Words that Make an Impact on Blog Traffic

Blog words

Using certain impactful or ‘power’ words in your blog posts is known to attract more traffic than generic, bland alternatives. This is particularly so in the case of the title, which needs to immediately grab the attention of the reader and make them want to find out more.

It is said that our average attention span is now eight seconds, and assuming that we read one word per second, it’s clear that our blog post titles need to be pretty darn compelling.

Try these power words in your titles and blog posts, and see if they make a difference to visitor numbers:

  • You
  • Because
  • Best
  • Free
  • Tips
  • How to
  • Why
  • Surprising
  • Top
  • Urgent
  • Alert
  • New
  • Secrets
  • Latest

What’s the Best Time of Day to Publish Your Blog Posts?

Blogging

Research by Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella has shown that early to mid-morning is the best time of day to blog. This makes sense when you think about the number of people who read blogs like a morning newspaper – over breakfast or a mid-morning coffee.

Eighty percent of respondents said they read blogs in the morning, with numbers steadily declining throughout the rest of the day. So if you only publish once a day, make sure it’s in the morning to achieve the best results. You can even schedule posts for the early hours if you like.

Check your figures

To delve more into the detail, try posting at the same time of the morning for a few days, and then a different time for another few days, and so on. At the end of the month you’ll get a good idea of the best time to post by analysing your viewing figures.

Where Does Blogging Fit Into Your Content Marketing Strategy?

blogging

Some people read blogs like a morning newspaper – they turn on their tablet or laptop and read whilst eating breakfast or drinking mid-morning coffee. It’s important therefore, to write an eye-catching title that grabs the attention, and follow up with an engaging style.

Blogging should be central to your content marketing strategy, but it’s not enough to simply churn out the same information as everyone else. You need to think of a new angle or provide an interesting viewpoint, so when people find your blog, they will want to stay.Twitter

That’s why it’s also important to have them follow your blog by RSS feed or email, and social media buttons at the end of every post make it easy for people to share your content on Twitter and the like.

If you don’t want to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to publish, you can schedule blog posts in advance using WordPress and Blogger, and even re-publish old posts this way.

 

Get Organised in 2014 with These Must-Have Apps

Small business appsDo you stumble from each day to the next in a state of total confusion? Make 2014 the year that everything changes with the help of these great apps for PCs and mobile devices.

They all have a part to play in our personal and working lives, and provide a structure around which to become more efficient and productive.

Pocket

My personal favourite, Pocket lets you save a web page to read later, with a single click of the mouse. Suitable for Android, iPhone, iPad and the Web, it really is the simplest of apps to use, and makes it easy to read articles and blog posts at any time.

You can choose to view the article on the original website, share it on Twitter and Facebook, or email it to a friend, and the ‘tag’ feature lets you organise pages into various categories for easy searching.

 Dropbox

Dropbox is a great collaboration tool for people working on the move. You can edit documents, upload photos and videos, and share all media with friends or work colleagues. What’s more, your information is synced across all devices.

The free version of Dropbox offers 2GB of space, but if you upgrade to the Business version you have an unlimited amount of storage. Dropbox for Business costs $15/month per user for a minimum of 5 users.

 WunderlistBusiness appa

This is a great little app providing to-do lists incorporating all areas of life including shopping, work, travel and leisure. Lists can be shared, items ticked off, recurring to-dos set up and lists collaborated on with friends and team members.

Wunderlist for Business starts at $4.99 per month for 1 user, with prices rising incrementally depending on the number of users.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite lets you post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ in one simple step. Campaigns and responses are tracked, enabling you to analyse results, and 3rd party apps like Mail Chimp and Constant Content can be integrated via your personal dashboard.

Insight Timer

Meditation timerThose of you already experiencing the benefits of meditation might know about Insight Timer. Intended to be used during meditation sessions, this app offers the beautiful sound of a Tibetan singing bowl to let you know when it’s time to stop work and take a break.

The app can be used on your PC, Android and iOS, with several guided meditations included, providing the perfect way to empty your mind of clutter and concentrate on the business of relaxation.

