Spencer volleyball tops Gilman in Cloverbelt East opener

first_imgSchober leads Rockets with nine killsBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSPENCER — The Spencer volleyball team cruised to victory in its Cloverbelt Conference East Division opener on Thursday night, beating Gilman 3-0.The Rockets won 25-10, 25-22, 25-14.Jenna Schober had nine kills and three service aces, and Liz Endreas and Johanna Ellefson each added eight kills for the Spencer offense. Sadie Mercier had a team-high 17 assists, and Jenna Rogers led the defense with 14 digs.“It was a great way to start our conference season,” Spencer coach Buff Heller said. “We still need to clean up some unforced errors, but it’s getting better every week.”Spencer will compete at the Auburndale Invitational on Saturday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)last_img read more

From Beit Bridge to Cape Point by bicycle

first_img10 April 2011Kevin Davie, a 50-something award-winning journalist with the Mail & Guardian, is just over a week into a ride that is not for the faint-hearted: he’s cycling from Beit Bridge on the Zimbabwe border to Cape Point on Africa’s southern tip, most of it off-road, which adds up to a distance of almost 4 000 kilometres.“It’s trail riding,” explains Davie, who then talks about the Freedom Trail as an example of this. Established in 2003, South Africa’s Freedom Trail covers 2 300 kilometres, from Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to Paarl in the Western Cape.It takes in some spectacular regions of South Africa, most of which are off the beaten path. It’s a route that Davie has ridden. It is also much like the trail Davie is undertaking, a route he calls “the ganna”, which, in fact, includes vast parts of the Freedom Trail.GannalandHe chose the name after holidaying near Gannaland, the Karoo farm made famous by Olive Schreiner in her Story of an African Farm.Davie, however, says his journey is more like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route that follows the Rockey Mountains from Banff in Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells in New Mexico, USA, covering a distance of just over 4 400 kilometres.On the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the idea is to keep the percentage of tarred roads to below 20%. Davie’s aim on “the ganna” is to keep it below 10%.“It’s about getting away from organised racing,” says Davie. “It’s about learning about the country, culture and geology.Blog“While it is like the Rockeys, ‘the ganna’ has far greater diversity and biodiversity,” Davie explains with a sense of wonderment in his voice. “Have you looked at the photo of the Bewaarkloof on the blog [gannagreatride.wordpress.com]?” he asks.I have, and with a little imagination (it’s requires a little not being there) I get a sense of why he is so blown away by the countryside. It’s an expression he uses more than once: “blown away”.He’s on Twitter too, leaving brief messages about his experiences. The Mail & Guardian has a Special Report devoted to his ride as well.He explains how he is living along the way. “It’s a self-contained style of riding, no support, a bivvy tent, and a sleeping bag.”PeopleHe continues: “People relate to you in a different way when you’re alone. They see your vulnerability and reach out. You take whatever is thrown at you.”I was curious about how he was progressing, because his stated aim was to cover 130 kilometres a day, a figure, I told him, I thought was optimistic. “I’m nowhere near that,” admitted Davie, adding that he had covered about 700 kilometres in seven days.There have also frequently been times when he has been forced to walk. At its worst, he recalled covering only 10 kilometres in five hours in tough, thorny conditions. And some of these areas he had previously visited! They have changed remarkably with the seasons.Davie hasn’t been alone throughout his trip. He has been joined by mountain bikers, some of whom have heard of his ride through word of mouth.KitWhen he set out, he carried a backpack and his kit weighed in at 9.5 kilograms, which included food and a cooker. The cooker, along with noodles, are no longer a part of his gear. He has got rid of them. “It’s about a third lighter,” he said of his kit, before explaining how he is eating along the route.It’s hardly romantic, but it is working; “Coke,” says Davie, “is full of sugar,” and that has become an important part of his diet. Sometimes he orders a meal or eats a hamburger, it depends where he is.I want to know what has struck him most, as a native Johannesburger, being out in the country, far removed from the rush of city life.‘Incredible graciousness’“The incredible graciousness of the people,” he answers without hesitation, and the word “graciousness” comes up time and again, spoken with a sense of awe and deep gratefulness. “Great experiences,” he continues. “It’s overwhelming.”Davie is a man who loves the outdoors. He is a veteran of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, a “Dusi rat” who has completed the taxing event 22 times. He knows mountains and valleys. Yet, he says: “I am blown away permanently by the beauty of the mountains, the people … It’s endlessly like that.”Has he had any concerns about his safety? “No,” is the firm answer, and Davie suggests that it is the natural beauty of the land that has an affect on the people. “Violence is more an urban thing.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Good Jobs’ Returning to the U.S. Economy

