How to Avoid Writing Boring Outlines using the IKEA Method

This is a guest contribution from LJ Sedgwick.

You’ve read all of the blogging advice. You know writing an outline helps keep your blog post to the point.

But try as you might, nothing’s happening. An empty page stares back at you. That blinking cursor is taunting you.

You want to teach your readers how to follow your processes. But they’re second nature to you. Trying to put them into a blog post seems impossible.

You know that you know everything you need for your post. But how do you get the ideas out of your brain and onto paper? How do you turn them into an outline?

Worry no more. We’re going to use the IKEA method to brain dump those ideas. Then we’ll assemble them into a solid blog post that will last for years to come.

How to use the Ikea Method to Write Blog Posts if You Hate Outlines

This blog post started out in that exact same way. It’s a process I’ve used for blog posts since 2009. It’s also a method I use in for writing fiction, and academic writing (much to the eternal annoyance of my Ph. D. supervisor).

So what’s the IKEA method, and how can it help you?

Step 1 – Dump all of the bits onto the floor.

What’s the first thing that you do when you get your IKEA flat pack home?

You tip all of the screws, bolts, and random Allen keys onto the floor.

We’ll start your blog post the same way. This is your brain dump. Set a timer and write everything you can about your topic. If it helps, write it in stream of consciousness.

That’s how this blog post started out.

No one ever has to see it but you. It’s how you’ll get to know all of the ideas you have to work with.

Step 2 – Group everything together by ‘type’.

In the IKEA method, this is the part where you’re matching the stuff on the floor with the instructions. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also count them before you put anything together.

You need to do the same thing with your blog post. Go through your notes and break up what you’ve written into chunks. Group your thoughts together by ‘type’.

Say you’re writing a post about how to make the transition from a day job to freelancing. This blog post is a chest of drawers in this metaphor.

How to use the Ikea Method to Write Blog Posts if You Hate Outlines

Put all of your thoughts about saving money and budgeting, ready for the transition, into one pile. That’s all of the parts you need for your first drawer.

Then you’ll put everything to do with time management into another pile. That’ll be your second drawer.

Rinse and repeat.

Like any IKEA assembly, you’ll always have parts left over that aren’t in the instructions. That’s okay. In my house, those extra odds and ends go into a drawer of random pieces, in case anything breaks later. Or sometimes they come in handy for completely unrelated DIY projects.

You should do the same. Open Evernote, Google Docs, Scrivener – whatever you write in. Copy and paste those ‘spare’ thoughts into a document. You never know when they’ll come in handy.

Step 3 – Start assembling your individual elements

Go back to your piles of bits/thoughts. Most people follow the instructions. Not me. I put furniture together in a more freestyle fashion. So if you hate outlines, this will be your new best friend.

How to use the Ikea Method to Write Blog Posts if You Hate Outlines

 

Take a look at your first pile of furniture parts/thoughts. They’re already grouped together, so that gives you your subhead for that section.

Start editing those loose, stream of consciousness thoughts into coherent sentences. Move them around into logical paragraphs.

Turn that subhead into something descriptive, so scanners can easily skim your post. Make sure it signposts your content.

Imagine we’re building a chest of drawers. This newly edited paragraph is your first finished drawer.

Move onto the next pile of thoughts and do the same thing. You’ve already done the hard work and gotten the thoughts together. Now you have to turn them into readable content.

Once you’ve run out of piles, you’ve got the individually assembled parts of your post. Using the IKEA method, they’re the drawers you put together before you slot them into the empty chest.

But how are you going to build the chest to fit the drawers into?

Step 4 – Build the container for your other elements

Look at your subheads. What’s the most logical order for them to follow? This is going to be the key to writing the engaging blog post you want to write.

So in our day job-to-freelancing post, you won’t put a paragraph about marketing your new business before one about carving out time to build a portfolio.

Arrange (and re-arrange, if necessary) the subheads you’ve written into a post that flows nicely.

And there’s the chest.

Slide each of the drawers into place by pasting the right paragraphs under the right subheads.

If you’re building IKEA furniture, this is the point where you tighten all of the screws. So for your IKEA-built blog post, you’ll edit your sentences so that the post flows. One section should set up the next, and so on.

How to use the Ikea Method to Write Blog Posts if You Hate Outlines

Step 5 – Find the best spot for your new furniture/blog post

In your home, you’d find the best place for your new piece of furniture. For your blog post, you’re looking for the right context.

And that’s your introduction. Craft your intro so that it sets up the information that follows. Give your chest of drawers/blog post a final polish.

And hey presto! You’ve used the IKEA method of assembly to brain dump and edit your way to an engaging blog post!

The IKEA method will help bloggers who can’t get to grips with outlines

When I brain-dumped this post, I started out with 637 words. They weren’t necessarily in the right order, but the ideas were there.

It took just 15 minutes to get everything down that I wanted to say. And then it took another 15 minutes to turn it into a 1000 word post.

If you hate using outlines, turning your thoughts into a useful post is a lot easier by brain-dumping and editing than trying to write the perfect post from scratch.

Why not give it a go? Choose your topic/piece of furniture and get started. Let me know in the comments below how you get on!

LJ Sedgwick writes blog posts and copy for startups while drinking more coffee than is healthy. You can find her blog posts about content marketing at her website.

 

The post How to Avoid Writing Boring Outlines using the IKEA Method appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

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26 Crazy Stories about “OMG!” Opportunities that Blogging Made Happen

Will it all be worth it?

You can’t help wondering sometimes.

Every spare minute, you’re glued to your computer, reading, writing, doing all you can to grow your blog and build your audience — all on the shaky promise that someday your efforts will pay off.

But sometimes, that someday feels far out of reach. Sometimes, you can’t help wondering whether that day will ever come, or whether you’re just wasting your time.

Well, hang in there, my friend. Because you never know what kinds of opportunities your blog can bring you.

And they might take time, but for all you know, they might be right around the corner.

To prove it, I asked 26 of my blogging friends to share the coolest, craziest opportunities their blogs made happen in their early days — that is, before they amassed a huge following and made tens of thousands of dollars off their blog.

Ready to dive in?

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Jeff BullasOne of the “craziest” opportunities I had happened about a year after starting the blog when I was invited to speak in New Zealand.

It came about because a millionaire who was reading my blog, loved my content and had an idea and sent me an email.

After the event|2da14847f85ed01eba230ff04b3ecac4|

Five years later the company has raised $3 million and is continuing to grow.

That company is Shuttlerock.

We were a winner in Facebook’s 2016 Innovation Spotlight providing a scalable creative solution to unlock the true power of Facebook Advertising.

