love how the universe works its magic! Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a client about blogging. Her main concern was about length, “Vanessa, do I really have to write these long-ass posts? BORING!”
My answer: Agreed. My experience has shown me that shorter is better for social shares, longer for engagement. However, it depends on your audience.
This morning I found research from the folks over at Copy Hackers that backs up my statement. I’ve summarized the most compelling data below. So, please…enjoy!!!
The burning questions:
- What works best?
- How long should your post be?
- And what should you keep in mind while creating content?
Why your content should be short:
If you’re going to build a content strategy that uses short posts to attract attention to your site, you need to do everything that makes short content successful online.
Keep it BRIEF.
Sites that do short content well have 5 things in common. To succeed with your own short content, make sure that it includes the following:
- B—Big Fan Base. Organizations with successful short content already have a massive audience. Posting quality content to a massive audience will naturally result in lots of shares. If you don’t have that many fans, there’s never been a better time than now to start posting great content regularly and building your list.
- R—Remarkable Content. Each of these sites shares content that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s information that awes and inspires. Short posts (especially those under 300 words) face an uphill battle when it comes to SEO. So, if your short content isn’t worth talking about, it will get lost.
- I—Images that are Eye-Catching and Compelling. You’re competing with a billion other web pages. Without a great picture, your short content doesn’t stand a chance.
- E—Every Day (Or Close to It). Successful short content is posted consistently. Followers and fans expect it and look forward to it. Posting every day has the advantage of maximizing the opportunities for followers to see new content every time they go online.
- F— Focused on a Single Idea. Each post is about one thing and that one thing only. It’s s single idea that readers will think is worth sharing. Focus is critical for short content.
Getting noticed with short copy is difficult. If your content doesn’t have these five characteristics, it will struggle to find an audience and earn shares or links. Short content has a short shelf life. Which means your audience may talk about it today but tomorrow, they will need new BRIEF content or they’ll disengage.
Why your content should be long:
You used to be able to post a short, 500-word article about something and your content stood a chance of appearing near the top of the search results. But then came Google’s Panda update and it took aim at “thin” content.
Suddenly SEO experts were telling clients not just to create better and longer content, but also to remove all content less than 300 words from their sites.
An easy way to improve your thin content is to make it longer, but should you?
- Long content keeps interested readers on your site longer.
- When done well, long content it helps communicate that you are an expert on the subject.
- Long content gives you an opportunity to shape the world and educate.
Long content is more difficult to write and ideas that can be easily expressed in a few hundred words suddenly become bland when stretched to 2K or more words. It’s literally like turning a short story into a movie.
Use your WORDS
If long content is so great, why isn’t there more of it? It takes a real strategy for long content to do well.
If you are ready to create long content for your site, then make sure to use your WORDS. Here’s how:
- W—Well Researched. If you’re going to write a long post, include plenty of examples, case studies, and other information that will interest your readers. Great long content should be based on more than one or two sources. Do your research before you sit down to write.
- O—Outstanding Content. Whatever content you produce, it won’t stand a chance compared to millions of other sites unless it’s truly fabulous. If your content triggers an emotional response like anger, awe, or anxiety, guess what? You’re golden! This kind of writing is more likely to earn shares and links from your readers.
- R—Regularly Posted. You don’t need to post long content every single day. Or even several times a week. But you do need to post on a regular basis. The more you post, the more likely you are to succeed.
- D—Designed to Encourage Reading. Long content without paragraph interaction won’t get read or shared. Many readers scan your content looking for the part that answers their questions. Make sure you’ve laid out scannable content.
- S—Substantive. What you write about needs to be big enough to fill 2K words without it turning repetitive or boring. That doesn’t mean you can only write about complicated subjects. It means you have to do your research.
So what’s the scoop? Long or short?
If you get the majority of your site visitors from organic search, you’ll want to write long content that gets ranked by the search engines.
