Archive for the ‘powerful thing’ tag
So I’m sitting here. At my desk. In the morning. And I’m writing this post. Yesterday, I was writing in the morning too. And the day before. Is there someone forcing me to do this? No, I simply choose to work this way.
Why would you set your day to always write first thing in the morning?! Isn’t being a blogger all about freedom and being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want to?!
Well, bloggers are pretty free people, but being free doesn’t mean that you can’t set some of your activities to a fixed schedule. Especially if those activities simply make sense.
And it really does make sense for writing. Here’s why.
Benefits of writing in the morning and the power of habit
Let’s start with the latter – the power of habit.
Habit is probably the most powerful thing that drives us into doing anything. And I really mean it. Once something becomes our habit, it isn’t difficult any longer, requires very little effort, and gets done pretty quickly.
But if that doesn’t explain the situation enough, let’s tackle it from a different angle.
I’m sure you’ll admit that some bad habits are extremely difficult to fight. Sometimes it takes months or years, or even a lifetime (for some people). I’m sure that every smoker and late riser can relate to this…
That’s the true power of habit, no matter good or bad, once it is set, it stays with us for years.
So what’s the point of turning writing into a first-thing-in-the-morning habit?
First of all, as I said a minute ago, once writing becomes your habit, it will be a natural activity. One that doesn’t require any effort. One that isn’t scary in any way, or challenging in any way. Simply, a natural habit.
The second benefit is something that sits in our mind.
Everything sits in our mind
Even though our brain is an extremely complex thing, some of its characteristics are pretty predictable.
For instance, once our brain gets a grasp that one particular activity is being done every day, first thing in the morning, and it has been done for the past month or so, it will get used to that activity.
Our brain will simply be anticipating that activity, having all the required tools in place ready to be used, at the exact time when the activity usually happens.
This is something that can help us extremely. And I’m not exaggerating. Once your brain is used to you writing every day in the morning, it will prepare all your writing resources and skills to be in their top shape waiting for you.
This is something that can (and will) improve your writing significantly.
And it’s nothing new. People are using this trick all the time in many different fields.
Like, for example, professional boxing. Once the time and date of a fight is set, every training prior to the fight takes place at the same time. Why? So the body and the brain of the boxer can get used to it, and be ready when it’s time to get in the ring.
Many professional sportsmen use this trick, not only boxers. It simply works in most imaginable scenarios. Writing and blogging included.
But improving your results isn’t the only reason why you should at least give this a try. There are other benefits.
Fighting the early-day confusion and warming up
Mornings can be confusing … I’m sure you can relate.
You wake up and there’s so much stuff to do that you don’t know where to start. So you don’t start at all for a while and go to Facebook instead.
Sometimes we fall into such a trap, despite the fact we know that the only thing we have to do is START. No matter what it is exactly, the first step is always the most difficult, and once we’re going, we’re going.
Having a first-thing-in-the-morning activity can be of great help here. There’s no confusion any more. You know that no matter how much stuff you have to do, you always start your day by writing.
Another benefit. Writing is a great warm-up activity for your brain. It gets you ready for other things the day can bring.
And there’s also the most obvious benefit of them all… You simply start your day with a fresh and shiny article, ready to be published, sent as a guest post, sold, or whatever else you’re doing with your content.
How to set a habit of writing in the morning
First of all, you have to realize that the most difficult part is the initial phase. The first couple of times you try to write in the morning.
It may simply not feel natural, nor easy. And the results might not be that good … well, sorry, I’m just telling it like it is.
But remember, this is always the case when setting new habits. Like the habit of early rising, for example. Do you remember how difficult it was to get up early during the first week? Or do you remember how difficult it was not to smoke during the first month of your new cigarette-free lifestyle?
You simply need to get through this. Here’s what I advise you to do during the first week:
- Start every day by writing a personal journal. Journal entries are very easy to write because they don’t require any knowledge, mindset, or prior information. You simply fire up a text editor and start writing on whatever topic you want. As little as 100-200 words is enough.