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Ryan BiddulphThe coolest opportunity that arose for me as a beginning blogger was being |46cd7df4de06330204d0ba6b7b712366|. I had no clue how to blog, let alone conduct an interview. Since this was some 7 years ago I literally pressed “record” on a tape recorder – I am not kidding – received the call on my land line (resistant to cell phone usage back then) and preserved the interview for transcribing.

I learned a valuable lesson too; be prepared! I asked two canned questions sent to me by his press guy and Nik told me he was bored of the same old questions as this was his 10th interview of the day. Because I spent 20 minutes researching him earlier that day I nimbly shifted and asked probing, interesting questions that made for a great interview.

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Chris GuillebeauIn my early days of blogging, |b8ea37870c981779012527def2c0c2f3|.

It was a whirlwind visit and I learned that I don’t like sponsored trips (too much expectation on behalf of the sponsor, even when they say otherwise…), but I was still grateful for the experience.

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Danny InyThe craziest opportunity that arose from blogging was that I ended up |da0d14d3b77c667861dd85951124e52f| Here’s how it happened:

Firepole Marketing (now Mirasee) was just a tiny blog with less than 1,000 subscribers, when I had the opportunity to guest blog on Copyblogger. My post was “38 Critical Books Every Blogger Needs to Read.” Number 12 on the list was The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki.

It must have caught the attention of Guy and/or his publicist, because a few days later, I received an email from Guy thanking me for including his book. He said he had a new book coming out and offered me a review copy and an interview.

Of course, I seized the opportunity. I spent 15 hours preparing for the interview to make it so good that Guy would want to share it with everybody. Afterwards, I posted the interview on my blog and created a video to promote the book on YouTube. I wrote reviews on Amazon and other bookseller websites—I did everything I could think of to get the word out.

Months later, I invited Guy to contribute to my book, Engagement from Scratch!, and he said yes. And that’s how blogging helped me co-author a book with Guy Kawasaki.

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Richard LazazzeraBlogging quite literally changed my life. Within months of starting my ecommerce blog, A Better Lemonade Stand, I wrote a really long-form piece of content that drove thousands of brand new visitors to my site. One of those visitors was the director of marketing for Shopify. He reached out to me via email and we started to build a relationship.

About a year later, I moved to Toronto. When the director at Shopify heard, |49e99b9a8b439f8c0daf8236e79f8b63| which I jumped on. That position allowed me to reach two million visitors per month through their blog (while still growing my personal blog), write a full length book, and participate in the IPO of Shopify.

I’ve since left Shopify and continue to build A Better Lemonade Stand and several other companies. To think it all began with a single blog post still amazes me.

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Ian ClearyWithin six months of launching the blog it |6632086c4452480f52d63aff0ad48cb7| by a competition run by Social Media Examiner.

That was pretty amazing for me because I started the blog based in Ireland and I was the only European blog on the list. This rapidly helped me become an influencer in the Social Media Space and generated me significant business.

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Amy Lynn AndrewsIn 2006, when I had been blogging only a few years and blogs were still somewhat of a novelty, I was contacted by a writer from TIME Magazine. She had found my blog and wanted to interview me for a story she was writing about one of my main topics.

For some reason I didn’t think it could possibly be true, but a few months later |20cbb90b30fca9a0d54905c35949851b| (in March 2007). Unfortunately I wasn’t savvy enough to maximize the exposure, but I did keep in contact with that journalist and enjoyed her friendship for several years.

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Dave ChessonYou never know who is reading or following your content. I found out that |740967ded7c8502227da7da7aa29c72f|

This led into getting to meet him for coffee, and ultimately, become an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) reader as well as helping with some of his book marketing projects.

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John Lee DumasVery early on I had the opportunity to be |7f1cc4be20b3e9e923ad2743fb78b5a8| as a guest poster, which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t had the EOFire blog up and running. One of the first was on Think Traffic​ (now Fizzle.co), and we were featured there within just one month of having started our own blog.

This first guest post gave us powerful momentum and exposure, which we then used to request to guest post on other big name sites like Social Media Examiner, Copy Blogger, Content Marketing Institute and over twenty others.

Each new guest post opportunity brought with it exposure, more momentum, and most importantly, a very valuable friendship with people I’m proud to still call friends today.

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Aaron OrendorffBack in March 2014, I had just started blogging. Basically, it was me, my mom, and literally 261 unique visitors (I checked with Google Analytics just to be accurate).

I’d posted six times, when — out of the digital blue — I got an email about this post, Getting Your Customers to Hold It, Love It, and Give It Money:

Aaron Orendorff - email

I nearly lost my newbie-blogging mind. Of course, I said yes. And somewhat embarrassed myself by asking for a link:

“This is for a book project, so the linking is tough — but I’ll give you lots of love otherwise,” was Ann’s kind response.

Three months later, I’d secured my very first guest post at Copyblogger and I knew enough — just enough — to immediately turn around and pitch Ann on a MarketingProfs guest post. I composed a full article, sent it off, and was in. Everything I’ve done over the last three years has been built on that foundation. And I owe it all to one nice lady who stumbled on my blog when I had no business getting visitors of her clout (or visitors at all for that matter).

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Sean OgleAbout six months after starting my blog, I wrote a post about quitting my job as a financial analyst. I had no idea what I was going to do after that, but I knew I was ready for something different.

The following week I received an email from a reader congratulating me on taking the leap, and telling me that he was looking to bring an intern out to Asia to help him with the online marketing for his company. I’d work part time and he would pay my basic living expenses, while teaching me the ins and outs of the digital world.

Six weeks later, I was |cf323cba884b1cdf191af09fa0246a25| – and it would set the foundation for my life and business for years to come. I haven’t had a real job since.

It never would have happened had I not started the blog, and positioned myself for a big opportunity to come my way.

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Camilla HallstromBack when I got started, I had NO clue what I was doing.

I wasn’t sure what worked and what didn’t. Sure, through programs like Serious Bloggers Only I knew what sorts of posts got results, but I still felt uncertain about putting anything out there. What was the point, really? What if I was just wasting my time on this blogging thing? A nagging voice inside my head told me I would end up empty handed without anything to show for it…

That’s why it felt amazing when one of my first posts got tons of shares and comments. But the best part? |797efb5df3b14a3018b2395a844188c0| And that same post went on to win the title of “Most Epic Post” in a contest here on Smart Blogger (Boost Blog Traffic back then).

That’s the moment I understood exactly how powerful blogging can be. You can get noticed by anyone and you can open doors that right now seem firmly shut.

Apart from this, blogging has made such a difference in my life. |450627fec2520ebf0c255fb907fbafeb| — that NEVER happens offline (for some reason, people’s eyes glaze over whenever I try to start a discussion about a content idea I just heard about). I’ve gotten job offers in big part thanks to my blogging experience and I started my freelance career because of it.

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Ashley FaulkesWhen you are just getting started, you don’t really expect anything crazy to happen. But sometimes you get a big surprise!

