Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, one of the most popular sites for marketing advice (and responsible for some of my marketing education!). She has been cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules.
Ann talks to us about marketing and content. My questions and comments are in bold.
Tell us about how you got involved with Marketing Profs.
We talk about content a lot here on this blog. And content’s important, believe me. But no amount of great content is going to do it for you unless that content is displayed well — that is, you have good design.
I’m not talking about awesome, impressive design. Just a clean and modern setting for your awesome, impressive content. Enough to make it easy for users to read and navigate.
In my latest blog post at Search Engine People, I’ve outlined a checklist of 7 items you should look for to make sure your web content is readable. (The post says “blog posts,” but this applies to any web page with a lot of text.)
Alison 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.
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.
Rand 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?
Bhaskar 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.
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.
As 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.
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:
Anita 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.
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.)
Diwali is next week. Did you send out special offers or greetings to your customers and prospects?
While everyone is talking about social media, email marketing remains an excellent way of nurturing your prospects and customers. In this post, I look at some common mistakes marketers make in email campaigns, through a few Diwali-themed marketing emails I received.
Wasting the Subject Line
Here is a screenshot of some Diwali offers in my inbox.
Read on for Aparna’s experiences in and tips for entrepreneurship and marketing! (My comments and questions are in bold.)
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.