The F-I-R-M Strategy for Writing a Killer Book Outline


The F-I-R-M Strategy for Writing a Killer Book Outline

“Ugh, this book writing thing has me stressed out in all kinds of ways!”

This is the cry of many entrepreneurs who understand the value of an eBook but just don’t have the time to put it together in the right way. Let’s be real though…great eBooks are created from well-crafted book outlines.

Think of a book outline like the blueprint for the book writing process. Blueprints form a crucial component of the construction process; construction can’t begin until the blueprint is approved. Neglecting to create a book outline for the eBook means that you’ll eventually have to work overtime to get mismatched thoughts to flow cohesively.

You’re probably one of those entrepreneurs who wants to cut corners to get your eBook out as quickly as possible so that you can start earning money. Patience young Jedi! The CEM Writing Services’ tested and proven F-I-R-M strategy can help you create a killer book outline in 2 hours or less..

This article explains each step in the F-I-R-M process. Follow each step closely and you’ll have a well-written outline that can help you write a stunning eBook in no time.

F- Find your key points. (20 minutes)

Spend 10 minutes brainstorming the most important points for your eBook. At this stage, it isn’t about writing anything in order. Just get a fresh sheet of paper and jot down the most relevant thoughts you have about your eBook topic using a mind map. Some key questions that you must answer include:

  1. What unique perspective can I share about this topic?

  2. What experience do I have in the field?

  3. What questions do customers have about this topic? Do I have the answers for these questions?

Below is an example of a mind map about health.

Image Source: Mind Map Art

The trend in the business eBook writing space seems to be rewriting existing content. Repurposing existing content is great but I find that it oftentimes defeats the purpose for writing an eBook. Why should a potential customer read something that they can easily find elsewhere?

An eBook should be used to push the limits of your creativity. It’s about putting your brand in the spotlight and showcasing what your brand has to offer. Don’t waste the opportunity by using repurposing as a quick fix.

I- Itemize the main points. (10 minutes)

You’ve used the mind map to identify your most relevant thoughts about the topic. It’s time to sift through that muddled mess to choose the most relevant points and arrange them in a logical sequence.

Let’s use the mind map given as an example in the previous step. You own a fitness company and want to write a 50 page eBook about simple exercises for a busy entrepreneur. Therefore, you would be focusing on the exercise and health branches of the mind map.

Your approach could be to identify 10 key exercises that you’ve used to help your busy clients achieve amazing results. Each exercise would be the heading of a chapter of the eBook. At this stage, all you’re doing is listing these 10 exercises in the order in which you want them to be discussed.

R- Reveal your plan. (45 minutes)

This is where you really get your hands dirty. There must be a strategic approach to each chapter. Your plan from the moment someone begins reading the book is to capture their undivided attention. What content do you have to achieve this objective?

Here’re the critical considerations you must have at this stage:

  1. What are you going to use at the beginning of the book to grab the reader’s attention? Is there a life-changing testimonial from a client that you can share? Can you share your personal story? Is there any humor that you can include?

  2. What key points will be discussed in each chapter? List these points in bullet from under each heading.

  3. How are you going to structure each chapter to make the book your own? It’s great to make the book as practical as possible so that the reader can get the most out of it. Different strategies can be used to add the practical element. For instance, you could have a Plan for Action at the end of each chapter that forces the reader to apply the concepts learnt.

  4. What anecdotes or real-life examples can you use to make the content come alive?

  5. Are there images or graphics that you’ll want to include to further enhance the content? (This isn’t mandatory.)

Detailing the book outline in this way also helps pinpoint the ideal length of the book. Having a target book length in mind becomes crucial if you plan to hire a content writer.

M- Merge the outline with your end goal. (45 minutes)

Your eBook has a purpose. It must be written in such a way that there are action cues that lead the reader towards your desired objective. Think carefully about how you’re going to weave those action cues subtly into the content. The trick it to avoid sounding like a sales person while still linking the content back to your brand.

Two Hours of Bliss

There you have it. That’s how you can use 2 hours to create a book outline that really helps you create an eBook that achieves results. You may not have two hours to apply the F-I-R-M strategy to create a killer book outline. Don’t sweat it! I’m your content writing superhero who’s here to help save the day. Fill out the contact form below so that we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your eBook needs.

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3 Powerful Uses of an EBook that You Can't Ignore


3 Powerful Uses of an EBook that You Can't Ignore

EBooks are powerful marketing tools for businesses. They are multi-functional and can enhance your existing content marketing strategy. How you use them will ultimately determine how effective they are in your overall content marketing campaign. Here are 3 powerful ways to use eBooks to enhance your online presence.

Supplemental Material

Let’s say that you have an online course on YouTube or on an online course creation website such as Udemy or Teachable. An eBook allows you to summarize the course’s content. Allowing your students to access the eBook as a free download may even help them better retain what they’ve learnt.

Another application of this concept is to create an electronic workbook. The workbook would contain practical activities that the students must complete either during or at the end of each lesson. This helps make the lessons more practical and meaningful to the students.

Finally, both applications can be combined. Workbook activities can be included in a full-length eBook. Students can use this eBook merger to revise the content you taught and also practically apply the principles.

Lead-generating magnet

One of the most common uses of an eBook is as a lead-generating magnet. It has been used so much that it’s almost at the point of being overused. Most websites you visit have pop-ups that ask fro your email address in exchange for a short eBook or guide, another type of download, or a discount.

Overuse of this concept means that you should use it wisely on your own website. People have become desensitized to it and are less inclined to give their contact information so readily. Nevertheless, you still need those emails for your internet marketing campaigns.

A possible solution is to put the eBook offer at the end of a related blog article. People who read to the end of the article would be prompted to learn more about the topic by downloading the eBook.

You could also create a short video that highlights the main points discussed in the book. A link to download the book can be in the video’s caption. Upon clicking this link, the user would be prompted to enter an email address in order to access the content.

These are only 2 of the many possible solutions. Can you come up with others? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Online Sales

Some people turn to online sales as the only way to get the most out of an eBook. There are hundreds of thousands of self-published authors on Amazon, the largest eBook selling platform. A New York Times article published in 2016 revealed that, “over the last five years, close to 40 independent authors have sold more than a million copies of their e-books on Amazon”. That’s far less than the hundreds of thousands of authors who publish on the platform daily.

The article chronicles the story of Meredith Wild, a self-published author who sold over a million copies of her books using her own marketing savvy. Her success reveals the harsh truth that few self-published authors embrace; your book means nothing without strong marketing.

Therefore, think carefully about your marketing strategy before attempting selling your eBook. Some questions you should consider include:

  1. Do you have a large group of followers? You can begin your marketing efforts with them.

  2. What marketing techniques can you use to gain interest before the book’s release?

  3. Can you get interviews on any popular podcasts or blogs?

  4. How can you strategically use paid advertising?

Putting It All Together

An eBook can be used for 3 main purposes: as supplemental material, as a lead generating magnet, or to earn a profit. Some people use a combination of these function to get the most value from their eBooks. However, don’t ignore the fact that you must clearly define the purpose of your eBook before you begin writing it.

Do you need to hire a content writer for your eBook? Fill out the contact form below and I’ll send you a free copy of my short eBook creation guide.

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You can also hire me on UpWork by clicking the button below.


Why Write an eBook?


Why Write an eBook?

