Happy Sixth Month Blog Anniversary!

Six months ago we embarked on the ClickDocument: Connect the Docs blogging journey. It has been a thoroughly exciting adventure!

Thank you Readers and Panel of Experts

Readers – A big thank you for reading, subscribing and for your enthusiastic involvement! Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Also, a special thank you to our panel of experts for their invaluable contribution to ClickDocument: Connect the Docs project.

White Papers Experts

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Case Study Experts

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B2B Marketing Experts

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Top 3 Posts

These are the three posts that readers have enjoyed over the last 6 months – if you haven’t read them yet, please do take a look and let us know what you think.

TOP POST 1: ClickInsights: Tips on how B2B marketers should leverage social media

Social Media Marketing is now getting a lot of interest not only from cutting edge startups but also from mainstream B2B companies. In this post B2B Experts shed light on the following question: What is your one tip on how B2B marketers should leverage social media?

TOP POST 2: ClickInsights: What is the biggest mistake to avoid in B2B Content Marketing?

B2B marketers are producing, managing, and distributing marketing content to reach prospects and turn them into customers. With all this energy fueled into content marketing, what are the pitfalls to avoid? We invited B2B Experts to share their insights on the following question: What is one big mistake to avoid in B2B Content Marketing?

TOP POST 3: Content Marketing – The Ultimate Cheat Sheet

If you are creating or marketing a white paper, eBook or any other type of content, you might have heard about Content Marketing. You may wonder what it is and how it can improve your marketing techniques. We put together a great Content Marketing Cheat Sheet that will tell you all about Content Marketing, from getting started to applying new promotional techniques to your marketing campaigns!

The Journey So Far

ClickInsights In ClickInsights Expert Interview Series we have feature top notch industry experts and thought leaders and got their insights, opinions and predictions on the content marketing field. We also asked for their suggestions on recommended reading resources to keep abreast with latest trends within the industry. Currently, we have 3 different series: ClickInsights White Paper Experts Interviews, ClickInsights Case Study Experts Interviews and ClickInsights B2B Marketing Experts Interviews

ClickLaunch ClickLaunch is ClickDocuments’ platform for launching new and exciting eBooks, books and white papers. We feature the best industry experts and thought leaders in order to get an exclusive insider view into their latest creation and awesome work.

ClickIdeas ClickIdeas is a hub for bringing together expert picked blog posts and articles from around the web on these topics:
•    Content Marketing
•    Social Media Marketing
•    B2B Marketing
•    Viral Marketing
•    Ebooks
•    White Papers
•    Case Studies

Expert contributors to ClickIdeas include Michael Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, Chris Garrett, Jonathan Kantor, Patsi Krakoff, Casey Hibbard, Stephanie Tilton, Doug Kessler, Michele Linn, Cindy King, Jonathan Kranz and Sarah Mitchell.

 

The Journey Ahead

The latest addition to ClickDocument: Connect the Docs  is called ClickDigest. It’s a big world out there in the content-marketing/social media/B2B blogosphere, so we will save you time by rounding up the best posts and articles of the week. It’s our pleasure to do the leg work for you!

Free GiveAways

To celebrate our six month blog anniversary, we have FREE giveaways worth more than $1000

To enter this giveaway, simply do the following:

We will randomly pick 7 lucky winners tweeters each day.

  • 1 Tweeter will win one of the Marketing books listed above(ONLY one book each day for 5 days)
  • 1 Tweeter will win The Fulcrum Effect DVD
  • 5 Tweeters will win Upbeat

Winners of each day will be announced the subsequent day. Stay tuned!

Thanks to all the folks who enthusiastically conversed, thereby enhancing the value of content on our blog – Joe Pulizzi, Cindy King, Glen Townsend, Mark Pilipczuk, Jim Lodico, Michael Stelzner, Kim Albee, Ardath Albee, Karen Swim, Roberta Sachs, Erica Stritch, Denise Wakeman, DeneneWrites,  Patsi Krakoff, Brindey Weberm, Nick Peters, Jonathan Kranz, Peter Springett, Dianna Huff, Melissa Paulik and Sarah Mitchell.

Again, thank you all dear readers, you make for such a great audience!

