I Don’t Know What to Do!

When you don’t know what to do…

Bob Pittenger

Prayer (2)Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to do?  You’ve tried to straighten things out but regardless of your efforts things seem hopeless. All you want is relief, so you ask the simple question, “Now what do I do?”

In 2 Chronicles 20, Jerusalem is surrounded, and Jehoshaphat knows that he is powerless to stop the enemy. What did he do? In 20.6-11, he reminds God of all His promises and then in 20.12 he prays, “…we know not what to do, but our eyes are on you!” He didn’t look at the size of his problem, he looked to the One Who is greater than any problem and trusted Him to take care of everything.

Jehoshaphat gives us a great example to follow. Before trying to fix things, put out fires, or clear our name we need to pray, “Father, I don’t know what to do but I…

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Tosca Reno Eat-Clean Diet

The Eat-Clean Diet Review by WebMD

By Shirley Pittenger

I wanted to follow up last week’s post with a Review of the Eat-Clean Diet by WebMD.  The full review is reposted below from their site.  While the methodology and best practices are given in The Eat-Clean Diet Book, Tosca has many cookbooks offering delicious recipes that follow her guidelines.

The Promise

Forget counting calories. Your ticket to a lean, healthy body is “eating clean,” says Tosca Reno, author of The Eat-Clean Diet series.

She means eating foods — like lean protein, good-for-you carbs and fats, fresh fruits, and vegetables — six times a day in the right amounts. Do that, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly, and Reno says you’ll turn your sluggish metabolism into a fat-burning machine.

Dedicate yourself to the clean eating lifestyle, and you’ll lose about 3 pounds a week, Reno says. The benefits go beyond weight loss. You’ll stay healthy and have more energy. Your eyes will look bright and alert. Your teeth and gums will be healthier. Your skin will glow. Oh, and did we mention you won’t be hungry?

“When you Eat Clean, the benefits are visible (and perceptible to you on the inside, too) from the top of your head to the tips of your toes,” Reno writes in The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!

The Eat-Clean philosophy is that nutrition is far more important than exercise or genetics in shaping our bodies.

Does It Work?

The eating-clean lifestyle has some good points. It’s a balanced diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, and protein. It also encourages you to control portion sizes. And it doesn’t ban any food groups.

But the plan also recommends taking supplements and even questionable medical treatments that draw warnings from some experts.

 What You Can and Can’t Eat

The Eat-Clean principles are:

  • Eat six small meals a day.
  • Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of getting up.
  • Eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates at every meal.
  • Have two or three servings of healthy fats every day.
  • Get fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes from fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Control your portions.
  • Drink 2 to 3 liters of water (about 13 8-ounce cups) every day.

 The foods to avoid:

  • Overprocessed foods, especially white flour and sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sugary beverages, such as soda and juice
  • Alcohol
  • Foods with chemical additives like food dyes and sodium nitrite
  • Foods with preservatives
  • Artificial foods, such as processed cheese slices
  • Saturated fats and trans fats
  • Anti-foods — calorie-dense foods with no nutritional value

Level of Effort: Medium

You must follow the diet’s principles to be successful, but there is wiggle room.

Limitations: You have some flexibility. If you don’t like foods in Reno’s menu plans, you can replace them with others from the same food group.

Cooking and shopping: Planning can save you time grocery shopping, Reno says. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Keep in mind that foods without preservatives may not keep long, meaning more frequent trips to the grocery store. As for meal prep, a complete meal on this plan can be as simple as nuts and a piece of fruit.

Packaged foods or meals: None required.

In-person meetings: None.

Exercise: Strength training and cardiovascular exercise round out the Eat-Clean program. To lose weight, Reno recommends five or six sessions of cardio weekly, for 30 to 45 minutes each. If you’re new to strength training, start with light weights and longer sets.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Reno says the Eat-Clean lifestyle is flexible and adapts to your dietary needs. Just follow the principles, she says, and eat the foods you can.

Vegetarians and vegans: This diet works for you. Eating clean doesn’t require eating meat, eggs, or other animal products.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: None beyond shopping for your food.

