40+ Digital Marketing Experts to Follow on Twitter: Keep Your Marketing Skills Up to Date

40+ Digital Marketing Experts to Follow on Twitter: Keep Your Marketing Skills Up to Date

Digital marketing is constantly evolving.

SEO trends and content marketing strategies that worked six months ago might not produce the same results today.

So, what can you do as a marketer, entrepreneur, or website owner? How can you keep up with the latest marketing strategies, the algorithms, and analytics?

The answer? Follow the right people on Twitter.

There’s no better way to stay up-to-date than to follow the right people on Twitter and scroll through their feeds filled with great advice.

Twitter is ​one of our favorite social media platforms, but we all know there are over 500 million tweets sent out each day. No one has the time to check each account and verify the real pros from the self-proclaimed “experts.”

So, to help you sift through the non-relevant stuff and get straight to the information that really matters, we’ve compiled this list of the leading digital marketing experts and publications to follow on Twitter.

Each of these experts seems to have cracked the code with not only understanding the complexities of digital marketing but also putting them into practice. They are moving the industry forward with their innovative strategies.

The best part? They’re constantly sharing their knowledge — all for free.

What are you waiting for? Scroll down to see the list, add the experts you’d love to follow, add value to your Twitter feed, and keep your content marketing skills in top shape.

Read, learn, share, and enjoy! Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!  

NEW: Our top 40+ recommended #marketing experts to follow on Twitter, a list curated by @daninofuente and @JuliaEMcCoy ✨ Is your digital marketing hero on the list? Click To Tweet

digital marketing experts

How We Hand-Curated Our List of 40+ Digital Marketing Experts

There were a number of factors that helped us decide on which experts to recommend for following.

Our CEO, Julia McCoy, was heavily involved in the creation of this roundup. She reviewed and approved each of the people we recommend below. Secondly, two of us writers were included in the formulation: one of our copywriters, and me, Danielle, Express Writer’s Content Specialist (and everything else behind the scenes).

We think that humanly created lists are some of the best lists!

Next, here’s what we looked at when determining who to recommend to our Write Blog readers.

  • First, we looked at experts in content marketing, social media, and SEO.
  • Then, we considered digital marketing experts who are regularly invited to share their knowledge by speaking at leading conferences all around the world, and writing for consistent columns or their own blog.
  • Instead of tenure (years in the field), we looked at recent accomplishments and studied to find people that are the most current in the marketing space. We believe that matters more than tenure. If you’ve been a marketer for 30 years and you haven’t written a single blog on marketing trends for the past six or even three months, are you even current?
  • We also researched the pioneers and thought-leaders. What did they share on Twitter that was noteworthy, original, and outstanding?
  • Finally, experts who’ve mastered current industry trends and are influencing future trends were also considered.
See our top 40+ recommended #marketing experts to follow on Twitter! Is your digital marketing hero on the list? Click To Tweet

40+ Digital Marketing Experts to Follow on Twitter

After taking into consideration the above points, we decided on the following names that every digital marketer needs to follow. These are the people who are moving the industry forward with their innovation and following them will allow you to stay on top of your digital marketing.

1. Ai Addyson-Zhang, Ph.D

Ai Addyson-Zhang, Ph.D. is a long-time college professor who is now an entrepreneur changing the space, taking the stage and teaching authentic, real practices for social media. Her passion for social media pedagogy only started in 2015 after the surprise that one of her students didn’t know what Pinterest is! She realized that not all her students were familiar with all social media platforms, and as an educator, she needed to level up and practice what she preached.

These realizations inspired her to create Classroom Without Walls, a weekly Facebook Live show where she interviews experts in modern marketing to provide real, authentic insights on the industry. Julia has been a guest 3x! Catch a recap of Ai and Julia on Ai’s Medium page. Ai also built the Social Media Pedagogy Online Training course and helps her fellow educators and professors transform traditional learning by applying social media practices. This fearless and industry-changing woman has grown into a consultant and speaker, keynoting on stages and training academic and industry leaders how to apply storytelling in digital marketing.

Follow @aiaddysonzhang on Twitter.

2. Chris Strub

When you check out Chris Strub’s YouTube channel, you’ll notice his impressive accomplishment: He’s the first (and only) man to live stream and Snapchat in all 50 US States. This accomplishment is documented in one of his books, 50 States, 100 Days.

His roadtrip-slash-social media success is only a part of his bigger achievement: helping nonprofit organizations around the US.

Besides being an author and famous mobile storyteller, he’s going around the world as a millennial keynote speaker in social media conferences, and an educator offering online courses on using social media to build relationships — whether you’re a nonprofit or not.

Follow @ChrisStrub on Twitter

3. Madalyn Sklar

If you’re wondering how to use the most out of your social media platforms — especially Twitter — in your marketing strategy, Madalyn Sklar is your go-to person. She’s had already figured out how to live tweet in 2008 before everyone else, and now, she offers her own #TwitterSmarter Masterclass online.

Madalyn also offers coaching, consulting, and speaking services for those who want “rockstar results” with their social media. She’s pretty much very active on Twitter as she’s hosting two Twitter chats #TwitterSmarter and #SocialROI every Tuesday and Thursday.

Follow @MadalynSklar on Twitter

4. Brian Fanzo

Brian Fanzo describes himself as a “pager-wearing millennial keynote speaker.” What is a digital marketing expert doing with a pager? What is a pager? (I still know what it is – no worries.) With or without a pager, Brian is far from being outdated, and you’ll find it through his unique keynote programs about “Digital Empathy” and “Think Like a Fan.”

Believe it or not, Brian had worked in the US Department of Defense in cybersecurity for 9 years. After that, he founded iSocialFanz, which helped many Fortune 50 companies through his #ThinkLikeAFan philosophy. He also worked with brands like Dell, Adobe, IBM, and even Applebees and UFC launch their digital and influencer strategies.

Follow @iSocialFanz on Twitter

5. Natalie Franke

Natalie Franke describes herself as an educator, entrepreneur, and community builder. She is the co-founder of Rising Tide Society, a platform that empowers the creative community by providing them with valuable resources such as free educational webinars.

Through Rising Tide Society, Natalie aims to achieve her mission to transform the way creative entrepreneurs see each other, from competition to collaborators. The platform has established in-person meet-ups done on the second Tuesday of every month, which started small through local coffee meetups and now all over the world.

Follow @nataliefranke on Twitter

6. Sue B. Zimmerman

Sue Zimmerman is known as “The Instagram Expert.” She empowers both entrepreneurs and marketers to know how to leverage Instagram and get the most out of it for their marketing strategies. She’s also a social media educator, consultant, and a keynote and breakout speaker.

If you want to know the ins and outs of social media, with an emphasis on Instagram marketing, Sue is the digital marketing expert you need to follow. Get to learn more from her through her online classes and online workbooks on Instagram marketing.

Follow @SueBZimmerman on Twitter

7. Mari Smith

Mari Smith has over 1.7 million followers on different social platforms. She’s been mentioned in Forbes as one of the top women social media influencers; labeled as the “social media diva” and the “Pied Piper of the online world” in her interviews in Fast Company; and, the expert BBC and NBC interviewed during Facebook’s data breach and privacy controversy. She’s pretty much the “queen” of it all.

Mari is also an internationally renowned, seasoned public speaker. Besides that, she offers social media training services for small to big businesses and brands — all customized to match their needs.

Follow @MariSmith on Twitter

8. Kim Garst

Kim Garst is a thought-leader in the social media space. She’s been recognized as a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer and one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers. She’s the author of the international bestseller, Will the Real You Please Stand Up, and a speaker sharing her views on social media and brand strategy.

As an online marketing guru, she helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through social and digital marketing like how she did with leading brands like Microsoft, IBM, and Mastercard.

Follow @kimgarst on Twitter

9. Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield has two best-selling marketing courses: the List Builders Lab where she teaches how to build a profitable email list of engaged, ready-to-buy subscribers, and the Digital Course Academy created for those who want to build their own online course or webinar.

Amy is also the host of her own podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, where she shares her own tips and tricks, expert interviews, and answers to the online marketing questions sent by her followers.

Follow @AmyPorterfield on Twitter

10. Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer has authored The Content Code, Return on Influence, and The Tao of Twitter, which is currently the best-selling book on Twitter. Moreover, his blog {grow} continues to provide up-to-date stories, updates, and advice on marketing, technology and humanity. It’s known as one of the top five business blogs in the world.

His credentials don’t only stop on his publications. He has worked with top companies including Cisco, AT&T, Adidas, Microsoft, and more from different industries. He continues to help and share his insights to content marketers and entrepreneurs through his workshops, webinars, conference talks and consulting services.

Follow @markwschaefer on Twitter

See our top 40+ recommended #marketing experts to follow on Twitter, feat. @kimgarst, @AmyPorterfield, @markwschaefer, @MariSmith, @aiaddysonzhang and more Click To Tweet

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11. Ann Handley

Ann Handley is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content and Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. These bestsellers were all translated into 19 languages — a certified international hit.

She’s the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a marketing training and education company offering online and in-person programs. It’s where content marketers can get their high-quality dose of marketing trends, tools, and research.

Follow @annhandley on Twitter

12. Aaron Orrendorf

Aaron Orrendorf is “saving the world from bad content,” and he does it pretty well as proven by his articles on big names like Mashable, Inc., Entrepreneur, CMI, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. He’s the founder of iconiContent where clients can get in touch with him and get his excellent B2B content marketing services.

Follow @AaronOrendorff on Twitter

13. Henneke Duistermaat

Henneke Duistermaat is an inspiration for those who are clueless about content creation. She started as a copywriter for clients based in the US and UK — even if she’s not a native English speaker — and continued until she left her freelancing job to focus more on teaching beginners and expert writers on better persuasive writing.

Henneke has been interviewed by Inc. and Forbes, and featured in top digital marketing sites like Search Engine Journal. She’s the author of Blog to Win Business, a handy guide for writing engaging blogs, and the teacher of her online course on persuasive writing.

Follow @HennekeD on Twitter

14. Brian Clark

If you’re a regular Copyblogger reader, you might have come across Brian Clark’s name a few times. As the founder of the platform, he’s at the forefront of providing all the current content marketing tips and tricks.

He’s also the founder of Unemployment, a resource that provides freelancers and entrepreneurs smart strategies. Brian has been featured in several business books such as Killing Marketing by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi, Linchpin and Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin, The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott.

Follow @brianclark on Twitter

15. Kieran Flanagan

Kieran Flanagan has worked with SaaS companies such as Marketo and Salesforce and helped them grow their traffic, users, and revenue. He’s also currently the VP of Marketing at HubSpot, a platform that provides inbound marketing and sales software, tools, tips and tricks to entrepreneurs and marketers.

As a thought leader in growth marketing, Kieran further shares his knowledge through his podcast The GrowthTLDR with Scott Tousley, and event talks.

Follow @searchbrat on Twitter

16. Joe Pulizzi

For everything related to content marketing, you’ll gain invaluable insight by following Joe Pulizzi. He’s the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the leading educational organization for content marketing, after all. (If you know the Content Marketing World, then you should know CMI is behind this largest content marketing event in the world.)

He’s also a public speaker and has authored a number of books in the industry, including Killing Marketing, Content Inc, and Epic Content Marketing. If you’re serious about upping your content marketing game, better follow Joe now.

