Appeal aims to give mum-of-five a fighting chance against cancer

first_imgAn online appeal has been launched to help a young Donegal mother during her devastating cancer battle.Sonya Hamilton Mc Closkey, who is originally from St Johnston and lives in Ballybofey, was recently diagnosed with cancer of the breast, lymph nodes, pancreas, liver and lungs.The 35-year-old had been struggling with pain and illness for the past two years. But it was only in April 2019 that she received the crushing diagnosis. Sonya is married to Ballybofey man Michael McCloskey and together they have five young children. She has spent the past few weeks in an oncology ward, separated from her family as her four youngest children are too young to visit the ward. She was taken to Galway University Hospital on Tuesday in the hope of having a procedure on her liver. While she is unable to undergo chemotherapy, Sonya has discovered one option which could give her the fighting chance she needs.The strong young mum has been in contact with Oncologica, a UK company which carries out specialised tests to determine the most successful treatment options for cancer patients. “At the moment this is Sonya’s only choice to give her a fighting chance,” Sonya’s sister Lorraine wrote in the GoFundMe appeal, which was launched today.Sonya’s family are fundraising to cover the €2,000 cost of having a sample of her biopsies sent to Oncologica. The online campaign has raised an amazing €3,000 in just four hours, as almost a hundred people offer their support to the Hamilton-Mc Closkey family.Sonya, Michael and their children are well-known in the Twin Towns area. Sonya once ran her own mobile phone shop in Ballybofey.“Everyone who has ever met Sonya knows she is a giver. She gives her everything to her family and everyone she knows. Her life is completely selfless. Her children are her priority. Trying to fight this is all Sonya can do,” Lorraine said. If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe page, please click here: https://www.gofundme.com/qap9y-sonyas-battleAppeal aims to give mum-of-five a fighting chance against cancer was last modified: June 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:appealcancergofundmeSonya Hamilton Mc Closkeylast_img read more

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What’s Holding Up The Internet Of Things

