Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways To Inspire Creativity In Your Business

Owning a business can be creatively draining. Either you are creating all the time, and you lose creativity, OR your business removes your creativity because you don't get to create enough in your business. Either one of those situations can be damaging to your business. Here are some ways to inspire creativity in your business so you can get back to sharing your incredible talents with the world.

 Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways To Inspire Creativity In Your Business | Do you want to get inspired so you can create excellent content for your business? This blog post will teach you some quick tips on how to get inspired by your business once again! #Creativity #CreativeEntrepeneur #EntrepreneurTips

Related Reading: Use These 16 Content Ideas To Get High-Quality Traffic To Your Site In 2018 (And Beyond)

1. Switch Up Your Creative Space

It's easy to spend all your time creating in your office because that seems like an obvious place to create content for your business. What if you changed it up a bit?

  • Go to a local coffee shop

  • Set up shop outside your home or at a park

  • Visit the local library

  • Have a working lunch at a local restaurant

  • Check out a local co-working space

Lately, I have been going outside around sundown to work for about an hour. I can feel the sun on my face, and the wind rustles around me. Just getting out for a little bit each day is helping me calm down and create some great content or decompress for a little bit.

2. Read New Books & Articles

Another great way to inspire some creativity is to read a remarkable book or an article. If you don't have time to read a book, you could always purchase an audiobook from a website like Audible.

Read books related to your industry, memoirs, self-help books, anything that might inspire you to think and live a little bit differently.

Don't go for the basic books, go for the ones that challenge you and that have great ratings online.

Try to read at least 1-2 books a month.

Then for extra reading, find a couple of blogs in your industry that you adore. Subscribe to them using a tool like Feedly to keep all your blogs and websites in order.

Once you compile that list of blogs, you can continue to read them for inspiration.

3. Listen To Inspiring Talks

If reading books isn't enough, find some inspiring talks that you can listen to.

You can check out these talks by going to actual events, or you can even just look up TedTalks online or listen to some inspiring podcasts.

Whatever your method of listening to speakers is, get out there and find some speakers that you resonate with.

Find people who will help you see the world differently.

If you can attend events or conferences, those are always preferred, because those multi-day events can speak a ton of creative inspiration into your life. It's something about how they plan the events and activities so that you always leave those events feeling like a million bucks.

4. Try To Create Every Single Day

Creativity is often like a muscle.

You can't expect to inspire creativity in your business if you are inconsistent or shady with it.

Create something daily.

Whether you write a 3,000-word article, sketch on your canvas as the beginning of a painting, or practice piano for an hour.

Creating something, no matter how small, will help you stretch your creative muscle.

Try to do this even when you aren't creatively inspired. If we all waited until we were "inspired," creative things might not ever happen.

Push through those feelings you have of not wanting to create. See what happens when you make yourself put pen to paper daily. You just might surprise yourself.

5. Clear Your Mind

Last, but not least, you should make a habit of clearing your mind as much as you can.

Often we have all these extra things clogging up our brain power that make it hard for us to focus.

You should take some time when your brain feels extremely clogged to do some brain dumps.

When you are brain dumping you should do the following:

  • Get out a pen/pencil and a few sheets of paper/notebook

  • Write down the contents that are rubbing your brain the wrong way or taking up space

  • Continue to write until you just can't think of anything anymore

  • Take some time to read through and categorize that list (the categories can change depending on what was clogging up your brain at the time)

  • Tackle those things when you can or let yourself know that you can't fix certain things, so you get them off your mind

There is no particular time when you should brain dump. Try to do it when you feel the need to do so. Some people brain dump once a week or once every couple weeks.

Go Inspire Creativity In Your Business

Hopefully, with these five tips, you are ready to inspire creativity in your business. Creativity is vital so you can connect with your audience, create stellar products, and move to the next level in your business.

I would love to know: what tips do you have for inspiring creativity in your business and everyday life?

Quick Tip Tuesday: The Three Effective Elements Of A Pinterest Post

Pinterest can be an excellent source of traffic for your small business website. Many small businesses have this preconceived notion that Pinterest is for mothers pinning recipes. Over my time using the platform, I know that Pinterest is for EVERYONE! Today I am going to share three effective elements of a Pinterest post so you can efficiently use the platform when you do post.

