The McKinleyville High baseball team, behind dominant pitching performances from starters Corbin Eichin and Kyler Carr, handed visiting Fortuna a pair of losses, 11-0 (5) in game one and 6-1 in game two, to sweep the season series between the two Big 5 Conference teams, Saturday afternoon at McKinleyville High.Eichin, the game one starter, tossed a 1-hitter en route to the shutout victory. The sophomore is 2-0 in his last two starts including an April 6 win against Arcata, and has allowed just …
Peace Corps education volunteer Chris Ames with two pupils. The aim of Mathletes in South Africa is to alleviate the anxiety associated with maths by turning it into a fun competition for pupils.(Images: Peace Corps South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Ames Education volunteer, Peace Corps South Africa +27 76 527 2492 RELATED ARTICLES • Education at the movies • SA education project wins top award • A winning open education system • Maths and science the fun way • Science education gets a boostCadine Pillay A pair of American university graduates is giving grade six pupils at two North West province schools a shot at success by incorporating a fun contest, run over two school terms, through which they can improve their mathematics skills.Volunteers for the Peace Corps in South Africa, Chris Ames and Genna Cummins, hold BSc degrees in maths and applied sciences respectively. Ames graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, while Cummins studied at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.After their arrival in South Africa in 2011, the two conceptualised the competition, called Mathletes for two schools where they currently volunteer, in the Thutlwane and Madibogo villages. Mathletes is based on the popular US programme aimed at getting pupils competitive in maths.Removing the anxiety from learningTheir vision for participants, says Ames, is to remove the anxiety with which pupils often approach maths. Although there is no prize for the ultimate winners, the volunteers are encouraged by the fact that the pupils’ skills will be improved.“One of the many reasons that maths skills are so poor in rural South Africa is the amount of intimidation and anxiety the subject induces in pupils,” he says.The idea of Mathletes is already well known in the US, he adds, so they thought an adaptation for South African pupils would be helpful and fun.“For many students, competition is an effective way to encourage them to learn.”Six schools participated in the contest at the beginning of the second term around April 2012, with each sending six pupils to take part in three rounds of the contest. The teams meet at a central point after school every Wednesday, which is generally dedicated to sports activities at most public schools.Each team has to win as many points for their school as possible to avoid elimination and make it to the next round. The team with the highest score at the end of the day is the winner for that week. In the first round, all of the players attempt to answer a multiplication question. The first student to answer the question correctly gains a point. In round two, the students answer questions in five different categories of varying degrees of difficulty and point values. In the third round, each team has five minutes to solve one final problem.The games are all based on the approved national curriculum for schools, Ames explains. “For this reason we had to focus on one grade when we designed the questions.”“We felt it would be best to target the highest primary school level to minimise language barriers.”The competition runs from around 1pm to 3pm, with the host school in charge of providing and setting up a projector. At least two teachers facilitate for the duration of the game, which is partly presented on Powerpoint.The only requirement for schools wishing to participate is that they be situated in the Madibogo and Setlagole areas. Those from outside these areas can contact Thutlwane Primary School to make arrangements.To keep the ball rolling, Ames and Cummins have designed a template that teachers will be able to use for the 2014 round, when the two volunteers will be back in the US. The pair will still be in South Africa for the start of next year’s contest in April.Using the template, the schools will be able to create their own games using a list of topics they should expect to be addressed in each game. Ames and Cummins also assisted teachers in the writing of maths problems to keep the challenge sustainable.Potential vs. opportunitiesWith time, the volunteers hope to create templates of the game for other grades as well. They also intend to expand the initiative to other schools within a reasonable distance, for logistical reasons. “It has always been our goal to eventually have Mathletes run by the schools themselves without our aid,” says Ames. “I see potential in the pupils in South Africa, but opportunities for them seem scarce.”“By the time we leave we hope to have provided schools and communities with sustainable development in areas where our skills and their needs meet.”About Peace CorpsThe Peace Corps programme was established in South Africa in 1997, and more than 1 050 volunteers from the US have served all around the country to date. There are currently 183 volunteers placed in different areas where their expertise in health and education services is used daily to benefit disadvantaged communities.As part of their programme, volunteers are encouraged to learn as many of South Africa’s indigenous languages as possible to help make their work easier. The education focus is usually on primary schools in the country’s rural areas, while other volunteers work in health services at community health and HIV/Aids centres as well as with home-based care organisations. As education Peace Corps volunteers, Ames and Cummins were assigned to schools, and were tasked to help improve the proficiency of pupils in certain subjects. They will be based at their schools until September 2013.
