marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Today is global Data Privacy Day and companies all around the world are marking it in different ways. Below we’ve highlighted some of the activities of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Opera and IBM.Those actions range from implementing new technologies through making blog posts highlighting existing policies. Do you feel like these companies are responsive to your concerns about data privacy in 2011? Microsoft put up a blog post highlighting its strong security measures baked into Hotmail and Windows Live. That’s nice.European mobile mega-browser company Opera posted the results of an interesting survey it commissioned regarding digital privacy concerns around the world. One highlight:Worried about who is watching you online? Some 38% of Russian respondents were most concerned about social-networking websites having too much insight into their online behavior, far ahead of 15% in the United States and 10% in Japan, where social media ranked number 2. U.S. participants were most concerned about the government (35%). Japan held least trust in shopping sites (33%), while only 5% and 6% respectively in Russia and United States shared the same anxiety. Between 13 and 19% of respondents in each country were not worried about anyone gaining insight into their online activities.Facebook implemented HTTPS secure connections so that users don’t get hijacked by Firesheep and other such programs. The company also faced widespread criticism on privacy, again, now for this week’s move to allow advertisers to sponsor particular status updates from users.Google is hosting a public hearing in Washington DC called “The Technology of Privacy: When Geeks Meet Wonks.” A video of that hearing will be posted on the Google Privacy channel on YouTube. Alma Whitten, Google’s Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, is clearly committed to balancing peoples’ privacy interests with the interests in innovation held by Google and its users.My favorite big company move is probably IBM’s running of a column on the topic on its Smarter Planet blog. Harriet Pearson, VP Security Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer at IBM, focuses on the Internet of Things and the importance of securing trust through privacy in order to build sustainable technology that can change the world.What’s at stake? Plenty. Getting data privacy “right” is an economic and social imperative. Trust and confidence in the security and privacy of the critical systems of our planet – especially the digital version of its central nervous system, the Internet – is foundational to individuals’ continued engagement and reliance on such things as online commerce, e-health and smart grids. If individual consumers don’t feel that their privacy and security are protected, they will not support modernization efforts, even though the capabilities of technology advancements are proven and the potential benefits to society are extensive.What’s at the forefront of your mind about digital privacy, here on this Digital Privacy Day?Disclosure: IBM is also a ReadWriteWeb sponsor. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#privacy#web
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton powers his car during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / EVARISTO SALewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team will be aiming to end an already-triumphant season on a high while the chasing pack scrap for points, positions and prize money at this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.Much more than pride will be at stake for the middle and lower order teams, as they seek to finish strongly and boost their 2018 budgets, in the twilight showdown at the Yas Marina circuit.ADVERTISEMENT Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion While the championship is already decided, the leading drivers may well also be challenged by their teammates Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.While they scrap at the front, it will lower down the field that some of the most ferocious battles are likely to take place.The Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas teams are separated by six points, and an estimated payout of around $12 million (10.2 million euros), in sixth, seventh and eighth places in the championship.Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul, whose outfit are two ahead of Haas and four ahead of Toro Rosso, said: “This race is almost a championship in itself.”As the tension eats up the midfielders, it will be an emotional release for Williams’ Felipe Massa again as he competes in his final race before retiring.The 36-year-old Brazilian said: “I’m looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula One career on a high note.”F1 may also bid farewell to the Sauber drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, tipped to be replaced next year, and to the McLaren-Honda partnership.McLaren are to be powered by Renault next season while Honda will supply Toro Rosso.The final race of 2017 may also prove the final event with fully open cockpits on the cars before next year’s planned introduction of a ‘halo’ closed cockpit protection system. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice Howard, Hornets rally to beat Wizards in overtime Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “But we have not been on the top step of the podium since winning in Austin and we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi.”Hamilton was the victor in Texas a month ago and, like his team boss, wants to end his season strongly with a 10th victory this year. “I’m going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi,” said the Briton, who has seen rivals Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari win the last two contests.Vettel will also be keen to impress again and clinch second place behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship. He goes into the weekend with a 22-point advantage ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.And Verstappen, buoyed by high praise from Mercedes executive chairman Niki Lauda, will be a threat as he seeks a third win of the season. Three-time champion Lauda last week described the 20-year-old Dutchman as the best young driver to enter F1.“In all my many years in motor racing, Max is the most fantastic young driver I’ve ever seen, no doubt,” said Lauda. “He impresses me – he is aggressive and fast. The only thing I would tell him is to keep his feet on the ground.”ADVERTISEMENT Hamilton has already wrapped up his fourth drivers’ world title and Mercedes their fourth consecutive constructors’ championship, but team chief Toto Wolff said the team is determined to win in Abu Dhabi for the fourth year in succession.“Regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our ‘diva’ in her final race and to win.“We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did, and this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View comments
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketers considering ads always ask me the same thing: “How much should I spend?”It’s a good question — an important question — but it’s the wrong question. The right question is: “For every dollar I spend on ads, how much will I get back?”If you know the answer to that question, or at least have an educated guess, it matters less how much or little you can spend. To help you figure this out, we’re launching a free tool called the HubSpot Advertising ROI Calculator.This simple calculator allows you to explore how different metrics will impact the profit and ROI you can expect from ads. It will help you get the math right, so whether you have $100 to spend or $100,000, you won’t have to guess at the outcome. Ready to give it a try? Click here to check out the HubSpot Advertising ROI Calculator.How to Plan for Ad Spend SuccessToo many marketers tell me about getting burnt by ads. They build an AdWords campaign to rank for important search terms, it drives clicks, traffic, and leads, but ultimately their ad spend outweighs the impact of the ads.These marketers end up learning a really expensive lesson — one that could be easily prevented by following these simple steps … 1) Do the math.Ads aren’t right for everyone. Some industries have extremely high competition with astronomical CPCs. Some products have too low of an average sales price for the economics to work.To determine if ads are worth your time, run the numbers specific to your business through our calculator. With the tool you can explore how a change in numbers, a lower CPC or higher close rate for example, will impact a campaign. This will give you a better idea of what it will take to create an ads campaign that makes you money.2) Never set it and forget it.Try not to look at ads as a shortcut. It’s possible to get to a place with ads where they become a recurring source of profit … but typically that’s not how things start.Don’t be surprised when a week after your campaign launches your ads aren’t generating tons of profit. Examine the data and make improvements to your ads targeting, creative, and landing pages.Incremental improvements in clickthrough rates and conversion rates can have a huge impact on profit. Use the ads calculator to explore the impact these changes could have. Watch your ads like a hawk for the first month and you’ll avoid big mistakes.3) Don’t place your ads in a vacuum.Ads act like a megaphone to amplify your marketing campaigns and content. The more complete and well developed your campaigns are, the better your ads will perform.Think about it: Which ads do you think perform better? Those promoting your homepage or those promoting a remarkable piece of content that helps someone?Bingo. Those promoting awesome content.Campaigns that use ads should be treated like other campaigns. Establish your goals first, build great content, focus your message and optimize your landing pages, then figure out how ads can help amplify your message. Taking this combined approach and only using ads as a strategic component of your marketing campaigns will pay off.So how much should you actually spend on ads?Assuming you’ve run the numbers and now know what you can expect in terms of profit and ROI, it’s time to launch a campaign. To do this you’ll have to make two budget decisions, regardless of where you are advertising:Total campaign budget or duration: How much do you plan to spend in total? How long will the ads run for? Be aware that if you don’t set a limit there will be no maximum or end date.Daily budget: How much do you want to spend a day?There are two ways I see most marketers use ads, short-term and long-term. Let’s take a look a both …Short-term ads. Budget = at least a few hundred dollars over a month.When marketers use ads for a short-term goal, it’s usually to jump start a campaign or boost content that needs a bump. These ad spends are generally smaller and shorter, but can be large.If you have a few hundred dollars to spend, spend it this way. Create a social post that promotes a piece of content and then use your ads to boost the post. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have good solutions for this. Make sure you use the social network that gives you the best targeting for your persona and returns the most valuable leads. Measure this by assessing the quality of the leads generated after the campaign.Long-term ads. Budget = at least a few thousand dollars over a quarter.Ads can be a great solution in a pinch but if you really want to use ads strategically build them into your overall marketing strategy. This means more consistent, quarterly ad spends.Consider how potential customers make purchase decisions and use ads to influence them. This may mean always relying on search ads or retargeting to make sure prospects find you when they are ready to buy. You’re more likely to accumulate better data taking this approach, which will allow you to get more sophisticated in how you optimize your ad spend.Whatever budget you choose and whichever approach you take, make sure to ask a lot of questions about your ad spend. Even with the right approach, it’s easy to burn through money fast. Safeguard yourself by knowing what to expect and having clear expectations. Originally published Jul 19, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017
3. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile Topics: websites using HubSpot are mobile-ready 4. Get ahead of the mobile learning curve. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published May 27, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Testing various campaigns targeted toward mobile device usage will help you learn how different keywords, ad copy, and landing pages perform on different devices. If you start testing now, there is no doubt you will be way ahead of the curve when the rest of the business world starts getting in on the action. 2. You can target local consumers when they are ready to buy. 1. You can target techies where they’re playing It will be interesting to see how fast businesses adopt different forms of mobile media like PPC. What do you think are the biggest advantages or disadvantages? In AdWords, you can select which devices you want to show your PPC ads by accessing ‘Campaigns Settings’ and scrolling down to ‘Network and Devices.’ Then, you can opt to show your ads on all devices and carriers, or you can manually select which devices and carriers you want to display your ads. The availability of such a deep level of device and carrier segmentation is quite beneficial, because you can set up campaigns for each carrier and device and test the combinations that provide the best results for your business. Not to mention, you can quickly see which devices or carriers are not worth your time. How to Set Up PPC Campaigns to Target Mobile Devices . Although smartphones are quickly becoming the norm, tablets are still only in techies’ hands for the most part. If you have products or services that appeal to the technically advanced, using PPC ads targeted to iPads, for example, will have some serious advantages. What does mobile PPC advertising mean for marketers? Photo Credit: meedanphotos . The ability to segment mobile devices for PPC is new. If you don’t have a website that is designed for mobile use, it’s easy enough to opt out of showing your PPC ads on mobile devices all together. However, this does not protect you from showing up in organic search results. Whether participating in PPC or not, any serious marketer should make sure its business has a website that is mobile ready. (Note: All ) It’s important to note that websites built with Flash are no good on iPhones, because Apple doesn’t recognize Flash at all. PPC The ability to target by geographic location (down to the zip code) has existed forever in AdWords. However, combining this capability with mobile device segmentation gives local businesses an opportunity to target people who are searching on their phones. Consumers who are searching on their phones are most likely on the go, so you can target them with specific offers to get their business!
! “Become a contributor” OR “Become guest writer” 4. Personalize Your Blog Outreach Messages Avoid reposting the exact same content you have on your site to another site. You can run into duplicate content issues, which is not a good thing in the eyes of search engines. are two other directories to check out if you strike out with followerwonk. Keyword-Specific Anchor Text “Submit an article” is bad. Runtime: 12:46. Most blogs have contact information somewhere on the page or social media icons for you to contact them via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Make sure you do your homework before starting off the conversation. There is nothing worse to a blogger than a blind pitch. “Suggest a guest post” Check out other episodes of Inbound Now Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Contribute to our site” Reaching out to bloggers with a form email is going to annoy