Promoting Your Content

How Many Articles Can I Peruse in a Workday?

how many articles can i read in a dayAnd Can I Finish This Blog Post Before My Fiance Goes to Bed?

It seriously freaks me out when my fiance goes to bed before me. I have no idea why. He's just going to the next room and won't even completely close the day because the cat needs to be able to go in and out. But, I can't stand the notion of him asleep before me, with all of the lights out in the rest of the apartment. It's too much. I don't like it. When he shuts the light off by desk and I hear that 'click,' I start winding down as quickly as possible (not the right way to wind down, I know) so I can go to bed as soon as I can. It just feels late when he goes to bed before me and it feels like a sign I just shouldn't be up too much longer or else bad things will happen.

Anyway... Articles!

So, my first step to hustling is to get a record outside of our app and CMS of every article that we cover. We easily cover 400 stories a day: 20 to 30 stories per vertical plus another 100 or so for top news. No, I'm not going to read all 400 of those articles each day. That's not possible. But, a Google Sheet for each vertical with an easy glance at that day's 20 or 30 stories is much more digestible. With an easy glance of the source link and the description, I can pick out a couple of stories that look extra interesting or that look like they may have excellent facts, quotes or statistics that would make great social media content.

To build social media communities and, ultimately, fuel growth and get installs, our channels needs to present more online than what we're doing now. Our Twitter handles need to offer more than the lede sentence and the link to the update. The main handle needs to do more than tweet a lede and the original source link with the author tagged. All of that content is great, but because it's not much different from what's offered in the apps, there's little value in both downloading the app(s) and in following us on social media. Sure, someone may miss the story on the app and then catch on Twitter, or vice versa, but even that's kind of a poor value proposition. A major factor in making social media work for you is to have content tailored to the platform, where even though we're sharing the same story across Facebook, Twitter on our app, it should not look identical across the three platforms.

Separate Content for Our Newsletter

With the stories in a Google Sheet, I can avoid looking at the updates directly to have a fresh interpretation of the articles. A fresh interpretation is needed for our upcoming newsletter, although I do not know exactly the contents of this newsletter. I sent a survey to our mailing list since we haven't emailed them in over a year (hey, it wasn't my list to begin with, so I didn't have any idea who was on this list or why they were there). This survey asked how often they'd like the newsletter, what they would like it in and why they signed up in the first place. From the responses I've received, it's looking like this will be a weekly email that features summaries of our top stories. To be able to put such a newsletter together, I need to know everything we've covered for the week and then decide our top drones story, our top video games and a couple of our top breaking stories etc.

Getting this done shouldn't be a problem. The next step now is learning first-hand how many articles I can peruse in a given amount of time. Today, I'm going to give myself one hour and see how many articles I can get through. The day afterward, I may do 90 minutes or two hours, depending on my schedule and how well today goes. The goal is to see if this is a viable solution to a) finding great social media content in the stories we already cover and b) useful in finding ideas to cover for the upcoming newsletter.

If it doesn't work, then I'm not sure what I would do. At the moment, I need to be able to do this on my own.

Should I Put My Blog Posts on Medium?

should i put my post son Medium?Medium, if you don't know, is an open, easy-to-use platform where anyone can create an account to start writing and to share that writing with the world. Awesome, well known people like Barack Obama and Gary Vaynerchuk have used the platform to publish content, as well as plenty of not-so-awesome, not-so-well known folks. One strategy that many writers and marketers employ is publishing content first on their blog or website and then publishing it again on Medium a bit later with a link back to the original piece (or no link sometimes). Medium has incredible reach, and allows bloggers and writers to upload their own, previous published content with no consequences. So, I wonder, should I put my blog posts on Medium?

I Have More Than 500 Published Posts On This Blog

With more than 500 posts over the course of four or five years, it would seem like I shouldn't need the reach or any additional help. Anyone who has been writing that much for that long ought to have plenty of followers and ought to have quite a niche built out for them.

Unfortunately, that's not the case.

All the blogging was in a whole lot of fits and starts, and is also an archive of several different blogs, since many of the posts were from my freelancing blog and my two business blogs as well as anything that I decided to write for personal purposes. There's not a whole lot of cohesion to the content or to the process of writing all of the 500 posts. I somehow just happened to write all of it over the span of a few years.

However, many of these posts are just getting dusty. They were great, on point blog posts when I wrote them and they got a lot of traffic when they were originally on the business blog. But, the posts aren't doing much for me now. Yes, I do need to go back and update the information, make sure the links still work, pick a new photo and clean up the SEO portion of it. It's very possible the fact that I haven't done all that yet is hurting. With all this in mind, post my content on Medium may be a good thing to do with old content.

I'm Hesitant Because of the Decentralization

I'm concerned about doing this because I don't own Medium, and therefore I give up control of my content when I put in on Medium. If Medium shuts down, then all that content is gone. If Medium decides it's great, then they'll feature the post and promote it. If not, then they aren't going to do anything to help my content reach the people I want it to reach. If a post does really well on Medium, then I can't guarantee that those people will associate the work with me and the brand that I'm trying to build. It may increase my audience for a day, but I won't know for sure how many of those people will stick around and will read my next post or be interested in anything else that I might have to offer. At least when you promote and share your content on social media, you have a little bit more control then on platforms like Medium and LinkedIn.

Overall, it might be worth trying Medium with a couple of posts, just to see how it works and to see if I like it. Everyone talks about how great the platform is and the potential and exposure it gives people. As I said in a previous blog post, I just need to start talking and stop worrying about all sorts of little things that don't matter in the long run.