first_imgHowever, middle-wage jobs remain below pre-recession levelsThe labor market’s ongoing recovery—often described as steady, if unspectacular—still has its share of skeptics who contend that too many of the new jobs fall into the low-paying, low-skill category. But several recent reports provide some evidence that the job market is getting much healthier overall.Since 2010, the largest segment of employment growth has been in the category of “good jobs,” as termed by a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. These so-called good jobs pay more than $53,000 a year, tend to be full time, and provide health insurance and retirement plans, according to the center’s study.The economy has added 6.6 million new jobs since 2010, 2.9 million of which were labeled as good jobs, in the study, which is titled Good Jobs Are Back: College Graduates Are First in Line. Another 1.9 million middle-wage jobs have been created since 2010, as well as 1.8 million low-wage jobs. And as the report’s title suggests, it pays to go to college: Of the 2.9 million good jobs, 2.8 million have gone to holders of four-year degrees.“This has been a weak recovery, but the American job machine is working again for college graduates,” said Anthony Carnevale, lead author of the Georgetown report.The bulk of good jobs added during the recent recovery were managerial positions (nearly 1.8 million); science/technology/engineering/mathematics, or STEM, positions (880,000 jobs); and health care professional occupations (445,000), the report said.Growth for middle-wage jobs, which pay between $32,000 and $53,000, was most often tied to blue-collar positions (860,000 jobs), such as truck drivers, welders and auto mechanics, according to the report. The majority of low-wage jobs (nearly 1.1 million) fell into the food services, personal services, and sales and office support occupation categories. These positions pay less than $32,000.The report did confirm one troubling trend in the labor market, and that is the gradual decline of middle-class employment. Both the good jobs and the low-wage jobs have recovered all of the jobs that were lost in those categories during the Great Recession. Middle-wage jobs, however, remain 900,000 below their pre-recession level, the report said.Meanwhile, the Society for Human Resource Management’s Leading Indicators of National Employment report—a monthly survey that tracks several labor market trends—has revealed gradual improvement in pay for new hires over the past several months. In August 2015, a net of 16.7 percent of manufacturers and 19.8 percent of service-sector companies increased new-hire compensation. Those totals represented four-year highs for the month of August; that was the ninth straight month that a four-year high was reached in services, and that milestone was also reached in 13 out of the past 14 months in manufacturing.Finally, a recent article from TheStreet.com website indicates that payroll taxes are providing some much-needed support for government coffers, as well. In an analysis of U.S. Treasury tax-withholding receipts, writer Simon Constable said that for the first seven months of 2015, payroll tax receipts have grown at an average annual rate of about 5.25 percent.This is the result of about 2 percent growth in payroll jobs, 2 percent growth in wages and an increase in the number of hours individuals worked from the previous year, said Constable, a former Wall Street advisor and co-author of The WSJ Guide to the 50 Economic Indicators that Really Matter (Harper Business, 2011).  Another way to look at the data, Constable said, is if no jobs were created, no additional hours were worked and the tax code didn’t change, then growth in withholding receipts would be closer to 2 percent. Instead, it is now close to three times that level.“Is that superb? No, it isn’t,” Constable wrote. “More growth in wages would be better, as would more new jobs. But still, it’s a steady climb that will slowly benefit the economy.”Joseph Coombs is a senior analyst for workforce trends at SHRM.last_img read more

