Laughter Spot : The one about a male whale and a female whale

A male whale and a female whale were swimming off the coast of Japan when they noticed a whaling ship. The male whale recognized it as the same ship that had harpooned his father many years earlier. He said to the female whale, “Lets both swim under the ship and blow out of our air [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/12/laughter-spot-the-one-about-a-male-whale-and-a-female-whale/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=laughter-spot-the-one-about-a-male-whale-and-a-female-whale

An overview of the best and most useful WordPress plugins – ebook

How to Navigate 40,000+ Plugins The beauty of WordPress is in its flexibility, made all the more powerful by plugins. There are more than 40,000 free plugins, which have been downloaded more than a billion times, not to mention some great premium plugins with more robust functionality. With that many plugins, deciding which ones to install [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/12/an-overview-of-the-best-and-most-useful-wordpress-plugins-ebook/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=an-overview-of-the-best-and-most-useful-wordpress-plugins-ebook

How to Build Self-Confidence After a Bad Month: 8 Helpful Tips

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When you’ve had a really bad day, the last thing you want to do is spend the night figuring out how to rebuild for the next.

Now, imagine if it were an entire month. Your energy is sapped. You might even feel defeated. And the last thing you feel is confident. Getting up and trying again seems like an ordeal — one that requires a lot more effort than you feel like making. But you have to.

When we’ve experienced a prolonged period of negative events, one of the biggest challenges is regaining your personal morale to go back and give it another shot. That’s true of dating, and it’s true of negative fallbacks at work. We’re here to discuss the latter — and we’ve got some ideas for how you can get your professional groove back.

Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your  productivity at work.

So if you’ve had a tough month and you’re not feeling so positive, chin up — we’ve got a whole collection of tips to get you back on your feet.

8 Tips for Rebuilding Self-Confidence After a Bad Month

1) Talk to your manager.

We are a society that’s afraid of looking weak, and it has a bad impact on our behavior. It makes 29% of us reluctant to ask for help at home, and 40% of us afraid to be nice at work — because we fear that people will take advantage of us.

It makes sense, then, that many of us are afraid to ask for help at work for fear of looking foolish or ill-informed. Not only can that lead to making mistakes in the first place, but it can also leave you without the necessary information to avoid them in the future.

Let your boss know that you recognize where things have fallen short, and ask for specific feedback. Chances are, your manager will appreciate your proactive attitude about mistakes.

2) Ask what “bad” means to you, compared to reality.

“I’m my own worst critic.” It’s something that many of us say, since we expect perfection from ourselves, which starts at an alarmingly young age. In one study of children in Singapore, researchers found that 60% scored remarkably high on “self-criticalness,” with 78% scoring high in “socially prescribed perfectionism.” And more than half — 59% — were reported to have both.

Yikes. With such a perfectionism epidemic, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re perceiving your “bad” month to be worse than it actually was.

That’s another place where talking to someone else about it — like your manager — can help to put things into perspective. Personally, I have a tendency to assume the absolute worst about everything, especially when it comes to mistakes at work.

But as soon as I bring it up with a colleague or my boss, one of three things usually happen:

  1. It turns out to be a first-time mistake that everyone makes.
  2. It’s easy to fix.
  3. It’s really not that big of a deal.

When we’re so focused on being perfect, we tend to view mistakes as — at worse — fireable offenses. If that’s the assumption you make with every typo, missed deadline, or other mistake, your confidence is going to take a huge hit.

Instead, when a “crisis” occurs, try your best to step back and put it into perspective. How bad is it, really? Are you completely powerless to it, or is there something you can do to address it now? Once you’ve fully evaluated the problem — which should only require about five minutes of deep breath and de-escalation from your panic — gaining the confidence to tackle the issue might be easier than it first looked.

3) Don’t turn failure into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As we covered above, many of us allow our perfectionism to manifest as an overreaction to mistakes. If that’s how we constantly behave in the face of performance that doesn’t meet our own standards, could we start habitually expecting failure from ourselves?

