Tag Archive | "Secret"

The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The money’s in the list. If you’re serious about your digital business, you need…

The post The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want appeared first on Copyblogger.


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View Velocity Is The Secret To Ranking On YouTube

“To determine rankings on their platform, YouTube uses a metric called the View Velocity,” says HubSpot SEO expert Braden Becker. “The View Velocity metric measures the number of subscribers who watch your video right after it’s been published. The higher your videos view velocity the higher your videos will rank. YouTube also accounts for the number of active subscribers you have when they rank your videos.”

Braden Becker, Senior SEO Strategist at HubSpot, reveals the secrets of YouTube’s Ranking Algorithm in his latest video:

The Secrets of YouTube’s Ranking Algorithm

Since marketers are at the mercy of algorithms on nearly every publishing channel, knowing how each of these unique algorithms work is crucial to attracting and maintaining an audience. Luckily, while some channels are rather reserved about the secrets of their algorithms, YouTube has been remarkably transparent. To figure out which videos and channels that users are most likely to enjoy watching, YouTube follows their audience. This means they pay attention to which videos each user watches, what they don’t watch, how much time they spend watching each video, their likes, their dislikes, and “they’re not interested in” feedback. 

What YouTube Pays The Most Attention To

Ranking High In YouTube Search Results

YouTube’s algorithm also uses different signals and metrics to rank and recommend videos on each section of their platform. With this in mind, let’s go over how the algorithm decides to serve content to its users on their search results, homepage, suggested videos, trending, and subscription sections. First, are the search results. The two biggest factors that affect your video search rankings are its keywords and relevance. When ranking videos in search, YouTube will consider how well your titles, descriptions, and content, match each user’s queries. They’ll also consider how many videos users have watched from your channel and the last time they watched other videos surrounding the same topic as your video.

Positive Engagement With Your Videos Is Key

Next is the home page and suggested videos. No two users will have the same experience on YouTube. They want to serve the most relevant personalized recommendations to each of their viewers. To do this they first analyze user’s activity history and find hundreds of videos that could be relevant to them. Then they rank these videos by how well each video has engaged and satisfied similar users, how often each viewer watches videos from a particular channel or topic, and how many times YouTube has already shown each video to its users. 

Ranking On The Trending Page

Next is trending. The trending page is a feast of new and popular videos in a user’s specific country. YouTube wants to balance popularity with novelty when they rank videos in this section, so they heavily consider view count and rate of view growth for each video they rank. 

High “View Velocity” = High Ranking

Last is subscriptions. YouTube has a subscriptions page where users can view all the recently uploaded videos from the channels they subscribe to. But this page isn’t the only benefit that channels get when they acquire a ton of subscribers. To determine rankings on their platform, YouTube uses a metric called the View Velocity, which measures the number of subscribers who watch your video right after it’s been published. The higher your videos view velocity the higher your videos will rank. YouTube also accounts for the number of active subscribers you have when they rank your videos.

The Secrets of YouTube’s Ranking Algorithm with HubSpot SEO expert Braden Becker

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How to Unleash the Secret Superpowers of Numbers in Your Copywriting

There are all sorts of rules about writing. Grammar and style guides tell us how we should write. Especially how…

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Bing Remarketing: The best-kept marketing secret

Everything you need to know about an opportunity that’s not widely discussed in the industry — search remarketing on Bing. Contributor Michelle Cruz shares tips and ideas to employ.

The post Bing Remarketing: The best-kept marketing secret appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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The Secret to Powerful Products that Sell: Meet Tara Gentile, Creator of ‘Quiet Power’

tara gentile - how to unlock the door between before and after

Tara Gentile is known for helping people grow terrific businesses — without sacrificing ethics or heart.

Tara works with “idea people” — people who have an idea that they want to turn into a product, program, or service, but who may not always see themselves as business owners or marketers. She helps her audience and clients find the right business models, craft marketing that resonates, and structure their businesses for profit.

She calls her approach the Quiet Power Strategy — and it’s a complete reversal of a lot of the “cookie cutter” advice you sometimes see around digital business.

Listen and observe

A while back, Tara spoke with Rainmaker Digital CEO Brian Clark about how to thoughtfully observe your audience in order to strengthen your business.

Listen to Win: How Actionable Observation Provides Profitable Answers

Brian and Tara share a deep focus on listening in order to uncover audience interests, fears, and desires. When you master this, everything about your business starts to work better.

