Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Simple Trick to Overcome Writing Procrastination

Using Bookends to Overcome Procrastination

Guest post by Mary Jo Guglielmo

'If and When' were planted, and Nothing grew. 

Procrastination………….who me? I know how to get things done; I also know how to procrastinate.

As a writer, sometimes procrastination has to do with feeling lost in a project, other times it’s about not being satisfied with a draft.  Personally, I'm pretty disciplined with my writing time, but I can procrastinate for months when it comes to sending a draft off to an agent or editor.  After having my 900 word manuscript accepted by a magazine, the editor sent it back to me asking that I further develop the topic.  I quickly added the info requested and sent it back.  The editor responded with ..."tell me more."  Again, I added another section and resubmitted the manuscript.  I was sure I was done with the manuscript.  The editor responded with highlighting another section  and once again said..."tell me more".  Frustrated and not sure what she wanted, I put the manuscript down for three months.  When I finally finished the manuscript it was almost 3,000 words.  I was sure too much time had elapsed and the editor would no longer be interested, but with the next submission to the editor, I received my contract for publication.   Fortunately, my procrastinating didn't cost me the contract, but it certainly raised my angst about the project.

Now when I find myself procrastinating I apply bookends to the project.   Once I decide what I'm gong to work on, I schedule it and plan a pre and post project incentive. It’s my bookends. I treat myself or do something I enjoy prior to starting the project and again when I finish it. Sometimes, it’s something small like a trip to Starbucks before doing research on a project, other times it’s a day at the zoo or the art institute. Why do bookends work? I think because the first bookend marks it’s time to start and then the last bookend acknowledges the accomplishment. Sometimes the bookend at the end is something that I’m really dying to do or is time sensitive. This gives me the added push to slug through until I’m finished. So if you find yourself procrastinating, try bookends.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:

Original article source: 
'If and When’ Were Planted, and Nothing Grew

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Content Marketing - A 20-Point Website Checklist

By Karen Cioffi

Writing SEO content, in a way, goes hand-in-hand with website optimization. There are a number of similar elements. Having an idea of how to optimize a website will make your content marketing efforts much more successful. 

Here is a checklist of 20 elements, just about everything you need to be aware of, in website optimization:

1. Keywords / Keyword Phrases – words that people search for in the Google search box (or other search engine search box). They’re necessary in everything from your domain name to your website content to your post tags. Have ‘relevant to your site’ keywords with useful content and Google may put your link on the first search engine results page (SERP).

2. Long Tail Keywords – these more focused keywords narrow the playing field. Instead of saying “allergies,” say “allergy symptom relief.” it’s important to use long tail keywords as often as possible.

3. Authority Status – this is what you want your readers and visitors to believe you have. You want to be known as an authority (expert) in your niche or field.

4. Title Bar – this is the horizontal label in the top left area of the window. It should have the name of the current page visible. This is one of the primary places Google and other search engines look at when scanning your website. You want it to have relevant keywords for each page on your site.

Here’s an example:

5. Navigation Menus – this is how visitors will navigate your site (go from page to page). Make sure they’re easy to find and easy to use.

6. Images – Use keywords in the file name, alt text, tag, and description.

7. Title Text – should be relevant to the page and keyword effective.

8. Internal Linking or deep linking – linking to other pages and content within your site.

9. External Linking – linking to other relevant and ‘high’ authority sites.

10. Anchor text – hyperlinking relevant keyword phrases within your blog post to other related content.

11. Copyright and Dates – be sure to update your website copyright text and other dates on the site. Nothing makes a site look ‘stale’ quicker than having old dates.

12. Web Design – Google’s motto is ‘simple is best.’ Keep the site easy to read and uncluttered. Along with this, the most effective design, according to Marketing Experiments, is dark text on a light background.

13. Multimedia – use a variety of content, including audio and video. SlideShare presentations and animations are good choices also. Remember to mix-it-up.

14. Text – your text should be USEFUL to your reader, keyword effective, engaging, easy to read, relevant to the website, and shareable.

