38 Ways to Boost Your Content Confidence … Every Time You Publish

The life of a content marketer is always intense. The deadlines, the flow of ideas, the juggling of writing, promotion, and business needs. To keep producing, you need to protect your content confidence. And this week, we shared 38 ways to do that. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined 12 of the triple-checks we do at Copyblogger to make sure that every post goes into the world making an excellent impression. (I messed up #5 once and I was mortified. If only I’d had Stefanie’s checklist in front of me!) On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson showed us how to take a just-okay image and crop it so it tells a compelling story — and increases the immediate impact of your content. Smart images will help your good writing get the shares and attention it deserves. And on Wednesday, I talked about 10 ways to fall in love with your blog (or podcast, […]

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3 Quick Ways to Transmogrify Photos with Smart Cropping

Cut it out. Cut out the boring parts. Cut out the irrelevant. Cut out the extraneous details that take away from the big visual story. You may know that cropping a photo is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make a boring image more interesting. But you may hesitate to use the cropping tool in your image editor. You could feel unsure about where to place it or how much of the photo to trim away. Today, I’m going to teach you three quick rules for cropping. Get ready to cut it out — with confidence. Cropping is visual editing Since you’re a Copyblogger reader, you understand how editing a sentence like this: “The truth is, (and it’s surprising!), cropping a photo, whether it’s your own or from a stock photo site, is a quick way to give it more impact in the eyes of the person viewing […]

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Hershey’s Is Changing the Design of Its Iconic Chocolate Bars for the First Time Ever by Adding Emoji

Emoji will be featured on Hershey’s bars for a limited time this summer. May 15, 2019 2 min read Hershey’s will add emoji to its chocolate bars for a limited time this summer in what will be the first time the company has changed the look of the iconic treat. And let’s just get this out of the way: the poop emoji will be featured. The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Emoji Bars will come in six packaging designs, will feature 25 of the icons and come in standard and snack sizes. Image credit: Hershey’s “Our classic Hershey’s bars were made to be shared with others,” Kriston Ohm, senior manager of Hershey’s brand, said in a press release. “By adding an emoji design to each pip of chocolate, we hope that parents and kids are inspired to share a chocolate emoji and make a connection with someone new.” Related: This Young Entrepreneur, Who […]

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Fire Up Your Creative Courage and Reach Your Audacious Goals

It’s a funny thing — so many of the most gifted and capable people wrestle the hardest with impostor syndrome and self-doubt. And often, the biggest barrier between you and your ambitious goals is your own head. This week, we offered resources to get your confidence kickstarted and your creative brain humming. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman explored why the hardest working, most professional writers aren’t always the ones who jump into freelancing. (If this is you, you might be a lot better at it than you imagine.) On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson shared eight effective ways to bring powerful visual elements to your content — even if you don’t think of yourself as a “visual person.” This is a great way to add polish and impact to your work, and it’s easier than you think. And on Wednesday, I announced our new book club selection — Austin Kleon’s Keep Going. If […]

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8 Ways to Weave Simple Visuals into Your Kick-Ass Words

It happened somewhere around third grade, when you were about nine years old. Do you remember? Before that age, we were all multi-talented bundles of potential. We ran, climbed, learned to read and write, did simple math, made pictures, and built towers out of blocks with our own two hands. We dove right in and tried to conquer any new task that was put before us. But right around nine years old, the great “sorting” began. We began to stand out from our peers because we excelled at certain skills. And we began to notice that other skills were more difficult for us. We stood by as people around us surged ahead and became superstar “writers,” “math whizzes,” “artists,” “athletes,” “musicians,” and more. We specialized. It was perfectly natural. Part of growing up is getting to know what you enjoy and are inherently good at. As adults though, these specializations […]

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How This Design Firm Maintains Its Vision and Strategy

Any space can be refined with the right concepts in place. March 26, 2019 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Inspired Interiors, Inc., a design firm headquartered in Chicago, is revolutionizing the way we view space and material. This company distinguishes itself from its competitors by applying creativity, authenticity, and innovation to every project they take on. Emily Mackie, founder and principal of Inspired Interior, Inc., recently sat down with Entrepreneur Network partner Bizcast to give her take on how her business has established, developed and maintained the vision of a successful and well-rounded enterprise. Throughout her career, Mackie has solidified a professional versatility and range by committing to renovate a wide variety of spaces. From well-constructed corporate offices to dilapidated infrastructures, she does it all. She is certain that with the right vision and strategy, any space can be refined. Mackie’s objective is not solely to create beauty […]

