blogging content marketing strategy

The Secret of Promoting Your Blog Posts

blog 12.10

You’ve written a blog post so it’s cause for celebration. Pop the bubbly! Alert the press! You’ve got BIG THINGS to share.

Prepare for the parade of people to your site to be wowed by your genius.

If only this blogging thing was this easy.

The truth is that publishing a post is only half (or maybe even less than half) the battle. Once your little slice of genius is on the web, now you need to promote it, because if you publish it, it doesn’t mean you’ll magically have readers.

Blogging is an exercise in persistence, patience and promotion. It’s all about the long game, because while one post may be the one that sends you lots of traffic, you may find you get crickets on others and you need to build a loyal, faithful audience over time.

While you may have heard the overnight success story of a blogger who made a zillion dollars just blogging, that’s the exception and not the rule. Most blog posts don’t see the light of day, so it’s up to you to understand that to build an audience, people need to see your posts. And for them to see posts, you need to be hustling to promote them.

So while you’re furiously planning out your posts for the coming months, promotion needs to part of that plan.

Let’s break down how to promote your posts from the day of publishing and beyond:

Publishing Day

Your post is published, so now what? The question you need to answer here is how do you get eyeballs on your post and connect with YOUR audience so your content is found, read and shared.

The key is to figure out where your ideal audience can be found. Promoting to a bunch of places with wrong-for-you readers isn’t going to do much to build your business which, after all, is the point of blogging for your business.

Cultivate a list of places to promote your post based on where you know your ideal audience is. Create a checklist so that once you publish, you know you need to ensure to hit each of those places.

What should you include on your list? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Social media networks
    • Craft a series of social media updates/images for each social network
    • Call out any expert sources you refer to in your post on social media
    • Sharing in groups you’re involved in
    • Promote via an ad on Facebook
  • Reach out to influencers via email
  • Submit it to or Reddit
  • Answer questions with your post on Quora

That’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. Remember, this is just publishing day – day one of many of promoting your content. But get intentional, build that checklist and set aside time to promote on the day you publish.

The Week After Publishing

Extend the life of your content by ensuring you continue to promote your post  in the week after you publish.

The big one is continuing to share it on social media with new updates, fresh images and more. Don’t assume that because you had two Tweets and a Facebook update about the post that everyone saw it. Social media moves fast so your content likely isn’t being seen by even a smidgen of your total possible audience.

Beyond social, this is a good time to consider republishing the content on other networks including Medium or the Huffington Post if you’re a blogger there. Many sites enable you to syndicate your content there so you’re able to share the content that you’ve already published.

The key here is to get creative so you can continue to share this content over and over again so it doesn’t lose momentum.

Weeks and Months to Come

If you’re publishing weekly, it’s easy to create a 7 day promotion cycle and then simply move on to your next post. But there’s so much possibility in each piece of your published content. Every month, spend time planning out how to maximize that content so you can continue to use it as an asset.

Every post is an asset, which means you can save time by recycling your brilliance. (And if you need help getting this organized, check out the Blog Planner Toolkit – there’s a content recycling email in that series that you won’t want to miss!)

My challenge to you is to take each piece of content and recycle it using at least one of the below ideas:

  • Create a graphic for Pinterest and start building your presence on this fun platform. (This is quickly becoming of my biggest sources of traffic to my site.)
  • Turn your blog post into a Slideshare. This forgotten network is a great place to share content especially if you run a B2B business.
  • Repurpose the content as a podcast episode, audio training, video training or other piece of content you can publish. Remember, you should only be covering a set number of topics and themes, so you will cover the same topic more than once.
  • Take all of your posts on a theme and turn them into a piece of opt-in content that subscribers can sign up for.
  • Resurface your posts using a social media tool like EDGAR so your best content continues to be seen and shared.
  • Share your past blog posts as part of your welcome email sequence after your opt-in gift. Your best posts are the perfect thing to share with new subscribers.
  • Take multiple posts and re-use the content in list posts, round-ups and other new posts.

If you can, pick how you can extend the life of your content as you’re planning it so you’ve got a plan in mind and can create any social updates, images or other assets as required. For example, when our team creates a blog post, we create two Pinterest images with it, knowing we’ll be using them in the coming weeks. That little bit of foresight saves time (and money) later!