How Wearables Become Buyables

first_imgRadioShack is pushing Fitbit bands.ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series in which ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.My local RadioShack—yes, those are still around—just got a makeover as part of a nationwide revamp. Part of the new look is a big, prominent display of fitness wearables.The Shack is far from alone in stocking up on wearables. Best Buy has a big selection now, as does Target. Fitbit has been dominating retail so far, according to Canalys, with almost half the market in the first quarter of the year. But I also noticed Jawbone Up bands, LifeTrak fitness watches from Salutron, and a number of smaller brands at RadioShack.They Can Get It For You RetailDoes retail distribution matter for wearables? After all, we live in an age of e-commerce. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky told me earlier this year that the company’s online store is its best channel for selling smartwatches. The company’s pastel-colored Pebbles, for example, are only available online. But Pebble has also performed well at retail, according to Canalys. And shelves in retail stores are a place where people who haven’t heard of Pebble may discover the device for the first time.Poor retail distribution may have been one of the problems that doomed the Nike FuelBand, which was only available at Nike and Apple stores and “select authorized retailers,” according to the Nike website. Fitbit’s line of bands was simply easier for people to get their hands on.Selling through retailers comes with its own host of problems, from stocking inventory to dealing with returns to waiting for payment. It’s easy to understand why some smaller upstarts in the wearables business follow Pebble’s lead in seeking preorders through crowdfunding websites before they try to battle for shelf space.More In StoreBut I also wonder if wearable makers are thinking broadly enough about their retail opportunities. Salutron, for example, sells its LifeTrak bands at Walgreens drugstores, where it hits a demographic that’s more worried about health than fitness. More fashionable wearables, like Ringly or the Tory Burch Fitbit line, might fit into department stores. Macy’s, which sells a variety of gadgets today, as well as a lot of watches and fitness apparel, barely stocks any wearable devices. That’s a green field for retail sales.Perhaps it’s a blind spot for the people developing wearables, who are far more likely to shop at Amazon than Target. E-commerce might do well to reach people who know they already want a device. But to reach the millions of people who can’t picture themselves wearing one more gadget, stores may be the way to market.Lead photo by Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures; photo of RadioShack by Christen Rochon for DivasandDorks.com Tags:#Best Buy#Body#digital fitness#Eric Migicovsky#fitness apps#fitness bands#RadioShack#wearables The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology owen thomas What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts last_img read more

Cellino: ‘I trust Corini’

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Brescia owner Massimo Cellino has denied meeting Cesare Prandelli and insisted that he “trusts” Eugenio Corini to steady the ship. Cellino had reportedly been laying the foundations for Prandelli to take over, but the President has now expressed his “belief” in Corini to change Brescia’s fortunes. “Over these weeks I have always been close to Corini because I understand the situation,” the 63-year-old, who has a reputation for hiring and firing Coaches, told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It was a bad defeat at Genoa, but I still believe in him and I have never been in touch with another Coach. The Rondinelli, who are rooted in the relegation zone after collecting just seven points from eight games, host Inter this evening.last_img read more

Stop Begging TechCrunch to Write About You.

first_img MarketingProfs Topics: inbound internet marketing software the 2nd most popular blog on the planet Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , We’ve been “lucky” enough to be Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate All that said, . For us, it makes a lot more sense to spend time and money on sites like For the rates, examine the table below:   If you can’t read the Download the free webinar As you can see above, it sends a big burst of traffic. It’s a great link to have from a search engine optimization perspective since the TechCrunch.com domain has a lot of authority in the eyes of Google and the other search engines.  at TechCrunch. So, the lesson is, choose your online PR targets wisely or marketers looking for TechCrunch , And that’s the point. As much as us “geeks” get excited when we get “TechCrunched” (yes, it’s a verb), it doesn’t really match our target market all that well.  small business website marketing software for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. ).  (see charts of unpaid traffic from marketing profs below). SEO  6% TechCrunch To further drive the point home, you’ll see that the conversion rates for TechCrunch traffic are horrible compared to the MarketingProfs traffic.   Visitor to Lead Conversation Rate  6% here here  12% If you haven’t heard of Opportunity to Customer Conversion Rate  15% Guess how much of that traffic converted into clients, though?  here Now, granted, you could say that there aren’t many SMBs looking for a covered by TechCrunch four times  31% , Mr. Arrington.  Further, you shouldn’t always go for the big bang. Sometimes, a handful of links from some less well known bloggers are a lot easier to get and can produce similar results. And with bloggers who aren’t as big and unreachable as TechCrunch’s writers, you can usually develop a meaningful business-blogging relationship much more quickly (see and we still like the attention .  , then you may be living in a hole somewhere. Or you’re just not obsessed with “all that is web” (my personal grounding rod,  my wife, tells me that there are a lot of you out there). Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR closed loop marketing . here Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR?  55% Nonetheless, TechCrunch — according to Technorati — is MarketingProfs graph below, it reads “2.” Yes, two customers only. Originally published Jan 28, 2009 7:47:00 AM, updated July 08 2013last_img read more

