Time Management Secrets from the Trenches!


One of the questions I get asked all of the time is – How in the world do you do it all? 

And I get it. I’m a mom of 7 kids. I’m a pastor’s wife. I’m the director or our Christian School. And as a fractional COO for my VIP clients, I help manage the day to day operations and behind the scenes management of 6 and 7 figure launches. In fact, lately, my ninja team of marketing experts has been handling 2-3 launches simultaneously per WEEK! 

So what’s the secret? Read on.

Time Management Tip #1: Live By Your Calendar

For over a decade I have lived religiously by my Google Calendar. Google calendars are awesome because it is always accessible whether I am on my phone or in front of my computer. It allows you to easily make recurring appointments. And you can have multiple calendars that you can use to schedule different types of activities or appointments. 

Here is how I do it…. 

#1 Block off personal time and family time. This is the time for exercise, morning Bible study, and prayer, lunch, and dinner with the kids, etc.  

#2 Block off time to go to church. Not only do I block off the times of the actual church service times but also the time it takes to get ready to go and drive there and back! 

#3 Schedule time to work “on my business”. I block off 2 blocks of 90 minutes to work on content development and strategy for my own business first thing in the morning. After the first block of time, I have a quick check-in with my team, social media, and email to make sure no fires need to be put out and then go back to the 2nd block of time. 

#4 Batch work. Mondays are for client meetings for my VIP clients. Tuesdays are for teaching. I schedule coaching calls for my students as well as the FB Lives I do in my groups for Tuesdays. Wednesday and Thursday are days to work on client work or internal projects. Fridays I try to wrap up by noon to take an early weekend and spend more time with the kids.

#5 Schedule everything. Every single time I need to do something, it immediately goes on the calendar when I plan to work on that item. If it does not go on the calendar, there is close to a zero chance that it will get done. This also helps me to see immediately that every time I say “yes” to something I am saying “no” to something else. For example, before committing to something, I can check my calendar and see where it can be fit in. Since family and church time is already blocked off, if there is not any more time left on the calendar to fit something in, I have a choice. I can move something around, I can spend less time with my family, or I can let the person know that it won’t be done till the next week. Pretty much everything can be scheduled. 

Time Management Tip #2: Delegate Everything. 

Anything that someone else can possibly do should be delegated. Clean the house? Delegate. Cook healthy lunches and dinners? Delegate. Iron clothes? Delegate. Before we had a Christian school I learned to delegate “homeschooling” of our 7 kids by hiring a private teacher. 

What was never delegated… sitting on the floor and playing with my kids!  

Delegation is not just asking someone else to do your job or to do a task. For business tasks, I have a 4 step process I follow.

Step 1: Do it myself

Step 2: Create a system

Step 3: Train someone to follow my system

Step 4: Delegate once my system is mastered

What most people do is skip to step #4 without doing steps 1-3! That almost never works! 

Time Management Tip #3: Extreme Focus.

Block off 2-4 sets of blocks of time per day to do focused work. While you are working during that time, log out of all of your social media accounts, your communication channels, your task management, everything. Then focus on working for a straight block of time without getting distracted with anything else. 

If just getting started, you might find you can only work for 20 minutes at a time before being overcome with the temptation to “check-in”. That’s fine. Work for 20 minutes, check-in for 5 minutes, then repeat 3-6 times a day.

After doing that for a while, work in 45-minute batches before checking-in.  After mastering that level, increase it to 90 minutes.

After you work for 3-4 blocks of 90 minutes a day on your deep level content creation or strategy, you will find that you are getting more done in a week than you used to do in a month (or even months). 

So what are your time management tips? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

7 Traffic Strategies To Bring Visitors To Your Site, Fill Your Funnels, And Get More Sales!


I have a website that does not generate enough visitors yet. What strategy would you recommend for getting new visitors to the site?

There are 7 main ways to get visitors to the site.

  • Organic Traffic
  • Social Traffic
  • Paid Traffic
  • Direct Traffic
  • Referral Traffic
  • Email Traffic
  • Other Traffic

Let’s start with organic traffic first. Organic traffic is the traffic that you get from people finding your site naturally. For example, someone that goes to the search engines, types something in, your site pops up on the first page of the search results, they click on your search listing and go to your site. This is called organic traffic because people are finding your site naturally.

The second type of traffic is social traffic. Social traffic is traffic that comes to your site from one of the social media sites such as FB, Twitter, LI, YouTube, and many other sites. Your customers are hanging out on the social media sites, sharing pictures, talking to their friends, sharing their thoughts, and see the things that you are posting on the sites, find it interesting, and then click through the links you share to go to your site. This is social traffic because it is traffic that goes to your site from social media sites.

The third type of traffic is paid traffic.  Paid traffic is traffic that comes to your site as a result of a paid advertising campaign. Most of the online platforms have a way for you to run paid ads on their sites that allow you to target your ideal customer. The top two platforms used for advertising are Facebook and Google. Facebook is best for when you want to get your product or service in front of a group of people that are not necessarily searching for your product or service. Google advertising is best for when you have a large audience of people searching for your product or service in search engines.

The fourth type of traffic is direct traffic. Direct traffic is when someone has heard of your website and types the exact URL into the search engines to find your site. Maybe a friend told them about your site or they heard it on a podcast.

The fifth type of traffic is referral traffic. Referral traffic is what the name implies. Traffic that comes to your site from some type of referral. Sometimes if people like your content, they will link out to it from their websites or social media platforms. Other times you can set up a formal affiliate program so that people can get credit for any sales they send to your site. Other times you can do a joint venture project with someone to be on their podcast or teach something within someone else’s Facebook group or members area and in exchange, they link out to your site.

