Sunny days ahead

first_imgDr Coralie Srivastava’s astrological forecast raises a toast to staying fit this summer. Here are a few tips.Aries: March 21-April 20Aries is a fire sign, which imparts enthusiasm and dynamic energy. You would do well at rigorous sporting activities like kick boxing and weight lifting. Team sports like football or cricket are also a good idea for you.Taurus: April 21-May 20Playing tennis, badminton or squash would be a good idea to keep your body and mind fit. A practical person like you would otherwise consider exercising a waste of time, if it does not mentally stimulate you.Gemini: May 21-June 21A Gemini loves entertainment and partying with a group of friends. Workouts which can give them an opportunity to meet new people would be ideal for you. Activities like Bollywood dancing and gymnastics would fit the bill.Cancer: June 22-July 23Cancerians are always more comfortable at home. A relaxed environment while exercising would keep you fit as well as happy. You can set up a mini gym in your basement or a spare room. Running on a treadmill is a good option.Leo: July 24-August 23Leos cannot do with boredom, and tend to get lazy at times. So, exercising in the gym under the supervision of a trainer would be beneficial for you. You can also try swimming or Bollywood dancing. A dynamic workout would keep you upbeat all day long.Virgo: August 24-September 23Virgos are a perfectionists and like to push themselves harder to attain the unattainable. Rigorous running in a cross country marathon or skiing is perfect for you.Libra: September 24-October 22Refined taste and a strong aesthetic sense come naturally to you. A love for luxury and all things beautiful encourage activities like golfing in a plush golf club or exercising in a well equipped gym. A workout is more appealing when you can socialise at the same time.Scorpio: October 23-November 22Scorpio represents one of the strongest signs of the zodiac. This deep well of strength needs to be channelised in right direction. Kick boxing, karate and power yoga are good options for this powerful and intense sun sign.Sagittarius: November 23-December 22You love adventure and outdoor sports. Activities such as sky diving, bunjee jumping, mountaineering and rock climbing would give you a much needed adrenaline rush. But extreme sports involves risk. Take safety precautions to avoid danger.Capricorn: December 23-January 20A Capriconian is driven by ambition. Their structured minds would do well at golf where they would be able to exercise while expanding their networking circle.Aquarius: January 21-February 19Physical exertion is not your cup of tea. A dedicated soul like you would be more interested in alternative therapies. For instance, enrolling yourself in a Tai Chi, Chi Yung or Sudarshan Kriya class would be your key to fitness and relaxation.Pisces: February 20-March 20You are gentle, sensitive and like to live in your imaginative world. Make an effort to keep yourself calm. Healing activities like Surya Namaskar and light workouts such as cycling would release the tension and give you a fresh perspective on things.advertisementlast_img read more

5 Types of Posts to Create a Balanced Blog

first_img Originally published Jun 15, 2010 12:00:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 Content Types 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:center_img Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving blog. Cooking and blogging — they have more in common than you might think. When you make dinner, you take a variety of ingredients and mix them together to create a balanced meal. You should look at blogging in the same way. Create a mix of posts using text, video and more. Here are five types of blog posts you should be writing:   1. Raisin Bran – Basic, Ever yday Posts . These posts are the foundation of your blog. They should be educational and you should get good at producing them quickly. Be sure to use keywords in the title and throughout the body of each post. 2. Spinach – Healthy, Thoughtful Posts. This type of post is designed to establish you as a thought leader. Unlike your basic, everyday posts, these posts will be more in-depth and may take extra time to write. You don’t need to write as many of these. 3. Roasts – Big Blog Projects. These are blog posts that involve extra research or analysis and take more time to create. This type of blog post can generate a lot of inbound links to your blog and discussion. Choose your topics wisely and this type of post will set your blog apart from the competition. 4. Chocolate Cake – Sweet Stuff. Mix some fun into your blog. Typically this type of blog post will grab the reader’s attention and can lead to lots of links and traffic. Video, images and cartoons are great examples of fun posts that help diversify your blog content. 5. Tabasco – Posts That Start Fires. Make a bold statement about your industry. Just be prepared to defend yourself; this type of blog content can be polarizing. Expect to gain a lof of links and comments (good and bad). Be careful not to write too many of these, as you could lose your audience’s trust. What other types of blog content do you create on your blog? This article was written by Shaun Pinney, a member of our consultant team at HubSpot. Check out Shaun’s Bio .Photo Credit: TiffanyWashko Webinar: Advanced Business Blogginglast_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

Using Social Sharing Buttons Leads to 7x More Mentions [Data]

first_img Social Media Engagement Originally published Sep 13, 2011 1:01:00 PM, 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 Social media can be a great promotional vehicle for sharing your content and helping it reach an extended audience beyond your direct network of fans, followers, and subscribers. But are you missing out on some low-hanging fruit to make sure you give your content what’s necessary to help it spread?When it comes to spreading content in social media, some of the easiest-to-pick pieces of low-hanging fruit are social sharing buttons. Adding social sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to your website, blog articles, and landing pages is a simple way to encourage visitors to spread your content and reach even more potential customers.So if it’s so easy, everyone must be doing it, right? Wrong.According to a recent study conducted by SEO platform BrightEdge Technologies, the homepages of almost half of the top 10,000 websites studied (46.4%) had no social links or plugins installed.But what’s even more interesting is the impact of the social sharing buttons that were used on the other 53.6% of websites. Looking at the effect of social plugins on a website’s traffic and how much content is shared, BrightEdge also conducted analysis on over 4 million tweets. When studying how often a website using a Twitter sharing button was mentioned on Twitter, on average, a website with no Twitter share button was mentioned just four times. However, websites that did include a Twitter sharing button were mentioned 27 times, on average. Therefore, including a Twitter share button increased Twitter mentions sevenfold.Marketing TakeawayDon’t miss out on easy opportunities to help your content and messages spread. Adding sharing buttons to your website is simple, yet half of the top websites don’t do it.BrightEdge Technologies’ study focused on social sharing buttons on websites’ homepages. While a website’s homepage isn’t the only place marketers should be adding social sharing links, the study’s findings indicate just how powerful they can be. When incorporating social sharing buttons into your website, be sure to add them to any page you have content — landing pages, blog articles, product pages, etc. It’s an easy, sure-fire way to extend your reach.Have you added social sharing buttons to your content yet?Photo Credit: joyosity Topics:last_img read more

5 Must-Have Characteristics of an Inbound Marketing Agency

first_img Inbound Marketing Topics: Originally published Nov 1, 2011 4:30:00 PM, 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 Inbound marketing takes time. It also takes a lot of domain knowledge. It can be hard for businesses to find the necessary time or internal resources to learn and/or implement search engine optimization and social media campaigns (to name a couple) for themselves. In these cases, businesses can reach out to a third-party agency to manage their inbound marketing efforts. Consider these 5 must-have characteristics when evaluating an agency partnership.1. The Right ServicesHiring a firm to redesign your website won’t get you more visitors. The two, seemingly connected, are two totally different agency skills sets. One is design-heavy; the other is content-heavy. To attract more traffic and leads, you need to hire a firm with traffic generation services like blogging and content creation, search engine optimization and link building, and social media campaign creation. Looking for more leads and customers? Then make sure you’re vetting the premium content creation, landing page, and marketing automation chops of a prospective agency. Be certain an agency has the capabilities you need to meet your marketing goals.2. A Clear ProcessContent creation capabilities and social media case studies are great, but the real value of an agency’s involvement will be in how they put the inbound pieces together into a comprehensive strategy. Inbound marketing agencies should be able to clearly lay out and explain the inbound methodology for prospective clients. Being able to clearly show you the order in which things need to happen and the amount of time and resources required at each step will indicate that the agency has delivered ROI to clients before. Thus, you will also be able to infer that it has the game plan to do it again for your company.3. An Emphasis on MeasurementWords like “metrics,” “benchmarks,” and “analytics” should be peppered throughout your prospective agency’s pitch. Progress made toward your goals should to be measured at every step of the way, and an inbound marketing agency worth its weight will be able to track all campaigns and report on performance regularly. You have goals. You are trying to meet those goals by hiring the agency. Therefore, it should be as focused as you are on charting success in an undeniable, data-driven way. 4. Strong Project Management SkillsInbound marketing is fueled by the creation of remarkable content aimed at your ideal prospects. In order to be successful, good inbound agencies will need to get inside your head to build that content and learn about that dream lead. Do the agency you’re considering have the process and communication skills to make you think they will make reasonable and realistic requests of other folks on your team? Also, have they set clear expectations around what each inbound component will require in terms of time and resources? Do you get the impression that they can manage campaigns with lots of moving parts? A good agency will make your life easier; not the opposite.5. A Website Optimized for Inbound Does the agency you’re considering blog regularly? What is its own social media presence like? Are there optimized landing pages and premium content offers throughout its site? An effective inbound marketing agency should be its own best case study. Think twice about engaging with an inbound firm that doesn’t make the services it sells a priority for its own business. What other characteristics do you think are must-haves for an inbound marketing agency?last_img read more

