10 Reasons Why Social Media Is Good For Business

Business and Social Media Are Good for Each Other

Thank you very much to Tom Duffy at Strategy Social Media for agreeing to let me post this, their latest article, in full on Virtuadmin.uk.

You can create a buzz – Get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online conversation and increases engagement.

Build relationships and become more personal – (expanding on the first point) Use a variety of social media, and you’ll build relationships with customers and potential customers. Trust comes through honesty and sincerity.

Branding – It is extremely important for a small business to create a recognisable identity for your product or service. This is the way the customer perceives you, and what better way to do this than the use of social media?

It opens up the line of communication between business owner and millions of potential customers – Millions of people who could possibly become customers? You could not have this easily in the offline world. Thank you social media!

Social networking with potential clients and customers from all over the globe – With social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter (among many, many others) you can hold personal conversations with each of your customers. Tell them about new products, sales and coupons, suggestions and tips – the topics are endless!

Small businesses can compete with the large companies – In the past, this was very difficult with the advertising and marketing budgets of large companies. With the right type of viral social media, you could potentially get an immense amount of traffic which keeps coming for a long time.

Online reputation management – Social Media is a good way to keep an eye on what other people are saying about your name, company, or brand online – and if any problems or complaints arise, they can be dealt with.

Social media is much cheaper than traditional marketing and advertising – Social media marketing shouldn’t cost a small business nearly as much as traditional advertising. If you do it yourself it might not cost anything at all. It will, however, cost you time. This is why it is a good idea to hire someone to help with the social media marketing.

Find out exactly what your customers want – Social media is amazing in so many ways, as you can see from the last 8 reasons. But, maybe one of the most amazing things about it is that you don’t have to wonder what your customers want. Do you want to know what they want? Just ask them!

It provides another way for potential customers to find you – If you’re not high enough in the search engines for potential customers to find you, don’t worry they can still find you through social media. Even if you’re not on the front page of Google, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive traffic.

So there you have it. All small businesses should take advantage of the benefits social media can provide you with, it’ a no-brainer!

Follow our Twitter for more tips on Social Media @StrategySMedia

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23 Free Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger

23 Free Blogging Tools
23 Free Blogging Tools

Whether you blog to share your experiences or to promote your business, blogging is the best way to connect with the outer world.

But blogging is definitely much more than writing.The work does not end when you hit publish. You should be able to attract your readers time and time again to your site, and keep them engaged.

Are you ever worried about maintaining an engaged blog audience?

It all starts with detailed research and using the right blogging tools.

Here is the deal: Tools alone won’t solve your problems, but they will help you get things done more efficiently.

With that being said, I have compiled a list of 21 free blogging tools that you can start using today. These tools are a great way to improve your performance as a blogger, in terms of workflow, writing quality and visuals.

A perfect topic can make or break your content workflow

It doesn’t matter how great you are at writing, every now and then you will fall into a blogger’s pit AKA blogger’s block.

a-perfect-topic-for-free-blogging-toolsAccording to Allee Creative, producing enough content and content that engages, are the two most difficult struggles that over 50% of B2B marketers face.

Creating enough content is proportional to blog topic ideas. If you can’t find topics to write about, you can’t fill up the content calendar.

These are the tools that will you help find blog topics every day.

1. Answer the Public

answer-the-public-for-free-blogging-toolsAnswer the Public is one of the coolest search query tools I have used in a while. This handy little tool fetches and maps suggestions based on visualization after you type in a keyword.

It breaks down keyword listings to three different parts:

  1. Question: what, who, when, why?
  2. Preposition: for, like, with
  3. Alphabetical: keyword + a, keyword + b

With this tool, you can also get a ton of LSI keywords that you can easily sprinkle throughout your post.

2. BuzzSumo

buzzsumo-for-free-blogging-toolsWhat if you could find a topic that you know has the potential to go viral? That’s what BuzzSumo is all about.

It gives a list of posts that have got maximum amount of shares in a given period. This way you know the potential of the topic.

It’s easy to use interface is one of its many benefits that makes it one of my favorite tools. Not only does it hook you up with great data, it binds you to topical relevance. So, you don’t go off topic when searching for ideas.

Just looking at the above topics you can easily tell that list posts are the ones that get the most social love.

Can you do better than that?

3. Google Keyword Planner

google-keyword-plannerfor-free-blogging-toolsMeet Google’s most awesome and popular keyword tool, Keyword Planner. And Yeah, it’s totally free of cost.

In order to use this incredibly powerful keyword research tool, first of all you need to get an AdWords account. And then, you can start the journey to find the right keywords for your business.

Google Keyword Planner might not give you the exact keyword suggestions, but it surely gives you a pretty good number of variations to your keywords, followed by average monthly searches, level of competition (high, medium, or low), average cost per click, and much more.

Effective tip: You can find more blogging ideas by putting your competitor’s url into keyword planner’s landing page search box.

4. Google Trends

google-trends-for-free-blogging-toolsHow can I leave out one of the most versatile tools, Google Trends?

Google Trends displays a list of the top hot searches and charts of the day. You can also see searches by category.

Like other keyword research tools, Google Trends does not give you the actual keyword search number. But, it does not mean that it is completely useless. You need to be smart here and use this tool with the Keyword Planner tool to get the best results.

Rule content marketing by writing captivating headlines

Headlines are the bread and butter of great content. A great headline not only grabs a reader’s attention, it’s the main source of increasing click through rate from organic traffic.

According to a test done by Koechly at Upworthy, traffic varies up to 500% depending upon your headline.

Whether you need to engage your audience on social media, or increase the open rate of your emails, a magnetic headline carries a heavy load.

Here are the free blogging tools that can help you write enticing headlines.

5. Impact Blog Title Generator

Impact blog title generator is a great tool for quickly coming up with blog ideas and titles. Just like any other headline generator, you need to type in your primary keyword. It will then pull out hundreds of enticing title options that you can use.

Hit the heart button if you like any given titles. It will then be transferred to a notebook which you can email later.

One of the creative and fun ways of dealing with writer’s block in this tool is the writer’s block option. Click it and start doodling.

6. SEOPressor Blog Title Generator

seopressor-blog-title-generator-for-free-blogging-toolsIf you are a WordPress blogger, you will absolutely love this simple but highly effective tool. Yes, it comes with a WP plugin, but the web version is equally as useful.

You can simply type in your keyword and get a bunch of blog ideas (it has its own pre-decided keyword categories).

Then, it pulls out a list of easy to use headlines. You can also modify it so that it looks more convincing.

To get more blog ideas, you have to put in your email. And, it will send the list directly to your inbox.

7. Link Bait Title Generator

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Link-bait-title-generatorfor-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

link-bait-title-generatorfor-free-blogging-tools

Recommended for You Webcast, December 14th: Measuring Micro-Moments With Google Analytics

This is not a fancy tool with flashy visuals. However, as the name suggests it gets the job done. As a marketer, we need a headline that entices users to click.

Basically it pulls in headlines that can be a little buzzfeed-esque and targets click bait. If you are a blogger in an entertainment niche, you will fall in love with this tool. Some suggestions might be really insane but it gets the job done.

8. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Emotional-marketing-value-headline-analyzer-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

emotional-marketing-value-headline-analyzer-for-free-blogging-toolsAccording to Psychology Today, consumer decision making is highly influenced by emotion. With this tool you can check the emotion weight of your desired headlines.

