3 New Tools That Can Help You Create Better Content, Convert More Readers and Conquer Higher Search Rankings

This guest post is by Neil Patel of Quick Sprout.

Anybody can be a content marketer … but not everyone can be a good or even great content marketer who creates articles that convert and rank high in the search engines on a consistent basis.

Over time experience will teach you how to do this, but you also need the right tools.

You need tools that will help you spot the hot topics at that very moment, generate list upon list of high-converting long-tail keywords, automate some of your processes, and even show you the best places to publish your content.

In the last several months four very cool tools have come onto the scene that will help you do just that. Eric showed us one of them—the Content Strategy Generator Tool—earlier today, but I wanted to show you three others that are definitely worth experimenting with.

IFTTT: Automate your content curation tasks

IFTTTYour first experience of IFTTT may seem a bit like a head-scratcher. That’s why IFTTT has given you some very specific “recipes” to add.

What exactly is a “recipe”?

That’s just a set of commands to perform an action when certain conditions are met. That’s what the acronoym means: If This, Then That.

How can this tool help you create compelling, high-converting content? It will basically automate tasks that you normally do.

For example, Evernote is the ultimate tool bloggers use to save ideas we come across on the web. Even though the steps to save that content to Evernote are pretty simple, wouldn’t it be nice to accomplish two tasks in one—and even eliminate some steps in the process?

Standford Smith recently shared his favorite IFTTT recipes that make content curation painless:

When curation tasks like these are automated for you, you can concentrate on creating better content that will convert more readers and rank higher.

Übersuggest: the keyword search tool on steroids

If you want a keyword search tool that will help you build a highly relevant and targeted list of long-tail keywords, then you need Übersuggest.


It combines Google Suggest with other services, and it’s simple to use. Just write a keyword in the box, choose a language, and get suggestions.

You can break these down into just normal web searches, or you can look for terms in verticals like video, shopping, and news. If you click on one of the keywords it then delivers even more suggestions:


There are literally thousands of content ideas you could get from these real user queries.

Click the plus sign and this will put the keywords in a bucket:


After you’ve selected a few more keywords, you can then click “Get” and then copy and paste these keywords:


If you want to take this idea a step further, throw out all those keywords that won’t work for you. Those remaining drop into Google’s keyword suggestion tool.

From that list you can grab the hottest trending keywords and create some high-converting content that also ranks well.

Google Insights: 4 ways to boost your content conversion rates

In its most basic use, Google Insights for Search is great for seeing what people are searching for using broad terms, or narrow ones.

But as a content marketer, you are looking to use Google Insights to help you create highly-targeted content that will boost your conversion rates.

Google Insights offers four ways to do that, using its filters. The first filter we’ll look at is the Web Search.

The Web Search filter

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent in Seattle. You are looking to create some articles for your blog, but you are tired of talking about home prices and want some fresh and relevant topics to discuss.

Google Insights

To keep the content tight and focused on your market, you can filter the content to your region and restrict results to those from the last three months. Then, choose “real estate” as the category.

Note: Leave the “Search terms” box blank if you want to see what’s trending.

This is what you could see:

Google Insights

What you care about here are the Rising Searches and the Breakout search terms.

As you can see, when I did this search, the “Trayvon Martin case” was a hugely popular term in the real estate category. Perhaps you could create some fresh content around issues like the pros and cons of living in a gated community, or a guide to creating a voluntary Neighborhood Watch program. Both are highly-qualified topics that could rank high.

The Image Search filter

The next filter you can use to generate some high-converting content ideas is Image Search. This time you will enter some search terms.

Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you want to see what’s trending among images. You choose “book covers,” “email newsletters,” and “desktop.”

Google Insights

Your results will show you that the email newsletter topic is flat-lining, but the desktop topic is flying high!

Google Insights

That means you need to roll up your sleeves and focus your content on a topic like desktop design. If I were you, I’d use the CSGT or Übersuggest to generate some very refined keywords that will attract that right people and convert well for you.

The News Search filter

The third filter to try is the News Search. This is another one that works really well if you leave the search terms box blank.

Imagine you are a blogger who covers technology, so you enter a search in the News. You make it a worldwide search in the last 90 days, and select Computers & Electronics.

Google Insights

Your results will look something like this for that time range:

Google Insights

Notice how Apple dominates the top six spots, but doesn’t hold place two and four? Those offer some interesting possibilities for content creation.

For example, “anonymous” refers to the hacktivist group Anonymous—you may want to cover their latest efforts. And the “galaxy s3” refers to the latest rumors about this smartphone. Perhaps you can follow that as a possible story idea.

Either way, these will be hot, trending topics that could help you land some heavy traffic!

The Product Search filter

The last filter we’ll look at is the Product Search filter. Anyone who sells anything can use this—and it doesn’t have to be a physical product. It could be an information product or even a service.

Say you have a blog from which you sell stock buying information in the form of email alerts, and you want to relate something back to one of your products.

Search “worldwide” and “finance” without putting anything in the “search terms”.

Google Insights

Here’s what you will get:

Google Insights

Because it was tax season when I ran this search, most of the searches were around the topics of taxes. But what is sr22? And why is it breaking out? Click on it and you get this report:

Google Insights

This is important, because the “sr22” search term can refer to a number of things, including insurance, pistol, or an airplane.

These particular searches, however, are focused on finance, which should give us a clue that this topics is probably about insurance. The subcategory tells us that it is most definitely about insurance.

Click on “Insurance” and you’ll see that sr22 is a specific kind of auto insurance. Now you can create content around sr22 auto insurance, and then tie it back into one of your products, capturing the attention of—and hopefully some conversions from—highly-relevant traffic.

The blogger’s favorite tool/s

In the end, if you want to succeed as a content marketer, then you need to know what type of content is working, what topics are trending well and which keywords are relevant to your context. The tools above will help you find that out.

These tools as they are your key to creating content that not only ranks well but converts readers into subscribers or customers.

Are there any other new tools that I missed that will help a content market create better content? Share them in the comments.

Neil Patel is an online marketing consultant and the co-founder of KISSmetrics. He also blogs at Quick Sprout.

The Must-have Blog Post Topic Generation Tool

This is a guest post by Eric Siu of Evergreen Search.

Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes—Napoleon Hill

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s very hard figuring out how to come up with blog post ideas. And based on that quote, if you can’t come up with ideas, then it doesn’t look like you have a starting point from which to create a fortune.

