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7 tough love tips to boost your freelance income and more

7 Tough Love Tips to Boost Your Freelance IncomeFreelance writers receive a lot of happy-crappy “how to increase your income” advice.

It’s not that the advice is wrong (heck, I’ve discussed those tips, too.) It’s that the advice only goes so far.

“Charging more money” doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know your numbers. And there are a lot of writers out there making six figures without a niche.

So, how do freelance copywriters boost their income?

Create Content Success with a Cohesive Content ExperienceCreate Content Success with a Cohesive Content Experience

One of my favorite things about content marketing is the ability to create an experience. Instead of buying a single ad, you can use different kinds of content to do different work strategically.

This week on Copyblogger, we shared ways content can create an experience for your audience and help you strategically move people in alignment with your business goals…

Be Your Own Boss: 10 Free Business Resources for WritersBe Your Own Boss: 10 Free Business Resources for Writers

Want to be your own boss and make a living writing? If you’ve got solid writing skills and even a little marketing savvy, you’re already ahead of the game. But there’s more to freelance writing and running your own business than being a great writer and smart marketer.

Fortunately, help is available. And if you know where to look it’s free or available at a low-cost to help you build your freelance writing business, move up and earn more.

Want to be your own boss? Check out these free business resources for writers:

 

 

The Content Path: Moving from Attention to ActionThe Content Path: Moving from Attention to Action

We work so hard to get attention. We craft our headlines to make them irresistible. We strive to display enticing images that make a great first impression. If we’re Copyblogger readers, we think about finding that perfect balance of meaning and fascination that will pull our audience right into our content.

But what do we do with attention once we get it? One of my favorite aspects of content marketing is the way we can use content to pave a comfortable path for our audience to move toward a purchase. Attention matters — because if you can’t capture it (and keep it), nothing else happens.

How to Hook Your Ideal Prospect with Content that ConnectsHow to Hook Your Ideal Prospect with Content that Connects

When it comes down to it, “content” is simply information. And in an age of information (and opinion) overload, your content can contain incredibly valuable information and still be easily ignored.

This is the opposite of the “clickbait” problem. In that case, you have a compelling headline that leads to worthless information. The ideal scenario is to have a great headline (effectively a promise to the prospective reader) that delivers on, and hopefully exceeds, the expectations created by the headline.

Ultimately, what you say (the information) is the most important thing, because the wrong information is simply not meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract. But how you say it is still indispensable in an environment overflowing with information — both of high and (too often) low quality.

Great content boils down to two essential elements: meaning and fascination.

Why I Spent $500,000 Buying a Blog That Generates No RevenueWhy I Spent $500,000 Buying a Blog That Generates No Revenue

In early January 2017, I purchased the KISSmetrics website for $500,000. If you go to the site, you’ll notice that it forwards here to NeilPatel.com (which I will get into later in the post). The $500,000 didn’t get me the company, KISSmetrics, or any of the revenue streams. The parent company, Space Pencil, is continually improving and developing the product.

And on top of that, there are restrictions. I can’t just pop up a competing company or any company on the KISSmetrics site.

So why did they sell me the domain? And why would I pay $500,000 for it?

I can’t fully answer why they sold it, but I do know a lot of their customers came from word of mouth, conferences, paid ads, and other forms of marketing that didn’t include SEO or content marketing. See, I already have a revenue stream, which is my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital. So, my goal is to find as many sites that have a similar traffic profile to NeilPatel.com and leverage them to drive my agency more leads.

Is This Inappropriate Emotion Killing Your Freelance Writing Rates?Is This Inappropriate Emotion Killing Your Freelance Writing Rates?

NOTE: Feel like you’re stuck with low-paying clients that will never pay higher freelance writing rates? This post is for you. Enjoy! —Carol.

Want to make money from home as a freelance writer? I’ve got a question for you today, writers. How do you feel about your freelance writing rates and the clients you work with?

I ask because today’s topic is just that — the feelings we have for our clients. Because business isn’t all dollars and cents. It’s also relationships. Our clients are people, too.

But some feelings freelance writers have are sadly misplaced, and really hurt your ability to earn higher freelance writing rates. Check out what a couple of writers said to me recently, and I think you’ll start to see what I mean:

Avoid ‘All-or-Nothing’ Advice to Get Smarter about Your Business and MarketingAvoid ‘All-or-Nothing’ Advice to Get Smarter about Your Business and Marketing

Most sites that teach digital business and marketing have absolutist prescriptions.

But the web is a complicated place. And rigid, black-and-white advice will only take you so far. This week, we talked about three ways to navigate the subtleties of conducting business online.