How to Tackle Your Most Aggravating Social Media Marketing Pet Peeves

first_img Social Media When this happens, just respond kindly. No matter how vexed you are at someone’s clear overscan of your post, thank them for taking the time to share whatever they said, and then sweetly point out that you did actually talk about or include their point. If you didn’t include it, thank them for bringing it up and tell them you’ll check it out and perhaps use it in your next analysis. Even if you don’t, at least they recognize that you care about what they had to say.Social Media Messages About CareersSometimes your fans love you so much they actually want to work for you. So they take to the social media sphere to create a personal connection and show how much they want a job with your company. Thing is, social media (with the exception of LinkedIn, of course) is so not the place for job requests. Perhaps in a very small business you can grab some luck, but by and large whoever manages a business’ social presence is not in charge of recruiting employees, nor do they know about job openings.So when you’re encountered with these messages, you can huff and puff about how it’s not your job to field these questions — or you can err on the side of productivity. If you happen to have the right information, share it. If not, let them know that you don’t and that you’ll forward their message to the right person within your company. And make sure you actually do forward the message to the right people. Yes, it’s annoying to deal with these inquiries, but once you come up with a system it shouldn’t take too much time out of your day.Users Who Call You Out on Every MistakeYes, as content creators we need to know basic grammar and spelling — and we do (I hope). But sometimes a little mistake slips by. It happens. We’re human. When you’re monitoring six social networks and posting messages to each, sometimes you might say “is” instead of “are.” But for some reason, there are those fans and followers who feel the need to point out every little mistake you make, even if clarity isn’t diminished as a result of the mistake. Even more irksome, sometimes you address that you made the mistake, and still more commenters come out and alert you to your faux pas.When this happens, marketers need to do a combination of slow deep breaths, and gracious apologies. Yes, even if the commenters are being the rudest human beings on the planet over a silly typing boo-boo. Why do this? Because often, it turns those negative nancies into brand advocates. You may even see other fans of yours come to your rescue! I recently screwed up big time on Facebook by pasting the wrong link, and spelling “Lego” wrong. But my sincere apology yielded a surprise turn of events: Among their other duties, marketers are the folks who have the pleasure of interacting with fans and followers across every social platform. And as the number of social networks grow, so do the number of places curious customers can type their questions, vexations, and suggestions.Seriously … they’ll come at you from all social media angles. The more your social media reach grows, the more those inquiries and comments flood in. And while some of the communications are nice and helpful, some are, well, decidedly not.Don’t get me wrong; marketers love their fans! And when we’re not monitoring our business’ accounts, we’re tweeting our complaints and recommendations to company handles, too — it’s all part of the social media circle of life. But when you’re on the receiving end of all those comments, some of them can get a little frustrating to deal with. So for all of you marketers in the same boat, let this list of social media manager frustrations serve as your free therapy session. And if you think of things that irk you as a social media manager that aren’t on this list, leave them in the comments — along with recommendations with how best to deal with them!Spammy Auto-follow MessagesYou know the auto-follow message — you follow someone on Twitter, and then get an automated message back from them with a “thank you” and a promotional link of some sort. When you’re monitoring a brand’s large social presence that requires you to check every message you receive, you can bet these spamtastic messages are disruptive and annoying. And if you’re scanning your DM inbox, it’s easy for real DMs that require a response to be buried by spam and auto-follow messages.So how can you alleviate this frustration? First, take a deep breath. Then, just ignore them. If you want to spend time unfollowing spammers to clear your inbox, go for it — depending on the size of your social following, you may be able to keep up with it on a daily basis. But the best thing to do is simply ignore the spam, keep your eyes open for real messages that require a response, and never let thise irksome spammers get in the way of your job.Users Who Commandeer the Comment SpaceYou know who I’m talking about. This person clearly has something to say, and for some reason thinks the only way you’ll notice is by posting to your wall, and commenting on every single update you post. Oh, and often it’s the same comment — or a slightly modified version — every time. It’s not that you don’t want comments (of course you do!); it’s that this type of behavior stifles the conversation for other commenters, and that’s the last thing any social media manager wants. Diversity of comments is what we’re striving for!So what’s the best way to handle this type of behavior? You certainly don’t want to discourage engagement, right? Right. So respond by drafting an official response to their question or comment, and placing it on one spot on your page — wherever seems most logical to you. Then respond to the user in a friendly but informal tone, something like, “Hey Overeager Oliver! I just wanted to let you know that I saw your comment on our wall, and I left a response there.” Except you’d call them by their real name, of course ;-)Now here’s the part that may surprise you — it’s a good idea to post an original response (not copy and pasted, lest you come off sassy) like that on every comment that fan posted. Why? Because if you only respond once, another user may see their comment on another part of your page and assume you just ignored them. And that wouldn’t look too good, eh?Commenters Who Didn’t Actually Read Your ContentWhether in a positive or negative tone, the number of comments I’ve seen on either a blog post or Facebook update without actually reading the content is hair-pulling. Whether it’s someone suggesting you include a particular example (that you did include), or someone pointing out your clear ignorance by disregarding a particular study (also included), it’s frustrating. Originally published Jun 4, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack See? Don’t let the occasional finger-pointer get you down — your fans love you, and sometimes they’re nice enough to let you and the rest of the world know!Users Who Want a Response NOWYou know what happens sometimes? Lunch. Know what else? A meeting. So it’s a little frustrating for marketers who come back to their desk after being gone 30 or 60 minutes, only to find a social massacre taking place on your latest Pinterest pin, Facebook status update, tweet, etc. These people are like ticking time bombs … the longer you don’t respond, the more angry they get, and more updates they post. Patience, please! While social media marketers would love to be able to respond to everyone in a split second, it’s usually just not feasible. So apologize for your delayed response (again, without any sass), and do not make up an excuse for it. Clearly, the theme of being apologetic is running through this post, huh?Uninformed Guest Blog Post SubmissionsI’ve seen this via email, Facebook, and even in blog comments. You want to guest blog for a blog? Wonderful! Do you have any idea what we typically blog about? No? Ugh. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten Facebook messages suggesting a guest blog post about health clinics for our inbound internet marketing blog. The message wasn’t even customized or catered to the HubSpot blog, and was clearly a blanket message sent out to multiple Facebook pages.Whether someone is just proposing topics, or they’ve already written an entire post, it’s frustrating to spend time reviewing and responding to requests that are totally unrelated to what your blog usually writes about. Guest bloggers should do a little research about what has already been posted to make sure they are suggesting content that is both original and relevant.When this does happen, take a moment to politely respond with why you can’t accept their topic ideas or submission. And hey, let them know that if they can create a post that is beneficial to your target audience, you’ll certainly consider publishing it!Do you manage any of your business’ social media accounts? Have you encountered any of these frustrations? Is there any pet peeve we missed? Share your experiences in the comments!Image Credit: Suffusion Social Topics:last_img read more

Twitter Launches Gender Targeting, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

first_img Topics: 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 28, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 SEO and Social Media Isn’t it scary how quickly the marketing world is moving these days?Search engines and social networks will roll out a new feature one week, then BOO! They’re terrifying us with a whole new update that requires us to adapt quickly and learn the new rules of the game.These updates might seem like nasty little tricks, constantly keeping you on edge, but we see them as treats just waiting to be uncovered! To help you see the treats inside the tricks, we’ve provided you with a weekly round-up of the top marketing stories of the week. Don’t be scared, just read these top articles and you’ll be prepared for the bone-chilling week ahead!Twitter Launches Gender Targeting For Advertisers, From Marketing LandYou might recall Twitter’s previous update for advertisers in the beginning of September, when they launched their targeting by interest and username for promoted tweets. Now these ad targeting abilities are diving even deeper, giving advertisers the option to target by gender. What’s interesting about this is, users don’t actually need to specify whether they’re a male or female when creating a Twitter profile. So how does Twitter know? Well according to Twitter, the platform is determining gender through public signals, including profile names and the accounts he or she follows. And where Twitter can’t accurately predict the gender of the Twitter account, they don’t, and those accounts are not included in the targeting option. Marketing Land also hinted that Twitter might be looking at certain types of phrases that are generally more common amongst men such as, “What a comeback!” or women including, “My tummy hurts.” Will you leverage this new targeting capability once it rolls out to all advertisers? If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the full story here.Facebook Brand Engagement Grows 896% [Study], From Search Engine WatchHey, remember when Facebook profiles were just a long wall of comments instead of a timeline organized by year? Do you believe that change was made just about a year ago? My, how time flies! In that one year span, Facebook engagement for brands has grown 896%, as reported by Search Engine Watch, and about 25% of that engagement came from mobile. Agile marketers have not only taken advantage of Facebook’s timeline over the past year, but they are also taking advantage of this impressive trend towards mobile Facebook usage. Additionally, Search Engine Watch reported that one in five paid search clicks came from a smartphone or tablet. This just goes to show that if you’re not thinking about mobile marketing yet, you might want to start! To see more intriguing mobile marketing stats, check out the full story here.How to Verify Your Website on Pinterest [New Feature]It’s always comforting to see that little blue ‘verified’ checkmark on specific Twitter profiles, don’t you think? Well, Pinterest is now trying out a similar concept. This ‘verified’ feature is intended to help pinners learn more about each other, highlighting your full website URL on your Pinterest profile. Before this change, Pinterest users would only see a little globe icon as the link to a user’s website, next to all other social media icons. Now, users will see the actual full link with a red ‘verified’ checkmark next to it. Perhaps these signals are a step toward more Pinterest features tailored to businesses. Just note that website verification is not available to all Pinterest accounts just yet, so you might need to wait a bit before seeing the changes on your own profile. To see where and how to verify your own profile, check out the full post here.Uncovering Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000 BusinessesIt’s difficult to know how to grow and scale your business if you don’t have many benchmarks to compare your efforts to. You might be asking yourself questions like, “If I increase my blogging frequency from once a month to twice a week, what impact will I see?” or “How much will growing my Facebook reach improve my website traffic?” Lucky for you, these questions can be answered in two different ways. One option would be to jump in and experiment with your company’s blogging frequency or Facebook reach firsthand, then measure the results. Of course, this will take some time if you want to get a decent sample size for more accurate results. Option two would be to learn from our latest study based on real results from HubSpot’s 7,000 customers. You will see exactly what sort of impact blogging frequency had on these customers, at what number of Facebook Page likes these customers saw a significant boost in traffic to their website. To get a better idea of what you need to do in order to see significant results in your marketing, take a look at the full report here.YouTube Launches InVideo Programming To Boost Video And Channel Promotion, From TechCrunchHave you ever watched a YouTube video and noticed an annotation pop up, explaining a certain part of the video? Well, YouTube just introduced a similar feature where you can include a thumbnail inside the video that you’re currently watching. These clickable thumbnails can be linked to specific videos or entire YouTube channels to help drive more traffic internally. Not only will this feature increase viewership of individual videos, but it will also help to grow a brand’s reach on YouTube and boost channel subscriptions. When you watch YouTube videos, do you tend to click on the “Related Videos” on the side once you’re finished with the one you’re watching? This new feature will essentially create a similar, constant cycle of video viewing. So as a brand, make sure you’re taking advantage of this feature and optimizing your YouTube channel to keep the attention on YOU and not on the “Related Videos” that lead a viewer outside your channel. To read more about this new YouTube feature, check out the full story here.The REAL Benefits of Guest Blogging, From SEOmozHas your company taken part in guest blogging yet? If so, are you doing it the right way and taking advantage of all the opportunities it provides? Guest blogging is often seen as solely a SEO opportunity for link building, but it’s also so much more than that! Hopefully you’re leveraging guest blogging to help build relationships and discover new business opportunities, too. Through guest blogging, you are able to capture a wider audience that you normally wouldn’t have, and develop thought leadership to help you become an expert in your industry. So when you’re contemplating guest blogging for your company, make sure to think outside the box and seek out more than just the link. If you’re interested to learn more about how guest blogging can benefit your business, take a look at the full story from SEOmoz here.What else have you learned from this week’s marketing stories? Share your learnings in the comments below!Image credit: wwarbylast_img read more