Over the years, many different aggregators and tools have become standard ways to generate post topics. Some people might use Quora or Yahoo Answers to look for problem-solving topics. Others might use Twitter or news aggregators to check for trends. All these tactics are effective, but it can be difficult to track everything at once.

What if there was an all-in-one tool that could combine these tactics into one, so you didn’t have to painfully click around anymore?

Enter: the Content Strategy Generator Tool (CSGT) by Daniel Butler of SEOgadget.


What is the Content Strategy Generator Tool?

The CSGT is a Google Docs spreadsheet that utilizes importXML functions to pull various data around the web for content brainstorming. That content doesn’t have to be restricted to blogging—the tool can be used to research videos, infographics, or audio.

With this tool, you can spot trends, get great headline ideas, come up with your own spin on topics, view new keyword opportunities, and more—and all in one spot. Talk about saving time!

Setting it up is a matter of completing a few steps:

  1. Get the tool here.
  2. Make a copy in Google Docs (File -> Make a Copy)
  3. Enter your keyword in cell B3 (for multiple keywords, using the ‘+’ operator e.g. pet+stores).
  4. Sit back and watch the magic happen.

What’s inside

The spreadsheet itself can display quite a bit of information. This section will break down the different types of data that is pulled into the sheet so you can begin to formulate a strategy on how you’d like to use it.


CSGT pulls news from Google News and Bing News. For Google News, three columns in the spreadsheet give you the title, author and time posted, and a description of the article. For Bing News, you’ll find two columns: one for “best match,” and one for “most recent” articles. This gives you the flexibility to dig through all the latest topic-related news on Bing.

Digg and Reddit are also included in the sheet. Similar to the information it provides on Bing, the sheet will display “most dugg” and “most recent” data from Digg. It will show you the top posts only from Reddit.

Social Media

If you’re looking for video content ideas, you’re in luck: CSGT also displays the top videos from YouTube related to your search.

Topsy, which is a great tool for displaying trending tweets, shows you the latest tweets in the last day as well as the top trending tweets. You’ll also see the usernames, author names, tweets, times of tweets, and number of retweets for each trend. Twittorati Search will pull in more tweets from the highest authority bloggers, and display the user and Twitterati Authority as well.

Facebook isn’t left out, either. AllThingsNow pulls the hottest Facebook shares for the day into the spreadsheet.


CSGT also pulls in topics from various aggregators like Blog Catalog, Fark, Redux, Helium and Cracked.

These sites are all different in their own ways and, at the end of the day, add more diversity to the scope of topics being presented to you. Perhaps you might look at Cracked and come up with a funny spin on a niche topic—anything could happen!

Q+A Sites

The benefit of having Yahoo Answers in the spreadsheet is that this data shows you popular problems that people are actually having right now.

Yahoo Answers will pull the most-answered questions related to your query, and display them for you. You can then go to Google and search on those specific questions. If the answers on the first page aren’t that good (and you think you can do better), you may just have picked up something to write about.


Uber Suggest is an excellent keyword suggestion tool and CSGT brings it right to the sheet so you don’t need to go to the website to find suggestions for other relevant keywords that you can target.

Google Insights will show you what the top and rising searches are in your niche.

And finally, How Stuff Works results will give you ideas for potential how-to content that you can generate.

Source and Place

That’s not all, though—the Source and Place tab will tell you how to find the top Twitter experts, bloggers, and editors in your niche. Use this to figure out who you can follow—and start new relationships with.

How to use the tool

Whenever you are stuck or want to spot trends on a subject, just pop open this tool and enter a topical keyword into cell B3. You can use modifiers to do some more digging, but the bottom line is that this is a great starting point for any content campaign.

At the end of the day, the main benefit of the Content Strategy Generator Tool is to save you time while giving you more ideas. The simplicity and the fact that it’s free makes this tool a must-have for any content creator.

Have you used the CSGT yet? Did you find it useful? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments.

Eric Siu is the Vice President of SEO at Evergreen Search, a digital marketing agency in los angeles. He’s also written about Minimum Viable SEO: 8 Ways To Get Startup SEO Right and 10 Immutable Laws of SEO. In his free time, he likes watching football, playing poker, hiking, reading, or eating ice cream. Feel free to follow him on Twitter( @ericosiu) or on Google+:+Eric Siu

How to Create White Papers From Your Blog Posts and Use Them Effectively

This guest post is by Mitt Ray of The White Paper Blog.

With the rise in inbound marketing, more and more blogs are using white papers to promote themselves effectively. Blogs can use white papers as part of their marketing campaigns to spread expertise, generate leads, get more subscribers, and to take advantage of many other benefits. If you’re keen on learning how to write effective white papers and then use them to promote your blog, then you have to read this post!

What is a white paper?

A white paper is a cross between a magazine article and a brochure. It possesses both the educational qualities of a magazine article and the persuasive qualities of a corporate brochure. This combination of education and persuasion makes it one of the most powerful marketing tools.

How do white papers differ from guides and reports?

Guides and reports are helpful documents that usually dwell into the solution right away. There’s a brief paragraph or two as to why the guide is helpful and why they need to read the guide, and then the helpful information starts.

A white paper, on the other hand, dwells into the problems first. A white paper usually starts with a headline and an introduction which explains what the white paper is about, and how it’s going to help the reader. Then there’s a detailed description of the problems faced by the reader. The white paper goes into detail about every problem faced by the reader and how it affects them and their business. After making the problems clear, the white paper discusses the appropriate solutions in details.

This is the main difference between a white paper and a guide—a white paper dwells on the problems before providing the solution. One more difference is that the white paper has a persuasive brochure at the end which usually sells a service or product relevant to the solution in the white paper. This can play an important lead generation. Another important point to keep in mind is that white papers can be scientific with a lot of references.

When should you use a white paper and not a guide?

As I mentioned above, a white paper can be a fantastic tool to promote your blog, but you can’t always use it. If you want to use a white paper to promote your blog, you need to make sure that a white paper would suit your blog topic, your audience, etc. A white paper might be a fantastic marketing tool for some blogs, but it might not be for others.

For example, I have two blogs on marketing: one of them is on white papers, and the other’s on social media and inbound marketing. On my white paper blog I give away the free white paper on how to write white papers. This works because people who visit my website are people looking to learn more about white papers and how to write them—therefore a white paper on how to write white paper acts as a helpful document and sample, and this helps promote my blog.

