Feb 27 2009

Pubcon South, SES NY, IM Spring Break and YOU

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Elite Retreat .  It was an amazing event.  One where I felt I learned just as much from the attendees as the speakers (who were awesome!).  Shoemoney did a nice recap of the conference here and so did Scott Hendison .  Shoe isn’t sure if he’s going to do it next year but if he does – I would highly recommend attending. A bunch of people have asked me where I am going to speaking in the upcoming days, so I figured it would be easiest to give a rundown of the conferences I am going to be at and the panels I will be on. Pubcon South (March 11th – 13th * Austin, TX) For the first time in it’s storied history, Pubcon will be held in Austin, TX.  The Pubcon conferences are always great events and this one will be no different (how can you go wrong with keynotes by Matt Cutts & Guy Kawasaki?).  I’ll be speaking on two panels at Pubcon (both on Wednesday – March 11th): * Intersection of Search and Social Media @ 1:20pm Is the intersection of search and social media a train wreck waiting to happen or is it the “not search” based traffic we have long been seeking?  This session will explore that intersection from the webmaster, site owner and publisher points of view. * Twitter Landscape – A Indepth View of the Twitter Ecosystem @ 2:45pm Twitter – the hottest commodity to hit the web in years

Feb 25 2009

Why Your Social News Linkbait Isn’t ‘Baiting’

Having trouble getting exposure for your linkbait on social media news sites? Well, complain about algorithms all you want, but the odds are you’re doing something wrong.  Identifying these 5 main mistakes along with these tips to correct them, can help you debug your social media problems leading you to social success! This is a no-brainer; social media ‘power users’ do exist.  While you DON’T need to be a power user to find success on sites like Digg and Reddit, you DO need to be a part of the community.  If you don’t regularly participate in the community, vote on stories, submit great content (not just your stuff) and make friends … then the odds of  your content becoming popular are severely limited. If your accounts have never had any social media successes in the past, don’t waste your precious linkbait trying to make it your first ever submission to go popular .  Join the community, contribute to the site and build yourself up BEFORE submitting your content.  If you don’t have time to work your accounts, you should either stop your involvement in social media news marketing or look to others for help/guidance.  Chris wrote a brilliant post awhile back on how to meet other social media users and how you can use this to your advantage. The quality of accounts is one of the most critical success factors in the social media news sites.  To set yourself up for success, make sure you join the community wholeheartedly or know someone  who does. The quality of a site is make-or-break in social media.  If you are too salesy, business oriented or ad-focused you are setting yourself and your content up for  colossal failure.   Social media news users are looking for one thing – interesting news or great content .  They didn’t come to get slapped in the face with a massive pop-up. Many users are even repulsed by content that is too corporate.  Many times the creation of special non-branded pages or microsites is a good way to ensure that your linkbait will have a higher probability of being seen. A classic example of setting yourself up for failure is that of spreading your content across multiple pages to boost your ad impressions.  Sure, getting  ten extra pageviews for that piece of linkbait spread across  ten different pages is nice, but what would you rather have – a social media success with 100,000 visitors and 100,000 page views or a failure with 100 visitors with 1,000 page views.  I always recommend erring on the side of caution, and not giving social media users a reason to not vote for your content (or even downvote you). Even the most powerful social media users can’t make poor content popular.  Your content should fit the site’s audience, and be unique and engaging.  This is far and away the most common problem with the linkbait success. People spend far less time on lists, guides, and articles than they should.  If your content doesn’t floor someone, then why would they vote for you, let alone link to you?  If you are taking the humor hook , have your funniest friend or local struggling stand-up comedian help you write it.  Using the resource hook?  Then reach out (send emails, leverage twitter) and try to gain a quote from an industry expert. Maybe you think you can buy votes to get popular, or maybe you think setting up hundreds of accounts will do the trick.  Wrong.  Strategy is absolutely critical in social media news sites.  Your content should fit the network that you are using; you should follow all terms of use and you should act in a way that represents the community. Buying votes is a bad strategy .  Submitting to irrelevant sections just because they have more subscribers is an awful strategy.  Having everyone in your building vote on a story is a terrible method. Make sure that you have a well documented strategy before engaging in social campaigns, as one bad tactic can kill your linkbait forever . Let’s face it, sometimes your competition is just dirty .  Make sure your campaigns are under the radar until they become popular.  Don’t update your Facebook about upcoming promotions or send out Tweets asking for votes.  You are just asking them to help you fail.  Like everything else, there are always people looking to halt your success. Conclusion If you can take one and only one thing away from this post, I implore you to think about this: “When in doubt, always take the cautious route”. Do whatever it takes – ping a top user, put that corporate linkbait on a non-branded page, throw an extra set of eyes at the content, spend the extra time coming up with a comprehensive strategy and stay under the radar.  Your linkbait will thank you. If you like this post, please consider subscribing to our RSS or follow me on Twitter for more of the same

