Category Archives: content

How do you create great content for your website, blog, social media, and other marketing channels? Click on the links below for our advice on creating and managing content.

Check out the complete guide to content marketing.

Make some videos to spice up your marketing! Use these free tools.

Starting a blog? Check out these tips for business blogging.

Or scroll down for more blog posts on content marketing for small businesses.

Career Blogger: Interview with Alison Green, Blogger of Ask A Manager

Alison Green, blogger at Ask A ManagerAlison Green is the blogger at Ask A Manager, a popular site that answers questions related to work and careers. I have read Alison’s blog for a couple of years now, and am amazed not only at how she manages to be insightful day in and day out for so many people who write in with questions, but also at how she has nurtured her community — read any of the comments sections to see how much helpful advice commenters usually offer on the blog.

Alison doesn’t have a background in HR — as one comment on her blog from an employee she had managed attested, she is just an exceptionally good manager who is sharing her perspective to help others navigate tricky issues of politics and performance at work.

She talks to us about how her part-time blog turned into her full-time career! Read on.

Continue reading Career Blogger: Interview with Alison Green, Blogger of Ask A Manager

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Software Products and Content Marketing

Four colored floppy disksThe first two of this week’s bunch of articles are especially relevant if you have or are building a software product.

If you have a SaaS product, be sure to read this long post on what to measure and why.

Joel Gascoigne of Buffer explains how bugs and downtime can be a good thing.

Do you know how to use apostrophes correctly?

What makes content go viral? Leo Widrich of Buffer dissects a blog post that got over 500,000 likes.

And from Neil Patel, here are 5 SEO mistakes even experts make — but you shouldn’t.

Have a great weekend, and see you on the other side!

The Only Five Essential Elements of Website Content for A Small Services Business

In the last six months, I’ve reviewed over 30 business websites with a view to helping these businesses figure out how they can make their marketing more effective. Especially if you are a small services business — you provide software development services, or you’re a trainer or consultant or plumber — it can be difficult to figure out what goes on your website. Especially if you’re a consultant or freelancer, where does your personality end and your business begin?

Today I’m gonna help you figure out the five most essential pieces of information you need to provide on your website.

Promote your business on your website

Continue reading The Only Five Essential Elements of Website Content for A Small Services Business

Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin is the CEO and Co-founder of SEOmoz, one of the most well-known and respected internet marketing companies. He’s been in Businessweek’s 30 under 30, and has got tons of press coverage for himself and SEOmoz.

He talked to us about community-building, products vs. services, and more! Read on.

SEOmoz got started after you joined your mom’s (Gillian Muessig, Co-founder of SEOmoz) marketing business… How did you decide to focus on SEO?

Continue reading Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013

Lights

Instead of our regular Weekend Reading post, today we have for you a round-up of the marketing sites and blogs you should read, recommended by the marketing experts and entrepreneurs we have interviewed in 2012.

Read on for the 13 blogs you should follow in 2013.

Continue reading 13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013

Our Best Posts of 2012

New Year fireworks

started this blog nearly two years ago, when I wanted a space to put down my thoughts about marketing. Better Marketing wasn’t a business then — it wasn’t even the blog name.

It’s this year, after we started as a business, that we actually started writing regularly — and this is the 60th post of the year.

We would like to end the year by spotlighting both our most popular posts — that is, the ones you readers liked best — as well as my favorite posts.

Continue reading Our Best Posts of 2012

Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Bhaskar Sarma, B2B CopywriterBhaskar Sarma of Pixels and Clicks is a copywriter specializing in B2B technology businesses. He is also a fantasy fan, judging by his marketing blog posts that reference Tolkien and Dr. Who. He talks to us about copywriting and social media for B2B.

My questions and comments are in bold.

How and why did you become a consultant?

I came into consulting and copywriting through a pretty roundabout fashion. Before my current gig and after getting my BE in computer engineering I was a tech journalist, an infosec consultant and a volunteer with a non-profit running schools in remote mountain villages near Mussorie. I decided not to get back into the corporate rat race and opted to work for myself, travel when I want and choose my own clients and projects.

Continue reading Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Startups

Do you have it in you to be an entrepreneur? Successful entrepreneurs possess five key traits.

Women selling vegetables in a local market

But once you’ve started your business, what is your goal? Joel Gascoigne of Buffer shares some interesting thoughts.

And over on Women’s Web, I write about eight things a new entrepreneur should do.

Read HubSpot’s article on 7 common SEO myths: and if you’re building on any of these, please stop.

HubSpot also tells you when to — and when not to — outsource your marketing: think twice before outsourcing social media or content creation!

5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing

The recent brouhaha over Instragram’s policy changes brings into sharp relief the fact that marketing on social media entails a lot of dependence on the social media sites. Instagram’s users might not be in trouble right now, but do you remember the last cries of outrage over changes in Facebook’s policies?

Which brings me to the question: is it wise to focus your marketing efforts primarily on social media?

I’m not advocating ignoring social media (of course). But realize this: you don’t control Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. Your most important content should be on your own site, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, FAQs, a photo gallery, or video tutorials.

Here are five reasons why.

Continue reading 5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing

How to Determine Which Social Media Channels You Should Use

FruitsAs a business-owner, you have a hundred things clamoring for your attention. But you also need to be on social media, to listen and talk to your customers and to influencers in your industry. Focusing on one or two channels will probably be more useful to you than creating profiles on many that you can’t keep up with.

The biggest factor that determines what social media you should focus on depends, of course, on where your customers are. But here are some other factors that might help you make the decision.

