The Only Metric That Matters in Corporate Blogging

For Corporate Blogs, is something important because you measure it or does the act of measuring something make it important? Take email marketing. One of the favorite metrics client want to use is signups. I’m more interested in conversions. Or at least the percentage of new conversions from the baseline. But, the client wants to focus on signups. Which metric is most important?

email metrics
email metrics

Corporate Blogging: What Gets Measured?

Chris Penn reckons the only metric that matters is this: qualified leads. Though he does warn that ‘You can deliver 100% quality leads and with a poor sales team still have no money at the end of the day.’
Here’s the dilemma. When you start an email marketing, you’re looking for specific ways you can:

  • justify your fees
  • make the project work
  • increase the chances that you’ll be rehired

Let’s work backwards.
You’re only going to get hired IF you please the client. To do this, you need to achieve objectives, which helps justify your fee.
But, what happens when you and the client disagree on what metric matters most?

Corporate Blogging: Who Determines What Gets Measures?

Here’s a suggested approach. Remember the customer (client) is always right.
Ask them to:

  • Identify what they want to achieve, ie increase signups
  • Agree on a critical success point
  • Describe what they will do with the signups, ie upsell premium products

Then

  • Determine the cost for these signups, eg $50 per signup
  • Do a cost / benefit analysis, eg if you get 1000 signups the project is a success
  • Explore what you will do with the signups, eg sell these premium products

Remember, you need to set a baseline before starting this project.
Why?
So, you can gauge the success of the email campaign.
But, we’re not finished there.
Now that they’ve got the 1000 signups they wanted, encourage them to look at Phase 2. What’s this?
This is where you convert new leads into paying customers. Otherwise, they are ‘non-paying’ browsers.
Outline how you will:

  • Segment the customers – the more the better
  • Personalize the content mix to their needs and
  • Track the responses, which include a call to action, eg buy an item, download a white paper, or signup for a webinar.

PR Metrics: What really matters

Crawford PR have an interesting angle on capturing metrics in PR:
What matters more:

  • (Level 1) The numbers of potential customers who happen on your story by thumbing a magazine or scrolling through TV channels;
  • (Level 2) those who spot an online headline or show about you and click on it; or
  • (Level 3) the most valuable ones of all — those who actively seek you out by coming to your site?

It’s the same dilemma. You need to be clear on what you need to measure before you starting measuring.
Otherwise, what you measure may not have the same impact.
Conclusion
As a web marketer, you sometimes know better than your customer. But, you’re dependent on them for work. Be careful how you manage their expectations, especially if they want to achieve (not measure) that’s close to their heart. Once you have their trust, bridge them to a more rewarding activity where you can demonstrate your expertise and… show them what’s really worth measuring.
That’s one way of looking at it. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Darren Hester at Flickr.

How To Write 1,217 Words A Day Every Day

Karen from Sacramento emailed me and asked how to write more blog posts. I write between 1,000 and 3,000 words per day. The way I do this is to have a writing framework that lets me define the topic, write the post and publish it very quickly. Here’s how I do it.

Karen from Sacramento emailed me and asked how to write more blog posts. I write between 1,000 and 3,000 words per day. The way I do this is to have a writing framework that lets me define the topic, write the post and publish it very quickly. Here’s how I do it.

How To Post Every Day On Your Blog

I was thinking about this at the weekend, more to see how I can get more impact and where to focus. A few things about how I write:

  • I use Windows Live Writer to do the publishing, great time saver.
  • I use an Editorial Calendar to plan what’s next. This keeps me focused and give more structure to what I do
  • I use Google Reader to bring all the sites I like to me, rather than chasing them down. Also, I try to stay focused (loyal) to these.
  • I do Emergency email first in the morning. The rest waits.
  • I turn on Facebook for 20-30 min in the morning, do my stuff and then close it. Back to work.
  • I write everything, including emails, in Microsoft Word. And then copy/paste into Outlook etc. I know Microsoft Word inside out and take advantage of things like the auto-correct features. Another timesaver.
  • I don’t answer the phone at work. Ever! Except from my wife.
  • I swim/run every second day to stay sane. This really helps. Otherwise, I get burnt out, cranky, depressed. Swimming helps the most as it gets the tension out of my neck, i.e. from all the PC work. Badminton also helps.

To the blogging…
So, I guess there are three things involved:

  • Finding the time
  • Doing the writing and
  • Getting it published

How To Be More Prolific

Here are a few ‘scenarios’ that work for me. I guess I should structure it a little better, but I hope you get the idea.
When I’m washing the dishes…
When I’m washing the dishes, I think of what I want to write today for the blog. For example, ‘how to write 1000 words per day every day.’
Next, while doing other household stuff, I do this:

  • Problem – what is it? 1 sentence
  • Solution – how to fix it?
  • Break out 5 bullet points

What next? What the reader should do next.
And that’s it. While doing the mundane stuff, I sketch out the article. Then, when I get 5 min, instead of reading the news, checking the sports etc, I get it into Word.
Back to household stuff….
When junior is gone to bed, I put my words around the material and try to get draft ready.
The next day, I spend 10 min on it, and get it into Live Writer. Publish.
I use the same technique when driving, on the metro, shopping, at the mall etc.
At the mall…
We were at a kids party today. 3 hours. The usual. I slipped away for 30 min or so. I have a notepad and did a quick outline in MacDs and also some photos, and a quick video with the camera. About 2 min. Then back to the party, pick up the kids etc.
So, I guess, I’m looking for ways to make 20-30 min here and there, get something started and then work towards completion.
Other things…
On LinkedIn, if I contribute something I usually write:

  • 1 sentence only – but make it count. Something that makes the reader pay attention or
  • 100 words — and then reuse this 100 words for an article elsewhere re: the topic on LinkedIn.

On blogs

  • I do the same thing. I have all the technical writing blogs in Reader and then go thru them in 30 min, adding a sentence here and there.

BUT when commenting:
I almost NEVER give high fives. I try to add one observation that stands out. Just one sentence.
Actually, it’s an interesting exercise in brevity and after a while it become second nature.
The key for me is to do as much prep work as possible.
If I can do the outline while washing the dishes or sweeping the floor, then I just have to type it out on the PC. Without reason, of course. But I rarely sit down cold at the PC and start. It takes forever to get anything out.
Does that help?

Should You Send Full Or Partial Blog Posts To Your Email Newsletter?

One of the dilemmas when using email is deciding if you should send the entire blog post in the email or just an extract. I do both on different sites as my readers have different preferences. Recently, I moved to AWeber as it lets me send extracts (teasers) via email and then encourage them to visit the website. Of course, you can also send the full email to the website as we’ll show next.

One of the dilemmas when using email is deciding if you should send the entire blog post in the email or just an extract. I do both on different sites as my readers have different preferences. Recently, I moved to AWeber as it lets me send extracts (teasers) via email and then encourage them to visit the website. Of course, you can also send the full email to the website as we’ll show next.

Send Entire or Extract Blog Posts to Newsletters?

One of the hidden features in AWeber is the ability to send an excerpt of the blog post to an email newsletter or send the entire email to your blog.
Like we said, one of the nice features of AWeber is the ability to connect your emails to your blog. In other words, every time you send out an email, it becomes a blog post.
And you can turn it around.
Every blog post can be sent out as an email!
In order to have all content shown in your email newsletter, make these changes:

  1. Log into AWeber
  2. Open your blog newsletter template
  3. Find the string {!rss_item_description}
  4. Replace it with {!rss_item_content}
  5. Save it.

Aweber will now send out the entire blog post to your email subscribers.
This is ideal if you want to ‘tease’ readers into visiting your site, which is ideal if you want to get them to take action on your site, for example, buy products from your webstore or to increase the traffic to the site.
Remember to Test
The {!rss_item_content} merges the HTML and images from your blog post into the newsletter. Make sure to test your newsletter to make sure the HTML displays correctly in Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and other email clients.
Note: Aweber lets you send out test emails that don’t appear on the blog.

Difference Between AWeber and Feedburner?

They are both great in their own ways. I use Feedburner for sites where I want to keep things simple, reduce costs and automate the publishing process.
But when you want more advanced features, such as emails to be blog posts blog posts to be emails, then sign up for the trial version of AWeber and see how it works.
For me, it’s made a huge difference with email marketing campaigns as it helps with upselling, split testing, and sending out special offers to my subscribers that don’t appear on the blog. That element of exclusivity really helps when you’re nurturing your customers.
What other tools let you do this? Maybe there are ways to do this with Feedburner that I’m not aware of. Let me know if you have any ideas.
And I guess this brings us back to the question: should you send full or partial blog posts to your email newsletters?

Productivity: How To Make Friday Your Busiest Day

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

How to make Friday your busiest day and reap the rewards

lance-armstong-getting-things-done
7 Mistakes to avoid:

  1. Don’t fill your day with low-impact tasks.
  2. Don’t get pulled into fluffy things that you don’t really want to.
  3. Don’t do project meetings when you know it will kill your whole morning.
  4. Don’t go to long lunches.
  5. Don’t leave early.
  6. Don’t waste time studying analytics, trends, click-thrus etc… you know what they’ll say, don’t you?
  7. Not Saying NO enough.

