Do you feel like a fraud in life and business?

Do you feel like a fraud in life and business?  - The Cafe Wordsmith

Do you ever feel like you’re “faking it” in business and that at any moment, you’ll be found out and revealed as a fraud? Are you afraid that you’re playing in a pool where you don’t belong and it’s just a matter of time before someone notices and calls you out on it?

There’s been a theme to my online conversations this week. The same issue has popped up over and over again, and it’s one I know well. I’ve struggled with it too.

Imposter syndrome

Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

I’ve dealt with this a lot in my own life and business, and if my recent interactions are any indication, I’m not alone.

Does this sound familiar?

I remember walking into my very first upper division literature course in college as a 19-year-old sophomore, completely convinced that everyone in the room was smarter than me and I was going to suck at that class, that all my papers would get laughed at, and that I wouldn’t understand the material. (By the way, I got an A in that class and when I graduated, that professor told me to let him know if I ever needed a letter of recommendation for grad school or something.)

Or this?

When I was just getting started as a general VA, I didn’t even think to focus on writing services. Writing was easy for me, so I figured it was easy for everyone and therefore, not a valuable skill. Then one day a client said “Hey, you’re a writer. Could you write me a blog post?” She gave me a topic and I sent her a draft less than an hour later. I thought this was completely normal until she said “Holy crap, that was fast! That would have taken me all day, and it wouldn’t have been as good!”

That’s when I realized imposter syndrome was holding me hostage again. I wasn’t a fraud. I actually was a good, fast writer. I realized that not everyone can crank out content as easily and painlessly as I can, and that people would probably be happy to pay me for that service. (Spoiler alert: They totally do, and now I’ve built a business around that skill.)

Is this ringing any bells for you? Do you ever think that what you do is easy and simple, and therefore couldn’t possibly be valuable?

Guess what? If something is easy for you, that means you’re good at it. It’s a skill. Not everyone can do it.

Math is easy for my brother, but not for me.

A friend and client of mine is an organizational wizard, but that’s still a skill that takes a lot of concentration for me.

I promise that you’re amazing at something too, even if you feel like you aren’t.

So how do you get over Imposter syndrome?

Notice what you’re good at and own it.

What’s easy for you? What are you good at? If you’re drawing a blank, ask other people who know you well. What are you good at? What is obviously easy for you that isn’t for them? These things are usually so commonplace for us that we miss them. They’re blind spots.

Know that you’re not alone.

The more I talk to people online and in the real world, I realize that imposter syndrome is everywhere. If you feel like a fraud, look around you. Chances are good that the people you admire, the ones who look like they have it together, they probably deal with this too, or have in the past.

Fake it.

It takes time and practice. Faking it ‘till you make it is a good technique here, but only if you remember that everyone else is struggling to feel legit too. You’re not alone. It also helps to talk to other people who can see your blind spots for you.

Gather evidence.

Start collecting evidence that you actually know what you’re doing. When I feel like a fraud, I talk to friends and my amazing clients. My clients are awesome about expressing their appreciation for my work and pointing out what they like about me, which has done WONDERS for my confidence as a content writer and VA.

Also, ACCEPT COMPLIMENTS. Most of us just brush off compliments, but don’t. Say thank you, and note what people compliment you for. If you blow off a compliment, chances are that’s one of your blind spots.

Confirmation from others is evidence that you aren’t actually a fraud and that you are good at what you do. Put this stuff in a computer file and look at it when imposter syndrome sneaks up on you.

Have you struggled with imposter syndrome in your life or business? How do you handle it? Leave a comment and let me know 🙂

 

How to Make Any Goal Your Reality

How to make any goal your reality - The Cafe Wordsmith

I’ve set a lot of crazy goals in my life. Some of them never amounted to anything; I might have lost interest, found something better, or just didn’t have a plan and gave up.

Other goals though, I’ve knocked out of the park.

I’ve had a lot of practice setting and reaching goals. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and what works for me seems to work for a lot of people!

Goals are the magic bridge that connects our dreams to our reality.

I’m going to share the goal setting method I used to start and grow my business, write my novel, reach financial goals, and basically accomplish anything I set my mind to. I’ve learned that the method of setting goals is almost as important as the actions themselves, and having a plan can definitely speed things up.

How to Make Any Goal Reality

Step #1: Dream

What do you want your life to look like?

