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How To Curate All The Content You Need In Your Business With Curation Lab

 

If you are thinking of writing the content yourself, you will spend 2-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. After this, you won’t have time left to focus on the money-making activities of your business.

Understandably…companies either outsource (content creation), hire full-time content writers…

…or just give up on creating quality content marketing plan for their business.

Which path will you take?

The first to go out of business are the ones that don’t have a content marketing SYSTEM in place.

Leaving out content marketing from your marketing strategy is suicidal for your business.

The second ones to go bust are the ones that outsource content creation on platforms like Fiverr and UpWork. As they say – when you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys! Most businesses that rely only on these platforms either end up paying too much, or pay too little for bad content quality. Which results in terrible content marketing.

Check how expensive these services can get:

So paying $500 for an article…

…or paying someone $125 per hour for content writing is not really financially recommended.

You can also choose to hire these people as freelancers, but to begin with, you will not be their only client.

…and at prices like these, they will soon run your bank empty, even before you start getting paid as an affiliate or product creator.

Why waste money when you can use our system?

…and it’s time to reveal this system to you:

Create UNLIMITED Content For Yourself And Your Clients…

The system that I want to share with you is – Content Curation.

More specifically – content curation on your blog and social media, to drive traffic and sales.

Now I know you’ve seen other people talk about this before.

You have probably even TRIED it, but not as successfully as you would like.

Well, we do something different.

We have introduced AUTOMATION into the system, so we don’t need to search everywhere for worthy content to curate.

In 3 simple steps, here’s how this system works:

  • You INSTANTLY find content that is trending or going viral (no need to hire people to do this, our system does it for you)
  • You share it on social media and your blog with a single click (no need to do manual copy and pasting!), and
  • You stack up campaigns so that you continue to get traffic, automatically! And you move FAST!

This is EXACTLY what these influencers were doing.

They were using expensive tools like BuzzSumo to find this trending and relevant content. Some even had teams of 5 to 10 people working AROUND THE CLOCK to curate viral content from RSS feeds, and other websites online.

Then, they were using this content to get more engagement and profits.

Upon realization, and looking at what existed in the market…

My team and I got to work and created a POWERFUL tool that was based on the SAME concept as BuzzSumo, but not as expensive.

A tool that helps us curate viral and trending content in just a few seconds.

The ONLY difference is that unlike these other guys – I am going to let you HAVE this tool (and my system) and save you a LOT of time and a HELL LOT of money…

Source: How To Curate All The Content You Need In Your Business With Curation Lab | Online Marketing Tools

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A Future of Monetized Branded Content Begins With Customer Value – Lauren McMenemy

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Content noise has reached epic proportions, and standing out from the crowd is no longer as easy as chucking money into paid distribution. Providing customer value becomes paramount as users have millions of links all vying for their clicks. They are more discerning, and also more skeptical; so the quality and provenance of content is evermore important.

Traditional media outlets have been struggling with this for at least a decade. As the internet became all-pervasive, media companies just duplicated their print offerings online, for free. It was a scramble to stay relevant in a digital age, but it actually damaged brands and the industry as a whole. By the time paywalls started going up, and the publishers began asking their audience to pay for access to content they had already been getting for nothing, the expectation and value of the content had already been assumed to be, well, free. Consumers naturally were resistant to suddenly being required to pay to read. After all, the internet should be free… right?

“In the transition to digital, a great error media companies have made is trying to emulate technology companies’ business model. If you’re Google or Facebook, advertising works. You’ve got the scale to make sense of keeping a product free … [But] unless buoyed by reach of billions of users, those who don’t charge for at least part of what they do are doomed.

“If you stand by the principle of not charging for anything, sooner or later it’ll make you compromise on everything,” writes online publishing course owner Edward Druce on Medium:

This is all well and good for traditional media outlets, those places we’ve turned to for centuries to inform and entertain us. We pay for the print versions, and evidence shows around two-thirds of news outlets in Europe now have some kind of pay model for digital content.

But the media landscape has changed—brands are now getting in on the publishing act. As brand publishers mature in their offering, the big question has yet to be asked: Will consumers pay for branded content?

