Tag Archive | "idea"

How to Grow an Idea into a Fruitful Product or Service

Let’s take it back … Way back … Before the internet was a part of creating your business. What steps…

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How to Turn One Content Idea into a Fascinating Four-Part Series

Be careful what you wish for … Once you’ve persuaded people to keep reading your content, you have to keep…

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Real Talk about Moving Forward with Your Big Idea

Great to see you again! This week on Copyblogger, we looked at how to make progress on projects and opportunities that might seem intimidating at first. Stefanie Flaxman showed us how to take that Big Idea (exciting, challenging, scary) and break it down until you discover your first (or next) move. She shared a process
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How to Find a Juicy Writing Idea When Your Creative Well Has Run Dry

It’s the hard part. The thing about being a writer that isn’t necessarily all that awesome. Sometimes it’s the part that makes you doubt yourself, doubt your creativity and abilities, maybe even doubt whether this whole professional writing thing really makes sense for you. “What the &$ %# am I going to write about this week?”–
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How to Turn One Content Idea into a Fascinating Four-Part Series

"Shift from publishing content to building anticipation for your next installment." – Stefanie Flaxman

Sometimes it’s really helpful to prepare multiple pieces of content in advance.

You might be:

But how do you plan your content, create it, and meet your publishing deadlines without getting overwhelmed?

Let’s start with a simple, small task: selecting one content idea.

Then we’ll break down that one idea into a fascinating four-part series. The process I’m going to share is a straightforward way to communicate your expertise, in a format that is easy for your audience to consume and share.

Shift from publishing content to building anticipation for your next installment

The example I’m going to give will demonstrate how to produce a four-part blog series, but you can adapt the guidance to produce podcast episodes or videos as well.

When you do, you shift from merely publishing content to actively building anticipation for your next installment.

Content marketing and copywriting work so well together because copywriting helps you stir something in your audience so that they’re invested in the content you produce.

"You’ve got to stir something in them before they’ll do something." – Brian Clark

If you produce one piece of content a week, the installments below will give you four weeks of content, but they could also publish four consecutive days in a row or every other day. See what works for you.

Installment #1: Establish your authority

Here’s where you select your content idea.

Let’s pretend you run a health-conscious, organic bakery that serves tasty desserts.

Your customers love your grape jam, so you want to give your blog readers a recipe for grape jam with natural ingredients and no added sugar.

Start with a basic “how to ___” to generate your content idea. “How to ___” might not be your final headline, but filling in that blank with details helps narrow your focus.

How to Make Mouth-Watering Grape Jam (with Less Sugar than Grocery-Store Brands)

In this first installment, you’ll establish your authority by:

  • Introducing the topic in a unique way
  • Explaining your interest in writing about it
  • Describing your organic bakery’s philosophy

The motivation behind the information you share should be: why someone should listen to your advice about the topic.

answer this: why you?

Then outline what you’ll cover in upcoming installments, weaving in anecdotes about how your tutorial will be more beneficial than other grape jam recipes.

And that’s it for your first post.

At the end of the content

  • Write a call to action (CTA) for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #2: Educate with a simple, relevant background lesson

The goal of this post is to make readers feel ready to follow your advice.

Link to installment #1 in your introduction and then write more background information about making your grape jam.

What types of kitchen tools will they need? Where are the best places to buy the ingredients you’ll recommend? What is your issue with grape jams that have added sugar? How did you discover this recipe?

"Building trust is bigger than tactics — it’s your entire mission." – Brian Clark

You build trust as you educate your audience and offer useful suggestions that prepare them for the next installment.

At the end of the content

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with a link to installment #1.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #3: Share your tutorial

The big moment has arrived.

In this post, you’ll show how to make your grape jam, step by step. You could also discuss the type of container you like to store the jam in and how long it will stay fresh.

"It can be scary to put your story out there on the web. It’s also empowering." – Jerod Morris

The tutorial should make sense to anyone, even if they didn’t read the previous two installments. But there will likely be opportunities throughout the text to link to the other installments you’ve already published.

When you edit your first draft, look for ways to engage and entertain. Give readers an experience they won’t have on other bakery blogs.

At the end of the content

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with links to installment #1 and installment #2.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #4: Add extra value and advanced tips

Encourage readers to experiment with your recipe and inspire them to learn more about organic desserts.

What types of bread complement the grape jam? Can they easily alter the recipe to make strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry jam? Is the grape jam an ingredient in other recipes you’ll publish in the future?

"Don't tell me it's 'awesome,' 'epic,' or 'amazing.' Show me why." – Sonia Simone

If you plan to create additional four-part series, you can tease upcoming tutorials that will cover related topics.

