6 Digital Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2013

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2013 is hot with social networks and business have flooded the market to get there share of members to come to their business. Here is a list of 6 main networks and marketing tactics to look out for this year.

1. Yahoo! – Yup Yahoo is starting to make a come back and with new CEO Marissa Mayer the company is being totally rebuilt. Her main targets for the company are improving its search function, rebuilding their email service and also improving Flickr.

2. Say Bye Bye Facebook? – This very well could happen in the near future. Remember how popular MySpace was till Facebook came around? Well Facebook is now being taken out by multiple social networks. But smaller ones built around niches. With forced formatting, surprise privacy setting changes that continue to upset users and the all to often increase of ads and ways to buy this and that off of Facebook to try to increase their share prices you see many members leaving and using other means to communicate.

3. Content is king and will always remain king (QUALITY CONTENT THAT IS) – Google continues to update their algorithm and these changes are really bashing sites with duplicate content, bad back linking techniques and more. With all that being said just use common sense like we all should have and write content that’s unique, people love to read, comment on and share with others. Follow these rules and you can’t go wrong.

4. QR codes are killin it! – QR codes or quick response codes are seen all over everything we buy or look at in the store. With more people using tablets and smart phones whenever you want information quickly about a product they will have this code and link you directly to their site. This is a great strategy that company’s have been using to get more branding and traffic to their sites by placing it on the products they deliver.

5. Whats Your Location? – With more apps and Google now pushing location marketing, having your business listed is very important. Just by listing your business with Google you can gain exposure for your store, restaurant or whatever business you might be running.

6. Nothing is ever the same – The world we know it continues to change. It changes so fast that sometimes when you blink a new product is already replacing yours with better this and that. With new companies and new ideas coming into the online marketing world all the time it’s safe to say you better keep on your toes and keep up with it or you company could quickly lose profits. Digital marketing is one of the smartest investments you can have in your business and a dedicated team that says on top of this will do your company wonders.

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6 Tips To Writing Content That Will Be Shared

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This year is all about content but maybe not content you might be used to. This is high quality content that is designed to be shared and spread across the world. Content such as videos and infographics are designed to be shared and done so easily. Content is still king and will remain that way for a long time. However creating great content with invested time, enjoyable reading, no spelling mistakes and more is content that will prevail. Here is a list of 6 tips on how to create content that will be shared.


1. Would you read it?

A simple question I know but one that many writers often forget to ask. If you wouldn’t drop by and stick around to read a 10 minute article you just wrote why would anyone else? It should be filled with quality information not filler and answer questions for people or entertain them in a way that makes them want to read your content and then share their experience with others. The most important thing bloggers should know is to just be themselves when they write. You want it to be informative but not a lecture that you would most likely fall asleep in.

2. How does it look?

Consider a better template for your article, include pictures, links to other sites, vidoes, PDF downloads, tools, interviews, ebooks, case studies and anything else interactive. By creating content people care about and want to know more about you greatly improve your chances of it being read and more importantly shared.

3. What is the concept?

Your article or blog post needs to have a purpose even if its just a funny story to make someone laugh or an educated lesson on how to better program. The greatest insight I can give you is to pick a topic you know a lot about and ask yourself the 6 W’s Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. You should be able to come up with 6 quality posts or more that address these questions.

4. What is your goal?

Make sure you have a clear goal. Your article is not there to be a bunch a fluff with no answers. You want to make sure you address the question or topic you are writing about. You might leave the reader thinking and asking more questions but that’s good! Most will leave a comment and ask or input what they are thinking and create the article into a massive informative post.

5. Is it conversion friendly?

It’s often not good to draw to many lines or lines in which there are very strong feelings for. You will invite bashing and other forms of abuse on your comment section. Instead find a way to address issues and leave out those nastiest that are sure to spark revolt.

6. Are you sharing it yourself?

If your not sharing your content across networks such as IMLoop, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc then why would anyone else? Be sure after you create your post you share it with all of your followers inviting them in to read and to leave their opinion.

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Google hides keywords from marketers: The complete guide to using alternatives from the experts

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not providedThe internet went nuts a couple of days ago (or at least, the SEO world of it did) when Google confirmed that it would be encrypting almost all keyword searches in the near future. The Not provided Google Analytics section has easily become the most talked about thing in the past.

Various industry professionals weighed in on the change, what it means for marketers and what other options we have to inform our marketing choices.

Let’s take a look at what happened exactly, and then we’ll explore what kind of responses we’ve seen to the change so far.

Google confirms a change

After encrypting search terms from signed-in users in 2011, Google is now expanding that protection to all users. This means that marketers and website owners will see these keywords as simply “(not provided)” in their analytics.

