MANY YEARS AGO I spent $100,000 in advertising in one year. But I didn’t make truckloads of money and became utterly exhausted with the sales process. Yet I still see companies using this approach today: Selling short courses for over-inflated prices to recoup the money they spend on advertising.
When I spent that exorbitant chunk of money on advertising, I then had to hire more people to sell the courses. I had to train these people about what was in the courses, and train the trainers and, well to cut a long story short, spend so much more on resources and overheads that I didn’t make a huge sum of money out of the whole venture at all.
Outsourced Online Content Marketing and Bookkeeping
What is Content Marketing and Does it Work?
I recently wrote about content marketing and how we have used it for years to ensure our MYOB and Excel Courses appear in Google’s organic search results. I touched on the topic of “who is your audience”, why it’s important and how it may affect your writing style – in reality you just need to write like you are sending an email to a friend, don’t you think – but one of the most important things is to measure the results of your work.
We started using WordPress as our website development platform because it’s relatively easy to use, but mainly because millions of people use it around the world and there are LOT’s of great tools within the platform that enable any business owner to take control of their website and improve it bit by bit every week or month. It’s like the Microsoft Word of content management systems and enables all of the functionality that most people want to see in a professional website, including the capability of enabling a mobile friendly site (important with the new changes in Google for mobile optimised websites).
If you are starting a content marketing strategy the main thing I can recommend is to keep working at your website every week, writing great new, and relevant content and most of all check your results. The image in this blog post demonstrates the success we had helping one company improve constantly in their organic rankings (in a pretty competitive market). All they did is kept adding relevant text that helps website visitors and wrote regular posts.
Want To Learn How To Do This?
Can anyone do this? Yes they can. Like most things there is a formula to success and it takes constant work and regular improvement. I’ve teamed up with a content writer and a digital strategist (could you imagine seeing that job description even 15 years ago?!), to create a course designed to help you learn how to plan and execute a content marketing strategy.
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]If you are interested in learning more, visit our content marketing course page and join the waiting list – I’ll announce when the course is completed and you’ll receive a special invitation offer.[/box]
Can a Bookkeeper Do Content Marketing?
I was speaking with Ray from the Startup Academy and we were talking about what makes a good bookkeeper. He mentioned a conversation he had with an experienced bookkeeper he knows who has been bookkeeping for quite a few years and she mentioned that her focus is changing, that she is now starting to spend time on all sorts of aspects of the finance and administration of the businesses she works for. Because of her knowledge and experience she is able to take over many of the other “operational and administration” aspects of her clients businesses and as a result she can:
Do more work for fewer clients (easier to manage, yet still spreads her risk between several clients)
Perform more varied tasks for her small business clients
I read a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald (from Feb 27, 2015, by Alexandra Cain) where she talks about the number of bookkeepers there are in Australia (estimated to be 250,000) compared to the number of bookkeepers who are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as How to become a Registered BAS Agent (12,000). Alexandra introduces the topic of what type of work bookkeepers do and it’s highly practical for them to venture into many other parts of the business.
Every Course To Be Included in National Bookkeeping Package
This is the news that I have been waiting to announce – that we will be including ALL of our courses and any future courses to people who join our new bookkeeping business opportunity, National Bookkeeping. New members will receive thousands of dollars worth of training courses in EVERY course we have so they’ll have knowledge (and access to a knowledge base) about
Website design, Blogging and Internet Marketing
Content marketing, plus using Microsoft Office Applications like,
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc
We have courses on using help desk software like ZenDesk (that we use), Dropbox and stacks of other short online courses, PLUS we’ll be creating new ones during the year (and the next and the next) that National Bookkeeping Licensee will have access to.
Content Marketing gives you Google Keyword organic success
We decided to start our own blog over 5 years ago and at the time I felt a bit like a computer NERD! I mean, here I am thinking about things that might interest bookkeepers or people who want to learn how to do bookkeeping using MYOB — let’s face it, not the most eye-catching topic in the world! We’re talking about accounting after all, so what’s there to write about? Then cloud accounting came along and software once more became exciting.
[box type=”alert” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Incidently, the big fight to become the most successful Cloud Accounting software is now well underway with MYOB having just been relisted on the ASX and it’s share pricing diving very quickly. They’re competing with Xero and we wrote about the fierce competition looming against MYOB in 2010 when Craig Winkler (the man who build MYOB into the success it become now being a significant shareholder in Xero).[/box]
Bookkeeping became exciting because we could create a content marketing strategy about how cloud accounting makes bookkeeping faster and easier for small business, while also making it possible for parents to work closer to home (or at the family home), performing bookkeeping tasks and avoiding traffic, congestion and time you never get back commuting.
I should also confess that, at the time, I didn’t realise how important AND time consuming content marketing would be. Every blog post takes at least an hour! I know, how could one simple little blog post take that long? In reality, a well researched blog post, including topic research, finding images, finding the right page(s) to link to can take several hours and that’s what we’re going to share in our soon-to-be-launched Content Marketing Course & Services.
Why does it take so long to write a blog post?
If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all. But what’s the point of that? I’m not going to insult people, particularly people who have proven that they take the time to read my blogs on a regular basis, with poor quality, rushed content. Furthermore, everything I write relates to something else we do and it involves:
Referencing our own landing pages for the services we provide, and
Linking to relevant blogs that I’ve written.
Then you have to get found: Optimising your blog posts for Google
I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort in optimising each and EVERY blog post for the keywords that are important to us. That involves:
Relevant landing pages
Keywords in headings
Outsource blog writing to the Philippines, India or the Ukraine?
[quote]Tempting isn’t it? The thought that you can get someone to write a great blog post for your business for $2-3 per hour![/quote]
I mean in one day you could get all your writing done and then just schedule the blog posts to be published in something like your WordPress Blog over the next month or two. But it’s not that easy it is?
We are in an age where just stringing some words and sentences together isn’t going to get any one to pay much attention, particularly if there is a hint of broken English or disconnect with the topic. And anyway, if you’re going to write content you need to be an expert don’t you? Who wants to read some words that have just been sprayed onto a page because they have relevant keywords?
Content Marketing Strategy — who is the reader?
Like many tasks involved in small business, the most important part of the work is creating the Content Marketing Strategy; the plan for:
Topics that will interest your readers and potential customers
The keywords to be used in those articles (blogs)
The landing pages that will convert potential customers into customers
Some of these components have nothing to do with the intended reader, but if your content marketing is going to be effective you’ll have to have a clear description of your reader in your head — I like to give them a name, imagine how many children they have, where they live, why they’re using my products/services, who their friends are, how they are going to talk about our company etc.
A wise old business owner I use to speak with regularly kept asking me the question, “Who is your customer, Steve?” This relates to everything. It relates to content marketing, but it also relates to when our courses are available, how we combine several features into one offer, how we try to do more for that market, like find other ways for them to benefit by using our service, hence National Bookkeeping!
We’ve launched a new bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business, but it’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them. We’re also taking registrations for our content marketing online course.