7 Public Speaking Tips From the World’s Best Speakers & Presenters [SlideShare]

first_img Topics: Originally published Mar 18, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 It’s 7:54 on a frigid January morning in San Francisco. You’re waiting outside the Moscone Center, in a queue of several thousand people, many of whom have been camping out in the cold for over 12 hours. The security detail for this event rivals the Democratic National Convention. Another hour passes before you’re comfortably seated in a giant auditorium that’s crackling with anticipation.Finally, at 9:43 a.m., the moment you’ve been waiting for arrives. The thin, soft-spoken man gracing the stage in his signature turtleneck and jeans, clears his throat, takes a sip from his water bottle, then pauses for a full 12 seconds before uttering these words:”This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years. Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” Click here for our free guide to improving your presentation skills.Such was the scene on January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in one of the most captivating product launches in history. Indeed the iPhone was a revolutionary product, but it wasn’t the iPhone that inspired thousands of people to camp out in the cold over night. It was Jobs’ unique presentation style — which Apple fans referred to as a “Stevenote” — that helped make this among the most awe-inspiring, memorable keynotes ever delivered.As Carmine Gallo puts it in his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Steve “transformed the typical, dull, technical, plodding slideshow into a theatrical event complete with heroes, villains, a supporting cast, and stunning backdrops. People who witness a Steve Jobs presentation for the first time describe it as an extraordinary experience.”At LeWeb Paris in December 2012, I had the opportunity to witness another kind of extraordinary experience. This wasn’t a product launch; it was a keynote delivered by charity: water Founder and CEO Scott Harrison. Scott shared the remarkable and very personal story of how a “spiritually bankrupt” New York City night club promoter found courage, purpose — and a new mission in life — on a trip to one of the poorest countries in West Africa. (Hear more about Scott’s story on this episode of The Grow Show.)Scott’s presentation moved people to tears and drew a standing ovation. And that’s not the sort of thing that typically happens at a tech conference.Last year at INBOUND, the world’s largest gathering of inbound marketers, before an audience of 2800, Gary Vaynerchuck did the unthinkable. No, it wasn’t “dropping the f-bomb 76 times” (he did, in fact, drop the f-bomb 76 times, but that’s not the “unthinkable” I’m referring to). Gary gave an impassioned, inspiring 45-minute keynote — at 9 o’clock in the morning — without a single PowerPoint slide. He had the audience laughing, cheering, and tweeting like mad. He, too, earned his standing ovation.Steve, Scott, and Gary are three of the world’s most captivating communicators. Their ability to influence, entertain, and inspire an audience is incredible. And yet, their presentation styles are totally different.What, if anything, do they have in common? What can we learn from them to improve our own presentation skills?In a word: plenty.Because even if you’re not the star of a highly anticipated product launch, or the CEO of an organization that is reinventing charity, or a best-selling author/entrepreneur who can say “F**K!” 76 times in 45 minutes and still get a standing ovation — chances are, you’re going to be standing in front of an audience delivering a presentation of some kind at some point in your career.So learn from the best. Take these 7 lessons from the world’s most captivating presenters, and apply them to your next presentation. You’ll also find them in the SlideShare below, sliced up into 10 lessons. What Would Steve Do? 10 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software7 Public Speaking Tips From the World’s Best Public Speakers & PresentersTIP #1: START WITH PAPER, NOT POWERPOINT.Think back to the last time you prepared for a presentation. Did you start by outlining the story you would tell on paper? Did you then gradually weave in meaningful data, examples, and supporting points, based on that outline? Did you have a clear unifying message that your audience would remember even without the benefit of a transcript or notes?Chances are, you answered “no” to those questions. If you’re like most people, you probably “prepared” by opening up PowerPoint the night before your presentation, cobbling together a few dozen slides from decks you or your colleagues have used in the past, peppering in a few stock photos, and counting on your ability to “wing it” in person. “The single most important thing you can do to dramatically improve your presentations is to have a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file.” —Cliff Atkinson, Beyond Bullet PointsThe world’s most captivating communicators know better. They carefully, painstakingly plan, storyboard, script, design, and rehearse their presentations like an Oscar-winning Hollywood director prepares their film for the big screen. They’ve seen the impact that a carefully crafted story can have on influencing an audience, and they know that skipping this crucial first step is what separates average communicators from extraordinary ones.According to Nancy Duarte, the communications expert behind Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, presenters should dedicate roughly 30 hours to researching, organizing, sketching, storyboarding, scripting, and revising the story for a one-hour presentation. (Later, they’ll invest another 30 hours to building their slides, and a final 30 hours to rehearsing the delivery.)TAKEAWAY:Don’t sell yourself short by jumping head-first into presentation software. Take the time to thoughtfully craft your story on paper before you even think about creating a single slide.TIP #2: TELL YOUR STORY IN 3 ACTS.Most presentations follow some variation on the following format:Who I am What I do (or what my company does)How my product/company/idea is differentWhy you should buy/invest/support me nowThe world’s most captivating communicators typically rely on a three-act structure, more common in modern storytelling than in corporate conference rooms. The narrative is divided into three parts — the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution — and comes complete with vivid characters, heroes, and villains.The following table provides a snapshot of the three-act structure and which critical questions are answered for the audience in each:Notice that this structure turns the typical presentation “flow” on its head.Instead of following a WHO > WHAT > HOW > WHY flow, master communicators like Steve Jobs prefer a WHY > HOW > WHAT format, because they recognize that the first thing they need to do when standing in front of an audience is get them to care. So they begin by answering the one question everyone in the audience is silently asking: “Why should I care?”  From there, they focus on answering the question, “How will this make my life better?” and finally, they spell out the “WHAT,” as in, “What action do I need to take now?”TAKEAWAY:By structuring your presentation with a clear and compelling beginning, middle, and end, you’ll take your audience on an exciting journey … the kind that inspires action, sells products, and funds businesses.TIP #3: A PICTURE IS WORTH 1000 WORDS.There’s a reason why expressions like, “Seeing is believing” and, “A picture is worth 1000 words” are so universally recognized — and that reason is based in science.It’s called the Picture Superiority Effect, and it refers to a large body of research, which shows that humans more easily learn and recall information that is presented as pictures than when the same information is presented in words.In one experiment, for instance, subjects who were presented with information orally could remember about 10% of the content 72 hours later. Those who were presented with information in picture format were able to recall 65% of the content.Not only do we remember visual input better, but we also process visual information 60,000x faster in the brain than we do text.Which of the following did you comprehend faster, for example?Sure, it takes more time to find and select awesome images to replace text, but master communicators know that it’s worth the extra effort to achieve maximum impact and maximum audience retention.TAKEAWAY: Images are wicked powerful. Use them liberally.TIP #4: EMOTIONS GET OUR ATTENTION.Virtually every presentation relies on some form of data to illustrate or emphasize the core point. Master communicators like Steve Jobs leverage data skillfully — but they also know that data alone ain’t enough.Think of it this way: If data were sufficient to truly change the way people think or behave, nobody would smoke. Organized religion would have no followers. And who in their right mind would have unprotected sex with a stranger?Clearly, humans are creatures guided by more than logic alone.Science again comes to our aid in explaining how and why this is important. In his book, Brain Rules, molecular biologist John Medina has this to say about the role of emotion on the human brain:“An emotionally charged event (usually called an ECS, short for emotionally competent stimulus) is the best-processed kind of external stimulus ever measured. Emotionally charged events persist much longer in our memories and are recalled with greater accuracy than neutral memories.” Chip and Dan Heath further elaborate on the impact that emotion can have on persuasive communication in their book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The authors describe an exercise that Chip does with his students at Stanford University. The students are tasked with giving a one-minute persuasive speech. Everyone must present on the same topic, with half the class arguing for one point of view and the other half arguing for the opposite point of view.After everyone has given their one-minute speech, the students are invited to rate each other on the effectiveness of the presentations, and then instructed to write down key points made by each speaker.Here’s the data they collected from this exercise:On average, the students used 2.5 statistics during their one-minute speeches1/10 of the students used a personal story to make their point63% of the class remembered details from the speeches that used storiesOnly 5% remember the statistics that were sharedThe Heaths drew this conclusion from the data:“The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion, or by stressing a single point rather than ten.”Perhaps nobody more succinctly emphasizes the importance of making your audience feel than Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maya Angelou:“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”TAKEAWAY: Make sure your presentation content goes beyond pure “facts.” Triggering audience emotion is a guaranteed way to increase retention and impact of your core message.TIP #5: USE PLAIN ENGLISH.When Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPod, he could have said something like this:  “Today we’re introducing a new, portable music player that weighs a mere 6.5 ounces, is about the size of a sardine can, and boasts voluminous capacity, long battery life, and lightning-fast transfer speeds.”But he didn’t. Instead, he said: “iPod. One thousand songs in your pocket.”Jobs could have described the MacBook Air as a “smaller, lighter MacBook Pro with a generously-sized 13.3-inch, 1280- by 800-pixel, glossy LED screen and a full-size keyboard.”Instead, he walked on stage with an office-sized manila envelope, pulled the notebook out and simply said, “What is MacBook Air? In a sentence, it’s the world’s thinnest notebook.”   Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jobs generally avoided complicated stats, technical data, buzzwords, and jargon in his presentations. Instead, he relied on simple, clear, direct language that was easy to understand, easy to remember, and better yet, was extremely “tweetable.” Jobs frequently used metaphors and analogies to bring meaning to numbers — for instance, when he described the iPod as “a thousand songs in your pocket” instead of “5GB of memory.”A closer look at some of Jobs’ most famous keynotes reads like a presentation in “headlines” — powerful, memorable, specific statements that consistently add up to fewer than 140 characters.Now take a look at one of your recent presentations. Is it buoyant with simple, specific, tweetable headlines? Does the script read like plain English that a 7-year-old could understand? Do you put data and stats in context so their meaning is clear and easy-to-digest? Have you ruthlessly pruned out all of the jargon, including overused, meaningless terms like “integrated,” “platform,” “leading-edge,” “synergy,” and so on?TAKEAWAY: If you want to improve your ability to persuade an audience, do your best Steve Jobs impression. Use simple language, free of jargon. Make sure your key messages are concrete and consistent. And don’t forget to use vivid metaphors or analogies to provide context and clarity around big numbers and complex ideas. TIP #6: DITCH THE BULLET POINTS.This may be hard to believe, but Steve Jobs never used a single bullet point. Not once. His presentations were always remarkable spare, relying on a few powerful images and carefully selected words or phrases.Even during product demos where Jobs explains or demonstrates key benefits of a new product, his slides are refreshingly devoid of bullet points. As Seth Godin explains in a 2007 ebook called Really Bad PowerPoint, “The minute you put bullet points on the screen, you are announcing ‘write this down, but don’t really pay attention to it now.’ People don’t take notes at the opera.”Seth’s right. Researchers have demonstrated time and time again that text and bullet points are the least effective way to deliver important information. Yet despite clear evidence that wordy, bullet-point-heavy slides don’t work, the average PowerPoint slide has 40 words. No wonder SlideRocket has found that 32% of people fall asleep during PowerPoint presentations, and 20% would rather go to the dentist than sit through another one!Fact: the human brain has this function called “short-term memory,” which is basically the ability to process and retain a small amount of information at the same time. Think of short-term memory as your brain’s Post-It note. Like a Post-It note, it doesn’t have huge capacity. On average, our short-term memory can hold onto fewer than 7 items for no longer than 10-15 seconds.So, imagine you’re introducing the world’s thinnest notebook. Replace the bulleted list of techie product features with a photograph of a large, manila office envelope.Or perhaps you’re trying to inspire an audience to help your nonprofit end the water crisis? Skip the bulleted list of statistics in favor of a short, powerful video that shows rather than tells why everyone in the room should care.The next time you’re tempted to cram a dozen facts onto a slide, remind yourself of the Leonardo Da Vinci philosophy that Steve Jobs frequently quoted:“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”Or take a page from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, and ditch the slides altogether!TAKEAWAY: Guns don’t kill people. Bullets do.TIP #7: REHEARSE LIKE CRAZY.As communications expert Nancy Duarte pointed out in Lesson #1, creating a presentation that informs, entertains, AND inspires an audience takes a lot of time. The first 30 hours will be spent researching, sketching, planning, and revising your story. The next 30 hours will go toward building simple, highly visual slides with very few words and NO BULLETS.The final 30 hours will go toward rehearsing the delivery.When was the last time you spent 30 hours rehearsing for a presentation?Of all of the lessons revealed above, this one is undoubtedly the most often overlooked. Don’t be the person who does everything by the book, only to blow it all at the very end by failing to practice. A lot.TAKEAWAY:30 hours of rehearsing may be painful. It’s definitely time-consuming. But there are no shortcuts to excellence.A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS.On September 28, 1997, Apple debuted its now famous “Think Different” ad campaign, which featured a series of black-and-white images of iconic figures like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Amelia Earhart. While their images flashed on the screen, the following words were spoken:“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”The goal of the “Think Different” campaign was to sell computers. Notice how the word “computer” didn’t appear even once in the script.I point this out as a final thought, because it summarizes a crucial, remarkable quality shared by most of the world’s most captivating communicators, including Steve Jobs, Scott Harrison, and Gary Vaynerchuk. They may have wildly different presentation styles, but they all have this in common:They don’t just provide “information;” they convey meaning — and they do it with passion.They don’t simply tell people “what is,” they paint a vivid picture of what could be — and then they arm their audience with a roadmap to get there.World-class presenters like Jobs, Harrison, and Vaynerchuk aren’t selling computers, clean water, or wine. They’re selling the dream of a better tomorrow.By applying the 7 lessons described above, perhaps you can, too.Image Credits: iphonsavior.com, Inc.com Presentations 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