4 Ways to Create a Remarkable Product Strategy

first_imgI speak with a lot of companies and startups who are in the process of trying to transform their traditional outbound marketing practices (i.e. cold calls, email blasts, advertisements) to inbound marketing practices where they can “get found” by customers through Google, social media sites, and the blogosphere.I think of Inbound Marketing a step-by-step process by which you (1) create content , (2) optimize that content for Google and social media sites, (3) promote that content through the social mediasphere , (4) you measure the results to make investment decisions, and then you rinse/repeat. Free Product Marketing Kit & Templates [Download Now]It turns out that this step-by-step Inbound Marketing process works best when you have a remark able product to sell, so it makes sense to make step (0) be the process of creating a remark able product or service offering.Ten years ago you needed to spend gobs of money on ads and PR to spread the word about your great new product, but today’s lower friction environment allows you to spread the word much more easily and cheaply.  However, if your product is not remarkable today, all the PR and ads in the world won’t make your product a success — it will languish unfound.So, how do you come up with that remarkable strategy?  Here are a couple of ideas on how you might want to think it through. 1.  Go Narrow:   The great thing about the internet is that it opens you up to tons of potential customers, but the bad thing is it opens you up to tons of potential competitors. Whole Foods is a great example of going narrow in that they sell a subset of what other grocery stores sell at higher prices, but they focus on organic food.  Despite not having nearly the selection of other grocery stores (i.e. they don’t sell lobsters in the one in Boston near my house!), they are thriving while others are suffering in that market. 2.  Boundary Buster:  Sometimes you are better off thinking outside the box re your battlefield to include not just competitors, but also “alternatives” to your product and to innovate across boundaries. A great example of a boundary breaker is the iPod which looked beyond the MP3 player to the end-to-end experience of buying music and enjoying it with an MP3 player. 3.  “Skate To Where The Puck Is Going”:  This is Wayne Gretsky’s famous expression of why he was such a great hockey player and it is how great marketers think.  A great recent example of this is Zipcar who recognized that more and more people were moving into cities and needed a whole new whole new model for car transportation that did not involve expensive parking.  Despite their basically being another car rental company, their model is hard for Hertz/Avis/etc to replicate and has resulted in a recent IPO filing. 4.  Business Model Innovation Is Better:   Many companies focus too much on technology innovation and don’t think enough about business model innovation.  Many of the recent big winners have been unique business models, such as Salesforce.com who revolutionized how you buy and consume software as well as eBay and Google who both figured out how to put auction models to work to create huge companies.If you need more advice on how to create a remark able product strategy that will spread with least amount of friction using Inbound Marketing, read chapter 3 of our Inbound Marketing book which is officially available in Amazon , Barnes & Noble, and Borders stores throughout the country as of today .The book also talks about how to flawlessly execute the step-by-step process of marketing your product once you have crafted a remark able strategy.  The book illustrates Inbound Marketing through great case studies from companies like 37Signals, Whole Foods, Freshbooks, Kiva, Constant Contact, etc. If you want a realtime example of how we here at HubSpot create remarkable strategy, have a look at our announcement of our $16 million financing round where we peel back the covers a bit on how we create remarkable product strategy (hint: we use methods 2, 3, and 4).- Brian Halligan Get the Inbound Marketing Book Like these tips? Find many more in the Inbound Marketing book. Order the book now on Amazon.com . Product Marketing 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 Originally published Oct 19, 2009 7:55:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Shocking Edelman Survey Results Reveal Less Trust in Social Media Referrals

first_img , which highlights some findings regarding .  So do these findings about the decline in peer-to-peer trust completely undermine the power of referrals? Public relations firm Edelman recently released its Download our Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, people still need to hear things in five different places before they actually believe it.  Therefore, a social media referral isn’t the be-all, end-all.  People still look to different sources before making decisions.  Allocate your marketing budget smartly by putting some aside for social media interaction and dedicating some to other One possibility includes the reach of social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  Now that social networks are increasing in popularity, users are maintaining larger groups of “friends” that include more casual acquaintances, possibly dulling the credibility of peer networks. It’s no longer a matter of trusting the opinion just because it’s the opinion of a peer.  Now people are less likely to trust an opinion unless it’s from a person they inbound marketing kit word of mouth marketing Another possibility?  Now that marketers are getting a firm grasp on social media, consumers are becoming more skeptical about the influences behind peer referrals.  Again, this skepticism increases if it’s the opinion of a peer they don’t really know. . continue to carry their weight in social media.  Still, something has to have changed since 2008, right?        Not exactly.  As we mentioned in this morning’s post, know. social media marketingcenter_img 2010 Trust Barometer I don’t know about you, but as social media continues to be a marketing hot topic, I’ve seen a lot of discussion emphasizing the importance of company/product referrals and that may shock you.   inbound marketing initatives Be smart about your social media interactions. Why the decline in peer-to-peer trust? Originally published Feb 8, 2010 12:23:00 PM, updated July 18 2013 referrals from friends For marketers, this means that building credibility in people’s social media reactions is crucial. The best way to do this is by creating valuable content that people will want to share with their networks. Inbound Marketing Kit like creating content. According to the latest survey, the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company has dropped from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2010, decreasing almost by half! 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

