Archive for the ‘post’ tag
Everywhere I look, I see B2B marketing that spouts "join the conversation," "get in the conversation," and other references to the word that skew it's meaning into the equivalent of "talk to the hand."
In my last post, I wrote about debunking the B2B buzzword, engagement. In the same vein, I'm wondering what the heck happened to the art of conversation? Have we become so numb by the ability to publish whatever we want that we've forgotten how to be human?
The words dialogue and conversation are also interchanged without thought but, in online marketing, they have different criterion:
Conversation: an interchange of thought, information actively shared between/among people. (Requires 2 or more people)
Dialogue: an exchange of information (Only requires one person)
The difference here is that a conversation is an active exchange of information between people where a dialogue (as an exchange of information) could be between a person and a website, blog, video, etc. without the need for two active (human) participants.
I think this is an important distinction. I do not think the two are interchangeable.
Let's look at some examples of what a conversation is NOT:
- A push email – even if the recipient clicks
- A Tweet with no commentary (title and link and handle)
- A blog post with comments from readers, but no response from the author (This does, however, change if readers are commenting in response to each other.)
- A white paper download
- Viewing a video
Examples of what transforms dialogue into conversation is response.
- I receive an email, click the link, and forward the email on to a colleague who responds back to me with comment about the content I shared. We may exchange several more emails in discussion about the content.
- I receive a comment on my blog, respond back and ask a follow-on question and the person comes back to answer the question. Or another reader jumps in and answers the question I asked and I respond to them.
- Someone posts a question to a LinkedIn group and provides a link to a blog post or article on the topic. Group members respond by leaving comments and referencing perspectives of others – discussion ensues.
If I had just clicked the link and read the information in the first example, there is no conversation. It's the act of involving others and adding my commentary that turns the dialogue into a conversation. There must be back and forth between people for a conversation to form.
The evolution is that we don't need oral communication to have a conversation. As long as two people are involved, a conversation can be facilitated by a variety of technology platforms, from email to communities to social media and beyond.
But, it's only dialogue if technology is carrying on half of the conversation.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge proponent of marketing automation. Use your technology to establish a dialogue that engages people through contextual information they want and need, GO YOU! But it's not a conversation until another person gets involved. This is because the "dialogue" is dependent on the behavior of the single participant, not both.
[If I visit this webpage, the system sends me a link to content A. If I visit a landing page and download a white paper, the system sends me content B. Etc. In a dialoge scenario, there's not a possiblity that it could veer off to content X.]
This is even more important when you consider social media. I see so many exchanges where someone is looking for help, only to be told to call an 800 number. Really? That's the best you can do? Although that fits the criterion for a conversation (2 or more people), there's also a difference between a valuable conversation and a crappy excuse for one.
So, when you think about "conversation" in marketing terms – what are you doing to make it more human?
And for those of you thinking "Wait. I get thousands of responses to my nurturing program! I can't possibly deal with this…" I would point you to buying stages and personas and battening down your lead scoring schema to get to intelligence that's useful. It's all in your approach to prioritization.
Don't let conversation become a meaningless buzzword. With a little art and science we can make marketing human, approachable, and definitely more social.
This guest post is by Christian Arno of Lingo24.
With just 140 characters you can reach a global audience. Hardly a newsflash, I know, but think about it. Followers around the world can give your blog the kind of exposure you could only have dreamed about in the past, everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires. People eagerly await your posts on every continent. Tell me that doesn’t sound good!
Of course, going global on Twitter means embracing other languages. The English language only stretches so far. But building a multilingual presence on Twitter doesn’t have to be difficult.
When it comes down to it, whether you are representing a company or going solo, Twitter is a great way to attract a global audience to your blog. Get it right by following a few guidelines.
Target, aim, tweet
Like most things in life, it helps to have a strategy. Don’t be misled by how easy it is to fire off tweets. Sure, you could machine-translate your next message into umpteen languages and hit the Tweet button. If you want to destroy your reputation, that is.
Instead, think back to your overall marketing plan and where the non-English speaking countries fit your blogging strategy. Which markets are key for you? Your stats for other online content can be revealing here. Where do you need to build a presence, and where should you be improving your reach?
