How to Use Email Etiquette in the Age of Email Overload

Email etiquette

Editor’s note: This post was written by Rupert Adam, marketing manager at Emailcenter, the UK’s largest independent ESP. He specialises in marketing and strategy development. Follow him on Twitter: @RooAdam.

When it comes to dealing with your inbox, you’re probably one of two types of people. There’s those with tens, hundreds or even thousands of unread messages stacked up in their inbox, or those who can’t relax until every single message has been read and either deleted, delegated, responded or deferred.

On average, we send and receive 100 billion emails every single day (just imagine how many that equates to in a year). With that many emails being sent daily, and with research suggesting that the average professional receives more than 100 emails every day, it’s little wonder why so many of us can get lost in our inbox and spend more of our working day dealing with and sifting through messages rather than actually getting any quality work done. In fact, messages from fellow bloggers, guest post requests, meetup/conference invitations, sales messages, newsletters and spam are probably filling up your inbox right this very second!

And that’s where Inbox Zero comes in. [Read more…]

When Your Blog Attracts the Wrong Readers, What You Can Do About It

blog attracts wrong readers

Editor’s note: This post was written by Ioana, a trained architect, with a longstanding passion for writing and technology. Ioana always manages to impress with her exceptional work. She is a delightfully talkative person and she can always lift everybody’s spirits with her upbeat personality.

You’re crafting compelling and engaging articles, your content marketing strategy is rock solid, and the page-views are increasing at a steady pace. For most marketers, this is the dream. But something doesn’t feel quite right. These precious followers are not converting, or they’re not reaching your set goal.

Why is that? Despite their best efforts, marketers and writers will sometimes attract the wrong kind of readers, and for most, this seems like such a disheartening obstacle that they give up all-together. [Read more…]

Top New Media Tips for Entrepreneurs

top new media tips for entrepreneurs

There has never been as much opportunity for entrepreneurs as there is today. Wherever you are in the world, with the right idea, proper execution, and the willingness to do what it takes, you have the chance to make it big.

Sure, the competition is tough, but that can be a driving force as well as a source of inspiration. For budding entrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs alike, openness to learning from the best in the business is one of the essential characteristics to success. [Read more…]

3 Things the Most Successful Pieces of Content Have in Common

elements successful content

Editor’s note: This post was written by Rohan, who creates digital master plans at E2M Solutions for companies seeking advanced search marketing services. He also works on mobile UX improvement for startups and sui generis brands at Hit him up on Google+ for a chat on any of these areas.

We are swimming in a veritable ocean of content on the internet today. Data shows that we create over 211 million pieces of content every minute.

Videos, articles, infographics, images, memes, GIFs – the sheer variety can be mind boggling. From absolute garbage that has been spun and re-spun a million times to pieces that are tearjerkers hands down, the quality of all this content is equally diverse.

So what does it take to stand out in the midst of this unmitigated clutter attack? You’d be tempted to think “quality content.” Well, you’re not wrong there. However, what constitutes quality? What is that secret ingredient X that takes certain pieces viral while others languish in the backrooms of the internet? [Read more…]

Best Writing Tips for Beginning Bloggers

best writing tips for beginning bloggers

You want to blog, but you’ve never written anything for public consumption before – unless you count that essay in high school, which you were required to read in front of the class. But, you really want to blog, become good at it, and perhaps even work for network or expand your career to being an online content marketer, or a social media specialist.

Don’t worry. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you don’t consider your writing skills up to par, there are things you can do to take that first step.

Here are the best writing tips for beginning bloggers that will point you in the right direction. [Read more…]

10 Proven Ways to Destroy Writer’s Block

destroy writers block

“’Writer’s block’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘I don’t feel like doing any work today.’” – Meagan Spooner

That’s just one of the many things that writers have said about writer’s block. It’s not real. It’s all in the head.

I don’t know about you, though, but there really are times when I feel like I have nothing. The ideas just won’t come, and even if I have a running list of topics, sometimes, the words just don’t make sense at all either. When all that comes out seems to be rubbish. [Read more…]

How To Protect Your Brand On Social Media

protect brand on social media

Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Social media is now a critical component of any marketing campaign. Used correctly, it builds an army of enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand. But social media is a double-edged sword. Negative reviews, PR blunders and inconsistent brand messages are constant dangers – threats that you need to guard against. Brand protection has to be an integral part of your social media strategy, otherwise you are putting your brand at risk.

Implement A Social Media Policy

While it takes time to build an online brand, your employees can damage it very quickly – often without meaning to. There are well-publicized examples of this. For example, when a US Airways employee tweeted a very graphic image on the company’s Twitter account. Sometimes, however, the damage can be more subtle.

Let’s assume that someone in your marketing department sets up an unofficial branded hashtag, which they use to tweet company news – all with the best intentions. But if they do this without tying into your social media strategy, they can end up sending confusing messages that devalue your brand.

To avoid this and protect your brand on social media, put in place a clear social media policy. This should tell your staff things like who is authorized to post content, what approvals are needed, and what type of content can be posted. Also make sure that this addresses your employees’ private social media accounts – tell them exactly what they can and can’t do with their own accounts.

