Want More Sales? Try Using These 13 Influential Words

By esnider@hubspot.com (Emma Snider)

words-that-sell

This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

The pen is mightier than the sword. (Which is good, because you probably don’t want to threaten prospects into buying at sword-point.)

As the primary “weapons” to convert prospects into customers, words are incredibly important to salespeople. How sales reps deliver their messages and converse with contacts can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a conversation. Using the wrong phrase might cast a negative shadow on the proposal, while tweaking just a few words in the pitch might induce someone to buy immediately. The underlying message is certainly critical, but the words used to deliver it are equally so.

That’s why all salespeople should become word nerds. Here’s a list of 13 words that can help you close more deals and earn your prospects’ trust in the process.

1) You

Selling is about your prospects, not about your company. A simple way to make that clear is by using the word “you” as much as possible. Think back to your childhood: Did your parents ever tell you it was impolite to talk about yourself? Apply that rule here. Every time you might be tempted to phrase a sentence from the perspective of your company, find a way to rework it to make your prospect the subject.

2) Value

“Customers don’t care about features and benefits,” Colleen Francis, owner of Engage Selling Solutions, writes in her book Nonstop Sales Boom. “They only care about value and achieving their objectives.” Again, it’s about them, not you. Skip over all the amazing features your product or service contains and instead make it clear how your offering will create value for your prospect’s business.

3) And

This is a clever replacement for “but” when dealing with criticisms or objections. The word “but” signals to the prospect that you are about to utter a statement that runs counter to what they’d like to hear. “And” is, by its very nature, inclusive — you seem to agree even when you’re disagreeing. Consider these two examples from Sales Coach Seamus Brown:

“I see that you only have a budget of $50,000, but let me tell you why our system costs $100,000.”

“I see that you only have a budget of $50,000, and let me tell you why our system costs $100,000.”

Brown points out that the second sentence acknowledges the prospect’s budget, while the first steamrolls over the problem and makes the buyer feel ignored. What a difference one word can make.

4) Do

Many sales experts recommend using “do” instead of “try.” For instance, instead of “I’d like to try … ” say, “What I’ll do is … ” This makes the seller seem competent and trustworthy, and it boosts the prospect’s confidence in them.

5) Or

If you present a single proposal to a client, you only give them the option of accepting or rejecting. But if you present them with two or three different variations on your proposal, suddenly you’ve doubled or tripled your odds of receiving some form of a “yes.” So, in negotiations, don’t just ask if they’d like to sign the contract — ask if version A or version B or version C is preferable.

6) Should we … ?

Most people balk at being told what to do — especially when the person dishing out orders is not a member of their organization. With this in mind, the phrase “you should” can come off as arrogant and presumptive. Reformulating suggestions as questions helps the prospect keep an open mind and diminishes the potential for the conversation to take a nasty turn.

7) Consensus

According to Matthew Dixon’s The Challenger Sale, “Widespread support for a supplier across their team is the number one thing senior decision makers look for in making a purchase decision.” So words that express agreement among stakeholders, such as “support” or “consensus,” could have a significant impact on your primary buyer’s mindset. If you have backing from the entire team, play it up as much as possible. If you don’t, stress how you’re going to attain it.

8) Imagine

Stories stick in people’s mind more readily than straight sales messaging. The best reps don’t only use stories in their speech; they also make sure prospects see themselves as the protagonists. The word “imagine” can be helpful in this aim. Suddenly, the prospect isn’t just hearing about a better future enabled through a new product or service — they’re actually picturing themselves living it. And now the vision isn’t just in the salesperson’s mind; it’s a shared vision.

9) See, Show, Hear, Tackle

Okay, so this isn’t one word … but they’re all part of one family. Each of these words evokes a sense, and sensory language grabs people’s attention. Think about how the words you use relate to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic triggers.

10) Their Name

Just like “you,” using your prospect’s name makes them feel like they’re the focus of your attention, and your presentation is customized just for them. People also naturally pay attention better when their name is sprinkled throughout a speech.

11) Power Words

The English language is filled with words that provoke strong feelings — fear, joy, discomfort, safety. A good sales presentation will summon all of these feelings and more at the right times. To hit all the appropriate high and low notes, incorporate power words into your speech. Jon Morrow’s list of 317 words that pack a punch is a good place to start.

12) Because

Ellen Langer, a social psychologist and professor at Harvard University, conducted a study where she tested the impact of phrasing on people’s willingness to let someone cut them in line. Here are the variations she used:

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

While only 70% agreed to let her cut in line when she used the first question, upwards of 90% let her skip when she used either the second and third phrasings. The takeaway? When asking people to do something, always include a reason. Don’t just request that your prospect introduce you to another stakeholder or fill out a survey — explain why you’d like them to take these actions.