It’s also the key to marketing that doesn’t feel pushy or creepy — because you’re speaking directly to the problems and concerns of your audience, using their own language. Marketing becomes a direct expression of audience empathy.

Listening is the key to building a business based on service rather than selfishness.

“I see [listening] as probably the biggest thing that’s keeping people from creating marketing that works and products that sell easily … and sales processes that don’t feel slimy.” – Tara Gentile

What do they care deeply about?

In Tara’s world (and ours), the journey always starts with the deepest goals and concerns of the audience.

“How are you going to help them go from before to after?” – Tara Gentile

Tara’s process unearths what she calls the Target Conversation. Who are the people having this conversation, and what are they actually talking about?

Most of the time, the road from their problem to the solution you offer isn’t a straight line; it’s a series of somewhat meandering connections. This sequence of relevant ideas will click with the people in your audience where they are right now — not where you wish they were.

Tara calls this step Connecting the Dots: starting with where they are today, then moving purposefully to the next dot … and the next, and the next.

In this way, you create a clear path between your audience’s problems and your solutions.

Solving audience problems … even if you aren’t a renowned expert

“Don’t call yourself an expert … just be helpful. If you’re two steps ahead of your audience on the journey, you’re still a leader.” – Brian Clark

Tara and Brian share the conviction that a business that’s built on solving specific audience problems is far more powerful than starting with a notion of some abstract “market.”

“When you look at real people with real problems — or with real desires — they’ve got blanks. There’s something missing that isn’t allowing them to accomplish what they want to accomplish … There’s sort of a locked door between that before and after … And we’ve got insight into how to open it.” – Tara Gentile

Once you adjust your approach to focus your business’s marketing and products on customer problems and the solutions to those problems, you’ve set yourself up for success.

How to approach writing a promotion

“My best tip for copywriting is to feed your customers’ words back to them … They want to know that you’ve actually thought about what their problem is.” – Tara Gentile

First, Tara listens for the themes and language that come up again and again for her audience. Her promotional copy is then crafted to provide answers and solutions that speak to those specific issues.

She builds each sales page around a single key insight that’s arisen from conversations with her audience and customers. That gives the promotion focus, connecting Tara’s expertise directly to what’s most important to her prospects right now.

Promotions crafted this way stand out from the general background of noise and clutter that we see every day on the web and in our inboxes.

“The opposite of quiet isn’t loud; it’s noise.” – Tara Gentile

Let Tara walk you through her process: 7 Ways to Listen to Your Audience

We’re so happy that Tara will be joining us this October in Denver, Colorado at our live Digital Commerce Summit.

Here’s what Tara had to say about the presentation she’ll be teaching:

“It’s time to stop guessing about what digital product to create (whether it’s your first or your next). It’s also time to stop wasting time and money building the wrong products (i.e. the ones people don’t buy). Learn seven distinct ways to listen to your audience and build a system for turning what you hear into profitable offers. You’ll never have to guess about what people want to buy again.”

Tara’s process is applicable to any business — from selling a single ebook to running a multi-million dollar SaaS.

Join us October 13-14 for a carefully chosen curriculum that will give you the momentum you need to level up as a digital entrepreneur. Tara is just one of 15 speakers who have walked the walk. Over two days, we’ll teach you how to take your digital project to the next level — or how to get something new off the ground.

Click here to get the details and snag the best price on your tickets.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

The post The Secret to Powerful Products that Sell: Meet Tara Gentile, Creator of ‘Quiet Power’ appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Online Marketing News: Victoria’s Secret Is Social, Live From Facebook, Twitter Bulks Up

SEO Mistakes To Avoid

SEO Tactics You Must Stop Right Away [INFOGRAPHIC] – It’s hard out there for content. The top 3 search results on Google get 61% of clicks. And 75% of Google users don’t ever look at second page of search results. So what are some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are trying to get good SEO? This infographic is a great primer. Social Media Today

Connect with Public Figures Through Live On Facebook – We’re excited to introduce a new way for you to connect and interact with your favorite public figures on Facebook — through live video. Facebook

YouTube to Provide More Up-To-Date View Counts, No More 301+ Views – YouTube announced on Twitter today that its about to provide more timely video view counts, which means the infamous “301+ views” will become a thing of the past. Search Engine Journal

Survey: 90 Percent Of Retail Shoppers Use Smartphones In Stores – Mobile loyalty company SessionM recently surveyed 12,000 randomly selected US smartphone users about their mobile shopping behaviors. The company found that 85 percent of respondents said their m-commerce buying was steady or had increased versus a year ago. Marketing Land

