4 Simple Ideas for Great Blog Video Content

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need Hollywood-esque production value to create great video content for your blog. Frankly speaking some of the best blog video content stems from fairly simple ideas that are properly executed to create compelling content.

If you would like to create great blog video content, here are a few simple ideas that should give you a good place to start:

How-to guides and tutorials

Creating a guide or tutorial that shows viewers how to perform a certain task that they may be interested in or helps them to solve a particular problem is inherently useful. As far as informative content goes it is hard to beat a good guide, and if you get a bit creative you could really make it stand out. At the heart of every good guide is a simple set of step-by-step instructions, and once you figure out what those are the only thing you really need to do is decide on the best way to show the audience how to perform each step. Check out a great site called HowToGeek.com for more examples.

Interviews

Although often overlooked, interviews can be a great type of content. This guy built a whole website just with interviews! Bear in mind you don’t have to interview a ‘celebrity’ – anyone who can speak from a position of authority about the topic or has a unique perspective could make for a great interview. If it isn’t possible to record a face-to-face interview with a subject, you could even record footage from a video call instead.

Personal stories

Telling a story related to your blog’s niche can be a powerful way to foster an emotional response – particularly if the story is inspiring, humorous, touching, or something else of that nature. The video itself can either be a simple vlog, or it could incorporate other elements to help you to ‘show’ certain parts of the story.

Product reviews

Reviews have always been a popular form of blog content – video or otherwise. The advantage of recording product reviews as videos is that you can showcase the product better and pinpoint precise areas of interest to the viewer. As an added benefit product reviews are an excellent way to promote products that you feel are useful.

As you can see none of these ideas are particularly complicated, and most can be recorded with a simple video camera or a video recorder. Not only can it record the footage that you need but it also has a built-in editor that will let you edit and improve the videos that you record.

At the end of the day it doesn’t take dazzling special effects or a spectacular cinematic approach to create great blog video content. Initially you may want to experiment with different types of ideas, so that you can get a feel for what the audience on your blog responds to – and based on the ideas listed above you should already be able to come up with some topics worth pursuing.

Original post: 4 Simple Ideas for Great Blog Video Content

A Novice’s Guide to Understanding the Benefits of SEO for Businesses

I have a small website for my garage business; will SEO be helpful for me?

Will SEO help my e-commerce startup?

I have just outsourced SEO for my website, will I get more leads?

These are some of the questions that cross the minds of newbies going for SEO. To understand how you can benefit from SEO, you’ll have to learn the basics of SEO first & then see how a persisting SEO campaign can boost your business.

So What Is SEO?

It stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the techniques of bringing your website on the front page of various Search Engines e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
These techniques aim at increasing the quality and volume of traffic to your website with the help of organic search engine results.

Traffic Quality

Although you would love to have any type of visitors (except hackers though) to your site, however, if you are running a garage business and the Google is driving traffic for garbage business, will it be of any use? No. The quality of traffic refers to visitors that are relevant to your website offerings and may lead to some fruitful results.

Volume of Traffic

Once you have the right kind of visitors coming from the search engine, the more the traffic, the better it is.

Organic Traffic

Traffic to your website from inorganic means may give a temporary spike in business, but in the long term, only the organic traffic is the way forward as you won’t have to pay for it.

How SEO Benefits Your Business?

Business owners and managers are constantly looking for ways to enhance their businesses. When the traditional ways of doing business are increasingly becoming costly, the digital ways are cheaper and tend to be more efficient as well.

While having a website is the first step in online business, the sustainability and growth come from persistent SEO campaigns. The benefits of such campaigns are realized in the due course of time. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages:

Increased Traffic:

When your website appears in the top position on search engines, it starts to get a lot of clicks, and this shows in the form of increased traffic. With SEO, the site has keywords that are frequently used by the visitors to find information on the internet or making purchases as well.

Enhanced Usability

All SEO efforts are aimed at making it easier for the website crawlers to navigate and index a website, but simultaneously these efforts make the website more user-friendly as well.

The various on-page efforts which add search-friendly keywords to the site also improve the navigation structure of different inner pages as well. If these efforts make it easy for the search engines to rank your site, they also make it easy to find relevant information on the site.

Increased Branding

It is critical for you that your website can be easily recalled by the relevant users while they are looking for information or buying a product related to you. This easy recall is the result of sustained efforts of SEO to rank the website on the first page of the various search engines.

This branding is done by the search engine optimization and is very much needed in any business. Remember how we tend to trust results that pop up in the top? When more and more pages of your website rank high in the search engine results page the better will be the brand building for your site.

More Effective

When it comes to marketing, there are various channels for it. But these different channels have their costs-benefits. From TV ads to posters to direct marketing, all are focused towards promoting businesses. But the effectiveness of these ways varies. When it comes to SEO, it is de facto the most cost-effective marketing method as it directly targets the visitors looking for the products and services.

SEO is the best inbound strategy as it enhances the experiences of the visitors coming to the website seeking goods and services. The traffic coming to the site as a result of your SEO efforts is more qualified than other marketing methods making it more cost effective than the others.

Round The Clock Marketing

One of the biggest benefits of the search engine optimization is that your site opens a 24*7 marketing channel. Your optimized site ranks on the result page not just for a single day but every day and throughout the year and until you want.

