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What The Stryde Ladies Can Tell You About Their Content Marketing Tools

By | Our Process, Tools | One Comment

At Stryde, content creation, distribution, and promotion is just another way of life. It’s our everyday bread and butter, our mental workout routine, and the juice that gets us going each day.

We three Stryde ladies know that there’s a lot that goes into implementing these marketing tactics from start to finish and using the proper tools isn’t just a big help, it’s a necessity!

For each of our specialists in the areas of social media, content creation, and outreach, there are a variety of resources that we use and love. Here’s what goes into our toolboxes:

Emily Burkhart, Social Media Manager, knows how to promote! She amplifies client’s content to tailored audiences on the daily and optimizes it with creative images, always while keeping up with industry trends. She relies on a few tools to stay on top of it it all.

“I live in Hootsuite. It’s the tool I utilize every single day without fail. Whether I’m scheduling shares for the week or putting reports together, Hootsuite really gives you all that you could ask for in a social management platform. I’ve tried other platforms, but even the most beautifully designed pale in comparison to Hootsuite.
When it comes to content amplification, getting your hashtags right is paramount! For that, I love Hashtagify.me. It shows a hashtags popularity and related keywords, all with one simple search.
Now, when it comes to images, I cannot live without Canva! I don’t have a formal education in graphic design, but Canva makes it so easy to make the image in your head a reality. If you find yourself fumbling with Photoshop and InDesign, or just want to add some fun images to your current blogging efforts, you have to check out Canva.”

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Kirsten Metcalf, Content Strategist, writes on anything from witty dating advice, to cloud computing, to more sensitive topics each day; changing the subject matter and keeping her tone on point! She can draft up an intelligent, entertaining content piece in nothing flat, using a few tools to help spark her creativity.

“I like organization. If my house and workplace aren’t organized, I can’t get anything done. This is exactly why my No. 1 tool to keep me, my topic ideas, client content pieces, and my weekly to-do list organized is Evernote. Everything I need to see and be reminded of is right there in one place, and it easily syncs with all my devices so I can add and check stuff in the office or on the go. I’m cheap and just use the free version, which makes this tool even more fantastic that it keeps me focused and on task, and helps turn my content ideas into completed works of art at no cost.
As a writer, I’ve experienced writer’s block my fair share of times. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with an amazing content topic. This is where Quora comes in handy. I just recently got a Quora account, and so far I like this Q&A site. I selected topics that interest me and that are relevant to Stryde’s clients, and now when I log in I can follow and search for popular questions being asked and answered within those topics. I can also ask my own questions and answer other users’ questions. It’s a great way to see what questions users in Stryde’s industry and our clients’ industries are asking and topics they’re talking about, which helps me discover new ideas when trying to brainstorm relevant content topics.”

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Emily Christopher, PR & Outreach Strategist, understands the organic way of promoting content. When it comes to building relationships, quality and authenticity are key. She uses a few tools to get content under the noses of the right influencers and out to the eyes of the right audiences.

“In running an outreach campaign, I can’t stress organization enough. I use Buzzstream to build lists that live under assigned tags and can track my email threads and add notes. The Buzzmarker is also a newer feature that lets me save contacts directly from the page that I’m on. That’s really helped to speed things up for me. Buzz also makes it super easy to set up email outreach templates, while still giving me the option to customize a message before sending and giving it a more personal touch.
When I’m looking to reach out to more niche audiences, a great tool I’ve been using more recently is Citation Lab’s Link Prospector. It allows me to build contact lists and easily label them by campaign. You can select the type of report you want to run for your campaign; I often use “guest posting” and “links pages”, and then plug in my search phrases. It automatically pulls a customized list of contacts that’s right in line with what I’m searching for. It’s pretty awesome.”

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Implementing these tools daily does not only make our jobs much easier, but it also expedites processes and helps to propel our client work to the next level. A big thanks to all of the tools we’ve listed and we’re excited to discover many more! What are some of your favorite content marketing tools?

