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Archive | August, 2018

Try To Be A Little Weirder

There is a school of thought that says when you are choosing a niche, find something small and highly targeted. And that can be great if you end up being the big fish in a little pond. But if another big fish comes along in that same pond – or worse yet, a whole school of big fish – then you’re in trouble.
Try To Be A Little Weirder
So here’s a thought – why not be a little fish in a big pond, but do it in such a way that you stand out like a neon red fish in a school of gray boring fish?
Let’s say you want to write a marketing blog – guess what? There are a million marketing blogs (or more) and the field is darn crowded. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are plenty of people who want to read about marketing every day – you just have to stand out from the crowd so they can find you.
So maybe instead of your niche being, “Great Marketing Ideas!” Or “Super Swell Marketing Tips!” your niche could be, “Marketing for Chiropractors Who Hate Marketing.” Or perhaps, “Marketing For Cookbook Authors.” See what’s happening? You’re in a HUGE niche, but you’ve carved it down to a very specific group within that niche.
Now that’s good, but it’s still not great. After all, they’re likely to visit you, but will they remember you? Will they race to open your email each time you send them something? Maybe. Maybe not. So what we need to do is kick it up another notch.
And this is where you get weird, my friend. Don’t worry – secretly we are ALL weird. Being “weird” simply means being “different” than the crowd. And online, that’s a really, really good thing.
Mind you, this advice goes for websites and products as well as blogs. Take this idea for example…
mentalfloss.com/article/23836/weird-website-week-selleck-waterfall-sandwich
This famed website was exclusively dedicated to 3 things: Tom Selleck, Waterfalls and Sandwiches. You’ll be surprised at all the different ways those 3 things can come together.
HA! Okay, I admit, I was having a little fun with you there. While that is an ACTUAL WEBSITE, it’s best used as an illustration of perhaps taking “weird” just a bit too far.
We simply want to go one step further to make our brand sticky in the minds of our visitors. You can do that with a memorable URL, such as EatMyFrog.com. Seriously, are you likely to forget “Eat My Frog dot com?” Not likely.
Another technique to set you apart and make yourself memorable is by adding some personality to your name.
And it’s easy to do – just give yourself a nickname. Is this weird? I hope so – after all, that is what we’re going for. Remember, “weird” = memorable.
Here are ideas for nicknames – take something about yourself, be it a past profession, a hobby, a physical feature, a personality quirk or whatever, and give yourself a name centered around that. Some examples:
Farming could be “Farm Girl” Truck driving – “The Mad Truck Driver” Ex Military – “Soldier Sue” or “Sailor Sam.” Physical features – “The Redhead” Hobbies – “Ski Fanatic” Foods You Love – “Tony Bagels”
Better still, nickname yourself after your Expertise. For example:
Mr. Googlehead for an SEO expert. Now when they get an email from “The Redhead” or “Mr. Googlehead,” they’re going to remember you, which means they are much more likely to open and read your email.
Now not only is your niche properly carved down to make you an important little fish in a big pond – you’re also a more MEMORABLE fish. Think it’s silly? Really, it’s just good marketing sense. You’re branding yourself to make yourself memorable – and memorable is good!

How to Add 836 Million Potential Readers To Your Website or Blog

English is a very common language, but Mandarin Chinese is even more common – to the tune of 836 million people (or more, depending on which source you use.)

How to Add 836 Million Potential Readers To Your Website or Blog

And you might want to consider other languages, too, such as…

Hindi (333 million)

Spanish (332 million)

English (322 million)

Bengali (189 million)

Arabic (186 million)

Russian (170 million)

Portuguese (170 million)

Japanese (125 million)

German (98 million)

French (72 million)

And it gets even more interesting. What percentage of online shoppers speak English? Probably 80-90%, right?

Actually no. So it must be 50-75% then?

You might think so, but no. The answer is just 27% of online shoppers speak English.

Can you see now why you might want to target other languages?

So how do you translate your website into another language? You might use Google Translate http://translate.google.com/translate_tools or any of the translating plug-ins that are available. Of course, these are only machine translations, and your results may vary. Sometimes wildly.

A better course of action is to hire someone off of the freelancing sites who is fluent in English and your language of choice.

