Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

How Often Should I post? Blogs | Facebook Updates | Tweets

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

How often should I post on my blog? How often should I update Facebook? And, How often should I Tweet? These are important questions and although the answer isn’t the same for every brand or business, I have found the following to be a good “rule of thumb.”

So, how often should you post on your blog?
2-3 times a week. I say this for a few reasons. One is that posting every day can be very time consuming and if you haven’t yet committed yourself to getting out 2 -3 posts, the likelihood of you getting out the extra 3 to 4 will seem almost impossible.

The more frequently you post the better it is for SEO and the more likely you are setting up an audience that is continually coming back for more. However, if you have nothing to say or the information isn’t fresh, it won’t matter how often you post.

Here are a few things to take into consideration when deciding how often to post:

  • Do you have anything valuable to say?
  • Who is your audience? Are they getting their info from blogs?
  • What is your goal? Are you trying to increase traffic to your website and improve your SEO in general? Or are you simply using this platform as an announcement board for current customers?
  • How much time do you have to put towards blogging? And, how much time does your average blog take you to write from soup to nuts?

All of these questions will help you answer how frequently you should be posting to you blog. Once you have a plan in place, then you will want to reassess it later by looking at your Google Analytics and other measurement tools to see if your current plan is helping you reach your goals.

How often should I post Facebook Updates:
We recommend posting to your Facebook page at least 3x a day! Really, 2 – 5x, but if you can do at least 1 -3 posts a day you should be in good shape. Check out my blog post on “how often your should post to your Facebook business page for Facebook success.”

There are also different tools out there such as Facebook Insights and EdgeRank Checker that can help you analyze what is working best for you. This tool in particular will tell you what types of posts are getting the most reach and engagement and also what times and days are working best for you to update your status.

Test out post frequency to see what works best for you and your audience. Here are some areas to pay attention to and keep track of while you are doing your testing:
Did your page Likes go up or down?
Are you reaching more folks?
Are people engaging with you more often or less often?
Are more or less people talking about you?
What types of posts do people seem to respond to the most?
What time of day do you seem to get the most engagement?

These questions should help you assess what the perfect amount of posting is for your brand.

And, finally Twitter! How often should I Tweet?

Tweets are a little more difficult to put an actual number on. Being part of the conversation and engaging with a good following is most important. But, while you want to be replying to all the conversations that are happening around you and to those chatting with you, you also want to have a good amount of content that you are pushing out as well.

Think about when you check out someone’s Twitter stream. What are you looking for? You want to learn a little bit more about what they have to offer and why you would want to follow them. You want to make sure that you are balancing your original content, with your RT’s and your @replies.

Check out What to tweet? to get more ideas.
How often do you post? We’d love to hear what is working for you!

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Consistently Posting, Updating and Tweeting

How Do I Create a Social Media Strategy? Here’s How…

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

How do you create a social media strategy? The same way you create any other marketing, PR or business strategy. With an end in mind. Like with any other part of your business you want to start with a goal. Until you know what the purpose of you being involved in social media is or why you are creating content you are wasting your time.

1. Set Goals: You may have several business goals such as increasing brand awareness, increasing website traffic, improving online sentiment, or maybe it’s that you want yourself, or your business to be seen as the industry expert. Whatever the goal/s is, make sure you start there.

Okay so now you know what you want to accomplish by participating in this space, the next step is to see if your audience is even there…

2. Conduct Research: Where is your audience? Is your audience already on social media? If so, what platforms are they using? Where is your brand being talked about? Chances are they probably are already on the big 3 Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but are they also participating in online forums or Pinterest? Are they reading blogs? It’s important to do some research and find out where your customers and target audience likes to get their information and share about their experiences.

3. SWOT/Competitive Analysis: What is your competition doing? Are they doing it well? Where are your opportunities? How can you do it better? It’s good to see what the competition is doing both well and not so well. This allows you to implement some of the strategies that they’ve already done the hard work to find out if it will work and to leave behind the things they are doing that aren’t working so well.

4. Develop a Social Media Content Strategy: The steps above should be considered in your content strategy as well as conducting keyword analysis so that you can create content that is optimized to improve not only your search visibility buy to use the same verbiage that your customers are using. You should also be connecting with industry leaders, following influencers, subscribing to industry related blogs and setting up Google alerts so as to stay abreast of the industry and get ideas for content your audience is interested in. Creating an editorial calendar can help keep you and your company accountable for creating content and also help with delegating tasks. The final step here is to create the actual content.

