Author: Stacey Roberts

Community Discussion: Analysis of Your Most Popular Post

So here at ProBlogger we love to look at what has been successful and what hasn’t in terms of content, and learn from it. There is always something to be taken away from each experience, and it’s important to know the difference.

There have been times when something unexpected has done really well, and in those times we really narrow down and pinpoint what it could be that worked so well, and how we missed it in the first place! But also we know we’re onto a winner when a blog post is useful, timely, solves a pain point for our readers, and gets shared by influential bloggers with authority in our niche. If it’s comprehensive we’re halfway there. We strive to have all our posts follow this formula, but as you know, every now and again a post will just fly.

Because replicating success is one of the best things you can do, today we’re inviting you to go through the last six months of your blog and find your most popular post. Go through each section of it and figure out what it was that made that blog post sing. Where was it shared? Was it a list post or a tutorial? Did it have images that worked well on Pinterest? Or was it SEO that helped it along?

Feel free to share your post in the comments below, with your analysis – how did it get such a great reaction, and how can you recreate that?

The post Community Discussion: Analysis of Your Most Popular Post appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: Blogging and social media news over on ProBlogger.com

Ok so after reading these articles this week, I’ve prioritised my tasks: double my podcast downloads, and revisit Pinterest. What’s yours?

The Most Annoying Things Brands Do on Social Media | Marketing Profs

Are you annoying people by being overly salesy? What about using too much jargon? A couple of the things on here will see me unfollow faster than lightning too.

5 reasons why more sleep will help you be more productive + how to get more sleep | Planning with Kids

I love being productive, and I love sleeping. It’s insane how much I notice my brain actually functioning when I get enough zzzzz’s. I’m willing to be you need more sleep, too!

How My Podcast Downloads Doubled Overnight | James Altucher

I’m not gonna turn that down!

Instagram Launches Slideshows: 3 Tips For Brands | Milk it Academy

I felt like I was one of the last people for this to roll out, but when I saw others using it, I was unimpressed. If their first image was boring, why would I want to see three of them? And I wasn’t interested in seeing five images only slightly different from the original. No thanks. These tips are much better.

23 types of audio, video, and other media you can add to your course (or blog) to make it even more epic | By Regina

An epic blog for an epic issue! You wanna be epic, right?

Your Daily SEO Fix: Link Building & Ranking Zero | Moz

I have been asked about link-building in the last few weeks more than I ever have in my last three years at ProBlogger. Hear it from the horse’s mouth!

The ‘404: Not Found’ error page has origins dating back to the 1980s | news.com.au

Did you know?

Is Longer Really Better? How Focused and Comprehensive Content Ranks Better | Neil Patel

I think it’s official now: constant short updates are being trumped by longer pieces, at least in search rankings.

The 3 Facebook Ad Tips You Need To Know | Hootsuite

Who actually has this nailed yet? Was it practice? Experimentation? A tutorial? Spill!

How to Optimize Pinterest Content for Search | Social Media Examiner

Are you still Pinterest-ing? Does it still bring the same traffic it once did?

What’s caught your eye this week?

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Irresistible Reading: Psychology’s 6-Tip Guide to Great Writing

Irresistible reading: Psychology’s 6 tip guide to great writing | ProBlogger

There is plenty of great advice around for creating compelling blog content. We read it, but knowing something and doing it are two different things. The missing link is often understanding the why.

Why is great writing irresistible to your reader? And how to you do more of it? Here’s six tips from psychology for creating content your audience can’t resist.

Tip 1: Don’t write like a psychologist

It has taken me years to unlearn the habits of indecipherable academic writing. Dry, disinterested and difficult to read, it’s the opposite of clear communication.

“Your reader should be persuaded by the message. She should not notice the words” was the sage advice of a once-upon-a-time writing tutor. Good counsel that could be spread to better effect around university campuses methinks.

Tip 2: Elicit emotion

Use words that your reader automatically associates with an emotion. ‘Angry’ and ‘fearful’ describe emotions but ‘cruelty’ and ‘spider’ trigger real feelings. When we read our brains recognise and process each word, one by one. A neutral word elicits no particular response. An emotionally-charged word lights up part of the brain’s limbic system – the bit that triggers your emotions. What you feel you will often remember. Want to create memorable content? Use words that make your reader feel something.

