14 Places To Share Your Newest Blog Post

Blogging guidepost, vector clip art

As website owners, we’re always happy to complete an article for our blog. It’s a way to provide a service to our community by sharing quality information. It’s also a way to bring readers to our website.  But our community won’t derive any value from our content unless they read it and they won’t be able to read it if they aren’t aware of it.

That’s why writing a blog post is just the beginning.  Now it’s time to get the word out. So how do we do that?

 

1.  Share to your social media platforms.

Once you’ve published an article on your blog, you’ll want to share its link to your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook (personal [if appropriate] and business), Linked in, Google+, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc., depending upon which social media sites you are utilizing.  I would recommend setting up a Google+ account and posting your blogs there just for the search capabilities alone. Other people might argue with me about this, but I think it’s worth the effort.  (For help setting up your Google+ account, I have a very inexpensive and easy-to-follow training here.)

When using Pinterest, be sure to choose a compelling image to attach to your article so that it will receive more attention.

Don’t forget to share in your appropriate social media “groups”, as well.

2. Publish on LinkedIn

Publishing directly to LinkedIn is another way to get in front of a different audience. Published posts become part of your LinkedIn professional profile and help to position you as an expert. With this process, you have the ability to reach one of the largest groups of professionals ever assembled.

3. Set up a tweet ring.

By using a service like TwitterFeed, you and a few like-minded friends can automatically share each other’s new blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. You simply add their RSS feed to the platform and it takes over from there.  You can hook this into your bit.ly account in order to keep track of the link shares.

4.Join Social Buzz Club

Somewhat like a twibe or a tweet ring, members share each other’s content via a gamification process which brings knowledge of your article to a whole new set of people.  For more information about Social Buzz Club, go HERE.

. 5. Join Triberr

Triberr is a platform consisting of tribes.  A “tribe” is a group of people (typically bloggers) organized into like groups and committed to sharing each other’s content. So for instance, if you were a food blogger, you would join a tribe of other food bloggers.  When you follow the tribe, their newly published blog posts show up in your stream so that, if you want to, you can share their content with your community members.  They have the opportunity to share yours.

6.  Submit your articles toquality article directories.

Article directories such as EzineArticles.com are great places to submit your articles. Here they will be found by people searching for specific subjects.  They may even be reposted, and credited to you by using the bio and URL that you post in your author box.  Ask around to find the best article directories for your niche.

7. Consider publishing directly to Medium

Medium takes a bit of experimentation to see which articles work best, but it is yet another way to sprinkle your content across the internet. Medium articles seem a bit more artistic and thought-provoking than many business articles.

Remember to add a call to action at the end of your article but on Medium, your CTA should be much softer than on other platforms.

8. Make a Slide Share

If you can turn your blog post into a slide share, it would be beneficial to post to this platform. It is currently under-utilized and thus, a good slide share has the potential to reach a large audience and receive a significant share of attention.

9. Comment on other blogs.

In order to make blog readers aware of you and your blog, comment on blogs that are related to yours.  Position yourself as the expert by providing additional great content.  Be sure to register on a site that will enable your photo and information to show up when you post a response.  Gravitar.com is one that will work with most WordPress blogs.  There is also http://disqus.com/ (blogs using Disqus use this). Blogger.com and IntenseDebate.com are 2 others to consider.

 

10.  Revive Old Posts (formerly Tweet Old Posts)

There is an application called Revive Old Posts  that will randomly select an article from your website and share it to your followers via Twitter, Facebook  and Linkedin.  It’s easy to set up and you can choose how often you want to share.  Every 3-4 hours would be fine but you’ll want to be sure that you have enough articles posted on your blog so that the same ones aren’t being shared over and over.  The one problem I see with this method is that some posts aren’t evergreen and as such, they may not make sense when shared later.

11.  Participate in blog challenges.

Generally a blog challenge compels you to write a certain number of blog posts in a certain amount of time. The community usually shares each other’s blog posts on social media sites. By participating in a blog challenge, you get accountability, motivation and reciprocity.

12. Share it in your newsletter.

Some people choose to share their article in their newsletter before publishing on their blog. This is to reward subscribers by sharing new content with them first. Whether you choose to share before publishing or after, a newsletter is a great way to get your article in front of your community.

13. Create a mini-podcast.

Could your blog article be turned into a mini podcast? Because your community may prefer to digest information in a different way (audio vs. visual), create a podcast and publish it to iTunes.

14.  Create tips Extract tips from your blog posts to share on Twitter. Add the appropriate hashtag in order to get in front of community members who could benefit from your content.

Making a blog stand out can result in higher traffic, dedicated readers and ultimately more purchasers of your products and services.  So remember: once you’ve written your blog post, your work is not complete until you’ve followed at least some of the steps above.

Give Your Website a Boost By Cutting Its Bounce Rate

Small smiling baby with tablet pc This is a guest article by Corinna Rake of Online Empowerment and was reposted with permission by the author.  I thought it was excellent and wanted to share. Seems

Bounce rate. It’s one of those website terms that kinda makes sense, but you may be wondering what it *actually* means – and why you should care.

