How to Schedule Time for an Imaginative Process, Rather Than an Exact Task

I’m pretty happy with my current writing process. Once you’ve accepted that you don’t need to convince anyone that your creative job is actually work, you’re free to focus on optimizing the processes that allow you to produce creativity on demand. And that’s exactly what I’m up to right now … although my creative process enables me to publish content that is up to my standards, I’ve pinpointed a belief that adds stress to my workdays. That belief is: I know I can write a draft fairly quickly. Although true, writing a draft quickly is only one part of the content equation. I’ve been giving that ability too much credit when scheduling creative time, which has caused me to make the same mistake over and over again. “In theory” versus “in practice” For example, I’ll think I need an hour-and-a-half to finish a draft. If I only schedule an hour-and-a-half […]

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Six 2018 Content Marketing Resolutions You Should Make Today

January is way too late to start making the resolutions that will shape your content marketing strategy in the year ahead. Here are six commitments that should be a part of any content marketing plan for 2018. 1. Find the time to go long. Analyze the data on content marketing influence and authority (as LinkedIn did in a groundbreaking recent study with Buzzfeed) and one finding is overwhelmingly clear: content gets more impactful and effective the longer it is. Blog posts over 1,000 words are far more effective than shorter posts. Over 2,000 words, effectiveness leaps up again. Why is this? Long form content may be correlated positively with performance because long form content has the potential to cover a wide range of interrelated topics, thus allowing any singular piece to rank for multiple keyphrases on search engines. Finding the time to create quality, longer-form content should therefore be on […]

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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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How to Write for SEO in 2018 – Whiteboard Friday

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes” — it’s a quote that’s actually quite applicable when it comes to writing for SEO. Much of the advice given to copywriters, journalists, editors, and other content creators for SEO writing is dangerously out of date, leaning on practices that were once tried and true but that could now get your site penalized. In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, we hope you enjoy a brief history lesson on what should be avoided, what used to work and no longer does, and a brief 5-step process you should start using today for writing content that’ll get you to the front of the SERPs. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! <span id=”selection-marker-1″ class=”redactor-selection-marker” data-verified=”redactor”></span> Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard […]

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Why Your Friend with a Creative Job Isn’t the Village Idiot

It happened again. You were out to dinner with your Writer Friend, and the waiter came over to see if you needed anything. This led to a short, friendly conversation with him, and as he walked away your meal companion apologized for reaching into her purse to get her phone. She opened her Notes application and explained, “I have to jot that down. What he said was so perfect for something I’m working on. It just gave me a bunch of ideas.” You sat back and took a sip of your Syrah while thinking, “We’re supposed to be having a relaxing dinner … The last thing I’m thinking about right now is work. She’s not doing real work anyway. It’s annoying that she calls it work.” The nonsensical nature of creative work can bewilder onlookers, but if we dig a little deeper, I don’t think creative work is all that […]

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How to Be a Better Content Marketing Writer, Taylor Swift Style

Vogue runs this somewhat ridiculous video series called “73 Questions,” where they follow celebrities around their homes with a video camera while asking 73 rapid-fire questions. I suppose this gives the fans insight into both the celebrity’s decorating style as well as their inner lives. But don’t let my scorn fool you, because obviously I’ve watched it. During Taylor Swift’s “73 Questions,” the interviewer asked her, “What does creativity mean to you?” She answered, “Creativity is getting inspiration and having that lightning bolt moment and then having the hard work ethic to sit down at the desk and write it down.” Ah, the work ethic. The forgotten flip side of inspiration. All writers are struck with a flash of insight at some point. But that lightning bolt fades fast – and when it does, it means sitting down to a blank space and translating ideas into words people actually want […]

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No funding no worries, check out these multiple 7-figure self funded startup success stories

In the startup world, getting outside funding and bringing investors onboard upfront, may seem like the holy grail for achieving success. And a lot of times it’s required to build, fast growing tech startups. But there are still plenty of examples around of companies who have used the self funded startup model to grow to 7 figures and beyond. For me personally, getting funding was never really an option. I didn’t live in a city with tech investors or a legit startup ecosystem, I didn’t have co-founders, I got continually rejected by the main Australian incubators with a track record. So don’t let a lack of startup capital via outside investment discourage you from launching. Here are 9 examples of highly successful startups that bootstrapped their way to growth and profitability. Drip Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder is one of the best email management tools out there. […]

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How to Earn More Links and Social Shares: Insights From 759 Content Marketing Campaigns