Maths and Science have been earmarked in South Africa’s National Development Plan as the subjects of the future and that will make a difference in the country. (Image: My Science Work)Maths and science have been singled out in South Africa’s National Development Plan, or Vision 2030, as subjects that will take the country forward.The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is playing its part in making sure that women excelling in these subjects and careers relating to them are highlighted and celebrated. Female scientist and researchers were honoured at the 2015 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA).Under the theme this year, “Science for a sustainable future”, the awards were handed out on 13 August, in the middle of Women’s Month, in Sandton, Johannesburg.“The Women in Science Awards, which take place every year in Women’s Month, recognise women who have excelled in research and profile them as role models for younger women,” explained Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.“Apart from rewarding outstanding research work in areas aligned to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals, the 2015 WISA also recognised excellence in early career research by awarding scholarships and fellowships to masters and doctoral students.”The women’s admirable achievements provided inspiration and encouragement to many more young women to pursue science-related careers, she added.“We are very excited as a nation to witness women performing so well and displaying a high degree of excellence in the fields of science and technology as well as research,” President Jacob Zuma said.“It is therefore my pleasure to congratulate, on behalf of government and all the people of South Africa, the winners of the 2015 Women in Science Awards which were held this past week to recognise women who have made a remarkable contribution in this very important industry for our country’s development.”The government, he added, would continue to support initiatives led by women to ensure total empowerment and emancipation of women.THE WINNERSThe winners of the 2015 Women in Science Awards are:Professor Maureen Coetzee – winner of the Distinguished Woman Researcher in Life Sciences Award was recognised for her outstanding work in the field of medical entomology. Her research interests include insecticide resistance in the major African malaria vector mosquitoes, biodiversity within the genus Anopheles, novel methods for controlling malaria vectors, and vector-parasite interactions.Professor Marla Trindade – winner of the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in Life Sciences Award is the director of the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, an internationally recognised research centre in the department of biotechnology at the University of Western Cape. It comprises a team of over 45 researchers and staff and is leading the country in the area of mining microbial genomes for novel biotechnologically relevant enzymes and products. Trindade is also the vice-president of the South African Society for Microbiology.Professor Lindiwe Zungu – winner of the Distinguished Woman Researcher in Humanities and Sciences Award, Zungu is a full professor of health studies at the University of South Africa. Her research outputs have contributed to workers’ health and safety, for instance, guidelines for the redesign of safety clothing for women in mining. Her guidelines have been accepted as a national standard for the mining sector, and she continues to receive invitations to make presentations on the guidelines to stakeholders such as the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee and the Chamber of Mines.Dr Gina Ziervogel – winner of the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in Humanities and Sciences Award, Ziervogel has contributed to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7 that ensures environmental sustainability. She has situated environmental concerns within the broader development paradigm, helping to address MDG 1 that involves eradicating poverty and hunger as well. Her work has focused on adaptation to the impacts of climate change, from household level up to village and municipal level. Ziervogel is a senior lecturer in the department of environmental and geographical science and a research fellow in the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town (UCT).MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALSAccording to The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, the 15-year effort to achieve the eight aspirational goals set out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 was largely successful across the globe, while acknowledging shortfalls that remain. The data and analysis presented in the report show that with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest can make progress.In 2000, eight millennium goals were highlighted to be reached by 2015, these were:Eradicating extreme hunger and povertyAchieving universal primary educationPromoting gender equality and empowering womenReducing child mortalityImproving maternal healthCombating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseasesEnsuring environmental sustainabilityDeveloping a global partnership for developmentUnited Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “Following profound and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation. The MDGs have greatly contributed to this progress and have taught us how governments, business and civil society can work together to achieve transformational breakthroughs.”