How 7 Experts Solve Their Most Painful Email Marketing Problems

first_img  Gary DeAsi, Marketing Operations   Manager, SmartBear 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 Jun 12, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Pain: Improving Your Long-Term Email Marketing Strategy With A Single EmailSolution: A/B Test Every Email You SendThe “problem” with every email you send is that it depends on a variety of factors for success. Did you see dramatically impressive results because of the subject line or the call-to-action copy? Did the email totally flop because of the visual employed or the length of the actual message?Unfortunately, you won’t be able to solve these questions immediately. And you can’t magically create a plan for long-term email success in one day. This makes it difficult to pull out a trick from your back pocket when you’re in the need for a quick email win. That’s where A/B testing comes in. A/B testing can benefit the overall growth of your email marketing channel by providing you with bits of insight every day. Every email you send without an A/B test is a lost opportunity for growth. It’s also a lost opportunity to remedy future email campaigns.Try creating a backlog of A/B testing ideas that you and your colleagues can continuously add to. You can then pull from this list every time you send an email to ensure you’re benefiting your long-term email strategy with some insight from your email audience. For example, in 2011, we conducted a test to see if including a personal name in an email’s “from” field would increase email clickthrough rate. In the test, we saw that the control (From “HubSpot”) had a 0.73% CTR while our treatment (from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot”) had a 0.96% CTR — the personalized “From” field was a clear winner with 99.9% confidence.That one test has now served us through our email marketing strategy as a whole.”A/B testing is a critical part of improving email results over time, and each email you send is an opportunity to test some element of your campaign. I keep a backlog of these elements to test so I have something in mind every time I’m ready to sit down and create an email.”   Ellie Mirman, Head of Marketing,    Mid-Sized Business, HubSpot   Laurie Cutts, Director of Marketing,   Nanigans Pain: Overseeing a Tiny Mistake in a Huge PromotionSolution: Create an Approval Process or ChecklistOh the joy of clicking “send” on an email. You’ve dedicated time to the message, the layout, the call-to-action, and every detail in between. An hour later, you get your first response. YES!, you exclaim in joy, only to learn that your email didn’t include social share buttons for people to spread the content.Whether it’s forgetting to include social share buttons, specify a suppression list, or a good ol’ typo, tiny mistakes like this can give you a big, unnecessary headache. You can resolve this by either having an approval process in place for your emails, or by simply creating your own email checklist. The checklist option is more tactical, including elements such as sending to the right list, selecting the correct suppression lists, ensuring all hyperlinks work, and proofreading all content in the email.”In many companies, there is an approval process before sending an email. Certain people need to write copy, others design the email, and others need to review and approve before it goes out the door. Because of this, email can get stuck in circles, or, a marketer is rushing at the last minute to send something out. To ensure that the email creation process goes smoothly, set up a brief process document that everyone has visibility to. Also, let other knows that in order to send out email, requests and deliverables need to be given X amount of days in advance.” Email Marketing Jenn Schlick, Product Designer,   POP-Market Planning email marketing campaigns can be, well, a pain. As much as you may love your job, it can still become tedious and difficult to plan email campaign after email campaign. And what happens when you have more emails on your plate than you can manage?I’d guess that a crafty little outbound devil comes and whispers into your ear a slew of easy tactics to get your message out …”Just buy a new email list and send them the same message you sent last week!””Design doesn’t matter — just throw in some words and ship it!””Segmentation takes up too much of your time … just send the same email to everyone!”Click here to download our free beginner’s guide to email marketing.While these aren’t exactly the best tactics … I understand (even as an inbound marketer) how tempting it can be to take the easy way out.So I turned to some of the best email marketing experts I know to get insight into the tips and tricks they’re using to make email marketing awesome and as pain-free as possible. Below you’ll learn about the various problems or pain points they’ve admitted to encountering, proposed solutions for each, and personal insight into why those solutions are valuable for them.Pain: Generating the Necessary Clickthrough and Open Rates to Meet Conversion GoalsSolution: Segment Your Marketing Messages There’s a variety of data around specific trigger words and character counts that help your email open and/or clickthrough rates. According to Experian, including the word exclusive in email promotional campaigns boosts unique open rates by 14%. But if you’re looking for a consistent method for generating the necessary open or clickthrough rates, you can’t simply manipulate your email copy to include a specific word each time. It’s repetitive, uninviting, and frankly not always true for the actual message or offer at hand.Segmenting your emails is a friendly, lovable way to attract the clickthrough and open rates you’re longing for. In fact, data from HubSpot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella shows that marketers who segmented their email database into 2-6 lists saw an 8.3% email clickthrough rate, as opposed to the 7.3% clickthrough rate seen by marketers who used a single list for all their email marketing.”For any evangelical inbound marketer, the benefits of any marketing email should be twofold. The recipient should receive something of value and directly in line with their needs and interests, and I, as the marketer, am looking for a certain percentage of clicks and opens in order to meet traffic and lead conversion goals. By utilizing list segmentation, I can send more targeted emails only to the contacts who have displayed previous interest in a certain topic or offer, therefore greatly increasing the likelihood of an email open or click. Most importantly, I’ve introduced context into the equation, greatly increasing the likelihood of a relationship.”   John Bonini, Director of Marketing,   IMPACT Branding & Designcenter_img Pain: Mobile Friendliness Solution: Keep Your Emails Clean With a One-Column LayoutA Gartner study revealed that 74% of smartphone owners use their devices to check their email. Clearly, your emails need to be mobile-ready for the mass population of smartphone users.When it comes to mobile optimization, the immediate thought is to either invest in a mobile application or use software that automatically configures your content for email. While both are beneficial solutions, and the latter is oftentimes critical, having even just a clean email message can help drastically.Mobile users expect information to be delivered in a way that is clear, concise, and to the point. The best way to accomplish this is by sticking to a one-column template, since this format will more easily adapt to multiple screen sizes. Oftentimes marketers use multi-column templates and fancy formatting to capture reader interest. But all this usually does is distract the reader and create an uninviting mobile experience.”Consumers now interact with their email on multiple devices, so it is critical for marketers to deliver a consistent experience across all channels. This will improve the customer experience as well as conversion rates.”   Jessica Meher-Quirk, Head of    Enterprise Marketing, HubSpot   Sarah Goliger, Inbound Marketing    Manager, HubSpot Everything You Need to Send the Perfect EmailIn addition to curating the insights above, I spoke with a handful of email marketing experts at HubSpot to dive deeper into how I, as a content strategist, could create something that would benefit their email marketing lives. I invited these experts to a brainstorm meeting during which I posed questions about what would make their email marketing lives easier. This brainstorm unveiled endless opportunities to support email marketers of the world, ultimately leading to the creation of Marketing Box.Marketing Box is a free, virtual package of all the templates, tunes, and training you need for email awesomeness. You can learn more about it, and the science behind it, in the SlideShare below and download it to use as your own resource here. Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Sending The Perfect EmailWhat other email pain points have you come across? How do you alleviate them? Share in the comments! Pain: Lack of Time to Create Emails From ScratchSolution: Clone Old Emails & Update With Fresh Copy, Subject Lines, Etc.Time seems to be the pain point for, I don’t know, everything? But when it comes to email specifically, according to BTOB Magazine, 49% of B2B marketers spend more time and resources on email than on other channels.One of the easiest ways to save some email creation time is to clone existing emails. I know — you’re probably thinking this is a pretty cheap tactic. We’re not saying you should simply resend the same messages, but rather use the same solid foundation you’ve already built to create future email messages. For example, image placement in many email service providers is incredibly more efficient when you simply drop a new image in place of where an old one was, versus dropping and resizing and/or reformatting a new image.”As marketers, we just don’t have the time to always be starting from scratch. If I need to put together an email quickly, I’ll find one that I’ve already sent that uses the template I want, and update the copy, images, and links. This way I don’t have to deal with tedious formatting, and it’s ready to go much sooner.” Topics: Pain: Running Simultaneous Email CampaignsSolution: Create Static Lists to Keep Track of Every Campaign  Gary DeAsi from SmartBear Software says that email can quickly become a juggling act when you have to keep track of which leads receive which emails, which leads have been touched recently, and which leads have not been touched in a while. Many times leads will belong to multiple segments, so they may qualify for several email campaigns in a given time frame. When you’re running many simultaneous email campaigns and using filters to suppress leads who have already been sent certain emails within certain time frames, this can cause your marketing automation system to take much longer to calculate your inclusion lists and get your emails out, and it’s a real pain to keep track of manually.  