Can You Spot the Expert? Test Your Knowledge of Google’s Content Quality Standards

the best way to get search engines to EAT (and serve) your content

Want to hear something scary? No, not scary like Five Nights at Freddy’s. More like disturbing. Alarming. Even depressing.

I used to write articles about:

  • How to protect yourself from necrotizing fasciitis
  • How to escape from an airplane safety slide
  • How to tell if you’ve been poisoned by sushi
  • Whether runners could benefit from platelet-rich plasma surgery
  • How much alcohol you should drink
  • Why the rate of concussions is higher among women

Now, what makes this admission scary is that I’m not a surgeon. And I’m not a nurse practitioner, physical therapist, or chiropractor.

In fact, I’ve never had any medical training in my life — nor have I ever slid down an airplane safety slide!

Horrified yet? Well, just wait. Because medical advice was not the only thing I used to freely dispense as a web writer.

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How to Take the Guesswork Out of Content Marketing

stop guessing and start knowing

Authority, our advanced content marketing training program, is open to new members this week only.

Why should you care? Read on.

Here’s the harsh truth about any marketing: there’s no magic switch you can flip to turn it “on” and make it start working immediately.

Marketing with content is no exception to this rule.

Content marketing results happen slowly, and they happen over time.

If you do it right, you’ll create content that continues to send you new prospects and customers for many years after you created it.

If you do it right is the operative phrase here.
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A Practical Approach to Using Powerful Cornerstone Content on Your Site

build your website's content marketing cornerstone

We’ve been talking about cornerstone content a lot lately.

Not sure what cornerstone content is? Here’s a quick explanation:

Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the fundamental questions their newest prospects have. Cornerstone pages are informative, instructive, and they help your prospects understand the foundational information needed to interact with your business.

Cornerstone content pages answer those cocktail party questions. You know the ones I mean, right?

They’re those questions you get asked at a cocktail party right after you tell someone what you do:

  • How does [your business] apply to me?
  • Why did you get into [your business]? What motivates you?
  • How can I get started with [your business]?
  • What do I need to know to be smart about [your business]?
  • How can [your product or service] help me?
  • If I’m just learning about [your field of expertise], what do I need to know first?

In this post, we’re going to cover how to use cornerstone content on your site and invite you to join us for free cornerstone content education we’ll offer next month.

You heard that right: free cornerstone content education! If you can’t wait to sign up for that, scroll to the bottom of this post and get your name on the list.
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Why a Hot Seat Is Shockingly Good for Business

How a professional group helps grow your business

Back in 2004, the heat was on for me and my little marketing and design studio.

In those days, I was a single mom with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old, and I desperately needed my business to produce.

And by that, I mean produce profit. I needed money, honey — to support my family, run my household, and build my business.

I knew it was time to ramp up my efforts. My business was successful, but it was time to take it to another level.

Around that time, I started hearing about mastermind groups.

And now, when I look back, I recognize that joining a mastermind group profoundly changed my business for the better, especially because of one specific exercise these groups do.

That’s what I’m going to share today. Because earlier this month, we began doing something similar inside one of our communities at Rainmaker Digital.
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Finding the Balance Between Pragmatism and Your Ideals

cp-your-ideals

If you feel like you need to choose between idealism and getting your bills paid, look again.

If you’re getting along financially but compromising your own beliefs, you’re going to make yourself sick and miserable. But if you’re leading some kind of “pure” life but suffering a lot of financial stress, that’s not the key to a great life either.

Somewhere, there’s going to be a path that brings those two together, and that will get you where you want to go.

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How Not to Be a Sleaze (or a Martyr) in Your Business

Don't take shortcuts; they take too long.

Don’t take shortcuts; they take too long.

I first wrote that advice in a post about site quality as an SEO strategy for content marketers.

It sprang back to mind when we lost the incomparable Yogi Berra last week. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do Yet Another Blog Post with Yogi Quotes (this is a good collection, if you’re looking for one).

But there’s something about that “so wrong, it’s right” Yogi logic that seems to be a constant in business and in life, and I thought I’d write about it.

So what does that initial advice mean, anyway?
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