Yes. That’s because 70% of us suffer from something called Imposter Syndrome — the sense that, no matter how much we’ve achieved, we don’t belong in a leadership position or deserve the success of having gotten there. And according to recent research, going through life feeling like an imposter can cause us to bring less confidence (and therefore, less quality) to our work, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s easy to discount our success as undeserving, and to easily dismiss our hard work. But if we keep sending those messages to ourselves, we’ll start to accept them as truth and it’ll reflect in our work.

However, the opposite is also true — which psychologist Amy Cuddy touched on in her wildly popular TEDGlobal talk. Since then, she’s continued her research on the power of “faking it until you become it.” That’s when we send ourselves the opposite message of failure, instead reaffirming our power, success, and worth. That approach to work can achieve a reverse self-fulfilling process, in which we learn to believe in our success, instead of feeling like we’re imposters.

Check out this helpful visual guide that explains how body language can help beat Imposter Syndrome. Even by assuming a certain stance, we can instill confidence in ourselves.

4) Evaluate how engaged you are at work.

There’s a problem in the U.S. workplace. Many people don’t really want to be there, as evidenced by the fact that only 34.2% of people are actually engaged at work. In short, that means we just don’t care. And when we don’t care, our work suffers — how can we bring quality to something for which we have so little passion?

If you feel that disengaged at work, you have a few options. First, you can speak with your manager — again. Chances are, he or she has noticed your work is suffering, and if you’re able to honestly explain why, that might lead to a productive conversation about the direction of your career. From there, it all depends on how that discussion ends. If your manager isn’t receptive, then it might be time to consider a career change.

5) Formulate a plan for how you’ll avoid another bad month.

Sometimes, there are months in which you really did screw up. It’s okay — we’ve all been there, which we’ll get to later.

The important thing is that you recognize what went wrong, and that you know how you’re going to prevent it from happening again. When I worked in event planning, we did that for every engagement. We kicked off every project by outlining every possible problem that could arise, but unexpected issues still came up. When they did, we documented all of them and, after the event, formulated a plan to avoid them in the future.

That strategy isn’t limited to events, and most workplace mistakes can be treated the same way. As soon as they’ve been resolved, record them and consider sharing them with your team — that’s the best way to ensure that they don’t happen again.

6) Know that failure is not uncommon.

‘Tis a lesson you should heed:

Try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try again.”

William Edward Hickson

Not too long ago, two researchers in Texas performed a study on the failure rate of new businesses. Between 1990 and 2011, they found that 92% of the 2.4 million retail businesses that opened during that period also closed during the same span of time. Among the businesses that closed, 25% did so after one year, and 50% closed after two. Roughly 75% of them were owned by first-time entrepreneurs, and 71% percent of the failed business owners didn’t bother trying again.

That last figure is a shame, since the same study also found that the 29% of business owners who decided to try again were more likely to be successful on subsequent tries.

Two things about this study stand out to us:

  1. The commonality and high rate of failure.
  2. The success rate of people who try again.

To the first point, don’t feel isolated in your failure. And as long as you’re acknowledging that making mistakes — and maybe even failing — happen to almost everyone, don’t give up, either. As the numbers show, you likely have more to lose by not trying again.

7) Evaluate what you can control.

When things are going so well, it’s easy for us to stop taking care of ourselves. That could be why 39% of adults indulge in unhealthy food when they’re stressed.

While an occasional treat is fine, treating chronic stress with poor nutrition or a lack of exercise will only make matters worse. And here’s the thing — those are parts of your life that you can control. It’s easy to feel like stressful work situations spiral beyond a solution that you can reach on your own. But self-care? You’ve got this.

Much of the time, constant business travel is blamed for an unhealthy lifestyle, but we’ve got some tips to keep that in check, too — many of which can also be applied to a busy life at home. Plus, what you eat plays a vital role in your productivity. Check out my colleague Lindsay Kolowich’s guidelines for eating to get more done.

8) Take a break.

Here’s a thought. Could you be making more mistakes than usual because you’re burned out?

In Germany, for example, 24% of employees report feeling burned out. When we’re feeling such a high level of stress from overworking, it achieves the opposite of getting more done — it actually starts to negatively impact our cognitive function. We start to get forgetful, make mindless errors, and might even have stronger emotional responses to negative situations.

