Blog: The ultimate way to help.

blog - helping with content

Frank’s dream was finally coming true.

He had worked for years to get to this place in his life. Looking up at the brand new sign above the entrance, Frank read the words to himself, “Treatment Heaven”. It was truly a dream come true. Frank was standing in front of his own addiction treatment center.

It was just five short years ago. Frank stumbled through the door of a 12-step meeting. He didn’t want to be there. The court gave him a paper to sign as part of his probation. All he wanted was the signature and he was going to leave. The chairperson of the meeting held the paper in her hand and examined it.

“Sorry, I don’t sign these until the end of the meeting. I need to see you sitting in your chair for the full hour.” Frank reluctantly took his paper back from the chairperson and walked to the back of the room. He found an empty seat and sat down. The room filled with people quickly and the meeting began.

This was the beginning of years of joyful recovery for Frank. That first meeting had an impact on him that he would never forget. He took every suggestion to heart and kept coming back. During these early years, Frank decided that he wanted to give something back and help as many people as he could. He wanted to open an addiction treatment center and put all of his time into helping addicts to get clean.

There was a problem after opening.

Frank had a lot of expenses to deal with. Fortunately, he had savings and he had a few dedicated investors. Through word of mouth, he was able to get a few patients coming in to the treatment program. Some money was coming in, but he still had a lot of empty beds.

Frank was making a difference in the lives of his patients. He had doctors, nurses, therapists and others working at the center. Frank made certain that his patients got only the best in addiction care. He personally followed the progress of his patients.

Unfortunately, Frank could not escape from the fact that an addiction treatment center is a business. A business has to make money to survive. To make money, a business needs enough customers. How could Frank fill those empty beds?

Frank turned to social media with hope for improved results.

He had heard that social media was the future of advertising. There were a lot of articles and advertisements talking about the power of marketing an addiction treatment center through social media.

He worked hard at it day and night. Frank was on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. He put his heart into it. Engaging with like-minded people in the addiction treatment world, Frank had many interesting discussions and debates. It opened his mind to the huge world of addiction treatment on social media. Frank was able to help many people with their problems and answer many questions during late nights, sitting in front of the computer.

One thing that bothered Frank was that he felt he was repeating himself too often. He would pour his heart into writing answers in comment threads that would sometimes be well over 100 words long. Then, later on, the same question would come up. Frank would search desperately for that answer he gave before, buried deep in a comment thread. Then, he would answer the question all over again. Sometimes, the research and careful writing would take hours of Frank’s valuable time.

What about a blog?

One night, Jack, a member of Frank’s circle of social media friends, asked Frank about his blog. Frank replied, “I don’t have a blog”. How in the world would Frank have time to maintain a blog? He already felt that his work in reaching out on social media was overwhelming. Also, Frank had no idea how to get a blog started.

Frank replied to Jack that he was just not going to have time to keep up with a blog. He was already thinking about cutting back on his social media work. It was not getting the results he had hoped for. He decided to have a meeting with his investors and talk to them about doing some traditional advertising. Maybe they could put up some billboards and bench signs around town. There were several reputable journals that ran ads for treatment centers.

The next day, the investors met at the treatment center. The group sat around the table and threw out various ideas for marketing. Frank mentioned Jack’s comment about a blog. “How in the world would that help, having a blog?”

Paul, one of the investors, sitting at the table looked up from his clipboard. “Frank. A blog is not a bad idea. I follow your social media posts. They are excellent and get a lot of attention. The problem is that you write hundreds of words in a post or even a comment. You are giving away your best work. You could answer people’s questions in the form of a blog post. When the topic comes up on social media, instead of giving a full answer, just direct people to your blog. That way, you maintain ownership of your writing work and you don’t have to repeat your efforts over and over again.”

Yes, a blog!

Frank thought it over. It made sense to him. The blog could be the home of his content. It also gave him an idea of how to get started in writing. Staring at a blank page was intimidating. If he used that blank page to write answers to the questions he found on social media, there would be no end to the ideas he could write about. The words would just flow endlessly from one post to the next.

The meeting ended on a positive note. Frank thanked Paul for helping him to see the value in starting a blog. Paul, who had some experience in the world of search engine optimization and content marketing, explained to Frank that the blog could also be used as a platform to reach new clients through search engines.

Quality blogging that provides people with useful information will get the attention of the major search engines. This is how a website with a blog can build it’s authority online. Search engines favor websites with blogs that provide real value to many people.

After about a year of regular blogging, Frank began to see the fruits of his labor. It did take a commitment, but it was worth it. The phone calls started coming in. People were noticing his excellent content. In the beginning, it wasn’t easy. Yet, with practice, Frank’s writing quality improved.

Frank never gave up on social media.

He didn’t do it just to market his business. And, he enjoyed engaging in interesting conversations. He like to help people to find the help they need. Often, the information people were looking for was already in Frank’s blog. After a year of writing posts several days a week, his blog was filled with useful information. He found that more and more, he was answering questions with a link to the blog.

The phone calls kept coming in. One day, Frank noted that all of the treatment center beds were filled. On the way to work one day, Frank looked up and noted that one of his local competitors had put up a billboard sign. He smiled. That was an expensive way to advertise. Frank knew because he had considered using billboards once.

Frank was grateful that he was able to keep his beds filled and help as many people as possible. In addition to the patients who came through his treatment center, he was able to help many more people all over the country, and even some around the world. The information he was able to provide helped people to get help in their own local area. Frank was happy. There was no better feeling than to know that he was serving so many people in helping them to overcome addiction.

