The Hub-and-Spoke Method of Guest Posting: Do More With Less Effort

By Arvind Kesh


Guest blogging delivers advantages for your content marketing program – credibility from third-party websites, more eyeballs, SEO-helpful backlinks, etc. But the disadvantage is the time it consumes to create that refreshingly unique content. If you work like a machine, you might be able to churn out three to four pieces a week provided you don’t do anything else.

Enter the hub-and-spoke method, a creative marketing strategy to make the most of your efforts. The idea is to create one piece of long-form content for your blog – the hub content. This primary article contains points and takeaways you can elaborate on in other articles – the spoke content. You can use these articles as excellent standalone pieces to submit as posts on sites that accept guest bloggers.


The hub-and-spoke model will save you considerable time because you don’t have to spend a lot of time to come up with fresh ideas to pitch for a guest blog or to research the topic because you’ve already done most of that work in crafting the hub content piece.

The hub-and-spoke #content model can save you considerable time when #guestblogging, says @digikhiladi.
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How to pick your hub content

For the hub-and-spoke method to work, you first need to find a central topic that deserves to be explained in long form. It should satisfy the following conditions:

  • Good organic traffic potential – Use Google Keyword Planner or another tool that monitors traffic by topic, and evaluate what’s been written on a topic. Choose a relevant keyword with less competition but good traffic.
  • Four to five points you can elaborate on – Explore your topic through multiple lenses and angles. Your hub …read more

    Source:: content marketing

5 Steps to Improving Subscriber Data for More Personalized Emails

By Cathy McPhillips


When I started at the Content Marketing Institute in 2012, I sat with founder Joe Pulizzi to discuss the 2013 marketing goals. Back then – and still today – everything revolved around email subscribers and event (Content Marketing World) attendees.

Ever ambitious, Joe’s goal was always “double it.” And yes, double them we did. From email subscribers to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn followers, and more.

Fast-forward to fall 2015 when we were planning for 2016. We had over 150,000 subscribers. Wow! But really was it really a “wow”? At most points of subscriber entry, we purposely only asked for email addresses and maybe a first name. A long lead form could dissuade people from subscribing so we were satisfied with just having an email address. But learning more about our subscribers would allow us to truly customize messaging to them.

Learning more about our #email subscribers would allow us to customize messaging, says @cmcphillips.
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Additionally, learning more about our subscribers also would help our Content Marketing World marketing because over 75% of CMWorld attendees are subscribed to one or more of CMI’s newsletters.

That year, working with Joe and Audience Development Manager John Hanson, we determined that a “complete profile” (translation: usable and actionable) would include:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Company
  • Company size
  • Job function
  • Industry
  • Country

Of our 150,000 subscribers, we had that robust data for only 8% (12,000). Meaning we were doing a disservice to 138,000 subscribers because we couldn’t deliver the most valuable and relevant content for them.

Over the course of the next two years, our subscribers increased 40% (not double, but not a bad number), but, more importantly, complete profiles jumped from 8% to 48%.

What we did

1. Created a taxonomy

Creating a consistent taxonomy across CMI product offerings, …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Why Won’t CMOs Consider Buying Media Companies?

By Joe Pulizzi

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PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy our show, we would love it if you would rate it or post a review on iTunes.

In this week’s episode

In this final regular episode, Robert ponders the nature of doing nothing (and doing it well). We discuss which company we feel is most likely to buy Fox, and whether Apple will ever really buy Disney. We also examine an increasingly disturbing web content trend, and media companies’ rush into the agency services business. Our rants and raves include net neutrality and audio content; then we sign off with an example of the week that takes us back to our own humble roots.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “A show about nothing”
  • (01:00): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Are you doing nothing?
  • (08:31): Welcome to Episode 210: Recorded live on November 19, 2017 (Running time: 1:11:05)

Content love from our sponsor: Storyblocks (45:25)

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The quick hits – Notable news and trends

