Tag Archives: Blogging

How to be a Better Blogger

By: Lara Michelle Greenberg

Many people think that the hardest part about blogging is getting started, but that part is easy. The hardest part is staying active and gaining interest. With immense amounts of content being circulated each day, how do you break through and create something that’s worth reading? Here are a few tips that can help you become a better blogger.

  1. Find your niche

The blogging sphere is a very busy place and without a niche it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. Running a blog means that you need to create regular content about the topic so you want to make sure that you don’t run out of things to say or lose interest. Find something that you are passionate about. Whether you are writing about travel, business or basket weaving, if you write about something you love, content will flow freely.

  1. Headlines

No matter what the subject is, chances are it’s a great headline that catches your attention and earns your click. A great headline will help your content spread further.

  1. Content

Now, onto the content itself: spend some time researching the topic you are going to write about and gather information from reliable sources. Following these two basic tips is very important because the content you write should be accurate and informative. A great blogger entices their readers by writing awesome and educational pieces.

  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread

Make sure you read through your blog a few times before you post. There is nothing worse than putting up a great article and realizing that there are several mistakes. Read aloud. Since your mouth has to voice each word, your ears will pick up the errors better than your mind distinguishing errors as you read silently. And if someone is around, have them read it over a few times for you. They might spot a few errors that you missed.

  1. Make sharing easy

To increase growth and readership of your blog, share your blog posts on other forms of social media and encourage your readers to share your writing. It will be easy for your readers to share your content if you have social sharing buttons. Make sure you place them wherever you think the reader would want to share the post (top of page/bottom of page/middle). You can also post the link to your blog on your Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin a few times per day so that people will come across it more easily. If you make it easy and simple for your readers to share, you will increase your social media shares in no time.

With so many blogs on the internet today, standing out isn’t so easy. While creating your posts, don’t be scared to let your personality show through. Writing in your own unique voice will really help you connect with your readers. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to making your blog more successful, but these basic tips will help you get started. As always, if you like what you read, please be social and share.

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Crowd Social Marketing

By: MJ Pedone

We’ve always trusted family and friends to give us recommendations. Now, marketers are finding ways to combine this age-old referral process with social media. It’s also called crowd-sourced marketing. This is where the social media “crowd” shares your content and conversations for free on a global web. According to a report by Nielsen, 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family as those are their trusted resources.

Use these social media tactics to reach prospects through digital “world of mouth”. This will amplify your leads, prospects and sales by tapping into the power of the online crowd.

  1. Go above and beyond realistic expectations

Exceeding expectations will always be the best way to earn referrals. Focus on establishing clear expectations and blowing them away before you dive into social media. Don’t promise anything that’s out of your scope or processes. A dedicated customer support staff is one way to communicate expectations. A personal connection is the best way to earn trust that will last after the buying process. Getting to the point where you discuss interests or even spend time together is the goal. This type of connection will make them feel comfortable with referring your service to others.

  1. Add Rich Pins on Pinterest

Tap into Pinterest’s 70 million users to increase referrals. Target added Rich Pins to their strategy and within the first six weeks, they had a 70 percent Pinterest referral increase, according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Rich Pins allow additional information to be included with a pin. The most effective Rich Pin for businesses is the product pin, which includes real time pricing and availability information, interested pinners get notified if a price drops. Follow the 80/20 rule, 20 percent of pins should be products. The other material should be inspiring and useful information for your audience. These pins will be shared at a higher rate and increase word of mouth marketing.

  1. Implement a Facebook referral promotion

Facebook has implemented changes to increase referrals with the popularity of mobile usage. The changes have been effective, a report from Shareaholic revealed referrals from Facebook have grown 48.85 percent since September and represented 17.41 percent of all website referrals in November.

A Facebook referral promotion is a strategy leveraged by companies to earn referrals. A referral promotion is created by offering a base reward, like a coupon, for any user who completes a sign-up process. The user then earns credits toward a greater reward, like a gift card, as he refers more people to enter the promotion. This earns word-of-mouth referrals as people discuss the prize at hand.