The sixth type of traffic is email traffic. This is traffic that comes to your site as a result of your email campaigns. This is normally traffic from your own email list. So for example, if you have a list of 20,000 emails inside of your email marketing platform such as Infusionsoft or Active Campaign, when you send an email to your list and link to your site and they click on the link, you are sending traffic from your email list.

The seventh type of traffic is “other” traffic. If you look at a traffic report for your site you will always see an “other” category. This is traffic that came to the site but the source could not be tracked or accounted for. Usually, it is the smallest traffic source because today, almost anything can be tracked.

Not all traffic is created equal. 

Now that we’ve figured out that there are 7 types of traffic, the question is – which one should I focus on first?

The answer is… that depends!

I’ve ranked traffic in the order of how well it converts!

Email traffic is traffic that is already on your email list so this traffic will convert higher than any other traffic. This does not mean that if you have a large email list that you will have a lot of sales. You need to have an engaged email list that is actively opening and clicking on your emails. The way to do this is to always be sending awesome content to your list that will make them want to open the emails.

Next is direct traffic. Since people are coming to your site by typing in the exact URL of your site, they are looking not just for what you have to offer but specifically looking for YOU. They might have heard about you on a podcast, read a book, or just remembered that they found your site a long time ago and are now ready to do business with you.

Next is organic traffic. Even though this is 3rd on the list, organic traffic is usually the best source of traffic because it does not depend on if you have an email list or not and it is something that you can control. You can’t really control direct traffic because you can’t control when or how a person will type your web address into the search engine to find you! So organic traffic will convert the most, but it is also the hardest to get when first starting out. That’s why many people choose the next traffic source.

Paid traffic. Paid traffic is one of the easiest to acquire traffic sources – but potentially the hardest to get a return on investment on. It requires a lot of trial and error and testing to find a winning funnel – but once you do, you will be gold! In my ACTion Method training, I teach about the 3 funnels that you need to be able to get an ROI on your paid advertising campaigns.

Referral Traffic. Referral traffic is awesome because people are already pre-sold on your offer as they are coming from a source that they know, like or trust. Referral traffic can convert higher than paid traffic but it is also harder to come by which is why it is ranked after paid traffic.

Social Traffic works well if you have the right strategy. The challenge is that the best strategies involve a lot of time to have real conversations and develop real relationships. The days of mass publishing the same content to multiple platforms so people would see your awesome content, click on it, and go to your site – are numbered.

So what traffic strategy are you going to focus on first? Let me know by posting a comment below!

Can Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans Strategy Really Build Me a Six-Figure Business?

Can Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans Strategy-blog

Recently, a colleague cited the research of Kevin Kelly and an article titled 1,000 True Fans. The premise of his research is very simple: If you develop a business based on 1,000 people who buy only $100 / year from you, you will earn $100,000 / year from these fans.

Could this marketing strategy work? What if I multiplied it by, say, 5,000 people?

A true fan was described as someone who gave their full support; they purchased everything that you created. There would also be a second tier of supporters that purchased some of your products.

And while this strategy could never work for large enterprises, like Nike, it’s certainly a viable option for the coaching industry, with proven case studies for musicians like Jill Sobule (he mentions her results in the article) also making a case for creative professionals.

How would I successfully execute the 1,000 True Fans Strategy?

“The Riches Are In the Niches” & Your Ideal Audience Will Sense Your Focus

A recent Blogging Tips article discussed the top 10 new blogging topics entering the market. In 2013 alone, 328,763 photography blogs popped up on the internet.

To be candid, niches are absolutely necessary to differentiate you from the competition. It’s not enough to simply have a photography blog these days. It’s imperative to have an “Animals Photography Blog,” etc.

When you consider your 1,000 true fans:

  • What is the glue that will draw your community together?
  • Where do they hang out? How can I reach this community?
  • What’s missing for them that you can solve with your product / service?
  • How do you speak specifically to them & what language do you use?
  • Who do they know that could be a second-tier connection for you?

Your Outreach Strategy Is Everything: Be Aware of the Best Ways to Implement Your Marketing Initiatives.

Kevin Kelly went on in his research to express the real differentiator of having true fans; you are required to reach out personally and touch them.

In a fast-paced digital world, we’re all being bombarded by marketing messages. What will make your messages special?

  • Speak directly to your audience Let fans into your world with insider stories and pictures. While it seems shallow, people enjoy knowing about your life; it makes you relatable. Advice in Action: Oprah’s Favorite Things list is a coveted prize for many retailers. Google a few of the successes she’s created over the years.
  • Get vulnerable (while staying authentic to who you are) Opening up about painful, frustrating, or highly emotional journeys let your fans rally together to support you. Advice in Action: Gerald Rogers Facebook post about his divorce quickly went viral – earning him a spot on the Today show and a coveted pedestal as a relationship expert.
  • Give away special offers, like a signed copy of your book or tuition discounts The better the offer the more likely fans are to tell others that they won. Don’t forget to highlight the winner.  Advice in Action: Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love recently raised thousands of dollars for a charity by having lunch with one lucky silent auction winner.
  • Make your marketing something people have to open You’ll want to make these offers valuable and time-sensitive. Don’t do them too often, or the buzz will wear off. Advice in Action: “The first five people to email me get an exclusive VIP virtual lunch meeting with me.”

You Can Go Deeper or Wider with Your Niche When Building a Community of Fans.

First, let’s discuss going deeper. The best way to picture this concept is as a funnel. At the top, you have the most superficial topic, narrowing down into specific niches:

  • What is Facebook & Why You Need It
  • Facebook Business Pages: Design & Strategy
  • How to Increase Your List by 1,000 Using Facebook
  • 25 Facebook Experts Give You Their Best Advice on Facebook
  • 38 Buttons on Facebook You Didn’t Even Know Existed
  • Exactly How to Create a Targeted Custom Audience Step by Step

At the top of our funnel, we’re giving basic information within a niche. We will build a highly targeted audience of fans who want to become experts in Facebook. This is the only targeted group we will attract since we have dug into advanced concepts very deeply.

