3 Resources to Help Content Marketers Learn About Smart Web Design

I like to snack. I’m a big snacker.
And I like to examine the packaging that houses my snacks. It’s a side effect of being a content marketer.
Recently, I studied the wrapper of a granola bar. One side listed the ingredients, and the other side was white with small, green polka dots.
Polka dots seem upbeat and happy — feelings the manufacturer wants you to have when you eat their granola bar, so that you associate their product with positive emotions and continue to purchase it.
But I have no idea if that was the intention; I’m no design expert.
That’s why I’m going to direct you to distinguished designers who will help you enhance your content with smart and beautiful web design.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to use visual hierarchy to create clear and easy-to-read web pages
How to use web design to better connect you to your audience
How to know when your web design is done

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini web design course for content marketers.

How to Use Visual Hierarchy to Create Clear and Easy-to-Read Web Pages

Website visitors get frustrated when they don’t have enough information to make a decision.
Without realizing it, you may be confusing your readers and making them guess about the actions they should take on your site, rather than clearly guiding them to your best content.
Pamela Wilson is here to squash

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3 Resources to Help You Write Thought-Provoking Content that Gets People Talking

While we want people to view, talk about, and share our content, we’re often afraid of negative reactions.
We might even refrain from publishing our writing because we fear that our projects will look “stupid,” despite our thoughtful efforts and hard work.
The day you overcome the fear of looking “stupid,” you’ll feel extremely free.
Overcoming that fear is a two-step process.
Step One: realize that creative folks who produce content regularly don’t necessarily think their work is brilliant and immune to criticism — they just don’t care anymore if it happens to be perceived as “stupid,” “bad,” or “pointless.”
How do you stop caring? That’s Step Two: you must have confidence in your work and accept that it will take on a life of its own after you present it to the world.
To help you feel confident about your creations no matter how they’re interpreted, today’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to become an experienced writer
How to communicate your expertise so you stand out from the crowd
How to write blog posts that make people want to work with you

As you study the following lessons, consider how you can produce meaningful work that makes you proud and sparks a conversation.

Are You Really a Writer … or Just a Copyist?

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Ritesh Nayak.
Raubi Perilli is on a mission to clearly define what it means to be a writer in Are You Really a Writer … or

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3 Resources to Help You Build Outstanding Online Courses

“Choosy moms choose Jif” is one of my favorite taglines, for peanut butter or otherwise.
The product’s message stands for more than just peanut butter.
Jif paints a subtle picture of an elite group: choosy moms. Choosy moms only buy the best food for their children.
Any mom who aspires to be part of a group of selective moms would value what Jif represents and feel good about purchasing the brand of peanut butter.
When you turn your educational content into an online course or membership site, how can you communicate to your potential students or members that you have the knowledge that will help them become the people they want to be?
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to structure and sell your natural expertise
How to attract students who want to learn from you
How to create a valuable lesson plan that sells your online course and motivates your students

How to Structure and Sell Your Natural Expertise

Chances are, you’re extremely knowledgeable about a certain topic.
Whether you know a ton about an industry you’ve worked in for years or a fun hobby you’ve mastered, at some point you might want to document your expertise and teach others.
But how do you organize your ideas and find the right technology solutions that help you distribute your lessons to students?
In How to Structure and Sell Your Natural Expertise, Pamela Wilson shares the first steps you need to take, so you realize

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3 Resources to Help You Achieve Digital Commerce Success

I’ve never claimed I invented the Internet, but at one time I thought I invented the idea of a digital business. Let me explain.
In 2008, I set out to establish Revision Fairy, my own online editing and proofreading service. Since I wasn’t planning to interact with any clients in person or over the phone, my business, which would also sell ebooks, was 100 percent digital.
I thought I conjured up a revolutionary concept because I didn’t know anyone else who had ventured into this unknown, pixel-dominated territory. Simultaneously, I was struggling because I didn’t know where to look for guidance about legitimate digital commerce.
Then I discovered a blog called Copyblogger written by a guy named Brian Clark (you may have heard of him). All of the practical content marketing and copywriting advice Brian wrote about made me feel like my idea to sell digital products and services was possible.
I studied Copyblogger daily because Brian understood what I wanted to accomplish. He provided the information I needed to keep following my vision — and the rest, as they say, is history.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to decide which content to sell and what to give away for free
How to create a digital home that welcomes visitors
How to put together irresistible digital product packages

How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free

If you’re wondering what type of content to give away

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3 Resources to Help You Get Smart about Your Social Media Content Strategy

The other night, when I was standing in line for a comedy show, the guy behind me glanced up from staring at his phone and said, “So many people these days are making a living off of social media.”
“Oh? Is that right?” I played dumb, hoping he would elaborate.
Social Media Guy continued to explain the “possibilities” for financial success on SnapChat, Vine, and YouTube.
“Hmmm. Very interesting,” I replied.
Since I was off the clock, I refrained from giving him a lesson about digital sharecropping and how the real beneficiaries of these social media “possibilities” are the companies who build social media platforms and encourage people to create content on them — on platforms content creators don’t own.
I saved that lesson for you. This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to avoid the trap social media networks want you to fall in
How to invest your time on social media in a smart way
How to create social proof for your products and services that is independent of any one social media network

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini social media content strategy course.

