David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for January, 2012

Reputation Management: How Suze Orman Jeopardized Hers

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is the story of how NOT to manage your reputation online, following Suze Orman’s mess last week.

If you don’t know who Suze Orman is, she is (was?) one of the most respected personal finance gurus around.

And if you missed the “mess”, it started out innocently enough. Suze Orman released an “Approved” pre-paid debit card. It was a big publicity moment for her, and should have resulted in accolades and sunshine.

But something went terribly wrong.

Without going too deep into financial details, a pre-paid debit card can be a very useful tool for certain situations, and this card compares favourably to similar card, according to many analysts. But many personal finance bloggers were “shocked” and “surprised” that Suze Orman would be recommending a card like this at all, pointing out numerous less-costly alternatives. (If you wish to read more on the details from a financial perspective, there is a good round-up of related posts at Credit Cards Canada’s overview of the issue, but here are three of my favourites:

At Planting Money Seeds
At Free From Broke
At Hi That’s My Bike

And so the PR war begins.

And here the lesson begins.

Because Suze Orman struck back. Hard. And used some harsh language. She took on her challengers and called them names. The personal finance blogosphere is well-connected. They all read each others’ blogs and comment on them and follow each other on Twitter. If you check out any of the links I posted above, you will see what I mean.

And so, Twitter got real messy. These images are among those shared by Briana at 20 And Engaged.

You know she blew it. I am not saying that she no longer has any respect, but she sure lost a lot of it last week among a very important audience. What lessons can we learn from this?

DON’T GET PERSONAL.

What really set things off was when she called one well-respected blogger an “Idiot”. The rest of the personal finance bloggers circled wagons, especially because they had the same concerns about this whole Suze Orman Approved Card thing as the “Idiot” did.

To their credit, most of the bloggers kept it above the belt, and spent the rest of the week giving their analysis of the card itself and of pre-paid debit cards in general. In other words, they stuck to the issue, which is what Suze should have done. Did she really have a good product or was she just fleecing her starry-eyed followers?

STICK TO SUBSTANCE.

None of the bloggers (to the best of my knowledge) accused Suze of malice, and yet the whole affair left one feeling like she was trying to cash in on her celebrity status, misusing the trust her followers had placed in her and picking their pockets. All because of how she reacted, by throwing back insults rather than responding to the concerns and correcting misperceptions.

Instead of getting out her side of the story, she went off message (yes, this is sooooo like a political campaign screw-up).

RESPECT

OK, so let’s suppose you are really angry at somebody? Do you punch them in the face? Do you tell them to “Got to Hell!”. Do you call them an idiot? Of course not. No matter how angry you might be at the moment, you don’t want to burn bridges for things you will want to do in the future.

Social media is social. And it is amplified. It would be bad enough if Suze Orman had called a blogger an idiot in private. But she did it in public, in front of all her Twitter followers and, more importantly, in front of dozens – maybe even hundreds – of personal finance bloggers.

This showed at best pathetic judgment and at worst a mean and nasty streak.

Interestingly, a number of personal finance bloggers I know made comments to the effect of “I hope that was just some PR advisors that wrote those tweets, and not her.” I have my doubts. The first thing a PR person would advise her would be to stick to the issues, don’t get personal and don’t burn bridges. She did apologize later in the week, which sounds to me like she finally did get some PR advice.

If was her PR advisor, I would have tweeted back to the skeptics that they are missing the key point, and I would make that point. I would contact the blogger off-Twitter and request permission to provide a guest post – not to rebut his argument, but to explain why the card is indeed a good deal and why it is a step forward and look at all the good that can come out of it. He worst that can happen is a “No”…which would be far better than the huge loss of esteem she suffered last week. And the best would have been another platform to get her message out and at least to some degree neutralize the criticism that had been made.

By way of a wrap up, I came away with the impression that Suze Orman really does want to do something big with credit scores (which might be good), but could not resist the chance to make some nice cash from her followers. The combination of feeling righteous because she believes she is doing something positive and defensiveness due to guilt of having stepped over a line would explain her reactions.

But you and I will never know the truth behind all of this. We will only know what impression we are left with. Which is why online reputation management is so critical.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Why You Should Be Blog Carnival-Crazy

Monday, January 16th, 2012

If you have never heard of a blog carnival or a blog round-up, this is not to be missed. As a blogger, you should seriously consider hosting a blog carnival – and you should absolutely be participating in blog carnivals every week.

First, the terminology.

  • Blog round-up. A summary of interesting blog posts from the previous week (or however long the blogger decides).
  • Blog carnival. A summary of interesting blog posts from the previous week (or however long the blogger decides).

Ah…yeah. So what is the difference? Originally a “carnival” traveled, hosted by a different blog each week. A few still do, but most are simply round-ups with a festive name.

Why your blog should host a carnival:

Traffic. When you post a dozen links to other people’s posts, guess what happens… they tweet about the post and sometimes link to it and generally send people your way.

Links. As I said above…

Networking. List a dozen blog posts and you get brownie points from a dozen happy bloggers.

Why you should submit your blog to a carnival:

Traffic. When someone posts a link to your post on their carnival, chances are people will follow the link and discover your blog.

Links. As I said above…

Networking. The blogger will appreciate that you contributed to his blog.

Blog Carnival tools:

There are a few ways that you can find posts to include in your carnival. There are two broker websites, which I will review below, and there are a few simple tactics to find posts on your own.

1. Tweet a request for contributions.
2. Ask your mastermind group on FaceBook or Skype or wherever (I have seen this done effectively several times).
3. Post a notice on niche forums.
4. Track the blogs you like via RSS and choose the posts you like most (several people do this).
5. Do a blog comments carnival. I take the more substantial comments that I leave on other people’s blogs, and I blog them into a carnival.
6. Post a notice on your own blog – that might be enough to get a flood of submissions.