Now, how can we go wider? Instead of being Facebook experts, we could be social media experts and choose to have a varied offering of multiple social media teachings.

In this instance, we’d teach Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ (while it’s still around), YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example The net goes to a larger audience of social media folks.

How Does This Research Resonate With YOU?

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog. As you know, our business mindset is one of the most difficult pieces of success for us to conquer.

What do you think about Kevin Kelly’s idea? Do you think this concept would, or would not, work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Is Your Online Marketing Strategy Stale?

Things online change quickly. Two years ago, Google changed its search engine algorithm and left businesses scrambling to regain their place in search results. More recently, SERP stopped showing author photos and videos. Why? Because they stopped standing out distinctly from other search results. Everybody caught on and implemented the same strategy. And LinkedIn now allows users to post blogs on their profile. (If it hasn’t rolled out to you yet, it will. Hold tight!)

online marketing strategy
If your online marketing strategy doesn’t stay current, your company will be left behind, missing traffic and losing business. Here are four ways to update your online marketing to keep up with the times.

Traffic > Links


Gone are the days when search engine optimization was based on the number of links to your site. Why? Because Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines strive to provide the best search results possible. Links from article directories, blog comments, link wheels and foreign links just aren’t natural.

In the past links were king, but let’s be honest. You don’t really care about links; you want traffic to your website. Traffic is what brings leads that convert into customers! The only people who read article directories were other people using article directories to get links. Those links didn’t provide traffic. You want real, natural links not manufactured ones.

So how do you go about getting natural links? I’ll tell you. You produce high quality content that people will want to like, share and comment on. Then you market that content in newsletters, on social media and in other strategic places that will bring traffic.

A great way to get traffic is to be quoted or cited on another site. Sites like HARO, PitchRate and ReporterConnect give you the opportunity to share your expertise in exchange for a link back to your site. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Focus on educating potential clients about why they need your product or services rather than on acquiring links. Traffic is better than links.

Podcasts: Voice Your Expertise

podcastYour website is optimized. You have a blog that’s updated regularly with high quality content. You’re active on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You focus on getting traffic rather than links to your website. Think you’ve maximized your online marketing opportunities? Think again.

If you’re not doing a podcast, you’re missing out on an entirely different audience of potential customers. Just like there are some people who prefer talk radio to hip-hop or jazz, there are some Internet users who prefer podcasts to social media. You don’t want to leave them for your competitor to find. Set up regular podcasts.

Because podcasts are a different medium than blog posts or video, you can use the same content on your podcast that you used on your video. No sense reinventing the wheel. (I’ll talk more about this content creation strategy in a future post. Be on the lookout!)

Email Laws: Don’t Be an Accidental Spammer

You know those opt-in forms you use on your website to obtain email addresses for your list? (If you don’t have them, you should!) They’re a great marketing tool and help significantly with automation. However, laws in places like Canada require explicit permission to send emails. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the opt-in forms, but it does mean you need to add another step in your automation process to ask permission before putting those folks on your email list.

Nobody likes spammers. Don’t be one. Stay current with Internet laws anywhere you may have customers.

Mobile Marketing

mobile marketing

Quick survey. How many of you are reading this on your phone or tablet right now? Statistically speaking that number is pretty high. Is your website designed to be seen on mobile devices? If people can’t see the entire width of the page without scrolling, they’ll get frustrated and leave. When they leave, you’ve lost a potential customer.

There is a difference between being mobile friendly (like a blog) and mobile designed. For example, is your website designed so that a visitor can click to call? If you’re a local business, is there map integration to help customers find you on the go?

As smartphones get smarter and smarter, your website will need to change to accommodate the number of mobile visitors. Choosing not to change or adapt will be detrimental to your business in the long run, if not the short run.

Need Help?

Not sure how to implement the necessary updates to your online marketing? Can’t seem to keep up with all the latest changes? Let us help with web design, content creation or traffic. The ROI and time saved will make you glad you did.

Copywriting Basics for Business Owners

copywriting for websites

With any website, the more you can make it interactive and user friendly the better it will be.  Take a moment and consider your favorite website.  When you’re sitting on the couch in the evening watching television, what website do you surf?  Why do you surf it?

Conversely, when you’re looking for information on the web, what sites turn you off?  What websites do you leave immediately?

Chances are the difference between a website that causes you to linger and spend hours of your time exploring and a website that is forgotten as soon as you click away, is the level of interactivity available.

It doesn’t matter how modern and interactive the web gets, you still need to know this stuff.


Copywrighting That Sells


Use attention-getting, benefit-driven headlines

What is the one thing your prospect really wants from your product? Highlight that in your big, bold headline.


Break up your copy further by using bolded subheadlines to show separate sub-sections of your sales page. It makes it easier to read and can grab the attention of someone who is scanning and about to leave your page.

Bullet points

Bullet points are also your copy’s best friend. Bullet points are easy to scan and read. Use bullet points to tap into the pain your prospect may be facing, illustrate benefits and more.

Write directly to your audience

When writing copy for a sales page, email or anyone else, imagine your ideal prospect on the other side of the screen. Say “you” and focus on your reader more than yourself.

We all know Internet users have a short attention span, so it stands to reason, if you’re talking about yourself…they will just tune out. But if you’re talking to them and about them, they’re more apt to listen.

Know and continue to learn about your target

Even though we think we have a good understanding of our target market, there is always so much more to learn. Keep studying them, asking them question and tracking subjects and products of interest to them to grow your knowledge.