first_imgThe Internet of Things – in which ordinary objects get smart and connected, making possible all sorts of new services – promises to give us smarter cities, fewer traffic jams, a cleaner environment and a Series victory for the Cubs. (OK, maybe not that last one.)Trouble is, while lots of technologists and technophiles talk about the Internet of Things as if it were already here, there really isn’t any such thing. Not in any true sense of the term.To be sure, there are plenty of smart gadgets out there that are wired up and broadcasting data to other devices – home alarms, for instance. Cameras. Heat sensors and hydrometers. But as you might have already noticed, we’re still a long way from the day when your refrigerator sees that you’re out of milk and orders a new gallon, or when your suitcase checks your calendar for out-of-town meetings and makes sure your travel clothes have been washed and folded. Here’s why.No Lingua FrancaIn its most basic sense, the Internet is just a network that connects any given device to any other given device. That connection alone, however, doesn’t mean that these gadgets will know how to talk to one another, much less that they’ll have anything to say.When devices can communicate, it’s generally via one or more “protocols,” or specialized languages for handling particular tasks. You’ve almost certainly encountered the most popular protocol on the Internet –  the HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. (Yes, that’s the “http://” you sometimes see leading off Web addresses in your browser.) HTTP allows computers of all sorts to send files, images and videos to one another across the Web.Like HTTP, many other commonly used protocols handle specific communication tasks. SMTP, POP and IMAP, for instance, are all e-mail protocols. FTP handles basic file transfers. And so on.Special-purpose protocols like these generally work just fine, since Web, mail and FTP servers don’t normally have a lot to say to one another. (When they do, simple translation software handles the job.) As the Internet has evolved, it’s been easier to keep using a bundle of simple and stable single-issue protocols than to try to bundle them into anything more sophisticated.You’re probably starting to see the problem. Devices on the Internet of Things may have to handle a bunch of different tasks. And there is very little consensus on which protocols to use. In other words, what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.“All of the technology is undefined,” says Holger Reinhardt, a product architect at the cloud-management startup Layer 7. “The Internet of Things is an amorphous philosophy and terminology.”A Tower Of BabbleSo instead of talking directly to one another, devices on today’s nascent Internet of Things now communicate primarily with centralized servers controlled by a related developer or vendor. That works, after a fashion, but it also leads to a bunch of balkanized subnetworks in which devices can communicate perfectly well with each other – but can’t actually talk to devices on any other balkanized subnetwork. Take cars. A Ford Focus, say, can communicate perfectly well with Ford service or data centers when sending data about itself over the Internet. If a part needs replacing, the car’s systems can report back to home base, which in turn generates a service notification to the car’s owner.But say you wanted to create real-time traffic alerts based on information from cars currently on the road. Now you’ve got trouble, because your Ford is probably only set up to talk to other Fords – not Hondas or Porsches or Teslas. This is because they don’t speak a common language. So, for instance, there’s no easy way to let vehicles daisy-chain warnings that there’s road construction ahead or that an idiot driver is roaring up the shoulder at 90 mph.Some of these issues are simply problems of network architecture – that is, deciding whether devices will communicate via, say, Bluetooth or NFC. Those are relatively easy to fix.The protocol issue, by contrast, is a direct obstacle to the Internet of Things, because a bunch of siloed devices talking only to the companies that own them does not an Internet make. (Though maybe you’d end up with the CompuServe of Things. Catchy, no?)Too Many Regional DialectsNow, even competing car companies will eventually figure out that a common data protocol will be good for business. But that doesn’t solve the protocol problem – it just makes the silo bigger by including all new cars. There are still plenty of other devices that would like to talk to cars, but can’t – like, say, toll gates and gas pumps. They each speak a regional dialect the others can’t understand.To consider this a little more closely, consider a “smart” living room featuring three devices connected to the Internet: a Nest thermostat, a Spark-enabled light and Makita automated drapes. Each device gathers data and sends it back to its manufacturer, and can take a handful of limited actions. If the room gets too warm, the Nest will turn on the air conditioning. If it’s dark outside, the Makita controller will close the drapes. If someone’s in the room and it’s dark enough, the Spark could turn on the light.See what’s not happening? The Nest isn’t talking to the Spark, which isn’t talking to the Makita, which isn’t talking to the Nest. At best, you might be able to get a hub-style home-control system that could manage each of these devices. But such controllers often suck the same way universal remotes for your home TV setup do.Note also how little it matters that these gadgets are connected to the Internet. The fact that they’re online only means you can control them – individually – from your smartphone. Big deal.We can blame the exuberance of engineers. New technologies encourage a Wild West attitude among developers who want to pursue their own approaches instead of agreeing on common standards. As a result, we have an insane alphabet soup of protocols that govern how machines talk to each other: IBM’s MQTT, OMG’s AMQP-based DDS, RESTful HTTP, XMPP, CoAP, NanoIP and SSI.To be fair, there can be good reasons for some of those different protocol dialects. HTTP, for instance, works great for always-on Web servers, which can easily handle the two-way, real time “request and response” style of Web communications.But not all devices on the Internet of Things will be set up for that kind of inter-machine conversation. Gadgets whose batteries can run down, or which have to deal with spotty or weak signals, can’t always respond to real-time HTTP-like requests. That’s why they tend to rely on other protocols – ones that, for instance, pass messages from device to device opportunistically. (As in, for instance, the PubSub category of protocols, which includes MQTT.)Still, the dialects present yet another challenge to the Internet of Things.Show Us The MoneyThe only way a true interconnected Internet of Things will work, experts like Layer 7’s Reinhardt argue, will be when economic incentives push device makers to share access to their controls and to the data their gadgets generate. Right now, those incentives mostly don’t exist.See, it can take a lot of effort to get smart things to talk to each other in meaningful ways. Reinhardt offers the example of a smart trash barrel in a public park. If a trash contractor wants to receive data from the barrel (i.e., is it full?), the barrel maker first needs to make sure it can talk to the trash contractor’s systems. Then it needs to give the contractor permission to access the barrel’s data.These days, that first step can take a fair bit of time and trouble. In turn, that expense puts a damper on how frequently the barrel owner is willing to go through the process. It also makes data acquisition more costly to the trash contractor, who might just decide to have an employee walk past the barrel instead.Now assume the barrel starts off able to communicate with the trash contractor’s systems. Now the barrel manufacturer could push a button and deliver its data to anyone with little pain or labor overhead. Once the process of allowing that kind of data sharing becomes easier to replicate, then device makers will be more interested in sharing data to generate revenue.Connected Silos Or An Internet Of Islands?Ultimately, the Internet of Things will take one of two shapes. If present trends continue, data to and from devices will largely be trapped within centralized silos, a la the home automation example above. Eventually, companies and vendors will interconnect those silos, rendering protocol differences all but irrelevant. And then economic incentives start to line up, too.Data, however, would remain more difficult to share than it should be, given the need to keep building new links between silos. It would have to travel farther and might be subject to congestion at hubs, slowing down services. And the centralization of data could raise security and privacy concerns. Still, this setup would be much closer to a real Internet of Things than what we have now.Alternatively, stronger and more widely used protocols used by more devices could create an “Internet of Islands,” in Reinhardt’s turn of phrase. Devices within a room could communicate directly with each other, the home and then their neighborhood. Data would stay in these smaller domains, speeding services and bolstering privacy.This latter network represents a much more flexible and responsive Internet of Things. Once you’ve empowered different devices to communicate freely with other machines, automated systems can start to learn what’s going on in the world around them and adapt to human needs. Too bad current technology trends and near-term economics aren’t exactly paving the way for it.Lead image of an automated home courtesy of Sony Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting brian proffitt Tags:#connected home#Internet#Internet of Things How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudcenter_img Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for …last_img read more