Finally, make your acceptable use policy clear to your followers on social media. For example, state on your Facebook page that you’ll delete readers’ comments if they contain or link to pornographic, racist or other types of unacceptable content. By saying this upfront, you’ll reduce any social media backlash when you censor what readers have to say.

Monitor Social Media For Damaging Comments

protect brand on social mediaImage source

You should also monitor social media for what people say about you. Look at overall sentiment, but also identify specific negative comments. There are several great tools you can use to do this, including Google Alerts, Trackur, SocialMention and BlitzMetrics. The advantage of these tools is that they don’t just monitor your own social media channels – they can monitor the entire social media universe.

When you do find negative comments, don’t make the mistake of arguing online. Craft a reasonable response to what the author has to say. This will reduce the impact of the comment for other readers. If they do respond positively, offer to talk to them offline to address any concerns they might have.

Also watch for sites that rank highly for your company name – or for other brand-related keywords that you use. It’s easy for someone to set up a site with the intent of damaging your business, or even impersonating it for fraudulent reasons. You need to intercept these sites quickly – and you may even need to take legal action to get them shut down.

Create Buzz

protect brand on social mediaImage source

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to silence all your detractors on social media. Negative feedback is just a fact of life. But you can offset it by creating a constant positive buzz around your brand. This will drown out negative comments – or at least push them into the background.

However, you can’t create buzz by yourself – in fact, readers won’t believe you if you try to do this. Instead, you need to use sites like Tomoson to get influencers talking about your products or services. People trust bloggers and other online thought leaders – much more than they trust company advertising.

Creating positive relations with bloggers is a major topic in itself, but here are a few key things you need to know. First of all, bloggers value their independent voice – and so do their readers. So even if you pay bloggers to write posts, don’t try to bend them to your will. Second, bloggers want to know that you are interested in them – so take the time to read their blog posts and express genuine interest. Third, you need to give bloggers something to talk about, so avoid boring marketing pitches – roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Finally, remember that bloggers are not the only influencers. When your customers talk about your brand, they are selling it at the same time. People will naturally make some comments, but you need to encourage them to say more. For example, by simply responding quickly and positively to comments, you can spark more conversation. Retweeting comments is another good strategy, although you shouldn’t spam your followers by doing this too much. Another good approach is to run an online contest where you ask readers what they love about your brand – and then give prizes for the best comments.

Avoid Controversial Subjects

protect brand on social mediaImage source

Unless your business directly involves religion or politics, you shouldn’t discuss these subjects on social media. Even if what you say is innocuous, you’re going to offend some people in your audience. There’s usually no upside in talking about controversial subjects – and there’s always a downside. Religion and politics aren’t the only controversial topics, so always think about whether you could offend before you post or tweet something.

It’s also a big mistake to exploit natural disasters and other tragedies to promote your brand online. This may seem obvious, but even leading brands get it wrong. For example, when Hurricane Sandy struck the US East Coast in 2012, American Apparel sent out an email blast offering 20% off everything, “in case you’re bored during the storm.” There was a huge social media backlash, including tweets such as “I will forever boycott their stores.” Amazingly, American Apparel wasn’t the only retailer to get this wrong – GAP also incensed the Twitterverse, with a similar post encouraging Sandy victims to shop online at

Another useful article: How an Industry-Specific Writer Can Improve Your Company’s Blogging

Featured image source

How to Maximize Your Freelance Profits Using the Power of Emotion

increase freelance profits

Editor’s note: This post was written by Seb Atkinson, a search marketer at Selesti, a multi-award winning creative digital agency. Seb has helped a range of clients grow their online presence, from start-ups and small businesses to large international corporations. Follow him on Twitter.

Setting prices for your freelance and writing services is a very important part of the sales process, and if done correctly can earn you great profits, or on the other hand leave you little to show for your work. If you’re freelance writing job boards but struggling to close deals at the right price for you and your client, then read on to discover how to improve profitability using the power of emotion. [Read more…]

3 Easy Ways to Improve Writing Skills


Are bloggers writers?

Are writers bloggers?

These questions have been raised for as long as I can remember, and it seems that the general consensus is that bloggers don’t have to be excellent writers, and writers aren’t necessarily good bloggers. However, their skills put together make the perfect combination.

That being said, it is our responsibility as bloggers to make an effort to improve writing skills. Not only does that make for more readable posts, but it also increases credibility. Even those who do not have perfect grammar can be rather critical of the work of others.

So how do you improve writing skills? Here are three easy ways to do that. [Read more…]

Explaining The Perfect Website Design to Non-Designers


The skill of designing a website or blog is something that owners should learn or at least become much more aware of moving forward.

It is understandable that website owners and bloggers are more focused in building content, leaving the responsibility of web design to professionals. But being able to edit elements in your site design using HTML and CSS will give you a better understanding of the role design plays in web development  can impact your site’s performance.

More importantly, learning how to edit your web design will give you better control of your site’s performance, which will help you reach your online goals faster.

If you need a crash course of web design explained in layman’s terms, below is an excellent infographic by that discusses the different elements involved in the process of developing an appropriate design for your website or blog.

[Read more…]