One of the things I did when starting out was to create a post featuring all the influencers in the blogging and social media scene. |89b18a04c8d769045dd84485f5f02ad3| After all, it was a post with the sole purpose of highlighting these influencers (and letting them know of course :>).

Now, having connected with these influencers, I had the opportunity to take it a step further. I started inviting a lot of them on my brand spanking new podcast. Of course, I did not expect many of the bigger names to say yes. Surprisingly, I got quite a few big bloggers on the show, including some who were very reluctant to put themselves out there (not everyone is a lover of the microphone you know :>). |f0aa02270d715e6b234f37c03b998d84| No, not Seth Godin, but still, for a complete beginner not bad I think!

What blew me away is that getting in contact with people you look up to is not as hard as it seems (if they don’t have an assistant answering their mails :>). Don’t forget, they were exactly where you are not too long ago. And most are more than happy to help out a newbie! Give it a shot.

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Daniel ScoccoBlogging is a great way to showcase your expertise and expand your network. I learned this when, back in 2009, |95794f5333a84848e806ac1407563fd6| The guys from Voice of America (the official external US broadcaster) were planning to launch a new site, and they wanted to learn what would be the best ways to optimize and promote it. It was a very interesting experience, and certainly a nice touch to my CV!

Practically speaking, this happened because I wrote a lot of content on related topics (website optimization, SEO, content marketing, website promotion), and that content got linked from other bloggers and site owners, and eventually it ranked well on Google. Then when the guys from VOA started doing some research they came across my stuff, liked it, and decided to get in touch.

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Meera KothandOne of the craziest opportunities I received when I started out was not only|81823f4dbced8b3317ee3cfed21ee453| but also |db8c1997faa91a52c13367e34300b5d3|.

It was scary but I took the plunge and did the training for them and got paid for it as well. This was when my blog was barely six months old. I’ve always believed in guest posting but its benefits reach far wider than just getting traffic and growing your list. It gets you exposure, introduces you to a new audience and paves the way for other opportunities like it did in my case!

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Dave SchneiderWell I got the opportunity to |4f5a58a638aefe4edc181cd91d9a2b92| The opportunity arose when I was invited on a podcast with my now partner Mark, who read my blog, only a few months after I started it.

After the podcast was published he reached back out to me and we discussed some ideas we had for building marketing tools in the space. We decided it made sense to work together on it. That was three years ago, and NinjaOutreach is doing over half a million dollars a year now.

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Nathan ChanI can’t put this down to any one situation! Ever since we started the Foundr blog this |67857f14cd3e02af1a3b355e0e3b72fd| and with this we’ve also been able to connect with some amazing entrepreneurs in our community which has been an extremely rewarding experience.

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Julie HarrisThe craziest opportunity that arose from blogging was being invited to speak at my first live class. I had been blogging for about six months when |69c0a9f75b44b333c8b85127bb3d884f| They had found my name through another local business I had worked with in the past and found their way to my blog. I had just posted about “Charging What You’re Worth” and they loved the post so much they asked me to present on the same topic live, in front of their whole local chapter.

There was a whole catered dinner, wine and beverages, and a room full of local entrepreneurs waiting to hear what I had to say. I was so crazy nervous but excited. |80bfa04795c34765b3ac3b07b469c14d| My business was so new at that point, I didn’t have much of a portfolio, and my small social following was pretty slim, but I had a pretty extensive business blog, and that was what convinced them that I was the perfect speaker for them.

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Franklin HatchettWhen I first started blogging I came across a new internet marketing method with Shopify. I ended up writing about it on my blog and uploading a Video to Youtube. To my surprise this became a great opportunity and the opportunity grew my blog from around 1,000 visits a month to over 25,000.

This is the single biggest thing that grew my blog and I seized every moment of it. |ef0aa35a8e182df282f4e3b7da17a8d1| because people had doubts and talked negatively about it. That negativity grew my email list to 35,000 and Youtube to 30,000 subscribers in a year. I also launched a private Facebook Group four months ago that quickly grew to 15,000 members and counting.

The blog post that was shared and talked about now has over 400 comments with the video having over 300,000 views. Some might not call this the perfect opportunity, however controversy is used on a daily basis for advertising and any publicity is good publicity.

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Zac JohnsonWhen you put yourself out there in any industry and start to gain a following and audience, new opportunities are going to come up all the time. I’ve learned to not get excited by any of them, as only a very small percentage will actually come together. However, when they do, it’s pretty cool!

One such example was when Michael Bayer contacted me through email and asked if I’d like to be |57cc225189f2ab92c34a80c103128b84| At the time I said yes… but always fully aware opportunities and emails similar to these come in every day and usually result in nothing.

Long story short, Michael was able to pull it all together and release the film! We had a nice premiere party in Hollywood, CA and it was pretty cool! Definitely a fun and exciting opportunity that never would have happened if I didn’t start ZacJohnson.com.

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Scott ChowI would have to say that the craziest opportunity to come from blogging as I was getting started was the opportunity to be |47bc907e3b6cdf78192d1e532a69b3ac|

I’m generally a pretty shy person so it felt a little strange to have that kind of spotlight on me. However, I think for a lot of people that’s what blogging is all about: finding your voice and sharing that with the world.

I am proud to share that message with people and also to help so many people establish blogs of their own!

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Joe BuntingThe craziest thing that happened to me as I first got into blogging was in 2008, after blogging for just a few months, I connected with another blogger who had been doing it for years for the organization he ran. We started emailing back and forth, and once, when he was going to be traveling in my city, we met and |07fb1e99dde968f55bae3383833644d9|

A few years later, I was traveling through his city, helping him with a book he was working on, and I saw his daughter again. |33c22f36b04d1bf6d668219ef52596f7|

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Tor RefslandThere are a lot of crazy opportunities that have happened thanks to blogging.

Let me mention two of them:

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2. I got headhunted by Noah Kagan (I graciously turned him down, since I wanted to focus on building my own business).

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Ryan Robinson|2510329c7362626f43725d7076ee79fa| right after I started blogging.

A few months after I started to write about my experiences running side projects, I applied for a job as a content marketer for the business classes at CreativeLive—the online education company. Thanks to the fact that I had already been blogging for myself about business related topics and essentially doing everything the content marketing job would entail, I got the gig and overnight started working with some of the most prominent names in the business world, helping them to create content and market their classes.

By going after a day job that put me in close proximity to the most influential people in my industry, I’ve since been able to grow these relationships and they’ve led me to do things like become a contributor on Forbes, land interviews with people like Pat Flynn and to launch my own consulting business. Blogging is all about relationships—go out of your way to forge meaningful ones that’ll help you progress within your industry.