- The actual writing. This is where you write the actual thing you want to write. And you don’t stop until you finish the whole piece.
- Reward yourself and have a break. Have a small treat. Whatever makes sense.
- Proceed with your other tasks for the day.
If you do these four steps long enough (for like a month maybe) then after a while they will become natural and won’t require any effort on your end. Also, you will be able to do them much more quickly.
I know this personally … because it’s 8:30AM where I’m sitting right now.
What is your opinion? Have you tried this trick yet? Also, feel free to share if you have any advice of your own that’s similarly counterintuitive.
About the author: Karol K. is a 20-something year old web 2.0 entrepreneur from Poland and a writer at ThemeFuse.com, where he shares various WordPress advice. Don’t forget to visit ThemeFuse to get your hands on some premium WordPress themes (warning: no boring stuff like everyone else offers).
Original Post: Writing First Thing in the Morning
Posted by Benjamin Estes
Lately I’ve seen that a tight relationship between SEO and startups has been something of a foregone conclusion within the SEO industry: “Of course startups should be engaged in SEO!” Perhaps, and perhaps not. In fact, some start-up communities have taken up a stance in direct opposition to this, stigmatizing SEO as manipulative. Personally I’m just a humble consultant who has never started a company of his own, so I think it would be presumptuous of me to arbitrarily declare SEO a high priority for any start-up in any field.
If doing SEO isn’t a foregone conclusion, then, it bears further discussion as a marketing strategy. I want to approach this topic from a different angle. In any successful startup there will be someone with good business sense, someone who can look at the evidence in front of them and make their own decision about what is best for their company. So let me put some premises on the table about what SEO offers the start-up and why start-ups are uniquely positioned to leverage their position for SEO.
What SEO Offers
(Measurable) Audience Embiggening
The end goal of SEO is to increase the number of people arriving at your site through organic search results. There are also other metrics that are intermediate factors helping you accomplish this goal, such as your actual rankings in search results. These are things that you can measure, and report successes in increasing.
In addition, there are two different sets of keywords to look at when assessing the organic search channel—branded and non-branded terms. It's a powerful thing to demonstrate that your branded search traffic is increasing—it suggests that more people are looking for your brand online, which is a Good Thing.
On the other hand, the implications of receiving non-branded search traffic are numerous. Such traffic suggests that a site has increasing visibility for relevant search terms. If the start-up is defining new language, it suggests that users are picking up on that language. If it is increasing its share in an existing space, it suggests that the site may be cutting into the market share of competitors in organic search.
Reinforcement Of Extant Marketing Strategies
Optimization for SEO has the potential to enhance the effect of your other marketing strategies. If you are anticipating driving a lot of social interaction with your site, having your pages and URLs optimized for SEO will ensure that as people share your site you get the most value from that sharing. If you are link building through outreach and maintaining relationships with people in your industry, all of a sudden you have assets through which you can promote social content or editorial or anything else you might be up to.
Makes sense, right?
Why Startups Can Leverage Their Position
A startup—particularly at the outset of operation—has a great deal more flexibility than a more established competitor in the market. The obvious dichotomy here is between the large, established competitor and the start-up underdog. The start-up clearly has more agility than the established competitor, without a doubt. Consider:
But what about the 18-month old company compared to the 2-month old? If you don’t even have a website live, you’re even more flexible than an 18-month old company with a website up and an investment in a particular architecture or format or strategy for content publication. Oracle might be a giant awkward mess to manage from an SEO perspective, but even Dropbox by now has a more rigid infrastructure and user expectations and a great deal of variables which it must consider. Setting a course at the outset, which includes SEO will ensure that you are well positioned to be successful in organic search when you've achieved the same size and user base.
As part of overall SEO efforts all of the elements in the following (non-exhaustive) list might need to be manipulated:
- Keyword targeting—which terms you have chosen to represent your products, content, and brand.
- Site structure—how information on your website is structured and how you present that information to users. Are your products and pages properly differentiated?
