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Cyber Week may be giving way to Cyber Month, according to Adobe

Online consumer spend over Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend have failed to outperform last year’s figures, but the full season is still expected grow 10% YoY.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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How is Artificial Intelligence Transforming the Social Media Marketing Field?

Using AI in social media marketing helps collect data, personalize campaigns, analyze user behavior, automate tasks, analyze data and perform cognitive tasks.


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November 29: The latest jobs in search marketing

On the hunt for something new? Check out who’s hiring in search marketing this week.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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8 Tips for Efficient B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Did you know, for every $1 spent on email, businesses see an average of $42 return. It’s even higher for B2B, that’s why marketers widely use it to nurture leads. 

Like any other marketing technique, B2B email marketing has evolved with changes in the market and technology. To stay relevant and provide valuable content to your target audience that draws them in and entices them to take action, email marketers now use personalization, automation, and various metrics to improve their strategy.

We compiled eight tips to help create efficient B2B email marketing campaigns so your business can start to use email to grow.

1 – Develop your distribution lists

Computer on desk

Before you start sending emails, segment your mailing list so you can send targeted offers to specific groups in your email list. But first, you need to understand your clients, and the best way to learn more about them is to do some research and define your customer profiles.

Talk to your target audience via surveys, polls, or interviews to find out about pain points and goals. Use data already available to you through Google Analytics to figure out demographics. Find out who the decision-makers are within each company and map out the buying process to gain a better understanding of prospective clients.

When you’re adding new contacts to your list, be sure to use a method where customers who just discovered you opt-in to get your newsletters. This is important, so you only have people on your list that actually want to hear from you. 

2 – Start with a clean email list

If you have an existing list, perform a data cleanup to see how many contacts from your database are still valid. Use the new information from your customer profiling work to filter existing contacts for their relevance.

To improve your mailing list, look at quality rather than quantity. Check for inactive subscribers and try a re-engagement campaign to get them interested again. If that doesn’t work for your business, you should remove inactive subscribers.

It’s better to focus on subscribers that open emails and engage with your rather than wasting your efforts on those that don’t. This will also help to reduce spam complaints, as only customers your information is relevant to will get your emails. 

3 – Personalize your campaigns

Businesswoman writing in notebook

Once you’ve created your list, use tags to create segments. Tags are a simple way to identify a group of customers based on similar traits or information. You can then use those tags to send relevant content to specific groups of businesses on your mailing list. 

Not only will segments aligned with customer profiles help you to send highly targeted messages, but you can also find out what the best sending times are. 

Keep an eye on your metrics to tweak and fine-tune your segments. Use data to find out if you’re on the right track with the customer profiles you initially created or if you need to make adjustments.

After you send a few campaigns, consider engaging more with your most loyal business clients and providing some extra value to them. This is the highest form of personalization, as your selected audience recognizes the highly tailored content.

Even though your emails to different segments may vary, they should always have your unique value proposition at their core for a seamless customer experience with any of your other marketing channels.

4 – Use automation and grow

Implementing automation in B2B email marketing is the best way for marketers to offer an excellent and personalized customer experience at scale. Automation immediately makes your email arrive in their inbox at the right time and with minimal work. 

When you set up email automation, your business can respond 24/7 without anyone having to write the response and click the send button. Set up your automated campaign in AWeber to trigger specific replies for specific situations your website visitors can take like downloading your how-to guide, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.

This way, your thank you or follow-up emails are sent automatically to nurture the incoming leads. You can also set up email workflows that send helpful information or resources that show your expertise to attract your new business customer further to make a purchase from you.

Another great way to use automation in B2B email marketing is automatically sending an email when you publish your latest blog using an RSS feed.

If a weekly blog post is part of your calendar, this is the quickest way to let your list of subscribers know about fresh content.

5 – Provide valuable content

Hand using smart phone

In the B2B market, products and services can be more complex than in B2C and a certain level of know-how is required to get email copy right for a specific industry. 

Make sure you strike the balance between using the right terminologies but don’t fall into the trap of using too much jargon or unclear abbreviations. Remember that it’s still humans who receive and read your email.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, email newsletters are the most-used type of content marketing for 81% of marketers. This shows that email is still one of the most powerful tools to provide value to your clients. 

It all starts with a personalized subject line and an engaging preheader that reels in your audience. For higher open and click-through rates, you need to provide value at the right time to respond to your target audience’s needs according to the stage in the buying process that they’re in. 