Although it’s not as colorful as the other tools in the market, it is easy to use and works perfectly. All you have to do is plug in the headline and choose an appropriate category. You will receive an EMV score that defines the emotional credibility of your headline.

37.50% may look bad as a number. But if you look closely, anything above 50% is considered the best. So, if you have anything within that range, you are doing great.

Add a touch of image beauty to make your blog attractive

Photos play an important role in making your blog visually stunning. If you have photography talent along with your writing skill, then trust me, you don’t need anything else.

The right post with the right photo is what audiences are looking for. But, in many cases, a blogger ignores the fact that images are an important component to user engagement and messes up with cheap stock images.

One case study states that a tweet with an image is likely to boost retweets by 35 percent.

Here is a list of awesome tools that I use to flood my post with top-notch free images.

9. Pixabay

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Pixabay-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

pixabay-for-free-blogging-toolsFinding free high quality images that perfectly match your blog content can be a challenging and daunting task. To help you with your free stock photo hunt, Pixabay offers millions of high quality images free.

Pixabay is a resource created with no copyright restrictions. You can use the images for whatever purposes you want, even for commercial purposes too.

A great thing about Pixabay is that there is no registration required. You can simply jump in, find photos and begin to use them.

10. Death to the Stock Photo

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Death-to-the-Stock-Photo-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

death-to-the-stock-photo-for-free-blogging-toolsAre you fed up with visiting websites in search of free stock photos? Well, here’s a solution for your problem.

Death to the Stock Photo sends you free high resolution photos of different categories to your email every month. All you need to do is submit an email address where you want to receive those images. Amazing, right?

Now, you can make your blog posts livelier and more visually appealing with the high quality resolution images that you receive from Death to the Stock Photo.

11. Evernote

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Evernote-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

evernote-for-free-blogging-toolsOne of the best ways to grab images is through screenshots. And, one of the best tools in the market to do that is Evernote. It not only gives you sleek and clean graphics, it organizes your images in a proper format.

First go to evernote and sign up for a free account. Then, download it’s free chrome plugin. Now, whenever you need to take a screenshot, click the little elephant icon in the top right hand corner. You can select the part and save it. It automatically gets saved in your evernote account.

12. PicMonkey

picmonkey-for-free-blogging-toolsAre you looking for a photo editing tool which can spruce up your images and make your blog look attractive? PicMonkey is the best tool to check out.

You can use this fantastic photo editing tool without downloading it to your computer.

With its awesome photo edit, touch up, design and collage features, you have got everything that you need to make your ideas come to life.

PicMonkey also publishes awesome guides to help you create your own visually attractive images. So, if you are an amateur designer and don’t have good experience with editing tools, then PicMonkey is what you need to have.

13. Canva

canva-for-free-blogging-toolsCanva is one of the most used photo editing tools in the world. From its drag and drop feature, the professional layouts and amazing design graphics, Canva has everything that you need for creating your own stunning images.

Whether you are an experienced designer or just a beginner, Canva makes image creation super easy and fun.

With millions of images, hundreds of fonts, numbers of free icons and shapes, and amazing photo filters; Canva is without a doubt the most loved photo editing tool online.

Make writing faster and easier

Anyone can write a blog, but only an experienced and skilled blogger can write an extraordinary piece of content that offers valuable insights and attracts user engagement.

There are millions of amazing blog posts uploaded every second, which grab people’s attention and compel them to share on social media channels. If you want your content to receive such attention from readers, then you need to write amazing and original content.

Do you have a favorite blogging tool that helps you with this?

There are tons of writing tools available online and choosing the right one definitely takes lots of your time and effort. Here are a few tools that can help you with easy and fast writing.

14. Google Docs

Many bloggers use their blogging platform to write and edit their content. But, are you aware of the blog editing and posting features of Google Docs?

Yes, you heard me correctly. Google Docs can be used as a blog editor and you can post your blog entries directly from it.

Google Docs is my favorite blog editor. It allows you to collaborate with others and its amazing spelling and grammar checking tools are worth trying. Being a product of Google itself, you can directly research your queries from it.

15. Readable

readable-for-free-blogging-toolsReadable is one of the most interesting free blogging tools, which quickly analyzes your text for readability. This awesome tool takes your text and analyzes it by giving it a score for the most used readability indicators. So, your text is easier to understand.

It gives you flexible options to carry out a test; test by url, test by directly entering your text, and test by entering a referral link.

16. Grammarly

grammarly-for-free-blogging-toolsIs your content free from grammatical errors? Readers really hate to read content with grammatical errors.

Posts with many grammar errors can make a reader lose interest in reading further. They might not even bother reading your future blog posts. So, make sure to perform grammar checks before publishing your blog.

Grammarly is one of the most used online grammar checkers. It checks for spelling, sentence structure, style, punctuation, alternatives, etc. All you need to do is copy your content and paste it into Grammarly’s online grammar checker.

You can add this tool to your chrome browser and easily use it whenever you need to.

Get more engagement on social media

You just published a post, and you immediately share it to your social accounts. What you see after a few days rattles you.

Only a couple of people have engaged with your post. Sounds familiar?

One of the many reasons why you aren’t seeing any engagement on social media is because you are not doing it right.

For example, your preferred audience may be in a different time zone than yours. The frequency and timing of your post depends completely on the industry and brands.

You can take something from what the big brands do. Every brand has a different set of times to post on Facebook, Twitter or share it on other social accounts. Always check the analytics of your social account to get a better grip of your audience.

After you know the best time, you can schedule your post with these tools and save time.

17. Buffer

buffer-for-free-blogging-toolsBuffer has to be one of the most efficient social media management tools I have ever used. Even though Hootsuite has more supported networks, and is bigger than Buffer, I feel Buffer is easier to use.

Just like any content scheduling tool, you can easily integrate your social media accounts and start scheduling your posts. It also gives you a brief analysis that lets you A/B test your headline versions.

18. Ahalogy

Pinterest can been a great source of traffic for many bloggers. Unfortunately, if you aren’t using the paid version, it’s not possible to schedule Pinterest pins from Buffer.

Out comes Ahalogy to solve this problem. You can easily schedule all your pins to your personal and community boards.

However, the catch is you have to get accepted by Ahalogy to start using it.

Once you get accepted, you have to place a code to track your results. If this is something you don’t want to do, you can download the Ahalogy plugin and it automatically pushes your content to your Pinterest account.

19. Click to tweet

ahalogy-for-free-blogging-toolsClick to tweet are tweetable quotes that are used widely on numerous blogs. What it basically does is offer more traffic from twitter and gives an easy one click path for the user to share your content.

Working with click to tweet is really simple. All you need to do is sign up for a free account. On your dashboard, you can type in the message you would like to tweet. Then, it generates a new line of code. Copy and paste it into the post that you want to display it. You can also see the engagement of your audience and click through rate of that simple tweet button.

Improve your productivity

The tough part after starting a blog is maintaining its quality. If you are a professional blog writer, then you must know how hard it is to write a quality blog with valuable insights at a given time.

Do you want to write better and faster?

There’s a number of free blogging tools that will not only make your writing easier but also help with your time management problem. Check out the time tracking tools listed below which can help you write faster.

20. Egg Timer

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Egg-Timer-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

egg-timer-for-free-blogging-toolsEgg Timer is a simple countdown timer, where you can enter the time that you want to work.

