Nov 11, 2021
Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen
It's very difficult today to market without including content. Your audience has grown dependent upon it. They want it and they expect it. Tunning up your SEO to make sure your message is seen is also important. But now you have posted this awesome content and someone has seen it, now what? What is the next step? What action do they need to take?
Alison majored in English and Psychology, little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog posts for a friend's law firm, she jumped at the chance to make money with her writing.
Not only has she not looked back, she's improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries.
Full Transcript Below
Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen
Thu, 7/22 3:40PM • 48:09
people, google, content, keyword, writing, blog post, words, domain authority, providing, backlink, content marketing, picture, searches, website, strategy, talk, email, link, seo, newsletter
Alison, Roy Barker
Roy Barker 00:05
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we'll uncover something that may help you be more successful in your business or if you have something that's keeping you up at night we can provide you a solution. So today we are we are happy to have Alison Ver Halen she is with AV Writing Services as our guest. She majored in English and Psychology little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog post for a friend's law firm, she jumped at the chance to make money with her writing. Not only has she not looked back, she's improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries. Alison, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be with us. We certainly do appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me.
Roy Barker 00:59
Yeah, if we get through the introduction, and there we go. It's gonna be all downhill from here. So before we jump into this is something I'm I am so interested in because I'm a non writer, writer, I love to write. But I mean, my skills are in spreadsheets and more math functions. And so it's it's a challenge. But before we get into that, tell us a little bit more about your history. So what was your original path that you wanted to? Where did you think you wanted to go? And then what really excited you about writing enough to, you know, make you stick around and make a career out of it?
Well, I've always loved writing, I've been writing short stories since I learned my alphabet. And always always wanted to be a professional writer, I was always told growing up that writers don't make any money, and I needed to get a realistic career. But I ended up majoring in English, because I just couldn't stay away from it. And there's always something you can do with an English major. I also got sucked into psychology, which really surprised me. I took an AP Psych class in high school and loved it and took another class in college and love that. And so I ended up double majoring. So I graduated thinking I was going to go into publishing, thinking, Okay, well, if I can't be a professional writer, maybe I can be an editor or something to do with writing and books. I graduated college in 2009, right after the job market crashed. So there were no jobs to be had in publishing or really anywhere else. So, you know, I was in customer service, I was receptionist, they were jobs, they were not careers. And as you said, I found myself doing jobs at one point. And my roommate at the time, her dad, who was an attorney was awesome, and offered to give me stuff to do around his office until I got back on my feet. And one of the things he needed was someone to write blog posts for his law firm. So I took over writing for him and then for an associate of his and then for some friends of mine, I did eventually get another day job, but I kept writing on the side. And the writing kept going growing to the point where I couldn't really do both anymore. So quit the day job, but six and a half years ago now, and I've been doing this full time ever since.
Roy Barker 03:11
Yeah, that's an awesome story. And I don't think that a lot of people don't understand the value of writing. for a lot of reasons. I mean, even personally, we could talk about journaling, that's something that I've picked up of late that I really tried to do to get thoughts down, but then also in our business, because it's not, you know, blogs are important, I think, but think about emails, our conversations, our email marketing, you know, we have to have a plan behind that, and not just loosely throw some words out there that might make a sentence and send out because not only is it the message that we're trying to motivate somebody, but also I think we're probably just a little bit on our grammar. And you know, being from Texas, English is my second language. So, you know, that's something I have to really watch for is the the grammatical and the, you know, turn of phrases and things like that.
Yeah, and the the strategy, I think is something that people really fall behind on when they're trying to do their own content marketing is they know they need to be emailing. They know they need to be doing blogging and social media, but they don't really think about what happens next. What do you want the person to do after they've seen your social media post or your email or read your whole blog post? So that's another area where I help my clients and help figure out okay, what does this client journey look like? Where are they going after this?
Roy Barker 04:37
Yeah, no strategy is so important because with with writing and what we can do with that, it's, um, we really need to sit down and have a strategy. I think for a couple reasons on I'll throw this out to get your comment on that. But it's not a short term. It's not a short term fix or not a short term problem. And basically, you know, we may get lucky. And we may hit something off that first email we send out. But typically, you know, it takes time. And so anyway, I think that gets back to why the we need to develop a strategy that cuts across all different forms of media.
