How to Double Your Writing Speed Without Lowering Quality

How in the world do they do it? Day after day, they write monstrous posts that are extremely useful and easy to read. You know the people I’m talking about—you might even consider me to be one of them. Here’s what a typical week looks like for me in terms of blog content alone: 2 posts on Quick Sprout (1,000-5,000 words each) plus an infographic 2 posts on the NeilPatel.com blog (about 5,000 words each) 2 guest posts on other popular blogs (about 1,500 words each) 0.5-1 blog post for the Crazy Egg blog (about 2 per month at about 2,000 words each) Total that up, and you get around 17,000 words per week or 3,400 words per weekday. And I’ve been able to sustain this type of volume for years. I’m the first to admit that in technical terms, I’m not the best writer. I certainly didn’t go to […]

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Is Your Content Marketing Strategy Falling Short? This $35 Bundle Can Help.

Learn marketing techniques for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more. Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing. May 24, 2020 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. For entrepreneurs, the only way to know the best techniques for reaching your target customers is by testing, testing, and testing some more. It’s important to work with multiple mediums, from paid ads on Google and Facebook to video and PPC strategies. But what many entrepreneurs may overlook is the value of content marketing. Content marketing allows you to invest relatively little overhead capital while offering potentially enormous returns. In fact, content marketing […]

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5 Ways to Capture Email Addresses From Landing Page Traffic

April 29, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Most marketers I know who use landing pages to make direct sales online focus on conversion: getting as many visitors as possible to the landing page to place orders. Other internet marketers, when writing landing page copy, focus not only on conversion but also on search engine optimization: keyword selection and meta tag creation that can increase traffic by raising the site’s search engine rankings. But in addition to all this, savvy online marketers are concerned with a third performance metric: capturing email addresses. If you have a 2 percent conversion rate, then for every 100 visitors to the landing page, only two buy. What happens to the other 98 visitors? You won’t be able to add their […]

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Content Marketing: Here’s a really selfish reason to properly credit your sources (plus an altruistic one)

  This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter. The rise of digital publishing has provided a voice to anyone with a digital device and an internet connection, anywhere in the world. For brands and businesses — both massive and solopreneurs — it means the ability to publish content marketing and get the word out about your products and services directly to the customer. That’s a good thing. A powerful way to grow your company. But as publishing has become democratized, now all of us are newspaper editors and book publishers — with no training. And because of that, properly quoting your sources is a significant professional courtesy that is seriously lacking. Quit biting my style In any creative or artistic endeavor, there lies the temptation to copy successful inspiration. Music. Writing. Comedy. “You have a better chance of stopping a serial killer than a serial thief in comedy,” […]

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The 10 Biggest Graphic Design Mistakes You Can Make in Your Marketing Pieces

April 15, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Design plays an important role in the success of your content. Long before they read your words, readers will begin judging the value of your content by its appearance. Here, according to desktop design guru Roger C. Parker, are 10 of the most common graphic design mistakes and how to avoid them: 1. Overuse of Color The overuse of color does a disservice to readers who print white papers on inkjet printers. Avoid solid-colored backgrounds behind the text. Such pages can cost several dollars each in ink supplies. In addition, bright colors can create distractions that make adjacent text hard to read. Finally, text set in color is often harder to read than black text against a plain […]

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8 Steps to Webinar Success

April 8, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Webinars have long been an effective content marketing tactic. Your prospects can hear you talk and see your slides right on their com­puter screens. A typical sales funnel for a content marketing campaign incorporating a free webinar is: Put up a webinar registration page. Drive traffic to the registration page with an email invitation. Hold the webinar. Make a special offer at the close of the webinar. Follow up with emails reminding attendees and registrants of the special offer. The biggest problem with webinars is that more and more companies are producing them. That means the web is getting cluttered with them, making it more difficult to get attention for your event. Build your visual webinar presentation like […]

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Storytelling in business: how to use it to grow your brand

Storytelling has forever been a core piece in the way humans communicate. It’s universal and powerful, and as marketers, it’s something that is at the core of our skillset. Still, storytelling in business wasn’t something I really thought about too much when I was starting out. I heard it mentioned a lot, but I never really read anything very practical about how to do it. I figured it was a bit of a wanky buzzword and moved on to other sensible marketing strategies like yellow pages ads. I did, however, start telling my story naturally. I enjoyed writing about my journey and I got good feedback from others. But I didn’t realize how powerful it was as a way to spread the message. I also didn’t really know exactly how to do it, or more importantly how not to do it. That was until Kyle, who worked for me at […]

