Posts tagged #articles

Stop Blogging: Best Practices and Witchcraft for Compelling Articles (Part 2)

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NOW YOU MUST SUMMON THE VOICE!

When we read something, we cast a voice in our head that reads it to us. THAT'S WHY ALL CAPS READS SO LOUD! Therefore, ensure that the emotional, educational, or narrative voice you're using fits the content.

Use a supporting image for your post. Not only will this amp up the personalization of an article, but if you set it up properly, it will also become the preview that shows in social posts. Images are a MUST. Better than that? Videos. If you have a video that supports your content, you've done half the heavy lifting. In fact, if you've done a great video, I often recommend a minimal amount of copy after the video.

BLOGGER TIP: Gauge your audience type – professional publications serve up stock photos all the time, they're almost a gross prerequisite of professionalism (like a tie, or expensive purse). But if you're conveying a cool, trending product or service, the expectation is that those visuals will be both original and interestingly related to the content.

Size Matters

When it comes to the length of an article, you can shoot the moon. But remember that different lengths are good for different purposes. #TWSS

100-300 words:

Super-short posts are best for generating discussion, or as a social media post. Regardless of how long your blog post is, you'll be using your social media channels to share it. Therefore, if your post is SO short that it doesn't pay itself off when your audience clicks-through to read it, then it might be a letdown. Therefore, short posts rarely get many shares on social media, and they’re horrible for SEO. But if you want a lot of comments, then write short posts.

300-500 words:

This is pretty standard blogging and email length, and it's often recommended by many “expert” bloggers. Take that for what it's worth. Don’t forget to link to sources, alt-tag your images, and end with a question to start engagement.

BLOGGER TIP: You should know the age of your readers. On average, the younger your audience is, the shorter the content.

750 words:

If “School House Rock” had a song called "Groovin' to Blog Town," it would use this as the magic number for professional journalism — especially online magazines, and newspapers.

1,000-1,500 words:

From this point forward, you might get fewer comments at this length. Why? Because people are lazy and that's a lot of words read. BUT — you’ll get a lot more shares. Why? Because when you share longer articles, you look smarter. (I never said this was sexy.) You'll also find that longer articles are better at solving problems simply because the author has taken more time to be granular about the subject matter.

2,500+ words:

The highest-ranking SEO ranked articles on Google are 2,500 words or more. This is often because you justify, analyze, or debate your subject matter to the point that the search engine perceives you as having more authority on the subject compared a brief post.

Posted on December 12, 2018 and filed under Advertising, Blogging, Process.

Stop Blogging: Best Practices and Witchcraft for Compelling Articles (Part 1)

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First — if you're creating a growing business, stop calling your ongoing collection of articles a "BLOG" unless you want to create a small, personal approach. Think of the term “blog” as an analogy to "country kitchen" vs. “articles" being an analogy to "branded business." For this reason, I can't recall the last time I advised a client to use  “blog.”

When you create inbound marketing for a client, you are crafting perception for the buyer to feel and experience. Much like Obi-Wan Kenobi – "these aren't the droids you're looking for," then you do the hoodoo voodoo and go, "those are the droids you're looking for over there! And they're two for one on Black Friday!"

It's like witchcraft, without all the demons and angels fighting.

What makes for a great online article?

A sexy-ass, non-phishing title:

  • Create a sense of what the article will contain

  • Cater to the given demographic, location, or desires of the audience

  • Create a sense of importance

  • Give a sense of relevance, or timelessness

  • Establish the problem the article will solve

  • Start by creating a cool story

Keys within that title:

  • Keep it short and sweet

  • Don't make false statements or "phishing" claims

  • Create a sense of activity with action-oriented verbs

  • DON'T USE ALL CAPS!

Blog Idea Cheatsheet #FLBlogCon

Do you ever wish you could give a client a sheet of ideas for their blog? That way they don’t hound you when they can’t come up with anything else to say. Well here’s my gift to you.

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[DOWNLOAD HERE]

  • 10-Ten lists

  • Questions you get everyday

  • Inspirational Stories from your Industry

  • Problem solving

  • Product reviews

  • Tutorials and how-to Guides

  • Step-by-step guides to _____

  • Latest news within your vertical

  • Checklist(s): Do you have all that you need to ____?

  • Infographics

  • Case Studies

  • Industry profiles/spotlight/profiles

  • Today in your Industry

  • Comparisons (styles, gear, situational)

  • Share what others are saying

  • “Behind the Curtain” (let people know what you're working on)

  • Surveys and polls

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Questions you should be asking your Industry

  • Time-saving posts (how to)

  • Event summaries

  • Top take-aAways from _______

  • Rants from your Industry

  • Beginner’s guides to _______

  • Recent tools you used

  • Free giveaways (DVDs, Books, Gear, etc.)

  • Myth vs. Fact within your Industry

  • Presentations (post and cite takeaways)

  • Answer “Why?”

  • Cheatsheets for your Industry

  • Share recent travel experiences

  • Share recent seminars

  • Gallery / album posts

  • Spotlight successes in your Industry

  • Spotlight Failures in your Industry

  • Summarize someone else’s _____

  • Thankful posts

  • Interesting customer question

  • Create a glossary

  • Who is Important to follow in your Industry

  • Sources of inspiration

  • X# Secrets you didn’t know about ____

  • What ____ doesn’t want you to kKnow

  • X# Lies you’ve been told about ____

  • History of ______

  • Beginner’s guide to ____

  • Intermediate guide to ____

  • Expert’s guide to ____

  • Videos about ____ you have to watch

  • Podcasts in your Industry

  • You should be listening to

  • Recent podcast takeaways

  • Blogs in your Industry

  • You should to be reading

  • Recent blog takeaways

  • Reasons your ____ isn’t working

  • DYK (Did you know?)

