Transform Your Business Website Using Our Free ‘Design 101’ Ebook

Is your current website design working for your business as well as it could be? You might know that it’s not, but don’t know where to start when it comes to a redesign. We understand that. Choosing a WordPress theme for your website can be a little overwhelming and leave you with lots of further Read More…
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Boost Your Search Engine Visibility with Our Free ‘Smart SEO Steps’ Ebook

As you develop your traffic and conversion strategies this year, knowing how to appeal to your human audience while optimizing for search is vital. Luckily, Rainmaker Digital CFO Sean Jackson wrote an excellent free guide that you can download right now — and you don’t even have to enter your email address. There’s no silver Read More…
The post Boost Your Search Engine Visibility with Our Free ‘Smart SEO Steps’ Ebook appeared first on Copyblogger.

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5 Steps to Website Security You Can Trust

Website security has never been more critical. Hackers, ransomware, and denial of service attacks are all concerns for modern business websites. Nothing will erode your audience’s trust in you faster than visiting your website and getting a security warning, or having Google flash a “You can’t trust this site” message in your search results. Even Read More…
The post 5 Steps to Website Security You Can Trust appeared first on Copyblogger.

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3 Important SEO Steps to Take Right Away

What if we’re thinking about SEO all wrong?
You won’t be shocked to see such a question posed on this site — one that harbors posts in its archive with headlines like SEO is Dead and What if You Could Simply Eliminate SEO from Your Life?
Don’t get me wrong: we’re not anti-SEO.
Heck, we were recently awarded a U.S. patent for the Content Optimizer we developed that now powers the SEO tools bundled with our premium WordPress hosting.
We’re just anti some of the misguided notions and incomplete narratives about SEO that masquerade as good advice.
And one of the most fundamental mistakes I see people make is not fully appreciating the full breadth of each of the three terms that comprise S-E-O: Search. Engine. Optimization.
Notice the placement of that first period after “Search.”
It’s time to think beyond traditional notions of “search engines”
It’s easy to group the terms “search” and “engine” together. And for a long, long time, it made sense to do so.
When we used to discuss “search engine optimization,” we were mostly talking about searches typed into Google, perhaps Bing, or (going back further) Yahoo.
But now it’s 2017.
The new search
Gone are the days of only typed searches. People now conduct more and more searches with voice commands. A recent article on Forbes, 2017 Will Be the Year of Voice Search, makes a compelling case.
And who knows what will happen when we all have chips implanted in our brains that can read our thoughts. We

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Better Content, Better Websites, and a Little Inspiration

On Monday, Brian Clark kicked off a new series of quick copy tips. These are short, powerful techniques that can make your copy more persuasive and get you to your goals faster.
This time, Brian taught us about the Proclamation Lead — a way to cut through the clutter and start your content with a bang. If you’re struggling to make your content stand out, or you just want a potent way to get your message across, give it a try …
On Tuesday, we welcomed our colleague Chris Garrett back to the blog. He wrote about 10 rather sad business website mistakes he recently saw over and over again while he conducted some site critiques — and solutions that will make things better.
And on Wednesday, I asked our editorial team to share their favorite quotes about writing. If you need a little dose of inspiration, there’s a lot to choose from there.
On the Copyblogger FM podcast, I talked about when to go negative with your content — and when to keep things sunny and light. Positive and negative messages both have their place in a smart content marketing strategy, if you deploy them at the right times.
That’s it for this week — have a great weekend, and we’ll see you Monday.
— Sonia Simone
Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

Capture and Hold Audience Attention with a Bold Proclamation
by Brian Clark

10 Often Overlooked Website Mistakes that May Harm Your Business
by Chris

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10 Often Overlooked Website Mistakes that May Harm Your Business

At a local WordCamp recently, I critiqued websites from a group of volunteers during a site clinic session.
While I noticed a number of common mistakes — like extra-loud, auto-play videos and other distractions — one of the weird things that stood out was how many real, substantial businesses had problematic web hosting and domain strategies.
With those in mind, I wanted to make sure you aren’t making the same mistakes. Let’s go through some of the worst offenses, shall we?
Mistake #1: Spending more money on business cards than your web host
It boggles my mind that a company with a great physical-world reputation would risk that goodwill by using a subpar web host.
In other words, if your coffee budget is 10 times higher than your hosting budget, you’re probably not getting a premium service.
Also, if your hosting company brags about having millions of customers, they might not be too upset if your site goes down — but the hit to your bottom line will be substantial.
Mistake #2: Choosing a domain nobody can spell or remember
You said “awesome-and-amazing-dot-com?” Was it “theawesome,” “the-awesome,” or just “awesome?”
Sure, many people are going to discover your site through links or search. But having a memorable (and easy-to-spell) domain does help you attract and retain visitors.
You can’t bank on them bookmarking your site during their first visit.
Mistake #3: Building your business website on a platform you don’t own
Digital sharecropping is even worse than a bad domain.
With this mistake,