13) Opportunity

Problems are bound to crop up in the sales process, but that doesn’t mean you should acknowledge them as such. The word “problem” has a negative connotation and can make the prospect feel as if the process is difficult and unpleasant. With this in mind, replace it with more positive words. Instead of saying “no problem,” for example, say, “it’s my pleasure.” “I understand the problem” can become “I see an opportunity to make this run more smoothly.”

What are the selling words that you swear by? Share them in the comments.

Enjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/influential-words-that-sell

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - December 27, 2014 at 7:16 am

Categories: Article Writing   Tags:

Facebook Year in Review: This Week in Social Media

By Cindy King

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week? Facebook Allows Users to Create Their Year in Review: “Public figures can use Facebook Mentions to create their […]

This post Facebook Year in Review: This Week in Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner.
Social Media Examiner – Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-year-in-review-news/

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Hijacking Your Competitors Influencers For Traffic & Social Signals

By Steve Brodsky

Facebook

Content promotion doesn’t have to be hard work. Especially when you can just hijack your competitors top influencers and get them to do all of the heavy lifting of content promotion for you.

It is really easy to do and if you have ever heard the saying work smarter not harder this tutorial is a prime example of that!

What You Will Learn

  • How to identify competitors
  • How to identify top influencers
  • A super sneaky bit.ly trick
  • How to get influencers to promote your content
  • How to get more traffic, social shares & sign ups

ALERT: Join 18,599 Other People & Learn How To Steal Traffic, Customers & More!

Working Smarter – Not Harder

Have you ever written a post on your blog, hit the publish button and even though it might be the greatest piece of content ever written on the subject nobody shows up to read it? I have done that more times than I can count at my blog.

In the blogging world the old adage of “If you build it they will come” doesn’t hold true. The general rule of thumb is to spend 20% of your time writing your content and the other 80% of the time promoting the post.

So you go out and start promoting the post like everyone tells you too. You share your post on all of the big social networks, submit it to all of the curation sites and even email your own list (if you have one).

A small trickle of traffic comes in but nothing like the thousands of visitors leaving hundreds of comments and sharing the posts on your competitors sites.

How the heck are they getting so many engaged visitors to every single post that they publish?

Let me let you in on a little secret.

They aren’t driving all of that traffic themselves! In fact odds are the vast majority of the traffic that the top blogs in your niche are getting are from “influencers”.

These are people will very large audiences that can drive hundreds (even thousands) of visitors to your blog with just one tweet.

So how do we find these mythical influencers that can change our blogs lives with the click of a button? We go to the source….

Identifying your competitors top influencers

The best way to find the top influencers in your niche is to start with the influencers who are promoting your competitors blog posts. By identifying them we can contact them and convince them too promote our stuff, but first thing is first, we need to identify them.

Buzzsumo

Our first stop is a tool called Buzzsumo. For those of you not familiar with Buzzsumo, it is an incredible tool that searches content online (using what ever keywords you like) and shows you the most popular results.

Lets head over too Buzzsumo and search for a keyword that is related to a blog post you want to find influencers for.

Set it to search for the past 6 months and hit the search button.

This will bring up a list of articles that have been highly shared relating to your keyword. If the results seem to broad put quotes (example “facebook advertising”) around your keyword to bring in only exact match results. I have to do this often to get the best results.

Next sort the results by “Total Shares” this will bring up the top shared posts about your keyword. You should recognize a lot of the domain names of the articles (they should be your competition!).

Lets start at the top and work our way down. Click on “View Sharers”, this will bring up a list of all the influencers who have shared the post.

buzzsumo 2

Next sort the results by “Reply Ratio”. This is the percentage of how often they will respond to direct tweets on Twitter. The higher the response rate the more likely they are too respond to your request to share your own post!

buzzsumo 3

Open up an excel spread sheet and start copying down influencers Name and Twitter ID. I usually grab everyone who has a 30% or more reply ratio.

Now hit the “Back” button and repeat this process for every post you see that is relevant to the post you are trying to find influencers for.

The last thing we are going to do on Buzzsumo is to grab all of the blog URL’s that have content and are being shared a lot.

So go back to the “content search” page (the page we originally got from searching for our keyword) and copy down all of the URL’s that you see.

buzzsumo 4

We will be using these on the next site we are heading too.

Quicksprout

We have the URL’s of blogs in our niche that have been shared a lot, odds are there is other content on their site that has been highly shared as well. Lets grab the influencers that have shared that content as well!

To do this we are going to use a tool call Quicksprout this is a free to use site created by Neil Patel.

