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Archive for the ‘Content marketing’ Category


Digital Marketing Failure: Why the Glass is Half Empty

digital marketing failure

Creating content is a huge part of your digital marketing, yet most of it’s a waste of time.

Ouch. Why?

Did you catch the “Content, Shares and Links” study from Buzzsumo and Moz? It examined 1-million blog posts. Two alarming findings include:

  • Over 50% of posts earned 2 or less Facebook interactions
  • Over 75% achieved zero external links

The report’s author, Steve Rayson, writes, “The majority of content published on the Internet is simply ignored when it comes to shares and links. The data suggests most content is simply not worthy of sharing or linking, and also that people are very poor at amplifying content. It may sound harsh but it seems most people are wasting their time either producing poor content or failing to amplify it.”

Once more for emphasis: most people are wasting their time.

That is harsh—and definitely worth trouble-shooting. It seems safe to say the factors behind unsuccessful digital marketing campaigns can be vast. In this post, I’m going to explore the reasons that stand out to me, especially on the content marketing frontier where so much time is invested. (more…)


Finding Topics for Your Blog and Content [Content Matters Episode 17]

Content Matters episode-17

In the course of the episode, Andy explains, “Whatever people want to know—that’s what you need to publish.” It might not be immediately obvious to you what your audience wants to know, but after listening to this episode you’ll have a complete bag of tricks for finding the ideal content for your blog and website.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why you shouldn’t avoid popular topics
  • The secret to finding the topics that are being shared on social media
  • Simple keyword research tools that overflow with ideas
  • The sites that make it easy to uncover the questions people ask about your field of expertise
  • How to mine your analytics and onsite search for topic ideas
  • The many ways to “listen” and learn from your prospects and peers
  • How to extract content ideas from books, courses, and Wikipedia
  • The answer file that lives in your sent mail
  • How events and original research serve you some of the best possible content ideas

What can you learn from these studs?
Listen this episode for a fun tip from the world of traditional publishing.

In the cheese & mousetrap segment:

  • Barry explains how to make great content from roundup posts somebody else created.
  • Andy suggests you can plug every possible “hole in your bucket” by adding a live chat feature to your website.

On the next episode of Content Matters:
What to put on your homepage

Content Matters on iTunes

Listen to any or all of the Content Matters podcast episodes andshare your thoughts about the program on iTunes. 


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



The Ingredients of Great Written Content [Content Matters Episode 16]

Great Written Content Content Matters

If your written content isn’t great, it accomplishes very little, or nothing.

In this episode, Andy and Barry talk you through the 14 ingredients you need to pour into your content, so it hits the mark and accomplishes your marketing objectives.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Each of the 14 important ingredients in the nutritional label below
  • Ways to apply the ingredient in your written content
  • How to make your written content original—even when it’s about a common topic



20 Ideas for Your Website Homepage Content [Infographic]

ideas for website homepage

Planning, creating, and publishing website homepage content is no walk in the park. In fact, it presents the most difficult—and important—decisions a digital marketer must make.

Everyone seems to want to know the exact formula for getting it right. But no such formula exists. So the process of getting homepage content published often paralyzes marketers big and small, experienced and novice.

I have the “What should I put on my homepage?” conversation with clients nearly every day. The answer could be:

(a) Content that best positions your company as the solution to a specific problem

(b) Content prospective buyers are looking for

(c) Both of the above

Clearly, (c) is the optimum answer. If your website’s homepage is doing its job effectively it guides visitors one step deeper into your website. Better yet, it guides the right visitors to the next page, or the content they seek.

See, your homepage, your content, and your marketing in general, shouldn’t aim to engage everyone. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, it should deflect the wrong people. Your conversion depends on engaging the right people, right?

This website homepage content checklist should help

Your homepage content options are many. After consulting with a ton of clients about their homepage strategies, I decided to create a checklist of 20 ideas—a planning tool. (more…)


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



Why Content Marketers Must Understand Domain Authority

Copy of Episode 13

The content marketing planets aligned when your hosts, Andy and Barry, selected theme music for our program written and recorded by our friend (and content astronaut) Robert Rose.

The groove of the tune was the reason it worked for us, but if you listen closely, you hear a vocal loop Robert uses with a female singing, “It’s gonna’ take a little time.”

She might have been rapping about content marketing. Or search. Or building “domain authority” (DA).

