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Using Your Skills To Coach Others – How to become a coach

Using Your Skills To Coach Others – How to become a coach

You can get this guide in a PDF version so that you can refer to and fill in as needed.

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What’s the most powerful way to learn new business strategies and increase your bottom line?

A high-end, private coach can not only offer insights into new marketing, branding, systems, and business improvements, but she can also serve as a second set of eyes on your existing plan. Because she’s been where you are, your coach is an invaluable resource as your business grows.

And to someone else, YOU are that coach. So what’s stopping you from rolling out your own premium 1:1 coaching program? Its relatively easy to set up and you too can have your own home business alongside or instead of your blogging hustle.

How to become a coach.

If you already have a group program or several stand-alone training programs, then a 1:1 package is the next logical step, and it won’t take much work to create.

In fact, one-to-one coaching is the ideal “top of the funnel” offer. Once your clients have worked through—and benefited from—your free content, group offers, and one-off training programs, they’ll be clamoring for more. What’s more, they’ll already know your value, and they’ll be more than willing to pay for continued access to you.

Even if you don’t yet offer any group coaching, your own business experiences make you the perfect person to work with other up-and-coming businesswomen in a one-on-one basis.  Just consider how much time you currently spend advising people (probably for free) via email and social media and phone calls and texts.

Clearly you have what they want. Now it’s time to formalize your coaching package and make it available for sale.

Here’s the real beauty of private coaching though: you can make a real impact on the lives of those you coach.

With group coaching or self-study programs, it’s difficult to know how many people are actually putting your expertise to work for them. In a private coaching program, you’ll be connecting with clients one-on-one, and you’ll see exactly what’s providing the biggest results.

It’s a highly rewarding relationship not only for your clients, but for you as well.

Step One: Get Clear on the Problem You Solve

Just as with every aspect of your business, your private coaching package—if it’s to be successful—must be highly targeted. You cannot simply hang out your virtual shingle, call yourself a coach, and expect clients to line up for an appointment.

Instead, you must position yourself as the expert you are. And since you’re not an expert in everything, that means getting crystal clear on exactly what you do (and who you do it for).

When you can clearly articulate the exact problems you solve and who you work with, it will be much easier to find your tribe and attract buyers for your program.

For example, business coaches might focus on solving:

  • Money mindset issues for women entrepreneurs
  • Brand development for health and wellness coaches
  • Marketing help for information product sellers
  • Outsourcing issues for online businesses

Life coaches solve different issues. Dating coaches have their own area of expertise. Executive coaches focus on C-level employees.

You have your sweet spot, too, and it’s probably easy to identify.

You already know your general area of expertise, whether it’s business, life, health, finance, or other niche. Now think about who your favorite clients are. And if you don’t yet have clients, think about those you’ve helped in the past in any way—even if it’s through email or on social media.

Who did you most enjoy working with?

Which problems were you happiest to solve?

Which issues (and people) left you feeling frustrated and stressed out?

The clients and contacts you love the most—the ones whose emails you answer immediately and whose phone calls you pick up on the first ring—are your tribe. This is the client you’re building your 1:1 package for.

Next, consider what this client’s biggest issue is. One top business coach calls this “the bleeding neck.” It’s your ideal clients most pressing problem, the one she most needs to solve, and the one she will gladly pay to fix.

Maybe her blog doesn’t get enough traffic. Perhaps her online dating profiles aren’t attracting her dream man. Or maybe her personal finances are out of control.

Whatever the problem is, you have the answer. And when you can craft a coaching package that gets results for your ideal client, you’ll have a winning program that people will line up to enroll in.

Exercise: Describe Your Ideal Client

If you haven’t already done so, spend some time clearly defining your ideal client. Describe everything you know about her, including her experience level, her dreams, her family life, her frustrations, her income, and anything else that will set her apart from millions of other potential clients. (Use additional sheets if needed.)

Exercise: State Her Biggest Problem

Now that you know who your client is, define—as concisely as possible—the big issue you’re coaching will solve for her. (e.g. “She struggles with self-esteem and lacks the confidence to fully market her business.”)

Step Two: Establish Your Desired Outcome

Knowing what problem you solve (and for whom) is the first step, but this alone won’t sell your program.

For that you need to know what outcome your clients will achieve.

If you’ve ever written a sales page, then you’re familiar with the concept of features vs. benefits. Features describe the product. Benefits are the outcome.

A feature of a showerhead is that it’s “low flow.” The benefit is that you save on your water bill.

A feature of your new curtains is that they block light. The benefit is that you can sleep in on the weekends.

A feature of your coaching program is that you are an expert in [YOUR NICHE]. The benefit is the outcome your clients will experience.

When you’re thinking about the outcome you promise, try to see it from your potential client’s point of view. She has a problem. She’s in pain. She’s struggling to find a solution.

Ask yourself what her life or business will look like once she’s completed your program.

Will she make more money? How much? In what time frame?

Will she find her dream date? Get engaged? Married? How soon?

Will she grow her email list? By how much?

This big benefit—or desired outcome—is what will sell your coaching program. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel that your ideal client is stuck in, and as such, every aspect of your coaching program should lead in this direction.

Now, of course you can’t just make empty promises, so it can feel pretty challenging to create the desired outcome of your coaching package. Good case studies and testimonials—and even your own experiences—can help.

