Sep 20, 2013 Social Media and Promotion
I’ve hit a new low.
Today, as I was drying off after getting a shower, I wiped my face with a spider.
It’s that time of year. There’s a chill in the air, and in anticipating for Halloween, our little eight-legged friends are in abundance. My verbal warnings to stay out of my house often go unheeded, to the point that I’m actually wondering if there’s some kind of mass spider conspiracy to try to give me a heart attack by showing up in unexpected places.
I’ve never like spiders. When I was five, I was playing outside, and I walked by the side of our house. There was a big mama spider hanging in in her web there and I swear it HISSED at me. Ever since then, I’ve been afraid. But I do realize that spiders are a necessary evil. So as long as they stay outside on the porch and in the yard where they belong, I leave them alone. It’s when they come into my house that I have a problem.
Especially when they hang on my bath towels.
I’m as blind as a bat, so I didn’t see the little guy chilling there. I just picked up the towel and proceeded to wipe my face. And felt something moving. And looked down, squinted, and SCREAMED.
To be fair, the spider was probably equally alarmed.
I threw the towel across the room where it fell, spider and all, into the shower stall. After scrambling to put on my glasses, I made quick work of the little fella. He met a watery demise and was washed down the drain pretty quickly.
Now, I tell you all this not because I want you to envision me naked, wet, and screaming like a little girl (though you’re welcome for putting that picture into your head), but rather because I think it illustrates a really awesome point: Don’t go where you’re not wanted.
Every day, I see bloggers trying to be everywhere. The fact of the matter is, however, that some blogs are just meant for Pinterest while others succeed on Twitter and still others are best on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. You can promote you blog on bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit, in “tribe” communities like Triberr, and on forums. If you have an hour of free time to spend promoting your latest post, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different tasks you could do to reach new readers.
Stop banging your head against the wall trying to find success on a network just because someone else find success there. Try it out…but if the community doesn’t respond to your content, move on to find another way to spend your time.
If you’re a spider, you don’t belong in my house!
Instead, start actually analyzing your traffic, bounce rate, and conversion. Find out where your readers are coming from most often. Find out which traffic sources lead to the most engaged readers. Focus on building your blogging brand in those communities, at least at first.
Yes, you can branch out and try new things. And you should. You have to test other promotion methods. But if you give a new community a try and a month later, it’s not really taking off, maybe that’s not the best way to spend your time.
Build your web on the porch. You’ll catch way more flies that way.
Yesterday, thousands in the social media industry got upset when a post called “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.” In my opinion, the post was not well-written, nor was it supported with facts – two qualities that I find offensive as a reader who wants to take blogging seriously. Earlier today, I wrote my own response to this post on the NMX blog, where I talk about how important it is to develop a conversation around this topic and acknowledge generational differences.
But I also wanted to publish a post here, on my own blog about another topic that arose from the flames of this debate – arrogance and a sense of entitlement.
Many of the comments on the original post were from people 40+ years old. They called the writer childish and were extremely patronizing and defensive. The running theme, I found, was that commenters pointed to this post as an example of just how arrogant and entitled the younger generation – my generation, Generation Y – really is.
A sampling of the comments:
“Meh, a forgettable article written by an arrogant and clueless youth.” – Carolyn Bahm
“There’s that sense of entitlement we’ve come to love from this generation.” – Joe Sickles
“Ah the arrogance of youth and the total lack of understanding the comes with it. I grew up in the Television age, the computer age, the space age. I don’t run a TV company, I don’t own Apple and I’m not an astronaut. I keep aspirin in my medicine cupboard doesn’t make me a pharmacist either!…” - Simon Salt
“There’s that obnoxious sense of entitlement and self-importance I keep running into…! Well said, Lisa.” – Mia Malm
“I am only 31 and still find a huge gap in work ethic and sense of entitlement I see with those new employees, early to mid 20′s especially, that come in the door where I work. It’s amazing how many people feel entitled to their job, even when they are not doing it! If you want to keep your job, you have to work your ass off, prove you can do it and keep doing it even after that. Keeping up with the new ways to reach out to your audience is something ANY professional should/could do, regardless of age…” – Kate Seymour
Make no mistake – arrogance and entitlement are too different things. But I think, in this case, the sense of entitlement comes from the arrogance. In other words, it’s a mindset of, “I’m entitled to this job because I’m better than you.”