The Manipur government’s plan to set up a bird sanctuary at the Loktak lake in Bishnupur district has met with stiff opposition from the villagers in nearby areas.A large number of residents of Thingnunggei village took out a massive procession against the government’s proposal on Sunday.“The villagers of Thingnunggei are poor and they have no other means of earning a livelihood except for catching fish and plucking vegetables from the lake. If fishing is banned in the lake, the villagers would starve. We are all for protection of birds, most of whom are migratory, but the new scheme should not be implemented at the cost of the poor villagers,” said one of the protesters.Declining number Thousands of migratory birds flock to the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in north-eastern India, every year. However, in the past few years there has been a sharp decline in the number of migratory birds coming to the lake.Reports indicate that bird poachers are active in the area, targeting the winged guests. Officials of the forest department’s wildlife wing say in view of the widespread bird poaching at the lake, setting up of the sanctuary is a must. Birdwatchers on the other hand blame human intrusion, bird poaching and hydroelectric power project near the lake for the decline in the number of migratory birds and brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park in the vicinity.Brow-antlered deerSome decades ago, the villagers of the lake islets had agitated against setting up of the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the natural habitat of the endangered brow-antlered deer. They wanted the land demarcated for the park to be made available to them for cultivating paddy.Now, several years later, the latest census suggests that there are only 260 brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park.
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 you blog you have probably gotten to the point where you needed an article last minute to keep up the pace of your content publishing. Here are 5 tips that might help you put together an article really quickly (like I did with this one).Write an article that is a list of 5 ideas. People love lists and tips, especially in blogs. They are easy to scan and easy to digest. Perfect for web surfing or scanning your RSS reader. This article is an example.Publish a list of links. Linking is the currency of the blogosphere, and if you link to other bloggers, they will notice (good ones should anyway, except for the really big/famous ones who get tons of traffic) and you might get a link or comment back. Here is an example of a list of links article.Take a recent experience and share it. Has something interesting happened to you? Was it at all related to your blog subject? Write a blog article about a recent experience, like this blog article I wrote about a spam email sent to me.Answer questions you have received recently. We all get questions by phone or email from clients and prospects in our area of expertise. Collect a few of them and then publish a blog article answering them. Here is an example of a blog article that answers some questions. A great tip is to start with the actual email question you received and the email answer you sent, and then just edit it so it is more general and not client specific.Comment on other blog articles. Need ideas? Read other blogs in your industry, and then provide your own point of view on the issue at hand. Here is an example of a blog article that is responding to another blog article.Have other tips on how to get a blog article out quickly? Share them by leaving a comment below. Originally published Dec 19, 2007 12:12:00 PM, updated October 01 2019
PR firms are naturals at and the blogosphere because of their relationship building skills. I’m not saying that they can do what they did in the past, but if they follow Originally published Nov 17, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 are becoming more and more available and affordable. The knowledge of your average SEO consultant or lead generation expert is now being codified and made available. Even though the knowledge base is changing at a rapid rate and will continue to change at a rapid rate, it’s maturing like all knowledge industries do. So, PR firms that are equipped with writes and start providing direction for the many activities required for an inter-disciplinary inbound marketing strategy. goes on to write can now do SEO, PPC and lead generation without a huge staff of technical resources and quants. to learn the findings from HubSpot’s recent research on new releases. leveraging social media While I applaud Brian’s focus on expanding the size of the funnel (lead dev), there are more nuanced activities that go on: positioning, messaging, crisis communications, relationship-building, training, etc. Such activities might only offer a tangential or indirect impact on lead development, but, they are still critically important to companies of all sizes. Based on my experience working with all kinds of agencies as HubSpot’s partner program manager, I believe that The Convergance of All Marketing Disciplines in-house analytical people PR firms are the best positioned Is PR Dead in order to serve clients effectively. : Based on my recent conversations with many different types of agencies, there is general agreement that now is an unprecedented time of convergence between all of the marketing disciplines. Creative content creation A few weeks back, HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan, asked the question, ” PR Firms Will Probably Lead the Inbound Marketing Revolution If I were asked Brian’s question, I’d answer, “PR is not dead. PR firms will probably lead the way.” There are few SEO firms that are signing up