Fact: 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic results. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
If you’ve garnered an audience that engages with you in social channels and your content is so amazing that it practically makes itself go viral, short content may be enough to get your prospects interacting with your brand.
Don’t know what works for you? Test.
Publish 12-15 compelling short articles on your site. Add another 12-15 researched long articles (like cornerstone content or skyscraper posts:
- Cornerstone content: When trying to rank well for the one or two topics that your entire site is built around, creating flagship content is your best bet. Whether it’s a tutorial about search engine optimization basics, blogging for beginners, or copywriting, a frequently asked questions page, or an inspirational mission statement, this content serves a vital function in creating a relevant, compelling, and useful cornerstone to build a site around. A cornerstone is something that is basic, essential, indispensable, and the chief foundation upon which something is constructed or developed. It’s what people need to know to make use of your website and do business with you. -Copyblogger
- Skyscraper posts: It consists of three steps.
- Find top performing content.
- Create better content than the current top performers.
- Try to get a bunch on people to link to your new content.
Once you’ve done this, analyze which posts perform better. Which posts get the most traffic? Which posts get comments or shares? Which posts keeps readers on your site? Which posts drive conversions?
The biggest takeaway here is this: Ultimately, your audience will determine the kind of content you create.
So the story begins with Edwin Devia who started a Go Fund Me Campaign 8 days ago:
“Hey everyone. I found this guy roaming the streets of Newark. Hungry, alone, cold, and thirsty. He would walk up to kids wagging his tail and they would just run away in fear. I walked up to him and he had this sadness in his eyes as if to say ‘why doesn’t anyone want me’ ? It took almost an hour for him to trust me enough to get into my truck. I already have two dogs and if I had the room I’d keep him. I dropped him off at the Newark shelter. I found out later that they have an 80% kill rate if the dog doesn’t get adopted quickly. He’ll be up for adoption in 7 days. This money is for his check up, shots, neutering, adoptions fees, some food, doggy food and water bowls, a leash and some treats. I’m trying my best to find him a forever home and with your help it can be done!”
The campaign was shared +7.5K times.
Through Facebook… it reached my best friend in the Dominican Republic who tagged me on the post. I saw his face, then read ‘they have 80% kill rate at this shelter if the dog doesn’t get adopted quickly’…my heart sank.
I knew I had to do something, even if it was just to help get him home.
The next day I called the shelter (just like 3oo+ people) and asked if he was still there. They told me he was and I set out to visit “Chance,” as Edwin had named him. I found out he had not been claimed and that he would legally go up for adoption in a few days. He seemed strong, very strong and sad… Anxious to get outside and soooo sweet.
He had me at first glance. I then started working him into my home. I showed his picture to my husband and kids and thought that Blue would be a cool name because his coat looks navy blue. Tomás (my 7 year old son) came home from school that day and said that if we got him, we should name him “Blue” Coincidence? I beg to differ.
I was concerned about his size and most importantly, his demeanor around my kids…my gut kept telling me however that adopting him would be the right thing to do.
Thank you Edwin for not turning away from him. Thank you for taking the time to get the word out and thank you to everyone who shared and donated to the campaign.
Please take a look below at what social media has done!
Blue came home today. He is beyond beautiful and such a good boy! Larissa (who has spent several years rescuing animals in our native DR) I am forever grateful for the virtual nudge! I think Blue rescued us too.
A personal brand is something you work on many levels to build. The first thing you need to do is get to know yourself better. Then you need to understand what you want to communicate to your target audience -before even opening your mouth (or posting in social media).
It’s very simple really. A personal brand is a vision. And when you open your mouth to speak about your brand, it should become all about the message you’re trying to transmit -not about hard-selling yourself.
While self-promotion is an extremely important part of building your brand (if no one knows of your accomplishments or the company you work for, then how are they going to do business with you?), it also seems that the biggest factor separating personal branding from shameless self-promotion is value.
If a person provides value with his/her content, then all the self-promotion is justified because people will benefit from the content.