Google didn’t make an official announcement to kick this off, but made the change quietly, only offering an explanation after being asked directly about it:

We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in.

Search Engine Land reported that since July 2012, “not provided” keywords have been steadily increasing, as Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome have all started encrypting search terms, even for users who aren’t signed in to Google.

The real shock came in the last month, when the number of keyword terms listed as “not provided” spiked dramatically:

not provided google analytics

While Google did confirm that this will continue until pretty much all keyword terms are hidden, Google’s AdWords system does allow for keyword terms to be shown, still:

Publishers can still see these terms by going into the Google Webmaster Tools area, though they only see the top 2000 per day and only going back for 90 days (something Google said will increase to one year, in the future).

How the SEO world responded and the real impact on marketers

So let’s take a look at how the industry has responded to this change, and what kind of impact it will have on marketers and website owners.

Search Engine Land pointed out the possiblity that this could be a plan to create more advertising revenue for Google, since AdWords customers can view and save keyword data:

It’s an odd change to withhold search data from non-advertising publishers within the publishing support tool Google created for them but suddenly make them available in an alternative fashion through the ad system, one that suggest it’s all been part of a plan to create new Google advertisers.

Aaron Aders, the Co-Founder of digitalrelevance told HubSpot that this could be a good thing for digital marketing in general:

This move by Google will force SEO marketers to focus on business results rather than keywords – which is where the focus should be anyway.

Aaron’s point is that there are so many more important ways for marketers to be spending their time, like “lead generation, growing branded communities, and earning brand mentions,” instead of focusing solely on optimising for keyword searches.

Larry Kim, the Founder and CTO of WordStream, offered an alternative way of optomizing website content:

I’d argue that tracking organic content at a page level, rather than an individual keyword level, makes a lot more sense given the recent increases in keyword ranking volatility.

Larry also pointed out that other search engines are not following suit, so any keyword searches coming from Bing, Yahoo and others will give you some idea of the keywords that are most useful to you.

Lee Odden at TopRank blog wrote about some suggestions for content marketers, who might be used to relying on keyword terms for idea-generation, including using the keywords available to you if you’re an AdWords customers, and using a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to get general ideas of search query syntax.

He also pointed out that monitoring social media can be useful for this purpose, and that any searches on your website’s internal search engine can provide ideas about the topics your customers are interested in.

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of Moz, said that one of the biggest tolls this change will take is removing the ability for marketers to show the results of their efforts in improving search traffic (or at least making it a lot harder). Without proof that new search traffic is being generated, marketers will have a harder time defending their work.

What to do if you need those keywords

A couple of different marketers offered some suggestions of ways to find the keywords you need after this change takes full effect.

1. Track pages that target keywords

Kristi Hines pointed out at KISSmetrics that if you know which keywords you’re targeting with each page of your website, you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

not provided google analytics landing pages

By adding a search term for the source “google” to your Google Analytics reports, you can see exactly which pages are being sent traffic from Google, which can help you to work out which keywords are improving your organic search traffic.

not provided google analytics advanced search

2. Monitor anchor text

Another suggestion from Kristi’s post is to keep an eye on the anchor text that is sending traffic to your site. She suggests using a tool like cognitiveSEO that shows a list of the most popular text links that people are following to your site.

not provided google analytics anchor text

This can give you a good idea of what terms are naturally being linked to your site, which might inform the keywords you decide to target.

3. Run AdWords campaigns

Rand Fishkin explored some possible strategies in his Whiteboard Tuesday video on this topic, including paying attention to internal search terms, focusing on page-level search data, rather than keyword-specific data, and using keyword research tools to get broad ideas of keyword volume.

He also pointed out that running AdWords campaigns can be very beneficial in this situation. Although it points to the possibility of Google going against its “don’t be evil” ethos, it could be that Google’s plan is to increase AdWords revenue by removing the keyword data available to customers who don’t run ads.

Still, this is a valid option if you have the budget for ad campaigns, as you’ll receive much more useful data from your AdWords account.

Image credits: Not Provided Count, KISSmetrics

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Online Marketing Optimize in Complex and BOOMING times

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You may be surprised but the internet is still booming! Online marketing is catching on more and more as a part time job or a full time job. Every day new companies and small business find some way to come online and start selling their products. As a marketer or small business owner this is a key time to branding yourself as a key figure in helping these businesses come online and understand all of the integrate parts that make a successful campaign online.

The biggest challenge you face is trying to be all things at once. You need to simplify and prioritize what you are offering. By getting down to the nitty gritty of a marketing channel you provide overwhelming value to your customers that will keep coming back for more. Right now there are many marketing channels ad advertiser can choice to promote their products on SEO, Email, SEM, Social Media, Display and Video. By knocking it down to a few or even one channel and providing awesome value you can capitalize on this market share. You also have to take into account developing and optimizing your advertising across a number of platforms such as cell phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops each has their own method you should be promoting to maximize results.

