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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category


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.



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



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:

  • Define marketing strategy based on customer needs
  • Understand the customers’ behaviors
  • Engage with customers based on their behaviors

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.

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…)


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.



What 3 Social Media Marketing Tactics Are Worth Your Time?

3 social media tactics

I recently published What Social Media Tactics Are Most Effective? The article lists 59 social media tactics I dug up from top ranking posts on the subject.

It was no picnic chopping the list in half when I decided to create an infographic, 30 Effective Social Media Tactics. 

Shortly after I created the post and infographic, guest blogger Jose Valles landed in my inbox looking for the answer to this one:

If you could only do 3 social media marketing activities what would they be? 

Eek. Tough one, eh?

Following is my response and 25 other responses from the original post on

Barry Feldman

Barry Feldman

Barry Feldman, owner of Feldman Creative, is a marketing consultant, copywriter and creative director. Find more about Barry on Twitter.


1. Write/blog—I’ve been a writer for 25 years, but a blogger for just 4. Not sure what I was thinking, but I know now it’s the most important thing you can do to develop your personal brand.

2. Share—This social thing we do is 100% reciprocal. Recognizing the talents and contributions of your peers is all-powerful for building relationships and opening doors.

3. Read/listen—Perhaps my third choice here seems kind of “no duh,” but it’s monumental. Are you really listening, really tuning into the wants and needs of your audience?

The best social media marketers don’t have to guess how to produce and promote meaningful content. Their audience tells them precisely what they need to know.

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is a renowned speaker and founder of Owner Media Group, a company that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through customized marketing plans. 


Blog. Email. Podcast.

I could care less about the rest.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most successful marketers worldwide. He constantly blogs about marketing on and


If I could only do 3 social media activities, they would be:

1. Communicating with other members – with the community aspect social media wouldn’t be as fun.

2. Posting status updates – by continually feeding new information to my network it will help show my value.

3. Help others – my favorite part about social media is helping out others. Whether it is Facebook or Twitter or any other network, people are turning to social media when they need help.

Jay Oatway

Jay Oatway

Jay Oatway is  a professional speaker and author of the best-selling book “Mastering Story, Community & Influence”. Forbes says he is one of the top 50 social media influencers. 


1. Create Fun/Valuable Content: probably best to do YouTube series, which can also be turned into podcasts and blog posts

2. Share links to cool stuff (including but not limited to the above)

3. Listen to the community: Answer questions, be helpful and provide support via Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn or wherever your community hangs out. (These conversations could then become topics for more long-form content.)

Todd Wheatland

Todd Wheatland

Todd Wheatland is a renowned author, speaker, and blogger. In addition, he’s Global Head of Strategy at King Content


1) Manually cross-pollinate social accounts

This is perhaps the most beneficial thing for me in terms of generating new business opportunities. It’s also one that very few people or organizations seem to bother doing.

Basically, it’s ensuring that when people follow me on Twitter, for example, if they have professional relevance to me then I will reach out and send them a personal note on LinkedIn as well. That way I bring them into my most active professional network, and can access their email address as well.

2) Support community and influencers promote their content

Old-school social still works! If I had to cut back on everything, I’d stop pushing my own content on social and just focus on engaging and helping others make their own content successful.

As organic reach and engagement reduces, and social channels become more and more of a media play, going back to basics and what made social special in the first place is having even more impact. Demonstrating genuine interest and meaningful engagement with others’ content pays outsized dividends.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is CEO of The Marketing Insider Group and Head of Strategy at NewsCred. 

Response: If I could do only three social media activities for the rest of my life they would include:

1) Sharing all the great content from the colleagues and pros that I admire across Twitter and LinkedIn.

2) Finding the right audience for my own content and delivering to them the content experiences that help and earn engagement from them.

3) Understanding whatever platform my kids are using and how that might impact the future of social.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg is a social media marketing specialist, founder of Techipedia and Social Media Customer Experience Manager at Namecheap, Inc. Find more about Tamar on Twitter.


Social media, to me, is all about building relationships. Whether I’m working in a business capacity or just being human, I care about getting to know the people who touch me the deepest. Therefore, if I could do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life:

1) I’d make sure to follow how the people who affect me are living their lives. I’d celebrate their triumphs on Facebook and see how they continue to grow.