BlogCarnival.com: This website has been around for a while, and lists hundreds or blog carnivals.

What I like about the site…

It is nicely automated. When you put in the URL of a blog post, much of the submission form is auto-filled.

Plenty of blogs in all sorts of niches, and since your posts will mostly be relevant to one niche all the time, and to most niches on occasion, this works well.

What I don’t like about the site….

Most of the carnivals listed no longer exist. At least there is a notice that the carnival does not exist, but still it does clog things up. I always sort the available blogs by “most recent” carnival, and don’t bother with ones that have not been kept up to date.

Several blogger I know who have used the site have complained that they don’t get the submissions people send. I know some go through, because I have had success, but I have no idea what submission success rate is.

Each carnival opens in the same window, so to submit to several, I need to manually open up several windows at a time.

BlogCarnivalHQ.com. In response to the submission problems at log Carnival, this site was set up by Tom Drake, a leading financial blogger (he also runs Fwisp, a growing social bookmarking site for finance bloggers).

What I like about the site…

Quick clicks to each blog, uncluttered by hundreds of no-longer active carnivals.

Great for finance articles.

Solid programming and a personal commitment by Tom Drake to keep it functioning properly.

What I don’t like about the site…

The site is still new, so other categories are pretty sparsely populated. (This is your chance to get your blog in on the ground floor.)

Each carnival opens in the same window, so to submit to several, I need to manually open up several windows at a time.

If you don’t want to run your own carnival, but you do want a post included in a carnival, there are three ways to find carnivals to submit to. One way is to search Google or Bing for carnivals or round-ups related to your niche. The other two ways are to search the two blog carnival websites I reviewed above.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Business Blog Commenting Carnival #2

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Welcome to our second “Business Blog Commenting Carnival”, an irregular feature where I share with you some of the comments I left on great posts from other blogs.

I answered the question Who’s the Real Boss in Your Business?

I say it is the customers. “The Customer is Always Right.” If the customer needs something quickly, I work overtime. If customers change their taste or preferences, my business better change to meet their demands.

When you are an employee, you have only one customer. You call him “the boss” or “the employer”, but the fact is that you are selling him some combination of your time, your effort and your expertise.

When you own the business, you have many bosses or employers. You call them “the customers” or “the clients”.

At 5 Techniques You Can Use to Take Your Internet Marketing Business to the Next Level in 2012 Danielle McGraw suggests to “Take it offline”. My thoughts on this?…

Indeed, most online folks really don’t think about taking things offline. But imagine the power of leaving sticky notes all over in public places: “Free download – make money online”. Or imagine handing strangers in the mall a business card that says: “A penny for your thoughts” with a penny taped to it, and a subheading: “Comment on my blog at http…”

Roberta Budvietas wrote that Civility Is important to Business Success. I agreed…

Civility is just another word for respect, or at least for demonstrating respect. If you don’t demonstrate respect, why would anybody do business with you?

At The Mystery of SEO, I found myself speaking in quite a counter intuitive fashion…

Anthony, on the whole I agree with your approach. However, I will take issue with the web designer who rejects any client not interested in an SEO analysis. The vast majority of websites will never rank well for any search phrase worth speaking of. There are simply too many more websites than their are available search phrases, and too many websites that are already very strong in most of those search markets. And as much as it might seem contrarian for an SEO specialist to be saying this, there are so many moire awesome ways to find a website than through search engine rankings. Radio ads. Print ads. Sponsoring YouTube or offline video, pay-per-click ads , guest blogging…and so many more. Many B2B websites have a very small niche clientele that can be best reached through trade shows and trade publications. Thinking the world revolves around SEO is the myopic miscalculation fostered usually by SEO specialists; how unfortunate that a web designer has also been infected.

Ming Jong Tey wrote about a link wheel strategy that works. I suggested an upgrade to that strategy…

Yes, the typical link wheel has fallen out of favour with Google. But the newer version is a lot of work. Creating several unique articles just to get a single link (Yes, you can pay $5 or $10 to have some regurgitated baby food pounded into something that looks like words, but do you really think Google is stupider than the folks who write that crap?) So here is an alternative:

Create a good article on a Web 2.0 site. Submit it to a couple appropriate social bookmarking sites for the niche. Comment on a couple good blog posts in the niche, using the article URL as your “website”.

There you go. You have created great content, engaged with bloggers and given real link juice to your hub.

This is not a blog, but rather a forum thread that asked: “I just started working for a local law firm and Im new to SEO. Im helping out with the link building campaign. I wanted to get some advice on a good strategy for building white hat back links for a local law firm?”

I disagree that anything you do to build links violates Google’s TOS. Links represent to Google “votes” for your content. In other words, if you have content worth linking to, you should get links, because links are the natural extension of everything you do, online and offline.

1. Ask clients if they can place a little acknowledgement on their website, linking back to your website. “Thanks to LAW FIRM NAME for helping us get our paperwork in order and setting up our business. (Links are not just about Google – they are first and foremost about referral business).

2. You want you site to have great, informative content, not just sales pages (I know I don’t buy from people tryin g to push a sale down my throat). It could be tips on how to avoid whiplash or how to determine what is false advertising or anything else that relates to the areas of law you practice. Then tell the world. Should it out on Twitter and FaceBook, on StumbleUpon and Chime.in, on Tumblr and Squidoo. The more people who discover your great content, the more people will share it and in some cases those shares will bring you links and in others “social signals” that the search engines value. But best of all, again, they will bring you referral traffic.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Close