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The death of influencer marketing, how journaling habits can change writers and more

Is Influencer Marketing Dead? A Hard Look at The Newest Data (and What You Can Do Instead)Is Influencer Marketing Dead? A Hard Look at The Newest Data (and What You Can Do Instead)

Is anyone having deja vu? Every time a new marketing tactic becomes more mainstream, marketers and researchers inevitably wonder if it has peaked and started to lose its effectiveness. We’ve seen this before with SEO, email marketing, Facebook marketing, and many others. It’s a fair question to ask, though. […]

 

 

How 6 Months of a Daily Journaling Habit Changed My WritingHow 6 Months of a Daily Journaling Habit Changed My Writing

I’ve been a sporadic journaler all my life. About six months ago, I decided it was time to start a daily journaling habit. We’ve all heard that writing more frequently makes it easier to write more, and between my motorcycle blog, Copyblogger, and other personal projects, I wanted to see if I could activate that superpower in myself.

When I read that habits can help you slow down, my neglected journal came to mind. Maybe a daily journaling habit would help me learn to slow down and hear myself think again …

How I slashed my evergreen course refunds with 7 gamification hacksHow I slashed my evergreen course refunds with 7 gamification hacks

Right now is a fantastic time to create an online course and teach others.

You can transform lives with an online course: your students lives, and yours. Perhaps you’ve already created a course and launched it. Or you’re thinking of putting a course together but you keep letting things get in the way. Like the whole Time Factor: you’re too busy to do what you’ve already got on your plate. How do you squeeze more hours from your already-swamped day to allow for another project? How can you still teach others, provide value and get compensated well for it – but avoid the time-intensive requirement of launching and running live courses?

Answer: by removing yourself from the equation and switching your live course to an evergreen one.

Switching to evergreen is super easy… right? Wrong…

Why Businesses Can’t Ignore Google AMP StoriesWhy Businesses Can’t Ignore Google AMP Stories

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project was launched by Google in February of 2016 with the goal of putting mobile performance above everything else on the web.

AMP powers more than two billion mobile pages and 900,000 different domains. Pages with AMP now load twice as fast as pages without added AMP elements.

If you think you can ignore AMP, you’re wrong. AMP has some pretty awesome features and benefits that can take your content creation efforts to the next level.

If you don’t take the time to understand or use AMP stories, you’re missing out.

Weak Email Marketing and Nickelback Have Less in Common than You Might Think

I’ve never admitted this to anyone before: I don’t always change the radio station right away when a Nickelback song comes on. See? That first line wasn’t hyperbole. How embarrassing.

Why is this song still in the DJ’s rotation? Don’t they know it’s Nickelback? It’s just like weak email marketing … the public disapproves of it, but it persists. After patting myself on the back for a moment about that comparison, I realized my logic wasn’t accurate. People pay attention to Nickelback…

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Master meta descriptions with snippet trick, paid to write poetry and more

How to Master Meta Descriptions With the Google Snippet TrickHow to Master Meta Descriptions With the Google Snippet Trick

Last week, I came across a Yoast article discussing Google’s longer meta descriptions (Google doubled the room we have for meta descriptions last year — from 160 characters with spaces to 320.) Basically, the author is saying that Google will often disregard our submitted meta descriptions and use a snippet of text from the landing page, instead.

(For those new to snippets, you’ll find the meta description snippet underneath the clickable link on the search engine results page — and the search term — or close variations — are typically bolded.) Is this true? Is Google doing a meta description switcheroo?

Yes. But, here’s the deal… When you write your page copy, try to include a benefit statement or call-to-action near the first instance of your main keyphrase (which is typically in the first paragraph.)

Get Paid to Write Poetry: 14 Markets for Freelance WritersGet Paid to Write Poetry: 14 Markets for Freelance Writers

 

Want to get paid to write poetry? If that sounds like a far-fetched idea, you’re not the first writer to think poetry is a low-paying dead end. But it’s not impossible to get paid for your prose, and get a byline for publishing poetry.

If you want to tap into your more creative side, write poetry, and get paid for your musings, check out these poetry markets:

 

Stop Targeting Keywords and Start Targeting Customers

Stop Targeting Keywords and Start Targeting CustomersFor years we’ve all been taught that the first step to creating content that ranks is to target keywords. For years, the ability to rank high in SERPs seemed to rely heavily on two things. First, pick keywords that are high traffic and low competition. Then, practice keyword density.

This is no longer true.In fact, Google views too high of a density as keyword stuffing, which they will punish. Keyword research is still important, but the way we should be implementing it has changed.Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated. It’s now smart enough that it no longer has to rely on simple keywords to tell it what your content is about.

If you want to be rank high in SERPs in 2018, you’re going to need to start targeting your customers and not just keywords.

