How to Powerup your Blog: Action 4 – Powerup other channels – SlideShare

blog SlideShare

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

The goal of any company blog is to increase awareness of the company’s brand. To do that the blog must drive traffic to the company website, where the visitor is encouraged to browse other pages.

blog SlideShare

After you have organized your blog using categories and tags, shared your posts on relevant social media channels, and optimized open rates with keyword-rich headlines, there is one more action that will enhance your SEO and extend your blog’s reach – SlideShare.

The last post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looks at powerful channel for content distribution -SlideShare.

Action 4:        Powerup other channels – SlideShare

SlideShare, now owned by LinkedIn, is a website that allows you to post content (PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, videos, documents, and others) as a presentation.

Once uploaded, your content is public, searchable, viewable, and even sharable! This increases brand awareness, expands your market reach, and drives traffic to your blog or website.

Benefits of using SlideShare

blog SlideShare

With over 60 million visitors a year, SlideShare is powerful channel for your content distribution. Some benefits of using SlideShare are:

It extends your reach to a large professional audience.

LinkedIn is the parent company of SlideShare, and we all know about the power of LinkedIn professional networks. It also means SlideShare users tend to be business-oriented rather than social browsers.

It boosts SEO

It turns out that Google ranks successful SlideShare presentations above blog articles, news stories, even YouTube videos (well, sometimes). This is a big boost for your blog’s SEO.

It’s free!

For startups and solo professionals, a big benefit of SlideShare is that it is free! For any business it is a smart marketing channel for your content marketing strategy.

It’s easy!

blog SlideShare

SlideShare is easy to learn. If you’ve ever used PowerPoint, you’re on your way. If not, there are many tutorials out there to help you get started quickly.

It helps builds authority.

On SlideShare you showcase your expertise in your field by sharing useful and relevant information. When readers come across your quality content on SlideShare, they will associate that content with you and your personal brand.

It includes analytics.

There is a free analytic tool that helps you measure how and when viewers interact with your content. You can track how many times each presentation or infographic is viewed, shared, liked, commented on or downloaded in a specified period.

How to use SlideShare

So, how do you use SlideShare to extend the reach of your blog? The easiest way is to make a SlideShare presentation for each of your blog posts. A presentation that summarizes the post and makes it easily consumable, understandable, and quick to digest.

Because you’ve already written the post, creating and publishing a presentation is relatively simple. Not only will you at least double your exposure but there is the chance your SlideShare will go ‘viral’!

If SlideShare delivers as predicted, you may decide to start writing your posts with a presentation in mind.

Action 4.5:     Powerup SlideShare

You can take a few steps to optimize your SlideShare presentation for your readers and for search engines:

Template

People like things that are familiar. Put together a template that displays your brand, your message. Use it again and again. Make sure the template reflects the colors and style of your blog and website. Place your brand logo on every slide.

Headline

This has been covered in some detail in the 3rd post in this series – Action 3: Powerup your Headlines. Just remember to optimize your title for searching by including keywords/phrases relevant to the blog topic.

Tags

You can include up to 20 tags in your presentation, making your presentation that much more searchable. Base your tags on the tag strategy you worked out in Action 1.

Description

By include a compelling description for your SlideShare, you make it more appealing to your reader and increases its SEO. As with the meta description on your website, include relevant, highly searchable keywords/phrases in your description to help search engines find it

Links

Links are very important to your SEO. Google assumes that pages with the most links to them should rank higher in search results than those without links.

So, place links throughout your Slideshare presentation, as well as on the last slide. Include a “Further Reading” slide with a list of links to related content on your blog.

Conclusion

This last post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looked at powerful channel for content distribution -SlideShare. SlideShare:

  • Extends the reach of your professional network
  • Boosts SEO
  • Is free
  • Is easy
  • Tracks metrics

Share all your posts are presentations on SlideShare and see if you don’t generate awareness and drive traffic to your blog.

A company blog is a powerful tactic in a content marketing strategy. Posting quality content consistently is key to a blog’s success. But it’s not enough. In today’s marketing environment you will need to powerup your blog to get heard.

This series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, is all about helping you take action to increase traffic to your blog and website:

  1. Powerup your site structure
  2. Powerup your social media
  3. Powerup your headlines
  4. Powerup all channels – SlideShare

I have put this blog series into a SlideShare presentation. You can download the FREE SlideShare presentation here.

You can read this blog on Steemit!

This blog series is available as a kindle book. Buy it here!

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the crytpo and blockchain communities:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

For quality content writing services:

CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

How to Powerup Your Blog – Action 3: Powerup your headlines

blog headlines

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

Driving traffic to your website is one of the primary benefits of a company blog. However, posting relevant and useful content consistently may not be generating the traffic you expected. Other action is required to powerup your blog.

blog headlines

We’ve seen how to structure your blog using categories and tags and how to share your posts on relevant social media channels. Now what’s really important is getting people to click on the link to your blog and then read it. The only thing that can make people do that is the headline.

This third post in the series: How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, explains how to optimize open rates with keyword-rich headlines.

Action 3:        Powerup your headlines

First things first

Crafting a good headline should be the first step in writing a post. Start with the topic, one identified in your content calendar. Then, think about what benefit you will provide your readers in the post. With a topic and key benefit sorted, start brainstorming headline ideas, coming up with at least five drafts.

blog headlines

When writing the post, keep thinking about the headline, keep focused on the promised benefit and make sure you deliver in every post. The sections below will help you powerup your headlines to get them opened and read.

Keywords

There is some debate about whether headlines should focus on SEO or on “writing for humans”. As it turns out you should do both.

Keywords are important because they are words and phrases your audience is searching for. By using keywords, you attract more readers and drive more relevant traffic to your website.

Niche phrases, several keywords together, can add the human element. Although they generate less traffic, that traffic is more targeted with less competition. A niche phrase is more specific, and specificity makes for a better headline.