Head over to Quicksprout and enter the first URL in your list that you pulled from Buzzsumo.

quicksprout 1

Once you click search Quicksprout goes out and analyzes all of the pages of the site and brings back some interesting statistics. But what we are interested in is the “Social Media Analysis”, click on that tab and scroll down, it will look something like this.

quicksprout 2

Open up a new excel spreadsheet and start copying and pasting all of the top shared URL’s. Be sure to only grab the URL’s of blog posts and not the static pages such as “about me” or “resources”.

Next we are going to check each of these links and grab the influencers who shared them.

Topsy

Head over to Topsy and copy one of the URL’s you grabbed from Quicksprout into the search box. Be sure to select “Influencers” above the search box before you hit enter.

topsy 1

This will bring up a a list of all the people who have tweeted that URL.

We want to select only the tweets that are in English (assuming thats your target audience) as well as click on the “Influential Only” tab. This will only list the people that are influential and have a responsive audience.

topsy 2

Now in this example I have over 775 influential influencers that have shared this post on Twitter. That is a bit much for me, I don’t want to go through and manually contact 775 people!

So to narrow this down I only want to look at what Topsy calls “Highly Influential” people. These are the people with large highly engaged audiences that can send a butt load of traffic your way.

Unfortunately Topsy does not give you a way to sort by “Highly Influential” people so you will just need to scroll through and look for the “Highly Influential Tag”. As you do be sure to copy and paste the names and Twitter ID’s into your ever growing spreadsheet of influencers.

We have one more stop on our journey to identify influencers who can send a lot of traffic are way.

bit.ly

Most of you are probably already familiar with bit.ly. It is a link shortening service (and one of the most popular out there).

What most of you probably don’t know is you are able to look at the statistics of any link that has been shortened in bit.ly and see exactly who shared it along with how many clicks they have sent!

Head over to bit.ly and paste a URL into the box.

After you do click on the “stats” button.

bitly 1

This not only brings up the stats for the shortened link you just created, but for anyone who has used bit.ly to shorten the same URL.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the top 6 people who drove the most of amount of clicks to this URL!

bitly 2

If we click on any of these people it will actually give us a ton more info on the clicks that they sent. Including where they shared the URL, what countries that the clicks came from ect.

For our purposes we are interested in seeing where they shared the URL and how many clicks came from each source so go ahead and click one of the influencers.

bitly 3

As you can see here, this influencer shared the link of Facebook driving 48 clicks and then more than likely emailed it out to her list which results in a staggering 756 clicks.

Odds are you aren’t going to get someone to email your link to their list (unless you pay for it) so focus mainly on the social network shares.

48 isn’t too shabby, lets take a look at another influencer.

bitly 4

This influencer shared the link twice on Twitter resulting in 34 clicks, plus a share on Google+ that brought in 8 clicks.

So as you can see this is a great way to see exactly who is sharing what on what social networks and if it would be worth your time to contact them to convince them to share your content!

Contacting Influencers

Alright we have built a massive list of influencers that have already promoted content that is similar to ours, now how do we approach them to convince them to share ours as well?

There are two different ways that you can contact these influencers to introduce them to your content.

The first is by email. Email them and say something along the lines of:

Hey Name,

I noticed that you shared a post by TheBloggersName on Twitter about “Title.”

I have a similar post on “Title” that “Argues the same point/shows it from a new perspective/whatever”.

Here’s the post: [Link to post]

Thought you would enjoy it :)

Your Name

If you don’t have their email you can contact then via Twitter as well. Send them a tweet along these lines:

@InfluencerName saw your share of “INSERT LINK HERE” and really enjoyed it. It inspired me to write a similar post here: YOUR LINK HERE. I know you’ll enjoy the read!

You will have to adjust it for length to be able to send it by tweet but you get the jist.

Remember you are not going to have a 100% success rate with this! In fact if you average anywhere above a 30-40% response rate consider it a success!

But just one of these big influencers that we identified can send you hundreds of new visitors (and potential subscribers!) with just a single mention. Not to mention the possible business relationship that can come from knowing these influencers!

Want to increase your response rates?

START NETWORKING!!

If you give (by sharing, re-tweeting, ect) before you try and get (them to share your links) you will have a much higher response rate. Get on there radar, comment on their blog posts, start up conversations by email or on Twitter.

If you set aside a little time every day to devote to networking with top influencers then before long you won’t even have to ask them to share your content, they will start doing it themselves!

Wrapping It Up

So there you have it, a complete step-by-step guide on how to identify the top influencers in your niche, connect with them and send your content viral!

ALERT: Join 18,599 Other People & Learn How To Steal Traffic, Customers & More!

This may seem like a ton of work, but if you set aside 30 minutes a day devoted entirely to this your traffic will start skyrocketing. I did exactly the same for my own blog which helped it to grow at a rapid pace.

Now get out there and start networking!

