Posts Tagged blogging

Simple Tips for Increasing Your Web Traffic

New York Times Gadgetwise blogger Azadeh Ensha wrote a post earlier this week on the 10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Site.  I felt this was an appropriate blog topic for several reasons.  First, as a small boutique agency, we’re always looking for new ways to ramp up our own blog; and second, the majority of our clients are young international tech companies looking to increase their visibility or start out completely new in the States.  We also work with clients like ASI to build corporate blogs. 


Here’s a 100-foot rundown of Azadeh’s tips I found the most useful, with a bit of my own commentary here and there:

  • Self promote – add a favorite or bookmark option, as well as an “email this” and “share” tab; add your blog or Web site to your email signature, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Write useful, original content – write regularly and make sure everything is well-thought out; think about your headlines and make sure you include simple key words – This is one tip I could not agree more with.  Most companies have a blog now a days, and if they don’t, they’re probably thinking about it.  Sure the ideas are going to be similar, but you can make it your own by adding your own personality and your own ideas.  More importantly, make sure you’re writing appropriately for your audience.  People are so inundated with information and with options to get that information that you have to stand out to keep a following. 
  • Bring on guest bloggers [with an established name] – This tip is fairly self-explanatory, but is a great idea, particularly for smaller companies looking to gain awareness.  Include the person’s name in your entry title and post it on Twitter or have them link the post to their blog.  Having that recognizable name associated with your company is sure to drive at least a few new people to your site.
  • Link and tag – Link to other sites within your post and submit your site to blog directories; make sure you’re using appropriate headers, titles and meta tags for SEO – Cheapflights comes to mind as a great example of a company that has really embraced the idea of optimizing their site for SEO.  Anyone that does a Web search on “cheap flights,” the Web page is always at the top of the list.
  • Engage the reader – Promptly answer any emails or comments; show your personality – let the readers get to know you; create an online poll or survey

For a complete list of tips, visit here. 


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Bye-Bye Bunny Ears, Hello Social Networking

The viral spread of social networking is revolutionizing the way we communicate and is even changing the way we use our leisure time.  Studies show that social networkers are spending more hours online and less time watching TV.  Social networking and blogging now account for nearly 10% of all time spent on the internet and have “become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” according to John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online. 

To capitalize on this trend, service providers need to harnes the interactive nature of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) by making social networking a part of the television experience.  Imagine being able to gossip with friends via TV on last night’s Idol performances?  Check out Sarah Reedy’s recent article in Telephony, “Is TV the Next Facebook,” and you’ll see what I mean. 

If you’re attending NAB next month in Vegas, check out Mariner at co-located Telecom2009, where they will be demonstrating the wealth of opportunities that social networking presents for IPTV providers. 

And as Tracy Swedlow, CEO and analyst with Interactive TV Today, points out in Sarah’s article, “If you don’t see social TV as one of your highest priorities, you are going to get left behind.” 

Seacrest out!


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Confessions of an Independent Blogger…

I recently caught up with Baseball Analysts writer Patrick Sullivan to find out how he got started with social media and to get some tips as a new blogger… (and get everyone excited for the 2009 baseball season)…

Q: What inspired you to start blogging?

A: Back in 2003, I used to contribute to a Boston Red Sox message board called Sons of Sam Horn.  Another contributor there started a Red Sox blog called The House that Dewey Built (named after former Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans).  He asked me if I would help out, and in time, I became the site’s main contributor, posting near-daily updates.

As time went on, real-life/career demands made regular updating more of a challenge.  Rich Lederer’s invitation in 2006 to become a regular contributor to Baseball Analysts could not have been more timely.  I needed to be writing less but still wanted to stay involved in baseball writing/blogging.  Joining Rich’s site as a weekly contributor for a much broader readership offered me a chance to focus more on quality versus quantity, write about the baseball topics beyond the Red Sox and also cut back on the total time I was devoting to blogging.

Q: How else do you participate in social media?  Why do you feel that it’s important to participate?

A: I have a Facebook account and poke around various baseball and political sites, occasionally offering my two cents but mostly lurking.

I don’t know that social media participation is important per se, but I do enjoy it.  The more interaction I have with friends, family and those with shared interests, the better.

Q: Any advice that you can share with those looking to start blogging?

A: Know why you want to do it because then you can tailor your work accordingly–and manage your expectations.  If you are looking for as vast a readership as possible, make sure you are filling a niche and adding value.  Be clear with your target readership on why you are writing.

If you just want space or a forum to get your thoughts on anything–and everything–out there, then don’t worry as much about whether or not your writing is as unique and differentiated.

Thanks, Patrick, for your thoughts!

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Are you my friend?

What’s the definition of a friend in the Social Media world?