Legacy Branded Content Still Sells

The short answer is yes, actually. Age-old content marketing products like the Michelin Guide, prove that consumers will pay for content that provides value, regardless of who has written it. Michelin now prints a range of travel guides, maps, atlases, and more to complement the world’s best-known restaurant guide—all created, of course, to get people into their cars and wearing down their tires.

man reading a magazine

In the UK, The AA (Automobile Association, a roadside assistance provider) follows a similar path, but adds in printed versions of the Highway Code and books to help study for your drivers license. Once you’ve got that license, you’ll need their services, of course.

It’s not just the car industry that has customers paying for content. Weight Watchers Magazine has a total paid circulation of 1,127,545, 90% of which are subscribers. That’s more than one million consumers automatically paying monthly for a magazine that has the sole aim of promoting the Weight Watchers nutritional plans.

So while paying for branded content can work, these are special cases of well-established brands providing tremendous customer value. There is still yet to be a brand that harnesses the power of a paywall for branded content on a mass scale. However, marketers aren’t ruling out the possibility.

Ideas for Leaders explores the idea of charging for online content, ironically placing the crux of the content behind a subscription paywall: “It is crucial how a fee-based charging structure is implemented: charge too little and you are missing out on valuable subscription revenue; but charge too much—or for the wrong content—and you will lose viewers, further undermining advertising revenues. The key is for media companies to take a flexible approach, charging optimal fees for selected content.”

How Can You Charge For Content?

Man standing on train platform reading newspaper

There are various models out there, both in the traditional media world and the world of freelance creators, that a company could look to adapt for its own revenue stream.

A paywall

Hide all of your content behind a payment portal, and charge an annual or monthly subscription fee for access. This model, however, requires a lot of trust on the part of the consumer given they are basically purchasing your content without knowing its quality. If you disappoint them, it may well do more than just lose you a subscriber—it could hit your brand’s reputation.

Remove the ads

If your content hub is currently complemented by banner advertising—be it for your own company, or sold space—some of your audience may be willing to pay a small subscription to remove the ads. Of course, this option is less likely today as ad blocking software is becoming more prevalent, and will necessitate flexible design.

Premium content offerings

Taking a cue from the Telegraph, you could drop the paywall in favor of offering additional special content in exchange for a small payment. In this way, most of your content will remain free to access, but those who truly value the quality of your analysis would get access to special reports or additional reporting.

One-off publications

Many brands know the impact a special report or regular review can have on downloads. True customer value can be found in providing industry analysis or investigative reporting. These publications are the result of months of hard work—why give it away for free? Likewise, you could ask for a small stipend in return for e-books and educational resources. Take a leaf from Michelin’s book and consider producing a guide that will offer insights to your industry.

Webinars and e-learning

Edward Druce’s Course Concierge, helps content creators to serve their audience and get paid for their efforts. One of their clients is Steve Ramsey, who spent 10 years creating woodworking videos on YouTube for a subscriber base of nearly one million people. He’s now offering more in-depth online courses to that subscriber base and making nearly 10 times the income he was on YouTube alone. While Steve is a one-man operation, what’s stopping your company from launching your own online instructional programs?

Paid subscriptions

Subscriber numbers are the holy grail for content marketers, a sign their content offers a valuable ROI to a loyal audience. It’s also a great way to create a community, something many freelance content creators have been doing via sites such as Patreon and Substack.

Screenshot from Patreon website

The former allows creators to run a membership business for fans, providing a meaningful revenue stream while being free from restrictions of third-party platforms such as YouTube. Substack, on the other hand, helps writers to start an email newsletter that makes money from subscriptions. A very new platform, it reportedly has just over 11,000 subscribers to newsletters paying an average of $80 a year for content.

Both options present a quick and easy way to monetize content as well as examples of how a brand might be able to build a subscriber base willing to pay for its content.

Asking for Payment? First, Offer Value

One of the founders of Substack, Christopher Best, has wise words for content creators looking to start a payment model: “The most important thing is knowing who your audience is and what they need and what they want; it’s them feeling like they have a connection with the author that gets people to pay,” he told Nieman Lab.