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Nick LoperThe craziest opportunity that came from blogging was the chance to speak at my local TEDx event. I was about a year into writing the Side Hustle Nation blog when I was accepted as a speaker, and without any relevant public speaking experience I could point to, I think it was the blog (and Side Hustle Show podcast) that tipped the scales in my favor.

I was incredibly nervous leading up to the event, but it was an awesome “bucket list” experience and a chance to step out of my comfort zone in a big way. Plus it forced me to refine my message into a (hopefully) coherent and concise talk. I went through a half dozen different drafts and rehearsed like crazy before the big day, but the talk ended up receiving a standing ovation and has now been viewed almost 10,000 times on YouTube.

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Kiersten RichMy first ever client was Visit Jordan for a video campaign where|bef82f0a136e508385d90e91c229732b|

I’d always been passionate about videography, so it was an incredible opportunity and I was humbled that a tourism board had such faith in me despite only having just gotten started as a “blogger.” I learned early on that my audience and influence was only one aspect of my worth, but that my content also had value!

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I know those pesky doubts are hard to shake sometimes. I know sometimes you feel like your day will never come; like you’re just wasting time and you might as well quit.

But let these stories inspire you to hang in there.

Blogging can (and often does) pay off in big and unexpected ways.

It is worth it.

So keep reading, keep writing, and (this is important) keep honing your skills.

Keep growing your blog and audience, and opportunities will find you.

Your turn will come.

And it might be right around the corner.

|92fb10062e5eb57f62365e97e13971fa| Eli Seekins is the founder of Launch Your Dream. He helps bloggers and entrepreneurs turn their passion into a business. Want help getting your first 1,000 email subscribers and making your first $5,000? Check out his FREE Job To Blog Virtual Summit — where 25 expert bloggers teach you how to quit your job, start a blog and make money doing it.

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How to Inspire Your B2B Audience with Killer Content Marketing

B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex.

Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery.

Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals. Which would buy a lot of basketball shoes and energy drinks.

But that does not mean B2C has more fun. It doesn’t mean B2B is boring. It doesn’t mean we have to play it safe.

Can B2B content be as compelling, as emotional, as vibrant—let’s face it—as cool as B2C?

As we say in Minnesota, yabetcha.

Not only can our content be all these things, it should be. We’re not marketing to robotic cogs in a corporate machine. We’re trying to have a conversation with actual human beings.

Make sure you’re a worthy conversational partner by following these tips:

#1: Don’t Skimp on Personality

It’s hard to create truly dynamic content when you’re stuck behind a brand façade. Corporations may or may not be people, but content that looks like it was written by committee rarely has that human spark.

Your content should bring out the people behind the brand. Don’t leave authenticity and transparency in your mission statement; show it in what you write. One of my favorite marketers for showing personality is Buffer’s Kevan Lee. Kevan isn’t afraid to show the whole gamut of human emotion on the Buffer blog, from taking pride in accomplishments to acknowledging failure. His post, We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months, is brutally honest but optimistic at the same time. Kevan pulls no punches in describing how Buffer’s traffic has fallen off, admitting he’s not sure why, and offering readers a chance to follow along as he learns.

A post like that not only helps build rapport, it’s valuable to every member of Kevan’s audience that is experiencing a similar dropoff. The result of Kevan’s unfiltered sharing? 3.8 thousand shares and over 418 comments on just that one post. It’s powerful stuff.

#2: Bring Your Data to Life

Most marketers are familiar with Volvo Trucks’ “Split” commercial. It’s the one that features aging action star Jean-Claude Van Damme showing off his superpowers:

What’s often overlooked is that this video is B2B marketing. Volvo Trucks sells big rigs to businesses. That’s what this video is all about. While those not in the target audience see a cool stunt, truck drivers see amazing precision in handling, even while the trucks are in reverse.

Not only that, the commercial is an effective piece of B2B content marketing. After the ad aired, Volvo conducted a survey of 2,200 commercial truck owners. Half of those who saw the video said they were more likely to choose Volvo. A third had already visited the website or even contacted a dealer after watching the video.

B2B marketing relies heavily on data, much moreso than B2C. Tell a story with that data—give it tension and drama—and you’re more likely to persuade your buyer.

#3: Cut the Buzzwords

“Our cloud solutions actualize the potential of enterprise-level businesses to utilize resources and leverage best practices to ladder up their revenue.”

Is it just me, or is the previous sentence like being beaten to death with a damp sponge? What is it about corporate writing that makes people use words they ordinarily wouldn’t go near?

This concept is an extension of the “show your personality” mandate. Unless you go about your daily life talking like an instruction manual crossed with a thesaurus, drop the corporate-speak. And if you do talk like that in your daily life, seek help. Your friends and family will thank you.

On the minus side, if you start talking like people, you won’t sound like every other corporation. On the plus side…you won’t sound like every other corporation.

#4: Consider the Rest of Your Buyer’s Workday

What does your buyer think about when they’re not thinking about you? Most B2B content tends to focus on the narrow intersection between the buyer’s problem and the brand’s solution. That’s great for bottom-of-funnel content. But what are you doing to help your buyer the rest of the workday? How are you equipping them for success?

Some would say anything outside of the problem/solution framework is irrelevant. But it’s all relevant. The person you’re selling to has professional needs that go beyond your solution—help them advance their career and—again I say—yabetcha that will make a difference when the buying committee convenes.

HubSpot is a B2B outfit that has 100% internalized this idea. You will find plenty of marketing advice on their blog, but also posts on leadership techniques, mood improvement, and more.

#5: Take a Stand

So you’re committed to showing personality and talking like a human. The next big step is to bring a point of view to your content. Let your audience know what you stand for and fight against. Take sides. Stir up a little controversy, if it needs to be stirred.

Some brands steer clear of taking any kind of stand because they fear alienating potential buyers. Part of identifying your audience, however, is identifying who is not in your audience. The people who might be turned off by your brand expressing values, sharing a vision, or leading a discussion are people who were never potential buyers in the first place. Get opinionated and you can rally the people who matter to your brand and bottom line.

One of my favorite B2B marketers, Jason Miller, exemplifies this idea. He’s not afraid to counter the conventional marketing wisdom, or call out lack of diversity in the industry. This willingness to take a stand has helped make Jason a thought leader and helped bring readers to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions brand.

#6: Be a Mirror, Not a TV

Would you rather be a talking head delivering a monologue to your customer? Or would you rather reflect who they are, what they value, and then show how your solution can help? Let’s make the question even easier: Which do you think your customers prefer?

Your audience should be able to see themselves in your content. That means writing with extraordinary empathy. Or, better still, that means showcasing their stories whenever you can. My favorite B2B example of this is HSBC’s “The Elevator.” The bank wanted to show they understood small business owners and were committed to helping them succeed.