At the end of the content

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with links to installment #1, installment #2, and installment #3.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get your content via email.

Bring it all together

Once you’ve published all the installments:

  • Edit the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #1 so that it has links to installment #2, installment #3, and installment #4.
  • Add links to installment #3 and installment #4 in the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #2.
  • Add a link to installment #4 in the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #3.

Ready to write your next content series?

In the comment section below, let us know about the topic you’ll tackle with this method.

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How to Convince Your Skeptical Readers to Accept a New Idea

3 ways to write convincingly

If you look at the last 30 years of the men’s 100-meter finals at the Olympics, you’ll find a number of athletes who didn’t make it to retirement without getting saddled with a doping allegation. 

  • Carl Lewis: failed drug test, 1988
  • Ben Johnson: failed drug test, 1988
  • Linford Christie: tests positive for pseudoephedrine, 1988
  • Justin Gatlin: failed drug test, 2006
  • Maurice Greene: admits to buying performance-enhancing drugs, 2008

And then Usain Bolt comes along. He not only wins the gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter finals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing — he also breaks two world records for those races.

Can anyone blame you if you’re cynical? Don’t you want some sort of proof that Bolt didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs?

Not surprisingly, so does your reader. 

When you write an article, you may do it Usain Bolt-style — full of gusto and glee. Yet, your reader is still skeptical — and rightly so. Stating something does not necessarily make it believable.

So, how do you enhance the believability of your article?

You do so by addressing objections.

When you write your article, it’s important to have it flow both ways — in your favor and away from it — to build trust. You do this by taking on the objections that sprout up in your reader’s mind.

There are three main ways to bypass a reader’s skepticism. Let’s look at all three, shall we?

  • Direction 1: Disagreement
  • Direction 2: Proof
  • Direction 3: More Information

We’ll tackle Disagreement first.

Direction 1: Disagreement

When you make a statement such as: “Discounting is bad for a business,” I may choose to disagree. I may feel that discounting is necessary in my business or else I’d go out of business. 

You may have a ton of valid points to support why discounting will suck the life out of my business. And you may be right. But at this specific moment, I’m fiercely on the discounting side of the fence. To get me over to your side, you have to tackle the discounting argument very quickly. 

When a topic is highly controversial, or likely to be debated, you need to place the objection right at the top of your article. There’s no point in keeping the objection submerged somewhere down the page. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re losing clients because they’re hiring consulting firms that are cheaper. In this case, your article needs to address the problem head-on.

Your headline may be: Why It’s a Good Idea to Hire a Consulting Firm that Costs 20 Percent More than the Competition. Now you’ve got your reader’s attention. 

Present the disagreement immediately. The opening of your article could look like this:

“Imagine going to your boss and telling him that you’ve hired a consultant who’s 20 percent more expensive than average. What will that get you? A raise? Or will you instantly get fired?

The answer is: It depends. Although it seems like a pretty good idea to hire a consulting firm that’s a lot cheaper, you may want to know how that decision will come to bite you (and your firm) in the bum in the months to come. So, let’s find out three big reasons why the big guns don’t hire the cheaper outfits.”

You see what’s happening in that example? 

The objection isn’t waiting in the wings. It jumped on stage and is hogging the spotlight. And it doesn’t let go until the rest of the article unfolds. When you present an objection at the start of your article, it gets and keeps attention.

If you know your client is going to disagree like crazy, add an objection right away.

This leads us to the second way to address objections, namely Proof.

Direction 2: Proof

Proof isn’t like disagreement. It’s not quite as volatile.

For instance, you may just need to support a valid point. You may have said that smart firms don’t hire cheaper consultants. Fair enough. But where’s the proof? You need to demonstrate your point with a case study or two.

Testimonials offer another way to back up your claims. No matter how magnificently well you craft your article, there are times when your audience will simply need proof.

Why are they looking for that evidence?

It’s human nature to seek a second opinion. Or maybe the person reading the article doesn’t have the proper knowledge to make a decision and needs to present the argument to someone else.

Second opinions help us justify our decisions. When we have proof, we feel a lot better. We can talk to our partners, coworkers, and friends about the situation and get their opinions about it.

In the case of the person needing to sell the idea to a superior, you can see that evidence is necessary to help make his or her case.

And this leads us to the third method: More information.

Direction 3: More information

If you face a disagreement head-on, that’s all very fine. But often it may not be necessary to go over the top. And having proof is certainly very dandy, but again, case studies and testimonials may not be needed. In many of your articles, all your reader needs is more information. They’re not sure, that’s all.

