Posts Tagged: "content marketing"

Content Is King, But A Plan Is Your Dynasty: Build Your Kingdom With These Royal Tips

Content Is King, But A Plan Is Your Dynasty: Build Your Kingdom With These Royal Tips

Taming the content monster isn’t necessarily the bonus hour of most people’s day. Writing can be an arduous process that requires effort, patience, and time to get right. If the ‘Content is King’ mantra hasn’t yet been beaten into your head, you better get with the program quick: If you want your site to show up in organic search, you have some work to do.

I’m going to assume you understand the implications of publishing content on your site: it leads to better rankings, higher traffic, more conversions. Backlinks are becoming a thing of the past. Not to say that they are not still important, but the true deciding factor these days is where are those links coming from? If you’re not picking up links from authoritative sites you run the risk of getting whacked by Google. Penguins and Panda bears might be cute in the zoo. Not so when it comes to your website.

I Don’t Know Where To Start!

A lot of people have questions about producing “good” content. While there is no exact science, there is a simple formula to producing content on the regular. Consistency is what pays off. Add to the fact that the more you write, the better you become. You need a content calendar, and you need a plan.

What a content calendar allows you to do is structure the content you publish to target your buyer personas. A content calendar also helps you match content with current promotions and marketing initiatives. Still another benefit of creating a content calendar for your website is it keeps you on track and gives you a deadline. It beats wasting time thinking about what you should be writing about.

Plan your content calendar with these resources:

17 Essential Content Templates and Checklists

How to Create an Editorial Calendar Using Trello (and Why You Need One)

How to Build a Content Calendar (Plus a Free Template for 2014)

Master The Outline

How you structure your articles is important. If your plan of attack is laid out before you, all it requires is filling in the blanks. All great posts start with a title. It has to be catchy. People should want to click. Your title should arouse the curiosity of your readers.

As Rita Mailheau says:

Get your headline right and people will start to read. Get your lede right, and they’ll keep reading. It isn’t hard. You just need to know how to do it.

I would recommend reading her article. It explains perfectly how to structure your content. Just for an overview, here is a quick cheat sheet:

1. Start with a title. Your title should set the tone of your article and be your compass for the content that follows.

2. The Lede. This is the first paragraph that should tell the reader the main purpose of your article. Balance being informative and intriguing to keep the reader engaged and wanting to read more.

3. Outline your main points. Brevity is important in writing, and so is breaking up your content with headings. Blobs of text are hard to read and will end up causing you to lose visitors. Headings help readers quickly scan your content, which is the new way people read online (if you haven’t heard).

4. Fill-in-the-blanks. Once you have your title, lede, and your headings mapped out, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. You set yourself up for success when you map out your articles this way. You’ll notice that you write faster and your articles are far more cohesive.

5. Write a long post. While you should never write strictly for word count, there is evidence that longer posts perform better across the board in terms of rankings, social shares and authority.

Don’t Skimp On Promotion

Just because you hit publish doesn’t mean your job is finished. Your job is just beginning. Promotion is the second half and you should definitely put in some time to get the word out. If you need an exhaustive guide to getting this part done, this post covers it.

Here are some ways you can promote your new post:

  • Share on social media (duh!)
  • Mention people in your post
  • Send trackbacks to sites you linked to
  • Comment on other people’s blogs

Don’t Ignore SEO, But Don’t Go Overboard

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in search results. This means that Google is getting better at understanding search queries that mimic human speech and intent. Heavy keyword usage is no longer advisable. You can include your keywords, but never forget that you are writing for people, not search engines.

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5 New Year Resolutions To Make For Your Website (Or Forum)

5 New Year Resolutions To Make For Your Website (Or Forum)

A new year will soon be upon us any day now. I suppose it’s time to start rolling out the resolutions and setting goals for the new year. In fact, I don’t suppose. I would say it’s an absolute must.

Whether you have a website for your business, a blog, or own a forum it takes work to see success. Building an online business or community is no easy feat — it requires a great deal of work. The problem so many website owners face is not having direction. You need to set goals.

