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Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg speaks on husband's death in powerful commencement speech


Just over a year after the death of her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, opened up and gave the public more insight into her family’s struggle after the death of her partner

In remarks delivered to the class of 2016 at the University of California at Berkeley on Saturday, Sandberg elaborated on how she’s coped with her husband’s death while continuing to lead one of the biggest tech companies on the planet.

SEE ALSO: Sheryl Sandberg on Dave Goldberg’s death: ‘Things will never be the same’

“I have never spoken publicly about this before. It’s hard,” said Sandberg. “One year and thirteen days ago, I lost my husband, Dave. His death was sudden and unexpected. We were at a friend’s fiftieth birthday party in Mexico. I took a nap. Dave went to work out. What followed was the unthinkable—walking into a gym to find him lying on the floor. Flying home to tell my children that their father was gone. Watching his casket being lowered into the ground.” Read more…

More about Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, and Tech

How We Run the Unbounce Blog: A Love/Hate Optimization Story

Stitching together the blog pipeline since 2009. Image via Shutterstock.

Not long ago, blogging was something to be done in one’s spare time. A hobby to document the goings on in our lives.

But a full-time job? Aw, hells no.

shaking heads
Nope. Image via Giphy.

Times have changed, though, and blogging now falls under the umbrella called content marketing. At Unbounce, we started our blog before we even launched the first version of our product.

Today we have a library of 967 posts, 293 contributing writers, 9 internal writers and editors and ~300,000 unique page views. I’m paraphrasing here, but didn’t Notorious B.I.G. say something about more page views resulting in more problems?

The point is, Unbounce has grown fast, and like any team that grows quickly, we’ve experienced some growing pains. This is true for our blog and content production, too. Here are a few examples:

  • We spend a lot of unnecessary time hand-holding and responding to queries from people who clearly do not read our blog.
  • We run into instances where people miss their deadlines or the first draft needs way more work than what we expected.
  • There’s limited transparency into what posts are being worked on and at what stage they’re in.
  • It’s hard to know which content to prioritize, because we’re trying to achieve many objectives.
  • There is no tool to handle our workflow from pitch to publish (currently we use a jigsaw of many tools including Google Sheets, Google Docs, Trello, Word and WordPress).

While we still have a ways to go, we have taken major strides to improve our blog production process and address the pain points above. We hope insight into our fumbles and successes will help guide your content marketing forward (plus, we’ve included a free download of the pitch framework we use).

Cutting down on hand-holding

Since our ideal contributor is a marketing expert with previously published work who actually reads the Unbounce blog, there really shouldn’t be that much hand-holding.

A quick audit of our editorial process revealed that we’d often send and receive upwards of 10 emails before even getting a first draft in our hands. This is a bit obscene, not to mention time-wasting.

So based on that discovery, we cut our back-and-forths down by making sure to include all of our expectations right up front:


While it’s been a bit of a transition getting some of our more seasoned contributors to get on board (including internal contributors), we end up with a working first draft much quicker than before.

If you’re working with external contributors, include your expectations up front.
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Amping up our pitch requirements

Remember when you were first learning how to write an essay? You were instructed to craft a thesis, and then build your outline from there, mapping out important sections and highlighting concrete evidence to back up your thesis.

^^Pitch rejected. Image via Giphy.

This is what we like to see in a pitch, too — detailed and well thought out. There are three primary reasons for this:

  • It gives us a good understanding of the writer’s abilities and understanding of the topic they are pitching.
  • We spend less time back and forth with the writer, since a thorough and well-crafted pitch typically results in a thorough and well-crafted first draft.
  • It weeds out a lot of people — because we ask for a lot of work upfront, we deter folks who either don’t have the time commitment to write for us or who aren’t sure how they’d like to contribute. Sometimes friction is a good thing!

We recently updated our pitch document to include additional fields, such as for keyword research and creative assets required. It’s a big job filling out the pitch document, but doing so results in search engine optimized content with custom feature images and value-added CTAs, and that makes us and our readers happy.

Want better content?

Get a FREE copy of our blog pitch framework.

