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Rosemary Richings is a copywriter, content writer, editor, and content strategist for the web, who works with E-Commerce and retail brands with a community-improvement focused mission statement. Her journey started in the summer of 2014, after finishing her undergraduate degree, and struggling to find a “regular” job, or get into graduate school. Then, after growing her blog, writing for a variety of websites, and pitching diverse businesses she built up experiences writing for websites such as Buffer and Search Engine Journal, and working with clients such as E-Bay and Yellowpages Canada. You can learn more about her work by visiting www.rosemaryrichings.com.
CONNECT WITH ROSEMARY
Amy: Welcome. Today I have the wonderful Rosemary Richings. Thank you for joining us.
Rosemary: Yeah. Thanks for having me on your show.
Amy: Tell the audience a little bit about what you do.
Rosemary: I am a website and blog content copywriter, editor, and content strategist. I work specifically with eCommerce brands and retail brands who have a community improvement focus.
Amy: Awesome. How did you get started in that?
Rosemary: Shortly before I started my business, I was doing some content marketing work with a theater company. My contract came to an end, and I’d always wanted to try entrepreneurship, but I used that as an opportunity to get started and build on my content marketing experiences a bit. I was already an experienced blogger, so that made a huge difference for me for getting clients, and I was writing for a bunch of different websites, and so I started off by a mix of getting found on my blog, and through what I was writing, and also through pitching other businesses, and then I built on that.
Amy: Wonderful. You said you were an experienced blogger, so what kind of blog do you write, did you get started in? Did it transform?
Rosemary: I have a blog called Rosie Writing Space that I started back in 2009. It started more as … creativity blog to just kind of chronicle my journey as someone who is a creative myself. Then, as time went by, it started to transform into something much bigger than that, and it started to also be about the practical side of it as well and how other creatives can market themselves. Now that’s the blog I still have active and I still keep updated regularly.
Amy: Oh, that’s awesome. How long has it been open for as of now?
Rosemary: Since 2009.
Amy: Oh, wow. That’s awesome.
Amy: Sorry. Just one second. I’m going to have to pause it or I’m not … One second.
Amy: Let’s talk about content marketing because if you know anything about online business, you know the importance of content and what it shows to your audience, and your ideal client, and all those people that you need to get your name, your brand in front of.
Rosemary: Yeah, definitely.
Amy: What’s the importance of having a content calendar?
Rosemary: Well, for one, it’s easy to lose track of the purpose of a blog. When clients come to me, that’s the most common problem that they have, and so it’s a way, really, to just keep on track and make the blog posts align with your current goals and not lose track of what your audience is interested in and what you want to accomplish with your blog.
Amy: Do you have any tips on how to kind of narrow it down to see what you should be posting?
Rosemary: Well, step one is about getting to know your audience and really just serving them and seeing what they are entrusted in, and using public platforms like Quora and social media groups they hang out on and Reddit and really getting a sense of what their greatest struggles are and keeping track of that. As you start to actually establish a readership, then you start to keep track of what came up when they commented on your blog, what were the most common patterns they were asking, and really just use that to build on the content you create.
Amy: Cool. I’ve not been in online business as long as you, that’s for sure, but I’ve been around for a few years. The one thing that I really see is that the market and this industry is kind of really growing in popularity, and why wouldn’t it? It’s very versatile. It lets you travel the world. It lets you stay at home with your kids. It lets you just live a really great freedom-based lifestyle.
Amy: There’s one thing about standing out in the crowd, and a lot of people think, “Oh, it’s the next flashy marketing trend,” or it’s building your list this way or that way, but one thing that really comes back to it is the fact that content is what keeps your people around you and what keeps your people inspired and, in a more marketing sense, it gets them to buy and do those call to actions that your content is asking of their audience.
Amy: Kind of just to build on that last question that I asked about how do you figure that out, so content has to be incredibly relevant these days. For people that are just starting out that don’t have an audience, how do you really work on narrowing down your niche if you don’t have access to a big community?
Rosemary: Well, you start by just narrowing it down to just one goal and one thing that you specifically are interested in, and then really start to tap into what relating to those interests is out there for blogs and influencers, and get a sense of what you notice in that world, and then really just inject your own personality into it to attract people who are like-minded and have like-minded values and interests and struggles.
Amy: I really like that you mention the fact just be yourself, or you kind of alluded to that. I think that’s the one thing that we kind of forget, at least I did. I noticed myself, about eight months ago, I started doing an interview series, which is part of this podcast, and I was trying to use certain vocabulary and act a certain way in front of the camera because that’s what I was seeing so and so bigger in the online business world do. I was just like, “This doesn’t feel right. It just doesn’t feel like me,” and I started, not hating my job, but there was … not to be woo-woo and stuff, but for everyone that knows me, I’m a little woo-woo, but out of alignment. Your body physically starts reacting to that, so I love that you mention that because I think that it’s really important that you remember, especially as the market gets bigger and grows, that you really do have to be yourself in order to really thrive.