So they created a web-based reality show with entrepreneurs from around the UK. HSBC provided business coaching for each contestant and awarded a cash prize to the winner. But the series wasn’t just about creating a compelling drama—every video showcased exactly the kind of customer HSBC was trying to reach. The result was an estimated £9 million in revenue from leads generated by the campaign.

No More B2C Envy

It’s time to step out of the shadow of our B2C colleagues. You have my permission to make your marketing every bit as personal, emotional, unique, and dynamic as the best B2C campaigns. Regardless of your vertical, good marketing is good marketing, and every target audience is made of—gasp—people.

Does marketing person-to-person get better results than marketing business-to-buyer?

Yabetcha.

Need help creating awesome B2B content? Explore our content marketing services.


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How to Inspire Your B2B Audience with Killer Content Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

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ASA Insurance Announces The Top 3 Great Apps to Help You Avoid Traffic

ASA Insurance Announces The Top 3 Great Apps to Help You Avoid Traffic

ASA Insurance has released the results of a recent study to find the best traffic apps for drivers.

Online PR News – 24-May-2017ASA Insurance has released the results of a recent study to find the best traffic apps for drivers. Many drivers face traffic on a daily basis said ASA Vice President Creed Anderson, so we wanted to help our customers find the best possible app to help reduce both stress and accidents. Most people have accepted that traffic is going to be part of the daily grind, but with these apps, it doesn’t have to be!

The best app turned out to be Waze, which provides up to date traffic data as well as provide directions. An amazing function of Waze is that it records your driving data; speed, your route, etc, and shares it with other Waze users as it shares their data with you. The purpose of this data sharing is so that users can work together to get around traffic. Another exciting feature of Waze is that it makes navigating a game! You can even chat with other users and create your own Avatar, not while driving of course, only after you have safely pulled over. As a bonus this app can even let you know where an open parking space is located!

The Google Maps traffic app also rates very highly with the ASA staff. Like any Google product, this app hits the high bar, said data specialist Diane Anderson. What the ASA staff liked most about the Google app was that it works in conjunction with Google Maps and so has access to a wealth of data and can quickly reroute drivers around traffic. It also doubles as a GPS, and of course has all those other features (such as being able to book a restaurant) that makes traveling so much easier.

The third of the three best traffic apps found by ASA is INRIX, a free app that is simple and loaded with cool technology. It’s operated by the same cloud platform that is found in the dashboards of luxury autos like Porsche and BMW. It both predicts future traffic conditions and calculates the amount of time your journey will take based on current traffic conditions. It’s even smart enough to calculate how long your journey would take if you waited awhile. One feature that it has that the other two apps don’t is that it learns and memorizes your preferences to give you a customized route based on your unique habits.

These apps can really take the sting out of traffic jams said Creed Anderson, but please remember only to use them when you are safely pulled over or let one of your passengers use it; never when you are driving!

Quote:

“These apps can really take the sting out of traffic jams said Creed Anderson, but please remember only to use them when you are safely pulled over or let one of your passengers use it; never when you are driving!”

Company Contact Information
Creed Anderson
http://www.asainsure.com/
801-486-7463
 
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Ucraft Website Builder Launches a White Label Solution

Ucraft Website Builder Launches a White Label Solution

The complete website builder platform is now available for purchase.

Online PR News – 24-May-2017 – Ucraft, the next generation drag-and-drop website builder, has just launched a White Label website builder solution. This platform is a perfect fit for designers, freelancers, agencies or anyone else who wants to enter the website builder business or create websites for their clients. With Ucrafts White Label you get a comprehensive website builder platform to use as your own.

The White Label website builder is not branded, so you can add your own logo and website templates, and promote it as your own service. Since the website builder is drag-and-drop-based and no coding is needed in order to build a website, the platform is easy to use and suitable for both professionals and beginners. To top it all off, there are more than 15 third-party integrations that will ensure you have all the features necessary to create a professionally looking website.

“We are thrilled to start this new chapter on Ucrafts journey. With the White Label solution more people will be able to enter the world of website building and even start their own business. Ucraft website builder was made with love and we want to make it possible for others to utilize our platform and change the way they do business,” – Gev Balyan, Founder and CEO of Ucraft.

With Ucrafts White Label you get much more than just a website builder. Aside from everything mentioned above, we will also provide you with: Hosting on Google Cloudrn; The possibility to become a domain re-seller; An admin dashboard; Multiple payment gateways: Braintree, Paypal, Bitcoin, Apple PayrnRest API; A dedicated account manager; The option to add an eCommerce platform.

About the company:
Ucraft is a website builder company based in Yerevan, Armenia, with an office in Los Angeles, US. Founded in 2014, the company managed to serve more than 25 000 customers and their websites. Although the website builder platform is the main focus of the company, Ucraft also offers a free Logo Maker tool and a free Landing Page Creator.

For more information please visit this: http://www.ucraft.com/whitelabel or contact Ucraft via email: press@ucraft.me

Company Contact Information
Milica Skocic
http://www.ucraft.com
+1 818-284-6622
 
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10 Lessons Digital Marketers Can Learn from HBO’s Silicon Valley

Do you like to binge-watch a TV series?

I don’t do it often. Hardly ever, in fact. But yep, I’ve done it before. For me, it’s one of life’s simple pleasures.

Every once in awhile, I’ll find a series totally “binge-worthy.”

It can make you a little crazy, especially if you spend the better part of the night glued to the TV.

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But it’s pretty friggin’ enjoyable.

One series in particular that’s binge-worthy is HBO’s Silicon Valley.

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s about a team of young IT entrepreneurs who launch a startup called Pied Piper.

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The show chronicles their successes and failures along the way.

It’s super funny and perfect if you’re at all entrepreneurially inclined or just like to geek out on tech.

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But I also think there are some golden lessons digital marketers can take away from the show.

After all, even though it’s a comedy series with some wacked out episodes, it does have a lot of truth in it.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley, so I can relate to what’s going on in the show.

The show is legit.

Whether you’ve been at it for years or are new to the game, you can learn something that’s practical, even from a comedy like this one.

Here are 10 lessons to be had from HBO’s Silicon Valley.

1. Being flexible is a huge asset

You’ve probably heard the statistic that eight out of 10 businesses fail within 18 months.

While this stat is debatable (The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 50% of all new businesses make it to their fifth year and one third make it to their tenth year), many businesses do in fact fail.

But if you’re flexible and nimble, you can switch up your game plan to account for change and unexpected curveballs along the way.

In the show, the team’s initial idea was to create a music app for songwriters to ensure they weren’t infringing on any copyrights.

But after getting feedback, they quickly realized this idea wasn’t going to fly.

What did they do?

They took a completely different approach and developed a “compression cloud” solution, widening their demographic significantly.

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Just like in the show, adaptability in business is incredibly important in real life.

It’s not always who’s the smartest or who has the most financial backing.