2) I find Twitter a superior customer service platform. I’d do what I’ve been doing (as a service provider): bitching and moaning to companies who find a disconnect with their traditional customer service and their social media service. All of the sudden, voila, things are fixed!

3) I can stop at 3 right now, but I know there’s a next best thing. We can’t possibly think that the social media landscape of today is going to be the same social media landscape that permeates the rest of our lives… so I’ll be waiting and seeing what it is and how to react to it.

Sue Anne Dunlevie

Sue Anne Dunlevie

Sue Anne Dunlevie is the founder of Successful Blogging Tips, one of the most prolific blogging sites in the world. 


The only 3 social media activities I would do are the ones I do right now.

1. Use the Social Warfare plugin so that the images I share on social media are the right size for each channel. In other words, I can use any size image for my blog image and then I upload another long and narrow image for Pinterest and a different image that will work for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

By creating 3 images, my readers can share my content on any channel they want and it looks great.

2. Pinterest is driving the most social media traffic to my blog. I just started using Pinterest earlier this year and it quickly became my #1 traffic source for any social media channel. I share pins and scheduling them with Tailwind.

3. Twitter is the 2nd best traffic source to my blog. By participating in conversations with my followers, I get more loyal readers.

Mana Ionescu

Mana Ionescu

Mana Ionescu is the founder, president and digital marketing director at Lightspan Digital, a unique agency that helps companies grow through Internet Marketing. 


My three activities would be:

1. Being able to search and find people I want to connect with (like via Twitter and LinkedIn).

These social networks are a gold mine. They’re the largest people directories.

2. Tweeting with strangers about interesting news topics. The real-time nature of social networks is something I want to be able to tap into for years to come.

3. Playing with memes and gifs. These are powerful ways to send messages which can be digested in a split second.

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial, one of the most successful social media blogs in the world. Find more about Ian and RazorSocial on Twitter.


1. Answer questions – Being helpful around your niche is super valuable to building your audience.

2. Share my blog content – Sales don’t happen on social. You need to entice people to you site.

3. Find influencers and build relationships with them on social channels.

Scott Monty

Scott Monty

Scott Monty is the owner of Scott Monty Strategies, a renowned marketing consulting agency. 


I’d develop original content for my own site, expand my email database, and maintain relationships with thought leaders. I recognize that this probably isn’t the standard “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn” answer you were looking for, so let me explain.

There are two reasons I’d focus on my own site’s content:

1) I control the site and the content; no matter what happens, I’ll always be able to determine what happens to it. The same isn’t true for Medium or Facebook Notes.

2) It allows me to take that content and repurpose it on other sites, whether it’s cutting and pasting the same material or dividing it up into other bits of content that lead people back to the original site. While it may not seem particularly relevant now, email is more important than ever.

Establishing a regular cadence with an audience – an audience that you own, not one that is presented to you only when you pay to access it – helps to build relationships.

And when you consider being able to take your email database and cross it with the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter and others for a more targeted approach, it’s a must-have. Having good rapport with other thought leaders means that:

1) I’ll continue to be informed and educated about developments and trends that may go beyond my own sphere; and

2) I’ll have a network on whom to call if I need any kind of assistance. Staying on top of my game and having colleagues on the same level is critical as I do the work that I do.

Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain is the founder of Gap Year Escape, one of the best traveling blogs worldwide. 


1. I would use buffer to queue up highly engaging content for my Twitter accounts.

I’ve found Buffer to be one of the best for this and as you can’t be on social media all the time, having something manage this for you is a great help.

2. Whatever social media platform you are using I believe it’s important to always analyze your data and repeat the activities which are bringing in the best results.

3. Engagement is a key aspect and I would also be sure to start or join conversations and always respond to comments.

Elise Smith

Elise Smith

Elise Smith is a professional marketer and editor at, the digital hub for bloggers who want to monetize their blogs. Find more about Elise on Twitter.


Firstly, I would always to monitor Facebook groups. Some of the larger groups have great communities where you can not only help others but also learn yourself.

They are also great places to push content to really interested parties.

Secondly, I would stay engaged with all of my followers and make sure I responded to comments and tweets.

Lastly, I would make sure I’ve picked the correct platform for my niche. For example, if I had a fashion website, Instagram and Pinterest would be the platforms that I used. Be where your audience is.

Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz is the founder of Heinz Marketing, one of the best B2B marketing agencies in the world. 