4 Vital Elements of an Appealing Offer4 Vital Elements of an Appealing Offer

If you’ve got something to sell, at some point you’re going to need to present an offer. Sounds simple, and it is. There’s just one problem. Too often, we get caught up in how much our prospect should want what we’re feeding them. And then we get surprised when they respond like a toddler faced with a bowl full of broccoli ice cream.

When you get your job and their job confused, you create a lot of problems. When you’re asking for a sale from a potential customer, you’re working with the same equation. It’s your job to create an attractive offer. It’s the prospect’s job to say “yes” or “no.”

How to Fix 5 Conversion-Killing Copywriting Mistakes

How to Fix 5 Conversion-Killing Copywriting MistakesA sales page lies at the end of the conversion path. When a prospect arrives on that page, it’s the result of a lot of planning and hard work. So the next part really sucks.

Because most of those visitors will leave the page without buying anything. Fortunately — a small silver lining — there are ways to reduce the number of leavers. Some of those people leave as a result of totally avoidable mistakes we’ve made when writing the sales page. Let’s go through five of these mistakes, one by one, and figure out how to correct them…

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Drive Traffic. Here Are 6 Alternative Strategies

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Drive Traffic. Here Are 6 Alternative Strategies.As marketers, we invest a lot of our time and energy into SEO. Considering that Google receives over 66,000 searches every second, we’d be stupid not to. But when it comes down to it, Google and other search engines are just one of the many ways you can drive traffic to your website.

In fact, depending on your target audience and competition, Google may not even be your best traffic source. To prove that you don’t need Google to drive traffic to your website, here are six alternatives that can help boost your visits.

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Rank for multiple keywords with one piece of content and more

 

How to rank for searchKeyword targeting is dead. Algorithm changes such as Google’s RankBrain have all but killed your ability to rank well using keyword targeting. I bet you’re wondering why I’m about to talk about ranking for keywords then, right? Well, there’s a difference between using keywords and targeting keywords. Keywords are […]

In other words, matching the exact phrase is becoming irrelevant, and it’s much more important to match intent.

Announcing: The Copyblogger Book Club!Announcing: The Copyblogger Book Club!

Now that we’ve started the Killers and Poets Facebook group for our community, we have the perfect venue!

I hope you’ll join us inside the group to talk about our first book club selection: Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula Le Guin

Steering the Craft is all about narrative — whether that’s creative nonfiction, a novel or play, or even a well-crafted case study from a smart content marketer.

Earn 900% More With This Experimental Formula for Freelance Writing RatesEarn 900% More With This Experimental Formula for Freelance Writing Rates

Ever wonder what the formula is for earning higher freelance writing rates? But if you’re just starting out, that’s seems about as realistic as finding a pot of gold or a magic potion to turn back the clock so you can start over.

Fortunately, there’s a simple formula you can follow to boost your freelance writing rates (mine jumped by 900 percent). Want the formula to grow your freelance writing business?

 

 

Forget Guest Posting. Here’s Why Guest Podcasting is King.Forget Guest Posting. Here’s Why Guest Podcasting is King.

You’ve probably heard the benefits of guest posting so many times you could rattle them off right now. But guest posting isn’t always the best way to expand your reach or improve your authority. To truly expand your reach, you want to dip into new content forms – such as podcasting.

Appearing as a guest on another individual’s podcast can bring serious benefits to your marketing. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider bringing guest podcasting into your content marketing mix.

Freelance Copywriter Mistakes: 3 Reasons You’re Not Landing High-Paying ClientsFreelance Copywriter Mistakes: 3 Reasons You’re Not Landing High-Paying Clients

If you’re a new freelance copywriter, sending a quote can be fraught with anxiety:

  • Will they think you’re professional?
  • They know you’re not a content mill writer, don’t they?
  • Did you cover everything they mentioned?
  • Are they going to accept your price or try and haggle over freelance copywriter rates?
  • Did you include an upsell?
  • Are they going to say no?It’s enough to distract you from your paying clients, get frustrated, and start second guessing your career as a freelance copywriter. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to find out, fix the problem, and earn more:

    What Ethical, Effective Selling Looks LikeWhat Ethical, Effective Selling Looks Like

There’s a well-loved myth out there that if you do something reasonably remarkable and distribute passionate content, you’ll automatically have an audience who will support you in style for the rest of your life. You don’t have to do anything scary. Like sell, for example. Now if that works for you, that’s terrific. So does it?

The painful truth is that there are lots of trusted, loved, and wildly influential smart people out there who are working like maniacs creating amazing content. And who are nonetheless still broke. It’s easy to think that if your audience loves you, all that love will translate automatically into paying customers. But if one of your goals is a financial payoff from your content, you still have some work to do.