  • Are they just finding out about you? – Provide educational content.
  • Are they looking for solutions? – Send content that provides answers on how your products or services can help.
  • Are they trying to decide if your business is the right fit for them? – Offer information that supports the decision to proceed with a purchase and give credentials.

Keep the body copy of your email as brief as possible while still being informative. You can link to more information in the copy or via a call to action (CTA). It should also be easy to scan or read and guide towards a CTA button to make it easy for recipients to take action.

6 – Keep your design simple but eye-catching

Make sure you design your email in a simple but attractive way. Instead of shouting at your readers with flashing colors and too many emojis, apply visual hierarchy via the placement and size of your logo, banner image, and other images you use to support your copy.

Use high-quality and royalty-free stock photos to craft emails with an attractive design. Depending on the type of business, pristine office backgrounds, snapshots of tech, or images of a smiling group of people give your email newsletter a professional look and draw readers in to read your copy.

Don’t use too many images and find the right balance between copy and design. Email requires smaller file sizes to send without getting stuck in your outbox. AWeber recommends using a .jpg, .png, or .gif with a file size under 10MB and a maximum width of 1200 pixels.

Don’t forget to add alt text to your images. This will allow your readers to understand the image even if it doesn’t display correctly. 

Just like websites, emails are increasingly viewed mainly on mobile devices, which means your design needs to be responsive.

7 – Test and pick the right time to send


Monitor your email marketing campaigns to find out when are the best times for you to send your content. A good time to test is at the start of business hours when employees usually check their inboxes first thing in the morning. Branch out from there and test different times in various time zones. Keep in mind many guides that say a certain day or time is the best time to send is true for their audience. It is up to you to test and verify it works for your audience.

Next to timing, you can also test different elements of the email itself. Depending on what you want to find out, you can apply A/B testing to investigate which call to action performs better, or which layout gets you more clicks if you move things around.

8 – Monitor campaign results

Once you’ve sent a few email marketing campaigns and done some A/B testing, it’s time to take a closer look at all metrics available to you. 

Look at open and click-through rates to find commonalities between emails that have done well or that haven’t worked quite as you expected. 

Compare emails with good results to the ones that were less successful. See if you can find the reasons why some emails performed better and try to replicate that in your next campaigns. 

Continuous improvement should be an essential part of your strategy. Times change and your audience changes with it. To react to the latest developments quickly and stay relevant, keep an eye on analytics that can start showing trends early.

When you’re getting started setting up your B2B email marketing strategy, make sure you put the knowledge around your target audience at the top. Businesses, and the people behind it, expect a very different approach when you send your content than a B2C audience.

The core difference of the audience you’re targeting leads the way and is a big part of how you curate your distribution list, personalize your campaigns, and how you can provide the best possible value. Testing and monitoring your results helps to find out what performs well and how to tweak your B2B email marketing campaigns accordingly.

The post 8 Tips for Efficient B2B Email Marketing Campaigns appeared first on AWeber.

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Opt-In Email Marketing: How to Create Permission-Based Email Lists

Many email marketers view a op as proof of success. After all, a large list implies that hundreds or thousands of people have signed up to receive your emails. But how many of those email addresses have actual value? If a large chunk of your emails isn’t opened, are automatically deleted, or bounce back with…

The post Opt-In Email Marketing: How to Create Permission-Based Email Lists appeared first on Benchmark Email.

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The complete guide to YouTube Live in 2021

With social distancing continuing as the norm, an increasing number of businesses are using YouTube Live to host events, workshops, Q&A sessions and more. Does it work? You bet.

In 2020, 70% of people used YouTube to watch online replacements of live events. Moreover, consumers watch live videos for 10-20x longer than pre-recorded videos.

In this article, you’ll learn why YouTube Live should be a part of your video marketing strategy and how to livestream on YouTube successfully. We’ve also included tips on how to use various livestreaming features to create engaging live content.

Let’s get started.

What is YouTube Live?

YouTube Live is YouTube’s livestreaming feature, which enables content creators to interact with the audience in real-time via video and chat. Users can watch trending livestreams in their country by clicking on Live from the left-hand sidebar on YouTube via desktop.

Screenshot of Live videos on YouTube. Find Live videos in the navigation tab labeled Live.

When you go Live, your livestreams can also be displayed on your audiences’ personalized YouTube feeds. This depends on whether they’ve subscribed to your channel, previously watched or liked your content, or interacted with content that’s similar to yours.

