<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=658263587654409&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Blog | Page 3 of 35 | Blog from Ashlyn Carter | Launch Expert & Copywriter for Creatives

A subscriber to my weekly Dogear newsletter wrote in this—”If I could ask you anything it’d be how to mix copywriting and SEO in a way that makes your audience wanna keep reading while pleasing the Google gods?” Oh, those SEO gods. 😉  One of the most common questions that I get is, “how do I mix SEO content writing with juicy, helpful content that’s voicey, fun, and even playful to read?”. Sometimes that SEO strategy can feel a little bit robotic when you’re using keywords that are said the way you *probably* wouldn’t normally say things.

Now, while it’s unrealistic to actually land in that #1 spot for every. single. keyword that you’re going for—you CAN realistically land on pages one, two, or three. If you’ve ever struggled before with writing content and blogs that bubbles up and does land on pages, one, two, or three of Google, or heck, you don’t even know what keywords to use, well, you are in the right place.

By the end of this post, you will know exactly how to figure out keywords for your blog & website AND write great SEO-driven content with a better blogging strategy.

How to find SEO keywords & write better blog content | Ashlyn Writes

Also, read until the end because I’m going to hold your feet to the fire and give you a little challenge that you can implement today that will help you get on track to a better SEO strategy. 😉

I have helped thousands of creators and creative entrepreneurs like you make more money with their words. Not knowing what to say, even in your SEO content writing and SEO copywriting, should not be the thing that’s holding you back from making sales. The last thing I want is for you to get frustrated going for some keyword that you’re never going to realistically write for.

Let’s go through these 3 tips plus one bonus tip to find those keywords and write SEO driven blog content.

⬇️Don’t forget to click here or down below to grab your FREEBIE: How to Define Your Brand Voice & Tone Guide! ⬇️


 


No. 1| Flesh out your idea list with related SEO keywords.

The first thing you want to do when you have this blog topic in mind that you’re going to write about, or if you’re gonna create an auxiliary blog piece of content for a YouTube episode or a podcast that you have, is make this list and then flesh it out with related SEO keywords.

Okay, so in last week’s video on my YouTube channel, I got you started with creating a “word salad” of sorts of different types of keywords that you should be going for. In this first step, we are going to flesh that out just a little bit more.

Essentially, what other facets of those subjects should we be considering or phrasing with more of a long-tail SEO keyword—which is a *justtt* fancy way to say a keyword that’s more than one actual word. This process will work for figuring out your SEO keywords that you want your overall website to rank for, which is what I’ll talk about in next week’s video, but right now we are applying it to a blog post or a piece of pillar content specifically.

I think it’d be helpful if I show you a quick screenshot of what my blog content outline looks like, take a peak into my blog outline below. I talk a lot about pillar pieces of content, that hero content. When I say blog, this is in addition to a YouTube video that I’m turning out every single week. What you can see here is a basic outline, and this is where I start every single week. 👇👇

So I duplicate this inside the correct folder, inside our Google file structure. And there is a SEO keyword section that I’m trying to fill in. So to fill that in, I primarily love these three tools —Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest and Semrush.

(Google’s Keyword Planner isn’t too shabby either, but those other three tend to be my favorites.)

I know there are so many keyword tools out there, so just find what you love and use it. I’ve tried tons of different ones over the years and these are the ones that I just keep favorited because they were easiest.

All right, I’m going to turn the camera around and show you what this looks like to find keywords by using (my favorite!) Keywords Everywhere and Ubersuggest plug-ins. This will assit you with some creating ideas that you can use in blog posts and beyond.

Alright, the next tool is called SEM Rush. I do have the paid version of this and I would recommend if you do a lot of content creation, I think the paid version is worth it. If you need more assistance here, I have done more of an in-depth deep dive tutorial on this that you can watch that here.

Okay, so now your small word salad of initial keyword ideas you have turned into a gigantic word salad, which is fun. And hey, you’re just trying to write a blog that serves your people and helps rank. Well, friend, that is why we’re gonna narrow that list down and see how we can trim it based on volume and size of searches.

<< Related: How to Cultivate a Go-to Blog Writing Workflow >>


No. 2| Select the words with a volume you can rank for.

Next up, we’re selecting the words with a volume that you can rank for. You’ve probably heard someone say before, “That is a really competitive keyword”—but what do they actually mean??? Well, it’s a short way of saying how many people are searching for this every single monththink of it like a market share.

There could be so many thousands and tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people searching for that one thing, or it could be a smaller group, and that still matters. That’s still probably worth going for that market share— that’s still X amount of people you could lead into your content.

I’m going to take you behind the scenes again and show you three tools to be aware of search volume. Or even to just pay attention to it as you go through and organize the keywords based on the volume so you can kind of tell where you want to shoot your arrow and have a target range.

You can do your thing here—I know some people are real spread-sheety—I actually am, but I don’t have a big spreadsheet of all of this pulled together. I know what I want to rank for with my website. So when I’m working on a specific blog, I just am kind of doing this volume ranking while I’m trying to find the right SEO keywords, and I know the range that I’m trying to stay between. These are the words that I’m pulling over and putting in this blog and content outline.

A good rule of thumb is to really pay attention to those long-tail SEO keywords, those phrases, and try to go after those. They may not have the biggest search volume in the world—that’s a good thing. You don’t want to play the game with some of those websites and brands. If there’s enough people phrasing it a certain way, see if you can, again, like I said, gobble up that part of the market.

Let me give you an example using a student of mine. Her name is Leah and she’s a calligrapher, if hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of thousands of people are searching for the phrase wedding calligrapher but considerably fewer are searching for that phrase within her area. Well, then what do you think we want to try to rank for with her website?

<< Related: 6 Ways to Instantly NAIL Your Keyword Research >>


No. 3|Actually WRITE the content & ignore keywords.

Okay, So we’ve done this SEO keyword research, the research portion is done. Now we are actually going to write.

So two things here. If you watched last week’s video where I was talking about the Google algorithm updates that are coming down the pipeline, then what’s so exciting is that content is still King. And if you write content that is just, chef’s kiss, so good, it’s gonna have a great chance of doing well.  So realllllly try to serve your people and offer up good quality content.

I always say—I want my blogs, my emails, everything to be worth the time at least that it took to click over and get into the content and read up on it.

Now I’ve covered by blog post, our workflow, and formula right here. But, essentially, when I’m moving into that writing portion of the phase, I am not thinking at all about SEO keywords. I’m writing in my voice, my style, how I like to teach, how I like to talk to people.

I am not worrying one iota about anything having to do with the keyword in this step.

***PAUSE***

Here is that challenge for you—I want you to screenshot this formula that I have. This is the research portion that I do before I make a YouTube video/write a blog/lives/anything >>>

Before I go into creating the content I want to make sure I have everything in front of me and all these different little tools that I could use to enhance this content. And again, like I said, make it worth that click.

I showed this to some Copywriting for Creative™ students on a call last week and they thought it was so helpful. No matter what type of content you create, I think that this research outline will be helpful. Truly once I have that, moving into the blog writing portion kind of writes itself. And again, like I said, it is my voice, my style, my personality coming out as I write.

<< Related: 5 Editorial Calendar Strategies to Repurpose Your Content >>


No. 4| Go Back & Add in SEO

Now I’m going go back in and going to soup it up for SEO. My number one ride or die go-to tool here is Yoast. I typically pick one primary keyword, one secondary keyword out of that list that I’m really trying to rank for, to use in the title, in the meta description, and so on and so forth.

The rest of those words I am going to try to weave into the content. I’m gonna go back up into the content of the blog that I’ve drafted and see where I can plug in different words. One thing I may try to start doing in 2021 is having at least around 7-ish additional keywords in this blog.

Neil Patel one time said: “The number of keywords, there’s not a magic keyword, just as many are actually relevant to the post.”

Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes


BONUS TIP: The last piece of the puzzle is tracking

The last piece of the puzzle would be to track it—for that I love SEMRush. It is a paid tool, but to me it’s worth it.

Again, I’ve been blogging multiple times a week since 2016 at this point. I don’t wanna have a big spreadsheet or trying to be keeping up with where different keywords are falling or where my content is ranking. So I just lean on this tool to do it for me and sends me a weekly email with where I’m ranking for what.


If you love this concept of writing quality content and copy that is ready for SEO but it is not overly gimmicky or schmoozy or robotic, and instead infused with voice and personality, then I would invite you to check out my brand voice guide. This is a freebie 10 page printable guide that you can download today. It’s full of prompts to help you zero in on your brand’s voice, tone, terminology, and tempo so you can begin to have a working doc in your business that’s a North Star or a mood board for the words that you’re gonna use to market your business— you can grab that here.

Now you know how to write a better SEO blog, but what about how to prep your entire SEO strategy?

Well, I have last week’s video, again, part one of this three part series teed up for you to watch here. Then comment below with any questions that you may have or just the word helpful if this actually served you and helped you out today.

Here’s to working from a place of more rest, less hustle.


How to find SEO keywords & write better blog content | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 8 Minutes A subscriber to my weekly Dogear newsletter wrote in this—”If I could ask you anything it’d be how to mix copywriting and SEO in a way that makes your audience wanna keep reading while pleasing the Google gods?” Oh, those SEO gods. 😉  One of the most common questions that I get is, “how do […]

Do the 3 little letters SEO give you stress? You understand quality conversion copywriting for your website but how does that come together with SEO copywriting? Good quality SEO content writing is KEY to get ready for the Google algorithm 2021 update.

Google has a massive Q2 2021 algorithm update rolling out that will begin to measure your website—yes, small business JUST like yours—against on-page experience factors, and they’ll affect how you’re trying to rank. You gotta deal with it, and make sure your website is ready with these SEO copywriting tips.

The good news? None of these updates trump the fact quality SEO copywriting is still king … aka win with better content, domain authority, social shares, and more. If you’ve worked at writing great content on your website for years or months, congrats: your hard work isn’t null and void!

I’ll share some of the recommendations at the end of this post, but what I want to talk to you about today is how to start writing for SEO by covering my SEO copywriting strategy for 2021.

How to Write Content & Optimize for Google | Ashlyn Writes

Raise your hand if these 3 little letters, SEO,  have ever been a source of stress in your creative business! 🙋

I’ve had so many students say ok, I get that communicating my message with powerful, compelling copy is important. I also know I need to be working on the SEO of my website, and including certain keywords. Those words we all type into Google. But, what’s the overlap? How do I tie them together specifically on non-blog pages of my website?

If that’s you, I’m glad you’re here because this is the first of a 3 part series where I’m going to do a bit of a deep dive into SEO copywriting and content writing.

So let’s get into my 2021 SEO strategy.

⬇️ Don’t forget to click here or down below for a link to my get my checklist of 44 Questions Your Website Must Answer. ⬇️


How to Write Content & Optimize for Google | Ashlyn Writes



SEO Strategy No. 1| Double down on what we’re already ranking for

The first thing I’m going to do is double down on the things that I am already ranking for. The first thing I want to do is go back and look at 2020 ( and beyond ) to see where I’ve already been ranking or doing well.

My best tip for this to dive into some Google analytics—but here is specifically my *BEST* Ninja tip.⬇️⬇️

It is great to be in one of those top 3 slots that Google will report after you search for whatever query you’re looking for. BUT what about slots numbers 4-30?? Google already likes me or you when you’re in those slots—likes you for that keyword. They’re flagging you as relevant, you just haven’t broken one of those top spots.

Well, this is the first thing that I want to know—where do I stand for spots 4-30? 

Okay, if you want to play along with me here there’s two things that we can do. >>

The first is go ahead and open up Google’s search console. They already aggregate this data and you can see where you’re ranking. The easiest way to do this I think is through a free tool from the Hoff called their Google rankings checker. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I’ve just found this tool and I think it’s helpful.

So if you find these keywords that your site is ranking for and boost them up, you could see a massive jump in traffic!

How to Write Content & Optimize for Google | Ashlyn Writes

What’s so interesting for me as I look at this data, as I see where we rank, it’s truly a mix of website landing pages ( we’re going to talk about that coming up here) but it’s also a mix of regular content that I’m spitting out on my blog.

  • Website copy template
  • Launch copywriter
  • About page copywriting
  • Product launch copy
  • My name …

So, the other interesting there here is to note what I didn’t see coming … what are you ranking for that you weren’t even going after?

  • How to read effectively
  • Artifact Uprising baby book
  • Emily Ley planner
  • How to Create Your Wedding Planner Spreadsheet (the blog post that will never die, it brings in so. Much. traffic.)

<< Related: 6 Ways to Instantly NAIL Your Keyword Research >>

These are short and long tail keywords that I’m already ranking for. By the way, ranking in general comes from writing good juicy blog content. And if you want the behind the scenes on exactly how I craft a blog–make sure you check out this video right here. Also, next week I’m going to dive into specifically how I do keyword research for blogs—so look out for that one as well.

All right, if you’re playing along then you’ve started to pull this list together of spots you may not have even known you were already ranking for.

That’s one part of my SEO copywriting strategy for 2021—seeing how I can go back and double down and make sure that these pages are continuing to rank or push the ones that are in that 4-30 spots. See how I can push those into page 1.


SEO Strategy No. 2| Google Algorithm Change

The next way I’m going to keep up a solid SEO copywriting strategy in 2021 is i’m going to be aware that these Google algorithm changes are coming. I’m just going to adjust appropriately.

I always feel like having an SEO strategy feels a little bit like what investing in the stock market is like. If you do it right, if you set it up well, theoretically you should be able to let it just sustain for a long time. You implement once or check on it occasionally. Maybe once a year to see those consistent results over time.

But I won’t lie: I am an online marketer and I STILL feel like I need a master’s degree in Google to understand the analytics platform, terms, and even just the weekly update emails they send out. Just me?!

Here’s what it boils down to—Forbes said it very clearly: “Content may still be king, but if your user experience is no good, it doesn’t matter how good your content is — no one will see it. With that in mind, Google is initially going to be looking at three specific experience areas (or signals) in this update that is slated to influence search rankings by early 2021.”

All online searchers and all online search engines really want one thing—we want to get the info we were looking for with a great website experience along the way.

Starting in May, Google is going to hawkeye this a little bit more than they have in the past from a user experience standpoint. Two weeks from now, I’m going to give you 8 ways that you can update your website to make sure that it’s ready for all this— don’t miss that. But what can you do before then??

core web vitals

If you want to play along at home what I want you to do now is go back to your Google search engine and mosey along to a new tab that they added in fairly recently, called Core Web Vitals. Apparently, they’re going to give us some time to get this stuff updated, but it’s just really good to know for now.

In the image below you can see that most of my issues are that pages take a little over that golden spot. 2.5 seconds to load. This can be a real challenge for those of us that have large websites or have a lot of big images. Seems to affect a lot of creative entrepreneurs. Even if you just have lots of features, this can affect it.

core web vitals

Now, as I’m doing my own website update for 2021, I have jotted down a list of some of the things that I’m gonna work on to fix this.

  • Remove old/unused 3rd party scripts
  • Upgrade web host so images load as fast as possible
  • Maybe use “lazy” loading?
  • Remove or shrink large page images

Those are some things that I am going to do as I refresh and get ready to relaunch my website. You can do the same thing.

I love how this Impact article put it,  “Now is the time to take action against any page experience metrics in Core Web Vitals where you’re falling short. Do not wait”.

