11 New Books for Content Marketers

Posted July 9th @ 6:52 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Looking for helpful, informative content marketing books and ideas?

Check out my Latest Must-Reads: Summertime Books for Content Marketers on the Go (or on Vacation).

This is my 3rd annual Content Marketing Institute summer roundup of new books of interest content marketers, entrepreneurs, and authors looking for ways to promote their books, their businesses, and their personal brands.

Insights from beyond the content marketing world

My midsummer 2015 book roundup several new titles from both established content marketing and newly-minted content marketing authors.

To broaden my perspective, I’ve also included provocative and relevant books by experts from beyond the content marketing world. Examples include:

Check my list before you pack your back and head to the airport or campground. One of the books in my list may contain the breakthrough idea you need to take your business to the next level upon your return. And, if you find the list useful, please extend a Tweet: this afternoon, I was less than 50 Tweets away from the 1,000 mark! Thank you!

Creating Templates for Social Media Graphics

Posted June 29th @ 6:41 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Creating your own social media graphic templates can boost your productivity, increase readership and shares, while reinforcing your brand.

I’d like to share some examples, ideas, tips, and resources to help you explore creating your own social media graphic templates.

Graphics are no longer a luxury.

Graphics are a necessity if you want to add attraction and engagement to your blog posts and social media.

You need graphics not only not only standing elements, like your profile pages, but also for individual blog posts.

Old versus new approach

Until recently, I would create each social media graphics on an as-needed basis.

This, however, was an extremely inefficient process. It forced me to reinvent the wheel each time I created a new article or blog post.

Worse, without templates, I’d have to research the ideal size for graphics before I could begin to create the graphics–a horrible waste of time.

Now, I use template to save time by providing me with a framework  I can immediately put to work on my projects.

There’s more to social media graphics, however, than I thought.  However, the resources I uncovered and the lessons I learned from my initial efforts, can save you a lot of time and effort.

Requirements for social media graphic templates

There’s more to creating social media graphics than simply locating atmospheric stock art and scaling it to the appropriate size. To me, there are four primary requirements:

  1. Social media graphics must tell a story. Social media graphics should do more than simply attract attention or set a mood. They should tell a story, visually communicating the key ideas of the article or blog post that follows. As you can see from the examples above, each graphic is a visual table of contents that previews the contents and benefits that follow.
  2. They must contribute to a consistent brand image. The graphics should share a consistent look, in terms of colors, borders, margins, typefaces, and style. The plethora of typefaces and stock art, however, can easily undermine the need for consistency.
  3. They must boost your productivity. Custom, or personalized, social media graphics should save time by reducing the number of decisions needed at the time of production. There should be a multiplier effect; the  time you spend creating graphic templates should be paid back over and over again.
  4. Graphics should contribute to better, faster writing. Although graphics are often created at the last minute, I’ve found that beginning a project by creating the graphic saves a considerable amount of writing time. The graphic helps me identify the key ideas I want to share and encourages me to write better headlines.

Those are just a few of the possible goals for social media graphics; you may have other goals (which you’re invited to share in the comments, below).

Elements of social media graphic templates

Above is an example of a simple social media graphic I  created for use when publishing blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse’s platform. You can click the image above to download a larger PDF image of the key elements of a social media graphic template.

You may have noticed that the image differs from the graphic as it appears in my LinkedIn post or the middle example at the top of this post; it doesn’t contain the arrows connecting the book covers. I added later using TechSmith’s Snagit screen capture tool.

The building blocks of a social media graphic templates include:

  • Size. As you may have already discovered, there is little standardization of the sizes needed for the various social media platforms where you are active. There are also size differences between the graphics for different purposes within the various social media platforms. You profile shot will likely be a different size and shape than your header graphic, for example. The resources I share below will help you keep track of the various social media graphic sizes for various purposes.
  • Borders. One of the easiest ways to brand your social media graphics is to be consistent in the border treatments you use. You can choose different border thicknesses and colors to help set your graphics apart from other screen elements.
  • Guides. Notice the light green horizontal and vertical guide shown and identified in the above example. The center guides help you horizontally and vertically balance the text and graphics, and assure consistent placement of the headlines. They also help you consistently text elements, like the captions in the above example.
  • Margins. The guides are essential to creating consistent margins, or spacing, between borders and adjacent text, illustrations, or photographs. Margins are especially important in places when text or graphic elements may overlap your social media graphic. In the above example above, note the generous bottom margin. This is necessary because LinkedIn inserts a thumbnail (or small image) of your profile photograph which overlaps the bottom of the graphic at the top of your blog posts.
  • Text formatting. Pay particular attention to the typography, or formatting options, you choose for your social media graphic templates. Text formatting options include font (or typeface design), type size, type style, color, and line spacing.  Your graphic templates should include type specifications for the major categories of text included in your social media graphics, including headline (or title), subhead, bullet lists, and captions (see More Deadlines, Less Stress!).

