Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
This week, I have links to four blog posts (plus a bonus link to a Seth Godin post) that will help you improve your content, design, technology, and strategy.
Before we get to the links, I want to remind you that Sites Weekly now has a companion podcast, Sites. I’m hosting the show, which focuses on the same four pillars of a successful WordPress website.
If your goal is to build a powerhouse website that helps you achieve your goals, then consuming the podcast and this newsletter each week will keep you on the right track.
To subscribe to Sites on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), click this link: sites.fm/apple.
And you can listen to this week’s episode right here at studiopress.blog: How to Attract Your Ideal Customer with Perfectly Positioned Content.
And now on to this week’s links …
Content: What should you do when you get into a rut with your blog?
I suggest perusing this article from Content Marketing Institute (written by Jodi Harris), which presents five common problems that may be plaguing your blog.
More importantly, Jodi gives you clear and specific action steps that will help you overcome each problem. (And in doing so, she presents a meta example of how to write an effective blog post. Don’t just present and agitate problems, show us how to solve them.)
For example, the second problem is: “Your blog content isn’t unique or distinct.” One of the solutions is to craft an editorial mission statement. I love that!
I’m actually working through some ideas right now for a site I am planning to launch, and one of my challenges is figuring out how to present a unique take on a common topic. I’m going to try Jodi’s tip.
Which reminds me: Jodi’s blog post is useful for new blogs as well as old ones that are in a rut. You might as well prepare yourself for common problems and try to preempt them before they even start.
How to Beat the Battle of an Ineffective Blog
Design: Are two heads really better than one?
Anton Nikolov thinks so.
“The more diverse the group of people, the higher the collective intelligence grows. It is no surprise that international teams can achieve much more than only-one nationality teams.
Having a mix of different opinions and beliefs focused on solving a challenge gives rise to the collective intelligence. It allows approaching the problem-solution in multiple different ways until the best one emerges.
However, it is important to note that the presence of an expert, that could potentially influence the opinions of the rest of the group, automatically degrades the collective intelligence.”
While you may not be a member of a team that should be using the power of collective intelligence for a design project, there is still an important lesson to be learned from this post. And it can help you overcome the next optimization, innovation, or creativity challenge you face with your website.
Design principle: Collective intelligence
Technology: The when, what, and how of social media automation
I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I love how social media allows me to connect with people across the globe who are interested in the same topics I am, and how I’ve been able to build audiences through my activity on social media.
But I hate how distracting social media can be, and some of the hate and ignorance that gets spewed there, among other issues.
So, I’m always looking for ways to maximize the impact of social media while minimizing how much time I actually need to spend with my head buried in my computer screen or phone. (Actually, I removed all social media apps from my phone … and my life has gotten better because of it.)
One good way I’ve found to do this is with social media automation. This allows me to distribute my content in a systematic way and ensure that posts get sent out at different times on different days.
No, it doesn’t replace all of my social media activity. It’s important to still go in and have the one-on-one conversations that build real relationships. But automation does help, especially when done correctly.
This post from MarTech Today by Seth Price outlines four steps for getting social media automation right.
Social media automation: Oxymoron or godsend?
Strategy: What’s more important: customer acquisition or retention?
Or is this a trick question? 😉
In this post on Help Scout by Emily Triplett Lentz, you’ll learn why it actually doesn’t make sense to prioritize one over the other.
Based on my own experience, I agree.
Is Customer Satisfaction the Wrong Goal?
And finally, here is a short blog post by Seth Godin about one of the great ironies of modern society: Two confusions.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.