<< Related: How to Write Copy with SEO in Mind >>


SEO Strategy No. 3| Long Form Copy

The final thing that I’m going to do to focus on a solid SEO copywriting strategy in 2021 is to keep up that long form copy. A lot of students or clients will ask me “do I really need a blog?”. YES! I always say yes. 😉

I talk a lot about creating those hero pieces of content every single week—this is why I love that system because this enables you to do that. You don’t have to worry about publishing massive big content all the time. Again, back to the word picture—I want you to think about overtime, how this can build.

If you can go for a year creating those 52 pieces of hero content, then really work to make sure that they’re ranking over time. It’s like you’re planting all these little evergreen trees and no. matter. what. you’re creating video or audio content to help enhance these. They will live somewhere.

Again, if I go back to the data and look at what was working in 2020, those other little evergreen trees I planted, what I’m seeing is I’m already ranking for things like weekly routine, theme days for work, how to write a pitch email, how to launch my website.

Then blogs that bring people in have been things like how to name your business, how to create a welcome packet, how to write your website copying Google docs, and how to write your about page. These are past hero pieces of content that are still working in bringing in people.

How to Write Content & Optimize for Google | Ashlyn Writes

So it’s going to take a little bit of calendar creativity but here’s one thing I’m doing  in 2021— I’m going to try so very hard to update or at least optimize one of these every single week moving forward. How can I double down, how can I flesh this out with more information or newer information that I’ve learned or add in little demos and video tutorials or add in some more pinnable images? Are there more keywords that I can tie into this?

BONUS TIP: Refresh your overall keywords list

This is a little bonus tip I’m going to give here that goes along with this third piece of the strategy. Update the list or refresh the list of keywords that I am trying to rank for. If you’ve never done this before, or you just want to try it for the first time. Here are the four steps. It’s pretty easy. I just want you to pull out a piece of paper.

I’m also going to refresh my list of keywords (or phrases) are the words you want your website to rank for.

  • First up, brain dump all the different services and offers your business has.
  • Now, I want you to put on your business owner hat AND your customer hat when you do this—what are all the different ways you’d say that?
  • What’s important to the business—this is EXACTLY what you do. Products, services, things you affiliate for or promote
  • What’s important to your customers/clients—this is valuable content. If your client or customer needs you, what are they going to search on Google? If they need more help, how will they adjust their terms to keep finding? When do they need you? Don’t forget to try things as questions—how to create a wedding guest spreadsheet

Do that before you watch the next video in this series, coming out next week. 🙂

>> Related: The Top 8 SEO Copywriting Tips You Need to Apply in Your Business <<


So that’s my priority list of 3 SEO copywriting focuses I’m going to keep in mind—if I can keep those up this year, I’ll feel pretty dang good.

If you’re tracking with me so far, you’re working so hard on making sure you’re building a website that works when you can’t with compelling copy that actually converts. Then I have something for you that may make life a little bit easier.

Meet my 44 questions your website must answer before you launch it checklist. It is a done for you list of pulled together checkpoints that I want you to not pass go or collect 200 before you can check off at least most of these. I have done all the brainstorming for you after working with so many clients on the agency side of my business and their website copy. This is a solid checklist if you are ready to master your message write your site and launch it to sell.

So voila, there you have it. I sure hope that free checklist helps. You can click here or down below to download it.

Okay, now you know how to get your SEO copy to a good place before you launch it out there. But what about figuring out your pre-launch strategy on a tool like Instagram? Be sure to watch this video next I’ve where I’m going to talk you through a pre-launch strategy that you could execute on Instagram.


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How to Write Content & Optimize for Google | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 9 Minutes Do the 3 little letters SEO give you stress? You understand quality conversion copywriting for your website but how does that come together with SEO copywriting? Good quality SEO content writing is KEY to get ready for the Google algorithm 2021 update. Google has a massive Q2 2021 algorithm update rolling out that will begin […]

It’s time to put your Instagram pre-launch strategy in place! What worked in 2016 is NOT going to work with your Instagram content strategy in 2021. One of the big vehicles as you execute and turn out your launch copy and content, sure as heck, is social media—Instagram specifically.

An email subscriber that gets my weekly Dogear newsletter asked me this: “How do you know how to schedule your marketing plan and how much energy to put into each part like email marketing vs social media vs your lives?” And then subscriber, Christine justttt went for the juggler and said this: “Is social media absolutely necessary for success in 2021 and beyond?”

If this is you… you’re trying to figure out your pre-launch strategy or a marketing campaign strategy using good old social media, darling Instagram ;), you’re in the right place. Today, I am going to show you how I would suggest that you schedule your prelaunch calendar in Instagram with this suggested 4 part Instagram content calendar plan.

What to Post on Instagram During Your Launch | Ashlyn Writes

Also, be sure to read until the end, I’m showing you behind the scenes of the app that I use—I’ve been using it since 2017—to tell me *exactly* when I should post, according to my ideal posting time. It’s not led me astray yet!

Ok, so, let’s pretend that you’re my client and I’m sharing what I would recommend you craft as your pre-launch marketing plan for your Instagram lives, strategy, and must-have content.

Let’s break down these steps of what to do to pull people into the launch copy in that funnel that you’ve worked ~sooo~ hard to create.

primed to launch playbook


 


Instagram Pre Launch Strategy No. 1| Schedule Editorial Calendar

First step in my pre launch Instagram strategy: schedule your editorial calendar. I’m going to start by planning 6-8 weeks back from the launch itself and craft that content. I already know what the big hero piece of content is going to be for this 6-8 weeks, so i’m backing off those in my posting plan.

This is my tried and true philosophy—it works. Thousands of you have proved it, but if this is new and you haven’t heard me talk about my philosophy before about backing up and having this Quarterly Champagne Campaign system, then make sure you check out this video.

If you are in Primed to Launch™ you have access to this calendar, but I take it old school. I print out 6-8 copies of this piece of paper that’s inside. I love digital tools, but this just helps me get out of my head in a way from all the tabs of the internet and look at these six pieces, eight pieces, look at what the hero content is going to be each week.

Pre-launch Instagram Content Calendar Example

Then go ahead and start to pencil around with ideas of things that I could post about. Now, once this is good to go, I’m gonna load what’s on these pieces of paper into Asana and an app that I use called Plann  to schedule out Instagram content.

But first, let’s have a timeout.

We need to talk about what IS working and what is NOT working on the app—what worked in 2016 for a lot of us is NOT going to work here in 2021.

My friend Elise Darma is so great at teaching this. ****Follow her RIGHT NOW.**** Her Instagram education is incredible. She said this, “Gone are the days of perfectly posed or edited images. Instagram is no longer a place for photographers to show their snaps, but a content hub of videos, memes, lives, and reality TV like Stories.” 

What this means for us as we’re sketching out our Instagram plan is that we need to listen to the experts on this. Which, BTW, don’t listen to me, I’m not an Instagram expert! I go to them to see what’s working and what’s not working.

They are predicting that photo only feeds for just using those static grid images, that’s gonna kill our engagement. I’m about to tell you the four-part Instagram content calendar, I would recommend you have, but it includes videos. I just wanted to throw that out there. You need to be on video and using video if you aren’t already, even if it’s just 15 second story clips.

Customers and prospects buy from brands they feel connected to and that is the quickest way to speed up that trust factor. Start on stories, then move to reels. Check out our launch & funnel copy client Nicole, who’s KILLING it on reels, since short-form videos like TikTok and Instagram Reels will rise in popularity in 2021 (more on reels in tip 2 because PSA: I’m freaked out, too!!).  BUT we are going to see faster growth in 2021 if we use these two free tools that are sitting here and ready to be used in the arsenal of Instagram.