If you give them more information, they’re more than happy to agree with your point and take the next step.

For example, let’s say your article is about convincing someone to try a new flavor of ice cream. There’s really no factor of disagreement. And proof won’t matter much because taste is subjective. All you really have to do is take on the objection.

And what is the objection? You know the answer. It’s: what if I don’t like the flavor? 

To tackle the objection, you simply need to be rational or emotional. But what’s rational and what’s emotional?

Rational is when you simply state the facts. For example: The store doesn’t require you to buy the ice cream. You can taste it and decide for yourself.

The emotional way to defuse an objection is to use a story. For example: My niece, Keira, doesn’t like anything but her usual gum-drop flavor of ice cream. Yet, she was all over this new flavor and even asked for more.

For an even more powerful information package, you can combine both rational and emotional information into a single objection-defuser.

Adding an objection at just the right time

Let’s take a breather and summarize. There are three main ways you can overcome objections.

  1. Disagreement: You can address a disagreement head-on. 
  2. Proof: You can show proof with case studies and/or testimonials.
  3. More information: You can add rational or emotional information to defuse the objection.

The objection can go anywhere it is needed in your article. It can go in your introduction. It can be in the middle. It’s most often found toward the end of the article. However, there’s no fixed rule.

If skepticism needs to be managed right away, there’s no point in saving the objection until later. Bring it on with full force as soon as possible.

If you feel the need to create a little “speed bump” and change the pace of the article, slip in an objection.

And yes, you can address more than one objection in an article. Just be sure not to overdo it or you’ll weaken your case. 

Earn trust by presenting objections

Does every article need an objection? Can you write a strong article without one? Sure you can.

Many articles don’t need to bring up objections, but there are times when your enthusiasm alone won’t support your point. You’ll need an objection to drive the facts home.

And it helps satisfy that human nature quirk. We’re not saying you’re wrong. We’re just saying, “prove it to me.”

Objections are needed for some articles — but they’re incredibly critical when selling a product or service.

Get a taste of where objections live and thrive in the sales process with this free goodie.

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Solar Panels – A Valid Business Idea?




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Many planning applications have recently been established for large solar farms in the UK. For many, the idea of ​​a company such evoking images of a massive initial investment, or business plan crazy!

However, these sites can be extremely profitable, even if the solar panels themselves are relatively expensive to install.

The UK has a system known nationally as feed rate. This plan pays those who have installed solar panels for every unit of electricity they generate, they are resold to the main network.

For example, a factory can produce 1000 units of electricity per day through a large panel in the ceiling system. Then you can use 300 units of electricity itself, for the supply of equipment within the plant. In this case, the company could easily use the 300 units that were generated by solar panels, instead of having to buy their electricity supplier, so a big savings.

Secondly, there would be 700 units of electricity remains, per day. Then the company would sell to the main network. The exact rate will vary depending on the size of the installation. For a home system, 41.3p per unit is standard (and is linked to inflation, tax-free and guaranteed for 25 years by the government). The plant was paid by units of electricity for their electricity supplier, which means they get a little money and a great saving as described above.

An example would be the recent spate plans for a solar park near Swindon, Wiltshire. Solar panels in this application would generate about 5 MW, which is enough to supply electricity to power over 1,000 homes. True, it generates as much energy requires a great system and application would be 17,000 panels covering more than 30 acres of land. However, there were a lot of local support, despite some opposition, largely on the basis that the installation of solar panels have less local impact of yet another renewable, such as a set of wind turbines alternative energy.

Solar assemblies vary greatly in price from different companies, because of various qualities of panels and different levels of effectiveness. It is highly recommended that you get several quotes, and there are several online comparison sites that will do it for you to get the price of solar panels.

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How to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea

Image of Overly manly man

Many of you have resolved to write more in 2014. Good.

Serious content creators know that each article they publish is a piece of a larger content marketing puzzle — one that expands a website into a knowledge hub that has authentic, useful information on a specific topic.

But as we all know, writing is often the easy part.

The whole coming-up-with-ideas part is what often knocks us out before the opening bell even rings.

It can be difficult to consistently write exceptional content that encourages viewers to stick around and learn about your unique selling proposition.

It’s time to get creative

For example, let’s pretend you’re the marketing director for a store that makes and sells boxing equipment.

You need to convey the passion, care, and expertise your company puts into creating its specialized gear, but the problem is that your message is only a couple paragraphs and around 200 words.

Your wimpy, single piece of content reads more like a press release or “About” page than a persuasive story that spreads across multiple blog posts.