Look to your past clients and their achievements. What have they gained as a result of working with you? Chances are you have some testimonials you can turn to for details, but if not, don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask about their results.

Pro Tip: Create an “exit interview” as a part of all your training programs—both group and 1:1—so you can find out about results, ask for testimonials, and make improvements to your programs as well.

Exercise: State The Outcome Your Clients Will Achieve

As with your problem statement, use this space to get clear on the desired outcome of your program. (e.g. “My clients learn to dramatically scale their marketing efforts to triple their income within a year.”)

Step Three: Plan Your Platform

Big breakthroughs don’t happen overnight, and they don’t happen by chance—as your clients have no doubt discovered by now. In fact, your ideal client has probably been struggling for a while. She’s read hundreds of blog posts, watched dozens of webinars, attended conferences, read books, listened to podcasts, purchased other trainings, and still, she’s got this problem.

To achieve big results, she needs a focused, step-by-step action plan, and the best 1:1 coaching programs are designed just that way. They guide the client logically through each step in the process.

For example, a coaching program designed to help freelancers get started online might include:

  • Developing service offerings
  • Ideal client discover
  • Pricing packages
  • Creating a website
  • Keywords and SEO
  • Developing a sales funnel
  • Creating contracts
  • Marketing methods
  • Sales calls

As you can see, each of these pieces is necessary, and many are dependent on one another. You cannot market your website if it doesn’t exist yet. You can’t work out pricing if you don’t know what services you offer.

Your coaching program will very likely benefit from a logical flow as well.

Keeping your desired outcome as well as your ideal client in mind, think about where she is right now in business and life, and where she is going (with the help of your coaching). Then draw the map to get her there. This is the flow of your coaching program.

At this point, you may want to begin thinking about how long your program will last. One-to-one coaching programs range from a few weeks to a year or more, depending on the depth of the information and the outcome clients will achieve.

Realistically, how long will it take for your clients to work through the steps? Be sure to consider outside influences such as:

  • Day jobs—if your clients are building a business while still working outside the home, it will reduce the amount of time they have available
  • Family obligations—toddlers in the house, summer vacations, elderly parents and a host of other life events can limit the time a client can dedicate to your program
  • Development time—websites aren’t built in a day. Webinars aren’t developed in a few hours. Sales funnels are not built in an afternoon. If your program includes elements that take time, consider extending the length of your coaching to accommodate them.

In step five, we’ll talk more about contact access and frequency, but for now, simply start considering how long your overall program will be, and what the steps to completion include. 

Exercise: Brainstorm Your Coaching Steps

What do your clients need to learn so that they can achieve your desired outcome? Spend a few minutes creating a list, and then organize it in a logical order.

In what order should your clients cover the topics listed above?

  1. ______________________________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________________________
  4. ______________________________________________________________
  5. ______________________________________________________________
  6. ______________________________________________________________
  7. ______________________________________________________________
  8. ______________________________________________________________
  9. ______________________________________________________________
  10. ______________________________________________________________
  11. ______________________________________________________________
  12. ______________________________________________________________
  13. ______________________________________________________________
  14. ______________________________________________________________
  15. ______________________________________________________________
  16. ______________________________________________________________
  17. ______________________________________________________________
  18. ______________________________________________________________
  19. ______________________________________________________________
  20. ______________________________________________________________

Exercise: Plan Your Program Duration

How long will it take your clients to work through all the steps above?

________ (weeks/months/years)

Step Four: Design Your Coaching Tools

The best 1:1 coaching programs not only follow a proven format, but they offer more than phone calls and Skype meetings as well. Consider offering:

  • Additional reading material (books, ebooks, blogs, etc.)
  • Video—either for training purposes, to illustrate a point, or to offer inspiration
  • Audio content
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Templates
  • Even simple printables to help illustrate ideas and concepts

Many of these you can easily repurpose from your own business. For example, if you have standard operating procedures or set up checklists that would be beneficial to your clients, rebrand them and offer as PDF downloads.

You can also create a reading list of your favorite books, compile a list of useful YouTube videos, or package up your email canned responses to share.

Worksheets that offer fill-in-the-blank questions can help your clients work through complex or confusing processes, and will serve as a reminder in coming weeks or after their coaching program is completed, so they can continue to benefit.

Another option for high-end coaching programs is to send your clients physical books that will help with their growth. One popular dating coach sends each of his clients a copy of “Attached,” by Amir Levine because he feels so strongly about the ideas presented in the book.

If you’ve written a book, another idea is to send clients a physical copy of your book, perhaps even customized for them, with notes in the margins or sticky notes to highlight important chapters.

Exercise: Plan Your Tools

What tools, training, worksheets and other resources will help your clients achieve their goals?

Tool Format Complete (y/n) Notes

Step Five: Design Your 1:1 Coaching Package

At the heart of your 1:1 coaching package is access to you. After all, that’s what your clients most want—the ability to consult with you and learn from your experiences.

So an important part of your coaching package design is to determine exactly how you’ll connect with your clients, when the contact will happen, and where.

