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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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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How I Wrote Three Books in Three Years

image of a row of books with human-like bookend

Writing a book can be a long, hard slog.

The “miserable” parts of the experience have been documented over and over again. Or just ask any author on a book deadline — or let the thousand-yard stare speak for itself.

Not all of us can have an entire corporation behind them churning out novels, taking the stress off, after all.

And though authors are unquestionably helpful to each other, they don’t always give the best advice. Think how many times you’ve heard this old trope: Just put your butt in the chair and write. It’s true, but that doesn’t help you right now, does it?

I don’t want to give you advice like that.

I want to show that there is a way to publish prodigiously while baking the marketing into your work.

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Are You Confident in Your Content Marketing? (New Study Suggests You’re Not)

cover image of CMI study

Here’s a fact about content marketing that’s actually shocking.

The 2014 benchmarks, budgets, and trends study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (sponsored by our own New Rainmaker) is out, and it includes a number of surprising findings.

Most notable is this: There remains a wide gap between the number of small business B2B marketers using content marketing (almost all of them) and those who believe their content marketing efforts are effective (less than half of them).

That’s right — 55% of small business B2B marketers using content marketing believe that their efforts are, at best, having zero impact. Something is clearly missing.

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The Amazing Copywriting Machine

Bill was a struggling copywriter with a big idea.

He’d spend hours and days laboring over headlines, landing pages, ads, and emails for his few clients, but the results of his work were often not worthy of comment.

He’d had enough.

One warm Friday night, he decided he would build a machine — a copywriting machine — that could be fed raw data on one end, and would spit out highly converting copy on the other.

If he got it right, the business world would beat a path to his desk.

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How to Write Copy Like Google

Image of Google Logo on a Wall

Have you ever wondered who writes copy for Google … who puts together the words on the landing pages or in the video scripts for products like Gmail, Google+, Analytics, or Nexus?

Of course you don’t (unless you’re a copywriter). Because it doesn’t matter. You just want the product.

Now.

But why is that? Why does it seem that Google’s copy is so good, that their products are so hard to resist?

Well, it’s less about the writer — and all about the audience. Or, to be clear, what their writers know about the audience.

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