NFL teams nominate prep football coaches for prestigious honor; guess where Raiders coach is from

first_imgWednesday was a big day for high school football — the day that all 32 NFL teams nominate a prep coach for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.The award, named in honor of the winningest coach in NFL history, is intended to celebrate the best coaching at the high school level. Two finalists will receive $15,000 (with $10,000 going to their football program) and be special guests of the NFL at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The winner, as judged by an 11-person panel that …last_img read more

South African-born film editor wins Oscar

first_img29 February 2016The dystopian action movie Mad Max: Fury Road already has more than one Southern African connection: it was filmed in Namibia; some of the post-production was done by BlackGinger, the Cape Town animation and visual effects studio; and it stars South African-born actress Charlize Theron.Now, Margaret Sixel, the South African-born film editor, has won the Oscar for Best Editing in a Feature Film for her work on it. Her win was one of six Oscars that it picked up.Oscar for Best Editing: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road pic.twitter.com/jJc9oYh05q— FilmmakerIQ.com (@FilmmakerIQ) February 29, 2016Filmed in the Namibian desert, the blockbusting Australian action film Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the most surprising critical and commercial successes in 2015.Starring Tom Hardy and Theron, and directed by Australian George Miller, the film has won numerous awards over the past year, including Bafta and Critics’ Choice awards, culminating in several wins at the 88th Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, held in Los Angeles on Sunday, 28 February 2016.Margaret Sixel wins Best Editing for Mad Max, the first action film she’d ever edited. #Oscars2016 pic.twitter.com/M7rb8VDgWb— GamesRadar+ (@GamesRadar) February 29, 2016Sixel’s frenetic editing was described by the Los Angeles Times as “Herculean”, considering the amount of footage shot by Miller to bring his masterpiece to life. Miller, who is also Sixel’s husband, used up to 20 cameras to shoot more than 480 hours of film. Sixel spent over 6 000 hours crafting 2 700 individual cuts, helping to create what the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) praised as a two-hour “cerebral post-apocalyptic car chase”.Asked about her editing style in an interview in the run-up to the Oscars, Sixel justified the editing process as part of storytelling philosophy, saying: “I don’t like meaningless cutting. It must enhance the story and the characters.”.@MadMaxMovie director George Miller with wife Margaret Sixel walking the #Oscars red carpet. #9Today pic.twitter.com/Ae7odLSXU1— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) February 28, 2016According to a variety of filmmaking experts, the soul of the film came down to Sixel’s strong working relationship with Miller to find the heart of the film and her intuitive eye in creating thrilling tension without sacrificing the film’s narrative. Sixel has previously worked with Miller on his films Babe: A Pig in the City and the animated hit Happy Feet. Mad Max: Fury Road was her first action film.Asked by the Huffington Post why he choose a woman to tackle the intricacies of editing a large scale action movie, Miller answered that if he had used a male editor the film would “look like every other action movie”.The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning six, including Best Production Design, Costume Design and Sound Editing. The wins make Mad Max: Fury Road the most successful Australian production since The Piano in 1993. It also gives it the most wins at the Oscars for an Australian film since the Baz Luhrmann musical Moulin Rouge in 2001.On accepting the award, Sixel thanked her husband for his vision for the film, as well as his confidence in allowing her to experiment with the art of editing to give the film its unique feel. She added that the cast and crew involved in the most unlikely of Oscar winners had “incredible courage and guts to make this film”.Margaret Sixel wins Best Film Editing for “Mad Max: Fury Road” https://t.co/wvvnWW6pFt pic.twitter.com/jqbueVpJ0L— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 29, 2016Source: News24last_img read more

Saving on Groceries and Saving your Money

first_imgBy Auyanna McBride, AFCPE-FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship InternWith the cost of groceries on the rise, many families are turning to couponing to save money on groceries.  There are several resources that offer great coupons.  Some of these include Sunday newspapers, www.coupons.com and the local store/commissary.  To save even more money, military families should try to shop at stores that double their coupons and only get items that the family uses.  A great way to start a savings program is to take the money saved on coupons and use it to open a savings account.  Most stores print the savings from coupons at the bottom of the receipt so their customers can see exactly how much they save using coupons and store specials.  This is a great incentive to use coupons even more because the more money people save, the bigger their savings account will grow.  For more information about savings strategies for military families, visit the Military Saves Web site at http://www.militarysaves.org/.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on August 30, 2013.last_img read more