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of arrogant is “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride” or “having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one’s own importance, merit, ability, etc; conceited; overbearingly proud.” You’re confident to the point of being cocky, and you have (or at least give off) the impression that you’re much better than you actually are. Arrogance is typically seen as a negative quality.
Yet, is it truly negative to be arrogant?
If you look at some of the most successful people in the past 20 years, you’ll notice a whole lot of arrogance going on. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates have all be called arrogant. Think of the successful people in your own life. Chances are, you consider many of them to be arrogant as well.
Of course, in this case, we’re defining success as rich, famous, and well respected, and many people (myself included) would argue that it takes much more to live a successful life. But undoubtedly success in your career is part of living a successful life, especially when it means you have the means for the pursuit of happiness, philanthropy, and meaningful relationships.
But I digress. The point is that many successful people in the world – if not most successful people in the world – are arrogant. And now, we have an entire generation of “kids” who are “arrogant.”
Arrogance gets stuff done. You’ve heard the saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” haven’t you? It’s important to be humble, but it’s also important to believe that you’re better than you really are. That’s how you push yourself to places you never thought you could go. There’s a really great study mentioned on Gigom about how many entrepreneurs are arrogant – and this contributes to their success.
Arrogance gets your voice heard. I feel like one of the main reasons older generation workers are losing jobs to younger workers is that younger workers are willing to shout. It doesn’t matter if you have great ideas, if they are never heard. When you passionately believe in your own abilities and ideas, you may run the risk of being called arrogant, but when you second-guess yourself and hold back, you don’t bring anything to the table.
Arrogance leads to innovation. The “I got this” attitude doesn’t always pan out, but even in failing, an arrogant person learns something new, and this can lead to some awesome innovation. The importance of failure isn’t lost on the arrogant. Our generation is just more likely to internalize these failures. Arrogance has actually been linked to creativity as well – something important to note if you’re going to consider arrogance a purely negative trait.
Arrogance gives you opportunities. If a job ad says that you have to have ten years of experience to apply, and you’re fresh out of college but think you could do the job, you have two options: be arrogant and apply anyway or simply go to the next ad. I’ve been hired more than once for jobs that I “wasn’t qualified for” because I simply said, “I don’t care what the ad says. I know I can do this job.”
Arrogance necessitates hard work. Someone who is arrogant has to constantly prove him- or herself, so they’re going to work harder. It’s a common misconception that someone who is arrogant is lazy. It’s lazier, in my opinion, to say, “I’m still learning,” because it gives you an excuse to not do a beyond amazing job. Studies show that the more arrogant you are, the less often you naturally use the part of your brain involved in reasoning, planning, decision-making and problem-solving (the frontal lobe). So if you want to be on par with those who do, you have to work harder at it.
With arrogance, you of course need some humility. It’s important to understand your own short-comings and continually educate yourself. But I for one am glad that I’m part of an extremely arrogant generation of entrepreneurs who think highly of themselves. Our culture is one of success and progress, so count me in.
This post is not meant to assume there are no bad aspects to being arrogant, but rather to point out that being arrogant isn’t all bad either.
- Will being big on Twitter get you a job? (bbc.co.uk)
- On Being Over 40 and Working in Social Media (blogworld.com)
- Why Age Does Matter in Social Media (farrahhaidar.com)
Mar 7, 2012 Social Media and Promotion
Right now, Pinterest is under fire because the platform makes it easy for users to share pictures. Many photographers and artists are up in arms because this is done without permission, so they feel it’s copyright infringement. But the more I use the platform, the more I think Pinterest critics have it wrong.
Why do you have an online presence?
