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5 Consequences of Not Updating Your WordPress Site

If there’s one thing WordPress users most ignore, it is the Update notification that they see on their WordPress dashboard. If you’re one of them, you’re not alone.  In fact, industry statistics reveal that only 12.17% of the top million websites are using the latest WordPress version 5.4. 

This begs the question – why don’t users install the latest WP version/update, especially when it is free? The most common responses include:

  • My website is working great, why bother updating? 
  • There is a new update every day, and it’s a task to update the site every time!  
  • My site is working perfectly, and updates could break or crash my website, so why take the chance?

While these reasons might seem justifiable, ignoring updates can prove to be an expensive oversight. 

Today, let’s find out why updates are so important and some of the consequences of not updating WordPress

Why are WordPress Updates Important?

As open-source software, WP has a small team of core developers working towards improving its features by releasing new versions and updates. However, there are many independent developers or companies around the globe who are working on releasing a variety of plugins and themes for WordPress. While plugins add or improve your website functionality, themes can be used to improve the overall look and design of your website. And, both are important for your site. 

So, when we say, “WP updates,” essentially we mean updating these three components:

  • Core WordPress – developed by the Core WP team
  • Plugins – developed and maintained by third-party developers
  • Themes – developed and maintained by third-party developers

Now, let’s understand how an update is released –

  1. First, when a bug or security flaw is found in a version, it is reported to the Core team
  2. The Core WP team validates the bug and fixes the problem. 
  3. The team then releases an updated version to the marketplace. For instance, if you are currently using version 5.3, you will see a message on your dashboard stating that “WordPress 5.3.1 is available! Please update now.”
  4. Once you apply the update, the reported bug is fixed on your website.

A similar procedure of reporting bugs is also followed for any plugin/theme version. Hence, it’s crucial that you update all the three WP components. 

On the other hand, if you choose not to apply the update, the software or security bug remains on your website, thus making it vulnerable to malware, hackers, or even a website crash. 

How? In the next section, we look at five of the most drastic consequences of not updating your site.

5 Consequences of Not Updating Your WordPress Site 

1. Your website could be hacked 

While there are several reasons for how your site can be hacked, outdated WP versions or plugins/themes can be one of the most common causes. 

If you’re wondering why hackers target old WP sites, the reason is pretty simple. When developers fix security flaws in a specific version (example, WordPress 4.x) by releasing an update (example, 4.x.1), it’s revealed that the particular WordPress version (4.x) has a security flaw. 

Hackers only need to search for websites using that version and exploit that to their advantage. The same applies to the plugin/theme; hackers only need to look for websites using the same plugin/theme version.

So, the longer you delay, the easier you make it for hackers to compromise your website.

2. Your website could crash due to compatibility issues 

If you have installed many plugins/themes on your site, you would have noticed that every plugin/theme version mentions the WP version that it is compatible with. 

This generally means that the respective version has been tested on and compatible with this version.  

Now imagine that you try to install a plugin (let’s say, release 1.0) on your site running on WP version 5.0. Since this plugin has not been officially tested on the older version, it could lead to compatibility issues. Such types of issues between the Core WordPress version and the installed plugin/theme versions can overload your web server – finally crashing your website.

3. Your website could face slow loading speed 

With users’ reducing attention spans, it’s no surprise if you are looking for ways to speed up your site. Website load time is a key aspect that affects user engagement and conversions.  In fact, even search engines like Google favor fast loading websites and give them a higher SEO ranking. This, in turn, can increase incoming traffic to these sites.

Installing low-quality plugins and themes on your site could overload your web server resources, causing your website to slow down.  With each new version, WordPress developers optimize their products for faster loading by releasing updates that ensure plugins/themes consume minimal server bandwidth and resources. 

On the other hand, websites using outdated WordPress or plugin/theme versions will be slower as these outdated components are not optimized for fast loading. 