What are the benefits of YouTube Live?

YouTube is the second largest live streaming platform in the world, and the website has over two billion monthly active users — that’s more than 6 times the US population.

These statistics alone are enough to convince anyone about the potential of using YouTube Live for expanding reach, growing brand awareness and engaging with a large audience.

As if that wasn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of using YouTube Live as a business, consider:

  • Hosting virtual events: Organizing an in-person event can be time-consuming and costly. YouTube Live is an excellent alternative for hosting events like workshops, webinars and product launches virtually at a fraction of the cost. Plus, more people globally can attend your virtual even rather than relying on travel logistics.
  • Interacting with your audience in real-time: Livestreaming lets you engage with the online community in real-time. You can ask and answer questions, respond to compliments and even react to humorous comments. Holding a two-way conversation with your audience helps you build stronger connections with them.
  • Answering questions instantly: Just as with any in-person even, going Live on YouTube enables you to respond to any questions or comments from your audience instantly and in real-time, which leads to higher satisfaction. You can solve problems, teach a subject and even answer questions about your product — all in a way that feels more personal than responding via email, phone or video call at a later time.
  • Standing out from the competition: More than 500 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube daily. Since livestreams still make up a relatively smaller percentage of that content, they can help you stand out and look unique.

Now that you’re aware of the key benefits of YouTube Live for businesses, let’s talk about how you can start live streaming on YouTube right away.

How to start streaming with YouTube Live

Before you start livestreaming on YouTube, make sure you’ve set up your channel and all your equipment for going live.

1. Enable livestreaming

Before you can go live on YouTube, you need to enable livestreaming on your device or devices.

If you’re using a web browser, follow the steps below:

  • Open YouTube in your browser
  • Click on the Create symbol at the top
  • Click on Go Live
  • Verify your channel (if you haven’t already)
  • Wait until livestreaming is enabled (this may take up to 24 hours)

If you’re using a mobile device or tablet (Android, iPhone or iPad), follow the steps below:

  • Open the YouTube app
  • Click on the Create symbol at the bottom
  • Click on Go Live
  • Wait until livestreaming is enabled (this may take up to 24 hours)

Note: You need at least 1,000 subscribers to enable livestreaming on mobile.

2. Choose a stream type based on your purpose

YouTube lets you livestream using one of three different recording options. Let’s take a look at each one briefly and when to use it.

  • Mobile: To go live from your mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, you need to have a verified YouTube channel with at least 1,000 subscribers. This is a good option for vlogging or sharing quick updates on the go.
  • Webcam: With this option, all you need to go live is a computer and a webcam. This is useful for simple livestreams that don’t require too many resources. You’ll just be filming yourself or anyone else in front of your computer. For example, you can conduct a quick Q&A session or share your thoughts on a specific topic.
  • Encoder: If you want to share your screen in your livestream, or use multiple cameras, microphones and other hardware, you need to choose the encoder option. This is ideal for gaming streams, concerts, business events, podcasts and interactive presentations.

3. Choose a title, description and thumbnail image

You’re almost ready to livestream!

The only thing left to do is choosing a title, description and thumbnail image for your livestream. You want people to be drawn to click on it when they see your YouTube Live video on their feeds.

Below are some best practices when adding your livestream details. These will help ensure you reach a bigger audience, and attract more views and clicks.

  • Create an eye-catching title: Well-written titles can mean the difference between someone clicking on your livestream or scrolling right past it. Make sure you write catchy titles that accurately describe your video content yet pique the right amount of curiosity. Also, use strong keywords so your livestreams show up in search results.
  • Optimize your description: Just like the title, your livestream description should include important keywords to help it rank higher in search results. You should also add relevant links and information in your description to help your audience understand what they’re watching and where they can go to find out more. Below is a great example of a livestream description from GoPro that checks all the boxes.
Screenshot of a video description on GoPro's channel that has three main parts: description of the video, links to resources mentioned in the video and links to GoPro's website and social profiles.
  • Design a custom thumbnail: Your thumbnail is probably the first thing your audience sees about your livestream. Make sure it’s worth it by designing a custom thumbnail that captures the essence of your video in an engaging, vibrant manner. The resolution of your YouTube thumbnail should be 1280×720 with a minimum width of 640 pixels.
  • Add calls to action: If you want your audience to take any specific actions during or after they watch your livestream, you can add CTAs to your description or within the stream. For example, if you want them to visit your website or social media profiles, a landing page or any other resource.

