Content generation using Tweets

Writing tweets is a great way for content generation when you need to write blog posts.  For example, the idea for this blog post came from a tweet.

Original tweet: “Writing tweets can help you come up with blog post ideas.”

Rather than trying to figure out what to write for blog posts.  When I feel inspired, I will sit down and write hundreds of tweets.  Since I maintain several blogs, what works for me is a “brain dump”.  Some people do better when they tune into one blog at a time.  Whatever works for you is perfect!

Side note: When I write tweets, I keep it around 125 characters even though Twitter allows 140 characters per Tweet.  This will allow space for others to retweet your post or make comments.  I often add an URL to the tweet so the extra room allows for it.

Here’s my typical routine:

1.  “Brain dump” a bunch of tweets in a word document.

2.  I will go through the list afterwards and sort them out.  The Spiritual tweets will go on my personal blog or Center Of Oneness.  and of course, the online marketing tweets go here on DIY Online Solutions.

3.  Once I divide them up, I rearrange them depending on what my marketing strategies are that week.

4.  I then link blog posts, images or videos  to the appropriate tweets.  Write new blog posts depending on what inspires me. Usually 3 non-linked tweets to 1 link for my websites.  You will have to try out various formula depending on when and how often you tweet.

5.  Upload your tweets to your automated system.

 

Note:  I use HootSuite.com  as my auto tweet delivery system.  Typically, I’d suggest the free version.  In this case, be sure to sign up for the $9.99/mo membership.  It’s worth the investment and will save you more than $10 worth of time each month.  You can add a person on your team to assist you with the management of the account without giving out your information. If you don’t have an assistant right now.  It’s good to set up your system in preparation for future growth.  Switching to new systems while you grow sucks!  Been there.  Done that.  Won’t do it again!  Hootsuit.com is the best social media management tool out there today that offers management to G+ accounts.  I do have to say, even they are not perfectly linked with G+.  But good enough for something that’s new in the market.  I have confidence it will improve soon.  Best of all, you can bulk upload your social media posts (350 across your social media accounts).  *That* alone will save you tons of time!  Although I miss Social Oomph where I can bulk load years of tweets, Hootsuite.com covers a bigger range in online marketing and is more economical.

 

 

 

 

 

Call to Action

The marketing concept of Call to Action can be frightening.  Perhaps you’re already scared to share you Wisdom and expertise online, now you need to ask the Readers to do something after reading your blog posts?  Your first reaction may be “No F’ing Way!”  Your second reaction may be “That’s not why I write and share!”

Okay, let’s first address objection #1: “No F’ing Way!”

Have no fear.  Call to Action doesn’t  always mean you’re selling something.  You are simply inviting your Readers to go to step #2, if they want to.  and if they don’t, that’s okay too!  Let’s look at 3 scenarios.

Case #1: You are actually asking them to check out your products/ services.  Understand that your Call to Action is only in the invitation to check out your product or services. You did not tell them they have to buy. Trust that your customers and readers always have choices.   They do not need you to worry about them.  When we are writing blog posts, we are in the marketing stage.  Selling doesn’t start until they arrive on the sales page.  In marketing, all you can do is lead them to what you have to offer.  Hopefully, they will find that your product can be of benefit in their lives and purchase.

If you feel there’s something missing in the link between marketing and sales conversion, try working backwards.  Try listing 10 things you absolutely LOVE about your product and talk about these 10 things in 10 different blog posts.  Never talk about why they should buy.  It doesn’t matter.  They can decide that for themselves…  But you can certainly share why you really really really love the product.  Be authentic.  If you don’t love your own product.  No one else will.   Marketing and Branding is about inspiration; not about sales.

Case #2:  You’re asking Readers to sign up in your Newsletter so that they are notified of new posts. As far as I’m concerned, you are offering your Readers a free service while you gather important information about your marketing efforts.

With busy lives now days, no one really has the time to come back to your site to check out your work each week.  It’s rarely because they do not like you, it’s only because they forget.  With a simple opt-in system, you remind them when a new post is out.  Those who are not into what you write won’t sign up anyway.  In that case, it should tell you something about the blog posts in relationships to your business.

Analyze the material you’re sharing.  Study demographics and the target market  will help you serve others better.  This data is not a judgment on your abilities but a wealth of information to tell you what’s effective.  Marketing is easy.  Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.