When I first started my other blog on social media and inbound marketing, I offered the free white paper “How to get started with inbound marketing.” This white paper explained the problems with outdated marketing methods, how inbound marketing works, and how to get started with it. This white paper did well, as I was able to display the problems and solutions clearly and white papers do play a role in inbound marketing.

Recently, though, I took that off the site and replaced it with a guide on how to get started with Pinterest. I could have written a white paper on it, but I decided to use a guide as a white paper on Pinterest would have been redundant. If I wrote a white paper on how to use Pinterest, I’d need to talk about the problems with other social media and image-sharing sites and I didn’t feel that this would be appropriate. Also, I wanted to make a free guide which doesn’t have any marketing messages or information about any of my services. This is why I decided to write a guide instead of a white paper.

If you want to write a white paper for your blog or to promote your business you need to be clear about your aims, your audience, your topic, etc. and then decide if it would be better off to use a white paper or to stick with a guide. Normally it’s best to use a white paper if you’re providing a service or product in the B2B sector. Sometimes white papers might not work in the B2C sector; the best thing to do in those cases is to use a guide instead.

How can blogs use white papers?

Whether your blog is part of a business, or whether it’s a standalone blog, there are plenty of ways you can use a white paper to promote your blog or your business. Here are a few ideas.

How can an independent blog and a blog that is part of a company use white papers?

The different ways in which standalone blogs, and blogs that are part of businesses, can use white papers include:

  1. Get more subscribers: One of the best ways to get many people to sign up to your newsletter is by offering a free white paper in exchange for the signup. When you let people know that they get a free white paper in exchange for their email addresses they will readily give you their names and email addresses. For this to work well you need to make sure the white paper you give away is in relation to the topic you blog on.
  2. Rejuvenate old blog posts: If you are disappointed with the amount of traffic your old posts are receiving, then the best thing to do is to convert them into a white paper. You could select some of the best posts which did well in the past and combine them together to create a powerful white paper. This way you will be happy with the extra recognition some of your hard work is receiving, and your reader will be happy with the quality content you provide.
  3. Increase blog traffic: A white paper can also be used to increase blog traffic. Your white paper doesn’t just have to contain content and pictures—it can also contain links to blog posts on your website. For example, if you need to define a term or explain something clearly, you can just add a link to the blog post from your white paper, instead of adding heaps and heaps of secondary content to the white paper itself.
  4. Attract backlinks: A well-written white paper can be fantastic link bait. If your white paper is written really well, and is unique and contains lot of fantastic tips, people will want to link to it. If someone’s writing a tip on SEO and they feel that your white paper is the best resource for more information on a particular tip, they will want to link to it. This can help you get a ton of backlinks which can, of course, help improve your website’s search engine rankings.

How can blogs that are part of a business use white papers?

Below is a list of the benefits of white papers to blogs that are part of a business. These advantages usually don’t apply to independent blogs:

  1. Spread expertise: If your white paper is filled with amazing tips which can help readers run their businesses better, it can help you or your company gain recognition and authority as an expert in te field. And what’s the advantage of being “the expert”? Everybody wants to work with the expert!
  2. Generate leads: As mentioned above, white papers can be used to generate leads for a service. After reading your white paper, people have two choices: they can either try out the tips you have provided by themselves, or they can hire the expert who has provided these tips. It’s more likely that they are going to hire the expert, as people prefer to work with someone experienced who has produced results, instead of taking a chance themselves. This is exactly what your white paper proves. In this way, it can increase your chances of landing the job.
  3. Sell products: White papers can be used not only to sell a service, but also to sell products. At the end of your white paper in the brochure section, you can let people know about your product, explaining how it provides the solution you’ve described in the white paper. This can really help to increase the sales of your products. White papers are commonly used to sell expensive products.

How to create white papers from your blog posts

You can either create white papers from scratch, or from your blog posts. Given that we’re all bloggers, I’m going to teach you how to create white papers from blogs post. If you would like to learn how to create white papers from scratch, read my white paper on How to Write White a Paper!

Contents of a white paper

A white paper usually consists of:

  • headline
  • sub-headline
  • an introduction
  • a statement of the problem
  • an explanation of the best solutions
  • a “brochure” section that explains your offering.

If your blog has been around for a while, you can probably get all the above required information for a white paper from your blog posts. In fact, you can take any solution-focused blog post and use it to build a white paper.

A blog post usually consists of a headline, followed by the introduction where you briefly write about a problem. Next comes the main part of the post, where you write the solutions to the problem in detail. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to either repurpose blog posts, or use them as the basis, to create your white paper.

Creating the white paper

As I mentioned earlier, white papers usually detail problems, then follow up with solutions to these problems. So let’s start off by taking all the blog posts you plan to include in your white paper. Make sure all these posts are on the same subject or belong to the same niche.

1. Write down the problems

Write down a list of all the problems from the blog posts you have amassed. After you have written them down, go through them thoroughly.

Now, write down a brief introduction to the Problems section of the white paper. This needs to be written briefly, based on all the problems you listed.

After you finish writing this introduction, you can start listing out each of the problems and describe them in detail. Make sure you expand on those few lines you wrote earlier. You want each problem’s description to be between 100 and 400 words long.

After you have listed all the problems, write down a brief conclusion which tells the reader that the problems stated can be solved with simple solutions. This conclusion should lead the reader into the Solutions section of the white paper.

2. Write down the solutions

For the Solutions section of the white paper, you can use the same solutions you provided in your blog posts. You might need to modify it a bit to suit the white paper and the detailed problems you just wrote.

First, start off by writing a headline and brief introduction to the Solutions section. Here, write about all the solutions you plan to discuss, and how they can help solve the problems you’ve already covered.

After that introduction, list the solutions one by one and copy in the content from your blog posts, modifying the content so that it reads well in sequence and so that the problems and solutions match each other perfectly. This will improve the flow of the white paper and make it easy to read.

3. Write a conclusion

At the end of the Solutions section, write down your conclusion. The Conclusion should lead the reader into the brochure section of the white paper. You need to let the reader know that the tips you have provided in the white paper do work, and if they would like to try out a product or service that provides the same solution they should keep reading…

4. Create the brochure section

After the Conclusion, it’s time to create the brochure section of the white paper. Here, you can just give a brief outline of your blog or business, and then follow it with the benefits of your product or service. At the end, don’t forget to include a linked call to action which asks the reader to contact you to find out more about your product or service.

