In this week’s Reading Roundup, we start and end with the topic of the importance of sticking with things, and being consistent. We also get into a lawsuit against Twitter and why they won, the importance of content marketing, and the things that customers value most.
This article, published on Forbes, deals with the importance of having a clear vision for your business — and sticking with it. Here are a few points that stood out to me:
- Having a clear vision for your startup is one of the most important things you can do early on.
Here is how vision is defined:
A startup’s vision is their interpretation of what the world will look like in the future, and how their venture will be part of this future.
- The way you implement the fulfillment of the vision can change, but the vision itself doesn’t change — if it does, you have a brand new company.
- It’s hard to come up with a clear vision AND stick with it. But not sticking with it is the very reason that many businesses fail.
The companies that succeed and endure are almost always the ones that created a clear vision, and then stuck to it.
You can read the article here.
In case you're not familiar with the term, branded content are ads that look like regular content. For instance, you may see an article in your news feed on Facebook that looks like it's a normal post, but that is being served up to you because someone paid for you to see it.
Branded content has been around in one form or another for a long time, so it's nothing new. Another thing that is nothing new is that none of us like being lied to.
If you decide to participate in any type of branded content, the thing to keep in mind is to be transparent about it. For example, if you're recommending a product and you get a commission for promoting it, be honest about it. That compensation can come in the form of affiliate commissions, or sponsored posts, both of which I've participated in. With affiliate commissions, when someone purchases something using my link, I get a commission. And with sponsored posts, I get paid for publishing the post on my site.
While I've currently taken a break from both affiliate marketing and sponsored posts, I've made a decent amount of money from both of those.
Both are perfectly legitimate ways to bring in income -- as long as you keep the following things in mind.
- Only promote products or services you truly believe in. If you don't use it yourself, or would be upset if someone sold it to your grandma, don't promote it.
- Be up front about any material connection you have with the company you're promoting.
- Be honest about what you do and don't like about the product or service.
You can read the original article here.
Are you looking for a big breakthrough in your business? As this article on Harvard Business Review points out, while everyone wants a breakthrough, by definition, breakthroughs are rare. It goes on to say that the key is to provide value to your customers, and it gives 30 things that customers value most.
This quote from the article sums up the writer's position on this topic well:
The search for elusive breakthroughs can make the entire innovation process intimidating and discouraging. To help, think about which new elements of value will resonate with your customers and which can be delivered effectively by your company. Judiciously adding elements can bring new life and growth to existing products as well as build customer loyalty — with far less risk and lower costs than hunting for breakthroughs.
The article includes an infographic that focuses on the following five levels of value:
- Life Changing
- Social Impact
You can read the article and see the infographic here.
If you hadn't heard, a lawsuit was filed against Twitter for "supporting an Islamic state group." The lawsuit was filed by the families of two American men killed in Jordan. The families claimed that Twitter was responsible for the deaths because their platform was used by the terrorists in a way that they felt led to the deaths.
The judge agreed with Twitter that the company cannot be held liable because federal law protects service providers that merely offer platforms for speech, without creating the speech itself.
As horrible as this whole thing is, I was personally glad to read that Twitter wasn't held liable for what happened particularly when you think of the ramifications if it had gone differently.
This article on Small Business Trends touched on something near and dear to my heart -- content marketing. Among other things, it states:
When you invest in content marketing, you gain an edge over the competition.
It goes on to say that chances are, your competitors are already using content marketing, and if you don't, they'll have an edge over you.
It also gives the following six questions to determine if you're heading in the right direction with your content marketing strategy:
- Is my content strategy building my brand and furthering its goals?
- Does my content directly address my audience’s needs and interests?
- Does my content convey my brand’s personality?
- Is my audience engaging with my current content?
- Is my brand gaining an edge over my competition?
- Do I fully understand the point of content marketing?
You can read the article here.
In keeping with the content marketing theme, if you decide to use blogging as part of your content marketing strategy (and I think you should), this article on Addicted2Success is worth reading. If you're just starting out with blogging and don't want to look like a total newbie, be sure to check them out.
I actually agree with each of the things listed, but these are the ones that stood out to me the most:
It's far better to blog only once a week than to start off with a bang with several posts in a week and then publish nothing for a few weeks. You'll notice that at the current time here on PatrickBetDavid.com, we have a consistent schedule:
- Monday written post
- Tuesday video with a written post
- Thursday video with a written post
- Saturday, reading roundup
Without fail, those items are published week in and week out. Now from time to time things may change as priorities shift, and that's fine. But for the most part, it's important to create a blogging schedule and stick with it.
Find Out What Your Readers Want
This can be done a few different ways, such as asking on social media, via email, surveys, etc. You can also base your content on the types of questions that your customers or potential customers ask.
A challenge with this is when you're first starting out, you may not really have any readers to speak of. In that case, I recommend putting yourself in your future customers' shoes and thinking about what would be most helpful to them. As your audience grows, pay attention to their feedback.
Write Posts that Solve Problems
This is closely related to the previous point, because chances are, having their problems solved is what your readers want. Again, it pays to listen to what your readers are saying, as well as think of the problems that you've had in your specific niche, and how you've overcome them.
You can read the rest of the points in the article here.
This article on John Maxwell's site is about something most of us know to be true, but struggle to do -- be consistent. The first article in this week's roundup was on getting clear on your vision, and the previous article touched on the importance of being consistent with your blogging. The truth is, you won't make progress in anything without consistency.
I recommend reading the entire article here, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with this quote:
When you live with consistency, you learn that the rewards you seek in life don’t come after you take one step; they come when you’ve taken a journey to a place you’ve never been. You may never paint the Sistine Chapel or build an ark, but with the habit of consistency, you’ll be able to live like my mentor Coach John Wooden – making each day your masterpiece.
And of course, in case you've missed any of the posts published this week right here on PatrickBetDavid.com, be sure to check them out:
Ever wondered what a monopoly is and what causes it? In this post Patrick covers the 3 causes of monopolies and whether they are good or bad.
Are you an entrepreneur or just a wannabe entrepreneur? Discover the 10 things that separate entrepreneurs from wannabe entrepreneurs.
If you want to succeed in business, you need to develop the morning rituals of an entrepreneur. Check out the rituals of these successful entrepreneurs.
Enjoy your weekend reading. 🙂 And if you have suggestions for other blogs for entrepreneurs that you'd like us to follow and perhaps select content from to share, please leave them in the comments below.