Thoughts from Matt Cutts and Eric Schmidt, Questions about our Complex Relationship with Google

By Jen Van Iderstyne


Big names and big minds with big ideas are the bookends of this week’s round up, while equally substantial digital marketing questions fill out the middle. From waxing nostalgic with Matt Cutts, to playing Nostradamus with Eric Schmidt, or living in the here and now with our daily questions about Facebook, Google and how to keep track of constantly changing rankings. There’s plenty to think about and talk about, so dive on in.

Matt Cutts: Lessons Learned From the Early Days of Google

The head of the Google Web Spam has been off the grid for several months. But he appeared recently at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, for a talk where he couldn’t help but reminisce about earlier times at Google. Affable, humorous and insightful, Matt Cutts reminds us what a wealth of history he is and why he is such a popular presenter at conferences. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of him in the days to come.

The Marketing Impact of Facebook Out of the $227 Billion Economic Impact

A Facebook funded research project determined that the social media juggernaut has an estimated $227 billion dollar economic impact on our world. The entire figure breaks down into 3 categories, Marketing effects, Platform effects and Connectivity effects. If nothing else, the study supports what many pundits, business owners and marketers already believe; Facebook will be a major player in how products, media and services are bought and sold for a long time to come.

Google Seeking Alpha Testers

Google is looking to get feedback on their impending “Search Queries Report” in Webmaster Tools. Volunteers were solicited via a Google + post and those who participate may see their insights integrated into the final version. don’t miss this chance to tell Google exactly what you think.

50% of Traffic From >>


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - January 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

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How to Create A Marketing Plan For Your Freelance Writing Business

By Anne Wayman

marketing plan

Most writers recognize the need to market themselves and their writing and most will admit to having trouble developing a marketing plan and sticking with it. Some are stuck in the idea that they hate marketing and seem unwilling to get off that.

But most just aren’t clear about what kind of marketing they can and will do and often have a genuine lack of understanding about marketing in general.

What is marketing?

Maybe it will help think about your local farmers market, or the produce section of your supermarket, or those wonderful pictures of markets in far-off places. In each case the wares, the produce, is on display. The hope of the market is that enough people will buy the produce to generate a profit.

There’s no marketing theory behind this. No degrees are necessary. Marketing like this has been done since the dawn of history. People who have extra apples found if they displayed them nicely in a basket neighbors would buy them.

And that’s really what marketing is about – putting potential sellers in a place where others can see what they have to offer and, if they want what’s offered, make you an offer to buy it

Unfortunately, samples of our writing are not as attractive as stacks of oranges, lemons and limes. Of course they don’t spoil the way produce will either, although they can become outdated.

A rant

Marketing yourself and your writing is the way you put your wares, your talents, on display so the people who need your skills can find and hire you.

That’s all!

If you don’t market your essentially hiding yourself and your talent, your light as it were, under the proverbial bushel basket. Even if someone wanted to hire someone with exactly your writing skills and were happy to pay your rate, if you’re not marketing, they will >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 9:18 pm

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#044: The Secrets to Building a More Strategic, Valuable Blog

By Amy

Image for Episode 44

To a large extent, blogs are living, breathing things. They’re a place for you to record the day-in-the-life of your brand, to explore new possibilities and take the occasional look back to see how far you’ve come.

This is precisely what makes your blog the primary place where brand loyalty is fostered. Your posts allow your audience to come along with you and experience the development of your brand as it happens. Ideally, your blog is your audience’s closest connection to you.

That’s why it’s a good idea to step back now and then to reexamine your blog. Even if you’ve had a blog for a long time and your subscriber numbers are strong, it’s always a good idea to find ways to breathe new life into it.

Don’t worry–I’m not talking about a whole new site redesign. There are lots of simple, no-cost ways to tweak, amplify and expand your blog’s potential, making it more valuable for subscribers to read…and more streamlined and effective for you to use.

To help us really understand what launches a blog from good to great, I’ve invited master blogger, Mike Stelzner, to share his insights and tips. If you don’t know Mike Stelzner yet, he’s the founder of Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest social media magazine, and the host of the top-rated podcast “Social Media Marketing.”

Mike and I go way back—he offered me my first paid gig when leaving my corporate job. That feels like a lifetime ago, but in reality, it was just a few shorts years ago!

You’ll also learn about a really cool way to make sure that all of your blog posts look fantastic when they are shared on Facebook. This is SO CRUCIAL to attracting new visitors >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 8:19 pm

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10 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Customer Service Levels

By Sean Burton

hallam phone number

Keep your visitors and potential customers happy by ensuring that your website is geared up to be the ultimate customer service tool.