- Content strategy—what information are you going to publish on your site? None? All of it? Who will be responsible for this?
The earlier SEO can be integrated into the business model the better.
A startup is bringing something new to the market, something with novelty (though hopefully it has some staying power as well).
In fact, novelty is what linkbait is all about. It’s something new and fresh and interesting—whether it is something explicitly new or a new take on something familiar. A new product, or a new face on an old product.
I mean, check out Y Combinator start-up Matterport. They’ve got a little Star Trek-style scanning device that makes 3D representations of any object or environment. This is some link-worthy content if ever I've seen some. We talk in SEO all the time about content marketing, which can be an expensive or confusing marketing route for a start-up. The thing is, in the early days, if you’ve got an interesting product that is your content. Ignore this at your own risk.
And again this matches up well with efforts you will be making on other fronts. If you've got a really interesting start-up idea, you'll almost certainly have been getting links on TechCrunch or Mashable. If you're minding your SEO on-site, you'll be getting the full benefit these novelty-based links can drive to your site.
Efficacy of Partial Implementation
Practicing SEO is a bit like practicing meditation—full enlightenment is an ongoing journey requiring a lifetime of work, but also a little bit will go a long way. It may be impractical for your business to drop $10,000-$20,000 on a link bait campaign or plan a content strategy that reaches six months out. But if you could manage to do a quick technical audit of your site, even doing that will get you one step closer to success. SEO isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. It is fully capable of scaling with your company.
I think it goes without saying that I think the above premises suggest that SEO is really something that start-ups ought to be engaged in. If you have come to a similar conclusion, I suggest reading this longer essay on the merits of SEO for start-ups. If after that you’re feeling game, checking out the following resources:
These reflect a higher-level look at the problem of SEO in the startup context. Then try to take some first steps, such as:
- Running through a technical audit checklist for your site, whether it is already live or pending publication.
- Reading (or having someone on your team read) the SEOmoz Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
- Benchmarking your current position if your site is live. Which terms are you ranking for, or just tracking words for which you would like to rank. SEOmoz's Pro Campaigns are a great way to get started doing this.
- Keyword Research—what are your competitors trying to rank for? Have a go with the Google Keyword Tool and see what terms it suggests are related to those you think might be valuable.
- Get your first ten links. There are a huge number of tactics available to you—this blog itself has an entire category dedicated to link building.
Thanks for reading, and good luck in your entrepreneurial endeavors! Reach me in the comments below or on Twitter.
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What are you trying to accomplish?
There is a story told in the amazing business book, Freakonomics, about a study that was being done to figure out what makes a good parent. The genesis of this came out of the massive business that is parenting books. If you are a parent, it’s always surprising when you realize that for centuries, so many people have been parents and yet, there is no real manual for how to be a good parent. Most people who were parents before you rarely have any tangible advice beyond spurting out trite sayings (like "one is one and two is ten") or having no memory of what it was like to have a newborn or a toddler around the house (did they completely black out the experience?). So, the question is this: does reading a lot of parenting books make you a better parent? The answer is no. But it doesn’t end there. What the Freakonomics authors uncovered is that it doesn’t matter whether you read the books or not, it’s the simple act of buying the book that moves the needle. That’s right, people we would consider to be great parents have bought the books, but have never read them.
Intent is a powerful thing.
There is a correlation between this story and our business lives. If parents are thinking about the content that they need to consume to become better parents, then they have the intent and self-awareness to be a better parent. So, is being a better marketer about reading every single blog and trade publication, listening to every marketing podcast or following and engaging with every luminary on Facebook or Twitter? Is being a better marketer about having your own blog, creating a tumblr about great marketing initiatives of having some boards on Pinterest about the most awesome print ads this year?
Perhaps, it’s less about consumption and creation and much more about simply being aware.