Build A Monster Computer for Video Editing & Post Production

first_imgUnderstanding Disk Setup Building The Monster Building a HackintoshIf you’re married to Mac, then building your own Hackintosh tower is a viable option. Obviously you don’t have any warranty or support, but you’re going to save a lot of money. We’ve previously blogged about it here on PremiumBeat with some really great links to Lifehacker and No Film School which are definitely worth checking out. Also, Apple Insider has a great piece on the state of Apple and the future of the Mac Pro here.Ever tried building your own machine? Share your experience in the comments below! Speed Tests If you’re looking to create your own monster post-production machine for less, then you’ll definitely want to check out these links!Many tech-savvy post-production people have experimented with building their own monster Hackintosh or Windows machines. Here’s a quick roundup of some great resources for building a machine that can handle all your HD video needs, be they video editing, color grading, or creating complex motion graphics and 3D work.Building a Powerful Windows MachineDave Dugdale from Learning Video walks you through how he created his first monster post-production machine with Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve Lite in mind. These videos are pretty long, but if you truly want to understand what you’re doing before spending the cash, they’re definitely worth a watch. Building a machine like Dugdale’s will cost you $2385. If you just want a parts list — well, here you go!Handling RED RAWlast_img read more

New IPL rules a bit confusing, says KKR owner Shahrukh Khan

first_imgThe new rules of Indian Premier League which will be applied from next year have left Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan “a bit confused” and the Bollywood superstar said it would have been “fair for everyone” if all the players are put up for auction in November.”New IPL rules a bit confusing. Two new teams added (good). All players should go into pool to make it fair for everyone. Simple & straight,” Shah Rukh wrote on his twitter page.With the inclusion of two new teams in the IPL — Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi team, the IPL Governing Council proposed a revised structure but it has not gone down too well with some of the franchise owners voicing their concerns publicly.The new rules state that the 10 teams will be divided into two groups and there would be 74 matches in the next three IPL seasons.The eight original franchises will be allowed to retain four players, including a foreigner. Besides the four players, the rest of the squad would be selected through open bidding.It has also been made mandatory for the players retained to be amongst the registered players for the 2010 season. The fee of the players retained would be decided after mutual agreement between the stakeholders.The salary cap of the franchisees has also been raised to USD 9 million. But if any franchisee retains all the four players, it will have USD 4.5 million per year to spend on other players.The new rules have limited the number of players to be 30 for a squad.advertisementlast_img read more

Paid Search vs. Organic Search

first_img 1.  If you rank high for organic results, it is (typically) long lasting.  So, the time/money you spend helping yourself move up the ranks is relatively persistent while the PPC campaign is money spent over and over again. The benefits of optimizing your site for exposure in the organic results of the search engines relative to paying for PPC campaigns: We meet many small businesses who ask our advise about buying CPC ads versus optimizing their sites for optimal organic results.  try at accessing information.  4.  Often times searchers visit your site more than once before self-selecting into a form, whitepaper, etc.  We track this data carefully at HubSpot and notice that a decent portion of the leads we get are from people who have visited the site through multiple searches over multiple months.  Organic search campaigns have more latency. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 5.  Marketing Sherpa reports that in the b2b environment, less than one-fourth of b2b buyers to look to paid listings in their 3.  You can send the clicks to custom landing pages crafted for just the words you bought.  [In theory, this should dramatically increase the conversion rates relative to organic results that more often than not land on your home page, but the Marketing Sherpa numbers say otherwise.] 3.  Organic clicks convert at least as well as paid clicks.  Marketing Sherpa’s Search Marketing Benchmark study of 3,217 marketers showed that organic clicks converted at an average of 4.2% v. 3.6% for paid. Topics: The benefits of buying CPC ads versus organic seo:center_img 2.  You can experiment cheaply.  The good thing about advertising on Google is that you don’t have to create a huge budget for advertising, you can throw as little money as you want, experiment efficiently, get the ratios where you want, and then expand. first 1.  It is fast.  You can be up and running with paid ads the very same day you are inspired to move. — Brian Halligan. 2.  Organic results are clicked on a lot more than paid results, especially for well educated crowds.  I read a study that showed dramatic differences as you moved from high school eduction to associate degrees to bachelors to masters to phd’s.  The more educated your prospect, the less likely they are to click on an advertisement.  If you are selling to high school students, you should buy cpc ads.  If you are selling to engineers or professors, you need to think more about seo because that’s where the volume is. PPC Originally published May 29, 2007 3:18:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 There are big benefits to both, so I recommend doing both.  To get maximum benefit, I recommend optimizing around some keywords for organic results and buy other keywords.  6.  Many think of Google as a search company, but I think of them as a modern media conglomerate with an ultra-efficient mechanism for selling advertisements that work particularly well in the longtail.  Like other media companies, Google benefits from efficient pricing of advertising.  As more and more niche companies start to advertise on Google, their prices will become more efficient and their rates will become less and less attractive relative to other media outlets.last_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Content Sources

