success recipes for solopreneurs

2013 is going to be the year for those who love to write. And of course, as a blogger, I am one of them!

For years the search engines made it difficult for those who just love writing whatever comes into their heads. This is because of the horrific mathematical juxtapositions created to confuse us literary types, especially when it comes to writing for the internet.

Search engine optimisation has been the bugbear of creative writing. In fact, you can’t write creatively if you are doing SEO. There is nothing more soul destroying than trying to fit in a particular word or phrase into your post a certain number of times to fulfill an expectation that will (hopefully) satisfy the search criteria and lift your website or article out of the doldrums.

In fact I bought a particular plugin for my blog that said it would help me get more…

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success recipes for solopreneurs

Yesterday I got very angry. Not sure if this is a result of a change in hormones, or as a result of turning into a crabby old woman, but I find I am not as tolerant as I used to be to inadequate instructions.

This is mainly due to frustration. If things are not immediately obvious, we inwardly panic, especially if we’re in an unfamiliar environment. I suppose it’s a reaction to increased adrenaline, fight or flight, and for me the fight comes to the fore.

One good think I learned from a past boss was never to assume anything. We have not developed clairvoyancy yet as part of our evolution, so nobody knows what the other is thinking, has thought or will think.

This means that every single detail needs to be laid out so that the other can understand. And shown in an obvious position so that it…

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How to do marketing for free

This is a good subject for start-ups and very small businesses who don’t have a large budget to work with..

The first free marketing method is networking. Go to as many meetings as possible, particularly the free events or those that don’t require a big entrance fee. But to make these successful you must arm yourself with a good pitch, both 10 and 60 second versions, the first to grab attention to yourself, and the second if you get a chance to address the whole room. If you can create something that is different, easily understandable, poignant and relevant to your listeners’ needs, then you have a head start above many others.

It is important to get yourself as visible as possible in the business world. There are two possibilities: blogging and social networking group pages. It is very easy to create a free blog, and social networking sites allow you to create groups or fanpages which you can devote to your business.  In these you must regularly post up information about your business, and then, as with the blog, use RSS feeds to inform your followers of your new posts, or email through the social networking system to your followers that you have recently contributed new material for them to read.

And then there’s Twitter, equally free, which is an excellent way to promote your business, not forgetting that you can feed your blog to it, and now your posts can be automatically replicated on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Writing articles and publishing them around the net is another way to spread your expertise. Make sure the resource boxes direct the reader back to your website, blog or social networking profile pages, so they can find out more about you.  Take advantage of keywords to improve your search engine optimisation, and careful attention to the headlines and first paragraph will increase the likelihood of a response.

If you do have a website, get as many links back to it as possible from other websites and web directories. The more high profile the link source, the more respect search engines give your website, not to mention providing more portals for the spiders to crawl over your site and report back pages for indexing.

Create a good signature for your emails, to publicise your website, blog and social networking profiles. Don’t forget that the space at the bottom of your communication is just waiting to be filled with promotional written material and links, and everybody you write to will get a chance to see them.

3 actions for your Facebook group

For some people blogging seems to be a technological advance they cannot cope with. For you and me it seems to be very easy, but for one particular friend I needed to find an alternative.

Originally she asked me to advise her on search engine optimisation, so I gave her a quick summary over coffee. She had a website that her company had provided, with the limitations self-editing within a template allows, and hopefully my advice on keyword research would spice up her copy a bit more than it would have done.

But since blogging was not an option she was willing to undergo, I suggested creating a Facebook Group instead. She already had a Facebook account and enjoyed using it, so this was just a natural progression.

Out came her laptop, and we soon created her a brand new group, much to her surprise and enjoyment. My preliminary explanations about SEO made the process a little easier, as she was primed with suitably keyworded copy from her company’s literature, plus a few of her own.

During this exercise I needed to find a simple way to explain how to optimise a Facebook group, so I created the three main actions required: collate, paste and tell.

It really is very simple:

Collate: get together all the information you need to promote a new event or product from your company, such as words, pictures, recommendations, videos or whatever.

Paste: go to your Facebook group page and put in the material you have collected.

Tell: then don’t forget to tell all your fans about your new entry through the link underneath the photo, not forgetting to tell their friends and Facebook contacts to visit the group, add in their comments and suggestions, and sign up themselves.

Never expect the popularity of your group to grow on its own. You need to ask your friends to help you with your viral marketing, don’t expect it to happen automatically. And if you provide good material for them to recommend to potential new recruits, then that makes it all the easier for them.

Oh, and there’s a fourth action just to complicate things: schedule in a time each week to put in new material. If you have an ‘update urge’ within the week, don’t resist it, but why not create a folder to store possible fodder for your Facebook page update so when the time comes you are ready. This makes the process all that much more enjoyable.