the blogger and yield few guest blogging opportunities. Twellow A great way to find guest blogging opportunities is by using advanced search queries in Google. By combining a keyword phrase with any of the variations below, you can pull back a targeted list of sites that accept guest posts and will more than likely allow you to link back to your own content. Twitter directories can be a great place to find relevant people in your industry. “Become an author” subscribe is good! “(Write for our) guest column”. Use Social Media You’re probably already aware of other blogs in your particular industry. If you know the go-to blogs in your space, reach out to them, and see if they accept guest posts. Use Advanced Search Queries Did you enjoy this type of episode of Inbound Now? Do you like the shorter version? Followerwonk.com Common phrases used by sites looking for guest content: , we discuss how to find guest blogging opportunities to grow the number of inbound links pointing to your website. Inbound links are by far the leading factor in how well your website will Use Google Blog Search to Find Authoritative Blogs in Your Industry and Once you have exhausted the known blogs in your space and have searched high and low on Google using some advanced queries, it’s time to turn to social media. @DavidWells . Here are several tips for finding guest blogging opportunities that can help you increase inbound links to your website. drop me a line here. http://www.mysite.com Before diving into the guest blogging world, you should have already grabbed all of the low-hanging links you possibly could from existing relationships. Did you ask friends, family members, colleagues, business partners, or evangelical customers with a website for a link yet? Doing a gut check of the site means making sure the site is credible and has “followed” links before you submit your hard work (content) to them. Having the link look like 1. Do a “Gut Check” of the Site If so, good job! If not, why not? Originally published Aug 11, 2011 11:01:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 jump-start a brand new blog Leverage Existing Relationships for Links rank organically in search engines bookmarklet Always, always, always 2. Don’t Reuse Your Existing Blog’s Content Do something to pass the “Is this a robot or a real person?” test. In some cases, the blog on which you posted guest content may actually outrank your own site! Instead, rewrite the post completely, or — better yet — start from scratch. Don’t make Google and other search engines angry. or If you are spending the time to find guest blogging opportunities, create new content, and publish it on someone else’s site, it would be foolish not to include a keyword-specific anchor text link somewhere in the body of the post or in your author’s bio. Having the link look like Inbound Now Feedback Wanted! “Send a guest post” You can easily check for nofollow links with the Guest Blogging Reference a recent blog post the blogger has written, and find a question they might have asked on Twitter, and try and answer it. As marketing and the internet evolve, so shall the show! for Chrome. personalize your outreach. Photo credit: is a tool that allows you to scan Twitter based on keywords in a user’s Twitter bio. It then sorts the users by follower count (or “influence”). This can give you a pretty good list of people to see if they are blogging or are linking to other industry-specific blogs you haven’t already found. 3. Keyword Specific Anchor Text is Key or a Search for the keyword phrases you’re targeting on your own website and scan the search results. Blogs ranking higher for a particular keyword phrase are most likely more authoritative in the eyes of Google, so generating an inbound link from them will be a little more powerful than a link from blogs on subsequent search engine results pages. 4 Things to Keep in Mind After Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities What topics would you like to see covered? Are there any particular guests you would love to see? Let me know in the comments below or tweet “Write for us” or “Submit a guest post” / “Submit post” / “Submit blog post” “Add blog post” Guest blogging is one of the most credible ways of building keyword-rich, authoritative inbound links to your site. Guest blogging will also help build your authority/thought leadership in your industry and can help Topics: In this episode of PhotoDonuts A followed link means that the link will indeed pass SEO credit to your site. Links with a rel=”nofollow” attribute carry no SEO value in the eyes of Google. Wefollow . Quirk search status plugin If you need to do some digging, Google’s Blog Search can be a good place to start.
