The SEO Review

 

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

 

 

 

I have been digging through the archives of some of my favorite blogs recently. Today I came across a series of posts from August 2005 written by Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger.  I am not sure how the month will go, but I am going to start the series ’31 days to building a better blog’ on some of my other sites.  

No I will not tell you all the sites I am testing this out on.  However, I will tell you that some of what I read will start to show up in practice on this site.  One of the sites that will be thrust into existance while following this post series is G3 Show. This is an old idea of mine that failed due to a business fallout.  Hopefully it will be able to make a safe transformation with some solid advice.

 

If you haven’t read through the series yet, check it out! 31 Days to Building a Better Blog

Feel free to leave me comments and advice!

“Is it just buzz?  Some still feel this trend won’t last, and as technology advances and changes today’s social media tools will be yesterday’s news.  Do I feel this way?  Absolutely not.”

 

Guest Post by Shane Haggerty

I read some of Shane’s work over on his site, and he knows his social media.  The last guest post went so well that I couldn’t help but ask him to write one as well.  There are a few sites he mentions that I have not visited before reading this, which I am thankful for finding.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Web 2.0/Social Media are the buzzwords of the day, especially in the industries of marketing and communication, as well as information technology.  Talking Twitter and forcing Facebook down people’s throats is easy to do when there is so much word-of-mouth out there about the shift in communications to web-based tools.  So is it just buzz?  Some still feel this trend won’t last, and as technology advances and changes today’s social media tools will be yesterday’s news.  
Do I feel this way?  Absolutely not.  I am convinced that web 2.0 is just now positioning itself as mainstream, and while most utilize these tools for personal reasons, it gives those of us in marketing, communications, and honestly any profession the opportunity to engage massive and targeted audiences in an authentic, transparent, and simple way.  
So what are the practical uses of social media and how can we engage consumers and communicate with our audiences with these tools?  Here is a look at the ways you can use some of the tools and also how some companies and other professionals are currently use it:

  • Facebook: This social utility is now the largest social community and one that businesses and individuals have taken to in order to engage and do outreach.  I work in educational public relations and have seen a major move by universities and colleges to use Facebook to connect current students and alumni.  In the October issue of the Public Relations Society of America’s Tactics magazine, TheAmerican Cancer Society and General Motors are both featured and showcased for how they utilize Facebook.  For the American Cancer Society, their director of web, film and interactive strategy David Neff communicates that Facebook is a place where they find current and on-going conversations already taking place and join them in-progress, as well as beginning new conversations.  They have also developed their own Facebook application that people can add to their blog or website.  This app allows people to share tips on cancer prevention and also give out cancer ribbons.  They are also using Facebook to raise money, something that has become big with other non-profits through Facebook’s Causes program.  For General Motors, they use Facebook for conversational purposes, according to the article in Tactics.  Their coordinator of social media communications, Adam Denison, will join different groups and engage in one-on-one conversations with members of the groups, as well using discussion groups to create conversation and get feedback 
  • Twitter: This microblogging phenom has truly proven as useful of a tool as anything else I’ve used.  I am using it not for two-way conversation at this point, but rather for a tool that allows me to keep our audiences and stakeholders updated through my tweets.  This offers me the opportunity to also drive more traffic to our website as my organization’s strategy is to allow our website to become the central zone of all our communications and information, thus saving us dollars on print materials and direct mail, which also ties into our school initiative to “go green.”  Beyond the strategy I use Twitter for, it has also become a bastion of pitching stories to media types: reporters, assignment editors, producers, and bloggers.  Other ways it is being used?  Southwest Airlines, an innovator in social media tactics, uses it to update customers of flight statuses (same goes for JetBlue).  For CNN’s Rick Sanchez, the anchor of the weekend primetime edition, recently used Twitter to update people on Hurricane Gustav and this year’s political conventions.  It can be used to simply create and build awareness, to post job opportunities, create a live event experience by tweeting frequent updates, and for reputation management and crisis communication 
  • YouTube: The last time I checked, YouTube garners 10% of all online traffic with over 100 million views per day.  That’s quite the audience so it would be ridiculous for any online social strategy to not include this tool in the discussion.  Many universities and colleges, once again, build their own unique and branded channels to host video.  Many companies throw videos on in the hopes of creating a viral sensation.  Have you seen the “Will it Blend” YouTube commercials?  This is one of my favorite practical examples of using YouTube to build awareness and increase sales.  It is quite the success story, how this company, Blendtec, created a YouTube campaign with their CEO showing the true power of their industrial-strength blenders by blending just about anything, including an iPod, a barbie doll, a rake.  And they were produced with little or no budget in a “cheesy,” and “campy” way.  They became a viral sensation!  A huge amount of visitors increased sales of their blenders for this small company and generated brand awareness.  It also generated national media attention and the product was featured on Good Morning America and CNBC, for instance.  Certainly not everyone has the success of Blendtec and there is truly no magic formula to create a viral video.  It just happens with little rhyme or reason.  But YouTube can also be used to respond in crisis situations and to allow customers to create their own commercials, for example
  • Issuu: This little know web 2.0 tool allows anyone to upload PDF files and create digital flipbooks.  Now, instead of linking PDF files to your website, link digital flipbooks that people can read online in the same fashion they would read a book or magazine.  We are planning to use this tool to replace direct mail.  Instead of mailing out to everyone, we will utilize an email database to mail-out the link to our digital course catalogs.  PDF’s are nice, but are an outdated way to share information on a website or blog, in my opinion.  Issuu allows the publication to truly look like a book or magazine and allows the reader to read the document in the way it was meant to be read
  • Finally, I would encourage people to explore and adopt social media tools for their individual uses and create new practical ways to make the most out of this amazing shift in the communications model.  Some other tools to explore for practical use include: 
  • FlickrFriendfeedPlaxoDeliciousStumbleUponDigg
  • PitchEngineNingPlurk, LuluSocialVibeWetPaint
Shane Haggerty

