Author Archives: Eugene

Infographic: The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing

Are you looking to use content marketing as a source of leads? Are you focusing on building leads from business owners? If so, you may be missing out on a very significant platform. One that gets five times more visits from business owners than other sites do!

The platform is Slideshare. Check out this infographic:

So what do you think? Can this be useful for your business?

 

54 Ways to Improve Your Content

ways to improve content

ways to improve contentContent is everything online. Without it, we would just have domains with blank screens…and that’s no fun. So how do you improve your content?

We’ve reached a point where improving your content consistently is a necessity due to the overflow (of both good, and bad content) online. So to stand out, you have to be great.

This is what I like to call a “flow of consciousness” post. I just sat down and poured out this list in one sitting (so hopefully it makes sense :) ).

Here are 53 ways to bring your content to the next level:

1. Set goals before writing
2. Identify your target audience and write to them
3. Tell a story
4. Create “resources,” not just blog posts
5. Make your content easy to read
6. Make your content findable
7. Make your content actionable
8. Make your content shareable
9. Ask for feedback
10. Speak plainly
11. Be brief
12. Use images
13. Use video
14. Use infographics
15. Use lists with bullet points
16. Use segments and sub-headings
17. Be positive
18. Or…be negative (call someone out)
19. Find a villain
20. Mention others
21. Interview others
22. Interlink your content
23. Try to evoke emotion
24. Write with black font on a white background (no need to get fancy)
25. Ask questions
26. Answer responses
27. Use metaphors
28. Talk about current events
29. Use meta tags
30. Have an inviting meta description
31. Don’t be afraid to use keywords within the content
32. Write for humans, then edit for search engines
33. Check what has worked, then repeat
34. Post your content to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
35. Post your content to groups on those social networks
36. Post your content to StumbleUpon
37. Develop a content schedule
38. Keep a content inventory
39. Invite guest bloggers
40. Guest post on other blogs
41. Use your real/human voice
42. Be honest
43. Be transparent
44. Be accessible
45. Create expectations
46. Exceed Expectations
47. Create attention-grabbing titles
48. Create regularly and often
49. Update old content
50. Use the inverted pyramid method of writing
51. Create a persona
52. Use strategic formatting (bold the important parts)
53. Be cross-platform friendly (mobile)
54. Have a strategy!

So what do you think? Have any that I missed? Do you do any of these?

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8 Steps to Writing Successful Content that Drives Action

writing successful content

writing successful contentRemember Computers

1. External Findability

Make your content computer friendly. Remember that if you are creating content for the purpose of marketing online, you aren’t just writing it for people. You’re also writing it for computers.

You can make your content computer friendly by using meta data and using a lot of keywords.

This helps ensure that your content can be found by people outside of your site.

2. Internal Findability

If you are consistently publishing new content, you need to make your website easy to navigate so that people can find old content internally.

An absolute necessity for any site is a search function. If you are using WordPress, it will come with an internal search function that works very well.

Again, meta data and keywords are important here (because, again, your search function is operated by a computer).

If you want to draw people to a certain piece of content that is your “action driver”, then you need that piece of content to be extremely accessible. Feature it as a featured post or maybe link to it in the sidebar.

Make it easy for someone to navigate to that piece of content.

Remember People

3. Target Your Content to Your Audience

To do this, it helps to identify who your audience is.

Identifying your ideal customer will help you targeting your content because you can focus on writing for a single person rather than a generic audience.

4. Make it Shareable

If you ideal customers enjoy the content, and know others that will enjoy it too, it would be a shame to not make it shareable.

This will draw in more potential customers to your action driving content.

This also has a big impact on your “external findability” because the more your content is shared, the more likely it is to be found on Google.

5. Make it Easy to Read

Readability is a huge issue. People have short attention spans and won’t stick around to read something that doesn’t look easy to read.

Fonts and colors are important. Black type on a white background is perfectly fine (there’s no need to get fancy).

Column width is also important. As a rule of thumb, narrower is usually better than wider.

Using short sentences and small paragraphs also helps. In fact, using lists rather than sentences and paragraphs is preferred.

Don’t be afraid to break up the post with an image. A good image can also make your content more powerful and effective.

Remember People

6. Identify the Action

What action are you actually trying the reader to take? For example, do you want them to subscribe to your list?

Creating content to drive action is pretty difficult if you don’t even know which action you are trying to drive.

7. Make the Action Easy

The easier you make the action, the more likely it is to happen.

For example, if you want the reader to subscribe to your list, then provide an opt-in list right in that content.

If you have an actual form available rather than a button leading to a form, that’s an extra step you take out of the equation, which also makes action-taking more likely to happen.

If you identify the action as the reader sharing your content on a social network, then provide social sharing buttons so that the reader can share from right within the content instead of going to the social network and posting a link.