5. Monitor, Engage & Respond: There are several free and paid tools out there that you can use to monitor what is being said about your brand and company on the Interwebs. You can use Twitter, Facebook, Google Alerts, Social Mention, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and many others. There are also paid tools like Radian6 and Sysomos. Whichever tool you use, you will want to make sure that you are monitoring specific industry keywords, your brand name and possibly your competition as well. This will give you the ability to respond when necessary and stay in the know.

6. Measurement and Analysis: Again, go back to your goals so you know what to measure. If it’s brand awareness you may want to measure how many Likes, Followers, RT’s, Mentions, Shared Stories etc. that you have on the different networks. IF you are trying to increase web traffic look at your analytics report. How many folks are coming into your site via the various social media platforms that you are participating on? What about blog traffic? And, then look at the overall numbers, has your overall traffic increased? If you are trying to improve online sentiment, take a peek at social mention or another tool and see if the numbers have improved. Or, you can start by tracking comments that are both good and bad… Did you have a baseline for before you started? How does it measure up?

There are ways to measure your Social Media ROI, you just have to know what you are measuring.

How do you create your Social Media Marketing Strategy? Share your tips with us here in the comments section.

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
“What’s the use of running, if you are not on the right road.” – German Proverb

 

Photo Credit: By Waponi

How To Write a Blog Post | Blogpost Template

Monday, February 20th, 2012

How to write a blog post…One of the top questions I get asked by clients is if I have a template that I use for a blogposts, or a checklist of sorts that I go by when writing a post. So, since it seems to be such a common question I created a very basic blogging template to use when writing for SEO. Of course there may be differing opinions on how to best set up your post, but the tips below have worked well for us here at flyte.

Before you start: Conduct a mini keyword analysis. You can do this by visiting Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. It’s free and easy to use. For this particular post I typed in the following…

blog post keyword analysis- blogpost
- blog post
- blog post template
- Blog post checklist

Once you have you’ve chosen your keywords for the particular post there are a few places where it’s important to add them.

Blog Title (Most important place for Keywords):

Usually we like to word it in a way where you can repeat it naturally or reword your keywords.

Ex. Keyword phrase “10 Tips on Writing a blog post | How to write a blog post”

Body:

Incorporate keywords early on, first sentence if you can.

We usually start off with a brief sentence answering the question in the title using the keywords, or a brief 1 to 2 sentence description of what they’ll find below incorporating keywords.

Incorporate the keywords and version of the keyword phrase throughout the body content.

Create links on the post that go back to your website or another blog post that is appropriate for the content. Hyperlinking the keywords adds a little more SEO weight.

Image:

Adding a photo makes the post a little more interesting. Make sure that you fill in alt text describing the photo using keywords and  name the picture using a keyword, ex. “blogpost keyword search.jpg”

Steps to take before posting:

  • Tag your post with appropriate keywords
  • Select appropriate categories
  • Use AllinOneSEO Plugin

Steps after posting:

  • Tweet it out
  • Share on Facebook (or set up Networked Blogs)
  • +1 it
  • Ask your network to help you push out the post

Basic writing tips:

  • Write in short paragraphs
  • Add bullet points or numbering
  • Word the title in a way someone would type it into a search in Google
  • Make it easily scanable and digestible
  • Posts should be 300 – 500 words
  • Include intrasite links

Want more info on blogging?

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
I Love Blog!

The Best of 2011 from flyte new media: Most Popular Posts on the flyte blog, Maine SEO, and Florida SEO

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

This will be my third year in a row creating a “best of the year” post; feel free to check out posts from 2010 and 2009, too.

This year, I’ve done the best at flyte: from our flyte blog, Maine SEO blog, and Florida SEO blog. Go ahead and browse the archives; enjoy!

flyte blog

  1. 50 – Count ‘em, 50! – Creative Uses of QR Codes
  2. Print Keynote Handouts Like PowerPoint
  3. Post to your Facebook Business Page as you…and more!
  4. What is a QR Code? What is QR Code Marketing?
  5. What is a Facebook Landing Page and Why Do I Need One?