Have you ever wondered why writing an eBook is important for your business? Everyone is doing it so why should you? EBooks are powerful content marketing tools. Understanding their impact requires diving into a bit of their history and discussing some success stories.

The History of eBooks

Most people believe that eBooks began with Amazon. However, eBooks actually began in 1971 when Michael Hart typed the Declaration of Independence into the ARPAnet system and sent out a message saying that this digital document was available for download. The ARPAnet system would later become a part of what we now call the internet. Six people downloaded this digital version of the Declaration of Independence.

Hart realized that he was on to something…that what he was doing was adding value. He then created downloadable electronic versions of the Bill of Rights, the American Constitution and the Christian Bible.Hart’s work marked the genesis of eBooks.

A slew of digital publishers arose between the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s a list of a few:

  1. Story Space (1987): This was a software program for personal computers that facilitated creating, editing and reading hypertext fiction.

  2. BiblioBytes (1993): This was the first eBook selling platform.

  3. The Online Books Page (1993): Enabled easy access to free eBooks.

  4. Simon and Schuster (1999): The first publisher to publish titles in both eBook and print format.

  5. Barnes and Noble (1997): The Barnes and Noble online bookstore was launched.

  6. The SoftBook Reader (1999): This was the second e-reader to be launched.

EBooks have opened a new world of possibilities. No longer are people restricted to print versions of books that are often cumbersome to carry around. Electronic copies of printed material can now be transported with ease on most electronic devices. E-reader apps, such as the Kindle app, make it easy to download several titles, keep them in one place, and read them on any device.

EBook Success Stories

Convenience is one of the most important benefits of eBooks. All it takes is one click and this valuable resource is accessible to the user. Ebooks are so important that several companies have incorporated them into their marketing strategies. Here’re a few examples.

  1. HubSpot, one of the leading resources for digital marketing information, has a website dedicated to their free eBook resources.

  2. Optimizely, a digital marketing experimentation platform, has its own eBook resource website.

  3. Microsoft has created a free cyber-security eBook.

There must be some merit to eBook creation for businesses if these leading companies are investing so much in creating eBooks.


The Top 6 Benefits of Creating an eBook for Your Business

Are you ready to hear a secret? It’s something juicy so come a little closer. That’s it…just a little bit closer. Here it is…eBooks make you look like a star. They demonstrate that you have something valuable to share. That’s why so many individuals and businesses have latched on to the non-fiction eBook frenzy. It works! Here’re 6 ways that writing an eBook for your business can help you win new customers.

  1. Answer People’s Burning Questions

“Go Google it,” is often the first response when someone asks a question. Expectations are that the internet will provide answers to all questions. The internet is, however, a collection of websites. When someone types a query into a search engine, that search engine looks for the relevant keywords and phrases to produce the results page.

Your blog will provide the rich search engine feedback to direct people to your website. However, imagine a website visitor’s pleasure when that blog article leads to an eBook with even more detailed information. The person’s first thought will be, “Wow! This company really seems to know a lot about this topic!”

Boom! Just like that you’ve become a valuable source of information. These website visitors will keep coming back because they expect to continue to find useful information on your website. That’s how you lure the customers in; it’s like the bait that you put at the end of the fishing rod.

2. Share Your Unique Perspectives

You’re the author. Therefore, you have leverage to create whatever content you want. Your experience in the industry can shine through. In fact, the more unique you are the better your chances of eBook success.

An eBook essentially allows you to demonstrate the knowledge base that distinguishes you from your competitors. It isn’t about duplicating existing content. You’ll earn the respect of customers if you use an eBook to demonstrate your expertise. Some possible questions to answer include:

  • What has worked for your brand?

  • What influenced you to choose this approach?

  • Do you do something unique that solves this problem?

  • How can you teach people to solve this problem?

3. Build Customer Trust

The first to benefits alluded to this. Customers purchase from brands they trust. Providing answers to their questions and establishing your brand as an expert in the field helps win that trust. Ebooks help customers understand what your business is about. They also help showcase your brand’s personality.

This is why understanding the sales funnel is so important. A lead won’t become a paying customer the moment he or she visits your website. The person will browse a bit to get to know more about the brand. Establishing your brand as a source of information will take guide customers through the sales funnel until they become paying customers.

4. People are Attracted to Free

People work hard for their money. They turn away from companies that attempt to make hard sales during the first interaction. Offering a free eBook gives you some leverage. What makes it even better is that it won’t cost you much to offer a short eBook for free to your customers.

We’ll discuss more about how to use this freebie to generate sales in future articles. However, never underestimate the power of free.

5. Make Content Creation Easier

Let’s be honest. It takes a lot of effort to create and maintain a consistent blog. The beauty of an eBook is that the content can be modified to create shorter blog posts. You’ll spend a lot of time creating the eBook’s content, but that time will balance out since you can use each chapter to create blog posts. Sure, some changes will be necessary but it won’t take as much work as creating an entirely new blog post.

Thee blog posts can then lead to a free download of your eBook. It’s like your content is forming an intricate web that links everything together. When done correctly, content creation becomes much easier.

6. Earn Money

There are some eBooks that you’ll give away for free. That doesn’t mean though that there aren’t some that you can sell for profit. Author Earnings reports that $1.3 billion was earned from eBook sales in 2017. Your earnings can reach six figures if you produce a well-written and well-promoted eBook.

High earnings are possible because you have no inventory costs, minimal eBook creation costs, and minimal promotion costs. They are also possible through strategic pricing and periodic discounts. Most authors have found that $2.99 is the sweet spot price for selling eBooks on Amazon.

An eBook is Important for Your Business

Most successful brands make eBooks part of their digital marketing strategy. They aren’t doing it because they’re trying to follow the crowd. Instead, they understand that creating strong eBooks help them win customers and improve profits. Download your free copy of “How to Write an eBook that Puts Money in the Bank” to learn more. Click the button below to be directed to the download page.


5 Important Spending Considerations for Christmas 2018


5 Important Spending Considerations for Christmas 2018

I love iPhones and the 1,300 USD IPhone XS has been tempting me for the past few months. It must be a blessing in disguise that I’m broke beyond measure. Otherwise, I would close my eyes and bought this overpriced phone. The guilt I’d feel after the purchase would resonate with me for months, but at least I’d have a new phone right?

You may not be an iPhone fan, but there must be a high-priced item you love that you’d buy the moment you could afford it. The over commercialized nature of this time of the year only makes it more difficult to avoid overspending on these and other items. Your attempts to justify the purchases are inconsequential. For instance, I won’t deny that I need a new phone, but there are other smartphones with even better features than the iPhone that I can purchase.

The Christmas season makes some of us believe that we have the right to spend frivolously. It’s the most wonderful time of the year isn’t it? Before you spend your last dime buying that over-priced item that you’ve wanted all year, keep these personal finance considerations at the forefront of your mind.

What are your long-term goals?

Those who are serious about wealth creation have clear long-term goals. They have dedicated investment accounts to which they religiously deposit funds each month and they keep their eyes open for new investment opportunities. Be one of these people. Your investment account isn’t meant for you to dip into for whimsical purchases; it’s an account you create so that you have money for a future goal. Don’t use that money to purchase things that threaten that long-term goal.

Do you have a spending budget for the holiday season?

Those who buy into the commercialized nature of Christmas will buy gifts for those they love. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re one of these people, however, you should set a budget and stick to it.