Your options here are as flexible as you want them to be, and can include:

  • Email
  • Phone calls
  • Private Facebook group or forums
  • Voxer
  • Text messaging
  • Mastermind group calls
  • In-person, VIP days

In addition to determining how your clients will connect with you, you also need to decide how much contact will be allowed. Again, the details are completely up to you. You can offer:

  • Weekly phone calls
  • Monthly phone calls and daily email
  • Emergency phone calls only with daily emails
  • A limited number of “Urgent,” on-demand Skype chats
  • Monthly mastermind group calls + private calls
  • Monthly Skype calls with text messaging for emergencies

And here’s a tip: Daily access via email is an extremely valuable benefit… and very few people will actually use it. Making yourself available to clients in this way will make them feel special, and you will (naturally) answer their questions when they ask, but your workload will be limited since so few will take advantage of the offer.

The bottom line here is just this:

What will make your clients feel supported, without causing you to burnout?

That’s the contact frequency and format you should aim for.

In addition, consider how your clients will contact you. You probably don’t want to give clients your home or cell number, so consider a conference line (UberConference.com is free and easy to use) or a Google Voice number for privacy.

Email access is easy, but to keep client work organized, it may be better to set up a dedicated email address that you use just for coaching clients. This will be especially helpful if you offer something like daily email questions with a promise of a 24-hour response time. That way your important client emails won’t get lost among the coupons from Target and pictures from your cousin’s wedding.

Higher-touch coaching packages might offer in-person or virtual VIP days or even group retreats. VIP days can take place entirely online via Skype or Zoom, or your clients can visit you in your location (or vice versa).

Typically, a long-term coaching program might offer one or two VIP days per year. This offers an opportunity for you and your client to work hands on, side-by-side in her business or life plan. Without the distractions of home and kids, you and your client will accomplish a lot during a single VIP session.

Exercise: Decide Your Access & Availability

Contact Type Frequency Duration
Phone calls
Email n/a
Mastermind call
Text messaging n/a
VIP Days

Exercise: Create Your Private Phone Number & Email Address

Coaching Phone Number:       ________________________________________

Coaching Email Address:        ________________________________________

Step Six: Determining Your Price

Perhaps the most difficult decision to make when it comes to your private coaching program is cost.

Beginning coaches in all niches might charge as little as $97/month, while top business coaches can easily command $40,000, $50,000 or even $100,000 per year. Where will your program fit? It depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • A yearlong program is more costly than a 6-week offer.
  • Certain industries, such as business, can demand higher price tags than others.
  • Beginners will be less likely to shell out big bucks for coaching than will more advanced clients.
  • If your outcome includes an increase in profits for a business, then a higher-priced program is possible.
  • Your experience level. With a proven track record of success for yourself and your clients, you can easily ask top-dollar for your 1:1 package.

In addition to these elements, consider comparable programs from your coaching colleagues. What do they offer and for how much?

Exercise: Determine Your Program Length and Cost

Note: You can create multiple levels here as well. For example, you might offer both a 3-month and a six-month program.

Program Duration Cost

Step Seven: Setting Boundaries

Even with a clear communication plan and format in place, there will be temptations—on both sides—to push the limits.

  • Clients will keep you on the phone longer than you intended
  • They will email you more than is allowed
  • They will text you for non-emergencies
  • They will send you messages in Facebook, on Twitter, on Voxer, or anywhere else that is convenient for them—regardless of your preferences

And it works both ways!

You will be tempted to reach out on a weekend to answer a question, or schedule a call on a Sunday afternoon because that’s when your client is available. While you might think this is just good business—after all, you’re building a relationship, right?—the fact is, it will lead to burn out. You’ll always feel like you must do more for your clients, and sooner or later, you’ll lose touch with your own health and personal space.

Boundaries are the answer, for both you and your clients.

Establish from the outset exactly what is included with your coaching package, and be sure to include when contact will take place. For example, you might say:

“Your coaching package includes one monthly, 50-minute phone call with me + one question by email each working day. My work days are Monday through Thursday from 10am to 4pm Eastern, and all calls and emails will be answered during that time.”

With this format, you’ve established:

  • What the client gets (one phone call and once daily emails)
  • When she gets it (Monday through Thursday from 10am to 4pm)

You’ll also need to establish exactly how your clients should contact you, and what will happen if they do not follow the procedures. As we discussed in the last step, it can help to set up specific email addresses and phone numbers or conference lines exclusively for your client use.

Another step you can take is to create “canned responses” to send out when a client attempts to contact you outside of your established system. For example, if you receive a Facebook message (and you don’t offer this as a form of contact) you might respond with:

“Thank you for reaching out. This is a great question, and I’m happy to help you with it. For better organization of my client files, though, I do ask that you send all your questions to my email address at yourname@yourdomain.com.”

A gentle reminder of the “rules” is often all it will take to establish clear boundaries, and create a better coaching relationship for both of you.

To keep phone calls from running over, a simple kitchen timer will help. At the start of the call, tell your client, “We have XX minutes today, so I’m going to set a timer for YY minutes to remind us when it’s almost time to end. That will help ensure I can answer all your questions today.”

Then set your timer for 5 minutes before the call is to end. When the timer goes off, let your client know you have 5 minutes remaining, and ask if she has any final questions before you hang up.

Following this simple system will prevent those endless phone calls that you just can’t seem to end.

Remember though, you have to respect your own boundaries, too! Resist the temptation to allow calls to be booked outside of your working hours, or to respond to questions on the weekend, or to book additional appointments “just this once.”

Doing so will make it appear to your client that your boundaries are flexible, and will invite them to push the limits as well. After all, if you email on the weekend, it must be ok, right?