First, I want you to answer that question. As an artist, whether you’re a photographer, cartoonist, etc., why are you online? Forget social media and email and such – why do you upload your work online? Correct me if I’m wrong, but typically, artists upload their work for one of three reasons:
1. To share their work with others
2. To show potential clients what they can do when hired (i.e., they have an online portfolio)
3. To sell the work itself
People who upload their work ONLY to share it with others for the sheer joy of it seem to be embracing Pinterest. So let’s focus on the last two reasons – the pictures are part of an online portfolio or the pictures are showing artwork for sale.
In both cases, the more people who come to your website, the more likely you are to make money. More traffic means you’re either reaching potential clients or potential buyers. And Pinterest definitely leads to more traffic.
Yes, there are people who use Pinterest incorrectly, stealing your pictures and uploading them as their own. That happens with EVERY social media platform, though. People are jerks. Pinterest is not at fault for the assholes of the world. The vast majority of Pinterest users pin pictures correctly so they link back to the owner’s site.
“But they’re using my work without permission…”
Not really. I’m not talking from a legal standpoint here, but rather a practical one. Legally, I don’t know how all this crap with Pinterest will go down. But logically, no one is using your work.
When someone pins something, they aren’t adding it to their own website or making money from it (at least, if they’re using Pinterest correctly). They’re promoting your work. It’s like using a quote from a piece of written work. Pinterest users are curating, creating lists (“boards”) of things they like and – more importantly – recommend.
Would you be mad is people shared a link to your website? Of course not. That’s all Pinterest is – sharing links. It’s just done in a visual way instead of using text. People aren’t using your work. They’re promoting it. They’re telling people buy your stuff or hire you because you do good work. I don’t understand why critics are fighting against this.
It comes down to silly needs to control everything, even if letting go a little can help the cause. I get it. It’s your work. I’m a writer, so I understand the connection a person has to something they create. But if you want to have complete control over your work, get off the Internet. In fact, get out of galleries, get out of museums, get out of shops and stores. Keep your work in a dark, hidden room where you have complete control over who sees it.
Pinterest has Problems
Pinterest is not without its problems. Just like every platform, it has users who are uploading and pinning things incorrectly, and in my opinion, Pinterest can make a few changes to make things at least a little better. Here are the changes I’d like to see:
1. No pinning from Google Image search or other search engines. This does not allow the original artist to get credit or traffic from the pin.
2. When pinning an image, Pinterest should only show/use a thumbnail. This would require more users to click through to the original source. It’s how Google images work.
3. A “report” button where you can alert a user who has pinned something incorrectly. All the time, I see people mistakenly pin something from a homepage instead of a permalink, so when I click through, I go to the homepage which has since been changed. I’d like a button I could click to tell the pinner so they can fix the mistake. If pinners are getting a lot of reports on different pins, this would also alert Pinterest when a user is constantly using the platform incorrectly.
4. When you upload a pin (rather than pinning from another website or repinning), there should be a box you have to check that says you own the picture or have permission to post it. I know it’s in the TOS and it won’t stop everyone, but it will be one more safeguard, reminding people that they can’t claim credit for work they don’t own.
Pinterest already has given users a way to block Pinterest, and while I think this is a bad idea for most bloggers, it is an option – and that’s a start. But regardless, I don’t think artists should be blaming Pinterest – they should be embracing it. Yes, you have to protest your work, but you also have to take a step back and really ask, “is this hurting or helping me?” Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
- It’s Not Just Pinterest RE: Copyright & Legal Issues (kikolani.com)
- Seven Cool Ways to Use Pinterest (blogworld.com)
- 26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business (socialmediaexaminer.com)
- 5 Ways to Use Pinterest as a Community Building Tool (kommein.com)
- Pin It To Win It [Infographic] (mindjumpers.com)
Dec 17, 2011 Social Media and Promotion
A lot of bloggers and new media “experts” get upset when people use the terms social media and return on investment (ROI) in the same sentence. There seems to be a full-to-capacity bandwagon of people freaking out about it actually. YOU CANNOT TALK ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA ROI! ROI MAKES ME STABBY! STOP TALKING ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA ROI! NO MORE ROI!