Follow @JoePulizzi on Twitter

17. Joanna Wiebe

Joanna Wiebe is a web copywriter and conversion rate optimization consultant more known as the founder of Copy Hackers.

If you don’t know what Copy Hackers is, it’s an all-packed source of tips, stories, and lessons for copywriters, freelancers, growth hackers, and startups. For clients, it’s a reliable place to find Copy Hacker-certified conversion copywriters for their business.

Joanna shares her knowledge of conversion copywriting with communities around the world through her speaking engagements. Follow her on Twitter to gain a front-row seat.

Follow @copyhackers on Twitter

18. Ryan Robinson

A writer, part-time entrepreneur, and content marketing consultant, Ryan Robinson is the man behind ryrob.com and its blog loaded with informative content that teaches readers how to create a profitable blog and business. He also teaches how to build a blog in 7 days through his free online course.

Besides writing for his blog, he also hosts a podcast where he interviews founders, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in different fields to share their stories and tips in building their businesses.

Follow @TheRyanRobinson on Twitter

19. Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn surely got the “pen” in her name for the right reason. She’s the woman behind The Creative Penn, a place where you can check out her guides on writing, publishing, book marketing, and creative entrepreneurship. She also hosts a podcast where she interviews the pros in the book writing and publishing industry.

Joanna is certainly the real deal in these topics as she herself is an author. She’s an award-nominated New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn. She continues to share her knowledge through her online courses including How to Write Non-Fiction: Turn your Knowledge into Words and Productivity for Authors.

Follow @thecreativepenn on Twitter

20. Joe Lazauskas

Joe Lazauskas is the head of marketing at Contently, a place where strategic services, a talent marketplace, and a technology platform are all in one place. He’s also the editor-in-chief of The Content Strategist, Contently’s blog.

Besides working for Contently, Joe has also written for Mashable, Digiday, and Fast Company. He is a regular speaker at Web Summit, Collision and Content Marketing World, and the author of the #1 Amazon New Release book, The Storytelling Edge.

Follow @JoeLazauskas on Twitter

See our top 40+ recommended #marketing experts to follow on Twitter, feat. @TheRyanRobinson, @thecreativepenn, @annhandley, @AaronOrendorff, @HennekeD and more Click To Tweet

21. Jay Baer

Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert, a digital strategy consulting firm providing strategic plans, training, and guidance for companies that need help in social media, content marketing, online reputation, email, and word of mouth. They’ve worked with mid-size and large North American companies such as Cisco, 3M, Oracle, CVS, Comcast, and Hilton.

He’s also the author of the New York Times and Amazon best-seller, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype, plus other books on customer service, customer conversations, and online ratings and reviews. He has his podcast network too. He’s definitely someone you shouldn’t miss in your feed.

Follow @jaybaer on Twitter

22. Mandy McEwen

Mandy McEwen is a marketing consultant, digital agency growth coach, and agency owner of Mod Girl Marketing, providing DIY inbound marketing solutions and consultation for those who need help in their content marketing strategy.

Mandy is also included in the LinkedIn’s latest list of the 24 B2B Marketing Experts You Need to Know.

Follow @MandyModGirl on Twitter

23. Sarah Kennedy

Sarah Kennedy is the Chief Marketing Officer at Marketo, an Adobe company offering a digital marketing software for clients and marketers who want to improve their essential marketing areas like account-based marketing, mobile marketing, social media, automation, and more.

Follow @saykay on Twitter

24. Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner has been recognized as a Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes. His talks center around content marketing techniques, and he shares further on its ROI through his book, The Content Formula.

As the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, Michael has helped companies reach and connect to their audiences worldwide. They’ve worked with popular brands like Adidas, SAP, and The Guardian.

Follow @BrennerMichael on Twitter

25. Rand Fishkin

SEO is one of those constantly changing and evolving factors in digital marketing. Understanding the complexities of it will help you to really begin to master your digital marketing efforts. If you’re looking to learn from the best in SEO, you’ll want to add Rand Fishkin to your list.

Rand is the former co-founder and CEO of Moz, a platform that launched the Beginner’s Guide to SEO and offers a handy SEO toolset that checks everything you need to know from keyword research to page optimization insights. Now, he’s the founder of SparkToro, a product that aims to help people do better marketing (launching soon). He’s also the co-author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.

Follow @randfish on Twitter

26. Brian Dean

Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko, one of the most popular online marketing blogs where he shares his tried and tested SEO and traffic tips. One of his latest and most interesting case studies is about how he increased his site’s traffic by 110% in 14 days — something worth checking for sure.

Follow @Backlinko 0n Twitter

27. Michael King

Another digital marketing expert you can learn a lot from is Michael. He’s the founder of iPullRank, a digital marketing agency based in New York that does SEO, UX/UI, and market research services — to name a few. They also have a page for comprehensive guides on topics like machine learning and using Google’s tag manager.

Michael works as a consultant for different businesses — from small to big names like SAP, American Express, HSBC, SanDisk, General Mills, and FTD.

Follow @iPullRank on Twitter

28. Suzanne Nguyen

Recognized as one of this year’s “B2B Marketers You Need to Know” and  “Top Voice” on LinkedIn in both 2017 and 2018, plus nominated for Forbes Asia “30 under 30,” Suzanne Nguyen leveraged her content in LinkedIn through video and print.

She grew her LinkedIn community through her channel. It all started with her one viral video and her following just grew from 900 to 19,000 in 7 months. Impressive, isn’t it?

Suzanne is also the woman behind StringStory, a place where content creators can find guides on branding, content strategy, and influencer marketing.

Follow @StringStory on Twitter

29. Danny Goodwin

Search Engine Journal is your credible source when it comes to the latest trends on SEO, PPC, SMM, and content marketing. (Don’t you know Express Writer’s CEO, Julia, is SEJ’s regular contributor?)

If you fully want to grasp the strategies from the best, you’ll want to follow Danny Goodwin. He’s the Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal where he not only writes but also oversees the platform’s editorial strategy and managing contributions from a team of 60+ industry experts.

Follow @MrDannyGoodwin on Twitter

30. Britney Muller

Britney Muller’s goal is to help drive product initiatives through data-driven research and industry knowledge, and she does it as a Moz’s Senior SEO Scientist — no wonder their tools and resources are always helpful when it comes to inbound marketing and SEO!

Britney is also the founder of Pryde Marketing, serving businesses looking for a one-stop shop for SEO, content marketing, design, and content creation services. As a keynote speaker, she has spoken in different digital marketing events around the world.

Follow @BritneyMuller on Twitter

See our top 40+ recommended #marketing experts to follow on Twitter, feat. @BritneyMuller, @MandyModGirl, @Backlinko, @MrDannyGoodwin, @iPullRank and more Click To Tweet

31. Michelle Robbins

Michelle Robbins is the Head of Digital at Milestone, a company offering a combination of software solutions and digital agency services for location-based businesses in hospitality, retail, financial services, and automotive industries.

However, you’ll most likely recognize her as the former SVP Content & Marketing Technology of Third Door Media, the company behind conferences like Search Marketing Expo (SMX). She was also the Editor in Chief of popular digital marketing publications, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today.

Follow @MichelleRobbins on Twitter

32. Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk is the founder and chief product officer at Yoast, a search-optimization company that developed the popular SEO WordPress plugin. He’s also WordPress.org’s current Marketing & Communications Lead.

There’s nothing more to say here to convince everyone why he deserves to be mentioned, especially if he’s working on the two important tools most content marketers use every day!

Besides Yoast and WordPress, he has invested in several companies and serves as an advisor to Mapfit and Student.com.

Joost regularly speaks at industry workshops and conferences like YoastCon and WordCamp US.

Follow @jdevalk on Twitter

33. Tim Soulo

Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing officer and product advisor at Ahrefs, a company offering SEO tools and online courses for businesses. He’s also authored a number of marketing guides and data-driven SEO research studies.

Tim has been in the digital marketing space for almost 10 years. He regularly shares his knowledge and experience through live talks around the world, podcast interviews, and his Twitter account.

Follow @timsoulo on Twitter

34. Olga Andrienko

Olga Andrienko is the head of global marketing at SEMRush (our favorite content strategy tool!). Her key specialization is conversion and relationship marketing. She’s done it so well that, together with her team, she managed to increase SEMRush’s social engagement by 400% in one year.

If you want to learn more about connecting with your audience, Olga has all the insights.

Follow @olgandrienko on Twitter

35. Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is the editor for Search Engine Land and CEO of RustyBrick. You can also catch him on Search Engine Roundtable, a blog that discusses advanced SEO topics.

Barry has been an advisor for startups and top companies like Google, Yahoo! Search, and Bing. Also, he’s been a speaker at several industry events including Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, and PubCon.

He received the “US Search Personality Of The Year,” award in the 2018 US Search Awards. With over 15 years of experience, you’ll definitely learn all things search-related from Barry.

Follow @rustybrick on Twitter

36. John Mueller

John Mueller is the Senior Webmaster trends analyst at Google. That title alone is enough to get anyone who’s serious about online marketing to sit up and pay attention. We all want our marketing efforts to get noticed by Google, after all.

John is also the usual go-to guy for Google Webmasters’ Q&A live stream in Youtube where audiences can ask about anything webmaster-related like crawling, indexing, mobile sites, duplicate content, Sitemaps, Search Console, etc.

Follow @JohnMu on Twitter

37. Colan Nielsen

Colan Nielsen is the VP of Local Search at Sterling Sky, a position he’s held since 2010, helping businesses and marketers know the how-tos of Local SEO. He’s also currently the Google Product Expert for Google My Business.

Local search is one of the most interesting aspects of digital marketing — and he’s passionate about it. That’s why he regularly shares his insights and case studies on his current Local SEO projects. He also shares the lessons he learned in his experience in business operations through his interviews in different online publications.

He’s also a writer for Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors, and a speaker at industry events such as State of Search and Pubcon.

Follow @ColanNielsen on Twitter

38. James Finlayson

James Finlayson has been in the digital marketing space since 2008. He has worked as an SEO executive and technical lead for different marketing agencies. Now, he’s the Head of Innovation at Verve Search, an SEO and content marketing agency based in the UK. He regularly enjoys experimenting with SEO — a hobby that brought him to where he is now after working as a lawyer!

James is now active in going around the world to speak in different conferences including the TEDx, BrightonSEO, Online Business Makeover, Fresh Business Thinking Live, the Digital Marketing Show, Search London, and Digitalization of Marketing.

Follow @JamesFinlayson on Twitter

39. Julie Joyce

Julie Joyce started working in search marketing in 2002 and then founded an all-female blog called SEO Chicks in 2007. Now, she is the owner and Director of Operations in Link Fish Media, a link building and SEO company. She also writes monthly link building articles on Search Engine Land.

Follow @JulieJoyce on Twitter

40. Casey Markee

With over 19 years of experience in SEO, link building, site auditing, and social media, Casey Markee is definitely the expert you’re looking for when it comes to experience and knowledge in the ins and outs of the industry.

Casey runs the SEO consultancy company, Media Wyse, and also works as the lead SEO consultant at Search Engine News. He further shares his knowledge as an author (with over 400+ digital marketing articles to his credit), instructor for SEO teams, and speaker at several events, including Pubcon, State of Search, and SMX Advanced.

Follow @MediaWyse on Twitter

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41. Marie Haynes

Marie Haynes has been helping businesses rank on Google, making sure that every step complies with Google’s Guidelines through her Canada-based company, Marie Haynes Consulting Inc.