Yeah, absolutely. And you need a strategy that, like I said, gets people in the door and then converts them so that you're actually getting them to engage with you. And like you said, it's not, I always say it's not a get rich quick scheme. It's it's a long term strategy, you made a lot of blog posts and a lot of emails, because you're building that trust is what it really comes down to, you have to build trust with Google, Google is not going to start sending traffic your way immediately. You have to build trust with your readers. So it, that's everything that goes into your your, your strategy is building that trust. And yeah, that's not going to happen overnight.
Roy Barker 05:58
Yeah. And there was a, you know, we were talking to a friend of ours that has a more of a fashion type business. And she started out blogging, and that's where she grew it. But she said it was probably well over two years. And you know, I don't know exactly how much she was doing it just more The point is, we need to have a strategy because we can want as we jump in and say, Hey, I'm gonna start writing, you know, we write three or four pieces, put them up in a couple weeks. And then after two weeks, it's like, phone's not ringing. So that must not be the thing they need to do. Whereas like you said, I mean, it just takes a while for Google to start looking at it. But then also, you can kind of speak to the fact of the word counts, because I think sometimes people, people kind of short themselves on what they write. So it doesn't get a lot of exposure as well.
Yeah, so I do want to talk about word count, because I do get that question a lot is how long should my blog post be? I always say at a minimum 500 words. And consistency is a big one, too. So if you can write at least once a month, I recommend that preferably more often. But I know as small business owners, we're often crunched for time. So if you can only do 500 words a month, that's the bare minimum. But the average post showing up on the first page of Google these days is closer to 1700 words, which is like three and a half pages, if you're writing it up in a in a Word document, single spaced. So that's a lot of content. But we find these people these pieces of content that are these really long, really in depth, how to guides that are like the ultimate guide on such and such. That is what gets the the searches and Google that shows up on the first page. And that's what people tend to engage with, when they see that you are answering every question that they have on a particular topic, they are much more likely to not only engage with the content, but spend more time engaging with the content, and then again, they're going to be more likely to convert into a customer at the end.
Roy Barker 07:59
The other thing is because some people think, whoo, 1700 words, that's a lot. But what I think another part I'd like for you to talk to is about repurposing some of that longer form content, you know, into other platforms.
Yeah, and we talked about this a little bit at the beginning, right, you've got the emails, you've got the blog, you've got the social media there, the podcast, there are all these kinds of content you're supposed to be creating, and it is really overwhelming. So I always recommend that people repurpose as much as they can. If you have 1700 words of content, take advantage of all of those 1700 words, put them out in your emails, put it out on social media, again, people don't tend to have a strategy when it comes to social media. They put stuff out on social media, and it's like, Okay, are you driving people back to your website? Where are you just posting and hoping they'll find you after that? Right. So I always think blog posts are a great way to provide something of value on social media that also gets people back to your website. So yeah, having all that great content is a great way to it gives you something to repurpose, it gives you a lot to work with on all those different platforms.
Roy Barker 09:10
And one thing I just thought of while you were talking, you know, is if you're doing the How to, like you said you're answering people's questions. Another conversion is not necessarily writing, but we can take our writing and make it into quick how to videos because again, it's, you know, we, I think part of our strategy is, you know, we have places we know our audience lives and we hit that a little bit more, but we really can't ignore every place and so we try to, you know, break it up and have a little bit of nuggets that go out across a wide variety of channels. So it's it's a tough question to ask and I don't mean to put you on the spot because I know it depends on if your service if your product who your audience is, but you know, how do you typically handle strategy across All of these multiple channels, as far as maybe, you know, more number of posts, things like that.
Yeah, again, it all comes back to repurposing your content. And I like to remind people that if they are making videos, and they should be making videos that that's great, because yes, people do engage with videos, Google cannot yet read visual visual content or audio content, they are working on it, I am sure they will get there soon. But for right now, it really is all about the text. So you need that that written text in order to show up in Google. That being said, Google also owns YouTube. So if you really optimize your video headlines and your descriptions in YouTube, that gives you a pretty good chance of showing up in online searches. And again, like you said, it depends on what you're providing. If you're doing a high how to tutorial. That's very, it relies on video, and you're showing someone how to do something that can show up on the first page of Google because, again, Google owns YouTube. So but yeah, as far as repurposing, I always recommend, if you're already making a video, and it's not super reliant on the visual, you can have the video, you can take the audio from that video, turn it into a podcast, like this. And then you can transcribe that content, the audio content into a blog post. So you, you created one thing, but you can spread it across three different channels without spending all that time creating three different pieces of content.