Let’s give it some context first. The bounce rate is one of many analytics, or data, that can be collected to measure your website’s performance. Another, more common analytic is “page views.”

Bounce rate takes page views one step further and incorporates action – action (or inaction) taken by the web page visitor. More than just taking a general headcount (which doesn’t tell you much), bounce rate tracks whether someone navigates within the site – clicks on a link, presses a button, or fills out a form that takes them to another page within your site. The more they browse around, the lower your bounce rate statistic. That’s a good thing!

On average, a bounce rate falls between 40-60%. That means 40-60% of ALL visitors leave your website without visiting another page.

Bounce Rate stats

Depending on the style and desired outcome of your website, the bounce rate may be critical, or not at all important. A ‘single-page’ site, for example, will have a 100% bounce rate because there is nowhere else for the visitor to go. Chances are though, your website falls into the standard, multi-page site category, and all the information your ideal visitor/client needs is not located on a single page.

Sticky keywords keep visitors interested

Imagine your website is a chalk board and your website visitors are tennis balls.

They search a relevant keyword and land on your chalkboard (your website).

Now, picture that you have a piece of velcro stuck on your chalkboard each time you mention important keyword or any related topics. Since your visitor’s tennis ball is fuzzy, it’ll stick to the velcro every time their search matches what you’re talking about.

In other words, your chances of that visitor sticking around are much better if your website contains words, and imagery, that matches what they are looking for.

Although, having relevant information is just the first step. Once they land and stick, you need to make sure you have a clearly defined action for them to take. That could be a simple email optin box, or perhaps clicking through to read more about your products/services.

If you don’t have what they are looking for, or if you don’t provide an obvious ‘what’s next?’ action, the ball will bounce right off. This translates into pressing ‘back’ in the browser, closing the tab/window, typing in a new URL, or simply doing nothing for up to 30min, when the session times out and it’s recorded as a bounce.

People aren’t poking around your website – what are you doing wrong?

Best case scenario: the tennis ball lands on your site from a referral on social media or other highly-regarded source (think JV partnerships, word-of-mouth referral, etc.) they tend to be super fuzzy and stick to your velcro more easily. They start looking around, reading your About page, more of your blog posts, they sign up for your opt-in, or best, buy something.

Sometimes basketballs arrive – they represent spambots, or other non-human visitors that will never stick, no matter how much velcro you have. Unfortunately, their bounce still counts in your data.

What about “real” visitors who don’t come from trusted sources?

What keeps them from staying and how can you entice them to click around and explore?

  • You’ve got a slow-loading website.
    Nothing is more frustrating and ensures a click on the ‘back’ button faster than a site that takes more than a few seconds to load.
     
    “According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.” – Sherice Jacob, “Speed is a Killer” on Kissmetrics.com
     
    The good news, improving site speed can be fairly straight-forward. Want to test your site? There are free tools you can use. We use Pingdom to test our sites and our clients’.
     
    Sometimes though, it requires an intensive site audit, and possibly changing website hosting providers. GoDaddy, for example, is notoriously slow for hosting WordPress sites.
     
    The speed of your site can mean the difference between having visitors stay, and buy or contact you, versus bouncing on their merry way and never seeing what you have to offer. It’s worth the investment to resolve this.
     
  • You don’t have enough and/or the ‘right’ keywords.
    SEO (search engine optimization)  scares a lot of people (but it doesn’t have to). Basically, it’s about making it easy for search engines to send traffic your way based on matching the terms people search with the keywords you include on your site.
     
    You don’t need to hire some firm that promises to help you rank on the first page of Google. These days SEO is about creating relevant content, not gaming the search system. What can you do right now? Play customer and list the top ten words you think they plug into Google when seeking the solution you provide. Be sure those words appear prominently across your site.
     
  • Your site doesn’t have a clearly defined outcome.
    A “sticky velcro” website is about so much more than technical stuff.
     
    Your words, design and imagery must work together to create a powerful experience for the visitor. Remember, you’re creating an experience that matches your ideal clients’ needs, interests, and aesthetic. When your perfect person hits your site and says “yes, that’s it!” she’ll click around and lower your bounce rate. Much more importantly, she’ll take action and opt in or buy what you’re selling. Make sure your site is prepared to guide her easily on that journey.
     

    What changes can you make today that will improve your website’s bounce rate and over-all performance?

    Photo credit: Deposit Photos/Vitalinka

She Demanded They Remove It Immediately!

cartton image of one bird sharing a flower with anotherThis morning I came across a rant by a fellow colleague that actually disturbed me. Someone had posted one of her blog articles on their blog, linking back to her website and giving her full credit. She accused them of stealing her content and using it without her permission and demanded that they take it down! She then said that anyone who wanted to use her content must sign a contract and IF she thought it was a good fit, she would then give her permission. 

DON’T DO THIS!!

First of all, it’s not generous. Be grateful for your gifts and share them with others. 

Secondly, WHY turn down the exposure? When people care enough to share your content, it is a nod that they consider you to have knowledge worth sharing. They may not have the audience yet to cause your post to go viral, but who knows who might be reading their blog .  You want to make it easy for people to share your content.  Contracts will further inhibit that.