Before 2008, she was a full-time veterinarian who became interested in SEO when she’s trying to rank her vet website in Google. Now, she’s a top online marketing consultant businesses will go to for guidance and solving penalty issues.

She’s also a regular writer for Moz and Search Engine Watch, and a contributor in SEO Chat forums and Google Help forums, answering questions about Google’s penalties and algorithm.

Follow @Marie_Haynes on Twitter

42. Bill Slawski

Bill Slawski has been doing SEO for more than 20 years when search engines weren’t a big thing in the world of marketing. Known as the patent master and expert on technical SEO topics, he has worked for Fortune 500 brands and nonprofits, helping them in website optimization and increase their traffic and leads.

Bill is the founder of Go Fish Digital, a company providing content marketing, web design, and SEO services. For SEO updates and insights on search engine patents and white papers, you can check out Bill’s blog, SEO by the Sea.

Follow @bill_slawski on Twitter

43. Danny Sullivan

Danny Sullivan is a digital marketing expert who has covered digital and search marketing topics since the 90s. He’s the co-founder of Third Door Media, the company behind popular online publications like Marketing Land, MarTech Today, and Search Engine Land. It’s also the company behind MarTech and SMX conferences.

In 2017, he left his position in Third Door Media as chief content officer and his job as a search journalist. He, later on, started working with Google to continue educating the public about search and find out how to solve certain issues around it.

Follow @dannysullivan on Twitter

44. Joshua Hardwick

Joshua Hardwick is the founder of The SEO Project, an SEO blog that aims to clear all the misinformation regarding SEO and educate readers in a way that everyone can understand. He’s also the Head of Content at Ahrefs, where he shares more of his strategies and techniques in applying SEO.

Follow @JoshuaCHardwick on Twitter

45. Cyrus Shepard

Cyrus Shepard started in 2010 as Moz’s Lead SEO, which later on gave him the opportunity to do his first speaking event in MozCon and lead its Audience Development Team.

After working at Moz, Cyrus opened his own SEO company, Zyppy, where they educate readers about SEO trends and best practices and guide them about the top ranking factors that help improve site traffic and ranking. He’s also working with startups and Fortune 500 companies as an SEO consultant.

Follow @CyrusShepard on Twitter

46. Russ Jones

Russ Jones is the Principal Search Scientist at Moz. He regularly engages with his over 9K Twitter followers about all things digital marketing. He’s also the SEO Advisor at Hive Digital and regularly speaks at top industry events and conferences like PubCon, SMX, SearchExchange, LinkLove, and IBM’s Netezza Conference.

His most notable accomplishment was leading the development of SEO technologies such as LinkSleeve, a link spam prevention tool; OpenCaptcha, a free distributed anti-spam solution: and Remove’em, a link removal service.

Follow @rjonesx on Twitter

47. Dr. Pete Meyers

Dr. Pete Meyers is a marketing scientist and subject matter expert. He describes himself as “the keeper of the Algo History, the architect of the MozCast Project, and the watcher of all things Google.” If these titles sound like you’re dealing with “the wise one” in a medieval role-playing video game, that’s what he really is in real life.

Dr. Pete works on product research and data-driven content, acting as the medium between marketing and data science. He also built research tools to monitor Google, with MozCast–a weather report showing the changes in Google’s algorithm–as one of his best projects.

Follow @dr_pete on Twitter

48. Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow is the co-founder and CEO of Distilled, an online marketing services company with offices in London, New York, and Seattle. His company also produces the online training platform, DistilledU and DistilledODN, an SEO split-testing platform.

He had spoken for top digital marketing events like SearchLove, MozCon, and Inbound, and continues to share his insights through Distilled and Moz blogs.

Follow @willcritchlow on Twitter

49. Julia McCoy

We may be biased, but our own CEO is a great resource in the industry of content marketing to follow.

Named an industry thought leader by Forbes, Julia McCoy has been on the roll providing top online content for clients in different industries through Express Writers. She’s also consistently publishing every week everything content marketing-related on Express Writer’s Write Blog.

Besides being the head of Express Writers, Julia is a serial content marketer devoted to staying at the forefront and leadership of our beautiful industry of content marketing. She is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing and So You Think You Can Write?. She has even developed two industry-leading courses guiding beginner and professional content marketers on how they can create content that converts. She’s been doing a few workshops and webinars lately too!

Follow @JuliaEMcCoy on Twitter

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You Can’t Go Wrong When Learning From the Best

And there you have it! Our list of the movers and shakers of the digital marketing space.

Of course, there are plenty more digital marketing experts who are doing great things, but we wanted to highlight these guys as their presence in the industry can’t be denied.

Before you hop on over to Twitter to follow, can you think of any other digital marketing experts?

Let us know in the comments!

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We Interviewed 4 Successful Content Marketers For Their Content Marketing Process: Lessons from the Best in the Biz

We Interviewed 4 Successful Content Marketers For Their Content Marketing Process: Lessons from the Best in the Biz

Ideas are free and unlimited.

But, it doesn’t really matter what the next brilliant idea is. What matters most is how we execute it.

How can we define a good execution?

Here’s a short but straight to the point definition from Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book, “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done:”

“Execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it.”

To execute, you don’t just act — you act according to plan. If not, expect everything to turn into a mess.

The same goes for making great content online. Before content marketers transform ideas into high-quality posts that bring in actual ROI, everything should go through a unique content marketing process. There are also content marketing tools used to save time and improve productivity, and standards to follow in identifying effective content.

However, despite content marketing teams following workflows, some still face challenges:

Since we’re all curious about how the best ones out there create great content, here we’ve interviewed four of the best content marketers today:

  • Kim Moutsos, VP of Editorial at the Content Marketing Institute;
  • Susan Moeller, Senior Marketing Manager at BuzzSumo;
  • Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Cleveland Clinic;
  • and Michael Pozdnev, Founder of I Wanna Be a Blogger.

So, how do they do it? Read on to find out.

[email protected] interviewed four #contentmarketers for the Write Blog, and they shared amazing tips with us. Featuring @MPozdnev @kmoutsos from @CMIContent @amandatodo and @SusanCMoeller from @BuzzSumo Click To Tweet

content marketing process guide

We Interviewed 4 Successful Content Marketers For Their Content Marketing Process: Lessons from the Best in the Biz

content marketers process interview

Kim Moutsos, VP of Editorial at the Content Marketing Institute

Tell us about your team’s content marketing process. What happens in each process?
“We always start with the audience in mind: What new topics do our readers need to know more about? What evergreen topics are they always hungry for information about?

We review what we’ve already published on those topics to see if there’s anything we can refresh or expand or whether we need a new piece.

Finally, we consider what’s going on in our own organization, whether that’s the release of new research or an upcoming conference that we might want to create awareness about. But our audience’s information needs are a priority.”

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?
“Checking for existing content that can be refreshed or repurposed. Starting from a proven foundation means a good chunk of the work is already done.

For us, this means anything from updating an existing article, turning a great conference session into a blog post, combining examples from many different posts into a roundup or ebook, to turning research stats into an infographic, and so on.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?
“Every team has to pick the tools that make the most sense for their strategy, team, and needs.

Since we’re a small but distributed team, we rely on our editorial tracker/calendar, which is a shared Google spreadsheet that’s evolved over several years, plus shared storage for files. And, of course, everyone needs analytics tools.”

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“I work with really creative people, so collaborating with them generally helps the seed of any idea blossom.

Stepping away from the computer and venturing out into the real world, whether for a work-related event or just a walk in the fresh air, almost always opens my thinking to new possibilities.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Of course, high-quality content is well written, researched, and meets an information need. But those are just the basics.

If it’s really a quality piece, it provokes a response in the reader. It drives them to do some action, whether that’s to try a tip or suggestion in their own work, to challenge or agree with us in the comments, to share an article with colleagues, to subscribe to one of our newsletters, or consider coming to one of our events.”

'If it's really a quality piece, it provokes a response in the reader. It drives them to do some action, whether that's to try a tip or suggestion in their own work...' - @kmoutsos on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Kim Moutsos

Kim Moutsos is Content Marketing Institute’s vice president of editorial. She is a 20-year veteran of online and print publishing, specializing in creating business and technology content. Follow Kim on Twitter @kmoutsos.

Susan Moeller, Senior Marketing Manager at BuzzSumo

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?

“Collaborating with others. Our content performs best when we have a partner involved from the beginning. It can be time-consuming to create something with a partner, but the benefits in distribution are significant.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“I use BuzzSumo for ideation, and I use SEMRush for keyword analysis. I also rely heavily on Google Analytics.”

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Thinking and talking!

Content ideation is a bit like making soup. I have a lot of things simmering away somewhere at the back of my mind. Then, I’ll have a conversation with someone who serves as a prompt to reach into the pot and pull out a tidbit or two.

Further discussion will help me to decide if the idea is a juicy bit of chicken or just stringy celery.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Trusting the source. As a content consumer, I am very aware of the source of the content I consume. If I don’t see the source as trustworthy, I don’t value the content very highly.”

'Trusting the source. As a content consumer, I am very aware of the source of the content I consume. If I don't see the source as trustworthy, I don't value the content very highly.' - @SusanCMoeller on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Susan Moeller BuzzSumo

Susan Moeller works as the senior marketing manager at BuzzSumo. She’s also the co-founder of “Women in Content Marketing” Facebook Group, creator of BuzzSumo Academy, and coordinator BuzzSumo Expert Webinar Series. Follow Susan on Twitter @SusanCMoeller.

Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Cleveland Clinic

Tell us about your team’s content marketing process. What happens in each process?

“Our process starts each morning with a daily team huddle. We gather and discuss what’s going on in the news/world that will impact what’s relevant to our audiences. We review traffic data and important performance notes from the day before — what happened on various social channels, what might’ve performed poorly, what is happening with our podcasts and Facebook Live events. We look at what content is approved and ready for publishing to ensure our publishing calendars (blog content, social channel schedules, newsletter content) is still on point relative to our discussions.

When we create content, our writers interview medical experts across our organization and those experts must approve the content before we publish. Our design team works on image selection, infographic designs, Instagram stories, and email newsletter layout as it relates to our editorial calendar and story topics.

There are team leaders for each area (social, editorial, design, email, project management, etc.) and they huddle with their teams first, and then they participate in a roll-up huddle with each other and me. This ensures we’re all on the same page for the day and can address/discuss any issues or opportunities.”

In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?

“We look at our numbers every day and adjust accordingly in the moment to ensure we hit monthly, quarterly and annual goals.

Our growth has been a result of continuous improvement and a large collection of small optimizations. There is significant collaboration across various teams, and we come together every day to identify those opportunities.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“No software or ‘tool’ is more important than personal interaction, collaboration and relationships. That said, we wouldn’t survive without Google docs — simple.”

No software or 'tool' is more important than personal interaction, collaboration and relationships. - @amandatodo #hearhear #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

Share your secrets with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Our best ideas come from personal discussions and collaboratively reviewing data just like how we check our own site performance. We look for what the people in the world are searching for, what questions are people asking and turning to the internet for, or ask each other for answers.

That’s the sweet spot — when we can credibly offer those answers and get the feedback that we’ve ‘read the mind’ of our users.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Trusted sources providing the answers users seek. Expert information that is displayed simply and beautifully on a mobile device.”