first_img on Mashable Jeremiah Owyang Email Open and Click-Through Rate marketing analytics Align your Facebook page with these best practices to article from this past week focuses on the concept of content sources — places where you can get ideas to help you write quality blog posts — as well as different types of sources and how to use them strategically and continuously to create remarkable content. John Paul Titlow Source Quality Content … Continuously Marketing Takeaway: to help support and enhance your business’ internet marketing efforts.  His suggestions include taking advantage of a descriptive headline, search engine optimizing your website links, answering questions, adding third party apps like Slideshare and incorporating keywords. make your videos more effective Conversion Rate Author: Facebook page best practices Foster advocacy. Marketing Takeaway: Live authenticity. New to the whole Author: Marketing Takeaway: . 5 Critical Web Metrics to Keep a Close Eye On Enable peer-to-peer interactions. 4. leverage LinkedIn Use LinkedIn for more than just personal networking by enhancing your profile for business marketing benefits.  Author: 1. web analytics Pay attention to enhance your Facebook marketing Our top get ideas for blog posts . Experiment with YouTube Annotations to enhance the marketing effectiveness of your for valuable insight into the success of your marketing programs. Referring Sites and Keywords Regularly sourcing content has a number of benefits: it’s a great way to create a constant flow of ideas and inspiration for your blog, it makes life easier, and it can help ensure you’re not omitting important information from your content. thing but know it should be an important part of your marketing programs?  ReadWriteWeb has published a great overview of five web metrics to which you should be paying attention.  Keep an eye on these metrics, and you’ll have a better idea of how many people are interacting with your brand and which of your online marketing efforts are effective: Facebook: Daily Active Users of ReadWriteWeb Jeffrey L. Cohen Marketing Takeaway: Set community expectations. Are you taking advantage of YouTube’s Annotations tool? Annotations are interactive elements that can be added to a video once it’s uploaded to YouTube, and they can offer a great way to add a call to action that prompts viewers to subscribe or take a particular action after watching a video. Incorporate sourcing content into your day-to-day activities to stay inspired and keep blog ideas flowing. Catherine-Gail Reinhard Altimeter Report: The 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing HOW TO: Use Annotations to Promote Your Brand on YouTube Twitter: Klout Score Originally published Aug 2, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 Jeremiah’s article highlights some recent research conducted by Altimeter Group to determine success criteria for While LinkedIn is commonly known as a social network for professionals, many people don’t recognize the B2B benefits an optimized personal profile can have for their company. . Solicit a call to action. Marketing Takeaway: ?  And what do you do when you just aren’t inspired to create anything remarkable? Topics: 2. Catherine’s article discusses the four different types of Annotations (speech bubbles, notes, spotlights and video pauses) as well as their value and various ways and examples of how they can be incorporated to inbound marketing Provide cohesive branding. Author: 3. Georgina’s blog post categorizes content sources in two ways: internal sources, or those that exist within yourself and your audience (e.g. experiences), and external sources, or those outside your own operation, such as other media or other people focused on the same topic. Regularly sourcing content is a challenge, but making it part of your daily routine can help you .  The results?  Eight success criteria for Facebook page marketing that can help brands understand how they should approach their Facebook presence: 5. on Problogger online videos Be up to date. of Social Media B2B Georgina Laidlaw Jeffrey’s article emphasizes 12 ways you can Where do you create a truly compelling blog. 12 Ways to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for a B2B Company of Web Strategy Author: Participate in dialog. 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Top 5 Reasons for Mobile Marketing [Data]