And the Winner of Social Media Is… Victoria’s Secret [Study] – Looking at 50 major brands in various industries, Victoria’s Secret was the only one to score top marks across all eight social media platforms analyzed by Spredfast. ClickZ

Google: 180% Increase In Hacked Sites In The Past Year – Google launched their #NoHacked campaign again and shared some really sad news. In the past year, Google saw a 180% increase in hacked sites. That is just insane. Search Engine Roundtable

Facebook in Q2: Mobile Accounts for 76% of Total Ad Revenue – Not surprisingly, it’s full speed ahead for Facebook’s transition to a mobile company, as mobile advertising revenue accounted for 76 percent of the company’s total ad revenue for the second quarter of 2015, up from 62 percent in the year-ago period. SocialTimes

Instagram Ad Sales to Grow 5X in Next Two Years – It will then account for an estimated 28% of Facebook global ad revenues, says an eMarketer study. Direct Marketing News

Google Introduces New Schema Markup for Critic Reviews in SERPs – Google has introduced a new type of Schema markup that can be used to display detailed critic review knowledge graph cards in the search results pages. Search Engine Journal

New Google Analytics Reports For AdSense & Ad Exchange – Google mentioned on Google+ that Google Analytics introduced new sections for reporting on AdSense data and Ad Exchange data. Search Engine Roundtable

Facebook Lets Users Send Businesses Private Messages – Facebook is going to give businesses some social customer support power that is usually provided by external management tools. Facebook

Twitter Introduces Bulk Editing Tool For Managing Ad Campaigns – New “ads editor” enables advertisers to create and adjust campaigns using spreadsheets. Marketing Land

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to 4 Ways to Build Content Marketing Authority with SlideShare, Josue Valles  said, “Hey Lee, great post. I used to repurpose my articles on SlideShare long time ago. The results were great, but I got lazy and stopped doing it. I’ll start again. Thanks for sharing such amazing information!”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Fertile Frog

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The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want

a tested secret to motivate people to sign up for your list

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on March 19, 2010.

You’ve heard it a thousand times: the money’s in the list. If you’re serious about your digital business, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list.

So, how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter?

You probably already know the answer to this one: Reward them. Give subscribers something great as a “thank you” for signing up. This is usually some form of content — a useful video, a killer ebook, or an exclusive podcast.

Sure, everyone else does that. Because it works.

It works … if you do it the right way.

Giving away something good will get people to sign up for your email list, no question.

The problem is, what email address will they sign up with?

It’s not like it’s hard to find an email address. Gmail is just one of the many excellent services that will give you one (or a bunch) for free.

Double opt-in forces your reader to give you a real email address. But real addresses are cheap. Readers have dozens of ways to capture your valuable free reward, then ditch the rest of your email once they’ve got their prize.

  • They might unsubscribe (best case scenario).
  • They might quit checking the email address.
  • They might set up a filter that automatically pours your messages right into their Delete folder.
  • If they’re jerks, they may just mark you as spam so they don’t have to see you again, rather than take the “trouble” of unsubscribing. It happens.

(That last one, incidentally, is why you must make it stupidly easy to unsubscribe from your stuff. If it’s more than a click or two, you’ll regret it.)

You can’t make anyone pay attention to you in the virtual world. You can’t trick them into it either, at least not for more than a few seconds.

Some of the smartest traditional advertising writers figured this out a long time ago. They created advertising that didn’t look like advertising … advertising that was inherently useful.

Make your advertising too valuable to throw away

It’s funny how many of our moms’ and grandmas’ most-treasured recipes came from the back of product boxes.

Food packagers know that recipes are irresistible. Human beings are naturally curious creatures. We enjoy novelty. We benefit from eating a variety of foods.

Put simply, we want something new for dinner.

Recipes teach readers how to use more of the product being sold. And recipes feel inherently valuable. They promise a fantastic collection of benefits: Exciting new tastes, happy family members, harmony at dinner time, and kids who will actually eat their green beans.

Recipes, including back-of-the-box recipes, get clipped, passed along, and carefully preserved. A good-sounding recipe is reason enough to try that pancake mix or new pasta shape.

The recipe on the back of the peanut butter jar is advertising, yes. But it’s advertising that actually gets your attention. It’s too valuable to throw away.

Your topic has a recipe

Some topics have literal recipes. (Weight loss being the most obvious one.) The act of nourishing ourselves has spawned hundreds of sub-niches, from slow food to raw food to grab-some-calories-on-the-run food.

