It’s difficult to create appealing content when the world News is dominated by a pandemic, so the best type of content to focus your efforts on is EVERGREEN content that will be appealing over a longer period of time.
If you ever wanted some of the easiest & most appealing blog post ideas to create, this is it.
Creating a winning curated blog post strategy for your business can drive more traffic, especially from Pinterest.
It can gain you more eyeballs on your content and please the search engines all at the same time.
Curated posts are some of my favourite types of easy blog post ideas for driving more engagement.
Engagement is the holy grail on social media.
In fact when I first came across curated post content and list posts I thought it was “cheating” because they seemed so easy right?
I’m guessing it’s a perfectionist entrepreneur “thing”,
We seem to want to create everything ourselves, from scratch, AND on brand.
And even though it takes 10x longer, we’ll go ahead and add it to the To-Do-List.
Which typically looks more like the length of a knitted scarf than a succinct hit-list of must-do’s.
But as I tested this type of post and saw how popular they were, I quickly changed my mind and regularly use them.
Plus they are fun and interesting to do.
Even if you have a product or service based business, such as installing windows & conservatories,
blinds & curtains,
bathrooms & kitchens etc,
Creating a curated blog post can quickly become one of your most popular and interesting blogs.
Especially to your prospective clients and customers.
People love ideas, tips and visual content.
They can relate to images whatever industry or niche you are in.
With a Facebook page to keep feeding with interesting and original content,
You might just want to take a break for the next 5 minutes
And take some notes on exactly how you can create a winning curated blog post for your business.
Read on to find out how to create them, step-by-step.
Step 1 : Think About Some Of Your Customer’s Most Frequently Asked Questions
But as this blog post is all about creating a winning curated blog post strategy for your business, it requires a slightly differentway of thinking about your content than just SEO.
If you have spent quite some time in front of your customers by now you should have noticed several questions come up over and over again.
It’s these questions that should be the inspiration.
Because they are interesting to your customers.
Here is an examples I created for Contemporary Log Living as a sprinkling of inspiration:-
In this example I curated some ideas from Pinterest & Google, added some tips and created a post that has gone viral on Pinterest and drives lots of traffic to the website every month.
Step 2 : Create Your Curated Content From Your Customers Perspective
The key to creating winning curated posts like these is to think about them from your customers perspective.
What helps them get an “aha!” moment?
What would make them be able to see what you are describing in a more visual way?
How could you demonstrate some previous projects that would help position you as an expert in your niche?
What ideas could you share with prospective customers that would inspire them?
Do you have a case study or testimonial that you could break down into bite-sized chunks that demonstrates a transformation?
Coming up with the angle for your curated blog post is the strategy behind the curated post, and it’s vital that it comes from your customers perspective.
A blog post written for something your ideal customers have in mind will give you an edge over your competitors.
In this example I added a video, showed some curated examples of what a dressing room might look like and added some tips. Once again it is a great example of how curated content can help you create some of your best blog post ideas AND drive traffic from Pinterest.
Step 3 : Find Or Create Your Content Images
Implementing this strategy into your blogging plan is something you will want to do on a regular basis.
It will also depend on the number of blogs you create in a month.
A good ratio to work to is 1 in 4.
This works especially well if you create a new blog post every week.
If you only create new blog posts every other week, then I would recommend doing every third or fourth one as a curated post in some way.
If you are a food blogger then you may well be creating curated blog posts more frequently.Because recipes are perfect for this strategy.
Create a Pinterest Board for any content that you find
And start collecting images for your blog post ideas from places such as :-
Royalty free images.
Images you find on Pinterest.
Images you’ve downloaded and used in the past.
Online magazines in your niche.
Popular & Authority blogs in your niche.
Remember to PIN them all to your Pinterest board, because you are going to need them when you piece the blog post together.
In this example I added collected some of the best images I could find for people to draw imagination from if they were thinking about converting a garage space into a new room. It is one of the top pages for Google traffic to the website every month.
Step 4 : Choose The Number Of Images (Steps / Keys / Ideas) You Are Going To Use
You may have noticed that List Posts grab readers attention.
So much so that even top magazines use them each and every month for the very same reason.
Examples of list posts you might use could include:-
How To Use “_____”
How To Make The Perfect “_______”
How To Start “_____”
How To Generate More “_____”
(#) Proven Ways To “_____”
(#) Steps To “_____”
(#) Reasons Your “_____” Isn’t Working
A Beginners Guide To “_____”
The Ultimate Guide To “_____”
Brainstorm some headlines for blog posts like this.
And store them in Evernote, (for the paperless, digital option).
Or open up a Word or Google Doc and just fill a sheet with everything that comes into your head.
The key thing here is to develop at least 12 ideas.
Which will give you 6-12 months of content for your blog straight away.
Once you have a list of at least a dozen ideas you need to find images from your saved working Pinterest board.
You will need to link to them as the original source in your blog post.
Step 5 :Creating The Blog Post Itself
Preparation is everything when it comes to creating a winning curated post for your business.
it’s like baking a virtual “cake,”
you need to gather all the ingredients together first,
in the right quantity.