first_img Mobile Marketing , there will be 73.3 million smartphone users in the U.S. in 2011. And that number is only rising. It’s estimated that there will be more than 84 million by 2012 and over 100 million by 2014. Reason # 5– Easy to do 67% of them research on their smartphone and then buy in a store. Marketing in the Moment But here’s the number that really gets me. According to Michael Tasner in his book “ Smartphone users look for a wide variety of information. That can be news, sports, games, restaurant information and location, or shopping. What the Google study pointed out is that 89% of them do their search with a degree of urgency. This sense of urgency should be of incredible interest to ecommerce sites as well as brick and mortar companies. For example, a smartphone user needs an appliance. They find it and have the option of going to a nearby store to purchase it or to have it shipped from an ecommerce site. They will do one or the other, depending on the proximity of the store and the time they need that appliance. The point is, if you offer that appliance and smartphone users can’t find you, you lose that sale. 9% visit the store first, then purchase on their smartphone Originally published Jun 24, 2011 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 If you are at all serious about a comprehensive and integrated marketing strategy for your company, mobile has to be a part of it. Topics: 16% research on their smartphone, visit the store, then purchase on their smartphone What are you waiting for? With the ever-expanding market of mobile (and smartphone) users combined with the paucity of companies marketing to them, now is the time to make the most out of mobile marketing. The competition is small at this point, and you can create a presence before it gets cluttered. If you are already advertising on the internet, you might be interested to know that ad spending across mobile devices is still low, which means you can get some great keyword phrases for bargain prices. Reason #2 – Consumers Marketing in the Moment Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack from Michael Tasner’s book According to Google’s latest : , packaging, branding, and public relations, you don’t want to lose your smartphone prospect when they are looking for your type of product on their smartphone. According to Google: chapter on mobile marketing 23% research on a smartphone, visit the store to check out the product, then purchase online on their computer. independent research Image credit: iStockPhoto social media marketing Reason # 3 – Urgency mobile marketing Smartphone users don’t do everything on their smartphones – and thank goodness for that. They are influenced by many other things, whether that be word of mouth, online or television ads, or products on a shelf. But for them, smartphones are now an integral part of their lives. If you are a company that puts time and effort into online marketing, For HubSpot users, their websites are automatically mobile-friendly. For everyone else, the process is relatively simple. There are many programs and agencies out there that can offer you a fairly quick way to make your site is mobile friendly. We’re making available for free a According to eMarketer Reason # 4 – Integration , 74% of smartphone users have made a purchase as a result of using a smartphone. When it comes to search, 53% of smartphone users purchase something as a result of their smartphone search. That’s 53% of 73 million. That’s a lot of purchasing power. What’s interesting is how this group actually buys. After searching, 40% use their smartphones to buy something in a store. In the world of ecommerce, 35% of them take their information, go online on a computer and buy, or 20% of them use their smartphones to complete their purchase. What this tells me is that these consumers are not picky about where they shop, and the smartphone gives them the options they need. It’s all about accessibility and urgency, which brings me to reason #3. As Tasner says, “Mobile is growing faster than any other online-marketing method, tactic, or technique.” What are you waiting for? , and in it there are sections on how to establish a mobile-only site and how to get started with mobile marketing. That includes tactics like SMS, MMS, special offers, advertsing, etc. I’m not alone in this admiration. Reason #1 –Timing ,” only 6% of businesses are doing any type of mobile marketing. And for companies with less than $10,000 in revenue per year (what we at HubSpot consider small businesses), only 0.5% of them mobile market. The book was published a year ago, so these numbers might be up a little, but not by much. This brings me to reason #1 forlast_img read more

How to Grow Inbound Links With Guest Blogging Opportunities [@InboundNow #34]

first_img ! “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.last_img read more

