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8 Shocking Revelations About Me

Category : blogging

10

Okay, so they aren’t really shocking and they aren’t really revelations (just taking a stab at a tabloid-style heading). They are simply 8 random facts about me – The Lonely Marketer. I know this has been floating around the blogosphere for awhile now, but since Daniel Sitter of Idea Sellers tagged me I thought I’d take a break from marketing for one day and participate. So here goes – 8 completely random facts about me.

  • I met my wife in London, England during a semester of college at the University of London. Ironically, we were from the same college in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • I was in attendance for Game 7 of the 1987 World Series when the Minnesota Twins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. I remember every inning to this day and have been a huge baseball fan ever since. (and I fully support using tax payer money for a new Twins stadium)
  • My favorite magazines are Kiplingers, Money, Business 2.0, Sports Illustrated, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company.
  • Two of my favorite foods are tacos and sushi (and I grew up in Minnesota!).
  • The best series of books I’ve ever read is the Stephen King Dark Tower series. I’m excited for the day when I start them all over again.
  • Visiting baseball stadiums in other cities is a huge thrill for me. Next up is Shea Stadium in New York!
  • I once could do an extremely realistic loon call. Loons would actually call back – no joking! I know – very odd. (the loon is Minnesota’s state bird)
  • Blogging has completely changed my perspective on business and marketing.

I’ve seen so many people participate in this that I can’t imagine I’d be able to find 8 people to tag so I’m going to opt out of the tagging. But, if you’d like to jump in consider this a tag – I’d love to learn more about you!


Allow Me To Introduce You To…

Category : blogging, search engine marketing

13

I walked away from the recent SES conference with tons of great information that will help me in my job. On top of that, I also went home having gotten to know some really great people. Getting to know these folks was very gratifying on both a personal and professional level! It just so happens that they also have some great blogs that you’re going to want to check out. In no particular order, they are:

Matt McGee of Small Business SEM: If you read this site often, you know I’ve mentioned Matt and his site many times. I’d already met Matt but truly enjoyed getting to know him better last week. His site is an excellent resource for any size company looking to better optimize their search marketing. He also has written extensively about local search.

Stoney deGeyter, Diana Adams, and Rob Woods of E-Marketing Performance: What a great crew from Pole Position Marketing! They were among the great people that I met and hung out with during the week. Their blog is a great compilation of everything search and online marketing. Everything from advertising to link building to PPC to usability can be found on this site! Check out their company as well – they’re a full service search marketing firm.

Jennifer Laycock and Robert Clough of Search Engine Guide: One of the first blogs I ever read! Even with 100s of more blogs added to my feed reader since then, they’re still a daily stop for me. If you have never visited their site, you need to start doing so now. They’re great people with an incredible perspective on business and life – very refreshing!

Simon Heseltine of SearchEngineTigers.com: Simon is the author of the Search Engine Tigers search marketing blog and also works for RedBoots Marketing Consultants. Simon does a great job of following current social media and marketing trends on his blog. He also has a great personality and is a very easy person to be around!

David Wallace of SearcRank Blog: It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with David and his wife Irma at the conference. David has been blogging since 2004 and started SearchRank consulting in 1997. Needless to say when David starts taking about search marketing, your ears perk up. Check out his site to tap into some of that knowledge!

Chris Winfield and Danielle Winfield of 10e20: Chris and Danielle are great people who run a very successful Internet marketing business in New York. Their blog has topics ranging from social media to Photoshop design work. Chris is my new go-to guy for everything social media! Take some time to check out their vast experience and services at 10e20!

Darcy Hill of Traffic Leader: What a character! Darcy couples a great sense of humor with a vast knowledge of the search marketing/SEO industry. His blog – MrRex Sez – is a perfect example of that. I’m very much looking forward to another conference down the road with Darcy!

As you can see I had the chance to meet incredible people who have already given me new insights. What a great benefit of attending conferences!


Blogging For Business And The M20 Blogs

Category : blogging

7

twofingers.jpgI wanted to plug two great efforts in the blog world that I’ve come across in the last week. I haven’t done one of my larger blog post recaps in a few weeks, but I wanted to pass on two very worthy articles.