Are you ready to make some resolutions for the New Year? Here are a few we can all agree on:

My New Year’s resolution is to…

Increase my traffic by 100%

This is a resolution that most webmasters will gladly nod their heads to. The thing is, you need to be specific with your goals. Don’t simply say, “I want more traffic”. Put a number on it.

The same goes for email subscribers, Facebook fans or Twitter followers — pick a number for your goal so you know when you get there. In other words, be specific.

Make content and social media a habit

Social media and content are not slowing down in 2014. In fact, you can almost certainly expect them to be the gold standard for online marketing. If you are online, you need to be investing in content. There are a number of reason why. Here are a few:

  • Thought leadership
  • Organic search traffic
  • Owned content to share on social media

Good content helps your website perform in the search engines, and it builds trust with your visitors. It may take some upfront work or investment, but down the road when that organic (free) traffic is sending you visitors and customers I don’t think you’ll have any regrets.

Build relationships with influencers

This is important and if you are not doing this right now you are doing your marketing a disservice. It’s easy to get sucked into thinking all you need is links and high rankings, but at the end of the day it’s about relationships more than anything. Connecting with influencers can elevate your brand.

And, over time, you build a rolodex of influencers you can reach out to. A little more time, you become the influencer.

Work on my website like it’s my job

If you have a job, at any given moment you know exactly what you should be doing. In fact, if you’re not doing that right now there is a good chance you’ll hear about it. Despite what some may claim, working online is just as much of a job as… well, a job.

No matter where you’re at right now with your website or forum, clearly defining what tasks you should be doing day-to-day is a must. Having a routine and system for marketing your site will nearly always deliver results.

Fortunately, there are some tools of the trade that will help you keep track of what you should be doing.

Google calendar is a free app that is bundled within Google Drive. It integrates with Google+, and is synced with your email. You can also create individual calendars, to keep everything in its right place.

Trello is a project management app that allows you to work with a team, or simply keep track of your daily ‘to-dos’. Trello uses a ‘list’ style interface, which gives it a natural workflow. Plus, it’s free.

Wunderlist is another ‘to-do’ list style app. What’s handy about this one in particular is that you can create individual lists for specific projects. For example, you can create individual lists for each website you manage, or separate your marketing activities into their own categories to keep your workflow neat.

Here are some examples:

  • Daily Task Checklist
  • Weekly Goals
  • Monthly Planning

I’m sure you get the point. Simply use the Inbox list to add reminders for your next-day tasks. For the things you do everyday, add those to the Daily Task Checklist.

Keep track of my progress

You won’t know when you made progress if you don’t track your progress. The first thing you need to do when building any website is install Google Analytics. Numbers are important. They do not lie. Keeping track of how your site is performing will help you make the right decisions. You’ll be able to see what works for you, what needs work, and what might not be working at all.

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Where Will Your Website Be In 2014?

Where Will Your Website Be In 2014?

This year is on its way out. Let’s not kid ourselves here: time flies. Whether you are moving forward or not, time waits for no one. If you dream of having a snazzy website, lots of traffic, and online success — you have work to do.

It’s time to start thinking about your goals for next year. We’ve made the work a bit easier on you and came up with the top 6 ways you can make your website (and online presence) better.

Ready? Let’s do it.

Go mobile

Numbers don’t lie: mobile phones account for 17.4% of global web traffic and the people in the know only expect this number to grow. “You need to be where your customers are” cannot get any truer. People are using their smart phones and mobile devices to look for products and services. If you’re online make sure your website is responsive, or have a mobile version of your website setup.

Focus on content

To say content is important would be the understatement of the century. Good content is what attracts visitors, and you need visitors in order to turn them to customers. Make sure you are devoting time to producing content that is useful and informative. You should also publish regularly. Just remember to not drone on about your products with every post. It’s important to craft content that will be useful to your readers.

Original content will help you:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Showcase your expertise
  • Grow trust with your readers
  • Differentiate from the competition

Get active on social media

This is a big one. Search and social go hand in hand. If you’re after rankings and traffic, you’re much better off approaching online marketing from both angles. What’s important to remember is don’t just use social media to share your links. Be sure to actively engage with influencers and others in your industry. This will give you more visibility and help to establish you as one of the key people in your niche.