Better ROI

With SEO, you can be assured of the results that can be tracked for relevance and ROI. You can track the improvement in rankings, traffic, and conversions. The analytics provides even the granular information about the geography and the profile of the visitors who have visited the site. In the case of the e-commerce sites, you can track the path that the customers have taken to complete the sale. You can even identify the keywords your customers have chosen to reach the desired product or the service offered. If you have no e-commerce site, you can monitor the form fill-outs and the other things to calculate the effectiveness of the SEO campaign.

Higher SERP Means More Leads & More Business

With essential search engine optimization, higher ranking positions result in more productive results. It means more customers coming from the contact forms, more likes for the information provided by you or increase in the followers for your brand. All in all, it results in more business for you through the organic ways.

In The End

To avail the benefits of SEO, you must:

-Have a visitor friendly website that users find easy to navigate
-Have compelling content which is informative and complete.
-Optimize the website for robots and crawlers for improved indexing and navigation.
-Believe in persistence, as SEO brings in long term benefits than short-term fixes.

Original post: A Novice’s Guide to Understanding the Benefits of SEO for Businesses

How to Unleash Blogging for Better Conversion

Blogging is a free-flowing source of information and people read lots of rich and valuable research. More than three fourths of the digital marketers in the world blog frequently. Content Marketing has become the main source of attracting people to your website and by presenting useful information that help your readers it converts your readers into your subscribers.

Most marketers know that blogs have insane potential to turn your visitors into your customers. But, conversions through blogging thus depends on various other factors other than the content you write.

To convert your blog into a lead magnet there are many components that need to fix for optimizing your blog for better lead generation or conversion.

Create a proper blog structure

First and foremost, you need to create a proper blog structure, which is easy to navigate and provide all the option to subscribe any piece of information. Conversions through blogging depends heavily on your blog structure. The structure of a blog, in turn, is affected by various blog elements like:

Sticky Header: A sticky header will consist of all necessary information about the company services and products, culture, and working methodology. No matter how much you scroll down it will remain with the webpage on the top place. This makes users to find any service related information easily.

Blog Categories: The list of blog categories must be placed right below the header with a subscription on the right side. Giving an easy option for readers to navigate through different category section on your blog will make them to consider the content. That’s how they will subscribe it to get updates on regular basis.

Subscription Option: An easy subscription will always add new contacts to your lead generation sheet. Thus, providing an easy subscription box on the top of your blog post or at the right-side column of your blog homepage is considered most effective. However, you can pull more contacts by showing pop-ups on your blog on different time intervals.

Search Bar: The search bar should be placed just below the category section for the users to look up other pieces of content if they want to.

A blog structure defines the extent of good user experience (UX) and easy navigation and thus must be designed strategically.

Place Call-to-Action (CTA) to boost conversion

A Call-to-Action (CTA) if placed strategically have the potential to turn your blog into a lead generating machine.

Basically, a CTA is the box through which your users can join the readers community and that’s how you’ll be able to collect leads on your blog.

However, the placement of a CTA is based on user behavior. And a personalized CTA works 42% better than an untargeted one since that is created based on user behavior.

By analyzing the different behavior of users on your webpage or blog you can place a CTA in three different styles on your blog, which are as follow:

The Inline CTA is used correctly only if it is placed after ample information that has been given related to the CTA in the blog.

The Sidebar CTA is placed on the side of the blog, which is mainly for gated content subscription or other important events in the industry.

The Bottom CTA is placed after the entire blog post. Once a reader gets finished with post reading then it is a smart way to show him a way to subscribe the information on regular basis.

Isn’t it clever? To analyze different user behavior on your blog you can take help of Hotjar. The heatmap tool will show you different user actions on the different section on your blog. This will help you place CTA strategically on your blog homepage and posts.

Empower engagement on your blog post

Engagement on your blog shows the level of involvement, thus it is always good to interact with your audience. By letting your readers get in touch with your blog post through social network is a popular yet most effective way to engage people with the content. But, to achieve higher engagement level on your blog you need to place social sharing plugins at the right place.

Only 45% of marketers think that their Facebook efforts are effective. This is due to wrong placement of social sharing buttons and social engagement counter. The social sharing buttons can be placed on the sidebar and below the post.

The sidebar social sharing counter should be sticky so that the user gets the opportunity to share the content whenever he feels like without having to search for it.

You can also give an option to share your post on their social networks by placing a social sharing counter at the end of your post.

However, using the Click to Tweet plugin will increase the chances of the article being shared by providing a stat or fact within the post for the user to directly tweet it.

Integrate Optin Forms to collect more leads

Optin forms are the most efficient way to pull readers into your customer’s list.
The optin form needs to be integrated to the blog in a way that it doesn’t pop up before enough information has been provided to the reader.

An optin form must no doubt include the mandatory fields, but it also needs to be as short as possible. The optin form can be integrated in various sections in different styles.

An exit overlay pop up comes up when the user shows an intent to quit the blog page. The time intent pop up turns up after the user has spent certain amount of time on the blog page. The scroll intent CTA pops up after a certain extent of scrolling has been done by the reader. The sticky header and footer CTA pops up are placed in the header and footer respectively.

