If you listen to this podcast, you know I talk a lot about content marketing and how to write content that attracts your ideal audience.
I think of my content as the top of my purchasing funnel. If I can get it right, I’ve set myself up for success—whether that be selling MiloTree subscriptions, selling coaching or workshops, collecting an email address, or getting someone to join my Facebook group.
But the question is how do I do content marketing?
How do I come up with the right content on the first try, without feeling like I’m throwing spaghetti and the wall and seeing what sticks?
My guest, Shondell Varcianna, a professional content creator for the banking industry, shares her tips for figuring out what type of content your audience is looking for.
She shares about the importance of keyword research, spending time in Facebook groups in your niche, making yourself easy to find online, and interacting with your ideal customers one-on-one.
Shondell demystifies content creation so you can spend more time creating, less time guessing, and have much more success growing your blog or business.
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Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello friends. It is me, Jillian Leslie, founder of Catch My Party, founder of the MiloTree app and host of this podcast.
Before I get started, I wanted to invite you to join my new growing Facebook Group. It’s really dynamic. I am enjoying it so much.
Head to Facebook search for Blogger Genius. It is called The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group, it is all about community. And it is all about us helping each other grow our businesses.
Plus, I’m in there all the time going live, doing workshops. Please join again, head to Facebook, search for Blogger Genius, and you will find it.
For today’s episode, I have Shondell Varcianna on the show, and she is a content marketer and content strategist. If you’ve ever wondered, what do I blog about? What do I create content around? This is the episode for you.
H>How to Write Content That Attracts Your Ideal Audience
We talk about how your content can attract your ideal audience and your ideal customers, if you know how to do it. Where do you find out what your audience is struggling with?
Where do you find the language that they are using to express what they’re looking for? We delve into all of that and more, you will get step by step instructions on content creation. And not only that, then how to repurpose that content to share on social.
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Shondell Varcianna. Shondell welcome to the show.
Shondell Varcianna 2:00
Thank you so much for having me.
Jillian Leslie 2:02
Let’s talk a little bit about how you got interested in content.
Shondell Varcianna 2:09
Yes, definitely. So, I’m originally from Canada. And I started working in the banking world when I was 18. And just kind of worked my way up in the bank.
And then I left there and I started working for a company called Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. They’re the same thing as PMI here in the US.
And while I was working there, I had a couple mortgages a property I was living in, and I had a rental property.
And I paid both of those mortgages off in a fairly short period of time. And my girlfriend suggested that I give people advice on how to do that. And I thought, why not?
So, she suggested that I start blogging to give people advice on how to pay off mortgages, buy rental properties, things like that. So, that’s what I started doing. I taught myself how to blog.
And over time, I was a part of that whole personal finance community. And over time magazine started to contact me and radio station started to contact me wanting to hear my story. And that led to me working with a lady by the name of Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
So, she’s the Suzy Orman. But of Canada.
Jillian Leslie 3:14
Okay. Got it.
Shondell Varcianna 3:17
When I started working with her, companies started contacting me and asking me to write for them. So, that’s what I started doing. I started writing for them.
Now, while I was writing for these companies, I was still working at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, I still had my full-time job. And I started getting busier and busier. And then I couldn’t manage all of the work that I was getting.
So, my husband suggested that I just hire some writers. And I thought, well, that’s a good idea. So, that’s really how the business was born. And then I brought the business to Atlanta, Georgia six years ago. We’ve been living here for six years.
So, that’s in a nutshell how the business was born. And then we write exclusively now for financial institutions, simply because it just made sense to do that. Because I come from that world.
I’ve worked in that world for 16 years, before starting my own business before starting Varcimedia. So, it made sense. And I found that there was a huge gap in the information that financial institutions have internally.
And how that’s getting to their ideal customer. There was definitely a gap because when I was blogging, a lot of people were asking me for advice. Not asking me because I worked in the industry asking me because of my experience.
And because I was in front of them online. So, I was just there to answer those questions. And that was the gap that I saw because the people who were asking me for advice, were the banks ideal customers, but they weren’t going to the banks for advice.
They were coming to me. So, that’s why I figured you know what, maybe I can bridge that gap. And that’s really how the business came about.
W>Why Content Creators Are Really Content Marketers
Jillian Leslie 4:46
Okay. A lot of people in my audience are bloggers, and they would probably call themselves content creators. I personally think all bloggers are content marketers. Because typically, they’re not just putting out content for free.
There are certain bloggers that do that. But if you want to make a business out of this, you need to be very strategic in terms of creating content. So, what would you say are your best tips for bloggers thinking about creating compelling content?
And this idea of not just being a content creator, but being a content marketer?
Shondell Varcianna 5:36
Yes, and content strategist. There are so many names. First, I would say define who your target audience is. And there are different types of bloggers. So, we write, but we’re ghostwriter. We don’t write for ourselves; we write for our customers.