After all, why waste time tweeting in Russian if you are aiming to build your blog readership in South America? When you stop aiming for the whole world, it becomes a whole lot easier to be relevant to the people who matter.
Do your Twitter research
Not all countries and languages are represented equally on Twitter. The impact of your multilingual tweets will in part depend on how actively each language is used. For example, Arabic is the fastest-growing Twitter language, according to a Semiocast study. The same statistics show the rapid rise of Spanish and Dutch. When it comes to the most used languages, Japanese and Portuguese lead the pack. Malay and Korean speakers are also sending their share of the millions of tweets sent each day.
Reach out to these markets and your exposure can skyrocket.
Take care with translations
Unless you are tweeting about what you ate for lunch, resist the lure of instant translation tools. Producing accurate foreign language content can be tricky. You need to strike the right tone (not too stuffy, but avoiding offending anyone) as well as choosing just the right words. Add in the restriction of 140 characters (which gives you even less to play with in some languages than in English) and it becomes an art. Native speaker input is invaluable here.
Follow the right people
Your focus shouldn’t only be on who your followers are, but on who you are following. Stay tuned to the tweets of the big influencers in your overseas markets. These can range from celebrities to the leaders and popular bloggers in your own particular field. Re-tweeting the right people can build your own reputation for having your finger on the pulse.
Finally, keep your tweets relevant. That means different accounts for each language, so that your followers don’t have to sift through unfamiliar languages. (They will probably just unfollow you instead.) And stay culturally aware. Some topics will offend in particular countries, others will simply be of no interest.
What you stand to gain
Fact: Twitter is a big player on the global social media scene. For over a year now, 70% of Twitter traffic has come from outside the US. If you can tap into the non-English speaking sectors of this international traffic, your exposure will increase dramatically.
Those fast-growing languages mentioned earlier give you a chance to get in early on up and coming markets. On the other hand, countries such as Japan lead the field in terms of posting activity, with more accounts actively posting messages than either the US or the UK.
Actively involved users mean a better chance of re-tweets. If you write something people want to share, you can end up with them doing local marketing for you. For free. It doesn’t get much better than that.
You also have a chance to tap into multiple consumer pools around the globe without leaving your seat. Being part of their conversations lets you monitor what they are saying: about your blog as a whole or your latest post, about other bloggers, about wants, desires and frustrations. Think how valuable that can be.
Twitter brings that information and that potential army of followers to you. But you can’t close the deal without being willing to send those 140 character tweets in other languages. Make the effort, and you’ll probably wonder what took you so long.
Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a top translation service in the USA. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 170 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
This article is by Dan Norris of Web Control Room.
As an active blogger, I’m always looking at various stats to help me understand how well I’m doing. I’m not particularly fond of the idea of blogging for years without knowing whether things are going in the right direction. I’d rather know as I go whether my posts are having an impact and whether things are travelling in the right direction.
Luckily, one of the best things about being a blogger is that pretty much every stat you want to look at is available online and not stuck in outdated offline software programs. And better still, most of the tools are free!
The challenge is that, with all of the information out there, it’s difficult to know what stats to keep your eye on. In this article we’ll look at the top ten ways bloggers can measure their efforts.
1. Revenue and profit
While writing is fun, I’ll assume you are trying to earn some money at the same time. One of the best ways to have easy access to your financial data is to use an online accounting program like Xero, Saasu, or Wave Accounting—I use Xero, and it rocks.
These programs make it very easy to capture all of your financial data in the one place.
In addition to that you can look at the various ways you monetize your blog by reviewing the information available from these sources (PayPal, Adsense, Clickbank, etc.). The best part of having a central system for the accounts is that you can aggregate all of the revenue streams in the once place, to give you a whole picture.
2. RSS subscribers
Hopefully you’re using Feedburner to manage your RSS feeds—if so, you’ll have a clear idea of how many people are subscribing to your blog via RSS.
I like to keep an eye on these stats particularly after I release a post, publish a guest post on another blog, or have a guest poster on my blog. Often, their sharing of the post and the content reaching a new audience will cause a bump in subscribers. Showing the number of RSS subscribers on your blog can also be great social proof of your blogging chops.
