Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Content. How to write outreach emails that people actually pay attention to
- Design. When you can (and can’t) use an image online
- Technology. 3 surprising benefits of chatbots (no creep factor required)
- Strategy. This is how to scale up sales with influencer marketing
- Bonus. Quit your bullshit
But first …
Last week on Sites
Content is the lifeblood of building your audience. No one is going to flock to your website just because you launch it. You have to give them reasons to come, compel them to stay, and earn their loyalty. The only way to do that is through content, which is why investing time now to make smart choices about the content you’re going to create is time well spent.
Listen:  3Q for Deciding What Types of Content You’re Going to Create
Sean Jackson and Pamela Wilson walk you through every stage of creating a content plan for your site — from a high level to the tactical execution.
Listen:  A 3-Point Plan for Creating Your Initial Content
Introducing a new StudioPress theme!
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Kreativ Pro is a multi-purpose theme built for the Genesis Framework, designed for agencies to showcase projects in style. With great typography and clean layouts, Kreativ Pro is the perfect fit for your Agency website.
Learn more: Kreativ Pro — A Multi-Purpose Theme for Agencies to Showcase Projects in Style
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: How to write outreach emails that people actually pay attention to
Based on the headline of this blog post, I wasn’t expecting too much: “I Just Deleted Your Outreach Email Without Reading. And NO, I Don’t Feel Sorry.”
I thought it might just poke fun at a screenshot of a truly terrible outreach email. In fact, looking back, I’m not even sure why I clicked on it.
But I’m sure glad I did.
This is a long read, but a really good one, and if you take the advice to heart you will be crafting much better outreach emails that actually have a chance of earning a response.
Design: When you can (and can’t) use an image online
Okay, I’ll admit it …
Way back in the day, when I was a neophyte blogger, I consistently used images in my blog posts that I did not have the rights to use. I would just do a quick Google search on whatever topic my post was about, find the most compelling image, and use it.
Sure, I would almost always provide attribution, and a link (when possible), but it didn’t change the fact that what I was doing was wrong.
I finally changed my ways after the photographer of one of the photos I used contacted me with a stern but fair rebuke. More importantly, he explained to me why what I was doing was wrong and hurt professional photographers like himself and so many others.
Find out when it’s okay to use an image online and when it’s not — because while it’s not always clear, it certainly is something we should all strive to get right as often as possible.
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Technology: 3 surprising benefits of chatbots (no creep factor required)
So … this article really changed my perspective on an emerging technology tool.
I haven’t given chatbots too much of my attention recently, but it’s appearing like that may have been a mistake. Because when Sonia Simone — who strikes me as just about the most anti-chatbot kind of person I can think of — is starting to sing their praises as “going back to what permission marketing is supposed to be about,” well, that perks my ears up.
Maybe I’ve been wrong about chatbots? Maybe you have been too?
Oh, and a quick note: The article below mentions a webinar on March 8, 2018, which has already passed. If you click the link in the blog post, you can watch the replay.
Strategy: This is how to scale up sales with influencer marketing
Here are some insight from Ryan Holiday on how he has used influencer marketing to bolster sales of his books.
While you are most likely not Ryan Holiday, and most likely don’t have friends like Tim Ferriss, and probably aren’t even interested in selling books … the big-picture concepts he discusses are useful for digital products as well.
My favorite tip:
“Focus on ‘pre-VIPs’ — The people who aren’t well known but should be and will be. It’s not about who has the biggest megaphone. A great example for me was meeting Tim in early 2007 before The 4-Hour Workweek was published. He hadn’t sold millions of books then and didn’t have a huge platform. Now he does and I am writing this post.”
Bonus article: Quit your bullshit
These are wise words from Chris Brogan:
“When it comes to ‘content marketing,’ it was novel for a moment. But if it’s not HELPFUL, then people really won’t care.”
Give yourself a quick kick in the pants with his latest blog post about the importance of being original, interesting, and helpful.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.