I work in the public sector and we don’t get Christmas bonuses. We get paid early in December and don’t get paid again until late January. So, the same amount of money must be stretched for a longer period. Imagine if I spend most of my salary on Christmas presents. What would happen in January? A clear budget is imperative so that I don’t spend more than I can actually afford. You should prepare a budget too.

What’re you doing with your holiday bonus?

You may be one of the fortunate people who is paid a holiday bonus at this time of the year. Getting a little extra money may make you feel rich for a few hours. However, you’ll be broke before you know it if you spend that money foolishly.

I saw Victoria Mutual and Jamaica Money Market Brokers advertising gift certificates in Monday’s Gleaner. That’s what you should do with the money….invest it. You don’t even need to buy a gift certificate for yourself. Just visit your local investment broker and find a way to make that money work for you.

Can you postpone that holiday trip?

Planning a holiday trip to spend time with your family is one thing. It’s completely different when you’ve planned a weekend getaway at an all-inclusive hotel for you and your spouse. Hotel rates are high at this time of the year. It may be better for you to plan expensive vacations for times of the year when rates are lower.

Can you still have fun?

Of course! But, you should think carefully before spending. You’ve worked hard all year and deserve to let loose. You’ll, however, be tearing out your hair and crying your eyes out next year when your bank account screams, “I’m empty!” after your expensive splurges. Be responsible with your funds.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time of joy and gift-giving… a time when we forget how much money we really have and go wild. Ask yourself the questions outlined in this article before making any holiday purchases. Wealth creation doesn’t happen by following poor spending habits. Click here to get a financial planning worksheet that’ll help you keep on track.


How-to Increase Sales Using Content Marketing


How-to Increase Sales Using Content Marketing

Content marketing has created a shift in the way businesses reach customers. Critically looking at how the words content and marketing go together, however,  provides a fresh perspective on what content marketing really is.

It's impossible to do any marketing without content, but it's possible to have content that serves no marketing purpose. Marketing is dependent on content. Content is independent of marketing.

Merging the 2 words to categorize a new way to reach customers has increased the amount of meaningless online content. This has inevitably led to overstimulated customers and often lackluster results for digital marketing initiatives.

Countless articles and eBooks have been created to guide hopeful entrepreneurs and marketers through the endless maze of the content marketing world. Despite the great access to information, effective implementation of the strategies by the average entrepreneur is mediocre at best.

Even the best ads typically don't receive above average results. It's, therefore, no surprise that Clever Clicks reports that "the average click-through rate of a paid ad is 2%, yet ads in the first position earn an average click-through rate of almost 8%."

What's the point of it all? Why pay so much money if the results aren't going to be worth the investment? The answers to these questions depend on how effectively the campaign is structured. This article explains how you can create content that contributes to your marketing efforts instead of using wasteful space on your digital platforms.

Know Your Audience

One thing that may be affecting your digital marketing is that your audience may be too broadly defined. What works for Tom won't necessarily work for Jerry. This branding tends to look something like the cartoon shown below.


Targeted content marketing requires multiple approaches to reach the desired audience. Campaigns must be created for each subset of individuals within a brand's broader target audience. For instance, if you own a content writing company targeting people in America, you must divide this broad group into smaller sub groups. Some possible subgroups are:

- small business owners between 25 and 35 years based in New York, New York

- small business owners between 25 and 40 years old interested in eBooks based in New York, New York

-business owners between 25 and 50 years old interested in business development based in Silicon Valley, California

Several iterations are possible and it's important to create a strategy that suits each group of people. That's when you'll get the best response. 

Remember the WIIFM Rule

Consumers are only interested in what they can get from investing in your product or service. This is the What's In It For Me (WIIFM) rule.

Each targeted campaign should focus on the unique characteristics of each sub-group and provide a direct answer to the WIIFM question for that subgroup. These questions can guide you towards answering the WIIFM question.

1. What specific problem are you trying to solve for this groups of people?

2. What proven results are you able to deliver?

3. What testimonials can you share to establish proof-of-concept?

Have a Role for Each Content Piece

All of your content doesn't have to bombard viewers and readers with a constant appeal to, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" Some content can be used to establish your brand as an authority in its niche, provide useful information to potential customers, and increase brand awareness. 

However, you must be clear about the role each piece serves so that it can achieve the desired purpose. The likelihood of the desired result being produced is greatly diminished when there is no clear goal. In the grand scheme of things, it's more important to create content that adds value and portrays your brand in the right light than to churn out a copious volume of meaningless content.

Pay Attention to the Quality

Quality always trumps quantity. It's nonsensical to create or use sub-par videos, infographics, articles, podcasts, and images. Too many entrepreneurs are afraid, or unwilling to take the risk, to invest in quality content creators.

The investment pays for itself within a few weeks to 3 months if the content is used strategically. It is the content marketer's role to use the content in the right way to achieve maximum results. You need a content marketer on your team to create and use quality content in the right ways for your brand.


It's time to move away from the mindless use of content. Your content should always be serving a marketing purpose. These 4 tips are pivotal to getting the highest possible  return on investment for your content marketing initiatives. Contact an experienced content marketer to learn more. 


4 Important Considerations when Creating a Facebook Ad

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4 Important Considerations when Creating a Facebook Ad

Like honey to bees, Facebook is the go-to platform that attracts people wanting to promote their businesses. It's the leading social media platform and has over 2 billion active users making it a marketing goldmine for entrepreneurs. Promotions are done on the platform with the expectation that they will always yield the desired results. After all, the content is being seen by thousands of people so magical things must happen.

The reality is that advertising on Facebook isn't as simple as it seems. It's not just selecting a target audience based on location and interests and posting content you think is the bomb. Each marketing initiative must be carefully thought out and developed based on the following criteria.

A Hyper-Focused Audience

It's safe to assume that most of the people who try to advertise on Facebook have an idea of their target audience. They must know enough to choose a location, relevant interests and the right age group. However, it is often the case that the target audience chosen isn't targeted enough. 

A successful Facebook ad can only be created if the target audience is as specific as possible. For instance, an online content writing company that offers its services to people in America and Canada needs to be very specific about the type of people it creates content for. Using the broad category of "small business owners in America and Canada" may not allow the campaign to achieve the desired results. A hyper-targeted audience would be "life coaches in New York, New York and Ontario Canada between 25 and 50 years of age." The latter narrows the audience down to people who will most likely benefit from the ad's content. 

Relevant Content

A targeted audience is pointless if the ad's content doesn't relate to their needs. Your ad should show how your business answers the specific problems this group of people faces.  Customers always want to know that your product or service directly benefits them in some way. Why should they be interested if there's nothing in it for them? 

Use Videos

Videos have the highest engagement of all types of content. This doesn't mean that articles and images don't have their place. The type of content used depends greatly on who you're targeting and what you're offering.  For instance, articles and images may be better suited for reaching existing customers with special offers and deals. Videos, on the other hand, can be used to attract potential customers by introducing them to your brand. These are, however, just examples. It is possible to use a mixture of these 3 types of content at different stages in the marketing cycle. Nevertheless, the power of videos can't be ignored.

Put the Call-to-Action at the Right Place

A call-to-action clearly tells people what they should do when they engage with your ad. It should be strategically positioned so that people don't have to sift through too much content before getting to it. It is ideal to place the call-to-action in the first 10 to 15 seconds of a video and the first 10 to 20 words of content. If it's placed at the end, your ad may not produce the results you desire. 

