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The Photography Wars Heat Up

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My entire life I’ve enjoyed taking photos. Follow me on Instagram and you’ll see that I’m constantly capturing moments from my life and sharing them with the world. This allows people to connect with me in a way that my blog, podcast or other mediums have never allowed.

Most of us leave the house every day with a camera in our pocket (aka a phone) and yet businesses big and small seem to be ignoring or not fully realizing the power of photography when they plan out their marketing efforts.

Repeat after me: Photography MUST Be Part of Your Marketing Plans.

I’ve been saying it for years and yet not everyone was listening. We even dedicated a whole chapter to photography in Content Rules because Ann and I knew that no matter what business you were in, images are important.

This week we’ve seen the battle for photography heating up online as Instagram pulled their images from Twitter, Flickr unveiled a major update and Twitter added editing capabilities to their native app.

It is easier than ever to take a photo, post it online and get reactions to it. Take one minute to look at your social network of choice and you’ll see photos throughout.

Images are the most important content you can create to get attention online.

I’m not discounting other forms of content, but I am telling you that if you are not creating and sharing images as part of your marketing mix you are in trouble.

Humans enjoy looking at photos. They stand out and get attention from even the most click happy of web surfers.

During my session at NMX I’ll be discussing the importance of photography, but I’ll also be sharing tips on how anyone can find, take and share images that people will enjoy.

While I won’t have time to teach a full photography class, I do plan on sharing my personal workflow and plan on everyone leaving thinking and taking photos in a new light compared to when they walked in.

How to Turn ONE Piece of Content into an Online Marketing Marathon — Without Lifting a Finger!

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What if you could create one piece of content, and then turn it into four completely separate pieces of fresh, original content to use all over the internet to help market and promote your online brand?

It’s doable. And way easier than most think, and it’s the topic that I’ll be covering at my presentation in Vegas this coming January, entitled “45 Things Content Creators Can Outsource to Virtual Assistants to Help Grow Their Business.”

In the meantime, and to get you thinking about the topic and what it can mean to you, as an online content creator, here’s a rundown on how it works. You’ll see a bit of a pattern developing, which I’ll cover at the end of the post.

Step 1

Sit down in front of a video camera, with a like-minded person that you know your audience will love to hear from. If you can’t be with them in person, then get them on Skype and record a split-screen chat between the two of you. We’re talking 20-minutes of content, that’s all that’s needed.

Step 2

Send that video to an AV virtual assistant to have it converted into an audio podcast. They’ll clean it up and splice together a cool sounding intro and outro, too – to make it sound super professional.

You can also have that VA cut up the original video file into 5-minute clips, creating four original videos that can be uploaded to YouTube and used for keyword marketing, individually!

Step 3

Send the audio file to a transcriptionist virtual assistant (known universally nowadays as a “VA”) and have them convert it into a Word document. They will then draft and schedule the written content into your blogging software, which can be used as blog post content.

Step 4

Send that Word document to a graphic designer virtual assistant and have them layout it all out into a snazzy looking eBook, or PDF guide of some sort, which you can then use as a giveaway – such as an opt-in offer – or just a freebie for your community – they’ll love you for it, telling all their friends to go visit your blog!

Step 5

Have that same graphic designer VA convert certain quotes from the conversation into images that you can use on your social media channels. They’ll brand the image with your logo, a cool photo and a URL for people to remember to check out later on.

BOOM!

Five different pieces of original, branded content created out of just 20-minutes of work. Did you see the pattern? Yep – you got it. Utilize the power of virtual staff to build your content creation empire.

This is Just the Tip of the Content Marketing Iceberg!

There are so many more things you can get virtual assistants to do for you as a professional content creator. Membership sites, squeeze pages, full-blown online courses, Kindle books – you name it.

They can’t, however, do any babysitting, or pick up your dry cleaning!

The list goes on and on and I’ll be going into a LOT more detail on everything at New Media Expo in January. I’ll even touch base on the different tools you can use to work with VAs to have them become super productive, and for you to get the biggest bang for your buck as a virtual boss.

See you in Vegas, baby!

32 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Small Business Blogging

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web, all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Small Business Blogging

A blog can be an extremely powerful tool for some business owners. But, of course, there are a lot of stumbling blocks. How do I find the time? What do I write about? How do I promote my posts?

Today, our Brilliant Bloggers list answers these questions and more. We’ve collected over 30 posts that can help you start a small business blog or boost sales using the one you already have.

And don’t forget our can’t-miss business sessions at BusinessNext, presented by NMX. This show features experts in the business, blogging, and marketing worlds to help you learn about taking your business blog and other online efforts to the next level. Register now!

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

The Value of Small Business Blogging: 3 Key Questions & Answers by Lee Odden

I could point to any number of posts about small business blogging on TopRank from Lee Odden, but I like this one the best because it addresses why exactly small businesses should be blogging in the first place. When I talk to small business owners, the biggest stumbling block is getting them to believe they need a blog. Sometimes, a blog might not make sense, but in most cases having a blog can really boost your business. In this post, Lee talks about the benefits of having a blog for your small business, and if you’re hungry for even more, he links to a video at the end where he talks to Frank J. Kenny more about small business blogging.

Did you know Lee will also be speaking at BusinessNext, being presented at NMX 2013 in Las Vegas? You don’t want to miss him and Amy Porterfield speaking in the session “Companies That Hit The Bullseye With Their Social Campaigns.” Grab a full access pass today to get access to this BusinessNext session!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 3 Tips for Starting a Small Business Blog by Collis Ta’eed (@collis)
  2. 5 Benefits of Small Business Blogging by bMighty2 (@bmighty2)
  3. 5 Costly Mistakes Small Business Blogs Cannot Afford by Prasanna Bidkar (@prasannabidkar)
  4. 5 Keys to Successful Small Business Blogging by Ty Kiisel (@tykiisel)
  5. 5 Small Business Business Blogging Tips by Jase Group (@JASEGroup)
  6. 5 Things To Do Before You Launch Your [Small Business] Blog by Sarah Von Bargen (@yesandyes)
  7. 5 Ways To Build A Better Business Through Blogging by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone)
  8. 6 Reasons Every Small Business Should Be Blogging… Are You Missing the Boat? by Jonah Lopin (@JonahLopin)
  9. 6 Tips for Customizing Your Small Business Blog by Ben Parr (@benparr)
  10. 7 Blogging Mistakes That Small Businesses Make by Lou Dubois (@lou_dubois)
  11. 7 Ways to Amplify Your Small Business Blog by Monica Romeri
  12. 8 Tips for Keeping your Business Blog Current by Caron Beesley (@caronbeesley)
  13. 9 Hard-Hitting Content Strategies for Small Business Blogging by Neil Patel (@neilpatel)
  14. 9 Tips for Creating More Small Business Blogging Ideas by Mark Hayward (@mark_hayward)
  15. Best 4 Blogging Tips for Small Business Owners by Lynn Brown (@learnit2earnit)
  16. Blog Management for Small Businesses: The Ultimate Guide by Heather Rast (@heatherrast)
  17. Content Strategies for Small Business Blogs by Aylin Poulton
  18. Going Local with Your Small Business Blogging by Ashley Neal (@smallbizatlanta)
  19. How to Blog Effectively to Market Your Small Business by Shashi Bellamkonda (@ShashiB)
  20. How To Make Your Business Blog Informative by Amie Marse (@Content_Money)
  21. How to Start a Small Business Blog the Right Way by Marion Jacobson (@searchqueen)
  22. Six Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Blog Now by Women’s Leadership Exchange (@WLExchange)
  23. Small Business Blogs: Is Blogging Worth it for Small Businesses? by Emily Bennington (@EmilyBennington)
  24. Small Business Blogging Tips: How to create compelling posts by Chris Wallace
  25. Small Business Blogging Tips for Beginners by Danielle Rodabaugh (@DaRodabaugh)
  26. Top 10 Small Business Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2013 by Linda Dessau (@lindadessau)
  27. Why a Small Business Blog Is Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset by Lynnette Fusilier (@pearlgirl)
  28. Why Every Small Business Needs a WordPress Blog for Their Social Media Strategy by Jeannette Paladino (@jepaladino)
  29. Why You should Blog for Your Small Business by Lance Sonka (@lancesonka)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about small business? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: NMX/BusinessNext 2013!

