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Guest Blog: The Lamp-Lighter’s Boy

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Old Vic, guest blogger Pieter van der Merwe shares the story of one of the theatre’s first managers.

A Theatrical Fracas!!!, or ‘The Lamp-Lighter’s Boy’ Trimming the Manager. In 1821 Joseph Glossop was fined £150 for assaulting James Winston, acting manager of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, after Winston ejected one of his servants from the theatre. The liveried servant’s face is probably Glossop’s, the title a slur on the ‘trade’ source of his family wealth as wax merchants. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

 The ‘Old Vic’ has just celebrated the 200th anniversary of its opening in 1818. In February this year, announcing preparations for this, the current artistic director Matthew Warchus said his aim was not to eulogise the theatre as a ‘historic artefact’ but a place ‘characterised by mischief, populism, sometimes breath-taking boldness and risk.’  That tradition started with his earliest predecessor but probably not how he meant….

The ‘Vic’ was originally the Royal Coburg Theatre, named to honour the marriage of the short-lived Princess Charlotte (daughter of the Prince Regent, later George IV) to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, future King of the Belgians. Construction began in then-rural Lambeth in 1816 but faltered until Francis Glossop, a wealthy Soho wax and tallow chandler, became involved. As a supplier of lighting for theatres, he had ‘imbibed the theatrical mania’ but his fifth and youngest son, Joseph (b.1793), caught the stage bug even worse. With family money Joseph completed and opened the theatre as its first manager on 11 May 1818, to early popular success, with an output of musical melodrama and spectacular action pieces. Young Joseph’s ambition was boundless: Glossop cash quickly bought out the other two main Coburg shareholders for £3000 each (about £180,000 today) one being its scenic director, the marine painter J.T. Serres, who had also lavishly decorated its grand Marine Saloon. By 1821, based on the house’s tenuous royal connection, Joseph had also become Clerk of the Cheque to the Gentleman Pensioners, allegedly as part of scheme to get a knighthood from George IV, and had taken on two more theatres. In 1819,  he staged the first-ever winter season at Astley’s Amphitheatre, the popular horse-circus just south of Westminster Bridge (now under part of St Thomas’s Hospital), then in 1821 leased the old Royalty Theatre in Wellclose Square, Stepney,  but almost as fast had to give up both places, claiming a combined loss of £2,800. In 1822, at further huge expense, he boosted novelty at the Coburg by importing from Paris a mirror-glass drop-curtain  in which the audience could admire itself (‘That’s all werry well’, yelled someone in the gallery, ‘now show us summut else!’), but in November fled to the Continent ahead of arrest for forgery, probably of a financial document.

Print depicting an exterior view of the Royal Coburg Theatre, published by Robert Wilkinson, 1819, Harry Beard Collection, S.2431-2009 © Victoria and Albert Museum

While that ended his first Coburg stint, by late 1823 ‘il Cavaliere Glossop’ had materialised at both Milan and Naples, where his grandiose plausibility won him control of the two largest opera houses in Italy, La Scala and the San Carlo. This was part of a new project to establish his wife, Elizabeth Feron, – a talented soprano sometimes called ‘the English Catalani’– as an Italian prima donna. They already had two daughters, but by the time their son Augustus was born at Naples in June 1825, ‘il Cavaliere’ was also being evicted from both Italian managements with losses later reported as £200,000. He and Elizabeth separated shortly afterwards and she continued a successful independent career, starting with a period in America from 1828. Even before she sailed however – calling himself ‘Gapper’ Glossop (his mother’s maiden name) and a bachelor –  Joseph  bigamously married in 1827 at Livorno to Joséphine de Méric, a French soprano whose talents he began promoting around Europe. Their daughter Emilie (later also a singer) was born in Paris in 1830 but this marriage also quickly disintegrated. In March 1833, back in London, Glossop was declared bankrupt with debts of some £56,000, mainly accrued at the Coburg, which was renamed the ‘Royal Victoria’ later that year after a visit by the future Queen. He nonetheless still managed to reinstall himself as its manager, lavishly renovating and reopening it in September 1834 with usual panache and another  mirror-glass drop curtain, but unpaid bills again soon piled up. In March 1835 his credit finally ran out when his father  Francis died, leaving his eldest brother – the highly respected Revd Henry Glossop, vicar of Isleworth – as head of the family. Joseph was again made bankrupt but still managed to retain a small interest at the ‘Vic’, though his father’s will expressly lamented the expense, ‘torment and misery’ his youngest son had brought on him. From the grave, Francis urged that he receive no more than £2 a week further income from family funds, plus any surplus accruing from their interest as landlords of the ‘Vic’. Joseph was last spotted running a boarding house in Brussels in 1842, and just ‘as happy as when managing the Coburg and the San Carlo’. Like other economising remittance-men, he later moved to Florence, where he died in November 1850 and was buried –  as ‘Joseph Buggles Glossop’ – in the English cemetery.