'Trusted sources providing the answers users seek. Expert information that is displayed simply and beautifully on a mobile device.' - @amandatodo on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Amanda Todorovich

Amanda Todorovich is the director of content marketing at Cleveland Clinic where she successfully established its blog as the #1 most-visited hospital blog from 0 to more than 6 MILLION sessions per month. She’s named 2016 Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute, member of Marketo’s 2018 inaugural Fearless 50, and a finalist for 2017 Boldest Healthcare Brand Marketer. Follow Amanda on Twitter @amandatodo.

Michael Pozdnev, Founder of I Wanna Be a Blogger

Tell us about your personal content marketing process. What happens in each process?

“1. Research.

Every new research I begin with my knowledge, experience or intuition.

This stage takes the most time. I am looking for topics that have great search potential, and I use both the SEO tools and the questions of my subscribers.

On one of the thank-you pages, I use the Google form to collect problems, questions, and reasons that led my readers to me. At the moment, this page has brought me 887 responses.

I always ask myself the question: Can I be on the first page of Google? I am analyzing the power of competitors, their strategy to attract links.

Then I dive deep into the study of competitors on the chosen topic to create better content.

Next, I try to find the words and phrases that users use on this topic. These are not just keywords. Common words that they use when describing their problems. It is necessary to speak the same language as my reader.

2. Who or what can help me amplify my content?

In some niches, such as online marketing, it is impossible to create content that will be successful without the help of other experts or friends.

I make this list:
– My online colleagues.
– Experts on this topic.
– Personal bloggers who left comments on this topic.

These people help me create more valuable and in-depth content. I link out to their blog posts or conduct short interviews.

3. Writing.

It starts with an outline. Sometimes my blog posts are so big that the plan is drawn up on stickers. But most often it is Google Docs.

It consists of subtopics in a tree form, keywords, common phrases from real people.

When I write, I divide the screen into two parts. In one I am writing, and in the second before my eyes this plan with clues.

4. Editing. Proofreading.

At this stage, I create images, while trying to use at least one image per hundred words, and format the text.

Since I am not a native speaker, I always turn to a good editor.

5. Promotion.

Since I have already prepared in advance, and I have a list of people who helped me create content or whom I mentioned, this stage does not take me much time.

But I try to tell everyone practically at the same time to create a possible wave of virality.

Of course, I send the link to the content to my subscribers and share it on my social media.
In this entire process, what’s the most important step/detail for you that’s often overlooked by other content marketers?
“Most content marketers create content alone. Without friends.

Many use influencers, but experts will not waste their time on leaving a comment for example. They will not remember you when he or she writes a new article, does not add links, and so on.

I believe in ordinary people, not stars. Therefore, I strive to make friends and help these people in advance.

Once I realized that my friends are content marketers who leave comments. They are active. They love to help.

I think it was thanks to the friendship that each of my posts received hundreds of comments and thousands of social shares.”

What are your most recommended content marketing tools?

“Keywords Everywhere, MozBar, KWFinder, Ahrefs, Grammarly, Quuu Promote”

Share your secret with us. How do you come up with the most brilliant content ideas?

“Perhaps my secret is that I rely on in-depth data analysis. Analysis of not only the problems and questions but also the feelings and emotions of the reader. I try to identify the key points in his/her journey.”

What makes high-quality content truly high-quality for you?

“Details. Most content answers the question WHAT, and very little HOW.

And those who share the details always win the reader and Google love.”

'Details. Most content answers the question WHAT, and very little HOW. And those who share the details always win the reader and Google love.' - @MPozdnev on #highqualitycontent Click To Tweet

Michael Pozdnev

Michael Pozdnev is the founder of “I Wanna Be a Blogger,” a place where he teaches blogging newbies how to start a blog from scratch, and shares his SEO blogging tricks and blogging success stories. Follow Michael on Twitter @MPozdnev.

The Main Lesson? Every Content Marketing Process Is Unique — and So Is Yours

If you haven’t noticed it yet, all these best content marketers have their own specific content marketing processes.

Some processes require constant team collaboration right from the start, while others can start building their own content alone by thorough data research. Others like to use a bunch of tools, while for others, document sharing is already enough.

What these experts have shared should bring inspiration. But take note that what works for them, may not work for you.

This is why it’s important to be patient in understanding what content marketing process is best for you and your team. To do this, you can start by trying generic workflow templates for email marketers, social media managers, and other content marketers. Or you can even start with something as simple as using these three basic steps:

  • Ideation: Creating content ideas that fit your topic area(s) and content goals.
  • Creation: Writing, editing, adding images, optimizing content, etc.
  • Preparation: Scheduling, distributing, and promoting content.

You can use the three key steps as the main pillars of your content marketing process. It’s all up to you to figure out the rest of the key processes under each step. The more detailed, the better.

We hope these lessons from the best content marketers have inspired you to find your ideal content marketing process. But then, if certain steps are impossible to do without spending more time, money, and energy; don’t ever hesitate to ask for help and delegate tasks to people you can trust.

The Future Is (Still) Email: 12 Experts Share Their Email Marketing Tips to Increase Conversion in 2019

The Future Is (Still) Email: 12 Experts Share Their Email Marketing Tips to Increase Conversion in 2019

It’s the beginning of a new year — the best time to ditch outdated practices and hop into future marketing trends.

While it’s obvious that social media marketing will continue to evolve as algorithms and user habits change, what about email marketing?

In 2012, a Pew Study revealed that text messaging is the most preferred form of daily communication among teenagers — 63% of them say so. For email? Only 6%, taking the bottom spot under landline calls and instant messaging.

The future of email in 2018 didn’t even seem to be brighter for some professionals because of Gen-Z workers who prefer to communicate through messaging apps or collaboration software like Slack. Email was “one-dimensional and simply outdated.”

So, are the days of email marketing almost over for this year? It doesn’t seem like it.

We’re actually seeing the opposite.

Here are some of the recent email marketing data that may surprise you:

The good news about the continuous rise of email use goes on and on. Email marketing is certainly evolving as well — a sign that marketers should keep track of the best email marketing practices for this year and beyond.

The future is still email! There will be 4.3 billion GLOBAL email users by 2022. Read #emailmarketing tips from 12 experts by @DaniNofuente on @ExpWriters Click To Tweet

email marketing tips

The Future Is (Still) Email: 12 Experts Share Their Email Marketing Tips to Increase Conversion in 2019

Clueless about the changes you need to do in your usual email marketing practices? Let’s ask the experts for some help. Check out these email marketing tips from the marketing pros that you should do right away.

1. Jordie van Rijn

“Review where you make ‘the split.’ The split is the point between the email and what is beyond the email.

That exact point is marked by a click. Which information do you put in the email and which do you sort out on the landing page.

Is your email effective with juuuuust enough to grab attention & foster curiosity, or does more info or repeated persuasion points work better? You need to frame the experience on the landing page in order for them to convert.

With all the possible email marketing A/B test you can do, you’d be surprised how often ‘the split’ is totally overlooked in optimizing conversion. Find the point which gives enough to take the next step, not more, not less. And then make sure that the next step is super clear.”

'Review where you make 'the split.' The split is the point between the email and what is beyond the email.' @jvanrijn on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Jordie van Rijn is the email marketing consultant behind emailmonday where he helps clients improve their email marketing strategy and select the right email marketing software. He has worked with top brands like AEGON, Unilever, Roche, KLM, and Heineken. He is also the founder of the platform for email marketing software selection.

2. Shane Phair

“Personalization goes beyond adding someone’s first name in the subject line. Marketers should be using the information they know about their customers to provide them with emails filled with relevant content.

By increasing the use of personalization — such as a publisher offering curated content in their newsletter based on a subscriber’s interests — businesses will see an increase in open and click-through rates, as well as a direct impact on ROI.”

'Marketers should be using the information they know about their customers to provide them with emails filled with relevant content.' @shanephair on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Shane Phair is the Chief Marketing Officer of Campaign Monitor, a company providing an easy-to-use email marketing and automation platform. Before Campaign Monitor, he led marketing and demand generation teams as VP of Demand Generation at Cleo and held senior sales positions with Brainshark, Ipswitch, and Motorola.

3. Sujan Patel

“Maintain a clean and healthy email list. Ensure your emails actually reach your intended target by using an email verifying tool. Voila Norbert’s verifying tool improves your deliverability and ensures your emails aren’t trapped by spam filters and eventually blacklisted.”

'Ensure your emails actually reach your intended target by using an email verifying tool.' @sujanpatel on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Sujan Patel is the co-founder of WebProfits, a growth marketing agency, and Mailshake, a cold email outreach tool for sales and marketing. He writes for top publications such as Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur and talks at different growth marketing conferences around the world. Listen to his content marketing productivity tips in this The Write Podcast episode.

4. Michal Leszczynski

“Email marketing has changed over the years, but the developments in the technology aren’t as dynamic as it’s the case with other digital marketing channels.

We still have some time before more advanced things like interactive emails, or proper video embedding becomes a standard. The future looks very promising, though. Just check out AMP for email – this thing can completely change how we interact with email messages.

So, before that happens – what tactics should marketers focus on to generate the highest engagement rates?

As the data from the GetResponse study suggests, what subscribers are looking for in their email communication is personalization.

They value emails that are sent at the right time and contain information that’s both interesting and relevant to them.

Privacy’s also becoming more critical. Countries, where the regulations are more strict (e.g., require double opt-in), continue to observe the highest open and click-through rates.

And finally, videos – even though their support is still limited. They generate very high engagement too.

The lesson here: subscribers don’t want to waste time on emails that are just generic or uninteresting. Instead, try offering them valuable content, one that’s tailored to their preferences. Your results will soar.”

'... subscribers don't want to waste time on emails that are just generic or uninteresting. Instead, try offering them valuable content, one that's tailored to their preferences.' @mrleszczynski on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Michal Leszczynski is the Content Marketing Manager of GetResponse, an all-in-one online marketing platform with products for email marketing, automation, and more. He also regularly writes for GetResponse’s blog. 

5. Joel Klettke

“A smart email marketing tip?

Torch your list.

No, I’m serious: periodically send out emails asking people to unsubscribe if they’re not getting any value.

Proactively eliminate people who will never, ever get value from you. You’ll not only keep your software costs down, you’ll also keep your list healthy, active, and interested.”

'Proactively eliminate people who will never, ever get value from you.' @JoelKlettke on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Joel Klettke is the Saas and B2B copywriter behind Business Casual Copywriter. He has created conversion-focused copies for top digital agencies like HubSpot and WP Engine. He’s also the founder of Case Study Buddy, providing written and video case studies for businesses.

6. Adam Q. Holden-Bache

“The biggest email marketing trend I’m seeing right now is increased use of dynamic content, especially for personalization. With the amount of data that is being collected (through multiple channels, not just email), brands can now leverage that data for their email messages to create more meaningful and effective communications.

My biggest secret is… resend your emails. For any campaign where there is the potential for conversions, resend your email to anyone who didn’t open the email the first time.

When you resend the message, change the subject line so that it appears as a new message in the inbox, and because a different subject line may resonate better with anyone that didn’t open the first email.

I typically resend emails between 24-48 hours after the initial delivery. I’ve seen up to 40% of overall conversions come off a resend (but typically 20-30%), which can provide a significant life to your overall campaign results with little to no extra work.”

