Call to Action

The marketing concept of Call to Action can be frightening.  Perhaps you’re already scared to share you Wisdom and expertise online, now you need to ask the Readers to do something after reading your blog posts?  Your first reaction may be “No F’ing Way!”  Your second reaction may be “That’s not why I write and share!”

Okay, let’s first address objection #1: “No F’ing Way!”

Have no fear.  Call to Action doesn’t  always mean you’re selling something.  You are simply inviting your Readers to go to step #2, if they want to.  and if they don’t, that’s okay too!  Let’s look at 3 scenarios.

Case #1: You are actually asking them to check out your products/ services.  Understand that your Call to Action is only in the invitation to check out your product or services. You did not tell them they have to buy. Trust that your customers and readers always have choices.   They do not need you to worry about them.  When we are writing blog posts, we are in the marketing stage.  Selling doesn’t start until they arrive on the sales page.  In marketing, all you can do is lead them to what you have to offer.  Hopefully, they will find that your product can be of benefit in their lives and purchase.

If you feel there’s something missing in the link between marketing and sales conversion, try working backwards.  Try listing 10 things you absolutely LOVE about your product and talk about these 10 things in 10 different blog posts.  Never talk about why they should buy.  It doesn’t matter.  They can decide that for themselves…  But you can certainly share why you really really really love the product.  Be authentic.  If you don’t love your own product.  No one else will.   Marketing and Branding is about inspiration; not about sales.

Case #2:  You’re asking Readers to sign up in your Newsletter so that they are notified of new posts. As far as I’m concerned, you are offering your Readers a free service while you gather important information about your marketing efforts.

With busy lives now days, no one really has the time to come back to your site to check out your work each week.  It’s rarely because they do not like you, it’s only because they forget.  With a simple opt-in system, you remind them when a new post is out.  Those who are not into what you write won’t sign up anyway.  In that case, it should tell you something about the blog posts in relationships to your business.

Analyze the material you’re sharing.  Study demographics and the target market  will help you serve others better.  This data is not a judgment on your abilities but a wealth of information to tell you what’s effective.  Marketing is easy.  Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.

Case #3:  You are simply offering them more freebies.  Whatever it is, Call to Action only means that you’re offering more stuff outside of this blog post.  Who doesn’t want more?  This can be a free download.  It can be another blog post providing more information and knowledge on the same topic.  Whatever it is, have no fear in offering more freebies!  If you are afraid of Giving.  You may also be afraid of Receiving.  When in doubt, give!  Give with love, peace and gratitude.  Watch your marketing efforts shift right in front of your eyes.  This is a great way to start practicing Call to Action.  You’re giving people stuff…it totally takes the pressure off!

Objection #2: That’s not why I write and share!  

I’m not trying to be mean here but I really feel like I have to.   So, give me a Moment to be a little blunt!   Get out of Entrepreneurship and proceed in finding a 9 to 5 job or volunteer work.  We write blogs for our business sites to generate leads and ultimately convert them into sales.  Granted, the old way of pushy sales is not effective.  Certainly will get you nowhere online.  Writing blog posts is one of the most effective ways to build a solid relationship online.  You are inviting your prospective clients to get to know you before you do business together.  If one of my Clients insists that their goal is not sales conversion at the end of the day, I’d have to ask you Why are they in business?

Whatever you choose is absolutely perfect.  Hey, I meet the most wonderful people in the non-profit sector.  I’d urge you to take the immediate action of switching your business blog to a hobby or personal blog.  I guarantee you will be happier in life!

Please remember…

As we develop a marketing plan, our first priority is to allow people to find out on their own how we can serve them; benefit their lifestyle.  If they feel inspired, they will likely want to check out your products and services.  The marketing process is simply a filtering process.  Out of 1000 people who are willing to hear what you have to share, maybe 100 will feel inspired to check out your product.  and depending on what your product/ service is, maybe on 1 or 99 people will be purchasing.  For example, everyone uses toilet paper…chances are if the pricing is right, 99 will buy.  If you’re selling a rare collection of ancient rocks, maybe on 1 will purchase.

