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Humans of New York: The Revolution of Storytelling


Joan Didion famously said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

From the 20,000 year old cave paintings to the bedtime stories we hear as children and hope to one day tell our own kids, storytelling is a part of the human fabric. Nowadays, there are stories all around us. They entertain, delight, sadden, and anger. However, the best stories are those that inspire, and ultimately are powerful enough to change the world. And if you want to believe in the power of storytelling, just look at Humans of New York.

Started in 2010 by 32-year-old photographer Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York has grown far beyond its roots of solely New York-based, man-on-the-street interviews. What began as a project intended to “interview 10,000 of New Yorkers on the street and create an extensive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants” turned into worldwide phenomenon. To date, Humans of New York has amassed 20 million social media followers, and has featured stories from people in over 20 countries.


However, it’s the latest Humans of New York series that drew the attention of millions and shattered crowd funding records. For two weeks, Stanton shared the stories of families, doctors, researchers, surgeons, and nurses in the pediatric unit of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Through over 50 Facebook and Instagram posts, Stanton spread awareness about pediatric cancer and the emerging medical advancements to treat rare and highly progressive cancers. Best of all, the series raised $3.8 million dollars from over 100,000 donors that were moved by the Humans of New York content – all in a little over 14 days.


Many of the stories featured parents sharing their darkest fears while the children shared nothing but hope – many of them worried not for themselves but for their parents’ well being during this tough time.

Take Grace’s story. In a series of six posts, we learned that Grace had stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma, a type of cancer so lethal that doctors from a different hospital told Grace’s mom to “keep her comfortable” after the treatment stopped working.


However, when admitted to Memorial Sloan Kettering, doctors tried an experimental drug that ultimately saved Grace – and she proudly displayed her “beads of courage” to tell her incredibly difficult journey with a healthy dose of humor at having to turn down Justin Bieber while doctors had to restart her heart.


Stories like Grace’s are part of the brilliance of Humans of New York. It’s the kind of storytelling that sticks with you – it’s raw, emotional, gut-wrenching, and inspiring. It’s the kind of content that elicits a visceral reaction, and in this case, serves as the catalyst to start a record-breaking fundraiser.

Part of the success of Humans of New York is how it has adapted to the way people consume content. As of 2015, more than two thirds of Americans have a smartphone, and today vertical viewing accounts for 29% of total time spend on screens. While storytelling itself may not have changed, how we read, listen, and interact with these stories has changed, and Humans of New York has adapted with the technology.

How we interact with each other has changed as well. Through the ability to comment, thousands more people were able to share their stories of survival, grief, and love. This Humans of New York series ended on a close-up photo of a memorial bench in Madison Square Park for Max, a 7-year-old boy who died of pediatric cancer and a community was born out of the comments section. Memorial Sloan Kettering even took to Facebook to thank everyone who helped spread awareness and support each other:


The fact is that no matter what generation we are present, all of us need stories to survive and thrive. If you take a moment to look around, you’ll see that storytelling is very much alive and better than ever. It even has the ability to change lives.

3 Sneaky Ways to Get Influencers Share Your Content


Wouldn’t it be great if you could get other bloggers, industry influencers, and relevant companies to share your articles for you?

The truth is, it’s not as hard as you think. The important key is providing a compelling reason to share your content.

Everybody loves compliments. If someone wrote an awesome article about you, wouldn’t you want to share it around? With that in mind, here are three ways you can craft your content to encourage others to share it for you. As you create your next content, please try one of the following strategies:

1. Mentioning the Experts on Your Field

Email the experts in your industry and ask them the same question. For example, you might ask, “What are your favorite non-traditional social profiles for SEO and branding purposes?”. Make sure to explain the kind of article you’re pulling together in your email and make it clear the kind of names you’d be featuring. Don’t be bashful if you already have someone big onboard – it’s more likely to convince others to submit their answers too.

The genius of this strategy is that everyone you quote has some skin in the game. Every time one of those experts shares the article, you’re expanding your organic reach and earning industry credibility along the way. Just remember to follow up after you’ve published to alert them to the finished product.