3. What are others talking about?
One of the most important strategies for bloggers is engaging with other people (bloggers and others) online. This is a measure of performance, because if you are doing the right things then people will be talking about you. There are four ways I do this.
- Comments: An excellent way to see if you are having an impact is to look at the comments on your site. Are they genuine? How many comments are posts getting? This gives you a good idea of what is hitting the mark and what isn’t.
- Trackbacks: If these are turned on in WordPress, any time someone links to one of your blog posts (i.e. not to your homepage) you will see the link in your comments list—and then go back to their sites and engage with them.
- Google Alerts: With Alerts, Google will email you every time someone mentions your brand, product, website, and so on. I like to get them via RSS instead of email, so I check them in Google reader each morning.
- Twilert: This service does the same thing as Google Alerts but for Twitter. You get a daily email that lists every time someone mentions your site or brand or your Twitter handle you’ll get an email.
All of these are great ways to engage with your audience, but also to measure the impact you’re having, and which posts are having more impact than others.
It’s a good idea to monitor both your monthly rolling traffic (last 30 days) against the previous month, as well as traffic peaks around the release dates of your posts. The former figure will give you a good idea of overall recent trends, and the latter will give you immediate feedback on specific posts.
For this I, like most others, use Google Analytics. If you do notice changes that you didn’t expect, it’s time to delve further into the tool to see what has caused those changes—it may be something related to search rankings or referring sites (which we’ll look at separately in a moment).
5. Google ranking for keywords
Most of the time, bloggers get a significant amount of traffic from Google. You can either sit back and hope for the best or you can actively try to rank for different keywords.
Unfortunately, visiting Google and searching for your keywords doesn’t work! Google knows which websites you have visited and puts them higher up the list just for you, so this won’t give you an accurate rank for your keywords. This is a mistake made by almost everyone with a website at one time or another (including me).
Particularly if you are trying to rank for certain keywords, it’s a great idea to use a tool to monitor where you are ranking on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Using the new incognito window in Chrome will also provide a more accurate ranking, but rank-tracking tools will show you rack-tracking from different countries, for instance, and many keywords at once.
6. Other referring sites
In Google Analytics, you can also check out your top referring sites. This can give you great information about a number of things. For example, if you are active in social media or a particular forum you can see if these efforts are resulting in extra traffic to the site.
Similarly, guest posts on other sites would be expected to bring some traffic, so you can monitor whether these sites make it into your top referring sites list.
Pretty much every marketing push you make online should show up in your top sites list, so it’s a good place to look particularly for things you aren’t specifically tracking as campaigns in Analytics.
There are two types of keywords to look at in Analytics. You can look at your top keywords—these would generally be big-ticket keywords that you are trying actively to rank for. If they are ranking in Google and your keyword research was sound, then it will be validated with traffic.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how many keywords are bringing you traffic. This is a simple measure of how effectively you are targeting the long tail. The more you write, particularly if you deliberately target long tail keywords in your posts, the more keywords will bring you traffic. Looking at the number of keywords is a quick way to get some sort of idea of how well it’s working.
8. Email newsletter info
Getting an email opt-in is still one of the main ways bloggers engage with their audience. Tools like Mail Chimp and AWeber will give you some great information on things like how effective your site is being in converting visitors to opt-ins, how big your audience is and how engaged they are with your newsletters (unsubscribe rates, opens, clicks etc).
It’s also a good idea to measure opt-ins as goals in Analytics so you can look at more information about the origins of those opting into your list.
9. Server uptime
Having your server go down is kind of like having a power outage at a traditional business. You can’t do business without your website, and all of the effort you have put in to generating traffic is wasted every time there is an outage. For this reason, make sure you are notified whenever there is an outage and you monitor it each month to ensure uptime is reasonable.
Unfortunately hosting companies often don’t provide this service, however Pingdom.com does, and it’s free. Once you sign up, the site will notify you of any outages, and provide reports on monthly uptime percentages and so on.