4 Big Content Marketing Challenges & How To Overcome Them

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

content marketing challenges

Whether you’re just getting started with a content marketing initiative, or have been practicing the art for years, you’re bound to hit a few bumps along the way. Not only are all of the challenges present that occur with all initiatives, like budget and staff, but there are also the challenges of encouraging adoption of a non-traditional method of marketing.

Last year, Curata surveyed over 500 marketing professionals and published the results in the 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner. These 500 professionals gave insight into their biggest challenges with content marketing, these included the following (in order of importance): limited staff, limited budget, creating enough content on a regular basis, finding the best sources to create amazing content, organizational culture, measuring impact of content, and promoting content.

Curata’s findings are quite telling in many ways. First, it sheds a light on to the importance of monetary resources available. Second, as Curata astutely points out, content measurement and promotion are on the bottom of the list. This is a big, big problem.

The thing we love most about a challenge is the opportunity it creates to overcome it. Below, we’ll address how we see the challenges of content marketing and how to address each one.

Content Marketing Challenge #1: Limited Resources

As we mentioned earlier, focusing on promotion and measurement is paramount in successful content marketing. However, for content marketing to even be considered, you must answer this question first.

The answer to this is simple: content marketing costs less than traditional marketing. In fact, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing does and generates approximately 3 times as many leads. The bottom line is that marketing dollars are better spent with content marketing.

But what about the headcount? You can probably make room in the budget for a content marketing initiative, but hiring a full time writer, social media specialist, SEO, graphic designer, and even videographer is harder for one to make happen.

Here’s when outsourcing is your friend. Hiring specialists in the field of content marketing makes your job much easier and hedges your bets for success. Check out our list comparing and contrasting hiring an agency versus building an in-house team here.

If you decide to hire a reputable agency, you won’t have to address the challenges of creation, promotion, and how to measure results. Go you! But, if you’re building an in-house team, here’s how to address those issues.

Content Marketing Challenge #2: Content Creation Processes

Building processes is never simple and content creation is no different. However, laying this groundwork of processes is essential for creating killer content on a regular basis.

The first step here is to take a look at your buyer personas (or create them if you haven’t yet). From these buyer personas you’ll generate content topics and types. A monthly or quarterly editorial calendar should then be created where you’ll plan out the dates of publication for the content you will create.

The editorial calendar is also where you’ll plan your curation strategy. Curated content should be 25% of your overall content marketing mix. Within this content, you can share relevant industry news as well as quality 3rd party content that will support your own created content.

Content Marketing Challenge #3: Promotion

Many people get so wrapped up in the content creation phase, that they forgo the attention that promotion requires.

When you’re starting a content marketing campaign, expect that you’ll be spending 50% of your time on “content” and 50% of your time on “marketing.” While that may seem absurdly fundamental, please do carry it with you.

Content marketing promotion may take many forms, including promotion on owned, earned, and paid channels. Common methods of content promotion are:

  • Social media (unpaid)
  • Social media (paid)
  • Content promotion networks
  • Re-Targeting

Content Marketing Challenge #4: Measurement

There are really two facets of the measurement content marketing challenge. The first is know what to measure. The second is understanding what those measurements mean.

To address the issue of what to measure, it’s imperative that you have concrete goals. Your KPIs will vary depending on the type of goals you have set. Understanding what your goals are is the first step in addressing measurement issues.

After you have determined and calculated your KPIs, it’s time to understand them. You may have had a 59% increase in followers. Great! So what? What does that mean for your brand? Does this indicate an increase of brand awareness? Are those followers of high value? The only way to answer these questions is to dig in to your data.

Content Marketing: Accomplished

By addressing each of these big content marketing challenges, you’re on the road to content marketing success. While tackling limited resources, creation process, promotion, and measurement issues early makes your ride much smoother along the way.

Are there any other challenges that you would address? What are your content marketing hurdles?