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21 Recommendations for Spending Your Content Marketing Time Wisely

One enduring challenge with content marketing is how quickly it can turn into the content treadmill. This week, we’ve got 21 recommendations for specific ways you can make your content marketing do its job — without consuming every minute of your time. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared seven content projects you might take on if you were handling marketing for your local coffee shop. (The post also features both Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen quotes. #ftw) On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson came by to help us avoid the perils of cringeworthy stock photos in our content. (You know the ones. Who is that lady, and why does eating salad make her laugh?) Pamela will help you choose imagery that feels natural, that evokes the right emotional reaction for your audience, and that avoids the whole “people in suits jumping in the air” cheese factor. And on Wednesday, I answered a question […]

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How to Avoid Using Cringeworthy Stock Photo Images in Your Content

Is it possible for something to be both a lifesaver and a minefield? Yes — and if you’ve spent any time searching for the perfect image on a stock photo website, you know it’s true. Stock photos are a lifesaver — they help you use powerful visual marketing to connect with your readers. And stock photos are a minefield — the wrong image can cause you to lose credibility, attention, and trust. This article shares four tips for avoiding those “stock photo landmines” that end up working against you rather than for you. It’s worth the effort. According to a study by MDG Advertising: “Images are powerful on their own, but when mixed with text they become even more impactful.” They also note that: “Articles with relevant images get 94 percent more views, on average, compared to articles without images.” Ninety-four percent more views? I’ll take it. How about you? […]

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Learn Popular Adobe Apps Like Photoshop and Premiere Pro Online

On sale for a limited time, this expert-taught bundle includes dozens of hours of learning. March 1, 2019 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. Did you catch Wade Wilson’s antics when Deadpool landed in theaters a few years ago? How about Gone Girl, that gripping 2014 thriller about a wife gone missing? Either way, you might be surprised to hear that both hit films were cut with Premiere Pro, Adobe’s powerful video editing app. That wasn’t coincidental, at least in Gone Girl’s case. Talking with Adobe after the film’s debut, post-production engineer Jeff Brue said his team purposely chose to use Premiere Pro because edits-wise, “[the] ask was for nothing less than perfection.” Premiere Pro’s contributions […]

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3 Not-So-Obvious Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

This week was all about nurturing your creative spark — in new ways that you might not have considered before. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman reminded us of something that every writer needs in order to do their best work. Easy to forget, important to remember. On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson swung by to help writers get over the intimidation factor of creating visual content. When you add compelling visuals to your terrific writing, you’ll make a much stronger impression with all of the content you publish. Don’t miss the chance to attend Pamela’s free workshop, where she’ll walk you through creating signature branded images for your own projects. And on Wednesday, I let you know about a nifty new tool — the THINKERS Notebook. It was developed by our business partner Sean Jackson, and it has some neat features that will help you capture, refine, and share your great creative (and […]

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A Minimalist’s Guide to Visual Content Marketing (Even If You’re Not a Designer)

What if I told you there’s a passageway directly into the brains of your readers — and it doesn’t involve copywriting voodoo, ninja video moves, or podcasting magic? It doesn’t involve words at all. It’s all about visuals. Hold on. Don’t run off just yet! I know that using visuals can feel intimidating if you’ve never worked with them before. But just like you don’t have to be born with a pen in your hand to become a decent writer (I’m proof of this), you don’t have to be born with a special “designer gene” to master using visuals. Design is about learning a few guidelines and then practicing what you’ve learned. That’s it. Design is learnable and if you’re willing to practice what you learn, you can start using visuals to give everything you publish more impact and meaning. What’s “visual content marketing?” The broad definition of visual content […]

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Marketing 101: What is a mobile breakpoint?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know. In responsive design, a breakpoint is where the layout of the webpage changes based on the size of the device. Mobile breakpoints are the sizes for mobile devices. For example, a responsive design may have three sizes — desktop, tablet, smartphone. In that case, the mobile breakpoints would be the tablet and smartphone size. Here is a GIF created by MECLABS Institute Senior Designer/Web Specialist Charlie Moore that shows a website with three breakpoints. Choosing breakpoints You can choose which and how many breakpoints your website has. For example, instead of just the three referenced breakpoints mentioned above, you can add in a fourth breakpoint for small laptops. If […]

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From $50k in Debt to Business Success in Less than a Year—How to Be Mindful and Ruthless