Optimize the loading speed of your blog

The content and the design of an entire blog page will go down the drain if the blog page doesn’t load fast. More than 40% of people abandon a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load thus, a webpage must load within or less than 3 seconds.
Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to optimize webpages for mobile devices with quick loading speed. Google AMP has been introduced keeping both speed and mobile first approach in mind. Integrating Google AMP to your website will not only push your page up the SERP but will also make sure than it comes up in a carousel, on top, that only accommodates AMP pages.

Wrapping up

To create a conversion oriented blog, you must fix your blog with above mentioned inbound marketing tips.

These elements and tips must be used keeping your audience in mind. The blog structure, the placement of CTAs, optin forms and social sharing buttons play a huge role in giving the user a good experience on your blog page which in turns boosts ROI easily.

Original post: How to Unleash Blogging for Better Conversion

Why Blogging will Remain an Important Content Marketing Tactic for Businesses in the Future

The popularity of blogging is on the rise. Even though the number of internet users who engaged with blogs on computers in the United States has decreased from 32.58 million in Autumn 2013 to 29.1 million in Spring 2016, it doesn’t mean blogs have become less popular among online users.1

Rather, there has simply been a shift towards using another device when it comes to reading or contributing to blogs. The following graph visualises the increase in number of internet users who read or contributed to blogs on smartphone from Autumn 2013 to Spring 2016.

But why are these numbers important to you as a business owner? According to Statista, the number of bloggers in 2020 will increase to up to 31.7 million in the United States, which shows the potential other people see in blogging as an important channel in which to reach a global audience.

In case you haven’t started blogging yet, think about all the potential readers you could connect with by establishing a blog for your business.

As part of your content marketing strategy, developing a blog for your business can do even more than just increasing your brand awareness, building trust, or driving more traffic to your website.

Keeping the 9 tips from the video in mind, you might also want to consider the following questions before starting your business blog.

WHAT are you going to write about in your blog?
What is your audience interested in? Analyze your customers questions and use them as inspiration for your blog content. Chances are, you already have a couple of good topics to use for your next blog post. Pro tip: write about what you know.

WHO are you creating content for?
Define your target audience and always keep them in mind when searching for a new topic or creating your next blog post.

WHY are you covering this particular topic?
Why is it relevant today and what do you expect your audience to take away from it? Use your blog as a platform to educate, inform and entertain your audience about topics not only related to your products but also focussing on broader topics in your industry. This will help you finding even more engaging subjects to write about and, at the same time, it will help hold your readers’ interest.

WHICH media works best?
For each blog post, what represents your content the best? Be aware of the fact that most blog posts are only scanned by the readers. It’s not a secret that adding visual elements to your posts makes them much more aesthetically appealing and more likely to be read in whole. Pictures, videos, and maps, for instance, can help engage your readers for much longer, thus, increasing the duration of each session on your website.

WHERE will you promote your blog and website?
Choose the media and channel you want use to share it with your audience. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn or Instagram strongly depends on your industry and business. Again, think about what media will suit your audience and content the best.

WHEN will your posts go online?
When you publish your content is another subtle point to consider if you want your blog to succeed. Several sources recommend many different days and times that seem to be best for publishing blog posts. Instead of looking at arbitrary proposals, analyse your industry and see what works best for your individual topics. Remember, frequency is key! Keep up with your work and publish content on a regular basis. Not only will it help your readers know when to expect new content but also creates a structure to follow when planning and scheduling your next topics and posts.

In case you are interested in other relevant topics related to blogging and enhancing your online presence, check out this information about web design gathered by Market Inspector.

Original post: Why Blogging will Remain an Important Content Marketing Tactic for Businesses in the Future

Humanizing Your Brand Through Content Creation

If you want to stand out in today’s busy online marketplace, you need to find a way to make your brand more human. Creating consistent content that is both valuable and engaging is one of the best ways to show consumers that there are real people behind your brand who care about their needs and challenges. Here are some of the top tactics that you can use to humanize your brand through content creation:

1. Establish a unique brand voice.

To differentiate your company from all the other brands in your industry, you should first develop a unique brand voice. Your brand voice allows consumers to understand your company’s personality better. Not to mention, it enables you to create content that is more consistent, which can help with building brand recognition in the marketplace.

One way that you can start to develop your unique brand voice is by imagining your company as a fictional character. If your company was a person, who would it be? Give the character a name, a physical appearance, and some personal qualities. What does it like or dislike? Is it calm or more energetic? The avatar that you develop will help you better understand what type of personality your brand has. Once you have a more defined idea of the character you would like to present to your target market, you can work on developing a distinct voice that communicates that personality.

After you’ve developed your brand voice, it’s important to ensure that the people in your organization who create content all understand this voice. This way, it will carry through all your content assets. Creating a brand guide is one of the best ways to make sure that your team creates content that is consistent with your brand. In your guide, include details about your brand identity, including a style guide for content.

2. Publish content consistently.

Another way that you can humanize your brand is by publishing content consistently. Humans are always in conversation with one another, communicating their ideas and sharing their take on what’s going on around them. If you want to be a part of this conversation and show consumers that there are real people behind your brand, you need to think of content creation as an ongoing process.

