6 ways to grow your podcast audience with SEO

Columnist Stephan Spencer explains the benefits of podcasting, as well as how to optimize your podcast for visibility in search engines, YouTube and platforms like iTunes or Google Play.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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It’s time to get ready for the holidays (Yes, really!)

It’s February, and you know what that means — the holidays are just around the corner! Okay, maybe not, but columnist Dave Davies explains why now is actually the ideal time for SEOs to start preparing for holiday season 2017.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Get Engaged to Your Audience and Customers

Get Engaged to Your Audience and Customers

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Valentine’s Day is Tuesday

Why is content marketing so hard?

Welcome to the week before Valentine’s Day! As it happens, it’s connection and engagement week at Copyblogger — and the content this week is all about how you can create a more profound bond with your audience.

On Monday we had a fun day, because we got to finally let you know about something cool we’ve been working on behind the scenes — StudioPress Sites. This new product was conceived and shaped based on our in-depth conversations with customers, and we’re super proud of it. If you’re looking to launch a new site with all the flexibility of WordPress — and without the irritating parts — check it out.

On Tuesday, Brian gave us an in-depth post about how to create content that deeply engages your audience. This is a meaty post, so plan on giving it your full attention and spending some time with it (and your caffeinated beverage of choice, if you choose).

And on Wednesday, Jerod talked about cognitive biases — how your brain is wired to work, whether or not you’re aware of it. He explained ethical ways we can use these biases to shape content to work with our natural tendencies, instead of against them.

Finally, a little earlier today we announced our Content Excellence Challenge prompts for February. These are community challenges we do together every month. This month, I’m giving away five copies of Jonah Sachs’s fascinating book Winning the Story Wars, which is stuffed with ideas about how to connect more closely with your audience … and persuade them to take action.

You can learn more about Winning the Story Wars on the Copyblogger FM podcast this week.

Hope your weekend is an excellent one, and I’ll catch you next week!

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

not just another wordpress siteIntroducing StudioPress Sites: WordPress Made Easy … Without Sacrificing Power or Flexibility

by Brian Clark

What you say is crucial. But how you say it can make all the difference.How to Create Content that Deeply Engages Your Audience

by Brian Clark

we tend to search for and interpret information in a way that confirms our preconceptions.5 Cognitive Biases You Need to Put to Work … Without Being Evil

by Jerod Morris

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The February Prompts2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The February Prompts

by Sonia Simone

Copyblogger Book Club: Winning the Story WarsCopyblogger Book Club: Winning the Story Wars

by Sonia Simone

Creating a Productized Service, with Dan NorrisCreating a Productized Service, with Dan Norris

by Brian Clark

How Screenwriter and 'All Our Wrong Todays' Author Elan Mastai Writes: Part TwoHow Screenwriter and ‘All Our Wrong Todays’ Author Elan Mastai Writes: Part Two

by Kelton Reid

[Guest] Expert Tips for Conducting Better Interviews, with Krys Boyd[Guest] Expert Tips for Conducting Better Interviews, with Krys Boyd

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor

The post Get Engaged to Your Audience and Customers appeared first on Copyblogger.

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2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The February Prompts


Leave a comment with your entry for this month’s content challenge. You’ll have the chance to win a really good book!

Hey, it’s February! And that means we have two new prompts for our 2017 Content Excellence Challenge.

This month, we’re going to send a copy of Jonah Sachs’s book Winning the Story Wars to five randomly selected commenters. (See the details below for more about who we will and will not be able to send books to.)

Remember, you have two weeks before comments on the post close, so don’t dawdle. :) Give the creative prompt a try and show off how it turned out.

February’s Creative Prompt: Speak to one person

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to make your writing much better, instantly.

The prompt is:

Craft your writing to speak to one, and only one, person. As you write, imagine you’re sitting down with this person over a nice beverage.

Keep in mind that this may take some courage. The political climate at the moment is so charged that even rather innocuous statements can take on a political meaning.

But fortune favors the bold. The courageous voice will always win out over wimpy, dull, “safe” content.

Why it works

When you write for a crowd, you start to pontificate. That verb comes from the word pontiff, and it means to speak to an audience as if you were the Pope delivering a speech from a balcony at the Vatican.

That works great for the Pope, but it won’t work for you.