68% of Marketers Did a Website Redesign in the Last 12 Months [Data]

first_imgAnother statistic that shocked me while doing my research for the Science of Website Redesign webinar was that 68% of marketers said they redesigned their website in the last 12 months – 34% in the last 3 months plus another 34% from 4 to 12 months ago.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignAnd, the marketing teams are the ones driving the majority of the website redesign projects, 55% of the website redesigns were initiated by the marketing team . Website Redesign Originally published May 31, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Are we as marketers in a constant state of website redesign?  Why?  Is this good?  Is this bad?  What do you think?  Leave a comment below to discuss, and join my Science of Website Redesign for more research like this, plus tips and tricks on what you should be doing with your website. center_img 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

6 Tips for Creating Content That Spreads Naturally

first_imgWe’ve all been there — you hit publish on a blog post and expect the social shares, page views, and agreeable comments to start rolling in. But sometimes you get pure silence — crickets, even — in response.Using social media and content to market your business isn’t a new concept, so just doing the bare minimum won’t cut it. I mean, think about how often content is shared across the web — there are one billion Facebook users, and according to Twitter itself, there are about one billion tweets sent every two and a half days. That means there’s a lot of content … and also, a ton of noise.So it takes more effort than simply publishing content and doing your typical marketing to reach your audience and generate leads. There needs to be some stuff built into your content itself that helps it stand out from the crowd and get found. To help set you up for success from the get-go, here are six ways to cut through all that noise and make sure your content comes out on top every time … no additional marketing effort required.If you’re interested in learning more about these concepts, join the author for a webinar with HubSpot, How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012, December 10th at 2PM EST.6 Ways to Create Content That Markets Itself1) Don’t try something new.Wait. What?Seriously. There’s no reason why you’d need to start from scratch with a completely new approach every time you blog. You already have content that’s getting discovered on its own over and over again. Learn from those trends so you can work smart, not hard.Go into your analytics and take a look at the posts that are generating the most views, shares, and leads, and figure out how you can replicate that success. Here at Shareaholic, for instance, we use our Top Content report to identify our blog’s sweet spots; HubSpot does something similar with their Blog Analytics. From there, we create a blog editorial calendar with topics that will help us replicate past successes — whether it’s due to that post’s format, subject matter, title, author, or something else entirely.2) Surprise people.… Or make them happy, sad, afraid, angry, even disgusted! A recent study of 7,500 New York Times articles completed by the Wharton Business School tried to identify factors that made content viral. Guess what they discovered? A strong relationship between virality and emotion. The study’s most-shared content garnered a strong connection in the reader, igniting one of six key emotions: surprise, fear, joy, sadness, anger, or disgust.While I’m sure disgust or anger aren’t really the kinds of reactions you want associated with your brand, that’s not exactly the point here. The lesson is that content will be able to market itself if it provokes a strong emotional reaction in the reader. After they consume your content, they just have to share it with others so they have the opportuntity to feel that same emotion — or if that emotion is evoked in the title, they just have to click it!Consider what content you’ve read or created that provoked an action, and use this idea to create some seriously emotion-provoking content.3) Nail your headline.Shareaholic studied 200,000 publisher websites in October, 2012 and learned that 27.27% of those websites’ traffic came from social media referrals. That means when content is shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms, there is a huge opportunity for it to get discovered by others, as well. So how can you increase the likelihood someone will click a link to your content when a shared link flows down a person’s social stream? Well, what makes you click on a particular link you see shared on social media? Chances are, it’s a great headline that catches your attention and earns your click. That means no matter what the subject, a great headline will help that piece of content spread further.So … what makes a great headline? It’s similar to writing a great subject line for email marketing. Think about the four “U’s” that Copyblogger teaches us about great subject lines and headlines:Useful: Why is the blog post valuable?Ultra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?Unique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique?Urgent: Why should I read this NOW?Be sure to incorporate all four of these qualities in every headline that you write, and people will be more prone to continue sharing your