For most topics, the “recipes” are metaphorical.

You might teach a recipe for financial independence. A recipe for a fulfilling retirement. A recipe for getting a better job. A recipe for a happy marriage.

Some recipes are complex, and some are simple. Some readers want Gourmet and some want White Trash Cooking. You’re the one who decides how easy you’ll make the recipes you offer.

You can use a recipe anywhere

Thriving digital businesses usually produce lots of good recipes. An ebook can be a single, very strong recipe. And a great minimum viable product or membership site are often collections of recipes that work together.

But one of my very favorite versions of a recipe is the email newsletter. More specifically, it’s the email autoresponder, a tool that I now consider essential for every marketing project I work on.

Email newsletters (what’s new in your business, what’s the latest promotion, what fresh and exciting offers can you make to your customer) are an excellent tool. But they’re 1,000 times better when they kick off with a terrific autoresponder.

Maybe it’s “8 Tips for Being a Better Dad,” or “7 Ways to Know if Stock Trading is Right for You.”

There are always a number of steps. (In fact, they look a lot like our friend the numbered list post, don’t they?) They always build on one another. And they’re always a recipe for some result the reader wants to have.

A sequence of steps trains your reader

Do you see why this works better than a single-shot video, ebook, or podcast as your sign-up incentive?

When you create an email sequence that forms a killer recipe, the reader develops the habit of opening each message. It’s got a critical step, after all, to the recipe he’s trying to cook up.

Sure, he can still ditch you when he’s finally captured the final sequence. But by that time, if you’ve given a recipe worth having, you’ve created some trust. Your reader has started to know and like you. You’ve built a little sense of reciprocity.

You’ve emailed him nine times in a row, and you haven’t sent him any crap. Just valuable, good stuff that gets him a result he wants.

Think he’s likely to open that 10th email?

The recipe for a great email autoresponder

  1. Create a “recipe” that delivers a solution your reader really wants.
  2. Structure your recipe into a sequence of seven to 10 steps. (You can do more if you’re ambitious.) It’s best if each step delivers a positive result and stands on its own.
  3. Deliver your recipe via the autoresponder function of your email marketing program. If your program doesn’t let you put together a robust autoresponder, find a new program.
  4. Write the best content you can for your autoresponder. The time you put in now can continue to work hard for your business for years to come.

Rather than selling your products or services, start to “sell” your terrific, free email autoresponder.

It will build trust and rapport so that down the line you can fully explain all the benefits of what you do.

Do you want to build a better email list?

Truly effective digital marketing starts with building a responsive email list. It’s still the ultimate online sales channel.

Join Brian Clark and Jerod Morris for a free webinar on Thursday, July 23, 2015 that will cover the why and how of building a robust email list.

They’ll share impressive research about the importance of email, Brian will walk you through a smart email strategy that builds your list fast, and then Jerod will give you a detailed demonstration of how you can use the Rainmaker Platform to do it.

Space is limited, so grab your spot for tomorrow’s free webinar:

Register for Free: Build a Responsive Email List with Rainmaker
About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get lots more from Sonia on her podcast, Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer, or come hang out with her on Twitter.

The post The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want appeared first on Copyblogger.


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The Surprising Spooky Secret to Enduring Success Habits

ghost figure in pumpkin patch with Autumn leaves

Are you addicted to productivity advice?

I was, for a long time. I bought every system, book, and blueprint out there.

I had a very spiffy David Allen-inspired GTD process that was only 642 steps long and took a mere 3 hours a day to implement (during which time I wasn’t actually, you know, getting anything done).

That wasn’t David Allen’s fault, by the way, it was mine. But I don’t think I was alone.

Every person who has a long to-do list also has a desire to do more.

And most of us are quite good at doing certain things. We don’t have a problem getting out of bed every day (even if we grumble), brushing our teeth, driving to work, or finding some lunch. As Seth Godin likes to say, “No one ever gets Talker’s Block.”

Why? Because those things are just ingrained habits. We don’t think about doing them, or need to find motivation to do them … we just do them.

Where we do tend to procrastinate and stumble is on the activities that we feel resistance around. Anything creative is a major one. Writing, in particular, is one of the few forms of procrastination that has its own name: Writer’s Block.

You might have made a million resolutions to write every day, or publish two blog posts a week, or finally get your damned autoresponder up and running. And a million times, you might have failed.

