Sometimes content marketers forget that content isn’t only a game for wordsmiths.
In fact, there’s a thriving community of visual content creators who have built robust businesses around what they do. And one of the most scaleable ways to do that is to craft high-quality premium WordPress themes.
But there’s a lot more to it than “build something beautiful and the customers will show up.”
In this post, I want to talk about what it takes to succeed as a WordPress theme designer in today’s environment.
Once upon a time, all WordPress themes were free. The robust open-source CMS (content management system) attracted enthusiasts of all kinds, who made themes that looked good and suited different tastes.
Today, WordPress has grown to power a quarter of the world’s websites — and premium (paid) themes are the norm for professionals, businesses, serious bloggers, and even passionate hobbyists.
That wealth of premium themes poses a new challenge for designers: the sheer number of great-looking themes out there. There’s more competition than ever, and a lot of them are gorgeous
But : there’s still room for someone with solid design skills to make a name (and a great business) as a theme designer. And it starts by thinking as a business owner first.
Here are five points of focus on your path to building your premium theme empire …
#1: Business know-how
No matter what kind of digital business you might want to build — and WordPress themes fall squarely into this category — you
In this interview, we sit down with Luke Summerfield from HubSpot to chat about the plight of web design in 2015. What Is Growth Driven Design? We start off by talking about what Growth Driven Design is. Why is there a need for Growth Driven Design? Luke and I quickly jump into answering, what can we…
The post Growth Driven Design: The Good, The Bad, & The Awesome – Guest: Luke Summerfield appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.
The Hubcast Podcast Episode 070 Welcome back to The Hubcast, folks: A weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below, including some new HubSpot video tutorials created by George Thomas. Happy Thanksgiving to the Hubcast Listeners The Best Dish Ever! : )…
The post The Hubcast 70: An Attitude of Gratitude as an Inbound, Content & Life Strategy appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.
Let’s compare bland content to plain bread.
Plain content bread isn’t going to build an authority sandwich for your business; it’s fairly easy to produce and many other places offer it.
Editing and proofreading are the peppercorn-crusted turkey and applewood-smoked bacon you need to layer on top of your plain content bread.
With peppercorn-crusted turkey and applewood-smoked bacon (and maybe even some Dijon mustard or horseradish mayonnaise), you’re able to craft an engaging experience for readers — something savory, a little spicy, and more robust than all the other plain content bread out there.
Building an audience is hard work because you have to offer people an experience they don’t get anywhere else. The winning details that make your content a go-to resource can emerge during the time you take to edit and proofread.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:
How to objectively review your own writing
How to transform your content into persuasive and shareable works of art
How to catch more writing mistakes with an underutilized proofreading trick
As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini editing and proofreading course.
The Traffic Light Revision Technique for Meticulously Editing Your Own Writing
I can give you an example of how editing played an important role when I wrote the introductory paragraphs above.
I originally compared editing and proofreading to “peanut butter and jelly.”
A draft of the opening section was complete with this analogy, but when
Here at Rainmaker Digital, we’re riding an iterative loop. It’s how we do business.
We listen, we create, we offer, we improve, and the cycle goes on.
Approaching your content strategy as an iterative loop will help you create useful, in-demand information that serves your customers and builds your business.
Out in the business world, this approach is called design thinking. And design thinking is in the news right now. Harvard Business Review ran a cover story on it this past September. The New York Times featured it earlier this month.
Here at Copyblogger, we’ve been talking about design thinking since 2010.
Design thinking isn’t difficult — it’s just different. It requires a mindset shift that will change the way you create products, content, and customer experiences.
What is design thinking?
It might be easiest to answer this question by comparing design and design thinking.
Design is about making objects functional and pleasing to the eye. Traditionally, design has been a discipline that was practiced by the small percentage of people who’d studied it or those whose aesthetic sense made them especially qualified.
Design thinking is about developing products and services using a methodology that puts the customer’s needs and experience at the forefront. It’s a different way to approach the development process.
Design thinking is driven primarily by audience needs, and the fruit it bears is based on the challenges and problems they face. It’s about looking at how real people interact with your products and services, and adapting them so
Once in a while, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to publish a piece of stunning content without writing it from scratch?
You’re in luck, content marketer, there is.
But wait … No doubt right about now you’re wondering if I’m depriving some village of their idiot.
If maybe I hit bottom and kept digging? If maybe I’m about to introduce you to the content creation version of the ShamWow?
Relax. What I’m saying is completely achievable. It’s called republishing.
Republishing is the process of updating and polishing an old article — and then publishing it on a new date. That’s it.
It’s something we do here at Copyblogger. It isn’t necessarily an easy publishing option either, if you want to do it right.
Dedicating time and effort to republishing benefits your content marketing efforts in several ways.
Today we’re going to explore five, as well as the steps to take to republish your own content.