Tip 3: Tell a story

Human beings are wired to look for meaning in everything we see – or read. In 1944, 34 college students were shown a short animated film of two triangles and a circle moving across a screen. When asked to describe what they saw, all but one interpreted the scene as a complex story complete with characters interacting with one another. There were fights and drama, scenes of innocence and rage. Nothing is without meaning to the human mind.

Enthral your audience with a story – a beginning, a middle and an end. Find something that matches their experience and creates a connection. You can keep it simple. Your reader’s brain will fill in the blanks.

Tip 4: Speaking of simple

The writing process is cognitively complex. To write well, you engage a lot of brain power. You’re focused on the bigger story or purpose of the piece while juggling the individual words and imagining how your reader will interpret it. All at the same time.

Keep your sentences short, your language simple and your point clear. You work hard to write well so that your reader doesn’t have to work at all. Reading should be seamless and painless.

The added bonus? Studies show that writers who use simple language are seen by readers as smarter and their work as more impressive.

P.S. To keep it clear, don’t forget to edit, edit, edit.

Tip 5: Imagine

The best way to connect with your audience is to give them what they want, but when you’re writing you can’t always ask. Your next best strategy is to use your imagination to connect with what they want to read, not what you want to say.

Understanding another person’s intentions, goals and beliefs is known as Theory of Mind. Imagining their feelings is empathy. Both are uniquely human skills. Before you lay finger to keyboard, sit and ponder your reader, her interests, her problems, her challenges and her dreams. Sit in her skin and imagine her life and experience. Now go ahead and write what she wants to read.

Tip 6: Practice

Becoming an accomplished writer is a lifetime’s pursuit. Writing what you know for your benefit can be done by the time you’re 25. Conveying what you know for your reader’s benefit takes a lot longer. Practice is the key, so go forth and write!

Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is ProBlogger’s psychology expert and a specialist in how people work. She writes, teaches, coaches and consults to organisations across Australia. Ellen can teach you everything you need to know to be happy at work and in life.

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6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

This is a guest contribution from Shane Barker.

Planning to expand your reach and grow your readership? As a blogger, you regularly produce valuable content that your audience loves. But what if you could provide your readers with something beyond your blog posts and eBooks?

For instance, you could share your expertise and knowledge with your audience through online courses and webinars or other e-products – they can be a great way for your blog to reach new audiences and make more money. B

elow are some great examples of brands that nailed their product launches so you can get a better idea how to successfully promote your new product:

Example #1: Pingit by Barclays

In 2012, Barclays launched the mobile app Pingit, a mobile payment service that lets users transfer money easily through their mobile phones. Available only for U.K. residents, the service allows users to transfer money to other people using only their phone numbers. Soon after the app was launched, Barclays made the most of its social media buzz to collect real-time user feedback.

They realized that, although a majority of the reactions were positive, there were still a few negative mentions. Upon further analysis, the main issue was that the app was only available for people aged 18 and above. Not only did teens feel left out, many parents were also unhappy as they were unable to use the service to send money to their kids.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Barclays quickly acted on this and made the service available for users aged 16 and above. So the bank managed to turn a possible PR disaster into something positive with the help of social media feedback and response. Social media monitoring also helped Barclays find out what they were doing right. For instance, users were delighted about the balance checking feature, which was only added as a side feature. Due to the high amount of positive responses, the bank even developed a new app just for this.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Barclays:

Whether you’re launching a new course or promoting a new webinar, social media monitoring can get you a long way in understanding your readers. Maybe your signup process is a bit complicated for them or maybe you could get their opinion about what topic you should cover next. Either way, social media monitoring can help you get a clear idea what you’re doing wrong or right and make adjustments accordingly.

Example #2: Chrome by Google (Thailand Launch)

Google wanted to introduce its Chrome browser to a more diverse market by bringing it to Thailand. But launching a product in a diverse market comes with its own challenges as you need to adapt your strategy according to cultural preferences. Realizing that people in Thailand appreciate traditional storytelling, Google decided to implement that into their product launch campaign.

