How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

We recently added motion graphics to our marketing strategy, and the moving images have brought new life to our brands! Although we have dabbled with graphics and videos on social media, we never had an in-house designer to make our ideas look pretty or to produce them in a timely fashion. This year, we hired our first designer on the marketing team. Now, the Track5 family of brands – AllTruckJobs, TravelNurseSource, LocumJobsOnline, and AlliedTravelCareers – are getting an up-do. How animation adds value to our content is something that we’ve been really proud of in the last couple of months. That’s why I thought I’d share with you what we’ve been working on, and maybe even give you a few ideas to work with too!

Three Examples of How Animation Adds Value to Content at Track5

Here are three examples of how animation adds value to content within our family of brands at Track5.

1. It’s a visual way to tell a story

Animation adds value to content because it’s a visual way to tell a story. Often times, this sticks in the viewer’s memory more vividly than simple words on a page. It also engages your audience more, because it’s something that they can watch and appreciate. Sometimes, there are blog ideas we have that just don’t really turn out the way we thought. Maybe there’s just not much to say about the subject to write an entire blog about it. However, it could still be very important. This is when animation can really help because sometimes it’s easier and more interesting to get your point across visually.

For example, we recently made an infographic for our trucking brand, AllTruckJobs. The infographic showed some stats on why veterans make good truck drivers. It also included quotes from a few trucking companies saying why they hire veterans. To go along with the infographic, which is obviously a still visual, we created a short, motion graphic video. The video said essentially the same thing that the infographic says, in fewer words but with music and motion. This was a great attention grabber on social media, and then people who wanted to could click through to view the entire infographic.

2. It breaks up the written content

Motion graphics break up the written content on a page too. Although adding pictures to our content is great, having an animation that we created in-house brings our content to another level. To go back to the AllTruckJobs’ motion graphics that I mentioned above, we put the same video we used on social media into a blog. Having this in the middle of a whole bunch of text about veterans in trucking gives readers a way to interact with what they are learning. In this way, we got multiple uses out of something we created specifically for social media. Although the animation video was pinned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for a few weeks, this blog is evergreen and will keep the video available to our audience for years to come.

3. Animation videos increase your audience reach

By far the biggest benefit to our content that we’ve seen since we started using motion graphic videos, and live video too, is the increase in audience reach on social media. On Facebook and Twitter, specifically, we see an insanely larger amount of reach and engagement from our followers than ever before. This increases not just visits to our pages but shares, getting our brand names more exposure. It works the same way on LinkedIn. In addition, having animation is giving us more incentive to reach new audiences on visual platforms, like Pinterest.

Are you using animation in your marketing? Share with us how animation adds value to content for your brand!

Top List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

The great thing about marketing for your own brands vs. being a marketer at an agency is that there is more leeway for trial and error than agency marketing. When you do marketing in-house and you come up with an idea that flops, you just switch gears and try something else. This year our marketing department spread its wings to try some different content formats. Our goal is to improve the solid content already on our websites. From enhancing our trucking podcast to using our podcast equipment to boost our other brands, we have a list of content formats that we tackled in 2018. Some flopped, some soared, but in all of them, we learned something to improve for next time. Check out what we’ve been working on!

Beyond Blogging: The List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

For those of you who don’t know what Track5 does – we build job board websites for niche industries like trucking and healthcare, and then we market our own brands. We currently have four healthcare brands, a trucking brand, and then a trucking podcast. Here’s the list of content formats we used this year so far!

1. Top 10 Destination Video – AlliedTravelCareers

The most recent content we completed was a video for our brand AlliedTravelCareers. This brand really needed some love. It’s one of our newer brands, and social media engagement is a struggle. We had to brainstorm – what information do we have specifically tied to our website can we use to engage people socially? Naturally, we went for the travel aspect of our website and created a video highlighting the top 10 destinations where we have the most jobs available for allied workers. We made a video and did social snippets for a few weeks counting down to the #1 destination. Overall, engagement increased on our website! Our link building campaign surrounding the video was slightly less successful, but at least our brand name is out there and people were talking about it more than before.