Create a content calendar to ensure that your brand is consistently creating and publishing content. Whether you use a simple spreadsheet in Google Docs or choose to utilize a content calendar app or program, there are a few things that you will need to include:

Content Topics – Brainstorm with your team to determine which content topics are most valuable to your target market. Consider what questions consumers might have, challenges consumers face, or what’s new in your industry.

Content Formats – Once you have topics that will be of interest to your audience, you’ll need to identify which formats are best suited for these topics. For instance, is it better to create a blog or a video? Don’t forget that many of content assets can be repurposed later.

Parties Responsible – One of the biggest challenges of publishing content consistently is having enough resources to create a variety of content over time. Be sure that your content calendar makes it clear who is creating which pieces of content.

Publish and Due Dates – Your content calendar should also include due dates and publish dates for each piece of content. Make sure that your due dates allow enough time for review and editing before publication.

Promotional Plan – How do you plan to promote this content after it’s finished? Be sure to include whether the content is gated or not and which organic or paid channels you will be using to publish and share your content. You can promote content on social media, through email, PPC ads, and more. It can help to include a blog update CTA on your site.

It’s best to keep your content calendar to a three-month period. This gives you enough time to plan and get your resources together, but it isn’t planned so far ahead that you can’t respond to important trends or news in your industry. By clearly laying out when you will publish new content, you can help make sure that your content creation is consistent.

3. Tell a story.

Humans are social creatures who want to feel a personal connection. If you want to capture your audience’s attention and build real relationships, you’ll need to do more than just write powerful headlines. Your content needs to tell a story that will help consumers better understand what your brand is all about.

When it comes to brand storytelling, you want to be detailed. It is much harder for people to connect to a story that is abstract. Your stories should be from a specific person’s point of view. They should include lots of rich details that help the consumer better understand and connect with the character(s). Use specific scenarios that the consumer can connect with. For instance, you might discuss a challenge that your consumer faces or doubts that they may have.

Don’t be afraid to tell a story that brings out an emotional reaction. Whether you are aiming to appeal to the consumer’s nostalgia, make them laugh, or make a connection through fear, the more emotional appeal your story has, the better. Through your choice of details and words, you can work to evoke emotions that help consumers better connect with your brand and understand the value of your products and services.

4. Build relationships through social media content.

Creating conversation is an important part of humanizing your brand. While businesses can’t exactly converse with their clients, the people behind the brand can. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide the perfect platform for starting conversations that will help your company build stronger relationships with prospects and customers.

Start by developing social media content that is engaging and invites others to participate. This can be as simple as asking your followers a question on Facebook or developing a fun Twitter survey. You can also develop social media contests that ask your followers and fans to submit their own content. By sharing user-generated content on your own social media pages, you help humanize your brand by showing consumers how your products or services are helping real people.

In addition to creating engaging content, you will also need to engage in conversations on social media with your consumers. Remember, it’s important that your brand voice carries through in all your communications, including social media content. Though social media is a less formal platform, you don’t want to lose sight of your brand personality. For instance, if your company has a brand that speaks in the voice of a young professional, be sure to carry this tone throughout your conversations with consumers on social media platforms.

Using the strategies outlined in this post, you can start creating content that works to humanize your brand. By showing consumers there are real people behind your business, you will be able to differentiate your company and demonstrate what sets you apart from the rest.

Original post: Humanizing Your Brand Through Content Creation

Five Basic Steps for a Successful Blog

Let’s cut to the chase! Below you’ll find the five basic steps you need to make your blog a successful one.

1) Think about who your audience will be

It’s always better to target your blog for a particular audience. You can then focus to write something which could help your audience immensely. For example, if you are well-versed into internet marketing, you should target people who are just new to the world of internet marketing and eager to learn from scratch. But try to choose a niche which is expandable so that you can find more and more topics to write on. Don’t shy away from sharing all your secrets. Write every bit of useful information, you can think of, to make your blog stand out. It’s an old saying that “Knowledge grows, the more you give away”. So give away everything like a good teacher and you will get much more in return in the form of ever growing audience.

2) Engage your readers

Write your content so that it perfectly makes sense to reflect the title of your post. In other words, you should not go off topic while writing, otherwise, users may leave your blog. Also, think of what other topics you can write and link internally from the existing post so that it is highly likely that the user will click on that internal link. This is important to do to engage your reader for a longer period of time on the site. You can also use external links (links given to third party websites) on some texts which need more detailed explanation. This way users can click on the external links to find the required information related to those texts. Whether the users click on external or internal links, both are signs of user engagement and so good for SEO (search engine optimization).

3) Take care of your content

You should be honest in your approach while writing. Simply publishing the duplicate or re-written content is not going to help, as search engines like Google already have the technology to filter out the duplicate content pages from their search results, and so the duplicate content won’t give you any organic traffic . Another important thing is to provide an evidence of whatever you are writing, by referring to the original source in the form of an external link. This is specifically important if your content is based on some research work and requires authenticity. Content based on your imaginations and personal experiences, however, will not need any authenticity. Also, make sure you know about emotional intelligence while writing, else you may face the criticism in the online community.