As a writer, you must know how easily time goes by once you start writing. You have no idea how much time you are giving to researching your work, editing or writing. With this free time tracking tool, you can find out how productive you are and manage time for each individual task.

To start, set the time for your task, hit the “Go” button to start time tracking. When the time’s up, you will see a pop-up appearing on the screen with the timer sound.

21. Toggle

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Toggle-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

toggle-for-free-blogging-toolsToggle is a fun time tracking tool which can help boost your productivity.

This one-click time tracking tool allows you to add tasks, and after completing your work, check the dashboard to know how long you spent on each task.

If you are a writer who spends a lot of your time on research and writing, and are looking for a tool that can help you manage your time, Toogle is definitely worth a try.

Track visitors on your site

A thing that separates a good blogger from others is the way he or she keeps monitoring and tracking the web traffic they receive.

Yes, it is true that anyone can write, but not everyone is capable of writing a high quality user engaging blog. The problem seen in most startup bloggers is that they just keep writing blindly. They have no idea whether their blog is getting exposure or not.

To be a good blogger and improve your writing, you should know what is working, and what isn’t, so that you can make improvements.

With so many web traffic analyzer tools available online, you can easily track visitors and traffic to your blog.

Here’s my favorite 2 blog tracking tools:

22. Google Analytics

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Google-Analytics-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

google-analytics-for-free-blogging-toolsGoogle Analytics (GA) is the most popular and most used visitor tracking tool. And yes, it is totally free of cost.

This amazing tool not only gives accurate statistics on traffic, but it also tracks almost everything a cookie can store on each unique visitor. You can also see the live traffic status of your blog through GA.

It provides a variety of features like monitoring visitor’s behavior, source of incoming traffic, social media buttons, number of visitors each day, unique visitors, returning visitors, most visited pages, and much more.

23. Sitemeter

Sitemeter is another great analytics program which I use after Google Analytics. It comes in two versions: Free and Paid. You can simply use the free version as it offers almost all the tools a webmaster needs.

You can keep track of your visitors’ referral information and at the same time also find how many people are online on your blog.

Sitemeter allows you to see some of the most important information regarding your latest referring URLs, live visitors, and visitors from the last 1 hr, day and a week.

Wrapping up

Content creation should be the top priority of any blogger. I wish I could tell you that tools alone will make you a better writer, but that’s not true at all.

In fact, there are other key elements and methodologies that you need to implement to produce quality content. However, tools offer additional support and help you get things done more efficiently.

I hope these 23 free blogging tools can help you get through some tough times like they did for me.

**  This article first appeared on Business 2 Community on December 12, 2016.  Written by Nirmal Gynawali

 

 

7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

 

Where to find a Virtual Assistant
7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

Welcome to Whose Business Is This, Anyway? Where the tasks are unending and your stress level doesn’t matter: Sound familiar?

If it also sounds like your life as an entrepreneur, until this point every little milestone of that life has probably been a celebrated victory. But the novelty is probably starting to wear off.

Related: The Virtual Assistant: A Startup’s Secret Weapon

 There’s content to be edited and updates to be made to your website. You’ve missed two meetings and can’t remember who the contacts are to reschedule them. And your inbox count looks like the GDP of a small country.

There’s a lot to be said about optimizing your own daily routine to get the most out of your days, but that can only take you so far. While you may have aspirations of a tremendously profitable quarter, it’s probably time to compose yourself and admit that you’re not going to be able to do it all alone. You can’t continue growing a business if you’re tethered to your desk.

Traditional hiring processes take far too long when you need someone immediately who can take the load off your shoulders. Ideally, you want someone who can materialize, quickly get up to speed on what’s happening, handle the workload, and disappear until needed again.

I’m referring to a VA (virtual assistant).

This is where a lot of entrepreneurs will cringe. Sure, it’s hard to give up control, and you may find it a challenge to find someone who is reliable and whom you can trust with private company intel. But those someones are out there: You just have to know where to look.

Here are seven surprising places to start your search.

1. Twitter

I am absolutely advocating that you search social media to find a stranger to trust with your business. Start talking about the need for a virtual assistant on Twitter, and you’ll be surprised just how fast VA businesses will respond and start following you. Some of the best VA companies have listening posts set up with alerts to find people just like you.

The best part is that if you’ve got a social-savvy VA, Twitter is just one more task he or she can help you with.

2. Your network

If your contact list includes other business owners, mentors, influencers, professionals or any combination thereof, then it’s time to make calls and let them know you need help. Chances are, they know someone, or can recommend a service they may have used in the past. Don’t ever forget about the power of referrals and word of mouth.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt decided it was time to pick up a virtual assistant when he began to focus on his writing and saw his blog traffic (and workload) spike. He has had the same virtual assistant for years now and swears by her.

“I found that I was so much more productive that it was well worth the additional investment,” Hyatt says of his assistant. “She’s just one of my teammates — and a very valuable one at that.”

Related: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Startup Success

3. VANetworking

If you’ve never worked with a virtual assistant and you came up short on referrals, VANetworking is a good place to start. VAs often network and come together here as a means of finding work, as well as solutions. Not only do they provide information for clients who want to work with a virtual assistant, they also have a hiring section where you can post in search of a VA.

4. Craigslist

This one might be as surprising as Twitter. While the go-to classifieds site has its share of scammers, it’s very possible to find a top-notch virtual assistant on Craigslist. You can also look on Craigslist sites elsewhere in the world and choose your desired location, though the local aspect can be a huge benefit. Even though your assistant will be working remotely, you’ll have the advantage of setting up a face-to-face interview as if you were hiring an in-house employee.

Just make sure you do your legwork, like verifying work history and checking references.

5. Zirtual

Zirtual is a great choice for startups and entrepreneurs as the site specializes in providing dedicated virtual assistants to entrepreneurs, professionals and small teams. One of the biggest perks is that it works only with college-educated VAs who are based in the United States, so you don’t need to worry about the vetting process. Zirtual boasts that fewer than 2 percent of applicants get hired on to their service.

Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income, often shares the benefits of working with virtual assistants on his podcast. In his tutorial on delegation, he writes, “I know just how valuable my time is and where my time should be invested to give me the most return.”

6. Workshops and events

Hopefully, you’re consciously aware that you’ll need help down the road and that you have time to be on the lookout. If that’s the case, then always keep the VA search in the back of your mind as you travel to industry events, workshops, and lectures. Those are great places for industry professionals to gather. If you find a VA at an event like this, you know he or she already has at least one foot inside the door of your industry.

Related: Hiring a Virtual Assistant Grew My Business, and Changed My Life

7. College campuses

A local college, or any college for that matter, can be a great place to locate a VA. Talk with career counselors or professors, or post hiring ads on campus job boards to try to locate a student studying in your industry. You may find a student chomping at the bit for a paid internship, willing to act as a virtual assistant as a means of learning the industry and gaining experience in his or her chosen career track.

*  This post first appeared on Entrepreneur.com on 17th October 2016 and is written by SUJAN PATEL

**  Header Image courtesy of Pixabay.com and edited by Virtuadmin.uk

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.

 

 

 

How to Easily Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts : Social Media Examiner

Discover how TweetDeck lets you engage, monitor and schedule tweets for multiple accounts from a single customizable dashboard.

Are you managing multiple Twitter accounts?

Wondering how to streamline your Twitter marketing?

