When I was asked to write a piece entitled: “How to Succeed on YouTube” I was forced to admit that the success I have enjoyed online has been due more to the actions of others than my own. I set a goal of achieving 1 Million video views in my first 100 days on the site and was lucky enough to hit that goal on the 83rd day (which was ironically Christmas morning — Thanks Santa!) and by the time the 100th day came around, I had over 1.5 Million combined video views! I credit the YouTube community for having supported me in achieving this goal, but there are some little things you can do to better the chances of your videos being seen by those who will help you achieve your own goals. Because I have spent more time than I am willing to admit on YouTube, I have a few thoughts on what makes for successful videos and channels. I have broken down this article into two parts. The first part touches on what I consider to be the most popular videos, and the second will cover little things I think you can do to help your videos get the views you are hoping for.
Part I: Popular Videos Elicit A Reaction.
All popular videos have something in common: they elicit a reaction from the viewers. These videos make you laugh, make you smile, make you sing and dance, teach you something, or just simply make you say “Wow, that is amazing!” Such videos come in all forms and lengths, and include the following: Read more >>
With the seemingly endless number of social sites popping up all over the web, venturing into the world of Social Media and community voting sites can be an exercise in masochism, if you’re not careful. Every site has its own community, its own culture, its own etiquette and its own set of rules & regulations that users are expected to adhere to.
Unlike many social voting based sites, like Digg and Reddit – which tend to have an inherent hostility toward the search marketing industry – Sphinn, which was started by the team at Search Engine Land, caters specifically to the Internet marketing community. Much like other voting sites, the ultimate goal is to generate enough votes to make it to the “Hot Topics” page, which will expose the content to the biggest Sphinn audience.
Being that Sphinn was created by, is moderated by and its community is made up of Internet marketers, it’s no place for the faint of heart. As a rule, the community is somewhat suspicious of newcomers initially and there are some dues to pay before you’re welcomed into the fold. Spammers, the thin-skinned and whiners need not apply. Don’t believe me? Here’s a taste of what my first few weeks at Sphinn were like… Read more >>
As more and more companies jump on the social media bandwagon, they’re beginning to realize that running an SMM (social media marketing) campaign isn’t always as easy as it looks. It’s not like you sign up on Twitter, send out a few meaningless Tweets, and then experience a sudden surge in business. Social media marketing requires a long term commitment, and the results are not always easy to measure.
Today, I want to talk about some of the challenges you’ll face when you start an SMM campaign. By knowing what you’re up against, you’ll be better prepared to avoid these common pitfalls.
• Finding the time—Personally, this is my biggest challenge. I run a one-man show, so it’s overwhelming finding the time to do all of my work plus staying active on social media outlets. But here’s the thing you (and I) have to realize: Marketing can never be placed on the backburner. It’s just as important as doing your actual work. Marketing should be something you do day in and day out. It’s the only way you’ll ever gain any attention and build a following on the social networks. I recommend scheduling time each day (maybe in 10 or 15 minute blocks a few times each day) for handling your SMM business. Consistency is key.
• Handling negative comments—This is usually the challenge that leads to a company spiraling out of control with their SMM campaign. Look, at some point, someone is going to say something about you or your company that you won’t like. It might be a comment on your blog or a random Tweet, but how you handle it will determine how successful you’ll be with your social media campaign. The thing is there isn’t really one set method of handling negative comments. For me, if the comment isn’t just pure hate, I take the time to respond thoughtfully, letting the person know I respect their opinion and asking them some well thought out questions. There’s nothing wrong with a polite conversation between two people who disagree. However, if the comment is just pure Internet hate, it’s probably best just to ignore it.
• Balancing personality with professionalism—This can be a tricky challenge to overcome. The whole point of social media is to be personable and to connect with your audience. This means you can’t come across as a corporate stiff shirt. However, you also don’t want to be too informal and risk creating a negative image for your company. My suggestion is to find a balance of the two. Obviously, you probably shouldn’t post pictures of yourself doing a body shot at the bar, but you also want to avoid sounding like a corporate robot. Simply put, just be yourself, but always proofread everything before you post.
