Problogger: The Web Video Strategy For Bloggers – David Jenyns

Problogger: The Web Video Strategy For Bloggers – David Jenyns

David Jenyns is the complete entrepreneur. He is the founder of Melbourne SEO Services and Melbourne Video Productions and enjoys speaking at various events and workshops.

Jenyns presented at Problogger 2014 on how to create a web video strategy for your blog. If you missed it we’ve got a round up of some of the key points covered below.

Jenyns has had a lot of success in his career and he puts that down to video. Most people don’t do video, so there’s an opportunity.

Web video is still in it’s infancy, so Jenyns urges the audience to get in now. He states that in 2018 they predict around three quarters of information online will be video.

How Video Can Be The Core Component of Your Strategy

Firstly, Jenyns notes that it’s important to build a subscriber database. The secret to this is YouTube. He freely admits that he is biased but he recommends considering video as your first approach and then you can use it to fuel your other channels.

What You Will Need To Be Able To Make Your Own Video

  • Camera (iPhone or Digital SLR)
  • Audio (RØDE smartLav for iPhone)
  • Tripod
  • Lights (behind the camera person)

So for under $2k you can have all that it takes to create high quality video content. Jenyns also recommended checking out the app Teleprompt. He also doesn’t recommend editing videos, other than to have an introduction with a logo in the lower third of the screen and then a call to action at the outro. You can get this done on Fiverr or even Splashio.

David Jenyns

Image courtesy of ProbloggerEvents.com

YouTube Made Easy

Jenyns encourages the audience to firstly determine what is the keyword. It obviously needs to match the content. If you need help, he suggests to check out the predictive search in Google and other related searches for ideas. Jenyns also encourages you to choose your user over ‘keyword stuffing’.

Jenyns then covered how you can optimise your video to get it ranked. He recommends to consider channels such as an email newsletter, social sharing, embedding and press releases to distribute the content.

Authority Content System

Jenyns explains that it doesn’t have to be a laborious task creating video. You can create a video in a day and then chop it up and publish small videos over weeks or even months.

He then goes on to discuss his three P’s:

  • Present – Start small. Decide on what content. Then get into your audience’s heads about what they want to know. Record everything.
  • Product – Build product and monetization in from the start. That way you can get you message out further.
  • Promote – Maximise your content across multiple channels with minimum time. For example, one event could equal 60 YouTube videos, 60 blog posts with videos and transcripts, 60 edited articles and 60 iTunes Podcasts. Drip feed it out over time, 1 event can be content for 6 months.

Jenyns urges the audience to maintain consistency in their approach and narrow down on the videos that do well. He then suggests making derivative works on your most popular videos.

Problogger: Rand Fishkin on SEO

Problogger: Rand Fishkin on SEO

According to his official bio, Rand Fishkin is the Wizard of Moz. He’s the founder and former CEO of Moz, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Fishkin is a self-confessed addict of all things content, search, and social on the web, from his multiple blogs to Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. With credentials like those, he is the obvious choice when it comes to educating bloggers about SEO.

Why Do I Need to Think About SEO?

In spite of the rise of social media, Google has grown from 3 billion queries a day to 6 billion queries a day in the last few years. Of these 3 billion queries, 20% result in clicks on advertising., while the remaining 80% result in organic website traffic. Traffic that is ours to capture.

In addition, mobile is growing fastest of all in terms of searches. Google has said that by the end of 2015 mobile search will surpass desktop search in terms of volume. But desktop is still also growing as well.

When it comes to technology (and SEO is a big part of online technology), there is always a massive advantage to being an early adopter. If your blog ranks today, people will be more likely to share its content, to link to its content, to embed its embed its content. And, given that Google search results are historically biased, all of these factors contribute to an advantage for your website. So, if you invest in SEO today, then it will be easier than trying to invest in a month, a year, or in three years. Get the early adopter advantage. It’s worth it.

