Tag Archive | "This"

Fix This Writing Mistake to Engage Readers with the Right Challenges

In college, there are three kinds of classes. First, there’s the blow-off classes, where 80 percent of your grade comes from fill-in-the-blank worksheets. To pass, all you really have to do is show up. Then, there are the classes taught by “real hardasses.” These classes kept you up well past midnight, flipping frenetically through flashcards,
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Facebook Tightens the Noose on Local Marketers and this is a HUGE Mistake

As of this writing Facebook’s stock price is down nearly 4 percent today after its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is going to deemphasize news and marketing posts in order to make the social platform more social. This is taking Facebook back to its roots of friends connecting with each other and not so much as a place where news is shared and local businesses promote themselves to whoever followed them.

Local Businesses Made Facebook $ $ $

Unfortunately, it’s local businesses that have made Facebook financially successful beyond even Zuck’s wildest dreams, not individual users. Once Facebook became the platform for communities to communicate Facebook started making money and the platform exploded with new users around the world. If Zuckerberg thinks that Facebook is primarily a place to share baby videos and to view Aunt Jane’s cruise ship photos he’s sadly mistaken. Facebook is much more than that! It is the primary platform in free countries worldwide for community sharing.

Facebook is the Platform for Community Sharing

Where and when is the local Farmers Market? I follow them because I want to stay in the loop and I’ll read the comments like an FAQ to get further details and I may even ask a question myself and it will be answered by someone who is in the know. Where else can this happen if not Facebook?

The local television station just posted a video about a car that crashed into a restaurant that I go to. I’m interested in that and want details. I not only watch the video and follow the link to a related article but I read the comments on Facebook from people who saw the accident. Where else but Facebook?

A bar regularly posts about their happy hour and next music act. I follow the bar to see these posts because I am interested and want their posts to appear in my newsfeed where I will see them, not buried 10 pages deep. The bar owner knows that his bars followers want this information. Because of how effective Facebook is for helping him reach his customers the bar owner pays Facebook to reach other non-followers with posts.

Additionally, the bar owner back in the day spent a lot of money on Facebook to help attract followers in the first place. It’s clearly not fair to the bar owner for Facebook to have taken his money to promote his bars followers to now make the bars posts invisible to most of them. Also, the bars followers want to see the bars posts and if they don’t they will unfollow.

Facebook Friends are NOT More Important than Community Connections

Yes, Facebook will live and die on use by individuals but individuals want to see posts that are relevant from their community, not just their Facebook friends and long lost relatives. Facebook and Zuckerberg must realize that almost everybody has what are commonly known as Facebook Friends, which are people that the person never communicates with in person but they silently like posts and notice updates from on the Facebook platform. There is nothing wrong with a Facebook Friend but those friends who may account for 80% of a persons friends on the platform are not what the platform is truly about.

Facebook is about community connections which may be from your close friends and relatives, your local church group, your local business, your local charity and your local news organizations.

It’s a HUGE Mistake for Facebook to Disconnect it’s Users From Their Communities

I think it is a huge mistake for Facebook to disconnect us from our communities even if their goal is a noble one, connecting us with our friends. Our friends live with us in a community of geography and interests and we all go to the same yoga classes, gyms, bars, restaurants and stores. We help plant trees for charities and provide spare jackets to the homeless.

We connect as a community with Facebook and that makes Facebook important and that’s why businesses invest their marketing dollars on the platform… and that is good.

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What Is A Many-To-Many Business And How Can This Model Produce Billion Dollar Outcomes

During the dot-com boom around the year 2000, and the years that followed (before I started this blog in 2005), I was a guy in his early twenties looking for a business idea to make my riches. At that stage, I had built a handful of websites. They were hobby…

The post What Is A Many-To-Many Business And How Can This Model Produce Billion Dollar Outcomes appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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5 Ways Retailers Can Beat Amazon This Holiday Season

There’s no denying that when it comes to holiday shopping, Amazon is the company to beat. The past few years saw the retail giant’s sales figures going up, especially during the holidays, as thousands of consumers opt to shop online because of convenience. As a matter of fact, the internet retailer accounted for 33.8% of online visits during the last two months of 2016.

While retailers and small businesses can’t hope to match Amazon’s numbers this year, they can still do something to beat it at its own game. Here are ways that retailers can get a leg up on Amazon:

Capture Consumers Attention During Vital Shopping Days

Amazon will always be in the minds of countless shoppers during the holiday season, mainly because of convenience and fast delivery. So how can retailers compete with this? By finding a way to capture the consumer’s attention and imagination. One of the best ways to do this is to come up with a marketing campaign that highlights the company’s values in order to target loyal and high-converting clients.

