Showing posts from April, 2015

Content Creation (Wrap-Up #4)

This is our fourth installment of content creation wrap-up posts - a library of links to all of our articles about creating interesting and useful content from January 2014 through April 2015.

Planning is an important process because it forces you to think, to research, to consider, to brainstorm - to be creative. Our Yearly Content Planning Worksheet will help get you organized.

I'm a big fan of repurposing content and infographics will appeal to a different audience than text. Read Repurpose Articles into Infographics to get tips on how to do this.

Your content strategy wouldn't be complete without having a look at what others are doing. Read Research to Develop your Content Strategy for activities you can engage in regularly, perhaps quarterly, to keep current.

We all get stuck for ideas now and then. I've found some tools to help me get past that. You can get links to them in Idea Challenged? Here's 3 Tools.

When looking for images to go with my articles, usually I…

Design Colour Trends for Fall 2015

Digital colour trends will often follow the fashion industry. Here are the colours for Fall 2015 from Pantone.

"An Evolving Colour Landscape: This season displays an umbrella of accord that weaves earthy neutrals with a range of bold colour statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural."
Missed the Spring 2015 colours? See them here.

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Adding Audio to your Content - Part 2

*** Click to listen in rather than read

Creating and sharing audio content makes good business sense for me as a voice actor. In Adding Audio to your Content, Part 1, I mentioned that ALL business owners and sales people could benefit from adding the element of audio, not just those of us who are selling our voice.

What to say?
Introduce your business, or yourself, with a recorded greeting. (Here’s an example.)An elevator pitch - a compelling 30-60 second story of what you do...A call to action - something you would like the listener/reader to do – sign up for your blog, call you, order your product...A summary, or explanation, of your services.
But where and how do you add audio content?

Your blog site will (likely) allow you to add an audio file anywhere in the body. Sharing your blog will then share your audio, too.

Want to share it in your newsletter or on social media?

Upload your audio to SoundCloud. You can share it directly from there OR you can paste link to anything, anywhere. W…

Sharing as a Strategy

I advocate sharing your best with your audience if your goal is to be seen as an expert. Give them your best advice, express your opinions, share your top tips and tricks, tell them about great tools you have found and share the benefits you gained by using them. I regularly encounter resistance to this strategy. The worry seems to be that if you share your best, they won't need you. This is a false worry.

When you are expert at anything, you will lose a layman pretty quickly - always before the point where they could accomplish the same results they would get if they hired and worked with you. It is usually beginners that sharing your opinions will help... to a point. There will be a certain number of followers that will read everything and use your advice to follow your plan. Content is published in very small packets so it would take a lot for someone to be able to piece a whole plan together. Those people will find someone else to follow if you are not publishing the content. …

Once You're Hooked...

I came across what seemed like an amazing deal on web hosting. Because I'm very familiar with the company making the offer, I paused to have a better look.

Wow, I was thinking, they're really cutting prices to get business. Because I'm familiar, it also seemed a little out of character. So, I went hunting for the small print and there it was in tiny light grey at the bottom. Only 99 cents a month but it only applies to the first month.

How many people are going to feel a little ripped off or a little stuck when they realize what they signed up for? Quite a way to deflate a new website experience.

Now I know there are all sorts of businesses that use a prepaid subscription model. It's easy to to say all the info is there, but what if your customers don't understand it? It's a business model that relies on uneducated consumers.

Wouldn't it be better to have a business model where people know exactly what they're signing up for and exactly what the costs …

Crafting a Title to Get Read

Whether it's an article title, a blog post title, a subject line or a call to action, there is no doubt that crafting a good one takes a little art and a little science.
"The job of the headline is to get the first line of your copy read."
~ CopyBlogger
For every article, I could write 4 titles:
the simple straightforward one that says what it's all about - it's useful and truthfulthe catchy or clever one - the content adds context to the title once you start readingthe teaser that hints at the content, but is meant to garner opens rather than be usefulthe version for SEO using keywords and phrases that people might search for I tend to start with #1 because it's often the idea that I jotted down to write about. After I finish writing, I might come up with a couple of choices that are more like #2. I tend to avoid #3 except in certain circumstances. Then a friend started talking about #4.
I resisted because it kind of felt like selling out. Giving up a #2 for a…

The Myth of Double Opt-in

One day, not so many years ago, an email marketer with big glasses and a funky haircut decided to add a bunch of people he didn't know to his email list. When he got complaints, instead of owning up and politely offering to remove them, he said, “I didn't do that. Someone else must have signed you up.” This geeky guy was the first of many.

And so, the myth of the mysterious newsletter signer-upper was born.

The email marketing industry somehow had to address this strange phenomenon. How could they keep these signer-uppers from signing other people up?

And so, the double opt-in process was born.

Of course, this made it really difficult for the signer-uppers to cause mayhem. No longer did signer-uppers gather on Friday nights over beer to wreak havoc on the email marketing world.

Now the experts, who not so many years ago were preaching that having a double opt-in process was a must, are saying that maybe it’s not so necessary anymore.

I have yet to meet anyone that is or ever was a …