Facebook

If you’re a B2C business, you probably can’t afford to ignore Facebook. Facebook has a huge user base, and it’s where everyone hangs out — teenagers, office workers, stay-at-home parents, freelancers, grandparents. So you should seriously consider having an active Facebook page if:

Continue reading How to Determine Which Social Media Channels You Should Use

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Productivity and Content

We use Trello to manage our tasks, and this post gives you a lovely breakdown of why and how you should use it. And it’s free!

Here are six writing tips from Roald Dahl, via Copyblogger.

Copyblogger also breaks down Facebook’s EdgeRank and tells you what you should be doing for more engagement. Tl;DR? Keep trying different things to engage your audience (as Sahil Khan says here).

Create better landing pages with these tips from Hubspot: we especially like the last one!

Rand Fishkin ponders how you can get the best out of your employees.

And lastly, I loved this article about productivity myths. Now I can continue to not get up early or sort my emails properly without feeling guilty!

How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

Continue reading How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Anita Campbell of Small Business TrendsAnita Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, a popular U.S.-based site for small business advice. Small Business Trends has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and the New York Times, and Anita herself is a popular writer and speaker and is on several advisory boards. She talks to us about content creation, content monetization, and entrepreneurship.

My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us a bit about Small Business Trends – I read you started it as a version of an email newsletter? Who was your first audience? Continue reading Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Website and Social Media

Do people really think content marketers don’t care about sales? This and other myths here.

Outspoken Media has an easy, excellent guide to link-building in 15 minutes a day.

And here are a few quick ways to improve your website’s usability.

If you aren’t using photos on Facebook yet, here’s more evidence to convince you: photos get 53% more likes.

Here’s another blog post laying out why LinkedIn’s Endorsement feature is awful.

Have a great weekend, and make your marketing better next week!

Why You Shouldn’t Use Social Media

Does every business have to be on social media?

I’ve heard the arguments: it’s too risky, it’s not profitable or measurable… It’s not necessary for your industry. None of these is usually true.

Today, I tell you the real reasons why you shouldn’t be on social media.

You don’t want to listen

Contrary to what most people think, social media is primarily about listening. It enables you to listen to what your customers or even competitors are saying about you. It lets you view conversations about your industry or your competitors. It tells you what people are thinking.

If you’re not interested in any of that, sure, stay off social media. (And don’t talk to your customers, either.)

Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Use Social Media

Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Aparna Vedapuri Singh is the Founder and Editor of Women’s Web, an online magazine for Indian women. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Aparna for years and I write a career column and the occasional book review for Women’s Web.)

Read on for Aparna’s experiences in and tips for entrepreneurship and marketing! (My comments and questions are in bold.)

Aparna Vedapuri Singh, the Founder and Editor of Women's Web
Picture credit: Bilat Singh Thongram

Tell us about Women’s Web – how did you come up with the idea for the site?

Women’s Web is a product that came about as a result of a need I felt existed in the market – and as with many entrepreneurs, beginning with a need I felt myself!

While women’s magazines are certainly not a new phenomenon in India, increasingly, there is such a sameness to them. Many women are interested in beauty, but why should the pursuit of beauty define us? Really, is better skin and anti-ageing all that there is to our lives? I wanted to read something better! I felt that there is a niche in the market for interesting, useful information and reads, directly relevant to our lives.

Continue reading Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

Music in India has been mostly dominated by mainstream film music (Bollywood!) but in the last few years non-film music has acquired its own space and a lot of credit goes to Only Much Louder and NH7 for that. I’m impressed by how OML has created a powerful brand in NH7 through integrated marketing.

Personally, I am a big fan of NH7 and the NH7 Weekender music festival, so some level of  bias is expected :-). And on the other hand it also speaks to the effectiveness of their marketing and quality of their service and products — that is, music events. Let’s look at the website first.

First things first: The website

NH7-Website-Radio-At-The-Top

Continue reading Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: A Wide Assortment

Cheesecake with assorted fruits

With the five links below, you can learn about blogging, websites, advertising on social media, motivation, and sales. Let’s start!

Hubspot tells you how you (yes, you) can be a business blogger.

Copyblogger tells you how to set up a WordPress website in fifteen minutes. (Though really, if you’re new to this, I think it will take you at least half an hour. Or a couple of hours — speaking as someone who’s technically-challenged but got this website up and running, with a little help from the other guy.)

Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: A Wide Assortment

PR, Content Marketing, and Social Media: Interview with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks

Gini Dietrich manages the marketing blog Spin Sucks and is the founder and CEO of marketing firm Arment Dietrich. She talks to us about marketing, entrepreneurship… and cash!

Gini Dietrich of Spin SucksRead on. My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us about Spin Sucks. Why call it that instead of something like, you know, the Arment Dietrich blog?

Continue reading PR, Content Marketing, and Social Media: Interview with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: LinkedIn Endorsements and Twitter Follower Count

This seems to be Tools Week! Neil Patel shares ten mission-critical tools for every modern marketer. How many of these do you use? I use only two — IFTTT and Hello Bar. But I plan to start using Hootsuite and KISSmetrics soon — these are both very popular and recommended tools, and I’m hoping they’ll help us!

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of SEOMoz, shares 24 things that he wished he had known “then” (at the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. My favorite is, obviously, #10:

“Better marketing often trumps a better product. Invest in both.”

Lisa Barone shares seven rules for writing awesome content. The first, of course, is telling stories.

I hate LinkedIn’s new Endorsement feature — I think it makes it far too easy for people to endorse others and makes it somewhat of a popularity contest. But since it’s there, you might as well use it, and Social Media Examiner has tips.

This study of 36 million Twitter users finds that the number of followers you have directly correlates to how often you tweet. So, how many tweets have you sent out this week?