Dudes. Who the heck decided that? Because I’m not okay with that rule. I don’t remember there being a vote or anything. Not that social media is a democracy, but if I’m expected to play by some kind of rule, I at least what to know that I had a say in writing that rule.
I do understand the fluster it causes for people in some respects. At least, I understand how it started. See, big businesses (and even small business) who know nothing about social media want to talk about the ROI of everything. The problem is, they’re still thinking about social media in terms of old metrics. So, those of us who get it feel a little crazy when they start asking about ROI, because they want to measure ROI in ways that don’t make sense in the new media world.
But it’s not the idea of ROI that matters. In fact, if you aren’t measuring your social media ROI, I think you’re an idiot. Or at least, not a very good business owner.
If you’re using social media to connect with old classmates and make new friends, feel free to stop reading now. You don’t need to think about ROI. Just do what you do man, and enjoy the results of your conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms. But if you’re using social media as a promotional tool for your blog (or even a non-virtual business), you need to understand the return you’re getting on your investment.
Let’s say, for example, that I run a blog about hair care products. I make money on that blog by both selling sidebar ads (which requires traffic to keep advertisers happy) and selling shampoo directly through affiliate links on my site. Cool. As part of my promotional efforts, I start using both Facebook and Twitter. I have super conversations using each platform. I make new contacts in the hair industry. I connect with fans of my shampoo. I get invited to speak at industry conventions. Facebook and Twitter rock! Woot!
But what’s the end game? It’s paying my bills and putting dollars in the bank, right? I mean, the fuzzy wuzzies I feel inside when I help someone pick out the perfect shampoo are nice, but we’re all in this for money. That doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t value our social media friendships or care about our fans…but the purpose of a business is to make money. You can’t pay your bills with friendship.
So I ask myself, what’s my ROI? I do some stats digging and analyzing and I find that on Facebook, I’m getting 50% more interaction, but on Twitter, my followers are more likely to buy from me and spend more money. In average, my Facebook users each spend $2 with me per money. My Twitter followers spend three times that, an average of $6 per month per person. I would be a fool to continue spending equal amounts of time on these two platforms. The conversation on Facebook is awesome, so I’m not going to completely ignore those people…but my data clearly says the money’s on Twitter. Each hour I spend on Twitter, I’m making three times more than I would if I would have spent that hour on Facebook.
Now, this is a very simplified way to look at stats of course. You can’t always look directly at dollars. For example, maybe your Facebook community is helping you build brand recognition. Or maybe Facebook is a better source of post and product ideas for you. Or maybe that’s where you more closely connect with people who want to have you speak at their events, which helps you make more sales. You need long-term data and a kick ass analytics team to help you really understand the ROI of social media. But the fact of the matter is, if something isn’t ultimately bringing in money, what the heck is the point? Again, if you use social media casually, that’s cool, but if you use if for business purposes, the point is to make money. If you’re not doing that, your business is going to ultimately fail.
So really, instead of ranting that we need to stop talking about social media ROI, I think what we really need to do is examine the ways in which ROI can be measured more accurately for business. The bottom line is that while social media is great, not every platform or technique is right for every business, and smaller companies can’t be everywhere at once. You need to know how to choose the activities that bring you the most impact.
- Measuring the Social Media ROI (forbes.com)
- Measuring Social Media ROI: 3 Things to Consider (socialmaximizer.com)
- Gary Vaynerchuk: Why ROI Matters for Social Media [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
Oct 27, 2011 Social Media and Promotion
Oh, Triberr. I had such high hopes for this blogging tool when I first looked into joining.
I compiled a list of links to people talking about Triberr on the BlogWorld blog earlier this year. Lots of people weighed in with their opinions, and Triberr’s founders stopped by to say thank you, which was really nice. Still, I hadn’t tried the platform myself. I wanted to wait and use it with this blog, when I started in on October 1. So I waited to sign up.