TweetDeck lets you engage, monitor and schedule tweets for multiple accounts from a single customizable dashboard.

In this article you’ll discover how to manage multiple Twitter accounts with TweetDeck.

#1: Connect Your Twitter Accounts

The first step is to set up your TweetDeck account.

If your company has one or two people monitoring social media, you can create one login using your company’s handle as the default account. Then you can add more accounts/handles to that same user login.

After you login to TweetDeck, you’ll see your TweetDeck dashboard.

tweetdeck dashboard

The gray navigation bar on the left side of the dashboard is your go-to location for everything TweetDeck can do. From there, you can add accounts, write new tweets, review activity and notifications, read messages, change settings and more.

To connect additional accounts, click on the Accounts icon near the bottom of the navigation bar.

tweetdeck add account

Next, click Add Another Twitter Account and enter the username and password for each account you want to manage. Now you’re ready to begin.

#2: Add Listening Streams

The most powerful TweetDeck feature is the ability to add streams, which are columns of tweets that are updated in real time. There are a number of different streams to choose from, such as User, Notifications, Mentions, Followers, Messages, Search, Lists and more.

To add a stream, click on the Add Column icon (with the + sign on it) in the navigation bar. Then select the column type you want to add.

tweetdeck add column

Select the stream you want to add.

You can customize the content of each column and remove excess noise. This makes it easier to find the information you want. Click the icon in the upper-right corner of the column to access your filtering options.

tweetdeck customize column

TweetDeck allows you to customize columns so you can see the information that’s important to you.

Keep in mind that adding lots of streams isn’t always better. It’s important to choose the columns that will help you reach your marketing goals.

Here are five streams that you’ll want to add.

Notifications

The Notifications stream allows you to see when you have a new follower, someone has added you to a list or one of your tweets has been liked, retweeted or replied to.

Using this stream, you can quickly find active and potential clients, customers and followers. Essentially it lets you monitor every handle that is engaging with your content. You can use additional filters to narrow down your notifications to engagement, users and content type.

tweetdeck notifications

Narrow your notifications by users.

Mentions

Add the Mentions stream to monitor every tweet that mentions your Twitter handle, whether for the first time or as part of a reply/conversation.

tweetdeck mentions stream

The Mentions stream tracks tweets that mention your Twitter handle.

By monitoring and using this stream daily, your marketing team can track every company mention, and then react in a timely manner. You can quickly jump into conversations,offer customer support or engage with your existing user base or potential prospects.

Search

Search is one of the most important streams in TweetDeck. It allows your marketing team to go beyond users and monitor content related to keywords or hashtags.

Using the Search feature, you can keep an eye on topics and conversations that are essential to your business.

For example, if your company is about to launch a new technology product, your marketing team can set up a Search stream to monitor all tweets for keywords such as new technology, today in tech, #techtuesday, and so on.

Set up a stream for a relevant keyword or hashtag.

Bonus Tip: When setting up this stream, don’t forget to use Boolean operators to save space. This way, you can search for multiple terms in the same column.

Source: How to Easily Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts : Social Media Examiner

15 Hidden Instagram Hacks & Features Everyone Should Know About by Lindsay Kolowich | @lkolo25

In the past few years, Instagram has quickly become the go-to social network. And if you think it’s just middle and high schoolers are the ones using the app, think again: Pew Research Center reported in 2015 that 26% of adult internet users use Instagram. Compare that with the 23% of adult internet users who use Twitter.

Not only do adults use instagram, 53% of adults ages 18–29 years old say they use it every single day.

To help beginners and advanced Instagram users alike familiarize themselves with the platform, we’ve put together a list of 15 of the lesser-known tips and features Instagram has to offer.

Whether you’re a recruiter looking to showcase your company’s culture, a marketer in the ecommerce industry, or an individual looking to take your Instagram game to the next level, there are tips and features in here for you. (I think we can all agree #4 is a game changer.)

And for further reading, check out this list of the 11 best photo and video editing apps for mobile.

Note: Before getting started, make sure you’re operating on the latest version of Instagram, version 7.13.1.

15 Hidden Instagram Hacks & Features

1) Get notifications when your favorite people post.

Never want to miss an Instagram post from your favorite people again? You can choose to get a notification every time a specific users post a new photo. All you have to do is turn on notifications for each user individually.

To turn on notifications for a specific user: Visit that user’s profile, and open up one of their posts. Then, click the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner of the post, and choose “Turn on post notifications” from the menu that appears.

post-notifications.png

Want to turn post notifications off? Just follow those same steps.

Note: If you followed these instructions and still aren’t receiving notifications, double-check that you’ve allowed notifications from the Instagram app in your phone’s settings. Here’s how:

  • To allow notifications on iPhone/iPad: Go to “Settings,” then “Notifications.” Choose “Instagram” and then turn on the setting to “Allow Notifications.”
  • To allow notifications on Android: Go to “Settings,” then scroll down and choose “Apps,” then “Instagram.” Select the option to show notifications.

2) See all the posts you’ve Liked.

Ever wanted to see the posts you’ve Liked, all in one place? All you have to do is go to your own profile and click the “Options” button (a gear icon on iPhone/iPad and three dots on Android). Then, click “Posts You’ve Liked.”

posts-youve-liked.png

To un-Like any of the posts you’ve Liked, simply go to the post and deselect the “heart” icon below it. The user won’t be notified that you’ve un-Liked their post.

3) See the posts your friends have recently Liked, commented on, and so on.

You already know how to see the posts of yours that others have Liked recently. But what about the posts the people you follow have Liked recently? Or what they’ve commented on others’ photos, for that matter?

To view the recent activity from the people you follow: Click the heart icon at the bottom of the home screen that shows which people have Liked your photos. Then, choose the tab near the top that says “Following.”

other-peoples-activity.png

4) Look through pictures without worrying about accidentally Liking them.

Live in fear no more. This is more of a hack than a feature, but here goes: To look through someone’s Instagram photos without “double-tap paranoia,” scroll through their feed while on airplane mode. Without internet access, you won’t be able to Like their photo even if you accidentally double-tap it.

The pictures won’t load in the first place if you start on airplane mode, though. You’ll have to go to the feed first so the pictures load, then turn on airplane mode, then start scrolling. When you reach the end and need to load more pictures, simply turn airplane mode off, let more load, and then turn it on again.

  • To turn on airplane mode on an iPhone/iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and click the airplane icon. Or, go to “Settings” and then “Wi-Fi,” and switch “Airplane Mode” on.
  • To turn on airplane mode on an Android device: Swipe down from the top of the screen. Then, swipe from right to left until you see “Settings,” and then touch it. Touch “Airplane Mode” to turn it on.

5) Clear your search history.

I swear this blog post isn’t all about how to convince people you’re not a total creep. But let’s face it: there are times when we all wish we could just clear our search history on Instagram. Luckily, you can.

To clear your search history: Go to your own profile and click the “Options” button (a gear icon on iPhone/iPad and three dots on Android). Scroll down and click “Clear Search History.” When prompted, click “Yes, I’m sure.”

clear-search-history.png

6) Reorder the filters, and hide the ones you don’t use.

If you use Instagram a lot, chances are you have a few favorite filters you use all the time, and others you never touch. To make editing photos easier, you can reorder the filters in your editing window and even hide the ones you never use.