You have to offer something they want.There’s no such thing as a product that sells itself. Answer the conversation going on in their heads. Resolve objections in a social context. Why you don’t have to be a “great salesperson” to do this…

Is Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What New 2018 Data Says About Twitter for MarketingIs Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What New 2018 Data Says About Twitter for Marketing

Misinformation is spreading like wildfire. On Twitter, it’s no different. Numerous spam accounts and bots plague Twitter. They share false and misleading information, which has negatively impacted user experience.

To effectively use Twitter and see a return on your efforts, you need to understand how to best use the network for your long-term gain. But before deploying your 2018 strategy, you need to understand how Twitter has changed in recent months, so you don’t make the same mistakes you’ve likely made in the past.

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9 Reasons Why You’re Losing Freelance Writing Gigs and more

9 Reasons Why You’re Losing Freelance Writing GigsWhat are the most frustrating words you can hear (or read) after spending hours writing a proposal? “You’re too expensive. We’re going to go in another direction.” ARGH! But, here’s the thing… We’ve all gone beyond our budget and spent more than we’ve expected. We buy a slightly more […]

 

Writing a Pitch: Use These Tools to Build Your Freelance BusinessWriting a Pitch: Use These Tools to Build Your Freelance Business

How do you go about writing a pitch? If you’ve been slaving away in content mills or spending all your time replying to job ads, you might be a bit confused about what writing a pitch actually means.

So you ask Google. One writer-guru claims that if you master the art of cold pitching, you can land your dream clients. Another recommends sending letters of introduction, or LOIs, so you can build relationships for ongoing work. And yet another touts the advantages of writing a pitch to an editor as the way to land an assignment. So, which of these should you use to build your freelance writing business?

The answer: All of them.

How to Run an E-Commerce Business As Your Side Hustle With Just 15 Hours a Week

How to Run an E-Commerce Business As Your Side Hustle With Just 15 Hours a Week44 million Americans reportedly have a side hustle. It seems like just about everyone is looking to get a piece of the gig-economy action.

And it’s no surprise why. In fact, you can run a successful e-commerce business in as little as 15 hours a week.

Here’s how…

Aggressive Sell, Soft Sell … What Works?

Aggressive Sell, Soft Sell … What Works?Recently, a student of ours asked whether “we” (content-based marketers who might prefer a more subtle approach) can learn anything from “those” marketers who use somewhat obvious tactics like silly quizzes or hyped-up headlines.

 

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2018 guide for Google Webmaster Tools, Content Marketing and more

Copywriting news daily roundup from around the web…

The 2018 Guide to Google Webmaster Tools – Google Index, Crawl, and MoreThe 2018 Guide to Google Webmaster Tools – Google Index, Crawl, and More

Back in 2010, we wrote a thorough beginner’s guide to Google Webmaster Tools. But since then, there have been significant changes to Google Webmaster Tools. We’ve updated this guide to include new ways to set up your website with Webmaster Tools, the new data included in Webmaster Tools about […]

Content Marketing in 2018 and BeyondContent Marketing in 2018 and Beyond

Content marketing took off and continues to flourish for one very simple reason: it’s what the people want. They don’t want intrusive banners, ads, and popups. They don’t want irrelevant messages and products that have nothing to do with them shoved in their face. They don’t want spam clogging their inbox.

  • Content delivers 3x more leads than paid search per dollar spent.
  • Compared to outbound tactics, content marketing costs 62% less but generates 3x as many leads.
  • Video and messaging apps are leading the charge in 2018.
  • 86% of B2C and 91% of B2B marketers are using content marketing according to the 2018 State of Content report from CMI.
  • Over 615 million devices use an adblocker of some sort. Content is not an “ad”, and so is an effective method to get around blockers.
  • Businesses that use content marketing have conversion rates 6x higher on average than those who do not.
  • 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product from an article rather than an ad, and 4x more would rather a video than an article.
  • Roughly 37% of marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing in both B2B and B2C, while 46% plan to leave it the same.
  • SMBs that blog generate 126% more lead growth than their non-blogging counterparts.
  • 38% of marketers publish new content at least weekly, while 91% of the most successful business bloggers publish at least once per week.So, what’s happening in content marketing, version 2018? Let’s find out.

    8 Surprising Marketing Predictions for 20188 Surprising Marketing Predictions for 2018

    Marketing can be a bit like gambling. You test out one advertising channel and measure your results. Some of those gambles crush it because they struck gold with the new channel connecting with the right audience.

    Each year brings a few of these big new opportunities. This post will outline some of our predictions for those new opportunities and trends that will emerge into 2018. What predictions came true and which ones started with a bang, but ultimately fizzled out? Let’s take a closer look:

Email Marketing in 2018: How Do Your Messages Stack Up?Email Marketing in 2018: How Do Your Messages Stack Up?

