Tag Archive | "Introducing"

Introducing the Search Engine Land Community Corner

New feature to highlight the search marketing community launches today with this week’s group of SEOs honored by their colleagues at Search Engine Roundtable.

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Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Introducing the New StudioPress Blog

Where in the world has Brian Gardner been?

Well, it’s been a while since you’ve seen my byline around here at Copyblogger, but that’s for a few good reasons — I’ve had my head down and been working hard over at StudioPress (specifically, the all-new StudioPress Sites you’ve been hearing about).

If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll see that the StudioPress site looks quite different from how it has in the recent past, and that’s because we’ve been making the experience over there the best we possibly can for our customers.

That, and we’ve been building the next generation of StudioPress. :-)

Here’s what we’ve been up to …

Introducing the brand-new, shiny StudioPress blog

A few weeks ago, we launched a new blog at StudioPress!

If you take a look at the address bar, you’ll see we’re using the .blog extension. You might be wondering why we chose to go that route, rather than just continue the blog on the main StudioPress.com site.

Our friends over at Automattic started serving up .blog domains late last year, and we jumped at the opportunity to secure this domain, along with a few other branded domains that made sense for our company.

I personally thought it would be a fun way to try something new but still keep a cohesive look between our main site and the blog. We are considering this an experiment.

On the StudioPress blog we’ll be publishing fresh content, including what’s new at StudioPress, announcements about theme releases, expert advice from our friends in the community, episodes of StudioPress FM, and replays of StudioPress Live — more on that in a bit.

Head over to the Official StudioPress Blog — the premier publishing resource for designers, developers, and bloggers.

Check, check, is this thing on?

Speaking of experiments, one thing I’m really excited about is our new initiative called StudioPress Live. Each week, I’m answering your questions live on our Facebook page.

Whether you’re a designer, developer, blogger, or some kind of in-between hybrid, this is the perfect opportunity to get your questions answered … find out what’s new at StudioPress, talk digital business, keep up with the Genesis community, and geek out on all things WordPress. ”</p

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Introducing Progressive Web Apps: What They Might Mean for Your Website and SEO

Posted by petewailes

Progressive Web Apps. Ah yes, those things that Google would have you believe are a combination of Ghandi and Dumbledore, come to save the world from the terror that is the Painfully Slow WebsiteTM.

But what actually makes a PWA? Should you have one? And if you create one, how will you make sure it ranks? Well, read on to find out…

What’s a PWA?

Given as that Google came up with the term, I thought we’d kick off with their definition:

“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.”
Progressive Web Apps

The really exciting thing about PWAs: they could make app development less necessary. Your mobile website becomes your app. Speaking to some of my colleagues at Builtvisible, this seemed to be a point of interesting discussion: do brands need an app and a website, or a PWA?

Fleshing this out a little, this means we’d expect things like push notifications, background sync, the site/app working offline, having a certain look/design to feel like a native application, and being able to be set on the device home screen.

These are things we traditionally haven’t had available to us on the web. But thanks to new browsers supporting more and more of the HTML5 spec and advances in JavaScript, we can start to create some of this functionality. On the whole, Progressive Web Apps are:

Progressive
Work for every user, regardless of browser choice because they’re built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
Responsive
Fit any form factor: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
Connectivity independent
Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low quality networks.
App-like
Feel like an app to the user with app-style interactions and navigation because they’re built on the app shell model.
Fresh
Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
Safe
Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
Discoverable
Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
Re-engageable
Make re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
Installable
Allow users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
Linkable
Easily share via URL and not require complex installation.

Source: Your First Progressive Web App (Google)

It’s worth taking a moment to unpack the “app-like” part of that. Fundamentally, there are two parts to a PWA: service workers (which we’ll come to in a minute), and application shell architecture. Google defines this as:

…the minimal HTML, CSS, and JavaScript powering a user interface. The application shell should:

  • load fast
  • be cached
  • dynamically display content

An application shell is the secret to reliably good performance. Think of your app’s shell like the bundle of code you’d publish to an app store if you were building a native app. It’s the load needed to get off the ground, but might not be the whole story. It keeps your UI local and pulls in content dynamically through an API.
Instant Loading Web Apps with an Application Shell Architecture

This method of loading content allows for incredibly fast perceived speed. We are able to get something that looks like our site in front of a user almost instantly, just without any content. The page will then go and fetch the content and all’s well. Obviously, if we actually did things this way in the real world, we’d run in to SEO issues pretty quickly, but we’ll address that later too.

If then, at their core, a Progressive Web App is just a website served in a clever way with extra features for loading stuff, why would we want one?

The use case

Let me be clear before I get into this: for most people, a PWA is something you don’t need. That’s important enough that it bares repeating, so I’ll repeat it:

You probably don’t need a PWA.

The reason for this is that most websites don’t need to be able to behave like an app. This isn’t to say that there’s no benefit to having the things that PWA functionality can bring, but for many sites, the benefits don’t outweigh the time it takes to implement the functionality at the moment.