To reorder or hide filters, upload a photo and begin editing it, as you would when editing a new post. When you get to the filters page, scroll to the very far right of your filters options and click “Manage.”

manage-filters.png

To reorder filters: Simply hold your finger down on the three grey lines on the far right of the filter you’d like to move, and drag it to reorder.

reorder-filters.png

To hide filters: Deselect any filters you’d like to hide by tapping on the white check mark to the right of the filter.

hide-filters.png

When you’re done, exit the filter manager by tapping the “X” on the top right of your screen.

7) Use Instagram as a photo editor (without having to post anything).

Love Instagram’s filters and editing capabilities, but don’t necessarily want to post the photo to your account right now (or ever)? To use Instagram as a photo editor without posting anything, all you need to do is publish a picture while your phone is on airplane mode.

First, be sure you have “Save Original Photo” turned on in your settings.

save-original-photos.png

Then, turn on airplane mode. Here’s how to do that:

  • To turn on airplane mode on an iPhone/iPad: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and click the airplane icon. Or, go to “Settings” and then “Wi-Fi,” and switch “Airplane Mode” on.
  • To turn on airplane mode on an Android device: Swipe down from the top of the screen. Then, swipe from right to left until you see “Settings,” and then touch it. Touch “Airplane Mode” to turn it on.

Next, follow the normal steps to post a photo to Instagram: Upload the photo, edit it, and press “Share.” An error message will appear saying the upload failed, but you’ll be able to find the edited image in your phone’s photo gallery.

failed-to-upload.png

8) Insert line breaks into your bio and captions.

When you write a caption in Instagram, you’ll see the keyboard doesn’t give you an option to press “Enter” or “Return.” The same is true for your bio. So how do all those people put line breaks in there?

no-enter-or-return.png

Here’s a handy trick I learned from Stephanie in her blog, Life in Limbo: Write out your caption in a different app, copy it, and paste it into Instagram.

Stephanie’s found that this doesn’t work sometimes, but the app with the best outcomes has been the Facebook app. She suggests opening up the Facebook app and creating a new status by clicking “Update Status.” Write your caption in the text box as if you were going to publish it on Facebook, line breaks included. Then, instead of posting it on Facebook, copy the caption and paste it into your Instagram caption or bio. The app should preserve your line breaks.

While this is a great hack, keep in mind that Instagram recently started capping captions at three lines without users having to click “More” to see the whole thing.

capped-caption.jpg

9) Hide photos you’ve been tagged in.

When someone tags you in a photo or video on Instagram, it’s automatically added to your profile under “Photos of You,” unless you opt to add tagged photos manually (see the next tip).

To see the posts you’ve been tagged in: Go to your own profile and click the person icon on the far right below your bio.

tagged-photos-in-profile.jpeg

To hide the posts you’ve been tagged in from your profile: Once you’re looking at the posts you’ve been tagged in, click the three dots in the top right of your screen and choose “Edit Tags.” Then, select the posts you’d like to remove from your profile. When you’re done selecting posts, click “Hide From Profile” at the bottom of your screen. When prompted, click “Hide From Profile” again.

hide-tagged-posts.png

This won’t remove the posts themselves from Instagram, but it will remove them from your profile so you and others can’t access them.

10) Adjust your settings to approve tagged photos before they show up in your profile.

Again, when someone tags a photo or video of you on Instagram, it’ll automatically be added to your profile by default. But you can change that so you can manually select which photos you’re tagged in show up on your profile.

To add tags manually: Go to your own profile and click the “Options” button (a gear icon on iPhone/iPad and three dots on Android). Select “Add Manually.”

remove-tags-manually.png

Once you choose to add photos to your profile manually, you’ll still be notified when someone tags you in a photo.

To manually add a tagged photo to your profile: Tap on the photo you were tagged in, then tap your username and select “Show on My Profile.” (If you’d rather not, simply choose “Hide from My Profile” instead.)

show-or-hide-from-profile.png

11) Remove photos from your photo map.

Alright … if you’re seeing this for the first time, I’m about to show you something a little creepy. When you go to your profile and click the location pin icon under your bio, a map will appear, which groups photos by where you were when you posted them.

Here’s what the map looks like. As you can see, you can zoom in on that map to a better idea of the specific location that photo was taken … right down to the street level. Yikes.

geotagged-photos-east-coast.png geotags-in-boston.png

If this realization creeps you out, you may want to remove the location data on some or all of your photos.

(Note: This is different from simply removing the geotag from an individual photo. Here, we’re removing all the location data that Instagram recorded and attached to a photo at the time that you took it. If you geotagged the photo, it’ll remove the geotag, too. If you didn’t geotag the photo, it would still have shown up on the map if your phone settings let Instagram know your location, so this step would remove the rest of its location data.)

Luckily, Instagram doesn’t make you go through individual photos to remove the location data from a photo. Instead, it lets you remove location data from photos in batches — and right from your map in the Instagram app.

To remove location data from photos: Go to your profile and click the location pin icon under your bio.

location-pin-in-profile.jpg

From there, you’ll see the map that groups photos by where you were when you posted them. You can zoom in and out on different parts of the map to get photos’ more specific locations.

When you’ve narrowed in on which group of photos you’d like to go through to remove location data, click “Edit” at the top right of your map. As shown in the screenshots below, the numbers on the photos will turn from blue (left) to green (right).

geotags-in-boston.png edit-boston-photos.png

Tap a grouping of photos and click “Edit” in the dropdown menu that appears.

A new window will open that displays the photos from that grouping in one place. From there, you can deselect the photos from which you’d like the location data removed — either one by one, or by choosing “Deselect all.”

Once you’ve deselected posts to your liking, click “Done” on the top right of your screen. In the window that appears, click “Confirm.”

deselect-photos-from-map.png remove-geotags-confirmation.png

POOF — location data will be removed from those photos forever. (Note: When you remove the location data, it’ll be removed permanently.)

(One more note here: The language “Remove 4 geotags?” is admittedly a little confusing. To reiterate, you’re removing the location data from the photo entirely. If you geotagged the photo, it’ll remove the geotag, too. If you didn’t geotag the photo, you’ll be removing the rest of the location data that was attached to that photo when you posted it. In the end, whichever photos you deselect will be removed from your map permanently.)

12) Browse photos taken in certain locations.

One fun thing you can do on Instagram is browse photos taken at a specific location, or taken near your current location. I like to do this when I’m in a particularly beautiful place, or when I want to scroll through photos taken at a specific event or something like that.

Here’s how to do both of these things.

Browse Photos Taken at a Specific Location:

You can either search for a specific place, or you can click into a geotag on an existing photo.

To search for a specific place: Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your home screen, which will bring you to the general search page. When you click in to the search bar at the top, four tabs will appear. Choose “Places,” and type in the name of a place. When you press “Search,” it’ll show you all the top and recent posts that were geotagged with that location.

To look at photos from a certain geotag: Go to the photo that’s geotagged with that location, and click the geotag. It’ll show you all the top and recent posts that were geotagged with that location.

Browse Photos Taken Near Your Current Location:

Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your home screen, which will bring you to the general search page. When you click in to the search bar at the top, four tabs will appear. Choose “Places,” and click “Near Current Location.”

places-near-current-location.png

Choose which geotag you’d like to browse from the options that appear. Let’s say I chose to browse photos tagged with the HubSpot geotag. When I click “HubSpot” on the menu, I’ll see the top and recent posts that were geotagged with “HubSpot.”

browse-posts-near-hubspot.png

13) Drive traffic to an external website.

