The Point

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Aug

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices

50 best practices

I must admit: I’m a latecomer to business blogging. I joined the party in 2011 and got off to a rocky start. Nearly all bloggers do.

Five years later, I know what works. I’m working the strategies to great effect—on my website, for a long list of top marketing blogs, and for many clients. And regardless of where you are in your business blogging journey, I believe this collection of ideas will help you publish an even more effective business blog.

Here, now, are my top ideas organized as 50 best practices. But first…

I present a quick history of business blogging from the historical point of view of yours truly. And then… Grabba’ cuppa’ something tasty and enjoy The Business Blogging Plan.

a brief history of business blogging

Here you go… 
The Business Blogging Plan:  50 Best Practices

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Aug

Should You Call Yourself an Author [Content Matters Episode 15]

Content Matters - Author

Your domain is defined as your “sphere of knowledge.” You can own your domain and stand out as an authority by authoring a book.

Yes indeed, there’s a lot of hard work involved. However, the rules have changed and a traditional book is not your only option.

In this episode, Andy and Barry explore a variety of options for adding “author” to your bio and resume and the benefits of doing so.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Has it become “easier” to author a book?
  • The benefits of adding “author” to your bio and additional ways to showcase your author status
  • Various ways to fast-track your authorship journey
  • A process and plan for blogging a book
  • Leveraging authorship for speaking and networking opportunities
  • How to use book and speaker pages for SEO

(more…)

May

The Way To Do SEO that Works [Content Matters Episode 11]

Episode 11 Content Matters

If you want to start cranking your ranking, you need to understand SEO that works. 

Just a few years back you might have achieved super SEO powers by droppging keyword bombs on your pages and “acquiring” links here, there and everywhere.

Welcome to 2016 where getting your pages and posts to top Google’s search pages calls for the right balance of basic on-page SEO tactics and a serious commitment to creating a stellar experience for your visitor.

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Feb

Amplify Your Audience by Guest Blogging [Content Matters Podcast 06]

Content Matters Guest blogging

What do you get when you cross a strategic blogger with a popular blog?

You get a larger audience. It’s called guest blogging.

Listen to two serious advocates of guest blogging share the secrets of how it works. Both have landed many meaningful gigs on the biggest and best blogs in marketing. Both now operate blogs guest bloggers covet.

Welcome to the guest blogging edition of Content Matters with Andy Crestodina and Barry Feldman. (more…)

Feb

SEO Blog Post Checklist: 21 Ways to Crank How You Rank

21 Point Blog Post Checklist

 

This “SEO blog post checklist” gives you:

21 tips, organized in three lists, to cover:

  1. 5 ways to optimize a blog post for SEO
  2. 10 tactics to help engage readers and realize greater success with social media
  3. 6 elements that will embellish your blog posts and inspire readers to spend more time on your site

By applying these techniques, you’ll make serious progress toward getting your blog posts discovered via search and social media—and read and shared more.

5 steps to optimize your blog post for search

All credit to Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media, the author of the web content checklist, the source of these tips. Andy begins with five elements you need to optimize to indicate the relevance of your blog post to the search engines. These are the key places to use target phrases and increase the likelihood your blog post or page will rank. (more…)

Jan

125 Quick Tips to Sharpen Your Copywriting Skills

 

125 copywriting skills and tips

I’ve been sharpening my copywriting skills as a pro for nearly 30 years. How’s it done? Much like any art, or any craft, perpetual improvement calls for:

  • Studying how the best do what they do
  • Practicing
  • Developing your own style and work habits

I’m going to share with you many of the lessons I’ve learned about copywriting. I suspect you’ve heard a good deal of them before. I can’t claim these ideas are all mine. Most of the tips come from the best—accomplished copywriters who chose to share the secrets of their success.

I’m just making them mine. That’s what writers do.

coffee (1)You might grab a cup of coffee for this one.

 

 

Copywriting Bonus

> Click Here to Download Your Bonus eBook

 

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Dec

Blog Trends: Writing Time, Post Length & Publishing Frequency [Infographic]

 

BLOG TRENDS

Are bloggers spending more time writing? Do they write longer or shorter posts? Has publishing frequency changed for the typical blogger?

In an effort to identify the business blog trends of 2015, my friends at Orbit Media asked 1074 bloggers 11 questions. They concluded the business of blogging is changing. Some things are consistent from the prior year, but a trend has emerged.

What follows an infographic I helped create for Orbit Media focusing on blog trends such as writing time, post length and publishing frequency.

If you like what you see, keep reading. I’ve included more findings from the study as well as insights from content marketing experts on what’s trending in business blogging and where it’s headed in 2016 and beyond. (more…)

Nov

Content Reach: 25 Tactics for Effective Content Promotion

25 Tactics for Effective Content Promotion

Content reach… Grr. Ugh. Sh*t.

It’s become a bit of a problem, hasn’t it?

Your recent masterpiece is the most helpful content you’ve ever published. You know it. But no one else does. Why? It’s found no audience—or no audience has found it.

This is the dirge of millions of content marketers around the world (sung to the tune of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Blog Post Band).

What gives?

You absolutely poured yourself into the content planning process. You did deep audience research and your content marketing strategy is locked and loaded. The most talented creative team tackled the assignment. Still, it’s drowning in a sea of content noise.

Content marketers, especially those joining the content party in the 2000-and-teens years, are learning how hard it is to find an audience.

Content reach calls for a content promotion plan

Most marketers post content on their blog then dispatch a few updates via their social media networks. If this strategy isn’t working for you (it works for very few), you need to do more.

Of course, you’ll have a unique set of objectives and how they map to your marketing process will also be unique. So, like everything in digital media, you’ll experiment with different tactics, measure, and refine.

