Archive for May, 2015

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Steve Giordano on Buying Web Traffic

by Susan Jennings on 05/29/2015

There are millions of websites out there and several thousand new sites created each day. In order to reach the right audience and be seen by potential customers, launching a multi-faceted online marketing campaign is critical, says Steve Giordano, CEO of Revisitors.com.

“To reach optimal results, any marketing campaign should include – in addition to PPC advertising and SEO – a direct stream of targeted traffic to increase site’s overall reputation, show the product offer to potential clients and increase chances of success,” he says.

That’s where Steve’s team at Revisitors.com comes in. The advertising agency helps deliver targeted web traffic to brands hoping to increase their online presence and make more sales.

Here, Steve shares how Revisitors works and what businesses need to know about purchasing site traffic. (more…)

Practice, Not Perfection

by John Hargrave on 05/26/2015

My son Isaac recently performed in the spring concert at his middle school. His jazz combo played “‘Round Midnight” by Thelonious Monk, and it was incredible. These kids were playing this technically difficult, harmonically complex song, and playing it with feeling. The audience felt it, too: even the adults who thought Thelonious Monk was a Buddhist priest. It was a moment of art.

 


This is not my son. This is the real Thelonious Monk.

 

For the grand finale, they had a big group of kids play an amazing techno song on electronic drums, keyboards, and Launchpads. There was a smoke machine. Isaac was on the keytar, and just rocking it, with the wah-wahs and the power slides. The audience was so moved that they flooded the front of the auditorium and had a spontaneous dance party.

 


This also is not my son. It is just an insane keytar solo.

 

Then, at the very end of the song, Isaac’s keytar cable fell out. It was the final solo, and as he tried to plug the cord back in, the keytar strap broke. The drummer hit the downbeat, and that was the concert. “Thank you, good night!”

I grew up playing music, and while I’ve had a lot of great performances, I’ve also had a great number of bad performances. I had a performance where my amp buzzed incessantly during a slow song, in a church. I had a performance where I forgot the music, and the audience had to wait uncomfortably while I ran backstage to find it. I had a performance where I got in a fight with my then-girlfriend, on stage. (Long story.)

Here’s the thing that no music teacher ever taught me: performing is also practice. In music, you spend an incredible amount of time in practice, then you perform. But performing is much different than practice, as anyone who’s ever spoken in public will know to be true. There’s no way to get experience performing except by doing it. You have to practice performing, and nowhere is this more true than in content marketing. (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Roshan Joshi on Smarter Online Marketing

by Susan Jennings on 05/25/2015

Today, more than ever, consumers have a vast array of choices for the products they purchase and the companies they purchase them from. With a near-constant bombardment of advertising, making your brand stand out can seem impossible.

Internet marketer Roshan Joshi says this is where informed, thoughtful branding decisions are key.

“Make sure you communicate your values well,” he says. “Whether online or offline, such brands prevail over time.”

Roshan recently checked in with us to offer his insight on best practices for online marketing in an increasingly competitive market.  (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Jana Lynch on Running a Successful Blog

by Susan Jennings on 05/21/2015

Finance isn’t just about MBAs and 401(k)s; it’s about making ends meet, making the most of what you have, and striving for the life that you desire. For the last three and a half years, Jana Lynch has been blogging about finances at Jana Says. While originally focusing only on money and finances, Lynch found her attention waning and opened up the concept to become a more general lifestyle blog. The result is an attractive mixture of money-saving tips interspersed with thoughts on being a wife and mother, scented candles and podcasts, becoming a personal finance blog for people without high finance degrees.

Jana Lynch took a moment to answer our questions and share her expertise.

How did you get started blogging?

About three and half years ago, needing an outlet to talk about money and everything that relates to money, I decided to start a blog. It seemed like the most logical place to put all my thoughts, was a good outlet for the ideas bouncing around in my head, and it was a great way to connect with people who had some of my same values. (more…)

What I Learned from Jay and Christy’s Wedding

by John Hargrave on 05/18/2015

My friends Jay Stevens and Christy Ramsey recently got married, and they asked me to officiate. I warned them that I do not have any formal religious training, and in fact have been banned from a number of churches and synagogues. They didn’t seem to mind.

Jay and Christy did something simple and brilliant for their wedding, which was they wrote short letters to the people who meant the most to them — their parents, kids, and closest friends — and they had those people read the letters during the service. There were, as you can imagine, both laughs and tears. It was beautiful.

What I loved about this idea was that Jay and Christy turned their wedding from being about them to being about everyone else. Guess what? That simple idea made the wedding far more interesting than the usual blah blah reading yadda yadda singing zippity zoo you may now kiss the bride. It had heart.