So, there are many bloggers like too. They’re ghostwriters, they write for a particular niche, but their name doesn’t get put on the content that they write. It’s the company’s name that gets put on there. So, it depends on the type of writer that you are.
And then there are other bloggers who write for magazines. So, their name is on there, so, they’re not ghost writing. So, it really depends on who you’re targeting. But whoever it is you’re targeting, that has to be defined.
So, if you’re writing for a particular niche, you may be writing for multiple niches. You have to find out what type of content resonates with your ideal audience.
Jillian Leslie 6:31
How do you do that?
Shondell Varcianna 6:33
I’m going to get into that. Let’s say for example, I’m just going to use mine because we write for financial institution. So, the type of content that they may be looking for, I would have to find that out, and the best way to find that out is to go where they are.
So, if your ideal customer, e.g. my ideal customer, they’re on LinkedIn, more than they’re on Facebook or Instagram. They’re heavily on LinkedIn. So, I’m on LinkedIn every single day. And what I’m doing on LinkedIn is interacting with them.
I>Interact with 10 Ideal Customers a Day
I connect with 10 ideal customers every single day. And what I do once they connect; I start reading their post. I start reading, what are they talking about? What are they posting about? I interact with them in their comments.
Jillian Leslie 7:19
Okay. So, you’re on LinkedIn. Are you in groups? Are you doing searches? What are you doing and then how are you reaching out to them? And by the way, this can be applied to let’s say, Facebook groups.
Shondell Varcianna 7:30
Facebook groups. I’m going to get into that. I don’t like LinkedIn groups. So, that’s why I don’t join them. Because I just find LinkedIn groups are more promotional. Facebook groups are not.
Because we target financial institutions, when they come to me asking me how they can actually find out the type of information that their ideal customer wants. I tell them Facebook groups.
They’re targeting like, first time home buyers and things like that. Those people are on Facebook. So, Facebook groups are huge for that. Go where your target audience is. If your target audience is on Facebook, that’s where you need to be.
J>Join Facebook Groups to See What People In Your Niche Are Talking About
And more importantly, when you go on Facebook, join those Facebook groups that your target audience is in. And then when you’re in these groups, look for patterns, what are they talking about? What questions do they have? What are they talking about?
Be a part of the conversation that your target audience has, because then you can start creating content based on the conversations that they are having. Plus, you can chime in.
If you’re an expert on a particular topic, and that’s your target audience, go in there and answer some of those questions. You can often promote yourself in these groups. But you don’t need to.
Because if you’re consistently showing up in there answering questions, commenting. Then they’re eventually going to go on your Facebook page and find out what it is you do.
And you should have all of that laid out on your own Facebook page and your LinkedIn page or wherever it is that you are and your target audience is. So, that when they’re ready, they can reach out to you.
B>Be Part of the Facebook Group Conversation
So, the first step is finding out where your target audience is. Showing up there being a part of the conversation, paying attention to the questions that they’re asking.
And those questions that they’re asking is the type of content you should be creating, because that’s what they want to know.
Jillian Leslie 9:15
So, it’s funny, I would say that bloggers say to me, a lot of times, I send emails, I post on social media and people don’t talk back to me. Because if you think about it, how many emails.
You’re on somebody’s newsletter, you’re not really necessarily replying back to them. And they feel like there’s this dearth of conversation of really going well. I don’t know what my audience is struggling with and I love your strategy.
Get in that Facebook group and start listening first, be like a fly on the wall. See what the conversation is about. Because the thing that I’ve noticed is, especially if it’s not timely.
So, let’s say you’re looking into starting a blog, guess what, six months ago, people were interested in starting a blog. Today people are interested in starting a blog, you’re going to see, as you say, those similar patterns.
Yes, we’re in Q4. People might be talking about that specifically. But really, there is a lot of evergreen questions that you will continue to see over and over again. So, therefore, you don’t have to get your audience to talk to you.
You can go look for where the conversations already happening. And in the beginning, you get to be a spy. And then you get to be somebody who engages. So, you do it on LinkedIn, but what is your pattern? You said, you go in every day and what do you do?
So, let’s say I’m a blogger, trying to understand my niche better? What would you recommend I do, let’s say going into Facebook groups? Like how long? How many Facebook groups?
What should I do so, that I can create a pattern, a habit where I do this? Rather than, oh, once every six months I think I need to be in a Facebook group.
Y>You Only Need to Join One Facebook Group
Shondell Varcianna 11:09
That’s an excellent question. So, once you define your audience, and who it is that you want to be in front of. Look for several Facebook groups that have your audience in them.
But you only need to join one, I would say join the one that has the most amount of people and the most engagement. Before you even join these groups, you can see how many times these groups post per day.
You can also, see how many members are in each of these groups. So, look at how many members are in there, you want to go for the ones that have the most members. Because that will be the most people that would be interested in your particular service.