4. You miss out on new features 

Like any other software, WP developers add new features and improvements to existing versions. With these new features, WordPress sites have better functionality and features that translate to a better user experience

For instance, the latest WordPress version 5.4 contains the “Social Icons Block” feature that allows users to share the page links to their social media pages easily.  Additionally, this version contains many modifications to the Block Editor feature, including enhanced color options for blocks and drag and drop elements for featured images.

Without any updates to your WordPress version, you stand to miss out on any new features and enhancements that can improve your website and its user experience. 

5. You miss out on bug fixes 

And finally, not updating your website means that you miss out on fixes for major or minor bugs that are reported for every WordPress version. If you’re using an old version, your website could have performance issues,  or worse, even malfunction depending on the severity of the bugs. To fix these bugs, WordPress and plugin/theme, developers regularly release minor updates or patches at short time intervals. 

By enabling automatic updates on your WordPress dashboard, you can easily take care of these minor fixes. However, if you are using an old version like 2.x or 3.x, applying updates is not easy and can potentially break your site. 

Be it a major or minor update, apply each WordPress update, including updates for plugins/themes as soon as it is released and available for installation. 

One of the most effective ways to minimize risks with updates is to use a staging site. A staging site is an exact replica of your site where you can test updates without affecting your live site. Once you’re satisfied that the updates work, you can merge them with your live site.  

Besides WordPress staging, another highly recommended practice is taking timely backups. Think of a backup as a safety net that you can use if an update causes your site to crash.  We highly recommend that you take a backup of your site before applying any updates to your site. This is not as complicated as it may sound.  You can use WordPress backup plugins such as BlogVault that provide scheduled automatic backups, unlimited on-demand backups, and even inbuilt free WordPress staging. 

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helped you understand why updates are so important for your WordPress site’s security and functioning. By avoiding updates, you are missing out on new features and improvements and worse, risking your website security. The longer you put it off, the more you risk you expose your website to. While it may sound cliche, in the case of WordPress websites, prevention is better than cure.  We recommend that you make timely updates part of your WordPress maintenance

What are your thoughts? Do you regularly update your website? We would love to hear from you. Do let us know in the comments below!

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Build Effective Company Branding.

Brand? Branding? Brand Identity? What are they? Are they the same? How do you even ‘do’ brand or branding??! Confusing, isn’t it? So that’s why we pulled together these articles this week, to help untangle what they are and how to do them properly to improve your business and results. Hope you find them useful.

If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

The Ultimate Guide to Branding in 2019

“Coca-Cola is more than a soda. Starbucks is more than a coffee. Ray-Ban is more than a pair of sunglasses. Glossier is more than a tube of concealer.

Interacting with these products provide experiences, and we buy them with that experience in mind. Better yet, the companies that create and market them know exactly the experience they want you to have when you make (or consider) a purchase. That’s why they create a brand.

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The Essential Guide to Branding Your Company

“Can you have a business without a brand? You can. The pizza joint down the road is likely a business, not a brand. Your dry cleaner – same story. The local veterinarian? Not exactly challenging Apple on the slick advertising front. All of these examples show that you can operate a successful business without having a real ‘brand’. But, if your business isn’t driven by necessity or pure convenience, chances are you do need a strong, recognizable brand.

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How to Develop a Unique (& Memorable) Brand Identity in 2019

“The terms “brand” and logo” are often used interchangeably. But though a logo can be the symbol of a business, it is not the entirety of a brand. In fact, creating a logo is just one small step toward developing a strong brand identity.

With millions, if not billions, of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, having a strong brand has become crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

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“Taking on a branding project for a small business can be a valuable opportunity for agencies and freelancers to develop experimental creative work without the intense pressures and restrictions associated with larger accounts.

While big businesses often have multiple decision makers with very specific ideas and guidelines to keep their existing brands consistent, smaller companies are usually more open to exploring new creative directions, and can move faster to implement them.

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Importance of having a Website for your Business.

Building a Business Website: A Small Business Guide

“It’s no longer feasible to run a business, even a brick-and-mortar one, without a web presence. Consumers turn to the internet for everything from product research to location and operating hours. Having even a simple website that’s well-designed can give you an edge in your field, and if you have products to sell, your site can open up new markets and expand your business cheaply and easily.

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The 4 Most Important Pages on Your Website

“Some of the pages on your website are more important than others. Okay, many of you probably find that fairly obvious — but I’m surprised how few people actually apply this knowledge to their websites to improve conversions.

I’m all about low hanging fruit; about undertaking the easiest tasks that will have the biggest results. What I’m about to describe in this article has the potential to improve your site dramatically with just a few, critical changes.

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6 Undeniable Reasons Why Your Website Should Be Responsive

“It’s probably no surprise by now that mobile internet usage has been skyrocketing over the last few years. According to a Morgan Stanley report, mobile internet usage is expected to match desktop usage by 2014. Even with this compelling evidence, the vast majority of business websites are still not mobile-friendly. This is not only causing a headache for users, but also a loss in business opportunity.

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“Every once in a while, I’ll come across a website that really draws me in. So, I found 27 of them to show you.

These sites push the boundaries of what is known to be possible on the web. Whether it’s the design aesthetic, usability, interactivity, sound design, or value that the site provides, each one is a masterpiece in its respective industry, and something to be inspired by.

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Effective Email Marketing.

Email marketing is dead. Is it? No way. Certainly if done properly. And that’s the opportunity for us. Hopefully, these articles can help you on the right track to get email marketing right in your business.

If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

“The first marketing email was sent in 1978, resulted in $13 million in sales, and kicked off what has become one of the most highly used marketing channels even to this day. Given its early beginnings, email isn’t as shiny as some newer channels like messaging and social, but it is an effective way to build an owned audience that gets results.

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16 Email Marketing Best Practices That Actually Drive Results

“While email marketing may not get the attention some newer marketing channels get, it’s still a terrific way for you to generate leads and convert more prospects for your business. With that in mind, I want to share some email marketing best practices you can use to generate more leads for your business.

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What Makes Good Email Marketing

“Good email marketing starts with the content you’re sharing with your subscribers. Put yourself in their shoes and ask, is this something I would want to receive? Remember that your prospects don’t care about your company or your product – they care about their challenges and how you can help solve them. So create and share content that they’ll find useful and interesting.

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“Marketers know that segmenting email marketing lists can improve open and clickthrough rates. MailChimp’s latest user data showed that segmented campaigns get 14.64% more opens and 59.99% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.

That said, figuring out the best way to segment your email marketing lists can be a huge undertaking.

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Identifying your Target Market and Target Audience

Every sales team and entrepreneur need to know their customer. But how do you find a target market and what exactly is it anyway? Hopefully, these articles can help you identify your target market. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

How to Define Your Target Market

“Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.”

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4Ps to choose your target market for entrepreneurial success

“By defining your niche, you’re also forced to really understand every detail about your business offering (product or service), which includes its benefits and unique features, who can benefit from the product offering and what sets you apart from your competitors,” says Mjadu.

“Once you know this, you should have a far better idea of who it is you are trying to sell to, which will allow you to be far more selective in your approach.”

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3 Effective Strategies to Reach Your Online Target Audience This Year

“To run a fruitful online business, you first need a solid online target audience to cater to. Without those people, there’s no one to see or care about your products and services, much less purchase them. That’s why expanding your reach and visibility is essential to reach your growth objectives.”

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“A target market is a group of customers for which your products and services are aimed. It’s usually first defined by an industry.

For example, if you’ve created a B2B Software product that helps remote construction teams, you’d probably focus on other companies within the construction industry. After all, that’s who you designed the product offering around.”

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News and Tips in Social Media Marketing

Are you small business owner and you’re constantly looking for new ways to get your company’s brand on the radar of potential customers? Well, it’s your lucky day as we pulled together some great articles for you. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

21 Secrets to Social Media Marketing for Small Business 

“Social media marketing is about more than just gaining followers and likes, but sometimes it can be difficult, especially when starting out, to strategize around the right elements, and to use the platform tools and options to achieve your business goals.