Maine SEO

  1. What is a Good Bounce Rate in Google Analytics?
  2. Facebook Fun | What Was Your Status Update On This Day Last Year?
  3. Can I create a Facebook Business Account (or Fan Page) without a Personal Account?
  4. How to Like a Facebook Fan Page…as a Fan Page
  5. Allowing Pingbacks and Trackbacks on your blog: Is there any value back?

Florida SEO

  1. Alt Tags vs. Title Tags for Images in WordPress: What’s the difference?
  2. The Top 5 Most Liked Pages on Facebook and What We Can Learn From Them
  3. How Long Will It Take to See Results from Search Engine Optimization?
  4. How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate in Google Analytics
  5. Welcome the Newest Member to flyte new media: Joan Woodbrey Crocker!

Photo credit: stockerre

How to Climb Out of a Blogging Coma

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

I’ve been bad. Very, very bad…about blogging. This is the first post I’ve written in November.

You may have had a similar experience. Maybe you got busy with work. Maybe you haven’t had any great ideas. Maybe you feel like you’ve written about everything there is to write about. Fear not, my friend. Perhaps climbing out of my own blogging coma will help you conquer yours.

Luckily, the blogosphere is a forgiving world. You may have missed out on some traffic, but it’s ok. Go ahead and pick up where you left off.

You’re simply too busy

I understand, real work gets put ahead of blogging. But think about it this way: blogging is a form of marketing and another way to ensure you’ll continue having that work in weeks and months to come. Here are a few easy ways to get around the “time” issue:

Figure out what works for you. Is it easier to blog first thing in the morning? During lunch? At home? Over the weekend? Do you prefer writing just one post at a time? Or do you like to create several when inspiration strikes? Regardless, figure out the schedule that works for you…and do it!

Keep It Simple, Stupid. You don’t need a ground breaking, earth shattering blogpost every single time. Use resources like the questions your customers ask you every day for inspiration. Often times, the quick, easy, and simple posts are the best ones.

Now you’re just making things up. Most of us aren’t too busy to watch our favorite shows. Most of us aren’t too busy to catch the game. Try multi-tasking; if you can sit in front of the TV and watch the ball game and blog, then do it! Or, if you need peace and quiet, carve out 15 or 30 minutes and write your post. That’s why they invented DVR, right?

You don’t have anything to write about or you’ve written about everything

Inspiration isn’t going to hit every day of the week – and if it does, you’re lucky – but that doesn’t mean you can’t inspire yourself.

Use tools at your disposal. There are a ton of tools out there from Google Insights for hot, new keyword ideas to Google Alerts for daily or weekly updates about new articles, blogposts, and websites in your industry. There are hundreds, even thousands of these type of tools out there, but these two are my go-to’s.

Listen to what other people are saying. Lean on your favorite writers, bloggers in your niche, or even your competitors. My favorites for SEO are the SEOmoz blog, Search Engine Roundtable, and Search Engine Land. Whatever your favorite blogs may be, make sure you subscribe to them (be it via email or RSS) and read them as often as you can.

Find a new way to spice up old blogposts. Use tricks like checking out your Google Analytics or using a different blogging technique to resurrect an old post you created.

And there you have it. Now get out there and write! But first…what are your tips or tricks for getting yourself out of a blogging coma?

Image credit: xlibber

Nicki Hicks
Really, what’s cuter than a sleeping baby?

What Hiking trails and Web Marketing Have in Common

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Recently, my friends and I have been hiking every weekend. It’s a great way to get some exercise in and it’s a fun activity to explore nature with friends. Not to mention it’s something that I can do with my dog on the weekend to give him a much needed energy release after being cooped up in the house all week. But, it wasn’t until I wrote a blog post for a client on Maine’s Waterfalls that I started to get really inspired.

Maine has a crazy amount of beauty and so many things to discover. But, the caveat to that is, in order to see a beautiful waterfall or awe inspiring mountain view, you first have to make the hike to do it. Hiking is NOT easy. In fact, many of the trails that are required to get to these Mountain Tops can cause you pain and exhaustion. However, once you hit that apex you get to stroll down and the endorphins kick in and it was all worth it.