2. How to Become a Travel Nurse Resource – TravelNurseSource

About a year ago we sat down and brainstormed how we could create an additional resource on our website that would step by step show people how to become a travel nurse. We looked at what already existed on the internet and in print. From there, we figured out what we could create that would give us a competitive edge. We interviewed people throughout the industry, came up with ways to make it downloadable and engaging, added video, and so much more. This project is currently in the final design stages and will go on our site early next year. The guide is a 10-chapter resource of evergreen content that will hopefully build us links for years to come.

3. Expert interviews in our industries – AllPhysicianJobs

Across all of our brands, we started doing industry interviews. We pick someone who has a prominent voice in the industry and do a recorded phone interview with them. This not only helped to give us a more trustworthy voice in our industry, but it created a new content format on our websites – audio. One interview in particular, on AllPhysicianJobs, highlighted a very emotional topic – physician suicide. This interview was not only relevant, but it’s something that often goes unreported. It is very personal to the audience we are trying to target. Plus, it’s interesting to everyone, not just doctors! Give it a listen!

4. Trade show podcast promotion – BigRigBanter

We launched our podcast about a year and a half ago, and so far, so good. There have definitely been a few bumps in the road, but overall the podcast has gathered a solid listening audience. We cover all kinds of trucking topics, from how to find love on the road to more serious subjects like sex trafficking in the trucking industry. This year, for the first time, we attended a large event in Dallas, TX called the Great American Trucking Show. We got interviews on-site with all kinds of people, talked to truck drivers, and were really able to promote our podcast through photos, audio, and video. When we got back, we put all of those interviews into an episode that turned out really cool. There were so many voices from the trucking industry in it, which hopefully attracted new audiences.

5. Niche Infographic

Of course, infographics made our list of content formats. We’ve made several infographics over the years for all of our brands. Currently, we are working on one that recognizes veterans in the trucking industry. We’re not talking about people who’ve been in the industry for a long time – we’re talking about soldiers coming home who seek careers in trucking. This project is cool because we got to interview a few of the trucking companies we work with to highlight their veteran-hiring programs. We also did some digging into our own site and found out exactly how many companies we work with that focus on hiring military. Not only does this infographic target a specific audience and use our proprietary information, but it includes some big names in the industry and has a very personal message to it. It will be live around Veteran’s Day, so be sure to check it out!

So, there you have the list of content formats we tackled so far in 2018. Are you interested in learning about content marketing? Check out our available marketing internships!

What’s the Difference? Understanding Organic VS. Paid Searches

What will the weather be like next week? When is mothers day? How do you tie a tie? Almost all of us will enter small simple questions such as these into… Google! In fact, Google has roughly 3.5 billion searches per day. As so many people traffic one search engine for various inquiries on a daily basis, businesses, products, and services all want to rank as high as possible on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). However, in a widely competitive online market, ranking well, especially for commonly searched topics, can be a challenge. So, what is the difference between organic vs. paid searches? Keep reading to learn more about these two traffic-acquiring methods.

Organic VS. Paid Searches

Understanding Organic VS. Paid Searches

When determining how your business wants to allocate its marketing funds, understanding the difference between organic vs. paid searches is critical. The main two methods for acquiring traffic for inbound marketing is organic vs. paid searches. The two main methods that are used for acquiring this traffic is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Organic Searches

When you type an inquiry into Google there will commonly be two or three featured ad links. Below these ad links, the organic searches will appear. These searches are appearing based purely off of the content of their page. Organic search focuses on the implementation of SEO to rank well on the SERP. So, the results that appear towards the top of the page, Google ranks as high-quality content. When users find and click on your link, it creates organic, unpaid, traffic.

Organic searches, however, do not provide immediate results. After spiders crawl and index websites, the information is stored in large databases, and will only be used to answer matching inquiries. However, 57% of B2B marketers say that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation! We depend on Google on a daily basis. Likely our dependence on this search engine will not slow down. Therefore, understanding the benefits of SEO is a smart, cost-free, efficient way to increase traffic.