Sometimes, success comes to those who are most able to adapt to change, making the necessary adjustments.

If it’s clear a particular digital marketing technique isn’t working, you may need to change your direction to get the results you’re looking for.

2. Don’t burn bridges or make enemies

Erlich Bachman is a funny guy.

But he’s also quite crude at times.

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He has a bad habit of pissing off venture capital firms and thus missing out on valuable funding opportunities.

As a business owner or a marketer, you definitely don’t want to do that.

Relationships are huge.

In many cases, your relationships (or lack thereof) can make or break you.

Don’t take them for granted.

Always make an effort to remain professional even if you don’t always see eye to eye with everyone.

Even if your colleagues’ ideas completely suck, don’t bash them for it.

Instead, conduct yourself with tact.

3. Don’t overlook legalities

We live in an extremely litigation-happy world.

You see it in Silicon Valley—the show and the real thing.

Thankfully, there’s this guy:

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He’s very uncool, but he knows how to keep the startup from getting screwed over by lawyers.

And it’s a good thing because “there are over 100 million cases filed in US state courts every year.”

Law is a recurring theme in Silicon Valley, especially as it pertains to intellectual property.

When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll want to have some basic knowledge of branding and trademark law to ensure you’re not overstepping your boundaries or infringing on anyone’s brand identity.

Check out this resource from Branding Strategy Insider for more details on this.

4. Be careful of shameless publicity

There’s an old saying that “any publicity is good publicity.”

But this isn’t always the case.

At one point, Erlich tries to shamelessly generate publicity for himself and Pied Piper.

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In the process, he blows through massive wads of cash, nearly ruining the company.

The point is be careful about how your brand is depicted and with whom you choose to align your brand.

And let’s be honest.

It’s not all that difficult to tarnish your brand’s reputation.

Between review sites and social media, a few unsavory comments can quickly bring the walls crumbling down.

Although you can’t totally control how the public perceives your brand, try to stay away from stupid publicity stunts that may do more harm than good.

5. Building a brand is a process

If I’ve learned anything during my time as an entrepreneur, it’s that patience is a huge benefit.

We live in a microwave culture, where instant gratification has become the norm.

And many marketers get frustrated and disillusioned when they don’t see overnight success.

But it doesn’t work like that with branding.

It takes time. Sometimes, it takes several years for any noticeable results to emerge.

In Silicon Valley, the team goes through a lot of twists and turns before Pied Piper becomes a household name.

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So, a big part of making it is simply staying the course.

You need to have the mental fortitude to keep moving along and take it step by step.

But the thing I love about branding is the snowball effect, when a brand keeps getting bigger and bigger with time.

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While your brand equity may be next to nothing initially, it keeps growing to the point of explosion.

Understanding that branding is a process that takes time should help sustain you when things seem bleak and you’re tempted to give up.

6. Embrace mistakes (but learn from them)

I absolutely love this quote from Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek:

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.

This simply means that mistakes are an inevitable part of making progress.

I’ve learned not to beat myself up too badly if I botch something or even flat out make a stupid mistake.

I just chalk it up to progress.

In Silicon Valley, people make mistakes all the time, but they always work to get past them.

In digital marketing, you’re likely to make plenty of mistakes along the way.

I know I did (and still do).

But as long as you’re genuinely learning from your mistakes and utilizing that knowledge to improve, you should be good to go.

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Working hard and having a strong work ethic is good and all.

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But it shouldn’t come at the cost of your own personal well-being.

I know this all too well because I have workaholic tendencies.

In the show, Richard explains to his doctor that he’s been having night sweats induced by stress.

The doctor explains that this can be a precursor to bed-wetting, which is never a good thing.

It’s quite embarrassing.

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Try not to allow yourself to get overwhelmed with your marketing activities.

Strive to find a healthy work/life balance, and recharge your batteries from time to time.

This will make you more effective in your marketing, and you won’t have to worry about being an adult who wets the bed.

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It’s easy to get distracted in business and marketing.

There are always new techniques and tactics that can distract you from what you’re good at and what’s really working.

For instance, at some point in the show, the team is forced to work on a non-core product, which ended up being a major distraction.

In turn, this created a road block on their path to success.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t experiment, but it’s important to focus on your strengths and not lose sight of the ultimate goal.

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At one point, Gavin Belson, CEO of a competing company, presents company’s new product Nucleus, which ends up being a complete disaster.

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This serves as a reminder that quality should always be of the utmost importance.

You want to put in enough time and energy to ensure your audience is getting the best possible experience.

Whether it’s creating blog content or running your social media campaign, it’s better to focus on quality over quantity.

Taking shortcuts is never the way to go.

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If you’re assembling a marketing team, you need to go about it the right way.

Don’t carelessly choose someone without ensuring they’ve got the chops and will mesh with your culture.

A bad hire can kill your vibe and stall your progress.

In the long run, this can also put a damper on morale and be disruptive to team chemistry.

For tips on hiring and creating an awesome team, I suggest reading this article from Wired.

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Although Silicon Valley is a comedy, there are many lessons that can be applied to digital marketing and business in general.

In fact, I feel a lot of wisdom can be extracted from this show.

Whether it’s learning to adapt in an ever-changing marketing world, learning from your mistakes, or simply refraining from being a douchebag, the lessons from Silicon Valley can make you a better digital marketer in many ways.

Can you think of any other business- or marketing-related takeaways from the show?

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CMWorld In-Flight Content Guide: Creating a Memorable Content Experience

Today’s modern customer is OBSESSED with experience. Everything from the ability to quickly order an Uber through a mobile app to spending hard-earned money on trips and adventures, not your typical investments.

The customer expectations for content marketing experiences are no different. In fact, a recent study by  Kampyle found that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

So now that you’ve prepped for your content marketing journey by diving into our first eBook, In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition, it’s time to create a great experience.

To help set you down the path to creating a great “in-flight”content  experience for your customers, TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute have partnered to bring you yet another go-to-guide from some of the brilliant minds speaking at Content Marketing World in September.

Feel free to get up and stretch your legs as we expect a smooth flight ahead. Then buckle up and get ready for our second of three eBooks titled: In-flight Content Guide: Creating a Memorable Content Experience where our content crew shares their top tips for creating a great content experience.

For this edition, we offer a big thank you to the content marketing experts that contributed including: Ann Handley, Doug Kessler, Wil Reynolds, Michael Brenner, Ian Cleary, Jay Baer, Matt Heinz, Ardath Albee, Carla Johnson, Jillian Hillard, Ahava Leibtag and Scott Berinato.

Share Insights From Our Content Crew Members

If you’d like to share tips from your favorite crew members, simply click below to tweet!