1. Expose old content to a larger audience
When you update and republish a piece of content from the past that your audience enjoyed, your current audience gets a chance to consume and enjoy this content as if it were new.
For instance, excellent articles Brian Clark wrote back in 2007 can be updated and shared with the much larger audience Copyblogger has today.
That new exposure has positive effects …
2. Attract more links and social shares
Here’s one of those positive effects: because the URL stays the same, republished content gets a new chance
Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it.
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.
– Charles Bukowski, Style
The concept of style has multiple layers of meanings, and this week’s Copyblogger Collection contains multiple layers of insights.
At first glance, the following is a series of three handpicked content marketing lessons that will show you:
How to tell a meaningful marketing story
How to optimize every blog post you write
How to avoid landing page pitfalls that make you lose business
Within these lessons, however, you’ll also discover three different types of infographics.
Infographics visually depict your unique perspective and immediately communicate style.
As you work your way through the material below, consider how you can attract new readers with intriguing illustrations that complement your written content.
The Amazingly Simple Anatomy of a Meaningful Marketing Story [Infographic]
If you think silent films are outdated in our current talkative world, think again.
Demian Farnworth never misses an opportunity to pay tribute to outstanding storytelling practices.
The Amazingly Simple Anatomy of a Meaningful Marketing Story [Infographic] breaks down the elements of stories that get under our skin and stick with us.
When you understand these elements, you can use them to craft powerful messages for your audience.
11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]
The content you produce to tell your marketing story needs to be unparalleled in quality and value.
Email subject lines are our first (and sometimes only) chance to make a good impression on our subscribers, so making them interesting and compelling is essential to your email marketing success.
If you miss your chance to capture and hold their attention, your subscribers are less likely to open your emails, read your content, and click on your call-to-action links.
Today we’re going to cover the elements of captivating subject lines and how to discover which types of subject lines work best for your specific audience.
Let’s get started.
General guidelines for effective email subject lines
Writing subject lines that inspire people to open and read your emails is both an art and a science.
To get your subscribers to open, read, and click on the links in your email messages, thoughtfully craft the subject line of every message you send.
Your subject line is like the headline of a piece of online content — you get one shot to encourage your recipient to keep reading.
If you’re just getting started (or you’re not sure where to begin), here are some guiding principles for crafting compelling subject lines.
Your email subject lines should:
Provide a succinct summary. Forty characters or five-to-ten words is standard.
Create a sense of urgency. Why should your reader open your email now?
Match your content. Don’t misrepresent the content of your email — it annoys your subscribers and could increase your unsubscribe rate.
Arouse curiosity in your readers. What will inspire them to open your email and check
There’s a certain type of client who’s naturally drawn to Amy Butcher’s work. And there’s a certain type of client Amy Butcher is naturally drawn to.
The common thread?
Amy helps nonprofits, research institutes, and public sector agencies craft ultra-effective content. Her words help them get more support and more donations.
Her words help them change the world.
Once a month here on Copyblogger, we tap the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world.
For this month’s Hero’s Journey feature, I asked Amy to remove her superhero cape momentarily to tell us more about her business — who she helps, and how she helps them.
Here are her answers in her own words.
The universal theme that ties her clients together
Amy Butcher: I’m a translator, writer, content marketing consultant, and editor. I help organizations use content to get more support.
And I help self-published authors take their memoirs, business books, and novels to the next level to drive book sales.
Overall, I tend to connect with people who are passionate about helping others and changing the world.
Solid content and a dash of spice
Amy Butcher: I offer my clients both structure and style. I help them organize their content in clear ways while adding a dash of ye’ old razzmatazz.
I don’t sit around talking about content problems. I get on with hunting them down and fixing them with my trusty utility belt, courtesy of Copyblogger.
Cartoonists don’t think straight.
If you tell them about cars, they think of chewing gum.
If you talk to them about dinner, they think of heel balm.
In short, they force-fit thoughts that may have no connection to each other.
But what’s a cartoonist got to do with the opening paragraphs of your article?
When you think about it, most of us get stuck while writing introductions.
Let’s say we want to write about “growing tomatoes in a small space.”
What are you thinking of right now? Sure, “tomatoes in a small space.” Which is fine to start, but it’s plain and boring.
How can you find an enticing angle to fascinate readers?
Think like a cartoonist to grab attention
As you likely already know, your article is only part information — the other part is entertainment.
An analogy or story helps wake up readers and attract them to your writing.
They add surprises we don’t expect. A surprising outlook grabs our attention — and keeps that attention.
In a world where everyone starts articles the same boring way, you have a chance to stand out.
Instead of yet another drab opening to your article, think a bit creatively — a bit like cartoonists do.
And as a cartoonist/writer, here’s my advice on how you go about creating a perky start to your article.
Let’s look at an example about an article on the topic of “malware”
Now, “malware and computers” are related. So again, what are you thinking of?
“Malware and computers,” right? Or you might