What is a smartphone virtual assistant and how to use one

What is a Smartphone Virtual Assistant and how to use one
Image credit: http://wccftech.com

What is a smartphone virtual assistant?  This is the question that immediately popped into my mind when I started reading the article ‘How Do People Use Virtual Assistants on Their Smartphones?’

As a virtual assistant, I immediately presumed the worst, digital technology is automating more of the services I offer virtually.  I was relieved to read further and discover that actually, a smartphone virtual assistant, or defined on Wikipedia as an ‘Intelligent personal assistant’, are satisfying users in their search for information. 

Another key aspect of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organise and maintain information, making it quick and easy to access.

A search for information by text or voice command, answered by a software agent via your smartphone is a smartphone virtual assistant.  But they can also be used for other things, not just answering questions, listening to and downloading music, reading books. 

Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Samsung S-voice are all virtual assistants that are currently being underutilised in the new technological world.  Digital virtual assistants on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are there to instantly help and assist.

E-Marketer attributing this to the generation of the which the users come from and their reasons for using them are different.  Taken from E-Marketer’s post on the 17th February 2017 the reasons and generations are:-

Millennials were most likely to manage alarms, play music, play audiobooks and search for movie times.

Gen Xers were most likely to look up someone’s phone number, search for a song playing on the radio, create a shopping list and check news headlines.

Baby boomers tended to use smartphone virtual assistants to play voicemail messages, look up measurement conversions, search calendar events and discover recipes.

Although the statistics in the article, based on an American survey by Higher Visibility SEO company, found that 28.7% still do not use smartphone virtual assistants.

So the next time you get out your smartphone here are just a few of the more customary search queries conducted via these assistants that you can perform, including requests to play music, manage alarms, find a weather forecast, search for a contact’s phone number or ask a fun question, the era of smarter smartphones is upon us!

In the meantime, if you smartphone virtual assistant can’t help you with those laborious tasks such as typing, or replying to emails, get a human virtual assistant such as Virtuadmin, where you can chat directly with me to discuss your virtual assistant requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy

Free Tools for Your Marketing Strategy
14 Free Website Tools to Create your Best Marketing Strategy

The tools contained in this list are taken from How to Build the Best Marketing Strategy You Can Using Only Free Tools published on Entrepreneur.com on 11th February 2017 and written by Murray Newlands

From the original post, I have compiled the list of free tools, with links, that are recommended to formulate your digital marketing strategy.

   SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  1. Ubersuggest
  2. SEMrush
  3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  4. Yoast

    Analytics

  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Search Console
  7. Google Trends

    Writing, Grammar  & Headline Analysers

  8. Grammarly
  9. Hemingway
  10. CoSchedule Headline Analyser
  11. Writefullapp

    Content Automation

  12. Buffer
  13. Hootsuite
  14. TweetDeck

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25 Visual Content Marketing Tools To Engage Your Audience by Tomas Laurinavicius

Today I’m sharing a list of 25 visual content marketing tools to engage your audience. It will help you to enrich the storytelling experience you’re creating.

Desygner is an online design tool that lets you create banners, posters, invitations, Facebook covers, social media posts and more, all for free.

Snappa is on of the easiest graphic design tools you’ll ever use. It allows you to create amazing designs without the help of a graphic designer.

Canva makes it super easy to create graphics that get engagement on social media. There’s plenty of templates for marketers from email headers to blog graphics.

Piktochart is an easy-to-use infographic maker. It will take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.

Prezi makes presentations stand out and get remembered. Unlike static slides, it combines motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to engage your audience and help them remember your message.

Visage is a design and visual content creation tool for content marketers who need to create a lot of visual content.

Curalate is a visual commerce platform that connects content to commerce throughout the customer journey to generate awareness, increase engagement and drive revenue.

Storify gives you the tools to create the best evergreen and live blog stories, uniting traditional storytelling with engaged audiences.

PlaceIt lets you upload images of your product or website and insert them into high-quality photos for free. No Photoshop needed.

Silk is a data publishing platform. It lets anyone create interactive data visualizations, publish websites, and tell interactive stories.

ThingLink lets you create custom interactive images by adding clickable icons to links, video, text, music, other images, you name it.

Pablo by Buffer is a simple yet powerful design tool to help you become a better social media marketer. It’s designed for social sharing and makes it very easy to capture images to share directly to social networks or to add to your social content.

SlideShare is the biggest slide hosting service in the world. While it doesn’t provide creation tools, it’s a perfect place to find inspiration for your visual content or upload your own documents, presentations, infographics and more.

Polarr is free and powerful online photo editor. Simply put it’s the pro photo editor for everyone. From high-precision color tools to advanced clarity and dehaze filters, Polarr brings free pro photo editing tools to your mobile device.

ChartBlocks is an online chart building tool. You can easily design and share a chart in minutes. Import your data, design your chart and then start sharing it.

Infogr.am is the world’s most popular infographics creator. You can easily add graphs, maps, text, and even playable videos without diving deep into a design program.

Datawrapper empowers you to create amazing visualizations in seconds. You can use visuals to reflect numbers-related content by creating engaging presentations and infographics.

InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform. It’s a great solution for publishing clickable and interactive high-fidelity prototypes in minutes.

Venngage is another great online tool for creating beautiful infographics. To get started choose from hundreds of professional templates for infographics, reports, posters, promotions and social media posts.

Easel.ly lets you create and share visual ideas. You can choose from thousands of reporting, timeline, resume and process templates.

Issuu is the largest collection of free-to-read publications from incredible publishers around the globe. You can publish content such as magazines, catalogs, eBooks and more on this free platform.

Adobe Post empowers you to create stunning social graphics in seconds. A perfect tool for content marketers on the go.

Uberflip is a content experience platform that aggregates all of your content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, white papers, and more) so you can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey.

Apester is a digital storytelling platform that allows you to create and embed surveys, personality tests, video quizzes and polls into your social posts.

Mapme is one of the most powerful map creators out there. You can easily create, customize, grow and promote your maps. The best part? No coding needed.

What’s your tool of choice?

That’s a big list to choose from. What tools do you use for your visual content marketing needs? Share them by leaving a comment or tweet me @tomaslau.

*This post by Tomas Laurinavicius first appeared on Forbes Tech on 11th May 2016.

 

 

 

Audio Transcription Time Guidelines [Infographic]

When people ask what I do and I reply a Transcriptionist their face goes blank for a second. I then explain that I produce transcripts from recorded audio, video, podcasts or webinars.  Ah, typing people think, typing what people are saying yes that’s easy once you can type. Contrary to popular belief audio transcription is a skill and takes years of touch typing practice and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by Virtuadmin I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average spoken rate. I have used 15 minutes of recorded audio for simplicity but hope that it illustrates that typing at the spoken word rate is virtually impossible.

There are also other factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Number of Speakers
  • Audio quality
  • Speech clarity
  • Is there any background noise
  • Is this an intelligent or strict verbatim transcription?
  • Is the transcript to be time-stamped?

All these affect the average turnaround time of your transcript.  Taking these things into account when hiring a transcription service will help you understand the complexities of what goes into producing an accurate transcript.

To conclude that with just one speaker, with good audio quality professional transcriptionist that types 80 words per minute (that’s fast but that’s our average typing speed) would take approximate 30 minutes to transcribe and a professional that types 50 words per minute would take 45 minutes.  That therefore on these statistics would mean than an hour’s audio that was just one speaker and straight forward intelligent paragraphing would take the professional 4 hours.  For 2 speakers because each time a speaker changes a new line is started, therefore that takes extra time.

Audio transcription is a skill, you must love typing and a love of hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion like we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but I always aim to never insert an “inaudible”.  Again, that is time-consuming replaying a part of the audio that you just cannot hear.  You’ll probably get it in the end, but that’s another 5 minutes or so added to the completion time.

Hope the Infographic helps put things in perspective for audio transcribing and putting into text the spoken word is just not as easy as you think!

Transcription - Is it as easy as you think?
Transcription – Is it as easy as you think?

How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging by Julia McCoy

If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling. Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.

If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling.

Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.

If you’re looking to increase your SEO, blogging is the first and most important step. According to HubSpot’s 2015 blogging frequency benchmark data, companies that blog earn 97% more inbound links than companies that do not. Additionally, companies that post more than 16 blog posts each month get roughly 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish four or fewer posts each month. (We recently gained over 300 keyword positions in a single day—and it was 100% through our content & blogging.)

Read on to learn more about the SEO importance of blogging and how you can triple your SEO efforts through regular, high-quality posts.

Blogging 101: Why it’s so Darn Important for SEO

When it comes to SEO, there is arguably nothing more important than blogging. In order for content to rank well, there has to be content in the first place and multiple industry leaders have shown that companies that blog regularly do better than companies that don’t. 

HubSpot’s aforementioned blogging frequency benchmark data shows that when small companies with 1-10 employees publish more than 11 posts each month, their sites get three times as much traffic as companies of the same size that publish only one post per month. What’s more, sites with 11 posts each month earn twice as much traffic as companies that publish between 2-5 posts each month.

For slightly larger companies, the results are comparable: companies with between 26-200 employees that publish more than 11 posts per month get twice as much traffic than companies who only publish one post each month.

It’s obvious that blogging frequency really does matter and that, in order to boost traffic and improve SEO, you need to produce relevant, useful content on a regular basis.

One of the main reasons for this is that old blog posts stick around long after they’ve been published. In fact, when HubSpot conducted a study of their own blogging traffic, they found that 90% of the leads their blog produced actually came from old posts. That said, it’s possible to generate, in equal parts, traffic from both old and new content, as long as you know how to create content that is genuinely interesting and valuable.

How to Blog for SEO: 6 Takeaway Tips

Now that you know how important blogging is for SEO, here are 6 tips to help you blog better and produce better results.

1. Create quality content

This may seem obvious, but creating content is one of the most important aspects of SEO. This is because each post you write adds a new SEO page that has the potential to be crawled and indexed by Google. Additionally, each new post can be optimized for unique long-tail keywords which allows bloggers to create pages full of new ranking opportunities. Blogs also offer the opportunity for high-quality backlinks and plenty of organic traffic to your site.

2. Write attention-grabbing headlines

If you do it right, every post you write can create high-quality traffic that gets you noticed. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this right. This is because they focus only on getting content written and distributed rather than creating viral content that maintains its value. The first secret to doing the latter is to make sure that your headlines are irresistible.

Eight out of 10 people read headlines while only two out of 10 read body copy, so you can bet that people will click through to your blog if you get your headline right. Need an example? Consider Upworthy for a moment. Upworthy launched two years ago and now boasts viral posts and 88 million visitors, which makes it more popular by visitor numbers than the Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Buzzfeed. The secret to Upworthy’s success? Attention-grabbing headlines first of all, and then minimal sharing buttons and the use of short, intriguing videos to grab users.