Slow your publishing process to ensure content is as valuable as it could be. @marketingprofs
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A great experience starts with disrupting expectations. @CarlaJohnson
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Spend time with people in your target audience to make better content experiences @dougkessler
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Uncover audience questions and use them in content to improve site rankings. @wilreynolds
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A great content experience starts with a story. @BrennerMichael
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Visual communication helps create great content experiences for your audience. @scottberinato
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Content can be found anywhere, but good content is read. @JillianHillard
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Before you create content, write down the problem you are solving for them (Purpose). @jaybaer
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Make the audience the hero of the story you’re telling. @ardath421
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In content creation, when you share ‘what to do’, think also about ‘how to do’. @IanCleary
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Create interactive content to get your audience directly engaged. @HeinzMarketing
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Ask your audience what type of content is most helpful to create great experiences. @ahaval
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Stay tuned for the final eBook in our series, the In-Flight Content Guide: Making the Most of Your Content Journey.  

Content Marketing World 2017
To connect with this content marketing crew of experts in person, be sure to check out the agenda for the 2017 |ae2594c8d4704178654bf1c75fbcb3ad|.

You can also follow along and participate in conversations via Twitter by using the hashtag #CMWorld, by following CMI on Twitter (@CMIContent) or by subscribing to our blog.


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Don’t Lose your Funds to Amazon – How to Stay Within The Operating Agreement


don't-violate-amazon-agreement

This is a guest post by Cathy Tibbles of WPBarista

Recently a lot of warning bells were sounding around the internet because of some changes to the Amazon Associates program. Looking at Problogger’s experience and the success of several other bloggers using affiliate sales, this post will take you through the importance of using Amazon Associates (or deciding if it’s right for you); and how to keep your account open and funds within your grasp.

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Affiliate marketing is earning income by referring products to your readers. When they purchase your recommended products, it generates a commission payment for you.

To earn affiliate income, two things must be true:

  1. you must have earned some credibility and trust with your reader
  2. the item must be in some way relevant to the reader

Over the last 13 years, Darren has reported $600,000 from Amazon affiliates alone! Smart Passive Income reported $94,824 in affiliate income for the month of January 2017. Google can provide a healthy list of monthly income reports if you’re interested in more; but keep in mind that those reports are from a small section of the blogging community that reports their income. My guess is a disproportionately high number of them are blogs earning over $1000/month.

If you want to create an affiliate marketing income stream, one of the best run-throughs is right here on Problogger – Podcast Episode 51.

The main reason bloggers prefer Amazon’s affiliate program is because it is so well known. Easily recognised companies have a higher perceived trust value to our readers, and we all know that more trust equals more sales.

The downside is the often lower ticket items coupled with lower commission fees. To find out if Amazon Associates is the right affiliate company for you, see Darren’s Pros & Cons list in this post.

That brings us to point number two in our research – what on earth happened to make Amazon the ‘bad guy’ overnight?

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Amazon Associates, the name of their affiliate program, is chock-full of legal jargon and difficult to understand. So I took apart the interesting (read: controversial) parts of the Operating Agreement and contacted Amazon directly for clarification.

Before we get into the consequences, let’s look at what actions are worthy of these consequences, shall we?

  1. Of course there are a bunch of regular things – don’t display their Special Links (affiliate links) on any site with illegal or inappropriate (R rated) content; don’t artificially boost clicks or impressions, and don’t generally be sneaky, crooked or malicious. Fair enough.
  2. This is the part everyone is up in arms about:

    “6. You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities… in connection with… the Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Operating Agreement… For example, you will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including … email or attachment to email…”

    *Emphasis mine. More on this below.

  3. Every blogger using Amazon Special Links, must display this:

    “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

  4. You may not use a link shortening service. They further go on to say that you can’t cloak, redirect or in any way obscure the link. I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of affiliate links that are organised with link shorteners to make it easier to link to! This is a no-no. In fact, the Operating Agreement says that you cannot use your own links in any way – you must use their supplied images, their links and their ‘code’.
  5. If you currently have posts or sidebars that pop-up, or any popup at all, they cannot contain any Amazon Special Link.And what dire consequences will Amazon level at you?

>>> Immediate account closure and forfeiture of all earned funds.<<<

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If you violate this Agreement… then, in addition to any other rights or remedies available to us, we reserve the right to withhold… any and all fees otherwise payable to you under this Agreement, whether or not directly related to such violation.

Yes, that says you will forfeit your fees, whether or not they are directly related to the particular infraction. I’m guessing even the rebels among us are motivated to stay in line, at least until we find new affiliate companies.

Now, let me take a moment to tell you why #2 above impacts 99% of bloggers …

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Do you use feeds? Are you familiar with that glorious machine-readable version of your blog that lets us download your blogs and read at our leisure. We use our own favorite feed reader like Feedly or Bloglovin.

Whether you know this or not, your feed (in WordPress) is always available and anyone can access it.

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Go to yourblog.com/feed and you can see a bunch of awful looking code-stuff. That, my friends, is your feed!

Another very common use of the feed, is to attach it to a mass email provider – like Mailchimp or Convertkit – and send your posts automatically to subscribers. Do you see where I’m going with this?

If you link to Amazon Special Links within your posts and you serve your feed via email, you are violating the Operating Agreement.

Promoting your Special Links in blog posts and blog posts via email have to be pretty much the same thing, right? That’s what I thought… so I asked Amazon. Here is Cody, the service representative’s reply:

“Associate links can only be used on approved websites and are not permitted to be used in e-mails, newsletters or in any off-line manner. Sending links via email will cause your Associates Account to be shut down indefinitely.”

Um. I guess they take a different view.

So. Emails are out.

Let’s talk about maintaining delivery of your posts to subscribers’ emails, and somehow keeping Amazon happy at the same time.

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  1. Move all Special Links to the bottom of posts in a “Shop This Post” area.
  2. Change your emails to send excerpts only. This can be done either in your settings, or in your email program.

The downside is that you’ll need to edit each post! Uggg.

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  1. For WordPress users, install this plugin (disclosure: happens to be mine!) and it will automatically change all links (in the feed only) to point to your site.

    (Cathy’s plugin has been screened by ProBlogger’s own developer)

Downside – The reader will expect to be taken to Amazon, and instead will be redirected back to the post, where they can click again to purchase.

Two steps is not ideal, but at least you don’t have to edit each post, and you’re not in violation of the program.

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And… like anytime our income is threatened, it’s a good idea to review your income streams and diversify!

Cathy Tibbles is the founder of WordPress Barista – your geeky girlfriends partnering with bloggers to take care of the technical aspects of blogging. 

The post Don’t Lose your Funds to Amazon – How to Stay Within The Operating Agreement appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

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8 Fundamental Elements of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is a staple marketing tactic for nearly every business, helping brands build awareness, share and interact with customers and prospects, and create important touch points in the changing customer journey.