Exercise: Map Your Work Hours

  Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
6am
7am
8am
9am
10am
11am
12pm
1pm
2pm
3pm
4pm
5pm
6pm
7pm

Exercise: Craft Your Boundary Responses

How will you set the expectation at the start of a call so it does not run over?

How will you respond if a client contacts you outside your established system?

What will you tell yourself when you fail to respect your own boundaries?

How to become a coach 1

How to become a coach 1

Writing Tips Made Easy

Writing Tips Made Easy

If you run a blog or website you understand the need for writing regular content. While this may sound easy, it is not always easy to come up with ideas of what to write about. Even then you need to know how to write a compelling blog post that will attract attention.

When it comes to writing online there are a few differences which you must be aware of. Writing this type of content is different than writing a novel or non-fiction book.

Just implement one writing tip per week to improve your style, writing techniques, creativity and the amount of content you create.

I am sure that you will enjoy using these tips and will have fun putting them into practice.

Start Writing on a Daily Basis 

The more you write the better you will become at writing. So, it just makes sense that you want to get into the habit of writing every day. You don’t have to start writing pages upon pages each day. Your goal is to form the habit where you sit down at your computer and start typing words into a document or notepad.

You can write about anything. For example, you may want to write about your activities the day before. Start mapping out a business plan or outline blog posts. Write about anything that gets you into the habit of actually writing. You may even want to practice writing short posts which you could then use as content for your social sites.

It may be difficult at first to write every day. Just remember, as with any habit, if you commit to doing this daily you will be writing regularly in less than one month.

Start Reading on a Daily Basis

The more you read the better your writing ability will be. Plus, by reading you will be keeping up to date on current affairs and topics. This will provide you with useful insights and topics that you can write about on your own blog.

It also helps to read a good variety of content and material. Don’t just limit yourself to reading a magazine or book. Get into the habit of reading newspapers, short stories, blog articles and more. Take the time to read up on a new hobby or skill that you have always wanted to learn.

By exposing your mind to a variety of content your vocabulary will expand. You will find that the task of writing becomes easier. Plus, you will find that you have more topics on which you can write about.

Write in a Comfortable Place

If you are seriously trying to write a long article or even start a book you need to have a comfortable place to work in. This will vary depending on your personality. Some writers enjoy writing in a quiet room at home, others prefer to write outdoors when possible. Yet other writers find they get inspired and can write more when sitting at a local coffee shop or restaurant.

No matter where you choose to write, find a place that works for you. If you have small children or a busy schedule you may prefer to get up earlier and use that time for writing.

By placing yourself in a comfortable setting you will find that your words flow easily. If your body is not in a comfortable place then neither is your mind.

Write for Your Audience

When it comes to writing online content for the internet your biggest concern is that you will want to cut out all the fluff and padding of your work. While it is still important to pay attention to your use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation your main concern is to keep your writing concise.

It is still important to develop a style so that your audience can identify with you. You will want to aim your writing at a general level. This means not using overly long or difficult words and talking to your reader as though you were writing to a friend.

With the emergence of the internet, writing styles are definitely more relaxed than ever before. It is still important to maintain a professional quality of your work so that you can brand yourself as an expert in your niche.

Use Complete Sentences

While writing for the internet requires you to be friendlier, you still need to write correct sentences. Your sentence structure should be complete and concise. An example of an incomplete sentence is when you suddenly place the word ‘when’ at the beginning. The use of this word makes a statement incomplete such as in the following example:

When I complete this project.

Instead, you should write:

I completed this project.

If you use an online spelling and grammar checker an incomplete sentence will be referred to as a fragmented sentence.

Because online writing rules are viewed as more relaxed it is okay to break the rules now and again. You will notice that a lot of online content will have sentences that start with the words ‘and because’. This was definitely something that any good English teacher would tell you is not correct. But now it is viewed as acceptable.

Research Your Topic

Before you sit down and write you want to take the time to research your topic. This is extremely important with web-based content. Always keep in mind that internet users are looking for current information and facts.

By researching first, you will have timely facts and information that you automatically include in your blog posts and articles. By taking the time to research, your content is more likely to be shown as relevant content in the search engines. What this means is that your posts, pages, and articles are more likely to show up in the top results in any search engine.

Once you have compiled your research you will be able to easily create a good outline for your topic. You may even find that the direction you first had in mind has changed. Researching can help you discover new and unique angles that you had not thought of.

Use Current Events for Blog Posts

If you want to consistently create good content for your niche then it is imperative that you stay up to date with what is happening in your niche. This can be done by subscribing to other blogs in your niche by using an RSS Reader. Then simply get into the habit of checking your reader each morning for important news.

This has a dual purpose for you as a writer. Firstly, you will be staying on top of all of the latest news developments and gossip in your industry. Secondly, this ‘news’ can easily provide you with a list of ongoing topics for you to write about.

Other ways to stay on top of the news is by creating Google Alerts and by checking sites such as Google News regularly. Don’t forget to subscribe to top blogs in your field as they can help inspire topic ideas.

Create an Outline

If you find that you often get stuck writing a complete blog post or article have you considered using an outline? This technique allows you to simply fill in the outline, once created, in a step by step process. Once filled with your basic article is completed. Using an outline simplifies the writing process and makes it easy for you to create quick and informative posts.

A good outline includes:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion

In the introduction, you will basically tell the reader what they are going to learn by reading your article or post. In the body of your article make a list of the points or sub-topics that you want to discuss. These points will become the subheadings of your article. After you have outlined your points you go back and write a couple of sentences on each one. This becomes the body of your article.