How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging

Once you’ve mastered killer headlines, you’ll want to ensure that your content is the correct length. At Express Writers, our blogs are generally between 1000-3000 words and Buzzsumo has found that its most popular posts range between 3000-10,000 words.

3. Solve your readers’ problems

No matter how quality your content is or how shocking your headlines are, it isn’t going to carry you to SEO and sales success if it doesn’t pertain directly to your readers. This means that, in order for your blogging efforts to work in favor of your SEO standing, you need to understand your audience very well. You should know what they’re interested in and which problems they’re struggling with and you should be able to synthesize new content ideas that will help make their lives easier.

To get a better handle on who your audience is and what they want, use sites like Quora to get involved in niche-specific conversations and then head to BuzzSumo for help in creating and generating new ideas for content. BuzzSumo allows users to plug in keywords and see what other related topics have gone viral on social media. Another great tool for this same purpose is Ubersuggest, which is fantastic for generating ideas for blog posts and advertises itself as “Google suggest on steroids.”   

4. Make it evergreen

It’s one thing for your posts to be attention-grabbing but it’s entirely another for them to hold their value throughout the months or years. This is where Evergreen topics come in. According to Moz, evergreen content offers “continued and sustained success.” To put it another way, evergreen content doesn’t rely upon passing trend and it doesn’t rely on the re-posting of old content. Rather, it uses foundational industry truths as topics from which to branch out. Examples in the world of blogging include “How to Blog – The Steps to a Successful Blog Start,” “Revealed: 19 Things to Know Before You Start a Blog” and ProBlogger’s own “How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners.” These posts all take one evergreen topic (blogging) and offer helpful tips and tricks on the subject. Because of this, these posts aren’t going to come into and out of fashion. Instead, they will continue to be highly searched-for and will continue to be a major source of traffic for their home sites.

5. Use long tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are and have always been a big traffic factor for bloggers. Take Search Engine Journal, for example, who noted a huge 78% jump in traffic after optimizing their content for long-tail keywords. In order to optimize content for long tail keywords, it’s important to create extensively researched, lengthy, valuable content that utilizes your long-tail keywords in a natural way.

Since long tail keywords show you what your users are looking to do, there’s a high probability that content optimized for them will produce far better conversions than content that is not. Additionally, longtail keywords can help you understand how to better structure content in order to solve a searcher’s problems or provide value for their needs.

6. Use CTAs to collect emails

As of 2013, there were more than 3.6 billion email addresses worldwide with upwards of 247 million emails sent on a daily basis. According to many email marketing experts, for every $1.00 bloggers spend on email marketing tactics, they earn $42.00. If you need an example, you can think about QuickSprout, which created a revenue of $43k from one email blast over a single 24-hour period.

That said, it’s wise to collect emails every time someone visits your site. Do this through a special landing page or embed email popups or subscription forms throughout your blog. Accompany these with powerful CTAs and then use the gathered emails for email marketing down the road. In order to get the most emails possible, ensure that your site is structured properly and easy to use. This means that your site should be compatible for all devices and very readable (in terms of font type and actual writing). The site should also load quickly and be easy to navigate. When your site provides a positive experience for users, people are much more likely to click and subscribe than they would be for a difficult site that wasn’t intuitive.

Conclusion

While increasing SEO can be confusing, it’s obvious that blogging does in fact have a large impact on SEO. Follow these 6 tips to help you blog better, increase SEO rankings, and make more sales. Happy blogging!

Julia is a serial entrepreneur and content marketer, and the founder of Express Writers; she loves to blog and is a soon-to-be published author.

Source: How to Triple Your SEO Efforts Just By Blogging

The Ultimate List: 70+ Best Tools For Skyrocketing Business Growth in 2016

If you want to be an effective business owner in 2016, you can’t manage everything on your own.

In order to scale the progress you’ve already made, or simply experience real growth for the first time, you have to be willing to delegate responsibilities, standardize processes, and use the right tools.

The problem is, there are a lot of tools out there to choose from. Knowing where to start or which tool to try is not always easy.

This collection of tools can help you narrow your search results and quickly find the right tools for your business—the ones that are really going to help move the needle and take your business to a whole new level.

The tools are separated into eight different categories:

  • Marketing
  • Conversion & Lead Generation
  • Business Management
  • Project Management & Communication
  • Customer Service & Retention
  • Outsourcing
  • HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation
  • Social Media Marketing

As you go through this list, think about your business goals for this year, what your plan is for achieving those goals, and whether you think any of the tools listed could help you get you to where you want to go.

Here are the 70+ tools you should be using in 2016 to grow your business:

Marketing

1. CuratedCurated is a tool that allows you to quickly find and save content to share with your email list in the form of a beautifully simple weekly email digest. It’s a great tool for providing extra value to your audience. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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2. Referral SaasquatchReferral Saasquatch is a great tool that can be used to build and manage customer referral programs for your business. Referral tools like this one make it incredibly easy to incentivize and encourage more word-of-mouth advertising of your business. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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3. Content MarketerContent Marketer is the best tool on the market for promoting content, building links, and connecting with influencers. It’s the tool you want to use when you’re ready to take your content marketing efforts to the next level and start seeing more ROI from your efforts. Pricing: $19/month

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4. QuuuQuuu provides you with hand curated content to increase your social media activity. After selecting a few categories that represent the type of topics you’re interested in, Quuu automatically sends hand curated content to your Buffer account. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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5. CanvaCanva is one of the easiest tools out there for creating compelling, original images for social media and blogging. The tool offers a wide variety of backgrounds, icons, and fonts to fit the needs and dimensions of any platform you’re using to connect with prospects. Pricing: FREE

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6. Campaign MonitorCampaign Monitor is one of the top email marketing platforms on the market. The drag-and-drop email builder allows you to create a customized email campaign in a matter of minutes. It also offers a lot in terms of personalization, segmentation, and A/B testing. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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7. BuzzsumoBuzzsumo is the top tool for performing content marketing research. The tool makes it easy to evaluate the performance of any blog post, website, or competitor. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start investing in advanced content promotion and outreach. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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8. Death to the Stock PhotoDeath to the Stock Photo is a site that offers fresh, inexpensive, and non-cheesy stock photos that can be used in a wide variety of marketing campaigns. You can sign up to receive new photos each month, or you can go premium and get access to all photos at once. Pricing: $15/month

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9. SEMrushSEMrush is a top tool for performing advanced advertising, keyword, baclink, and competitor research. The tool provides powerful analytics reports that can give you valuable insight and help you decide where to take your strategy next. Pricing: Starts at $69.95/month

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10. Sticker MuleSticker Mule is a tool that can be used to create and order custom stickers and graphics for your startup. The tool is relatively inexpensive and provides fast delivery and free shipping. Pricing: Varies depending on quantities

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Conversion & Lead Generation

11. SumoMeSumoMe offers a suite of tools that can be used to drive conversions and engagement on your website. Examples include the Welcome Mat, the Scroll Box, the Smart Bar, and others—all of which can be added to your site and customized to fit the look and feel of your brand in a matter of minutes. Pricing: Starts at $10/month

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12. OptimizelyOptimizely is one of the top tools for easily and quickly building and running A/B tests on your website. A/B testing is an important tactic when it comes to influencing more engagement and conversions, and with Optimizely, you can test everything from color, copy, button placement, entire landing pages, personalization, and more. Pricing: Varies

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13. LeadChatLeadChat (shameless plug) is a tool that you can use to insert sales staff right into your website. The tool makes it incredibly easy to add their ready-to-go live chat agents to your site who can chat with visitors and convert them to customers. Sound interesting? Ask for a trial now. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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14. Import.io – Import.io is a tool that allows you to scrape the web for relevant information about products, businesses, and competitors. The tool automates the data collection process and presents it in an easily digestible manner for business owners looking to quickly identify and take advantage of gaps in their market or industry. Pricing: Varies

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15. Datanyze – Datanyze is a sales intelligence tool that allows you to uncover, research, and reach the right prospects. Alerts tell you which websites have started or stopped using a particular provider’s tool, Research helps you understand your prospects better, and their predictive modeling helps you determine which leads are worth pursuing first. Pricing: Request a demo to find out

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16. LeadPages – LeadPages is one of the top tools available for building customized landing pages on your site. The tool offers hundreds of templates that can be used to drive conversions and nurture prospects. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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17. ConvertKit – ConvertKit is a tool that can be used to nurture leads down your sales funnel. The tool allows you to easily make customized opt-in forms that can be placed in content and around your site. You can also design landing pages, create drip campaigns, and send important one-off emails to your subscribers. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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18. Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg is another tool that can be used to gain more insight into the actions and experiences people have when they land on your website. With this tool, you can analyze where people are clicking, how far down they’re reading, and where people are coming from when they land on your site. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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19. Drip – Drip is a tool that you can use to create simple drip email courses. You can use the tool to easily repurpose your best blog content into a compelling email course that educates, nurtures, and converts your website visitors. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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20. FullStory – FullStory is an amazing tool that allows you to actually record, replay, and analyze the experience people have when they land on your website. It’s a great tool to use for improving customer support, making decisions about development or product updates, and empathizing with users. Pricing: Starts at $199/month

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Business Management

21. Recurly – Recurly is a tool that automates recurring billing for subscription-based businesses and products. The tool is incredibly easy to set up and seamlessly integrates and connects with your existing merchant accounts and website. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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22. Xero – Xero is a beautifully designed online accounting tool. An alternative to QuickBooks, this tool can help you manage invoices and quotes, inventory, purchase orders, bills and expenses, employee payment, and more. Pricing: Starts at $6.30/month

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23. Chartio – Chart.io is a cloud-based business intelligence tool. It’s a tool that you can use to quickly organize, visualize, and analyze complex data related to your products and business. It’s a great tool for any business looking to become more data-driven in 2016. Pricing: Sign up to get pricing information

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24. TradeGecko – TradeGecko is an inventory management tool for business owners looking to automate painful and repetitive tasks. The tool can help streamline order management, stock levels, tracking at multiple warehouse locations, multi-channel sales, and more. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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25. Segment – Segment is an incredibly convenient tool that allows you to collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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26. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is an essential tool for any business owner looking to gain a better understanding about website visitors. With Google Analytics, you can track metrics, set up goals and events, and find ways to optimize your website in order to boost conversions, engagement, and repeat traffic. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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27. UpCounsel – UpCounsel is a tool that offers on-demand legal help for business owners who don’t necessarily have the funds to keep a full-time lawyer on retainer, but need legal assistance from time to time. The tool can help with agreements, trademarks, patents, labor and employment, and more. Pricing: Varies depending on work

