Archive for web marketing

Content Marketing: How do you know if it’s working?

different people on 3d abstract stairsHow do you know if your content is working for you? Everybody says they want more traffic, but quite frankly, traffic stats leave me scratching my head and saying “Okay, that’s nice…and so what?”

Maybe it’s because I’m not an analytical type, I prefer big picture thinking and gut feelings and intuition. But if I had a metric I could look at and be able to tell if my content is working, i.e. having an impact on readers, then maybe I’d become more analytical.

You know how those yearly physical exams give you a print out of your lab test and tell you if you’re in the “normal” range or not? Why can’t we have a report for our blogs? Or for e-newsletters? Or for overall Web content marketing?

On Monday mornings, for example, you log into your “Content Marketing Impact” account and get a free print out of how well your content has impacted readers:

  • Blog…82%
  • E-newsletter …75%
  • Articles…56%
  • Landing pages…
  • White Paper…
  • Free Report… etc. etc.

Read More→

Content Marketing Tips to Get More “Juice”

Here are some content marketing tips to save you time and energy while getting more visibility on the Web.

I began these writing tips when I wrote about taking one nugget of information, and instead of posting it as one blog post, you make a list of 3-5 sub-topics or issues. Then you expand each one into 3-5 blog posts.

The point is that as long as you are writing quality posts for your readers, use that content in multiple ways, at multiple points in time, and deliver it multiple ways.

For example:

  1. Take a 300-word blog post, write an introduction, a conclusion and make it into a stand alone article of 450-500 words you can submit to article directories. Be sure to name it using a keyword-rich headline, and include your resource box with links to your blog, website and ezine sign up page.
  2. Write one longer article (600-850 words) that ties together the 3-5 blog posts you used in your series. Write an introduction, a conclusion, and add your resource box including links to sign-up for your ezine and your blog. Submit it to article directories with different a title. Read More→

10 Conversion Tips from Brain Science

Why do people decide to buy a product online? How is it they decide to trust the information you provide, and register to download information from your blog or website? What can we learn from brain science?

This is something that intrigues me. I read a lot of research on motivation, decision making, and neuroscience to try to figure out how brain science can be applied to better content marketing.

The problem is not what you might think. We know enough about the brain and marketing today to realize people are influenced by unconscious feelings, as much as they are by logic and reasons.

Any professional who has studied content marketing and copywriting knows that you must use emotional stories to get people to take action.

The problem for content creators  is that so much of what influences and persuades is unconscious and specific for each reader. Everybody’s different, and you can’t possibly address each reader’s wants and desires.

What are the unconscious reasons for people’s actions, how do their emotions affect decisions, and how can professionals apply the principles of persuasion to create content that encourages users to take action? Read More→

Content Marketing Tips from Computer Games

What can we learn from online computer games about content marketing for business? A lot, apparently. If you write content designed to trigger action in readers, pay attention to this.

My husband, Attila the Honey, plays World of Warcraft, an online game that’s part of the multi-billion dollar gaming industry. If you think computer games are just for kids or young people with too much time, think again. Money spent on games has now surpassed movies and books.

(He swears that his online gaming is market research for his company, but I don’t buy it.) I do believe it’s true that online games are good for your brain as we age. He’s speaking this weekend at the local Lake Chapala Society about this.

I just watched Seth Priebatsch, a Princeton dropout (something he’s proud of), who’s chief ninja at SCVNGR (“scavenger”), on the online speakers site If he’s speaking at a TED conference in Boston, he’s got to have something important to say, right? You can watch it here. (A big thanks to Susan Weinschenck for this link.)

Here are three dynamics we can learn from online games that can be applied to content marketing:

  1. Appointment dynamics: this persuasion trigger is probably what Cialdini would call the scarcity or urgency factor. There’s no greater example than Happy Hour in bars: show up at a certain time, you get rewarded. It’s also at play in the game Farmville, a popular game that already has 70 million players. How can you use this to persuade readers to take action? Think about your business and how you could include an appointment dynamic to urge responses. (Like all things, there’s a cool way to do this, and a way NOT to do it!)
  2. Influence and Status dynamics: When games confer a red badge or gold or virtual money to players, their ego and pride causes them to continue playing. What ways can you inspire loyalty and engagement with your readers/ clients /prospects? What’s in it for them? How can you use the status trigger to persuade people to use your services or products? Read More→

Get Search Engine Optimized- Fast

How do you know if your blog posts are optimized for search engines?

Good question… and no  easy answer… well, except for one which I’m going to share with you here!  Here are a few options for optimizing your content for search marketing:

  1. Study Google and search engine optimization (time-consuming)
  2. Hire an SEO person to do some optimization for your web content (expensive)
  3. Become a subscriber to a service called Scribe Content Optimizer (easy, instant & affordable)

Here’s how it works. You go here, you sign up, you install it to your WordPress blog. You start using a free plug in called All-in-One SEO Pack.

You write a blog post, you fill in the information on the SEO plug in, you click the Scribe analyze button, wait a few seconds and get a review of how well your content will do with search engines. You then get a list of things you can do to raise your search engine optimization score.

Okay, seeing is better than me telling you. Here’s a snapshot of a blog post that didn’t score well, and here’s one that got a perfect score. You can see for yourself that the Scribe report tells me what I can do to raise my score, to improve my search engine optimization.