In the meantime, I watched what other people were doing and learned a bit about how Triberr works. If you don’t have experience with this platform, let me give you the quick-and-dirty rundown:
Triberr is invite-only. When someone invites you to join their tribe, you can sign up and link to your RSS feed. Every time someone in your tribe updates their blog, everyone else see it in their queue to tweet out. Some people tweet automatically. Others manually review posts and decide whether or not they want to tweet. The concept is to build your tribe with people who produce awesome content that you’ll likely want to tweet anyway.
The majority of the negative reviews I’ve seen about Triberr have all been against the automation of tweets. I actually don’t think automation is a bad thing in some cases, and this is definitely one of them. The manual setting allows you to avoid tweeting out lots of stuff that isn’t relevant to your readers, but the entire concept of choosing who’s in your tribe very carefully should make automation ideal. If I tweet out your links every day anyway, what does it matter if I do it manually or Triberr does it for me?
So in other words, the automation of Triberr isn’t what turned me into a zombie. I can respect the opinions of people who hate automation, but I personally don’t.
What concerns me more is the stupid process of getting involved in the first place. I have a real problem with Triberr’s policies for newbies, to the point where I quit today after spending several hours yesterday trying to make sense of the platform. Triberr turned me into a zombie with it’s invite system, and while I wish it’s founders and users the best, I definitely won’t be going back under the current policies.
So here’s a run-down of the problem:
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Oct 26, 2011 Social Media and Promotion
Today, everyone is in a tizzy about Klout. Like an old lady fidgeting with her non-supportive dollar store bra, they’ve done some readjusting, and the results are not good (for most people). Scores have dropped left and right, and people are freaking out. Most of the people throwing a fit are people who claim that they don’t care about their Klout scores anyway, but that’s perhaps a post for another way. What I want to talk about today is the idea that your klout score doesn’t matter.
Pay attention to what I’m saying so you don’t miss the point.
It’s your SCORE that doesn’t matter. Klout matters. A lot. The service is the best in the business for measuring just how influential you really are online. It can help advertisers make decisions and it can help bloggers understand where they need improvement. I love Klout.
But the score they give you is just a number.
Today, your score probably dropped. And it didn’t just dip down, it retro-actively dropped, so you can actually see how you’ve really been doing over the past several months. But even though your number is lower, you haven’t changed. It didn’t drop because you’re “engaging” any more or less. It didn’t drop because your fans suddenly hate you and the horse you rode in on. It didn’t drop because you’ve been doing anything wrong. It just dropped because the system recalibrated.
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Oct 24, 2011 Social Media and Promotion
“Engage” sounds like we’re heading to battle. ENGAGE MISSIIIIILES!
“Engage” sounds like you’re presenting me with a ring. Mom, Dad…we’re engaged!
“Engage” sounds like I’m a cog in a machine that you’re operating. Engage the lever to lower the bucket.
Please don’t “engage” me online.
I think that when people first started using this word, they had all the right intentions. The concept was that you needed to stop spamming your customers and actually talk to them. It’s a good concept! I like that when I complain about my flight, Delta’s customer service team will pick up the tweet and ask me how they can help. Of course, as with anything good in this world, blog zombies got hold of the engage idea and smashed it to bits.
Today, when someone recommends “engaging” on social media, I feel all slimy and yuck…because what it has come to mean is this: pretend to form friendships with people so you can use them to your advantage.
People use “engaging” as a way to hide the fact that they want to make money, like it’s some kind of shady secret. Listen, I’m here because this is my job. I’m not trying to hide that. I’m going to send you affiliate links, tell you about the products I’m selling, and try to convince you to whip out your wallet as often as possible. You and I? We’re not friends. This is a business transaction. You’re here reading my blog post because I have advice that will help you become a better blogger. And I’m giving it away for free because later on, I’ll have not-free stuff that I hope you’ll want too.
I don’t have to engage you to make a sale. In fact, I won’t engage you to make a sale.
I’ll engage you because I like you.