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28. Toggl – Toggl is a time-tracking tool aimed at helping business owners boost daily productivity. The tool streamlines time-tracking and makes it incredibly easy to identify where time is going and how to become more productive throughout the day. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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29. Zirtual – Zirtual is a tool that can be used to find U.S. based virtual assistants. The tool now falls under the Startups.co umbrella, and is a great resource to take advantage as you continue to scale your business in 2016. Pricing: Starts at $398/month

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30. HelloSign – HelloSign is a tool that can be used to send and receive legally binding electronic signatures for business purposes. It integrates with familiar apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Project Management & Communication

31. Trello – Trello is a fantastic project management tool that can really bring your projects to life. The tool creates a visual representation of your projects in the form of cards that can be moved from column to column as a project progresses. It’s a great tool to use for managing freelancers. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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32. Basecamp – Basecamp is another tool that can be used to manage projects. It’s different than Trello in that it’s less visual-focused and more centered around team collaboration. The tool just launched a brand new version, which can be explored here. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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33. Asana – Asana is a project management tool that works well for teams that are moving a lot of projects through the door at a given time. It’s one of the most flexible and customizable project management tool available. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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34. Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for managing personal projects and to-do lists. It’s a cloud-based tool that can be accessed from the mobile, web, or desktop. It’s a particularly useful tool to use when you want to pull in various types of media (photos, screenshots, notes, etc.). It does also offer the ability to collaborate with others. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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35. Slack – Slack is one of the most popular real-time messaging apps available today. It’s incredibly well-designed, and easy to implement across multiple teams. The tool can also be used to manage specific projects by setting up different channels within a chat group. It’s a great option if you have or plan to grow a remote team. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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36. Google Apps For Work – Google Apps For Work offers professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. It’s also a great alternative to the Microsoft Office suite—it has a word processor, a presentation tool, a spreadsheets tool, and a form builder. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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37. Wrike Wrike is a versatile project management tool that can be used by marketing teams, product development teams, department heads, and more. With the tool you can easily create tasks, mention team members, collaborate in real-time, and seamlessly integrate with your other tools. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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38. Projects by GrowthHackers – Projects is still a bit of a mystery, but early previews make it appear to be an incredibly user-friendly project management tool. To try this tool, you’ll need to request early access to join their beta program.

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39. Join.Me Join.Me is a simple tool that can be used to host video and audio conferences, share your screen, record meetings, and more. It’s a great tool to use when you need to quickly pull up a presentation or reference your screen while on a group call. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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40. Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the top cloud-based file storage tools on the market. It’s a convenient way to store and share important documents with team members, customers, investors, and anyone else involved in the growth and success of your business. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Customer Service & Retention

41. SatisMeter – SatisMeter is a tool that helps you gather customer feedback through NPS surveys. Net Promoter Score surveys are an incredibly effective way to gauge how loyal and happy your customers really are. The tool can be installed onto any website or app in less than 10 minutes. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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42. Intercom – Intercom allows you to easily communicate with your customers through targeted in-app and email messages, triggered by time or behavior. The tool can be used to collect customer feedback, chat with customers in real-time, create marketing lifecycle email campaigns, and provide support. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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43. Packs By Startup Threads – Packs By Startup Threads offers a convenient way to create and send customized swag packages to your customers. The tool is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is build your pack, order a reserve amount to store at the Startup Threads warehouse, and use their API or dashboard to send out to customers in an effort to boost loyalty and retention. Pricing: Varies

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44. MailLift – MailLift is a handy tool for sending handwritten thank you cards to customers. Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to boost customer happiness, but as your business continues to grow, it’s important to take advantage of tools like MailLift that can help you automate time-consuming tasks, while still keeping things personal. Pricing: Varies

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45. Zendesk – Zendesk is a web-based customer support platform. The tool allows you to accept and manage support tickets from a variety of channels—web, email, social, chat, or phone. It also provides the ability to create and manage a Help Center for your website. Pricing: Starts at $5/agent/month

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46. UserVoice – UserVoice is a tool that allows you to collect and prioritize feedback from customers, partners, and teams that can influence future updates to your products. The tool makes it easy to collect feedback right in your app (web or mobile), from your website via a private forum, and in real-time chat. Pricing: Starts at $499/month

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47. GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a top tool for coordinating and hosting webinars. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start educating prospects and customers about product benefits, protips, and other topics that can help them use your product successfully. Pricing: Starts at $24/month

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48. Snagit – Snagit is a tool that allows you to easily create screen captures and videos that can be used to create tutorials for customers. It’s another great tool to use when you’re ready to start spending more time and resources on educating your customers. Pricing: Starts at $49.95

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49. TypeForm – TypeForm allows you to create visually-compelling survey forms. The tool makes it incredibly easy to design custom forms to use for social media contests, customer feedback, hiring, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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50. Customer.io Customer.io is another tool that you can use to send targeted messages to users and customers. The tool allows you to leverage user behavior data in order to send more effective messages. With the tool, you can A/B test, build campaigns, track conversions, segment messages for specific audiences and traffic, and more. Pricing: Starts at $100/month

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Outsourcing

51. Upwork Upwork is a tool that you can use to find freelancers to help you grow your business. This site can connect you with developers, creatives, customer service agents, virtual assistants, and other consultants. Pricing: Varies

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52. ScriptedScripted is a tool that you can use to scale your content creation efforts. It’s a tool that can connect you with on-demand writers to help you produce content for blog posts, landing pages, white papers, social media updates, product descriptions, and more. Pricing: Varies

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53. FiverrFiverr is comprised of an incredibly vast network of freelancers who can help you complete almost any task, no matter the size. Categories on the site include graphics, marketing, writing, video and animation, video and audio, and more. Pricing: Starts at $5, then varies depending on project scope

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54. 99designs99designs is a site that primarily focuses on helping connect designers with business owners looking for help creating brand-specific collateral (logos, brand identity, t-shirts, etc.). Pricing: Starts at $299/month

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55. Toptal Toptal is a site that connect business owners with the top 3% freelance software developers and designers. Pricing: Varies

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56. PeoplePerHourPeoplePerHour is a site that connects you with freelancers who can help with design, development, content, and promotion. It’s a great tool to leverage when you need help fast. Pricing: Varies

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57. WriterAccessWriterAccess is another tool that you can use to find freelance writers. Pricing varies, but can be as low as two cents/word for content. 

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58. GuruGuru is a site that can connect you with admin support freelancers, engineering and architecture freelancers, legal freelancers, and more. Pricing: Varies

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59. Gun.ioGun.io is a tool that you can use to connect with and hire the best freelance developers in the world. The site offers a unique concierge service that matches you with a representative who can help you find the right person for the job. It’s a good site to go to when you’re looking for help building apps for mobile and desktop, when you need help scripting, building a UX strategy, and more. Pricing: Varies

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60. GigsterGigster is a site you can go to when you need to hire an entire freelance development team. Pricing: Varies 

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HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation

61. TinyPulseTinyPulse is an employee retention tool that allows you to create surveys for your team to anonymously answer each week. It’s a great way to sync up with your employees and make sure they’re getting everything they need in order to be successful in their roles. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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62. AnyPerkAnyPerk is a convenient tool that allows you to show appreciation and offer rewards to employees who go above and beyond in their roles. The tool offers a wide variety of perks that employees can choose from based on their interests—such as travel discounts, gym membership deals, restaurant coupons, subscription services, and more . Pricing: request a demo

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63. KinKin is a tool that allows you to completely streamline your human resources department. The tool makes it incredibly easy to onboard new employees, keep track of important employee information, manage communication with employees, track time off and vacation, coordinate employee performance reviews, and more. Pricing: $5/user/month

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64. 15Five15Five is a tool that allows you to keep track of what’s going on at your company week by week. The tool allows you to send customized surveys to employees in order to celebrate wins, identify challenges, and determine what people need in order to keep moving your company forward. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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65. GlassDoorGlassDoor is a site that you can use as a tool to recruit top talent. As a company, you can create a presence on the site to attract job seekers, advertise jobs, and promote your company against competitors. Pricing: Request a quote

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66. Zenefits Zenefits is another tool that you can use to streamline your HR tasks. The tool can be used to manage payroll, benefits, time, talent, compliance, and management. Pricing: Free

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67. KudosKudos is a tool that allows you to give recognition and appreciation to team members in real-time. The tool makes it easy for managers to give praise to peers and for peers to give kudos to peers. It’s a fairly robust platform, and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a way to boost employee morale at your company. Pricing: Starts at $2/user/month

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Social Media Marketing

68. CoScheduleCoSchedule is a top tool that marketers use to build editorial calendars, manage social media updates that relate to content, and manage the content creation process. Pricing: Starts at $15/month

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69. BufferBuffer is the top tool that marketers use to schedule social media updates. The tool makes it easy to schedule and share updates when your audience is listening in order to boost engagement, grow your following, and get the most out of your social media marketing efforts. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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70. GleamGleam is a popular tool that allows you to create and manage social media contests and reward campaigns. Examples of the types of contests and campaigns you can create include 1-click entry competitions, refer-a-friend campaigns, coupon offers, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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71. GrammarlyGrammarly is a tool that you can use to identify and eliminate common spelling and grammar errors in your content. The tool also offers content optimization features aimed at improving your content and your writing abilities. Pricing: Premium plans start at $29.95/month

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72. FlareFlare is a tool that you can use to create a social media share bar on your website content. Social share bars can boost engagement and brand authority. The tool allows you to track social and engagement analytics in order to determine the effectiveness of your blog content. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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73. MentionMention is one of the best ways to monitor your brand, your name, and the names of the people you work with (executives, coworkers, partners, etc.). The tool helps you keep track of mentions from the web and from social media, making sure you never miss an opportunity to engage with a fan or prospect. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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74. NarrowNarrow is a tool that makes it easy to grow your Twitter following. The tool helps optimize and automate the process by working with you to identify the right types of followers you’re looking to connect with on Twitter. All you have to do is enter target keywords, and Narrow does the rest. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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75. Notifier Notifier is a tool that you can use to boost traffic and engagement on your site. You can use the tool to scan your latest blog posts in order to automatically find and organize the influencers you know you want to reach out to. Once you scan your post and build your list, all you have to do is compose your social media outreach message template, select the people you want to reach out to, and send or schedule your tweets. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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What other tools would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and tell us what tools you’ve been using to grow your business! We’d love to hear from you.

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

www.virtuadmin.uk
30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

Do you ever wonder how the best content marketers get so much done in such little time?

Sure, they have a team of people helping out, but that’s not all.

They use tools that help them plan content, manage content, and improve the performance of their websites.

These tools save content marketers hours of time and provide valuable information that you just can’t find with a Google search.