Roy Barker 11:35
So I'll tell you what my list of the turn page, turn the page on my list. Let's start at the top. Because headlines, usually is is that the one the I guess, rank high and what Google looks at first, I know they scan the entire document, but how to headlines play into us getting eyes on our writing?
Yes, headlines are one of those things that Google looks at first, if you have 1700 words of content or longer. I know some people write 2000 3000 words, long blog posts, that's a lot of content. And it does take Google a while to go through it. So yes, Google will look at your headline, first, it will look at your subheadings first or second. So always use those subheadings. A for SEO reasons. But also, if you're writing 1000s of words, it helps to break up that content. So it's easier for people to skim and to read and to find what they're looking for. So yeah, and then alt tags on your images. Again, Google can't read images yet. But you can have a little alt tag there that inserts a keyword there. And Google will read that first. Those are all what we call meta tags. So you can put those in throughout your content. And Google kind of kind of scans those first, before it looks at the rest of your content. So you absolutely want to make sure that your target keyword for that particular piece is throughout all of those meta tags. Okay.
Roy Barker 13:07
Yeah. So on the the alt tags for the pictures, do you have suggestions on what we should be putting there? Because I've heard both like, sometimes I use the actual headline, again, there with the name of the show after it. But I've also heard that you can just describe what you see in the picture with your keywords in it. Is there a preference on that?
Yeah, I would not use the same thing over and over the same description or the same alt tag just because then you you're kind of fighting with yourself to rank for that particular keyword. So I would recommend having a different keyword for each image. Obviously, it all has to be related to what it is you're providing, and the search terms you want to show up for it with that particular piece of content. But yeah, make sure you have a good keyword.
Roy Barker 13:57
Okay. So let's talk about selection of pictures. I mean, I have some very definite opinions that I've made on this show about that about picture selection, but I'll let you talk about that. Images are important. And a couple reasons that I know about is just because we're visual, I would rather look at a picture than anything else. But also, when we start looking at social media, especially like Twitter, and a Facebook, it's the real estate, you know, if we write for send sentences or five sentences, you take up, you know, an inch or so but if you got a picture, that all of a sudden, you know, doubles, triples, quadruples, the real estate, and that the picture usually catches people's attention then they read.
Yeah, absolutely. It's very eye catching. Like you said, We are primed to engage with visual content. So yeah, if people see even if you have a whole bunch of text on something, and it is like a big long post, first of all, you're going to have that little show more tags. So it's not necessarily all going to show up right away. But yeah, people are, a lot of people tend to see a big block of text, even readers like me, who will look at it and be kind of intimidated by it like, Oh, that's a lot of text. I don't know if I'd have to read all of this. But yeah, you break it up with some images, and it makes it much more engaging. So I would say, make sure they are high quality images, try avoid using stock images, try you know, hiring a graphic designer or learning graphic design yourself. So you can get high quality images in there. You can also use images. And I do this a lot, because in my blog post, because I talked about SEO, when sometimes it gets a little technical. So you can use charts and graphs to demonstrate what it is you're talking about. So if you've got a bunch of data and numbers and stuff that people can get bogged down in, if you can present that in a visual format, that's going to be much more engaging. So it's not just that you need good images, it's that you need good images that help people engage with the content you're writing.
Roy Barker 15:59
Yeah, yeah. And that's kind of one of my things I stand on quite a bit is that, you know, if there are times we have to use stock images, we don't, there's no way around it. But if we can use a personal personalized picture, something that we took, if it relates to what we're writing about, it seems to resonate much better with the audience, because what I find is people are, they can relate to this picture, which makes them relate to you and to the story that you're writing. Because I Oh, you know, we used to go to a lake or you know, whatever it may be that, or we're dog lover. So, you know, it's like when we see a picture with the dog, and of course, we're drawn to that.
Absolutely, yeah. And people do love looking at pictures of other people's faces. So it might be kind of scary to put your face out there. But that's what people want to see. Because, like you said, it makes you relatable, especially in this digital era, where we are increasingly digital, people want that proof that there's a real live person behind this website and showing a picture of yourself, or even a video is the best way to do that.
Roy Barker 17:06
So let's jump down to the bottom of the page for just a minute hashtags. You know, a lot. And I'm confused about that used to more was better than I've read some stuff of late where, you know, it's even stranger that each different platform maybe has some of its own guidelines for how many do you use? What can you help us with on that?
