Variety joins Huffington Post, New York Times in launching branded content studio

Penske Media property Variety is spearheading the creation of a branded content studio in service to its parent company’s many properties, and brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Delta Air Lines are already on board.

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Check Out This Monthly Checklist to Keep Your Blog Fresh

Want to know how to keep your blog fresh? Here's a checklist of things you should be doing every month will help your blog content look and feel up to date.

The New Year always compels people to look at what they’re doing with a critical eye, find things that can be improved, and set higher goals. This year, one of my editorial goals is to use what I’ve already done to better plan for what I will do, and to have a consistent process for evaluating blog strategy.

To meet that goal, I came up with a monthly checklist to stay on top of blog posting, topic development and engagement. It serves as a small reminder of the blog management tasks that sometimes fall by the wayside, and a way to use the blogging you’ve already done to produce better, more relevant content in the future.

How to Keep Your Blog Fresh

By taking time to evaluate your blog on a monthly basis, you can track improvement more regularly throughout the year and find ways to more effectively engage your audience.

2017 Monthly Blog Checklist

Interpret Data

The importance of tracking, understanding, and interpreting data from your blog traffic cannot be understated. Through Google analytics, you can gain a better understanding of what you’re audience is looking for and, perhaps more importantly, what you’re doing that isn’t working.

By building data review into a monthly schedule or routine, you can continually grow your blog and focus on producing the high performing content that’s engaging users. For content marketers, digging into the data behind the content is a step that has to be done in order to understand whats your audience responds to.

Rank Headlines

Also in keeping with interpreting data behind your blog, it helps to rank your headlines by how successful they were. Say you write anywhere from 10-15 blog posts every month, and have looked into the analytics for all of them (number of clicks, time spent on each, number of shares, etc.). Organize those headlines in such a way that ranks them from most successful to least successful.

By creating a linear list like that, you can start to draw out common themes or elements that may have played a role in making that content successful. While it may sound like a no-brainer, it’s a step that many bloggers skip.

Itemize Content

An itemized list of the kind of content you create really has potential to reveal where you could be expanding your content marketing strategy. It’s so easy to get into the groove of writing the same kinds of blog posts over and over again (guilty) without giving much consideration to other content forms.

Developing a monthly itemized content list in categories such as listicles, white papers, visuals, tutorials, and so on, and compare it against your analytics. Is your audience responding better to visuals than they are to long form articles? Have your blog posts lost engagement altogether? Having all your resources in front of you will help make answering such questions easier.

Strategize for Next Month

So, you’ve looked at the data and now understand what’s driving your blog. You’ve ranked your headlines to get an idea of what your audience is clicking on and most engaged in. And you’ve itemized your content to expose holes in resources you may or may not be providing your user base. What’s next?

Putting all of this together to strategize for a high-performing month of content marketing is the takeaway. Working your strategy around the insights you gain from evaluating your content performance on a consistent, monthly basis will ultimately set you up for a brilliant year of blogging and solid habits to set you apart from other producers.

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This article, “Check Out This Monthly Checklist to Keep Your Blog Fresh” was first published on Small Business Trends

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How to Use Amazon Affiliate Marketing: A Step by Step Guide

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is no doubt one of the world’s most famous online marketplaces. But the company also offers n opportunity to some small business owners — particularly online marketers. The platform offers a well-known Affiliate program. Interested? Here’s a step-by-step process on how you can become am Amazon affiliate.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate

Log In to the Amazon Affiliate Area

Start by scrolling to the bottom of the Amazon home page. You are looking for the “Become an Affiliate Link.”

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

That should lead you to the splash page with lots of information about the Amazon Affiliate program. Click the “Join Now” button to get started.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Submit Personal and Website Details

The form looks long, but it is pretty easy to fill out. Just add your personal details in this section. This will be your official profile, so please make sure all information is correct.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step GuideYou will then be asked to add your website details. Of course, most affiliate programs, if not all, are interested in how much traffic you get.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Next, fill in your profile. This will include things like your preferred store ID, how you build links, how you drive traffic to your website, among other things.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Verify Your Identity

In order to verify your identity, Amazon asks for a phone number which they use to make an automated phone call. When you enter your phone number, a pin number appears on the screen. The automated call will ask you to verify the pin number. It’s that simple!

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Choose How You Want to be Paid

In this last step, Amazon welcomes you to their Associates program. It is at this point that you can choose how you want to be paid or do it later, but why should you? Here are your payment options:

  • Check ($15 processing fee is waived for international associates)
  • Amazon gift card
  • Direct deposit (not available for international associates)

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate: A Step by Step Guide

Once you complete the registration process, Amazon will give you access to their Associates platform where you will be able to get the affiliate links for their products.

As you get into affiliate marketing, it’s important that you disclose all your affiliate links and mark them as nofollow. Wondering why? Here are a few reasons.

Images: Amazon

This article, “How to Use Amazon Affiliate Marketing: A Step by Step Guide” was first published on Small Business Trends

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