Top 50 Content Marketing Experts

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

Top50CMsAt Stryde, we strive to connect with all facets of our digital marketing community. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of who we consider to be the Top 50 Content Marketing experts. To compile this list, we used things like Twitter followers, frequency and quality of interactions in the social realm, breadth and depth of experience, as well as impact on the industry as a whole. By no means is this list exhaustive and it is listed in alphabetical order. Also, you’ll probably want to find these experts on Twitter. Click on the link names in each experts description, or save the time and subscribe our Top 50 Content Marketers list on Twitter. In the coming weeks we’ll also have posts of the Top 50 Social Media and SEO Experts, so stay tuned!

1. Adele Revela, President at The Buyer Persona Institute

For over 25 years, Adele Revella has helped marketers become trusted sources of competitive strategies. As the president of The Buyer Persona Institute, Revella leads practical workshops that dig into real-world business issues. She also spreads the word of using buyer personas to influence all marketing decisions.

2. Ahava Leibtag, President at Aha Media Group

Ahava Leitbag has more than 15 years of experience in writing, messaging, and marketing. In addition, she authored the popular blog Online it ALL Matters, which focused on the healthcare and higher education industries.

3. Amanda Maksymiw, Content Marketing Manager at Lattice Engines

As content marketing manager, Amanda Maksymiw is responsible for setting and managing Lattice Engine’s content marketing strategy including creating, producing, and publishing engaging content. Maksymiw has also been crowned “Content Marketing Tactician of the Year” in 2012.

4. Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Solutions

Andy Crestodina has authored almost 200 articles on content marketing topics ranging from SEO to social media. With 12 years of experience, Crestodina says the reason he loves web design and web marketing is that it’s both an art and a science.

5. Angie Schottmuller; Inbound Marketing Advisor and Speaker at Three Deep Marketing

Angie Schottmuller has more than 13 years’ experience in multi-channel B2B and B2C in both agency and corporation settings. Recently, she defined the Online Marketing university curriculum for The Art Institutes. Schottmuller is also is an active contributor on Search Engine Watch.

6.  Ann Handley, CCO at MarketingProfs

Ann Handley has been recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, as well as one of the most influential women in social media. Her impressive resume does not end there, Handley also co-founded ClickZ.com and is a best selling author of the book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage and Ignite Your Business.

7. Arnie Kuenn, CEO at Vertical Measures

Not only is Arnie Kuenn the CEO of Vertical Measures, he is also the author of Accelerate! Moving your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social, and Content Marketing. For more than 20 years, Kueenn has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing.

8. Barry Feldman, CEO at Feldman Creative

Barry Feldman’s firm Feldman Creative provides its clients with content marketing strategies that are unique and results driven. Barry has been named a Top 40 Digital Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute and as one of the 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by Linkedin.

9. Barry Graubart, Vice President of Product Strategy at Connotate

In addition to his work at Connotate, Barry Graubart operates Content Matters, which specializes in Digital Content Strategies. Graubart has over two decades of experience in content marketing and technology, and has led the development and marketing of countless subscription services.

10. Bernie Borges, Founder and CEO at Find and Convert

Bernie Borges leads Find and Convert strategy and provides inspiration to not only teammates, but also clients. Not satisfied with one job to do, Borges is an author, speaker, digital TV show and podcast host.

11. Brian Clark, Founder and CEO at Copyblogger Media

A self described serial entrepreneur, Brian Clark had built three successful service businesses utilizing online marketing skills before he moved to a completely online business model. Thus, Copyblogger Media was born. It is an innovative company that provides the tools needed to successfully grow businesses through social media and online marketing.

12. Chanse Arrington, Head of Developer and Content Marketing at Nokia

Chanse Arrington specializes in strategy and marketing of mobile technologies, web services, consumer experiences, app development and new products. He also is the creator of DVLUP, a service that helps developers become more successful by participating in various “app challenges.”

13. Dayna Rothman, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

Danya Rothman runs Marketo’s content initiatives and also acts as the managing editor of Marketo’s blog. Not only does she have extensive experience in content marketing, but also in social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing.

14. Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Velocity

Velocity touts itself as the “B2B marketing agency to the stars” and with content marketing junkie Doug Kessler as creative director, it is sitting comfortably in this position. Kessler is a copywriter as his core, but also enjoys analytics.

15. Francine Hardaway, Co-Founder at Stealthmode Partners

A true pioneer in email and internet use, Francene Hardaway is also a serial entrepreneur who counsels and invests in start-up entrepreneurs at Stealthmode Partners.

16. Guillaume Decugis, Co-Founder and CEO at Scoop.it!

Guillaume Decugis is a Stanford educated entrepreneur with an action side. Scoop.it! keeps him busy, but in his free time he’s an avid video gamer and skier. Decugis also grew Musiwave, a pioneer in mobile music, to worldwide operations before it was acquired by Microsoft.

17. Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide

At the young age of 8, Heidi Cohen knew she wanted to be an author. Fast forward to today, Cohen has built incredibly deep knowledge of cutting edge marketing across very diverse product categories. She also sends out a daily actionable marketing post email newsletter 5 days a week for free.

18. Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost

Jesse Noyes is no newbie to the content marketing game. Before joining the Kapost team, he was Director of Content Marketing for Offerpop. A Boston native, he began at the Boston Herald and then began reporting for the Boston Business Journal.

19. Joe Chernov, Vice President of Content at HubSpot

Joe Chernov has been graced with the title of “Content Marketer of the Year” and if you’re aware at all of content marketing, he’s probably not a new name to you. He runs the content marketing team at HubSpot and writes for Mashable and the Content Marketing Institute.

20. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

You can argue that we use the word “content marketing” because of Joe Pulizzi. He started using the term in 2001 and founded the leading content marketing education resource for enterprise brands, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). CMI was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing business media company in 2013.

21. John Miller, Founder of ScribewisePro

John Miller has worked in the marketing and media realm for more than two decades. In 2012, he saw the need of content creation and Scribewise was born. Essentially, he has built an outsourced newsroom for numerous organizations.

22. Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO at Buzzfeed

After co-founding the Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti launched Buzzfeed in 2006 and subsequently showed how meaningful share-able content can be. Buzzfeed blazed the trail of social content marketing to build share-able campaigns for the world’s leading brands.

23. Kane Jamison, Founder of Content Harmony

Kane Jamison learned HTML a whopping 18 years ago and began managing websites and content creation in 9 years ago. When Content Harmony was founded in 2012, Jamison and his team have sinced focused on SEO through better content and data-based content strategy.

24. Kevin Baldacci, Product Marketing Manager at Desk.com

As the Product Marketing Manager of Desk.com, Kevin Baldacci is responsible for content creation of the firms products. He can also be found tweeting for Baldacci Family Vineyards and writing content for Desk.com’s blog.

25. Kim Yuhl, Founder of Kimberly Yuhl Media Works

Take a look at Kim Yuhl’s “About Me” on her website, and you’ll find that she has unique and widespread insight on marketing for small business. Kim strives to create a place where “mom and pop kind” of small business owners can get real, practical advice.

26. Lauri Baker, Vice President of Brand Strategy and Sales at The Huffington Post

Lauri Baker has over 15 years of experience in marketing and advertising. Her innovative approach helps brands define, redefine, and market their brands. Before becoming VP, Baker was the Sales Director of Branded Content and acknowledged by Newscred as one of the 50 Most Influential Content Marketers.

27. Lisa Buyer, President and CEO at The Buyer Group

Lisa Buyer has over 20 years of experience in social PR, SEO, social media, branding and digital marketing. Her book, Social PR Secrets, empowers marketing and public relations professionals to successfully utilize the social and digital tools to promote their brands.

28. Marcus Sheridan, Writer, Consultant, and Speaker at The Sales Lion

To say that Marcus Sheridan has a variety of experience would be an understatement. You’ve most likely heard of the incredible inbound marketing success of his swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas. Sheridan’s entertaining yet educational style has lead him to become a highly sought after speaker.

