10 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer

Picture the set of a late-night talk show, circa 1983.
Allen Ginsberg is fat, bearded, and sitting in the interview chair. Long hair grows in unruly patches from the side of his otherwise bald head. His eyebrows sprout from his forehead like wild hawthorn in bloom.
He’s wearing a tie-dye t-shirt with a hole in it. His fingers are stained from nicotine resin.
Ginsberg, a former marketing researcher, wanted to talk about the generation gap, and what he said about the challenges youth had to face actually made a lot of sense.
But although he certainly looked the part of “legendary poet,” this audience didn’t take him seriously. He simply didn’t appear to be a credible expert who they could know, like, and trust.
What was missing?
Another type of expert
Fast-forward to 2003. There he is: completely bald, with a black, long-sleeved shirt tucked into blue jeans. This time, it’s Seth Godin presenting at TED — one of the most prestigious speaking gigs.
In a fluid and flawless presentation, Seth explains how to get your ideas to spread. He obviously knows what he’s talking about or he wouldn’t have been invited to speak. This audience wanted a credible expert — and they got one.
Godin wrote the manifesto for modern advertising: Permission Marketing. He can break 7 of the 12 so-called rules of blogging — and get away with it.
Why? Because he’s earned a tremendous amount of authority by showing up day after day for years, delivering something remarkable —

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5 Simple Steps to Breathe New Life into Old Content with SlideShare

Ready to reach a wider audience without having to create content from scratch?
Repurposing an old blog post into a SlideShare deck gives it new life and adds more value to your original content.
SlideShare decks can drive more traffic to your website and help you build your email list, too.
Here are five simple steps you can use to repurpose old content into a SlideShare deck.
Step 1: Select popular content
Once you know a blog post is popular on your own site, you can repurpose it to reach an even wider audience.
Posts that have strong visual elements also translate into compelling decks, and educational list posts easily convert into a slide format.
You can turn your latest “Top 10 Tips” post into a deck, with one tip on each slide.
Step 2: Plan your visuals
Check out the featured decks on SlideShare’s homepage for inspiration and to help you understand the types of visuals that work well on SlideShare.
As of December 2015, popular slide trends include photo backgrounds on title slides and screenshots of related social media posts.
For a detailed guide about choosing images for your slide deck, check out How to Fully Engage Your Readers’ Brains with Images.
Step 3: Repurpose your content
Outline your deck
First, break your content into an outline that will translate into slides. You can use mind-mapping software, or even index cards or sticky notes.
Listen to How to Create Videos and SlideShare Presentations that LinkedIn Loves for more on planning your SlideShare

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The Little Things that Will Make Your Brand and Business Great in 2016 and Beyond

  As we look ahead to 2016 and consider what’s needed to make us truly “great” going forward, I have a simple thought that has been crossing my mind in recent days: What are the little things we do that make us great? It’s a powerful question. It’s also a question we likely don’t ask…
The post The Little Things that Will Make Your Brand and Business Great in 2016 and Beyond appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


4 Quick Solutions that Spawn Radical Email List Growth

I know building your email list can be a painfully slow process.
Even if you have a tantalizing incentive to give away, sometimes your prospects may still be hesitant to sign up.
Since readers are increasingly cautious about giving up their email addresses, you need to build trust and put in extra effort to turn casual readers into email subscribers.
While the top of your site’s sidebar is the “traditional” spot for an email list opt-in form, you don’t want it to be your sole method for collecting email subscribers.
Today, I’m going to share improvements you can make to your site to grow your email list — and many take five minutes or less to implement!
How else can you get readers to subscribe?
Option #1: Blog post footers
If a site visitor takes the time to read one of your blog posts all the way to its end, he or she probably likes your content — so the footer of a blog post is the perfect place to ask that reader to sign up for your list.
You can add a permanent footer to each of your blog posts that prompts readers to join your list.
Check out this example from Copyhackers:

Option #2: Feature boxes
Feature boxes put your opt-in form front and center on your website, taking the place of a large graphic banner with your logo or other site branding.
A qualified designer can add one to your WordPress theme or you can use a

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Indispensable Writing Lessons from 3 Historic Creative Thinkers

Do you ever catch yourself romanticizing earlier time periods?
Thoughts like, “It was so much easier to establish authority with ebooks when they weren’t as common” or “I wish people still had longer attention spans.”
Before you get too bummed out, remember that digital content creators are currently well-positioned and previous generations had their challenges as well.
Even way back when long-form, romantic love letters were all the rage, a hastily scribbled note was the equivalent of today’s cursory, ambiguous text message.
But let’s see what we can learn from our creative forefathers — the ones who have made a powerful impact on contemporary writing and content marketing.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to kill writer’s block and become a master copywriter
How to demand attention
How to energize your content with made-up words