Case #3:  You are simply offering them more freebies.  Whatever it is, Call to Action only means that you’re offering more stuff outside of this blog post.  Who doesn’t want more?  This can be a free download.  It can be another blog post providing more information and knowledge on the same topic.  Whatever it is, have no fear in offering more freebies!  If you are afraid of Giving.  You may also be afraid of Receiving.  When in doubt, give!  Give with love, peace and gratitude.  Watch your marketing efforts shift right in front of your eyes.  This is a great way to start practicing Call to Action.  You’re giving people stuff…it totally takes the pressure off!

Objection #2: That’s not why I write and share!  

I’m not trying to be mean here but I really feel like I have to.   So, give me a Moment to be a little blunt!   Get out of Entrepreneurship and proceed in finding a 9 to 5 job or volunteer work.  We write blogs for our business sites to generate leads and ultimately convert them into sales.  Granted, the old way of pushy sales is not effective.  Certainly will get you nowhere online.  Writing blog posts is one of the most effective ways to build a solid relationship online.  You are inviting your prospective clients to get to know you before you do business together.  If one of my Clients insists that their goal is not sales conversion at the end of the day, I’d have to ask you Why are they in business?

Whatever you choose is absolutely perfect.  Hey, I meet the most wonderful people in the non-profit sector.  I’d urge you to take the immediate action of switching your business blog to a hobby or personal blog.  I guarantee you will be happier in life!

Please remember…

As we develop a marketing plan, our first priority is to allow people to find out on their own how we can serve them; benefit their lifestyle.  If they feel inspired, they will likely want to check out your products and services.  The marketing process is simply a filtering process.  Out of 1000 people who are willing to hear what you have to share, maybe 100 will feel inspired to check out your product.  and depending on what your product/ service is, maybe on 1 or 99 people will be purchasing.  For example, everyone uses toilet paper…chances are if the pricing is right, 99 will buy.  If you’re selling a rare collection of ancient rocks, maybe on 1 will purchase.

See marketing and sales as a numbers game while you’re offering material and gifts to the World.   Yes, we are here to serve the World.  However, while serving the World, we are also here to secure our own lifestyle so that we can give even more!

 

Search Engine Optimization- SEO Onsite Linking Techniques

One of the easiest thing to do for SEO is the practice of one or two consistent Onsite Linking Strategies in your blog posts.

Onsite Linking is where you insert hyperlinks in the blog post you’re writing that will lead people to view other posts or pages on your site.  For example (see images below), you’ve seen blog posts where there are links from a certain word or phrase.  Or you may see a link for an invitation to view another related post or direct you to an upcoming event that’s posted elsewhere on the same site.  The biggest benefit of onsite linking is that people stay on your site longer and view more pages.   Both are great for what I called “SEO Points”.

Here are a couple of techniques you can use right away…

#1 SEO Onsite Linking Technique:

Linking a particular word or phrase to a previous blog post.

I’m going to use the post I’m writing right now as an example.  Let’s say my focus is about sharing a couple of techniques on Onsite Linking Strategies.   That goes in the How category.

However, in this blog post, I happened to touch on Why these strategies are beneficial for SEO in a couple of places.

As I’m writing this post, I realized that it’d really benefit readers if I put up a link to the Logic behind SEO blog post I wrote so those interested have easy access to that post after reading this one.

Here’s the logic behind this:

For those who only care about the How’s, asking them to sit through another 500 words of  the Why can create a miserable reading experience.   For those who are curious about the Why, I’ve made it simple for them to explore this further by putting up a link.  This will serve the group who only care about the How’s.  and this will also benefit the group who want to know about the Why’s.

 

#2 SEO Onsite Linking Technique:

You can link related posts or an event/ page you’d like others to visit at the end of your post.

There’s nothing wrong closing your posts with a “Call to Action“.  You can ask people to make comments, visit another page or come to an upcoming workshop.  It really depends on how comfortable you are with these techniques and the relationship you have with your readers.

For the most part, my readers know me to be blunt and many know me from live workshops.  So, I’ve developed a trusting relationship where they know I’m a straight shooter; what you see is what you get.  and I feel very comfortable with the “Call to Action” concept.  Only you can decide what feels right for you.

The easiest way to used to this technique is by posting links to related material on the bottom of each blog post.  Say something like, “If you enjoy this blog post, you may be interested in:” and list 2-3 links that may help the Readers find what they need.  Make sure links are established and tested so that they have easy access.  Remember, it’s about providing your Readers an effortless experience on your site.

Final thoughts…

When I was in marketing, I absolutely loved social media.  There’s still a time and place for Twitter, Youtube and Facebook.   I will always have a special spot in my heart for the tweet-tweets!   But the more I’m in the space of building my Online Spiritual Community, the more I feel in alignment with SEO- Search Engine Optimization.   The energy in SEO strategies are calmer.  It allows site visitors to choose how they want to experience your site and connect with you.

