Marketing links worth a click #18

In this golden age of content, it can be a challenge finding the golden nuggets in the haystacks. Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

Most brand storytelling evolves around the written word. Check out these 50 Attributes Of A Great Copywriter put out there by @B2Community

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs from @copyblogger focuses on  how to create brilliantly magnetic and engaging blog posts.

In technology, this piece from @TheNextWeb on what to expect from Google in 2014  made for comprehensive and compelling reading. Will we all be logging into Google+ via our Google Glass in 2014?

And what of 3D printing and prototyping? Consumer create at home may be closer than we think as Asda plans to make a range of printers available in 2014. So reports @3Dprintindustry on Twitter.

Read them, tweet them, share them. And follow me on Twitter @renepower to cite me if you use them and also so you don’t have to wait till next Sunday!

What to do when blogging becomes a chore

I’ve been away for a while. This is a personal blog. It’s time to get personal.

I took my eye off the ball. What I have been doing has been important, but I’ve not been following my own advice.

I’ve been busy doing a whole load of interesting things. Set goals for the financial year ahead. Delivered some great work for existing clients. Won some new clients. Did some talks. Chaired some conferences. Read alot of stuff. Tweeted alot of stuff. Networked. Alot. All of it would have found a great home here on the blog and would have probably informed, entertained and even amused one or two readers.

But while I often thought about the blog, I couldn’t find the inspiration to get started. Blogging had become a chore.

Lost momentum

Which is strange because I’ve got a rich body of my own content to draw on – weirdly I wrote a book before writing a gazillion blog posts and then seamlessly turning them into a book. I’m opinionated. I follow a bunch of interesting people online and read extensively.

In losing momentum, I’ve probably lost subscribers. At its height, this blog was hitting 1,000 visits a day (before syndication and social really went mainstream in 2011). I know that a lost audience is a very hard one to gain back. If this has arrived in your inbox today and you read it before deleting it, thanks for your time.

‘Moment of clarity’

I’ve had a moment of clarity, one aided by what I’ve seen online in recent months. And I’ve learnt much through not blogging – perhaps more than I did when I was actively pushing out posts 3-4 times a week (or more).

So, if, like me, you want to develop a blog based content asset, rich in relevant SEO and customer material, but have either run out of gas (like I have) or don’t know where to start, this one’s for you.

What to do when blogging becomes a chore

I’m not going to make any sweeping statements or grand pronouncements about what is to come. But here’s the way I’m going about it from now on.

1. Face it head on. Accept it slipped and put a plan in place to get it going again. Tell someone about it. I’m telling you.

2. Be realistic about how to get going. I’m not going to get back on the horse and write 5x a week. I have commitments, plus as you’ll read later, 5x a week may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

3. Focus on a specific topic. I’m not going to try and write about everything under the sun. Being a specialist is better. Pick a subject and stick to it, selecting relevant keywords to build it around. Calendars and mindmaps help organise a blogger’s thoughts. I’ve also used RSS feeds to stay up to date with news and comment in specialist areas, but now need to shop around. Always used Paper.li to condense my Twitter feed once a day and tools like Evernote to help capture ideas when on the go. Just need to make more of them.

4. Write frequently. Not every day like Seth Godin or Michael Hyatt. They’re professionals, yes, but I get their daily emails and don’t always read them! And also not every day or twice or three times a day like big brand US content marketing sages suggest. I’m going to write frequently enough for it to have a positive impact on readers and frequently enough to rebuild the platform.

5. Write evergreen pieces. Ever wonder why, when you run a long tail search, you generally get an article that might be a year or more old? It’s because it is relevant and because people (probably in your Google+ or social circles) liked it. Evergreen pieces avoid the trivial, topical day-to-day and focus on meatier issues that are more likely to stand the test of time. They are also a good deal longer and need time spending on them so they are of greater value to readers. So, I’m going to write less, but write better.

6. Deliver rich content. We know what makes for a richer experience online and we know search engine bots and people like photos, video, audio, animation, infographics, slides and more. Mix it up a bit, remembering you don’t have to be Sam Mendes directing the next Bond movie.

7. Embrace social. I’m not done when I’ve written and posted. This amazing content needs to be seen. I’m going to get back to putting it out through social networks and syndicating it to popular article sites like Yahoo! Contributor Network, trade websites, trade associations and more. I’ll see a surge in traffic from unlikely places – so will need to update my enrolment and subscription call to actions here on the blog!

8. Above all, I’m going to make it personal. I was as guilty as most other bloggers when I set out, opting to fill a hub crammed with the express intention of creating mass. The reality is most of the content on the web, uploaded and shared on a daily basis is sh*t. It serves no relevant purpose to most readers but gives the publisher the critical mass they crave whilst providing the masses content to curate –  helping to build connector profiles. A vicious circle of sh*t content consequently becomes the norm.

