11 things you can do to get more readers of your blog

These are some of my suggestions, there are plenty of others, but just try these when you’re writing content that you want to be read:

1. Write 3 or 4 different titles and choose the one that you think is best. Other titles for this blog were; ‘How to get more readers of your blog’, ‘A blog on how to write a blog’. Hopefully the one I’ve chosen is better.

2. Lists usually work, as there is a limit to the number of ideas that can be implemented and that work. For example, ‘7 ways to improve your website visitor numbers’.

3. Use big numbers when appropriate, instead of ‘Ambulance delays at A&E’, how about ‘600,000 ambulances faced delays of more 15 minutes in the last 3 months’.

4. Write emotional headlines. Emotions fire people’s imaginations and get them to click to find out more. ‘Any wait of more than 15 minutes is deemed a potential threat to life by the NHS’.

5. Don’t sensationalise titles, not too over-the-top or full of value, you need to build trust and the title reflects what you’re delivering in the post.

 

howto write a blog

 

6. Share one focused idea, you don’t need to give readers everything in one go, just a digestible amount.

7. Try a strong introduction, the first sentence, to get readers wanting to read more. For example ask a thought-provoking question, open with a quote, use some statistics or introduce an intriguing story.

8. Include pictures. To illustrate a point but also to break up the writing.

playful and fun

9. Simple language is best. No complicated words, make it understandable and easy to read.

10. Be playful. Show your sense of humour and perhaps make fun of yourself.

11. Less is more. Try to be precise. Short sentences. Short words. Short paragraphs.

There is no blueprint for success, but write with passion, show your enthusiasm and break a few rules.

Mark

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Disruptive Technologies – breakthroughs in 2018

I have written about many of these technologies before, however 2018 will be the start of these technologies becoming mainstream.

  • Blockchain, which I wrote about in 2016,  is a distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies and has been around for about 10 years. That bitcoin and darker parts of the web are associated with it are not so important, as it will be driven by the financial world that is looking to invest in this technology. Blockchain allows consumers and suppliers to connect directly, removing the need for a third party, using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a decentralized database of transactions that everyone on the network can see. This network is essentially a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded.

blockchain

  • Vision and Voice, tapping on a keyboard is moving towards touchscreen, the next phase will be search using voice and visual techniques. Websites are starting to be redesigned to support voice and visual searching and the forecast is that in terms of digital incomes these websites could increase their revenues by 30%.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality, has been on the radar for a while (see previous blogs on AR and VR) and 2018 will see a massive increase in spend on this technology, including product design, retail sales and training capabilities.

AR VR

  • Internet of Things has been a buzzword phrase for years, and will become more prevalent as everything becomes more connected. However, there is a view that the IoT will be more specialised in the coming year; with more organisations using the IoT platform specific to their needs to improve productivity and efficiency.

iot

  • Robots will become smarter and more accessible and will be used for connectivity, cognition, decision-making, learning and adaptation. This disruptive innovation will be less expensive as access to artificial intelligence in the cloud improves over the coming year.

robotics

2017 saw great leaps forward in the use of disruptive innovations, however 2018 will see further developments in the use of technology that will become prevalent in all our lives as they come to the market.

Mark

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7 Social Media Predictions for 2018

Social media is a great way of optimising campaigns, being more relevant and more personal, while creating an environment for marketing to be more engaging. It still requires smart thinking and the creation of interesting content.

social media predictions

  1. Voice search – it seems that Alexa, Siri and other intelligent agents are going to be the big sellers of technology this Christmas, so optimising content for voice-led search behaviour will be crucial.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR) – which I have written about before, AR advertising on social media platforms paves the way for brands to create really immersive experiences and enables deep engagement.
  3. Video – with YouTube the second largest search engine after Google (also owned by Google) it will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic in the next three years.
  4. Artificial Intelligence – despite the idea that it will take away jobs (it will create more though), it’s promising to deliver more contextual and personalised content, however like many of these new technologies it will take time to be the accepted norm.
  5. Advocacy marketing – driving word-of-mouth on a larger scale than before by enabling and activating brand champions – influencers but more importantly employees, customers and partners.
  6. Real-time marketing – smaller analytics and smart automation will mean faster connection through social media, although information will need to be newsworthy at the very moment it happens and as personalised as possible.
  7. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – before it becomes law in May 2018 they will be an opportunity to deliver relevant campaigns to audience segments without exposing individual identities, and it will be an opportunity to clean data, engage properly with existing and potential customers.

Although technology is an enabler, there is no substitute for smart, personalised marketing that really engages with people.

Have a merry Christmas and a very good New Year.

Mark

 

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Personal brand

Great brands are really all about the values that we, as consumers, relate to the brand.

Coca-cola has handed their brand to their customers; not telling people what they stand for, but letting them decide (with some prompting – advertising over the years) what the brand means to them – a better future, being real and passionate about life.

