An Easy Fix for Editing Variable Frame Rate Videos

Not too many carry around a separate compact point-and-shoot camera anymore, because our smartphones are usually good enough for those spur of the moment pictures. In fact, when you look at devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7, they’re producing photos that are even better than many pocket cameras.

It would be unreasonable to think that our phones are ever going to completely replace larger and more fuller featured cameras — your mirrorless camera and DSLR are safe for now — but the best camera will always be the one you have with you. And you always have your phone close at hand. A big problem arises, though, when you start looking at the videos that your phone can shoot.

The Editing Variable

The quality may be decent enough and you have no problem sharing them on platforms like Instagram, but what if you want to edit those iPhone and Galaxy videos back on your computer? You really should be doing that before posting them to YouTube, cutting them for length, adding in titles, correcting the image, and whatever else you want to do. The problem is that unlike “real” cameras, smartphones produce videos with a variable frame rate, rather than a constant frame rate.

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The even bigger problem is that the most common video editing software suites do not support variable frame rate. What ends up happening is that the audio and video get out of sync and it can be incredibly frustrating. I experienced this when I shot a hotel room tour in Montreal. I did what I could, but I knew there had to be a better way.

Before getting to the surprisingly simple fix, let me quickly explain this problem. Regular video editing software is designed to handle video at a constant frame rate. The number of frames per second stays the same throughout the video clip. However, variable frame rate video shot on an iPhone or other mobile device does not stick to the same frame rate throughout the clip. It might be 23fps here, 30fps here, and 28fps there. This really messes up what frame belongs to what portion of video.

Most people don’t recognize this, because common video player apps and programs (like VLC or Quicktime) can play variable frame rate video without a hitch. The frustration arises when trying to edit this video.

When the Handbrake Fails

In doing a search online, many people recommend some free software called Handbrake, which is available for Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu. Using this utility, you can convert variable frame rate video into constant frame rate video. However, I kept encountering some inexplicable error when I tried to use it in Windows 10. So, I kept looking… and I wasn’t alone. Many other people are just as frustrated as I am.

As it turns out, the solution was sitting under my nose this whole time. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), the same program you can use to record a screencast, can also be used to fix your variable frame rate woes.

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Once you have OBS installed (it’s also free), you simply set up a scene and adjust the settings. Set one of the input sources as your monitor or the media player window, adjusting the framing accordingly using the preview function. In the settings menu, define the resolution you want and make sure you set the frame rate to 30. It doesn’t say whether it’s variable or constant, but in my tests, it’s been reliable.

When you’re ready, start playing the video file from your smartphone in the media player program of your choice. I like VLC, but the built-in player in Windows 10 works fine too. Hit the “start recording” button in OBS and it’ll capture the video that’s being played, along with the audio. When you’re done, press the “stop recording” button. If you want, you can even set up a playlist in your media player, effectively amalgamating all your video clips into one larger “screencast” video recorded with OBS.

Every 30 Frames a Second

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Here are the file properties for the original video recorded on my smartphone and for the video produced with OBS. You’ll notice the change in the frame rate, giving me the 30 frames per second that I desired. You’ll also notice the difference in the bit rate, which affects the quality of the video. I have it dialed down in OBS for streaming purposes, which also results in smaller file sizes, but you can dial it back up to preserve the higher quality too.

That’s it. Yes, it can still be cumbersome to edit videos you shot on your smartphone, but using your phone to shoot video is a great place to start if you’re not ready to invest in a larger, more expensive, and more professional video recording setup.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

7 Tools for Generating Infinite Content Ideas for Your Blog

Blogging sucks.

Okay that’s a bit extreme. In fact, there’s a lot that I enjoy about blogging—mainly connecting with you guys.

But what does suck is having to constantly come up with new ideas for blog posts.

It’s a grind that can be quite exhausting, especially if you’re simply coming up with ideas off the top of your head.

Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”

And the struggle is real.

If you’re like me and writing up to eight posts per week while juggling multiple businesses, it can be seriously draining.

So out of pure necessity, I’ve experimented with a plethora of different tools to aid me in the process of generating new content ideas.

Some have been home runs and some have been strikeouts.