But there are key, fundamental tasks that you need to be covering off in your approach, essential steps you need to take to move beyond the basics and into generating actual leads from your social efforts. Outlining this, Tonya Burge from Your Marketing Lady has created this in-depth infographic on the key social media marketing elements you need in order to formulate an effective social media marketing plan.”

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How to Become A Social Media Marketing Expert According to Experts

“Are you thinking of becoming a social media expert?

Then you are in the right place.

According to LinkedIn, there are over  23,133,350 acclaimed social media marketers in the world. So if you really want to stand out, what should you be doing?

Well, there are tons of advice, tip and articles on social media, we decided to reach out to a set of successful social media marketers who have been tested and tried in the industry and ask them one simple question.”

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If Social Platforms Were Game of Thrones Characters, Here’s Who’s Closest to Claiming the Iron Throne

“With the much-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones looming, everyone is abuzz about who will claim the Iron Throne. With multiple contenders clamoring for this iconic yet uncomfortable seat of power, it’s difficult to predict who will come out on top and who will crash and burn.

With the controversies, chaos and volatility of the current social media landscape, advertisers are grappling with similar uncertainties when it comes to their social media marketing strategies.”

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“Imagine this: A couple of years ago as we were in the midst of some MAJOR business model changes, I went to get my nails done on a Sunday, and I brought two books with me, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and The One Thing. When I sat down at the salon, I thought, “Why did I bring two books to a one-hour nail appointment?” And it hit me: I couldn’t decide between two books about focus! Ugh. The struggle is real.

As business owners, you have so many tools and platforms available to choose from, and it can be very hard to focus and decide which is right for your business. There isn’t one tool that can do everything, and I don’t believe in putting all eggs in one basket, especially not with something as big as your business.”

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How to Succeed in Doing Guerilla Marketing?

If you are on a tight budget but still need to pull off an effective marketing strategy, take a look at these articles that we’ve searched for you that offer some fresh ideas on how to promote your brand. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

 

15 Psychologically Based Facts on How and Why Guerrilla Marketing Works

“People are so used to having messages, information, and products thrown at them every day that it’s easy to become numb to it all. Guerrilla marketing, however, wakes up your customers from drowning in traditional, mundane marketing tactics and uses fresh, novel ways which actually make a lasting impression.

But there’s more to guerrilla marketing than trendy murals on city walls and slapping brand stickers on street signs.”

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Guerrilla Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

“Think for a second: what was the last commercial you saw that impacted you enough that you wanted to share it with your friends and followers? It may take you more than a second actually, because for all the money poured into them, companies struggle to come up with truly memorable marketing vehicles. Spending is no substitute for good, old-fashioned creativity and imagination. Guerrilla marketing, on the other hand, is often dirt-cheap, but can become something that generates word-of-mouth, Internet chatter, free press coverage, and all the other things for which marketing folks live and breathe.”

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Don’t Forget To Do Guerrilla Marketing

“This morning I went to Target to pick up an expandable shoe rack. On my way out of the store there was a brand new Ford Mustang parked in the parking lot. It still had the information paper on the passenger side window, listing the fuel economy, engine size, and other features. Someone from Huntington Beach Ford had parked it in the lot of Target to attract eyeballs that would not normally stop by the dealership.”

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“These tips focused on some Guerrilla marketing ideas and techniques that you can use to help raise the awareness of small businesses.  Well that post got me thinking about some online Guerrilla marketing ideas that you can use to help promote your website and ultimately attract more traffic.”

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VA-SupportHow to Succeed in Doing Guerilla Marketing?
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How Important is Content Marketing?

Learn the importance of Content Marketing and how it can effectively connects and educates your target market. We collated some articles for you and hopefully you can pick up one or two that can help grow your business. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

 

Why You Need Original Research for Content Marketing

“Original research for content marketing takes the guesswork out of audience development. It’s risky to rely on projected impressions of your audience’s challenges, values, concerns, lifestyle, needs, interests, and desires. If you get it wrong, it can have drastic consequences on the success of your content marketing, and can even negatively impact your organization’s brand and business.”