When should you look at a PWA then? Well, let’s look at a checklist of things that may indicate that you do need one…

Signs a PWA may be appropriate

You have:

  • Content that regularly updates, such as stock tickers, rapidly changing prices or inventory levels, or other real-time data
  • A chat or comms platform, requiring real-time updates and push notifications for new items coming in
  • An audience likely to pull data and then browse it offline, such as a news app or a blog publishing many articles a day
  • A site with regularly updated content which users may check in to several times a day
  • Users who are mostly using a supported browser

In short, you have something beyond a normal website, with interactive or time-sensitive components, or rapidly released or updated content. A good example is the Google Weather PWA:

If you’re running a normal site, with a blog that maybe updates every day or two, or even less frequently, then whilst it might be nice to have a site that acts as a PWA, there’s probably more useful things you can be doing with your time for your business.

How they work

So, you have something that would benefit from this sort of functionality, but need to know how these things work. Welcome to the wonder that is the service worker.

Service workers can be thought of as a proxy that sits between your website and the browser. It calls for intercept of things you ask the browser to do, and hijacking of the responses given back. That means we can do things like, for example, hold a copy of data requested, so when it’s asked for again, we can serve it straight back (this is called caching). This means we can fetch data once, then replay it a thousand times without having to fetch it again. Think of it like a musician recording an album — it means they don’t have to play a concert every time you want to listen to their music. Same thing, but with network data.

If you want a more thorough explanation of service workers, check out this moderately technical talk given by Jake Archibald from Google.

What service workers can do

Service workers fundamentally exist to deliver extra features, which have not been available to browsers until now. These includes things like:

  • Push notifications, for telling a user that something has happened, such as receiving a new message, or that the page they’re viewing has been updated
  • Background sync, for updating data while a user isn’t using the page/site
  • Offline caching, to allow a for an experience where a user still may be able to access some functionality of a site while offline
  • Handling geolocation or other device hardware-querying data (such as device gyrpscope data)
  • Pre-fetching data a user will soon require, such as images further down a page

It’s planned that in the future, they’ll be able to do even more than they currently can. For now though, these are the sorts of features you’ll be able to make use of. Obviously these mostly load data via AJAX, once the app is already loaded.

What are the SEO implications?

So you’re sold on Progressive Web Apps. But if you create one, how will you make sure it ranks? As with any new front-end technology, there are always implications for your SEO visibility. But don’t panic; the potential issues you’ll encounter with a PWA have been solved before by SEOs who have worked on JavaScript-heavy websites. For a primer on that, take a look at this article on JS SEO.

There are a few issues you may encounter if you’re going to have a site that makes use of application shell architecture. Firstly, it’s pretty much required that you’re going to be using some form of JS framework or view library, like Angular or React. If this is the case, you’re going to want to take a look at some Angular.JS or React SEO advice. If you’re using something else, the short version is you’ll need to be pre-rendering pages on the server, then picking up with your application when it’s loaded. This enables you to have all the good things these tools give you, whilst also serving something Google et al can understand. Despite their recent advice that they’re getting good at rendering this sort of application, we still see plenty of examples in the wild of them flailing horribly when they crawl heavy JS stuff.

Assuming you’re in the world of clever JS front-end technologies, to make sure you do things the PWA way, you’ll also need to be delivering the CSS and JS required to make the page work along with the HTML. Not just including script tags with the <code>src attribute, but the whole file, inline.

Obviously, this means you’re going to increase the size of the page you’re sending down the wire, but it has the upside of meaning that the page will load instantly. More than that, though, with all the JS (required for pick-up) and CSS (required to make sense of the design) delivered immediately, the browser will be able to render your content and deliver something that looks correct and works straightaway.

Again, as we’re going to be using service workers to cache content once it’s arrived, this shouldn’t have too much of an impact. We can also cache all the CSS and JS external files required separately, and load them from the cache store rather than fetching them every time. This does make it very slightly more likely that the PWA will fail on the first time that a user tries to request your site, but you can still handle this case gracefully with an error message or default content, and re-try on the next page view.

There are other potential issues people can run in to, as well. The Washington Post, for example, built a PWA version of their site, but it only works on a mobile device. Obviously, that means the site can be crawled nicely by Google’s mobile bots, but not the desktop ones. It’s important to respect the P part of the acronym — the website should enable features that a user can make use of, but still work in a normal manner for those who are using browsers that don’t support them. It’s about enhancing functionality progressively, not demanding that people upgrade their browser.

The only slightly tricky thing with all of this is that it requires that, for best experience, you design your application for offline-first experiences. How that’s done is referenced in Jake’s talk above. The only issue with going down that route: you’re only serving content once someone’s arrived at your site and waited long enough to load everything. Obviously, in the case of Google, that’s not going to work well. So here’s what I’d suggest…

Rather than just sending your application shell, and then using AJAX to request content on load, and then picking up, use this workflow instead:

  • User arrives at site
  • Site sends back the application shell (the minimum HTML, JS, and CSS to make everything work immediately), along with…
  • …the content AJAX response, pre-loaded as state for the application
  • The application loads that immediately, and then picks up the front end.