2. Highlighting Famous People or Organisations

Everyone loves to be complemented. Find some people or companies worth shouting out and give them some space in your article. Explain what makes them stand out and link to their website (everyone loves backlinks). The benefits here are fairly obvious. Companies are likely to return the favor with a retweet or a share. You can email and/or tweeted people from every single company on the compiled email list. Most of the times, you will get retweets from Canva, Buffer, RiteTag and a handful of others. Their enthusiasm will catapult your article without much of your own additional effort.

3. Using the Piggybacking Strategy

This is a fun way to shout out someone famous and piggyback off their existing success. You might write something like “20 Ways Canva Has Completely Changed My Career”. You can expect a bit more traffic thanks primarily to the name recognition, but more importantly, it might convince Canva to share my content. They’d love to have a glowing article like that shared around.



When seeking extra attention for your articles, it can be tempting to use crazy titles and even crazier content. Remember, it’s important to keep your blog in line with your brand. It’d be pretty disappointing if your next article blew up but didn’t quote portray you the way you wanted.

Get creative but don’t forget that you’re building your online reputation along the way.

11 Quick Tips to Create Amazing Visual Content (Infographic)


Nowadays, online content is being produced in formidable speed, where every story is being presented for the audience to see and where users are constantly choosing what to consume.

However, visual content still gets the most appealing type to our senses. Information that is driven through visual content can drive in more blog traffic and hold the interest of your readers.

Visual content can be the secret recipe to boost your blog engagement and traffic. They can be eye-catching, attention-grabbing and compelling additions to a blog post that can increase traffic by manifold. For more useful tips regarding visual content and how it can help your blog further, take a look at the following infographic:


Infographic credit: Fast Web Start

Understanding Viral Content: A Brief Introduction (Infographic)

Viral content always wins a special place in every marketer’s heart. However, creating a well-established viral content is completely different case.

We should agree that the term “viral marketing” is quite offensive. For those who are not familiar, viral marketing will sound like something evil and unhealthy. However, any serious business owners have to embrace the power of this “virus”. It has a unique way to spread and affect others unconsciously. It hosts on other entities and uses them to multiply. In the right place, this “virus” will grow at a faster rate.

If the “virus” has unique characteristics and good media to spread, an “outbreak” may happen. Take a look at the following infographic for short introduction to viral content.


Infographic credit: BuzzSumo

“Real Time Marketing” Has Proven To Be Effective Method For Modern Content Campaign


Have you ever considered taking advantage of breaking news on your social media channels? If not, you are certainly left behind the others.

A recent research from Wayin has revealed that 64% of real-time marketers have influenced breaking news on social media in the past year. The number increases to 78% for brands seeing an ROI of at least 50% on their real-time marketing investment, compared to only 57% for brands with an ROI of less than 50%.

“The best brand marketers no longer rely only on planned campaigns; they’re looking to social media to find real-time, consumer-generated moments to power more informed and engaging campaigns – and it’s paying off. Companies using the right technology to find and analyse these real-time moments and use them in a meaningful way are able to connect real-time efforts to overall marketing goals and greater revenue results” said Jordan Slabaugh, Wayin’s vice president of marketing.

Perhaps more important is that 98 percent of marketers report a positive impact to revenue from real-time marketing. There are obviously some significant challenges to real-time marketing of this nature, of course, but is it worth the investment? The answer lies in you.

4 Content Marketing Errors You Need To Avoid


Content marketers do every effort it takes in order to optimise their performance. Creating a blog post, finding relevant and interesting images for social media, sending emails to generate leads and producing captivating captions are some of the “standard” practices content marketers are struggling with.

Internet and social media has changed the world of content marketing to a whole new level. Nowadays, every single business whether it is a small startup or a gigantic company uses internet as a primary resource to connect with the intended audience. However, a test proven content marketing plan works as a backbone.

Unfortunately, many amateur marketers and newbies are still making basic content marketing blunders that are becoming the biggest barrier against their ultimate goals. In this post, you will find four worst content marketing mistakes that can ruin all your efforts in no time.

