Archive for the Category »Networking «

I recently watched a video named “Owned and Operated” on the Crackin Films site.

In a nutshell, it’s a movie about how the world is changing and not necessarily for the better. The film goes on to show how we, as citizens can make a difference if we choose to.

After watching the movie I shared a link to it on Facebook and included a note that the film contains profanity.

Today’s Lesson

I knew I didn’t have to warn my followers about the profanity in the movie, however I didn’t want anyone to be caught off guard, especially if they decided to watch the film with young children.

But, it’s not just in films we see profanity, we see it in blog posts, comments and in social media sites, too.

With freedom of speech, many of the people who converse online feel it’s okay to swear.

And, it is.

The problem is, some people are offended by curse words.

Since social media and blogs aren’t rated or categorized according to content, what’s shared online is there for anyone to see or read.

We can’t protect people from what they might find online, but as blog authors and members of social media sites, we can post a warning to alert our friends or visitors of profanity or potentially offensive language or images.

We can, but…is that really necessary?

Today’s Assignment

Do you think it’s our job to warn our friends, followers and/or visitors about profanity and/or offensive language or images on sites we own or link to?

Care to share?

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Trump familyOn a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice”, the task was to create a slogan and a display for Donald Trump’s new cologne, “Success”.

Each team did a good job, however the team which lost had a poor slogan and failed to provide a “take-away” for the cologne campaign.

The winning team had provided two take-aways; one was a small card, printed on both sides and included detailed information about the cologne, plus they also designed a cardboard “sniffer” stick.

George, a Trump executive, stated how no matter how great a campaign or product is, people quickly forget. Hence, having a take-away is vital.

Today’s Lesson

George is right. With all we have on our mind, it’s easy to forget not only what we saw or read, but where we saw or read it.

This holds true not only for products, but for blogs, as well.

With a product such a cologne, it’s easy to create a take-away. Just brand a “sniffer” stick and hand them out to customers with a sample of the scent. No hard sell is needed, and the customer leaves feeling they got “something” of value.

So what about blogs?

Do people quickly forget us and what we shared?

With millions of blogs online, probably.

So the question becomes, how can we become more memorable?

What can we do to encourage our readers to return? To remember us?

Here’s a few ideas bloggers try.

  1. Offer something for free.
  2. Whether it’s a free e-book or podcast, make sure your freebie is well branded. Link back to your blog so your readers know where to find you again.

  3. Ask readers to subscribe via a RSS feed.
  4. Keep in mind, although readers might subscribe to our blog, if we do not continue to provide valuable content, chances are they’ll either unsubscribe or not continue to read your posts.

  5. Offer a free newsletter via email.
  6. A lot of bloggers use this technique to not only harvest email addresses, but are also able to keep their name fresh in their readers’ minds. This “freebie” can be beneficial IF the subscribers are opening these emails, however the regular emails can become a nuisance and subscribers either move the emails to their trash file or unsubscribe. Just like blog posts, newsletters must have value.

  7. Have a unique blog theme.
  8. I remember when the “fad” was to have a black and white blog theme (black header, white background for content). Not surprisingly, none of these blogs stood out from each other.

  9. Have a memorable or easy blog name to remember.
  10. If you take a look at some of the popular sites, one thing they have is a memorable and often, short name such as Problogger or Mashable.

    This is something I wasn’t aware of when I started blogging and before I realized I had made a mistake by using such a long name, I felt it was too late to change it. That said, I now use my mistake to my advantage and proudly broadcast “I’m blogging without a blog”.

  11. Create content which so good, readers will find any way they can to not lose sight of you.
  12. When I find a site I want to bookmark, I’ll either share a link to the site on Facebook or Pinterest since I no longer use my RSS feed and my “bookmark” file is over-flowing.

  13. Build an online presence others want to follow.
  14. If we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterst and all we do is self-promote, chances are those who follow us will quickly stop listening. Take time to promote the work of others, share informative finds, become a “go to” person for different topics of interest and be unique. Guy Kawasaki has done this not only on Twitter, but on Facebook, too.

  15. Be outrageous
  16. When I think of people who gained popularity by being outrageous in the real world, I think of Madonna and Lady Gaga. These ladies have not only been outrageous in their appearance, but in their song lyrics, as well. Online, this could be a harder task to accomplish, however Perez Hilton might fit into this category.

So, what about you?

Today’s Assignment

What are you doing online to be memorable?

What other methods can a blogger use to stand out from the crowd?

Care to share?

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Photo credit Waiting For Tonight

If you’re worried about competition in the blogosphere, the good news is, most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

My guess is, many bloggers jump on the blogging bandwagon believing they’ll make a substantial amount of money in a short period of time and when that doesn’t happen, they quit.

They don’t even give blogging a chance.

Although writing blog posts or publishing photos or videos can be easy, oftentimes new bloggers don’t realize there’s more to blogging than just publishing.

To become successful, we need to “get found”.

That’s the hard part; the part of blogging that takes work.

Now for the bad news; most blogs don’t make it past the first month or two.

Today’s Lesson

If you own a business in the real world, there’s more to it than just getting a business license and hanging up a “OPEN” sign. In order to get clients, you’ll need to advertise and network.

Blogs are no different. We need to advertise and network, too.

In previous lessons we learned how commenting on other blogs can help us get found. Although this technique helps, just leaving comments on the blogs of others is not enough.

In order to expand our reach  we  need to self-promote.

Self-promotion means learning SEO (search engine optimization) and finding the best Birmingham SEO company. And then attracting the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Self-promotion means we need to get out of our comfort zone, announce we’re online, try to entice others to come by our blog, to read what we’ve shared, to comment, to subscribe to our posts and to tell their friends about us, too.

Self-promotion entails setting up social networking accounts, getting others to not only follow us, but to read what we’re linking to and to share our posts with their followers.

Writing stellar content is the best way to make this happen, but one post, one link, one subscriber is only a start.

Self-promotion is something we can’t stop doing.

Self-promotion is never ending.

Most importantly, self-promotion is not a one way street. That which we want others to do for us, we also need to do for them.

Sadly, if we aren’t continually showing up in places where others frequent, if we’re not giving back or we’ve stopped publishing value based posts, we could be forgotten. If we’re not updating our blog, search engines could stop sending us traffic. When traffic dwindles, that which we worked so hard to build, could all be for naught.

… and another blog bites the dust.

Today’s Assignment

What method of self-promotion works best for you?

Care to share?

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