In other words, you need a break. Guilt can get in the way of that — after all, 55% of us feel bad about leaving our desks just for a breather, and 47% of us are ashamed of taking time off. But the longer we let that trend continue, the closer we get to complete burnout, and the more likely our work is to suffer as a result.

Seriously — take a break. And maybe even put that vacation time to use. When you come back, you’ll have a renewed perspective that can help you tackle your goals.

Starting to Rebuild

Feel better?

We certainly hope so. As you begin to regain your confidence after a bad month — or making the effort to do so — take your time. Evaluate your priorities, and see which of these tips best fits in with them. Don’t try to tackle them all at once, or else you might end up feeling overwhelmed, which would defeat the purpose.

Here’s to the new year ahead. Best of luck — we know you’ve got this.

What do you do to rebuild confidence after a bad month? Let us know in the comments.

free productivity tips

from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/build-self-confidence-after-bad-month

White Paper : Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, WordPress Multisite can be your best friend or worst enemy

Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, WordPress Multisite can be your best friend or worst enemy. White Paper : Best friend or worst enemy? The dos and don’ts of WordPress Multisite In this insider’s guide, discover the 25 dos and don’ts of WordPress Multisite. This white paper alleviates the confusion of running a multisite network [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/12/best-friend-or-worst-enemy-the-dos-and-donts-of-wordpress-multisite/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-friend-or-worst-enemy-the-dos-and-donts-of-wordpress-multisite

How to Craft a Remarkable SEO Strategy for 2017 – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

From understanding the big-picture search trends to making sure your SEO goals jive with your CEO’s goals, there’s a lot to consider when planning for 2017. Next year promises to be huge for our industry, and in today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand outlines how to craft a truly remarkable SEO strategy to help you sail through 2017.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to this special New Year’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season and are about to have a wonderful New Year’s.

This week, we’re going to chat about how you can have a remarkable, amazing SEO strategy in 2017. The first thing I’m actually going to start with is not the broad-spectrum, strategic picture, which we talked a little bit here on Whiteboard Friday about, and I’ll reference some of those, but is actually understanding some of those big-picture search trends. What are the search engines doing? How is that affecting my strategy? How does that mean I should influence and affect my specific tactics for 2017? So I’ll walk through a few of these big ones. There are others, but I think these encapsulate many of the big things we’ve been seeing.

I. Understand the big-picture search trends

  • A huge rise in SERP features, meaning that Google is showing many more types of data and types of markup in the search results. We have, I believe, 17 that we record for Keyword Explorer, but there are another 7 or 8 that we do not record, but that we see in between 1% and 2% of queries. So there’s just a ton of different features that are going in there.
  • A rise in instant answers. This is especially true on mobile, but it’s true on desktop as well. Google is trying to answer a lot of the queries themselves, and that can mean they’re taking away traffic from you, or it can mean there’s opportunity to get into those features or those answers.
  • Intent > keywords: We’re also seeing this trend that started with Hummingbird and now, obviously, continued with RankBrain around intent, searcher intent being more important than keywords in how we target our content. This does not mean you can remove keywords from the equation. You have to understand what the searcher has typed into the engine before you can serve their intent, and very small variations in keyword structure can mean real changes in searcher intent. That’s a critical part of how we craft content for people.
  • The value of comprehensiveness has clearly been on the rise. That’s been true for a couple of years, but it definitely is a trend that continued in 2016 and we expect to continue into 2017. You can see a bunch of examples of research in that area, including some from Whiteboard Friday itself.
  • Multi-device speed and user experience, Google’s been harping on this for several years now, and I think what we are observing is that speed is not the only user experience element. Google has taken action against overlays and pop-ups. They’ve taken action, clearly, that suggests that there are some engagement metrics that are going on there, and that sites that have better user experience and that garner better engagement are doing better in the search results.
  • We’ve seen a bunch of trends around unreliability of Google data. That includes search volume data. It includes data in AdWords, around Google showing you which keywords are in there. It includes inaccuracies in Google Search Console, formerly Webmaster Tools, around rankings. My colleague, Russ Jones, has just put out a big piece on that showing, essentially, that if Google says you got this many impressions and this many clicks, that may be totally wrong and false, so be cautious around that.
  • Voice search, clearly on the rise. Not yet a huge trend in terms of an addressable market that search marketers can go after, but we’ve talked a few ways here on Whiteboard Friday and at Moz about how you can think about voice search impacting your results in the future and what types of content you might want to produce to be in front of voice searchers.
  • Machine learning and deep learning, Google has clearly made a shift to that in the last 18 months, and we’re seeing it affect the search results in terms of how they’re considering links, how they’re looking at keyword searches, and how they’re looking at content.
  • Multi-visit buyer journeys have always been important, but I think we are now seeing the trend to where not just search marketers but marketers of all stripes recognize this, and a lot of us are optimizing for it, which means that the competitive landscape now demands that you optimize for a multi-visit buyer journey, that you don’t just consider a single visit in your conversion path or in your optimization path, and that means, for SEOs, considering what are all the queries someone might perform as they come to and come back to my site.
  • Bias to brands, that is a continuing trend over the last few years. We’re still seeing it, and we’re seeing it even more so. I would say we’re seeing it even when those brands have not necessarily earned tons of links, which used to be the big dominating factor in the world of is a brand stronger than a non-brand. A lot of times that was about links. Now it seems that those are decoupled.
  • That being said, we’re kind of feeling an undiminished value of links. If you’ve built a brand, if you’ve done a lot of these things successfully, links are certainly how you can stand out in the search results. That’s pretty much as true in 2016 and ’17 as it was in 2011 and 2012. Only caveat there is that the quality of links matters a lot more.