'My biggest secret is... resend your emails. For any campaign where there is the potential for conversions, resend your email to anyone who didn't open the email the first time.' @adamholdenbache on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Adam Q. Holden-Bache is the Director of Email Marketing at Enventys Partners, an integrated product development, crowdfunding and marketing agency based in Charlotte, NC. He was also the CEO/Managing Director of Mass Transmit, a B2B email marketing agency later acquired by Striata where he worked as Director of Email Marketing. He’s the author of “How To Win at B2B Email Marketing: A Guide to Achieving Success.”

7. Max Modl

“Relevance is perhaps the most important factor in successful email marketing. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re writing to real people.

We like to remind each other to ‘Check yourself!’ Here’s what we mean: Before sending out every single campaign, put yourself in the shoes of the target audience. (And, maybe you don’t have to imagine all that hard because you already are!)

Picture yourself going about your day, and now envision spotting this mailing in your inbox.

Do you want to open it?

Do you want to read it?

And if you do open it, do you enjoy reading it?

If not, then, what the heck are you doing sending it to other people?”

'Before sending out every single campaign, put yourself in the shoes of the target audience. (And, maybe you don't have to imagine all that hard because you already are!)' @maximilianmodl on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Max Modl is the chief marketing officer of Newsletter2Go, one of the leading email marketing providers and fastest growing digital companies in Germany. His role is more than just the company’s CMO as he built the startup’s brand from the ground up since 2013. Now, the company has been gaining international reach across the USA, UK, France, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands.

8. Tim Watson

“Don’t feel compelled to make a fancy looking graphical template, just because it’s email marketing and you think that’s what people expect. In many cases, the graphics get in the way. A plain formatted email can outperform a fancy creative. The crux is the email copy.

Email is conversational, copy should be natural. Many marketing emails sound false, using a style that nobody would ever use in a 1 to 1 email. I recently saw an email that began ‘Hello Tim, Brand name is proud to inform you that we have …’ and carries on with this pompous and clumsily style. It doesn’t impress anyone.

Firstly, try writing the email as if you are writing to a friend. Or even literally write it to a friend. Secondly, make sure the copy is about them not you. A good way to check is to count the number of ‘we’ vs ‘you’. It should be a least twice as many you as we.

Rather than ‘We’ve worked hard and made our website much faster’, write ‘Our updated website means you’ll now find what you need faster.’

Finally, get rid of all the words you don’t need. Keep to short elegant sentences.”

'Firstly, try writing the email as if you are writing to a friend... Secondly, make sure the copy is about them not you.' @tawatson on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Tim Watson is an email marketing consultant with 14 years in email. Providing strategic support to brands, improving results through an analytical process. From small to large – working with complex broadcast and automation programs delivering up to 90 million emails/month. A public speaker across half a dozen countries and twice-elected member of the Direct Marketing Association email council.

9. Kath Pay

“Old is new… again. The best new secret is something that we’ve known and have gone to lengths over thousands of years to master the art of it offline, and that is, ‘Customer Experience matters’. It is key to acquisition, conversion, and loyalty, however, online marketers are really only just getting their heads around it.

Everything we do as an email marketer affects our customer’s experience with our brand, whether it be our strategy, creative, tone of voice, copy, segmentation, personalization and much more.

Being a push channel, we often kick-start the customer’s journey as we drive them through to the website, and so we must recognize that email is an essential part of the customer’s experience. Therefore, it’s imperative that we always start with what matters most – the customer and what they value.”

'Old is new… again. The best new secret is something that we’ve known and have gone to lengths over thousands of years to master the art of it offline, and that is, 'Customer Experience matters.'' @kathpay on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Kath Pay is the CEO of Holistic Email Marketing, an email marketing consultancy company that has worked with big brands like Facebook, Barclays, Arsenal, and Kate Spade — and also with the government office, Transport of London. An industry veteran of 19 years, Kath is also an author, blogger, expert contributor, international conference speaker, and trainer.

10. Skip Fidura

“’The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.’ – Lady Dorothy Neville (1826-1913)

I stumbled across this quote recently and was struck by how even though it was first uttered more than 100 years ago, it perfectly sums up the essence of being an email marketer.

Don’t get me wrong  there are some very interesting emerging technologies in the email space but too often I see brands not getting the basics right and then compounding the problem by throwing new technology at it.

For over 20 years, we have talked about relevance, and it is very easy to rationalize that a message is relevant even if deep down we know it isn’t.

We are all under commercial pressure so it is almost easier to send the email to everybody than to justify to our bosses why we did not send it to some.

The real art of email is to send the right message to the right person at the right time but not send the wrong message because of content or time no matter how tempting.”

The real art of email is to send the right message to the right person at the right time but not send the wrong message because of content or time no matter how tempting.' @skipfidura on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Skip Fidura is a customer-centric digital marketing expert with 20 years of experience, helping clients have engaging human conversations with their customers. He has worked with BT, Fred Perry, Paul Smith, DHL, and Copa Airlines, and now he’s the Non-Executive Director of Direct Marketing Association (DMA UK), UK’s largest trade body for the marketing industry. He is also a keynote speaker and writer.

11. Val Geisler

“The most effective emails come when they’re written from human to human.

Of course you’re human so what do I mean?!

Too many marketers write emails to their list forgetting that there’s a person on the other side of that computer screen reading what you write. So write your emails as you might talk to a friend. In fact, put a friend’s name at the top of your draft copy and think about how you might tell them what you’re writing about.

Would you be more personal? Add a joke? Say something heartfelt? If so, do that. Then make sure you delete your friend’s name and add your own personalization before sending.

When you use email to talk to people (not to just “blast” at people), you have a leg up in the inbox.”

So write your emails as you might talk to a friend... Would you be more personal? Add a joke? Say something heartfelt? If so, do that.' @lovevalgeisler on #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Val Geisler is an email conversion strategist and copywriter with knowledge in customer experience and research. She has worked for SaaS and online businesses like email marketing service providers AWeber and ConvertKit, the digital design platform InVision, and the online payment platform Stripe. Check out our #ContentWritingChat recap where she shared tips on how to create amazing email content.

12. Julia McCoy

“There are many ‘best practices’ out there  but there’s only one YOU as a marketer and a unique brand, and your audience is and should be different than everyone else’s.

So, that’s why this is my only and #1 tip for my contribution:

Don’t be afraid to break the norms, stop following what everyone else says, and experiment with your emails, yourself.

I followed best practices for years in my email marketing, then I decided to break the mold and kill the formulas, techniques, and even schedules I was using that came recommended by many different experts.

Breaking the mold ended up garnering me one of my most successful email campaigns ever.

I wrote a personal story about a ‘lightbulb moment’ I had that I thought would be perfect for our ideal buyers, who I’ve had many real-time conversations with. It was informal, inspirational, and quite personal, going against my typical emails. Finally, I had it proofread and edited by one of our conversion copywriters at Express Writers and scheduled it from ConvertKit to go out late on a Saturday night.

Every standard was broken, from the style of the headline I used to the time and day (Really? People want to read your marketing lessons on Saturday night, Julia?).

Well, we saw a 400% ROI increase from that email campaign, in both reads and sales, as opposed to nearly all campaigns I’d sent prior.

That email took time, care, and thought. The entire idea for it was born during a moment away from the desk when I was inspired. I don’t create those kinds of emails weekly (and brands shouldn’t send sales emails too frequently, either — I follow the 3:1 rule, send three valuable, pitch-free emails for every sales email).

I’m not giving you an example of the email I’ve mentioned because you shouldn’t take inspiration from me. You should look at your audience — what do they care about?

Also, look at who YOU are — what makes you different than every other brand and marketer out there?

With millions of content pieces going out now every day, it’s the only way to stand out. And don’t forget to get a conversion-minded copywriter to help. That’s critical to refining your final piece for that conversion-friendly voice.”

Breaking the mold ended up garnering me one of my most successful email campaigns ever. Read more about @JuliaEMcCoy's email success story in our list of 12 expert #emailmarketingtips Click To Tweet

Julia McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers (that’s us!), 2x author, podcast host, YouTuber, guest contributor and writer for top industry publications like Content Marketing Institute. She also teaches content marketing strategy and SEO writing online.

The Common Denominator Among All These Email Marketing Tips? Being Personal

Email stays with us in the future. And reaching out becomes easier thanks to the available email marketing tools ready to help in organizing our email subscriber lists, automatically sending emails at the right time, and making emails visually engaging.

But, despite all these continuously improving tools, it’s interesting to know that at the end of the day, creating an email that converts requires this one unique element: being personal.

And personalization goes beyond saying “Hi [FIRST NAME HERE]!” to start your email copy — people already know that a robot can simply do that. Readers want to feel connected and feel special for receiving a message that speaks to them.

In other words, being personal requires being human.

You, as a marketer (and hopefully, a human too), should get to know who you’re talking to on the other line because behind all of these email addresses are people with interests, problems, and feelings that no automation tool can understand.

Sounds like a lot of work, isn’t it? Not really when you know how to properly segment and clean up your email list — two other email marketing tips worth doing ASAP.

It will surely be an interesting year for email marketing, and we hope these email marketing tips from the experts have given you new ideas to start getting ahead in making high-converting emails.

However, despite understanding who your subscribers are and the message that can resonate with them, finding the right words to say in your email can be a time-consuming problem. If that’s the case, let Express Writers create your own personalized email copy!

email marketing tips

Work-Life Balance Strategies: What 24 Marketing Experts Say About Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance Strategies: What 24 Marketing Experts Say About Work-Life Balance

We often glorify the idea of non-stop hustling.

We see these images of influencers on social media who all seem to have it all put together, at the peak of their success while grinding 24/7.

And we, too, try to find ways to become productive every single day, hoping to reach that point where we become satisfyingly successful.

No wonder that the average productivity rate for every American worker has gone all the way up to 400% since 1950.

It’s not even a surprise that the average American works for 44 hours per week — that’s more than eight hours per day. Crazy, isn’t it?

You may already know this, but then again, overworking isn’t the key to success. And continuing to do so means damaging your health, relationships, and your self-worth.

So, why not ditch the hustle and focus on achieving a better work-life balance?

We know. It sounds easy, but hard to do especially when you love your job.

That’s why we’ve asked the marketing experts about their own work-life balance strategies. We hope these points will inspire you to find your own balance.

work life balance guide

Work-Life Balance Strategies: What 24 Marketing Experts Say About Work-Life Balance

Thinking work-life balance is impossible to do? Read what the marketing pros do, and you’ll find the best tips that may work for you.

1. Mark Schaefer

“I’m probably at a different stage in my life than other readers.

I’m in my 50s. At this point, I do what I love. There really is not much difference between work and home because I choose to do things that bring me joy, so there really is no struggle.

Of course, you always run into bumps in the road. But you just have to recognize that as a normal part of life and keep moving ahead.”

'There really is not much difference between work and home, because I choose to do things that bring me joy, so there really is no struggle.' @markwschaefer on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Mark Schaefer is a globally recognized social media expert, speaker, executive branding coach, marketing strategist, podcaster and writer. He’s the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, blogger of {grow}, and author of six marketing books including the best-selling “The Content Code” and “The Tao of Twitter.” Listen to his appearance on The Write Podcast.

2. Andy Crestodina

“Go to bed. It sounds simple. But it’s very powerful. If you can get to bed and fall asleep 90 minutes sooner, you can wake up that much earlier and use that time for something far more important than whatever you were going to watch on Netflix at 10:30 PM.

