“There is a Japanese proverb that says: ‘Raise the sail with your stronger hand’. Meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do”.

Soichiro Honda (founder of Honda)

Newsflash!

Effectively immediately I have joined a team of four developers, one designer, one trainee and one CEO/Founder in their mission to help small and medium sized e-commerce stores eliminate bad customer service. I have joined SaaS startup ROBIN – the intelligent Customer Service Assistant.

As ROBIN’s ‘Marketing Manager Content Marketing & Online PR’ I will (and I quote from the job description) ‘develop and execute a creative startup marketing strategy, editorial calendar and standards that deliver business results like share-of-voice, ecommerce customer service evangelism, branding & the most important thing: signups within the ecosystems of our partners.’

Why leave Storywise?

Over the past four years I successfully set-up, developed and managed Storywise, my own communication consultancy, together with my co-founder Steve Seager. Throughout this time we helped our clients answer the burning question: ‘What content should I publish to reach my business goals?’. And by content I mean the actual ‘contents’ of their marketing communications – the messaging; the thing you plan to say.

Thanks to Steve’s shit-hot strategic communications process we developed Editorial and Content Marketing strategies for clients in B2B and B2C, across ICT, Professional Services, Culture, Media and Not-for-profit. I’m happy to say Storywise’s client list is still growing.

I feel extremely privileged that I went through this process myself for various clients – and received such great coaching from Steve along the way. I could have never become the content marketer I am today without that experience.

However, even though working for clients can be fun, I most often felt like an outsider offering partial business solutions. I missed the ‘through-the-line’ involvement and relationships that come with working within a dedicated team. I missed having ownership of a single product or brand. I missed doing what I am best equipped to do: being a marketer.

Why join ROBIN?

At ROBIN I’m getting all the marketing opportunities I could wish for. First of all, ROBIN is a great product that solves a real problem for web store owners. ROBIN aggregates all the customer service client conversations – from e.g. email, web form, phone & Twitter – and consolidates these conversations in one smart and easy-to-use interface.

ROBIN also integrates seamlessly with major e-Commerce platforms such as SEOshop, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and others. This saves the customer service team loads of time and allows them to help their client better.

And to top things off, ROBIN learns from every question asked and every answer given. So the more you use ROBIN the smarter it gets. Pretty neat and a great USP!

But my main reason for joining ROBIN is my instant click with the people. They have a great team consistently focussed on getting it right. From the start ROBIN developed a clear strategy to match their solution to their target audience needs. This is the best foundation for content marketing I could possibly wish for!

Blogging & more blogging

I will continue blogging here on my personal blog about content marketing strategy, social media marketing and other Marketing 2.0 related topics. As ever: in plain English!

In addition, you will also see blog posts from me on the ROBIN blog which will be more oriented on e-Commerce, Customer Service and other topics that are of value to ROBIN clients, prospects & stakeholders.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

To close this blog post off, I would like to thank our Storywise clients for their trust and appreciation of our work.

Also, a huge thanks to my family for their patience, trust and undying support.

And last but not least, a massive thanks to Steve. It’s been a great ride and my life will never be the same. In a couple of years, I will be able to say that I worked closely with the guy who did to communications what Quentin Tarantino did to film. I am proud to have worked with you and am grateful to be your friend.

PS

That little ‘Contact Us’ button on the right side of this blog? That’s ROBIN! Feel free to drop me a line. I’ll get back to very quickly, definitely within’ 24 hours. Promise!

Writing blog posts is one thing, promoting them is another. And although Great Content is the cornerstone of blogging success, promoting your posts is just as important. The question then is: ‘How do I promote my blog posts?’

Back in 2010 I did a post called ‘Shameless Blog Promotion’. I always send it on to clients to help them get going with promoting their posts. But it’s 2013 now. Some things have changed. So, time for an update!

I have condensed this rather lengthy post down into a 9 point action list for you to take away. Below the image you’ll find much more details.

How to promote a blog post

Optimise: SEO checklist

The process of promoting your blog post starts before you publish it. Knowing your target audience, gaining insights into their needs and writing unique content that add value to them is the very essence of blogging.

But there are also some tactical thingies you need to get right so your blog posts are found in search engines. Here are some helpful tips to help you optimise your blog posts for Google:

Copywriting SEO tips to help you get your blog posts found better (part I)
Copywriting SEO tips to help you get your blog posts found even better (part II)

So now that you’ve published your optimised blog post, and it can be found in search engines, you can now start with your shameless blog promotion ritual.