Feb 25 2009

How to Beat the 3 Second Back Button Boogie

> Guruisms for the week of 23-02-09 Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. Aldous Huxley   07/26/1894 – 11/22/1963 English critic & novelist.   Author of Brave New World, one of my favorites. Sometimes we get so enthralled with the hype and hope of technology, we forget the present reality that technology has no value if it does not serve mankind for the better. It’s all about the sale and NOT the software.. Search Engines don’t buy shit!   But humans do.     Sex Sells — to people looking to buy sex. The same principle applies to refrigerators. The Anti-seo SEO Guru   cynic and   unemployed politician    The True Cost of SEO While there are a great many heated debates regarding the scope of what SEO entails, it is generally accepted, (that means not argued over much in SEO communities),that SEO’s basic function is the traffic generation from organic, (mistakenly used to imply free), search engine results. The truth, while admittedly brutal for some, is that more times than not, traffic generation is more cost effective if you simply buy it. PPC has it’s merits. That statement may seem odd coming from a man who has capitalized significantly on “organic” placements but it is only because I am one of that small percentage of netizens who actually does know the real cost of those “free” placements.   That voice of experience is telling you the truth now; whether paying for PPC, purchasing   prospects from affiliates, or hiring the assistance of an SEO —- you ARE paying for traffic. Well, — If you got lucky and hired the right seo anyway. If not, then you’re just paying

Feb 17 2009

Ultimate How-To: Social Media Buttons, Tools and Badges Resource

Great content needs to be seen and, ideally, voted on then shared. After spending the time creating the content, spend a bit more gearing up the page so that it can so it will receive optimal social media votes. We have created a one stop shop for all your social media site buttons and badge needs. Site Specific Buttons If your website is tailor-made for a specific social news site, try one of these buttons/badges.  These buttons allow visitors to vote quickly and easily if they deem the content worthy. Reddit Buttons The Reddit button allows for visitors to vote directly for your site (and see the current # of votes) on Reddit. Reddit WordPress Plugin Adds a Reddit badge to every post on WordPress blogs. Digg Badges Get the official Digg badge that allows visitors to see a story’s current # of Digg while making it quick and easy to vote. Digg Button Generator This online generator kicks out code  for custom Digg buttons. ‘DiggThis’ WordPress Plugin This plugin displays a digg badge on your WordPress blog only if the story has been dugg! Delicious Tagometer badge With this JSON powered Tagometer Badge, you can easily show both tags and number of saves. Twitter Buttons Allow others to follow you on Twitter with this button. Twitter icons These are a few slick looking Twitter icons to help turn traffic into followers. Tweetbacks Wordpress Plugin Bring Twitter conversation to your blog.  This WordPress plugin brings tweets to your post right into your comments! StumbleUpon buttons & tools Adding this ‘Stumble It!’ button to your site makes submitting your content to StumbleUpon easier for vsitors. Yahoo! Buzz Buttons An easy icon that allows visitors to vote on any Yahoo! Buzz-worthy content. Sphinn Buttons The Sphinn badge will shoot visitors over to the Internet marketing social news site. Add to Sphinn Button This Sphinn button visitors quickly submit your post to Sphinn. Wordpress PlugIn: SphinnIt Button It adds a “Sphinn It” button to your posts on WordPress blogs and the position of the button is also fully customizable. Mixx Buttons This code allows visitors to Mixx your content right from the page. Dzone Tools and Buttons This widget allows visitors to cast votes, buy clicking straight from the page. Tip’d Buttons These Tip’d buttons make it easy for readers to submit or Tip your financial stories on Tip’d. Shoutwire Buttons These badges allow for easy voting on Shoutwire for any of your current stories/posts. Newsvine link The “Seed Newsvine” link on the article pages of your news site or blog will allow your users to easily spread links to your site throughout the Newsvine community. Combination Badges These badges incorporate a variety of social media news networks so users are able to vote for on a variety of social sites.  If your site does not generate traffic that is specific to a social media news niche, then one of these might be the best option for you. Sociable Plugin This plugin lets you pick and choose which social badges to display on your WordPress blog.  Simply check the social si(s) of your choice and you are ready to go! ShareThis Plugin ShareThis  not only features all of the major social media news sites, but also Facebook, MySpace, AIM, as well as Email and through text messaging to mobile devices. Add To Any Button This badge, allows voting on the major social sites and gives you the ability to customize the menu colors to match your site. Add This Button Makes it easy for your visitors to bookmark and share your content with others on all of the major social sites This badge is very minimalistic and offers a very clean and simple design.