15. Above the Fold – keep the important information, such as your opt-in, above the fold.

16. Stickiness – make the site effective enough to keep visitors on it. This relates to 'visit page lengths.'

17. 1st Person Tense – keep the content conversational.

18. Social Interaction – encourage interaction and social networking. Be sure to have social media buttons on the site and at the bottom of each post. This makes ‘sharing’ easier for the visitor. It also reminds her to share.

19. Opt in Forms – have it easy to find, easy to use, with easy to follow instructions.

20. Testimonials – people will usually buy based on what others like, so be sure to have a testimonials page on the site. You should also include testimonials in the sales copy.

21. Contact Info – okay, I went over the 20, but this is one of the biggies. You must have your contact information on every page – having it in a footer widget makes this possible. You should also have a separate Contact Page.

Websites optimized with these 20 21 elements will have a much better chance of getting more opt-in YESES and customers.

Your website should look professional and relay the essentials quickly: who you are, what the visitors can get, and why he should get it from you.

Give your website an audit today.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Content Marketing Success - You have to walk the walk

There are so many amazing quotes out there that focus in on what needs to be done and does it in a sentence or two.

The quote above from Anatole France, does just that.

It reminds me of the Bible quote: "Faith without works is dead."

No matter how much planning you do, if you don't take actionable steps, you won't get anywhere. And, if you can't dream it or believe you can accomplish it, you no doubt won't.

You need to 'walk the content marketing walk.' Create your marketing plan with doable steps and then actually follow through.

And, be sure to take a step back now and then to evaluate how you're doing and to dream of your next plateau.


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Marketing Ideas - Commit to Learning Just Half-Hour a Day - See What Happens

Why You Should Commit 30 Minutes To Daily Learning (Without Fail)

Guest post by Sean D'Souza

I own a sieve.

It's called my brain.

I distinctly remember listening, then reading a book and then months later I listened to it once again. And I couldn't remember almost 90% of what I'd read and, mind you, listened to, earlier.

With such a terrible memory, it does cross my mind that I should really give up. What's the point of trying to spend hours trying to learn something when it just washes away mindlessly.

And yet, every single day (almost without fail) I still spend at least 30 minutes learning something.

So why do I bother?

Two reasons, really.

1) I get smarter and faster.
2) Unexpected, practical ideas.

About the faster and smarter bit...

I've realised that my pathetic brain is not so pathetic after all. If I were to spend 30 minutes learning something I was already familiar with, it wouldn't be a big problem recalling more than 50% or even 90%.

It's when I run into unknown areas that my brain gets stuck, and remembers little. But if I persist, it remembers more. And then you, I, we all get to a stage where the brain knows the topic quite well.

So for instance, I bought Adobe Lightroom last year. Well, I spent all of last year in Lightroom hell, because I learned little or nothing. This year, fortified with good intentions, I spent 30 minutes a day learning Lightroom. And voilĂ , about a month later, I'm wondering why I didn't do it earlier.

All those klutzy looking photos, all those erroneous ways of storing the photos-all gone. But it's taken me many passes to get to this stage. So yeah, repetition does count if you want to get smarter and faster.

But there's one other thing that's even more interesting-and it's called "unexpected, practical ideas".

So what's unexpected, practical stuff got to do with daily learning?

Input equals to output, right? Not really, not when you have a mind like a sieve. But no input definitely leads to lousy output. And one of the most underrated elements of output is "unexpected, practical ideas?"

So let's take for instance the scenario that unfolded on our walk today. Renuka was listening to some marketing-based audio, when she came up with some very smart ideas for improving our "welcome to Psychotactics" auto responder.

Was the marketing audio related? No, of course it wasn't. And I in turn was listening to what she said, and nodding politely, when the idea hit me for a pre-sell for our upcoming home study of the sales page course (version 2.0). Suddenly in a matter of minutes we were swamped with three, very practical, very doable ideas.

Oh yes, there's this factor of not having time

Nobody has time. Nobody in the history of mankind has ever had time. The people who want to make time, make the time. The others binge-watch "House of Cards" on Netflix. They find ways to get to Facebook.