Yeah, I've I think the general rule I've seen is that like, two is best. And I think I initially saw that on Twitter. And then I've kind of seen that rule on other social media platforms as well. So that's kind of the rule that I stick to is no more than two, someone once put it really succinctly, I think, which is they said that if you're, you know, if you've got two hashtags, you're talking to people, if you've got more than that, if you've got, if you're trying to max out that those like 30, hashtags, you're not talking to people anymore, you're talking to an algorithm. And while we do have to work with the algorithm, it's important to remember that at the end of the day, there's a specific audience you're trying to reach. So what hashtags are they following? What search terms? Are they using? focus on that? And that's where you're going to find the gold?
Roy Barker 18:21
Yeah, cuz I've seen Instagram, it seems to be the place that happens is there's three lines of text and 24 lines of hashtags that follow. But yeah, I've seen that too. So let's talk about the middle. Because, you know, as we write, we want to keep the keywords and the SEO, in line. But again, I will ask you this, at the very basics, if we write a good piece about what we are, you know, what we're writing about, and we do a good job at that. It's pretty much going to be optimized in itself. Is that correct?
Yeah, you have to answer people's questions and provide value and do that consistently. So yes, there's always tweaking you can do around the length and the subheadings, and then other tags and the keywords, but at its most basic level, content marketing is all about creating that rich content that answers people's questions. Google is just getting better and better at matching people with the content they're looking for. So if you always keep your customer in mind and not trying to think too much about Google, again, we do have to play by Google's rules. But keep in mind that Google is not your customer. That's not the person you're ultimately trying to reach. What does your customer want to know about? If you can provide that Google will find a way to pair you with those people?
Roy Barker 19:45
Yeah. Which kind of leads to the keyword stuffing. That's what I had written down is that, you know, we have to be careful back in the old days. You know, there were all kinds of tips and tricks you could make the words fade into the background and he could have you know, Like a whole nother written page that was all white on the background. But nowadays, you know, they will actually, I guess they'll take you know, we call it jokingly Google jail that they'll put you in, but they know they're actually blocked your website from any of the search results. Is that correct?
That is correct. Yes. So for I don't know how much your your listeners know about this. But keyword stuffing is when you have one keyword that you cram in as many times as you can into a page or a paragraph. So if we want to talk about content marketing, and I can tell you how I can help you with content marketing, because content marketing is awesome, unique content marketing. That's an example of keyword stuffing that yeah, it did work for a short period of time, as far as showing up for that particular keyword. And then Google caught wise to it. And now Yeah, like you said, they'll actually blacklist you for it. So you, you won't show up in any searches on Google. So yeah, and it's just not good content. I mean, again, always keep in mind, you want real people reading your content, and you want to convert them. So showing up in searches is just the first step, then you have to get them to engage with your content, and then convert them into a customer. So always keep in mind, what kind of content will accomplish that? Yeah,
Roy Barker 21:12
cuz I've heard you know, when, when it was explained to me this way about Google is, you know, they want to provide the optimal experience to their clients to their readers. And so, you know, it kind of gets back to the The, the, what you were just talking about, about the content marketing, stuffing, that's not going to be very pleasurable to read, and probably, nobody's gonna really get much out of reading that. So it's a good thing, you know, sometimes people look at as a bad thing, but really, what's the use of washing up to search return with something that's just really garbage that nobody can read anyway? Yeah, exactly. So So let's talk about that for a minute. That brings up something a good point that I have pondered more lately than I ever thought I would. But if, how do we structure that key word, are key phrases that we want to work around, because what of what I've heard lately is that when you try to structure it to a keyword that's got a lot of a bunch of traffic and a lot of high, big money chasing it, it can be very difficult for a smaller company, to really ranked for that. So sometimes, it's almost better to look down the list at some, you know, and I don't know how far you go. But can you talk about that just a little bit?
Yeah. So I always look for the content gaps when I'm doing my keyword research, which means you want something that's getting a decent search volume, which sometimes you hit gold, and you do find those keywords that are getting 10s of 1000s of searches a month, but don't already have a ton of competition. And if you're using any keyword research tool, even the free ones, they're going to show you the monthly search volume that numbers the average monthly search volume, and then it's going to show you the SEO competition score, which is a score from one to 100. And that gives you an idea of the competition out there, what are your chances of actually showing up for this particular keyword. So one is super easy, there's no other content out there, you're golden 100 is there's a ton of content out there don't even bother, I tend to aim for like 20 to 30 as my SEO competition score, which gives me like a 70 to 80% chance of showing up in on the first page of Google for that particular keyword. So yet, sometimes you gotta go for the keywords with a little bit lower search volume in order to get this sweet spot for the SEO competition score. And yeah, it's all about playing around and finding about where where's the sweetest spot where you can get the most searches for the least amount of competition. And one of the ways to do that is those longtail keywords. So a short tail keyword is one to two words, long tail keyword is three to five words, those are the ones that tend to have, again, a lower search volume, but also lower competition score. And the big value of those, I think is the fact that people tend to be looking for something specific if they're looking for I'm gonna use myself as an example. Again, content marketing is a huge keyword that a lot of people use, it's really hard to rank for it. If I talk about a content marketing company providing you know, serving small businesses in Chicago, that's someone's looking for something very specific when they're searching for that. So when they find me, they're much more likely to click on my website to engage with my content and become a customer.