As the examples show, as you become more involved in adding graphics to your social media graphics, you may end up creating multiple templates for different purposes.

Locating social media graphic templates

Creating social media graphics is one thing; you also have to be able to immediately locate them when needed. You shouldn’t have to search for them.

I suggest you create a Social Media Resources folder inside your Writing folder on your hard drive. Then, create separate folders for Facebook Templates, LinkedIn Templates, Pinterest Templates, and Twitter Templates,  etc.

Getting in the habit of saving your social media template files in a logical location, as shown in the above Mindjet MindManager graphic, can deliver productivity savings in the future. It can also make it easier to back-up your valuable template files.

Resources for keeping track of social media graphic sizes

Here are some of the blog posts that I discovered that can help you keep track of the size requirements for social media graphics. As mentioned above, there are not only a lot of different social media size requirements, and there are different specifications for different pages.

  • Sprout Social’s Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes. This is one of the first resources I visited–a possible tribute to the power of the “Always Up-to-Date” promise in the title. Note the easy navigation to the specific social media you’re interested in, and the clear, stylized drawings showing how the images are used for different applications.  You can choose to be automatically notified of updates, and there’s a list of handy list of 36 free image manipulation tools.
  • Hubspot takes a different approach in their A Detailed Guide to Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & More [Infographic]. Scrolling through the infographic, by itself, provides a visual introduction to the range of options available. There are also links for downloading free pre-sized cover photo templates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
  • Constant Contact’s [Infographic] 2015 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet and Image Tricks offers a more concise approach plus a valuable bonus. Instead of simply listing sizes for different applications, it includes 7 time-saving tips, including suggested template proportions which you can easily resize for multiple purposes. different social media.
  • Buffer’s The Ultimate Guide to Ideal Image Sizes for Social Media Posts offers the most advanced look at creating social media graphics that can be easily resized for different applications.  Kevan Lee’s examples are fascinating because he shows how various “core” image proportions may be automatically cropped differently when placed in different applications. There’s also more emphasis on vertical versus horizontal
  • Jeff Bullas’s Content Marketing Tips: Image Rules For The Top 7 Social Networks offers an infographic that emphasizes the importance of adding visuals and stresses optimum image sizes and pro tips for the top 7 social networks.

How are you creating graphics for social media marketing?

Are you currently using templates to save time and create a consistent image in your social media graphics? What software are you using to create your graphics? Are you currently using PowerPoint or Mindjet’s MindManager for creating social media graphics?  Share your concerns, questions, and suggestions as comments, below.

Content Marketing Self-Publishing Success Story

Posted June 14th @ 3:01 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Listen as content marketer Anne Janzer shares her self-publishing success story in a recorded interview with Roger C ParkerJust click the image to hear content marketer Anne Janzer share her Subscription Marketing self-publishing story in our recent recorded interview.

If you’re a self-employed professional or content marketer looking for ways to build your business and establish yourself as an authority in your field, you’ll enjoy my recent interview with Anne Janzer.

Anne held nothing back during this recorded interview. She candidly describes:

  • Why she wrote Subscription Marketing.
  • How she wrote the first draft and what she did next.
  • The reasons she decided to self-publish her book.
  • Her strategy for obtaining pre-publication quotes.
  • What she budgeted for the project, and her final budget.
  • How long it took before the book began to contribute to her business.
  • and more.

You can learn more about the important lessons from Anne Janzer’s book teaches at her Subscription Marketing Book site and in my two recent posts:

Free resources for writing and self-publishing

Here are some suggested ways you can learn more about content marketing, writing, and self-publishing:

What’s next for you?

What are you going to be doing this summer to improve your content marketing, drive new business, and enhance your image as a published author and thought leader? Anne Janzer’s Subscription Marketing experience is not unique. (And, she is not, and was not, a client–I discovered her through her book).