According to Fishkin, SEO is a little bit like flywheel – its hard to get it into motion, but once you do, it perpetuates its own momentum. The SEO flywheel begins with publishing some content. Then amplifying that content through social media, through email. This helps to grow your network. And, by growing your network, a few more people find your content and follow it. That means you earn links, and other ranking signals. Which, in turn, means you grow your authority. So, the next time you hit publish, it will be even easier to rank. Eventually, you might rank more competitively for more competitive phrases. Then you earn search traffic. It’s all about turning the flywheel.

Tactical Tips for SEO and Blogging

Fishkin provided his eager audience with a number of tactical tips for when it comes to SEO for bloggers:

  • Keyword research: this is all about semantic connectivity. Google is getting better at intent matching, so make sure that the search engine can match your blog with the keywords that you actually want to appear for.
  • Start keyword research by brainstorming: think about the words and phrases that people commonly use to describe the broad focus of your blog. What searches would be most likely to bring you new lifelong fans? What are the searches relevant to your posts do you wish you had the #1 ranking for? If you had to make new content to reach the largest, most relevant audience to your blog, what would you write about? Then take these ideas and use tools to expand your ideas and align them with how people search. So, use Google’s KeywordPlanner. It will teach you how popular particular keywords actually are. Combine these with what Google is actually telling you in its autotype search. Eventually, you’ll end up with a list of targets. Then, make sure that you write for them.
  • When writing a post, 3 minutes is all you need to perform SEO:
    • Use tools or suggestion to figure which keywords to target
    • Note some of the additional term and phrases around your keywords, and consider whether its worth including these as well
    • Try to employ the keywords in the title of the post and the headline, and then more in the body in a sensible way. Write a headline that has both reader appeal and keyword targeting. There is no longer any need to optimise for keywords, or stuff them into the body of your content a million times over.

rand-vancouver

Image courtesy of http://moz.com/rand

Content Creation

When it comes to content creation, Fishkin has two top tips:

  • Publish to help your audience: help your readers do something. Would this particular type of content hold up in a court of your peers? Is it right for your audience?
  • Publish your passion: this type of writing is entirely self-indulgent and is usually written to share the author is thinking about at the time.

The all-important question that all content creators must ask is: who will amplify this content, and why? If you can’t answer this question, then don’t hit publish.

According to Fishkin, when it comes down to it, you simply need to make yourself proud. Do not let SEO get in the way of that. Make sure you feel confident about publishing your content. Just make sure that you delight your audience, that you serve their needs, while using the right terms and phrases, with the right keywords in your post title.

Amplification

Publishing is neither the beginning nor the end. It’s the middle. First you must create your content. Then….

  • you should do a little pre-publication outreach: solicit feedback or information or comments from potential amplifiers.
  • you can hit publish
  • comes amplification via social media
  • post-publication outreach: ask potential amplifiers what they thought of your post

Don’t ignore the power of engagement – reply and respond to people.

Link Building

The best links are not built; they are earned. What you should look for in a link:

  • Strong ability to send relevant traffic to your website
  • Editorial focus, rather than through money or trade
  • Trustworthy source

Links to avoid include free blog directories, sites that solicit guest posts, and definitely sites that feature photos of 80s business people.

Chase links where people are linking to your content because they love it, and want to share it. Not links that are purchased or influenced.

According to Fishkin, there is one universal blogging truth: a lot of days are going to feel like you’ve ended up in purgatory or hell. You’re going to wonder why you keep putting in the energy and the effort. The thing is, every successful blogger has the same story: it takes years for it to build up and happen. The price of success is failure after failure, with the caveat that each failure is teaching you a valuable lesson.

Problogger: Attracting and Managing Online Advertisers – Lucy Feagins

Problogger: Attracting and Managing Online Advertisers – Lucy Feagins

Lucy Feagins established The Design Files in 2008. Today, it is the most popular design blog in Australia, with more than 200,000 unique visitors per month and over 1 million page impressions per month. It’s rise to fame was slow and steady; Feagin started generating income 18 months into the venture, getting smaller, local advertisers onboard. Today, she has two full-time employees, and a very steady flow of income, including major global brands as regular advertisers.