Do you want to be my friend?  Do I want to be your friend?  I was reading Peter Shankman’s post on Facebook Purgatory and it made me stop and think about whether I would ever get to 5,000 friends on Facebook and still have another 4,000 in waiting.  I think NEVER.  And mainly because it would be impossible to correspond and visit that many “friends”.  And isn’t that what Facebook is all about.  It’s not a nubmers game – well to some it toally is – but to  me it’s an up to the minute reunion.

Shankman is very well connected and everyone wants to be on his radar but are you really “friends” with him?  I would like to be connected to Shankman professionally and make sure I know who he knows and perhaps the best way is to follow him on Twitter and/or get introduced via LinkedIn. ….(she leaves the page momentarily asking a colleague to introduce her to Shankman on LinkedIn and double checks she is following him on Twitter remembering her last post was way tooo long ago in the social media world.)  ANYWAY…

So how many Facebook friends do you have?  I proudly boast 223.  But if you are Adam, Matt or Bon J I would love to be friends with you.

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Conversing, not Pitching, Leads to Ink Today

Journalists are being bitten by the economy more than most other markets and if you’ve tried to get them to write about your company recently, you know this first hand. PC Magazine is no different. When NCP engineering asked us to get ink with this heavy weight pub for their Windows 7 VPN client launch, we went right to work. Our strategy? Talk with the writer on his own terms and translate a ‘pitch’ to a ‘conversation’.

With PC Magazine’s Forward Thinking blogger, Michael Miller, in our sights, we went to work. Miller is active in PC help forums so we started there. Like the rest of the software media, Miller was focused on Windows 7 so we identified key forums he’d be likely to show up in. And when we did, we started the conversation about NCP. The moniker you see, VPN Haus, is our blog for NCP. Having a real conversation with a journalist requires transparency. The seed was planted: NCP offered a VPN client for the beta Windows 7. Next, we saw he wrote about the topic on his blog, and so we commented there as well.

By addressing Miller on his own terms we had managed to introduce our client, their product and a key message or two. Now we were confident that a traditional email pitch would not only get read, it would also jog his memory of the forum post and blog comment. We were in! Miller responded to our email and requested the product to test. Success!

We’ll update this post with the PC Magazine ink our ‘conversation’ style generated for NCP’s product.

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Of broadcasts and boats

As the self-appointed supervisor of new media engagement (a title I made up exactly one moment ago) at March, I’m often called upon to explain to colleagues and clients alike what blogging is all about. “We need to get into blogging!” they say… much in the same tone that I might suggest “I need to start investing!” with nary a clue as to how it works beyond the most basic conceptual level.

So it was with satisfaction and a tinge of glee that I stumbled through M3’s Green Data Center Blog onto this brilliant article by Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic: Why I Blog. It is not a short article, but I implore you to read it – take it on the train with you… here’s the printer-friendly version.

Sullivan, a journalist, is able to get to the heart of blogging in a way that we in PR can understand:

[…] the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication. If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.

Think about broadcasting versus publishing. This makes intuitive sense for most of us – obviously a blog is more akin to a 24-hour news channel than a weekly (or even daily) paper… and yet, I still see people every day of the week approaching blogging as if they’ve been tasked with writing a doctoral thesis. First comes the idea, then comes about a week of procrastinating, then a draft, then revising, approving, waiting, worrying… Sullivan describes what happened when he finally got into the swing of “broadcast publishing” at Slate:

I wrote as I’d write an e-mail—with only a mite more circumspection. This is hazardous, of course, as anyone who has ever clicked Send in a fit of anger or hurt will testify. But blogging requires an embrace of such hazards, a willingness to fall off the trapeze rather than fail to make the leap.

The number of bloggers who make careless faux pas in content or tone is dwarfed by the number of bloggers who never get anything published because they’re too busy hemming and hawing over whether it’s good enough. It’s good enough. Do it. Now.

As for why we should bother in the first place – what makes broadcasting better than publishing, what makes online better than print, Sullivan appeals to the connective properties of blogging:

A blog, therefore, bobs on the surface of the ocean but has its anchorage in waters deeper than those print media is technologically able to exploit. It disempowers the writer to that extent, of course. The blogger can get away with less and afford fewer pretensions of authority. He is-more than any writer of the past-a node among other nodes, connected but unfinished without the links and the comments and the track-backs that make the blogosphere, at its best, a conversation, rather than a production.

Everything you broadcast online is woven into the fabric of the global discussion of that topic. This post is not a lone scrap of cloth – it is sewn into other material about the philosophy of blogging, about Andrew Sullivan, about The Atlantic, about Slate and beyond – an integrated piece of the quilt of discourse. It’s not all about you. But you are a part of it.

Neat, huh?

They give me a maximum allowance of four mixed metaphors per post here, so I’m out!

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