11 Essential Ingredients Every Cornerstone Content Page Needs [Infographic]

Cornerstone content is the foundation of your content marketing plan.
It will help you establish a clear picture of the specific problems you can solve for potential customers.
As I said in Your Cornerstone Content Blueprint: Answers to 9 Common Questions, it can also help you achieve some even bigger goals, including:

Getting links to your website
Finding new readers
Attracting subscribers
Ranking in search engines for competitive keywords
Highlighting archived material

Accordingly, cornerstone content is vital for both seasoned bloggers and anyone launching a brand-new website.
In this article, we’re going to explain the 11 essential ingredients of a cornerstone content page and present everything you need to know in a handy infographic.
If you want to work on your own site’s cornerstone content with the help of the Copyblogger team, sign up for our Content Challenge below the infographic.
1. Keywords
The first step is keyword research.
A cornerstone content page will help you rank for keyword phrases in search engines.
Select 8 to 12 keyword phrases and create a cornerstone content page for each one.
Your group of keywords will also loosely define your area of expertise, which helps you build authority.
2. Headline
The headline for a cornerstone content page is built around a keyword or keyword phrase. Look at these examples from our own cornerstone content pages:

Content Marketing: How to Build an Audience that Builds Your Business
Keyword Research for Web Writers and Content Producers
Landing Pages Turn Traffic into Money

Each keyword phrase begins the headline, but remember that the rules of good headline writing still apply.
Also, the

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Why Sales Closing Rates Mean Less Than Ever in 2016 and Beyond

For many, many years, sales closing rates have had a major impact on businesses all over the world. If a consumer or prospect walked in the showroom, store, or office(or even called on the phone)—the skills of the sales person were everything. Case in point, let’s look at the automotive industry as an example. In…
The post Why Sales Closing Rates Mean Less Than Ever in 2016 and Beyond appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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How to Decide If You Should Go Wide or Deep with Your Content

Creating effective content is hard. I don’t want to deter you from crafting content for your business, but you need to set goals for everything you create.
Whether you produce content that is timely or evergreen, audio or text, knowing your goals will ensure you maximize the return on your time and resources invested in content marketing.
Each piece of content needs to be placed into one of two categories: wide or deep.
And each category has one specific goal:

Wide content attracts new audience members.
Deep content strengthens relationships with your existing audience members.

An effective content marketing strategy uses both wide and deep content, but an individual piece of content shouldn’t try to meet both goals.
Let’s explore each type of content goal.
Going wide with your content
When you create a piece of wide content, you attempt to reach the most readers, listeners, and customers as possible. In short, going wide is how to use content to find customers.
Wide content is not about immediate results. Instead, it positions your net to continually find new people who fill the top of your funnel.
You will notice a pattern with wide content: it’s perfect for repurposing. With a little planning and forethought, you will be able to repurpose wide content into different formats to reach a broader audience.
SEO helps you go wide
The foundation of all wide content is built upon SEO, and Google is a top source of new traffic and visitors to websites.
Because of this, we need

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3 Adaptive Content Resources for Advanced Marketers

Let’s say you own a yoga studio in a town of yoga enthusiasts. It’s called Om Depot.
You currently offer an equal number of Level 1, 2, and 3 classes every day.
Monday through Thursday, your Level 2 and 3 classes sell out and you have to turn people away, but your Level 1 classes only have a few students.
On Fridays, however, a yoga group for beginners visits your studio. Your Level 1 classes sell out and you have to turn people away, but there is plenty of space in your Level 2 and 3 classes because advanced students take private classes at a different yoga studio on Fridays.
Once you notice this pattern, if you don’t make adjustments to your class offerings based on your customers’ behaviors, you’re missing an opportunity to serve them better.
The same is true about the experiences you offer your website visitors. Wouldn’t your content, products, and services stand out if you could adapt each visitor’s experience to meet his or her needs?
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles about the first steps you need to take when you want your site to have adaptive content. They’ll show you:

How to fix your old, neglected, and broken content
How to identify site visitors (and why it matters)
How to personalize your content to boost conversions

Keep reading for a bonus that will provide additional adaptive content education.

A Brief Guide to Fixing Your Old, Neglected, and Broken Content

Before you can create customized

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A Practical Approach to Using Powerful Cornerstone Content on Your Site

We’ve been talking about cornerstone content a lot lately.
Not sure what cornerstone content is? Here’s a quick explanation:
Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the fundamental questions their newest prospects have. Cornerstone pages are informative, instructive, and they help your prospects understand the foundational information needed to interact with your business.
Cornerstone content pages answer those cocktail party questions. You know the ones I mean, right?
They’re those questions you get asked at a cocktail party right after you tell someone what you do:

How does [your business] apply to me?
Why did you get into [your business]? What motivates you?
How can I get started with [your business]?
What do I need to know to be smart about [your business]?
How can [your product or service] help me?
If I’m just learning about [your field of expertise], what do I need to know first?

