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.

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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.

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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.

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Permission to Kick Ass: Granted

portrait of a grizzly bear

What if you discovered that your own words and thoughts were wreaking havoc on your chances for success?

They might be.

What you say about what you do makes a difference.

It makes a difference in your own mind. And it makes a big difference in how people view your work.

At some point, you have to decide if you want to be at the top of your field.

Does that sound like too audacious of a goal?

I’d like to propose that you consider it. That you eliminate “I’ll try” from your vocabulary. That you make it your aim to be the best, to surpass the competition, and to go for the top prize.

I propose that you make it your goal to do great things.

Not to expend great effort.

It’s OK to want to be the best. And as long as you don’t step on anyone else to get there, it’s the optimum goal you can have.

Let’s kick some ass. Ready?

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The Key Element of 21st Century Persuasion

The Key Element of 21st Century Persuasion

Back in the 1950s, a bedridden man faced certain death from inoperable, terminal cancer.

Tumors the size of oranges had invaded the man’s neck, groin, chest, and abdomen. The patient’s only hope was a new experimental cancer drug called Krebiozen.

Three days after the initial treatment, the man was out of bed and joking with his nurses. As treatment continued, his tumors shrunk by half.

Ten days later, he was discharged from the hospital … the cancer was gone.

That’s pretty amazing in itself. The more amazing thing is that Krebiozen didn’t actually work.

We’re back for the fall season of the New Rainmaker broadcast, this time looking into the unstoppable power of belief, and what it means for doing business in the 21st century.

In this episode you’ll discover …

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The Right Way to Think About Google

mesmerized crowd looking up

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

two question mark cufflinks

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

image of colorful writer's desk

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.