They chose to tell the story of Ramakien, a national epic that stems from the Hindu story of Ramayana and focuses on the triumph of good over evil. The idea was to use visual storytelling to demonstrate the features of Chrome while bringing the ancient story to life. This helped users understand the browser’s capabilities without having to watch a long, boring tutorial. They even added in-story games so that the audience remained intrigued throughout the interactive experience.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

The campaign was met with approval by many Thai people, including the Prime Minister. During the campaign period, the number of Chrome users grew by 53% and resulted in the browser becoming Thailand’s no.1 browser. Google even experienced a 3.5 point increase in shares following the campaign.

What to Learn from Google:

Visual storytelling enables you to entertain and inform your audience at the same time. But you can further leverage this by telling the story with a theme and tone that fits the preferences of your readers. You can implement this tactic by creating informative yet eye-catching infographics to promote a product or service you’re launching. Find out what interests your audience to get inspiration on how to develop the infographic content.

Example #3: belVita by Mondelēz  

Modelēz International is a multinational company dealing in confectionery and other food items with brands like Cadbury, Oreo, and Halls as part of its brand family. They launched two new products in Brazil – Trident Unlimited and belVita – and wanted to effectively market these products. In May 2014, they started promoting their new belVita apple-and-cinnamon breakfast biscuits through YouTube TrueView.

The brand then measured the campaign performance using Google’s Brand Watch Solution, analyzing how their target audience responded to their video and display campaigns. They discovered that there was a considerable drop in viewer retention after the first five seconds. So they started testing another version of the ad, mentioning their brand name within these five seconds. The revised ad also displayed the product on screen and even appealed to viewers not to skip the ad.

After this revision, their view-through rate improved by 15%. In comparison to a control group, the ad had a 57% increase in ad recall, and brand awareness increased by 27%. Armed with this critical data, Modelēz was able to make adjustments to its campaign for increased effectiveness. They also used insights from Brand Watch to narrow down their target audience to a more specific age group, as they had a 79% brand recall with people aged between 35 and 44.

What to Learn from Modelēz International:

Your product launch campaign doesn’t end as soon as you have launched the product. There are chances your campaign might not be as effective as you had predicted, despite your extensive study of the market and target audience. So thorough performance monitoring will help you understand what you could be doing wrong or what you could do better.

As you can see from the example above, Modelēz was already seeing improvements in performance after revising their ad. But they decided to further improve their performance by narrowing down their target audience into a specific age group with which they seemed to be performing the best. Make the most of monitoring insights and data to adjust and improve your product launch campaign.

Example #4: Unsplash

Unsplash is a blog that provides people with free photos that do not require any form of attribution. If you visit the blog, you’ll find some breathtaking images taken by professional photographers and donated for public use. You might even find images that you can use for your next blog post. Here’s an example so you can see the quality of the photos:

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

From a $19 blog with 10 leftover photos, Unsplash grew into a community of more than 8,000 photographers. The 30,000 photos submitted on the platform have been downloaded more than 50 million times. As a way to thank and further promote these generous photographers, the Unsplash team decided to make a book. The book features some of the most inspiring photos from Unsplash as well as essays from renowned creators such as Lawrence Lessig, (Founder of Creative Commons), and Stephanie Georgopulos, (Editor of Human Parts).

To fund and promote the book, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise $75,000. They leveraged the campaign with an inspirational video telling the story of Unsplash and how the inspiration for the book came about. The video featured some of the photos on the blog and the people behind the project. The campaign managed to raise more than $100,000, exceeding the initial target by around $25,000.  

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Unsplash:

There are several reasons why this campaign worked so well. First of all, they added value to the product by curating and including the works of key influencers in the creative industry. Another reason for the campaign’s success is that they used a video to tell an intriguing story about the inspiration behind the product, and to showcase the lives of the people behind the project.

Partner with key industry influencers to co-create valuable content or products that your audience will love. You can then promote the content/product by telling your story in such a way that your audience forms an emotional bond with you. The more emotionally invested they become, the more likely they will be to buy your product or continue reading your blog.

Example #5: Front App

Front App is a team management app that lets you communicate with team members and manage tasks seamlessly. After seven months of beta testing, the app was officially launched in 2014 and was featured on three reputable websites relevant to the app industry – Hacker News, Product Hunt, and TechCrunch. These features managed to generate a high amount of page visits, leads, shares, and signups.

