Blogging

  • 9 Essential Elements of an Effective Blog

    So, you want to write the perfect blog post. A blog post that attracts clicks, likes, and shares. A blog post that gets read all the way through – and has a real effect on readers, whether that means driving conversions or establishing you as an industry thought leader. Lucky for you, Marketing Zen is here to help! There are nine key elements that are essential to the crafting of an effective blog post. If you incorporate them all into your blog post, you’ll be well on your way to writing the perfect blog. 1. The Title We know, we know, you’ve heard this one a thousand times before. But that’s because it’s so vitally important to any blog post’s success. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into the writing of your blog post – if no one clicks on it because your headline is boring, you might as well not have written one at all. Your blog title must be interesting. It doesn’t have to be funny or mysterious – of course, it sure helps if it is. But developing your title based on a few simple tips can make all the difference in the…

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  • Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With Danny Wong

    In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with Danny Wong of Shareaholic. Danny is a rock star in the content marketing space, and we are honored that he agreed to answer a few questions for us .   1.  Danny, for the readers who don’t know you, could you please tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re passionate about it? As the Marketing Manager at Shareaholic, I wear a number of different hats. Primarily, I edit and manage our blog, where we publish articles about content marketing, traffic acquisition and noteworthy traffic trends. I also work with journalists and bloggers to create buzz around our announcements as long as our *news* actually has industry-wide implications rather than simply news that only impacts our business. I love what I do because I actually…

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  • 7 No-Sweat Ways To Write Fantastic Content – Even If You Hate Writing

    Remember when your English teacher told you that you’d need to be able to write in order to succeed in your future career? And remember when she deplored the rise of email and texting, and the accompanying decline in spelling and grammar skills? Well, she was right about one thing, but wrong about the other. Writing well is an essential skill in today’s business world – but it’s precisely because of the rise of technology that this skill has become so all-important. Websites need compelling copy written for each page, carefully crafted to guide visitors through the sales funnel. Blogs are a nonnegotiable part of any solid online marketing plan, providing both the fresh content needed to satisfy search engines, and the high-quality articles necessary to get social media engagement. And guest blogging, even according to Google’s Matt Cutts, is still one of the best ways to gain credibility as an industry thought leader. But for all the necessity of writing large amounts of great content regularly, for many, one major stumbling block still remains. What on earth should you do if you absolutely, positively, undeniably can’t stand writing? Maybe you’re a solid writer, but you just don’t enjoy the…

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  • Why Your Content Isn’t Good Enough

    We’re sorry to be the ones to have to tell you the cold, hard, unvarnished truth, but truth it is: your content just isn’t good enough. You may be writing your heart out every single day. You may have found your brand’s ideal voice – whether it’s witty, professional, warm, sarcastic, or something else entirely. You may be researching topics late into the night, and then spending hours crafting the perfect headlines to grab people’s attention. Heck, you may even have taken a course or two on how to write blogs, learning all the nitty-gritty about how to structure your sentences to make them more effective. But even after all that, we’re here to tell you. Your content still isn’t good enough. Why’s that, you may ask? Well, let’s take a step back for a moment. What’s the purpose of content? Of course, everyone knows the answer to that, right? To inform, to help, to build trust and credibility and authority, to convert….right? Nope. The main purpose of content is to be read. OK, now you’re rolling your eyes, but it’s true, isn’t it? If your content is never read, it’ll never have a chance to inform, or build authority,…

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  • 11 Content Marketing Tips For Driving Conversions

    A solid online marketing strategy is one that takes into consideration the need to attract leads, nurture relationships with those leads, and then convert them into sales. Most businesses have different online marketing activities in place for each step of this sales process, from social media marketing efforts geared towards attracting an online audience, and email marketing efforts meant to deepen those relationships, to a website built to close the deal. While many of these companies also use content marketing as an integral part of their overall strategy, it’s important to have a content marketing plan in place that includes writing fresh content specifically for each step of the sales process. Guiding leads through the sales funnel using content boosts the effectiveness of any social media or email marketing efforts exponentially. So how can your business craft content so compelling that it could attract, nurture, and convert leads all on its own, even without the help of other marketing activities? We’ve assembled some tips to get you started. 1. Focus on writing content that will be found by search engines. Use SEO keyword research to come up with blog topics that people are searching for. But don’t stop there. As…

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  • What Is High-Quality Content?

    With the recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, many businesses are asking themselves how they can tweak their current online marketing strategies in order to stay in news feeds and on consumers’ minds. One of the biggest takeaways from Facebook’s latest announcements is that links to high-quality content will be given preferential placement over images and posts that don’t include links. This simple statement has set the stage for an explosion of content in the world of online marketing. Content marketing was incredibly important before, but now it’s an absolute imperative. Garnering Facebook engagement via memes or even via genuine conversations with your audience will no longer be a viable option, if your posts don’t involve links to high-quality content. But therein lies the problem. What exactly is “high-quality content?” Or more to the point, what does Facebook think high-quality content is? Other than telling us that they want to become their users’ go-to source for news, Facebook gives no specific guidelines as to what they consider high-quality. This is no Google algorithm change, packaged with advice to help marketers understand the new system. Marketers are on their own here, and will have to go through a process of trial and…

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  • Using Earned Media To Promote Your Content

