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How Smarp Helps Teams Create and Amplify Brand Content

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What if I told you there were currently over a billion sites on the internet today that were actively creating content? You probably wouldn’t be that surprised, but when you think about the sheer volume of content out there, and how much of it is actually being read – then you might start to see the real picture.

Yes. Content creation is extremely important for businesses and brands of all sizes, but so it team management and making sure your best content is actually being read. This not only applies to creating content for a website or blog, but also for those within your company or organization as well.

Through the use of online tools and team management platforms, anyone can start increasing their engagement, management, and productivity of those around them. That’s exactly what we are going to be looking at today.

We Are All Suffering from Content Overload!

As you can imagine, with so much new content going live on the internet… we are all consumed with way too many distractions, opportunities, emails, and social triggers to pull our eyes away from what we should really all be working on.

At the same time, this can also help online marketers and content creators understand what it takes to create not just ‘better content’, but also how to get it in front of the right audiences as well.

Here are some content creation and marketing best practices to follow:

  • Focus on your target audience and what they are looking for, before actually writing out your content
  • Go for longtail keywords when trying to rank your content in Google. They will get less traffic, but it will be more targeted.
  • When going live with content on your site, don’t just stop there. You then need to focus on the content promotion aspect.
  • Social media sharing is great for online content, but there also needs to be a manual outreach component in there as well. This will take the most time and effort to complete, but will also yield the best results over time.
  • Segmenting and distributing the various tasks of content creation and promotion across your online marketing team is key. Always make sure everyone is on the same page, so the process can be streamlined and proven to be effective time and time again.

Once all of these actions are in place, you can then focus on the core of your business — which is likely driving traffic, leads, and sales back to your site. However, just looking at the tips above and trying to manually implement them all by yourself can be quite a struggle.

This is where employee advocacy and better group management comes into play.

How Employee Engagement and Advocacy Can Save the Day

Imagine if everyone you worked with had a valuable role in marketing your business and actually took the time to help create, read, promote, and contribute to the success of your site. The business impact of this would be astronomical, but getting 100% of your professional network involved simply isn’t realistic.

However, when it comes to the individuals and freelancers who might actually be assigned such work to help grow and business your business – well, that is where employee-centered brand advocacy really can make a huge difference.

If you haven’t heard of employee advocacy yet, don’t worry – many haven’t. But it is commonly used in everyday business, communications, and marketing. In short, “Employee Advocacy is the promotion of a company’s messages by its employees. Employee Advocacy today takes increasingly place online, with social media as the main medium for brand ambassadors.

While that might seem pretty brand or generic, let’s back it up with some industry stats and results of how effective employee advocacy can actually be, when done right.

  • Fact: according to our data, one employee share generates about 4 clicks on Facebook on average. – Smarp
  • “An average employee advocate is 2x more trusted than a company CEO” – Edelman Trust Barometer
  • “12% increase in brand advocacy generates a 2x increase in revenue growth” – Reichheld
  • “Referred employees are faster to hire, perform better, and stay longer in the company.” – Global Recruiting Trends 2017, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Now imagine if these same metrics were able to be applied to your online business? Good news! They can be, and now it’s actually easier than ever before, thanks to online tools and platforms that focus on making employee advocacy and a big win for companies, but also fun, engaging, and reward for all employees and team members as well.

One such solution is Smarp, which has created a platform that allows employees to connect and engage with company news, discussions and curated content, right from their computer or mobile device — all while being on a private platform that was built just for them.

Features Within the Smarp Platform

To better understand how employee advocacy works, we can look at some of the key features built within the Smarp platform. The main focus here is to provide a customized, categorized internal news feed and user environment for everyone working within a company or group. The idea is not just to consume and share out content, but to also engage and interact with others in the same work community as well.

Smarp currently has the following features available to their customers:

  • Intuitive news feed
    The news feed is the heart of the Smarp app. Here employees discover content, interact with each other and share knowledge both internally and externally to their personal social networks and beyond.
  • Employee-driven content creation and curation
    Content curation and creation should ideally be everyone’s business. On Smarp, marketers and other admins can post content for discussion and distribution using automation tools or manual pushes, but thanks to submission functions and comment threads, the platform wisely makes it easy for non-marketing employees to step up as the main sources of knowledge.
  • Employee-generated content
    Curated content is organized into themed channels called “Topics.” Users can easily change what content they scroll through by clicking across the specific topics that interest them most – or, for a complete briefing, just clicking on “All Topics” at the top.
  • A directory for company resources
    With your company’s go-to resources and assets stored all over the place – web pages, Google docs, Dropbox and beyond – it’s hard to keep everything easily accessible to everyone who needs it. With Smarp, you can set up a topic called “Resources,” simply post links to each useful page and document, and you’re good to go with your dynamic library. It’s the perfect hub for contact details, link directories, marketing collateral, guidelines and policies, to name a few.