To begin with, it’ll be helpful to understand the nuances of paid, earned and owned media and consider investing time, energy, and possibly, money, into all three.

We’ll take a look at each and dig into a heap of tactics that might serve your content promotion plan.

(more…)

Nov

The 4 Indispensable Pillars of Effective Digital Marketing [Free eBook Too]

Pillars of effective digital marketing

We’re going to talk about post website depression (PWD).

If you’re a sufferer, I urge you not to be embarrassed. You’re hardly alone.

Generally, PWD is preceded with wild mood swings. For months you’re knee-deep in the grind. Meetings and conference calls. Site maps and wireframes. Copy and code. Layouts and links. Flurries of emails. Portals. Staging sites. Browser testing. Blood, sweat and title tags.

Then finally…

After an exhausting Friday of tedious troubleshooting you’ve blasted past every last imperfection (you think). The flip gets switched over the weekend and you’re live. The new site looks tight. It loads in a flash. Isn’t the web wonderful?

High fives are flying all around the office Monday morning. The boss even sprung for donuts. But in the coming days, the buzz wanes. A week or two later, the source of your depression becomes clear: a million perfectly composed pixels can amount to zero effect on the business.

4 Pillars - eBook

 

HEADS UP…

This is a 4,000-word post. If you’d rather “Pocket” it or download it to read at another time, click here or the image on the left to get a free eBook version.

 

It’s time to call a content marketer

That’s me. And this is a call I’m a part of a lot.

I’m happy to have this call because I can answer most of the questions and steer the ship forward from here. But I must admit, this call tends to include two waffles I could live without.

Waffle 1: Uncertainty

I told you the impetus behind this consultation: PWD. The company’s learned a new website in and of itself is no rainmaker. Now, at least to some extent, the marketer/owner/person I’m talking to realizes her or his company needs more than a shinier home on the web; they need a more significant digital footprint.

They need to publish content—onsite and off (but first, on) so they get discovered more. Known more. Liked more. Trusted more. This is how digital marketing works.

But then, ugh, the question, the inevitable question, dare I say, the “you’ve got to be kidding me” question…

“Barry, in our business we’re not so sure potential new clients go online to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (read, research, make decisions, buy, etc.).

Here’s what I think at that moment: Are you serious? Where do you think they go? Where do they get their books? Where do they do research for their personal needs? Where did you find me? And WHY are we talking?

Here’s what I say at that moment: Yes, they do. (And the client knows it.)

And one more thing: In digital marketing it’s dangerous to forge a strategy based on what you think or your opinion. You need to know how your prospects and customers behave.

Waffle 2: Commitment

Somehow we get past the ridiculousness. It’s understood: content must be produced. We proceed to the double-headed time and money monster. This part of the conversation could go a number of ways and at this point it’s a bit premature to do a content marketing plan, but to do my part I say what needs to be said:

Yes, it’s going to take time and money. And if you’re not committed to it long term, you’ll be wasting both.

So what’s it to take to make digital marketing work?

The most successful businesses are becoming customer-centric marketing machines. They’re able to:

Research indicates buyers are commonly two-thirds (or more) of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor. Marketing’s role has become enormously different.

  • Marketing is sales. Marketing—not sales—guides buyers through the early stages of the buying process.
  • Touch points multiply. Marketers need to engage customers across an expanding array of channels.
  • Timeliness is crucial. Relevant marketing messages and content must be delivered fast and at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Good news: your company can shift into digital gear to become more in touch with your customers’ needs, more responsive in delivering the content they seek when it matters most, and more effective and efficient.

Though there are countless strategies that may come into play there are four pillars of effective digital marketing your company needs to master:

1. Content marketing
2. Search engine optimization
3. Social media marketing
4. Marketing analytics

None of the above is optional. Think of them as four legs of a stool or table that forms the foundation of your digital marketing. Try to get by without one and your foundation falls down.

Digital marketing CTA banner

I’m now going to dive into each of the four to help you begin to get a basic understanding of the pillars of effective digital marketing. (more…)

Nov

Does a Marketing Content Hub Make Sense for Your Brand?

Marketing content hub

Feeling like toast?

Content marketing burns you out.

You see it every day. Thousands of companies join the content marketing parade while thousands more bail. Why? They don’t have the resources to stay the course.

Like most, they understood if they consistently published the valuable content readers actually want to read, watch, listen to and look at, the content marketing dream would be realized. And like most, after awhile they’re toast.

You don’t want to suffer the same fate.

Consider creating a marketing content hub and populating it regularly not only with blog posts or homegrown content, but with curated, user generated, co-created and various types of media your prospects find relevant and useful.

I recently wrote Content Hubs Are Here: The Secret to a Long and Prosperous Life in Publishing, an eBook for ScoopIt. Yes, you should download it. The eBook reveals important details for creating a killer marketing content hub. I’ll give you the quick 411 here.

What’s a marketing content hub?

If you were to search the phrase “content hub” and begin scouring the results for its definition, you may get confused fast. The term gets thrown around quite a bit and is interpreted in various ways. I’ve preceded the phrase with the word “marketing,” as some companies now do, to further clarify.

The definition for “marketing content hub” we’re going to use (and the proven approach I’m going to tell you about) is:

A marketing content hub is a destination where website visitors can find branded, curated, social media, user generated, or any type of content related to a topic.

You might think… Isn’t that a website? Or isn’t that a blog? It could be. However, a marketing content hub is generally smaller than a website and bigger than a blog. The best ones—and I’ll show you examples—are microsites or branded resource centers published to help visitors find the information they seek in the form they prefer.

(more…)