4) Participate in online communities

So what are online communities? There are numerous other blogs, forums, discussion boards, FAQ sites, like Stack Overflow, where users can interact with each other to discuss their problems and also share their knowledge and experiences. All such platforms are a part of online communities. Just keep flooding your website with content is not going to help much to generate traffic. Just like you link to third party websites from your own blog, other websites should also link to your blog pages so that your blog can rank better in search engines like Google. This is how Google’s technology works to rank different websites in their search results but user experience (as already mentioned in step 2) is more important for Google than getting links.

You should put all the great efforts so that more and more websites or blogs link to your own blog pages. It doesn’t matter which blog page they link. This is only possible when you participate in online communities to popularize your content and then someone could link your content as a good resource for their website or may be out of sympathy if you requested a link to them. Someone may even ask for money to link your website but then paying for links is against Google webmaster guidelines and so that should be avoided.

5) Take care of the technical aspects

Professionalism is very important to impress anyone you want to. Most of the bloggers make use of readymade templates to create their blog using WordPress. This results in a similar kind of design (like other WordPress blogs over the internet) which doesn’t look professional. If you have money to spend, you should not use these open source website creation tools like WordPress.com or Blogger.com and get the blog done from scratch with your desired design from some individual web designer and programmer or some web developer company who does this. You can hire a lot of such web developers on sites like freelance.com and upwork.com.

It’s also possible to create a blog without CMS or publishing tools. The guys from People HR Blog have done that. For every post, they have used a unique graphic or image which is not copied from anywhere. It’s easier to get links for your blog with a professional design and content.

Also, make sure to get your blog done with responsive design so that it is compatible with all the latest devices and browsers. Also, make sure to ask the developer to make the site load faster by eliminating all the errors (if any) as mentioned by PageSpeed Insights tool by Google. Hope that helps.

Original post: Five Basic Steps for a Successful Blog

5 Solutions To Blogger’s Block

The desire to start a blog, or any business for that matter, tends to stem from passion. There’s a subject you know a lot about and you want to talk about it, and you want to leverage this knowledge to promote your business or build an online community.

At first, the topics and inspiration come to you easily. There’s plenty of material you want to go through and items you want to discuss. You never struggle to put words into your content management system. Over time, however, conjuring up ideas for a new post can become far harder than you ever thought possible. You’re running out of steam, struggling with loose concepts you don’t really care about just for the sake of a post, and then you finally run out of ideas altogether. 

You’re probably familiar with the concept of writer’s block; the idea that there is a point at which a writer just can’t seem to keep going with their work. Blogger’s block is no different. It’s a phase you enter when you are thirsty for inspiration but there doesn’t seem to be a drop to drink. Your blog and its readership wait for the lightning bolt of inspiration to strike, but you just keep coming up empty. As a result, new traffic may slow down on your site.

So, rather than letting your blog fall silent to the point it is invaded by digital tumbleweed, here are a few options to get you back on track.

#1 – Stop Blogging!

Even if your blog is a source of income or a major part of your content marketing strategy, it’s important to take a break from it every now and again.

There’s nothing to be gained from sitting over your keyboard, panicking about the fact that you’re not coming up with anything. There’s even less to be gained from publishing something just because you need to publish. If you do that, you’re undoubtedly going to be compromising the quality of what you write.

Rather than continuing to go around in circles, give yourself at least two days away from your blog. It might be just what your mind needs to get the creative juices flowing again.

#2 – Edit Old Posts

bloggersblock

You probably have posts on your blog that are a few years old and might not be quite up to your current standards. Blogging is always evolving, and you might find yourself embarrassed by your archives if you look closely enough. If you go back and edit these historic posts to be more SEO friendly or improve the picture quality, you not only help your blog, but you could also find yourself coming up with fresh ideas.

You might even find that you now think differently about a post you wrote before, or have developed a better technique, having developed as a writer over the years. This gives you an immediate launch into writing a new post that reflects how you feel in the present.

#3 – Look At Other Blogs (Within Reason)

When authors need to shake writer’s block, they often read some of their favorite novels in the hope of unblocking themselves. It makes sense to translate that to blogs, but do be careful not to be too directly influenced.

Competitor’s blogs and industry news are often the best sources of ideas for new blog posts that will be relevant to your readership or target market, but it’s important not to copy them directly.

If a blog has just written “10 Things I Love About Summer”, don’t write “5 Reasons Summer Is The Best Season.” It’s far too close to the source material.

However, something topical involving summer (outfits, makeup, styles that work well in summer, for example) would be considered inspired-by rather than a direct copy. Ensuring you don’t focus on individual posts but rather the blog as a whole can also help with this. See if you can muster up thoughts and emotions from the entire blog, then expand on these in your own writing.

#4 – Browse Forums

blogbubble

Forums might not be as on-trend as they used to be, but there’s still plenty online to use as fodder for blog posts. Find a forum that is relevant to your niche, then dive on in and see what people are talking about.

A great way to do this is to look for questions forum users are asking about your niche. You can then write a blog post in response to those queries, even if you never publish your reply on the forum itself. If one person is asking the question, it’s likely someone else is too, so you’ll scoop up traffic from Google searches and break your block at the same time.  