But, the more you hike, the easier it gets. You develop your muscles, strengthen your heart and lungs and build endurance. In the end, it becomes more natural and more enjoyable.

SO, what does this have to do with web marketing success? EVERYTHING!

Social media doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I can’t count how many times we hear clients say that they didn’t know it was going to be so much work.  Blogging is work, creating content is work, posting updates takes time and imagination and it all has to be valuable and interesting information for your audience.

Waterfalls were my inspiration, what’s yours?  What is going to get you excited to put the work and effort in to get the web marketing and social media results that you want? You can look for inspiration for your posts in many places, did someone say something to you today that sparked an idea, did you hear something on the radio, did you read a blog or magazine article that got you thinking? Anything you hear, read or do can be used to spark an idea for a blog post or Twitter update.

Like with starting a workout or starting to hike, it takes time to adjust and adapt to your new activity until it becomes easier or a habit.  This also goes for web marketing.  Right now it may not seem like it fits in your schedule or it may not feel natural to you.  But, the more you do it the easier it becomes.  Create an editorial calendar for yourself and stick to it. Commit to posting one blog post a week or making 3 updates on Facebook a day. Do that until you master it and then add on the next phase of your web marketing plan.  Like with taking a hike, the first trail is the hardest and with every new trail (or marketing step you take) the easier it becomes.

Results! We all do this because we want the web marketing results.  With a hike it’s an amazing view, endorphins released from exercise, fresh air or a waterfall, with web marketing we want to get our message to the right people resulting in our end goal.  Whether that goal be more leads in the sales funnel, more people attending your event, more traffic to your website or better customer service web marketing and social media are just our tools to help us achieve those goals.

So, what are you waiting for? Find your inspiration, make the commitment, and take the first steps.

If you’d like help developing a social media plan for your business, or a personal trainer for your social media marketing to help you stay with it, flyte can help. Just contact us to get the ball rolling.

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Hiking Web Everest

 

How to Use Google Analytics to Inspire Blogpost Ideas

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

This is one of my favorite blogging tricks and regardless of whether you’re running out of ideas or not, this little tip is great wayto re-kindle some traffic and re-inspire using your most popular posts. That said, let’s get right to it.

Start by logging into your Google Analytics account and going to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic.

If you’re looking at statistics for just your blog, then you’ll probably already see some great ideas for blogposts. Regardless, change the number of rows shown to the maximum number (500), then continue scrolling down for more keyword ideas.

You’ll start to see limited searches for the same term (1, 2, maybe even 3). These longtail search terms are the perfect start for additional blogposts. Sure, people already use these to find you, but why not use what works? Here’s a quick snapshot:

I might take some of these keyword phrases and create posts like:

So if you haven’t already run off to check out your Google Analytics, go ahead and try it out now and let us know what type of posts you come up with in the comments below!

What to Do When You Have Too Many Blogpost Ideas

Friday, August 12th, 2011

More often than not, I get questions about what to do when you haven nothing to blog about, but what if you have too many post ideas? What if you’re so inspired that you’re overwhelmed with ideas? [Don't laugh. It's a serious medical condition and researchers are currently looking for a cure!]

Having too many post ideas can be just as troublesome as having no ideas at all. It could lead to long, drawn out posts that no one will spend the time to read. It could lead to losing some of those ideas without making the right arrangements. Never fear, there are a few easy ways to manage all of these ideas!

Write them down

Sounds pretty simple, right? But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving or at the gym and thought of an idea for a blogpost that I ended up forgetting because I never wrote it down. Having a running list of ideas is a great way to have some inspiration for those times when you are feeling less than inspired. Whether it’s just an idea for a post, the title of the post, or even some notes on what it will include; you’ll never regret jotting your ideas down!

And when there isn’t a piece of paper handy…

Record them

These days, most phones have a recording application on them. I find that while driving tends to be the perfect time to record ideas – or even full posts – to later write down. Thinking out loud is a great way to get your thoughts together, or maybe it’s easier for you to…

Outline, outline, outline

A great number of blogpost ideas may start out general, with no direction, and have to be whittled into something far more specific. Having been a slave to thinking I have the perfect post, only to realize it’s far to vague or far too long; it’s best to outline your thoughts beforehand to see where this post is really going.