So, knowing all those things, I think we can now craft some very smart SEO tactics. We can apply those to the SEO problems we face.

II. Map your organizations top-level goals to how your SEO efforts can best assist:

Step two is to map your organization’s top-level goals to your SEO tactics, and that can look something like this.

Here’s Zow Corporate, the opposite of Moz, which is hopefully not very corporate. Zow Corporate’s big three for 2017, they want to grow revenue with new enterprise customers, they want to lower their costs to get more profitable, and they want to improve their upsell to existing customers. So SEO can help with these things by — and this is a really smart framework — you want to take the things that your organization wants to accomplish at its executive or board level, and you want to show that SEO is actually doing those things, not just that you’re trying to rank for keywords or bring more traffic, but that you’ve mapped your priorities in this way.

So I could say SEO can help by identifying searchers that enterprise targets and influencers perform and then ranking for those. We can lower our costs to get more profitable by reducing the cost per acquisition. We’ll drive more traffic with organic search, thus reducing our dependency on advertising and other forms of marketing that cost a lot more. Those types of things.

III. Build a keyword-to-content map

Step three is to build a keyword to content map. We talked about this here on Whiteboard Friday. I’d urge you to check that out if you haven’t already. But the basic concept is to have a list of terms and phrases that come out of your tactics and your goals, that you build a map for and then show like, “All right, here’s how we’re ranking today. Here’s the URL which we’re ranking with,” or, “We don’t yet have a URL that’s targeting this keyword phrase, and thus, we need to build it,” and then the action required there and what the priority is.

IV. Break down the SEO efforts into discrete projects with ETAs and people assigned, ordered by expected ROI

You can also think about adding some additional things to your content-to-keyword map or to your project list by breaking down all the SEO efforts that you’re going to do to hit all these goals into discrete projects with a few thingsan estimated time of delivery, the people who are assigned to it, and an ordering based on the expected return on investment. You can be wrong about this. It’s okay to be, “Hey, we’re taking our best guess, thumb in the air. We don’t really know for sure, but we’re going to try. Here’s the project. It’s link building for the home page. It’s our number-one priority. The value estimate is high because we currently rank number two or three for our own brand name. It’s assigned to this person, to Rand, and the ETA is March 30th.” Great, terrific, and now I know. I’ve taken this from here and from my projects list. It’s part of my goals. It’s where I think I can have a big impact. Terrific.

V. Build a reporting/measurement system that shows progress and ties revenue/goals to clear metrics:

Then, step five, the last one here is to build a reporting and measurement system that’s going to show progress, not just to you internally, but to your entire team, or to your client if you’re a consultant or an agency, and that anyone can look at and say, “Ah! This is where they’re going with this. This is how they’ve done so far.”