Not for me. I want to make this blog matter. Make it my home on the web. Make it a force for better marketing and an outlet for ideas, thoughts, initiatives and more.

Maybe it’s a grand pronouncement afterall. Thanks for waiting for me.

Q: Have you had a ‘chequered’ blogging history that you now want to kickstart? What ideas do you have to overcome blogger’s block? Please share below.

 

Image www.laundrycompany.co.uk

Business blogging – my latest for Smart Insights

My latest effort for the influential UK digital marketing blog, Smart Insights is my third post in a series on business blogging. This piece concentrates on ways to ‘seed’ your blog posts once they have been written and published – so they are seen by as many people as possible.

 

The highlights include:-

1. Promoting it on your own website.

2. Using blog indexes.

3. Using email.

4. Using Twitter.

5. Using Linkedin.

6. Using Facebook.

7. Using bookmarks.

8. Using other content formats.

Visit the blog post to read more and also click on my name to read my previous business marketing posts on topics including social media for business, email marketing, using video in B2B and two posts on Facebook, one on how to use Facebook for business and one with lots of relevant Facebook business case studies showing best practice.

8 key issues to review to ensure your business blog supports company goals

My latest effort for the influential UK digital marketing blog, Smart Insights went live today. In it, I offer eight ways to ensure your blog does all it can to achieve company goals, including

1. Staying on topic.

2. The importance of keywords.

3. Being helpful.

4. Ensuring ‘stickiness’.

5. Following a formula.

6. Talking in multiple voices.

7.  The importance of good design.

8. Lead nurturing.

It’s the second in a series on business blogging. Click on experts and my name to read my previous B2B marketing related posts on social media for businessemail marketing, using video in B2B and two posts on Facebook, one on how to use Facebook for business and one with lots of relevant Facebook business case studies showing best practice.

Hope you find it useful.

Business blogging – my post for Smart Insights

My latest effort for the influential UK digital marketing blog, Smart Insights went live today. In it, I offer a dozen ways to kickstart your blog writing – which should help ensure you never run out of things to blog about ever again.

The highlights include:-

1. Solve an industry problem.

2. Use data to make your point.

3. Comment on breaking news.

4. Be provocative.

5. Provide a resource list.

6. Focus on keywords.

7.  Use existing material.

8. Report the news.

9. Write a round up.

10. Write up an event.

11. Write up a case study

12. Offer guest posts.

For more detail please visit the blog post and also click on my name to read my previous B2B marketing related posts on social media for business, email marketing, using video in B2B and two posts on Facebook, one on how to use Facebook for business and one with lots of relevant Facebook business case studies showing best practice.

7 reasons you need to blog your business

Blogging is a perennial hot topic when it comes to digital marketing. And for good reason. In this era of social currency, where profiles and content positively effect your search engine visibility and your ability to go viral, blogs continue to tick a number of boxes.

And not just as a cathartic, method of outpouring your inner most thoughts and feelings. No, businesses are realising that there are tangible benefits to blogging in their business.

Millions of businesses are blogging, millions are not. There are lots of strategies which are covered in other blog posts (see below), but if you are still not convinced or need to convince a sceptical manager, use this blog post to inspire you.

1. Relevant content referenced regularly makes your site more attractive to customers. It is becoming cliched but people really are looking for useful and usable information that develops them, challenges them and benefits their role. Becoming a trusted source of information that people can come to rely on puts you in a powerful position to potentially encourage them to transact.

2. It gets better. Relevant content referenced regularly makes your site more attractive to the search engines. At a base level, we know search engine spiders index sites based on how they are structured, the relevance of the content on the site and the frequency of new material. So if you add new posts on your blog regularly, they’ll stop by and re-index you more often, placing you higher up the rankings.

3. It gives your company personality. Whether it is the CEO, the MD, the Marketing Director, Sue in accounts or all of them, a blog offers a critical insight into the people that make the company tick. Sure your products and services are world beaters, but people do business with people. Don’t miss the opportunity to set a tone and deliver insight by drawing on contributions from your key people. Taking a group collaboration approach also means the workload is shared.

4. It creates experts. Over time, certain contributors will build a name for themselves on certain topics. They may even roll out their blogging to industry recognised sites, write their own and access the speaking circuit. Use them and their rising profile for the good of the business.

5. Blog content offers a perfect foundation for an entire marketing plan of activity. I’ve written extensively on the topic of content marketing. Having something to say, content that people can use, and content that can be distributed widely and re-purposed for use in all marketing channels makes it a natural prerequisite  of any modern marketing plan.

6. It stimulates community. The focused and sharing nature of a blog site provides a great opportunity to bring like minded people together and can position your blog as a hub, a place for the important discussions. Community leads to greater engagement.

7. It draws prospects out and makes them more receptive to working with you. As a business, there needs to be some tangible end point to the ideas, counsel and best practice you are providing through your blog. What the blog does over time is paint the picture of a knowledgable, forward thinking, approachable business that your readers may want to do business with in the future.