Once you really understand your values and know what you want your brand image to be, then you will understand that over -promoting your services will hurt your brand.
You must align your communication and overall message with your target audience, not only the message.
Don’t feel that it is wrong to provide information about the content that you provide. Just make sure that it is targeted to the right audience an be personal while doing it.
It’s back to the grind. Kids are off to school (insert happy dance here) and therefore -naturally- we feel that our own schedule will get back on track.
But how do you prioritize? How do you decide which task to tackle first?
Truth: A key differentiator between people who succeed in their business and those who do not is personal productivity. Leaders and entrepreneurs who are consistently making things happen know how to achieve what they want in less time than others. I recently stumbled upon an American Express Forum article, detailing what highly successful entrepreneurs do every day. I was pleasantly surprised at learning that many of these tips are already a part of my day to day, therefore I wanted to share them with you.
There’s a lot to be learned from the tactics of successful, and incredibly busy, individuals on how to better organize our own days. Here are 10 things you can start doing today:
Pick 1 task to focus on. One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. Pick one thing and do that one thing.
Block out distractions. Period. Martina Navratilova says, “I concentrate on concentrating.” If you don’t have the willpower to be self-accountable, try Rescue Time. It is an application that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time so you can make better decisions.
Set a strict time limit on meetings. In general, people don’t need as much time as they ask for. Meetings can be time vampires. So, be cut-throat when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.
Set up productivity rituals. Many of you know I swear by waking up earlier than most consider normal. You also know that because of this, there are tasks that are done by 6am. Therefore, setting up rituals that automate behaviors, make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir. 4am may not be your cup of tea, but force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
Get up earlier. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.
Outsource personal chores. Highly productive people are selective about how they expend their energy. They don’t waste time or energy on tasks that others can do. Do a cost/benefit analysis of how you spend your time and see if it’s worth offloading some repetitive tasks so you can focus on what will bring value to your company.
Increase your effectiveness through technology. There’s a plethora of programs to make a small-business owner more effective in increasing productivity. A few popular tools—some of which are free—include Dropbox to store files online; Any Meeting to host a webinar and Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media postings.
Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work. Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. It’s all about practice.
Learn from others. Understand that for you to move to your next level of success, you must be in constant student mode. Whether you’re learning from others, attending school, reading books, attending seminars or taking a course, you have to gain access to the information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.
Your productivity is your life made visible. Protect your time, your energy, your business, your life.
Do you have a question? PLEASE, let’s connect HERE or leave me a comment below!
“The economy is terrible.” “I haven’t made a sale in weeks.” “My job sucks.” If you can relate to even 1 of these statements, I am sorry to say that you have become a victim of your own negative thinking.
Have you ever considered that maybe the only thing stopping you from having a life and business you love is precisely that, negative thinking?
Let’s get real: It’s not the lack of resources or the ‘uncool’ mom you had as a kid or the other excuses we use to justify for not having the life we want.
We all have reasons to feel bad at any time during our day. I get it, circumstances change for better or for worse in a flow of events. Naturally, we react to those circumstances just as we’ve been taught to by our families and friends.
Now you may be wondering: Does my reaction matter?
Your reaction is energy and energy is everything. Everything you see, sit on, feel–the sun on your face, your kid’s laughter, your morning jog, prayer, a great kiss…it is all source energy, from where everything and everyone originated.
You are made up of this same energy, and its frequency can be raised or lowered according to your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Therefore, the frequencies you send out attract similar frequencies. What you put out, you receive…make sense?
Each of us has an energy sequence: negative on the bottom, positive on top.
Positive energy includes: our brilliance, goodness, divinity, inspiration, love, passion, optimism, happiness and joy (our connectedness).
Negative energy includes: our anger, depression, sadness, guilt, pessimism, sense of lack -not just from others, but from our source energy.
We go up and down on this sequence everyday, depending on our circumstances. We may think or say, “If only I had X, I could be or do X.” The ultimate joke being that if we get happy, our circumstances will change to meet us.