Once you get to the conclusion you simply wrap up and summarize the main points again. Then add a call to action for your reader and your new post is ready for publication.

Use a Mind Mapping Tool

If you liked the idea of using an outline then you are going to love using mind mapping tools for writing. A mind mapping tool is great for outlining individual posts and articles as well as for creating a blogging schedule.

You can use this tool to plan out content for months at a time. Come up with main topics and then add subtopics to your list. As well as listing sub-topics you can list research sources and jot down ideas.

When you go back to your mind map you can add additional notes and thoughts. Before you know it, you will have basic content outlined in several blog posts at a time.

A great feature of mind mapping software is the ability to add colored nodes so you can easily identify topics, research, and specific outlines.

Write in Short Spurts 

Use a kitchen timer or download an online timer to your desktop and then use it. Most writers will agree that it is better to write in short spurts, rather than sit down for hours at one time.

There are several benefits of writing in short spurts including not cramping up your fingers and wrists from over typing, and not feeling overwhelmed or frustrated when your words do not flow.

Quite often taking a break frees up your mind and relaxes your body. When you sit down again to resume writing you will feel refreshed and ready to take action. You should notice that your writing flows easily and that you actually feel more creative.

Experiment with how often to take breaks and see what works for you. Most people tend to find that taking a 10-minute break once every hour is extremely effective.

Develop Compelling Headlines & Titles

With any type of writing which is going to be published online, you want to take the time to come up with compelling headlines. A good headline will attract your website visitor’s attention immediately, and this will entice them to read the entire article.

When writing your headline or title do not use all capital letters in it and avoid using punctuation. If you place a full stop or period at the end of your headline it will make the reader want to stop reading. By eliminating this punctuation your reader is more likely to continue reading your full article.

Examples of great titles are:

  • Titles that ask questions or provoke opinions
  • How to titles
  • Step by Step titles
  • Titles which stir feelings in your reader

When writing content, for online purposes, you want to try and include keywords in your titles. This will help boost your content within the search engines. Place yourself in your reader’s shoes and think of how you would search for this particular information. Then try to include these terms into your titles, headlines and subtitles.

Short Sentences Work Best for Online Content 

When writing online content, you want to avoid long sentences. It is much better to write your content in short and concise sentences. This way you can offer your readers easy to understand information which is well thought out.

In addition, keep your paragraphs fairly short. It is important to understand that when someone is reading an article, post or website content online, they often scan the content first. This is why it is important to make use of subtitles and formatting techniques such as lists and bullet points. These things will catch the readers eye, pulling them in, and making them want to read more.

Practice writing short sentences with no added fluff. If you find that your sentences are extremely long, work on adding commas into the sentence structure. Then read your sentence aloud. If your sentence still sounds and feels long winded then try splitting into two shorter sentences.

Use a Friendly Tone of Voice When Writing on Your Blog

Conversational and friendly tones work best when writing online content. Use a passive voice in your writing. An example of this is:

The graphic designer was hired by our company.

Instead, use:

We hired the graphic designer.

When writing your blog write as though you are chatting with your best friend or family member, someone that you know well. When you write in this manner your content becomes friendlier and adds that human touch.

A common problem with the internet is that a website often blocks the human element. Sometimes a reader doesn’t really know who has written the content and this adds distance.

By writing in a friendly manner you are forming a relationship with your reader and they, in turn, will learn to know, like and trust you more. This is extremely important for connecting long-term readership for your blog.

Write to Attract Attention

This follows on from our last writing tip which covered writing in a friendly manner. With online content, it is important to understand that your website visitor is looking for something. This could be the answer to a particular question or information on a particular subject. In essence, they are looking for a solution to a problem.

You need to provide them with the solution and this solution must be evident quickly. Most website visitors will scan your page and if they don’t find what they are looking for, will leave in under 10 seconds.

This is why it is important to attract their attention immediately. This can be done by creating compelling headlines, using subheading and lists. If the visitor thinks you may have the answer they are more likely to stick around and read the rest of your content.

Include Lists and Step by Step Tutorials

When creating content, you can make your content easier to read and more attractive by making use of lists and step by step tutorials. This offers several benefits including making your content more appealing to visitors. Instead of being faced with a long article they immediately see that your content is short and easy to read.

You can list main points and use bullet points or numbers to make them stand out on your page. As we mentioned earlier readers on the internet are in the habit of scanning content rather than reading every word in detail. So, using short points can help them identify if your content is what they are looking for.

Creating how-to and step by step tutorials you are offering your readers a different type of content. If your article is dealing with how to learn something new then consider writing out in point or step form.

Structure Your Content

Structuring your content includes taking the time to think about the topic that you are writing about. You don’t want to go rambling on about nothing in particular. Instead, come up with a specific idea or subject and discuss that on your blog.

By talking about one thing at a time you will have the ability to write clear and concise articles. These will be informative posts that will engage your readers in a friendly manner.

To do this effectively you should get into the habit of writing out the main points of your article. Then go back and start explaining or discussing each one in a single paragraph. By the time you have filled in all of this information all that is left is your closing paragraph.

The last paragraph is normally a quick recap of what the reader has just learned. Plus it should include a call to action. This could be a sign up to a newsletter or to receive a free gift or it could be to purchase a recommended product.

