Are You Afraid To Put Content Creation Prices On Your Website?

Should I put prices on my website?

Let’s face it: all potential clients and customers want to know the answer to the question, “How much does it cost?”

“How much does it cost?” is the first question that people ask when it comes to both services and products. The cost for blog writing and other content creation services are no exception.

Let’s face it, when we walk into a store and see something of interest, one of the first things we do is turn the item over to look for the price tag. I do it, you do it, we pretty much all do it. (I said, “pretty much all” in the off chance that someone who is so wealthy they don’t care about money just happens to be reading my blog. ;))

The same is true when we visit a website selling something we’re interested in buying.

Sometimes, looking for the price becomes something akin to a scavenger hunt. You know, or at least hope, that it’s gotta be there somewhere, so you keep clicking on different pages and links, hoping to find some inkling of what you might expect to pay.

I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous when the prices for a service I’m interested in isn’t listed, or the issue of price isn’t at least addressed. Is the price so high, they’re afraid to tell me? Really, how bad can it be?

More often than not, the missing price tag scares me enough that I go somewhere else.

But let’s face it; sometimes the price is complicated. This is especially true when there are a lot of variables that impact the price. I love the way that my good friend, Marcus Sheridan, addresses that issue in the video below.

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Your Turn

What about you? Do you put prices on your website? Why or why not? And how do you feel when you go to a business site that has no prices? Let’s talk about it a bit below.

How to Become a Rich Blogger by Giving it All Away

So, you want to make money with your blog. Join the club.

The desire to make money on your blog is a common one, and there is certainly nothing wrong with it.

Unfortunately, when you focus on making money on your blog, a couple of negative things occur.

Discouragement.

If your goal is to make money with your blog, and your blog does nothing but COST you money, no doubt you’ll quickly become discouraged.

It takes a long time to make money on your blog, so if that is your primary focus, you may find yourself throwing in the towel before you even get started.

Writing for yourself, rather than for your readers.

Another big problem with your primary blogging goal being money is that you may write with that goal in mind, and view every single visitor to your blog as a prospect, a potential income source, rather than as real people, with real needs.

And you know what? People aren’t stupid. They will likely pick up on the fact that your goal is making money and that you really don’t give a rip about them personally. And people are going to be much less likely to part ways with their money with someone who they sense really doesn’t care about them.

The Biggest Reason Not to Focus on Money On Your Blog

I’ll be the first to admit that there are many life principles that just don’t make sense. In fact, the title of this blog post, “How to Become a Rich Blogger by Giving it All Away” doesn’t make sense, naturally speaking. In fact, it seems that giving things away will lead to poverty rather than wealth, but nothing could be further from the truth!

The Bible actually speaks about this principle in Luke 6:38, which says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

As much as it doesn’t make sense, it is indeed true – if you’re stingy, people will be stingy with you. If you’re generous, people will be generous with you.

How to Practice Giving On Your Blog

The best way to be a giver on your blog is to consistently put out great content, free of charge, and free of marketing messages. For instance, don’t write a great blog post and then spoil it by putting some type of sales message at the end of it.

This doesn’t mean you don’t ever sell anything. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll need some way to pay your bills.

But your blog posts themselves are gifts to your readers, pure giving, that will help provide answers or some other type of help to your readers.

Put your marketing messages places other than you blog posts such as on services pages, or in emails you send to your list.

This more subtle approach works because if you truly help people by giving away a ton of great content on your blog, you’ll grow a tribe of raving fans who will not only buy, but help you sell, when the time comes.

Your Turn

How do you balance generosity (on your blog or any other aspect of life) with the need to make money? Have you bought into the concept of

 

How to Escape From The Blog Comparison Trap

One of the biggest traps both new and established bloggers fall into is the comparison trap. I want to talk with you today about why you should only compete with yourself on your blog.

There will always be someone better than you, and there will always be someone worse than you, so instead of focusing on how successful your blog is compared to others, instead ask yourself, “Is my blog better today than it was yesterday? Has my traffic increased? Has my bounce rate decreased, and is my list growing?” (You may have other things you need to pay attention to, but you get the idea!)

Sure, maybe progress is slower than you would like it to be, but as long as you’re making progress, you know that you’re at least heading in the right direction.

It’s also important to realize that even with hard work, you may not always see the results you want, at least not at first. Such lack of results can lead to discouragement.