And join that one. And then so look for how many people and then look for how many times they post per day. Because the more times they post, the more you’ll get to see the patterns, the more you’ll get to see the questions that people are asking.
And you only need to join one, you don’t need to get overwhelmed. Join one group that has the most people that has the most engagement. Once you join that group, then just sit back. I would say spend 20 minutes in there every single day. 20, that’s it.
20 minutes, listen to what people are saying. And while you’re sitting back and observing, if you can answer some questions, answer the questions. Like if they’re asking content related questions, blogging related questions.
But when in answering those questions, while you’re sitting back and just observing to see what it is your ideal customer wants. And the reason why it’s so important to sit back and just see what’s happening.
Because then you can now look at yourself and say, okay, based on my skills, based on what I know, I could write, how can I bridge that gap between what I have and what they want? Because it’s all about putting yourself in that service mindset.
How could I be of service to my ideal customer, because once you figure out how you can help them, you’re helping yourself at the end of the day.
So, once you put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, because maybe you can’t help that person and that’s fine. Then you move on to somebody else that you can help.
But when you put yourself in that mindset of, okay, this is what this person wants, based on what I have. And based on my experience, based on what I know I can do, I can help this person. Let me reach out and see if what I offer is going to help them.
And that’s what sitting back and observing and paying attention to what it is your ideal customer wants does for you. It puts you in that place where you can really serve them because you know what they want?
Jillian Leslie 13:27
Okay, now I see patterns, I find a question that people are struggling with that I have the answer to. I go to my WordPress, and I now go, I’m going to write a post about this, how do you think I should attack it?
Shondell Varcianna 13:47
If you’re going to write a post about a particular question that they’re asking. So, it depends on what the question is. So, if you see a pattern of questions, you can now start creating content that’s going to resonate with them.
Now, in order for them to see your content, you will have to connect with them. So, this is why it’s also important to chime in there and answer questions. Because then you can reach out and connect with this person.
Now, you can reach out and say, or you can send them a direct message. I saw that you were in the group, you were asking about these questions. I just created a post, feel free to check it out.
F>For Content Marketing, Don’t Sell Yourself, Provide Value
You’re not selling yourself; you’re providing more value for them; you’re providing more information based on what they asked. And some groups will allow you to pull some content in there.
So, if you see a pattern, you can even go in there and just say, you know what, I created a post about this, I saw this in the group. And then people will now come to your page.
Now, some of these groups do have restrictions and you will have to see if you’re able to do that. Because that’s not a direct promotion, you’re really providing value. So, this is what I mean by providing value.
If you see a series of questions being asked over a period of time and you create a post that’s going to go deeper and answer that question, why not share that? And if you’re not able to share it, the admins won’t approve it, and it won’t show up anyways.
Just think about how much value add that you’ve added, and now you’ve got them on your website. And when they come on your website, of course, you should have a way for them to subscribe to your blog, so that now you’ve got their email.
That’s the whole purpose of all of this, is to get them over to you. And even if they don’t come to your blog, they come to your Facebook page. So, you should have your contact information on there, you should have your website on there.
You should have a way for them to connect with you. So, that you could eventually get their contact information, their email, get them added to your list. So now you can start selling them your services.
Jillian Leslie 15:41
Right, which is what I love, which is why I say as a blogger, you are not just a content creator, you’re a content marketer. There’s always a goal attached to it, which is I want to get you into my ecosystem.
It could be using MiloTree, which is this pop-up, we sell to get them to follow you. Let’s say they’re not comfortable yet giving you their email address. Maybe they’ll follow you on Instagram.
Maybe they’ll follow you on Pinterest or Facebook, or hopefully give them your email address. So, that you can then be dripping content to them via email, and then ultimately sell your product or services.
I thought this was the perfect time to talk about the MiloTree pop-up app. MiloTree takes your one time traffic and converts it into followers and subscribers.
Somebody comes to your site, the MiloTree pop-up, shows, asks the visitor to follow you on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube or Facebook or join your email list. And this is your way to capture this person and keep them in your universe.
As I say you are not a content creator, you are a content marketer, these people are valuable to you. Please pause the episode head to MiloTree.com sign up for your 30-day free trial.
Install MiloTree on your site, in less than two minutes, it’s $9 a month after that. And watch it work for you. Watch it grow your universe, watch it, grow your influence, watch it, grow your business, watch it grow your income. And now back to the show.
H>Have Your Business Information on Your Facebook Profile
Shondell Varcianna 17:34
When you join these Facebook groups, the likelihood of them going to your Facebook page before your website obviously is much higher. So, you should have a few things on your Facebook.
Like we offer free checklist. We offer free guides, I just wrote a book, like all of that is on our website. That is also on my LinkedIn profile as well. So, you should have that on your Facebook profile.
Like if you offer any checklist. If you offer any guides anything free, have the link on your Facebook page. Create easy ways for them to connect with you.