Social Media Engagement Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 This is an excerpt from our new ebook, 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas. For more tips like these for your blog and Facebook page, download the ebook here.Engaging your community of prospects on Twitter is an essential way to show a human face behind your brand and let your customers know you care about them. Answer their questions and provide them with content they find useful, and you’ll build the trust you need for a loyal following. But how can you keep the relationship with your Twitter followers fresh?Here are 34 ideas and tips for you to use for your own Twitter community to keep them engaged and coming back for more.Responding to Followers1. Check your @replies regularly with a Twitter client. Reply to your users’ questions.2. Assign tweets to an appropriate team member who can answer followers’ question if you cannot.3. Offer to email with community members if they have further questions.4. Have a blog post answering FAQ’s that you can refer to. Link to it regularly.5. If you work in a regulated industry, pre-write 140-character responses to common questions that are pre-approved by stakeholders. This will enable you to still engage in real time with those who are asking questions.6. Use “@Reply” in the very beginning of a tweet to someone if you only want your followers who follow them to see the tweet. Add words or a character in front of the @reply if you want all of your followers to see the tweet.7. If a conversation turns into a heated debate, know when to take it off of @reply and use direct messages (DMs).8. Thank people who comment on and share your blog posts.9. Thank people who share your webinars and ebooks.10. Write as you would write in regular conversation. Use emoticons and exclamation points. Write in first person. (Examples: “I’m sorry.” “We’re excited.”) It shows that an actual human is behind the Twitter account.Twitter Tools11. Find and follow your competitors’ followers using FollowerWonk. Learn from them, and tweet the types of content and hashtags they care about.12. Use a separate Twitter app on your phone for your personal account and for your business’ account to avoid posting content meant for your personal account on your business account.13. Add UTM codes to your tweets to track your referring traffic from Twitter in Google Analytics.14. If you’re tweeting as part of a webinar or Twitter chat, kindly alert your followers and recommend that, if they don’t want to see your tweets, to use Proxlet to mute you.15. Use SocialBro to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers. Learn factors like nationality and gender, and participate in relevant holidays. (Example: Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian followers!)16. Measure your click-throughs on the links you share with bitly. Replicate the kind of language you use in those tweets to increase engagement from your followers.17. Don’t wait for Google Alerts. Maintain and monitor a Twitter list (in a Twitter client) of the actual publications and companies that matter most to your industry and community. When news breaks about your industry, you’ll be the first to share it. This builds authority.Sharing Your Content18. Post tweets of your blog posts. Use a variety of headlines, and test what drives the most click-throughs.19. Schedule tweets of blog posts on the weekends, as people read on the weekends, too. Also, post tweets of blog posts at night, as this targets people in other time zones.20. If your blog post is a list of tips, offer one tip with a link to the post as a “teaser.”21. If you feature tools or other companies in your blog posts, Cc them on the tweets to let them know so they retweet your content.22. If you have evergreen content on your blog, don’t be afraid to schedule tweets of those older blog posts. A few months later, they will still be valuable to your audience, and your readers may have missed them the first time.Incorporate Other Platforms23. Let your Twitter followers know about a great contest or discussion happening on your Facebook page or LinkedIn group, and invite them to be a part of it. Don’t beg for Likes and members, though. (It’s annoying.)24. Share your email newsletter on Twitter. Invite people to sign up for your newsletter by sharing a link to the landing page where they can sign up.25. Do a Twtpoll. Ask your followers a question, and use the results for blog content.26. Participate in relevant Twitter chats related to your community.27. Don’t cross-post your content to Facebook and LinkedIn. They are different platforms; treat them individually.28. If you’re working on a blog post, ask your community members for help. Reach out to them, and ask for their tips. It shows there’s a person behind the Twitter account.Create Original Tweets29. Offer a daily tip just for your Twitter followers.30. Tell a joke or a riddle.31. Use pictures. Show what you’re working on. Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Take a picture at a conference or event.32. Ask your followers a question or for their opinion on a relevant topic. Collect the tweets with Storify, and use them for a blog post.Follow Friday33. Use #FollowFriday to shine the light on your most engaged community members.34. Do a “special edition” #FollowFriday and give it a theme. Group special community members together for a specific reason, trait, or contribution to the community.How do you engage your audience with Twitter? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Oct 10, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Around this time 519 years ago, Christopher Columbus discovered America. Our elementary education (or, in my case, the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode where Theodore is failing his history class) taught us about how Columbus wanted to embark on a journey to search for this new world. Regardless of where you first heard the story, your educators had yet to discover the hidden lessons this tale would have in store for the modern marketing world.Here are three things inbound marketers should keep in mind this Columbus Day.1. Don’t be afraid to explore. Be a pioneer.At the time, no one ever thought to consider the possibility that there was additional land on Earth. Nobody questioned, and nobody wondered. Christopher Columbus would have never stumbled into these lands if he hadn’t taken the risk of exploring what could possibly be. And just as Columbus was willing to investigate and travel into the unknown, inbound marketers should be too. The point is, market research is immensely valuable to any business, and it can be a great basis for new, original, and successful content. Furthermore, becoming an early adopter of new marketing trends could help you set the state for your industry. Don’t wait for your competitors to pave the path. Your research and experimentation — and the insights you derive from them — could lead to the potential of something great. You may not discover a country, but there could be a whole new world of technology, coffee mugs, swimming pools, food, travel, anything. The industry is yours to shape through the information you discover.2. Own a category.Celebrations in remembrance of Columbus’ discovery were held in 1972 and 1892 to mark its 300th and 400th anniversary. In 1906, Colorado picked up on the true importance of Columbus’ pioneering and declared it a state holiday, and it took about 30 years for the holiday to be recognized nationally. Colorado was not home to where Columbus first landed. In fact, it’s rarely the first state to come to mind when one thinks of America. Just as Coloradans took the first step toward owning this category, your business can be the first to start a trend that has the potential of eventually being recognized on a greater scale. Realize that the results of your efforts may not roll out right away, and that long-term goals can be just as valuable as short-term ones. Have lofty goals. Even if it takes 30 years or nothing ever takes hold at all, there’s a certain pride and respect that is tied to the one brave enough to make a difference.3. Leverage Contra-seasonal MarketingWhile Columbus Day may be a federal holiday, not every American has today day off. Just as a global company has to re-strategize how to market its brand on a global level, a local business must consider the activities of its target audience on holidays. Just because your company takes the day off and you’re headed to Vegas for the weekend, doesn’t mean your target audience will be, too. If you decide to completely stop updating your blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc., you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity.We like to call this “contra-seasonal” marketing. When many businesses have abandoned marketing efforts under the assumption that no one will be listening to their marketing messages, smart companies continue their campaigns and reach potential customers without having to cut through other noise from marketers. And when a prospect’s inbox isn’t littered with emails from other vendors, they may be more likely to open your email. On the other hand, if you are at work on during holiday vacation, don’t forget that others aren’t. Adjust the frequency of your marketing messages so your prospects don’t return to work from a long weekend bombarded with multiple email marketing messages.Can you think of any other marketing takeaways from the history of Columbus Day? Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:
Topics: Social Media Video You’ve heard the saying over and over again, but it still holds true: Content is king. Whether you’re creating a blog post, infographic, tweet, or even a PPC ad, creating content that people naturally want to consume will help you attract visitors, capture leads, and convert customers. This week, this saying held especially true in the world of inbound marketing. From Facebook’s new video advertising offering to Q&As with industry experts on Klout, this week’s roundup will fill you in on all things content-related on the web. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day! ;-)Facebook Rolling Out Video Ads to News Feeds, From AdWeekOver the past few months, Facebook has been making some major moves with its social advertising platform. And the social network’s latest move doesn’t surprise us in the least: Facebook will be rolling out video ads in users’ News Feeds as soon as July. A few big brands including Ford, Coca-Cola, and American Express, are expected to participate in the first round of testing. For the time being, advertisers will only be allowed to choose among four different demographics to target.The 15-second ads will most likely appear to the side of the News Feed, on auto play, and muted by default with the option of unmuting. We’re still not sure yet if this new feature is good or bad news for marketers. While the new ad format opens up more opportunities to attract visitors and generate leads from Facebook, it could potentially alienate Facebook users. Many users complain that their News Feeds are already a bit cluttered with sponsored posts and pages — this new advertising format could add to the fray. That being said, it’s still too early to give the new ad format a yay or nay. Depending on how Facebook plans to moderate