Paid Searches

Next, we’ll dive into paid searches! Paid search utilizes SEM (Search Engine Marketing). This type of marketing is a form of online marketing that exposes and promotes a businesses online platform in the SERP through paid advertising. Paid searches appear at the top of the search results, even above organic results. These results are labeled as an “Ad” however; many people still click these links. These links receive high amounts of traffic because they relate to the search inquiry, and therefore do not feel like a blunt advertisement. Therefore, paid ads have grown in popularity in recent years. Instead of waiting for your companies SEO to build up over time, businesses can pay to be featured at the top of a search results page.

Today, Google AdWords is the most used pay-per-click advertising program. Even crazier, Google AdWords launched in 2000 is only 18 years old, and was created by college dropout Scott Banister!

Organic VS. Paid Searches: Is One Better Than The Other?

After quickly learning about organic and paid searches, you may be asking the question, “Which is better?” The answer…neither! Depending on the current need of your company, one method may be better than the other. Paid searches provide fast results for a cost, while organic searches provide cost-free traffic. Understand the current needs of both your company and team, and decide what traffic acquiring method would be best!

There you have it! Do you have a good understanding of organic vs. paid searches? Comment your thoughts below!

Track5 Takes on Philly | Marketing Attends Digital Summit 2018

Sometimes, the most valuable thing you take away from traveling to a business conference isn’t industry related – sometimes it’s the connections you build with your team members, and the shared experience of going into it together. This week our marketing team traveled from Lancaster to Philadelphia for the Digital Summit marketing conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

There’s only three of us in the marketing department, and we spend 40 hours a week at work. So basically, we spend more time together than we do with our families, significant others or friends. Yet, were rarely spend that time getting to know each other or doing what some would call “team building.” This week, we were able to do both – grow professionally while learning more about each other. As a result, we have returned with new knowledge and as a stronger team!

With that said, here are four highlights of our trip to Philly and the top three things we learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference!

Four Highlights of Our Trip to Philly

1. We explored the city

city scene - digital summit marketing conference

Philadelphia is notorious for its mural art and breathtaking architecture. But it doesn’t have the nickname of Filthadelphia for no reason… there’s lots of trash on the streets, and sadly, many homeless people who are struggling. Luckily, we were able to admire some art and feed a few of the less fortunate while we were in town. It was fun just to stroll through the neighborhoods and check things out together.

2. We got to hang out in a casual setting

team photo - digital summit marketing conference

Our team enjoyed a few drinks at BRÜ Craft & Wurst. From left to right: Lenay, Troy, and Margaret

There’s something to be said about a casual happy hour with your coworkers. Want to try my beer? Ew, that one is gross. I like mine better. Seated outside on a busy, Center City street, we people watch. A group of drunk college girls stumbles by, one snacking on her leftover pizza right out of the box. This triggers story time… “I remember when I was in college… ” You learn a lot about your coworkers when you break free from the office walls. And it feels good to laugh and relate on a personal level after a long day of work and travel.

3. We ate some delicious food

We may have many differences, but thankfully, we all like Italian food. Not to rub it in or anything, but we ate pretty well on our work trip…

food - digital summit marketing conference

Maggiano’s Center City Philadelphia

4. We learned a lot at the Digital Summit marketing conference

Just to be clear, we didn’t only eat, drink and gossip on this trip. We also learned a lot and shared an incredible experience networking with thousands of other people in our industry. I’ll admit it. We nerded out a bit and got excited about trending digital marketing topics.

With that said, here are the top three take-a-ways I learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference:

Top Three Take-a-Ways from the Digital Summit Marketing Conference

1. There are always new tools emerging for marketers

The two most helpful tools I learned about at the conference were related to SEO and page design. The first tool I learned about was an additional plug-in for Yoast that tells you what blogs you already have on WordPress that might be related to the one you’re currently writing. The plug-in lists these blogs on the right side as you’re typing, which is great in helping you create internal links. I can see this tool being especially helpful for people who are new to the marketing team. For example, our interns don’t necessarily know everything we’ve written about in the past.

Another tool I learned about, which would be extremely helpful for all of our brands is tinypng.com. It is a website that compresses your images so that the file size isn’t so big. Large images often slow down page load time, but yet you don’t want to alter the size and distort the image. This tool reduces the image file size without compromising its quality.

2. Talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you

Sometimes people say the simplest of things, and yet a reminder of something so basic can change everything. For example – talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you. One speaker pointed out that there’s probably a pizza shop in every town that is advertising as “the world’s best pizza.” We don’t believe those signs, right? Then why would we market to our audience that way? Think about how to deliver a message to your fans that is authentic, sincere and still incentivizes them to use your brand. This thought process can also be applied when emailing prospects for link building. Don’t shoot them a basic email with a weak sale. Talk to them like you would your friend, and see how far your authenticity will take you.

3. Don’t forget to work on yourself

The third and most memorable take-a-way from this year was something related to soft skills. Across the board, I think this is the most important thing we could all improve upon – time management and productivity. The final keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, is notorious for compiling and explaining various research on timing. A best-selling author of several books on behavioral science, he raised some really good points. For example, he asked, what point in our workday are we most alert? Then, what type of work are we doing during that time? He broke it down for us. Most people have three stages to their day: a peak, a trough and a recovery. What does that mean? Basically, you’re sharpest in the morning and at night, with a lull midday. Sounds familiar, right? According to Pink, you should do your analytical work in the morning (that means stop checking emails right when you get to work!), do your administrative tasks when you’re in your trough stage and do your insightful or creative projects last.

Pink - Digital Summit Marketing Conference

Best-selling Author Daniel Pink was the Keynote Speaker at the Digital Summit marketing conference.

Were you at the digital summit? What did you learn? Share with us in the comments below!

Skills Marketers Need to Kill It This Year

When I tell people that I work in marketing, I usually expand on that with a generic explanation like, I write blogs, website content, and manage social media for several brands. Immediately I get a response along the lines of, “so, you get paid to play around on the internet all day?”

Yes. Sort of. But not really.

Marketing isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s probably one of the most undervalued but cultivating tech careers out there. Believe it or not, websites don’t just magically show up on the first page of a Google search, and the information you’re reading online isn’t all written by robots. So, with that said, here are the skills marketers need to kill it this year!

Top Six Skills Marketers Need to be Successful

skills marketers need

1. You should be good at reading people

When you’re trying to lead people to your brand, you have to be good at knowing their triggers. In other words, you have to understand who your audience is and what they want. Marketing is often the process of leading someone on a personal journey to where they finally decide on your brand. That’s why reading people and building relationships is one of the most important skills marketers need to kill it this year.

2. You should be even better at communicating with them

Once you understand who your audience is, the next step is knowing exactly how to communicate with them to get them to do what you want them to. Keep in mind that there are many forms of communication – emails, blogs, newsletters – are all written forms. But there are also other ways to communicate with your audience such as videos, podcasts, and infographics.

3. Technology is your best friend

Technology is your best friend if you want to kill it in marketing going forward. Technology is constantly evolving and so should your technical skills! If you don’t know how to make a video or take a stellar photograph, take a class. If you’ve never recorded and edited audio (like in a podcast) try it out! Also keep in mind how technology works, and how your audience might be using it. For example, it’s not enough to think of keywords in the context of a Google search. You now have to consider that your audience is asking Alexa or Siri questions about where to find travel nursing jobs or the highest paying trucking positions.

4. Content creation is key… so you better be creative

Just because technology is taking over doesn’t mean that some good, old-fashioned writing skills can be tossed to the side. Writing and content creating is still one of the key skills marketers need. In fact, blog writing is getting more and more technical and competitive. It’s not enough to write a fluff piece of 500 words and slap it online. Now, research, interviews and in-depth content is killing it. This means that you better be creative if you want to succeed as a marketer. Like I said above, it’s also very important to think of content creation outside of the written medium.

5. It’s your job to make boring data interesting

Data… statistics… zzz.

Let’s face it. Numbers can be extremely boring, especially for creative writers and those artsy types that are typically drawn to marketing careers. However, data is powerful, especially if it’s specific to your brand. It’s your job as a marketer to pay attention to granular details and find a way to use it to your advantage. Yes, this might mean working with numbers. I know, you’re rolling your eyes. However, with the right presentation even the dullest of data can be interesting.

