Create Killer Content

Industry Secrets from Authority Intensive 2014 to Create Killer Content and Improve Your Marketing

Written by Nikole James on May 8 – 9, 2014
Topic: Content Marketing
Presenters: Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, Sonia Simone,  Arienne Holland,  Ann Handley, Bryan Eisenberg, and many other experts!

Take your content marketing to the next level by learning inside industry knowledge about how to incorporate current design,  content, traffic and conversion strategies.

Here’s the good stuff…

Thursday, May 8th

8:00 am

Thursday Opening Remarks: Brian Clark

“Internet is a direct relationship medium”

– Brian Clark

Be sure to create direct relationship with your audience

The best way of reaching people where they live is by sharing a story

Always remember you can’t please everyone – find your people and write for them

8:30 am

And now, Seth Godin is taking the floor to discuss “Clutter, Trust, and the World of Optional Media: Welcome to the Revolution”

Focus: “In a world where everyone owns their own media company, where does trust come from?” ( – Authority Intensive website)

8:55 am – Bats and Unicorns the Authority Master Class

The simple part of building your authority is being the only one that is creating what you are doing.

“Am I in the business of getting someone to look at me or am I in the business of creating something to share.”

9:20 am

The first step is understanding that we want to be connected – we want to stand for something and people want to do what other people are doing.

“Do the people in your organization agree on what you are trying to change in the world?  Or are you just trying to sell something?”

“  Am I in the business of getting someone to look at me or am I in the business of creating something to connect people?

– Seth Godin

9:30 am

When you catch yourself saying “No I can’t do that it is too soon” you have to realize the difference between being prepared and being ready.  Being prepared is how you learn what to do – but you will NEVER be ready!

“You have to leap into the void” without knowing if you will fail.  Without a template and without a proven method.

Final Nuggets 

“Busy is not the same thing as being brave”

“We are here to connect, be vulnerable, open and honest to earn authority.  When we earn authority we don’t need to sell.”

“Work to be missed when you’re gone.”

“Don’t be in a race to the bottom because you might win…”

Bill Erickson will be presenting next…

9:57 am

Now Bill Erickson is stepping up to the microphone to present “Web Design Buzzwords: Here’s How They Translate Into Dollars.”

Focus:  Why your website needs buzzwords and how they can bring value to your business.

The importance of using design to create a frame for your content.

How design is helping further the ‘mobile revolution’ and creating mobile responsive design.

10:10 am

Three components of your website design:

  1. Responsive design
  2. HTML 5
  3. Schema

How to tell if your site is mobile responsive:

– All elements maintain proportion
– Design can detect high resolution
– Design can manage browser widths
– Design can evaluate based on the browser being used to enhance experience

10:27 am

Breaking down your website:
–  CSS is the paint
–  HTML is the walls

“Schema is code to improve a search engine’s understanding of content.”

Use Schema to help bring attention to:
–  user submitted reviews
–  add more information to improve the content you’re sharing
–  deep articles on your site
–  sharing as much information as possible on the search engine results page

Final Nuggets

Schema “Serves up more targeted traffic for you.  Give Google the most info possible so it will serve you up first.”

Next will be Dennis Goedegebuure

10:39 am

Now Dennis Goedegebuure will present “Should You Add A Designer To Your SEO Team?

Focus:  Find out how success is created with SEO when it is integrated into the design of the product.

Dennis G is director of SEO at Airbnb.

What makes search engines pay attention to you?  It’s people not search engines. – Brian Clark

10:56 am

“Will anybody quite their job after this presentation…?” – Dennis G

Two components of SEO:
Discovery – how people are finding your site
Relevant –how well does it answer the user query

11:15 am

Interesting idea using storyboards to understand the needs of your target audience.  Illustrate the story your target audience is experiencing while using your product or service.  You can discover:
–          What your audience is thinking and feeling
–          What is their motivation
–          How does your work influence what the target audience thinks, feels and does

11:20 am

“SEO as the outcome of a great product, designed to maximize the user experience.  Instead of starting with SEO as an objective.”

– Dennis Goedegebuure

Quick break before we hear from the design panel…

11:36 am

From “Design Panel: How To Get It Done For Engagement, Sales, and Future Growth” with Brian Gardner, Pamela Wilson, Chris Garrett and moderator: Brian Clark

Focus: How to design for engagement and maximize lead generation.

12:04 pm

Brian Gardner – 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a New Project (examples: creating a blog or climbing Mt. Everest)

–          Where am I going and what should I bring with me?
–          Who do I want to bring with me?
–          Identify the desired result?
–           Lastly re-calibrate

12:16 pm

Pamela Wilson – How can you easily create design for your site when you have a small business?