the number of ads per News Feed, these video ads could either turn the platform into an ad-filled mess or an effective ad-serving platform. Read more about Facebook’s video advertising options at Adweek.Google Launches YouTube Trends Map to Show the Most Popular Videos Across the U.S. in Real Time, From The Next WebAs you probably know by now, we love data — and the new Trends Map for YouTube melts our heart. Although it’s still in its infancy, the new Trends Map shows the most popular videos across the U.S., broken down by viewer age or gender. The map gives marketers a nice visual representation of how viral videos are shared and received across the country in real time. The videos that make it onto the map are chosen based on the number of shares by users, or total number of views. In addition to the map, marketers can also examine the popularity of particular videos based on certain demographics.For marketers, YouTube Trends Map is a great place to find relevant data on which videos go viral and why. Right now, the Trends Map only displays demographic information, but once there is more robust data available, it could be an incredibly powerful tool for marketers. Still, YouTube Trends Map can help marketers find engaging content to share with their followers, discover viral videos to newsjack, or even create a viral video of their own. Read more about YouTube Trends Map and what it means for marketers at The Next Web.YouTube Paid Subscription Channels Set to Launch Soon, From Marketing LandIt’s been a busy week for YouTube. Not only did the company recently release YouTube Trends Map, but it also started rolling out paid subscription channels offering premium video content. Besides providing a potential new revenue stream for YouTube, these paid subscription channels could attract a different type of audience who is concerned with the quality of the videos he or she watches rather than the quantity of videos available. The premium subscription is planned to compete with other premium video services such as Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. With as many as 50 subscription-based channels at the time of launch and fees as low as $1.99 a month, this could be a great alternative revenue stream for YouTube.What marketers should know is that this new move will open up a number of advertising opportunities for companies looking to place ads in higher quality content. Even though its user-generated videos have been an effective way of serving ads, some marketers are looking to pay for TV–like quality. The new premium subscription channels could open up a whole new demographic of users for marketers to target with higher quality ads on higher quality videos. Read more about YouTube’s paid subscription channels at Marketing Land.Traditional Turned Inbound: Reimagining 5 Iconic Ad Campaigns From the Past, Free Ebook From HubSpotSometimes, it boggles our minds how much things in marketing have changed in the last 60 years. Some of the most iconic advertising campaigns happened before we had social media, precise ad targeting, or even the internet. Thinking back got us thinking — what would an iconic advertising campaign from the “Mad Men” era look like today? Based on advice from current marketing experts, our new ebook explores how today’s marketers could execute those iconic ad campaigns to get the same impact they had in past. Get ready for a dive into the history of marketing and advertising, and download the ebook today!Klout Gets Into the Q&A Business by Launching Klout Experts (With Help From Bing), From TechCrunchThe popular influence-measurement startup is launching a new program built around industry “expert” Q&As that influencers can use to boost their street cred. Klout is asking users who are influential about certain topics to answer questions in 300 characters or less, allowing Klout to enter into the content creation space. Klout will also be working closely with Microsoft to ensure that relevant answers to questions will appear in searches on Bing.Marketers should see this as the perfect opportunity to boost their SEO on Bing. The program isn’t open to all users just yet, but if you’re one of those influential marketers on Klout that happens to be asked a few questions, answer them, and let Bing do the rest of the work. This might be a great way to establish yourself as an industry thought leader and promote your social media presence through quality content. You may even increase the ranking of your other content online. Read more about Klout and what it means for inbound marketers at TechCrunch.What were some of the top marketing stories you heard about this week? Originally published May 12, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Almost 10 months ago, I had my first day at HubSpot. I was excited about lots of things — the candy wall in the kitchen, the free coffee, and, you know, working with some great people — but one of the things I was most looking forward to was a fresh, clean email address. It was brand new. No one was selling it to unscrupulous marketers to spam me with irrelevant and annoying sales tactics.I was free … but not for long.Ten months later, my spam filter gets more and more email garbage each day, mostly filled with cold emails pitches. I’m sure your email address experiences the same thing. Last week, I got a particularly