Ashlyn Writes—prelaunch instagram strategy

Okay, so again, pretending you’re my client, here is the posting schedule of four different things I would recommend that you do:

Four Part Instagram Posting Schedule:

  • 2-5 static square posts/week. Now, 1-2 of those is going to be tied into that hero piece of content that you’re turning out. Again for more background on what I’m talking about when I mentioned this Hero piece and these six to eight domino pieces that you need to create, watch this video specifically at the 5:27 mark.
  • Daily stories (obviously 1 day will be tied to hero content)
  • 1 weekly reel
  • 1 weekly IGTV or live (tied to hero content … if not, a flat-out repost of it). This helps fight Zoom fatigue with short actionable self-paced learning videos … ads that are using short videos or Instagram Reel are cutting CPM’s (cost per thousand impressions) in half.

By the way, I’ve done a full training about getting your Instagram bio ready, you can check it out right here. I’d go ahead and make sure keywords are plugged into my bio!

Ok, next up, let’s talk creating the content.

<< Related: How to Batch Plan 30 Days of Instagram Content in 1 Day >>


Instagram Pre Launch Strategy No. 2| Creating the content.

Here, we want to leverage the right neighborhoods and craft that content. I just showed you the weekly content rhythm that I would plan to use if I were going into launch. Next step is actually building and creating that content. I am a huge fan of batching content. I am *borderline* fanatical about my time so this is the best use of it. This is why I loooove that hero piece of content method I teach *so* much because I can take that and stretch it out. It makes me look like I am online more and creating more content than I actually am. Win/win 😉

I consider it the ultimate compliment when someone says, “You create content all the time, how do you have time to do anything else? You’ve got so much stuff posting online.” Here is the secret: I don’t really ever use or open Instagram on my phone unless it is to capture something that I could use and post later as a story. I reallllly only just use Instagram on my laptop and on my desktop. This is so helpful because the times when I DO want to be on social media a lot, normally leading into a launch, I’m just excited and have something that I want to share and talk to people about.

BUT during these times when I just don’t really want to, I can lean on this as well. So there’s my plug again for this process. You can also check out this post where I talk about exactly how I repurpose content.



Now, as I’m creating content for things like stories themselves and even things like Facebook posts every week, I like to give myself prompts for this to give my brain some jogs or ideas on things that I could create little stories about. One tip I absolutely recommend that you do as you’re leading into a launch is to include polls. For two reasons…

#1: For a crowdsourcing reason. This is gonna cut out that guessing game and make it a whole lot easier to craft content leading into your launch.

#2: You can survey ideas that you have for the thing you’re creating itself. People will straight up tell you what they want and what they don’t want. I love using stories for this. Here as an example—I was leading into a pre-launch and it was so helpful and it got people excited. I breadcrumbed them in the concept that this stuff was coming down the pipeline. Plus 58% of people in a group said that they visited a brand’s website to buy a product or service after they saw it in the story.

One last tip, let’s talk about reels. Comment below with how you’re feeling about reels or if you’ve tried them yet. I told my mastermind last week, I feel like I will just be that pats-on-head millennial if I start doing reels because it won’t be cool enough or they won’t be funny enough. Bahaha. Soooo if you’re feeling weird about it, I get it. I am too, but they’re six months old and they are here to stay. It is a fast-track way to make it to the explore page. Instagram’s pushing constant creators that are building 4 to 6 reels a week. We can start small and set a goal to do one a week and work our way up. The app also saw an explosion of about 70% of people interested in live content last year, right after quarantine started. And that is continuing to trend.

<< Related : How to Batch Plan 30 Days of Instagram Content in 1 Day >>

As we batch create our pre-launch content, don’t just be crafting those static grid images but go ahead and batch your reels, batch stories. Like I said, I do that all the time. I pull out my phone, I shoot something, I just save it in an album on my phone and I’ll pull it out later.

Ashlyn Writes—prelaunch instagram strategy


Instagram Pre Launch Strategy No. 3| Scheduling content and posting.

So once all this content is created, it’s time to load it in. There are SO many tools that can be useful for this. I mentioned it earlier, you can watch this video here where I show behind the scenes of how I plan and then pull everything into Asana. Then from Asana, I would pop it into the tool that I love to use for Instagram planning called Plann.  So if you’re tracking the order: we are taking it from these 6-8 pieces of paper, brainstorming and making a mess, moving those into Asana, moving from Asana into Plann. That last piece of the puzzle happens on Mondays. I call it my “Marketing Mondays.”

I spent a couple of hours pulling things into the platform itself, like Plann, and I can go ahead and schedule and plan when the ideal time for me to post is. Now, I’ve heard you ask, “how do you know your ideal time to post on Instagram”? Well, knowing the best time to post obviously changes based on region and your audience. Understanding this helps make sure you optimize your grid posts, Stories, and Lives. It’s so essential to user engagement to post at the right time.

 

Ashlyn Writes—instagram prelaunch strategy

You can go one of two ways here, you can absolutely look at overall best practices times—I recommend reading this best times to post article from Social Media Today.

But here’s what I do, I love this app called Prime. The free version of it is great, but I actually would recommend paying, it’s not that much. I love that I can see for my specific audience, my group of followers, exactly the 3 best times every single day. That’s one thing I love—it doesn’t just tell me the best time, but it tells me two backup times that I can use as well. I’m telling you this app is clutch and it’s absolutely worth it, at least for a little while paying for it to see and get some regular trends that you can use as you craft your content and plan it out for pre-launch.


Now, if you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with all the copy and all the content that you need to create for your launch, I have two things that may just help you out.

The first is my Launch Copy and Content Checklist. Thousands of you have downloaded it. It can be a really helpful tool to use just to make sure that you’ve got all the messaging pieces that go into a launch campaign lined up so you can draft that copy and content.

Secondly is my Primed To Launch™ playbook tool. If you are looking to try to figure out how to craft an editorial calendar that doesn’t just rotate through content buckets but actually primes people and gets them salivating before you launch and announce your offer—this is for you.

Now you know a great overview of how to craft that content calendar for your Instagram strategy leading into launch. But what about a good overview of a launch workflow in itself? Well, I’ve got a video teed up for you to watch next where I’m going to break down step-by-step, my overall pre-launch into launch workflow.


primed to launch playbook


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What to Post on Instagram During Your Launch | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 9 Minutes It’s time to put your Instagram pre-launch strategy in place! What worked in 2016 is NOT going to work with your Instagram content strategy in 2021. One of the big vehicles as you execute and turn out your launch copy and content, sure as heck, is social media—Instagram specifically. An email subscriber that gets my […]

Do you have a pre-launch marketing strategy? Erica recently asked if I spelled out my pre-launch marketing workflow step by step, what would it look like?

Well, here’s the big secret: there’s no silver bullet to a launch.

What I’ve learned is you’ve gotta be willing to put in the time and try different strategies with your audience and see how they respond. How to have a successful launch starts with a successful pre-launch strategy specific to your audience. As you prepare your pre-launch process, figuring out what pre-launch strategies fit your audience, may feel a like science. However, with my launch workflow that I’m talking through today, you’ll craft irresistible pre-launch marketing strategies for your audience.

5 Things You Need for a Successful Launch | Ashlyn Writes

The pre-launch marketing strategies I’m walking through today have worked SO well for my students that have successfully used them inside my Primed to Launch™ method to craft a pre-launch plan and then actually slide into that launch itself—I’m excited to talk about them with you too.

Let’s jump in!

Click here or down below to grab the ✨NEW✨ Primed to Launch™ Playbook to plan your marketing & content calendar 

primed to launch playbook


 


No. 1| Craft Your Plan and Offer

You need a defined offer and a plan, that’s step one of the pre-launch workflow. That offer has got to be irresistible.

I think this is something that a lot of people don’t think about when they’re headed into their launch itself. You spend a lot of time on the marketing of it all and you built a good offer—BUT—you’ve got to think about HOW to put it out there and communicate it in a way that is irresistible to your audience.

Now, I know when we say launch and pre-launch, we think of different things. When I say “launch”, it’s basically just a sexy word for a marketing campaign… you could be launching different things. You may have a new website launch, a product launch, and I absolutely believe that you should be launching your one-on-one services.

