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As Malcom Gladwell (@Gladwell) states in his book Outliers, 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed before you can become an expert in your desired field. Writing every day is the golden rule to becoming a better writer, but that’s not the only guideline you should be following.

I recently read Ann Handley’s (@MarketingProfs) book, Everybody Writes, and boy, did I learn a lot about my current writing techniques. I discovered common habits that many often overlook when producing content, and couldn’t help but share.

As Handley states, “The key to becoming a better writer is to write.” But before you can do that, throw these five habits out the door.   

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The following is a guest post by Nick Steeves. Nick is Chief Product Officer at Wishpond. Wishpond makes it easy for marketers to create landing pages and contests, track leads, send emails and more. You can connect with Nick on Twitter and LinkedIn

Landing page optimization is part art and part science. 

There is an art to coming up with new designs and copy to test. But at, the end of the day, the science of A/B test results will always win.

Now, I’m not the most creative person in the world. So the ‘art’ side of this isn’t the easiest for me. Fortunately, I’m good at research. So in the last few weeks I scoured the web looking for cases studies to give me some ideas to improve the design of my landing pages. 

In this infographic from Wishpond, I’ll show you 14 data-backed techniques for designing higher-converting landing pages. 

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Noah Kagan (@noahkagan) knows all about online platforms. He helped build one of the world’s biggest as an early Facebook employee. He hacked much of’s growth before it was sold for a cool $200 million to Intuit. And he currently runs a multi-million-dollar business at AppSumo, a platform that offers discounts on tech and marketing tools.

So when Noah speaks, we listen. One of his quotes on platform is also one of his most powerful: “Marketing has always been about the same thing—who your customers are and where they are.” 

But there are more places than ever that demand consumer attention. This year alone saw the explosive and nearly overnight rise of game-changing video platforms like Meerkat and Periscope. The number and type of channels where your customers live is more fragmented than ever, too.

This presents serious challenges to marketers, executives and companies. They are in the dark about which platforms they need to be on, and how many resources to commit to each one. 

The confusion leads many marketing decision-makers to commit a critical error: They think they need to be everywhere

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Why do some posts catch on and go viral, while others fall completely flat?

There are already a number of studies and theories out there on writing the perfect blog post.  But—if no one feels inclined to click on your post—your subheads, word count, images and creative hook don't stand a chance.

From Twitter feeds, Facebook networks to the daily inbox … readers are bombarded with content. Every audience needs a custom content marketing plan, tailored to pain points, interests and needs. Even then, only the most entertaining, useful and intriguing headlines win a click.

So naturally, I decided to do a bit of investigating on the PR 20/20 blog to determine the agency’s perfect formula for headlines. You could dedicate a team of blogging scientists to analyzing heaps of data. But, if you’re looking for something straightforward yet strategic—and most of all, actionable—below are three simple steps to reinvent your approach in less than 30 minutes.

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It’s hard to believe that Content Marketing World has come and gone for another year. It seems to fly by faster each year. But, as always, there was a ton of information packed into my two days (I didn’t attend any workshops). It’s no wonder that we all leave inspired, motivated … and a bit dazed.

With so many tracks and speakers to choose from, the key takeaways really are a bit of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. The difference here is that whichever adventure you took led to a great outcome. 

That said, there were a few overarching themes that emerged throughout the main keynote presentations and were reinforced in many breakout sessions. Following up from #CMWorld, below are what I found to be the most interesting keys to success in the future of content marketing.

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“HubSpot is at the intersection of technology and philosophy.” — Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO, HubSpot

Dharmesh (@dharmesh) opened his INBOUND 2015 keynote with co-founder Brian Halligan (@bhalligan) with this simple truth. I couldn’t agree more—that the company is at this crossroads, and that its technology is inexplicably tied to the ideology, practices and desires of its users.

Taking it a step further, I’d argue that in the case of the Boston-based SaaS company with more than 13,000 customers worldwide, its product is a direct reflection of the behaviors and preferences of consumers today.

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“While everyone else is debating this sh*t, I’m using it,” entrepreneur and marketer Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) told a crowd at New York Internet Week. He was talking about his success on newer social media platforms like Snapchat, and how we as marketers are guilty of talking too much and doing too little with different platforms.

There’s no magic bullet or secret formula. There’s just getting your hands dirty with different sites, services and communities. That’s how you determine which channels are valuable and get there before the competition.

To help you do that, here are five unconventional platforms you might want to dig into today.

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The following is a guest post by Sabrina Fenster. Sabrina is the Marketing Manager for The Shelf, an influencer marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to connect with the most relevant influencers. They currently serve businesses in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, food and family space. She's also the co-creator of street style blog, StreetScoutMeYou can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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It’s never been more important for marketers to understand their company’s business fundamentals. This sounds obvious. We should know—and understand—how our companies make money, right?

Apparently it’s time for a wake up call. A full 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams, according to new research from Kapost

Let that sink in. Our job is to develop credible, profitable connections with customers—and with the people that hire us.

We must do better. Marketers are under more pressure than ever to measure their impact and prove ROI.

To help achieve that goal, I’ve listed below six business fundamentals marketers should measure and how to measure them. This list is a starting point: You may need other or additional metrics depending on your company’s business model and / or available technology.

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“Inspiration doesn't respond to meeting requests. You can’t schedule greatness.” – Jay Baer (@jaybaer) 

The grind of everyday life can get to even the most motivated marketers. Sometimes we have to go the extra mile to stay passionate day-in, day-out. It’s just one of the many reasons we are strong believers in the impact of conference season. 

Conferences are key to feeling more connected to the marketing community, staying inspired by your profession and learning from the successes (and challenges) of our peers.

The PR 20/20 team is gearing up to see many of our marketing idols, here in Cleveland and others a bit further from home. Below, I’ve highlighted the full team conference circuit, plus where you can catch a session from our CEO and founder, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer).

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