Moving up on your energy sequence by shifting your energy to a higher frequency and opening up to source energy connects you to your inspiration, spirituality and goodness. It changes your life immediately!
From the low end of your energy sequence you can’t even think about doing things you love, let alone muster up the energy to go out and find it.
From the high-end of your energy sequence, you’ll get new ideas, tap into your light and inspiration, connect with the people you need to see, and get into the flow of positive energy that guides you through your dream life.
So, how do you flip the funk?
The first step is catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts. Use positive affirmations every time you notice yourself thinking negatively. I love these:
- I am.
- My life is abundant.
- Wonderful opportunities are coming into my life today.
- Today is a great day because I opened my eyes.
I am notorious for using humor to approach difficult situations. It is also a very effective way to raise your energy sequence making you better able to respond to any situation.
I hope these tips help elevate you today because remember, YOU and only YOU are responsible for the energy you bring into any space.
Here’s to living fabulously Chica!
Do you have a question? PLEASE, let’s connect HERE or leave me a comment below!
“How could you not know about Samantha’s dad? It was on Facebook!”
Insert look of WTH? How did you NOT know that Samantha’s father won the lotto, that Amy’s starting a new business or that Fernando (your high school friend’s little boy) just started walking?!?! HUH?!?!
Apparently, everybody out there is living it up -except you.
The FOMO plague…it’s here and I realized that, even my kids have caught the FOMO bug.
Listen, it’s hard not to. With a swipe of your mobile device it’s revealed to you that EVERYBODY else (except you) is doing something A.W.E.S.O.M.E.R. than you are (Yes that’s a word…ask Tomas). I mean, it never occurred to you that you could build a snowman in the desert, until you saw your BFF from elementary school crowd funding for the device she invented to make ice in the desert, right? Why didn’t you come up with that one?
And at that moment, FOMO swoops in, twerks right in front of your eyes and then waves and laughs at your inability to keep up.
It’s no coincidence that I came across an article written by Martha Beck in O Magazine back in 2013. Beck explains that we may argue FOMO to be healthy motivation. But the first of FOMO’s 4 letters is fear -the opposite of healthy. Fear can get us moving, but never happily. Living in fear doesn’t improve the quality of your life; it haunts us, makes us tense and actually shrivels our internal organs. So how can we live within the FOMOsphere? Glad you asked.
Martha gives 3 phenomenal strategies that I want to share with you:
1. Realize that FOMO is based on lies. The life that you think exists for others, doesn’t really exist. The internet and media bombards us with an endless montage of momentary highs disguised as everyday activities. Evaluating other people’s real life experiences by their carefully curated instapics or selfies is like trying to navigate with binoculars that only show mountain peaks. When you feel FOMO, right there and there, remind yourself that what you are seeing is likely not to be happening. The whole truth is that many of us will spend hours mustering up the energy to take a shower today. No one wants to take a picture of that. But THAT there is the truth.
2. Fight FOMO with FOMO. Our feelings and behaviors are created by the words we use. Redefine the meaning of FOMO:
- Feel Okay More Often
- Find One Magnificent Object
- Focus On Melting Open
3. Stop. When you feel FOMO creeping in, STOP. Close your eyes, breathe, center yourself. Realize the present moment and the blessings around you. See abundance, not lack.
What you’ve really been missing is today…that heartfelt talk with your high school girlfriend over coffee, reconnecting with your partner, tickle sandwiches with your kids (you should try them, they’re awesome!).
Listen to the whispers of your real inner voice that is telling you to chill, to be open and then you’ll realize how much is already available to you.
Have you caught the FOMO bug? What have you done to stop it in it’s tracks? Would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
I delve deeper into how to flip the funk and repel FOMO in my book. You can get it HERE.
Yesterday, at a workshop for The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, we were graced with Melissa McDowell’s blogging expertise. As a blogging enthusiast myself, the information was exciting because I love sharing my love for blogging, specially to my ETTMoms!