Support: There are no meetings or coaches. But you can sign up for the Eat-Clean Diet newsletter, watch inspirational videos, and connect with the Eat-Clean community online.

Reposted from http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-clean-diet

Tosca Reno Eat-Clean Diet

My Recent Lifestye Change Allowed Me to Loose 25 Pounds

ECDCookbook2

By Shirley Pittenger

As you get older your body changes a lot. I found myself at age 40 a little overweight and tired all the time. I was a busy wife, mother, and employee that didn’t focus on being healthy, you know, eating right and exercising.

A friend of mine told me how she stayed so slim was by following the Eat Clean Lifestyle, principles taught by Tosca Reno in her many books and cookbooks. All of Tosca’s books can be found in the local library, so after getting some pointers from my friend and reading many of Tosca’s books, I began changing my lifestyle.

Because my life had gotten so busy and I was always tired, I used a lot of prepackaged foods to prepare meals for my family. I also ate out for lunch often and drank soda every day. While these conveniences were nice, it wasn’t nice for my body.

I started by drinking only water and coffee. Goodbye soda. I’m pretty sure I lost the first ten pounds this way. Then I started preparing clean meals that did not come from processed foods, things like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. I make extra food at dinner and pack the left overs for lunch. Of course, portion control is important also. I started eating off of a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to help control portions. When I have a salad, it is a garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing.

It’s not always easy to choose what’s best for you and fall back into old habits but the benefits far outweigh the convenience of processed foods and fast food restaurants.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Can you believe it’s already February? I just got used to writing 2015 now all of a sudden it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I don’t usually make a big fuss over the holiday because my wedding anniversary is also in February (we’re celebrating 21 years)! I’m happy going out to dinner or lunch and exchanging a card.   But this year, I have had my eye on a few items that I would be happy to receive from the special men in my life (our son is always included in this holiday).

Shopping for my husband is always a chore because when there is something he wants, he gets it. I’m always stuck trying to figure out what he would like that I can keep a surprise.  Most of the time, he just has to flat out tell me what to get him.

If you’re like me, I’ve put together a few ideas for him and for her to give you some inspiration for Valentine’s Day gifts!

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

FOR HER

 Natalie Grant Fruit of the Sprit Necklace

Fruits of the Spirit Necklace by Natalie Grant $34.99

https://www.ngbynataliegrant.com/fruits-of-the-spirit-necklace.html

hashtag necklace the vintage pearl

HashTag Charm Necklace from The Vintage Pearl $52.00

http://thevintagepearl.com/hashtag-charm-necklace.html

pandora-silver-love-pendant-charm-791253czs-p13481-199217_image

LOVE, FANCY PINK Charm from Pandora $45

http://www.pandora.net/en-us/explore/products/charms/791253czs

FOR HIM

Zagg Slimbook for iPad Air

Zagg Slim Book for iPad Air 2 Keyboard $129

http://www.zagg.com/keyboard/slim-book-ipad-air-2/9433

Jelly Belly Cinnamon Jelly Beans

Candy

Jelly Belly Cinnamon Jelly Beans $8.99

http://www.jellybelly.com/cinnamon-jelly-beans-16-oz-re-sealable-bag/p/9000_CINNAMON

iPhone 5 Sport Armband

iPhone Sport Armband $14.77

http://www.amazon.com/Quality-iPhone-Sport-Armband-Lightning/dp/B00L87U6VC/

60 Fresh Ideas For Your Social Media Content

60 Fresh Ideas for Your Social Media Content

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Shirley Pittenger

Content is King in social media marketing. Frequent original content is best to drive engagement and get your message heard.

The following list covers just about everything you could possibly post on social media. From personal, to business-related, to promotional posts, this list of 100 ideas will keep you inspired for a long time.

