The Right Way to Think About Google

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You may have seen last week that Google abruptly — and almost offhandedly — announced it was terminating a key element of its future strategy for ranking content.

The Authorship program, which would let Google rank content according to the authority of the person who created it, was nuked on Thursday afternoon at the end of the business day on a Google+ thread.

It’s not really new behavior. Google is abrupt, secretive, and dismissive of the time and energy it encourages its users to put into its various programs.

Google giveth, and Google taketh away.

And to be honest, this can get right on your last nerve. But if it causes you more than a few moments of irritation, you may benefit from shifting the way you think about the web’s favorite 800-pound gorilla.

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The Marketer’s Guide to Using Quizzes to Reach and Engage Your Audience

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On July 5, 2014, a food blog called Food52 shared a quiz on Twitter titled, “Which cake are you?”

The quiz was built to raise awareness for several new cake recipes on the site, and the results of the quiz showed each quiz taker’s “cake type,” as well as a link to check out the recipe for said cake on Food52′s blog.

By the end of the day on July 7, just three days later, the quiz had been viewed more than 20,000 times — it was a hit.

Food52′s quiz-success story is not the only recent one. In the last six months, quizzes have been popping up at an increasing pace all over the web.

Content marketers are itching to get involved, but the elements of a successful quiz are complicated.

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A Quick Note About the History of Labor Day That You May Not Realize …

This plaque appears on the memorial statue erected where Samuel Fielden was speaking when the riot broke out.

The first Monday of September is upon us, which means that it is Labor Day in the United States (and Labour Day in Canada).

Have you ever wondered why North America celebrates Labor Day in September, while many parts of the rest of the world celebrate International Workers’ Day on the first day of May?

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The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living

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If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life.

People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life.

Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our craft, and disrespect for our profession.

And yet.

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Two Important Announcements for Writers

First, you may have seen yesterday the abrupt announcement that Google is, at least for the moment, discontinuing their Authorship functionality for search results and webmaster tools.

For those in our Authority community, as well as those in our Certified Content Marketer program, we’ll be holding a special live Q&A session with Brian Clark on what this means for web writers as we move forward. Just log in to your Member Dashboard to find out how to attend. You’ll also get your usual Tuesday email with all of the instructions.

And secondly, if you aren’t in one of those programs yet, the window is closing to join the Certified Content Marketer program at 5:00 PM Pacific time today.

If you’re a professional writer who could use more assignments, better pay, and the best shot at the most interesting, rewarding projects, it’s well worth your time to check the program out.

Grab all the details here — and remember, the deadline to enter is 5:00 PM today.

(And Authority members, don’t forget — make sure you’re logged in to your account in order to get your preferred pricing on the program.)

Update: As promised, the Certification program is now closed to new applicants. But you may be interested in joining Authority, our community of web writers and marketers. We offer a wealth of information, advice, and support, with fresh exclusive content nearly every month of the year.

Learn more about Authority here.

How to Earn $250 Per Hour As a Freelance Writer

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How sweet it would be to earn $250 per hour — as a writer, no less.

Sounds like a crazy dream, right?

It’s kind of like your dream to win America’s Got Talent with your nose whistling routine: Fun to think about, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Well, I’m going to risk your snorts of disbelief by telling you $250 per hour is the average rate I earn with any type of writing I do, whether it’s copywriting, content writing, or journalism.

I’m not special (though my mom thinks so). My writing skills are good, but not Donna Tartt good.

And as you’ll see below, I don’t actually charge $250 per hour, which would cause prospects to run screaming from me like I had the plague.

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Save $100 on SMX East in New York

SMX East logo

Search Marketing Expo is the world’s largest search engine marketing conference, and this fall SMX East will take place in the nation’s most populous city.

And if you’re planning on heading to New York City for SMX East (September 30 – October 2), we’ve got a way for you to save $100.

Just use the code smx100copy at checkout to save $100.

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Clueless About Technical Writing? Get Started With These Essential Tips

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Technical writing is like copywriting’s old, boring uncle.

In the communicative garden party that is online content, Copywriting gets everyone a drink and socializes, while Technical Writing runs the grill and feeds all the guests.

Copywriters may think technical writing is simple, but it actually presents a number of challenges unique to the discipline.

If you receive a technical writing assignment, will you know how to handle it?

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An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge.

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Want to discover the smartest ways to mix social media, content marketing, and SEO for lead generation?

Want to convert those leads to customers and clients?

We’ve got you covered with Internet Marketing for Smart People. And there’s absolutely no charge.

These 16 high-impact ebooks plus our 20-installment email course deliver the techniques and strategies you need to know to become a much smarter marketer online.

Find out more and sign up (free) right here.

4 Simple Steps to Writing a Blog Post That Floods Your Inbox with Inquiries

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Are your blog posts helping you win clients?

Blogging helps boost your authority, drive relevant traffic, and generate leads.

But are your blog posts working for your business?

Although business blogging is a longterm strategy, you can employ a few smart tactics to one single post in order to generate meaningful leads.

Not just one lead. But a handful or more of quality leads.

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