This post highlights some of the essential elements that should be included on your website in order to provide a richer customer experience, along with some suggestions on how business owners could possibly go the extra mile to delight their customers online.

1. Clearly Display Your Phone Number

If a visitor wants to call you, they won’t appreciate having to trawl through your website to locate a phone number. Make sure that your phone number is displayed clearly and prominently on your website, ideally in the header and footer. This will ensure that these details appear across every page, so no matter where your customers go, they can always make that call.

2. Include a Clearly Signposted and Easy to Complete Contact Form

It’s not enough to simply include your contact email address on your website. Make it easy for your visitors to get in touch by including a contact form that’s clearly signposted from your both your navigation pages and your internal pages. Don’t overcomplicate things with too many fields, drop down menus, and tick boxes. Just ensure that visitors can leave you with the vital information you require to help resolve their query.

3. List Your Full Address Details and Other Useful Information About Your Location

Including your business addresses on your website has several benefits: People may wish to write to you, or locate you so that they can plan a visit. What’s more, including your business address plays a huge role in optimising your website for local searches.

4. Give Busy Visitors the Option to Chat to You at a Time Convenient to Them

Busy people may not be in a position to contact you for a long >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 5:18 pm

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Netflix, Airbnb & Reebok: The Major Logo Redesigns of 2014 [Infographic]

By (Jami Oetting)

This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

When a brand launches a new logo or look, everyone has an opinion.

We analyze how the brand’s familiar symbol has changed — and how it hasn’t (Yahoo). We miss the old icon (Gap) and fail to understanding the reasoning behind such a change (Ernst & Young).

And this past year, we had quite a few makeovers to remark on. Airbnb, Reebok, and Pizza Hut all changed their iconic imagery and repositioned their brands. Foursquare launched a new look and split its app into two separate services. And Black & Decker decided that the + symbol is more modern than a simple ampersand — who knew?

PM Digital created an infographic detailing the major logo redesigns of 2014. Which ones did you love? And which would you rather leave behind?


What were your favorite redesigns of 2014? Let us know in the comments!




Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 5:18 pm

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20 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos

By (Lisa Isbell)


Feel intimidated by the notion of creating an explainer video? There’s no need to be — they just represent another excellent way to get your content out to your target audience. Besides the really big brands that we are all familiar with, a lot of lesser-known companies and even small startups are using them.

Even if you believe your product isn’t “cool” enough to become a cute, cuddly explainer video, someone out there who has a problem that can be solved by what you have to offer would likely see it in a much different light. Sometimes a quick, easy, explanation is just what someone needs to help clearly understand how your product solves a problem.

Compiling an explainer video isn’t much more complicated than putting together a slide deck in a Powerpoint presentation. You decide what to say and find some relevant graphics to jazz things up. The only differences this time are that you’ll be recording a voiceover from a written script instead of presenting it live and you’ll need to be concise and truly explain how something is done. The biggest difference is the final step of putting all the pieces together into an easy-to-access, video file format.

Explainer videos should be 30-90 seconds in length which translates into a written script of around 200 words or less in most cases. To get a good feel for crafting yours, just examine the work of others. You’re bound to find something that resonates with you as a good example for brainstorming your own.

Here are 20 fabulous explainer videos. I’ve included the length of the video, when it was published and the types of product being highlighted so you can easily find something similar to your needs to serve as an example. You should have no trouble >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 4:18 pm

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Should You Include Word Counts in a Magazine Query?

By Brian A. Klems

Q: Why is it important to include a suggested length for a magazine article in a query? I would think that my job, as the writer, is to sell an editor on the idea, but it’s the editor’s decision to determine length. I feel like, no matter what word count I suggest, the editor could think either why so long? or why so short? —Greg W.

You’re 100 percent correct that it’s up to the editor to decide how long she wants the article to be. But when you are querying an editor, that editor needs to know what you believe you can deliver on the topic you’re pitching. That’s where the estimated word count comes into play.

Good freelance writers do legwork before shooting off a query. They look into the topic to make sure there’s an angle and then estimate how much space the information will occupy. They also study the magazine they’re pitching to get a clear picture of where their idea fits best, and the word count of that section. Freelancers then use their estimated word count as a selling point when querying.

[Grammar Rules: Who vs. Whom]

For example:

Dear Writer’s Digest editor,

I’m a big fan of Writer’s Digest and one of my favorite sections is the WD Interview (I especially enjoyed the recent one with Adriana Trigiani). I’d like to pitch you a 2,400-word interview with Stephen King, focusing on the challenges of writing a sequel to The Shining nearly 35 years after its original release. I have access to Mr. King and would be able to interview him and turn this piece around in four weeks. My writing credentials are below.