Avoid the temptation of viewing Facebook advertising as a stroll in the park. That approach ultimately leads to time and money being wasted. Be very deliberate about the content you use, who you target, and the results you hope to achieve. It's the only way that your Facebook ads will help your business grow. 


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A Solid Content Marketing Strategy That Separates the Winners from the Losers

A Solid Content Marketing Strategy That Separates the Winners from the Losers

The online business world has become a crowded marketplace. A solid content marketing strategy requires oomph, pizzazz, and something truly unique that forces people to stop and pay attention. Writing a plethora of articles is no longer sufficient. Everyone is doing it! You need a content creator who can create a content marketing plan that truly portrays the uniqueness of your brand.

I follow a variety of companies, celebrities, and fun social media sensations. Observing their pages has given me some fresh perspectives on effective content marketing. My observations from some of the social media profiles, websites and YouTube channels I like the most are highlighted below.

Yendi Phillips’ Content Marketing Strategy with her Instagram Page (@yendizzle)

The thing I love most about Yendi’s Instagram page is how clearly it depicts her zest for life, health consciousness, and love for her daughter, Israel.  Although her prominence as a Jamaican celebrity has greatly helped her success, she makes a constant effort to build her personal brand. Content on her page ranges from images from her world travels to places we can only imagine, to videos of her Master Dance classes. Influencer marketing is also evident through her videos of smoothie and sweet treat creations for Almond Breeze and Foska Oats. If I’m honest, her videos have made me seriously consider purchasing those products!

Yendi doesn’t have a website. Instagram and Facebook seem to be her main ways to interact with the public. She has 255,000 followers on Instagram and 446,782 followers on Facebook.  Stunning images and well-made videos are the strengths of her pages.

Lesson to Learn: Invest in a good attachable lens for your smartphone so that you can capture even better images and videos. Learn how to use simple video editing software. Create stunning images and videos that show the beauty of your brand and make people say, “Wow!”

Tamera Mowry-Housley’s  Content Marketing Strategy with her Website

I have always been a fan of Tamera Mowry-Housely from her acting days on Sister Sister. She has grown into a beautiful and inspiring woman. Her blog posts are authentic…written from a place of pure love and joy for life and her experiences. She writes about everything she is passionate about: parenting, interior décor,  beauty and fashion, and simple recipes.  Her posts are friendly and make you feel like you’re a small part of her world. I love how she uses each post and her website to interact with her readers and showcase her own pictures. The connection she has with her readers is genuine.

Lesson to Learn: Use brand-specific images. Taking these pictures yourself makes the experience even better for your followers. Write in a way that make your readers feel like they are a part of your world. Take the time to develop a good website. Write about topics you’re passionate about.

The Holderness Family’s Content Marketing Strategy with their Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Silly and fun. The Holderness family has created an admirable YouTube following for their hilarious musical parody videos. Over a million people love watching their YouTube channel and Facebook videos whenever I need a good laugh. They know how to let loose and just have fun. Their exaggerated depictions of everyday things that families experience make the videos they produce relatable.

Lesson to Learn: Humor sells. A humorous video will get high engagement and more followers. It also helps when the video has relatable content.


Putting it All Together

A content marketing plan must have the right combination of images, videos, and articles. Images shouldn’t be the easy to find stock images that everyone uses.  Capturing images that relate specifically to your brand boosts your authenticity and make content more relatable. Investing in a lens for your smartphone’s camera is a cost- effective way to help you capture professional quality images and videos. The investment will pay off in the long-term as you gain more followers.

There isn’t anything wrong with articles. However, a content creator should write authentic content that relates to the passions and real experiences of the brand. It’s not about borrowing other people’s ideas. Instead, it’s about forming your own ideas and sharing your unique experiences. You will find a group of people who love what you have to share.

Finally, injecting humor into your content is what seals the deal. People want a break from the seriousness of life. Don’t be afraid to be a silly and a little crazy. Let some humor shine through as much of the content you create as possible.


Christine is a content creator who specializes in articles, website content, and eBooks. You an contact her by clicking here

The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy


The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

The ability to get ebooks online has changed the book selling industry. Gone are the days when authors had to send book proposals to publishing houses hoping that they'll get lucrative deals. Ebook selling platforms such as Amazon, the iBooks store, and Lulu allow anyone to make money online using self-published ebooks.  This has opened an enormous window of opportunity for enhancing your content marketing strategy. Three reasons for the power of ebooks in content marketing are outlined in this article.

 EBooks Establish You as an Expert

You have knowledge to share. An ebook provides the perfect platform for you to share this knowledge. Customers want to be confident that you know what you're doing. They also want to learn from you. Sharing your unique perspectives on topics in your niche helps you to do that. A well-written ebook provides a way to express these ideas in a longer and more engaging way than articles.

Ebooks are Lead Generation Magnets

Ebooks that are sold on online platforms aren't the only types of ebooks available. PDF books are also quite common. Many companies use pdf books as a ways to distribute free content. These ebooks tend to be much shorter than self-published ebooks, but they have the right information to lure readers in. They are good ways to share useful information while promoting your brand.

Ebooks Can be Competitively Priced

Print books cost much more than ebooks. Amazon recommends, however, that both a print and ebook version of your content be available so that readers can have a choice.  Readers who want to save money and have the convenience of all of their books in one place will purchase the ebook version. The best ebook prices for beginning authors range tend to be either $0.99 or $2.99.

EBooks Increase Your Following

Ebooks work best when you have an established following to promote them to.   These followers will be more willing to buy and share your content. More buys and shares will ultimately result in more people purchasing the ebook and following your brand.


Ebooks are an important addition to your content marketing strategy. An expert content creator can write ebooks that position you as an expert and make you more visible online. CEM Writing Services offers ebook writing plans. You can contact Christine by clickling here to discuss a customized plan that will meet your needs.



5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence


5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a must-have for any content marketing strategy. It's the tool you use to connect with and engage your audience in meaningful ways. Several social media experts have written books and articles that make building a strong social media presence seem simple. The reality, however, is that it's far from simple especially if you're not offering a service a product that's in high demand. This article has been written based on my own experiences and some useful tips I've garnered from articles I've read. Trust me, it's not an easy road, but you can gain numerous rewards if you play your cards right.  The point is not to neglect social media as an essential component of your digital content marketing.

Boost Your Posts

You have to spend a little to gain a little. Facebook offers a feature for business pages that allows you to boost a post so that you can reach a wider audience. Boosting a post will help you get more page likes and could potentially lead to new customers. You need more people to like your page and visit your website. Depending on the few Facebook friends you invited to like your page is a recipe for disaster. They're only there because they like you and probably have no real interest in your business. People who like your page after viewing a boosted post have a genuine interest in your business and could eventually become paying customers. 

Boosted posts that last for a week are often the best. The idea is that the longer the boost, the more people you'll be able to reach and the more interactions you'll be able to acquire. I understand that budget constraints can result in you limiting that boosted post to 2 days. However, I don't suggest boosting a post for less than 2 days; you won't get a good return on your investment. 

