How to Implement Kinder, Gentler Marketing: 4 All-Natural Truths

I have a love/hate relationship with a soap company.
About five years ago, I stumbled across their products online. They boasted rare and unique scents and naturally-sourced ingredients. They were irresistible (to me, anyway). And their prices seemed reasonable.
So, I placed an order. And that’s when my troubles began.
I had to share my email address to complete my transaction. You know, to “receive an order confirmation.”
Within days, I found myself receiving marketing email after marketing email. Coupons. Special sales. New soaps. New scents. Free shipping.
I imagined their marketing department high-fiving one other and saying, “We’ve got one on the line. Quick! Reel her in!”
And you know what? The products I received were exceptional. They smelled amazing (I’m a sucker for a unique scent). So, I stuck it out for a while. But not forever.
Because I knew how wrong my experience was. I knew there was a better way to market your business. A kinder, gentler way — one that doesn’t alienate the very people you want to nurture.
Time went on.
I sent dozens of their catalogs to the landfill — a new one came in the mail every few weeks.
Finally, I gave up. After placing a few orders, I contacted the company and asked them to please — for the Love of All that Is Holy — stop sending me catalogs. I clicked the unsubscribe link in one of their many emails and used the form on their site to let them know

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Four Stories: A Decade of Writing Occam's Razor!

An off-topic post this week, to celebrate this incredible outpost you’ve helped create on the web, Occam’s Razor.
This month my beloved blog is ten years old. T. E. N!
It feels more like five. But, I’ve already celebrated the blog being five years old!
I have to admit life has been a tad bit busy lately, and it took a note from a reader to remind me of the birthday. Her note read: “…. and it is pretty impressive that you’ve managed to stay relevant for a decade, it is a very long time in digital years…”
It gave me a pause. I had to go check how long I’ve been at this.
My very first post, audaciously, was titled Traditional Web Analytics is Dead (05/15/06). Given that title, it is amazing that the whole thing has lasted a decade! :)
What is frankly shocking is how topical the content seems to be. Five minutes ago, 05/30/06, in my stream I saw a tweet by Christian Bartens referencing a post I’d written on 05/19/06! The 10 / 90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success.
So today, a little bit of reporting back to you how things have been, a little reflecting my sense of pride on the journey, and an invitation to you to contribute a little story about your experience with my beloved blog. Would you please add it to the comment below? Where are you, how long have you been reading it, what value have you found in it?
The Story In Numbers.
You’ll see in a moment just how much you have been a part of my success, I have actual numbers! :) I’ll share below my journey over the last decade, what

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Rainmaker Rewind: Henry Rollins on Entrepreneurial Art

We have a special treat for you on Rainmaker FM this week …
Music legend and entrepreneur Henry Rollins joins Brian Clark on Unemployable to discuss how his career (including his role as frontman of Black Flag) has thrived due to a DIY-producer ethic, why he formed his own publishing company, and how he became a self-made media personality.
There’s a lot of other great content on the network these days, so be sure to check out the rest of the shows highlighted in this week’s edition of Rainmaker Rewind.

Unemployable. Henry Rollins joins Brian Clark for a second time to discuss music, entrepreneurship, and the art of self-promotion: Henry Rollins on Entrepreneurial Art
Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone dives into why focusing on email opt-ins is one of the most important content marketing practices: Content Marketing Best Practices: Getting Email Opt-Ins
The Digital Entrepreneur. Brian Clark and Jerod Morris explain how you should be using social media to connect with your audience: Does Your Social Media Strategy Need a Mindset Shift?
Hack the Entrepreneur. Jon Nastor chats with Paul Kortman about the transition from office life to entrepreneur life: The Reluctant Path to Becoming an Entrepreneur
Elsewhere. Charlie Gilkey welcomes Sonia Simone to The Creative Giant Show to chat about marketing, careers, and digital business: Sonia Simone on The Creative Giant Show
The Missing Link. Jabez Lebret and Steve Anderson discuss building authority and becoming an influencer on LinkedIn: An Influencer’s Guide to Building Your Authority on LinkedIn
Zero to Book. Jeff Goins

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The Price of Digital Commerce Academy Goes Up Today

The day I first told you about last week is now here.
It’s Friday, May 27, 2016 … which means that the price you will pay for an annual investment in Digital Commerce Academy goes up today at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time (6:00 p.m. Mountain Time, 7:00 p.m. Central Time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time).
The current price is $395 per year. That’s still our early adopter introductory price.
Today at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, the price will go up to $595 per year.
The crazy thing about the price is that when we start selling the full courses that are inside of Academy on their own, we’ll charge $495 per course. So the current annual price ($395) is less than the price of one course — and you get immediate access to all four courses.
Plus, you get access to all of the courses we add in the future, plus all of the weekly case studies and coaching Q&As, as well as the community. And it’s a fact … current members tell us that these aspects of Academy are even more valuable than the courses!
To get started with Digital Commerce Academy right now, so you can lock in the low price (for the lifetime of your account, even when the price raises again, which it will), click the button below:
Digital Commerce Academy
Build the Digital Business of Your Dreams
If you’re interested in creating digital products, please don’t hesitate. Your first step will never be this affordable again.
So take this step