A really great headline, then, should speak in the language of the audience with keywords, presented in a proven formula that catches human attention and offers value.

Classic headline formulas

How to posts

How-to articles and blog posts are some of the most read, linked, and shared content online. Readers are looking for useful information that they can apply in a practical way. Try to focus on benefits that make your reader’s life better, easier, and happier. Follow up with great content that fills the promise of your headline.

There are many variations of the basic How to headline. The How to [Blank] and [Blank] was made famous by Dale Carnegie with How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it is still a powerful formula today. The How to [Blank] Without [Objectionable Action] title works because sometimes your reader wants something but doesn’t necessarily want to do what it takes to get it.

Numbered lists

A headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, tips, or actions works because it makes a specific promise to the reader. As long as you deliver on the promise with quality content, you’ll have a satisfied reader.

The human brain loves numbers, in headlines especially because numbers place information in a logical order. Interestingly, we seem to believe odd numbers more than even numbers. Odd numbers, the number 7 in particular, appear to help our brains process and recall information more easily.

The Content Marketing Institute recommends using the numeral 7 in headlines rather than the word seven. For example, instead of Seven Things You Should Know About Your Bank, try using 7 Things You Should Know About Your Bank.

Why and a declarative statement

blog headlines

People find it difficult to resist a headline that presents an interesting take on a topic they care about. This headline uses Why not as a question, but to put forward a point of view with the promise an explanation: Why Facebook May Be Bad for Your Business.

A reason to read

This headline formula is about giving readers a good reason to read your post. Use numbers combined with reasons to really powerup your headlines: 7 Facts about an ICO that you May Not Know or 6 Insights into the Future of Blockchain

Conclusion

Optimizing with keywords and using winning formulas can powerup your headlines, increasing your click-through-rate.

The final post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, action 4 is about using all channels, SlideShare in particular, to extend your reach.

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the crytpo and blockchain communities:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

How to Powerup Your Blog

blog social media

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

A primary benefit of a company blog is how it can drive traffic to your website. But maybe, just maybe, publishing consistently hasn’t generated the interest you were expecting. What else can you do attract attention?

blog social media

There is no better place to extend the reach of your blog than social media. But, as we all know, without a plan and some discipline, one can easily get sucked down the social media rabbit hole.

This second post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, looks at how to promote your blog on social media, driving even more traffic to your website.

Action 2.        Powerup your social media

When planning a social media strategy for your blog, it pays to begin by establishing your goals. This will help you choose which channels to target and what focus your content should have.

To extend the reach of your blog on social media you need the right stuff. You need to have:

  • the right profile
  • on the right channels
  • with the right content
  • at the right time.

The right profile

The profile you use on your social media sites can help drive traffic to your website and blog. First, all social media channels give you a couple places to display your website’s URL. Use them all.

Then, fill your About and Biographies sections with relevant keywords. Complete every section to optimize your profile. Include a clear Call to Action to let readers know how to find more information or contact you. On some channels you may need to put the CTA in each post.

Every time you post a blog, share it on all your channels. Use the comments and questions you get to refer people to back to your site.

Place links in your social media biographies to further boost your SEO. When you link back to your site from your social media channels, you’re creating high-quality backlinks to your site.  This is a key benefit of social profile optimization.

The right channels

The business you are in and the content you intend to share will help you pick the social media channels to use. The following sections give a brief overview of social media sites used by B2B marketers.

Facebook

Although it’s changed over the years, Facebook is still an incredibly powerful B2B marketing tool. It remains the world’s largest social network and, used correctly, enables communication with your audience, your customer. Businesses are able to reach their customer base easily, and on personal level.

blog social media

Optimize your company Facebook page and remember that with the new algorithm it’s all about meaningful interactions. Best practice includes:

  • avoiding overly-promotional content,
  • creating and sharing content that’s relevant to your products, and
  • developing a company narrative that keeps your audience interested.

Twitter

Twitter is a channel where you build and manage relationships. Importantly, when you share quality content on Twitter you drive traffic to your site. Prospects that visit your site can then be converted to leads, and ultimately into customers. Twitter is a great place to provide customer service too. Respond to all enquires and comments to encourage engagement.

blog social media

Twitter is also a great place to get people talking about your company, your industry, and, yes, you’re your competitors. Use it to:

  • create buzz around a product launch,
  • give certain employees the power to act as personal contacts with your followers, and
  • develop relationships with bloggers and journalists for further reach.

LinkedIn

When blogging about business and professional topics, LinkedIn is an important channel. LinkedIn helps you reach a B2B-oriented audience. LinkedIn company pages allow you to showcase your business, brand, products and services, and job opportunities.

blog social media

Every time you post a blog on your website post a link to in on your LinkedIn company page as well as the personal page of your primary communicator.

Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest

Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest are almost entirely visual. These visually-oriented platforms are most effectively leveraged for brand-building. This is where you share your multimedia and video content (see below).

blog social media

Instagram in particular has become important in brand building because engagement is high, and followers become brand-loyal. Develop a visual identity that reflects your website and brand.

The right content

Regardless of the social media platforms you choose, the key to successful content is shareability. People share content that:

Inspires – you create positivity when you inspire your readers

Entertains – when your content engages, it entertains your readers

Educates – sharing knowledge improves your readers knowledge and quality -of-life.

The content you choose to share will depend on the channel, of course. Remember your goal – driving traffic to the blog on your website – and mix up your offerings.

Infographics

Informative and visually appealing, infographics present facts and figures in a condensed visual format. Infographics are hugely popular and can be a huge source of traffic, especially if it is good enough to be re-shared.

Multi-media

On channels like Instagram content must be shared as images or videos. Sharing this kind of content can be very effective. You know how much a picture is worth!

Company clips

This isn’t about boring, old-fashioned corporate videos. Think about ways to show off your team and your brand. Take the opportunity to humanize your brand. You have the potential to win many more followers if you do.