Adding in the data required means that, on load, we don’t have to make an AJAX call to get the initial data required. Instead, we can bundle that in too, so we get something that can render content instantly as well.

As an example of this, let’s think of a weather app. Now, the basic model would be that we send the user all the content to show a basic version of our app, but not the data to say what the weather is. In this modified version, we also send along what today’s weather is, but for any subsequent data request, we then go to the server with an AJAX call.

This means we still deliver content that Google et al can index, without possible issues from our AJAX calls failing. From Google and the user’s perspective, we’re just delivering a very high-performance initial load, then registering service workers to give faster experiences for every subsequent page and possibly extra functionality. In the case of a weather app, that might mean pre-fetching tomorrow’s weather each day at midnight, or notifying the user if it’s going to rain, for example.

Going further

If you’re interested in learning more about PWAs, I highly recommend reading this guide to PWAs by Addy Osmani (a Google Chrome engineer), and then putting together a very basic working example, like the train one Jake mentions in his YouTube talk referenced earlier. If you’re interested in that, I recommend Jake’s Udacity course on creating a PWA available here.

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Introducing The Digital CMO: Corporate Marketing for Those Who Live in the Future

what's coming in corporate content marketing

It was somewhere in the middle of a conversation with Brian Clark at one of Content Marketing World’s parties when it all became clear to me:

While Rainmaker.FM has tremendous educational and inspirational assets for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and most general marketers, there’s no podcast that caters to the corporate marketer.

That’s not just true on Rainmaker.FM. In general, there isn’t a lot of blogging and podcasting in the corporate marketing space — whether that’s because of a gag order from the legal department or the time it takes to wrangle multiple agencies and channels.

But corporate marketers need help too.

Corporate content marketing strategies that work

In my day job, I run Speakeasy, a content marketing, social media, and promotions agency. Every day I talk with corporate marketers whose challenges and opportunities multiply with every new technique and channel available to them.

Whether it’s programmatic advertising; synthesizing content, SEO, and conversion; attribution modeling; or just getting all seven of their specialist agencies marching in the same general direction — today’s corporate marketer needs a lot of information and doesn’t necessarily have time to seek it out or consume it.

The corner office, or even the cube with a little window, can be a lonely place.

Engage with top corporate marketers

thedigitalcmoOn The Digital CMO we’re going to make it a little less lonely by helping you engage with top corporate marketers in a wide variety of B2C and B2B companies.

We’ll celebrate their wins, learn from their struggles, and learn the strategies that are working today.

Each week, we’ll start with a lightning-round review of hot news and topics in brand marketing for the week. Then we’ll settle in for a candid chat with our featured guest, who will be a senior-level corporate marketer.

We’ll be frank, informative, and challenging.

Get your ticket to the boardroom

Whether you’re a CMO or an executive-in-training, you won’t want to miss a single episode of The Digital CMO.

Subscribe to The Digital CMO on iTunes now

P.S. Want to nominate someone to appear as a guest on the show (even if that’s you)? Click here.

The post Introducing The Digital CMO: Corporate Marketing for Those Who Live in the Future appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Introducing Solar Energy To Your Family




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One of the difficulties that solar and renewable energy found in the past is that people are forced to learn about it. People are busy and are also reluctant to change and learn. It is much easier to get energy from traditional sources that seem “magic” power transfer and electricity in homes through the son of electricity network. However, we are increasingly aware of the problems with this mindset. It seems we hear almost daily about the blackouts and brownouts, with warnings about declining energy reserves.

One way to begin to you and your children to learn about energy and electricity is to buy one of the many types of small solar energy systems. Solar toys solar lamps to portable solar panels, small solar power systems, easy to learn some basics of energy. You can learn about energy production and get an idea of ​​how is limited by certain factors. Your children can use a small solar kit toy or solar energy to directly view the relationship between energy production and availability. Your sunlight, you will learn a sunny day the light will shine powerful tonight. On the contrary, you will notice a relationship between cloudy days and twilight or absence of light from its sun. While a small portable solar panel provides energy for your boat or RV, you can also learn the need for energy storage (battery) and conservation. Even the sunlight gives you a micro-version of all electrical systems: the panel generates energy, transfer son, a battery and stores the bulb uses.

One of the perverse effects of the convenience of power grid is that people remain largely ignored aspects of energy production and the need for proper management. When we connect to a wall and get instant energy, it is easy to forget that energy is finite and inhibited by circumstances.

The effect of holding a small solar power system in your hands takes some of the mystery of energy and power. The energy is more “done” to a distant generating station or power plant. The effect is thus empowerment. It is similar to the way some alternative styles of fitness and health, give you a measure of control over their own health. Based on the knowledge gained from a small solar power system, learn more about generating your own energy and has greater authority over the power of your home, a vital area of ​​his life.

