Friday, 28 February 2014

One Very Simple Email Marketing Trick that Even Big Brands Aren’t Using

1 comments Posted by Areeba Khan at 21:46
Last week, I was in Vegas for MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit – a high-profile conference aimed at businesses looking to improve their email marketing.
While some of the advice was definitely aimed at big brands with big audiences, there were plenty of tips that apply to anyone with an email list.
I wrote about what I learned in a post for Zen Optimise (Twelve Brilliantly Simple Email Marketing Tips from MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2014), but I wanted to share just one very simple yet really vital tip here:
Make your “snippet” text compelling.
What’s snippet text?
It’s the first few words of your email, which appear alongside the subject line in many email clients, like Gmail. I’ve indicated the snippets in red below:
Here are the snippets themselves:
South by Southwest’s email snippet reads “Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser. Faceboo…”
genConnect’s email snipped reads “If you’re having trouble viewing this email…”
This is such a wasted opportunity. Why not use the snippet to encourage people to open your email? The myWaitrose email does the best job of this, with:
“Waitrose £5 wines plus how to make Delia’s pancakes…”
(And I don’t know about you, but the words “having trouble reading this email?” or similar aren’t exactly encouraging ones…)
There are plenty of ways to create better snippet text. Maybe your template has a box to include a sentence or two on the top left hand side. Maybe you want to change the way you begin your emails.
It’s up to you. Just be aware of what readers are seeing … and how you can use it to your advantage.

Have you got a great example of a compelling snippet from an email in your inbox? Share it with us in the comments!
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

What Should You Blog About If You’re a Freelance Blogger?

4 comments Posted by Areeba Khan at 16:36
In our survey last year, one DailyBlogTips reader asked:
“I sell myself as a blogger so do I need to blog myself?? What would I write about? How to write a blog article? That’s what I do!”
This is a common dilemma for bloggers who offer a writing-related service. Even if you don’t offer writing services, this question raises a wider point: what should you blog about in order to attract clients to your business?
For freelance bloggers, there are three options:
  1. Choose a big, popular topic that you’re interested in (and one you’d want to write about). It could be parenting, personal development, food …
  2. Aim your posts at people who are fairly new to blog-writing but need help – e.g. the online marketing team of a big company.
  3. Don’t have a blog of your own at all – just guest post on other people’s blogs in order to raise awareness about your freelancing services. (You’ll want a website they can come to, though, to find out about what you offer.)
Any of these approaches can be successful, and I’ve used all three in different ways and at different times during my blogging career.
In the first case, you’ll have a great portfolio of on-topic work when you approach blogs in that area. (This is why it needs to be a popular topic, so that you’ve got a good chance of finding paid work.)
In the second case, you’ll attract clients who may hire you so they can go beyond simply reading your tips: they’ll realise you know what you’re talking about and that you can help.
In the third case, it doesn’t matter if your website only gets a few visitors – they’ll be highly targeted (and you may also pick up word-of-mouth referrals).
There’s one mistake you should definitely avoid, though…
…and that’s making your blog all about how to be a freelance blogger.
If you’re getting into freelancing, writing posts like “how to set your rates as a freelance blogger” or “writing articles for clients” might seem obvious. But if you do that, you’ll attract an audience of fellow freelancers – none of whom will want to hire you!
And the same goes for anyone providing a service. Don’t aim your posts at your peers, i.e. people offering the same service as you. Instead, think about who your ideal client is, and what sort of content they want to read.
If you’re new to freelance blogging or if you’re just thinking about the idea, we have two great guest posts from freelancer Tom Ewer on DailyBlogTips: 7 Lessons from a Full Time Freelance Blogger and How to Make Money Blogging (It’s Not What You Think).
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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Five Ways to Improve Your Blog in Just Five Minutes (Take Our Challenge)

0 comments Posted by Areeba Khan at 23:17
Does your blog ever feel like a hungry beast demanding a constant stream of fresh content?
A lot of bloggers struggle to keep up – and when there are new posts to write on a regular basis, it can be tough to find time to tweak, refine and improve your blog.
So this week, I have a challenge for you. Find five minutes per day to check off each of the tasks below.
(You might want to bookmark this post or even print it out.)

Monday: Fix Broken Links

Use one of the tools on this list to find broken links on your site. Fix as many as you can in five minutes.
Why it matters: Broken links create a bad impression for first-time visitors – and can even have a negative impact on your SEO.

Tuesday: Declutter Your Sidebar

Take a look at your sidebar. Are there any widgets you can do without? Remove them.
Why it matters: Like broken links, cluttered sidebars look bad. They may also put readers off taking action (e.g. subscribing to your blog) by presenting too many choices.

Wednesday: Take a Fresh Headshot

Grab your camera (and a friend if possible). Spend five minutes taking headshots.
Why it matters: You’ll want a good, recent headshot for your About page, social media profiles, and guest post bios. Smile!

Thursday: Update Your About Page

Add that headshot to your About page – and while you’re at it, fix any outdated information. (The age of your kids, the services you offer…)
Why it matters: It’s easy to ignore your own About page, but first time readers will often check it out.

Friday: Plan a Post for Next Week

Grab a sheet of paper or open up a new document. Spend two minutes writing down ideas as fast as you can, then pick one and write a plan.
Why it matters: Coming up with ideas ahead of time reduces blogger’s block; creating a plan makes it easier to write a well-structured post.
Are you up for our five minute daily challenge? Drop a comment below to tell us that you’ll be taking part … and share the post with your blogging friends for extra accountability.
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