The folks at Front App monitored the performance of these three channels during the 24 hours following the post and discovered that each of them had unique benefits for promoting the app. Hacker News was able to drive the most traffic at 6,174 unique visitors. TechCrunch, on the other hand, drove the most engagement and conversions with 173 signups, 108 qualified leads, and 107 shares. Product Hunt too generated significant traffic and conversions.

6 Brands That Nailed Their Product Launches (And What You Can Learn From Them)

What to Learn from Front App:

This case study shows that features and guest posts can significantly boost your product launch campaign. They can help you raise awareness about the product while driving traffic to your site and generating leads. The idea is to ensure that the links are coming from reputable and relevant websites. You could talk to publishers about the product to see if you can get a feature highlighting some of the main features of the product.

Otherwise, you could also submit a guest post detailing what the product is all about. Your goal should be to inform the audience about what the product can do for them. You’ll be promoting the product through a trusted platform, reaching out to a massive audience relevant to your industry. Getting featured on successful blogs and renowned publications could also help you build your credibility and brand image, as a feature usually means the website is vouching for you.

Example #6: Wonders of the Universe App by HarperCollins

HarperCollins wanted to establish an online presence and venture into the digital world with a goal to tap into the U.S. marketplace. In 2012, they launched a series of educational apps based on a popular BBC TV series hosted by Brian Cox. The Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of Life apps came with rich multimedia elements and interactive animations along with informative videos.

They kicked off their campaign by developing a unique key message to fit different personas within their target audience base, which included tech/app reviewers, educators, parents, and science and astronomy publications. Each of the messages highlighted the apps’ features and capabilities despite being geared towards specific audiences.

HarperCollins then embarked on a product launch promotion campaign that involved exclusive outreach to high-ranking media outlets, sneak peeks for top technology blogs, and free app downloads for top-tier teacher and parenting blogs. The app was featured on reputable websites like Popular Science and Educade, raising awareness among the target audience.

Following the campaign, the Wonders of the Universe app managed to get more than 81,000 downloads and helped the brand generate $500,000 in new business. It was also featured in the App Store’s “Best of 2012” in both the U.S. and the U.K.

What to Learn from HarperCollins:

The most significant takeaway from this campaign is how they adapted their messaging to suit different audience personas. As a blogger, this would be your area of expertise but there are times you get stuck because you’re too used to writing for a specific type of audience.

Whenever you’re writing for a new audience, like with guest posts, you need to gain a thorough understanding about what the audience would appreciate and how they are different from your regular readership. Adapting your writing style and tone according to specific audience personas boosts your chances of winning readers over.

Conclusion

The examples highlighted here have demonstrated several strategies for a successful product launch. They can help you come up with an effective plan to promote a new e-Product or service. Use these tips to leverage your status as an influential blogger and to ensure that your product launch is successful.

Are you looking for ways to fully monetize your following and influence? Need some help negotiating with brands that want to work with you? If so, then get in touch with me so you can start capitalizing on your influencer status to the max.

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Catch him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

ProBlogger Reading Roundup: Blogging news

I don’t mean to scare you this week about trolls and dropping off the face of Google, but it can happen – and forewarned is forearmed, as they say. I’ve got some good news sprinkled in, just in case ;-)

Why I’m leaving Snapchat and so are all your friends | Owen Williams

“We’ve all moved to Instagram Stories. I never thought I’d do it, but eventually, as I used it more, I found Instagram’s rip-off of Snapchat to be more authentic. Suddenly, instead of checking one app for beautifully manicured photos, and the other for raw feeds, I could get everything in one place… and it actually worked better.”… it was bound to happen, but still sad all the same!

5 Principles For Beating Analysis Paralysis | Josh Earl

Well, there is something to be said for just getting stuck in an doing it, rather than worrying about it.

When bad stats are a good thing | Builtvisible

It probably won’t help you when you’re just starting out and thinking you’re miles behind on traffic and stats, but it can be reassuring and motivating when you hit a slump.

Are food bloggers fuelling racist stereotypes? | BBC

One to think about.

A Look at Blogging Industry Stats from 2016 [Infographic] | Tech.Co

18.7 million people are blogging on blogging and social media platforms currently, and more are slated to begin. I found the info on lead generation and key words to be interesting.