Tutorials, quizzes

Creating tutorials in multimedia formats allows people to see actual products or methods in use. Many in your audience might prefer watching a video rather than reading a 1,000 word post. Use quizzes to entertain your audience and with the right questions, perhaps learn a bit about them.

The right time

Hootsuite, a social media integration platform, investigated the ideal times for sharing content on each social media platform.  They found that each platform has its own peak timing for sharing. For B2B marketing posts, peak time is generally weekdays during business hours. The sections below summarize Hootsuite’s findings.

Facebook

The best time for B2B brands to post on Facebook is

Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday

between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.

LinkedIn

Being a professional network it not surprising that the best times to post on LinkedIn is before and after work on workdays, and at break times. Hootsuite found the best times for B2B brands to post on LinkedIn are:

Wednesday (followed by Tuesday)

at 7:45AM, 10:45AM, 12:45PM, and 5:45PM EST.

Twitter

An interesting statistic about Tweets: the average lifespan of tweet is only 18 minutes! That makes timing all the more important. Here, Hootsuite found that for B2B brands in the US, the best time to tweet is:

Monday OR Thursday

between 9AM and 4PM EST; focus on between 11AM-1PM EST

Don’t even bother on the weekend!

Instagram

Instagram is not as easy to predict due to its algorithm that prioritizes a feed based on the ‘recency’ of the post. The study by Hootsuite did not give specific projections for B2B business but does mention technology companies. They found the following:

Professional Services

Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

blog social media

at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.

Technology

Monday and Tuesday

at 2 p.m.

A note about timing

The crypto and blockchain communities do not always fit into the categories analyzed. You should test the same content at different times on each channel. Hone your timing to best suit your audience and upstage your competition.

Always, remember, however, that the best timing int the world won’t make up for bad content!

Conclusion

You can extend the reach of every blog post by understanding your social media audience. By developing the right profile and content for the right channel at the right time your build awareness of your brand.

In the next post in the series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, learn about how to write a killer headline in Action 3: Powerup your headlines.

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the crypto and blockchain communities:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

Read this post on STEEMIT

 

How to Powerup your Blog

blogging site structure

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

Scrolling through crypto and blockchain websites, I always check for a company blog. A place where the company showcases its brand and raises awareness of its products and services. Almost every site I visit hosts a blog. Some companies even blog regularly and consistently.

One of the primary benefits of a company blog is how it can help increase traffic to your website. But publishing consistently may not be generating the interest you were hoping for.

blogging site structure

So, other than publishing quality content, consistently, how can you optimize your blog to extend your reach?

This series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, will discuss four actions you can take right now to get more traffic to your blog:

  • Action 1: Powerup your blog structure
  • Action 2: Powerup your social media
  • Action 3: Powerup your headlines
  • Action 4: Powerup all channels – SlideShare

This first post explains how to structure your blog with categories and tags so search engines can find your content, driving more traffic to your website.

Action 1.        Powerup your blog structure

Without a proper structure, as your blog grows, your readers will get lost in the search for the information they need. Your posts will disappear in the crowd. Search engines won’t be able to find them.

blogging site structure

How do you add structure to your blog? You start by using categories and tags. Strategically implemented, categories and tags extend your blog’s reach, get your content found, and improve your SEO.

Categories

You use categories to group your content into ‘global’ segments. Categories increase usability and enhance SEO. Search engines will find posts more easily if they aren’t competing with each other.

You can define and describe your categories in WordPress under the Posts menu. Each post should be assigned a single category. The description you use is displayed on the category page so make is compelling. For instance, the ICOWriter categories are based on the services I provide: Content marketing, White papers, Blogging etc.

Once all your blogs are assigned to a single category, you can put category pages on your site. Category pages sort your posts and display them on a separate page for each category. Links to category pages can be on a menu bar on in a sidebar. Remember, search engines love more pages!

As your blog grows, you can add sub-categories to add another layer of structure. Evaluate your site structure regularly to keep it in order.

Tags

Hashtags are a word, or group of words after the # sign (like #hashtag, #icowriter, #contentmarketing etc.). Most people know of them from their use on Twitter as “tweet chats” – open group discussions around a particular topic. They are also known as metadata tags. You use tags to add further structure to your blog by describing your posts in more detail.

blogging site structure

There are several types of tags:

Brand & Campaign tags

A brand hashtag is your company name or tagline. You use your business tag on all of your social media sites.

A campaign hashtag is one you develop for each of your marketing campaigns. If you can get people to use your hashtag, your campaign will get extended reach. Link relevant posts to campaigns with campaign tags.

Trending tags

A trending hashtag identifies a topic that is very popular. By using a trending tag in your blog post, you can potentially get your message out to a very large audience.

Content tags

Content tags are common hashtags that are related to your post content. You use content tags to further sort your posts, improving SEO. Base content tags on keywords related to the category and the post.

Content tags help get your updates seen by prospects who are searching for, or using, the hashtag words.

There are different ways to structure content tags. You may want to use:

  • product hashtags (e.g. #whitepapers, #casestudies)
    • service hashtags, (e.g. #contentwritingservices, #proofreading)
    • location hashtags (e.g. #onlinefreelancer)
    • event hashtags (e.g.#endofyearsale)

As well as adding structure to your blog, you can engage with people using related common hashtags – whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Like on LinkedIn.

STEEM tags

For those of you on STEEM, the tags you use can earn you coins. The team at STEEM-ENGINE have made it possible for you to earn multiple coins from one post. By adding the right tags, you can qualify for these rewards and your post shows up on the tagged sites as well, extending your reach. Here are a few for you to check out:

  • Palnet – earn PALCoins
  • Steemleo – investment content
  • Steepshot – share phots with family and friends and earn coins

Conclusion

Structuring you blog with categories and tags will increase traffic to your blog by enhancing SEO.

The next post in the series, How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your reach, action 2 is about effectively dispersing your message through lots of different social media channels.

