5 Content Optimization Mistakes You’ll Wish You Fixed Sooner

So, what happens when someone clicks through to your website? Do you persuade them to stay and find out more about you through the experience you immediately provide? Or, do visitors see information that looks just like the other sites in your niche? Those are enough questions for now. 🙂 But as you think about your answers, take a look at these five common optimization mistakes that keep prospects from connecting with your content. Each section includes guidance on how to fix the mistake. Mistake #1: Your visitors can’t tell if your content’s right for them A row of four new houses that all look basically the same were recently built on the street where I live. When a real estate agent starts taking potential buyers on tours of the houses, do you know what’s going to happen? The potential buyers are going to examine the properties and make judgments […]

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2 Key Factors that Distinguish Satisfying Content from Forgettable Ideas

Have you ever read a blog post, listened to a podcast episode, or watched a video and thought: “I kind of get what this person is saying — and I think I agree — but it’s difficult to follow their main points. The content feels incomplete.” When content consumers have reactions like that, it delays them from sharing your content and subscribing to get more — ultimately increasing the chances that the content will be forgettable. Conversely, when your content resonates with your target audience, your platform becomes a resource those individuals will remember and return to. If you want your reader, listener, or viewer to share and subscribe, rather than hesitate and move on, incorporate the following two elements into your content creation process: Structure Intrigue Below, I’ll cover what they are, why they complement each other, and how you can put both of them to work in your […]

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Romance Your Customers with Some Seriously Practical Business and Marketing Advice

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or if you’re not a fan, Happy Fake Emotional Obligation Day! Whether you’re hunting down a table for two or have plans to binge on Russian Doll and cookie dough ice cream, we thought you might enjoy some business and marketing content to go with that. On Monday, Brian Clark talked about why the element of placebo informs so many of the stories we tell ourselves — including great marketing stories. On Tuesday, Jerod Morris shared ways to reduce the distractions that clutter up our thinking. (He has a tiny but potent hack for your phone that will probably take you about 15 seconds — I think it’s brilliant.) And on Wednesday, I looked at how smart writers can use content to guide their audiences through the buyer stages of awareness — all the way from casual acquaintance through to falling truly, madly, and deeply in love […]

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5 Steps to Protect Your Attention and Become a Better Thinker

“I didn’t have enough time.” More and more, when I hear this common explanation for why something didn’t get done, my BS detectors start going off. This is the case, in part, because I know that it’s sometimes BS when I say it myself. But let’s be real here: Usually when we don’t get something done in a reasonable amount of time, the amount of time had nothing to do with it. Instead, the issue was more likely the direction of our attention during that window of time — too much attention given to distractions and diversions, and not enough focused intently on the task at hand. Look, I get it. The world is conspiring to steal our attention in pretty much any direction we turn, and with ever-increasing sophistication. But you and me, we’re just humans … with our hackable brain software running on top of hardware that evolved […]

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How to Turn One Idea into a Fascinating Four-Part Series

Be careful what you wish for … Once you’ve persuaded people to keep reading your content, you have to keep … producing content. And with the holidays coming up, do content creators ever get to take a break? Absolutely … if you know how to prepare and schedule multiple pieces of content in advance. Then you can keep your audience satisfied while you take the necessary down time that will allow you to recharge your creativity. To start planning your content so that you can meet your publishing deadlines without getting overwhelmed, we’ll start with the simple, small task of selecting one content idea. Learning how to write a series so that you can take a break also helps you evolve as a content creator, because you’ll practice shifting from merely publishing content to building anticipation for your next installment. Then we’ll break down that one idea into a fascinating […]

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3 Communication Tips for Better Relationships

I’m not too humble to proclaim that clear communication is my strong suit. Each day, I make a concerted effort to avoid misunderstandings with straightforward and thorough correspondence, whether I’m speaking or writing. And when other people don’t take the time to interact with me in a similar way, I get a little … irked. So, I was taken aback recently when I realized I was the source of multiple misapprehensions. Damn … I got a taste of my own medicine The first time it happened, I blamed it on my Southern California accent. The second time it happened, I blamed it on being a cut-throat professional. The third time it happened … I couldn’t ignore the pattern that was emerging. People in both my personal and work lives think I’m being sarcastic or snarky when my intention is actually to be enthusiastic and sincere. I understood that my way […]

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Craft Better Headlines with These 3 Simple Questions

Writers are communicators. If you’re proud of your ideas, you want to be able to communicate them clearly and precisely. And headlines are your first opportunity to present your message to the audience you want to reach. The language you use should appeal to those people and make them want to find out more. A guide to finding the right words Once you’ve written a draft of your headline and article (or you’ve recorded a podcast episode or video), use the questions below to ensure your headline is the most effective it can be: Who will benefit from this content? How do I help them? What makes this content special? The answers to these questions most likely won’t produce the exact headline you’ll use. Rather, they’ll help shape your headline draft into a persuasive message that reaches and connects with the people you want to attract to your content. To […]

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How to Impress and Score Your Next Freelance Writing Client

I have an affinity for service businesses. I love when people: But I don’t love when these driven individuals make a certain mistake that invites unnecessary frustrations into their workdays and weakens their reputations. “Sure! I can do that!” I understand that it’s exciting when a work offer sounds good. So, when a potential client proposes a project to Joe Service Business, he’ll immediately respond with, “Sure! I can do that!” (or another phrase with a similar sentiment) before he finds out everything he needs to know about the project. For example, more information about the project may reveal that he’s not the best person for the job or it’s not actually an assignment he’d like to work on. When you respond to an inquiry and move ahead with a project too quickly, you operate under the assumption that you’ll figure out the details later, as issues arise. But your […]

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How to Switch From HTTP to HTTPS (13 Simple Steps)

HTTPS…that’s something that only eCommerce stores need to worry about, right? Maybe five years ago. But now, HTTPS is something every single website needs. Yes, even your blog. And yes, even your Amazon affiliate site. Even if you aren’t enticed by the many benefits of HTTPS for security and SEO, Google is forcing the issue on webmasters who haven’t moved their sites to HTTPS starting in July 2018. To help you stay ahead of Google – and get all those other nice benefits – I’ve written this detailed guide on WordPress SSL. First, I’ll explain a bit more about HTTPS, its various benefits, and the scarlet letter Google is going to put on sites that don’t move to HTTPS. Then, I’ll give you a detailed, step-by-step guide on how you can properly move your WordPress site to HTTPS with as little impact on your SEO and marketing efforts as possible. […]

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