  1. Post a Slideshare presentation: If you want to find one that’s already proven itself to be popular, go to the ‘Trending in Social Media’ section at the bottom of the Slideshare
  2. Ask for questions: Let your fans ask you anything.
  3. Link to a guest post: Share (or re-share) a link to a post you contributed to another site.
  4. Post a branded image: Post a funny or inspirational image with your logo or website URL on it.
  5. Profile an employee: Let your followers know they’re dealing with real people.
  6. Hold a flash sale: Use Snapchat to offer a limited-time coupon.
  7. Ask for reviews or testimonials: Eliciting reviews from fans or followers is one of the best ways to get testimonials you can use as social proof on your website.
  8. Fan photos: Search for hashtags related to your business or products, and share a customer photo on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
  9. Quotes: Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes always perform well.
  10. Fill-in-the-blank posts (e.g. “If I had $1 million I would _________”)
  11. Behind-the-scenes photos: Take candid shots of yourself, your employees, or snap a shot of your office or workspace.
  12. Statistics or data: Share new, relevant industry statistics (these perform great in terms of retweets and shares)
  13. Post a link to an old blog post: There’s nothing wrong with recycling, and old posts will gain new engagement, extending their life.
  14. Questions: Pose simple, basic questions that your followers can answer quickly.
  15. Infographics: Find an infographic your followers would appreciate. Check out Daily Infographic for ideas, or better yet, create your own.
  1. Product photos: Work best on sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Think about how you can add a unique angle to the shots (e.g. an employee actually using the product, a customer-submitted photo, etc.).
  2. Photos that have nothing to do with your products or business: Instead, they convey the feeling behind your brand.
  3. Behind-the-scenes product shots: Photos of your products being manufactured or sourced.
  4. Ask for input on your products: Your followers will love giving their thoughts on how to improve your products.
  5. Let Pinterest inspire you: Pinterest is a goldmine in terms of finding beautiful images you can share (particularly images with quotes). Just be sure to give proper credit.
  6. Share a helpful resource: If you’re truly concerned about sharing the most useful info with your followers, don’t be afraid to direct them to other people’s valuable content (not just your own).
  7. Recommend a tool: Share a (preferably free) tool or resource you think your followers would find useful.
  8. Share a favorite book: S share a book recommendation your fans or followers would appreciate.
  9. A day in the life post: Give a recap of a typical day in the life of a graphic designer, author, CEO, etc.
  10. Recommend your favorite products: If you’re an e-commerce site, share a list of your top sellers or highest-rated products. If you’re a service provider, share a list of the products that help you succeed in your business.
  11. Take a trip down memory lane: Share photos of old logos, websites or your very first product.
  12. Recommend someone else to follow on social media: Share a link to someone else’s social media profile and encourage your fans to ‘like’ or follow them.
  13. Share a Pinterest board: If your customers are on Pinterest (hint: if your demographic is educated, high-income females, they probably are), share a Pinterest board via Facebook or Twitter.
  14. Share a comic: Getting your customers to laugh with you is a great way to start building relationships.
  15. Post a video testimonial: Share a video review; or better yet, ask your social media followers to submit their own video testimonials.
  16. ‘Caption this’: Post a photo and ask your fans to come up with creative or funny captions.
  17. YouTube video: Find a cute or inspirational video and promote it to your fans or followers.
  18. Tag another Facebook page: Generate some good karma by helping to promote another business.
  19. Share breaking industry news: Stay on top of what’s going on in your industry or niche by using Google Alerts.
  20. Offer a free e-book: Build your email list while generating some goodwill with your fans.
  21. Celebrate odd holidays: For instance, did you know June 17 is Apple Strudel Day? Use a tool like Days of the Year to find out what today’s holiday is.
  22. Latest company news: Anything changing in your business? New employee? New hours of operation? New product offering?
  23. Share pictures from a recent industry event: Don’t forget to use the event hashtag for maximum exposure.
  24. Promote a free download: This could be a plugin, white paper, e-book or anything else that would be useful for your audience.
  25. Thank your fans: A simple thank you can go a long way to building connections with your fans.
  26. Offer expert insights into a topic: This helps establish you as a thought leader in your field.
  27. Do a post series: We do this on our blogs, why not on social media? Share a series of similar posts over a certain number of days.
  28. Post an expert quote: Ask an industry expert a question and post their answer on social media. This is great for getting retweets and shares.
  29. Post a photo collage: A tool like PicMonkey can help you create one.
  30. Share random tips: Periodically post a random tip or trick your followers would find useful. Hint: using random tip numbers adds interest to your post (e.g. Tip #256: __________)
  31. Link to your most popular blog post: Give a brief intro to the post and explain why it’s your most read and shared post.
  32. Provide a recommendation: Share the love by recommending a business you’ve worked with successfully in the past.
  33. Share a work/life balance tip: Your social media followers want to know you’re a real person with the same struggles as them. Share a tip you’ve learned for balancing work, life and family.
  34. Ask for advice: Pose a hypothetical question and ask your followers what they would do in that situation.
  35. Teaser content: Posting a link to a blog post? Don’t reveal the punch line. This will usually increase your clickthroughs.
  36. Make an industry prediction: Speculate on what’s in store for your niche or industry.
  1. Post a creative or unexpected use for your product: Be sure to also ask your fans for ideas.
  2. Answer an FAQ: Have a question you get asked a lot? Answer it on social media.
  3. Tell a story: Share a funny or interesting anecdote from your life.
  4. Post a link to an employee bio: If you have bios on your site, post a link to help your fans get to know the brains behind your company.
  1. Post an excerpt from a blog post: Rather than just posting a link and summary of the post, cut and paste a particularly intriguing excerpt to pique your readers’ interest.
  2. Share a chart: Share an interesting chart or graph that’s relevant to your audience.
  3. Promote an industry-related event: This can either be a live or online event.
  4. Share a funny commercial: Post a commercial that would be appeal to your fans or followers.
  5. Promote your products or services: There’s a reason this one is last on the list. There’s a time and a place for self-promotion on social media, but first and foremost, use social media to build relationships, establish trust, and build your reputation as an industry expert. When people do want to buy, who do you think they’ll come to first?
10-Email-List-Ideas