Incidentally, Christy is a social media celebrity, with over 50,000 followers across her social media accounts. How did she get that many followers? By consistently posting great content, of course. But also by actively engaging with other people, and making them feel important. (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Scott Baradell on Finding Inbound Marketing Success

by Susan Jennings on 05/18/2015

We asked Scott Baradell, president and founder of tech PR firm Idea Grove, what piece of advice he finds himself repeating over and over again to clients.

His response?

“Don’t be boring; come up with truly interesting stories to tell,” he says. “And don’t waste effort; repurpose those great ideas across every channel your ideal customer sees and experiences.”

Scott recently took some time to answer a few questions for us about PR best practices for a social/digital/gadget-obsessed environment, as well as why you should be focusing on inbound marketing and the ever-growing importance of great storytelling. (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Will Green on Running a Successful Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaign

by Susan Jennings on 05/15/2015

Online marketing is a vast tradition with many tributaries. There’s a lot to know, and a lot to learn, as we try out different tools and measure their success.

Will Green of PPC.org is a master of the pay-per-click advertising campaign. He took a moment to tell us about how to find the right home for your ads, to save yourself money while still attracting the widest audience.

How did you get started with online marketing?

If I went back to the start of my online career, the main reason I started doing online marketing was for my website AskWillOnline.com. I didn’t have the long-term traffic from organic sources yet so had to rely heavily on PPC traffic to maintain and keep a steady flow of traffic to the website. Of course, this was years ago and, in that time, I have tried and have had errors, improved and analyzed my campaigns to perfect it for my target audience. So, in short, it was to give my website another source of high-quality traffic that I could control myself easily. (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Erica Sandberg on News and Content

by Susan Jennings on 05/13/2015

Erica Sandberg can’t just help you balance your books – she’s an experienced journalist and media personality with a lot of insight into how the Internet has changed how we consume content. She shared some of that insight when we spoke with her.

How has working in news changed for you, as technology has shifted?

When I started out in news, it was the mid ’90s, and I was working for a consumer credit counseling agency. My job was to get the word out about wise money management. Somehow I finagled a regular gig at a San Francisco TV station, where I answered viewers questions on camera. I fell in love with the media world. It was live TV and very exciting.

Now, as a freelancer, I still do traditional news quite a lot, reporting and providing commentary, but I do more independently produced video. That was not really an option before. If you wanted to get your name and information out there, you were at the mercy of others who made the final decision. So I guess that’s the best thing about technology, for me. It helped me be independent. (more…)

How to Do a Podcast Interview

by John Hargrave on 05/11/2015

I’ve been doing a number of podcast interviews for my upcoming book Mind Hacking, which hits bookshelves in January 2016. It’s a little unusual to do publicity so far in advance, but I’m treating it as a way to work out the material for the official promotional tour.

My first interview was with the programming podcast Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots. These guys have a dedicated podcasting studio, and a terrific host (programming luminary Ben Orenstein). You can listen to that podcast here.

The next interview was with The Busy Creator, hosted by the graphic designer and brand developer Prescott Perez-Fox. This podcast is targeted to creative professionals, and was done via Skype. I thought Prescott did a great job, and you can listen to that podcast here.

No matter what you are trying to promote — your book, your business, or your brand — there are dozens of podcasts who would love to have you as a guest. But how can you be a good podcast guest? I’ve done plenty of author interviews over the years, and here are a few things that have worked for me. (more…)

10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Caryn Purdy on How to Work with Writers

by Susan Jennings on 05/08/2015

You may not know Caryn Purdy by name, but you know her work. She’s a widely published writer who’s worked for an enormous range of websites, and her site says it best: She’s the Quality Content Writer. She spoke with us about how to make better content and successfully work with writers.

What are some common mistakes made about content and corporate blogs?

The biggest and most common mistake anyone can make with their blog is to think it’s all about getting on the front page of Google to drive search traffic to their site. This is so counterproductive because you end up with SEO-oriented blogs and content that’s more about a specific search phrase instead of a topic. You should be creating a personable identity for your brand and giving people a reason to come back and interact with you some more.

That strategy doesn’t work for everyone… but if you want to build lasting relationships with your customers, then the worst thing you can do with your blog is focus more on acquisition instead of retention.

Other common mistakes include ripping off competitors or related websites for content. Nobody likes a copycat and the original is always better. It is okay to respond to an article with your own new points, and link to the original source… it is never okay to try and clone what someone else has already said. To be honest, there are a lot of common mistakes that can be avoided if you just follow the most basic strategy for success – be original. Choose original topics that fit the core message of your brand and will attract your best customers who will ultimately choose you.

Also, stop thinking that your blogs or articles have to be a certain minimum word count! (more…)