The 6-Step Process to Building Better Relationships With a Data-Driven Approach to Outreach

golden retriever puppy running alongside an English bulldog

Outreach is the art of connecting with bloggers or authors and building relationships through social media, email, or other online channels.

It’s a subject near and dear to my heart.

Earlier this year, I spoke about this topic at Authority Intensive, sharing the insights I learned while down in the trenches — building outreach teams from scratch, and seeing them lose opportunities to gain substantial visibility because of a lack of data-driven research and improper targeting.

Truly effective outreach is based upon deep research, relationship-building skills, and a fundamental understanding of SEO

To form the relationships you want, you need to customize each outreach campaign.

[ Continue Reading… ]

7 Reasons You’ll Want to Start Your Free Trial of the Rainmaker Platform Today

Last Monday, we publicly launched the Rainmaker Platform. It’s a complete website solution for content marketers and Internet entrepreneurs.

With Rainmaker, you can:

  • Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
  • Build membership sites and online training courses.
  • Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
  • Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
  • Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
  • Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
  • Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
  • Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
  • Take your content to WordPress at any time you choose.
  • A whole lot more …

[ Continue Reading… ]

How to Make Winning Infographics Without Risk

portrait photo of Salvador Dalí gesturing with his hand

The infographic is the Salvador Dalí of content marketing. By far the most interesting person at the cocktail party.

Who can compete with the thin, longhorn mustache decorated with forget-me-nots? The anteater curled at his feet?

His closest peer, the video, dozes near the crackling fire … slippered feet propped up, face buried in a white beard.

The podcasts, hovering in the shadows, laugh at all his jokes in between sips of sparkling wine.

And the blog posts? Yeah. The blog posts go home to weep themselves to sleep.

The infographic holds court. He is the darling of the content marketing world. For good reason.

[ Continue Reading… ]

The Lede: Are You Overlooking This Cornerstone of a Smart Content Strategy?

The Lede Podcast logo

Yesterday, Brian Clark published a highly anticipated answer to a question that’s been on a lot of entrepreneurial and marketing minds.

If you missed it, that question is: Isn’t it time for more power and less hassle from WordPress … without breaking the bank?

The answer is yes, of course, and he provides the solution — a turnkey, hosted platform for content management that is already providing the technological engine for many smart content strategies across the globe.

But technology is just technology. It will do its part reliably, but you have to do yours too. That’s why Brian released the New Rainmaker content library well before the platform … and why the library is still available for free. He wants you to have the knowledge to actually make good use of the tools — which, after all, is the Copyblogger way.

That is why we are kicking off the relaunch of The Lede with a three-part series on content strategy, starting today.

And we begin with an element of content strategy that often gets overlooked … but that is crucial to understanding your audience intimately enough to influence it.

[ Continue Reading… ]

Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs

Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born.

Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they?

The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and responsibilities in place.

How was that even possible? In short: shared vision.

[ Continue Reading… ]

Here’s How Shane Snow (Founder of Contently) Writes

Image of The Writer Files Logo

If you are going to run a company around a slogan like “Tell Great Stories,” or rally your troops by adopting the Native American proverb “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” then it pays to build an environment that fosters great writing.

Large photographs of your favorite writers covering one wall is appropriate. As is a collection of your favorite books along another wall.

And that’s just the environment Shane Snow has created for the employees of his company.

Shane is the co-founder of Contently, a high-end brand publishing firm. In fewer than five years, Contently has courted the likes of Coca-Cola, GE, Walmart, and Google as clients, providing both software and creative talent to help satisfy media objectives.

[ Continue Reading… ]

Which of These New WordPress Themes is Right For Your Audience?

Image of Genesis framework on three different devices

Is your website’s design the right fit for the audience you want to attract?

I urge you to do more than simply nod and say “yes.”

Really think about it.

Who are the people who make up your audience? What are their worldviews?

And what specific design elements will allow your visitors to have a human experience on your website — the kind that lays the foundation for them to know you, like you, trust you, and ultimately join your audience?

[ Continue Reading… ]

Follow This Superstar’s 7-Step Example to Dominate Your Industry

black leather platform heel crushing a cupcake

I woke up like this. I woke up like this. Flawless.

After listening to “Flawless” five times, Evette went to the mirror, and told herself the lyrics in the Beyoncé song were true.

She believed it. She internalized it. She embodied it.

Ready to dominate, Evette strutted over to her computer to fire off a blog post. A post that would enable her to claim her rightful place atop her industry.

The same way Beyoncé dominates her industry.

You’ve met an Evette before, right?

Someone who thinks she’s so flawless, all she has to do is show up and everyone will bow down to her.

But it doesn’t quite work that way. Not for the Evettes of the world. And not even for Beyoncé.

[ Continue Reading… ]

Why You Must Not Ignore The Call to Adventure

closeup of hands holding a map

The following is an excerpt from Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

In ancient myths, most quests were ones of discovery or confrontation.

A kingdom was under siege, so it required defending. A minotaur in a faraway land guarded a magic chalice, and only the hero could wrest it back.

Happily, real-world quests offer more possibilities than storming castles and rescuing princesses, and with some exceptions modern-day quests can be placed into a few broad categories.

Travel is an obvious starting point.

[ Continue Reading… ]

5 Ways Listening to Community Data Can Expand Your Content Marketing Strategy

rainbow over a neighborhood of houses

When talking about content marketing, discussions often focus on decisions about topics, headlines, platforms, and distribution.

But how much do you consider the data that supports these decisions?

I’m not talking about demographics, like age, gender, or location — although those matter, too. Rather, I’m talking about the answers behind qualitative questions:

  • Who are your community’s influencers and why?
  • Which events are your community members attending?
  • What will be your first touchpoint with your community?
  • Where is your community getting their information and news?
  • Where is your community having meaningful conversations?
  • How do you choose which headline will resonate best with your audience?

Gathering this type of intelligence will allow you to develop a stronger content strategy with better results and deeper relationships.

One of the best (and most efficient) ways to conduct this research is by listening to current and potential customers on the web and social media.

[ Continue Reading… ]