Have you tried this yourself? Know of a better way to find influencers? Leave a comment, would love to hear about it!

39 Comments – TwitterGoogle Plus

Hijacking Your Competitors Influencers For Traffic & Social Signals was originally published on December 16th, 2014 02:27 PM by Matthew Woodward
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/hijack-competitors-influencers-promote-content/

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - December 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

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The Best Of Internet Marketing & Crazy Xmas Deals December 2014

By Matthew Woodward

Facebook

This is the 25th post in the series which shares all of my favourite internet marketing posts from the past month.

There is an awful lot of junk to sort through every month so here are the best bits according to me!

The Best Posts Of December 2014

After last months wild ride of Google updates things have started to calm again in the internet marketing world as we build up to Christmas.

This also seems to be the case for new content this month, although there have still been some fantastic golden nuggets!

Let’s get stuck in!

ALERT: Join 238,154 Others & Get Instant Access To My Top 5 Tutorials

Xmas Deals

There are quite a few Xmas deals floating around at the moment but not enough to warrant a dedicated post.

So here are all of the current Xmas internet marketing deals I have found so far-

If you know of any others let me know in the comments and I will add them here!

SEO & Link Building

So let’s start with the news of the 3 new Google ranking factors and how they played a part in this negative SEO case study.

Google have clearly stated they are not collecting data. Test the new factors for yourself – the data does not lie.

Although Google have announced that Penguin is now updated continously which is both a good & bad thing. Bad because you can get caught quicker, good because you can recover quicker.

Bing also announced the role of content quality in their results which fits hand in hand with these Bing SEO & ranking factors tips.

Looking to the future makes for some interesting predications and be sure to beef up your reading list for 2015.

Social Media & Traffic

If you haven’t used Twitter Analytics yet then your a missing out on some huge optimisation opportunities to increase engagement & traffic.

Outside of SEO & Social Media you might want to consider these other traffic sources you might not have heard of.

Make sure your traffic generation efforts don’t get to waste with the psychological guide to remarketing.

Blogging & Content

Amy Lynn Andrews explains how to stand out from the crowd with some very solid advice rooted with examples.

If you ever get stuck writing a headline you can use this cheat sheet or for the super lazy just use a title generator.

How about everything you need to make web comics for free? If you feel like you could produce great comic strips – let me know.

Analytics & Email

A great tutorial on how to use Google Analytics to increase conversions by analysing sales funnels easily.

There are also some great tips to grow your email list which work perfectly with Stuart Walkers approach.

Stuff To Watch

If you want to kick back after a long day check out these documentaries about the internet, hacking, startups & cyber culture.

It also worth spending an hour watching how to build a 7-figure recurring revenue business. Truly awesome stuff right there.

ALERT: Join 238,154 Others & Get Instant Access To My Top 5 Tutorials

General Bits

Last but not least we have some great internet marketing apps for the Android users amongst us.

Did you know that using a fake location can save you hundreds off flight tickets? Very easy to do with a VPN.

I also stumbled across the awesome YunoHost – self hosted apps all round! Liberate your data.

14 Comments – Google Plus

The Best Of Internet Marketing & Crazy Xmas Deals December 2014 was originally published on December 21st, 2014 10:33 PM by Matthew Woodward
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/best-internet-marketing-xmals-deals-december-2014/

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 2:46 pm

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The Best Way to Make a Living as a Writer

By Guest Column

Ready To Get Published

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

“You’re a good writer if you can write a story that can make people cry …

“You’re a better writer if your writing can make people laugh …

“But, if your writing can persuade people to take action — that’s when you know you can be a very wealthy writer.”

Mark Morgan Ford (formerly known under his pen name Michael Masterson) – a Master Copywriter who has mentored hundreds of up-and-coming writers – said those words some years ago – and they’re still true today …

If you can effectively use words to persuade another to act, you stand to make a lot of money.

The secret … is direct-response copywriting.

And while in this blog I talk about lots of ways to make a living as a writer, when it comes down to it, most well paid writing opportunities are just variations of copywriting.

The Truth About Copywriting

Simply put, copywriters write words – in the form of advertisements and promotional materials – to persuade people to take action.

That action might be to support a cause, read a special report, buy a product, request some more information, and so on.

Copywriting can be found everywhere…

  • Letters and advertisements you get in the mail.
  • Company websites including home pages, landing pages, blog posts, and more.
  • Marketing emails sent to potential customers.
  • Newsletters, magazines and special reports.
  • The text on brochures, billboards, and sometimes, even business cards.

You see the writing of copywriters every day. And today I want to show you how copywriting may very well be your best choice for achieving what we call the writer’s life …

Making a Living As a Writer?