Break them up

If you find that your post ideas are going to be upwards of 750 or even 1,000 words, that’s great news! Why? You’ve got yourself more than one blogpost, my friend! Break your post idea up into 2, 3, 4…however many parts it takes and now you have a series.

Nicki Hicks
More is better, but only if you prepare

5 Cool Ways to Get Paid For Your Blogging Content

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

A few weeks ago, I was accepted as one of Examiner.com‘s examiners: the Jacksonville Social Networking Examiner. Based on what you write and how often, you actually have the opportunity to make money from your content. This got me thinking: what other websites offer you money for your content and, more importantly, are they really worth it?

Examiner.com

To start, you must submit work, and why you want to become apart of Examiner.com. It can take up to a week to be approved. From there, you’ll receive the power to create content from within their platform. They like to keep things local, so make sure your content covers topics specific to the location you’re assigned to. Since I haven’t done much with my account so far, I can’t tell you whether you’ll make much from this particular site.

Ready to sign up? Go here now.

Podcasting

According to this article in the Social Media Examiner, setup is key. Choosing the right host, the right platform (like PowerPress), setting up your feed and analytics will ensure you have a successful podcast. Last, but not least, pop your work on iTunes and start making money. The important takeaway though? Make sure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s first.

Yahoo Contributor Network

Similar to Examiner.com, the Yahoo Contributor Network offers you the chance to get paid for the content you create for them. Set up more like an actual news desk, the Yahoo Contributor Network offers both the option to create your own content as well as assignments. The assignments are varied and many are of a more creative nature (short stories, essays, etc.). What’s more is you’re able to share more than just copy; you can also share your videos and photos as well.

Skyword’s Skywriting

Skyword promotes allowing writers to create search and social content for large, well known brands. Without joining, it’s hard to learn more about the program and all of the perks.

Seed.com

Similar to the Yahoo Contributor Network, Seed.com offers opportunities to not only provide content and get paid like our other examples, but also includes current assignments to give you a specific rundown of what they’re looking for.

All of these – and many more – websites offer great opportunities to make money on the content that you create. Whether they are worth it or not, that will have to wait for a little more experimentation! If you’ve had experience with these or other networks, please share in the comments below!

Nicki Hicks
Make Money Blogging

6 Creative (and Easy!) Ways to Create Content

Friday, July 1st, 2011

You already know that you should be blogging (or at least you do now), or at least creating content somehow. But sometimes, it might feel like you’re posting the same kind of blogposts over and over. Never fear, my friends, there are some fun and easy ways to spice up your content creation.

1. Videos

It’s all about video right now. [Rich recently created a few killer blogposts about video (like Killer YouTube Tactics For Your Business and What Kind of YouTube Channel Should You Have?) so make sure you check them out!]

A video doesn’t have to be long (short and sweet is actually better), and it doesn’t have to be a big production. Here at flyte, we create everything from talking head videos with screenshots to videos shot with an iPhone. The bonus for video is that it’s often far more engaging than plain old text.

2. Pictures

One of our clients, J&E Riggin, posts nothing but images on Wednesdays, a day they’ve coined Wordless Wednesdays. There, they’ll share gorgeous photos from their trips out at sea.

For a little more SEO value, it’s helpful to include some copy around the image and even alt tags. However, from a pure content standpoint, a day where you simply post a photo is brilliant. What an easy way to create content!

3. Mashups

Mashups are one of my favorite rainy day blogpost ideas. Be they a culmination of posts over time or a resource list, mashups are a quick, easy way to put content together without having to reinvent the wheel.

4. Dear Abby posts

Whether someone actually asked you the question or you make up your own, Dear Abby posts are a great way to spice up your content a little. In every industry, we all get asked the same questions time and time again; here’s the perfect opportunity to put those questions to good use!

5. Interviews

Whether it’s someone local (like a customer) or an important person in your niche, interviews are great for a number of reasons. Not only are they an interesting way to create fresh content, but it also adds a fresh, new voice to your blog.

6. Recaps or Live Blogging

Some of the most retweeted posts have been from pseudo live blogging. I took notes I would’ve created anyway and simply put them online. Take it a step further my adding your own .02 and spinning off from what you learned!

What ways do you add interesting content to your blog?

Nicki Hicks
Outletting creatively one post at a time



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