First, over at the Create Business Growth blog, Christine has a great series running about using your blog knowledge to make money. We talk alot about the usual efforts of placing ads on blogs, but she’s actually talking about the opportunity out there to offer blog setup and related services to businesses or individuals. I couldn’t agree more with what she’s writing. This also speaks to the momentum that social media has going into new BtoC and BtoB marketplaces – many more businesses wondering how to enter social media. So far, she’s written part one and part two. I’m sure part three is coming soon – check it out!

I also want to highlight Peter Kim and a great effort he has started. He’s created a list – called the M20 blogs – based on some unique measurements that ranks blogs written by client-side marketing professionals. There are great marketing sites authored by agency professionals, but as Peter points out, us client-side marketers have a little different spin and twist on some common marketing themes. I was lucky enough to be included and am currently holding the 9th spot. Be sure to check out Peter’s formula for ranking the M20 blogs. Here’s the list so far:

  1. ExperienceCurve :: 74
  2. Strategic Public Relations :: 70
  3. Listen Up! :: 57
  4. BeRelevant! :: 51
  5. Marketing Nirvana :: 49
  6. Conversation Agent :: 49
  7. Todd And – The Power To Connect :: 48
  8. Decker Marketing :: 45
  9. The Lonely Marketer :: 41
  10. cgm :: 37
  11. Flooring The Consumer :: 36
  12. The Marketing Excellence Blog :: 35
  13. Bernaisesource :: 34
  14. Biznology :: 34
  15. Cross The Breeze :: 32
  16. Churbuck.com :: 32
  17. AttentionMax :: 32
  18. “Turbo” Todd Watson :: 31
  19. Masiguy :: 31
  20. Community Group Therapy :: 31

Thanks Christine and Peter for two great contributions! Let me know your thoughts on their work.


My Comment Policy

Category : blogging

7

I had a reader email me recently asking my why their comment did not meet my requirements to be published on my site. It turns out the comment was snagged by Akismet by accident and should have been published. An email exchange with that reader (who unfortunately does not have a blog to which to link) led me to this post. What are policies that I believe all bloggers should adhere to when it comes to commenting? Here’s my list:

  • Get Comments Up Quickly: I don’t hold comments for approval so as long as your comment does not contain spammy material, you should be up instantly. If you do hold for approval, make sure you approve quickly. If your post has momentum, don’t hold the discussion up!
  • Reply to Comments: This is not always possible, but I try to reply to as many comments as I can. I think this shows you value reader contribution and take what they have to say seriously. Plus, you have the chance to contribute to a conversation on your own site.
  • Value Differing Opinions: Don’t throw out comments because they might offer a differing or slightly controversial viewpoint to your own. I embrace these and will often update the post to show the alternate opinion. After all, I am trying to give readers a well-rounded view of a topic and that sometimes might include information that I was not able to provide.
  • Let Readers Subscribe to Comments: I will often leave a comment on a very interesting post and be anxious to read the reply from the author or other readers only to become to busy and forget to go back and check it out. Why not let readers subscribe to a comment string and get the responses in their email box. This keeps people engaged and coming back to further the conversation. I use this Subscribe to Comments plugin on my site and have never had any issue with it.
  • Connect with Readers: Every once in awhile I like to strike up an email exchange on the side with a reader who comments often – thanking them for their comments and trying to learn a little more about them. I’ve made some excellent connections this way!

To me, comments are probably the most valuable asset of this blog. Without them the sense of community I’ve so enjoyed from this experience would be lost!

What could be added to the list above? Did I miss anything important?


10 Reasons You Know Social Media Has Taken Over

Category : blogging

5

You know the world of social media has taken over when….

  • After having a child you wonder if you should buy the name as a domain name and then rush to Technorati.com to claim your child and its rank.
  • Your Feedburner stats start playing a role in your mood for the day.
  • When you’re talking to a group of people, you leave the conversation wondering if anything you said will get any links.
  • When you hear someone say something interesting and you get a strong urge to press the little StumbleUpon Thumbs-Up in the back of your mind.
  • Your wife looks at you weird when you’re cracking open the 20 year old bottle of wine you both were saving for a special occasion because you just hit the top 150 on Todd’s list or the top 25 on Mack’s list (someday…).
  • You wake up in the middle of the night having a panic attack that your Facebook friends won’t associate with you because you left a comment on your own Facebook Wall.
  • You can’t wipe the smile off your face when you find out that someone you are now LinkedIn with is LinkedIn with someone else who is LinkedIn with someone else that is LinkedIn with Danny Sullivan.
  • You’re actually getting curious to know what the Google Dance T-shirt will look like at SES San Jose.
  • You’re Twittering but have no idea why.
  • You’re pumped for SES San Jose because Matt McGee said you could be his sidekick. Thanks, Matt!

I thought it was time for a little humor at the Lonely Marketer – Have a good day!


Tagged For Tagline Creativity

Category : blogging

3

I’ve been tagged by Lewis and Ryan in a creative meme floating around the web. The premise of the game is to select five blogs and create unique taglines for each. I’ll post mine and then I’ve also passed along Lewis‘ and Ryan‘s lists along with Cam’s of Chaos Scenario.

I tried to choose blogs that I also think my readers would enjoy so please be sure to check them out. Actually, the other lists have some great writing to check in on as well.

Success From The Nest – Taking Flight with Entrepreneurship
Converstations - The Coach of Conversation
Branding and Marketing: Ohio’s Voice of Marketing
StickyFigure – Like Glue
Strategic Public Relations – The Face in Facebook (check out Kevin’s video series!)

Lewis’ List:
Living Light Bulbs (aka Ryan): Burning Bright
CrapHammer (aka Sean): Full of It
Mindblob (aka Luc): The Brains of Belgium
The Lonely Marketer (aka Patrick): A Lone Voice
The Marketing Minute (aka Drew): Rapid Fire

Ryan’s List:
Ardi XIV – Powerful Profundity
Patrick Schaber – Provocative Practicality
Matt Dickman – Technologically Titillating
Doug Meacham
– Compassionate Customer Centricity
Katie Chatfield – Formidably Fascinating

Cam’s List:
Roger von Oech – King of the Whacks
Lewis Green – [Heart] On
Tim Jackson – Ride
Paul McEnany – Shut Up and Listen
Mack Collier – Community is Power


Junta42: Search Engine About Content Marketing

Category : blogging, writing

10

What is Junta42, you might ask? From their website:

Junta42 (pronounced juhn-tah or hoon-tah) is defined as “a small group ruling a country immediately after a coup d’état and before a legally constituted government has been instituted.” That’s where we are in today’s marketing environment. It’s the Wild, Wild West, baby. A marketing revolution is taking place. Junta42 is just here to bring a little organization to town.

I like that description! The official “brochure”-type definition of Junta42 explains the service to be an expert and user-generated search engine about content marketing. Searching by category or keyword, you’re given the chance to find relevant content and/or promote the content you like best.

So far, my initial impressions are very positive. I have yet to post an article, but using their search engine to find content has proven to provide good results. Searching on Junta42 yields two different results portions on the results page. The top half brings up results from their own database of submitted content. You can see in the screen shot below from my search on “blogging”, the article, a description, an email option, a link to the full piece as well as the Promote (voting) button appear for each result.

juntatop.jpg

Towards the bottom of this results page are Google Targeted Results. You can see the screen shot of this below. The FAQ spells this feature out pretty nicely:

We all know Google, but these results are different. In order to give Junta42 the best possible results at all time, we have included Google Targeted Results. Junta42 works with Google to search only a specific group of Web sites we feel are relevant to content marketing. So, you get the Junta42 results first, and the best possible Google search results possible at the same time (under the human expert results).

juntabottom.jpg

I really do feel like I’m getting highly target, organized results. It is up to Junta42 on who they submit to be a Google Targeted Result website, but as the service grows I think the users will have more say in that. I wonder if sites submitted more often for inclusion will have a higher weight in the search rankings? Might be an interesting feature.

There is one aspect of Junta42′s business plan to watch. They’re making their money by displaying Google Adsense ads on their site. That makes sense. But, they have a program called My42 Revenue which rewards very active contributors with a share of their Google Adsense revenue. Members who contribute over 42 articles a month qualify to receive a share of the revenues. I’ll be curious to see how that plays out. Will people contribute anything to get to the 42? Junta42 has a review process in place for approval of submitted articles so hopefully that will be a solid gatekeeper.

Update: See comments below from Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 stating that it is NOT 42 posts per month, but rather 42 TOTAL posts. I misunderstood that.

The whole idea of paying contributors has popped up recently with some very good discussions being started by Lewis, Mack, and Ryan. Some of the talk has been around blog monetization and rewarding contributors with part of the earned blog revenues. If you haven’t seen the discussion – you should definitely check it out. Obviously, Junta 42 is a little different than a blog, but the theme of paying contributors is the same.

Okay, back to Junta42 as a content search engine for marketers. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’d be curious to hear what you have to say.


Tips For Upgrading Your WordPress Blog

Category : blogging

2

upgrade.jpgAs you guessed from my posts last Friday and Saturday, the Lonely Marketer was hanging on by a thread. A variety of issues caused the site to not work properly. I went ahead and upgraded to WordPress 2.2.1 and so far I think everything is working correctly. If you’re planning to upgrade your WordPress blogging platform (or any blogging platform for that matter), I would recommend you take the following steps:

  • BACK UP everything. I made a copy of my whole site before moving ahead. I figured a malfunctioning site was better than losing all of your data.
  • BACK UP your database. Your site is worthless without your post content, comments, etc. You should be using a database backup plugin so this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Disable Plugins. My problem was narrowed down to a plugin I was using. Plus, a few of your plugins might not be compatible with the new version of your blogging platform. After your upgrade, enable the plugins one by one and make sure they’re working properly. Also, you should check to make sure your plugins are compatible with WordPress 2.2.1.
  • Check on your theme compatibility. Not all themes are compatible with updated versions of your blog software. Check to see if your theme is WordPress 2.2.1 compatible. Much of your design work on your theme could be ruined if you don’t check on what other users have experienced. By doing this I learned my theme was not compatible without a fix developed by another user. Thanks, Alex!
  • Read Forums. I spent some time on the WordPress.org support forum before upgrading. They do a great job with that forum and I was able to see what roadblocks others had come up against.

I also want to shout out a thank you to Michael Jensen at SoloSEO and Matt McGee at Small Business SEM for seeing I was having problems and quickly offering to help. It’s relationships like that with other bloggers that make this so gratifying!


I’m an SOB!!

Category : blogging

2

Yes, you read that correctly. I couldn’t be prouder! I was inducted into the S.O.B. hall of fame by Liz Strauss. In case you’re wondering, SOB stands for Successful and Outstanding Blogger. Liz hands out the award to people she believes understand that the strength of the blogosphere comes from relationships, interconnectedness, and community. You can find out more about the award on her – What IS an SOB – page.

Thanks, Liz! I very much appreciate the award and am hoping to make it to SOBCon08!


When Blog PR Goes Bad and Then Good

Category : blogging

1

An article caught my eye as I was catching up on my recent issue of BtoB Marketing Magazine. Paul Gillin wrote a short piece about the recent battle between Consumerist.com and Dell (I’d link to the article, but couldn’t find it online).

I could be the last person in the blog world to read about this (it already has 1,687 Diggs), but in case I’m not I’ll give a brief recap. Consumerist.com posted a list of tips, supposedly written by a former Dell employee, about how to get the best deals from Dell. Dell’s legal department jumped in and demanded the post be removed. Talk about a bad move! The story instantly got legs and social media took over – which meant bad news for Dell.

But, in the span of one social media interaction Dell displayed what not to do and what you absolutely should do. Dell’s blog - Direct2Dell.com written by Lionel Menchaca – posted a response to the what happened. The post was honest, down to earth and instantly took the legs out from under the story. The first line says it all:

“Now’s not the time to mince words, so let me just say it… we blew it.”

Bingo! I liked this story because it hit me at a time when I’m putting together thoughts for handling blog comments for the company at which I will be launching our social media site. One thought that crossed my mind was if Dell would have been better off if their legal department and blog had not responded at all or if they’re better because their legal department screwed up and the blog responded. The social media world is quick to hammer mistakes, but also quick to praise good PR moves. These are two very opposite ends of the spectrum.

My thoughts are if you’re going to open yourself up to social media meaning blogging, RSS, podcasts, etc. you have to be prepared to interact with ‘constructive’ negativity at times. Corporate blogs are no different. If you don’t interact, you instantly become a brochure that won’t keep people coming back.

My advice – be prepared for the possibility that someone wants to post content that could diminish your brand. Have a plan – sort of a ‘disaster recovery’ plan – and be ready. Remember, good PR can come from bad PR.