5. Write the Introduction and headline

After you finish writing the Problems, Solutions, and Brochure sections of the white paper, go back to the beginning and write the headline, sub-headline, and the introduction. I like to leave this task till last, because by the end of the writing, I know exactly what’s in my white paper and how I’ve pitched the problems and solutions. Writing the Intro and headline last means I can make sure that they pre-empt the content of the white paper very well.

First write an attention-grabbing headline and sub-headline that will convince the reader to read the rest of the white paper.

For the introduction, all you need to do is sum up the contents of the white paper in around 300 to 500 words. Here, just outline some of the contents of the white paper. Let the reader know what the white paper is about, mention some of the important problems and solutions that are discussed here, and highlight how they will find the information helpful.

Think of the introduction as a mini-white paper, or a teaser. Don’t give away too much information in the introduction, as you still want the reader to read the rest of the white paper and find out more about what it contains by themselves.

6. Check the flow

After you finish writing the entire white paper, read it several times to make sure all the contents of the white paper complement each other and fit in well together. This will improve the flow of your white paper and make it easy to read.

If you follow this process you should be able to create a powerful white paper from your blog posts. You can then use this white paper to take advantage of all the benefits mentioned above.

Have you ever created a white paper from your blog posts? Have you got any other tips you would like to share with us? Please share your comments with us below.

Mitt Ray blogs about white papers on “The White Paper Blog,” where you can download his free white paper on “How to Write a White Paper.” He is the Founder of Social Marketing Writing and the Director of imittcopy. He is also the author of the book White Paper Marketing. You can follow him on @MittRay.

Build Blog Products That Sell 6: Tell the World

This guest series is by Greg McFarlane of Control Your Cash.


Image courtesy stock.xchng user lusi

Welcome to the final installment in our hexalogy, concerning how to sell blog products in an era when people are reaching into their pockets and finding mostly lint. So far, we’ve discussed how to plan out products drawn from your expertise, create them, distinguish yourself from your competitors, test-market, figure out how much to charge, and find a clientele. If you’re late to the party, check out the previous parts of this series, right from the start, before going any further.

Say you’ve done all of the above. Now, the only remaining step is to get the sale. Sounds obvious, but all the preliminary work means nothing if you don’t close. You need to tell people to buy, rather than just crossing your fingers and hoping that they might.

It’s not just writing…

There’s a certain finesse required with this. You don’t sell in the same voice in which you entice, cajole, or inform. Lots of bloggers have trouble making the transition. If you’re going to put yourself out there as a seller of “you-branded” content, you don’t have the luxury of stumbling through and hoping that your sales pitch falls on receptive ears.

At this point, considering how much you’ve put in, selling yourself is mandatory, not optional. You have to use language forcefully, more forcefully than you do in your blog posts. Burrow into your prospect’s head, and by extension, your prospect’s wallet.

Focusing on the benefits

There’s a timeless axiom in the advertising business: People don’t want a bar of soap, they want clean hands.

The benefit of the product is far more important than the product itself. When you instead start focusing on the product—which, granted, you expended considerable effort to create—you’re not exactly empathizing with your clientele. It’s supposed to be about them, not you. No one cares how many hours you spent interviewing people for the DVD series you’re selling. Nor could anyone be less interested in how many pages your ebook is. (Beyond a certain point, of course. If you’re going to charge $329 for a three-page ebook, it had better contain the GPS coordinates for the Ark of the Covenant.)

No, cost-conscious buyers—any discerning buyers, really—want to know the answer to the universal question:

What’s in it for me?

How are you going to make your readers’ lives easier/simpler/richer? State how you’re going to do it. Yes, it’s great that you poured your heart and soul into your work, but that doesn’t necessarily make it sellable.

The human tendency is to concentrate on oneself, rather than other people. Which makes perfect sense—of course you’ll brush your own teeth and wash your own windows before doing the same for your neighbor. But if you want other people’s money, you have to force yourself to think about them first, as unnatural as that might sound.

Here’s an example of what not to write to get people to buy your products. The example is technically fictional, but it’s a composite of other bloggers’ calls-to-action:

“Starting today, I’m running a discount on my latest project. You can get my 36-page, 8,459-word ebook for just $11.99. This ebook, Car Noises And How To Diagnose Them, is the result of many months of research, and is now being made available to you for a special introductory price.”

Wow. Thanks for doing me the favor of offering to take my money. This is like the employee who walks into the boss’s office requesting a raise, and the first point he cites is how many hours of uncompensated overtime he puts in. Or that he has a baby on the way. You need to give your employer, or anyone else in the position of enriching you, a reason for doing so. Again, concentrate on the end users here. Without them, you and your product are nothing.

Here’s an alternative sales script, one that focuses on the buyer. It’s longer, but it also (hopefully) appeals to the buyer’s senses:

“Your car makes an unfamiliar noise. So naturally, your first reaction is to drive to the nearest mechanic, and waste maybe half an hour in the waiting room, putting yourself at the mercy of a professional whose livelihood rests on finding as many things wrong with people’s cars as possible.

For the love of God, don’t. Stop throwing your money away. That knock you hear doesn’t mean you need a new $1400 transmission assembly. It means you need to spend a couple more dollars on higher-octane fuel. That ear-splitting undercarriage rattle can be quieted in seconds, with the appropriate ratchet and a quarter-turn of your wrist.

My new ebook, Car Noises And How To Diagnose Them, breaks down the most common, least pleasant sounds that can emanate from your car. It tells you where they originate, what they mean, and how to prevent them. Some will require a look from a technician, but you’ll be amazed how many won’t. Fix them yourself instead, and you’ll save untold time, money and aggravation.

Car Noises And How To Diagnose Them includes sound files of dozens of the most common noises, along with complete directions on how to locate and assess them. Download it here for just $12, and I’ll include a mobile link for iOS and Android (because very few car noises occur when you’re sitting in front of your computer at home).”

Obviously that sales treatment isn’t going to be suitable for your blog and its products, but you get the idea. People are more budget-conscious these days than they’ve been in some time. They will part with their money, but you need to give them a compelling reason to.

Drawing the line

This doesn’t mean you should be penning advertising copy with dubious assertions. (“Scientifically proven to regrow hair!”) Quite the contrary. If there’s ever a time to be honest, it’s when you’re explaining to your readers what your products can do for them. Your readers will respect you for it, and if you give them value, they’ll spread the word.