I have not looked at my Google Reader RSS feeds in a very, very long time. I tend to get the information I need from e-newsletters (I know, this is very old school of me) or people I respect and follow in places like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and beyond. I have every intention of following, reading and then even creating content based of these interactions, but I don’t. I have a massive list of unread articles in my Instapaper feed that I would love to get to (anyone have an extra spare three weeks that they can loan me?), but I’m starting to realize that in a world of too much to know (for more on that, please listen to my podcast with David Weinberger – co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and his latest book, Too Big To Know: SPOS #301 – Knowing Things With David Weinberger), perhaps it’s simply my intent of wanting to learn and grow that matters most?
What this means to you.
The majority of business professionals that I interact with simply don’t have any consumption plan. They’re not infovores about their industry and they’re not all that regimented with their time in relation to what they’re capturing. When people marvel at my ability to create so much content, so frequently, it forces me to remind myself that although I’m not reading, listening or watching everything, it’s my intent to do so that makes all of this somewhat easier for me (and perhaps creates the perception that I am engaged with a lot more content than I truly am). You can chalk it all up to passion or care, but (for me) it’s mostly about surrounding myself in content with the hopes that some of it trickles down into something more valuable. In short, don’t be hard on yourself for not reading or commenting on everything. Be hard on yourself only if you’re not even bothering to expose yourself to all of this great content.
While this may sound obvious, it’s amazing how many people don’t even have the intent.
Having children causes one to (re)think seriously about education and the role of school. Education obviously is the most powerful thing in the world. And yet the old Mark Twain chestnut — “I never let school get in the way of my education” — speaks to the core of my own thinking regarding education. I am not an expert in education by any means, but like almost everyone, I have strong ideas based on my personal experiences going through formal, mass schooling. Personally, the best years where I learned the most and was inspired to study and learn on my own were surely the six years of elementary school, and then university and graduate school. One thing I am sure of is that while listening carefully to teachers (and to the masters, etc.) is important, the real learning requires lots and lots of doing, not just listening. One does not learn to play the music — or math or science for that matter — only by sitting in a chair and listening. One learns by doing and figuring things out. I do not provide any answers or insights here, but I wanted to point you to several presentations and interviews below concerning education and schooling that I have found particularly relevant and stimulating. I think they are all worth watching. I hope you’ll find something worth while in these presentations that you’d like to share with others and keep the discussion concerning education and schooling going.
Seth Godin on Education
In this short interview, Seth Godin sums up the essence of the problem.
Seth Godin on how schools teach kids to aim low
In this short clip Seth Godin says something concerning the “lizard brain” and our fear of taking risks that reminded me of the world of live stand-up presentations in work or academia. Seth said:
“There are some people, if you give them a mile, they’re going to take an inch.” — Seth Godin
This gets at part of the problem: a boss or a teacher or a conference organizer will ask you to make a presentation, and while doing something different and creative – and effective – should be welcomed by all, we retreat to doing only what is expected (less downside that way) rather than doing something creative, different, and engaging. After all, doing what is expected is pretty easy, but surpassing expectations and doing something remarkable with impact is both harder (usually) and comes with an increased risk of failure. Even when we give people a mile and encourage creativity and nonconformity, it still seems like too many play it safe and take only an inch. I can’t help but think that the habits learned in formal schools across the world at least in part contribute to this cautious approach to doing things differently.
Born to learn
I love the simple animation and flow to this presentation on learning. We are indeed “born to learn” and we are naturally curious creatures. But does your school stimulate that curiosity and light the sparks in students. My favorite teachers did when I was a kid. Although my secondary school experience was a bit of a blurry bore, I remember the good teachers I had who helped me and inspired me in spite of the imprefect system.
Dr. Tae — Building A New Culture Of Teaching And Learning (or “why school sucks”)
I love this presention by American physicist Dr. Tae. In the presentation Dr. Tae touches on the depersonalized nature of the large lecture hall with the “tiny professor somewhere down there” in front going through the material but without engagement or connection with the students. If one of the goals of education is to “have a lively exchange of ideas,” the depersonalized one-way lecture seems to be an outdated method for stimulating this exchange.