4. Start livestreaming

All set and ready to go live? Follow the steps below to start (and end) your livestream on mobile, desktop and encoder.

How to livestream on mobile or tablet

  • Open the YouTube app
  • Click on CreateGo Live at the bottom
  • Tap More options to schedule your stream for later and adjust settings for age restriction, live chat, monetization and more
  • To share your phone screen, click on Create channelShare screen
  • Tap Go Live to start streaming
  • To end your live stream, click on Finish

How to livestream using a computer and webcam

  • Sign in to YouTube in your browser
  • Click on CreateGo Live in the top-right corner
  • Select Webcam from the left
  • Add a title and description, and set the privacy
  • Select More optionsAdvanced Settings for additional settings you want to set
  • Click on Next to capture a thumbnail with your camera
  • Ensure you’ve selected the right webcam and microphone
  • Tap Go Live to start streaming
  • Click on Edit to adjust settings for privacy, monetization, live chat, add tags and more
  • Tap End Stream at the bottom when you’re done livestreaming

How to livestream using an encoder

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Click on CreateGo Live to enable livestreaming
  • Tap Stream on your left and click on Create Stream
  • Install an encoder
  • Connect any additional hardware, such as cameras and mics
Flow chart of the different types of livestreaming equipment needed to use an encoder when going Live on YouTube.
  • Connect your encoder by entering your YouTube Live server URL and stream key
  • Start streaming

Google Support has more information if you want to learn more about livestreaming on YouTube using an encoder.

Note: For users aged 13-17, the default privacy setting is set to Private or Unlisted (for mobile.) This means the stream is not going to show up in search results or recommendations. For users aged 18+, the livestream’s privacy will be set to Public by default.

5. What you can and can’t stream on YouTube Live

The content of your livestream should adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. If you fail to meet the guidelines, YouTube may restrict your content or remove it from the platform altogether.

Additionally, a restriction on your livestream may result in a strike on your YouTube channel, which can prevent you from going live for 14 days.

Livestreaming features to use

Now that you know how to start a livestream on YouTube, let’s talk about the various features you can use to enhance, promote, analyze and monetize your livestream effectively.

1. Create a highlight

YouTube allows you to take short snippets from your livestreams and turn them into highlights to post as standalone videos on your YouTube channel.

This is especially useful for livestreams that cover a lot of different topics, such as a video podcast or a Q&A session. You can create multiple highlights, each focusing on a specific topic or question.

Screenshot of a a Live Q&A highlights video.

When you post a highlight on YouTube, it will appear on your channel just like a regular uploaded video.

You can create highlights during or after your livestream. If you want to mark interesting moments while you’re still live, simply add stream markers to pinpoint the exact minutes. You can view these stream markers on your video timeline later to easily create highlights.

2. Track your live stream’s metrics

A useful feature of YouTube Live is the ability to track the real-time performance of your livestream on all three devices; mobile, tablet and desktop. This enables you to quickly detect and fix any issues, and analyze your engagement.

There are three main types of analytics you can track:

  • Stream health: This will notify you of any potential issues with your livestream so you can quickly rectify them to avoid a dip in viewer count.
Screenshot of a YouTube Live stream health.
  • Real-time analytics: During your livestream, you’ll be able to track metrics like your stream’s total duration, total viewer count and total likes. If you’re on desktop, you can also view the chat rate, total playbacks and your stream’s average watch time.
Screenshot of a YouTube Live analytics.
  • Post-stream analytics: After your livestream ends, you’ll get a quick summary of how your stream performed. This includes the total playbacks of your stream, the average watch time, the peak times and the number of new subscribers you gained through the stream.

You can also use YouTube Analytics to view an in-depth report on your audience retention, demographics, traffic sources, playback locations and other metrics.

3. Premiere a new video

Premiering a video on YouTube lets you watch the video with your audience in real-time.

Unlike livestreams, video premieres are not exactly live. They are videos that are uploaded and scheduled to be played at a certain time with live chat and other interactive features. So while it’s not live per se, in terms of recording, it is an interactive experience with your audience in real-time.

Screenshot of the 2021 Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival video that denotes the premiere countdown in the top-right corner.

