Burnout comes in different degrees of severity. Most of us are at the Friday drinks, or Wednesday bubbles stage most days.. Looking forward to relaxing and winding down from the work day.
When it comes to the point where you feel the need to ‘escape’ that’s a fairly good warning sign that things aren’t all sunshine and lollipops.
The following information is based on a Scientific American article describing a 12 stage burnout model from psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North.
Here are the stages the scientists outline:
Symptoms ranges from mild to worrisome behaviours you probably see every day at work, to utter collapse and defeat. Trying to avoid the severe end of the range is key, and the trick is paying attention to subtle signs rather than dismissing them.
If you’ve got a spare 5 minutes, you can take this Burnout Self-Test which can give you a good indication of where you’re at mentally and flag issues that you may not realise are there.
Hold onto your keywords because yet again, SEO has changed the playing field and this is a straight up game changer.
Search engine algorithms change, change, and change some more so frequently that it’s absolutely understandable if you’re not 100% up-to-date at all times; but that’s why we’re here to try and make it easy for you. Human search behaviours have changed, therefore the tech that we use to interpret and breakdown the search results have changed too.
Long-tail keyword optimisation is no longer en vogue and won’t get you the best ranking in search engine results, and it’s all because of the way we blog. That’s right, it’s our own fault. People are searching for longer, more specific or conversational search queries, with 64% of searches being four words or more in length; and the growing trend is getting specific with your searches so the returned information is exactly what you’re looking for.
Partially responsible in the blue corner, is Siri, Google and voice activated searches as that makes up about 20% of all searches. With Amazon Echo and Google Home devices on the up-and-up this is sure to continue raising those figures. On the other hand, hello red corner and what is simply information overload. There’s so much content out there, and don’t we know it—so we’re trying to narrow down those results by submitting more detailed searches, saving us time by filtering through the “junk.” Skimming and speed reading means we’re relying on headers and featured info to get simple answers rather than work for it ourselves.
Google is one smart little cookie (pardon the pun) because its algorithm is constantly evolving and learning. Searching for ‘running shoes’ will now provide you with results for ‘sneakers’ as well. This needs to be front of mind for bloggers and SEO, as gaps could prevent searchers from getting what they need from your site. Organising your site into main topics, then specific long-tail keywords and linking to one another will help users grab as much information as possible from your site.
Most blogs are structured to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords, with the result being fairly disorganised and hard-to-find information; not to mention your own URLs competing against one another in search engine ranking when you’re talking about producing multiple blog posts based around one central theme or idea. Enter—topic clusters.
In order to rank and be the “best answer” to the new types of searches, the topic cluster model (as seen below thank you HubSpot) will guide the way—and really it’s as simple as it looks. Choose your “themes” which is what the content will then be based off, then create that content based on specific keywords that relate back to the theme that will tie it all together, to create broader search engine authority.
This deliberate setup of organising and linking URLs, and using your site architecture to help create more pages on your site rank in Google will help searchers find information on your website much more easily. The three components of this setup are: pillar content, cluster content and hyperlinks.
A pillar page will cover all the aspects of the theme in a singular page, with more detailed cluster blog posts hyperlinked page to the pillar page. I.e. your pillar page could be ‘content marketing’ with the cluster posts honing in on blogging. the more specific keyword related topic. Pillar pages are going to be lengthy, they’ll cover off on all (or as much) of the information based on the “theme” as possible. These pages won’t necessarily be in-depth as that’s what the cluster pages are for, you want to make sure all topics within the broader theme of ‘content marketing’ are mentioned.
Creating tha pillar page involves thinking about all the themes that are relevant to your business/website; then start planning out your topics that will be based on more specific keywords relating to the overall theme for the cluster. Within your pillar of ‘content marketing’, using a topic of ‘social media’ is too broad, but ‘Instagram captions’ is too narrow; a nice balance in the middle is ‘Instagram marketing.’
Pillar pages will answer broadly what question a searcher might be looking for, which should prompt them to follow through to your cluster content which will deep-dive into the topic. Seem easy enough? It really is.. The key takeaway is to make sure you’re taking advantage of this new style of searching and ensuring your site is as optimised as possible.
Let’s face it, we tend to get a little lazy with our words. We type fast, we talk faster, everything is meant to be easier to communicate and easier to absorb. Because of this we seem to have forgotten about the power of the English language; how great words can be when you stop and think for even just a second, about using a different word that could really change the conversation you’re having.
Custom-Writing gave us this little gem of an infographic below that could help you lock down a few alternate words to weave throughout your day-to-day use, be it emails or cover letters or even your blog..
Extending your vocabulary, just by using words that may be more descriptive can make your emails more interesting for the reader, or could help people engage with you further as word-play and “smart” conversations are intellectually stimulating.
