Expert roundups - the more effective alternative

Note from the editor: We deliberately publish this article right after an expert roundup of our own that went live on Friday. What web marketing strategy will get a "stick-a-fork-in-it" verdict next? 31 experts weigh in was widely discussed in the community - check out the talk and the comments on this blog. The thing is, mediocre content was one of top replies, and expert roundups were mentioned by some people as a soon-to-be-abused practice as well.  We hope that Tom's idea will bring a fresh perspective to the discussion. Enjoy!  

On the face of it, the strategy behind expert roundups is simple yet compelling. You first collect quotes and opinions from a bunch of people with topic expertise and Internet influence. Then you simply stitch together a blog post featuring their views and publish it in the hope that they'll share the content with their followers and fans.

But these days, the web is inundated with expert roundup after expert round up. Some of them feature "experts" of dubious relevance or experience. Others take readers on a quick jolt through a list of opinions without stopping to consider what that person really has to say.

The result? I'm sad to say that expert roundups just aren't what they used to be. But there's a better way – if you step back from the predominant fad and approach expert roundups with a different mindset, you could unearth the success you've really been looking for. In this post, I'll tell you what to do and why you should consider it.

5 ways to get influential bloggers to engage with and share your content

One could view the blogging world as defined by a pecking order, where popular bloggers with large reader bases stand above smaller, newer blog enthusiasts. Ultimately, two factors determine who perches at the top of the food chain: the loyalty of readers and number of readers.

Some bloggers might boast a small, enthusiastically loyal fan base. Others may trudge onward with a large base of readers who are interested but not passionate. The best bloggers combine both loyalty and numbers - they hold, in a word, influence.

One notable aspect of this system is that the more numerous and loyal your readers are, the more effective your efforts to secure even more visitors will be. Influence begets influence, but it can be difficult to establish yourself if you don't have much to start with.

One way to get past a dearth of influence is simply to go through those who do - by finding ways to get influential bloggers to engage with your posts and possibly even share them. In this post, I'll discuss five strategies to do just that.

Top 4 latest trends in blog design

As 2014 rolled in not too long ago, a host of posts and articles concerning the latest trends and forecasts for the new year were published. There was a deluge of predictions and analysis concerning all aspects of blogging, online marketing, and SEO.

Now that January has passed us by, it's a bit quieter on this front, so I'd like to take a second look at the topic of trends.

In this post I'll take a step back from the deluge of predictions and focus on four broad trends in blog design. None of these have seen universal adoption, but all of them are changing design in today's blogosphere for the better.

The new content rules you need to know for 2014

There's good news and bad news in the world of content.

The bad news is that there's a virtual sea of literally millions of blogs. It’s no longer possible to differentiate yourself with good content alone.

Looking back at some of the content on this topic in 2008, I can't help but shake my head. Life was so simple then, and the biggest struggle of the time was finding new sources of inspiration. As long as the content was well-written, had a snappy headline and an interesting angle, we were in business.

That simplicity doesn't apply today. Creating must-see content on the web isn't about who can produce a flood of articles, and it’s certainly not about mastering the basics of good storytelling or punchy headlines.

7 image tips to increase your conversion rates

In my previous post I discussed the most useless types of stock photos that can actually be harmful to your site and blog. Now let's take a look at the ways to use images more effectively and with better results.

Why do you need to pay so much attention to the visual content of websites?

Maybe to get 102.5% increase in conversions, like Highrise, who added an image of a happy customer. Or demonstrate your man product's feature using just 1 picture, as once Apple did.

If you are still unsure about the importance of visual content, here are some more general stats to back my point:

  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
  • On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares when compared to text, video, and links.
  • Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.

And you'll be surprised at how easy but powerful some of the following image tips are!