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The Needle Is Found in a Haystack

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now This is what makes prospecting so difficult. For most of us, there are more non-prospects than there are prospects. There are also more prospects than dream clients. Even though there are enough dream clients for you to pursue, only some percentage of them will be compelled to change, and many more will actively resist change.Prospecting is, in part, looking for the needle in the haystack.If you don’t call on your prospective clients, then you are not getting any closer to finding a person or company that is compelled to change. If you don’t pursue your dream clients, you will never be far enough in front of an opportunity that you are considered as the likely successor to their existing partner. Instead, when they become dissatisfied, they’ll reach out to someone that has been nurturing them.When you do the work of prospecting, you not only find prospects that are interested in exploring change, you also find your dream clients, some of whom are compelled to change now, recognizing that they need things to be better than they are. If you’re not in the haystack, you get nothing.This is the defining difference between salespeople who create new opportunities and those who don’t. The opportunity creators do the work necessary to find prospects and dream clients they can help. Those who passively wait and hope that they get enough inbound leads that are already opportunities struggle, preferring to do account management work instead of sales work.The needles are in the haystack. But they aren’t going to come and find you. Which means you are going to have to get in there and find them yourself.last_img read more

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The 7 Personalities Every Successful Social Media Manager Has

first_imgThere aren’t many instances in our professional lives where having multiple personalities is seen as a positive trait.After all, it spawns dishonesty, deceit, and fosters a tense environment often filled with animosity.But hold the phone there ya negative Nancy — there are times when conveying multiple personalities is not only encouraged, but also essential to the success of your marketing efforts. We’re talking social media marketing, where executing a strategy that successfully engages and proves value lies in your ability to satisfy a variety of needs and personalities. In fact, our guide on Social Media Marketing details how different platforms require different voices.Download Now: Free Social Media Calendar TemplateWe all have very different agendas when logging in to our social platform of choice; therefore, shouldn’t we as marketers possess the ability to recognize and speak to them?7 Personalities Every Social Media Marketer Should Have Remember Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor? In the film, he portrayed both Professor Klump, the responsible, well-respected gentleman of a scientist, as well as Buddy Love, his genetically created alter ego who was a skinny, loud-mouthed womanizer.Completely different personalities, yet both appealed to Miss Purdy in different ways. Sometimes she wanted to be engaged intellectually. Other times, she wanted to hit the comedy club for a few drinks. The way in which we interact and engage with others in real life is dependent on different factors. After all, you wouldn’t interact with your co-workers in the office the same way you would at happy hour on Friday afternoon.It’s for this reason that your social media marketing strategy should have the ability to speak to a diverse audience in a variety of ways in order to appeal to all of their needs. So let’s dive in to the seven personalities every successful social media manager has.1) The InformantWith so much content and information at our disposal, our first inclination as buyers is to find resources that assist in our decision-making process. It’s why Google — and sometimes even your Twitter feed — is your Yellow Pages. Buyers are looking for information. Marketers are breaking their necks to create and provide it in high volume. And you know what else is crazy? Buyers are taking to social media almost as much as search engines in order to find that information.Takeaway: Spend as much — if not more — time strengthening your social strategy as you do conducting and implementing keyword research. Focus on being an informant. Share your resources as they become available so your followers have easy access. Share other industry related resources as well, even if published by others. If it’s resourceful to you, it’s resourceful for your audience as well. Don’t worry about directing followers elsewhere, as sharing resources builds authority and trust. After all, the outdoor cat always goes back to where they know they’re being fed.2) The Inquirer A successful social strategy is more walkie talkie than it is megaphone. If you’re always promoting something and pushing your message across, you’ll drastically see a decrease in engagement and, ultimately, value. Don’t be that guy who loves to tell you about his day but could give a crap about yours. Nobody likes that guy.That feeling you get when someone asks how your day was, and genuinely cares … well, your followers feel that too. Consider the value of engaging a large following in the form of questions in order to show you care, and also, to learn more about them. The benefit is two-fold: relationships development as well as more defined buyer personas.Takeaway: Not sure what content your audience craves? Or what product update would make their lives easier? Ask! There’s no greater resource for inspiration than by staying plugged in to your target audience. Make it a habit of working questions in on a daily basis. A great social media manager understands the importance of customer feedback and its effect on improving the product/service and/or customer experience. Start by understanding what answers your key team members would find most helpful in improving their job. Craft your questions around this. Rinse. Repeat. 