One of the biggest frustrations people have with Instagram — especially businesses — is that it isn’t a great platform for driving traffic away from the app to a website, a Twitter page, or somewhere else. Why? Because clickable URLs aren’t allowed anywhere except the single “website” box in your bio.

If you put a URL in a photo caption, it’ll appear as plain text, meaning users would have to painstakingly copy the URL, open a web browser, and paste or type it in there.

One sneaky way to get people to visit your Instagram profile, which is where that one clickable URL is allowed, is to use your photo captions to encourage people to visit your profile for a link. Then, update that URL frequently to point to your latest blog content, YouTube video, product, or offer.

Check out the example below. On the left, the photo caption provides a text call-to-action to visit the user’s profile so you can click the link related to the post. On the right, you’ll see the link itself. Update this link frequently to point to your latest content or offer.

link-mentioned-in-caption.png

Image Credit: SmartInsights

14) Hide ads you don’t find relevant.

Instagram, like its parent company Facebook, tries to show you ads that are interesting and relevant to you. You might see ads based on people you follow and things you Like on Instagram, your information and interests on Facebook, and the third-party websites and apps you visit.

If you see sponsored posts you don’t find relevant, though, you can let Instagram know and slowly teach its algorithm what you like and don’t like to see.

To hide ads on Instagram: Tap on the “Sponsored” label on the top right of any ad, and choose “Hide This.”

hide-ads.png

From there, it’ll ask you to share why you don’t want to see the ad anymore.

why-no-ads.png

You can also opt out of seeing ads based on sites and apps off of Instagram and Facebook from your device’s settings. Note that even if you choose to opt out of seeing these types of ads, you’ll still see ads based on your Instagram and Facebook activity.

  • To limit ad tracking on an iPhone/iPad: Go to “Settings” and choose “Privacy,” then “Advertising.” From there, choose the option to “Limit Ad Tracking”

limit-ad-tracking-iphone.png

  • To turn off interest-based ads on Android: Go to “Google Settings,” then “Ads.” From there, choose the option to “Turn off interest-based ads.”

opt-out-interest-based-ads-android.png

15) Send photos privately to your friends.

Sharing posts with all your followers or with the public isn’t the only way to share photos on Instagram. You can also share them with individual users or with groups, kind of like a Facebook message or text.

You can either send a new photo to friends, or send a photo that you or someone else has already posted.

To send a new photo privately: Upload a photo and begin editing it, as you would when editing a new post. When you get to the “Share to” page, choose “Direct” at the top of your screen. From there, you can pick and choose whom you’d like to send the photo to, whether it’s an individual, a new group, or an existing group. When you click “Send,” it’ll start a direct conversation with that person or group.

send-photo-to-group.png

You can access your direct messages at any time by clicking the mailbox icon at the top right of your homepage.

To send an existing photo privately: First, open the photo. It can be your own photo or someone else’s, as long as they have a public account. Next, click the curved arrow icon to the right of the Like and comment icons underneath the photo. From there, select whom you’d like to send it to. You can add a message if you’d like, and then click “Send.”

send-photo-to-friend.png

What other lesser-known Instagram features do you know about? Share with us in the comments.

 

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks [Infographic] + Free Templates

Hubspot Marketing Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Social Media Platforms Image Sizes
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks [Infographic] Written by Lindsay Kolowich
When you’re designing cover photos, graphics, and other social media assets, sometimes knowing the bare bones image dimensions isn’t enough.

A cheat sheet of the sizes and dimensions for photos and images on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Google+.

What if you wanted to place text or an arrow on your Facebook cover photo without it getting covered by the profile photo? And what about the shared link thumbnails on Facebook or in-stream photos on Twitter … how big should those be?

Download pre-sized cover photo templates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube for free here.

If you’re looking for a detailed guide to social media photo sizes — including recommended dimensions, minimum and maximum dimensions, image scale, and more — then this is it.

The infographic below from Jamie Spencer of MakeAWebsiteHub.com is a great reference to bookmark or keep close-at-hand the next time you’re creating an image for your social media profile. 

Photo & Image Dimensions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and More


hubspot-social-image-size-guide.jpg

Quick References

Facebook Image Sizes

  • Cover photo: 815 px wide by 315 px tall
  • Profile image: 180 px wide by 180 px tall
  • Highlighted image: 1200 px wide by 717 px tall
  • Shared image: 1200 px wide by 630 px tall
  • Shared link thumbnail image: 1200 px wide by 627 px tall

LinkedIn Image Sizes

  • Background image: 1500 px wide by 425 px tall
  • Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
  • Career cover photo: 974 px wide by 330 px tall
  • Banner image: 646 px wide by 220 px tall (minimum)
  • Standard logo: 400 px wide by 400 pixels tall (maximum)

Pinterest Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 165 px wide by 165 px tall
  • Board display: 22 px wide by 150 px tall
  • Pin sizes: 236 px wide

Instagram Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 110 px wide by 110 px tall
  • Photo size: 1080 px wide by 1080 px tall
  • Photo thumbnails: 161 px wide by 161 px tall

Twitter Image Sizes

  • Header photo: 1500 px wide by 500 px tall
  • Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
  • In-stream photo: 440 px wide by 220 px tall

YouTube Image Sizes

  • Video uploads: 1280 px wide by 760 px tall
  • Channel cover photo: 2560 px wide by 1440 px tall

Tumblr Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 128 px wide by 128 px tall
  • Image post: 500 px wide by 750 px tall

Google+ Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 250 px wide by 250 px tall
  • Cover image: 1080 px wide by 608 px tall
  • Shared image (on home stream): 497 px wide by 373 px tall
  • Shared image (on feed or your page): 150 px wide by 150 px tall

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

free trial of hubspot's social media software

[This updated Infographic first appeared on Hubspot on the 12th January 2016]

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

520+ Social Media Tools – A Definitive List by Chris Makara

Social Media Tools for Virtual Assistants and More
Social Media Tools for Virtual Assistants and More

This is the largest and most comprehensive list of social media tools online. Trust me, I did some digging.

Sure, there are countless lists floating around that have 10, 25, or even 100 social media tools listed. At best, you typically get the same top social media tools mentioned across these lists.

But you and I both know that there are hundreds of other little known social media tools out there that can help with your social media marketing initiatives. However, who has time to curate all of these tools in one place?

Lucky for you, I have compiled over 500 social media tools into a single list. So we’re off to a good start.

Grab Discounts to 17 of These Social Media Tools: Not only will you save some $$$, but I’ll even tell you what over 100 experts picked as their favorite tools – Click here to see what they said & to get the discounts.

But check this out:

This is not your same old list post. Nope…

What I have found in list posts is that the longer the list, the more frustrated I get when endlessly scrolling to uncover a hidden gem that will do what I need it to.

I’m sure you can agree that this is not the best use of your time.

So here’s what I did:

Instead of throwing out a bunch of links to tools in some random order, I have made it drop-dead simple to zero in on tools that will solve your pain points.

With this list of social media tools, you can:

  • See which tools work on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter
  • Use the search filter to identify specific needs a tool serves, specific social media channels it will work, or the particular name of a tool you are interested in learning more about
  • Upvote or downvote your favorite or least favorite social tools
  • Sort the table alphabetically by name, whether or not it is free or paid (or both), or which tools have to most or least upvotes

Click here to go straight to the list of social media tools.