10 Creative Ideas to Grow Your Email List

10-Email-List-IdeasBy Shirley Pittenger

As a social media marketer, it is my job to promote your business across social media channels while driving traffic back to your blog or website. Another key aspect of growing your business is timely emails to your client and prospect lists. It is vital that you disseminate your newsletter, coupons, sales events, and other opportunities to your current clients/customers/prospects.

You may have noticed that a lot people have grown weary of giving out their email address to just anyone, so here are a few creative ideas to grow your email list.

  1. Use a paper sign-up sheet (and let people know what they’re going to receive)
  2. Add a sign-up button to your email

You may not realize it but not everyone who sees your email will be on your email list.

If you share your emails on social media, for example, many of your fans and followers won’t be on your email list. People may also be forwarding your emails to their friends.

  1. Put a sign-up form on your website

Your website will be the first contact many people have with your business. Don’t miss the opportunity to stay connected with new visitors.

  1. Collect email addresses when people sign-up for an event

If you host events where people register or purchase tickets in advance, you’ll likely already be collecting important contact information. This is the perfect time to ask people to join your email list.

  1. Collect email addresses at industry tradeshows

Industry events, tradeshows, and conferences are the perfect place to grow your email list.

  1. Look to your existing database

Don’t overlook your existing database of contacts. Colleagues, friends, and family members can help kick start your list growth.

  1. Offer a downloadable whitepaper

Start new customer relationships off on the right foot by offering them a whitepaper or another educational resource in exchange for their email address.

  1. Ask at events

Any time you’re meeting with customers face-to-face, you have the opportunity to grow your email list.

  1. Run a Facebook Ad

Facebook offers a number of advertising options you can use to reach a new social media audience.

  1. Offer exclusive access

The best way to get people interested in your email marketing is to offer something that they can’t find anywhere else.

Start growing your list!

Think about all the different places customers interact with your business. Could any of these strategies work for you?