Syndicate across your company outposts

Your post is on the company blog, so you can now share it across your company’s outposts across the social web. Needless to say you can have many, but be sure to cover your:

  • Facebook page
  • LinkedIn Company Update (with a targeted update to your followers)
  • Twitter channel (using the right hashtags!)
  • Google+ company page (adding an insight or summary)
  • Pinterest channel (because of course you’ve used an amazing picture, right?)

Needless to say, your blog should also have a RSS feed so that people can subscribe and your latest post is automatically pushed out to them.

Share with your personal network

Next to your company’s social outposts, you can also share it across your own personal network. Again, you’ll have your favourite channels, but obviously you should consider a status update in LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ as well as sending out a tweet on Twitter.

Also, consider adding a link to the fresh blog post in your company email signature!

PR with your immediate network

The best way to start promoting your content is to start with the people closest to you – your friends, family, colleagues and closest network. Ask them to retweet, share or like your post.

Make sure the content you are asking them to share adds value to them and their network. So be selective! And be personable. Drop them a personal email or give them a call. Like any good PR would do :-)

Also, make sure you are building on your email list. Even when it’s your personal network, colleagues and friends. Again, be personable. Ask them what they value most.

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking is not as hot as it was back in 2010. Still, if your content fits the channel, social bookmarking sites can still be great traffic generators. There’s loads of them, but the most important ones are: Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious.

Also, make sure your blog gets listed with blog search engine Technorati.

Content curation

Content curation has been a hot topic in the social media space for a while now. Content curation means that you are continually finding, organising and sharing content of a specific theme or topic with your target audiences. There are many tools available. These are my favourites:

Scoop.it is a great tool for curating a topic over a sustained period of time. Storify.com is a great tool for curating news worthy stories. Get your account going, and make sure your fresh post gets added to these channels each time to increase visibility and reach! Here’s a handy little tutorial on Scoop.it to get you going.

You can also consider to submit the feed of your blog for submission on aggregation service Alltop or send in your optimised RSS feed for promotion on Flipboard. However, make sure your blog is publishing frequently and your content is nothing less than great.

Engage in discussion groups

Now your blog post is getting shared by your network, sent out to your email list, added to social bookmarking services and some curation platforms, it’s time to start activating some people through some good old engagement and conversation.

So, post your fresh blog post in relevant LinkedIn groups, get on Google +, join and post in relevant communities, and if possible consider adding your post to an answer thread on Quora. Remember, the web is social. Nothing wrong with engaging people and asking them for their opinion.

Comment on other people’s blogs

Now that you’re already engaging with people on social media channels, it’s time to expand the conversation to relevant blogs. Get onto Google or Google Blog search & Technorati, find relevant blog posts and join the conversation in the comment section.

However, when you leave a comment on somebody else’s blog, make sure it’s a genuine and relevant comment. Leaving a link to one of your blog posts in the comment section of somebody else’s blog is OK, but contribute to the conversation above anything else.

Any more tricks in the bag?

There’s many ways of promoting your blog. You just need to figure out what form of  promotion best fits your content and objectives.

Let’s look at a few more options:

Guest blogging:

A classical tactic of promoting your blog is Guest Blogging. The upside of blogging on someone else’s platform is that you are reaching a new audience. The downside is that it’s very time consuming, and well, erm … it’s not your platform ;-)

Either way, make sure you do it well!

Content syndication:

Content syndication enables you to spread your content across different networks. The upside is that you are potentially reaching new audiences. The downside is that you are giving up some control over your content.

My advice is to take the time to research all the different options. And look before you leap.

Reformatting your content:

Depending on the type of post you are publishing, a tutorial, an opinion piece, a review or an industry commentary, think of ways to reformat your content. Your post can also become a powerpoint presentation on Slideshare, a PDF download on Scribd or a video on YouTube or Vimeo.

Reformatting your content helps to increase reach, find ability and traffic to your blog.

Advertising:

Advertising your blog content is maybe a bit unconventional. However, since Facebook rolled out their targeted advertising platform you can now amplify your best posts via your Facebook Page to your network of Likes and their friends.

Out of all the Facebook advertising options, these ‘Promoted Posts’ have the highest CTR. So, adding Facebook advertising to the Shameless Blog Promotion checklist makes sense!

A round-up

I have condensed this blog post into a 9 point action list of stuff you need to do before you publish your post:

  1. Optimise: SEO checklist before you publish
  2. Syndicate: to your company outposts
  3. Share: with your personal network
  4. PR: with your immediate network
  5. Bookmark: e.g. Digg, StumbleUpon
  6. Curate: e.g. Scoop.it, Storify
  7. Engage: e.g. LinkedIn groups, G+ discussions
  8. Comment: on other blogs
  9. Advertise: Facebook Promoted Posts.