The following are 30 of the best content marketing tools available, including the tools we use for our business and our clients.

Content Planning Tools

1. SEMRush

semrush

 

What it does: SEMRush tracks over 95,000,000 keywords and over 56,000,000 domains to provide a complete competitive analysis of websites in your industry. You can find out how they rank for keywords and get an estimate of their traffic.

What it costs: Starts at $69.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ahrefs_Content_Explorer

What it does: A simple tool that helps you find the most shared content for any topic.

What it costs: Free with limited searches; plans start at $79 per month.

3. Google Trends

google_trends

(Source)

What it does: Helps you find trends based on topics, location, and other variables. You can see historical trends and trends happening in real-time.

What it costs: Free

4. Content Strategy Helper Tool

Content_Strategy_Helper_Tool

What it does: This tool consolidates trending news from across the internet to provide inspiration for content topics.

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

buzzsumo-2

What it does: BuzzSumo lets you find what content performs best for any topic or competitor website.

What it costs: Free with limited data; plans start at $99 per month

6. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

tweak_your_biz_title_generator

What it does: Type in your topic, hit enter, and then this tool spits out hundreds of share-worthy blog titles for you to choose from.

What it costs: Free

7. Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator

inbound_now_blog_title_idea_generator

(Source)

What it does: This tool is slightly different than the previous one. It randomly shows you a blog title idea where you can fill in your topic. You keep clicking to see more ideas, until you find the one that grabs your attention.

What it costs: Free

Content Management Tools

9. HubSpot

hubspot-4

What it does: HubSpot is the best end-to-end Inbound Marketing platform that allows you to manage your blog, social media, email marketing, list segmentation, lead generation and scoring, landing pages, and more.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $200 per month

8. DivvyHQ

divvy_hq

What it does: DivvyHQ is an entire platform that helps you plan, schedule, and publish content, as well as manage the entire workflow.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $1,000 per month

10. Kapost

kapost

What it does: Kapost is a content management framework that allows you to create content, distribute it on social media, and view analytics.

What it costs: Plans start at $1,000 per month

11. Siege Media Content Marketing Checklist

siege_media_checklist

What it does: This is a helpful checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create the best piece of content.

What it costs: Free

12. WordPress Editorial Calendar

wordress_editorial_calendar

What it does: Allows you to easily manage your blog posts with a drag-and-drop interface and schedule publishing.

What it costs: Free

13. Trello

trello

What it does: Trello is a visual-based organization tool that allows you to manage separate projects or “boards” at once.

What it costs: Free

15. Google Drive

google_drive

What it does: Google drive is a cloud storage software that allows you to create and collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

What it costs: Free

14. Evernote

evernote

What it does: Evernote is like Trello and Google Drive combined.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $24.99 per year

Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing

16. Inkybee

inkybee

(Source)

What it does: Provides insights about websites to help you identify influencers for outreach and PR.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $79 per month

17. BuzzStream

buzzstream

What it does: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29 per month

18. SocialOomph

socialoomph

(Source)

What it does: Allows you to schedule social media posts, track keywords, manage multiple accounts, and more.

What it costs: 7-day free trial; plans start at $6.97 every two weeks

19. Outbrain

outbrain

What it does: A service that lists your blog posts under “relevant articles” or “promoted stories” on major websites such as CNN, TechCrunch, and ESPN.

What it costs: Minimum daily budget of $10

20. GetResponse

getresponse

What it does: It’s a more advanced version of Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $12.75 per month

Measuring Progress and Tracking Metrics

21. Google Analytics

google_analytics

What it does: Measures your web traffic and provides insights into traffic sources, demographics, user behavior, and more.

What it costs: Free with premium options for big websites

22. Advanced Web Ranking

advanced_web_ranking

What it does: Provides SEO audits, tracks rankings, keyword research, content optimization, and more.

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. Moz

moz

What it does: Moz is a comprehensive tool that provides analytics, competitor research, and tracking for a variety of metrics.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $99 per month

24. Share Tally

share_tally

What it does: You type in a URL and this tool shows you where it’s been shared and how many times.

What it costs: Free

25. ShareMetric Chrome Extension

sharemetrics

What it does: A Chrome extension that compiles link data and organic search visibility from several popular marketing tools.

What it costs: Free on Google Chrome

Tools to Increase Conversions

26. OptimizePress

optimizepress

What it does: Allows you to easily build landing pages to drive sales of your product or service.

What it costs: Packages start at $97

27. Visual Website Optimizer

visual_website_optimizer

What it does: Run split tests, track user behavior, and optimize pages with minimal technical knowledge.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $49 per month

28. Optimizely

optimizely

What it does: A simple tool for running A/B tests and tracking user behavior without using code.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $17 per month

29. Crazy Egg

Crazy-Egg-Heatmap

What it does: Creates heat maps of your website that let you visually analyze user behavior.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $9 per month

30. Leadin

leadin

What it does: A free tool from HubSpot that lets you track user behaviors, convert visitors into email subscribers or leads, and provides detailed contact information.

What it costs: Free

Bob Ruffolo

Bob Ruffolo

Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot’s first Platinum Partners in less than 2 years, and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.

Follow Bob: Bob Ruffolo on Twitter Bob Ruffolo on Linkedin Bob Ruffolo on Google+

The Broken Link Building Bible – Moz by Angular Marketing

The Broken Link Building Bible
The Broken Link Building Bible – by Angular Marketing Published on Moz

The broken link building strategy may be one of the most effective, white-hat link building strategies in years. In today’s post, Russ Jones outlines everything you need to know (really, everything) about how to effectively use this strategy in your next link building campaign.

As a link building tactic, broken link building is an effective, white-hat, scalable, content-focused link building strategy that builds links through finding broken links, recreating that broken content, and helping webmasters replace broken links with your corrected link.

Broken link building may perhaps be the most effective, white-hat link building strategy in years. In particular, broken link building is appealing because the success of the campaign is directly proportional to how much good you do for the web. You profit only if you create good content to replace lost or abandoned content that webmasters still want to link to. This is the type of strategy that marries so many of the competing interests our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs link building, inbound vs. outbound, etc.

Below, I attempt to organize as much as I know about broken link building tactics. Throughout the piece I mention tools that will help you make the broken link building process scalable and less monotonous. Let’s begin.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Prospecting
    1. Resource Page Targeting w/ Keywords
      1. Selecting Keywords
      2. Prospecting Phrases
      3. Scraping Search Results
      4. Extracting URLs
      5. Header Checks
      6. Opportunity Qualification
      7. Prospecting Tools
    2. Resource Page Targeting w/ Model URL
      1. Site Selection
      2. Backlink Acquisition
      3. Extracting URLs
      4. Header Checks
      5. Opportunity Qualification
      6. Prospecting Shortcuts
    3. Direct URL Targeting
      1. Site Crawling
      2. Opportunity Selection
  3. Content Creation
    1. Rebuilding Tools
    2. Raised Expectations
  4. Outreach
    1. Contact Finding
    2. Email Templates
  5. Conclusions & Community
  6. Credits

Overview

Broken link building is a link building tactic where a marketer contacts a webmaster who has a broken link on his/her site and recommends one or more alternatives that include his/her target site. For the purposes of this piece, we will use a pediatrician in Raleigh, NC as an example client.

Prospecting

The first step in any Broken link building campaign is to find relevant dead pages. However, there are different methods of prospecting depending upon the broken link building strategy you are employing. There are essentially three types of broken link building strategies:

  1. Resource Page Targeting with Keywords
  2. Resource Page Targeting with URLs
  3. Direct URL Targeting

We will cover each of these in the prospecting section. I will mention multiple tools throughout this post and will give descriptions of all of them at the end. Keyword Based

Keyword based is the the most common and, in my opinion, straightforward method of broken link building. The method involves searching Google for keywords relevant to your site’s interests, finding resource pages that link to content related to your keywords, extracting all the links from those resource pages, finding missing pages among those links, and finally qualifying those opportunities.

Select Prospecting Keywords Like so many things in SEO, we begin with keyword selection. A successful broken link building campaign lives and dies by the keywords used. There are a couple of characteristics we want to look for in an ideal keyword.

  • Categorically relevant: This characteristic seems obvious. The prospecting keywords need to be relevant. However, they don’t necessarily have to be relevant to your product like the key phrase “health resources.” The keywords could be relevant to your audience “resources for kids” or your geography “Raleigh resources.” Remember, you are finding resource pages with these keywords, you are not finding the final targets. You want to cast a wide net, which leads to…
  • Generally broad: This is where most campaigns fail. Our mock client is unlikely to find any resource pages for the keyword “raleigh nc pediatrician resources,” much less any with good link opportunities. You should choose key phrases that you would consider to be categories that your company might fall in, rather than the specific term.

Prospecting Phrases: Once you have identified your keywords, you will want to pair them with prospecting phrases. These are searches to use in Google or Bing to find relevant resource and links pages like “intitle:resources” or “inurl:links.” Below is a list of prospecting phrases you can use to help find relevant linking pages.

site:.gov
links
resources
intitle:links
intitle:resources
intitle:sites
intitle:websites
inurl:links
inurl:resources
inurl:sites
inurl:websites
“useful links”
“useful resources”
“useful sites”
“useful websites”
“recommended links”
“recommended resources”
“recommended sites”
“recommended websites”
“suggested links”
“suggested resources”
“suggested sites”
“suggested websites”
“more links”
“more resources”
“more sites”
“more websites”
“favorite links”
“favorite resources”
“favorite sites”
“favorite websites”
“related links”
“related resources”
“related sites”
“related websites”
intitle:”useful links”
intitle:”useful resources”
intitle:”useful sites”
intitle:”useful websites”
intitle:”recommended links”
intitle:”recommended resources”
intitle:”recommended sites”
intitle:”recommended websites”
intitle:”suggested links”
intitle:”suggested resources”
intitle:”suggested sites”
intitle:”suggested websites”
intitle:”more links”
intitle:”more resources”
intitle:”more sites”
intitle:”more websites”
intitle:”favorite links”
intitle:”favorite resources”
intitle:”favorite sites”
intitle:”favorite websites”
intitle:”related links”
intitle:”related resources”
intitle:”related sites”
intitle:”related websites”
inurl:”useful links”
inurl:”useful resources”
inurl:”useful sites”
inurl:”useful websites”
inurl:”recommended links”
inurl:”recommended resources”
inurl:”recommended sites”
inurl:”recommended websites”
inurl:”suggested links”
inurl:”suggested resources”
inurl:”suggested sites”
inurl:”suggested websites”
inurl:”more links”
inurl:”more resources”
inurl:”more sites”
inurl:”more websites”
inurl:”favorite links”
inurl:”favorite resources”
inurl:”favorite sites”
inurl:”favorite websites”
inurl:”related links”
inurl:”related resources”
inurl:”related sites”
inurl:”related websites”
list of links
list of resources
list of sites
list of websites
list of blogs
list of forums

Search Results Scraping: You now have the arduous task of finding all the results for all these prospecting phrases. Google is not fond of sending in automated requests, so you have a couple of choices. You complete the task by hand and use the MozBar to extract results, you can use a SERP scraping tool and risk Google’s ire, or you could look into use the Bing API, which would necessitate changing many of the search operators in the above list of prospecting phrases. Ultimately, you will want to pull down the top 100 results for each of the prospecting phrases you use. You will have quite a bit of crossover, so you will want to de-dupe those lists. You can use Virante’s free “Duplicate Deleter” tool to accomplish this, or you can simply use Excel’s remove duplicates function.

