion, There are No Problems
  • Passion Precedes Total Commitment
  • You Must Be Passionate About the Process
  • Living Passionately Is all About You

When we believe one of these delusions, we’re knocking our navigation off by a degree or more from the very beginning!

 

Action Steps

If you haven’t had the chance to read this book, here’s the link. Also, I’ve had both Mark and David on the podcast to discuss their perspectives a bit further.

I imagine it’d be worth your time to see if any of these perspectives are sabotaging your efforts to get to where you want in your career in life.

investing basics

Whitney Nicely – Real Estate Investing Made Simple: Learning the A, B, C’s of Investing Basics (AoL 123)

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s making money passively or you’re simply interested to do so, there’s a good chance you’ve read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

I remember when I read that book back in 2002 – it was an eye opener. I couldn’t put the book down. Since then, it’s one of the books I’ve bought whenever I see on sale so that I can give it to other people when I see them struggling to get ahead.

What’s cool is that this particular book isn’t the only one that Robert has written. And if you spend any time reading those other books, you realize that he made a big part of his fortune early on in Real Estate.

Today’s guest is on the same path. After starting in 2013 being paid $24k a year, she now does that in a month. In fact, she actually owns more than $2.5 MILLION in real estate assets!

Personally when I saw that she’s in the business of helping others do the same, I had to jump at the chance to get her on the show.

In our chat, we talk about getting started in real estate investing and some of the common pitfalls that newbies make when they’re getting started.

If you’re thinking about getting into the investing game and not sure where to start – real estate might be a good choice.

Listen in to find out!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Whitney get started in real estate? 7:26
  • Where can people find real estate auctions to attend? 10:35
  • When did she believe that she could leave her 9 to 5 position to do real estate investing (REI) full time? 12:10
  • What’s some good advice that she’d tell someone first starting out? 14:55
  • What’s the process in finding a property to possibly buy as a someone starting out? 17:48
  • What are some mistakes that she’s see newbies make in REI? 19:31
  • How does someone scale their real estate business without getting over consumed by responsibilities? 23:20
  • How can someone find an apartment complex to buy if they have the means to? 26:35
  • What are some emotional pitfalls that can happen when you’re a landlord? 29:31
  • What’s a good strategy to use when you’re looking for places to invest in? 34:48
  • What’s she looking forward to in the near future? 37:00
  • Who are 3 influencers that have helped her get to where she’s at today? 38:42
  • Is there something that she believes is going to affect entrepreneurship or REI in the future? 41:45
  • What’s an issue that people should be talking about yet hardly anyone is? 43:17
  • Is there something that all high school students must know? 44:24
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 45:44

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Strategies to get Started:

Why Women are the Best REI’s:

Blissful Buy and Hold Houses with Moneeka Sawyer:

What’s Whitney’s Course About?


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!