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You have to think about a new online content strategy in 2014

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Let’s face it, 2014 is going to be a year of challenges for content marketers the world over. Google has really changed the game with the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates. We are looking at a …

Let’s face it, 2014 is going to be a year of challenges for content marketers the world over. Google has really changed the game with the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates. We are looking at a completely changed online publishing landscape. The old rules no longer apply.

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  • 1. You have to think about a new online content strategy in 2014! You need a new online content strategy! Let’s face it, 2014 is going to be a year of challenges for content marketers the world over. Google has really changed the game with the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates. We are looking at a completely changed online publishing landscape. The old rules no longer apply. If you want your content marketing initiatives to bear fruit in 2014, you have to focus on one thing and one thing only: quality. Keep the following best practices in mind when crafting a winning online content strategy for 2014. Your content pushes your brand forward or downward For the longest time, many online entrepreneurs and online publishers viewed online content as primarily digital hooks to land search engine traffic. In other words, they would build content that would contain certain keywords which would snag free traffic from Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This keyword sniping approach work beautifully up until recently. Sadly, this old trick no longer works. Moreover, this old approach actually failed to create successful online brands. Since the focus was just to drum up traffic by capturing search engine queries based on certain keywords, there wasn’t much emphasis on creating content that truly adds value to the lives of readers. Now that
  • 2. the game has changed, the focus of online content is where it should be in the first place: building trust and credibility. At the end of the day, the main definition of quality online content boils down to a question. This question is simple: Does this piece of content add value to the lives of its readers? That’s it. That’s all there is to it. No magic formulas. No scientific mambo jumbo. No fancy algorithms. It all boils down to end user value. Will people walk away from your content knowing something that they didn’t know before? More importantly, will they feel that they got positive values from what you offer? Sadly, most of the online content out there offers very little value. Most of it is focused on one particular question: What can the publisher get out of the reader? If this is your attitude, chances are you will lose in 2014. You have to turn things around. Instead of asking what your websites’ viewers can do for you, instead ask what you can do for your viewers. The moment you achieved this fundamental mindset around, you will make a great progress in 2014. Content quantity matters as much as quality One of the old sayings in online publishing is that quality must trump quantity. On its surface, this makes all the sense in the world. Of course the quantity shouldn’t be mistaken for quality. After all, these are two totally different metrics. But are they? In 2014 it is becoming abundantly clear that online publishers have to understand the rule of quality in regards to quantity. Quantity matters, too. How? If you produce really solid content but it produce too little of it or you publish in a very erratic or spotty manner, chances are the overall level of authority your website generates suffer. In short, spotty or erratic marketing leads to spotty results. Authority is built through consistent marketing. You have to always communicate the level of value you provide to the lives of your readers. This is very hard to do when you are publishing on a very spotty schedule. You can’t establish credibility in drips and drabs. It doesn’t work that way. Get into your target audience’s head to produce effective titles Many websites like Upworthy.com get a lot of likes from Facebook because their editors spent a lot of time writing attention grabbing headlines. There are a lot of books you can read online regarding how to write hot headlines. There are all sorts of blog posts that claim to have the secret pass to really powerful headlines. It’s’ very easy to get tempted into thinking that there is some sort of magic arcane language
  • 3. that produces powerful headlines. The truth is, if you don’t listen to your target audience, you will not have a clue as to the headlines that get their attention. Headlines really measure how well you know your audience. If you find your click rates lacking or if your analytic say that your click to rates have a lot of room for improvement, use this as an opportunity to get inside the head of your target audience members. You have to remember that headlines work because they speak to emotional needs of their target readers. Your target readers aren’t just going to click just because you put out a headline. They are going to click certain headlines and they’re going to ignore others. At the very least, you should pay attention in to their click through patterns so you can see what kind of elements are present in certain headlines which are absent in others. By zeroing in on this emotional triggers you can increase your chances of producing headlines that get a maximum number of clicks each and every time. Don’t lose your audience’s focus with boring text Usually when people think of boring text they think about stuff that is not engaging. They think about very dry and lifeless text. They think about text that is written in garbled and mangled English with all the grammar rules tossed out the window. While these elements are part of the definition of “boring” text, this misses one key element. Boring text is not just about
  • 4. writing style or specific topics you focus on or the way you present your ideas. It’s also about formatting. Put it this way: Will you be excited reading a blog post that take the form of huge massive blocks of text? You’ll be intimidated, right? You’ll be scared of it you’ll bounce out of the page even if that blog text contained the mysteries of life or contained inner secrets to making billions of dollars. You’re not going to read it because it’s extremely intimidating. It looks like it’s going to be a chore to read. It looks inconvenient. The key to solving the boredom issue is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Looking at your text and how it’s formatted would you be intimidated? Would you want to click the back button? To fix formatting issues, make sure to include photos. Make sure to include diagrams. Make sure to include page breaks. Do anything that would break the boredom and give your readers some space to blink in between ideas and in between paragraphs. Challenge your readers One of the most common sins committed by online publishers is that they think their readers are stupid. They keep rehashing the same basic issues again and again and again. The truth is, if somebody read the same exact information from another