Digital Sharecropping: The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Content Marketing Strategy

Warning: the following information from a Fast Company article on distributed content — the practice of publishing original content to specific platforms — may disturb you.
Writer KC Ifeanyi’s main point is that “if distributed content is the

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3 Resources to Help You Draft Winning Content Ideas

As writers, we don’t really take breaks.
Even when we aren’t working, the creative lens through which we view the world keeps our minds active with possibilities.
And then you have to ask yourself: Should I be the one to bring a new idea to life?
To help you pursue smart content ideas, this week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to write content that attracts customers and clients
How to stand out with content that makes an impact
How to hook your audience through the magnetic force of fascination

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini content creation course.

5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave

Flickr Creative Commons image via Kevin Dooley. Image has been cropped.
While getting attention is not the same as getting business, Sonia Simone understands that it’s hard to tell if you’re on the right track if you only get attention and feedback from a small group.
You want a larger group of people to know about what you offer.
Sonia walks you through time-tested tactics that help you get traction and grow your audience in 5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave.

Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas

Content shock may discourage many content creators. There is so much information online, what will make people slow down and pay attention to your content?
In Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas, Demian Farnworth explains:
An illegitimate idea

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3 Resources to Help You Become a Professional Content Marketer

Professional content marketers think like students.
They study all of the content they consume with a critical eye, looking for ways to learn from smart techniques that others use.
But how do you know what works right now in content marketing and what doesn’t?
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to become a well-paid writer
How to form a professional support network
How to craft cutting-edge content ideas that grow your business

As you work your way through the material below, use each lesson as an opportunity to refine the way you approach content marketing.

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living

A sustainable career as a writer seems like an urban legend to many people:
Non-writer: What do you do for work?
Writer: I’m a writer.
Non-writer: No, what do you do for work?
Writer: I’m a writer.
Non-writer: Huh?
Well-paid writers who work in content marketing do exist, and there’s something special about their traits, abilities, and strengths.
Sonia Simone shares The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living to help guide you along your journey to becoming a professional writer.

How to Earn More Money (and Keep Your Sanity) by Developing a Professional Support Network

When Beth Hayden quit her day job to start her own business, she was naturally apprehensive about the unknown.
However, the support and encouragement she received from her network of media professionals gave her the confidence she needed to move forward.
In How to Earn More Money (and Keep

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3 Resources to Help You Create Exceptional Content that Grows Your Business

Content alone doesn’t grow your business.
Only the right type of content, combined with a focused strategy, has the power to connect with your target audience and inspire those individuals to take actions that help you achieve your business goals.
Do you know the difference between mere content and exceptional content that moves both your audience and your business in a positive direction?
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to use content marketing to achieve your business goals
How to produce remarkable content
How to offer tantalizing content samples that pre-sell your product

Don’t forget to join Brian Clark and Jerod Morris for their free webinar on Thursday, September 24, 2015 where they’ll walk you through a step-by-step strategy for using free downloads, courses, and member areas to create a great website experience that converts.
Space is limited, so grab your spot right now!
Register for Free: Create a Website Experience that Convertswith Free Downloads, Courses, and Member Areas

10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing

In 10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing, Sonia Simone sums up everything that needs to be said about content marketing.
We can all go take a nap now.
But, seriously, you don’t want to produce another piece of content without reviewing these 10 essential content marketing lessons.

The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content

What does remarkable content actually look like?
Pamela Wilson paints the picture for you as she walks you through The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable

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3 Resources to Help You Pinpoint and Thrive in Your Niche

“Drive-thru bakery.”
That is the ad copy on a billboard for McDonald’s on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.
Did you know the fast-food chain also serves baked goods? Now you do.
If you’re a busy Angeleno, why spend time parking and going in to a coffee shop to get a muffin or croissant when you can visit the convenient drive-thru bakery?
Since McDonald’s knows how to serve its customers in new ways consistently, the business thrives in the fast-food niche.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to determine if you’ve found the right niche
How to express yourself with your content and get more business
How to create the ultimate message for your clients and customers

Bonus tip: before you study the following lessons about pinpointing your niche, create a brand statement to clearly define what you do and whom you serve.

How to Know if You’re Entering a Viable Niche

Without peering into a crystal ball or making any claim about having psychic abilities, Sean D’Souza reveals How to Know if You’re Entering a Viable Niche.
You’ll learn how to perform proper research and take practical steps when you need to determine if your business idea is worth pursuing or if it might be a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Steal This Trick: What Confident Content Marketers All Have in Common

You may be concerned that you’ll never be able to stand out in a crowded niche.
In Steal This Trick: What Confident Content Marketers All

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3 Resources to Help You Become a (More) Productive Content Marketer

Each week on my show Editor-in-Chief, I discuss the editorial standards that can help distinguish your content from your competition’s.
Editorial standards for your content include both specific publishing tasks, such as fact-checking, and general publishing processes, such as systems for effectively managing a content calendar.
When you’re the Editor-in-Chief of the content you produce, you have a lot of decisions to make in a limited amount of time, so this week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that show you:

How to make the most of your writing time
How to get things done like a blue-collar genius
How to write one powerful piece of online content each week

Whether you need to produce content daily or once a week, these productivity lessons will help you master the content creation process.

The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day

If you’re striving to create content every day, check out The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day by Katie, The Wellness Mama.
Katie has more than a decade of experience as a professional writer, and she shows you how to use the system she has created to prevent writer’s block.

10 Productivity Tips from a Blue-Collar Genius

Image used with permission from Sasa Roksandic of roksandic.net.
Demian Farnworth attributes a large part of his strong work ethic to lessons he learned from his grandfather.
He says:
My grandfather will never make it into a management book. He won’t appear on a list beside Benjamin Franklin as an efficiency hero. But

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