10. Social media measures
For bloggers more so than any business, social media is critical. A lot of relationships with readers and other bloggers, guest blogging opportunities, JVs etc come through relationships facilitated by social media. A few things I like to keep an eye on are:
- Klout.com, which gives you an overall idea of how you are influencing others via Twitter, Facebook, and so on. You can also use Klout to give you an overall summary of figures from the major social networks (Likes, shares, +1′s etc).
- If you are active on Twitter, you can keep an eye on your number of followers, your ratio of followers to people that you follow and the number of interactions.
- For Facebook pages, Facebook insights are there to provide useful information on likes, reach, who’s talking about the page and more.
So how are you progressing—and how do you know? I’d be interested in knowing what you like to keep an eye on to track how you’re going. Let me know in the comments.
Dan Norris is the founder of Web Control Room a free tool that enables bloggers to understand their data and make better decisions. By talking to the sources you love (MailChimp, Xero, Analytics, PayPal etc) it provides a scannable 1 page chart showing what is going well and what isn’t so you can understand your performance in seconds.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
It’s already Sunday?! Man, the weekends fly by so quickly in the summer. And at the speed this summer is passing, I’d say it’s time to hightail it to somewhere warm and sandy for a week and just relax ’til next weekend. Summer doesn’t fly by when you’re on a beach, right? If you need some reading material for the plane/train/bus/car, scroll on and check out the best inbound marketing stories we found this week across the web.
How Top Brands Are Using Instagram, From Simply Measured
This story comes to us from the Simply Measured analytics blog. Instagram recently made headlines with the news that it had surpassed the 80 million user mark (up from just 15 million in January 2012!). It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, then, that among those 80 million users are 40% of the world’s top brands, as classified by the Interbrand Top 100 list. B2C brands like MTV and Starbucks dominate on Instagram, and 25% of the brands that are leveraging Instagram post at least once per week. It seems like Instagram is going to keep growing, and the 60% of top brands who are missing out have created a unique opening for smaller brands to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network. Check out the full story here.
Facebook Launches New Ad Creation Tool to Help Marketers Align Campaigns With Goals, From HubSpot
This week in Facebook updates, we covered the news of a new ad creation tool that will take some of the anxiety out of Facebook advertising. With Facebook elaborating upon an earlier-released feature allowing advertisers to measure the success of their campaigns based on their stated objectives, this updated ad creation interface will make it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with those stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they’re building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals. Facebook has also added a preview option to the process, allowing marketers to view what their ad will look like in actual news feeds. The changes will be especially beneficial to marketers trying out Facebook ads for the first time. Check out the full story here.
Brands Missing Out On Mobile Ad Opportunities, From MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs highlights the takeaways of a HipCricket study on mobile advertisement opportunities — namely, that many brands are leaving those opportunities on the table, and then walking away. Yikes. According to the study, 46% of mobile users have viewed a mobile ad, and 64% have completed a mobile purchase as a result of viewing a mobile ad. But an astonishing 74% of mobile users claim that their favorite brands have never advertised to them on a mobile platform. That’s a lot of brands missing the chance to convert some mobile purchases! Additional details in the study revealed demographic differences in those who take advantage of mobile ads: 55% of those who clicked have an annual income of greater than $75,000, and 29% who clicked have an annual income of greater than $100,000. Check out the full story here.
YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor Gets Better, From Mashable
Our last story this week is from the folks at Mashable. For about a year now, YouTube has been offering a built-in video editing tool as a feature that all users can take advantage of in their video publishing endeavors. But as of Thursday, video editing in YouTube has gotten even easier. YouTube shipped some new features, including quick views of every filter and a real-time, interactive preview of the changes you’ve made, consistently available throughout the editing process. The editor is gradually rolling out to all YouTube users. We’ve still noticed a few flaws with the editor, so we’re eager to see what changes YouTube has in store for the future. Check out the full story here.
Repurposing Content With a Purpose, From Smart Insights
The Smart Insights blog brings us this excellent guide to repurposing content — with a purpose! Aimed at making your content strategy more efficient, the post highlights the advantages of repurposing content, as well as eight ideas for efficient and effective repurposing. Some of the ideas we like best? Repurposing the audio track from video content as a downloadable podcast, creating textual transcripts from your video content, curating your best content into ebooks, and publishing the recordings of live webinars. We’d also venture to add that the reverse is also true; ebook and webinar content can be repurposed as blog content, too. Check out the full story here.
