Steve Shaw

About Steve Shaw

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17 Common Content Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

By |September 1st, 2015|

To err is human. And content marketing is no exception.

All of us doing content marketing will of course screw up and make mistakes every now and again. I’ve experienced practically every one of these blunders in all my years of content marketing.

The important things to remember the next time you screw up are (a) you’re not alone; and (b) you’ll live to see another day, a.k.a. “put it in perspective”. (And if you never screw up, firstly, I don’t believe you; and secondly, congratulations on being the exception to the rule).

Of course, mistakes have benefits too. That’s how we learn, that’s the nature of experience. It’s how we learn to walk, talk, ride a bicycle, drive a car, and everything else in life. Mistakes are almost essential to the learning process, and is how wisdom is gained.

Learn from the mistakes of others though, and you can shortcut your way to success. You won’t avoid making mistakes yourself, you’ll just make fewer of them and reach your goals more quickly. After all, that’s largely why people pay often significant sums for training and mentoring.


Content Marketing Benefits: 9 Key Ways Your Business Wins When You Commit to Content Marketing

By |August 21st, 2015|

So you’ve heard about ‘content marketing’. Maybe you do bits and pieces from time to time, but you’re far from committed and it just tends to languish on the back-burner with a ton of other some-days. You’re unclear how content marketing benefits your business – but should you in fact be giving it more attention and investing more resources?

Sound familiar? Then this one’s for you …

This post gives you 9 key ways in which content marketing benefits your business. In fact, you’ll see why it’s now essential for you and your business not just to dabble in content marketing, but to become fully committed to it.

Ignore it, continue to leave it on the some-day list, and hope to come back to it at some later point … that can be a dangerous game to play. You risk your business becoming drowned out by smart business owners who recognize all the benefits of content marketing, make the proper commitment needed to integrate it fully in their businesses, and act quickly to ensure they stand to reap maximum rewards.


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Call To Action: Creating Effective CTAs In Your Content Marketing

By |August 13th, 2015|

So, someone’s consuming your content? Congratulations!

That’s the good news…

Sorry to spoil the party, but here’s the bad news…

The fact that someone is reading, watching or listening to your content means practically nothing unless you get them to take some kind of action as a result.

Here’s a brief outline of how content marketing benefits your business:

  1. You create content of different kinds and in different media. You publish it on your own site and/or on other sites and content platforms across the web, preferably through repurposing.
  2. People – your marketplace – are attracted to your content and consume it. In so doing, they are effectively raising their hand as a potential new prospect for your business.
  3. You connect with them further to start building a relationship with them. (Otherwise you lose your new prospect as quickly as they found you!) You do this via an explicit and effective call to action – CTA – that tells the prospect exactly what to do.
  4. You continue building a relationship with them, building your authority and credibility with them, and building up trust. This is how you transform that prospect into a customer, and create profits for your business.

If you miss out #3 and don’t have an effective call to action in your content, #4 never happens!

7 Top Ideas for Lead Magnets to Grow Your List

By |August 7th, 2015|

It’s not enough to just put a form on your site, and hope people leave you their email address. People are increasingly protective of their inbox, and generally resistant to giving out their email address.

However, this changes when there is a suitable value exchange. You offer something to your prospective subscriber of enough value that they are willing to give you their email address in exchange for it.

What you give in exchange for an email address is known as a lead magnet. Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes.

As a business you will often want to have several such lead magnets (and respective opt-in pages) in order to be able to attract different types of people into your business, but who all exist in your market.

What attracts and offers value to one subscriber, may provide little motivation to another to join your list. But both could be good prospects for your business.

So what types of lead magnet can you offer? Here are 7 top ideas to get you started.


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How A Mobile-Compatible Website Helps You ‘Be Everywhere’

By |July 30th, 2015|

As you’ll no doubt be aware, in April 2015, Google began rolling out their ‘mobile-friendly update‘. Effectively this removed websites from their mobile search results that weren’t mobile-friendly.

While significant in itself, the event probably represents the point at which webmasters and businesses owners finally had to take mobile seriously. It was a turning point. […]

Compelling Content Continued: 5 More Tips for Great Blog Posts

By |July 23rd, 2015|

Last week I went through 5 elements of great blog posts, based on an original blog post from a few years back that focused on what made a great article. This older post was itself based on reader responses to a survey on what they considered to be great content.