But just don’t get too crazy with it, no need to start throwing around hence-there-forth and the like, trying to use “big words” can have the opposite effect and make you sound ‘stupid’ (it’s scientifically proven.) It’s more about not being lazy with language and trying to coax your brain into thinking outside of the box, which can bump up those creative feels.
Try signing up to Word-of-the-Day by Dictionary.com for some fun daily emails of new words to try.. today’s word is vamoose—Spanish slang for departing or moving quickly. See if you can use it in at least one conversation today?
Social media platforms all have their own strengths and weaknesses which means that the content you post on Facebook may not be suitable for Twitter—or not suitable until you do a bit of tweaking.
It’s also okay to post completely different things on each platform entirely. For instance, if you compare Twitter and Instagram accounts of brands like Buffer for example, you’ll notice that their Instagram feed barely matches up to their Twitter feed. Now that’s totally okay, because you have different audiences for each platform and what they expect to see on Instagram won’t be the same as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
The general rule of thumb to what should be going up on your social channels is:
LinkedIn: Jobs, company news, and professional content
Pinterest: Infographics and step-by-step photo guides
Google+: Blog posts that you want to rank on Google
The character limit is pretty hefty on Facebook—over 63,000 characters actually. But before you go writing a novella, just note that posts with 80 characters or less tend to receive higher engagement by almost 70%. Posing your audience a question has also been proven to garner more engagement as well as using a quote or statistic from the article you’re sharing or whatever it is you’re referencing to in your post. Also, don’t be scared of emojis—using them can increase your engagement as long as you don’t over-do it.
You’ll still get a fair few characters will IG (just over 2k) but after three lines the read of your caption will disappear into a show more style button; so work on grabbing your readers attention with the opening line or two giving them content and pulling them in to continue reading. Micro-blogging is also becoming pretty popular, sharing mini tutorials or a how-to in the caption, or even a behind-the-scenes style image or video with an expanded explanation. Hashtags are your best friend on Instagram, with the hashtag #quotes being one of the most popular content types on Instagram. Check out this example from @WeWork:
Surveys show that 40% of users are interested in breaking news, with 39% using the platform to keep up-to-date with news in general. This makes it a great way to share industry news, company and product news. Due to the level of information and tweeting done over the period of a day, it’s suitable to share several pieces of content per day, even re-sharing the next day and day after that etc. When tweeting remember to add links, images, infographics, gifs or videos.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, yes, but that doesn’t mean your posts have to be boring. Update your followers with career info or job listings sure, but also make sure to highlight company culture, employee’s achievements and company news. Ask peoples opinions, give them statistics, educate them about whatever may be considered your expertise. Content that is relevant to your audience is key here whether it’s whitepapers, webinars or industry studies that could helpful to your followers.
We’ve recently seen the implementation of video to LinkedIn and we are loving it!
After running some beta-testing with certain users for give or take about two weeks, video was then available to all users who updated their LinkedIn apps. I’m sure you’ve seen it pop up on your feed. Like with all new features and exciting new ways to communicate with our network and audience; comes the discovery that not everyone is destined for—LinkedIn video.
According to , the idea of video is “…to let users highlight their professional work: projects that have been finished or are in progress; product demonstrations; and other work-related videos that highlight what you do.” The main takeaway for video content on LinkedIn is not to tell us about how your day went or to show us what coffee you’re drinking, but to keep it professional. Whether it’s a two-minute rapid fire Q&A with a guest, or a lesson you’ve learned in your career. The audience are wanting to gain business insight from these videos, so give them what they want.
In summary, people want to see your personality come through the video rather than you sounding like some robot that is just reading off prompt cards. Try and inspire people, your message may have been heard by some, but not all; and getting through to those new people is where you can find you have the most impact. Lastly, there’s no need to make a 10 minute in-depth video that goes off on tangents, keep it short and simple, so your message is easily absorbed by your audience.
If you’re still at a bit of a loss as to where to get started, this ‘How To’ guide by LINKFLUENCER will allow you to get insights into everything you need to know about creating, shooting and sharing your videos.
With the rise of influencer marketing, naturally comes the rise in fake accounts or non-genuine accounts using bought followers and engagement through third-party sites. In an industry that is estimated at $1 billion (projected to reach $2 billion by 2019) it’s little wonder that those of us that are less-than-honest, are finding a way to cash in on this money train.
First thing’s first, how do you spot a fake account? MediaKik have a wealth of knowledge on how to determine which influencers are worth contacting and those that could be “spam-bots.” A group of Italian security researches found that as many as 8% of all Instagram accounts aren’t real—that’s a pretty high number considering that up to 30% of accounts are actually inactive.
