The term “cornerstone content” has been popping up in SEO discussions. WordPress users have likely seen this as they fill in their Yoast fields. Cornerstone content is the best articles on your site, the pages or posts you want to rank highest in search engines.
A LinkedIn company page is about your company rather than you, as an individual. Let’s optimize that page so it’s consistent with your brand and overall online presence and contributes to your Google authority.
I’m a pretty creative person, so I’m always mulling over new topics for blog posts and other content for my website. But let’s face it. Sometime the well just runs dry. This is the time of year when you’re trying to get the most out of Labor Day weekend, get your kids off to school or take a long-overdue fall vacation.
One more thing: If you’re not subscribing to newsletters and publications that provide industry updates, start now. This is not only a critical part of your job, it’s the inspiration for endless blog topics.
Here are some ideas for fun, inventive blog topics when the well runs dry
- Trends. Look for trending topics on social and comment on these trends. Analyze, agree, disagree and share a relevant experience.
- Time travel. Drill down through your post archive. I have something like 300+ blogs. Which posts can you revisit and repurpose, update and/or refresh? Add a new introduction and conclusion to give it a facelift. Evergreen content endures.
- Share a presentation. Have you given a presentation lately? Turn it into a blog post. Identify the major bullet points, the biggest takeaway and audience reaction. Think about also adding this to SlideShare for additional SEO value.
- Presentation/workshop/seminar/event. What have you attended that would make a great post? Profile the speaker and that person’s expertise. Who was the audience and why was this important? Provide a testimonial or quote from the presenter. Link to the presenter’s website.
- Showcase a member of your team. Or a colleague, leader, someone in your family or community who’s making a big difference.
- New applications. Have you discovered a great application that’s ridiculously easy to use, free and saves you time? Share this with everyone you know! I’m delighted with my latest discovery. I’m currently working on newsletters using five different email applications. Besides the old standbys—Constant Comment, MailChimp and Vertical Response–I’m using Square. My client’s using Square for his payment system, so their proprietary newsletter app integrates with this data. It is by far the easiest to use of these five applications. I’m also using MailChimp’s MailerLite, a drag-and-drop-based application that’s very easy to use.
- Discuss an issue. How about this? Will Congress regulate big tech? This may happen, but not with this generation of legislators. From The Washington Monthly: “Chuck Schumer, one of the most powerful people in Washington,usesa flip phone. The kind of phone with a tiny screen and real buttons, designed for making actual phone calls, not writing emails. But then, the Senate minority leader rarely emails, he sends about one every four months. In case manufacturers stop making his favorite flip phone, Schumer has stockpiled ten of them.”
- Knowledge sharing. Love free stock photo sites. These images are edgy, arty, stunning. Look for Pexels, Unsplash, Nappy.com. A drawback: If you’re looking for photos that are business-specific or with people over the age of 30, keep looking!
Direct mail is back, but it’s a new version of those boring old letters. It’s the new way to reach high-value prospects with personalized messages.
The biggest change for most of us is the block-based editor. Blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block. There are blocks for all common content elements and more can be added by WordPress plugins. There are blocks for paragraphs, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, etc.
Linkedin Company Pages can be an overlooked resource–a chance to post article and posts about your company. Upload images, videos and news. Linkedin remains the career and corporate platform. Use the company page just like your Facebook company page.
Google has finally thrown in the towel on Google Plus. No surprise here. Google launched their social media application in 2011 to compete with Facebook and it never really gained traction. By 2018, Google Plus was little more than an afterthought. But you really have to wonder why all those smart people at Google couldn’t make this work. They’re calling it quits after a data breach.
What were those circles all about anyway?
When Google Plus came out, we created accounts and gave it a try, but it wasn’t fun because, well, no one else was using it. No one really engaged. Apparently 90% of user sessions lasted fewer than five seconds. Compare that with addictive sessions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
But there’s more to this story than just an application that no one wants to use
Google chose to sunset Google Plus over an issue with bigger implications. According to The New York Times, “security vulnerability exposed the private data of some 500,000 users.” Google didn’t tell us about the application’s security issue when it was discovered because it didn’t appear that anyone had gained access to user information, and the company’s Privacy & Data Protection Office decided it was not legally required to report it.