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portalId: ‘722360’,
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Adding Trello to our workflow

When I first started on the content team, we had one editor. Capable, resourceful and incredibly talented, Amanda was the blog’s lone wolf.

lone wolf
So majestic. Image via Giphy.

The problem with being an island, though, is it can sometimes lead to a lack of transparency. We’ve mentioned our Core Values before, but transparency is one we haven’t touched on yet on the blog.

unbounce core values

At Unbounce, transparency relates to how we operate both internally and externally. Internally we ensure all departmental decisions, processes and progress is easily accessible by all employees. Externally, we are honest about our intentions, our successes and our failures.

Adding Trello to our process was a huge step in moving toward a more transparent editorial process, since it lets anyone with a stake in the blog know exactly which stage each post is at.

Trello screenshot
We use color-coding to indicate which editor has been assigned to the post.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a tool to manage your editorial/content calendar, Trello is a great option to test out. It’s totally free and let’s you assign due dates (or publish dates in our case), which can be seen visually in their handy-dandy calendar view. Trello has put together a comprehensive guide on how to set this up for your team.

Prioritizing posts

We often have a dozen fully fleshed out pitches awaiting our review every two weeks — and most of them are great. The problem is, though, that it can be hard to choose which posts to move forward with and when.

To combat this, we created a Blog Post Selection Criteria spreadsheet to help apply a value to each potential post. The ones that score the highest are prioritized above the others. Below is a snippet of our ever-growing and changing criteria:

Pro tip: Create your own prioritization spreadsheet or check out this beautiful framework by Wil Reynolds and the team at Seer Interactive for inspiration.

Finding a tool that works, from pitch to publish

Although we’ve implemented solutions (or at least improvements) to address many of the pain points we experience, we’ve yet to come across a tool that can accommodate our workflow from ideation to publication.

Yes, there are many great editorial calendar software options out there, but handling pitches from external contributors seems to be a tricky ask. And while some enterprise-level tools may offer that type of customization, they’re not cheap.

For now, we’ll stick with our Frankenstein-esque process, until we find a tool that ticks off all our must-haves. (BTW, if anyone needs a great startup idea…)

Always be optimizing

Just like everything else we do here at Unbounce, optimizing our blog is an ongoing process, especially as we grow.

If your organization has its own blog (and the struggles that go along with) we’d love to hear how you’ve optimized the process, so leave us a note in the comment section!


Increase Your Open Rates with Sizzlin’ Summer Subject Lines

If you run an outdoor pool or an ice cream parlor, summer is a booming time for business. But even without summer-themed products and services, you can still add a splash of excitement to your marketing.

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and as people are starting to spend more time grilling and soaking up the sun, how can you capture their attention with your email subject lines? Remember, a subject line is just as important as the email itself because it’s the first thing people see in their inbox. Use these summer subject line ideas to get your emails the attention they deserve.

1. Draw attention with summer words and phrases

How are you celebrating summer at your business? Let it shine through in your email subject lines, but remember to keep it short and attention-grabbing. Use common summer words and references like these suggestions:

  • Celebrate summer with a heat-wave sale
  • Provide solutions to summer problems like mosquitoes and sunburn
  • Make a list of lawn maintenance tips or suggestions for a fun family grill-out
  • Talk about summer must-haves, summer safety, or summer places
  • Use summer words and phrases like fun in the sun, beat the heat, high temps, and dog days of summer

2. Promote a summer sale

An easy way to tie your email to summer is to promote a seasonal sale. Craft an exciting line that encourages customers to open the email immediately. Tell them exactly what they’ll see when they open it. For example, “Don’t miss out on the big summer sale — Promo codes inside.” You could also tie your sale to a summer holiday, from Memorial Day to the 4th of July or Labor Day.

3. Create a calendar of local events

People will look forward to your emails if they know they’re getting more than just an in-your-face promotion. Everyone wants to know about the hottest and most popular summer events, so add a calendar of local events to your emails. Give your customers something to get excited about, from local fireworks to the best farmers markets around town.