Your first step you need to take is figuring out what your are currently doing, your budget and if you have any employees if they or yourself have experience in any of these marketing fields. If your budget is low then you need to start at the bottom of the funnel. Use SEM, SEO tactics along with retargeting campaigns. The benefits of working on these methods is low cost and much of it can be done in house. Once you get a system in place the amount of traffic with continue to rise as you continue to add more content. However your trading time here instead of money. You also need to find sources in which your can find low cost advertising that your competition has not yet found.

When you take the next step and start to outsource your marketing ventures be sure you stick to companies that have a goal in which marketing channel they are best at. If a company comes to you and tells you they are good at A, B, C and D well honestly your better off finding a company that focuses on just A or B. A company that tells you they are great at all things is just flat out lying to you.

If your currently feeling overwhelmed take comfort in knowing your not alone. As time moves on these tactics will continue to become more complicated. Just remember to focus and conquer before moving on to the next thing.

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Creating Social Media Substance Strategies

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With social media here to stay and an increasing number of websites coming out that promote social engagement there is a need for building a strong social media substance that helps promote your business.

You might have seen some people just randomly show up in groups where great conversations are happening and just blast your new group with a hyped up sales pitch to try and get some business their way. Sad to say a few of your group members will jump on this and start promoting it. However I never recommend this, people and businesses that do this often hype everything up to get a few interested buyers instead of actually backing up their product and truly over delivering to their customers. It honest is a rotating door of people coming in and back out. The strategies I am going to teach you will bring people in and keep them in along with inviting others into the business. This promotes serious building of your company and within a year you will see a huge increase in your overall income.

Listen and Contribute on Twitter

You might have seen some companies actively listen to their followers on twitter and reply back to them. I remember the first time I was a little upset with a company and made a short twitter post about it. Within a hour they replied to me and ask how they could help and make it right. This honestly shocked me but in a good way and we where able to save the transaction and I am now a long standing customer of theirs! By engaging with others on twitter and keeping on top of it you can quickly turn someones negative review into a positive review and come out looking like a hero to others viewing the discussion.

Connections on Linkedin

It wasn’t long ago that I actually started to use Linkedin for meeting up with like minded people, joining groups and interacting. This really is a great place to connect with other business as people on the site are more focused on business instead of personal with other social networks such as Facebook. Consider creating your own group niched for your business.

Youtube Can Be Educational

Youtube still is the most popular place to get your videos viewed and with a little work and creating helpful videos you can grab up new customers, get rave reviews on your video and more. It’s important to leave little tidbits within your video that will help your customer base but not give away everything so that person no longer has a reason to buy your product. This videos should address issues and then explain how your company or product is geared to fixing it.

Throw Out The Hype

If your company is already using some type of over promising hype and crazy numbers THROW IT OUT! People can see clear though this hype anymore and also will often post negative reviews about your business on social networks. Instead tell them what they are really going to get and then once they buy do your best to over deliver on it a bit. Doing so will leave your customers pleased and happy to come back for more along with promoting rave reviews that you over delivered on what you promised.


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How To Create a Content Style Guide to Improve Your Blog’s Quality

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blueprint content style guideWhat governs the way you write?

Consistency in style, tone, grammar, and punctuation is essential to an enjoyable blog experience. Successfully done, these elements go unnoticed by readers who are too busy consuming the easy, breezy content. That’s the way it should be. Style guides create uniform content and allow that content to shine.

Invisibility is the hallmark of a well-used style guide. You may not even notice the hundreds of subtle decisions that make browsing a blog seamless, but know that they are there. Everything from capitalization to commas, styles to sources, and so much more gets covered in a content style guide.

Need one?

Content style guides are easier to set up than you think, and the payoff can be substantial for the success of your blog and the enjoyment of your readers. For those interested in a blog with consistency and quality, a content style guide is an invaluable resource.

Origins of the style guide

Imagine being handed hundreds of papers with scribbled notes from university professors and being tasked with organizing them, editing them, and setting them to type.

No thanks.

Chicago Manual of Style, content style guideThis is the way that some printing houses in the late 1800s created documents and books. The haphazard nature of this process eventually led to the formation of style guidelines because some semblance of order was needed. Here is a retelling from the origins of the Chicago Manual of Style:

Professors brought their handwritten manuscripts directly to the compositors, who did their best to decipher them. The compositors then passed the proofs to the “brainery”—the proofreaders who corrected typographical errors and edited for stylistic inconsistencies. To bring a common set of rules to the process, the staff of the composing room drew up a style sheet, which was then passed on to the rest of the university community.