Feagin admits that she is quite cautious. She maintains control over all advertising on The Design Files. She has never used an advertising network, and is never likely to. But her approach to advertising has not limited her reach; she regularly partners with Dulux, the Bank of Melbourne, and Mini. At day two of Problogger, Feagins explained exactly how she does this.

How Do I Make Money From My Blog?

According to Feagins, from advertising. She admits that her way is not only way, and not the quickest way. But its has clearly been lucrative for her. Feagins refuses to take on sponsored posts, explaining that she doesn’t feel right about writing them, that they don’t come from the heart. Instead, Feagins encourages bloggers to create value, when thinking about advertising. Creative people are notoriously bad at putting a value on their work. And, what advertisers consider to be valuable is completely different to what you value, or what your readers value. Advertisers always value who your audience is, the size of your audience, and the quality of your readers. Oftentimes, a small, engaged readership can be better for advertising than big, engaged audience. Not only that, your audience needs to be relevant to the advertiser: a men’s deodorant brand is unlikely to advertise on a blog with a predominantly female audience. So, bloggers need to know their demographics. A great way to do this is to conduct an annual survey that collects this demographic data.

Lucy Feagins

Image courtesy of www.thedesignfiles.net

Your Readership Is Your Value

Your content is what drives your readership. It’s what keeps your readers happy. Your readership is what confers the potential to introduce advertising. This is the same for every magazine, every newspaper. Your value to an advertiser is your readers. That’s why you need to put them first. Without them, you have no value. As soon as readership diminishes, your power does too. Your influence and power comes from your readers. So, it should come as no surprise that readership should be your number one priority. Respect your readers. Put your readers first. Always trust your intuition when it comes to advertising.

Know Your Readers

Conduct a survey at least once a year. Think about what your advertisers are going to want to know: what they do for a living, whether they have kids, how old they are, household income. And ask them what they think of your content; what they like, what they don’t like, what they’d like to see more of.

Advertising Is Not Complicated

When it comes down to it, advertising is a simple value exchange. It does not need to be big and scary. There are no rules, and there is no formula. You can set your own rules. You can choose to work with a network in a structured way. Or you can choose to do it your own way.

A few step-by-step tips from Feagins include:

  • Add a little sign to your blog that clearly states that advertising is available.
  • Create a rate card, starting with a low, but reasonable price point to begin with. Feagins started out with ads for just $100 per month.
  • Pro-actively write to a few local companies, or companies that have been previously featured, or that have previously enquired about advertising, and tell them that advertising is now available.
  • Once you have a few advertisers onboard, create some sponsorship banners, that advertisers have to buy out for an entire month. Make sure that you have options for the big brands to advertise, but also some smaller, cheaper options for local companies.

Be Wary of Monetising Too Soon

Feagins warned the eager Problogger audience to be wary of monetising too soon. Instead, she suggested that budding bloggers build what they’re doing first, get their editorial spot on. Blogs really need between 30,000 and 50,000 unique visitors per month before advertising is viable. Feagins now spends 50% of her time on advertising, and 50% on content creation. So, it’s really not worth starting with advertising until you have the readership to warrant it. If bloggers start monetizing too soon, they are likely to set their rates too low. And then it is extremely difficult to up them in the future.

It Pays To Be Selective

It isn’t enough just to place an advert on your website. You have to care if its working for your readers. If the ad is getting lots of clicks, then you have a happy advertiser. If the ad is not relevant to your readers, or it looks ugly, then it wont get clicks. And then you have an unhappy advertiser. So, if the ad doesn’t look appealing, then you need to tell your advertisers. You need to fix it. You also need to know what your readers want to see on your blog. Feel in your heart what your readers want to see. Defend your brand, and your blog, and your readers. Really assess what comes across your desk. Don’t just take every advertising opportunity that comes your way.