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever be concerned about a lack of improvement, but what I want you to focus on are the things you can completely control.

Here are a few aspects of your blog that you can completely control:

1. Blog consistently.

 

We all know that “life” happens, but even if life gets in the way sometimes, except in rare cases, you should be able to make a commitment to blog a certain number of days in a week or month and stick with it.

So while you may not be able to completely control the amount of traffic that each blog post receives, or the number of comments you receive, you can indeed control how frequently you blog.

This brings me to my next point regarding what you can control:

2. Always give a clear call to action.

 

As I mentioned in the point above, you may not be able to control the number of comments that you get on your blog, but you can control whether or not you are encouraging comments on your blog, by always including a call to action.

To do so, at the end of every blog post, your last couple of sentences should ask the reader to take some type of action such as leave a comment, share their thoughts, answer a question or give an opinion.

3. Create quality content.

 

Quality for you or quality for me may be different from quality content that someone else creates. The bottom line is that we all have differing levels of ability and experience. So while I may or may not be as good or as bad at creating content as the next guy, I should always strive to create the very best quality content I can. And so should you.

If you’re weak in areas such as grammar, brush up on it using free lessons on sites such as English Grammar 101.

Not great at certain types of content? Keep working to improve. As an example, I am fairly new to audio posts, video posts, and to creating graphics. I’m aware of the fact that I’m lacking in certain areas of content creation, and if I compared my efforts to some, I’d be left discouraged and want to quit. The important thing is I’m  doing my best to improve and grow. And that’s really all I’m asking you to do as well.

Again, this goes back to not comparing yourself with others, but striving to improve and put forth your best effort in everything you do.

4.  Engage with others.

 

We often focus on the engagement or lack of engagement on our blogs to the degree that our self-focus keeps us from reaching out to and helping others.

Though you can’t really “make” other people engage with your blog and other social media platforms, you can very much control the amount of engagement you pour out on others. You know the old saying, “to have a friend, be a friend.” The same is true when it comes to engagement – if you want others to engage with you, first focus on engaging with them. Do it with a heart to give, rather than a heart to receive, and in due time, people will begin to engage with you as well.

These are just a few ideas of how you can take your blog, social media and other aspects of content creation into your own hands. Stop comparing yourself with others and stewing about what you can’t control and instead, pour your heart into what you can control.

As you begin to focus on doing the right thing with the things that are within your control, you’ll find that things that may seem out of your grasp, such as increasing blog traffic, fall into place.

Your Turn

What about you? Do you sometimes get frustrated because you don’t quite measure up to other bloggers? Have you ever tried focusing on the things you can control, rather than stewing about the things that are not completely within your control? Tell me all about it in the comment section below. I truly look forward to hearing how you approach this topic and any tips or struggles you might have.

004 Monday’s Motivational Minute Audio: Give Yourself 90 Days to Produce Great Content

Hello and welcome to Professional Content Creation’s Monday Motivational Minute. I’m your host, Rebecca Livermore, bringing you a short word of encouragement every Monday to get your week off to a bright start.

Play

Transcript:

Today’s episode was inspired by Cliff Ravenscraft’s podcast episode 255 where he answered a question that one of his listeners asked and that is how to be consistent in producing podcasts while at the same time making sure that the content fit into the “can’t live without” category.

Cliff told this guy to focus on consistently producing content during those first 90 days, and that most likely, during that time period, the content wouldn’t be that great. Around 90 days in, expect the content to improve, and at that point, once you’ve produce 4 pieces of content that fit into the “can’t live without” category, start promoting those 4 pieces of great content.

I loved this response because so often we get hung up on trying to produce great content to the degree that we never get started. This helped me to see the importance of being consistent in this season where I’m just starting to work with audio content, knowing that I will improve over time.

So if you’re just now starting to produce a new type of content, whether that be written blog posts, audio, video, or some other type of content, focus primarily on consistency over the next 90 days. You’ll be glad you did.

Your turn:

What do you focus on most — consistency, or producing quality content? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the merits of one over the other, or how you manage to do both things well.

003 Monday’s Motivational Minute Audio: Content Creation Success Through Giving

Transcript:

Hello, and welcome to Professional Content Creation’s Monday Motivational Minute. I’m your host, Rebecca Livermore, giving you a short word of encouragement every Monday to get your week off to a bright start.