(As a self-professed proofreader, I dig the term “brainery.”)

The original print style guides became the foundations for the style guides that exist today—many of which can trace their beginnings to the printing press days. The Chicago Manual of Style has been around for over 100 years. APA style began as a seven-page document in the 1920s and is now 272 pages. A lot has changed in the past century, including what’s covered in a style guide.

Why is a style guide important?

The value of a style guide is often best seen with examples of content run amok. Here are two cases:

Style Guide example headings

Can you find all the differences?

The headings are different, the capitalization in titles is different, the paragraph styles are different, the link text is different. One version uses blockquotes and italics and bold and footnotes and a serial comma and an em dash, the other doesn’t.

This next example is a little more straightforward. This deals with differences within a single story. See what an effect something as simple as headings can have.

Style Guide example headings

The chaotic results of content without rules make the strongest case for the value of a style guide. If you need more convincing, here are three specific ways in which style guides help.

  1. Create the perception of quality and professionalism
  2. Foster consistency in style and tone
  3. Solve problems and settle disputes

Quality and professionalism. You will not be able to retain readers with a sloppy blog. On the contrary, when readers see that there is structure and organization behind what you write, they feel much safer sticking around. Professionalism has never lost anyone.

Consistency in style and tone. Consistency in blogging can mean many different things. Certainly, consistency is valuable as it relates to an editorial calendar. It is also uber-important with the tiny details—spelling, punctuation, grammar, headings, design. These things will be noticed by loyal readers and either appreciated for being done right or hated for being done wrong.

Problem solving. An editorial style guide is a great problem solver in the writing room. With a style guide, there is no need to wonder what the right way is or how things were done last time. A style guide knows. A style guide remembers. A style guide sets the rules to follow so that everyone is on the same page.

Content style guide blueprint

“Remember that style guides are references, consulted when a question or problem arises, rather than books to be read as a training tool.”

— author Jean Hollis Weber

Jean Hollis Weber’s advice is important to keep this in mind as you are creating your style guide. A War and Peace tome is neither expected nor helpful. In many cases, a good style guide need be no longer than four pages.

(Wikipedia’s is a little longer. OK, a lot longer.)

AP StylebookThe key to keeping the length reasonable is to find an existing editorial style guide that covers the basics—a guide like the AP Style Guide or the Chicago Manual of Style. These guides are exhaustive in their coverage of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage.

Once you have this foundation, your content style guide is free to cover only the additions or changes. There is no need to repeat anything that is in the original guide.

To find out what additions or changes are necessary, it is helpful to involve your writing team. They are the ones with the field experience, and group discussion about this living, breathing document can be healthy for creating the best style guide for everyone.

And remember:

The key to a good style guide is brevity.

Now to the nitty-gritty.

Begin with a Table of Contents. Here is an overview of the sections I’ll cover below.

  1. Introduction
  2. Grammar, punctuation, and capitalization
  3. Style and tone
  4. Formatting
  5. Images
  6. Optional sections

1. Introduction

If for nothing else, the introduction serves as the ideal place to declare what external style guide your blog will use. Here are some major ones:

When referring to your style guide of choice, it is important to mention how a writer can access the style guide. Is it online? Is it on a bookshelf in the breakroom? If the company has an online shared account, you should include the username and password in the style guide intro.

Other than the necessary mention of an external style guide, the introduction section is a free-for-all. Keep it short (obviously), but feel free to have some fun, too. Here is what WPMU.org does with theirs:

So, you’re writing for WPMU.org, that’s swell!

However, it’s not all WP skillz and quirky turns-of-phrase. In fact, it’s barely that at all because we want the below to be your bible.

So, please study the guidelines. Make sure that your post works within them all, and we promise the goodness will come — and if you don’t, we’ll just refer you back here, so you’re gonna have to read it at one point . :)

Go…

Want something a little more structured? The Economist lists George Orwell’s famous writing rules in its introduction.

2. Grammar, punctuation, and capitalization

Most of the grammar, punctuation, and capitalization instructions will be spelled out in the external style guide you choose. Any differences or additions should go here.

Specifics will be unique for each industry, but there are a few common areas that show up on many blogs. Here are a few quibbles you might want to consider:

The serial comma

How do you punctuate lists of three or more items? Should there be a comma before the coordinating conjunction or no comma at all? Wars have started over less. There are two vying factions on this issue, and it typically comes down to a matter of preference. In some cases, the ambiguity of comma usage could be a determining factor. Take the following example from a newspaper account of a Merle Haggard documentary:

Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.