Finland’s education success
Here’s a short clip from the BBC reporting on Finland’s success with schools. They enjoy great success, but do not have a test-driven environment. While no place is perfect, we could learn a lot by examining what Finland is doing in their schools.
Japanese documentary: Children Full of Life (part 1/5)
I like a lot of what I see in elementary schools in Japan (although I am much less excited about public junior and senior high schools). Here is part one of five from a wonderful documentary which gives you an evocative look inside one 4th-grade class. You can’t helped but be moved. You can see all the clips in this post from last year.
A word from my favorite astrophysicist: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Here’s a fantastic audio interview on science literacy with one of my modern day heros, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not just for science teachers, however. This is interesting stuff for all reasonable humans. I agree with Dr. Tyson. Inspiring stuff. Listen to the whole thing here. Here’s a slide featuring a quote from his interview:
“The flaw in the educational system, as far as I see it, is that you live your life – the teacher and student – in quest of A’s. Yet later in life, the A is irrelevant. So then what is the point of the school system? It’s missing something. It is not identifying the people who actually succeed in life, because they’re not showing up as the straight A’s. So somewhere in there, the educational system needs to reflect on what it takes to succeed in life, and get some of that back into the classroom.” — Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
I found out today that the City I was born in… has become a City. Again.
Although, I am of course delighted to see Perth regain its rightful status, I have to admit to being a bit bemused by the whole process. I had always assumed Perth was indeed a City. Not a huge metropolis like New York, or Paris, or London (where I have lived for the last 10 years) but a beautiful, ancient, Fair City nonetheless. I am almost as perplexed that any administrators could take that status away, as I am that it is the Queen who has the authority to give it back.
Don’t the citizens (or townsfolk) decide whether they live in a City, or Town? Is it not part of that collective sense of belonging, that sense of identity we all share around the place we live in, or come from? That is not something that can be decided upon by important dignitaries, whether they are kings or queens, or presidents or prime ministers.
Or CEOs for that matter…
We have worked with a number Executive Boards over the years who have struggled to articulate what their sense of identity really is.
“We’re a charitable business… no a business with a broader charitable purpose… no, no, no we’re a charity that’s trying to make money…”.
You can see people tying themselves up in knots. Surely the answer is right there in front of them. Simply, ask the people that matter. Your employees. Your customers. Your stakeholders.
Unlocking that sense of common purpose, the reason we exist, the reason we come to work… surely that would be a very powerful thing. For any organisation. Or company. Or business. Or charity, etc, etc…
It’s been more than four months since the passing of Steve Jobs. Much has been written and shared in that span about one of the greatest innovators and marketers of our times. In the flurry of remembrences I missed this opinion piece in the New York Times by his biographer, Walter Isaacson. For me, Steve’s lessons continue to surface.
The Genius Of Jobs
One of the questions I wrestled with when writing about Steve Jobs was how smart he was. On the surface, this should not have been much of an issue. You’d assume the obvious answer was: he was really, really smart. Maybe even worth three or four reallys. After all, he was the most innovative and successful business leader of our era and embodied the Silicon Valley dream writ large: he created a start-up in his parents’ garage and built it into the world’s most valuable company.
So was Mr. Jobs smart? Not conventionally. Instead, he was a genius. That may seem like a silly word game, but in fact his success dramatizes an interesting distinction between intelligence and genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical. They were sparked by intuition, not analytic rigor. Trained in Zen Buddhism, Mr. Jobs came to value experiential wisdom over empirical analysis. He didn’t study data or crunch numbers but like a pathfinder, he could sniff the winds and sense what lay ahead.
He told me he began to appreciate the power of intuition, in contrast to what he called “Western rational thought,” when he wandered around India after dropping out of college. “The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do,” he said. “They use their intuition instead … Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”
Mr. Jobs’s intuition was based not on conventional learning but on experiential wisdom. He also had a lot of imagination and knew how to apply it. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
The ability to merge creativity with technology depends on one’s ability to be emotionally attuned to others. Mr. Jobs could be petulant and unkind in dealing with other people, which caused some to think he lacked basic emotional awareness. In fact, it was the opposite. He could size people up, understand their inner thoughts, cajole them, intimidate them, target their deepest vulnerabilities, and delight them at will. He knew, intuitively, how to create products that pleased, interfaces that were friendly, and marketing messages that were enticing.