This problem can be solved by creating smart and static lists. You can do this in a number of different ways, but two common ways is by asset and by time frame.For example, if you were sending out an ebook to a segment in the first week of a given quarter, you might create two lists. One that “was sent ebook A” and one that “was sent email in week 1.” Now you have to ensure that any leads that get sent that ebook are added to static list number one, and any leads that are sent an email that week are added to static list number. Then when you go to send that ebook out again in a future email campaign, simply add a filter that suppresses any leads that are a member of list number one, and when you send out more emails that week, add a filter that suppresses any leads that are a member of list number two.”Creating static and smart lists will allow you to ensure leads are not sent the same piece of content multiple times, and are not touched multiple times within a given time frame. If you try to accomplish this using filter logic, it will take the system much longer to calculate, whereas with static lists it is a simple true/false statement. This trick will help you be really granular, timely, and precise when managing multiple email campaigns simultaneously, and you will also notice it comes in hand down the line for reporting.” Pain: Designing Emails When You’re Not a DesignerSolution: Use Pre-Built TemplatesAs we’ve already discussed, time is a much-needed resource when it comes to email marketing. And while you may be trained in how to use your diction to properly position and promote your message, you may have never received the opportunity to learn the design component.That’s where pre-built/pre-designed templates can be extremely valuable. By having a set of email templates at your disposal, it allows you to “drop in” your core content and prepare a professionally built email much faster than if you were to outsource design or let design live in a silo outside your immediate team. Consider hiring a designer to build a series of templates that work with your email software, and have those ready in your back pocket for future email sends.”Designing email campaigns can be a source of both pleasure and pain for marketers. The pleasure comes from laying out your message in an appealing format for your readers to enjoy. But time and resources can be a pain. In the end, your team should have a design-driven framework to tell a story. The bones of a campaign come from a template, but the meat still comes from the marketer.” last_img read more

How to Write Emails People Want to Respond To [SlideShare]

first_img Originally published Dec 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM, 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 Email Templates This post originally appeared on Inbound Sales, a new section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to the Sales section.Hi. My name is Michael Pici, and I thought I’d share some content around writing emails in order to … okay, I’ll stop right there. Does that opening honestly make you want to read this blog post any further? Probably not. That’s why it bewilders me that sales reps and marketers actually use this structure to contact their prospects.The purpose of a prospect email isn’t simply to send it — it’s to get a response too. That’s why I’d like to share my five-part sales email template for writing emails people actually want to respond to.I first presented this content through an Intelligent.ly class on writing awesome emails. The room was full of marketers, salespeople, small business owners, and others who simply want to see success through their email efforts. And since they shared how they found it valuable, we adapted the presentation into a SlideShare for others to check out as well, which you can check out below.center_img Topics: How to Write Emails People WANT to Respond to [Sales Template] from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareOne of my favorite parts of presenting this to the Intelligent.ly class was hearing examples of how people are writing their emails using these best practices. Whether you attended or not, I’d love to hear example use cases below.Michael Pici is an inbound marketing and sales specialist at HubSpot. He was previously an account executive for Bouvier Insurance and Liberty Mutual. He also co-founded sellinbound.com where he shares modern sales best practices. To hear more from Michael, subscribe to our sales content here.last_img read more

The Nonprofit Marketer’s Guide to the Millennial Persona

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If your organization is engaging Millennials through content that’s based on their likes and dislikes, age, gender, jobs, brands they follow, stores they shop at, and ways they learn about and give to an organization, both online and offline, then you can stop reading and go get a cup of coffee.If you haven’t come up with a donor persona for Millennials and aren’t practicing inbound marketing to engage these tech-savvy Generation Y members, though, then keep reading. The reason? Because these young adults have shown a strong willingness in recent years to back causes they believe in — meaning they’re a prime demographic that could help your organization achieve its goals.To give you a clear idea of what your donor persona for this generation of volunteers and supporters should look like, let’s look at an example persona detailing the background, likes, interests, and past nonprofit work of a Millennial I know pretty well: me.An Example of a Millennial PersonaBelow, you’ll find a comprehensive profile based on myself to give you an idea of who your organization can and should be targeting.Now, this is by no means an absolute definition of the ideal Millennial your organization should be marketing to. What this example can do, though, is give you a glimpse into what a Millennial profile looks like, which can then inform how you develop your marketing strategy to reach these younger folks.Based on answers I’ve provided to questions featured in a previous post on how to create a persona using in-person interviews, here is my persona profile:Persona Name: “Techy Taylor”BackgroundGraduate of Northeastern University; studied communications and businessFour-time online fundraiserCurrent nonprofit marketer at technology company in MassachusettsDemographicsFemaleAge: 25Income between: $40,000- $75,000Location: UrbanIdentifiersEnthusiastic personalityTech-savvy (personally and professionally)On Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and InstagramGets news from New York Times and Huffington PostActive lifestyle (cyclist and rock climber)Shops online (preferred stores: Anthropologie, Zara, Gap, Amazon)Preferred Means to Interact With OrganizationsLikes to give online and/or fundraise; rarely gives via check or cashFollows several organizations on social media (mostly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram)Will look for organizational information on a charity’s website or through word-of-mouth from a friendWill participate/fundraise in endurance events (i.e. cycling, 5Ks)Previously Supported Organizationscharity: waterCrohn’s and Colitis FoundationKrempels CenterAmerican Lung AssociationFrom this profile, your organization can understand how I like to give or fundraise, where I find my information, what other organizations I’ve supported in the past, and what type of lifestyle I live. Most of this information you can easily find online, but you can also capture this data from current constituents between the ages of 18-32 in focus groups, phone interviews, or even through a simple online survey.How to Connect With MillennialsNow that you know what a rough example of a Millennial persona looks like, you must understand where they are looking for information, how they use social media (including which channels), and — most importantly — what connects them to a cause and why they care so much to take action and support it in order to create a comprehensive persona.Millennials, like myself, are looking for a few important things when supporting or engaging with an organization:They want to get their hands dirty.Hannah Ackerman, a Millennial HubSpotter and Co-Founder of the Stahili Foundation in Kenya, says, “I’ve found that Millennials are more willing than any other generation to be first in line to volunteer their time.” If volunteering is available through your organization, let these young philanthropists go out in the field and see where the impact is actually happening, whether domestic or abroad.They want to gain professional experience.Internships are a dime a dozen, but contributing to the success of an organization by using their current skills — from accounting, to marketing, to writing — can provide Millennials not only a great personal experience, but also an insightful professional one. Plus, this generation knows that philanthropic efforts on their resumes can help them secure jobs down the line, so remember that they’re just as career-oriented as older generations when putting your persona together.They want to be able to share information socially.Data has shown that 50% of Millennials share information about charities they support with their Facebook friends, according to a recent Blackbaud study. Your next prospective advocate/donor is very likely the social friend of a current constituent. So, make it easy for them to share images, videos, and results of the organization’s work via your website or social accounts.They want to be recognized for hard work.Anum Hussain, another Millennial HubSpotter and Director of Marketing at MIST, sums up how her organization tailored its marketing for members of Generation Y.”Millennials want to be recognized, and our marketing efforts [as an organization] need to capitalize on this to help drive activity. So, when formulating our Facebook strategy, we put a strong focus on photographing all our events so students can see high-quality photos of themselves participating and be able to show off the action shots of them on their on walls. Also, when launching promotional videos, we try to incorporate B-roll from our events so students can feel a sense of fame. And when revamping our website (still in progress), we put an emphasis on having a ‘Hall of Fame’ for student recognition.”However you decide to capture this information about your Millennial donor base, just know doing so will help you create an effective marketing strategy that can engage Millennials and turn them into donors, fundraisers, event registrants, members volunteers and organizational advocates.How does your organization engage Millennials? Originally published Feb 4, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Nonprofit Marketing Topics:last_img read more