Imagine what would happen to your content, your brand, your knowledge, your network.

Here’s a quick list of things you could do with that time over the next year:

  • Write a book
  • Launch a video series
  • Write 50 guest posts
  • Becoming a columnist for a major publication

Or even crush a non-marketing goal…

  • Have six-pack abs
  • Learn to speak Italian

What are the main differences between high and low performers?

It’s not knowledge. Most people know HOW to do the things on that list. The difference is willpower, persistence and focus.

So, get to bed! Then get up at 4:30 AM every day for two months no matter what. Then you will have formed the habit and it will come automatically.

Use the time to invest in yourself. 99% of you will not take this advice. The other 1% will be so successful, I almost feel bad for their competitors.”

'Go to bed. It sounds simple. But it's very powerful. If you can get to bed and fall asleep 90 minutes sooner, you can wake up that much earlier and use that time for something far more important...' @crestodina on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Andy Crestodina is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design and development firm in Chicago. He’s also a top-rated marketing speaker and the author of “Content Chemistry.” Andy guest hosted our #ContentWritingChat not too long ago.

3. Glen Gilmore

“For the last two years, I’ve spent more time out of the country than in the country on consultations, speaking engagements, and brand ambassadorships. Whether I’m at home or on the road, I always do my best to work in a moment for meditation, a healthy breakfast, and a half-hour walk.

Even a few pages of a good book a night helps. And though I always work on long flights, I do indulge in a movie or two.

And when it’s time with family, it’s time away from looking at a phone for anything that’s non-emergent.

And, just as I always have a long list of work-related projects to complete, I keep an equally long list of personal projects and goals to accomplish. I work at advancing them both.”

'Whether I'm at home or on the road, I always do my best to work in a moment for meditation, a healthy breakfast, and a half-hour walk.' @glengilmore on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Glen Gilmore is a Forbes Top 20 “Social Media Influencer” who provides Digital Marketing strategy and training to some of the Fortune 500 companies like Amazon, Huawei, and Verizon. He’s also a practicing lawyer and author of “Social Media Law for Business.”

4. Ryan Robinson

“For me, work-life balance is a constant game of course correction.

I’m rarely in perfect sync between work and personal life for long intervals of time. However, over the years I’ve pushed myself to regularly zoom out and take a look at whether work or fun are getting too much of my attention – and identify which one needs more attention.

Some weeks, I force myself to only work 20 to 30 hours and enjoy going on a mid-week hike to clear my head and reset my priorities when things are getting a little stressful.

Yet during other weeks if I’m preparing for a course launch or recording a lot of interviews for my podcast, it can easily turn into 50 to 60 hours of staring at a screen. That’s draining and unsustainable for me.

So, what I’ve really come to learn, is that work-life balance (at least for me) is more about being hyper-aware of my mental state, and feeling empowered to take corrective action to avoid burning out when I need to.

My advice is to always thoughtfully plan your week out ahead of time, so that you first schedule blocks of time for the most important activities – like getting physical activity every day, going on date nights with your significant other, or putting the kids to bed.

Work should fit in around the greater purpose of your life, but have the mental flexibility to anticipate that there will be times when work will rightfully command more attention than usual. Do your best to plan ahead for it, and then make up for it with time to recharge afterwards.”

'My advice is to always thoughtfully plan your week out ahead of time, so that you first schedule blocks of time for the most important activities.' @theryanrobinson on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Ryan Robinson is a content marketing consultant for the world’s top entrepreneurs and startups. He also teaches over 250,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and build a profitable side business on his blog, ryrob.com.

5. Lee Odden

“As the CEO and face of our company that is active in the industry, my personal expectations of work-life balance are very different than those for one of my team members.

While I’m essentially ‘on’ 24/7 through engagement with a network that is global, staff, clients, conferences and requests for interviews and quotes like this one, I do find ways to keep myself sane, aka ‘balanced’.

  • I do work at work. I set goals for the tasks I want to complete for the day and stay until they are done. I do my best not to bring work home. Things do come up where I will need to log in, but only for a few minutes. This motivates me to be more productive and time at home is family time.
  • Vacation is virtually work-free. When I go on vacation, I work very hard to stay offline (except for Instagram of course). This requires advanced planning as well and has been very beneficial for getting refreshed.
  • I’m practical about setting goals and also expectations with others so I’m not saying yes to everything and drowning out my personal time with overcommitments. I also use software to manage goals, planning, progress and to optimize my time. Goals, planning and optimizing for effectiveness are key to make work balanced so you can enjoy more of the rest of your life.”
'I'm practical about setting goals and also expectations with others so I'm not saying yes to everything and drowning out my personal time with overcommitments.' @leeodden on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Lee Odden is the CEO and co-founder of TopRank Marketing, an internationally recognized digital marketing agency based in Minneapolis.  He’s also a keynote speaker for digital marketing industry conferences, consultant, and author of the book “Optimize.”

6. Erika Heald

“It can be easy to get so caught up in your work – especially when it’s work you love – that you don’t take time for yourself. That’s why I have a few work-life balance routines I’ve followed for myself for the past five or six years:

  • I get to bed early enough to have 8 hours of sleep at least 5 nights per week.
  • I have a membership to Burke-Williams and make time once per month to have a massage and spend some time relaxing and refocusing.
  • I use a Passion Planner to keep myself focused on making steady progress towards my personal and professional goals.
  • I don’t work when I’m on vacation. Period.

These may seem like small things, but for me, they add up, over the course of time, as being the foundations of having a great work-life balance.”

'I don't work when I'm on vacation. Period.' @sferika on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Erika Heald is a strategic marketing consultant with 20 years B2B and B2C marketing experience. She hosts #ContentChat, a weekly Twitter chat program for content creators and marketers. She also blogs about gluten-free baking at Erika’s Gluten-free Kitchen. She guest hosted on #ContentWritingChat.

7. Joe Williams

“I’ve struggled for years in getting the right work-life balance, but I’ve learned you need to decide on a time each day to finish work and be satisfied with what you have done. That way, you can transition into social life and be truly present.

If only it was that easy? Well, perhaps it can be. Here are my top two productivity hacks to help: The first is using the zero-based calendar approach and the second is combining it with the Pomodoro technique.

The idea with the zero-based calendar is to leave zero time unallocated in your working day because Parkinson’s law states that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’

And as you may know, the Pomodoro technique is about doing short bursts of work and taking periodic breaks. I am aiming for 12 Pomodoros per day and rather than focusing on specific ‘todos’ in my zero-based calendar, I allocate 4 Pomodoros at a time for an area of work that I need to do.

It’s surprising how doing these two hacks allows me to finish work on time and feel satisfied with my day’s effort – and, of course, be truly present for my family and friends in the evening.”

'Here are my top two productivity hacks to help: The first is using the zero-based calendar approach and the second is combining it with the Pomodoro technique.' @joetheseo on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Joe Williams is the founder of Tribe SEO, which offers the search engine optimization (SEO) training course, “Learn SEO Fast.”

8. Michele Linn

“While this may seem counterintuitive, I’m a big believer in not multitasking (unless I’m folding laundry or taking a walk while on a conference call).

After many frenzied years, I realized I’m the best version of myself when I’m completely present with whatever I’m doing – be it working or hanging out with my kids.

I used to set aside early mornings to be ‘in the zone’ time, but that proved difficult. Too often I’d be crabby during our morning family routine because my head was stuck on work.

Now, I deliberately set aside time at least once or twice a week to work ‘heads down’ in a coffee shop or (my favorite) the library for 3-4 hours. I break out my noise-canceling headphones, set my 37-minute Pomodoro timer (yes, it’s random) and get cracking on deliberate todos.

I get a lot of work done in a short amount of time, I feel productive and I have no pestering guilt when I’m not working in the evening.

And when plans go off the rails as they often do? I do my best to take it in stride and find that next pocket of heads-down time.”

'After many frenzied years, I realized I’m the best version of myself when I’m completely present with whatever I’m doing – be it working or hanging out with my kids.' @michelelinn on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Michele Linn is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy dedicated to helping brands create original research. She’s the former Head of Editorial of Content Marketing Institute. Check out the recap of her appearance on our Twitter chat, #ContentWritingChat.

9. Shane Barker

“Most professionals find it extremely challenging to strike a healthy work-life balance. Today’s digital age powered with smartphones and numerous work applications has made it even more difficult. With work constantly popping up in your inbox, you often feel like you never really left office.

I believe that both professional and personal life is essential to our overall well-being. And the only way to strike a perfect balance between the two is to set boundaries for when you’re available for work and when you’re not.

Setting a boundary for your personal time goes far beyond disconnecting yourself from work emails or calls while off work. You also need to learn to leave work at work. Don’t look at it on your phone and don’t carry it in your head.

Thankfully, I have a great team working remotely from different parts of the world to handle work commitments when I am not around, and vice-versa. At Content Solutions, we ensure that all of our team members get enough personal time to rejuvenate.

I hope the United States succeeds in achieving the kind of work-life balance that countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark already enjoy.”

'Setting a boundary for your personal time goes far beyond disconnecting yourself from work emails or calls while off work. You also need to learn to leave work at work. ' @shane_barker on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant specializing in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He’s has worked with Fortune 500 companies and is a regular contributor in top publications such as Inc.com and Forbes.

10. Gerry Moran

“When you are passionate and having fun with building and running a world-class social media and content marketing organization at Cognizant, then it’s easier to achieve a work-life balance.

But, when you get down to it, I use a weekly action plan focusing on ‘above-the-line’ priorities to move us closer to our goals – then I empower my team to get it done on their terms.”

'I use a weekly action plan focusing on 'above-the-line' priorities to move us closer to our goals – then I empower my team to get it done on their terms.' @gerrymoran on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Gerry Moran is the Global Head of Social Media at Cognizant with 30 years of diverse experience on social media, B2B and B2C marketing, and entrepreneurship. He has also trained small businesses, students, and teams from companies like HBO and IKEA.

11. Heidi Cohen

“Achieving work-life balance starts with deciding what you want to accomplish for the next year, 3 years and 5 years across work, personal relationships, romance, family, health and spiritual needs.

At different phases of your life, this mix may vary. Further outside events may cause you to change the balance for reasons beyond your control.

I find that the key to work-life balance is to always find time to do something for you no matter how small. This me-time helps you to refocus and allows you to regain your calm.”

'I find that the key to work-life balance is to always find time to do something for you no matter how small. This me-time helps you to refocus and allows you to regain your calm.' @heidicohen on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Heidi Cohen is the president of Riverside Marketing Strategies and the Chief Content Officer of Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide where she shares her marketing insights on social media, content marketing and mobile. She also conducts marketing classes in universities and speaks at marketing conferences and events across the US and other countries.

12. Henneke Duistermaat

“I am not sure I am the right person to comment on work-life balance but I have been surprised at how much work I can do in just a few hours a day.

A few years ago I was hurt in a car crash and I had to radically cut the hours I work to between 2-4 hours a day. I learned to focus on what’s essential to keep my business running (my blog to grow my audience and teaching online courses to generate an income).

Being forced to cut down my hours made me realize how much time I was wasting before.

Nowadays, when I’m at my desk, I know what I want to achieve and I spend very little time on social media. Instead of cramming more work into my day, I prioritize what I want to do in the hours I can work.”

