👉 I know this sounds nuts. But I've changed the subject line of this email newsletter 30 times before hitting SEND. Obsess, my friends. It pays off.
9. Write as many first lines as you do headlines
I can't cite data here; just do it, okay? A headline makes a reader click; a first line entices them to Keep. Going.
10. Two words: Editing. Process.
Roughly 30% of us have a process for editing. (Five years ago, only 10% of us did.) Writers with a process—even if it's self-editing—are 50% more likely to report better results.
👉 "Editing process" sounds as much fun as peeling hard-boiled eggs. Worth it.
11. Eyes on analytics
Writers who measure the performance of every post are far more likely to report "strong results" than the average blog-post writer. Only 43% of us said we measure content marketing ROI. And of that 43%, less than two-thirds said they were any good at it.
Tying our efforts directly to revenue is critical because more results = more buy-in = more budget. "The work of aligning stakeholders isn't a big, fat obstacle to doing your job... It IS your job," as my friend and B2B agency guy Doug Kessler says.
12. Update your best posts
Writers who consistently update older posts are twice as likely to report success: 35% of writers who update old content report "strong results." Just 16% of us who do not update old content say the same.
13. Distribution is your job, too
Before they put a single pixel on a page, 93% of the top-performing content marketers think through distribution through organic, owned, paid, and influencer-outreach channels.
👉 Planning for distribution when your writing is still mewling in infancy is like starting a college plan for your newborn. It's the right and responsible thing to do.
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Binge both benchmarks. They're delicious:
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Here are 4 things worth sharing this week:
1. The Early BERT Catches the Worm
Last week, Google announced that BERT—its deep-learning powered natural-language processing model—would now power search queries. That shift changes everything—and also nothing, assuming you're focused on expert-driven, well-distributed, trustworthy content, says Chris Penn. As in: everything we talked about above. With BERT:
Choose quality over quantity. If you can, create high-quality content at scale, but if you must make a resourcing choice, choose quality first. Quality of content is paramount now.
2. Small of Duty
There are three ways that small and midsize businesses can best their bigger competitors. Said another way: On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. Especially if you focus your efforts correctly. Read the three ways piece