Creating Your Home on the Internet

Creating Your Home On The Internet

Business has changed, and the internet is a constantly changing place. While it’s important to have your Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media spaces, the core of any digital strategy is a website that you own.

One of the most cost effective and essential tools that any business can have is a blog, an effective place for your business to communicate to your customers.

There are many different platforms out there, from Drupal and Joomla, to Squarespace and WordPress.  Here at NorthIQ, we lean towards WordPress because it is easy to implement, and quick to develop for, but any tool that lets you quickly post to a website domain that you own, and which will allow you to get your content back out of it later is a great choice.

No matter what you choose, there are some things you should consider when building your home on the internet. Continue reading “Creating Your Home on the Internet”

Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited

How to Set Up An Automatic Email Download

We’re doing a bunch of work on Manage Comics this week. One of the things we were working on were the landing page and auto-responder for Manage Comics.

When you inquire about Manage Comics, you get a 32 page download sent to you automatically.  This download tells you everything you need to know about Manage Comics and how it works.

My plan, like everything else with Manage Comics, was to build the guide when the first person asked for it. That day came, and I started writing. Continue reading “Auto Responders with Mail Chimp – Revisited”

Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool

Storytelling in an era of echo chambers

It was a Saturday morning, I was just sitting on my couch when my phone pinged to let me know an email had arrived. I put down my coffee and looked at the notification. It was my friend Jonathan, and the subject had one word. “Help.”

“I’ve been posting online for a month now and I’m not getting any traction at all. I don’t have a bunch of money to put into ad words, and people tell me that I’ve helped them in the past. Why can’t I get any traction online? It seems like everyone is shouting and nobody is listening,” he asked.

He was right, I struggled with how blunt I was going to be, I saw the problem – the reason nobody was reading Jonathan’s posts was that they were boring, unoriginal, and had no unique point of view.

“You’re right, Jonathan, Twitter often feels like a big, vast echo chamber. The idea is to present a unique point of view in a way nobody else is doing it. You’ve got some awesome insights, but you’re fighting against the big guys, they’re louder, there’s more of them, and they aren’t afraid to post constantly. You seem afraid to actually take a position, so you’re showing two sides to the story when we both know one of them is right and the other is wrong. Let’s meet for a beer (my treat) and we’ll put together a plan.”

What Jonathan needed was to tell a story, he didn’t need to “share his unique value proposition.” We sat down for an hour, and I explained to him how storytelling works.

Continue reading “Storytelling is a Powerful Content Tool”

How to Come Up With Content Ideas

Where to Get Content Ideas

This is the third post on content marketing that I’ve written, the previous ones “Getting Started in Content Marketing“, and “How to Write Content that Helps Find Your Customers” were about the process, this one is about the actual writing and how we come up with our ideas here at NorthIQ.

The number one thing that stops people from content marketing is that they are afraid they’ll run out of things to say. I’ve been writing semi-professionally in some way or another since 1997, I’ve had a personal blog for pretty much that entire time. I’ve never run out of things to say.

I’ve got a few simple rules for what I write, and I find that following those rules gives me good stuff to write about. Continue reading “How to Come Up With Content Ideas”

How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers

Content That Finds Customers

We have previously written about “Getting Started in Content Marketing” where we discussed content strategy, and what you want to get out of the experience of content marketing, where you will send people, what channels you’ll market with, how to format your postings, and how you’ll know you’re successful.

In our NorthIQ Smarter Business Guide we talk about figuring out who your customers are and creating personas around them.

Today we’re going to discuss how you can use content marketing to find your customers. Continue reading “How to Write Content That Helps Find Your Customers”

Simple Rules for Writing on the Web

Zombies and Giant Fluffy Kittens

When you’re writing on the web, you need to think about your what your message is, and how you will tell your story. A great idea with poor execution will fail. Great execution with a bad idea will fail. You need both a great idea with an amazing “hook,” and you need to execute on that idea well.

Well-written content will be read by more people, more often, and will be shared more than poorly written content.

There’s a few simple rules you can follow to make your writing better. Continue reading “Simple Rules for Writing on the Web”

Don’t be Fooled by Domain Renewal Mail

iDNS Mailed Letter

I have been registering domain names since the early 1990’s, I’ve had domains swiped out from under me, I’ve forgotten to renew domains, and I’ve bought more domains than I’ve ever used.

I recently got an urgent text from Peter at All New Comics. He had a letter from a company called “IDNS” who told him that he needed to renew his domain immediately, or he would risk using it. All he needed to do was provide his credit card number and mail the form back for him. Domain renewal would be done for $40.00USD per year (with a 2 year $10 discount, and a whopping $40 discount if he renewed for 5 years). Continue reading “Don’t be Fooled by Domain Renewal Mail”

The 4 Questions That Will Make Your Business Smarter

Make Your Business Smarter

Former Defence Secretary of the United States, Donald Rumsfeld’s most famous quote is about knowing what you know, and knowing what you don’t know…and then not knowing other things you don’t know. A lot of people made fun of it, but it’s an accurate and smart comment.

As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

Continue reading “The 4 Questions That Will Make Your Business Smarter”

Getting Started in Content Marketing

Content Marketing Journal

Communication is the key weapon in any marketer’s toolbox. Content Marketing is a trendy term now. Companies and people are using high quality content to get more traffic, and to build more leads. In order to effectively content market you need to understand the basic principles of communication that will get your content noticed.

Before you even get started in content marketing there are several things you need to have ready. Continue reading “Getting Started in Content Marketing”