Roy Barker 24:37
Yeah, and also we can talk about the again, the volume, the number of pages that we have out there, I think, you know, as we build that content, it's always much better to have more than less quality. You know, we don't want to put a lot of quantity a large quantity of junk out there but if we do a high quality, high quantity of high quality Then we have something, you know, we start to have something for everyone. Because everybody, even if we have, even if we're looking at content marketing, I may have some different, you know, like I may search for blog writer or something, you know, kind of a little bit different. So the more pieces we get out there that cover more ground, we generally are just automatically start to attract more viewers, because you can like I look at it this way, instead of having one page and 100 viewers, you can have, you know, 100 pages now with one viewer, and then that way your numbers can usually tend to grow correct?
Correct? Yeah. Because you've got all that juicy content. And Google gets, the more content you have, the more Google gets an idea of what you're all about, which helps Google pair you with the right search terms. So yeah, and I always advocate for quality and consistency over quantity, quantity does matter. But I would say quality and consistency first, and then worry about the quantity.
Roy Barker 26:02
Yeah, and a good recommendation of like you said earlier, I guess you know it. If you could write quality every day, of course, that's more desirable. But if if you're in a business, and you've got to take care of your daily stuff, if you get one quality longer of work higher word count peace out a month, that's a great starting point. As you get used to doing that, you can always up it to twice a month and then grow from there.
Yeah, absolutely. And again, it's going to be better at engaging and converting the people who do find those blog posts. Because if you try to create content every day or every week, and it's just not sustainable for you, you're not going to get results from that. So yeah, focus on quality. First,
Roy Barker 26:47
you mentioned earlier, the little dotted read more line. And I've always been curious, cuz I use those because you know, the transcripts from these podcasts can be quite lengthy. So ones that have taken up a lot of real estate. But I just wonder, do they affect Google's ability to scan that text for that page?
Not at all Google sees every Google knows all this even reading stuff, you can put stuff on the back end of your your website, stuff that the viewers don't see Google will go in and see that like the alt tags for those images. That's something that does not the viewer never gets to see that. But Google will see it. So that's a way of saying Google Hey, this is what's here in this block, but you can't really see right now.
Roy Barker 27:34
Yeah. So let's talk about those. What do you call them the subtitles, it's like you have the the title at the top, and then you're supposed to break your text up and put like a subtitle? How many words? How, how should we use those? Because I've heard that they're very important. And you just confirm that, but you know, somebody like myself, be honest. And say you're, you know, until a few years ago, I never used them, I just didn't understand the value and just write a straight piece of paper, but talk about them for just a minute.
Yeah, it is really a way of breaking up your content into different sections. So I think the most concrete example I can give is, if you have you know, three ways to do such and such, you've got three tips that you're providing. So you have tip, you've got your little intro right after the main headline. And then you've got tip number one is your first heading. And then you're going to talk about that tip and more depth and the two or three paragraphs following and so with the tip to tip three, however many chips do you end up providing?
Roy Barker 28:44
Okay. infographics of you kind of were talking about that we didn't call it by name, but you know, talking about if you have a lot of numbers, stats, you know, graphically format, but I've heard that those things perform easily, very well.
They do perform very well. That's another way that people again, they're very visual, we are primed to engage with visual content, so they're very eye catching. And for people who look at, you know, a multi 1000 word blog post and figure that's too much content for them to read. There. If you can condense that content into an infographic, people are much more likely to look at that and see what they need. And right now, the big thing is interactive infographics. So if you can get little animated stuff in there, that's really eye catching, if you can get a link in there or multiple links, so you can have like a, an infographic where each little thing provides a link to a subheading in your blog post so they can click on it and go straight to the part of the blog post that really interests them. You know, if you have lots of words on a particular subject, maybe they don't want to read the whole blog post. They just want an answer to this. particular question by providing an interactive visual format that they can navigate and find their way to just the answer they need. It's going to be make it much more likely that they interact with that content.