Include enough information to make a purchase decision

Sometimes we might worry about copy being too long, but it’s not length that’s important. It’s about providing enough information on your sales page that fully illustrates the benefits of the product, answers many of the frequently asked questions and even overcomes many of your prospect’s objections. Don’t be wordy as that’s not necessary…be useful and complete.

Be casual

Obviously, there may be some markets where a casual approach is inappropriate, but you’ll generally find that if you write how you speak, you can connect with your audience effectively. Avoid jargon in most cases and speak in plain old simple English.

Short, non-complex sentences, short paragraphs

Just as you want to avoid jargon, you want to keep your sentences simple and break up your paragraphs as well. Short chunks of text are easier to read, scan and grab the attention of your visitor.


Keep your visitor reading through your sales page by including transitions between paragraphs and sections of your page.

Some examples of transitions:

o   And most importantly…

o   As you may already know…

o   As you may have noticed…

o   Aside from that, one thing’s for sure…

o   Bottom line is…

o   Here’s exactly why…

o   I’ll let you in on a little secret…

o   I’m sure you’ll understand…

o   In fact…

o   Just imagine…

o   Let me ask you this…

o   Let me explain…

o   The next step is…

o   Today, more than ever…

o   To prove it, here’s…

o   You’re gonna love this

Power Words


Power words are part of an emotionally-charged language that is used to influence your reader. People react and buy with emotion, and these are words that help elicit emotion. They are often action words and create a mental picture for your reader.

Power words can be used everywhere in your copy. Here are a few examples:

  • action-oriented
  • advanced
  • all-in-one
  • amazing
  • breakthrough
  • complete
  • easy to understand
  • free
  • important
  • improved
  • latest
  • limited
  • low-cost
  • no strings attached
  • on demand
  • proven
  • responsive
  • save
  • time-tested
  • transform

Of course, how you put this together on a page is very important. Pages need to be well-designed to keep the user’s attention.

Keep Design Simple

The more information, ads, bells and whistles you display, the less likely your reader is to take action. Keep them focused on one topic and a specific conversion goal at one time. Whether it’s to sign up for your list, grab a freebie or a buy a product, keep it focused.

As much as possible, keep the items on each page relevant to the actual topic of that page. This generally means keeping a tidy side bar or not having one at all. For sales pages, you may find your best choice is to remove sidebars.

White Space

Give a generous portion of your web design to nothing at all…white space. Having a clean design and plenty of space in margins makes it much easier for readers to concentrate on your content and sales message and content.

Limit Navigation

It’s natural instinct to want to showcase all our great content and information, but excessive navigation simply causes confusion and lack of action. If necessary, use sub-categories to eliminate the need for large and complex navigation systems. Navigation is important and people want interactivity on the web, but use it wisely and never overwhelm.

If you are trying to create navigation that makes it easy for search engine spiders to make their way through your content, use a site map or place the more complex navigation at the bottom of the page, where it doesn’t serve as a distraction for your visitor.

And don’t forget the extras. These are becoming more crucial elements to modern-day copy and content.


Use images to illustrate content and images. If they are virtual products, create virtual cover images or use other images that illustrate the benefits of the product. Images can create visual appeal, draw the eye in at key points of your copy and more.


Whether it’s a slide show presentation, demonstration or you talking to the camera, video is everywhere. It can demonstrate things text can’t and can also create a more personal connection with your visitor who can see you as a flesh and blood person. If you’re using it with sales copy, test different lengths, but you’ll likely do well with a short introductory video that gets your visitor interested in learning more about the product. Content videos can be longer, but experiment to see what keeps your visitor’s attention best.


Audio can also provide an introduction and create familiarity with your audience. Try a short introductory audio recording that invites your reader to learn more about your product or explore your website further. You can also use podcasts and webinars to deliver content-rich information.

With any website you have a few goals


  • You want to drive traffic to your website
  • You want to keep people at your website
  • You want to encourage people to return to your website
  • And you want them to make purchases.

These tasks are all still accomplished by the content that you provide.  Whether it is in the form of an advertisement placed on another website, information in the form of articles, tutorials, ebooks, reports, or blogs, or it is sales material you want to accomplish two main goals:

1.  You want to grab your prospects attention.  This is most often accomplished with a compelling benefit driven headline or subject line.

2.  You want to provide them a benefit.  This means that the content must provide quality information.

The ability to interact with your customers makes marketing, and marketing copy easier, more interesting, and significantly more effective that offering your prospects a standard brochure and hoping that they buy.

15 Podcasting Tips followed by the Experts

podcasting tips

Adding a podcast to your marketing mix and to your website is a valuable and economical marketing tool that can bring you fantastic results.  You’ll grow your target audience, build a community around your brand, product, or service, and – best of all – you’ll help people learn more.  Podcasts are a win-win for both you and your customer. There are a few tips that will help you improve your podcasting show. Follow these tips and be sure that you will be called a professional podcaster in no time.

Tip #1  Make sure you speak in a strong voice and add inflection.  If you sound like you’re uncertain about what you’re saying, your listeners will think so too.

Tip #2  Make sure that your broadcasting frequency is consistent.  You want people to make listening to your podcast a habit.

Tip#3  Offer variety.  Include different guests and formats if possible.  This will keep listeners intrigued and engaged.

Tip #4  Make sure that your podcast content is different from your blog content, articles and e-zine content.  Chances are that listeners will explore all of your content, and if it is redundant they will lose interest.


Tip #5  Focus on content, not sales pitches.  Your listeners will readily listen if you’re providing content that offers them a benefit.  However, if it’s merely a sales pitch you’ll lose them immediately.