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Most blog zombies aren’t completely useless. In fact, I have a special name for blog zombies that are completely useless: corpses. The typical blog zombie is alive and kicking, though. Well, undead and kicking. And I’ve found that many of them share a common skill – they write awesome headlines for their blog posts.
But let’s face it; it’s pretty easy to write awesome headlines. In fact, I once went to a presentation by Chris Garrett where he went over 10 formulas for headlines that will attract readers:
- Do You Make These _____ Mistakes?
- The Secrets of _________
- What _______ Can Teach Us About __________
- Everything You Know About ___________ Is Wrong
- How ________ Made __________ and You Can Too
- If You __________, You Can ___________
- Finally, No More ___________
- At Last! ____________
- Learn How Millions of ______________
- How to Get More/Better/Cheaper ____________
Just fill in the blanks. “Everything You Know About Weight Loss is Wrong” or “If You Can Whistle, You Can Make Money Online” or “Learn How Millions of Pet Owners Found Love.” Easy Peasy. When I’m stuck, I actually use this list for inspiration.
Of course, these aren’t the only headlines you can use to attract attention to blog posts. Zombies are pretty creative when it comes to writing linkbait, at least with the title.
The problem is this: Zombies put more effort into ensuring that you love the headline than they do ensuring that you love the post.
Let me ask you about your experiences. How many times have you clicked through after reading a headline on Facebook or Twitter (or even a search engine) only to be disappointed by the boring or unoriginal content? It happens to me regularly, sometimes to the point where I want to scream. The worst is when I see very competent non-zombie bloggers who I normally enjoy resorting to this measure to drive traffic. You aren’t being clever. You’re just pissing me off.
The content has to match the promise you make when you write a headline.
If your headline promises Ten Secret Techniques to Baking the Perfect Pie, I want ten techniques that I’ve never heard of before. Or at the very least, they better be ten techniques that people don’t commonly talk about. If you just talk about pie-making techniques that most bakers know, I’m probably not going to come back to your site. That same post with the title Pie Making 101 – Tips for Beginners would be much better. Even if I didn’t need that information, it wouldn’t make me feel as though I’ve wasted my time.
Misleading headlines are kind of like angled pictures on dating profiles. If you hold the camera above you and turn your head a certain way and make duck lips, you’ll look 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger. Eventually, we’re going to have to meet in real life, my friend. Isn’t it better to tell me upfront what I’m going to get when we meet?
Write fantastic headlines. That’s how you’ll get that boost in traffic and more shares via social media. Just make sure the content is even fantastic-er. If it’s not, you might see some traffic spikes, but your long-term traffic will suffer.
- The Most Valuable “How To” Lesson of my Copywriting Career (sitesketch101.com)
- Do You Read Before You Retweet? (kommein.com)
- How To Be A Great Blogger, Even If You Don’t Like To Write (blogzombies.com)
Guest posting can be fabulous. I love writing guest posts and I love publishing guest posts. I do think that some bloggers don’t realize the full potential of this marketing tool, though. So today, I’m giving you my rules for guest posting. Take the term “rules” with a grain of salt because I think the only true rule in new media is to do what makes sense for you blog. This is what works for me, and I think they’re pretty solid rules for most people:
1) Don’t write so many guest posts that you neglect your own blog.
Dude, I don’t want to read your awesome guest post on my favorite blog and check out the link in your bio/by-line only to find that your own site is a neglected piece of crap. Whatever you give away for free on another site needs to be awesome, but your own blog has to be awesome-r. Save your best posts for your own site.
2) Don’t publish so many guest posts that it drowns out your own work.
I really dislike when a blogger I follow stops writing and resorts to publishing guest posts every day. I don’t follow your blog because I want to see what your fans can do. I follow your blog because I want information from YOU. There are some a-list bloggers who do this and it drives me nuts. I miss YOUR content! Plus, it means that your guest posts aren’t special anymore. If you only post a few every month, I know that I’m getting insane cream-of-the-crop posts that you just had to publish. If you post guest posts every day, I question whether they’re actually that good.
