6 Practical Link Building Strategies

By on May 2013 in Content Marketing

It’s early in the morning, you’ve brushed your teeth, made your coffee and ready to browse the internet. So what’s the first page you visit? If you’re like most internet users, it’s probably a search engine and – let’s not kid ourselves – it’s most likely Google!

It’s the most used search engine by far, which has given birth to numerous blogs and companies focusing exclusively on helping businesses get found on Google. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about ranking highly for search queries and keywords your target audience is typing.

If you’re a business, SEO should be one of your top marketing priorities because it helps feed your sales funnel. It’s also a relatively cheap method of driving potential customers to your website.

When you get started with SEO, one of the first you learn about is the importance of building links back to your website.

In the eyes of Google, your website is considered more credible depending on the number of authoritative websites linking back to yours.

So where do you start? Here’s a short list of what you can do to start building links.

Why Today’s Marketer Needs To Be Both Artist and Scientist (Infographic)

By on May 2013 in Content Marketing

What was life like before Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Well for the marketer looking back it feels like the dark ages. And for some odd reason every time I fly and read the inflight magazine, I’m reminded of that past.

Advertorials, magazine cover ads and the reply card – are a reminder to us all of how reaching a large audience required a large marketing budget. Even today, KLM inflight magazine charges €17,815 for a single page ad to reach 2.1 million passengers a month. When we look back at print advertising, you couldn’t measure how effective your campaign was and the only way to grab people’s attention was through pure creative genius.

Enter Technology and Data-Driven Marketing

What I’m saying here is that technology’s tendency to break out of its silos has given everyone the opportunity to become a publisher. It has enabled marketers to set up and build their own platforms from which they can reach an audience that can potential dwarf KLM’s 2.1 million passengers.

Today we’re spoilt for choice! Or should I say data. It’s no longer hit or miss and now you can make educated marketing decisions – especially with the amount of data available.

For instance if you were selling running shoes online, you’d start with Google’s Keyword Tool to help you identify keywords people are using in order to rank highly in search engines. You’d also set up Google Analytics to measure how your website is performing.

The point is that while print advertisement was deprived of actionable metrics, its emphasis was on the creative side of marketing. Now with the wealth of data available, marketers need to combine the two and find that sweet spot to compete in a rapidly changing marketing environment.

This infographic highlights the need for marketers to be both artist and scientist in today’s marketing world. Have a look and please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The #1 Reason I’ll Unfollow, Block Or Uncircle Someone On Social Media

By on May 2013 in Content Marketing

The most annoying thing about Tumblr, Twitter and now Google+ is the excessive link posting by people!

While it’s great that people share content, there’s always somebody that goes to the extreme and posts link after link. Usually it’s not something I get wound up about. That is until I logged into Google+ this morning and thought I’d give my two cents on the subject.

excessive posting on social media

Why You’re Losing Followers By Posting Too Much

Now the whole point of posting updates to your feeds is to:

  1. Post something personal that’s on your mind
  2. Share content you think will be valuable to your followers
  3. Start a discussion about something

A common theme with those three is that they encourage engagement. Combine them together and you’ve got a killer social media strategy that gets you more followers and more opportunities.

That’s why everyone wants more followers! So the basic thinking goes like this – post regularly to stay top of mind and you’ll get more followers.

Sadly, a lot of people have confused sharing valuable content with jamming up my freaking newsfeed with their posts. Of which – even if I wanted to – don’t even have time to go through because they just posted something new! What they’ve forgotten is that their content needs to have some substance to it. But if they’re just firing out links, I just can’t take it seriously! So then, it becomes a credibility issue.

Credibility Just Went Down The Drain

Seriously! On what planet do people think that this sort of practice will get them any followers. I’m sure there are some suckers out there who have followed people like that and put up with it (me included up until now!). But after seeing their profile picture for the 18th time (or more) in a row, 2 seconds apart. I start to wonder whether they’re a credible source for curated content.

I mean they have to be pretty fast readers to go through an 800 word article in 2 seconds right? So that’s when you’ve lost me! And I make my way to the dreaded Unfollow button to click!

And that my friends, is the #1 reason I will unfollow, uncircle or block someone. Along with those irritating auto DMs – it’s just spammy!

So what do you think – does posting excessively do more harm to your follower count than good?

Image by Jason A. Howie

Haiku Deck Review: Quality Presentations At Your Fingertips

By on May 2013 in Other

It’s not everyday I come across an awesome app that I’ll come back to day in and day out. But when I do, I write a positive review about it.

Haiku Deck is an iPad application for creating fun and vibrant presentations. It’s the antithesis of Microsoft’s PowerPoint, which for too long has remained the gold standard for creating presentations.

haiku deck review quality presentation at your fingertips

Haiku Deck: Light, Simple and Elegant

Haiku Deck is light, simple and easy to use. Unlike other presentation apps, you can only create presentation on your iPad from where you can upload it to your online account. For some that might be a negative, personally I don’t mind because it eliminates the distractions of working on a desktops.