29. Maria Pergolino, Vice President of Marketing at Apttus

Before joining Apttus, Maria Pergolino was a key leader and early member of the Marketo Marketing Team. She has extensive expertise in marketing automation, campaign optimization, inbound and social media marketing.

30. Michael Aagaard, Founder and Owner of Content Verve

Michael Aagaard takes Online Marketing and Conversion Rate Optimization very seriously. Over the past five years, he logged over 15,600 hours testing and optimizing sites. Aagaard has worked with B2B and B2C firms in industries ranging from travel insurance to charities.

31. Michael Brenner, Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP

Not only does Michael Brenner have nearly 20 years of experience serving a multitude of industries, he strongly believes in the power of a customer-centric culture and creating highly engaged employees. Michael also serves as the managing editor of SAP’s Business Innovation blog and contributes to Forbes AdVoice and the Economist.

32. Michael Stoner, Co-Founder and President of mStoner Inc.

Michael Stoner has some of the most extensive experience of any content expert on our list, at nearly 30 years. This does not mean he’s stuck in the past, he works tirelessly to stay ahead of marketing, social media, mobile, and online trends. His firm, mStoner, focuses on serving education institutions with effective strategies and tactics to get real results.

33. Michele Linn, Director of Content at Content Marketing Institue

Michele Linn spends her time as the Director of Content for CMI as well as heading her own content strategy firm, Linn Communications. Linn’s overarching goal with Linn Communications is to help B2B companies develop content strategies to connect with the ideal business customer through websites and content.

34. Murray Newlands, Author, Entrepreneur, and Speaker

An Internet marketing expert, blogger, adviser, teacher, and author, Murray Newlands wears many hats. This former lawyer has worked with the internet marketing industries leading agencies, advertisers, and networks.

35. Neal Schaffer, Author, Social Media Strategy & Social Business Coach, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker

Neal Schaffer has the honor of being listed on the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer for two years in a row. He has also created the leading social media business blog, Maximize social business. When he’s not authoring acclaimed social media books, he’s traveling the world as a social media speaker.

36. Neil Ferree, Founder and President of FerreeMoney

While others on this list wear many hats, Neil Ferree has one focused mission: Monetizing Social Media Marketing. He uses tested and proven social media tools, apps, sites, and processes to maximize and monetize his clients social campaigns.

37. Nick Kellet, Co-Founder of List.ly

Nick Kellet describes himself as an ideas guy and innovator. Judging by the success of List.ly, he is clearly blazing trails. Constantly putting his entrepreneurial skills to use, Kellet has also created GiftTRAP and AnswerSets.

38. Pam Didner, Global Integrated Marketing Strategist at Intel

When she’s not acting as the Global Integrated Marketing Manager for Intel, Pam Didner is a professional business speaker and guest blogger for BtoB Magazine, CMI, and the Huffington Post. She was selected as one of BtoB’s Top Digital Marketers in 2011 and 2012 and was named one of the “Top 50 Content Marketers” in 2011.

39. Paul Roetzer, Founder and CEO at PR 20/20

Paul Roetzer began PR 20/20 in 2005 with the desire to shake things up after spending 7 years at a traditional PR firm. Roetzer also authored the book The Marketing Agency Blueprint.

40. Pawan Deshpande, Founder and CEO at Curata

Pawan Deshpande is responsible for Curata’s vision, management, and advanced development initiatives. This would keep an average person in over their heads, but Deshpande finds time to blog for Content Curation Marketing, CMI, CMO.com, Forbes, Marketingprofs, and numerous other publications.

41. Phil Buckley, Owner of 1918 Internet Services

Since the late 1990’s, Phil Buckley has been working on everything from early web development to system administration. A decade ago, he discovered his passion for online marketing and since then has worked for multi-million dollar e-commerce websites, advertising agencies, and small SEO agencies.

42. Phil Paranicas, Director of New Product Development at ThomasNet

ThomasNet is a free platform designed for sourcing components, equipment, MRO products, raw materials, and custom manufacturing services. While that may sound like the furthest thing from content marketing, Phil Paranicas was named the Top Digital Marketing Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute in February 2014.

43. Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO at Skift

What started as a travel news and information site, Skift raised over $1 million in funding before it began. Rafat Ali plans on turning the site into a hub for content and commerce.

44. Rich Schwerin, Director of Social Content Strategy at Oracle

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rich Schwerin spends his work time focused on brand communications and digital content strategies. Schwerin also moonlights as a writer, editor, and broadcaster.

45. Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute

Robert Rose leads the client advisory, education, and technology practices for the Content Marketing Institute. A world renowned expert in content marketing strategy, Rose has helped large companies like AT&T, KPMG, PTC, Petco, and Nissan tell their stories.

46. Ross Hudgens, Founder of Siege Media

Siege Media specializes in developing, promoting, and maintaining content. Ross Hudgens has worked with the smallest and biggest business in the world implementing and executing effective SEO strategies that produce real results.

47. Russell Sparkman, CEO Content Strategy at FusionSpark Media

Russell Sparkman describes himself as a “content craftsman” and has over a decade of experience in Content Marketing Strategy and Content Development.

48. Scott Abel, Founder of The Content Wrangler

Scott Abel not only a content management strategist, but also a social media choreographer. Abel helps organizations improve all aspects of their content, from authoring all the way to archiving.

49. Simon Penson, Founder of Zazzle Media

Online marketing is not Simon Penson’s first love, he spent ten years in print media as a journalist and national magazine editor. Now he heads Zazzle Media, a content-led digital marketing agency based in the UK.

50. Toby Murdock, Co-Founder and CEO, Kapost

Toby Murdock is no stranger to the start-up world. Before co-founding Kapost he co-founded a social music service Qloud, which was eventually sold. You can find Murdock blogging at Communitas.

Who did we miss? Leave a comment and we can grow the list!

Thoughts On Guest Blogging & Building Brand Awareness/Credibility

By | Industry News | One Comment

I was out yesterday taking a long weekend with the family and came into the office this morning to this bad boy:

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

After taking some time to digest the post and talking with colleagues, I started writing up an email to our clients updating them on the news and educating them on our plans going forward. About halfway through, I decided to throw this in a post and send it out to our clients and our list of newsletter subscribers. Enjoy…

Here we are again with another post from Matt Cutts (Head of Web Spam @ Google) about guest blogging. We’ve all seen this coming for some time now. Anytime an SEO gets a hold of a tactic that drives rankings for clients, they abuse the heck out of it and ruin it for everyone else. So when Matt talks about guest posting, what exactly is he talking about. Well, we believe he is talking about guest posts that look something like this:

http://blog.seniorlivingguide.com (they’ve actually taken the post down after this published)

As I look at this site, I immediately notice several things:

  • The site is full of posts that are for link building purposes only.
    • First post, generic content… anchor text link. Next post, generic content… anchor text link. Next post…
  • This site has nothing to do with automatic knives. Senior citizens don’t want to use automatic knives… I promise!!
  • Not a lot of social shares or people talking about this site.

We don’t believe it’s targeting guest posts that are on truly legitimate sites like http://www.backcountrysecrets.com/

There are several people who produce content for this site, it’s on topic, it gets shared, and it’s most likely screened and approved before going live. These are the types of opportunities that we seek on your behalf. They do take far more time to secure, but are worth it at the end of the day!

So what is our strategy going forward?

To be completely honest, we aren’t changing a whole lot. We’ve never engaged in low quality guest posting, so we’re not too concerned about the update. We will however, continue to rely on the following to build your brand awareness and credibility:

  • Link pruning!
    • If your site has received links from low quality guest posts from previous agencies or in-house employees who didn’t know better, we will be identifying those that are, in our opinion, “risky” and working to remove them.
  • On site content creation, optimization, and promotion.
    • In our opinion, nothing is more powerful than a blog with fantastic content on it. When combined with retargeting and social promotion efforts (paid and organic), we will reach influencers who will naturally share and link to your content.
    • If you don’t have a blog on your website, this needs to be priority #1 over the next four weeks.
  • True outreach & relationship building.
    • We’ve recently brought on a gal who will be managing all high profile blogger and journalist relationships for our clients. She will be responsible for performing outreach, pitching stories, and offering up resources to produce great editorial pieces… not “guest blog posts”.
  • Digital asset creation and promotion.
    • We will continue to produce whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, videos, and other digital assets that will be used to secure links and social shares.