To see all of this in action and gain a better visual understanding of how Smarp can help improve your brand or business productivity, while also introducing employee advocacy in the process, be sure to check out the short video below.

Ready to bring your content and employees together?

This isn’t rocket science. We all know that content creation is one of the most powerful things on the internet today. Through the use of online tools that allow anyone to not just create content online, but also to connect and engage with others, there is simply no reason not to improve your game and bring it to that next level – whether you are an individual blogger, a brand, or a multi-million dollar agency.

Take the time to explore the opportunities that lie within employee advocacy and see how you can start applying these same practices into your own day to day operations.

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A professional freelance writer based out of Vancouver, Michael Kwan focuses mostly on the worlds of technology, gadgets, and the Internet. You can find him blogging at Beyond the Rhetoric, among several other websites around the web.

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5 Must-Do Tips Before Publishing A Lifestyle Blog

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Running a lifestyle blog can be very profitable. You can make a steady stream of passive income writing about everyday topics that you are passionate about. The best part is that lifestyle blogs are pretty simple to take on and keep going. Your blogs can be about travel, daily life experiences, or even a vlog (video blog).

However, prior to publishing your blog online, you need to adhere to a few important, yet simple principles. The most important step is finding your niche. Choosing the right niche can save you a tremendous number of headaches down the road. Once you selected the perfect niche, there are some other factors you need to keep in mind while finding your voice. We compiled a list of must-do tips for anyone ready to publish a lifestyle blog. Let’s dive in!

1 – What niche is best for your lifestyle blog?

Before you begin any work toward launching a lifestyle blog, you need to carefully define your niche. Some blogs have very broad niches, while others are much narrower. The blogs with a broader niche can generate a lot more revenue if they become prominent enough. However, it is difficult to succeed with a very broad niche without a massive budget and a willingness to create thousands of posts. If you are trying to get results more quickly and on a smaller budget, then you should stick a tighter niche.

If you plan on writing about your world travels, your niche could be traveling the world while blogging. If you plan on traveling by boat only, maybe your niche can be sailing and blogging. You can draw from a number of best boating blogs for inspiration on this.

Whatever your niche, be sure to have it clearly defined before doing anything else. Why? Having a solid niche market and idea in place will dictate the type of content you plan on publishing. It also helps keep your content unique and authoritative. People do like to read, but they would rather be entertained and engaged when doing so. Defining your niche can do just that. It also helps you stay focused down the road as well.

2 – Identify your ideal target audience

You can write until your fingers bleed, but if you don’t have a clearly defined target audience that is easy to monetize, it is all just a waste of time. If you aren’t specific enough when defining your audience, then you will not be able to create content that resonates with any of them. What steps should you take to define and get a better understanding of your target audience?

Aim for 1,000 true followers and the rest will fall into place. By having a very defined target audience, you can essentially write just for them. That is why 1,000 people should be your hallmark. Because if you can get 1,000 people truly engaged in your content, you can get 100,000 people later on. That’s because it is the same process, only scaled. And your 1,000 true followers will help you reach 100,000 by becoming advocates for you and your content.

3 – Have a clever blog name and tagline

You are not simply creating a blog and writing content for your target audience. You are creating a brand. You are your brand, and every successful brand has a clever name and tagline. This is essential if you want to have growth and success with some passive income rolling in.

With your niche on your mind, start brainstorming name and tagline ideas. It is best practice not to rush this process. By the end of a few hours of brainstorming, you should have at least 50 names and taglines on paper. After that, narrow it to 10, then three, then just one. Feel free to get family and friends advice too, because you may not be seeing something they can. Once you have it, check to make sure it is available for use on WordPress and social media channels.

4 – Choose The Right Blogging Platform For You And Your Budget

Once you have chosen a domain name and outlined the general direction of your blog, you should choose a blogging platform and content management system (CMS) that works for you. One of the best is WordPress. With WordPress, you can get a paid or free blogging website. It is best to go with paid, because you can lock in your domain name, serve up ads, and have more control of the user experience (UX) you deliver to your target audience.