Take Responsibility

Your blog is you business, and your business is your responsibility. That’s why Feagins chooses to have all negotiations with advertisers personally. She vets everything and has all the conversations. If you hand over the responsibility of advertising to ad networks or blog agencies, then you loose power, and cannot be discerning. No one knows your business or your readers better than you do. So it’s your responsibility to be involved in the whole process. Be proactive. Be bossy. Protect your brand, and your blog, and your readers.

Integrations and Activations

The big advertisers always ask for integration. While integration can feel like a ‘dirty’ word, it need not be. You just need to do it your own way. By asking for integration, the big advertisers are really just asking how they can be more involved with your brand. So, work out a program that you feel happy with. For example, The Design Files partner with Dulux every year at The Design Files Open House. Dulux paints all the walls in the house, and Feagins can then mention them in a natural, organic way that respects her readers, as well as Dulux. Think of integration as a challenge and an opportunity to do something new and fun, rather than selling out.

According to Feagins, selling ad space is hard and boring. It is better, and more fun, to focus on creating great content. Stop worrying about what is being offered to you, and start worrying about what you are doing and what you are offering to your readers. Focus on creating great value and everything else will follow.

Problogger Training Event 2014: Day 2 Live Blog

Problogger Training Event 2014: Day 2 Live Blog

It was another jam packed day of interesting and insightful presentations at the second day of the the Problogger Training Event for 2014 in the sunny Surfers Paradise.

If you couldn’t make it to the conference, don’t despair, the Marketing.com.au team have put together a run down of some of the key sessions from Day 2 for you:

 

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Problogger Training Event 2014: Day 1 Live Blog

Problogger Training Event 2014: Day 1 Live Blog

The Marketing.com.au team are excited to be up on the sunny Gold Coast to attend the 5th Annual Problogger Training event. The objective of the 2 day conference is to help bloggers of all shapes and sizes build profitable, meaningful blogs. Organized by Problogger (founded by blogging whizz Darren Rowse), the conference is being held at QT Surfers Paradise. The whole Marketing.com.au team is ready and raring to soak up all the blogging brilliance!

So, we thought that some of our readers out there might be wishing that they could be here with us. Sound like you? Well, guess what? We thought we’d do our best to help ease your conference envy. We are going to put together a quick round up of the key take outs by way of a live blog from the sessions we attend to help share with you what we learn. You’ll feel like you’re right here with us.

The event caters for bloggers who are just starting out right through to bloggers who are already profiting, but want to reach that elusive next level. The two-day event is set to showcase a range of presentations from both international and local speakers, providing practical training that bloggers can go away and implement immediately.

So let us not delay any further…Darren Rowse is on the stage…

LUNCH TIME! Mmmmm…

Problogger Training Event LunchProblogger Lunch


Are You a Rule Breaker? Content Marketing’s 80-20 Rule

Are You a Rule Breaker? Content Marketing’s 80-20 Rule

According to a number of social media commentators, there’s a storm (in a teacup) brewing about the 80-20 rule of content marketing.

(For those of you that don’t know what content marketing is, here it is in a nutshell: it’s all about creating compelling, informative and entertaining content, tailored to meet the needs of your audience. Think blog posts, online articles and the like. What you are reading right this very minute constitutes content marketing. Also, check out our previous article What Is Content Marketing? for a quick refresher.)

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers sparked the debate with this article. According to him, marketers should spend 20% of their precious time creating content and the remaining 80% distributing that content.

“It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more. Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created,” Halpern contends.

There is some truth to what Halpern has to say. What’s the point in spending the same amount of time creating ten blog posts – each read by 1,000 people – when you can create one blog post, and have it read by 10,000 people? That’s an extra 9,000 pairs of eyeballs. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

But then, Mark Schaefer weighed in. He’s not so convinced about the whole 80-20 rule. In fact, he went so far as to call it a myth. According to Mr Schaefer, we all need to do the sums. If you compose two blog posts a week, spending perhaps six hours writing this content, that means you need to spend another 24 hours promoting this content. If, like the rest of us, you are trying to run a small business, you simply won’t have a spare 30 hours a week.