Is there a formula for wildly successful content marketing campaigns? It’s a question we ponder a lot at the Fractl office. We do have our own tried-and-true formula that we continually tweak based on our observations of what does and doesn’t succeed. To help us spot trends that shape this formula, we collect data about every content marketing campaign we create for our clients. But we don’t keep this data to ourselves – sharing our internal data with the marketing community helps others create better content based on what’s worked for us. We did this a few years ago using a set of 345 campaigns, and now that we have double the number of our campaigns under our belt, we dug into our data again. This time, the sample size was 759 campaigns that launched between 2013 and 2017. As part of our analysis, we looked at the relationship between […]

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Real Talk about Moving Forward with Your Big Idea

Great to see you again! This week on Copyblogger, we looked at how to make progress on projects and opportunities that might seem intimidating at first. Stefanie Flaxman showed us how to take that Big Idea (exciting, challenging, scary) and break it down until you discover your first (or next) move. She shared a process for taking manageable, sustainable steps on that exciting new project … and actually get it done. On Tuesday, our business partner Brian Gardner swung by to let us know about a brand-new, free ebook by Sean Jackson on effective search engine optimization that doesn’t compromise your relationship with your audience. And on Wednesday, I talked about the phenomenon of “little hinges that swing big doors.” Sometimes, doing something small opens a whole new world of opportunities. I’m joined by Stefanie Flaxman and Loryn Thompson with stories about small actions that led to surprisingly big things. […]

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The Content Marketing Video Strategy Guide: From Creation to Analysis

Today videos are ruling the digital marketing world. And that’s no surprise if we consider that, according to Cisco, in 2016 videos accounted for more than 70% of the internet traffic and the forecast suggests it will be up to 82% by 2021. But as videos offer a wide variety of content types, marketers should be very careful to identify their audience’s needs in order to hit the mark with the right video format. And how can you determine which type of video will be more effective? A good strategy is to focus on the buyer’s journey, this basically means to use a specific video format according to the different stages of the buying process and the user’s informational needs. Let’s take a look. Buyer’s journey: What is it and why is it so important? The Buyer’s Journey is the entire process that a customer goes through from the moment […]

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21 Harvey Specter quotes to help you win at life and entrepreneurship

If you haven’t been watching Suits, you should have been. Here are some of Harvey’s best quotes, to make you a more epic entrepreneur and win at life. Harvey on thinking outside the box: Download Quote image here Download Quote image here Download Quote image here Harvey on working hard: Download Quote image here Harvey on never giving up: Download Quote image here Harvey on personal branding: Download Quote image here Download Quote image here Harvey on excuses: Download Quote image here Harvey on life planning: Download Quote image here Harvey on the value of hard work: Download Quote image here Download Quote image here Harvey on getting shit done: Download Quote image here Harvey on the power of positive psychology: Download Quote image here Harvey on persistence: Download Quote image here Harvey on following your passion: Download Quote image here Harvey on risk management: Download Quote image here Download […]

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An Introduction to Google Tag Manager

Digital marketing thrives on data. No matter what type of site you have, whether it’s a large e-commerce site, a personal website, or a site for a small business, it’s essential to understand how people interact with your site. Google Analytics can provide a lot of the important insights you’re looking for, but when used alone, it does have its limitations. But by tagging your site and using Google Tag Manager in conjunction with Google Analytics, you’re able to collect much more data than you can otherwise. Tags are snippets of code which are added to a site to collect information and send it to third parties. You can use tags for all sorts of purposes, including scroll tracking, monitoring form submissions, conducting surveys, generating heat maps, remarketing, or tracking how people arrive at your site. They’re also used to monitor specific events like file downloads, clicks on certain links, […]

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3 Small Steps that Led to Oversized Outcomes

Remember the movie Sliding Doors? It’s a story of two parallel lives — one in which the heroine catches a particular train home from work, and one in which she misses that train and catches the next one. That insignificant event goes on to change everything about her life — and even the time of Read More… The post 3 Small Steps that Led to Oversized Outcomes appeared first on Copyblogger. source_link Related posts: Reach Your Outrageous Goals and Audacious Intentions for the New Year Failure to Tie ‘Time’ to Outcomes 3 Steps that Content Creators Can Take to a Badass 2019 The Root of Impostor Syndrome in Creative Business (and Two Steps to Temper It) 3 Simple Steps to Get to the Point with Your Content The Practical Steps that Help More Marketers Use Data 3 Game-Changing Steps You Might Skip When You Publish 7 Steps to Becoming a […]