For more free information about how content marketing provides benefits to the water and environmental industries:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

Read this post on STEEMIT

United we Stand: Segmented we SELL!

email list segmentation

How email list segmentation leads to marketing success

Introduction

We have seen that a major benefit of email marketing is staying in touch with current clients, past customers, and new prospects, as well as nurturing leads. By sending out quality, relevant content you engage and inform all the people on your list.

email list segmentation

But will the same content be of interest to everyone on your list? Probably not.

What you need to do is divide up your list into groups of people with similar content needs. Email list segmentation allows you to send each person on your list the most pertinent content at the ideal time.

In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of list segmentation and then discover how to segment your list.

Benefits of email list segmentation

Email list segmentation can be defined as the act of intelligently subdividing your contact list into any number of smaller lists. So why bother? Here are three benefits to consider.

Benefit 1

Email list segmentation allows you to engage effectively with two important groups on your list: people who have already bought from you and prospects who are showing an interest in your product/services, who you hope will become clients. You want to:

  • Build trust
  • Tailor your message to their unique needs
  • Keep them engaged with your brand

Benefit 2

An incredibly valuable use for email list segmentation goes beyond delivering single messages and offers. With effective segmentation you can guide your leads through the sales funnel on their “buyer’s journey.”

Benefit 3

Another use of your segmented list is when you want to give back to your customers. Email list segmentation makes it easier to separate first-time buyers from repeat customers. You might send a welcome email with a promo code to new leads, and a different campaign to your most loyal customers.

Bonus Benefit!

A bonus benefit to email list segmentation is the role it plays in keeping your emails out of your recipient’s spam folder. When you segment, your messages are tailored to each recipient, and you’ll be less likely to send duplicate copies or send mail to anyone who’s previously unsubscribed.

How email list segmentation works

A good place to start with email list segmentation is to split your list into two global segments:

  • a CLIENT segment, and
  • a LEAD segment.

The way you interact with these two basic segments is critically different and it’s important to keep track of which is which. Clients who have bought from you before shouldn’t be sent the same content and promotions that you send to your new leads, and vice versa.

You then segment your lists of clients and leads by data collected on form submissions, from specific interactions they have had with your marketing, and other interactions.

Interactions like:

  • clicks on a specific CTA,
  • tweets at your company’s Twitter handle, or
  • views on a specific page on your website.

All this data can all help you get specific with your email list segmentation.

Conclusion

The ultimate benefit of email list segmentation is that it allows you to create a more personalized experience for everyone on your list. This means:

  • you sell to leads who are ready to buy,
  • nurture leads who are not quite ready, and
  • cross-sell to clients who have purchased from you before.

Sending relevant content to the right people at the right time is the recipe for email marketing success. Take the time to segment your list!

For more free information about how content marketing benefits the water and environmental industries:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

Read this post on STEEMIT!

Enter A New Era of Web Monetization

web monetization

How Gath3r lets you monetize your blog without paid advertising

Introduction

For Internet users, searching the internet is not really free anymore. We are bombarded by ads that track our every click. Our personal and browsing data is collected and sold without our knowledge or consent.

For bloggers and app developers, gone are the days when a site progressed up a search engine list as it attracted more visitors. When quality content and an enjoyable user experience ranked.

Now the top spots are taken by advertised sites while complex, often secret, algorithms dictate which pages rank highest. This is what Google has brought us to.

What can an ethical blogger do? Is there an alternative? A way to monetize your blog or app without paying for ads and playing Google’s game?

There is now. The solution is Gath3r! Read on to Enter a New Era of Web Monetization.

What is Gath3r?

Gath3r is a cryptocurrency miner developed to reduce a website’s dependence on advertising revenue by offering an alternative form of monetization. After user opt-in, the code uses the excess GPU and CPU computing power of the user to passively mine the Gath3r cryptocurrency – GTH.

A brief explanation of Gath3r cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining involves enabling new blocks in the blockchain. A new block in the Gath3r chain, or any other cryptocurrency, can only be enabled with a complex code, called a hash. Once the Gath3r code is installed on a site, visitors can elect to use their excess computing power while they’re browsing to allow the Gath3r code to try to figure out the hash.

web monetiztion

When a website submits the correct hash, the webmaster enables the block, which grows the Gath3r ecosystem and enhances the value of the Gath3r token. The system then rewards the site owner with a payout, which can be in tokens, BTC, or, where permitted, in cash.

The payout increases based on the number and length of visitor sessions. This can replace income from paid advertising, allowing an ad-free experience for site visitors. In addition, the site owner may elect to reward their loyal users by sharing a percentage of the commission with them through Gath3r’s loyalty program.

Another innovation in mining – merged mining

A further benefit is that Gath3r’s blockchain will support merged mining of that blockchain via auxiliary chains. Merged mining allows two different cryptocurrencies based on the same algorithm to be mined at the same time. This allows low hash powered crypto currencies to increase the hashing power behind their network by bootstrapping onto more popular crypto currencies.

The parent Gath3r chain allows new and existing coins to use its hashrate. By doing this, Gath3r is able to:

  • provide better profitability for web-miners,
  • stop centralization (the 51% attack), and
  • eliminate other issues associated with new coins and low hash rates.

How does Gath3r improve the visitor’s experience?

By installing Gath3r on your site you improve the experience for your visitors because you are no longer reliant on intrusive advertisements to generate income.

No data is collected while the visitor navigates the site, maintaining privacy. The user must consent to the use of their CPUs for mining, ensuring transparency and again, user privacy. Site owners will be able to choose to let users browse certain areas of their website for free while visiting other sections will prompt a pop-up for opting in.

Thus, your loyal visitors are paid to stay on site and explore your content. They can be paid in bitcoin, GTH, or cash (where allowed).

How does Gath3r improve business outcomes?

As an ethical blogger, app developer, educator, you want to provide your site visitor and app users with a quality experience. Previously this meant paying for ads or requiring subscriptions to provide enough income to sustain the site/app.