The type of post you boost is also an important consideration. Videos have the highest click through rate on all social media platforms. In fact, Animoto states that "4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it." However,  you can't just post any old video and call it a day. Your video has to be meaningful, relate to your brand, and elicit a positive response from viewers. If you choose to use an article, include a vibrant featured image and attention-grabbing title. The image is the first thing Facebook users will see. If it doesn't grab them, they won't react to your post. Finally, the content of the post has to resonate with the audience and be relevant to your brand. 

Use a Variety of Content

Some of the best social media pages utilize a variety of content. They mix articles with videos and stunning images, thus making the pages more interesting to the viewer. This mixture also ensures that there is something to suit any user's preference. Someone should be able to scroll through your page and find at least one post of interest. 

Use Live Videos

Since Facebook launched the 'Go Live" videos in 2016 it seems like there has been a live video revolution. More social media sites are beginning to add live videos as one of their features. That says a lot about the power of live videos. They allow businesses to interact with you in real-time. It adds excitement to the experience and enables them to get immediate responses to their questions and comments.

Live videos work best when they are previously publicized. Let your followers know when you plan to host a live video chat. Send frequent reminders and ensure that you research the time that most of your followers are using Facebook. It makes no sense to host a live video without an audience. 

The beauty of Facebook live videos is that the video is stored on your page after it has ended. The same isn't true for Instagram and Twitter live videos. Storing the video allows people to view it even after it has ended. If you were able to have an interesting discussion, it is highly likely that the people who watch the video after it has ended will share it. More viewers increases the likelihood of more followers for your page. More followers ultimately results in more customers.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are Twitter's secret weapon. I have been amazed by how other Twitter users are able to find my Twitter profile because of the hashtags I use. Before posting on Twitter, ensure that you research the most popular hashtags related to that post. Use them strategically so that you don't exceed the 140 character limit. The best posts incorporate either images, videos or gifs. So, don't leave those out!

Use SnapChat as a Teaser

The popularity of SnapChat baffles me. I haven't been able to comprehend why posting videos that fade is so fascinating. Nevertheless, SnapChat has its place in the digital marketing landscape. These short videos are excellent promotional tools for building hype around an upcoming event or new product. You can use it to post short teaser videos to build interest. The key is to keep your audience hooked so that they won't want to miss out on whatever you have coming up.


Having a strong social media presence is essential for digital marketing. If you boost key posts on your Facebook business page, use a variety of content, use hashtags on Twitter, and use SnapChat as a teaser you'll be able to win more followers and hopefully get more sales. Getting a large social media following can take several months or several years. You just have to stick to it and keep using a mixture of strategies to get the right result. 



Christine is a content marketer who is passionate about building the online presence of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. You can view more of her work by clicking here. Interested in hiring her services? Complete the contact form found here.



5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice


5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice

Writing is a beautiful melody. Words flow from your mind unto the page like silk flowing through the palms of your hands. Giving them the right tempo, the right beat, helps you build a community of followers who want to hear want you have to say.  Content marketers love expressing these melodies. However, there are times when our inner voice is barely audible and we struggle to put the words together. Don't despair. All hope isn't lost because with these 5 tips you can make a quick comeback and start providing your audience with the content they've grown to love. 

Close You Eyes and Listen

Sometimes we allow life to entangle us. The worries, the stress, the demands...everything just becomes too much. Thinking about it all will dampen your spirit, drain your energy, and quieten that melodious voice. The moment you realize that your thoughts are consuming you, take a minute to just close your eyes and listen. Listen to the birds chirping, the wind gently wafting through the leaves, the dogs barking, and the stillness of the space your in. Listen to the beauty of life in the midst of the chaos. The more you choose to listen and just choose to tune everything out, the more inspired you'll feel.

Just Write

Fear is our greatest weakness. Sometimes we hold back and tone down what we really want to say. We're more concerned with what the critics will say than truly letting our voices be heard. Don't hold back. Express your genuine ideas and perspectives. Let no one and nothing hold you back. Audiences appreciate authenticity and can smell a fake from a mile away. Be true to who you are.

Think About What You Love

There is always that one thing that we truly enjoy doing. We enjoy doing it so much that we don't even realize the passage of time. It's like we're trapped in our own comforting bubbles. Picture that activity you enjoy. Allow yourself to embrace the peaceful feeling it brings. Write about it. When you write about what you truly love, the words will automatically flow.  

Experts Speak the Loudest

Immersing yourself in what you love can be an exhilarating experience. Part of the immersion process, however, requires continuous learning, growth and improvement.  Develop a genuine thirst for knowledge and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Your experiences and knowledge will provide you with more than enough content for expressing your insights. 

Think Like an Artist

I have profound respect for people in the creative space. They are able to produce works of art, songs, and music that the rest of the world is able to enjoy. Tapping into that creative energy is their talent. Think about all of the possible ways that you can tap into your creative energy. Where or from whom do you get your inspiration? What environment do you need to create in order to produce your best work? Think about it and make it happen.


Don't silence your inner voice. Let it shine through by closing your mind to the noise of life, freely expressing your thoughts, writing about what you love, becoming an expert in your niche, and thinking like an artist. The number of doors of opportunity that will open as a result will surprise you. 


5 Types of Content Your Articles Must-Have in 2017


5 Types of Content Your Articles Must-Have in 2017

Content marketing has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 5 years. As social media evolves, the desire to engage with truly meaningful content increases. Consumers are no longer accepting articles solely consisting of blocks of text. A strong content marketer identifies this fact and includes the following forms of media to give their content new life.


Infographics are the perfect compromise for the visual and reading/writing learners. They organize content into easily digestible segments. Consider the infographic below that highlights the benefits of content marketing.   

Why Content Marketing Infographic.png

The images add new life to the content. They also help arrange the content into smaller segments. It, therefore, doesn't require a lot of reading. Research also shows that infographics are "liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any type of content." If you want to create a truly great infographic for your content, hire this freelancer

Custom Photography

The value of images in content is greatly apparent. More websites are offering stock photography that is highly accessible. These generic images are becoming commonplace. Readers appreciate images that are original and relate directly to the content. In fact, 41.5% of digital marketers identify original graphics and infographics as the most engaging forms of visual content.


Infographics and custom photography are stunning, but nothing beats a relevant and well-developed video. Researchers state that "4 times as many customers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it." People don't want to sift through large blocks of text. Give them something to click and watch and they'll be more willing to engage.

Interactive Content

 Polls, surveys, tests and quizzes are examples of interactive content. Apester,  Zaption, Webyclip, and Mapline all provide creative ways to include interaction in your content. 

Meaningful Content

The tricks and features you include in your articles are no excuse for poor content. People still look at the words you write. They want to know that the content captioned in the article's title meets expectations. Don't disappoint.

Readers require much more from content marketers than ever before. All the content you write should contain one or more of the features mentioned in this article if you want to stay ahead of the game. 


Christine is a content marketing professional committed to creating stellar content. Visit her website at to learn more. Read her latest ebook by clicking here. 



