Archive for the ‘half the battle’ tag
This guest post is by Kelsey Meyer of Digital Talent Agents.
You’ve finally made it big! The Washington Post or SocialTimes has picked up your well-crafted, thought-provoking article, and you see your name in shining lights (or at least in the author byline).
Is your job done? No way.
Now is the time for you to stop gloating and get to work. Getting a great article published in a reputable publication is only half the battle; if you stop there, you are not only being disrespectful to your readers, you are doing yourself and your brand a disservice.
Here are three ways to follow through on an article that has been published.
1. Promote conversation
If you’ve written an interesting piece and had it published on a site with a decent readership, your article will likely attract a few comments. Some of these comments will be positive, and you should spend time and real effort reading these and thanking the people who wrote them. Don’t just thank them, but comment on what they liked within the article and expand on it—if they liked what you gave them to start, give them more!
You’ll also run into people who don’t care for your article. They may even hate it. Address these people as well, no matter how much you may want to ignore them. Don’t tell them they’re stupid for disagreeing with your article or that you hate them. Instead, a more mature tactic is to welcome their viewpoints and try to address anything they may have misunderstood about your article.
Addressing comments, both good and bad, promotes conversation and engages your readers on a deeper level. Guest bloggers who can take it just as well as they can dish it out are golden. A great example of this is an article one of my company’s clients, which was published on Under 30 CEO. My client had readers who agreed and others who disagreed, but he responded to every comment and it sparked great conversation.
2. Thank your sharers
It’s a great ego boost when you see that your article has drawn over 100 tweets. You get all warm and fuzzy inside, and you may even mention it to your co-workers.
Now it’s time to make those who shared your article feel just as special. There’s a great tool at your disposal, called Who ReTweeted Me, which you can use to see exactly who tweeted your article and easily thank them.
This way, you’ll make new friends on Twitter and encourage people to continue sharing your content. Everyone likes to feel acknowledged—you’re living proof!
3. Make sure the link ranks for your name
If you’re the author of a great article, you should be credited. Most publications will insert a link back to your website or your social media accounts in the author byline so readers can find out more about you.
Go one better: sign up for BrandYourself.com and include the link to the article in your optimized links. That one small move will help the article rank higher in Google search results for your name. BrandYourself.com is a free service, so there’s no excuse not to sign up and start making the most of your posts.
Get more exposure for each post
Take these three steps after each of your articles is published, and you will gain more exposure with each one. You’ll also engage your community and up your attractiveness to publications looking for guest contributors. And what’s more appealing to a guest blogger than another opportunity to blog?
Kelsey Meyer is the VP of Digital Talent Agents, an online PR firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, authors, consultants, corporate leaders and experts establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
For a tech company founder in San Francisco, I’m a terribly late adopter of new technology. My buddy in med school had a smart phone before I did. The iPhone was out for a year before I bought the 3G. The iPad? I’m embarrassed to admit, I got my first one a month ago.
I held out on the iPad because I didn’t get it. It didn’t have retina display, and comparing the screen after looking at the iPhone 4, it just seemed… pixelated. My friends who had the original version bought them as a novelty, which quickly seemed to wear off. I didn’t know what I would do with one once I had one.
So, when I finally buckled and got the iPad 3, I came to the realization that the rest of the world had over 2 years ago: the iPad is an amazing consumption device. You don’t need a keyboard, because if you’re doing any work at all it will be to send iPhone length one-liner emails. Most of what you’ll be doing on the iPad is playing games, watching videos and shopping.
There’s a plethora of iPad games, and you can download almost any movie or tv show from iTunes, but the shopping experience leaves a lot to be desired. When I first turned on the iPad, I went through and downloaded all the popular apps I recognized. In the shopping / ecommerce category, this was Gilt and Fab.
Both of these companies have amazing iPad experiences. For a while, I was browsing them every day; not because I actually needed to buy anything, but because I enjoyed the virtual window shopping experience of browsing through amazing photos of cool looking products. As any retailer knows, getting people in the store is half the battle, and pretty soon I was back to buying things off Gilt (when I had previously sworn off of it after their fulfillment sent me the wrong thing on multiple orders).
Inspired to find some shopping apps that weren’t flash sales sites, I simply couldn’t find any decent ones. All the apps for department stores and brands seemed like screenshots of their websites. In most of them, I couldn’t even purchase anything.
The ecommerce experience for iPad has been dominated by the deals sites because the deals sites are the only retailers heavily innovating on the technology side. That doesn’t have to be the case. The thing that makes a Gilt or Fab iPad app stand out is that they are extremely polished and conducive to casual browsing, which leads to serendipitous discovery and purchase. Also, they have a great excuse to bring you back in their “store” with a push notification every day — they have a new batch of inventory for you to check out.