They find reasons and methods to waste the time. This message isn't for those who make excuses. It's for those who are diligent and need that extra push to be super-diligent.

However, it's hard work keeping focused on daily learning unless you get someone else to help along. So find a buddy, or find a group. The more you try to do everything alone, the harder it gets.

So first spend at least a little time working on getting yourself someone who will nudge you when you slow down. That way if you miss a day or two, they'll help you get back on the daily learning pattern.

Daily learning solves a lot of problems

And gives you a ton of ideas.

My brain is a sieve.

I'm trying to block up the drainage, 30 minutes at a time.

So should you.

Original article source:

Psychotactics Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

New Twitter Analytics Help Fine Tune Your Content Marketing Efforts

By Karen Cioffi

It’s crazy. Every time you turn around yet another social media site is adding some other marketing tool. While they’re great tools, will it ever be enough?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very useful tool. It’ll be on a new enhanced dashboard where you can track your organic tweet activity.

An organic tweet is one that originates from your blog that is targeted to a specific audience, industry, or niche.

According to the Twitter blog, “Starting today [July 11], you’ll have a new tool in your arsenal: we’re rolling out an enhanced Tweet activity dashboard to provide measurable insights into how your organic Tweets perform.”

While it’s more marketing time and effort put into social media, it will definitely have its benefits.

For advertisers, and yes, this new tool is for paid advertisers, this means you’ll have a handy tool to see how each of your tweets are doing and “in real time.”

You’ll get details on:

  • When (the time) a tweet is being viewed
  • How many link clicks, favorites, replies, and retweets your post gets

So, why is the information useful to you?

Knowing which posts you write create retweets, favorites, and clicks is knowledge. And, you know what they say about knowledge – IT’S POWER.

With this information you can write content that you know will be liked and shared. It will streamline your Twitter content marketing efforts. You’ll be able to laser-focus your content toward those followers or Twitter accounts that are moving you forward. It’s these Tweeters who will help “amplify your brand’s message even further through actions like a Retweet, mention or reply.”

This new tool will give you the information on the best times you should be tweeting for your particular audience and how often you should tweet. You’ll also be able to get a handle on which CTAs (call-to-actions) are working, which post length works best, and so on.

If you’re using Twitter to drive traffic this is a cool and powerful tool.

Testing Twitter strategies

I’ve recently started testing Twitter strategies for my blog posts. I started tweeting more each day and I started creating my own memes. Both strategies are working. I get multiple favorites each day and some from heavy-hitters.

Note: To work the Twitter organic traffic and shares you absolutely must have quality content that is: useable to the reader; engaging, reader friendly, search engine friendly, and easily shareable.

Here’s an example of the type of information you’ll get:

A screen-capture of my analytics for July 20, 2014:

One of the highest rankings for the past 28 days went to my article: "Marketing Your Way to Success with Simple Changes to Your Routine."

Impressions are 156
Engagement is 8
Engagement rate is 5.1%

Other information the analytics provided were:

Your Tweets
"So far today, your Tweets have earned 145 impressions. This is lower than your 28-day average of 953 impressions per day."

"Favorites up 192.3% compared to the previous 28 days."

Very interesting and useful information.

I’m actually kind of glad they don’t have this feature for the non-Twitter advertisers – it’s enough work trying to keep up with Alexa Ratings, without going crazy over Twitter impressions and engagement too.

Check out the whole Twitter blog post at:
Introducing Organic Tweet Analytics

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Content Marketing – Creative and Unique Ads by Jeep

By Karen Cioffi

You have to admit that as the years come and go it becomes more difficult to create something new, something unique. And, as content marketers, that's what we have to try to do. Whether it's our own unique spin on a topic or we discover a new, easier way to get results. We strive to keep the content flowing - to make it easily readable, shareable, interesting (unique), and conversion effective.

Well, Leo Burnett designed a very unique ad for Jeep. It's creative and it’s 'make you look' marketing.

I think there are a total of three animal illustrations that when flipped upside down, they become different animals. It's really cool.

Even if you’re not aware of the flipping illusion, it makes you wonder why ‘animals’ for a car. It seems it’s to bring an element of adventure and travel to the Jeep brand.