All these powerful apps have the potential to improve your work/life balance and get you organised in 2014 – which ones would you choose?

How a small red tomato can help your time management skills

Pomodoro TechniqueMaking the most of your time can be notoriously tricky if you work from home. Distractions are all around and before you know it the day is over, along with your chances of making a decent profit.

If procrastination is your thing, you may be interested in a time management technique that’s been around since the 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique is a process whereby you allocate blocks of time – 25 minutes – to each piece of work you need to complete, and then take a 5-minute break after each one.

You can spread larger jobs over several blocks of time, and after completing 4 chunks of 25 minutes, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

It’s all about focus. Spending each block of 25 minutes focussing on just 1 task without doing or thinking about anything else. It might sound simple but it trains your mind to concentrate for short periods, and in doing so can improve productivity and help you gain a useful insight into your own working practices.

Why a tomato?

Francesco Cirillo, the inventor of the technique, used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer for timing his own work, and named each successfully completed 25-minute work period a ‘pomodoro.’

In addition to the basic timing of your work, the technique also encourages you to chart your progress with extra details such as how many times you were distracted.

By making a note of this for each 25-minute work period, you can see how well you are doing in avoiding procrastination, which gives you motivation to crack on with more work rather than clean the fridge!

You can download a free PDF about the technique here, where you’ll also find some other free goodies and resources.

Freelancer lifestyle

Does the ‘free’ in freelancer mean true independence?

Starting a freelance business with an air of optimism and hope for the future is the best way to approach it, but how much independence do you truly have as a freelancer? Most people are looking for certain lifestyle changes when making the jump from employee to independent freelancer, including:

  • Control over how they spend their time
  • Being able to choose the type of work and projects they take on
  • Setting their own terms of work
  • Being paid professional rates that are worthy of the work produced and the value provided to clients

No more bosses?

But aren’t you just swapping one boss for a multitude of bosses who are just waiting to tell you how to operate and when to work?

As a professional freelancer you set the rules of how, when and where you work, which jobs you take on and how much you get paid. You don’t work as an employee any more, and that is the crux of being a freelancer in my opinion – the freedom to set the rules.

If you take on a client who expects you to be constantly available at a moment’s notice you might as well be an employee, even if you work from home. You need additional time and space to market your own business, deal with invoicing, networking, and the minutiae of running a successful freelancing business. This makes actually taking on and completing work only part of the big picture.

A way of life

Some freelancers prefer to adopt a strict working routine similar to that in the workplace, staying focused and motivated 9-5, which is great for some but doesn’t work for everybody. The beauty of freelancing is that if you want to, you can make it more of a way of life.

Burning the midnight oil might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if that’s the time of day when you are most productive, you are no longer restricted by someone else’s working practices.

The downside of a being a freelancer is that you never really switch off, and everyone you meet becomes a potential client. But that is a small price to pay for the extraordinary freedom and independence this lifestyle offers to those able to take the jump from employee to freelancer.

Breaking the Isolation for Freelancers Everywhere – Coffee and Jelly for Co-Working Heaven

If you are suffering from the effects of work isolation, think about going along to a local ‘Jelly’ meetup, and take the opportunity to meet and work alongside other freelancers and homeworkers in your area. Collaboration, co-working and excellent coffee could be closer than you think, as jellies become more popular with independent freelancers.

You can stay for as long as you like, and come and go as you please, the idea being to collaborate, chat, and work with others in a welcoming and relaxing environment. The meetups are provided free of charge, including wifi and parking, with only a small charge being made for food and drink.

The UK Jelly website provides details of jellies in your area, and offers advice to anyone thinking of organising their own meetup.

The solitude of working from a home office can be useful for concentrating, and getting the work done, but scheduling in a couple of days a month to meet up with like-minded freelancers, also offers the opportunity to socialise and network in an informal way.

The downsides of formal networking events are that they can be expensive and time-consuming, but a Jelly provides a chance to buy a coffee and a cake, and chat about anything you like. Informal networking events like these are popping up all over the country, as the demand grows for relaxed co-working meetups, so check out the Jelly website today and give you and your business some well-earned TLC.