Download my free writing workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building BookA good starting point for taking action on your dream to become a published writer, is to download my free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-building Book.

It’s helped thousands of new writers ask the right questions and create a book proposal and sustainable book marketing plan.

Subscription Marketing | New Mind Map for Content Marketers

Posted June 5th @ 5:47 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

In time for next week’s interview with Anne Janzer, view a mind map of Subscription Marketing, one of the latest content marketing books to appear.

Anne Janzer’s Subscription Marketing offers content marketers a tightly-organized fresh perspective on content marketing.

It addresses the importance of nuturing customer relationships before, and after, purchase.

  • Part 1 discusses subscription marketing’s role of content marketing.
  • Part 2 describes different strategies for subscription marketing.
  • Part 3 shares suggestions and best practices for implementing subscription marketing.

Subscription Marketing is an exceptional value, in both print and electronic formats.Anne’s book is long enough to provide content marketers with a helpful, fresh perspective, yet tightly-written and focused, showing respect the reader’s time and money.

Leading content marketers, like Anne Handley, David Meerman Scott, and Joe Pulizzi, provided advance praise for Subscription Marketing’s combination of actionable insights and brevity.

Lessons for self-published authors

As Anne Janzer and I will discuss when I interview her next Tuesday, Subscription Marketing offers lessons for all thought leaders looking to expand their reach and fine-tune their message.

During the writing and publishing process, Anne Janzer faced the same challenges and decisions all thought leaders face at one time or another.

These include concerns like content organization, publishing options, time management, and resource allocation during the writing and publishing process.

During our initial discussions of next week’s interview, Anne candidly brought up several points I hadn’t previously encountered and alternative ways to achieve her publishing goals.

Mind maps and content marketing

This mind map of Subscription Marketing joins dozens of other MindManager mind maps of top content marketing books you can view or download at Biggerplate.com. These mind maps are helpful whether or not you currently use a mind mapping oftware program.

  • If you already use Mindjet’s MindManager, you can download these mind maps to use as templates for taking notes while reading the top content marketing, writing, and creativity/productivity books. Annotating a mind map is far superior to underlining a printed copy and provides more space to add ideas sparked by your reading.
  • If you don’t use a mind mapping program, or use a different program,  you can still view and explore the mind maps online. This lets you familiarize yourself with the basic mind mapping features. You can also download files to use during Mindjet’s free 30-day MindManager trial.

To learn more

To learn more about next week’s interview, check out What’s It Like to Be a Newly-Minted Content Marketing Author? or visit Anne Janzer’s blog and website.

Bring your questions about content marketing and writing and publishing a book to my interview with Ann Janzer! It takes place Tuesday, June 9, at 4 PM Eastern. To join us, dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. Or, submit your questions before the call, as comments, below.

More Mind Maps of Top Content Marketing Books

Posted June 1st @ 6:21 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

I’ve added mind maps of 4 more, newly-published content marketing titles to last year’s list of Top 10 Content Marketing Books.

The latest titles and mind maps include:

Abel, Scott and Rahel Anne Bailie. The Language of Content Strategy. Here’s where you can access the Biggerplate.com mind map. See my previous blog post, How to Profit from the Language of Content Strategy. Listen to my interview with Scott Abel.

Rebella, Adele. Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into Your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business. This is an important book for content marketers. Access the Biggerplate.com mind map. See previous post, Lessons from Adele Rebella’s Buyer Personas {Mind Map}.

Handley, Ann. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. Biggerplate.com mind map here. See previous blog posts, including Everybody Writes: Writing Tips for Content Marketing. You can also listen to my interview with Ann Handley.

Pietrucha, Frank J. Supercommunicator: Explaining the Complicated So Anyone Can Understand. See Biggerplate.com mind map. See my blog post, How to Become a Content Marketing SuperCommunicator.

What you can learn from these mind maps

At Biggerplate.com, you can examine and download over 50 Mindjet MindManager mind maps I’ve created and shared.  These reveal the contents of over a dozen content marketing, presentation, and writing books.

Even if you’re not currently a Mindjet MindManager user, you can examine the content structure of the books I consider of greatest importance for content marketers.

I’ve also shared mind map groups for mind mapping, presenting, writing, and creativity/productivity.

If you are a MindManager user, you can download any of the mind maps and templates and use them to take notes while reading the books.