But there are seven in particular I really like and want to share with you.

Using one or more of these tools will allow you to generate an infinite number of content ideas for your blog—without having to do any heavy lifting.

1. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

This is one of my favorites for generating a handful of ideas quickly. Five to be exact.

I love it because it’s incredibly easy to use.

Literally within seconds, you’ll have five legitimate blog post titles at your fingertips.

All you have to do is enter up to three nouns in the search boxes:

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In this case, let’s try “content marketing.” Here’s what happens:image12

Voila! I instantly get five viable blog topics.

If you want more, click “Try Again,” and it will take you back to the home screen.

From there, you can perform another search using the same keywords, or you can experiment with different keyword options.

I will say that HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator isn’t ideal if you need to come up with dozens of ideas right out of the gate.

But it’s a great starting point.

2. BuzzSumo

You may have heard me mention BuzzSumo before.

I love this tool and have been using it to guide my content marketing efforts for a few years now.

It’s awesome because it does more than just provide you with content ideas. Much more!

It also does the following:

tells you the number of shares and social engagements content receives
identifies key sharers
displays backlinks
shows you top trending content

In other words, you can quickly tell how well content is performing and what’s resonating the most with readers.

This information is helpful because it lets you know which angles to take with your blog and makes it easier to strike while the iron is hot when topics are peaking.

Here’s what happens when I search for “content marketing” on BuzzSumo:

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Notice that it provides me with an in-depth glimpse of the content that’s crushing it at the moment.

More specifically, I can see the number of:

Facebook engagements
LinkedIn shares
Twitter shares
Pinterest shares
Google+ shares
Links
Total shares

If you look to the right of this info, you’ll notice two more features: “View backlinks” and “View sharers.”

Both add a whole new dimension to the content prospecting process.

But let me give you a heads up.

The free version is fairly limited and won’t necessarily show you the big picture. You also can’t take advantage of all the features.

That’s why I recommend using the Pro version if you’ve got the budget.

As of early 2017, it costs $79 per month.

I know this may seem steep to some marketers, but it’s a worthwhile investment in my opinion.

3. Alltop

This is basically a news aggregator that lets you know what’s happening online.

Alltop runs the gamut in terms of topics and covers everything from science and religion to photography and fashion. It’s all there.

Here’s what you see when you first land on the Alltop homepage:

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It’s basically a hodgepodge of different content.

Skimming through the homepage may help you generate some ideas, depending on your niche.

But what I recommend is searching for a specific topic in the search box.

Here’s just a fraction of what I get when I search for “content marketing:”

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Alltop displays five posts from relevant blogs, and you can simply browse through the list for ideas.

Or you can take it one step further and click on a specific blog and scan it individually.

I’ve found this to be helpful, and you can potentially find some epic new resources you haven’t been aware of before.

The bottom line is that you can usually come up with a ton of ideas in a short period of time.

You can also get a feel for overarching trends to gauge what’s popular at the moment.

4. UberSuggest

Using this tool is simple.

Enter a keyword, and UberSuggest will supply you with dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of phrases that include your keyword.

Here’s a screenshot of what popped up when I used “content marketing” as a keyword:

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It’s kind of like the Google Keyword Planner but more streamlined.

UberSuggest won’t provide you with info such as search volume, competition, etc., but it’s perfect for coming up with content ideas for your blog quickly.

Another cool feature is “Expand this keyword,” which you’ll see after clicking on a particular keyword.

Here’s what happens when I expand “content marketing strategy.”

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Notice that it’s a more comprehensive list of keyword phrases based on “content marketing strategy.”

Pretty cool.

In theory, you can use one simple keyword to generate thousands of content ideas with UberSuggest.

5. Google Trends

I’m sure you’re at least somewhat familiar with Google Trends.

I use it for several marketing purposes, mainly to perform market research and determine interest in a particular topic.

But did you know that Google Trends can be used for generating content ideas as well?

It’s true.

Now let me say that this isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous tools I listed, but it definitely serves a purpose. Three to be exact.

Again, let’s use “content marketing” as an example.

First, you can browse through “Related topics” to see what’s popular.