Tip #6  Plan on Podcasting for the long haul.  Podcasters who “test” the medium with one or two podcasts lose out on the opportunity of building an audience.  Podcasting is a medium that builds an audience over time and a “test run” won’t give you the results you’re looking for.

Tip #7  Don’t read directly from your script.  Practice it a few times so that you know what you’re going to say and then let the podcast recording flow naturally.

Tip #8  Invite others to contribute to your podcast by calling in, speaking, or contributing topic ideas.

Tip #9  Include music at the beginning and end, and use the same music each time so that your audience begins to identify the music with your podcast.


Tip #10  Give each podcast a headline or title.  Make sure that it offers your audience a benefit such as “10 Tips to Lifelong Happiness.”

Tip #11  Podcasting is a very personal medium.  Talk to your audience like you’re talking to a friend, as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation.

Tip #12  Podcasting, like any marketing tool, needs to be tested and evaluated from time to time to make sure that you’re getting optimal exposure.  Track downloads and test headlines for open rates.  Track click through rates by sending audiences to specific web pages.  Many audio/podcasting services give you important statistics on downloads, play time and listens to completion.  This makes it easy to know if people are listening and enables you to make quick changes to meet what your audience demands.

Tip #13  If you’re uneasy writing a podcast or audio script, you can outsource the project by hiring a freelance writer to create your script.  Remember to personalize the script when you make your recording.

competitors analysis

Tip #14  Before you begin Podcasting, research your competition’s podcasts or audio files.  Find out what they do that you can do better and differently.

Tip #15  Before you begin Podcasting, visit and listen to numerous successful podcasts inside and outside of your industry.  What makes the good ones good?  What can you take away from the successful podcasts and make your own?

Don’t worry if the number of listeners you have is small in the beginning.  Podcasts are a medium and, like e-zines and blogs, tend to grow as word gets out.  The key is to get listeners “hooked” on your podcast so that they’re listening to every podcast regularly and talking to their friends and associates about it.  The best way to get them hooked is to provide great content.

Podcast Essentials: What You Need to Succeed

podcast essentials

The best way to increase the number of listeners you have is to tell everyone about your new podcast.  If you have an email newsletter, then promote, and link to your podcast in your emails.  If you have a blog, promote and link to your podcast there.  Include a signature “visit my podcast” or “listen here” in every email.  And of course, don’t forget to promote your podcast on your website!  Place a link to your podcast on your website, with a headshot photo, a call to action like ‘listen here” and an intriguing headline. Now, let’s check the technicalities for having a successful podcast:


The great thing about podcasting is that you can do it at home with a basic Mac or PC and an inexpensive microphone, but a better microphone will improve your sound quality. Some podcast hosting sites even make it possible to podcast with your cell phone.  You simply register with the service and create your podcasts by recording them when you’re on your cell phone.

If you want to kick it up a notch, there are several ways to set up a podcast recording “studio.”

For serious podcasters, the list of necessary equipment is as follows:

  • Microphone
  • Preamp
  • Digital recorder (or computer)
  • Headphones
  • Sound-editing software


Podcasting on a consistent schedule is important when building a community and a wider audience.  In fact, don’t expect your podcast to have a large audience in the beginning.  But with proper promotion, quality content and a regular schedule, your podcast audience will grow.  Many podcast audiences number in the thousands.

Decide, before you get started, how often you will be able to broadcast.  Each podcast will take time to script, rehearse and record.  You are likely to want to commit at least four hours of planning and production time for each podcast.


To determine how long your podcast should be, you’ll want to consider how frequently you’re going to broadcast, what content you’re delivering, and who your audience is.  For example, if you’re doing a daily podcast you would be likely to want to keep it short.  Five to ten minutes is a perfectly acceptable length for a daily.  It is enough time to offer an inspiration, a tip for the day or an insight.  If you’re doing a weekly and you know that your subscribers generally listen to your podcast on their drive to work, then a 20-30 minute podcast would fit perfectly into that time frame.


Great news!  Podcasts can actually be free.  If your computer came with a microphone or you use the cell phone type set-up, then you already have your recording equipment.  All you need is a podcast host and, like blogging hosts, many are offered for free.  Simply use your favorite search engine and you’ll find numerous choices.

Of course, for a few extra dollars you can find podcast hosts that offer sound editing software, more storage and unlimited bandwidth.  To choose the right podcast host, it really depends on how many podcasts you want to produce per month, how big they will be and what kind of subscriber base you are expecting for your shows.

music for podcast

Adding music/sounds to your podcast

Adding music to your podcast can:

1. Set the theme of your podcast
2. Prepare your listener for individual segments or features within your podcast
3. Entertain your listener

When selecting your music, remember to consider the theme of your podcast and your target audience.  Since each podcast is different and has a unique audience, the music used should reflect both.

Royalty-free music can be used in productions without recurring fees, i.e. without paying royalties  each time the music is played.  An alternative to royalty-free music is “podsafe” music.

Podsafe music is acquired by partnering with a musician and crediting their work during the podcast. Independent artists are making their compositions available as podsafe music in exchange for publicity and airplay. Sound effect libraries can be subscribed to for a modest fee, or podsafe CDs can be purchased and imported through your computer’s media player.

Naming Your Podcast

The name of your podcast is important.  It not only reflects your business and your brand identity, but it also needs to inspire people to download it, listen to it, and come back for more.  Choose a name for your podcast that matches your content topic.  People generally search for a particular subject when they visit podcast sites, like “meditation”, “marketing”, “investing” etc.

Like any other online content, publicity is all about using the right keywords.  Your podcast can have your company name on it but you should also consider having a secondary name.  Dating the podcasts is also suggested, because it helps subscribers organize them and know what is new content and what is old content. 