6. If you’re lazy… bye!

If you don’t want to work hard and fast, don’t pursue a career in marketing. This is an industry that is technology driven, constantly changing and requires monitoring, adapting, and commitment. So, basically, if you’re lazy… bye! Laziness, or the ability to half-ass projects, is not one of the skills marketers need to kill it this year.

What do you think are some of the top skills marketers need to be successful? Share with us in the comments below!

How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

Full disclosure: Before I accepted my position as a content marketer at Track5Media, I was a reporter. Now that I’ve crossed to the other side, I have to be the pesky marketing person harassing the media. It’s quite an adjustment. After a year into my marketing position, though, I’m realizing how much of a benefit it is to have both a marketing and journalism perspective. From my commitment to fact checking to my awareness of how press releases are received and perceived, I see how my time as a journalist shapes me as a marketer. I’m not special. Lots of journalists are making the transition in their careers from journalism to marketing. I know that the skills I brought with me, I’m also competing with in this industry. With that said, I realize that my experience is still valuable to those who haven’t been frantically looking for a story on a Friday afternoon. Here are some tips (from my perspective as a reporter) on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Five Tips on How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

how to write a press release

Are you tired of writing press releases and sending them but not getting any news coverage? Here are five tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Target the right reporters

It’s not enough just to write a press release and blast it out through one of those fancy distribution websites. I mean –  do that –  but also think about how to target the right media. Is there someone locally you know who covers the industry you work in? Is there a specific magazine or industry newsletter that might be interested in your news? It’s always best to target the right audience.  a personal copy of your release.

Get their attention

Make sure you have a catchy subject line when you email them. Look at some recent articles that they wrote, and consider the language or phrases they used. Make your subject line sounds like something they would write.

Make them care

Just because something is exciting to you and your company, doesn’t mean it’s exciting to everyone else. That’s why if you want to know how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore, you have to think about what makes it to interesting to other people. Construct your press release with that thought in mind. You already care. That’s why you’re making the announcement. Your job, however, is to convince other people that they should care too.

Give it to them straight

Consider the five W’s – who, what, where, when and why. Make sure your press release answers all of those questions and then some. Make sure you give them all of the details and that they’re accurate. For example, if you forgot to write a press release about a new hire and it’s six months later, don’t try to tweak the content so that it seems like it just happened. There’s nothing more frustrating for a journalist than to be fed old news.

Follow up

The most important part of how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore is to follow up. You can do everything right, but at the end of the day, reporters are busy. They’ve got many others just like you sending them story tips and press releases, and they have an editor yelling at them to make a deadline. Even though they might be interested, your outreach could be lost in their inbox. Send them a follow-up, or even give them a call! Sometimes having a friendly conversation on the phone will help you to stand out above the rest.

Do you have any additional tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore? Share with us in the comments below!

How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing Your Business

Do you ever feel like you’re wasting your time with a company page on LinkedIn? You’re posting articles weekly and chatting it up in groups relevant to your market. Yet there seems to be very little engagement when you look at analytics. Me too. Track5Media has a LinkedIn page for our company as well as for several of the brands that we own. Some pages perform better than others, but overall, engagement is nothing to brag about. There has to be some secret to success on how to use LinkedIn for marketing your business, right? My frustration moved me to action, and I did a little digging online about LinkedIn and company pages. Here are the four most useful things that I learned!

Four Tips for How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing Your Business

how to use LinkedIn for marketing your business

1. Know your audience. It may seem obvious, but after you create a company page you need to decide who your audience is going to be. For me, this one gets tricky. On our job board websites, our marketing efforts are typically business to consumer. For example, on AllTruckJobs we are marketing to truckers so that they come to our website and apply to the jobs that our clients (trucking companies) have posted. However, on LinkedIn, our goal is to market to our clients. This means switching up the language in copy so that it’s geared toward a business-to-business audience.

2. Use SEO. You also shouldn’t forget about SEO. Make sure that your LinkedIn page is optimized for SEO just like your website would be. This will help people searching for specific keywords or services to find your page.