 

Okay lets try this poll feature from Polldaddy with a poll that I really like.  What do you call your twitter followers.  I have heard many different names, so I’ll put the most common ones on the poll.  If you have another one, leave a comment and fill me in!!

If you use twitter and you like this, re tweet it, I want lots of votes on this poll!

No not THAT personal branding! Lets all put the irons and needles away.  Personal branding is the idea that you should market yourself like an actual brand….

 

Personal Branding

Personal Branding

Personal branding has become a popular idea in internet marketing, or marketing in general.  It seems that people feel that they need to market themselves as they would a company.  Personal branding is an interesting idea… and a concept that I am not sure I aggree with.

 

To get some information on it. Click the image, it links to Nirav’s original article.  When your done there, head over to 1938 Media and see what he has to say on it.

 

 

I personally love the idea of making a name for yourself.  I don’t mind setting that situation up to fit your goals.  For example: I named this blog SEO DAN.  If I was REALLY against this kind of thing I would never have dreamed of that.  On the other hand I also named the blog THE SEO REVIEW.  Because No one cares about the DAN COUTURE blog.  If they wanted that, they would just follow my twitter.  If you want seo advice, then why not the SEO REVIEW.  Pick a brand, you have choice over that!

 

Personal Branding is a good concept.  But to me it just feels very egocentric.  Go online, make a portfolio, keep your twitters up.  If people like you and respect you than good for you.  If not…. don’t go around telling people how great you are to try and make up for it. If you have a contagious personality then that will translate in your brand anyway!

 

It’s what people say about you, not what you say about yourself.  If you are all about personal branding, maybe consider what the public is branding you first.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT YOUR BRAND?

Since I have met Jason, I have found his opinions of the web very interesting.  This is a perfect example of why you should follow him on twitter.  Great vision of what is to become mainstream in years to come.

Clearly defining segments of something as complex as the Social Web is a bit like trying to explain how men and women think; half of all people will most likely disagree with you. But will that stop us? Never.

The 5 Spheres is a way to illustrate the diversity of opportunities that exists for businesses on the Social Web. Internet marketing campaigns should always seek to explore which spheres will work best for their brand. The research behind the spheres helps them decide where to invest their resources within social media.