You might think you need to be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling to make a living as a writer, but …

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In fact, many copywriters make a very good living working full-time. Others work just part-time, and still earn a full-time income. So, yes, the compensation can be quite good … and depending on how much you work and the types of projects you land, a six-figure income is definitely attainable (if that’s your goal).

Here are a few stories from the writers I’ve worked with:

  • There’s Krista Jones, who used copywriting to replace her income from an 18-year engineering career … she said, “I feel like I’m finally leading the life I was meant to live. I can’t thank you enough!
  • There’s copywriter, Joshua Boswell, who says, “I know that at almost any given time I can pick up assignments worth $3,000, $4,000, $10,000, $20,000 or more and that I don’t have to sacrifice one minute of family time to successfully complete these assignments.”
  • And, there’s Penny Thomas, who was let go from her job due to downsizing and turned to copywriting instead. Penny says it really hit her that she was living “the writer’s life” when she was watching a neighbor digging his car out to drive to work after a snowstorm – and all she had to do was walk to her home office and turn on her computer.
  • There’s also copywriter, Cindy Cyr, who says, “I don’t have to wear pantyhose, can work barefoot, and I get to take naps whenever I want. I eat better. Drive my car less (A LOT less), see my friends and family more, and never worry about running out of vacation time.”

And of course, there’s Pat McCord, a once struggling novelist who learned to support herself and her creative passion by becoming a copywriter. (You may have heard from Pat if you’ve been with Writer’s Digest for a while … we sometimes share her story and a letter she wrote about our copywriting program.)

I could keep going because I actually have hundreds of stories like these. But, I’ll move on so we can get to the real point of today’s blog …

Why Copywriters Make So Much

I’ve often said, “If you can write ‘copy’ that persuades, there isn’t a business in the world that won’t beat a path to your door to get you to work your magic for them.”

That’s not going to change any time soon.

Consider this: As a copywriter, you can realistically write a promotion in a week. Let’s say you charge $5,000 for your service. Let’s also say your promotion brings in $100,000 for the company who hired you …

There’s no downside. Everyone is happy – you got paid, the client made money – and, because you did well, they’re likely to hire you again and again.

Now, if you’re just getting started, that figure might seem like a lot. But, experienced writers – those with just a few successful projects – can charge between $5,000 and $10,000 (and more) per sales promotion.

Even if you only write one promotion per month, you could easily bring in $60,000+ (working just part time)! And that doesn’t even take into consideration any royalties that are very common with direct-response copywriting …

Typical rates are around 2-3% of sales, but I’ve seen them go as high as 10%. And because companies will mail your letters again and again, you could continue to get paid on one single letter for years and years.

What It Takes to Succeed

People often think they need a lot of qualifications to become a copywriter. But, the truth is, you can learn copywriting just as easily as you could learn any other type of writing.

Also, you don’t need a special education to succeed in this industry. There are successful copywriters with college degrees and some who didn’t finish high school.

Age … experience … location … none of that matters …

Some copywriters are only 18 and some are retired. Some copywriters are stay-at-home moms and some left six-figure corporate jobs.

The only thing you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Everything else can be learned.

How to Get Started Now

While you don’t need any formal qualifications to become a copywriter, you do need someone to show you the ropes.

That’s why American Writers and Artists Inc. created the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

All the copywriters I’ve met—like the ones mentioned above—started their successful freelance copywriting careers by taking this program. Its step-by-step instructions prove anyone can quickly go from asking “What is copywriting?” to learning how to be a freelance copywriter.

Of course, I’m partial to it because I work at AWAI, know the program inside and out, and have personally met and worked with hundreds of people who started successful freelance copywriting careers by taking it.

But if you’re new to the idea of copywriting, and would like the opportunity to learn some basic copywriting techniques for free, I recommend you check out our report, Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Turning Your Writing Passion Into a High-Paying Career.

Along with giving you an inside look at the life of a copywriter, you’ll learn a few copywriting principles that you can put to work for you right away.

Just remember, no matter how you get started, the fact remains: You don’t need to get a degree or pay a lot of money for expensive training to become a successful freelance copywriter.

If you can write a simple e-mail to a friend, and you like to share ideas with other people… you have all the qualifications you need to become a successful freelance copywriter.

rebecca_matter-150And if you were to ask me the best way to make a living as a writer …

I would say with 100% certainty – copywriting.

No other opportunity offers writers more variety, more freedom, or more income potential. And it’s the one thing I recommend every writer consider when looking to make a living.