For customers that download onto their iPod or other MP3 player, they will see a 255 character id tag that scrolls across their screen.  Be sure to include your URL (and possibly your phone number as well) in thattitle.



Always script your podcast before you record it.  Make sure to outline your point or points first.  What message do you want to get across to your subscribers?  Make sure you are able to address this point accurately and completely in the time that you have allowed.  Make notes of where you want to add inflection.  Podcasts that are without inflection or a range of vocal emphasis are not interesting to listen to.  Add emotion to your voice; if you are excited about your material show it, and if you are discussing something serious or sad, let your voice demonstrate that too.

Don’t forget to plan pauses and breaths into your script and where you’re going to place your advertisements.  Advertisements work best when you can easily transition into them.

For example, “Speaking of making money online, head to our website now and save 10% on our new book 101 Ways to Save Money.”

Here’s a sample format outline:

  • Introductory music
  • Introduction of host or hosts
  • Host introduces topic (with an appealing title and teaser)
  • Couple of minutes of content
  • Advertisement
  • More content
  • Promotional mention of an upcoming seminar, sale or new product
  • Teaser for next podcast topic
  • Closing music


Make sure that your audio or video includes an easy to remember phone number, because many people will be listening to your offers while they’re driving or working out.  They won’t be able to simply click through to your website.  That being said, make sure you also include your URL in your call to action so that those that are listening on their computer can immediately visit your site.

Keep your advertisements short.  Listeners can easily ”fast forward” and not listen to your advertisements.  If you keep them to 10-15 seconds they won’t make the effort to skip over them.  Additionally, you should transition into them as you’re speaking so that the listeners aren’t  immediately aware that they’re listening to an ad.

Make sure that you keep the ads free of time constraints.  Due to the nature of a podcast, a person can listen to it today or six months from now.  If your advertisements have a “limited time offer” call to action, then you’ll miss out on a lot of potential customers.

Hook your audience with interesting content before you insert your ads.  Placing your ads in the beginning of your podcast can cause some listeners to tune out; however, if you’ve already hooked them with interesting information, they’ll listen to a quick plug to hear the rest of your information.


The use of a podcast or the format of your content is virtually limitless.  You can podcast on the following topics:

  • Instructions or training manuals of your products
  • Company news
  • Commentary on your industry or industry analysis
  • Creative endeavors like singing, reading poetry, reading fiction
  • Behind the scenes information
  • Interviews with experts
  • Seminars or workshops
  • Reviews on products or services
  • “How to” guides
  • From the field information
  • Lessons
  • Inspirations
  • Meetings or mastermind group discussions
  • Call in shows
  • Monologues
  • Dialogues or conversations
  • Quiz shows
  • News magazine format


Like any online tool, content is king.  In your podcast you absolutely must provide content that offers a benefit to your customers and target market.  A podcast that is simply an advertisement for your services may get listened to once but it won’t be revisited, and it won’t be forwarded to friends, family and associates.  However, a podcast that entertains and informs will grow and build your sales and your online presence.

Make sure that the content that you offer via your podcast differs from the content that you offer via your blog, newsletter or on your website.

7 Benefits of Podcasting for Small Businesses



If you’re not familiar with the term “Podcasting,” it is the use of audio or video to broadcast a message.  Though experts disagree on where the term came from (some say it came from a combination of the Apple iPod and the term “broadcast,” while others say it comes from “Public on Demand” + “Cast”), the medium is growing exponentially as a tool businesses use to communicate with customers and potential customers.

Think of it as an audio blog or an audio e-newsletter.  Like both of those tools, podcasts are an excellent and cost effective way to reach your target market in a personal and informative way.  Additionally, podcasts can be distributed through RSS format, which is a subscription service that announces and delivers the podcast to your subscribers like a blog or a newsletter.

One of the reasons for the popularity of podcasts is that users, your customers and your target market, are able to easily access the information and listen to it on their computer, phone, tablet or just about anywhere.


How you benefit from podcasting or adding audio/video to your website:

online marketing

1. Podcasts increase your marketing reach and online visibility.  You will expand your target market because different people prefer different mediums. Some customers like to read company information, others prefer videos or live communication and still others like to download your information and listen to it when they have time.  Many podcast users listen to downloaded podcasts on their way to work or while they’re working out.


2. Podcasts can improve your sales and conversion rates.  Podcasts are yet another way to reach your customers, and the one-on-one communication provides the kind of personal touch that customers crave.  People are more likely to buy from someone that they feel they have communicated with directly, and podcasts enable you to do just that.

email marketing

3. Podcasts provide a consistent line of communication with subscribed listeners.  It has been proven that regular communication with your customers improves both your overall relationship with them and their buying frequency.  A regularly distributed podcast can strengthen your relationship with your buyers and help to build a community with your customers.


4. Podcasts provide beneficial and value added content, which increases customer loyalty.  Podcasts can offer a different kind of content to what you can provide with a blog or an e-newsletter.  This kind of content can be extremely beneficial to your customers.

customer loyalty

5. Podcasts allow you to distribute industry news and trends, which sets you apart from your competition and establishes you as a respected leader in your niche or industry.  One of the best ways to get repeat purchases and loyal customers is to become the “expert” in your industry.  Once your business is established as the place to go for quality information, services or products, your profits will grow.


6Podcasting, or adding audio or video to your website and email messages, enables customers and prospects to access information in a more personal way.  You can add video or audio testimonials, quick “how to” segments, and even a special promotional message.  Adding audio or video is a unique way to add a personal touch to your website.


7A podcast or an audio file can be used as a giveaway to build your opt-in list.  Consider recording either an interview with an industry expert or a seminar or workshop, and then offering the audio file as a free download.  In return, you get their email address for future mailings.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

16 Strategies to Create A Successful and Effective Ebook


Ebooks are a valuable asset to any business owner. They range in length from ten pages to hundreds depending on your topic, your purpose and your audience. And they can be written on just about any topic under the sun.