Lastly, we’re holistic in everything we do for you. We don’t rely on one strategy to drive traffic, engagement, and conversions. It’s just too risky. We leverage many different traffic acquisitions strategies and you’re better off for it. Here’s to 2014 and continued growth and revenue!

 

The Ultimate List of Blogging Tools

By | Blogging | No Comments

blogging ideas and tools

Today, we are going to continue our series on “list of tools” focusing specifically on tools to help you become a better blogger. As most marketers know, adding the very best content to your website via blog posts is a fantastic way to improve crawl rate and crawl depth (through internal links) as well as attract natural links and social shares. In this post, I want to hit on four areas of blogging, idea generation, content research, content creation, and content promotion. Let’s jump in!

Idea Generation

The hardest part of blogging is coming up with topics to write about on a regular basis.

Twitter Search – Twitter search is a fantastic tool to help you see what people are talking about on twitter and what kinds of topics are trending.

Google+ Search – Same thing as Twitter search, except on Google+.

Evernote – Evernote is a free app that you can jot down notes whenever you have an idea for a blog post. I like to use the voice to text feature and brainstorm on my commutes.

Xmind – Xmind is by far my favorite mind mapping software. Mind maps can help you easily generate dozens ideas for your blog posts from a single topic. I wrote a post about this over on Marketing Pilgrim you might want to take a look at.

Google Trends – Google trends allows you to compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and other Google properties.

Pulse – Pulse is an app that allows you to pull in feeds from your favorite blogs and news publications. This is particularly helpful to see what your competitors are writing about on a regular basis and can help give you ideas on what to write about as well.

Content Research

Once you come up with your topics, now you need to do your research and find content to support or flesh out your idea.

Qrait – Qrait allows you to collect online media about a single topic in a neat, clean interface and then allows you to share or embed in your blog.

Creative Commons – Flickr creative commons allows you to find images that are relevant to your topic and post them without paying a fee.

Curate.us – Curate.us allows you to put together visually compelling clips and quotes of web content that are easily embedded in blog posts, email, forums and websites.

Yahoo Answers – Yahoo answers is a fantastic place to go for tips from experts in different verticals. It is also a great place to find individuals who might be interested in providing a quote for your content.

Quora – Same idea as Yahoo answers.

Content Creation

After your research is done, its time to write!

WordPress – Many bloggers prefer to write their posts directly in their content management system. Adding content right into WordPress makes it easy to manage your drafts, optimize them (with the Yoast plugin), and get them published.

Dragon Dictate – Dragon dictate is one of the best speech to text programs ever! It is accurate and makes it far easier for people who hate to type, write fantastic posts.

Content Promotion

After you click publish, you are not done! You need to get more eyeballs on your content.

Digg Digg – The first piece of the puzzle when promoting your content is making sure others can easily share it. Digg Digg, a WordPress plugin does just that. It is a floating social sharing bar that is front and center whenever someone wants to share your post.

Viral Content Buzz – Viral Content Buzz is a community of individuals who are looking for content to share online. When you share someones content, you earn points and then you can use those points to get your content shared. It’s pretty awesome!

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery -Paid stumbles are a great way to get the ball rolling for your awesome content. Just add $5 and you will start to get targeted traffic to your post in no time. If it is a really good post, you will start to earn free stumbles and it can go viral from there.

Repost.us – At repost, your content can be instantly syndicated to other publishers, bloggers or websites with a few clicks and no prior business relationship.

So there you have it! Did I missing anything? If you have other blogging tools that you use and love, please feel free to share in the comments below.