Jillian Leslie 18:07
So, yesterday actually, I just went on my LinkedIn profile and uploaded, there’s a section called I don’t remember exactly, but I can put links to content, where like, for example, I said I did a link to my podcast.
And then I put a link to subscribe to my Blogger Genius newsletter. Because every week, I send an email with my four biggest takeaways from my most recent podcast episode. So, if you want the CliffsNotes, join my email list.
It’s easy. It’s not even, get a download, which I also have, but at least it’s like, hey, here’s the value I’m providing you.
Shondell Varcianna 18:57
So, if they don’t have time to listen to your podcast, they can read the CliffsNotes. So, you you’ve made it easy for somebody to want to consume your information more.
Because if I don’t have 30 minutes to listen to a podcast, but I still want to get the information because I absolutely love your podcasts, you’ve given me some CliffsNotes.
So, why wouldn’t I give you my email address because you’ve given me another way to get information that I want. So, that’s exactly what I’m talking about by making it easy.
Jillian Leslie 19:25
But on LinkedIn, I just have to say there is a way to put these, like you don’t have to then go to my website and follow this pattern. It’s right there on LinkedIn is the link.
Shondell Varcianna 19:41
Yes, which makes it easier for them so they can click directly on that link. And if they want to subscribe, they can subscribe. You can do the same thing you can add links on Facebook as well on your profile page.
So, definitely do that just make things easier for them so that when they come. Because if they’re interested in what you’re saying consistently in these groups, they will check out your page and likely connect with you or send you a direct message.
M>Make it Easy for People to Connect with You Everywhere
You know what, I like what you posted. I’m just sending you a direct message to ask whatever, whatever question. So yeah, you just want to make it as easy as possible. And the other tip too, is you have to be consistent.
When I say consistent, I mean, you have to be in these groups over a period of time, it does take time to see the patterns, it’s not going to be one week, it may take a few months. And again, it depends on how often they post.
That’s why I said to find the ones that have the largest amount of people and the ones that post often, because the more they post, the quicker it is for you to get the information you’re looking for in terms of pattern.
Jillian Leslie 20:39
So, let’s talk about content. Give me your secrets for creating compelling content that solves a problem, that’s interesting to read, that Google will like. What do you do, actually creating the content?
Shondell Varcianna 20:54
So, the first point that we talked about is finding out what it is they want. When you’re answering a question and solving a problem. You automatically know that content will resonate with them, because it’s what they want, it’s what they want to consume.
Other ways to help in helping that content resonate with them is putting that content where they are. So, if they are on social media, whatever social media platform they’re on, you need to be there and posting content there, as well as on your website.
A>Add Keywords in Your Content Heading
And some quick tips on when you’re creating content, what we do, of course, the headline needs to be compelling. Something else we do is we often add the keyword in the headline.
So, writing content is one component of a larger marketing strategy, I’ll put it. Because oftentimes the overall strategy is once they get into the Facebook groups, and we know what they’re talking about.
Then we go to Google and find out what keywords people are searching for on Google. So, it’s all about connecting the dots. Once we find out what keywords they’re searching for on Google.
And now we know what questions they’re talking about in these Facebook groups. Now, we create the content based on the questions. But now we add the keywords that are most popular that are most commonly searched on Google into the content.
Add that into the headlines, add those keywords throughout the content. So now not only does it get picked up by Google, it’s also on social media as well.
To take it a step further, you can then create ads to target the people in those groups based on the questions and stuff that they’re asking. So, you can really go deep with this, to get business from not only Google when people are searching for keywords.
Now, you’re also getting business, you’re being more strategic with your Facebook ads if you decide to create Facebook ads.
Jillian Leslie 22:44
So, now in your content, how long should this piece of content be? How do I write it? I always talk about writing for two audiences. One is Google, which typically is the more fleshed out the better.
And the other is your reader who is really to be honest with you skimming your content on their phone.
M>Make Your Content Skimmable
Shondell Varcianna 23:05
Yes. More often people are skimming content, even think about when you read. Because who really sets aside time to read somebody’s blog. Usually, you are, maybe on the toilet, you’ll be surprised, I don’t need to get you know, graphic.
But you’ll be surprised that people are all over the place when they’re reading, they can’t sleep at 2am in the morning, they may read something. So, you don’t know where people are when they’re consuming your content.
So, you’ve got to make it easy for people to read. And the easiest way to do that is to create really short paragraphs, and a lot of sub headings. So, e.g. if we’re writing a 500- word article, the heading has to be appealing.
And that’s why the keywords are great to add in the heading because you know that people are searching for that. So, you can add that keyword into the heading. So, for us, we don’t write sentences that are more than 20 words.
Our paragraphs are between 100 and 150 words, we keep them short and sweet. We add a lot of things in our content as well, such as graphics, charts, graphs, things like that, we will even add a video into our content.