Adele – and the importance of authenticity | Mel Kettle

As Mel says – it’s way easier to be yourself instead of someone you’re not. Keeping up the pretence, especially in blog form, is unsustainable. And being inauthentic does nothing for growing dedicated fans who trust you.

Why Your Customers Deserve Personalized Responses on Social Media | Entrepreneur

YES YES YES YES YES

Our experiments taught us why people troll | The Conversation

The experiments included analyzing 16 million comments made on CNN.com and conducting an online controlled experiment, and the results were varied -and interestingly, people who might not have chosen to troll in the comments section were swayed by existing negative comments, and decided to troll instead. And this has a flow-on effect to other commenters, and subsequent comment threads.

Podcasting is the new blogging | Business News

And how do we all feel about that? What happens to folk who write words and the readers who once read them?

SEO Rankings Drop: A Step-by-Step Guide to Recovery | Moz

Do you know what you would do if this happened to you? It happens more often than you think – Darren once lost 80% of his traffic literally overnight.

What caught your eye this week?

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: ProBlogger

This week we’re talking about changing up routines and slashing things out of our lives if we want to be successful. Also Facebook maybe making our lives easier, taking quizzes, and what to do when you wanna chuck it all in… I’M MOTIVATED! Let’s do this.

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful | LinkedIn

Well this was food for thought. I’m not sure I agree with all of it… what are your thoughts?

Want to Have More Creative Breakthroughs? Redesign Your Day According to This Step-by-Step Guide | Inc.

Huh. Well, there’s nothing better to bust out of a rut than to do things a little bit out of the box. I can’t see the harm in trying a new way of structuring my day! I definitely forget (or maybe just dismiss) the importance of mindless activities when things get busy.

 Should you bother rewriting your ads? | Search Engine Journal

I’m the first to admit I don’t really ever do this. Perhaps I will have to change my ways.

News site deters comment rants by making you take a quiz | Endgadget

This has made a lot of my friends very excited – it could take the heat out of the moment, no?

Denny’s Got a Bit Too Real With a New Meme, and the Result Is the Brand’s Best Tweet Ever | AdWeek

I love a success story, especially when it makes me laugh! And yes, I was distracted, and it was glorious.

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Writing | Aliventures

I’d have been happy with one (anything!) but Ali gives us seven. Round of applause.

Facebook’s Rolling Out a New Page Inbox to Manage Page, Messenger and Instagram Comments in One Place | Social Media Today

WHAAAAAAAT?!!!!!

Identity Matters: How Content Strategists Build Trust and Loyalty | Content Marketing Institute

Personality and authenticity goes a long, long way.

YouTube Tops 1 Billion Hours of Video a Day, on Pace to Eclipse TV | Wall Street Journal

This is nuts. TV is so ubiquitous, it’s hard to think of it being second fiddle… but here we are. Better get our content onto YouTube!

How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It) | Moz

Passive income jackpot!

What’s caught your eye this week?

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: Blog news with ProBlogger

This week’s posts made me want to live in an RV and perennially chase the warmer weather while reading more novels and finding creative ways to stay well-clear of writer’s block. Quite a good week, if I’m being honest!

I think it’s probably because it’s grey and drizzly here (autumn is well on the way) that I’m dreaming of an endless summer road trip…

How This 27-Year-Old Made $1 Million Last Year | Forbes

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner explains in detail how she earned her first million – mostly from her blog, Making Sense of Cents. She posted for us here on ProBlogger last month on How To Make Time To Grow A Successful Blog When You Have A Full-Time Job – her tips are solid.

The ‘Sharent’. Are We Safe As Parent Bloggers? Do We Put Our Children And Selves At Risk? | The Huffington Post

I think most parent bloggers have grappled with all the pros and cons that come with living their lives online, but it never seems like there’s one clear answer. Where is your line in the sand?

3 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others | Psych Central

The blogging comparison beast is large and loud, and can often get in our way of doing our best on the internet. I love these practical tips, based in psychology, to get yourself out of the negative mindset. You’d be surprised how impactful it is to just recognise your feelings and say them out loud!

How to Turn Your Email into High Ranking Articles: Repurpose and Rank in 6 Steps | Orbit Media

Not only repurposing content (which we love here at ProBlogger for working smarter, not harder), but ranking for it too! Excellent.