Use Clear Language 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to writing online content is to use fancy language. This can be a foreign concept to many writers, but believe me, your readers will appreciate clear and easy to understand language.

Only use technical terminology when required. If you are writing a white paper for university graduates then you will, of course, use different language as compared to writing for young adults.

As well as not using fancy or technical jargon you don’t want to add fluff to your content. While adding descriptiveness to stories and fiction is good, it is not always appropriate for shorter pieces of content.

If you are in the habit of writing colorful content, try going back and removing unnecessary words and expressions. Make a point of keeping each sentence clear and to the point. If you stray off topic simply remove the section.

Use Summaries

A summary is basically a quick recap of what your article or post is about. You are actually telling the reader what you have just told them! A good summary consists of one good paragraph and this summary can be used to describe your article as well. Learning how to write a good summary is important if you want to submit articles to article directories for example.

As you gain experience with crafting summaries you will also be improving your copywriting skills. So, when it is time to write a sales page you will have an easier time of coming up with shorter sentences to reflect benefits and key points.

If you condense your summary even further, into 150 characters, this becomes the sentence that is displayed by the search engines when your website shows up on the results page.

Include Images and Graphics 

There is one major difference between writing online content and that is the use of images, graphics, and photographs. Images can really help make your content visually appealing and entices the reader to actually stay on your site and read your content.

When using images try to use images that relate to what your article is about. Plus, with the increased popularity of social media sites, people love sharing images. This can help get your content more views and website traffic. Try to use images that people can ‘pin’ to sites like Pinterest.

Images and photographs help to break up long articles and make them appear shorter and easier to read. It is very easy to insert images into a document, just use the insert feature in Word. Plus, you can then use the Picture tools to add a border, color or special effects to your images.

Remember an image help draw the reader’s eye to the page and compels them to continue reading. If you aren’t in the habit of adding images try using some in your next article.

Make Use of White Space 

When you write content that you wish to post on your website it is important to take the visual appearance of the piece into consideration. You don’t want to publish a long article that is all text and very little else. Immediately visitors view this as ‘boring’, and they will click away without bothering to read it.

While you can still publish long articles, you can make them look less ‘boring’ by breaking the piece up into smaller sections.

One way to do this is to write smaller paragraphs. When you have more paragraphs, whiter space appears on your site. This has the effect of making your article look smaller and easier to read.

Including headings and subtitles also goes a long way in helping to break up your content. The more manageable your content appears, the more readers you will attract.

If your article is extremely long you may want to consider breaking into 2 or 3 smaller posts and then link to each one at the end of the article.

Include a Call to Action

When writing articles that are to be published online you normally want the reader to perform some type of action after reading it. This action is referred to as a Call to Action. It can include having your reader click on a buy button, liking or sharing your post or giving up their email address in exchange for a gift.

If you don’t tell your reader what you want them to do at the end of your article they will simply click away. Instead, it is important to lead your reader somewhere.

To achieve this, you want to make your call to action very clear. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, tell them how to do it. If the required action is to click a link put the link there for them to click on!

By including a call to action your conversion rates will increase as will your profit margin. Don’t expect people to know what action you want them to take, instead show them!

Write, Read, Edit, Proofread and then Repeat

Get into the habit of writing your content and then letting it sit at least overnight. This way when you open it up again to reread and edit it you can pick up on errors easily. Do not simply write and publish your content without proofreading it.

While many programs such as Word and Open Office do come with built-in spell checking systems, these are not always that accurate. Instead, you want to get into the habit of editing and proofreading, then rewriting if necessary before going back and proofreading again.

When editing and proof reading your work do so with an open mind and pay attention to the small details. It can be so easy to overlook words by reading too fast. Instead read slowly and carefully. If you find yourself faltering over a sentence and have to read it more than once, stop and fix the sentence.

Don’t be Scared to Cut & Rewrite 

By letting your content sit before it is published you can reread it with fresh eyes. If you are not totally happy with it take the time to cut out sections and do rewrites if needed.

Remember whatever you publish online becomes associated with you. If you are trying to brand yourself and your business, then publishing informative and thought-provoking content is vital.

You should feel proud of any piece of content which you create. Try asking yourself if this is something that you would want to read, it should be!

At this stage in the game, you want to watch for certain words that you repeat often. When this happens try to look for alternative word choices that can help liven up your work. One easy way to do this is by using the synonym and thesaurus features in programs such as Microsoft Word. This is a real way to change your work without having to do major rewrites or cuts.

Voice Your Opinions 

Don’t be worried about voicing your opinions when you write. Of course, you may not want to become too controversial on certain topics. But there is nothing wrong with voicing your thoughts and opinions on any subject.

By doing this you could easily create content that becomes a little controversial. This type of content is enjoyed by many people, especially on social sites. They love to add their own opinion before sharing with their friends. Your content could easily go viral and receive thousands of views.

By voicing your opinions, you are opening the floor to allowing your readers to add their own thoughts and comments. This can be a fantastic thing and can help you receive hundreds of extra readers to your blog. Many super blog conversations have been conducted in the comments section.

Keep a Notepad for Ideas 

It can be extremely helpful to always carry a notepad or book of some kind with you. This way if you suddenly come up with great ideas for a story, blog post, article, report or book you can scribble away to your heart’s content.