Well, guess what? There are 10 tips in all – I covered 5 last time, and will cover the rest here.

As a quick recap, here are the first 5 tips for great blog posts:

  1. Provide practical and useful information that improves the life of the reader.
  2. The post is long enough to provide the required information.
  3. The writing allows the reader to connect with the writer.
  4. Provide clear and explicit instructions on how the reader should apply the information provided.
  5. Your blog post’s title should be catchy and clearly identify a topic of interest for the type of reader you want to attract.

So let’s go through the rest of the tips. Incorporate as many as you can into each new blog post to make your content as compelling as possible!


Creating Compelling Content: 5 Elements Of Great Blog Posts (From A Reader’s Perspective)

By |July 16th, 2015|

A few years back, I surveyed readers of a previous article marketing-focused blog for their thoughts on what made a great article.

Content strategy has since largely shifted to creating content for your own site – your blog – in the first instance, and only then repurposing it for publication elsewhere. I therefore thought it was a good time to revisit those responses, and update them where necessary for the current environment along with adapting them to reflect the creation of blog posts specifically. Interestingly many of the broader principles remain exactly the same.


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Is This Vital Part Missing From Your Sales Process?

By |July 9th, 2015|

I was watching a webinar earlier this week relating to something I was interested in. It had good content and offered what sounded like a great service I nearly invested in. However, there was something vital missing from their sales process.

Rather than a live webinar, it was recorded. No, this isn’t the issue, but it did reduce my trust to some extent. I had no prior relationship with the service provider, and for all I knew, it could have been recorded several months earlier and be completely out of date. I therefore wanted to make sure it was all still relevant and that the service was still running and offering the claimed benefits.

In other words, in the language of a very common sales objection that often underpins many other such objections, I didn’t want to feel foolish or stupid for spending money on something that wasn’t what I thought it would be.

So I did a bit of research. Fairly normal ‘potential customer’ practice, and one I’m sure you’re familiar with.

In the end, despite the fact I was a so-called ‘hot prospect’ and otherwise ready to buy, I decided not to proceed. In other words, they lost the sale.

Why? What was the vital part missing from their sales process that would have otherwise allowed me to continue down the slippery slide to the sale?


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How To Use Twitter Cards For More Sales And Traffic

By |July 2nd, 2015|

By using Twitter Cards, Tweets linking back to your site no longer contain just text and an optional image or two.

They allow you to create a ‘rich media’ experience for readers. That means additional visual, audio and textual content, with the ability to play video and audio from directly within the timeline.

These enriched Tweets can help them stand out from the pack, build your authority and credibility, and encourage deeper engagement including click-throughs from followers.

In addition, you can use Twitter Cards to capture new leads from directly within the Twitter timeline, and encourage users to visit your website with a special call to action button. Plus, when you choose to promote Tweets that use such cards via Twitter Ads, you can reach whole new audiences.

Presuming you are using a blog to publish the majority of your content and drive the rest of your marketing – as recommended in the “Be Everywhere” Online Marketing Blueprint – implementing Twitter Cards for your business is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. This post shows you how.


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How To Get More Blog Traffic: 101 Essential Tips

By |June 25th, 2015|

Maybe you’ve just started blogging and you’re wondering about the traffic part. Or perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while, and it’s all feeling a bit, well, empty.

You check your traffic stats – again – and feel a bit disheartened. Again. Should you continue? Or is this ‘blogging for traffic’ thing a bit mythical?

It’s easy to lose heart and become demotivated. Far too many give up way, way too soon.

It takes time. The most important tip of all is to hang on in there and keep blogging. For traffic, it’s the best investment you can make.

It also takes certain key tactics that can make all the difference, and accelerate your traffic attraction. This list of 101 essential tips for getting more blog traffic gives you most of them.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and you won’t get all of this built and in place at once either. But implement a new tactic every few days or so and you’re one step closer each time.

You’ll start to see your traffic build and your blog transform. You, the influencer. You, the authority. Yes, you. It’s all within reach.