Archive for Blog

6 Content Ideas to Add to Your Content Marketing Mix

So often when businesses think of their content marketing strategy they are limited in what they believe content can be. They think of blogs, videos, and white papers mostly. Some companies also discuss podcasts, email newsletters, and images.

However, content marketing is more comprehensive than the standard examples. Below we discuss a number of different content types that deserve some additional sway in your content marketing mix.

Some of the ideas listed below will even give a pop to your current content creation. If you need help, ask a content marketing agency to help you with the right content marketing strategy.

6 Content Marketing Types to Consider

Infographics-A content marketing agency can help you build your traffic using Infographics. One of my favorite infographic marketers is Quick Sprout and Kissmetrics founder Neil Patel.

His infographics are legendary and built his companies traffic and authority with his widespread use of the strategy. According to a blog post of his in August this year, he stated infographics “47 infographics generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains. They also generated 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes.”

Courtesy of: B2B Infographics

Any other questions about why infographics can help your business? Let me know in the comment area.

EBook- A close cousin to the white paper, EBooks certainly deserve their due. Over the years, few content forms have captured as many email leads as the mighty EBook.

It is not surprising why so many entrepreneurs continue to use this form of content marketing to build their list. It works!

Case Study- Another interesting form of content is the authority-building case study. Case studies provide insights into business decisions and ideas.

For example, the famous Harvard Case Studies are a collection of some of the best (and worst) business decisions in history.

The reason case studies like these work is because they tell a story about what could happen to your business in specific scenarios without having to s-p-e-l-l it out word for word.

The stories are a visual representation of the challenges many businesses face before using your services, and the case studies will answer their questions in a non-threatening manner.

Interview- If a case study does not sit right with your audience, maybe you will want to interview persons of interest to your audience.

The great thing about interviews is that this is a perfect medium to mix in with other forms of content. You can conduct the interview on Google Hangout or GoToWebinar, and then have a video of the entire webinar available afterwards.

You can then share the video on social media and transcribe the interview into a blog post or White Paper available for download.

Mobile Apps- While sometimes forgotten, mobile apps and software are forms of content. With the craze towards everything mobile over the past few years, this is the best time to jump on board this trend with a Mobile app. Mobile apps can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Remember that some of the biggest companies in the world right now are using Mobile Apps to connect with clients.

Looking at my Android, I can check my bank account balance and activity from Bank of America and Chase, see how many stars I have on my StarBucks app, and then use my Geico app to pay my insurance bill and for proof of insurance for my car.

This is all content that directly converts into business for a company. With so much content now consumed on mobile devices, it is best to be proactive with content creation on this medium.

Surveys- Sometimes content helps you more than it helps the readers. A perfect example of this is the survey. Surveys should be no more than 5-10 minutes at most.

A good survey will ask for a few basic questions that help you understand how to improve your business, blog, or sales process.

They should provide some sort of insight that leaders need in order to help create more quality content in the future.

One thing to remember is that this is a listening tool. That means you should not respond defensively, and be prepared that not everyone will be 100% happy with everything you do.

User Generated- The final type of content is not so much a content type, but a suggestion. Sometimes the best content is user generated. For websites with an active user base, getting your core followers together to contribute to your website can be a blessing in disguise.

Every social network built the bulk of their business on user generated content. This means you have no excuse for not doing the same.

What is the best content for your business?

In the end, your business needs to determine which forms of content matters most to their audience. Test different strategies to see which content marketing types work best for your audience. Let us know what content type works best for your business by placing a comment in the section below.

Take A Look AT The Graphic That Will Help Me Win The $500 Brother “Back To Business” Contest Prize

Brother Creative Center

Entered Biz Sugars’ Brother CreativeCenter Contest

Yes, I decided it was time to take my shaky design skills to the next level. Fortunately with the Biz Sugar Brother CreativeCenter “Back To Business” Contest, I did not need to brush up on my graphic skills to rock your eyes with my works of greatness. The process was pretty simple. Spend about 10 minutes on the Brother CreativeCenter creating a graphic that I can then use to promote Start Up Gap. Then I created the absolute beauty below to shock and amaze you all! Are you shocked? Are you in awe? Why not?

start up gap flyer

practicing vood traffic

Practicing Voodoo Traffic at the Chicago library to get you to the Start Up Gap Episode with Anita Campbell tomorrow

Ulterior Motives

So, why am I sharing this with you. Well, three reasons:

1. I plan on winning the prize for the contest, and thought doing a blog post would help garner more attention. Always important to get compensated for writing and designing.