After this research came out, MediaKik actually went and tried making fake profiles—to see what would happen and if they could get a brand to pay them for sponsored posts. The full article here. In summary, they created two accounts, one based on an actual person using images from a full-day photoshoot to recreate a busy and thriving account, and a second one based solely on stock imagery.
After the accounts were set-up, they went on to purchase followers—for as little as $3 for 1,000 followers, they were able to buy up to 15k worth of followers at a time without being flagged as a spam account by Instagram.
Then after you’ve got your followers, you need some love. Buying likes and comments start at about $4 for 1,000 likes, and roughly 12c per comment bought. A couple of hundred likes and a few comments per photo later—voila you’ve got instant engagement.
How do you know if you’re looking at a fake account? A general tip in the not-as-good-as-it-seems direction is that the follows/followers ratio is way off. Generally speaking, your average account is looking about 1:1 follows/followers—with spam accounts following up to as many as 41 accounts to the 1 follower they’ve gained.
However in cases like this, where the numbers are fairly realistic it’s worth tracking through their posts and noting the timeline. This would show all of these photos uploaded on the same day and all the engagement from the previous 24hours or so.. instant red flag!
Influencers of all sizes are pouring onto the space (see last weeks article about micro-influencers) and it’s becoming increasingly common for brands to be losing money due to a lack of double-checking what may seem too good to be true.
Newsmodo creates crafted content with our network of influencers and bloggers to ensure that your message is received by the right audience for you brand.
Here’s an example of what we delivered for BRITAX.
With thousands of content creators, bloggers and influencers across our network we can find the right influencers to work for your next campaign.. find out more… call us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Influencer versus micro-influencer leads to an interesting look at how mass numbers of followers doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best fit for your brand. Throwing money at high-profile celebs to represent your brand will always be a solution for some, but for others, finding the micro-influencers that have a niche following with truly dedicated followers could reap significantly better results.
The joys of micro-influencers like @amandafrederickson is that she can really engage with her audience on a very personal basis, and her followers absolutely love that about her. Also, chances are that micro-influencers’ sponsored post rates are considerably lower than that of big-name celebrities.
A post shared by Amanda Frederickson (@amandafrederickson) on
The wonderful team over at Buffer social give us the 5 main points to making the most of your influencer campaign.
Within these they break it down into little ‘to-do’ lists of sorts for each before you move into the next point. In the planning stage, you’ll be looking at setting the goals and KPIs you’re looking to get out of this campaign, and choosing which of the social media platforms you’re looking to target—this will also determine which micro-influencers will be suited to your brand.
Finding your micro-influencers can be time consuming, you can either Google your way around or search through the different social media platforms you’re considering. There are filter features on both Facebook and Twitter, on Instagram you’ll simply search for people with the ‘search’ aimed at whatever your campaign is about.
On the other side of that, is using an agency or a platform—the guys over at Tribe are doing an amazing job, and you’ve got plenty of options like Buzzsumo, Clear, TheRightFit…the list goes on and on. There’s many things to considering when choosing which influencers will be best for your brand, so do a bit of research about their activity and their followers and outside of their social media page—how they are seen in the media. A micro-influencer with a skeleton in the closest could come back and bite you in the…yep.
Reaching out is an obvious one—email them, call them, direct message them, whatever you need to do to try and get in touch. But be aware there’s a limit to how much you should try before you should just let it go if they don’t respond. You don’t want to come across as desperate, needy or just plain creepy. GaryVee shared a great example of how to reach out via Instagram, and a also commenting on peoples posts mentioning being interested in collaboration could always do the trick.
So now we’re onto the coordination. This includes:
Getting your goals out in the open so everyone is aware of what’s expected of the campaign
Setting any guidelines regarding your brand and its image or persona, etc
Working out how much of your campaign you want to invest with them—maybe they have multiple social media and even a blog and you want to target all of those avenues over a four-week period, for example.
Once it’s live, time to bring out the measuring tape. Pulling analytics on social media and website figures has never been easier, a click on a mouse and you’ve got figures on the reach, engagement and all the rest. Compare against the goals for your campaign, how did it measure up? Should you have done something differently that you might employ next time? It’s a trial and error process to some extent, some micro-influencers and their audience may not work for your brand even though all the signs pointed in the right direction. Just remember, there’s a reason that 48% of marketers decided to up their influencer marketing budgets for 2017 (according to eMarketer).
Growing your network, in theory seems easy; but could you be burning your opportunities by being basic. When requesting to connect, if you don’t add a note LinkedIn will automatically send through a standard, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Reading that, people might be more inclined to hit that decline button, rather than feel inspired to connect with you and grow their network.