3. Gather a following. The third item is what I find to be the most challenging. How the heck can you get people to follow your page? It doesn’t matter how engaging your shared content is if you have no one following your page and engaging with that content. I found a few suggestions for how to get more followers:

  • First, make sure your employees are following all of your brands on LinkedIn. This is an easy way to establish a basic following, and hopefully, it will show up on newsfeeds that they are following that page.
  • Secondly, let your clients know that you have a LinkedIn page and encourage them to follow it, either through an email, newsletter or blog post. Tell them they’re missing out on great content there!
  • Third – add a LinkedIn follow button to your website just like you would your other social media pages. Not only should you share that you have a LinkedIn page on your website, but share it on your Facebook and Twitter pages as well. If you have more followers on those pages, try to push that following to LinkedIn too.
  • The fourth and final way I found that you can get more followers on your page is to join LinkedIn groups. Engage with people in those groups, follow their pages, and hopefully, they will start to follow you as well.

4. Be interesting. The last tip I have for how to use LinkedIn for marketing your business is to share content frequently that is interesting and beneficial to your audience. Think about articles that are relevant to your industry, as well as content on your own site that you want them to see. Also, don’t forget that you don’t only have to share text copy. Is there a YouTube video or a Podcast out there that they might be interested in? Better yet, can you create one? Sharing different forms of media can help to make your LinkedIn page more engaging.

Do you have any successful strategies for how to use LinkedIn for marketing your business? Share with us in the comments below!

Basic Guest Blogging Strategies | 5 Essential Tips

Whether you’re a freelance content writer or find yourself as part of a marketing team, guest blogging is one of the most common link building tactics out there. What’s link building you ask? You may want to check out this blog first… Otherwise, we’ll talk about how basic guest blogging strategies can help you generate higher traffic and better SERP rankings for your websites! It’s not always a fool-proof method, but if you know where to start you can only make “helpful” mistakes along the way:

basic-guest-blogging-strategies

As many startups or digital marketers will tell you, good content along with strategically placed links are essential to building domain authority. Along with organic links, directory links, and specifically requested backlinks, guest blogging is one of the strongest strategies for several reasons. First off, most websites (especially those with smaller marketing teams) are always looking for fresh content to keep their audience and Google happy. When new blogs on hot topics get crawled, there’s a greater chance they’ll be seen in SERPs. That ultimately means more traffic or sales.

Since backlinks are (essentially) free, many influential blogs would rather link to your website than compensate you monetarily. Honestly, for many up-and-coming bloggers and companies, hefty backlinks from high ranking websites are worth their weight in gold! So what basic guest blogging strategies should you know?


5 Essential, Yet Basic Guest Blogging Strategies:

1. Ensure Your Own Blog is Loveable

Before you can pitch your content writing skills, you’ve got to have plenty of examples to pull from. Whether it’s a company or personal blog, make sure your posts are worthy of the types of sites you’ll be targeting with your outreach. Whether you’re using common blogging sites like Medium or WordPress, it’s important to design your posts to be both visually appealing and SEO friendly.

One great tool we use to guide our efforts is the Yoast SEO plugin. This free plugin can tell you all sorts of useful information when writing a blog to ensure it’s up to modern SEO standards. Adding elements like heading tags, alt-text in your images, and previewing your meta description are essential to helping your own blog be successful. Then, once you’ve got great examples of your own SEO-friendly work you’ll be able to pitch similar content!

2. Prepare Content to Pitch

Sure, having great ideas for content isn’t a bad thing but most of your guest blogging targets will want something concrete. Before writing anything, be sure to analyze the style and voice of the top outlets in your field to understand how your piece should sound and feel. What makes their content appealing? How do they engage readers? At the same time, get a handle on what keywords they are ranking for and how you can incorporate these metrics into your pitch as well.

Tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer or Answer the Public are great starting places for understanding the types of terms and phrases to include in your guest blog. In addition to writing great, engaging content including information about how well a piece can rank for certain keywords is an incredible selling point. To really make each pitch worth your time, we recommend having at least three pre-written guest blogs on hand.

basic-guest-blogging-strategies

3. Find Your Guest Blogging Targets

Now that your own blog is looking great and your guest pieces are available, it’s time to choose your targets. An easy way to start is with specific Google searches:

  1. Search ‘guest blogging opportunities + keyword/industry’
  2. Search for ‘inurl:write-for-us + keyword/industry’

This second example uses what’s called a search operator and these provide lots of advantages depending on what you need to turn up in a SERP. 

In addition to making sure a website will accept your content, you must also be acutely aware of things like Page Authority and Domain Authority. One way to judge this is with the Moz’s Open Site Explorer. Pages with high PA and DA are generally better sites to target, as long as they have low span scores. There’s a bit more to this, but this is plenty for those just starting out. For now, just focus on finding blogs or sites with a DA around 20-40 with an estimated traffic of 10K+ per month. As long as you find quality websites to accept your posts, these basic guest blogging strategies will hold true!

4. Pitch Your Blog or Article

Now that you’ve done all of the proper legwork, it’s time to make that leap! Contacting editors can be a bit overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be impossible if you include all of the necessary information in your email:

  • Introduce Yourself and Company
  • Try noting something positive about their blog or company
  • Suggest several blog topics or potential posts
  • Include clean, clickable links to your previous work
  • Include an email signature with your contact info, a photo, and full name

After your initial email, it’s usually standard to check back in a few days. A simple, friendly reminder is usually enough to get the ball rolling. Just be sure to avoid annoying people — you can always try again in the future until you land something great!

5. It’s Time for Publishing!

After someone has agreed to post your blog it’s important to meet all of their specifications. They may request author photos of a certain size, a bio, and that you share the piece a certain way on social media. Nonetheless, this is all part of closing the deal so be sure to follow their considerations closely.

Another huge aspect is ensuring that the links you provided are ‘follow links’ rather than ‘no follow links.’ These links are what will pass authority to your own site in order to help you build your own ranking. Of course, this is something to agree upon beforehand, but it doesn’t hurt to follow up after a blog is live.

Overall, following these basic guest blogging strategies allow you to make great connections and strengthen your blog, content writing skills, and SEO acumen! Have any suggestions for aspiring content writers? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Essential Marketing Skills I Learned at My Internship

Before I landed a position as a digital marketing intern at Track5Media, LLC, I had little to no knowledge of online marketing. I remember freezing up when I was asked, “what do you know about SEO?” during my first interview. I was convinced that I didn’t get the job since I told the manager I had no idea what SEO was. To my surprise, I got the job, and my first day was a month later. Fast forward seven months, and I’m sitting here writing this blog post with tons of useful skills in my marketing toolbox. Looking back, I’ve learned A LOT about digital marketing during my time here. Here are three essential marketing skills that I’ve learned so far!

Essential Marketing Skills I Learned at My Track5Media Internship

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Keyword Research

Who knew that there was so much behind the words you type in a Google search box? Having a good keyword in copy and blog posts can really make or break your website’s ranking. These two tools helped me a lot when it came to choosing a keyword for my content:

  • Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Moz’s Explorer is my number one go-to when it comes to keyword research. If you have a keyword in mind, this tool will tell you all sorts of useful statistics for that keyword. For example, it displays the keyword’s monthly volume, difficulty, and organic CTR. It’s super helpful, but you must be a Moz Pro member to use it.
  • AnswerThePublic.com. I’ll admit that the strange video of the old man on the front page creeped me out at first. Once I got past that, I learned to love this site! It’s given me a bunch of ideas for blog post topics and keywords. After inputting a single term like “marketing,” the site will display dozens of questions and keywords that people are searching for. Better yet, it’s free.

By researching keywords, I’ve been able to learn so much about our market’s keyword demand and which words/phrases to target with SEO.

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Social Media Marketing

I’m a millennial, so of course, I knew a lot about social media before starting this internship. However, in the marketing world, there’s a lot more to social media than making posts and tweets. Here at Track5Media, we focus on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Using these platforms, we’ve been able to generate a lot more traffic to our websites and landing pages. Not only that, but each platform offers analytics and demographics, so we’re able to learn a lot about our audiences. In turn, we can create better-performing content and market it more effectively! Also, including photos, hashtags, and videos in your posts is important! From what I’ve found, people are more likely to look at a social media post with a picture than one that’s just straight text. With social media becoming more and more popular, social media marketing is becoming one of the most essential marketing skills.