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This can help you identify other influential resources you may want to check out, which can potentially give you additional ideas.

Second, you can scan through “Related queries” to see which search queries are most popular on Google at the moment:

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Third, you can use Google Trends to determine whether a topic is trending up or down.

Here’s what the interest in content marketing looks like at the moment:

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When you put it all together, Google Trends can be quite handy for generating ideas.

6. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

If you’re looking for a super quick way to come up with a click-worthy blog title, look no further than this tool.

While it’s by no means as robust as, say, BuzzSumo, it works great for generating a title that your audience will eat up.

Here’s an example:

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For more ideas, click the refresh button.

I like Portent’s Content Idea Generator because it’s an easy way to come up with cool and catchy titles.

It’s particularly good if you’re looking for a dash of humor.

7. Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator

So here’s the deal with link bait.

It can potentially be detrimental to your marketing campaign.

I mean it may drive some initial traffic to your blog, but you’re likely to have a high bounce rate and a minimal number of return visitors if your content doesn’t actually measure up.

For that reason, I don’t recommend using titles purely intended for link bait without actually having high quality content.

That being said, Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator is still a pretty awesome little tool to have.

The concept is simple. You enter a subject, and a handful of relevant link bait title ideas will appear.

Here’s what pops up when I enter “content marketing.”

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Not too shabby.

This isn’t to say you’ll want to use every single idea this tool suggests, but you can definitely use it to streamline your brainstorming.

Most of the time, you can come up with some pretty catchy titles that will bring in considerable traffic.

Just make sure your content hits its mark.

Conclusion

I think we can all agree that coming up with fresh content ideas is a pain at times.

If you’ve been blogging for over a year, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

But fortunately, you don’t have to sit around brainstorming on your own, trying to come up with new ideas from scratch.

There are numerous tools available (many of which are free) that will assist you with this process and enable you to come up with pretty darn good ideas.

In fact, it’s tools like these that have enabled me to make continual progress and establish the audience that I have.

If you’re a serious blogger, I suggest at least checking out each of these seven tools and doing a little experimenting.

This should make it much easier to populate your blog with killer content without driving yourself crazy in the process.

Can you suggest any other tools for generating content ideas?


These Six Content Marketing Tactics Will Give You 142% More Traffic in Six Months

You don’t need me to tell you how potent content marketing is.

I could spout off a laundry list of stats, e.g., “conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters” or “content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.”

You get it.

But the term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella, encompassing a nearly infinite number of strategies and variations.

What you really need to know is which content marketing tactics will get you legitimate results—which ones will boost your traffic and generate sustained leads.

In other words, which strategies are truly worth your time?

In this post, I’d like to discuss six key tactics I feel are most pertinent for content marketers in 2017.

More specifically, these tactics will give you 142% more traffic in six months.

Here we go.

1. Create multiple landing pages

I’m sure you have a landing page on your website.

But there’s absolutely no reason to stop at just one.

In today’s digital marketing world, customer segmentation is vital, and the one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.

Take a look at this data from HubSpot, demonstrating the correlation between the quantity of landing pages and leads generated.

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According to HubSpot, “While most companies don’t see an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.”

Here’s the impact that multiple landing pages can have for both B2Bs and B2Cs:

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The point I’m trying to make here is that the more landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to rank for different keywords, generate more organic traffic, and ultimately increase conversions.

After all, leads are more likely to convert when they arrive on a landing page that’s fully customized to address their specific needs and concerns.

Now, I’m not saying you necessarily need to create 10 or more landing pages. That may be an overkill in some cases.

But what I am saying is that it’s smart to segment your audience and create an individual landing page for each specific customer type.

Here’s an example:

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This approach is almost guaranteed to help you reel in more quality traffic.

2. Make infographics an integral part of your content formula

I feel a little bit like Captain Obvious by pointing out the impact of infographics.

But the bottom line is that this medium is your ticket to massive traffic.

Why?

It’s simple. Infographics get shared like crazy.

In fact, “Infographics are Liked and shared on social media 3x more than other content.”

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Here are a few more stats that prove the traffic-generating potential of infographics:

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They’re visual. They’re easy to follow. And they make it incredibly simple to digest complex information that would be difficult to consume in a traditional, text-based format.