Today I want to talk to you about the importance of giving. One of my favorite Bible verses is Luke 6:38 which says,  If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.

Sometimes we get so focused on trying to build a successful blog, we lose touch with the importance of creating content for the purpose of blessing others.

The amazing thing about giving is that especially when we do it with pure motives, we end up receiving far more than we ever could if our sole focus was on making money.

So this week, think about how the content you create can bless and encourage others. As you shift your focus from your own success to the success of others, I know you’ll be glad you did.

Your turn:

How have you used various aspects of content creation to bless others? Leave me a comment to let me know how you handle this aspect of your content creation.

002 Monday’s Motivational Minute Audio: Try Something New

Transcript:

Hello and welcome to the Professional Content Creation Monday’s Motivational Minute. I’m your host, Rebecca Livermore, bringing you a short word of encouragement every Monday to get your week off to a bright start.

Last week I focused on fear being a big hindrance when it comes to content creation success. Today I’d like to expand on that a bit as I focus on the importance of pushing aside the fear to create new types of content.

Let’s face it; when we first start to create new types of content, it probably won’t be very good. This is only my second time of creating an audio post, and I’ll admit right up front that it’s not as polished as I’d like it to be. Since it’s not perfect, I could just delete it off my computer and act like I never even tried, but instead, I’m putting it out there, knowing that the more I do it, the better I’ll get.

My encouragement for you today is to try something new this week. Silence that inner critic that tells you whatever it is isn’t good enough to post, and post it anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

Related Posts

Content Creation Tip: Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

Content Creation: It’s Okay to Look Stupid Sometimes (Really!)

I’d love to hear your thoughts! When was the last time you tried a new type of content creation? Are there things you’d like to try, but have been afraid?

001 Monday’s Motivational Minute Audio: Overcoming Content Creation Fears

Transcript:

Hello and welcome to the Professional Content Creation Monday’s Motivational Minute. I’m your host, Rebecca Livermore, bringing you a short word of encouragement every Monday to get your week off to a bright start.

Today I want to talk to you about something that slows a lot of content creators down, and that is fear. Fear can keep you from creating the content you really want to create. For example, fear of criticism, fear of failure, and fear of not being able to produce enough content or content that is good enough consistently.

Something that I’ve learned over the years is that the only way to truly fail is to do nothing. In fact, if we do nothing, we are almost guaranteed to fail or at the very least, we’re guaranteed not to succeed. Because of this, I want to encourage you today to push aside whatever content creation fears you may have and get out there and create. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Feed Your Blogging Soul

How to feed your blogging soul Have you ever thought about what it means to feed your blogging soul? That’s what’s on my mind tonight, because I’m. . . tired. And based on my own schedule that I’ve set for my blog, I have a blog post due first thing in the morning, which means that ideally I’ll get it written, uploaded, and scheduled before I go to bed tonight.

The last thing I want to do right now is write. In fact, I’d rather just take a nap. Now obviously, doing what we need to do when we don’t feel like doing it is simply part of being a grown up, and having the discipline it takes to be successful. That’s why I’m writing now, when it’s the last thing I really want to do.

That’s all well and good, but me thinks it’s better for me to do what I can to combat such feelings of exhaustion and lethargy so that I have the energy and passion to write my  blog posts with more enthusiasm.

While sheer discipline is what’s getting me through this one, my past experience has shown me that regularly feeding my blogging soul leads to more creativity and enthusiasm for my blog. With that in mind, I’m thinking back on what has led to my most creative times.

Here are a few effective ways to feed your blogging soul:

  • Get plenty of sleep. I’m not talking about sleeping so much that you waste away your life, but rather consistently getting  seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Adequate rest is one of the best ways I’ve found to feed your blogging soul.

 

  • Write daily, even if it’s not for publication. In fact, spending some time writing something every day that you don’t intend to publish is a great way to feed your blogging soul. There is something very freeing about freewriting or keeping a journal on a daily basis, because there is no judgment or concern about what people may think about the writing, and therefore it removes many of the barriers to creativity that pop up when we write with publication in mind.

 

  • Do something creative, that’s unrelated to how you make a living. For example, I know very little about photography, and would likely never make money through photography, so heading out with my camera can feed my blogging soul.  Since I don’t know enough about photography to look at any photos I take critically, I can just enjoy myself when I pick up my camera.