Purchasing a small solar power system, such as those found in solar toys or other devices can be a simple and effective way to introduce you and your family to solar energy. This knowledge can be only helpful in the coming years, such as solar energy and other renewable energy systems are becoming a larger part of the generation of the network and more popular as the “central” public.

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Introducing Followerwonk Profile Pages

Posted by petebray

Followerwonk has always been primarily about social graph analysis and exploration: from tracking follower growth, comparing relationships, and so on.

Followerwonk now adds content analysis and user profiling, too

In the Analyze tab, you’ll find a new option to examine any Twitter user’s tweets. (Note that this is a Pro-only feature, so you’ll need to be a subscriber to use it.)

You can also access these profile pages by simply clicking on a Twitter username anywhere else in Followerwonk.

For us, this feature is really exciting, because we let you analyze not just yourself, but other people too. In fact, Pro users can analyze as many other Twitter accounts as they want!

Now, you’ll doubtlessly learn lots by analyzing your own tweets. But you already probably have a pretty good sense of what content works well for you (and who you engage with frequently).

We feel that Profile Pages really move the needle by letting you surface the relationships and content strategies of competitors, customers, and prospects.

Let’s take a closer look.

Find the people any Twitter user engages with most frequently

Yep, just plug in a Twitter name and we’ll analyze their most recent 2000 tweets. We’ll extract out all of the mentions and determine which folks they talk to the most.

Here, we see that 
@dr_pete talks most frequently with (or about) Moz, Rand, Elisa, and Melissa. In fact, close to 10% of his tweets are talking to these four! (Note the percentage above each listed name.)

This analysis is helpful as it lets you quickly get a sense for the relationships that are important for this person. That provides possible inroads to that person in terms of engagement strategies.

Chart when and what conversations happen with an analyzed user’s most important relationships

We don’t just stop there. By clicking on the little “see engagement” link below each listed user, you can see the history of the relationship.

Here, we can see when the engagements happened in the little chart. And we actually show you the underlying tweets, too.

This is a great way to quickly understand the context of that relationship: is it a friendly back and forth, a heated exchange, or the last gasp of a bad customer experience? Perhaps the tweets from a competitor to one his top customers occurred weeks back? Maybe there’s a chance for you to make inroads to that customer?

There’s all sorts of productive tea-reading that can happen with this feature. And, by the way, don’t forget that you already have the ability to track all the relationships a competitor forms (or breaks), too.

Rank any Twitter user’s tweets by importance to surface their best content

This is my favorite feature—by far—in Followerwonk.

Sure, there are other tools that tell you your most popular tweets, but there are few that let you turn that feature around and examine other Twitter users. This is important because (let’s face it) few of us have the volume of RTs and favorites to make self-analysis that useful. But when we examine top Twitter accounts, we come away with hints about what content strategies they’re using that work well.

Here we see that Obama’s top tweets include a tribute, an irreverent bit of humor, and an image that creatively criticizes a recent Supreme Court ruling. What lessons might you draw from the content that works best for Obama? What content works best for other people? Their image tweets? Tweets with humor? Shorter tweets? Tweets with links? Go do some analyzing!

Uncover top source domains of any Twitter users

Yep, we dissect all the URLs for any analyzed user to assemble a list of their top domains.

This feature offers a great way to quickly snapshot the types of content and sources that users draw material from. Moreover, we can click on “see mentions” to see a timeline of when those mentions occurred for each domain, as well as what particular tweets accounted for them.

In sum…

These features offer exciting ways to quickly profile users. Such analysis should be at the heart of any engagement strategy: understand who your target most frequently engages with, what content makes them successful, and what domains they pull from.

At the same time, this approach reveals content strategies—what, precisely, works well for you, but also for other thought leaders in your category. Not only can you draw inspiration from this approach, but you can find content that might deserve a retweet (or reformulation in your own words).

I don’t want to go too Freudian on you, but consider this: What’s the value of self-analysis? I mean that to say that unless you have a lot of data, any analytics product isn’t going to be totally useful. That’s why this addition in Followerwonk is so powerful. Now you can analyze others, including thought leaders in your particular industry, to find the secrets of their social success.

Start analyzing!

Finally, this is a bittersweet blog post for me. It’s my last one as a Mozzer. I’m off to try my hand at another bootstrapping startup: this time, software that lets you build feature tours and elicit visitor insights. I’m leaving Followerwonk in great hands, and I look forward to seeing awesome new features down the line. Of course, you can always stay in touch with me on Twitter. Keep on wonkin’!

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Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs

Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born.

Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they?

The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and responsibilities in place.

How was that even possible? In short: shared vision.

We all agreed to come together to build something bigger than we could build separately. And just like that, we were a new venture of 15 people who had to quickly learn to work together if we were going to accomplish our goals.

Today – as a growing group of 42 – we’re revealing the result of our combined efforts. While four years may seem like forever in Internet time, it seems to have all worked out perfectly.

During those four years, we built the parts of our ultimate vision while we grew revenue. Because we’ve never taken venture capital, we had to operate like a real company – one that provides value to paying customers while patiently executing on a larger goal.