If you’re not paying attention, data security has become a very big deal
The decision to stay quiet raised eyebrows in the cybersecurity community, as it comes against the backdrop of relatively new and stricter rules in California and Europe that govern when a company must disclose a security episode.
Up to 438 applications made by other companies may have had access to the vulnerability through coding links. Outside developers could have seen user names, email addresses, information about occupation, gender and age. They apparently did not have access to phone numbers, messages, Google Plus posts or data from other Google accounts.
Google was concerned about damage control
Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, a memo prepared for senior executives by Google’s policy and legal teams warned that disclosing the problem would expose the company’s vulnerability and invite regulatory scrutiny. CEO Sundar Pichai would likely be called to testify before Congress in the same way that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg did after its security breach. Google had planned to announce the disclosures, but moved up the announcement date when it learned of The Journal’s article.
In May, Europe adopted new data protection laws that require companies to notify regulators of a potential leak of personal information within 72 hours. Google’s security issue occurred in March, before the new rules went into effect. And yes, this applies to Google—it’s a global company.
California is getting serious about information accountability
California’s strict new privacy law goes into effect in 2020. In the event of a data breach, consumers can sue for up to $750 for each violation. It also gives the attorney general the right to pursue companies for intentional privacy violations.
What’s next? A hearing about whether tech companies are filtering conservative voices in their products. The Republicans are going to be all over this one.
Anyone who’s worked in print or electronic media—which is pretty much everyone these days–knows that finding good stockphoto images is a challenge. I find myself on a mission every week looking for authenticity–images that feature real people doing real stuff. I avoid those shots of insanely beautiful white people posing for the cameras. We’re a multiethnic community, so I also need images that reflect diversity as I enjoy my stunning free stock photo images!
Happily, we may be getting closer to sunsetting the uninspired stockphoto images we’re accessing now. Kudos to those who are taking stunning pictures 24/7 and sharing their work. Take a minute to thank them–each site provides the opportunity when you download your free stockphoto images.
These are some of the free stockphoto sites.
- Pexels. An extensive, free collection of beautiful, high-quality stock photos. Includes a useful feature that presents similar photos to the one you’re reviewing.
- Unsplash. A handy search bar to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take a look at the Collections of photos, such as Green, Workplace, Minimal, etc. This feature can help you identify a large collection of images at once.
- Pixabay. High-quality vectors and illustrations as well photos. Pixabay makes it easy to make a small donation to the artist by buying them a coffee.
- Stock Vault. A large collection of free textures work as backgrounds for text-based Instagram posts. 100% free; noattribution necessary for any images you find on the site.
- Burst by Shopify. A great source for free Instagram photos. An ecommerce platform, Burst hasbusiness-related stock images to help you create better social-media campaigns, websites and marketing materials.New images added every week.
- Gratisography. An especially great photo source if you run a travel, nature, or animal-related Instagram account. New photos are added weekly. Use them without attribution.
- Death to the Stock Photo. You need to become a member to access this highly curated selection of images, but you can still do this for free. Premium photos, videos, graphics, and media downloads. You’ll only get a certain selection of images per month at the free membership level.
- Foodie’s Feed. Professional-quality food pics for foodies. These images are stunning, though the quantity is limited. Use these to supplement your own food images.
- StyledStock. Think female entrepreneur vibe for your Instagram feed or blog. Collection is small, but quality is high.
- FreePhotos. A mix of both free and paid content, but a good selection of quality free photos. Easy search by category.
The photography is clever, creative and original
These sites are a big step up from traditional stockphoto sites. Drawbacks? For one of my clients, I need to find blog and social images every week for a demographic that is laughingly underrepresented on these sites—those 40 and older! Also missing are business photos showing job variety. These sites also don’t have huge volumes of images. But key in your search word and see what happens. They’re well worth the effort–the images are beautiful.