How to choose a white paper syndication partner?

How do you market your white papers? Can syndication partners take your white paper to your prospects?

Stephanie Tilton has published a timely 14-page report on White Paper Syndication Options for Technology Marketers.

White Paper Syndication Options for Technology Marketers report has great information on the following:

  • List of Syndication Partners
  • Costs to syndicate your white papers
  • What returns you can expect for dollars spent on syndication

List of Syndication Partners in Stephanie Tilton‘s report:

  •  eMedia
  •  Find White Papers
  •  IT Business Edge
  •  NetLine
  •  Technology Evaluation Centers
  •  TechTarget
  •  TechWeb
  •  Toolbox for IT
  •  Web Buyer’s Guide/Ziff Davis Enterprise
  •  Connect Direct

We have invited White Paper Experts to shed light on the following question: “What are your tips on how to choose a white paper syndication partner?”. Read on to get their insights.

Recommended Resources from Experts on white papers

Blogs

Books

Others

Stephanie Tilton

Blog Savvy B2B Marketing Twitter StephanieTilton

“White paper syndication is one way to quickly expand your reach and generate leads”

Stephanie Tilton’s Bio

Stephanie Tilton is an expert case study and white paper writer who helps B2B companies advance the sales cycle by engaging prospects and customers. Harnessing her unique blend of technical knowledge, marketing savvy, and writing skills, Stephanie has crafted nearly 100 case studies and white papers for leading brands such as Akamai Technologies, EMC, Macromedia, Novell, SAP, and Symantec. Her website is Ten Ton Marketing.

Stephanie Tilton’s Tip

Once you’ve spent the time and money to produce a white paper, you want to get it in front of as many prospects and customers as possible. White paper syndication is one way to quickly expand your reach and generate leads. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 78% of companies rate white paper syndication as the most effective media purchase, even outperforming online ads, paid search, emails and offers in third-party newsletters.
But when it comes to syndicating your white papers, it’s not so simple to sort out the options. You can syndicate via:

  • Newsletters (or bulletins) through companies such as eMedia
  • Single sites through companies including IT Business Edge, Toolbox for IT, and Web Buyer’s Guide (part of Ziff Davis Enterprise)
  • A network of sites through companies including Find White Papers, NetLine, Technology Evaluation Centers, TechTarget, and TechWeb

To choose the right partner (or partners), ask the following:

  • Do you reach my target audience?
  • How many white papers per month does your target audience download?
  • What is the cost-per-lead and is there a lead guarantee?
  • How will you promote my white paper, to how many subscribers, and over what period of time?
  • Do you help me optimize the paper’s title, content, and description to maximize downloads?
  • What type of information do you collect on the registration form, and can I customize it to collect information that fits my lead definition?
  • How frequently – and in what format – do you deliver leads?
  • Why should I choose to work with your company versus another syndication partner?

If you feel overwhelmed by all the options, you could work with an agency such as Connect Direct who can help you choose the right programs. Once you tell CDI how many leads you want and what criteria you want those leads to meet, it will negotiate a package of content postings and other promotions for you via its network of media partners.

Read 14-page report on White Paper Syndication Options for Technology Marketers.

Stephanie Tilton Recommends

Michael Stelzner

Blog WritingWhitePapers Twitter Mike_Stelzner

Michael Stelzner’s Bio

Michael Stelzner is one of the leading authorities on the topic of writing and marketing white papers. Michael is also the author of the bestselling book, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged.

Michael Stelzner’s Tip

Howard Sewell has a great article on this question. Read more at Ten Tough Questions to Ask Your White Paper Syndication Vendor

10 critical questions you should ask every white paper syndication vendor before you post on their site or network

  • What’s the demographic profile of the person downloading white papers from your site/network?
  • Is the contract price based on cost per lead, or fixed price per month/quarter? What assurances do I have on lead volume? What happens if we don’t meet that minimum?
  • If there are lead promises, what constitutes a “lead?” For example, will I have to pay for consultants or students who download my paper?
  • What percentage of total downloads or traffic is international? Will I have to pay for international leads if I don’t want them?
  • Can you provide references?
  • What’s the typical lead volume for a white paper in my category?
  • How do you drive traffic to your site/network? Is my content syndicated to other sites — if so, how and where?
  • Do subscribers or registered users get alerted to new content? If so, how? How many registered users are there? What’s the typical response to this alert?
  • What’s the user experience on the site? How can I feel confident that someone searching for information on my product category (or the business problem that my technology solves) will find my white paper?
  • If I renew my contract, how will the pricing be different from this initial term?