Are you ready to start promoting and not just publishing your posts? Make this a priority for 2016 and you’ll reap the benefits of greater traffic and more of your content being seen.  And you can get an extra hand with your blogging for the New Year by signing up for the Blog Planner Kit below.

blog planner toolkit


3 Strategic Blogging Tips for 2016

blog 12.3

There are a lot of things in business that feel like a grind because you have to keep repeating them over and over and over again.

Take for instance, writing blog posts. This is a pain point for most business owners because they 100% know the value of publishing on the regular, but it takes time, energy and a plan to actually make it happen.

And while you know all of that, your blogging may still look something like this:

Night before the day you usually publish. It’s getting late. I’ve got NO ideas. In fact, as I sit here trying to conjure up a post idea, ideas are as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster. And really, I just want to eat popcorn and watch Scandal.  And whoops, hold on, what do you mean it’s midnight? (As you wake up hugging the popcorn bowl after a power nap on the couch.)

Two weeks since your last blog post.  Still not sure what to blog about. Well, I’ve not blogged for a couple weeks, so what the hell, what’s another week? I’ll get to it later because there’s sooooo much other stuff. (Blogging avoidance going on right here, because if you’re cleaning out the linen closet instead of blogging, that’s a sign.)

One month before you need to launch. Oh crap, I’ve not blogged for 12 weeks. Now I need to find a way to blog to warm people up for my launch, and I’ve not emailed my list, and OMG, I’m gonna look like a total d-bag.  (And yes, now you’re going to look skeevy and your community may feel like a ATM.)

The truth is, if you’re going to blog, you need to show up consistently and deliver the goods. The proverbial goods being high quality content, great value and a regular message in your subscriber’s inboxes.

But how do you make that all happen?

With a new year on the way, and blogging in your sights for 2016,  now’s the time to lock in your blogging plan so you’re not avoiding your blog come January 1st.  Get started with these three blogging tips:

#1.  Start by Mapping Out Your Goals

If every week you’re picking a topic out of the air, let’s face it – the content you’re creating isn’t as strategic as it could be.

Blogging is part of your content marketing strategy, and that strategy should be supporting your business goals.

Maybe the goal is to grow your email subscriber base, book more clients or boost your bottom line, but your content needs to have a specific goal in mind.  Sure, your content can entertain, but it also should be tied to a clear business goal.

Once you’ve figured out your goals, then you can start to reverse-engineer your content. For example, going into the launch of the Inside Scoop Academy: Marketing School this year, all of my blog content was related to topics we would cover in the course including conversions, storytelling, copywriting, email marketing and more. The goal was to get my readers thinking about those areas of their marketing in a new way and open them up to my approach.

With clear goals for your blogging, creating content gets a whole lot easier as you’re able to see exactly what your readers need from you.  The purpose of each piece of blog content is to be a key part of the customer journey.

#2. Execute Quarterly Content Storming

Your goals are ready, so now you’re on the way to better blogging. But before you get carried away creating an editorial calendar, please close that Google spreadsheet.

Before you create that editorial calendar, you need a big dose of creativity.

The goal isn’t just to create content and check it off the list.  The real goal is to create the type of content your readers can’t resist, makes your business stand out and serves a real need.  Also, to create content that isn’t so cliched or vanilla that your people roll their eyes when they see it in their inbox.

Which is why you need to put at least an hour or two each quarter on the calendar for a Content Storming session.

This is a brainstorming session where you go wild and just come up with ideas.  The end result is to create a stockpile of blogging ideas for use in the weeks and months to come by answering questions such as:

  • What core themes are important to my clients and business?
  • What business goal(s) does each theme support?
  • What are five topics for each of my themes?
  • What are the FAQs I get from my community and clients?
  • What are the top things people need to know about what I’m offering?
  • What are three things that I feel strongly about?

My favorite way to content storm is to get in my office, play some tunes I love and then bust out my sticky notes. As I answer each question, each one goes on a sticky note. From there I can organize them to see how 12 weeks of content can come together and support my business goals in the process.

From there, I then place them into an editorial planner document that my team uses for the quarter as part of our overall content plan.