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Setting Appropriate Expectations in Content Marketing

“Instant gratification. It has somehow become ingrained in our world’s society that it’s best to have everything “now”. We’ve grown impatient. We want to lose weight “now”. We want to own a home “now”. And if we don’t have cash, we can use a credit card to purchase items “now”.Companies, especially their marketing departments, have taken notice. From same-day to two-day shipping via Amazon Prime, sending money, contacting loved ones, or picking up a grab-and-go meal, instant gratification is built into our culture.”

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Craft a Deliciously Effective Content Marketing Strategy with a Farm-to-Table Approach

“The farm-to-table movement promises locally sourced, fresh, delicious things, prepared with care and served enticingly.

I’ve recently started using “farm-to-table” to describe my approach to content marketing, and here’s why.”

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“You may have some subscribers who regularly check in for updates, but the majority of your audience has no idea what came out yesterday, let alone six weeks ago. Why are you leading with the newest content instead of the most relevant and engaging to them?

With every piece of content, it doesn’t matter how old it is. The first time your customer discovers it, it’s new to them. If each piece of content is interdependent on several others as a result of your content calendar, then your readers are only going to be left feeling lost and confused when they get to it.”

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Latest News and Trends about Digital Marketing

We’ve collected different Digital Marketing articles that will give you some fresh views on this matter. Take a look, hopefully there will be one or two that can help you grow your business. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy in 2019

“Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don’t have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively. They suffer from the 10 problems I highlight later in this article and are losing out to competitors.”

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Digital marketing strategy: How to structure a plan?

“We believe that a digital marketing strategy is essential to take advantage of the growing opportunities from digital marketing, yet even in 2019, many companies don’t have a digital marketing strategy.

Our recent Managing Digital marketing research report (a free download) showed that almost half (45%) of companies don’t yet have a planned digital marketing strategy…”

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5 Steps to a Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy

“According to a ‘Managing Digital Marketing’ study by Smart Insights, 46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% do have a strategy but haven’t yet integrated it into their marketing activity. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have a plan in place how can you expect to grow and innovate, to measure meaningful results and to learn from past mistakes?

It’s time to stop panicking about next year or next month and start crafting a plan that can pack a powerful punch. We’ve selected the 5 most important steps that you, the decision maker should take to ensure that your digital marketing efforts create a real impact on your bottom line.”

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“There’s no question that, in the modern landscape, a big part of your marketing strategy is digital. Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online — and you want to be able to reach them and observe their behavior where they spend the most time.

But when you’re growing a business, it seems like this ever-evolving landscape can quickly become overwhelming. There’s already enough to do — how are you also supposed to create, fine-tune, and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?”

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Tricks and Tips about Making Viral Videos

Ever wonder why some people’s video go viral? So did we. So, this week we’ve pulled together some great articles about making viral videos for you. Take a look, hopefully, there will be one or two you can action to help grow your business. If you see anything that you’d like to discuss further, give us a shout on 02392 007 823 or hello@lovedadesign.com. We’d be happy to help.

What Makes a Video Viral?

“Video is one of the most engaging forms of digital marketing. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Because video combines visual and audible elements, it brings the best parts of other the other digital media and combines them in a super-sharable package. That’s why when a piece of media takes the internet by storm and goes viral, more often than not it is a video.”

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A Simple Framework for Creating a Viral Video

“Do you ever wonder what it takes to create a viral video? Do you want your video content to spread to the masses?

While creating a viral video is part science and part art, there are 5 key principles you must follow when creating your own viral video.

If you think creating a viral video is all luck, then stay tuned, because I’m going to show you a simple framework that many companies have used to achieve success.”

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Secrets of YouTube: What makes a video go viral

“Creating a viral Youtube video can feel impossible. According to a Youtube Manager, there are ways to improve your chances of making your content seen.”

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“What if you could pull out a special recipe and put together a viral video that wows your audience? What if you could discover the secret sauce that turns out winner after winner? Content creators and small business owners would love to discover a magic formula that will transform their content marketing strategies.”

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