Pick at least one of these strategies and see how it works. You’ll be amazed at what a big impact it could have for your email marketing and business success!

101-Ideas-for-real-estate-blog

101 Topic Ideas for your Real Estate Blog

101 Ideas for your Real Estate Blog

It goes without saying that to be seen online you must have an active blog and/or website where you post frequent original content.  An integral part of getting your message heard is social media marketing.  Every post should have a clear call to action and contain good SEO linking the content back to your website or blog.

What a real estate blogger writes about will depend upon business goals, target market, blogger interests and personality.

101 topic ideas for your real estate blog:

  1. A story about your neighborhood.
  2. Write about a business.
  3. Your pet.
  4. Go through your email; is there a question or comment from one of your clients that can be made into a post?
  5. Listen to your buyers; their comments and ideas make great blog posts.
  6. Listen to your sellers; answers to their questions are blog posts.
  7. Conversations with other agents.
  8. Architecture or housing styles in your area.
  9. Historic buildings, homes or landmarks.
  10. Market statistics for your area, including average prices and absorption rates.
  11. Write to or about a demographic.
  12. Take a picture of something ordinary in your neighborhood and write about it.
  13. Home maintenance.
  14. Take a walk, and take pictures as you go.
  15. Senior housing.
  16. Pet-friendly housing.
  17. Staging ideas.
  18. Local events or festivals.
  19. Your hobby.
  20. A closing.
  21. A lender who did a great job.
  22. Things that go wrong with real estate sales.
  23. Homeowners insurance.
  24. Gardening and landscaping.
  25. Your city council.
  26. A new development.
  27. Decorating ideas.
  28. Real estate industry news –- with your own unique commentary.
  29. Mortgages news.
  30. Interest rates.
  31. Credit scores.
  32. Consumer hoaxes and scams.
  33. First-time homebuyer programs.
  34. Working with seniors.
  35. Working with baby boomers.
  36. Second homes.
  37. Investment properties.
  38. Buying a foreclosure.
  39. Selling a foreclosure.
  40. “Rehabbing” a home.
  41. Home energy conservation.
  42. Final walkthrough.
  43. Equity stripping scams.
  44. Real estate companies.
  45. Transportation and parking.
  46. Day care.
  47. Paint and painting.
  48. Pest control.
  49. Good neighbors.
  50. Bad neighbors.
  51. Overpriced homes.
  52. The home buying process.
  53. The home selling process.
  54. Book review of a real estate-related book.
  55. Real estate laws.
  56. Real estate terms.
  57. Moving with children.
  58. Moving with pets.
  59. Places to eat.
  60. Places to shop.
  61. Commentary on local news stories.
  62. Commentary on local public policy.
  63. Tell a story about a client who was fun to work with.
  64. Write about what it is like to be a Realtor.
  65. When taking classes find something you learned that could be used as a post.
  66. Write off-topic humor.
  67. Environmental issues.
  68. Landlord or tenant issues.
  69. How to sell a house.
  70. How not to sell a house.
  71. Building trends.
  72. Local public art.
  73. Home safety.
  74. Review websites on local or real estate-related topics.
  75. Property taxes.
  76. Open houses.
  77. Trends in kitchen design.
  78. Area events for children.
  79. The local zoo.
  80. Where to play golf.
  81. Coffee shops.
  82. Women homebuyers.
  83. Advice for FSBOs.
  84. Interview someone.
  85. Local real estate market trends and observations.
  86. Investment scams.
  87. Mortgage fraud.
  88. Types of mortgages.
  89. Homeowners associations.
  90. Attend a public meeting and write about it.
  91. Weekend getaways close to home.
  92. Real estate apps.
  93. Fair housing issues.
  94. Wedding Venues.
  95. The Best Local Restaurants.
  96. Local parks, trails, entertainment, etc.
  97. FREE kid friendly entertainment.
  98. A list of the best kid venues.
  99. Local church events.
  100. How to Sell your Home in winter/autumn.
  101. How to prepare financially to buy a home.