clients at $10k/month for SEO alone anymore. PR firms are having a difficult time getting the retainers they’re used to getting without knowing how to help clients attract traffic through social media and search. Ad agency budgets are shrinking and PR agents are being asked to help clients move online. Web developers are struggling to sign up new clients for $50k website development work without a clear plan that demonstrates a 3 month ROI on that expenditure. they may be able to use Social Media to help evolve their industry. : Understand the value you are getting from your PR agency and their services. you need to be an expert at all things inbound marketing PR firms have tight ongoing high retainer relationships with their clients. PR firms are brought on as advisors and stewards of a company’s brand. From that perch, it’s much easier to Unless you are Rand-Fishkin-good at SEO or a Chris-Brogan-big in social media, PR is NOT dead. But, PR needs to change. With the highest retainers out of most types of agencies and often the least accountability to direct measurement of ROI, PR firms seem to have the most to lose. Brian wrote a follow-up post today that despite its provocative title is thoughtful and largely spot-on. PR firms are excellent content creators. tree photo by The lines between ad agencies, PR firms, marketing consultants, SEO firms, web designers and developers, are blurring. Firms can no longer pretend that their industry isn’t changing. is the most time consuming and difficult and most critical part of inbound marketing. SEO and lead generation can not be done without effective and creative content creation. We could probably spend a lot of time debating what’s more or less important in a PR mix, but we might miss the big point that PR and marketing are changing in a seismic way. Todd Video: How to be Smarter than Your PR Agency It’s a provocative question for a blog title. But, the blog post and the ensuing responses started a great conversation about how inbound marketing is changing PR. New PR guru, Todd Defren to offer inbound marketing services. Here’s why: influence the most important people in a company Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and Who do you think is best equipped to lead the inbound marketing revolution? Who has the most to gain? The most to lose? Who will lead the way? Inbound marketing training Download the free video ?” marketing software Nezitic[x] Marshall Kirkpatrick’s guidelines for pitching bloggers None of this is new this year, but the problem with PR has become more acute.
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: wwarby
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 Most of the time when I’m reading about marketing, I like to actually learn something I can take away and implement. While I certainly appreciate pontification about industry trends and inspirational thought leadership pieces at times, the content I truly find valuable is content that helps me do my job better. So this week, I put the HubSpot content roundup together with content that I know could help me — or any other marketer — do our jobs better. Hopefully, you’ll learn a thing or two that’ll make your job even easier this upcoming week! Let’s get a’learnin. How to Write an IntroductionOne of the things lots of writers struggle with — myself included — is writer’s block. You have a great blog post, ebook, or webinar idea and know exactly what you want to talk about in the body of your content … but you can’t seem to get the intro flowing. Well if that’s been you, you should definitely check out our Quick Tip to writing captivating introductions. With just three components, you’ll be banging out an intro and saying goodbye to writer’s block in no time.How to Use Pinterest for BusinessEven though Pinterest has been a hot social network for a while now, lots of marketers still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. To get a comprehensive overview of the social network check out our Introduction to Pinterest for Business. We’ll answer questions like: What jargon do you need to know? How do you even sign up for an account? Will the social network help your marketing at all? So go on, download the ebook and get ready to pin!9 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Outstanding Facebook Cover Photos [+Free Templates]One of the first places people look when they visit your Company Page on Facebook is at your Cover Photo. They can’t help it — it takes up almost a quarter of the page. So you want to make sure you’re making the most of that incredibly valuable real estate. Check out these nine do’s and dont’s for creating effective Cover Photos, and then get started making your own with our free social media cover photo templates. How to Convert Casual Blog Visitors Into Dedicated SubscribersIf you’ve been blogging for your company for a while, you most likely have the business blogging basics down pat. You’re writing effective blog posts, designing gorgeous calls-to-action, and racking up the social shares and comments … but you want to take your blog to the next level. You want your business blog to make a serious impact in your marketing results, but aren’t sure how. Look no further than our latest blog post on converting casual blog visitors into dedicated subscribers. Brush Up on Your Marketing TriviaLast but certainly not least, we have some fun content to help you learn about inbound marketing. Whether you’re an old pro who wants to teach your team about inbound or a newbie writing your first blog post, you’ll have a blast playing the Marketing Trivia game. In the game, we’ll walk you through each element of inbound marketing — and once you’ve finished, you can brag all you like on Twitter at #MktgTrivia. Click here to download the game, and then read