Here’s how you can premiere a video on YouTube:

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Click on CreateUpload video
  • Select the video you want to upload and edit its details
  • To immediately premiere a video, go to Save/PublishPublicSet as Instant Premiere
  • To schedule the premiere for later, tap Schedule, select a date and time and click on Set as Premiere
  • Click on Done or Schedule

Once you’ve set up a premiere, a watch page will be created for your video on your YouTube channel, just like other uploads. Viewers will be able visit the watch page to set reminders, leave comments and even use Super Chat if it’s enabled.

Once the premiere is over, the video will stay on your channel as a regular upload.

4. Turn on DVR on livestreams

YouTube’s Digital Video Recording (DVR) feature allows viewers to pause, rewind and continue watching your livestream.

Here’s how to enable DVR on your livestream:

  • Go to YouTube Studio
  • Click CreateGo Live
  • Tap Stream on your left to start livestreaming or click Manage to schedule for later
  • From the dashboard, tap Enable DVR

YouTube’s DVR feature also comes with a few limitations, including seek back limitations depending on Latency of livestream rights.

You can disable DVR from Advanced Settings if you want viewers to only watch your stream live. Disabling DVR restricts viewers from going back to a specific time in your stream, until the stream ends.

5. Show a trailer

As a way to promote your YouTube Live event, consider showing a trailer. Trailers can be 15 seconds and up to 3 minutes long, and they play on your channel’s watch page before your Live event to create hype and interest.

Screenshot of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier game on YouTube Live that includes a premiere and a reminder.

To upload a trailer, follow the steps below:

  • Go to YouTube Studio and select the video you want to upload
  • In the Visibility tab, schedule the video as a Premiere
  • Click on Set up Premiere
  • Tap Add under Add a trailer to choose your trailer

Note: This feature is only available to creators with more than 1000 subscribers and no Community Guideline strikes.

6. Monetize your livestream

One of the benefits of going live is the ability to money off of your streams. There are several ways you can monetize your YouTube livestreams:

  • Ads: Running ads on your videos is a great way to earn some extra revenue. YouTube allows you to run pre-roll, mid-roll, display and overlay ads on your livestreams. Learn more about how to enable ads in YouTube Live.
  • Super Chat: Enabling this feature allows your viewers to purchase chat messages to better connect with you. When someone sends a Super Chat, their message will highlighted or pinned at the top of your chat feed, making them feel exclusive.
Screenshot of a YouTube channel that uses the Live chat feature.
  • Super Stickers: Similar to Super Chats, Super Stickers are exclusive stickers that users can purchase and share within the livestream chat feed to better express themselves. You can activate or deactivate Super Chats and Super Stickers if your channel or video is eligible.
  • Channel Memberships: Your subscribers can become members of your channel by paying a monthly fee. Most creators offer members-exclusive perks like custom emojis, members-only live chat and loyalty badges as an incentive to join. If you’re looking to grow your YouTube following, this may be a good feature to consider as a perk to your viewership.

Note: To enable monetization on YouTube, you need to meet the minimum requirements of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Once you’ve been accepted into the YPP, you’ll get access to various exclusive features, including monetization.

7. Manage live chat & captions

YouTube gives you several options to manage your Live chat to ensure a safe, comfortable environment for all viewers.

Some Live chat features include:

  • Turn Live chat on or off
  • Make your Live chat subscriber-only or members-only
  • Review or block chat messages with certain words
  • Assign moderators to respond to or remove messages
  • Turn on “Slow Mode” to restrict the timing between chats

You can also choose to display a live chat replay alongside your video after your livestream has ended so people can view the conversation.

Another useful feature in YouTube Live is the ability to add captions to your livestreams — visual displays of the audio content in your videos. It’s recommended to have live captioning to your videos for users who prefer to listen without sound but more importantly for users who are hard of hearing to be more inclusive of a wider audience.

You can either take advantage of automatic captioning, embed captions in your video or send them to YouTube through supported software.

YouTube Live best practices

Armed with these features, you’re ready to go live and engage with your audience!

But before you grab your equipment and start streaming, remember these best practices below to ensure your livestream is a raging success.

  • Check your network connection: It’s important to have a reliable internet connection to prevent a broken stream. So, run a speed test before you go live to avoid any issues.
  • Test your equipment: Make sure your webcam, microphone and any other equipment is fully functional before you go live to avoid any embarrassing moments.
  • Promote your livestream: Schedule a premiere, upload a trailer and share your link on social media to spread the word about your livestream. You can also promote your YouTube channel to attract more visitors to your livestream.
  • Write a script: Going Live can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most confident speakers. To avoid making clumsy mistakes that you’d rather keep off-air, always have some notes ready or a script prepared for your stream.
  • Stay safe: Be careful about sharing personal information during livestreams. Take advantage of YouTube’s safety and moderation features to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your audience.