For an established blogger, creating products that extend that blog can be a rewarding way to engage your readers and foster an ever-growing audience. For an up-and-coming blogger, selling a worthwhile product can cement your reputation as an authority in your field all the more quickly. Creating blog products takes plenty of time and effort, and while selling them in a rough economy can be a challenge, it’s such challenges that separate the average bloggers from the remarkable ones.

Say what your product’s benefit is (not what your product is, what its benefit is.), and sell.

Key points

  • Understand that writing sales copy is different than blogging.
  • Don’t write about yourself.
  • Don’t write about your product.
  • Write about your product’s benefits.
  • Practise makes perfect: keep trying to improve your sales writing skills.

That’s it for our tour of the tricky business of building blog products that sell. How are your products selling at the moment? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Greg McFarlane is an advertising copywriter who lives in Las Vegas. He recently wrote Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense, a financial primer for people in their 20s and 30s who know nothing about money. You can buy the book here (physical) or here (Kindle) and reach Greg at [email protected].

How to REALLY Follow Your Passion to the Bank: The $100 Startup Model

This guest post is by Chris Guillebeau of

More than a decade ago, I began a lifelong journey of self-employment “by any means necessary.”

I never planned to be an entrepreneur—I just didn’t want to work for someone else. From a cheap apartment, I watched what other people had done and tried to reverse-engineer their success. I started by importing coffee from Jamaica and sold it online because I saw other people making money from it; I didn’t have any special skills in importing, roasting, or selling.

Since then, I’ve never looked back, always working for myself and making a good living entirely through online ventures. And I’m no longer alone: in different ways, thousands of people from all over the world have also taken matters into their own hands. They are rewriting the rules of work, becoming their own boss, and creating a new future.

It all sounds so simple: pick something you love and build a business around it. Start an online storefront, become a problogger, and strike it rich. Cha-ching! But is it really that easy? As you might expect—or as you might have experienced in your own efforts—the real answer is more complex.

That’s why I dived into the real story.

Over the past three years I’ve been working with a group of 1,500 “unexpected entrepreneurs.” Most of these people had never gone to business school, didn’t have a lot of money, and in some cases, never intended to work for themselves. They simply found a way to make something interesting and share it with the world—and along the way, they ended up creating a serious income of at least $50,000 a year.

I learned a few surprising lessons from this group.

First, not all hobbies or passions are created equal

You can’t just pursue any passion—there are plenty of things you may be passionate about, but no one will pay you for them. I like to eat pizza, but not matter how passionate I am, its doubtful I could craft a career around my love for mushrooms and black olives. Instead, I had to find something more interesting to the rest of the world.

Whatever your situation is, you must continually focus on how your project can help other people, and why they’ll care about what you’re offering in the first place.

Next, most people don’t make money directly from their hobby or passion, but from something related

Nev Lapwood was a snowboarding instructor in British Columbia, Canada. He got by and paid the bills on the slopes, but competition was tough—and besides, the work was seasonal. Then Nev created a series of snowboarding DVDs and found his real calling. The business now earns a multi-six figure annual income.

In my case, I began a writing career several years ago by sharing stories about a quest to visit every country in the world, but I don’t get paid for that. I have to create value in my business like anyone else does. Without real value, I wouldn’t get paid, and the travel would be just a hobby (albeit a passionate one).

To be successful, find the magic formula between passion and usefulness

To understand how passion can sometimes translate into a profitable business, you must develop a skill that provides a solution to a problem. Only when passion merges with a skill that other people value can you truly “follow your passion to the bank.”

Another way to think about it is:

(Passion + Skill) → (Problem + Marketplace) = Opportunity

In Reno, Nevada, Mignon Fogarty created the QD Network, best known for her signature show Grammar Girl. The show was a huge hit almost from the beginning, spawning a line of books, related programs, and non-stop media attention. But before she was Grammar Girl, Mignon pursued a similar idea in an unsuccessful attempt to build popularity through podcasting. Here’s how she tells the story:

“Before I launched the successful Grammar Girl podcast, I was the host of a science podcast called Absolute Science. I loved doing that show and I was passionate about it. I actually put more effort into promoting that show than I did for the Grammar Girl podcast, and although Absolute Science was well-received, after doing it for nearly a year it was clear that the show was never going to make enough money to make it worth the time required to produce it.”

Mignon changed course, trading science for grammar. The answer wasn’t to abandon her passion altogether, but rather to make sure she connected the right passion with the right audience.

  • “Absolute Science”: Passion… but not enough audience.
  • “Grammar Girl”: Passion… and a substantial audience.

What goes up, goes up further

It’s easy and fun to grow your business or blog once it’s up and running.

That’s why the first sale, the first client, or the first source of income is so important. Many business owners I talked with earned hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and several earned more than one million dollars a year. In every case, they got to that point by starting small and making continuous improvements along the way.

Once you’ve found a winning formula, that’s when you spend your time on tweaks, the small-and-regular changes that will continue to increase income and influence.

When I asked our group of unexpected entrepreneurs about the follow-your-passion model, I frequently heard a nuanced answer. Almost no one said, “Yes! You should always follow your passion wherever it leads.” Similarly, almost no one dismissed the idea offhand. The nuance comes from the idea that passion plus good business sense creates an actual business.

Can you transition to a meaningful life oriented around something you love to do? Yes. Can you make money doing it? Yes, and you have plenty of examples to learn from—I talked with 1,500 people for the study that led to The $100 Startup, and all of them provided detailed financial information on how much money they made and how much it cost to start their business.

Is there a path you can follow for your own plan to follow your passion to the bank? Indeed, yes. Just make sure you create something that changes people’s lives. That’s where you’ll ultimately find your freedom.

Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The $100 Startup, provides a blueprint for creating freedom by building a business with no special skills and a small amount of money. Chris also writes for a small army of remarkable people at

5 Simple Ways to Discover What People Are Dying to Read

This guest post is by Brad Smith of

Blogging doesn’t have to be hard.

It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, but it’s not technically difficult. Anyone can (and should) do it.

One of the hardest challenges to overcome is figuring out what your audience wants to read. You know, the type of epic content that gets shares, links, and traffic.

If you read through any blogger’s archives, you’ll notice that their writing evolves tremendously. But it’s not just the topics: the tone changes, the style changes, and even the format changes.

And if you look even closer, you’ll start to see a pattern of what people want to read.

You can do the same thing on your blog. You just need to know where to look for it. Here’s how.

