Well, it’s been a while since you’ve seen my byline around here at Copyblogger, but that’s for a few good reasons — I’ve had my head down and been working hard over at StudioPress (specifically, the all-new StudioPress Sites you’ve been hearing about).
If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll see that the StudioPress site looks quite different from how it has in the recent past, and that’s because we’ve been making the experience over there the best we possibly can for our customers.
That, and we’ve been building the next generation of StudioPress.
Here’s what we’ve been up to …
Introducing the brand-new, shiny StudioPress blog
A few weeks ago, we launched a new blog at StudioPress!
If you take a look at the address bar, you’ll see we’re using the .blog extension. You might be wondering why we chose to go that route, rather than just continue the blog on the main StudioPress.com site.
Our friends over at Automattic started serving up .blog domains late last year, and we jumped at the opportunity to secure this domain, along with a few other branded domains that made sense for our company.
I personally thought it would be a fun way to try something new but still keep a cohesive look between our main site and the blog. We are considering this an experiment.
On the StudioPress blog we’ll be publishing fresh content, including what’s new at StudioPress, announcements about theme releases, expert advice from our friends in the community, episodes
Have you ever wondered if your strange collection of skills and interests could be woven together to build a profitable business?
If you have, you’ll love today’s Hero’s Journey article.
Lauren Pawell is a rare breed: she has a background in development and marketing. That’s a combination you don’t see every day!
Some people might have encouraged Lauren to choose one field or the other. But she persisted and has built a business that artfully combines her many passions.
Lauren’s story is this month’s Hero’s Journey feature. We’re tapping the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. See all the Hero’s Journey posts here.
Read on as Lauren shares what she’s learned over the years and how you can use her hard-earned wisdom in your own business.
Building a one-stop revenue-building shop
Lauren Pawell: What sets Bixa Media apart is my background in both development and marketing. This allows me to sit at the intersection of business, technology and design.
We help entrepreneurs turn their WordPress and Shopify websites into revenue-generating powerhouses. We do that through a mixture of website design and development, content marketing, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and online reputation management.
Not only can we write killer copy, but we can also evaluate your technology options, decide which is best for your needs, and build everything for you, while keeping your business objectives at the forefront of the process.
I find our clients really value having a partner
On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Shay Bocks of Feast Design Company. Shay started hustlin’ in 2008 to connect her creative gifts and ravenous curiosity with the ambition of creative entrepreneurs. Nowadays, that dream has manifested into a full-time operation serving other dreamers just like herself.
Within the Genesis community, Shay is best known for her Foodie Pro theme, one that has continually been the best-selling theme on StudioPress. She followed that up with a theme called Brunch Pro and will soon be releasing a third food blogging theme called Cook’d Pro.
In this 31-minute episode Brian Gardner, Lauren Mancke, and Shay Bocks discuss:
How Shay’s first seven jobs shaped what she does today
Challenges she faces as a small business owner
The popularity of the Foodie Pro theme
What makes a successful food blogging brand
A recipe solution: the Cookbook Plugin
Subscribe in iTunes to Listen
To leave a rating or comment, visit iTunes.
The post The Business of Food Blogging: Is It Lucrative? appeared first on Copyblogger.
“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” – Steve Jobs
You’re creating great content to attract an audience. A loyal audience that comes to know, like, and trust you.
But what if you never get the attention of that audience in the first place?
What if your website visitors take one look at your well-written words and move right along because your page looks bland, boring, and amateurish?
You lose them at hello. Your words never have a chance to take root.
That’s where design can help. Design creates a welcoming first impression. It engages your site visitors and draws them in so they’ll actually spend time with your information.
It’s the difference between throwing some fast food on the table in front of your guests, and presenting a meal that’s carefully prepared, beautifully plated, and smells delicious.
Want to build up an appetite for your content?
Today’s post shares six design tips to make your website look so luscious, you’ll need to warn people not to lick their screens.
1. Think about your guests
Delicious design starts with an understanding of who you’re cooking it up for.
Knowing your target market and what they’ll respond to is crucial if you want to pick typefaces, colors, and images that will resonate with them.
What do you need to know about them?
Ideally, you have a grasp of their age group, predominant gender, and education level.
Bonus points if you are aware of psychographic details like what motivates them, what their
We’ve got a special treat for you on Rainmaker Rewind this week: the premiere of StudioPress FM, hosted by StudioPress founder Brian Gardner and Vice President of StudioPress Lauren Mancke.
