David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Archive for February, 2013

Free Blog Planner to make blogging easier

Monday, February 11th, 2013

This is a guest post by Sicorra of Tackling Our Debt.

It is has been 2 months since I created this Blog Planner on Excel and it has made a huge difference to the way I do things when it comes to working on Tackling Our Debt.

I created this blog planner on the spur of the moment. I was tired of having post-it notes all over my desk to remind me about things, as well as other notes randomly thrown into a spreadsheet.

Prior to using the Blog Planner I would stumble through each day doing what I thought I needed to do but never really having a specific plan of what needed to be done to achieve my ultimate goals.

Daily Checklist

Now the first thing I do after logging on to my laptop is open my copy of the Blog Planner and head straight to the Daily Checklist page.

Each week of the year is setup so that I can see the exact tasks that need to be done on a day by day basis. The task list reminds me to do everything I need to do when publishing a new blog post.

Below that is a section of reminders for blog hopping, social media and dealing with emails.

There may be days in the week that I don’t publish a new post but I still follow the task list to do all of the other things necessary to network with others and to market my blog.

Weekly-To-Do-List

Once all of the tasks on the daily checklist are done it is easy to move on and see what else is scheduled to be done that day. The weekly-to-do-list makes this part quite easy. If it’s on the list for that particular day, then it needs to get done. If it isn’t, then I don’t even worry about it.

Now that doesn’t mean that everything always goes as planned and that every single task gets done on time, but now at least I have a clear indication of what did and didn’t get done each day.

For the tasks that didn’t get done I can easily use the weekly calendar to quickly find another free day to reschedule those tasks on.

But the bigger advantage is the sense of accomplishment you feel when you are able to check off all of the tasks that did in fact get done each day and each week.

That is a big part of what motivates me to keep going. The second part of what keeps me motivated to keep going is the amazing results. Sometimes they are instant and sometimes they appear months down the road. But they are always very important.

Editorial Calendar

I know many people use a hand written Editorial Calendar or one that they find in WordPress.

My blog isn’t on WordPress so I didn’t have that.

So for most of last year I was just writing blog posts and publishing them with no specific plan. I still managed to get posts uploaded for up to 2 sometimes 3 weeks in advance, which was nice, but there was no plan around any of them.

Now, using the Editorial Calendar, I can add in topics of posts, specific titles, giveaways, sponsored posts, and so on, weeks and months in advance. And if something changes at the last minute I can easily re-arrange my schedule to fit the changes in nicely.

Another advantage of using the Editorial Calendar is that if you decide to write a series of posts on a specific topic you can easily setup your schedule for that and fit in your other posts accordingly.

You can create blog posts based on specific themes. This is best done if you setup your schedule for several months in advance. For example, you can use it to create a weekly or monthly theme, such as small business week, or work from home week. And then all of the posts that you write on that topic can be published and post-dated for that week or month.

Importance of SEO

If you are in this for the long haul and enjoy watching your traffic stats rise then you need to begin paying attention to SEO as you work on your blog. Why? Because of the residual benefits.

You see many people will visit your blog and read the most current post and typically leave without looking at what else you have written.

But you don’t want that to always be the case.

You want the blog posts that you write today to be found online tomorrow, next week and for many years to come, should you continue to blog that long.

You want the search engines to index your blog posts and you want your blog posts to show up when someone searches for something that you have written about.

This is often referred to as “organic traffic”, and when you look at your Google Analytics under traffic sources you should see a line with that says “google / organic”.

Organic traffic is the best traffic you can receive!

It happens because your blog posts were found by someone that was specifically looking for a topic that you wrote about. And chances are very good that once they click on your link, in amongst all of the other links listed, they will have a strong interest in reading your work.

How Does SEO Fit In With The Blog Planner?

As you begin jotting down your thoughts for a new post or series of posts in the Editorial Calendar you want to make sure that each post is based around a specific keyword phrase.

Once your post is written the next step is to come up with an attention grabbing title that includes your keywords.

Your title shouldn’t include more than 10 words and it should give people a reason to click on it.

Instead of your title just meaning something to you, it needs to mean something to everyone else.

For example, “Save Money”, is far too generic, as is “Blogger Roundup”.

“25 Incredible Ways to Immediately Reduce Your Living Expenses”, will attract more readers.

As well, by focusing on the keyword phrase “reduce your living expenses” in your blog post you stand a much better chance of showing up in Google when someone does a search on that phrase. You may have an SEO plug-in installed that you can use as you publish new posts, but do not rely on that 100%. Take some time to do a few extra steps as part of your SEO strategy for every blog post you publish.

Now we all know that there is more to SEO then a good title and a specific keyword phrase, but focusing on those two items is a very good start.

Download the Blog Planner

If you love blogging and feel that you could be more organized then you already are, please feel free to click on Blog Planner and download a copy of my digital based Blog Planner and get it setup to meet your needs. You will find that it also includes separate pages for you to keep track of your blog stats, conferences, renewal dates, a contact list, blog expenses, advertisers, interviews, special projects and giveaways.

Sicorra is a freelance writer that is figuring out how to tackle debt as she blogs about topics such as Personal Finance, Health, Travel, Work From Home, Food & Drink, and more. You can also find her at her personal blog Tackling Our Debt.

 

 

 


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REVIEW: Comparing MORE Social-sharing Co-op Services

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

A few weeks ago, I reviewed three social sharing websites, all three of which revolved around building more tweets for your content.

