Exquisite Word Art Tool!

I’ve just discovered Wordle and I LOVE IT!  This is a wordle created from my Traci Gregory Blog:

Wordle: Trace

How To increase traffic to your WordPress blog

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress BlogMore Traffic

That’s what we all want, right?  That’s why we do this whole blogging thing . . . so more and more people will read what we’ve got.  We know that blogs get lots of love from the search engines, and we know that WordPress has lots of tools to help direct that traffic flow to our websites, but which ones of them work well, and work fast? Are there any that actually increase traffic to your wordpress blog?

Edward Burns, Nice Guy Johnny, powered by social media

My Hero: Edward Burns

He has a list of screen credits that is incredibly impressive, and he’s good lookin’. (You need to hear me say that with a Southern accent, it will mean more!) But the reason I want you to know about him in this moment is the way he has leveraged social media in his indy movie productions, and how very successful he’s been at it.

His new movie “Newlyweds” had a reported budget of only $9,000 which he tweeted was broken down into “5k for actors, 2k insurance, 2k food and drink. 9k in the can.”

He has a slick, sexy blog at http://www.edwardburns.net/

Edward Burns Website

Yeah, look closely. Built on WordPress. (just sayin’)

He posts to his Twitter @edward_burns (no college interns for him!), and has a Facebook page, that he uses to interact with fans.

And, of course, a YouTube Channel, edward burns films for the trailer and film information.

EVERYTHING I’ve told you you should be doing to promote your brand!

No more lectures; here’s the trailer from “Nice Guy Johnny” – it is funny, and touching. Watch the trailer; rent the flick from Netflix. And when you’re done, work on that social media campaign of yours!

Edward Burns is known for acting, but he writes, produces, directs

Edward Burns, a lesson in Social Media Promotion

In fact, his film credits are too many for me to list through the keyboard

Edward Burns Filmography

How to: Promotions on Facebook

Facebook SubscribeFacebook heresy

I’m going to commit Facebook heresy here and opine that the only people making money on Facebook (or off Facebook, if you want to take a more jaded view) are

  • the Zuck crew (Facebook itself),
  • brands that are already household words (Victoria’s Secret, for instance), and
  • people selling products to create a Facebook presence (I’m one of those)

I have a lot of clients who want to be on Facebook, because they see Facebook statistics like this:

Facebook user statistics june 2011

And they want to be in front of those 500,000,000 Facebook users.

What they don’t understand is that those 500,000,000 users have posts that are getting ahead of the message my clients are putting out!  Facebook is designed to be a moving, roiling, living thing, where updates are instant and whatever was posted five minutes ago has scrolled off-screen.  And if that weren’t enough, the Facebook gods have adjusted the display algorithms so that custom Facebook page messages are at the bottom of the heap.  Literally.

Real-Time Activity of Facebook Users

Facebook post activity june 2011

You’ve really got to have something to compete with 30,000,000,000 other posts.  Whattya got??

And, half the users on Facebook are on mobile devices:

Facebook statistics for mobile devices june 2011

You’re kidding yourself if you think these people are reading your posts.  They are POSTING to their facebook profiles, uploading photos and responding to messages they get from people the Facebook gods have deigned to place in their stream.  Comments on their posts, direct messages, when their posts are liked . . . IF they have that notification set up.  In reality, they may only be Posting to Facebook, not reading it.

Are you giving up on Facebook?

No Way.  I’m going to suggest that you use Facebook for what it is and leverage the strength of all those numbers up there to your advantage by making some changes to your website.

I’m talking about OpenGraph and the like button technology that Facebook introduced with Social Plugins. You can add these to websites, WordPress Blogs, even .mobi sites.  And they will bring you traffic.

Next up: Facebook to Page Creators: If You Can’t Run with the Big Dogs, Stay on the Porch!

Social Media Bottom Line: What do you get, and what does it cost?

Since we’re fast approaching 2011 and everyone looks at what they did this year and what they are going to do next year (and what it is all going to cost in time and money) we thought we’d do this piece on decision making for your social media brand.

There are multiple considerations; if you are looking to establish a social media plan, you could start here:

What are you trying to do?

  • Generate sales leads?
  • Promote your brand?
  • Get “into” social media?  Pointless, really, without an end result in mind.

How are you going to make this happen?

  • Who is going to do the work? Are you willing to do it yourself?  Assign it to an employee?
  • College Intern?  Bad Idea . . . really bad idea.
  • How long are you going to actively promote your social media campaign before you go to simply maintaining?
  • Longer is more costly, but what effect are you going to have on your goals if you throw money at your project for 30 days? None. And you’ll have that negative effect on your pocketbook.

We’ve learned that social media is beneficial in a cumulative fashion.

You aren’t really going to get hella results if you work on Facebook and Twitter for 30 days and then throw in the towel. Save your money if that’s your plan.