Do you ever think about how your email marketing campaigns measure up against others in your industry? Ever considered what your unsubscribe or bounce rates look like in comparison to your competitors? Have you ever looked at the email marketing performance of businesses in other industries, sought out their top performers, and figured out what you could learn from them?

The Marketer’s Guide to YouTubeThe Marketer’s Guide to YouTube

If you’re looking to get into video marketing, there’s no better channel than YouTube. They’re the second most visited website on the entire internet, with over a billion users, have virtually no competitors, and consumers are increasingly spending more time watching more online videos. So with this flood of consumer attention, it’s no wonder companies are putting more of their ad dollars into digital video advertising.

But the good news for you is that you don’t need to flood thousands of dollars in YouTube advertising. If you create a good channel that constantly puts out quality content that people want, you’ll get the attention and eyeballs that you need to drive customer acquisition through YouTube.

SEO 2018: Will This be the Year of the Story Brand?SEO 2018: Will This be the Year of the Story Brand?

Certain people always seem to know what’s going on in digital marketing. They are able to predict the “Hot Topic” months in advance.

For as many years as I’ve been in this business, I have been flabbergasted by the knowledge of others, and how they give that knowledge away, seemingly for free. Of course, they monetize their voice. We all try to do that for ourselves or for our clients.

Without getting into specifics about “hyper-local” and “geo-social” (hot new buzzwords for 2018), my research and discussions centered on common themes around the Story Brand:

Humor Writing: 15 Markets That Pay You to Make People LaughHumor Writing: 15 Markets That Pay You to Make People Laugh

Need a good laugh? Humor writing can serve up just the right dose of feel-good vibes to put a smile on your face. If you’ve got a knack for telling funny stories, humor writing can also be a great way to make money as a freelancer.

Heard any good stories or had any crazy experiences that you could use to land a humor writing assignment? Or maybe you have a way of seeing the ordinary a little differently than others. That’s usually where great story ideas in this niche begin. Some consumer magazines still have a place carved out for humor writing, like the Reader’s Digest and The Saturday Evening Post.

A few markets like Cracked and The Funny Times, still exist that exclusively publish satirical and humor writing. Have a funny story to tell? Or want to take a crack at humor writing? Check out these 15 humor writing markets:

What’s Really Broken in the ‘Content Marketing Playbook’What’s Really Broken in the ‘Content Marketing Playbook’

Sometimes it bums me out that we’ve become a culture of contrarians. Whether it’s Black Panther, 3D printing, or strawberry ice cream, there’s nothing so excellent that someone on the internet won’t tell you why you’re wrong for liking it.

So sometimes it’s easy to miss the signals when a genuine problem does develop. And among the usual noise of “the thing you like sucks,” there’s been a fresh spate of articles on content marketing, talking about the “content marketing playbook” not working the way it used to. Unlike that guy who hated Black Panther (let’s face it, he was just wrong), there’s some substance to this. But it’s not something to panic over. In fact, it’s something to embrace.

How to Craft No-Brainer Marketing Offers [Free Poster]How to Craft No-Brainer Marketing Offers [Free Poster]

Want to craft high-converting offers? Below I’ll tell you how I failed multiple times over several years until I finally learned how to cap off my marketing funnels with can’t-miss deals my customers were eager to pay for. But before we dive into persuasion strategies and tactics, let’s address your own fears and hesitations. Because here’s a truth I learned the hard way:

An offer is only as effective as your enthusiasm for pitching it. Think back to your worst marketing campaigns, your biggest flops. Was it customer objections or your own apprehension that sank your conversion rates?

 

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7 unusual signs on the path to a breakthrough, getting your teeth kicked in and more

Here is a round up in writing news from around the web…

7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough

It’s easy to envision that other people’s paths (career or otherwise) are somehow smoother than yours. Have you ever had thoughts like that? Notions that everyone else who has some form of success achieved it by taking smart, consecutive steps that always led them forward, while you: Take two […]

When Getting Your Teeth Kicked In Is A Good ThingWhen Getting Your Teeth Kicked In Is A Good Thing

Here’s some hard advice I’ll bet you haven’t heard before: Mentors who are active and successful in the real world…

I do my best to give the students in the SWS a taste of what worked for me, back in the days when I was desperate (with zero alternative plans if I failed at this copywriting gig) to learn the tricks of the trade.

In my first days with every real mentor I’ve ever had (notably Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert) I had my teeth metaphorically kicked in.It was humiliating, humbling, and almost cruel. None of those guys had any time to waste with someone who couldn’t take the pressure of working in the entrepreneurial war zone. Here’s just two small pieces of advice that raises eyebrows with some students:

First: Read copiously, and put what you learn to the test immediately.