Once you’ve got your website translated, you can then offer products in that language, including your own. Naturally you’ll want to get those translated as well.

Be sure to do research into the country you are targeting, just as if you were moving there. Find out what is important to them, what is offensive, who their celebrities are, what slang is commonly used, etc.

If you are really serious about marketing in this new country, you might want to learn the language. No, you don’t need to speak it fluently, you just need to be able to read and write it (easier than speaking.)

Find people you can trust, such as freelancers and even business partners native to that country or region.

And one more thing to consider: Keywords. Unfortunately, keywords don’t necessarily translate well, and so you may want to get some help with this as well for your multi-languange search engine optimization efforts.

Is Video Blogging A Good Idea? Maybe Not…

Which would you rather do – spend two hours thinking of a great blog post idea, researching that idea, writing the post and finally editing the post… or dashing off a video post in less than half the time?

Is Video Blogging A Good Idea? Maybe Not...

Heck, let’s be honest: If you’ve got a good idea and the ideas are flowing, you can dash off a video post in the same time it takes to make the recording. Post it to your blog, and you’re done.

No wonder why so many bloggers are turning to video.

Problem is, video is not the holy grail of blogging. In fact, if taken too far it can actually lead to the downfall of your blog (notice the crickets chirping, the tumble weeds, err, tumbling, etc.)

Here are five tips for using video on your blog without totally alienating your readers or camouflaging yourself from the search engines. Or more specifically, five reasons NOT to use video exclusively.

Video is no substitute for the written word (sorry!) Users don’t just want video. Visitors want a clear idea of what they’re about to see before they hit that play button. Not to mention the fact that many of your viewers aren’t at their computer, they’re mobile users who may or may not have a speedy connection. If they can at least read your story and then decide if your video is worth downloading, you have a better shot at capturing and holding their attention.

Obvious solution? Incorporate video and writing into your blogpost, not just video.

The search engines don’t know what you’re talking about. The day has not yet arrived that search engines can figure out the words spoken in your video. Thus, if you have video only, or video and poor content from an SEO stand point, then you might as well have donned a cloak of invisibility as far as the search engines are concerned.

Instead, you want to couple good writing that incorporates your SEO terms with your video. The two paired together make a smashing team and work hand-in-hand to make your blog post even better.

Lousy videos are, well, lousy. Okay, if you’re breaking a story in front of a burning building, you’re going to use your cell phone to take the video because that’s what you happened to have handy at the time. But if you’re in your office doing “how-to” kinds of videos, PLEASE invest in an inexpensive HD camcorder. Please. Your viewers will thank you.

Also, ad-libbing is something few people can get by with. Before you begin recording, make an outline of all your major points and post it right next to the camera so you don’t get lost and you don’t forget anything. Notice I said outline – writing it out word for word and then READING it is a big (HUGE!) no-no and will make your audience fall asleep faster than two blinks of the eye.

Please be aware of camera positioning. I recently saw a video on a major marketing website that was positioned on a coffee table and afforded a perfect crotch shot for the entire duration. Ewww.

One last thing – forget the umms, errrs, and ahhhs. If you need to pause for a second to think of a word, then just PAUSE. You do not need to fill in every second with sound, especially when that sound (um er ah) makes you sound like a bonafide rank amateur.

Hiding your content underneath your videos is not cool. Look, you want people to spend as much time as possible on your page, right? Then begin your post with written content and place your video within the content – not ahead of it. Your headline and lead-in should capture their attention enough to get them reading, and within the first 2-4 paragraphs you can reference the video. If they’re engaged, odds are they’ll read the rest of your post and then watch the video.

On the other hand, if the video appears first, then they will either watch the video and leave (they’ve seen the video, why read your content?) Or they’ll just leave because they don’t want to watch a video without first having a clue why they should bother.

Don’t over use video – think of video as an hors d’oeuvre or side dish, not the main course. Videos should be short – under 2 minutes whenever possible, and certainly under 5 minutes unless your content is drop-dead riveting.

Bottom line: Video is an excellent supplement to your blog, but it shouldn’t be the only thing on there. Provide plenty of SEO friendly content that grabs readers’ attention and you’ll keep visitors on your website longer and visiting more frequently, as well.

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