What is the Definition of a Social Media Tool?

Some things to note is that the term “social media tool” can be somewhat vague. What I mean is that even though a tool might serve a primary purpose for something else, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be used to help your social media activities in some way.

For example, one such tool is Google Analytics. While it is definitely not intended to be a social media tool, you can most certainly use it to more accurately track your social media initiatives.

So please keep an open mind when sifting through these results.

Why You Need Multiple Social Media Tools

Whether most people admit it or not, you should be using various tools to help with your social media activities. By no means should you fully automate your social media presence, but you should look at ways to help streamline your efforts.

The numbers for social media are staggering. Twitter recently published that they have 316,000,000 (that’s 316 million) monthly active users. That pales in comparison to Facebook which has 1,900,000,000 monthly active users. Yep, that’s 1.9 billion.

Bottom-line is that no matter what your business has to offer, chances are that you can find your audience among the various social media networks.

In fact, according to GrowEpic’s data here is a breakdown of percent of companies in an industry that use each social media channel:

  • 45% – Facebook
  • 22% – Google+
  • 18% – Instagram
  • 7% – LinkedIn
  • 18% – Pinterest
  • 53% – Twitter

Here is the full chart with all the industries tracked:

Social Media Channel Usage By Industry

Of course your social channel focus will be influenced by your audience. If your business falls within one of these categories, you can have a good idea of where your competitors are focusing their efforts. You might choose to develop a presence on channels where your competitors are. Or perhaps, you take a contrarian approach and go after a less saturated social media channel.

No matter what social channels you want to be active on, to get the most out of your initiatives you will probably want consider a social media tool or two that will help you be more efficient.

Unfortunately, there is not a single software or tool that can tackle all your needs on each social media channel. The good news is that with this list of social media tools having the ability to be filtered, you can easily narrow down the results.

Many of these tools work across multiple social networks, which is not surprising.

Out of the social media tools in this list, we can see that the majority of them will work on Twitter and the fewest being Pinterest. Twitter has had an API open to developers for years, while Pinterest is just starting to roll out access to their API.

Number of Tools Per Social NetworkFacebookGoogle+InstagramLinkedInPinterestTwitter0125250375500

Social Network # of Tools Supported
Facebook 326
Google+ 215
Instagram 158
LinkedIn 233
Pinterest 119
Twitter 427

Cost to use these tools vary. Some are free, some are paid, and some offer both free and paid options.

The majority of tools listed here do cost something to use. It takes a lot of time, resources, and money to put together many of these tools.

Here’s the pricing breakdown:

Cost StructurePaidFreeFree, Paid47.6%19.3%33.1%

Cost # of Tools
Paid 239
Free 166
Free, Paid 97

Current List of Social Media Tools

As you can imagine, there are no doubt more tools that I have yet to find. So I can definitely use your help. If you know of a tool that is worth using and not on this list, please tell me about it here. I’ll be sure to check out the tool/service and update this list accordingly.

If you happen to come across an item in the list that is inaccurate or incorrect, please let me know so that I can fix it. Many of these tools require paid access to use, and unfortunately I don’t have access to some of them to really know the ins and outs of them. So if you are a user of a particular tool, let me know if I described one incorrectly.

I’d like to ask for your help in maintaining this list. Various social media tools come and go, and there’s nothing more annoying that clicking on a link to a tool to find out it is no longer available.

So, if you come across a tool that has seen better days, leave a comment below and I’ll update the list.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below about your favorite social media tools!

P.S. You will be asked to sign in to List.ly in order to vote for your favorite tools – don’t worry it’s easy and you sign in using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

 

 [This post first appeared on www.bulk.ly and written by Chris Makara]

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]

How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure Social Media Examiner

Written by: Elizabeth Victor Published 4th August
How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure

Are you using Instagram to promote your business?  Want to increase your exposure?

Making a few simple tweaks to your Instagram marketing can generate more engagement and increase the visibility of your content.

 

In this article you’ll discover how to get more exposure for your brand on Instagram.

#1: Embrace the Hashtag

Descriptive hashtags on Instagram will help expose your content to more people. This will lead to more engagement and ultimately grow your followers.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, hashtags are short, descriptive keywords, preceded by the hash sign (#), which enable users to find content they’re looking for with a simple click. Relevant hashtags in posts help create a dialogue between your business and other users.

There are a number of things you can do with hashtags to get the ball rolling on Instagram.

First of all, add hashtags relevant to your industry or niche to every post your business makes on Instagram. Remember, you can use as many hashtags as you want, which will help you attract a wider audience. Note: Research has found even small accounts that use 11 or more hashtags receive an average of 77.6 interactions.

So if you’re an online retailer specializing in women’s clothes, include the hashtag #womensfashion, among others, in your photo description. This will help users find inspiration, as well as help you land more followers, improve brand awareness and increase sales.

#2: Engage With Your Community

To make the most of your efforts on Instagram, it’s vital to spend time engaging with your community and other users on the platform.  See what photos and hashtags attract the most comments and likes, and jump on the bandwagon. You can also re-post exceptional images from your followers.

Also, determine where people from your target demographic hang out. Find out which accounts they follow and then engage with them. Comment on their photos and like their posts. Remember to add value with your comments and don’t be spammy.

If you’ve done your research and interact with the right people, these users are likely to engage with your brand and follow your account. Your brand will also start to show up on their followers’ radar.

#3: Launch a Contest

The prospect of getting something for nothing has always been alluring in the world of marketing. Use the reach and popularity of your Instagram account to host competitions and attract more followers. An Instagram contest is a great way to drum up excitement and get people talking about your brand.

Whether you go with a tag, hashtag, like to win, share or other type of promotion, your Instagram contest will certainly be a hit.

#4: Build Awareness of Your Instagram Handle

Even though this is fairly obvious and straightforward, it’s still worth mentioning. The first step in Instagram marketing is to promote your handle to your customers. Then they’ll know you have a presence on Instagram and where to find you.

There are various ways to spread the word that your business is on Instagram. If you have a storefront, print out an Instagram badge along with your username. Laminate it or put it in a frame and display it in your store. This is something you can share virtually on your social platforms as well.

You can write a blog post on your Instagram presence, and share it on your different social platforms. Be sure to link to your Instagram account from you website as well.

#5: Cross-Promote Visual Posts on Other Social Media Channels

Part of the reason Instagram is so popular is that people love visual content.

Don’t limit your visual posts to Instagram. Share them on all of your social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. That way you can leverage the fan bases of all of your social accounts.

Cross-promoting is yet another way to raise awareness of your Instagram account.

Final Thoughts

Instagram now has more monthly users than Twitter, which makes it one of the most popular social media networks out there.

A visual platform like Instagram is the perfect social media channel to convey your brand’s personality to your audience. Use these tips to effectively market your brand. You’ll increase your audience, as well as your visibility, and in turn grow your business.

Source: How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure Social Media Examiner published on Social Media Examiner on 4th August 2015.

The 29 Rules Of Social Media – And Which Ones To Break

The 29 Rules Of Social Media – And Which Ones To Break.

The Next Web - 29 Social Media Rules

How did you end up learning the unwritten rules for social media etiquette?

For me, it was a lot of watching and waiting, a bit of experimenting, and tons of trial and error. When I first started out on social media, I had just the most basic rules and intuitions. Even now, I feel like I learn a new quirk or quibble on a near-daily basis.