 

  • Enjoy nature. I’m a city girl, and know very little about nature, but just getting out side and taking a walk in a beautiful place can feed my blogging soul. I live a block away from a beautiful park, and every time I go there, I end up feeling inspired and refreshed. Other nearby options for me include botanical gardens, and even garden shops, if weather is not conducive to outdoor activities.

 

  • Exercise and eat properly. I put proper eating and exercise together because for me, those two tend to go together. If I’m watching what I eat, then I tend to be more motivated to exercise. Both things increase my energy level, and increased energy is a great way to feed your blogging soul.

 

  • Feed your spirit. The times in my life when I’m most creative often coincide with the times when I’m most alive spiritually. When I begin to neglect spiritual disciplines, I become more lethargic, and sometimes even a little depressed. At times it’s hard to break out of that slump, but it’s worth making the effort to do so because it positively impacts every area of my life. When I’m right with God, I’m at peace and more creative, so it’s hands down the best way for me to feed my blogging soul.

 

How do your feed your blogging soul?

 

What about you? What types of things do you do to feed your blogging soul? If you’ve been neglecting  your blogging soul, what one thing can you do to help replenish it?

How to Handle the Criticism of Your Blog

Responding properly to the criticism of your blog isn't always easy.

Responding properly to the criticism of your blog isn't always easy.

Anyone who has blogged for any length of time has no doubt been criticized, publicly, privately, or both.

Let’s face it; we all prefer to be praised rather than criticized, but how we respond to criticism goes a long way in our success as bloggers.

Tips for Handling the Criticism of Your Blog

 

1.  Consider whether or not the criticism of your blog post  is even a little valid.

 

People criticize blog posts for many reasons, and some of them are just plain nutty. The person may just not like you for some crazy reason, may be jealous of your success, or may be mentally unstable. Others criticize just because they are so inclined, and may or may not know what they are talking about. Still others may offer good, sound criticism.

Regardless of what category someone falls into, it’s always helpful to brush off your pride and consider if there is at least a small kernel of truth in the criticism. Even the abrasive person may say something that has at least a little value, and if you truly want to grow and improve your blog, it’s best to at least briefly consider if there is anything for you to learn from the criticism.

2. Determine whether or not to respond to the criticism.

 

There are times when it may be important or even essential to respond to the criticism of your blog. For example, if you’ve been accused of plagiarism or some other really inappropriate behavior, it’s important to set the record straight, because silence in such a case may give the impression that you are indeed guilty of the accusation.

Other times the criticism of your blog may best be ignored, particularly if the person criticizing your blog is a regular critic who only seems to be motivated to criticize more, the more you respond.

3. Take your time before responding to the criticism of your blog.

 

Words spoken or written in haste cannot be taken back. Even if you apologize later, harsh words leave a lasting impact. Because of this, it is good to take your time before responding to the criticism of your blog.

Pay attention to the level of emotion you feel when you first read the criticism. If your emotions are strong, chances are that you’ll respond in a way that you’ll later regret.

Even so, it may be therapeutic to quickly write your initial thoughts to the criticism in an uncensored way. Just don’t publish it! To keep yourself from accidentally publishing something that you’ve written in haste, instead of composing it in the body of an email or other place where it could inadvertently be published, instead open up Notepad or a Word document and type your response there.

Alternatively, if you choose to compose your response to the criticism of your blog in an email, remove the person’s email address from the “to” field so that you can’t accidentally send it before you soften it a bit.

Later, once your emotions have subsided, go back and read the criticism of your blog and determine whether or not you need to soften it or just delete it.

4.  Let other people respond to the criticism of your blog.

 

In the same way that every blog has critics, every blog also has fans. There are times when it is more effective for others to respond to the criticism of your blog than if you do it yourself.

It doesn’t hurt at all to have a small group of friends and fellow bloggers who read your blog regularly who can jump in and post a response to a negative comment. Just be sure to return the favor to people who support you in that way by also commenting on their blogs.

Your Turn

 

How do you respond to the criticism of your blog? Are you ever thankful when your blog is criticized?

 

Content Creation Success Through Using What You Have

Content creation can be done with the most simple tools.

