Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly — the first of 2018!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and New Year’s celebration … and now it’s time to get back to work. Look for a nugget or two in one of these articles to kick-start your 2018.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Content. Aeration instead of perfection
- Design. The 5 biggest typography trends of 2017
- Technology. We’re already seeing the fallout from Apple’s war on cookies
- Strategy. 6 content marketing ideas to steal from CMI’s awards finalists of 2017
- Bonus. How lifelong learning and a growth mindset can propel your career (Plus: How to spot fake reviews on Amazon)
But first …
Last week on Sites
With the coming introduction of Gutenberg in 2018, WordPress designers and developers will be presented with new functionality that has a direct impact on their efforts. Are you ready for them?
To help you plan for 2018, Sean Jackson and Brian Gardner discuss a number of changes that StudioPress will be introducing for themes. They also touch base on a few of the key performance enhancements you should be thinking about, including Google AMP and website performance.
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: Aeration instead of perfection
I want to direct your attention to a specific section in this article on Content Marketing Institute.
The article includes three “aha moments” that Michele Linn had during 2017 that she hopes will help you evolve your content marketing in 2018. And while all three are useful, I found the second one to be particularly helpful.
A quick taste:
“Every presentation is an opportunity to test ideas. Instead of thinking about everything we present — or publish — as the end, see each finished piece as an aerator — an opportunity to air out an idea and allow the story to evolve.”
Obviously this doesn’t grant you a license to publish or present crap … but such a mindset does free you from the pressure that we all feel, especially in this age of content abundance, to publish perfect content. And a mindset shift like that can be freeing in a number of important ways.
Design: The 5 biggest typography trends of 2017
It’s obviously important that designers have a solid understanding of the rules of typography. And even if you’re not a designer, it can be helpful to understand not just the rules but also the trends in typography, especially if you’re looking to rework any elements of your website.
To create this roundup, the folks at Creative Bloq spoke to some of the top names in typography and design, and asked them for their thoughts on the biggest typography trends of 2017, as well as their predictions for what would be hot in 2018. Find out what they said.
Two of the most important decisions you will make about your WordPress website are your theme and your hosting. Wouldn’t it be great if they worked together to make your website more powerful?
Now they can.
Technology: We’re already seeing the fallout from Apple’s war on cookies
Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature is perhaps the first concrete evidence that the cookie’s time is truly limited. And Joe Sabol is sounding the alarm bells on MarTech Today.
As he explains, choosing to ignore this news and failing to adjust for the potential implications of Apple’s move, and other potential wide-ranging cookie-blocking efforts to come, would “represent a dangerous level of stubbornness that could ultimately tank companies and upend online advertising more broadly.”
Strategy: 6 content marketing ideas to steal from CMI’s awards finalists of 2017
Here’s another useful article from our friends at Content Marketing Institute. It highlights specific content marketing strategies used by six of their annual awards finalists that you can steal and incorporate into your own content marketing mix.
My favorite? Using pop-ups to offer something other than sign-ups (in this case, specific reading suggestions).
“When you’re not pushing sign-ups, surprising things can happen. This second idea comes with a great payoff: Use the oft-derided pop-up to offer content suggestions rather than to gather email addresses.”
The sixth strategy, about picking the best format for the story (rather than trying to fit a story into the format you prefer), is also insightful. There is something to learn, and perhaps even apply, from all six.
Bonus article: How lifelong learning and a growth mindset can propel your career
What new skills, knowledge, and wisdom will you add to your arsenal this year?
As Peter Schroeder explains in this post on Medium’s Startup Grind collection, believing that your learning days are over is a dangerous way to manage a career — because technologies and business models emerge and force change rapidly. It’s up to each of us to stay ahead of this curve.
Oh, and here’s one more bonus article that will help make you a more savvy online shopper: How to Identify Fake Reviews on Amazon.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.