Use YouTube Live to deliver interactive audience experiences

Livestreaming is a unique way to engage with your audience on a personal level, regardless of where they are located. From hosting live events to workshops to Q&A sessions to product launches, you can use YouTube Live to grow your business in tons of different ways.

To make the most out of your live videos, check out 10 ways to repurpose your livestreams and use them to create other types of online content.

The post The complete guide to YouTube Live in 2021 appeared first on Sprout Social.

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How to Eliminate the Echo Chamber and Add New Dimensions to Your Blog

The post How to Eliminate the Echo Chamber and Add New Dimensions to Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

Eliminate the Echo Chamber and Add New Dimensions to Your Blog

Photo by Jakub Balon on Unsplash

One of the better posts I always remember reading is by Chris Pirillo writing about ways to eliminate the ‘echo chamber’. It’s a post that I’m sure many bloggers will find a challenge (I know I did). Here are his main points (in bold) with a few comments of my own (the non bolded stuff) on some of them. I’m not sure I’d be quite as extreme as Chris suggests – but there’s food for thought in the list and I suspect that enacting some of his suggestions from would add new dimensions to a blog (and maybe even help a little with the echo chamber thing too):

1. Don’t live inside your news aggregator

I was actually thinking to myself yesterday that my news aggregator and social media feeds have become way too central in my blogging. While I love the way it helps me to keep my finger on the pulse of many aspects of life I do worry from time to time that it has the potential to suck the creativity out of me as a blogger as it’s very easy to use it as a lead generating machine and allow it to determine much of what you post on your blogs. You also need to be aware that the algorithms powering these platforms just dish you up more of the same of what you’ve previously found interesting and interacted with.

2. Say something original at least once a day

– One of the results of living in your news aggregator and being a slave to the algorithms is that it’s easy to get lazy and to recycle news and ideas from others – at the expense of exercising your own brain power and developing some original ideas of your own. I’ve got nothing against bouncing off others ideas (I’m doing it now) but starting conversations rather than just responding to others or reporting on the conversations that others start can lead bloggers into a fairly one dimensional type of blogging.

3. If warranted, quote an “unknown” source

Chris is spot on with this. It’s easy to only read the A-lister and use them as the source of a story, but the fact is that there are many other talented bloggers who are saying similar things that also deserve attention. This is of course a challenge (as are all other 9 points) as it can be difficult to find the quality ‘unknown source’ partly because no one is linking to them (hence they are unknown). I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes it takes a little work to find them – but it’s worth it when you do.

4. Don’t link to the same site more than once every two weeks

I’m not sure I’d put a time limit on it but the principle behind this is a strong one. I hesitate to say this (for looking arrogant and not wanting to offend) but I’ve come across a number of blogs that link to ProBlogger in almost every post. It’s almost like reading ProBlogger itself they refer to it so much. Now – I’m very grateful for the links and am flattered by it (truly I am) but I also feel like saying to these bloggers (and sometimes I have) that perhaps it would be good to not only respond to what I write but to find some other sources for stories also. If their readers just wanted to read ProBlogger stories they’d subscribe to ProBlogger. I know it’s easy to fall into this trap at times (to different extents) as sometimes it’s just easier to always bounce off the one blogger with whom you resonate with – but in doing so you’re also likely to be creating a somewhat empty blog.

5. Wait a week before publishing your thoughts on hot topics

It’s always a challenge, with the 24-hour news cycle, to know how to write on a topic that everyone else is writing on. On the one hand unless you’re the one breaking the news your post can on it does have the ‘me to’ feel to it – but on the other hand you feel that if you don’t write something about it some of your readers might miss the story and you’ll end up getting email after email telling you you’ve missed it. Chris suggests that one way to combat this is to wait a week before posting. I think this is one good option as it gives you a chance to not only report a story but add your thoughts (which have had a week to mature) to it and make the post more than just a news report.

6. Create, don’t regurgitate

Lots of blogs report on the cool things that others are doing in their niche but sometimes it’s nice to be the one doing the cool thing in your niche.