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How to build an audience: my unconventional approach to rebuilding mine in a few years

In the last four years I’ve launched one 7-figure and two 6-figure businesses off the back of the audiences I’ve built up. Since a lot of the people who read my stuff don’t have an audience like mine, I often get questions, such as this one below, on how to build an audience: Thanks for the question Nick, because I was wondering what I was going to write about this week and I think this is a great topic. What a lot of people don’t know, is while I’ve been online for a decade, I actually started almost entirely from scratch 4 years ago, giving up virtually everything I’d done in the 7 years prior. There is a lot of information out there on how to build an audience, but all of it focusses on how to increase your metrics like conversions, email list subscribers, social media followers etc. The […]

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How to build a 6 figure side business by self publishing books

4 years ago I was broke, looking for a job after 7 failed years as an entrepreneur. Things have changed since, which is great but perhaps the most surprising is the business I’ve built through self publishing books. In the last 2 years I’ve written 4 books and turned them into a stand alone 6-figure side business. I never considered for a second that I would be a writer / author so it feels pretty wild. I was recently asked to talk at the Dynamite Circle event in Bangkok on the topic of self-publishing (The 6-figure self publishing side hustle), and I thought I’d share the lessons here also, as well as my slides (available at the end of this post). Here are all the topics covered in this post, you can click on the topic to go down the page to the content. Getting ideas for your book When I think […]

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34 Critical Tips for Creating Enewsletters That Get Opened and Read

Learn how to write enewsletters that make prospects reach out for more. April 1, 2020 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Whether you’re building brand awareness, generating leads or making direct sales, there are two ways to sell your products and services to your enewsletter subscribers. One is to place small online ads in the regular issues. These ads are usually a hundred words or so in length and include a link to a page on your site where the subscriber can read about and order the product. The other is to send stand-alone email messages to your subscribers, again promoting a specific product and a link to your site. My enewsletter, The Direct Response Letter (www.bly.com/report), is not the most successful or widely read on the planet. […]

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One-Step Vs. Multistep Content Marketing Campaigns

Find out the difference between these two foundational campaigns so you can determine which best fits your needs. March 11, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  When it comes to marketing, there are two types of campaigns you can run: one with just one step or one that includes multiple steps. One-step content marketing is a limited campaign in which you essentially deliver a piece of meaningful content to your target audience. That’s it. The classic example of a single-step use of content is writing an op-ed piece or letter to the editor for your local newspaper. You express your opinion in a short article that runs once. There’s no explicit call to action (CTA) mechanism for the reader to respond to. No list to join. […]

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Copyrighting 101 for Content Writers

You don’t have to have an English degree to be a good marketing writer. But you do need to follow a few rules that will help you create interesting and effective content marketing materials. March 4, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Virtually all multichannel marketing campaigns today combine content marketing with copywriting, so a content marketer or writer should at least learn the fundamentals of copywriting. Below are a few tips to get you started. Write a killer headline The headline is the first thing your reader sees and the most important part of the promotion. The headline’s main job is to get the prospect’s attention in a way that makes them want to know more about what you’re selling. The more specific your headline, […]

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The 5 Cs of Content Marketing Copy

Master these five skills and you’re well on your way to creating content that grabs attention and turns prospects into buyers. February 26, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  I love formulas for writing for two reasons. First, the best formulas are simple, easy to remember and rapidly mastered. Knowing them can help you create content and copy that’s twice as effective in half the time. Second, the reason they became formulas in the first place is that they work! Related: The 10-Step Effective Content Marketing Campaign There are literally dozens of time-tested content and copywriting formulas out there. If you don’t know any of them, you could be unnecessarily wasting your time reinventing the wheel with each promotion you write. You could also be writing inferior copy […]