Here is how it would read with a serial comma:

Among those interviewed were his two ex-sives, Krist Kristofferson, and Robert Duvall.

In some cases, rewording and reorganizing would remove ambiguity equally as well as an extra comma would. The choice is yours.

Dashes

Do you know the difference between an em dash and an en dash? Your readers might not know either, but chances are they will notice if ems and ens aren’t used consistently. Em dashes are the width of the letter “m,” and en dashes are the width of the letter “n.” Editorial style guides like AP and Chicago typically declare when it is best to use each, but if your style differs, here is where to note it.

Style Guide example headings

(Tip for WordPress users: Three dashes in a row are automatically converted to an em dash by WordPress.)

Numbers – Schools of thought vary on this one: Do you spell out all single-digit numbers and leave the rest as numerals? Do you spell out everything less than 100?

Abbreviations – Explain what abbreviations can be used, if any. Be specific about how these abbreviations should look. For instance, if you allow the word “continued” to be abbreviated in blog post titles, you will need to specify if it should appear as (Cont.) or cont. or however else you might want it to look.

Acronyms – Decide about use of acronyms, if any are allowed, and how they must appear. Associated Press (AP) format relies on spelling out an acronym title on first reference with the acronym in parentheses (like I did at the start of this sentence); every proceeding reference can be abbreviated.

Capitalization – Which words should be capitalized in blog post titles? If you differ from your style guide, be sure to note that here.

Punctuation – Do you use exclamation points? Some blogs don’t, as a rule. Imagine that!

As rules change and new issues come up, this section would be expected to change as necessary. Ideally, this would be the place where you confer with the writing team to find out what works best and what needs added. The decisions themselves are not most vital, but rather the goal is to have everyone on the same page.

The important thing is that you use the same rules consistently throughout all the content you create.

3. Style and tone

Can you tell a Mashable article when you see it? Do all Buzzfeed stories sound similar? This is a cause of style and tone.

In terms of rigidity, the style and tone section is more guideline than rule. Whereas grammar is black-and-white, style and tone tend toward gray. The main takeaway here is that this section should guide the writer toward achieving the blog’s feel and voice.

Let’s begin with feel. Style, in this sense, refers to how a post looks and reads. In a content style guide for a blog, you will want a reminder that online readers don’t read, they scan. As such, you can use this section to list the many ways you can break up long articles and content.

  • Short paragraphs
  • Lists
  • Headings
  • Bold and italic
  • Photos
  • Blockquotes

Style Guide example headingsThe tone of your blog deals with how content is written rather than how it appears. Again, to borrow an example from the Economist, here is what their style guide’s tone establishes:

  • Do not be stuffy.
  • Use the language of everyday speech.
  • Do not be hectoring or arrogant.
  • Do not be too pleased with yourself.
  • Do not be too chatty.
  • Do not be too didactic.
  • Do your best to be lucid.

Guidelines for your blog’s tone need not be listed in a rules format like the Economist. Tone can be set by a simple list of adjectives that cover how you want your blog to sound. Here are some options:

  • Conversational
  • Thorough
  • Academic
  • Laidback
  • Snarky
  • Funny
  • Controversial
  • Irreverent
  • Artistic
  • Objective
  • Educational
  • Sophisticated

4. Formatting

In many cases, your blog’s CSS will handle much of the formatting automatically. For instance, you don’t need to include rules about what blockquotes should look like because there is code in place that creates a uniform look for all blockquotes.

The focus instead should be on consistency with the way these coded styles are used. For instance.

  • How should you use headings? Do main headings receive an H2 tag or an H3 tag?
  • When is bold okay to use?
  • When are italics okay to use?
  • Is strikethrough allowed?

5. Images

There are many different elements to consider in discussing images, everything from alignment (center, left, right) to alt text to naming to captions to sizes to sourcing, and so much more. Depending on how specific you want to get with the rules for images, this section could be the longest in your style guide. Just look at all there is to consider with image captions alone:

Outline from where writers can source images and how to attribute that source within the content — should they link to it at the bottom of their content, include an image caption, or work in the artist credit within the copy?

Explain what you need in order to have a consistent image style on your blog. If that means a page on images, then so be it.

On a related note, the Images section can include websites where writers can look for approved images. Some common sites to include may be

6. Optional sections

Blog-specific instructions

Every blog is a snowflake, as original as the next. For this reason, it may be necessary to explain unique parts of the publishing process on your blog in particular.

WordPress blogs have a glut of plugins and options when it comes to publishing. Many blogs use post excerpts; you’ll need to explain to writers how to use these. Other blogs have deep SEO settings; again, an explanation is warranted. Thumbnails and categorization and tagging and post formats and … the list goes on. If there is an important element to your publishing process that needs to be consistently completed, the style guide is a great place for it.