horrendous spam email that somehow got through my spam filter. It was impersonal, confusing, and broke some CAN-SPAM best practices. Yikes!Since the best way to learn how to do something is to sometimes hear how not to do it, we’re going to pick apart the horrible email below. All identifying information has been removed, but everything else has remained unchanged.So let’s take a look at this horrible email and see just what the fuss is all about. The Anatomy of a Truly Horrendous Spam Email *) Sending Spam EmailsIt’s kind of like the first rule of Fight Club: The first no-no of sending bad spam emails is (you guessed it!) sending spam emails in the first place. There’s not really a “great” way to send a spam email.Instead, you should be organically growing your email lists and only sending emails to people who’ve opted in to receive them. Your Sender Score will be better and your subscriber list will be happier. 1) Irrelevant Subject LinesFrom the first thing I see, I know that this email is going to be irrelevant and spammy. I work for an inbound marketing company — why would I be interested in buying lists? On top of that, telling me that people opted in to those lists doesn’t really change that fact. (Honestly, I don’t even know why I clicked through.)If you’re going to be emailing people, you’ve got to make sure the subject line of the email aligns with your subscriber list’s interests. 2) Standard, Thoughtless Greetings”Hi,” “hello,” “hey”: all “acceptable” greetings you can use in your emails. But this email is forgetting one crucial element of a greeting: my name. It sounds so simple, but it’s something that lots of people get wrong.Even though most people know that personalized emails are usually customized by a machine, adding that small touch to your email makes people feel like you’re talking to them Most marketing software, like HubSpot, will let you personalize your email greetings. The point here is simple: Make sure you’re taking advantage of this feature!3) Confusing Opening LinesI’ll admit it — the opening line of this email was the deciding factor in writing about it here. It’s just so crazy. If the sender has just a few seconds to hook me, why would they include the most confusing opening line ever? Is “Happy New Year” a saying that deserves quotations? Am I supposed to imagine the sender actually saying that out loud? Or does the sender not know how to use quotation marks like in this scene from Friends?Seriously folks, you’ve only got a second or two to hook your email subscribers in your opening sentences, so use your time wisely.4) Irrelevant OffersAt this point in the email, I wondered again whether the person knew who they were emailing. I’m guessing no … because with a few seconds of research, it’d be very evident I — or anyone else at this inbound marketing company — wouldn’t want to hear about purchasing email lists. In your own emails, since you’re not going to be spamming random lists you’ve bought, make sure your message is tailored to the audience receiving the email. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to segment your lists properly. 5) Filler Keywords (?)At the bottom of the email, I can’t help but be confused — yet again. What the heck are those keywords doing there? It wasn’t a company tagline or a link to its products. In fact, the company name wasn’t anywhere in the email at all. Was it a way to game your inbox search? I really have no idea.In your own emails, cut anything that might seem out-of-place and irrelevant to your audience — it could be the difference between someone clicking through on an email and deleting it. 6) CAN-SPAM ViolationsNote: I didn’t redact this information in the email footer — it was already like this. I don’t even know which company is sending me this spam email unless I look at the end of the sender email address … and after Googling the company name, I found out that the sender and the company were fake. Seriously … just … yucky.If you’re sending emails, make sure it’s very obvious who you are sending email on behalf of. 7) Difficult UnsubscribesIf I’m not able to unsubscribe from your email list with the click of a button, your email is going in the spam folder and your sender name will get blocked. Though technically, according to CAN-SPAM, you only have to not make it difficult for people to unsubscribe and honor the unsubscribe in 10 days, it’s a PITA to unsubscribe from spam emails like this.Do your subscribers a favor and allow them to unsubscribe with a few clicks of their mouse — most email marketing solutions will make this process incredibly easy for you and your subscribers. Even if you’re not sending spam emails specifically, you should avoid all of these email no-no’s. Your subscribers will be more excited to receive emails from you and see the count next to their spam folder get smaller and smaller — a win-win for everyone. What horrible tactics have you seen in your spam email folder? Share your stories with us in the comments. Topics: Originally published Jan 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Free Templates: 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 How to Write a Blog Post Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Blog Post Templates How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] Topics: 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack