28 March 2008

How to turn your Blog into a Blog Strategy

What differentiates a tactic from a strategy?

A strategy is the plan for achieving a defined goal. A tactic is the “doing” part of the strategy. Tactics can be put together in a plan to form a strategy.

Time line is also an important differentiator between a tactic and a strategy. A blog can be up and running in a very short time frame (hours or days). A Strategy usually takes much longer to achieve (months or years depending on how lofty your goals are).

This is the second in a 5 part series looking at Blog Strategy with a focus on Clients. In this post, I’m going to look at how to develop a Blog Strategy for your Client. What makes it a ‘Strategy’ versus just building your client a Blog?

Starting a new Blog is a tactical move. You select the platform, customize a template, add a few plug ins and you’re done. Maybe it will be a success, maybe it won’t.

What transforms a Blog from a tactical move to a Strategy are:
  1. Setting Goals and Objective(s)
  2. Developing an outlined plan of all the steps necessary to get there from here
  3. Having some idea of how you will know whether you’ve achieved your goals (metrics).

These principles apply to any Strategy, in this post I am going to take the above steps and apply it to a Blog.

1. Goals and Objectives
There are many good reasons for starting a Blog.
Having a good understanding of what you want to achieve will assist in setting the tone for your writing; determining what topics you’re going to write about; and making decisions about how often to Blog and whether you wish to have multiple authors.
It will also influence social networking decisions such as if you’re going to show and allow comments, if you’re going to employ social media tactics.

2. Outlined Plan
Getting the right level of detail in a plan is very important. I’m a visual person, so I like to start planning with a diagram
Here is where I currently am -> -> -> -> and this is where I want to get to.
Then I break this plan down into the high level steps that must happen to get me from A to B. Personally, I like to plan three levels deep. Steps A, B, C, then A1, A2, A3. then A1i, A1ii, etc.
By planning three levels deep, you can take big steps and break them down into bite sized, doable pieces. Unless you’re working on a 18 month IT project with 60 project members, I don’t recommend planning in much more detail than this.
Although detail is awesome, sometimes you can get caught spending too much time planning and not enough time doing (also known as Paralysis by Analysis).

3. Metrics
It’s important to make sure that your metrics are tied to your objectives. If your goal is to increase traffic then one of your metrics should be to measure increase in traffic.
Make sure that you set an actual number. Setting SMART objectives is very important. Jeff defined these principles really well in his post about setting goals for social media Profile Development.
It could be a percentage increase in overall site traffic or could be a 12 month goal. If you blow away your 12 month target by month 3, you can always adjust this goal later.

Here is a Blog Strategy for a Typical Client which employs all of the above:

Client Objective: My ultimate goal is to increase sales and I’d like to attract new customers to my website.
Agency Objective: We can use your blog to help bring new visitors to your website. If the ultimate goal is sales, then we will go after targeted traffic. Quality first, quantity if possible. (this is different than if your client is on a CPM model who strictly is going after eyeballs).

Outlined Plan (3 levels deep)
In this case I would optimize the site to help rank for many more broader keyword phrases than we’ve targeted in the past. Further social strategies will encourage referral traffic from like minded sites. Finally, niche tier II social media will expose your site to potential customers.
Here is the plan one level deep:
SEO –> Content –> Social Strategies –> Blog Promotion using niche social media
Taking it two more level deep it might look something like this:

1) SEO
Select an SEO friendly blog platform (like wordpress) and customize it so that it has the look and feel of the clients site. Add plug ins that will make it easier to do your job.

2) Content - Develop editorial schedule for next 3 months.

  • This will involve coming up with at least 15 to 60 Blog Post ideas that will appeal to your clients target market. I’ll be discussing how to come up with post ideas for Challenging Industries in Part III of this series, next week.
  • Decide who is going to be responsible for the writing. I really like it when the client does the writing. Not only does this keep the budget down but it starts the conversation between your client and their clients. Plus, they are the expert in their field. They know what matters to their clients.
  • Ideally you will be able to assign topics to various experts on the client side. Not only does this split up the work effort but it gives your client’s blog more variation in voices and content.
  • If the client is going to be doing the writing then some Blog Writing coaching is probably required. Writing a blog post is different than writing an article which is different than writing a business email.

3) Determine what Social Strategies you are going to employ.

  • The most common Social Strategy is to allow commenting on your site. I personally really like comments because take a one sided conversation and turn it into a dialog. Plus it can give your blog more of a community feel.
  • RSS Feeds are another social strategy. Your client’s readers may not be very technically savvy so it’s very important to make it easy to subscribe and to give the reader the choice of subscribing by email.
  • Linking out to other bloggers through your blog roll and in individual blog posts is also a good social strategy. When you link to another blogger you will get their attention. Chances are they will check out who is linking to them and if they like your blog they may subscribe to it. Or even link back to you in the future.
  • Further, by linking to authoritative bloggers in your industry, your readers will perceive you to be at their level, defined by the company we keep. It’s very important that these links make sense and that they add something to your ideas. Name dropping industry experts into your posts does not add to the quality of your post and will probably take away from your readers experience.

4) Promote the Blog using Niche Social Media

  • Research your clients industry to find social media sites that their potential clients may use. I.e. if your client’s product is helpful to the environment then environmentally conscious posts may appeal to the HUGG crowd.
  • Decide which posts would appeal to which social media. There is no point in spamming social media with every blog post your client writes. Only the really good posts that are on topic for that social property should be submitted. If your post is interesting to the social media’s target market then social media can drive quality traffic to your client’s site.

Make sure all the steps i the plan are mapped out into a process and that the process is communicated to everyone involved.

Forget about what all the experts say. Just ask your client “what would make you consider this a success?” You may have to coach your client to keep it reasonable but this is going to open up a very important dialog.
i.e. You want get more traffic to your site and you want some of it to convert. So we have two objectives here.

  • Quantity of traffic (this is going to build over time so I would set goals for this for 3months, 6 months, 12 months).
  • Quality traffic. Some of my favorite quality indicators include bounce rate, time spent on site, and number of pages visited.
  • Down the line you will want to start looking at how social measures like the comments your posts are generating and the number of RSS subscribers.

I’ll discuss what realistic measures are for your Clients Blog, in part four of this series.

A Blog without Objectives and a Plan is just a Tactic.
By breaking out the steps and assigning accountabilities & time lines to those steps you can take a tactic and turn it into a successful strategy for your client.

Jennifer Osborne writer and marketer for Search Engine People.

26 March 2008

Why Free Viral Promotion Makes Practical Sense - by Clive Anderson

First let us clarify. What is Viral Promotion.

Viral Promotion starts out in more or less the same way as most other forms of promoting online, except the deference soon becomes apparent from the moment you join. Most other traffic producing websites are one’s that you join or use for the production of your ads or websites, some free and some you have to pay for, but predominantly you use that program’s services to promote for you.

However, when you join a Viral Traffic generating program you are immediately faced with an altogether different set-up. First and foremost you will be expected to view six or seven websites that will give you a code to enter into the program once you have viewed the site for long enough. Secondly you will be expected to place your ad in section one (There can six or seven sections depending). This can be in the form of a simple single line ad or in most cases you can place a title and up to 500 characters in the main ad and of course your link or URL.

This now becomes your advertising board. By starting to promote the actual program itself, which can be done in numerous ways you will be gaining not only views of the program, but also your ad on the front page (Ads in Viral Traffic programs tend to be displayed on the front page that is seen when advertised).

When someone joins that program they will be expected to follow the same process as you did, except this time when they view the first website it will be your website from your ad. (So the more you promote the program the more times your ad and website will be seen).

It doesn’t end there. By you promoting the program and gaining sign-ups yourself these people’s ads will be placed in section one and yours will be moved down to section two. Lets say it is a rainy season and you only managed to get ten sign-ups personally. That would equate to your website being seen by just ten people. And say those ten people only managed to duplicate the same as you did. Well that is a hundred more people that have seen your website. Now if those hundred duplicated with just ten sign-ups then that means your website has just been seen by at least a thousand people and we are only up to section three.

Bearing in mind all you have done is gained ten sign-ups. Here’s where it really starts to get going because those thousand are only going to get ten sign-ups also, but that does mean your website has now been seen by a staggering ten thousand people.

Going to section five is going to give you (On top of all the website views you have already received) one hundred thousand website visitors and as if that wasn’t going enough to blow your website out of the water, by the time your all done at the end of section six over one million people will have seen your website and many more than that who didn’t join will have seen your ad.

One million website visitors just by getting the ball rolling with ten people joining below you. I think anyone would have to agree that by any standard the Viral marketing process is a marvel to behold. Just imagine if that first ten was in fact thirty five or even one hundred people and it doesn’t even have to stop there.

Now obviously with numbers like that involved it is not going to happen overnight. No, in fact it will probably take a good few months if not several to start seeing the really big numbers of visitors, but once that avalanche starts to roll there’ll be no stopping it from there on in.

On top of that there is the added bonus of knowing that no-matter what kind of website you plug into a system such as this it is going to be successful. Even if it is only a $7 product that you are selling.

Further more, imagine getting involved with four or five such systems, the end results are un-imaginable.

A real scenario where the results far outweigh any amount of effort that it would take.

Still think free viral promotion isn’t worth the effort – Think Again…


Imagine if there was one single place where you could activate not one of these type of program’s, not two but five. And imagine if that place had every conceivable free promotion system all set-up and ready to go with materials and everything you would need to make them all work. That place really does exist. It has just had the finishing touches added and is now available to everyone absolutely free of charge.

If you wish to check it out for yourself, please feel free by using the link Below:


So, How The System Works?

Here's a Graphical Example :

First Phase: Webmasters signup on your level 1

Next Phase: Your "Level 1 Webmasters" promote their FreeViral pages

Next Phase: Your "Level 1 Webmasters" build their downline (and yours!)

Matured Phase: You have a HUGE dowline (which never stops growing!)

Not only does it really work, but it really works Very Well.


Kind REgards

Clive Anderson
The Smart Markters Solution

23 March 2008

Make More Money, Sell PPC Ads on Facebook!

Pay per click ads have been widely used in the internet marketing world and they are probably the most used types of Internet advertising among online marketers. It is one of the effective methods for driving a lot of targeted traffic to websites and producing good return on investment (ROI) for many Internet businesses.

Today, the very popular social networking site, Facebook.com also offers Facebook Ads. It is a pay per click advertisement that any Facebook users can try. If you want to use the Facebook Ads to increase your website traffic and revenue, the first thing you must know is how to create an appealing Facebook Ads that will attract people to click on it.

A good Facebook PPC advertisement is the one that will be able to grab people's attention and to achieve that you will have to create something catchy and flashy in your ad. You must remember that people will only click on Internet ads that truly catch their attention.

Also, you have to remember that when people login to their Facebook account, most of them will be interested just in checking out what's new in their account or what's happening with their network of friends. They will always want to socialize with other Facebook users who have the similar interest.

Now, let’s talk about creating a PPC advertisement in Facebook Ads, your main task is to take away people's fixed intention (as mentioned above) when they visit Facebook or login to their profile and make them take some time to take a look at your Facebook PPC ad and click on it.

Creating a good pay per click advertisement on Facebook Ads isn’t difficult. You just need some creativity. For instance: If you are trying to market your Nokia cell phones or any kind of electronic items that people would definitely love to have, you might want to try advertising "Want an Nokia Cell Phone at a Cheap Price?".

For this type of example, you may need to spend some time to identify your target customers. For electronic products, the target customers will be those people in college or people between the ages of 18 to 25. You must remember that youngsters today love to buy cheap and cool electronic products.

You can also add a picture of the cell phone to attract more potential customers to view your ad. Visual advertising (ads with photo and graphic) will definitely more effective in catching people's attention compared with the traditional Internet text advertising.

Besides, you should have a strong selling point. Don't just tell people to find out your offer, you should give them a good reason why they should check out what you have to offer. You need to study your target customers and do some researches find out what they need and what they really want.

These are just some of the things that you need to know about advertising in Facebook. By keeping these tips in mind and applying them when your are starting a Facebook Ads campaign, you will find that they will help you a lot in creating a successful Facebook marketing campaign that will increase your online business exposure and generate more sales for you.

16 March 2008

New Effective Internet Marketing Tools & Blogging Resouces

New Internet marketing tools are coming online each and every day. Why should you care? Mainly because these new marketing tools can have a dramatic impact on your online traffic, leads and sales. So much so, your online competitiveness can greatly depend on you finding and using these new marketing tools before everyone else does.

And as Internet marketing grows more and more lucrative, it is becoming more competitive each day, so staying aware of what's happening has become vital to your online success. More importantly, if you're a full-time marketer like me, your livelihood will largely depend upon you being able to keep on top of all the new ways of marketing on the web.

With these considerations in mind, I would like to líst some new or relatively new marketing tools that have been effective for me in my online marketíng. Some of these are marketing software, others are SEO strategies, marketing tips and the like... all have helped me achieve my online goals.

Here are some new marketing tools you can try:

1. Real Link Finder

Neil Shearing's "RealLinkFinder" is a handy little link-building tool you can use to increase your link popularity and SE rankings.

It lets you find targeted blogs that don't have the "nofollow" attribute tag so your links will count in all the search engines. Great way to build targeted links related to your site's main keywords or keyword phrases. This is one "No Cöst" link-building tool you should try.

2. Peel Away Ads

Simple ads which sit at the corner of any webpage, when a cursor hovers over the pulsating image - the page peels away to reveal your ad or promotion. Might seem a bit gimmicky, but like the pop-up or fade-in, they do work. You do get more sign-ups and sales. http://www.pealawayads.com/

3. Video Marketing

Using videos as marketing tools has now become commonplace on the web. If you're not promoting with videos, you are losing a large portion of the online traffic or surfers currently on the web.

Even using videos to explain your site or product will increase your conversions and sign-ups. Viral videos embedded with your links or site url can produce results when placed on YouTube or Google Videos. If you need help, one recent commercial product has been from Simon Grabowski (GetResponse) called TalkStream, which lets you put streaming audio and video on your sites. Just google to find it.

4. Social Media Bookmarks/Tags

One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the rise in importance and use of social bookmarking sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Technorati... these sites are now commanding huge traffic numbers and should not be ignored in your online marketíng.

You must connect your content with these sites. This is very simple to do since social media sites use tags, which are more or less simple keywords that help classify content and links. If you're using the popular Wordpress blog software, each category will be considered a tag.

You can create a simple tag in technorati by using this code:

5. Social Bookmarking Buttons

One of the easiest way I found to get your blog popular on internet is by putting the social bookmarking buttons.

These buttons are easy to install and effective for blog promotion or I can say 'Necessary' for it. You can find the code to add all popular bookmarking buttons in my following post:

How To Add Popular Social Bookmarking Service's Links in Blogger - All In One Code Provided!

6. Blogs RSS Feeds

Likewise, you must have a blog and RSS Feed associated with your site or product. It is vital that you take advantage of this technology to get your content broadcasted across the web and around the world.

RSS is only simple code that syndicates your content to all interested parties; it originally stood for "Rich Site Summary" and was a way of summarizing your content and broadcasting it. Most people now refer to RSS as Really Simple Syndication. You need a "newsreader" or aggregator such as Newsgator, Google Reader, My Yahoo! or Feed Demon to access all your feeds.

One little blog traffic tool I find helpful is John Reese's BlogRush, which helps syndicate your blog posts on other blogs.

7. Expert Marketing

Another effective way to market online or off is to promote/prove yourself as an expert in your chosen field. Creating articles, ebooks, websites on a subject that interests you will make you an expert. Once you gain credibility as an expert, your marketing will become much easier.

Some obvious places to help build this credibility would be Ezinearticles, SelfGrowth, Ideamarketers... I have found these places are excellent for getting your name and your content noticed.

8. Long Tail Niche Marketing

One of the most effective ways to market online is to use long tail keywords in your niche market. This simply means instead of targeting very general and very competitive keywords, you target less competitive long tail keywords in a smaller niche market.

I have found this tactic especially good for affiliate marketing, and the trick is to find the exact long tail phrase someone is using in the search engines and then construct content/url to match it. I find Brad Callen's Keyword Elite software program extremely helpful in finding those long tail keywords.

9. Guru Fast-track

One of the fastest and quickest ways to earn large amounts online is to hook up with big marketing GURUs and use their huge contact lists. If you have a high quality info product, then JVs (joint ventures) with these savvy marketers can be a very viable option for you to try.

These marketing gurus or experts are valuable marketing tools you can use to your advantage. Granted, their aggressive marketing methods do turn many people off, but there's no denying their methods do work.

10. Micro-List Marketing

Micro-List Building is one of the most effective online marketíng tools you can use. Quite frankly, I have found building a large opt-ín líst is not the real key to online wealth but instead creating small micro lists for each of your promoted products to be much more effective. You can have hundreds, even thousands of these different micro-lists. Use an unlímited autoresponder program like Aweber to handle and manage all these lists.

Studies have shown interested customers may not buy on the first visit, that it may take up to six or seven reminders. So keeping in contact with an interested customer, one who is looking and in the right mindset to buy, will definitely increase your sales.

Here, rather then the hard-sell, the emphasis should be on collecting contacts in order to give them helpful informative content on the product they're interested in buying. Supplying quality content should be your main goal; let the selling take care of itself. If you get the first part right, the sale will come naturally.

In conclusion, you must remember when dealing with such a complex creature as Internet marketing, in most cases there's no one single marketing tool that will do the job. Instead you need a whole orchestra of tools working together in order to make your online marketíng the most effective. So why not try some of these tools in your own online marketíng and see the results for yourself. You have everything to gain.

About The AuthorThe author:
A former artist and teacher, is now a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites, including two sites on Internet marketing. For the latest web marketing tools try: BizwareMagic or MarketingToolGuide2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

07 March 2008

Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less, Part 1

Blogs have been around long enough to become standard elements of the web landscape. They're easy to construct and manage, they create fresh, user-generated content and, if well-executed, blogs draw crowds and the attention of search engines.

Whether starting out with a new domain name, or a domain that's been around for a decade, you can rank your blog on Google if you just do what Google wants you to do. So here are 25/50 tips to get your blog ranked by the world's biggest SE.

50. Build a blog or move to Wordpress. ( However, I do not agree on this )
Wordpress is a blog platform that's open source (free), robust, extensible and easy to use. Add Feedburner, which equips site owners to broadcast RSS feeds and develop user metrics. Next, synch up Google Analytics and a sitemap plug-in to simplify populating the blog and developing useful, actionable metrics. Also, make sure your blog is pinging http://www.technoratti.com/ and other social-ranking sites like http://www.digg.com/.

49. Don't worry about page rank.
PR is highly over-rated as a yardstick of online success. Connectivity within a web community and expansion through content syndication and guest blogging are more critical to building site credibility than page rank. PR will take care of itself over time if you do it right.

48. Make a difference, or at least have a clear purpose.
Differentiate your content on every post. Cover lots of editorial ground.

47. Use a conversational tone.
Dry, starchy academic writing is strictly for the textbooks. Write words that people "hear" instead of read.

46. Provide a "Tell Your Friends" link on your blog.
Birds of a feather do, indeed, flock together. So, if one of your regulars shares an interest in philately, chances are s/he has other friends with an interest in stamp collecting.

45. Study the competition.
They're studying you. Check out spyfu.com to do a little undercover work on search analytics employed by competitor sites and their visitors. You can't touch the content but you can't copyright an idea, either, so pick up some new paths of thought from others in your site's arena.

44. Remember SEO basics.
Use provocative, keyword-rich title tags, meta keywords and descriptions, and only link to high-quality sites. Never over do it. Keep your posts relevant, natural, accurate and, above all, current.

43. Don't stuff blog post titles with keywords.
It's a form of keyword stuffing and spiders hate keyword stuffing. The ratio in headlines should be 40% keywords, 60% non-keywords.

42. Submit your URL to blog directories.
There are "best of the web," and paid directories, like Yahoo, and free directories like the Open Directory project at www.dmoz.org. Every directory listing is another link to your site and another way visitors can find you. Just google them to find more.

41. Create blog categories that contain keywords,
i.e., Ecommerce, SEO, Affiliates, etc. for use with a "site hosting" or "site design" blog.

40. Content quality counts.
Research topics about which target readers want to learn. Write something new, useful and relevant. And don't forget to regularly update older posts. Things change fast on the web so last year's "next big thing" is this year's hackneyed cliché.

39. Vary topics, content length, relevancy and posting times.
However, be consistent, as well. Keep blogging. It can take time for a blog to catch the notice of a search engine spider.

38. Get guest bloggers.
Add links from their blogs and establish your site's link community. There are people within your web neighborhood with opinions and good information. Contact them to invite submissions to your blog and your site in general.

37. Don't use duplicate content.
The only duplicate content that appears in your blog posts are quotes, and they should be identified with quotation marks. If you are using duplicate content, make sure to give a decent Link Back to the origin of Author.

36. Call posters by name.
If Bob M. from Athens, Georgia, posts to your blog, recognize his contribution with a "Thanks, Bob" at the end of your response.

35. Make friends with other bloggers in your commercial, business or NFP space.
Ask to become a guest blogger, or seek endorsements from the "names" within your site sphere.

34. Send a personal note to posters.
Not all bloggers have the time to do this but if you can send a personal email thank-you note to a poster, you've increased the chances of that poster becoming a member of your site community.

33. Encourage viral link building.
Take a stand. Introduce the coming paradigm shift in web commerce, provoke controversy. It sells. Just ask Ann Coulter.

32. Ensure the blog is optimized for Technoratti.
Claim your blog, set an avatar and pings, use tags where appropriate and be sure to ping various blog tracking sites.

31. Don't place ads on your blog, yet.
If you feel you must (you're seeing nice PPC revenues), determine that your site's HTML is optimized to position those ads at the bottom of each blog page.

30. If your blog isn't pulling,
have the code reproduced so it's as semantic, accessible and code-to-content optimized as possible. Also, hire a code expert to position content above ads or any other content in the site markup.

29. Ignore Alexa.
A lot of new site owners rely on Alexa for site metrics but remember, Alexa is a popularity metric since only Alexa toolbar users contribute data – and that's a less-than-universal test population.

28. Build credibility.
Publishing authorities on your site's topicality usually does the trick. Once blog credibility is established, identify trends, solve new problems and gradually expand the topic range of your blog.

27. Buy or build a screamin' hot blog design and submit it to design galleries.
Hire a site/blog designer, or bring your vision to fruition. This enables your blog to appear five or six demographic iterations from your home site, expanding the site's reach outside the immediate site community. This creates new marketing channels fast.

26. Develop some friendly contacts on social media sites and participate in the community.
Ask contacts to promote your blog content. Also ask for contributors. People love to express their opinions.

This is the first half edittion of "Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less". The Second Part is now available: Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less - Part II.
Do not forget to bookmark this page or Subcribe to my Feed to stay updated!

About The Author:
Frederick Townes in the owner of W3 EDGE Web Design. W3 EDGE is a Boston web design company that specializes in search engine friendly design, Internet marketing and conversion optimization. Contact them today for a quotation and more information on how to make the most of your online presence.

03 March 2008

Build Technorati Rank and Increase Your Traffic

Technorati rank is a very important factor to focus on along with your traffic. Building technorati rank can do a lot to build your blog visibility, for this reason alone you should work to get your rank and authority as high as possible.

If you have a blog but you have not claimed it yet at Technorati, then you should do this immediately. All you to do is to register and claim you blog.

Once you have claimed your blog you will get a “rank”. The rank depends on how many other blogs or sites linked to your blog and your content (of course, to increase you Technorati rank, also the blogs that link to yours have to be claimed at Technorati by their owners).

Let’s take Reviewme.com as an example, the price you will recieve for a paid review on your blog is calculated using 3 factors: Technorati rank, Alexa rank and estimated RSS. Even if you have a low value for “estimated RSS” and a low “Alexa rank”, you could increase your Technorati rank to force “Reviewme” to increase the price for a paid review on your blog.

So! What can we do to Build Technorati Rank?

Here are some simple Tips!

Technorati Favorites Exchange:

  1. Add me to your technorati favorites and comment here with your technorati fav. link - I’ll add you too. Add to Technorati Favorites.
  2. Make a post like this one – for technorati favorites exchange.
  3. Post the link to your post in another comment here – so all who are interested in exchanging here will know about your offer too.
  4. Don’t forget to fav. back!

02 March 2008

21 Traffic Triggers for Social Media Marketing

What does it take to have a huge web traffic breakthrough?

In order to produce a single piece of content that brings in dramatic amounts of traffic, you should aim to fulfill an existing psychological need. Aiming at root needs can be more powerful than simply stimulating desire, because you need people to feel compelled to share.

For example, you’ll see plenty of advice telling you to praise Apple or bash George Bush if you want to get on the Digg home page. But why not dig a little deeper?

Try examining the underlying needs that are being addressed by popular content. Then develop something unique that strikes a subconscious chord and satisfies a genetically-programmed craving that gets people talking, linking, bookmarking and Digging.

Here’s an alphabetized checklist of 21 psychological triggers that you can consult when trying to craft breakthrough content that spreads throughout the social media landscape and brings in big traffic. You’ll find more great insight into human psychology over at Changing Minds.

Beautiful design, photography, illustration, music… all have a tendency to attract attention and prompt sharing. True beauty is rare, which triggers the scarcity principle that creates desire and discussion.

The need to belong is fundamental. Content that demonstrates that the author belongs in the same group with the target audience is highly influential, and the fear of not belonging often prompts a bandwagon effect.

Certainty has to do with our need to understand, predict and control, even if it’s ultimately an illusion. Breakthrough content can either reassure people about an uncertain situation, thereby restoring normalcy, or it can challenge existing notions and create unsettling confusion that you cure with a unique solution.

In order to feel happy, we need new challenges that push us, but not so much that we cannot adapt. Challenge your audience, but make sure that you don’t go to the point where they are overwhelmed and discouraged.

We hear all the time that people need closure. However, many very persuasive people know that withholding closure is a masterful way of getting what you want. Finding a way to create a huge cliffhanger could create huge buzz.

No one likes to think of themselves as a conformist, but conformity is a huge psychological need that ties in directly to belonging. Letting people know that both you and they “fit in” can cause a strong connection with your content.

Society considers inconsistent people as “confused,” “irresponsible,” and often “incapable,” despite the fact that Ermerson wisely said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” How did the “John Kerry is a flip-flopper” meme gain so much traction and ruin his chances for election?

The need for control is huge, and you can actually benefit from increasing a reader’s perceived sense of it. Deliver new choices, or give up control of something yourself and hand it over to the audience. Think about Darren Rowse’s group writing projects… relinquishment of control to his readers resulted in massive attention for him.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can lead to killer content. Fascinate readers with content that sparks questions in their minds and overwhelms them with possibilities, and there’s a good chance they’ll want to add to the conversation and spread the word.

Self-esteem determines how we regard ourselves, and we look internally and externally for cues that determine our level of esteem. Content that makes people feel good about themselves is always popular. And while it can be tricky, strategically catering to the esteem needs of prominent bloggers can result in beneficial traffic effects as well.

We all try to explain things to others to demonstrate our expertise, but think about satisfying others by explaining something about them. Resolving self-doubt with beneficial explanations of behavior can trigger feelings of belonging and conformity to those who might feel otherwise.

There’s a reason why the Bible’s Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is also a powerful rule of secular society. People have strong reactions to unfairness, so identifying an injustice or rectifying one will get people’s attention.

While we don’t always take very good care of ourselves, our own health is a fundamental root need. There’s a reason why health is an industry unto itself, but if you can credibly create content that uniquely addresses health issues, people will take notice.

Content that either facilitates or challenges a reader’s identity—their concept of who they are and who they want to be—has an opportunity to gain major traction. Steve Pavlina knew what he was doing when he started writing personal development content for “smart people”.

Novelty is much more than something trivial; it’s actually a fundamental human need that literally makes life worth living. Novel content seems to drive most of the traffic on the web, but realize that anything that breaks up routine, alleviates boredom and challenges people will be greatly appreciated.

Predictability is highly related to control, and yet acts as the enemy of novelty. Doing something unpredictable is a great way to be remarkable, but many people don’t realize that if you go too far and make people uncomfortable, you’re alienating people by damaging their sense of control and consistency.

Repeat after me: People need repetition, especially to learn. If you’re developing exceptional tutorial content that you hope will get you noticed, your results will improve when people effectively absorb your lessons. Repeat key points to aid the reader and leave them with a positive impression that prompts them to spread the word.

Challenge someone’s physical or psychological security and safety, and they’ll drop everything and focus on the threat. Some people, groups or governments maintain constant fear with vague threats to safety, but you’ll be better served by catching attention with the threat and then providing a real solution that alleviates the fear, if possible.

The very pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is self-actualization. Inspiring people to achieve the ultimate person they want to be takes the need for identity to its transformative conclusion.

Writers and other content creators who can communicate with clarity provide people with the understanding they need to make sense of life. Find a way to get to the very heart of a complex matter in a simple, straight-forward manner, and people will happily point others your way.

Information marketing is the ultimate win-win situation, because people love to be supplied with the resources they need to be a winner in business, relationships, and life. If you provide the means for others to improve themselves and their situations, the natural result will be a vast improvement in your own situation as well. Wake up every morning thinking about how you can deliver insane value to others, and I guarantee you’ll find success.


Name: Brian Clark
Url : http://www.copyblogger.com/

Everything in the Digg, Reddit & Netscape Algorithms

At work today, Matt noted that he found Digg's algorithm far more interesting than Google's. I was shocked - after all, Digg isn't nearly as complex or widely used as Google, but with its rising popularity in the tech space, I could, at least, empathize with why he might feel that way. I also took it as a challenge to expose all the possible elements that might be in an algorithm at Digg, Reddit, Netscape, Shoutwire or other social-news-voting sites. Let's see how I do:

BTW - I'm going to use a lot of Digg-specific terminology, despite the fact that I'm referring to all of the sites above.

1. Number of votes over time

  • Uses a floating target based on relative levels of popularity (as mentioned in timing below)

  • Any number of votes in a very short period (if not manipulative) is stronger than the same number of votes over a longer period.

2. Domain of link

  • Has it previously had content submitted? If so, did that content receive votes, get marked as spam/lame, make the front page, etc?

  • Has the domain been manually/automatically flagged for being manipulative

3. Profile of submitter

  • Have they submitted high quality stories in the past?

  • Have they submitted spam/lame stories in the past?

  • How many friends do they have? This could make it harder or easier to get a story Dugg (harder if they have thousands of friends, but possibly easier if they have at least a few)

  • How many submissions have they made? What is their success rate?

  • How long has the member been around? New registrants could be a clear sign of spam

4. Profiles of voters (as above)

5. Timing of submission

  • If a low number of stories have recently made the front page in a given sector or overall, the story is more likely to get on top with fewer votes

  • If a high number of recent submissions, the opposite may be true

  • Time of day - if 50 people all tag a site at 3:00am, that might be a red flag

6. Similarity to other links (duplicate)

7. Source of votes

  • From the same IP address or IP block

  • From the same geographic region (that's not a hotspot for Digg users)

  • From the same group as has voted on previous content from a domain or string of domains

  • From a group of users who aren't regular participants/voters

8. Manual review as it hits the homepage

  • Many Digg users may not realize it, but all stories to hit the frontpage get a manual, editorial review that may pull the story. This often happens with content the editors feel is marketing-focused, driven by marketing dollars or has a marketing agenda.

  • Reddit does this, too, but it's not instantaneous

  • Netscape used to do it, but some have speculated the the level of oversight fluctuates

  • As a quick example, Brian Clark (of Copyblogger) had this post hit Digg's homepage last week for a scant minute or so before the editors pulled it.

9. Number of comments

  • Potentially could be used to detect patterns, though I've seen a lot of Dugg stories that had very few comments, so this might not be a great signal

10. Number of views

  • An abnormally high ratio of views with few Diggs could mean that people aren't fans of the content

  • In my opinion, this is a low signal, and down votes or lame/spam would earn more weight in bringing down a story

11. Down votes

  • Although Digg doesn't specifically have them, Reddit does and surely uses them as an influential factor

  • Digg, Netscape and Shoutwire all use flag systems which could be similarly interpreted

12. Source of Votes

  • I suspect that Digg would follow how users normally reach pages (through friends, via direct links, via email/type-in, etc.)
  • If an abnormally high number of folks came via an uncommon method to a Digg page (for example, with no referring URL, possibly signifying a mass email or IM link), Digg might want to discount the value of those votes

In a wonderful irony, the Digg website appears to have crashed tonight (a likely cause could be the new re-design, which Neil details at SELand).

So, what do you think? Are there other elements you'd consider having in your own social media voting site? Any obvious ones I neglected to mention?

What are Entre Cards? SEO & Traffic Benefits using Entre Cards!

What Is Entre Cards ?

Entrecard is a new advertising technique that can be very profitable if used correctly. It's best perks are, it's Free, easy to use, and doesn't take alot of time. It gives you the ability to advertise on more popular sites such as the John Chow site. Now let me show exactly how to use Entre Card, Step by Step.

Get It Now!

First go to the homepage Entrecard, and sign up for an account (the signup process is very straightforward).

How To Use Entre Cards?

Then click in the top corner for Dashboard. This is the page where you can see who is advertising on your site. It will show your credits and how much it costs to put an ad on your site. The website is based off of credits. You are awarded them for various things such as people advertising on your site. An important note; save up your credits! Don't waste them on smaller sites. That was a mistake I made when I first started using Entrecard, and I learned that those sites don't get any traffic, so it's not worth the time or credits. Save up credits, and advertise on bigger and better sites, ones with lots of traffic to give.

After you have seen your dashboard, click on Campaign. There you can see all the blogs you can post on. Like I said, I wouldn't advertise on the smaller sites… anything 30 credits or under. When you first make the account you will receive a flood of ads; you must approve all of them so you can receive the credits, and this way the cost to advertise on your site will go up.

Wait until you have over 30 credits before you start looking for a site to advertise on. Just because a site costs a lot of credits doesn't mean it gets a lot of traffic, so make sure that the site is well-to-do as well. If it's a blogger, then you can click "see my complete profile" to get an estimate about how popular the site is. If it is it's own Url then check the site for any type of hint at the amount of traffic. If you can't find one don't worry, if it costs alot, generally it's a powerful site.

Make sure you look back every couple days to approve ads on your site, (this gives you credits), and to see what your balance is up to. You should receive an email every time you get an ad, so that should save time.

SEO Advantage and Traffic via Entre Cards

And there's Entre Card for you. I've stressed this already, but be patient, and advertise on a big site. Maybe this will be the traffic that pulls your blog out of the common pack, and starts generating consistent traffic and building more backlinks, helping you increase your Link Popularity in search engines.