To view or download the mind maps, you have to sign-in, but there’s no cost involved.

What is Biggerplate?

Biggerplate is the world’s largest independent mind mapping community. It’s a resource for all mind map users, regardless of the software program they use.

At Biggerplate, you can access and download thousands of mind maps and templates created with all the major mind mapping software programs.

Biggerplate.com also has an informative blog and hosts training and conferences around the world. It’s yearly Annual Report is must-reading for those interested in mind mapping.

2014′s Top 10 content marketing books

The 4 new titles listed above join mind maps of these familiar favorites:

Do you find mind maps of published books helpful?

After viewing and/or downloading mind maps of the top content marketing books, share your impressions. Do you find the books helpful in deciding what books to purchase? Do you download and use the mind map templates to help you take notes as you read the books? Share your impressions below, as comments.

  • Crestodina, Andy.  Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. Based on the familiar Period Table of the Elements, and the idea of separate lecture notes and lab exercises, Content Chemistry offers a concise, visual guide to getting started. It’s oversize format contains space for you to take notes and respond to questions right in the book. 
  • Halvorson, Kristina and Rach, Melissa. Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd edition. Content Strategy for the web is organized as a four stage journey REALITY (acknowledging changes), DISCOVERY (auditing your content and its role), STRATEGY (setting up a workflow), and SUCCESS (building concensus). Each section includes 3 chapters of detailed ideas and suggestions.
  • Halligan, Brian and Shah, Dharmesh. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. The first book in David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Social Media series, Inbound Marketing provides a broader approach to the steps businesses need to not only create effective content, but leverage it to sales.
  • Handley, Ann and Chapman, C.C. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. In some ways, the most detailed content handbook, with a strong emphasis on crafting compelling stories, Content Rule’s 29 chapters are organized as a 4-step journey: Part 1, Rules, or basic principles; Part, The How-to Section; Part 3, Content That Converts, (case studies and commentary), and Part 4 This Isn’t Goodbye (and a gift).
  • Joel, Mitch. Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. Mitch Joel, whom Marketing Magazine calls “the rock star of digital marketing,” approaches content marketing from the perspective of the implications that the Internet has had on businesses, employees, and entrepreneurs…and the steps needed to thrive in a connected, content-based economy.
  • Jones. Colleen. Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content.  Balancing the art of storytelling and the science of researching the effectiveness of various content approaches Clout the author’s experiences and research with a variety of large corporations and government agencies. Clout’s lessons are presented in 3 steps: The CROSSROADS (where are we now?), The HOW-TO SECTION (the context where content is experienced plus the rhetoric and psychology of influence) and The CLIMB, (the longest section, emphasizing accountability and agility).
  • Pulizzi, Joe. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less. Drawing on his lifetime in paid media, and the extensive resources of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi has assembled a one volume encyclopedia of practical content marketing advice. Its case studies, examples, and concise advice provides step-by-step details for businesses of all sizes.
  • Scott, David Meerman. The New Rules of Marketing & PR:  How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (4th edition). One of the first books to emphasize the need for a new approach to marketing, the latest edition updates the case studies and examples in previous chapters and adds new chapters based continuing changes in content consumption.
  • Walter, Ekaterina and Gioglio, Jessica. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand. This large format, profusely-illustrated book provides a comprehensive and detailed guide to the why’s and how’s of using visuals as content marketing tools in the leading social media. After an overview of the role of visuals in storytelling, there are eye-opening lists of ideas and resources for the major online media.
  • - See more at: http://blog.publishedandprofitable.com/2014/06/10/mindmaps-of-the-top-10-content-marketing-books/#sthash.9jolAbDZ.dpuf