Image result for #optoutside

Companies like REI did this by closing its doors on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and encouraging customers to spend the day outside instead with its #optoutside campaign. The movement inspired state parks to waive their entry fees and saw companies like Subaru and Outdoor Research teaming up REI to promote outdoor recreation. And even though REI closed its doors on Black Friday, the campaign generated a 26% boost in online traffic on that day.

Treat Each Shopper as a Unique Individual

One of Amazon’s weaknesses is its one-size-fits-all approach to its consumers. This means everyone gets the same deals and prices. But retailers can go in the opposite direction and show consumers that their unique and individual needs are taken seriously. They can come up with customized offers for different types of shoppers, like loyal consumers, senior shoppers or first-time buyers. Retailers can also ensure that the content and offers in their email ads are designed for each particular group of shoppers.

Streamline Your Shopping Cart

There’s no question that the ease that someone can order from Amazon is a contributing factor to its popularity. In order to compete in the same league as Amazon, retailers should take a critical look at their shopping cart and see what their customers’ experience. They should pay particular attention to details like the number of steps it takes to fill their cart, the number of decisions that the customer must make during the checkout stage (ex. gift wrapping, shipping) and whether every step is necessary. Retailers should consider whether some steps can be streamlined by combining decisions and actions. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending more than 10 minutes just trying to pay for something you want.

Offer Worry-Free Shipping and Returns

Free shipping is now the norm.While this might be a huge obstacle for some companies, there’s no denying that it’s what customers are now expecting from online retailers. There’s no better way to drive your customers to Amazon than by having high shipping costs during the holiday season. But aside from implementing this strategy, retailers should also ensure that they push this message to their consumers, like through the company’s homepage, pop-ups and social media ads. Promoting free shipping to your website’s visitors will also give them an additional incentive to browse through and hopefully purchase something.

Retailers should also take advantage of Amazon’s less than stellar reputation when it comes to returns. Designing a system where shipping and returns won’t become a thorn on the shopper’s mind will definitely give a retailer an edge over Amazon.

Provide Special Touches

Image result for gift wrapping

Customers will definitely love the special touches that companies offer, particularly during the busy holiday season. A simple gift-wrapping service or a program for storing items purchased ahead of time and to be delivered close to the holidays will be appreciated. Knowing that the company has taken the time to make life easier during this busy season will be more than enough to keep them coming back.

Amazon might be an eCommerce behemoth, but small retailers can still hold their own against it. Remember that the best way to compete with such a big company is to look at the details it neglects and to give customers a truly personalized experience.   

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Here’s a Quick Sneak Peek at This Year’s Massive Black Friday Discount

The crowds. The lines. The noise. The endless circling to find parking. Black Friday is an American institution — and for good reason. Commerce is king, humans like to save money, and Black Friday marries those two together unlike any other date on the calendar. But over the last handful of years, something has come
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Join The Laptop Lifestyle Academy Today And Get Access To My New Course – ‘Emails Revealed’ (Open This Week Only)

Last week I published two new articles here on EJ that explained how I was able to take six months off from my business and still generate $ 153,428 USD, thanks to the power of automatic email campaigns I have written over the last few years. In those blog posts, I mentioned…

The post Join The Laptop Lifestyle Academy Today And Get Access To My New Course – ‘Emails Revealed’ (Open This Week Only) appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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Grow with Us This Week on Copyblogger

This week, we have three posts to help you grow in various ways — creatively, financially, grammatically. On Monday, Jerod Morris let us know that Digital Commerce Academy is now open for new students! This is the resource you need if you want to get a digital business off the ground — or make faster
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Avoid This Rookie Marketing Habit to Get New Customers Faster

A component of my publishing philosophy is: “Wanting to write something does not guarantee that someone will want to read it.” And it comes into play when you write the first marketing materials for your business — many new marketers get excited about a type of writing that doesn’t turn out to be engaging. The
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This Common Belief Could Be Blocking Your Creative Potential

"Creativity is not linear." – Stefanie Flaxman

A woman brought her two Pomeranians to a barbecue I recently attended. I had never met her before, but overhearing her give the dogs commands in Norwegian, Italian, and English sparked a conversation between us and another guest.

Hamburger in hand, the other barbecue-goer explained why he’s always had trouble learning a language other than English.

“I want there to be a word-for-word translation and get stuck because it doesn’t work like that,” he said.

I resonated with that experience and thought about where that outlook might pop up in other aspects of life and business:

There’s a reasonable question virtually everyone asks when they want to start a new creative project.

We all know I like questions, but if you dedicate too much time to this one, it can be more harmful than helpful.

“What’s the best way to do that?”

If you’ve ever decided to create a website or become a writer, you’ve likely asked yourself that question. I certainly did.