'Instead of cramming more work into my day, I prioritize what I want to do in the hours I can work.' @henneked on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Henneke Duistermaat is a copywriter and business writing coach featured in top publications such as Forbes and Inc.com. She has guest blogged for KISSmetrics, SmartBlogger, Copyblogger and CopyHackers. She’s also the author of the highly-recommended business writing books, “Blog to Win Business” and “How to Write Seductive Web Copy.” Listen to her share writing tips on The Write Podcast.

13. Carla Johnson

“Balancing the priorities of both work and life is simple, but not easy. Simple, because it’s an idea we believe in and want to make happen. But hard because it comes down to the little by little choices we make.

I find it easier to manage when I set my priorities for both from the big-picture perspective and then work down to what that means tactically.

For example, if I say I want to spend more time with my family, does that mean more long-weekends away? Or does it mean having three meals a week together as a family? If I say I want to be more successful in my career, does that mean generate more revenue for my business? Write another book?

Once I better define the big picture, then I’m able to prioritize what things matter most. And then I do my best to focus on those. It’s focus that I struggle with the most, but it’s what helps me keep balance.”

'I find it easier to manage when I set my priorities for both from the big-picture perspective and then work down to what that means tactically.' @carlajohnson on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, speaker and author. She also offers training and consulting services for marketing executives and teams looking for help in creating unique branding strategies. Her latest book, “Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing”, explains content creation management in detail for businesses.

14. Brooke Sellas

“Because we’re in the social media and advertising space, notifications are a way of life for me. There’s the constant ping of an email, or the bloop of a Facebook notification, or the bleep of a conversation on Twitter. This means that I have to disconnect from my phone on the weekends or during any downtime. I do this in one of two ways.

If I don’t need my phone at all, like for personal phone calls or texts, I take a digital detox. Meaning I completely shun my phone for 24 to 48 hours. This is no easy task but going cold turkey really helps me to live in the moment with my husband and/or friends and be present with my personal life.

If I must have my phone for personal reasons, I’ll do a ‘mini’ digital detox and place my phone on airplane mode for a specific amount of time. I’ll strategically check in from time-to-time, but the notifications are kept to a minimum by doing this. Which means the distractions are also kept to a lovely 5-minute time frame as well!

On some apps, like Basecamp, I can set up my notifications to stop for certain time periods or not to send at all over the weekend. Again, it’s not an easy task and I often ‘cheat’ but overall, keeping my weekends for my family and friends (and myself!) is an important part of my work-life balance.”

'If I don’t need my phone at all, like for personal phone calls or texts, I take a digital detox. Meaning I completely shun my phone for 24 to 48 hours.' @BrookeSellas on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Brooke Sellas is the founder and CEO of B Squared Media, an award-winning social media marketing and advertising agency that’s been featured on Inc.com, IBM, Yahoo!, and Twitter. She also guest speaks at Fortune 500 companies, middle-market brands and universities.

15. Julia McCoy

As head of operations, HR and marketing at Express Writers, parent to a four-year-old, wife, teacher, and podcast host; our very own CEO, Julia McCoy, shares her own tips about work-life balance.

“First, it’s important to love what you do. I think work-life balance comes much easier if you actually enjoy waking up to your tasks every day. I do. I feel like a kid in a sandbox when I get to write books or ideate great content and lead a great team of people!

Secondly, it’s critical to take time out for yourself. Tell guilt around taking time out to shove it. You deserve and need self-care. Go out to the fanciest seafood restaurant in town once a week to treat yourself.

It’s also important to get out of your house if you constantly work there. Take work to your favorite coffee shop and enjoy your surroundings while you work.

It’s okay to treat yourself. And treating yourself could look like the gym, not just stopping for your favorite food or dessert. To me, one of the best feelings is being worn out from burning 100 calories on a treadmill!

Thirdly, say no to more opportunities if they don’t benefit your bottom-line growth and maximize your potential. Skip the FOMO in favor of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Stop saying yes to everything, and you’ll find you have more time for hanging out with the family, enjoying life, and breathing in-between heavy task loads.”

'Say no to more opportunities if they don't benefit your bottom-line growth and maximize your potential. Skip the FOMO in favor of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).' @JuliaEMcCoy on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Julia McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers. She is also an author of two books — currently working on her third, teacher of two online courses, and the host of the Write Podcast.

16. David Reimherr

“Work-life balance is paramount here at Magnificent.

First things first, I make sure not to overwork our team and get us all on the same page of working hard when they are here, and to take care of themselves and spend time with their friends and family.

As for myself, and I know this sounds very unromantic, I have a task note that reminds me to reach out to my wife to schedule something to do together each week. All the success in the world means nothing without a happy home and personal life.

A couple other things I do to keep my mind in the right place is sticking to my morning routine which is a mix of light stretching, push-ups, reading my list of personal mantras, reading an excerpt from “3 Magic Words” and a gratitude meditation.

And one thing I added in about 6-9 months ago which I HIGHLY recommend is a daily 15-20 minute walk during lunch where I clear my head and pay thanks to all the wonderful things in my life. Gratitude is probably one of the only things in life you can’t do too much of!”

'And one thing I added in about 6-9 months ago which I HIGHLY recommend is a daily 15-20 minute walk during lunch where I clear my head and pay thanks to all the wonderful things in my life.' @DavidReimherr on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

David Reimherr is the founder of Magnificent, an Austin-based marketing agency that specializes in content marketing, website development, and email marketing. He also hosts a podcast series featuring the best marketing experts to talk about what’s the latest in the marketing world.

17. Jay Baer

Jay Baer of Convince & Convert Media shares something short, sweet, and to the point.

“If you like your work enough that it doesn’t feel like work, then work-life balance isn’t nearly as stressful.”

'If you like your work enough that it doesn't feel like work, then work-life balance isn't nearly as stressful.' @jaybaer on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert, a digital strategy consulting firm that worked with mid-size and large North American companies such as Cisco and Hilton. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, an advisor, and one of the world’s most popular speakers. Listen to his guest appearance on The Write Podcast.

18. Michael Brenner

“I manage to maintain work-life balance while working at home through a couple of tricks. I ‘go to work’ just as if I was commuting to the office. It’s just a home office and the commute is much shorter. But this allows me to really focus on being productive.

I also block off time for email each morning and afternoon to allow me to completely check out of work when my day is over. And I truly don’t respond to emails on nights and weekends unless it is truly urgent. That allows me to stay focused on my family and come back to work completely refreshed and energized.”

'I also block off time for email each morning and afternoon to allow me to completely check out of work when my day is over.' @brennermichael on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group which worked with popular brands like Adidas, SAP, and The Guardian. He’s also a part-time CMO of the world’s first AI-powered Content Strategy Platform, Concured, a speaker, author, and marketing consultant.

19. Arnie Kuenn

“Work-life balance is something that has always been critical to our agency.

Since the day it was founded, we strived to make it a family business, but not in the way most people think. We try to make it about our employee’s families. We want them home at night and on the weekends with their families and friends.

A healthy, rested employee is good for everyone. As many of your readers know, this is not always the case in agency life and in many smaller businesses. And, we certainly have our share of crazy weeks or months. But we also offer other perks to help with work-life balance.

We allow everyone to schedule their own office hours, work remote one day per week, they can bring their dog to the office, we have a very liberal holiday schedule, and we throw lots of fun events at the office. All of this is designed to help balance office stress and allow for a better quality of life.”

'We try to make it (the agency) about our employee’s families. We want them home at night and on the weekends with their families and friends.' @arniek on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Arnie Kuenn is the founder and CEO of Vertical Measures, a digital marketing agency that worked with clients like Puma and Purdue University. He’s also an international speaker and an award-winning co-author of “Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business”.

20. Ann Handley & MarketingProfs

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, shared with us their 2019 Marketer Happiness Report (Research conducted by Mantis Research). The report, which surveyed 1,533 marketers around the world, shares some of the most surprising findings about today’s marketers.

Some of these surprising facts include:

  • “Marketers feel they are spending too little time with friends, exercising, volunteering, and engaging in hobbies— but too much time on social media.”
  • “Most of us know what we need to accomplish day-to-day — but 43% of us find that our priorities are always or frequently based on what is in our inbox.”
  • “Fewer than one in three of us set aside time each day to be technology-free. We are often in reactive mode—responding to whatever technology throws at us. We are not giving our brains a chance to rest.”

And with these findings, the report suggests some of the following tips that can help marketers achieve the feeling of contentment and enjoyment in their jobs:

  • “Turn off your phone and close your door for at least one hour a day. Yes, doing that will be painful at times, but it will be worth it.”
  • “Let’s turn off our devices every day, and spend more time on those things we say we don’t have enough time for (practically everything!). For instance, spend time on a hobby (do you have a hobby?). Though hobbies may seem an extraneous use of time, we have long believed that making something — anything — will make us more interesting people. And marketers.”
  • “As a group, we’re not great at saying no: 26% of us don’t even think we can say no to projects. (Not surprisingly, this response is more common among marketers who have less experience and those who work for a large organization.) But, the rest of us do have a willingness and opportunity to say no… but we aren’t doing much about it. If a project does not fit your goals or priorities, why do it?”
'Let's turn off our devices every day, and spend more time on those things we say we don’t have enough time for (practically everything!)' @annhandley & @marketingprofs on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a marketing education & training company offering training programs, online events, conferences, and supplementary free resources for marketers. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.”

21. Hailley Griffis

“I’ve been working from home for three years full-time and I was part-time work from home before that. Here’s my advice:

I keep the space where I work and the space where I relax very separate. I find that unless there are strict boundaries between work and home life, I start to feel like I’m always at work and I lose the place where I can be at home and relax.

I know this can be tough, especially in smaller homes, but it’s absolutely worth it to maintain these boundaries so that places meant for relaxing, like the couch and bed, can be saved for relaxing and not become second desks.”

'I keep the space where I work and the space where I relax very separate.' @hailleymari on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Hailley Griffis is the Public Relations Director of the social media management app, Buffer. She’s also the host of Buffer’s own podcast show and MakeWorkWork.

22. Stephanie Stahl

“A work-life balance is a bit of a fairytale. It’s impossible to give equal weight to both all of the time.

As a home-office worker who travels a lot, I’ve found it’s better to try and blend work and life. Sometimes that means a mid-day trip to volunteer at school, or taking my laptop to a dance competition, or occasionally working on weekends, but it allows me to give dedicated time to my family and my job when it’s most necessary.

And let’s face it, now that my favorite grocery store (Whole Foods) delivers and Amazon can have something on my doorstep in two days or less, managing a busy schedule is a lot easier than in the early days of my career.”

'I’ve found it’s better to try and blend work and life... but it allows me to give dedicated time to my family and my job when it’s most necessary' @EditorStahl on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Stephanie Stahl is a writer, editor, and the General Manager of Content Marketing Institute, leading the brand’s event, digital, print, and e-learning operations. For more than two decades, she’s worked in various UBM business units, handling multimedia content and events.

23. Cathy McPhillips

“I like to think of it as a life balance.

We’re part of a team that values family above anything else. No matter what busy-ness might be occurring at our company, our family’s (and our own) health and happiness come first.

Being virtual, we are lucky to have flexibility, but with that comes responsibility. We’re more likely to work and challenge ourselves for a company that values us. It makes a huge difference!”