Get Your Free Blog Planner Kit Now


#3. Create a Blog Process that Holds You Accountable

Having ideas for each week’s post isn’t enough to make sure you actually write and publish your posts. Which is why I recommend you create some type of blog post process that holds you accountable. If you have a Virtual Assistant (VA), clearly document the steps and deadlines for each part of the process. It may seem like a lot of “needless” work, but you’ll be thanking me once you have weeks of content actually published. In my case, I know I have to write my posts by the end of the day on Monday to ensure that my communications coordinator Lizzie has time to prepare them for publishing on Thursday. Many times I’m ahead of that schedule, but knowing it’s due to someone helps me ensure it gets done on the weeks where I’m tempted to bail. If you’re a party of one, this is the perfect thing to work with an accountability partner on.  Make a plan to exchange blog posts each week so you both actually publish them. And if you don’t have an accountability partner, get one for the new year. It can be a peer or a friend, but it needs to be someone who will hold you to what you commit to getting done. (Think of them as your gym buddy, but for your biz.) That’s it – three steps that can help you get on your way to better blogging in 2016.  Get your blogging ready for 2016 with the FREE Blog Planner Kit full of templates and more to get you on your way to better blogging.


10 Pain-Free Ways to Improve Your Copywriting


There are a lot of things you can outsource in your business, but your copy may not be one of them.

You’re probably sitting here thinking, “Wait, I thought Maggie wrote copy? Shouldn’t she be telling me all the reasons why I must hire a copywriter?”

In the perfect world, you can hand off your writing to a pro. But the truth is that most businesses can’t hand off all of their copy. The sheer volume of copy that needs to be created from blog posts to emails to websites – the list goes on and on.

Unless you’ve got a pretty healthy monthly run rate, hiring a copywriter for ALL of these things is likely not realistic.

And while we’re talking price, a great copywriter isn’t going to cost $99. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Not all copywriters are created equal. There’s a wide variety of experience ranging from people with years of pro writing to those who magically decided last week they were going to hang out their shingle.

Then there’s many different types of copywriters and it’s one hell of a specialized skill set. Know what you’re looking for: there’s a big difference between a hard core conversions copywriter who tests everything and someone who writes fluffy prose that says it converts.

Same thing goes for personality-driven copy. A writer needs to be able to channel YOUR personality and not just give you copy that’s in their voice. When someone can read your copy and know immediately who wrote it, that’s a problem.

Hiring a copywriter is sort of like dating in the age of Tinder. It’s complicated. But the bottomline is, like it or not, copywriter on speed dial (or not), you’re going to need to do some of your own writing.

Before you write another word, here are my 10 power tips to improve your copywriting now – all designed to help copywriting be pain-free (and maybe even enjoyable).

1. It’s Not All About You

The cardinal sin of copywriting is failing to understand that the copy isn’t all about you. Your copy needs to be written to meet the specific needs of your reader.

So if your about or home page leads with your qualifications or what you do, you’ve got it all dead wrong. The truth is your reader doesn’t care about you at all until you answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” Then, and only then, will they want to know about your qualifications and how you can help them.

2. Get Your Story Straight

Storytelling can be a powerful tool, but resist the urge to engage in sharing epic stories about your entire life history.

The goal of storytelling should be to create a cohesive thread that shares the stories of your background, your customers and what you believe. By focusing on those areas, you can ensure your storytelling efforts add value and create connection – and don’t have you jumping around like you’re sitting at the campfire sharing stories after one too many bottles of Wild Berry Cooler.

3. Make it Conversational

In the simplest terms, write like you talk. Unless you’re writing for lawyers and every other word is the f-bomb, then you may want to reconsider. The intent behind the concept of being conversational is ensuring that you sound like a human and not a nameless, faceless robotic corporation.

When it comes to conversational copy, you’ll need to find a line that works for your business when it comes to using expletives and slang. Find a way that’s aligned with how you really speak and isn’t just for dramatic effect because there’s nothing worse than finding out that the person behind the snarky or quippy blog posts actually has as much personality as a pair of tube socks.

Your mission is to create content that would match up with what you’d sound like if the reader were to call you right now. Run your copy through a filter to save yourself from overdoing or faking it.

4. Headlines that Hook

The adage “you’ve got one chance to make a first impression” applies to your headline.