  1. Share industry insights on LinkedIn

Social Sharing Platform Buffer experienced a 4000 percent increase in blog referral traffic from Linkedin over the past year. This is credited to Linkedin being the third-fastest growing social network and Buffer’s update and sharing strategy. Linkedin reported 6 out of 10 users are interested in industry insights. Offering original research and industry wisdom will get people talking about your content. This conversation drives people to your website and locks in loyal readers. A customer is much more likely to use a service if they get value from the company’s blog and social pages.

  1. Create and promote giveaways and contests

Ask customers to provide leads in exchange for raffle tickets for a gadget, tablet or industry tool. This leads to referrals from customers familiar with your service and product. A Facebook contest is another great way to create buzz and bring in leads. Dove created the Real Beauty Should Be Shared contest where entrants shared stories of people who represent real beauty. User-generated contests take away the cost of a prize item and get people talking about your brand in a positive light.

  1. Create an internal sharing network

According to Jack Morton Worldwide, 49 percent of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness. Employees often have more robust and active social accounts than employers. Encourage employees to share company content with their personal network. This comes back to that 80/20 rule, don’t expect employees to share content if it’s constant promotion. An organized system for internal sharing is the social tool Addvocate. This makes content sharing user friendly and more effective with analytics.

  1. Update in time of crisis

The social media platform Buffer, faced a social-media crisis when their system was hacked in October. The company had to put their own social media advice to use. Users began tweeting and posting about spam and other issues. Buffer responded with a support tweet 16 minutes after the initial complaint. The reaction from customers was overwhelmingly positive and earned Buffer some positive press. When mistakes happen, be prepared to update customers of exactly what happened and what you’re doing to correct the situation. This creates a positive memory despite a negative circumstance.

  1. Ask for referrals on social media and return the favor

It’s essential to consistently ask for referrals. This seems obvious but 72 percent of marketers still don’t recognize and leverage the value of customer referrals, according to research by Loyalty 360.

Asking over social media takes little time and clients will feel more obligated to respond to keep their account looking fresh. A referral request can be attached to any email or built into a PPC ad. However, offering an incentive will increase the conversion rate. Similar to a Facebook referral promotion, offer discounts or rewards for referral traffic. Think about colleagues and friends that could benefit from your client’s services. This quid pro quo effect increases the chance of a referral. 85 percent of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others. Use Facebook as a medium to promote your clients to others and the same will happen in return.

  1. Follow and engage in social conversations

You should already be engaging with the social media audience. Positive feedback is easy to handle, but responding to negative comments is warranted if validity is there. Companies like Zappos and LifeLock make a point to promptly respond to users on their Facebook pages. This strategy provides consistent customer service while increasing the brand’s buzz.

Fans recommending brands on Facebook do so because of either the quality of the product or based on the customer experience. 

   10. Identify influencers

Reaching out to the influential figures in your customer circles is the best free promotion available. Tools like Topsy and Followerwonk show the most-shared tweets and bloggers or executives with the largest social following. Make a connection with these influencers and show how your product provides value for their followers. This will provide target audience exposure that can’t be duplicated by another method. Pinbooster allows marketers to analyze their Pinterest campaign, identifying the most shared pins and highly influential pinners.

What have you found works for you to date? Have you been researching other social strategies? As always, I welcome all feedback and if you like what you read, be social and share.

 

Media Magnetism – 21st Century Publicity Foreword Written by MJ Pedone

About

About    Inspiration often arrives at unexpected moments and in diverse forms. Media Magnetism, for instance, owes its origins to a pack of Crest Glide dental floss.I had been sent by the local newspaper to do a feature story on the latest charity project of a prominent philanthropist. He graciously invited me to his office, pointed me to a comfortable chair and listened with interest to my prep-talk on how the interview would proceed as I set up my audio recording equipment on his desk.Within the first minute of my starting the tape, he casually reached into his shirt pocket and withdrew a white plastic container. I initially thought that it contained breath mints and was, thus, perplexed when he unspooled a long strand of dental floss. Having interviewed former smokers who occasionally rely on “props” to give their hands something to do, I assumed this was just one of the quirkier choices.