“When you’re orienting towards paying subscribers, you do start to see some metrics that don’t necessarily matter—just getting a huge number of clicks, in an advertising-driven world that is an end unto itself. But it doesn’t matter from a subscription perspective. On the other hand, you still have to get people to show up and see what you’re doing; you also have to show them the value of what you’re sending them.”

Mind you, a poll held on debate.org found only 20% of Americans think newspapers should charge for content online, so what hope do brands have? It doesn’t mean it’s not possible, it just means you should very carefully consider how you introduce the new revenue stream.

Ensure you’re offering optimum customer value, which means your content should be absolute top quality. Nothing “quick and dirty” will cut it. And importantly, don’t try to charge for something that was previously free. If this is something you want to explore as a potential new revenue stream, introduce a new content outlet, and perhaps test it out on small pieces to begin with.

One marketer I discussed this idea with spoke of an idea he’s had for a while—that the future of journalism will go the way of music, and we’ll have a Spotify-style service for written content. The idea would be that you pay to subscribe, and in return you get access to content from a selection of quality publications who are then paid royalties for access. There’s no reason why content from a brand couldn’t fit such a service—as long as it is top quality.

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6 Essential Content Creation Tips For eLearning Success – Shift

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You’ve been tasked with developing your first eLearning course. Now what?

Let us help you get with it and nail each aspect of the content development process.

Probably you are wondering if there is one perfect roadmap for relevant and engaging eLearning content. However, given that the variables of each project make each session unique, it is difficult to box elements into one plan.

Varying factors include:

  • The size of your team
  • Amount of content
  • The subject at hand and ideal delivery content
  • The audience’s knowledge or understanding of the course
  • Your business goals

These differences will affect the direction of the course. That said, rest assured there is a silver lining. Although the intricacies of the roadmap are not standard, several guidelines can provide the foundation for compelling content and a well-structured course.

Tip #1- Setting the Bulls’ Eye: Forming Your Learning Objectives

By definition, objectives are basic tools that underlie all planning and strategic activities.To accurately guide you through the stages of content development, your learning objective needs to be defined early on and must be crystal clear. Mainly, it’s going to come down to identifying the performance or skill that the learner needs to achieve to be competent in their role.

This statement will serve as the foundation for instructional material. This frame will provide your team with the direction to select and organize content without hesitation. When the outcome is clear, it’s easier to determine the ingredients you’ll need.

Some tips for writing your learning objectives:

  • Use simple language and measurable verbs.

  • Remember to be clear about the knowledge or skill gap that you are hoping to fill. List specific and measurable elements that the learner will have to master upon completion.

  • Make sure you are clear about what will they gain by taking this course.

  • Important! Keep the learning outcomes in mind at all stages of designing a course. Whether you are chunking content, designing activities, planning assessments, or choosing images, you have to remember that every element in your course should align with the learning outcomes.

Tip #2- Consulting the Crowd: Pinpointing Gaps

Questions, assessment, and focus groups often reveal insightful information. You can also survey your audience to learn more about their backgrounds and experience levels. Having your learners take a pre-assessment can inform you that most of your online learners share a skill gap.

Knowing this can allow you to supply additional information or resources to specific areas for improvement. Why?

  • Not all learners start from the same place. This will help you determine where those gaps are.
  • Not all learners will acquire information the same way. You may acquire insights to how to deliver the knowledge that they lack.

 

Pre-assessments help you identify what learners already know, need to know, and how you should deliver the information. After reviewing your objectives, your team should focus on researching the audience’s needs as a priority. These insights coupled with your learning objectives will formulate the strategy for success.

Tip #3- Planning is key

If you are just back from a session with the SME, you are possibly armed with a lot of information that he or she thinks is crucial to learn about the subject. Think twice before dumping it all on the learner. Your SME is undoubtedly an authority on the subject, but you are the training expert. You know the learning outcomes of your course. Best, you know the expectations of your learners.

To begin, create a list of significant topics and sub-points. Still amiss about what to include, here are some points you must enlist too:

  • A list of “Must Know” content (critical to achieve the learning outcomes).
  • “Should Know” content which is concepts that the learner needs to understand as a core part of the training course  (important background information that you can give away as handouts)
  • A list of “Nice To Know” content which adds value to the understanding of the subject, but the learner can do without these points.