No matter what your launch/promo campaign is around, you can’t do it without a clear and a defined packaged offer. 

As I get into this, I wanted to mention a tool that you can use—it’s wonderful. It’s from Offer Cure created by Julie and Kathy, over at Funnel Gorgeous.  It can help take you through breaking out your offer and splitting it into different pieces so you can communicate that with your audience. Look into that if you’ve struggled with defining your offer.

Once you do have that clearly defined offer in place, then we need to come up with the pre-launch & launch marketing plan and the vehicle to actually get that out there.

Now, for an in-depth talk on actually crafting that marketing calendar with your 4 Quarterly Champagne Campaigns, I want you to watch this video that I have next.

Ashlyn Writes Launch Calendar

But for now, let’s talk about how to mark up your launch calendar. I go more in depth inside Primed to Launch™, but let’s talk about a few ket things I want you to keep in mind.

It’s going to have a defined period of the launch push itself, and that’s gonna be a 10-day window or less. No more than 10.

You never want your launch window to be more days than you actually have messages to put out.

We’ve had clients come and say we’re doing a 14-day open cart window. And I say, why? I mean, you may have truly a reason to have it open that long but usually I would say nine times out of 10, you don’t. That 5-10 day window can be great for your launch push because you should have at least five messages that you need to push out there. Five different hooks and angles and ways that you can start to talk to people about what that offer is.

<< Related: 3 Tips to Launch a Website, Product, or Service>>

This is why I like the Quarterly Champagne Campaign system that I have of just FOUR *big* launches a year because I can do 5-10 day windows 4 times a year. I can go all in and get my energy up and rallied for that. Buttttt I can’t do it for just extended lengths of time, never stopping…I like to nap. 😉

Next, the calendar has what I call a hype piece.This essentially is the vehicle that you’re going to use to actually pitch and mention the product, the service that you have(I’ll talk more about that in step #4).

Finally, this calendar is going to include us counting back 6-8 weeks from that launch date so we can start to stack different messages during pre-launch marketing.

(Pssst—this is the calendar that I *looove* using for planning my Quarterly Champagne Campaign.)


No. 2| Story Mining for Content Ideas

Once you have your offer in that plan defined, then you need to think about the objections that people will have to purchase from you, working with you one-on-one, whatever it is.

I love this part when we’re working with our one-on-one clients in the agency side of my business because it’s so fun to sit there and come up with all the different things you’ve heard in the past about why people didn’t buy that or they thought they were above the offer. They didn’t really need it or they thought they were in no way ready for it when you knew that they would be a great fit for it.

For example, one yesterday on a project call said “they’ll say they know it all, even if they still need the support” so boom, we discussed the idea of putting out pre-launch content that tells the audience why they need to purchase.

My favorite exercise to get all of this out there, when I’m crafting my pre-launch strategy,  is a 60-in-60  content ideas brainstorm session. Using things like magazine mining, newsjacking, podcast & pinterest mad-libbing, and of course, listening to what your audience is ACTUALLY asking for in surveys can fill up your queue with ideas to overcome those objections.

Story Mining - Ashlyn Writes

TAny time you’re coming up with these content ideas or going through perhaps that 60-in-60 minutes exercise—I want you to think of these TWO things:

  1. Is this content going to be interesting to my people?
  2. Does it show your value?

<< Related:How to Portray Your Value with 3 Copy Hacks (Even If You’re Just Starting Out) >>


No. 3| An Editorial Calendar for Pre-launch and Launch

Okay, so you’ve got this massive list of all the different content ideas that you could put out there, the things your people want to hear from you, the objections that you need to overcome. How in the world do you organize all of this content during your pre-launch planning? The next part of the pre-launch workflow is coming up with an editorial calendar that you can use to disseminate these messages you collected from step #2.

The best visual I have for this is I want you to picture 6-8 dominos (however many weeks you want be in pre-launch)  that are all setting up, and what do you have to knock over one by one so they fall and they form this clear path to you, your offer, your product, your service.

<< Related: My 3 Step Marketing Content Plan Process >>

Now go back to that list that you created and I want you to circle, highlight, whatever, the top 6-8 objections that you’re gonna hear all the time. You’re gonna address each one of those in one piece of weekly pillar piece hero content. This is gonna be coupled with your audience list-building strategy—I talked about that in last week’s video. watch it after reading this post— because you built your whole annual marketing calendar to focus on just one thing every single quarter, all your hero content for that quarter is driving towards that one thing you’re launching.

This means you don’t have to be all the places—all you need to do is put the investment of your time and energy into crafting those 6-8weeks worth of pillar content that will knock over the dominoes one by one. And what you’re going to do is repurpose that one piece of hero content and you’re splintering that piece into 15 more pieces of content—disseminating that one piece and repurposing it.

Here’s the kicker— no matter what is going on in your life and in your business, as you are prepping for that launch, focus on getting that hero piece of content out. 

I know when I’m going into a launch mode, other things can be falling to the wayside. I may not get to all of the different marketing ideas or dreamy ideas that I have, but I know I am getting that hero piece every week to overcome the objections leading up to the launch, and that matters.

I’ve done a video about repurposing your content before that may support you here as well—you can watch that here. 

Okay, moving along this launch workflow that you’ve started to craft here>>>

  • You’ve come up with that absolutely irresistible offer and the plan to get it out via your launch calendar
  • You picked out those top 6-8 objections

—>Now you’re going to craft one piece of hero content for those 6-8 weeks of pre-launch.

That brings us to the next piece of the workflow: coming up with and executing a hype piece to actually communicate the offer.


No. 4| A Hype Piece to Introduce the Offer

Even if you hate video, you cannot skip this. 😉 There HAS to be some sort of vehicle where you’re able to look (even if it’s over the internet) your audience in the eye and tell them what it is that you’re putting out there and why they need it.

There are sooo many different ideas that you could incorporate in your pre-launch strategy, I include a whole list of different ideas inside Primed to Launch™, but this could look like a virtual launch party that you’re doing, a webinar, a challenge, or a video series. There are tons of things out there and vehicles to communicate this to your audience.

I’d highly recommend having a video component. I think the most successful ones that I’ve ever seen with our clients and in my own business, have a video component.

The digital marketing space is saturated with webinars, and a lot of them, unfortunately, follow the same templates and formulas, and scripts that are already out there.

Webinars still work though. I see the statistics and the conversion rates all the time, but here’s the thing, they still work if they’re good. If you’re gonna make a webinar then go all-in on making it juicy.

<< Related: 5 Underrated Pre-Launch Strategies to Build Buzz in 2020 >>

We also saw this past year that short-form content became a way that we love to consume things, TikTok, reels—think outside the box and be crafty. Figure out how you can take your hype piece message that you’re trying to disseminate, and don’t just have a long-form version but can you break it up over days or do you need to come up with different ways to get a short form iteration of it out there?

I’m brainstorming on this too. I don’t have all the answers to it right now, I just think it is something for us to watch for.


No. 5| Pre-Launch and Launch Pieces & Messaging

And last but not least, the actual launch pieces and the messaging that goes into that.

Here I’m talking about everything from the emails that you’re using to promote and invite people to your hype piece, the sales, email sequence themselves, the checkout pages, the landing pages—allllll the pages.

I have all of this broken down into a launch, copy and content checklist—you can download that here. It is free & ready for you! You can grab that here. I’ve also done tons of videos about these specific pieces and how to write them, you can find those here.

But part of this process is also setting good expectations, data-driven expectations. That way your launch doesn’t end and you say something like, it just wasn’t what I expected. Well, what did you expect? And was that based on actual data? Be sure to check out the video I have right here where I talked to you about how to run a launch moratorium. 