1. Curate and share great content via Twitter

2. Identify and respond to buying signals and trigger events via multiple channels

3. Keep listening and learning from others

Chelsea Hejny

Chelsea Hejny

Chelsea Hejny is the Marketing Director at TrainerRoad — cycling’s most effective training tool. 


This is a tough question to answer because I don’t know what the social media landscape will look like later on. That said, if I had to choose three social media activities to prescribe to for the long haul, these would have to be it:

1. Commenting. There’s no easier or more modern way to quickly resolve issues, contribute to a relevant online conversation, or make a person’s day than commenting on a social media post.

2. Relationship building. This one’s huge. Thomas Friedman said it best. The world is flat and social media is often times the most frictionless way to connect with someone new. We should all be taking advantage of this — now and moving forward.

3. Creating and sharing high-quality video content.

Why? Video is here to stay. With YouTube being the second most popular search engine, great video content is only going to become more in demand. Especially as all those tech-savvy youngsters learning how to do everything via YouTube videos grow up.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge is an adjunct professor at New York University and CEO of Pure Performance Communications


Here are the three social media activities that I would choose:

1. Using technology to “listen” to conversations in social communities. Professionally or personally, listening is the cornerstone of everything you do. When you listen, it helps to build stronger relationships and to truly understand what people like and care about, making it easier to connect with them.

2. “Networking” with colleagues and friends around the globe. The ability to have social community discussions, participate in Twitter chats, and connect to friends and peers via Skype video calls are all great ways to transcend geographical borders and boundaries.

Social media is also the best way to interact with people worldwide, experiencing and learning about different cultures.

3. News and information gathering. Social media allows me to be up-to-date on all the news I need with respect to my professional work with clients, as well as feeding my personal interests. Social media provides real-time news, information and commentary that you just can’t get as quickly from other media sources.

Janet E. Johnson

Janet Johnson

Janet E. Johnson is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and social media strategist. 


1. Engage with other’s content While it is important to post content and curate other content, the power of actually being ‘social’ on social media where it is fun. I think many forget social media is about conversations.

It is about the ‘social’, not the ‘media.’ You can really get to know someone and they can really get to know you through talking with them on any social platform.

2. Live streaming Yes, live streaming has been around for some time now, but with the latest convenience of having it right on your phone, it has become more used and more powerful than ever. It really shows your authenticity, builds community and creates trust.

That’s why there has been such tremendous growth recently with platforms, such as Periscope and Blab.

3. Browse Pinterest is truly the place to find what you are looking for and get ideas, whether it’s recipes, home décor or marketing tips.

It is really a social bookmarking site and a search engine. With the imagery that’s used on Pinterest and their search functions, it can be so addicting for all!

Dave Peck

Dave Peck

Dave Peck is Global Head of Digital, Influence & Social Media at PayPal. Response:

1) The use of analytics. If I can’t measure what we are doing on social, then it not only didn’t happen, it has no value. Analytics gives you a wealth of data, allow you to dig deeper into the campaign and hopefully show ROI.

2) Social Media Monitoring. There is nothing more essential than being able to hear what your customers think about your brand. In addition the ability to know what people are saying about the competition.

3) Engaging with your community. You have measured using analytics and listened using monitoring, now it’s time to engage.

In this day and age brands need to respond to their community. From offering customer support to being part of pop culture moments, brands need to engage.

Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson is a professional blogger, social media strategist and Director of Marketing at RankLab


1) Twitter for PR, outreach, research and authority building.

2) Facebook for advanced targeting, ads, local SEO and video.

3) Reddit for content marketing and ideation.

Dr. Rachna Jain

Dr. Rachna Jain

Rachna Jain is a renowned author, speaker and CRO expert. In addition, she is CEO at Profitable Popularity. 


If I could only do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life, I’d:

1) Focus on growing and engaging my Twitter community – this is a great platform to easily meet people.

2) Focus on growing and engaging my LinkedIn community – this is a great platform to build professional connections.

3) Focus on growing and engaging my Pinterest community – this is a great platform to see what engages people and catches their interest. Together, all three platforms give me a good foundation for using social media for business.

Frank J. Kenny

Frank J. Kenny

Frank Kenny is a digital marketing expert who provides solutions for chambers and chamber professionals. 