However, both green and seasoned marketers are still trying to nail down what a successful social media marketing strategy looks like. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 industry report, 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business. However, just 41% say they’re able to measure the ROI of their social activities.

As any successful marketer will tell you, the road to success begins by physically documenting your strategy. As for what needs to be included, below you’ll find some essential elements to consider.

#1 – Your brand’s value proposition.

The first step in building a successful social media marketing strategy is defining the value your brand brings to your social media audiences. Why? Because if you can’t define the value, you certainly won’t be able to show any value.

Ask yourself: Why would someone follow or engage with me on social? What do I want my followers to know about my brand? What value can I bring to my audience through content and engagement on social? Then craft a simple mission statement of sorts, and use that to help guide the rest of your strategy development.


If you can’t define the value, you certainly won’t be able to show any value. #socialmediamarketing
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Simply put, there can be no strategy if there’s no end goal. Your objectives are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next.

Use the goals outlined in your overall digital marketing strategy as a starting point. This will allow you create social-specific goals that help contribute to the larger marketing mission. Whether you want to increase your number of followers, boost referral traffic to your website, foster engagement or drive more conversions, set goals that can be measured. In addition, consider setting benchmark goals so you can gauge the success of your efforts as you go and make improvements as needed.

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The success of your social media marketing efforts hinges on your ability to empathize and connect with your target audience. As a result, you need to understand their motivations, pain points, and content interests and needs.

Dig into website and social platform analytics, and talk with your sales team to uncover key customer insights and characteristics. Then use what you find to develop a customer persona—which is a general representation of who your target customer/follower is.


Your success hinges on your ability to empathize & connect w/ your audience. #socialmedia
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Each social media platform offers a little something unique. As a result, many marketers may be tempted to design strategy that includes a presence on every platform. But—as with most things in the digital marketing world—quality over quantity is definitely a good rule of thumb.

While you’re compiling audience research to create your personas, find out what channels are driving the most website traffic and on-page engagement (i.e. time on page or pages per visit), and inciting the most engagement on the platform itself (i.e. comments, likes and shares). In addition, do some competitive research to learn where your fiercest competitors are spending their time on social media and the type of engagement they’re getting. This research will allow you get a look at your internal and competitive landscape, and help you prioritize and triage your efforts.

Finally, look back at the objectives you outlined to determine which platforms are best suited for helping you reach those goals. For example, if one of your social media marketing goals is to attract or recruit new talent, a visual platform like Instagram is the perfect place to show off your company’s amazing workplace culture. On the other hand, if your goal is fostering engagement through discussion, Facebook may be a must-have platform within your mix.

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In today’s social media landscape, simply sharing links to your company website or blog with a bit of text will not drive your objectives. Your followers want and expect more from you.

Use all the aforementioned elements to guide the creation of a content plan that includes the appropriate mix of images, videos, links and discussion starters tailored to each platform.

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Maintaining a consistent presence on your social channels is vital to the success of your marketing efforts. If you disappear for long periods of time, it’s easy for your audience to forget about you—and can prove more difficult to build engagement back up. Similarly, over-posting can be an annoyance, and cause your audience to turn away. So, your ultimate goal is to be a regular fixture in news feeds, but not overwhelm your audience.

Develop a daily, weekly or monthly plan or schedule that details:

  • Who is responsible for posting or monitoring your social media feeds
  • When the content is being shared (i.e. dates and times)
  • Where the content is being shared (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • What content is being shared (i.e. website link, curated content, image, video, etc.)
  • How you’ll be sharing content (i.e. live tweeting at an event; native vs. using a social media management tool to schedule in advance)

Maintaining a consistent presence on your channels is vital to success. #socialmediamarketing
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Measurement and data analysis are vital to any strategic initiative, providing you with the insights you need to continually refine your approach and ultimately prove ROI.

Outline the specific analytics tools and metrics you’ll use to gauge success—both on (native engagement) and off (your website) social platforms. For example, if one of your goals is to drive more website traffic through social channels, Google Analytics or your preferred analytics platform will be a critical tool to include. As for measurement, some of the metrics you’ll want to look at include time on page, number of pages per visit and assisted conversions.

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If you want to achieve social media success, the importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. The beauty of social media is that you have the opportunity to show your audience who you are, not just what you sell.

Develop a brand voice that brings a human element and some personality to your social media pages. Lose the jargon or sales pitch, and talk to people on their level.


The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. #socialmediamarketing
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If you’re looking for a few more resources to get your social media marketing strategy on-track, take a gander at some of these other helpful posts:

What is your biggest social media challenge? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Agile Urgent Care Opened Its Doors Today in Secaucus, NJ

Agile Urgent Care Opened Its Doors Today in Secaucus, NJ

New type of urgent care and therapy center fills a critical gap for quality, non-emergency health services for local patients, businesses, and their employees

Online PR News – 22-May-2017 – As many people already know too well, the US healthcare industry has many hurdles to overcome. Complexity, high costs, and a lot of restrictions exist for patients, especially when you or a family member needs to be seen. Additionally, a large degree of uncertainty exists regarding what the future holds, and how it will affect patient access, coverage and cost outlays.

Enter Agile Urgent Care. This new Secaucus health care center opened its doors today, May 22nd. Agile Urgent Care fills a major gap in the local health care market, by offering high quality Adult Care, Pediatric Care, Occupational Medicine and Physical Therapy services, at affordable rates.

The facility is located at 20 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus, near several major highways and mass transportation.

We have built Agile Urgent Care from the ground up, and it is a great looking facility, with a modern, friendly environment, stated Raj Shah, CEO and founder. Our goal is to create a natural extension of your favorite physicians office, but we will be open seven days a week, and have evening hours as well.

Agile Urgent Care wants to provide its patients with healthcare that fits. Whether you are young, or just young at heart, regardless of what your insurance plan is, whenever you need care that does not require a hospital stay or emergency room visit, and when you cant wait to see a physician, even without an appointment, Agile Urgent Care will be there for you. The facility has an X-ray machine, an EKG machine, and on-site lab, in order to make things more simple, as well as cost and time-effective for patients. Additionally, there will always be an experienced physician on staff.

Agile just had its grand opening ceremony on May 21. Agile Urgent Care will be happy to meet with prospective patients, small business decision makers, and physicians who wish to schedule a tour of the facilities.

About Agile Urgent Care

In 2017, Agile Urgent Care was founded for a number of important reasons:

– To create a new health care alternative, offering the quality of a primary care physicians office, but with a greater level of flexibility and affordability
– To treat its patients with personalized, quality care, and address their short term and long term heath care needs
– To improve the quality of local healthcare, for individual patients, as well as businesses and their employees

The company is privately held, with headquarters in Secaucus, NJ.

Company Contact Information
Chuck Hirsch
http://www.agileurgentcare.com/
914-730-9292
 
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