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How to Use Authority to Boost the Power of Your Content


One of the best ways to rise above the fold and get more eyes on your material is to use the power of authority. But what are the best strategies for doing this?

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Most business owners investing in content marketing know that you have to distinguish yourself if you’re going to be successful. There are millions of people competing for visibility, and although the web is a big place with billions of potential readers, you’ll still have your work cut out for you if you want to stand out.

One of the best ways to rise above the fold and get more eyes on your material is to use the power of authority. But what are the best strategies for doing this?

Why authority matters

In the context of content marketing, authority refers to a person’s perceived level of expertise and credibility on a subject. The word “perceived” here is important, because as we’ll see, there are ways to make yourself seem more authoritative on a subject than you actually are.

Ultimately, authority will make people behave in ways that favor your content marketing strategy:

  • You’ll get fewer bounces and more time on page. If a person feels you’re not authoritative or credible, they’re going to stop reading your work then and there.
  • You’ll get an edge over the competition. Why would someone choose your work over a competitor’s? If you’re more authoritative on the subject, it’s a no-brainer.
  • You’ll get more links and, eventually, more traffic. If you’re seen as an authority on the subject, you’ll earn lots of links, which have the power to send referral traffic your way (and boost your position in search engine results pages, SERPs).
  • Your audience will become more loyal. Once readers understand how authoritative you are, they’ll be more likely to keep reading your work.
  • Your words will become more powerful. Thanks in part to authority bias, people will eventually treat your words as being disproportionately accurate and credible.

Related: 5 Ways to Discover Your Blog Readership’s Most Pressing Questions

Excellent. So how can you use authority to boost the power of your own content?

Improving your own authority

You can make yourself more of a perceived authority in several ways, including:

  • Get more experience (and show it off). Most people associate experience with authority. If you have 25 years of experience in sales, you’ll be taken more seriously than a 21-year-old who’s just getting started in the field. When you get this experience, make sure you show it off — it won’t always be immediately apparent.
  • Write articulately and precisely. This should go without saying, but some of your perceived authority will depend on your ability to articulate your thoughts precisely and concisely. The value of eloquence is hard to overstate here.
  • Cite your work. When possible, cite your work. Link to other authoritative sources that back up what you’re saying. Or better yet, provide original research that verifies your claims. The more data you have on your side, the better.
  • Include counter evidence and refute it. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but if you’re trying to persuade an audience, provide counter evidence to that point. Spell out the main arguments against your main point and refute them — rather than pretending they don’t exist.
  • Take accountability for mistakes. Admitting your mistakes can be powerful. Occasionally, no matter how much experience or authority you have, you’re going to get something wrong. If you want to have people keep following you, it’s important to admit it, take accountability and move on.

Borrowing from the authority of others

Of course, it takes a lot of time and effort to boost your own authority. Sometimes, it’s just as effective to borrow from the authority of others.

Related: 4 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Writer for Your Blog

These are just some of the ways you can do it:

  • Curated content. Consider curating more content for your audience, whether it’s on your own blog or through your social media channels. Curated content is basically content that’s written or created by another person — in this case, an authority on a given subject. You can reach out to known authorities and welcome them to publish guest posts on your website or simply reblog and retweet some of your favorite authoritative works.
  • Collaborations. As you become more of an authority in your own right, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in more collaborations. Working together with an experienced authority on a shared piece could be more powerful than working by yourself — and both your target audiences stand to benefit.
  • Quotes. You can also make an appeal to someone else’s authority with quotes scattered throughout your work. If you make an important point using logic (or even speculation), consider backing it up with a cited quote from an authority figure on the topic. It’s a subtle way of saying, “see, all the leading authorities agree here.”

A more authority-centric content marketing strategy can work in your favor if you plan and execute it well. Focus on giving people the best, most accurate information you can — and don’t be afraid to work with some already-established authorities in the field. 


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8 Must-Have Skills for an Expert Content Marketer


7 min read

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Are you looking to hire an expert content marketer, but struggling to sort through the masses of marketers who say they have the writing chops? You’re not alone. 

“Everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — thinks they’re a writer,” says Rebecca Reynoso, senior editor at G2.

A lot of marketers are writers, but there is a big difference between a great copywriter and a great content marketer –– and it’s one that isn’t discussed as often as it should be. 

