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Jesse Wisnewski
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Does Your Website Make Your Readers Think?

Many websites lack something important.

It’s not a sleek design, a cool feature, or state of the art coding.

It’s making their objective obvious.

This may sound ridiculous to you at first. But think about it this way.

People are browsing the web at lightning speeds. They are quickly scanning webpages, following a litany of links from a variety of sources, and rarely reading what’s in front of them.

“So, what does this have to do with my website?”

Well, I’m glad you asked.

You have 15 seconds before the average online reader decides whether or not they are going to stay on your website.

The time you have available to connect with your readers does not leave you with a lot of options. In fact, the only option you really have available is this: Don’t make your readers think. This is arguably the most important principle when it comes to determining whether or not your website works.

Ensuring that your website doesn’t make people think is not about being simplistic—like displaying fingerprints from your kids as opposed to paintings from Monet. It’s about being simple. So simple that the objective of your website is plainly obvious to people.

Currently, I’m in the process of updating my website. I’ve found that my objectives have changed from when I first began. So, to help me think through these changes, below are three questions I’m asking myself. I hope these questions help you to also think through your current website and even prepare for future updates.

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4 Reasons Why Your Link Posts Are Worthless (And What To Do About It)

Link posts have been around since the dawn of the Internet. And for good reason, too. They’re easy to develop and the most shared type of post on the Internet behind infographics.

But wait one minute before you quit reading so that you can create a litany of link posts.

All link posts are not created equal. Some of them—if not many—are a complete waste of time, thought, and digital space. And these are three things you want to avoid.

What follows are four reasons why your link posts are probably worthless. Allow these four points to serve as guideposts for your next link post. They will help steer you in the right direction and avoid cluttering the Internet, and our lives, with more noise.

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6 Reasons Why Content Marketing for Authors Works

Marketing your book is no joke.

You are vying for the limited attention and dollars of readers within an extremely crowded marketplace.

In 2013, there was nearly 1.5 million books (new titles and non-traditional) published. And this doesn’t include the number of books in circulation. Needless to say, that’s a lot of books.

Now, when you consider that the median number of books read by adults in 2013 is 5, you have a small percentage chance of your book being one of the five bought by adults. But hey, look at the bright side. You’re chances of selling a book are better than being killed by a lightning strike.

Unfortunately, the challenges of promoting your book haven’t stopped.

Publishers and authors are not only competing with one another. They’re also competing with the entertainment industry for consumers time and money. And the amount of money being spent to market products and services today is mind-boggling:

Forecasters estimate that nearly $200 billion dollars was spent on paid advertising in the United States in 2014

Global ad expenditures were on track to reach $537 billion
Multiple companies have billion dollar ad budgets

Hollywood studios spend upwards of $200 million to market one movie
You have your work cut out for you when it comes to convincing someone to purchase—let alone read—your book.

My goal in sharing this with you isn’t to dash your dreams of successfully publishing your book against the rocks. It’s more like waving a smelling salt under your nose to wake you up after being knocked out.

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The Newbie's Guide to Creating a Social Media Calendar

Social media can be overwhelming.

There is a growing number of networks and virtual communities to choose from.

The learning curve is elastic and regularly changes based upon user behavior, technological advances, and the introduction of new devices. These factors alone create a hurdle too high for many to cross who are interested in exploring social media marketing.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.

You don’t need an advanced degree, secret knowledge, or ninja skills to become proficient in social media marketing.

All you really need to know at the end of the day is that social media marketing is really about one thing: being social.

Yes, I know. This is easier said than done.

There’s an art to curating and creating content for the purpose of connecting with and compelling people to action. Thankfully, this art isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something all of us can learn.

One of the best tools available to help you organize your social media content creation and curation is to create a social media calendar. A calendar to help you connect with your audience—not shamefully promoting your own work. (At the end of the day, social media marketing is ultimately about one thing: being social.)

To help you get started, here are five-steps you can take to create your own a social media calendar.

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Turn Your Book into a Content Marketing Machine by Repurposing Your Content

Writing a book is not a sprint.

And completing your manuscript is no longer the finish line. It’s not the time you get to stop, bend over with your hands on your knees, and catch your breath.

Today, writing a book is more akin to running in a relay race.
You see, for the vast majority of writers, the fanciful notion of sitting in a cabin, in a secluded location, with yourself, your pen, and paper, write a book, turn it in to your publisher, and sit back and wait for it to become a bestseller is virtually over.

Books are transforming into one format among many to convey your message to your audience.

Writing a book is like passing a baton from one format to another. From conveying your message in print form, to passing it off to audio, to video, to blog posts and social media, and more, you will experience a plethora of exchanges when communicating your message.
Let me explain.

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How-To Create an Editorial Calendar

Creating an editorial calendar doesn’t have to be complicated.

Sure, for magazines, news organizations, or multimillion dollar ad campaigns, there’s a lot of moving parts. But for authors or even multi-author sites, editorial calendars can be simple and straightforward. So, rid yourself of the notion that this is a Herculean task.