3) The Helper Similar to #2, this is more about answering questions than it is about asking them. Too many companies have a static social presence, which harkens back to my point earlier: Think walkie-talkie, not megaphone.Nothing allows for direct access to a brand quite like social media. Consumers often take to social to find out answers to their questions they can’t get from a website or advertisement. It’s the brands supplying them with these answers that develop relationships that often will result in a purchase.Takeaway: Actively monitor your social accounts for any questions and/or comments regarding your company, and make it a daily habit to respond to them. Focus on being friendly, responsive, prompt, and most of all — helpful! As consumers, we’re often drawn to brands that have gone above and beyond to assist us. It’s why I frequent the same pizza place in my town fairly often. They always tell me to grab a free soda on the way out. You help me once; I come back for years.4) The Thought Provoker Aah, the elusive “thought leader.” Why is it so coveted a title?Well, for starters, it’s extremely rewarding to earn the respect of followers and other industry influencers. More importantly, though, is what spawns from that type of respect: customers. We all want to do business with people who know what the hell they’re talking about. Who are the best at what they do. So … how do we find those people/companies? They’re actually pretty easy to find. Takeaway: All thought leaders share a common trait: They don’t rely on other people or resources in order to be resourceful themselves. They’re simply resourceful by nature. By way of experience. Who are the leaders at your company? Keep an open dialogue — whether it’s with a lead product designer or C-level executives — and let their expertise be the basis for some of your posts. There’s undoubtedly someone at your company who knows the industry like no other. Their type of expertise should be broadcasted, not hidden on their resume some place. Start quoting them in social media updates. Conduct and post interviews. However you can, make sure you’re establishing your company as a thought leader rather than a piggy-backer.5) The Class Clown The cardinal rule of online sharing is this: Nothing goes viral quite like funny. We’re in the midst of a humanized marketing evolution, wherein consumers not only value seeing personality, but they often also prefer brands that display it over those that don’t. Particularly through social media, consumers are often looking to watch or share the next funny tidbit they come across.Takeaway: Consumers have a sense of humor. They’ll buy tacos from a talking Chihuahua. The day after the Super Bowl, we’re not talking about the commercial with the best message, but rather the one that made us laugh. Keep this in mind. Post funny pictures. Share funny videos or articles you may have come across that made you laugh. Nothing will humanize your brand more effectively than a small dose of humor every day. And as we’ve seen from mass media, nothing sticks in the minds of your consumers quite like a good chuckle. Don’t take your brand so seriously all the time. Consumers aren’t looking for a stiff. 6) The Entertainer Much in the same vein as having a chuckle, your followers are also looking to be entertained to some degree. Simply throwing all blog posts on all social platforms accompanied by nothing but a link and title will do one thing … nothing. There’s so much going on in social. It’s information overload. If you’re not considering how you can entertain and inform in order to stand out, then well, you won’t.Takeaway: Sharing content doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Don’t share your content, present it. Can you film a quick one-minute video to accompany it through social media? An amazing infographic that sums up your new ebook? Consider a user’s mind frame when scrolling through social. Strip it down to bare bones. When you’re scrolling through social you’re looking for one thing only — something to click on.Don’t overthink it. Focus on getting people to click on your updates. Once they’ve done this, that’s where the substance comes in. Think visually — it’s the most effective way to entertain.7) The Go-GetterIf you’re not using social media as a prospecting tool, you’re doing it wrong. The best social media marketers recognize that there’s an audience out there that needs their help, but hasn’t found them yet. Specifically on Twitter, it’s extremely easy to monitor hashtags of relevance in order to identify these potential prospects. Takeaway: Monitor Twitter hashtags in order to identify groups of people — AKA chunks of your market — who have similar questions. Answer them. Take part in the conversation (search.twitter.com or a social media monitoring tool like HubSpot’s Social Inbox should be your best friend). People ask questions to get help. By reaching out, you’re not only establishing your brand as a resource, but you’re also positioning yourself as the likely option when it comes time to buy.Split Personalities The key to social media success is recognizing that your audience has varying agendas when it comes to social, and as a result, conveying multiple personalities in order to appeal to them. Being great at one isn’t enough. The social media manager is quickly becoming a crucial role within any business, since it not only functions as real-time PR, but it’s also quickly becoming the manner in which companies are getting found online.The point here is not to hire seven different people. The point is to find one person who can pivot and adapt to these various personalities in order to maintain a powerful presence.This is a guest post by John Bonini (@Bonini84), marketing director at IMPACT Branding & Design. Visit the IMPACT Blog for more content from John and the agency. Image Credit: hitchhicker  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Social Media Marketers Originally published Aug 26, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