Make simple decisions about how to present your business to the world
– Choose two main colors to represent your business because it’s easier for people to remember two colors
– Pick an accent color to draw attend to something specific – CTA, Button or use it to highlight a concept
– Only choose two fonts – choose one sans serif and one serif font
– Results = get a look for the brand and content

12:22 pm

Chris Garrett – 3 Pillars of Conversion:
Affordance – do I know what to click
Visibility – can I find where to click
Congruence & Feedback – do I know and like what I clicked

12:30 pm

“Avoid doing things that people expect” – Brian Gardner

“I believe that design is not equally important throughout the life of your business, it happens in stages” – Pamela Wilson

“Biggest asset is your reputation”  – Chris Garrett 

Lunch break – back at 2

2:08 pm

We’re back and ready to hear from Sonia Simone on “What It Takes To Go From Little League To Major League.”

Focus:  How to create content at a higher level and build your authority to keep improving in the long term.

2:36 pm

People have their impressions and your assumptions about business and how you should act and how to be successful at business.  Sonia encourages everyone to challenge their assumptions.

“The #1 thing you can do is… think about what matters…what do you have to do to matter?”  Spend 20 minutes a day thinking about what matters.

2:40 pm

“The bigger your audience gets the more opportunity to have to blow it by being careless…”

“You don’t realize when you’re online how big the room is”

–  Sonia Simone

2:55 pm

Advice for a beginner

“…you will never do anything remarkable unless you are willing to suck for a while”

How to know if you’re ready to take it to the next level?

One sign is your audience takes what you’re doing and comes back and says “I did what you said and it worked” then figure out how to grow your business.

3:00 pm

And now we focus on content with the:  “Content Panel: Professional Content Creation Done Well”
with Arienne Holland, Jason Miller, Jerod Morris and moderator: Brian Clark

Focus:  Discover ways to create content that communicates and that is more than a filler for different types of content.

3:18 pm

5 Components of Communicators – Arienne Holland
Clarity – make sure that your audience knows what your message is
Concise – what do you need to do or say so that your customer gets complete information
Compelling – persuaded to take some kind of action
Honest – transparency is not the same thing as telling the truth
Sincere – actually engaging with your audience

3:30 pm

5 Reasons to Go Visual – Jason Miller
–  We are all visual thinkers
–  Aids in decision making
–  More persuasive
–  Longer impressions
–  Emotional connection

3:55 pm

Great ideas from Jerod Morris on how to use servant leadership to improve multi-author blogs.

Do you see any of these qualities in the leaders you write for?

1 Listening
2 Empathy
3 Healing
4 Awareness
5 Persuasion
6 Conceptualization
7 Foresight
8 Stewardship
9  Commitment to the Growth of People
10  Building community

4:00 pm

“A blog is having an honest conversation with an audience”

 Jerod Morris

“Well designed infographics with a purpose and a strategy will always do well”

– Jason Miller

“Because [you] have content, or have been marketing it [you] think that [you] have been communicating…”

– Arienne Holland

4:00 pm 

Let’s hear from Ann Handley “Dear Diary: A Content Marketing Makeover”

Focus:  Remake your content marketing strategy with Ann’s own formula for unique content.

4:20 pm

Lots of content out there so how do you join the 42% of marketers that feel effective?

Simple formula for great content
–  Useful x Empathy x Inspired = Great Content

“What would your marketing look like if your customer signed your paycheck?”

4:40 pm

Want to avoid writer’s block?  Try Ann’s concept of having a “mind like water idea – if a content idea suggests itself to you follow it and see if it works out…”

And also try to focus on experience instead of narrative – everything that the customer comes into contact with could be used to create content.

5:00 pm

“Never waste an opportunity to share your story to your niche”

–  Ann Handley

Next the Liquid Courage Content Panel…

5:00 pm

Here’s the final session for today “Ask Me Anything: Liquid Courage Edition”

With John Jantsch, Jennifer Sable Lopez, Chris Guillebeau and Ann Handley with moderator: Brian Clark

Focus:  Ask an online marketing guru any question and get the real side of content marketing.

5:30 pm

Question: How do you deal with negative comments from someone?

–  All responses are public
–  Engage with everyone whether they love your company or not – Jennifer Sable Lopez
– ” They’re probably having a bad day” – John Jantsch
–  Separate the objective response from the emotional impact – Chris Guillebeau
–  A blog is not a democracy and you can curate the comments – Chris Guillebeau
Negative comments can help you explain the reasons for your actions – Ann Handley

5:45 pm

Question: Suggestions or strategies on when it is appropriate to use curation?