Notepads are great for using to brainstorm ideas and thoughts. They are perfect for use at any time and you can even revert to a good old-fashioned notepad and paper. How many times have you suddenly come up with great ideas and had nowhere to write them down? By the time you reach home or sit at your computer your ideas are long gone.

You can use any type of notepad for this and several online notes can be synced across all of your devices these days. Evernote is one good example of this.

writing tips

 

Life at Croud as a freelance content writer

There’s no two ways about it – working in the fast-changing, ever-evolving digital landscape is exciting. With the industry developing at the rate of knots, no two days are the same; staying abreast of changes to platforms like Google and Facebook is fascinating and challenging in equal measure.

Add freelancing into the mix, and you have a heady cocktail. Between juggling tasks, maintaining relationships, and wading through admin, it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming.

As a content writer based between London and the Midlands, I’m familiar with the difficulties faced. But working with Croud, a global digital agency based in London, has allowed me to better embrace the benefits of freelancing.

Croud has it covered  

When it comes to admin organisation, Croud’s got it down to a T. I can split my time between both locations as it suits me. As long as I complete the work to the required standard, and hit the deadline, I can work in whatever way I find most useful. Croud have developed their own technology for managing tasks with their freelancers, which streamlines the entire process. It ensures that briefs are always delivered clearly and concisely, and payments run like clockwork. What’s more, Croud lets me set my hourly rate, which I can change as I develop both my expertise and my relationships with the in-house team.

Working with an agency means that I have the opportunity to work on big-name brands I might otherwise find difficult to access. Whether it’s writing and editing copy for a Victoria’s Secret report, or concocting sharp short-form for Frontier’s Facebook advertisements, I get to broaden my portfolio and industry-specific knowledge at the same time. Furthermore, the wide range of tasks that are available to me means that I am able to expand my knowledge of digital marketing more generally; seeing how PPC adverts are constructed, understanding the process behind crafting a great display ad. Perhaps most importantly for my skill set, Croud’s SEO offering means that I’m learning more and more about what makes good technical copywriting, a key skill for writers working in the digital sphere.

The Croudie network

One of my biggest struggles working freelance is feeling removed from my clients. Croud has this covered and there’s even a specific team dedicated to the network of freelancers, who are always finding ways to optimise our experience; from making sure that everyone gets maximum visibility when it comes to opportunities, to organising industry meetups for the freelancers to attend. They’re constantly analysing how best to expand their offering, and how to bring new exciting opportunities to the freelancers who work with them. Furthermore, they allow me to be as engaged or detached as I need to be, letting me take on as much or as little work as my schedule allows, according to what else I have on in the week. It helps too that they’re easy to get hold of if I have any questions. Ultimately, their involvement makes me a part of the wider company. They’ve even coined a new term for the freelancers they work with; ‘Croudies’, putting us linguistically and literally at the centre of what they do. Needless to say, I’m excited to see what opportunities it brings next!

If you wish to join the Croudie Network and learn more then please click here.

Joysin Font

Joysin Font

joysin font

Introducing the Joysin font

This handwritten script has been attentively written, with gentle curves to produce a font thats completely distinctive and original. Perfect for adding a elegant and unique touch to your lettering projects and branding.

Also with their help, you can create a Wedding lettering or beautiful frame for your home. Or just use for your small business, book covers, stationery, marketing, magazines and more. Joysin font built with uppercase, lowercase, numeral, punctuation.

ZIP INCLUDED

  • Joysin TTF
  • Joysin OTF
  • Joysin WOFF
  • Joysin WOFF2

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How To Set Up And Use The Sale Page From PLR in WordPress

How To Set Up And Use The Sale Page From PLR in WordPress

If you have discovered PLR you probably have got PLR bundles just sitting on your computer, doing nothing, not earning you a bean. You might even have seen the sales page that comes with some of it but heck that looks far too complicated. But there is something you can do with that sales page and it could earn you some pennies and you could even put your own spin on it all and do something totally unique.

But it’s all HTML stuff and I only know WordPress? Yep, that’s me too. So I decided to make a few of the PLR’s that come with sales pages into mini sites to sell the end product. So that’s selling it as it is not selling it as a PLR product. When I googled how to do this there wasn’t much info so I decided to do my own ‘How To’ explaining how I did it all. Yes, some of these links will be affiliate links but I will tell you which ones are.

 

You Need a Product

First, you need a product. For this how to I am using a PLR product from my PLR Direct site – yep a totally shameless plug for my own site. I choose the New Seo Guide as it has been created recently and I like the graphics. It also has the option of offering another ‘add-on’ product in the form of videos. When you are looking for a PLR product you do need to check out the licenses.  I don’t plan to change the product and sell it as it is so I only had to have a license that covered selling and didn’t look for licenses that allow you to change the product in any way.

Hang on – do I need to change the product? That’s up to you. PLR is used by a lot of people. If everyone didn’t change anything we all would be selling or using the same product which wouldn’t make much sense. For this ‘how to,’ I am leaving it all as it is as the aim is to show you how to get a mini site up and working on WordPress from a PLR product. All the different variables, i.e how much you alter the product, combining more than one product etc, are down to your preference. If you want to do your own spin on the product this is the point you run off and do that. If you change the graphics etc make sure you keep them in a folder as you will need them a bit further down.

