Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Content. Why empathetic storytelling is the key to content marketing that works
- Design. 6 ways to apply the principles of design to your life
- Technology. Google wants to make audio content searchable
- Strategy. Aggressive sell or soft sell — what works better?
- Bonus. Becoming the obvious choice
But first …
Last week on Sites
As you start building your audience, you may find yourself wondering how you can increase connection and give people more reason to interact with you and your ideas. One great way is to establish a community around your content. But don’t just jump into it head first. Consider these questions to make sure you start a community in a smart and sustainable way.
How do you build a community up from nothing, attract the right kind of people, and repel the kinds of fanatics and fools who threaten to derail all of your hard work? In this edition of Site Success, Sean Jackson and I discuss some of the fundamental elements of building a community the right way … from the start.
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: Why empathetic storytelling is the key to content marketing that works
I have half a mind to not link to this article … because I hate the headline. It’s clickbait-y and misleading, and I wasn’t about to use it for the subhead of this section.
The original headline is “Does Content Marketing Actually Work?” Pretty provocative, right? But before the author is even done with the intro, she presents evidence that content marketing does work and then moves on to dissecting why it works.
That’s when we get to the good stuff. And it is good stuff. She dives into the importance of storytelling and provides advice for how to use storytelling in content to drive results.
So it’s worth reading … just not for the reason the headline may lead you to believe. 😉
Design: 6 ways to apply the principles of design to your life
This post is unlikely to help you improve the design of your WordPress website, but it might help you make meaningful changes to your life, which is what your WordPress website should help you achieve anyway.
So let’s take a break from specific design tips this week to indulge in some tips for ourselves that are inspired by the principles of design.
Here is a taste:
“If you lose momentum, just acknowledge that it’s bound to happen, and then go back to the life plan you mapped out and remind yourself that there are certain things you need to be applying. Don’t beat yourself up about going off track.”
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: Google wants to make audio content searchable
Okay, so I’m a gigantic nerd about all things related to online content and marketing. You probably know this by now.
Which is why this line made me laugh out loud and nearly caused me to snort coffee on my laptop:
“Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead to podcasters repeating words over and over again in attempt to rank for certain keywords.”
It’s a ridiculous notion … except for the fact that you know podcasters would start doing it if they thought it would translate to more traffic, downloads, and listens. 🙂
In what context was the line provided? A post about Google wanting to make audio content more searchable. I’m intrigued and excited about this … but I have no desire to keyword-stuff my episodes!
Strategy: Aggressive sell or soft sell — what works better?
In this post, Sonia Simone coins a new term to describe a marketer who is in between using white hat tactics (the purest of the pure) and black hat tactics (lying and manipulation).
She describes an “orange hat marketer” as someone who is … exceptionally comfortable with cheese. You’ll have to click and read to find out what she means by that.
Here is the crux of the article:
“If a ‘salesy’ approach works for you, and you’re not lying to your audience (or yourself), keep doing it.
I don’t think it’s immoral or wrong to use cheesy sales and marketing techniques.
I just don’t happen to believe that ‘it works’ all that well for most audiences today. But if your tests are demonstrating otherwise for you, more power to you.”
If you’re deciding whether you need to be less aggressive with how you’re selling or if it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, make sure you peruse Sonia’s guidance.
Bonus article: Becoming the obvious choice
And to close this edition, here is a short but profound reminder that “it’s not just what we say that counts, it’s also how and when we say it that matters.”
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.