Approved and unapproved content

For blogs that reference content from around the web, there may need to be guidelines for which other sites can be used as sources and which can’t. In this case, you can list a series of approved industry sources and a list of taboo competitors or low-quality sites.

Sourcing

How do you give credit to where you found your information? Some sites link to text within paragraphs. Others mention the site by name and link to the site. Still others use footnotes. Whatever you decide, make sure it is consistent.

Personas

Borrowing on a common sales and marketing tactic, HubSpot suggests adding personas to your content style guide  in order to help writers envision the audience for which they’re writing. These personas would represent broad descriptions of target individuals who share common desires, questions, and goals.

(Find out) who your target audience is, their pain points, the value your company provides, how they like to be communicated with, and (include) a picture to give writers a visual to keep in mind when creating content.

If your writers understand your target audience, many questions that would normally arise during content creation are easily answered with common sense based on their knowledge of your readers.

Editorial style guide template

Put it all together, and you have a single document that should keep all your writers on the same page. There are many different pieces and parts that go into a successful style guide, and the constant changes and updates to the guide will mean that the document is never complete. Still, you’ll need to start somewhere.

Use this content style guide template as a jumping-off point.

The file includes placeholders for each of the sections listed above as well as some reminder text on what should go where. Feel free to edit and change to your liking.

I built a sample content style guide from the template. Copy and paste as you like.

Links to helpful style guide examples

Style guides exist. In real life. Here are some examples:

What does your style guide look like?

Perhaps you have already created your own in-house style guide for your blog. Perhaps you read some of this post and decided right on the spot that you must have this feature or that feature. Great! We’d love to hear what works for you and what you find essential to your blog publishing process.

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IMLoop.com The Social Network For Internet Marketers

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One thing I noticed while on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks is people really hate being sold to. Most use these services to keep in touch with family and friends and really don’t care nor want to hear about what your selling or even about your business. In fact promoting your services in the wrong ways to people on these networks can really turn them off from your business for good. This is why IMLoop.com was created, a social network geared towards Internet marketers and small business owners where you can join for free and market your products and services to the masses.

IMLoop is currently still in it’s building phase but the owners Sean Supplee (Me) and Dan Moses are hard at work to build new features and smooth-en out the site. The main focus will always be to offer great content that’s helpful to all and allow for easy connections to be made. These connections can result in Customers, JV partners, List swaps, Sponsors and more. These are real connections that will help your business grow and allow you to build your brand and your name stronger then ever.

I want to take a moment and paint a clear picture of where IMLoop is headed. It’s our goal to make IMLoop a friendly but prosperous platform where you can come in for free and through channels such as groups, crowd pages and other features to be able to build your brand and get the connections you need. One of the hardest things to do when you are starting up is to meet the right people in your niche that could line up your products with each other bringing in new customers and taking your business to the next level.

Come on in and join IMLoop for free and help us grow the community with your valued input. There already are many great people that make up the network, the only thing missing is you!  Join IMLoop The Social Network For Internet Marketers


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One More Power Traffic Method For Bloggers

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Any blogger knows it takes time and commitment to build a strong following for your blog. It’s honestly a full time job along with being creative and coming up with ways to grow your following. Sure it’s easy to set up a Facebook fan page or a twitter account and share your blog posts on them. But to achieve a large following on these networks can take years to achieve.

You can also go the paid rout posting ads on other blogs that are like yours, backlinking your blog on like websites and even using adwords to expand your reach. The only issue with this is it can quickly burn a hole in your pocket with minimal results.

What if there was a way to target your niche audience and spark more interest in your postings?

The answer: LinkedIn Groups

Linkedin is a social network that is business friendly and often times I see it under used by those in my field of blogging. What makes Linkedin groups more powerful then Facebook fan pages and tweets is the fact that LinkedIn is more business friendly. When your on LinkedIn you expect to connect with professionals and have discussions on business matters.

What are LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn groups have a strong business presence compared to Facebook and Twitter. These groups are often more industry specific compared to other social networks which allows you to pinpoint your target audience. In so this makes LinkedIn groups more powerful then other social networks as your engaged audience is expecting to be sold to or learn more about your business and how it can help them grow their own business. The best thing about what LinkedIn groups has to offer is it’s free, social, targeted audience, effective in driving quality traffic to your blog and gets you noticed in your industry specific network.

Setting up your new LinkedIn promotion

1. Create your blog or make sure your blog is in tip top shape. Don’t use sub domains etc. The best blogs have their own domain name or are attached to your main business. Don’t be rude, insulting or arrogant in your postings, your there to provide quality content that is helpful to people not to bash people.