11 Essential Elements of a Well-Designed Marketing Ebook

first_img Originally published Apr 6, 2012 2:39:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Design How many ebooks does your marketing team have in its content arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks are only growing in popularity. According to a newly released report by Pew Internet , in mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an ebook in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. While we’ve always considered ebooks to be one of the best lead-gen content assets at a marketer’s disposal, the fact that on-the-go content is only carving out more of a place in today’s increasingly mobile world makes them an even smarter choice as a marketing offer .As a piece of long-form content, a lot of work must go into the creation of a well-crafted ebook . So today, let’s focus on design. How do you design an ebook that is reader-friendly, engaging, and at the same time supports your marketing goals? Let’s discuss the 11 essential elements that make up an effective marketing ebook design.  Importance of a Brand Style Guide First, a note about the role design should play in your content strategy. If ebook creation is (or you plan it to be) a big part of your content strategy, it’s wise to first spend some time establishing a consistent brand style guide to which all your marketing content — not just your ebooks, but also your presentations and other marketing collateral — adheres. This will give your publications a more professional, branded look which translates to a sense of credibility. Of course, the content itself is a huge contributing factor to the credibility and value of a publication, but even if you have quality content down pat, that doesn’t mean people still won’t judge an ebook by its cover ;)If you take a look at the ebooks HubSpot has launched in the past 6 months, for example, you’ll notice that they all have very consistent branding and design elements throughout. When you sit down with your marketing team and designer to decide on your brand style guide, establish rules for such design elements as fonts/sizes, color schemes, charts/graphs, borders for screenshots and images, headers, etc. Creating easy-to-follow guides and templates for your various marketing assets like ebooks, presentations, etc. will make it easy for you and your team to implement a consistent branding style throughout your marketing collateral. HubSpot, for example, has an ebook template created in InDesign to ensure our ebooks have a consistent look no matter who created them.Now let’s dive into the 11 essential design elements you should consider in your next ebook design. 11 Essential Elements of Effective Ebook Design 1) An Interesting, Descriptive Title Okay, so your title choice may not exactly be a design element, but choosing a title for any piece of content is definitely an art , and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The title is often the first thing someone judges before deciding whether to click on or read your ebook, especially when the content gets shared in social media. Choose a title that is both interesting and descriptive — that is, it should be indicative of what the reader will learn from reading the ebook.Unlike blog posts, ebooks are high-commitment pieces of content because of their length, so you need to make sure you’re demonstrating the value up front in a compelling way. For instance, one HubSpot ebook is titled 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes with the subtitle, “How to Fix the Most Common Blogging Bloopers.” The main title is both descriptive and demonstrates value in itself, but the subtitle also makes it sound like an even more interesting read. 2) A Visual Cover So if we know that people will most definitely be judging your ebooks by their cover, you’ll want to make sure you create ones that are both visually appealing and coincide with your brand style guide. Consider how the visual revolution is playing out with sites like Pinterest cropping up and other social networks like Facebook and Google+ putting more of an emphasis on visual content , and the importance of enticing covers becomes even more evident. Make the title easy to read, include branding elements you decided on in your brand style guide, and feature an image. You’ll notice that HubSpot’s ebook covers , for example, follow the same layout and structure while each featuring a different relevant an interesting image. 3) Skill/Topic/Persona Tags Depending on your business and industry, you likely have a different buyer personas , whether you segment your target audience by demographics, skill level, topic interest, or something else. So if part of your strategy is to create content that is personalized for or targeted to these different audience segments, one helpful way to organize and differentiate between your content assets is through a tagging system. Incorporate your schema in your ebook design so your readers know which particular ebooks will be of interest to them, and which ebooks won’t. You can do this in a number of ways — through iconography, color schemes, or tags.HubSpot’s ebooks, for instance, are categorized by skill level — introductory, intermediate, or advanced — depending on the skill level of our readers. To identify which is which, we use a combination of color scheme and a category key to denote which ebooks are targeted for which skill level. If an ebook is intermediate level like our example here, the cover and color scheme throughout the book uses blue as the dominant color, and a page in the beginning of the book explains which type of audience would benefit from each skill level. Introductory content uses a charcoal color scheme, and advanced content uses an orange color scheme. We’ve also extended this tagging system to our blog. You’ll notice this particular blog post, for example, has also been tagged as ‘intermediate.’ 4) An Author Page Another design element you might want to include in your ebooks is an author page, particularly if you have multiple members of your team creating ebooks. For example, if the author of the ebook is an expert on that topic, an author page that highlights the author’s bio and relevancy to the topic is a great way to add credibility to the content. On your author page, include a brief bio of the author, a headshot, and if you choose to, a way for readers to get in touch with the author if they have questions, such as an email address, Twitter username, or phone number.As an added internal benefit, you might find that members of your team are more willing to spend time creating ebook content if they know their efforts will be recognized publicly through an author page. 5) A Table of Contents A staple for any book, both print or digital, be sure to include a table of contents in every ebook you publish. This not only gives readers a sense of how the ebook is organized, but it also makes it easy for them to reference individual chapters if they decide only certain ones are relevant to them or if they want to refer back to specific sections later. To make this even more user-friendly for your readers, some programs like InDesign make it possible for you to hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the corresponding link in the table of contents. 