Although I’m not in the market for a Jeep or other car, it did catch my attention.

This though isn’t the only animal theme Jeep ad campaign. Check out this really cute, one minute video:

To see the animal images for yourself, CLICK HERE: Content marketing with images.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Content Marketing Success – You Can Do It, You Can Do It, You Can . . .

The saying goes: If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, YOU WILL.

These words are powerful. Whether you're working at content marketing or you're a freelance writer, or whatever it is you do, your thoughts can control whether or not you are successful.

The guest post below was written for the copywriter, but the message is valid for everyone and every industry.

A Little Boy, Broken Ice, and You

Guest Post by Will Newman (AWAI)

Inspiration for writing comes from many places.

Last night [June 2014) was graduation for our small high school senior class (17 students). The valedictorian, a brilliant, hard-working 18-year-old—and a friend of mine—is the inspiration for this week's issue of The Golden Thread.

He should also be an inspiration for you, as you go through your quest for success in copywriting.

I got to know Chris when he was in the seventh grade, six years ago. I could quickly tell his academic brilliance extended beyond his favorite subject, math. This kid was just downright smart.

He also is unassuming and unpretentious. Anyone who gets to know Chris very well knows he is really smart. But he doesn't make a show of it.

We have a couple of rather generous scholarships in our community, scholarships that are essentially a full ride. Everyone who knew Chris in an academic setting "knew" he would get one of these scholarships when he graduated from high school. And Chris planned his high school career to maximize his chances.

Chris didn't rest on his academic ability. He was involved in sports, school activities, and community service. He did exactly what both scholarships required of recipients. He was the ideal candidate.

Disappointment, not defeat …
For some unknown reason, Chris got neither of the scholarships.

Chris's valedictory last night was about disappointment and overcoming it. It was the best and most unusual valedictory I've ever heard.

Most speeches of this kind usually end with an inspirational quote. Chris—true to his remarkable intellect—ended his with purportedly this true story instead …

One winter afternoon, two little boys were playing by themselves on a frozen lake. As the boys were playing, they weren't paying attention and soon were near the middle of the lake.

Then, suddenly, a firecracker-like noise rent the air. One little boy fell through the broken ice. The other little boy—all alone with no one on the lake to help him—frantically tried to pull his friend up. He kept losing his grasp. He watched in horror as his friend dipped beneath the ice.

The little boy stood up, and ran to the lake's edge where a small grove of trees stood. He jumped up and grabbed the end of a large branch on one tree, snapping it off so it dropped to the ground.

He picked up the huge branch—it was bigger than him—and dragged it back to where his friend was struggling under the ice. He took the branch and repeatedly smashed it against the ice. On the fourth or fifth attempt, the branch shattered the ice. The little rescuer pulled his friend to safety.

A special kind of miracle …

Paramedics arrived and revived the first little boy. The paramedics and others who'd arrived at the end of the rescue were astounded that the patient's friend, as little as he was, could have performed this "miraculous" feat.

Numerous people remarked that it should have been impossible for the little boy—all alone—to have raced across the ice, broken the huge branch from the tree, raced back across the ice, and broken the ice to save his little friend.

All except for one man. He spoke up and said, "Of course he could do it. There wasn't anyone around to tell him he couldn't."

Chris has the potential to be an outstanding scientist or mathematician. Or he might choose to be a remarkable teacher. Whatever he chooses, he will succeed because of who he was to begin with and what he learned from his disappointment. The lesson he learned was this …

Do not listen to people who tell you that you can't accomplish something.

As you go through the many ups and the inevitable downs of becoming a successful copywriter, remember the little boy on the ice. And remember my young friend Chris.

Yours for a successful copywriting career,
Will Newman

P.S. I don't want to leave you hanging about Chris. He'll be going to Cal State University at Pomona (with financial aid), majoring in some branch of science. If he does, he'll be a great scientist and can help change the world. But when I spoke with him after graduation, he's also thinking of becoming a teacher. If he does become a teacher, he'll be a magnificent one. And he will change lives.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit

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