Today, I’d like to let you know what works for me. Because I believe it will work for you, too.

First things first.

Big resolutions don’t work

We all know it, and I don’t know why we keep doing it. Resolutions for massive, sweeping habit change just don’t work.

(They probably work for a few people. But those people aren’t reading this post, because they’re too busy climbing Everest while writing their best-selling memoir and running their four-hour-workweek business. Bless their hearts.)

Everyone I know who believes that sugar is a deadly poison is also stuffing donuts into their face every time I see them.

Everyone I know who absolutely, positively is going to have their novel done in 30 days has been working on that novel for 25 years.

Big change is scary, and we avoid it. With all the creativity and energy we can muster.

Maybe I just know more than my share of flakes, but I don’t think so. I think that massive change sounds like a good idea while we’re making those impassioned vows to ourselves. But once the real world hits, the part of our brains that actually does things wants nothing to do with it.

What works better

There’s an intriguing (and increasing) body of work that suggests that instead, itsy bitsy habit change is the thing that works.

There’s Robert Maurer’s excellent book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, which everyone should go read right now.

There’s BJ Fogg’s well-known Tiny Habits site, and accompanying TED talk.

There’s Stephen Guise’s book on Mini Habits, which lays out a stupidly easy plan to develop these stupidly easy small habit tweaks. You should go read that one right now if you’re not picking up the Maurer, or even if you are.

So if you want to get your book written? Commit to a ridiculously tiny habit of writing 50 words on it a day. Once the micro habit is in place, it’s funny how often you find yourself sticking around for a lot more than those 50 words. And on the days that you only do 50 — you still win.

Getting started on anything new or uncomfortable — writing, working out, improving your website — is always the hardest part. But once you’re in motion, you’ll tend to stay in motion. And once you have a solid habit formed, you’ll think of yourself as “the kind of person who” does that thing. You’ll be surprised at how much productivity that will spur.

Here are a few of my thoughts on how to get a micro habit started, how to best benefit from it, and some ideas about productive micro habits you might want to get rolling for yourself.

Getting started

I’ve read a few books on this (apparently I’m still addicted to productivity advice), and Stephen Guise’s Mini Habits is the best one I’ve found to just get you going. It’s a quick, easy read that lays out the process, as well as the benefits, succinctly.

Or if you’d rather start right now (an excellent idea), just pick one of the habits I’ve listed in this post. Do it every day. If you aren’t doing it every day, try my advice below.

One nice thing about these teeny habit changes is that you can do more than one at a time, if you like. I’m currently doing four, and will add a fifth in the next day or two. But start with just one for at least a week, to get yourself used to the new plan.

Plan for your crazy days

Your micro habit needs to work on your absolutely most insane days.

Think about your nuttiest day of the week — when you work late, your dog has swim practice, and your kid has obedience lessons. Or think about what your day looks like when you’re traveling for business. Or family. Or anything else that tends to be disruptive.

These little habits need to be so little that they’ll fit into your day, even when things are a zoo. Don’t be tempted to skip your micro habits on zoo days — that’s just when you most need them.

(If you or a loved person goes to the hospital for something serious, you have my permission to slack off. Anything short of that, the habit should be small enough to fit.)

The right timing

When I can, I like to time my little habits so that I have some free time after.

Why? Because that’s how 50 words on a key project turns into 2,000 words. That’s how completing your warm-up turns into a 40-minute workout.

Important, though: If you can’t time your teeny habit for that kind of time slot, do it anyway. If you have four habits and you do all of them right before bed, you still win.

Don’t unconsciously make your “real” habit Write 2,000 Words and start putting it off because you don’t have that much time or energy. Your habit is 50 words. If you do that, you win.

The value of fanatic consistency

Guise makes an excellent point about the need for rigid consistency with your micro habits.

“Self-efficacy,” or the belief in your ability to influence an outcome, plays a big part in mustering the willpower to do things. Getting a truly daily habit in place, even a tiny one, skyrockets your confidence in that ability to beat procrastination and do the things you want to do. It trains your willpower “muscle.”

… a problem many people develop is an expectation of failing to reach their goals. Over time, this crushes their self-efficacy because it’s hard to believe that next time will be different (especially if you’re using the same strategy that failed last time). ~ Stephen Guise

A little tiny habit is a surprisingly easy way to retrain your brain — but only if you do it daily.

If it’s not working

If it’s not working, your habit is probably a little too big. “Write one page” is small, but it’s not small enough to be tiny — it’s too much to handle on a day that’s crazy, or a travel day.