In this post, we’re going to cover how to use cornerstone content on your site and invite you to join us for free cornerstone content education we’ll offer next month.
You heard that right: free cornerstone content education! If you can’t wait to sign up for that, scroll to the bottom of this post and get your name on the list.
How to make cornerstone pages into content stars
We recommend you set up cornerstone content as a page on your site, not a post. There’s a good reason for this.
You’ll want to grant cornerstone content pages “most-favored content” status. You don’t want them to get lost in the mists of

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Why Your Copy Needs to Pick a Fight with the Other Guy (Instead of Smiling and Shrugging)

What are you built to destroy?
That’s an aggressive idea.
The idea of being a destructive force.
After all, we build products to help people, to improve lives, to make happiness. We write about benefits and value. Our raison d’etre is to build others up.
We don’t destroy.
But… if we’ve created something better than the competition has created – if we’ve built something that our users are truly going to love – then does it, perhaps, behoove us to eliminate The Other Guy?
Is it our job as marketers to put up our dukes…

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Last Chance to Get Started with the Rainmaker Platform for Less

You’ve heard the story by now … our company (now known as Rainmaker Digital) was formed five years ago to create the Rainmaker Platform.
When we launched the Platform just over a year ago, it debuted as a powerful way to build a sophisticated website without code or development expense. It also took the pain of updating, securing, and maintaining WordPress and various plugins off of your plate.
Earlier this year in March, we introduced Rainmaker Pro, which includes marketing automation and a learning management system. As we head into 2016, we’re also adding integrated email into Rainmaker Pro, which will accelerate the power of the marketing automation features and allow for true adaptive content capabilities.
A huge shift in content marketing and digital commerce
Our vision for Rainmaker has never been to be only a powerful website builder. We want to provide a total online marketing solution, and that requires email, marketing automation, and advanced lead generation and nurturing.
The shift to adaptive content (which means providing a site visitor with the right information at the right time based on their behavior) is as profound as the shift from “brochure” websites to content-rich websites. Our goal is to provide people with the easy ability to create powerful online experiences for their prospects that makes them a lot more money.
With that in mind, we will no longer offer the Standard version of the Rainmaker Platform beginning at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, December 17, 2015. After that point, there will

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Mad Marketing 81:The Rise of Social Subcultures, Keyword Tools, SEO, and More

Hey, it’s podcast time everyone And in this episode of The Mad Marketing Podcast, we’ll be discovering the following: The Power of end of year reflections How we all mess up– even the supposed “experts” Great keyword suggestion tools, like: www.AnswerthePublic.com The Rise of Social Subcultures, and what it means going forward (as seen in…
The post Mad Marketing 81:The Rise of Social Subcultures, Keyword Tools, SEO, and More appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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13 Tantalizing Incentives that Will Build Your Email List

Need a quick way to entice someone to join your email list or register for your website? Give away something for free.
By giving away something site visitors can download or access instantly, you can break through your readers’ hesitations about handing over their email addresses. And you earn their trust by giving them something useful immediately .
Some call it a “bribe,” some call it an “incentive,” and some call it a “freebie.” Whatever you call it, this technique can bring in big results as a list-building strategy.
But finding the right incentive for your audience — something that really makes people stand up and take notice — can be tricky.
Whether they’re opting in to an email list or registering to become a free member of your site, they’ve got to overcome their initial hesitation.
How to create an irresistible incentive
As with everything in content creation, you need to keep your ideal customer in mind when you’re dreaming up your incentive.
What can you create that people will be incredibly excited to receive? You want them to look at your form and say, “Yes, I absolutely must have that!”
Start by generating a list of possibilities — ideas you can create quickly and test out.
To get you started with your own brainstorming, here’s a list of 13 ideas for enticing freebies to give away in exchange for an email address.
1. A cheat sheet
Everyone wants to do things the faster and easier way — sometimes

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Free Webinar: Make Your Content Adaptive with Marketing Automation

The right content for the right person at the right time.
That’s the goal of adaptive content.
The benefit to your audience is a more tailored, valuable experience. The benefit to you is a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your audience.
A smart adaptive content strategy can turn audience members into customers, and it can turn customers into repeat customers.
Next week, in our latest free Rainmaker Platform webinar, Brian Clark is going to explain what you need to know to plan a smart adaptive content strategy, and I’m going to show you how to use marketing automation to execute it.
The live event takes place on Thursday, December 17, 2015, starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Register for free here:
Click here to register:
Make Your Content Adaptive with Marketing Automation
And if you can’t make the live event, don’t worry … and still register.
By registering, you’ll be notified when the replay is available, so you can watch it on demand.
About the authorJerod MorrisJerod Morris is the VP of Marketing of Rainmaker Digital. He hosts The Lede and The Showrunner, as well as a daily show about living a balanced life called Primility Primer.

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