3) Send guest posts where you think they best fit, even if you aren’t bff with the blogger.
I love publishing guest posts from my friends, but you know what I love even more? Getting a really awesome guest post from someone I don’t know (or at least, don’t know well). There’s this silly notion floating around the Internet that you have to get to know the other blogger and “engage” them on social media before you send a guest post proposal. Screw that. If you write me something that’s an AWESOME fit for my blog, I don’t care if we’re friends or not. So focus on knowing a person’s blog and writing something that is perfect for their audience, not fake friendship bs on Twitter because you think it will increase your chances of them saying yes. Let’s stop the stupid idea of “leveraging friendships” through social media.
4) Be promotional.
I doesn’t make sense for me to publish a guest post on someone else’s site that doesn’t pimp out my own work a little. Dude. Everyone knows that’s why you write guest posts. The entire thing isn’t going to be promotional. My content has value. But you can damn well believe that I’m going to take every opportunity to link to my own projects within the post or within my bio. Guest posts are FREE CONTENT. Do you know how much I would charge someone to write a post for their site? If I’m going to write something for free, I’m going to make sure that my time is compensated in another way, and I expect you to do the same when you write a guest post for me. Value first, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote yourself.
5) Don’t emulate the other blogger.
The whole point of a special guest is to bring in different points of view. My style as a blogger is not the same as yours, and if I write something for your site, I’m going to stick to what I do best – being me. When you guest post, it pays to know the other site well and write something that is going to connect to their audience, but don’t try to be the other blogger. Otherwise, when readers click through to your site, they’re going to be surprised at the content. When you guest post, it’s like introducing yourself to a new market. Introduce the real you.
6) If you want a guest post, ask for one.
Dudes. I’m a busy girl. If you want a guest post for me, you have to ask. And if you ask for one, please publish it. You know what you’re going to get when you read my blog, so don’t be surprised by the content I send.
7) Stop saying yes.
I don’t send posts to everyone who asks me for one. I’m also super picky when it comes to publishing guest posts on any of my sites. The fit has to be perfect. Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean it is beneficial for me to post on your site or that I’ll post content you send me. If I’m going to post on your site, it has to have a big audience or an audience that is an extremely good fit for me OR it has to be on a topic that I feel passionate about sharing. If you want to post on my site, it has to blow me out of the water. It’s nothing personal. This is a business decision for me. I don’t ever want my target market to think that I set the bar too low.
8 ) Market your guest posts.
If I take the time to write a guest post for you, the least you can do is give it a push on Twitter and Facebook. Again, it was free content for your site. Along the same lines, if I publish one of your guest posts for you, the least you can do is promote it through your own channels. The postee and poster need to share promotional responsibilities.
9) Don’t write guest posts that can be found anywhere.
I hate it when I get generic guest posts. It’s not bad content. It’s just content that you can find on any site out there. If you write something for one of my blogs, customize it for my blog. Talk to my readers or even mention why you’re posting for me. I want to publish content written by you for me, not content that you could post anywhere. If I say no, you shouldn’t be able to just send the whole thing to another blog in our niche without making any chances.
10) Remember: guest posts aren’t your only option.
I’d love to do a guest post for you, but you know what I’d love even more? Doing an interview. Let’s record a podcast or video together! Or, ask me some questions via email – I’m happy to answer them. Instead of a guest post, you can also propose to send me a video or do a review. Get creative to stand out from the traditional guest post crowd.
- Blog Guest Posting: It’s a Privilege Not a Birthright (biznology.com)
- Is Guest Blogging the New Link Exchange? (gseo.net)
- What Your Guest Posts Say About Your Blog (bloggingot.com)
- Why Guest Posting is Such a Good Idea (famousbloggers.net)
- Finding New Traffic & Readers – Traffic Methods Ranked In Order of Effectiveness (davidrisley.com)
Oct 17, 2011 Social Media and Promotion
Did that word just send a shiver up your spine? Let me say it again: automation. (Do it again. Automation, automation, automation!)