Copywriting is what you see earning people massive following on LinkedIn and Twitter –– and it’s even what is most often featured in marketing educational series. For instance, in the popular newsletter Harry’s Marketing Examples, you’ll see several rewritten website headlines claiming to help increase conversion. And they probably do just that. But that is not content marketing. That is copywriting. 

So, what is content marketing and what skills should you be looking for in the person you hire? Let’s get that clear. 

Related: 7 Steps to Start Your First Content-Marketing Campaign

The difference between content marketing and copywriting

A lot of content marketers are also fantastic copywriters, and the reverse is true too. A lot of expert copywriters are admirable content marketers. But, just because there is a crossover doesn’t mean the two are one in the same.

Content marketers build a content strategy for a brand, and then put together the plan and oversee the execution of that plan to realize the overall strategy. The plan includes content research, content briefs, content writing, content editing, SEO optimization, graphic design, and finally, content distribution. 

Copywriters are often helpful in the writing portion of the plan (though copywriters historically have written shorter form content than is typically needed for search-optimized blog posts these days) and in the content-distribution section of the plan. After all, copywriters know how to tell a story and engage an audience. And there’s no better place to do that right now for a business audience than social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. 

The top skills expert content marketers have mastered

If you’re looking for a true expert in content marketing, you’ll want someone who is also a great copywriter. But that’s not where his or her skills end. Here are the eight main skills great content marketers have mastered, and how they help your business grow. 

1. Content strategy 

The ability to formulate and present a clear and coherent content strategy is a must-have for expert content marketers. Many content marketers can execute on a strategy, but not all of them can do the research necessary to put together a long-term strategy, detail the waterfall method in which that strategy will be executed (thus creating a plan) and have the ability to present that plan to founders or executives for sign off. 

This is a skill senior content marketers hone over time, and if you’re looking for an expert, you’ll want to ask questions in the interview that help you understand if they’ve been able to do this successfully. 

2. Project management 

The second most crucial skill for an expert content marketer is project-management ability. Many organizations are content-first, but they don’t necessarily realize it. That is to say, successful organizations often repurpose content from the blog, case studies and more for their ads, email marketing, sales-enablement material, etc. 

This allows content to not only be measured on SEO success, which is a really good thing because SEO can take six months or more to begin to work. 

Content-first organizations need a strong content strategy that takes the full funnel into account, and they need a strong project manager who can report clearly on when content will be ready and help the team autonomously create expert content for every single stage of the funnel. 

Related: 5 Ways to Improve Your Startup’s Project Management

3. SEO basics

Having a clear content strategy and great project-management skills doesn’t rid you of the requirement to understand the fundamentals of SEO. A great content-marketing strategy will build organic search traffic over time, helping to reduce CAC and build brand awareness and brand trust. 

Now, your expert content marketer doesn’t need to know the technical bits of SEO (or how to implement them), but he or she should have a clear enough understanding of Google’s algorithm to build a content strategy that has you ranking for relevant terms, and that allows him or her to optimize content before it goes live. 

Ask him or her about the content marketing tools he or she uses specifically for SEO. The answer shouldn’t be “None.” 

4. Creative production management

Every single piece of content that is produced, whether it’s for your blog or for your sales team, will require graphic design. After all, you want to put your best foot forward with your content, and great design helps create brand cohesion across all of your assets. 

Similar to the project-management experience mentioned above, expert content marketers have experience managing a creative production pipeline to ensure blog hero images are delivered on time and that PDFs are being designed as needed for further down the funnel.  

5. Copywriting

Here we are back at copywriting –– it is a crucial content-marketing skill. Great copywriting will accomplish the following: 

  • Increase the click through from organic search results to website.
  • Grow your branded audience on social media platforms.
  • Make presentations far more appealing and likely to get approval. 

Great content marketers have honed this skill over time, but don’t think that all expert content marketers have massive social followings. That’s simply not true. 

Many content marketers have spent more time focused on headline A/B testing on highly trafficked pages, for instance, to increase conversions. Or, they have been focused further down the funnel helping email marketers with great copywriting to increase retention. Social media is the top of the funnel –– and that’s not always the best place to focus for growing revenue. 

Related: The 10 Commandments of Great Copywriting

6. Editing

Expert content marketers are also great editors. This doesn’t necessarily mean they prescribe to a certain stylebook, though. Instead, it means that they know how to edit a story for clarity, for readability and for the brand’s style. 