Agency: Ownership and Freedom

Agency

The freedom to be happy.

Agency means that you have freedom to choose your actions and create your own destiny. This is the key to happiness. Happiness is not sitting in traffic at 9 AM, Monday morning, wondering if the torture of going back to work each week will ever end. And, it is not worrying if some gatekeeper in your life can take everything from you at any moment on a whim.

Reduce the gatekeepers.

The problem of people and organizations having power of your life in various gatekeeper positions is a difficult one. It may be impossible to fully eliminate all gatekeepers. Therefore, the best we can do is to reduce the number of gatekeepers that we allow into our lives. This is an ongoing effort.

Ownership is freedom.

Agency is possible through ownership. What does this mean? Think about where you put the majority of your efforts throughout the day, every day. Are you working on something that you own? Or, are you putting your precious time and hard work into an enterprise that belongs to someone else? I recommend that you always work towards being in a position of ownership. This should be a major theme in your life.

Why is ownership important?

It comes back to the issue of gatekeepers. If you are employed at a job, you have one or more gatekeepers in the form of employers. These people control many aspects of your life. When you wake up, when you get to return to your home, what you are allowed to do throughout the day are determined by your employer. If you rent your home or place of business, you have a gatekeeper in the form of a landlord. If you own your own company, but you pay an advertising company to get you customers, there is a gatekeeper that controls the success of your business. When you stop paying the marketer, your source of new business dries up instantly.

What if ownership is not possible?

You may be in a situation where you are in debt or you are in a contract with an employer that prevents you from starting a new company. The possibility of gaining freedom in this area may seem impossible. It is not impossible. Do not think about it in terms of quitting your job tomorrow. What you can do is to set a goal of leaving your job and starting a business. Then, make ownership the theme of your life. Any routine in your life that does not contribute towards your goal should be eliminated. Do not waste time. Make a little progress every day. It may be a year, five years, or ten years. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to make progress.

How is it possible to own your marketing?

If you own a company, you should own your marketing efforts. Do not depend on paid marketers to send you new business. You can pay for assistance in setting up your marketing mechanism, but make sure that your money and effort are directed towards your ultimate ownership of the system. You can start this process before you even start your new company. This can involve building authority in the online world in your field of business. You can create a website, write blog posts, articles, books. You can create videos. Podcasts, audio recordings and more are all possible. Answer questions, provide assistance. There may be a large effort in the beginning and it will mostly be unpaid work. It doesn’t matter. You are building your authority in your field. This is something of real and lasting value. It will be worth it in the long run.

Agency is happiness.

Some may disagree with this conclusion that happiness comes from agency. I do agree that happiness also comes from providing selfless service to others. Yet, freedom in your life is just as important. In fact, freedom in all of your affairs can make it more possible to provide service to others.

I believe that you should put your creative efforts, time and money towards building entities of business, such as online reputation and authority and intellectual property contributing to a lasting marketing system. This will ensure the longevity and value of your business which will support your freedom and happiness for many years to come.

The Power Of Being First In SEO

first in SEO

The ultimate goal in any SEO campaign is to reach first place.

If it is not at least possible to be first in SEO in your niche, you may want to re-evaluate your campaign. While climbing up through the ranks is important, you must have your sights on the top position. Working with an SEO specialist can help you to achieve this ranking.

What does it mean to be first in SEO?

The most important of all is to appear on the first page of search results. In the old days, you would type in a search and then read through the whole page of results. If you did not see the result you were looking for, you would then click on the link for the next page of results. You might even look through many pages of results.

Things have changed with how people search.

The way we search on Google and other search engines has changed. We now expect to find what we are looking for on the first page. If we do not see what we want right away, we are more likely to change the text of our search than to look at the second page. Our expectations have changed as search engines get better at giving us the results we are looking for. If we don’t see what we want, we assume the problem is with what we typed in the search box.

It is all about phones now.

Another issue that is critical is mobile search. More searches are occurring on phones and mobile devices than on desktop computers. If you are driving, walking or standing and quickly looking for a specific type of business on your phone, you will see that you tend to look at the first result. If there is a phone number that can you can click on and dial, you will not even click through to the website. In fact, many successful SEO marketed business owners report that customers find their business on Google but did not even go to the website.

Being first in SEO matters.

So, while being on the first page is critical, being the very first result in search makes a huge difference. Many of your potential customers will simply call the very first business that comes up at the top of the search results. If you are second, your best hope is that the first business does not answer the phone fast enough or does not provide the service your customer is looking for.

How do I get to be number one?

To be first in SEO, there are many factors to consider. Links from authoritative sites are important as well as having good and relevant content on your website. This Entrepreneur article discusses ways to obtain quality backlinks. Local SEO factors also must be considered. Another factor to consider is to avoid any activities that penalize your ranking, especially with Google. Having points against you can make all the difference. For example, if you run a nearly perfect campaign and you have not optimized your site for mobile, it can bump you down in ranking.

Consider the competition.

It is also important to identify your competitors and see how they rank and how they do it. There are tools that will show you how your competitors are achieving their high search ranking. In your quest to get to first in SEO, you may find it difficult or nearly impossible due to high levels of competition.

How to survive in a competitive market.

When there is just too much competition to make it to the top in search, it is time to get creative. Start thinking about what makes your business unique and what you do differently than your competition. In your marketing campaign, you must call attention to why you are different and why you are better. You may find that it takes time to experiment with various ideas for reaching a niche market where the noise of excess competition is absent. Once you make a connection and discover how you can climb to the top in search engine results, you will find that SEO digital marketing is the ultimate way to attract new customers to your business.