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Google’s New AdWords Quality Score Reporting: Where Did All My 10s Go?

first_img Google Updates Originally published Aug 28, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Recently, Google announced a change in the way Quality Score would be reported within AdWords. The change, which they’re reportedly doing for more transparency, is supposed to tie your reported Quality Score — the figure between 1 and 10 that you see in AdWords — more closely with your actual Quality Score — the figure that gets calculated each time you enter the ad auction.As reported on the Inside AdWords blog:”Please note that this is only a change to how a keyword’s 1-10 Quality Score is reported. It does not change how Quality Score is calculated in real-time for each auction, and thus won’t have any direct effect on your ad performance. So unless you have automated rules tied directly to your reported 1-10 Quality Score, your ads should continue to behave as they did before.”So what does this really mean? How did reported Quality Scores change?The New Quality Score Curve: More 8s, But Fewer 10sTo figure out what was going on with the new Quality Score reporting, WordStream’s Product Quality Assurance Engineer, Andy Stefano, did a little digging. He looked at several hundred WordStream client accounts both before and after the change to see how reported Quality Scores had shifted. (Caveat: WordStream’s client bases consist mostly of small- and medium-sized businesses, so this may not be a representative sample across all types of AdWords accounts.)What Andy found was surprising — it appears that Google has shifted reported Quality Scores so they better fit a standard bell curve:As you can see, before the change, the curve looked like a sine wave, with a peak around 4, a dip around 8, and another peak at 10. (That spike at 10 probably represented a lot of branded keywords, since brand terms tend to get a really high clickthrough rate.) After the change, the curve looks like a hill, with the peak between 5 and 6 and frequency trailing off smoothly in either direction. (Oddly, there’s a very small local maximum at Quality Score 1.) At a high level, you may be seeing these effects in your account:Regression Toward the Mean: You may see a lot more Quality Scores in the middle range (4s, 5s, 6s, 7s) and fewer outliers at the high and low ends — with the possible exception of an increase in keywords with a Quality Score of 1.Bye-bye, Quality Score 10s: If this data is correct, you’ll be seeing a lot fewer 10s in your account. If you’ve suddenly lost a bunch of 10s and your average Quality Score has fallen as a result, don’t panic … and don’t blame your agency! Remember that according to Google, it’s a superficial change in reporting and does not reflect any behind-the-scenes changes in how your ad rank and cost per click are calculated.Will the New Quality Scores Affect Your AdWords Performance?If we take Google at their word, the answer is no — these apparent changes have nothing to do with your actual ad/keyword quality and relevance, so your ad positions, CPCs and other paid search KPIs shouldn’t change.The questions is, is that what we’ll really see? It’s too early to say, but it’s possible that the reporting changes coincide with some change in the Quality Score algorithm. If the real Quality Score curve has changed, we’d expect to see an increase in average CPC over time, since higher Quality Scores offer more of a discount on clicks.AdWords advertisers: Have you checked out your Quality Scores since the reporting change? Did Google snatch away your 10s?This is a guest post written by Elisa Gabbert. Elisa is the content marketing manager at WordStream Inc., a provider of search marketing software and services, including the free AdWords Grader. She manages the WordStream Internet Marketing Blog and you can follow her on Twitter at @egabbert.Image credit: woodleywonderworks Topics:last_img read more