 Quick Tip Tuesday: The 3 Effective Elements Of A Pinterest Post | Are you ready to take your Pinterest posts to the next level? Click through for today's post all about Pinterest and how you can use dimension, text, and keywords to take your Pinterest images to the next level. #Pinterest #PinterestMarketing

1. Your Pinterest Post Needs To Meet Certain Dimensions

First and foremost, your Pinterest post needs to meet specific dimensions. You are trying to attract people to your pin, and you cannot do that if your image is tiny compared to other photos.

Your Pinterest images need to be at least 735 px by 1102 px. You can accomplish this by using the Pinterest graphic template in Canva.

Now, you can go much further than 1102 px long. Your Pinterest post can be as long as you want BUT it will eventually get cut off by a read more button, so you need to be careful. Also, you don't want your post to be too long because your readers may get tired of looking at it. I would personally suggest no longer than 735 px by 1500 px.

 Pinterest Post Idea: Make Sure Your Dimensions Match

Let's take a look at something I saw in my feed. In the corner, there is a small image boasting "7 Quick Ways To Improve Your Writing Today." There are so many images on the feed that I probably would never have noticed this post if I wasn't looking for small pictures during this sweep of my Pinterest feed.

You don't want squares or horizontal rectangle images as your Pinterest images. Instead, you want to make sure that you have a vertical rectangle for all of your Pinterest images, even if all you are doing is sharing a quote.

2. Your Pinterest Post Must Have Text On The Image

People on Pinterest love to pin images with no text, but they like to click pictures with text.

If you want your Pinterest post to bring you real traffic to your site versus just saves of your post, you need to use text on your images.

There are so many, pretty pictures on Pinterest. If your primary strategy includes posting beautiful pictures, you will gain saves and a following, but you won't win many clicks to your website (which may be your entire reason for joining Pinterest in the first place.)

 Pinterest Post Idea: Put Text On Your Images

Let's take the image above; it promises "10 Ways To Make Your Cakes..." and honestly, I am not sure, because I didn't even click over to see what the post was about. Compare that to some of the other images on this page. The "3 Simple Tips To Get Your Blog Noticed" also has a title that gets cut off, but I know what the pin is about because they put that information on the pin.

Your blogs can still have prominent images (my pins do!), but you also need to add some text because that will make it easier for potential readers to know what they are getting into.

If you like sharing images of your products or whatever your site offers, make sure that you also have another pin style that has text on the images.

3. Your Pinterest Post Should Include Keywords

Pinterest is a search engine. People go to Pinterest to search for things, and they are served content on their Pinterest feeds based on what they have engaged with in the past and who they follow.

Your Pinterest post needs keywords in the description so that people can find your post.

You can do this simply by adding hashtags to your Pinterest account. In the past, hashtags on Pinterest didn't do much, but Pinterest has changed rapidly since then. Make sure you are adding some hashtagged keywords to each of your posts.

Here is an example of what that might look like:

 Pinterest Post Idea: Use Keywords

For my post Use These 16 Content Ideas To Get High-Quality Traffic To Your Site In 2018 (And Beyond), I added the hashtags #ContentMarketing, #Blogging, and #BloggingIdeas. As you can see, these words are now highlighted blue. These words link to other content related to content marketing, blogging, and blogging ideas. Now, when people search for those hashtags, my post has the chance to show up. When people interact with these topics, Pinterest may serve my post to them because they have shown interest in these topics. A pretty sweet deal, right?

Conclusion

With these three tips, you can create an effective Pinterest post every time. When you invest time and energy in Pinterest, you can get a lot of return on investment. I hope that these tips helped you understand Pinterest a little better. Pinterest is the best search engine in my opinion because once you get the hang of it and keep up with it, it can continue to bring a healthy amount of traffic to your site.

Quick Tip Tuesday: How To Be Consistent With Content Marketing In Your Business

So you want to be consistent with content marketing, huh? Today's Quick Tip Tuesday post is all about helping you set up the systems in your company's content marketing practices, so you can stay consistent and keep getting a budget for content marketing.

*This post contains affiliate links.

 Quick Tip Tuesday: How To Be Consistent With Content Marketing In Your Business | Do you struggle with consistency in your content production? Today's blog post is all about how to stay consistent with your content marketing strategy through creating templates, hiring freelancers, promoting your content, and more.