#5 – Write About Not Being Able To Write

It might sound odd, but it works. Often the problem with blogger’s block is not in the words themselves, but your attitude to the words or even how you feel about your blog as a whole. Writing that out can be hugely beneficial, especially as it might be the first time you see the real causes on screen. Maybe you have been feeling dejected with your numbers not growing, or you’re concerned about the quality of your images — all real issues that can cause a block in your mind.

At the very least, this post will inform your readership of what’s happening and why there are no new posts. The fact it might help you shake the block once and for all is just a lovely potential bonus.

Blogger’s block is an inevitability, but that doesn’t mean there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. If your creativity can suddenly dry up and cause a block, there will always be a way to get it running again. It might take a few false starts and sputters, but eventually the walls will come down and you’ll be able to blog freely once more.

Stephen Van Delinder is a Co-founder of Reputation Resolutions, a company that serves individuals and businesses in restoring, building, and maintaining their online reputation and brand. Armed with certifications in Digital Marketing from New York University, Google, and Microsoft, Stephen applies his knowledge of online reputation management to help people and businesses look their best online.

Original post: 5 Solutions To Blogger’s Block

How Can Personalization Help In Content Optimization

Most marketers have this wrong assumption about content marketing. Perhaps, you are one of those marketers which think that your job is done after you have published your work. But the truth is; the real work begins before and after you have successfully published your article.

As a marketer, it is also your job to optimize your content. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about the nitty-gritty technical details about the SEO or keywords or the Meta data.

In this content-driven digital world, content optimization is now more about how the quality, the relevance and the connection you can build with your audience through your content.

Content Optimization Influence How Content Is Consumed

How well you optimize your content has an impact on how your content is delivered to your readers. If you optimize it right, you increase the likelihood that your content will reach and consumed by the intended audience.

A study revealed the top three factors that make content effective are relevancy, engagement and storytelling and call to action. With these factors in mind, content personalization is something that is getting more and more valuable in content optimization.

Optimize Content With Personalization

Content personalization involves analyzing accurate audience data to create and deliver relevant content that will stir their curiosity, encourage engagement and compels them to do an action.

According to statistics, about 74% of customers feel frustrated if the website content is not personalized. Nowadays, you have to be real. Not everyone is the same. Your target market may be of the same generation but their buying behavior is not the same. Their purchasing journey varies because of various factors such as location, culture and interests.

Laptop And People

So whether you are creating our content for lead generation, for engagement or for brand awareness, it is crucial that you create a personalized content. Create a content that a specific group of audience can understand and related to so you can send you message across.

But amidst the hype of personalization, how marketers can utilize it in content optimization is still a conundrum. So to help, here are some pre and post-publishing steps that will help you start you content personalization strategies.

THE PRE-PUBLISHING PROCESS – UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE

Basically, the pre-publishing process is the steps you need to follow before you start creating your content. It is vital to understand who your audience is and how or when they consume your content.

Systematize Your Data Gathering

If you keep on gathering data here and there without any systematic process, you will end up cluttered with various data which seemed to have no use.

A systematic data gathering needs technology to maximize and organize your efforts. Strategically, you may use a CMS which provides effective CRM features and allows you to be connected to data sources, thus, giving you a useful and seamless way of gathering user’s data.

Moreover, a systematic data gathering goes way more than just observing your users behavior. It is more than just surveys and statistics. It involves various factors such as online real-time behavior, social media activities, demographic information, activity on your website and a lot more.

You need to figure out how to align these factors to create a systematic and organize approach in data gathering.

Segment Them With The Right Data

After you have successfully gathered the significant data, you need to segment your list. Group together those with similar attributes. You need to be aware that you have different types of customers. Identify each key factor that makes each of them different with one another. You need these key factors to help you create an experience map needed for the next step.

Creating An Experience Map

Each group of target consumers has a distinct behavior which sets them apart from another. You have to determine and understand what they are to create an experience map.

An experience map is your guide to content creation. Using each distinct features of your audience you can create a map of their specific purchasing journey which increases your chance of transmitting your message successfully through a personalized content. You should be able to take your content to the distinct purchasing journey of your target consumers; from awareness to consideration to decision.

THE POST-PUBLISHING PROCESS – DELIVER, GATHER RESULTS, INNOVATE

The publishing process itself is difficult but getting to the post-publishing process could be another headache. But unless you can deliver to content to the right audience, your published content can only do so much.

Use The Right Automation

In content delivery, using the right automation is the light at the end of the tunnel. It allows you to reach out to your target consumers. With the right content marketing tool, you will efficiently and effectively attract your ideal consumers as they consume your content.

Choosing the right marketing automation is not as complicated as it seems. You just need to find the one that uses the data you gathered in order to reach out to your specified audience. It should create a delivery pattern based on your data to send your content across.

When choosing your automation tool, keep one thing in mind; it should help you deliver the right content to the right audience.

Measure, Analyze And Reinvent

At the end of your campaign, you need to have a solid way of measuring and analyzing your audience response. This is a critical element which is not just about clicks or about page views. This is the stage where you need to track data about how your audience responds with your content base on how you segment them.

You need to measure your content’s performance in each group of audience. You have metrics to track to help you find some loopholes and determine areas of improvement. Then, leverage the data and insights you gathered to figure out your personalization strategy’s weakness and improve them for your next optimization campaign.