7. Think twice before using buzzwords

Every niche has its jargon and buzzwords but I’m constantly reminded (by emails from readers asking me to explain what I mean when I use them) that quite often the people who read blogs and the people who write them live in different worlds. Every niche has its buzzwords and if you’ve been in that niche long enough you may just take them for granted but you should identify the jargon and think twice about using it, or at least explain it if you do.

8. Make yourself uncomfortable

I’ve long been a believer in this. It’s often not until you’re out of your comfort zone that you’re able to grow. It’s a principle of life and one of blogging also – too many of us are way to comfortable in our blogging. Instead, put yourself out there and do something different.

9. Stop whining (or worrying) about what list you’re on (or not on)

I wonder who he was thinking of when he wrote this point. I can think of a few bloggers that I might send it to who seem obsessed with their blog’s rankings in different indexes. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with have a well ranked or highly regarded blog, there’s more to life and I suspect the people who are concerned with them could be a lot more highly ranked if they actually stopped focussing on them and started blogging with creativity, originality and passion.

10. Stop saying we need to get out of the echo chamber

Hmmm – a nice challenge to end on – although… “The day for blogging about blogging, and podcasting about podcasting, is long gone.” OUCH! 🙂

Here is one more of my own that came to mind while I read Chris’s list:

11. Look outside the Blogosphere

As long as we, as bloggers, continue to look at each other for inspiration, ideas and creativity we will limit ourselves. Read books, see movies, buy the newspaper, take a class or… if you’re really game… talk to a friend. All of these things (and many others) help ensure we ‘get a life’ and will help us to take our blogging to a new fresh level.

Chris makes some great points (some of which I went against in writing this very post). While I love blogging and the blogosphere – I do sometimes wonder if we’ve created our own little universe (language, rhythms, rules, culture etc). While it’s wonderful it can also be quite insular and self important. Like Chris acknowledges in his post – it’s not easy to get out of the patterns we (as a blogosphere but also as individuals within it) have gotten into. Hopefully some of what’s above reminds us to step back from it all occasionally and ask some good questions about what we’re becoming.


This post was first published on Aug 30, 2006 and updated Nov 25 2021.

The post How to Eliminate the Echo Chamber and Add New Dimensions to Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.


Reblogged 5 days ago from

5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

SEE ALSO: Take your YouTube videos to the next level with these feature-rich editing options

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly


Credit: planoly / APP STORE

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer


Credit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview


Credit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content Office

Content Office
Credit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann


Credit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

Reblogged 6 days ago from

Google drops its mobile-first indexing deadline, leaves it open-ended

Google said because of some difficulties that some sites may have moving to mobile-first indexing, it has decided to not move those sites over yet..

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 week ago from

Google AdSense Guide: increase earnings and escape low CPC

30-second summary:

  • There are many factors that affect your AdSense performance right from content quality, ad placements, media selection, and so on
  • High traffic doesn’t directly indicate high earnings, in fact, some of your practices may be equivalent to handing out money to your competition
  • Here are six informed steps to help you earn more from AdSense

Throughout this guide, you’ll learn how to increase your Google AdSense earnings by making some very simple changes and by following a few simple tips. In my personal experience, this can help skyrocket your AdSense CPC and results can increase your AdSense earnings by more than five times.

Your aim and objective throughout should be to gradually increase your AdSense CPC and CTR little by little and by following these simple tips you are bound to see results.

Don’t forget to keep on testing and your AdSense earnings will surely increase over time. Just don’t give up quickly!

1. Content is king on the internet and also on AdSense

The reason content is placed at the top of all the other tips is because it is the single most important rule to follow on your journey through SEO and internet marketing. It is the first thing your visitors, advertisers, and bots (ad bots and crawl bots) will notice after coming to your webpage.

If you are providing your users with low quality or outdated content, Google will rate your website much lower and your CPC (the bids advertisers make to appear on your website) will greatly fall. This can also get you smart-priced, even if you generate quality traffic on low-quality content.

So remember, always provide your readers and visitors with something unique and worthwhile which will actually acknowledge rather than something which has already been posted on a thousand other websites.

2. Ad sizes and placements are decisive

Do not neglect the placement and size of your Google AdSense ads as they play an important into delivering a better user experience and thus, improving your AdSense earnings.

“While creating ad sizes and placements, user experience and ad viewability should be the center focus”, explained SEO expert Boris Dzhingarov, in an email interview.

“Some placements and ad sizes will disrupt users, particularly if they’re covering content. Others, however, will fail miserably as the users never see them leading to a decrease in AdSense revenues”, he added.