Don’t worry –– there are plenty of content-marketing tools on the market that can help with spelling and grammar. While that is a nice-to-have for expert content marketers, that skill is quickly being outsourced to the bots. 

7. Blog writing

Great content marketers likely rose to their position through fantastic writing and editing on blogs of their own. It is true that it takes far more than a blog and a dream to become an expert content marketer, but all content-marketing experts should be able to pump out great blog content –– even if they manage a team of folks who typically do that for them these days. 

Check their clips. Make sure they can write, source and credit properly. Otherwise, you’re risking your brand reputation. 

8. Analytics and tracking

Finally, expert content marketers don’t just publish and pray. They distribute, and they measure. And they aren’t only measuring traffic to the website. Expert content marketers are skilled at understanding website behavior, running content-specific CRO tests and measuring the impact of organic search traffic all the way through the funnel to conversion. 

Experts won’t just hand you a blog post to publish. They will build an entire strategy, execution plan and analytics dashboard to keep you up to date on what is working, where and why. 


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5 Ways Businesses Can Get Traffic and Generate Leads


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You can have all of the traffic in the world, but if you can’t convert that traffic into leads, you can’t build a funnel that will help you make sales. Without sales, you can’t have revenue. And without revenue, you can’t reinvest back into traffic and lead generation.

Before you try to generate leads, you need lead magnets. With something like an ebook or a free course, you have the ability to drive leads to your business. Once you have these lead magnets ready, you can use a variety of different traffic sources to bring attention to your lead magnets.

The following five sources of traffic are places where you can find people for your lead magnets. Some of these sources are free and some of them are paid, but I recommend that you get started with the free traffic sources and scale your way up to paid traffic sources.

1. Organic search traffic

Organic search traffic is the traffic that comes from search engines. You don’t need to pay for this traffic. Every search engine has paid listings on their search and free listings — if you make sure that your pages appear in the search results for specific keywords, then you will be able to tap into a lot of traffic and you won’t need to pay for it. 

The only problem with organic search traffic is that your landing pages will not get ranked easily in the search engines. Search engines prefer content-heavy pages and they do not rank landing pages well. 

You should drive the search traffic to blog pages and then use an online tool to convert visitors into leads. To get good search traffic into your blog pages, you need to have great content, backlinks and good on-page SEO.

Related: 7 Ways to Enhance Your Blog Posts for More Traffic

2. Paid search traffic

Another method to get traffic to your lead pages is from paid search listings. Paid search listings cost money, but if you know how to convert your leads into sales, then you can afford to pay for the clicks. You can configure your paid search ads on a tool like Google Ads, where you can set up paid search ads on Google’s search engine.  

Every search engine has a tool for advertising. Research different search engines that will help you search for products within a niche. You can advertise with those sources as well. The good thing about paid search traffic is that search engines will not hesitate to drive traffic to your lead pages. While it is difficult to rank your lead pages on organic search, there is absolutely no problem with paid search. 

The only disadvantage of a paid traffic source is that you have to pay for it. But if you can get a ROI from the traffic, you can scale it fast. It might take several weeks or months to start getting significant organic traffic to your website, whereas paid search ads can scale fast. You can go from 1,000 visitors a day to 10,000 visitors a day overnight. You just need to increase your ad budget.

Though search traffic is a good, high-quality source of traffic, there are two major drawbacks when it comes to search. The traffic can be costly if many advertisers are bidding for the same keywords, and your traffic is limited based on keyword search volume.

Related: 27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

3. Display ads

Display ads are text and banner ads that you see on other websites. Many of the display ads are controlled by the Google network itself, but they are not the only type of display ads.

If you are a publisher and want to run ads on your website, you can sign up for the Google AdSense program and run ads on your website. (I do not recommend this method of monetizing your traffic because the earnings per visitor will be quite low.) Though I do not recommend using display ads for monetizing your website traffic, it’s a good way to generate traffic as an advertiser. 

Benefits of display ads:

  • There’s an unlimited source of high traffic to tap into.
  • Display Ads are cheap.
  • You can run text-based display ads or image ads.
  • You can do retargeting with display ads.

Disadvantages of display ads:

  • The ads are shown to people who do not have the intent to buy.
  • CTR (click-through ratio) will be less
  • Conversions will be less
  • Sometimes, you might get invalid clicks to your ads and you will still get charged for it. These are bot clicks and not real human clicks.
  • Display ads are ignored by people and become less effective over time.