Follow up blog activity with opt in emails, webinars and white papers to really hammer home your credentials, to deepen relationships and to help ease the move to business transaction.

There are many other reasons for businesses to blog? What drives you to blog your business?

Want more?

Five ways to get more readers to your blog,

Why, what and how to blog,

Image: Labour List

Share

Links worth a click #7

Some digital titbits to start your week with.

GOOGLEWant to know more about the almighty battle going on between Google and Facebook right now and need an explanation of the key battlefields? Check out this must read piece on Google’s strategy to dominate on six fronts including search, mobile, browsing, local, social and technology.

B2B SOCIAL MEDIA: Interesting piece on locating and engaging with your connections online 5 Ways to Find Your B2B Company’s Online Fans

FOCUS ON BLOGGING: Three posts dedicated to the channel of blogging. First an interesting piece on 21 common blogging mistakes and how to fix them. Next some great advice on using a blog as a viral online publishing hub, and finally a useful piece on the biggest benefits of a company blog.

Image: Ark Wildlife

Share

Links worth a click #6

Links worth a click from the last week or so. Mostly picked to inform and educate but some may also serve the purpose of entertaining and engaging target audiences.

SEO & CONTENT7 New Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings . The key learnings naturally lie in creating relevant, useful content, lots of incoming links, seeding and sharing.

SOCIAL: Competition for attention online is hotting up as we learned this week that Google to launch own Facebook style social network. Apparently it will be less intrusive and more user friendly but will people really switch from existing platforms? Time will tell.

ONLINE PRTwitter launches Twitter for Newsrooms a new resource for journalists, and presumably PRs too.

BLOGGING: Here is a cool infographic detailing the different blogging platforms 

WEB VIDEO / ANIMATION: Interesting piece on the rise of animation on the web, with some good examples. Arguably more creative and not as expensive as video – an option for clients?

TWO RANDOM LINKS:

As Twitter hits 200m tweets a day meet the people who scored Twitter’s shortest usernames by signing up first.

The First World Problem (a rap by a slightly annoying American kid, but funny and puts a few things into perspective).

Share

Links worth a click #5

There have been some really interesting reads online.

Here is my pick from the last week, we 24 June 2011.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Mashable offered up an interesting ‘Behind the Scenes’ on 8 Innovative Social Media Campaigns. My personal favourite is The Voice because it is a new take on reality contest TV and was perfect for social media.

B2B: I particularly liked the advice on keeping your mind on ‘next action’ as a driver on what and how to present in Social Media B2B’s post on How to Create Great B2B Presentations

FACEBOOK: Australia’s finest, Jeff Bullas has pulled together an overview of 5 creative Facebook pages. I was initially surprised in scrolling through to find games, movies, cars and lingerie, but hey it is Facebook!

SEO COPY: The ever useful Marketing Profs site published a handy little guide on writing with SEO in mind. Their Five Tips for Writing Content That Keeps Pace With B2B Searches included titbits such as staying aware and staying relevant.

BLOGGING: If you need to get your CEO on board with your social media thinking, here is a useful post designed to get them involved in the blog side of things.

Now, a three way tie for content of the week:

EBOOKS: First off Hubspot’s How to Write and Launch an Ebook That Generates Leads. Staggeringly useful.

INFOGRAPHICS: Secondly, a must try: Infographics are all the rage right now if you have a dataset you want to present in an innovative way. Here are 5 tools to help turn data into infographics.

WEBSITES: Finally, from Econsultancy, and just to make most of you feel your age, just look at how some of the UK’s top e-commerce sites have changed in the past five years (or in some cases not changed).

Hope you see something you like. More next week.

Share

Links worth a click #4

Here’s my pick of the best click worthy content from the last week.

First from Hubspot, a piece positioned as a startup’s social media starter list but actually useful to companies at various sizes and points on their development trajectory.

Next  if you’re moving your PR online and targeting influential bloggers and writers online, heed the warnings in this piece offering 6 Ways to Guarantee Your PR Pitch to B2B Bloggers Will Be Deleted.

Interesting stats released by com.score and reported on by Mashable this week suggested that social networking accounts for 1 of every 6 minutes spent online. I’m just surprised that 1/ people still use MySpace and 2/ people think it is even fair comparing it with Facebook.

Lots of companies are entering the social media space. Most are cautious, some write guidelines and implement policies to steer safely through. It’s ultimately becomes a case of how brave or conservative, and how empowered you want your staff to be. Here is an interesting Econsultancy read looking at whether all your staff need be engaging in social media?

Did you twang the Les Paul guitar strings on Google’s recent doodle? If you did you contributed to $268m in lost productivity, claims Search Engine Journal.

A random, and finally and just for sheer ‘awesome-ness’ here is a behind the scenes featurette from the new Transformers 3 movie, focusing on the birdman footage shot above Chicago.

Q: What have you been reading? Share your links in the comments.

Share