We’ll even add audio into our content, we do a whole bunch of stuff. Even for our customers, if they’re on Twitter, and a tweet is popular, we’ll take a screenshot of that tweet and add it into the content.
If it’s going to complement what we’re already talking about. So, there are so many different ways to break up the content.
But what that does when you break up the content is it allows people when they’re scrolling through your content for something to pop out at them.
So, they can read a little bit further because nobody reads word for word unless you’re reading a book or you’re in school. And you’ve got to make sure you read.
But most people when they’re reading online or they’re reading a blog post or a social media post, they’re skimming so something needs to pop out at them.
So, the videos the audios the graphs, the pictures the infographic, things like that will help the eye as it’s scrolling.
Jillian Leslie 24:59
Especially, because we all are reading on our phones.
Shondell Varcianna 25:02
Exactly. That too. That’s another reason most people are consuming content on their iPhones, which is, so small.
Jillian Leslie 25:08
So, do you feel though for Google, when you’re writing an article or a piece of content. How many words? What is your goal?
Shondell Varcianna 25:21
The longer the better. It depends on the topic. On average, we’re writing 750 to 1000 words, for our clients, on average. It really depends on the topic. So, if the topic is more technical, we’ll write 2000 words.
Because Google will typically show the content on their first page, that’s better. So, if somebody wrote, top 50 tips, then you know, we’re going to write top 75 tips. So, it gets ranked a little bit higher, we’re going to go up a little bit. So, it’s better.
Because if you see two pieces of content, if you’re googling something, and you see 75 and 50, you’re not going to click 50. Why would you do that, you would click 75, because you’re going to get more meat.
You’re going to get more content; you’re going to get more value. So, you would click the 75 tips versus the 50 tips. The longer definitely the better. But fluff doesn’t work. So, if you’re going to write longer content, it’s got to be quality content.
So, you’ve got to really dig in deep and do some research. Because that’s what Google likes.
Jillian Leslie 26:24
Okay. So, what I’m hearing you say is, you start by listening to the conversation, seeing what the questions are seeing what you can answer from a place of authority.
Shondell Varcianna 26:35
Jillian Leslie 26:36
You’re then creating content, the more the better if it’s full of information. Before this, though, you’re going to Google and you’re searching.
You’re putting in search terms and questions to see what have people already written to answer this question, how can I do it better?
C>Content Marketing: Creating Content Around What People Are Already Searching For
Shondell Varcianna 26:58
Yes. And you’re also wanting to see how many people are searching for particular keywords. Because you want to match what people are talking about with what people are also searching for, most commonly.
So, you want to connect those. You want to make sure the keywords that you’re adding, because the more people are searching for something, the more they want to know about that.
So, if you can create content to answer that, then Google will likely pick it up.
Jillian Leslie 27:25
Right. And I recommend a tool that’s free called Ubersuggest where you can type in a keyword and see how many people are searching for that keyword. And it will also give you related keywords.
Now, I don’t recommend you go after, let’s say, mortgage, or best mortgage, because that’s never going to work. But if you can come at best mortgage from a variety of different ways you can start to build your authority.
Shondell Varcianna 27:57
Jillian Leslie 27:58
So, you want to start with long-tail keywords, rather than go after the big one, because you’re never going to rank for it.
Shondell Varcianna 28:06
Because you’re competing with banks, you’re competing with all those mortgage companies, all those credit unions. Exactly what you just said is smart. You can go around, and there are so many keywords.
So, there are so many different keywords, you can target. I wouldn’t say target the one that has the highest search volume, because naturally, it’s going to be a little harder to do that. But play with it and see what will work best for you.
T>Turn Your Long Content into Snippets for Social Media
But that just definitely have that in mind if you’re wanting to. And the whole Google game takes a long time, too. So, it does take some time to get ranked, and so forth. So, that’s a long term strategy.
The Facebook groups is more of a short-term strategy to get in there and get to find out quickly what your target audience wants.
When you start posting social media posts, like if you’re writing a 750 or 1000 word blog post. That could turn into a week or two weeks’ worth of social media posts. You can break that up and create a ton of valuable social media posts.
You can take snippets from there, you can take a quote from there, you can take a chart from there. There are so many ways you can break up that and create consistent content on your social media pages.
Oftentimes, I’ll get the question, I can’t think of all this content to write to put on social media. But if you’re creating blog posts, because you’re a blogger, break that up and throw that on social media, and then link it back to your website.
Jillian Leslie 29:36
Absolutely. I think that is the place. What I hear you saying is make sure you’re connecting all the dots; you’re going to be doing all this work. So, how do you start from, I’m in some Facebook groups, I’m stalking, I’m seeing what’s happening.
Okay. I’ve got some ideas, great. With that I’m an expert at, that I could answer with authority. I do my research my keyword research, I try not to go after again those, pie in the sky keywords, but I’m going to come at it from a slightly different angle.