If the title of your page or blog post totally blows, it’s unlikely that readers are going to keep reading. Don’t let your headline be an afterthought – instead, practice writing multiple options for each piece of content.

In my PR days when I was writing a lot of press releases, we’d often write five or more headlines when we created a draft release. A large part of the time spent writing a press release was on the headline, and the same goes with newspaper and magazine articles. Your headline is your invitation, your promise to the reader, so don’t slap something on there and call it good.

Not convinced? BuzzFeed writers create 25 headlines for each post and test them extensively. The headline matters, so don’t leave it to chance.

5. Speak Your Tribe’s Language

Every tribe, every niche, every industry has it’s own jargon, vocabulary and terminology. All of these things are shorthand that can help you create trust  with your readers.

By speaking their language, they see you as knowledgeable, so when you’re writing, give careful consideration to the best way to communicate your point.

If you’re not sure exactly how to do this, pay attention to what your clients say to you. Do they use a particular word or term to describe their problem? Do they focus on specific challenges over others? Start there.

But remember, keep jargon to a minimum, or it can quickly turn copy that connects and copy that’s unintelligible.

6. Write for the Web

Writing for the web is different than other mediums. Readers on the web are skimmers (aka lazy readers), so you need to structure your content for maximum readability.

Use short paragraphs, lots of subheads to break up your copy, and bullets to help make copy skimmable. Sort of like what you see in action with this post.

7. Authority Rules

Write with authority and confidence. If you’re wishy-washy and your content isn’t definitive, you’re creating a question in the mind of your readers. The question being, “Can I really trust what he/she is saying?”

Copy needs to be confident and convince your readers that you know what the hell you’re talking about. Avoid the use of statements such as “I think,” which qualify what you’re saying.

Another thing that can trip you up is the use of complex language or big words. It doesn’t make you seem smart; it can easily make you sound pretentious. You don’t need to dumb it down for your audience, but don’t go out of your way to find big words that get you a high score if you’re playing Scrabble either.

Also, watch for buzzwords. They can make you seem like you’re trying too hard to be in-the-know.

8. Don’t Botch the Call to Action

If the headline is your promise, your call to action is where you seal the deal. Each piece of copy you create should have a specific purpose or goal, and that should be expressed in the call to action.

Avoid lame-o calls to action like click here and read more. You can do better to invite people into the next step. Have fun with it and make it so they can’t resist taking action.

9. Learn the Art of Persuasion

Great copy requires you to woo your readers and connect with them on a deeper level. Which is where the art of persuasion comes in.

While it may seem that rallying your readers into action is complicated, it’s simpler than most people realize. Gaining knowledge about how humans are hardwired can help you make better decisions on what to include in your copy.

If you want to learn more about persuasion, read Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, which breaks down the six principles of persuasion in detail: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity.

10. Get Edited

Everyone needs an editor. Even editors get their writing edited.

When you’re writing copy, you’re simply too close to the content and you’ll likely miss things. If you’re not working with someone who can edit for you, get someone on your team, recruit a friend or family member to proofread your work. Also, build time into your copywriting process to create breathing room so you can come back to content to fine-tune it later.

What’s one tip on this list you can go away and work on next time you sit down to write copy for your business? Share below.

[clickToTweet tweet=”10 power tips for improving your copywriting NOW (new blog post)” quote=”10 power tips for improving your copywriting NOW (new blog post)”]

Introducing the New Simplify Your Homepage Guide 

simplify-your-homepageAs a small business, you can’t leave your visitor’s experience on your website to chance. Which is why your homepage needs to hook your visitors so they stick around and ultimately take action by signing up for emails, booking an appointment or purchasing from you.

The biggest mistake most small businesses make when it comes to their homepage is having too much going on and not being clear about what actions the visitor should take next.


blogging customer experience

The Big Problem with Your Blog

blog 6.25

You find yourself staring at a blank Google doc. Time: 12:22 a.m. It’s the night before you need to publish your weekly blog post.

You’ve got nothing. And you’re so tired.

Things are going to play out one of two ways at this point:

1. You write something to just get this off your list for another week. It’s not your best content, but it’s something.

2. You decide sleep is way more important and you skip another week of blogging. Soon weeks becomes months.

Houston, you have a problem with your blogging. Either of these approaches totally misses the point.