Creating Content that Sings

    Digital content is often viewed as a static portion of a business’ marketing strategy. An article or blog post is created and it just sits there. Begging for likes and shares…begging to be noticed. Content is far more than a bunch of words that are churned out to fulfill the need to write consistently. Content is dynamic. It speaks to a need that a reader doesn’t even realize he or she has.  Creating content that speaks to potential customers in this way is what makes a winning content marketing strategy. Content marketing serves two purposes: attracting AND converting customers.  The content you write must, therefore, be REAL.     R- Relevant     Content has to be relevant to the consumer. Think carefully about your target audience. What are their interests? What matters to them? Finding the answers to those questions is the beginning. Using these answers to craft content is what truly matters.     A strategy that can be used to create relevant content is capitalizing on trending stories. Hurricane Matthew, for instance, is presently a hot topic. The Hurricane has sparked discussions about the corruption surrounding major donor agencies that have yet to provide Haiti with much needed assistance.  Writing an article that speaks to this would be relevant in this time period.     E- Engaging     What you write is equally as important as how you write.  Your writing should flow like a melody. It should sing to the reader and compel the reader to take some type of action. Inject bits of humor can liven up content and make it more engaging.  Using a mixture of long and short sentences is also a good strategy.  Think about your reader and write in a way that would appeal to him or her.     A-Applicable     Some of the best content inspires the reader to take some form of action. A reader who engages with your content should be able to find aspects that can be applied to his or her life or business. Applicable content gets more likes and shares. It’s what the reader desires without even knowing it.      L-Linked     Readers should be able to see the link between your content and your business. Your content should be authentic. You shouldn’t oversell, but the content that you write shouldn’t be completely unrelated to your niche. Writing unrelated content can create confusion in the mind of the reader and move you away from your target audience.          Content marketing is powerful. It places businesses on the map and keeps them relevant to their customers. Learning how to utilize its power can help your business tremendously. Always remember to write REAL content and you’re bound to succeed. You can find more tips in this article from the Digital Branding Institute.    _____________________________________________________________________________   Christine is an aspiring #content marketing professional who is passionate about creating stellar content. You can find out more about her and her business at


Digital content is often viewed as a static portion of a business’ marketing strategy. An article or blog post is created and it just sits there. Begging for likes and shares…begging to be noticed. Content is far more than a bunch of words that are churned out to fulfill the need to write consistently. Content is dynamic. It speaks to a need that a reader doesn’t even realize he or she has.  Creating content that speaks to potential customers in this way is what makes a winning content marketing strategy. Content marketing serves two purposes: attracting AND converting customers.  The content you write must, therefore, be REAL.

R- Relevant

Content has to be relevant to the consumer. Think carefully about your target audience. What are their interests? What matters to them? Finding the answers to those questions is the beginning. Using these answers to craft content is what truly matters.

A strategy that can be used to create relevant content is capitalizing on trending stories. Hurricane Matthew, for instance, is presently a hot topic. The Hurricane has sparked discussions about the corruption surrounding major donor agencies that have yet to provide Haiti with much needed assistance.  Writing an article that speaks to this would be relevant in this time period.

E- Engaging

What you write is equally as important as how you write.  Your writing should flow like a melody. It should sing to the reader and compel the reader to take some type of action. Inject bits of humor can liven up content and make it more engaging.  Using a mixture of long and short sentences is also a good strategy.  Think about your reader and write in a way that would appeal to him or her.


Some of the best content inspires the reader to take some form of action. A reader who engages with your content should be able to find aspects that can be applied to his or her life or business. Applicable content gets more likes and shares. It’s what the reader desires without even knowing it.


Readers should be able to see the link between your content and your business. Your content should be authentic. You shouldn’t oversell, but the content that you write shouldn’t be completely unrelated to your niche. Writing unrelated content can create confusion in the mind of the reader and move you away from your target audience.


Content marketing is powerful. It places businesses on the map and keeps them relevant to their customers. Learning how to utilize its power can help your business tremendously. Always remember to write REAL content and you’re bound to succeed. You can find more tips in this article from the Digital Branding Institute. 


Christine is an aspiring #content marketing professional who is passionate about creating stellar content. You can find out more about her and her business at



5 Tips for Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

Social media is your gateway to the world.  There are no barriers. The power that lies in being able to build your brand on social media is almost frightening.  Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media, is a prime example of an individual who has been able to leverage social media to build his brand. There are several examples of top social media influencers who have found a way to captivate audiences. Tapping into the potential of social media isn’t a skill reserved for the elite. Instead, anyone with the drive and stick-to-itiveness can establish a strong social media presence for their brand. The following tips offer a launch pad for creating a killer social media marketing strategy.

Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Brand

Social media isn’t really a one size fits all marketing medium. Each social media platform offers unique benefits for a variety of businesses and individuals.  Pinterest and Instagram are ideal for companies that are visually focused. If you have pictures to share, those are the best places to be. Twitter appeals to people who like to get to the point. With only 140 characters available, marketers have to be very creative with wording and hashtags. Yes, visuals are also important on Twitter. However, the right wording and hashtags are crucial.

Facebook is often the go-to for anyone considering social media marketing. Facebook, with 1.71 billion active monthly users, has the largest share of the social media space.  The beauty of Facebook is the variety of marketing strategies it offers.  You can create a page exclusively for your business and post videos, pictures, and well worded posts that appeal to your target audience. A good social media strategy combines social media platforms that will work best for the brand.

Remember the Customer

It’s easy to get caught up in what you want to say and present. However, you have to carefully consider what your target audience really wants to hear. Your content and images should speak to what your audience wants to hear. When these elements work in tandem, people will be clamoring to follow you and learn more about your brand. Determining what your customers want to hear, however, isn’t a simple process. Consider observing the content that your competitors produce. What makes the content unique? What makes customers want to interact with the content and support the business? Apply what you observe to your content marketing strategy.

Utilize Facebook’s Live Video Feature

Live video is probably one of Facebook’s most ingenious ideas. It’s the perfect way to interact with your audience live. You can host live interviews and discussions, broadcast an event, or share some invaluable insight. The possibilities are endless.

Periscope is an app that works similarly to Facebook’s live video. It allows you to record a live video and use a social media platform like Twitter to interact with your audience. Utilize it in the same way as Facebook’s live video feature and you’ll be surprised by the results.

Tap into Influencer Marketing

There’s nothing wrong with consulting a social media influencer to help you promote your brand. They already have the following and their feedback is highly valued by their audience. So, their stamp of approval of your brand speaks volumes. Influencer marketing is essentially about word of mouth advertising. McKinsey states that, “Customers acquired via word-of-mouth have a 37% higher retention rate.” Influencer marketing is, therefore, a worthwhile investment.

Be Consistent

This is one of the most challenging aspects of social media marketing: consistency.  Your followers crave it. Stick to a schedule that you can work with and post content that is meaningful.  Always remember to keep what the customer wants to hear at the forefront of your mind. Utilize the power of images, hashtags, and well-crafted words.


Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Use these tips to utilize it effectively and you will see amazing results in your brand. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a social media manager. The point is that you shouldn’t neglect the value that a strong social media presence can add to your brand.



4 Ways to Creatively Interact with Your Audience on Social Media

We've seen it all. At least that's what avid social media users think. Scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChap, Pinterest, and all of the other social media sites, results in us being inundated with content, images, and videos. Once in a while something piques our interest. We click, gloss over the content, and then move on with our lives. This procedure becomes almost routine.

Content marketers are faced with the stark reality of their content being drowned out in the sea of daily postings. Each day, the primary question on a content marketer's lips is, "How can I truly make my content memorable?" The answer isn't as simple as many bloggers make it seem. It's easy to say, "Be unique" or "Create meaningful content", but statements like these seem vacuous if no practical solutions are presented. 