I’m going to go to Google, see how other people have answered this question and try to beat it. So, somebody doesn’t have a video, I could have a video, somebody has outdated information, I could have more updated information.
Somebody’s answers aren’t going into the detail that somebody might need, I can add that detail. So, again, it’s strategy, I’m going to try to beat this in my content, I’m going to be trying a bunch of different strategies.
Because I don’t know what’s going to attract somebody. So, it might be I’m going to add a tweet, I’m going to add a video. In all of them make sure I’m using that keyword in a variety of different ways.
I’m doing short sentences; I’m doing short paragraphs. I’m writing for somebody who’s skimming, I’ve got the questions, I’ve got the answers. And I’m creating almost like choose your own adventure, you want this question answered?
Here’s the answer to it. Here’s a tweet, here’s a video, you can find the answer you’re looking for within my content.
Shondell Varcianna 31:26
Yes. And then you’ll have categories, of course on your website. So, people want to dig a little bit deeper and may want more articles to read on a particular topic. You’ll have categories on your website, so they can choose the different topics.
A>Add Internal Links in Your Content to Other Relevant Content You’ve Created
Also, something if you’re not currently doing is you should be adding internal links. So, if you’re writing an article, and you already wrote something else that is similar or can complement what you’re talking about. Add it.
Because you want people to stay on your website as long as possible. So, adding internal links that will link to another, blog post on your website is also great. And linking to your social media pages.
There are so many ways you can play with content, just get creative and test, test, test. You want to also be checking out the analytics to see what content resonates with people.
How long do people stay on this page, and so forth. So, then you can start creating the same type of content because you know that they like this content.
Jillian Leslie 32:24
Absolutely. And you want to make sure you can get them on your list or following you on social media, like think through again. I feel like what you’re saying is think through how everything connects to everything else.
And then once you’ve got your piece of content, now how do you slice and dice it in order to create more stuff for social media to get more eyes? I like your strategy of going back into those Facebook groups.
Somebody has this question, you’ve now created this piece of content, can you direct message them? Potentially send them a link to this to be helpful. Can you put like a snippet of it elsewhere?
So, with my podcast, I create a blog post, I’m now creating a video for it. I’m creating my newsletter where I take my top takeaways and send that. So, there are so many ways.
I create social media images and pin it on Pinterest and post it on Instagram, talk about it in an Instagram Live. And by the way, don’t think that I did all this at the beginning, I’m only still slicing and dicing and coming up with new ways.
Shondell Varcianna 33:42
Yes, we’re always continuously learning. This whole life is called a journey. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m still learning. It doesn’t really matter where you are, we’re all we’re all still learning and things change.
So, we always have to adapt with whatever it is that’s changing, but definitely exactly what you said. And if your audience is on multiple social media sites, use a platform like Hootsuite. So, that one piece of content just gets blasted to different social media sites.
I can use one article and turn it into two weeks’ worth of posts.
Jillian Leslie 34:34
So, let’s break that down. You’ve got your post.
Shondell Varcianna 34:37
We write a lot of on our website, so we write like 2000 word, articles. And, I’ll break that up and turn that into two weeks’ worth of LinkedIn posts and I do a bunch of different stuff with it.
I’ll even capture myself saying a quote and record myself and put that video on LinkedIn. I got that from my article. I will take a screenshot something from the article that can also be a post.
We will quote, experts in the industry, I will take that and put it behind a picture. That’s another LinkedIn post. So, there are so many different things that I do. We use a lot of graphics.
If I get a chart, or graph that we got from another website, just to help enhance the content that we’re writing, I will screenshot that, and then I’ll put a quick blurb about it that can help our target audience.
And of course, I’ll put the source and then I put a link to the article. So if they want to dig a little bit deeper than I get them off LinkedIn onto, my website, and then they subscribe. So, there are so many different ways you can do it.
And nobody knows that this is all from one article. All they care about is, is this helping me? Is this answering my question? Yes, it is. And if you want more information, come on over to our website.
Jillian Leslie 35:55
Okay, so wait, if people want to see what you’re doing, where is the best place? Should they be on your LinkedIn page?
Shondell Varcianna 36:04
Oh, they can come to LinkedIn. My handle is shondellvarcianna. And you can check out our website varcimedia.com. Because I even change up how we get their information. We use Bots on our website as well, Chatbots, as well as we have the contact form.
So, you can check out our website and see how we do that, varcimedia.com. V-A-R-C-I media.com. And it works really well. We get a lot of subscribers from our Chatbot, a lot.
Because it’s very interactive. I would say we get more subscribers from the Chatbot than we do our contact list.
Jillian Leslie 36:38
Really. Okay. And how does the chatbot works? And what service do you use?
Shondell Varcianna 36:43
Jillian Leslie 36:44
Shondell Varcianna 36:46
Yes. So, if you go on our website, if you want to download our checklist, you’ll see a Chatbot will come up and just ask you, are you trying to download a checklist? Great, we just need your email address, they put in their email address.