2. My subconscious NLP method for getting you to check out StartUpGap.Com tomorrow at 4 PM CST when I interview Anita Campbell, the owner of BizSugar. Working on getting some serious voodoo traffic to the event tomorrow with this post. Look into my eyes. Burn this date onto your Google Calendar! Join us for this session to learn how Anita Campbell built her business. On the count of three you will wake up with a sudden urge to watch this show.

3. I thought I would take this time to show you how to actually use the Creative Center to create your own graphics. When I do win, I want to make sure that I had some serious competition. Are you up for the challenge? He! He! He!

 

 

How To Set Up Your Own Flyer Or Business Card

I thought that one of the easiest ways to show you how to use the Creative Center would be to do a quick video, as I set up some business cards for Start Up Gap. Be prepared to be amazed. Now, that I have worked my voodoo on you, I am sure that it is sure to happen.

What do you think? Pretty easy for you to set up your own graphic as well right? Then join in on BizSugar, so I can have some additional competition.

What Do You Think?

I know this was a visual explosion for your eyes. Definitely join in on the contest, so you too can claim international fame for your graphic skills (or at the very least have a great flyer or business card made up on the cheap.)

In the meantime, quick question. Should I now become a professional graphic artist, or stick to writing? Let me know in the comment area, along with a link to your own design.

The Six Insider Secret’s Of Contagious Content

Viral content is everywhere on the internet. People are always saying that a video “went viral”, which usually means it received a vast amount of views in a short amount of time. There’s a lot of psychology that goes into creating a viral video, though, and a lot of skill for those who are attempting to achieve viral success. Viral content is, in and of itself, emotional content. And emotional content will always drive people to share, comment, and send the video to their friends.

It has been demonstrated that practical, useful, surprising content goes viral more quickly, because the person sharing it is seen in a more positive light for having done so. Causing someone to be positively affected is one of the easiest ways to create a viral video, but the “shock and awe” factor also helps to make a video share-worthy.

There are many ways to ensure that the content you’re creating will be shared, possibly even at a viral level, but in order to really make the best out of all the knowledge pertaining to how to make a video that will be a hit, you need some actionable steps. This infographic can help you understand the psychological basics of human behavior, and steps regarding how to apply that behavior to your video creation.

The Six Insider’s Secrets of Contagious Content [Infographic] by Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Content Runner

I recently had the opportunity to check out Content Runner, a service that helps you find quality writers. Weird, I know, why does a writer need to find writers? Well, the truth is that I sometimes take on a lot of projects, and have other writers create some of the articles so that I can keep my content fresh for clients.

To do this I use systems like Content Runner to make my life easier. Now, before I get too far, I will be honest with you – I was given a review account to check out Content Runner. However, to be objective and provide you with the best information possible I will provide you with a balanced approach that discloses some of the shaky things about this site as well as the benefits of using this system. I broke this review into the different sections of the site that I found useful or interesting (screenshots included for reference).

content runner dashboard

 

Style GuideStyle Guide

First, they have a cool style guide section already completed, where you can add or subtract different styling information you require for the site. I found this more useful than the approach taken by other sites like iWriter or TextBroker, where you have to write in every project bid what you expect from the writers.

One note: Content Runner talks about citing official sources and using headers. However, they do not touch on telling writers to make sure the grammar and spelling is up to snuff. While this might sound obvious, I included it because some writers just need to need that gentle reminder.

The other benefit to this, is that if you have multiple clients you can create multiple style guides for each client. Therefore, if one client is on grammar patrol, and another is more concerned about SEO then you can specify each client’s needs in separate style guides.

Ease of Use

The ordering process is easy enough for your kindergartener to do it (so hide the username and password from them). From the dashboard you click “Post Your Order.” Then a small pop up screen appears with your Order Request.

content runner order form

Next, you either fill out the form or upload your request into the form. For those who fill out the form, you just need to include the article notes about the topic along with the word count, deadline, and price. Remember that the style guide will provide your writers with the general criteria, so you do not have to keep repeating yourself every time you need an article on what you need.

The whole process, once your style guide is set up should take you no more than 5 minutes. Remember to check the article after you submit it to ensure that everything is correct. You can start getting offers from writers on your articles immediately. Then you approve the writer that fits your needs.

White Label WordPress Exporter

One of the coolest things I found while using Content Runner was their WordPress exporter plugin. This plugin enables you to post any content directly from Content Runner straight to your site without have to log on, or copy and paste files.

They even have a white label option for marketing firms outsourcing their content for clients. That way, you can import the content, and your clients will not be the wiser when they are on your WordPress site that you purchased content from Content Runner.

wordpress api key content runner

Writer List with Favorites and Blocked List

The final Feature on Content Runner is the Writers List. You can favorite and block writers you like and dislike as you go. Also, you can take into consideration what other clients thought of the writers as well. This way if someone has two or more blocks, you can block them as well from even applying for your article.

content runner writer list

Need to be able to do full edits on instructions

The major downside that I saw on the articles is that once you have submitted an article you are not allowed to make edits without deleting the article entirely. If one aspect of your article changes, it is nice to be able to change that one specific area without having to start all over.