up on the rules in this blog post. And that’s it for this week! What HubSpot content did you like this week, and what content do you want to see in the future?Image credit: Gibson Claire McGuire Regester Pinterest Marketing Originally published Sep 8, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You know those business bloggers who never run out of innovative ideas, churn out a piece of content like it ain’t no thang, and are always one step ahead of industry trends?How annoying are they?Well, the good news is you can be like them! That’s right, you! All for the low, low price of reading this blog post!I’ve coached a lot of bloggers and businesses looking to get started with blogging, and I can say with full confidence there are concrete habits and characteristics the most successful bloggers adopt that separate them from the ones that end up flailing and trailing behind their competitors.Here’s what I’ve found the best business bloggers do. Where do you have room for improvement?What the Best Business Bloggers Do1) They read stuff that has nothing to do with their job.Variety is the spice of life! Want your blog posts to have a little more pizzazz? You need a variety of sources of inspiration for that to happen. The best writers read a lot — and so do the best bloggers, in both quantity and variety of content.Venture outside of your industry publications. Find a host of amazing content sources — a great podcast, a great magazine, a great YouTube channel, a great bunch of websites — and consume that content just because it’s high-quality, innovative, and interesting. It’ll help you improve skills like storytelling and story structuring, and give you ideas for new content formats to experiment with.2) They aren’t scared of writing.There’s no magic potion that makes blogging easier or faster. The only way to get to that point is to just write.Seriously, just go write.A lot of people are afraid of blogging — so if this rings true, you’re not alone. Maybe they’re scared of doing new things that are outside of their typical job function. Maybe they don’t fancy themselves good writers. And heck, maybe they’re not … yet, at least.But every blog post you write makes the next one just a little bit easier. The more you blog, the easier it’ll be. And before you know it, you’ll have no fear of blogging, and writing a blog post will be one of the easiest (dare I say enjoyable?) parts of your job.3) They write with empathy.Empathy is a powerful skill for content creators. The best business bloggers use empathy to guide all of their editorial decisions. It helps them choose topics that’ll address their audience’s pain points and solve their problems. It helps them structure content in a way that will resonate with readers. It helps them phrase things in a way that leaves their audience open to hearing more from them (nuance is a powerful thing, you know).Remember, in most cases, you are not your target audience. But if you blog with empathy, you’ll have a hard time creating stuff that falls flat.4) They take the right criticism.One of the best things about blogging is having something to show for your work. There are plenty of jobs that can require hours of serious effort — but all that you have to show for it is a calendar full of meetings. But when you blog? Look! You’ve created something!The downside to creating something? It’s there for someone — anyone — to critique. Now, some people will tear you apart no matter what. But you know what they say about those people:Then you’ll get some criticism that you should actually listen to. For instance, you’ll hear that you left out an important part of the story or that your advice doesn’t work for a significant segment of your target audience. Listen to these kinds of comments — and learn from them.Your criticism could take another form, too: total and utter silence. If your blogging is falling on deaf ears, it’s a good sign your topic choices or execution are a bit off. Don’t worry, though. Just revisit what you’ve written in the past that resonated and identify what people liked about it. Repeat more of that — and keep listening to what your productive readers have to say.5) They let themselves cut corners.Not every blog post is the be-all, end-all of your marketing. That means you can write some really short posts once in a while, because you just don’t have time for the lengthy, meaty thought leadership piece. Or maybe you don’t have time to locate the best image of all time for a piece — there’s other important stuff to do.That’s all totally fine! Sometimes, your time is, indeed, better spent on something else. It’s important to retain perspective on where business blogging fits into your overall inbound marketing strategy, and remember that perfecting every little detail isn’t always necessary. If you don’t give yourself a break once in a while, you’ll burn out on blogging.6) They don’t hide their personality.Somewhere along the way, people got to thinking anything associated with business meant the requisite hiding of all personal quirks. No smiling. No personality. All briefcases.Although you are doing business blogging, it doesn’t mean you can’t infuse personal elements in your content. In fact, the best business bloggers I see create posts that pack a hell of a lot of personality punch. My theory on why this works? People like people.It’s nice to feel like you’re reading something from a person — not a content farm or an encyclopedia entry. Have some fun, infuse your personality, and allow yourself to go “off-brand” for a bit. You might even find your blog becomes a good testing ground for new brand positioning.What else do the best business bloggers you know have in common? Share their habits and personality traits in the comments!Image credit: Gisela Giardino Blogging