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Landing Pages Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]

You’ve probably heard us talk about landing pages a lot around here.
There is a good reason for that.
When executed correctly, a landing page is a powerful tool that helps you gain new subscribers, sell your products, and more.
But what exactly is a landing page?
Watch our short, fun video about landing pages
With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.
Here’s our video for the definition of a landing page:
Animation by The Draw Shop
And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:
A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. Think of a golf course … a landing page is the putting green that you drive the ball, or prospect, to.
Once on the green, the goal is to put the little white ball in the hole in the grass. Likewise, the goal of the copy and design of a landing page is to get the prospect to take your desired action.
The goal could be to sell a product. It could be to get email newsletter sign-ups. It could be to download an ebook. Watch a video. Sign a petition.
The variety of landing page goals is endless, but the important thing to remember is to have one goal per landing page.
One page, one goal. Nothing more.
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Work/Life Balance, the Hustle Culture, and a New Journey

We live in unique times. Digital has changed everything. It has given us access to news, information, and the lives of other people as we’ve never experienced. We’re all connected. And we all seem really, really busy. But for many of us—present party often included—we find the influence of digital and social to be a…
The post Work/Life Balance, the Hustle Culture, and a New Journey appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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How to Calm Your Content Anxiety in 5 Simple Steps

It was an early morning of coffee, loud music, and blasting the internet with everything I could muster.
I had already published a few articles on my website, skipping the draft process. Then I scrambled to share them on every social media network and group chat that I could think of.
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Slack channels, Facebook groups, email newsletter(s) — you know the drill.
It was a copy/paste nightmare, but that’s what the “experts” had told me to do. The familiar phrases of “Content is king!” and “Blog every day!” were among the many maxims running through my mind that morning.
We are often told that your frequent presence online is vitally important. More interaction, more connection, more conversion.
This is partially true, but experience has taught me that excessive presence damages both your authority and your own personal fulfillment.
More content is not always better content
I was on a content-production rampage during this particular reinvention (yes, I’ve done this “online thing” quite a few times, and from scratch). Yet, I was just as internally frustrated as when I wasn’t producing any content at all.
The problem — obvious now in hindsight — is that more does not always mean better.
It’s the most basic of truths, known by everyone you’ve ever met, yet contrary to the mainstream teachings of many online “gurus.”
Instead of wasting your time with fruitless effort, here are five steps that will help calm your content anxiety and safeguard you against our shared tendency to believe frequency trumps quality.
Step #1: Adopt the “One-day-queue”

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One Skill that Will Take Your Writing from Good to Great

Halfway through the writing course, our instructor — not known for being one to sugar-coat — threw out a challenge:
“Send me a favorite piece of your writing and I’ll critique it; I’ll tell you whether or not it’s any good. The only catch is, I’ll be critiquing it in front of the entire class.”
A surprising number of us (bristling with hope and hubris I suppose) took up the offer. The ensuing session was, to date, the most illuminating experience I’ve had as a writer.
The key message we all took away?
Not that we needed to self-edit more tightly or have better ideas. It was this:
If we wanted to be truly great writers, we had to first write many, many words. And then we had to be willing to walk away from the majority of them.
Back to the session …
Find the single, golden line
The first thing our instructor did was throw most of our work straight on the scrap heap:
“Completely vanilla. If you have nothing new to bring to this topic, don’t add to the noise out there in the world about it.”
Next came her response to a 1,000-word piece of text. From it, she identified a single, golden line — the seed of a big idea:
“Start again with just that line. Throw away the rest.”
A rambling 900-word tribute to someone dearly departed? Ruthlessly whittled down to 250 emotion-laden words that cut the reader to the core.
At the end of the session, our instructor told

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7 Keys to Creating a Successful WordPress Plugin

If you want to build a software business, there are a lot of advantages to the world of WordPress plugins.
To begin with, you have a built-in audience of committed users. That audience is massive — around a quarter of the planet’s websites use WordPress. And that number is growing every day.
But we all know that “Build it and they will come” is a myth — for software or any other business.
There are tens of thousands of plugins with just a few downloads, and a few successful standouts.
Here’s how to put your awesome plugin in the second category.
#1: Start with the user experience
User experience should drive your code, not vice versa
Successful plugins are built on a foundation of excellent user experience.
WordPress expert and evangelist Chris Lema sees an awful lot of popular plugins.
He had this to say in his article on The one thing many WordPress plugin developers seem to forget:
“… Most developers seemed to think about the user experience only after most of the development of their plugins was complete.” – Chris Lema
His recommendations include:

Getting users involved early on — don’t try to design your plugin in a vacuum
Measuring the number of clicks to complete each main task — keep tasks as simple as possible
Designing the screens and experience before you write your code — experience should drive your code, not vice versa

Sometimes technical folks are tempted to start with the functionality first, then “figure out the user experience part” later. That’s a

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