Not to mention they’re fun.

There’s something inherently playful about infographics that makes people “eat ’em up.”

Just check out the number of shares this infographic from Copyblogger has gotten since the day it was published back in 2012:

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Pretty impressive.

I realize there are definitely newer, sexier content marketing tactics out there.

I also realize that interest in infographics has waned slightly over the past few years.

But they’re still one of the top forms of content in terms of traffic-generating potential.

That’s why I recommend making infographics a top priority this year.

Check out this post from neilpatel.com and this post from Quick Sprout to learn the essentials.

3. Create “cornerstone” blog posts

If you’ve been following any of my blogs for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed I like going big.

By this I mean that I:

create long-form posts (typically over 1,500 words)
include a lot of visuals
include statistics
cover a lot of facts and details that others may not always touch on

In other words, I strive to provide my audience with as much value as possible.

Keep in mind I don’t always drive the ball out of the park with each blog post, but there’s a consistent level of depth I strive to achieve.

And this has been a big part of my success over the years.

This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of creating “cornerstone” blog posts, and not merely your average, run of the mill posts so common on the Internet.

In a post on Kissmetrics, I highlight just a few of the benefits of creating comprehensive, long-form content:

higher rankings in search engines

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increased time on site
success in social media
a position of authority

One technique I’ve found useful for creating cornerstone content is to treat each blog post like a be-all and end-all guide.

Attack it with the intent of creating a definitive post that will answer nearly any question your audience may have.

Cover the entire spectrum.

I really recommend checking out this post I wrote on neilpatel.com to learn more about this process.

It also includes some concrete examples you can use to guide your efforts.

Now, of course, you probably won’t have the time to create five-plus posts like this each week (or even three).

That’s why I suggest at least considering scaling back your content and focusing on creating fewer but higher quality in-depth posts rather than churning out dozens mediocre ones.

4. Get cozy with video

Here are some quick stats from HubSpot regarding the state of live video.

“Cisco projects that global Internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.”
“4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.”
“43% of consumers wanted to see more video content in 2016.”

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No matter which way you slice it, a steady diet of video content is going to crank up your traffic.

This brings me to my next point.

5. Behold live video

I’d like to take it one step further and discuss a key video trend that’s catching on currently.

And that’s live video.

Platforms such as Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube offer live streaming, allowing your audience to watch your video content in real time.

In my opinion, live video is one of the top ways to increase engagement levels and bring a massive influx of traffic.

Here are some numbers to back this up:

“A significant number (50%) of marketers plan on using live video services, and 50% want to learn more about live video.”
“People spend 3x longer watching video which is live compared to video which is no longer live.”
“Facebook generates eight billion video views on average per day.”

I love this medium because it allows me to create an authentic, one-on-one-connection that’s nearly impossible to create otherwise.

It’s also cool because most live video services allow you to answer your viewers’ questions, giving you the opportunity to interact with them in a very personal way.

If you haven’t experimented with live video yet, I recommend giving it a shot.

It can push your traffic numbers off the chart.

Check out this post to learn how to use live video to build your personal brand.

6. Harness the power of content curation

At first thought, content curation might make you feel that you’re being lazy or maybe even unethical, as if you’re a poser who’s taking credit for the hard work of others.

But it’s not like that at all.

In fact, “only 5% of marketers worldwide never share other organization’s content, while nearly 1/3 share blogs, industry publications, or other resources on a daily basis.”

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Content curation is an integral part of social media marketing, and almost every legitimate brand participates in it to some extent.

When you do it correctly, this practice can do the following:

boost your brand equity
establish you as a thought leader
bring in a steady stream of high quality traffic

More specifically, “41% of marketers that curate content indicate it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads.”

The key is to curate content the right way.

By this I mean upholding rigorous quality standards and always ensuring that the content you select is relevant to your audience.

One person in particular who I feel crushes it at content curation is Brian Dean of Backlinko.

Just check out his definitive guide on link building.

Embedded within the guide are plenty of links to external resources that greatly enhance the content and provide additional insights.