Why Are You Blogging Anyways?

It’s time for a quick recap. Blogging isn’t designed to be a repetitive task that tortures you week in, week out. Or to test your late night creative writing skills.

The point of blogging is to create content that connects with your audience. Content that people want to read and attracts them to your site. Most of all,  your content is there to help move people along their journey in your business. Your goal should be to get the right content to the right person at the exact right time.

Once you’ve mapped out your customer experience, you’ll have a good start on figuring out what your clients really and truly need from you.

Typically your content should fall into one of three categories:

Inform: Answer what they need to know to take the next step. What can you teach them to get them to the point where they want to work with you? How can you deliver value so they grow to know, like and trust you?

Engage: Eventually you want your readers to go from just consuming information to being open to engaging further. What do they need to know to get to this stage? How can you engage and encourage them? How do you break down and eliminate objections?

Challenge: Throughout your customer’s journey, you’ll need to create content that stretches what they know, pushes them in new ways and opens their minds so they can go further. How can you challenge their beliefs? Inspire them to stretch themselves?

The idea is that each piece of blog content you create supports a business goal and, ideally, a step in your customer experience map. Now if that sounds like way more work, I’m not going to sugar coat it ﹘ it’s definitely going to take some work, but the point is to create content that actually helps you meet your business goals.

Blogging randomly on a hodge podge of topics does nothing to help you actually build your business, and if that’s your plan of attack, I challenge you to figure out if you should keep blogging.

Tough love, I know. But if you have zero love for your blog, give it no love and won’t hire someone to love it up for you, WTF is the point?

You’ve got options. There’s no rule that says you need to blog. By sucking at blogging, you’re doing more harm than good. You’re attracting the wrong kind of clients and likely not much else.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you suck at blogging, you do more harm than good. #stopit @magspatterson” quote=”When you suck at blogging, you do more harm than good. #stopit @magspatterson”]

Fixing Your Blogging Problem, Stat

If you’ve decided to stop this late night blogging rubbish, it’s time to fix your blogging problem.

Here’s how to make that happen:

#1. Map Out Your Customer Experience

Yes, I know, broken record. But get busy. This matters. You can find the step-by-step process for creating a customer experience map here.

#2. Determine Your Big Business Priorities for the Next Six Months

Blogging gets a whole lot easier once you know what’s happening in your business. Yes, things change. And sure, you’re going to add something in or kill off your last brainwave, but consider this a starting point.

Ask questions including:

  • What are you promoting, launching or selling?
  • What are common objections to each of these products or services?
  • What triggers people to buy?
  • What do people need to know to make a purchase?
  • Are you building your email list? What do they need to hear from you?
  • What do people need to know about your business?
  • How can you inject more storytelling and personality?

Start sketching out those answers and you’ll start to percolate with blog post ideas.

#3. Bring on the Content Storm

You’ve heard of brainstorming, right? Well, same idea, but for your blog content ﹘ so think of it as your content storm. You won’t need an umbrella but you’re going to need a little time to sift through all of your ideas.

Post-it notes are my secret weapon. Start by writing out ideas in line with your customer experience map, the categories and questions above. After that, start by sorting them into themes or patterns where you see them.

I find for a lot of my clients, having an overarching editorial theme by quarter or month helps them keep the blog content on track and doesn’t feel constrictive if a new idea comes up.

For example, if you’re a health coach, you may decide July is Summer Fun Month and focus on out-of-the-box workout and nutrition ideas all month long. This would help position you as someone who’s innovative and trustworthy, while both informing and hopefully engaging readers.

So, what’s it going to be? A little planning now to save you? Or keeping up with late night blogging hell and content that’s wasting space on your website? The choice is yours, blogger!

Introducing The Content Brewery

If you’ve decided you’re totally in for blogging, but OMG you need help, I’ve got you covered. I’ve brought together some of my most popular services in a single offering that I’m debuting this week.

The Content Brewery helps you create a master game plan for your blog and email content for six months at a time. Imagine, bringing in a pro (that’s me!) to help you sort through what to focus on for your blog, what your email opt-in should be and even what to write in those autoresponder emails you’ve been ignoring.

The Content Brewery is $100 off until June 30th. Limited spaces are available for Summer 2015.