Category: blogging

5 Ways To Use Storytelling To Make Your Readers Care

Using storytelling techniques in your blog posts and on social media increases engagement, click through, and makes your readers actually CARE about what you're doing. Click through to learn 5 ways to use storytelling in your blog!

If you read things on the internet, you know how blog posts usually go:

  • Introduction that clearly includes SEO keywords
  • Numbered list with bolded headings
  • Action items you’re encouraged to check off today

I’m not hating! Clearly, that’s pretty much the format we’re using here!

But when we stick to blog-posts-as-usual, it’s hard to make our readers care. It’s hard to emotionally engage with a listicle, ya know?

Today, I brought in storyteller extraordinaire Mike Sowden, to help us write things our readers really, actually care about.


How To Get Clients To Trust You + Listen To You

Struggling to get clients to trust you? This one easy change can increase client satisfaction and even allow you to charge more! Click through to start implementing it today

The subject line was just an unimpressed emoji face, which is not really what you’re looking for in email communications with clients.

“I’m not sure what to tell you, Sarah. I love your blog and what you do but it’s been two months since we worked together and, honestly, I haven’t seen much change in my blog traffic or social media following. I don’t think it worked.” 

Reader, I don’t mind telling you it was with a dry mouth and shaking hands that I clicked through to look at her website. Was I a fraud? Was I about to get my first request for a refund? WAS I A FAILURE AS A HUMAN???

Instead of discovering that I was an impostor who should never be hired by anyone again ever, I discovered that my client had ignored 85% of the suggestions I’d given her. 

Had she fixed any of those broken links? No.
Was she using headings to make her blog posts more readable? Nope.
Did she optimize her posts? She did not.

Unsurprisingly, my initial reaction was to draft a not-entirely-polite email to this client who’d spent a lot of money to ignore my advice.

But then I realized that I was just as much at fault for this as she was. I hadn’t told my client why she needed make these changes. It’s hard to get excited about embedding code, scheduling Facebook updates, or re-jiggering old blog posts if we don’t understand how + why it’ll benefit us.

You can't expect someone to do something if you don't tell them WHY they should do it. Click To Tweet
Dur, right? But it’s so easy to forget!

And there are tons of (somewhat) valid reasons we forget the why.

Maybe we’ve been doing something for so long we can’t even remember the beginner’s mindset. We don’t remember what it’s like to struggle with SEO/white balance/classroom management. It’s been years since we learned about alt text, so we forget to even explain it.

Why we should explain why


11 things that will help your blog, business + brain

A great roundup of blogging tips and business advice! Instagram branded content, SEO for Squarespace, and customer service strategies!

Daaaaang. Stop talking directly to me, Kyla! Is your launch strategy leaving money on the table?

What does Instagram’s new ‘Branded Content’ mean for you?

Yes! Empathy is good for business!
When you show your clients you understand them, you’re helping them feel safe. You’re showing them that they can be honest and vulnerable with you. When you say “I get it. I used to be overwhelmed by social media too,” you’re making it easier for your clients to open up to you. 

And the more they open up to you, the more you can help them, and the better their results will be.

It can be this simple! Optimize your images for SEO with one simple step.

Helpful: One simple tool for changemakers to avoid overwhelm.

Do you want to delight your clients? TRICK QUESTION DUH OF COURSE YOU DO. I loved Beverly’s ‘Customer Delight Strategy.’

Related: How to have long-lasting, super loyal professional relationships.

5 tips to become the master of your email.

Trying to find places to guest post or publish your writing? Susan rounded up 25 for you!

What did Grace Bonney wish she’d known before she started DesignSponge 13 years ago?

It is sooooo easy to take our work Super Seriously and remove all the joy. But it’s possible to be a pleasure player – even in the world of business!

Instead of focusing on deadlines and irritable co-workers or clients, focus on the actual work. Revolutionary, right?

Put on your favorite music and dance through that quarterly report.