This is the part that drives the rest of the process, like fueling up your car before starting a road trip. Skip this step, and you won’t get very far.

So what do you want your life to look like? What would be amazing? How do you want to spend your time? What issues would you like to be solved? How do you want to feel?

Remember this amazing feeling, because this is your “why”, the whole reason for this process.

Spend some time with this daydream. Really sink into it and feel what it would feel like to have that life. If you’re into vision boarding, but out those scissors, baby. If you want to anchor this with affirmations, go for it. Whatever it takes to make that dream feel real to you, do it!

Step #2: Clarify

Define your dream with a goal

In your dream life vision, what have you accomplished? Do you have a successful business? Do you own your dream home? Have you quit your day job to work for yourself? Written your book? Write down anything that comes to mind.

Ask yourself what would need to happen in order for that dream to be true, and use that to form your goal.

Step #3: Refine

Get clarity

Your goal needs a few things to be really clear: You need to be able to measure it, you need a timeframe, and it has to be within the realm of possibility.

For example, “Have a successful business” is not a clear goal. “Increase my business revenue by 50k this year” is much clearer because you’ll know when you’ve achieved it, you have a timeframe, and it’s at least somewhat realistic.

(I’m all for dreaming big and shooting for the moon to land among the stars, but I’m a big fan of realistic goals too. More on this here.)

Figure out these details and craft a goal that is as specific as possible. For example: “I will pay off my students loans by Christmas,” or “I will double my email list in the next 100 days.”

Step #4: Map it out

Break that goal into small actions then schedule those actions.

Now that you’ve got an exciting, clear goal to shoot for, you’re probably feeling really overwhelmed. The best goals are the ones that feel possible, but scare us a little.

So where do you start?

You break things down into teeny tiny non-scary steps. You can probably think of lots of different things you’d need to do in order to reach your goal, so grab a piece of paper and write those down.

Those are probably big steps too, so write down the steps you’d have to take for those steps to be possible. If you get stuck, try reverse engineering those steps. What would have to happen right before reaching that milestone? What would have to happen before that? Keep going until the path unfolds at your feet and you run into steps you can take right now.

Then do those things in order. If they don’t all fall into an obvious order, do the most important things first.

Big tip: You might have absolutely no idea what to do and where to start, and that’s okay. Just deciding and setting the goal is the biggest step.

Get the “what” and “why” sorted out, and the “how” will follow.

Figuring out steps can be a step on its own. If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do next, take some time to do research, talk to an expert, etc. Anything you need to figure out steps. Just don’t get stuck in the research process. I suggest doing enough research to get a nice overview of the whole process, then enough research to find your next steps. This doesn’t have to take a long time, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Learn enough to move forward, but don’t let it become procrastination!

This is the process I’ve used for just about every goal I’ve successfully accomplished, and I believe in it 100%. Give it a shot, and you might be astounded by what you create.

Need help accomplishing your business and blogging goals? Check out my services here! 

Know Your Goal Setting Style for Better Results

I’m super nerdy about certain things. Harry Potter, for example. Personal development. Writing. Goals.

Seriously, I love goals. Dreaming them up, defining them, writing them out, the whole process. I love the adventure of making a dream reality and the personal growth that comes along with it.

On my quest for the perfect goal-setting system, I’ve come across two basic schools of thought around setting goals that are actually motivating. I’ve tried both, and I realized that different methods work for different people. Knowing what motivates you is CRUCIAL to your success. After all, setting the RIGHT goal that you’re actually excited to reach plays huge role in whether you’ll actually reach that goal.

Let’s look at these two different goal-setting methods.

Method #1: Shoot for the Moon

The method involves big, huge, amazing goals that are scary and exciting. This gets a lot of people jazzed up because they’re the “shoot for the moon and land on a star” type, who are motivated by out-of-this world goals.

One reason this can work is because when your focus is far ahead of you, it’s actually really easy to accomplish a smaller goal that might have felt daunting on its own. For example, an author and speaker I follow tells a story of a cross country coach who told her they were going to run twelve miles one day, and they only ended up running six. She was so geared up for the twelve mile run that the first six miles passed quickly and easily.

Another business coach I really admire recommends this method, setting goals that are absolutely massive and then going for it. She feels that this pushes her farther than realistic,  less challenging goals would, because she’s the type of person who loves the thrill and feels amazing about her progress, even if she doesn’t quite reach her huge goal. It’s worked wonders for her and her business!

