The 5 Biggest Productivity Killers in Your Day and How to Handle Them

Everyone has their roadblocks – the hiccups in their schedule that can derail a perfectly planned day. Whether it’s getting the children out the door in the morning, taking phone calls from clients, meetings with internal stakeholders, or plain old email, there’s bound to be something in your day that keeps popping up and pulling your attention away from the stuff that really matters.

And it’s a little different for everyone. But there are a handful of common distractions, activities, or behaviors that claim more hours out of more days than anything else in the business world. Here are five of those and the tactics I use to overcome or avoid them on a daily basis.… Read More

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AB Testing for Optimizing Conversions

The Six Most Underrated Split Tests and Why Most Marketers Ignore Them

Split testing is a must. But whether it’s the amount of time available or impatience from stakeholders or clients, it often doesn’t go nearly as far as you’d like.

Most of the split testing I see is for one of two elements:

Email and landing page headlines

or

2. Call to Action text and imagery

It’s true that these two items are immensely important. So much so that small tweaks and tests can lead to increases of 10-20% in click thru rate and conversion (and subsequently all of your other metrics).

But there are so many other opportunities to test and evaluate what works and what doesn’t in your marketing efforts.… Read More

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How to Increase CTA % on Your Top 5 Pages in 15 Minutes or Less with Hubspot

One of the many benefits Hubspot offers is the ability to see exactly how effectively a given page performs at converting traffic to new contacts. If you haven’t yet, visit the Page Performance page located in the Reports menu.

On this page, you’ll find every page currently tagged with Hubspot code, along with total page views for any given time period you set from the top menu, the number of keywords it ranks for (that you are currently tracking) and the number of external links pointing to that page. This is probably the single most important page in Hubspot and yet for many people it remains buried behind the slightly less crunchy Sources and Dashboard reports.… Read More

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Finding Good Ideas for Blog Posts

7 Hacks to Generate Blog Post Topics in 2 Minutes or Less

Content marketing works – study after study has shown that properly targeted, well written, evenly distributed content works extremely well to generate and nurture leads. The leads are higher quality. The content generates trust. It’s all kinds of awesome.

But just because it works doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. When you discover a good blog article can drive traffic, build trust, create leads, and generally do good things for your company, naturally you want to create MORE of that goodness.

And yet, the process of actually brainstorming and outlining good blog topics can be time consuming and generally exhausting. To help, I’ve gathered seven tips I personally use when my content backlog starts to run low.… Read More

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Photo Credit: Kenny Louie, https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwl/

6 Tips to Get More Done After Lunch

Photo Credit: Kenny Louie, https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwl/

You’ve had one of those days. You wake up early, get to work with time to spare, feeling sharp and on-point. You check off item after item on your to do list and it feels AMAZING. Everything just flows. 

Then you go to lunch.

Sluggish, distracted, and a little bit sleepy – you stumble back to your desk after lunch and do your best to stay awake; forget about being productive.

The options are slim and usually not very healthy. Coffee. Sugar. Facebook.

You’re packing on the pounds or attracting the wrong kind of attention from your supervisor.… Read More

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Getting Things Done - Managing Your To Do List

7 Tips to Help You Trust Your To Do List

A few years ago, I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done – a right of passage for any entrepreneur it seems. The book was an eye opener, but it took me more than a year and a half from reading it before my day looked even remotely close to what Allen describes in his book.

This was a source of great stress for me. So much so that I bought software, attended online courses, and threw away old notebooks just to try and break old habits and build the new one I knew would be beneficial to me.

If you’re anything like I was then, you can see the benefit of having a well manicured to do list, but are running into walls in creating such a list.… Read More

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5 Tips to Resurrect a Dead or Dying Company Blog

A friend of mine called last week with a question. Having recently started a new job for a small publishing company, he was tasked with resurrecting the company’s long dead blog.

His boss rightly noted that it was a good way to engage with readers and prospective authors, but there were three problems.

The blog was abandoned When active, it didn’t perform well My friend had limited time to manage the blog

This is a common problem. According to a 2012 survey by Blogging.org, 60% of all businesses have a business or company blog, and yet 65% of those blogs haven’t been updated in a year or more.… Read More

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Do You Need a Swipe File?

I’m not originally a copywriter by trade. That’s a common misconception.

Things have changed in recent years, largely because the consistency and quality of writing needed for even a local website to compete has increased dramatically. Content needs to be clever, witty, convincing, and converting.

So I spent the better part of the years since the first Google Panda update reading up on what drives human behavior, what triggers certain actions, and how I can make my copy not just convincing, but compulsively readable.

One of the most important tips I’ve discovered yet, and one that I WISH I had five years ago, was to create a swipe file.… Read More

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How to Define a “Doable” Task

One of the biggest general obstacles to productivity is the idea of “doability”. Goals, dreams, and tasks become interchangeable to a point that the average to do list is too vague and extremely hard to take action on.

If you’ve read any books on productivity, you know that this is the underpinning of most systems. Finding a way to generate actionable, “doable” tasks that can be completed in a finite period of time.

“Build a website” is not an actionable task. It is a goal, possibly a milestone. If I were to ask you exactly how long it would take to build a website, or what was involved, you could easily break it down into ten, twenty or thirty more tasks.… Read More

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10 Best SaaS Services for Freelancers

When I started freelancing, my sole expenses were Internet access and my Elance Membership. My computer was slow and didn’t hold a charge. My software was outdated and limited the projects I could take. I did accounting and scheduling in Excel and Word.

But I made it work, so if you’re just starting or your budget is extremely tight, what I’m about to show you is not VITAL. No single tool on this list is required to be a successful freelancer. There are free alternatives to every one of them.

However, for those that can afford it or that want to speed up and mobilize their services, these are exceptional SaaS tools that make it possible.… Read More

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