The team over at WordStream have put together this neat little infographic to give you the run-down on how you should be interacting with your future connections.
Morale of the story is: act like a person. Make your message unique to you, and to them, instead of sounding like a robot clicking that ‘request connection’ button.
You’ve got 300 characters, use them wisely Obi-Wan.
This week Hugh (from Hugh’s Views & News – yes it’s even fun to say!) released his list of ways to kill your blog. A whole 71 of them. He makes some very valid points—but I’m only going to walk you through my Top 6 favourite, or least favourite.. depending how you look at it.
Not having an ‘About Me’ page
I stumbled upon this little blog recently, and it looks like it’s only just started.. Which is exciting to watch how it builds and grows—anyway, this is a great example of a very easy to find ‘About Me’ section, it’s almost front and centre on the page. Keeping it short and sweet but personable enough makes it a huge attraction to the reader as we’re not here to read your life story, yet. That’s what all the posts are for!
Posting broken links, or leaving them up there
Come now, this is just being lazy. Yes, granted you may have accidentally popped in a broken link without knowing it. It happens to the best of us. The Crtl C and Ctrl V keys are just so close together. You will be forgiven, as long as you fix it. Now before you start rolling your eyes—we’re not expecting you to go through your whole site all the time to check the links. Use this little guy right here Online Broken Link Checker and he’ll scan your site url and let you know what’s not working anymore.
Making your site hard to read (font, paragraphs, layout—take your pick)
If you’re unsure of what fonts, colour schemes and layouts to use for your blog; just google ‘best looking blogs.’ Literally. Articles like this one from HubSpot will pop-up, and there’s your answer. The indication is that simplicity is key. That doesn’t mean boring white backgrounds and Times New Roman font (seriously though—not Times New Roman) just don’t crowd your blog and detract readers from engaging with it just because you thought that leopard print theme jazzed it up.
Not having a search bar
Everything has a search bar these days. Your email, your messaging app on your phone, Google is one giant search bar. Your readers may want to find a specific article to show their friends, or they might remember reading something and want to reference back to it. In any case, a search bar is so easy to add especially with using templates from WordPress, Wix, Tumblr, Medium etc there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t have one.
Posting without editing
Two words, spell check. One word, Hemingway. It does spell check and grammar all in one. Winner! If in doubt, get a partner or friend to give it a second pair of eyes before it goes live. They might also just pick up on weird phrasing or flag something that you might have thought was fine to go out into the wide world of internet.
Having zero personality
Business blogs, I can understand. Some are meant to be a lot more professional, B2B etc. But if you’re an actual person behind that keyboard—chances are people are reading your blog because they want to know your opinion, your experience, your misfortune so they can feel better about themselves. This is the internet after all. But whatever the reason, being personable online and getting your voice across to your readers has a massive impact on engagement and will make your readers feel like friends, rather than someone you’re just reciting a bunch of words to.
This advice may not be for everyone, and for every blog. But generally speaking they’re a pretty good set of rules to live by in the blogosphere.
The team over at Omni, specifically Jack Staszak—have created a calculator which will tell you (be prepared) for just how much time you spend on social media and what you could be doing with your life instead..
The Social Media Time Alternatives Calculator can tell you how many books you could read, how much time you might be wasting at work (yes, I’m looking at you Karen) or even how much physical activity and calories could be burnt instead of chewing through the battery on your phone.
People are averaging five hours a day on mobile devices, with 92% of that time being spent on apps, and not calling that grandmother you haven’t spoken to in years..
Omni have delightfully put together a little infographic to bring it on home just how much time you could be wasting on social media instead of doing something possibly more productive, and possibly more rewarding.
Staszak and his crew are hoping that the calculator will be an eye-opener to those who don’t realise how much a little five minutes here, and five minutes there adds up to over the course of a day.
A couple of options that you might want to try in an effort to bring those numbers down are:
This is actually surprisingly helpful—as someone who’s recently removed the notifications from their Facebook app, I can confirm you don’t feel the overwhelming sense to check your phone if you’re not getting pinged with notifications all the time.
Deleting apps you don’t actually need
“Not enough storage .. “ Is anyone else sick of seeing this pop up? Well well, deleting apps you don’t need might just stop that, and you will feel less tempted to open an app just for the sake of it.
Using it as a phone
Wait, what? Calling people? Can phones even do that anymore? Instead of sending a text or a DM why not give them a quick ring.. It means less back and forth and I just bet your friends miss the sound of your voice (maybe).
Now you just might be feeling bold enough to go tech-free, I’m not talking about hiking the PCT for weeks on end, but even an hour a day without your tech devices can make you feel healthier, more productive and help you break that addiction—because yes, social media addiction is indeed a thing.
So do you think you can manage a little less screen time?