Deconstructing Success with Eben Pagan

Eben Pagan had a series of videos he did recently as part of a launch all worth watching. The end result was a webinar with a pitch at the end. This isn’t surprising at all and what a lot of Internet Marketers will do, give away great ideas and then offer you more if you want. In fact Jeff Walker is doing a launch as well with three key videos. [Read more...]

Five Minute Content Creation

Content SolutionsKnow how hard it is to get regular content? It takes forever. Content, it’s what drives visitors but it also seems to be this weight only slightly lifted each time you publish something. Here is how to fix that in five minutes. As with all 5 minute solutions I give you the solution, actions, take-aways and the source for more. Ready?

Take an existing blog post and look at it from different angles. Look at audience (beginner, intermediate, professional), structure (list, how-to, news, Q&A, opinion, curated) and format (text article, graphic, slides, audio, video). Now make the existing blog post slightly more advanced or do another with a list of other experts offering their opinion or create slides from it. Each one of these is a different piece of content from an existing post or idea.

This setup allows you to create from what is usually one blog post or page into many. It also helps you cater to a wider range of people.

Actions, Take-Aways, and Source

Action: take an older piece of content and create different variations from each angle. This means you only rewrite and add a little which is often easier than starting from scratch.

Take-Aways: try doing this with creating and with research. When researching widen the scope to different mediums like audio, video, images, slides, graphics. Including these from other people reinforces your content making your post more interesting.

Source: Hubspot

Five Minute Conversion Fix

Three Second Conversion TestSometimes it is easier to think about more traffic than the traffic you have. Maybe it’s part of the shiny new object syndrome or starting a new project buzz. Whatever it is experts often suggest going for conversions first. It makes sense to work with the audience you already have. If you can convert your existing traffic easily, you do ten times better when you scale up.

Here is the first five minute conversion fix. As with all 5 minute solutions I give you the solution, actions, take-aways and the source for more. Ready?

The Three Questions

There are three questions to ask that are really simple but powerful. The first part of your conversion starts within the first three seconds. In three seconds your website needs to answer these questions:

What is it? What is it about? What do I get? 

When you look at a website like this your mind shifts to what the visitor gets. You boil it down to a simple presentation that grabs attention. You need your words to be clean and clear and your visuals to reinforce in the same manner. A lot visuals are tempting because they look nice and in your mind they fit exactly. When someone else from the outside looks these same visuals are vague. They don’t have an insider’s mind to know why they connect with what you offer.

Actions, Take-Aways, and Source

Action: Go to 40 websites right now and quickly look at them for 3 seconds asking this question. Jot down notes on the ones that are doing it effectively. How could you do something similar with your own spin? Try different examples and have someone who doesn’t know your business as deeply to take a look and see if they get it.

Take-Away: When looking at your own website how could you change the wording and visuals to answer these questions in three seconds.

Source: Eben Pagan

Get More Attention to Blog Posts in Five Minutes

Five Minutes is All You Need

Photo: Glamhag on Flickr

Want to get more attention from blog posts? When you share in social media, lead with images instead of links. Want a quick way to do this?  [Read more...]

Features Instead of Benefits; People Instead of Stats

Features instead of benefits. People instead of stats. Smiling Leaf

Benefits. Make what you do about building relationships. Think of it like Chris Brogan,

I’m grateful that 265K or so people follow me on Twitter. That rarely helps me when I really need it. What helps me is that I take the time to talk with and stay connected with people as often as possible.

The connection is where it is at. Specifically helping other people connect helps you connect.

Be helpful + meet helpful people + connect really helpful people = potential for future amazingness.

These quotes come from Chris Brogan’s newsletter.

So if you want to connect what do you do?

Read blog posts on the best 100 tools for connecting with people online? Or look at the core tools you already use, look at the people you already know and make connections right now. You have what you need right now to do the same thing Chris Brogan is doing.

It is about the core and keeping things simple.

Connecting with Who You Know Right Now

Go to your LinkedIn profile right now and look at your connections. Chances are there are a number of people you could connect together. Same with your Twitter profile and your Google Plus account or many other social media accounts. Ok so it takes time so do one a day, do one a week, any amount to start making connections that help other people.

It is simple and yet profound at the same time. That’s what using core strategies is all about. Keeping things simple and at a human level. Then you can beat Hubspot at it’s own game. They have tons of content resources for every part of their customer funnel. They have deep pockets to create all the content they could ever need. What do you have?

Relationships. Work alongside other people and create content both of your audiences want. Partner with other small website owners to tag-team visitors. You don’t need to do it alone. In fact, you are better off when you do it with others.

Core Content Creation Strategies

Fireworks

Listen for the Fireworks with the Most Ahh

There are many best practices for creating social and website content and there is always something new. Like people who obsess about having the next best iPhone, there are website owners who obsess about the next best practices. The best practices for blogging, social media, and connecting with people online, with having a steady stream of content. This drives a lot of energy and money around but leaves most unsure of what to invest time and effort on.

This isn’t sustainable, at least not for the small businesses.

The larger business websites with deeper pockets create epic content, push it to go viral and are able to eat up the next best practices for breakfast. The rest of us go through content shock with a website we hope doesn’t drain our main business.

Obviously what small business owners fear most is a website that takes over their time and resources without any return. The more best practices are flown around, the more fear grows turning into the realization there is no way to “get” what it takes to run a website and social.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way out with key strategies. [Read more...]

One Critical Element for Successful Content Strategies

Content strategies are all the rage because the right content at the right moment is what drives visitors. That content has to be created and there is one essential element to make that all happen: creative habits.