I know that was a whole lot, even for me, and I love launches, but it goes to show when you’re creating your launch workflow, you can’t just focus on the launch week in vehicle itself, you’ve got to back up.

You need to be priming your audience weeks in advance by overcoming their objections and knocking down those dominoes. And along the way, you need to be seeding in the idea that you have an offer or a service that is coming and you’re going be able to support them with it.

<<Related: My WINNING Idea Validation Workflow for Pre-Launch Marketing>>


Alright, that wraps up my 5 step pre-launch strategy workflow. If you’re feeling inspired about how you can prime your audience well for the different launches that you have planned, you’re ready to start crafting your pre-launch strategy—then I think you’ll ~love~ Primed to Launch™.

Primed to Launch™  is my answer to how to craft a content strategy that doesn’t just rotate through content buckets. Instead, it’s building a calendar of pre-launch content that primes your audience for that offer that you are about to put in front of them. 

I’d invite you to check out the link below, that way you can get your hands on my Primed to Launch™ playbook. You will see my content marketing and pre-launch marketing campaign planner, 3 styles of weekly content planning templates, three simple launch calendar timelines, a metrics and goals tracker pack, a launch checklist and more. Click here or down below to check out Primed to Launch™ today.

Now you know what you need for a successful launch, but what about priming your audience in advance? Be sure to watch the next video I’ve got teed up for you where I’m taking you through five ways that you can push out your lead magnet and build your email list.

Here’s to working from a place of more rest, less hustle.

primed to launch playbook


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5 Things You Need for a Successful Launch | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 10 Minutes Do you have a pre-launch marketing strategy? Erica recently asked if I spelled out my pre-launch marketing workflow step by step, what would it look like? Well, here’s the big secret: there’s no silver bullet to a launch. What I’ve learned is you’ve gotta be willing to put in the time and try different strategies […]

You’re ready to launch a new business, a new course or even a new one-on-one service but during your pre-launch stage you are trying to figure out how to grow your email list! Anddddd you need to build your email list fast before you launch. I’m going to share with you my go-to email list building for your pre-launch marketing plan! These tips to grow an email list are really great especially if you are in product launch mode and you need some email list-building tactics now!

5 Ways to Build Your Email List Before Your Launch | Ashlyn Writes

Becca sent me a message recently… she’s a mom of three who just left her nursing job and is prepping to launch her new business. She’s got her website done, she knows the one-on-one service she’s gonna be providing and she even has the digital products ready but it’s growing her audience prior to launch that she’s focusing on now.

You’re in luck Bec—as is anybody who’s preparing to launch something this year in the coming months, whether it is a product or a service.

In this post, I’m talking about 5 different ways to grow your audience. When I say audience, I mean your email list prior to your launch—I know you don’t want to launch to crickets, no one does.;)

Today, I’m talking to you about how to grow your email list with these 5 strategies that are working right now.

If you’re inside Primed to Launch™, you know that I recommend you back-up 6-8 weeks prior to the launch itself to craft the different messages and help make those dominoes fall along the way to you presenting your offer. That strategy has worked for ~sooo~ many of my Primed to Launch™ students and I love hearing about it. This post is going to show you more ways that you can crank out that three-part opt-in strategy that I teach inside PtL.

⬇️Click here or down below to grab the ✨NEW✨ Primed to Launch™ Playbook to plan your marketing & content calendar⬇️

primed to launch playbook




No. 1| The FB Family: Organic Traffic

First things first, I love ads and paid traffic, but don’t negate organic traffic. People (aka entrepreneurs) complain that organic traffic on the FB family doesn’t work, but sometimes the problem is us, not them. We’re doing the same *tired* strategies and we need to call an audible on the old way of doing things.

Maybe that means taking a look at whatever neighborhood it is that the Facebook family, maybe it’s Facebook itself or maybe it’s Instagram, is pushing at the time.

This was a lightbulb moment for me at Social Media Marketing World last year—I love the word “neighborhood,” and Sue B. Zimmerman coined that to talk about the different pockets of the IG platform: the basic feed, Instagram Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live.

When you’re thinking about marketing your opt-ins on social media, I want you to think about that app and break it down into the different neighborhoods that that app may be trying to push. I want you to try to figure out which one is the favorite child at the time of your launch or pre-launch. At the time of this post, it is 100% reels on Instagram. Those weren’t even out and available last year, and now the minute you get on the app you can see how Instagram is just pushing it— they love reels right now. IGTV was big last year.

If I’m promoting my lead magnets in my opt-ins, I would absolutely be using lives right now. BuzzSumo’s reviewed 777 million Facebook posts and they found that Facebook Live dominates the feed right now. When it comes to engagement, lives are where it’s at.

The highest averages for live videos are around that 3-4 minute mark, that’s actually something they would even consider a long-form video, and many of the top posts are related to current events. This is why Newsjacking can be sooo helpful when you’re trying to figure out what to shape your content around.vGo ahead and play off of what is going on in the world.

At the time of creating this post, the Super Bowl is right around the corner. How could you create content and play off that or Valentine’s Day, President’s day, whatever’s going on—use that as a hack and a way to come up with some ideas.

⬇️ Here’s how I did this in my Instagram feed this week⬇️

5 ways to build your email list before you launch

If I were moving into a launch right now I would, at least for those 6-8 weeks back from my launch date, plan to go live at minimum once a week on the Facebook platform. Don’t worry so much about the production value—I would instead focus on having 3-4 minutes of quality, high end, education, and then making sure that I’m mentioning whatever lead magnet it is that I’m promoting in that span of time.

>>Related: 3 Tips to Launch a Website, Product, or Service<<

To wrap up strategy #1—about using organic marketing efforts via social media—quit doing it like you did in 2018 or like you saw people do it in 2019.

Instead, go to that app, figure out what the favorite child is, and craft a strategy around THAT. Craft your hero content to fit into that bucket. Then do it each week for that hero piece of content those 6-8 weeks leading up to your launch.


No. 2| Pinterest

Alright, next up on how to build your email list during your pre-launch: Pinterest.

I’m pulling out Pinterest from social media because it is more of a search engine itself. We get a ton of website traffic to my website from Pinterest. As you’re growing your list prior to your launch, take every piece of hero content that you come out with, and craft ~at least~ 5 different pins, varying different visual styles, that you can use to promote. Vanessa on my team is a total whiz and a boss at this stuff. She takes those five pins and she schedules them out using a tool called Tailwind.

Here’s a hot tip here—one thing I don’t want you to forget is if your content lends itself naturally to an infographic type of image then absolutely create a pinnable infographic for every piece of your hero content.

hero-content-hub-content-editorial-calendar

This is something that we’ve actually recently started doing and the pins are doing great. This then functions as a sixth pin for that post. It gives a little bit of a different way to consume the content that’s in the post and bring people into the learning page, the blog itself. Don’t be afraid to use this strategy— the 5 pins in the infographic—not just for your blog pieces (that hero piece of content) but also for the 3 lead magnets that you’re creating for your launch itself.

 

 

Again, I referenced those three inside Primed to Launch™ but make sure that you’re also pinning those opt-ins on Pinterest.


No. 3| ADs

I love paid traffic, but, it’s also no secret this past year that we have seen a big tech social media splinter and possibly affect the paid traffic strategies that we have in our businesses. This is why you always want be thinking about not building your business on other people’s land, or putting all your eggs in one basket. All that said, I still think it is wise to have a paid traffic mechanism for your opt-ins.

The big picture I want you to take away as I talk through this, use the bulk of your ad dollars upfront before the launch even starts.

We’re spending during the audience building time, those 6-8 weeks, that’s where the lion’s share of my money is—I tell my clients to put their money prior to any launch. The earlier I can get people in and then start to address the different objections that they may have to the offer that I’m going to pitch them later—the more I can start to nurture that relationship. I’m going to spend the bulk of everything up here in front of the launch during that email list building time.