Method #2: Be realistic

The other common method I’ve seen is about setting realistic goals, even smallish ones. The idea here is that knocking out the lower hanging fruit and lots of small wins will motivate you to keep going.

By setting very achievable goals that are broken up into little milestones, you build momentum and ultimately, achieve more.

So do you prefer to take it slow or shoot for the moon? What’s your goal-setting style? Look at your history with goals. Have you had better success with big, outlandish goals, or do you accomplish more when you set smaller ones?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to what motivates you. Do you like to check off boxes, or land on a star?

I definitely fall into the second camp. I like smallish, only slightly-scary goals that still feel doable.

Massive goals just overwhelm me. I get caught up in the bigness of it and feel paralyzed instead of inspired. I might have big long-term goals, but I like to set more realistic goals and focus on the short-term. This keeps my eye on my next steps.

How to Dream Big AND Be Realistic

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” -Bill Gates

Both methods are valid. Both can work. But how can you harness the power of each to bring your most incredible goals to life?

Given enough time, you can accomplish just about anything, so the crazy-awesome goals can be great for long term (potentially very long term) goals. Time is the only difference between a realistic goal and a totally bonkers goal.

Set those goals. What do you REALLY want. What would be absolutely amazing if it were your real life?

Use that as your long term goal and break that into more realistic short-term ones, and then break those into doable steps that don’t paralyze you. Remember, nerves are fine and great for growth. Paralysis is not!

Do you need help reaching your business goals? I’d love to help! Check out my writing and virtual assistant services here. Let me take some tasks off your plate so you can focus on your goals!

Why Rest Should Be Part Of Your Business

Why Rest Should Be Part Of Your Business - The Cafe Wordsmith

I’m going to switch gears for a minute and take a break from the usual posts about blogging and productivity tasks. Why? Because I need a break.

Guess who else probably needs a break? You!

We entrepreneurs are a busy bunch, whether we’re busy with our own business stuff or with client work, and too often we forget that we are actual human beings with actual needs, including the need for rest.

We resist it. We keep going, keep growing, keep hustling, keep pushing through tiredness and brain fog. Eventually, we burn out. Our bodies go “HEY, REMEMBER ME?” and force us to stop. We get sick. Our brains crash so hard that we can’t crank out even one more blog post, coaching session, interview, email, or social media update.

That’s what happens when we don’t rest. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been through the hustle/burnout/rest cycle many times, and I’m finally starting to wise up and realize that I can avoid that whole burnout part by taking breaks from the hustle.

 

Why We Need Rest

If you don’t rest, you will burn out. The longer you try to push through your tiredness, the longer and more severe that period of burnout will be, and the more productivity you will lose.

Growing a business and learning to be a more awesome entrepreneur is like building a muscle.

Think about working out. If you want to make some serious gains, you work out, lift your weights, then you nourish those muscles by eating, then you rest. You don’t actually grow while you’re pushing and working out. You grow while you’re resting, because those muscle fibers need to heal.

When you’re growing in business, you need downtime to digest everything you’re learning so you can more effectively implement it. You need space and quiet time away from your computer so you can come up with new ideas and gain new insight into your business (and other areas of your life). You need to rest so you actually have the juice to work on your business. Trust me, you will be so much more effective when you’re well-rested, well-nourished, and happy than you will be when you’re sleep-deprived, grumpy, and running on coffee and Funyuns.

You need to eat well, sleep, go outside, read a (non-business) book, be creative, spend time with loved ones, laugh, watch a movie, play with your dog, watch the sunset, sleep in, play a game, whatever recharges you. It’s part of your job to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape so you can be the effective in your business.

Also, don’t put off rest thinking that you’ll get to slow down “when”; when this launch is over, when you’ve hit your income goal, when you’ve finished your book, when you finish this client project. Trust me, “when” never comes, because something else will always pop up and demand your attention. Rest when you need to. Rest as you go along, and you will be so much more inspired and clear-headed and ready to tackle your business tasks in half the time.

 

Time to Rest

In my life, rest means taking it easy during the holiday season. This is a slow month for me, and I’m okay with that this year. I’m okay with spending a little less time working and a little more time reading, working on my own writing projects, hanging out with my family, or sleeping in a little later. Instead of doing a butt-kicking workout every day, I’m doing a lot more yoga. I’m holding off on new offers and most marketing stuff until January, because this has been a crazy year and I just need to rest.