With Gath3r, the visitor experience is free of intrusive ads. You reduce your advertising budget and your reliance on Google for traffic. Revenue is generated by your loyal visitors who opt-in to allow the use of their spare computing power. In return, visitors are rewarded with an ad-free browsing experience. With the Gath3r loyalty program you can even reward them financially.

As a site owner, you generate further revenue from merged mining and staking.

CONCLUSION

A new era of monetization is here. An era that will not be reliant on paid advertising to generate income from blogs and apps. An era in which data security and visitor privacy is more important than a click on a sexy ad.

Gath3r is at the forefront of a new era in web monetization. With Gath3r you:

  • liberate your website from advertising,
  • generate an ethical income from your quality blog or app, and
  • reward loyal followers with ad-free browsing and financial incentives.

Check out the Gath3r website for more information.

ICOWriter provides content writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.

Contact me to discuss your next successful white paper.

Check out this blog on STEEMIT!

How to Build a Landing Page that Converts

landing page converts

Four crucial elements for success

Introduction

Are your prospects stuck in the top of your sales funnel? Are they finding your website, reading a blog or a press release, and then moving on?

That website visitor, that blog reader is a lead. To pull a lead further into your sales funnel you need to offer them something so valuable they will give their contact details (email address mainly) to download it – a lead magnet. Last week’s post covered the basics of lead magnets but where do visitors end up when they click on your call-to-action to download it? On a landing page!

The job of the landing page it to entice the visitor to fill in a form to download the free content. The landing page should reflect the style of the lead magnet and, ultimately, cultivate action. In this post, we’ll examine four elements of a landing page that converts:

  1. the Value of your offer
  2. the Impact of your offer
  3. the Trust implied in your offer
  4. the Design that leads to action

First, we look at the value of your offer.

1          the Value of your offer

When someone lands on your website, you have less than 8 seconds to make an impression. That means it is critical to put the unique value proposition (UVP) of your offer right up front. Your UVP should communicate the value of your offer and it should differentiate you from others in the marketplace. 

On a landing page, showcase your UVP in the headline and tagline, and in the body copy. By addressing these SEO basics on your landing page, you also increase traffic to the site. More traffic means more potential conversions.

The headline

The headline on your landing page should be concise and specific. You want it to compel the site visitor to act. Highlight the benefits of taking up the offer. Overcome any objections with a clever tagline. Try to generate a sense of urgency.

There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline. Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:

  1. including numbers,
  2. adding an intriguing adjective, or
  3. using action verbs.

Just be sure to keep the headlines about the offer. A landing page is not the place to sell your brand. Stay in context with the content your visitors were consuming when they the clicked through.

The body copy

The text, body copy, on a landing page need to align with the headline and tagline. It should focus on the benefits, results, and outcomes that can be expected from the offer.

Don’t bombard visitors with all the benefits of the offer. You only need to list as many as are necessary to move the visitor toward the call to action on the page.

Try to address any anxieties that may be plaguing your visitor. They may be worried that your product or service won’t make a difference, that it won’t solve their problem. Let them know the offer will start them on the path toward a solution.

Address SEO

Although optimizing for search engines is not a critical factor for conversion success, it doesn’t hurt. Use relevant keywords in the headline and tagline. Sprinkle them in the body copy. Make sure the page name is using the same keywords. Optimize the meta description on the page for keywords.

Critical to building a landing page that converts is showcasing the Value of your offer – your Unique Value Proposition. Showcase the landing page UVP in the headline, tagline, and the body copy. Optimize for search engines with a UVP-focused keyword phrase. 

2          the Impact of your offer

The whole point of a landing page is to compel your visitors to fill in a form and click a button to download something of value. So the next element of a landing page that converts is the CTA and the form.

The CTA

The Call-to-Action (CTA) need to compel the visitor to fill in the form and push the button. A CTA of “Submit” may not be enough to compel action.

You’ve only got a few words to get visitors to fill in the form. Choose them carefully.

What makes a CTA compel action?  A powerful CTA:

  • is concise, and
  • action-oriented (maybe a short phrase using an action verb),
  • that plays on a visitor’s fear of missing out, or
  • evokes excitement and enthusiasm to stimulate action.

You can even add an incentive to convert, some added bonus for acting.

The Form

The form is focused on gathering information about your visitors. The amount of information you can expect a visitor to give you is directly proportional to the value of the offer. 

It is easy to scare prospects by asking for too much information. To draw leads into the middle of the sales funnel, keep it simple. Getting a name and an email address allows the conversation to begin. Further into the funnel, when content is more valuable, you may be able to ask for more details.

As with all web content, make sure the form is mobile-friendly.

A critical factor in the design of an effective landing page is the call-to-action and the form. A concise, compelling CTA and an appropriate form contributes to conversion. Take time to get it right.

3          the Trust implied in your offer

When designing a landing page that converts, getting people to exchange their contact details for your offer requires trust. They need to trust the offer and trust that their privacy is ensured. They want social proof that you are trustworthy, that your offer is worth it. They also want to know they are not the only ones taking action.

Effective landing pages always include trust-building elements.

Trust building elements can be in the form of testimonials, social sharing, photographs of actual customers, client logos, third-party certifications (trust badges), or even short case studies.

Three of these are particularly effective at establishing trust: testimonials, images and video, and enabling social sharing.

Testimonials

Testimonials are powerful because you’re not the one saying nice things about your products.

Three things make a testimonial persuasive. They persuade if they:

  1. mention a specific benefit your product offers;
  2. substantiate a claim you’ve made; and/or
  3. favorably compare your product to a competitor.

You may not find a customer that will testify to all three. Use the best you have and make sure they relate to the specific offer on the page.