Did you come across any other excellent inbound marketing stories in the past week? Share them in the comments!
Image credit: kansasphoto
The last week has been a bit of a blur – and I was just not able to finish off the five must-read posts last week … so I’m jamming two weeks together now. Slightly early … and maybe you’ll find this an antidote for insomnia on Sunday evening – or an inspiring way to start your Monday. Either way – I trust you will enjoy these five great reads.
- Trevor Young hits it out of the ballpark with his great post I’ve Seen Marketing’s Future and its Name is Amanda Palmer. Superb thinking and connecting of the dots
- Kate Carruthers looks at the big shifts between the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries – focusing on the digital economy and the digital revolution
- Any marketing practitioner will know – often through bitter experience – that our jobs are infinitely harder than they used to be. But Bill Lee says the evidence is clear – Marketing is Dead
- The climate change deniers can deny all they like. But Bill McKibben says you just need to follow the figures to realise just who the real enemy is – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
- I’ve been saying it for years – share the message but OWN the destination. But Ray Wang pulls no punches –> Brands are dumb if they drive traffic to Facebook. Read it and weep suckers!
In July, Facebook rolled out a new “seen by” feature for groups, which let people know who has seen a post or announcement in that group, and when. And, although Facebook didn’t make much of a song and dance about it at the time, it looks like it is actually offering this feature on photos, too.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the “seen by” feature in photos works just like the “seen by” feature for other group posts: someone who posts a photo to a group can see how many people in that group have viewed it, who those people are, and what time it was that they viewed the photo. And that information is not exclusive just to the poster, either — others in the group can see who viewed a particular picture, too.
The “seen by” feature on a photo was first brought to our attention by Christo Wilson, a computer science PhD student at U.C. Santa Barbara, whose professor, Ben Zhao, was the one who first noticed it appear on a photo of his daughter that he posted to a group of users.
Zhao told TechCrunch in an email that he first noticed it on Friday. “I have a lot of friends who visit a group page we created for my baby daughter, and the first timestamp showed up last night,” he said.
I joined Zhao’s daughter’s page as well, and I could also see the names of all the users who had viewed each photo. This feature doesn’t seem to be appearing on other Facebook groups that I am in, yet.
It’s unclear whether Facebook would ever extend the “seen by” feature to photos that appear on all users’ accounts, not just those of groups.
On the one hand, Facebook has clearly been growing the number of places where people can view who has viewed their content. In May, Facebook added “seen by” details to messages between individual users and groups. Then in July, it appeared on group posts. In that context, it makes sense for it to extend to group photos, and possibly more.
Zhao notes this could be ”a phased rollout and something that will be coming for other more broader contexts as well.”
On the other hand, making something like this more widely used could be viewed as Facebook encroaching too far into how it monitors — and reports — on how the social network gets used. Photos have a more personal nature, and as Josh pointed out when Facebook launched the group “seen by” feature,
Facebook spends a lot of time fighting spam and scam hawking “profile spy apps” that would supposedly let you see who has viewed your profile. It’s repeatedly stated that no app can do this, and I’d say it’s highly unlikely to ever show who looked at photos. I mean, people might be a lot more apprehensive to browse photos, especially of romantic interests, if they knew other people could see their activity.
So much for never touching photos… But in any case, if privacy concerns and apprehension deters users from looking at photos, that would run counter to Facebook’s bigger strategy to get people using photos more, part of how it hopes to keep people engaged on its platform.
If a feature like this, which basically will tell someone when you have looked at his/her photographs, feels uncomfortable now, there may well be a time when it feels less so. Facebook could be the one to usher in that change.
As Zhao notes, it’s “just another step in the ‘Zuckering’ of our social norms, slowly eroding what most people consider to be over the line from a privacy perspective.” (In his work, Zhao happens to specialize in “large-distributed networks and systems, data mining and modeling, security and privacy, and wireless / mobile systems,” with current projects focused on “querying, modeling and mining massive graphs, analysis of social networks and online communities, and wireless systems and protocols.”)
In groups, that discomfort in any case should be less so — the picture has been sent to a group you are in, so of course you might look at it. That’s slightly different from visiting another user’s (say an ex-boyfriend’s) set of photos and browsing through them all.
And it puts Facebook more in line with Path, which also lets users know who has viewed their “moments.” That alone could be a sign of how Facebook is trying to better tailor its service for those who want to use it in these more personal, traceable ways.
We’re reaching out to Facebook about this feature and will update as we learn more.
Update: Facebook confirmed both that photos posted to groups have been included in the feature since launch, and that the “seen by” feature is only for photos that are part of a group post, not others. “We have not announced plans to extend the seen by feature to other products beyond Messenger and Groups,” the spokesperson said.
This guest post is by Glen Andrews of GlenAndrews.com.
Here’s what the top internet marketers know that most people don’t…
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to get traffic from social media sites, article directories, or through Google’s organic search. The three most effective ways to get someone to click on your links is to invoke one of these three emotional hot-buttons:
Let’s take a look at each of these three emotions and how they can get you more traffic and more clicks.
Most people will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. Marketing firms all around the world have know this for decades. Advertisers have placed fear statements into ads in order to get us to take action. And guess what? It works! Advertising firms have made trillions of dollars using fear as a motivator to get us to take action.
The “mayhem” Allstate commercials on US TV are all fear-based. Most political campaigns are fear-based. Heck, the next time you watch TV, pay attention to the commercials and see which of the three emotional hot buttons they’re using to motivate their audiences.
So how can you use fear (pain) to get more traffic?
Most of what we do online is driven by headlines. Our tweets are short headlines. Our blog posts and pages are effectively links with headlines. Our videos, Facebook pages, and articles are all propelled by headlines. We all decide which links to click based on the text, and our own personal desires.
Examples of fear- and pain-based headlines
- The Top 3 Reasons Most Entrepreneurs Fail Online
- 6 Things To Avoid if You’re Going To Be Successful
- Here’s Why Most Blogs Fail Within 24 months
If you can target your headlines (that is, links) so that they’ll speak to the emotions (pain, pleasure, curiosity) of your audience, you’ll not only attract better prospects, but you’ll quadruple your clickthrough rate.
Everyone wants to know “What’s in it for me? Why should I pay attention to you?” So you’ll get more clicks and traffic if you can tell your readers what benefits they’ll get by clicking your links. Let your readers visualize the pleasure they’ll receive from taking action.
Examples of pleasure- and benefit-based headlines
- Top 3 Ways To Boost Productivity and Profits
- Double Your Subscribers Within 14 Days
- Earn a 6 Figure Income Part Time
This is by far my favorite. We are all born with a sense of curiosity. From infants to old age, we all have an incredible appetite for the unknown.
You’ve seen or heard TV and radio personalities use curiosity to keep us from changing the channel. Just before a commercial break, the radio or TV personality will spit out a headline that piques our curiosity, so we’ll stay tuned in for the answer.
They’ll say something like, “When we return, we’ll reveal how you can save hundreds on your property taxes.” or “When we come back, you’ll hear why President Obama doesn’t want you to see his birth certificate.”
These curiosity-provoking statements are also called “hooks.”
Some examples of curiosity headlines
- Shrink Your Fat Zones
- 8 Lies About Sunscreen
- The NO-Pill Pain Remedy
- 3 Things To A More Effective Blog
- The 1 Thing All Bloggers Must Do To Make Money
Target your headlines
Again, your headlines should be targeted towards your readership. The more they speak directly to your audience, using these three emotions, the more clicks and traffic you’ll receive.
Note that it’s important to make sure your content is worthy of the headline. Nothing will turn people off more than a great headline, that “gets the click” but doesn’t deliver on the promise.
Everything we do on the internet revolves around headlines and links. If you get good at writing clickable headlines using these three emotions, you’ll easily get more traffic.
Glen Andrews has created niche sites, ebooks, and info products that produce a steady reliable income. Glen is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs create and market a business online that makes them money.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Editor’s note: Former VentureBeat intern Sarah Mitroff wrote this post before leaving us for her new gig at Wired.