I also think it’s safe to say—be prepared to blow at least $1000 for each opt-in that you’re going to be pushing, I know that is A LOT. It’s simply harder to break through the noise than it was in past years—the same way that it’s harder to rank on page one of Google… there’s just more noise out there. There are more people competing. It’s absolutely still possible to break through on a lower ad spend budget but it’s just a little harder to get lucky on talent or killer content alone.

Again, I know ad spend may not be possible so that’s why I’m trying to give a lot of organic strategies as well.

we can't build a business on borrowed land-ashlyn writes

If you take nothing else away from this tip #3, I want you to keep in mind the bulk of your ad spend, if you’re doing ad spend at all in your pre-launch marketing, is going be spent on the audience (email list building) building timeframe.

Don’t be afraid to build your email list with smaller offers, with tiny offers putting out little pieces. I would rather have an email list before a launch of not just leads, but actual customers.

People that have raised their hand and have put a little bit of stake in this. Even if it is a small amount,  it tells me that those are the people that I would rather try to push into a launch. Rather than just a lot of people who loved the free stuff (and don’t get me wrong, I love free stuff too).  With all the launches that we’ve done, I think that would be my vote.


No. 4| Cold Pitching to Podcasts

I saw a meme one time that said that the millennial version of “I’m gonna write a book” is “I’m gonna start a podcast”. 😉

The podcast industry is continuing to explode and what’s interesting is among weekly listeners those who do listen to podcasts tend to listen to multiple podcasts.

Here’s my tip here: Don’t be afraid to pitch yourself for podcasts. I have an entire video (you can watch it here!) where I talk through how to craft the copy for a cold pitch that you’re sending out to somebody that you don’t know and you want to be on their podcast.

>>Related: How to Write a Pitch Email for Your Creative Business<<

What I don’t talk about in that video, when it comes to growing your list from the podcast interview, lean on the host to guide you—they usually will tell you if they’re comfortable with you mentioning something. I.e. they’ll probably tell you at the end you can share freely, but here’s, this works better for me. It’s always been better if while I’m talking, I can go ahead and drip and mention in some piece of content that I have, or some freebie I have that would help reinforce something that I’m teaching on while I’m on a podcast interview.

An online quiz can be a great way to do this (I have a training on how to create your own quiz here) because it’s not just some other PDF but it’s a diagnostic tool that can go ahead and help the people that you’re educating while you’re on the podcast interview, continue to go down and figure out this and solve their problem

The #1 thing I want you to keep in mind when you’re on podcast interviews is how can you give so generously, of what you know, that it almost feels *uncomfortable*.

I also want you to start your pitching calendar backed up from your launch. So remember, this pre-launch marketing phase that we’re talking about growing our email list is that 6-8 week window and podcasts will fill up in advance, so you need to back it up even further.

5 ways to build your email list before you launch

Here’s my best recommendation for this—I would make a list of 50 different outlets, blogs or podcasts that you could pitch. Then, every single Monday for one month pitch five of them with that cold pitch template that I gave you earlier.

You will hear no a lot, you will hear crickets a lot, but by pitching at least 20 different outlets, you are at least casting a wide enough net where you live where you will get what you will get some yeses back. You can be on those podcasts and mention whatever diagnostic tool, quiz or freebie that you have.

This might be too much right now for your next launch, but just put it on your radar for your pre-launch marketing during your next launch or marketing campaign you have.


No. 5| SEO

Last but certainly not least, SEO the investment strategy of all the things I’m talking through today. Okay, let me show you again a graph of the traffic that comes to our website so you can see how much of this comes from SEO alone.

I’ve got a full training on how to actually find the words that you want to rank for in your content, but let’s bring this back to your pre-launch marketing. What I want you to do is really optimize those 6-8 weeks of hero content that you’re turning out for SEO.

This means you’re gonna have that blog piece for each of them. Then you’re gonna take that blog and make sure that it is all ready to go when it comes to search engine optimization.

After I do the legwork and decide what I want to rank for I’m gonna go into the blog and make sure that I have talked up that freebie multiple times in there, I’m also gonna make sure I have some sort of an exit intent pop up on my website that either mentioned that freebie or an overall freebie that I have for that business.

Then I’m gonna ensure what the Yoast plugin, that is to me worth every penny of the upgraded version of it, that I pass the green light.

>>Related:The Top 8 SEO Copywriting Tips You Need to Apply in Your Business <<

I also love using the tool SEM Rush for keywords, because I’m able to take that keyword go pop it into the keyword tracker inside SEM Rush and I’ll get an email every week or every month. This email tells me where I am, and what page and what ranking I am in the slot for with the keyword I was going for.

You can look this up on your own manually absolutely all day long, but it’s worth it for me to pay a little bit every single month, and get a list of the keywords that I’m trying to rank for and how I’m doing with them just so I can start to see that I was spot on and where I missed the mark.


Now you may be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now, if so I would love to take the pre-launch marketing planning process off of your play, I would love for you to check out my Primed to Launch Playbook™, inside you’re gonna see how to come up with content ideas to talk about before your launch how to take each week of hero content and break it out to push out on various channels how to set goals for your launch, and metrics and so much more. You can check that all out here.  

Now you know all about how to build your email list prior to your launch during that pre-launch phase. But what about nurturing your email list during pre-launch, and pet even when you’re not even in launch at all, be sure to check out this video on my YouTube channel, I’m taking you through my email marketing predictions for 2021. 

Here’s to working from a place of more rest, less hustle.


primed to launch playbook

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5 Ways to Build Your Email List Before Your Launch | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 11 Minutes You’re ready to launch a new business, a new course or even a new one-on-one service but during your pre-launch stage you are trying to figure out how to grow your email list! Anddddd you need to build your email list fast before you launch. I’m going to share with you my go-to email list […]

UPDATE: This blog post, “Trello Tutorial: How to be More Productive with a Company Guidebook”, was originally posted in 2018, my team has since outgrown Trello — but — this is a wildly popular post that was due for an update! 🙂

Let’s talk about how to “GSD” as the kids say: how to be more productive with one of my favorite business tools: a Trello tutorial.

Getting sidetracked looking for something basic I need in my business—a password, my EIN, the HEX codes for the Veuve Clicquot-inspired orange I use—that drives me banana pancakes.

Today, I’m sharing my behind-the-scenes of what our “company guidebook” board looks like. Hopefully, it can be helpful for you! If you already know you love Trello or Asana and want to swipe the board, look below and you can grab the board template fo’ free.

How to be more productive with Trello | Ashlyn Writes

You’ll learn:

  • Where I keep bits of copy floating around in my business, like my mission statement, core values, brand words, etc.
  • The color-coding system I use
  • How I keep courses and education I’ve bought straight

 

… and more tips on how to be more productive with this Trello tutorial.

Don’t forget to grab the swipe file of this board to give it a go yourself, and my full 12-page guide to setting up batch days in your business right here! 🙂

how-to-batch-your-workday-ashlyn-writes

 


 


Trello Tutorial: Why You Need to Be More Productive with a Guidebook

So, I firmly believe how you decide to house the basics of your business so you can spend MORE time doing the thing you’re getting paid to do is really important and critical—why?

Because time is your MOST precious resource. We can figure out how to make you more money. We can figure out how to get you more talent through education and even support/hiring.

But time? We’re all sitting pretty in the same boat, sister.

Related: How to Batch Work & Organize with Themed Days

Figuring out ways to trim down your day-to-day work to JUST what’s in your zone of genius is paramount … and spending 30 minutes looking for your EIN or the login to a course you bought a while back and finally have time to tackle? That’s not where your time needs to go.


Why I Use Trello

So today, I’m sharing my behind-the-scenes of our company guidebook board in Trello, which is essentially command central for my business. Hopefully, it can be helpful for you! If you already know you love Trello and want to swipe the board, click here and you can grab the board template fo’ free.