Also, a quick note on Onsite Linking Strategies.  They are meant to be references and support to what you’re writing.   They are not meant to be abused by having 9 links in a 10-word sentence.   Go with what feels natural in the flow of your blog post.

The SEO point system encourages authenticity, passion, and community.   Keep these 3 things in mind, you will absolutely succeed in SEO over a constant period.  and also know that sometimes, there’s simply isn’t anything to link.  and that’s okay too!

Have fun with this!

 

FREE SEO Plugin (Search Engine Optimization) for WordPress

For all those who know me, you know I can be cheap sometimes!  I’m kinda proud of it.  There are times you need to invest money into a business.  There are also times to watch your BottomLine.  Generating incoming cashflow is one thing but being able to manage outgoing is a totally different game.  So, I’m going to show you how you can save money today by using a FREE SEO plugin to boost your Search Engine Results.

One of my favorite FREE plugins for WordPress is the WordPress SEO Plugin.  The great thing about using WordPress for your website and blogging platform is that it pretty much does 80% of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for you already.  Basically, with solid content, consistency and a few simple strategies you can rank high on Google and other Search Engines just the same as what experts can do for you.

By all means, there are many other SEO strategies beyond what this plugin can provide.  A good SEO plan takes in-depth marketing research and keyword analysis.  However, this plugin can get you started until you get to a point where you decide to invest money for SEO and Marketing Experts to take that load off of your shoulders.  After all, you have other business decisions to focus on.  and it would be neat if you can concentrate on your craft, what you are passionate about, rather than doing this “stuff” you really do not care about but know it’s necessary in today’s business world.

Knowing what’s available to you and what tools can do for you is a great way not only helps you manage outgoing cashflow in the beginning but it also educate you so that when it’s time to interview for marketing and SEO assistance, you know what you want and who to hire.

One of the major things Google looks at is how long you’ve been active online.  Yes, I said active.  Not a dead static page with no visitors and no activities.  But something that generates public interest.  So, even if you think you are not sure what to do and it’s too big of a task, just know that by doing something, no matter how small, you’re already earning those SEO points.  So, take action today!

Download WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast today.  It’s simple.  It’s free.  It’s amazing!

http://yoast.com/wordpress/

WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)

Most people consider WordPress to be simply blogging software. This is understandable as it is the best software I’ve found for this purpose. But it is not limited to the realm of blogging alone.

WordPress logo

With a little bit of time and know-how, as well as the right plug-ins and theme, WordPress can be used as a Content Management System to great effect. In fact, the DIYOnlineSolutions.com web site that you are reading is a good example. We’ve set up a number of pages presenting our products, services and capabilities, as well as using the blogging capabilities of WordPress to provide new content and help in Search Engine Optimization ranking.

When starting out with a CMS-style WordPress installation, you should carefully consider the content that you want to present. This should be done anyway, whether you’re building a traditional HTML site, using WordPress or any other CMS software. Organize your important content into a few pages. Usually no more than five or six pages are required for this but be sure to use as little duplicate wording between the pages as possible. At a minimum, you would want, 1) a Home page that viewers would go to when they first come to the site, 2) a Products or Services page, 3) an About Us page introducing your company and giving reasons why your customers should work with you and only you, 4) a Contact Us page to invite your new customers to get in touch and ask more specific questions about your products and services. If you have a large number of products with distinct categories, you may consider using separate pages for each — but again be very careful about duplicated content, as that can harm your SEO ranking.

Once you have your pages set up the way you want them, start blogging. Even for businesses, blogging can be an important part of your site’s strategy and content for a few reasons. First and foremost, regularly posting new content to your web sites causes the search engines to notice. The more often you create new content on your site, the more often the search engines will come and crawl it. If they’re crawling your site often that means that your new content is getting into the search engine indexes faster. And the faster your content gets into the indexes, the faster it will be available to your viewers when they search for it.

Secondly is the human factor. Blog posts have the effect of creating a more natural interaction between your company and your viewers. Rather than having a bunch of “marketing speak” on your pages, you can create more casual content which many viewers today find more appealing.

And thirdly, blog posts invite customer interaction. When you post something about a new product or a recent event that your company participated in, your viewers can comment on it. Viewer comments not only add to your site’s ever changing content, but make them feel like they’re important to your company’s success.

