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Guest Posting Best Practices

Sonia Simone and Stefanie Flaxman

Guest posting is one of the strategies we recommend most often for growing your audience. But how do you do it? How do you find the right blogs and websites, make the connections with publishers, and craft your work in a way that expands your audience?

In this session, Copyblogger's Sonia Simone joined Stefanie Flaxman, our Manager of Editorial Standards, to talk about best practices when you're looking for guest posting gigs. They also talked about recommendations for when you're the publisher.

Helpful Resources:

Flickr Creative Commons images

These Creative Commons images were used in the presentation slides:

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Rainmaker Bonus: Simple Strategies for Successful Member Sites

Andrea Rennick and Pamela Wilson

Before you create the first page for your brand-new membership site, you’ll want to develop a strategy for how you’ll move website visitors along the buyer’s journey.

In this webinar, Andrea Rennick and Pamela Wilson show you how to use content every step of the way to move prospects from attraction to conversion so you can build a thriving membership community.

And they answer the great questions posed by Rainmaker Platform owners, too.

You’ll discover:

  • How to create a “chain reaction” that creates customers out of visitors using content
  • How to plan out the content you’ll create for every step of the buyer’s journey
  • Why a spirit of experimentation is the best approach
  • The member group and product relationship: how to think about each one

Helpful Resources:

Modern Email Marketing: A Better Strategy for Online Lead Generation and Conversion
Marketing Core: Use the “Content Map” to Build an Effective Sales Process
The Art of Creating Profitable Membership Sites
How to Effectively Sell Membership Programs and Digital Downloads
A Remarkably Simple Business Plan
How to Build a Business Using Paid and Free Content
Three Keys to Creating an Online Experience Worth Paying For

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Replay: Q&A for October 17, 2014

Jerod Morris and Pamela Wilson

In this Q&A, Jerod and Pamela answered your individual business questions. You can listen to the replay here, or download to your device using the player and download links provided.

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How to Create a Recurring Content Event that Builds Your List

Pamela Wilson

Back in 2012, Pamela Wilson developed a monthly webinar series that consistently attracted new prospects and became her most-effective list building tactic ever. In this webinar, she shared:

  • How to ignore what everyone else does, and create an event that works for your audience
  • How “content events” differ from other content you create
  • Promotional strategies to boost the size of your audience
  • What to do post-event to maximize conversions
  • How to follow up with first-time attendees and keep the relationship going

Helpful Resources

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Rainmaker Bonus: How to Choose and Use the Right Theme for Your Brand

Andrea Rennick and Pamela Wilson

Does sitting in front of all those beautiful Rainmaker themes make you break out in a sweat?

After all, it's not easy to anticipate your needs and pick a theme that will work today, next month, and next year.

In this session, Andrea Rennick and Pamela Wilson helped you think through the best way to choose a theme for your Rainmaker Platform site.

They discussed:

  • The absolute worst time to choose a theme -- and how to avoid it
  • The website element that is more important than your theme, and that should be your main focus
  • Simple ways to customize elements of your theme so you can make it your own
  • How to ensure your customizations don't break the responsive aspect of your theme
  • A quick (and easy) way to update all your theme images at once

Helpful Resources:
Theme Guide
BigStockPhoto.com: paid stock photo images
istockphoto.com: paid stock photo images
pixabay.com: free stock photo images
stockvault.net: free stock photo images
depositphotos.com: free stock photo images
gratisography.com: free stock photo images
W3Schools: to learn CSS
Recommended Genesis developers list: for help customizing your Rainmaker theme
Google Font API: free custom fonts, hosted by Google
Typekit: paid custom fonts, owned by Adobe
Uncover Your Brand Personality in 10 Minutes or Less: for free help discovering how to communicate your brand
What Font Should You Use? for typography resources
Which Colors Are Best For Your Business? for more on using color
Outreach Theme variations: same theme, completely different designs

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Essential Elements for a Strong Visual Brand

Brian Gardner and Pamela Wilson

Brian Gardner and Pamela Wilson talked about the most important elements you can use to create a recognizable visual brand. They discussed:

  • Three "special effects" a memorable visual brand will have on your business, and why you should make the extra effort to build one now
  • The crucial questions you need to answer before beginning the branding process
  • How logos fit into the big picture, and why you may not need one
  • How a few simple color choices can help you brand your business
  • What your font choices say about your business, and how to be sure you’re sending the right message
  • What design elements to look for when choosing a WordPress theme

Helpful Resources:

Business Data and Statistics

Demographic Information Online

Survey Monkey

Adobe Illustrator

Corel Draw

StudioPress Showcase

Open Office

Example Sites:
Brian Gardner

adventure.com

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Creativity for Marketers and Business Owners

Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and Sonia Simone

Johnny Truant and Sean Platt of Fiction Unboxed share with us lessons learned as they wrote a 100,000-word book in 30 days, live, in front of an audience, showing everything, and starting from nothing.

Johnny and Sean are both business and marketing veterans who also have a wide (and productive) creative streak. In this energetic session, Johnny and Sean talk about their experiences at the crossroads of business and creativity.

Johnny and Sean chatted with Sonia Simone about:

  • Why creativity is essential to any business, whether you consider yourself an artist or not
  • The key success factor business owners must develop
  • When to listen to criticism, and when to ignore it
  • The right way to think about business goals
  • How to become more creatively productive

Helpful Resources:

Disclosures

This session contains no affiliate links or promotions.

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Replay: Q&A for September 19, 2014

Jerod Morris and Sonia Simone

In this Q&A, Jerod and Sonia answered your individual business questions. You can listen to the replay here, or download to your device using the player and download links provided.

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How to Handle Writing Stress, Writer’s Block, and Procrastination

Pamela Wilson and Sonia Simone

As content creators and publishers, most of us do a lot of writing. And some days, it feels like we do a lot of not writing.

In this session, Sonia Simone talked with Pamela Wilson about what she’s learned over the years about how to get more high-quality writing done, how to handle the unique stresses of writing and “writer’s block,” and what habits you can put in place to make writing more enjoyable.

Sonia and Pamela talked about:

  • The miraculous power of the crappy first draft
  • Tips that consistently improve the quality of your writing
  • The most important habits of highly productive writers
  • How to work with a writing group
  • How and when to use feedback (and when you should never show your work)

Helpful Resources:

Disclosures

This session contains no affiliate links or promotions.

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The Death of Google Authorship

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, Google made the abrupt announcement that they would be discontinuing the use of their Authorship functionality in search results and webmaster tools.

Brian Clark and Sonia Simone delivered a quick audio presentation on how writers and online business should be approaching this development. They talked about what this means for SEO and what you should do differently following the announcement. They also took questions about Authorship, Google+, and "Author Rank."

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