Instead, Mr Schaefer contends that you should spend your time gold plating your content. He reckons that, “Only quality builds a loyal audience. Only a loyal audience creates business benefits.”

I kind of tend to agree. Personally, I’d prefer to read a really well-put-together blog post than have it repurposed and shoved down my throat on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and so on and so forth.

Then Heidi Cohen chimed in. She reckons the rule should be more like 50-50, than 80-20. That is, content needs to re-purposed to suit the medium. Marketers can’t just regurgitate exactly the same content for every platform. It needs to be tailored somewhat. It might be that an article headline is tweaked. Or that you use different images to appeal to the different audiences that view different social media channels.

“The truth is that there’s more to the 80-20 Content Marketing Rule debate than content creation versus content distribution. The reality is that marketers can no longer place the same piece of content across multiple media entities the way the Mad Men did with traditional advertising,” states Heidi.

The main thing is not to get too hung up on any one person’s point of view. Content marketing, as a concept, is still in its infancy. Even the experts are still working out how it all works. And that’s what you should do. Figure out what rule (or what percentage) works best for you, for your product, your company, your audience. Then go with that. And, if it doesn’t work, just remember: rules are made to be broken.

Sources:
http://socialtriggers.com/80-20-blog-building/
http://www.businessesgrow.com/2013/10/10/pimping-your-posts-and-the-myth-of-the-80-20-rule/
http://heidicohen.com/real-truth-behind-the-80-20-rule-of-content-marketing/

 

 

Is Inbound Marketing In Your Marketing Mix?

Once upon a time, in a land before the digital age, consumers relied on traditional one way methods of marketing (outbound marketing) such as TV, Radio, Billboards for information about products and services. Then in the 90’s this little world of marketing as we new it would be turned on it’s head when the Internet was commercialised and inbound marketing was born.

The Internet gave us all CONTROL! There was now a new way to seek out products and services and to do our own research before we buy something. This coupled with the rise of social media meant consumers started to pay less attention to sometimes annoying traditional outbound marketing and used their new powers to become more marketing savvy and seek out products and brands that appeal to them and then also share them with friends and family.

Today, as marketers, we need to (more…)

Building Your Authority

With all of us suffering from information overload and everyone getting louder and louder, how do we find the best people to listen to and learn from? The answer is simple, we seek out people with authority.

An authority is someone who is publicly known for being knowledgable or having expertise in their industry. Whether you’re a one man band with a blog or a part of a business, you are an expert in your industry. You may not think you are an expert relative to others in your industry, however, variety is the spice of life and we all need to start somewhere! Any contribution that you see valuable, is likely to be valuable to others. Is there something interesting you’ve done research on that you can share? Or something interesting that you’ve come across?

We all know that word of mouth is a powerful thing, we are heavily influenced by the opinions of others. Be confident and share your views with your readers or customers. The more you put yourself out there and demonstrate your strengths the more likely you will be to gain respect and acknowledgement. This in turn will help attract people to your website or business to hear more of what you have to say.

There are a variety of ways you can build your authority. Having a blog is one way you achieve this. With the rise in the number of blog sites popping up on the web, more and more people are sharing their views about what they feel passionate about. At the end of 2011, NM Incite (a Nielsen/McKinsey company) tracked over 181 million blogs around the world which had grown from 36 million in 2006. This demonstrates just how many people are out there sharing their views and the number of readers listening to them is endless. If you don’t have your own blog, why not offer to write a guest post for someone else’s blog in your industry. It’s also a great way to get a link back to your business.

You also need to embrace the world of social media and use it to your advantage, you can even share other peoples content and opinions and be involved in discussions. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creator, you can always become a curator.