Getting started is incredibly fast. It took less than 10 minutes to explore all the features available and how to use it all. After that I was soon on my way to creating quality presentations in no time at all.

Road warriors are in luck as you can also use Haiku Deck when you’re offline, and the app allows you to store your presentations locally on your iPad. However you’ll be out of luck when searching for images. But you are given a selection of vibrant background colors to choose from.

The image search is something I find incredibly valuable. And is at times more efficient than Flickr’s Creative Commons search. The way it works is that it uses the contents of your slides to suggest keywords to search with and presents you with a selection of relevant images to choose from. You can then re-size and position them however you like.

The Good

  • It’s free to download from the App Store
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great selection of free themes
  • Online storage for your presentations
  • Social sharing options and PDF export
  • Allows you to submit content to SlideShare

The Bad

  • Unable to add notes on iPad
  • Can’t create and edit presentations from the web account
  • Only available on iPad

Haiku Deck keeps it simple and I love it. No bells and whistles, just the essentials for creating awesome presentations to tell your story. Its PDF export option and note adding also make it a  viable tool for creating ebooks. In fact I used it create the outline for my free ebook, 10 Secrets to Writing Marketing Content that Sells. The thing is that Haiku Deck’s simplicity forces you to focus on the task at hand and actually makes it enjoyable to make presentations. You’re also guaranteed to look like a pro with Haiku Deck.

There are some things that need to be added, but they’re certainly no deal breaker. And from now on I’m saying good riddance to PowerPoint, and using Haiku Deck 100% for future presentations.

And I almost to forgot to mention that you can embed your Haiku Deck onto your website. Here’s an example of something I created a couple of weeks back.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Have you tried Haiku Deck? Please share your thoughts in the comments below

23 Little Known Ways To Motivate Yourself To Blog Everyday

By on May 2013 in Content Marketing

Setting up a blog is easy! Updating it and writing quality content is the hard part. There’s no such thing as an overnight success in blogging. And people who think publishing once a month is going to bring them a ton of traffic to their website are just delusional.

Now you’re probably quite disheartened with what you just read in the first paragraph. It doesn’t really drive you to sit down everyday and write a blog post. A blog is easy to set up but when folks realize that it needs some hard work – that’s when your motivation goes down the drain.

As with any activity that requires commitment, motivation is the key to sticking with it and doing a damn good job of it. Think about the last you had to do something you really didn’t want to do. I bet you did the bare minimum. Don’t worry I’m not here to point fingers. Personally I hate hoovering and I’m pretty lousy at it too.

But with blogging, the special ingredient to making it work for you and your business is publishing content regularly. Writing a post once a week is a good start. However I recommend 3-5 posts a week to give people more entry points to your blog via search engines and social media

Now you’re probably wondering, “Three to five posts a week, are you crazy!?” No I’m not, just realistic. When you set up a blog, you want lots of visitors to visit your site. The only way you can achieve that is through writing quality blog posts frequently. It’s now that motivation becomes crucial to your blogging success

Trust me, you won’t be motivated everyday to write a blog post. So how do you push yourself and motivate yourself when you’re running low. Here are 23 ways to find your motivation and start creating content daily.

23 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Blog Everyday

  1. Ignore your analytics figures and just focus on content creation
  2. Never give up and keep pushing forward
  3. Write everyday to become a better blogger
  4. Stop procrastinating and just get on with it
  5. Visualize the success blogging regularly will bring you
  6. Make an editorial calendar
  7. Remember that you are unique, there’s nobody else like you
  8. Never lose sight of the end goal
  9. Enjoy what you’re doing
  10. Believe in yourself
  11. Read something inspirational to get you pumped
  12. Go the extra mile, that’s when you improve the most
  13. Focus on the positives
  14. Publicly announce that you’ll blog everyday
  15. Get support from friends and family
  16. Slowly pick up the pace. Write once a week and add an extra post each week until you reach your publishing goal
  17. Ask for help when you’re stuck
  18. Subscribe to blogs that will make you a better blogger
  19. Time yourself and turn it into a competition
  20. Challenge yourself to get more shares, likes and comments with each blog post
  21. Warmup before your blog post by writing in a journal everyday (If you’re on a Mac and iOS, I highly recommend Day One)
  22. Reward yourself every time you hit Publish
  23. Find a place to write that inspires you and allows you to be super productive (e.g. outside, cafe, library, shared office etc.)

So there you have it, 23 ways to get yourself out of a slump and start blogging. For more tips on how to get started with writing quality content, you might want to check out my free ebook: 10 Secrets to Writing Content that Sells and Grows Your Business

Oh and if you think you don’t have enough time to blog – this 622-word post took me less than 40 minutes to write! My secret? I write what’s on my mind with no filters on, just like writing a journal.

What do you do when you’re low on motivation?