2. Join LinkedIn, most already have accounts at LinkedIn however your profiles have been dead for the last few months or even years. Be sure to update all your information and keep it as related to your target niche as possible.

3. Join a LinkedIn Group and/or create your own group. Groups are easy to search and most industries already have a massive group in which you can post your content to. This content will need to be approved in most cases by the group admin so be sure the content you are posting is helpful and related to the group you are joining.

4. Just a few tips, when posting your content be sure to add a comment and keep it interesting. Just like with any ad or email you send out you need to spark some type of interests to get people to click-thru and read the entire blog post.

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7 Big Facebook Changes You Should Know About for a Better Facebook Strategy

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Facebook changes so fast, I often miss new features or updates to existing ones. Since there have been a few changes recently, I thought it would be helpful to do a bit of a wrap-up of what Facebook’s been up to.

1. Images are now bigger and wider – Here are the right sizes to use

Some recent changes to how Facebook displays thumbnail images mean that we need to be more aware of the size and aspect ration of any pictures we post. Because Facebook will automatically resize images that don’t match its specifications, we really need to remember these details for our images to look right.

The aspect ratio is very specific: image widths need to be 1.91 times the height. This will mean the image scales perfectly in both the desktop News Feed and on mobile. Images are now larger when shown in the News Feed, so keeping the aspect ratio right will make sure your images look great wherever the user sees them.

Recommended image sizes have also changed for Facebook’s desktop News Feed and mobile views. For the News Feed, Facebook recommends thumbnail images of 400×209 pixels. Images that are smaller than these dimensions will be resized to either 154×154 or 90×90 pixels.

Jon Loomer made some amazing graphics to show you what the right, new sizes are:

facebook changes - images

On mobile, Facebook’s recommended image size is 560×292. Images smaller than this will be resized to 100×100 pixels.

facebook changes - mobile images

It seems strange that mobile images are expected to be larger than thumbnails for the desktop News Feed, but Jon Loomer suggests this could be due to the lack of a sidebar on mobile, leaving more space for large images, and the increased usage of tablets with larger screens than smartphones.

2. News Feed ranking is now smarter, including 100,000 individual weights

Not so long ago I wrote about how Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm works to determine which posts show up in a user’s News Feed. The algorithm has been developing alongside Facebook’s overall growth, and now uses up to 100,000 individual weights to determine which posts appear in the News Feed.

facebook changes - news feed

The latest iteration of the algorithm could be compared to the growth of search engines like Google and Bing. Both use complicated algorithms with many signals included, such as social and personalization, to determine which search results to show a user. Facebook’s algorithm has become more sophisticated over time in a similar way.

When Facebook launched the News Feed in 2006, it was designed to show users the most important content from their friends all in one place. The tricky part is deciding what’s important to each user:

Facebook says that the typical user has about 1,500 stories that could show in the News Feed on every visit.

What shows up on a user’s News Feed is determined by measuring signals that show how close a user is to friends or Pages, as well as global interaction signals:

For example, if we show an update to 100 users, but only a couple of them interact with it, we may not show it in your News Feed. But if a lot of people are interacting with it, we might decide to show it to you, too.

The way users access Facebook affects what they see, as well. The algorithm takes into account that some types of content don’t perform as well on particular devices—for instance, some content is impossible to show on old feature phones.

It’s even smart enough to recognize when a user has a slow Internet connection, and show more text updates that load quickly.

Facebook recently announced a series of blog posts called News Feed FYI that will “highlight major updates to News Feed and explain the thinking behind them.” If you want to stay on top of changes to the News Feed algorithm, this is a good place to start.

3. There are new and improved Page insights

Facebook’s insights for Pages recently got an update that makes them more useful for marketers.

The new insights view includes graphs of Page likes growth, post reach and engagement. It also includes a post clicks section which shows how many times a post received a “stealth click”—i.e. a click that doesn’t result in a story.

You can add benchmarks to your insights now, to test how well your Page performs over certain time periods. This could be really helpful in testing different post types, times or lengths over short periods.

facebook changes - engagement

Engagement statistics are now broken down to make them more useful—showing negative feedback, and the breakdown between likes, comments and shares.

facebook changes - fans online

If you’ve read up about optimal times to share on Facebook, you’ll know that it can be tricky to nail down. Optimal timing can differ for each individual Page depending on the audience, so it’s best to figure out what works for you specifically. Thankfully, the new Facebook insights make this easier than ever before. You can now see how many of your fans are spending time on Facebook (in general, not just on your Page) on each day of the week.

facebook changes - fans timing

You can also drill down by a specific day to see how the timing changes.

 facebook changes - fans vs non fans

Lastly, you can break down your engagement insights to see how much engagement is coming from users who already like your Page vs. those who don’t. This can be really useful in working towards posting content that your fans will like.