    Okay, you’ve got a blog. And you publish amazing content on that blog. You keep it fresh by posting two or three times a week, at least. You use keywords, meta tags, interlinking – the whole shebang. So why isn’t anyone reading it? You’re doing everything right as far as creating that content. The problem is that you’re spending all your time on creation…and none on promotion. Of course you have to pay attention to things like keywords, and provide fresh, useful content on a regular basis, or else Google won’t even give your site a second glance. But online marketing is always evolving, and more and more, it’s becoming necessary to promote your content through outreach and earned media, as well. What is earned media? It’s media that you don’t own, like your company blog or social media accounts, and that you don’t pay for, like an ad. Media is earned by producing great content, and then getting a respected third party to share that content. And it’s the process of getting that third party to share that makes up the all-important promotion necessary to get your content in front of readers. So how can you get your content…

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  • How to Use Big Content in Your Online Marketing Strategy

    We’ve all heard it said countless times: Content is king. In the world of online marketing, providing useful content is the very best way to build an audience and then connect with them, to build credibility for your brand, and even to drive conversions. So if your average, everyday, useful content is such an important part of your online marketing strategy, then doesn’t it logically follow that big content would be even better? First of all, let’s define our terms. Regular content includes blog posts, informational webpages, articles…any text that provides useful information for your audience. It’s usually posted to your site several times a week, and each fresh installment is promoted through social media or email. Big content, on the other hand, includes white papers, eBooks, and webinars. Big content takes a lot more time to produce – anywhere from days to months – and its release is usually promoted much more aggressively than that of a twice-weekly blog post. The key here is not to take an either-or approach to the use of big content vs. regular content. Both have their place and their uses in your online marketing strategy. Regular blog posts or brand new articles are…

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  • How To Use Tumblr To Market Your Business

    Tumblr is one of those social media channels that many businesses are on the fence about. Using Tumblr is not as key to a social media marketing strategy as using Facebook or Twitter, so most marketers focus their attentions elsewhere. But did you know that when it comes to web rankings, Tumblr’s popularity is right up there with Pinterest’s? As of right now, Tumblr hosts over 130 million blogs. 130 million! That’s almost twice as many blogs as WordPress hosts. And all those users are just the beginning – Tumblr gets 300 million unique visitors each month. Depending on the demographics you are trying to market your business to, the stats on Tumblr may hold even more good news for you: Around half of the users are under the age of 25. So, yes, Tumblr is definitely worth incorporating into your social media marketing strategy. But what’s the best way to do that? We’ve compiled a list of tips to guide you on your way. 1. Understand how it works. Tumblr is a complex creature – part blogging platform, part social media platform. While it hosts blogs just like WordPress, it also includes Facebook-type elements such as sharing, liking, following,…

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  • 13 Tips For Writing an Effective Outreach Email

    We’ve talked before about the growing importance of outreach in the world of online marketing – promoting your own blog or business website by guest blogging on someone else’s site. It’s an extremely effective way to tap into new audiences and attract more people to your own site. But the hard truth is that you’ll never even get the chance to write a guest blog, if you don’t get the first step of the outreach process right. That first step is writing an email to the owner of the site. Think about it. If you’ve determined that a certain site would be the ideal place for a stint as a guest blogger, you can be sure that plenty of other people have, too. And all of those other people are also sending the site owner emails requesting to guest blog, as well. So if you want even the faintest hope of ever being given the chance to widen your audience via that site, you’ve got to make absolutely sure that your outreach email stands out from all the others. So how can you ensure that your message catches the site owner’s attention – and not only that, but also actually…

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  • Creating Content That Converts Is Just Like Dating…No, Really!

    You know how awkward that first date can be? Especially when it’s with someone who spends the entire evening talking about themselves, going on and on about how great they are, their amazing accomplishments, and all the incredible things they’ve got going on… Yeah, that’s exactly how people feel when you constantly go on and on about your business in your company’s blog, emails, and social media posts. Seriously. You may not feel like it’s off-putting – after all, you’re just telling the world what you have to offer, right? Don’t you need to get that message across, in order to do business? Well, think about that date again. Would you go on a second date with someone who only talked about themselves, and never asked you to tell them your own story? ‘Nuff said. Sure, you don’t mind your date telling you what they do for a living, what their interests are, and what their family’s like. And if they just happen to have won some award or gotten a cool new job recently, you’d expect them to be excited about that, and share that info with you, too. You expect to find all that sort of information out…

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  • SEO and Keywords: How to Optimize Your Content Using Keywords

    Oh, those pesky SEO keywords. Everybody talks about them: “They’re absolutely essential!” “But don’t overuse them!” “Put them here!” “No, put them there!” “Use them this way!” “No, use them that way!” Is it any wonder that they cause just about as much confusion as they do enthusiasm? But here’s the thing. Keywords don’t have to be scary or controversial. There are some basics that just about everyone can agree on, and if you apply those basics consistently, you’ll be just fine. When you hear the word ‘keyword,’ what comes to mind? Complex search engine algorithms? Spammy emails for Viagra? Content that sounds like it was written by a 6-year-old? (“I love yellow hats. Yellow hats are cute. When I wear yellow hats, I feel happy. Yellow hats make me smile. Do yellow hats make you smile, too?”) Well, fear the yellow hat no more, friends, because we’re here to tell you that keywords aren’t all about complicated SEO stuff – and shouldn’t have anything to do with awful content, either. Keywords, first and foremost, are a way to understand, and then reach, your market. Yup, that’s right. Forget about all that complex internet stuff for just a minute. Keywords…

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