–  Makes you very valuable to the people you are trying to reach – Ann Handley
–  What do I need to pay attention to and become the resource for your audience – Ann Handley
Need types of content to do different things for your business – make sure you’re not just focusing on one area – John Jantsch
–  Curation is a great way to serve your clients – here is custom content for your target audience –  John Jantsch

6:00 pm

Question: How do you help people that are not technologically savvy adopt new concepts online?

–  Focus on terminology and why they should adopt technology – Chris Guillebeau
–  Finding easy ways for people to get into content regardless of their knowledge – Ann Handley

Question: What is the importance of publishing books to help improve a business?

–  It really helped and focused on helping people and treating them the best way possible – Chris Guillebeau
Doing something with the book really helped promote, network and improve business – Chris Guillebeau
Books still have a weightiness to it that gives the business and author an ‘authority’ all it’s own – Ann Handley
–  The reason to publish a book is to “change the air a bit” and do it for the right reason – Ann Handley
–  “It’s a great way to crystallize a point of view that you can then follow through on  – everything that they were doing instantly improved” – John Jantsch

 That’s it for today folks!  Have a great night.

I’m off to interview Ann Handley and will start again tomorrow morning at 8 am!


Good morning!  It’s the second day of Authority Intensive!  Let’s get started…

Friday, May 9th

8:00 am

Friday Opening Remarks: Brian Clark

8:30 am

And now, Darren Rowse is taking the floor to discuss “Lessons of the Journey: From Personal Blog to Successful Online Content Community”

Focus: Discover the lessons Darren has throughout his career as a blogging pioneer that will help your content become massively successful.

8:49 am

” ‘Success’ is more about DOING the things you know you should do rather than discovering the secretes you don’t yet know.”

–  Darren Rowse

8:55 am

It is okay to feel like you are a misfit.  To feel like you are out of your league.  Because “if you feel ordinary you are in a good position to do something remarkable.”

On his first blog post Darren was very skeptical, he had many fears, inadequacies and excuses  but then hit publish and “My excuses…began dissolving on starting…”

“Starting lead to opportunity: readership, book deal, speaking invitations, income, friendship, authority and influence.”

9:05 am

“A blog has a maximum impact when people are left different as a result of reading it.”

How to put your reader’s first…
1.  Who are your readers?
2.  What do they need?
3.  How will they change?

Darren is sharing great ideas about how to create content to solve the problems of your target audience.

9:30 am 

“This is a marathon NOT a sprint”

“99.9% of great bloggers are not awesome on day #1.  Their awesomeness is the accumulation of value they create over time.”

–  Darren Rowse

How do you plan to help your audience more and create awesome content?

9:45 am

Now “How To Be The Best Answer Wherever Customers Are Looking” with Lee Odden

Focus:  Understand how a target audience interacts with information to improve your conversions.

10:00 am

“No one can consume all the content that is out there…yet some people are able to stand out”

Use this to learn how to optimize for your customer:
Customer Information Journey
–           Discover: Where do they hang out?
–          Consume: What are their preferences?
–          Act: What type of offers can you put out there to inspire action?

Optimizing for experience
–           It’s not enough to inform people
–          Help them feel what you want them to know about you

10:15 am

How are you creating signals of credibility in your business?  Are you using content marketing, social networks, advertising, local, referrals, industry media and news?  Share below…

How can you bring together “the way you want to be known” with “what your customer’s problems are” and optimize it?

“Develop an ecosystem of authority” – Lee Odden

10:20 am

“Discover through social and validate through search”

“Search is an indication of intent”

–  Lee Odden

What is your target audience searching for?

10:30 am

Jon Henshaw shows “How To Create a Traffic Machine for Your Content”

Focus:  How to create your own “traffic machine” by utilizing available online resources.

10:50 am

Important note: Google gives emphasis to mobile responsive sites.

Great free tools

WordPress = Roots
– great starter theme for wordpress

Webflow = Web editor
– lets you change the devices to see what it will look like and export it

GT metrix =Website speed evaluator

11:00 am

Great ideas about how to repurpose content to make it epic:
–  Put it on SlideShare
–  Create a cinemagraphs – a gif with active components
–  Build a microsite
–  Republish content on sites that will send targeted traffic

Epic content + connections = traffic

11:08 am

“Quality content is no longer good enough…it has to be epic”

–  Jon Henshaw 

After the presentation thinking about great ways to make content epic…how do you make your content epic?  How can you improve it?

Coming up at 11:30 am we’ll hear…

From “Traffic Panel: It’s All About Building the Right Audience for Your Goals” with Beth Hayden, Justin Premick, Selena Narayanasamy and moderator: Brian Clark

Focus: Explore different ways to generate traffic by incorporating social media, email, outreach and relationship strategies.