4. Use common sense

Your email subject lines should be fun and personal. If you wouldn’t send it to a friend or family member, you shouldn’t send it to current or potential customers either. But don’t go overboard. Stay away from emoticons if using them doesn’t align with your brand. All caps and excessive punctuation should also be avoided. Keep your email professional.

5. Create content people want to read

Your customer wants an answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” That means it’s important to give them relevant and engaging content in each email. One way to do this is with a summer-themed educational list. If you sell clothing, try talking about the top five summer trends. Or if you run an auto repair shop, list helpful ways to keep your car running smoothly. And don’t be afraid to add a bit of humor. Bonus points if you make your customers laugh.

Don’t let all that hard work on your email marketing campaigns go to waste. Use these tips to keep your open rates up and your business growing all summer long. 

Don’t Have a VerticalResponse Account Yet?

It’s easy to use and free to get started. Sign up and send up to 1,200 emails per month for free.

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© 2016, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

The post Increase Your Open Rates with Sizzlin’ Summer Subject Lines appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

Vertical Response Blog

Rainmaker Rewind: The Importance of Creating a Life Plan, with Michael Hyatt

Rainmaker FM rewind

I hope you’re learning valuable information from the recently evolved Rainmaker Rewind.

Because there’s so much great content out there, it was difficult to choose only 10 this week.


  1. This week on Rainmaker FM, Michael Hyatt joins host Chris Ducker on Youpreneur for a candid discussion on what his latest book Living Forward is all about and how to create, design and fulfill a plan for your life: The Importance of Creating a Life Plan, with Michael Hyatt
  2. This week on Copyblogger, Demian Farnworth explores the relationship between reading and strong writing: Want to Be an Amazing Writer? Read Like One
  3. See how one entrepreneur thought like an engineer in order to recognize the problems with online business — and why it worked: To Thrive As A Design Marketplace, Think Like An Engineer
  4. Entrepreneur Kayla Hollatz shares her top 15 favorite podcasts for aspiring and creative entrepreneurs: 15 Podcasts for Creative Entrepreneurs
  5. Has Facebook actively suppressed conservative-leaning news on the social network? If so, you may have even more reasons to build on land you own, regardless of your political or business opinions: Senate GOP Launches Inquiry Into Facebook’s News Curation
  6. If you’re running a business in 2016, think about Snapchat as a channel to grow your customer base and engagement. Gary Vaynerchuk said during CES in Las Vegas that one of the biggest advantages of Snapchat is that “It’s made up of real personal moments”: 7 Unofficial Rules of Snapchat All Marketers Need to Follow
  7. This week on The Daily Beast, one Twitter user argues in favor of longer tweets and less restriction on character limitations: Why Twitter Makes Us Feel Like Crap
  8. Inc. reports that the C-suite is more effective and trustworthy when engaged on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: Why the Best Leaders Are Social Media Savvy
  9. According to a recent study, 7 out of 10 Twitter users expect to receive a response from brands that they reach out to. Find out more about the study on Social Media Today: 52% of Customers Expect Your Brand to Respond to Their Reviews
  10. There is plenty of evidence indicating that entrepreneurs who can take a break and unplug from time to time are happier, healthier, and more productive than their stressed-out counterparts. Read what happened to one entrepreneur on Forbes: This Entrepreneur Tried To Unplug For A Week: Here’s What Happened

And one more thing …

If you want to get my Rainmaker Rewind picks of the week sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here on Rainmaker FM.

See you next week.

The post Rainmaker Rewind: The Importance of Creating a Life Plan, with Michael Hyatt appeared first on Copyblogger.


5 Steps to Amplify Your Paid Social Campaigns

5 Steps to Amplify Your Paid Social Campaigns

Author: Divya Dutt

In the last year or so, advertising on social channels has changed tremendously. Lately, major networks have changed their algorithms to give their users a better experience—one with less promotional content and more relevant content that they want to see. Because of these changes, as a marketer, you need to supplement your organic posts with paid promotion to get your posts seen by your audience. In fact, eMarketer reports that by 2017, social network ad spending will reach $ 35.98 billion worldwide.