Here’s what I mean:

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Of course, this is just one example. There are plenty of other ways to go about it.

Just use your imagination.

Conclusion

In my opinion, all six of these content marketing tactics are incredibly useful for revving up your traffic.

They target your audience in different ways, and when used collectively, they can produce a traffic surge.

I’ve experimented with each one and have seen positive results. Collectively, they helped me increase my traffic by 142% in six months.

Be sure to work these into your 2017 content marketing plan.

Which specific content marketing tactic have you had the most success with?


How To Get People To Love Your Content by Using These 3 Tips

With so much content online, you have to find a unique way to stand out. This means doing things differently than others and creating content that resonates with your readers. However, you’ve probably noticed that much of the content is similar and this has to do with niche related competition. It’s just hard to find a blogging environment that hasn’t been tapped into. You now have to either add certain elements to your content or do things that make you stand out compared to the rest of them. Over the last few months, I’ve tried different things and had different levels of success. I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot and will love to share it here with you. If you’re blogging to make money online, then it’s important to add these elements going forward so you can engage your readership, converting them into loyal readers and, therefore, profits.

Let’s get started…

Using Images

Here’s something that shouldn’t be a shocker, especially if you’ve been writing content for some time. Images have been known to increase user engagement because they help make your content more understandable. For example, images help illustrate your point more quickly and for those who don’t speak English or speak English as a second language will be able to grasp the point better. The trick is to use images relevant to your content and it’s a good idea to keep your brand in mind. Every image should represent both your brand and the purpose of your content. Why is this so effective?

Well, people love content that solves a common problem and is right to the point. Using images is a great way to take content that is 2000 words+ and compress it into an illustration. If you’re like me and don’t have too much time, then you’re going to want to get information quickly so focus on images or even infographics.

Respect Your Readers

For people to love your content, you have to obviously create the best content online. You have to provide them with something that not available anywhere else. Once you accomplish this, you’re going to get a lot of feedback, both good and bad. You have to engage with your readers and provide your own feedback afterward so they know they’ve been acknowledged. For example, when you write emails and you get a reply, it’s a very gratifying feeling…right? The reason you feel this is because you know your email was accepted, read, and replied to afterward. It’s important you make sure you let your readers know you appreciate the time they’ve taken out to read your content. Next,

There are a few ways you can create content engaging enough for your readers and add elements that show a level of respect.

First, write in a different style by making content conversational and easy to understand. Think about what you like and what content you find engaging, then add those elements to your content. Keep content simple! Next, when someone leaves a comment or asks a question, it’s important you reply to them or even share the comment, giving it respect. Here’s something else, when someone leaves a comment, you can simply say “Thank You” because it’s gives the person a gratifying feeling. A simple “Thank You” statement is a great way to encourage people to come back and leave more comments. Next,

Always connect with people who find your content useful or even reach out to people in your own niche. This will increase engagement because reaching out shows that you respect the others’ experience and feedback. Look for something interesting they shared and comment on it, creating a mutual respect.

Innovation

After 2 years, my first blog stopped attracting visitors and growth became stagnant. I knew I needed to change my strategy so I started to try different things. I invested money in fancy tools, increased social media engagement, etc., but nothing seemed to help. However, it’s only when I changed my posting schedule that my growth doubled within 6 months. How?

First, I was more occupied with writing content daily and NOT focusing on quality. Spacing out my posting schedule to every two weeks allowed me to spend more time researching and writing content. Before, my average posts were 1000 words, which didn’t give me enough room to go in-depth on my topic. I tweaked my posting frequency so I have enough time to go longer and research my competition, putting together something unique. Basically, my content was innovative and attracted more people.

The point is, if you want people to love your content, it’s important to create something special that they can’t find anywhere else. You need people in your niche to know that if they want the best information, they have to come to your blog. Without innovative content, you’re going to be like 80% of the other blogs in your niche. It’s important to tweak your posting frequency so you can research and write only the best content. If you’re NOT innovative, then you’re NOT going to have people love your content….it’s that simple!