The successful formula … and the clues you need to find

Most successful blog posts follow a formula. Here are the key elements that you need to get right.

Topic + Theme (USP) + Style + Format

  • Topic:Some topics are in more demand than others. For example, there’s a bigger demand for articles on social media and blogging than there are for plumbing.
  • Theme (USP): Now, how does that topic fit into your blog’s overall themes and unique positioning? It’s not enough to simply rehash popular topics. You need to take popular topics and connect them with a deeper meaning.
  • Style: Style is all about copywriting 101. The words you use, the way you write, your “voice,” and how you get people interested enough to read your entire blog post.
  • Format: Finally, the structure and format of your post will have a huge impact on your success. For example, how-to and list posts are some of the most common posts you’ll see, because they always work.

Your job is to pick up on these clues, and try to string them together in every blog post you write. Here are five ways to start finding and using what works well, while avoiding what doesn’t.

1. Start with your own most popular posts

Start by looking at your own blog. Which posts have been the most popular, and why?

Sometimes you think a post you’re about to publish is definitely going to go viral … and then it flops. Other times you’re afraid to publish a post because you hate it, and then people can’t get enough of it.

The truth is that you don’t really know what’s going to work before you try it. So learn how to innovate and start making little bets or experiments. Then let data be your guide, and see how they worked.

Take a look at your blog analytics and focus on a few key metrics. You can find the most popular posts by looking at visitors, views, social sharing, and comments.

If you have a large, active Facebook audience, then you can also use Facebook Insights to determine what people like. Focus on the engagement metrics and you’ll start to see the same patterns.

Now comb through these popular posts, and try to determine why they were so successful. Did you write more persuasively and go into greater detail? Maybe your use of storytelling made the lesson easy to connect with. Or maybe your topics were simply more popular. Whatever the reason, you should start to see patterns emerge that you can carry over into future posts.

2. Scan the popular posts of big blogs

Whenever you’re stuck, go back to the most popular blogs in your niche.

Take a few hours to scan through their popular posts, and take notes on what they write about and how they write. You can also start incorporating some deliberate practice to learn from the best and improve your writing.

In the book Talent is Overrated, you’ll find that deliberate practice is one of the main reasons Benjamin Franklin became such a great writer.

He literally took the best examples of writing that he admired, and began copying them word for word to pick up on the author’s voice and style. Then he would try writing the same passage in his own words, and compare the two. This was hours of painstaking work. But he was determined. The reason he became such a successful writer was because he isolated the specific elements that he wanted to improve, and then worked tirelessly.

Take a look at your favorite blogger’s popular posts. Print them out, and sit with pen and paper to write it out word by word. Then try rewriting it in your own voice and compare the two. Before long, you’ll start to internalize these lessons, and your writing will improve dramatically.

3. Submit your posts to social voting sites

Voting sites can give you insight into what people like, and what they don’t. The good stuff will be voted up quickly, and everything else will be ignored.

Each time you hit your blog’s Publish button, submit your posts to different voting sites. After some success, you’ll start to come across a certain topic or style that resonates with people. And if the post does take off, then you’ll know you found a winner.

Here are a few social voting sites that you can use today:

4. Write an article you know will be shared

There are certain types of posts that always do well. So before you even start writing, you should know if it will be successful or not. Let’s look at two of these post types: the how-to and the tactical article.

How-to articles

How-to articles are always successful because people love step-by-step detail. However don’t confuse length with depth. You should go over each section in great detail, but don’t just write fluff to fill space.

Instead of just telling readers about a specific technique, show them your thought processes, the actual implementation, and a real-world example. Use images and statistics if they help prove your case.

Valuable how-to posts have a level of attention to detail that makes the information easy to understand, and lets readers take action on the advice. Focus on providing value first, and the length will take care of itself.

For more information on the elements of a how-to post, read this great article from Neil Patel.

Tactical articles

People love tactics. They want that idea they can use today, or a secret shortcut that will save them from hard work. That’s why a post called “5 Twitter Hacks” will do well, even though these kinds of posts are so common. People are bombarded by messages all day long. They want simplicity. They want instant gratification.

So what’s an easy way to come up with these kinds of posts? Just think about your daily routine. How do you update Facebook, and why? The actual process and routine that you ignore could be helpful to other people who are struggling or just starting out. Show them a faster, better, or more beneficial way to do something, and they’ll love it—and likely share it with their friends.

5. Focus on topics using simple keyword research

People are already looking for specific content around your topics. You just need to give it to them. Start using keyword researchas a quick guide to figure out what topics are popular.

The easiest solution is to head over to the Google Keyword Tool, and start writing your major topics and keyphrases into the search box.

Then switch Match Types from Broad to Exact,because you want to narrow down the suggested keyphrases  to the closest matching options. Now start looking at Local Monthly Searches to get an idea of how popular these phrases are. All you’re looking for is the relative number ranges (because this data isn’t completely accurate). Here’s how the results might look.

AdWords research

Create a list of relevant, long-tail keyphrases (with about 500 Local Monthly Searches or less) and start creating content around these areas.

If you want to take this strategy one step further, then read Ian Lurie’s execellent post on data-driven content strategies.


Blogging takes determination and perseverance. But it’s not brain surgery.

You can use these five simple techniques to quickly discover what your audience loves and wants to read more of. Remember: the key to building a successful blog is doing more of what people like, and less of what they don’t.

Brad Smith is a digital marketing consultant who focuses on lead gen for businesses by getting more traffic, leads and sales online.

5 Unexpected Benefits of Adding Podcasts to Your Blog

This guest post is by Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing.

Are you having trouble keeping your blog readers interested in what you have to say?

If interest is waning, it may be time to add some variety to what you’re giving readers, besides just writing blog posts, week after week.

Back in July 2011, I started doing monthly live training events for participants in my membership community, which I record. Then, I began editing down short excerpts from those hour-long events and using them as blog posts. I’d write a short intro, and then just let people listen to a short podcast of five minutes or so.

Free software such as Audacity and free webcasting platforms such as Anymeeting make it easy to record your voice and create short audio trainings for your audience.

If you’re on WordPress, the Audio Player plug-in also makes it super-easy to install a podcast right inside a blog post. All of which definitely helped me, since I’m not technically gifted.

In short, if you’re intimidated by adding video interviews to your site—maybe you don’t feel you’d make an attractive, poised talking head?—podcasting can be a great way to go.