Automatically the Chatbot sends them the link to the checklist, their email address now automatically gets added to my funnel, very simple. And then the Chatbot is connected to Facebook.
So, Facebook already has their email address. They don’t even have to key in their email address, their email address automatically pops up, they just click whether or not they want to give it to me or not.
It’s so easy. They don’t have to put in their name or anything like that, because Facebook already has that. And MobileMonkey is connected with Facebook. And then I use Mailchimp for our email subscribers.
So, that email automatically goes over to Mailchimp. So, now that’s added to my funnel, I’ve created a bunch of emails that now will go out to them in perpetuity until they unsubscribe.
Jillian Leslie 37:43
I love that. In fact, after we get off this call, I’m going to go to check it out on your website and check you out on LinkedIn. Just to see because I’m always looking for new ways to slice and dice my content.
I’m a blogger, how often should I be creating new content versus pushing my content out on social media by slicing and dicing it? What is your thought about that?
Shondell Varcianna 38:11
We post content on our website once a week, I post on LinkedIn anywhere between four to 10 times a day.
Jillian Leslie 38:17
With new content?
Shondell Varcianna 38:18
Jillian Leslie 38:20
Shondell Varcianna 38:21
Four to 10 times a day I post on LinkedIn. I post a bunch of different stuff. So, this podcast that we’re doing right now, I will ask you later on. Not every podcast allows it but I will take a minute from this podcast and that will be a post.
You’ll see that on my LinkedIn posts, you’ll see a bunch of podcasts, but they’re only like a minute long or 40 seconds long. And they’re just quick tips. And some of them are inspirational. Some of them are actual content tips.
So, I will I do a whole bunch of different stuff. But podcasts are a great way on the face to face podcast, I will take 40 seconds or a minute. And I will post that will be a video that will be a post.
And then I use a site, it’s called Wavve. I think it’s wavve.co, but it’s like W-A-V-V-E.
Jillian Leslie 39:08
Shondell Varcianna 39:11
So, the audio versions of podcasts, I will take that and put that in Wavve and create an audio version. That’s a post. So, there’s a bunch of different things. I post a lot of quotes. I love quotes. So, I post quotes every single day.
But yeah, I do a bunch of different things just to keep it interesting. And then I see what resonates with people the most. I dressed up my son the other day he had picture day. He had a bow tie on. I posted that I said going to my first business meeting.
People love that. So, I try to get people involved in my life. I post personal stuff as well. People seem to be very fascinated that I’m from Canada. So, I’ll post my life in Canada how it was before I moved.
So, I post different things and then I pay attention to what resonates with our customers but I’ll give you an example. Like I said, I post every single day. And recently, my ideal customer, somebody he’s a marketing director for a mortgage company.
I just got invited to speak at their town hall on Friday, never met this person in my life, he saw my content on LinkedIn, I connected with him about a month ago. And he saw my content on LinkedIn, I see him liking it every so often.
And he sent me a message, we had a meeting this week, and he invited me to his town hall on Friday. So, that is something that really just came from me continuously posting on LinkedIn.
And posting what I know they like. Posting what I know, my ideal customer likes, inspirational stuff, tips about how they can grow their content. So, he’s gone back and looked at my posts and seen the stuff that I posted.
And now he wants me to come talk about content, and that hopefully will turn into business. But that’s just an example of just putting yourself out there consistently, and they will come.
And the best leads are the ones that come as a result of seeing your content, because that’s inbound, those are the best leads. Because they’ve already checked you out, they already know they’ve prescreened themselves.
Y>Your Business is Not One-to-Many, It’s One-to-One
Jillian Leslie 41:10
And what I hear you saying that I think is really resonating. And it’s something that I think about a lot today is for bloggers and online entrepreneurs out there, we think it’s this one to many relationships.
And what you keep saying is no, it looks like one to many, but it’s not, it’s really one to one. And you need to pass this net, where you’re putting your stuff out. But really what you want is to attract that one person who’s going to reach out to you.
Who’s going to say, come speak at my event, or you’re going to build this relationship with people one on one. And the more you can think that way. Because I think sometimes people think oh my God, that’s exhausting.
If I have to be in these one on one relationships with people, but I think that you don’t know how those are going to pay off. And it’s worth investing.
Whether that be answering one person in a Facebook group, or answering somebody’s question who DM’s you on Instagram. That it isn’t just I sit on my mountaintop and speak down to the masses.
It’s I create stuff that’s helpful for people and that I am trying to connect to people one on one.
Shondell Varcianna 42:42
And it’s impossible to connect with everyone one on one, but they need to feel like you’re connecting with them one on one. That’s the message.
So, my content that I put out, and your content that you put out will speak to a lot of people, but it needs to feel like it’s speaking to one person. That’s how your content resonates with people. And so, you don’t really need to feel overwhelmed.