For you, resting might mean logging off an hour early for a week or two, or logging on a little later. Maybe you rely on your team to pick up the slack so you can take a breather and get clear on your direction for the new year. Maybe rest for you looks like building up passive income or business savings throughout the year so you can take the whole month off. Maybe you need a vacation.

Whatever rest means for you right now, I encourage you to give yourself some space to slow down, especially if you live in the northern hemisphere where we’re experiencing the darkest month of the year and our bodies naturally want to slow down. We weren’t made to be productive all the time. Nature has seasons, and so do we.

Rest is crucial for growth, and I’m embracing it this holiday season.

How are you resting right now? How would you like to rest? Leave a comment and let me know!

How Successful People Find More Time

How Successful People Find More Time - The Cafe Wordsmith

It might seem obvious, but I was shocked when it actually dawned on me that all these super productive and successful people I looked up to had no more time in their days than I did.

I mean, duh, right?

For some reason, it just hadn’t occurred to me that they had the exact same 24 hours as everyone else. So how on earth were these people getting so much more done? How do people build successful businesses, complete massive creative projects and still have a life?

Then I realized this: The people who are kicking butt in their lives and businesses aren’t wasting time on stuff they don’t actually have to do.

The issue isn’t a lack of time; the issue is that too many of us are doing stuff that isn’t moving us forward.

Successful people ruthlessly audit their time and make adjustments when needed. They know how to get things done and what’s important to them.

 

How successful people find more time (and how you can too!)

They prioritize

They do the important stuff first. They figure out what’s important and what’s not, and they organize their lives around it.

Try it: What three things NEED to get done today? What would improve your life and move your business forward? Make those your priorities for the day, and finish those before you do anything else.

They eliminate

If it’s not important and doesn’t actually have to get done, they don’t sweat it. I mean, it’s okay if they bring chips and store bought hummus to a potluck instead of spending hours on a homemade appetizer. It’s okay if they decide to quit Twitter because they hate it and it’s not bringing in much traffic anyway.

Try it: What’s one thing you’re spending time on that isn’t yielding results? Is it a social media platform, a commitment, a marketing technique, or some tiny little timesuck that just isn’t pulling its weight? Find it and eliminate it. You have better things to do.

They don’t insist on perfection.

There’s a big difference between having high standards and being a perfectionist. Perfectionism wastes time, because you get caught in the tiny details that don’t really matter while missing the stuff that does matter. Successful people don’t endlessly edit and revise their awesome ecourse to avoid releasing it. They meet their deadlines.

Try it: Do you have a project that isn’t moving forward because you can’t stop messing with it? A blog post that you haven’t published because it isn’t perfect? Let go of perfectionism today and put it out there. Make sure it’s free of errors, sure, but don’t worry if it isn’t the next Canterbury Tales. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be awesome. 

They say NO.

We all have requests and commitments flying at us from all directions, but people who know what’s important to them know how to say “no” to anything that doesn’t feel right to them or that they simply don’t have time for. I get it, it might feel selfish to turn someone down for something, but remember this: your time is best spent on doing what you do best, on sharing your gifts with the world.

Try it: Say no to something today. Say no to that interview that you know won’t grow your business. Don’t volunteer to drive carpool next week when you really don’t have time. It’s really okay.

They delegate.

The hire someone to clean their house so they don’t have to. They hire help in their business to do the tasks they don’t actually have to do, and this frees them to do the stuff only they can do.

Try it: What do you need to outsource in your life or business? Is it cleaning? Blogging? Sending emails? Managing your social media?

Seriously, hiring a VA is one of the best things you can do for your business, and I’m not just saying that because I am one. I’ve seen businesses go from struggling to booming once they hired a team. The more you can take off your own plate, the more time you’ll free up to do the stuff that will actually grow your business!

Ready to end the stress and take back your time? Check out my services here.

I have some availability for a new client or two and I’d love to talk to you! If you’re drowning under the weight of your business and need someone to help you get organized and publishing content regularly, hit me up!

Remember, successful people are just people. If they can do it, so can you!

 

 

 

The One Productivity Tool I Can’t Live Without

The One Productivity Tool I Can’t Live Without - The Cafe Wordsmith

 

Everyone has their favorite productivity tools and techniques. Some people are into apps, fancy planners, or workflow programs.