• Staying committed for the long haul—Like I said at the beginning of this post, social media isn’t a quick fix. It’s something you need to stay committed to every day over the long haul. Unfortunately, many companies fail at this. They’re very passionate when they first start a Twitter profile or a new blog, but inevitably, a couple of months pass, and they gradually disappear. This usually happens to those who don’t set any actual social media goals and who are just blindly blogging and Tweeting away with no real purpose.
• Measuring SMM results—The value of SMM has always been debated. Some people claim that, since they don’t generate any physical business through their Twitter or Facebook account, SMM is a waste of time. Others say that social media is a great way to increase brand awareness, gain insight into your target audience, and build useful business connections. The reason most people have a hard time measuring results from their SMM campaign is because they don’t know what to measure. Is the goal of your campaign to earn more back links to your site? Is it to increase search position? Or are you simply interested in boosting your sales? By having a clearly defined purpose for your SMM campaign, you’ll be better able to measure your results.
What challenges do you face when using social media marketing? Share them with us the replies!
On April 2nd, Digg launched the DiggBar. In Digg’s words, the DiggBar allows you to “Digg directly on the destination site, easily share stories, access, view comments while on the story page, discover related stories, see more stories from the same source and discover random stories.” In reality, as TechCrunch noted on the day that this new feature from Digg was launched, the DiggBar is a way to keep “you on Digg and shows the site being pointed to in an iframe wrapper.” This means that while Digg used to send large amounts of traffic in exchange for being able to feature great pieces of content on their web site, they are now trying to have the best of both worlds by not only using content from other publishers but by also benefiting from the traffic that content generates.
Not surprisingly, this new feature has generated a lot of controversy throughout the Internet community. While there has been a lot of scattered discussion about why many people feel the new DiggBar is pure evil, here is a centralized look at the three main reasons people are getting upset:
Steals Traffic and Links: As some people have stated, “Digg is just a glorified scraper site now.” The reason that this statement has some validity to it is because not only is Digg stealing traffic by framing in content from other publishers, but because the DiggBar includes a URL shortening feature, people will be linking to the “Digg URL” instead of the actual URL of the content. Regardless of how you feel about SEO, social media optimization, linkbait or any other related topics, I think we can all agree that when a publisher takes time to create a piece of content that people enjoy, they should be the one to receive the links and traffic generated from that piece of content, and not a third-party service. Just imagine if Google started framing all of their search results and creating their own URLs instead of linking to the original URL of the content!
On the last day of March Marko from HowToMakeMyBlog.com wrote a post, Do not worry about SEO, just concentrate on your blog readers encouraging bloggers to worry more about interacting with their readers and creating great content instead of SEO. As someone who is active in the blogging and social media world, I agree that this is solid advice for bloggers. However, as someone who also works in the SEO world, I do know from experience that a well-optimized blog can increase the amount of traffic that you receive from search engines. So, while Marko provided several good tips for your initial blog SEO in his post, I wanted to write today about how you can automatically do SEO for your blog.
Balancing blogging, social media and SEO; photo from Marcio Okabe
As long as you are using WordPress, you can perfect your blog’s SEO with the Platinum SEO plugin. Now, before I discuss this plugin, I want to address one issue. I am sure that many of you have heard of the
Now that you know why I recommend the Platinum SEO plugin, let’s dive into it’s features:
-This plugin will automatically optimize your post and page titles for search engines. This means that you can focus on writing great titles that will attract human readers, and the plugin will make sure that the titles are optimized for the search engine crawlers.
-The Platinum SEO plugin will generate all of your meta tags automatically (however, if there is a specific change you want to make to a meta tag, you can easily do so). So, instead of spending five minutes creating meta tags for your post, you can use those five minutes to embed a great picture into your post from Flickr that will grab the attention of your visitors.
-Although WordPress is a great platform, one of its biggest problems in terms of SEO is that it creates a lot of duplicate content issues (which can negatively impact your search engine rankings). Fortunately, this plugin has features built into it which will take care of those duplicate content problems.
-While Marko mentioned that you should change your blog’s default permalink structure to a “prettier one”, if you already have a blog, you may be worried that changing your permalink structure will create a lot of broken links. However, with this plugin, you can change your permalinks in the WP Dashboard and the plugin will automatically take care of any broken links by creating a search engine friendly 301 redirect.
-Since there are certain pages of your blog that you may want readers to have access to but not search engines, the plugin makes it easy to add the following tags to any post or page that you choose (all of which are designed to block search engines from indexing that specific post or page):noindex, fnofollow, noarchive, nosnippet, noodp or noydir.
By using this plugin, you will be able to get the best of both worlds: not only will you be able to enjoy more search engine traffic, but you will still be able to keep your focus on interacting with your readers and writing top notch content that keeps them engaged!
Do you have any , questions, opinions or insights? Please let us know in the comments below.
Arguably, the most popular type of social media web sites are social voting sites. The reason that social voting sites can be more addictive than crack and more alluring than the song of a siren is because they can send a huge surge in traffic if a piece of your content gets popular.
As many of our regular readers know, I have taken time to explore most of the major social voting sites. While they are all alluring, I have discovered that they have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as their own unique social culture. So, without further ado, let’s review six of the most popular social voting sites:
Digg.com: Digg seems to be one the most popular and well-known of the social voting sites. My personal views of Digg are that they can be excessively picky about the source of the content, and it definitely takes a significant investment of time and commitment to succeed on this platform. However, I still think Digg is a lot of fun, as well as a great platform for networking. I know that I have personally made many great friends from Digg!
Image by peasap
Do you remember which concept Twitter actually started with? That’s right, “What are you doing?” The rate at how quickly and dramatically the concept evolved into “micro-blogging” concept is the great example of how incontrollable social media can be. There is no point in trying to set any rules and standards as it already exists in numerous forms and its full potential is yet to be explored.
Yes, watching this evolution is enjoyable. How people discover new and new Twitter uses makes you wonder where it can bring us. So let’s see how Twitter can be used in various spheres of life and for multiple purposes and try to imagine what else it can evolve into.
FoodSafety maintained by Food Safety Information Center “provides food safety information to educators, industry, researchers and the general public”.
Twitterfeed of U.S. Senate votes is another great example how US government 2.0 is implemented.
FCIC Pueblo is the Twitterfeed by Federal Citizen Information Center that provides the answers to questions about the Federal Government and everyday consumer issues. It alerts followers of scams, pitfalls, safety tips, etc.
UK government: twitter channel for the Prime Minister’s Office
I’m obviously not the first person to write a list of WordPress plugins. However, I use some pretty interesting plugins (specifically a couple that I have not really noticed on other lists), so I thought it would be fun to take a little time to talk about fifteen of the best WordPress plugins I use. Hopefully, you will find a couple that you haven’t checked out before!
Photo Dropper: I really appreciate all of the great photography that is available on Flickr, and because I want to see it continue to grow, I always try to play by all of their rules. Fortunately for me, Photo Dropper is an awesome plugin that makes it easy to search for a Creative Commons photo on Flickr, add it to my post and have the appropriate credit links appear directly under the photo.
Platinum SEO Pack: I know everyone talks about the All-in-One SEO Pack , and while that used to be my SEO plugin of choice, once I tried the Platinum SEO Pack, I never looked back! If you want to make sure that all of your on-page SEO is taken care of for your WordPress blog, you can’t go wrong with this pack.
Referrer Detector: As I have learned throughout my journey into social media, one of the best things you can do is create a personalized experience for the people you are trying to interact with. It’s for this exact reason that I’m a big fan of Referrer Detector. When I’m bringing in visitors to my blog from a social site like Reddit, this plugin makes sure that they are greeted with a personalized welcome message and a nice reminder that positive votes are always appreciated.
In December, I wrote a post talking about the 10 most creative Twitter uses I had seen. Based on the plethora of comments with more suggestions for the list, I could see I had barely scratched the surface of creative Twitter uses. For this reason, I bring you 10 MORE examples of creative Twitter uses. Some of these are user-submitted while others are accounts I’ve recently come across. Enjoy.
- TwittMinder- To me, this is about as cool as it gets. TwittMinder is a service that Tweets you to remind you of important events. All you have to do is email them the event info (date/time/etc) and they will send you a Tweet when the time comes to remind you of it. Sure, you could just set an alert on your phone or calendar, but this is pretty darn cool if you ask me.