  • First we worked to make StudioPress the go-to source for WordPress design.
  • Then we launched a premium WordPress hosting division called Synthesis to make sure we had the infrastructure aspect down cold.
  • Scribe has rapidly evolved from simple SEO copywriting software into the patent-pending suite of audience optimization tools it is today.
  • We created sophisticated “no-code” development tools that power our own membership areas, lead generation, and digital sales engines.
  • And then we did the hardest thing – created a website deployment system that allowed for amazing ease-of-use combined with maximum security and performance.

Everything we built was for our own use first, with WordPress at the core. We are, after all, doing the same work to build our business that our audience and customer base does – so it makes sense that we built tools good enough for our own use.

Since inception, our goal as a company was to take those parts and fuse them into a complete solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs.

A solution that our own editorial team of poets and misfits could use to build anything they want … without worrying about technology.

Not because we needed something to sell. Instead, a solution we’ve used ourselves to build a $ 10 million-a-year company out of a simple blog, and by practicing what we preach.

Today, we’d like to invite you to check it out, free of charge.

Okay, great. So what’s the Rainmaker Platform anyway?

Great question. Let me give you the bullet points first.

With Rainmaker, you can:

  • Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
  • Build membership sites and online training courses.
  • Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
  • Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
  • Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
  • Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
  • Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
  • Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
  • Take your content to WordPress at any time you choose.

It’s been battle-tested by over 1,000 tough customers over the last five months, and now it’s ready for you to test drive – at absolutely no charge.

What can I build with Rainmaker?

Another great question. Let me give you some concrete examples of sites you can build.

Copyblogger.com alone gets over 500,000 unique visitors a month without advertising. It’s essentially a static home page, a blog, a collection of landing pages, and a combination free/paid membership area, which includes a forum in addition to all sorts of scheduled and archived content.

You can build a site just like Copyblogger with Rainmaker.

Or, let’s look at StudioPress, which sells hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars in digital products every month. It’s essentially a collection of sales pages with a blog, a checkout process, and a protected area for delivery of the purchased products.

You can build a site just like StudioPress with Rainmaker.

Want to build an online training course, powered initially by a podcast, like at New Rainmaker? Whether for lead generation or as the product itself?

You guessed it … New Rainmaker is built on Rainmaker.

And if you want a custom design like any of those sites, you can do that as well on Rainmaker. But the $ 10,000 to $ 30,000 (or more) in development work some would charge you just to build the bones of the site is off the table, which is nice.

Plus, a full suite of podcasting features. Research, outreach, and optimization tools. 27 cutting-edge, future-proof HTML5 responsive designs. And much more.

In fact, Rainmaker does way more than I’ve mentioned here. But you need to experience that for yourself with the free 30-day trial.

So what’s the deal?

You’re on absolute fire with these questions.

The essence of the deal is simple – try Rainmaker for 30 days at no charge and see if it works for you. Cancel with the click of a big, easy-to-find button if you decide to move on.

But the deal is actually much sweeter than that.

As I mentioned, for the last five months we’ve been running a pilot program for Rainmaker. We offered the best deal you’ll ever see in exchange for feedback from real, paying customers.

For the next two weeks, we’re offering you the same special deal that the people in our Pilot Program got. Rainmaker is already at version 2.0 thanks to the feedback from these brave souls, which means you get the same incredible deal, but with a vastly improved initial experience. And even that will continue to get better.

What do you get, specifically?

  • All current Rainmaker features
  • Monthly billing option
  • Professional and prompt support
  • Customer-only affiliate program
  • Our best price, locked in for the life of your account

Plus, at no extra charge as they are released:

  • Additional reporting and analytics
  • Additional themes and landing pages
  • Social media posting and scheduling
  • Improved learning management system
  • Integrated RSS reader
  • Curation-to-content tools
  • Marketing automation

One catch – you’ve got to start your free trial before October 3rd to get this deal. After that, the advanced features will become part of a more expensive plan, and other benefits such as the length of the trial and the monthly billing option will go away.

I’ll write more about these upcoming features in the next week or so, because they’re really exciting. But go ahead and check out everything Rainmaker does right now at no charge.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on .

The post Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Online Entrepreneurs

Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born.

Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they?

The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and responsibilities in place.

How was that even possible? In short: shared vision.

We all agreed to come together to build something bigger than we could build separately. And just like that, we were a new venture of 15 people who had to quickly learn to work together if we were going to accomplish our goals.

Today – as a growing group of 42 – we’re revealing the result of our combined efforts. While four years may seem like forever in Internet time, it seems to have all worked out perfectly.

During those four years, we built the parts of our ultimate vision while we grew revenue. Because we’ve never taken venture capital, we had to operate like a real company – one that provides value to paying customers while patiently executing on a larger goal.