Therere a couple other reasons iPads are natural platforms for ecommerce. On iPads shoppers are in a different state of mind (they are relaxing instead of being distracted with work or IM), and are more likely to make impulse purchases. Also, because of the high switching cost of opening up new tabs in Safari or switching between apps (when compared with a browser), a well designed app can keep users engaged for much longer than they would be on the web.
I think the next generation of ecommerce apps for iPad will focus less on the discounting and more on creating an amazing curated browsing experience. Recently, I got a preview build of an app called Monogram by founder Leo Chen (who I’m now advising), which does exactly that: curates collections of clothing from around the web, bringing the user a personalized boutique that updates every day with new outfit suggestions. Like Gilt, the emphasis on the app is about browsing and discovery. When I’m using apps like Monogram and Gilt, I find myself spending more time and browsing/buying more products than I ever do on the web. Apparently I’m not the only one.
A couple things I think this next generation of apps will have to figure out:
- Some way of differentiating their product inventory. Some will be vertically integrated companies that are bringing their own designs to market, like Everlane or Warby Parker. Others will focus on curation of existing products. I personally have been waiting for a store that curates the very best item I can own in every category, and tells me why it is the best.
- A great offline experience. Few companies in the ecommerce space have focused on innovating on what happens after you checkout with your shopping cart, and they all happen to be owned by Amazon (Amazon, Quidsi, Zappos). I believe there’s a lot of room to innovate in how products are packaged and delivered, and not many people are doing that at the moment.
Right now the iPad is like an entire country of 60 million consumers with only a few stores competing for their purchases. The denizens of iPadlandia are waiting to buy your awesome stuff. Why are you not letting them?
Tom is the online marketing blogger for Quantum SEO Labs, the link building service company.
It is no secret that infographics have become the new ‘it’ thing. Well established as a fantastic way of marketing your content, it is easy to share and even easier to catch the attention of your target audience. Plus, they are entertaining, which is half the battle in today’s online, digital focused world.
But once you have the infographic made, what do you do with it? It might seem amusing to think of it being difficult to market what is essentially a marketing tool. However, this is often the case do to the multi-purpose nature of the average infographic. Even though it pretty much spreads itself once it gains some visibility, it just isn’t quite so easy getting the process started.
At this point, you might be feeling a little discouraged. You wanted to come up with something creative and interesting, after all. Which you more than likely accomplished with the finished product. The risk of it not reaching its visibility potential simply because you are more creative than market-minded can be frustrating.
But have no fear! Here are some ways you can properly market your infographic and so ensure it will be seen by who you want it to be. That is the first step to becoming viral, as well.
Know Your Help Base
You know your target audience. What you need to identify is your ‘help base’; that elusive set of contacts that will help you to spread the infographic the day it goes live. This is a key element to your initial marketing preparation in any genre, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see it as a necessity for your infographic.
Some likely places to find these contacts are:
Frequented blogs, or blogs you occasionally guest post for.
Just sit down and make a list of frequent followers, affiliates, business partners or friends. Even family members who have a certain amount of visibility can be helpful. Anyone who is likely to get people to follow a link to see an image.
A few days before your infographic goes “live”, just send a little message to these people. Just five from each category can have an incredible reach.
Know Useful Tools
You might not know it, but there are some helpful resources out there for getting some exposure. They are usually focused on collecting multimedia and different forms of content, though some are based around infographics.
One really useful tool is MyBlogGuest‘s recent creation of an infographics gallery. It works by allowing you to upload your infographic multiple times to their gallery with unique descriptions. Then blog owners who like it will offer you a “bid” of when and where they would like to put it. Full credit goes to you, and it is a quick way to build solid links with next to no effort.
Know The Best Blogs
You can also submit infographics to blogs dedicated to such things. Some of those sites are:
Seriously, there are so many of these that it would take me forever to list them all. I am talking dozens. Which is why you should take some time to Google it and find infographic sites that take submitted work. Which is nearly all of them.
Once you have a good list, you can submit it anywhere that will take it, and you are sure to get a decent collection of high traffic sites featuring it. Which could lead to further sharing as others see it.
It isn’t brain science. These are three of the absolute easiest ways that you can possibly get exposure for your infographic, and they are 100% effective. They take work, as well, not to mention time. But if you are serious, you should be willing to put both in. Marketing is not some magic miracle fix that happens on its own.
Get started a few days early and you should have a decent starting point for your image.
Image Credit: 1.
This guest post is by Alexis Grant of AlexisGrant.com.
But smart ideas are only half the battle. The difference between pitching a thought-provoking post and pitching a thought-provoking post that gets accepted is making it easy for your editor to say “yes.” In other words, go beyond providing awesome, unique content and make accepting your post a no-brainer.
As editor of Brazen Life, I see aspiring contributors make the same mistakes again and again—mistakes that make me groan and delete. Here’s what you’ve got to remember: the editor you’re pitching is a person with a job to do, just like you. And the easier you make their job, the more likely they are to publish your post.