8 Tips From Authors To Make Your Writing More Inclusive | Bustle

Which is more important than ever on the internet, where we have a global audience.

Advertisements are coming to Facebook Live | CNBC

Well it was probably always coming, but it does change things. How will you handle it?

How to stay out of trouble with the new influencer transparency rules | Mumbrella

From March 1, brands and influencers (and all the people in between) will need to abide by new amendments to the Advertiser Code of Ethics in Australia – which won’t affect the large number of folk who are upfront and honest, but will be an expensive mistake for others who don’t disclose.

How to blog when you’ve hit a wall and run out of creative ideas | Creative Boom

Which hopefully won’t be you, but hey – we’ve all been there!

How To Improve Your Email Campaigns Using Analytics | Search Engine People

Even if numbers are just not your thing, there’s much to be learned from them – especially when it comes to making good decisions based on past performance.

4 guidelines for writing SEO-friendly headlines | Poynter

Where journalism and blogging meet! I also think we may forget about proper names and place names when it comes to crafting the best headline… but I guess the real talent is merging keyword-rich headlines that actually engage human readers. May that be all of us!

What caught your eye this week?

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Community Discussion: Making Money

ProBlogger Community Discussion: Making Money

One of the most popular topics on ProBlogger (if not the most searched-for item) is making money blogging, and how to go about it.

There are so many ways of earning a living online, and we have almost just as much advice on how best to keep the dollars rolling in. Darren covers it quite extensively on his podcast, and it’s a topic we dive down deep in during every ProBlogger conference or event. If you’ve got a question, we would undoubtedly have the answer!

But because it’s so different, there’s no one real formula to success (and if there is, I’d probably say it’s “diversify“). Thats why I’d love to chat with you about what has worked for you and what hasn’t? What are the pros and cons of each choice for you? What would you love to try? What do you wish would be successful, but just isn’t?

For example, affiliate sales for me used to be difficult as it wasn’t as prevalent in Australia. Most of my income comes from freelance blogging, writing, and editing, and while affiliate income has grown, it isn’t what it could be if my audience was US-based. I also quite regularly had sponsored content on the blog over the years, but sidebar advertising wasn’t terribly successful. My next move is products (if only I can make the time!).

Where do you stand on making money? How much would you like to make? What kinds of income streams are you using or will you be experimenting with this year? Let’s chat!

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

ProBlogger reading roundup | Blogging News

This week is all about writing (and writing lots), getting your SEO right, and decluttering your online life. Enjoy!

5 Writing Techniques that Stir Your Audience to Action | Copyblogger

Emotion, Emotion, Emotion is the new Location, Location, Location. If we’re not getting our audience to feel, how are they going to be motivated to engage?

The Four Essential Qualities You Need for Freelance Writing Success (and How to Develop Them) | Aliventures

Whether you have a side hustle freelancing or it’s your main source of income, success often only comes after a lot of hard work. Ali gives us the lowdown on the absolute foundations of making it as a freelancer: and it all starts with self-confidence.

This SEO Checklist = 48.7% More Organic Traffic [Case Study] | Backlinko

Wouldn’t you like to increase your traffic by almost half? Well get ready to make tons of notes and a firm to-do list… I shudder to think how many of my images are missing alt text, but I’m chipping away at them over time. These are easy strategies that just take a bit of focus from you.

How to Be a Prolific Writer | Mark It Write

This content ain’t gonna write itself! This post has some excellent advice from one of my favourite authors and some handy tips to get your fingers working faster on the keyboard.

5 tips for writing a great blog post for your event | Eventbrite

Do you hold events? Do you write event wrap-ups? Perhaps you go to a blogger conference or meetup, or some kind of workshop or gathering? These tips will be helpful.

8 Awesome Ways to Declutter Your Digital Marketing Life | Search Engine Journal

Much is being made of spring cleaning in the Northern Hemisphere, and that goes for your online life too. What needs cleaning, updating, removing, or general tidying up?

5 Ways to Analyze Your Social Media Marketing Performance | Social Media Examiner

When it comes to social media success, it’s crucial to know what’s working and what’s not. Where do you start? Well, you can try this post!

Top WordPress Plugins Every Site Should Have | Yoast

Which ones are you missing?

3 Effective Ways to Reduce Social Media Overwhelm | Socially Sorted

Reduce the clutter, hone your focus – Donna leads the way!