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The 10-Step Effective Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing isn’t hard. Follow these 10 steps to do it right. February 19, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  What makes for successful B2B and B2C lead-generating content marketing campaigns? There are 10 key steps.   Step 1: Define the Target Audience and Their Information Needs In B2B, defining the target audience or readership involves knowing the industry, company size and prospect’s title, responsibilities, education and degree of knowledge in your chosen topic, as well as how they use your type of product in their business. You should also think about the information needs of prospects at the stage of the buying process at which you’re reaching them.   Step 2: Come Up with a Strategic or Useful Content Plan A strategic content plan is one in […]

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9 Ways Your Content Marketing Can Generate Leads and Close Sales

Find out how upping your content marketing game can close more deals. February 12, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  Content marketing performs nine functions that help both B2B and B2C marketers generate more leads and ultimately close more sales. Let’s explore them: 1. Sets the specs. Content marketing can edu­cate prospects on what features, functions, and capabilities they should look for when buying a particular type of product or service. If you’ve presented your criteria in a white paper or other medium that looks like useful information and not a sales pitch, readers will absorb and accept your guidelines. They’ll then use the spec­ifications you’ve set. Say you sell motionless mixers, one of the products I helped market at Koch Engineering. In your ads, you […]

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The 7 Rules of Writing Persuasive Technical Content

Helping people understand what your technical products do will be easier if you follow these seven guidelines for writing B2B technical content. February 5, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble  A lot of B2B marketing either promotes technical products, sells to a technical audience, or both. The nature of these marketing campaigns poses a challenge to those who must create them because the marketers tasked with executing these campaigns often lack a technical background. Therefore, they may have a steep learning curve and difficulty understanding what they’re selling and to whom they’re selling it. I’ve been writing copy to sell technical products to engineers, scientists, programmers, and other techies for more than four decades. Here are seven tricks of the trade that give me an edge […]

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5 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know for 2020

Use new content marketing tactics to engage customers. January 2, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s a new decade and with it comes content marketing trends that will change content creation for businesses. Plus, content marketing isn’t the only thing that’s changing — people are always changing. The needs of your audience are constantly evolving and you need to keep up with what they want so that you can continue to create and distribute effective and engaging content. Related: 3 Content Marketing Strategies to Skyrocket Your Revenue Check out these five content marketing trends you need to know for 2020.  1. Video and live-streaming Video and live-streaming have become huge recently thanks to popular platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch — and it’s only going to get bigger in 2020. In fact, according to HubSpot, 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from […]

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When You’re Ready for a Change, Don’t Hesitate

This is the last Copyblogger Weekly of the year — and the decade! And actually, it’s the last Copyblogger Weekly … ever. (Really.) In 2020, we’ll have a different kind of weekly newsletter, presented by Copyblogger Partner Darrell Vesterfelt. Darrell’s going to share the latest in content marketing with you, so make sure to stay tuned for our first edition that will be published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. I’ll be creating some new Copyblogger educational materials to teach, so you’ll still see me around. 🙂 Now that you’re up-to-date on our changes … Let’s see how we can help guide you through the changes you’re ready to make. In our first post on Monday, Brian Clark made the case that Thought Leadership Is a Synonym for Attention. Don’t feel like an authority in your niche yet? Brian reminds us: “If you have the attention of an audience, you’re already […]

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Thought Leadership Is a Synonym for Attention

Personally, I’ve never liked the term “thought leadership.” It signifies some exalted guru status, and my 20 years of online content marketing suggest something much less exclusive. Anyone can achieve business authority with content, if they truly want to. I’ve done it in several industries, starting as a complete unknown in each. People “who had business ideas that merited attention” Turns out, the term “thought leadership” was coined back in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the Booz Allen Hamilton magazine Strategy & Business (a content marketing publication itself). Kurtzman used the term to refer to people “who had business ideas that merited attention.” Attention. That’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it? If you publish valuable business information that matters to prospective customers and clients, you can gain initial attention. If you focus on providing that information continuously (just like a magazine), you can gain permission-based continual attention. And […]

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Ask MarketingSherpa: Balancing search engine optimization, conversion optimization and conversation

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of these conversations here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa: My question is about balancing the SEO needs with the conversation needs, an issue when driving traffic through organic rankings. I think the issue I am struggling with is “the thing that a customer might search for is not what they want to buy.” I know how to rank any page for anything, and through your training, I am beginning to know how to think about a page that achieves its objectives. I think what I am struggling with is balancing the two and deciding what keywords to optimize the home page for when trying […]

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