1. Not Concentrating on “Why”


The days when internet marketers were using content to trick search engines through keywords are gone for good. Today’s rules are entirely different. Internet users and potential consumers know what they want. It means that using content just to sell a product is not a smart approach in this customer-centric era. Instead, you need to understand your audience first, and then create content that can actually fulfill all their desires. Remember, a stellar content marketing plan is always based on customers and their priorities.

2. Not Adding New Spin to the Content


Over 100 billion searchers use Google in a month. It is a clear indicator which tells that if you want to survive in this massive competition, you really need to produce some extraordinary piece of content. Only this way, your audience will stick to your content, quench its thirst and complete its buyer’s journey quite smoothly. You don’t need to write what others have already done. In fact, you should add a personal touch to you content with some exciting flavors for making it a valuable and useful resource for audience.

3. Not Even Thinking to Satisfy the Search Engines


Apart from customer-centric content, make sure to satisfy the search engines to unlock the unlimited benefits. Keep in mind, it’s not the same practice of filling your content with a bunch of keywords. Instead, use your targeted keywords wisely that can help the crawlers to identify and index your content for search engine rankings. When it comes to Google, it only prefers content that is well-written and uses best practices to attain ranking. So yes, it is important for you to satisfy the search engines in order to make the most out of your content marketing efforts.

4. Not Learning From the Influencers


The world of internet is packed with lots of influencers and real life examples that can help you improve your skills and thinking capability. The reason behind highlighting this point is pretty obvious. If you want to take your content marketing to the sky, then learn from the influencers. It is an amazing way that will assist you in bringing stability to your content marketing plan.

Creating Content That Overpower Your Competitors (Infographic)


Meticulous content creation is one of the important factor to have a high traffic website.

However, creating a great content that contribute to your web traffic is not a simple task. There are numerous factors you need to focus on. Do you want to overpower your competitors in traffic game? Take a look at the following infographic for more details.


Infographic credit: Siege Media

Create and Share Relevant, Customised Content (Infographic)


You need to choose which content suit you the best because all content is not created equal.

Even if they are not currently the target of an active marketing campaign, your current followers and potential prospects are still valuable to you. You need to keep them happy and build trust with them by being a consistent and reliable source of customized, relevant content.

Unlike your marketing campaigns, the content you release throughout ongoing cycles should be diversified. It should target various personas and focus on a variety of types and formats. Take a look at the following infographic to see few different types of content to try out:


Infographic credit: Venngage

Three Excellent Freemium Content Discovery Tools To Elevate Your Social Media Performance


Do you need more fresh content sources to make your social media presence more robust and active?

With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of content marketing, content curation and sharing tools are becoming widely used as they make social media management tasks easier. Moreover, these tools aren’t all expensive either. Most content curation tools offer a free version of their tool that is sufficient to meet most social media marketing needs, with paid versions that offer more exclusive features. Here are top three free content discovery tools that might fill your marketing need:

1. DrumUp


DrumUp is a quite nice content discovery, creation and sharing tool, which is currently available for free. It uses keyword searches to find highly relevant content that you can share on multiple social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The tool populates search results from keyword searches in a queue on the main dashboard, and you as a user can select the posts and articles that you want published. By allowing you to edit or delete posts from the queue, and schedule others for specific times, the tool allows you to fully customise all your content recommendations.

DrumUp’s scheduler automatically picks high-traffic times for your chosen time zone for all your scheduled posts to go live. However, if you prefer a date or time other than that set by default, you can easily change it by clicking on the calendar icon that appears at the bottom of each scheduled post. You can also add custom posts, along with images to the queue of curated content.

2. Spundge


Spundge is a content discovery and curation tool that works especially well with marketing teams, or marketing strategies with multiple collaborators. Its interface works perfectly with notebooks. You create multiple notebooks depending on the subjects that are relevant to your business and then start curating content by organising individual articles into notebooks. You can also look up exiting users and notebooks that have already been curated by other users on the platform.

Spundge also allows for easy curation of content that is found externally on the Web, and not within the service. When you sign up, the service will ask you to install a bookmark button. Anytime you come across something on the Internet that is relevant to your business, you can simply click on the bookmark button and the tool’s sidebar will show up, letting you save the article to your preferred notebook easily.