Here are five steps you can take that will make it easy for editors to say “yes” to your guest posts.
1. Write in the “you” voice, not the “I” voice
Readers want to feel like you’re talking to them, offering helpful advice and ideas—not like you’re talking about yourself. While the occasional anecdote can be effective, your best bet is to start out your post by talking to the reader, and writing about how what you’re about to share will change their life. Then delve into your personal anecdote.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Writing in the “I” voice might turn out a post that begins like this:
“I’ve always had trouble paying back my student loans.”
Writing in the “you” voice would look more like this:
“Having trouble paying back your student loans?”
The “you” there is only implied—“[Are you] having trouble paying back your student loans?”—but it’s still there. Here’s another option:
“Lots of students are having trouble paying back student loans. If you fall into this camp, listen up.”
That’s not the catchiest intro, but you get the idea—it’s written with “you”s rather than “I”s. This concept is essential throughout your piece, but most important in your introduction.
2. Don’t bury the lede
The biggest problem I see with guest posts is that they fail to have a focused introduction that tells the reader what they’re about to get—and tells them right away. In journalism, we call this “burying the lede.”
You only have a few seconds to catch and keep the attention of your reader. That means you can’t spend two paragraphs getting to the meat of your idea. Instead, you’ve got to get a running start, at least hinting at your main point from the very beginning.
If you’re having a hard time with this, see what happens if you chop off the first graph or two. Is it possible the piece would actually be stronger if you started with the second or third paragraph?
Even writers who offer fabulous ideas throughout their piece often have a weak introduction. Give your first few paragraphs extra care; they’ll make or break your post. And your editor will be particularly happy if s/he doesn’t have to rewrite your intro.
3. Write a great headline—even if you don’t have to
You may not be required to write a headline for your post, but guess what? It makes your editor’s job easier. The headline can be the hardest part; it’s got to be catchy, relevant and SEO-optimized. And it should match the voice of the other headlines on the site.
That means it will probably take some time to come up with a good one. But rather than completing your post and pitching it straight away, consider the extra effort it takes to create a fabulous headline part of the assignment.
There’s an added bonus here, too: if your headline is great, more readers will read, share and comment on your post. You’ll get more clicks on the link in your byline and more return for your investment. If you leave the headline up to the editor, there’s a chance they’ll come up with one that will serve you well, but if you take the time to do it yourself, you know you’ve done all you can to maximize eyes on the post.
Of course, it’s always the editor’s prerogative to change the headline, but that shouldn’t keep you from giving it your best shot. And take it from me—your editor will appreciate it!
4. Follow the publication’s link policy from the get-go
Each publication has its own policy about including links within the post¸ So either look for those requirements within the publication’s guest post guidelines, or ask the editor ahead of time.
At Brazen Life, we love to see links within the post so long as they’re relevant and helpful to our readers; in fact, we don’t run posts without links. But some publications have different preferences, often asking, for example, that the writer not link to his or her own blog. Getting this right the first time will make your editor’s day that much easier.
5. When in doubt, create a list
Having trouble getting your ideas across succinctly? Lots of us do, and lists can be a great help with that.
Here’s the good news: lists are popular with readers, too. Most posts with “5 Tips” or “5 Pieces of Advice” or “5 Reasons” get lots of clicks, which means if you’re good at writing list posts, you should do it.
I hate to advise this initially, because it’s so refreshing when a writer offers an awesome post that’s not written as a list or in bullet format. But bullets do make posts easy to read online. And if you’re struggling to write a helpful post, bullets can make it easier for you to convey your main ideas.
Following these tips—and making your editor’s job easy—won’t just help you land one guest post. If you abide by these suggestions, write a clean post and offer thought-provoking content, they’ll want you to write for them again down the line. And that means lots more guest posts in your future.
Do you have any tips you can add to this list? We’d love to hear them in the comments. And if you’re looking for other ways to use guest posts to attract new readers, stick around—later today, we’ll see how accepting guest posts on your blog can boost your traffic levels.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Last week the inimitable Oatmeal published a kick-ass screed on the douchebaggery of most “Social Media Marketers.” (Seriously, click the link, it’s great.)
The essential message was to “do awesome stuff and people will ‘like’ you online.”
And that’s true, as far as it goes.
But there’s another message that marketers need to hear: “Not everything you do will be awesome.” And that’s okay.
The rapacious need of the interwebz to produce ever better/sillier/cooler content won’t mellow. To attempt to keep pace would be foolhardy. But that need not mean you never publish anything that isn’t “awesome.” After all, the ping is half the battle. You need to be in the mix.
So, sometimes, just curate other folks’ awesome stuff.
Sometimes, just publish something that’s low-cost to produce, yet which might be helpful to your audience.
