Newsletter #2

The science of content, creative repurposing and "Discovery Engines"

The weekly newsletter for content marketers seeking exponential growth in their work and personal lives.

Links

🔥 The Science Behind 100,000-View Blog Posts [Animalz]

Animalz' own data scientist Andrew Tate analyzes half-a-dozen 100,000-view blog posts, and finds 5 distinct - and predictive - phases of growth.
"The results offer a template for success, but also a new and more scientific way to think about measuring your content."

🔥 The Best Programming Languages for Digital Marketers [ConversionXL]

Writing data-driven articles (like Andrew's post above), scraping competitor websites, improving customer attribution... a little bit of programming goes a long way in content marketing. This article is an example-rich, marketing-specific intro to SQL, JavaScript, Python and Bash.
"To get started, pick the one that has the best potential to answer your most important marketing questions, then start learning!"

🔥 How to Conduct a Content Audit for SEO [Siege Media]

Conversion rates too low? Organic traffic starting to decline? Swimming in outdated content? "Run a content audit" is my solution to a whole bunch of content marketing issues, and I love the automated process outlined here by Siege Media.
"...a recent content audit we ran involved pruning over 3,000 pages... Organic traffic after the project went up about 50%"

🔥 Content repurposing tools you’ve never heard of [Quuu]

I dig the creative re-purposing strategies shared here. From personal experience, Quora is a stellar tool for funneling traffic to new articles (extra tip: you can find worthwhile opportunities by using Ahrefs to sort Quora questions by organic traffic).
"we asked nine super qualified content marketers... to share their favourite content repurposing tools"

💩 Want Customers to Open Your SaaS Emails? Send Better ones [Codeless]

This post earns my Worst Title of the Month™ award. In nine simple words, it manages to shame its readers and trivialize a complicated topic, effectively saying “struggling with your job? you aren't trying hard enough!

Tools

🔨 NameMesh

What do companies, products, websites, side-gigs and newsletters have in common? They're all a PITA to name. Enter NameMesh: just pick a few keywords, and let this handy little tool do the hard work of mixing and matching related words and synonyms into unique, available domain names.

Opinions

From search engines to discovery engines.

I read Kevin Indig's killer summary of Google's 20th anniversary product announcements, and one quote jumped out:

"Search Engines are (traditionally) not discovery platforms because users need to have a question before using a search engine."

Today's Google searches represent a fraction of the total interest people have in a given topic. They're the pieces of information people know to look for. The trouble is, we literally don't know what we're missing: we have no way to search for information that we don't know exists.

To quote Donald Rumsfeld, Google searches are known unknowns. We don't know the answer to our question, but we know there's a question worth asking. A discovery platform opens the door to unknown unknowns, pieces of information that we'd find interesting and relevant, but don't yet know we need.

Let's say we get a flat tyre. We don't know what caused it, or how to fix it, but we're aware that a problem exists. It's a known unknown, and we can run a search for "recovery service" or "new tyres" on our phone.

But a discovery engine could take general information, say...

  • our model of car,

  • our search history for the last time we bought tyres,

  • the route we regularly drive

...and discover relevant content for us before we need it.

It could use Google Maps data to point out that a dozen cars have recently gotten flats on a particular stretch of road, or it could let us know that our tyres were getting old. It would surface information we need without us knowing to look for it.

Google's big product changes are heading further and further down the discovery engine path, and that has consequences for content marketers. Kevin flags the biggest:

We need to start creating content for every conceivable angle of a given topic, not just those that have search volume.

In the near future, people will be able to discover information even if they don't know to search for it.

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