Monthly Archives: March 2016

Turning Your Content into a Newsletter

Tablet on a wooden desk - Breaking News

Tablet on a wooden desk – Breaking News

Blogging has gone through a dramatic transformation in recent years. What was once seen as niche and casual is now a major aspect of big business. With this in mind, blog owners are always on the lookout for ways in which to increase their traffic and gain subscribers. Whilst many people look towards social media as the ultimate tool for blog building, this may not be the best way forward. Many people fail to recognise the power of email, seeing it as outdated and mono-functional but the majority of internet users still spend a large portion of their day checking their emails. Utilising emails as way to drive traffic can be done through the use of newsletters.

In terms of attracting users to your blog and cementing them as subscribers, social media isn’t as successful as it used to be. This downward trend could be blamed on a number of issues but the main problem is simple, surfers are not seeing your blog post. The sheer volume of traffic on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is substantial and growing every day. The consequences of this is that many users either, don’t notice your blog post at all or notice it and then become distracted by another submission. There are also issues with how sites such as Facebook prioritise content on the newsfeed, with many posts falling to the bottom of the pile and being ignored.

There are specific ways in which bloggers can get around the problems facing social media but there is also another option available- newsletters. Allowing visitors to your blog to subscribe to your newsletter means that your content will be sent directly into their email box. This combats the problems commonly facing blog marketing, e.g. failing to be noticed or distracted surfers. Sending content via email can also be much more personal which is especially true when bloggers tailor the subject line, for example utilising a friendly message and the recipient’s name. Newsletter subscription is particularly successful because it transforms casual visitors into active visitors. Active visitors are much more valuable from a blogging perspective because they don’t have to be prompted into visiting your site, they actively seek you out.

So you are convinced of the benefits of newsletters but how do you go about setting this up? First of all, content is still key. The foundation for any blog should be high quality content which is engaging and therefore attractive to an audience.

Once your blog is up and running it is time to introduce the subscription function- this can be done in a variety of different ways. The simplest way to do this is to place a subscribe button somewhere on the page, usually at the top. This allows visitors to click and subscribe if they would like regular updates from your blog. A slightly more persuasive approach can be achieved via subscription pop-ups, which are activated when a visitor lands on your site. This pop-up function can be created in many different ways but some blogging platforms such as WordPress allow uses to achieve this using a simple plugin. Twitter cards are basically the same as a subscription pop-ups but they are activated on the social networking site itself. This technique can be particularly useful for bloggers who want to benefit from a mixture of email and social media.

The way in which you utilise the newsletter technique depends on you and what you want to achieve. Those looking to simply send their blog posts to subscribers via email can do this by using a RSS-to-email service which basically does all of the heavy lifting. It should also be noted that there are other ways in which to benefit from newsletter subscriptions. For example, your newsletter could be used to advertise any products you may be selling. You could also insert a poll into your newsletter and use this as a way to gain direct information from your subscribers.

It has never been more important to have an open mind when it comes to blog marketing. Getting attention is more difficult than ever before so techniques such as newsletter subscription can offer a lifeline when trying to attract and maintain readers.

Questions to Ask before Outsourcing Your Content

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Within recent years, content creation has become an integral part of marketing, for small and large businesses. Although this type of promotion can be incredibly beneficial, it can also be hard work. Whilst in the past, companies could churn out low-quality pieces, littered with key-words, times have moved on. Now, the emphasis is on high quality, engaging content which is uploaded regularly. This means companies have to allocate more time and resources to content creation and in some cases, for example smaller businesses, this just isn’t practical. Therefore, many companies are choosing to outsource their content to third parties. This can be a successful strategy but businesses should ask themselves specific key questions, prior to taking the plunge.

Budget

Budget basically dictates every other aspect of content marketing, whether it’s in-house or outsourced. The majority of businesses choose to outsource their content because it works out much cheaper than hiring another employee. Budget should also be considered when creating an overview of your content marketing strategy. For example, many companies will require a content strategist alongside their writers in order to structure and manipulate the model.

Overview

As well all know, planning ahead can be instrumental in any business matter and this is just as pertinent when it comes to outsourcing content. Anyone can upload articles online but utilising this process in order to drive traffic and therefore sales is a completely different matter. Therefore a comprehensive plan, which details information such as content type, scheduling, marketing techniques, metrics and eventual goals should be drawn up before anything is put in place.

Outsource to who?

Once you have made the decision to outsource your content, the next question you need to consider is how you will go about this. There are two main options available, both of which have their specific advantages and disadvantages. Businesses can choose to work with a content marketing agency or with an individual or group of freelance writers. Freelance writers are self-employed and will usually complete work for a wide range of different businesses. The main advantage here is that freelance writers are usually much cheaper but they are definitely more of a ‘no-frills approach.’ They will complete specific articles based on a brief but this generally won’t include considerations to overall content strategy or campaign.

On the other end of the spectrum, content marketing agencies will offer more of a complete service. This means accounting for factors such as business goals, audience, strategy and any existing content. As you may have guessed, this approach tends to be much more expensive than working with freelancers. Making this choice will depend on a variety of issues, but as a general rule, larger marketing campaigns will usually need to work with an agency, to accommodate their requirements.

Metrics

Measuring your success will depend on the goals you have put in place. These can include anything from view counts, subscriptions and traffic to actual sales. Again, this is an incredibly important part of your initial plan. Whomever you are outsourcing your content to will need to know this information in order to offer an effective end-product.

Is it worth it?

It is worth pointing out that not all businesses will need or want to outsource their content. If you have the means to produce and maintain your content in-house, then this may be the best way forward. For example, many smaller or newer businesses may not need to create large volumes of content and therefore won’t need to outsource. Outsourcing isn’t for everyone but this decision can only be made after adequate research and discussion.