There is one challenge all authors face.
Creating consistent content.
From the demands of writing your book, blog posts, updating your social media, and more, every author will face the challenge of consistently creating content.
You find those moments of inspiration. Conjure up a flurry of ideas. Knock out a few quick ideas. And then…nothing.
Your well runs dry. The ideas begin to cease. And the demands of your day-to-day life provide you with little time to no time to do anything about it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating one piece of content per day, week, or month. Every author at some point-in-time will wrestle through difficult seasons of content creation—especially if you’re a solo creator of content.
As an author and blogger myself, I know this feeling all too well. (Not in a Taylor Swift way, though.)
Though I’ve previously served full-time as Content Manager and Strategist, I personally don’t have a team of editors, graphic designers, web developers, and video crew to help support my work.
Like you I have to make little sacrifices along the way to create something I believe is worth sharing. (Creating time to write with a full-time job, wife, and four kids is no small task.)
But there’s one thing I believe that can help you and me sustain the work we are inspired to create. And that’s creating an editorial calendar.
From Jeff Walker, Launch:
People tend to follow others in positions of authority. Think about doctors in their white coats…If you want to be more influential in your business and marketing, it pays to be seen as an authority…
Reciprocity is the idea that if someone gives something to us, we will feel some obligation to give them something back in return…When you give out [free and helpful] content, you’re creating a large reciprocity imbalance…In the end, when you ask for something back, your prospect will have a greater tendency to want to reciprocate…
Building trust is the ultimate shot circuit to becoming influential in someone’s life…One of the easiest ways to create trust is through time.
…Anticipation is omen of the triggers that allows you to cut through the marketing fog. It lets you grab your market’s attention and not let go…If you use anticipation right, people will put the date on their calendar and look forward to your launch. It’s like you’re putting your prospects into your storyline. They can’t wait for the next installment, they can’t wait to see what’s going to happen, [and] they can’t wait to get your product.
The simple fact is that we enjoy doing business with people we know, like, and trust. We are more influenced by people we like than those we don’t like…When you’re seen being gracious, kind, generous, and honest…well, people will like you more. And the more likable you are, the more influence you will have.
People generally like to do business with other people more than with a large faceless corporation.
6. Events & Ritual
When you turn your marketing into an event, then you instantly make your marketing truly magnetic. People log events, and they get pulled in by them. It makes them feel as though they are part of something bigger than themselves…When people go through an event together, it becomes something of a ritual. Rituals pull people together and create some of the most powerful experiences we as human beings can have.
Community is a very powerful mental trigger. We act in accordance with how we think the people in our community are supposed to act…Once you get people interacting with you, with your marketing, and with each other, you’re on your way to forming a community.
Scarcity is one of the most powerful mental triggers in existence, period. It’s simple—when there is less of something, we want it more…One of the things that scarcity does is force people to make a decision…To create a well-executed launch, you absolutely need to build scarcity into that launch.
9. Social Proof
Social proof is the idea that if we see other people taking action, then we will be inclined to take that action as well. Typically we take fuse from the people around us when we’re unsure of how to act.
Content adapted from Jeff Walker’s, Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams (New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing, 2014), 61-68.
The church wasn’t going to be the same.
The gospel of Jesus Christ was breaking new ground in dramatic ways.
Beginning from Jerusalem, the gospel rapidly advanced throughout the area. And the message of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection was being proclaimed exclusively to the Jewish population.
This was about to change.
God was preparing his people to reach beyond their comfort zone by proclaiming the gospel to the non-Jewish—Gentile—population for the first time.
God expressed his desires originally to the Apostle Peter by revealing them to him in a vision. He then confirmed his intention when the Holy Spirit visibly came upon a group of Gentiles who heard the gospel proclaimed for the first time (Acts 10).
At this point the church decided that they must make a concentrated effort to reach the non-Jewish people—and consequently the world—with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:18, 20).
From here God didn’t decide to launch this new shift with mind blowing miraculous deeds. He didn’t send in the “big guns” like Peter and Paul to orchestrate this change. And he didn’t even need a platform.
God carried out this new work through “some” people.
1. Clarify Your Motivation
There are multiple reasons why someone desires to write a book.
Clarifying your motivation will help you better identify your marketing tactics.
Unearthing your motivation will also provide the foundation for your marketing plan.
2. Define Your Audience
Writing a book is not like writing in your personal journal. You’re writing for a public audience, not yourself.
Knowing who your audience is will not only help you connect with them—it will keep you sane.
