Split-Testing 101: How to Know Which Words Work

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain

That Twain guy was pretty smart. But he had to rely on the intuition that comes from years of writing to choose the right word, and even then it was still a guess. Poor guy.

Nowadays, we’ve got technology that allows us to easily know what the right word, phrase, or headline is, at least when it comes to getting people to take the action you want. But all the tech in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to test, or test incorrectly.

To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I invited Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers to give us free consulting share her wisdom at the intersection of creative copy and no-nonsense testing.

Read More…

Unleash a Surge of Email Subscribers from Your Guest Posts With This Simple Landing Page Strategy

seagulls landing on shore by Patryk Sobczak

Ever wanted to know how you can gain more email subscribers when you guest post?

You work hard to establish connections with editors. You share your most valuable tips. You polish your writing until each word shimmers and shines.

But when your article goes up?

You feel a tad disappointed.

Why don’t more people join your email list? What’s stopping them?

Read More…

7 Steps That Will Hook Your Audience through the Magnetic Force of Fascination

women holding bowls gazing down at one of their phones by Sigfrid Lundberg

Throughout your journey to overcome online obscurity, you produce a lot of content.

Content marketing is about making a connection with your audience and building relationships. Since you invest time and effort into your writing, you want to see tangible results.

But what if your posts aren’t getting the engagement you need to take your digital media platform to the next level? How do you create content that deepens your connection with your audience?

The answer may lie in the specific reason why we absorb certain information, while overlooking other content.

Read More…

Do Lower Prices Lead to More Sales?

Sean D'Souza, speaker at Authority Rainmaker 2015

Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics.

The prices are stacked like this:

  • $200
  • $250
  • $2,000

What’s going through your mind right now?

Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses.

If we were truly happy with lower prices, we would simply snap up the $200 workshop, right? We wouldn’t so much as take a glance at the rest.

But that’s not how we’re built as human beings.

Read More…

5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here:

Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising?

Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed a certain way for a curation project. Others are seemingly a little “outside the box,” and yet they complement a curated email newsletter perfectly.

In this 22-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

  • What makes curated content shareable and linkable
  • The best audience building strategy on the planet
  • How to borrow (and delight) a massive audience
  • How to get others to share your curated content
  • Why infographics are pure media curation
  • How to take advantage of visual microcontent
  • The true value of iTunes for audience building
  • The podcast interview as valuable curation content
  • The viral catalyst the exploded Copyblogger in the early days

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 26

Or, grab it in iTunes.

Data Is Clear: To Be Effective at Content Marketing, Have a Documented Strategy

cover image of CMI 2015 report

Talk is cheap. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to content marketing strategy, simply talking about it is not enough.

That is the big takeaway from the 2015 benchmarks, budgets, and trends study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by our own Rainmaker Platform.

According to the study, only 39 percent of B2B small business marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. The rest either have a strategy that they have only talked about (47 percent), have no strategy at all (12 percent), or are unsure (1 percent).

Here’s why this matters …

Read More…

How to Learn From Your Mistakes

The Lede Podcast logo

Everybody makes mistakes.

And everybody should make mistakes. They are unavoidable when we step outside of our comfort zones. Avoiding mistakes means avoiding growth.

But we can’t repeat our mistakes. We need to learn from them. When we do, we turn negatives into positives and move forward. When we don’t, we simply run in place.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian and I share personal stories of mistakes we’ve made — some big and some small — and how we learned from them, and we describe the thought process necessary to do so consistently.

Read More…

Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track

image of Inuksuk sculpture from the Athabasca Glacier, taken by James Pratley

At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating.

Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now.

I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim.

Even back then, though, the note made me laugh.

(Ruefully.)

Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction.

Read More…

Three Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster

Note: This is the second of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the first episode here: Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements.

A key aspect of last week’s episode was identifying the purpose of any smart content curation project – audience building. Specifically, building an audience asset in the form of an email list.

This week we’re focusing exactly on that essential element. After smartly positioning your curation project, you want to do everything you can to optimize your initial sign-up conversion rate before you invest serious time and money in driving traffic.

Read More…

10 Key Factors That Will Determine the Future of Google+

row of open-mouthed piranhas with sharp teeth

Google+ seems to be the social network that people love to hate. The industry almost has an internal clock about when to print the next article about Google+ dying.

So what’s the real story here? Is Google+ going to die soon? Should you invest time in it?

I will outline the way I look at it in today’s post, and while I will bring in many discussion points, bear in mind that for Google it’s all about the data.

Whether or not Google+ lives or dies will be determined by its utility as a data source, because data is money for Google.

Read on for all the details of this story.

Read More…