Images and video

Images and video help you connect on a more personal level. Images capture a visitor’s attention and encourage them to stay on the page longer. Use images and video to show snippets of the content on offer. Perhaps a photo of actual customers. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Social sharing

Social sharing has emerged as another powerful trust element. Be sure to allow sharing through all your social media channels. The number of shares highlights your status as an industry expert among your visitors.

Using elements like testimonials, images and videos, and social sharing on your landing pages will help build trust in your offers and in you company.

4          the Design that leads to action

Your landing page should present a simple, easy way for your visitors to take the action they need to do to access the offer. Keep it free of clutter. No header, no sidebars. The visitor should have no other option but to fill in form and click the CTA.

Optimize for scanning

Readers tend to track across a page in an ‘F’ pattern. They track left to right across the top of the page and then down the left side. Attention then focusses on the final horizontal in roughly the middle of the page. That’s where you want your CTA.

Make sure you keep all the important stuff above the fold because many visitors will not scroll down the page. Use dot points (more on this below) where possible.

Consistent design elements

Although you have removed the distractions associated with headers and sidebars, you need to keep the design of your landing page consistent with design of the site your visitor clicked through from. This implies trust, that it is the same company site where they started.

Easy-to-read copy

Use plenty of white space so the bright color of the CTA button stands out. White space relieves the reader’s eyes and provides contrast to company colors.

Dot points break up blocks of text and allows for skimming. Use dot points to address anxieties and highlight benefits of taking up the offer. Focus on the benefits.

By using design to lead the eye you present an easy way for your visitors to access your offer.  By optimizing for scanning, maintaining consistent design elements, and using easy-to-read copy your landing page will convert.

Conclusion

This post has demonstrated four things to think about when designing your next landing page.  Each factor has its job to do:

  1. the Value of your offer: the UVP should dominate the headline and tagline. They keep visitor on the page and move them further into the copy.
  2. the Impact of your offer: the CTA encourage action. Form fields reflect the value of the offer.
  3. the Trust implied in your offer: trust elements turn naysayers into believers
  4. the Design that leads to action: visual flow leads the visitor straight through to the CTA and form.

ICOWriter provides content writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.

Contact me to discuss your next successful white paper.

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Lead magnets in the crypto community: Why? What? How?

lead magnet checklist

If you’re going to give it away make it worth it. 8-point checklist

Introduction

In the last few years, the term lead magnet has become a bit of a buzzword. But what exactly is a lead magnet? And why is everyone making such a big deal about it?

Essentially, whenever a prospect lands on your website, your end-goal is to drive profitable action. But visitors are seldom ready to make a decision right away. They want useful and relevant resources and information. That’s where lead magnets come in.

When you use lead magnets, you give your prospects access to gated content. In return, they fill out a signup form on your site. Voila! They just joined your email list, which makes it much easier to engage with, and convert them into future buyers, through email marketing.

In this post, we’ll look at why you need a lead magnet, what kind of lead magnet to offer, and how to make sure your lead magnet meets its goal.

Why give stuff away?

You may be asking why you should develop something valuable just to give it away? You do it because a lead magnet is a piece of content that will draw in the type of leads you want to your business. It’s a way for you to identify potential customers.

The main benefit of a lead magnet is to grow your email list. Your lead magnet must, therefore, be valuable enough for a person to give you their contact details in return. Once a person has given you permission to email them, you can start to build a relationship with them. Pure gold!

What to give away?

The type of lead magnets you offer will depend on your product and on your prospects. Some good types of lead magnets for the crypto community are:

Useful and educational resources

Once you have identified a topic your audience wants more information about, develop a short, concise piece of content that educates and informs. Infographics are excellent useful and/or educational lead magnets when professional designed and presented.

Just keep content assets short and leave them wanting more. Leave them wanting more information they can only get from contacting you directly.

Cheat sheets, and checklists

Cheat sheets are popular because they save people time. They work similarly to a checklist, only cheat sheets have a more actionable nature to them.

lead magnet checklist

Both cheat sheets and checklists are useful if you’re sharing tips that help readers understand complex tasks for the first time.

When developing a either cheat sheet or a checklist, remember to keep things brief and concise. With this type of content, it’s not about telling a story, it’s about getting straight to the value of your offering.

Video training/tutorials

Video tutorials have been shown to boost your conversion rate as much as five times. There are technologies that make it easy to create a step-by-step video product in a matter of minutes. Tutorials help customers understand a process or see how easy it is to use your product. An excellent choice for demonstrating your technology and processes.

Webinars

Webinars are another highly efficient and currently quite popular lead magnet. Regularly scheduled webinars encourage your visitors to learn more about your company, your products/services, and your business culture. Remember, avoid making it purely promotional. In fact, you must offer value before asking for commitment from your leads.

Software downloads/demos

If your product is more intangible, like software, think about offering free downloadables. By offering a trial or a slimmed-down software version, you can significantly increase your conversion rate. Make sure your visitors have to opt-in before downloading your free product.

Surveys and quizzes

Depending on your audience online, surveys and quizzes can be effective. They encourage prospects to test their skills, knowledge, or attitude. You get to ask them for their contact information while entertaining them. You can also gain valuable information about your audience with clever survey/quiz questions.

How do you know your lead magnet is good? 8-point checklist

You’ve decided you need a lead magnet to build your email list. You have picked the perfect type of lead magnet for your audience. The next step is to develop an effective offering. So, what makes a lead magnet good? This checklist explains the eight criteria of a successful lead magnet:

1. It is specific

Your lead magnet must be ultra-specific to the audience you want it to engage. If your offering isn’t relevant to their wants and needs, they aren’t going to download it.

2. It focuses on one emotionally compelling idea

It is a common theme in content marketing: one emotionally compelling idea. Your lead magnet should engage your reader on an emotional level. Solve a problem – generate gratitude. Offer a useful resource that makes their job easier – build trust. Give them an engaging quiz – entertain them.

3. It will solve a problem

Successful lead magnets are focused on solving a problem for the reader. Make life for your prospects easier, better, smarter.

