How to Plug the Holes in Your Content Funnel That Are Costing You Money

image of a woman with short hair and quote Hi, I'm your customer, remember be?

Content is not king.

Yep, I said it. (This guy did, too.)

In the realm of content marketing, the customer is ruler of our domain.

Without falling deep into a series of Game of Thrones allusions, let’s agree that all content must be created with the customer’s needs in mind. Otherwise we are wasting time and resources as marketers.

I’ve already written much on personas and their usages across digital marketing, but it’s tying those personas to user journeys and content that yields remarkable increases in conversion.

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Should Your Site’s Design Be Sexy or Smart?

Image of a Subaru ad at a card dealership that says Sexy is the New Smart

This might surprise you. (It surprised me.)

Since being released in February, Parallax Pro has been the top-selling child theme for Genesis.

No, that’s not what is surprising.

Parallax Pro is a gorgeous theme and the web is smitten with parallax effects. (Plus, the worst fears about parallax are unfounded.) Its enormous sales numbers are expected.

It is sexy — interesting, appealing, exciting. And sexy sells.

Now the surprise.

Would you believe that Executive Pro and Enterprise Pro — two child themes for Genesis that seem to revel in being decidedly unsexy — are also among the best sellers in the StudioPress portfolio?

Believe it.

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SlideShare: 8 Ways a Digital Media Platform is More Powerful than “Marketing”

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Taking a media approach to building an online audience is way more influential and effective than traditional marketing and advertising.

This is true, not because it tricks anyone, but because it gives people what they want in a format that they prefer. And that’s powerful stuff.

How does it work?

Check out our first New Rainmaker SlideShare below, and discover for yourself the eight primary ways that building a digital media platform is more influential than straight up marketing.

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A Day to Be With Family and Remember

Sgt Benton Thames inspects a sentinel before the sentinel begins his walk on the mat at Arlington National Cemetary.

At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes fought in the Civil War, enlisting with the Massachusetts militia during his senior year of college. He suffered numerous wounds and nearly died of dysentery.

After three years, in 1864, Holmes was able to walk away from military service. He would go on to live another 71 years, ultimately becoming one of the best-known and most oft-cited U.S. Supreme Court Justices in history. (He defined “clear and present danger,” for example.)

Holmes would serve all the way until just a couple of months before his 91st birthday. His was a full and vibrant life.

Unfortunately, so many of the men Holmes fought with and against in the Civil War did not make it home. Nor have so many of the men and women who have fought in the wars that have occurred since. So much life unlived. So much potential unable to be fulfilled.

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Easy Design Tricks That Will Lift Your Web Sales

Image of a desk with laptop

Advice about web design, as a rule, either concerns itself with established conventions like “design for humans” or arcane tips such as creating responsive images with the “srcset” attribute.

Tricks of conversion, however, don’t typically appear in the ordinary design presentation …

You know, those little design secrets that make all the difference between something beautiful and something beautiful and profitable.

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The 2 Reasons People Don’t Click on Your Buttons … And How to Overcome Them

Buttons are cute, and they’re charming. You can’t be scared of a button.

These are the words of Joanna Wiebe, whose delightful presentation on buttons at Authority Intensive resonated with data-backed usefulness.

And she’s right. No one is scared of a button. Yet, people choose to not click on your call-to-action buttons all the time. Costing you conversions. Costing you money.

Why?

And what can you do about it?

I invited Joanna, Conversion Copywriter for Copy Hackers, to be the guest on this week’s episode of The Lede so she can answer these two questions for you …

Because Joanna has the answers and the data to back them up.

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Never Fear Google Again: The Smart Person’s Guide to Guest Blogging

Image of motel sign reading Guest Enter Here

It’s simple really — at least in theory.

You run a blog and want new material.

Others out there want some new exposure.

You offer would-be contributors a chance to share their material, and in return you get fresh content, expert insight. Maybe even a day off.

But there are shadows behind the glossy exterior of guest blogging.

  • When you open up your blog for guest posts you might be immediately swarmed with spammy offers
  • You might accidentally allow worthless or shady links in the posts
  • You might even be punished by search engines like Google

What seems so simple can quickly turn into a hot mess.

So why even bother?

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Join Brian Clark and Jerod Morris at Content Marketing World 2014

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(And get a discount when you register before May 31st. Details below.)

Copyblogger Media is proud to be a sponsor and presenter at Content Marketing World 2014 — the one event in the world where you can find all the brightest and most accomplished content marketing professionals, together, at the same time.

CMWorld returns to Cleveland, Ohio September 8-11, 2014. And this year they’ve lined up Oscar winning actor, director, and producer Kevin Spacey as the closing keynote!

Created for motivated marketing professionals just like you, Content Marketing World features knowledgeable and energetic speakers, information-packed sessions, and comfortable networking opportunities.

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The Boring Niche’s Secret Weapon (And How to Use it)

Image of four birds on a fence

I hear it constantly: “My niche isn’t sexy enough for content marketing.”

It’s a lie.

It’s a crutch.

It’s a flat-out excuse.

The problem isn’t with the niche, it’s with your perception. The problem is you aren’t thinking about what makes your steak sizzle.

The “boring” niche actually has a secret weapon.

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Being a Salesperson Sucks (Think Like a Farmer Instead)

image of a farmer on a tractor, you can see him far away, with a heart cut into the field he is working on

Ugh.

Do you feel like that on Mondays?

You wake up, take the kids to school, and off to the office you drive.

After downing several cups of coffee, you muster the inner strength you need every day to make a living.

You start with the emails to prospects, make a few cold calls, and zip off to an appointment … all with the hope of “closing the deal.”

Some days the tedium wears on you like a musty coat. Other days, days when a sale is made, the “thrill of the kill” makes it all seem worthwhile.

But that momentary exhilaration is replaced with the thought that tomorrow, it starts all over again.

Day in and day out, it’s the same. And yet you know that there has to be a better way to make a living selling.

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