How to Hire a Content Strategist

first_imgThe demand for content strategists is outstripping supply, and with good reason: They produce the fuel that drives the inbound engine. Because it’s a relatively new role, however, universities aren’t yet churning out journalist-grade writers who double as experts on the machinery of search, demand creation, and social media. Instead, content strategists tend to emerge from various corners of the current marketing and media workforces.CMOs can feel like they’re playing a high-stakes game of Whack-a-Mole when recruiting for a content strategist position. There’s simply no telling where they’re hiding. Yet for companies running the inbound marketing playbook, it’s such a foundational hire that the CMO may feel like she has little choice but to stand by the game console, waiting to bag the first critter to pop up his head.Fortunately, I’ve hired for the role and helped others land quality content talent. Let’s put down the foam mallet and explore some reliable ways to land not just any content strategist, but the right one.1) Focus on Skills, Not TitleThere just aren’t that many legitimate content strategists out there, so don’t get too tangled up in looking for people with the ideal title. You are far better off searching for candidates with foundational skills like blogging, SEO, marketing automation, design, video production, even coding.Writing is a prerequisite. After that, I look for one additional core skill. If you are hiring only a single content strategist, I’d suggest the secondary skill be design. Analytics and SEO can be taught more easily than can writing or design.2) Follow the LeadersThanks to “ego trap” marketing, the internet is chock-full of lists cataloging prominent content professionals. Even if you aren’t in a position to hire one of the top names, creep their profiles to discover who they follow on Twitter. You are sure to find a long list of practitioners who, at the very least, have earned the hard-won attention of influencers in the space. (Hey, it’s a start.)3) Fish Off of the Longest PiersThere are a number of prominent blogs that are dedicated to inbound and content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger, MarketingProfs, B2B Marketing Insider, and this blog, all come to mind as hotbeds for quality guest contributors. You may also want to scour dominant blogs in your own vertical market. Generally speaking, the better the blog, the higher the bar for guest writers to clear — a standard that’s likely to become even more stringent given recent Google comments.Simply put, if any of these blogs has published a post by an outside content strategist, odds are, the writer is a good one. The blog hasn’t only surfaced a candidate for you to contact, but it’s also helped with your due diligence. It’s a two-point victory.4) Trust the CrowdThere are a handful of sites, many premium, that search the social graph on a given topic to identify the people most influential on a given subject. For example, Little Bird, a company I advise, can quickly generate a list of hundreds of “insiders” on the subject of “content strategy.” Names are ranked by how many other insiders are connected to them. It also allows you to identify “emerging” influencers, or rising stars in a given industry. This particular list may be useful for smaller companies or those with tighter budgets. In any event, the crowd can be a reliable way to surface and vet candidates.5) Look for ClustersLinkedIn is, obviously, the go-to starting point for sourcing candidates, but avoid focusing only on scanning profiles. Instead, join content marketing groups and monitor activity level. Perhaps more relevant still is Inbound.org, an active community of inbound marketers — many of whom embody the ideal art-meets-science profile that makes for a successful content strategist. Inbound.org also includes a job listings board.6) Follow the Speaking CircuitYou don’t have to attend every marketing conference to know who is presenting. Simply check out the agendas for marketing-related events, like Content Marketing World, Authority and INBOUND, to see who has been invited to speak. Alternatively, you can run the same process for industry events in your particular market. Identify relevant topics on the agenda and … shazam! An instant list of highly trusted voices in the space. Most speakers also upload their presentations to SlideShare, which will give you visibility into their creative skills as well as their storytelling ability.7) Check Your Reading ListRemember that many of the best content strategists didn’t start out as marketers at all. They came from the ranks of journalism. So ask yourself: Who do I read regularly? What are my favorite blogs or news sites? Jot down a short list and reach out to the reporters. Sure you may have to teach them fundamental marketing skills, but the most important ability — the capacity build an audience with words — is likely there in spades.Several pillars — freemium pricing, engaging tools and apps, a rich web experience, relevant and welcome email, and, perhaps most importantly, smart content — form the foundation of an effective inbound marketing program. But for many CMOs, the content strategists have proven to be an elusive hire. Mix these seven tips with a little online sleuthing, and you might just find the perfect fit for your organization. Just make sure they aren’t currently on my team, okay? Content Marketing Strategy Topics: Originally published May 27, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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5 Tips to Punch Up Your Product Descriptions

first_img Product Marketing Topics: Pictures of products are great for showing customers what they’re considering giving you hard-earned money for. Still, a picture can’t tell the whole story. Sometimes only words can do that. If you’re skating by with minimal product descriptions, you may be earning minimal profits. Here are a few hints to help you boost your bottom line.Download Now: Free Product Marketing KitConsider Your BuyersWhat do your buyers find most important? Will they be more likely to buy if you focus on the status they’ll acquire when they purchase your products, or are they more pragmatic? Is a fun and quippy product description going to catch their eyes, or do they prefer just the facts? If you write with your buyer personas in mind, you’re more likely to reel them in.Write Something… AnythingSure, the manufacturer provides a succinct product description, complete with product numbers, sizes, colors, and other pertinent details. A lot of ecommerce companies only post that, to their detriment. Keep in mind that other online stores may work with the same manufacturers, which means they might post the exact same descriptions. You should augment the description, instead of simply posting what’s provided. Tell a StoryWhether that story is a few simple words or a couple of paragraphs, your buyers want to read it. They want to picture themselves with that product, enjoy the benefits and the stares of envy. And you? You want to make sure every word you write supports your brand and continues to share your vision. A story is the only way to connect with your buyers.Get DetailedKeep in mind that people may search for specific items by various terms, including product numbers, colors, sizes, and even materials used in production. You should share any and all information within your product descriptions, and consider sharing that information again in another tab. The story is important, but so are the minute details.Avoid FluffIt’s not easy to tell a story without putting in all sorts of frilly language, but you must resist. If you include information that can’t be substantiated, such as “exceptional quality,” your buyers will not be persuaded. Instead, focus on things that you can back up with facts. Describe the features and then explain the benefits. Let the customer decide if the product is of exceptional quality. If he or she deems it so, your other buyers will find out through reviews from past customers. Those words hold so much more weight than yours do.Product descriptions are one more chance for you to soothe your buyers’ pain points—to let them know exactly why they need the items you’re selling. If you miss this chance to convince them to buy, you may never get another. That’s why it’s so important to give everything you have to creating copy that focuses on converting those visitors into paying customers.Which ecommerce companies really kill it with product descriptions? We’d love to know who your favorites are. Originally published Oct 8, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated June 19 2019 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 Pros & Cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Other Social Networks [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Apr 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated June 30 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 Nowadays, social media is one of the main channels used by companies to reach their target audiences. But with so many different social networks available, how do you choose which will work best for you?It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.For example, recent research has shown that teens and millennials are moving away from Facebook and into other social networks like Instagram and Snapchat. So if you’re primarily targeting teens, you may want to focus your resources on building a stronger presence on those networks.Click here to learn about using social media in every stage of the funnel.To learn more about each social network’s strengths and weaknesses, check out the infographic below from Visage. It’ll cover the key stats, pros, and cons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Acknowledging these can help you create and publish the most engaging content possible on the networks that work for you.184Save184Save Topics: Facebook Marketinglast_img read more