All those things are awesome and I definitely use them, but do you really want to know the one tool that helps me buckle down and get things done?

The humble timer.

And no, that’s not an app called The Humble Timer. I mean the timer on my phone. Or an egg timer. Or the kitchen timer on my microwave.

It might sound too easy, but trust me, when that timer is running, my brain focuses like a laser and blasts through tasks like you wouldn’t believe.

 

How This Productivity Tool Helps Me Get Things Done

Think about it:

You’ve probably noticed that work expands to fill the time allotted for it. If you give yourself a week to do a project, it will take you a week. If you give yourself a day to finish, it will take a day.

It’s crazy how this happens. When we have more time, we find ourselves waffling around, playing with Slinkies at our desks, checking Facebook or email when we should be working, and doing a lot more messing around than if we’d given ourselves a tight deadline.

This is how the timer works for me.

If I have a task to do (like batch writing blog posts), I’ll set my timer for an hour or two and buckle down. I know that when that timer goes off, I’ll have to stop and move onto something else, so I have no choice but to focus and bust out those blog posts like there’s no tomorrow. So I do.

I use a timer for writing, housework, business tasks, you name it. And you better believe I have a timer running right this second while I’m writing this post!

The timer also helps me with hourly client work. Instead of starting my day with a to-do list for each client, I’ll chunk out my day into hours. I’ll set my timer for an hour or so to work on one client’s tasks before moving onto another. When I only have an hour, I immediately prioritize and get tasks done that need to happen that day.

This also helps me manage my client hours to make sure I get them all done during the month (because it’s not fun to end up with a pile of unfinished hours at the end of the month.)

 

Try it!

Try switching from a to-do list mindset to a time-based mindset. Keep your tasks in one place (like Teamwork or Asana), set your timer, and get to work. You’ll be amazed by how much you can do!

Looking for more ways to streamline your business? Grab my free blog post checklist to make sure your posts are scannable, engaging, and converting!

 

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5 Types Of Blog Posts That Get You Sales

5 TYPES OF BLOG POSTS THAT GET YOU SALES - The Cafe Wordsmith

Okay, it’s time to get strategic with blogging.

We know that blogging is super-duper important for your business. That’s how your audience learns about your business, your products and services, and the solutions you provide. Your blog content is often where you start building a relationship with your audience, what inspires your audience to sign up for your mailing list and eventually become a paying customer and raving fan. Read more about sales funnels and how your blog fits in.

But what do you actually write to make that happen? How do you blog about your products and services without just droning on about features and benefits? What kinds of posts take your readers from simply curious to “OMG, where do I sign up?!”

Here Are 5 Types of Blog Posts That Inspire Readers to Buy

#1: The Case Study

What it is: How your products/services has helped other people
Why it works: Provides social proof that your stuff WORKS

The case study spotlights customers and clients who experienced amazing results from your services. This could be an interview, a guest post, an article written about them, or any other post that shows the amazing results your customer achieved. This type of post can also be a win-win if the client has a business to promote because you get an advocate for your business, and you can promote hers in return!

#2: The Q & A 

What it is: Answers questions your audience might have about working with you
Why it works: Addresses potential objections to working with you

You probably have at least a few visitors who have read a few of your posts, maybe signed up for your list, and have looked over your sales page a few times. So why haven’t they hit the “buy” button?

One reason might be that they have questions that your posts and sales pages didn’t answer. Now’s the time to address those in a blog post! It doesn’t have to be FAQ style (though you might want to make an FAQ on your sales pages, just sayin’).

For example, price is a common sticking point for a lot of would-be clients. I once saw a business coach publish a post called something like “How to Afford Anything You Want,” and it was all about manifesting money to invest in yourself.

Think of the obstacles that might prevent a client from working with you. Are they queasy about the price? Not sure they’ll get the results they want? Pay attention to any questions or concerns you’ve heard from your audience. If you’re in Facebook groups, ask someone to look over your sales pages and let you know what questions they have.

Once you’ve got an idea of what’s stopping your audience from buying, you can address those issues.

#3: The story post

What it is: Tell the story of your business and how you came to do what you do.
Why it works: It connects readers with you as a person and the story of your business.

