Thursday, 17 November 2016

Assessing your startup - where you have been, where you are now and where you are going

This is my moment to look both backwards and forwards in my startup journey. For those that have been with me from the start you will know how my journey has gone. For everyone else I will give you a short recap-

  • The idea was to start an estate agency in the town where I live
  • As I set about getting things in place I decided that I needed a residual income
  • I started writing
  • I blogged and I wrote my own eBooks
  • From there I found freelance writing
  • I started writing for others in my spare time
  • I then abandoned plans for the estate agency and became a full-time writer

This has been the journey of a few years summed up in a few bullets points so there have been highs and lows but this is the basic timeline that has brought me to here. Writing is now my life, so as well as this blog I write several others for myself. I write my own books still and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.I write for other people. And I write whatever comes my way-
  • I ghostwrite books for people
  • I write marketing materials for people
  • I write the content for websites
  • I write social media post on behalf of companies
  • I write customer brochures
  • I write business plans
I pretty much write what people need, with the exceptions of school work and reviews.From this my business has grown and I will use this blog to briefly outline where I am today and where I think I will be over the next 6 to 9 months.

Currently

I have two websites that give me an internet presence. They can be found here-



They let the world know that I exists and along with my social media presence are the outward face of my business. They give me access to customers and also give customers the opportunity to check out what I am and what I do before they get in touch.


A lot of my work comes from existing relationships that have come from varied sources and developed over the years. I work for people all over the United Kingdom, and indeed the world, on a regular basis and write for certain people month in, month out.

A great source of business is going to be the BNI networking chapter that I have joined. It is going to break all records as the biggest group to launch in the UK and Ireland and is doing this at lightning pace. I am very proud to be a part of the group and I look forward to being able to give my fellow chapter members a lot of business from my contacts in the future.

The future

I am growing at a much faster rate than I expected at all. The business is flowing and I am being asked more and more to help people with their writing, especially content writing for businesses. I can see a pint in the future 6 to 9 months where I will be looking for someone to help with the writing and join me. I haven't got through Christmas and January yet as my first year of full-time trading so I don't know how quiet it might go. But I am quietly confident that this will be more than I can produce fr myself in the not-too-distant future.


My new novel is being written now and I am around a third of the way through the writing process. It does tens to take a back seat when I am working hard for other people but the idea is to have it ready to be published in the early part of the new year and be generating sales from then.It will be the first fiction book I have written for myself and I am really looking forward to seeing it out there and marketing it. I think it will make a splash.

This has helped me as I have been writing to clear my mind and look to the future. I suggest that if you are looking for a bit of clarity in your startup business right now then you go through a similar exercise. It allows you to focus on what is important and where you want to take your business.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The top 4 tips for making your content work for your startup business

Content marketing can make a big difference to your startup business. It allows you to expand your ideas, connect to new customer or markets and to let people know what you do. Your content can be anything from the words on your website, your social media interactions to your blog. All of these different elements of what you do and say come together to make up your internet presence. From there you can drive potential customers to your sales website and convert them into customers.

But poor quality content does more harm to your startup business than good. In the early days your reputation is important so the content that you put out there speaks volumes about what you do and what you stand for. Here is my guide to the top 4 things to remember when writing content for your startup business. This is how the professionals work-

4 - Use many channels
Your customers and potential customers hang out in many places so you really need to do this too. The more relevant places that you connect with your target audience the better. You will probably already have a website but to get those meaningful connections you may also need-

  • A blog
  • Social media accounts
  • A LinkedIn profile
  • An email mailing list
As you share your content in more places, you will reach a greater audience. Research which channels your target audience is using and make sure that you have a presence there.



3 - Remember the links
Your content should be all about pointing people to what your startup business does. It is there to let people know that you offer a service or product that meets their needs. Having quality engaging content is the first step to making sure that people can find you on the internet and will check you out.

But in order to see what you have to say they need to be able to follow you. Make sure that you include hyperlinks to where you want people to go next to keep up the connection with your company. For example, if you have content on social media then make sure you include a link back to your website. Or if you have a blog then link it to your sales page.

All the links that you put together will form a network across the different platforms you use.

2 - Keywords are vital
A large part of content writing is the keywords. These are the words of phrases that will help to get traction on your Google searches. For example-

If you are a content writer in County Durham then you need to think about how people might search for you on Google. If you think that the most relevant search would be "content writer County Durham" then you need to use the words "content writer County Durham" in a few places in your text. It also helps if these are in a title and the name of the page.

When someone searches on Google they have to make a decision on who is the best match for that search. Your keywords will really help you to be at the top of that search term.


1 - Don't stuff it with only keywords
This is my top tip for making sure that your content works for your startup business.Keywords are great. They will help you on your quest to move up the Google search rankings and get your business seen by more people. But what you don't want to do is stuff your content full of words that are just there for the purposes of that. It will cause you two issues -

  1. Google will mark you down
  2. Your potential customers won't stay
Google algorithms are a complex thing. Nobody really knows the exact nature of how they work. But one thing we know they have is the ability to filter out something that looks like spam. So if you have just a list of keywords Google will filter your content out from the results and you will be no further forward.

Even if your keyword-filled content is seen by a potential customer, once they arrive on your page they won't stay because the content will make no sense. It needs to be engaging and interesting in order to keep the attention of a visitor and turn them into a buyer.

Writing content can be a time-consuming process. If you need help with your content then check out my website for details of how I can help.