To your success,
Rebecca

P.S. If you have any questions for me, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, or reach out to me any time through my website at rebeccamatter.com.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.writersdigest.com/awai-copywriting/the-best-way-to-make-a-living-as-a-writer

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 12:48 pm

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Your Website Made Easy

By Adrienne Crezo

In the February 2015 Writer’s Digest, digital media expert Jane Friedman lays out the best website options for different writers and their needs in “Your Author Website 101.” If you choose the self-hosted route, don’t miss her free 10-minute video tutorial.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.writersdigest.com/online-exclusives/your-website-made-easy

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 12:17 pm

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Help for Goodreads Authors

By Adrienne Crezo

In the February 2015 Writer’s Digest feature article, “Get in Good With Goodreads,” fan favorite Goodreads Author Michael J. Sullivan shows you how to make the most of this popular online reader hub. For authors needing even more detailed technical assistance setting up their profiles, he’s created a free PDF download.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.writersdigest.com/online-exclusives/help-for-goodreads-authors

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 12:17 pm

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6 Tips for Writing Fiction Based on True Events

By Guest Column

LorieAnnGrover-hit

You are there. You see it. You’re a writer, so, of course, you want to write about it. Now what? Writing fiction springing from an actual event, maybe one of your own personal experiences, requires a finesse for your reader’s benefit, your friends’, your enemies, and yourself. There is a way to handle the truth because you’ll begin as if you are wearing kid gloves, but suddenly they will plump into boxing gloves, and before you know it, you are ready to deliver that punch right to your beloved, old auntie’s face.


Guest post by Lorie Ann Grover, author of Hit and co-founder of the influential site readergirlz, where she is a visible advocate for teen literacy and activism. In addition, she is the author of three acclaimed novels: Hold Me Tight, a VOYA pick; On Pointe, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; and Loose Threads, a Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel, and a 2003 Washington State Book Award Finalist.


1. Begin with the truth.

Truth is stranger than fiction, so there is certainly much to mine. Each of my contemporary novels sprang off the pages of my own life. Consider writing that first draft close to what happened, what you saw, and what you felt. Capture it.

2. Get permission.

Are others involved and do you want to stay close to the facts? If you know this is the case, run and get permission. Do your best to describe that this will be a work of fiction with strands of truth woven through it. Explain to those involved that they will see themselves reflected, but it will be as if they are standing before a curved mirror in an amusement fun house. You might offer assurance their story could be a great benefit to readers. If they are willing to have you share the essence of what happened to them, go forward and write.

However, if you think the final work will be far from the truth, get to writing first. If you aren’t sure and just the thought of asking permission is hindering your process, begin to write with the intention to either:

  • ask the involved parties in the future, knowing you may be denied permission to publish your work, or
  • be firm in your design to spin the story far away from the facts.

3. Take pause.

Whether you’ve written a first draft of the facts or are simmering on what truly happened in your mind, take a step back. Once the story is caught in your net, as a writer you have an opportunity to now ask: how could it be made better? What is the theme burning beneath it, and what can I do to feed the flames? Behind my novel, Hit, was the true story of my daughter’s best friend who had been struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk. But the writer in me begged the question: what if instead of a stranger hitting her it was someone she knew? And then I ramped up the tension in my version of the story and made that person a grad student teacher she was crushing on. (It did take two years and several drafts for this plot point to rise to mind.)

4. Let go.

Let the story run, bettering the facts or leaving them completely behind. This is the draft where you open your hand and let go. You are able to silence the voice saying, “That’s not what happened!” And you let your characters run. Let them run through their own blossoming story.

5. Fact can feel fake.

One caveat to be aware of is that not all facts are believable. The best, juiciest fact may not make it into your story because again, truth is stranger than fiction. When I wrote Hold Me Tight, I was not able to include that the man who molested me was soon afterwards in a car accident and paralyzed from the waist down… the waist down. My novel would have felt contrived and unbelievable had I included this. Be ready to lay those facts aside with a settled satisfaction that you know what truly happened.

6. Share the work’s completion news.

Finally, your draft is done and ready to be submitted. Consider letting the people involved in your story know you have completed your work. Even if you didn’t need to ask for permission to write the book, be kind and give those who inspired your story a chance to process the thought that you have written about the event. On occasion, I will share my text with those involved after the work sells, following copy-editing. It is a chance for them to wrestle through how I’ve changed what happened, and it gives them an opportunity to come to terms with the fact others will be reading the material. It helps your little, old auntie prepare herself for that punch.

Writing from personal life offers rich material. With a few cautions, permissions from yourself and sometimes others, you may write a story to be shared far beyond the few people who lived the moment. That can be rewarding to many readers. So, be brave. Write, and let your story run.

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.


brian-klems-2013Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/6-tips-for-writing-fiction-based-on-true-events

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 8:47 am

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10 Handy Backup Tools for Your New Mobile Device

By lkolowich@hubspot.com (Lindsay Kolowich)

free mobile marketing guide

There’s nothing quite like tearing off the wrapping paper of a gift to find a beautiful, new piece of technology inside.