If you’ve ever bought anything online (a service, an ecourse, a handmade item), there’s a good chance you read some blog posts and looked at that person’s about page.

Why?

You wanted to see who they are and how they can help you. I learned this when I was selling my art. The people who bought my art were often people who already knew me, who read my blog, or who followed me on social media. They had an idea of where my inspiration came from, which connected them with my art.

If you provide a service, your story explains how you came to know what you know. It gives you credibility and shows that you’re a real human being, not just some online marketer in a power suit with shoulder pads. (If power suits and shoulder pads are your thing, that’s cool too!)

Telling your story shows the reader how your methods worked for you, and therefore how they can work for THEM.

#4: The solution post

What it is: Offer actionable solutions to a problem your reader is having
Why it works: This post positions you as the expert and gives your readers a look at how awesome you are at what you do.

When you solve a problem for them in your free content (this goes for optin offers too), they’re more likely to think “Wow, if the free stuff is this great, I wonder what the paid stuff is like!”

#5: The Showcase

What it is: Educate your audience about your products and services
Why it works: Gives them a good look at what you’re offering and helps them decide whether it’s right for them.

If you make handmade purses, show your process. Demonstrate how sturdy and long-lasting they are. Open them up and show how many pockets they have inside.

What EVERY post needs to build your business:

A call to action. 

Include an invitation of some sort at the end of EVERY. SINGLE. POST.

Tell your audience where they can go next to continue building your business relationship, either by taking the next step in working with you or continuing to receive your awesome content.

Examples of calls to action:

You can invite your audience to…

  • comment or share the post on social media
  • sign up for your optin freebie 
  • follow you on social media
  • view your sales page for your product or service
  • sign up for your webinar/free coaching call/upcoming event of some kind
  • email you with questions

These are just a few ideas!

I know there’s a ton to remember when you’re crafting blog posts for your business. So I made you this handy-dandy blog checklist to help you keep track of everything you need to make your posts helpful, readable, and effective in your business!

 

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What Is A Sales Funnel And How Does My Blog Fit In?

What is a Sales Funnel and How Does My Blog Fit In? - The Cafe Wordsmith

You’ve probably heard of sales funnels before, and you probably have an idea of how they work. You know it has something to do with building your list and conversion rates, and you know your blog fits in somehow.

Here’s a quick rundown of the all-important sales funnel.

 

What is a sales funnel? Sales Funnel 101

Your sales funnel is system that guides your audience take from being a casual visitor to paying customer.

You’ve probably seen those big funnel things charities sometime put in malls, where you put a coin in the slot and it rolls around and around the funnel until it finally falls in the hole at the bottom.

Your sales funnel is like this. There’s a wide space for the coin (your potential customer) to enter, and as they explore your content and your offering, they get closer and closer to becoming a paying customer (when the coin drops in the hole).

Top of the Funnel:

Your free content (that require no email address or payment) like your blog and social media posts are at the top of the funnel. That’s where the journey starts.

Middle of the Funnel:

Your optin offer or your lower priced offers are the middle of the funnel, when customers are exploring the waters of working with you, but aren’t ready for the higher-priced services yet.

Bottom of the Funnel (The Goal):

When a customer purchases your main item like your ecourse, your handcrafted items, your high-end coaching package, that’s the bottom of the funnel.

This journey from visitor to raving fan looks different for every business, but the basic structure is the same. It looks like this:

Visitor enters funnel → visitor engages further → visitor makes a purchase and is now a customer

 

Here are some examples of what this might look like for different businesses:

Etsy Shop:

Someone searches for leather cuff bracelets and finds your Etsy listing or a blog post about your products → Customer favorites your listing → Customer buys your bracelet

Life Coaching Business:

Someone searches for solution to a problem their having and lands on your blog post → they love what they read, so they sign up for your mailing list → they love your mailing list freebie, so they sign up for a lower priced course you offer → customer loves the course and invests in your super fancy high end coaching package.

Entrepreneur Training Company with Membership Site:

Someone sees your targeted Facebook ad for your membership site → They visit your website, look around, read some blog posts → They love what they read and sign up for your mailing list, or they might even jump right into a membership!

You probably see a pattern here.

There’s plenty of room for variation here because people are going to find you in different ways (social media, Google, a guest post you wrote, etc.) and some might skip steps in the middle (like jumping straight to your high-end offer or skipping the mailing list signup), but for the most part, a customer will first try out your free content before moving into the higher-commitment content that requires their email address or a payment.