Roy Barker 30:13
Yeah. Would you bring up links and, you know, talk about this and kind of multifaceted points. Number one, our content, let's just take a blog, for instance, our blogs, usually, they want was at one internal link to something that's in our site, and then the next sternal link or more going out, but then we also have what they call the backlinks. And I'll let you talk a little bit about both of those and the importance of them.
Yeah, so there are internal and external backlinks. And internal backlinks are like you said, when you link back to another piece of content and your own website from something else on your website, that's an internal backlink. And external backlink is when another website, links back to your website and Google kind of figures that like hangs out with like, so if you have high quality websites, with great content that are ranking for certain keywords, and they're linking back to your website, that's really good for you, Google is gonna like that, that helps establish you as an authority in your industry, that helps boost your rankings, if not, so great. websites are linking back to your website, again, Google figures like hangs out with like, and it's gonna discount me for that you're, you're going to be punished for it, which I know is not fair. But you're getting punished for what other people do online. There are backlink trackers and analyzers and ways to mitigate that. So you can use these online tools, not to delete the link, because you don't have that power, because it's on their website unless you delete your content that they linked back to. But you can tell Google Hey, no, I don't associate with this website. Please don't follow this link back to me.
Roy Barker 32:00
Yeah, because, you know, they're, and they may still go on, there was a time they had what they call backlink farms. And, you know, I'd create a website, and all I did was charge people $100 to put their website link on mine. And it I mean, I guess in theory, it makes sense. But the other part you have to think about is that domain authority. And I'll let you talk a little bit about that. But if you get a backlink from a domain authority, it's equal to or less, are you really not going to help you that much. And so it's just a word of caution that when people reach out to you and say, Hey, I can get you this backlink for, you know, 50 bucks. I always kind of grimace at that because it takes a lot of work to get a decent, good backlink you don't just you can't acquire them. And it's very hard if you try to do it organically as well.
Yeah, I would say don't ever buy backlinks. Google does not like it admittedly, it is kind of hard for Google to figure out what's a blog battling backlink and what's not. But again, Google knows all and they do have their ways of figuring these things out. So just don't risk it, make sure that they are quality websites, you mentioned domain authority, which has gotten a lot of talk lately, it's actually something that Moz made up as a tool that they offer where you can, in theory, track your your domain authority, which is supposed to be how well Google likes you. But Google doesn't talk too much about like how their algorithm works. So Moz has their own algorithm to figure out domain authority, which is not necessarily the same as Google's algorithm. So and I know there are other SEO tools that are, again, they're saying they provide domain authority, it's it's more tricky than that. So take it with a grain of salt. But I think if you're if someone links back to your website, and you get that little alert, just take some time to look through their website, make sure it's relevant, make sure they've got good content, make sure that the content in which they've linked back to your website, it actually makes sense that they linked back to you it has something to do with what you're talking about in your content. If it seems completely unrelated, and it's really badly written and there are no graphics or terrible graphics, then you want to manage that backlink.
Roy Barker 34:25
Yeah, and I would say that echo that message across all social medias because, you know, years ago, almost learned the hard way that, you know, a guy told me he could really increase my Facebook traffic, I think. So I'm like, Okay, well, he did. But they were, unfortunately, from another country that weren't buyers of my product. And so, luckily, you know, I told him, You show me what you can do, and then we'll talk about how much this is going to cost me Well, yeah, I had a flurry of activity, but they were not buyers, and I think it's an important part, an important point to stress is that, and I kind of use it jokingly and said that, you know, we went out to eat at our local Mexican restaurant last weekend. And when she brought the bill, I pulled out all my legs from Facebook, and she wouldn't take them, you know, she still wants cash. And so unless they are quality people who are our customers that will lead to them being a buyer. It's totally useless. It's more of a vanity metric.
