Back to Business
There’s something revitalizing about Fall and fresh faces heading back to schools and off to universities, eager to learn. Yep, I’ve felt that back-to-school excitement many times!
Businesses seem to crank things up a notch this time of year too.
I know from nearly 30 years of small business ownership, fourth quarter sales can make or break a company’s sales outcome for the entire year. I guess the pressure is on, huh?
But, for me, this Fall feels different—more exciting than ever—because I’m starting into my third year as a freelance writer and web content creator and I can honestly say this is something I really love.
Just like you, I want this blog to be a valuable content hub, offering useful information, ideas, and resources to help in business, content creation and content marketing.
Mostly, it’s a joy. But sometimes it’s a struggle, too. Business for other people comes before the business (as important as it is) of my own blog, for one thing. Or something goes hugely wrong.
Like…hmmm. Maybe today’s post precedes one I worked on for 8 weeks! But, beyond the initial battle with the learning curve to testing new software, easy to use software, mind you, I’m still not happy with the outcome.
I won’t share this presentation tool (I’m so excited to share with you) until I’m positive the work is of the highest quality—as you expect, and I expect from myself. Now I feel I’ve let you down. I’ve let us down.
Time to Check Your Report Card?
Before I resort to gluing a big fat “L” on my forehead, or worse yet, have you think I’m slacking and my blog died, I thought I’d give you a run down.
A “Report Card” on some exciting projects I’m working on and new things I’m up to and putting together for you.
I’m showing you my report card going into the new semester and recommend you get your card out for a review, too.
Sure, I’m going back to the drawing board on that skipped post. But only so the tools and marketing ideas I share with you are presented as best as I possibly can.
And that’s the funny part.
Because after all the technical questions and issues to figure it out, in the end, it’s actually my own work that’s the problem! I need to re-make the entire presentation to showcase the new tool I want to share with you. All on me. That sucks.
I have to redesign the entire thing. It’s okay, though. It’s a learning moment. And it’s not a fail on my report card because I will re-do it, and make it awesome for you while I’m at it.
An A+ production is what you’ll get when I share it. Now it’s on this semester’s course load, and it’s only one of the projects I’m working on for you using Visme.
If you need visual assets, check Visme out for yourself. I’ve noticed no less than three content creators I admire using it in posts lately. Hmmm.
Learning is Growing
I love to learn, you see.
I make it a point to learn something new every day.
Nope, I’m not exaggerating one little bit when I say, “every single day” which makes me lucky because new school season excitement is a feeling I get as soon as I wake up!
And that’s why I’m so excited to share my Report Card of Progress with you:) Notice I’m showing you my progress in this report, even though I just disclosed at least one major fail.
Look, I like to keep things positive. I find an optimistic approach to business and work always takes you further than negativity. Always. Sometimes looking at your to-do list in the light of what’s done, rather than what’s left, can help propel you forward, and with a better feeling.
But, before I give you the report card rundown, how about a little elementary school lesson? It’s that time of year, right?
This one is for business blogging and content creation based on some of what I’ve learned, so far, in my freelance writing journey. Maybe this lesson can help you better attack and build your online assets and content hub, all vital to your digital marketing success.Stop, Drop, and Roll: a freelance #writing and #contentmarketing lovable lesson:)Click To Tweet
Stop, Drop, and Roll
It’s not fire or anything, but sometimes it feels like you are on fire—or at least like your hair is burning!
Frantic fire fleeing—like you’re in an ongoing fast-paced emergency situation—can take over when it comes to keeping up and developing your blog and content hub. So, I say, just STOP.
First STOP: Stop putting it off.
Stop planning and start doing. The Internet allows you more flexibility to change and grow and, ultimately, get better as you go, all along the way. Take advantage of the easy-to-fix-mistakes-as-you-go ability you get with publishing and working on the web.
Allow yourself some comfort in knowing you can and will change and evolve as you learn and practice. As you master skills, you can level-up and improve everything from site design to your content marketing strategy and more.
The trick, of course, is to jump in and start somewhere. Anywhere.
In my case, for example, I spent way too much time planning, researching, and learning before ever attempting to put my writing website out there. I was fretting over a whole lot of details and working tirelessly to get everything “just right” and in truth, what I started with wasn’t at all right.
The bottom line for me and maybe you’ll agree is doing is a much better device for learning and growing (my freelance writing) business than planning ever was. For me, the panic wasn’t so much about the actual business of writing as it was the idea of marketing my writing services via a website and blog, online.
Technology nearly kicked my butt, while learning the art of writing for the web was nothing but fun. Now, I’m a little bit scary geeky and find the once dreaded task of technology is now part of the excitement, challenge, and fun, as well. Shocking, I know!
And that leads me to…
Second STOP: Stop being afraid.
Look, when I decided to stop being afraid of technology and instead became stubborn about figuring it out, it started to get easier.
I finally actually figured out a bunch of stuff—more than I ever expected to be able to do. I’ve even helped people who helped me get started by sharing back with something new I learned. What a thrill to help people back as I keep going!
I keep figuring out more each day, and not only does this help me, but it’s great for my clients. Sure, when I (you) write, there’s always the fear of not being good enough but, once again, you’ll never get good enough if you don’t put it out there.
So hop on the can-do attitude and use it to get what you need and want for your web business.Allow yourself some comfort in knowing you can and will change and evolve as you learn and practice.Click To Tweet
Next STOP. Stop to focus.
I know, I know, I just told you to go for it, jump in and do it; don’t be afraid and, scrap your overly-detailed-and-planned-out, researched self and get online already, but now I’m saying stop and focus. Okay, I’ll explain.