If I could only do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life, here is what I would do:

First, I would regularly produce free quality content for my tribe. This creates awareness and establishes credibility, opening the door to a relationship. This content would be posted to my blog and then shared to the social media platforms.

Second, I would build a relationship with as many individuals in my niche as possible. I would do this by engaging with and helping my tribe through my Facebook group and the various social media sites.

Third, I would build my email list by exchanging some of the free content for permission to email my tribe. I would regularly provide more value and deepen the relationship with my list members. Every so often I would make an offer to my tribe for a valuable product or service that they want and need.

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is one of the most successful freelance writers within the business and marketing space. 


If I could only do three things on social media, they would include the following:

First, I would research my competitors using tools like Rival IQ so I could see which networks resonate with my target customers the most.

Next, I would set alerts to new posts about specific topics so I could jump in the conversation using Mention.

Finally, I would engage with my audience as much as possible by answering questions, sharing content, and chatting in general.

Beth Kanter

Beth Kanter

Beth Kanter is a professional blogger that focuses on helping nonprofit organizations get the most out of social media. 


1) Blog – great opportunity for regular reflection which is often missing in our face-paced, tech-filled days

2) Content Curation – keeps you learning and making sense of the world, plus helps your community

3) Listening/Monitoring — the most important skill in the world … both online and offline

Dave Kerpen

Dave Kerpen

Dave Kerpen is the founder & CEO of Likeable Local, a software that helps you automate some of the most tedious processes of social media. 


1) Listen on Twitter

2) Advertise on Facebook

3) Post blogs on LinkedIn

Lisa Barnett

Lisa Barnett

Lisa Barnett is Social Media Services Director at Emoderation, a successful social media management agency. 


For us at Emoderation, the three social media activities that we would do for the rest of our life would be:

* Respond to customer queries as soon as possible in a transparent and authentic way

* Develop new followers who like your brand and want to engage with you

* Keep on top of new developments in the social media industry by constantly measuring and analysing your social media presence

Kristopher Jones

Kristopher Jones

Kristopher Jones is chairman at Internet Marketing Ninjas and founder of KBJ Capital. 


(1) Post pictures to Instagram and cross-publish on Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr

(2) Livestream via Facebook

(3) Share my favorite content via Twitter

Answers from 36 experts are published in the original post. I omitted several here.



9 Unforgettable Tips for Writing Headlines that Work [Video & Infographic]

When you battle for attention in the noise fest that is the Internet, the most important skill you could possibly possess is headline writing. Your headline is going to be the make-or-break element that determines whether or not your content is read.

I want to help make you a better headline writer.

I’ve created a cheat sheet you can use to hone your headline writing. It’s ultra-simple. I spell out 9 tips based on the word HEADLINES. I’ve made it an acronym, a memory device. Each letter is one of the 9 tips… easier to remember, right?



Digital Marketing Basics: Simplified and Comprehensive

Digital marketing basics

Marketing works differently now.

Push is out. Pull is in.

You have to think inbound.

Traditional “outbound” marketing tactics that dominated the pre-Google world are now alarmingly ineffective. We all have the power to filter out advertising and we’re not afraid to use it.

The customer is in control. The communications process begins if and when the customer wants. Without advertising. Without phone calls. Without you.

Instead of pushing out messages via paid media, to reach this customer, you must put the power of content marketing, search, and social media to work. The relationship with your brand begins there.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads
(such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
~ Search Engine Journal

To be an effective marketer, you have to do a complete 180. The strategy is to pull people to your website with magnetic content.

Additional resource: introduction to inbound marketing.

Define objectives by beginning with the end in mind

“Our digital marketing isn’t working.” 

The great thing about digital marketing is how easy it is to measure results. So if you say the program isn’t working, it’s only a valid assessment if you’ve defined what “working” actually means.

Your sales and marketing team must agree on the program’s objective. Objectives differ from company to company, site to site, and program to program. Generally speaking, the mission is to generate traffic, leads and sales.

Are you aiming to expand an email database? Sell off the page? Foster word of mouth?

You’re going to experience failure and success. Digital marketing is forever experimental. You know what you need to conduct a meaningful experiment, right?

You need an outcome.

Additional resource: fast-track approach to setting objectives and planning.



How to Take Advantage of the Web’s Two Most Important Words

Two most important words

Two words: how to. Simple. Effective. Foolproof. Timeless.