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Content Marketing KPIs: Map Content’s Organizational Influence

Are the content marketing KPIs you use selling your work short? Are you struggling with how to better quantify content marketing’s impact on your organization, especially when it comes down to dollars? It’s okay to admit it; you’re definitely not alone. Content, although named king just a few years ago, now seems to be scrambling to make sure the emperor does, in fact, have clothes. So what’s the problem? The expectations for a content marketer’s areas of expertise have inflated in every direction. We’ve needed to evolve into masters of multiple formats as diverse as blog posts, whitepapers, social media, webinars, videos, podcasts, snaps, and other assorted forms of micro content. This multiplicity of formats and channels also means that the role of the content marketer has expanded from the traditional roles of writer and editor to include designer, videographer, and often ad hoc website developer among others. What’s more, […]

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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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How Is Google’s New “Questions and Answers” Feature Being Used? [Case Study]

Ever since Google rolled out Questions and Answers in mid-2017, I’ve been trying to get a sense of its reception by consumers and brands. Initially restricted to Android Google Maps, this fascinating feature which enables local business owners and the public to answer consumer questions made it to desktop displays this past December, adding yet another data layer to knowledge panels and local finders. As someone who has worked in Q&A forums for the majority of my digital marketing life, I took an immediate shine to the idea of Google Questions and Answers. Here’s a chance, I thought, for consumers and brands to take meaningful communication to a whole new level, exchanging requests, advice, and help so effortlessly. Here’s an opportunity for businesses to place answers to FAQs right upfront in the SERPs, while also capturing new data about consumer needs and desires. So cool! But, so far, we seem […]

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12 Must-Have Fields for Content Marketing

Three quarters of companies experienced an increase in lead quality & quantity as a result of content marketing in the past year, according to Curata’s recent Content Marketing Staffing & Tactics Study. 38 percent of B2B marketers rate the effectiveness of their organization’s use of content marketing as “effective” or “very effective,” according to a previous study. What does this have to do with a content calendar template? Don’t worry, this isn’t another blog post about the need for content strategy. Although yes, this is a key factor in a successful content marketing practice. However, it is one of at least four areas the best content marketers dedicate their time to: strategy, production, distribution, and analytics. Looking for an effective content marketing editorial calendar template? Download Curata’s free editorial calendar template. We’re going to deep dive into one specific area for this post: editorial calendars as part of content marketing production. A consistent best practice of leading content marketers is […]

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Be more grateful, be more creative

My latest book, Create or Hate, is not too far away from launching. In it I talk about the self-imposed internal barriers, which I choose to call ‘Hate’, that can hold us back from achieving our true creative potential. There are a number of strategies that can move you along the road to becoming a Creator and not a Hater. One of those is building empathy, which I talked about recently on the blog. Another way you can get there is by being more grateful for the things that occur in your life and towards the people you interact with. So let’s find out how being more grateful will make you less hateful and therefore more creative. What is gratitude? Put simply, gratitude is about being thankful for the people and things currently in your life. It’s about counting your blessings and giving praise to the simple things, no matter […]

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Why It Can Pay to Get Links from Domains that Don’t Always Rank Highly – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish Contrary to popular belief, the top ranking pages aren’t always the best targets for your link building efforts. There are good reasons to chase those links, sure, but there are also drawbacks — as well as some hidden alternatives you may not have considered trying. This Whiteboard Friday delves into the pros and cons of targeting high-ranking sites for links and why you should consider a link intersect strategy, targeting sites that rank for broader topics, and earning links from publications ranking beyond page one of the SERPs. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! <span id=”selection-marker-1″ class=”redactor-selection-marker”></span> Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about why it may not actually pay to get links expressly or exclusively from the websites and pages that are ranking highly for your […]

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How to Increase Sales by Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Nothing keeps someone on the edge of their seat like a good story. That’s why people love to watch movies, read books, and binge-watch television shows. I know we all have that one friend or family member who tells the best stories around the dinner table. But what if there was a way to turn those stories into dollars? There is. You’ll be able to boost your sales if you can get customers to connect with your stories. Some of you may be thinking, “I’m a terrible storyteller, so this won’t work for me.” And some of you might say, “My life is boring. I don’t have any good stories to tell.” Yes, storytelling is an art. Not everyone is born with the ability to tell an engaging story. But luckily for you, I’m very familiar with storytelling. In fact, I use this strategy all the time as a marketing technique. […]

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