Consider all the tricks in the book, but focus on your actual content, adding real value and having relevant conversations!

After having read this post, are there any major tactics I left out? Looking forward to you comments!

Thanks for reading, happy blogging & enjoy your shameless blog promotion. You now know how to promote your blog posts!

Are you being served BWHi there & welcome. I thought it was time to freshen things up – and reorganise my content a bit. Hope you like it! Before I started reorganising I did a sanity check on who exactly I’m trying to help, with which issues, and what content you seem to like the most.

I did do a fair bit of looking into my Google Analytics stats and so on, but it’s not scientific. Just as much came from my meetings with clients and our work over the past few months.

So! Here’s what I uncovered about who you are, and what you care most about. I’d love to hear what you think about this too! Do you recognise yourself here?

You are:

A business leader

You’re maybe not a marketer by profession, but you are the owner of your business – an entrepreneur – or head of a division. You know something has changed. You know that the social web has clear possibilities. But you’re not fully up to speed with the business value of ‘social media’, ‘inbound’ or ‘content marketing’ – yet!

Through my blog posts, I will help explain the bigger picture. Help you to direct conversations in your company. Explain how and why the social web impacts your industry, your business and – your bottom line.

A marketing director or manager

As a marketing director or manager, you experience every day that the social web has completely changed the face of marketing. Your team is working on campaigns and focusing on social channels & networks. Still, you are seeing a gap between what you expect and the actual results.

On my blog I’ll help you join stuff up with good strategy. Start getting tactics working better together, so you can focus on tying up your marketing to specific business outcomes. (By the way, joining up campaigns to programs is a great way to start!)

A marketer or communicator

You are on the sharp end of it all. You already develop and implement social campaigns, develop content, manage questions on channels, solve problems every single day. You’re expected to be the one who has an answer to everyone’s ‘social media’ questions!

In my blog you’ll find quite a few tactical posts on SEO, social channels, content marketing along with tons of ‘How to’ and ‘What is’ posts on optimisation, measurement, blogging. And more. To be frank, these are often my favourites posts to write. So I’ll keep doing them!

Are you missing?

I’ve reorganised my content to make it easier to find what you need. But If I’m missing you out here, if I’m not giving you what you need … mail me! I’d love to know that you are being served.

Last Tuesday was my one year blogging anniversary! (Yah!)

Right now I’m in the middle of doing a full analysis of traffic and engagement per blog post. I will share this data with you soon.

As I was going over all my old posts, I ran into this one dated February 7th: “Step into my office – a post about blogging and numbers”.

[Read more...]

The titles of your blog posts are of great importance to draw people into your story. Your title either needs to be catchy, provocative, funny, promising or in other ways grab people’s attention and draw them into your blog post.

But you also want people to actually find your blog posts when they are searching in Google. For this you need to include the keywords you want to be found on in the title of your blog posts.

So, how do you write blog post titles that are both catchy for humans and attractive for search engines?

[Read more...]

Hi there,

I’m off camping with my family for a couple of days. My next post will be on Wednesday June 15.

Camping

Next month it will be one year ago that I’ve started publishing on this blog. By that time, I should have finished the revamp of my blog that I’m currently working on. I will also share my analysis of the results.

[Read more...]

When you start a blog for your business or organisation, it can be hard to choose the right blogging platform because there is so much choice.

And a lot of these platforms are free too! Here’s a list of 23 free blogging plaforms + another 10 to top it off.

So, now what?

[Read more...]

Targeted communications treasure huntIn our workshops we teach people how to write for the social web. One of the first things people struggle with is how to write targeted content.

This is because we are so used to writing as a company – to the market.

But this has changed. On the social web your content is found by individual people. It’s one on one. And actually… this is way more normal and natural than your typical corporate communications.

[Read more...]

Someone recently asked the question “What do I need to optimise? My whole blog, the pages of my blog, or my blog posts?”

Ever at your service, I will explain what the difference is between these three, from a Search Engine Optimisation perspective. First, an important note!

[Read more...]

Copywriting and SEO part 2Last Friday I wrote a post about Copywriting & SEO, giving you 6 tips to get your blog posts found more.

The essence of the post was that Google wants you to write for humans not for Google. Quality content is essential for your blog posts to rank high in search engines.

[Read more...]