Feb 16 2009

Search Engines Don’t Take People Where the Search Engine Wants Them To Go

  We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible. Vince Lombardi       I was more impressed with the technology of search back in 1996 than I am today. When I first started playing around with Infoseek, Excite, Alta Vista, Hot Bot, Webcrawler,(well, Ok. Webcrawler and Open Text — not so much), and the other now rotting carcasses of failed search based ad delivery systems, I was blown away. Millions of pieces of data organized in a somewhat logical framework. Pages were often indexed within minutes. Scalability seemed endless as each day they all grew by hundreds of thousands of documents. You could cross reference. You could research. You could locate data that could fill the largest libraries on the planet from the comfort of your chair and without having to have a library card or pay late fees. It was amazing. Granted it was all text based. Period, (and even back then we all knew that would change), and the algorithms were far too elementary. I mean if a guy like me could figure them out —– weeeelllllll As for online promotion and search marketing, I actually did fall off a log once when I was a kid and placing on Infoseek for MLM, credit cards and online poker was easier. And took about as long. One of the first things that bothered me about search engines was the way they forced terrible conversions. Back then the index page reigned supreme and if your meta refresh tags were done properly,(what an oxy-moron), your domain name could pop up in top 10 for literally hundreds of related terms. Shoes.com could place #2 for gold shoelaces when the shoes.com/goldshoelaces.html page was three levels deep.

Feb 10 2009

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

There are a lot of people out there who do not understand what affiliate marketing is or what it means. It is a primarily Internet based phenomenon and there are people who say that it is the fastest growing market around right now. It also has the potential to make a substantial amount of money […]

Feb 6 2009

How Can Lawyers Use Twitter?

On Monday, I did a presentation at LegalTech on a panel called “What is Twitter and How Can I Use It?” along with Kevin O’Keefe & Matthew Homann .  As you can probably tell from the name of the conference, this session was aimed at informing lawyers (and people in the legal profession) on how they could effectively use Twitter.  Here’s my entire PowerPoint presentation: Twitter For Lawyers & Legal Professionals As I have done in the past with another Twitter presentation , I called on users of Twitter to actually show how Twitter works.  By asking these three questions, I got over 135 responses in ~30 minutes: How would you explain Twitter (in 140 characters or less)? What is your *one* MUST have Twitter tool? How could a lawyer or someone in the legal field use Twitter effectively? The answers that I received were all excellent and I’d like to thank the following folks for their help: Jfavreau , LisaBarone , stuntdubl , MarkMayhew , RyanCaldwell , kennyhyder , RuudHein , davidmihm , maxchirkov , brianchappell , kid_disco , robwatts , szetela , aldorella , danperry , toddmintz , MichelleRobbins , amabaie , gregfinn , dedmond29 , Franco_F , 1KrazyKorean , sizzler_chetan , JoannaLord , groovemonkey , shoemoney , timstaines , JadedTLC , lornali , rabeidoh , factive , MattMcGee , jeredh , hol_kinz , saffyre9 , leeodden , LukaIsntLuka , sizzler_chetan , samiwasnt , PatrickPete , Rhea , ImprovingTheWeb , MelWebster , cloudspark , Frozen2Late , mediamanx , timstaines ,  ayb , tonyadam , remarkablogger , webconnoisseur , brianchappell , Matt_Siltala , nicholashomh , Franco_F , LornaHarris , dedmond29 , darkbulb , netmeg , bendunn , danperry , johnfairley , RyanCaldwell ,  TheOtherJeff , GregBoser , ElijahIgnatieff , robwatts , timstaines , maxchirkov , inflatemouse , DavidWallace , jdevalk , AussieWebmaster , DavidBrim , matthewdiehl , Jfavreau , caroladam , danperry , connectionshk , SearchBuzz , matt_mcgowan , dallasdesign , Pamela_Lund , yummyman , branflakez & Ragnell . Twitter is all about participation and interaction – so if you’re looking for good people to follow, I would check out all of these folks above.

Feb 2 2009

Behavioral Metrics Analysis For the Worried SEO

This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back. John Ilhan         No wonder so many who call themselves SEO’s are worried about their future what with all the talk this past few months of personalized results, bounce rates and changing search parameters.