Get up and stretch and move at least every 30 minutes. Pat your body or sensuously caress yourself. Walk outside and take deep breaths for 10 minutes.

Get a glass of water, feeling the coolness pouring down the back of your throat. Sip on a delicious cup of joe or a chai and savor that ten minutes of tasting pleasure.

Have you read or written anything really helped your work? Share links in the comments!

P.S. If you appreciate my taste in links, did you know I have entire Pinterest boards devoted blogging, self-employment, and work + career advice?

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

8 easy(ish) ways to build your ethics into your business

What are your business ethics? How do you build values into your business from the ground up? Here are 8 ways I've made sure my work aligns with my values. Click through to learn how you can do the same!

It’s an overcast Tuesday and my friend and I are busily co-working at a crowded coffee shop. I’m finding photos for future blog posts (read: procrastinating) and she’s designing an ebook (read: being productive).

I lean across the table to see what her book will look like, which photos she’s using. Here’s a man in a wheelchair, typing away on a Macbook. Here’s a Latina woman leading a meeting; here’s a black man pushing a stroller and leading a toddler by the hand towards the playground.

She sees me peering at her screen and nods. “Yeah, I realized that I talk a really good game on Twitter about inclusivity. Then I looked at my blog and noticed that I wasn’t really practicing what I preach. So I’m trying to do better.”

I glance back at my computer and the two photos I just favorited: a white lady doing yoga on a mountain top and two white ladies drinking lattes on a park bench. #basic

Maybe it’s time for me – for many of us? – to do better.

It’s always been a good idea for us to build our ethics into our businesses, but in 2017 it’s more important than ever.

8 easy(ish) ways to build your ethics into your business


A Non-Scary, Non-Slimy Networking Strategy for Entrepreneurs

Networking for entrepreneurs aren't quite as easy or straight forward as networking for 9-to-5-ers, is it? No worries - this strategy has you covered! Click through to find out how you can expand your network by 140 people (!!!) this year!

Networking strategies for entrepreneurs aren’t quite as easy or straight forward as the networking strategies that apply to 9-to-5ers, are they?

When you work in the corporate world your employer pays you to attend conferences and you have a long list of previous colleagues you can email. You have an obvious, understandable-to-most-people job title and you interact with Real Actual Humans all day long.

But if you’re an entrepreneur you could very well work from home, in your sweat pants, by yourself. And when you try to explain what you do you’re met with blank stares or polite nods.

Even if networking as an entreprenuer is a bit tough, it’s still super important. Luckily for all of us, my friend Molly is here to help us. Molly’s new book Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Know to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence is landing on bookshelves and Amazon. You can read about all the preorder bonuses, including a 1:1 phone call with Molly, here.


Everything I Use + Recommend To Run My Business

Not sure which tools, software, and platforms are with the $$$? I tried 'em all so you don't have to! I'll tell you what free stuff works + what to skip! Click through for tips on social media, marketing software, and productivity apps!

Are you ready to feel vaguely disappointed?

Disappointed Side Eye is the response I usually get when people ask how I run my business. Weirdly, nobody seems to want to hear that I film my videos on a cheap Android and I do all my writing in Google Docs on an old laptop that cost $300 two years ago.

Why doesn’t anyone want to hear about my old Lenovo Thinkpad?! Why can’t I tell you about my $120 phone with a sparkly cat case??

Welp, because a lot of us want to believe that buying a $1,500 laptop or a new DSLR will cure What Ails Us Professionally.

Real talk: your equipment probably isn't what's standing between you and success. Click To Tweet
Now, I won’t sit here and tell you that all you need to launch a successful business is gumption and a mouse pad. You need more than that. You need regular access to the internet, some basic tech skills, and it certainly helps to have your own computer.

But you can probably get along without top of the line everything, 23 differently monthly fees, and 43 different types of software.

I’ve spent the last seven years walking the line between boot-strapping and “I will pay to make this easier.” Here are all the things I use to run my business, if something costs $$$ rest assured I’ve tried the free/cheap versions and found them lacking.