How to Find Your Next Big Blog Post Ideas – A Primer

blog post ideas Tweet it! Content marketing is like an adventure. It is unusual, exciting and hazardous.

It’s also a minefield; not everybody can navigate it successfully.

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: the quality of the content you publish that determines the success or failure of your content marketing campaign.

Consistently producing, publishing and marketing high quality content will help build your relationship with your audience in the form of better awareness, credibility, increased website traffic and improved conversions.

I know what you are thinking: “Coming up with interesting, knowledgeable, value-added blog post ideas time after time is a task made in hell.”

You are right. Many hard working and astute content marketers have found their well-crafted campaigns coming apart purely because of their inability to come up with content their target audience will like reading.

But somebody’s got to do it. What if that somebody is you?
[Read more...]

How to Grow your Business as if Google Search Never Existed

grow your businessThey say that in life there are two things that are sure things: death and taxes.

However, in my business, I’d argue that there is a third: change. Tweet it! The internet is a constantly evolving thing – and Google is a huge part of that change and evolution.

Google constantly changes its algorithms – and when it does, the tactics that websites use to direct traffic must also change. Those algorithm changes have had devastating effects, causing some sites to lose all of their directing traffic overnight.

That said, it isn’t as though Google updates come with a manual. This means that SEO strategists and website owners are constantly left scrambling in an effort to find out how to get their content in the search rankings.

After all, without those rankings, our sites aren’t found. And if they aren’t found, it’s like they don’t exist; and what good does that do? The good news is that there are ways to grow your business without relying on Google search at all.
[Read more...]

Firepole Funnies #004: The Daily Challenge of Working From Home

Comic3

Enjoying the Firepole Funnies?

If you liked what you read here, please let Christina (and the rest of the Firepole team) know in the comments below. Feel free to suggest future comic strip ideas – we can’t guarantee we’ll use your idea, but we’re always open to suggestions!

And if you think we deserve it, please share this comic on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or other social media account!

3 Clever Ways a Card Game Makes People Addicted to Buying More

buy moreShopping can be addictive.

We’ve all seen people who buy the craziest things like their life depended on it! Here’s just one, rather crazy example: fantasy trading cards (no kidding - that’s a $1billion/year business).

But you don’t often come across an explanation on how you can make people more “addicted” to buying your products or services, which probably make more sense – and are much more “useful” – than fantasy cards.

So, let’s take a look at what makes millions of people buy cards (lots of them) and what makes buying those cards so addictive.  And why, may you ask, are we looking at fantasy playing cards? Believe it or not, there’s at least three lessons about getting people addicted to your product or service that you can pick up from card game businesses.

To be clear, none of these ideas are manipulative. Instead, these are ways to make people enjoy your products so much that they get addicted to buying them.

If you incorporate even one of these aspects into your products, people will get hooked. And buy more. Much more.
[Read more...]

Not a Writer? How to Make Writing a Blog Post (And Other Online Content) Come Naturally

writing a blogMany small business owners don’t think of themselves as writers, and they worry that content marketing is for wordsmiths only.

So committing to writing a blog regularly, and creating articles and informational eBooks to engage customers can be daunting. Especially if English was your least favorite subject and you haven’t written anything longer than an email since college.

If you fall into the category of the writing-averse, you could hire somebody to write content for you.

Or, you could develop a DIY content strategy that doesn’t require clever headlines, witty one-liners, or whatever else intimidates you about writing.

In your DIY content strategy plan, think of your content as a stand-in for you. You can’t be physically present when prospects conduct online research to answer their pre-purchase questions.

That’s why your content has to be there instead, engaging potential customers with your authentic voice.

The key is to put your expertise into words easily and naturally, like you do when you’re conversing with a customer in person.
[Read more...]

CEI 059: Pay What You Want Pricing with Tom Morkes

pay what you want pricingPricing is one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur.

And while a lot has been written about how to price your stuff, there’s also a growing movement to let your customers determine how much they’ll pay for a good or service.

This is called Pay What You Want pricing, and to learn more about it, Danny invited Tom Morkes, author of The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing, onto today’s podcast.

Tom’s story is really fascinating, because he’s a relative newcomer to online marketing, and to pay what you want pricing. Just over a year ago, in April 2013, he released his first pay what you want ebook.

He then went on to learn as much as he could about this new pricing model. In the process, he discovered dozens of businesses who are using this model, everything from restaurants and wineries to software, music groups, and online training products.

To learn more about pay what you want pricing, how to do it well, what to look out for, and how to make it work for your business, just click the play button on the podcast below!

Podcast run time: 22 min 12 seconds

[Read more...]

A Sales Strategy to Build Your Business and Serve More Clients

sales strategyGetting your first subscriber, publishing your first guest post, making your first offer – these are moments that every entrepreneur savors.

And rightly so – starting a successful business is hard work!

But after the initial success has faded, most entrepreneurs are left with a different problem. Now that they know what works, how do they grow their business without making more hours in the day? In other words, how do you create a sales strategy?

I’ve been in the business coaching world for two decades now, and if helping business owners grow has taught me anything it’s this: the only reliable way to sustain your growth is to build on the stable base of systems, team, and internal business controls.

Here are five of my favorite sales systems you can use to build your business and reduce its reliance on you as the owner.
[Read more...]

How to Recognize a Genuine Online Marketer and How You Can Be One

online marketerIf you, like me, have been around the online world for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the salesy marketers who promise thousands, if not millions of income. They give a glimpse of something ethereal in exchange not only for your attention, but for your money.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with sales. In fact, sales are the life blood of a business. But as online marketers, should we always be salesy or sleazy to make a sale?

A lot of online marketers go for the traditional sleazy campaigns just to succeed. They have no other way to execute their game plan but to abuse the system and take advantage of new marketers who are trying to thrive.

I happen to think that it’s not supposed to be this way, and I know that Danny and the rest of the Firepole Team agree. We also agree that marketing – in a non-sleezy way – is absolutely essential.

[Read more...]

Success, Rain or Shine – July Best of the Web

Down in Florida, Sid’s getting lots of rain. He tells us he dashes to the beach when the sun breaks through the clouds. :-)

Up in Montreal, it’s been a hot summer. But, rain or shine, round the world, Firepole is working to bring you great stuff. In fact, we just launched our Course Builders Bootcamp, our international team is redesigning our web site, and we’re working on even bigger surprises for all of you for the fall and winter.

In the meantime, I’ve been out all over the Internet finding the best blog posts for you and your business.

Enjoy, learn, and grow!

[Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Over the Fear of Entrepreneurship

entrepreneurshipYou want to start a business, but you keep stalling. You dream of waking up in the morning, strolling down the hallway in your pajamas, and checking your email over a leisurely cup of coffee.

Or maybe you already have a small business – a side hustle, perhaps, or just a project you’ve been working on from home. You want to turn it into something bigger, but there’s always another activity that takes priority, another reason not to start.

I’ve heard my clients state countless different reasons for stalling, and I’ve definitely made excuses myself. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • You think you don’t have time.
  • Your family is keeping you from taking action.
  • Your job is too stressful/you work too many hours.
  • You think you don’t have the skills to run a successful business.
  • You don’t have enough money to start your business.
  • You’re afraid you might fail.

Any of these sound familiar?
[Read more...]