Listing out topics is an essential way to help your team visualize and scope each lesson. Be as detailed as possible about your main ideas when creating this list of topics so that it highlights all of the key aspects of your course. Be sure to include an estimate of slides, screens, and interactive elements you’d like to incorporate into the course. Integrating each of these points will help your team avoid redundancies and irrelevancies.

HOT TIP! During this stage, experts advise that you gather your team and stakeholders to review and evaluate the relevant topics. This step will be instrumental in identifying which content is missing.

Here are some tips on how to draft your course outline:

  • Think about the topic and all it conveys. Once you’ve created a list that is thorough you can start grouping like steps into sections or modules.
  • Break your course topic down to steps.
  • Then, you’ll need to buff each individual step out further. Basically, turn the goals established in point one into subtopics/sections. Create at least 3, but no more than 8 titles that make up the “modules” or sections of the course.
  • Decide how you’ll present your content. As you fill out the steps, decide whether you’d rather create a screen with bullet–points or a talking head video that shows your audience what you’re trying to teach them.
  • Plan your intro carefully too. The first minutes of your course are key to grab attention!
    Plan practice activities and assessments.
  • With each proposed lesson, refer back to the learning objectives; say true to what your learner needs to know.

Also read: The Art of Creating Short but Effective eLearning Courses 

Tip #4- Always Conduct a Content Inventory

It makes perfect sense to know exactly what you have in the inventory, regarding existing content, before starting out on any new project. The opportunities for reusing and repurposing existing content, text, images, and video are endless, once you know exactly what you currently hold in your repository.

Go down your list and check off the items you have available in your company and highlight the ones that are missing. Why should you do this? The benefits are obvious, but we will list them out happily:

  • Reviewing the material you already have ( it can be PDFs, Powerpoint presentations or any other material available)  and identifying what needs to be created will provide your team with some direction.
  • When you realize how much information you already have at your disposal, you will have a better idea of how much development time you saved.

Once you have certain content available, here are some questions that you can run this material by:

  • Is this material outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or un-engaging?
  • Is there any feedback available on how it performed?
  • What isn’t working with the current program?
  • What was missing from this content?

Separately, some questions that you can run this material by can include:

  • What don’t employees know that they should?
  • Without letting the existing content dictate the new material, how can this new content be coupled with the previous information?

Read more: The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Inventory for eLearning

Tip #5 – Working Smoothly with SME’s to Translate their Knowledge into Engaging Content

Working with an SME (Subject Matter Expert) is vital to get the right information down. Working together, you can collect the most crucial information needed to align with all the objectives and points listed above.

The thing to keep in mind when working with SMEs is being particular about what you want. This detailed communication is essential to have before meeting with the SMEs.

You can do this by providing a questionnaire, that way everyone can provide insights and feedback.

This post highlights an actionable roadmap for engaging SMEs and collecting their require information so that you can develop quality content on time and within budget.

Here are some amazing tips for working effectively with SME’s.

The Essential Guide to Better SME Kickoff Meetings

Tip #6 – Design Last, Storyboard First

To avoid overloading your audience with irrelevant content, it’s imperative to organize your content. Use storyboarding to determine the direction of content, without trying to load too many concepts into one course. With a storyboard, you can maintain an outline while you create your course. This level of organization ensures you include all main points without venturing into less important topics.

Storyboarding brings all the elements that will make up the elearning course together. Much like a story, each element contribute to the understanding of the next, creating an narration for a lesson or feeling of resolve in the end.

With the use of Powerpoint or your own storyboarding tool, your process can go a little like this:

  • Write your course title; make this brief, but descriptive.
  • Write your course overview, here you’ll want to list key points from your learning objectives
  • Use the text and images in your screens. Make sure any visuals you include add impact.
  • How-To’s need to be done right. Make sure that each sequence is clear and provide additional resources in case the learner is interested in reading more.
  • Use real life scenarios and brief examples to illustrate application of the skills being learned.

 

 

 

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8 Ingredients Every Piece of Shareable Content Has – Rob Steffens

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In an ideal world, every piece of content you create would get shared. Here on the Web in 2018, though, things are a little bit … different.

With millions of websites already active and countless thousands of new content pieces going live every day, though, even the best content needs every advantage it can get to become truly shareable.