But, as many of you know, the part after that initial excitement dies down isn’t so fun. You know, the part where instead of hanging out with your family, you’re hunched over on the couch, backing up your old version of the device and transferring all your information over to the new one.

From your photo and music libraries to your business and financial documents, there’s a lot of valuable stuff stored on your old phone or tablet — stuff you don’t want to lose when switching to a new one. Luckily, there are some great tools out there to help you make the transition as seamless as possible.

Check out our list below of a few of the top cloud-based backup tools for your computers, phones, and tablets. (And if you have other favorite backup tools, share them with us in the comment section!)

Data Backup For Apple Devices

1) iCloud

Backs up “the most important data.”

Launched in 2011, iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage service. It automatically backs up your device over WiFi every day while it’s turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. Because iCloud space is limited (and so you don’t have to upload and download huge amounts of data), it only backs up your device’s “most important” content. When you’re switching from an old device to a new phone, simply enable iCloud to back up all your content, and then restore that content on your new device using the same iCloud account. Click here for instructions.

2) iTunes

Backs up all the data.

You can use iTunes instead of (or in tandem with) iCloud to back up all the data on your device, including all your music and videos, by syncing your old device with iTunes on your computer, and then transferring that content back onto your new device. Click here for instructions.

3) iMazing

Backs up apps, music, photos/videos, contacts, text messages, voicemails, notes, gaming app progress, and more.

iMazing is a free app downloadable on either a Mac (OS X) or PC (Windows) that lets you create a complete snapshot of your Apple device, store it on your computer, and then restore it to your new Apple device. Click here for instructions.

imazing-back-up

Data Backup For Android Devices

4) MyBackup Pro

Backs up apps, photos/videos, music, contacts, call log, text messages, and more.

MyBackup Pro has been noted as one of the best applications for backing up your Android device. Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up with a PIN number and password, you can back up your data to the cloud, restore it on a new device, and even access it online via the developer’s website. According to Ars Technica‘s review, “backup to the cloud does take up a significant amount of time over backing up to the SD card … but you could always do both to ensure that you have two copies of all the data.” The app costs $4.99 on Google Play.

5) Titanium Backup

Backs up apps, settings, music, photos/videos, and more.

Lifehacker named Titanium Backup the best backup app for Android devices. It lets you back up all your apps and settings to the cloud via Dropbox (as well as to your SD card) and then restore them whenever. You can also schedule backups if you want to, giving you more control over the safety of your device’s content even once you’ve already started using your new device. There’s a free version and a $6 Pro version, but you’ll need the $6 Pro version to use this app when switching devices. The Pro version is the one that syncs the content on your device to your Dropbox account automatically, whereas the free version just uses your phone’s SD card to store backups. Click here for instructions.

6) G Cloud Backup

Backs up files, folders, photos/videos, music, SMS messages, contacts, external SD cards, call logs, and more.

Created by a developer called Genie9 for the Google Play store, G Cloud Backup backs up your files, folders, photos/videos, music, SMS messages, contacts, external SD cards, call logs, and more using Amazon’s S3 cloud storage locker, which is secured with 256-bit AES encryption. According to AndroidCentral’s review, the app has an extensive feature list but is very simple to use. It comes with a variety of options for when to back up (only at a certain time, only when plugged in, only on WiFi, and so on). As for price, it’s free up to at least 1 GB (depending on your plan), but you can get up to 8GB free if you follow steps like tweeting about the service, liking them on Facebook, and so on. Otherwise, it goes for $32 per year or $80 lifetime for 32GB.

g-cloud-backup

Storage Systems for Any Type of Device

Unlike the previous tools, these are device-agnostic — they work on Apple, Windows, and Android devices.

7) Dropbox

Backs up photos/videos, documents, and files.

Dropbox is a popular cloud storage solution for photos, documents, videos, and files, and it lets you store and access any of these things from your computers, mobile devices, and the Dropbox website. So anything you save in your Dropbox can be restored on a new device in a snap. You can store up to 2 GB for free, but if you need more space, you can get up to 100 GB for $19.99 per month.

8) 1Password

Backs up passwords.

1Password is an app that lets you keep your passwords secure in one place. (And, depending on your device, it can also let you bypass log-ins by holding your fingerprint on the home key.) But when you switch onto a new device, you’ll want to transfer your secure password data over, too. It turns out you can use Dropbox to back up your data and sync it to your new device. Click here for instructions.

9) OneDrive

Backs up photos/videos, documents, and files.

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution — and although it’s tightly integrated with Windows, it has desktop clients for Mac too, as well as mobile apps for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. It works much like Dropbox does, except it gives you more storage space for less: 15GB of storage for free and 100 GB for $1.99 per month. It comes with OfficeOnline, an app that lets you create, edit, and share documents across all your devices.