  • (12:30): Why Comcast, Verizon, and Disney should and shouldn’t try to acquire Fox. (Source: Adweek)
  • (23:40): Something is wrong on the internet. (Source: Medium)

The deep dive – Industry analysis

  • (35:42): Holiday cards and house ads: The role of publishers’ content studios is ever-expanding. (Source: Digiday)

Rants and raves

  • (47:55): Joe’s rave: Considering recent findings from Edison Research that audiobook revenue surged to more than $2.1 billion in 2016, it should come as little surprise that publishers in this sector are experimenting with new ways to meet the feverish demand for audio content. For instance, Hachette Audio is taking advantage of the tremendous opportunity by pursuing audio-first content deals, …read more

    Source:: content marketing

A Take on 3 Confusing Terms: Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Content Marketing Strategy

By Melanie Seibert


Editor’s note: You may have missed this article when CMI published it last year. We’re sharing it now because too many people are still confused about the terms.

Are you looking for a job – or looking to hire someone – in a field associated with “content marketing” or “content strategy” or “content marketing strategy”? Do these terms pop up regularly in your reading and your conversations? If so, you know that people often misuse them.

Not that they mean to. It’s just that the terms often are used loosely, interchangeably even, resulting in confusion that can lead to ill will or poor business decisions.

For the sake of our businesses and our careers, all of us who work in these fields need to understand and appreciate the differences and similarities among these terms – and use the terms accurately.

For example, search job postings for “content strategist.” Go ahead, don’t be shy. You’ll find dozens of positions. In the descriptions, do you notice a theme? I’m willing to bet that you’re staring at a list of duties around writing, editing, and publishing content. And while that’s a great description of what many content marketers do, it doesn’t fit what content strategists (like me) do.

Where’s the disconnect? How does content marketing relate to content strategy, and how does content marketing strategy fit in?

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone

Content marketing strategy as a sub-discipline

I’m just going to put this out there: I see content marketing strategy as a sub-discipline of content strategy. Let’s start by clarifying the difference between these two terms:

  • Content strategy is a sub-discipline of user experience (UX). A person in that role considers an organization’s content holistically and shapes the way that body of content influences people’s experiences with the brand. Content strategists think …read more

    Source:: content marketing

How Inspiring Brands Give Thanks on Social Media

By Jodi Harris


Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the United States who celebrate!

I hope you’re disconnecting from digital devices and spending at least a little quality time with your friends and loved ones IRL today. If your Thanksgivings are anything like mine, I’ll bet you could use a little distraction to help you stay sane while dodging your aunt’s probing questions about your love life and heated family debates on politics (or while letting your food coma runs its course).

Plenty of businesses recognize their loyal fans and followers with special giveaways, discounts, and other rewards (content-related or otherwise); but more can take a little extra effort to dedicate team resources to content that simply expresses gratitude – to fans, followers, customers, or even their own employees – whether or not it’s tied to a sales pitch or promotion.

Take a little extra effort to dedicate team resources to #content that simply expresses #gratitude. @joderama
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In the spirit of Joe Pulizzi’s recent love letter to the CMI team and community, I thought I’d share thoughtful ways companies have used their social media pulpits (and other content platforms) to give thanks to their audiences.

From grand gestures of goodwill to simple social shout-outs, the following efforts are just a sample of the ways your brand can demonstrate its genuine appreciation to those who make your business successes possible.

Simple pleasures

Saying thank you doesn’t require a huge campaign or big budget. A simple acknowledgment can go a long way (and pet pictures never hurt).

Animals Rule

It always hits me right in the “feels” when I see pet-rescue post-adoption success stories and photos on the organizations’ Facebook pages to thank new pet parents for adopting instead of shopping for a furry companion. And some – like southern California-based nonprofit Animals Rule – take it …read more

Source:: content marketing

The Best Content Marketing Books of 2017 to Boost Your Creativity and Productivity

By Roger C. Parker


If you’re a chief content officer, copywriter, designer, or programmer searching for ways to create more and better content in less time, you’ll find fresh ideas for improving your creativity, productivity, and writing skills with these best books from 2017.