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30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #1: Getting Started With Blogging

first_img Free Templates: 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] How to Write a Blog Post Free Blog Post Templates Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Topics:center_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Hidden Budget Costs, LinkedIn Cheat Sheets & More in HubSpot Content This Week

first_img Originally published Apr 6, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: LinkedIn Marketing This week marks the first week of April; a week full of distractions from April Fools’ Day and the first signs of sunlight after many long winter months.While we of course found little ways to enjoy the sunlight and the April Fools’ Day pranks, we also got down to business — blogging business, at least. This week’s content is practical, and focuses on things that you can do to be more efficient in your tasks and more effective at driving results.  Want to Squeeze More Conversions Out of Your Landing Pages? Read ThisSo, it’s a new month. Your boss likely wants you to get even more leads this month than last month. This blog post will arm you with the information, data, and examples you need to optimize your landing pages for lead generation.How to Tweet Around the Clock Without Being on Twitter 24/7Those who tweet more often tend to have more followers. This means that if you’re serious about growing your Twitter presence, it’s imperative that you find a way to tweet multiple times a day. In this blog post you will learn how to tweet multiple days every day without dedicating all of your time to Twitter.5 Things Many Marketers Forget When Running A/B TestsA/B testing is an extremely important practice in today’s data-driven marketing world. That said, with A/B testing it’s very easy to make a minor mistake and totally screw up your results. This blog post identifies five A/B testing mistakes that marketers should avoid.The Hidden Costs of Creative Work (and How to Budget for Them)No matter how much time you devote to budgeting your marketing spend, there always seems to be little hidden costs of creative work that you didn’t anticipate. In this blog post, you’ll find a list of expenses that are often overlooked so you can incorporate them into your budgeting plans.The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedInLinkedIn is the most popular social networks for professionals as well as one of the top social networking sites overall. Despite being a powerful platform, LinkedIn often gets underutilized by marketers. In this blog post, learn how to use LinkedIn to its fullest potential. 4 Important Factors That Will Affect the Cost of a Website RedesignYou’re website is likely one of your most important marketing assets. As a result, you need to make sure that it’s up-to-date and optimized to its fullest potential without taking up too much of your budget. This blog post breaks down some of the most common factors that influence the price of a website redesign. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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74 Compelling Fill-in-the-Blank Blog Post Titles [Infographic]