When it comes to content creation, I’ve been at times guilty of making excuses. I think making excuses is an unfortunate aspect of human nature.  In fact, I recently came across a comment on a blog post, where the commenter essentially bemoaned the fact that he doesn’t live in the U.S. and therefore doesn’t have as many opportunities as people who do.

First of all, nowadays, due to globalization, I question whether or not that is completely true. While I’ll admit that those of us who live in America have a lot of opportunities, it’s not like life here is void of challenges, and it’s not like there are no opportunities other places.

But here is the key: when it comes to your content creation efforts, are you using what you have?

Common Content Creation Excuses

 

 1.  I’m not a great content writer.

 

Really? Okay, maybe you’re not a great writer. But writing is like anything else, and if you have any writing ability whatsoever, then you need to simply use what you have. The more you use it, the better you’ll get.

And besides, who said that all content has to be written? Are you a great photographer? Speaker? Videographer? Whatever skills you have, if you start using them, you’ll find they will develop and become much stronger.

2.  I don’t have money.

 

Seriously, how much money does it cost to create content? Sure, depending on what you do, it can be expensive, but it can also be dirt cheap. Don’t sit around wishing you had the money for expensive bells and whistles that aren’t guaranteed to make you successful anyway. Money is nice. It’s great. It helps, when you can pay people to do some things for you, invest in programs, equipment, whatever, but it’s not 100% essential at the beginning, when it comes to creating good content.

3.  I don’t have the right equipment or tools to create excellent content.

 

How much equipment do you need to start a blog? If you have a library card, you probably have what you minimally need to start a blog.

I’ll admit, I’m writing this from the comfort of my own home, and it would be a pain in the butt to have to go to the library to create content. But it could be done.

I’ll also admit that I have my eye on some pretty snazzy equipment. But will my content creation efforts come to a grinding halt if I don’t get that equipment? No, not at all; as long as I continue to use what I DO have, I’ll grow and expand and no doubt gradually get more.

4. I don’t have time to create content.

 

I may as well admit it. This is my biggest excuse. And I could rattle off an impressive list of everything I have going on, and why somehow my situation is different, and I just can’t help that I have to do all this other stuff that keeps me from updating my blog regularly. But the bottom line is that I have time. Sure, maybe not as much time as someone else, but I have SOME time to blog. What am I doing – and what are you doing – with the time you do have to create content?

The point is, we all have certain limitations when it comes to everything in life, including content creation. But we have also all been given certain gifts and opportunities. They may not seem like much, but when we use what we have, we ultimately end up with more.

The Parable of the Talents

Just the other day, I read the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-29. For those of you not familiar with it, let me give you the Cliff Notes version.

A wealthy man was going to go on a long journey. He called three of his servants in to talk with him. To one, he gave five bags of gold. To another, he gave two bags of gold. And to the third, he gave one bag of gold. The amount of gold he gave each one was based on their individual abilities.

The man who was given five bags of gold and the one given two bags of gold immediately went to work, and both doubled what they had been given by the time the master returned from his journey. In contrast, the man who was given one bag of gold buried his bag of gold, because he was afraid, and therefore didn’t increase what he was given.

When the master returned, he commended the two who doubled the gold they had been given. In contrast, he was angry with the man who out of fear had buried what he was given. In fact, he was so angry with the man with one bag of gold that he took that bag of gold away from him, and gave it to the man who started off with five bags of gold.

Content Creation Lessons From the Parable of the Talents

1.  We’re all given different amounts of “gold” to create content with.

 

It is no doubt true that some have more going for them when it comes to content creation than others, but we all have at least “one bag of gold” to work with.

2.  Those who immediately get to work creating content are more likely to succeed.

 

I’ll admit that I’m prone to procrastination, but every time I’ve had any level of success, it’s when I’ve hit the ground running, even if I was afraid or didn’t feel quite ready.

3.  Those who use what they have will be given more. . .

 

and those who don’t use what they have, will have whatever they do have taken away from them. Think about that for a minute. Think you don’t have much now? How would you feel if the seemingly little you have is taken away from you and given to someone else who is already succeeding?  I know for sure that I don’t want that to happen to me, and it won’t, as long as I get to work in order to multiple what has already been given to me.

Your turn:

 

How are you using what you DO have in your content creation efforts? Have there been times you’ve procrastinated or made excuses for not creating content based on what you feel you don’t have?