Now you have no excuse for writers block.  If you still find the challenge overwhelming, a pro can step in and take the load off allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Creativity to Cash Logo

How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Images

By Shirley Pittenger

One of my clients, Mary Covey, (who is a very talented professional long arm machine quilter, business coach, fabric designer, and published author) is teaching a class at Jenks Community Education in February and March titled “Creativity to Cash – How To Start a Home Based Business”. As her Social Media Marketing Manager, it is my job to promote this event across her social media networks and website.

The first thing that is absolutely necessary if your message will gain traction is a great image! So, I whipped this one up for her. Now I’m ready to write her blog post and cross promote it on all of her social media channels.

Creativity to Cash Logo

I sent the image to Mary for her approval and this is what she had to say, “Really looks good. Maybe you should be offering a class on how you do that. You are very talented.” Isn’t she the best!! By the way, she is an amazing business coach and I wouldn’t have moved to the next step in my business without her encouragement and guidance.

I’ve been working on promoting my business and educating my followers on all things social media and her comment jumped out at me for this blog post. So, I will now teach you how to make your own great chalkboard image.

To begin, you will need graphic computer software such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. If you don’t have one of those available to you, check out PicMonkey.com (although you’ll have limited fonts to work with) or Canva.com.

Chalkboard-background Chalkboard-background

OK, to start off here are two FREE chalkboard background just for you! Yep, just save this background to your desktop to use as the base for your chalkboard image.

Next download some cool fonts to use from Dafont.com. Some of my favorites are:

chalk-board-fonts

 

And just type away right on top of the chalkboard background in Photoshop with your new fonts! Switch around your fonts types and sizes to get a cool and fun effect. Also add some Dingbats, dotted and straight lines to add a little pizzazz to your design.

I added frames that I downloaded free from Freepik.com.  These are vector images that are used with Adobe Illustrator.

Blackboard frames set

While I was at it, I created a few images for my blog post 7 Ways to Improve Page Rank. Now you know how to make your own great chalkboard images.

7 Ways to Improve Page Rank Search Engine Rankings Based on Popularity

7 Ways to Improve Page Rank

7 Ways To Improve Your Page Rank in Search Engines (SEO)

7 Ways to Improve Page Rank

By Shirley Pittenger

I’m often asked how to increase rank in search engines. The answer is Search Engine Optimization. Your online presence, whether it is social media, blogging, or a website, should contain key elements that search engines recognize and understand.

Search Engine Rankings Based on Popularity

Search engines use algorithms, massively complicated mathematical formulas written (and perpetually refined) to robotically determine what content is worthy of being presented in response to a search.  As online content is “crawled” by “spiders” (that’s the metaphor) the spiders seek out keywords to create an index of the content offered.

SEO boils down to indicating the relevance of your content to the search engines.

Your challenge is to understand the proper places to put the keywords so the search engine understands the page’s content.

1.  Title tag

You title (and at the code level, “tag”) each page to tell the search engines what the page is about. You do this with keywords. You need to choose them carefully and use them naturally. You also should limit your titles to 60 characters (or so) so they are presented in their entirety.

2.  Keywords in the copy

Throughout the copy on your page, you’ll want to use keywords and variations of them. Do not overuse keywords for the sake of SEO. (Keyword stuffing can result in damaging penalties by search engines.) However, consider the smart keyword placement tactics, which help to optimize your page:

— Use keywords near the beginning of the page’s copy.
— Use keywords and practical variations in your subheads. You’ll tag subheads with H2 and H3 designations in your HTML (H means “header”).
— Search engines are unable to “read” images, so when placing an image, take advantage of the “alt text” tag by giving the image a name, which includes a keyword.
— Use keywords once in the URL whenever possible.

3.  Meta description

The role of a page’s meta description is to describe the page’s content. Meta descriptions are often misunderstood. They are not a part of the page optimization equation.

Still, they should be taken seriously because they affect the user’s decision to click or not because the search engine will often present the meta description you provide as the copy snippet displayed in your listing.