We’re riffing on these things in this episode with a focus on the increasingly important measure of domain authority. Andy’s published answers to common questions about DA on the Orbit Media blog and now his extensive knowledge on the topic is ready to be fed directly to your ear drums.


Tune in for 22 minutes to learn:

  • What is domain authority (DA)?
  • How’s it compare to Google’s PageRank metric?
  • What’s page authority (PA)?
  • Which one matters more for keyword research, DA or PA?
  • How measure the value of a link from another website to inform your planning process
  • Must-do techniques to increase your domain authority (and the magnetic power of your website)



Content Marketing Costs: How to Budget for Your Six Most Important Needs

content marketing costs

If content marketing were to have a soundtrack its theme song would have to be Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot.”

The percentage of companies NOT doing some form of content marketing is about the same as the percentage of people who’ve NEVER heard the tune. Don’t hold me to that. It’s not based on research. This is:


Uh-oh. Content marketing may be hot and getting hotter, but the data suggests it’s not making rain for most companies. You would think they’d dial it down or bail. Nope.


Don’t just increase your budget, increase your return

I can’t offer universal advice for managing content marketing costs. Your company has unique challenges.

I simply want to help you budget smart. And to do so, I believe you need to begin by getting a handle on the main disciplines where you’ll put your content marketing money.

My objective with this article is to give you deeper insights into the costs of content marketing, so in the end, you need not use the word “costs” to describe them. You’ll call them smart investments.

First let’s look at the big picture… (more…)


Want to Know How to Make Your Written Content Great?

Great written content
You would think everyone and every company would want to know how to create great written content. You’d be wrong. They don’t.

I believe most companies simply want to create written content—blogs, for the most part—and don’t care whether or not it’s great. And I submit, as evidence:

  • The Internet at large: It’s polluted with dreadful blogs.
  • The blog graveyard: A shocking percentage of bloggers pull the plug.
  • The proliferation of content farms: Low-cost writer brokerages continue to thrive because marketers want more pages, posts, URLs, emails… Essentially, they want more web real estate.
  • The atrophy of writing fees: Now that everyone and their cousin-in-law provide content writing services, it’s become Walmart.
  • The bell curve: As interest, and activity, in content marketing continues climbing, a normal distribution curve suggests only a small percentage will achieve excellence.

Content marketing google trendsGoogle Trends data indicates interest in content marketing has risen steadily since 2011.
I suspect a line charting content quality would look different.

It not great, then why?

I wonder if the masses that produce low or mediocre quality content understand content marketing, and in particular, the purpose of written content. It’s hard to deny many companies simply feel it’s an obligation of doing business, perhaps like getting listed in the yellow pages once was.

“The competition has a blog, so we should too.” That sort of thing.

I may fail to deliver new revelations here, but I’m going to reiterate what you can accomplish with content marketing. Understand, first and foremost, the purpose is to help get and keep customers. (more…)


10 Top Digital Marketing Podcasts to Get Your Content Fix Fast

Top Digital Marketing Podcast

Have you been listening to the Content Matters podcast? 

Andy Crestodina and I team-up every other week to bring you a 20-minute program packed full of content marketing tips and tactics. Each episode focuses on a specific topic and ends with our soon-to-be-famous “mousetrap and cheese” segment.

If you like digital marketing podcasts, there’s no shortage of programs to choose from. Andy and I are excited ours has quickly garnered a loyal and growing audience along with some very flattering recognition from our peers in digital media.

This past week, Erin Robbins O’Brien of GinzaMetrics, posted a list of digital marketing podcast favorites on the Search Engine Journal blog. Erin writes, “If you’re not already a fan of podcasts, give a few of these a listen and they may get you hooked.” Her list includes podcasts of varying lengths and formats. Here, I’ll share with you the short-length programs that aim to give your content fix fast, including Content Matters.

Content Matters

This and every title is a link to the program’s listing on iTunes.

Best Digital Marketing Podcasts

Andy Crestodina, Barry Feldman

Andy and Barry started this podcast in November 2015 to help educate content marketers and provide specific tactics to improve content marketing efforts. Content Matters airs twice a month and focuses on things that “matter” for marketers.

“Your website is the mousetrap and your content is the cheese,” according to Andy and Barry. Each podcast addresses one bite-sized tactic with specific ideas and tips on how to execute the tactic immediately. (more…)