4. Finally, you can now edit already published posts

A really recent change Facebook made is the introduction of an “edit” feature on posts. The feature is being rolled gradually out to web and Android users first, with iOS still on the way.

facebook changes - editing

This is the first time we’ve had the ability to change posts rather than simply deleting them when we realize we’ve made a mistake too late.

facebook changes - edit post

As well as editing a post after publishing, the new feature will let users keep a history of changes they’ve made.

facebook changes - editing history

5. You can now Auto-play videos

A lesser-known feature that’s only in a testing phase right now is auto-play for videos in the News Feed:

Now when you see a video in News Feed, it comes to life and starts playing. Videos initially play silently, and if you want you can tap to play with sound in full screen. Scroll past if you don’t want to watch.

facebook changes - videos

Initially, only videos from personal profiles, verified Pages, and Pages of bands and musicians will auto-play.

To start with, this feature is only being tested on Facebook for mobile, and should be rolling out over the next few weeks.

6. Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API

In an effort to make Facebook discussions part of the global conversations around trending topics, Facebook recently opened up two new APIs to selected news partners like CNN, Buzzfeed and Slate.

The Public Feed API will display a “real-time feed of public posts for a specific word.” Only posts that are public (i.e. from Pages or profiles with the “follow” option turned on) will become part of this feed. This will allow news partners to display a feed of Facebook posts about breaking news alongside their coverage.

The Keyword Insights API uses data from all Facebook users, and pulls out anonymous insights about the number of mentions of a specific term. This can also include demographic breakdowns, such as gender, age and location.

So far these tools are exclusive to a small group of Facebook news partners while they’re tested and improved. This is definitely an area to keep an eye on, though. With so much of our data in its hands, it will be interesting to see how Facebook puts it to use.

7. You can embed Facebook posts – Get more likes and follows

At the end of July Facebook announced that posts would be embeddable on other sites. Public Facebook posts from profiles and Page (not groups or comments) including all types of media can be embedded.

facebook changes - embed follow

Users can engage with posts that are embedded on other sites by liking Pages, following users, liking or commenting on posts and watching video posts.

facebook changes - embed like

Kristi Hines makes some great points on Social Media Examiner about how to use embedded posts well, including replacing screenshots with embedded posts so that users can engage with your examples and using embedded posts to share photos or videos to encourage more interaction on your Facebook Page. Kristi also points out how useful this can be for increasing likes on your Page:

While you can’t always like or comment on the embedded post itself without being taken to Facebook, you can click on the button at the top right of the embedded post to like the page.

This means any embedded posts you use from your page could help boost your number of fans!

To see that in reality, here is a recent Buffer facebook post embedded for you:

Did I miss anything? Have you got thoughts to add on any of these new features? Let us know in the comments.

Image credits: Jon Loomer, NBC News, Facebook 1 and 2, Inside Facebook

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like 7 Powerful Facebook statistics you should know for a more engaging Facebook page and A scientific guide to posting Tweets, Facebook posts, Emails and Blog posts at the best time.

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We All Start From Little

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Everything in life starts with a little something and thru energy, learning and building daily it grows into what you have now. This is the same thing when it comes to making money online and is often one people forget. So many programs out there continue to offer riches quickly but I will be completely honest with you. NONE OF THEM WORK!

I’m not saying they don’t work in terms of the quality of information they give, but any system out there is not as simple as clicking a button. It takes time, effort and learning the system in order to maximize your results with it. What you need to figure out is what type of system interests you. Finding one that you enjoy will lead you into better success since it wont feel like work and you will enjoy reading and learning new tactics.

Here are a few examples of how people are making money online every day.

  • Create your own product or service (Ebook, Software, Game, Report, Newsletter)
  • Build a list and promote others products in exchange for commissions
  • Write articles and other useful creative content for bloggers and article directories. (Content is king)
  • MLM, yes people do make money in MLM but you need to build a solid team of both marketers and also sellers/buyers of the product (customers) Products that do the best in MLM are consumable
  • Traffic exchanges and list builders, Yeah for some reason these two have a bad rep with most marketers, But honestly its how I started building my business and its been awesome! You just need to learn how to use them right like any system

These are just a few examples, find something that makes you unique, something you enjoy doing and see if it can be offered to others.

For me I found product creation and list building along with traffic generation techniques to be my main focus of my online business. I enjoy it every day and every day I continue to learn something new and try to create new unique methods to improve my business each day with them.

Do you offer your services already? on programs such as fiver etc? What drives you and makes you want to be successful each day?


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