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Working to Monetize Your Content

monetizing your contentFor some blogs and online publications, there comes a point where you transition from a hobby to a source of income. On the surface, monetization is easy. There are methods that are simple to implement and to maintain. However, making money from your content can also mean making pennies per day, or making hundreds of dollars per day. To do the latter, refraining from the most common mistakes in this process is key. Here are three pitfalls to avoid when thinking about monetizing your content and putting those ideas into motion:

Only Using One Method of Monetization

When blog owners and website owners make this transition, one of the biggest mistakes in monetization is only focusing on only one way to make money from your content. Most often, the focus ends up strictly on advertising or strictly on affiliate marketing. For example, an emphasis on affiliate marketing means a need to create content that reviews/features products that offer the commission, and not creating content doesn't review or feature products. The problem with this focus is that it can force blogs and online publications to make advertising or affiliate marketing work, sometimes to the detriment of the brand, the content, or even the owner. Having only one method of making money puts so much pressure on having that method succeed. Even though you want it to succeed, having a variety of monetization methods also ensures that you can pick and choose the ones that work best for your brand, and also ensures you're not out of sources in case on fails.

If you need ideas to vary your sources of revenue (and varying your sources of revenue is a good thing), then below are few monetization methods to consider:

  • Affiliate Links
  • Adsense Ads
  • Other Paid Advertisements, such as Display Advertising or Video Advertising
  • Paid Text Links
  • Direct Product Sales (whether your own or someone else’s)
  • Subscriptions

Going Overboard with Any One Method

Yes, banner ads can be a very lucrative way to monetize your blog, but you don't want to have too many banner ads on any one page. People are overloaded as it is on digital advertising, and you certainly don't want to look like this website, which has an average of 21 ad impressions on any one page, and this number doesn't include video ads and contextual text ads. Even if a website like that one has multiple methods of generating revenue, the inundation of banner ads is enough to scare readers away and to make it difficult for your other methods to make any money.

However, this holds true with any of the methods mentioned above. With affiliate links, you don't want to promote every single product in existence. Too many paid links make the text unreadable, while stressing product sales gives the impression that you care more about sales than about your readers. Without readers, your blog or online publication doesn't really exist, and going overboard with any one method will frighten the very thing that you need to have to make money in the first place.

Starting Too Early

If you love blogging, then it's tempting to start monetizing it right away so that it can be your blog can be your full time job, as working from home every day to write sounds fantastic. It is fantastic, but it's also hard work. Therefore, do the hard work first, and then think about monetizing. You need great content, lots of readers, and a community before you can even think about monetization. Without those three things, you don't have much to monetize and you don't have much to offer advertisers, affiliate marketers, or even the audience for direct product sales. A community and great content take time to develop, and when you put revenue into the mix, the blog is no longer fun and it becomes much more than you bargained for when you wanted to stay home and write everyday. Write first. Prove you have something worth selling and monetizing, and then monetize your content.

Monetizing your content can make or break your blog or online publication. Do it wrong, and you risk losing all the work you've done up to this point because priorities changed and maybe changed for the wrong reasons. Do it right, and the hard work can pay off, literally. Avoiding these three pitfalls will ensure that the decision to start making money is a calculated one and is a decision that isn't going to jeopardize the digital brand you've built.

Improving Your SEO in Mobile Marketing

improving your seo mobile marketingPeople are already shopping on their mobile phones, tweeting from their mobile phones, and using their mobile phones to find jobs, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that people are using their phones to search online as well. Of smartphone users, 71 percent run a mobile search when they see an ad online, on television, or in print. The question is: are you picking the right keywords to reach them in your mobile marketing campaign? Just like with your regular website and with any other online marketing tactic or campaign, you need to think about the keywords you are targeting with your mobile website and in mobile marketing as well. Besides thinking abou it, you need to take the time to do research while improving your SEO every step of the way.

Thinking about Keywords in Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Mobile marketing campaign? Isn’t it good enough that I have keywords on my website and blog? Well, no, because those searching on a mobile phone have very different motivations, and are under very different circumstances than someone who’s searching on a desktop or laptop. For example, those in front of a monitor may be more interested in making pizza, while those on the street searching on a mobile phone may be more interested in eating pizza and finding a good restaurant. In picking the right keywords for your mobile marketing campaign, businesses need to think about what the needs are of the potential customer on the street, searching for the thing he or she needs right then and there.

Fortunately, Google’s Keyword Tool has the option of checking keywords based on mobile search volume. In the advanced settings right underneath where you would type in your keyword or phrase, simple change ‘Devices’ to “all mobile devices”. You may find that popular keywords on desktops and laptops aren’t that popular on mobile devices. But, you will be able to find the keywords that are commonly searched for on mobile devices.

Why Mobile SEO is Incredibly Important

Internal Google data found that searches from mobile devices grew 130 percent year by year. On top of that, 59 percent of shoppers said they plan to use mobile searches to facilitate their holiday shopping. If your business has not yet paid attention to mobile searches and mobile keywords, now is the best time to do so. The holiday season is just around the corner, and the back to school season serves as a perfect time for you to test certain keywords and mobile marketing campaigns. This way, you can spend the time in between improving your SEO and better preparing yourself for the holiday season.

Mobile users conduct searches on their phones with the intent of visiting your store and making a purchase soon, if not immediately. If you have the perfect Christmas gift on your shelf, wouldn’t you want these people to know? If people are using their tablets to look up different services for their home or their businesses, wouldn't you want your company to come up in those searches? The best way to start is to think about what these mobile searchers would be looking for, and making sure you’re the one they find by picking the right keywords for your mobile marketing campaign.

Related Links:

5 Mistakes Businesses Make in Keyword Research

Starting a Website: Why Every Business Needs One

5 Big Components of Keyword Strategy