You can read Walter Isaacson’s article in its entirety here.
Sponsored by: The Brand Positioning Workshop
Every year at the start of the new year there is something that most of us do without realizing it. It is related to making new year’s resolutions, but it is more about sequencing your long term goals into the order in which you want to achieve them. One example might be saying to yourself, “I want to be married and then have a kid before I turn 35.” Life is full of these little promises. So full, in fact, that often we make them to ourselves without even thinking. It raises an interesting marketing question as well.
What would it take to get a customer to reevaluate the life sequence they have already set for themselves?
It becomes a particularly important question when you consider a brand selling a product that is all about fitting into the right stage in life. A product, for example, like a car. When you consider when people buy new cars, it is very much about life’s stages. Graduating from college, landing a new job, getting married or having a kid. Each of these life changes can often be triggers to consider buying a new car.
Honda’s new campaign for the CRV may have found one way to solve that challenge. With their Honda LeapList campaign, they encourage consumers to go online and make their own lists of what they want to accomplish before they turn 30, or what they want to do before they get married. It is a brilliant way not only to encourage people to dream and perhaps even act on their longstanding dream to travel the world, but also to encourage them to think about how getting a new car might fit into that sequence. The underlying message is a perfect one for their consumers: why wait? You can do all the things you want to do, and you can do them on your own time. But maybe you should just think about buying that car right now instead of waiting.
Sure it’s clearly a marketing message – but what they perfectly prove is something that any marketers would do well to remember. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do to sell your product is help your customers to imagine exactly when they should buy it.
Smart business bloggers understand that conversion rate is a very important metric for measuring the success of blogging efforts. Sure, traffic and leads are great, but understanding the correlation between the two is a very powerful thing. Improving your conversion rate can help you generate more leads from the same amount of traffic, and a declined conversion rate can hurt your ability to generate more leads from increased traffic.
So if you’re consistently tracking your blog’s key success metrics, what do you do when you notice a conversion rate decline? Or perhaps you want to give your conversion rate a boost so you can generate even more leads from existing traffic. Either way, here are 6 brilliant tips to better your blog’s conversion rate and start pumping more leads out from that valuable traffic.
1. Better Align Content With Relevant, Targeted Offer CTAs
If you want to generate leads from your blog, you should understand the importance of calls-to-action, and you should know to place one on each and every blog post you publish. Take a look at your arsenal of blog CTA and the offers they reflect. Could they be better aligned with the content of your specific blog articles? Consider updating your calls-to-action to make them more relevant and targeted to each blog post. This could mean simple tweaks in the language of your CTAs, or perhaps it means creating a completely new offer to cater to certain types of blog content. Remember: the more targeted you are, the better the chances that your blog readers will be interested in what you have to offer, and thus, more likely to convert. Make sure your offers’ CTAs also direct visitors to targeted landing pages with lead-capture forms.
2. Optimize Evergreen Blog Content With New CTAs
Remember that blog post you published 3 months ago that generated tons of traffic? Are you so sure it’s not still generating tons of traffic from organic search? Take a look at your analytics to determine which blog articles are ranking well in search and still generating a lot of traffic. Then update the calls-to-action in those articles to include your newer, best converting offers to boost the conversion rates of those evergreen blog articles.
3. Update Banner Creative & Highlighted Offers
Let’s face it: the same top and sidebar CTA banners viewed over and over again will get stale. Sometimes just a fresh new look can positively impact conversion rates. Consider designing some new banner creative to highlight your top-performing offers. Also, regularly swap in newer offers that you weren’t previously featuring. Let your analytics be your guide, and display your best converting offers in your banner creative.