These are the services we offer, and typical pricing:

P/Mo or P/Un
Design a blog and launch, outsourced $1,000-$12,000
avg $3K to $5K
Design a blog and launch, some outsourcing $1,000-$8,000
avg $2K to $3.5K
Redesign an existing blog (3-6 mos) $1,000-$5,000
avg $2K to $4K
Create & introduce a new Twitter presence, outsourced $1,000-$7,500
avg $2K to $4K
Create and introduce a new Twitter presence, & provide ongoing training for company $1,000-$6,000
avg $1K to $3K
Re wicker an existing existing Twitter presence (3-6 mos) $1,000-$4,000
avg $1K to $2.5K
Limited coaching to improve Twitter success $1,000-$4,000
avg $1K to $2.5K
Design a Facebook Page and deploy, from the ground-up, outsourced including interaction with readers $2,000-$9,000
avg $2.5K to $5K
Design a Facebook Page and deploy, with limited training on interaction (3-6 mos) $2,000-$7,500
avg $2K to $4K
Design specific Social Media Strategy; outsource all content creation through all channels (min of 2, probability of 4 or less) $3,000-$20,000
avg $4K to $7K
Design of specific Social Media Strategy; outsource limited content creation; may include in house training (4-12 mos) $3,000-$15,000
avg $3K to $6K
Simple review of current Social Media Strategy with recommendations on how and where to improve your recognition $2,000-$10,000
avg $2K to $5K
Social Media Consulting Specific Topics $50-$500/Hr
avg $75 to $200

If these Consulting Fees make you a little weak in the knees, consider the preparation made before you see them or a proposal. Research about your company and what you are doing, perhaps research into your competitors and what they are doing.

For your eight hour consult, I could realistically have up to 40 hours invested at the end of the day. And that doesn’t include travel time, whether it is across town, or across the country.

Keep these in mind as you review your needs and your budget. If you’d like my assistance for your social media campaign, please email me for a custom quote.

If you build it, will they come? 3 of 3

 

You have to wonder if it is worth the struggle.

You have to work at being found: you have to work the SEO, the social media angle (Facebook, Twitter, et al) and create a community with which you interact.  And while you work to get your twitter followers above the number ten, and the people who get your feed in the thousands, you wonder if it is worth the struggle.

May I remind you of just a couple of bloggers who have gone on to other successes. The two that come to mind are:

Julie & Julia

A woman decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook, and blogs about it daily.  Goes to a book.  Book?  Book, movie, I’m surprised she’s not on a walking tour!

And then, a movie, by Jove.  I’ll admit, I had NO interest in the blog or the multitude of books.  I watched the movie, and while the Julia portion was wonderful(!) the Julie part could have been left on the cutting room floor.

But, do you think Julie Powell minds?  I certainly would not.  I’d take a book deal or a movie deal on any of the blogs I write on, and laugh all the way to the bank bad reviews or no.

Jen Lancaster

Our gal Jen wrote a blog (www.jennsylvania. com) which someone decided should be a book.  I read it,  “Bitter is the New Black” , and while some of it was funny, most of it was just plain mean.  Evidently that works for NAL, which is part of PenguinGroup.  And apparently she has arranged and rearranged her blog several times over, producing a new book every now and then . . . or taken snarky things she’s written since the first one was published to create the new ones.  She’s turned into a veritable industry of  . . . bitchiness.

Interestingly, jennsylvania isn’t so bitchy lately.  I don’t really believe what she says, in that I don’t believe she means it after having read her first book, but maybe it is a good thing for her karma to be putting nicer words out in the cosmos.

With those two success stories, you should realize that YOU can do anything.

 

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Internet 101: Flash vs. HTML

I continue to be amazed at the dollars people will throw at a website (especially a flash based website) with absolutely no idea what they’ve asked for and what they are getting. Or the disparity between the two.

Perhaps that is the reason those blog-in-a-box sites actually make money.  If you don’t know what you want, and really don’t know what you can get, those flash sites catch your eye (and hook your pocketbook) because they are such great eye candy.

And you think  “. . .  everyone who sees them will ooh, and ahh and want whatever it is I’ve got. . .”

Maybe they will.

Those people who see them.

And that’s the problem isn’t it?  Google doesn’t index movies.  The videos on YouTube and Vimeo are tagged with searchable information that will allow viewers to find you in the gazillion websites out there competing with you.

That gorgeous flash website you’ve got?  Does it have meta tags?  titles?  keywords? Text?  Spend the next ten minutes reading hard core SEO articles and then figure out how your site is ever going to have a visitor that didn’t type in (one letter at a time) your url.

Ain’t happening, baby.

And all that business you expect to get off the net?

Ditto, it ain’t happening either.

You like flash?  I love flash.  By all means use pieces of it.  But just like a site that is all text, no color, no pictures, no nothing, it isn’t going to get the job done for you.

But at least the text site that is boring will get indexed in the search engines; readers will be able to find it and actually visit.

. . . the flash site? Say it with me, it ain’t happening.

I don’t want to be a Rock Star!

You’re kidding, right? You don’t want to be a Rock Star?

I had an interesting talk with a client, who gave me a whole new appreciation of English as we know it.

I don’t want to be a RockStar!  I don’t want ‘fans’ ~~ I’m not a celebrity, and I don’t want to be.

As I explained to my slightly testy guy, I realized that I’ve adopted a vernacular meaningful to me (and other people in my life) but not necessarily to the people I want as clients.

I told him that “Blogging Like a RockStar” doesn’t include sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.  It is a phrase I’ve adopted that means one blogs like a professional, blogs and gets ‘buzz’; blogs and creates ‘google-juice. I consider it just more Web 2.0 jargon, as is the “Fan Page” on Facebook.

Ironically, FaceBook, in naming its company pages ‘Fan Pages’ has furthered that impression of performance-related media – that of a celebrity, or  . . . RockStar and not  an ordinary (or extraordinary) business page .

They (FaceBook) needed to name them something, and that’s what they picked. It is unfortunate, because by design it is a methodology designed for businesses in order for them to grow and nurture their own community within Facebook. They’re moving away from that name, but it is what we’ve got, and millions of FB users know what it is and what to expect from it.

So, I bid you, Blog like a RockStar! and get those Fan Pages at Facebook!  Become a star in your own right, whether you’re rockin’ or not.

As always,

Rock On!