Yeah, and I think that's all gets back to what we were saying, beginning about how this is a long term strategy. There really is no get rich, quick scheme, whether it's, you know, buying those backlinks or buying views on social media is, you really have to put in the work in order to earn Google's trust. And again, are your audiences stressed? Yeah,
Roy Barker 35:51
there's just really no shortcut. So if anybody approaches you with a short cut, always be leery? Well, I know we're running a little bit long. But a couple things I wanted to touch on before we get out of here are newsletters, and, of course, emails, again, one of my strategies in email marketing was to, what I would do is I had Google alerts for a lot of different things. And so whenever an article would come across, that I felt like resonated with one or more of my clients, what I would do is kind of deconstruct that and say, Look, I found this article, give them a hot link to it, here are three points that I got out of it that I think will really help you and send it to them, I think. Because I don't like and this is a personal thing. I don't like getting an email saying, hey, Roy, we talked last week, and are you ready to buy it? You know, it's like, and I think we also have to think about how many touches does it usually take now, I think smaller dollar items and services, don't take much thought I buy five or $10 thing on an impulse. When we start talking about 510 $20,000 items, I'm gonna have to give that a lot more thought. You're gonna have to reach out and touch me a lot more during that buying process. So how, how can we handle that tactfully?
Yeah, I feel like there's a lot of questions in there. So let me see if I can remember everything. So yes, it does take a lot of touches, especially for me, I'm in a b2b industry. So people need to make sure that they're really going to get a return on their investment with me. A lot of my clients that I work with, like I said, I started working with an attorney, I have since worked with other attorneys, and coaches and financial planners. And those are all people who they're their clients are really going to think for a while before they decide to go ahead and buy and make that investment. So you again, long term strategy, again, you can if you have lower cost items, like you said, you can put up an ad on Facebook or Instagram or wherever your audience is hanging out. And they're more likely to go for that, that impulse buy. But if you're in professional services, and or b2b industry, yeah, it's going to take a little bit longer. And I love what you did with your email because you're providing value to them. So it, but it is a way to get in front of them. And to remind them that, hey, remind them you're still around and be remind them that you're an authority on the subject by demonstrating that in everything that you provided for them. So I think that's a really good strategy.
Roy Barker 38:29
Yeah, because I like the education component, because maybe you maybe you're a user of my product or service, that doesn't necessarily mean that you need it right at this moment. Maybe you're perfectly happy with the person, maybe you don't have the money for it. lots of reasons that we just don't know. But I think it's important to stay in front of prospects that haven't bought from us, because we never know when the moment is that they're going to be ready to commit. And I think this, again, it kind of winds us back to this long term strategy, that if we are consistent in our messaging and getting it out there, it's not like I sent you a message, you know, six months ago, now you're ready to bind, and you don't even remember who I am or can't remember that last email. But if I've just been dripping on you along over this last six months, you're like, Hey, I know. I got it. Somewhere in here in my email. I know this guy's been sending maybe I'll take a look at that. Yeah, exactly. So what about newsletters? How often how much stuff? I know, there used to be a lot of talk about structure about, you know, kind of breaking it up and not just being totally all business. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, again, I would say no less than once per month, because if you get less than that people aren't going to forget who you are and they're gonna they're gonna think they never signed up for that newsletter because they don't remember signing up for it. So at least once a month, no more than once a week. I think most of the newsletters I follow some Do something once a week. Some of them I think, send me the same thing twice, which probably means I messed up and gave them multiple email addresses. But yeah, I think most of the ones that I follow send me something once a week, which is good because I, again, I know who they are, it reminds me that they're still around and what they're doing. But it's not inundating my inbox with their newsletters. So that as far as timing, that's what I recommend, as far as frequency. Timing is something you want to play around with, again, it's going to depend on your industry, on your target audience, when are they answering your emails? When are they more likely to be checking their email and engaging with your newsletters? So take a look at that. See, when people are opening your emails, if they're opening them after you, you know, hours or days after you send them, you might want to switch around when you send them out to get a better open rate?
Roy Barker 40:54
Yeah, yeah. And that's another good place to remember that it's a it's a long term strategy that we don't. If we, if we buy a list, and we upload them, and we send it out, and a lot of people unsubscribe or cancel, or whatever they do at that point, that the, I guess the big newsletter companies they whacked, I guess they will deactivate you from us. And because that's a score for them, they don't want to be the name at the bottom of the page that's keep spamming people. So again, we grow them organically, and they need to be people that we've had some interaction with the prospect the customer, you know, something like that.
Yeah. And they have to either opt in or confirm that they want your newsletter. So I think I've had one or two people on my newsletter where I manually put in their email address, because they asked me to. But yeah, I never just like, input a whole bunch of emails or by emails, because yeah, like you said, that's that's gonna backfire.