first_img Blog Headlines It’s one thing to write great content, but it’s another thing to get it read and ranked — which is where nailing the title comes in.Titles are what sell the content. They represent it in search engines, in email, and on social media. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the most common questions we get concern crafting titles.Download data-backed tips on writing catchy titles and headlines. How long should my headline be? What words should I use? What words should I avoid? Should I optimize it for search, or for social? Or both?Luckily, we’ve come up with a simple formula for writing catchy headlines and blog titles that you can reference from here on out. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?A Foolproof Method for How to Write Catchy Headlines and Titles1) Start with a working title.Before you get into the nitty-gritty of coming up with a perfect title, start with a rough draft: your working title. What is that, exactly? A lot of people confuse working titles with topics. Let’s clear that up:Topics are very general and could yield several different blog posts. Think “raising healthy kids,” or “kitchen storage.” A writer might look at either of those topics and choose to take them in very, very different directions.A working title, on the other hand, is very specific and guides the creation of a single blog post. For example, from the topic “raising healthy kids,” you could derive the following working titles:”How the Right Nutrition Can Strengthen Your Kids’ Bones””A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being””X Recipes for Quick & Healthy Dinners Your Teenagers Will Gobble Up”See how different and specific each of those is? That’s what makes them working titles, instead of overarching topics. It’s also worth noting that none of those titles are perfect — they should just be specific enough to guide your blog post. (We’ll worry about making it clickable and search-friendly later.)2) Stay accurate.Accuracy is critical when trying to finesse a title, because it sets clear expectations for your readers. While I’m sure lots of people would love to click into a post that said “10 B2B Companies Killing Facebook So Freaking Hard They Don’t Need Any Other Marketing Channel” … it’s a little bombastic, no?Unless, of course, you truly did find 10 B2B companies rocking Facebook that hard, and you could confirm that all 10 of them had stopped using other marketing channels. First and foremost, your title needs to accurately reflect the content that follows.One way to ensure accuracy? Add bracketed clarification to your headline, like we did in this blog post:In a study of over 3.3 million paid link headlines, we found that headlines with this type of clarification — [Interview], [Podcast], [Infographic], etc. — performed 38% better than headlines without clarification. Again, it’s all about setting clear expectations. Thanks to the brackets, these readers knew exactly what they were getting themselves into before they even clicked.So if you remember nothing else from this blog post, let it be this: The most important rule of titles is to respect the reader experience. If you set high expectations in your title that you can’t fulfill in the content, you’ll lose readers’ trust.Accuracy encompasses more than just hyperbole, though. With the example working title above, you’d also want to confirm all of the examples are, indeed, B2B. Or even that they’re all companies — instead of, say, individual bloggers that target B2B audiences. See what I mean?3) Make it sexy.Just because you have to be accurate doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your title pop. There are a lot of ways to make a title sexier.Of course, all of this hinges on understanding your core buyer persona. You need to find language that resonates with them, and know what they find valuable. (Haven’t created or refined your buyer personas yet? Download this free template to create your own buyer personas for your business.)Once you’re armed with knowledge of your buyer persona’s preferred style, try testing out some of these tips for making your headlines a little sexier:Have some fun with alliteration. The title and header in this blog post, for instance, play with alliteration: “Foolproof Formula.” It’s a device that makes something a little lovelier to read, and that can have a subtle but strong impact on your reader.Use strong language. Strong phrases (and, frankly, often negative ones) like “Things People Hate,” or “Brilliant” pack quite a punch. However, these must be used in moderation. As one of my coworkers likes to say, “If everything is bold, nothing is bold.”Make the value clear. As we mentioned above, presenting the format and/or contents to a reader helps make your content a little sexier. According to our research, templates tend to be particularly powerful for CTR: We found that adding “[Template]” to our titles got the most average views of all bracketed terms.Make it visual. Is there an opportunity to include visuals within your post? Make that clear in the title. Our research revealed that headlines featuring the word “photo(s)” performed 37% better than headlines without this word.Focus on the “whos,” not the “whys”. Want to intrigue your audience? Focus on the “who”: Headlines including the word “who” generated a 22% higher CTR than headlines without it.For example, let’s say you’re writing a post titled, “15 of Our Favorite Brands on Snapchat.” How might we punch up our accurate-but-boring working title? Here are some options:15 Brilliant Brands Who Are Killing It on SnapchatSnapchat Success: 15 Inspiring Brands Who Just Get It15 Must-Follow Brands That Are Seeing Snapchat Success4) Keep it short.There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long or short your title should be. It depends what your goals are, and where your headline will appear.Do you want this post to rank really well in search? Focus on keeping the title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.Are you trying to optimize your title for social sharing? According to our own analysis at HubSpot, headlines between 8–12 words in length got the most Twitter shares on average. As for Facebook, headlines with either 12 or 14 words received the most Likes.Additionally, headlines with eight words had a 21% higher clickthrough rate than the average title, according to the folks at Outbrain.The lesson? It’s always a good idea to run a few tests to see what works best for your particular audience.Let’s say I was writing this blog post: “Think Social Media Is Just for Kids? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You Wrong.” To shorten it, I would simply try to rephrase it and cut out extraneous words. For instance, I might do something like this:Before: Think Social Media Is Just for Kids? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You WrongAfter: 10 Stats That Prove Social Media Isn’t Just for KidsSee? It’s that easy. Try sounding out the title in your head to make sure it’s easily digestible for your readers. The less of a mouthful you can make your titles, the better.5) Try to optimize for search and social.I say “try” because, sometimes, trying too hard to optimize for these things can make your title sound strange. Remember: You want to optimize your title for your audience above all else, but if you can optimize for both search and social, that’s great.The secret to thinking about all three at once? Focus on keywords that you know your audience is already searching for, then look into the search volume for those keywords.Once you have a keyword in mind, you’ll want to be sure to place it as closely as possible to the beginning of your headline to catch your reader’s attention. (Again, you should keep your headline under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.)Another important consideration? Make sure your headlines are tweetable: “The 120-130-character range is the sweet spot for high clickthrough rate, according to an analysis of 200,000 tweets with links,” explains my colleague, Senior Marketing Manager Lindsay Kolowich. “This leaves enough space for people to include a short comment if they choose to manually retweet and cite you.” Here’s an example: Let’s say I’m writing a post titled, “X B2B Companies Using Facebook in Cool Ways.” Looks like there’s some wiggle room to optimize it without compromising clarity, right?If the goal is to rank for the term, “Facebook Marketing,” I’d recommend something like this:”New to Facebook Marketing? Here Are 10 B2B Companies Doing It Right”This new title works for a few reasons:It’s 56 characters long. This means that it’s short enough to not be cut off in search engines and it’s short enough to be retweeted.The keyword is in the beginning. By moving “Facebook Marketing” to the beginning of the title, we’re ultimately increasing the odds that we’ll grab our audience’s attention.It’s human. I wasn’t kidding when I said you should focus on optimizing for your audience first. This title presents both a pain point and a solution all wrapped up in one.(Download this ebook for more data-backed SEO strategies we recommend.)6) Brainstorm with someone else.Once you’ve refined your title using the tips above, it’s time to come up for air and connect with another human. Title brainstorming is an essential part of the process.Here at HubSpot, we spend a decent amount of time and brainpower coming up with our titles. The final step before scheduling a blog post is pulling another member of our team into a back-and-forth title brainstorm in a chat room. One member of the duo will post the title they recommend into the chat pane window. The other person will then refine that title even further, or suggest other angles. After several back-and-forths, the duo will agree on the title that’s accurate, sexy, concise, and SEO-friendly.Only when both parties agree on a title do we schedule our post for publishing — which can take as little as five seconds and as long as ten or so minutes. While that seems like a long time, it’s essential to put our best feet forward with each post we publish.What’s your process for crafting titles? Let us know in the comments.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jun 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated September 11 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Data Proving Your Work BFF Is the Best [Infographic]