Rosemary: That’s absolutely true. I went from having my blog to turning it more into a business where I was helping people with their content, but I had that problem too because I just saw what other people were doing, and I didn’t have as much of a support system in terms of people that were doing similar things. I just saw that, oh, such and such was going on that webinar, such and such was doing videos in that way. I just found it so exhausting. Then I found that, once I really just started to stay true to what’s right for me, then people were really drawn to that.
Amy: Yeah. I think it’s really just great advice for people starting out because you’re going to get a little like, “Ooh, maybe I should be like that,” because you’re just so excited. You’re excited to grow this empire that you’ve been dreaming of kind of thing, so it’s always really great, friendly reminder just stay true to yourself.
Amy: Building on the fact we talked about how to help people that are just starting to get in blogging as well as people that have been in it a long time to make their content more relevant, but what’s the best way to promote your content? Because even if you have the best content in the world, if you’re not getting in front of eyes, that’s not great, so what’s the best way to promote your content?
Rosemary: Well, one method that I found has worked for me and also my clients is Facebook groups and … because, often, the really big one with very like-minded niches are ones where people would really genuinely want to read that content. If you can offer that content as something that’s a solution and also show up regularly and be the expert that solves the problems, then that will really grow the audience, and people will start to actually care about what you’re offering.
Rosemary: Also, then there’s promoting regularly on social media. I find the big mistake that people do with social media and marketing, specifically, is that they assume if they promote their post once people will see it, but you have to put it out on a loop. You have to put it out, honor it more than once so that people will see it.
Amy: Yes. I think that that second comment you made is so important, especially the way that the algorithms are changing with Facebook. I’m not a Twitter person, I’ve never been, so I can’t really speak about Twitter, but Instagram and Facebook, how those algorithms are changing, and it’s going to greatly impact how content is distributed and how … because it used to be, back in the good old day when it was just chronological, that was the best. I thought that was very non-biased. It was wonderful. How many times … You said more than once, so what would you say would be a good time not to over-exhaust your audience?
Rosemary: Well, one platform that has really helped me with promoting my blog content that has really been a good benchmark for finding really good times has been CoSchedule, so really just when you … The system that I used was when it’s published, a day later, a week later, and a month later. That’s where I found it got most results. If you can use some kind of platform, an automation platform, specifically, that allows you to do that, then that’s where you’ll get that reach.
Amy: Amazing. That’s great. Thanks for that helpful hint. Also, you had mentioned about Facebook groups and getting into the bigger ones. Just to set our audience up, or my audience … I always say I feel like I always talk in the third person, but the audience up. What size should those Facebook groups be, because some of them are quite overwhelming? I’ve been in a few 80,000, 100,000 groups, and it gets … It’s just post after post after post. I feel like my brain hurts, and I just leave it because I can’t deal with it.
Rosemary: Oh, man, yeah. Those are the ones where you can get lost in the flurry of content. It really helps to be in a more small, intimate group where there’s much more likely to be a sense of community, and it’s much more likely for people to keep track of, “Oh, yeah. That’s the person that, in the morning, will talk about this,” or, “That’s the person that, in the evening, will always have this really cool GIF about whatever.” I find the really small, nichey ones are the ones where you can really get the most results.
Amy: Awesome. How small are we talking, though, numbers-wise?
Rosemary: Well, I wouldn’t say an exact number, but as long as you’re not getting the 80,000 range and the ones where there’s like a million posts a day, that’s where you’re much more likely to reach people.
Amy: Awesome. I was wondering if you would be open to sharing any tips and tricks for making super intriguing titles for your blog posts because that is what I’m really bad at, and I’m sure a lot of other people out there would love to know as well.
Rosemary: Well, the one system that is my consistent cheat is the CoSchedule headline analyzer, which allows you to run your headlines through this tool that basically looks at every single word and evaluates it for strength. Then they also have a link as well on their blog. There’s a entire post that just goes into emotional words and then trying to include emotional words like free, and awesome, and easy, and things like that will really be what will draw attention, but they have hundreds. Really looking into CoSchedule’s emotional words list, that will help make sure that you’re including the right words in it in order to attract attention. Also, Yesware, as well, is a good … If you have WordPress, it’s a good system for making sure that the readability’s good as well.
Amy: Awesome. Thank you. Sorry, what was the name of the second one for WordPress?
Rosemary: Yesware. It’s a tool for SEO and also readability, and that really helps with headlines and also making sure that the content is scannable and good for a web audience as well.
Amy: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Rosemary, for sharing some time today with us. I would absolutely love it if you would leave our audience with some wonderful words of wisdom.
Rosemary: Well, really, the one thing that I think is great when you’re first starting out is don’t compare yourself to others too much. Realize that you have your own strengths and weaknesses, and really just stick to what’s right for you, and stick to that one method. Don’t be too wrapped up in if such and such person in that niche, if they’re suddenly having this great income month, and you’re like, “Oh, shit. I’m not reaching that goal.” Just don’t fall to into too much of a trap for comparison and imposter syndrome. You really have to be proud of your own accomplishments.