Luckily, the most successful shareable content all has certain traits in common. If you develop all of your content with these in mind, you’ll enjoy much more social engagement now and later.

Let’s take a gander at the seven top traits of the most shareable content:

1. A Compelling Headline

Your headline is the most important part of any piece of content – it determines whether users will click.

The best way to brainstorm here is to whip up a batch of ten headlines or so before you pick one. A/B testing the headlines on your posted content can also help.

2. Visuals and More Visuals

Experts claim that when it comes to shareable content, infographics win hands down: They’re shared about 3X more than other content types.

Even conventional blog posts benefit from eye-catching imagery, embedded video, and other non-text touches.

3. A Worthwhile Hook

When you clicked on this article, you knew what you were getting: Tips on shareable content.

Readers need to know at a glance how each piece of content will help them, so make it easy for them. Avoid clever headlines and long, meandering introductions.

4. Strong Organization

Most shareable content is very easy to scan, because, well, people don’t read on the Internet.

They want to be able to skip straight down to the most valuable information for them. List-based posts with bullet points or short paragraphs are the most effective here.

5. Readable Text

Content can be interesting without being Shakespeare. Generally speaking, you should keep things simple and use jargon only when you have to.

It doesn’t hurt to have a little variety in your sentences, but your meaning should always be obvious.

6. A Call to Action

Most people simply won’t take the next step – whatever it might be – unless it’s spelled out. Your content should always have a clear call to action.

To maximize the power of your shareable content, that CTA should focus on … you guessed it … sharing.

7. An Easy Way to Share

Hopefully, your prospects are logged into LinkedIn or Twitter all the time. Still, you should make sharing as easy as possible for them.

The fewer clicks, the better. There are many great ways to incorporate social sharing buttons into your site design – just be sure they’re not too intrusive.

8. Some Social Media Backing

Okay: Your shareable content doesn’t need to have a whole social campaign behind it. But it helps, since people are more likely to share content they encounter on their own social feed.

Sharing content to influencers the day of its release and a week later can supercharge your shares.

So, there you have it: 8 quick and dirty techniques for more shareable content.

Even if social sharing isn’t exactly the cornerstone of your inbound marketing campaign, it’s still worthwhile to consider it in your content planning. Even a marginal increase in social shares can add thousands of hits to your content every quarter.

Just like organic search traffic, this social traffic compounds over time to provide momentum and visibility to your future content marketing campaigns. Plus, social signals are growing in importance in SEO and other measures of website success.

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.

 

How to Introduce Content Marketing to Other Business Functions – Gaby Tama

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In this infographic series, we share the top five trends that will shape content marketing in 2018, as well as key tactics for implementing them into your program to drive the results that matter most to your company. Here’s how to introduce content marketing to other business functions.

Content is key to any company’s success. And as more companies of all sizes realize the impact contact marketing can have on their businesses, they’re increasingly adopting its strategies. From boosting brand awareness to driving leads, sales, and operational efficiencies, content marketing can result in substantial ROI.

Which is why content marketing is moving out of the marketing realm and into all areas of the business.

Consider how a content marketing strategy could benefit your human resources department. In the same way that content marketing is used to target buyers or customers, it can also be deployed to attract and retain top talent. In planning your next recruitment campaign, consider incorporating a full-funnel content marketing strategy to deliver content that engages your target pool of prospective candidates and eventually gets them to apply.

Bloomberg L.P. shows us what’s possible by using content marketing to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. The Bloomberg D&I blog features a vast array of articles that highlight the company’s commitment to an inclusive workplace. Anyone who visits the blog can gain a clear understanding of where Bloomberg stands on pertinent D&I issues, and how that stance manifests throughout the entire organization.

A curated, culture-focused blog of this sort could ultimately be what motivates a curious job seeker to fill out an application, or an undecided candidate to accept an offer.

Content marketing can drive business-oriented solutions in all areas of your company, not just your HR department. In the infographic below, we share our tips on how to introduce content marketing to other business functions:

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The Best 7 Jobs for People Who Like to Read, Write and Share Content

 

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Writing and reading can turn into full-time jobs in the content marketing industry. Recent years have brought new job roles. Specialists become more and more essential in digital advertising, branding and inbound marketing departments. If you consider a career change, you can turn to professional reading and writing. You will share content and decipher the secrets of social media and how to create and engaging audience.