So you want to take any tactic or any project and add the metrics by which you will measure yourself. So if we’re trying to rank in the top three for our competitor comparison searches, Zow versus whatever companies Zow’s competing with, and the metrics there are ranking first, then search volume, the traffic we get from it, the conversions, and the retention of those customers who’ve come through, now you’ve got a real picture of how your SEO efforts map up to these big-picture goals. It’s a great way to frame your SEO.

So, with that being said, I am looking very much forward to hearing how you’re planning your 2017 SEO strategy. If you have recommendations and tips that you’d like to see here or questions, feel free to leave them in there, and despite the holiday break, I will be in there to answer your questions as best I can.

Look forward to joining you again next week and next year for a wonderful year of SEO and Whiteboard Fridays. Take care.

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from The Moz Blog http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/5052685

Forget Networking: Become a Connector

ThinkstockPhotos-532049662-483225-edited.jpgNo matter how far you advance your career, networking is likely never going to be something you enjoy. And for the introverted among us, it can feel like we’re being forced back into those endless icebreaker exercises we had to do at corporate retreats while we were coming up. So, let’s stop.

Wait, what?

You read that correctly. Let’s stop networking. Instead, let’s start connecting and helping. 

When you start looking at networking as a way to help people, it gets a lot easier. Remember what Jim Rohn once said: “If you help enough people get what they want, inevitably you get what you want.” Here’s how you do it.

Be Approachable

Networking and industry meet-and-greets are inherently uncomfortable, even for the extroverted out there. Thankfully, as someone who has already worked her way up the ladder, you are now the connection people hope to gain. This means that, while you are getting your bearings, you can let people come to you. This is far easier than trying to force yourself to start conversations before you’re ready to do so.

The Buddy System

You’re never too old or too high up the food chain to eschew the buddy system. In this instance, what you’re going to do is pair up with someone extroverted. The extroverts among us are fantastic at taking the leap to make introductions and striking up conversations in uncomfortable environments. As someone more introverted, your strength is keeping the conversation going by asking questions and paying close attention to how the person responds. It’s a symbiotic relationship and can help your extroverted “buddy” as much as it helps you.

Step it Up a Notch

By now you know that networking is about more than the initial meeting. It is about following up on that meeting. The simplest way to do this is to follow each other on social media. The casual nature of social media allows you to keep up with each other without a ton of effort. The connection can grow at its own pace. Reply to their posts. Promote their posts. Inevitably you’ll see one of your connections need something. This is when you make your move. Suggest a solution, offer to help, offer to connect that person with someone you know who can help them, etc.

Build Credibility

This works so well because you’ve already built up trust with your connection. You feel like you know each other already, so helping them solve a problem won’t feel strange or awkward. And it increases the likelihood that your offer will be seen and, more importantly, taken seriously.

Now what you must do is follow through on your offers. The hard part is not promising more than you know you can deliver. One of the best parts of making progress in your career is having the means to lend a hand to those who are still working their way up. Mentoring and helping others advance can become almost an addiction. Therefore, you need to be objective. Apply your business know-how to your urge to help and remember: it is better to promise small and deliver big than to promise big and deliver small.

Grow, Baby, Grow

The nice thing about this approach is that it takes the awkwardness of networking and turns it into an introvert-friendly and organic connection process. Best of all, your initial success will build upon itself naturally over time. It will be the best automated process you’ve ever developed.

People who actually enjoy networking are the unicorns of the business world. Most of the people you meet will be just like you: forcing themselves to do something incredibly awkward that they hate because they know it will help grow their companies. Your urge to avoid it is understandable. Still, try using the method we’ve outlined here. It’s awkwardness reduction properties will make networking much easier to endure.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/forget-networking-become-a-connector

3 marketing tools you probably haven’t considered

Any company wanting to boost their online and offline marketing efforts must review all the tools available. There is more to marketing than just social media and advertisements, because there are many handy tools out there to help you communicate with your customers – and it’s up to you to find them. Here are three [more…]

from TheMarketingblog http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2016/12/3-marketing-tools-you-probably-haven%e2%80%99t-considered/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-marketing-tools-you-probably-haven%25e2%2580%2599t-considered