And Second: Here’s my best advice for copywriters:

Writers write…

… and great writers write with consequences.

How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance CareerHow to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career

The Internet has made some things about building a freelance career as a writer a lot easier. You can investigate what a magazine has recently written, for instance. Or find an editor on LinkedIn. But in other ways, our Information Age has caused problems for writers. I know because I keep hearing comments from new freelance writers like this:

“There’s so much to know and the world of freelance writing is rapidly changing. I feel so behind and don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. Can you help?”

Wondering if can really jump in and build a freelance career as a writer, even though you don’t know everything right now? I do have a tip on that.

The Growth Hacking Cheat Sheet for BeginnersThe Growth Hacking Cheat Sheet for Beginners

Growth hacking is the mother of all marketing buzzwords. You’ve probably seen it in articles online touting that “growth hacking” as the primary way to succeed.And that’s the problem:

Marketers use the term “growth hacking” so much that it has become impossible to define or narrow down.

But despite this, real growth hacking beyond the buzzword is critical to taking a company from ten users to ten million. Sean Ellis is the inventor of the term “growth hacker” and the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com.

In a blog post that Sean published back in 2010, he wrote that a growth hacker is “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” Growth hacking can come in many shapes, sizes, and approaches. Let’s recap. Here are the key points about what exactly goes into growth hacking:

  • Growth hacking creates sustainable, scalable growth.
  • Growth hacking involves copious testing, continual tweaking, and iteration of the product, sales, and marketing strategy.
  • Growth hacking involves all teams in your company working as one system to increase growth.With that in mind, here is a checklist for your business to ensure that you are focusing on creating sustainable profits through growth hacking.

How to avoid research overwhelmHow to avoid research overwhelm

Here’s the first in a series of posts on how to research your next writing project. In it you’ll discover:

Content Mills Make You Vomit? Remedies for a Healthy Writing IncomeContent Mills Make You Vomit? Remedies for a Healthy Writing Income

You scan through all the low-paying work in the content mills, and it makes you feel sick. Spend much time in the content mills, and you’ll soon feel the need to wash your hands, lather up with hand sanitizer, and spray your computer with Lysol, or you’ll spew disgust all over the place. It’s not a healthy place to find clients or make a living writing.

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you can’t hang around the content mills. It’s a toxic environment that will siphon creativity, confidence, your bank account…and make you feel like blowing chunks. I interviewed three other writers and asked them how they make mega moolah without using content mills or job boards. Not surprisingly, their answers shared a few common threads. If you’re sick of content mills, dose up on these healthy writing income remedies:

How to tell if your copy is any goodHow to tell if your copy is any good

You’ve just finished writing something. It reads well to you. There are lines that have you nodding in appreciation. But you’re not the target audience.So will the copy work? This checklist will help you review the copy objectively, so you can see if the words on screen or page will result in reader action.

 

 

 

 

How I Learned to Love (Ruthless) EditingHow I Learned to Love (Ruthless) Editing

I love editing. It is, by far, my most favorite part of writing.Most writers seem to have a tenuous relationship with editing. And I get it: Becoming a serious editor, one who can pinpoint deep weaknesses in a piece of writing, is hard. Especially when that piece of writing is yours.Although editing can sometimes feel heartless, it’s one of a writer’s most powerful tools. By embracing a practice of “Ruthless Editing,” you can actually become a more creative, productive, and empathetic writer. Now, I’ve learned, to be a good writer you have to be both an artist and a craftsman, both a moody, brooding poet and a ruthless, cunning killer.Every piece of writing needs to have a goal.Balancing prolific writing and solid editing…

Want More Traffic? Deindex Your Pages. Here’s Why.Want More Traffic? Deindex Your Pages. Here’s Why

Most people are worried about how to get Google to index their pages, not deindex them. In fact, most folks try and avoid getting deindexed like the plague. If you’re trying to increase your authority on search engine results pages, it can be tempting to index as many pages on your website as possible. And most of the time, it works. But this might not always help you get the most amount of traffic possible.

However, it can actually be more helpful for your rankings to keep some of your site’s pages out of a search engine’s index. This directs traffic to relevant pages instead and keeps unimportant pages from coming up when users search for content on your site using Google. Here’s why (and how) you should deindex your pages to get more traffic.

Who Are You Writing For? (Really?)Who Are You Writing For? (Really?)

Far, far better to write something simple. No. Make that devastatingly simple. Something that your reader “gets” without even having to “understand”.