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Why Your Landing Page Needs Video

Your landing page can be used for any number of different reasons. Maybe you just want to capture e-mail addresses to add to your mailing list. Maybe you have a new product or service you want to promote and you want to people to sign up for a free trial. Maybe you’re an affiliate marketer and there’s an offer you want to promote.

Whatever the case may be, your objectives with your landing page are three-fold and one follows logically after the other.

First, you need to people to actually arrive at your landing page in the first place. You need to drive traffic to it and there are many ways you can do that. Second, you want those people to stick around long enough to hear what you have to say. You want to pull them in, engage them, and get them interested. Third, you want those people to complete your target action, whether that’s submitting an email address or buying a product. You want conversions.

And do you know what can be remarkably effective in improving your odds at all three of these objectives. The science is in and the results are quite clear.

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It has been reported that conversions increase some 86 percent when landing pages contain video content. While plain text content can still be remarkably valuable for providing more in-depth information and to bolster your SEO, video has proven to improve your conversion rate. That’s huge.

Even here on John Chow dot Com, the main homepage for the site sometimes features a video, as illustrated in the screenshot above. This video really drives home the branding of John (and the site) and it lends itself to people downloading the free ebook to get started. Videos pull people in and they keep them engaged. After watching the video, they’re 86 percent more likely to complete your target action.

But what about getting people to the landing page in the first place? An increase in conversion rate can be exponentially more valuable when you also increase your traffic. As it turns out, landing pages with videos have also been found to be 40 times more sharable.

This means that the page is far more likely to be shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, as well as through messaging or email. More shares equal more traffic. And more traffic (with more conversions) equals more money in your pocket.

landingpage

If you take a look at John’s landing page for MTTB (My Top Tier Business), you’ll also notice that a video is prominently featured front and center, above the fold, ready to capture your interest and keep you on the page for at least ten minutes. That’s not by accident or chance. That’s purposeful and intentional.

Long sales letters with numerous testimonials and multiple calls to action can still be a big part of your Internet marketing toolbox, but the incredible power and value of video simply cannot be understated. Considering just how easy it is for you to upload and embed a YouTube video, you don’t even need a specialized solution to leverage this undeniable advantage.

You have to recognize that the actual design of a well-optimized landing page doesn’t need to be particularly fancy or special or unique in order to be effective. What it needs is a captivating message, an enticing call-to-action, and a great video to pull it all together.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Brand New Blog. No Traffic. Here’s What to Do.

Ever feel as if you’re the only person reading your blog?

It’s possible it’s not just a feeling. In today’s digital marketing landscape, it’s difficult to get users to read blogs if they’re not relevant to them.

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Even if the blog is relevant and the content is great, in a world of rapid-fire of competing messages from millions of companies, it still doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

If you want to get more eyes to your blog posts and see more interaction from your target audience, read this post—I’ll give you some tips that can generate a larger audience.

Content marketers today can’t afford to ignore the power of social media. Social media platforms often mirror your target audience and act as an echo chamber for your content.

Utilizing a variety of platforms is an easy way to get exposure and to entice new readers to visit your blog.

Actually offer valuable content

The most important and most basic step in getting new visitors is to give them meaningful and relevant to their lives information.

Why am I telling you something you already know? Because you’ve heard it a thousand times, yet most people still focus on “me too” content, which offers little to no actual value.

Experiment with different kinds of information formats, e.g., a video of the top three tips for completing a task related to your industry, insider news that they get from you first, or a humorous spin on a topic related to your business.

The key here is to give your readers engaging and useful content they can apply in their lives right now.

Don’t plagiarize other content. Take a topic trending in your industry, and find a way to make it uniquely yours.

GrooveHQ started their blog with minimal traffic, but now they’re cruising it with tons of engagement.

How did they do it? They took the standard ho-hum help desk content, amped it up, and made it exciting. They started dishing out value.

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SumoMe has done a great job of this with their guides. These guides, often exceeding 10,000 words, make a major splash in their industry.

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It’s all about the value. People will love that and share it, and you’ll benefit.

Run a contest

Especially when you are just starting your blog, you need to promote it heavily and get it in front of the right readers.

There’s nothing wrong with creating a little buzz about your new blog by incentivizing readers to visit your blog.