We have compiled a top of the best 7 jobs in the content marketing industry. They are usually available in digital marketing companies, advertising agencies and even online startups. Before we begin, keep in mind that other applicants will compete with you for the job. Some of them are highly experienced in the inbound marketing field. Others stand out for impressive projects they have completed. You should have a complete application file prepared for each potential employer. Find resumes and cover letters resources, along with guidelines and tips to emphasize your traits and background!

7. Content Writer

As a content writer, you create fun and engaging articles on given topics. You follow a brief set of indications, which includes tone of voice, key word insertion and article length. Once you start writing, you can let your imagination run free and exploit numerous fields and information resources. You compile your findings and add them a personal note through your writing. Then, you move on to another subject and experiment with new writing styles.

Salary: According to PayScale, content writers earn $42,042 per year in average.

Career potential: Most specialists have less than 20 years of experience in content writing. You can specialize by becoming a tech writer or a creative copywriter (we will discuss this job below). The common career paths lead to content and marketing management.

6. SEO Specialist

The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist develops and/or implements a strategy to maximize the potential number of visits of a website. You don’t get to write a lot. Yet, this job allows you to play with words, and discover the public’s concerns and interests. You also find new communication paths between a website and its public. You can become a SEO specialist even as an entrepreneur regardless if you research enough and take online specialized courses. The job teaches you to learn how to grow your website based on searches.

Salary: SEO Specialists usually earn around $44,000 yearly in the USA.

Career potential: You can become a marketing manager, a business development director or a SEO director after some years of experience.

5. Proofreader

Reading enthusiasts can become either book editors or online proofreaders. Both jobs involve reading content, checking spelling and grammar and verifying information and sources. A proofreader thoroughly verifies content from writers in a digital marketing agency. The book editor works in a publishing house and works by project.

Salary: Proofreaders with less than 5 years of experience can earn around $34,000 per year. The book editor usually earns $50,000 yearly. Bloomberg LP is one of the top employers in the field and offers proofreaders salaries of around $120,000 per year.

Career potential: Publishing house employees can later become editors-in-chief. However, proofreaders can become copywriters, copy editors or tech writers.

4. Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists create and implement marketing and communication campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and others. They measure results and develop guidelines based on the brand’s audience. Simply put, as a social media specialist you begin the day with a fun and attractive short text on a brand page and see how your public responds.

Salary: A regular social media specialist with a few years of experience usually earns around $45,781 every year.

Career potential: Experienced social media specialists may become communication managers or even brand managers.

3. Web Publisher

Web publishers analyze platforms and make changes to a website’s content. They update, design and create online content. As a web publisher, you may occasionally write and even edit content you receive from specialized colleagues. Also, you will study website specs and find ways to make it more responsive, friendly and intuitive.

Salary: The average pay for web publishers lies around $69,010 every year.

Career potential: If you are fond of learning technical information, you may become a front-end website developer after a few years’ experience. The creative side of this job might make you an online marketing manager.

2. Copywriter

Copywriters create persuasive ads, taglines and any advertising content for online and offline campaigns. Working as a copywriter involves plenty of creativity and understanding a brand and its public. You will create short and long-sized content which is adapted for all types of campaigns and products. You will deliver a brand message through words accompanied by images.

Salary: Copywriters earn on average $49,000 per year. Some of them receive bonuses based on their deliverables. These can go up to $6,000.

Career potential: After becoming a senior copywriter, your career path might lead to marketing and creative management.

1. Content Strategist

The content strategists gather data from the brand manager and SEO specialist. They develop a plan for the content and evaluate former plans. They need to make a coherent and persuasive message for a brand, which is visible in the online world.

Salary: The average salary of a content strategist is $60,000 per year. They usually also receive bonuses and profit shares.

Career potential: The career path of content strategists leads to marketing management.

These 7 reading, writing and editing jobs are essential in online marketing campaigns and/or advertising agencies. Find your dream job in the above list and start researching!

By: Elizabeth Heron

 

10 Easy Ways to Generate Content for New Blog

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reating shareable and exciting content is essential for those who desire to draw as many readers to their blog as possible.