This trail of ruin and scandal is glossed out of Burke’s Landed Gentry (into which the Glossops graduated from ‘trade’ by the 1890s) and ended more happily in Joseph’s  children. Both his elder daughters were musical. Frances briefly sang as a pupil of the celebrated tenor John Braham: Mary Ann was a successful composer of popular songs and operas, with libretti by her also well-known husband, the lawyer and humorous writer Gilbert Abbott à Beckett. From 1851 their actor brother re-branded himself ‘Augustus Harris’ and became a successful international theatre manager with a long link to Covent Garden.  His son, in turn, was the impresario Sir Augustus Henry Glossop Harris, who, at his death aged 44 in 1896 the critic William Archer considered ‘the greatest showman… that England has ever produced.’ Called ‘Druriolanus’ from his spectacular management of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (and jointly of Covent Garden), his bust still looks out from its entrance facade on Catherine Street, though his knighthood was a civic rather than theatrical honour.

Engraving depicting the interior during a performance of the Royal Coburg Theatre, Surrey, 1819,S.553-1997  © Victoria and Albert Museum

If the ‘Old Vic’ has a ghost it ought to be Joseph Glossop. It is his monument, as well as London’s second-oldest theatre after Drury Lane and the first home of the National Theatre (1963–76). In its 200th year it would at least be good to find a decent portrait of him: the only one known seems to be as ‘the Lamp-Lighter’s Boy’ in a caricature by Robert Cruikshank. He deserves better memory: without him, there would be no bicentenary to celebrate.

Visit the Theatre and Performance Galleries to discover a display celebrating the Old Vic, on until December 2018.

Blog

How to Repurpose Blog Posts Into Instagram Albums

Are you looking for Instagram content ideas? Have you considered repurposing your blog content into Instagram albums? Grouping multiple images from a blog post into an Instagram album can bring engaging content to Instagram. In this article, you’ll discover how to combine blog posts into Instagram albums. Why Use Instagram Albums to Repurpose Blog Content? […]

This post How to Repurpose Blog Posts Into Instagram Albums first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy For Your Blog And Social Media Posts

In today’s digital marketing landscape, a growing number of social media platforms and channels are competing for a limited number of marketing resources. Many brands are realizing that they can’t have an active presence across every single platform, and that they need to be strategic in how they create content for different channels. That’s why you need a content marketing strategy for your blog and social media posts.

Create one unified brand identity

In the rush to create new content for social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just creating as much content as possible, and waiting to see what “pops.” The basic thinking here is that, if you create enough Facebook, Twitter and Instagram content, something is going to go viral sooner or later.

The problem here, though, is that you might be creating the wrong content for the wrong customer. Or, you might be spreading your resources so thin that you are no longer staying true to your overall brand identity.

Say, for example, you are a brand that prides itself on having a customer-centric focus and responding to all customer inquiries quickly and professionally. So what happens when you’re failing to check your Twitter feed, and a long string of customer requests are being left unanswered? That reflects negatively on your brand.

Stay on schedule

Creating a content marketing strategy can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. For example, some brands actually come up with a content calendar, where they think several weeks ahead about the type of content that they would like to post. This helps to keep everybody on the team updated on what type of content will be appearing soon, and helps to ensure a smooth, integrated marketing strategy.

But you don’t need a formal calendar to make a content marketing strategy work. All you need is a basic framework about how often you are creating content. For example, 1 Facebook update per day, 2 tweets per day, and 1 Instagram photo every Friday. This makes it possible for different members of the team to handle social media responsibilities, without wondering: What in the world am I supposed to post today?