Michael Stelzner Recommends

Jonathan Kantor

Blog WhitePaperPundit Twitter Jonathan_Kantor

 “Consider free white paper distribution sites”

Jonathan Kantor’s Bio

Jonathan Kantor is the principal and founder of The Appum Group, “The White Paper Company“, and has been producing commercial white papers for the past 11 years. He is also the author of the White Paper Pundit blog. Jonathan’s experience with white papers is also coupled with over 25 years of enterprise business experience with leading industry innovators such as Apple Computer, Microsoft, Digital Equipment Corporation, and J.D. Edwards Enterprise Software (now a division of Oracle Corporation). This experience included a variety of sales, marketing, business development, and management positions.

Jonathan Kantor’s Tip

In this economy, it pays to consider the free white paper distribution sites instead of fee-based syndicators.

If you’re an enterprise white paper marketer, you can consider the usual outlets for white paper syndication such as Bitpipe, TechTarget, ITPapers, KnowledgeStorm, etc. In most cases, these syndicators will charge you a fee based either on number of downloads, clicks, or subject relevance. These fees are quite steep and show mixed results for the marketers that use them.

Rather than paying an arm and a leg with an uncertain return on your investment, consider the free white paper distribution sites such as:

In most situations, these free sites allow users to preview your white paper, read it online, download it, or generate hyperlink URLs allowing you can reference them via Social Media sites such as Twitter.

So why not try these free sites first before jumping into the uncertain and expensive waters of fee-based syndication?

Jonathan Kantor Recommends

  • Free document distribution sites: Scribd.com, DocStoc.com, Slideshare.net, Gazhoo.com, Yudu.com, and WhitePapers.org.
  • Blog sharing sites such as BizSugar.com, Sphinn.com, and Reddit.com.
  • WhitePaperPundit: The Friday FREE White Paper List, a listing of free white papers from weekly Twitter Tweets that don’t require registration, posted each Friday.
  • Twitter search criteria set to keywords: “White Paper”, and “White Papers”.
  • Google Alerts set to “White Paper”, and “White Papers”.

The Power of Commenting: How a Skeptic Became a Believer

When it comes to content marketing, the power of one simple habit is often forgotten. If you’re consistent and genuine, commenting on other blogs and websites is an efficient way to highlight your own content and, more importantly, build relationships and reputation.

In a funny guest post on Problogger.net, Josh Hanagarne aka World’s Strongest Librarian, talks about how he has gone from being a commenting skeptic to a believer.

“I’d never tried commenting as a traffic-building strategy, mainly because I’m not smart or patient enough to strategize,” writes Hanagarne. “For the record, I read a ton of blogs. It’s just rare that I comment.”

Then, after being asked about his position on blog commenting in an interview, he froze and realized he should look into whether commenting is actually worthwhile.

How? He spent one week trying to leave as many comments as possible.

Now, he did have a head start, because he targeted his comments at bloggers who had commented on another guest post he had written on the ultra-popular Problogger.net. He went through the comments on his post, sifting out genuine comments from spam, and visited the commenters’ blogs to see if he could add anything of value to the discussion. He ended up leaving about 30 comments over the course of the week.

The results? “After I left the comments, the numbers went up again,” writes Hanagarne, “far beyond the typical spikes following a Problogger guest post.”

Higher numbers translated into a 100-per-cent increase of RSS subscribers (160 to 320) and 40 new newsletter subscribers.Not bad for a week’s work! But, as Hanagarne, goes onto say, even more important than the numbers are the relationships that commenting can facilitate. In that spirit, here are some other posts that offer inspiration on commenting:

In a post titled 5 Tips for Getting More from Your Blog, Duct Tape Marketing talks about simple ways to engage your comment community.