The true secret to effective content marketing is interaction. Interacting with your customers and getting them to interact with your brand is what will help you create a winning content marketing strategy. So, how do you actually get them to interact with your content and brand? These 4 tips can help you answer this salient question.

Latch on to Viral Topics

The latest buzz provides ephemeral intrigue. Tapping into this short-lasting buzz can help you win new readers and maintain existing ones. Furthermore, creating meaningful content that relates to a viral topic and connects with your brand can help spark interest. Sparked interest often inspires readers to comment and even share your content. If you are able to offer a new, fresh perspective on a current issue or trend, your readers will want to interact with you.

Facilitate Intriguing Discussions

Offering a fresh perspective is key to boosting interaction with your audience. Can you think of a controversial perspective on a topic related to your niche? How can you initiate a discussion around this perspective with people within your niche? Twitter is a good platform to use to connect with others. LinkedIn also offers several groups that allow members to create discussions. Join groups that interest you. Participate in discussions posted by others and start discussions of your own.

Interact with your customers in the same way. Ask them questions on your social media pages and encourage them to respond. You could possibly post a picture, for instance, and ask your audience to share their perspectives on it. Think of things that are light and fun...things that will make people happy to engage and share.

Offer Giveaways

Freebies are an instant catch. Humans are innately selfish, whether we want to admit it or not. We don't really want to give without receiving something in return. Giveaways can be pegged to special promotions. Ask your customers, for instance, to share pictures of your brand on their social media pages in return for free merchandise or coupons. there are many creative strategies you can come up with. Think outside the box.

Don't Be Too Serious

Life is serious enough as it is. People don't want to be bogged down with rigidly structured content. Let loose. Express yourself freely. The more genuine and relatable you are, the more people will want to interact with you. Have fun with your writing and watch your engagement soar.

Interaction is important for any content marketing strategy. These 4 tips can help you create content that your audience will want to interact with. Employ them well and you'll see your audience grow.




Infographics as Powerful Content Marketing Tools

People like content that doesn't look like a pain to read. With so much hustle and bustle required for daily living, there isn't much time to take in large blocks of text to get information.  According to HubSpot, research shows that "colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%." Additionally, "content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images." Infographics are the perfect merger between content and visuals. They provide numerous benefits that can mean the difference between a powerful and average content marketing strategy.

Infographics Present Content Succinctly

Look at the infographic below that describes the qualities of a successful graphic designer.

At a glance, you can clearly see the qualities being highlighted. Each quality also has only a sentence or two describing it. This makes the information easier to process and remember. Making your content memorable and easy to digest is crucial for engaging potential customers.

Infographics are Colorful

Color attracts. The graphic designer infographic shown above uses the right amount of color without overwhelming your eyes. The colors used also grab your attention and entice you to actually read what is under each image.

Infographics Use Memorable Images

The likelihood of a reader remembering words greatly diminishes as time progresses. Images, however, stay in a reader's mind longer. The graphic designer infographic has a relevant image for each of the qualities. It also uses short, simple headlines to complement each of the images. Anyone who looks at it is likely to remember all of the qualities of a successful graphic designer.

Infographics are powerful content marketing tools. They help you get your message across without using a large number of words. Their visual appeal also makes your content memorable. Check out this excellent infographic designer to create a stunning infographic for your next content marketing campaign.



Five Ways to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

Powerful. Captivating. Intriguing. These are the qualities of content that is bound to generate sales.  A content writer who is able to write such content is deemed excellent. Achieving such a feat, however, requires great skill. It is a skill that can be learnt and perfected. Businesses look for content writers who can crate winning content marketing strategies. Novice content writers who follow these five tips can become the excellent content writers a company needs.

Understand Your Audience

People react to content in different ways. Content that you would write for a new mother, for instance would be different from the content you write for a mother raising a teenager. Before you begin to formulate ideas for your content, carefully map out the characteristic features of your target audience. What writing style appeals to them most? What are their interests? What do they most readily relate to? The answers to these questions will help you create lead generating content.

Appreciate the Value of Visual Aids

MDG Advertising states that “94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images”. Pictures tell stories succinctly. Many people have neither the time nor the patience to sift through blocks of words. An infographic is a perfect way to convey snippets of content using stunning images. This graphic designer creates spectacular infographics that will make your content shine. Shutterfly and Getty Images also offer amazing images at affordable prices. You can even use your own images. It’s worth investing in images that will catch readers’ eyes and make them want to learn more about your brand.

Embrace the Power of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that is thrown around so much in the marketing arena. However, those who use it effectively are able to get their brands noticed online. SEO incorporates the strategic use of keywords throughout content. There are also many other factors to consider, such as the use of backlinks. A good content marketing strategy naturally utilizes the best keywords throughout a piece. You shouldn’t stuff your content with keywords since this will lead to an over optimization penalty. A keyword density of 1% to 3% is ideal.

Vary the Structure and “Feel” of Your Content

Long sentences. Short sentences.  Humor. Words that paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  Writing with a mixture of these elements builds intrigue.  Overly long sentences, dull language, and a lack of imagination have little or no impact on the reader. Practice using these strategies with content of your own. Content writers who are able to write in this way create some of the best content.



Utilize Social Media Wisely

A content marketing strategy is incomplete without a solid social media marketing strategy. Social media presents your brand to the world. It allows you to interact with customers and experts in your niche in creative ways. Promoting your content strategically on social media adds strength to your content marketing strategy. Research the optimal times to post content. These times vary depending on the platform used. Remember to incorporate stunning images. People won’t click on the link to your article if you don’t have an amazing image attached. Follow some of the social media gurus and learn from their posting trends.  You can become a master too.


Let your passion for writing guide you on your journey to become a content marketing specialist. Be the rose that stands out in the garden of flourishing roses. Follow the strategies highlighted in this article and remain true to who you are. A business searching for a good content writer will find you. 



5 Ways to Tap into the Power of Networking

Click image for image source.

Click image for image source.

Networking is powerful.When you're in the right place at the right time surrounded by the right people, fantastic things can happen. We often consider networking to be something reserved for extroverts simply because extroverts socialize well with people. Their energy is fueled when they are surrounded by people. Contrastingly, the introvert is more withdrawn and loses energy when surrounded by people for too long. Using our personalities as excuses is one of the reasons  for opportunities passing us by. Networking isn't exclusively for the extroverted. It's a valuable tool for all types of personalities. These five strategies will help you tap into the power of networking regardless of your personality.

Strategy 1: Sign Up for Conferences/Workshops

There is always some type of conference or workshop being hosted in your country or region. Some are free, others aren't. Do a simple Google or Facebook search for conferences or workshops in your area that intrigue you. Incorporate the conference's fee in your budget. It may seem like a lot of money to spend just to attend an event. However, if you play your cards right you may be able to earn twice as much if you network with the right people.

Strategy 2: Initiate Conversations

It is pointless to spend money to attend a conference only to sit down and soak in what is being said. Tap into your hidden assertiveness. Take some time to scope out the type of people who are in the room. When an opportunity comes to mingle, make a move to initiate a conversation. Talking about some of the key takeaways you gained from a speaker's presentation is a good way to initiate a conversation. Focus on having a conversation of substance that will make you memorable in that person’s mind.