Before moving forward. There are a few housekeeping items I want to run by you first.

It’s important to determine how much time you can commit to creating content. Your experience and life circumstances (relationship and family status, employment, etc.) will influence how much you can create.

I suggest starting slow if you’re new to content creation. Get a feel for how quickly you can create content. Adjust your schedule to make room. Discover how your day-to-day life responds.

It will be important to keep track of how much time it takes to write, edit, rewrite, and format your content. (For starters, carve out four hours per 600-800 blog post.)

You may need to start out with one piece of content per week and that’s totally fine. It takes time to learn how to use a content management system like WordPress, format posts, get images, and more.
Most importantly of all—get started. Poke the box. That’s the main thing.

Stay humble. Learn. Grow. And adapt over time. You will get the hang of things as time progresses.

In the meantime, here’s the nitty-gritty to creating an editorial calendar. You can use this template to help you map out blog posts, podcasts, emails, and more

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9 Reasons Why Every Author Needs an Editorial Calendar

There is one challenge all authors face.

Creating consistent content.

From the demands of writing your book, blog posts, updating your social media, and more, every author will face the challenge of consistently creating content.

You find those moments of inspiration. Conjure up a flurry of ideas. Knock out a few quick ideas. And then…nothing.

Your well runs dry. The ideas begin to cease. And the demands of your day-to-day life provide you with little time to no time to do anything about it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re creating one piece of content per day, week, or month. Every author at some point-in-time will wrestle through difficult seasons of content creation—especially if you’re a solo creator of content.

As an author and blogger myself, I know this feeling all too well. (Not in a Taylor Swift way, though.)

Though I’ve previously served full-time as Content Manager and Strategist, I personally don’t have a team of editors, graphic designers, web developers, and video crew to help support my work.

Like you I have to make little sacrifices along the way to create something I believe is worth sharing. (Creating time to write with a full-time job, wife, and four kids is no small task.)

But there’s one thing I believe that can help you and me sustain the work we are inspired to create. And that’s creating an editorial calendar.

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9 Powerful Mental Triggers to Pull When You Launch Your Book

From Jeff Walker's Launch:

1. Authority

People tend to follow others in positions of authority. Think about doctors in their white coats…If you want to be more influential in your business and marketing, it pays to be seen as an authority…

2. Reciprocity

Reciprocity is the idea that if someone gives something to us, we will feel some obligation to give them something back in return…When you give out [free and helpful] content, you’re creating a large reciprocity imbalance…In the end, when you ask for something back, your prospect will have a greater tendency to want to reciprocate…

3. Trust

Building trust is the ultimate shot circuit to becoming influential in someone’s life…One of the easiest ways to create trust is through time.

4. Anticipation

…Anticipation is omen of the triggers that allows you to cut through the marketing fog. It lets you grab your market’s attention and not let go…If you use anticipation right, people will put the date on their calendar and look forward to your launch. It’s like you’re putting your prospects into your storyline. They can’t wait for the next installment, they can’t wait to see what’s going to happen, [and] they can’t wait to get your product.

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"Some" Christians Can Change the World

The church wasn’t going to be the same.

The gospel of Jesus Christ was breaking new ground in dramatic ways.

Beginning from Jerusalem, the gospel rapidly advanced throughout the area. And the message of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection was being proclaimed exclusively to the Jewish population.

This was about to change.

God was preparing his people to reach beyond their comfort zone by proclaiming the gospel to the non-Jewish—Gentile—population for the first time.

God expressed his desires originally to the Apostle Peter by revealing them to him in a vision. He then confirmed his intention when the Holy Spirit visibly came upon a group of Gentiles who heard the gospel proclaimed for the first time (Acts 10).

At this point the church decided that they must make a concentrated effort to reach the non-Jewish people—and consequently the world—with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:18, 20).

From here God didn’t decide to launch this new shift with mind blowing miraculous deeds. He didn’t send in the “big guns” like Peter and Paul to orchestrate this change. And he didn’t even need a platform.

God carried out this new work through “some” people.

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12 Quick Tips for Marketing Your Book

1. Clarify Your Motivation

There are multiple reasons why someone desires to write a book.

Clarifying your motivation will help you better identify your marketing tactics.

Unearthing your motivation will also provide the foundation for your marketing plan.

2. Define Your Audience

Writing a book is not like writing in your personal journal. You’re writing for a public audience, not yourself.

Knowing who your audience is will not only help you connect with them—it will keep you sane.

The options available today to market your book are endless. You don’t have the time or resources to promote your work everywhere people are online. And besides, your book isn’t for everyone. So it doesn’t need to be everywhere. Just where your audience is spending time.

You have permission to not be all things to all people.

Define your audience. Discover where they spend their time online, who they follow, what their favorite websites are, and more. This knowledge will help you concentrate your efforts and create meaningful
connections with your audience.

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