Each notebook can have collaborators, so multiple people on your team can add articles to Spundge simultaneously, which increases your cache of content. Though stories can be created on Spundge, it is currently a PRO service and only available on purchase.

3. Feedly


Feedly is a feed-based content discovery tool that helps you populate a personal feed with articles from selected topic areas and sources, and also lets you post each of them individually to your social media spaces. It is an easy-to-use app that also lets you save articles to either read and/or post at a later time.

The tool comes with a built in tagging option that allows you to add tags to articles to categorise them into specific streams. More customisation options are made available on the Pro version.

9 Tips to Create Super Engaging Content


There is always a room for improvement in content writing.

If you are a content creator, there are so many ways to attract more people to your website and keep them coming back. A lot of this has to do with how visually appealing a website is and how the wording has been chosen. Engagement with the blog is also of utmost importance. Here are nine wonderful tips and techniques for engaging readers in blog.

1. Include visuals

Be Visual

Try to include visuals in your blogs because it attracts more readers. You can use eye-catching images, screenshots or photographs that match your post topics. Giving your post a featured image will get people’s attention more than any title you come up with.

Don’t forget infograhics – readers like bright informative posts with visual elements. It’s rather simple to create infographics with numerous online tools.

2. Know your target audience


You need to know who reads your blog to get more of the same type of people you read it. This is called your target audience. Chances are the more readers you have the more engagement you will get. If you know what people want to read, you can create content that will keep readers interested. If you are not sure what will keep your readers interested you can use survey tools like Qeryz.

You can also ask your audience what they want to read about next. Readers can comment on your post to let you know. This tactic will automatically help with increased engagement.

3. Get a good comment system

In order to get comments and engagement you need an effective comment system. To find the best comment system compare your blog to others in your niche, especially the ones that get a lot of comments. Using the same system as other blogs like yours will make it easy for those readers to engage through a system they already know. You can also look at blogs with little or no comments and make sure you do not use that system.

4. Ask for engagement


Ask your readers for engagement by showing your interest in their thoughts and experiences. Or encourage them to ask any questions they might have. Techniques like this will peak their interests and get them communicating with you. Once they do, be sure to respond to their questions and comments to keep the interaction going. When you start engaging with your audience on a frequent basis, they will be more likely to return to your blog more often for future updates.

5. Guest writers


Get guest authors to create content for your blogs now and again. It’s rather difficult task to find and hire good content writer, but collaboration with guest writers will definitely save you a lot of time and money. This will attract more readers than just having your own posts. You can benefit greatly from someone who has already made a bigger success of themselves by networking with them and asking them to do a guest post for you. This keep your blog content unique and different.

6. Promote your content


Once your blog’s engagement has been improved you need to do that little extra to get it out to the world. Using promotion platforms makes this very easy. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter all offer promotional deals for your posts that will get it noticed by many people of the network. Create engaging content, you need to get it out there to make sure it receives the attention you seek.

7. Email lists


Ask them questions about your blog and ask them for feedback in order for you to improve your blog. Use the subject line to intrigue subscribers and provide a body to the email that encourage subscribers to engage and communicate by clicking on links, visiting your website or social media accounts to leave comments.

8. Social media


Sharing your blog posts on social media is a very effective way of increasing your reader engagement because these platforms were made to socialize on. The best way to do this is to create a Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or YouTube page to share your blogs from your website. Having a Facebook page for example is a good way to increase traffic to your website. You can even add a ‘Call to action’ button to your blog’s Facebook page that can link readers directly to your subscriptions page on your website.

9. Effective titles


There are many ways to make a headline that get your reader’s eye. A title must make you want to read more. This is especially true when sharing on social media, because the title will be all you see. Titles that get clicked on the most often starts with ‘How to’ or ‘Top tips to’. Others can start with questions. Remember to catch the gist of your article in the headline so focus on including the main keywords. Also make sure that your title delivers what it promises to the reader. If not, you might actually be deterring readers.