Boost your ROI

Yes, social media has an ROI, just like any other form of marketing. And that’s where a content marketing strategy can help you generate the highest possible return. As part of any content marketing strategy, you’ll determine certain basic metrics — such as the number of new followers or the level of engagement — you can track. Then, over time, you can see how much you are moving the needle on these metrics. If you are seeing your Facebook followers “stuck” at a certain number, which might be a real clue that either you’re not updating the page enough or you’re posting content that’s not resonating with customers.

By setting up a content marketing strategy, you’ll have real insights into the performance of your social media campaigns. And, best of all, you won’t wake up one morning to find out that one of your team members stayed up late last night, firing off a series of tweets that are completely off-brand.

Accountability in marketing means one thing: can you deliver on what you promised? Get this Guide to Advertising Accountability to see how revenue accountability can cut marketing costs by reducing waste and dramatically improving your ROI.

Guide to Advertising Accountability

This article originally appeared on Social Media HQ

Image credit: Pexels


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

7 Best Online Proofreading Tools for Writing Error-Free Blog Content

7 Best Online Proofreading Tools for Writing Error-Free Blog Content written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

No blogger ever wants to allow any errors in their content. We do our best to have our articles and other content 100% error-free because we do not want to be viewed as some illiterate rednecks. While we know that allowing a single spelling error by accident does not make you an illiterate redneck, we also know that the Internet is a very competitive and often aggressive environment.

“What can they possibly know about anything if they write as if they never went to school!” No blogger wants to find anything like that in their comment sections. Hence, we realize that we should not rely on our writing skills alone, especially when there are some many online tools to help us ensure the quality of our content. So today, we would like to take a look at the most popular inline proofreading tools and see what makes them so popular.

1. THRIVING WRITER

Of course, the best way to get your text professionally edited and proofread is to hire a professional for that. And the ultimate place to look for such professionals is a custom writing service like Thriving Writer. These people are known for dealing with academic papers mostly. Therefore, they understand the importance of a clean text. When a student submits a paper, such small drawbacks as grammatical and spelling errors can lower the final grade, regardless of how insightful the work itself may be. Hence, not allowing for such instances is a critical part of Thriving Writer’s professionalism.

They do charge for these services, but having your texts proofread by actual professionals that cannot be replaced by machines or software is definitely worth it.

2. GRAMMARLY

Grammarly is a tool that allows you to have your errors spotted on the go, and not afterward. While the first thing that you see on their website is the opportunity to upload (or paste) a text to have it checked, you can also install it as an add-on to your browser that will check everything you write – not only the blog posts, but also comments, emails, private messaging, etc. This way, you can make sure that your writing is flawless on all occasions.

Grammarly uses sophisticated algorithms to spot possible errors and gives suggestions as to how to fix them, but it is always up to you whether to take this advice or to dismiss it. Truth be told, these recommendations should be taken critically, because the automatic analysis of your text that this tool performs sometimes gets your intentions wrong and gives false suggestions. When followed blindly, it can even damage the writing.

So, Grammarly is a great way to refine and perfect your texts, but only when you are yourself familiar with grammar.

Getting a premium account at Grammarly will allow you to also check your documents for plagiarism to avoid instances of unintended borrowing.

3. POLISHMYWRITING

This is a free and easy-to-use service where you simply copy your text and paste it onto their website. The text gets analyzed quite instantly, and the mistakes get highlighted in different colors, depending on the type of error. By clicking on the highlighted mistake, you get suggestions as to how you can improve this part of your text.

The main advantage of PolishMyWriting is that it is very user-friendly and intuitive.

4. GINGER

The mechanism and the set of functions at Ginger is pretty much similar to those of PolishMyWriting. The main difference is that Ginger also takes into account the more advanced grammatical issues that PolishMyWriting does not notice.

So, Ginger is better for the more sophisticated kinds of texts, as opposed to PolishMyWriting which is better for casual texts with everyday topics and vocabulary.

5. STICK WRITE

Slick Write is a great choice when it comes to business writing. It will make sure that your text is written flawlessly and powerfully, in strict accordance with all the business writing guidelines there are to follow.