The options available today to market your book are endless. You don’t have the time or resources to promote your work everywhere people are online. And besides, your book isn’t for everyone. So it doesn’t need to be everywhere. Just where your audience is spending time.
You have permission to not be all things to all people.
Define your audience. Discover where they spend their time online, who they follow, what their favorite websites are, and more. This knowledge will help you concentrate your efforts and create meaningful connections with your audience.
Tweets are like a mist.
They appear momentarily. And then they’re gone.
But not forever.
They vanish from your followers newsfeed into the hole of your timeline.
But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Twitter provides a way for you to highlight specific tweets for your followers.
Twitters not-so-recent redesign placed a greater emphasis on user profiles. This means that your current and would be followers may spend more time on your profile—not just their newsfeed.
You can help potential followers see your best content by “pinning a tweet.”
Pinning one of your tweets will tack that specific tweet to the top of your timeline. It will be the first tweet people see on your profile when they view it directly. (It will also stand out from the rest of your tweets since “Pinned Tweet” and an icon will be placed in the top left-hand corner of your tweet, too.)
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to pin a tweet.
Below is the newbie’s guide to pinning a tweet to help get you started.
Words do not exist in a vacuum.
They take shape and form as we mold them together and deliver them through the various mediums available today (e.g., visual, audio, print, and digital).
The tips for writing killer content online are applicable to producing amazing content for your mobile readers, too. However, the way you format, structure, and support these words on your site play a significant role into how well your audience can read your content on their phone.
Below are six often overlooked elements that will help connect with your mobile audience and provide them with an amazing reading experience.
It can blow you and your readers away.*
Check out Michael Hyatt’s Why I Will Be Posting Less for context.
*This post was inspired by all of the Joel Millers who have been blown away by too much content from blogs.
Membership programs have been around for years.
Many organizations require some type of membership to participate in their service or derive a benefit.
Whether it’s a gym, country club (which I know nothing about), zoos, AARP, and on and on and on, organizations utilize membership programs for a variety of reasons.
In recent years, there has been an observable uptick in online membership sites.
From Michael Hyatt’s Platform University, Jeff Goins Tribe Writers, to Justin Wise’s Think Digital Academy, there is a growing trend in creating membership sites for your readers.
All of these membership sites appear to be great services, but I’ve only participated in one: Copybloggers Authority.
For full disclosure, my time in this membership site was short lived and around one year ago. My quick departure had nothing to do with the benefits of the program, but my need to focus upon other professional areas at that time.
Though things may have been updated since my participation, below are five observations I made during my time. (I recently came across my notes and believe they are still relevant today.)
Paul Smith, Lead With a Story:
1. Storytelling is Simple
Anyone can do it. You don’t need a degree in English, or even an MBA.
2. Storytelling is Timeless
Unlike fads in other areas of management, such as total quality management, reengineering, Six Sigma, or 5S, storytelling has always worked for leadership, and it always will.
3. Stories are Demographic-Proof
Everybody—regardless of age, race, or gender—likes to listen to stories.
4. Stories are Contagious
They can spread like wildfire without any additional effort on the part of the storyteller.
5. Stories Are Easier to Remember
According to psychologist Jerome Bruner, facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story. Organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found similar results in her work with corporations. She found that learning derived from a well-told story is remembered more accurately, and for far longer than the learning derived from facts or figures.
6. Stories Inspire
Slides don’t. Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow! You’ll never believe the PowerPoint presentation I just saw!” Probably not. But you have heard people say that about stories.
7. Stories Appeal to All Types of Learners
…Storytelling has aspects that work for all three types. Visual learners appreciate the mental pictures storytelling evokes. Auditory learners focus on the words and the storyteller’s voice. Kinesthetic learners remember the emotional connections and feelings from the story.
8. Stories Fit Better Where Most of the Learning Happens in the Workplace
…”Up to 70 percent of the new skills, information and competence in the workplace is acquired through informal learning” such as what happens in team settings, mentoring, and peer-to-peer communication. And the bedrock of informal learning is storytelling.
9. Stories Put the Listener in a Mental Learning Mode
…As author and organizational narrative expert David Hutchens points out, storytelling puts listeners in a different orientation. They put their pens and pencils down, open up their posture, and just listen.
10. Telling Stories Shows Respect for the Audience
Stories get your message across without arrogantly telling listeners what to think or do…Telling a story, where you underline the moral, is a great way of explaining to people what needs to be done, without saying, “do this.”
Content adapted from Paul Smith, Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire (New York: Amacom, 2012), 11-12.