Link Extraction: Once you have a culled list of potential “linking pages,” you need to extract every external link from these pages and begin the process of finding all the 404s. You can also combine this step with the 404 header check using a tool like Domain Hunter+or Check My Links.

Link extraction:

Link extraction and 404 header check

404 / Error Checking: Once you have extracted all the links, you will have to check the headers on each link to determine whether or not they are 404s, our ultimate target. If you used Domain Hunter Plus or Check My Links, you can skip this process. The easiest way to do this is with a simple HTTP Status Code checker. There is a free bulk tool here. Just copy and paste all your URLs here, without the http:// and it will find all the 404s for you.

Opportunity Qualification: There are two things you will want to determine about each potential opportunity to vet them for quality: relevance and backlinks.

  1. Backlink acquisition: Once you have found a set of 404 pages, you now have to filter them to determine which are actually strong targets. The more backlinks pointing to a 404 page, the more opportunities you have for link replacement. These linking domains will be the sites you contact to replace the broken link with your own. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest at the moment is likely Majestic SEO’s bulk backlink checker. Remember, at this point you are trying just to get an idea of those with the most links and ignore those with very few. This will limit the amount of time you have on checking relevance.

  2. Relevance analysis: Now you filtered your list of 404 opportunities to those with a good number of unique linking domains. Let’s say that number is 50 or more. You now have to determine the relevancy of that content. You can do that a few ways:

    • Visit the Wayback Machine (also known as the way back machine) to find cached copies of the URL in history. If the page is well linked and did not block web crawlers, you should be able to find the content here.

    • If this is not available, you can look at the anchor text of the links pointing to the page. You can use SEOMoz Open Site Explorer to get an export of the anchor text.

    • You can look at the URL itself for hints as to how relevant the content would be.

    • You can visit the linking pages to see if those links have descriptions of what the previous content was.

Prospecting Shortcuts: There are two tools that you could use to jump over a lot of these steps.

  • Broken Link Index (brokenlinkindex.com): This tool by iAcquire allows you to find tons of potential 404 pages from their gigantic database of opportunities. Unfortunately, all of the link qualifications have to be done one at a time, although you could export the list and automate the process if you are savvy.
  • Broken Link Builder (brokenlinkbuilding.com): This tool by CitationLabs is not free, but allows you to perform all of the actions above in an automated fashion. Just type in your kewords and it performs all of the steps above, from finding opportunities to qualifying them based on links and relevance. This is by far the most robust broken link building tool currently available and a huge time saver.

Resource Page Targeting w/ Model URL

Unlike using keywords, this method starts with a known site and mines their backlinks to relevant resource pages that, in turn, produce broken link building opportunities.

Site / URL Selection: This is by far the most important part of the process. Choosing the right site will make or break this strategy. I do want to give a nod to Garrett French for pointing this method out to me a few months ago. There are a couple of factors you want to use in identifying the perfect site or URL.

  • Non-commercial: In most cases, you want a non-commercial source. If the site has a direct incentive to acquire links, chances are there will be too much manipulated link noise in their backlink profile to properly mine them for broken link building opportunities.
  • Authoritative: If the site is not authoritative, it likely has attracted few links from resources that aggregate important links on the web. These are the resource pages from which we will find 404 opportunities. If they aren’t linking to your selected URL, you are wasting your time.
  • Relevant: Obviously, the site needs to be relevant to your industry. You can use this technique to find great opportunities based on nasa.gov, but unless you are SpaceX, you probably have no business doing so.

Backlink Acquisition: Following the example above of a Raleigh, NC dentist, let’s assume that we selected the American Dental Association (ADA.org). Using Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, or A Hrefs, export all of the links pointing back to this site. This list of URLs should be treated in the same way as the list of URLs in the keyword method that were pulled from searching Google with prospecting phrases. You can now skip to the Link Extraction section in the previous description and follow from there. The steps are identical, no need to repeat them.

Direct URL Targeting

This is the least scalable of the strategies and is used specifically to target a single link prospect. Unlike the previous two methods where you are trying to find potential broken content to replace and your link prospects are those who link to that broken content, in this method you have already chosen your link prospect and you simply want to find broken links on his/her site as an excuse to start a conversation. I hesitate to include this strategy because it is weak and unscalable, but it is a part of the grouping of strategies known as “broken link building” so I will include it.

Let’s assume that you are the Raleigh, NC dentist and you have decided that all you really want is a link from ADA.org. You feel that you have some great content they would link to if only you had a reason to open up a conversation that didn’t sound completely like begging. Well, the first step is to try and find a broken link on their site so you have a reason to reach out to their webmaster.

Site Crawling: Site crawling can be problematic because you must balance your need for relatively quick responses and a general respect for the site owner’s bandwidth and uptime. Do not turn on a crawler that you are not certain follows polite crawling policies and obeys robots.txt. Your best bet would be one of the following:

  • Xenu Link Sleuth
    A classic SEO tool, Xenu Link Sleuth makes it easy to spider a site and find broken links among other problems.
  • Screaming Frog SEO
    Quickly becoming the spider of choice for many SEOs, Screaming Frog can quickly spider your site to diagnose everything from duplicate content to 404s.
  • Deep Trawl
    Often overlooked, Deep Trawl is a worthy adversary for solving on-site issues.

Opportunity Selection: You now have a list of broken links on your ideal linking website. Identifying the best opportunity will greatly increase the likelihood of succeeding with this strategy. Here are a couple of pointers.

  • Choose a broken link opportunity where the link is external. This does two things: it makes the webmaster feel like it is not his/her fault unlike an internal link and it creates a 1:1 ratio of removing an external link and hopefully adding your external link. A webmaster is far more likely to replace a broken external link with another external link than to replace an internal link with an external one.
  • Try and choose a broken link on the same page as the one your link would most fit. This is most likely to occur if your ideal linking site has a resources section.

Content Creation

The next step in the broken link building process is creating content that matches or improves upon the broken page. The first step you will need to take is actually determining what the broken page is. We assume that you have already vetted this page for relevance so you should have a general idea, but getting as specific as possible will help you create content that meets the expectations of all of those who previously linked to the now defunct resource. There are two tools that can help with this right off the bat…

Rebuilding Tools:

  • Wayback Machine: The Wayback Machine at Archive.org allows you to see much of the web as it existed in history. This is your first and best bet for finding the content. Pro-tip: Use Majestic SEO’s historical index to find when the links were acquired, and then choose the date in Archive.org that corresponds with this date. This will help you know the mindset of the linkers if the content changed over time
  • Warrick: Warrick is a little known tool by the Comp Sci department at Old Dominion that helps you rebuild an entire website by searching through public proxies/mirror caches to find copies of lost content. This is particularly good for rebuilding content that was blocQked by robots.txt. Unfortunately, Warrick is a perl program that may be difficult to operate.

Raised Expectations: Chances are the site for which you are replacing content has greater authority in the industry than does yours. Chances are it is less commercial, more informative, and more trustworthy in general. If you want to acquire a decent return on investment, you need to focus intently on content quality.

  • Expect to improve upon the content that was created.
  • Update relevant statistics.
  • Add new citations and sections.
  • Consider reaching out to the original author for more information to add credibility.

Outreach

So, you have found your opportunity, created your list of link opportunities, and you are ready to start outreach. Here is how to make the most out of that link list you have.

Contact Finding: There are a growing number of resources for automating the process of contact discovery, although each comes with it’s own set of issues.

Email Templates:

There are many strategies you can employ in the outreach, here are a few of them depending on how transparent you want to be. We find, in general, that if you write good enough content you can be very transparent.

  • Act as a user who happened upon the broken link
  • Mix your link in with other valuable, related links
  • Offer the replacement in a follow up email

Below is an example of a broken link building outreach email. The most important part of the outreach process is that you should tailor your outreach at least to the specific campaign and industry if not to each target specifically. If you can add even a sentence of plausible, relevant customization to each email you send out you will greatly increase your conversion. I promise you if you copy and paste this template you will waste a lot of your opportunities, no matter how good it is.

SL: quick note – dead resource on your site

Hello,

I’m a licensed (industry specialist) and a health writer – I recently visited your site while researching for an article I’m working on…

This is a note for your webmaster, as I found a dead resource on your site that visitors like me surely miss.

It’s on this page: http://www.theirsite.gov/linksandresources

I got an error message when I tried to click on this site: http://DeadURL.org/index.jsp

It looks like they made a change to their home page but didn’t update it… anyhow, the correct link is here: http://www.FixedURL.org/

And while you’re updating your page, I wondered if you’d be open to including some further resources that could help people struggling with similar issues.

Compelling Content Title
http://www.clientsite.org/compellingcontent

Compelling Content Title 2
http://www.clientsothersite.com/compellingcontent

Thanks for your help and for providing great resources!

Best,
First Name Last Name
Industry Credentials
clientsite.org

Anthony Nelson has some fantastic templates here from his excellent piece “Broken Link Building Guide from Noob to Novice”.

Conclusions & Community

Like nearly any link building technique, sweat equity is ultimately going to make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. The devil is always in the details. With that, I would like to see that this becomes a living document. Broken link building, while not a new technique, is becoming more and more scalable. As more agencies, consultants and business owners jump on the bandwagon, their voices need to be heard as well. Subsequently, I am requesting that if you know any tips or tricks that you feel free to include them in the comments here. Thanks, and happy broken link building!

Credit Where Due

While I would like to pretend that most of my knowledge came from divine inspiration or on-the-job learning, the truth is that many thought leaders have chimed in on broken link building. This posting can be attributed in part to conversations with or content provided by the following great SEOs:

Jon Cooper
Garrett French
Anthony Nelson
Matt Zaffina
Paddy Moogan

Source: The Broken Link Building Bible – Moz

29 Checklists and Cheat Sheets to make Marketers’ Lives Easier

Checklists and Cheat Sheets
To Make Marketer’s Lives Easier
Business 2 Community
Checklists and Cheat Sheets by Natasha Alex December 10, 2015

Digital marketing is a multifaceted beast that evolves and gets more complicated every week. With so many different ways to reach your audience, it’s important to stay on top of the latest tactics and trends.