Adding podcasts achieved my goal of helping me keep readers and grow my subscriber base—I added about 1,000 new subscribers in the first six months after I began podcasting.

But I’ve gotten much more from podcasting than a bigger, more engaged readership. I discovered there are some powerful fringe benefits of podcasting, too. Here are five unexpected benefits of podcasting.

1. Stand out from the crowd

Instantly, when you add podcasts, you have separated yourself from the unwashed masses of bloggers. You’ve got more going on than most—you have tasty audio recordings people can listen to. Since some people learn best through listening rather than reading, you can capture another segment of readers who might otherwise might not be interested in your blog.

2. Make useful new friends

Most good podcasts aren’t one person talking, but two or more. I’ve found that as a podcaster, you can approach nearly anyone about appearing, and many top bloggers will agree. Once you’ve featured them on your recording, it’s often the start of a deeper relationship that may lead to any number of additional interactions, including your guest posting on their blog.

Since hosting them on my podcasts, I have appeared on the blogs of many of my podcast guests including Renegade Writer Linda Formichelli and Successful Blogging’s Annabel Candy.

Many A-listers may not have time to give you a written guest post, but you can post their podcast or an excerpt of it on your blog, effectively turning your well-known guest into a guest poster on your own blog.

3. Create products

Every time you create a recording, you have a new product in your hands. There are myriad ways you can make use of this valuable property, including:

  • Offer it as a premium freebie for your blog subscribers.
  • Offer it as a bonus when readers do an earlybird purchase of your paid product.
  • Offer it as a bonus when readers buy an affiliate product through your link.
  • Bundle it with other recordings on similar topics to create a free or paid online audio course.
  • Get it transcribed and turn it into an ebook.
  • Use it as part of the content for members of a member community platform.

4. Get interviewed

Once you have audio samples of how great you sound doing audio podcasts, it positions you as a strong candidate for being interviewed on others’ podcasts. For instance, I ended up featured on This can help expose you to new audiences and also bring in more readers.

5. Gain affiliate opportunities

I believe my podcasting success led to my receiving several offers from top bloggers to affiliate-sell their lucrative products. These were situations where only a handful of affiliates were given the opportunity. I made over $2,500 selling just one of them.

How does podcasting help here? Bloggers know one of the best ways to get readers interested in a paid product is to first offer them some valuable training in a related topic through—you guessed it—a live podcast or Webinar. With demonstrated podcasting experience and an audience that’s been trained to consume live information, you’re in a better position to get these sorts of exclusive affiliate-sales offers.

How are you keeping readers interested in your blog? Leave a comment and let us know.

Carol Tice writes and podcasts on the Make a Living Writing blog, and serves as Den Mother of the writers’ learning and support community Freelance Writers Den.

8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Facebook Fan Page Today

This is a guest post by Raag Vamdatt of The WordPress How To Blog.

If you have been paying even the slightest attention to the blogosphere lately, you would have noticed that it’s abuzz with talk about the new Facebook fan pages. And there is a reason behind it—the Facebook fan page’s new timeline view is a drastic change from the old fan pages we are used to seeing. These changes came into effect from March 30th.

The changes are far-reaching, and are pushing people out of their comfort zones. Since most bloggers have active fan pages that they use for attracting new readers and for making sales, they have started panicking. However, like any change, you can view this as an opportunity instead of seeing it as a problem.

The new fan pages don’t allow you to use many of the tactics that you might be used to. However, these changes do open up many new possibilities as well. Here are a few things you can do to effectively use the new timeline-based Facebook fan pages to your advantage.

1. Pin announcements or sales pitches

Previously, there was no way you could highlight a post on Facebook. Even if it was an important post, say about an upcoming launch, it would get buried under newer posts. How can a post have the desired impact if it is not even seen by your visitors?

This is a problem from the past, friends! Now, you can “pin” a post, and when you do this, it stays as the first post on you fan page. In blogging terms, you can say it’s a “sticky” post!

This is huge. Finally, you have the freedom to make people see your most important messages, without making them land on custom tabs (which is not possible any more, by the way).

2. Star important posts

There is one more way to highlight posts that need special attention: you can “star” any of the posts on your fan pages.

Doing this makes the post span both the columns of the timeline view, making it quite distinguishable from other posts. Whenever a visitor is scrolling through your fan page, he or she is bound to stop and pay attention to a starred post because of its double width.

This feature can be used to highlight content that doesn’t need immediate attention, but is important nonetheless. For example, if you have a post about contest winners, or about you being mentioned in mainstream media, you can “star” such posts to give them prominence.

3. Use the cover image effectively

Now, you get a huge amount of space—851px by 315px to be precise—to play with for the cover image. The new timeline view has introduced a cover image which appears as the first thing on your fan page. And due to its massive size, it will draw your visitors’ attention as soon as they land on your Facebook fan page.

Before you start getting ideas, let me tell you that this space cannot be used for any marketing messages—you can’t ask people to buy something or to like your fan page, you can’t use it to offer any pricing or discount details, you can’t have your contact details displayed there, etc.

In spite of these restrictions, you can use this space quite effectively. It can be used to brand yourself and your blog—the image you use here can convey a positive message about your blog to your visitors. In fact, you can even use a text-based image here as long as it is not promotional text. You can also include pictures of your products in this space.

4. Using custom tabs to channel visitors

Just below the cover image are small, square images called custom tabs. These are links to your applications. The first one is always a link to your photos, but the others can be customized.

This feature can be used quite effectively. For example, you can have a custom tab pointing to one of your products, and the image for the tab can contain a quick, attention-grabbing call to action.

You can have up to 12 of these custom tabs. Excluding the one for the photos, you have 11 opportunities to channel your visitors to important applications or sub-pages of your fan page.

5. Utilizing the profile photo

The profile photo, which used to be up to 180px by 540px in size, is now reduced to a mere 125px by 125px. However, this photo doesn’t come with any restrictions like that for the cover photo, so it can be utilized in creative ways.

Of course, you can have your picture or your logo as the profile photo of your fan page. In fact, most people would have this type of a setup. But now,you can play with the profile picture and the cover image to create some cool effects.

An aggressive tactic: If you want, you could create a profile image with the text “Like Us”, and an arrow pointing to the Like button. This is not something you can do with the cover photo, but it might help to boost your Likes.

6. Effectively using the new messaging system

The new fan pages now come with a messaging system—anyone who has liked your page can now send messages directly to you! (Please note that the message has to be initiated by the user—you cannot send a message to a fan unless he or she has messaged you first).