And this is where your blog comes in. That’s where it starts.

Your blog is the top of the funnel where the penny starts rolling toward the hole at the bottom. This is where people get to know you, where they read about what you can do and how you can solve their problem.

Your blog is what gets people interested in your work. It connects them to you and the story of your business, to the solutions you provide, it positions you as an expert, answers questions they might have about working with you, and entertains them.

This is where they get the information that will influence their decision about whether to buy from you or not.

If readers love your blog, they’re more likely to become subscribers and then customers.

This is why it’s so important that your blog content is awesome. Your blog posts should be helpful, entertaining, easy to read, and they should tell your reader exactly where to go next.

 

That’s a lot to keep track of when you’re writing a blog post, but I’ve got you covered!

 

I made you this handy blog post checklist to make sure your post has everything you need to make things easy for your reader and guide them to the next step in your sales funnel.

 

Get that checklist here! 

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Of course, if you don’t want to bother with any of that, I’d be more than happy to handle your blog posts for you! Check out my Blog Boost packages and let me handle it so you can focus on crafting the next step of your sales funnel: Your products!

Happy blogging!

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Why Your Business Needs a Blog - The Cafe Wordsmith

Every business needs a blog.

Yup. Sure, you can get sales and promote your offerings without one, but I can’t think of a single example of a business that wouldn’t be improved with regularly updated content (aka, a blog.)

Why do you need a blog? How does a blog grow your business?

It comes down to this:

Your blog is one of the first ways your audience gets to know you and your business.

When they Google for a solution to a problem, users often find an article or blog post with the answer. This is where they learn about what you do, who you are, and if you can help them.

How does a blog do this?

why your business needs a blog

Your blog can…

Educate your audience about the benefits of your products/services.

You know your products inside and out, but your audience doesn’t! Your blog is one of the places you can introduce your audience to products and services that can help them. You can show them how it works, what’s included, and results the can expect.

Note: Your sales pages should do this too, but most people will read your blog before your sales page. You want to make things crystal clear for your audience. Make it easy to say “yes” to working with you!

Answer questions potential clients have about your services (removing any objections to working with you).

Would-be clients probably have questions about your products. You could have a separate Q&A page or a section on your sales page (and you should!).

These questions are also great to address in blog posts, because A) you don’t want to be updating your sales page all the time, and B) the more places you address those questions, the easier it will be for your reader to find the answers!

Provide social proof that your methods work.

Case studies and client spotlights provide show that your methods worked for someone, which greatly encourages potential customers to buy from you. Think about it: if your best friend raves about a product that changed her life, aren’t you much more likely to buy it? Same deal here. Knowing that a product worked for someone else raises our confidence that it’ll work for us too!

Improve search rankings, bring in traffic, get eyeballs on your offerings.

Posting useful, relevant articles on your blog can drive up your SEO ranking, which means Google will send people who are looking for solutions to problems you can solve to your site!

Give your audience something to relate to and engage with.

We’re more likely to engage with a product or person when we know their story. I learned this when selling my art.

For awhile, almost everyone that bought my work was a family or friend, or someone I knew. At first, I saw this as a problem. I wanted people I didn’t know to buy my stuff too!

Then I realized they bought because they knew ME. They knew my story and what went into the work. I realized that I’d have to bring that same experience to my other buyers for them to connect with my art. This little epiphany changed the way I blogged about my art and wrote my product listings, focusing more on the story behind the work.

Tell your story. Take your audience on a journey. Show them how and why you developed your offerings. They want to see how your methods helped yourself, because that shows you can help them too!

Build trust with your audience.

People google for solutions to their problems, whether they’re looking for a birthday gift for their mother in law, container gardening tips, a meatloaf recipe, or how to feel more confident.

If they find your blog post and it solves their problem, this show them you know what you’re talking about and builds trust in you. Also, if your free stuff is super awesome, they might start wondering how amazing your paid services are!

Get people into your sales funnel.

It’s very rare for someone to discover a website and immediately become a customer, especially for big ticket items like high-end coaching.

A sale requires a relationship. If readers find your blog posts useful, they’re more likely to join your mailing list for your free optin. If they find that useful, they’re more likely to become a customer, whether that means buying a lower-priced item or jumping straight into your high-end offer.