'We’re part of a team that values family above anything else. No matter what busy-ness might be occurring at our company, our family’s (and our own) health and happiness come first.' @cmcphillips on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Cathy McPhillips is Content Marketing Institute’s Vice President of Marketing. She’s recognized as Folio:’s 2014 Top Women in Media and MarTechExec’s 2018 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech.

24. Lilach Bullock

“It’s certainly not easy to find the right balance; after all these years of being an entrepreneur and actively striving to attain this balance, I still find myself at times not being able to disconnect from work.

That said, I’ve gotten much better over the years at this and in most cases, it’s because I set myself times where I simply must take time off and spend it with my family.

Another ‘trick’ is to try to work as much as possible from your home office; while it’s still work, at least you can “go home” in literally a second – all you have to do is make yourself close your computer.”

'... try to work as much as possible from your home office; while it’s still work, at least you can “go home” in literally a second - all you have to do is make yourself close your computer.' @lilachbullock on #worklifebalance Click To Tweet

Lilach Bullock is a social media and online marketing consultant, trainer, and speaker. She’s been recognized as one of Forbes’ Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers, Oracle’s Social Influencer of Europe winner, and Career Experts’ number 1 Digital Marketing Influencer. She guest hosted on Express Writer’s #ContentWritingChat.

The Key Takeaways in Work-Life Balance Strategies According to Marketing Experts

Each person is unique and no single work-life balance strategy can perfectly work for all. This is true especially for marketers who already vary when it comes to each’s work schedule, style and goals.

However, we’ve noticed a few common denominators among what the marketing pros have shared. Some of them are the following:

  • Going offline
  • Having enough sleep and exercise
  • Planning and setting goals
  • Saying “NO” to unbeneficial opportunities
  • Setting boundaries between work and life
  • Doing what you love

If you haven’t found your balance yet, you can start practicing these top strategies. These tips look simply easy if you can imagine yourself doing them. But when it comes to putting these ideas into action, it surely takes a lot of hard work and patience.

Can you already imagine an hour without your phone?

You can for sure! Maybe not now, but someday.

You can start with 10 minutes, or 30, until you can finally manage to have your hands phone-free for an hour or two. It’s just like for every goal you want to reach — the entire process takes time.

So, we hope these quotes from the best marketing experts today help you find your own balance.

Are you currently struggling to keep your work and life balanced? Or maybe we’ve missed a good work-life balance strategy that’s worth sharing to all our readers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

marketing lifecycle ebook

Break the Internet: Learn What It Takes to Create Viral Content From 5 Of the Hottest Pieces On the Web

Break the Internet: Learn What It Takes to Create Viral Content From 5 Of the Hottest Pieces On the Web

Brannon Powers is a Content Specialist at Express Writers.

Ever wanted to see a piece of your content go viral (aka, break the internet)?

It’s a dream of many of us as marketers, but in order for a piece of content to “break the internet,” it needs to go viral in a big, big way: and it takes a special mix of things in order for content to be able to do that.

In addition to being interesting, it also needs to have that special “something” that gives it an edge over the competition.

In this post, we’re going to break down some of our favorite viral pieces and help you understand why and how they got that way.

Keep reading.

viral content

What Makes Viral Content… Viral?

Viral content doesn’t just happen by accident. Instead, it’s a highly strategized and intentional form of content that draws upon a few proven, essential things to become popular. There have been multiple studies conducted on the topic of what it takes for content to go viral and every study finds the same things: great content has a series of traits that help it stand out to audiences.

We’ll breakdown the 7 trademarks we think all viral content has in a moment: but first, we need to take a look at a few content pieces online that deserve everyone’s attention, so you can be inspired on what they did right.

Drumroll please.

Here are a few of the hottest content pieces on the web in our beloved industry, content marketing and SEO.

5 Content Pieces that Went Viral

1. “Google is Hiring an SEO Manager to Improve its Rankings in Google” – Search Engine Land

One of the most-shared articles on Buzzsumo under the keyword “SEO,” this sucker earned more than 21,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

The reason for this is clear: the headline is shocking.

Search Engine Land Screenshot

Anyone who knows anything about SEO would know that Google is a company that does SEO, so the fact that the king of the castle would have to hire a king to teach it to be king is shocking. To provide extra value for readers, this piece of content also includes a screenshot of Google’s own job listing and excerpts about the requirements and experience needed to qualify.

 

2. ”7 Social Media Experiments That Grew our Traffic by 241%”– Buffer 

Buffer Screenshot

With more than 12.7 thousand total shares, this piece is a fantastic example of content gone viral. This article was shared on Twitter by HubSpot, SEMrush, and the Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Network department, to name a few.

So what makes it notable?

Well, to start with, it promises great things.

The article is apparently aimed at marketers, and the implication that Buffer grew its traffic by 241% (a number so large it’s almost hard to comprehend) means, of course, that the people who read the article can, as well. It’s a confident statement, but since Buffer has already done it with their own content, they’re sending the clear message that their readers can, as well.

When you visit the article, the writer also does an excellent job of getting right inside your head. The opening line is, “If you’ve asked this before…’How do we get more visitors to our website?’…you’re certainly not alone…” By making the content relatable for readers, the writer inspires trust as well and a relieving feeling of “oh yeah, he gets me.”

Finally, the article uses a handful of really well-done images to demonstrate its point, break up the text, and provide proof of the headline’s claim.

Insert Buffer Screenshot #2

3. “The Nit-Picking Glory of the New Yorker’s Comma Queen” – Ted

Pop quiz: what made this headline go viral? Interest, authority, and visuals? Right, you are. This article is actually a video published by Ted. It has more than 11.7 thousand total shares, with more than 9 thousand shares on Facebook alone. But why?

There are a couple of reasons.

First of all, it’s a video, which makes it perfect for social media and quick sharing.

Second of all, the title is quirky, entertaining, and authoritative.

“A comma queen?” the reader thinks, “What’s that? I must know!”

Once the interest has been piqued, the reader absorbs the reference to The New Yorker, which is one of the most authoritative literary journals in the world right now, so the article immediately establishes credibility.

Finally, the word “glory” promises that this will be entertaining, funny, or both. Oh, also, who cares about the Oxford comma? She does.

4. “3 Unusual Hacks to Dramatically Up Your LinkedIn Game” – Moz

Insert Moz Screenshot

With more than 17 thousand shares, this Moz article by Larry Kim went viral in a big way.

Can you guess why?

First of all, it’s the first how-to article in this list, which makes it appealing to readers right off the bat.

Secondly, it offers three points, and while longer lists do tend to rank well, this one communicates to readers that it’s immediately actionable, and absorbable now. As in: they can be using these tips on their LinkedIn accounts today.

This piece does a few things right.

First, it’s beautifully laid out, with plenty of white space to give the reader space to navigate through the content. Additionally, it makes use of graphics that make the reader feel like they’re wandering through a great story, like this one:

 

LinkedIn Unicorn screenshot

Thanks to the mix of helpful text and unique graphics that give the piece a distinctly festive and fairytale-esque feel that stands out, this piece manages to be exciting to readers while also being useful, relevant, and actionable. It’s also a long piece of content, which dives into the reader’s questions, answers them thoroughly, and offers plenty of evidence, screenshots, information, and proof to back the material in the content up.

5. “Why it’s Impossible for you not to Read this Sentence” –The Independent

Independent Screenshot

Why did this piece go viral? If you guessed the headline, you’re right. With upwards of 5,400 total shares, this article on brainwashing and the written word reached audiences across the web. But why?

First of all, the headline already told us what we’re going to do, and so we do it. Second of all, it’s incredibly authoritative. Readers feel that their destiny has already been spelled out for them, so they click on the content to read the sentence they’ve been told they can’t possibly avoid.

Once you’re in the content, you discover another thing – this article (Which deals with the concept of being “brainwashed by words”) is really fascinating. I’d categorize my current emotional state as “in awe,” which, as it turns out, is one of the emotions I should be feeling if I were to share this. Which I think I will.

The Trademark of Viral Content

You’ve just looked at some pretty hot content pieces on the web. Well, remember what I said about all viral content pieces having the same trademarks?

Without the following 7 key traits, it’s tough for content to earn extreme levels of online popularity.

Here’s what viral content needs in order to succeed:

1. Viral content appeals to the emotions

Viral content is emotive content. Enough said. One study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers Katherine Milkman and Jonah Berger evaluated 7,000 New York times articles and found that the ones that were most popular were also the ones that evoked passionate emotions in their readers – emotions like amusement, anger, anxiety, or amazement. In addition to being more likely to be shared online, this content also earned more engagement than content that evoked feelings of “meh.”

The takeaway? Emotion is a powerful factor in online writing, and content that makes people feel something big is more likely to be shared.

2. Viral content is straightforward

Yes, readers want to be amazed by your content, but they also want to be able to get through it. Because of this, content that offers educational material, a clear flow, and simple, straightforward calls-to-action is likely to go viral.

According to the study above, online readers love sharing content that helps them uplift others or improve upon themselves, and it’s tough to do this with content that’s muddy and messy. Instead, think along the lines of list and tutorial articles. Clear, straightforward, and useful, these types of content remain high on the list of stuff that wants to go viral.

3. Viral content appeals to a broad selection of audiences

One thing that many writers overlook in content is readability. In other words, can people actually read this content? If it’s so stuffed with industry speak and jargon that the answer is “no,” or “Only if they have a few degrees,” you’re barking up the wrong tree. For content to go viral, it needs to be readable. With this in mind, shoot to keep your writing at or just slightly above an eighth-grade reading level. There are plenty of online readability tests to help you determine where your content falls.

4. Viral content makes people want to act

No post ever went viral that caused people to walk away content. Instead, viral content uses authoritative information and action-inspiring words to get people to do something – be it share, keep reading or comment on the piece. Do a quick scan of some of the most viral titles online and you’ll find that many of them contain power words – a coincidence that’s no accident, after all.

5. Viral content is authoritative

For your content to garner the number of shares it needs to go viral, it’s going to have to know a thing or two about what it’s talking about. As an overarching rule, viral content is authoritative, and it goes viral because people are hungry for the information within it. This factor has been propelled by the recent release of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, and the focus therein on E-A-T (Expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) in online content.

6. Viral content includes visuals

Visuals are attractive to humans. The brain processes visual information thousands of times faster than it processes textual information, and it’s easy to see why content that is shared by millions of people also contains visuals. In fact, including a visual in a Facebook post can boost its share rate by a whopping 87% – which is no small beans for content that wants to go viral.

7. Viral content pays attention to post times

95% of writing viral content is actually about writing the content. 5% of it, however, boils down to publishing the content at a time when people are online and ready to interact with something. According to OkDork and Buzzsumo, the best day to share a piece of content is Tuesday, which results in significantly more shares than virtually any other day of the week.

Check out this OkDork graph:

Shares-by-Content-Length

Going Viral: Making Your Content More Popular

When it comes to content, going viral is every marketer’s dream.

In addition to spreading the word about your material around the web, viral content also helps establish you as an immediate authority and can dump thousands of organic visits to your site on a daily basis.

Because of this, it’s critical for good marketers to learn what, exactly, makes viral content and how content that’s already gone viral is structured.

Take inspiration from the five content pieces we deconstructed, so you can apply the traits of good content to your own publishing. It’s time to take proactive steps to ensure that the content you’re publishing is content that your readers, visitors, colleagues, and the search engines alike will all love.

Need help creating content that goes viral on your pages? Visit our Content Shop today to get started!