The key to a successful and effective ebook is to make sure you write your book with your reader in mind. What do they have to gain from reading your book?

Give it a great title. Write it clearly so it’s easy to read and understand and create a product you are proud of.

Once your ebook is complete, you can use it to build credibility in your industry, to build business awareness and to drive profits.

#1 Choose a Tight Topic

The reason is twofold. It’s much easier to write thoroughly on a very narrow topic. For example, it’s easier to write a book on how to meditate with your dog than meditation. OR How to create a household budget rather than home finances.

The second reason for choosing a narrow topic is that it’s easier to offer value to your readers. Thus it’s easier to market your ebook.


#2 Solve a Problem

In addition to choosing a tight topic, it’s important that your book offers value. If the reader doesn’t benefit in some way from reading your book then they’re not going to buy it. Think about your customers and what their problems are. What topics might make good book topics?

For example, if your customers are pet owners, common pet problems can include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Grooming
    • Grooming behavior problems
    • Grooming tools 
  • Health
    • Obesity – How to help your dog/cat lose weight
    • Common skin problems and how to cure them 
  • Training
    • Dog housebreaking
    • Not using the litter box 

You see there are many potentially tight topics that can be found within any given problem. Make a list of the problems your customers commonly face and brainstorm book ideas that can solve these problems.

#3 Give It A Compelling and Attention-Grabbing Title

Prospects will make a decision about your book in just around twenty seconds. In that amount of time they have the opportunity to read your book title. If it intrigues them enough they’ll move onto a description of your book or look for more information. If it doesn’t attract their attention, they’ll move on.

What does an attention grabbing title include?  It promises a benefit, for example, “Learn How To Housebreak Your Dog In Three Days Flat.”

Think about these bestselling book titles:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
  • You Can Heal Your Life
  • The Purpose Driven Life
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The list could go on and on but you’re probably getting the point. The books make a promise or offer a benefit right in the title.


#4 Create a Format for Your Book

This may sound strange but once you’ve chosen your topic and have maybe chosen a few potential titles for your book, it’s time to sit down and start writing it. This means you need to come up with a structure for your book. We’re not using the word outline because this evokes memories of primary school and tedious, extremely structured, outlines. If this structure works for you by all means use it. If not, no worries. There are many other ways to go about it.

The easiest and often most effective is to use a question and answer style. We’ll use the example of a book on how to train for your first marathon. Your chapters might include the following (note they’re formatted as questions):

  1. What equipment do you need to run a marathon?
  2. How long does it take to train for a marathon?
  3. What is a good first marathon or how do you choose your first marathon?
  4. How do you fuel your body?
  5. What health problems should you expect when training and how do you treat them?
  6. Are you too old, fat or unhealthy to run a marathon?
  7. What can you expect from your first marathon?
  8. What should you know about running form?

Each of these topics can be chapters and each chapter can be further broken down into useful and easy to answer questions. For example for chapter one you could ask:

  • How do you choose running shoes?
  • What kind of socks work best?
  • Should you wear a heart rate monitor?

This is an easy format to work with as answering the questions makes it pretty straight forward. Once you have your outline worked out, all you have to do is fill in the necessary information.

There are however, other formats you can use to create your book. These include the How to format which generally follows a step-by-step process. You can also present it as a class or tutorial type format. The type of format you choose should match your topic and your audience. If you’re unsure, read a few ebooks or even print books and take a look at the format or style of them. You can use that as a guideline to create your ebook.

#5 Research Wisely

You can probably spend the rest of your life researching information for your book. This is because information changes and most of us are prone to procrastination. It’s easier to surf the web and read books than it is to write one.

However, research is likely going to be a part of your book writing process. You have one of two approaches here. Research the content in advance, after you’ve written your outline and know what you’re going to be writing on.

Or, start writing and leave space for where it feels more research is needed or where you’d like to cite a fact, provide data or fill in with a quote. This approach is often more expedient than the first, but it’s your choice.

It’s said that most successful novels are written at a primary school reading level. We’re talking third, fourth and fifth grade and that even the New York Times is written at around a sixth grade reading level.

Why is this?

Certainly not because we’re slow. Nope! It’s actually just because often the simplest words and sentence structure are the most easy and effective. This isn’t’ about winning the Nobel prize, it’s about writing an effective and successful ebook.

So on that note, let’s continue with some writing tips to make your book easy to read.

#6 Use Short Sentences

Each of your sentences will ideally be around ten words or less. Don’t count your words as you type, just take a look at your readability score when you run your spell check and grammar check. And as you’re editing, separate or clean up the long sentences. Short sentences are easier to read on a computer screen. They’re easier to comprehend and they’re often more effective and efficient than long ones.

An entry in The Guinness Book of World Records claims the longest sentence in English is from William Faulkner’s novel Absalom, Absalom! It has 1,287 words.

#7 Use Short Paragraphs

Short paragraphs, like short sentences, make your ebook easier to read. This is definitely the case for ebooks because it’s often difficult to read a lot of text on a computer screen.

The general rule of thumb is no more than 3-5 sentences per paragraph.

#8 One Subject per Paragraph

Too many ideas in one paragraph is confusing for your reader. In general, this shouldn’t be a problem if you create a structure or format for your ebook before you start writing. This is particularly the case if you’re using the question and answer format.

And it’s fine if it takes more than one paragraph to explore a topic. An easy rule to remember when creating the structure and paragraphs for your book is this:

  1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them. (Your introductory paragraph or two for each new topic)
  2. Tell them. (Your main information)
  3. Tell them what you told them. (Your summary or conclusion for that information.)