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

How to Kill Writer’s Block and Become a Master Copywriter in Only 3 Hours a Day

Check out How to Kill Writer’s Block and Become a Master Copywriter in Only 3 Hours a Day for a profound tale about Eugene Schwartz’s dedication to excellence — and keep reading to learn a simple writing practice that can help you focus on producing your best work.
Robert Bruce breaks down the system that enabled Schwartz to be a powerful and lucrative copywriter.
No fancy tools or gimmicks needed. This technique appeals to those

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The Hubcast 73: Inbound Jedi’s, The Dark Side of Google + & The Inbound Force

The Hubcast Podcast Episode 073         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. Inbound Jedi’s – HubSpot Accredited Trainers HubSpot recently released a new program…
The post The Hubcast 73: Inbound Jedi’s, The Dark Side of Google + & The Inbound Force appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


Last Day: Get Rainmaker Standard Before It’s Gone

This is it.
The last day of Rainmaker Standard’s existence.
After today, there will be no more Rainmaker Standard and no more Rainmaker Pro. There will simply be the Rainmaker Platform.
It’s everything you need — an all-in-one total online marketing solution that gives you the ability to create meaningful online experiences for your audience, which will make you a lot more money.
So by all means, jump right into Rainmaker Pro. We’re removing Standard from the sales page for a reason. And the price of the platform won’t stay this low for long.
But if you want to start your Rainmaker Platform account at the lowest available price — just without the learning management system, marketing automation, and integrated email — then claim your Rainmaker Standard account before it’s too late.
You must start your no-obligation, 14-day free trial before 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, Thursday, December 17, 2015.
After that, the Rainmaker Platform will merge into a single plan, and the starting price point is going to be 44 percent higher than what you’ll pay for Standard today.
That’s why there is no better time than now to get started.

Give it a test drive.
See if it’s for you.
Cancel within 14 days if it’s not.

If it is, you’ll have locked in the current low price, and you’ll be well on your way to creating remarkable online experiences that will bring you more revenue.
Start your free, 14-day Rainmaker Platform trial today
About the authorJerod MorrisJerod Morris is the VP

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Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference

A unique selling proposition (USP) is the reason people do business with you and not someone else — a winning difference that sets you apart and makes you the only real choice.
Traditional marketing advice will have you lock yourself in a cave for weeks listing all of the features of your business, translating them into benefits, then somehow finding that one compelling point that will differentiate you from everyone else you could possibly compete with.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach if it works for you.
But if it doesn’t, try throwing it out the window and doing it the cheap and easy way instead. We’re going to show you how today.
Three five-minute exercises to find your USP
Unless you’re launching FedEx, you don’t need a USP as robust as FedEx’s.
Try each of these five-minute exercises and see if they don’t shake loose a USP that will work for your site.
Remember that content consumers don’t go to just one blog, subscribe to just one site, or buy just one product. They want anything and everything about the topic they love.
That means your USP doesn’t have to beat everyone else out. It simply has to appeal to your target audience.
The Crossroads USP
To create a crossroads USP, take two seemingly unrelated ideas and bring them together.
The hit movie Speed was famously pitched as “Die Hard on a bus.” Clueless is Jane Austen’s Emma set in 1995 Beverly Hills.
You can create a crossroads USP by taking

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Mad Marketing 82: Thoughts on Reaching Our Potential and the Debate of “Effective” Content

Hello everyone! It’s podcast time and in this episode of The Mad Marketing Podcast, I’ll be musing on the following subjects: According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 38 percent of B2C marketers say their content marketing is effective. In B2B circles, this percentage is even lower — 30 percent. The value of answering customer questions (on your website)…
The post Mad Marketing 82: Thoughts on Reaching Our Potential and the Debate of “Effective” Content appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


A Business Built Around Mentoring Fledgling Lawyers

Some of the best businesses are built when an entrepreneur wants to right a wrong, and today’s story is a perfect example.
As a young lawyer himself, Chris Hargreaves saw that budding lawyers were thrown into the profession with little-to-no support. They were expected to figure things out for themselves, and as a result, took longer to get up to speed with their field.
And that was bad — for their clients, their employers, and their own careers.
Chris’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. Read all the Hero’s Journey posts here.
Now let’s hear Chris explain what he does in his own words.
Moonlighting as a mentor
Chris Hargreaves: By day I’m a full-time lawyer, but by night (and lunchtimes, early mornings, bus trips, and any other minutes I’m not attending to my wife and kids) I create media at Tips For Lawyers.
I help train young lawyers in the essential skills that are largely forgotten by university education. I genuinely care about the development of young lawyers — for their sake, for the sake of their employers, and for the sake of their clients.
Often what these young lawyers learn is ‘how it’s always been done’ — which is a terrible reason to do something the dumb way, but something that lawyers are renowned for.
The result? Their questions go unanswered, their issues go untouched, and their stresses

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