Again, this is a massive change, and one you can use to your advantage. You can use this feature for problem resolution—your fans can write to you privately (maybe with sensitive details like their order number), and you can provide personalized query resolution and support.

Of course, if you have a ton of fans, this won’t be feasible for you. But if you are just starting out and have only a few fans, this can be a big image booster and might earn you a lot of praise!

7. Using milestones to your advantage

Facebook now lets you create milestones on your fan pages. Milestones are the events or dates that are important for your page. The best part about milestones is that you can post milestones from the past, with dates from any time since the year 1000!

You can use this to let people know more about your blog or business—when it started, when it achieved some critical milestones, etc. Knowing these things may inspire more trust in your visitors, and could result in a few additional fans.

8. Checking out your competition

This is a neat trick that not many people know about. In fact, I myself discovered it by accident!

When you visit a fan page and you see a box with the number of Likes in it, click on it. What do you see? You see the analytics data (or “insights” in Facebook terms) about that fan page. Some of the things that you can see are:

  • how many people are taking about the fan page
  • the trends regarding new likes and number of people talking about the page
  • most popular week, city and age group for that fan page.

This is really cool! Till now, you could see the analytics for your own fan page. But now, you can also see the highlights of the analytics of other fan pages. This is a great opportunity—you can take a look at the data of your competitors, and use it to your advantage.

How are you using your new Facebook fan page?

How are you using the new features of the Facebook fan page to build your blog’s following both on Facebook and on your blog itself? Share your tips with us in the comments.

Raag Vamdatt runs multiple blogs, and writes from his experiences at The WordPress How To Blog. He also offers a free step-by-step course titled “Make Money Blogging” that guides about starting a blog and making money from it.

Build Brand Awareness and Business with Creative Video Blogging

This guest post is by Ryan Critchett of iMobileRescue.

We all know that video blogging is a powerfully effective tool for business lead generation, but does everyone have what it takes to execute on it?

We can all get in front of a camera, hit record, and start talking about our products and services … but will it entertain people?

Is entertaining people, while indirectly informing them of what your business offers a good strategy for video business blogging?

I’d say, yes, everyone has what it takes, no, not all content will entertain people, and yes, entertainment with a bit of indirect promotion is a solid way of generating business from video blogging.

The business: RMC Tech

RMC Tech is my tech repair company. I started the company in 2011, after having been immersed in the blogosphere and social media for years. That gave me the edge.

I’ve always done videos on the web and lucky for me, I’ve gotten extremely comfortable in front of a camera. So, jumping into the tech repair industry, I had to take what I knew about video blogging and social media, and apply it to business.

Besides building iPhone apps, our core service is iPhone repair. People break their phones all day long and it’s normally in the form of a cracked screen. When they need it repaired, our service is an exact market fit.

But just having the skills to rip apart an iPhone and replace the screen doesn’t really do me any good. The next step is letting everyone in America know not only that I can perform the service, but that they can trust me.

The strategy: video blogging

What solidifies trust more than people actually seeing your face and hearing your voice? Not much! Video blogging is a goldmine. It’s second only to actual face-to-face communication, which is one of the ultimate binding points between consumers and businesses.

So here’s what we did. Every iPhone I repaired, I would keep the damaged part. Everyone keeps saying that storytelling is a precious art and if used correctly, can really help a business reach people. So I decided to put the two together.

I created this series called iGraveyard. The iGraveyard series is simply a two- to four-minute video where I display the broken iPhone part, and tell the story behind how it got damaged.

These things get run over by trucks, people drop them off cliffs, and I just recently had someone accidentally drop a power tool on one of them. People love to hear about these kinds of things! It’s helped my business tremendously to extend the reach of our offering.

Our iPhone service is now nationwide, and we’ve been able to penetrate new markets, through the use of video blogging and social media. People know we do iPad repair. They know that if they’re in Chicago, we’ve still got their backs. The web’s reach is endless.

Here’s one of our latest videos, so you can see what I’m talking about:

Entertainment + silliness = trust

A great equation to build trust is simply making people smile, or feel good, and to show your human side and be a bit silly. Everyone, at some level, can appreciate that and for me it’s worked wonders in spreading the word.

You have to think, “how can I spread awareness on what my business is while not directly selling to people, and be a bit entertaining while I’m at it?”

You have to tap into your creative reserves, ditch the conservative mentality, and understand that you’re not dealing with conservative people. You’re dealing with human beings. They’re all a bit crazy and silly at some level, they all love being entertained, and your mission is to reach them through emotion.

The critical step of exposure

Having your creative, entertaining content may not be enough in and of itself. You have to get it in front of people, right? You have to find a channel to reach your market.

Real, live people are on Twitter. All (almost!) of those people you see in your Twitter streams are real, just like you and me, and in many cases spend an appreciable amount of time reading the Twitter stream and interacting with people.

The mission is simply to socialize with them. Find people, through the search function in Twitter, who are talking about things similar to your industry. Reply in a playful way, not in a salesish way.

I know, I know, this doesn’t convert to business right away. Of course it doesn’t. If you want to convert business right away, find a good traditional marketing platform, pay a boatload of money, and do some push marketing.

Social is different. You’re building long term awareness in people’s minds about what you do. You’re solidifying trust points with potential customers all around the world, and in your markets and if you have the community skills to “work the room” as they say, it has a powerful potential to contribute to your bottom line.

It’s the perfect forum to support your creative video presence.

Noise-makers create results

The great part about cranking out a lot of good content and making a lot of noise is that you have a great chance of being picked up by other people who are interested in what you’re doing.

Recently, a pretty large Pennsylvania Business Journal picked up on some of the social interaction and business operations I was engaging in and decided to write a nice piece about it. Everyone who read that article was in my target market: people with iPhones.

So not only are you creating awareness, creatively through entertaining but informative content, but you’re also increasing the probability that news, media publications, and other interested parties get involved in what you’re doing.

That’s what entrepreneurs do. 2012 is the year of the entrepreneur. It’s the year of the web marketer. It’s the year of the blogger and creative video blogging for business is a powerful tool in spreading the awareness that could take your blog, and business, to the next level.

Are you using creative video blogging to boost awareness of your business? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Ryan Critchett is the Co-Founder of iMobileRescue, an iOS device repair company that mainly focuses on iPad repair, and iPhone water damage repair.