  • ICYMI (In case you missed it)

  • One thing you’ve been missing

  • Best advice you can give

  • Best advice you’ve ever received

  • What these X experts have to say about ____

  • ____ 101: All the basics you need to know

  • Worst advice you can hear

  • What will ____ be like in X years

  • What ____ has taught me about our industry

  • Apps for your Industry

  • Quotes, and what they mean to you

  • Common misconceptions about ____

  • Gear for your Industry

  • Predictions about the future (great for end of year content)

  • Best books for your Industry

  • Best movies for your Industry

  • How to troubleshoot ____

  • Resources for your Industry

  • Thoughts from newbies

  • What to do when the SHTF

  • Special reports

  • Quick tips about ____

  • Crash course in ______

  • Quizzes

  • Fast facts about ____

  • A buyer’s guide for ____

  • Why ____ is overrated

  • Alternatives for ____

  • Considerations before you purchase ____

  • What these people did wrong in ____

  • How much do you really know about ____

  • The history of ____

  • Habits of successful ____

  • A practical guide to ____

  • Frugal guide to ____

  • How to ____ the right way

  • Ways to research ____

  • Signs you’re wasting your time in ____

  • Alerts/recalls

  • Open questions to your readers (debate/thought starters)

  • Memes

  • Key benefits of ____

  • Pros and cons of ____

  • Which Is better: ____ or ____

  • Ways to motivate yourself for ____

  • Strategies you to considered

  • Fundamentals about ____

  • The magic formula for ____ is ____

  • Creative ways to ____

  • How ____ can be more efficient

  • Perfect examples of ____ in action

  • Foolproof tactics for ____ is ____

  • Strategies to supercharge your ____

  • Ways you’re sabotaging your ____ without knowing it

  • A grassroots approach to ____ is ____

  • Historical news posts

  • Things to do before you ____

  • Harsh realities about ____

  • Intern checklist

  • A ____ cheatsheet

  • Surprising lessons we learned from ____

  • What’s the best way to ____

  • A timeline on ____

  • Statistics on ____ you need to know

  • What do you want to read about next

  • Ways to recover from ____

  • Are you ready for ____? Here’s how to tell.

  • “What if” posts

  • SAQ (Should Ask Questions) posts

  • Awareness posts

  • Recycle old posts (create v2. and update old posts)

  • If I only new ____ now, I would have done ____ then

  • X# tips for your new hire

  • How to stay current in ____

  • Ways your industry is expanding (or consolidating)

  • Comparisons of _____ and _____

  • Interviewing checklist

  • Interviewer checklist

  • Customer relationships 101

  • Why ____ is so important we almost always forget it

  • Flight check

  • Why ____ was the best article I’ve ever read

  • Why ____ was the best presentation I’ve seen

  • Constructive criticism: (multi-part)

    • How to give it

    • How to apply it

    • How to measure it’s success

  • How to come up with new ideas in your industry

  • Setting goals in your industry

  • I want to know more about ____

  • What is the latest trend in ____

  • ____ is the most interesting thing about ____

  • Tell your best story

  • Have you ever wished

  • Readers be cautious of ____

  • Photo/video of your office, products, or workers

  • What is trending on Twitter

  • Your favorite resources are ____

  • What are your day’s activities

  • What makes you mad

  • What gets me excited

  • My favorite life-hacks are ____

  • What makes me worry

  • I am scared I’ll fail at

  • My favorite technology is ____

  • Myths about your industry

  • Transcribe your podcasts

  • What is your favorite charity? Why?

  • X# of facts about ____

  • Customer testimonials

  • Inspirational posts

Posted on September 24, 2018 and filed under Blogging, Brand, Business, Content.

Journalism Marketing (Part 2.): Church and State

I've crafted a career on persuasive messaging to tap into want, desire, fear, love, or any other points of note that hold importance to you. However, there have been very few instances that I've done it for companies that have puritanically lied, and in all cases, I don't think I knew it with any certainty.

I think the time is now; we need to separate journalism/content creation from marketing/native advertising. We need to construct the following:

  • Fact-check content through online browsers, tools, email and all mobile devices as part of the operating systems (a user can choose to manually turn off this feature).
  • All content must meet certain criteria for marketing articles, as well, articles that might not be considered as marketing.
  • All monitoring algorithms must be progressively optimized by both the content creator as well as the readership's ability to flag content for review from both the creator and an independent party must be progressively optimized by both the content creator as well as the readership's ability to flag content for review from both the creator and an independent party.
  • Content creators, bloggers, videographers, photographers and others must all meet various criteria in an effort to seek compensation from viewership or advertorial partners.
  • Ongoing tools, metrics, and transparencies of ALL content (streaming, hosted, archived or otherwise) that is deemed "public" will be required to index it in a fashion to inform users as to the nature of the content.
  • Lastly, the onus needs to be placed squarely on the shoulders of the social channels themselves. As we're ONLY NOW seeing with Facebook in a step towards minimizing this trend with the ability to "flag" content as false or misleading. Is it enough, probably not yet, but that remains to be seen.

A tall order? Yes. But so was the idea of the Internet 20 years ago.