Important Tip: Always Be Human

As a marketer, perhaps you came across this advice several times already. But how well do you understand this step? Being human is more than just profiling your audience. It is about giving your audience a genuine human interaction and content personalization is all about being human.
You need to significantly provide customers with answers to their questions through your content. If you put consumers at the center of your optimization campaign, you will know what they looking for and give them what they want.

Understand that personalization is a consumer-centered strategy which helps you humanize your brand. In personalization, you don’t just talk with your audience; you also have to listen to them. It enhances a two-way communication between consumers and brands. This way, brands can fully understand them and create a compelling and personalized content that help people in their goals.

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days when your target market is treated in general. It may have worked years ago but as the demand for your market changes so does you marketing approach.

Nearly 100% of consumers surveyed said that they have been discouraged from completing a transaction because of incomplete or incorrect content. Your content no matter how well you craft it would be useless if it does not reflect the needs and wants of your target market. With these in mind, it is safe to say that accurate and personalize content is more important than ever.

Personalization when done right can boost your optimization campaign. There is no doubt about that. The only reason why some marketers fail is that they don’t really understand how content personalization works. But with these tips put into work, hopefully, you can create a personalized content for your next content optimization campaign.

Al Gomez is the man behind SEOExpertPage.com, Dlinkers and UnliDeals. With more than nine years of experience in digital marketing, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success. Connect with him on Twitter (@dlinkers).

Original post: How Can Personalization Help In Content Optimization

4 Creative Ways to Promote Your Site

Promotion of a site can be a time-consuming and expensive task. This is especially tough if you have reached the initial stage of users and are looking for organic growth. We have compiled a list of 4 creative ways to promote your site that will engage your users and bring in more.

1. T-shirt giveaways for readers

T-shirts are like walking billboards and who wouldn’t want a fair bit of advertisement? T-shirts have a long lifespan and are extremely flexible for customization. You can literally print anything on T-shirts and get any t-shirt designs you wish for.

A well-made T-shirt design will ensure that users will keep it for a long time. A survey states that if a T-shirt is fun, functional and trendy, then people will keep it. This is why you should give out T-shirts to your readers and users to make sure they spread the good word about you.

If you are wondering how to create a custom t-shirt design, then you should go for crowdsourcing! You can use a crowdsourcing site like DesignHill to get the best T-shirt designs from hundreds of apparel designers.

Some of the unique ways in which you can give away the T-shirts to your readers –

-Conduct a contest in which readers can tag their friends to win it
-You can get your readers to like your social media pages, and lucky winners can get free t-shirts
-Perform a task or activity to get the T-shirt
-Reward a fan or reader by sending a T-shirt

You should make sure that T-shirt designs are relevant to your product yet interesting. Your readers do not want to literally wear a walking advertisement for you. If your T-shirt design looks extremely promotional, then your reader will not wear it, hence not serving your purpose.

2. Partner with local businesses

A business cannot thrive without the support of a business community. If you are looking to grow your business, then it’s time you partnered with local businesses. Partnering with other businesses is easy, but you have to do it the right way.

Find potential partners
You have to make a list of all the businesses that could be your potential partners. Several businesses have many arms so make sure none of them competes with your business! You want to partner with businesses which complement your product/service.

Reach out to them and execute campaigns
When two businesses partner for growing a business without a formal merger it is important they are on the same page. Engage with businesses which have a similar philosophy and business ethic. Here are a few ways in which you can work with your partners to promote your site –

Cross promotion – Both the parties have to equally promote each other’s products. Sit down and finalize on the communication strategy and design for these promotions.

Events – Combining resources is the best way to maximize impact. You can create events together which will satisfy and engage your target audience.

Rewards – You can give away each other’s products as rewards. For instance, you can give your t-shirt designs to a local football club; while the football club can give you discount coupons for your customers to avail their membership.

Assess the performance
Not all partnerships work out, some of them become too difficult and a drain of your resources. Run a campaign and take a step back to assess how your partnerships worked. If the partnership has brought in more users and business, then continue else put a stop to it!

3. Run a contest for readers and subscribers

Online contests are a very popular way of increasing traffic to your site. In fact, a survey found out that after an effective contest campaign, sites increase their fan base by almost 34%! This is because contests are a fun and exciting way to engage users and promote your site.

Here are a few contest ideas you can use –

-Create a slogan for your site
Name a new product or service that you are going to offer on your site
-Upload their photos and tag their friends for a particular theme contest
-Challenge contests are an extremely popular where you can coax your followers to participate in unique challenges
-Caption contests which can be funny or humorous
-Upload videos where the users have to perform a certain activity, and they have to get maximum likes to win it
-Crowdsource for new ideas on products, varieties or other customizations
Quizzes and guessing games

You can add a condition that maximum likes or shares on entries will be considered as a parameter for winning the contests. Here are some prize ideas that your users will love and spread it among their community –

-Giveaway customized t-shirt designs
-Free products and services including 1-month trials
-Cash or discount offers on services, products, and subscriptions
-Chance to be featured on the site as well as advertising
-Free trips or customized prizes

You can even continue leveraging the contest after it is done by posting about the user and his prize. You can develop that story over the next few posts so that your users trust your contests and participate in them the next time.