  • First we worked to make StudioPress the go-to source for WordPress design.
  • Then we launched a premium WordPress hosting division called Synthesis to make sure we had the infrastructure aspect down cold.
  • Scribe has rapidly evolved from simple SEO copywriting software into the patent-pending suite of audience optimization tools it is today.
  • We created sophisticated “no-code” development tools that power our own membership areas, lead generation, and digital sales engines.
  • And then we did the hardest thing – created a website deployment system that allowed for amazing ease-of-use combined with maximum security and performance.

Everything we built was for our own use first, with WordPress at the core. We are, after all, doing the same work to build our business that our audience and customer base does – so it makes sense that we built tools good enough for our own use.

Since inception, our goal as a company was to take those parts and fuse them into a complete solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs.

A solution that our own editorial team of poets and misfits could use to build anything they want … without worrying about technology.

Not because we needed something to sell. Instead, a solution we’ve used ourselves to build a $ 10 million-a-year company out of a simple blog, and by practicing what we preach.

Today, we’d like to invite you to check it out, free of charge.

Okay, great. So what’s the Rainmaker Platform anyway?

Great question. Let me give you the bullet points first.

With Rainmaker, you can:

  • Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
  • Build membership sites and online training courses.
  • Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
  • Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
  • Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
  • Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
  • Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
  • Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
  • Take your site and content elsewhere at any time if you so choose.

It’s been battle-tested by over 1,000 tough customers over the last five months, and now it’s ready for you to test drive – at absolutely no charge.

What can I build with Rainmaker?

Another great question. Let me give you some concrete examples of sites you can build.

Copyblogger.com alone gets over 500,000 unique visitors a month without advertising. It’s essentially a static home page, a blog, a collection of landing pages, and a combination free/paid membership area, which includes a forum in addition to all sorts of scheduled and archived content.

You can build a site just like Copyblogger with Rainmaker.

Or, let’s look at StudioPress, which sells hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars in digital products every month. It’s essentially a collection of sales pages with a blog, a checkout process, and a protected area for delivery of the purchased products.

You can build a site just like StudioPress with Rainmaker.

Want to build an online training course, powered initially by a podcast, like at New Rainmaker? Whether for lead generation or as the product itself?

You guessed it … New Rainmaker is built on Rainmaker.

And if you want a custom design like any of those sites, you can do that as well on Rainmaker. But the $ 10,000 to $ 30,000 (or more) in development work some would charge you just to build the bones of the site is off the table, which is nice.

Plus, a full suite of podcasting features. Research, outreach, and optimization tools. 27 cutting-edge, future-proof HTML5 responsive designs. And much more.

In fact, Rainmaker does way more than I’ve mentioned here. But you need to experience that for yourself with the free 30-day trial.

So what’s the deal?

You’re on absolute fire with these questions.

The essence of the deal is simple – try Rainmaker for 30 days at no charge and see if it works for you. Cancel with the click of a big, easy-to-find button if you decide to move on.

But the deal is actually much sweeter than that.

As I mentioned, for the last five months we’ve been running a pilot program for Rainmaker. We offered the best deal you’ll ever see in exchange for feedback from real, paying customers.

For the next two weeks, we’re offering you the same special deal that the people in our Pilot Program got. Rainmaker is already at version 2.0 thanks to the feedback from these brave souls, which means you get the same incredible deal, but with a vastly improved initial experience. And even that will continue to get better.

What do you get, specifically?

  • All current Rainmaker features
  • Monthly billing option
  • Professional and prompt support
  • Customer-only affiliate program
  • Our best price, locked in for the life of your account

Plus, at no extra charge as they are released:

  • Additional reporting and analytics
  • Additional themes and landing pages
  • Social media posting and scheduling
  • Improved learning management system
  • Integrated RSS reader
  • Curation-to-content tools
  • Marketing automation

One catch – you’ve got to start your free trial before October 3rd to get this deal. After that, the advanced features will become part of a more expensive plan, and other benefits such as the length of the trial and the monthly billing option will go away.

I’ll write more about these upcoming features in the next week or so, because they’re really exciting. But go ahead and check out everything Rainmaker does right now at no charge.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on .

The post Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Online Entrepreneurs appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Introducing Genesis 2.0: The Smart Evolution of Your WordPress Website

Image of Genesis 2.0 in All Devices

The web is a constantly evolving organism that can seem complicated and difficult to keep up with … if you’re not a hard-core programmer.

So what’s a content producer — someone who’s building an audience to build their business — to do?

Should you become a coder? Should you spend days, months, even years learning the ins and outs of PHP, Ruby, javascript and HTML5? I don’t think so …

There are really only five essential components of websites that work in 2013 (and beyond):

  • Rock-solid security
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Out-of-the-box SEO
  • Beautiful, turn-key design
  • Ultra-flexible foundational code

In short, you’ve got to build and maintain a safe, fast, flexible, and beautiful website, while creating content that builds your business.

How do you do it? Allow me to introduce you to Genesis 2.0.

Our StudioPress division has been building quality WordPress themes for nearly a decade.

And now, fresh on the heels of the latest WordPress release, we’re officially unleashing the latest incarnation of Genesis.

