Use Images (Not Just Words) to Turn Your Distracted Visitors into Engaged Readers

woman taking iPhone photo

If you have kids — or if you’ve ever been around kids — you’ve heard the sound before.

It’s a noise that’s somewhere between the cry of a lost wolf cub and the wail of a nearby car alarm. It’s one of the most annoying sounds you’ll ever hear.

It’s the ear-piercing cry of a child who has been over-stimulated.

The angelic child becomes a hot mess of whiny, clingy neediness.

If you’re the adult in charge and you manage to keep a cool head, you say something like, “Calm down. I don’t understand what you need. Use your words.”

And sometimes it works. It stops children long enough to engage their brains rather than just their emotions, and they are able to communicate what they need.

As consumers of information online, we’re a little like that over-stimulated child.

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How to Be in the Top 5% of Bloggers: New Research Results

Department of Blogging Labor Seal

We’ve said it so often you’re probably sick of it.

Content marketing doesn’t work unless the content is genuinely worth reading.

Routine, phone-it-in content won’t get you the audience, the leads, the prospects, or the conversions you need.

Andy Crestodina over at Orbit Media Studios is one of the content marketers who really gets it. When I found out that Andy had conducted a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers about the specifics of how they work, I knew that I wanted to get a post together to share our takeaways from the survey.

Good content takes time. It’s a lot of work. And it can be hard to put the time in when we have deadlines and publishing calendars to meet.

This tension is built into the lives of all content marketers. Every blogger and every content creator is looking for that balance between quality and quantity. All of us.

So how much time and how much work does it really take?

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What if Author Rank Never Happens?

Authority

Editor’s note (8/28/14): Google has completely dropped all authorship functionality from the search results and webmaster tools. Other than the authorship markup code that’s now worthless, what changes should you make to rank well in Google?

As this article from April 13, 2013 sets forth, nothing at all. The message is aimed at the mythical Author Rank, which was supposed to be the outcome of Authorship, but the point is that what would have worked under Authorship is what already works. Enjoy.

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We recently concluded an entire series of articles by our own Demian Farnworth on the topics of Authorship, Author Rank, and Google+ for the online content creator.

It was a smashing success, which indicates that writers and other online content creators are excited about these topics. And you should be.

But let’s be clear – as best as anyone can tell, Author Rank has not been implemented yet. And that means there’s some chance it may never become an algorithmic aspect of the way Google ranks web pages.

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A Sobering Lesson on the Value of Compromising Your Creative Ideas

David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney -- the brothers who formed the band called Death

Mollie Politzer was 32 years old when she got sick.

She was in the hospital for months, and when her condition eventually worsened to the point of death, her rabbi was called in. The rabbi arrived and proceeded to change her name.

He did this to fool the Angel of Death — so that when the Angel of Death came, he wouldn’t know who she was.

It worked …

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer? Answer This Question to Find Out …

Image of Walt Whitman

Let’s say this:

You’ve been a graphic designer since high school, went to college, and got a degree in computer science. During that time you’ve dabbled in writing. You have a blog. You don’t publish frequently, but when you do, you get traction.

Or how about this:

You are middle-aged woman who’s been a successful CPA with a large firm for 10 years. While the pay is divine, you are not entirely happy. In fact, if pushed, you’d probably say you hate your job. You’ve been breaking out the journal before bed each night.

Here’s another one:

You own a business. It’s septic tank installation. One you inherited from your father. Septic tank installing is all you’ve ever known. But a little over two years ago you were involved in a tragic accident. And you think the story needs to be told.

Each scenario above is based upon a real-life conversation I’ve had with someone. I’ve changed the details to protect privacy, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you understand what I’m trying to do.

At some point in the conversation these people ask me: “Should I become a writer? Do I have what it takes?”

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35 Blogging Tips to Woo Readers and Win Business

black and white image from 1910 of three men with pipes looking toward the left edge of the image with intrigued expressions on their faces

Let’s not pussyfoot around it.

Blogging is a lot of work. Hard work.

Generate new blog post ideas. Write weekly content. Promote posts via social media and email.

At times, we all wonder whether our blogging efforts are paying off. Do we need to keep plugging away? Write more? Promote more?

The thought of quitting might even creep up now and then. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about your next blog post? And have some extra time to go out with friends? Or to read a book?

But the benefits of writing a business blog can be tremendous. Career-changing.

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