And, despite the amount of enthusiasm you might have, producing unique and engaging content every week is not an easy thing to do. We work in a world filled with distractions that keep us from maintaining clarity and purpose.

Clarity of purpose is essential for a new blog. To void wasting vast amounts of time on content that misses the mark with your audience, you need to have a strategy for sourcing your material.

Where should your ideas come from? Who will you listen to generate ideas that are focused on your business or blog goals?

Here are ten practical ways to come up with new content ideas and maintain the focus of your blog writing:

1. Be Active on Reddit

From understanding reading habits to discovering “trending” hot topics, on Reddit, you will come across a variety of informative resources.

Being one of the most visited platforms now on the internet, you can use the site as your idea sourcing tool. And as long as you appeal to Reddit users, you will bring more than enough traffic to your blog.

2. See what your Competition is Doing

It’s important to browse through blog sites perhaps a bit more successful than yours and see what other writers are doing, which you might not.

Checking the competition and finding inspiration in their work will often pay off. It may be that you can produce something on the same topic but in greater depth or you may provide a compelling rebuttal to your competitors content.

The important thing is to do more than simply ape their ideas or mimic their work. Their work should be a springboard for innovation, not an opportunity for plagiarism.

Also Read: 8 Simple Tips to Improve Your Business’ Blog

3. Make use of  Online Tools

Bloggers today have the advantage of accessing various online writing tools.

From UberSuggest, which you can use for keyword research to HubSpot’s blog topic generator, try out a few of these systems and see how they can help you move past your writer’s block.

4. Join Online Groups

From Facebook to LinkedIn, you will find plenty of groups to join on the web, which focuses on different niche topics, and the discussions held there can help you in creating new blog content.

Find groups in your niche – or a parallel niche – that are talking about the subjects you want to engage with on your blog. Avoid joining too many groups. Remember, the goal at this point is the development of a content calendar, not the making of 150 new friends (yet).

5. Read Comment Sections

Whether it’s on your website or someone else’s platform, never skip the comment section, because you can find there more ideas than you would expect.

You can create worthwhile content through what people are suggesting or talking about in the comments.

6. Go to Events

Being an active person who engages in all sorts of activities will enable you to find topics easier and to feed your creativity.

Conferences and trade shows are the types of events that you should focus on, and the speakers that are likely to inspire you.

Also Read: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Business Blog

7. Be your Biggest Fan

If the topic you are writing about bores you, then the odds are it will bore your readers to.

For the best content creation process, you should simultaneously be your biggest fan and critic, so read your articles carefully, and make sure they are appealing to you.

Effective writing means writing in a way most natural to you. Don’t be a mimic. Go with your natural writing style, your natural talent for humour, stats, facts and stories.

And, if your temperament doesn’t sync with the blog’s brand or business aims, hire someone whose writing more closely reflects your brand or blog image.

8. Repurpose old Content

Work through your site and see which articles were the most popular among visitors. You can always reprise old content and give a topic you have already written about (as long as it has appealed to users) a new life.

Part of repurposing your content should include ways to make existing content even better. Look for ways you can improve your blog and strengthen existing content – as well as transform it into new shareable media.

9. Social Media

Whether it’s following popular hashtags on Instagram or asking your followers questions, Social Media channels are perfect for picking up on new ideas.

Social Media enables you to gather data quickly on what online readers are mostly interested, how they feel, react and engage with online content.

Social media is one of the most straightforward ways to observe your target audience in their natural habitat and learn what makes them tick.

10. Brainstorming

Sometimes, the best ideas are only one thought away; you simply need to make the most out of brainstorming. It may mean gathering with friends, family or co-workers and asking them to help you generate ideas.

For others, brainstorming might yield the best results when you pull yourself away from the buzz and hubbub of life and sit by yourself – watching the commotion pass. Find a quiet, peaceful location that inspires you, lay back, and leave your thoughts to run freely, and a fantastic blog concept might just naturally come to you.

Developing a content calendar with ideas that are going to resonate with users is not always easy to do. It is especially true when we are just starting out. The key is to narrow down your goals and thereby narrow down the number of possible content ideas.