Create concrete goals

You won’t get anywhere without goals. You have to know where you are going in order to get there. Write down a list of goals and areas you want to improve, then start scratching those tasks off the list. Want to use something besides paper or Word? Wunderlist is a handy little app that will allow you to easily create lists, set due dates, and reminders and more.

Measure what you’re doing

Once you have goals in place it’s important to measure your efforts so you know if they are paying off. Use tools like Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Facebook Insights to gather data about your brand. Try to analyze what’s working and what’s not. If you can pinpoint some of the activities you’ve been doing that are working well, look for ways you can do them better — or just do more of it. The important thing here is to find areas that may be not producing and eliminate them.

Start making deadlines

You cannot have goals without deadlines. When you don’t set an end date to a task, all it becomes is a “want”. Set your goals and pick a reasonable amount of time to accomplish them. If you have a date in mind you’ll have an easier time getting things done. You want to take small steps towards your goals everyday.

What are your plans for 2014?

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Your Content Should Attract The Right People

Your Content Should Attract The Right People

Sales funnels and online marketing are essential tools in today’s business world and they need to work in unison. Social media, blogging, and business e-mail newsletters are all tools utilized in online marketing. But just like any tool, it is important to understand how to best utilize them in order to get the best results.

Many entrepreneurs think that just by having a Facebook page and a blog they will get more sales, but what most do not realize is it takes a bit more work than that. Every online marketing tool at your disposal must be used properly in order to draw people closer to the next step in your sales funnel.

There might be a variety of products or services that your business offers, but these are usually high selling services that are harder to sell. In order to attract more customers to your high profit products you need to use a sales funnel and utilize online marketing techniques to guide them through the funnel. Make sure that all of your online presences, Facebook, newsletters, blogs posts, are all working in unison to attract customers to your high cost items.

Utilize your company Facebook & blog to form a relationship with your customers

In order to do this your goal should be to form relationships with your clients, in order to identify a need. Start by offering something free, like helpful information through a blog. Make sure your blog posts relate to the products and services you offer. You are not giving them a sales pitch just yet, you’re just reeling them in, perhaps creating a need. Make sure that your blog points them toward a Facebook page, where they can like your page and get updates about events you do or new things you over.

Another thing to consider is forum marketing. Find a popular forum that pertains to your products and services and register an account. Make sure that you are posting regularly, try at least two times a week, rather than dropping in and only posting to promote your product. Posting regularly and replying to threads will boost your rapport with the community, and validate your posts when you try to promote something of your own. This form of marketing does take time, so it is best that you have fun with it because it is worth it in the long run.

For example, let’s say your business is selling handcrafted jewelry. Along with creating jewelry, you might write a blog about metal working or arts and crafts. People who have an interest in this subject will appreciate the helpful information you can provide on your trade. You might put your blog on your business cards and invite people you meet to check it out if they have an interest in such things. From your blog, you can pull them towards your Facebook page and continue to reel them in to your products.

Think of Facebook as a way to expand your relationship with your customers. Learn what their needs are and point them toward your low cost products. This can be done a number of ways. One method is simply posting updates and waiting for feedback. Talk with your customers on your page to find out how your company can best serve their needs.

If we use the hand crafted jewelry as an example again, let’s say that your local park is having an arts and crafts day where your company plans on putting a booth up. The first thing you want to do is tell your followers about the event, encourage them to come out. Have low cost items available for them and invite them to sign up to your emailing list when they arrive. Again, it is all about building a relationship.

In addition to this, by integrating social media into your company website properly, you will ultimately improve the quality of your website and increase the number of hits. Make sure that your website has buttons that link back to your social media sites and visa versa. For this reason it is an excellent idea to create a page for every popular social media site out there. And use all your social media outlets to promote your website and company events. This alone will boost your online marketing effectiveness tremendously.

Internet newsletters are best used for target leads

Depending on your business you may want different types of newsletters depending on the range of services you provide and the needs of your customers. Your newsletters should introduce your customers to your services in a way that creates or fulfils a need. By this time they are already interested, they signed up to your newsletter based on their own interests, so the rest should be easy.

Based on this example you can see how you can use each online marketing tool to link to the next. By utilizing these tools correctly you can build a relationship with your customers, match the need with the product or service, and slowly reel them in.

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