Correlation, causation, and confusion: The Backlinko study of 912 million blog posts

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Brian Dean of Backlinko, an SEO maven whose site includes a technique that “almost guarantees that you get high quality links from every piece of content that you publish,” published a study of 912 million blog posts. He says his results include worthwhile insights. I say they support an alternate explanation: nearly all content marketing … Continued

Content marketing, defined simply

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Your business sells something that helps people, right? Give away free content that helps those people. They’ll appreciate it, share it, and find you. There is a mass of knowledge about how to do this well and effectively. But if you have to explain it to your boss, those two sentences ought to do the … Continued

The perfect length for promotional video and other delusions from CONCURED

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According to CONCURED, an artificial intelligence platform, the perfect length for promotional video is 3 minutes and 54 seconds. This may be the silliest “fact” I’ve read this month. CONCURED, which calls itself “The world’s first AI-powered Content Strategy Platform,” issued a press release about its new insights. Here’s the whole thing: Artificial Intelligence Names … Continued

Content marketing is good for your soul — and your company’s, too

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Content marketing is a way to drive traffic to your site, get leads, and generate business, right? Well, sure. But if that’s all it is, it’s just inside-out advertising. No, I think there’s more to it than that. I’m considering this as I prepare for three upcoming conferences. Starting tomorrow, May 2, I’ll be at … Continued

I will quote you. I will cite you. I will not seek your approval.

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If you publish content, online or off, you are a publisher. I am an author. I will cite your content and quote what you said. That’s how it works, regardless of any imaginary restrictions you think up. Call it the fundamental principle of content. Every content marketer should know this. Maybe you published a blog … Continued

Newsjacking and other fruitful sources of content marketing ideas

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“What am I going to write about?” That’s the content marketer’s constant challenge. In fact, the number of sources is endless. You just have to have the right mindset. Let’s remember what content marketing is. While there are any number of definitions out there, I think of it very simply: Content marketing is sharing something … Continued

10 reasons why you’re not a thought leader (and how to fix them)

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It seems as if everyone I interact with is, or wants to be, a “thought leader.” But what does thought leadership actually mean? And why do so many self-styled thought leaders actually just seem like self-promoters? Technology analysts — the industry I worked in for 20 years — treat thought leadership as a sort of “king … Continued

The only purpose of business writing is to create change

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Business writing has only one purpose: to create a change in the reader. If your writing creates no change in the reader, it has failed. This is different from other forms of writing. The purpose of fiction is to entertain. The purpose of media is to get you to read as much and as long as … Continued