Trim them down until they are stupidly easy and quick to complete.

Reminding yourself how embarrassingly easy and quick they are is also a good tool if you’re tempted to skip a day.

Some habit ideas you can swipe

Here are some ideas you can steal for micro habits of your own to develop. I like to have a mix of professional and personal — two for my business, and two for my personal life. (If you want to know what my habits are, swing by the Google+ conversation and I’ll let you know.)

Try one of these, or make up your own. Remember, start with one for the first week, and if you want to, you can add a few more later.

  • Meditate for five minutes (or two minutes, if you find resistance to five)
  • Read or re-read two pages of a classic copywriting resource
  • Write 50 words on your Big Project
  • Do the warm-up for that workout you’ve been trying to do more often
  • Write three headlines for content you might write some day
  • Hand-copy out a paragraph of writing you admire
  • Walk for ten minutes (or less, if this feels too big)
  • Outline a post idea (it’s okay if these are very silly — they’re not to publish, just to warm up your writing brain)
  • Participate in your favorite online writing or business group (Only do this one if you don’t have this habit already)
  • Read two pages on a topic that has nothing to do with writing or your business

Got more? Join us over on Google+ with your suggestions — we’d love to hear them!

And I’ll leave you with one final quote from Guise, to push you over into trying this out for yourself. I think you’ll be happy when you see the results.

We’re quick to blame ourselves for lack of progress, but slow to blame our strategies. Then we repeat them over and over again, trying to make them work. But here’s the thing — if you fail using a strategy more than a few times, you need to try another one. ~ Stephen Guise

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Alexander C. Kafka.

About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

The post The Surprising Spooky Secret to Enduring Success Habits appeared first on Copyblogger.


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The 3:00 a.m. Secret Question That Drives Meaningful Success

image of graffiti with word Secret

“I want you to ask your secret question.”

That’s what Seth Godin asked the audience at the end of his generous Authority Intensive session with us in Denver this past May.

The room was packed with fanboys and fangirls (I’m one) who were reeling a little from 45 minutes of intense marketing, business, and life advice.

Your secret question is the one that you can ask without anyone laughing at you, and that I know the answer to but that I’ve never told you before, even though I’ve had 5,600 chances to tell you … and that if I then told you the secret answer, you’d be fine.

That idea of the “Secret Question” stayed with me.

Take a minute to think about it now. What’s your secret question? What would you ask if no one else was listening? What’s the one answer that you think would change everything?

Most of us have a secret question

Actually, we probably have a whole pile of them.

These are the 3:00 a.m. questions. The ones that crawl around in the deep parts of our brains.

The real secret question

I have a theory.

I think our real secret question — the one that we sometimes keep secret even from ourselves, is this:

Why should I keep going?

I’ve noticed some people are entirely unafflicted by this question. Interestingly, it’s often the people who don’t necessarily have a lot to offer that is original, groundbreaking, or even useful.

I can spot someone a mile away whose DNA doesn’t include this question. This post isn’t for them. They’re going to be fine, and with a little luck they can find something valuable to contribute along the way.

But for those who do wrestle with this, I have a secret answer.

Are you helping someone?

Is there some person, somewhere, who is wrestling with a problem that you’re pretty good at solving?

It might be a big important problem, or a small, “trivial” one. But it matters to that person.

The information might be available somewhere else. In our internet-infused world, the information is almost always available somewhere else.

But is it where your person can find it?

Is it in the voice your person can hear?

Is it presented in a format that your person will consume?

Now take a look at your site. Look through the most recent 10-20 posts and give them a grade on the above questions.

Is it useful? To whom? How could you make it more useful?

When you understand this at the deepest level, your marketing decisions get much clearer. You have a better understanding of what to write, and for whom.

And when you learn new techniques and strategies, you see how you can put them into place, instead of just getting more confused.

A quick homework assignment

Make time today to sit down for 10 focused minutes. Write out the answers to the questions below. (I happen to do better with this kind of thing when I use physical pen and ink, but we’re all different.)

  • Who do you help?
  • How do you help them?
  • What could you do to make yourself more useful?

Now: What actions will you take this week to put those insights into practice?

This exercise isn’t just for newbies. Give it a try and let us know what you come up with. We’d love to hear your answers over on Google+.

Flickr Creative Commons image by JAM Project. Some rights reserved.

About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

The post The 3:00 a.m. Secret Question That Drives Meaningful Success appeared first on Copyblogger.

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