However, since your article is live I do understand why Content Runner does this. The only thing I would say is that, if you have to approve the writer in the first place, allow the clients to edit the article requests up to the point of the publication. That way, if you need to change the price for example to attract more talent, you can do so with ease.

It was driving me a bit crazy, because I play with how things look and feel. In other words, I want to be able to edit things the entire time until the article is with the writer.  The lack of an editing feature would make it easier.

Content Runner Summary

Overall, I found the site very easy to use, and great for client work. As someone who writes and hires out writers as well for WordPress projects, the plugin to be one of my favorite add-ons to the entire site.

Since, I am new to the site I will update you also on anything new that I find as I keep using the site. Just approved my first writer to create an article, and am impressed with how easy the process is at Content Runner. Let me know if you have any questions on Content Runner below.

Three Things I Learned From Moving My Blog Hosting

You might have noticed that over the past two weeks I have not written anything. The reason behind that is I needed to move my blog hosting from Godaddy over to Hostgator. This move was way overdue, and a host of challenges (yuck! yuck!) appeared once I started to make the move.

However, as with anything else online, this was a tremendous learning experience for me. I had to address a lot of buggy problems that have been besetting my site for years now. Great opportunity to start over, and a lot of work getting everything to work right.

I personally want to thank Josh Alexander for his help, and also Marc Benzakein from ServerPress for him walking me through how to set up ServerPress to run a local install for my site before going live.

Below are three things I learned during the move.

Three Lessons From Moving My Blog Hosting

1. Ridiculously Fast Website Speed

All I have to say is a picture is worth a 1000 words.  Then the two pictures below saved me from writing 2,000 words. Safe!

pingdom website speed test

pingdom website page load time

According to Pingdom, my site load speed is now 1.21 seconds. Prior to the reboot, it was around 4-5 seconds. This means my site is now ridiculously fast. More important, notice the sharp, cliff-like drop at the end. That is the power of rebooting your entire website to make sure it works properly.

2. Great Chance To Upgrade Site Over the past two weeks, I have had a chance to play around with Pagelines DMS. This is the free theme that came out a few weeks ago that will give iThemes Builder a run for its money. Check out my Previous Pagelines DMS to learn more about how the theme works.

Wordpress PluginsAdditionally, I have consolidated about 22 plugins into 14 plugins for my site.  Going back to point #1, my site is now ridiculously fast. Also, I am running lean and mean on my site for the first time in years. Plus, I will probably be able to consolidate the number of plugins down another 1-2 in the next few weeks. Plugins like SEO Extended is making my life easier now, so I can ensure all pages have an SEO title and description after the update.

Finally, after switching themes a few times over the years, some of my permalink structures got a bit…wonky. I believe that is the technical term for this.  Redesigning my site actually helped my search results, because when I exported the content onto the local host at Serverpress, I just exported the content, not the pages.

3. Moving Your Blog Hosting Always Take Longer Than You Expect.I thought moving my blog would be easy, because I have BackupBuddy. However, strange forces were at work with this hosting change. First, I did not realize that when I set up my initial back up plugin 3 years ago that the plugin was backing up into my website database. Apparently, it was not going to my remote location.

Do not ask how this happened, because that would be like asking a mouse why they like social media marketing happycheese. It was there.

So,  I looked into manually downloading my website only to find that my site with the constant backups had swelled to over 12 GB of data. Backup Buddy could not even back it up. FTP took almost 2 hours, and the code was an absolute mess.

My best option turned out to be starting over with the content I had from site. Here is what I did. I took exported the content from the site to an XML file. To do this go to tools=>export on your WordPress dashboard. Then I created a local hosting solution with ServerPress.

Imported the content from my site on the local host, and started over again with plugins, themes, etc. All told the changes took about two weeks.  When I was done, my previously 12 GB site was a lean, mean 250 MB speed demon ready to roll. I was then able to use Backup Buddy to move the site over to my hosting account at Hostgator.

What Does Your Blog Hosting Have To Do With Me?

I want you to beware of what you put in your WordPress site. Like many when I started, I had no clue what I was doing. Check out this link for a detailed list of my Blogging Duh Moments.  Learn from my mistakes and make sure everything is working properly. Makes your blog hosting changes a lot easier.

Now, for an important deviation, and critical sales process announcement. If you need blog hosting, use the contact form above. I can help you move your WordPress site over (250 MB max move), and get you started on a low priced plan today. Learn more by using the contact form on this site to discover blog hosting options for your business.