content across social media.4) Don’t tell me; show me.Our latest content data shows that in October 2012, Pinterest was the fourth leading source of traffic to publisher websites, even exceeding Yahoo! organic traffic and Google referrals. Not to be outpaced, Facebook sent 5.50% of traffic to publisher sites, which was more than double Pinterest’s 2.38%. Plus, recent data from HubSpot shows that photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post.What’s the marketing takeaway? Today’s social media platforms reward visual content. It should be a major piece of your content strategy. The best Shareaholic publishers pay close attention to visuals in their content, especially the little details like branding their visuals. For example, PBfingers, a fitness blogger, does this with her posts, always including her blog’s brand name somewhere on the visual. This way when visuals are pinned on Pinterest or shared on Facebook, her awareness continues to grow.There’s other was you can incorporate visuals into your marketing to increase shares and engagement. For example, having attractive featured images on your content polishes the overall look of your shares to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, increasing conversions by offering a more descriptive and therefore appealing presentation of the content.So who can master this? Don’t worry, it’s okay if you’re not a design junky. It turns out you don’t need Photoshop or ninja design skills to create great visuals for your content. There are plenty of free visual tools that are simple to use to create great visuals for your content — check out this blog post for 13 of them!5) Enable your blog to market your content.More social media referral traffic coming to your site means an increasing number of new visitors arriving via that content for the very first time. However, that also means these new visitors don’t know much about you yet, and you need to capture their interest and gain their respect before they are ready to become evangelists of your content, too.Consider how you can use your blog’s real estate to improve the presentation of your content and offer further content recommendations that will earn new visitors’ attention. A personalized content recommendations tool like Shareaholic Recommendations will suggest additional articles at the bottom of every post, contextually tailoring the recommendations to increase page views, time on site, and engagement. There are a handful of different recommendation widgets you can grab for your blog, but here’s an example of what the Shareaholic Recommendations looks like on one of our publisher sites, Civilized Caveman Cooking:In addition to recommendation widgets, there are, of course, the social follow and sharing modules that every single blog should have. It’s critical that you make it easy for readers to share your content on social media, and get access to more of your great content from following you on social media. I mean, have you every tried to tweet an article that didn’t have a tweet button? It’s a total pain. Who wants to 1) copy a URL, 2) open another tab, 3) go to a link shortener, 4) paste that link in, 5) click the shorten button, 6) copy that link, 7) go to their Twitter account, 8) paste that link in there, 9) look up the Twitter handle of the publisher, 10) and then add custom copy for the tweet.I’m exhausted just typing it out. Make life easier on your readers, and they’ll do a lot of the marketing of your content for you.Finally, make sure you’re making blog subscription easy. Your blog should have a subscribe module so people can receive email alerts when you publish new content — or, if they prefer, set themselves up with an RSS subscription. What better way to drive email traffic to your content without lifting a finger (except for the finger you use to press ‘Publish,’ of course) than growing a giant base of blog subscribers?6) Don’t forget about SEO.Every time you publish a blog post, you’re creating a new page on your site that’s being indexed in the SERPs. I mean, at that point, Google is marketing your content for you. For free. Forever. (Well, at least until the end of search engines.)The act of blogging alone is inherently helping you market your content — but if you pay attention to SEO, you can make self-marketing content even stronger that it already is. That means you should be including keyword research in your content strategy and optimizing your blog content to be found more in the SERPs. And you know what? It totally works, too — the blog content that speaks to people’s needs (particularly needs that express themselves in long-tail keyword phrases that you write blog posts around) will continue to drive traffic month after month — new traffic that can convert into leads, all just because you wrote and optimized one blog post months, or even years, ago!This article is by Janet Aronica, the head of marketing for Shareaholic, a company that makes content easier to discover for 300 million readers through a global publisher network of 200,000 websites. HubSpot and Shareaholic are co-presenting a new webinar, How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012, on December 10th at 2:00pm EST. Click here to register.Image credit: TommyClicks Originally published Dec 6, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Content Creation 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:last_img read more