I personally love Trello and Asana—I’ve used it since I got started, but there are so many good project management systems out there. When I think about how we did project management back in my agency days (download Excell spreadsheet, update it, save it to the master company drive, email it to the client), it amazes me to think how far it’s all come.

Related: 62 Creative Biz Resources I Used in Year One

My quick schpiel on why I like it? It’s different from most tools because it’s so blank and empty when you get started, but that’s what I liked about it—it was a perfect combo of lists and imagery, which worked or this creative brain.

Trello is FREE, glory be, and I’m in it all day every day in some capacity—we have a LOT of boards!

How to be more productive using Trello

Now, DISCLAIMER, this video above is not a how to get started with Trello video. If you need some help getting started with the tool, here are a few Trello tutorials I recommend:

 


Trello Tutorial: What to Keep in a Company Guidebook Board

In the video, I walk you through my personal Trello board that I use to keep our business things. BASICALLY, if I had a hard-copy business binder, this would be it, but I don’t. 😉

You’ll want to have the following info at your fingertips so you can figure out how to be more productive and do the things that matter in your work.



No 1| Business Brand Materials & Messaging Dock

First up in this Trello tutorial: business brand materials.

Think: Your Google phone number, address, all pertinent links, brand imagery links, hex code colors, mission statement, vision statement, core values, ideal client info, copy bank and messaging style guide, your bio, etc. I KNOW my Copywriting for Creatives™ have all those things, right? 🙂

If you don’t have your brand messaging on paper, it’s time to get it in gear. Click to read “Honing in on Your Why: How to Write Core Values for Your Business in 5 Steps,” and “How to Tell Your Brand Story: 5 Tips to Write Your Messaging.”

Also, if you haven’t written out your bio, it’s time! Shop the AW Shop 10 Steps to a Professional Bio Template & Guide here, and the Copy Bank Kit here.

AW Trello Board-Branding


No. 2| Team Guide

Think: Birthday, hire date, good days for contact, address, personality type, bio, headshot, link to job description or Trello board where she keeps her tasks.

By the way—my FAVORITE team resources are from my client Nancy Ray Photography. That’s unbiased, I promise! Nancy’s got the best little $39 “Effective Hiring Process” shop guide if you’re planning on hiring for the first time (again, not an affiliate, I just used it when I was first hiring before I even knew Nancy, and it was amazing!) and Foundations in Team Building course.

AW Trello How to - Team Guide

Related: How to Build a Team: Behind-the-Scenes of Team AW


No. 3| Management & Labels

Think: More hub stuff—where you get things printed, links to all the software you use to run the business, financial info (EIN, banking info, etc.), legal info (trademarks, legal paper links, your lawyer’s number), color coding info, etc.

When it comes to calendaring and filing, we use a combo of G-Suite and Dropbox, so those main head honcho links are in here, too. Now, we don’t communicate in this board, we use Slack—just feel like I should note that!

AW Trello How to - Mangement

Related: 8 Productivity Apps So You Can Make the Most of Your Time


No. 4| Process Templates

Think: WORKFLOWS! You know I love these guys! If you’re going to do something more than 2 or 3 times, make it a workflow. I’ve blogged a lot about that, but I have workflows for everything—from blogging to every client offering, giving webinars, creating products, guest posting, and everything in between. I lovooe having detailed processes and workflows all in one spot.

AW Trello How to - Workflow

All the time when I get overwhelmed in my creative business, I think, “Ashlyn, you can do 3 things here. You can either automate it, delegate it, or eliminate it.”

But, when you’re earlier on in your business, there’s no one to delegate to.

So, you have to automate a lot of things—and workflows are the most basic form of automation.

And I heart them.

To learn more about setting up workflows in your business, read this post here where talk all about how to set up a solid 1-on-1 calligraphy and copywriting client services workflow using a mashup of HoneyBook and Trello.


No. 5| Affiliate Links

Think: All those affiliate links you’re randomly given or ask for, and can’t ever remember where they are

AW Trello How to - Workflow


No. 6| Testimonials

Think: Again, my Copywriting for Creatives™ students know I tell you to hoard these, but keeping client and customer testimonials for all your products and services in one spot is super helpful—and inspiring when you need it!

Related: 8 Ways to Get Powerful & Persuasive Client Testimonials (+ Examples)

AW Trello How to - Testimonials

Do you feel comfortable asking for testimonials to use in your marketing?

I know, I knowyou’re not crazzzy about bragging (and that’s probably why I like you so much), but at the same time, you need the social proof that testimonials and reviews offer you as a creative small business owner.

I’ve always been a big stickler about collecting testimonials. It’s SO very important to me as a copywriter, but the truth is, I’ve learned even more about them lately as I’ve put my money where my mouth is and actually brought on a team to help us with some case studies for my business.

Need help collecting testimonials? Here are two action steps to get started:


No. 7 | Education & Courses

Think: Login link, username/password, and a checklist for the programs I’m taking. Never again buy a course and don’t complete it! If you find you have a hard time getting through courses, this blog & YouTube video I made may help ya: 5 Online Course Tips | How to Survive Online Classes as a Creative Entrepreneur.

AW Trello How to - Courses


No. 8| Swipe Files

Classic swipe filing is building up and curating a body of work and writing samples that you then can turn around and use.

Done well, it can both inspire your writing and boost your skills.

AW Trello How to - Swipe File

Think about all the different things that you could swipe 👇👇

  • Upsell pages
  • Ads
  • Email subject lines
  • Thank you pages
  • Registration pages & landing pages
  • Sales pages (duh)
  • Headlines
  • Bullets
  • Don’t discount physical mailers either—before you chuck it in recycling, start a folder!

<<Productivity Bonus Tip>>

I have my own little “swipe file” method I started teaching in 2016—The Copy Bank.

It started as I left corporate and went full time into the mostly wedding/creative industry, and got so sick of phrases I was hearing … lookin’ at you, swoon-worthy. 😬

How could I organize and reference fun words, phrases, descriptors, nouns, “Ashlynisms”, that I wanted to use later inside those copy frameworks and with the stories I was telling?? Queue: The Copy Bank. 🖋

I started sorting copy in my notes app, anddddd the rest is history.

My students inside The Art of Efficiency and Copywriting for Creatives know I’m HUGE on organizing your words in a way you’ll ACTUALLY use them.

I use Evernote but students use spreadsheets, Google Docs, Notes app…whatever works for you, do THAT.

Need more assistance building out your swipe file? Read this post next: 3 Hacks to Build Your Copywriting Swipe File 


 


So that is our company guidebook, I hope this Trello tutorial is helpful for you if you’re trying to figure out how in the heck to have a “business binder” in a digital age and how to get more done. No matter if you use Trello or WHAT, make sure you use some of these tips to keep your business basics altogether.

Don’t forget to checkout the freebie Trello Company Guidebook swipe board AND if you’re interested in more productivity how-to’s, grab the freebie Batch Theme Day Mini-training.

‘Til next time, set your business up to work for you, not the other way around!

how-to-batch-your-workday-ashlyn-writes

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How to create a company guidebook with Trello | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 8 Minutes UPDATE: This blog post, “Trello Tutorial: How to be More Productive with a Company Guidebook”, was originally posted in 2018, my team has since outgrown Trello — but — this is a wildly popular post that was due for an update! 🙂 Let’s talk about how to “GSD” as the kids say: how to be […]

 THIS is where you get a front-row seat to sales copy tips & hacks I’m applying to write first-rate/top-shelf funnels for clients, what’s on my desk (and in my earbuds), and what lessons I’ve learned … sometimes the hard way. Hope you’re ok that I’m a little more personal here than I am in social media land!

And? These emails are read—and swipe filed—by people you probably follow in the creative industry … and you can get ‘em, too.

THE WEEKLY DOGEAR

I spill the tea business secrets going on over here
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