A big perk of Slick Write is that it not only analyses the texts and spots all the possible errors, but it also examines your writing skills and gives suggestions as to how you can improve them on the whole, and not just in this particular text.

6. PAPERRATER

This is a fun tool to use. As other tools, it analyses your text, spots errors, and gives suggestions on how to improve your writing. But also, it rates your text in the end. So, when you keep using this tool, you can keep track of your progress. PaperRater gives you the exciting opportunity to watch how your writing skills get better.

7. SPELLCHECKER

This is the simplest tool on our list. Basically, all it does is checks the text for errors, and that’s it. No fancy gimmicks, just the charm of the laconic.

There are still a few extra perks, though. First, you can check the texts not only in English but also in 6 more languages. Second, you can check the entire blog to see what mistakes are the most recurrent and deserve the most attention.

So, these are our picks for the most useful proofreading tools to make your blog posts shine. Of course, it is up to the blogger which tools to use. The tools are not exclusive, so you are welcome to use several at once if you feel like this will contribute to the quality of your texts.

The last thing we would like to say is that many of these great tools were suggested by our fellow bloggers. So, we encourage you to share your experience with proofreading tools with the community, so we could all benefit from that and make the Internet a better and more literate place altogether!


Christina BattonsAbout the Author

Christina Battons is a blogger and web content writer who helps people and students succeed at writing, education, blogging, and more by sharing with them my knowledge. Nowadays I write for many many websites. You can connect with me on Twitter and G+. I’ll be happy to hear you, just drop me a line!


Duct Tape Marketing

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

Including podcast recaps, we published more than 500 (!) posts this year on Convince & Convert.

Our goal is to give you information, analysis, and insights you can’t get on all the other marketing sites out there. We do it this way because more than 70 percent of our readers have been in marketing for six years or more, and nearly a third have been doing it marketing-style for 15+ years.

In short: Convince & Convert is the home base for the experienced digital marketer.

We’ll be finalizing our 2017 editorial calendar soon. We’ll keep it pretty much the same I think, but we’re for sure adding regular features on social media customer service—a huge trend next year, and also something with which we have a lot of experience on the consulting side of our business.

(and if you’re interested in publishing here in 2017, visit our guest post guidelines/submission form)

Jess Ostroff, our Managing Editor, recently sent me the list of 2016’s Top 10 posts, ranked by page views, and we’re going to re-run each of them this week, two per day, to give you a fresh glimpse at the content you liked best this year.

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

It’s a fascinating list because these top 10 posts coalesce and coagulate into four key trends:

  • Statistics and research
  • Video
  • Content creation
  • Social customer service

Statistics and research and content marketing were big trends for us in 2015 as well. The other two are new, and I can’t wait to see what bubbles up in 2017.

1. The 5 Key 2016 Podcast Statistics, by Jay Baer

Based on a study from my friend Tom Webster and Edison Research, this post lays out the staggering growth of podcast listenership in the USA.

2. 5 Snapchat Statistics That Prove Its Power, by Jay Baer

Remarkably, this is another post based on a different section of the same research report from Edison. Stats are catnip!

3. Why 2016 Will Be The Year Of Video Marketing, by Eric Hinson

A terrific summary post (with lots of statistics included) that showcases top of the funnel, mid-funnel, and bottom of the funnel video use cases. Nice job from a guest contributor from Explainify.

4. 6 Unforgettable Lessons From Southwest Airlines’ Social Media Crisis, by Jay Baer

I wrote this post on-the-fly, when I saw Southwest’s Facebook Live video explaining how they were handling their massive cancellations earlier this year. I don’t write spur-of-the-moment much anymore (my schedule is more crazy than it used to be, and our editorial calendar is more locked than it used to be), but every once in a while you can catch lightning in a bottle, like the old days of blogging.

This is one of my personal favorites of the 60 or so I wrote this year.

5. The Shocking ROI Of Influencer Marketing, by Jay Baer

Another post in the statistics and data realm, this is one I wrote based on some fascinating research from our former partners at TapInfluence, who managed to pin down precise (and very strong) ROI for influencer marketing programs.