1. Start With A Fantastic Foundation

If you want to remain consistent with content marketing, you need to start with a fantastic foundation. Before you launch your business blog, have a month of blog posts ready to go. This is an excellent practice because it helps you focus on the initial promotion and audience building that you need to succeed in content marketing. You should be creating content during this time, but this will help you make sure you aren't flying by the seat of your pants during your first month.

2. Create Templates For Your Content Marketing Efforts

You don't have to create things over and over in business to stay consistent with content marketing. Templates can help you severely when it comes to creating future content. Here are a few templates you can produce for blog posts:

  • Blog Post Outline Template: Maybe you will be doing a few main types of content (we talked about a bunch of content ideas last week). Go through those content pieces and create outlines that you and your team can follow as you outline each article idea.

  • Content Upgrade Templates: Content upgrades are a great way to add new email list subscribers. Maybe you want all of your e-books, email courses, etc. to look the same. If so, create a template for those pieces of content.

  • Blog Post Image Templates: Your Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc. promotion images should be plug and play. You shouldn't have to recreate pictures over and over. Create image templates that you can go into for every blog post and update without overhauling the entire look of each post.

  • Blog Promotion Strategy Template: As we will talk about in a minute, your promotion strategy is critical. Create a template for blog post promotion that anyone can follow whether you do it, or you hire someone else to do it.

3. Accept Guest Posts & User-Generated Content

You and your team don't have to write every piece of content on your blog. If you have built a pretty engaged following, you can begin asking for guest posts and utilizing user-generated content. This is a great way to fill up your content calendar with roundups of customers and guest posts from influencers in your niche.

Make sure that anything you publish lives up to the content that you would typically publish on your own. Many guest posters want to get as many posts out as possible so they can get backlinks, but this does not always equate to valuable blog content!

4. Hire A Freelancer To Take Over Content Production

Having a freelancer or remote contractor can help you stay consistent with content marketing. You may be paying a freelancer to create content for you, but if you promote content the right way, you can make a lot of money and grow readership from each freelancer written post.

So, how does a guest poster differ from a freelancer? Well, for starters, you pay freelancers. Freelancers are often more loyal, and you don't always have to give them a byline on your website (unless you want to do so.) Guest posters have a motive to post on your site; they want to get a backlink to their website! Freelancers have the motive of getting paid and helping you produce content.

Ultimately freelancers are great because they value content for your site over creating content that would appeal to both your audiences like a guest poster would. Most guest posters won't become regular contributors unless your site is bringing them a lot of page views. You pay freelancers, and hopefully, you can create a long-term relationship with them.

A freelancer (or set of freelancers) can take over the entirety of your content production. Then all you have to do once you get your posts is edit, create pictures, schedule, and promote them. If writing is not in your wheelhouse, this ends up being the perfect relationship!

If your company wants to hire other freelancers, they can take over the entire process from writing to content promotion. It's all about who you hire!

I offer freelance writing services, check out my hire me page to learn more about my services, and let's chat if you think we'd work well together.

5. Create A Promotion Strategy

You will be more consistent if you get actual results from your content marketing strategy. People who benefit from content marketing will want to continue content marketing. If your content marketing strategy isn't working, it's hard to convince your boss (or yourself) that you need to put money, effort, and energy into building a content strategy! So, you need to find ways to promote your content.

I suggest looking into Pinterest marketing and building your email list. I adore the courses Pinfinite Growth and List Surge from Melyssa Griffin. Both these courses have helped me grow my presence online, and I know they can help you too! The strategies I learned in Pinfinite Growth helped me build my Pinterest profile for The Happy Arkansan to 9,000+ followers!

Once you have a booming email list and a Pinterest profile that works for you, you will be well on your way to getting results that keep you motivated to write!

6. Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Keep a consistent schedule.

You should not sign your company up to produce three blog posts a week if you cannot currently deliver that much content.

Keep it simple. Start with one fantastic article a week and work your way up as you can produce more content. Make sure that that article knocks it out of the park. You want your company to become a thought leader in your niche, and you can do this by creating excellent articles, even if you can only produce one piece per week.

Some companies in your niche may be able to produce more content, but you shouldn't worry about them. Keep your eyes on your prize and keep working until you can get where you need to be.

Conclusion

If you want to be consistent with content marketing, you need to create a great foundation and build from there. Content marketing will ignite your business if done correctly, so take your time when starting a blog for your brand.