Then follow the recipe to the letter.
And what will emerge will look beautiful and good enough to share & repin on Pinterest if you are lucky!
One of the keys to creating a winning curated blog post is the ability to “say what you see”.
Because you will be writing captions to go with your images.
Online magazines often shorten everything down to a slider with just images.
But I wouldn’t recommend doing that as a small business owner.
Nor would I recommend you have a ton of adverts, banners, pop-ups and videos to distract people from your content.
Adding some thoughtful comments and captions to your post makes your readers see how the image applies to them.
The first and most important ingredient is the IMAGE.
For this example I’m going to pretend I’m creating a curated blog post called:-
5 Fast & Healthy Lunches For Busy Work From Entrepreneurs
“So by this point I’ve researched, found and pinned my content.
Next I’m going to screen capture the images I’m going to use in the curated blog post.
Some of the PINTEREST images will be too small.
So you may need to capture from the original source of the image instead.
Whichever you do you MUST credit the original source in your post.”
You can also use royalty free images or free image sites as your curated content if you prefer.
Upload the image is the normal way and then add a line immediately underneath the image saying “original source.”
(remember to add your SEO description to your image)
LINK to the original source & give credit to the person who created it.
If you have ever seen the TV show Catchphrase you’ll really get to grips with the next part of creating your winning curated blog post strategy.
Because the easiest way to enhance your wonderful creation is add a few lines of descriptive text to each image.
Say what you see.
For inspiration check out the original source of the image.
See if there are some phrases you could re-work from there.
Or take a look at online magazines like House Beautiful to see how they piece together a short paragraph around each featured image.
It takes a little bit of practice.
But you’ll soon find it easier to put a few short descriptive sentences together about the image.
“Add a few stylish desk top accessories to create perfect finishes touches to a pulled together super organised home office.
With no boss breathing down your neck, or battleship grey walls to keep your creativeness on hold, feel free to design a work space that will inspire you to build your brand right from the comfort of your own home.”
Step 7 : Add A 10% Item That Nobody Else Would Think Of
The main reason one blog post, article, video or social media post gets more likes, shares and repins than another is based entirely on the content.
It has to add a little something extra.
That one tip nobody else wrote about.
That one marketing strategy that nobody explained before.
That special giveaway or printable to download later etc.
“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.” Morris Chang
It’s Coronavirus Lock Down Week 5 In The UK As I Am Writing This …
Wow! It’s challenging this lock down stuff isn’t it?
On a personal level I’m finding most days going along at half-speed productivity wise as we attempt home schooling our 9 year old Grandson with our amazing daughter (furloughed from her job) on hand to assist.
Add to that Zoom calls & virtual team meetings, customer relations & the constant battle of trying to book the next online delivery slot for food and supplies and you have the perfect environment for a total business melt down working from home or not.
Social media seems to be a huge mix where furloughed employees coping with job uncertainty and less income mix with SME’s with their heads in their hands dealing with zero income plus an undetermined timeline to work with.
The word unprecedented doesn’t even begin to get close to the impact this virus is having on SMEs of all sizes.
Zero Cashflow For Businesses Through No Fault Of Their Own
What business owner factors in a sudden cashflow forecast of zero for several months in a row? Especially one that lands on their desk in less than 14 days and is completely outside their control?
Entrepreneurs however will accept the self-responsibility of the situation and find a way to work though it.
It’s the perfect storm for an economic disaster of epic proportions and yet at the same time there was a huge reality check this week of the dangers associated with this virus as it took one of our family members before his time.
So as the dust settles into some kind of new routine, I thought I’d share 3 things you can implement today that will help your business emerge stronger after the lock down measures ease.
They are all things you can do in small bite-size chunks over a week or two that will repay you over the weeks, months & years to come as things slowly but surely return to the new normal whatever that will look like and whenever that is.
1. Tweak The Titles, Images & SEO On Your Top Posts & Pages
Blogging is not a one time event. Revisit it, rework it, add to and whatever you do SEO it effectively!
Blogging is not something you “do” and then forget about it.
Never Do The Minimum For Blogging
If you write the minimum amount of words, include the minimum amount of content, copy & paste generic tips, don’t include eye catching branded images, fail to research keywords effectively and don’t craft catchy headlines – you should reconsider blogging as a strategy for your business!
Unless your SEO (search engine optimization) is good and the content is high quality you are unlikely to see your blogs at the top of the search engines or attracting customers to you & your business.
Now For The Good News …
The good news is that once you have taken the time to write your content, you can go back in to your posts and improve them!
This is a fantastic way to improve your blog and as hardly any small business owner does it and that puts you at a great advantage if you do.
All it takes it a little time (we have that one as a gift right now) and a little practice.
Ideas You Can Do Right Now
Here are some ideas to improve existing blog posts:-
Create new branded feature images
Write new headlines (don’t change the permalinks if the blog post has search engine traffic) if it doesn’t re-write it as a new post & add some current statistics.
Add a video.
Re-write the meta description.