As marketers are increasingly spending more on social platforms, it’s more important than ever to have the right strategy in place, track all of your paid social campaigns, and gain insights into what’s working and what’s not. Only then can you understand the return on ad spend (ROAS) from your campaigns.

In this blog, I’ll be walking you through how to put together a paid social campaign from start to finish for optimum results. Here are five steps to amplify your paid social campaigns:

1. Define Your Goals

It’s important to understand your goals for each paid social campaign upfront because your strategy and key performance metrics will vary depending on the goals you’re aiming to achieve. Your goals will help you map out the most relevant offers and content for your objectives—whether that’s brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, customer acquisition, retention, advocacy, or a combination of these. For instance, if your goal is to acquire more leads, you will probably want to share whitepapers or other gated content that people will need to fill out a form for so you can collect lead information. But if your goal is brand awareness, you might want to share ungated content such as an infographic or a fun video.

2. Identify Your Audience

Just as you would with any marketing campaign, you need to know who you are trying to reach with each of your paid social ads. You may already have buyer personas for your company’s target audiences that you can pull from (in some organizations this may come from the product marketing team). Once you understand this, you will need to decide who your exact audience for your social campaigns will be. There are a lot of great ways to target specific audiences on various social platforms, but if you don’t know who you’re targeting, you won’t be able to take advantage of the targeting options.

3. Pick the Right Channel and Content

The audiences on each social media network are different, and while some overlap across channels, their expectations of the type of content they’ll see on each channel is also different. So, you not only need to understand the networks your audiences are on and how to reach them there but also engage them with the right content. For example, ads about industry-focused events will probably do well on LinkedIn if they are targeted to a specific industry, but may not perform as well on Facebook.

4. Select Targeting Options

Once you have determined which social media channels you will advertise on, it’s time to get familiar with the targeting options on each of those channels. Social networks are getting more sophisticated with their targeting options, and you can target based on different fields: interests, skills, titles, company names, and even lists from your marketing automation platform—for example, people in your database with certain characteristics. LinkedIn, for example, lets you target people based on their titles, skill sets, company, and even degree, while Facebook allows you to target people based on their demographics, behaviors, and interest levels in certain topics or products.

LinkedIn’s Targeting Options:

LinkedIn Targeting





Facebook’s Targeting Options:

Facebook Targeting










Aside from targeting specific groups, you can also exclude certain audiences that you don’t want to serve specific content or ads. These people might not be the right fit for your ads, so excluding them will help you make the most of your marketing dollars by only putting your ads in front of the right audience. You can exclude people based on their emails address, interests, actions they have taken, and more. This comes in handy when you don’t want to advertise a product or service to a customer who’s already purchased it or to your competitors.

5. Create and Measure Your Campaigns

A good campaign structure will help you measure and report on different initiatives that are going on. You can build separate campaigns around all the products and services you want to measure and report separately, which will help you identify the audience that is most likely to respond to a certain product and serve relevant content or ads that resonate with them the most. This is a lot harder to accomplish if you have everyone grouped together in the same campaign. However, in some cases, it might be wise to start with a broader audience. For example, if you’re launching a new product or service and are not sure who will be most responsive or if you have a niche audience, you might not want to get too specific so you can achieve a broader reach. Then, you can track the campaign data to identify which audiences responded the most.

There are a few different ways to track the performance of your social campaigns. If you are using a marketing automation platform, then you can create campaigns that track not only form fills, but pipeline and revenue generated per campaign as well. Another way to measure your campaign performance is to set up unique URLs for each campaign. Depending on how granular you want to get, you can track your activity at a campaign level or within the campaign at a product or asset level. For instance, if you want to track how many people filled out a form to attend your company event, you can create a unique URL or marketing automation campaign to track visits to that event. However, if you were running three different paid ads to promote the event, you would probably want to know which one drove the most registration. Ultimately, your goal is to find out which event and ad drove pipeline and revenue. This knowledge will help you shift your budget away from lower performing events, assets, and paid ads towards the ones that are showing return on investment.

Are you putting paid promotion behind your social media campaigns? I’d love to hear about your tips and tricks in the comments below!