Genesis 2.0 is here, and with it, a simple way to get everything you need out of your website, without becoming a professional programmer.

Here are five ways the Genesis Framework for WordPress has you covered …

1. Rock-solid security

Security isn’t sexy or fun.

But the ugly truth is this: Sites around the web are constantly under attack. And hackers love to exploit vulnerabilities in themes, plugins, and sloppy code.

That’s why I’m listing security as the number one reason you need to upgrade to Genesis 2.0 today … or install the Genesis Framework on your site for the first time.

All the speed, style, and conversion power of your website does not mean a thing if your site isn’t secure, and one of the best ways to keep a WordPress website secure is to run it on a proven, supported theme Framework.

I know this from experience, being part of a team that regularly keeps thousands of WordPress websites safe on days when so many others in the WordPress world scramble with fear.

Understand this: WordPress 3.6 included great security improvements. So will WordPress 3.7. As will every WP incarnation after that.

Some of these security fixes necessitate theme tweaks to ensure safety. Do you want to be on the hook for incorporating these into your theme every time WordPress is updated?

Of course you don’t. So let the experts do it. The Genesis Framework responds and adapts to these constant advancements, and it does it without going near the design of your site, and without you needing to touch a line of code.

All you need to do is click a button to update your theme Framework and keep your site (and your readers) safe.

2. Blazing fast performance

Nothing slows down a website like bloated code. And we now know that slow load times can have a devastating effect on your search rankings.

Our StudioPress team obsesses about this, constantly working to make Genesis even cleaner and more lightweight.

If you’ve got a “geek streak” running through you, here’s a quick sampling of a few new elements of Genesis 2.0 that make it faster than it’s ever been:

  • Widget classes are now coded in PHP5 format
  • Admin CSS and Javascript are now minified
  • Inline HTML comments have been removed to reduce page size
  • Displayed entry IDs are now tracked (so they can be excluded from showing twice on a page)

For those of you who don’t have the time (or interest) to learn code, here’s the short version of what all that means …

Web page load times are usually discussed in seconds. Page load times for sites built on Genesis can often be measured and discussed in milliseconds.

In 2013, that’s an absolutely essential difference.

Genesis 2.0 is incredibly fast, don’t miss it.

3. Out-of-the-box SEO

If you know anything about how SEO works (don’t worry if you don’t, Genesis will take care of a lot of it for you), you know that Google hands out brownie points for clean code.

As amazing as search engines are, they’re not as smart or grown-up as you might think.

Present them with an orderly, squeaky clean page of code, and you’re well on your way to a solid ranking for your chosen words (kind of like spoon feeding a child).

The Genesis Framework does the bulk of this SEO work for you, so you can get back to work creating the content that will build your business.

However, our StudioPress division has taken its already state-of-the-art SEO controls, and made them even more powerful.

Genesis 2.0 now supports Schema.org code, which builds on the Genesis Framework’s “built-in SEO options that make 95% of the SEO plugins out there look bad.”

What Schema support means is that Genesis 2.0 allows you to output microdata in your site’s code. This enhances your site’s search engine optimization even further, and ultimately its conversion optimization, in numerous ways.

As explained on Yoast.com:

Let me start with explaining why you should be bothered with schema.org if you weren’t convinced yet. Not just Google uses schema.org, all 4 major search engines, Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex use it for several different purposes … but it’s not just them. Recently, Pinterest joined the party by announcing support for Product, Recipe and Movie schemas through their Rich Pins effort. So, in my opinion, schema.org markup is a must for everyone serious about their website’s optimization.

If you’re reading this article, you’ve already qualified yourself as someone who is serious about your website’s search optimization.

The Genesis Framework has always handled the basics of good SEO for you, and now it’s even better.

4. Beautiful, turn-key designs

If all of this has you a little confused, it might help to think of the Genesis Framework as your car, including the engine, the transmission and the thousands of parts that make it run.

The available 43 turn-key child theme designs from StudioPress are the paint job that make your car really look good.

The really cool thing about using child themes for your design is the ability to change the “paint job” of your site in minutes, without trashing the underlying engine that powers your site.

Whether you’re building a new site, or revamping a classic, child themes allow you the freedom to re-invent yourself without ever touching the critical code underneath.

Oh, and did I mention that Genesis 2.0 comes out-of-the-box with a breathtaking new design? Take a look …

Image of Genesis 2.0 in All Devices

5. Ultra-flexible foundational code

The basics of security and performance must be present before a website can power the lifeblood of any modern business — compelling content.

But after that, the web publisher needs to know that her site can adapt to constant change, be ready for exciting breakthroughs in technology, and be generally future-proof in terms of code and structure.

In 2013, this means one thing: HTML5.

Of all the new features in Genesis 2.0 that have folks excited, HTML5 compatibility is at the top of the list.