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Writing for Different Audiences

Up until I started this job, I hadn’t written content for many different audiences. I wrote for myself, for professors, and that’s about it. Now, I write content that’s aimed at nurses, truckers, doctors, and the elderly. It’s a pretty broad spectrum, right? So, the casual voice and verbiage I use for a trucker blog post may not work very well on a blog for physicians. From social media posts to blogs, the content that I write differs depending on who I’m writing it for. I think this is a crucial skill when it comes to content marketing. Content that’s written properly for the target audience will perform better than content that’s not! Now that I know how to effectively write for different audiences, I consider myself a stronger writer and marketer.

All in all, my time at Track5Media has been very valuable and rewarding, to say the least. I’ve learned many essential marketing skills, but these three are among my favorites. I have no doubt that these tools will prepare me for my future careers!

Interested in your own internship at Track5Media? Check out our open positions and apply to join the awesome team!

Home Sweet Home: Tips For Local SEO

As your brand grows, so do your ambitions. While it’s great to think about your company becoming the next global brand, it’s also important to remember to think locally. We’ve covered blogs that deal with SEO on a bigger scale. These onsite and offsite tactics will ensure that you’re getting in front of as many eyes as possible. However, there’s another aspect of SEO that produces results much quicker and can leverage a ton of traffic and business for your site. Research shows that 18% of local smartphone searches resulted in a purchase within a day. Local SEO is a great way to build up brands of all shapes and sizes. Below we’ll take a look at some of the best tips for local SEO.

Tips For Local SEO

Identify Local Search Terms

This sounds like one of the easiest tips for local SEO, but it’s often one that’s forgotten by many companies. Leveraging some of your onsite SEO for local SEO will ensure that you’re attracting potential customers from a local standpoint. For example, if your company is a lawn service, while it’s nice to rank for the term “lawn service,” this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get in front of the right audience. If you’re based out of Pennsylvania and you’re showing up in the SERP for someone in Phoenix, Arizona, that probably won’t be a converting customer. But, if you’re ranking for “lawn services in Lancaster, PA” then you’ll have a much better chance of converting that person.

Begin a Local Link Building Campaign

We’ve spoken about the importance of link building in the past, but one of the best tips for local SEO is to engage in a local link building campaign. Links built locally will help to establish credibility in the eyes of Google. Use social media to increase the exposure of your website. Encourage your followers to share out your info. Create great blog content and use that to pitch to other local sites. If it makes sense, create a local directory of businesses and have them link back to your website. Use similar techniques that you would use if you were implementing an entire link building campaign.

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Don’t Forget Internal Linking

Internal linking is an onsite SEO tactic that not only helps with user experience, but it can also give your rankings a boost. Most local businesses have poor website architecture, often with important pages only being linked to from the main navigation or footer. Add internal links that are relevant from within your pages’ content, including blog posts, informational pa, es and key service pages. These “money” pages are the most important URLs on your site, so it’s important that you’re directing potential customers to those pages.

User Reviews

One of the biggest mistakes that a local company can do is to not have a place where customers can offer feedback and reviews. User reviews help to build your business’ visibility in local search results, and so does your engagement in responding to them — whether they are positive or negative. Your brand reputation is important, so one of the best tips for local SEO is to ensure that your reputation is being displayed through social media.

Use a Rankings Trackers

Another one of the best tips for local SEO is to use a tool that will track your local keyword rankings. We’ve covered some of the best SEO tools to use for your campaign, so it’s worth taking a look at the rank tracking features that Moz and SEMrush have to offer. You’ll want to track ranking, search volume, device, result type, and whether your preferred URL is the top-ranked result for searches in each geographic location that’s relevant to your business.

We hope some of these local SEO tips will help take your company to new heights! If you have some other tips you’d like to provide, or have a question for us, feel free to comment below!