Because when you know what your ideal customer wants, all you have to do is create content for that. That’s it. And then even with the Facebook groups, 20 minutes a day.
You can literally spend so much time on Facebook scrolling, but if you’re strategic when you’re on there. Set your timer for 20 minutes, and engage.
Even in this Facebook group, because I had this question on another podcast, but you can search for keywords in these Facebook groups. So, you can search for blogging content, so that you can just see those posts that have that in there.
And then you can answer that. That’s a better use of your time than scrolling through all especially some of these groups that have maybe 50 posts a day. That would be a better use of your time.
Search for keywords that are related to what you do and your target audience and then you can just look at those keywords or look at those posts per day.
Jillian Leslie 44:02
I think that is such great advice. Okay, Shondell, people want to reach out to you. They want to see what you’re doing. They have some questions. What is the best way for people to connect with you?
Shondell Varcianna 44:15
LinkedIn would be the best way. Shondellvarcianna is my handle on LinkedIn. And yes, I’m on there all the time. Can I mention one quick tip. I’m just getting ideas as you’re talking and I can hear people asking these questions.
But what I do. I know I said, I post like four to 10 times per day. But what I do is because the kids have just gone back to school, but before when they were home, I really had to make good use of my time.
So, Sunday evenings, I would spend like two hours and hubby would have the kids and I would just create post. And that’s it. That’s all I would do for the time. Now, I would create posts for like the whole week.
So, I’m not actually going in LinkedIn every single day and post things. I don’t go on LinkedIn every single day and post. I would schedule these posts.
Jillian Leslie 44:58
And what is your scheduling tool for LinkedIn?
Shondell Varcianna 45:02
Hold on, I’m going to have to email it to you.
Jillian Leslie 45:05
Shondell Varcianna 45:07
It just left my mind. Can I email that to you and can you share that with your audience?
Jillian Leslie 45:12
Shondell Varcianna 45:13
But it’s very easy. And I think it’s like $15 a month, it’s really cheap. There’s a whole bunch of sites that do that. But I like this particular one, because it’s just so easy. I just can’t remember it, though.
As soon as we come off, I will send it to you. And then you can send it out.
Jillian Leslie 45:31
Perfect. And also, what are your favorite tools for creating posts, whether that be like, we talked about Wavve, what are some other tools that you are using?
Shondell Varcianna 45:43
I don’t use a lot of tools actually, I’m very basic. A lot of the content that I put out is content from either, I just wrote a book. So, either it’s content from the book I wrote, the checklist, the guide, the blog post that we write.
I literally just take things, oh I use Canva to create, remember, I told you, I’ll take some quotes or something, and I’ll just put it behind a picture, I use Canva for that, and then I’ll post that.
But oftentimes, I’ll take a picture of myself, and post that. And just put a little blurb, I asked a lot of questions. Something else that I recently just subscribed to is Post Deck.
I love Post Deck. Post Deck what that does, it’s an app. And I think it’s like $5 a month, super cheap. But it’s an app that just helps you come up with questions to ask your audience. So, I’ll put some of those questions behind a graphic.
So, that’s something else that people can use as well. But I don’t use a lot of tools. So, Wavve, PostDeck. And for the life of me, my scheduling website. Promise you, I will send that to you because I can’t remember what it is right now.
And that’s pretty much it. Just scrolling through my phone to see if I can add anything else. But yeah, that’s pretty much it. If I’m taking a video, I just use my iPhone and just take a video and then I’ll, I’ll post that.
But I love Wavve because you can add captions as well. So those are probably all the tools that I use that I could remember. I don’t really use a lot of tools.
Jillian Leslie 47:33
Well, I am going to check you. I checked you out initially. But now I’m going to check you out with tremendous intentionality to go steal your secrets, because I love it.
Shondell Varcianna 47:45
Honestly, there are no secrets. I didn’t make any of this stuff up that I’m doing. So, I’m more than happy to share what works. So, at least maybe you can take something and try it for yourself. And test, test, test and see if that works for you.
But there’s no secrets. We’re all in this. If I learn something, I have to share it. Things are supposed to go through us, they’re not supposed to stay in us.
Jillian Leslie 48:05
I love that. That’s a great quote. That is a great quote. I might use that. But Shondell, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all that you know.
Shondell Varcianna 48:16
You are so welcome. It’s a blast. Honored to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 48:20
I hope you got a lot out of this episode. For me, it continues to show me that it’s no longer about creating content and hoping it connects with your audience. It’s about doing the research upfront.
Figuring out what your audience is struggling with. What language they are using, and how to create the content that solves their problem. I like this because it leaves less up to chance and gives you more control as you continue to build your business.
If you are liking this podcast, please do me a favor, head to iTunes, leave a five-star review. It helps people find the podcast and it helps me get great guests. So, I would be so grateful and I’ll see you here again next week.
I>Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.