Sometimes, be quiet for a little while.
Sometimes, go balls-out and hope for the best.
That’s the other half of the battle.
In life timing is everything. That’s why there are so many people that say, “Hey! That was my idea!” when something gets popular. There are plenty of thoughts out in the marketplace, especially in the world of social media and more than half the battle is having your thoughts heard over the others. With all of the noise in the social media space it becomes a game of figuring out exactly when the best time is to say what you have to say.
HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella has studied this. This comes as no surprise considering his moniker as the “Social Media Scientist”. What he found is something he calls “Contra Competitive Timing”. Zarrella likens this phenomenon to being at a party.
It’s like when you’re at a noisy party and it’s hard to hear the person talking to you 2 feet away, but suddenly you say something awkward and the room quiets down. Now everyone can hear you. The same is true with the internet. When there is less other noise to compete with (ie fewer Tweets, emails, blog posts, etc) your content can gain attention more easily.
Seems pretty common sensical, right? The real trouble is that people are likely to fear that their message won’t be heard by the most people when the reality is that when you yell at the same time as everyone else your voice may not be heard at all.
Here is an infographic that Zarrella developed to make his point.
It’s an interesting concept mainly because it simply makes sense. The less noise there is the easier it is to be heard. Is it better to be heard by a smaller group than too risk not being heard at all by the masses? It’s almost like addressing the long tail of social media isn’t it?
I'm often asked how I manage all the details of complex content marketing projects. My favorite tool for this is Mind Maps. Specifically, I use MindJet.
I whipped up a simple example to show you:
I build my content flows based on questions the buyer persona asks at each stage of the buying process.
Next to each of them I input topics for content development and any links to documents or notes to provide the overall reasoning behind the question and answers (that's the content). Additionallly I can link to any resources I want to keep track of that may inform the content development. This keeps things tidy and condensed in one spot where it's relevant to me, as well as to others working on the project.
From there, I note which types of content I'm going to develop for each topic. I can link to the working drafts of the content as well as link to the final published content, once it's live.
What I like most about Mind Maps is that I can open up as many layers as I want at one time to get the big picture view of the flow, or condense it down to just focus on one area.
When I work with project teams, we'll often use Mindjet Catalyst – the online version – to work on drafts together and for meetings. It's much simpler than shuffling versions of documents back and forth via email.
When managing content marketing programs, finding tools that work for you is half the battle. I highly recommend that you try out Mind Maps and see if they'll help you turn some of the content marketing chaos into a calm and orderly process.
It’s happened to all of us. Unavoidable, unpredictable mayhem. But how do you save the client pitch when the unthinkable happens? Digitas SVP of global media Jonathan Adams and Questus partner Joey Dumont have been there. Find out in the clips below how to lose – and how to win — new clients.
“Our lead guy got caught in unavoidable airline traffic, and couldn’t make the pitch…”
In this clip, learn about a pitch that didn’t go quite as planned.
Chemistry is half the battle when it comes to landing and keeping clients. In this clip, find out about what two top agency guys have done right, and what they’ve done wrong.
0:00 – Chemistry is half the battle
0:15 – An agency is like a nightclub
1:00 – The new way to do pitches
1:30 – Letting companies see you can think
1:45 – Does one person dominate the conversation?
2:55 – Should you have fewer senior people in pitches?
3:20 – Are you missing information?
Run time is 3:57
In digital media, listening is so much more than monitoring. Knowing what you’re listening for is half the battle, and the first ingredient in most practice. Knowing when and how to respond is more…
[Click on the title to read this article in its entirety at Conversation Agent]
If your device is Bluetooth Smart Ready then it’s compatible with Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth but if it’s Smart then it’s not compatible with regular Bluetooth. Got that? Good.
The Bluetooth SIG, never content to leave well enough alone, as introduced three new “icons” for their new 4.0 standard. “Best” Bluetooth devices will support both “old” Bluetooth and 4.0 while Smart devices will only support 4.0. In short, Smart Ready devices will support dual modes and work the way with which we are currently familiar in devices like laptops, phones, and PCs, while Smart devices will support ultra low power devices like heart rate monitors and pedometers, allowing Bluetooth to come up against wireless standards like ANT.
Does this effect you in any way? Probably not except that “Smart Ready” phones will be able to connect with your workout gear. Otherwise, this is the same old Bluetooth you know and love except that 4.0 allows for reduced power consumption because the connection “pulses” rather than maintain a constant connection. It’s available now on the 4S and the new MacBooks.
So when you think of Bluetooth, think of “Smart” as “not really Bluetooth, but Nike will support it soon” and “Smart Ready” as “I can connect my heart rate monitor to this and it takes less battery.” Bluetooth is, well, still Bluetooth. You can read a bit more here, but now you know and knowing is, as we all know, half the battle.