Right so I have bought a PLR product and it’s sitting there on my computer. First I make a second copy of the folder so that I have the original to refer back to if I ever need to. File that away and leave it be so that you don’t get confused between the two versions. I then put into a new folder the files that are being sold and zip it ready, renaming it to something that describes the product.  As I am not selling this as PLR product I don’t want to include the sales pages and all the extra bits. So now I have the actual product ready to upload and sell.

In the PLR folders that you bought they often look a bit like this. The New Guide to Seo comes with all these folders. A quick run down on what they are.

  • The Backlink Checker is an extra freebie with the bundle.
  • The Desktop.ini is ……I’ll be honest I don’t have a clue and not got to Googling it yet.
  • Guide, Cheat Sheet, MindMap and Resource Report – these are the main bits of the whole thing and is what I will be selling. They are zipped and ready to upload ( bottom of the list)
  • Sales Letter and Thank You Page – this is the folder we will be starting in as its the ready made page that is included in selling the product.
  • Sales Video – has a copy of the video that is on the sale page.
  • Legal Pages – already done for you Privacy, Discloser and Terms, and Conditions.
  • Graphics – These are the ebook covers in different poses and styles.
  • Articles – A set of ten articles to help you push your product.
  • Banners – Ready made banners that you can place on your blog pointing to your mini site.
  • Promotional Email Swipes – Handy for your email list
  • High-Quality Ecovers – this has the main ecover in different colours and styles. Handy for just selling the ebook and want it to look different
  • Social Media Image Pack – 10 images with text overlay with different quotes.

Hosting and Set Up -Your Mini Site

So we have our product ready to go and were familiar with what we have to play with. Next, we have to put it somewhere. I decided on a separate domain for mine as I found co.uk domains on offer for 99p. But you don’t have to put it on a separate domain and you can put it on your existing domain as a subfolder. It depends on your hosting setup so check what you can do with your hosting. If you want to go this route you would install another copy of WordPress on a subfolder through your cpanel. It would be then www.yourdomain.com/newsubfolder with its home page being on the newsubfolder.

Whichever route you are going, new domain or subdomain, get that setup. On mine, I have installed the following.

Divi from Elegant Themes ( affiliate link) – I love Divi as It can create just about anything I want and as I want to recreate the sales page its ideal. If you are setting up on a subdomain and want it to be consistent with your theme and overall look you could use your existing theme and then use the Divi Builder Plugin ( aff link) to style the pages if your current theme lacks the omph or flexability.

Statcounter – I use Statcounter for my analytics program so substitute for whichever is your analytics of choice.

Bloom from Elegant Themes ( another affiliate link) – Bloom is Elegant Themes email opt-in plugin. It does everything I want and also just started linking to Converkit which I use so is even more useful to me now.

WordPress iSell – Sell Digital Downloads – I tried others but this one does what I wanted it to do. I did try Woocommerce as I use that a lot but it was going to be too long winded to work around not having a basket and product pages. I just wanted to sell one item and go straight to Paypal. This plugin does that.

With WordPress, theme, and plugins all in place next is the content bit.

At Last The Content

I always get some of the content in place before fiddling with the pretty bits.

I set my permalinks to what I prefer.

I set up the default font and sizes at this point ( appearance/customize) as I will be going back and forth from PLR Sales page to my page and don’t want to be fiddling with that as I go.

I also turn off the Divi default navigation as my mini site doesn’t need a menu. I don’t want to give readers choice or an excuse to go off wandering. The mini site I am creating is like landing pages on steroids.

Then I set up the pages Privacy, Disclosure and T&C’s. The PLR came with the pages pre-made so I open Chrome and copy and paste the content into my pages. Check through the pages as they sometimes use [your url] or [ your domain] so that you can go through and add your details.

Next is creating the Home page, which is creating a page called home, nip over to settings/reading and set it to Home as your static page. I then recreate the home page. This is the bit that takes the longest. I work down the page copying the text from the PLR page to my Home Page making any changes as I go. I’ve add screen captures of the admin view of my home page, the original home page, my version of the home page so you can get an idea and not panic when your page seems really really long.

I then create a product in the iSell ( that’s what Sell Digital Products is in your admin menu). It gives me a URL that I can use to on my home page. I go back to the home page and add the URL into the various ‘Buy Now’ images and texts.

Next, I create a Thank you page. If you’re selling just one product with no upsells you can create just a simple thank you page – then go back to your product in iSell and add in its custom Thank you page that you just created. But I also got the upsell Video PLR too. So my thank you page is a ‘thank you but wait’ sort of page. So I create a Thank you page which tells the customer they can upgrade. This is the page I put as my thank you. It will link to the second sales pages ( for the videos) I create so I have to remember to go back into the thank you page and add the links. I then create a page to sell the Videos, so a second sales page. The Video PLR package came with the same folder up so I used their sales page set up and created a second product for the videos.

There can be a bit of back and forth with inserting links etc but hopefully, it goes like this.

Sales Page A promotes product A and sells product A > thank you page A has link to Sales Page B > Sales Page B has and promotes product B > Simple thank you page.

Makes sense?

It’s all nearly done. I create HTML links of the legal pages and when I go into Divi customize to finish of design tweaks I add the code the footer. I set up the Bloom plugin to capture visitors email addresses as the Video PLR came with a Giveaway Report which I use for this. Lastly, I add the analytics so that I can see visitor numbers.

Did I miss anything or anything not clear?

Once you see how easy it is to set up a mini site with WordPress using PLR all it takes is a bit of imagination and a little bit more time to set up your own product.