Today’s special guest is Sagi Shrieber, coming at us from Tel Aviv, Israel, who bailed himself out of $50k worth of debt by taking massive action. Today he’s sharing his journey, why he hired a coach (even though he was deep in debt), and how he’s building an amazing community in the design and entrepreneurial spaces now. Sagi’s also breaking down some of his favorite design tools, as well as quick and easy tips so you can boost your design game and maximize conversions for your business. Sagi is what’s known as a Full Stack Designer, a designer who also knows how to get great results for sales and conversions (he uses the metaphor of an MMA fighter). It’s that kind of mindset—Sagi calls it the Full Stack life—that got him through some of the tougher times. In the end, he managed to push through the discomfort and learn to […]

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Marketing 101: What is website usability?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know. Simply put, website usability is how easy, clear and intuitive it is for visitors to use your website. This is from the visitor’s perspective, not your company’s perspective. Of course, website usability isn’t so simple at all. You essentially have to read someone else’s mind, so the expected user experience matches the web experience you design. However, as 18th-century poet Robert Burns wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go oft awry.” As I said, you’re trying to read someone else’s mind (many people, in fact). So the challenges of web usability aren’t necessarily unique to the web. These challenges are the very fundamentals of human behavior […]

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SPI 260: Undergoing a Website Overhaul with Rocket Code

At this time last year, SmartPassiveIncome.com got a serious facelift. With the help of the amazing team over at RocketCode.io, we revamped the website to make it faster, sleeker, and more searchable, all in pursuit of providing you guys with the best experience possible. In today’s episode, you’ll meet two of the people who made this website overhaul possible: my Design Director, Dustin Tevis, and Project Manager, Corey Hivner. Dusty and Corey are seasoned experts at crafting websites that both function well and look amazing. That’s no easy feat, either—building a great website requires a big-picture understanding of both design and engineering. That’s why I’ve invited them on the show today: to talk through what a successful website redesign process looks like. In this episode, you’ll hear Dusty and Corey’s advice for identifying your redesign goals, communicating with designers and developers, managing feedback, and avoiding common pitfalls. You’ll also learn their favorite tools for communicating during a design process, plus […]

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3 Ways to Create ‘Next Level’ Content

This week, we offered concrete ways to make your content more memorable, more compelling, and more attractive to your audience. The three blog posts and podcast episodes I highlight below each give easy-to-implement advice that can transform your work. On Monday, Loryn Thompson kicked us off with a post about respecting your audience’s intelligence and finding that “sweet spot” between writing that’s dumbed-down and writing that’s overwhelming. She talks about creating content that gets our audiences into the “Flow” state, which can lead to real transformations. On Tuesday, Brian Gardner, founder of StudioPress, swung by with a resource to help you make your site design as brilliant as your words. It’s a free ebook written by our ultra-talented VP of Design, Rafal Tomal — who walks you through making great choices for your WordPress theme, site colors, typography, and layouts. No additional opt-in is required, so you can just go […]

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Transform Your Business Website Using Our Free ‘Design 101’ Ebook

Is your current website design working for your business as well as it could be? You might know that it’s not, but don’t know where to start when it comes to a redesign. We understand that. Choosing a WordPress theme for your website can be a little overwhelming and leave you with lots of further questions. As you browse new themes, keep these factors in mind to help narrow down your search. A solid theme framework: features that include SEO, mobile-responsiveness, and security Support and community: only get your design from a trusted theme developer Minimalism: a simple design can have a big impact Next, you’ll want the new look of your website to reflect your brand — without disrupting the elements that already work well. We can help you with that … Learn more in Design 101 In this free ebook, Rainmaker Digital’s VP of Design, Rafal Tomal, guides […]

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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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11 (mostly) free self publishing tools for your next best seller

If you’ve got the creative urge to put out a book, there’s a bunch of (mostly) free self publishing tools and resources to help get you out there as a self-made author. My latest book, Create Or Hate, launched last week. It’s my fourth foray into the world of self publishing. Back before my first book, The 7 Day Startup, I never even considered myself a writer, let alone a published author. Since then my books have been ordered 55,000 times on Amazon and translated into 9 languages. Here’s what I used to get my books out into the wild without a book deal.  No need to wait 17 years for a book deal like renowned author Steven Pressfield did! Dribbble First impressions count – make sure your front cover doesn’t create a bad or indifferent one. With Create Or Hate I spent a lot of time on the front cover […]

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