“How to” are the two most important words on the web. Experienced writers know it. Now you do too.

Should every headline begin with “how to?”

No. That’d be boring as the Celine Dion catalog.

Should every business blog include how-to articles?

Yes. Some blogs use the technique in practically every post. Again, snoozeville. Some bloggers purposely avoid the “how to” headline. They find it too cliché. Big mistake. Here’s the thing about clichés: people get ‘em.

You can make every post title include “how to” or never type the two words your entire publishing career. Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is your blog posts, web pages, infographics, podcasts, videos, SlideShares, and every friggen helping of content you serve should serve your audience. The sooner you start applying this principle, the sooner you’ll have an audience.



100 Ways Your Company Loses to Better Online Marketers

It's a jungle online

It’s a jungle out there.

Online marketing has become a wild animal. But you don’t have to be a gorilla to dominate. Nor do you have to go ape and do absolutely everything. However, you do indeed need to understand what’s working for the leaders of the pack.

I thought I’d survey the landscape and give you my take on how the most cunning companies are killing it with online marketing tactics. So here you are: 100 ways companies are thriving on the wild, wild web.



Personal Branding Strategy: Make Guest Blogging Pay

Guest blogging

You rarely hear stories of people who get involved in social media and content marketing—and boom—their personal brand takes off. It may be the dream, but it’s seldom the reality.

I wonder… Are you taking guest blogging seriously? I’m going to shed some light on someone who made guest blogging a high priority and benefited from it nicely.

Yes, that someone is me, but I’m not aiming to glorify what I’ve done. I want to show and tell you why it’s worked, and how, so you can work toward getting similar results.

B is for blogging

The story traces to an infographic I conceived, The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding. With the help of my collaborator, Seth Price, who is an amazing study in personal branding, the infographic became a smash hit.

Seth and I wrote posts—featuring the infographic—for several prominent blogs, and enjoyed seeing it go insanely viral. [I just did a search using the name of the infographic and it dominated the first 12 pages of the Google search results.] Months later, Buffer’s Kevan Lee wrote a post for Entrepreneur highlighting the ideas the graphic contains.

Thanks to media coverage such as that, it was shared hundreds of thousands of times and generated mountains of backlinks for us. And then it generated opportunities.

I should add, we nurtured that baby with a SlideShare presentation. Then came interview requests… podcasts and videos. I did a webinar on it. I was invited to present the content at a few conferences.

Same deal for Seth. In fact, the momentum of our “guide” played a part in inspiring Seth to create a spectacular personal website about personal branding. We’re working on another project related to it too, a big one, we hope. (Here’s Seth and I talking about our baby…) (more…)


20 Signs Your Web Content Writer Won’t Cut Through the Crap

Web content writer

I was on vacation in Vancouver with my family last week. We went to the famous public market on Granville Island. There’s a lot to see and do there. The market seems to offer every flavor of everything.

I would have enjoyed it more if my sinuses were not a stuffed-up mess. When I decided to give my throbbing head a break and sit down and listen to a busker play guitar, my family headed back into the market for tea.

When they came to rally me again, they presented me with a tea specially blended to kick colds. The concoction included ginger and cayenne pepper. I took a sip, gagged, and tossed it in the trash. The tea was nastier than my head cold.

It wasn’t the highlight of my trip, but it’s not an experience I’ll soon forget. I’ll remember where I got it and how it made me feel.

Who the hell puts cayenne pepper in tea?

The answer is a tea specialist, a tea specialist who wants to make someone feel better… a tea specialist that wants to make a bold statement… a tea specialist aiming to get a response from her customer.

For all the same reasons, I submit great copywriters mix in cayenne pepper too. They may not use pepper in every paragraph they serve. They may choose to forgo the pepper in favor of different flavor. But trust me on this: they shan’t shy away from peppering their prose with spice.

Everyone’s a web content writer now

The gold rush of 1849 produced the term 49er, meaning a person who had gone to California to mine gold.

I just did a Google search for “web content writer.” In a half-second the search engine returned 115-million results. From my POV, it seems today’s mother lode is content marketing, the treasure trove that connects customers to companies.

Will the legions of new web content writers earn the nickname 15ers?

I’ve written this post to help you understand wordsmiths are cut from different cloths. I hope to tool you with insights to spare you from the headaches symptomatic of hiring the wrong writer. (more…)