Advice Topics: Originally published Sep 25, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Almost 10 months ago, I had my first day at HubSpot. I was excited about lots of things — the candy wall in the kitchen, the free coffee, and, you know, working with some great people — but one of the things I was most looking forward to was a fresh, clean email address. It was brand new. No one was selling it to unscrupulous marketers to spam me with irrelevant and annoying sales tactics.I was free … but not for long.Ten months later, my spam filter gets more and more email garbage each day, mostly filled with cold emails pitches. I’m sure your email address experiences the same thing. Last week, I got a particularly horrendous spam email that somehow got through my spam filter. It was impersonal, confusing, and broke some CAN-SPAM best practices. Yikes!Since the best way to learn how to do something is to sometimes hear how not to do it, we’re going to pick apart the horrible email below. All identifying information has been removed, but everything else has remained unchanged.So let’s take a look at this horrible email and see just what the fuss is all about. The Anatomy of a Truly Horrendous Spam Email *) Sending Spam EmailsIt’s kind of like the first rule of Fight Club: The first no-no of sending bad spam emails is (you guessed it!) sending spam emails in the first place. There’s not really a “great” way to send a spam email.Instead, you should be organically growing your email lists and only sending emails to people who’ve opted in to receive them. Your Sender Score will be better and your subscriber list will be happier. 1) Irrelevant Subject LinesFrom the first thing I see, I know that this email is going to be irrelevant and spammy. I work for an inbound marketing company — why would I be interested in buying lists? On top of that, telling me that people opted in to those lists doesn’t really change that fact. (Honestly, I don’t even know why I clicked through.)If you’re going to be emailing people, you’ve got to make sure the subject line of the email aligns with your subscriber list’s interests. 2) Standard, Thoughtless Greetings”Hi,” “hello,” “hey”: all “acceptable” greetings you can use in your emails. But this email is forgetting one crucial element of a greeting: my name. It sounds so simple, but it’s something that lots of people get wrong.Even though most people know that personalized emails are usually customized by a machine, adding that small touch to your email makes people feel like you’re talking to them Most marketing software, like HubSpot, will let you personalize your email greetings. The point here is simple: Make sure you’re taking advantage of this feature!3) Confusing Opening LinesI’ll admit it — the opening line of this email was the deciding factor in writing about it here. It’s just so crazy. If the sender has just a few seconds to hook me, why would they include the most confusing opening line ever? Is “Happy New Year” a saying that deserves quotations? Am I supposed to imagine the sender actually saying that out loud? Or does the sender not know how to use quotation marks like in this scene from Friends?Seriously folks, you’ve only got a second or two to hook your email subscribers in your opening sentences, so use your time wisely.4) Irrelevant OffersAt this point in the email, I wondered again whether the person knew who they were emailing. I’m guessing no … because with a few seconds of research, it’d be very evident I — or anyone else at this inbound marketing company — wouldn’t want to hear about purchasing email lists. In your own emails, since you’re not going to be spamming random lists you’ve bought, make sure your message is tailored to the audience receiving the email. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to segment your lists properly. 5) Filler Keywords (?)At the bottom of the email, I can’t help but be confused — yet again. What the heck are those keywords doing there? It wasn’t a company tagline or a link to its products. In fact, the company name wasn’t anywhere in the email at all. Was it a way to game your inbox search? I really have no idea.In your own emails, cut anything that might seem out-of-place and irrelevant to your audience — it could be the difference between someone clicking through on an email and deleting it. 6) CAN-SPAM ViolationsNote: I didn’t redact this information in the email footer — it was already like this. I don’t even know which company is sending me this spam email unless I look at the end of the sender email address … and after Googling the company name, I found out that the sender and the company were fake. Seriously … just … yucky.If you’re sending emails, make sure it’s very obvious who you are sending email on behalf of. 7) Difficult UnsubscribesIf I’m not able to unsubscribe from your email list with the click of a button, your email is going in the spam folder and your sender name will get blocked. Though technically, according to CAN-SPAM, you only have to not make it difficult for people to unsubscribe and honor the unsubscribe in 10 days, it’s a PITA to unsubscribe from spam emails like this.Do your subscribers a favor and allow them to unsubscribe with a few clicks of their mouse — most email marketing solutions will make this process incredibly easy for you and your subscribers. Even if you’re not sending spam emails specifically, you should avoid all of these email no-no’s. Your subscribers will be more excited to receive emails from you and see the count next to their spam folder get smaller and smaller — a win-win for everyone. What horrible tactics have you seen in your spam email folder? Share your stories with us in the comments. Topics: Originally published Jan 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack