Want to Write for Issue 28 (October 2014) of FeedFront Magazine?

We are now accepting article proposals for issue 28 of FeedFront magazine.

feedfront-27-coverThe next issue of FeedFront will be coming out in October 2014, and we are accepting article proposals for that one through August 22, 2014.

If you are interested in writing an article, go to the FeedFront article proposal form to submit a one sentence summary on what you’d like to cover.

No ghost-written articles. We only want content from people writing from their personal experience on digital marketing related topics.

If you have previously been accepted to write an article and either failed to meet the deadline or did not adhere to the editorial guidelines, please submit your article proposal elsewhere.

We take our deadlines and guidelines seriously.

Do not submit a complete article now – just a one sentence summary.

We will contact everybody who submitted a proposal to let them know whether their article ideas are accepted or denied.

If you didn’t get the last issue, you can read Issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine online.

Are You Using a Mobile Responsive Email Template?

Mobile now accounts for the majority of email opens with a 51% share, according to data from litmus. Have you checked your email newsletter on your phone?

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I just checked mine and it’s difficult to read on a phone.

When I went to look for a solution, my first stop was my email solution provider, AWeber, and I was delighted to see that they have lots of drag-and-drop email templates for broadcasts and follow up messages that are mobile responsive.

The mobile responsive templates from AWeber automatically resize themselves to fit the screen your subscribers open them on.

Your readers won’t have to scroll across their phone screens to read your message if your email is wider than their screen, which is so annoying.

Using these templates makes your email easier to read on a small phone screen, and therefore more likely to be read.

AWeber has over 600 mobile responsive templates, so there is no reason you should be serving up a bad experience. Soon, I won’t be forcing my old template on people.

Talking Head vs. Whiteboard Videos

I’ve made many, many videos over the years (see my YouTube channel), and a whole lot of them are talking head type videos.

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But I’ve found that I am doing those talking head videos less and less, because even though I don’t put a lot of editing into them, they are still a decent amount of time to knock out with audio and video mishaps.

So, I was very interested to hear what Laura Cruz had to say in her presentation at the recent Performance Marketing Summit in Denver titled “Video Marketing and Email – Can it Work?“.

One of her slides covered the types of videos that engage viewers: webinar style, talking head, and whiteboard.

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I was particularly interested in the point that whiteboard videos were the most effective.

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I’ve created some whiteboard videos using VideoScribe software, and I’ve been pleased with the relative ease in making them.

So, I think I’ll step away from the talking head videos and focus on making whiteboard videos with VideoScribe for a while and see how things go.

Let People Pick Your Brain with Google Helpouts

I was reading an article in the New York Post yesterday (Why people are now charging to network over coffee), and it reminded me of a post a made a few years back about people asking to pick my brain.

free your brainI wrote the post, because I have long been solicited for coffee, lunch, a few minutes on the phone, etc. to answer questions about affiliate marketing.

I used say yes to everybody, and I was realizing that it was taking a good part out of my day (essentially extending my day, because my work was still there), I typically never heard again from the people I’d helped, and those few minute phone calls were never just a few minutes.

There was always “one more quick thing.”

I started referring people to my “Ask Shawn Collins” page, where they could ask a question, and I’d answer it, or else to my consulting site.

Most are cordial, but some lash out that I am not willing to sidetrack my day and projects and deadlines for their urgent problem.

So anyway, I’ve chatted with lots of folks who have run into the same situation, and some have turned to services like Clarity.fm to provide on-demand business advice on a paid basis by the minute.

Another option is Google Helpouts, which launched in November 2013. Google Helpouts provides for a more dynamic approach than the phone calls on Clarity.fm. Instead, it is a video chat, so you have that face to face experience, as well as the ability to physically show things to the other person.

I think I’ll give Google Helpouts a try and provide that as an option for the brain pickers. You can give a free first call to people or charge by the minute right off the bat.

How to Become a Successful Conference Speaker

There are many reasons to speak at conferences. In the early days of my career, it was all about money. My boss wasn’t willing to pay for me to get a conference pass, but changed her tune when I was accepted for a speaking slot.

How to Become a Successful Conference SpeakerThis scenario played itself out a few times before I really understood the benefits of speaking at a conference, and they were far greater than getting a comp pass to the event.

I first came to the realization that being a speaker gives back in a bunch of ways when I had my first book published, “Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants,” back in 2001. Shortly after it came out, I was speaking at a conference and got permission to bring books to sell after my presentation.

I carried in 25 or so copies, and hoped I wouldn’t be bringing them all back to my room afterwards. That didn’t turn out to be an issue. They all sold, and a bunch of people still wanted to buy them.

That experience was informative in a couple of ways, as it helped me understand that speaking can have lots of indirect benefits. I would never sell from the stage, and the thing is it’s not even necessary to do that.

Simply by sharing useful information and an excellent presentation, you are able to promote a book, site, personal brand, company, etc. without openly promoting, because people will read your bio to learn more about you.

Plus, it’s a great way to give back to the industry when you share your knowledge, which earns you capital among people in your business. Not to mention that it’s just supremely wonderful and fulfilling to help people.

Then there is the aspect of building up your own confidence and self-esteem among your peers. Let’s face it, public speaking can be sort of scary, but the more you do it, the better you become, and that skill can be translated in all sorts of areas in your business and personal life.

Finally, when you take questions from the crowd, you may be challenged by what some folks have to say, and that can help to change your position, which can then benefit you, your site, company, or whatever.

So anyway, I’ve written a short book called How to Become a Successful Conference Speaker with my tips on submitting a proposal and then putting together a great session. Get it in paperback or on Kindle.