A Brief Timeline of the History of Blogging

first_imgjust setting up my twttr— 🚶🏽jack (@jack) March 21, 2006 “NO PETS ALLOWED. We smuggled him in. It was awesome. Felt all undercover.” Source: Adam KontrasAs the sun set on the nineties, blogging began to have quite an impact on many lives. People were starting to figure out how to monetize their blogs — which we’ll get into in a bit — and the stage was set for businesses and individuals alike to take bloggers seriously.2002: A big year for bloggingThe early 2000s saw a few significant events within the blogging realm. Technorati, one of the first blog search engines (but is today a company of “advertising technology specialists”), launched in February 2002.That month, blogger Heather B. Armstrong was fired for writing about her colleagues on her personal blog, Dooce.com. While it’s not clear if she was the first blogger to be terminated because of her personal website’s content, it sparked a conversation about the privacy and freedom of expression for bloggers.The subject arose again in 2004, when Congressional aide and controversial blogger Jessica Cutler would experience the same fate as Armstrong. Cutler, however, blogged anonymously until her identity was revealed by the website Wonkette.The year 2002 also saw the dawn of “Mommy Bloggers,” which largely consisted of mothers blogging about parenting, aiming to create a sense of support and learning for their readers. Melinda Roberts founded TheMommyBlog.com — “one of the original mom blogs,” she writes — that April, creating a category that would continue to take storm for over a decade.The following month, Newsweek predicted that blogs will replace traditional media and, rather in December of that year, it partially came to fruition, when Talking Points Memo broke the written transcript of Trent Lott’s infamous call into “Larry King Live” — when Lott illustriously sang the praises of Strom Thurmond. Blog entries like these would serve as a precursor to live blogging, which took shape the following year.In August, Blog Ads was launched by Pressflex LLC. Less than a year later, Google would debut AdSense, which paired blogs with relevant advertisements (at the discretion of the blogger). Being able to advertise on blogs was a major milestone for bloggers, as it created the opportunity to monetize their work. It set the stage for blogs to be sponsored by major brands that fit their respective credos, or receive free products in exchange for endorsements or reviews. Blogging was turning into a business — and soon, a small population of bloggers would be using what used to be a hobby as their primary source of income.The tumultuous Gawker — which New York Magazine cited as the initiation of gossip blogs — also launched in December 2002, only to cease operations in August 2016 after a high-profile legal battle.2003: The momentum continuesTypePad and WordPress launched in 2003, continuing the trend of providing platform options to a growing number of bloggers. That’s the same year that live blogging is estimated to have started — the Guardian was one of the first outlets on record to make use of live blogging during the 2003 prime minister’s question time. The BBC refers to this blogging activity as “live text,” and has frequently used it for sporting events.WordPress, c. 2005. Source: Wayback MachineTypePad, c. 2003. Source: Wayback MachineFebruary 2003 also marked Google’s acquisition of Pyra Labs — the makers of Blogger. That was a sign of the growing business of blogging, particularly in the wake of the monetization programs that launched the previous year.The early 2000s showed the first signs of a rise in political blogs. In 2003, for example, several traditional media outlets were encouraging staff writers and columnists to double as “cyberjournalists,” as Matt Welch called them in a piece for the Columbia Journalism Review. It reflected a growing number of political bloggers, with many seasoned reporters looking to blogging for opinion and beat outlets.That climate primed the blogosphere for what would follow in the latter half of the decade, when the perspectives and analyses of political bloggers began to be preferred sources of information on current events. The line between traditional media and the blogosphere would start to bend, as bloggers were fated to become members of the press.2004 – 2005: Video and the pressDespite the earliest video blogs being recorded in 2000, it wasn’t until the middle part of the decade that visual content really had the opportunity to take root. In February 2004, videographer Steve Garfield — who went on to be one of the Web’s first video bloggers declared it to be the “year of the video blog.”As fate would have it, YouTube launched only a year later in February 2005, shortly thereafter inviting the public to upload their own videos. But it wasn’t always what people associate it with now — it actually began as a short-lived dating site, where singles could use videos to introduce themselves and state their romantic criteria.YouTube, c. 2005. Source: Wayback MachineBut once YouTube turned its focus to general video uploads (which seemed to take effect by June 2005), it was part of a series of developments that showed the growing credibility of the online user. With ample resources already built for writers, developers were starting to address other content creators.And it wasn’t just developers who were lending credibility these online users. In March 2005, blogger Garrett Graff was the first to be granted White House press credentials.That might have been when the line between news reporting and blogging began to diminish, which some attribute to the launch of the Huffington Post that May. It began as what one case study a “political forum” — and the Washington Post called it a “group blog” in a 2007 profile — but is today one of the highest-profile content aggregators.Huffington Post is largely a mix of syndicated material and original content from staffers, columnists, and unpaid bloggers. Visit the website, though, and you’ll land on a page of global headlines, lending the visual impression that it’s a news outlet.It comes as no surprise that one of Huffington Post’s co-founders, Jonah Peretti, went on to co-found BuzzFeed. Though BuzzFeed wouldn’t refer to itself as a content aggregator — it instead identifies as “a cross-platform, global network for news and entertainment” — it contains a similar vast range of content and, despite having an editorial staff, anyone can post to the site.These newer platforms raised the question: “Is it a newspaper, or is it a blog?” And as the 21st century progressed, the answer to that question wouldn’t become any clearer.2006-2007: The rise of microblogging and rulesThe start of life in 140 characters (or less) began in March 2006, when Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey sent out the world’s first tweet. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Bloggingcenter_img Greetings, readers. Welcome to the HubSpot Marketing Blog.We’re very happy to have you here. You might not realize it, but getting here was no easy task. Today, in 2016, I blog for a living, which is pretty great. But were it not for the long, twisty journey that got blogging to its current state, I might not be here. You might not be reading this.We’ve found that there’s quite a history behind blogs. According to the documentation we uncovered — and will share with you below — they’ve been around since 1994. They looked a lot different back then, and had many different names and meanings.Download HubSpot’s new State of Inbound report here. Merriam Webster currently defines a blog as “a web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.” Remember that — it’s going to come in handy later. But first, let’s talk about how we got here.The Blogging VernacularThe early vocabulary and semantics around blogging are more than a little muddy. As the practice developed, some of the more popular monikers were “weblog,” “personal web page,” and “online diary.” We’ll dive into each of these a bit as we explore the more primitive days of blogging.Now, we simply say “blog” — that’s a pretty popular term in our vocabulary. But what it means continues to change. Bloggers have dozens of platforms and formats available (fun fact: HubSpot has a blogging platform, too), and there’s no longer a standard for what a blog is supposed to look like.And their former look and feel was dictated by the language people used to use to describe the act of blogging. As you’ll see below, the word is primarily rooted in the idea of a log on the web. At one time, in fact, blogging was somewhat restrictive and limited to web-only subject matter.Luckily, we’ve evolved and expanded how and why we blog since then. One day, someone figured out that we don’t have to stick to strictly technical topics when we put things on the Internet. (And thank goodness — remember that thing I said about blogging for a living?)So, let’s see if we can better understand how that all took place. Grab some popcorn — you’re in for a 22-year-long tale.The History of Blogging1994-1997: The early stagesThere’s a bit of debate around the first stages of blogging, much like the rest of its history — in the first half of the nineties, for example, there wasn’t a ton of online record-keeping, and most primitive blogs are either now archived or nowhere to be found.Many of these original bloggers — despite not having yet earned that title — were the same people who first understood the value of the World Wide Web in the 1980s. One of them was then-Swarthmore-College undergrad, Justin Hall, who created a site called links.net in January 1994. It was essentially a review of HTML examples he came across from various online links, but it was enough for the New York Times Magazine to dub him the “founding father of personal bloggers”.In that article, Hall brought up the semantics of blogging, and how he was assigned many titles during his primary days online (some of which are hilariously documented here).“When I first started [blogging], they called it a personal home page,” he said, “then they said I’m one of the first Web diarists, and now I’m one of the first Web bloggers.”That same year, Claudio Pinhanez (who today is a Social Data Analytics Senior Manager at IBM) began to log short entries into what he called an “Open Diary.”But it wasn’t until December 1997 that the term “weblog” came to be. It was first used by Jorn Barger, creator of the website Robot Wisdom. He pioneered the term to describe a “log” of his internet activity, much like Hall did in 1994, which largely amounted to a list of the links he visited.That may have set the tone for the new era of blogging that would follow less than a year later, when blogging-specific platforms began to debut.1998-2001: More resources for bloggersThe later part of the nineties saw an uprising in resources created just for bloggers. One of them, Open Diary, launched in October 1998 and became one of the most pivotal blogging platforms — its name, was a nod to its open, community approach to blogging, as Open Diary was the first of its kind to have a membership model that allowed members of the community to comment on the work of others.Open Diary, c. 1999. Source: Wayback Machine In 1999 — though no one is quite sure exactly when — then-programmer Peter Merholz (who later went on to head up design at Groupon, OpenTable, and Jawbone, among others) shortened the term “weblog” to “blog.”It was part of a period that displayed an influx of blogging opportunities, with each platform attempting to boast its own unique set of features for a particular audience. In 1999 alone, Blogger, (which would go on to be acquired by Google), LiveJournal, and Xanga all launched.Blogger, c. 1999. Source: Wayback Machine LiveJournal, c. 1999. Source: Wayback MachineXanga, c. 2000. Source: Wayback MachineXanga (for whom Twitter co-founder Biz Stone once served as creative director) actually began as a social networking site — sometimes compared to MySpace — and didn’t add blogging features until 2000.This period of time also saw some of the first rumored video blogs. In January 2000, a man named Adam Kontras accompanied a written blog post with a video that updated friends and family on what he was doing. That November, professor Adrian Miles posted what some speculate to be one of the first video blogs, as well, calling it a “vog.” Originally published Sep 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 It was the introduction of microblogging — sharing stories, news, and other types of content in the smallest format possible. (And these 140 characters will soon look different — check out Twitter’s looming changes.)Microblogging continued to gain momentum in February 2007 with the launch of Tumblr — yet another blogging platform that encouraged users to be brief. It was built, wrote former CNET reporter Josh Lowensohn, for those “who feel they may not have enough content or time to write a full blog, yet still want to write and share links and media.”But with the introduction of short-form, real-time information sharing also came increasingly visceral communication. There would be countless mean tweets, as well as harmful comments left on blogs. It got to a point where, in March 2007, new media mogul Tim O’Reilly proposed a Blogger’s Code of Conduct in response to threatening comments that a friend had received on her blog. The rules were as follows:Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.Consider eliminating anonymous comments.Ignore the trolls.Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.It showed that the blogosphere had come a long way since the 1998 introduction of Open Diary. Being able to comment on blogs was becoming less of a novelty, and more a point of contention. Several years later — in 2013 — the Huffington Post finally took a cue from rule #3 on the code of conduct, banning anonymous comments on its content and requiring commenters to link their feedback to a Facebook profile.2008-2011: Blogging Dark AgesDuring this period of four years, there weren’t many major events that propelled how or why people blogged.There were a few developments of note, however. In January 2009, the White House blog debuted.Later that year, the film Julie & Julia premiered, which followed the success of one food blogger whose online work eventually became a book. It was one of the first pop cultural references to the professional success of bloggers, and stood to inspire others — by 2010, 11% of bloggers reported earning their primary income from blogging.Google also made some changes that would impact bloggers in 2011 with its rollout of the “Panda” algorithm change. Its purpose was to lower the rank of sites with what Moz called “thin content,” which hurt bloggers producing content that Google deemed to be of lower quality. A lot of that had to do with bloggers having a lack of inbound links — a link to your website that comes from another one. (My colleague, Lindsay Kolowich, wrote more about that here.) Without many sites linking to these blogs, Google’s algorithm would begin to interpret them as less relevant.2012: Medium is foundedIn August 2012, a co-founder of Pyra Labs — the creators of Blogger — Evan Williams, created Medium: One of the newest blogging platforms.Today, Medium is more than that. People can use it to write and publish original content, like most other blogging platforms. But Medium is continuing to blur the line between news reporting and blogging. In fact, on its website, the company describes itself as serving up “daily news reimagined, straight from the people who are making and living it.”It was a notable introduction of decentralized content: A concept that allows users to share their work that has been published elsewhere on a content creation platform. That’s different than sharing links on social media, for example, where limited content is displayed. Instead, the full text and images of the work are shared, with the original author and source credited, on a site different from its origin.It might sound kind of confusing and pointless. But my colleague, Sam Mallikarjunan, explains the benefits of doing something like that in his article, “Why Medium Works.” In sum: Medium has roughly three million viewers, all sharing and reading content. Does your blog have that kind of reach? If it doesn’t, you can reach Medium’s vast audience by syndicating your own content on their platform, drawing more attention to your work.The same year that Medium launched, LinkedIn introduced its Influencers program, which recruited notable business figures to guest blog on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Eventually, that platform became open to all LinkedIn members in 2014 — HubSpot’s Ginny Mineo discussed that development here, and how it fit into the “self-publishing pie.”Though LinkedIn’s platform worked a bit differently than Medium’s — users can’t re-post full bodies of work in the same seamless way on the former — it does provide another outlet for people to share original content with an audience much larger than they may have received on their own domains. HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Meghan Anderson, writes more about the positive outcomes of that kind of strategy here.Last month saw the latest development of the blogging realm — the creators of WordPress announced they would be rolling out the .blog domain. Until November 9, users have to apply for one of the highly-coveted domains. I tried applying for one, and found out that it’ll cost me $250 for a combined application and renewal fee. If for some reason I don’t get it, I’m told I’ll get my money back, or if other people apply for it, we’ll all have to bid for it in an auction.But here’s the cool thing about .blog — even though it was made by the creators of WordPress, you don’t have to use the WordPress platform in order to build a blog on that domain.“The domain registrations are open to anyone,” wrote Adario Strange of Mashable, “regardless of publishing platform.”We’ll be watching this domain unfolds, and are eager to see how it contributes to the evolution of content.What’s Next?I don’t know about you, but after diving into the history of blogging, I’m pretty excited to see what its future looks like.Of course, it probably helps that blogging is my line of work. But I’m certainly not alone. Here at HubSpot, our content team has at least three full-time bloggers, and there are an increasing number of job titles that either indicate or include a blogging as a major function.It makes sense, when you look at the state of blogging now. It’s an integral part of marketing and content strategy, and has even shown to increase lead flow up to 700% for some businesses.How blogging continues to change will determine what our careers look like, and I encourage all marketers — corporate or otherwise — to blog on behalf of their respective brands. It might seem like a lot of work, but if the evolution of blogging has indicated nothing else, it’s that the sphere will only continue to expand.And that’s something marketers should continue to pay attention to — not just the growth of blogging, but how many different interpretations of it exist. Just look at Facebook Live, Facebook Instant Articles, and Snapchat Stories against the context of the dictionary definition of a blog from above: “a web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.” Replace “writes about” with “shares,” and you could make the case that most of today’s content platforms — including social media networks — are their very own versions of blogs.Want to learn more about the future of blogging and marketing as a whole? Check out the latest edition of our State of Inbound report here. (Image Credit: 1998-2001, 2002, 2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2008-2011, 2012.)How do you envision the future of blogging? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.  last_img read more