Do some keyword research on the topic and add links to relevant articles you find on authority sites for key things you mention.
Add a lead magnet in the post.
Add social share buttons at the bottom of each post.
Increase the word count to 1100 words.
2. Carry Out A Full Social Media Audit
Are Your Social Media Profiles Up To Date?
One of the smartest things you can do during the lock down period is to refresh and update your social media presence by carrying out a full social media audit.
The key to successfully executing this AND keeping a template to work to now and in the future is to set up either a Trello Board or an ASANA board.
(Tip! I’m seeing Trello being used in very creative ways for sharing boards inside info-products right now, so much so I’d recommend it for both tips 2 & 3!)
Here’s What A Trello Board Might Look Like To Plan Your Audit
Social media is fast moving & ever evolving & so is your business.
So the two can quite quickly get out of date or start to look stale.
And if you use scheduling tools & focus on the content creation side of social media you may not even realise that the image you have been using isn’t even on brand anymore.
And the link you use in your profile doesn’t work or isn’t relevant to what you offer.
Work through each social media profile & bring them up to date
Start with the platforms you focus on the most and work through each one until they are all:-
Link to something relevant to your audience
3 Brilliant Ideas for your links:-
Link to a Social Page. I love Peg Fitzpatrick’s Social Page idea (I will be creating a video about this next month so stay tuned!)
2. Link to a free webinar or masterclass. Vanessa Lau has this nailed on her Instagram profile. It’s a great way to deliver value & build relationships that can effectively build your followers & business all at the same time.
3. Gemma Went uses a Quiz in her Twitter bio link which works well as a lead generation / get to know you process which positions Gemma as the great coach & mentor she is
3. Create An Editorial Calendar & Plan Your Post Lock-down Promotions
The more you plan ahead NOW the quicker your business will pick up new business as the lock down lifts
We all have to find ways of living with the Coronavirus until a vaccine is available or the virus phases out for good.
Either way business is not going to be “normal” for some time yet.
So the more you can plan, re-work the way in which you operate your business with social distancing measures in place and be ready to IMPLEMENT your promotions & offers NOW the easier you will transition out as the lock down measures start to ease.
By creating a visual Trello board of your business content & promotions over the next few months you can quickly start to map out a strategy to get leads & sales flowing even if it takes a few months yet for life to feel more “normal” again.
Look for opportunities that have presented themselves to you during these unprecedented times.
There will be a shift in what people VALUE more coming out of this period of time that smart entrepreneurs will be ready to respond to.
Right now trends are showing us that uppermost in people’s minds right now include:-
Bonus tip! Study some of the best TV adverts at the moment that meet people “where they are at” & use some of the best ideas in your marketing efforts.
The Coronavirus has affected everyone and will continue to be a challenge for all SME’s for many months to come.
It looks like some of the lock down measures will be eased in May 2020 although social distancing will still feature in our lives and business lives for some time.
The better you plan your own exit strategy, the quicker you can start easing some of the pressures created by the lock down.
SEO blog posts & top pages – IMPROVE every post or page in some way.
TRELLO boards are the perfect way to plan & organise a Social Media Audit or your own exit strategy content & promotions.
Use the time you have (and it may be far less than you think if you have children around) to think of adapting to whatever the new world looks like and go gently with your social media activity at these ultra sensitive times.
If this content help you in some way, please feel free to eave me a comment below & I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
When you begin to think of email as the online equivalent of people coming into your “store” you will want to make a great first impression with a professional email signature.
There is quite a buzz about email marketing at the moment with entrepreneurs demonstrating the power of building a responsive email list at a time when the vast majority of small business owners are focusing on social media.
I’m firmly in the build your email list camp on that one because it’s an asset for your business, you don’t own Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.
Usingsocial media to BUILD your email listis a very powerful combination that can produce great results for you & your business in a relatively short time.
The number of people on your email list is a factor, but the communication you have with them and the relationship you build with them is far more important than just numbers.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a professional email signature for Microsoft Outlook using Hubspot’s great free tool to get every email conversation you have off to a great start.
Step 1. Gather everything you need to create your swanky new email signature.
You will need:-
Your name 😉
Address if using
Social Media Links (for the clickable icons within the email)
A Call To Action / Banner Advert & the URL it directs to.
Image links for any images you will be using. (*see the video for details of how to do this if you are stuck.)
STEP 2. Gather your main social media links & add them with the other details.
Use Notepad, Evernote, Google Keep or a Google Doc handy for when you need to add them to your new email signature.
Step 3. Hubspot’s free email generator tool allows you to USE images (recommended) but NOT UPLOAD images.
You have to host the image somewhere else and insert the URL of where the image is. *Watch the video for how to do this.*
The easiest way is to upload an image to your WordPress media library and copy the link from inside the media area, (See video) or you can use your Facebook profile image, right click it & select copy image address.
Just remember that if you use your Facebook image or something similar and your change it so will your email signature.
Step 4. If you are feeling adventurous, add a clickable BANNER AD to the bottom of your email for list or offer opportunities with everyone you email.