4.  URLs

Your page’s URL should contain your keywords, but be as concise as possible. URLs are automatically generated based on the page title, so edit them to remove unnecessary words. Words in a ULR are separated by hyphens.

5.  Internal links

Search engines aim to understand the structure of your site. It’s useful to create links within your copy to other pages on your site. Using this practice may also serve to help your readers discover additional content and therefore, increase time spent on your site and have a better learning experience.

6.  Choose long tail keywords

It’s important to recognize doing keyword research and selection effectively not only generates traffic to your site, it delivers the right kind of traffic—prospective buyers.

If your company does not operate a well-established, high traffic website with high authority, long tail keywords are the secret to your success with search.

7.  Link building

The most commonly useful and acceptable strategies to earn links (leading to higher relevance and ranking) include:

  • Blogging – An informative and entertaining business blog is the most valuable SEO practice. The company can control what it publishes. Successful blogs not only populate the website with keyword-based content, but earn links from other blogs and websites.
  • Great content – Well-received content beyond blog posts has “linkbait” potential. That is, it can earn links and social sharing (which may also earn links).
  • News—Earning the attention of news media tends to result in links.
  • Partnerships—Partners, customers and employees often act as advocates and express their appreciation for your company and its content through links.
  • Social Media – Promote the great content on your blog or website on your social media channels and be sure to include your awesome graphics and links back to your site.  This will ensure good engagement from your audience which will push your content to more viewers as well as increase traffic back to your site.

SEO is much more than just high ranking in Google. It is a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive approach to website optimization that ensures potential customers, who come to your website, will have an excellent experience, easily find what they are looking for, and have an easy time sharing your optimum-quality content. The combination of SEO and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be overwhelming for big as well as small business marketers. Until recently, search engine optimization and social media marketing were thought of as two very different things, but actually these are two sides of the same coin.

You now need to get to work. Of course, you’ll benefit greatly from further reading, practice and enlisting the help of an experienced pro.

As a content marketer, I focus on publishing valuable content because there is no more powerful SEO strategy for success. If you have questions or want to learn more about SEO and content marketing, just ask.

The Secret to seeing your plans through.

Have you ever struggled to see your plans through, even if it’s just to get to the gym everyday or lose those holiday pounds?  It’s no secret that saying it out loud to someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable will motivate you to succeed.  In Christy Wright’s blog post, “Say It Out Loud This Year” we learn that the rewards far outweigh the fear.

Say It Out Loud This Year

By Christy Wright

Say It Out Loud This Year www.christywright.com
Say It Out Loud This Year
http://www.christywright.com

I love the New Year. With the turn of a calendar, you get something that almost everyone appreciates: a fresh start. It’s a great time to think about your dreams and ideas for the year ahead.

There’s power in these thoughts. But without extra fuel, the fire of your ideas will burn out quickly when things like fear and stress set in.

When you take these ideas or dreams and write them down in the form of goals, they become real. This simple action adds a little fuel to the fire to keep it burning a while longer.

However, there’s one part of planning and goal setting that many people overlook. It’s not something you must do. But I can tell you from experience, you’re much more likely to see your plans through if you do it.

Tell someone. Pick several trusted friends or family members and boldly claim your dreams out loud.

When you declare your plans to the world, amazing things happen. The ground starts to move beneath your feet and people begin to align themselves with your dreams.

“I have several friends who started a beginner’s running group. You could meet up with them to have some company while you train for your first 5K! 

“A guy at my church does graphic design. I’m sure he’d help you with your logo and business cards for your new business!”

“Oh, my cousin works in real estate. He can help you on your house search!”

When you say something out loud—even if it’s scary and makes you feel vulnerable at first—the rewards far outweigh the fear. People will rally around you. They’ll offer their resources and connections and voluntarily work themselves into your plans. They’ll give the encouragement and affirmation you need to keep going.

This year when you’re dreaming and setting goals, don’t forget to boldly claim them out loud to others. It’s this powerful source of fuel that will keep your idea burning brightly as you turn your dreams into reality in 2015.