Less is More In Key Words Blogging

The mistake that most people make with Blogging is using too many key words or tags.  For some reason people seem to think the more the merrier when in reality, the fewer, more specific the better.    Less really is better.

Think of it this way, tags are like going into a supermarket to buy tea.   There are all kinds of teas available for purchase from bulk teas, to tea bags, to different brands of the same flavors.    It can be confusing to try to pick just one.  On the other hand, if you walk into a store and they only have ten choices, you will quickly pick one.  Search engines work in the same manner.   The more tags you have on your blog, the more confused they get and the farther down in the rankings your page ends up.

First, have a specific reason for your blog.  Then pick five to a maximum of ten tags and use at least 3 of them on every blog.  Use a tag in the title if possible.    But don’t overload your blog post with so many tags so that it is hard to read or the writing doesn’t make sense.

Typically, if you need more than 10 tags, start a new blog.  If you consistently practice this, you should see your blog move up in the search engines when someone types in one of your tags.  Of course, it will also depend on how many websites you are competing against that practice minimal tagging.

Call me if you need help deciding on key words and phrases….  Plan before you start.  If you already started, change it.

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Andee’s Rules of Blogging 101

Blogging is easy, fun, and even rewarding.  The great thing about blogging is you can be yourself.  You get to be who you are without worrying about all the nuances of formal writing.  Your blog can be whatever it is you want it to be.  It can be just pictures with no words.  It can be words with no pictures. It can be video or a combination of all three.  The key is to express yourself and your business.

Below are my 9 basic rules for successful blogging.

  1. Let your personality shine through.
  2. Keep most written blogs to 450 t0 500 words.
  3. Add pictures, bullet points, etc for interest.
  4. Blog on a regular basis (whether that is once a day or once a month).
  5. Comment on other people’s blogs.
  6. Share your blog with friend, family and acquaintences that have similar interest.
  7. Respond to comments – both negative and positive!
  8. Keep tags to a minimum of 10 – 12 (5 is even better).
  9. Keep categories to a minimum of 5 (if you need more it is probably better to start another blog on that subject). 
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To Web Site or Not To Web Site…

Probably the most common concern I hear from small businesses is the need for a website and the associated cost of having one built.  If you ask 20 different Business consultants, my guess is that 95% of them will tell that you absolutely have to have a website and that the cost of getting one is just a cost of doing business.  At one point in time, I was a part of that group.  I felt that every business should have a website regardless of the quality.  Any website was better than no website. 

But recently with the swift emergence of Social Media and Networking Sites, I am beginning to rethink that philosphy.  Understand, as a business, you do need to have a web presence.  You need a site that people can find when they google you or your products.  However, I’m just not as convinced that the web presence needs to be a website.

The problem with most websites is that they are not updated on a regular basis.  They become stagnant and ‘rusty’.  A website it just like a store front, if you don’t clean it up and change the merchandise on a regular basis, clients stop coming in.  

Social Media sites are easy to set up, up date, and change.  New information, pictures, videos and events are easy to create even for the most novice of users.  Google search indexes some of the social media sites, so your business will even show up when clients do a search.    You can add your own content and update is a the nature of your business grows and changes.  The problem with Social Media sites is that the popular ones sometimes change.  My Space was all the rage until Facebook came along.  Google Plus is not lurking in the background.  So what do you do when that happens? 

If you are a small business, try starting with a blog as a website.   WordPress, blogger, my blogsite, or any other that you like are all great sites.  Choose one that you are comfortable with.  Most of them allow you to add additional pages such as “contact”, “about”, etc which make your blog resemble a website.   Update it on a regular basis with content, pictures, videos.  In less than half an hour, you can have your site up and running. 

The beauty of blogs is that should you still think that you need a ‘true’ website you can add the blog as a tab.

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10 Biggest Social Media Mistakes

  1. Trying to sell versus sharing
  2. Not having a strategy or purpose
  3. Using too many tools or being too diversified
  4. Posting the exact same thing on every site
  5. Posting Inconsistently
  6. Having an inconsistent Message
  7. Thinking it is free
  8. Thinking it won’t take work
  9. Thinking Social Media is EVERYTHING
  10. Not being Transparent

 

 

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Whale Photos Make it Big with Social Media

What do whales and social media have in common?   Normally nothing.  Unless you happen to be a wildlife photograper and just happen to be living on the Klamath River where a whale and her calf took a detour.  Then Social Media (used correctly) becomes critical in getting the amazing story out to the local, national and international public.