WordPress is a powerful system. With a little know-how and the right plug-ins, this power can be extended to the use of driving your entire web site with a professional look and ease of use for your customers. And with WordPress being free along with so many useful plug-ins — why spend thousands of dollars having a custom web site developed when WordPress can do the job just as well? And with some of the web sites I’ve seen — do it even better.

What Are WordPress Plugins

vLog with the 2 nerds, Jennifer Cloake and Dave Jesch…in a segment of Forbidden Love- Tech and Marketing Series.

So what are WordPress Plugins?

Plugins are tools that allow you to change the behavior of WordPress.

What can plugins do?

Plugins are used to make WordPress do what you need it to do and customize it for your business.

Plugins can do anything from adding Google Analytics to your web pages, or adding an entire shopping cart to your WordPress web site.

Still have questions on plugins?  Feel free to Ask Jenn

HTML Meta Tags

Someone was asking the other day how our Facebook Like WordPress Plugin is different from others. So I started explaining  how the plugin writes so called “meta tags” into the HTML headers- something I haven’t seen in others.

When describing meta tags, most people’s eyes sort of glaze over. They don’t really know what they are and yet they are an important part of SEO- Search Engine Optimization. So I thought I’d give a little bit of detail on them.

What are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are HTML. They’re found in the <head> section at the top of your page. Meta tags take the following form:

  <meta name=”{type}” content=”{contents}” />

So that’s what meta tags are — that’s great. But what do they do?

How Are Meta Tags Used

Meta tags are used by search engines to help determine what your web site is about. They give information on the contents of the page, how the page should be indexed and the preferred URL to use when referring to the page.

Types of Meta Tags

There are four basic meta tags types that are in common use. There are actually dozens of them, some not important and some obsolete. They are:

  • Description – Describe page; 250 characters.
    This tag is used to fill in the description that is listed in the search engine’s results page. The description tags is not required. If you do not declare one, then the search engines will create a description from the contents of your page. So if you want to be able to specify exactly what your page’s content is about, then you should use one.
    Example: <meta name=”description” content=”This is my description.” />
  • Keywords – Declare keywords; 25 words or phrases.
    This tag is used to help describe the keywords that you are targeting for your page. Most web crawlers (the programs that scour the Internet for content to add to search engine indexes.) now ignore this tag, so it is considered of lesser importance. This is because most search engines today look at the contents of your page in order to find the keywords.
    Example: <meta name=”keywords” content=”comma,separated,keywords.” />
  • Canonical – Specify Canonical URL
    This tag is used to describe the recommended URL to use for the current page. This tag is used when you are displaying content in multiple ways, such as an archive page of blog posts, and the individual blog posts. Why is this important? It helps to guide the search engines to a single URL as the source of the content — otherwise the search engines would see the same content in multiple places and think that you’re repeating yourself. The Canonical meta tag can also be used to tell the search engines what your preferred domain is, as in domain.com or www.domain.com.
    Example: <meta name=”canonical” content=”http://www.mydomain.com” />
  • Robots – Declare Search Engine indexing behavior
    This tag is used by the search engines to determine what actions should be taken with the current page’s content. Some of the values that can be put in the content area are “follow” and “index.” If you want search engines to index your page, use the “index” directive. If you don’t want the page to be indexed, you can use “noindex.” The “follow” directive tells search engines to follow the links on this page in order to find more pages to include in their indexes. The default values are “index, follow” — so if that’s what you want, you don’t need to specify a robots meta tag.
    Example: <meta name=”robots” content=”index,nofollow” />

As mentioned before, there are other meta tags and their names can be almost anything. Most of these other tags are used for very specialized search engines. An example of this would be the “abstract” tag, which was originally intended to indicate the abstract, or short description of a professional paper or thesis. It’s not wrong to use these other meta tags but they should be used when actually necessary. Otherwise, they will only cause your web pages to increase in size but provide very little value.

The meta tags used for the Facebook Like WordPress plugin are only used by Facebook to get additional information about the page in order to add that information to someone Facebook News Feeds. If your pages are not using the Facebook Like Plugin, there is no reason to include these tags. If you’re curious about what these tags look like you can read Facebook’s Documentation on the Social Graph, which is what they call their Like button feature.

How to Add Meta Tags to Your Blog

There are numerous WordPress plugins that you can use that give you control over the meta tags for your site. The one I feel that works best is the All in One SEO Pack. This plugin allows you to fill in keywords and descriptions as well as specify any additional meta tags that may be required by your site.

Conclusion

Meta tags are not difficult to use. With the proper WordPress plugin, you can have control over the contents of your meta tags and be able to describe your pages and content to the search engines to work for your SEO strategy.