Marketers seeking to learn through recent books suffer from an embarrassment of riches. A search of for “marketing books” returns 324,225 titles. Narrow the search to “content marketing books” and 2,736 options appear.

But, there’s more. Complicating the issue is that content marketing success requires ideas and insights from experts from dozens of other fields, including: creativity, design, HTML, productivity, project management, writing, and dozens more.

However, you don’t need to search through thousands of titles to find the ones most helpful to your needs. This breakdown guides you to the top books in 2017 for content creators – from strategies to enhance creativity, planning, and productivity for you and your team to fresh insights into writing for the web.

Efficiency: Building your team’s creativity, planning, and productivity

The books in this section share the keys to taking full advantage of the skills and expertise within your content marketing team, outsourced agencies, or freelancers.

Problem Solved: A Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Conviction

by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn

Content marketing success requires making the right decisions over and over. Problem Solved shares a simple process to unlock answers that help you and your co-workers save time by learning how to identify and trust your instincts.

#ContentMarketing success requires making the right decisions over and over. @cheryleinhorn Read more >>
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In Chapter 1, Navigating the Gray AREA, Cheryl explains the origins of her AREA system:

“As a journalist, teacher, consultant, mother, sister, wife, daughter, and friend, …read more

Source:: content marketing

17+ Guest Blogging Rules All Blog Managers Wish You Knew

By Ann Gynn


Miss Manners hasn’t written the handbook on how to be a good guest blogger. Yet, anyone who manages an organization’s blog likely has run into guest bloggers (or wannabe guest bloggers) who focus too much on the “blog” part and not enough on the “guest” part.

Writers focus too much on the “blog” part and not enough on the “guest” part, says @AnnGynn. #Guestpost
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If your content marketing strategy includes guest blogging, you’ll set your efforts up for success if you (or your writer) understand how to be a good guest.

Following your host’s lead is the key to being a good guest at someone’s home, and the same applies to guest blogging. But there’s a unique golden rule for guest bloggers: Read the guidelines. Reread the guidelines. And when you think you’re done, use the guidelines as a final checklist.

Golden rule of guest #blogging: Read the guidelines. Follow them. Read them again. @AnnGynn. Read more >>
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Now, keep reading to learn more tips, from the deceptively simple to the complex, about how to be a successful guest blogger in the eyes of your potential host.

Pick your target(s)

Guest blogging is an excellent opportunity for your content marketing strategy to extend your reach beyond the four virtual walls of your brand. It gets your content in front of fresh eyes, secures quality backlinks from authoritative domains, and increases your social-sharing opportunities.

The first step – before you focus on the guest work – is to figure out which sites reach the people you want to reach and which domains offer more credibility to your content and brand.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How Guest Blogging Solved My SEO Problem

Do your homework

Don’t dive into picking a topic to write about without investigating the blog(s) you selected. (Well, first …read more

Source:: content marketing

Scale Your B2B Content with Artificial Intelligence: Ideas and Tools Marketers Can Try

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


“Same house, right?” The question came via Facebook Messenger from a friend who was coming over for dinner. Under his message appeared two options: yes and no. With one touch of a fingertip, my answer appeared in a blue bubble as if I had typed y-e-s myself.

That experience, a first for me, was so logical, natural, convenient, and simple that I hardly noticed it. An app had recognized my friend’s message as a yes-no question and had presented me with ready-to-use replies. Nothing about the exchange shouted, “Hey! Check it out! Artificial intelligence at work!”

Only after I heard Paul Roetzer’s Content Marketing World talk did I realize that my experience represented exactly that: artificial intelligence at work.

In fact, artificial intelligence is at work all around us. And this “science of making machines smart” (Paul’s favorite definition, which comes from Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind) is beginning to open possibilities for B2B marketers who want to increase efficiency, boost performance, and create a competitive advantage.