You’re stuck with limited material when you need to develop many different articles that help boxers and boxing enthusiasts find your merchandise.

Instead of “throwing in the towel” and losing a marketing opportunity, view your situation from a creative perspective.

With that in mind, here are 16 ways a boxing equipment business, for example, can approach blog post writing.

Note that each idea below can be reused and applied to your niche to make your blog a fresh and valuable resource in your industry.

Focus on products

  1. The X Factor. Feature your individual products in separate blog posts, rather than merely listing that you sell gloves, bags, mouthpieces, tape, etc. What are their special benefits (not features)? What qualities make them the perfect purchase?
  2. Customer Testimonials. After you’ve posted articles that spotlight each of your products, create complementary posts with testimonials about those products. Link the new posts to relevant old posts.
  3. Reader Discounts. Show your appreciation for your blog readers by rewarding them with special offers or giveaways. As an incentive to subscribe to your website, you may also want to offer a freebie or discount on a physical product.
  4. Neighborly Love. If you don’t sell clothing and accessories, such as boxing trunks and water bottles, promote other businesses that do sell those items. Write posts about your favorite complementary stores and link to their websites to initiate camaraderie.

Share your business’ story

  1. Employee Profiles. Demonstrate that your team members are true boxing aficionados — people with relatable interests. You can structure these posts in a “Question & Answer” format to make them easy to read. What’s his or her daily role? How does his or her skill set contribute to the company’s overall objective?
  2. Behind the Scenes. Tell stories about day-to-day activities. They may seem mundane to you, but routines at your organization give insight into your operations. What’s it like to work at your company? What best practices differentiate you from competitors? Why do customers love your products?
  3. Philosophical Outlook. Use your blog to describe your mission statement in a personable way. The casual tone that is appropriate on your blog allows you to make professional jargon more understandable. Why do you make and sell boxing equipment? What problems do your products fix? Why is your quality unparalleled?
  4. Captivating Visuals. Show your products in action with individual photos, slideshows, and videos. This is especially useful if you are in an athletic or active industry like boxing. Images help potential customers get a sense of what it’s like to own your specific brand.

Discuss important events

  1. Journalism. Keep your content current by writing about local and national fights on a regular basis. You can make announcements about upcoming events and also write blog posts about their highlights and pitfalls after they’ve occurred.
  2. High-Profile Fights. Standard blog posts may be 300–500 words, but special occasions are a chance for you to produce longer articles closer to 1,000 words — the kind Google really loves. Provide comprehensive details and analysis.
  3. Field Reports. Do you have correspondents at a big fight or tournament? Is a trade show or conference nearby? Explain the principles you learn about your customers’ needs from associates who interact with a broader range of consumers.
  4. Training and Classes. Consider offering boxing training in your store, and use your blog to see if your customers would be interested. If that’s not a possibility, discuss the best classes in your area.

Educate and illuminate

  1. Exclusive Interviews. Since you don’t always need to bolster your company or products, look for ways to educate your audience. Ask professional boxers and trainers to share their wisdom with your readers.
  2. Insider Instructions. Continue educating with boxing tips and techniques. What are the best ways to treat wounds? How do you strengthen muscles for optimal performance? What types of foods should boxers eat?
  3. Reviews and Resources. You can review apps, websites, books, or magazine articles related to boxing. Are they helpful or a waste of time? Guide your customers to the right resources.
  4. Direct Correspondence. Listen to your customers’ questions. You probably don’t answer all of them on your website, so address them in blog posts. If you already have a thorough “Frequently Asked Questions” section, repurpose or update your text and publish it in a series.

Basically … build your own blogging arena

Content advances your business’s media brand.

It’s a platform that helps you expand the “know, like, and trust” factor that you need to satisfy before customers feel comfortable buying.

When you write blog posts with a focused editorial strategy, your website becomes a channel that broadcasts your news. It’s a media outlet that potential customers regularly visit to get the next installment of an unfolding, authoritative narrative.

Your readers focus their attention on your boxing ring and become interested in fighting the good fight with you.

How do you use blog posts to share your business’ unique story and attract customers?

Share in the comments below!

About the Author: Stefanie Flaxman is the creator of Revision Fairy. Get more from @RevisionFairy on Twitter and Google+.

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E-commerce: Why a forced checkout registration is never a good idea

Unless your brand enjoys the near cult-like following of Apple or Coca-Cola, then it’s likely your website will play host to visitors with much lower motivation. So read on to learn how customer motivation impacts purchase decisions and why a forced registration during checkout is never a good idea.
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