4. It is useful

The offering must have value – actual value. Solve a problem for your lead. Provide valuable information. Offer a demo or free trial. Make sure it is valuable enough to your audience from them to give you their email address.

5. It is actionable

Lead magnets should provide instant gratification. Solve a problem, entertain, or educate – just do it quick!

6. It is concise

Lead magnets are for quick consumption. The rule is no more than 5 minutes to experience the content. Leave them wanting more.

7. It shifts the relationship

When the reader trades their contact information for your lead magnet, they are demonstrating trust. Trust that you will value their connection. Trust that you will follow up with them.

8. It must have high perceived value

Just because you are giving something away, it shouldn’t look free. Design and formatting must look professional and of high perceived value.

Conclusion

If you want to build a relevant contact list and establish a relationship with your prospective customers, you need a lead magnet. Email marketing still delivers the highest ROI of any channel, so the quality and size of your contact list is extremely important.

With a lead magnet you give your prospects something they want for free. In return you get contact information to use in email campaigns. However, before creating your next lead magnet, ask yourself this question:

What can we give away for free that will make our prospective customers’ lives better?

If you can answer that, you’ve got a great idea for a lead magnet!

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, how do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog?

ICOWriter can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.

Contact me to discuss your next successful white paper.

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Get that project blog up and running in 4 weeks – Week 3: Write your project blog so that it gets clicked, read, and shared

write project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

You’ve convinced the team of the benefits of a consistent, quality project blog. You’ve written the blog plan. You have a production schedule, a list of topics, and a goal for each post. Now you need to write.  This can present a challenge, whether you like writing or not.  How does one go about writing a blog post?

Check out these 3 tips on how to write a post that gets clicked, read, and shared.

Week 3: Write your project blog so that it gets clicked, read, and shared

Tip 1: Get the basics right

There is a basic structure to any piece of quality content. Get the basics right and your blog is that much more likely to get read.

Title/headline

write your project blog

The headline presents the first impression of post.  It’s important to get it right or readers won’t click through to read the content.  A headline should be actionable and keyword-focused.  Try to keep it brief.  Be clear and definitive, maybe even intriguing.

Research shows certain headlines catch readers’ attention better than others. The ever-popular How to…, is popular for a reason. It works! Other phrases work too:

  • The truth about… (e.g. The truth about ICOs)
  • Facts you should know… (e.g. Seven facts you should know about investing in crypto)

There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline.  Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:

  • including numbers,
  • adding an intriguing adjective, or
  • using action verbs.

Make sure the headline is specific. Your post is about a specific and emotionally-compelling idea. Keep the title specific too.

Keep the headline as short as possible. It’s best if it will fit in search results displays. Even before the internet, research proved a title of 8 words or less is most effective.

The body copy

Now it’s time to write the post. It helps to start with an outline, even for a short piece of content like a blog post.  Organize all the information that supports the one big idea and make sure it follows a logical flow. Use headings and subheadings to divide the supporting information into sections.

Two critical headings to use are the Introduction and the Conclusion. As with a good story, in the introduction you set the scene. You tell the reader what you’re going to tell them. Follow with the body copy, subdivided into sections with headings and subheadings relevant to the topic.  This is where you tell them about the one big idea and the problem it solves. Finish with a conclusion that tells them what you told them.

Unique to blogs is the chance to get a conversation started. Find a way to invite your readers to comment. Ask a question. Follow the discussion and contribute solutions.

The call-to-action

write your project blog

Finish every post with a call-to-action (CTA).  As a powerful top-of-the-funnel tactic, your blog is the perfect place to pull prospects further into the funnel. Tell your readers what to do next:

  • subscribe to your blog,
  • contact you, or
  • read about your product and services on your website.

Go back to your blog plan and check the goal for your blog. Make sure your CTA will help you achieve that goal.

Tip 2: Readability IS the new SEO

Although keywords and keyword phrases remain important, search engines are increasingly focused on readability. Search engines want to be sure your content will fulfill the reader’s intent. Most readers prefer easy-to-read text. Here are some ways to make your text easy-to-read:

Keep it concise and to the point

When writing about complex technical subjects, you need to construct your sentences carefully.  Direct, simple sentences will help get your point across.  In fact, long sentences almost always have complex grammatical structures.  This puts a strain on the reader’s immediate memory.  The reader has to retain several parts of each sentence before he can combine them into a meaningful whole.

Here are a few tricks to help you keep concise and to the point:

Trick #1: Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

The average length of your sentences should be 20 words or fewer

Trick #2: Sentences should focus on one idea

Keep it simple. Cover only one idea per sentence and one theme per paragraph. Get to the point; don’t wander around first.  Find one emotionally compelling idea and stick to it. 

Trick #3: Use the active voice

Use the active voice.  The passive voice tends to seem evasive. If you don’t want to appear to be hiding something, you should use active voice.

Use personal pronouns

Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone. Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer. A conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.

Just be sure that they’re are right for the content. Using personal pronouns may not be appropriate in every situation.

Avoid jargon

It’s easy to be drawn to words that are common in your industry – jargon. But are they common to your audience?  When writing for non-specialists and you have a choice between words, use the common, everyday word.

write your project blog

A couple further pointers on word choice:

  • Use positive words. Negatives like don’t in front of a verb can make some readers stumble.
  • Avoid long strings of nouns. Sentences with several nouns in a row can be difficult to navigate.
  • Use inclusive language. Unless your document is about men, don’t use only male pronouns (he, his).

Sometimes you may have to use a technical term, even when you’re writing for non-specialists. In that case, choose words that will help your readers.

Be careful about words like very, really, actually, or carefully that don’t serve any purpose.  Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.

By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start engaging your audience.  Use personal pronouns, where appropriate.  Avoid jargon by choosing the right word and avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.