4. Test CTA Button Variations
Do some A/B testing of your calls-to-action! Does a simple button perform better than a more detailed and complex one? Does the tone of your messaging affect conversion rates? Does layout affect clicks? You’ll never know until you test. Run your test, determine its statistical significance, and make decisions on the types of CTAs you use on your blog based on your results.
5. Pepper in Links to Offers Throughout Your Posts
Besides button CTAs, you can also leverage the text within your blog articles for conversion. Optimize your posts for better conversion by using anchor text to link to appropriate offers. If you’re a plumber and you’ve written an article about “10 Common Drainage Treatment Mistakes,” link some anchor text within the article to your ebook on At Home Plumbing for Dummies.
6. Add an Email Opt-In Form
Don’t overlook some simple ways to increase your blog’s conversion rate. If it doesn’t already have one, add an email opt-in form to the sidebar of your blog so blog visitors can easily opt into your email database. If your blog already does have an email opt-in form but it’s not generating a lot of new email addresses, investigate why it’s failing and brainstorm a few ways to improve it. Perhaps the form just isn’t prominently visible on your sidebar. Or maybe you’re not highlighting the value users will get from opting in to your list.
As we mentioned a few times already, your marketing analytics are key tools to help you diagnose and give a boost to a poorly converting business blog. Regularly monitor the performance of your blog to spot deficiencies in its conversion rate, and once you make adjustments, track the results. This will help you determine what works and what doesn’t so you can make better marketing decisions.
What other tricks for boosting a blog’s conversion rate can you share?
Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson
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Being a marketer is stressful. The demands and the never-ending list of priorities seem relentless. Something has to give. As marketers, one of the most powerful things we can do to be better is giving back some time to ourselves.
Getting time back essentially happens as the result of two actions. The first is removing marketing tactics from a strategy. The second is finding a way to execute the same tactics in a faster way. Both of these are extremely powerful but difficult to execute. Use the following tips as a way to stop wasting time on your marketing efforts.
7 Tricks for More Efficient Marketing
1. Eliminate the “We Have Always Done it This Way” Tactics: Just because something has been done the same way for 20 years, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Instead, it’s just an easy excuse for not adapting and improving. Reexamine and analyze tactics that haven’t changed in a long time, and determine if they’re still worth the time and effort, instead of simply assuming they should be part of your strategy.
2. Double Down on What Works: As a marketer, you have metrics that indicate the success of your efforts. A great marketer should not be measured by how much work he or she has done. Instead, all evaluations should be about the results their work has produced. In a world of results-focused marketing, the most powerful thing that you can do is double down on the strategies and tactics that are working to produce greater results, and eliminate or improve on the ones that aren’t.
3. Time Box Projects: Managing time is hard. As a marketer, one simple trick can help. It’s called time boxing. Do you really need to spend 2 hours a day monitoring and responding in social media? The internet won’t collapse if you don’t. Instead, try setting a time limit on each marketing activity you do. For example, allocate 30 minutes a day for social media. Time boxing will force you to be more efficient in how you use your time and help you to be more results-focused.
4. Trim Administrative Time: Attending meetings and conducting reporting are some of the biggest marketing time-sucks around. Don’t let them eat away at your work day. Reduce the time of recurring meetings. Work to automate the reporting of results using marketing analytics software to cut back on the time you spend on administrative tasks.
5. Set an Active Project Limit: Trying to juggle too many balls results in a bunch of dropped balls. The same thing is true for marketing tactics. Trying to do too much at once kills focus. Set a limit to how many marketing tactics or projects can be occurring at once. This will improve focus and force you to finish some tasks before moving on to others.
6. Use Data to Make Decisions: Data is powerful. Use it. Be sure you are conducting A/B tests and have marketing analytics set up. Use this actionable data to make decisions about future marketing priorities.
7. Just Say No: This trick is easily the most difficult. It’s also the most valuable. Saying no to extra “stuff” that people ask you to do that has no value to your team’s performance can send countless hours of time back into your day. If it isn’t going to drive results, say no. You can do it!
What other tricks do you use to save time in marketing?
Photo Credit: Earls37a
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