See marketing and sales as a numbers game while you’re offering material and gifts to the World.   Yes, we are here to serve the World.  However, while serving the World, we are also here to secure our own lifestyle so that we can give even more!


The logic behind SEO- Search Engine Optimization

As I was chatting with a colleague of mine, the topic of blogging and SEO came up.  She stated that she’s not very good about internal linking and on-site SEO.

This friend of mine is very Spiritual and lives an authentic lifestyle.  She expressed to me that she hasn’t been comfortable in linking because it feels like you’re constantly selling something.  With the Spiritual life she lives, it hasn’t felt right for her to add this piece of marketing strategy to her blog posts.  She felt like she had to choose between sound marketing strategies and a life of Truth and honesty.  Her feelings are not uncommon.  For good old honest people who are trying to build a solid business, marketing can seem daunting causing internal conflicts.  From our chat, I quickly realized that many have misunderstood the  logic behind SEO strategies.

Let’s stick wit the Onsite or internal linking strategy for demonstration purposes.  These techniques are not about leading people somewhere so you can sell them something.  Of course, it’s often one of the end results, if done right, benefiting your bottom line.  But the Intention behind these strategies is to encourage you, the writer, to reference back to other related materials you’ve written in the past; something your readers may benefit from.  It’s about connecting with your Readers  through pages and words; being genuinely helpful.  Watching out for their best interest.  Helping them find the solution they are seeking, if not on this page, perhaps on another.

Search Engines like Google want to see that you are the authority in what you are posting.   Years of studying this, I can tell you one thing:  SEO Algorithm constantly change to encourage true experience and cut out those trying to gain the system.  My personal opinion is Keep it simple and keep it real.  Along with some blogging strategies and free tools,  you will never go wrong in SEO.  Our job is focus on our craft and conversion, not SEO strategies.

The SEO playbook (unpublished) encourage you to share you passion by posting your thoughts.  They see the Internet as a big playground for All.  It’s a huge online community and information center where everyone has the freedom to express their opinions and help one another by sharing individual know-how and experiences.

Focus on Authenticity, real Connection and the Community spirit when sharing online.  If you keep these principles in mind, you will quickly realize it’s no different than online people connection.  Along with a few simple strategies, Online SEO will become natural and effortless.

jennifer cloake


Here is a related blog post you may find enjoyable:

2 Quick SEO Onsite Linking Techniques 

Happy Writer, Happy Readers!  In sharing, we are giving!

eMail Management System- MailChimp

If you haven’t already started using MailChimp as your eMail Management System, please start doing so. You can Sign up for MailChimp now, or read on. ^_^

I have to admit that I’ve been hearing about MailChimp for awhile.  I’m not into hopping on the next fastest train to nowhere.  Internet moves way too fast.  Companies fail as quickly as they make it huge online.  So, I have been silently sitting on the sideline while all my geek friends talk about how wonderful MailChimp is.  Frankly, I much rather clip my toe nails or pick up dog poop.  Thinking about a new eMail management system makes my head hurt.

It’s not a fun thing switching eMail systems.  Constant Contact, aWeber, 1ShoppingCart…you name it, I’ve tried it.  Every time I exported and imported data, I seemed to lose a few contacts not to mention the pain and hassle of learning a new system.  I got to a point where I started using Google Contacts.  I didn’t want to deal with the trouble of figuring out yet, another system I’m about to disappoint myself with.  I’m certainly not going to pay each month for something I can accomplish with good old Google.   1ShoppingCart is great if you are running an online store.  aWeber is great if you are a professional Internet Marketing.  For a regular Joe like me who just wants to keep in contact with my friends, nothing seemed to fit right, until MailChimp.

This year, I’ve set strong Intentions to keep in contact with family and friends.  I also promised to deliver quality content to clients.  I decided that there’s no better time than now to clean house and consolidate the eMail databases I’ve neglected over the years.  I was determined to find something that will actually help me in time management instead of wasting my energy.  After all, I’m into living Effortless now remember?