6) Chapter Title Pages Clearly distinguish one chapter to the next with chapter title pages. This gives readers a clear indication of their progress through the book and helps set the stage for the section they are about to read. It can also serve as a landing page for that interactive table of contents you may have set up in number 5. In our business blogging mistakes ebooks example, for instance, we organized the chapters by the 15 mistakes we highlight, and our chapter pages highlight which mistake the reader is going to learn about next.  7) Social Sharing Buttons We’ve talked before about the importance of including social sharing buttons on your marketing content. Sure, the landing page behind which you gate your ebook is a great place for these buttons, but why not also stamp them onto the pages of your ebooks as well? It makes sense, right? A potential reader might not feel comfortable sharing your ebook before they’ve read it and know they like the content, but while they’re reading it? That’s a different story.Add these buttons to each page of your ebook — either in the header or the footer — so readers can easily share the book with their social networks no matter how far through it they’ve read. Just be sure you’re sharing links to the ebook’s landing page — not thank-you page — if it’s gated content. HubSpot’s ebooks, for example, include social sharing buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on each page. For help in creating these social media buttons for your ebooks, check out this handy guide . 8) Visual Elements Break up your “big chunks of copy” and “large blocks of text” with visual elements to emphasize or explain certain points more visually. We’re talking anything from headers, bolded text, and bullet points to screenshots, images, charts, and graphs. Furthermore, leverage content visualizations when appropriate to help you explain concepts that are difficult to explain through text and lend themselves to more visual explanations, as we did in this blog post , which is actually an ebook excerpt! Just be sure to keep your visuals in line with your brand style guide, translating images, graphs, and charts to conform to your guidelines in terms of style and color scheme. 9) Product/Service Call-Outs While ebooks can be catered to achieve certain goals, the way most marketers use ebooks is to generate new leads at the top of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your ebook content should be majorly educational — not product focused — in nature. But does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t sneak in a few mentions of your product or service into them when appropriate? Absolutely not! In fact, when people are just starting to learn about your business in the awareness stage of the sales cycle, they probably know very little about the products and services you offer.Use educational ebooks as an opportunity to connect your thought leadership with product awareness. One way to do this in your ebook content is with subtle product mentions and call-outs when you mention a problem or need in your ebook that your products or services address. How much of these should you include? The key here is balance. Make sure the educational value of the ebook makes up for your product awareness plugs. For example, in HubSpot’s educational ebook How to Attract Customers With Twitter, we add to the section of the ebook that discusses scheduling tweets and monitoring responses by calling to attention to the social media publishing tool available in HubSpot’s software, our paid offering. This lets readers with little or no knowledge of HubSpot’s software connect HubSpot’s thought leadership and expertise with its paid software. 10) Printer/Mobile-Friendliness While your ebook is a digital publication, you’ll likely be offering it as a downloadable file such as a PDF, and despite what you might think, many of the people who download will actually prefer to print it out and read it on paper rather than on a screen. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your ebooks are printer-friendly. For example, avoid designs that leverage double-page, horizontal layouts that don’t translate well to print. The best way to know if your design is printer-friendly? Print it yourself!Furthermore, you’ll also want to make sure your ebook file is mobile-friendly. Does your ebook PDF view well on a smartphone and various e-readers/tablets? Test it out!If you’re considering making your ebook available for sale through ebook marketplaces like the Kindle Store, things get a little bit more complicated . You’ll need to conform to the specific ebook format of that particular store, and you’ll likely need to make chan ges to the style, design, and file of your ebook. In general, you’ll need to modify your ebook to embody a very simple design with few visuals and limited formatting. Publishing services like Lulu.com can make this process more easily manageable. 11) A Final Call-to-Action The last critical element that should be a part of your ebook design is — you guessed it — a final call-to-action! After a reader has completed the ebook, what action do you want them to take next? Tell them!Perhaps you’d like to encourage them to move from the awareness stage of the sales cycle onto the evaluation stage of the sales cycle. In this case, feature a call-to-action for a middle-of-the-funnel stage offer on the last page of your ebook, introducing it to the reader in a way that is relevant and logical. In our 15 Business Blogging Mistakes ebook , for instance, we encourage readers to start a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s software , relating it to the content of the ebook by emphasizing that readers will be able to try out HubSpot’s business blogging tools to help them fix the blogging mistakes they learned they are guilty of making. Do your ebooks have a consistent design that reflects your business’ branding? What other design elements would you add? Image Credit: Jonah Larsson Don’t forget to share this post! 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