8. Ask for the Action

Remember to include a call to action. Actually ask the reader to take the action you want them to take.

This has been scientifically shown to increase the likelihood of achieving the result you want to achieve.

Call to Action

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Free Webinar: One Month to Website Success

Content Strategy

Content Strategy

After revealing some of the metrics I achieved here on Content Strategy Hub, there was some interest expressed in how I did it.

One month after launching this site, I had triple digit [opt-in] subscribers, thousands of visitors and a page rank of 4!

I decided to put together a webinar to outline the steps I took to get here.

And to clarify, just because I am talking about my “launch,” doesn’t meant these tactics wouldn’t work for an existing site (they would probably actually work better).

If you are interested, I’d love for you to check it out.

The webinar is scheduled for tomorrow, November 24th, at 1:30PM Eastern Time.

If that time doesn’t work for you, but you are interested in the information, you should still register. And remember that space may be limited!

     Register to Join the Webinar:

 

 

See you there!

The Only CMS You’ll Ever Need

Content Management System

Content Management SystemA CMS is a content management system. In the instance of content marketing, “CMS” really applies to the system you use to add, delete, edit and organize (in short, manage) your content.

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with a recruiter who reached out to me about a content strategist role for a large web development company.

I have to say the interview didn’t go as planned. And that was because the “curse of knowledge” took a stranglehold over me.

They were looking for someone to implement the technical aspects of content strategy (ie. taxonomies). I proclaimed that I really like to focus on the strategic part – planning out content to achieve certain results.

After the conversation ended, I realized that had I just messed up big time. Not only did I not explain that I have plenty of experience with the technical aspects of strategy, but I also missed out on a good teaching opportunity :) .

Why “Technical” Didn’t Cross My Mind

The reason I didn’t even think twice about the technical side of content strategy during the interview is because I use WordPress as a content management system.

WordPress takes care of the technical so easily, that you don’t even realize you’re doing it.

Yes, I’ve designed taxonomies. Yes I’ve re-arranged menu items, forms and widgets to try and optimize how the user uses the site.

But WordPress makes this so easy to do, that you don’t even realize how technical these steps really are (I’ve had websites before WordPress…and it was a huge pain in the ass to move items around).

There will be people that nitpick and tell you that it isn’t a true CMS. But in my mind, you can spend your time nitpicking…or you can find the easiest way to achieve results.

Plus, there are a few plugins you can use to make the critics happy.

And for me, not using WordPress as a content management system is leaning towards foolish.

Benefits of WordPress as a CMS

Here are a few highlights of why I love WordPress as a content management system and why I think businesses need a really good reason not to be using it:

Taxonomies. Taxonomy is a fancy word for classification. A site taxonomy is really just an ordered list of pages and sub-pages.

Well guess what, if you want a quick visual representation of what your site taxonomy looks like…there’s plugins for that.

With a few clicks of a button, you can install CMS Tree Page View which will not only create a taxonomy for you, but also give you drag-and-drop capabilities to move things around. How cool is that?

Design. I like to use Headway Theme on my sites which makes designing a site extremely easy. Everything from picking colors to moving items around can be done without any coding.

Just as important for user experience, you can pick fonts, colors and sizes for your content.

Multi-User Support. One of the main benefits to having a good CMS, especially for larger companies, is being able to support multiple users at once. Of course, security issues arise. And a situation may arise where different people should have different access levels.

Here’s a quick fix: The Web Editor’s CMS plugin.

This is a pretty robust solution to turning WordPress into a full-fledged content management system.

And it gives you the ability to brand the back end! Bonus points!

Multi-Media Support. Using different media formats can really ramp up your content marketing efforts. Luckily, WordPress supports anything you can think of.

Video? Sure!

Audio? Why not! There’s people that post their entire Podcasts onto their sites with WordPress (and yes, there’s plugins for that).

Expandable. As you can see from my previous points there are a lot of plugins.

There is a huge community of users who also create a ton of tools. Some are paid. Some are free.

You can expand WordPress’ basic capabilities to perform basically any function you can think of. And you can’t  beat free.

The Single Downfall

The single downfall I have found with WordPress as a content management system is there is no quick solution to keeping a content inventory.

There are a few plugins that allow you to make notes next to your content, but I like to go a little more in depth.

Of course, I created my own content inventory that I think is pretty good (click the link to pick up a copy for yourself).

So What I Should Have Said Is…

So in the end I missed a really good teaching opportunity.

Instead of saying I don’t focus much on the technical aspects, I should have said “I can make the technical aspects so easy for you that they become second nature.”

And when you don’t focus on the technical…you can focus on doing things that actually drive results.

Of course, that’s going to make a lot of IT people very unhappy.

Do you or your company use WordPress? If not, why not? What do you use in its place? What other CMS-focused plugins have you discovered? Do you think its foolish to focus your efforts on the technical side if you can focus it on creating results?