You can imagine my reaction when he began using it for its actual purpose. If you’ve ever tried to decipher what someone is saying when they’re in a cavernous mid-yawn, try doing it when they’re aggressively going after mystery particles on their back molars. Over the course of 20 minutes – although it seemed much longer – he not only executed an intensely methodical cleaning worthy of a dental hygienist but also deposited all of his floss shrapnel in a messy, discolored mound right next to my microphone. No matter how scintillating or insightful the takeaway value of the feature story which was subsequently published, I can no longer see this man’s name or hear about the good deeds of his organization without recalling that unflattering image and feeling instantly repulsed.

I’m guessing that’s probably not the message he was going for.

What possesses an otherwise articulate, intelligent and well groomed person to perform personal hygiene tasks in front of a total stranger?  Were his actions a purposeful show of disdain for media intrusions on his life? Did he have someplace else he had to be immediately after our appointment and was just multi-tasking to save a trip to the bathroom? Had I inadvertently donned my cloak of invisibility and caused him to think he was talking to himself?

You’re right. There is neither an acceptable excuse for the full-frontal floss fest nor a rewind button to pretend it didn’t happen.

Although he currently holds the unofficial record for bizarre interview behavior, he’s also by no means an isolated case when it comes to putting the wrong foot forward. Interactions with media professionals sometimes have a funny way of making people say too much, say too little, or fall victim to the conversational equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction. No matter how accomplished they are at running a business, raising money or engaging in creative endeavors such as writing or art, these talents may not be evident to the reading/watching/listening public if they’re predisposed to view every reporter as (1) their new best friend or (2) their worst enemy. In truth, reporters are neither one: they are just there to help you deliver the best possible story to your target audience.

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FOREWORD Written By: MJ Pedone

There has always been a certain stigma attached to “dream jobs” – acting, modeling, sports, advertising –  the type of professions that a lot of people wish they could have and, more often than not, mistakenly perceive as being more “fun” than actual “work.” Who wouldn’t, for instance, want to play exciting roles, be photographed in top designer clothes, play the same sport they’ve loved ever since they were kids, or schmooze with celebrity clients at the hippest restaurants and night clubs?

What you have to take into consideration, however, is that the general public usually only sees the finished product – the blockbuster movie at the Cineplex, the gorgeous spread in a fashion magazine or the success of a charity or red carpet event that raises big money and brings out the A-list stars. The fact that it looks like such a flawless presentation is a testament to how much time, effort and creativity took place behind the scenes, much more than most can even imagine.

This is the reason why I always say that people will never really know how long it takes you to do something; they will only know whether it has been done well. If you have ever opened a new business, you’ve probably already discovered that you can’t just send out one generic press release and wait for the world to beat a path to your door. In today’s competitive marketplace – and given the challenging economy – it requires a more aggressive approach if you want to make your brand a household name that stands out from the competition. What I call “backstage readiness” is not only the ability to understand how 21st century media really works but also how to deliver what it wants from you in a way that projects confidence, credibility and professionalism.

Like Christina Hamlett and the team of industry experts she has brought together to create Media Magnetism, I’m no stranger to the bounty of elements that contribute to a successful marketing/PR campaign. Yes, it’s exciting for me to do a job that I love all hours of the day and night and work with my A-list clientele in the entertainment and sports industry. My effectiveness, however  –  and, in fact, the effectiveness of anyone involved in media relations – is only as good as the clarity of the client’s message and our mutual understanding of the target demographic that particular message is intended to inspire.

Whether you’re a small business owner, a nonprofit organization or an artist with a new project to promote, understanding how to maximize the media resources available to you is the first step in moving your PR campaign forward, and that is whyMedia Magnetism is a must-read for all who are involved in any aspect of public relations. This book will be the reason why you earn the exposure and return-on-investment you seek for your clients. It will be the reason that members of the media will be excited to shine a spotlight on you and your company’s accomplishments. It will be the reason you succeed.

In closing, I’m humbled to have written this foreword and hope you enjoy what I consider to be one of the most informative communications books available to date.

MJ Pedone CEO & Publicist

Indra Public Relations – New York, NY