San Diego County Sheriffs Department looking to fill multiple roles

first_img Updated: 11:28 PM Posted: October 11, 2018 San Diego County Sheriff’s Department looking to fill multiple roles Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, center_img KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSheriff’s Recruiter Ysidro Granillo and Sheriff’s Crime Lab Director Mike Grubb joined us in studio to discuss several roles the San Diego Sheriff’s Department is looking to fill.For more information, visit http://joinsdsheriff.net. October 11, 2018last_img read more

Law Students Enter 2018 Entertainment Law Writing Competition

first_img Law Students: Enter 2018 Entertainment Law Writing Competition Email News Students can enter by writing a 3,000-word paper on a compelling legal topic facing the music industry today; winner to receive scholarship and trip to the 60th GRAMMY AwardsTim McPhateGRAMMYs Oct 17, 2017 – 9:57 am A $10,000 scholarship and a trip to New York for the 60th GRAMMY Awards make up the major prize up for grabs for the Recording Academy’s 20th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition.Co-sponsored by the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, interested law students attending an ABA-approved law school can enter the competition by writing a 3,000-word paper on a compelling legal topic facing the music industry today.The author of the winning paper will be awarded $10,000 and will receive airfare and hotel accommodations for two and two tickets to the 60th GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.Additionally, the winner will receive two tickets to GRAMMY Week activities such as the annual Entertainment Law Initiative Event & Scholarship Presentation on Jan. 26, where the winning student will be recognized; the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Fleetwood Mac on Jan. 26; and the GRAMMY Celebration, the official GRAMMY Awards after-party.A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the competition’s runner-up.  All submissions must be received by Jan. 2, 2018 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Winners will be announced on Jan. 10, 2018.Complete Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition Rules(Photographed above: 2017 Writing Competition runners-up Leslie DeGonia and Mary Catherine Amerine, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, 2017 Executive Committee Chairman Henry Root, and runners-up Andrew Smith and Trevor Maxim. Photo: Jesse Grant/WireImage.com) Twitter Facebook 2018 Entertainment Law Writing Competition law-students-enter-2018-entertainment-law-writing-competitionlast_img read more

Halloween Comedy Show

first_imgThe Halloween Edition comedy show is on Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., at Best Western Plus and Conference Center, 5625 O’Donnell Street, Baltimore, MD 21224. The host is April Watts, radio host on Magic 95.9 FM,  and guest host Comedian AlabamaFor more information visit playdateus.com/baltimore.htmllast_img

Unlocking the organic composition of ancient asteroids

first_img Being the only record of the Solar System’s pre-biotic chemical evolution, scientists have tried for years to extract and study this material. It is believed that discovering the composition of meteorites will reveal what the Solar System was made of at its birth and how those materials evolved into our current-day universe.Most of the methods used to extract this matter have failed leading to the destruction of the meteorite material or just the inability to extract any compounds.However, a recent study from the Planetary and Space Science Journal explains how scientists have developed a novel approach to extracting these meteoric materials. It’s called hydropyrolysis.This new technology uses high hydrogen gas pressures, extreme temperature, and water as a non-destructive means for extracting organic and inorganic compounds from meteorites.This process has revealed high amounts of carbon and nitrogen- elements essential to life at the core of the meteorites. Also, this new technology revealed several never-before-seen organic molecules.The results of this study also contradict a common understanding to the origin of meteorites. It is thought that meteoric material originated from a molecular could that collapsed to form the Solar System. Scientists using hydropyrolysis believe this is a misconception and seek to use this technology to find the true origin of the organic matter in meteorites.Scientists hope that the use of this new technology will offer even more clues into the composition of the Solar System when it was forming.Finally researchers have a way to trace the evolutionary path of organic compounds which will ultimately lead to knowledge of the evolution of our universe.Reference:Sephton M, Love G, Meredith W, Snape C, Sun C, and Watson J. 2005. Planetary and Space Science Journal. Article in Press.by Gina Buss, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Unraveling complicated issues of inequality in workplaces, communities Citation: Unlocking the organic composition of ancient asteroids (2005, October 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-10-composition-ancient-asteroids.html New technology discovers primitive organic matter in 4.5 billion year old meteoritesMeteorites contain fragments of asteroids brought about by collisions within the asteroid belt. These meteorites have not been exposed to geological processes experienced by planets and stars. Therefore, much of the matter in these meteorites originates from the formation of the Solar System some 4.5 billion years ago.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Soon Victorial Memorial visitors to witness new light and sound show

first_imgKolkata: Victoria Memorial is making a complete overhaul of its son et lumiere, which is expected to kick off during winters, the time when there is a huge footfall of both national and international tourists at the Memorial.”The analogue show format will be passe and there will be a sea change with the 3D projection mapping system. The Memorial’s marble edifice will serve as the virtual screen to narrate Kolkata’s story – a journey that will encapsulate nearly four centuries, beginning from Job Charnock’s arrival in Calcutta to contemporary Kolkata. The characters will seemingly speak on their own, narrating the 300 years history of Kolkata,” curator of VM, Jayanta Sengupta said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThere will be no commentary as it has been in the traditional light and sound show.The light and sound show at VM had started way back in the year 1991 and was held on a screen on the eastern lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall for over two decades. The script was by writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, the narration was provided by Soumitra Chatterjee in Bengali and Dhritiman Chattopadhyay in English. There will be no such narration in the present format and some noted historians associated with the research on old Kolkata will pen down the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedscreenplay.There will also be the inclusion of Hindi language in the new format and the duration of the show will be slightly less than the old show that was stalled for more than a year. Earlier, the show was of 40 minutes. The present one will be between 30 to 35 minutes. “There is an average footfall of 36 lakh visitors a year at the VM and many of them coming from other Indian states could not properly understand Bengali and English. So, we have decided to introduce Hindi,” a senior official said. The VM has plans to have more seating arrangement for the spectators in this new format.It may be mentioned that the VM authorities since last week has increased the timing of the Memorial by an hour. It is now open till 6 pm and is probably the only museum under the aegis of Ministry of Culture that is open beyond 5 pm.last_img read more