This one combined two trends: stats and influencers.

6. 17 Content Creation Secrets To Wow Your Readers, by Thiam Hock Ng

A fantastic, detailed, process-driven post that includes step-by-step instructions and examples. A great list post from Thiam, who runs an inbound marketing agency in Singapore called 3Pal.

7. The Right Way To Ask For Customer Reviews, by Jay Baer

From last January, this is my story of our company-wide retreat in Mexico, and a remarkable interaction with a waiter who absolutely NAILED how to ask for a review on TripAdvisor. I now use this lesson in many speaking engagements too.

8. 5 Content Marketing Predictions for 2017, by Joei Chan

Nice guest post and trends summary from Joei, who does content marketing for the social listening tool Mention. Prediction posts are everywhere, but Joei nailed it here and ended up with more page views than my own predictions post!

9. How Brands Are Using Live-Streaming Video Successfully, by Kathy Klotz-Guest

I’ve known the very smart Kathy for years. She’s the founder of Keeping it Human, a business storytelling consultancy. She uses that background to great effect on this post, where she documents all the ways businesses can use the red-hot live-streaming video options.

10. 10 Simple and Reliable Digital Marketing Metrics, by Rahul Alim

One of the best posts this year in the use of graphics and screenshots. Rahul is managing director at digital agency Custom Creatives, and he spills the beans here on precisely how to run the reports that matter. Super useful!

Huge thanks to all of our contributors for sharing their wisdom with our community this year. Big hugs also to Kelly Santina, who leads our Media division, as well as Jess and our editorial team for keeping the Convince & Convert machine oiled and operating.

Can’t wait for next year! Enjoy this week, as we re-run the top 10 blog posts of 2016.


Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

Nominate Your Favorite Social Media Blog: 8th Annual Top 10 Social Media Blog Contest

We’re now accepting nominations for our 8th annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest, and we’re looking for the blogs you’ve read and found most valuable in 2016. This is the biggest contest for social media blogs and the winners will be promoted in our 550,000-reader newsletter and announced on Social Media Examiner. How to […]

This post Nominate Your Favorite Social Media Blog: 8th Annual Top 10 Social Media Blog Contest first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Advanced Blogging: How to Make Your Blog Serve Your Business

Do you have a blog? Want to supercharge your content and increase email subscribers? To explore advanced techniques for improving blog content, collecting more email addresses, and promoting products and events, I interview Darren Rowse. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s […]

This post Advanced Blogging: How to Make Your Blog Serve Your Business first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How to Fact-Check Your Latest Blog Post in 20 Minutes or Less

Nobody’s correct all the time. Your blog posts, on the other hand, should be correct all the time.

Why? Because if your blog gets the facts wrong, your readers won’t take you seriously. Instead of being an authoritative resource, your blog will become a joke.

It’s harsh but true. Assuming you’re not a satire site like the Onion, you need to get your information right.

Truth be told, blogs should have similar standards for their posts as colleges have for students’ papers. Colleges require students to cite their sources in detail, and the sources have to be credible.

While I don’t think blogs should be required to quote only academic journals, I do think most blogs could benefit from higher standards of quality.

That means no poorly researched facts, no half-baked ideas, and no generalizations or assumptions.

It means thoroughly researched points, credible sources, and specific examples and anecdotes.

That’s the standard I keep for all my blogs, and I encourage my friends and colleagues to do the same.

Best of all, it doesn’t take hours to make your blog posts bulletproof.

Here’s how to fact-check your latest blog post in 20 minutes or less. Let’s get started.

Determine which facts to check

You don’t need to be super paranoid to have a perfectly correct blog post. Not every fact needs to be double-checked.

That’s why your first objective should be to comb through your post and determine which facts need checking.

An easy way of doing this is to consider whether or not the fact is common knowledge.

According to Harvard University, “Common knowledge is information generally known to an educated reader, such as widely known facts and dates, and, more rarely, ideas or language.”

For example, the fact that Barack Obama won the 2012 election is common knowledge. But the fact that Obama likes basketball is not common knowledge.

How can you tell whether a fact is common knowledge?

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab says that, as a rule of thumb, if you can find the fact undocumented in at least five credible sources, chances are it’s common knowledge.

image00

If your fact is common knowledge, you don’t need any source to back it up.