Strategy 3: Always Have a Business Card

Let’s say that your conversation goes well and you feel as though the person would be interested in contacting you. Some people may ask you to put your number in their phone. However, a business card has greater impact. When you hand someone a business card you are showing them how serious you are about your brand. You are showing that you know what you’re doing and can offer something of value. Invest in business cards. They’ll pay off in the long run.

Strategy 4: Be Confident

It's easy for nerves to get the better of you. Be aware of your telltale signs of nervousness. When you realize what's happening, take a deep breath and shake it off. Focus on being pleasant and memorable. Believe in yourself and allow positive thoughts to channel you in the right direction.

Strategy 5: Follow Up

Some people will give you their numbers or email addresses. Strategically determine how you're going to follow-up with them. You don't want to seem pushy or annoying. Instead, you want these people to see the value you add and be intrigued to either get to know you more or do business with you.  Follow up with a call or an email maybe 2 days to a week later and see what happens.


Don't underestimate your ability to network. The more you network is the more likely opportunities will present themselves to you. Follow these strategies and you will be surprised by how much your life can change.



Are Your Thoughts Holding You Back?

Click the image to be directed to its source.

Click the image to be directed to its source.

Inadequacy has always been a prominent feature of my life and disposition. Feeling like I am “enough” is something I’ve always struggled with. The pervading thoughts in my mind tend to center on my weaknesses and shortcomings. This evening I was laying on my bed, thinking. One question came to the forefront of my mind, “Why do I limit myself to being average instead of being extraordinary?” I have a vision for my life, a vision that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to achieve. To be honest, that’s a part of the problem…I don’t think I can achieve it. How will I ever get there if I’ve given up from the get go?

Thoughts can either empower or diminish you; they can make you scale any wall or cause you to get hit by a boulder. 

Throughout the past few years, I have learnt tremendous life lessons about people, career choices, and relationships. I know that the only way I can move forward is if I change how I think. I plan to do this by following these three key principles.

Principle #1: Positive Thoughts are a CHOICE

Do you realise how easy it is to think negatively? When a roadblock comes in your path, it’s easy to look at the glass as half empty. It takes great energy to choose to be positive instead. Each morning when we get out of bed, we have to choose to fill our minds with positive energy throughout the day. Make verbal proclamations such as, “I choose to think and live positively today.” The more you say it, the more you’ll begin to believe and live it.

Principle #2: Positive Thoughts are Diminished by Negative People

Choose who you let into your space wisely. We absorb the energy that surrounds us. So, if we’re surrounded by negative people, we will absorb their negative energy. However, if we surround ourselves with positive, ambitious, and goal-oriented people we will absorb their energy. We will be encouraged to think and live like them. This results in a happier life and more positive outcomes.

Principle #3: Positive Thoughts Make the Impossible Seem Possible

I am at a pivotal point in my life. Next July, I have to make a crucial decision in order to move forward. I know what needs to be done, but financial constraints are a major hindrance. Instead of allowing that to overwhelm me, I’m going to choose to believe that I can and will do it. I will find a way. I will get things done. The more positive I feel is the more likely things will fall into place. The same is true for you. Chanel positive energy and the pieces will begin to fit.

These three principles can be viewed as the foundation of life. The more positive we are, the happier we become and the more likely opportunities will come our way. Make it your mission to make positivity a choice each day, surround yourself with positive people, and view the impossible as possible. Life will sort itself out.



Striking the Right Life Balance

The road to success (  Image Source  )

The road to success (Image Source)

There are two types of people: those who spend money on things and those who spend money on experiences. Scrolling through Facebook a few months ago, I saw an image with this statement. It has stuck with me since. Yesterday, I was discussing the concept with one of my best friends. We were bemoaning the fact that our lives have become consumed by two things: work and stressing about the future. We made a decision; we have to start enjoying life while keeping our goals in check.

We are the type of women who are concerned about owning a home, building a family, and maintaining our independence. These lofty life goals come with immense pressure. At the end of the month, after I've paid all my bills and put away a little savings, there really isn't much left for me to do anything with. Nevertheless, I have been resolute in my resolve to find ways to save towards my lofty life goals. My resolve has facilitated my natural inclination to enjoy my own company. Why spend all of this money to spend time with my friends when I can stay at home and watch tv? The conversation I had with my friend yesterday has helped me answer that question. I've come up with 3 tips to help me focus on finding a balance between life of experiences and attaining my goals.

Tip #1: Budget Wisely

Budgeting is key to finding the right life balance. I believe in the principle of paying yourself first when you get your paycheque. However, this money is air-marked for accomplishing my lofty life goals. So, my entertainment money isn't coming from that source. This, therefore, means that I have to now decide to set aside an additional sum for entertainment. I work best when these outings are planned. Planned outings help me budget better, but I know that there will be times when my friends want to be spontaneous. I'm now going to make a small allowance for that in my budget.

Tip #2: Know that Some Experiences will be Worth the Price Tag

The main reason for me not having more fun life experiences is that these experiences are often quite pricey. However, with the right budgeting I know that I can enjoy some of these pricey experiences. Sometimes we just have to close our eyes and fork out the cash. Most of the times we don't regret it.

Tip #3: Always Keep Your Main Goals in the Spotlight

Have sensible fun. Don't succumb to the temptation to spend frivolously. Always keep your goals in sight so that you know when to reign yourself in. I know that I often do this at the expense of truly letting go and having fun, but I also know that I need to keep those goals in sight.

The road to success is going to be littered with many challenges. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the challenges. Therefore, it is important for all of us to be able to  value acquiring experiences. Having awesome experiences with your family and friends on a budget is possible and can lead to a happier life. I'm hoping that by following these tips, I will be able to find the right life balance. Hopefully, the same will be true for you.



#Blacklivesmatter...what it really means

Black. Lives. Matter. Each word, each syllable reminds us of a time that we thought had ended long ago. Slavery ended centuries ago, but it still prevails today in many ways. We tend to focus on the physical and socioeconomic effects of slavery. However, slavery was much more than people of ethnic origin working for hours on end in the grueling sun. It was degradation at its peak. Black people were infused with thoughts of inferiority and a mentality that  they would never have the same opportunities as whites. The superiority complex of the whites was perpetuated.

This mental bondage still pervades today throughout the world. People who aren't Caucasian are deemed insignificant or incapable. In America in particular being black, Hispanic, or Chinese often causes you to receive disapproving stares or disparaging remarks from those who deem themselves to be superior. People see the senseless killings of black men and women by police in America and create an upheaval. They form a #blacklivesmatters movement and stage protests. "Let our voices be heard!" they scream. "Stop mistreating us!" they exclaim. However, all of their shouts and screams dissipate into the still air around them. Making not impact. Leaving no mark.

Why won't these protest change anything? In the grand scheme of things, these protests don't attack the root problem: the white supremacist mentality. All types of supremacy mentalities are causing the collapse of the world as we know it. Look at Bangladesh and other countries in the Middle East where people are in the midst of a war zone. Look at some of the countries in Africa where people are turning against their own in favor of wealth and power. Something is inherently wrong with the way the world thinks. Until that changes, black lives won't matter. Hispanic lives won't matter. Chinese lives won't matter. Life won't matter. The fact that the color of your skin affects how you are treated is ludicrous. The same blood runs through our veins. Until we learn to judge each other by the quality of our thoughts and accomplishments, the world will continue to be filled with hate.