And when you’re out of your comfort zone, you often want a guide — a set of steps to follow.

Those steps are necessary at first, but large creative strides happen when you start operating with more fluidity. When you stop looking at your new endeavor like translating one language into another, word for word.

The common belief that could be blocking your creative potential is that you need to learn “the best way” to do something.

The desire to learn “the best way” often leads to asking endless questions rather than trying out the activity for yourself.

It’s understandable. You want to avoid making mistakes. But making (and learning from) your own mistakes will help you more than any question you could ask an expert.

The importance of being a Pomeranian

The Pomeranians weren’t bothered by the challenges of learning new languages. And their owner likely had to overcome the belief that it would be difficult to teach her dogs the languages she speaks.

They simply figured out ways to communicate that work for them.

Once you’ve learned the basics, you have to give your project your own color and richness, rather than try to mimic or duplicate someone else’s “best way.”

“The best way” to do something may not work for you at all.

If you keep searching for “the best way,” you’ll never discover your way.

Creativity is not linear

“Messy” is an understatement for my creative process.

It’s full of nonsensical phrases, tangents, mistakes, and experiments.

Certain articles I write begin with clear bullet points. Others begin as vague concepts. There’s no formula (which is convenient, because I don’t like that word anyway.)

Sometimes writing is easy; sometimes writing is hard.

The trick is to not get too attached to either experience. If you’re having a bad writing day, it won’t always be like that. If you’re having a good writing day, it won’t always be like that. You write (and keep writing) either way.

No matter what you’re working on, give yourself the freedom to try different techniques without getting discouraged if one method isn’t right for you. You can cross it off your list and try something else.

Move your creative project forward

Decide what you want to do, and do it your way.

Of course, you need to follow through to make sure you achieve your goals.

Since we like to pair creativity with productivity on Copyblogger, tomorrow’s post will outline a simple plan for managing a content project until it’s done.

See you then.

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The Rainmaker Platform Goes Off the Market this Friday

Last Chance to Get the Rainmaker Platform at the Current Pricing

The Rainmaker Platform is coming off the market this Friday at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To get the current pricing, you must start your free trial before the deadline.

Last month I told you about the Rainmaker Platform’s shift from software-as-a-service to a bundled hybrid of technology and client services, all at much higher prices. Before we do that, we’re offering one last chance for people who just want the Platform at the current lower pricing.

If you’re not familiar, the Rainmaker Platform is a complete digital marketing and sales solution. It combines powerful website features with email, marketing automation, and a ton of other powerful tools that you have to see for yourself. And yes, it’s the very technology that powers Copyblogger and thousands of other sophisticated sites.

When you choose the annual plan, you always enjoy substantial savings. But from now until we take it off the market, you’ll save hundreds of dollars more every single year when you get on board with the Rainmaker Platform.

Start your free trial today.

The go-forward development plan

Given the shift in business and operational models, you may be wondering what our plans are for continued software development on the Platform. It’s a great question, and I’d like to quickly address that.

If you get on board before the deadline, you’ll join thousands of existing Rainmaker customers. And we fully intend to keep all of you happy even as we serve a different market segment with the bundled services model. That’s a no brainer, given that the Platform remains at the center of our strategy.

What does that mean for you? Only good things:

  • We’ve already begun work on Rainmaker 3.0, a major new release that will feature automation, email, and interface workflow improvements. We’ll also be adding Zapier for third-party add-ons, and modularizing key areas of the Platform for easier integrations and quicker addition of new features.
  • The annual or monthly price you sign up for today will never change as long as you keep your site active. You won’t pay more even as the cost-of-entry to Rainmaker goes way up for others. And remember, we’re also giving you a substantial discount on the annual plan if you start your trial before the Friday deadline.
  • You’ll also benefit from the software improvements that come from moving upstream. As we do more expensive custom development work for clients, relevant enhancements will find their way into the general platform, at no additional cost to you.
  • Want to invest in additional Rainmaker sites after the switch? You’ll still be able to do that — at the current discounted customer pricing — all from your Rainmaker Portal. Existing customers will literally have access to Rainmaker sites in a way that no one else will going forward.
  • Finally, the move to full service means you’ll never have to experience frustration looking for help with design, content, SEO, and more. And if you have a specialized Platform development need, our new services team can make it happen for a reasonable fee.

You must act this week:

In a nutshell, if you want the best pricing that will ever be offered on the Rainmaker Platform from here on out, you must start your free trial before 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, this Friday, June 16, 2017.

We hope you’ll join the Rainmaker family before we make the switch. Just head over to the site, check out all the amazing things Rainmaker empowers you to do, and start your free trial without delay.

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