And here is a screen capture of a post that got a perfect score: Read More→

Online Persuasion: Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customers

There’s an important shift in content marketing tactics that affects professionals who want to get found, get known and get clients online. And that shift means a different mindset.

I saw a great blog post the other day. There was a picture of a pair of glasses lying on a bench with this caption: Don’t you wish you could see through your customers’ glasses?

What if you could live in their shoes for a day? Or, track their brains as they go online to your website? What makes them click? What makes them take action?

Here’s where you should start thinking a little differently when writing content for the Web:

Smart content marketers are using persuasion tactics that appeal to emotions rather than reasons. They know that emotions not only guide our decisions and actions, they determine whether or not we buy.

When successful web writers create online content, they appeal to the senses and the emotions. They:

  • Grab attention through outrageous headlines and images
  • Appeal to basic human wants, desires
  • Tell a story of one person
  • Use emotional hot buttons
  • Use persuasion triggers
  • Motivate action with fear, scarcity, urgency

The most effective content marketing occurs with a mixture of both rational and emotional tactics. That’s because people use the emotional parts of their brains to make what they consider rational decisions. Read More→

Video: How to Create Great Sales Pages in WP

Here’s a quick video I’m  using to promote Suzanne Bird-Harris’ fabulous WordPress Sales Page Template.I love the image of the “web designer thief” that sneaks across the screen about half way through… 😉

Take a look, and if you haven’t downloaded the free audio interview and transcript we did together, go to and do so now.

What do you think about the video? I think the folks at did a super job!

I want to share with you this nice email I got from Kathy Porter, who was on the actual teleseminar call:

“Hi Patsi – your webinar training on how to incorporate a sales page into a WordPress platform is one of the BEST things I’ve participated in this year.  (I’ll be creating my own WordPress blog shortly, now that I’ve gotten my feet wet using Typepad.)

Think I can help you expand your reach with this product by tweeting and “face-booking” your affiliate link as my heartfelt thank you for making this info available.”

Kathy Porter
Creator and Owner, MrsBizWhiz
Web site/blog:

Content Marketing Results: 18 Ways to NOT Get Blog Traffic

What do you need to know about about the way people read online to make your content marketing efforts pay off?

What are you doing or not doing on your blog that screws up your traffic?

At least a few times a week I get an email from a smart professional who struggles with making their web marketing work to get found, get known and get clients. Here’s a typical one…

“Okay, Patsi, I’ve been following you for a while now, and your blog writing tips have helped. I’m posting twice a week, but I’m still not getting comments, and my traffic stats stink. Can you take a look?”

Of course, I have to point people to my consulting services if they want me to spend time doing a good analysis and provide specific solutions.

But often the problems and the solutions are common and universal. I can almost predict where the low traffic problems come from based on looking at a lot of blogs over the last five years.

Here’s a general overview of things I see many people doing on blogs that don’t bring good results:

  1. Frequency: Not posting enough
  2. Headline: not compelling or even clear
  3. Content: No clearly defined problem and solution, no answer to the “so what?” question
  4. Content: No keyword usage in headline, first paragraph, or in body
  5. Content: Too broad and general, need to hone it down to specifics, need to personalize it
  6. Formatting: Too many long blocks of text, need shorter paragraphs, subheadings
  7. Engagement: Too author-centric, not enough asking readers questions, addressing them as “you”
  8. Engagement: Not enough client stories, no quotes from other people Read More→

Blog Checklist: 10 Items BEFORE You Publish…

What is a good checklist before you publish on your blog? I’m preparing some learning modules for a content marketing presentation and came up with this checklist of 10 items. Tell me what you think.

Here’s what happens, usually. You’re in a hurry, you write up a short post (300 words), hit publish, and then realize you’ve forgotten to write the headline… or select tags… or add any links or images!

Well, it’s easy to go back in and update your post… but what if the phone rings, you have a crises, you get distracted (this is my world)… and you’re stuck with an incomplete blog post.

Reminds me of going out of the house with your zipper undone…

So here’s my handy-dandy checklist to whip out before you hit publish…

  • Pick the topic, find a hook, tip, trend
  • Write 350-600 words (educate, entertain, engage, enrich readers)
  • Format post (bulleted lists, etc.)
  • Write headline (compelling yet clear, keywords)
  • Add image
  • Add links, including to your own previous posts
  • Check grammar, typos
  • Identify tags, categories
  • Search Optimization, (use Scribe SEO, All-in-One SEO Pack, YARPP)
  • Connect with social sites (use Sexy Bookmarks, etc.) Read More→

3 Biggest Challenges for Online Content Marketing?

What are the three biggest challenges to marketing your business? I know, I know, there are so many, but if you could distill them into the most crucial for online content marketing, how would you do it?

(I’m always asking you, because some of my readers are very smart and think of things I don’t. So please feel free to add to this by leaving a comment…)

To me, it’s these three that count more than anything:

  1. How do I get found by the people who need my solutions?
  2. How do I get them to know me, like me, and trust me to do business with?
  3. How do I get clients? Convert readers to buyers?

Get found, get known, get clients… there’s a lot that goes into creating content on the Web that leads to results, and each marketing task, each piece of content, each program you offer, falls into one of these categories or challenges.

I did a survey on this in April, 2010: Readers say that getting traffic, building a list, and converting readers to clients are their biggest challenges. It’s still a matter of findability, creating trust and getting people to take action.

Get found: What does this mean?

You’ve got to be easily found when an ideal client sits down to the screen and looks for solutions to their problem: Read More→