This process can be repeated over and over again each time you introduce a new chapter and a new topic within that chapter.

#9 Use Headings and Subheadings

Headings and subheadings help provide structure to your book. They tell the reader what’s coming up in the next paragraph or section and it helps readers who often scan for information, know where to stop.

#10 Use Small Words

Before we started this section we talked about reading level. You want to make you’re your prospects and readers easily understand what you are trying to say. There’s no need to intentionally strive for a third, fourth, or fifth grade reading level. However, you can use the readability feature on your word-processing program to give you an average grade level when you’re done. Try to keep your book around an eighth grade reading level or below.

#11 Formatting

One easy way to improve your books readability and therefore its effectiveness and success is to use formatting that makes it easy to read. We’re talking about bullets, text boxes, graphics, and numbered lists. This breaks up the content and makes it much easier on the eyes.

However, be careful to not get carried away. Too much formatting can make a book look a little silly.

 #12 Go Easy on the Punctuation

Have you ever read an email or an article that practically screamed too much enthusiasm? All those exclamation points! It looks silly! And yet people still do it! This goes back to keeping your sentences short and to the point. There’s no need for indulging in too many punctuation marks.

#13 She Literally Floated Away

How often do you hear that a person literally did something that is actually physically impossible? Newscasters, of all people who should know better, do it quite often.

Figurative language is language that uses metaphors, similes, personification and so on. Use them sparingly and make sure they’re appropriate for the context of your topic. And also make sure you’re not confusing people. She can’t literally float away, right?

#14 Make It Active

Nouns and verbs are your core components in a sentence and certainly in a book. Choose them wisely. The more active your verbs the more interesting it will be to read your book. And watch out for passive voice.

Passive voice is often confusing to readers; it mucks up your sentence structure. Rather than dive into an explanation of active and passive voice just make sure when you’re writing, the subject of your sentence is doing the action. 

setting up

#15 Write Like You’re Writing a Letter To A Friend

When you write a letter to a friend you do several key things that will actually make your book a better book. These things include:

Using the word “You.” When you write your book you want it to feel as if you’re speaking directly to the reader. You want them to feel a connection to you and become involved in the content. This is how you write a letter to a friend so pretend your book is a long letter to a good friend. In fact, share stories in your book to strengthen the connection, add interest and help demonstrate points you’re trying to make.

Use Contractions. When we talk and when we write to our friends, we use contractions. Contractions are those nifty combinations of words like:

  • You are – you’re
  • Can not – can’t
  • We will – we’ll
  • I am – I’m

And so on.

Use contractions in your writing and your book will feel less formal and more personal. It’ll be easier to read and have more impact on your reader.

Another thing you may do when writing to a friend is to use examples. This is a great way to illustrate a point or further explain something without having to rephrase it ten different ways. And examples are interesting to read. Share a story!


#16 Give It a Professional Shine

Many people spend way too much time fidgeting with the graphics for their ebook. Yes, it is important to give your book a professional shine. However, this is better accomplished with an easy to read and professional looking layout. Excellent editing including spelling, grammar, formatting consistency and an easy to read and understand book.

It’s great to include a table of contents, a cover page, a disclaimer, an about the author and a section for resources or an appendix. Also remember to include page numbers, a header and a footer and your copyright statement along with your URL.

Always save your book as a secure PDF. This makes it easy for anyone to download with a free PDF reader and the contents cannot be copied or changed. If you’re publishing to Kindle or other established ebook sellers, you will need to follow their appropriate formatting.

An ebook is a wonderful marketing and business building tool. Put in the thought and energy to do it right and you’ll reap the rewards for years.

Why Writing a Book Can Boost Your Expert Credibility


Writing and publishing an ebook can give your business the boost you’re looking for. In fact an ebook can help you accomplish several important business building goals in one swoop. If you’re not sure what an ebook is, it’s simply a downloadable version of a book that you read on a computer, an ebook reader like Kindle or other mobile device.

Here are a few benefits of creating a successful ebook…


Publication is one of the main avenues you can take to improve or establish your credibility. It doesn’t matter what industry or business you’re in, when you write a book people tend to automatically assume you’re an expert. Even if they don’t read your book, often the simple fact that you’re published will help you establish yourself as an expert on your topic.

This is important as a business building tactic because we buy from people we perceive as experts or authority figures in their industry. We turn to them to solve our problems, ask advice and to gain new skills and knowledge.

Awareness and Exposure

Writing a book broadens your reach. It spreads awareness of you and your business virally as people talk to each other about your book. Additionally, as you begin marketing and promoting your book you will subsequently also be marketing and promoting your business.

They say it takes three exposures to a business, product or service to create awareness. Your book and relevant marketing messages help your exposures quickly add up. This means you’ll have more prospects who think of you when they have a need.

Your book can also help increase your search engine optimization which increases your website traffic, and the awareness and exposure we just mentioned. You’ll receive incoming links to your website from book reviews, blog posts, and affiliate marketers if you’re selling your book and of course through content and other book marketing tactics.


You can also use your book as an opt-in offer so you can build your email list. And of course we’re only talking about how your book can help market your business. You can also use your book as a product or bonus product to generate more sales.

Whether you’re selling it for a profit, giving it away to build a list, or using it as a strategic marketing tool, the better your book the more effective and successful it will be. It should also be noted that ebooks are growing by leaps and bounds. Digital publishing has become mainstream and most people don’t think twice about downloading a book online. Bookstores now offer digital books and there are specific reading devices that cater to ebook readers.

You don’t need to worry about paying for print publishing and you don’t have to worry about shipping. Distribution is as simple as a download page and maybe an autoresponder. It’s an incredibly cost effective means to communicate, provide value, and to market your business.