Another common way to build your authority is to seek out opportunities to present at conferences, user group meetings or training sessions. You will have a captive audience ready to listen to you and it goes a long way in building your profile as someone that has a good understanding of the subject matter.

We came across this cool infographic in our travels from Vertical Measures that we thought we’d share with you, it’s a nice handy reference with some great tips to help you establish and build your authority.

Infographic: The Authority Building Machine
Internet Marketing Infographic by Vertical Measures

Really Simple RSS

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ (or Rich Site Summary) and is a relatively easy and free way to communicate updates to your (or your client’s) website. Users can subscribe free to one or more ‘feeds’ which send a headline and a short summary of articles that have been recently added or updated on any given website.

RSS is not a widely used (or known) term just yet, but techno savvy web developers and consumers are using RSS more and more. RSS is probably the most reliable (and quickest) online method by which to deliver content. It can improve search engine rankings, reach new audiences through syndication, is an easier and less expensive communication tool than email, enhance email marketing campaigns, generate media coverage and develop online conversations. If you are considering jumping on the RSS bandwagon, you should consider the following tips to ensure that your feed stands out from the crowd.

Any marketing activity should begin with research; gaining a thorough understanding of how the chosen marketing medium works is essential. It is extremely difficult to fully understand how something works (particularly when it comes to constantly changing technology) without having actually used it. So, first of all, pick an RSS aggregator (the most popular are My Yahoo!, Bloglines and Firefox and) and subscribe to some RSS feeds. You will very quickly pick up which feeds work and why, and similarly, what should be avoided.

You should always include specific key words in your RSS feed’s channel title and description. As with any website search, users generally search for RSS feeds using key words or phrases. If you have specific, descriptive key words in your RSS feed, it will be more easily found and you will end up with a much better (and extensive) subscriber list.
Always include the date a feed item was published, even if the content is not date specific. This will help your subscribers to determine when the content was published – there is nothing worse than reading an RSS feed that you think is up-to-date, only to find it was created months (or even years) ago.

Don’t create splogs. Splogs or ‘spam blogs’ are generally characterised as a blog that is generated by a machine (rather than a human being). They increase visibility (through a higher search engine ranking) of another website that the splogger is trying to promote. Splogs jam search engines, making it difficult to find RSS feeds with real, specific content. Make sure you write and post the content for your RSS feed, don’t set up an automated system. It won’t help build trust in your brand.

Don’t violate copyright by republishing the content of another company’s RSS feed without permission. If you quote another RSS feed, always reference the original source and provide a link to the article. If you are approached by another company that wants to republish your RSS, then say yes (and say it loud and clear!). Allowing third parties to use your RSS feed and broadcast your news on their homepage will work to your advantage. Your news will reach a new, broader market this way. A bigger market means more potential customers and better return on investment.

Don’t provide multiple feed formats with the exact same content. As far as the subscriber (or potential customer) is concerned, the type of RSS used by any brand, website or company is irrelevant. Multiple versions of the same feed cause confusion and annoy users with their repetition. Choose one version, provide a single feed and stick with it.

Promote your RSS feed. You can do this quite easily yourself. The best way is through an RSS presentation page. An RSS presentation page should explain what RSS is as well as its benefits, recommend a free RSS aggregator, explain the benefits of your RSS feed to users (or potential customers) and include an online form for users to complete to subscribe to your RSS feed.

You should also promote your feeds through any and all available external channels. Submit your feeds to search engines, ping RSS aggregator sites every time content is updated online content and give permission to users and other websites to syndicate your feed on other websites.

RSS is a one-stop-shop for consumption of online content. It does away with the need to visit several websites each day just to check what might have been updated. Breaking news is received as it becomes available. It gives users complete control over content consumption; they can unsubscribe at any time. RSS makes sure that users receive the content and updates they want, minus all the spam. Like any other communication tool, with some planning and careful integration into your existing marketing program, RSS can generate real brand boosting benefits.

Marketing.com.au would like to thank Sally for sharing this great article with our readers.