It’s an intimidating number, right?
But also the start of something.
Your first 100 X.
How about issues?
That’s what today marks for Opt In Weekly.
It’s a commitment.
It’s so much newslettering about newslettering (and more recently, content marketing).
To the publishers out there well past 100: I commend you.
You’ve done something few achieve: persevered.
And to the people who are just starting: I can’t wait to celebrate your 100th issue.
Consistently writing and publishing is a daunting endeavor. The very act of pushing yourself (or your team) to launch and stick with a publishing schedule is tough, but when there are people on the other side of that blank screen you write to—individuals with names and real reasons they read what you create each week, it tests your resolve to show up for them.
To deliver on your promise.
To earn their trust, word by word.
I sometimes ponder the double meaning of the title Opt In Weekly.
Yes, readers opt in (they actually double opt in—wah wah).
But we, the creators, have to opt in, too.
My encouragement to you in this strange moment, on the cusp of sending issue 100: opt in to delivering on your promise in your content.
Hold up your end of the bargain.
In 100 issues, you won’t be the same person.
Your thoughts will have evolved.
Your approach may shift.
You will discover, through the act of creating something worthy of sending, that you actually learn what you think as you force yourself to create content that serves others.
That you are more you than you were 100 issues ago.
And perhaps you are, too?
It feels like we’ve just begun this journey, right?
Let’s see where it goes.
P.S. I’m halfway through Ann Handley’s new edition of Everybody Writes and, obviously, rethinking my entire writing process, but in a good way. I’ll report more on its amazingness in an upcoming issue, but if you want to sort of book club / fan girl this read with me you’re more than welcome.
Want To Become A Thought Leader?
Deciding to become a thought leader and becoming a thought leader are two different things. Thought leadership is quite buzzy in content marketing right now, and for good reason: demonstrating authority and fresh ideas in an industry can earn brands attention and revenue.
Here are some interesting insights on how to inject thought leadership into your marketing:
- Are thought leadership articles and SEO articles mutually exclusive? Camden Gaspar offers a way to mix the two and includes examples of how you might take a thought leadership approach to SEO content.
- The Notorious Thought Leader, a new podcast by Erin Balsa, sets out to find out what it really means to be a thought leader. Erin interviews marketing leaders and CEOs who are using thought leadership to generate demand. Each episode is less than an hour and loaded with... leading thoughts on thought leadership.
- In her LinkedIn post, Camille Trent asks, “Should you start with SEO content or community content?” In this case community content refers to intentionally answering community questions, which can be really helpful if you’re not a thought leader but want to build up to being one. John Bonini encourages this approach in Camille’s latest episode of Content Logistics. TL;DR: He says it’s possible to do both, and shares about how his team is creating 5+ community-led SEO content pieces per week for Databox.
- HubSpot’s Pamela Vaughan suggests 10 ways to become an industry thought leader. She includes tips like maintaining an active business blog, contributing guest posts, and publishing long-form content.
Is Keyword Cannibalization Misunderstood?
Do you really know what keyword cannibalization is? According to Jeff Coyle, it’s not just focusing on the same keyword for more than one page. Learn how much more complex it is here.
All About Creating A Content Marketing Strategy
Building your content strategy? This fresh pillar page on the topic by Sushant Shekhar delivers more than you might expect from a company I’ve never heard of. She gets in the weeds about
- Buyer personas
- Well-defined target audience
- Specific and measurable goals
- Content variety
- Publishing platforms
- Distribution and promotion
Embrace The Growth Loop
Is your marketing strategy still based on the funnel? Brian Balfour explains why it may be time to ditch the funnel and focus on growth loops.
The example he offers:
“The driving force behind Pinterest’s growth is the following loop:
- User signs up (or returns)
- They activate you on the product with specific/relevant content
- You save new content or repin existing content which gives Pinterest quality signals
- Pinterest distributes the quality content to search engines
- A user finds the content via search engines and either signs up/returns (see step 1)”
Discovered via Raisin Bread.
Marketing Lessons From Zapier
Zapier became profitable 2 years after launching, and now it’s worth millions. In this LinkedIn post, Camille Trent shared 4 early-stage marketing takeaways:
- Play bigger with strategic partnerships
- Use actionable SEO content
- Try smarter CTAs
- Do unscalable things
Fix Your Flawed Marketing Plan
Can you summarize your marketing plan in one slide? Cassidy Shield reveals how most marketing plans are flawed and offers a framework for creating one that is actionable and actually worth implementing.
Are You Measuring The Right Metrics?
“You get what you measure. Your entire revenue strategy gets built around how you measure success. Change your mindset -> change your metrics -> get better results.”
Chris Walker shares how and why measuring the effectiveness of your marketing strategy matters in this LinkedIn post and attached 9-minute video.
Needing some marketing inspiration? Here are 3 resources that may give you the spark you need:
- What is Brand Personality: for describing your brand like a person
- How to Get Empathetic Marketing Right: for when you need to evoke emotion, get personal, and forge connections
- The Best Tweets About Community Building: for when you need to create value for your members
Become A Great Writer
Steven Pinker, Harvard Linguist and bestselling author, did writers everywhere a favor and tweeted these 13 tips. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Reverse-engineer what you read
- Let verbs be verbs
- Omit needless words
- Find the best word, which is not always the fanciest word
Check out the full list in this Inc. article by Jessica Stillman.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
Are You Maximizing Your Content Curation?
In this Constant Contact article, Rebecca Coleman shares 4 ways content curation can help you create engaging blog posts (ahem… or newsletters).
An Influencer Marketing Budget Saver?
In this Twitter thread, Taylor Lagace explains how his agency approaches influencer marketing differently, and it makes sense.
Instead of starting by booking influencers who’ve never tried products and paying for promotional posts right out the gate, they first send out a ton of product to key accounts and wait for the people who love it to share. Then, they go through a series of requests to share the UGC and later secure contracts based on how much the influencer engages and genuinely enjoys the product, because the best influencer campaigns need that level of authenticity.
He says it saves clients hundreds of thousands each year.
Read the tweet for details.
Discovered via For the Interested.
Increasing Subscription Conversion Rates (Publishing Model)
Madeleine White taps into the idea that little changes have the potential to make a big impact when it comes to winning paid content subscribers.
She lays out a 5-step framework designed to increase conversion rates on premium content.
Discovered via The Media Roundup.
Opt In Challenge
Try These Podcasting Publishing Tips
Do you run a podcast? Maybe a podcast / newsletter combo?
Or maybe you are considering launching one but have a little anxiety?
Recently, experts gathered at the Publisher Podcast Summit and this Press Gazette article by Bron Maher rounds up some of the top tips including:
“Give it ten weeks, exude confidence, avoid silos and don’t be afraid to make heavy use of post-it notes.”
Your challenge this week is to take one more step forward by checking out what the pros suggest.
Discovered via The Media Roundup.