11:50 am

Beth Hayden – See your social media as a wagon wheel
–        in the center is your website and email opt-in
–         spokes are the social media that you use to drive people back to the center of the wheel

Good free tools to use to create graphics:

12:00 pm

Justin Premick – Where traffic comes from?
–          Referrals
–          Search and Social
–          Earned Media
–          Paid Media

12:15 pm

“Email isn’t just the result of traffic.  It’s also where a lot of your best traffic comes from.  No spamming required” – Justin Premick

12:30 pm

Selena Narayanasamy was talking about how to increase traffic for your content by doing outreach.  She had some great ways to identify potential targets who might want to share your content.

Identifying Potential Targets
Mine your existing backlinks and mentions
Mine your competitors backlinks
Mine the publications backlinks

Goal: get as much data as possible


“Relationships always start out cold but that doesn’t mean they’re not secretly luke warm.” –  Selena Narayanasamy

“Ruthlessly cut what isn’t working” [for social media]  – Beth Hayden

“Don’t disregard Google+ to get better rankings and traffic” – Justin Premick

Lunch time!  I’ll be back at 2:00pm for…

 Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers on “Unmistakable Proof That Your CTAs Are Costing You $$$”

Focus: How influential tweaks to your CTA copy, based on testing, can improve your funnel and produce more customers.

2:17 pm

What gets in the way of your page conversion?

Two things that affect conversion:
Friction – part of the experience
Anxiety – more of a feeling

2:35 pm

“Think of visitors as using their lizard brain – what would a lizard do?”

To improve your conversion you can take one option away and help people make easier decisions.

2:45 pm

Try reducing the anxiety your prospect might feel by clicking on your button with the following phrases:

–   “No credit card needed to get started”
–  “Customize your invites, offers and more”

3:00 pm

Testing is the way to discover an audience’s anxiety and how to help them overcome it.

One anxiety could be that if they click on a button will it make their life harder or easier?

Example: “Sign up” could mean more work while “Get Started” could seem easier.

3:00 pm

And now we focus on conversion with the :  “Conversion Panel: The Art and Science of Inspiring Action”

With Tom Martin, Annie Cushing, Dean Levitt and moderator: Brian Clark

Focus: Explore the difference between click and conversion, get more insight out of Google Analytics and convert traffic into clients.

3:19 pm

There is a big difference between clicks and conversion – when you chase the click you are chasing fame and not paying attention to helping your prospect through your funnel with your content towards conversion.

“Your audience will make you famous, your prospect will make you rich” – Tom Martin

3:42 pm

How can you tell what social does for your brand?  Annie Cushing‘s advice is to use multi-click attribution.

Old school: Last click attribution only focuses on the last part of the conversion process.

New school: Multi-click attribution divides credit through all channels that drive traffic.

4:00 pm

Quick ways to improve your click through rate

Get more people to click through by adding:
–        Juicy  buttons
–          Links
–          Photos

“Don’t burn yourself out and build on your small successes…that’s how you get the most out of email marketing” – Dean Levitt 

” Focusing on the little things to help accomplish the big ones. ” – Dean Levitt 

Don’t get  “caught in a content trap when you chase the click” – Tom Martin

4:15 pm

Here’s the final session for the whole Authority Intensive conference.

Let’s hear from Bryan Eisenberg on the “Performance Secrets of the Amazon”

Focus:  “This presentation will make sure you uncover and understand how to use the hidden secrets behind Amazon’s success and make it yours.”

4:30 pm

“Look at the world from the viewpoint of your customer”

“You have to be willing to be misunderstood to be innovative”

–  Bryan Eisenberg

Amazon is a great company to see how to build an effective online business.

4 key things that make up the Amazon culture

  1. Customer Centricity
  2. Continous Optimization
  3. Culture of Innovation
  4. Corporate Agility

4:45 pm

Does Amazon create content?  Nope.  They share other people’s content and they are willing to share it.

How can you get other people to create content that you can share or use data to create content?

5:00 pm

“I can know everything about you and then tie that back and personalize that experience.”

“Buttons should always be irregular shapes.”

–  Bryan Eisenberg

Three Key Takeaways

1.  Focus on being empathetic to improve SEO, Content and Conversion

2.  Make sure that you start, take the leap, initiate and publish that first post to help overcoming your fear

3.  Your audience goes on a journey when using your product, make sure you speak to it and help them solve their problems while they are on it and they will love you

 Thanks for joining me throughout Authority Intensive.

Look for my exclusive interviews with:

–  Ann Handley

–  Arienne Holland

–  Jen Sable Lopez

–  Joanna Wiebe

on Wealthy Web Writer coming soon…

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