Why? What does HTML5 actually do for your site? Here are just six of the most important benefits to you, the online publisher …

  1. HTML5 makes your website future compatible … you don’t know what’s next for the web, but HTML5 has it covered.
  2. HTML5 will automatically increase your site’s cross-browser compatibility … which means fewer instances of people seeing your site differently in different web browsers.
  3. HTML5 will make your website truly mobile-friendly … and you already know the importance of responsive design.
  4. HTML5 allows for truly extensible web design. Want your site to behave like an app? Hire a developer and go for it, if that’s your thing ;-)
  5. HTML5 supports video and audio like no other markup language.
  6. HTML5 is cleaner and even “smarter” — in terms of storage, API interaction, and other important behind-the-scene ways — which radically enhances user experience.

Genesis 2.0′s compatibility with this advance in code structure is an interesting feature, in that it’s a little difficult to point to and expect to hear the roar of the crowd.

It’s technical, but powerful.

It’s geeky, but practical.

It’s abstract, but it’s the future of the web.

The thing you should really know is that we’re constantly working to push the Genesis Framework to the edge of state-of-the-art, and always in a way that makes practical business sense for our customers.

The marriage of Genesis 2.0 and HTML5 is simply the next crucial step on the road to helping you easily build beautiful websites that work.

96,000+ people take WordPress further with StudioPress

Image of Genesis 2.0 Logo

Our Genesis Framework for WordPress empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress.

With search-optimized code and functions, 43 turn-key designs, state-of-the-art security, and unlimited support, updates, and websites you can build, Mashable calls Genesis the “best of the best” among premium WordPress themes.

Serious online publishers trust Genesis to provide a solid foundation for their sites. By serious, I mean people planning to get somewhere with this Internet thing.

Whether you’re a novice, or an advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the rock-solid infrastructure to take WordPress places you never thought it could go.

Pick up Genesis 2.0 today!

Need a little help?

If you have questions about Genesis that you’d like to get answered before purchasing, please contact our Support Division directly.

If you are an existing StudioPress customer, please log in to MyStudioPress for all support questions.

For non-support related discussions about WordPress, CSS, design, and site feedback, please jump into the StudioPress Community Forums anytime.

Thanks!

About the Author: Jerod Morris is Director of Marketing for Copyblogger Media’s StudioPress Division, and founding member of the Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting team. Get more from Jerod on Twitter and .

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Introducing the New Synthesis: Get Way More From WordPress

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If you’re an online publisher or content marketer using WordPress, understanding the value of great hosting is a must. In my 15 years of online publishing, I’ve found that it can make all the difference.

Page load speeds impact your visitor experience and your search engine rankings. And security is critical when it comes to malware, brute force login attacks, and a rash of other security emergencies that come with WordPress being the most popular CMS on the Internet.

At the same time, I hear people saying they’ll get better hosting once they start having a bit more success. Better to save money at first, right?

Logical … except you have to be prepared for success before it happens. If that big link, retweet, or Facebook share happens and your site goes down, you’re in a worse position than when you were totally obscure.

And of course, a security breach can cause people to never trust your site again. It’s not fair, but it happens.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the size of the box you’re on — it’s how optimized the box is specifically for WordPress. For example, when StudioPress first joined Copyblogger Media, I’d knock the site offline every time I linked to it, despite it being on a dedicated server with a major hosting company.

Hosting and WordPress hosting are two different things when it comes to performance, security, and support. You need server-level specialization to get the most out of WordPress.

But I get it … no one wants to spend money before they feel ready.

So what if you could get all that superior performance and security from our managed WordPress hosting, and get even more for the price? What if you got additional features that online publishers and content marketers need to succeed, at no extra charge?

Well, there’s no more what if about it.

Superfast and Secure Managed WordPress Hosting + Content Marketing and SEO Tools

As more and more people understand the benefit of WordPress-specific hosting, the space is heating up. But when you think about the brand we chose for our hosting, you know we’ve been thinking bigger.

syn·the·sis noun: The combination of two or more elements that together form something completely new and unique.

In the next step toward making good on that carefully chosen word, all Synthesis accounts now come with Scribe for WordPress – at no extra charge. We’ve already been including our Genesis design framework since the beginning, and now we’re sweetening the deal.

This means you get all the Scribe keyword, social media, and influencer research tools — plus our patent-pending content and site optimization technology — right from your WordPress interface. And we haven’t raised our hosting prices one penny.

In fact, the included Scribe plan is one we no longer offer separately. It’s the perfect size for growing online publishers and content marketers to take it to the next level.

After all, without content that’s optimized for your audience, you get no traffic, search engine rankings, leads, or sales. What’s the point of our superfast page load times, stellar security, and expert support if no one sees your site?

Get way more out of WordPress with Synthesis.

What’s the Catch?

No catch … every Synthesis WordPress hosting plan comes with an included Scribe for WordPress account at no extra charge (30 content evaluations and 70 research sessions per month). Scribe Web and Scribe for Microsoft Word, however, are not included.

If you want those other Scribe platforms, or you outgrow your included plan, you can upgrade to Scribe Professional at a special rate available to Synthesis customers.

Cool?

Check out the new Synthesis here.

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on .

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