I’ve run contests several times. They’ve been particularly successful on Instagram, where I gave away hundreds of headphones and other prizes.

I’ve also teamed up with other companies to promote their giveaways. Every time, it’s been a ridiculous success.

Run a contest, give away free swag, run a trivia contest on social media. These tactics are great ways to encourage new users to check out your blog. Remember, everyone loves free stuff.

To get the pulse on current giveaways in your niche, try out one of Buzzsumo’s features.

Using Buzzsumo, type in the keyword for your niche. I’ll use “content marketing.”

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Make sure you filter down the date so you don’t source old contests that are already over.

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Now, filter the content type by “giveaways.”

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If there are some recent contests, you’ll see them in the results.

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You can take this a step further by viewing the sharers for each giveaway.

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If they shared a contest in the past, they might be likely to share yours too.

You can message the sharers directly in Buzzsumo, asking them to share and promote your giveaway.

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Post shareable images and graphics

What we all know about social media is that striking photos and graphics grab people’s attention.

I never make a post on any platform—website, blog, or social media—without some kind of visual.

Make that your goal as well. A photograph can evoke happiness, laughter, frustration—whatever emotion fits with what you are trying to communicate on your blog.

For example, my homepage on NeilPatel.com includes a video:

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Most of my long-form articles (3,000+ words) include dozens of images.

It’s also great to make graphics of shareable quotes or stats that are meaningful to your target audience.

There are plenty of free apps that can help you make quotes.

Try Recite.com.

First, write a quote.

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Then, select a visual.

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You can save, share, and add it to your blog.

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That’s it! Here’s my finished product. Five seconds of work.

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That extra visual sizzle can go a long way in making your article shareable and engaging.

Budget for ads

If you have the budget, try paid advertising on your social media channels.

Many social media platforms are selective about what users see, but by investing a little money in a targeted ad, you can select who among your target audience can see your call to action and messaging.

My preferred platform is Facebook. The level of targeting and reach is excellent.

I don’t think you have to pay for ads all the time or even frequently. But if you have a little money to play with, it’s an effective tactic to target your audience in a very specific way.

Create a team of ambassadors

Many people don’t realize that you can get a lot of free exposure by sharing meaningful content with people who are willing to share it with their circles of influence.

This strategy can start organically. You can identify loyal customers who are active on social media.

You can tag them on Twitter or Facebook to see if they naturally share your content.

Over time, you can formalize the process and invite them to join an official team of ambassadors whom you can task with sharing your content.

Show you can be trusted

I can’t offer you a better or more important tip for not only getting people to your blog but also getting them to come back: you’ve got to build trust. The way to do this is by creating an online community your users can trust.

When you see your readers commenting on your blog posts or asking questions, jump in there and talk with them.

Create a relationship with them and give them information that is true and genuine. They’ll start looking up to you because they’ll see you as an expert they can trust.

This ultimately gets to the issue of personal branding.

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Personal branding can be a powerful tool for launching your blog to a wider audience. Leverage what you already have to promote what you’re building: your blog.

If you don’t have a personal brand, infuse your blog with personality so it becomes a shareable and engaging place.

Noah Kagan used his personal blog to help him build several businesses:

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His blog is still a helpful place where to hang out and get great information, but it’s also a useful tool for Noah’s other pursuits.

Conclusion

If you’re managing a blog but not leveraging social media to get more visitors, you’re missing out on a viable and free tool.

With 1.7 billion daily active users on Facebook, you have the chance to get your best content in front of the largest target audience possible.

Add Facebook ads, and you’ll have even more control in targeting a niche-specific audience who will want to read your blog.

Your blog is a critical part of your content marketing strategy. You can use it to give your audience relevant news about your industry, share lists of pro tips to help them with their daily tasks, and post videos that tell stories about how your company is making a difference.

With all the time you spend creating excellent content, you need to make sure your loyal customer base—as well as new users—see that content.

Remember these six expert tips for maximizing the impact of social media platforms on reaching and engaging your audience and pointing new visitors to your blog.

You’ll be glad you did when you see your blog traffic rise.

Have you tried generating traffic for a new blog? What social media methods did you use?


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