If you take away only one thing from this post, let it be Paul’s mantra: “Try it!”

If you take away two things, let the second be “Don’t wait!”

Try #artificialintelligence in your B2B marketing and don’t wait, says @PaulRoetzer. #intelcontent
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This post covers highlights of Paul’s CMWorld talk, Machine-Assisted Narrative: How to Transform and Scale Your B2B Content With Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence: Part of everyday life

As a marketer, you’ll never have to understand artificial intelligence in depth. “You don’t have to know how it works. That’s irrelevant to you. You just have to know that there are AI-powered tools that do things you weren’t capable of doing before that can now start to inform your strategy,” Paul says.

For the record, he notes that artificial intelligence is an umbrella term for lots …read more

Source:: content marketing

11 Insightful Content Marketing Books From 2017 for Newcomers and Seasoned Pros

By Roger C. Parker


No matter how large or small your business is, or how experienced you are in content marketing, these recently published books can help you take your content marketing to the next level.

During 2017, there has been a flood of practical, relevant, and well-written content marketing books for marketers of all levels of experience and expertise. This guide reveals this year’s top books for:

  • Content marketing newcomers and holdouts – If you’re a newcomer to content marketing or dealing with holdout clients, management, and prospects who still need convincing, you’ll find an informed overview of the basics of content marketing and tips for getting started.
  • Experienced content marketers – If you’re a seasoned professional who wants to refine and grow your skills, you’ll find great information around best practices.
  • Innovators, renegades, and visionaries – If you are a leader in marketing or the overall business (or want to strengthen your relationship with those leaders), you’ll find that reinvention and transformation is the name of your next content marketing game.

Resources for content marketing newcomers

If you (or your boss or client) are a newcomer to content marketing, the following books provide a comprehensive, up-to-date big view of how content marketing differs from advertising-based approaches (and the terms and values).

The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Generating Leads Online by Rich Brooks


An ideal orientation guide for new clients as well as a valuable training tool for staff orientation and ongoing education.

The Lead Machine’s strength is Rich Brooks’ empathy for the small businesses his agency, flyte new media, works with daily. He gains further real-world insights during his annual Agents of Change conference, …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Latest Content Marketing Spending Stats Hard to Believe

By Joe Pulizzi


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. If you enjoy our show, we would love it if you would rate it or post a review on iTunes.

In this week’s episode

This week, Robert ponders the nature of “violent agreement.” We unpack the latest content marketing spending research – and debate whether or not we can actually believe it. Marketing predictions are back again, and we also discuss why Casper is putting Van Winkle’s to sleep. Our rants and raves include building an audience, Snapchat, and the art of questioning; then we close the show with an example of the week on the Maxwell House Haggadah.

Download this week’s PNR: This Old Marketing podcast

Show details

  • (00:01): An advertising blast from the past: “Monty Python’s Argument Clinic”
  • (00:48): Robert muses on this week’s theme: Does agreeing hold us back?
  • (04:30): Welcome to Episode 209: Recorded live on November 12, 2017 (Running time: 1:01:23)
  • (06:45): Content Marketing Master Classes – Our multi-city U.S. tour is returning for another round of in-depth content marketing training. Starting on November 6, we’ll be making stops in Boston; New York; Washington, DC; Seattle; San Francisco; Chicago; Atlanta; and Austin, Texas. Robert and I would love to see you there, so register today.
  • (08:37): The big PNR Finale show – We have a few things up our sleeve for our special finale episode, running the week of December 11. We will also be answering questions from our listeners. Tell us what you want to know by tweeting with the hashtag, #ThisOldMarketing, or emailing us at

Content love from our sponsor: Storyblocks (39:00)

Subscribe to Storyblocks: If you’ve ever been in need of a quick photo, vector, image, or soundtrack, …read more

Source:: content marketing