(There are other cloud-based storage solutions available other than Dropbox and OneDrive, like Box and Google Drive. Here’s a side-by-side comparison so you can make the choice that’s best for you.)

10) Evernote

Backs up notes you save to your Evernote account.

Like Dropbox, Evernote is also connected to an online service. When you create notes in Evernote, they’re saved to your Evernote account online so you can access them on your account from any device. So when you get a new device, simply log in to the Evernote app with the same account and your notes will be there.

Have you used any of these backup tools, or do you have other recommendations? Share with us in the comments below!

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/backup-tools-for-mobile-device

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 7:18 am

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Online Marketing News: Bing Dinged, Billions-o-Bots, Trending Tube

By Ben Brausen

The Evolution Of SEO - Long before Google Penguin came along, there have been many changes in the world of search. What once worked for ranking no longer does. Take a look back at search and optimization with a look at the evolution of SEO. Digital Information World

Bing Dinged: Facebook Search Results Will No Longer Include Microsoft’s Search Engine - The update to Facebook’s search functionality announced last week, which will allow users to search posts that have been shared with them, claimed a victim in Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, as the social network confirmed that it will no longer include results from Bing in its search results. AllFacebook

Google Mobile Search Now 150 Milliseconds Faster - Google’s speed guru, Ilya Grigorik, announced on Google+ that they’ve made Google mobile search a bit faster, between 100-150 milliseconds faster to be exact. That is about 0.15 seconds faster than yesterday. Search Engine Roundtable

40% of Facebook Accounts For Fortune 100 Companies Are Unauthorized - Social media is under attack — at least according to the latest report from data management solutions provider NextGate. The report, which analyzes more than 30,000 Fortune 100 social media accounts, suggests our most popular networks are particularly vulnerable to social spam and could be the source of the next big data breach. SocialTimes

Brands Will Lose Billions to Bots in 2015 [Study] - According to research by White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers, 11 percent of display ad impressions, 23 percent of video ad impressions, and 52 percent of sourced traffic is fraudulent. ClickZ

REPORT: 30% of Facebook Users Have Unliked or Unfollowed Brands’ Pages - When Facebook users like brands’ pages, that sentiment may not be permanent, as research from GlobalWebIndex indicated that 30 percent of Facebook users between the ages of 16 and 64 have unliked or unfollowed brands, with that figure rising to 38 percent among users aged 16 through 24. AllFacebook

Twitter Users More Loyal to Brands Than Facebook Users - Just 13 percent of respondents to the GlobalWebIndex Brand report say that they have unfollowed a brand on Twitter, compared to 30 percent who have un-Liked a brand Page on Facebook. AllTwitter

New Tools and Insights for Publishers on Facebook - Over the past few months, we’ve listened to publishers around the world to better understand how we can help them connect with people on Facebook. As a result, we’ve created new tools for media publishers, made improvements to Insights, and have added more resources and communication channels for publishers. Facebook

Instagram Is Now Larger Than Twitter With 300 Million Monthly Active Users - Instagram announced a new milestone — less than a year after hitting the 200 million monthly active user mark the photo and video sharing service is now celebrating 300 million monthly active users. Search Engine Journal

Google Launches New AdWords Editor - Google launched AdWords Editor 11, per a livestream announcement by Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management at Google. Search Engine Watch

Google Adds New Features To Keep Up With What’s Trending In Search and On YouTube - Want to know what’s trending in Google search? What about the hottest videos on YouTube at this moment? Now it’s easier than ever to find out. Google announced that as of today you can search for “2014 trends”, or an equivalent search in over 45 different languages, and Google will populate a list of the year’s top trends based on Google Trends data. Search Engine Journal

Twitter Lets Advertisers Target By Wireless Carrier, New Devices - Heated competition in the wireless world has been a boon to Twitter. Now Twitter is tossing more fuel on the fire. Starting now, the social-media company is introducing two new ad features: one that lets advertisers target Twitter users on particular wireless carriers, and another that lets them reach users on new mobile devices. AdAge

From our Online Marketing Community:

On A Marketer and a Journalist Walk Into a Bar: 5 Definitions of Brand Journalism, davearmon, said, “Great use of Church and State street sign for this post. The writing’s not bad either :-)”

Social Media Content: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices, Emily Earhart offered, “We all know well, social media plays an important role for generating the traffic for any kind of website. But how social media content is helpful and what is it’s pors and cons, you have explained it well in this article in a simple manner. Thanks for educating us.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Digital Information World


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Online Marketing News: Bing Dinged, Billions-o-Bots, Trending Tube | http://www.toprankblog.com

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OnlineMarketingSEOBlog/~3/gNTHpUagmh4/

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 5:39 am

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