How Snapchat Could Bring Back TV’s Golden Age | Fast Company

Channel surfing from your couch? Remember those days? Apparently Snapchat has brought them back, only updated for the digital needs of today.

What caught your eye this week?

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Turning The Challenges of Remote working Into Strengths

Turning The Challenges of Remote working Into Strengths

This is a guest contribution from Nick Chowdrey.

Remote working is an attractive prospect for many people in this digital age. But it’s not as simple as packing up your laptop and riding off into the sunset – it takes a lot more effort and skill than that.

After all, there are offices for a reason. For example, when working remotely, if something goes wrong it’s not as simple as swiveling your chair and having a chat – you may have to wait hours to resolve the issue because your contact is on the other side of the world and asleep.

But it is possible to work as efficiently as an ‘IRL’ worker when you’re remote. As a remote worker myself, whose team consists primarily of fellow remote workers, I’m well suited to answering these questions.

The Two Biggest Challenges

The two biggest challenges that come with working remotely are communication and organisation. It must be visible to everyone you’re working with that you’re up to date on tasks, when these tasks will be delivered, when you’re available to take on more tasks, and when your workload is at its limit.

Ensuring your contacts are aware of any issues, that they know when you are off on leave and when you’re available for meetings isn’t so simple when you’re working across seven different timezones.

Thankfully there are a range of tools at our disposal that can help greatly:

Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects allows clear allocation of tasks with team wide visibility. Need some help with something? Check who has the bandwidth to take on a task with Teamwork. It can be used to communicate on specific tasks, ensuring that objectives are clear and feedback is delivered.

There are a number of project management tools out there but Teamwork provides a suite of functions in an easy to use interface that puts it the top of the list for me. It’s best use is for keeping track of your team and projects and helping keep to time and budget constraints.

Teamwork also features an easy to use timekeeping function so you can be certain your team are performing well. It really is aptly named, it’s your one stop shop for all things “teamwork” related.

Slack

A useful communication tool used primarily for instant messaging. Best of all it’s free! Slack allows for the setup of a number of different “channels”, allowing users to chat with groups of people related to that channel. Channels can be separated per client or per project or to cater to specific roles in the team.

Depending on how fun your colleagues and clients are you may have a “random” channel for non-work related chats or a “music” channel to share playlists with other teammates. Maybe even a channel just for you and your work friends.

Slack also allows for calling, direct messaging and integrates with loads of other productivity apps such as Google Apps and Teamwork.

G Suite

Google Mail provides a useful emailing service for organising contacts, sending files etc. But it comes with so much more. Enter G Suite – a whole suite of other cloud based apps designed for productivity.

Hangouts allows for instant messaging and video/voice calls to colleagues all over the world. Similar in function to Skype you may also share your screen – useful if your team and clients also use Google products. Drive is free web space to store information in an organised manner which can be accessed by anyone in real time.

Docs ensures that the team can edit and update files on the fly. Providing a whole suite of document types similar to Microsoft Office, although slightly more limited. Still worth it considering these tools are absolutely free and can be improved with a number of add-ons.

GoToMeeting

A great tool for organising remote meetings. GoToMeeting records your video conferences in crisp HD. This function is incredibly useful for reviewing client presentations to pick up on stuff you’ve missed and to see where you can improve.

It also offers HD video calls, and screen sharing from any device type, so even if your client has a plane to catch they have no excuse not to jump on a call.

Custom URLs can be created for each meeting for clarity and security concerns are taken care of due to high levels of encryption.

Sameroom

This tool is different to the others listed so far. It is not a communication or organisation tool. However it is very useful especially for freelancers as it allows you to combine other methods of communication onto one platform.

So if you’re working for a range of companies who use all the above tools or other similar tools you can combine them together on Sameroom for ease of use. No matter what tools your clients or companies are using, you only have to look in one place to keep track of all your communication.

Ramble over

So to conclude, there are a number of tools specifically designed for meeting the challenges of remote working. I would recommend discussing with your company or clients which tools they are using, or which ones they’re interested in. This allows you to ensure you are using compatible software which makes communication and sharing information much simpler.

Nick Chowdrey works remotely from Brixton, London as Content & PR Manager for international travel marketing agency In Marketing We Trust.

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