website what incentive do they have to read the same exact stuff from your website? If they can find the same stuff from millions of other places, they really have no reasons to read the same stuff at your site. See what’s wrong with this picture? You have to challenge your readers. You can not assume that they are idiots. You can not assume that they’re dumb. In other words, don’t spoon feed your website’s readers. Instead, challenge them. Focus on key problems within your niche that other blogs or other websites failed to address. This is the meat and potatoes of real blogging. This is the meat and potatoes of real profitable online publishing. Unfortunately, most online publishers keep rehashing the same stuff over and over again. As a result, it’s not a surprise that many of these website’s visitors feel that they are being talked down to. They feel like they are seeing the same movie played again and again with the same bad actors and the same bad script. Eventually they reach a point where they throw their hands up in the air and give up. The websites that truly stand out are websites that challenge their readers. We’re not just talking about emotionally challenging content, we’re also talking about intellectually challenging content. The key is to create an experience where the users’ overall perception of the value of your website is as much a product of their own interaction as your contents own intrinsic value. This is the key. Too many cookie cutter and “me too” websites keep screwing the same dribble. That’s the good news
  • 5. because if you don’t do that and you stand out and you challenge your readers, you stand out head and shoulders above the rest. SEO is as much about social reach as link and text tricks The sad state of affairs of SEO in 2013 and earlier was that it was all about tricks. If you want your website focusing on shoes to rank high up there on Google, you’ll build all these back links targeting shoes and shoe related keywords. You make all these web to point on pages that contained garbage text that talk about shoes and you link them all to your main target site. Well thankfully, Google has destroyed that business model. Beginning with Panda and increase in intensity with Google Penguin and Penguin 2.1, Google has made it clear that the old ways of keyword sniping and cheap back link tricks no longer works. If you want to do real SEO, you have to pay attention to the quality of your content. In other words SEO has been sown into the DNA of your content. They are inextricable that they can not be separated. Previously, people would buy cheap content from Bangladesh, India, Philippines and other countries where English is a second language and just blast all that garbage out and then use software to blast back links out. For the longest time this was a great way to make tones money. Google destroyed that because Google is concerned about the end users experience. Now Google is saying we can determine the trust a particular piece of content gets by how much social mentions it gets. So if people aren’t talking about your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+, chances are your content is garbage. So you have to create content that has tremendous social reach. In other words you have to write content that has an emotional and intellectual draw. There has to be enough hooks there for people want to share your content. The fast emerging rule is if you don’t get shared in social media chances are your content is garbage. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Keep your eyes fixed on the ultimate price-conversion Getting lots of traffic is great. Getting a lot of people to click on your content to go to your website is great. Who doesn’t appreciate a pooling of Google Analytics and seeing lots of traffic? But at the end of the day, what puts food on the table is the amount of conversions your website generates. You should not lose sight of this. There are too many webmasters, too many online publishers focus on the small stuff. They focus on the chunk change. They focus on the unique visits, page views, and clicks but at the end of the day it’s whether people will put money on your pocket. If
  • 6. people aren’t buying you’re not eating, it really is that simple. So you have to always craft your content initiatives both on the generation and the promotion side with conversion clearly in mind. If you are not paying attention to bottom line results, you’re basically shooting yourself on the foot. No business can run on a deficit forever. You have to really wrap your mind around that concept that your blog, your website even though you ran it as a hobby or side project is a business. If you want to make money online, you have to do it as a business. A key step to running an enterprise like a business is to focus on return on investment. There is no better measure of ROI than conversions. Focus on conversions. Does your content leading to conversion? If not, maybe there is something in the pipeline that gets in the way of people buying the stuff you are pushing. Use evolution to your advantage Did you know that Gilead Sciences uses evolutionary theory to create anti HIV and anti AIDS medication? Evolutionary strategies produced all sorts of medicines. Evolutionary strategies produced all sorts of game winning plans and campaigns. Make evolution work for you. How? Use an evolutionary model to come up with winning content in 2014. This is simpler than you think. First, you pay attention to your statistics. Obviously, some pages on your website are getting more traffic than others. Look for those pages. Figure out what type of topics they talk about. Figure out what kind of formatting strategies you used. Figure out which website send the traffic. Once you get all these data points, you can come up with a profile regarding successful content. Now the next step is to test this theory. Create three or more different versions of the particular pages on your website that are getting results. Focus on certain principles for each of this variations. Next, you either drive free traffic or you buy paid traffic to push traffic to this test pages. Pay attention to the results they generate. Which of these pages generate the most click through or which of them produce the most conversions. Toss out the failures and focus on the winners. Figure out the principles and elements that produce results. Come up with more variations. Keep repeating this process until you come up with a formula that produces results time and time again. Eventually you will reach a level
  • 7. where you can almost predict how much conversions you’re going to make. Once you reach that stage you pretty much write your own paycheck. Make no mistake about it. 2014 is going to be a challenging year for people who make their money online producing content. If you want to earn top dollars in 2014, you have to be systematic and methodical in your content marketing strategies. You cannot be too emotionally attached to previous methods. Old tricks no longer work. By keeping an open mind and focusing on results with your content and you can make 2014 your breakthrough here. Marco Moeschter Get More From Me On marcomoeschter.com You Need More Traffic, Leads and Sales in the next 30 days? Click Here To Get My 9 Day Bootcamp Training! Your Look Behind-The-Scenes!

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