first_img98Save Work Relationship Statistics46% believe friendships with coworkers make them happier. (Tweet This Stat)51% stay in touch with former colleagues. (Tweet This Stat)For 18-24 year-olds, friendships in the workplace make them feel: happy (57%), motivated (50%), productive (39%). (Tweet This Stat)33% of millennials vs. 5% of baby boomers think socializing with colleagues helps them move up the career ladder. (Tweet This Stat)18% of professionals say that friendships with colleagues make them more competitive in their careers. (Tweet This Stat) Got your own work BFF? Send this to them to see if they agree with the stats! Topics: Originally published Jul 11, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img We’ve all heard the saying that “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”While “who you know” can help you get your foot in the door or your resume at the top of the pile during the job search, it’s also crucial to being happy once you get the job. According to LinkedIn’s Relationships @Work Study, having strong personal relationships with our coworkers is essential for a happy, productive, and fulfilling professional life.LinkedIn created the following infographic to highlight some of the major findings from their study. Take a look at the infographic to learn more about how workplace relationships impact our professional lives. (And don’t forget to share it with your workplace BFFs.)98Save Office Politicslast_img read more

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Do You Really Need That Exclamation Point? [Flowchart]

first_img543Save Writing Skills Writing for the web isn’t easy. Sure, you want to get your point across. That’s a given.But what you really want is to spark people’s interest, engage their emotions, maybe even generate some real excitement about the stuff you’re writing about. Heck, you’re excited about it. Is it so much to ask that others might get excited, too?Not at all. But we as writers tend to get into trouble when we try to make punctuation do the job that words are supposed to do. Words are what we should use to get our readers excited about our content, not punctuation. That’s what language is for, after all. It’s an amazing tool for communicating ideas, conveying emotion, and yes, even stoking the fires of excitement in others. Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowThe trouble is, words are hard work. Even professional writers struggle to find the right words when we want to persuade, to energize, to goad others into action. So it’s not too surprising that we often fall back on using punctuation to lend us a hand. But it’s a trap. And exclamation marks are the biggest trap of them all. Overused all over the web, these hardworking little symbols are the smiley faces of the punctuation world. We rely on them far too heavily when what we really need to do is go back to our words and try to make them convey more precisely what we’re trying to say.Don’t ask punctuation to do a word’s job, is what we’re saying. It dilutes your message, makes you look unprofessional, and leaves you with nowhere to go when you actually do need an exclamation mark. But how’s a web writer to know when an exclamation mark is actually called for? Well, to start, you could use the handy flow chart below (written by me and designed by Tyler Littwin).(Click here to enlarge the image.)543Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Topics: Originally published Jan 23, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017last_img read more

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