However, I recommend doing a quick yet thorough Google search to make sure your fact isn’t a common misconception. If all looks good, move on to the next step.

Consult credible sources

There’s a huge difference between an authoritative source and a credible source. Unfortunately, most people think they’re one and the same.

For example, most schools don’t allow students to cite Wikipedia because anyone can edit it. Even though Wikipedia is mostly well-maintained, it can’t be used academically.

Wikipedia is a perfect example of a site that is an authoritative—but not credible—source. It’s authoritative because it’s used by millions of people, but it’s not credible.

The Wall Street Journal is an example of an authoritative source that is also a credible source. Most major news publications (e.g., The New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post) count as credible sources.

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Besides national newspapers, some examples of sources that are credible include:

  • Personal websites (e.g., NeilPatel.com)
  • Studies in peer-reviewed journals with citations
  • Academic sites (i.e., sites ending in .edu)
  • Government sites (i.e., sites ending in .gov)
  • Trustworthy institutions (e.g., Mayo Clinic, Department of Justice)

Keep in mind that while some of these sources would be considered off-limits in an academic setting, they’re perfectly fine in our case. For example, using a personal site for a grad paper might be frowned upon, but it works fine for blog posts.

Some examples of sources that aren’t credible include:

  • Forums
  • Social media posts/updates
  • Studies without citations

Ultimately, you have to use your judgment here. If you’re using well-known, widely trusted sources, you’re good to go.

Get help from the watchdogs

There are also plenty of sites and resources dedicated to fact checking.

Usually, these types of watchdog sites cover either politics or urban myths. For example, FactCheck.org and Politifact.com are two sites that help you determine the validity of political statements.

image03

One of the most popular checking sites is Snopes. It has entries on all kinds of urban legends and controversial facts.

The team of researchers at Snopes always show their research, making it easy to fact-check Snopes itself.

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While Snopes has gotten some criticism for its seemingly biased political articles, it’s a good resource for many other topics.

Last but not least, Google recently announced its new Fact Check tag for Google News. In a nutshell, readers will be able to check the validity of an article by clicking on the Fact Check tag.

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If you’re already using Google News, this will be super convenient for you. And if you’re not using Google news, it’s a great time to start.

Create a strategy

I’ve shared a lot of information so far, but don’t be intimidated. As I promised, you’ll be able to use this info to fact-check a blog post in 20 minutes or less.

Let me take you through the strategy, step by step.

Step 1: Create a fact checking spreadsheet (1 minute)

Open Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, and create a new spreadsheet.

Don’t worry, you’re not going to make anything complicated. You’ll need only three columns.

Name the first column “Fact,” and enter all the facts from your blog post that need checking. (Refer back to the “Determine which facts to check” section of this article for this step.)

Name the second column “Sources.” We’ll use this in the next step.

Name the third column “Use.” You’ll use this column to determine the validity of your facts.

Step 2: Head to Google (8 minutes)

If your facts don’t fall into any political, social, or mythological categories, Google will be your first step in the fact-checking process.

For example, if you wanted to write about the successful use of Facebook video ads, you’d want to find a reputable source with examples.

Head to Google, and search “Facebook video ads.” One of the top results is this blog post from Social Media Examiner:

image05

The article has lots of outbound links to support its claims, which is a great sign. There’s also a lot of media to help the user follow the strategy.

This is an excellent example of a good resource. This article would definitely back up your claims about Facebook video ads being successful.

Try to find at least two quality articles, studies, or videos to back up each statement. This way, you can go through them at the end and decide which resources will be best for your article.

When you find your sources, paste the links in the “Sources” column of your spreadsheet.

Step 3: Consult other sites (optional, 5 minutes)

If you’re writing about anything political, you’ll most likely need to use FactCheck.org, Politifact, or Snopes. And if you need to check any facts related to society, Snopes is a good place to go.

You won’t need to use these sites for every article you write, so this is an optional step. If you do need to use these sites, just run your topic keywords through the search bars.

At this point, you might be thinking, “But what if there’s nothing out there to support my fact?”

A lack of support means one of two things: You either need to support the fact yourself or eliminate it from your article.