Action and agility are core to moving your business forward and keys to getting things done.
For me, doing helps me learn and progress faster than spending tons of time on planning and strategizing, which I’ve done and then thrown out the window in the end. That’s why the forward motion and progress from your production is so important.
At the same time, and maybe because of the speed and agility of things on the web, I often find the need to stop and regroup. A clear focus keeps you on course to reach a desired purpose and objectives, most effectively.
The thing is, your initial focus may change. It changes for all sorts of reasons like:
• you learn as you go and make improvements
• your audience leads you down another path
• you want to add to your media mix or adjust your message
• you’re experimenting or testing to improve your value to your audience, or a new one
• you’re collaborating with others
• you’ve adjusted the scope of the work you do (or products/services offered)
Example for the Class
For a tiny example: I started on a non-WordPress site first and called myself a “freelance copywriter” at the start, too.
Then I used “B2B copywriter” for a little while and then, changed again when I made my third (yep three tries to figure WordPress out) and current site.
Finally, I adjusted to a narrower and more concrete description of my web writing services with “content writer for business,” giving a succinct niche impression of my writing, “for business.”
Now, I’m thinking about adjusting once more, because web content for business entails much more than simply “writer” for original content creation and production.
Content strategist, content marketer, editor, email artist, scriptwriter and media producer are just a few necessary abilities (well beyond just writing or copywriting) overflowing from my web writer’s toolkit these days.
And, one last STOP before you drop and roll:
STOP putting out any old thing at all and instead, ONLY put out top quality content.
Quality is always a top priority. Yep, even when experimenting or trying new types of content, mediums, or whatever you do with your blog.
Make quality an uncompromising standard for your site, your content, and your business.
Drop it Like It’s Hot
To fly that far, that fast, there’s a lot to you need to do. And a lot you need to drop, while you’re at it. Yep.
DROP—your work out there and take a chance, maybe even a stance.
DROP—your all-about-you attitude of traditional marketing.
While you’re at it, DROP—ALL your previous, even deeply-held, attitudes for doing business and join the digital age of business. Time to embrace change and get agile in business. Evolve.
DROP—new ideas, thoughts or opinions, and creativity out to others and to the world; test things out.
It’s a new frontier out there filled with upheaval in the business landscape. Go on a discovery adventure and challenge yourself to explore, far and wide.
Time to ROLL with it. And how!
Time to ROLL with it. And NOW!
ROLL on out of your comfort zone.
ROLL in a new trajectory and embrace gathering speed, building momentum in directions you haven’t tried before. Keep rising.
ROLL up your sleeves and make your every goal come true.
Figuring everything out to conduct a successful business via the web is an overwhelming task at times. Sure it’s fun, interesting, and enlightening, but you better have the stamina to put in a lot of hard time and diligent work along the way.
The Internet’s fast pace doesn’t equal instant or speedy success and the learning curve for technology can be yet another can of worms.
Still, learning along the way is one of the best perks of the whole freelance writing experience and is an integral part of blogging. Your blog needs to stay on top of the learning curve too, to stay relevant and to maintain a top quality blog presence.
The Final Report of Progress
First, I present you with the newest eBook, just finished, and heading to the Skills Building Resource Library.
It’s perfect timing to kick in concepts from this read, heading to the year’s grand finale, because the topic is creativity and how to make creativity grow in your organization.
While I’m on the eBooks topic, Beacon is the software for eBooks I’m using to create resources for my library, and besides the now 5 eBooks completed for my site library, I’ve also written two articles for Beacon’s site, with a third in progress. Are you doing eBooks for your business?
I’d love you to take a look at and share these:
Of course, more eBook work is happening every day.
I love working with Beacon, as well as stocking what I hope is a helpful resource area for you. And speaking of the resources library, I’m thinking of changing the visual logo I created from the original:
To this one, created later but, I think reflects me, my site, and particular works, better:
I’d love to know what you think, between the two choices, so please weigh in.
There’s also another eBook from a recent kikolani.com post I wrote, “Is a Great Blog in the Eyes of the Beholder?” now available in the library if you’re looking for the keys to producing a great blog. Who isn’t?
Keep Your Report Card Rolling
Further, it’s been an honor to add Contributor work for Fridge Magazine to my latest portfolio entries. It was an exciting surprise when Jon Taffer from the Spike TV series, “Bar Rescue,” reached out to let me know he likes this piece of work: (I hope you like it, too!)
And although she’s not a television celebrity, I’m more than excited to have published a second contribution to Kathryn Aragon’s site. I think my work for Kathryn—maybe because I respect her work so much—is some of my best! So please take a peek, and share, if you will:
Finally, I’m creating my very first online course for uDemy and plan to call it: “How to Bling Your Blog and Feed That Hog!”
It’s going great so far and I’ve passed the quality checks for sound and video which, well, maybe a miracle! Woot Woot!!
Audio and video seem like whole new lands to discover but, hey, a content mix is, well, a mix.
Understanding, using, and writing for these types of content productions are a good thing for a content creator. And, it’s even more exciting to work on an instructional design to create an interesting and interactive “Learning Journey,” for students.
I’ll let you know when the course is complete and available. In truth, I find it a bit intimidating to be on video because I’m so much more comfortable behind a keyboard!
It’s like starting a new school year, though, isn’t it?
Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to level up—it’s part of moving up a grade!
So, let’s see. New software testing, more published work, eBook designs and library building, course design/production/scripting, and audio and video production. Hmmm. I’m busier than I thought.
What are you working on? Are you ready to STOP, DROP, AND ROLL??