That’s exactly what happened to Photographer Ashala Tylor.  Ashala is an amazing photographer but at the time, she was definitely not into social media sites such as facebook or blogging.  In fact, she did everything she could to avoid social media sites.   The closest she came to social media was posting her photography on flicker.  She didn’t understand it and definitely didn’t want to be visable to the world.  Fortunately, Ashala knew that to get this amazing story out, she had to do something outside of ‘her box’ or comfort zone.

www.ashalatylor.com

We put together a strategy to take her pictures from obscure to mainstream using blogging, facebook, flicker, Linked In as well as traditional media.  Using wordpress, we had a blogging site up within minutes and Ashala started posting her photographic story of the whale.  On a daily basis, she blogged, posted on facebook, notified local and national news.  Over the course of next month, her photos were carried by theAssociated Press, the major news networks, international news, and the local newspapers.  In exactly 34 days, Ashala’s photos went from unknown to photo of the week on National Geographic On-line!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/pictures/110831-best-news-pictures-national-geographic-we-love-august-2011-whale-libya-hurricane-irene-somalia/#/pictures-we-love-august-2011-whale-paddle-boarder_39846_600x450.jpg

Social Media works!  Doesn’t matter what your business.  But it only works if  you do!

Want some help, shoot me an email andeeallen@gmail.com

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Social Media – It’s Not the Tools!

Too many people get hung up on tools.  They think that social media has to do with tools like facebook, myspace, plaxo, twitter, linked in -etc.  But being successful using social media is not about the tools, it’s about the strategy.

Social Media is about your strategy, goals, drives, desires – whatever it is that you want to call it.  The tools are just there to help you deliver the message, interact with your clients, and have a presence.  In reality, it doesn’t matter which tools you use as long as you have a plan for communicating a consistent message, identifying your  target market, and a goal  as to what you want to accomplish.

If everything changed tomorrow and all the social media tools were dumped, it wouldn’t matter to you or your business.  But only if you set it up correctly from the beginning and you know what your goal, drive, strategy is.  That’s a HUGE difference.  You don’t need someone to coach you on Social Media, you need someone who can walk you through creating a long term strategy!

If you base your marketing/advertising on the tools, you are going to be in trouble tomorrow.  Why?  Because the tools change.  Think about this….  MySpace use to be the place where everyone went to ’socialize’.  Today, facebook is that place.  What if you had planned your business around MySpace?  Where would you be today?  

Plan your strategy and then work your plan.  If you do this, the tools won’t matter!!  If you need help, call me!

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What the Heck is Social Media Anyway?

For a lot of people and businesses, this whole Social Media trend is very confusing.    It’s something that has taken on a life a life of its own and is completely changing how we do business.  Not to mention, there are 100s of different sites out there and new onew being developed every day.  Sometimes it is difficult to discern what social media is and what it isn’t.

According to wikipedia, social media is “media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. “  Ok, so great – I’m still confused….

Here’s what Social Media means to me….  (hmm, wonder if I can get Webster’s to use my definition – do they pay royalities?)   “Social media is the new communications foundation that enables human interaction via the Internet- and web-based applications. This includes but is not limited to on-line forums, blogs, podcasts,  video, emails, instant messaging, etc, etc, etc.  Currenlty the most common software applications are facebook, twitter, myspace, wordpress, and Linked In.”

Sound confusing?  It is!  That’s why it is important to know up-front what you want to do and be able to articulte it with someone who understands social media and the business impacts BEFORE you start.

Basically, the verdict is still out  – the trend is still so new that experts vary in their interpretation of social marketing.  However, what they agree on is, it is here and it is here to stay.  Which means, you need to be using Social Media or at the very least moving into the medium AND you need to be ready.  Without a doubt the biggest mistake businesses and people  make with Social Media today is not being prepared.

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