This One Tool Will Help You Reach More Customers, Guaranteed

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This One ToolThe purpose of your business blog is to attract your ideal customers.

But if you’re not using their language, they’ll never find you. Here’s how you can use a free tool to uncover what they’re searching for, jump on emerging trends, and generate more leads for your business.

Hair replacement or restoration?

A while ago I was doing some research for a hair restoration company. They often used the terms “hair replacement” and “hair restoration,” and I was curious to find out which phrase was more likely to attract their ideal customer.

I went over to Google Trends, a free tool that lets you review search volume over time. It also allows you to compare one term with another. I plugged in hair replacement and hair restoration and discovered that restoration slightly beat out replacement.

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How to Take Better Photos With Your Smartphone

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207-Better-smartphone-photosWhere do we start in terms of taking better photos?

Almost every smartphone comes with a camera right now. It’s built in and then there’s the native camera app. So one thing if you’re interested in taking better pictures is upgrading that app to something else.

There are a few good apps and some basic photography techniques that can elevate your boring blurry selfies and out-of-focus food shots into minor masterpieces.

To learn how to take better pictures with your smart phone, check out the video.

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Attorney Marketing: SEO and Social Media for Lawyers

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Attorney Internet MarketingLawyers and attorneys have unique challenges when it comes to Internet marketing. Here’s how you can reach more prospects for your law firm with SEO and social media.

When I was out in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World a few months back I met Bill Turley from Trust Based Lawyer Marketing. Together we did a brief interview on how lawyers could better market themselves online. You can watch the video or read the transcript below.

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David vs. Goliath: Taking on Big Competitors with Social Media

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David-Vs-Goliath-Social-Media-PinterestThis post is sponsored by Visa Small Business, but the opinions are all mine, and any comments are all yours.

In honor of Small Business Week, I’ve written a post on how you can compete with big corporations by leveraging social media. Read on…

How can you compete against giant corporations with entire departments dedicated to marketing and seemingly bottomless pockets for advertising?

In Malcolm Gladwell’s recent book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, he leads with the famous story of the shepherd boy who killed a seemingly unbeatable warrior with a simple sling.

We all know the story, and it’s often brought up as an inspirational tale of how we can triumph against insurmountable odds and defeat a superior competitor. It’s a story about miraculous wins.

But Gladwell reframes the story.

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The 11 Commandments of Creating Compelling Web Copy for the Non-Copywriter

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11-commandments-writing-pinterest-font2Whether you’re creating your first website or revamping your current site, the most critical piece is the copy. It’s also the most time consuming, difficult, and frustrating for the average small business owner.

Good web copy is search engine friendly, easy to read or scan, and persuades your visitor to take action. If you’ve never written copy specifically for the web, we’ve put together some tips to help your copy be all it can be.

What follows are the 11 Commandments for Writing Copy for the Non-Copywriter.

I. Hire a copywriter.

I know—these are the 11 Commandments for the do-it-yourselfer. So why am I bothering to tell you to hire a copywriter?

I hear it all the time from business owners we work with:

  • No one knows my business like I do.
  • I don’t want to spend the money on a copywriter because I know how to write.
  • The copy will write itself.

Let’s look at your objections one at a time.  (more…)

Raising Resilient Children and Teens in the Digital World

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Raising Resilient Children and Teens in the Digital WorldMore schools are giving students laptops and tablets. Many students–regardless of grade–have cell phones in the classroom. What can we do to make sure our children are becoming good, digital citizens?

This is a little off topic for the flyte blog. We’re usually about how to can build your business online.

But recently I had the opportunity to present side-by-side with my dad, Dr. Robert Brooks.

My dad is a well-respected author and keynote presenter on topics of resilience in children and adults. He speaks all over the world in front of schools and business groups, sharing the importance of resilience.

When the Oak Hill School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, asked him to present on the topic of Raising Resilient Children and Teens in the Digital World, he asked me if I’d like to participate.

My dad took the first half of the presentation, speaking on the importance of raising resilient children, developing “islands of competence,” and the role of the charismatic adult in a child’s life. I then took many of those ideas and talked about how to use them in the digital world.

My presentation also focused on my work with Catherine McAuley High School and the Social Media Club that I helped start.

The entire presentation, including Q&A, was over 90 minutes, so feel free to chunk it up for easier watching. ;) My dad’s a great presenter, though, and you should definitely check him out.

By the way, my dad and I are available to offer this presentation to other school systems. We also do weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.

Rich Brooks
Son of Dr. Robert Brooks

15 Ways Video Helps You Generate More Online Leads

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Video Lead GenerationAdding online video to your marketing efforts can generate more leads and sales for your small business. Here’s how.

Are you ready for your close up? Don’t worry, even if you’re not, you can still increase your online visibility and generate more online leads through video. Adding video to your marketing mix doesn’t need to break the bank, either. If you’re reading this post on a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, chances are you already have all the equipment you need to get started in online video. Below I’ve outlined fifteen ways that video can help you generate leads for your business. So read through this post, take a deep breath, and hit record!

