Way back in 2011, Steven Bristol and Allan Branch, a couple of strapping entrepreneurs with in-vogue facial hair, decided to poke fun at infographics — with an infographic.
The title said it all: “Infographs are Ruining the Internet.” (“Infograph” is their terminology used for the purpose of their content.)
Now, the Bristol and Branch infographic simply amounts to amusing facts about infographics — none of which are true.
Here are some fake-fact highlights:
- 23 percent of infographs cause puppies to cry
- 67 percent of people who read infographs love them
- 356 calories are burned in the creation of an infograph
One “fact,” which was really a prediction, said that “By 2012 all blog posts will contain infographs.” Joking aside, the infographic has certainly grown to be the darling of the content marketing world.
But what exactly is an infographic?
There are two main ways for content marketers to absorb vital copywriting mechanics: learning and practicing.
I’m not going to help you with the practicing part today. You simply need to write … and keep on writing.
Millennials … you’ve got to love them. Particularly when it comes to their devotion to checking their email.
According to an August 2015 survey on email by Adobe, Millennials are the age group most likely to check their email:
- From bed (70 percent)
- From the bathroom (57 percent)
- While driving (27 percent)
That’s a lot of looking at your email inbox. But the rest of us aren’t far behind.
Kristin Naragon, Director of Email Solutions at Adobe, writes:
“On average, survey respondents report using email six hours a day, or 30+ hours a week.”
So much for social media killing the email star. In other words, if you want to reach Millennials — the largest generation in the U.S. population with $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017 — use email marketing.
But what exactly is email marketing? How would you define it?
When it comes to reading, there are two ditches modern-day web writers may fall into. Both are notorious, unrefined, and dangerous — especially if you want to be more than an ordinary writer.
On one side, you have the ditch of never-ending digital content where you spend all your time reading online.
Your day looks like this:
- You begin with the latest Copyblogger article and a heavy dose of articles from news sites by the time you down your third cup of morning coffee.
- During lunch, it’s a dash through some popular and arcane sports, fashion, cooking, or interior design blogs (but not any by that potty-mouthed she-devil who can’t stop talking about her cowhide throw blankets).
- In the afternoon, you gobble up several articles on LinkedIn, 99u, Fast Company, and the fun ones you find on Facebook.
- Late at night, you start reading your third brand-new James Patterson novel of the year (and it’s only May!) on your Kindle (not quite online, but still digital).
On the other side, you have the ditch of “made-for-loneliness” wonkism where all you do all day is read about one topic — and one topic only.
Your day looks like this:
- During your breakfast of Fig Newtons and yesterday’s coffee, you read Copyblogger’s ebook on SEO copywriting and then watch as many Whiteboard Fridays as you can during your hour-long carpool ride into work.
- At lunch, you finish memorizing Search Engine Land’s periodic table of SEO success factors — and then recite it for your three sleeping lunchmates.
- Before you leave work, you print out three ebooks on local SEO and read those during the carpool ride home.
- And in the dead of the night, you thumb through a musty copy of SEO 2015 and Beyond while you drink your fourth “I heart SEO” coffee mug full of Belgian-style quadrupel.
There is nothing wrong with these two approaches to reading if you have no ambition to be a great writer. However, if you aspire to be an exceptional writer, follow these sophisticated reading habits.
Here are a couple of startling stats to start your morning:
- $9 billion. That’s the amount of money spent worldwide on ebooks in 2015.
- $21.3 billion. That’s the amount of revenue from online education in the U.S. alone in 2015.
And let’s not forget that mobile usage is off the charts, podcasts are growing in popularity every day, and software as a service is a new business norm.
This is great news for anyone hoping to build a business around the growing market of digital commerce.
But what exactly is digital commerce?