This post on DoshDosh, titled Rethinking Blog Comments: Much more than just a quick way to get web traffic, captures the idea that comments are an extension of your personal brand. “A comment left on a popular blog may be viewed by a few hundred people in one day. Multiply that by the lifespan of the blog and you’ll see that a simple comment may say a lot about you. Every blog comment is usually permanent. It’s not just a hyperlink but a long-term representation of your brand.” For the record, this DoshDosh post got 186 comments.

From Chris Garrett’s 10 Reasons Commenting is Good for Bloggers, reason #7 reads: “You never know who is reading – It amazes me who reads my comments on obscure blogs that I thought only myself and a handful of others read. My comments on one blog lead to a consulting gig. You never know unless you try.”

Caroline Middlebrook has commenting down to a science. Her post Do You Have a Blog Commenting Strategy? has great tips on things like setting up a hit list of blogs to comment on. Interestingly, she notes that since she’s in the UK, it’s difficult for her to be a top commenter on U.S.-based blogs, because of the time-zone difference. She works around this issue by commenting more on Australian blogs.

Do you have a commenting strategy and how is it working for you?

A Content Marketing Reality Check

There’s a big difference between getting publicity and getting productive, reveals Wendy Piersall, founder of Sparkplugging.com, a blog network that focuses on work-at-home resources for solo business owners. Sure, it sounds great to be able to say you’ve been interviewed by so-and-so, or featured on such-and-such. That you’re this close to getting on Oprah.

But, as Piersall writes in a post titled “Internet Fame Ain’t All That“, it’s also a good idea to sit back and look at whether all that buzz is actually producing anything concrete. Piersall recently wrote a post about how, over the past 6 months, she has completely changed her attitude about focusing on getting publicity vs. producing the kind of content and SEO that she initially set out to create.

“When I started Sparkplugging,” Piersall writes, “I wanted to create an advertising and affiliate based website that would generate passive income even when I was helping my kids with their homework or out boating with the family. The business of internet fame is the exact opposite of that – not only did I have to work to become ‘famous’, I had to work even harder to maintain it. The impact on my work schedule was gruesome – and the impact on my bottom line was similarly pitiful.”

She says that after taking a break from all the PR-related work, and focusing only on creating content and SEO, she made more money in 30 days than she had in the previous year.

“I had no idea how much time I was wasting on something I thought was important to my business – only to find that simple hard work is what really pays the bills,” Piersall writes. “It’s not glorious work. I won’t be getting on TV any time soon for it. Nobody has asked to interview me about it. I’m not getting any speaking gigs because of it. And I’ve never been happier with my business.”

In the spirit of getting back to basics and doing all that non-glorious work, here’s a nice visual explainer on content marketing from Intersection Marketing blog.

Also, cutting down on personal PR doesn’t mean you don’t have to continue marketing your content. Problogger Darren Rowse is starting a series of posts on how to ‘seed’ content. Check it out!

Calling all Copywriters and Wanna-be-Copywriters to Copywriting Success Summit 2009

Mike Stelzner is once again pulling together one of his informative online summits – Copywriting Success Summit 2009.

We have invited Michael Stelzner, event producer of Copywriting Success Summit 2009 to share his thoughts on copywriting and details of the event he is organizing. Michael Stelzner is one of the leading authorities on the topic of writing and marketing white papers. Michael is also the author of the bestselling book, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged.

Michael Stelzner

Blog WritingWhitePapers Twitter Mike_Stelzner

“Great writers also understand marketing. Write more engaging, compelling, accessible and persuasive copy.”

Ambal Balakrishnan: Mike, it is a great pleasure to discuss the Copywriting Success Summit 2009 that you are organizing. Thanx for finding time out of your very busy schedule to provide your valuable insights to our readers. Tell us about Copywriting Success Summit. What prompted you to embark on putting together Copywriting Success Summit and make it an online event?
Michael Stelzner: Copywriting Success Summit 2009 is the largest online event dedicated to helping writers generate better-quality leads, win higher-caliber clients and earn more. Many of the world’s leading copywriters are presenting sessions on how to market and sell yourself as a writer.

This is our second annual event. Last year nearly 400 writers attended. We made it online to help eliminate the cost of travel. This online summit allows you to attend sessions, meet the experts and network with peers, all from the comfort of your home or office.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Who is Copywriting Success Summit event addressed towards?
Michael Stelzner: The summit is for freelance writers. Specifically, it’s for writers who fall into one of these categories:

The “Work From Home” Copywriter: You’ve been writing commercially for a few years (or longer) from the comfort of your virtual “office” and you’re ready to take your business to a whole new level. Better clients. Better projects. More profitability. And, you’re ready to connect with your peers!

The “Moonlighter” Copywriter: You’ve been taking on projects in your spare time (most likely while working a day job you wish you didn’t have). You’d like to learn some powerful marketing strategies for carving out a more lucrative niche for yourself, helping you make that final leap to full-time copywriter.

The New Copywriter:
You’re new to the field, love the idea of making a handsome living as a copywriter, but just aren’t sure how to best market and sell your services.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Copywriting Success Summit has a fantastic line up of speakers with various expertises. Tell us more about the speakers. Why does copywriting success mean not just learning to write and market great copy, but also learning about social media marketing and information marketing?
Michael Stelzner: This year’s line-up is an all-star cast. Presenters include bestselling authors and copywriting experts such as Peter Bowerman (Well-Fed Writer author), Steve Slaunwhite (Start & Run a Copywriting Business author), Michael Stelzner (Writing White Papers author), Marcia Yudkin (Persuading on Paper author), Nick Usborne (Net Words author), Chris Garrett (Problogger author), Casey Hibbard (Stories That Sell author), Chris Marlow (the original copywriter’s coach), Pete Savage and Ed Gandia.

Smart writers will apply the latest marketing techniques to grow their business. We’ll talk about them all at the summit, including the very hot topic of social media marketing.

Ambal Balakrishnan: How is the Copywriting landscape different than what it was a decade back?
Michael Stelzner: Ten years ago business was great and copywriters didn’t need to work hard to find jobs and close deals. However, now that the economy has tanked, writers must work harder to find and keep clients. In addition, social media has emerged, providing a great opportunity for writers.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Why do some copywriters succeed and others don’t? Give us few examples of great copy writers and marketers? What makes them great?
Michael Stelzner: It’s really all about marketing. Great writers also understand marketing. Take Steve Slaunwhite for example. Not only will be presenting, he also an exceptional writer. His work has landed him book deals and great respect in the industry.

Peter Bowerman is another example. In 1993, with no industry experience, no previous paid writing experience and no writing background, he built a freelancing writing business from fantasy to full-time in less than four months. He walks the talk. Many can learn from the lessons he’ll be teaching at the summit.

Ambal Balakrishnan: What is one change you recommend for copy writers to do better in their projects?
Michael Stelzner: Work on conversational writing. Using a few surprisingly simple-to-apply rules, you write more engaging, compelling, accessible and persuasive copy that will earn you more money. Why should you care? Because better writing gets better results, creating client loyalty, repeat business and more referrals. Discover how to take your writing technique and income to the next level. Peter Bowerman will reveal his secrets in this area.

Ambal Balakrishnan: What are your predictions on how Copywriting business will change in the next year?
Michael Stelzner: By this time next year, many of freelance writers will be out of business because they haven’t discovered how to properly market and sell their services. They’ll give up because they have not kept up. Fortunately for many hundreds that will attend this year, they’ll thrive if they apply the tactics that made many copywriters famous.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Please recommend 3-10 resources (books, blogs) on Copy Writing?
Michael Stelzner:

Ambal Balakrishnan: What kind of projects are you involved in when you are not writing, blogging, speaking, teaching or putting together cool events and seminars?
Michael Stelzner: I am in the midst of launching something super top secret. All I can say is it’s been consuming me and will be related to social media. Watch for more soon.

On a personal level, I love boogie boarding in the beaches of southern California and hanging with my family.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Mike, thanks for taking the time to discuss your event and sharing your insights with us.
Michael Stelzner: Thanks Ambal

Copywriting Success Summit 2009 FAQ

  • How do I register for Copywriting Success Summit 2009? You can register here.
  • How do I win tickets to Copywriting Success Summit 2009? Read more about how to win tickets here.
  • Where can I read more about Copywriting Success Summit 2009? Details of sessions with experts are here.