Our next edition of Brilliant Bloggers in January will feature all of the awesome, recap posts about NMX 2013! Good or bad, we love hearing your thoughts on the show. Want to be included on this round-up list? You have to attend NMX and/or BusinessNext 2013! Check out our live event site to learn how to register or upgrade to an all-access pass.

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts (and contact info for sending your links!). We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

The Ultimate Key to Easier Content Marketing for Small Business Owners

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As a small business owners, one of the biggest challenges is having time for it all. When it comes to your online marketing efforts, the latest trend is content marketing, and for good reason – it works. Content marketing is essentially giving away content like blog posts, videos, and ebooks in an effort to drive them toward an action (typically buying something from you).

So, for example, if you own a web hosting company, you might publish blog posts every week that teach people web design skills or if you own a bakery, you might give away a very short cookbook with some recipes at-home bakers can try.

Content marketing definitely takes time, though, simply because you have to actually create that content. You can pay a freelancer to do this, but if you’re a small business owner on a shoestring budget, you might not have money for a quality product. Even so, to get the best content, you have to spend time managing the project.

So what’s the key to actually making content marketing easier? Use the resources you already have.

When you’re creating content for marketing purposes, you can repurpose the resources you already have as a small business owner. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have nothing to offer. Here are some of the things most small businesses have:

  • Employees who are super knowledgeable and able to write or speak on camera about topics in your industry
  • A bank of questions your customers ask you often that could each be turned into their own blog posts (or videos or even sections of an ebook)
  • “Insider” resources relating to your product/service (for example, recipes from your restaurant)
  • A network of industry contacts who would love to be interviewed

You can also consider creating content in ways that allow you to present something super valuable to your audience without spending as much time. Consider…

  • Attending conferences, writing down speaker quotes, and compiling a list of advice
  • Creating resource lists linking to everyone writing/talking about a specific topic (like we do for Brilliant Bloggers)
  • Asking a question via social media and publishing everyone’s answers

Additionally, you can take content you’ve created and use it as a starting point to get even more use out of it. For example:

  • A single, long blog post can become a multi-part series if broken down into sections
  • A series of blog posts can become a short ebook without much additional work or a longer email if you write more content
  • A video or podcast can become written content if you include a transcription

The key is to work smarter, not harder! If you’re short on time, you need to throw your attention into the most important tasks to make your small business run, so this might mean that you “never get around” to the content marketing thing, since it seems like such a daunting task. With the right approach to it, however, you can at least start to put out great free content to attract a larger audience to your business. You’d be amazed at the amount of content you can produce even with a limited number of hours to allocate to this process.

If you’re a business owner interested in learning more about content marketing, social media, and online marketing, definite check out our BusinessNext conference, presented in conjunction with NMX (formerly BlogWorld). BusinessNext will feature three days of speakers teaching you how to take your business’ online presence to the next level.

Blogs Used More By B2B for Content Marketing Purposes in 2011

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A recent study by MarketingProfs titled “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” shows blogs are on the rise as a viable source for content marketing purposes.

In 2010, only 51% of B2B surveyed said they used blogs for this purpose. It rose 27% to 65% in 2011. Using blogs as a content marketing tactic comes in behind articles (79%) and social media (74%).

Sources which fell in usage, include print magazines and print newsletters.

As far as social media goes, Twitter is the number one way B2Bs choose to distribute content at 74%. This is a 35% rise from last year’s 55%. The next most popular way to distribute content was LinkedIn at 71%, followed by Facebook at 70%.

Another interesting tidbit of information that came out of the study, is although B2B use social media as a tactic for content marketing, only about half of the respondents think it’s effective.

Marcus Sheridan: The Story of Inbound Marketing

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Session: 7 Blogging Ideas That Will Brand Your Business and Make You the Voice of Your Industry
Speaker: Marcus Sheridan

At BlogWorld LA, Marcus Sheridan will not only show 7 powerful ways by which businesses will gain huge SEO and Branding visits through content, but he’ll also take the audience to the ‘next level’ of understanding how consumers think, feel, and the things they truly want to be reading about.

Hear his story:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

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