Each week, they’ll help creative entrepreneurs build and grow powerful digital businesses. In this episode, they dive into the story behind StudioPress and the world of premium WordPress themes.
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.
StudioPress FM. Brian Gardner and Lauren Manke discuss all things digital design on the new StudioPress FM: The Story of StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner
Copyblogger FM. Pamela Wilson sits in for Sonia Simone and talks with Stefanie Flaxman about crafting magnetic headlines: Are You Leaving Money on the Table with Weak Headlines?
The Writer Files. Kelton Reid chats with Stephanie Danler, bestselling author of the acclaimed debut novel Sweetbitter: How ‘Sweetbitter’ Author Stephanie Danler Writes: Part One
Youpreneur. Chris Ducker and live-streaming star Alex Pettitt explore how live-streaming has changed the marketing landscape: The Live Video ‘State of the Nation’ Discussion, with Alex Pettitt
The Missing Link. To pay LinkedIn or not to pay LinkedIn … that is the question. LinkedIn expert Viveka Von Rosen is back to tackle this hot topic: LinkedIn Premium vs. LinkedIn Free, Part Two
And, one more thing …
If you want to get Rainmaker Rewind sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here on Rainmaker FM.
The post Rainmaker Rewind: The Story of StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner
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
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
This is an ode to your visual cortex.
It’s a little unsung hero that sits, unassuming, at the back of your brain.
It’s small — almost hidden — but it dominates your senses and creates the world around you.
And it’s hungry.
You see, your visual cortex is fast. It processes visual information faster than the rest of your brain processes words.
That’s why one of the most important things you can do to put a finishing touch on any piece of content is to add an image.
The image you add to your next post, podcast episode, or social media missive may connect with your reader in 13 milliseconds (or less). You’re able to convey meaning before a single word is read.
Images are powerful communicators.
Are you fully engaging your readers’ brains with images? If not, read on. We’re going to talk about how to find, choose, and use images so you can harness their power in all of your content.
Use an image to boost understanding and retention
On some level, we all know that images help draw attention to written words, even if just from our experience of paging through a website or looking at a social media platform.
Great images tend to make us stop and look.
There’s proof for this, actually. A 2013 study by MDG Advertising showed that content featuring compelling images averages 94 percent more total views than content without.
But there’s more.
Images don’t just draw eyeballs. They boost understanding (and memory), too.
Text and oral presentations are not just
Over the past few months, the team at Rainmaker Digital has been working hard to redesign Copyblogger.com.
We’re creating a new interface that will be easier to read and use. And we can’t wait to show it to you!
The new site isn’t quite ready yet. But in this post, we’re going to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming and why we’re making the changes you’ll see.
An easy-to-read serif font
For the first time in the history of Copyblogger, our text font will be a super clear and easy-to-read serif font.
What’s a serif font? Serifs are the little “flags” you see coming off the edges of letters. It’s a classic font style that’s perfectly suited for reading longer articles.
We’ll contrast the serif font, Freight Text, with our Proxima Nova font in headlines, subheads, and more. This combination should make it even faster to read and absorb the information you find here.
Streamlined style with abundant white space
Because Lauren Mancke — our resident design guru at StudioPress — designed our new pages, you know they’re going to feature abundant white space and be easy on the eyes.
Lauren’s magic design touch adds a feeling of light and openness to everything she creates.
Even though the new site features the same amount of information, it’s spacious and clutter-free.
Quick access to our vast archives
Speaking of easier to use, we’re going to display our categories below posts.
Since 2006, Copyblogger has provided top-notch content marketing education. That’s a lot of articles to
If your book cover stinks, your book is not going to sell … period.
We live in a world where first impressions mean everything when it comes to quick browsing/shopping. You’ve got something like a millisecond to get someone interested in your book through your cover.
Are you 100 percent sure your cover is right for your genre? Are you 100 percent sure your cover is using the right imagery and fonts?
If not, you’ll want to listen to this episode of Authorpreneur with master book cover designer Derek Murphy.
In this episode of Authorpreneur, host Jim Kukral and Derek Murphy discuss:
How to design a book cover that sells
The biggest mistakes authors make when designing book covers
How much should you pay for a book cover design?
Are pre-made covers worth it and should you use them?
Illustrations vs. stock photography? Which one is best?
Nonfiction vs. fiction book cover design secrets
Click Here to Listen toAuthorpreneur on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand digital business and marketing advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.
The post How to Design a Book Cover That Sells appeared first on Copyblogger.