Quick Tip Tuesday: How To Get Writing Samples When You Are A Starting Freelancer

Welcome to another edition of Quick Tip Tuesday. So, you want to become a freelancer writer, huh? And you don't have a ton of experience or writing samples? Before you jump in head first, let's chat about how to get writing samples when you are a starting freelancer!

There are many ways to get writing samples even if you are a total newbie in the space of freelance writing. In a perfect world, you want to make sure that any writing samples you do have are attached to your name, especially if you plan to be a ghostwriter. You can't claim ghostwritten pieces, so you need content outside of those pieces so you can get more ghostwriting opportunities.

Here are some ways to get writing samples so you can start your freelance career off on a great foot.

Related Reading: Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Strategic Ways To Increase Your Twitter Reach

 Quick Tip Tuesday: How To Get Writing Samples When You Are A Starting Freelancer | If you are a starting freelancer, read this post! I am sharing four ways to get your writing samples in order when you are just starting out.

1. Write For Your Own Blog

One of the ways I get writing samples is through my blog. I have been blogging on the internet since 2011, so I often use my content from The Happy Arkansan when I apply to write for sites that are college and lifestyle related.

I used to create content under a blog named Amanda Cross Blog, but I shut that down this year. When I had the blog, I used that as proof that I had writing samples.

Now that I have started creating content as Amanda Cross Co., I am going to be sharing this content when I am applying to relevant writing jobs.

Create a blog in a similar niche as what you will be writing for as a freelance writer, especially if you are creating the blog to get writing samples. There is no use in having tons of pieces you can't use because they aren't relevant to the jobs you are applying for.

A well-done and advertised blog can also be fantastic social proof that your content works. If you can get hundreds of social shares, a lot of comments, etc. it shows that your work matters to people. This means that your content is excellent and that it could get similar results for your client's blog. Make sure that you showcase those pieces with a lot of social proof when pitching your talents for freelance jobs.

2. Guest Post On A Couple Blogs In Your Niche

Let's chat about the second way to get writing samples: guest posting. Once you have your writer website in order, reach out to a few select bloggers in your niche to see if they would like a guest post from you.

To get writing samples from guest blogging, you need to provide a valuable pitch for their website.

Start with my favorite site BuzzSumo. By default, you will have access to the most shared posts from your potential guest post site in the last year (you can pay to get access to more, but it's a bit pricey.) Check out what is being most shared. See how you can add to the content or create related content. Read through those post to get a feel for how the writer writes. Dig through their archives to see what kind of content they are missing.

This is an example of the BuzzSumo results from my main blog The Happy Arkansan:

 The Happy Arkansan BuzzSumo results for guest post ideas

From the results and the digging you do on the blogger's website, you could then pitch a few post options that would look great in your portfolio as well as on their website. This is a win for everyone!

When pitching your guest blog, make sure you treat them with respect. Don't use the same pitch for multiple bloggers, address them by their name, and respect their time.

3. Utilize LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn Pulse is a great option if you want to get writing samples. Many business professionals utilize the LinkedIn Pulse platform even when they aren't trying to get writing samples.

The issue with LinkedIn Pulse? This isn't the place for practicing your writing skills, y'all. This is a professional website where you could meet real freelance writing client leads. The work that you publish on LinkedIn Pulse should always be your best work. It needs to be proofread and beautifully done.

You may be able to get away with poorly done content on your blog, but you need to be on your P's and Q's when you are sharing content on LinkedIn Pulse.

4. Create Mock Content Pieces

Last, but not least, to get writing samples you want to create mock content pieces. You don't want your entire portfolio to be made up of these simulated content pieces, but they can work in a pinch to get more freelance writing samples if you don't have any at all and you don't have a place to put up content online.

Create a few mock pieces related to the jobs you want to apply for. Create about 2-3 pieces that you can attach when you are pitching companies or applying for jobs on sites like Upwork.

The purpose of samples is to show the work that you can do. Obviously, in a perfect world, these pieces would be published, but they don't have to be to get your first couple clients. Then hopefully over time, you will be able to showcase published writing samples.

Conclusion

Writing samples are vital to getting the freelance jobs that you want. Your potential clients want to know that you can write the content that you say you can. I hope that today's article has given you some insight into how you can create these writing samples for your freelance career.

Will you be producing any writing samples this week? How will you write them?