Since these are polar opposites, you’ll have to use your judgment here.

For example, if you’re arguing that studying the Renaissance can improve your marketing, you probably won’t find much out there that connects the two. But you can probably make a strong case for why it’s true.

On the other hand, if you’re arguing that the Loch Ness monster’s favorite color is blue, you won’t find anything to support that. And you probably can’t create a convincing case that backs up your statement.

Overall, if you have a hard time backing up a fact, you should leave it out. You are better off being safe than sorry when it comes to fact checking.

Step 4: Weed out the bad facts (2 minutes)

Take a final look at your spreadsheet. If you found at least one credible source for a fact, you can use that fact. Enter “Yes” in the “Use” column.

If there are any facts without sources, you’re better off not including those facts in your article. As I mentioned above, if you can make a compelling case for a fact, go for it, but be careful.

You’ll come across a few duds every now and then, and that’s okay. When it comes to facts, always choose quality over quantity.

Conclusion

There you have it—a complete strategy for fact-checking your newest blog post that only takes about 17 minutes. (And in many cases, even less.)

While this is a quick-start guide, don’t be afraid to spend a little more time on this process. Getting your facts straight can mean the difference between a success and a flop.

And keep in mind that the longer the blog post, the more research you’ll have.

To give you an idea, my posts run anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000+ words, and I typically spend about an hour or so on research per post.

Of course, the most important part about writing a blog post is making sure the content is awesome. Write to solve your readers’ problems, and be passionate about it.

Thanks to the Internet, fact-checking has never been easier. Take a few minutes to double-check everything, and you’ll never have to worry about misleading your readers.

What’s your favorite fact-checking tip?


Quick Sprout

Top 10 Modern Marketing Blog Posts of 2016

As we approach the end of the year it is always instructive to review the top performing blog posts of the past twelve months. As Modern Marketers we need to know what types of posts resonate with our readers. This understanding of our audience helps us plan for the coming year. When things work, you want to do more of them. When they don't, you stop.

The following are the top performing posts from 2016, that were published this year:

Demandbase Launches ABM Solution for Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation

This product announcement was the top performing post for the year. As we focus most of the content on the blog at the top of the funnel, without a heavy dose of product information, it is instructive to analyze why this post out-performed all others. In a word, or an abbreviation, ABM. The announcement that you could finally do account-based marketing within Eloqua was a really big deal for our audience. This post resonated so much with our audience that we added an ABM category to blog, where we regularly publish stories on the topic. It was a big thing for Modern Marketers in 2016 and it was a big thing for us.

Announcing the 10th Anniversary Markie Award Finalists
Markie Award Winners Show How Modern Marketing is Done

Everyone loves the Markies, and the coverage of the 10th Anniversary of these coveted awards earned two of the top spots in our top ten posts. Both the announcements of the finalists and the winners showed that readers are interested in companies that are executing marketing strategies better than others. These are also posts that appeal to both customers and prospects.

5 Strategic Business Lessons From Game Of Thrones

Pop culture references drive traffic, but they really drive traffic when the posts provide real insights into the topic. This was masterfully demonstrated by one of our strategic consultants. Plus it has a picture of a dragon.

5 Reasons I’m Unsubscribing From Your Emails
Gmail, TLS Encryption and Why Email Marketers Need to Know About It

These two posts are how-to posts for email marketers, both written by internal subject matter experts. The mission of our blog is to help Modern Marketers do their jobs better. These posts show that our readers respond to our mission.

5 Simple Marketing Automation Tips to Improve Conversion

Another how-to post that provides some practical advice from a marketing automation professional.

5 Ways Video will Transform Digital Marketing in 2016
2015: The Modern Marketing Year in Review

Our readers like to know what's coming and where we have been. The first post is from the CMO of one of our partners who stressed the importance of video in the coming year. The second post was part of our look back/look ahead series of content. This was part of an award-winning content campaign with lots of campaign elements driving traffic back to this blog post, among others.

New Gartner Report: Build Your Digital Marketing Hub

And finally, we make sure we share the latest industry analyst reports on our blog to help our prospects learn more about they types of products that they are considering and to help our customers be confident that they have made the right choices in their martech solutions.

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