“I bet you’ve sat in the pub some nights or chatted on a forum, moaning about cowboys who waltz in, charge a stupidly low price and then muck up the job.” It isn’t a particularly “clever” line. But what it is, what it does, is talk to the reader in their own language. Now that’s smart.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top-Ten Sites have this, 4 efffective tips to create customers for life and more

Over 70 Percent of Top-Ten Sites Have This CharacteristicOver 70 Percent of Top-Ten Sites Have This Characteristic

Quick: What’s a common characteristic of 70 percent (or more) of top-ten sites? Is it a clickable Title? Is it long-form content? Nope. In fact, to borrow from Buzzfeed, “The answer will surprise you.” The answer: site security. Two recent studies show secure, https pages are locking up the […]

 

 

4 Effective Tips to Create Customers for Life with the Perfect Onboard Messaging Sequence4 Effective Tips to Create Customers for Life with the Perfect Onboard Messaging Sequence

The very beginning of any relationship is awkward. Do you think your customers feel that way about the beginning of their relationship with you? Because if they do, that’s bad. It’s a severe threat to your business! It’s kind of like being on time for a party. Everyone’s feeling things out, sizing up the room, and trying to find a cozy place to gel while the party gets going. At least, that’s if things go smoothly.

Other times it’s more like those middle school dance parties where there are too many chaperones, and no one knows what to do. So you stand around awkwardly until your mom picks you up. As the saying goes, the “seeds of churn are planted early.“ Your customer onboarding experience will determine the overall quality and longevity of your business relationship. But how do you create the perfect onboarding experience?

Freelance Work and the Coming Recession: Urgent Moves to Make NowFreelance Work and the Coming Recession: Urgent Moves to Make Now

Did the recent U.S. stock-market dip make you worried about the future of your freelance work? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been getting anxious emails from freelance writers ever since stocks suddenly ended their long upward climb earlier this month, and took a big dip. Good news: Freelancers can thrive during recessions.

I know this because I steadily built my own freelance writing business up during the last recession, hitting six figures in the final year of the downturn, 2011. You can recession-proof your freelance business now, so that you thrive even when the economy falters. Let me walk you through what’s happening now, and give you concrete steps to take right now to help you sail through a recession with a solid freelance income.

 

Do Content Writers Really Need to Think about SEO?Do Content Writers Really Need to Think about SEO?

In my experience, creative writing pros have an endless appetite for writing advice. Elements like copywriting and conversion strategy? That tends to start to divide people up. Some writers want to pick up those killer skills, and some aren’t as comfortable with them. But then there’s a topic that makes a lot of talented creative professionals throw up in their mouths a little. I bet you know the one I mean.

It’s the fine art of writing content that can be found more easily on search engines — SEO copywriting. First, it’s kind of technical — and “word people” sometimes (mistakenly) think that they’re not cut out to understand a bit of code. Second, it’s had a checkered past. (Hey, who hasn’t.) There have always been cool, ethical, creative SEOs — but there was a time when they were often overshadowed by the mass of weird dudes who called themselves “black hat” and pretended to be some kind of low-level gangster. With that in mind, here are a few SEO myths that I still see people buying into. Let’s clear them up and move forward.

Kissmetrics Populations lets you track key segments of your user base. In just a few steps, you can track user activity, marketing performance, and product engagement.Kissmetrics Populations lets you track key segments of your user base. In just a few steps, you can track user activity, marketing performance, and product engagement.

With our latest iteration, you can connect a Population to a Facebook Custom Audience for even greater targeting and tracking in Kissmetrics.

Facebook Audiences is an advertising product from Facebook that lets marketers advertise to existing customers. As long as you have email addresses, you can advertise to that group on Facebook through Audiences.

Here’s where Kissmetrics Populations comes in.

If you’re using Kissmetrics and identifying your users by their email, you can turn a Population into an Audience on Facebook that you can then advertise to.

How to Write a Killer Book IntroductionHow to Write a Killer Book Introduction

It might be a short ebook you intend to give away to blog subscribers. Or you might be trying to pen a New York Times bestseller. Either way, I think I know which bit of your book is causing you problems. The introduction. It’s the biggest hurdle for most of the writers I work with. Every time they try to elegantly link their title and chapter content with a coherent and engaging introduction, they hit the wall. The good news is, it only takes three steps to knock down that wall. With three steps you can:

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97% of Customers Read Online Reviews. Here’s How to Make Sure Yours are in the Top 1%97% of Customers Read Online Reviews. Here’s How to Make Sure Yours are in the Top 1%

When was the last time you tried a new restaurant without a recommendation? If you’re like me, it’s probably been a while. Everyone you’ve ever met is just naturally inclined to seek the opinion of others before trying something new. On your own, you don’t know if that new ramen house down the street is any good, but your brother says he took a date there and had a great time.