5 – Do Detailed Keyword Research And Write 10 Blogs

This is going to be the hardest part of starting your lifestyle blog. You can’t just start writing content that you think readers will like. It needs to get attention and help you build your audience. Content is certainly great, but ensuring your content is ranking well on search engines, like Google, as well as having enough content for site visitors to browse is critical.

For example, if you attract a visitor to your site via one blog and they love it, but can’t find anything else, they will probably not subscribe to your site, or visit again. You just lost one of your 1,000 true followers right from the start. Instead, write 10 blog posts and have them ready to go when it is time to publish your blogging site online.

And do your due diligence when it comes to keyword research. There are plenty of platforms out there you can use to find great keywords that have low ranking difficulty with reasonable monthly search volume. Google Keyword Planner is useful for this, and free.

Good Luck With Your Lifestyle Blog!

Starting a lifestyle blog is exciting. The above must-do tips can serve as your quick startup guide, but they are certainly not all the aspects you need to know. Do your research and be sure to put your best foot forward when you decide to publish your lifestyle blog online. What is your top blogging tip?

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Every Blogger Starts Somewhere

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The NBA all star game went down during the past weekend.

Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joel Embid and D’Angelo Russel all made the all star team. These 4 bright, young stars share something in common; each was coached in high school by Kevin Boyle.

Kevin Boyle is one of the top high school coaches in the nation. Coaching 4 players who would be all stars during the same year is an unreal feat, when you consider the odds. Well before Kevin became a superstar coach at Montverde Academy in Florida or at St Pat’s high school in New Jersey, I remember him stalking the sidelines as a high energy, sometimes nutty, but always passionate, grammar school coach at St. Joe’s in Roselle, New Jersey, in the mid 80’s.

The coaching superstar who coached 4 future NBA all stars once coached little kids during a CYO game in gyms with capacity of, say 30 people.

As a grammar school CYO all star, I remember this intense coach trying to get his guards to trap me into a turnover. I had handles back then, so I danced through his press. Anyway, that passionate grade school coach persistently asked the athletic director at St. Pat’s for the soon to be open coaching job. Kevin was no veteran, but still hung out at the American Legion, where the AD spent time. Eventually, the athletic director hired Boyle, and Kevin built St. Pat’s into a national power, spawning NBA talents like Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Kyrie Irving and Michael Gilchrist. He made the move to Montverde, coaching stars like Simmons, Russel and Embid, as well as current Duke star Rowan Barrett.

But 35 years before he coached 4 NBA all stars, he stalked the sidelines as a grammar school coach, persistently pressing for a high school coaching job of a St. Pat’s program that had struggled for a decade.

We all start somewhere in life, blogging-wise, and often, the beginnings are humble.

I was an unemployed security guard who did not know the definition of blogging, 10 years ago. Yet today, I circle the globe through blogging, having been featured on world famous sites. Struggling bloggers wrongly assume I was always successful, but 10 years ago, I was a broke, laid off security guard, not a successful blogger.

We all start somewhere.

Virtually all of us start from humble beginnings.

Never assume successful bloggers:

  • had it easy
  • were connected
  • were always successful
  • never had to face daunting obstacles
  • had everything handed to them

You need to be:

  • passionate
  • humble
  • confident
  • clear
  • patient
  • persistent
  • generous

to succeed with blogging. You need to have a vision, too. Kevin Boyle did not see himself as just a grammar school basketball coach. He saw himself building St. Pat’s into a national power, landed the job through being persistent and being passionate about the game, took some lumps, and eventually helped build the basketball team into one of the top 5 or 10 teams year in and year out, before heading to Montverde and turning that program into the dominant power in high school basketball.

Fools assume that he was always connected, that he got lucky and that everything fell into place for him. I can personally attest; seeing him stalk the sidelines in 1985, at tiny OLP in New Providence, New Jersey, I knew he was different than any CYO coach I had seen. I eventually followed his St. Patrick’s program for some 15 years after my high school career and still keep tabs on his success at Montverde.

The high school coach who turns out more NBA all stars than Coach K at Duke had the most humble beginnings. Remember this, if nobody seems to read your blog, right now. Develop a vision. See through blogging obstacles.

We all start somewhere, seemingly light years away from where we will be down the road.

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1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged

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Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.

Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.

Nope.

I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.

Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.

Why?

How am I so prolific?

I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.

You Are Human

Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.

A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality

Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.

 

Why this Mindset Prospers

I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:

  • trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
  • obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
  • panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations

All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.

Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.

Develop an abundance mindset.

See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.

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