Need help with readability? I’ve designed a plain language checklist that will help you write more readable content. You can download the checklist for free here: https://www.watercopy.com/free-checklist-five-steps-to-more-persuasive-writing/

Tip 3: Design it to move right readers through to the CTA

write your project blog

You may not want to know this but not all your readers will read your entire blog.  Many blog readers (43%, according to Hubspot) admit to skimming content.  Rather than being offended by this, play to those readers.  Cater to all readers with the design of each blog.

White space

Dense blocks of text can intimidate readers.  Clever use of white space – areas with no text or graphics – will lessen the stress. Keep paragraphs short and use line spacing to add a little white space between paragraphs.

Putting in a pull quotes add variety to the blog’s visual flow. Photos, graphs, charts, and tables add visual appeal while providing in-depth information in an eye-catching format.  Keep graphs and charts relatively simple.

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings not only help with the flow of logic of the post, they provide a break from the text.  They allow skimmers to get the gist of the blog without having to read the entire article.  It helps with SEO to optimize headings for keywords, where possible.

Bulleted or numbered lists

Anytime your information allows, break up blocks of text with bulleted or numbered lists.  Again, they cater to skimmers, but they also help organize information into short concise portions.

Conclusion

After all the meetings, the brainstorming, the planning, it’s time to write.  Writing posts for the project blog may never be your favorite thing to do but with these 3 things about 3 things you can help to ensure your post will get clicked, read, and shared.

Do you have any tricks for writing great blog posts that readers love to read? Please share them here!

write your project blog

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, how do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog?  WATER COPY can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

The Truth about Your Project Blog – Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

plan your project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

Although by nature blogs have a certain spontaneity about them, an effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed.  Planning ensures you meet your marketing goals by publishing quality content on a regular schedule.  Your subscribers and interested readers want to know when they can expect new content from a source they have come to trust.

plan your project blog

The project blog plan sits within and supports your greater content marketing strategy.  However, a project blog is such a valuable marketing asset that it needs a plan of its own.  A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

This post will examine each step in building a project blog plan that ensures success.

Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

Your blogging goals

The first step in any plan is to set goals.  In a blog plan, goals for the blog should support the project’s business goals as well as the goals of your strategic content marketing plan.  Goals like building your list, increasing traffic to your website, or establishing thought leadership.  By establishing goals and objectives for your project blog in general, and for each individual blog, allows you to understand what success looks like.

Your audience

To be effective at generating awareness, you need to understand your audience. Market research helps you define your audience and assess your competitors.  The more you learn about your audience, the better able you’ll be to provide the content they want. By understanding your competitors, you can craft better content to gain that critical edge.

Audience research

Getting to know your target audience is key to crafting relevant content.  You need to learn what:

  • people expect from blogs in your niche;
  • kind of content they find useful and exciting;
  • benefits they expect to receive from your blogs; and
  • makes them tick and compels them to keep coming back for more.

It may not be easy to define your target audience when you have no blog subscribers. One way to get an idea of what your audience wants is to conduct a survey. Ask your audience what they want more information about. Ask what they like about your blog and what other blogs they like.

Competitive analysis

As well as understanding your audience you need to understand your competition.  How are they promoting their content?  What are they blogging about?  By having an insight into their content strategy, you can fine-tune your own.  Find your own unique voice in your niche.  You can only do that if you know the competition.

Your content

While there are many sources of ideas for topics to blog about, you can boost your search results by using keywords to come up with topics. That means carrying out keyword research.

Keyword analyzers

Start with your main keyword.  Keyword analyzers, such as Google AdWords, suggest keyword combinations and then rank them on the number of searches a month that used that combo. You then check out related words and terms. Search on semantically-related words as well, such as the individual components of water treatment systems.

plan your project blog

Long-tail keywords – 3 to 4-word phrases, will get you less traffic but more targeted searchers. When they find your page, they are more likely to become a lead because the search was more focused.

Search engines

You can also find keywords and phrases through the auto suggest from a Google search.  When you type in a keyword or phrase, a dropdown list will display previous search phrases. 

At the bottom of the Google search page is another source of keywords.  Google provides a list of other search terms and phrases that are similar to the current one.

By basing the topics on keywords and featuring the focus keyword in page titles, headers, alt tags, and images you can optimize your blog for search engines.  Be sure to provide links back to your power pages – products and services, and a call-to-action that encourages further engagement.

Your team

Another important resource for topics is your sales team. Find out what questions customers and leads are being asking, what problems they are facing? Join and follow forums in your niche, paying attention to problems being discussed. Check these against your keyword phrases. You may find many parallels.

Your publishing schedule

The production schedule for your project blog fits into content calendar of your greater strategic content marketing plan. Plan to post weekly to start but that is really a minimum.  Hubspot found that B2B businesses who blog at least 20 times per month have five times more traffic than those who blog less than four times per month.  Just keep it at a frequency you can maintain consistently.

You may want to plan posts in a series with a contextual lead magnet at end of each.  Be sure each post is based on one compelling idea, and that all posts compel your audience to read the next post, and ultimately to download the lead magnet.

Your promotion campaign

The whole point of a blog is to get your posts read by as many people as possible.  That requires promotion.  The first place to post you blogs is on your project website, of course.  But there are other ways to get your information out to your audience. 

Share each post on all your social media channels with a link back to your website.  Have your employees send it out to their networks.  Send updates out to your email list with links to your recent post.

Consistently publishing quality content is important. Be sure to get it read by as many people as possible by promoting it effectively.

Conclusion

An effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed. To make it work, you need a project blog plan. A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

Implement this plan consistently and reap the rewards!

The next post in the series: The Truth about Your Project Blog – 4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blogWeek 3: Writing a project blog that gets clicked, read, and shared, explains how to write that blog post.

Do you have a blog plan? Is it documented and implemented?

If your team is already working to capacity to deliver a quality offering for investors, how do you manage to produce and deliver a consistent quality blog?  ICO Writer can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.


CONTACT AN ICO WRITER