  • Baer, Jay.  Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not HypeYoutility describes the changed marketing landscape,  with case studies describing how businesses of all types have responded to the changed marketing world, plus a path for joining them.
  • Crestodina, Andy.  Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. Based on the familiar Period Table of the Elements, and the idea of separate lecture notes and lab exercises, Content Chemistry offers a concise, visual guide to getting started. It’s oversize format contains space for you to take notes and respond to questions right in the book. 
  • Halvorson, Kristina and Rach, Melissa. Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd edition. Content Strategy for the web is organized as a four stage journey REALITY (acknowledging changes), DISCOVERY (auditing your content and its role), STRATEGY (setting up a workflow), and SUCCESS (building concensus). Each section includes 3 chapters of detailed ideas and suggestions.
  • Halligan, Brian and Shah, Dharmesh. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. The first book in David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Social Media series, Inbound Marketing provides a broader approach to the steps businesses need to not only create effective content, but leverage it to sales.
  • Handley, Ann and Chapman, C.C. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. In some ways, the most detailed content handbook, with a strong emphasis on crafting compelling stories, Content Rule’s 29 chapters are organized as a 4-step journey: Part 1, Rules, or basic principles; Part, The How-to Section; Part 3, Content That Converts, (case studies and commentary), and Part 4 This Isn’t Goodbye (and a gift).
  • Joel, Mitch. Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. Mitch Joel, whom Marketing Magazine calls “the rock star of digital marketing,” approaches content marketing from the perspective of the implications that the Internet has had on businesses, employees, and entrepreneurs…and the steps needed to thrive in a connected, content-based economy.
  • Jones. Colleen. Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content.  Balancing the art of storytelling and the science of researching the effectiveness of various content approaches Clout the author’s experiences and research with a variety of large corporations and government agencies. Clout’s lessons are presented in 3 steps: The CROSSROADS (where are we now?), The HOW-TO SECTION (the context where content is experienced plus the rhetoric and psychology of influence) and The CLIMB, (the longest section, emphasizing accountability and agility).
  • Pulizzi, Joe. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less. Drawing on his lifetime in paid media, and the extensive resources of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi has assembled a one volume encyclopedia of practical content marketing advice. Its case studies, examples, and concise advice provides step-by-step details for businesses of all sizes.
  • Scott, David Meerman. The New Rules of Marketing & PR:  How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (4th edition). One of the first books to emphasize the need for a new approach to marketing, the latest edition updates the case studies and examples in previous chapters and adds new chapters based continuing changes in content consumption.
  • Walter, Ekaterina and Gioglio, Jessica. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand. This large format, profusely-illustrated book provides a comprehensive and detailed guide to the why’s and how’s of using visuals as content marketing tools in the leading social media. After an overview of the role of visuals in storytelling, there are eye-opening lists of ideas and resources for the major online media.
  • - See more at: http://blog.publishedandprofitable.com/2014/06/10/mindmaps-of-the-top-10-content-marketing-books/#sthash.9jolAbDZ.dpuf

    Blogging Tip From David Meerman Scott

    Posted May 29th @ 6:16 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

    David Meerman Scott’s recent post, Still More Top Ten Tips for Incredibly Successful Public Speaking, shows the power of a simple blogging strategy tip.

    Serialization, or the idea of building blog post on one, or more, previous blog posts,  is not a new idea.

    But, usually, the blogger only provides links to the earlier blog posts.

    Proving link value

    What sets David Meerman Scott’s blog post apart is the fact that he not only provides links to the earlier posts, but he proves the value of the earlier blog posts by providing a list of their key ideas.

    I find the idea startlingly simply–and definitely effective.

    The benefits of providing proof

    Here’s what I like about the strategy (other than the fact it costs nothing to implement:

    • Reasons to revisit previous posts. The summary of the key ideas in the previous posts not only adds to the value of the current blog post, but provides me with concrete reasons to go back and read the previous posts.
    • Context. The list of key ideas brings me up to speed, and provides a context for the latest Top 10 ideas introduced in the current post.
    • Credibility. There’s a very powerful credibility element in the fact that the original Top 10 blog post came out in 2009—-six years ago! This reinforces David Meerman Scott’s position as an experienced source of speaking and sharing marketing ideas.
    • Pre-sells the next installment. I find there’s almost a hypnotic effect

    What I don’t know, and would like to know, is whether or not the addition of the earlier, list-based content contributed additional SEO horsepower to this post, and whether or not it drove significant traffic to the earlier posts.

    Perhaps David Meerman Scott might share some insights in a future Web Ink Now blog post!

    More David Meerman Scott blogging strategy tips

    For more blogging tips based on analyzingDavid Meerman Scott’s blog, see:

    What’s your favorite David Meerman Scott blogging tip?

    Would David Meerman Scott’s blog tip to use excerpts, rather than just links, work for you when sharing information in a series of blog posts? Please share your concerns and impressions as comments, below. (Thanks to Anne H. Janzer, my next interview guest, for drawing my attention to David’s post.)