From content and social to analytics and retargeting, you’re staying up to date on it all. It’s a lot easier when you can do so with simple, easy-to-digest guides. So I’ve pulled together 30 cheat sheets and checklists to keep your digital marketing fresh and make your life easier.

1. Periodic Table of Content Marketing

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/the_perdiodic_table_of_content_marketing-blog-full.png.png

the_perdiodic_table_of_content_marketing-blog-full

This periodic table is a unique chart highlighting the important terms in content marketing. it covers everything you need to keep an eye on. From content strategy to metrics, it’s an all-inclusive index that can help you deliver great content.

2. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Awesome Marketing Emails

Email marketing is a key element of any campaign. From the subject line to the email footer, every section of your email contributes to its overall ability to convert. If you think you’re having trouble with your email outreach, this cheat sheet from HubSpot can help you dissect your emails and optimize each aspect of your campaign to obtain the best results.

3. A Detailed Guide to Photo and Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More

When it comes to social media, great visuals increase engagement. But this only applies when your pictures are relevant, eye-catching, and of course, optimized. With so many types of images to choose from, it’s not easy to keep track of the rules for each network.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/twitter-image-sizes.png.png

twitter-image-sizes
This handy infographic shows you all the different images in your social media profiles, along with what they’re used for. It includes recommended sizes, image scale, etc. to make it easier for you to get the most out of your images.

4. Advanced Content Promotion Checklist

Writing content is hard, but promoting it is even harder. With all the distribution tools and channels available to you, it gets tough to keep track of where you’ve promoted your piece and where you’ve yet to share it.

And that’s after figuring out what to do in the first place. Process Street has created a great checklist to streamline content promotion, originally made for themselves before giving us all access.

5. Google Analytics Cheat Sheet

Google Analytics is an absolute essential for any marketer, and this cheat sheet from Portent has you covered. From setting up your account to tracking your goals and conversions, this cheat sheet can really help you get the best out of Google Analytics.

6. Retargeting Cheat Sheet

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/retargeting-cheat-sheet.png.png

retargeting-cheat-sheet

This cheat sheet simplifies the process of retargeting your customers. It covers the basics to get you started, along with advanced tactics and tips to help you succeed.

7. The Ultimate SaaS Metrics Cheat Sheet

Chart Mogul created this cheat sheet with every important metric you need to know for your SaaS. What’s covered: which ones are important, why they’re important, and how they’re measured. All condensed into a simple 2-pager.

8. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/moz-seo-checklist.png.png

moz-seo-checklist

Moz, an industry leader in SEO, created this fantastic cheat sheet for SEO newbies and professionals alike. It’s constantly updated by the Moz team, and is great help for web developers to keep their work SEO-friendly and up to date.

9. The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Checklist

This comprehensive checklist covers all the essentials of inbound marketing. Drafted like an ebook, it not only tells you what to do, but how to do it. This guide is a must-have for any marketer’s toolbox.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Sales and Marketing Alignment: 7 Steps to Implement Effective Sales Enablement

10. 101 Copywriting Dos and Don’ts

This PDF from Copy Hackers contains all the dos and don’ts of writing great copy that converts, from how to order your bulleted lists, to which famous authors should inspire your copywriting.

11. Google Adwords Cheat Sheet

Google Adwords can get a bit confusing, so Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd came together to create a resource to help. It shows you how to set up, the rules you need to keep in mind, and how to write ad copy that works. It also goes on to define some of terms that might have seemed like gibberish when you first got started.

11. Local SEO Checklist

This checklist is a great way to keep track of your local optimization. From on-page SEO to social signals, this list covers every aspect your SEO to manage your process in the easiest way.

12. Social Media Marketing Checklist

Social media is an essential channel for marketers and this infographic can help you manage your efforts and make sure you don’t miss a beat!

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/social-media-marketing-checklist.png.png

social-media-marketing-checklist

This fill-in-the-blank infographic will guide you through setting up the beginnings of a social media marketing strategy, from identifying your audience through measuring your results.

13. A Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

Conversion science can get messy when you don’t know what exactly brings you conversions. This checklist helps you streamline the process and identify the factors that can be optimized to improve your overall CRO, from choosing KPIs through designing A/B/ tests.

14. Google Analytics Metrics and Dimensions Cheat Sheet

Google analytics can be confusing to a beginner. It can take forever to discover all the data it’s tracking without a guide. This PDF helps you understand the metrics and dimensions you need to figure out the various aspects of your customers’ interaction with your website.

15. The Ultimate SEO Checklist

The Ultimate SEO Checklist from Leapfroggr covers on-page and off-page SEO for anyone who’s looking to make sure that their website has a good foundation for their digital marketing strategy.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ultimate-seo-checklsit.png.png

ultimate-seo-checklist

But unlike most other SEO checklists, it’s not a list of the ranking factors or how to optimize for them. It’s fully covers creating an SEO strategy, from performing market research to reputation management.

16. The Shelf’s Blogger Outreach Checklist

When it comes to reaching out to bloggers or influencers, any old email just will not do. This checklist from The Shelf covers the essentials of your outreach for the best results, including best practices and sample outreach emails.

17. Site Audit Checklist

Site audits can be intimidating, but Annie Cushing (aka Annielytics) makes it easy with her site audit checklist. It’s in the form of a Google Spreadsheet, so you can quickly make a copy and start tracking things yourself.

It becomes a lot less daunting to check track your work one section at a time. The sheet includes the initial data pulls, architecture, analytics, e-commerce, and pretty much everything you need to make your audit a breeze.

18. Universal Analytics Cheat Sheet

This comprehensive cheat sheet simplifies Google Analytics. It has three sheets that cover general usage, method and field reference, and limits and quotas.

19. Startup Launch List

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/startup-launch-list.png.png

startup-launch-list

The Startup Launch List is an amazing compilation for budding entrepreneurs. Its reading list gives insights into each aspect of building a startup – from the initial idea to raising finances from investors. These tidbits from experienced hands can help you get your idea up and running.

20. The Social Platform Cheat Sheet

There are so many social channels out there, and they’re constantly changing. This cheat sheet guides you through the main platforms, who’s on them, and how to engage them.

21. .htaccess Cheat Sheet

Redirecting pages can get a little tricky for anyone without a technical background. This cheat sheet teaches you the basics for redirection, security, and other rules.

22. The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s one of the best ways for a brand to engage with its customers. And advertising there has proven awesome for many marketers. Even if your company doesn’t even have a Twitter handle yet (but it does, right?), you can find leads, track brand mentions, follow important topics, etc.

This Zapier guide is your way into the world of tweets, with its step-by-step guide to using advanced search to get real time data about your customers.

23. The Google Guide to Making Search Easier

Google advanced search is an essential skill for any marketer. This search guide can help you use search operators to get specific search results on Google.

You can use this to find really specific content, search unique mediums, and perform any kind of research faster.

24. A 50-Point Checklist for Creating The Ultimate Landing Page

When your landing page is your key to conversions, it’s important to make sure that you’re not missing any key elements. This Unbounce checklist highlights all the essentials of a great landing page so that while you’re building one, you don’t miss anything.

25. Website Usability Checklist

Building websites can be difficult for marketers, and in the process of making a beautiful site, it’s easy to lost sight of usability when you’re not an expert.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web-usability-checklist-1024×474.png.png

web-usability-checklist

The website usability checklist covers the common problems faced by users on a website. From forms to navigation, it helps you make sure that your site is not only well designed, but also user-friendly.

26. The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet

Google is constantly updating its algorithm to provide a better user experience. Neil Patel has created a cheat sheet to simplify these changes and help marketers make sense of the ranking factors and how they can affect your website.

27. The Keyword Research Cheat Sheet

As a marketer, you know how important SEO is. This keyword research cheat sheet covers the basics of the way keywords work and how you can use the best ones to bring in relevant, converting traffic.

28. The SEO Cheat Sheet for WordPress

WordPress is the easiest way for marketers to get their blog out there. By using themes, connecting your blog to useful plugins, and a few other tricks covered in this resource, you can optimize any page.

29. Website Launch Checklist

The launch of a website is stressful enough as it is, without the hassle of forgetting something simple like checking links. Launchlist makes sure that you’ve got all your bases covered before your site goes live.

Prepare Yourself

Most marketing missteps come from skipping a step, rather than actually not knowing what to do. We’re busy, we’re stressed, and we handle it really well most of the time. And with checklists to ensure accuracy, we can handle it well all the time.
[Source: http://www.business2community.com/marketing/29-checklists-cheat-sheets-make-marketers-lives-easier-01399754#D5RKwYfTEchq047U.99]

Starting from Scratch: 6 Steps to Your First Content Marketing Plan

image

Content marketing is amazing for attracting your target audience and building a relationship with it.

There is just one problem, though…

How do you do it?

I share a lot of content marketing tips in my posts, but those posts usually assume you’re already doing content marketing, at least to some degree.

But if you haven’t started yet, or are very new to it, you won’t get as much out of those posts as those with some experience.

So, if you’ve felt that my past posts about content marketing have been too advanced for you, this one will help.

I’m going to give you a step-by-step process to follow to create a successful content marketing plan.

I’m talking about a plan that is simple to understand and execute but that can be used to drive thousands of qualified visitors to your website every month (in less than a year).

Why content marketing?

There are several dozen types of marketing.

They can all produce good results when applied in the right situation.

But I think we’re in a special time for content marketing.

Businesses and marketers are recognizing how effective it is in the modern consumer climate.

People have always liked to buy from businesses and people with whom they have relationships and whom they trust.

Until the Internet, it was hard for businesses to build those relationships.

But now, it’s easier than ever to deliver content to an audience.

This is important whether you’re selling straight to the consumer or to a business. A recent survey found that 67% of B2B buyers base their buying decisions on content.

And they don’t become just buyers—a large percentage of them also frequently share that content (most often in the form of a blog post – 40%).

Most marketers have just started recognizing all this.

Currently, 80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy.

However, 48% (overall) do not have a written plan. In 99% of cases, this means that they really have no clue what they’re doing.

That’s good news for you. Why? Because just by putting in some effort to go through this post and writing a few things down, you’ll be ahead of over 50% of online marketers.

I’ll let you in on a secret:

Most businesses suck at content marketing.

Seriously, look at the blogs for most businesses—they’re a joke.

But still, 30% of marketers find content marketing“effective”, and another 44% get some results from it.

Don’t be in those bottom three groups…

There’s no reason why you can’t find content marketing very effective for generating traffic and, most importantly, qualified leads for your business.

Follow the six steps I cover in the rest of this post, and write down your notes as you go.