What I love about MailChimp is they encourage building solid relationships rather than eMail address accumulation.  After all, this is not a game of who gets the most email addresses online but keeping solid ongoing relationships.  Let’s face it.  The eMail addresses don’t do us any good if they do not convert.  MailChimp is very good about helping you analyze your database.  No point paying for subscribers in your database if they never open your eMails right?

Now, let me share the top 5 reasons I love MailChimp.

Self-Adjusted monthly fees

They self adjust the monthly fees based on the # of contacts you have.  Let’s say their first tier is maxed out at 500 contacts at $10/mo (which you cannot get cheaper than that for the quality you are receiving). Their second tier is at $20/mo.  Your list is bouncing back between 490 and 510 subscribers.  They will self adjust your month charges based on the total number of contacts you have.  THAT, I like.  Hey, I live by “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  In a business, you have to watch your Bottom line.  If you can save $10 each month in 10 areas, that’s $100 you can invest back into your business; perhaps a Google ad campaign or a virtual assistant.

FREE account for 2000 Subscribers & 12000 eMails

As if the low rates aren’t good enough, you can actually manage your list at MailChimp for free.  They offer a free account for up to 2000 subscribers/ 12000 eMails each month.  The only catch is that you do not have an auto-responder.  You can only send out eMails manually- not have it auto-delivered.  Really, not a deal breaker!  When was the last time you really use a full eMail marketing campaign?  The other thing is if you do happened to have 2000 subscribers in your eMail list, you can only send out 6 eMails per month.  Again, not a deal breaker unless you are running a 7-day campaign with multiple test markets.  If that’s the case, it’s time to upgrade anyway!

New Grouping Feature giving Flexibility and save money

I love their new feature where you can give people the option of what they want to receive from you and how often.  You can group your eMails by frequency, categories of interest, etc.  Sky is the limit.  You can honor your customers, watch out for their best interest, and accommodate various requests.

This new feature gets better.  Because you do not have the eMails in separate campaigns (Lists), these eMail addresses counts as 1 instead of multiple.  Let’s say I sign up on your “How to bake chocolate cake” list and I also decide I want to be on your “How to lose 10 lbs in an hour” list.  Technically, I’m being counted as 2 eMail subscribers in most eMail Management Systems.  With this new Group feature, you’re counted as one because I’m being listed on only 1 list, but in 2 sub-lists (Groups)- one under “cake” and another under “lose weight”.  If you do the math, this can quickly add up to fees you can save each month.  Remember that Google Ad Campaign you’ve been wanting to try to bring in more business?  What about that virtual assistant who can relieve you of daily tasks you don’t have time to manage?

Tech Savvy

In our tech savvy mobile world today, cell phone adaptation is a must.  With MailChimp, you can give people the option to receive your eMails in html, plain-text, or mobile form.

You know that QR Code you use at the Airport?  They got that too!  I have not a clue how that works so I don’t know why I’m so excited but I am.

No code!  No code for Opt-In box!

Oh, forgot to tell you the best part if you are a WordPress user.  One of their specialties is integration with WordPress.  Yup!  There’s a plugin for the opt-in box.  Not the prettiest thing in the world but it’s not ugly either.  You have enough wiggle room in modification to make it look descent.  No code required.  Did you hear me?  No code!  and No more of those ugly opt-in boxes that don’t line up.

My point is…

My point is I’ve been wanting to switch to a new system for over a year. No joke! I searched high and low. I’ve finally found something I feel in alignment with.  It’s simple and efficient.  Their technology support their relationship with me (their customer).  This tool also watches out for my clients.  Not a lot of hyped up features that don’t really help you convert.  The few features they have, they do very well.  These few features are exactly what you need in sales conversion- relationship building.

Here’s the link to Sign up for MailChimp. It’s simple and the zero in on what’s important. In an eMail Management System, I’m looking for longevity. I want something that will grow with my business and I believe I’ve found my new love!