Now, let’s have a look at the different types of display ads.

Google display ads: Google display ads are an excellent source of traffic because they don’t just run image ads, but text ads as well. When you run search ads on Google, you can enable the display network along with it. Google will run a combination of search ads and display ads (called search ads with display select.) Based on the search queries, Google knows who is more likely to click on the display ads and shows the ads only to them. Such display ads are well-targeted and get a better CTR than generic banner ads.

Facebook ads: Facebook is one of the biggest display ad networks in the world. They run ads on the Facebook platform, but they also run the ads on Instagram and other websites (called the audience network.)

Native ads: The third type of display ads I would recommend is native ads. Native ads do not look like ads, but they look like content recommendations.One of the downsides of native ads is that the ads of generally of very low quality. People advertise all sorts of things when it comes to native ads. But at the same time, native ads can give very low-cost traffic and they are great for branding.

4. Affiliate traffic

You can give a percentage commission on your sales to your affiliates and referrals and let them promote your products. If you are selling a digital product, you would be giving an affiliate commission only on the sales. You don’t need to give any commissions on the traffic that is being driven to your pages. This is a free way to get traffic.

5. Referral traffic

You can create a referral campaign and get people to refer others to unlock offers. Referral campaigns are similar to affiliate campaigns but there is no monetary commission involved in this. The idea is that you give rewards to people (mostly digital products) when people refer other people to your brand. You cannot convert these referrals into customers immediately. You need to build trust with them using marketing automation.

Related: 6 Easy Ways to Attract More Website Traffic


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When Is It Time to Give Up on an SEO Campaign?


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re like most modern companies, you’ve at least flirted with the idea of starting a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Maybe SEO has allowed you to capture a massive stream of inbound traffic and currently represents the most successful element of your marketing strategy. Or maybe you’re somewhere in between. 

The appeal of SEO is pretty obvious. Rank higher in search engines, and you’ll get more inbound traffic. More inbound traffic leads to more revenue. And because SEO is relatively inexpensive, the return on investment (ROI) is often favorable even in merely decent campaigns.  

That said, there are some important downsides to SEO that you must consider. Notably, SEO takes a long time to develop and show its true results.  

So what are you supposed to do if you’re not seeing results? Should you keep investing, waiting and hoping for the best? Or do you withdraw and cut your losses? And if you must withdraw, when’s the best time to do it? 

The SEO dilemma 

This leads us to the central SEO dilemma. For SEO to work long-term, you have to keep investing in it for months — and sometimes years — despite seeing little to no results early on. In other words, you have to have faith in the strategy and keep pushing for further development. Considering the near-universal value of SEO, this is worth pushing for.  

At the same time, it makes no sense to remain complacent with a strategy that isn’t bringing value to your organization. If you invested in SEO for 10 years with no results, most people would consider it a bad financial move.  

So where do you draw the line? At what point do you consider calling it quits?  

Reasonable timeframes for SEO 

Before we can answer that question, we need to establish expectations for the timeline of SEO. How long should it take for a “normal” SEO campaign to develop?  

This question is hard to answer, since it depends on so many variables. Campaigns may take longer or shorter depending on their budget, the industry, the quality of the SEO campaign and other factors. For our purposes, we’ll consider an experienced SEO campaign manager with a mid-sized business in a competitive (but not ridiculously so) industry). Additionally, the budget is neither restrictive nor indulgent. 

Related: Why You’re Hurting Your Bottom Line If You Only Care About the Bottom Line

Realistically, you should start to see some momentum within a few weeks of starting your campaign, and definitely within the first two months. You’ll notice your domain authority ticking upward (especially if you haven’t done any work on this yet), you’ll see measurable traffic increases and you should start climbing the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target phrases. If you don’t see any measurable progress after two months, that’s a bad sign.  

After three to six months, you should see much more progress. Even in a competitive industry, you should see yourself become a formidable player. If you’re still seeing minimal progress after six months of work, something is seriously wrong.  

Alternatives to quitting 

Here’s something else to consider: Abandoning the SEO campaign isn’t the only option available to you. If you’ve spent several months optimizing for search engines with not much to show for it, you could instead make adjustments to your strategy. If you’re targeting the wrong keyword phrases or if you’re competing on a national, instead of local level, you can make some strategic changes to see faster momentum.  