However, make sure you are transparent in your communication regarding the contests. Your users and fans should not feel let down with your promises. Else they will quickly review and brand you as fraudulent!

4. Reward influencers and customers who recommend you on social media

Your audience is going to be important to you always, whether you have 100 users or 1 million users. It is the relationship that you have with your users that will change as your audience grows. One of the best ways to engage with your users is to make them feel important by one to one interactions.

If you are a big brand with many users/subscribers, then you can do these activities to engage users –

On Facebook – Share the reader’s feedback or post by putting it on your timeline. Tag the reader so that they will get a lot of followers in turn. This will also ensure other readers promote your site too.

On Instagram – Repost their Instagram post and tag them. Shareability and discovery are difficult on Instagram. By the repost, you show importance to your reader and their thoughts.

On Twitter – A retweet by a major brand will enhance the value of the reader’s tweet immensely. Other accounts will also start tagging your site.

If you are an upcoming brand with new users being added every day, then your strategy will change. It is unlikely that readers will recommend your site right away. In such a situation drive focus on influencers. In a survey, it was found that over 71% users were likely to purchase based on social media referrals.

On Facebook – Tie up with influencers and ask them to review your site. You can give them your products or have any other similar deal

On Instagram – With the recent addition of Instagram Stories, influencers are able to make more impact. Send free products or special deal discounts which they can, in turn, give away to their users

On Twitter – This is a completely open platform and can make or break your brand. Retweet and hashtag effectively to create maximum positive impact

Do you use any other creative ideas to promote your site? If you do then let us know in the comments below.

Original post: 4 Creative Ways to Promote Your Site

Increase Your Blog’s Appeal By Adding These 3 Spices

If you’ve been dreaming of making it big with your blog, and gathering millions of loyal subscribers who can’t wait to get your next email, you’re in good company. Everyone wants their blog to be successful, but only a handful achieve it. Not because there’s a secret formula they’re keeping secret, but because they know the ingredients required for success.

Although it seems complicated at times, you don’t need a degree in rocket science to have a successful blog. Here are three simple steps you can take to spice up your existing blog and make it more desirable to your readers:

1. Write only when you have something to say

One of the most common pieces of advice given by expert bloggers and marketers is the frequency at which you should post new articles. Some say you need to post articles daily, while others say you can get away with posting a couple times per week, which is still frequent. Almost no advice out there will tell you to post sparingly.

Posting frequently sounds like a strategy backed by some technical reason or logic, but it’s really not. The intention behind frequent posting is nothing more than keeping a steady stream of content in front of your already-distracted visitors so they don’t forget about you and move on.

That advice was created to help people with mediocre content achieve mediocre success. Truth is, more content doesn’t equal more target readers. When you have high quality content, people don’t need to be convinced to read your articles, and you don’t need to keep putting your content in their face. A truly successful blog will have visitors who voluntarily come back for more.

People don’t read, they scan

Studies like this one from the Nielsen Norman Group show that people don’t read web content word for word. Instead, they scan for keywords. Even when an article is interesting to them, they only read a portion of it. Chances are, if you’ve been publishing articles to stay on top of your weekly quota, they’re probably not even being read.

Posting less frequently isn’t a strategy itself, but it’s a side effect of the ultimate strategy of publishing articles only when you have something of value to share.

When your content is delectable, and people actively want to consume it, posting less frequently will cause people to anticipate your next post and become excited when it’s published. When people want your content and wait for it, that’s a true sign of success.

2. Write about creative projects related to your niche

Whatever your niche is, some creative mind out in the world has started a humanitarian or art project related to it. Finding those people and writing an article about their creative projects is a wonderful way to give your readers something fun to read.

For example, if you’re in marketing, you could write an article about an artist doing portrait mosaics out of business cards and flyers! Engaging readers with creative content makes them feel good.

You want your blog to stand out, so the more unique your content is, the better. Another example of creative articles can be seen on the Clunker Junker’s blog. There’s an article written about an artist from Poland who used scrap metal to build scale models of various supercars. His models are hauntingly beautiful, and contain so many small parts that it’s hard to imagine how he was able to do it.

Don’t just look around at other blogs in your industry to get ideas. Think outside the box and bring creativity through art to your blog.

3. Share something mind blowing

To really spice up your blog, write about something generally only known inside of your industry that affects other people. Buzzfeed is a master of this strategy! Or, write about something commonly known but from an uncommon perspective afforded by your industry.

For example, Dave Asprey published an article on his Bulletproof Coffee blog about the reason many organic farms aren’t renewing their official, organic certification. According to the article, in some states certifications are moving from a set yearly fee to a percentage of gross annual income, making it impossible for smaller farms to renew certification. While these farms still produce certifiably organic produce, unless consumers investigate, they’d never know.

Most people go to the grocery store and think that unless food is labeled organic, it’s not organic. This article gives people the incentive they need to do more research and not be fooled by labels (or the absence thereof). That produce you’ve been avoiding because it’s not organic could, in fact, be organic.

Original post: Increase Your Blog’s Appeal By Adding These 3 Spices