Dream Writer

OK, so this example is a little simplistic, but you get the point. By mentioning the section you want to write for (the WD Interview) >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 4:18 pm

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9 Copywriting Rules To Create Hypnotic Posts Your Readers Will Love

By Guest Blogger

Image via Flickr user Daniel Lee

Image via Flickr user Daniel Lee

This is a guest contribution from Hassan Ud-deen.

Your blog posts have a purpose, right?

You want your readers to take a specific action after reading your post. It could be to: like, share, subscribe, comment or just think about something. Either way, you’re aiming to elicit a response.

And It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a sale letter, a blog post, or an email.

If you aim to evoke any kind of response or action… you’re writing copy.

Funnily enough, most of the content marketing style writing you read now, is heavily influenced by copywriting principles that marketers (who violently squeezed the power out of every word to make their copy super effective or go to bed hungry,) used to sell to complete strangers.

So let’s revisit the raw “old school” copywriting roots of blogging/content marketing and discover the powerful principles used to make millions from the written word, and how they apply to writing popular posts today.

1 Put On Your “Blog Detective” Hat

In the marketing world, a hook is the one story, idea or feature that races out the screen and locks the reader’s attention in its jaws.

Copywriters would dig through sales literature, interview previous customers, and brush up on the history of a product. All in search for the one undiscovered piece of information that made a reader’s eyes jump out of their sockets.

Legendary copywriter John Carlton calls this putting on your “sales detective” hat and getting into a “Bogart-like” gumshoe frame of mind.

The same principle can be used to craft irresistible posts that spread like wildfire.

Jon Morrow is a perfect example of this. The only difference being that he wore a “blog detective” hat instead of a sales one.

Before his posts went viral on Copyblogger, he noted the number of comments on >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 2:48 pm

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Do Lower Prices Lead to More Sales?

By Sean D’Souza

Sean D'Souza, speaker at Authority Rainmaker 2015

Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics.

The prices are stacked like this:

  • $200
  • $250
  • $2,000

What’s going through your mind right now?

Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses.

If we were truly happy with lower prices, we would simply snap up the $200 workshop, right? We wouldn’t so much as take a glance at the rest.

But that’s not how we’re built as human beings.

Many years ago, when I consulted with a company that sold beds in a store, we’d take customers around the store. We’d show them beds that cost $1,500, $2,000, and $4,000. And then we’d ask them if they were curious about the bed that cost $4,000.

You bet they were. You would be, and so would I — we’d all be curious about the features and benefits that caused an increase of 100 percent (or more) in the price.

Price decisions are made in a vacuum or by comparison

Lower prices, alone, don’t produce more sales. We’re clear on that idea, aren’t we?

And that’s because clients make price decisions either in a vacuum or by comparison.

To start, let’s look at making price decisions in a vacuum.

Say you decide to buy a bottle of Ardbeg (yup, it’s a really nice, single-malt whisky). But wait — the price of a single bottle of 2009 Ardbeg Supernova is $550.

You aren’t asking why at this point in time, because you’re shocked out of your mind. You have nothing to compare it with, so you’re working in a vacuum.

The same vacuum concept happens when you buy a product, service, or course, as well.

The article-writing course at Psychotactics costs almost $3,000. Is it worth $3,000? You don’t >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 2:18 pm

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14 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make Your PPT Designs More Effective [+Templates]

By (Jamie Cartwright)

free powerpoint presentation templates

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic marketing skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience. Expertise means nothing without a good presentation to back it up.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint’s design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don’t forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

Get started creating effective PowerPoint presentations by downloading our 3 free PowerPoint PPT templates here.

PowerPoint Presentation Style Tips

1) Don’t let PowerPoint decide how you use PowerPoint.

Microsoft wanted to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. But this does not mean you should use them all. Here are some key things to look out for:

  • Make sure that preset PPT themes complement your needs before you adopt them.
  • Try to get away from using Microsoft Office’s default fonts, Calibri and Cambria. Using these two typefaces can make the presentation seem underwhelming.
  • Professionals should never use PPT’s action sounds. (Please consider your audience above personal preference).
  • PowerPoint makes bulleting automatic, but ask yourself: Are bullets actually appropriate for what you need to do? Sometimes they are, but not always.
  • Recent PPT defaults include a small shadow on all shapes. Remove this shadow if it’s not actually needed. Also, don’t >> READ MORE <<


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Maria - at 1:18 pm

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