[Read more]

5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Make Infographics in PowerPoint [Free Templates]

HubSpot Marketing Blog by edevaney@hubspot.com (Erik Devaney)

Despite the spattering of headlines that have popped up over the past couple years proclaiming “infographics are dead,” infographics are, in fact, alive and well.

We just checked — they’re totally healthy. I mean, there are a lot of them, but when marketers spend the time aligning the topic, content, and style of their infographics with the needs and preferences of their target audiences, they’re still finding success. (And by “success” I mean driving traffic — and potential leads — to their websites and generating social buzz through people sharing and commenting.)

A 2014 study shows that the use of infographics among B2B marketers increased 9% from 2013 to 2014: from 43% adoption to 52% adoption. And a recent report from Social Media Examiner shows that original, visual content is the number one form of content that marketers want to learn more about in 2015.

But how can those who don’t necessarily have a design background — or the budget to commission an agency, hire a dedicated in-house designer, or purchase expensive design software — create professional-looking infographics that are able to captivate their audiences?

We’re so glad you asked! Here’s a little secret: You can do it using the software you probably already have installed on your computer. That’s right! PowerPoint can be your best friend when it comes to visual content creation.

And to help you get started, we’ve created 10 fabulous infographic templates you can download and use for free right within PowerPoint. Don’t be shy …

Download your 10 free infographic templates right here.

And in this post, we’ll highlight five of the infographic templates from the download and teach you some PowerPoint infographic creation basics along the way. Just be sure todownload the PowerPoint templates for yourself so you can easily customize the designs you see below!

5 Infographics That Teach You How to Create Infographics

1) How to Create an Infographic Filled With Data

Infographics and data visualization are the peanut butter and jelly of the visual content world.

When you have new data to reveal to the world, you can use an infographic to display that data as part of a cohesive, visual narrative. And that’s exactly what the “Data Geek” template is for.

The Data Geek Template

 

 

 

 

We’ve loaded this template with a variety of different charts and graphs, which you can easily update with your own data. (Just right click on a graph, choose “Edit Data,” and you’ll be able to customize the values in an Excel spreadsheet.)

Not sure which types of graphs to use for your different data sets? Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Column chart: Use for comparing different categories or for showing changes over time (from left to right).
  • Pie chart: Use for making part-to-whole comparisons. (Note: They work best with small data sets.)
  • Line graph: Use for showing data that changes continuously over time. Ideal for displaying volatility, trends, acceleration, or deceleration.
  • Doughnut chart: Use like a pie chart. This stylistic variation allows you to put a number, graphic, or other visual in the center of the chart.
  • Bar chart: Use like a column chart. (The horizontal bars make it easier to display long category names.)

2) How to Make a Timeline Infographic

Telling the history of a particular industry, product, brand, trend, or tactic can be a great topic for an infographic. And while there are a variety of different ways that you can visualize time — including in a circle, which is what we did with our Google algorithm updates infographic — the timeline is by far the most common and easiest design method to use.

To tell your story with our timeline infographic template below, update the time periods in the center circles, replace the placeholder text, and adjust the visuals and colors to your liking. For those latter adjustments, you can choose “Insert” > “Shape in PowerPoint” to add in different visuals, and use the paint bucket (a.k.a. “color fill”) icon to change the colors of different elements.

The Timeline Template

Want to make sure your timeline infographic hits all the right notes? Here are some tips to consider:

  • Research. Research. Research. The best timeline infographics aren’t just beautifully designed — they also tell a great story based on extensive research. So before you start the design phase of your infographic, put in the time to surface the best information possible.
  • Narrow the scope: Timelines that cover hundreds or thousands of years can certainly be interesting, but they can also require weeks or months of research. To keep your sanity, stick with shorter time periods.
  • Keep your copy concise: Infographics are supposed to be visual. If you find yourself writing 100+ words for each date on your timeline, a blog post may be the better content format.

3) How to Design a Totally Hip Infographic

Ok, so “hipness” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. But for this infographic template we wanted to do something that reflected modern design trends, including using banners and arrows.

In terms of content, we provided plenty of space for both stats and copy. There’s also a column chart at the bottom. But remember, you can always add different charts and graphs to the template wherever you see fit. Just select “Insert” > “Chart …” and you’ll have several options to choose from.

A Totally Hip Infographic
The Hipster Template

To make sure your end result is as hip as possible, here are some design tips to follow:

  • Experiment with new color palettes. There are tons of free color palettes online. Don’t believe me? Do a Google image search of “color palette.” When you find a palette you like, drag the image directly into your PowerPoint presentation. Next, select the “color fill” bucket, choose “More Colors …” and click on the eyedropper icon. With the eyedropper tool, you can select colors from your palette and use them for elements in your infographic.
  • Take the time to manipulate shapes. PowerPoint has an extensive library of shapes — including banners, ribbons, and arrows — that you can use in your infographic design. By clicking and dragging on the little yellow diamonds that appear on these shapes, you can customize them. For example, you can make the pointy ends of a ribbon longer or shorter, or make the body of an arrow thinner or thicker.

4) How to Create a Flowchart Infographic

Warning: Creating a flowchart-style infographic is not for the faint of heart.

While on the surface a flowchart infographic may appear simple and fun, a lot of thought and planning need to go into making sure the different sections flow into each other in a logical way.

In our flowchart PowerPoint template, we created a basic flowchart structure, with positive responses guiding viewers to a conclusion at the bottom left of the infographic and negative responses guiding viewers to a separate conclusion at the bottom right of the infographic.

The Flowchart Template

To ensure your flowchart infographic makes sense and is easy for viewers to navigate, follow these tips:

  • Draw out the branches beforehand. Before you dive into PowerPoint, get out a pen and paper and do a rough outline of your flowchart. Test for weaknesses in your logic by answering questions in every possible combination and seeing where you end up. For best results, have a friend or coworker run through the flowchart too.
  • The smaller the scope, the easier the execution. The more questions or stages you add to your flowchart, the more difficult it will be to create (and the harder it will likely be for viewers to understand). So try to narrow the focus of your flowchart.

5) How to Design an Image-Heavy Infographic

So far, the infographic templates we’ve looked at have relied primarily on illustrations that you can create within PowerPoint. But of course, there’s no reason why you can’t bring external photos and other images into your infographic design.

We’ve created this image-heavy infographic template for that exact purpose. It’s great for comparing different categories, ideas, or results, and since you don’t need to create or customize a lot of shapes, it’s a lot less work.

The Image Heavy Template

Here are some suggestions for ensuring your image-heavy infographic is easy on the eyes:

  • Use high-quality images. It’s better to scale down a big image (e.g. 2,000 pixels by 2,000 pixels) than to scale up a small image (e.g. 20 pixels by 20 pixels) in order to fit a particular space. The latter approach will result in images appearing pixelated and grainy.
  • Use borders. Adding borders to your images will help make them feel like their part of a cohesive design. In PowerPoint, you can control the size, style, and color of borders under the “Format Picture” tab.
  • Save your infographic as a PNG file. This is a best practice for all infographics, but is particularly relevant when publishing an infographic that contains photographs. The PNG extension offers better quality than other options. To save your finished infographic as a PNG file, you simply need to choose “File” > “Save As …” and select PNG from the dropdown.

What are you waiting for? Grab your free infographic templates so you can start customizing fantastic-looking infographics of your own!