Five content-saving services have hit the market, but only the fastest and easiest to use will win. My organizational obsession led me to pit my favorite organizational apps, and a few I’ve barely used, against each other to figure out which reigns supreme.
To wrangle years of newspaper clippings, recipe cards, photos, and videos into an organized space, I decided to put Evernote, Springpad, Clipboard, Bitly’s Bitmarks, and Minilogs, a new link-saving service, to the test. I measured how fast and how easy each service saved a news article, a YouTube Video, an image, two recipes, and a bookmark.
Evernote: quick and comprehensive
As I prepared for this post, Evernote was my favorite to win. I use the service daily for notes and web clippings. After comparing it to the other organizational apps, I wasn’t as thrilled with its content-saving capabilities. The web clipper is fast but grabs all the HTML and extraneous formatting on a page. Evernote’s advantage is that you can edit unwanted content out of your saved notes. It’s downside is that it doesn’t effectively save YouTube videos. Evernote is my winner for saving content on the iPad, because its web clipper plays nice with Safari.
Best for: making notes and saving webpages.
Springpad: content-aware and robust
Springpad and I go back a few years: I started using it to save recipes before its big redesign earlier this year. Its shining feature is that it’s content-aware, so it recognizes the types of material you’re trying to save. This is helpful when saving a recipe, a book, or a product you want to buy. Springpad’s clipper is far from perfect — it doesn’t always understand what you’re trying to save — but it’s the only service I tested that offers this feature.
Best for: saving content with context.
Clipboard: great for videos and links
At first, I wasn’t completely impressed with Clipboard. But the service grew on me. The clipper often makes me feel like I’m chasing a highlight box around the page, so this could use a bit of work. However, Clipboard did an excellent job of saving videos from YouTube and organizes clips in a simple and clean way. Clipboard’s biggest downside is that it basically takes a screenshot of a webpage, which prevents you from editing what you’ve saved.
Best for: videos, images, and links.
Bitly and Minilogs: link-only saving
Bitly’s Bitmarks and the newer Minilogs are two different services that do the same thing: saving links, not content. Minilogs creates a shareable collection of links for friends to use together, while Bitmarks is a more personal link-saving log. Minilogs is missing a clipper, so you must copy and paste links to save them. Bitmark’s clipper is fast and easy to use, even if the theme is cheesy.
Best for: links.
Conclusion: Two winners
It’s hard to choose an outright winner, because each of these services have their merits. Springpad wins for the best way to organize and view your saved content. When it comes to actually saving content, Evernote’s clipper has yet to let me down.
What are your favorite ways to save the stuff you find online? What did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Paper hoarding image via Flickr user Karl Sinfield
Filed under: VentureBeat
This guest post is by Diggy of Flawlessconfidence.com.
As a blogger or website owner you know how important traffic is—and how difficult it can be to obtain.
Traffic is especially difficult to obtain when you are a small fish in the pond, when your site is relatively new and not many people know about you. And waiting for one or two or three years to build your blog before you can get substantial traffic is something that I’m sure you’re way too impatient for. So how do you get more traffic to your website, fast? And without spending money on PPC or solo ads?
Besides SEO, blog commenting, guest posting, Youtube and social media, there is another way.
I recently launched a new blog about how to be confident and my traffic was hovering under 100 visitors per day. Then I implemented my secret strategy for a single post, and traffic surged to over 1000 visits in a matter of hours. It continued into the high hundreds of visits for the next day too!
I’m about to share with you my secret strategy to send surges of traffic to your website, pretty much whenever you want. It’s a strategy that I haven’t seen many people use, but I think that will start to change soon. The few people who I have shared this strategy with love it and have started implementing it already.
Content is king
You’ve probably read that phrase a million times. Bloggers always tell you that content is king, and to a large extent that is true. But in addition to having engaging, unique and fantastic content, you need to have people who are going to read your content and share it with others. If you have no traffic, you can have the best content on the web, but nobody is going to read it and share it, and it’s not going to bring you any benefit.