In the end, you’ll have a short, clear, and effective content marketing plan to base your future work on.

Step 1: Why are you doing this?

Before you can start producing content of any kind, it pays to do a bit of planning.

If you just produce content for a general audience, chances are you won’t get much in the way of results.

To really see great results, you need to:

Identify your target audienceCreate content that resonates with those specific readers

When you create general content, it will never resonate with anyone, which is why it isn’t effective.

But it’s not enough to just target a specific audience. You need to understand their beliefs, problems, and desires so that your content matches them.

Part #1 – Who are they? Create a section in a blank document for Step 1. At the top of this section, you need to define who your target audience is.

For example, if you sell running gear, your audience may be “runners.”

But do you see the problem with that?

While “runners” is technically an audience, it’s not a well defined one.

There are many different kinds of runners:

professional marathonersprofessional sprintersrecreational joggers (do it for fun)runners trying to lose weightrunners trying to strengthen their legs…

…and so on.

Do you think you could create content that would speak to both a professional marathoner and a random guy that’s just trying to lose his beer gut?

Not a chance.

Get as specific as you can. You want to identify an audience who would agree with your label.

A professional marathoner would say:

I’m not just a runner; I’m a professional marathoner who trains year round and races six times a year.

I’m not a running expert, so six times might be too many, but you get the point…

Once you have the name of your audience, write it down.

Now you can start to build a reader persona.

Give your average audience member a fictional name before moving on to part #2. This allows you to write to one person, which is an old copywriting trick for writing in a more conversational tone that is more likely to resonate with your readers.

Part #2 – What are they struggling with? Here’s where serious research comes into play.

You need to start profiling your reader.

In this part, you’ll identify as many problems your target audience faces as possible. If you can, classify them by severity.

Let’s continue with the running example.

How do you find out what problems marathoners have?

The best way to gather that information is to simply talk to them. I know it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world to do for some people, but if you can, chat with a few for 10-20 minutes.

Ask them about their biggest problems and obstacles.

If that fails, head to online forums and community sites specifically set up for your target audience. You want to find a place where they talk to each other about their problems.

If you have no clue where to start, start with Reddit.

You can find a subreddit (basically a categorized community) for just about any topic.

In this case, a simple search on Google reveals a couple of “marathon” subreddits:

image

Spend at least 20-30 minutes looking through the threads you find.

Record any problems you see people talk about as well as how often they come up and how serious they seem to be.

On the first few results, I already see two problems:

beginner marathoners who are not sure about etiquette during a race and
racerunners having joint pain during a taper (when they reduce their mileage leading up to a race).

Ideally, get a list of over 100 problems.

It sounds like a lot, but it’s doable, and you’ll be set for content ideas for a while.

Alternatively, do a search for forums on Google.

In this case, these results are probably better.

They are geared towards experienced marathoners, whereas that first subreddit was focused on beginners (although it will have some experienced runners too).

You do the exact same thing here—look for problems.

Again, I see a few problems right off the bat:

How do you set your pace for a marathon?What do you do if you start getting pain leading up to the marathon?

Write down your list of problems (in your document or in a separate spreadsheet) before moving on.

Part #3 – Where do they look for solutions? In order to provide your audience with solutions to their problems, you need to find a way to get those solutions in front of them.

Most of these places are online, so that’s what you should focus on.

You need to compile a list of websites they visit.

That starts with the forums and communities you just found in part 2.

Other than those, you’ll just have to search around.

I would recommend starting with:

top (niche) sites
top (niche) blogs

image

You should be able to compile at least 20-30 “popular” sites they visit.

If it looks like a site only has a few dozen readers, don’t bother recording it.

Record these sites as we’ll be coming back to them later.

Part #4 – How will you solve their problems better than anyone else? No matter what your topic is, there are already at least a few popular sites that cover it.

Readers need very good reasons to either add your site to the ones they already follow or replace one of them with yours.

And the way you convince them to do that is bygiving more value.

If your content is clearly better than that of your competitors’, you will draw readers away from them.

Start by going to the most popular sites in your niche.

Look through their content, and note any weaknesses in it.

For example, I picked the first popular marathon site I found, which was a blog on a major running site.

The content is written by a true expert, but it’s quite basic, and it’s very anecdotal.

I would note under weaknesses:

Not enough images, lists, etc.Could use more data supporting pointsVery short, doesn’t dive into the topic thoroughly

Then, I would move on to the next blog.

After 5-10, you’ll start to see the same things pop up every time. These are your opportunities.

Go back to your document. Your goal here is to create a concise description of how your content will be more valuable to your target audience.

For example:

Our content will include a lot of relevant visual content as well as data-driven answers. We will go deep into subjects to try to satisfy our target audience.

Having that description to guide you in the future will ensure that you focus on the right things.

Step 2: Here’s how you figure out the best type of content to produce

The “content” in content marketing can mean a lot of different things.

Pretty much anything that can possibly contain a message is considered content. That includes:

blog postsinfographicspictures (drawings, comics, photographs, paintings)podcastsvideose-booksslideshows

and much more.

If you produce certain types of content for your audience, you’ll get better results than you would with other types.

To figure out what the best type is, you have to consider two factors.

What are your audience’s preferences? Some audiences prefer certain types of content over others.

For example, home decorators are mainly looking for visual content. Pictures and videos are the primary form of content in the home decorating niche.

On the other hand, a niche like nutrition mainly will have your standard text content with pictures mixed in.

The tough part is figuring out what is best for your niche.

To do this, we’re going to look at a few different indicators.

Start by heading to Buzzsumo. Create a free account if you don’t have one yet, and then search for your niche (you can choose a broader niche here).

image

What you’ll likely see is that one of the main social networks is much more popular than the others.

If Pinterest or Facebook are the most popular, image-based content is going to be crucial. Pinterest is a purely image-based network, while images are by far the most shared type of content on Facebook.

But that’s not a perfect overview of the whole situation.

What about things like podcasts?

That’s where you need to search individually. The two other forms of content you need to check for are podcasts and videos.

With podcasts, you can use two methods.

First, you can look at Stitcher’s top 100 podcasts in a relevant category.

In our example, I picked “sports” since that’s what running would fall under.

I looked through the top 100 and couldn’t find a single podcast about running. That tells me there isn’t a lot of interest.

Ideally, you’d like to see at least a few different podcasts about your niche as an indicator of some interest.

If you see 3-4 in the top 10, that tells you that audio content is huge in your niche and you should definitely incorporate it into your content strategy if you can.

Anther way you can check for podcasts is to simply Google “top (niche) podcasts”.

I found a few, run by some popular websites. Then, I looked them up on Stitcher and found that they had barely any reviews. This means they aren’t very popular.

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In this case, audio content is out.

Finally, what about video content?

Well, that’s pretty easy to check for. Go to YouTube, and search for your niche. You can also try a few suggestions from the search bar.

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This actually surprised me. There were many marathon-running videos with several thousand views.

I didn’t expect this, which is exactly why you need to check.

Look at the number of views on each video. You’ll have to decide what you’d consider a significant number, but I’d be looking for at least 10 videos to have at least 20,000 views to indicate serious interest.

If there’s only one video with a ton of views, it’s likely a one-off viral fluke and should be discounted.

What are your strengths and/or budget? The second main factor depends on your skillset. If you’re not a good writer, you probably want to lean towards a different type of content.

Often, you’ll find that multiple forms of content are equally popular in your niche. That gives you a lot of flexibility. You can use any combination of them.

But what if only one type of content is popular?Well, then you have no choice.

If you aren’t comfortable creating that content, you have a decision to make:

learn how to create it or
hire someone to do it for you

If you have a healthy budget for content marketing, hiring is always a good option.

If not, you’ll need to develop those skills on your own.

Now, combine the two: Now you’re looking for the intersection of these two areas:

the type of content desired by your target audience and
the type of content you can actually produce.

The type(s) of content that falls into both areas is the one(s) you should produce for your target audience.

[Read the full article here:  http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/11/06/starting-from-scratch-6-steps-to-your-first-content-marketing-plan/]

7 Smart Tips to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

Read These 7 Great Tips To Get More Website Traffic
Read These 7 Great Tips To Get More Website Traffic

Ask an entrepreneur or a marketer what they’d like most in the world, and they’ll likely say “more customers.” What usually comes after customers on a business wish list? “More traffic” to their site. Getting traffic is among the most crucial of any task. Getting traffic is an ongoing process and must be continuously done to keep the flow of traffic coming to your site.If you are a digital marketer or internet entrepreneur, more visitors to your site is something to be always thankful for. Higher traffic rates translates into more chances to make sales. If you are searching for ways to drive more traffic to your site, we’ve got some smart thoughts to help you begin. Here are 7 marketing tips to help you get more site hits.

1. Optimize Your Site for Search Engines:

Search engines have consistently been a remarkable way to get traffic for free. That is the reason you have to get your work done and optimize your site so it positions well for the keywords you target. SEO is still the most powerful approach to get free traffic. All you need is to follow latest search engine guidelines and modern SEO principles. It is essential that you invest some time and effort in the optimization of your site. Your site’s design, content architecture, and tags are the three most important things to begin with.

2. Write Rich Content:

Quality articles will show a better ranking in search results. Confirm that your articles address what your readers need and that they can see all of the information they want in one spot. This is the best way for attracting traffic to a site; offering people something that they can’t get anywhere else, or possibly, not the level of quality that you are offering. In a previous post, we’ve explained 10 rules for successful content marketing in 2015, you should follow them for greater return on investment.

3. Utilize Your Social Profiles:

Social media sites are also among the best approaches to get traffic free of charge. If you look at the latest digital marketing statistics, you’ll come to know that Facebook is 2nd most populous place on the planet, after China. This makes it vital for businesses to ensure stronger presence there. So, if you are famous on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks; the traffic you get from that can easily surpass the traffic search engines. Undoubtedly, building a vast system of targeted followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook takes a lot of time and effort but normally the result is well worth it. In addition, you must explore social bookmarking sites, networking groups, and blogs to share the great pieces of content your team has produced.

4. Get Links with Other Sites In Your Niche:

One more approach to getting free traffic is from different sites in your niche market. Getting links with different sites in your niche is also useful for SEO, particularly if you figure out how to get links without the famous nofollow attribute. However, despite the possibility that the links are nofollow (i.e., they are pointless for SEO), they still help to get traffic to your site. If you figure out how to put your links in a visible place on a site with high volumes of traffic, you can get a large number of hits from this link alone.

5. Pay Attention to Mobile Factor:

With more than 92% of Americans now using smartphones and almost 60% of all online activity now originating from smartphones, we have staggered into another age in technology with new marketing trends and challenges. So looking at the implication of mobile factor on marketing, design a strategy that helps you make the best out of the available opportunities.