The journey to becoming a paid customer starts with your free content: Your blog.

Your blog guides your audience through the journey of working with you, and it’s important to keep that in mind as you plan and write your content.

I know this is a lot of information to wrap your brain around! Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.

I’d love to help you create blog content that engages your audience and grows your business!

Here’s how I can help. 

free blog post checklist

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How To Blog Consistently When You Don’t Have Time

How to Blog Consistently When You Don't Have Time - The Cafe Wordsmith

Ah, blogging. It’s one of those things you know you should be doing, but somehow never gets done.

If the bread and butter in your business is a product or service like coaching, courses, or handmade goodies, there’s a good chance that blogging is the lonely item on the bottom of your to-do list that never seems to get crossed off. Serving your clients takes a lot of time and effort, and when you’re focused on that, sitting down to write sounds as appealing as getting a root canal.

But a blog is crazy important to your business. That’s how your audience connects with you and the solutions you provide. That’s how you tell your story and the story of your business, how you help your audience with the answers they’re Googling for. Most of the time, your blog is where a visitor begins the journey from casual reader to paying customer.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to regularly publish blog content without it being a gigantic timesuck. Here are some of my favorites:

5 ways to Blog Consistently When You Don’t Have Time

Transcribe Your Videos

If you prefer to do videos or audios, get those babies transcribed! I’ve seen people just clean up the transcriptions a little and post them, but make sure to format those posts so they actually read like a blog post. Otherwise your reader will get bogged down with all the extra words. Tighten it up. Add headers and bullet points. Break up the text to make it scannable. Luckily, you can hire someone to do all the transcribing, editing, and formatting for you.

In fact, here are six blogging tasks you can outsource completely.

Works best for: Entrepreneurs  who record videos (Youtube, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, webinars, etc.) or audios (podcasts, teleseminars, etc.)

Batch write.

This is usually how I write for my own blogs and how I write for clients. This takes some time up front, but once it’s done, you’ve got enough content to coast on for weeks or months. I’ve even seen people create enough content to last a year!

Here’s a rundown of my method:

  1. Brainstorm a bunch of post ideas.
  2. Pick the best ones and create a separate document for each.
  3. Go through each document and brainstorm what to cover in each post.
  4. Organize those ideas into sequences, lists, paragraphs, and eventually flesh them out into full posts.

Bam. Four steps to a nice arsenal of posts.

Works best for: Entrepreneurs who actually like to write, but just can’t get to it every week (or even every month).

Talk to text.

Most computers and phones have a speech dictation functions. This allows you to talk about your post topic and automatically transcribe what you say. Just Google “talk to text (whatever device you have)” and follow the instructions, or search for dictation programs online.

Granted, you’ll still need to do a lot of editing and formatting afterwards to turn it into an engaging blog post (which you can get someone else to do for you), but this is a great way to get started!

Works best for: Entrepreneurs who like to think out loud, especially if you’re an eloquent speaker (this means a more coherent transcription and less editing).

Ask for guest posts.

I love the idea of getting other people to create your content for you, because that means less work for you and more exposure for them. It’s a win-win!

You can also get really strategic with this and spotlight other awesome people in your industry, which will give you both access to the other’s audience, or feature your own clients, which will give their businesses a boost and act as a testimonial for your own product or service.

You can score some awesome guest posts by directly contacting people you’d love to feature or by putting up a call for submissions on your site.

Works best for: Blogs with lots of traffic, service based businesses who wish to showcase their results

Hire someone to write for you.

If you don’t want to deal with all the editing and transcribing or chasing down guest posts, you can simply hire someone to write for you. This option is great because it requires very little time on your part, but you still get all the writing credit.

I love to do this for my clients!

Would you like me to take the blogging responsibility off your hands?

Check out my Blog Boost packages here.

It’s easy. All you have to do is tell me you ideas for the post (through email or over the phone) and provide feedback on a draft. I take care of the rest.

The result? A beautiful, targeted, SEO-friendly blog post and a stress-free you.

Works best for: Anyone who doesn’t like to write or is seriously crunched for time.

Blogging doesn’t have to be a pain in the rear! This is definitely one area in your business where it pays to work smarter, not harder. Whether you decide to batch write posts yourself or hand it all over to someone else, your blog can be one of the most powerful and dynamic pieces of your business!

free blog post checklist

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