I personally don’t think that automation is the problem when it comes to Twitter and other social media sites. Rather, like with most things, I think it is what people have done with automation tools that is the problem. It’s like blaming guns for people who shoot other people. Some bloggers rely on these tools or base their social media strategy almost entirely on automation, and that mindset has pretty much ruined it for the rest of us.
I have a confession: I don’t mind a little automation. I know that some of you are shuddering at the thought, but let me explain.
First, to me it makes sense for you to set up things up so that your link is automatically tweeted or updated to Facebook when you initially post it. I mean, if everything you write is awesome (and it should be), you’re going to want people to know about it. Why not cut down on the work you have to do and just automate it? You’re going to post the link anyway, and frankly, people are following you for a reason. I don’t follow a blogger if I’m not interested in what he or she posts. If they don’t post links, I might not remember to read their posts. I’m a busy girl.
So to me, automatically posting your link to Twitter or Facebook is just like your RSS subscribers being automatically notified when you update your blog. No big deal.
But the blog zombies have warped that notion of automatically updating social media. Instead of tweeting a link once, they tweet it multiple times – and they set up automation tools to do it. Dude. I saw your new post the first thirty times you tweeted. I think we all can agree that some bloggers overdo the automation to promote new posts.
And then there’s the bloggers who use automation services (like the Tweet Old Post tool) to automatically promote old posts. I’ve seen this done well and I’ve seen this done in really crappy ways.
In all honesty, I don’t mind if you send out some old links. I peruse Twitter mainly late at night when there’s not a lot of activity, and automating your tweets so that when you’re sleeping you send out some links to awesome posts doesn’t bother me. I like to explore and find links I might have missed the first time around. But here are a few things to consider:
- I don’t need a new link every 15 minutes even at night and I certainly don’t need that kind of link density during the day when you’re also tweeting status updates and sending out links to other bloggers’ posts.
- When you automatically tweet links to time-sensitive posts, like site updates, you look stupid. Use the options to prevent this from happening.
Seriously, automation of old posts isn’t right for everyone. Don’t be a schmuck. If you’re going to automate your old posts, be intelligent about it.
But let’s talk about the worst type of automation of all…the auto-DM.
Talk about a shiver going up your spine! Auto-DMs are something that everyone rants about. They’re the devil! They make you look really bad!
So…why do some people still do them?
I think, sometimes, we forget that as bloggers, we expect different things than our readers might expect. Now, if you blog about social media, blogging, internet marketing, etc. and your followers are professions in the online field, an auto-DM probably isn’t a good idea. But if your followers are a different group? Well, I’m not saying that it is a good idea, but I’m not saying it isn’t a good idea. It depends on your audience.
Don’t auto-DM people because you’re too lazy to connect with your followers. Consider it if you’re using it for another purpose. Once, I followed a company that had a very active social media manager. I got an auto-DM, which surprised me. But it wasn’t the typical “Thanks for the follow! I’m too lazy to actually say thank you, but here’s a bunch of spammy links.” I can’t remember it word-for-word, but it was something like, “Thanks for following. This is an automated DM, but we wanted to make sure all of our followers got a coupon, so here it is: *link*”
Heck yes, I want a coupon! They were transparent about the DM being automated and they had a good reason for doing it, so I approved…and I’m a social media person. I bet that most of their fanbase (non-social-media-people) eat that sh*t up. Seriously, if my mom was on Twitter, she would love that.
The point is, automation doesn’t have to be bad. You just have to be smart about it. Don’t try to trick your readers. Don’t use it because you’re lazy. Don’t be annoying with so much automation that people get sick of you.
Like with everything, do what makes sense for you. Don’t be like the zombie who abuses automation, but also don’t be like the zombie who isn’t open-minded enough to understand that automation can make sense in some cases for some bloggers.
- How I Use Triberr (kikolani.com)
- Lessons Learned from a Twitter Robot (socialmediaexplorer.com)
- Stop Automating Social Media for Better Results (lifehack.org)
- Nobody Said Social Media Should Be Simple (convinceandconvert.com)