Decide why you’re blogging and what you hope to achieve – and be willing to bin anything that doesn’t further those goals and bring you closer to your ultimate aim. Working through these simple ideas is one way to bring your focus in and streamline the content creation process.

All images created by David Trounce using Canva. CC0 license, 2018.

 

David Trounce

David is a business consultant and writer with a background in publishing and marketing. David writes about customer relations, digital marketing and management for small business.

7 Tips to Maximize E-Commerce Content Marketing

7 Tips to Maximize E-Commerce Content Marketing

Content marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of marketing online. And it’s easy to see why—content marketing has numerous benefits. It is a fantastic way to generate targeted visitors to your e-commerce store and build trust, generating more leads for your business while also saving you a few dollars compared to many other marketing techniques.

But it’s not always easy to get started. Content marketing goes way beyond writing a piece of content, posting it to your blog, and waiting for the leads to build. Here are 6 tips you can use to get your content marketing off to a great start.

1. Create a Buyer Persona

It all starts with a buyer persona. You have to know exactly who you are targeting—otherwise, you’ll get the wrong sort of visitors arriving at your site (visitors who are unlikely to become customers), and that won’t help anyone.

Brainstorm with your team to come up with an idea for who your buyer persona is. Try to go beyond the basics by creating a more detailed persona. Consider their age, income, hobbies, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, challenges, and more.

Research online to help you come up with a more detailed picture. Use social media, groups, and forums, and even carry out focus groups if you have the budget.

Then create content that targets them specifically—this should be easier now that you know exactly what they want and don’t want. You can answer their questions in your content and solve their problems, helping to ensure your content connects with the right people.

2. Choose the Type of Content You Want to Create

Content does not only involve written content; there are many types of content you could use as part of your marketing efforts. So before you get going, try to define the type of content you want to create for your target market.

You want to create content that connects with your audience. But this might be easier to do with videos compared to written content. One way to find out what works best is to experiment. Try out infographics, podcasts, case studies, and guides to see which make the most impact, then refine your content over time.

3. Find Out What’s Working for the Competition

Another thing to do before you go full throttle on content creation is to find out what’s already working.

One way to do this is to analyze your competitors. Check out their own blogs and social media accounts and identify the blog posts with the most shares, the posts that are getting the most social likes, the content that is driving the most engagement. You could even sign up for their email lists—what are they doing that you aren’t?

Use specialist tools like SEMRush to “spy” on them and find out which keywords they are targeting. Are they ranking highly for these keywords? Then perhaps you can target them too.

You could also check out BuzzSumo to find out which content in your niche is generating the most shares so you have an idea of the sort of thing that gets a response.

4. Create Content Regularly

You’ll also need to create content on a regular basis. It’s no good creating the odd piece and leaving it at that. No matter how good an individual piece of content is, what you need is consistency to succeed at this game.

Create a content calendar to set out the content you will create over the coming weeks and months. Be organized and plan ahead—are there any major industry events coming up? Write topics around them. If you make more sales around Christmas or in the summer, plan for seasonal topics.

5. Promote Every Piece of Content

You cannot just create content and hope it will work—you have to get it found. And that means promoting it.

Social media is the best way to promote your content. You might also consider paid social to get it in front of more people and generate more engagement. And don’t forget to send it out to your growing email list.

Also, identify influencers in your niche, those people with large followings who can help to promote your content to large numbers of people and give you a boost.

Start following their blogs, and comment on their social posts, share their social posts, and generally start engaging with them. When you’re ready, suggest some content their readers might find valuable, and you might just get some help.

6. Build More Backlinks

You can also get visibility for your content via the search engines. High-quality content that gets shared will also get backlinks, which you will need to improve your SEO.

One way to start is by creating content for other websites and blogs in the form of guest posting. Identify some authority blogs in your niche and start following them and commenting on the posts.

When you have a good idea of what sort of content they publish, suggest a blog idea to the owner and you might be able to get something published—which can generate direct traffic as well as links.

7. Supercharge Your Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to get the word out there, attract visitors, build your list, and make more sales. It takes time, effort, and patience, but the results will be well worth it if you do it effectively.

So follow the tips set out above, and start benefiting from the power of content marketing.

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