Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about:
- Content. Why each piece of content you publish should correspond to a single business goal
- Design. The two things you need to generate new ideas
- Technology. Google’s First Click Free is over, being replaced by Flexible Sampling
- Strategy. #RealTalk on running a successful affiliate program
- Bonus. Are you creating demand or fulfilling it?
But first …
Last week on Sites
If you don’t know what to say, then how you say it isn’t going to matter.
That’s one of the concluding points of the blog post by Brian Clark that is featured in this episode — a blog post that was inspired by one of the great films of our time.
Listen:  Content Marketing as Seduction
Genesis tips from Brian Gardner
Brian Gardner is currently designing a website as a favor to some friends, and he added a newsletter signup widget with an arrow. It struck him that this is the type of thing that he has been asked about before, so why not share how he did it?
Read: Add a Full-Width Newsletter Signup Widget with Arrow
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: Why each piece of content you publish should correspond to a single business goal
Do you ever feel like a hamster running on a wheel when it comes to your content marketing? One reason for feeling like you’re just running in a circle, and not getting anywhere, might be that you aren’t being strategic enough about each individual piece of content you publish.
If that describes you, take heart in knowing that the majority of content marketers are right there with you. And there is a proven way forward.
“Though your overarching content strategy will likely have multiple content goals (awareness, lead generation, customer retention, engagement, etc.), each piece of content should focus on a single one. A campaign enables brands to build upon the successes of individual pieces of content to move their audience to conversion.
For example, a blog post may lead to a newsletter sign up, which leads to downloading an ebook, which leads to requesting information from a sales representative. That’s an overly simplified roadmap, but it illustrates how you can use content to create a customized and efficient pathway for your target audience.”
Learn more about how to create goal-oriented content in this post from Convince and Convert:
Here’s How Much Your Content Marketing Goals Matter
Design: The two things you need to generate new ideas
When it comes to your work online, ideas are currency. This is especially true if you are selling information.
That makes the key question for creating a thriving online business: how do you create and maintain a consistent stream of new ideas?
It’s not a question to take lightly. You need these new ideas to feed your business.
Rafal Tomal has a strategy that works for him, and may well work for you too:
- We need to absorb good information from the world that surrounds us.
- We need a place and time to process the information and generate ideas.
Read this blog post to see how Rafal uses this simple strategy to help him generate new ideas and release his own creative beast, so that you can do the same.
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.
Discover why over 213,675 website owners trust StudioPress.
Technology: Something to keep an eye on if you’re publishing premium content
Google has been working with big-time publishers (think: New York Times) to figure out how to best display search results and help publishers drive more subscription revenue. This is a smart long-term strategy for Google to take on, for obvious reasons.
And they are now shifting their strategy up a bit, in hopes that it will work even better.
“Content and news publishers will now control whether and how many articles they want to let searchers access before showing a paywall or subscription prompt. The company is also working on an array of other tools to help boost publisher subscriptions.”
Discover the details at Search Engine Land. While you might not be in a position to take advantage of this yet, it’s certainly something to monitor for the future.
Google: First Click Free is over, being replaced by Flexible Sampling
Strategy: #RealTalk on running a successful affiliate program
If you have considered launching your own affiliate program, or want to improve your current affiliate program, consider this #RealTalk from Pippin Williamson, the creator of AffiliateWP:
“An affiliate program takes work. It’s another part of running your business and you need to be mindful of that and be prepared to put some effort into it.”
To see Pippin’s expounded thoughts on the kind of work it takes to succeed with an affiliate program, as well as tips for communicating with affiliates and the importance of being selective, read this article from BobWP:
Three Tips for Setting Up and Running Your Own Affiliate Program
Bonus article: Are you creating demand or fulfilling it?
A friend of mine, Keith Reynold Jennings, poses an interesting question in this blog post. He wonders if you are creating demand or fulfilling it. And, more importantly, he wonders if you know the answer.
Read it and consider, then make sure you know the answer for your own projects.
Which Business Are You In? Here’s Why Knowing Which 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.