1. Video improves your search engine visibility.

You’ve seen it before. You do a search and the top three results are all videos. Google and Bing want to show your video as part of the mix. In fact, if your competitors consistently beat you at the search engines and they’re not using video, adding video to your marketing mix might be the best way to leap frog them in the page one results.  (more…)

Social Media and Cellphones in the Classroom: Help or Distraction?

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The Social ClassroomCan social media and cell phones be used to help aid education in the classroom…or are they just a distraction?

Earlier this week I traveled down to New Orleans (one of my favorite cities in the world) to present at The Center for Development & Learning’s Plain Talk Conference. While it might seem odd to have a social media business consultant speak at a conference on reading, the topic was The Social Classroom: Using Social Media as an Aid in Education. The presentation covered:

  • How George Middle School in Portland, Oregon, changed their learning climate with social media
  • What the purpose of public education is, and whether social media can help
  • The good and dark sides of social media and children
  • The Catherine McAuley High School’s Social Media Club
  • How classrooms across the country are using social media and cellphones in the classroom today.

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5 Ways to Drive New Traffic to Old Blog Posts

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How to Freshen Up Old Blog Posts to Attract New CustomersDo you want to drive more traffic to older blog posts? Here are five simple ways to dust those posts off and put them back to work for you.

Chances are, you’re promoting your new blog posts. You share them on your social networks, you alert your email subscribers, you might even call your mom.

You also get a certain amount of traffic while the posts appear on the home page of your blog or in the recent posts list. However, once they fall off the home page and land in the archives, the traffic they generate often drops precipitously.

However, all is not lost.

With a few simple steps you can reinvigorate archived posts, attract new prospects and customers and generate more leads from your blog. Here’s how.

Improve your title tags.

Even in the Age of Social Media, search engines still drive a lot of new traffic (read: prospects) to your blog posts. Well, they do if you have optimized your posts for the search engines.

One of the easiest ways to improve the search rankings for your blog posts is to improve the titles of the posts by making sure your keywords appear in the titles.

If you need a primer on how to write blog posts titles that rank well, check out What Should I Title My Blog Posts for Maximum ROI? In that post I  talk about using the All In One SEO Plugin for WordPress. That’s still a great plugin, although I’m using Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin for this blog and The Marketing Agents.

Replace those tired old images.

Consider replacing your images with new, Pinterest-friendly images. By that I mean taller, graphically-interesting images that are more likely to get pinned and shared on the world’s second biggest driver of social traffic: Pinterest.

I like to find a good image and then include an easy-to-read, oversized caption that explains what people will get if they click through to Pinterest. Like the one on this post.

Link to older posts from newer ones.

Linking to relevant, archived posts from new posts can drive traffic to those older posts. In addition, those links will improve the SEO of the original post as well.

For example, if you’ve got a new post about Twitter, link to a supporting post you’ve already written called How to Get More Engagement on Twitter. (See what I did there?)

Schedule tweets & updates.

Using a tool like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or Buffer, you can schedule tweets (and other updates) to promote archived posts. I’m not a fan of automating tweets or social media updates, but we’ve seen good response from scheduling.

Example of tweet driving traffic to archived blog post

Pro tip: If you’re posting to Facebook, tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can reduce your engagement. Instead, use Facebook’s own scheduling tool.

Pro tip 2: If you’re using social sharing plugins, (and you should be,) make sure there are no “goose eggs” on the post to which you’re trying to drive traffic. In other words, make sure there’s a retweet, Facebook share, Google “plus one,” etc., even if you have to click on them yourself.

This is in part to show social proof. When people see that other people have shared your post (even if it was just you!), they are more likely to assume the post is valuable and share it themselves.

When I see a blog post with goose eggs across the top of the sharing buttons I think to myself, “not even the author could recommend this post!”

Deemphasize the date.

The worst thing you can do with evergreen content is put a date on it. You may see it as a way of letting people know when you created the post, but in reality it just looks like a expiration date.

Obviously if you have a news site, or cover other topics that are quickly changing, having a date showing prominently above your post can be helpful to your audience. However, articles on leadership or parenting that don’t change very often would be better served to remove the date entirely or to bury it at the end of your post.

Admittedly, this may not directly drive more traffic to your post, but it will encourage people to read and share your content, which will have an indirect effect on your traffic.

Do you have any other tips?

How do you drive traffic to your archived posts? Is there something I’ve forgotten? Let me know in the comments below!

Rich Brooks
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The Benefits of Blogging [Infographic]

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There are a lot of reasons for blogging, from improved SEO to a home for your intellectual property, to a hub for the rest of your social media activity. (After all, not everything can be shared in 140 characters or less. Except maybe a link to your latest blog post.)

Below is an infographic, illustrating some other important factors for businesses considering a blog. Although not as data rich as some other infographics out there, there are some key items here:

  • Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors (unclear if it’s compared to competitors that don’t or what they had before they started blogging, but more quality content generally means more visitors)
  • 57% of marketers acquired customers from blogging (would be nice to know if the the other 43% didn’t blog, or just sucked at it)
  • Businesses that blog more than 20/mo get 5 times more traffic than those who blog less than 4/mo (I think we can agree that most small businesses would struggle to create 20 posts a month, but is it possible to create more than one blog post a week? Especially if you “cut corners” with those annoying “infographic posts?”)

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