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Practical Tips to Move You Toward Your Content Marketing Goals

This week is all about good, old-fashioned pragmatism. It’s about the specific tactics you can use to start getting the results you’re looking for — sooner rather than later.
On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman gave us some suggestions on timing when you want to approach that busy influencer with your killer idea or humble request.
On Tuesday, Jerod Morris let us know about the launch of Sites, a new podcast that helps you build the website you need to reach your goals.
And on Wednesday, I outlined specific steps you can take to gain momentum when no one knows who you are (yet). Your “1,000 True Fans” aren’t going to show up overnight, but there is a path you can take to get to them.
Over on Copyblogger FM, I talked about the “killer and the poet” — and what to do if you need a little boost in one of those two roles.
And … did we mention the new Sites podcast? I’m rather partial to the one that Jerod recorded based on my Digital Sharecropping post.
We have four episodes for you at this launch. Each episode of Sites focuses on one of the four pillars of a successful website: content, design, technology, and strategy. The episodes are punchy and focused, and will get you right to the information you need.
That’s it for this week — have a great weekend, and we’ll see you Monday.
— Sonia Simone
Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

When

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How to Build a Better WordPress Website … One Week at a Time

What is the key to building a better website?
Well, you first need an idea. And it needs to be useful.
Next, you need to start with the right stuff, the right raw materials. You clicked on the headline of this post, so perhaps you’re already using WordPress or strongly considering it. Good choice. Continue down that path.
After that, you have to be willing to hit Publish. Whether you’re starting your own food blog, marketing your copywriting business, or building an audience for your coaching services … you have to put your story out there on the web for all to see. That can be scary. It’s also empowering.
What comes next?
Find a path for continuous improvement
A few years ago, I wrote an article on Copyblogger titled How to Immediately Become a More Productive (and Better) Writer. A book I had just read called One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer inspired that post.
The book takes its cue from the Japanese concept of kaizen, which means continuous improvement — or, to be more specific, the process of achieving sustained success through small, steady steps.
This concept spoke to me then. It continues to speak to me now.
It’s so easy, especially in today’s environment of ubiquitous distraction, to get lost in big ideas and forget about the inevitable series of small steps it takes to achieve them.
I am easily prone to this. I’ve learned this about myself. I have to be intentional about pulling myself

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Today’s the Last Day to Get a Great Deal on Your New StudioPress Site

Heads up, today is the last day to get your first month free, plus no-charge migration of your existing WordPress site to a brand-new, easy-to-use StudioPress Site.
You’ve got until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, April 28, 2017 to get the deal. Simply click this link and the incentives will be applied at checkout.
I’ve included the original post below for more information if you missed it. See you on the other side!
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It’s been less than three months since we launched StudioPress Sites, our new solution that combines the ease of an all-in-one website builder with the flexible power of WordPress.
The response and feedback have been phenomenal. And the icing on the cake is that we’re already winning accolades.
In an independent speed test performed this month by WebMatros, StudioPress Sites was declared the undisputed winner. We’re thrilled, because we were up against formidable competition from WP Engine, Flywheel, Media Temple, Pressable, and Bluehost.
As you know, speed is important. If a page takes more than a couple of seconds to load, users will instantly hit the back button and move on.
But that’s only part of the story. Because unlike those other hosts, with StudioPress Sites you just sign up and quickly set up, without the usual hassles of self-hosted WordPress.
WordPress made fast and easy
The primary difference between a website builder and self-hosted WordPress is that with the former, you’re dealing with software as a service (SaaS), while the latter is … well, hosting. Not only is self-hosted

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Practical Strategies for Smart Content Creators

Before we get started — just a reminder that if you’ve been thinking about moving your site to StudioPress Sites, this is a fantastic week to do it. Not only will you get your first month free, we’ll even migrate your existing WordPress site for you. Also for free. Hooray for free, my favorite amount.
StudioPress Sites lets you keep the power and flexibility of WordPress … without the hassles. The special deal ends a week from today, on April 28, 2017, so go check it out now before you forget.
On to the content! On Monday, Jerod Morris explained how he’s leveraging those impressive new-dad time management skills to get more efficient at content creation. He walked us through a great way to take a single strong idea and turn it into multiple formats, without spending a ton of time.
On Tuesday, Brian Clark showed exactly how to build a content strategy for a business or project … demonstrating how he’d approach a specific persona with a specific sequence of relevant, useful messages. Twenty bonus points if you can catch the incredibly subtle promotion he works in there …
And on Wednesday, I wrote about the magical powers of doing your homework. It may not sound sexy, but when you approach influencers or companies and they don’t curse at you and mark you as a spammer, you’ll find out how sexy homework can be.
Over on the Copyblogger FM podcast, I talked about what I suspect was

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