Roy Barker 41:55
Yeah, yeah. Oh, what about days to release used to Tuesdays, that was the day everybody pushed everything out. But now I just wonder is everybody pushing everything out on Tuesday, is there you know, a better day to put our blogs out there? Yeah, I
think the data I've seen is Tuesday is probably still the best day, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are like the top three. Again, if you're providing something and like the professional services, or b2b industry, if you're selling something more, that's fine. So sorry about that. If you're selling something that's more B to be a little less expensive, you can get away with sending stuff on the weekends when people are more likely to be shopping. But again, know which email it's going to if it's going to their business email address, and they're only checking in Monday through Friday, then make sure it goes out Monday through Friday. And take a look at when people are looking at your email and when they're opening your email address or your your newsletter that you send out. So that I think I played around with that for a while because I used to send mine out on Tuesdays. And I was realizing most people opened it on Wednesdays. So I switched it to Wednesday, and I get a higher open rate now. So there are always the general rules, but your audience might be a little different. So always check your own data and do some AV testing.
Roy Barker 43:13
And that's kind of been the pattern with this podcast is you know, played around with releasing through the weekends. You know, the traffic goes way, way down, just because everybody's out doing fun stuff. The other thing you can tell summer versus winter, it's like you get a lot more traction in the winter months when people are sometimes have to stay indoors when everybody's outdoors in the summer. So you have to look at all that you can't get discouraged if you have a bad week, because you know, holiday weekends when everybody's out of the office, you know, just gonna be have less people there to read it. Yeah. All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Alison, we're going to wrap this up. So what what is a tool? Well, first, before we do that, any other tips that you want to put out there for people writing? Yeah,
you mentioned the phrase that when to post the blog post, the one thing is again, like the newsletters, it tends to be best on Tuesdays, or, you know, if you can't do Tuesday, for whatever reason, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, or like the three best days, again, do some A/B testing, play around with it, see what works for you. And also the more you can drive traffic to your blog post the day it goes up, the better it will perform because that organic traffic kind of shows Google that there is value in this that people are interested in this content. So that can help improve your rankings as well. So if you can get it up and then get a newsletter out that same day and start pushing it out on social media that same day, that's going to help you out a little bit.
Roy Barker 44:47
Yeah, definitely we didn't talk about that a lot. But definitely if we put a blog post or a podcast or anything out we need to really you know follow up on social media put some words out about it. Let people know we have loyal followers for sure. But we always want to grow that audience so we could find some new eyes out there. Absolutely. Well, we appreciate it. So what is a habit that you use in your daily life that professional or personal just something that you couldn't do without
just the writing is something I could not do without that there's a reason I chose that as my profession, or the reason it chose me, I think is just, it's something that I do every day, even if it's only for a little bit, if writing to if you don't have time to sit down and write 2000 words, then sit down and research some keywords. And then the next day, write an outline, and the next day do a little bit of research, it doesn't have to be a two hour chunk, which is one of the things I've learned most recently, I think, is that I'm actually more productive in those smaller chunks of time, rather than the huge chunks of time. So take advantage of that.
Roy Barker 45:50
Yeah, you know, as a non writer, writer, I got into that as well, I thought I had to sit down and just wrap this whole thing out. And I'd get very discouraged. But I think I've learned to do like you said the outline, let it set, get back and do the rain, if you can structure this in the beginning and get on a path. But then also, once it's written, I let it sit there for a day or two. Because I tend to find changes I need to make or other things I would like to add. So you know, don't rush through the process. Be sure and set aside enough time to make it high quality for sure.
Yeah, I always let it sit for at least 24 hours before coming back and editing it. And yeah, if I can leave it alone for a week or longer, that's even better.
Roy Barker 46:32
All right, we'll tell everybody, how can they reach out and get a hold of you at AV Writing Services? Who is your typical client you'd like to work with? What can you do for them? And then of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you?
Yeah, so typical client is any small business owner who's looking to increase their online presence, whether they're not blogging or and they know they need to be or if they are blogging and not seeing results from it. Those are the people that I can help. So again, my company is AV Writing Services. It's really easy to find me, I'm at AV Writing Services everywhere. My website is AVWritingServices.com. I'm on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my youtube channel is actually under my name, Allison Ver Halen. So you can find my videos there.
Roy Barker 47:21
Alright, yeah, and I'll be sharing that include all those in the shownotes as well. So, again, thank you so much for your time certainly appreciated. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course you can find us at www.thebusinessofbusinesspodcast.com. We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify. If we're not on one that you listened to reach out, I'd be glad to add it to help you listen easier. We're also on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more. Be sure and reach out and engage with us over there. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel when the episode goes live so you can look at it over there as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business