5 Spheres of Social Media by the Stratius Group

Networking

Social Networking of the 5 Spheres of Social Media

Broad social networking is what most people think of when they think “social media”. Myspace has captured the attention of the world with its widespread adoption by young online users and could be credited with much of the rampant growth the social web enjoys today.

The Social Networking Sphere includes all sites that are mainly geared around people meeting one another in a broad sense. These sites allow people to connect for various reasons, such as friendship, dating, resources, and careers. Most sites within this sphere will touch multiple other spheres as they try to provide as many valuable social media tools as possible to their users.

Examples:Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Meetup

Publishing

Social Publishing of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaPublishing, sharing and the promotion of various media is the focus within the Social Publishing Sphere. This includes the large subcategory of blogging, specific media sites for sharing video or photos, and reference sites featuring community generated knowledge.

Subcategories: Blogging, Micro Blogging, Music, Photography, Reference, Video

Examples: Youtube, Flickr, Last.fm, Wikipedia, Squidoo, WordPress, Twitter

Linking

Social Linking of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaSharing links to articles and other content, very often for promotion, is the priority of sites within the Social Linking Sphere. Many of these sites are referred to as “social book marking” sites, but this term looses accuracy since most of these sites are now geared towards sharing links, or the promotion of content to other users, as opposed to just saving them for later recall.

Even a somewhat pure book marking site like Delicious.com is commonly used to promote links to others. Many of these sites utilize some type of accumulated voting value to promote the “most viewed” or “most liked” content for others to see.

Subcategories: Link Sharing, News Sharing

Examples: Mixx, Reddit, Stumble, HubDub, Newsvine

Interactive

Social Interactive of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaVirtual, gaming, and crowdsourcing networks fill the Social Interactive Sphere. The focus of these networks is on dynamic interaction with others. The interactive portion can be a virtual 3D world that mimics our own, large gaming environments, or communities where users work together to solve problems and create goods and services.

Subcategories: Crowdsourcing, Social Gaming, Virtual Communities

Examples: Second Life, NameThis, Webkinz, Mosio, Threadless

Niche

Social Niche of the 5 Spheres of Social MediaMicro-focused networks that can really fall within or across many of the 5 spheres. Niche networks will begin to create much more valuable hyper-local online community content. But geography is just one section of niche. Sites form around very unique interests, from TV shows to sports and beyond.

Examples: Kirtsy, Ning, My Church, Passport Stamp

Jason Keath is Social Media Consultant in Charlotte, NC experienced in internet marketing strategy, advertising, design, and blogging. Network with Jason on Twitter at @jakrose.

5 Spheres of Social Media | © Copyright the Stratius Group

By the way.  Comments are allowed for this one!!

 

Screenshot Mashup

Screenshot Mashup

The search terms that I originally started this long journey trying to be found on were “seo review” (yes, I was aiming for a search that required quotes)  I have just reached the last position on the front page.  That may change if my updates are reduced in frequency, so I took a screenshot :D

 

It only gets about 11 searches a day, but I wanted to get onto that front page for it as a beginning project.  The journey so far has been great.  I have met quite a few very educational contacts, and I have learned more that I thought I would.  In midst of all the confusion, this has resulted in an seo consult for myself on another website.  I am going to track the changes they go through and we will see how well these principles will work on an established website.

 

By the way.  For those asking.. I am still on page 4 if you remove the quotes.  Did I say I was going home yet? lol /cry

Until next post.. see you on twitter!

 

Gold Rush!!

Gold Rush!!

I have been looking through available domain names lately and I have noticed that nearly every simple phrase has been bought up in bulk.  Any site that exists seems to have been bought up with the word top in front of it, and any word in the dictionary is purchased.  Common items that people actually buy or search for have been bought up in any possibly attractive combination of words.

 

 

In short.. Anything you would actually use is either hard to find, or you will end up buying it as an aftermarket domain name off of someone.  

 

I am opening comments up on this one…. enjoy.

What domain would you buy if you could have ANYTHING. (if nothing was already taken)

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