On your own, you don’t know if that new ramen house down the street is any good, but your brother says he took a date there and had a great time. That carries weight in your decision making as a consumer. A staggering 97% of customers read online reviews before they buy. And almost half of those interviewed will only trust 4-stars or better. So you should pay attention the quality of your business’s reviews. The issue for you is that winning five-star reviews takes time. To make matters worse, many businesses see social proof as being largely out of their control. Consumers “feel the way they feel” about your business, even if you do everything right. So at this point, I hope you’re convinced about the importance of online reviews. Because now we’re going to talk about how to make sure yours are in the top 1%.

Write Faster: 4 Tips from a Fired-Up Young FreelancerWrite Faster: 4 Tips from a Fired-Up Young Freelancer

Ever wonder what the Olympic Games would look like for freelancers? If it’s anything like the Super-G in skiing, it comes down to one thing…write faster. I started freelancing at 17 years old. Young, right? In case you didn’t know, that’s how old Lindsey Vonn was when she competed in her first Olympic Games. And she was fast. By 17, I could throw a blazing fast softball. And if I could learn how to do that, I knew I could learn the business and craft of freelance writing.

So I did what any Olympic writer would do. I took apart my writing process turn by turn, made it better, and learned to write faster. Here’s how: Write faster, earn more money. If you can learn to write faster, and still write well, you can make more money. It’s that simple.

 

Get Rid of Writer’s Block for GoodGet Rid of Writer’s Block for Good

Hey there! This week, Copyblogger combated that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad curse that can plague writers: writer’s block. Some people don’t believe in it — but if you’ve wrestled with it, that probably isn’t too comforting. We’ve assembled proven ways to prevent writer’s block or blast through it if it does rear its ugly mug. And if you want an in-depth resource on how to banish writer’s block for good, creating a steady volume of great content like the pros do, you’ll probably want to check out our brand-new course for emerging content professionals — Creative Content Foundations. We expect to open it for the first time to new students in a few weeks. You can learn more about it here.

 

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5 SEO basics you need to master, does content marketing work and more

The 5 SEO Basics You Need to Master (No Technical Experience Required)The 5 SEO Basics You Need to Master (No Technical Experience Required)

Organic search makes up around one-third of traffic to company websites. It accounts for more traffic than paid and social put together! What does that tell us? SEO is as relevant as ever. If you work in marketing, write a blog, or have your own business, it is vital […]

Why Informative Content Will Make You Think Content Marketing Doesn’t WorkWhy Informative Content Will Make You Think Content Marketing Doesn’t Work

In the past, I’ve referred to informative content as bland and boring, but those are just labels. The crux of the matter is that creating strictly informative content will make you think content marketing doesn’t work. Content marketing gives someone what they need and a reason to stick around. Content marketing has long-term effects. It attracts traffic — then leads, then prospects, then customers — as you grow an audience who supports your offer.

How to Know If Your Content Marketing Just Isn’t WorkingHow to Know If Your Content Marketing Just Isn’t Working

Content is king. And content marketing in 2018 remains a brilliant and cost-effective method for engaging with leads and customers, spreading brand awareness, and getting around the increasing use of ad-blockers. Instead of focusing on the vanity metric, use it to inform your marketing decisions. Dig deeper. Find the corresponding actionable metric. Content marketing is an active endeavor, and most of the hard work starts after you hit publish. It’s not about reaching people; it’s about reaching the right people. How do you know when you’re not doing that?

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Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018

Grab the latest advise from writers around the web on where we are at and where the market is going this year in freelance writing.

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh In

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InReady to prepare for a great year of freelance writing? It’s time for makealivingwriting.com’s  annual freelance forecast, with all-new predictions on the trends that smart writers will capitalize on in the coming year. They feel pretty good about how their 2017 predictions worked out. But this year, they decided […]

 

 

 

 

Earn Money Online: Monster List of 161 Markets for Freelance Writers

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InWant to earn money online as a freelance writer? Forget low-paying bid sites and content mills. And pitch magazines, websites, trade pubs, agencies, and businesses to move up and earn more. To help you start the New Year strong, we’ve put together a monster list of publications that pay competitive rates for your original content.Most publications featured here pay at least $50 per assignment. We’ve also included a few “move-up markets” that pay less but allow room for negotiation.

Comb through the list, and you’ll find writing jobs in variety of niches like business, finance, family, parenting, lifestyle, travel, technology, and others. We’ve even included a list of markets that publish content about the business and craft of freelance writing.

 

7 Ways for Thoughtful Writers to Wow Their Editors, Clients, and Bosses

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InIt’s common for non-writers to have trouble understanding how writing for a living actually works. They imagine bespectacled introverts pounding away at their keyboards, detached from social settings and business transactions. Writing is solitary work, but professional writers know publishing is a collaborative process.And in-demand writers know how the seven practices below foster the solid relationships they have with their editors, clients, and bosses that enable their thriving careers.