Apple’s core values are about creating excellent products that are simple and not complex – designed around people. Part of Apple’s brand strategy is about personal selling, loyal customers  becoming evangelists but also having a team of enthusiastic young people in its stores; over 500 stores in 15 countries serving over 1 million customers every day.

So big brands emotionally connect with us on a personal level .

brand

But what about our personal brands? Are they simply the outside perception of our professional status? So what can we be known for that connects with people?

Certainly, we can be social and personable online through social media networks by posting blogs, news, articles, videos and so on, but we need to communicate our personality through our online presence. We need to communicate frequently and speak our own mind, sharing insights, knowledge and expertise with everyone.

So, as companies have values and personalities, then we as individuals need to be clear on what is important to us, our values, our passion and goals.

My personal brand is about brand.

Mark

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Video and audio conferencing

In order to survive in this fast-paced world and to be more flexible, companies must create productive working environments to promote digital working habits and collaboration. These interactions generate innovation and commitment and promote greater productivity.

In the increasingly global economy, one of the most productive ways of promoting greater productivity is the use of video conferencing, creating enterprise-grade video, voice and collaboration experiences, accelerating decision-making and fostering innovation.

conferencing

In order to make video collaboration experiences that bring disparate groups of people closer together there are solutions out there that are easy-to-use and deliver high quality audio, video and content.

The technology is so much better than it was and is easier to manage, much more intuitive, secure and can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems.

There’s plenty of software options, including Joinme, Webex, Citrix GoToMeeting and Skype for Business. The hardware is more critical for the quality of audio and video including Polycom, Shure, Cisco and Logitech amongst others.

Video and audio conferencing can save businesses £ thousands and can lead to a more collaborative and productive business for all.

Mark

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Science fiction or breakthroughs that will change our world

There is a huge amount of time, effort and money being poured into the next generation of scientific breakthroughs and quite often the sci-fi writers’ imagination is going to be the reality of the future.

I’ve written about 3D printing in the past, predicting its rise in 2014, and it has started to revolutionise medicine with the creation of replacement jaws, hips, backbones, skulls and in the next decade; hearts. It has also been used to create low cost housing in a very short time, suitable for a growing population and disaster zones.

3dprinting1

With a population that is predicted to hit 10 billion by 2050, it will be imperative that technology and science help us manage the future of our planet, and to this end Super Photosynthesis will help to increase crop yields and help feed the world. Synthetic foods will also help, with laboratory grown beef being created from stem cells (20,000 thin strands of muscle tissue being used to create a synthetic burger), and this mass food production is predicted to be possible within a decade with positive environmental consequences.

synethetic burger

With energy being at a premium, with less fossil fuels being used, there have been some leaps and bounds in terms of artificial energy. Lasers being fired at frozen hydrogen atoms to create mini stars through nuclear fusion, creating more energy than that being used to make them.

mini stars

With medical science innovations and breakthroughs happening all the time, here are some of the most interesting; cybernetic immortality – human consciousness, personality and intelligence into robots, telepathy – brain-to-brain communication, gene editing – modifying human embryos to correct genetic diseases, suspended animation – used in surgery to stop the body functioning normally to allow more effective surgical techniques, as well as artificial lifeforms – building bacterial genomes to improve medicine.

genome_editing

The military is always looking for more effective ways in which the soldier on the ground can be better at their jobs; with the advent of exoskeleton suits, which may be bullet-proof, but also help paraplegics walk again and help clear up disaster zones.

exoskeleton-technology

 

Although scientists are continually making breakthroughs, it often takes longer than predicted to see them in reality; some may fail but undoubtedly some will come to fruition and change the way the human species evolves and exists in the near future.

Mark Cadbury

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Emotional versus Rational

I’m sure you’re all aware that decisions that we make on a daily basis are emotional or non-conscious.iceberg-decisions

However, the science behind that is indisputable, our nervous system reacts faster that our logical decision-making capability.

Non-conscious decisions are complex, fast and constant, they rule our lives and are effectively the most accurate definition of who we are, therefore no decisions are made without an emotional response. When conducting research, you really shouldn’t ask “why did you decide that?”, as our conscious brains take over and make up and justify the decision, rather than what is naturally occurring – the non-conscious decision. How about asking “what’s important to you?” You’ll get more insight from that.

Our first impressions take milliseconds, and a visual pop-out is actually more important to our reaction – for example a large image placed centrally on a website has the best response. Equally being more human solicits a better response, use of colour and greater proximity to an image create a more emotional response.

When writing websites, interesting content, marketing material and so on, remember that people react in different ways to different sensory language, some may prefer writing that is written about feelings, others may prefer a more visual style – using words such as see and look. So write for all, not just the way you like writing.

Other elements that work on an emotional level are:

  • Social proof increases spend
  • Extra is more valued that discount
  • Fear of loss is more motivational than opportunity to gain
  • Pleasure now, pain later

Needs and benefits equate to rational behaviour, the emotional is often the irrational, but connects to us.

Mark

P.S. A debt to LAB for the ideas

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