However, a big part of this secret strategy to send surges of traffic to your website is to create really killer content. Just one post will do, but it has to be something unique. Something that people really want to read. Like a super-long list post, or a very in-depth analysis, or a very heated debatable topic. Something that grabs people’s attention.
The post that I’m using as an example is titled 100 Ways How To Build Confidence. It’s about exactly what the title states: 100 different ways to build confidence. It’s a very long list post of just over 10,000 words and it took about eight hours to write, edit and format.
There are multiple reasons why an article like this is very effective is drawing mass traffic to your site. Not only is the title something that makes people want to click through to it, when the visitor reads the article he or she can see that it contains useful information and that someone took a long time to create it. That reader is much more likely to leave positive feedback and share the post with friends, which in turn creates even more traffic for your site.
I also used two other articles to test this strategy on separate occasions. The result was the same: mass traffic spikes to my blog within hours.
The secret strategy
Here it is: the actual secret strategy I used to drive over 1000 visits to my blog within hours, with a single post, all while my blog was only averaging around 100 unique visits per day. And the strategy worked again and again on the two other posts I mentioned.
That strategy involves forums. A very simple promotion of a good article on a popular forum will send you boat-loads of traffic. The more related the forum is to the topic of your article, the more traffic you will get, and the better that traffic will convert.
Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of people all around the world who are super-bored and have no desire to work, and who spend hours on their favorite forums. These people are all eager to be entertained, learn something, or to discover something new. They are ready to click on new links to new sites, and spend a lot of time if they like what they see.
To go back to the importance of a catchy title and unique, useful content, you can see why this is so important for this secret strategy. The catchier your title, the more people will view and click your thread and through to your link. If your article is unique, members will leave feedback in the forum. This feedback does two things:
- In most forums, when a user comments on a thread, that thread is “bumped” to the top of the forum thread topics. This means that everybody logging on to the forum at that point will see your thread first and click on it.
- In forums, people love to look at popular threads that have lots of views or comments or high star-ratings. This is because it is assumed that when a thread in a forum has many views, comments, or ratings, that thread is valuable and needs to be clicked on.
So, with a catchy title and useful content, you’ll get people to click through to your site, leave feedback, bump the thread, and allow more users to do the same.
If you’re wondering what kind of message you need to post in your forum thread to get the ball rolling, it’s very simple. All I posted was this:
Finding popular forums
Now that you know the secret strategy, you’ll want to know how to find popular forums worth posting on. Fortunately this is very easy because all you really need to do is head over to Google and type in “[YOUR NICHE] forum”. You’ll end up with many results for forums in your niche.
A quick way to tell if a forum is popular is to check the amount of registered users and the amount of users currently online. This is usually displayed on the home page of any forum, towards the bottom of the page. The screenshot below is an example of what a popular forum’s membership would be—this is one worth promoting your post on!
Secret no more!
Let me just sum up the secret strategy in a few simple-to-follow points:
- Create a high quality post with a catchy title.
- Find forums related to your niche.
- Make a simple thread with a catchy title and link to your post.
Note that there is such a thing as forum etiquette or proper conduct. You may need to post regularly in certain forums and build up a bit of a reputation before you are allowed to post links or start threads or begin self-promoting. Even then, don’t do it too often, or you’ll risk being banned.
Be sure to reply and respond to any comments or feedback that you receive in your threads, and participate in the forum generally—after all, if it’s a focal point for your niche, it’ll be a great place to engage with potential readers, build authority, make new connections, and more.
Diggy is a confident, successful young man who is his own boss, travels the world and has fantastic friends and relationships. He enjoys teaching people how to be confident and even has a section with confidence tips for women. If you want to become more confident,happier or successful, it’s highly recommended to subscribe to Diggy’s Flawless Confidence newsletter.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.
I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.
Good stuff I found this week:
Unroll.me – Email inbox service that automatically collects all those newsletters you’ve subscribed to and rolls them up into a daily digest. This take a lot of clutter out of your inbox and also has an unsubscribe feature.
Social Report – a tool for tracking all of your social media activity – a bit like Google Analytics, but for social.
blooie – Interesting looking plugin that allows you to host chat conversations on your web site. Might be a nice way to get people chatting about ideas your blog about.