Over this past year I have made the effort to keep a journal, of some sort, detailing business and marketing notes I’ve picked up from reading various blogs in the industry.

I do this with a simple Google Doc so that I can access it anywhere (which I’d highly recommend you try in your business/swipe files).

What I’d like to share, today, are ten of those notes that have brought about the greatest impact in my work – and I believe it will do the same, for you.

Here is the list (along with the links):

1. On the Topic of Hiring a Freelance Writer

Source: http://www.stevescottsite.com/hire-freelance-writer

Notes: Sites like Elance and Fiverr are great places to find freelance writers for all types of content whether its blog posts, lead magnets, info products, press releases, web 2.0 backlinks, proofreading, copy writing, and more. Finding the best writers can be summarized by measuring their experience, setting a content requirement, having them be a native English speaker, and using a code word when placing the listing to weed out mass responses. It’s also noted that you should ask for live examples of their work to see if what they say is true. The use of milestones and rewards will keep the writer happy and productive while encouraging them to deliver their best.

2. On the Topic of Premium Posts

Source: http://finchsells.com/premium-posts/

Notes: Finch decided to create a host of premium posts which are very much alike ebooks with the exception that they’re extremely in depth about a single topic and can be bought individually or as part of a bundle. The price points of $10 – $20 each makes it attractive enough to purchase if you plan to enter the industry he covers. The sales page can be something to learn from as it shares what’s included, why make the purchase, testimonials, and other landing page elements. Overall, this is a smart choice for those wanting to monetize their website without having to dedicate a great deal of time to writing an eBook which may not correctly fit the niche.

3. On the Topic of List Posts

Source: http://www.incomediary.com/how-i-get-over-100000-visitors-a-month-with-top-list-articles

Notes: Lists bring in the traffic and this post shares the formula. Lists can just about be anything but the ones that really do well are those related to people since it encourages those listed to share the post to their own community. Other list ideas like gifts, tips, and reasons are great for injecting affiliate offers and internal links. A smart way to work off each list is to turn it into a series. You can find a lot of great help if you use Textbroker.

4. On the Topic of Writing Great Openers

Source: http://www.thesaleslion.com/write-first-paragraph-blog-article-business/

Notes: The topic is forward with this one taking a high focus on catching visitors’ attention within the first paragraph. The post emphasizes expertise & empathy as two of the leading factors. Types of examples include the “people come to us with ____ problem”, “we understand you and …”, and the “here’s the answer to your problem” type lines. The point is to identify with the visitor, recognize the problem, and tell them you have a solution.

5. On the Topic of Starting a Business Podcast

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-start-a-business-podcast/

Notes: Skype will be one of the better tools for handling the podcast when you’re doing interviews and you can use VodBurner to record the calls. Other tools and resources include music from sites like AudioJungle, The Music Bakery, and Pond5, file editors like ID3 Editor to fix up the file records, along with places to submit like LibSyn and iTunes. The process generally includes using the first month to set up the podcast and let them know what to expect – then each successive month begins call-to-actions, references to older podcasts, and promotions.

6. On the Topic of Building Links

Source: http://www.viperchill.com/webinar-replay-1/

Notes: Use Flippa to see which sites are quickly ranking in their industry and then use backlink searching tools to see where they’re receiving them (referenced to using SEMRush). Work around the freshness update and continually add new links and content for the site. YouTube and iTunes should also be on the top of your list since they help gain eyeballs and ears – with these go hard on the keyword usage.

7. On the Topic of Virtual Assistants

Source: http://www.chrisducker.com/101-tasks-to-outsource-to-virtual-staff/

Notes: Pretty much everything on this list is golden if you are considering the use of a virtual assistant (or if you have one but haven’t really put them to good use). The post is divided into areas for general, administrative, blogging, marketing, and other tasks. Pick one and you’ll already gain the benefit of using a VA.

8. On the Topic of Writing Great Web Content

Source: http://styleguide.tutsplus.com/

Notes: Tuts+ is a massive network of many different blogs and premium courses that relate to Web development and other graphic design/coding topics. The site network pulls in millions each month and so they have created a style guide for their writers. The guide covers areas of using tone and voice such as how to address the reader, writing for specific regions, branding, and more. My notes are a little sparse here because the entire thing is a great resource for creating structure behind content production – use all of it, basically.

9. On the Topic of Finding Great Clickbank Products

Source: http://basicblogtips.com/best-clickbank-products.html

Notes: These notes ended up being straight forward and basically came down to understanding the audience (demographics), keeping an eye on gravity (they recommend items over 50), focusing on the keywords (stick to long-tail under 5000 searches), use Google Adsense to see if there is competition, then contacting the owner/author to help with the promotion. Basic stuff but acts like a good reminder.

10. On the Topic of Identifying a Long-Term Monetization Strategy

Source: http://www.stevescottsite.com/authority-monetization

Notes: Focus on building the main assets like your email list, social subscribers, content distribution, and money generating items such as information products, affiliate marketing, kindle publishing, freelancing, advertising, and others. Identify each of the ‘most wanted response’ for each segment of your business. Example: subscribe (email), review (kindle), buy (affiliate), become affiliate (share).

Final Thoughts

I notice that a lot of us are the type to obsessively subscribe to lists, RSS feeds, and bookmark blog posts. The problem is that we rarely go back to read these posts when it comes time to put the topic into action.

I feel the best way to get the maximum value from these posts is to create a journal throughout the year and condense the post into a sentence or two of high-impact, actionable items. This way when you do want to take action you can mull over your quick notes versus having to read through it all over again.

Do this note taking and it will change how you do business in 2014.

What were the best notes you took in 2013?