- WaffleTruck- This was recommended to me by one of our readers, Simon. This company serves up waffles from their truck throughout the streets of New York. They Tweet updates regularly to let their customers know exactly where they are. Mmm. Waffles.
- ImagineChurch- Regardless of what your religious preferences are, you have to admit ImagineChurch is pretty creative. For those who don’t have time to go to church, they’ll Tweet a live play by play of their Sunday service. Church via text message. Who woulda thunk it?!
- CookBook- What’s for dinner tonight? If you don’t know, maybe you should visit this Twitter account. CookBook offers recipes that serve 3-4 people in just 140 characters or less. Throw out the old cookbooks, and get into the 21st century!
- SATWordoftheDay- I remember years back when I had to prep for the SAT. It was a nightmare. Huge prep books and boring classes made it less than exciting. Thankfully, I performed well, but I could have done better if this Twitter service was around. Lear a new SAT vocabulary word each day!
Ever since Google began to gain momentum in the early years of the 21st century (and then went public in 2004), people have assumed that Google is unstoppable. Although other search engines have fought and clawed in an attempt to take back share of the search market from Google, they have all failed (yes Yahoo and Microsoft, I’m talking about you).
Because of Google’s dominance over these other large corporations, it’s easy to see why most people would assume that no company could come up with enough money to come close to competing with Google.
However, over the last couple of months, one company has emerged that could present a real threat to Google. While many people could not grasp why they had been able to raise over fifty-five million dollars in funding, people within the tech industry were still obsessed with the concept of Twitter for over a year. However, it was only recently when everyone started to realize that Twitter could actually pose a direct threat to Google (hence their ability to raise so much venture capital).
Without further ado, here’s the list of five reasons why Google should fear (or more likely, buy) Twitter:
It’s Personalized: If Google is a vast library with only one librarian to guide you around (who can be hard of hearing depending on how complicated the information is that you are looking for), then Twitter is the same library but with all of your friends (and other individuals who you trust) standing around different areas of the library to point out the information that you should actually care about.
It’s Flexible: While it’s true that you can use Google on different platforms (such as your desktop or your mobile phone), Google can’t come close to offering the wide variety of flexible experiences that Twitter can. Whether you are using IceRocket Twitter Search to search and reply in real-time, Twitpic to share pictures with your followers, Tweetdeck to keep up with your stream of Twitter activity, Tweetie to use Twitter on the iPhone or BackTweets to monitor who is tweeting about your blog or web site, it’s easy to see that the ways to adapt Twitter to your own preferences are almost endless.
It Can Be Customized: Although it’s true that Google allows you to create a personalized homepage, Google simply can’t offer the same level of customization as Twitter. For example, Twitter has mentioned the possibility of serving local news to individuals who are interested in this topic. While this may not seem that significant, the reason that it’s a big deal is because Twitter is able to inject this topic (or any other topic for that matter) directly into your Twitter stream (which means that you don’t have to worry about anything except for absorbing the information).
It’s User Generated: This obviously ties in with the first point, but it’s an important point to note in itself. While Google is dependant upon it’s crawlers to go out and find the material for its index (which then must be organized by its algorithm), Twitter doesn’t have to worry about collecting a single drop of information. Instead, it let’s its extremely active participants collect and share all of this information on their own.
It’s Fresh: Although the first four reasons on this list are all important and should be enough to make Google pay close attention to Twitter (which they already are), the most direct threat to Google is because of Twitter’s ability to deliver fresh and relevant information the minute it becomes available.
In fact, it’s this exact reason why Twitter began to gain so much attention back in October of 2007. When wildfires broke out in California, many people turned to Twitter to get up to the date information about the progress of the wildfires. While a search of Google yielded a couple of news results and a bunch of information that was not relevant at the time (since people didn’t want to know about the history of wildfires, but what was happening at the moment), Twitter was giving people the exact, fresh information that they needed.
While Google has been doing their best to deliver relevant content that is fresh (by taking steps such as creating their Query Deserves Freshness model), so far Twitter has proved that once again, human contributions simply cannot be matched by an algorithm.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below