Essential Creative Habits

Throughout 2013 the need for quality content has become essential for websites to succeed. Various updates from Google made it essential to put out content that people want to share. The way to make 2014 strong is by continuing strategic content creation. Strategic in that it is geared towards your niche audience at the right time and just how they like it. You aren’t catering to the masses, you are creating to your audience. [Read more...]

Use These 3 Habits and Always Have Content to Create

Content fuels your website by delivering solutions, ideas, and inspiration to a target audience or the “right people.” Creating content all of the time can be a drain or a source of daily inspiration. The following habits ensure you have content to create and are inspired in the process.

It is about finding a blend of discovery, note taking, and creation all in one. Why not make it much easier to spend a little time here and there rather than sucking up a whole Sunday afternoon?

When it comes to tools for content you need tools to keep your pulse on everything. You need a way to skim, monitor and collect, to curate ideas together to help towards the spark of creation.

Collecting Content

Collecting content all day is a trick between finding good content and letting it go. Your mind plays like you are starving and this content might be your last meal. You resist this by collecting moving on.

Collect using tools such as Feedly, Scoop.It, Flipboard, Springpad, and Zite just to name a few. Each one does a great job covering how to use them so I won’t do that here. Which one is best? Some people are partial to one particular tool, others use a combination which I find works well. It doesn’t matter what is best for everyone else but what works for you. You have to experiment. Start by checking out this awesome article on content curation from the experts. That way you still can experiment but start with a solid foundation. Of course, tools are only as good as the habits established around them.

Collecting Habits

Habits are the cornerstone of life and what can make the difference between getting stuff done and frittering your day away. The following are habits to prevent content collection from being another time suck.

  • Time yourself. This one is critical, you have to decide how much time you are going to use before you start and then stick to it. Just stop when the time comes and trust that if you miss something, there will be other even better content to take it’s place.
  • Use buckets. You need a place to throw content you find and want to review and organize later. This can be something like Pocket or Evernote.
  • No interruptions. Make sure you are not interrupted because then it will become more difficult to time yourself. You also may become less likely to put in the full time as you get swept away by other duties.
  • Learn to skim. Look for key points that really grab you and make you want to tell someone about. If you are compelled to share any part of it when you skim, then throw it in a bucket for later.
  • Alternative. See something while doing other work, quickly throw it into Evernote using the browser tool and review it all later.

Content Review

Once you collect then you need to review. The review process is where you actually read what you collected. This time you need to have somewhere to throw quotes and jot down ideas as you go. Write ideas down as soon as you have them, you won’t always remember later and this way your brain isn’t taking up energy keeping it in the back of your mind.

You could use a regular notebook and that might work well in some cases but otherwise use Evernote. Evernote has plenty written about it for example here or here. Some review habits to consider:

  • Have an organizational system. This could be tagging, folders, whatever will work well for you to find the ideas later.
  • Carve out time. Reading what you find takes time so be ruthless about reading only the good stuff while also making sure nothing else gets in the way. Reading is often seen as a luxury that few allow themselves. Make time for a complete read not just a skimming, if you are really just skimming, maybe it isn’t worth reading?

Content Planning

The best planning is done through a content calendar. Start small if you have to but decide on content as far out as you can. Having some ideas in place beforehand also helps feed your content collection. Your mind starts thinking about future content and often be unconsciously collecting. The habits to consider:

  • Try to incorporate different media, not just blog posts but images, video, and podcasts too.
  • Instead of doing it alone find other people through tools like FollowerWonk and try co-creation projects
  • Have extra backup content you can always use anytime for just in case
  • Use your full team for creating content.

Content ideas come from keeping this process consistent. There is never a shortage of ideas when you make the process a regular habit. Extra bonus: switch up where you read to cross pollinate your ideas from other niches.

Not Provided and Creative Habits

One day it is Jeff’s turn to change his newborn named Google and this time there is a major blowout (Jeff Goins has a great blog here on writing and Jeff Goins, Baby Poop, and Creative Habitsinspiration and none of the following is true but I know that he has a younger kid and likes to connect life moments on his blog). Poop is everywhere, clothing, changing table, wall, on him, and it isn’t pretty. It is so bad he nicknames the blowout “Not Provided.” What can he do? He can’t walk away from his newborn, he has to deal with it, he has to clean up the poop even if it is the nastiest, vilest thing he has ever seen or smelt. [Read more...]

Team Blogging for Content Marketing

In talking with small to medium sized businesses about their site needs one item becomes clear, producing regular content is one of the hardest parts. Having a website is essential, design is critical, and page content optimization necessary, but unless there is regular content produced and distributed it is hard to get enough targeted traffic to a website.

A blog has become the standard for producing content but who has time to write it? Who has time for spreading that content or keeping up with social media? One of the key elements many don’t utilize is the power of team blogging. Most everyone in your company could be participating with content production. It takes some trust and mistakes will be made but overall the authentic voices and perspectives are overwhelmingly positive compared to the negative. The best part? Not everyone has to be a writer to create content.

Team Blogging Uses Everyone for Content

Lab Tech's Have Tons of Knowledge to Use for Team Blogging

Lab Tech’s Have Tons of Knowledge to Use for Team Blogging

How would using everyone for content work? Why would you use everyone? You use everyone for their expertise. Small to medium sized companies have staff used to wearing multiple hats with established knowledge in multiple areas while also being deeper experts in a few. These people may not be writers but they have technical knowledge helpful for content marketing. Connect what they know with your FAQ list or with technical questions and you have a gold mine of content opportunities. The key is lovingly pulling forth the expertise from those non-writing coworkers. An easy and often overlooked solution is a digital recorder. It is a matter of either sitting down with them for 10-15 minutes or having them sit down and record answers from your FAQ or some other potential content list. [Read more...]

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