5 Steps to Amplify Your Paid Social Campaigns was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post 5 Steps to Amplify Your Paid Social Campaigns appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog

Sean Parker’s Airtime acquires WebRTC video chat wizards vLine

Airtime Video Chat It takes some serious engineering magic to build low-latency group mobile video chat and simultaneous content viewing. That’s why Sean Parker’s recently relaunched video chat room app Airtime acquired vLine, which offered video chat infrastructure to SaaS companies. Founded in 2010, vLine was backed with $ 1.5 million from Kleiner Perkins and Harrison Metal. vLine’s team will… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

How Alpha and Beta Spell Improved A/B Testing

Almost three thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks were already well on their way to developing such innovations as the catapult, indoor plumbing, and of course, the alphabet. What ultimately became the modern letters “A” and “B” actually originated as Alpha (α) and Beta (β) in the Greek alphabet. Today, Alpha and Beta have also become commonly used statistical terms. This is particularly true for Hypothesis testing, such as A/B testing for conversion rate optimization. So might there be a connection between A/B testing and these ancient Greek letter counterparts? Not really. However, I have found that the statistical concepts…

The post How Alpha and Beta Spell Improved A/B Testing appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

How Much Should You Spend on Conversion Rate Optimization Services and Products?

Traffic used to be the Holy Grail of digital marketing. But as time passed, many marketers—myself included—realized the focus of marketing campaigns should be on conversions. Sure, traffic is still important. But you could have hundreds of thousands of visitors to your site, but it won’t matter if none of them are making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, registering as a member, or whatever conversion goals you have set. Why the big emphasis on conversion rate optimization? CRO is all about helping you do the following: Increasing sales Increasing your email subscribers list Boosting your popularity Branding Carving…

The post How Much Should You Spend on Conversion Rate Optimization Services and Products? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

3 Ways to Improve the Best Advice Ever

3 Ways to Improve the Best Advice Ever

I’ve got a little bone to pick with a piece of extremely common advice I hear from successful entrepreneurs.

I hear this advice everywhere.

Watch the video (or read more below):

The advice goes a little something like this:

You just gotta get out there and do it!

Just do it.

Get after it.

Make it happen.

This isn’t going to happen to you, you gotta make it happen.

Dive in, get your hands dirty.

This advice is everywhere. Comedians, entrepreneurs, professional sports-people… So there’s got to be some truth to it.

But if I’m honest, this advice has never been that effective — it’s never helped me get my hands dirty and dive into something I aspire to do.

And I think we can fix that.

Here are 3 ways we can improve this advice to make it more effective for anyone who want to step out of their comfort zone and get something done.

1. You’re gonna suck at first.

Listen, when we start things we suck at them, ok?

It’s because we’re learning. We’re not masters yet, we’re learners.

I think, for myself, there’s a lot of resistance, analysis paralysis, wrapped up in this “you’re gonna suck at first” thing.

It makes sense, right? NONE of us were trained in how to suck gracefully.

We don’t have people in our life we really admired because they’re so bad at things.

“Oh man, Dale’s the best — he just sucks at EVERYTHING!”

BUT I think there’s a little bit of an invitation here to be okay with sucking at the start.

“Hey, I’m going to start up a business idea I can’t get out of my head and it’s gonna SUCK SO BAD at first, but just hang with me; it’ll get better with time.”

Doesn’t that just sound a lot more humane?

Doesn’t it put some of your fears in check when you realize it’s OK to suck at first, that everyone does?

The first thing we can add to this “just get out there and do it” advice is:

You’re gonna suck at first… Be okay with that.

you’re gonna suck at first

2. What you’re trying to do is actually quite difficult.

My goodness, I feel like we’re really unfair to ourselves about this one.

Nobody preparing to climb Mt. Everest is ever, like:

“You know what, I am just really in my head about this whole thing right now; I should just get out there and do it.”

NO! Because climbing Everest is really fk’n hard!

But, we say that kind of thing about our own endeavors all the time, not seeing or realizing that what we’re trying to do is actually quite hard.