6. Target Long-Tail Keywords

Got your high commercial intent keyword bases secured? If yes, now is the ideal time to target long-tail keywords as well. Since long-tail keywords represent a dominant part of web searches, if you’re not focusing on them as a major aspect of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing a great opportunity.

7. Invite Others to Guest Blog on Your Site:

Guest blogging is a two-way street. Along with posting content on different sites, invite other people as well in your niche to blog on your own website. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site. Simply ensure that you just post amazing, unique content without spam links, as Google is cracking down on low-quality visitor blogging.

This article was written by Tahir Akbar and first appear on Business 2 Community on 7th August  2015. 

 

Four Things To Remember When Using Typography In Marketing

4 Things to Remember When Using Typography In Marketing

Using the perfect font is essential for good digital brand marketing. It is important to capture people’s attention and font is a foundational element of this process. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the late 1440’s and typography came to exist. Molds were created into metal type casts that made particular fonts that were used in printing. Modern technology today has allowed several versions of the same font to be created, generating typeface families. Read on for important tips on how to navigate through various typefaces to find the perfect brand and master typography in marketing.Readability

Sans-Serif vs. Serif are two branches of font families and are imperative to good brand marketing. Readability attracts a customer’s eye and keeps them reading about the products and services being offered. Choosing certain fonts and typefaces ensures consistent readability and furthers the success of your product.

Sans-serif fonts do not have lines on the edge of text and are considered easier to look at. This increases readability and sans-serif fonts are often used in titles and subtitles for this purpose. In recent years, sans-serif fonts have become used more often in body copy on websites but are traditionally used for headlines.

Serif fonts have extra lines and detailing on the lettering and are often used in body copy because it arguably increases readability. Sans-serif fonts can often lose the reader’s eye and serif fonts ease the reading process and help people keep their place in bodies of text.

Differentiating between Titles and Body Copy is another part of choosing the best typefaces for ideal brand marketing. The title and logo in brand marketing must be distinctly different from the body text used on the website. Subtitles used must also not clash with the title or logo or it will result in a chaotic and unappealing webpage.

Kerning is the spacing between the letters of a title and is a central element to the title. The font used in the logo or title cannot be too close together or it will not be easily legible. The leading in the body copy follows similar rules. Leading is the space between lines of text and special attention needs to be taken to ensure that the space between lines is appropriate so that the text is decipherable.

Accessibility

The typography used must be accessible on different mobile interfaces. One source of type may look readable on a large mac computer yet when accessing the webpage on a smartphone, the body copy becomes illegible. It is important to double-check the accessibility of various fonts on different devices.

Many free sources of typography are not reliable on the interweb. Certain fonts are available for a limited time and then disappear due to copyright infringement or other issues and the webpage becomes unreadable. It is more viable to utilize reliable sources of typography such as Typekit, a licensed source for fonts that can be rented or purchased at a reasonable cost.

Personality

Different typefaces reflect a different company ethos. Classic and traditional fonts tend to lean towards an audience that is looking for a reliable and traditional company. Modern and Fresh type fonts lend themselves to young urban professionals looking to move forward into more futuristic company sources. Funky fonts are more stylistically creative and are appropriate for audiences that are younger and more attracted to fun interfaces. Lastly, elegant typefaces appeal to clothing companies and exudes femininity.

Consistency

Using consistent typography is vital to good brand marketing. Titles and logos should be repeated to present a uniform design model as well as similar body copy on different webpages. Using various fonts creates chaos and detracts the eye.

It is also important to use consistent color schemes with type. Contrasting colors are a good choice but they must be constant or it will not create a cohesive brand.
http://www.business2community.com/marketing/four-things-to-remember-when-using-typography-in-marketing-01290021#Em3WYhzQI5ylkv2E.99

 

Source: Four Things To Remember When Using Typography In Marketing

Content Marketing Tools A to Z That You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond

Tools are only as effective as the skills of the person using them.

Content Marketing Tools A to Z That You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond.

In a world of digital marketing that’s 24/7 with ubiquitous connectivity from anywhere, anytime, marketers’ need for tools is greater than ever. Content Marketing in particular offers a competitive landscape where the effectiveness and efficiency offered by the right mix of tools can make the difference between feast or famine.

There are many categories for content marketing tools since content and consumer pursuit of information are the backbone of the web experience. Here are some of the content marketing tool categories that come to mind (not too different than a high level list of marketing tools actually).

  • Content Planning
  • Content Research
  • Content Creation
  • Content Curation
  • Content Distribution
  • Content Promotion
  • Content Optimization
  • Content Measurement
  • Content Reporting

Obvious content marketing tools include the class of enterprise platforms and services that many large brands are using including Contently (content marketplace), Kapost, NewsCred, Skyword and Percolate (content marketing software), UberFlip (content marketing automation), new content marketing platforms like the one from Curata and much anticipated tools like Cintell (customer intelligence).

Wisdom of the Crowd – I’ve published lists of content marketing tools here in the past but these sorts of resources warrant regular updates. In addition to the near-daily pitches I receive and my own research, I reached out to my network on Facebook for new content marketing tool suggestions.

The result? An A to Z list (and then some, 45 tools in all) of new and many not so new but highly useful content marketing tools to help you solve content planning, creation, promotion and measurement challenges.  This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is a collection of the content marketing software companies that are top of mind amongst my own social network.

Atomic Ally – Content scoring tool to customize for specific audiences.

Buffer – Content promotion scheduling, analytics and team collaboration.

BuzzSumo – Content social media research, alerts, links and influencer discovery.

Canva – Web based visual content design tool with stock photos.

CoSchedule – Content editorial calendar plug-in for WordPress offering workflow and analytics for blog posts and social shares.

Curata – Content curation and content marketing platform.

DashThis – Create a content marketing dashboard marketers will actually use and execs will understand.

DivvyHQ – Web based editorial calendar with content planning and workflow.

Evernote – A multi-platform app that captures text, images and video synchronized to the cloud and across devices.

Flipboard – Create a curated online magazine.

Grammerly – Grammar checker app for the Chrome browser.

HemingwayApp – Web based, dynamic text editing tool.

InboundWriter – Predictive analytics for content creation and marketing.

Jing – Desktop software to create content recorded from your computer screen as images, animation or video.

Kapost – Content marketing platform.

Keywordio – Find topics in demand on search engines.

KISSmetrics – Connects all data to a person. See the entire customer journey —across campaigns, web and mobile.

Leadfeeder – sales lead generation tool for B2B companies that shows you which companies visit your website and what they do there.

Leadin – WordPress CRM & lead tracking plugin with analytics.

MeetEdgar – Social content scheduling (by category that recycles shares).

NewsCred – Content marketing software.

Oktopost – Social media content distribution tool for B2B.

Over – Mobile app for adding artwork and text with creative fonts to images.

Piktochart – Web based infographic creation tool.

Prismatic – Social content recommendation tool.

Qzzr – Create and embed quizzes in your content.

Resonance – Content retargeting tool.

Scripted – Written content marketplace.

Scoop.it – Content curation, blogging and social promotion platform for small businesses.

Scrivener – Mac software for structuring, writing and editing long documents.

SEMRush – Discover what topics and keywords are driving traffic to your competitors’s content.

Share as Image – Microcontent creator and sharing tool for Chrome that turns text into an image.

Shareist – Research, curation, scheduling, and page creation tools for social media channels, blogs, and email newsletters.

ShowHows – Tool for making embeddable content focused on step by step instructions.

SlideBatch – Curate embeddable “batches” of any kind of content or media with customized layouts that display on any device

SlideShare – Content hosting and lead generation.

Sniply – Share other people’s content in a way that drives traffic to your own content.

Stipso – Dynamic user generated infographics with embedded social shares and call to action features.

Trello – Visual organization tool.

Uberflip – Curate content, design an experience and convert with offers using this embeddable content hub.

Videolicious – Easily create videos using a mobile phone with easy social sharing and centralized dashboard for review and publishing.

Viraltag – Pinterest marketing tool and platform.

Word Swag – Mobile app for adding text with creative fonts to images.

X – What? There’s no content marketing tool that starts with the letter “x”? Seems like a nice marketing opportunity!

Youzign – Basic web-based tool for creating marketing graphics: facebook covers, twitter covers, YouTube channel art, infographics.

Zemanata – Content ad platform for amplification.

Other content marketing tool resources:

A big part of compiling this list of tools was a group effort – participation marketing in action!  Thank you to these fine folks from my Facebook network for their content marketing tool suggestions!

Andrew Davis, Brian Fanzo, Bhupesh Shah, Kelly de Vooght, Ian Cleary, Marc Meyer, Robyn Tippins, Bas Van Den Beld, Jay Baer, Tamar Weinberg, Teri Ross, David Brown, Kristi Hines, Lisa Picarille, Ashley Combe, Kristie Wells, Cari Bugbee, Shel Holtz, Tom Martin, Susan Emerick, Janette Speyer, Angie Schottmuller, Ann Handley, Martin Jones, Susan Beebe, Kimberly Reynolds, Corey O’Loughlin, Stephanie Losee, Cindy Turrietta, Bernie Borges, and Susan Bratton.

What content marketing tools have you discovered recently that really WOW you?

[Go to original article]

37+ Tips on How to Build a Content Marketing Machine

The Key Concepts of Content Marketing
The Key Concepts of Content Marketing

Back when I started my career in SEO, content marketing didn’t exist—at  least not in the  way it exists now.

We used strategies to boost traction and traffic to websites through the  creation of great  content—it was content marketing before the term even  existed. And it worked.

I’ve carried the lessons with me ever since. And I’d love to share them all with  you—  everything I’ve used to successfully help hundreds of companies  benefit from content  marketing over the past five years.

Here are 37+ tips and resources you can use to build a fine-tuned content  marketing machine from the ground up.

The Key Concepts of Content Marketing

In 2009, I founded a company called Single Grain. It started as a part-time consulting gig but very quickly grew into a powerhouse digital marketing agency. In the early years, we were successful because we were able to help businesses of all sizes–including a few Fortune 500 companies—gain more traction online by implementing what we referred to then as link-building strategies.

via 37+ Tips on How to Build a Content Marketing Machine.

Where to Find Free Images Online by Stacey Roberts

Free Images Online

   In a perfect world, we could all take amazing photos, edit them scrupulously, and somehow manage to have enough props and stylish flair to snap the exact image you need to illustrate your post.  In the real world, we have access to other talented people who do that instead!

   I’ve lost count of the posts I’ve pinned, sent to Evernote, or emailed to myself that round up great places to find free images on the internet. To save myself that headache (and hopefully you too!) here they all are, finally, in one place. Pin it for yourself!

  [Read more of this article]