Related: 7 Tips for Cold-Calling Success

If you’re doing the work all in-house or if you’re doing the work yourself, consider hiring an expert to take over the campaign. They can help you figure out what you’re doing wrong, correct the issues and ultimately prime you for better results.  

Variables to consider  

If you’re questioning whether your SEO strategy is working, or whether you should quit, be careful not to make any impulsive decisions. Instead, consider the variables that could be influencing this position, such as:  

  • Standing penalties. Violations of Google’s terms of service can lead to penalties, which are very hard to recover from in some cases.  

  • Content quality. Bad content or adherence to questionable practices can stymie your momentum.  

  • Pace of work. Your budget and drive will dictate how much progress you make; if you’re only investing the bare minimum, you shouldn’t expect fast results.  

SEO is a long-term strategy, and for the most part, you shouldn’t let your impatience get the better of you. Momentum builds slowly and is often imperceptible at first, gradually building to incredible heights. However, there are many ways a campaign can go wrong, and it’s not a good idea to continue pursuing a campaign that simply isn’t working. Keep a critical, analyzing eye on your campaign, and if it’s not generating results after a few months, be ready to change it or cut it loose.  


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Climb the Search Rankings with This Google SEO and SERP Course


Learn how to increase your brand visibility on a budget.

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Get a glimpse of how to influence your audience’s buying habits using traditional and unconventional influencer marketing techniques.

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In 2019, 65 percent of e-commerce sessions started from a search engine. And yet, only 64 percent of marketers actively invest in search engine optimization (SEO). E-commerce boomed in 2020, creating windfall profits for many entrepreneurs, but also attracting a slew of new competition into the market. It’s become more expensive to try to stand out from the noise through paid ads, making SEO one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your online business or store.

So, what are you waiting for? Learn how to climb up the search engine result pages (SERPs) with The 2021 Complete Google SEO & SERP Certification Bundle.

This 11-course bundle takes a holistic approach to SEO that leverages multiple platforms. Across 26 hours of training, you’ll learn how to increase your site’s leads and traffic through Google, YouTube, Amazon, and more platforms. Courses are taught by experts like Joshua George (4.7/5 instructor rating), Benji Wilson (4.4/5 rating), and Anthony Barnard (4.3/5 rating).

Through both beginner-friendly and advanced courses, you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of SEO. You’ll learn about SEO’s symbiosis and backlinks, discover how to identify LSI keywords, practice backlinking and keyword research, leverage local SEO, and even learn how to strengthen the technical aspects of your website to rank better. Additionally, you’ll learn how to boost your YouTube SEO to increase engagement, improve your sales page listings on Amazon, and discover a number of tools that can help you manage your SEO strategy.

Get to the top of search rankings and improve your business’s presence online. Right now, The 2021 Complete Google SEO & SERP Certification Bundle is just $29.99.

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This Budget-Friendly SEO Tool Can Help You Improve Your Search Rankings


Amplify your organic marketing strategies without breaking the bank.

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Get a glimpse of how to influence your audience’s buying habits using traditional and unconventional influencer marketing techniques.

2 min read

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The world of digital marketing is extremely competitive. With so many people and brands competing for attention, it’s easy to make mistakes and fall by the wayside. Those mistakes are especially costly when you’re paying for promotion. Organic marketing, on the other hand, simply relies on optimizing your primary sites so that people can find you naturally through search engines. SEO is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing strategies there is, but it’s also a technically difficult one. Fortunately, SERPstash can simplify it.

SERPstash is a simplified SEO tool that will help you drive your pages up the search rankings. The tool breaks SEO into three simple steps: Identify competitors and keywords, research backlinks, and audit your page to identify improvement areas. With 21 user-friendly tools to boost your site’s ranking, you can completely overhaul your SEO without any technical expertise.

SERPstash allows you to analyze and filter ranking keywords related to your industry, discover who is ranking for those same targeted keywords, and find your current search ranking. You’ll be able to learn the top search queries bringing traffic to your site and find the 100 highest-quality websites linking back to your site, as well as who is linking to your competitors. With simple tests and insights from Google, you’ll be able to improve your site’s speed and SEO, and even discover if your pages are considered “mobile-friendly” in Google search results.

Amplify your SEO strategy with SERPstash. A lifetime subscription is normally $500, but right now, you can get a limited-time deal when you sign up for just $24.

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Prices subject to change.


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