In your content, imagine one perfect human who’s the exact right match for your business. (Re-read this post if you need better clarification on who that might be: How to Attract Your Ideal Customer with Perfectly Positioned Content.)

I like to visualize this person in great detail. Not just gender, age, or other raw demographic information, but the kinds of details a novelist notices.

  • What kind of drink are you sharing? A beer? A coffee? Kombucha?
  • Do they have freckles?
  • Are they tall or short?
  • What are they wearing?
  • Where are you meeting?
  • What color eyes do they have?

This mental exercise is just to let you imagine a real, warm, flesh-and-blood human across the table from you.

Now, with your next piece of content, write individually to that person. Choose your words, your tone, your metaphors, the stories you tell, and the points you make all with that human being as your audience of one.

If you’re going to play along in our contest this month, leave a short paragraph in the comments showing us how it looked. No more than five lines — just enough to give us a flavor of the tone and voice.

February’s Productivity Prompt: The pivotal technique

This month’s prompt for productivity is one I’ve used for many years, detailed at some length in my post on The Complete Flake’s Guide to Getting Things Done.

It comes from Robert Fritz’s Path of Least Resistance, and in a nutshell, the technique is:

  1. Visualize where you want to go. In other words, what will the world around you look like when you’ve achieved what you want? Get extremely clear on this.
  2. Notice where you are now. What does the world look like as it is today? Get extremely clear on this.
  3. Without a lot of drama or self-flagellation, notice the specific differences.

The point here is not to beat yourself up about all the ways in which you don’t live up to your dreams. The point is simply to get very clear on where you are, and where you want to be.

The next step is just to figure out … what the next step is. What action, large or small, would move you in the right direction?

You can keep cycling through these steps — today, tomorrow, or quite literally for the rest of your life. Each cycle “pivots” you in a small way in the right direction. Over time, small pivots, with forward movement, add up to major changes.

Notes on the contest

A few caveats and clarifications for the free books:

  1. We’ll choose five folks at random from those who leave a comment with a brief (five lines or fewer) example of how they used this month’s creative prompt.
  2. You’ll need to be in the U.K., U.S., or Canada, so we can get a copy to you without a lot of delivery stress. If you’re somewhere else and there’s an easy way to get a book to you, we’ll consider it.
  3. If we choose your comment, we’ll contact you via the email address you leave in the comment form.
  4. We won’t share any of your info or use it for something weird, because that would be really dodgy. We’ll just send you your book.
  5. Comments that look spammy will get deleted. The editorial team, as always, has the final word on what looks spammy. If you want more specific advice, check out my podcast episode on Leaving Much Better Comments.

Let’s hear those one-to-one voices! Drop your entry in a comment below …

The post 2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The February Prompts appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Write Good, Effective Web Content

picture of a girl wearing glasses

How to write good, effective web content
by Lori Bratz

Everyone knows someone who knows how to turn a nice phrase. Beware of turning your web content over to someone who doesn’t have relevant experience or the discipline to research your industry. I had a friend who owned a construction business who hired a “professional writer” to write content for his website, but that content never came. His “professional” was a lady who spent 10 years writing (and publishing) articles about toddler issues. The writer was just out of her comfort zone so the content never came, the customer got frustrated and the website never launched. A good lesson for everyone. Get qualified professionals who know how to incorporate valid, searchable keywords with relevant content. Remember, no one is searching for keywords like, “Pretty Flash Image,” or “proud to serve the good people of our community” to find you.

Good, effective web content
1. is information that is relevant to your business.
2. is filled with the keywords that people are using to find the product or service you offer.
3. is not information to trick visitors to your site to get them to buy something totally unrelated.
4. is not rocket science.

You don’t need to hire a professional writer to write every last word of content. You do need to acquire professionally written information, but, unless your product or service is new to the marketplace, the smart way to go is to buy prewritten information in the form of articles or data feeds unless you have the budget to actually hire a writer who specializes in your industry. There’s nothing wrong or unethical with turning to your manufacturers to ask if you can leverage some of the work they have had professionally produced. Most often, manufacturers produce their materials specifically to help distributors sell their products.

Always approach content with the intention of offering solid help and information to your readers.

Why is marketing so dang hard?

As marketing grows ever more complex, columnist Scott Vaughan has some practical tips for marketers on how to simplify your efforts so that you can better focus on the outcomes that matter.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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