I think this is a big reason why we waffle and flounder about, resisting action so much: because we haven’t sat down, taken inventory and saw this project in it’s true light as a pretty big undertaking.

Because when you realize something’s a real large task, you can break it down into little chunks And start making progress.

But we don’t do that. Instead we’re just really hard on ourselves for not being further along than we are.

Which doesn’t help anyone.

So, here’s another thing we can add to that “just get out there and do it” advice:

What you’re trying to do is quite difficult… Honor that and go gentle on yourself.

what you are doing is difficult

3. Luck plays a big role.

It just does. Luck plays a big role.

And we discredit that.

If you don’t like the word “luck” you could think of it as “serendipity” or “happenstance.”

It’s lucking out and being in the right place at the right time.

It’s an important influencer who just happened to be a friend of your uncle.

It’s a connection or a hook-up or an asset you lucked out to have.

It’s “this door led to that door and then, OMG I didn’t even see that coming, which put me in this position and led to that thing which opened the door to where I am today!”

These kinds of things play a role in everyone’s success.

Now, we don’t like that we can’t control luck, it just happens where it happens.

We’d rather say that if you work hard it’ll all work out and those who work harder get more success.

Which is true in a lot of ways. You certainly have to work hard… That will always be an ingredient.

But I think seeing luck also as an ingredient makes us a little more honest about whatever success comes our way.

There are things you can’t control that will play a part in your success. So let’s add that as well to our “just get out there and do it” advice:

What you’re trying to do will require some luck… Work hard and know that not everything is in your control.

what you are doing will require luck

This really is the best advice.

“You just gotta get out there and do it” really is the best advice. BUT we just need to augment it in a few ways…

  1. You just gotta get out there and do it… AND you’re gonna suck at first. Be OK with that.
  2. You just gotta get out there and do it… AND what you’re trying to do is quite difficult. Be gentle with yourself.
  3. You just gotta get out there and do it… AND you’ll need some luck along the way. Work hard and be open.

So, maybe next time you hear that common advice, you can remember these three things we’ve added today.

When I hear it this way it certainly connects a bit deeper, makes me feel a little more gritty and brave.

Hopefully you too. Thanks for reading!

PS. if you like the spirit of this post and you want to build a business of your own (on the side or full time), check out what we’re doing at Fizzle with the 9 stage roadmap. Watch the video »

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3 Ways to Improve the Best Advice Ever
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The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016

It looks like everyone is refreshed and energized after the New Year as there has being some awesome content published this month! Honestly, don’t read the rest of this post unless you have at least an hour to learn awesome internet marketing stuff.

SEO & Link Building

Google have been busy by releasing not one, but two new algorithm updates so far this month that have seen fairly decent shifts.

As usual we need to wait for the dust to settle until any credible observations can be made at the moment! In the mean time you should read the official search quality rater guidelines to get a feel for what Google is trying to achieve with machine learning.

Although Brian Dean’s latest study tell it’s own story of what you should be doing to rank!

If you want some quick wins you could upgrade your image optimization, speed up your site with one line of code or take advantage of this new HTTPS information.

Social Media

While you are taking care of SEO for your site, you might as well make improvements to your YouTube SEO efforts at the same time!

Don’t forget to enable these 2 unknown YouTube features to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

If you want to harvest more traffic from Facebook then you might want to start a popular group or build yourself an evergreen ad campaign that keeps on paying.

You can also take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse for thousands of visitors like these guys do using a strategy like this.

Blogging / Traffic Generation / Analytics

If you are struggling to come up with content ideas, here is a great tip to unlock hundreds of them instantly!

Don’t forget to weave one of these story templates into your writing to keep people captivated from start to finish.

Once your content is working for you, you might want to consider integrating a solid drip marketing campaign to help automate growth and grabbing peoples attention by ditching the sidebar .

Last, but not least…

If you want to quit your day job, then set aside one hour per day to work for yourself.

Although if you really want to quit your job, you can squeeze in a lot more than that!

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Credits: The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016 was originally published on January 25th, 2016 08:38 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved – Matthew Woodward