Blogging, vlogging, getting yourself and your business ‘out there’…the common thread at last night’s workshop was fear.
Seeking reassurance from other people is a dead end.
Reassurance needs to be found from within you, not from others.
We all have to start somewhere.
We all have a first! You cannot run without walking first. You start by turning on your belly, then you build up your muscles to army crawl, then you crawl…eventually you walk and then run.
To get here, I had to start somewhere… and so much has changed since 2009. Here’s a look back at all my firsts:
1. My first piece of jewelry (featured in the post above)
2. My First ‘professional’ headshot (my husband took that pic)
3. My first blog post
Mommypreneuring is serious business…
As if being a stay-@-home-mom wasn’t overwhelming enough…here I go, starting my own business.
The last year has been an amazing one. Hard, but truly amazing. In between diaper changes, teething and wire-wrapping I’ve managed to be mom, wife and jewelry maker…and still kinda keep it “together”.
I cannot complain or take for granted one second of the ride. I’ve been blessed with a healthy baby boy, a supportive husband, and a jewelry business that has allowed me to express the creative being within me.
Many sleepless nights, cuts on both hands, burns from glue guns and yes…bottles and sniffles…helped create enV by Vanessa Coppes.
This path has allowed me to discover that women really are superwomen. That yes, we can do it all…and still manage to put on lipstick (some days).
The most important recognition has been that dreams do come true. If you really work at it, and are honest (with yourself and others) every step of the way, your efforts will be rewarded.
I know I knew this and more before…but when you are inspired and your spirit is uplifted in the sweetest way… you feel capable of holding the world in your hands.
4. My first VLOG (video blog) You can also watch here:
So my friends, take the leap of faith, put your message out there, let yourself be seen. How else are you going to help all the people who are out there waiting for your awesomesauce ?
BTW: I finished the FIRST draft of my FIRST book!!! Scared? Totally! Excited? Even more so! My goal is to have it ready for sale at my FIRST business conference. I hope you will join me on this journey: http://wp.me/P3hHQt-jm
As you may or may not know, I am on a journey to finish writing my book. My book’s title is “5 Steps to Fabulous: Choices for Living Beautifully, Inside & Out”.
Since I started talking about it a few years ago, many of my colleagues and friends have encouraged me to embrace the process…you know, the one of telling your story. Everyone has one to tell.
The more I work on my book, the more excited I get, because in sharing my story I continue to heal.
Here’s the thing…when you’ve been abused, have suffered from depression and have lived in dark spaces that you later realize exist only in your head…you are only able to get to a better place when you speak about those things out loud. When other people who share similar feelings and who show you, that you’re not the person you thought yourself up to be (you don’t have to believe everything you think) knowing that you’re not alone is quite liberating.
When I told a friend about my book her question to me was, “What makes you think you have the know how to tell others how to live a ‘fabulous’ life?”
Great question and a few years ago, I would have let that question break me down. But I pointed out to her that her question is precisely why and my know how.
You see, thinking I was broken, I spent too many years living to please others, too many years thinking of other people’s feelings and needs before my own, too many years questioning my existence.
Several years ago, I faced the demons in my head…the monkeys, the crazies…whatever you choose to call them…and through prayer and A LOT of self love my book details the choices I made to live what I now consider to be a fabulous life.
As I do here on my blog, I share with you what worked for me, but above all…how it’s YOUR life and YOUR choice to decide how you live it.
So, my know how is my journey, my journey is my why.
I also know that in sharing your story…you set others free.
Onward Chicas! To living fabulously!
The world we see reflects our internal frame of reference. If we live scarcity, unfairness, drama…that is what we project.
Think of how much more good we’d do in the world if instead of projecting and reacting, we extended and connected?
We’d have better relationships, less stress, ultimately more love and happiness. We’d actually be able to see and feel this in/from others, we’d be able to give it and be better able to receive it.
You see, life is a 2 way street…it is both a blessing: to give and to receive.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer