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Three Misconceptions About Modern SEO That Confuse Content Marketers

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What’s the reality of search engine optimization after the Google Hummingbird update? Can someone destroy your business with negative SEO? Did Google kill the concept of AuthorRank when it eliminated the Authorship initiative?

For these types of questions, there’s no better person to ask than Danny Sullivan, founder of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, CMO of Third Door Media (producers of the popular SMX conferences), and a veteran search engine expert of 20 years. Today’s show is just a warmup to Danny’s presentation at Authority Rainmaker 2015, May 13-15 in Denver, Colorado.

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How an Email Newsletter Publisher Built an Audience of 223,991 Subscribers

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Brian and I have been talking about his new email newsletter lately, and I thought it’d be interesting to have a similar conversation with someone in a completely different topical market.

It’s about one person writing and curating a topic he knows and cares about, building a massive email audience over a period of four years, then turning all that work into a sustainable business.

And hang in there, even if you have no interest in (or understanding of) programming, Javascript, Ruby, or HTML5, you’ll be able to apply the lessons of this episode to your own business …

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Has Social Media Killed Consumer Trust?

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This week, Robert and I put on our commentary caps to take on subjects that have been in the news. Plus, we reveal what’s in the very near future for Rainmaker.FM (think big).

The main story this week is all too familiar … short-cut marketers are the reason we can’t have nice things. Now, apparently, they’ve destroyed trust in social media, as consumers assume everyone is on the take.

As you might expect, we have an answer for that one. Plus, we talk podcasting for content marketing, revenue models for podcast networks, and heartily agree with some advice given by Gary Vaynerchuk.

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Split-Testing 101: How to Know Which Words Work

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The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
~ Mark Twain

That Twain guy was pretty smart. But he had to rely on the intuition that comes from years of writing to choose the right word, and even then it was still a guess. Poor guy.

Nowadays, we’ve got technology that allows us to easily know what the right word, phrase, or headline is, at least when it comes to getting people to take the action you want. But all the tech in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to test, or test incorrectly.

To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I invited Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers to give us free consulting share her wisdom at the intersection of creative copy and no-nonsense testing.

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5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

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Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here:

Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising?

Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed a certain way for a curation project. Others are seemingly a little “outside the box,” and yet they complement a curated email newsletter perfectly.

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3 Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster

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Note: This is the second of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the first episode here: Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements.

A key aspect of last week’s episode was identifying the purpose of any smart content curation project – audience building. Specifically, building an audience asset in the form of an email list.

This week we’re focusing exactly on that essential element. After smartly positioning your curation project, you want to do everything you can to optimize your initial sign-up conversion rate before you invest serious time and money in driving traffic.

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Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements

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Last fall, Robert and I did an episode of the podcast where we laid out how content curation could be used to build an audience and even a business. It was one of the most popular episodes of 2014.

We did that episode based on a personal project I was already planning to do. I quietly launched that project last month, and it’s called Further. It’s a curated email newsletter dedicated to living your best life, with features and news items related to health, wealth, and wisdom.

Here are a few sample issues:

Given the initial high interest (and several requests), I’ve decided to do a “behind the scenes” case study on myself, revealing what I’m doing and why, plus what’s working and what’s not. This episode and the next two will be the first leg of that case study.

If you’re interested in the possibilities at the intersection of curation and email marketing, I think you’ll get a lot out of these episodes. Even if you’re not sure about that, there are a lot of fundamental content, copywriting, and entrepreneurial insights throughout. At minimum, you can watch a new project develop in real time, with commentary.

Enough said … let’s get started.

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Behind the Scenes: 2014 in Review and the Road Ahead

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2014 was a pivotal year for Copyblogger Media. We:

  • Launched a Pilot program for our Rainmaker Platform using a podcast
  • Evolved the platform to version 2.0 during the Pilot phase
  • Arrived at the 8-figure level for annual revenue, up 34%

For an added twist, we tried things, observed, learned, and made changes on the fly throughout the year – from content, to format, to development. Which, let’s be frank, may have made us look like we didn’t know what we were doing.

Welcome to the real world. When you play in real time with a real audience, you figure out everything you need to know. But you can’t be afraid to adapt based on what they tell you just because it differs from “the plan.”

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Seth Godin on Stepping Up and Making it Happen

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Seth Godin is the author of 17 bestselling books. He’s the founder of email marketing pioneer Yoyodyne, and the charity-driven publishing platform Squidoo. And he’s the selfless dispenser of daily wisdom via the most popular marketing blog on the planet.

But if you had to sum Seth up in one word, it might well be impresario.

The classical definition of that word refers to a promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company.

The modern definition, set forth by Seth himself when he’s teaching others about the prime entrepreneurial role of the connection economy, is as follows:

One who gathers others together for creating art–the art of making a ruckus; the art of inventing the future; the art of important work.

Whether bootstrapping a startup by building an audience first, curating content to create something vibrant and new, or assembling a tribe that changes the world, it’s the modern impresarios who best take advantage of the power of the Internet to turn intangible ideas into real things that really matter. Things that change lives.

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Michael Hyatt on Building a Media Platform and Becoming a 10-Year Overnight Success

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Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. In fact, Hyatt has been involved in the traditional publishing business his entire working life.

Not the typical profile of a do-it-yourself blogger, right?

And yet, in 2012 when Thomas Nelson was acquired by HarperCollins and Michael left his executive role, it was his 8-year-old blog that opened the door to an exciting and vibrant new chapter of his life. A blog that he toiled in frustrating obscurity for many of those foundational years.

It was the blog that provided the launch pad for his New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. And it was the book that opened the door to his membership program Platform University. Seems like we can learn a few things from this guy about building our own online marketing and sales platforms.

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