Thirdly, people ARE going to steal your content. I’ve had mine stolen several times.  It’s best to be  known for being altruistic by allowing others to use it and give proper attribution rather than to have it suddenly appear and be credited to another author. I have actually had a person come back to my blog and accuse me of plagiarizing a story because they first saw it somewhere where it wasn’t credited to me. 

The colleague above later added that she wanted to be very careful about her branding and didn’t want anyone with unscrupulous marketing practices to use her content.  That’s a good point but if they were unscrupulous, I don’t think they would bother giving credit or linking back to another website.

If I’m going to share other folks’ content, I usually ask or notify them about it if they already have a “permission to post” listed on their website. It’s just common courtesy.

Here’s what I place at the end of my blog posts: “You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies. Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.”  Both Sandra Martini and Ali Brown use something similar to this wording.

Your thoughts?

Image credit: created on Tweegram app

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

Getty’s New Free Embedded Images May Not Be So Free Afterall

film strip with images on a white backgroundIf you’re like most bloggers, you are becoming increasingly confused about which images are okay to use on your blog and exactly how they can legally be used.  No one wants the worry of having to fight off lawyers just for using a simple image but as we all know, images play a very important role in social media and inbound marketing.

Well now Getty Images (one of the more famous filers of lawsuits over image copyright infringement) has offered a possible solution: free embedded images.  These embedded images are free to use on non-commercial sites. The images would appear on the website by using an embed code in an iframe, much the same as You Tube videos are embedded.  Not all of Getty’s images are embeddable. If they are, you will see this icon </> in a box under the image.

There are things to consider before jumping on the embedded image bandwagon. First of all, what is a non-commercial site?  If you are an e-commerce site with a blog, you probably can’t use these images. If you are doing any sort of inbound marketing, the lines may be too gray to take the risk. Getty says  “the key attribute in classifying use as commercial is whether the image is used to promote a business, goods or services, or to advertise something. If not, it is a non-commercial use.”  So if you’re using a blog for information or teaching purposes only, you may qualify.

Another thing to consider is that because the content is an iframe (which is a type of code that uses a piece of content that lives on another website and allows it to be seen on your website), you don’t have control over it.  So if the owner, in this case Getty, wants to toss out that image, it will no longer be seen on your site. And if you had pinned your image to one of your Pinterest boards, it will no longer be seen there either. 

Lastly, because Getty is a corporation, you can be sure that they will monetize this offering in the near future.  Per the Hubspot blog, Craig Peters, a business and development executive at Getty Images confirmed  that they are considering doing this by either a collection of data or by advertising.  You Tube advertises on their videos so you can get an idea of how this might appear. 

What do you think of this new feature?  Would you consider using embedded images?

 

12 Productive Things To Do When You Just Can’t Write

Businesswoman with a writer's block crumpling paper iI’m sure that you can guess the inspiration for this post.  I’ve been sitting in front of the computer half the morning trying to write an instructional article and it’s just not coming together.  I’ve finally decided to let that idea stew for awhile and try something else. Do you ever have those days? If so, keep this list handy so you can still be productive  the next time it happens.

Try a brain dump.

Grab your timer, some paper and your favorite writing instrument. (Mine has always been the original BIC pen.) Set your timer for 10 minutes and write down everything that you need to do, whether it is business-related, family-related, health-related, etc.  Whatever pops into your head – write it down.  When the timer rings, stop!  This exercise helps to get your brain clear and may allow some creativity to flow in.

Write Tomorrow’s To-Do list

Get a head start on tomorrow by writing your To-Do list. If you tried the brain dump exercise above, go back to that list and choose 6 items that you need to accomplish the next day.  List them in order of importance. On the next day, start with your first item – complete that item. When it’s done, move on to the second item. Then move on to the third task and so on.  At that end of the day, choose 6 items to be accomplished on the following day. This method is The Ivy Lee Method.  You can find out more about Ivy Lee and his method here.

Make a list of 100 tips for your business niche that can easily be posted to your social media platforms.  You’ll be able to use these over and over again and they will help you to position yourself as an expert. Using a hashtag to promote them will also help.

Read some articles that you have stored in Evernote, or in your professional development folder.

Catch up on webinar recordings that you missed. You know you have some somewhere.

Download some images from your favorite paid image source.  There are several image sites that offer unlimited downloads for a paid membership of a certain length of time or  a certain amount of downloads per day.  Make the most of your subscription. Three of my favorite sites for these images are Deposit Photos, Graphic Stock Photos (which has a special going right now – $99.00 for an entire year of unlimited downloads), and Clipart.com.

Use some of those images and create quote graphics or tips graphicsPixlr and PicMonkey are good places to do that.

Go through your old blog posts and share them again on your social sites.  Chances are there are many people who haven’t read them yet and you may catch some inspiration from one of the former articles.

Go for a walk.

Meditate.

Organize your desk.

Take a nap.

Sometimes your body is giving you physical hints that you need some down time. If your brain isn’t working, it may need recharging. Don’t fight it. Lean into it.

Image Credit: Deposit photos/racorn