Do this instead.
You’ll get more success if you:

  1. Plan with intention – Use Friday to plan the entire week ahead. Spend at least 2 hours on this. Planning is decision making. When you plan, you make decisions.
  2. Get Ready for Monday – planning on Friday lets you hit the ground running on Monday. See the difference? You’re already a step ahead of everyone else.
  3. Do Strategic Meetings Only – Book meetings with key contacts on Friday. Most will say Yes. They’re in down mode, so they’re easy to arrange.
  4. Find Like-minded people – Connect with people that have the same values as you. Look around the office and ask, ‘who’s killing time v who’s using it’. Link up with those doing it right.
  5. Do high impact tasks – disconnect from activities that suck the life out of you, your projects and your enjoyment in life.
  6. Share useful information – everyone wants ‘relevant’ information. Select the 5 pieces of useful information you’ve read during the week and circulate these.
  7. Authority – Establish yourself as someone who provides ‘useful’ and high value information not just cats doing ninja tricks.
  8. Stay late – when everyone is gone, you can get focused and do more work. Global clients will still be up. Call them. Chase them up. Your colleagues won’t. They’re gone, so now is your chance.

What’s going on here?
It’s about behavior.

  • It’s how others impact the way you behave and respond.
  • To succeed, in the way you want to succeed, you need to observe how others make you behave the way you do.
  • Admit it.
  • Put a plan in place to create your own blueprint for success.
  • Find ways to do this every day.
  • See where you fall down, where you can improve and what you’re doing right.
  • Keep at it.

Success is like developing a muscle. You have to train it, assess it, and increase it. Luckily, there are no short-cuts. If you persist, you’ll succeed. You have to!
What do you think?
Do you plan to make Friday’s the busiest day? What would change if you did?
Photo Credit puliarfanita

How to Blog Almost Every Day – Use the Inverted Pyramid story format

MobileRadio.hk 紀念出席了creative commons 的 pin
Image by jonathansin via Flickr

Do you want to update your blog every day?
Chris Brogan provides this framework for writing a blog post (almost) every day. He adds that while it’s not easy, once you develop the right habits, they stick with you. I’m writing quite regularly now, but it took me several years to get my groove down to a science. Continue reading “How to Blog Almost Every Day – Use the Inverted Pyramid story format”

How to import a WordPress blog into another WordPress blog

I decided to merge several small WordPress blogs into a single WordPress blog recently. I did this for several reasons, mostly as I wanted to concentrate the content in one site and also to reduce the time and effort of maintaining multiple blogs. Here are the steps to do this with screenshots. Continue reading “How to import a WordPress blog into another WordPress blog”

Wired.com Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain #2

Wired.com Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain #2

Gary Wolf writes in Wired.com that, “two years ago, my fellow Wired writer Kevin Kelly and I noticed that many of our acquaintances were beginning to do this terrible thing to themselves, finding clever ways to extract streams of numbers from ordinary human activities. A new culture of personal data was taking shape.”
The immediate cause of this trend was obvious: New tools had made self-tracking easier. Continue reading “Wired.com Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain #2”

Where is the Search Engine on MSDN Blogs

Microsoft still has a lot to learn about search engines. While Bing is very impressive, other parts of the Microsoft websphere aren’t so lucky. Here is the search engine on the MSDN site. Do you see it? No? There is no search engine – at least not at first glance – until you click the Search link. Then, and only then, can you search the Microsoft blogs.

Microsoft still has a lot to learn about search engines. While Bing is very impressive, other parts of the Microsoft websphere aren’t so lucky.
Here is the search engine on the MSDN site.

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh/3580555906/
Do you see it?
No?
There is no search engine – at least not at first glance – until you click the Search link.
Then, and only then, can you search the Microsoft blogs.
Why has Microsoft designed the site like this?
I don’t know.
I think it’s because they are a software development company and still think like developers – they haven’t made the switch to search. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong.
But I do know they need to re-define their search engine strategy or risk losing more market share.
Will Bing answer this?
We’re going to look at Bing later this week so stay tuned.
For a taster of what you get on Bing, look at the video. Go on, it’s free, and Bing is better than you think.
Find out more about Bing at: http://www.decisionengine.com/Default.html
rgs
Ivan
www.ivanwalsh.com