Today, I am reviewing a few more.  All of these have value, but it greatly depends on what you plan to promote.

Triberr

Social Buzz Club

You Like Hits

ReTweet It

 

I had not reviewed Triberr earlier, because it lacks flexibility.  You cannot post any link or any tweet for sharing.  You can submit up to three blog feeds.  That’s it.  If you guest post or if you put something on YouTube or on Tumbr, there is no way to ask people to share it.  And if you don’t really want one of your posts shared (suppose it is just administrative), there is no way to hold it back.

I have changed my mind; these limitations do not mean that it should not be reviewed, especially since so many people use it.

The best aspect of Triberr is that it functions automatically, feeding your blog posts to your tribe members.  If all you want to promote are your own blog posts, then this is an easy addition to your arsenal.  But keep in mind that you still have to visit now and then to share your tribemates’ posts.

Tribemates?  Yes, Triberr is divided into tribes of ten.  So the only items you will see for review are the other nine people’s posts.  You can be in multiple tribes, and therefore see more than nine posts, but still you are limited in content to the members of those tribes.

Your posts and theirs will show up in a stream something like this:

I do participate, but I have found that I share much more than my content is shared.  There is no really tally of credits, as there are at the three services I reviewed earlier.

As for the quality of the content and the quality of the accounts that would share your content, that is totally determined by who is in your tribe.  There are a few trigger words that will remove your posts from being retweeted through Triberr – but those posts will still show up, so tribemates can still view them and RT directly from the page.

Although every bit as Twitter-centric as the three services I reviewed earlier, Triberr also includes FaceBook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

Social Buzz Club is similar in quality to Viral Content Buzz (reviewed earlier); you have to get approved to participate.  So the content tends to be high quality and the sharers tend to share from high quality accounts.  This is not the place to post eCommerce links and marketing offers.

The tabulation of points is a little strange.  You get a point every time you share someone else’s post, and you spend a point every time you post a link to be shared – whether that link gets shared 100 times or never.  Like with Triberr, I find myself sharing a lot more than getting shared.

There is a FaceBook support group, which is a very helpful and convenient way to have an instant social-sharing mastermind  group.

Social Buzz Club covers Twitter, FaceBook shares, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon.  Twitter-centric to some degree, but perhaps less so than those previously mentioned.

What I would like to see is a much easier way to see who is sharing my content, what is being shared and where it is being shared.  I find I have to dig to find this information and it is not all totally clear.  It would be even better if the credit system compared shares to shares, rather than shares to posts.

Overall, I do not find I get a lot of buzz from Social Buzz Club, although the quality is good.

You Like Hits is different than the other services reviewed today and a few weeks ago primarily in the plethora of sharing options.  This service is much less Twitter-based than the others, although the Twitter options are more varied: tweets, favourites, retweets and follows.

Unlike most of the others, FaceBook is missing.  But Google Plus and StumbleUpon are both included – not for sharing or liking, but for following.

The quality varies, with some highly-informative posts and some highly spammy posts. Where You Like Hits really excels, regardless of quality, is for visual and audio content.  It offers YouTube views, likes and subscribers.  It offers Pinterest likes, pins, repins and followers.  And it offers followers for Instagram, ReverbNation and SoundCloud.

Yes, if you have music to promote or eCommerce products with pics or with related videos, this platform gives you plenty of promotion options.

One really cool thing about You Like Hits is that they give you ten free points just for showing up each day.  Every 24-hour period you can claim 10 points with two clicks.  It is their incentive for you not to slack off.

If nothing else, this can easily build your Twitter follower base.  Although not the most targeted followers, they are for the most part at least real (unlike those buy-100-followers services) and tend to be useful if your target audience is composed of either marketers, the general populace or people interested in music.

Some of the code on the site is buggy.  When I “click here to load more”, it never does.  And very often when you click on an item to view, you discover that it has run out of points.

I do like the running chart of my shares, so I can see exactly what has been shared, where, by whom.

By appearances, Retweet.It is the smallest of the services I have reviewed so far.  That is to say, it appears to have the fewest users and the fewest options for content to tweet.

It is most similar to EasyRetweet in three ways:

  • It focuses solely on Twitter.  You cannot earn FaceBook, StumbleUpon or Google Plus support through Retweet.It.
  • You earn only half the points that you spend.  So if you want your content to be shared 10 times, you have to share 20 pieces of content in order to earn enough credits.  Why do these two services make you work doubly hard to share your content?  I assume that it is to make credits scarce and force users to purchase credits.
  • The ratio of spam to quality content is low.  In fact, the lowest of any of the services I have so far reviewed, even lower than EasyRetweet.  Perhaps this is because so much of it is purchased.  More often than not, I cannot find any new content good enough to tweet.

It seems to me that there is a vicious circle going on here…

  1. Credits are kept scarce.
  2. People are forced to buy credits.
  3. Purchased credits tend to be for spammy tweets.
  4. Therefore, there is very little worthwhile content to share.
  5. With little to share, it’s hard to earn credits.
  6. Credits become even scarcer.  The downward spiral continues.

But there is another way in which Retweet.It is similar to EasyRetweet.  If you want tweets for an eCommerce page or a landing page, these are the places to go.  Nobody will call you out for spamming or for low quality.  Sales pages are not allowed on JustRetweet or on ViralContentBuzz, and you cannot get them on Triberr.  So there is a place for Retweet.It in the Internet marketing ecosystem.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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