So the question now is: where should you place your ad and which of Google’s display ad sizes are best for your business? The answer is pretty simple, place two ads inside your blog posts (or content) and one outside the post. Keep one 336 x 280 large rectangle ad on the top of the blog post just below the title and place the second ad in the middle of the blog post as a 468 x 60 sized banner. The remaining unit can be placed to the right of your post inside your sidebar.

Position your AdSense ad units as such to not annoy your visitors by popping right in their faces. Instead, perfectly fit inside your content, or in positions that you aim to get more clicks from.

For example, a site that provides file downloads can have an AdSense Ad Unit right near the download link to get a High CTR.

3. Monitor and limit the use of AdSense ad units

Have you tried limiting the use of your AdSense ad units? The biggest difference I myself have noticed is that by reducing the ad units which had the lowest CTR you can quickly and easily increase your AdSense CPC.

What usually happens is if you don’t have enough content to support all the ad units is that lower-paying ads start showing on your websites. This may increase your click-through rate (CTR) and bring in more clicks but because the ads may not be relevant to your website (public advertisements). This results in your CPC falling and your AdSense earnings decreasing. If you are increasing your ad units ultimately you are making it easier for advertisers to be shown on your website meaning an even lower CPC (because of low bids).

Remove the low CTR ad units and replace them with the higher paying ad units which have a higher CTR and your earnings will rise automatically.

Trying these tips for a couple of days will make you notice a real improvement and an important increase in low AdSense CPC.

Google AdSense Custom Channels will be necessary to keep track of things. This will give you a precise and clear idea of the best-performing ad slots. Measure the CTR, CPC, CPM, and earning of every ad unit.

Create custom channels for every ad slot and monitor their performance for at least two weeks to get an idea of things. If you keep changing ad units too often without testing them thoroughly you might get inaccurate results and miss out on better opportunities by placing your ads elsewhere.

How this is going to help in increasing your AdSense CPC?

Remove the low-performing ad units from your website (Compare CTR and final earnings of different units). Google should now serve better ads to other remaining ad slots which are performing well, so your earnings and CPC will increase.

4. Enable both text and image, media-rich ads

Always enable both text and image ads on your websites. Never limit your ad visibility to ‘Only image/media-rich ads’ or ‘Only text ads’ as this will lower the bids for advertisers to appear on your website. This directly means low AdSense CPC.

If you enable ‘Both text and image ads’ AdSense will automatically show the ad with the highest bid on your website which means a higher CPC for you.

In short, the more advertisers that are bidding to appear on your website the higher your AdSense CPC will be.

5. Keywords, keywords, and more keywords!

Try researching to find keywords with ‘High AdSense CPC’ and a ‘High Search Volume’. Searched globally using the Google Adwords keyword tool. Search, search and search some more to find specific keywords which have low competition, high CPC, and high search traffic.

After researching you can start creating your website pages, blog posts, and articles on such high-value keywords. Always use these keywords naturally at the beginning, the middle, and the end of your content. It is also very useful to add them to your headings or tags.

Try not to bother with keywords that pay a few cents and those that have a low CPM. Ideally, I would recommend grabbing keywords with a CPC higher than $2.50.

This should be the most important part of your mission. You would never want a page that earns one dollar from five to 10 clicks. Rather you want a page that pulls an impressive four to five dollars out of just two ad clicks, or maybe even $40 dollars out of just eight clicks!

If you don’t concentrate on your keywords, even if you have a lot of traffic you will be wasting it and not earning a substantial amount. Imagine this as handing out money to your own competition! By targeting the right keywords you can make a lot more with a lot less traffic.

Research on the Google keyword tool today and increase your Adsense CPC and earnings.

6. Reduce fraud, accidental, and useless clicks

Do you have an ad unit placed near the top of your content that gets a high CTR? Can this also be because of the awkward location that some people end up clicking on your ad by mistake? When this happens, the visitors often back out or close the ad. This is counted by Google as either an accidental or fraud click.

You may temporarily get earnings from these clicks but they will most probably be reverted due to the low-quality nature of the click.

So always try to minimize any accidental or useless clicks on your AdSense ad units and NEVER ask your friends or family to click on your ads!

Jacob M. is a copywriter, marketing blogger, inbound marketing consultant, and founder of Write Minds. He can be found on Twitter @jmcmillen89.

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The post Google AdSense Guide: increase earnings and escape low CPC appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 1 week ago from